Departure from the Spaceship
AT THE END of Chapter 6, we left Frances with Gloria and the children, in an upper room of the spaceship, waiting for John.
John did eventually appear; he was conducted by Anouxia from the navigation room, by way of another moving ramp which led up through a doorway, wider than usual, which gave entrance to the upper room. Anouxia left him there, and went back down the ramp, no doubt back to the navigation room; the imminent departure of their guests meant that the spaceship would soon be on its way.
The way the ramp entered the upper room was strange; at the doorway, the ramp surface was still some three feet below the general level of the floor, and it continued to slope up into the room, until it reached the floor level. When Frances and the others first saw John come through the doorway, they saw only the upper part of him, coming up from a lower level; and when John first saw them, they were above him.
I must interpolate here a circumstance about doors and doorways which we found unexpected; at first it was difficult to interpret and caused some confusion. As far as we were able to discover, it applied to all the doors in the spaceship.
The doorways were not rectangular at the top like ours; the corners were rounded and the lintel slightly arched. There was, we think in all cases, an actual metallic door panel, which opened by sliding sideways into a recess in the thickness of the wall; although one sometimes passed a closed door, generally they were left open.
So far, nothing unusual. But if you stood in the corridor, looking through the open doorway, you did not see the interior of the room: you looked at nothing. This is not at all the same thing as looking at a black door; the effect was an impenetrable inky blackness, like the interior of a subterranean cavern when the guide turns the lights off to frighten you.
Similarly, if you stood inside the room, looking out through the open doorway, you did not see the corridor: you saw nothing.
Our family at first hesitated to penetrate this veil of total darkness; but seeing the spaceship people do so without hesitation, and vanish, they did the same, and instantaneously found themselves in the room, without any sensation of having passed through anything. When, as happened more than once, they passed from a brightly lighted corridor into a darkened room, the instant they were past the plane of the open doorway, they were in the dark; there was no spill of bright light following them into the room through the open doorway, and lighting up the room. When Frances came to leave her medical room, the door was closed; as she approached it, she saw the metal door-panel slide away quickly to the left, leaving an opening of inky blackness, through which she had to walk.
When Frances, Gloria and the children saw John come up the ramp into the upper room where they waited, he burst abruptly into their vision out of a dense black door-opening; by now, they were getting used to this bizarre effect. Somehow, the Janos people have invented a means of preventing light from going through a doorway, without hindering the passage of people or other material objects.
A convenience (bekvemmlighet), no more; but it illustrates well their mastery of science, that they can play such tricks with light. But, of course, their really spectacular tricks, reported elsewhere in UFO literature, are the ones that must depend on a total control of gravitation and inertial mass - enabling their spaceships, for example, to change instantaneously from very high velocity to dead stop; or, while travelling very much faster than any terrestrial aircraft, to change direction abruptly, turning on a point. Either of these manoeuvres would smash up a terrestrial aircraft, killing its crew. We have seen numerous applications of this gravity-mass control in the spaceship described in this book.
The upper room (we called it that, because it must have been on one of the highest decks of the spaceship), in which the family met together before their departure, has been described at the end of Chapter 6; the most prominent, and to Earth people the most puzzling feature of the room was the bright vertical cylinder which we have already mentioned.
We had a lot of difficulty with this bright cylinder. There was some difference of interpretation between Frances and John, concerning the cylinder: Frances described it as being like a piece of a huge fluorescent tube, five to six feet(1,6-1,9m) in diameter, extending from floor to ceiling. Most of the time it glowed brilliantly, filling the room with light; but at certain times it was dim. They agreed that the intensity of the light was uniform from floor to ceiling; there was no falling off of the brightness from top to bottom. They were agreed about its size.
The difference between them lay in the fact that Frances thought of the cylinder as a material object - a hollow cylinder, in fact, made of translucent glass or plastic. John, on the other hand, persistently referred to it as a 'beam'; he said that he thought of it as a beam of light projected from above the ceiling, and passing through a circular hole in the floor. He did not think of it as having solid walls. Perhaps he associated it, in his mind, with the beam of light which had mysteriously lifted them up into the spaceship, when they first arrived about fifty minutes earlier; the reason for this association will shortly become apparent.
When John came into the upper room, the bright cylinder was in front of him, not quite directly in front, but a couple of feet or so to the right. As he was carried up the remaining part of the moving ramp, which extended into the room where the others were waiting, he came up to their level; they were all standing with their backs to the bright cylinder, partly to face the doorway where they expected John to appear, partly, no doubt, to shield their eyes from the dazzling light of the cylinder, which was so bright that if they looked at it directly, they could not see the room at all clearly, as their eyes were confused by the brightness.
The four members of his family awaiting John stood in a row, as he first saw them: from left to right, Tanya, Gloria, Natasha, Frances. When he first came up, Anouxia was still with him, standing on his left; the ramp was wide enough for two people to stand side by side, and they had come up this way: the doorway, which they passed through when they entered the room, was unusually wide, to allow the ramp to pass through it; it was of the usual rounded-corner, slightly arched type. Like all other open doors, you could see nothing through it, until you passed through it yourself.
Two or three of the silver-clad ship people stood around, one of them directly behind Gloria, as John arrived. No one spoke, except that Natasha said: "Here's Daddy"
One of the ship people presently gathered them together and led them round to the back of the bright cylinder, on the opposite side to the one they had had their backs to. Here, Frances says, there was an opening or doorway leading into the interior of the cylinder; they all went in, together with their silver-clad guide, and stood in a group within the cylinder. The light dimmed right down: either way they could not see very clearly; but they were all conscious that they were standing upright, all standing at the same level as if there was a floor under their feet - but there was no floor; they were suspended in space.
They floated slowly down the cylinder, still unsupported, still standing upright in a normal way as if they stood on a floor. It was just like going down in an elevator - but much smoother than any Earth elevator - except that there was nothing under their feet. Both Frances and John are quite sure of this. They felt quite normal; not dizzy or unbalanced in any way. There must have been a fair amount of space; because they agree that they were not crowded together, and there were four adults and two children altogether.
Quite soon they came to a gentle stop - no jarring - and found their feet on a solid deck. Guided by the ship man, they passed out through a doorway of the usual kind, and found themselves on the balcony - the same balcony that John had stood on, the same balcony which they had all come up to by the moving ramp, when they first arrived in the huge circular engine room.
They all went down the moving ramp - this time it carried them downwards - and walked across towards the centre of the circular deck, a considerable distance. As they did so, they could see that through every doorway in sight, people in silver suits came streaming out, scores of them, to see them go. Half a dozen of the people mainly concerned with their visit, including some women, waited for them by the rectangular inner hatchway of the airlock, which was open. The rest of the ship's company kept well back.
The two groups met together, and formed a single ring of people, silver-clad ship people and Earth people in their ordinary summer travelling clothes, mingled together. There was a sense of occasion (her:begivenhet); almost of ritual.
Anouxia again spoke for them all. Addressing the visitors, he said: "It is time for you to return to your car now; we are in position". No one answered for the Earth people; but all were filled with the same reluctance (ulyst) to leave. John said afterwards that he felt it would be better if they were able to stay longer with the Janos people.
He added that Anouxia understood their unspoken thoughts, and smiled; but he said firmly: "You must return; we will see you again. When you see us again, you will know us". Frances confirms this. Anouxia went on to explain that they must not stay too long, or people would become anxious about them, and enquiries would be made.
Someone produced a tray with glasses of a colourless, fizzy drink. "Would you like a drink before you go?" They all accepted, and John said: "Is it alcohol?" and was answered:
"No; but it will help you to forget".
John asked: "Why do you want us to forget?"
"Because if you remember everything immediately, you will go around telling everyone, and it will cause you much trouble; many people will not believe you, and others will try to exploit (utnytte) you. You will remember everything in time; but it will be some time before it all comes back." And this is how it was; except that we helped the return of memory by hypnosis: even now, not everything has been remembered.
Frances says that she did not like the taste of the drink much - it tasted milky; but all the grown-ups drank theirs down. Natasha did not want hers; and Tanya drank a few sips and put hers down. Akilias, the woman who had looked after Natasha, said: "It will not matter if she remembers; because she is so little, no one will believe her".
It was time to go. Anouxia, again, they felt, acting for all the ship's company, shook hands with John; then he kissed both the little girls. Next he took both Frances's hands in his, and kissed her on the cheek; then he did the same with Gloria. "I promise you that you will see us again", he said. "You will be all right; we shall be seeing you home."
John, practical as ever, said: "Where is the car?" - for he had earlier seen it standing near the airlock hatch, on the main deck. Someone led him to the edge of the big square open hatchway, and he looked down: directly below him was the car, its white paint catching the light from the spaceship; it was neatly parked close by a tall hedge which John could just make out. John said he could see the whole length of the car, and from this he judged that it must be at least thirty feet below them; I think, from other considerations, it was probably nearer fifty feet - 15m.
They all looked down; it seemed very dark on the ground (doubtless because the ship itself shadowed the ground), and a long way down. The children looked; but quickly lost interest in the car; they were soon gazing around the huge circular room, with so many people.
When it was indicated to them that they should step out into unsupported space from the edge of the hatchway, naturally enough they hesitated, despite their recent rather confused recollection of the bright cylinder. A beam of light, but not a very bright one, did in fact shine down on to the ground, making a circle of light quite near the car.
One of the men volunteered to go down with them, "to show us that it was O.K." (John). This man - it was neither of the two they knew well, but another one - stepped fearlessly forward from the edge of the hatchway, as if he were walking out on to a solid floor; but there was nothing under his feet. He walked, or glided, forward until he was well out in the middle of the hatchway, still unsupported, but standing normally, as they had done in the bright cylinder.
The visitors therefore plucked up courage, and walked out after him, until the six of them were standing together, still level with the main deck, but standing on air.
Then, presumably, someone pressed a switch somewhere; because the whole group of six began to float quite slowly down towards the ground, keeping their level formation. As they emerged clear of the airlock, through the lower hatchway, they felt the cool night breeze blowing gently in their faces. The downward movement was slow, but steady; presently they touched ground, so softly that their knees did not even bend.
They were a few yards away from the car, on the driver's side. They were themselves standing on a pathway, beside the road; the place was, in fact, a small car park, rarely used at that time of night, just outside the town of Faringdon.
The light beam still shone on them; but now it moved back from them, over the roadway, just a few yards. They thought the spaceship as a whole moved back a little, causing the beam to move off them.
The silver-clad Janos man, who was still with them, walked slowly backwards, away from them and towards the circle of light cast by the beam on the tarmac road. As he walked, he said: "You will remember none of this: you have been driving". Then he said it again. As he passed backwards into the circle of light, he began to float up slowly, all the way up into the spaceship; and the hatch closed.
As they stood watching, the spaceship lifted away, then came lower again; and they could see, through rows of lighted windows, the heads of many of the ship's company looking down at them in the little car park - "as if they were waving goodbye".
The ship finally lifted quickly away, and was soon lost to sight. They turned towards the car, and found everything in order; the lights and ignition were off, and the keys were in their place in the ignition lock. They all got in from the driver's side, since the other side was too close to the hedge to open the doors; John drove away, and at once they were in Faringdon. From this point, the 'real story' rejoins the 'cover story' as told in Chapter I; readers who wish to round off the story may like to re-read the end part of that chapter, from page 15.
The hedge in the car park is important to the mechanism of the 'cover story', and I will deal with it here.
You will remember that the unreal and interminable drive through a narrow lane, with high hedges close in on either side, had an element of repetition: John, who, as driver, was perhaps most directly involved in the 'cover story', remarked to me much later that a pattern seemed to repeat itself endlessly; he also said that the two hedges that they "drove" between, one on either side, were as it were mirror-images of each other.
I think there is no doubt that the five were, throughout their stay in the spaceship, under hypnotic control, which began when they first saw the rotating circle of coloured lights. John, by the time we finished his prolonged series of hypnotic sessions - he had ten, some of great length - was fairly experienced in hypnosis, from the receiving end as it were; and he gave it as his considered opinion that he was hypnotised throughout the spaceship visit.
Undoubtedly the fizzy drink also contained a hypnosispredisposing drug; such drugs, Geoff told me, are well known on Earth: the post-hypnotic suggestion, that they would remember only that they had been driving, would be much strengthened by the drug, which they were told would help them to forget; and no doubt it prepared their minds for the artificial pseudo-experience of the narrow lane. The children had little or none of the drink: their memories of the whole incident were clear - though there was probably a degree of mild amnesia in Natasha; her memories have a habit of re-appearing in stages, like those of the adults. As far as we can tell, the children have no recollection of the 'cover story' drive. It is also noteworthy that Gloria, whose amnesia of the spaceship visit remains almost total, had a very clear memory of the one part of the story that wasn't real.
It is not clear whether the visual background to the 'cover story' was deliberately arranged, in detail, by the spaceship people, or whether it was more or less an accident; I personally incline to the latter view. I think the adults were hypnotically pre-programmed to accept the suggestion that they would remember driving for about fifty-five minutes, to account for the loss of time; this extra driving time was to be inserted into their real drive to give an illusion of continuity; remember that Anouxia, in his speech of welcome on the balcony, said: "We will replace you back in your car, exactly as if you had never stopped".
In fact the joining together, the sewing-in as it were, of the artificial memory-insert was very smoothly done. The illusion failed to be convincing for two reasons: one, which the spaceship people possibly were not aware of, was that the family travelled this road regularly, and knew every inch of it, so that even a slight departure from the normal would have been noticed; the other was the singularly (besynderlige) unconvincing visual pattern of the narrow lane with the close-set tall hedges. They knew very well that there was no such lane anywhere on their route.
My own interpretation, based on what Frances and John have told me, is that the 'lane' appeared narrow because their car had been parked by the ship people, when they set it down in preparation for the family's departure, close by a short length of tall hedge. By some trick of suggestion, they 'remembered' seeing the hedge on both sides of them, equally close; so that they would seem to be driving along an extremely narrow lane, so narrow that they could not have passed another car. Fortunately this problem could not arise, because the experience was unreal.
John, Frances and I revisited the car park, and were able to pin-point accurately the position of the car as it was set down by the hedge; we were also able to work out, from visual angles, just where the beam of light had set them down by the roadside, a few yards away. There are a few buildings around; but they are unoccupied: so no one would have seen the incident from a window. There was, of course, the possibility that, even late at night, a car might come along the road: no doubt the spaceship crew had checked carefully along the road in both directions, before setting them down; but since they were on the outer edge of a town, there remained the possibility that someone might come along and have a big surprise. (it seems - from study of similar contactcases - that the ship has equipment that can detect any type of lifeforce/people in a big circumference of the ship - as told in the semjase-material. rø-remark)
Both John and Frances identified the hedge as the one in their 'cover story' drive; the illusion of driving for nearly an hour along the narrow lane, closely hedged on both sides, was built up out of the very brief glimpse - it cannot have been more than a few seconds - of the short piece of real hedge, on one side of the car only, as they drove out of the car park, on to the road. They were inclined to think that some visual detail of trees on the far side of the main road had also been worked into the illusion.
I am inclined to think that the choice of visual material by the Janos people, out of which to create the illusion of the prolonged drive along a narrow closely-hedged lane, was largely opportunist; the material presented itself at the moment at which John began to move the car forward out of the little wayside car park on to the road.
The family were hypnotically pre-programmed to accept this visual material as the basis of a long drive, to account for the time lost; but the actual choice of material must have depended on what was available.
As an illusion, it was unsuccessful and unconvincing, and failed of its main purpose, which was to account in advance for the lost fifty-five minutes. When they arrived at their destination, they still thought it was twenty minutes past eleven, their expected time of arrival had the incident never happened; and they were astonished to find that it was a quarter past twelve. Clearly they had not accepted in their minds the 'explanation' offered by the cover story to account for the lost time, for they had not regarded it as lost; the curious experience of the narrow lane had seemed to them, while interminable, not to occupy time, to be outside time. They remained puzzled by this inexplicable experience, of the strange narrow lane mysteriously interpolated into a familiar journey, but they pushed it aside, as it were, and did not think of it as part of the timed sequence of their journey. To this extent, the psychological device used by the Janos people may be said to have failed.
Nevertheless, it created a diversion which with other persons, in other circumstances, might have succeeded in 'covering up' the visit to the spaceship, if that was the purpose of the Janos people. One wonders how many other close encounters of the fourth kind have been more successfully covered up, so that the people involved have no memory of them. Certainly other, similar incidents must have occurred; it seems unlikely that the incident described in this book is unique.
As to my interpretation, psychologists will no doubt hasten to put me right. The 'experience' of the interminable narrow lane, even taken by itself, apart from the real spaceship experience, should provide plenty of material for controversy among experts in mental science. To such experts, I would say one thing: you will find, when you meet the Janos people, that you have met your masters.
The Janos People
WE HAVE NOW completed the straight narrative account of what happened to the English family who spent nearly an hour in a spaceship, and of all that they saw and were told.
For the convenience of readers, at the risk of some repetition, I will now summarise the main items of information about the Janos people that have come to light during my investigation of this incident. The facts are all drawn directly, and without alteration or embroidery (broderi), from the statements of the members of that family group; mostly I have worked with John, his sister Frances, and John's elder daughter Natasha.
These statements were, in many cases, brought to light in sessions of hypnotic regression, used primarily as a means of releasing the amnesia, which was deliberately induced by the ship people, to protect the family from the embarrassments of premature publicity of the wrong kind.
As many people will know, hypnotic regression has the further advantage that it enables the subject to re-experience the event, several times if necessary, to give opportunities to look more closely at the scene, and recover details that in ordinary memory would be lost or less sharply defined. Much of the detailed information, however, came out of the subsequent 'follow-up' sessions, in which the hypnotist was not present; and some very important items have just 'popped up' into consciousness at odd times, not in a formal session at all.
This is not the place for an essay on regressive hypnosis: I think it may be helpful to other investigators to add simply that, provided (and it is an important proviso) the hypnosis is controlled by a highly skilled and very experienced professional hypnotist, with a constructive and responsible attitude to the case, it can be most valuable as an aid to the elucidation of close-encounter cases, especially, as is common in such cases, where some degree of amnesia is involved.
The following is a condensed account of the main facts about the Janos culture, within the limits of what we have learned; I have provided also some general background information where I think it may be helpful.
The Planet Janos
Janos, before the double disaster which rendered it uninhabitable, was an Earth-type planet revolving about a star (their sun) which is several thousand light-years distant from us. For the general reader this places it well inside our own Galaxy, which has a diameter of more than 8o,ooo light-years; indeed in galactic terms it is a comparatively near neighbour.
'Several thousand light years' (Uxiaulia's phrase; the Janos people seem to prefer not to give exact figures) is nevertheless an enormous, almost unimaginable distance: "further away than you have ever dreamed of' is, again, Uxiaulia's somewhat poetical expression.
A light-year, as I am sure most readers know in this space-conscious age, is a measure, not of time, but of distance: it is how far a light beam, from a star for example, will travel in the vacuum of space, in a standard year - that is, 5,886,ooo,ooo,ooo,ooo miles or 9,470,000,000,000,000 kilo-metres.
Light reaches us from the Moon in one and one-third seconds; from the Sun in eight minutes; from the nearest star (Proxima Centauri) in four and a quarter years; from Sirius in eight and a half years: so we say Sirius is eight and a half light-years away. Distances of other well-known stars are: Vega 26, Arcturus 41, Capella 47 and the giant Betelgause 600 light-years.
So several thousand light-years, whatever may be its precise value, is what one might call in the vernacular 'a heck of a long way'. The Galaxy (our galaxy - there are millions of them) has, in common with many others, a spiral structure caused by its own slow rotation, rather suggestive of a giant Catherine-wheel firework.
There is a series of 'arms' spiralling out from the centre. Janos's sun is most probably in the same part of the same arm that our Sun is in; just possibly it could be in the nearest part of the next arm. (Just to cut us down to size, the nearest galaxy to ours, that named after the constellation Andromeda, and very similar to our own galaxy, is two million light-years away; it is the furthest object that can be seen from Earth with the unaided eye.)
Janos cannot be very different from the Earth in size or gravity; the spaceship people appear comfortable in normal Earth gravity, and (though they are perhaps slightly slimmer) their body structure and general build scarcely differs from that of normal Earth people. Our visitors to the spaceship found normal Earth gravity maintained on board, though it is clear that they could control or vary it if they found it more convenient to do so.
Most probably the sun of Janos is closely similar to our Sun; there is nothing to suggest an important difference. Our Sun is, after all, a star of a very common type. The spaceship people do, on the whole, tend to operate on the Earth's surface at night; but this is more probably to escape discovery than to avoid the sun.
a possible view of JANOS and its 2 moons before the catastrophe.
Janos itself, as seen from space before rockfall, had a general greenish-brown tint, varied by patches of blue water. Cloud was not seen, as it would be in any of our pictures of the Earth; but their pictures of the Earth do not show cloud patterns either: so possibly they are using a technique which does not show them - this would be useful in surveying a lot of planets for possible settlement.
There were large areas of open water, seas or oceans, and a great many lakes. Nevertheless, the total area covered by water was said by John to be less than the land area, possibly a third of the planet's surface; in this, Janos differs from Earth, which has more water than land. There were considerable tracts of dark green, which to John suggested forests, as well as varied areas, which he thought represented cultivated land. Unfortunately, we have no orbital pictures of pre-disaster Janos except those taken from quite a high orbit; all the closer views are of the planetary surface after rockfall.
There are (or were) two moons, both small compared with ours; the inner moon, called Saton (pronounced Zaton) was too close for stability, and its break-up caused the disastrous rockfall. The outer moon, which we think is called Sarnia (pronounced Zarnia) is smaller than Saton.
Climate and Vegetation
"On Janos it was always warm" - according to space-pilot Uxiaulia. We have only a few outdoor pre-rockfall scenes of normal life, but the clothing in these suggests a summer's day in England; it certainly does not indicate any extreme which we would find uncomfortable. Of course, we must remember that the Janos people may not have occupied the whole planet; their numbers were to be reckoned in millions rather than in thousands of millions like ours, and they could have kept to the pleasanter parts.
If we are to understand from Uxiaulia's statement that there were no pronounced seasons like our summer and winter, this would imply that the planet's axis of rotation was close to being perpendicular to the plane in which it revolved round its sun - what we would call the plane of the ecliptic. It would also imply that the orbit of Janos around its sun was not far off circular. Seasonal changes on the Earth arise from two causes: one is the inclination, by an angle of 23½ degrees of arc, of the axis of rotation from a perpendicular with the plane of the ecliptic; the other is a moderate eccentricity of the Earth's orbit round the Sun, which brings it nearer to the Sun in December and takes it further away in June, so that the northern winters are moderated and the southern Antarctic winters intensified.
The mild summery climate also suggests that the amount of heat received by Janos from its sun is not very different from that which on average the Earth receives. This could mean that the heat given out by the sun of Janos is similar to that of our own Sun, in which case the distance of Janos from its sun would be much the same as Earth's; or a comparable balance could be struck if, for example, Janos were a little further away from a slightly hotter star, or nearer to a cooler one. But it is likely that the conditions matched closely those familiar to us.
Janos vegetation differs from ours in one important respect the leaf colour is a deep bottle green; the delicate lighter greens familiar to us were not seen by our witnesses in films shown to them.
The 'trees', also, differ from those of Earth in that, at least in the examples seen, there is no trunk or bole (trestamme); several large branches come together directly from the ground, spreading out in the way our tree branches do. On one occasion, a spray of foliage (løvverk) was seen close to the camera; the leaves are described as oval with a slight point, with veins and a midrib similar to ours, but distinctly heavy and fleshy. The witness compared the leaves to those of a rubber plant.
Several shrubs or bushes were seen, with the usual dark bottle-green foliage, but bearing also what appeared to be flowers, described as large, rather like a big rose or a peony, and (in one example seen closely) of two colours - some red and some pink.
Some 'trees' by the lakeside bore large oval fruits of a mustard-yellow colour, not unlike a melon.
Buildings and Transport
We have very few pictures of buildings; the only good clear ones are of houses. Frances had a fleeting impression, during the rockfall scenes, of larger buildings in an urban setting, crashing to the ground; the only buildings seen in postrockfall pictures were totally ruined - "just bits of wall standing, like a bombed city".
The clearest picture was that shown to Frances by Uxiaulia - a still photograph shown on a screen - of his own home before rockfall, with his wife Vurna and their two young children in the garden in front of the house. The plan was rectangular, with a simple pitched roof without chimneys. The roof was covered with large square tiles of a mid-grey colour, which did not overlap, but lay in one plane. The end gables were embellished with a decorated bargeboard and a carved finial.
The house was of one storey only; "we do not have an upstairs like you". The white walls were constructed of horizontal planks, jointed together, of a material which to Frances suggested wood.
There was a door opening in the centre of the front wall: its shape was exactly like those seen in the spaceship, with rounded corners and a slightly arched lintel; so my original assumption, that the spaceship doors were designed that way for structural reasons, may not be correct. On the other hand, the reader will soon understand that there is a reason for thinking that the house door openings on Janos could have been copied from spaceship doors.
Occupying the greater part of the wall to either side of the doorway was a large window; this was not built up from panes fitted into a frame, but was formed of a single very large continuous sheet of glass (or other transparent material) bowed out into a segment of a circle, like an old-fashioned bow window in function, but having a more 'modern' look. Frances could not see into the interior of the house at all.
In another picture, the camera was looking across a valley to a hill opposite; the valley was filled with a number of houses similar to the one already described, which also spread up the slope of the opposite hill. There was vegetation around the settlement, but not noticeably among the houses. The visual impact of the picture was made by the pattern of roofs; the general impression was of a village or residential suburban scene.
There was nothing to indicate access roads, and probably none were needed. Uxiaulia told Frances: "Our transport is different from yours; our cars float above the ground". Private cars could thus 'float' among the suburban or village houses, or to a storage place; a local road system would not be needed, though the ground would not have to be unduly obstructed.
other contactcases also told of such flying platforms for personal use
John certainly saw, and - through the medium of a "film-camera" lens - actually rode in such a float-car; though this one was bigger than a private car would need to be. He describes how it glided over the rough ground, never touching the surface, and how it continued to hover, a few feet up in the air, even when it came to a temporary standstill.
This vehicle was an elongated oval in shape, with a pair of large cylindrical projections at the rear end, parallel with each other and with the axis of the vehicle; they could have been engines. Internally there was a windscreen giving a view of a curving 'bonnet' in front; the vehicle carried headlights, which were used in a tunnel. The body of the vehicle was a dark gleaming metallic colour.
In December 1979, John told me that he had recently had a dream, in which he found himself back in the spaceship, among the silver-clad crew. He was standing, with Anouxia beside him, looking into a large vertical screen let into the wall; this was not the horizontal screen, forming part of the navigating table, in which he had earlier seen pictures. Three or four of the ship people also stood around, watching the picture. John could not say where this was in the ship.
In the screen, he saw, to begin with, a country view, with a lake in the background; there was a boat on the lake, in movement, but it was too far to make out detail. The daylight seemed to be not very bright.
He turned left (that is, the camera did so) and faced up a rather steep natural grassy bank, perhaps twelve feet high. He went up the slope; John said that it was not too steep - it was not much effort to climb up (this is typical of the subjective feel of actually taking part in the scene that Janos films give).
At the top of the bank, he came out on to a road; he looked first to the left, then to the right, where the road, straight as an arrow, sloped gently down and swept away into the dim distance.
The road itself, he said at first, was like a motorway; it was very wide and completely smooth, surfaced with a darkcoloured material. There were no lane markings, no central reservation, no hard shoulder, no signs. Afterwards he said it was more like a runway at an airport.
On either side of the road were houses; there were perhaps a hundred of them, generally similar to the one Frances was shown. He also remarked on the pattern made by the roofs; perhaps this is something the Janos people admire, and may have commented on. One thing John does remember is that Anouxia, when they were looking at the houses, said: "Some of the buildings are like your shops".
The nearest houses were quite near, perhaps fifty feet or so; they were below the level of the roadway, so that the road verge was about on a level with the roof eaves. Further along, as the road sloped gradually down, it came down more towards the level of the houses.
John said there were no branch roads or turnings; there was no way you could drive off the main road into the group of houses. But with float-cars this would not be necessary; the main trunk road would provide a free unencumbered way for fast-moving long-distance traffic, still off the surface; but local access and delivery could be floated over rough ground.
He saw no traffic on the highway, and no people; when he looked out again over the countryside, by the lake, it seemed rather dark; but along the roadway and in the built-up area, it was brighter, though he saw no lamp standards.
In our planet, many years ago, there was some talk of ionising the air above roads and towns, using the principle of the aurora borealis, to provide a soft, even illumination which would need no visible fittings; I have wondered, since hearing this latest report of John's, whether Janos used such a system of lighting.
Power and Industry
Electrical power was generated by nuclear power stations, different in appearance from ours; an example seen by Frances was aptly described by her as "like a gasometer inside the Eiffel Tower". There was a huge vertical cylinder of a dull grey material, supported only at four points of its upper circumference by a four-legged tapering pylon of bright shiny metal, composed of lattice girders with a criss-cross pattern, joined by a series of rings. The cylinder was suspended by the pylon in such a way that its lower end did not quite touch the ground, though it must have been very heavy. The pylon came together at its apex into a smoothly rounded cap.
The scale was difficult to assess, for lack of anything to compare it with; Frances had the impression, however, that it was of very great size. She is almost certain that the fuel used was uranium; she does not remember that it was so named, but that was how she identified it in her mind. In view of what happened, it seems very likely to have been uranium.
Of the industrial achievements of Janos, we can judge only by inference. However, it is impossible not to be deeply impressed by the sheer magnitude of the task of building a space fleet to carry, over such a vast distance, the entire population of the planet, numbering many millions. How long this task required, we do not know. We have been told that the average working day on Janos was much shorter than on Earth; and that most of the work was done by machines and computers.
The creation of just one spaceship such as the one visited -regarded by the Janos people as a 'small' ship - argues an enormously advanced and complex industrial organisation; and its dependence upon electrical energy no doubt reflects the electricity-based energy-pattern of Janos industry. There are many such ships, some of them of great size: one in particular, which I have called the 'flagship' of the fleet, was shown to Frances by a technique which I have described below under Telepathic Communication.
It is of really stupendous size, and appeared to be in the form of a ring; but because Frances saw the ring edge on, she could not tell whether it was filled in as a disc, or whether it was just an open annulus (ringformet). Set around the outer rim, in a circular pattern, were many huge entry ports for spaceships to come and go.
Despite its high technology, there is much that is familiar about Janos spaceships, as exemplified by the one visited. There are bolts, for example, though with octagonal bolt-heads, not hexagonal. There are voltmeters. There are things that strongly suggest transformers. There are video screens, for displaying technical data as well as for showing films and for monitoring external cameras. There are powered ramps, which move forward automatically when a person steps on them.
Somewhere out of our sight, in the spaceship, there must be workshops, stores, drawing offices, laboratories, computer rooms, test benches, repair and maintenance equipment, as well as rooms for living and social life. On the planet, on a vastly greater scale, the same things must have been there; and we can assume that the great ships of the fleet carry with them the entire range of industrial equipment of Janos, as well as its population.
Food and Animals
Our information on these subjects is scanty. "We have animals for food; we do eat some meat, but mostly we eat the things that grow": this is almost the sum total of what we were told verbally. Yes, one other thing; at the lakeside barbecue they were cooking and eating pieces of dark-coloured flesh; Uxiaulia called it "meat" and said "we get them from the rivers".
Frances also saw that they were eating the mustard-yellow melon-like fruits from the 'trees'; they seemed to be popular.
We do not know whether the Janos people practise agriculture in our sense of the term: "we have animals for food" certainly suggests that the animals are kept for the purpose.
We were told that the Janos people do not keep animals indoors as pets; but the presence on Janos of at least one dog or wolf makes it likely that, at least in the past, they used primitive wolf-dogs as hunting dogs, or conceivably in the way we use sheepdogs.
The 'meat' caught in the rivers suggests fisheries; but this is to use the term in a loose sense - they do not have to be fishes as we have them on Earth. (It could be mushrooms, mussels or similar).
On a picnic occasion, the people ate with their fingers; but indoors they may have been more formal - we do not know, and Frances was shown no picture, unfortunately, of a domestic interior.
Clothing and Hair Styles
Information about clothing, on the other hand, is very detailed. A fuller account may be found in Chapter 6; I will summarise here.
Four distinct kinds of clothing have been described: one in the spaceship and three on the planet. In the spaceship, the fifty-odd crew members seen were all in uniform, which was the same for men and women. Basically, this consisted of a one-piece close-fitting garment covering the whole body, in a fabric faced with gleaming metallic silver, but quite supple and flexible. Our witnesses were of the opinion that the metallic finish was actually silver, not merely a silver-looking metal.
Most wore a belt of the same material, transversely ribbed in an example seen close; to the middle front of the belt was secured a circular badge of about three inches diameter, the details of which are given below under Flags, Badges and Insignia. In one example seen close, the badge was secured to the belt by an elaborate silver clasp.
The two senior officers, Anouxia and Uxiaulia, did not wear a belt; instead of the badge they both wore a large, absolutely plain white disc on the chest, about five and a half inches diameter. The witnesses were not told the significance of these discs.
In the spaceship, most of the crew of both sexes wore, as part of the uniform, a close-fitting silver 'balaclava' helmet, showing only the face. Some, at least, of the helmets had an ear-covering, in very thin silver, which was modelled to follow the lobes of the ears. At least one man, Anouxia, wore gloves of thin silver.
Frances saw, at very close range in one example, a mark along the left shoulder line, which she interpreted, as being similar to a concealed zip fastener. (Observers of spaceship uniforms have often wondered how the wearers get into and out of them, since they seem to have no fastenings.)
The shoes were of black or grey uppers, with very thick white spongy soles with no heel; they enabled the wearer to cling to the deck in 'zero-gee' conditions. (The absence of a heel is one of the most consistent details of published descriptions of the clothing of flying saucer personnel.)
We were told that the Janos people did not wear silver clothes on the planet; they were for the ships, and are a uniform.
In the spaceship, men who wore no helmet had the hair cut very short, American 'crew-cut' style, brushed straight up in front; the few women in the ship who were bareheaded wore their hair long, page-boy style, brushed out free and curling under at shoulder level. We may, I think, assume that all helmeted people, of either sex, had the hair cut short, though we never at any time saw a bareheaded woman with short hair.
The people who were slowly dying of radiation sickness, on the planet after the power stations blew up, wore a monk's long-skirted habit in black or dark brown, with a deep hood or cowl over the face; this, we were told, was special clothing, to give them some protection against the lethal dust; it was not their normal clothing. Possibly it may have served also to identify them as contaminated by radioactivity.
On the pre-rockfall planet, in normal life, we have examples of clothing in two situations: at home, and at leisure. We did not see people at work, and do not know what they would wear.
Domestic clothing for women and children is seen clearly in the photograph of Uxiaulia's home, which shows his wife Vurna (a woman 23 years old) and her two children, in the garden.
The basic garment for all three is a pair of dungarees over a white jumper; the straps of the dungarees are fastened in the front of each shoulder by a white circular buckle.
Vurna, and the girl aged about five, both wore red dungarees; but the little boy, about three years old, wore pale-blue dungarees.
In both children, the jumper came up to a high round neckline, and was long-sleeved; Vurna's jumper was shorter-sleeved, the sleeves ending above the elbow.
Both children wore white shoes; but the mother's shoes were red.
Vurna's fair hair was brushed out naturally, and curled under at the ends, at about chin level.
The little girl had curly, yellowy-flaxen hair; most of it was free; but on each side of the temple, a bunch of hair was brought out through a red circular hair-grip or slide, so that the two bunches of hair stood out to the sides.
In the flim of the lakeside evening barbecue party, clothing was of three kinds. Some of the men, including the one operating the barbecue, wore only a pair of dark-coloured swim-trunks, similar to those familiar to us.
Other men wore an overall suit something like a track-suit, with a broad belt at the waist. In one example, there were white stripes down the outer edges of sleeves, body and legs. In a boat with a mixed crew, both the man and the womanwore a red track-suit; evidently this was considered more convenient for activity than the garments I am about to describe.
The women who strolled or sat on the lake shore with their companions were more fashionably dressed. All wore variations on a common theme: this was basically a long-sleeved bodice with a high round neckline, worn with an almost ground-length full skirt, draped in overlapping folds down the left side. The whole thing was held together by a large round metallic-looking clasp, of an abstract floral design, on the right hip.
The bodice was, with one exception, white, in a filmy material like a chiffon or a fine nylon. The skirt material allowed some variety in colour scheme; but in most the ground colour was white. The skirt material was printed with a large repeating pattern, which, although details varied, was basically an abstract floral motif, related to the design of the clasp. Red and pink designs were prominent.
One woman in the foreground wore a black bodice over a white skirt with the floral design printed in black; her hip-clasp was also black. She had a black head-covering of some kind; she was the only woman seen by our witnesses on the pre-rockfall planet who was not bareheaded.
Flags, Badges and Insignia
Light can often be thrown on the nature of a culture, and sometimes on its derivation, by its use of visual symbolism. We are fortunate in having some details of this kind from Janos.
The pennant flags flown by the two speed-boats were both triangular, the length being about twice the hoist. One of the two was fishtailed, possibly to distinguish it from the singlepointed one, though the boats themselves were of different colours.
Picture: Janos womens evening gown for social occasions
The ground colour of both pennants was dark blue; a white disc upon it nearly touched the hoist and the two edges. Upon the disc was a device, again in dark blue, consisting of a looped line, with a round spot where the loop crossed over.
The circular badge worn on the belt by most of the spaceship crew, about three inches overall diameter, was in two concentric zones: an inner circular zone of two inches diameter with a surrounding annular zone half an inch wide. The inner zone was white, not silver; upon it, drawn in black lines slightly raised from the ground surface, was a stylised representation of a 'flying saucer' ship in side view: from the centre of the under side, two lines, diverging downwards, suggested the outline of a beam directed to the ground. Possibly this may have represented the 'survey' function of this class of ship.
The surrounding annular zone was black, with the two circles which marked its limits slightly raised. Upon the black zone was a continuous pattern of straight silver lines set at odd angles to each other; it was not regular enough to be just decoration, and both John and Frances, who also described the badge, were sure (perhaps were told) that it had a meaning, that it was writing. John has attempted to sketch some of it, and I have indicated his impression in the drawing; but this should not be taken as an accurate representation. I would guess that the lettering round the badge is in a stylised inscriptional form, rather than being normal script. It suggests a form of writing which was runic in origin - lines cut into wood with a knife.
John also saw, at one point, a doorway of the usual form, but surrounded by a decorated architrave, about four inches wide; the markings on it were generally similar to those on the badges.
Some people in the spaceship also had special flashes, such as the yellow bands on the shoulders, worn by Serkilias and Cosentia; from the way in which Serkilias touched them when she said 'medical', meaning that was their job, they were probably flashes indicating 'medical personnel'.
One man, at least, the 'big' man who escorted Frances in the corridor, had long tapering white markings on each side of his chest, beginning with a broad end below the shoulder, and tapering down vertically to a point at about heart level. The meaning of this was not explained to us.
Speech and Language
When the Janos people in the spaceship spoke to each other, the visitors were aware that they were speaking a foreign language; they said it was like hearing a foreign station on the radio, or listening to Spanish, which they do not understand, when they were on holiday in Spain. But it did sound like a European language.
When the spaceship people spoke English, it was a standard unaccented speech as spoken by English people of good education; John said, modestly: "They spoke better English than I do". There was no trace of local or regional accent, and no foreign intonation; it was definitely the English of England and not of Scotland, America, Canada or Australia; nor was it English as spoken well by a German, Dutchman or Scandinavian, for example. It was only in the use of idiom that their English speech occasionally betrayed itself as a learned language, rather than a mother tongue.
Of the Janos language, we know very little, but just enough to be interesting. We have, so far, thirteen proper nouns with their pronunciation: JANOS SATON SARNIA ANOUXIA UXIAULIA VURNA AKILIAS SERKILIAS COSENTIA SAUNUS VONASON FAUN and PHUSANTHEAS. The spelling in English letters was provided by the spaceship people for the first five of these; the remainder are our spelling of a spoken word, though Natasha knew that Phusantheas began with a P, and the spelling of the last four may have been given to her by Akilias.
I was at once struck by the affinity of the words, taken as a sample of a language, with archaic Greek; Phusantheas has a very Greek ring, and Saton is actually an old Greek word meaning a corn measure; here it is applied to the inner moon of Janos, the one that broke up. All of the words are possible, considered as words in a language akin to old Greek. Moreover, the thirteen words all hang together linguistically: they all belong to the same kind of language; this is a strong argument against any suggestion that they were invented by the witnesses, who would need the imagination and linguistic knowledge of a Tolkien to have thought them up for themselves
In addition to normal speech, whether in English or in their own tongue, the Janos people, or at least some of them, have the capacity to transmit visual images, by a form of telepathy, from their minds directly into the mind of another person. These images are sharp and clear, like a film with colour and movement; they are not in the least vague or insubstantial. They look like actual scenes, with the usual Janos quality of pictorial realism.
This technique was employed to show things for which a film was not available: Frances saw the power station and the 'flagship' of the fleet by this means; and both John and Frances and perhaps Natasha were given spellings of words by a succession of single English capital letters, dark on a light ground, shown one after another, rather less than a second apart.
Normal conversation was in ordinary sound speech: John, in a hypnotic re-experience of a speech sequence, checked up by my request on lip movements, and said afterwards that the lip movements of the Janos speaker corresponded to the English words that John was hearing him speak.
Nevertheless, I have a strong impression, from certain things Frances has said in follow-up sessions, that the ordinary sound speech is reinforced by a telepathic communication of the underlying meaning. To some extent, I believe this is often so in normal Earth speech, between persons who know each other well and think alike; but this was sharper and clearer.
To give an example: when I questioned Frances about a phrase used by Uxiaulia - "together we can conquer all space" I remarked that it did not seem to go with their professed renunciation (avkall) of war, she at once corrected me, saying that he had not meant by that, conquest in the military sense, but in the sense of space exploration. Uxiaulia is a space explorer pilot by profession, so this may well be correct; nevertheless it was said in a context of attack and defence, so that my query was a reasonable one.
Personality and Politics
Our family found the Janos people whom they met in the spaceship, as personalities, extraordinarily attractive; they were strongly drawn to them, and even now have a sense of loyalty to them, even of identification with them. After a brief emergency when the ship had to be lifted because someone was coming, Frances said, in tones of relief: "It's all right; they've gone". The reader should understand that she said it in a re-experience of the event through hypnotic regression; she did not necessarily say it at the time, though it was probably in her mind at the time.
John, asked to sum up his impression of the Janos people, said: "They were so friendly; there was no hostility".
Our combined impression of the Janos people is that, while there are clear indications of differences of individual temperament and point of view, they are very united, and very close to each other; doubtless their common tragic experience has bound them together; but they seem by nature very united.
They clearly attach great importance to everything being done by general agreement; there is no place in Janos society, as we understand it, for the dictator, king or boss-type. In the spaceship, of necessity, some give orders and others obey; but our witnesses sensed an underlying equality.
Concerning what I have called the 'flagship' of the fleet, Frances was told that it was where all reports go, and where all the big meetings are held.
Physical Type and Race
All the people seen in the spaceship, and all those seen in films of the planet, were without exception of the Nordic European type - very fair-skinned, with light blue eyes and yellowblond hair. The men averaged around six feet in height, and were of slim build. The women were smaller, about five foot four to five foot six, and of slight build, with a light slender body, small breasts and slim hips; it is possible that a majority of the women seen were quite young, and this is the impression they made on our witnesses, though they may not have been as young as they appeared, quite apart from the relativistic time-shift. Serkilias, when John happened to see her very near, seemed to him "most attractive". The women themselves evidently felt that their eyes needed more emphasis, for many of them used make-up to darken the naturally pale eyelashes and make the eyes seem larger.
We cannot, of course, be sure that all the Janos people conform to this type; our witnesses saw less than a hundred people in all. There is a possibility that other racial types may be represented in other ships; if this is so - and it does seem to be suggested by some incidents reported from other parts of the word - it must mean that, whatever the circumstances in which their ancestors left Earth long ago, more than one local group was involved.
However, a large proportion of reports of normal spaceship people, as distinct from the various dwarf and goblin types described, do conform to the fair blue-eyed type described here; and it may well represent the typical Janos person.
It is remarkable, on any theory of Janos origin from Earthfolk ancestors, that the so-called 'black' or 'coloured' races of mankind appear to be totally absent from reports of 'space' people, so far as my own reading goes. This circumstance, in itself, lends weight to the idea that the Janos people originated, very long ago, from a comparatively small area of Europe, in an age before the various races of mankind began to mix as they have done in modern times. (Well - this is described in the contactmaterial from Semjase and also to some extend - in the material from Daniel Fry. R.Ø.remark.)
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