ZerØ Point

Power of the gods

William James

New York Bloomington

iUniverse, Inc.

ZerØ Point
Power of the gods
Copyright © 2009 by William James All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. iUniverse books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting: iUniverse 1663 Liberty Drive Bloomington, IN 47403 www.iuniverse.com 1-800-Authors (1-800-288-4677) Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any Web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this novel are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. This book is meant for entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to any real company, organization or group, individuals, and or real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. In no event shall the author, agents, employees or anyone else who has been involved in the creation, production, or delivery of these pages, be liable for any direct, incidental, or consequential damages resulting from the production of this book or its fictional story. ISBN: 978-0-595-52822-6 (pbk) ISBN: 978-0-595-51600-1 (cloth) ISBN: 978-0-595-62874-2 (ebk) Library of Congress Control Number: 2009923365 Printed in the United States of America iUniverse rev. date: 3/9/09

List of Characters:
Larry Johnson; Aeronautical Engineer & Astrophysicist James Flanagan; Professor of Archaeology at the Brooklyn College of Natural History Patricia Flanagan; Medical Doctor Thomas Nellings; Professor of Anthropology and Linguist at the Brooklyn College of Natural History Paulus Canseco; Ex-Navy Seal and man servant to Larry Johnson Allen Duncan; CEO of Global Energy Research and Development Robert (Bob) Hicks; Nuclear Physicist & Astrophysicist Johnathan Wheeler; Experimental Flight Test Engineer Nancy Lewis; Nuclear Physicist Charlie Wilson; Particle Physicist & Electrical Engineer Yoshio Yagi; Electrical Engineer & High Energy Physicist Ronald Barry; Quantum Physicist Amber Wright; Molecular Physicist & Electrical Engineer Phillip McCoy; Doctor of Computer Science & Theoretical Physicist Paul White; Nuclear Physicist Gary Hurst; High Energy Physicist

Colonel William Kinsey; US Air Force intelligence officer General Richard Sanders; US Air force - Chief of Intelligence Colonel Russell Murray; US Air Force Security at Zero Point
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Major David Mitchell; US Air Force Pilot Colonel Steve Hall; US Air Force - Chief of Security at Tonopah Test Range at Nellis Captain Donald Shaw; US Air Force - Special Forces Commander at Zero Point Captain Jerry Reed; US Air Force - Special Forces Commander Chief Master Sergeant Ronald White; nick name Whitey - Special Forces Corporal Roger Woods; Special Forces Medic Staff Sergeant David Miller; Special Forces Staff Sergeant Roberto Martinez; Special Forces Sergeant Lewis Garcia; Special Forces Lieutenant Evan Parker; Technical Specialist Sergeant Bob Wright; Special Forces Corporal Danny Hall; Special Forces Airman First Class Adam Green; Special Forces President Andrew Clark; President of the United States Mark Ford; Secretary of Defense General Mark Dewey; Air Force Chief of Staff Admiral Sam McCartney; U.S. Navy Chief of Staff General William Moore; U.S. Army Chief of Staff

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Boris Cheslav; CIA agent on assignment at the National Reconnaissance Office Pavlo Oleksiy; a freelance mercenary

Don Powers; Commercial pilot for Global Energy Research and Development Evan Kincade; Special manager for Global Energy Research and Development Mike Davis; Chief security officer for Global Energy Research and Development Henry O’Connor; Special Security officer for Global Energy Research and Development Nick Guthrie; Special Security officer for Global Energy Research and Development George Anderson; Special Security officer for Global Energy Research and Development Pete Wilkins; Special Security officer for Global Energy Research and Development Jay Thompson; Special Security officer for Global Energy Research and Development Rick Dunbar; Special Security officer for Global Energy Research and Development Denny Morgan; Maintenance Chief for Global Energy Research and Development

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Gina Stewart; One of the rescued victims from the Mars Base Lewis Green; One of the rescued victims from the Mars Base

Anunnaki Characters
Ninu; The first Anunnaki prisoner to communicate with Tom Nellings Akidu; Anunnaki Lord Cronu; A rank and file Anunnaki trader Rapier; Anunnaki ship belonging to Lord Akidu Tumulu; A planet in the Pleiades constellation

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Preface
Will humanity find that ultimate source of energy to power everything from our cell phones to our spacecraft? Will humankind explore the galaxy in great star ships? Will we meet other intelligent beings from distant worlds? As a child, I grew up with Star Trek and it played an important role in expanding my world. It spurred me to consider the possibilities and I had to know. Were black holes real? What powered the distant quasars? What powered the universe? During the 1960’s I watched the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects unfold and I saw humanity take that first step onto another world. I remember when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon and I heard those famous words, and I knew the possibilities before us were endless. But there was a problem. I knew that chemical rockets would never take us to the stars. By the time Columbia became the first space shuttle to orbit the Earth I was aware of the hazardous realities of space travel. I saw the shuttle for what it was, dangerous. With 535,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and oxygen propellants strapped to its belly and two giant solid fuel rocket boosters strapped to its sides, the shuttle was a disaster in the making. It reminded me of a cartoon character about a wily coyote and his Acme rockets. I knew there was a better way and read every book and article I could find on the future possibilities of space travel. After years of searching, I heard of a mysterious substance called dark matter, an invisible something that permeates the universe. With my curiosity aroused, I soon discovered books and articles on dark energy and realized that this dark energy was first proposed by Albert Einstein and Otto Stern in 1913. I remembered reading an article about a theoretical physicist, Hendrik Casimir, who in 1948 predicted the existence of an all-encompassing Zero Point Energy force. In 1958, Casimir’s theory
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became fact, when Marcus Spaarnay successfully verified the existence of this mysterious force. Spaarnay had in fact verified the existence of Zero Point Energy. What is Zero Point Energy? It is the lowest state of energy in the universe and it’s responsible for the mysterious Casimir force. It’s also responsible for the incessant background noise in electronic circuits. Most importantly, it’s everywhere. Travel to any dark corner in the universe and it’s going to be there. One day I stumbled on a book called ‘The 12th Planet’, by Zecharia Sitchin. The 12th Planet is a summary of ancient Sumerian records that tell of an advanced group of beings who came to Earth from a distant planet. They were called Anunnaki, and even by today’s standards, the Anunnaki were extremely advanced. Soon I came across another excellent book, ‘Slave Species of god’, by Michael Tellinger. ‘Slave Species of god’ is a detailed account of the long history of the Anunnaki on planet Earth. After reading these two excellent books I began putting two and two together. I soon discovered that over four thousand years ago, the Sumerians recorded a detailed description of all of the planets in our solar system. Yet modern astronomers didn’t discover Pluto until 1930! As I peered back into recent academic history, I saw a pattern in the standard intellectual approach to the ancient Sumerian records. For example, many intellectuals could not accept these records as fact because they are in conflict with current theories on the origins of the human species. Consequently, these ancient records were routinely downgraded to myth or legend. Undeterred, I continued to feed my curiosity and observed that the trustees of higher learning were often wrong. After all, it was the intellectuals who claimed the Earth was the center of the universe. It was the intellectuals who burned Giordano Bruno at the stake for embracing the teachings of Copernicus. And it was the intellectuals who threatened Galileo with death for his teachings that the Earth was
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not the center of the universe. Galileo was ultimately allowed to live in exile but only after recanting what he knew to be true. The fact is, over the long course of history the experts have often been wrong. The Earth is not the center of the universe and the ancient Sumerian records correctly describe our solar system. The Sumerians and other societies have recorded a diverse account of our ancient past and yet almost all agree on a central theme. That in times long past, the Earth was visited and once ruled by a race of intelligent beings that descended from the heavens in great flying machines, radiant as the sun. The Sumerians of Mesopotamia called these beings, Anunnaki; the Bible refers to them as the Anakim, Anak, ‘Nefilim’ (nephilum). Nefilim in Hebrew means ‘giants’ or ‘those who have come down from heaven’. They were known by many names, and they played an important role in forming our modern civilization. Throughout our history, most intellectuals have insisted that these beings are mythical but how many times have the leaders of intellect been wrong? Even modern science has a hard time discerning the true makeup of our own solar system. Every time a probe is sent to scan a distant planet the intellectuals have been stunned to discover that their theories or assumptions about the planet were more often than not, wrong. I wrote this book because I had to. Zero Point – Power of the gods, is an adventure novel, based on real discoveries in many fields of science and the ancient records of civilizations long past. It is my hope to stir the reader’s imagination to consider the possibilities of this fantastic energy source. Who knows, one day we may tap into that unlimited Zero Point Energy. If that happens, we will surely explore the galaxy in great star ships.

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Chapter 1
Professor James Flanagan and his wife Patricia entered the lecture hall at the Brooklyn College of Natural History where the sometimes controversial Doctor Timothy Gear was scheduled to speak. The topic for this evening was Ancient Alien Astronauts and Their Influence on Human History. Though he was not thrilled with the subject, Professor Flanagan had reluctantly agreed to accompany his wife and promised to keep an open mind. Jim Flanagan was a Professor of Archeology at the Brooklyn College of Natural History. He was a six-foot tall, forty-one year old, who was quite comfortable with his intellectual lifestyle. He jogged three times a week and tried to watch his calories. Set in his ways, he disdained outside interference into his narrow academic world. As an archaeologist, his work had taken him around the globe. During his journeys, he had often heard stories of ancient gods from outer space, but he has always dismissed such tales as just that, stories and legend. Nevertheless, in recent years, Jim had recognized a pattern of similarities in many of these myths. No matter what continent he has visited, the reports of ancient astronauts were always present, but as a man of science, he could not give them credence. After all, he had worked hard to gain his teaching position, and he was not about to throw it away on some off the wall belief in ancient legends. Jim paused to look around the auditorium, hoping none of his colleagues had decided to attend this evening’s lecture. “Whew, looks like I’m in the clear.” Pat shot Jim an angry look. “Would you stop your complaining? We’re here, and we’re going to enjoy ourselves, so put your ego to bed and find us a good seat.” Realizing he had stuck his foot in his mouth, Jim nodded and scanned the auditorium for two empty seats, preferably near the rear exit. “Come on, Jim. This isn’t going to hurt.”

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At age forty, Patricia Flanagan was a medical doctor with a lucrative private practice, but her recent pursuits in archeology has set her life on a new path. She had traveled with Jim on several of his archaeological adventures and has fallen head over heels in love with the distant past, so much so, that for the last three years, she had been actively pursuing a second degree in archeology. Jim led Pat toward two empty seats near an exit in an upper corner of the auditorium. “I can’t believe I’m actually going to attend a seminar on alien astronauts. I’m a Professor of Archeology, and I teach at this college,” he groused. “Believe me; I’m only doing this for you.” “I know you are, but you should recognize that I’m truly interested in Doctor Gear’s work. I’ve read his book on Ancient Origins, and I find much of what he’s written to be very interesting. So, I propose that we listen to what the man has to say before passing judgment.” “Ok, but you owe me.” Jim paused near the two empty seats. “Ladies, first.” The auditorium was nearly full when Doctor Gear took the podium. “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am Doctor Timothy Gear, and I would like to thank each of you for attending this conference. Much of what I’m going to present to you this evening will fly in the face of current teachings of evolution, archeology, and religion. However, if you keep an open mind, I believe you can leave here with an enlightened point of view concerning the origins of the ancient world.” Doctor Gear began his lecture with references to ancient cuneiform writings concerning the mythical gods of early human history. As the evening wore on, he quoted from many ancient texts and referred to a host of legendary facts. Much of the text that he quoted was from ancient Sumerian clay tablets. He claimed that some 250,000 years ago, astronauts from another planet came to Earth and set themselves up as gods and enslaved much of humanity. He presented a host of photos depicting ancient temples and carvings of alleged spacecraft, but Jim was unimpressed.

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During the intermission, Jim made a vain attempt at diplomacy while voicing his skepticism, but Pat gave him one of those looks that quickly shut him up. “Would you please keep an open mind? Isn’t that what a scientist is supposed to do?” she asked, none to kindly. Jim realized his haughty attitude was about to ruin the evening for Pat. He sheepishly bowed his head. “I’m sorry. I mean it. I promise, I won’t say another foolish word. Actually, I’m going to consider this a learning experience… Honest.” Pat took Jim by his right arm and gently squeezed. “I’m not saying for you not to talk. You don’t even have to agree, but don’t ruin this for me.” Jim let out a long sigh and nodded in agreement. “You’re right. I’m sorry, and I promise, I’ll be good.” Pat gave him a gentle hug, and they moved toward the hallway for free coffee and doughnuts. “Thank you,” she said softly. Jim decided to put his own insecurities aside and enjoy this time together. After all, this evening was important to Pat, and he would pay dearly if she felt that he sabotaged their outing. “Not to change the subject, but the trip to Mammoth Cave has been confirmed. I tried to get it postponed but no dice. Tom and I will have to fly out there in the morning. We’re going to have to be at the airport around 5:30 a.m., and wouldn’t you know it, there’s a lowpressure system coming in. You know how I hate to fly in bad weather. I may be instrument rated, but heavy weather is not for me. I figure we need to take off no later than 6:00 a.m. if we want to avoid any of the nasty stuff. That means you’ll have to get up around 4:30 to drive me to the airport. Tom says he’ll swing by the University to pick up the equipment and meet us at the airport.” “Oh, Jim, you know how I like to sleep in on the weekends. Couldn’t you drive yourself to the airport?” They stopped at a table laden with snacks. Jim grabbed a cream doughnut and said, “I would, but we may be at the site for two weeks, and I don’t want to leave the Buick at the airport for that length of time.”

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Pat stiffened her stance and gave him the look again. “I thought you were only going to be gone for the weekend.” “So did I, but now I’m told a new cavern was discovered and there are a lot of artifacts to be inspected. I hear there could be some new evidence that the Paleo-Indians may have used sophisticated hand tools more than 12,000 years ago. As a result, the University is insisting on a thorough investigation for the National Park Service, and I need to be sure we do a good job. This could be a real boost for my career.” “It just seems to me that you could have done a better job with the planning. I mean, why can’t Tom pick you up in the morning?” Jim received a small reprieve as the crowd began returning to the auditorium. He chose to ignore Pat’s question and grabbed a small coffee. “We’d better get back to the auditorium.” Jim and Pat returned to their seats, and moments later, Doctor Gear returned to the podium. Doctor Gear wasted no time and immediately went into a slide presentation, displaying several photos of an Egyptian temple wall in Abydos. This particular temple wall contained ancient carvings, depicting several different types of flying machines. One of the carvings was an obvious image of a helicopter. Doctor Gear insisted that these carvings represent real aircraft, not some mythical or religious mystery. The photo of the helicopter carving caught Jim’s attention, and he glanced at Pat to comment, but noticed that she was fully engrossed in the presentation. Perhaps it would be better to allow her to enjoy the moment. When the conference ended, a small crowd quickly formed around Doctor Gear, but Jim glanced at his watch. “I know you’d like to stay, but I do have an early flight in the morning.” To his surprise, Pat seemed content. “You’re right. We’d better go.” The drive home was quiet, and Jim looked forward to crawling into bed as soon as they arrived home. Pat’s thoughts, however, remained with the lecture. As Jim steered the Buick into their driveway, Pat broke the silence, “Well, what did you think of Doctor Gear’s lecture?”
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Jim paused to turn off the engine, “Honestly? I thought his lecture was very thorough, and I must admit, the Egyptian carvings at Abydos were out of the ordinary. His translation of the Sumerian tablets offered a refreshing point of view, but I would like to reserve some doubt before I completely convert.” Pat laughed aloud. “That’s about as much as I could hope for.” Jim exited the Buick and walked around to open the passenger side door. As he opened the door, Pat looked up at him and that old feeling of intimacy came rushing in, and she was content. Jim yawned as he entered the house. “We’d better go straight to bed. I just realized I haven’t made a flight plan for tomorrow’s trip.” A half an hour later as they lay in the bed, Pat reached in the darkness and took Jim by the hand. “I know you need to do a good job for the University, but please come home as soon as you’re finished. I’m lost when you’re not here, and I get lonely.” Jim kissed her softly on the cheek. “I promise. I’ll be home as soon as I can.”

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Chapter 2
The twin engine Cessna droned high over the Kentucky landscape as Jim nudged Tom for the third time. Tom raised an eyebrow and then yawned as he struggled to clear his head. “Oh, man, I had a good nap. Too bad you had to wake me.” “Your snoring was drowning out the engine noise,” Jim teased. “How far is it to Brownsville?” “We’re just about there.” Jim switched the aircraft transceiver to the Owensboro Daviess tower frequency and within minutes, he canceled their flight plan and set the autopilot at 6,500 feet. The Cessna angled over and began a gentle descent. “We’ll be landing in 30 minutes or so.” Tom scanned the quilted landscape below. “Hope your friend has a nice smooth runway.” “Actually, it’s a grass strip.” “A grass strip? I hope we’re not going to land on someone’s front lawn.” “Don’t worry. Larry takes good care of his field. By the way, I phoned him while you slept. He’s invited us to stay for supper, but I told him we’d best check in with the park services before we made any promises. Once that’s out of the way, we can play it by ear, though supper with Larry does sound good.” Tom grinned. “Like I always say, never pass up a free meal. Besides, I would like to get to know this guy.” Jim leaned forward and pointed to a small strip of grass, “Here we are. That’s Larry’s place, just ahead.” Tom stretched his neck to peer through the windscreen, “We’re going to land on that tiny speck of grass?” Jim chuckled as he began pushing buttons and throwing switches in preparation for landing. *

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Larry Johnson had just parked his lawn tractor along side of his barn, when he heard the engines of a light aircraft. Out of habit, he looked skyward and spotted a Skymaster on its final approach to his grass runway. At six foot one, Larry weighed in at one hundred and ninety five pounds. He’s never been married and had recently accomplished a life long goal, to retire at an early age. Nevertheless, at age forty-eight, he had come to realize that early retirement was a big mistake. A smile formed on Larry’s face as he headed for his pickup truck. It would be good to see his old friend. The Cessna bounced when it touched down, and Tom breathed a sigh of relief. “Ah, good old terra firma, it’s good to be back.” Jim pulled the Skymaster alongside of Larry’s Cessna 172 and shut the engines down. “It’s 11:30. We’ve made good time.” The two men climbed out of the Skymaster and stretched their legs. Jim glanced towards the barn and spotted a pickup truck moving across the open field. “Here comes Larry.” Tom glanced at the truck. “I hope he has a bathroom. I’m floating,” Jim chuckled. “I’m sure he does. Larry was never one to be without the amenities.” The truck slid to a halt, and Larry climbed out with open arms as he walked towards Jim. “Oh boy, it’s good to see you! I’ve been counting the hours since you phoned.” Larry grabbed Jim and gave him a big bear hug. He released Jim and reached for Tom, but Tom was quick to step back. “Please, don’t squeeze me. I could really use a bathroom.” Jim and Larry glanced at each other and then broke into a long chorus of laughter. Jim was in tears when he finally recovered enough to make the introductions. “Larry, this is my good friend and colleague, Tom Nellings. He’s a professor of anthropology, but don’t let that fool you. He’s a regular guy.” Larry gave Tom a firm handshake. “If you’re a friend of Jim, you’re a friend of mine. Welcome to my home.” Larry gestured towards his truck. “Come on, let’s get this guy some relief. We’ll run over to the house, and you two can freshen up.”
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Tom shot Jim a triumphant look of approval. “I think I’m going to like this guy.” When they arrived at the farmhouse, Larry was quick to introduce his guests to his long time friend and manservant, Paulus Canseco. The old farmhouse was well kept and quite spacious. Larry had spared no expense in remodeling the place and enjoyed showing it off. After a brief tour of the house, Larry invited his guests onto the sun porch where Jim slumped into an over stuffed recliner. “Would you gentlemen like to relax while I prepare some lunch?” asked Paulus. “Oh, don’t put yourself out on our account,” said Jim. “We had some sandwiches on the plane.” “Would you like something to drink?” “That sounds good,” said Tom. Paulus scurried off to the kitchen, and the three men settled down for some friendly conversation. Enjoying the recliner, Jim closed his eyes, stretched out his arms, and then placed both hands behind his head. “So, Jim, what brings you two to Kentucky?” Larry asked. “Our journey started when the University got a phone call from the National Park Service. They said that one of their rangers had discovered a new cavern in the Mammoth Cave while searching for a missing tourist. Apparently, a large rock had covered the cavern entrance, so they never knew the cavern existed. They speculated that a recent earth tremor must have jarred the rock loose. I don’t have all the details, but there’s supposed to be some artifacts that need inspecting. So here we are.” “Well, I’m glad you’re here. Listen, it’s only a ten minute drive to the Mammoth Cave. I’d be delighted if you two would stay on at my place. A hotel would only interfere with our chance to reminisce.” Jim glanced at Tom and shrugged. “We’re planning on just the weekend, but we may be here for a week or two. I really wouldn’t want to impose.” Larry laughed aloud. “Impose, are you kidding? I could use some company. I’d be happy to have you stay on.”

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“Are you sure we wouldn’t be putting you out?” Jim asked, wanting to be sure that his friend was okay with an extended stay. Paulus entered the room with a pitcher of lemonade and three large frosted glasses that he carefully placed on the coffee table. “Here you go, gentlemen, and there’s plenty more. Relax and enjoy yourselves. I’ll be in the kitchen if you need anything.” Larry sat on a large sofa and poured a glass of lemonade. “Thank you, Paulus,” he said. “Yeah, thanks a lot,” said Tom. Paulus smiled. “You’re very welcome.” As he turned to leave, he paused and looked to Jim. “Perhaps the two of you can breathe some excitement into Larry. He’s been kind of down since his retirement.” Paulus returned to the kitchen, and the sunroom grew uncomfortably quiet. Jim broke the silence. “Is retirement not agreeing with you?” “You’ll have to forgive Paulus. He’s just looking out for my welfare. It’s not that I don’t like retirement; it’s just that I feel lost. I mean, I used to get up at five a.m., and by six, I was out the door and ready for another day of discovery, but now I’m just plain bored. I’m seriously considering going back to work. I have a lot of contacts in the aerospace industry, and I’m sure I can find something that interests me.” Jim glanced at Tom and asked, “What do you think?” Tom rubbed his chin. “Hmm, I don’t know. He might like it.” “I might like what?” Larry couldn’t stand the suspense. “You’re welcome to tag along with us,” said Jim. “It’s not rocket science, but our work can be interesting. We never know what we are going to find on these outings, and who knows, you might enjoy working with us on this project.” Larry paused to consider Jim’s offer. “You know, maybe you’ve got something there. It sounds like fun. Give me a day or so to settle some business in Brownsville, and I’ll be happy to join your quest.” Tom held his glass up high. “Then it’s settled. Just wear some old clothes because we tend to get a little soiled when we’re in the field.”

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Chapter 3
Jim swung his feet over the side of the twin bed and sat motionless as he struggled to clear his thoughts. The old wooden floor was cold, and Jim couldn’t remember if he had packed his slippers. What was that annoying sound? He squinted through blurry eyes and spotted the culprit sitting on the nightstand. An obnoxious little alarm clock was taunting him with its blaring noise. He reached across and fumbled with the little demon until he found the off button. “Ugh, I hate those things.” His brain cells began working their magic, and he remembered why he had set that alarm clock for 6:00 a.m. He spotted Tom, lying fast asleep in the adjacent twin bed and felt a touch of envy, knowing that Tom had slept through the alarm’s insufferable assault. “Tom, wake up!” Tom opened his eyes ever so slightly. “Oh, leave me alone.” “Come on, buddy. It’s time to go to work.” “Wake me after you shower.” The hot shower did wonders for Jim’s disposition, but it was the smell of freshly perked coffee and fried bacon, that motivated him to hurry. As he stepped out of the shower, he called to Tom, “Come on, boy, it’s your turn.” Jim hurriedly dried himself and fumbled through his suitcase for some clean underwear. By now, he was wide-awake and moved quickly to get himself dressed. As he exited from the bedroom, he could hear the shower running and called over his shoulder, “I’ll see you down stairs!” The hot water was all but gone, and Tom was moving as fast as he could to escape the icy cold shower. “I’ll be right there!” Jim entered the kitchen where Paulus was frying some eggs. “Good morning, Paulus. Boy that smells inviting.” “Good morning, sir. I hope you’re hungry.”

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Jim grabbed a clean cup and poured himself a hot coffee. “I’m starving, but what I really need is caffeine. It was well past my bedtime when we climbed into the bed last evening.” Paulus chuckled under his breath. “Yeah, when Larry left about a half hour ago, I noticed he was moving a little slower than usual.” “Oh, sorry I missed him.” Paulus glanced at Jim and smiled. “I’m delighted you and Tom have decided to stay on. Larry could use some diversion. His retirement is not… how should I say this?” “I know what you’re trying to say, but he’ll be fine. He just needs some new direction.” “Yes he does. That man has spent most of his life in cutting edge design and research, and now he’s beginning to realize just how much his work meant to him.” “Well, he’s never been married, so I guess his work was everything.” Tom shuffled into the kitchen and poured himself a cup of coffee. “Why? Why did we stay up so late last night? I believe it was around 2:00 a.m., when we finally got to bed.” Jim nodded. “We’re old enough to know better, but we sometimes lack the wisdom. It’s a good thing we loaded the equipment into the van last night. I don’t think we’re up to doing any heavy lifting this morning.” Tom plopped himself into a chair at the breakfast table and took a sip of coffee. As he savored the flavor, a ghastly thought suddenly came to mind. “Oh man, oh man,” he groaned. Jim looked across the table. “What?” “How far into the caves will we have to lug our equipment? Please tell me it won’t be far. Lie to me if you want to.” Jim shrugged. “One can only hope.” Paulus set a large plate of bacon, eggs, and rye toast in the center of the table. “Dig in, gentlemen. It sounds like you’re going to need your strength.” Tom and Jim ate heartily. When they finished, they thanked Paulus for the breakfast, headed out the back door, and climbed into the borrowed government van.
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* As Jim steered the van into the parking lot at Mammoth Cave, he spotted a young ranger exiting the park office. Jim pulled into a nearby parking space and called out, “Officer, I wonder if you could help us.” The ranger walked over to the driver’s side of the van. “I thought I recognized this vehicle. You must be the two professors from Brooklyn.” “Yes, I’m Professor Flanagan and this is Professor Nellings and…” “I’m Bill Roberts. Just call me Bill. I know exactly why you’re here, and I’d be happy to show you around.” Jim smiled. “Thank you Bill. Tell me, how close can we get this van to the excavation site?” Bill thought for a moment. “It’s only a hundred yards from the parking area to the cave entrance, but once inside the cave, I’d say it’s nearly a mile to where we discovered the artifacts.” Tom let go with a loud groan. “Oh, I knew it! I just knew it!” Bill gave Tom a quizzical look. “Don’t mind him,” said Jim. “We had a very late evening, and we’re not looking forward to lugging all of this equipment.” Bill chuckled. “It’s no problem. I understand. I’ve had one or two nights of regret along the way. If you’ll wait here a moment, I’ll get my duty cart, and you can follow me. I’ll show you where to park the van.” Jim waved cheerfully as the officer walked away, but Tom was still concerned about lugging the equipment. “Do you know how heavy all of this stuff is?” “Come on, Tom. It won’t be too bad, and besides, we can probably get the ranger to help us carry some of the gear.” Tom grinned. “Now that’s what I like about you, always thinking.” A small, propane powered cart appeared along side of the van. “Follow me, sir,” called Bill. The little cart accelerated, and Jim followed with the van. Within a few minutes, they arrived at a large parking area where the ranger slowed to a stop. He dismounted the cart and walked
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to the van. “This is it. You can leave your vehicle right there. We’ll have to walk the rest of the way, but the cave entrance isn’t too far.” Tom leaned forward. “I hate to ask you, but would you mind giving us a hand with our gear?” “No problem. In fact my supervisor is on his way to assist.” Within moments, a second cart pulled alongside of the van, and two burly rangers climbed out. The older of the two, a man in his forties, approached Jim and said, “Gentlemen, we’re here to help you with your equipment.” Tom smiled. “Bless you, officer. We really appreciate the offer.” Tom opened the side door to the van and began passing the gear to Jim. Jim sorted the gear by type as he laid each item on the asphalt. When all of the gear was unloaded, Tom locked the van and began a mental inventory of the equipment. Jim grabbed one of the tripod mounted work lamps and a heavy sack of battery packs. “Oh jeez,” he murmured, “I’m getting too old for this.” He struggled to sling the sack of batteries over his shoulder. “If we grab what we can carry, we might get all of this stuff moved on one trip.” Each man picked up a few pieces of equipment, and the small group began walking in single file. Within a few minutes, they reached the entrance to Mammoth Cave. The lead ranger stopped and looked back. “Here we go, gentlemen. Everyone check your flashlights.” Fifteen minutes later, the combined effects of terrain and heavy equipment were taking a toll on the men, and they stopped to take a needed rest. Tom was breathing heavy as he set his gear on the ground and took a seat next to it. He pulled a bottle of water from his pack and glanced at Bill. “Are we there yet?” he asked as he tried to start breathing normally again. “We’re a little over halfway there.” Tom took a big gulp from his water bottle. “Whew, that’s good to hear.” They rested a few minutes, and then the lead ranger stood and called out, “Ok, let’s go.” Each man grabbed his gear, and the small group continued to advance deeper into the caverns. Before long, they
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ventured off the well lit tourist path. As he looked around, Tom noticed small red dots, knee high and about the size of a half-dollar, painted on the cave walls. He wondered what they were for, but he was too tired to ask. The men moved on for nearly ten minutes before Bill suddenly called out, “This is it!” He shined his light into an opening that branched off to the right. The opening was marked with wide yellow tape and stamped with the word DANGER in large black letters every few feet. Bill turned to face Jim. “We believe this side cavern appeared after a minor quake we experienced last year.” He pointed his light toward a large rock that lay in front of the opening, “This rock was apparently covering the entrance, but the quake must have jarred it loose. No one ever comes back this way, so we never knew it existed until recently”. There are plenty of relics in there, including a large stone with some weird markings.” Jim shined his spotlight into the tunnel and was amazed to see a multitude of artifacts scattered across the cavern floor. He swung his light back and forth until he saw a large rectangular stone covered with hieroglyphs. The stone appeared to be more than eight feet tall. “Wow, this is really something.” Officer Roberts nodded. “That’s why we called you folks. We’ve never seen anything like it, but don’t worry, no one has disturbed anything.” “Let’s drop the equipment here,” said Jim. As the rangers prepared to return to the surface, they explained the only way to the surface was to follow the red painted marks back to the main tunnel. Jim and Tom thanked the rangers for their help, but as the rangers turned to leave, Officer Roberts stopped and turned to Jim. “We seldom come this way, so you’ll be on your own down here.” As he turned to leave, he called back over his shoulder, “Be careful!” Within a few short minutes, the rangers were gone. Tom looked on as darkness swallowed the last trace of light from the rangers’ flashlights. “Have you ever noticed how dark it really is in these deep caves?” “Yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it,” Jim replied.

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Jim grabbed a portable work light. “Let’s get started and see what we have here.” “At least, there is standing room.” The two men proceeded cautiously into the tunnel. Not wanting to destroy an artifact by rushing forward, they carefully surveyed the cavern floor and picked out a good area to set up the work lights. Within a few minutes, light flooded the cavern.They stood next to the work lamps and slowly scanned the walls, floor and ceiling. “What do you think?” asked Tom. “I think we’ve got our work cut out for us,” was Jim’s reply.

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Chapter 4
The work lights provided a much better view of the cavern, allowing Jim to estimate the ceiling to be 15 to 18 feet in height. It looked to be about the scale of a basketball court. There were many hand tools and wedged shaped stone blocks scattered near the entrance, giving the impression that someone had tossed the tools into the cavern at the last minute before the entrance was sealed. An assortment of hand tools, pottery and clay tablets lay strewn about the cavern floor, but what really captured their attention was the large rectangular block of stone on the back wall. Taking extra care not to disturb the artifacts, they cautiously approached the monolith. When they got to within a few feet of the ancient stone, they stood in silent awe. “No way,” whispered Jim. “This is cuneiform writing.” “It can’t be.” Tom moved a little closer to the monolith and pulled a small soft brush from his belt. Ever so gently, he carefully brushed the dust from the upper portion of the monolith, and then stepped back to stare in silence. Several minutes passed while Tom attempted to decipher the glyphs. When he was satisfied, he turned to Jim. “I believe it says something about Lord Enki and a Chamber of Fate. There’s also something about a Tablet of Destiny and Lord Marduk’s celestial chariot. I’ll know more when we get it cleaned up, but for now, the question is how did it get here?” Jim stared at the monolith. “The only glyph I recognize is Lord Enki. I remember seeing it on a Sumerian tablet at the Cairo Museum. But how did a stone with Mesopotamian hieroglyphs end up in a cave in North America?” The two men stood in stillness as they pondered the possibilities, and ramifications of such a discovery. Cuneiform hieroglyphs are the earliest known form of human writing, dating back over six thousand years. Cuneiform originated in Mesopotamia, but there was no way

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to explain how that form of writing ended up on the other side of the planet. On one hand, the discovery, if true, would not only upset current scientific teachings, but also there would be religious repercussions. On the other hand, it could be one of the greatest archeological discoveries in recent history. Jim gazed at the assortment of tools and tablets on the cavern floor. “We need to evaluate and catalog the rest of these items. Some of them may give us a clue as to what occurred here.” “You’re right. You decide where to start while I’ll get our gear.” Tom stepped out of the cavern and returned a few moments later with a large bag of equipment. “Well, where do you want to start?” Jim seemed startled by the question. “Oh, yes. Let’s start at the cavern entrance and work our way in.” Tom agreed. “That works for me. I’ll start probing. Would you mind doing the paper work?” Jim found it difficult to focus on the job at hand; his thoughts kept returning to the cuneiform text. “Go ahead, I’ll follow.” The two men went to work, locating, identifying, photographing, and cataloging each item. It was slow and tedious work, but it came with the field of archeology. Numerous drawings and hieroglyphs covered the cavern walls. Tom paused to inspect one of the carvings, and after a few minutes of study, he realized that the carving was an account of Lord Enki’s journey to earth. “Jim, these glyphs tell the story of Lord Enki and some of his hardships while traveling to earth. I’ve seen a similar account of this on a six-thousand-year old Sumerian tablet. Jim moved to Tom’s side and gazed upon the glyphs. “What does it say? “It says that Enki was on his way to the seventh planet, Earth, but running low on water, he was forced to land on the sixth planet to take on fresh water. I should point out, that the name of the sixth planet is Lahmu. If you’re approaching Earth from the outer solar system, Mars would be the sixth planet.” Tom paused a few moments to study the glyphs. “Ok, it says that Lahmu had an abundance of water, but the atmosphere was not
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good for breathing, and then it goes on to say that Enki left the planet Lahmu, but he ran into the Hammered Bracelet. He had to use some of the water that he had taken from Lahmu to push the large rocks in the Hammered Bracelet out of his path.” Tom bit his lower lip and stared at Jim. “I remember reading about this in one of Zecharia Sitchin’s books.” “Really?” “Yes, but we’ve got to ask ourselves, how did this story get here? Not only that, but if it’s just an ancient story, how did the ancients know about the thin atmosphere on Mars? We now know that Mars was once abundant with water, but these ancient glyphs describe the water and the polar caps of Mars. How could the ancients have possibly known about the water and polar caps on Mars?” Jim slowly shook his head. “I don’t have the answers to any of those questions, and I have no idea how or why these glyphs are here in North America. This whole site is a mystery. It’s going to take years to figure this one out.” Tom laughed aloud. “You said it, brother.” Jim was excited with the discovery of the stone monolith. Cuneiform glyphs had originated in Mesopotamia, and finding them in North America flew against all that anyone knew about the ancient world. The Mesopotamians were not a seafaring civilization, yet here was the proof that at some point in days of old, they had indeed journeyed to North America. This discovery would cause a real stir and force many to take a closer look at traditional teachings of ancient Mesopotamia. Jim’s excitement was tempered with a fear that he and Tom were about to be thrown into the tumultuous world of scientific skepticism. There were many pet theories out there, and this discovery was going to upset more than a few of them. He feared that he and Tom were about to be run over by an archaeological stampede, which in the end, could be very beneficial to their careers, and at the same time, it could also end their careers. He had seen other discoveries, which upset the long established concepts of human origins, and more often than not, the one responsible for upsetting the cart was often branded a charlatan or blacklisted by elitist educators.
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Jim placed his notebook on the ground and looked to Tom. “Have you given any thought to how this discovery is going to change our lives? I mean, it can be good for our careers, but it’s certainly going to turn our lives upside down. I’ve never given much thought nor had any desire to be famous.” Tom nodded. “I know what you’re saying.” “Don’t get me wrong. Fame can be a good thing, but it can bring a lot of unwanted pain into our lives, and in this case, it could make or break our careers.” The hours passed into late afternoon. Tom was quietly cataloging one of the hand tools when Jim suddenly spoke up. “I’m beat. What do you say we call it a day?” “Okay, my knees are killing me. I could use a break.” As they prepared to return to the surface, Tom took his flashlight and approached the monolith. He softly brushed the remaining dust from the hieroglyphs and studied the message. Jim grabbed his portable spot light and joined Tom. “I’m not sure how I’m going to present this to the University. It’s going to make a big splash and like it or not, we’re going to be famous.” Tom nodded. “I know, but you have a point. Fame is often a two edged sword.” “Maybe we should wait a couple of days before releasing our findings.” “Sounds good to me. I’m in no hurry to put my career under a microscope.” As they considered their options and contemplated the implications of their discovery, Tom felt a cool draft of air blowing across his right forearm. “That’s funny.” “What?” Tom placed his right hand along the side of the monolith in an attempt to find the source of the airflow. “Hey. buddy, there’s a draft here, and it’s coming from behind the monolith!” Jim reached out and felt a slight breeze. It wasn’t much, but there was definitely an airflow coming from behind the monolith. “Hmm, there’s no way we can move this by ourselves. It must weigh a couple of
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tons. We can purchase some pry bars at the local hardware store. If we wrap them with some soft material, say duct tape, we may be able to nudge the monolith enough to see what’s behind it.” Tom’s heart was pounding. “Let’s do it. For all we know there may be another hidden cavern.” “That’s what I’m thinking.” They carefully backed away from the monolith and exited the cavern. Finding their way to the surface was easy going since they only had to carry their lights and the rechargeable batteries. Twenty minutes later, they could see sunshine streaming into the darkness. It was a welcome sight after hours deep in the cave. * Larry was sitting on his front porch when he spotted the government van moving up the driveway. Tom parked the van, and he and Jim quickly exited and headed for the front porch. Larry stood to greet his guests. “I see you made it. Come on up here and take a seat. Would you like some iced tea?” As they settled in around the patio table, Larry asked, “How did it go? Did you find anything worthwhile?” Tom and Jim looked at each other and then broke into laughter. “What’s so funny?” Jim composed himself and looked to Larry. “Sorry, were not laughing at you. It’s just that we’ve made a very, and I mean a very, significant discovery. We think this discovery will cause quite a stir among our colleges. We found a stone monolith with some hieroglyphs. That in itself is not so unusual, but these glyphs have never surfaced in this hemisphere.” “So what does that mean?” Larry asked. Tom interjected, “What Jim is saying, is these hieroglyphs are only found in Mesopotamia.” Larry leaned back into his chair and smiled. “Looks like you two are going to be famous.” Jim rolled his eyes and chuckled wryly. “We’ve been thinking the same thing.”
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Chapter 5
The alluring aroma of hot coffee and fried bacon filled the old farmhouse when Larry entered the kitchen and sniffed the air. “Good morning, Paulus.” “Good morning, sir.” “Man that smells good.” Larry poured himself a coffee and then turned to Paulus, “I appreciate your efforts to make our guests feel welcome.” “Thank you, sir. It’s my pleasure to…” Their conversation cut short as Jim and Tom entered the kitchen. “Good morning,” said Jim. Tom whiffed the air. “Mmm.” “Gentlemen, come sit down,” said Larry. As they settled in around the kitchen table, Tom looked to Larry. “Say, you wouldn’t happen to have a couple of pry bars, would you?” “Yes, in fact, I have several. You’re certainly welcome to use them.” “Great,” said Tom. “We are thinking of moving that big stone monolith. We suspect there is another cavern behind it, but we want to be careful not to damage the stone. A pry bar wrapped with duct tape would allow us to move the stone without damage.” A big smile crossed Larry’s face. “I am the king of duct tape.” Tom grinned. “Never fear, Larry’s here.” The men broke into laughter. Even Paulus joined the merriment, and a feeling of camaraderie filled their hearts with cheer. As the amusement slowly subsided, the conversation turned to the day’s schedule. Moving the monolith would be their number one priority. Nevertheless, Jim was concerned with preserving the site, and it was agreed to keep things quiet until they had thoroughly investigated the artifacts. The last thing they needed was a bunch of curious scientists trudging around the site before they completed their own investigation.

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* The sun was just above the trees as the van pulled into the parking lot at Mammoth Cave. After Jim parked as close as he could to the walkway, He and Tom exited the vehicle. Tom pulled the water and equipment out of the van, and they divided the provisions between them. As they walked towards cave entrance, Tom suddenly chuckled. “What’s so funny?” asked Jim?” “Maybe we should invest in a mule,” Tom suggested. Jim concurred. “Sounds like a good idea. I’m not up to carrying all of this stuff.” They trudged on into the cavern and didn’t stop until they arrived at the entrance to the newly discovered site. Jim paused to shine his light back and forth between the cavern entrance and the large stone that had once covered the entrance. He studied the scene for a few minutes. “It looks like this stone was cut to fit into the cavern entrance in a deliberate effort to hide the cavern. Do you see what I mean?” he asked. “I think you’re right.” Jim led the way into the cavern where he plugged the batteries into the work lights and flooded the area with white light. Then he set up a work light directly in front of the monolith. For several long minutes, the two men stood in silence and gazed upon the ancient stone and its hieroglyphs. “What do you think?” asked Tom. Jim shrugged. “I don’t know what to think. Can you translate it?” “I would need several hours to study it, but the message seems to be centered on the Anunnaki gods Enlil, Enki and Marduk and a great war between the gods. Now that I think about it, the ancient Sumerians wrote of a war between the gods. I believe it was Enlil’s son, Marduk, who in 2024 BC incited a war where nuclear weapons were eventually used to obliterate a spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula.” “Tom, you’ve got to quit taking those legends to heart.”

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“Ok, how do you explain this monolith? Is it an abstract, or is it really here?” “You know what I mean. You just can’t take those writings at face value. There has to be an explanation other than gods or aliens from outer space.” Tom glared. “I thought you said that you were going to keep an open mind.” “I do have an open mind, but I need facts. All that we have are some glyphs and a few carvings. To me, it’s still open for debate.” Tom nodded in agreement. “I know where you’re coming from.” Jim spotted a bird-like carving just above the monolith. “What’s the meaning of the bird symbol?” “It was probably put there to symbolize the gods who came down from heaven.” “Hmm, nothing we see here makes any sense. The style of these artifacts says they’re Sumerian, which again one must ask, what are they doing here?” Tom picked up a pry bar and wrapped the end with duct tape. “Lets see if we can move the stone just enough to take a peek.” He began examining the edges around the monolith, but there was no place to insert the pry bar. Finally he said, “The mounting of the stone is practically seamless. The pry bar is useless.” “I wish we had known that before we carried those two bars all the way down here.” “Sorry,” Tom apologized. Jim stepped closer to the stone. “Let me see.” He began to slide his hand slowly around the outer edge of the monolith. Almost immediately, he felt the gentle flow of cool air streaming from behind the stone. He stepped back and looked quizzically at Tom, “Let me see your flashlight.” Tom passed the light, and Jim got down on his knees. He peered back and forth along the bottom edge of the stone and then stood to his feet and smiled. “I think this monolith may actually be a door, and if it is a door, there must be a latch or some way to open it.” An air of excitement filled the chamber as both men carefully examined the area around the monolith. Jim’s attention focused on a circular carving on the wall, to the left side of the monolith. It portrayed
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a cluster of planets surrounding a star. He studied the carving and noticed that it was protruding about an inch from the wall. Jim pushed hard on the carving to see if it would move, but it didn’t. It was solid. “Does this carving have any significance to the hieroglyphs on the monolith?” he asked Tom. Tom used his light and carefully examined the carving. “I’m not sure, but a very similar image appears on an ancient Akkadian seal. If you consider the Akkadian seal and now this, you can’t deny that somehow, ancient people had knowledge of the existence of the outer planets. There were no telescopes in ancient times so obviously; someone had to impart this knowledge to them. The question is, who?” Jim moved to the right side of the monolith to study another circular wall carving. It too was protruding about an inch from the wall. “This is obviously a portrayal of a hand.” Tom nodded. “Yes, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what it’s supposed to represent.” Jim placed his right hand over the inlay. “It’s definitely a hand,” he said as he stepped back. He pondered the scene for a moment and then whispered, “I wonder.” He placed both hands onto the impression and pushed as hard as he could. There was a metallic clunking sound as the symbol slid backwards. Tom gasped as the monolith opened a few inches. “Jackpot!” he exclaimed. Jim whistled softly. “You can say that again.” Tom stood mesmerized as Jim took hold of the heavy stone and pulled. The door swung open as if it were on well oiled hinges. There was no creaking or grinding as might be expected. “Oh, boy, we’ve got something here,” said Jim excitedly. “There’s another tunnel.” Tom peered over Jim’s shoulder. “How far back does it go?” Jim shined his flashlight into the opening and revealed a long dark tunnel.

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Chapter 6
As Jim stepped through the hidden doorway and into the narrow passage, his heart was pounding so hard that he could actually hear it beating. His one million candle power flashlight cut through the darkness to reveal a ceiling, which he estimated to be around twelve feet high. Glancing over his shoulder, he whispered, “At least we have enough headroom.” Tom was too awed to respond, for he realized that no human had walked in this tunnel for untold millennium. Moving cautiously through the darkness, they came upon several cuneiform messages, carved into the walls. After traveling more than a hundred feet, the narrow passageway abruptly opened into an immense cavern. At first glance, they estimated the size of the cavern at one hundred yards wide and the ceiling, roughly eighty to one hundred feet high, but looking straight on into the cavern, even with their powerful lights, they were unable see the other side. The walls near the mouth of the cavern looked like smooth glass, as if polished by some high-tech machinery, but there were no writings or symbols. As Jim and Tom pushed on into the darkness, they noticed the floor had a slightly downward angle and the cavern steadily widened. Roughly, eighty yards into the cavern, Jim glanced over his shoulder and asked, “Did you remember to bring your canteen?” “Don’t worry. I’ve learned the hard way, and to tell you the…” Tom suddenly gasped and stood speechless with his light streaming into the darkness ahead. Jim looked forward and shined his light into the same direction. “What on earth?” “You took the words right out of my mouth.” Both men stood in silence and stared. In the darkness ahead, roughly sixty yards, stood a large dome shaped structure, approximately fifty feet in diameter. The structure’s outer walls appeared to be nearly

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twelve feet high, and the top of the dome extended upwards an additional eight to ten feet. Side by side, Jim and Tom cautiously approached the structure, but as they neared to within a few feet of the structures outer wall, an opening suddenly appeared, and a door slid silently into the wall. Jim balked and then whispered, “Something’s not right, here.” “I’ve never seen anything like it.” “What is it?” Jim asked. Tom shrugged. “Your guess is as good as mine.” Cautiously they peered into the structure. Although the interior looked dark, they could see tiny pulsating lights. There was no sound, just those tiny flashing lights of varying colors. Jim shined his light into the structure to reveal a surreal scene of advanced technology. He glanced at Tom and said, “Let’s check the outside perimeter for markings.” Jim began a slow walk around the structure with Tom quietly following a few feet behind. They inspected the outer wall and the surrounding cavern floor but could find no identifying markings. The structure’s surface was a smooth, seamless, and slightly coppery in color, and the only obvious entrance was the single doorway that had opened as they approached. When they had completed their walk around, Tom placed his hand on the structure. “Hmm, judging by the amount of dust, I’m guessing that it’s been here a very long time.” “Yeah, but what is it, and who put it here? The surface looks metallic, but it feels like glass, and there are no power cables running in or out, but there is obviously some source of electrical power inside. Look at the dust around the immediate area. The only footprints around here are ours.” Tom peered cautiously into the entranceway. “Maybe we should go inside. Perhaps it’s just a telephone switching station.” Jim laughed dryly. “Yeah, right.” He cautiously approached the doorway and called out, “Is anyone home?” There was no response. “Let’s go in and check it out.” Jim stepped warily through the entrance and immediately felt thousands of tiny legs crawling all over his body. At the same time, Tom
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heard a slight hissing sound and noticed a pattern of small electrical sparks surrounding Jim. “What the…?” gasped Tom. Jim shuddered as though a cold chill went through him, “What was that?” “I don’t know, but all the dirt and dust from your backside is gone, and look at your knees, the stains are gone.” The structure’s interior abruptly took on a dim fluorescent glow, as if someone or some thing had adjusted a rheostat, causing the interior walls to take on an eerie greenish glow. The sudden appearance of the light startled Jim, and he jumped back through the doorway. Tom let out a skittish laugh. “Whoa! This is too much.” Recovering from his fright, Jim peered into the dome. “I think the sparks are some sort of electrostatic field that keeps the dust out. You know, like a clean room.” “Yeah, I get it. Look at the floor, it’s spotless, not a speck of dust anywhere. Whoever put this here obviously wanted to protect the equipment, so they created an electronic field at the entrance.” Jim studied the scene for a moment. “Let’s go inside, but touch nothing. This could be part of some commercial venture or maybe a monitoring station for the Federal Geographic Data Committee.” “Sure it is,” Tom half teased. As Jim reentered the structure, he again felt the strange caressing from the electronic field, “Come on in, buddy, but I’ll warn you, it tickles.” Tom stepped through the doorway and tiny flashes of light immediately surrounded his body. “Whew, this feels weird.” “We don’t need our lights in here.” Tom gazed in wonder at the site before him. The exterior wall was one long, continuous desktop, about waist high and filled with electronic data screens and high-tech control panels. In the very center of the structure stood a tall cylindrical piece of equipment, around eight feet in diameter, with flashing lights and several built in data screens.

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Jim noticed that one of the data screens was active, but he was confused by what he saw. “Tom, these are obviously computer screens, but the display data is in glyphs.” Tom moved in for a closer look. At first, he thought he was looking at cuneiform, but he quickly realized that while it had many similarities, this writing was in a more sophisticated language. He studied the screen and then looking somewhat bewildered, he turned to Jim. “I have no idea what it says but…” He paused to study the glyphs. “It looks very similar to the original cuneiform, perhaps a highly advanced cousin to it.” “Listen,” said Jim, as he looked to his right and then slowly turned in a complete circle. Tom held his breath and strained to hear what Jim was referring to, but there was only silence. “What? I don’t hear anything.” “That’s just it. We have all of this equipment, but no noise. No humming, no relays, no fans, no nothing; it’s completely silent.” The two men stood in silence, straining to hear the minutest sound, but it was absolutely, dead quiet. Tom walked around the interior and carefully studied each of the data screens. He determined that only one screen was actively scrolling text, but he also noticed there seemed to be no place for input. “Jim, I don’t see a keyboard or anything that could be used for input. It looks like this equipment is monitoring something. Yes, this must be some kind of monitoring station.” A feeling of uneasiness gripped Jim, “Something’s not right. Let’s get out of here.” Jim exited the structure with Tom in tow. “What’s wrong, Jim?” Tom asked nervously. He shared Jim’s uneasiness. “I don’t know, but we don’t belong in there. We have no idea what this is or who put it here, and for all we know it could be dangerous.” “So what are you saying?” “Let’s call it quits for now and go back to Larry’s place. We’ll tell him what we’ve found in here. He’s been around high-tech equipment for most of his adult life. Perhaps he can shed some light on this.”

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The two men began to retrace their footsteps back to the original site, but Jim was still skittish. Tom had his own suspicions, but he wasn’t ready to share them, at least not yet. They quickly covered the distance to the narrow tunnel and wasted no time passing through it, but when they reached the exit, they found that the stone monolith had swung shut. Jim pushed as hard as he could against it, but he couldn’t budge the heavy stone. “That’s strange, the door closed behind us.” Tom whispered nervously, “Just get it open.” “Look, there are hieroglyphs on this side of the door.” “That’s nice. Now how are we going to get out of here?” Jim spotted a circular hand carving, similar to the one he had seen when he first opened the door. He gave it a hard shove and sure enough, the door swung open. “Whew, I was worried that we were about to become entombed!” exclaimed Tom. “I know what you mean. Let’s gather up the batteries and make our way to the van. We have a story to share with Larry. If anyone can give us some insight into what this place is, it’s Larry.” “I wouldn’t be too sure about that. He may be familiar with hightech gadgets and such, but I’ll bet he’s never seen anything like this.”

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Chapter 7
Larry sat on his front porch, relaxing in a lounge chair and enjoying an iced tea as he contemplated retirement. After a lifetime of pushing himself to excel, Larry Johnson was feeling useless. A sense of depression and loneliness tugged at him, and he realized that he had to find a new direction in life. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of squealing tires on hot asphalt. The government van seemed to be in an unusual hurry as it traveled up the long driveway, sliding to an abrupt halt near the porch. Jim and Tom exited the van and hurriedly walked towards the porch. Larry could see that something was wrong. He put his tea aside and stood to greet his guests, but before he could say a word, Tom blurted, “Larry, we need your help!” Surprised and somewhat taken back, Larry said nothing. He simply looked on as Jim and Tom stepped onto the porch. “Sorry to barge in on you like this,” Jim apologized, “but Tom is right. We do need your help.” “You boys seem a little upset. What’s going on?” Jim tried to respond, “Well, I ah, oh boy, help me out here, Tom.” “Maybe we should sit down. This isn’t going to be easy, but I’ll give it a try.” Larry returned to his seat, and Tom and Jim pulled a couple of chairs in close to him. He could see that they were eager to tell him something. but neither of them said a word. “Well, come on, speak up. What’s wrong?” Tom glanced nervously at Jim and then looked to Larry. “I don’t know exactly how to say this, but we need you to come with us.” “Sure, but…” Jim interrupted. “No, Larry, we’d like you to come with us now. Please, we’ll explain on the way.” Hesitating a bit, Larry scrutinized the look on Jim’s face. “Ok, just let me get changed into something more suitable.”
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Tom and Jim sat in silence while Larry entered the house to make a quick change of cloths. When he returned, the three of them climbed into the van. Jim took the driver’s seat while Tom scurried to the front passenger seat, and Larry pushed aside a clutter of tools and books as he climbed into the bench seat directly behind the driver’s seat. No one said a word when the van accelerated down the driveway and Larry began to feel a little uneasy. “Ok, boys, what’s wrong?” Jim glanced over his shoulder. “We’ve discovered something at the site, and we need your opinion.” Larry laughed aloud. “Well, I’m no archaeologist. How could my opinion matter?” Tom leaned back so he could look Larry in the eye. “This has nothing to do with archaeology. We think we may have stumbled onto some secret high tech equipment. We’d like…” “Wait, wait. You’re saying you found some high tech equipment in Mammoth Cave?” “Oh yes.” replied Tom. “What kind of equipment, and what makes you think it’s secret equipment?” Jim glanced into the rear view mirror. “We’ve been working at the original site; we’ll call it the Alpha site. Anyhow, we discovered a hidden passageway so we naturally decided to investigate. The passageway opened into a huge cavern, nothing unusual but when we began to explore the cavern, we discovered a dome shaped metallic structure.” Larry’s eyebrows rose slightly. “Ok,” he said slowly. “This structure is sitting in complete darkness, in the middle of an underground cavern. As far as we know, there is only one entrance to the cavern, and that entrance was hidden. When we went inside the structure, we found it to be full of strange electronic equipment. I tell you, Larry, it gave us the willies,” Jim confessed, not at all embarrassed to admit that he had been afraid. “Oh, come on. Are you guys pulling my leg?” Larry waited for a witty reply, but no one was smiling, and neither Tom nor Jim responded to his question. “Ok. What kind of equipment are you guys talking about?”

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“That’s just it,” said Tom. “We’ve never seen anything like it. That’s why we’ve ask for your help. Jim says that you have been around all sorts of high-tech gadgets and you should be able to tell us if it’s some secret government stuff, because if it isn’t...” Tom’s voice faded to an indiscernible mumble as he slowly shook his head and stared at the floor. Larry noticed a quiver in Tom’s voice. He understood what his friends were asking of him, but what could he offer? It was true that he had worked on various top-secret government projects, but he really didn’t see how any of that could matter. Moreover, if what they described were some secret government project, he could only tell them to say nothing to anyone and leave it at that. Most likely, they had stumbled onto some experimental equipment from the National Geological Service, and in the darkness they simply failed to recognize it. Nevertheless, they were his guests, so he decided to be polite and inspect the equipment. After all, it might be fun to spend an afternoon exploring the caves. “All right, take me to the site, and we’ll have a look see.” * When the trio arrived at the Alpha site, Jim explained how the cavern had been purposely covered over. He made a point to show Larry the huge boulder that had come loose during the recent tremor and how it obviously had been carved to the proper shape to cover the entrance. He took his time explaining exactly what their job demanded and how they went out of their way to catalogue every item. Near the end of his little tour, Jim was jovial, but when they moved to the monolith, he took on a more serious tone. “This stone monolith is most intriguing. First of all, these hieroglyphs should never show up on the North American continent, yet here they are.” Larry stood in close to the monolith. He reached out and ever so lightly slid his fingers across a line of text. “Why do you say this shouldn’t be here?” “These hieroglyphs are the oldest known form of writing, dating back more than six thousand years. It’s a well-established fact that
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this form of writing originated in the Sumerian region of southern Mesopotamia. In fact, Sumerian glyphs or cuneiform writing were later adapted for the writing of the Akkadian, Hittite, Assyrian, and several other languages, but this early form of script died out around three thousand years ago. “Therefore, to answer your question, the Sumerians were not seafaring peoples, and even if they were, it’s very doubtful they could cross the Atlantic Ocean to build a colony in North America. Even if we assume they did colonize here, there have never been any artifacts or even legends to support any theory or assumptions.” Larry studied the ancient glyphs for several minutes. “It looks like you boys know what you’re doing, and I’m sure that you’ll figure this language thing out, but I don’t see any electronic equipment in here.” Jim smiled as he moved to right side of the monolith and put his hands onto the circular hand carving. “I told you there was a hidden passage. Watch this.” Jim pushed hard against the hand carving, and the ancient stone symbol slid in flush to the wall. He heard the now familiar metallic clanking sound, and the door opened several inches. Larry gasped as he stepped backwards. “Wow, you’re not kidding. There really is a secret passageway.” “You haven’t seen anything yet. Follow me,” Jim said to his old friend. As the three of them entered the narrow passage, Larry felt a little claustrophobic, “It’s a little close in here. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in here without a light.” “I know exactly what you mean,” said Tom. They moved quickly to the other end of the passage and entered the enormous cavern. “The structure is straight ahead,” said Tom. Larry swung his light back and forth, trying to take in the size of the cavern. “Lord, this is place huge. We could play football in here.” Jim chuckled. “Yes, it is big, but you’ll forget all about that in a few minutes. Come on.” They walked on and moments later, the dome appeared in Jim’s light. “Here we are.” Larry stared at the structure. “Whoa, that’s something. How long do you figure this has been here?”
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“A very long time, perhaps thousands of years,” said Tom. As they approached to within a few feet of the dome, a doorway suddenly materialized and the door slid quietly into the wall. “Déjà vu,” whispered Tom. Jim chuckled to himself as Larry slowly inched towards the doorway. “Go ahead Larry, you first.” Larry paused to look inside. “You’re right, there is power in there.” “That’s right,” said Tom, “but there’s no conduit or electrical lines going in or out.” Larry stepped through the doorway, and a cloud of tiny blue sparks instantly surrounded his body. He gasped as he jumped forward and spun to look back at the doorway. “Ye gad! What on earth was that?” Jim and Tom broke into nervous laughter. “Sorry about that,” said Jim. “I thought about warning you, but a little levity is good for the soul.” Larry shivered and rubbed his arms. “Swell.” He turned back into the structure and stood in silence as the interior began to take on an eerie greenish glow. “ Hmm, there must be a motion sensor in here to activate the lighting,” he surmised. Jim and Tom entered the dome, and Tom quickly stepped away from the doorway as a wave of blue sparks flowed over his body. “Oh man, that feels weird.” “It kind of tickles,” said Jim. Larry snickered. “Tell me about it. It’s obviously some sort of advanced electronic screen to keep the place clean.” “That’s what we figured,” said Jim, walking towards the center of the dome. He stopped near the central column and pointed to the active data screen. “This screen is continuously displaying data, but the rest of them seem to be turned off or in hibernation.” Larry approached the screen and gazed at the steady flow of symbols. “Any idea what it is?” “We were hoping you could tell us,” said Tom. Larry stepped back to inspect the pillar of equipment before him. Then he slowly walked completely around the structure’s interior,
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inspecting each piece of equipment. He returned to the entranceway and noticed how smooth and clean the countertop appeared. As he placed his right hand on the countertop and caressed the crystal like surface, the data screen in front of him flickered to life. No one said a word as he slowly walked to each data station and activated each screen by gently stroking the crystal countertops. When he finished, he stood by the entranceway and studied the elegant workmanship of the structure itself. Then he slowly walked to the central tower and quietly inspected every square inch of it. He walked around the tower several times, inspecting the floor and the ceiling. Tom was becoming a little fidgety and blurted out, “Well, what do you think?” Larry ignored him and continued to stare at the data screens, but finally, with a dogged look on his face, he turned to face his friends. Standing side by side, Tom and Jim noticed the strange look on Larry’s face as he drew near. When he was close enough to touch them, Larry reached out to his friends with both arms. Placing his right hand on Jim’s shoulder and his left hand on Tom’s shoulder, he dug his fingers tightly into their flesh, and in a quiet but firm voice he whispered, “Tell no one of this. For heavens sake, tell no one.” The three stood motionless for several moments, each man contemplating the meaning of what they had discovered. Before Tom or Jim could ask him what he meant, Larry abruptly released his grip and spoke softly. “Gentlemen, your world is about to change.” “Yes, we know,” said Tom. “No. I don’t think you do. This structure is the Holy Grail to unlimited energy, and there are unscrupulous people in powerful positions who will do anything to own it.”

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Bathed in the soft light streaming through the structure’s entranceway, Larry stood in the cavern, seemingly unaware of his comrade’s presence. He simply stared into the darkness. “So what do you think?” asked Tom for the second time. Larry didn’t respond. It was as if he were somewhere else, somewhere far away. Jim moved to Larry’s side and quietly asked. “Larry, what is it? What’s wrong?” Larry slowly turned to face his friends. “Is there any other way in or out of this cavern?” “I don’t know,” said Jim. “We haven’t explored beyond the dome. Why do you ask?” “Look, I understand that you two were sent here to investigate some artifacts, but this discovery changes everything. I’m going to ask you both to trust me.” A strange uneasiness seized Jim. “What do you mean, trust you? What are you getting at? “I’m asking you both to file your reports on the artifacts but say nothing of this equipment to anyone, ever.” Jim looked to Tom for a reaction to Larry’s request, but Tom stood quietly. “Well Tom, what do you think?” “I don’t know what to think. I’m an anthropologist; this is way over my pay grade.” Jim let out a deep breath and turned to face Larry. “All right, assuming we omit this equipment from our reports, and we say nothing, what do you intend to do?” “I want to bring a few scientists in here, quietly, and investigate this equipment. I don’t want to interfere with your work, but I’m asking you to allow me to manage the investigation of this equipment.” “He’s right,” said Tom. “If we go public with this discovery, we don’t know the ramifications on our careers, and this is definitely out of our league. We’ll have to turn this over to someone with the credentials
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to conduct a proper investigation so it may as well be Larry. He’s the engineering wizard.” Jim nodded slowly and looked to Larry. “Ok. As far as I’m concerned, this high-tech equipment is now your problem. Tom and I never saw it. All I ask is that you keep our names out of any investigation, but there is one thing, and I’m sure Tom will agree, we ask that you keep us informed. After all, this situation has certainly aroused our curiosity. I’m sure you understand.” Larry grinned, “I understand. Thank you, and I promise I’ll keep you up to date of any findings, discreetly, of course. Now, what do you say we do some exploring? If there is another entrance to this cavern, we need to know about it.” “Excuse me,” said Tom. “We can explore the cavern any time, but before we do that, I have a few questions. Do you have any idea who built this thing?” Larry took a deep breath and then exhaled slowly. “Ok, boys, I’ll tell you what I think we have here, but what I’m about to tell you goes no further. Agreed?” Jim nodded in agreement, but Tom wasn’t so sure, “Do you mean we can never tell a living soul, not even a family member?” “That’s exactly what I mean. Believe me, it has to be this way.” Tom thought for a moment and then nodded. “Ok, but I reserve the right to include anything you tell us in my memoirs.” Jim laughed aloud, “Oh, yes, the mundane adventures of Professor Thomas Nellings. I can vision it on the best sellers list.” Tom grinned, “I’m just kidding. Don’t worry Larry, my lips are sealed.” “All right then, here goes,” said Larry. “I recognize some of the hieroglyphs on those data screens.” Jim gasped, “What? Why didn’t you say so?” “I needed to be certain of your confidence in this matter. These glyphs have been showing up on recovered high-tech equipment for decades, but the government has always classified them top secret.” Larry turned and walked into the structure with Tom and Jim in tow.

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“Let me begin with an incident that occurred in 1897 near Aurora, Texas.” “All right,” said Jim. “There was an extra terrestrial spacecraft that crashed, and one alien was found dead in the wreckage. They quietly buried the alien in a local cemetery and hauled the wreckage to an undisclosed location. The incident was kept quiet.” Tom yelled, “Yes! I knew it! This is alien hardware.” Larry was obviously irritated with Tom’s outburst. “You’re right, but please allow me to finish.” “Sorry,” was Tom’s contrite reply. “In 1947, there was a crash near Roswell, New Mexico, and four bodies were recovered. The government tried unsuccessfully to cover the incident up and finally resorted to spreading misinformation. I must say it has seemed to have worked. The Roswell incident has become more myth than truth. However, there was another crash at Ely, Nevada, in 1952 where they recovered sixteen bodies. All of the bodies and supporting physical evidence mysteriously disappeared. “There have been similar recovery incidents in Arizona, Texas, Montana, Ohio, Norway, and England.” Larry walked toward the center of the structure. “I’ve told you about these crash sites to help you understand what I am about to tell you.” “Please do,” said Jim,” this is getting a little bizarre.” “Believe me, I know. My personal experience with alien technology began while I was in college. I had a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and was about to receive another degree in Astrophysics. One evening, a man who claimed to be a member of Air Force Intelligence approached me and asked if I would consider working as a consultant for the Air Force. He made me a very lucrative offer, but he couldn’t tell me where the job was located.” Larry paused to stare at a data screen on the central column; then he slipped his hands into his pockets and continued. “I must say, I was young and ambitious, so the following day I decided to go for it. Three weeks later, I graduated, and the next day two plain clothed Air Force

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officers showed up at my dormitory to help me pack my belongings and escort me to my new job. “Needless to say, I was excited. I didn’t have much at the dorm, so we were packed and out of there in less than an hour. The next thing I knew, I was on a private jet that took me to a military instillation called Groom Lake.” Tom couldn’t restrain himself and blurted, “You worked at Area 51?” Larry grinned. “Yes, I worked at Area 51, but it would be more accurate to say that I worked out of Area 51. You see, I worked at Groom Lake, but I soon found myself working and sharing information with some of the governments’ big aircraft contractors. “My first assignment was an attempt to reverse engineer some of the recovered alien technology. At first, I thought I was dealing with recovered Russian hardware, but that assumption quickly evaporated upon close inspection of the components. The colonel in charge of the project gave me a free rein, and within a year, I was director of the project, but only a few of us were privy to what was really going on. The work was quite slow and extremely tedious, mainly because the recovered components were so badly damaged.” Larry paused and reached out to touch the towering column of hardware. “I’ve spent a good part of my life investigating and researching recovered alien technologies, and we have made some exciting progress. However, we never managed to repair or activate one of their power sources.” Jim stared at Larry in utter amazement. “I don’t mean to sound shallow, but you’ve just destroyed my life long belief in the unqualified nonsense of alien visitors. My God, Larry, if what you say is true; this technology could be the answer to our energy crisis. Why is this so secret?” Larry laughed sarcastically and locked eyes with Jim. “It’s all about power my boy, power and paranoia. President Eisenhower warned of the implications of a secret military-industrial complex, but his warnings went unheeded. “I guess you could say that I’ve been a part of that secret. Believe me, you simply cannot fight it. So I made a personal decision to become
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part of the system, with the hopes of one day bringing these discoveries to light for the benefit and betterment of humanity.” “I can understand that,” said Tom, “but I have another question.” Larry nodded. “Go ahead and ask away” “What powers this kind of technology?” “That is a very good question. We don’t fully understand the power source, but it is electrical, and it seems to draw on something called Zero Point Energy. According to verifiable experiments, which began shortly after the Roswell crash, this Zero Point Energy is what powers the entire Universe. My colleagues and I believe that the aliens have managed to tap into this energy and have found a way to channel it to power their spacecraft. We also have a fundamental understanding of the actual workings that make these craft defy gravity. In fact, we have created several prototypes that can actually hover, but these prototypes are nuclear powered. “The last I heard, a small group of researchers were very close to perfecting a Zero Point Energy Collector. If and when they accomplish this, it can truly change the course of human history, but…” Larry’s lips tightened and his face became terse, “they’ll never relinquish that technology. I’ve learned that when people have absolute power, they tend to hold onto it.” Jim’s knees felt as if they were about to give out. “Holy crap, Larry! I never dreamed that you were involved in anything like this. I thought…” “I’m sorry, but I was sworn to secrecy, and don’t forget, you have sworn yourselves to secrecy. In this dome, there is a perfectly functioning Zero Point Energy Module, and I have no intentions of involving any government entity in researching it. That’s why I insisted on your silence in this matter. I intend to call in a small group of civilian scientists and allow them to study this in complete secrecy, but I’ll tell you, if a certain group within the Department of Defense gets a whiff of this…” Larry stopped in mid-sentence and turned his back on Tom and Jim. “Wait a minute. Are you inferring that just by our knowing of this, we could be in physical danger?” asked Tom. “Yes, unfortunately, that’s exactly what I mean.”
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Jim had no intentions of mixing danger into his life’s work. “For heavens sake, Larry, what have we gotten ourselves into? From what you described, we could end up dead!” “Now-now, let’s not overreact. I have given you the worst-case scenario, but if we are careful and develop a good plan, we could bring humanity into a new age of peace and prosperity. “Imagine a world with a clean, non-polluting, endless source of energy. Imagine the power to colonize the solar system, and try to imagine the new technologies that will literally rain down upon our civilization. Is that not worth some risk?” “You’re right,” said Jim, “but I hope you’ve got a good plan, because I would like to see my wife again.” “Yes, and except for the part about dying, I’m in,” said Tom. Larry laughed as he patted Tom on the shoulder. “I promise to do my best and to keep us safe, but before we do anything, we need to thoroughly explore this cavern.” “All right, everyone grab a light. Let’s do it,” said Jim. Powerful one million candlepower lights cut into the darkness as they slowly extended the search area and moved deeper into the immense cavern. Fifteen minutes went by, and they saw nothing but darkness and the highly polished rock. “Man this place is immense,” said Larry. Jim laughed aloud. “You could put a small town in here.” “How long do you think this cavern’s been here?” Larry asked. Jim studied the glossy finished rock around him. He had never seen a stone surface like this, and knew of no natural process which might create such a fine finish. Perhaps a geologist could give him an answer. He really couldn’t say how old the cavern was so he turned to Larry. “I would guesstimate it’s been around at least ten thousand years, but that’s just a guess. I’ve never seen rock with a finish like this.”

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Tom rubbed his chin as he inspected the floor. “What I can’t get a grip on is the smoothness of the rock. It’s almost as if this cavern was manufactured.” Larry nodded. “It does look unnatural.” A few minutes passed, and Jim noticed that Larry had stopped and was trailing behind. Assuming his old friend was becoming tired, he nudged Tom and gestured for him to look back towards Larry. That’s when they noticed the strange look on Larry’s face. “What’s wrong?” asked Jim. There was no response from Larry, and an awkward sense of uneasiness tugged at Tom, as he moved to Larry’s side. “Is something wrong?” Larry stiffened and stood motionless. Holding an unsteady light in one hand, he pointed ahead with his free hand. Jim turned and shined his own light in the same direction. “Wahoo,” shouted Larry as he ran forward, nearly knocking Jim over as he passed by! Tom gasped, “What?” Jim and Tom instinctively fell in behind Larry, and Tom blurted, “Where we going?” “Larry’s spotted something up ahead!” exclaimed Jim. They ran for nearly fifty yards before Larry slid to a sudden halt. “Good God! I can’t believe it!” Tom and Jim came to a stop alongside Larry. Gasping for air, they nearly fell over in disbelief as they looked upon a bizarre scene. “Holy crap, it’s a saucer!” exclaimed Tom. Jim shook his head in disbelief. “No way, it’s impossible!” The three men stood in quiet awe. What they had discovered would boggle the mind of any skeptic, yet there it stood, covered in the dust of forgotten time. Larry slowly approached to within a few feet of a large disked shaped object, which sat on top of what appeared to be three metallic pillars or possibly landing gear. “My Lord, this thing is massive. Look at it! It’s at least two hundred feet in diameter.” Jim’s mind was spinning as he tried to convince himself that this simply could not be happening. With a weak and somewhat shaky
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voice, he whispered, “Tell me I’m seeing things. Go ahead, somebody tell me this is just a dream.” Tom began flailing his arms as he shrieked at Jim. “For God sake, Jim! It’s real!” Jim was taken back with Tom’s outburst but said nothing as he stared at the eerie scene. Annoyed by Jim’s silence, Tom spun around to face Larry, “It is real, isn’t it?” Larry continued to stare at the disk. “Whew, it’s real all right, but I’ve got to tell you…” He slowly turned to face his two friends, “when you boys say you’re going on an adventure, you’re not kidding around.” Jim edged himself to Larry’s side. “How on earth did this thing get in here? I mean, we are under a mountain.” Larry shined his light underneath the disk and strained to see if there was more to the cavern. “That’s a good question. The cavern appears to end just beyond the disk and as far as we can tell, there is only one way in. I don’t know how it got in here, but I do hope to find out.” Jim slowly walked beneath the saucer until he reached a point where the belly extended low enough for him to reach. He paused and then cautiously raised a hand to touch the surface “It doesn’t feel cool, it’s almost body temperature.” He gently stroked his hand across the surface. “I don’t think its metal. Whatever it is, it’s smooth as glass.” “Lord all mighty,” said Tom. “This thing is enormous. I’ll bet it could carry at least fifty people.” “A lot more than fifty,” Larry answered. Jim backed out from under the saucer. “It appears to be seamless. Let’s do a slow walk around to look for a door or a hatch. There has to be a way in.” “Good idea,” said Larry. The trio stepped back twenty yards or so and began a slow walk around the craft, probing every inch of the surface with their highpowered lamps. They could find no portholes, no sign of a hatch, nothing, not even a seam.

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When they finished their walk around, Larry walked under the leading edge of the disk and motioned for Jim and Tom to follow. “Let’s investigate the undercarriage. We’ll start with the landing gear.” After a methodical inspection of the landing gear revealed nothing, they then turned their attention upwards to investigate the disk’s belly, and within minutes, Jim called out, “Hey, I’ve got something here!” Larry and Tom gathered at Jim’s side. “What is it?” asked Larry. Jim shined his light straight up to reveal the image of a hand. It was the exact image of what they had found along side the stone monolith, but this image appeared to be laser-etched into the skin of the craft. Tom shook his head in disbelief. “Go ahead, Jim. You do the honors.” Jim reached up, placed his right hand onto the image, and pressed. A sudden flash of light from the surface area around the image startled him. The trio stepped back as a long rectangular seam suddenly formed near the image. A high pitch whirring sound emanated from within the saucer, accompanied by a loud hissing noise. Air suddenly rushed out of the craft, kicking up a cloud of dust as a ramp descended from the craft’s immense belly. “Whoa!” exclaimed Larry. Jim shook his head in disbelief. “This can’t be happening!” Tom put his hand on Jim’s shoulder and whispered, “Easy, Jim.” Larry stepped onto the bottom of the ramp and asked, “Who’s first?” Tom pointed his light into the saucer and started up the ramp, but he only managed a few steps before he suddenly froze. A look of bewilderment appeared on his face as he tried to speak, but he could not form the words he wanted to say. His mind was numb as he stepped backwards down the ramp. He hyperventilated and gasped for air, and finally managed to speak. “I… my God, it’s an image of Enki!” Tom’s knees gave out, and Larry grasped him by the arm to steady him, “What are you talking about?” Tom struggled to steady himself. “The image at the top of the ramp; I’ve seen it before. In fact, there are many carvings of this exact image throughout Mesopotamia. Enki is an ancient god from a planet
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called Nibiru. He supposedly came here some four hundred thousand years ago.” Larry walked up the ramp for a look-see. He studied the image for a moment and then returned to Tom’s side. “Are you sure you’ve seen this exact image?” “Oh, I’m sure, and if I’m right, that would make this an Anunnaki ship.” Larry sensed that Tom was onto something, “Ok, let’s assume you’re right. Why would they hide this ship underground, and why is it still here?” Tom took a few steps up the ramp and then turned to face his friends. “Before we go inside, let’s take a time out and let me fill you in on exactly who the Anunnaki were and where they came from.” Larry winced. “We have just made one of the greatest discoveries of all time and you want to take a time out? Aren’t you curious about what’s inside?” “Yes, of course I’m curious, but this ship is going nowhere, and what I am about to tell you concerns this ship and its crew. Believe me, it’s important. Besides, I need to sit down for a minute.” Tom sat down on the ramp and stretched his legs before him. Larry reluctantly nodded in agreement and took a seat on the cavern floor near the end of the ramp. “Ok, Tom, we’re all ears.” By now, Jim’s legs were like jelly, and without uttering a word; he simply plumped himself down next to Larry. Unsure of where to begin, Tom hesitated. “All right, just bear with me, and I’ll try to give you a short history lesson. “According to ancient manuscripts and tablets, the Anunnaki journeyed to Earth in search of minerals, mainly gold. It is written that the atmosphere on their home world was slowly deteriorating, possibly ozone depletion, I don’t know. Anyhow, their scientists put together a scheme to save their world by taking gold and breaking it down to its molecular level. Once they accomplished that step, they would use these refined molecules to seed the upper atmosphere of their planet, supposedly to repair the damage to their planet’s atmosphere, and they allegedly had some promising success. Nevertheless, gold was a rarity on Nibiru, so they embarked on a search of our solar system.
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Eventually, some four hundred thousand years ago, they discovered rich gold deposits in modern day South Africa. They immediately searched for a location to establish a base of operations. The chosen area had to have a good climate and plenty of water, and they found just the right conditions in ancient Mesopotamia. “I should point out that four hundred thousand years ago, the Mesopotamian region was mostly marshland, a fact that coincides with the timing put forth in the ancient Anunnaki stories. “Ultimately the Anunnaki built a spaceport that came to be known as Sippar. It was located just south of modern day Baghdad. They also built a mission control center called Nippur, which was located farther south-southeast of modern Baghdad. Nippur became the central hub for the Anunnaki. It was the Sacred City of their leader, Enlil. “The image at the top of this ramp is Enki. He was the half brother of Enlil, but there was an ongoing rivalry between them.” Larry interrupted. “You mean they fought?” “Let’s not get ahead of the story. Ah, where was I? Oh, yes. Mining operations were established, and several hundred Anunnaki came to Earth to serve as laborers in the gold mines. Over time, they mined a lot of gold and shipped it to their home world. The rankand-file Anunnaki toiled in the mines for over a hundred thousand years, but even with their technology, the mining was dirty, hard, and dangerous work, and many Anunnaki grew tired of the dingy working conditions. “Oh, I forgot to mention that the Anunnaki had a very long life span, perhaps several hundred thousand years. Can you imagine working like a dog, in a dark and dusty mine for a hundred thousand years or so? It must have been a literal hell for the workers, and eventually they rebelled. Fortunately, they reached an agreement with Enlil to provide relief, but Enlil found himself between a rock, and a hard place. He really had no solution to the problem, so he turned to his brother, Enki. “Enki was not a politician, but he was a scientist. He came up with a plan to capture some of the primitive life forms that flourished on Earth. He wanted to see if they could be trained to work in the mines, and eventually he found a species that showed real promise.
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I personally believe that he selected the Neanderthals, but his first experiments were dismal failures. The species was far too aggressive and not teachable, so he came up with another plan. He selected a physically weaker species… humans, but this time he decided to implant a certain amount of Anunnaki DNA into the primitives. After all, the Anunnaki were genetically superior, and their intelligence was far ahead of the primitive humans, so it made sense, and many experiments followed. Finally, Enki discovered the right sequence of DNA that he needed to improve the primitives’ intelligence. He made them obedient and gave them just enough intelligence to communicate and follow commands. Enki had created a working class of slaves to work the mines. “It’s a long story, but Enki allegedly modified these early humans who began to view him as a god. With his experiments a resounding success, he began to breed the new slaves. Within a few hundred years, a short time by Anunnaki standards, he had acquired a large slave population to work the mines. “Nevertheless, as the centuries passed, jealousy and infighting grew among the Anunnaki, and eventually open warfare erupted between the clans. Ultimately, one of the factions used nuclear weapons. Many humans and Anunnaki died in the holocaust that followed, and many more died from the radioactive fallout. “Most of the Anunnaki fled Mesopotamia, with a few of them crossing the oceans to build new domains. Of course, they took their human slaves to do the actual labor.” Tom stood to his feet and gazed at the image of Enki at the top of the ramp. “I believe this ship is a leftover from that tumultuous period.” He turned to face his comrades. “Why else would it be here?”

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Much of Tom’s story made a lot of sense, and Larry wished he had known of these things twenty years ago. Larry stood to his feet and put his hands into his pants’ pockets and gazed at Tom. “You’ve just answered a lot of questions for me, but you’ve also created a host of new questions.” “How’s that?” “I’m talking about all of the reported UFO sightings during the past fifty years. Maybe these Anunnaki are still visiting Earth. You know, to kind of check up on us.” Tom frowned. “You could be right, but don’t make the mistake of thinking the Anunnaki have benevolent feelings for our species. You have to understand that according to the ancient tablets, the Anunnaki looked upon us as mere slaves. In fact, when they had no further need for us, they stood by during the great flood and hoped for our extinction. The point is, if the Anunnaki are still coming here today, they are most likely looking for new slaves. Think about that. How many people, worldwide, disappear each year and are never seen again?” A look of concern formed on Larry’s face as the significance of Tom’s words sank in. “Good God, I hope you’re wrong. We’ve got to investigate this saucer, but at some point we have to consider the possibility that the Anunnaki may still be harvesting slaves and…” “Ok,” said Jim. “I’ve heard enough about aliens and gods. Let’s just see what’s inside of this thing and go from there.” “Lead on,” said Tom. Jim walked up the ramp and stopped to view the image of Enki. He shrugged and noticed that the ramp exposed a narrow corridor to the right and a second corridor to the left. The flooring was flat and level, but the walls within the corridors extended upwards and arched inwards. Deciding to explore to his right, Jim cautiously entered the passageway and felt the familiar caress of electrons removing the dust and grit from his clothing. “Whew, that tickles.”

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Larry passed through the electronic field and shook off the goose bumps. “I’ll never get used to that.” Tom was last in line. As he passed through the electronic screen, lights began automatically switching on throughout the craft’s interior. There were no visible light fixtures, yet light seemed to be everywhere. Jim stopped and turned back towards Larry. “You’re the technical wizard. You lead.” Larry nodded. “Let’s look around but don’t touch anything. We don’t want to do anything stupid and end up with a damaged ship.” Larry made his way, past Jim and then glanced back over his shoulder. “Let’s continue down this corridor. It appears to extend in a complete circle around the interior of the craft. We’ll follow it and see if it circles back to the ramp. I’d like to get a good picture of how this thing is laid out.” Larry moved on with Jim and Tom close behind. They noticed a side corridor branching left, toward the center of the craft; however, as they drew near, they saw that it angled upwards sharply into the craft’s upper dome. Larry peered into the opening. “This seems to lead to an upper level. Anyone got a note pad?” Tom pulled a small pad from his shirt pocket and handed it to Larry. “Here’s one.” “Thanks, I’d like to make some notes on the layout.” “Good idea,” Tom concurred. Larry paused to make a notation of the side passage. “We’ll count the side corridor, and note their direction. Later on, we can use this to draw a diagram of the interior.” Larry quickly finished his notations and then moved on. Within a few moments, they could see a pair of corridors. One branched off to the right, into the outer edge of the saucer, the other one branched to the left toward the center of the saucer. Again, Larry stopped to make a notation. Nearly fifteen minutes later the trio emerged from the ship and gathered in a circle near the bottom of the ramp. Jim and Tom held their lights steady for Larry as he finished a sketch of the main corridor.

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Larry was correct in his speculation that the corridor would form a circle within the craft. Their inspection identified three side corridors which branched into the outer disk section, three side corridors that angled up into the upper dome section, and two side corridors that branched downward and in toward the center of the craft. “Well, what do you think?” asked Tom. Larry looked up from his sketch. “I think we need to take a break while I finish this drawing, and you know what? I’m hungry.” Tom grinned. “I’m a little hungry myself.” Jim raised his light and shook it gently to get attention. “I have an idea. Our packs are back at the dome structure. I’ll go back and get the food, and some fresh batteries. You two can stay here and finish the sketch. I won’t be long.” “It’s a long dark walk. I’ll go with you,” said Tom. “Thanks, but I’ll be fine. This isn’t my first tour in a dark cave.” Tom nodded. “All right, but be careful. We’ll be waiting right here.” Larry looked a little concerned. “Are you sure we should split up? I wouldn’t feel safe wandering around in this darkness by myself.” Jim chuckled as he turned to begin the long walk back to the dome. He called over his shoulder, “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.” Larry nodded and looked to Tom. “Well, you two must know what you’re doing.” “Don’t worry about Jim. He’s no stranger to caves.” Larry sat down on the ramp. “Want to hold the light for me while I finish this sketch?” Jim worked up a good sweat as he made his way back to the dome. His mind reeled, and his body felt disconnected as he walked along in the darkness. He had never put much credence into UFO sightings, and he had always dismissed the ancient myths of alien astronauts. After all, he was a man of science, and if he couldn’t see, touch, or feel something, it didn’t exist. After years of scoffing at claims of UFO sightings and alien abductions, he was now confronted with the truth. Ten minutes passed quietly while Larry completed his sketch. When he finished, he looked to Tom. “What do you say we go back into the saucer and explore the upper section?”
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“All right, Jim won’t mind. He doesn’t like being around this thing anyhow.” Larry walked up the ramp and stopped to study the image of Enki. “I wonder how old this ship is.” Tom shrugged. “Lord knows. Lord God, that is.” Larry turned to his right and entered the main corridor. He passed through the electronic screen and almost immediately saw the first side corridor, directly ahead and to his left. When he reached the corridor, he paused to wait for Tom. “Tom, this side corridor definitely leads to the upper domed section. The angle looks a little steep, and the flooring is a ramp rather than stairs. You may want to wait until I get all the way up there before you follow. I wouldn’t want to land on top of you if I slipped.” Tom looked into the passageway. It was narrower than the main corridor, and the steep upwards angle easily convinced him that Larry was right. “Ok, I’ll wait here.” Larry leaned forward and stepped into the passageway. He only took a few steps before coming to a sudden halt. He glanced over his shoulder and looked down at Tom. “Hey, you’re not going to believe this. The gravity in here is different from the gravity where you’re standing. Look, I can stand straight up and perpendicular to the floor. It feels like I’m on straight and level ground.” Tom couldn’t believe his eyes. Larry was in a corridor that angled upwards at nearly forty degrees, and yet he was easily standing perpendicular to the corridor’s floor. “Maybe there is some kind of gravity control that kicks in when someone steps through the passageway.” Larry continued up the narrow passage. “Yeah, that makes sense. Come on!” Tom stepped into the corridor. “This is wild. Who’s going to believe this?” “No one is going to believe this. Remember? We say nothing about this to anyone one.” “Oh yeah, sorry; I know nothing, my lips are sealed.” Larry stepped out of the corridor and into the craft’s upper dome. He turned around and reached out to give Tom a hand. “Take a hold, buddy, that last step is a little tricky.”
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Larry and Tom stood in the upper dome section of the saucer, awed by surreal scene of exotic, high-tech equipment. “This must be the main control room or flight deck,” said Larry. “If you say so,” whispered Tom. Larry marveled at the sleek lines and high-tech design, but where did the pilot sit? He observed a large disk shaped column that dominated the innermost area of the flight deck. It looked like a giant copper coin, and though broad, the column only protruded about ten or twelve inches above the flight deck. Twelve seats formed a circle on top of the column, and all of the seats faced inward, towards a central tower of high-tech equipment, which stood to a height of six to eight feet. The upper portion of the dome ceiling appeared to be a huge curved mirror, which reflected and intensified the internal lighting. Larry walked to the center section and studied the layout. “I count twelve seats, but there are no controls, at least there are no controls that I recognize.” He studied one of the seats close up. It appeared to be just the right configuration for a human, and he observed that every seat was in a fixed and reclined configuration. “I don’t see any seat belts or safety harnesses. That’s strange. How do they get away with that?” Tom chuckled. “This is like something out of Star Trek. Maybe you should ask Mr. Spock.” Larry raised an eyebrow in an attempt to imitate Spock. “Curious, most curious, you may have something there.” Both men broke into good-natured laughter, which served to ease the tension and to temper their uneasy enthusiasm, but the reprieve was short lived. Larry moved away from the central control station to inspect the unfamiliar high-tech equipment, which ran all along the outer wall. He noticed several built in data screens, similar to the ones back at the dome structure, but as he continued his inspection, several questions kept nagging at him. If this saucer has truly been sitting here
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for thousands of years, why does everything inside appear to be brand new? There was not a speck of dirt or dust anywhere. It seemed as if someone had maintained the ship, or perhaps the ship had some sort of automatic maintenance system. An odd, high-pitched whirring sound startled Larry from his thoughts when the display in front of him suddenly flickered to life. He stepped back from the outer wall as all of the equipment before him began flashing and flickering with a multitude of multicolored lights. He turned to see the data screens around the flight deck were suddenly active with streams of hieroglyphs, and many of the surrounding control panels began lighting up. Soon the entire flight deck came alive with flashing lights and strange tones. “Oh my God,” gasped Larry. The whirring sound grew louder, and Larry backed away from the wall until his heel bumped into the raised column of seats. He stumbled onto the column as a streak of light overhead caught his eye. The dome ceiling appeared to be swirling, its mirrored surface was dissolving! Larry had no idea how or why, but the whole ship was coming to life. He stood mesmerized with the sheer power emanating from within the ship, and for a moment, he wondered if he might be hallucinating. The dome ceiling was actually turning translucent, as if the upper portion of the ship morphed into transparent glass. He could see the stone cavern hanging above the saucer. * About the same time that Larry and Tom entered the control room, Jim returned to the site. He noticed the work lights were still on, but Larry and Tom were absent. He called out, “Hello! Tom, Larry, where are you?” but there was only silence. Jim figured they must be inside the saucer so he dropped his backpack near the ramp and began unpacking the food and batteries. He still felt a little unsettled with the discovery and was mulling over the possible consequences to his career. Deep in his own thoughts, he failed to notice the low-pitched whirring sound, emanating from the saucer. He stood at the bottom of the ramp and called to his companions again. “Hello! Can you guys hear me?”
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To his surprise, the ramp abruptly closed. Now he was alert and fully aware of the whirring sound. He backed away from the ship and noticed the ships outer skin changing color. No, it was glowing. As whirring sound grew louder, Jim shifted into full panic mode and turned to distance himself from the saucer. He ran nearly fifty yards and was aghast to see his shadow appearing in front of him. Sliding to a stop, he spun around to glimpse at the ship, but by now its outer skin was too bright to look at. He looked down, put his hand over his forehead to protect his eyes, and slowly backed away from the saucer. The whirring sound changed to a rumbling growl and then shifted into a whining scream. He knew he had to put more distance between himself and the saucer! * Inside the ship, Larry stood gazing upwards through the transparent dome. He could clearly see the cavern ceiling above the ship and noticed an intense light illuminating the overhead stone. Then he felt a slight shudder as the ship swayed back and forth. My God, he thought, this things hovering! Larry wanted to run, but he was overcome with awe, for he understood that the same force which powered the universe was now feeding unlimited energy to this ship. The whirring sound abruptly turned into an unholy scream, forcing Larry from his trance. He tried to run, but tripped and fell backwards, landing on the floor between two seats. As he looked up through the translucent dome, terror filled his heart, for the stone ceiling was descending upon the ship! It’s a cave in! No, the saucer is ascending! It’s going to crash into the stone ceiling! He wanted to warn Tom, but he could make no sound. The ship accelerated upwards; there was no time to react. In one move, Larry rolled onto his side and curled himself into a ball. He screamed as the saucer slammed into the ceiling! Death had come to claim his soul! Larry never heard the crash or the explosion that never came. For the saucer had passed through three hundred feet of solid rock and was now hovering nearly two miles above the Earth. Trembling like
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a leaf in a storm, Larry tried to stand. He grabbed hold of the seat to his right and struggled to steady himself. The light on the flight deck had dimmed, and the only sound in the control room was a gentle hum. He looked up at the dome and saw a starry sky above. Then he remembered, Tom! “Good God!” cried Larry. “Tom, are you all right?” There was no answer. Larry looked around the flight deck but Tom was gone. He wondered if perhaps Tom had escaped before the saucer took off. He glanced around the central platform and spotted Tom lying in one of the reclined seats. “Tom, are you all right?” he asked again. Larry quickly made his way to Tom’s side and called out, “Tom!” But Tom was unconscious and unable to respond. He grabbed Tom’s arm and gently pulled on it. “Tom, wake up!” Tom stirred, and then his eyes flashed open to see Larry looking down on him. “Are we dead?” Larry tried to smile, “No, we’re not dead. You must have fainted. Are you ok?” “Yeah, I’m a little shaky, but I’m ok?” “How did you end up in this seat?” Larry asked. Tom shook the cobwebs from his thoughts. “All I remember is everything was fine. You were looking at some of the panels, so I sat here to relax. The next thing I knew whiz, bam, wham, and the ceiling came down. I went out like a light.” Larry’s face suddenly flushed red with anger and he shouted at Tom, “You fool! I told you not to touch anything! Obviously, you’re the one who started this thing flying. Do you have any idea what you have done? We are in deep, deep trouble here!” Tom winced at Larry’s reaction but quickly pushed it aside as he looked up towards the dome and saw the night sky. “Where are we?” Larry looked up to gaze at the stars. “We’re hovering several thousand feet over Mammoth Cave, and I have no idea how to fly this ship. You wouldn’t happen to be certified to fly an alien craft, would you?”

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Tom looked away. He was ashamed and embarrassed. Larry had warned him not to touch anything, and now they were probably going to die in a fiery crash. “I’m sorry Larry. I just forgot.” Larry took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “All right, what’s done is done, but could you please, very carefully, get out of the seat before something else goes wrong?” Larry extended his right hand to help Tom out of the seat. “What are we going to do?” asked Tom. “I have no idea.” Tom looked out through the transparent dome. “Hey, I think we’re going down!” “Oh no, I hope it’s a soft landing.” * Jim threw himself face down onto the cavern floor, anticipating the saucers imminent crash into the stone ceiling, but an unexpected silence suddenly filled the cavern and the intense light vanished. He stood to his feet and peered towards saucer, but it was gone. The work lights were still lit and pointing to where the saucer had sat, but there was no saucer. The fine layer of cave dust, which had covered the saucer, was now a choking cloud. Astonished, Jim pointed his flashlight at the ceiling, but the stone was pristine. No burn marks, no scorch marks, no nothing, and no friends. He called out for Larry and Tom, but the only sound he could hear, was the echo of his own voice. Jim walked back to where the saucer had been sitting. “What on earth happened?” he whispered. He covered his mouth with his shirt collar to keep out the dust and stood quiet for several minutes while he struggled to understand what he had just witnessed. Where was the ship? What happened to Tom and Larry? Are they all right? His brain reeled as a thousand questions overwhelmed his thoughts, and Jim knew that he was about to lose his mind. His body quivered as he stared at the cavern floor in silence. A loud screaming shattered the stillness as the darkness suddenly turned to day. Jim glanced up and immediately knew what was happening. The saucer was returning, and he was about to be crushed!
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In an act of desperation, he ran as fast as he could to get out from beneath the descending disk. As the saucer cleared the cavern ceiling, the screaming whine shifted to a deep whirring sound, and the ship slowly descended to a hover a few feet above the cavern floor. It paused for several moments and then the landing gear extended as it settled ever so gently to the cavern floor. The bright aura surrounding the ship faded as the whirring sound subsided. Jim ran to the saucer to open the ramp, but he didn’t have a chance to touch it, for it began to open on its own. As the ramp descended, Larry and Tom poured out of the saucer and hit the ground running. “Hey, where are you going?” Jim called after them. Tom and Larry stopped and turned to face Jim. “We’ve had enough excitement for today!” shouted Larry. “Amen to that,” said Tom. “My God! I thought you guys were dead! Aren’t you going to tell me what happened?” Larry shook his head. “We’ll tell you all about it on the way home.”

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Paulus was upstairs preparing for bed when he heard a commotion at the front door. He put his robe on and went downstairs to find Larry, Tom, and Jim in the kitchen, pulling leftovers from the fridge. “Good evening gentlemen. Can I make you snack?” asked Paulus. “No, it’s late,” said Larry. “We’re fine, thank you.” “Ok, but don’t hesitate to call me if you need anything. I’ll be in my room. Call me if you need me.” Paulus returned to his room and settled into bed with a book he’d borrowed from Tom. Jim gnawed on a cold chicken leg as he took a seat at the kitchen table. “All right, you guys. You’ve had enough time to simmer down. Now tell me what happened when the saucer took off?” Larry held his hands up as if to surrender. “Ok, but first I have something to say to Tom.” Larry turned to Tom “I’d like to apologize for my emotional outburst. I was frightened and…” “Don’t give it a second thought,” Tom interrupted. “It was my fault. You were right, we could have been killed. I should be apologizing to you.” “That’s not necessary.” “All right, I’ve had enough suspense for one night!” exclaimed Jim. “What happened?” Larry shook his head as he let out a long sigh. “After you went for supplies, we decided to explore the saucer. We made our way to the ships upper dome section, where we discovered the flight deck. “My attention was focused on some of the equipment, and I didn’t notice that Tom had decided to take a break. There are twelve reclined seats that circle around a central control station. Anyhow, Tom sat in one of the seats…” Larry paused and looked to Tom. “Why don’t you tell him what happened.”
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Tom leaned forward in his seat and placed both of his elbows on the kitchen table. He rubbed his eyes and looked across the table at Jim. “Brother, it was unbelievable. Larry told me not to touch anything, but at the time, I really didn’t see any harm in taking a break in one of the seats. Larry was engrossed with the gizmos along the wall, so I figured to relax and let him study them without any interruption from me. Big mistake! I really don’t remember touching any controls, but apparently I did.” Tom paused as he tried to recall exactly what happened.“ I’ve got to be honest. I really don’t know what happened. There was a whirling sound, a screeching noise, and then there was a bright light. The last thing I remember was looking up and seeing the cavern collapse onto the saucer. Man, I was scared. I guess I fainted.” Tom swallowed hard and shook his head slowly. “The next thing I know, Larry was tugging on my arm and yelling. I looked up and saw the night sky.” Jim interrupted. “Wait, how could you have seen the cavern ceiling? Is there a skylight or window on top?” “No. The entire upper portion of the dome became transparent. It was really weird. Larry and I could see the stars through the dome.” “Ok. So how on earth did you two geniuses land the saucer?” “We didn’t,” said Larry, chuckling. “Well who did?” “We don’t know how, but when Tom got out of the seat, the saucer hovered a few seconds and then returned to the cavern.” Jim scrunched his nose. “The saucer landed itself? Maybe there is some sort of auto-pilot built into the saucer, but I still have a question. How did the saucer pass through several hundred feet of rock as if it were moving through air?” Larry nodded. “I’ve given that a lot of thought. I believe the saucer can temporarily shift out of phase with our dimension. This would allow it to ignore the laws of physics which govern our universe. What I mean is, when the saucer enters subspace, our physical laws no longer apply, and it can pass through solid matter. The loud screaming noise we heard must be vibrations which are triggered when this sort of dimensional shift occurs.”
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Jim hit himself on the side of his head and exclaimed, “Oh! I should have known!” “Yeah, Jim, it was as plain as the nose on your face,” said Tom, chuckling. The trio broke into a chorus of nervous laughter for several moments. “All right,” said Larry, as he regained his composure. “We’re in agreement that we need to keep this quiet. Right?” Jim and Tom were still struggling to control their laughter but nodded in agreement. “Ok then, here’s the plan. I have a friend, Bob Hicks. He’s been involved in some of our country’s most secret projects. I’d trust this guy with my life. If it’s all right with you, I’d like to get him out here to give the equipment a thorough exam.” Jim nodded. “Hey, buddy, you do whatever you feel is best. This secret hush-hush stuff is out of my league.” Larry reached for his cell phone. “All right, I’ll call him right now. I know it’s late, but I’m sure he won’t mind.” Larry dialed the numbers and waited in silence as the call went through. “Bob, this is Larry Johnson. Sorry to call you so late at night, but I’ve got something that’ll change your life.” There was a moment’s pause as Bob Hicks looked at the clock on his night stand. “Larry, I was dreaming about this nice girl I met today. Do you know what time it is?” “Yes, I know, but you’ll be thanking me for calling you. I promise.” Bob sat up and threw his legs over the side of his bed, “What do you have?” “I can’t say anything on the telephone. Can you fly out to my place in the morning?” There was a long pause as Bob tried to clear his brain. “If anybody else had asked me to drop everything and come running, I’d say no, but I know you, and I know you’re not one to cry wolf. I’ll be there.” “I promise you’ll thank me for letting you in on this one.” “I’ll be flying my Beechcraft Baron. Is your landing strip in good shape?”
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“You know it is, and the weathers been nice and dry. Don’t worry; your plane won’t get muddied up, like the last time.” “I’ll be there before noon.” “I’ll see you then. One more thing. Say nothing to no one, and I mean no one.” “I understand.” Larry hung up the phone and looked to Jim, “I must say, he took that quite well. He should be here around noon.” “Just curious, who is this guy,” said Jim? “Bob and I go way back,” Larry explained. “We’ve worked on a lot of projects together, and over time, we’ve become good friends. He’s a straight shooter and tough as nails.” The late night meeting was interrupted by a creaking sound from the hard wood floor as Paulus entered the kitchen. “Sorry to interrupt your meeting, but I hear a late night snack calling my name.” Larry chuckled. “Go for it.” Jim looked to Larry and gestured towards Paulus, but Larry smiled. “We don’t have to worry about Paulus. He didn’t come to me through some temp service. In fact, he has a higher security clearance than most of the people that I’ve worked with. You can relax. He’s ok.” Jim chuckled. “Paulus, you seem to be a mystery.” “Paulus is more than my personal assistant. This manservant routine was his idea, and he is pretty good at it. It’s a good cover. The truth is, he’s an Aikido Master, an x-navy SEAL, and he serves as my bodyguard. Believe me, he’s no one to trifle with.” “Jeepers,” said Tom. “I would have never guessed. Never in a million years.” Tom and Jim couldn’t help but stare at Paulus as he finished making himself a snack of milk and toast. Though he heard them talking about him, Paulus remained silent and then turned and smiled. “Good night gentlemen.” Jim continued to stare at Paulus as he exited the kitchen. “Humph, I never suspected. How could I have missed that?” “Don’t take it personal.” said Larry. You weren’t supposed to know.”

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Jim glanced at his watch, “I know it’s late, but I’ve got to call my wife. Don’t worry. I won’t say anything about the alien stuff. I just want to tell her that I may be here a little longer than expected. I’ll make up some excuse. If I did tell her about any of this, she would be at the front door before sunrise.” “You go ahead and call your wife, but I’m going to bed,” said Larry. Tom pushed away from the table. “Me, too.” Jim pulled his cell phone from his waist. “I’ll be along in a few minutes.”

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It was well after 9:00 a.m. when Tom awoke. He glanced at the clock on the night stand and couldn’t believe how late it was. Jim was nowhere to be seen so Tom headed straight for the shower. The water was cold so he hurried to finish. He got himself dressed and then made a beeline for the breakfast table with hopes that Paulus had saved him some food. Larry and Jim were sitting at the kitchen table when the creaky old floors alerted them to Tom’s approach. Tom entered the kitchen and waved to Larry. “Good morning.” “Good morning, sleepyhead.” “Sorry for sleeping in so late.” Larry smiled. “We had a very exciting time yesterday. It’s only natural for the mind to want to recoup. Come, grab a seat. Paulus saved some hotcake batter for you and there’s some extra bacon on the stove.” “We’re not going anywhere till Bob arrives, so relax,” said Jim. Tom slipped into a chair next to Larry. “Mmm, that coffee smells good. By the way, where is Paulus?” “He’s right behind you,” said Larry, chuckling. “Are you sure you’re awake?” Tom twisted around in his seat. “Oh, sorry, Paulus, I didn’t see you.” “No problem. Would you like some breakfast?” “I sure would. That is, if it’s not too much trouble.” Paulus placed a cup of hot coffee on the table and slid it in front of Tom. “It’s no trouble.” “Thank you,” said Tom as he raised the cup to his lips and sipped the hot liquid. “Oh man, that hits the spot. Has there been any word from your buddy, Bob?” Larry stood and walked to the end of the kitchen counter where an aircraft transceiver was monitoring a special frequency for small airports. “When he gets close enough, he’ll call us on the Unicom
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channel. I have several remote speakers around the house. We’ll hear him.” Tom glanced at the small transceiver. “Hmm, I thought that was a CB radio.” The men finished breakfast, and Larry led his guests to the front porch for some quiet conversation. As the chat ensued, it became apparent that Jim was somewhat despondent over the whole affair with the alien craft. “Look, fellas, I don’t mean to put a damper on what we’ve discovered, but I’ve seen too many well meaning scientists fall into ridicule for upsetting the status quo. This is why I’ve always avoided anything that could get me labeled as a maverick.” “I understand where you’re coming from,” said Larry. “Don’t worry. If or when this goes public, I promise to keep your name out of it. Let me explain my position. During my career, I have witnessed the cover-up of inventions and discoveries for profit’s sake. Large corporations will sometimes purchase the patent rights on a discovery and then sit on them to stifle competition. The military industry is a good example of the same behavior. I’ve seen truly good designs, thwarted in the name of national security. I understand the need for secrecy and security, but too often, the cloak of national security stifles advances that could benefit all man kind. “Over the years, I have quietly developed a plan and patiently waited for the right opportunity to present itself. Now that it’s here, I’m not about to give it up. “The potential benefits to all of humanity are staggering. Think of the benefits to humanity if we play this right and get this technology into the public domain. The scientific advances would be staggering, but my main goal is to bring this energy technology to the free market. We can patent this technology and then license it for manufacture. I would never want to sell the patent rights to any single company. This technology is the key to a golden future for all humanity, and I don’t want it to slip away.” *

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It was twelve minutes after eleven, and the men were still on the front porch when the aircraft transceiver crackled to life. “Excuse me, but that’s Bob calling,” said Larry as he hurried to the kitchen. He grabbed the microphone and keyed the transmitter. “Hey, Bob! Good to hear your voice. The winds are calm, and the field is clear. Come on in, buddy.” The drone of aircraft engines accompanied Bob’s voice through the speakers, “Roger that. Paulus, if you can hear me, I’m looking forward to your special blend of coffee.” Larry extended the microphone towards Paulus and keyed the transmitter. Paulus grinned and said, “I’ll put on a fresh pot, just for you!” Minutes later the Beechcraft Baron touched down on the grass strip, and Bob guided the craft to a spot along side of Jim’s Skymaster, where he killed the engines. As he climbed out of the Baron, he could see Larry’s pickup truck bouncing across the field. Larry slowed to a stop along side of the Baron and exited the truck. “Hey, buddy! It’s good to see you!” exclaimed Larry. As the two men shook hands, Bob noticed Tom and Jim climbing out of the pickup. “Looks like you’ve got company.” Larry turned to face Jim and Tom. “I want you to meet two friends of mine. They’re a couple of professors from Brooklyn College of Natural History. This is Professor of Archaeology Jim Flanagan and Professor of Anthropology Tom Nellings. “Bob is a nuclear physicist. He also holds a degree in Astrophysics, and he spent ten years with the Department of Energy. He currently works at Michael Air Force Base, in Utah.” After introductions and handshakes all around, Larry patted Bob on the back. “Bob, these professors are regular guys, so just call them Jim and Tom.” “It’s good to meet you. You can call me Bob or Hicks. I answer to both and a few other names that I won’t mention.” Larry snickered. “Yeah, he answers to some names that I wouldn’t care to repeat in mixed company.”

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The men laughed as Bob opened the cargo hatch and passed a suitcase to Larry. After Larry tossed it into the back of the pickup, Bob pitched him another suitcase and closed the hatch. Larry tossed the second suitcase into the pickup too and called out, “Let’s go boys! Paulus has plenty of refreshments for us.” Bob looked to Larry. “I was glad to hear that Paulus is still with you. I guess he’s going to stay on through your retirement.” “Are you kidding? I’d be lost without him. He keeps me on the straight and narrow and who else would put up with me? If I’d been married all of these years, I’d have someone telling me that my priorities were all wrong. On the other hand, Paulus has been a real blessing, and as you already know, he’s a great cook.” Bob chuckled. “Now that is a good point.” They piled into the truck and drove back to the house where Jim and Tom retreated to the sunroom while Larry and Paulus settled Bob into an upstairs bedroom. Tom took a sip of iced tea and shot Jim a thoughtful look, “So, are you ok with our situation?” “To tell you the truth, I wish I’d never heard of Mammoth Cave. This is going to turn our worlds upside down.” “Maybe so, but you’ve got to admit it’s the discovery of a lifetime.” Jim looked Tom in the eye. “I don’t want this kind of excitement. In fact, I’m thinking of finishing up here and going back home. Don’t worry; I wouldn’t give away our secret.” “What are you saying? Come on, Jim, you could use some excitement in your life. Embrace it, and one day you’ll look back on this as a great adventure.” Jim’s face flashed with anger. “Don’t you get it? I don’t need an adventure! I’m not Indiana Jones, I’m a college professor. I’ve got a good marriage, I love my work, and I don’t want to lose any of that.” “I understand what you’re saying, but think about the possibilities. Think of the good that could come from unlimited energy and planetary exploration.” Jim responded with silence and stared at the floor, but Tom persisted.
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“Think about this. If and when they figure out how this stuff works, you know they’re going to get around to exploring the solar system and beyond.” Tom leaned to one side in an attempt to get Jim to look at him. “At some point they’re going to need archaeologists up there. Now tell me you wouldn’t like to be the first to discover a prehistoric civilization on Mars or some other planet.” Jim’s eyebrows rose and he managed a little smile. “I never thought of that.” “Maybe you should quit sulking and consider the possibilities. You know, expand your mind. There’s a lot more to this world than our work at the college. Sure, we go on a dig now and then, but it’s always about the college and our careers. This is one chance in a lifetime, maybe a hundred lifetimes. Don’t throw it away because of the personal inconvenience it might bring.” Jim slowly nodded in agreement. “Maybe you’re right.” Tom handed Jim a glass of tea. “There is an old saying, and I know you’ve heard it: sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees.” “You’re right. Thanks. I guess I really should hang in here and see where this goes.” “That’s more like it.” Their conversation was interrupted with the sound of laughter as Larry and Bob entered the sunroom. “Well, did you get Bob settled in?” asked Tom. “Yes, we took very good care of him,” said Larry. Bob took a seat in a wicker chair and looked to Jim and Tom. “So, how did a couple of college professors get mixed up with the likes of Larry Johnson?” Jim shook his head and glanced at Larry. “You want to tell him?” Larry took a seat next to Bob. “Jim and I go way back, but he’s here today because of his work. His college has sent him and Tom out here to investigate some artifacts at Mammoth Cave. They’ve been doing this kind of work for years.” “Ok, but . . .”

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“Wait, let me finish. They’ve discovered some ancient tablets that have no business being on this continent. In fact, the hieroglyphs originated in ancient Mesopotamia.” Bob leaned forward. “Now that is interesting, but that’s not why you called me.” “No, if it was just the tablets, we definitely wouldn’t have called you. By the way, you did keep this trip off the record. Didn’t you?” “Don’t worry. I told them I needed to get away for a few days. They think I am visiting a friend, nothing more.” Larry poured a glass of tea and handed it to Bob. “Jim and Tom have discovered a hidden cavern in the Mammoth Cave. I mean, several thousand years ago, the entrance to this cavern was intentionally covered over. That’s where they found a chamber and the tablets, but they also discovered a second hidden passageway that leads to an immense cavern.” Larry paused to pour himself a glass of tea, “I’d rather not tell you what they found in the cavern. Even if I did, I don’t think you’d believe me.” “What you mean is that you’d rather not tell me?” Larry sipped his tea and gazed at his friend. “I mean I’d rather show you what they found.” “Oh come on. Don’t tease me like that. You’ve got my attention. Surely you can tell me or at least give me some sort of hint.” “I will tell you this much. They’ve discovered several ancient artifacts that are definitely not of this world.” Bob’s eyes bulged as he stared at Larry. “You’re killing me here! This isn’t fair. I flew down here on your word, and now you’re teasing me. Come on Larry, don’t do this.” Larry reached out and placed his hand on Bob’s shoulder. “Patience, my man. So help me God, you won’t regret coming here today.” Bob exhaled slowly. “Whew. Coming from you, I’ll accept that, but please, I’m only human. This had better be good.” A broad grin spread across Larry’s face. “Thanks, Bob. Let’s get some lunch, and we’ll take you to the site.”

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The men were about to enter the Alpha site when Larry called ahead, “Hold up, Jim! I want to show Bob how this cavern was hidden for God knows how long.” Larry shined his light on the large boulder that had kept the entrance hidden for untold ages. “This boulder used to cover the entrance to that cavern, but it came loose during a minor earth tremor. If you look closely, you can see it’s been shaped to fit precisely into the entranceway.” Bob examined the boulder and then turned to inspect the entranceway, “You’re right… and if you look close, you can see the entrance has had some tooling along the edges. Hmm.” Larry shined his light into the cavern. “Ok, Jim, lead on.” Jim entered the cavern and walked straight to the stone monolith. As the men gathered beside him, Tom began to explain the significance of the monolith. “We found several tablets and wall carvings in here, but this monolith is the kicker. It tells a story of Lord Enki, who was an ancient god of the Mesopotamian region. It also refers to a Chamber of Fate and a Tablet of Destiny. These references are right out of some of the ancient Sumerian records.” Tom pointed to the lower half of the monolith. “Down here it makes reference to Lord Marduk’s celestial chariot. I haven’t had time to do a complete translation, but there’s a lot of history carved into this stone.” Jim stepped to the right side of the monolith and looked to Bob as he pointed to the circular wall carving. “As you see, this wall carving represents a hand, but watch closely.” Jim placed both hands on the carved image and pushed hard. The carving slid backward with a metallic clunk and the monolith opened. Bob took a quick step back. “Wow! Now that’s cool!” Larry chuckled. “If you like that, wait till you see what’s behind door number two.”

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Jim led them through the long narrow tunnel and into the massive cavern. “Whew, this is really huge!” exclaimed Bob. Tom shined his light at the ceiling and then into the darkness ahead. “It’s the largest cavern I’ve ever seen. Follow Jim. It’s just a little further.” Jim moved on until the dome structure came into view and then stopped to wait for the others to catch up. Bob came from behind and stood next to Jim. “What on earth?” “We call this the Beta site,” said Larry as he took the lead and approached the dome. When he got to within ten or twelve feet of the structure, he stopped. “I’ll let you do the honors Bob.” “You’ll let me do what honors?” “Just walk over to the structure.” Bob looked at the dome and rubbed his chin. As he approached the dome, a doorway suddenly appeared, and the door slid quietly into the wall. Cautious, Bob peered into the structure, “What is it?” “That’s what we mean to find out,” said Larry As Bob stepped into the structure, he heard a hissing sound and saw tiny sparks flashing around his arms. Startled, Bob jumped forward, spun around and began smacking at the sparks, but they were gone. “Ye gad! What on earth was that?” Larry broke into animated laughter, mimicking Bob’s reaction to the sparks, “Sorry, I should have warned you, but you were entertaining.” “That wasn’t funny. I thought I was on fire. What was that?” Larry composed himself as best he could. “It seems to be some sort of electronic cleaning field. You’ll notice that there is no dirt or dust inside of the structure. In fact it’s like a clean room.” As Bob turned to scrutinize his surroundings, the walls took on an eerie greenish glow. “I was about to ask where the light switch was located.” Larry entered the dome and moved to Bob’s side. “I strongly advise against touching any of the equipment. We’ve already had one bad experience.” “What do you mean? What happened?”
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“I’ll tell you later. Right now, I’d like to point out a few things about this structure. First, it’s sitting on solid rock, and there are no power cables feeding electricity in from the outside.” Larry moved towards the structure’s central tower. “Come and look at this.” Bob moved in close as Larry pointed to an active data screen. “Do you recognize anything on the screen?” Bob leaned in for a closer look, and then whispered, “What the…” With raised eyebrows, he turned to look at Larry. “Do you know what this is?” “I’ve got a pretty good idea.” “Ok. I’m all ears. What is it?” “This dome has obviously been here for several thousand years. It has its own power source, and this equipment is definitely not from Radio Shack. All of the facts define this structure as alien, but what’s most intriguing is the power source.” Bob’s eyes returned to the data screen. “What do you think?” “I know I haven’t given you all of the facts, but if you’ll bear with me, I’ll lay it out for you.” Bob nodded. “Ok.” Larry pointed to the data screen. “I believe this central tower houses a true Zero Point Energy Module, and it’s been quietly providing power to this facility for thousands of years.” Bob’s eyes grew larger. “How sure are you about this?” “I’d say I’m one hundred percent convinced that this station is powered by a Zero Point Energy Module. This is the holy-grail of energy research.” “You’ve definitely got goose bumps crawling up my back,” said Bob, turning to look at the equipment stationed along the outer wall. “You say there’s more?” Larry looked at the entranceway. “Ah, yes but it’s not here.” He motioned for Bob to follow him. “Let’s move on to the Gamma site.” “What? There’s another structure?” Larry grinned. “Well, yeah, sort of.” “Come on Larry, quit the teasing. What do you have?”

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Tom and Jim were standing outside of the doorway as Larry and Bob exited the structure. Larry looked at Jim and asked, “You want to take us to the Gamma site?” Jim ignored the bewildered look on Bob’s face. “Follow me, gentlemen.” They continued on in a single file with Bob in quiet awe. At age 45, Bob has been around some of the nation’s most advanced military projects, and he knew the military would do anything to get their hands on something like this. Bob respected the military but he’s aware of a fanatic fringe within the military who answered to no one. He completely understood Larry’s insistence on secrecy. Jim spotted the faint silhouette of the saucer and stopped. “This is it!” The men came forward and stood at Jim’s side. Bob strained to see the large object outlined in the darkness. “What is it?” “I think you’ll want to see for yourself,” said Larry. Larry, Jim, and Tom stood back and watched as Bob walked slowly toward the object. He moved ahead about fifteen yards and suddenly stopped. Everyone stood in silence and watched as Bob’s light began to quiver. They let him be until finally he slowly turned around and whispered in a small, shaky voice,, “Holy Mother of God.” He tried to join the others, but his legs were overloaded with adrenaline and his brain was reeling. “Are you guys pulling my leg?” Larry smiled and answered softly, “It’s for real, Bob.” Bob turned to face the saucer and stood motionless. “Now I understand why you didn’t tell me everything. I would have laughed in your face.” He slowly edged his way towards the saucer. “Have you examined it?” “We took it for a spin,” said Larry. It took a moment for Larry’s words to register, but when Bob finally realized what Larry had just said, he spun around, his eyes bulging and his voice raised several octaves. “You did not!” “I’m serious. Tom and I took it for a spin. We didn’t go far. We just took it up to ten thousand feet or so and hovered for a few minutes over the park.” “What are you saying? Do you mean to stand there and tell me that you just climbed on board and fired this thing up?”
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Larry was savoring the moment. “That’s exactly what I’m telling you.” Bob pointed his light at the cavern ceiling. “Oh come on. How did you get it out of the cavern?” “I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I believe the saucer can slide in and out of our dimension. What I mean is the saucer will temporarily shift out of phase with our dimension. It actually enters subspace, allowing it to pass through solid matter. The process is a little noisy, but it works.” “God all mighty!” whispered Bob. “You’re telling me the truth, aren’t you?” “I got no reason to lie to you, but I have to admit it was fun watching your reaction when you first saw the saucer.” “I’ll bet it was. You always did have a perverted sense of humor.” Tom chuckled. “Don’t feel bad. We all needed a shot of oxygen when we first saw this thing.” Bob looked to Larry with a childlike anticipation and asked, “Can I look inside?” Larry smiled. “I thought you’d never ask. Follow me.” He led Bob to the saucer and pressed the sensor to lower the ramp. A hissing sound emanated from the saucer as the ramp opened. “Ah, just one thing Bob.” “What’s that?” “Don’t touch anything.”

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Chapter 15
Paulus plugged in the coffee pot in preparation for the morning breakfast. He opened a container of fresh eggs and reached for a new package of bacon, but he was only going through the motions. His thoughts were focused on last evening’s conversation concerning ancient astronauts and the astounding discoveries at Mammoth Cave. He was troubled by the eerie connection between last evening’s conversation and the book that Tom had lent him, Slave Species of god. Normally he would refrain from joining in or mixing with Larry’s guests, but this time was different. He wondered if he should voice his concerns during the morning meal, but his thoughts were interrupted when Bob came prancing into the kitchen, whistling a lively tune. “Tweet-tweet-tweet-tweet tweeeet-tweet…” “You seem happy,” said Paulus. “Happy? Yes, I guess I am.” “Would you like some coffee?” “I’d love some. Is Larry up?” “I haven’t seen him, but I’m sure he’s awake, I heard his shower running.” Bob heard the floor creaking and turned to see Jim and Tom. “Good morning.” “Good morning,” mumbled Jim. “Is there coffee, Paulus?” Paulus grinned as he handed a cup to Jim, “You know there is.” “I’ll take some of that,” said Tom. Bob took a seat at the breakfast table. “Come on you two and grab a seat. What do you have planned for today?” Jim looked to Bob. “Tom and I are going to go to the Alpha site and finish our work. I’m thinking we’ll head back home in the morning.” Tom was stunned. He leaned forward and looked at Jim, but Jim ignored him, “We’re going to report the hand tools to the university, but we’ll omit the hieroglyphs from our appraisal. No one needs to know about the tablets. I figure we can store them in the large cavern,
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but the monolith is too big for us to move. I’ll leave that problem with you and Larry. We can always come back for the tablets when the timing is right.” Larry entered the kitchen and headed straight for the coffee pot. “Good morning, good morning.” Bob stood and held his cup out for Larry to freshen. “Jim and Tom are going to finish their work at the Alpha site and head home tomorrow. While they’re closing shop, why don’t you and I make some phone calls?” Larry took a seat at the table. “We’ll make some calls, but what’s this about Jim and Tom leaving?” He looked across the table at Jim. “This is kind of sudden. I thought you were going to stay on for awhile.” Jim shrugged. “No, we’ve got to get back to the university. You and Bob can handle things from here on out. You don’t need to be tripping over two college professors.” Larry sensed an uneasiness in Jim’s voice but decided not to push him, “Can you keep the technology part of your discovery quiet? I mean, with the University.” “No problem. We’ll wind things up today and head back home in the morning.” Tom looked like an abandoned child who had to say something. “Wait! We can’t turn our backs on this technology.” “We’re not turning our backs on anything; we’re turning it over to two people who have the proper credentials to explore this properly. This discovery is definitely out of our league, and I think it’s time for us to step aside. There’s nothing left for us to do here, and we’d only be in the way.” Jim leaned back in his chair and looked to Larry. “You can call us if you need us.” Larry was saddened with Jim’s decision, but he respected it. “I understand. You have your own responsibilities. Just be available if we do need you.” “No problem,” said Jim, glancing at Tom. “Well, let’s get started.”

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Tom stood to his feet but said nothing as he walked out the back door and climbed into the van. Jim rolled his eyes and glanced at Larry. “I’ll see you guys later.” He walked outside and approached the van, mumbling to himself, “It’s going to be a very long day.” Bob watched Jim as he followed Tom to the van. “Tom seems a little upset.” “I can’t say that I blame him.” said Larry. Bob tapped his fingernails in a random rhythm on the table, “Maybe Tom could stay on. I can fly him home whenever he decides to leave.” Larry drew a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “I don’t know. Let them work it out. We’ll play it by ear. Right now, we need to get some people out here.” Bob pulled a small notepad from his shirt pocket and said, “I’m already working on that. I’ve made a small list of people that I feel we can trust.” “Anyone I know?” “Probably.” Bob handed the list to Larry. “We can start making phone calls after breakfast, but we’ll have to be careful. If we get too many people involved, we’re going to have a leak.” “I know.” Larry glanced across the kitchen where Paulus had just finished frying some bacon. “Paulus, would you join us for breakfast?” * Jim and Tom returned to the Alpha sight and began switching on the work lights. “You haven’t said a word since we left the house. Are you angry at me?” Jim asked. “Let’s just say I’m confused. You said that you were going to hang in here, and now you’re packing it in. What gives?” “I know what I said, but I’ve thought it over. I’ve got a wife and a career back home, and that’s what’s important to me. We’ll be ostracized if we go public with this alien stuff. I phoned Pat last night and told her I was coming home. Don’t worry; I didn’t mention anything about aliens. I know you’d like to stay on, but we’d only be in the way. Larry
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will keep us up to date. All we have to do is make a phone call, and he can fill us in.” Tom knew that Jim was right. Their work was finished, but he couldn’t imagine leaving. “You’re right, but I’ve been studying these ancient writings for years and now that we’ve made the biggest discovery of all time, I can’t just walk away. I don’t care about some elitist agenda, and I’m not worried about making waves in someone’s intellectual pond. I have to follow this through!” “I understand where you’re coming from, and I wish I had your courage, but I don’t. If you’re serious about perusing this alien technology, you’ve got the summer off. Why not spend it here?” Tom nodded. “That’s a thought.” “Why not? I’m sure that Larry would be happy to keep you. Just offer some cash for groceries and such.” “All right,” Tom said, feeling much better. “I’ll speak to Larry.” “Good for you.” * Bob and Larry spent hours making phone calls. They needed to entice the best people to join them in developing their newly discovered find, but they had to be extremely careful not to let the cat out of the bag, so they made a cover story. There was going to be a seminar on energy research, two weeks from today, and only a select group of scientists were invited. It would be a three-day seminar, and the selected few were urged to plan on staying for the entire program. Casual wear was mandatory. Larry finished a conversation with the last of the prospective scientists and placed the phone on the kitchen table. “Well Bob, that should do it. You think all of them will show?” “I hope so. We’ve made it sound exciting. If they believe there’s been a real breakthrough in their field of research, they’ll be here.” Larry nodded. “We pumped it up enough to make it sound enticing. Maybe we weren’t exactly telling the truth, but I think they’ll understand our predicament, once they see what we have.”

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“My concern is a leak. Why don’t we put a non-disclosure agreement together and have everyone sign it before we show them the facts?” Larry sat forward in his chair. “Now that’s a good idea. They’re used to signing such agreements, and it just might help to keep a lid on things. At least for awhile.” “You do realize that eventually there will be a leak; there always is.” “Yes, but hopefully not before we get the right information to the right people. Once this kind of technology gets into mainstream corporations, there’ll be no way to stop it. We’ll just have to keep in mind, that after we assemble a team, we’ll need to work as fast as we can.” Bob paused and thought for a moment. “You know, we need to document everything, and we need to keep a backup copy of our work in a safe place.” “Yes, I thought of that too. In fact, that’s where Paulus comes in. He’s our backup. We’ll pass the data to him, and he can put it in a safe place, some place that even we don’t know about.” “That’s good. Paulus is trust worthy, and he can certainly handle himself. Okay, let’s get him in here.”

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The days passed quickly as Bob and Larry work feverishly to prepare for the seminar. They put their heads together and created a detailed report on the theories of Zero Point Energy, and then created documents and leaflets to pass out to the guests. They did all they could to prepare a detailed presentation. Jim had returned home, but Tom stayed on and pitched in to help with the seminar preparations. There was much work to do, and Paulus was no slacker. He and Tom worked together and gathered additional work lights, flashlights, and a mountain of food and supplies for the expected guests. After Paulus felt comfortable with the supplies, he turned his attention to the old farmhouse. His first objective was to prepare sleeping quarters on the second floor. The farmhouse was large, but they still needed more space, so he and Tom worked hard to clean out the attic to make room for several new twin beds. When they were finished, the attic looked like a small military barracks. When the sleeping arrangements were complete, Paulus and Tom wasted no time, in turning the large family room into a meeting hall. They then tightened security with an updated alarm system, which included motion sensors and cameras mounted in key locations in and around the farmhouse. Friday was to be the big day, but Larry got a surprise on Thursday afternoon when a small aircraft landed, unannounced, on the grass strip. He and Paulus climbed into the pickup truck and raced across the field to se who had landed. As they approached the small craft, Larry recognized Johnathan Wheeler, one of the invited guests. Paulus pulled the pickup in close to the plane, and Larry climbed out of the truck. “John, it’s good to see you.” The two men shook hands and Larry turned to inspect the tiny, home-built aircraft. “Is this yours?” “It sure is. I spent three years building this baby, and I never pass up an opportunity to take her out.” “Is it a kit plane?”
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“No, it’s my own design. I don’t like to brag but she’s a dream to fly.” Larry was impressed with the quality of John’s work. “Wow, she sure is a looker. Bob will be drooling all over this baby. Come on, let’s grab your luggage and get you settled in. You’re a bit early but that’s ok, you can help us get ready. As far as I know, everyone is flying commercial, but you always did like to make a big entrance.” John laughed as he tossed his bags into the bed of the truck. “Let’s just say, I’ve got class.” Larry opened the truck’s passenger door. “Climb aboard, John. We’ll get you settled in and put you to work.” * The big day finally arrived, and Paulus was in true form with a hardy breakfast for the new arrivals. As soon as breakfast ended, he directed everyone to the meeting room where Larry and Bob were hastily putting the finished touches on some last minute changes. While everyone was signing in, Paulus made certain that each of the guests signed a non-disclosure form. Larry waited patiently for everyone to sign in and become acquainted. At 9:20 a.m., he invited his guests to find a seat. He then took his position behind the podium, next to a large high definition television set, and motioned for Paulus to close the doors. Before him were some of the brightest minds on the planet. He wondered how they would react to what he was about to share with them. Larry gestured for everyone to quiet down. “If I may have everyone’s attention! I would like to thank all of you for coming to my home. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Doctor Larry Johnson. I hold degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Astrophysics, and I am currently retired, or at least I was until two weeks ago. “I’d like to acknowledge my colleague, Doctor Robert Hicks who holds degrees in Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics, and who is currently working at the Michael Air Force Base in Utah. I could not have assembled this meeting without him, and I’d like to thank him for his leadership.”
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Larry paused as he fumbled with the guest list. “Ok. We’re going to get things started. Let me see, who’s here.” Larry scanned the audience for familiar faces. He new most of the visitors and felt that he and Bob had made some excellent choices in picking the right people. He spotted Amber Wright and was glad to see that she had made it to the seminar. Amber was a former colleague and a top-notch scientist who had many accomplishments in understanding the basic structure of matter. He felt certain that she would join the team. “Some of us are already acquainted with each other, but I’d like to introduce each of you, so just bear with me. There are many prestigious institutions represented here but this meeting is not about institutions so I will simply call you by name and job description or title. As I call your name, would you please stand. “Doctor Nancy Lewis, a Nuclear Physicist who’s work with the fundamental particles of matter and nano devices is well known. “Doctor Johnathan Wheeler. Doctor Wheeler is an Experimental Flight Test Engineer who has worked with some of the most advanced aircraft ever created. “Doctor Charles Wilson. Doctor Wilson is a Particle Physicist with a degree in Electrical Engineering. His research in plasma physics has stimulated enthusiasm and hope for future renewable energy. “Doctor Yoshio Yagi. Doctor Yagi is an Electrical Engineer and a High Energy Physicist. Doctor Yagi has worked in many fields of energy research and is currently working on the cutting edge of renewable energy and energy efficiency. “Doctor Ronald Barry, a Quantum Physicist and well known author. He has many accomplishments in high-energy physics and the basic building blocks of matter. By the way Ron, I have one of your early books. I wonder if you might autograph it for me.” A torrent of laughter erupted and Ron nodded and replied, “I’d be delighted.” Larry waited for the laughter to subside before introducing the next guest. “Let me see. Where was I? Doctor Amber Wright. Doctor Wright is a Molecular Physicist who also holds a degree in Electrical Engineering. She is currently conducting research on high temperature superconductivity and superconducting metamaterials.
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“Doctor Paul White. Doctor White is a Nuclear Physicist who is on the leading edge of pulsed neutron energy research, and I’m told he has just published his first book. “And last but not least, Doctor Phillip McCoy, a Theoretical Physicist who also holds a Doctorate in Computer Science. Doctor McCoy is well known for his work in computational science and information analytics. On a personal note, after the presentation, I’ll be speaking to Doctor McCoy about getting my laptop up and running.” A whispered laughter was heard amongst the small group of scientists and Larry slid the guest list into his pocket. “Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you. Please be seated.” Paulus began passing out nametags to all of the guests, and Larry pointed to his own nametag. “If you’ll notice, I’ve placed my first name at the top of the tag and my last name at the bottom. I’d like everyone to be on a first name basis, so please print the letters of your first name clearly.” Larry waited for everyone to settle down and then held up a blank non-disclosure form. “Each of you has signed a non-disclosure agreement. If you read the agreement, you are aware that by signing this, you are now members of the newly formed, non-profit organization called Zero Point Incorporated. Anything discussed here will remain here. Even our names must be kept secret. You cannot mention a name or any part of any discussion to anyone. As far as the world is concerned, you were never here. There will be severe civil penalties for anyone breaking the rules of disclosure. The reasons for this secrecy will soon be clear. If there is anyone who disagrees with the terms of the agreement, I urge you to leave the room and return to your place of employment. There will be no hard feelings.” A long moment of silence followed Larry’s words, but no one left the room. “Ok, I’ll take your silence as an affirmation to stay on. I’m sure most of you are curious as to exactly why we’ve asked you to attend this meeting. “You’re all aware of the high cost of oil and natural gas and its effects on the global economy. You’re also aware of the food shortages and the many other problems this lack of food has created for poor
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countries. The list of problems that we might talk about is endless, but we’ve invited you here to offer you a chance to be part of the solution to the world’s energy problems. “I’d like to start out by saying that you have been invited to observe and participate in a recent discovery made by two college professors from the Brooklyn College of Natural History, Doctor James Flanagan and Doctor Thomas Nellings. Doctor Flanagan chose not to participate in researching this discovery, but Doctor Nellings is here, and I am going to turn this portion of the introduction over to him. “However, let me say something about Tom Nellings. Two weeks ago, he was supposed to return to his work at the college, but he simply could not turn his back on what he and Doctor Flanagan had discovered. Tom has taken a one-year sabbatical to participate in this venture. He believes that this discovery is important enough to put his career on hold, and with that being said, I’ll yield the floor to Tom.” Larry gestured for Tom to take the podium. “Come on, Tom. Don’t be shy.” Tom made his way to the podium. “Thank you, Larry. I didn’t know I would be speaking today, so you’ll forgive me if I seem unprepared.” Tom rubbed his chin, “Hmm, where do I start? I’ll begin by saying that Jim and I had no intention of making any discovery. We came to Mammoth Cave to do a routine archeological examination of some recently discovered artifacts. However, within a few days, we found ourselves hip deep in a technology that we simply did not understand. Doctor Flanagan and I shared our discovery with Doctor Johnson, and after he inspected the site, he promptly called his colleague and friend, Doctor Hicks. “Overwhelmed by what they saw, they decided to create the nonprofit Zero Point organization and invite some of the brightest and best people they could find, to assist in researching this new technology. That’s why you’re here today. “I am here to offer my service as an anthropologist and translator of ancient languages. This is no small sacrifice for me and in one way or another it will probably end my teaching career, but some things are more important than the individual. It will be up to you to investigate
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the many technical aspects of this fantastic discovery. I know that most of you are currently committed your own research and perhaps you’re pushing the envelope of knowledge, but let me say this; ‘you ain’t seen anything yet.’ “There is much to see and much to learn here. I will be available when you need my professional services. Thank you.” There was a moment of silence when Larry returned to the podium and Tom took his seat. “Thank you, Tom.” Larry faced his small audience. “Ladies and gentlemen, I know that you’re wondering what anthropology or archaeology could have in common with a breakthrough in energy research.” Larry motioned for Paulus to assist him, and together they slid the podium to the right. “Excuse me, but we want to be certain that everyone has a clear view of the television screen.” Paulus handed Larry the remote control for the Digital Video Player, and Larry continued. “We’ve prepared a short slide presentation for you. In it, you will see some, and I stress some of the discovery made by Doctors Flanagan and Nellings. Before I begin the slide presentation I must tell you…” Larry paused and gazed at the audience, “You’re going to see some technology that dates back thousands of years, but hang on, you’re at the doorway of a new age.” Larry pressed “play” on the remote, and a photo of the stone monolith appeared on the television screen. “This stone monolith was discovered several hundred feet under ground, in a hidden cavern at Mammoth Cave. Tom tells me that the hieroglyphs refer to an ancient race of alien visitors called, Anunnaki. The entire content of the stone has not been translated, but it does make reference to certain god-like beings and their celestial chariots.” Larry paused to allow the guest’s time to view the stone. “I know that this archaeological find may not peak your interest, but this stone is actually a doorway and the beginning of our venture. For behind this door is a passageway leading to this.” Larry pressed the remote, and a photo of the dome structure appeared on the screen. “This is a picture of a structure that was discovered behind the stone monolith. It’s sitting in an immense cavern where it’s been in complete darkness for thousands of years.”
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The audience looked on in silence, but Larry noticed signs of intense curiosity on their faces. “Inside of this dome is an array of high-tech equipment that is still powered with electricity, even after sitting undisturbed for thousands of years.” A hushed excitement swept over the audience, and the scientists began talking among themselves; some thought it was a hoax, but others shouted to hear more. Larry held up his hands and gestured for silence. “I know what some of you are thinking, but please stay with me.” He pulled up the next picture, which displayed a wide-angle image of the data screens and control panels located inside of the dome. “This is what we found inside of the structure. As you can see, the panels and screens are still active. Though some are dormant, there is obvious activity on many of the monitors.” A loud outburst erupted, and several of the guests stood to their feet and moved closer to the television screen. Larry remained quiet and allowed them to study the image. He wanted the photo to stir the imagination. Yoshio Yagi knelt in front of the screen and reached out with his hand as if to touch the control panels. “Are you saying this is ancient technology?” Larry grinned. “Oh yes, and there is more, much more.” Yoshio’s eyes remained fixed on the screen. “What exactly is on those screens?” Bob knelt beside Yoshio and placed his arm across Yoshio’s shoulders. “We don’t know what the screens are telling us. The data is displayed in an unknown hieroglyph. Doctor Nellings is only one among us who can translate their meanings.” Bob gestured for Larry to go to the next slide, and a close up view of one of the data screens appeared in front of Yoshio. “My God!” exclaimed Nancy Lewis. “What language is that?” A flurry of questions flew at Larry. He gestured for everyone to calm down, but the noise only grew louder. Finally Larry called out, “Ladies and gentlemen, we will answer your questions in due time! Please be seated!”

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One by one, the scientists returned to their seats, and after several moments of disruptive chitchat, Larry continued, “I can see that we have your attention, but please, let’s simmer down.” The room grew quiet and all eyes focused on Larry. “I knew that these pictures would cause a stir, but let me assure you that this is not a hoax. You will be able to inspect this equipment first hand. After that, you can draw your own conclusions. I realize that you must have many questions, but please allow me to continue. In due time, I’ll answer as many of your questions as I can.” Several of the guests whispered among themselves, but Larry patiently waited for the noise to subside. “If I may, I would like to continue.” He pushed a button on the remote and displayed the final photo. “This next image highlights a column in the center of the dome. You can see it’s not that large, but we believe it is the central power station for the structure. Based on my own inspection, I believe this column contains a Zero Point Energy Module.” “Oh my,” said Yoshio. “Have you completed any testing?” “No. That is why we have invited you folks to this meeting. This is a hand’s on seminar. What I mean is that we are looking for qualified people to investigate and research this equipment. I know that you have careers, but this is an opportunity of a lifetime.” Larry paused to consider his next words carefully. “We currently have no funding. Nevertheless, we are testing the waters for financial support, and eventually there will be a payday. We are offering each and every one of you the chance to partake in this discovery, but before you make any decisions, I’d like you to spend the next few days inspecting some of the equipment.” “Why don’t you apply to the Department of Energy for a federal grant?” said Paul White. Bob hastened to Larry’s side. “Excuse me, but I’d like to answer that. This discovery has the potential to change the course of human history. It may eventually take us to the stars, but if you have ever participated in a government research program, you know that if the military gets a whiff of this, it’ll be classified, and we’ll never see it

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again. We do not want that to happen. We intend to study and research this technology for the benefit of all humankind. “Think of the possibilities, automobiles that run on Zero Point Energy with no exhaust emissions. Homes, with their own independent power source, aircraft that can remain aloft indefinitely, or robotic landers, with unlimited power reserves for exploration to any planet we choose. “During these three exciting days, I’d like you to consider the possibilities. We have a real opportunity to make a difference.” Larry whispered to Paulus, “Go ahead and bring in the refreshments.” He then turned to the audience and said, “Let’s take a thirty minute break and spend some time getting to know one and other. After the break, we’ll take you to the site.”

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Chapter 17
When the visiting scientists made their first trip to the beta site, all of the lingering doubts quickly transformed into unbridled enthusiasm. A day-long flurry of questions, theories, and opinions fueled the excitement, and by evening, most of the visitors had committed themselves to the project. Their reaction was predictable, and Larry was satisfied that he and Bob had chosen the right people. The following day, Larry placed a phone call to an old acquaintance, Allen Duncan, CEO of Global Energy Research and Development. Larry hoped to play on Allen’s keen business sense to obtain the necessary funding for the Zero Point project. Allen was a risk taker, but he was no fool. His eye for opportunity and good business judgment had carried him to the top management position at Global Energy. From there, he commands a multinational group of energy-related corporations and subsidiaries. Larry knew that much would depend on this one phone call. Sitting at his desk, Allen Duncan pondered his next corporate acquisition. Population growth was placing more and more pressure on the world’s energy resources. Speculators were driving the price of oil through the roof, but amid the turmoil, there was money to be made. Diversity was the key in this business, and Allen was riding a wave of recent company takeovers, which positioned Global Energy as one of the largest energy conglomerates on the planet. The potential profits were staggering, but Allen knew this golden opportunity for riches would, one day collapse as the world’s supply of oil dwindled. The feminine voice of Allen’s secretary suddenly blared through the telephone-intercom on his desk. “Mr. Duncan, there is a call for you from Larry Johnson on line two. He say’s it’s very important that he speak to you.” “Thank you. Put him through.” A small light on Allen’s phone flashed as he reached for the receiver. He pressed the button for line two and exclaimed, “Larry, is that really you?”
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“Hey, Allen, it’s really me.” “Gosh, Larry, it’s good to hear your voice. It’s been a while since I last saw you. How have you been doing?” “Actually I’m retired, but that’s not why I’m calling. I’ve stumbled across something that you might be interested in, something worth trillions.” “Oh, what is it?” The phone went silent as Larry considered his choice of words. He wasn’t in the Zero Point project for the money, but he had to play to Allen’s views. “Does the phrase, ‘unlimited energy’ pique your interest?” Allen leaned back in his chair and smiled. He knew there was no free lunch, especially when it came to energy, but he also sensed that Larry might be on to something. “What are you up to, Larry?” “I don’t mean to tease you Allen. I’m serious. I’m offering you first place in a new field of energy that will revolutionize the planet.” The smile on Allen’s face faded when he realized that Larry had something, and more important, he was willing to share it. “What do you have?” “I can’t talk about it on the phone. Just get yourself out to my place as soon as possible, and Allen, I promise you won’t be disappointed.” Allen’s mind shifted into high gear. He knew Larry well enough to know that something was up, something big, and he had no intention of passing up an opportunity. “I’m scheduled for a meeting in DC tomorrow morning, but I think I can postpone it. That is assuming you’ve got something worthwhile.” There was another pause as Larry purposely allowed Allen to dangle. “Tomorrow morning will be fine. I’ll have Paulus pick you up at the airport.” “Great, I hate those car rentals. I’ll phone before landing. Hopefully, sometime before noon.” “See you tomorrow, Allen.” Larry hung up the telephone and whispered, “I knew I could count on you.” *

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The third and final day of the seminar arrived, and Bob escorted most of the visiting scientists to the Beta site, while Larry stayed behind with Tom Nellings and Amber Wright. Larry gathered Tom and Amber onto the front porch to wait for Allen Duncan’s arrival. As they sat around the small table for some chitchat, the conversation eventually focused on a tea stained napkin which contained a scribbled list of necessary equipment to begin their research. Satisfied with their wish list, Amber poured herself a glass of tea and nervously glanced at her watch. “It’s kind of chilly this morning.” Larry grinned. “That’s the fourth time you’ve looked at your watch, in the past five minutes. Don’t worry. Paulus is on his way home with Allen.” “I know. I guess I’m a little apprehensive. There’s a lot riding on this meeting.” “Look, I know Allen; he’s a shrewd business man, a real shark. Once he understands the situation and the potential for profits, I’m confident we’ll get the funding for this project. I’ve seen him in action. When he has a goal, there’s no stopping him.” Tom was staring at the gate at the end of the driveway. “Here they come!” “I told you not to worry,” said Larry. Paulus parked the car in front of the farmhouse and Allen Duncan stepped out. Larry rose out of his chair and greeted Allen with a friendly handshake. “It’s good to see you, Allen.” “Hello, Larry.” “How was your flight?” “Oh, the usual hurry up and wait. You know.” “Well come and join us on the porch. I’d like to introduce you to my guests.” Larry directed Allen to the patio table and a comfortable wicker chair. “This is Doctor Amber Wright. Miss Wright is a Molecular Physicist and this is Doctor Thomas Nellings of the Brooklyn College of Natural History.” “Nice to meet you, Mister Duncan,” Amber said. Allen looked at Amber and smiled. “Please, call me Allen.”
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Tom extended a handshake. “It’s nice to meet you, Allen.” Larry glanced at Paulus. “I assume that Allen has signed the necessary forms.” Paulus nodded. “Yes, we took care of that at the airport.” “Good.” Larry took a seat, across the table from Allen. “Would you like some coffee or iced tea?” “Coffee would be nice.” Larry poured a fresh cup of coffee and passed it to Allen. “I know your time is precious, so I’ll get right to the point. When I phoned you, I mentioned a new technology that will deliver an unlimited source of energy to the world market. You know me, Allen, and you know that I wouldn’t waste your time with some harebrained invention. The technology I’m referring to is way beyond the experimental stage. We have a working model. However, I’m not talking strictly about energy, though that is the biggie. We are in possession of several pieces of hardware that will propel humanity into a new age of technological prosperity. I’m asking for your financial support to help get this to market. The ramifications are broad and the potential for profit is staggering. You’re the first person I’ve called, and I’m hoping you’re the only one we have to deal with. We need facilities and funding to research the full potential of these discoveries.” Allen leaned back and glanced at his watch, “So if I understand you correctly; you have a working power source of unlimited potential, and you need a secluded place to do your research, not to mention the necessary funding. Is that about right?” Larry nodded in agreement. “Let me lay it out for you. Einstein showed us that electrons exist in a constantly changing state of uncertainty. Even in the vacuum of space on the quantum level, energy is randomly turning into matter and back to energy. There are electrons and other particles that blink out of existence, while others randomly pop into existence. This constant fluctuation creates a sort of quantum foam of residual energy, which is dispersed fairly evenly throughout the universe. The residual energy of this interaction is called Zero Point Energy.” Larry held an empty cup in his hands and leaned forward to

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emphasize his next words. “There is enough Zero Point Energy in this empty cup, to boil away the Earth’s oceans” Allen’s eyes widened. “Wow, are you telling me that you can harness this random energy?” “No. I’m telling you that it’s already been done. We are currently in possession of the hardware necessary to send humanity to the stars. Look, Allen, I’m not talking decades, I mean we could go to the stars this afternoon.” Allen sat up straight in his seat. “Hold the phone! You’re saying that this technology has already been proven? You can actually do what you say?” Amber tried to hide her astonishment. Why was Larry telling Allen that we could go to the stars this afternoon? The dome structure was not a space ship, and Larry knew it. “Excuse me, Larry. Perhaps we should show Allen what we have. It would only take an hour or so to visit the site.” “No, I don’t have time for that,” said Allen. I’ve got to be out of here in an hour. I’ll tell you what.” Allen removed a map from his jacket pocket and handed it to Larry. “As you know, I don’t like to leave a stone unturned, especially in business, so I’ve come here prepared. There’s an abandoned military base in Texas. Global Energy acquired the facility over ten years ago. It’s roughly a hundred miles west of San Angelo. I’ve marked it on that map. It’s not easy to find, but it’s there, and it does have an airstrip. That base can provide the seclusion you need.” Allen pulled a white business envelope from his jacket pocket, “This is a letter giving you permission to be on the base, but I should warn you that the facility has been abandoned for years. It’s kind of rough, but I’m sure it will do. I’ll get the electric power turned on as soon as I get back from DC. “Don’t call anyone else for funding. If what you say is true, Global Energy will fund your research. For now, get your equipment setup and call me when you’re ready. I’ll bring the bean counters, and you can make your presentation to them. Don’t let me down.”

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Amber was stunned. She held out a small stack of eight by ten pictures. “We’ve got some photos of the hardware. Would you like to see them?” “No thanks, I’ve got to catch a plane. If Larry Johnson say’s he has an unlimited source of energy, that’s good enough for me.” Allen rose from his seat and shook hands with Larry. “By the way, there’s a check in that envelope. It should be enough to get you started. I’ll arrange to keep you supplied with anything you require, but I need practical results to gain long term funding. I’d love to sit around and talk, but I really do have to be going. Paulus, can you drive me back to the airport?” “Yes sir, right this way.” Allen stood and shook hands with Amber and Tom. “Nice meeting you folks. I’m looking forward to seeing you in Texas.” He skipped down the steps and stepped into the car. Silence settled in as Tom stood on the edge of the porch and watched the car as it disappeared from site. He then turned and gawked at Larry. “What just happened?” Amber laughed aloud. “Boy, that was something!” Larry stared at the envelope in his hand and nodded. “That’s Allen.” He pulled the white permission sheet from the envelope and unfolded it. Just as Allen said, there was a check folded inside with the paper. Larry looked at the amount. His eyes bulged, and he whistled loudly. “Take a look at this.” Amber grasped the check and held it in both hands. “Oh my goodness! This will get us started!” Tom moved next to Amber and stared. “Holy cow, a million dollars!” * It was late afternoon when Larry and Amber entered the family room to hash out the details of moving the equipment to Texas. A sudden commotion coming from the kitchen interrupted their thoughts, and they looked towards the doorway as Bob stepped into the family room. Grinning ear to ear, Bob slipped into the recliner as the boisterous group of scientists began filtering into the family room.
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“What’s all the hubbub about?” asked Larry. Bob laughed. “It’s been a really exciting day!” He attempted to describe his day when a clamor erupted as each of the scientists tried put forth their own opinions and theories on what they had seen. This was fine, but everyone was talking at the same time. Larry stood and listened to the revved-up group for several minutes before holding up his hands and gestured for everyone to calm down. “Ok! I understand your excitement, but I have some good news for you.” He pulled a paper from his shirt pocket, unfolded it, and held it up for all to see. “We have acquired the initial funding for the project. This is a check for one million dollars.” Yoshio leaped into the air and shouted, “This is wonderful! My friends, we are on a course which will revolutionize the planet! At long last, I can see real hope for humanity.” Larry handed the check to Yoshio. “Here, pass it around while I share some more good news. This check is a great start, but there’s more.” The room grew quiet, and all eyes focused on Larry as he pulled a map from his jacket pocket and held it up for all to see. “We’ve been given a facility, and I have a firm commitment from Global Energy to provide additional funding, if and I stress, if they like what they see. So it’s up to all of us to pull together and make this work.” The room exploded with applause, and Bob asked, “What’s our next move, Chief?” Larry paused as he scanned the crowd of eager faces. He wondered how many would actually commit to the project. “Most of you will be returning home, where you must decide if you’re truly willing to pledge yourself to this project. I know it’s going to be a financial hardship for some of you, but once we establish ourselves, the money will be there. I’m hoping to see each of you back here in, shall we say, thirty days? Does that sound like a reasonable amount of time?” Yoshio stepped forward. “Surely you jest! I am ready to commit myself this very moment! This project must prevail!” Bob placed his hand on Yoshio’s shoulder. “I believe you’ve said what most of us are thinking, but those of us who need to return home should do so. Nevertheless, every one of us must remember our pledge
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to secrecy. If the project is to survive, we must have secrecy, at least for now.” Another round of excited chatter began, and there was much talk of how this project would change the world. Most of the scientists were ready to commit themselves; however, some of them would have to turn their current projects over to a colleague or abandon them. These were tough decisions that each of the scientists had to make. For most, it was a no-brainer, but for Doctor Paul White, it was a heart wrenching conflict. He was on the cutting edge of pulsed neutron energy research. It had been a pet project of his for more than a decade, and the thought of walking away from his work was disquieting. * The following morning, Paulus began transporting the scientists to the airport. The first flight was scheduled for 6:10 a.m. As each one of the scientist boarded the van, Larry stood by and encouraged every one of them to return. When the van disappeared from sight, Larry returned to the farmhouse and made his way to the kitchen. He glanced out through the window on the back door and spotted John Wheeler struggling with his luggage as he headed toward the small airfield. Was John planning on leaving without saying goodbye? Doctor Wheeler was loading his bags into the rear compartment of his aircraft, when Larry caught up with him. “John, can I have a word with you before you takeoff?” “Oh. I’m just loading my gear. I’m not quite ready to leave. What’s up?” Larry locked eyes with John. “I couldn’t say anything in front of the others, but we’d like you to stay on. Give us one more day. I know you’re in between projects, so it shouldn’t be an inconvenience for you.” John shot Larry a sly look, “What are you hiding, Larry?” “Last evening, I heard you say that the project has no need for your expertise.”

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“Yes, I don’t see an immediate need for a flight test engineer, but I’d be happy to make a commitment if and when you do need my services.” Larry chuckled. “I’ve got something that I’d like to show you. We are reluctant to show it to the others until we’re certain of their commitment to the project.” Curiosity had always been the fuel for John’s career. He could not resist asking, “What exactly do you have?” Larry hesitated. How was he was going to tell John that they had an alien spacecraft and that they wanted him to fly it to Texas. “Oh my, where do I start? I guess…” Larry took a deep breath. “Sorry, let me start over. I’ll just tell you like it is. We have an advanced aircraft, and we need a pilot.” John laughed aloud. “Well, why didn’t you say so? Where is it?” “Come back to the house, and we’ll talk.” “All right, but it’s going to cost you. I’m hungry.” “Don’t worry John, we’ll feed you. Let me help you with your bags.”

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