A REMARKABLE RETURN
An event which may only be called remarkable occurred on the evening of 15 December 1930. On that cool evening Flight Lt. John Walker Tempest, who had been lost over the Somme battlefield in 1916, walked into British Flight Headquarters just outside of London. He seemed to be walking in his sleep until one of the members in the office walked up to him and grabbed his arm. He instantly woke up to find himself in the office. The last thing he remembered was flying his aircraft over the fields of France 14 years earlier. What was even more remarkable was that he was still in his flying suit and had not aged a day! Lt. Tempest was never able to tell anyone what he had seen or heard as his memories of that flight had been completely erased from his mind. As far as he was concerned he had been on his mission for about half a day.
MORSE CODE MESSAGE FROM A HUMAN ON MARS
When the message first came in no one really believed it had been sent by humans. Yet the message was so personal and so well crafted in English (something a Martian simply could not do) we soon realized that no Martian could have sent this message to Earth. It was picked up by the radio team working with the Mars Watch Program. It should not surprise anyone to learn that the message was not released to the public. We did not want the fact that humans had communicated to Earth from Mars. We had no way of knowing what this would have meant to humans held captive on Mars.
Anyone on Earth who hears this message know that humans have been abducted and taken to Mars. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of captured humans on Mars. Tell those in government. Martians are taking people from Earth, and have been for centuries. Humans are being bred for food and experiments. We are resisting and will continue to do so. Many have died and some have taken Martians with them. Do not stop fighting these things. Fight them at all costs. I and many others will fight to the death. They will return to attack our planet. Be ready to…
It seemed that the individual, who had clearly been abducted from Earth and taken to Mars, did not realize that governments on Earth were fully aware that the Martians had been taking people from Earth for many years. We could take some solace in the thought that we had kept the lid on that disturbing truth. We could also take great pride in the fact that one extremely brave and determined human, with no hope of rescue from Mars, had probably lost his or her life in a desperate bid to tell the people of Earth of the great dangers which lie ahead. This however, would not become public knowledge for years to come. At the proper time the people were told of this event as part of a propaganda effort aimed at Earth’s population just before the outbreak of the Second Martian War. They needed to know that humans were ready to fight no matter what the odds had been.
In mid-1930, after many years of study, Dr. Sigmund Freud (Director L) finally released his study on human and Martian societies. In his Planetary Civilization and Its Discontents on Earth and Mars he argued that the human animal as well as the Martian A species are both natural enemies of tightly organized societies even though Martian society could not be any more controlled than it already was. Freud felt that in the end the Martian society would collapse from within where as humans still had the natural ability to adapt and change themselves and their society. He argued that such a Martian societal collapse was indeed fully underway as shown by the Martian inability to rebuild large areas of their cities and canals. He also argued that by transporting their population to Earth may in fact revitalize the Martians and slow or perhaps even reverse the impending collapse of their species.
In private Sigmund requested that if we were ever able to capture a Martian A and keep it alive for any extended period of time, that he be allowed to, as he put it, “…psychoanalyze one of these ‘individuals’ so as to understand their thinking processes on a higher level.” It was suggested that he put in a request to Tango forces which he did. It did not take long for Tango Command to report that if they got the chance they would deliver a ‘fresh’ Martian to the good Dr. Freud. They did however; add the caveat that the Martian A be interviewed only at one of their fine ‘hotels.’ For security purposes Dr. Freud agreed.
Heat-Ray Gun Test
After many years of small sectional tests (bench tests) and development the team who had worked for so long on a man-made Heat-Ray was ready for a field test. The team had now taken advantage of the few Heat-Ray weapons captured during the attack on Lower-New York. Low power tests had already been conducted with some success, but now Tesla wanted a full scale experiment to, as he said, “tie down some of the outstanding details of the gun.” With this in mind the team packed up their equipment for a trip to White Sands, New Mexico. We no longer needed the site for rocket tests, but it was still a good out of the way facility for testing most-secret devices.
The ‘device’ looked more like a composite of just about every shape and size of metal and wire one may have ever seen. It was truly difficult to know which end was which and where one was to point the silly looking thing. I for one had no idea, which seemed to be an area of pure delight to Dr. Tesla. And even when he pointed to the “business end of the device” I simply could not make heads or tails of the damn thing, which was alright with me because I was not going to be the one who fired it! With that I took out my notepad and began making notes.
The four-foot block of metal with its many ‘systems’ bolted to it had several thick wires leading away from the test stand. The main power cable ran from one side (so the good doctor said) to a power generator (Tesla coil) 100 yards away. When the time came Tesla gave the order and one of his assistants opened the switch which sent a strong electrical current surging towards the device. At first nothing seemed to happen, but before long we could see a faint glow around the device. Then in a flash a white-hot beam of light streamed away from the ‘front’ of the test stand. When the beam hit the target wall constructed of steel and concrete in its path the wall began to glow and then suddenly flow like magma from a volcano. Within seconds the beam had penetrated the six-foot thick wall. At that point the device began to make a loud vibrational noise and it exploded in a very loud white-hot flash. To say the least most of those watching the test threw themselves to the ground. All that is accept Tesla who seemed to be smiling! When I finally got up and dusted myself off I had a little chat with the good Mr. Tesla.
“Nicola, what in hell are you smiling about? The damn thing just exploded!”
“Yes my friend, it did exactly as I expected.”
I could not believe what I was hearing.
“What! You knew the bloody thing would explode?”
“Of course. You see this is only a crude bench model designed and built to test the maximum capability of the beam. It was not built for sustained operations. I needed it to explode in order to test how much energy I could put into the system before it overloaded and, well, exploded. Now I know. From this point on I will be able to develop and produce a working field model which of course will not explode.”
I could only stand and shake my head. Working with Tesla was always an adventure, to say the least. As I made out my report to the Committee I had more than one very stiff drink! Working with Dr. Tesla was not good for my nerves or my liver. What I really needed was a vacation, a long one, and as far away from my good friend Dr. Tesla as I could get! In the end I settled for a dinner with my friend Winston who happened to be in town at the time. I must say that I practically hijacked him for the evening. Nevertheless, over a cigar or two I briefed him on some of the work being done in the labs. When I told him about the exploding Heat-Ray and Tesla’s response he had a very good laugh. “Yes. The good doctor does enjoy pulling our legs at times. But it is good that we have him.” We decided to leak out information to the press that a test device had failed (exploded) in a Committee lab. We knew by then that the Martians were well aware of our attempts to produce such a device, but by letting them know we had ‘failed’ was one way of keeping them unaware of our real successes. A New York Times editorial however nearly gave the game away when they reported, “…that a man-made ray is no longer a mere romantic possibility. But it is the secret matter that is of vital importance – the secret held by every star and stone. Truths may be unveiled that we have been seeking ever since we started thinking about the Universe.” It would not be long before the editor had a visit by some of our rather more persuasive members of the Committee. It was ‘suggested’ that he get Committee approval for any future stories of Death-Rays.
MORE DEVICES FROM DR. TESLA’S LABS
Needless to say, Tesla’s “exploding” device was not the only advanced program showing levels of success and frankly I for one, and I suspected many others, were quite astonished at the progress he and his staff were making. Back engineered Martian work coupled with the pure eccentric genus of Dr. Tesla were showing results developing devices we could only have dreamed about not too many years earlier. (My thoughts were that Tesla had dreamed of these devices well before any Martian attack.)
The team had developed a new advanced and much more powerful radar system which could track objects as far away as 150 miles when lifted into the air by bomber aircraft converted into carrying platforms. Using this new device he was soon able to show that there were at times craft in low orbits around the Earth. Most of these “unidentified objects” seemed to be in what the good doctor referred to as “polar orbit.” At the time we could not be certain these objects were Martian or others. One thing we did know was they were not from the hand of man. Dr. Goddard and his staff were fully briefed on these objects.
Along with the radar work came news of a new “radar absorbing material” that the Committee felt would perhaps be very useful in aircraft design. If the Martians deployed a type of radar and could not detect our advanced aircraft then perhaps in the future this new carbon based ceramic material could help our fighters close in on Martian targets before they were ready to defend them.
As far as geologic devices were concerned work was progressing on several designs based upon early experiments conducted by Dr. Tesla at the end of the last century as well as a very close examination of the three Martian devices which had been recovered in the field. Tesla explained that all members of the geologic team were surprised to note that the Martian devices were very simple and close to Tesla’s original designs. One member of his team jokingly asked Tesla if he had been working with the Martians on the side. Tesla in good humor stated that he could not as “the pay was quite below what he was willing to accept for such work.”
The Great Earth Caves Program
The Great Earth Caves program had sent Committee geologic teams around the world under Directorate J looking for as many useful natural underground or surface level caves they could find. Begun in 1914, by the end of 1930 the teams had located, with the help of many local national groups thousands of caves with over 3500 selected as suitable for utilization in the program. As soon as a suitable cave was found work began upgrading it for storage, habitation or both. Many of these natural wonders would serve as temporary bomb shelters with most however, mainly usable for storage and cover for just about any item one cared to mention. Naturally, food, fuels, weapons and ammunition as well as medical supplies were high on the list, but many other less critical items and supplies eventually found their way to these caves.
As offsets for major underground facilities some of these caves were simply reinforced for general habitation expected to be used for extended periods of time, not dissimilar to the tunnels being built under major population centers around the world. Most of the useful caves however, were not located near these major facilities and were therefore considered “stand alone” cave centers. Many of these stand alone caves were used as depots for critical local supplies of food, fuels and drinking water as well as seeds that could be planted locally once hostilities had ended. All of them eventually held at least minimal supplies of medicines, food, water, clothing, blankets as well as stacked sleeping cots. Many also held small numbers of wheeled vehicles including trucks and trailers; weapons and ammunition were also standard fair.
The teams had also found many sea caves of which 48 had been located with useful tunnels open to the sea penetrating from 300 to 800 feet into the Earth and wide enough to allow small surface ships and submarines to enter for protection and re-supply. Work on these sea cave facilities progressed slowly, but by 1930 most had at least been widened, reinforced and internally built up with small docking ports. Seven primary (largest) facilities were located at San Diego, California (Blue 1), Wake Island, Pacific Ocean (Blue 2), Cape Engano, Philippines (Blue 3) and (with special permission) Vladivostok, Russia (Blue 4) in the Pacific; at Portland, Maine (Blue 5) and Freetown, Sierra Leone (Blue 6) in the Atlantic, with a facility at Colombo, Ceylon (Blue 7) off the Indian Ocean. Work on these primary sea cave facilities was expected to be completed by mid 1934. Six months later the Committee added three more facilities at Brisbane, Australia (Blue 8), Santiago, Chile (Blue 9), and Cape Town, South Africa (Blue 10).
In the end these unique facilities would become vital links in support of independent submarine warfare along with many other smaller facilities.
Not the longest or the biggest natural cave system discovered the four caves that made up the Falemauga caves facility was certainly the most complex to be fully developed by Earth forces. It became one of the four primary underground city projects soon after the cave system was discovered in 1914. Located on Upolu Island, Samoa, just six miles west of the small capital of Apia, this Pacific outpost was the most remote large scale primary Committee facility and one we hoped would not attract much attention from the Martians.
Using the small coastal village of Malie, some five miles from the complex, as a “sleepy little port of entry”, the facility could boast four main tunnels as well as eventually showing around 240 manmade side tunnels covering a surface area of nearly seven square miles. Nature had cut wide lava tubes north and south across Upolu which made them strong and ideal for occupation. The southern central tube complex ran 5130 feet underground primarily built up to hold offices living quarters and sleeping cuts. The main northern tubes designated North A, B and C, were better than 14,000, 12,000 and 7000 feet long. These tubes were interconnected, and held just about every type of facility one could find in any small above ground city including three separate hospitals, fifteen dining facilities, several bars, four theaters and two jails. There were of course facilities for the Committee including a rather well appointed office for one permanent and one temporary office for the seated Director; a member of the Magic Twelve. The Directorship of the Upola facility was traded off by the Magic Twelve once every two years.
Primary work on this facility was expected to be completed within the next four years. This work included above ground radar and communication facilities which were very well connected. The look of a small sleepy little Pacific community was well covered by much Committee work.
OTHER CAVE COMPLEXES
Other notable cave facilities in work included Mammoth Cave in the American State of Kentucky with major oil and gas lines running much of its 390 mile length. This system housed millions of gallons of refined fuels in several large storage areas along its length as well as over 100 temporary housing facilities each with its own well hidden surface opening that could in time of war shelter thousands of people from aerial attack.
Jewel cave in South Dakota and Optymislychna Cave system in the Ukraine are examples of deep natural caves re-worked into huge national underground military command and control centers. These underground centers, along with dozens of others around the world, would become critical facilities helping to coordinate their nation’s military responses to Martian attacks. In many places they would become the last outposts able to report on local events in their nations to other military forces still able to fight.
Kazumura Cave in Hilo, Hawaii, made famous during the Second Martian War, was forty miles in length. Built up to house hundreds of thousands of people in relative comfort the cave system also held some of the most well designed combat traps ever built underground in any of the Great Earth Caves. Every 1000 yards the people of Hawaii had built traps and combat strong points. To attack and enter this system would cost the Martians a heavy price indeed. The people of Hawaii would see to that.
Perhaps the most unusual cave project of all was the facility built into Sarawak Cave in Borneo. In addition to several offset caves, easily re-enforced and expanded for housing and offices, this cave system boasted one massive room originally measuring 2297 x 1312 feet with a roof over 260 feet above the floor of the cave. When re-enforced by iron and steel frames, this cave became the only underground flight test facility on Earth. Engineers cut an additional 1540 feet into its length and 250 feet to its width, which made the ‘room’ 3837 feet long and 1562 feet wide with a 3400 foot runway on which to test small aircraft prototypes. Arresting nets and cross-runway arresting cables similar to the ones used on aircraft carriers cut short any test flight when needed. In later years most of the test flights conducted underground were made in support of small remote controlled aircraft designed and built by Dr. Tesla’s team as well as vertical takeoff aircraft and helicopters.
With these many natural caves scattered around the world we had confidence that no matter how much the Martians attacked our planet they could never attack or even find many of the facilities in our Great Earth Caves program. One way or another mankind was going to survive even if a good portion of humanity had to once again live in caves. We would defend the Earth even as Earth gave mankind “cover from the Martian storm.”
[END PART 47]
Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020