Chapter 4: The Stones
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The author is certain that, by now, the reader is familiar with the account of what those four intelligent people discovered on that table. Once they gave these stones a cursory look, they realized these weren’t fragments at all. Cantrell’s thesis was correct. These stones were items that had been stored in the capsule.
The team decided to label the artifacts for future reference. Viewing them from the window of the room, the small fragment on the left was named “Alpha”, the small one on the right “Beta”, and the large one in the center “Gamma”. The upright side of each stone was referred to as “side 1” and the end of each stone closest to the window was labeled the “bottom”.
“Alpha” was an oval about an eighth of an inch thick with rounded edges, roughly twelve inches by ten inches in size. However, “side 1” of the stone was quite smooth while the second side was very coarse. The metal appeared to be the same as the metal which comprised the capsule. No markings were found anywhere on the artifact.
“Beta” was of similar size to “Alpha”. The two sides were identical to the other small stone and contained no visible markings.
“Gamma”, the third stone, had been found on the table resting between the other two fragments. “Gamma” was approximately five-inches thick, consisting of forty separate disks, each smooth on both sides. The stones were connected by a metal ring resembling a ringed binder. None of these stones contained any visible markings.
For two days, these stones were put through tests like the ones performed on the Cedarbrook Capsule. Unfortunately, the results were same: nothing. No samples could be extracted or analyzed.
The breakthrough came on Thursday. While her teammates were examining two of the artifacts, Dr. Brandt placed “Alpha” in the sample chamber of the agency’s mass spectrometer. The ion gun fired, but the detector failed to record any ions emanating from the stone. Brandt was not surprised given her experience analyzing the capsule. Turning off the spectrometer, she walked to the door and switched off the light. That’s when another light caught her eye.
Behind her, glowing from the sample chamber of the spectrometer was a steady, dark red light. Brandt scurried to the machine and extracted the sample. Her eyes opened wide and her mouth did the same as she stared at the red markings on the smooth side of the stone.
For several seconds, she gazed at the stone, attempting to determine whether the markings were accidental or intentional. Their arrangement resembled a diagram of some kind. Finally, after months of disappointment, a discovery had been made.
“Look! Look!” she screamed as she ran down the corridor towards her associates, carrying “Alpha” in her small hands. “There’s something on the stone!”
The three male scientists gathered around their female counterpart and gazed at the stone resting in the palms of her hands. There, on the smooth side, appeared dark red etchings. The markings were clearly visible. They resembled splattered blood or bloody scratches on the surface.
“What do you think they are?” asked Marx.
“It looks like a diagram of some sort to me,” commented Brandt.
“Several oval shapes,” chimed the team leader.
“Some form of communication, perhaps?” replied Cantrell.
“Amazing!” added Polonski. “The spectrometer found no markings on the capsule, correct?”
“That’s correct, Dr. P,” Marx noted. “The capsule had no markings of any kind.”
“Well, I think the Cedarbrook Capsule is finally starting to squeal,” laughed Brandt.
While the four engineers gazed at the strange and foreign artifact before them, the red etchings that had miraculously appeared began to disappear.
“Hey, they’re fading!” shouted Brandt.
“Wait! What?” asked Cantrell.
And fade they did; into oblivion. As quickly as they had been found they were gone. The team stared at the stone then at one another.
“Ok,” Polonski calmly said, thinking as he spoke. “Dr. Brandt, how did you get these markings to appear?”
“Mass spectrometer via electron ionization. The Faraday cup detected no ions coming from the stone. However, when the test was concluded and I turned off the lights, I found the markings.”
“Let’s repeat the experiment, then,” Polonski resumed, “only let’s make certain we take photographs and videos of the markings as we do.”
“They must be luminescent in some way which does not lose ions,” Cantrell pondered.
“If so,” remarked Marx, “then we have proof that this metal and these objects are not man-made. There is no way on earth that is possible.”
“That’s enough, Uriah,” snapped Polonski. “We are not going there again. We analyze and let others draw the conclusions.”
The four repeated Brandt’s earlier experiment and the etchings on the stone were temporarily visible. Video of the experiment were made, and clear photographs were taken while the markings could be seen.
The Project CB members quickly performed the experiment on “Beta” and “Gamma” with similar results. Both sides of each stone revealed dark red markings. However, these markings were different from the ones on “Alpha”. They appeared to be hieroglyphs combined with “random” scratch marks. Copies of all the photographs were made. At long last, the mysterious object from unknown regions was beginning to reveal its secrets.
During the ensuing week, the team examined the markings from each stone. Once they agreed on their findings, they notified the ASF Administrator Dr. Brian Sanger.
“After months of researching and analyzing the Cedarbrook Capsule, Project CB offers the following findings:
“First, the construction of the Cedarbrook Capsule was of a metal unknown on earth. The team attempted every method of analysis and was unable to determine what elements constituted its structure. We were unable to detect any markings or seams on the device and unable to open it. No samples of the metal could be obtained; therefore, the team was unable to learn anything about the capsule apart from its dimensions and color.
“Second, as the Administrator is aware, the Capsule is no longer available for analysis, having vanished completely from the clean room on May 27.
“Third, three metal artifacts (a.k.a. ‘stones’) were found apparently delivered via the capsule itself. These artifacts are of different sizes, each elliptical in shape, with rounded, smooth edges. To the best of our ability, we have determined the stones are made of the same metallic material as that of the capsule. Each stone contains one or two smooth sides.
“Fourth, mass spectrometry examination revealed dark red markings on the smooth sides of the stones. These marks vanish shortly after the completion of the test. However, photographs of the markings have been made.
“Fifth, the markings on ‘Beta’ and ‘Gamma’ resemble one another. The team believes they may represent some form of communication written in a language resembling hieroglyph.
“Sixth, the markings on ‘Alpha’ are distinct, consisting of multiple ovals. The team has concluded ‘Alpha’ may be some form of diagram or illustration though we are uncertain of what that diagram may be.
“Seventh, and finally, the team concludes the capsule and its contents are not of earth but are some form of communication from an unknown world. We recommend the photographs of the three stones be examined by appropriate research teams. These teams should attempt to determine the origin and meaning of the stones.”
Sanger immediately labeled the team’s findings as confidential and reminded the project members were under government orders not to share any of this information. Yet, within a week, someone, either intentionally or accidently, let portions of the findings slip and rumors began circulating not only in the ASF but also in the media.
As a result of these rumors, the ASF Administrator informed the Project CB team their presence would be required at a future press conference. The rumors must be killed. Sanger left the conference arrangements to Mike Murphy, chief of ASF media communications.