Friday, April 10, 2020

Why Wait?

Excerpt from Wagon Train to the Stars
 by Dr. Robert Duncan-Enzmann

Prologue: Let the Wagons Roll
Jewel Box Star Cluster

Wagon Train: Out of the Night, Into the Light

The Infinite Ocean of interstellar space, an infinite sea,  
is without knowable boundaries.  

Stupidity of President Grey along with other national leaders results in the “Great Boondoggle.” More Government make-work projects. Oh sure, Yes, and Yes, it was done by private industry - but who financed the Hungry Horse aerospace venture? The taxpayers of course. A big fanfare send off; interesting to begin with,  tapering through less-and-less communication into a nothingness - silence from one, two, then all of the ships.

What happened?
Who knows.
All too soon
not much of anyone cares.
Over thirty years
most everyone forgets.

Lagoons of Light
That was then. This is now. Thirty years passed in silence, and then? News! From one, two, then the three ships that sailed together!
Success, a song of success in aces,
We landed, here's where!
Just look at these places.
Sweet success, we refueled - here's how!
Watch the videos.
We're coming home!
Yes, we were cut off,
here's what happened.
Return takes another twenty years. That’s a generation on Earth. It’s another two decades ago, added to thirty years already passed by; a bit over a half a century has passed on Earth. For the explorers, only a few years have passed. Starship voyagers are, in ways, blessed; in other ways cursed when cruising at full speed between the stars where, for them, time dilation slows, actually almost stops the passage of time. Their communication continues:

This is what happened to cut us off. 
It will happen again. 
But once through that region 
you will hear us loud and clear! 
And, yes, before you ask, 
we talk with each other, 
Except there.

Twenty years out then several years of communication before the mid-course black-out. What Earth hears fires imaginations. An effort that slowed-down, but never really stopped, accelerates into a planetary boom.

Here we must digress for moments to repeat what every generation seems to relearn:


How easily the utterly obvious is overlooked. One politician after another bemoans the fact that the 90% support the 10%. Then with industrialization, 40% support 60%. Automation begins, develops, and expands until 5% can easily support 95%.  Why bemoan and worry the World?

Not politicians but visionaries electrify and fire imaginations, galvanizing the potential work force, which then “mobilizes itself.” Earth’s industries roar as never before. Four words by an astute politician mark a watershed:


The pioneer ships are home. Only five, mankind’s first interstellar explorers, had casted off a long half century ago. Two ships that sailed, each to a different destination stellar landfall, now at last are back home.

At the same time three Echolances that sailed together now exit the timeless seas of no-when, where time for them slows so much it almost stops. In no-when, decades, even centuries may pass for us on Earth, but aboard the starships? At most only months for the voyagers. The Echolances that sailed alone, each to explore a potential New Earth, have now returned.  All three modestly successful; they return with gold. All three are docked, being repaired and refurbished. Their relatively small crews trade with and their officers negotiate with Earth's people.

The fleet is Rainbow, Glory, and Aurora. Their explorations about the Jewel Box Star Cluster are a resounding success.  Even as they approach Earth, their officers negotiate with a huge Wagon Train of colonists' ships that they will guide to and about the Jewel Box - a place of many-colored stars and a number of habitable planets. One is especially so - in fact it seems nicer than Earth itself.

This is just the beginning. Humankind, at the very edge of the interstellar sea, knows only a little about what lies out there.  So far we have succeeded only in finding some promising landfall. Are there others out there? To date we know only of us. Ships Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and the Rainbow, Glory, Aurora have found occasion vegetation, but no intelligences, no signals, nor any animals; only some algae, lichen,  moss, and fungus-like vegetations. And fortunately have found no dreadful virii, bacteria, or other pathogens.  It’s sort of sterile out there.

And so I ask:  What  do we really know about much of anything out there? A great adventure of discovery is waiting. Let the Wagons Roll!! What are we waiting for?

Provided by Foundation for Research of the Enzmann Archive, Inc. 

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