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Full text of "Omni Magazine (February 1995)"

$30,000 TREASURE HUNT INSIDE 



JlTjTlU 




FEBRUARY 1995 



STAR TREK: 

LAUNCHING VOYAGER 

UFO CONTROVERSY: ABDUQEE VS. THE MILITARY 
EXPLORING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 




onnrui 



FEBRUARY 1995 





EDITOR IN CHIEF & DESIGN DIRECTOR: BOB GUCCIONE 






PRESIDENT & C.O.O.: KATHY KEETON 






VP/EDITOR: KEITH FERRELL 






EXECUTIVE v/P/GHAPI-i OS ;,|R-c:0H. MA'-.X DI-VINO 






MANAGING R-jlTOP- CAROLINE DARK 






ART DIRECTOR: CATHRYN MEZZO 














6 
First Word 


A " 






38 

Star Trek: Voyager 


By Mark Pendergrast 


■ "'™ '"" 1 tel 




By David Bischoff 


8 






The latest Trek sets sights 


Communications 






on distant stars 


12 






and new worlds across 


Funds 






our galaxy 


By Linda Marsa 






46 


14 






Virtual Blue 
Yonder: Fightertown 


Electronic Universe 




By Gregg Keizer 


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^m 1 


Takes OH 


16 


III T 


■ By Denny Atkin 


Mind 


87 ^^^BJ ■ Tj 


The ultimate 


By Jeff Goldberg 




in flight, and fight. 


Hunting for 




simulation 


the "aggression" gene 


1^— fl 




58 


18 


■tfrJS 




Project Open 


Kid Stuff 


VAlHSD 




Book Update: 


By Lisa G. Casinger 


■r ^3 


i ^H 


Anatomy 


Hands-on books 




.of an Abduction 


20 






By A. J.S. Rayl 


Stars 


^^fcv ^*£v - , £ 


62 


By Steve IMadis 


Profiles in Artificial 


Speed traps 




Intelligence 


for high-energy 




By David H. Freedman 


cosmic rays 




Researchers 


22 




take a nature-based 


The Great Omni 


^H BP^^^Ea* * ^W "^^^k. 


approach to Al 


Treasure Hunt 


K^^BBRBk " ^^bw^^ 888^ 


66 


More than $30,000 in 




Fiction: 


prizes 


^Hl£*'3^| 


Occam's Ducks 


26 


■ "' sfl H f, V 


By Howard Waldrop 


Waves 




73 


By Paul Kvinta 




Interview: 


28 




Linda Scheie 


Sounds 




By Kathleen McAuliffe 


By Anthony Liversidge 


Far on the other side of the galaxy, ihe U.S.S. 


79 


and Ted Libbey 


oyageriaces a bold task: to explore strange, new worlds- 


Antimatter 


Analog versus digital 


and find its way home. A look at the people making it 


104 


31 


possible. Cover art by Gary Hutzel, copyright Paramoun 


Games 


Continuum 


Television. [Additional art credits, page 96) 


By Scot Morris 



Printed in U.S.A. 



Ca-adiEn GST Reg slral en tP:'2cCG:'589 



FIRST UUORD 



REMEMBERING THE PAST: 

A new chapter in the old story of women and oppression 

By Mark Pendergrast 



Pendergrast dis- 
cusses tlie 



In her 1972 landmark book, 
Women and Madness, Phyllis 
Chesler noted that, "Today, 
more women are seeking psychi- 
atric help and being hospitalized 
than at any other time in history." 
Today, that is truer than ever, Ches- 
ler attributed this intensification 
of an old trend to the "help-seek- 
ing" nature of the learned female 
role, the oppression 
of women, and role- 
confusion in the 
modern age. 

The female "ca- 
reer" as a psychiat- 
ric patient identified 
by Chesler has a long 
history, with women 
usually displaying 
the symptoms ex- 
pected of them, 
ranging from de- 
pression to paranoia. 
Chesler tacitly acknowledges 
this history with the wry observa- 
tion: "No longer are women sac- 
rificed as voluntary or involuntary 
witches. They are, instead, 
taught to sacrifice themselves for 
newly named heresies." 

One of these newly named di- 
agnoses, amazingly popular 
since the publication of Courage 
to Heal by Ellen Bass in 1988, is 
that of Incest Survivor. Millions of 
women — and some men — have 
come to believe that all of their 
"symptoms" {depression, panic 
attacks, poor relationships, sex- 
ual dysfunction, bodily pangs, 
nightmares, eating disorders, 
and other life problems) stem 
from long-forgotten sexual abuse. 
Only by recalling and reliving 
these repressed trauma memo- 
ries can they be truly healed. 

For centuries in Western cul- 
tures, women have often suf- 
fered from bizarre psychosomatic 
ailments aided and abetted by 
the "experts" of the era. Because 
of societal bias, females, consid- 
ered the "weaker vessel," have 




traditionally been expected to 
act out the role of the hysteric 
more often than males. Women, 
almost universally repressed, 
abused, and powerless to do 
much about it, have often con- 
formed to the roles expected of 
them, which at least allowed them 
sympathetic attention and an emo- 
tional outlet for their suppressed 
and often justifiable 
rage. Little seems to 
have changed. The 
only thing that is rel- 
atively new about 
the Incest Survivor 
movement is its par- 
ticularly awful slant— 
the virulent accusa- 
tions against parents 
and other early care- 
givers, and the com- 
plete rewriting of the 
personal past. 
I speak from experience. My 
own daughters cut off all contact 
with me after accusing me of un- 
specified sexual abuse. As a 
consequence, I spent over two 
years investigating recovered 
memory therapy (RMT). I cannot 
possibly summarize here all of 
the significant findings I detail in 
a 600-page book on the subject: 
Victims of Memory. Suffice it to 
say, however, that there is no sci- 
entific evidence to support the 
concept of "massive repres- 
sion" — the idea that human be- 
ings can or do completely forget 
years of abuse, only to recall it 
years later in therapy. On the 
contrary, there is a great deal of 
evidence which confirms that 
when a therapist suggests the 
possibility of repressed incest 
memories, confabulations (the 
psychologist's term for illusory 
memories) can easily result. 

To question the validity of 
massive repression or the effi- 
cacy of RMT is not to deny the 
existence of real abuse. I am we'll 
aware of the horrors of real in- 



cest — but no one forgets years of 
abuse. The real problem for incest 
victims is their inabilityto forget. 

One of the tragic ironies of 
this movement is its supposed 
affiliation with feminism. I have 
interviewed scores of self-identi- 
fied "survivors" who have re- 
called abuse memories. They 
are firmly convinced that, as they 
have been told repeatedly, "You 
have to get worse before you get 
better." They are thrown into a 
psychological hell in which they 
frequently lose their self-confi- 
dence, jobs, marriages, children, 
and sometimes their sanity — all 
in the name of "healing." 

Though most therapists who 
help extract these "memories" 
truly believe that they are helping 
their patients, they do so by 
making women feel helpless, de- 
pendent, wounded, incomplete, 
and fundamentally flawed. Does 
that sound familiar? Women's lives 
are being harmed by a move- 
ment that feminists should abhor. 

Back in 1972, Phyllis Chesler 
issued a prophetic warning about 
radical treatments that promise 
to help female patients in some 
special way. "People and social 
structures change slowly if at 
all," she wrote, adding that "most 
people simply obey new myths, 
as inevitably as they did old 
myths." Consequently, she was 
both excited and disturbed by 
the possibilities she saw in femi- 
nist psychotherapy. It could, she 
feared, simply turn into "authori- 
tarianism with a new party line." 

Unfortunately, with the advent 
of RMT, that is just what has hap- 
pened. With women's mental 
health on the line, let us hope 
that a new brand of feminist ther- 
apist will blow the whistle on this 
disastrous social phenomenon. CXI 

Victims of Memory is published 
by Upper Access Books (1-800- 
356-9315). 



connnnunJicATorus 

READERS' WRITES: 

A better beta version, unearthing more facts, and - 

splendor in the gas 



No Deposit, No Return 

Regarding the sperm bank note [Anti- 
matter, October 1994], may I suggest 
the following Purdue campus scene? 
Omni (to a student}; "I'm doing a story 
on college education and would like a 
" i information on social life. I see you 
have a large Greek Beta on your shirt. 
Do you belong to a fraternity?" Student: 
"No, actually I don't. This represents 
my association with the local sperm 
bank. I'm a Master Beta." 

Fritz Khan 
Los Angeles, CA 

Reality Check 

I enjoyed the article on lucid dreaming 
[September 1994]. Regarding the 
anecdotal reports of people losing the 
ability to discr mi:ia:e between dreams 
and reality, I would speculate that indi- 
viduals with this problem already have 
an existing psychological disorder. 

David Porter 
Scotia, NY 

Striking a Balance 

Hats off to Omni and writer Margaret 
Wertheim for the excellent treatment of 
"Science and Religion" [October 
1994], Your fitting choice of scholars 
enabled you to dispel the idea 'that 
these areas of concern are in total and 
permanent isolation from one another, 
Strident fundamentalists, whether of 
the theistic or antitheistic stripe, wheth- 
er zealous in the name of religion or 
science, have long resisted construc- 
tive interaction. It's time now for authen- 
tic scientists and theologians to engage 
in candid conversation and to see what 
each can learn from the other. 

Howard J. Van Till 
Grand Rapids, Ml 

I agree with John Poikinghorne's idea 
that we as a society need the insights 
of both science and religion [First 
Word, October 1994], but don't believe 
organized Christianity makes any at- 
tempt to be compatible with science. 
Christianity assumes a great deal. This 
is where the idea of Occam's razor 
could be applied; The best theory is 
the one which assumes the least. True 
science assumes nothing and ob- 
serves everything. We need to cast off 



the arrogant assumption that we could 
comprehend with any accuracy "why" 
God created all this. We are burning 
out our gears arguing over something 
which we cannot possibly know in this 
lifetime. There is unlimited beauty and 
fulfillment in scientifically observing the 
infinite "hows" of our cosmos. 

Christian Crawford 
Carlsbad, CA 

Mounds of Evidence 
Jeffrey Heck's article [Digs, October 
1994] was interesting, particularly the 
arguments and statements of curator 
Brad Lepper and author Stephen Wil- 
liams who doubted the authenticity of 
the Newark Holy Stones. Perhaps 
speculation about authenticity should 
be withheld until the readily available 
evidence in the mounds has been fully 
examined. If the mounds contain addi- 
tional similar stones which can be time- 
dated based on surrounding material, 
proof of a Jewish presence in early 
America may be incontrovertible. 

Roger G. Jenkins 
Phoenix, AZ 

The Gas is Always Greener . . . 

I'd like to see another article on the use 
of helium-3 [Continuum, Sepiember 
1994]. I once read an article on the 
theory that our planets are slowly mov- 
ing toward our sun, the idea being that 
life hops from the inner planets to the 
outer ones as they approach "living 
position." Perhaps helium-3 changes 
into something necessary in the eons 
to come, Whether true or not, one does 
wonder if it is wise to deplete re- 
sources on Uranus which may be 
needed right where they are a long 
time from now. 

Carol Treffinger 
Mt. Shasta, CADO 



Got something to say but no time to 
write? Call (900) 285-5483. Your com- 
ments will be recorded and may appear 
in an upcoming issue of Omni. The cost 
for the call is 95 cents per minute. You 
must be age 1 8 or older. Touch-lone 
phones only. Sponsored by Pure Enter- 
tainment, 505 South Beverly Drive, 
Suite 977, Beverly Hills, CA 9021 2. 



FUftJDS 

SECURITIES ARBITRATION: 
The people's court for Wall Street 

By Linda Marsa 



It's what 

courts are set up 

lo do Hut 

are too busy to 

handle. 

Arbitration is an 

Did way to 

settle differences, 

but on Wall 

Street it's proving 

lo be a suc- 



^% irt aking rnorie v in the 

I I stock market can be 
I %J I chancier than handi- 
capping nags at the track, espe- 
cially if you suspect the race is 
rigged. But unhappy investors 
who've been duped by scurrilous 
brokers don't have to suffer in si- 
lence. Mow there's a way to fight 
back — and recoup their losses — 
without getting mired in costly liti- 
gation that can drag on for years. 

Securities arbitration, a proc- 
ess geared toward a quick and 
cheap resolution of investors' 
claims, has become a sort of 
people's court for small investors, 
a way for the Davids of the finan- 
cial world to slog it out with Wall 
Street Goliaths on a relatively 
level playing field. Since a 1987 
Supreme Court ruling, in fact, in- 
vestors who sign predispute ar- 
bitration agreements are now 
required to take their brokerage 
beefs to the organizations that 
handle securities arbitrations, in- 
cluding the New York, American, 
and Pacific Stock Exchanges, or 
the National Association of Secu- 
rities Dealers (NASD), which hears 
about 83 percent of these cases. 

Initially, small investors were 
doubtful they'd get a fair shake 
from forums controlled and 
funded by self-regulatory organi- 
zations for Wall Street's heavy hit- 
ters. But quite the opposite is true. 
A survey by Congress's General 
Accounting Office (GAO) discov- 
ered investors won more than 
half the time, and awards aver- 
aged about 60 percent of the 
amount claimed; in 30 percent of 
cases, arbitrators awarded in- 
vestors what they claimed and 
more in punitive damages. 

These numbers stack up even 
more favorably when you con- 
sider that perhaps half of the 
suits are frivolous. "Many of these 
sour-grapes investors are just 
suing their broker because they 
lost money, not because the bro- 



ker did something wrong," says 
John Lawrence Allen, a San 
Diego-based securities lawyer 
and author of InvestorBeware!, 
or How to Protect Your Money 
from Wall Street's Dirty Tricks. 

Little wonder claims have sky- 
rocketed to 6,561 in 1993, up 
from a paltry 830 in 1980. Top- 
ping the list of offenses are suit- 
ability violations. That's industry 
parlance for when a broker con- 
vinces your widowed aunt, who's 
scraping by on a scanty pension 
and interest from Triple A-raied 
bonds, to invest in wildcat oil 
wells. Other common infractions 
include misrepresentation, when 
your broker insists those daz- 
zling 20 percent returns on junk 
bonds are guaranteed; omission 
of facts, where your friendly 
money maven conveniently "for- 
gets" to mention the hot shot 
heading the firm floating those 
issues was indicted for securities 
fraud; and churning, where bro- 
kers make dozens of trades on 
an account to generate hefty 
commissions, not profits. 

But now there is something 
you can do. If you suspect you've 
been victimized, construct a paper 



trail of events: notes of conversa- 
tions with your broker, account 
statements, and any other docu- 
mentation. And then complain— 
loudly. If you can't get any 
satisfaction from your broker, write 
to the firm's branch manager and 
compliance department. It they 
stonewall, arbitrate promptly For 
filing fees ranging from $30 for a 
small case to $1,800 for claims 
over $5 million, this matter can 
be settled within an average of 
10 months. "But once you choose 
this route," cautions Deborah 
Masucci, NASD's director of arbi- 
tration, "you've surrendered your 
right to go elsewhere if you're 
unhappy with the resolution." 

But the best way to avoid 
being suckered is to check out 
who you are doing business with 
before you trust him or her with 
your money. The NASD has a 
hotline (800-289-9999), where 
you can find out if a broker has 
been disciplined by regulators or 
hit with claims from angry clients. 
Remember, no one can predict 
which way the market is headed. 
But honorable brokers protect 
their clients from the predators 
lurking in Wall Street's woods. DO 

















I 




■: 


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ELECTROnJIC 
UfUIV/ERBE 



INTERACTIVE SCIENCE: 

Multimedia for mad scientists in trie making 

By Gregg Keizer 



You may 
no! scream "It's 
alive!" after 
using a science 
CD-flOM, but 
at least there's 
little chance 
ol something es- 
caping from 
die beaker and 
burning a 
hole in the carpet. 



■ f% I hen you were a kid, 

I I science at home 

U mm probably centered 

around a beaker-packed chem- 
istry set. Home science today 
comes on the computer. Multi- 
media and CD-ROM have jolted 
the subject back into a promi- 
nent place in stores. 

I've yet to see the science CD 
that will make me toss the classic 
book Asimov's Guide to Science 
into the dumpster, 
but with a CD-ROM 
drive and speak- 
ers, the computer 
actually mutates in- 
to a science project 
worth exploring. 

DK Muitimedia's 
Eyewitness Ency- 
clopedia of Sci- 
ence is a good be- 
ginning, and a be- 
ginner's guide, to 
the subject. Aimed 
at kids 10 and older, 
Eyewitness's clear explanations 
and bright illustrations may be as 
much help to science-chal- 
lenged adults as to children. The 
CD-ROM, which runs under Win- 
dows on a PC, has 1 ,700 entries 
in five categories: chemistry, 
mathematics, physics, life sci- 
ences, and who's who in science. 
Separate sections highlight earth 
and space sciences. Quizmaster 
tests your knowledge, a "Who's 
Who" section sports short bios of 
famous scientists, and an inter- 
active periodic table feeds you 
the elements. 

Eyewitness won't get you a 
B.S. in biology, but its presenta- 
tion is so slick and its language 
and approach so casual that 
you'll probably learn something 
new, Over 500 photos and a cou- 
ple of hours of audio punch up 
the text. The video and anima- 
tions, though not in any great 
numbers, are just as profession- 
ally put together. My only bone to 




pick is its price, a steep S130 — 
enough to buy an armful of good 
science reference works. 

DK publishes an even simpler 
CD, The Way Things Work. It 
may be more elementary (and 
more mechanical and techno- 
logical in coverage), but like the 
book on which it's based, it gives 
you an idea of how gizmos like 
the laser printer and telephone 
network work. In some ways, it's 
better than Eye- 
witness, 

More substan- 
tial — at least on 
the informational 
level— the Mc- 
Graw-Hill Multi- 
media Encyclo- 
pedia of Science 
& Technology is 
based on the ref- 
erence work by 
the same name 
(minus "Multime- 
dia"). Packing 
7,300 articles in 81 disciplines 
and only a bit of video 'and audio 
window-dressing, this PC CD- 
ROM is really targeted toward li- 
braries. But if you have a spare 
$1,300 (that's nora misprint) and 
an overwhelming interest in sci- 
ence, it may be up your alley. 
Personally, I'd spend the grand- 
and-change on anew computer. 
Closer to my budget is Dis- 
covery Muitimedia's Sharks!, a 
TV-style documentary about big 
fish. Like those shark shows on 
cable, Sharks! skips through, 
and in some cases over the sub- 
ject. Several sections skim such 
areas as shark anatomy behav- 
ior, and evolution, with plenty of 
video and voice-over narration to 
keep you from reading. Good 
thing, too, since this Windows 
CD-ROM is weak on text. And al- 
though the program is video-in- 
tensive, Sharks! suffers from the 
typical grainy, jerky display seen 
in most multimedia programs. 



Sharks! doesn't overlook the 
sensational; you won't go beg- 
ging for video of scary footage of 
big-mouthed great whites. 
(There's even a conversation with 
Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, 
but It's boring.} To its credit, 
Sharks! tries to separate some of 
the fiction about sharks from the 
facts. But the best part of the 
disk is "Ask the Experts." Here 
you get to quiz four different ex- 
perts by asking ten clickable 
questions. Since you can ask the 
same question of all the experts, 
it's something you won't get from 
a documentary on the tube.' 

I'd love to get my hands- on a 
virtual archaeological dig— it's a 
science fascinating enough to 
draw a crowd and one seemingly 
tailor-made for pretend on the 
PC — but I've not found one. Mi- 
crosoft Ancient Lands is more a 
turn through antiquity than a walk 
through the science of uncover- 
ing antiquities {there's a differ- 
ence), but it's interesting none- 
theless. Like most of the Micro- 
soft CD-ROMs pegged for the 
home, you may feel shortchanged 
on content (you get a couple of 
paragraphs, no more, on any of 
the items), but the wide-ranging, 
free-wheeling approach works 
well as an introduction. 

Ancient Lands covers three 
civilizations: Roman, Greek, and 
Egyptian (with some extras such 
as the Minoan, Mycenaean, and 
Babylonian thrown in for good 
measure). Scads of illustrations, 
a bit of animation, and a fair 
amount of audio support the ex- 
plorations as you click your way 
through highlights of everything 
from architecture and medicine 
to warfare religion. When you hit 
one area, there's always an outlet 
to an associated topic — you can 
go from the Parthenon to Egypt- 
ian temples. And a timeline is 
available to help you keep things 
in context. DO 



NOTHING, NOTHING CAN PREPARE YOUR PC AND 32X. 








I 



■ 



m 



MIDWAY 



mdrwHdmbat' 

NOTHING, NOTHING CAN PREPARE YOU... for the real 
arcade action of Mortal Kombat* II. Trade up to faster gam 
play, realistic character animation, bone-crunching music 
and sound f/x of the arcade smash! Brutal special moves, 
Friendships, Babalities, hidden surprises, crushing combo: 
and outrageous finishing moves are vours to kommand. 



32X 



4«laim 



nniruD 



THE BAD SEED: 

Amid controversy, scientists hunt 'for the "aggression" gene 

By Jeff Goldberg 



Abnormal levels 
of sBratonln 
and its byprod- 
ucts have 
been Identified 
previously 
in violent crimi- 
nal offenders, 
adolescents with 
conflict dis- 
orders, suicides, 
and impul- 
sive fire starters. 



Researchers in the 
Netherlands claim a ge- 
netic defect could ac- 
count for the behavior of some 
men in a large Dutch family, who 
for generations have been prone 
to periodic, seemingly unpro- 
voked, violent outbursts. Among 
the men, who are also mildly re- 
tarded (with an average !Q of 85) 
and at other times shy and non- 
threatening, one raped his sister, 
and later, in a mental institution, 
stabbed a warden in the chest 
with a pitchfork. Another tried to 
run over his employer with a car 
after the boss criticized his work; 
a third sometimes threatened his 
sisters with a knife, forcing them 
to undress; and two were arson- 
ists, according to Han Brunner, a 
geneticist at the University Hos- 
pital in Nijmegen, who has been 
studying the family since 1988. 

The men lack a gene for the 
production of monoamine oxi- 
dase (MAO), an enzyme that 
breaks down several of the 
brain's important transmitters. 
Without MAO, Brunner believes, 
a surge of excess chemical mes- 
sengers could flood the victims' 
brains, causing their furies. 
Among the neurochemicals af- 
fected by the MAO gene, sero- 
tonin — which ironically usually 
exerts a calming, inhibitory effect 
on neuronal firing — is consid- 
ered the prime suspect con- 
tributing to the Jekyll-and-Hyde 
transformations exhibited by the 
men in the Dutch family. Abnor- 
mal levels of serotonin and its 
byproducts have been identified 
previously in violent criminal of- 
fenders, suicides, and impulsive 
fire starters. Brunner and other 
scientists contend that malfunc- 
tions in genes for the production 
and destruction of serotonin 
could be the cause of the chemi- 
cal imbalance. 

While the MAO-gene mutation 
has so far been found only in the 



Dutch family, other suspicious 
genes have been identified else- 
where. Markku Linnoila, scientific 
director of research at the Na- 
tional Institute on Alcohol Abuse 
and Alcoholism, detected such 
an altered genetic profile in a 
group of over 1 00 unrelated people 
in his native Finland, including 
prisoners who have committed 
acts of impulsive violence and 
exhibited suicidal behavior. The 
genetic alteration regulates the 
production of tryptophan hydrox- 
ylase, an enzyme which, like MAO, 
controls brain levels of serotonin. 
Rene Hen, a French re- 




searcher now at Columbia Uni- 
versity, reported another provoca- 
tive finding when he used 
cloning techniques to create an 
abnormally aggressive trans- 
genic mouse. By manipulating 
mouse fetal cells, Hen was able 
to "knock out" the gene coding 
for the production of one of 14 
known serotonin receptors that 
govern a wide range of physio- 
logical and behavioral functions. 
He then injected the mutated 
cells into a mouse embryo that 
was implanted into a foster 
mother. By inbreeding genera- 
tions of these offspring, Hen 
eventually produced a strain of 



"killer" mouse, totally lacking the 
receptor, and thus, effectively 
blocking serotonin's calming in- 
fluence at millions of synaptic con- 
nections. The mutant mice develop 
and live apparently normally, 
says Hen, until isolated and faced 
with an intruder— whereupon 
they attack "impulsively," without 
the sniffing and approaching be- 
havior that normally accompa- 
nies turf wars between rodents. 

While such discoveries are in- 
triguing, the possibility they 
could lead to genetic screening 
for violent tendencies, perhaps 
even at birth, opens a Pandora's 
box of eugenic and racial fears. 
While the National Research 
Council has cautiously sup- 
ported the premise that genetic 
disorders may contribute to 
some forms of violent behavior, 
and the Clinton administration 
has endorsed a Centers for Dis- 
ease Control position that vio- 
lence is a public health problem 
that can be studied like any dis- 
ease, NIH researchers investi- 
gating the genetic roots of 
violence remain wary of public 
reaction and will not talk openly 
to the press, "We want to keep 
doing science," one researcher, 
who asked not to be identified, 
said bluntly. 

The European investigators 
are also quick to qualify their 
findings. "This is not the aggres- 
sion gene," says Brunner, noting 
that the mutation he discovered 
is likely rare, "Even if we found 
these mutations in a larger human 
population, it still wouldn't sup- 
port a single cause for aggres- 
sive or criminal behavior," reflects 
Rene Hen, "One reason it's dan- 
gerous to talk aboui an 'aggres- 
sion' gene is people are tired of 
crime and violence, and they 
would like an easy answer, like a 
bad gene, to explain it. That's an 
illusion. Crime and violence are 
very complex issues. "DO 



NEW TREND IN KIDS MARKET: 
Data storage units 

By Lisa G. Casinger 



Pick up these 
books lilled 
with periscopes, 
tacts, experi- 
ments, magnified 
tadpoles, 
information, and 
toilel paper. 



In a smoke-filled boardroom 
four market analysts frantically 
rack Their brains for the next 
great cash cow in the kids mar- 
ket. Super-Duper Nintendo, one 
offers. Been there, done that. Vir- 
tual Reality bungee jumping, an- 
other suggests. Seen it, did it. 
How about Chia baby dolls, a 
third recommends. Not! Timidly, 
the fourth analyst stops, turns, 
clears his throat, and says: data 
storage units, crammed full of 
text files and graphics. Mr. Chia- 
baby-dolis asks, What are data 
storage units? 

Mr.Timid Analyst answers . . . 
books. But not ordinary books. 
We're talking in-your-face, 3-D, 
full-color, hands-on, papyrus- 
sheathed, ink-filled, mega-cool, 
bound books with information 
about everything from toilet 
paper and kaleidoscopes to 
bugs and solar eclipses. 

First we'll inspect "How the 
Universe Works," the new edition 
to the Reader's Digest series of 
How Things Work books. There's 
a book on science, the universe, 
nature, and the earth — and each 
one is packed with "one hundred 
ways parents and kids can share 
the secrets" by conducting easy 
experiments. Kids can build any- 
thing from a shield volcano to 
i model lung. All the materials 
they need — mostly items 
they'll find around their 
houses — are listed at 
the beginning of each 
book, and a note at the 
beginning of each 
experiment tells 
whether they 
need a grown- 
up's help. Rang- 
ing from $24 to 
I S25 each, these 
[ books are hands- 
I on guides for con- 
! ducting safe and 
f exciting experi- 
ments which might 



« HOW THE 'W 

UNIVERSE 






'3LL IHErtTHEfLCtlUPfiS. J^fi '/} 




teach kids and their parents a 
few things about science. 

Then we'll focus our attention 
on that clever new science series 
from Golden Books. Ever wonder 
what your taste buds look like 
magnified 2,000 times? Or how 
about looking at caterpillar feet 
magnified 25 times? Discover 
Hidden Worlds ($10.95 each) fo- 
cuses on magnified pictures of 
bugs, the human body, the 
home, and nature. While the pic- 
tures are fascinating, and some- 
times gruesome, the books are 
also full of wacky facts and fig- 
ures. Did you know, for instance, 
that the crunchy sound made 
when you bite into a potato chip 
is actually air pockets explod- 
ing? Or that the air coming out of 
your lungs when you sneeze is 
going 95 miles per hour? Hidden 
Worlds books absolutely deserve 
a closer look. 

After that we'll pop over to 
HarperCollins and check out 
their new title, The Most Amazing 
Science Pop-Up Book ($22.95). 
It is definitely not one of those 
cutesy, fuzzy, little, Dick-and- 
Jane, pop-up books kids had 
when they were four years old. 
Harper knows pop-up. They've 
loaded this one up with a work- 
ing record player, periscope, 



compass, microscope, camera 

obscura, kaleidoscope, and sun- 
dial. Each of the pop-ups is sur- 
rounded by its own "fun facts," 
definitions, histories, and easy- 
to-use instructions. Fortunately, 
kids don't have to be rocket sci- 
entists to read this book and un- 
derstand the concepts of sound, 
electromagnetism, heavenly 
bodies, and thermographs. 

Finally, we'll wander through 
the halls of Klutz Press's new 
"museum." Earthsearch is touted 
as "A Kid's Geography Museum 
in a Book," but it's neither a mu- 
seum nor strictly for kids. I sus- 
pect kids refers to one's frame of 
mind rather than age, and mu- 
seum suggests something that 
holds a lot of stuff. This book 
definitely covers a lot of ground: 
facts, figures, experiments,^ 
games, theories, dirt, 
and toilet pa 
per. (Yes, toi- 
let paper.) 



/ 



be licked, ■■ 






skii 



ned, 



played with, 
used, devoured, and of course 
read, this wire-bound, sturdy 
book discusses everything from 
garbage to evolution and then 
some. Klutz'sidea here is to take 
science and geography con- 
cepts, which are often abstract, 
and make them concrete. Earth- 
search ($19.95) is one of those 
books people will keep on their 
desks to thumb through from 
time to time, because each time 
they pick it up, they'll learn 
something else. 

Mr. Timid Analyst stops and 
waits for feedback from his co- 
workers. They glance around at 
each other — wheels churn in 
their brains, dollar signs flash in 
their eyes — and they smile. An- 
other cash cow is born, and chil- 
dren everywhere stand and 
cheer in unison. DO 



V/^/iJJ '/hti I'.OlihlCrUii rj-.jiMi, 

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moon, TV homes were visited every week by 
the space colonist family who tost their way 
on a trip to the far-off Alpha Centauri system. 
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his family, ana the crew of the crippled 
Jupiter fl spaceship as they encounter 
unknown planets and strange aliens in 
The Collector's Edition of Lost In Space — 
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Every episode plunges you and the Jf^ 

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and death situation, battling the odds 
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COSMIC SPEED TRAP: 

Capturing cosmic rays will help physicists figure out their origin 

By Steve Nadis 



Peppy panicles: 



want to know 

whether 

high-energy 

cosmic 

rays come from 

black holes, 

relics of the Bis 

Bang, or 



In October 1991, a mysterious 
intruder shattered the calm of 
a Utah desert. Ever since that 
night, investigators in the town of 
Dugway have been asking the 
usual questions: What was it? 
Where did it come from? How 
many others are on the way? 

The "intruder" was not your 
typical UFO. It was a cosmic ray, 
one of countless particles — pro- 
tons or heavier atomic nuclei — 
that continually bombard Earth. 
High-energy cosmic rays are the 
most energetic particles in the 
universe, and the 1991 "visitor" 
was the swiftest and most ener- 
getic object ever detected. The 
record-setting cosmic ray, a pro- 
ton with an energy of 3 x 10 20 
electron-volts, hit our atmos- 
phere while traveling at virtually 
the speed of light. "It was mov- 
ing closer to the speed of light 
than anything we've seen be- 
fore . . . except light," explains 
University of Utah physicist Eu- 
gene Loh, a member of the Dug- 
way investigation team. With that 
velocity, the single proton weigh- 
ing just one-trillionth of a trillionth 
of a gram packed the wallop of a 
tennis ball flying at about 100 
miles an hour. 

ce of high-energy 




cosmic rays is one of astrono- 
my's long-standing puzzles, and 
the 3 x 10 20 eV particle has so 
far defied efforts to find its roots. 
"Normally a particle that ener- 
getic is like a tracer bullet; you 
should be able to trace it back to 
the 'gun' that shot the bullet," 
Loh says. "We've been trying to 
trace it back, but it seems to 
have come from nowhere." It 
doesn't point to an obvious 
source, he explains, such as a 
known "hot" or active — that is,- 
radiation-spewing— galaxy, 

Scientists hope to solve the 
mystery of high-energy cosmic 
rays by snarihg thousands of 
them in a mammoth speed trap 
of sorts called the Giant Array. 
The driving force behind the proj- 
ect is James Cronin, a Nobel 
Prize-winning physicist from the 
University of Chicago, He pro- 
poses to erect vast networks of 
cosmic-ray detectors in both the 
northern and southern hemi- 
spheres, each spanning an area 
of 5,000 square kilometers. Each 
network consists of two kinds of 
detectors. One type of detector, 
located in the network's center, 
will probe the night sky, looking 
for the telltale flashes of fluores- 
cent light that occur when a 
high-energy particle slams into 
the atmosphere, creating billions 
of "secondary" particles that rain 
through the sky and excite nitro- 
gen atoms along the way. Some 
of these secondary particles sur- 
vive their passage to the ground, 
A fraction of these, in turn', might 
be intercepted by the second 
batch of detectors — 4,000 "scin- 
tillators" that emit tiny light flashes 
when hit by a charged particle. 

The entire system will cost 
about $50 million to $60 million, 
Cronin estimates. He's spent the 
better part of three years trying 
to sell the idea while lining up 
participating research teams in 
the United States, China, Japan, 



England, France, and Australia. 
An international team, hosted by 
Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, and 
supported by the National Sci- 
ence Foundation; the United Na- 
tions Educational, Scientific, and 
Cultural Organization; and private 
sources, expects to complete a 
major design study in July. If the 
necessary funding comes through, 
the team plans to have the cos- 
mic-ray detectors up and run- 
ning by the turn of the century. 

Cronin admits the price tag is 
steep compared to typical cos- 
mic-ray efforts, but calls it money 
well spent "considering that we 
can finally answer a question 
people have been thinking about 
for most of the twentieth cen- 
tury." Unfortunately, there's little 
room for- compromise in the de- 
sign. Scientists won't be able to 
get a handle on high-energy cos- 
mic rays without something on 
the scale of a Giant Array, he in- 
sists. That's because 10 20 eV 
particles hit Earth so rarely— only 
one striking a square kilometer 
each century. "We can't learn 
much from a single particle, so 
either we wait a long time or we 
get a big detector," Loh says. "You 
can't speed up Mother Nature." 

After operating detectors in 
both hemispheres for five to ten 
years, Cronin expects to have a 
map of the entire sky showing 
what kinds of particles are com- 
ing from which locations with 
what kinds of energies. Although 
no sources of cosmic rays have 
yet been identified, research in- 
dicates that high-energy rays 
(anything above 10 ia eV) must 
emanate from outside the Milky 
Way. The reason is simple, Loh 
explains: Nothing in our galaxy 
could get a par'lcle going fast 
enough to reach those extremely 
high energies. "Our galaxy is not 
very active. If this were a truly 
active galaxy, we probably would 
be cooked. In fact, life here on 

CONTiNIJLU ON PAGE 103 



Racing the wind, crouched low as his horse's powerful 
body carries him forward with frightening speed, the 



uc\.m 



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JV^^ a^-^v a Certifi 
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The New England Collectors Society 

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DEEP FLIGHT: 

Can scientists fly to the bottom of the earth? " 

By Paul Kvinta 



"It's lite 

mainframe 

versus 

the personal 

computer 

approach, anil 

we're the 

PC," says Graham 

Hawhes 

about his new 

concept 

for submarine 

transport. 



As submarine builder 
#"^fc Graham Hawkes added 
m m the final touches last 
spring on his newest diving ma- 
chine; Deep Flight 1, he playfully 
coined the fledgling science he's 
sure his invention will foster — 
"hydrobatics." The notion entails 
spinning, looping, banking, 
rolling out, and ultimately, tailing 
humpback whales and cruising 
with dolphins. If all of this sounds 
like a wet version of the aeronau- 
tics industry, it's no coincidence. 

"I used to fantasize about the 
early days of aircraft when guys 
would throw together canvas 
and string and fly out of their 
backyards," says Hawkes. who 
grew up in England idoiizing the 
Spitfire pilots of World War II. 

Hawkes instead went on to 
become a leading designer of 
deep-diving vehicles and robots, 
but his passions for sky and sea 
have clearly merged in Deep 
Flight, a sleek, highly maneuver- 
able machine that more closely 
resembles a jet fighter than a re- 
search submersible. Deep Flight 
features tapered wings, rear 
power thrusters, and a transpar- 
ent, bullet-shaped nose cone. 
There's just enough room for one 
person to lie inside the cylindri- 
cal hull and pilot the vessel with 
two joystick controls. Although 
Hawkes is still testing his cre- 
ation in the calm waters of San 
Francisco Bay near his work- 
shop in Point Richmond, Califor- 
nia, he has ambitious plans. This 
year he wants to fly Deep Flight 
through the kelp forests of Mon- 
terey Bay and dip down to 4,000 
feet. By 1996, if all goes well, he 
will launch an expedition dubbed 
"Ocean Everest" — a seven-mile 
plunge into the forbidding dark- 
ness of the Mariana Trench, the 
deepest point on the planet. 

Deep Flight's design and 
grandiose mission represent a 
radical departure from the way 



scientists currently study the 
ocean. Typically, researchers sink 
awkwardly through the water col- 
umn in clumsy submersibles. 
taking notes, gathering samples, 
and hovering generally above 
10,000 feet. In contrast, Hawkes 
has supplied his vessel with 10 
times the thrusting power of tra- 
ditional subs for speed and ma- 
neuverability, two elements he 
figures are crucial for a sus- 
tained exploration of the 35,810- 
foot-deep Mariana Trench, which 
is located in the western North 
Pacific near Guam, For his expe- 
dition, Hawkes plans a 600-foot- 
per-minute head-first dive that 
would place him at the bottom in 
about an hour. With a rebreather 
system comprised of a tank of 
pure oxygen and a carbon diox- 
ide scrubber, Deep Flight would 
be able to easily sustain a five- 
hour exploration of the trench. As 
for the extreme pressure at that 
depth — water crushes at eight 
tons per square inch — Hawkes 
plans to beef up his hull with 



super-strong ceramic, a material 
four times stronger than titanium. 
Whatever the outcome of 
Ocean Everest, Deep Flight's 
greatest value may lie in its light 
weight and low cost. Currently, 
most research submersibles op- 
erate out of ungainly mother 
ships with sizable crews that can 
cost researchers as much as 
$30,000 per day to use; and sci- 
entists often must wait long 
stretches before an available 
ship and sub meander to their 
quadrant of the globe to begin 
field research. Since Deep Flight 
requires no mother ship, Hawkes 
envisions scientists loading five 
or six of the 17-foot, 4,000-pound 
machines aboard inexpensive 
rental boats and zipping out to 
their research sites providing easy 
access to the remote and diffi- 
cult terrain of this final frontier. 
"On land," says Hawkes, "you'd 
be hard-pressed to go where no 
one else has gone before. But in 
the ocean, there's always the 
possibility of discovery. "DO 




SDUfUDS 



ANALOG VERSUS DIGITAL: 

Has vinyl been wrongly dethroned by the music industry? 

By Anthony Liversidge 



DIGITAL VERSUS ANALOG: 

Digital music on CD reigns as the industry standard 

By Ted Libbey 



The symphony flowing 
from my speakers 
sounds glorious, much 
better than your usual CD. 
Maybe that's because it's not a 
CD at all but that banished audio 
relic, an LP. 

A Luddite lunatic, you might 
think, but I have plenty of expert 
company. Ever since CDs were 
launched as "perfect sound for- 
ever" by Sony and Philips in 
1982, they have been' criticized 
as missing something vital. Musi- 
cians who have spoken out 
against digital sound include 
jazz pianist Keith Jarrett, who 
complains CDs lose the subtlety 
"where expression lies." Rock 
star Neil Young lamented in Gui- 
tar Player that "digital is a disas- 
ter. It's an insult to the brain and 
heart and feelings." 

Of course, CDs have improved 
a lot recently, and some are very 
fine. But many "golden ears" 
h still prefer LPs. The Ab- 
solute Sound found- 
er and editor 
rry Pear- 
. son says, 
"LPs 




are decisively more musical. 
CDs drain the soul from music. 
The emotional involvement dis- 
appears." Michael Frerner, senior 
editor of popular music, adds, 
"Digital preserves music the way 
formaldehyde preserves frogs. 
You kill it, and it lasts forever." 

Meanwhile the LP, not so 
much dethroned as assassi- 
nated by a record industry un- 
willing to market two formats at 
the same time, is waking from 
the dead. Thirteen or more com- 
panies are releasing audiophile 
LPs over the next two years. 
Classic Records' new editions of 
the highly prized RCA Victor Liv- 
ing Stereo recordings of the 
Fifties look and sound better 
than the originals, and they will 

"Music on LP Is 

the food of love, while the CD is 

merely sensational 

sex: exciting taut ultimately 

unsatisfying. One 

hurries back to the comfortable 

embrace of analog." 

be issuing Verve's jazz library 
soon. Mosaic, Reference Re- 
cordings, Mobile Fidelity, Shef- 
field, Analogue, Chesky, and 
Bluenote are all matching their 
audiophile CDs with the same 
music on premium vinyl. 
Proponents of digital 
sound will argue this vinyl 
vival is merely mis- 
placed nostalgia. Audio 
Critic- editor Peter 
Aczel compares it to 
cult in buggy 
whips — it doesn't 
make sense. Vinyl 
dead!" 
But they can- 
ot deny that 
:he industry is 
struggling to 
perfect a CD 
format cursed 



with primitive (16 bits, 44. 1K) 
specs that are hard to polish to 
true sonic excellence. Because 
the binary "word length" is 16 
bits (only 16 slots for the zeros 
and ones it counts with), the CD 
can detect only 65,536 levels of 
sound pressure, far fewer than 
the sensitivity of human hearing. 
The digital process also comes 
up short in capturing low-level 
sound waves smoothly. 

To make up for digital's defects, 
many mastering engineers keep 
analog sound in the recording 
pipeline as long as possible, 
They say that unless digital stand- 
ards jump to a new level, analog 
will remain the touchstone. 

The one concession I'll make 
is that very good audio gear 
brings trie -two closer together. I 
mounted a shootout between the 
best LPs and CDs on a $6,000 
system (including a Rotel deck 
and amplifier with B and W 640i 
reference speakers and XLO ca- 
bles) that made the best of each. 
LPs played on a $1,600 Town- 
shend Mark III Rock turntable 
(Keith Jarrett's choice as the ulti- 
mate), stabilized on a Seismic 
Rock platform, lost the last ves- 
tige of resonance, the Achilles 
heel of vinyl. 

On this impeccable setup, 
CDs gained some of the sonic 
splendor of the LPs, and LPs ac- 
quired the rocklike rigidity and 
clarity of CDs. Often it was hard 
to choose without extended lis- 
tening. Then the stomach sig- 
naled in favor of the vinyl, almost 
every time. 

But with that much needed to 
make CDs palatable, in my living 
room the LP still reigns. The bot- 
tom line is that it is as hard to 
make an LP sound bad as it is to 
make a CD sound good, And if a 
state-of-the-art turntable can lift 
LPs to digital clarity without digi- 
tal's drawbacks, that's where I'd 
put my money.DQ 



The credo of digital 
audio is that any sound, 
including the highly com- 
plex sounds of music, can be rep- 
resented by a finite number of 
numerical samples and stored and 
retrieved that way. My introduc- 
tion to the process came during 
the mid 1 970s when I was a grad- 
uate student at Stanford Univer- 
sity and had the opportunity to 
observe at close hand what the 
composers at Stanford's CCRMA 
(Center for Computer Research 
in Music and Acoustics) were 
achieving. Among the demon- 
strations I witnessed were "blind" 
tests of digital versus analog re- 
production of sound. My convic- 
tion that digital recording and 
playback is superior to analog 
was born from those experiences. 
In the commercial sector, at 
least as far as classical music is 
concerned, digital recording has 
been the standard since about 
1980 — two years before the ar- 
rival of the compact disc made 
digital playback a reality. But the 
debate as to the merits of digital 
sound continues. 

Adherents of analog complain 
that digital recording takes the 
"life" out of recorded music by 
failing to capture its most subtle 
nuances — and to bolster their ar- 
gument they talk about sampling 
rates and converters and how 
unnatural all that stuff is, forget- 
ting that our ears process sound 
by sampling it incrementally and 
sending discrete messages to 
the brain for conversion. They 
claim that, compared with the 
"warmer" sound of LPs, CDs are 
cold, analytical, harsh. Of course, 
most of them can afford the 
$30,000-plus systems needed to 
make their LPs sound reason- 
ably good. But the "sweetness" 
they talk about is actually a com- 
bination of pitch fluctuation and 
artificial equalization, and the 
subtle haze of distortion to which 



they have become accustomed 
is enough to drive most serious 
music lovers — those familiar with 
the way music sounds in a live 
environment — crazy. Analog 
sound is like some people we 
know: pleasant and attractive, 
but faintly dishonest. 

Of course, vinyl aficionados 
like to call compact discs "toy 
discs." But as a playback medium, 
the CD offers a larger dynamic 
range and much less distortion 
than either the LP or cassette. 
Whether the program encoded 
on a CD was recorded digitally 
or by an analog process, it can 
be played back more accurately 
than can the same program on 
vinyl or tape, and with no degra- 
dation. If the original is, say, a 

"The CD offers a 
larger dynamic range and much 

less distortion 
than either the LP or cassette- 
it is clear, warm, 
and alive, with natural tonal 
qualities." 

good stereo recording from the 
1960s captured on magnetic 
tape, a properly remastered com- 
pact disc will sound exactly like 
the master tape — clear, warm, 
and alive, with natural tonal qual- 
ities. And it will accurately repro- 
duce the high-frequency "hiss" 
that has always been a part of 
recording on magnetic tape (but 
which one rarely heard on LP be- 
cause it was masked by surface 
noise and diminished by the 
high-end rolloff typical of even 
the best stereo cartridges). 

If the original is a good digital 
recording, the CD will again sound 
like the master — clear, warm, and 
alive, with astonishing impact 
and presence, lifelike dynamic 
range, no hiss at all, and no dis- 
tortion other than that inherent in 
the microphones that were used. 



That's what I 
want to hear. 

The prospect of ' 
recording r 

this technology has created 
widespread if not universal en- 
thusiasm among classical musi- 
cians. Among the early advocates 
was the Austrian conductor Her- 
bert von Karajan, who hailed dig- 
ital recording as "definitely 
superior to any other form of re- 
cording we know." 

Popular musicians have also 
embraced the technology. In one 
celebrated case, documented in 
the July 1992 issue of Mix maga- 
zine, guitarist Robbie Robertson 
recorded parts of his "Storyville" 
album simultaneously in analog 
and digital, then sat down with 
his musicians and engineer 
Steve Nye, until then a devotee 
of analog, to put the two versions 
to an A-B test. The verdict: "We 
came to the conclusion that the 
analog machine was like a piece 
of equipment for an effect." 

According to Robertson, defi- 
nition in the analog playback 
was not as good as in the digital, 
and things in the lower register 
such as bass drums sounded 
"mumbly." Most interesting of all, 
engineer Nye found that "on the 
digital he could match this effect 
with just a little bottom EQ and a 
little compression." In other 
words, by adding distortion to 
the digital signal, an analog "arti- 
fact" could be created. 

Even as evidence like this 
continues to accumulate,, the 
heated analog-versus-digital de- 
bate goes on. For me, though, 
the last word in the dispute was 
uttered almost ten years ago by 
the late Pierre Bourdain, a New 
York-based record producer 
turned retailer, In answer to a 
customer's query about the LPs 
his store used to carry, he shot 
back, "Our LPs? We sent them to 
a landfill in Brooklyn. "DQ 



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FUTURE FIREARMS: 

New weapons take law enforcement into the twenty-first century. Plus, a push 

for smaller people, and the invasion of fire ants 



"Police officers are still equipped rnucfi as Wyalt Earp 
was in the nineteenth century," says David Boyd, director 
of the Science and Technology Division of the National 
Institute of Justice (NIJ). As head of NIJ's Less-Than-Lethal 
(LTL) technology program, Boyd is equipping police officers 
for the twenty-first century by designing Robocop-like tools 
and weapons with an eye both to safety and effectiveness. 

Though it sounds a bit like a Hollywood comic device 
for chase scenes, sticky foam may prove to be a valuable 
addition to the arsenals of real world crimefighters. "Sticky 
foam stops a suspect because everything it touches be- 
comes stuck to it, immobilizing the subject's legs and arms 
like contact cement," says Tom Goolsby, senior member 
of the technical staff of the Access Delay Technology 
Department at Sandia National Laboratories. The foam is 
stored as a pressurized liquid containing Freon, rubbers, 
resins, oils, and stabilizers which, when 
. exposed to atmosphericj 
pressure, turns i 
foam, The process ex-5 
pands the 1 1/2 liters of sticky, rubbery 
materials into more than 10 gallons of 
foam with a density of cotton balls. 

Goolsby says one potential use of 
the device might be in dealing with 
difficult prisoners. Presently, prison 
guards use body armor and riol shields 
to protect themselves from violent 
and reluctant prisoners during trans- 
port from cell to cell or prison to prison. 
With sticky foam, the foam can be 
shot through the food siot with no injury to the guards. 
Other possible uses might include riot control and added 
protection for high-security areas. Sticky foam might help 
to capture intruders by blocking exits with large bags 
filled with the substance through which an intruder would 
have to pass in order to escape. In so doing, the suspect 
would have to break the bag. The sticky foam inside would 
do the rest. So far, the two major challenges to this tech- 
nology seem to be environmental and medical. Re- 
searchers must find a way to effectively clean up the mess 
that sticky toam makes and determine if the compound 
poses any serious health risks to both users and targets. 

Another promising idea for law enforcement is the 
development of smart guns which would employ user- 
recognizing devices to eliminate the possibility of an 
unauthorized user getting control of a police officer's 
firearm. "In the next two years, we will develop a list of as 
many technologies as possible to choose from, prioritize 




them with a ranking scheme, and build working models 
of at least two," says Douglas R. Weiss, project manager 
at Sandia, under contract for the NIJ. 

One model, for instance, uses a capacitive proximity 
sensor embedded in the gun. As the hand is wrapped 
around it, an electric field discriminates between a large 
and a small hand. Other biometric (the study of unique 
attributes of the body) devices, like voice recognition, 
retinal scans, and finger and palm prints, may also be 
developed. The advantage of such devices is obvious: 
Sensors ensure that the person who fires the weapon is 
the person authorized to use it. 

Smart gun technologies are based on the simple 
premise that the more the gun can "know," the more 
effective it is as a weapon. Electronic tags similar to bar 
codes in library books or the ubiquitous plastic tags in 
clothing stores, for example, could be 
worn by undercover police who would 
be otherwise unrecognizable. "If an 
officer wears a tag on the body in a 
ring, watch, uniform button, or belt 
buckle, a reader in the firearm can scan 
the tag for the identity either using 
magnetics, electronics, or radio fre- 
quency," says Weiss. It might just be 
.enough to save undercover agents 
from the dangers oi friendly fire. 
Weiss stresses that close atten- 
tion is being paid to surety — relia- 
bility, safety, security, and use con- 

trol of the smart gun. It must work 

when officers want it to, and not work when they don't 
want it to. He likens the seriousness of this task to the 
nearly identical design problems inherent in nuclear 
weapons; They have to be reliable, but must also be 
absolutely safe until ready for use. 

After safety, cost is a big concern. Because this tech- 
nology is so expensive to develop, Boyd is planning to 
expand into the civilian market. But there are better rea- 
sons for targeting civilian firearm owners. Smart guns 
might, for example, greatly reduce the number of in- 
home firearm thefts. More importantly, many domestic 
homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings could be 
prevented with a smart gun. Whatever the technologies 
are, Weiss plans to design retrofitable devices and to 
make them easily affordable by all firearm owners. New 
technologies may not be the solution to increased vio- 
lence and crime, but safer weapons is a good place to 
start.— CAROL SILVERMAN SAUNDERS 




coruTiniuunn 



SAY EXCUSE ME, 



Three herds of cows will be 
outfitted with tiny methane 
detectors by Utah State Uni- 
versity scientists who hope 
to find out over the next three 
years if the animals really 
do produce between 7 and 
21 percent of the color- 
less, odorless gas. Methane 
absorbs infrared radiation 
and is believed to contribute 
to global warming. 

Its a problem that has long 
plagued researchers, who 
until now could only test cows 
in small, sealed chambers 
or follow them around in pas- 
tures to monitor the plants 
they ate and guess at how 
much methane they pro- 
duced. A new device pat- 
ented by Patrick Zim- 
merman, a senior scientist 
at the National Center 
for Atmospheric Research in 
Boulder, Colorado, should 
furnish far more precise meas- 
urements, if cows or other 




at one end. A sniffer runs 
down a halter and ends in 
an open tube one-six- 
teenth of an inch in diameter 
that sits just three or four 
inches from the animal's 
mouth, where the meth- 
ane content from each bo- 
vine belch is analyzed. 
Kris Johnson, an animal 



THE STRUCTURE OF AN IGLOO IS SO WELL INSULATED 
THAT ONE CAN COMFORTABLY SIT INSIDE 
WITHOUT A COAT, WHILE THE OUTSIDE TEMPERATURE 
CAN BE AS LOW AS 40 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. 



domestic ruminants are caus- 
ing problems, either their 
diets or their genetic predis- 
position to produce meth- 
ane could conceivably be 
altered to reduce the 
amount of gas generated. 

Zimmerman's device 
consists of two components. 
A metal cartridge emits a 
small amount of sulfur hexa- 
fluoride at a steady rate 
through a plastic component 



scientist at Washington 
State University, says small- 
scale tests there have 
proven that the device does 
work on cows. A major 
problem would seem to be 
figuring out how to lower 
the methane production of 
other free-ranging rumi- 
nants such as buffaloes, deer, 
and camels, whose diets 
cannot be so easily con- 
trolled. — George Nobbe 



SILENT PIANO 

A common difficulty many 
serious pianists face is their 
tendency to practice when 
the spirit moves them — which 
is often in the middle of 
the night — to the annoyance 
of their neighbors. And 
while practice can be agony 
for reluctant kids who are 
dragged kicking and whining 
to the piano bench to flail 
away at scales, their efforts 
can be just as painful to 
the rest of the family. What 
both groups obviously 
need is a silent piano. 

And that is precisely what 
Yamaha Corporation of 
America has devised. Its Silent 
Series pianos look and 
sound like regular upright pi- 
anos, and have all the 
traditional piano innards in 
the right places. "This is 
tradition married with tech- 
nology," says Yamaha 
marksiing manager Carter 
Schuld, "not a mere plas- 
tic electronic keyboard." When 
you kick a foot pedal to 



the left, the piano is silenced 
for everyone else in the 
room. A set of headphones 
lets the pianist hear the 
instrument's full, rich tones. 

Schuld says that once the 
mechanism is activated, 
a device in the depths of the 
instrument locks the ham- 
mers just before they strike 
the strings, preventing 
them from vibrating. A set of 
fiberoptic sensors then 
takes over, measuring the 
speed and 127 grada- 
tions of intensity with which 
the individual keys are 
struck. With the help of a tone 
chip, a digital simulation 
or sampling of the sound is 
heard in the headset, 
pedal action and all. 

What the pianist hears may 
be better than the real 
thing, because the upright's 
sampled sound simulation 
is said to be equivalent to the 
sounds produced by a 
concert grand. And when you 
want to show off, you can 
play normally by disengaging 
the system. The premium 
for the capability isn't too 
great — a Silent Series 
upright sells for $8,395, com- 
pared to $7,495 for a 
standard Yamaha upright. 

— George Nobbe 




FOG COLLECTOR 

The Atacama Desert in 
northern Chile is one of the 
driest spots on Earth, a 
place where the 350 villagers 
who live in Chungungo 
see ho rain for years on end. 
So when atmospheric 
scientists from Environment 
Canada worked with 
scientists and engineers from 
Chile to devise a way to 
harvest drinking water from 
the clouds that drift in 
off the Pacific Ocean, their 
feat was hailed as a 



GLOBALLY, THE MICROBIAL 
DECAY OF FOREST 
DEBRIS RETURNS SOME 85 
BILLION TONS OF 
CARBON DIOXIDE TO THE 
ATMOSPHERE AN- 
NUALLY, OR 233 MILLION 
TONS EVERY DAY. 



miracle akin to the patenting 
of desalinization in 1869. 

Scientists draped 75 
sheets of plastic-mesh 
netting over a line suspended 
seven teet off the ground, 
like a washline facing into 
the wind, along the El 
Tofo ridge above Chungungo, 
explains Roberts. 
Schemenauer. A cloud phys- 
icist from Environment 
Canada in Toronto, he helped 
find an efficient way to 
trap billions of tiny fog drop- 
lets in the mesh sheeting, 
each piece of which is about 
40 feet long and- 1 3 feet high. 

It was a daunting task be- 
cause it takes about 10 mil- 
lion droplets to yield a single 
drop of water about the 
size of a match head, accord- 



ing to Schemenauer. But 
it worked. An average 3,000 
gallons of fog water a day 
now run down the meshes 
into collecting troughs. A 
pipeline then carries it to a 
storage tank. 

Schemenauer says the 
nets, which cost about 
$400 each, collect anywhere 
from 20 to 65 percent of 
the moisture available in the 
dense camanchacas, as 
the Pacific fogs are called 
by rural Chileans. Unlike 
desal'.nization, used exten- 
sively and expensively in ■ 



the Middle East, the nets 
cost nothing to operate. 

"This system could be 
applied in arid zones 
all around the world," says 
Schemenauer. The Chil- 
ean nets yield a gallon of pota- 
ble water per square yard 
of the double-folded mesh. 

The system works best 
at altitudes of 1,500 to 3,000 
feet, where prevailing 
winds reach speeds between 
5 and 20 miles per hour. 
He admits that the technique, 
which was tried experi- 
mentally in the 1950s, is not 



exactly new. "Pliny the 
Elder, the Roman historian, 
mentions collecting water 
that dripped from trees in 
catch basins," he says. 

Schemenauer and his 
colleagues have obtained 
funds from Canada's Inter- 
national Development Re- 
search Center to evaluate the 
fog collection potential in 
several dry countries, such 
as Eritrea, Yemen,- Kenya, 
Tanzania, and India, where it 
could have immense possi- 
bilities for agricultural use. 

— George Nobbe 



JUMBO SHRIMP 

Monster shrimp may have 
once ruled the world. 
Around 530 million years 
ago (some 290 million 
years before dinosaurs), 
Anomalocaris, a terrify- 
ing marine creature up to 
two meters long, was 
the largest animal on Earth. 
Until recently it was 
known only from a few limbs 
found in Canada. Fossils 
from the shrimp, however, 
have now been reported 
from Chengjiang in South 
China to Emu Bay on 
Kangaroo Island off the 
South Australian coast. 

Anomalocaris 
(weird shrimp) gets its name 
through a pair of large, 
spiny appendages protrud- 
ing from its head. With 
these it must have gripped 
its prey, crushing it with 
an array of teeth in a circular 
mouth surrounded by 
horny plates that opened 
and closed like a cam- 
era iris. The fossils show that 
the shrimp used a variety 
of hunting techniques: One 




of the Australian species 
apparently combed through 
mud In search of soft- 
bodied animals, while the 
Canadian and Chinese 
versions swam after their 
prey, propelling them- 
selves with trunk flaps. 
The shrimp looks so 
bizarre that for more than 
70 years the fossil parts 
found in the Burgess Shale 
in British Columbia were 
mistakenly classified as four 
separate animals. They 
were pieced together as one 
creature in the earth 
sciences department of Eng- 
land's Cambridge Uni- 
versity. Professor Derek 
Briggs, of Bristol Uni- 



Miiiians of years 
before dinosaurs, a 

gianl shrimp may have 

been its era's leading predator. 

versity's geology department, 
worked on the jigsaw. "In 
British Columbia," he says, 
"I have found fossils of 
trilobites with W-shaped 
scars corresponding 
to the biting action of the 
shrimp's mouth. As 
Anomalocaris was around 
when there was no life 
on land, it probably domi- 
nated the world." 

—Ivor Smullen 




coriJTiruuunn 



LET'S GET SMALL 

Thomas Samaras believes 
short people have gotten 
the short end of the stick. He 
challenges the conven- 
tional "bigger is better" doc- 
trine in The Truth About 
Your Height, a book which 
has garnered high praise 
from the Short Stature Foun- 
dation and other groups. 

Humans have been get- 
ting bigger over the gen- 
erations. Americans are now 
about four inches taller 
on average than their colonial 
ancestors, according to 
Samaras, a5'10"San Diego 
engineer and author. 
Japanese youth of today are 
some three inches taller 
than their grandparents. In 
the past two centuries, 
moreover, the average Nor- 
wegian has grown eight 
inches. Many view this growth 
as a positive, and indeed 
natural, thing. 

But Samaras 
a dark side. "Tall 
people consume 
more of just about 
everything: more 



less, in short, to keep short 
people alive. 

So what's to be done? 
"We were smaller once," 
Samaras argues. "Whatever 
is making us bigger can 
be reversed." First, he says, 
people must be educated 
about the conseguences of 
our continued growth. 
Another battleground is nu- 
trition: "Americans are 
overfed. We eat too much 
protein and fat, which 
doesn't do us any good." 

"It's time for a national 
height policy" he urges. "We 
can't have such a policy 
until people acknowledge 
that there is a problem." 

— Steve Nad is 



WHEN YOUR FOOT 
FALLS ASLEEP, ITS 
CONDITION IS 
CALLED TARESTHESIA. 



food, more space. 
And they produce 
more pollution in tl 
process, including more 
trash," he says. Assum- 
ing Americans became 
20 percent bigger, 
annual consumption of 
mineral resources would 
increase by 600 million 
tons, he estimates. Gar- 
bage would increase by 
80 million tons per year. 
And we'd need 1 80 million 
acres of new farmland. 
Short people, conversely, 
place fewer demands on 
the environment. It costs 

34 OMNI 




HIGH-TECH 
PROTECTION 

Would-be attackers beware: 
Today's potential crime 
victims have enlisted the aid 
of a variety of high-tech 
defensive devices. They're 
carrying products like 
DYEWitness, which emits a 
stream of foaming spray 
that turns muggers a star- 
tling shade of green on 
contact, and Voice Defense, 
an electronic gadget 
that shrieks a 1 1 2-decibel 
cry for help. 

Joseph Finney of Marcon 
3 Ltd. in Colorado Springs 
says the nontoxic DYEWit- 
ness spray creates a 
sliming effect from a dis- 
tance of up to 10 feet, 
and the more an assailant 
tries to wipe it off, the 
more it spreads to the face, 
hands, and hair. It comes 
in a pocket-size, nonrefill- 
able aerosol container 
that holds enough spray to 
fire a 10-second burst. 

Finney says the stuff can't 
be washed off for up to 

a week, which presents 
miscreants with a prob- 
lem. "Where's a man with 
|j a green face going 

.J to hide?" he asks. The 

y dye contains form- 
aldehyde, which makes 

the eyes burn, but the 

fvlarcon 3 executive is 

cagey about what 
else is in the product, 

which sells for under 
$20 a container. 

The handheld, purse- 
size Voice Defense 
device, made by Bencel in 
Towson, Maryland, takes 
a somewhat more high-tech 
approach, shrieking 



"Help Me! Someone help 
me!" at the top of its mi- 
crochip-amplified voice in 
both Spanish and English. 

At 112decibels, Bencel 
marketing executive 
Mary Bray says the calls for 
help — male or female, at 
the touch of an internal 
switch — can be heard up to 
300 yards away in 
generally quiet environs, and 




up to 100 yards away 
on noisier city streets. 

Voice Defense will 
keep on yelljng for up to 90 
minutes if necessary. It's 
powered .by a 9-volt battery 
and uses a sound filter 
to ensure that its shouts are 
clear enough to be 
easily understood. 

The digital scream for 
help sells for $29.95. 
Its effectiveness lies in the 
fact that the voice per- 
sonalizes the victim's dire 
situation, unlike the me- 
chanical sirens used in car 
alarms, to which nobody 
pays much attention any- 
more.— George Nobbe 




CDfUTiruuunn 







College of Medicine. Re- 


What concerns deShazo 






cent victims include a five- 


is the ingenious survival 






day-old infant asleep in a 


strategies they have: devel- 






■crib in Alabama, two Florida 


oped. The fire "ants make 






Alzheimer's patients, and 


it through the winter by build- 






a 69-year-old man who died 


ing nests near heat 


4t^ls» 'C'" ".■«'. 


from a stroke after he 


sumps like curbs and roadr 


ttBm W h#* 


was stung while sleeping in 


ways, They have also 


JBr #23 


a Louisiana motel room. 


developed multiple-queen ■ 


^7 Jflg 


DeShazo says Soienop- 


colonies, forming mounds 




sis invicta overwhelmed 


that house up to 500,000 




a rival species called S. rich- 


ants, sometimes as little 




terito form a fierce hybrid 


as 50 yards apart. 






shortly after it. arrived in the 


"Immobile human beings 


Ouch! The fire tni i.w den if 


port of Mobile from Para- 


are a fikely source of 




humps up its body and uses a stinger to inject venom. 


guayan the 1930s. It-has 


the sugars, proteins, and 






since been blamed for 


fats they need," says 




ANT ATTACK The ants have moved in 


89 reported deaths from ana- 


deShazo. The fire ants, rid- 




doors in their search for 


phylactic reactions, 


ing shipments of plants 




Foraging fire ants, long a food, according to Richard 


though some victims have 


and nursery stock, could 




peril in the Deep South, A. deShazo, director of 


managed to survive as 


move westward as far as 




have adapted to cooier tern- the Division of Allergy and 


many as 10.000 stings. "In- 


California and northward 




perat.ures and have be- Immunology at the Uni- 


victa will bite anything it 


into lower Maryland. 




g.un a march north. versity of South Alabama 


contacts," he says. 


— George Nobbe 



HELPING HAND 

Around Boston, there's 
talk of a new physical thera- 
pist in town. Manus is 
the name, and rehab's the 
game. He's trained to 
guide patients through exer- 
cises, methodically chart- 
ing their progress. Unlike 
some of his colleagues, 
Manus is never too busy to 
work with you. He's got 
all the time in the world. An- 
other thing about Manus: 
He was built at MIT. 

The robot was conceived 
by MIT professor Neville 
Hogan and put together by a 
team of students and re- 
searchers. Though other ro- 
bots are capable of doing ■ 
chores for people— picking 
up objects, carrying 
things, and so forth — Manus 
is different, Hogan says, 
because it is. designed for 



"direct human contact" 
The first application his team 
is ieshng Involves helping 
stroke patients recover move- 
ment in their hands and 
wrists. This is a potentially 
large application, Hogan 
points out, since more than 



VEINS IN AN ELEPHANT'S 
EARS FORM A PATTERN 
THAT IS AS UNIQUE AS A 
HUMAN FINGERPRINT. 



250,000 Americans suffer 
a stroke each year. 

According to current 
plans, a human thera- 
pist would specify the move- 
ments for a patient to per- 
form. Manus can learn these 
maneuvers and "play 
them .back" with a patient's 
arm strapped to the ro- 



botic limb. The robot can as- 
sist with the motion, pro- 
viding guidance or resistance 
when needed, all the while 
recording the patient's per- 
formance. "You may want 
to know how strong Mrs. X is 
six days after the stroke," 



Hogan explains. "It's hard 
for a person to measure 
that, but the robot can do it" 

Manus will begin clin- 
ical trials this fall with patients 
at the Burke Rehabilitation 
Hospital in White Plains, New 
York— Steve Nadis 




Hermano Krebshelped develop Manus, 
guide patients through therapy and track 







por 


otumus in the middle 


of t 
inq 
Sps 


ie Paramount park- 
lot. The parking 
chs in a bowl -like 


rel 
wi; 

now 

fIVC 


ved of cars and filled 
water. The water 
poses as an African 

r against the blue- 






the shooting of Michael 



dry space. With East 




vault doors of Stages 8 



of technology here: the 




CAST FAR 
ACROSS THE 
GAIAXX 
STARFLEET OFFI- 
CERS AND 
MAQUIS REBELS 
MUST WORK 
AS A TEAM TO 
BRING THE 
U.S.S. VOYAGER 
BACK HOME. 



many 18-hour days 
sets, filming ihe two-hour Star 
Trek: Voyager movie that will 
beam this new cast into mil- 
lions of homes! Everyone was 
supposed to have this day 
off, but the filming has so: led 
over into a week of hiatus. 
Yet I see no tension among 
director Rick Kolbe, the cast, 
the prop folks, or the make-up 
artists. Only professionals", 
enthusiasm, and even the 
occasional quip or joke, 

The show's oddest alien 
has a few of those as he 
grabs a bagel and some juice. 
Neelix, played by Ethan 
Phillips. TV Guide calls him 
the breakout character of 
the series. 

"They were referring to 
the fact that after a month l 
will have a very bad case of 
acne," says the actor. You've 
seen him before. Short, bald- 
ing, bright, and baby-boomer- 
something. You won't see 
the human version of his 
face on Voyager, though. 

Phillips describes his 
character. "Neelix has a huge 
sunken forehead and a large 
cranium with a mohawk cut 
and big orange eyes. Not the 
40 OMNI 



greatest teeth in the world. 
High, austere cheekbones. 
Fuzzy little eyebrows and 
fuzzy little hair. He's cuddly. 
But he can be frightening if 
he wants. He's very coura- 
geous. Rick Berman said to 
Michael Westmore that he 
thought this was the best 
makeup he'd ever done. I've 
never seen anybody look 
like me on the show, ever. 

"He likes women. He likes 
Nine Inch Nails. He's a big 
fan of Trent Reznor's. You'll 
catch him at the Viper Club," 

Neelix is a Talaxian. "He's 
a scavenger," says Phillips. 
"He's kind of a twenty-fourth- 
century homeless person, 
really. He has a little junk ship, 
and he wanders around and 
collects debris and stuff, but 
he's really savvy, and he 
knows this quadrant of the 
universe really well." 

That would be the Delta 
Quadrant. The Voyager- 
bumps into it thousands of 
light-years from Earth, 75 
years at top warp speed 
from Federation space. 

Who hurled this new ship 
way out there? 

The same studio that put 



Aia: fake hippo in the middle 
of its lot. 

"Paramount wanted a 
show very much like The 
Next Generation," says 
Michael Filler, a slender, boy- 
ish fellow wearing jeans and 
tennis shoes, as he relaxes 
between phone calls in a 
quiet office in the Hart Build- 
ing. Piller is one of the three 
executive producers and 
creators of Voyager. His 
third-season addition to The 
Next Generation's staff is 
credited by many as the 
reason the show steadied 
after a shaky start and sailed 
into its astonishing success. 
"Rick Berman, Jeri Taylor, 
and I felt that we could not 
simply create a new ship 
and put a new cast in it and 
call it Star Trek-something 
and basically do the same 
show that we've been doing 
for seven years. It would not 
be creatively exciting for us. 
We felt we had to take the 
universe that Gene had 
given us and find a different 
perspective on it." 

A different perspective, 
certainly. Try clear on' the 
other side of the Milky Way. 




The Voyager, with a crew 
of 125 and designed for 
scientific missions of only a 
year or so, is one of a new 
line of vessels smaller than 
the Enterprise. Captained 
by Katharine Janeway. it is 
sent out after a ship crewed 
by outlaws called the Maquis. 
The Maquis are ex-Feder- 
ation freedom fighters, with 
a chip on their shoulder 
against the Feds, and a plank 
against the Cardassians. 
The Maquis ship has disap- 
peared in the Badlands, an 
unusual region of space. 
The Voyager gets swept up 
in the same phenomenon 
that captured the Maquis — 
an ancient artificial space/ 
time rift called the Array — 
and finds itself far from 
home in the midst of a Star 
Wars-scale intergalactic 
battle. To survive and get 
back, the Voyager allies with 
the Maquis; however, the 
Maquis ship is destroyed, and 
its members must be beamed 
aboard. A fateful choice is 
made, the. Array collapses, 
and the two crews— once 
antagonists — find themselves 
in a struggle for survival in 



John's losing his hair. 
His mission: get it back. 



ASAP! 

But how? 

Weaving? No. 

Transplant? 

Not for him. 

A hairpiece? 

Never, never. 

What John really 

wants is his 

own hair back. 

And now he's learned, 

for male pattern 

baldness, only 

Rogaine' has been 

proven to regrow hair. 



Normal hair grow-, and rests in cycles. The 
exact mechanism by which Rogaine' 
Topical Solution (minoxidil topical solution 
2%) stimulates hair growth is unknown. But 
many scientists bdx-ve thai Roga ine works, 
in part, by taking ml vantage of the existing 
hair's growth cycle, frolong the growth 
cycle so that more 1 lairs grow longer and 
thicker at the same Lime, and you may see 
improved scalp coverage. 

Will Rogaine work for you? 

Dermatologists conducted 12-month clini- 
cal tests. After 4 months, 26% of patients 
using Rogaine reported moderate to dense 
hair regrowth, compared with 11% of those 
using a placebo (a similar solution without 
minoxidil — the active ingredient in 
Rogaine). After 1 year of use, almost half of 
the men who continued using Rogaine m 
the study rated their regrowth as moderate 
(40%) to dense (8%) . Thirty-six percent 
reported minimal regrowth. The rest (16%) 
had no regrowth. 

Side effects \\vrc mumv.nl: 7% of those 
who used Rogaine had itching 
ofthescalp.CRoLighly Sft 
of those using a 
ipL placebo 




reported the same minor ii Til:, lions.) Rogaine 
should only be applied to a normal, healthy 
scalp (not sunburned or Irritated) . 

Make a commitment 
to see results. 

Studies indicate thai at least ■!■ months of 
twice-daily ireatme,;! idili Rogaine are 
usually necessary before there is evidence of 
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What is ROGAINE? 
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■ -■.r -■ [an wain IB ■ pfDUentabraenl 1. astti leart.rata, or chest pains. 

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No.thesafEtyameftarii". ml ', .1 ■ 'il .■ -.:t tl- n 1 

Caution 1 1 a.; arr.r.tir in -mws a prescription. 



The Upjriin Company, KaSamazDO, W- 



strange starlands. They search for a 

■mhole or some other shortcut 
home. In a dramatic speech ai Ihe end 
of the gonzo two-hour kickoff, Captain 
Janeway more or less announces, 
"And, as long as we're here, we might 
as well do what Federation ships do 
best — seek out and explore." 

And go boldly where no woman has 
gone before. 

"The fact that they had the balls to 
put a woman in this -seat is not only 
courageous . . . it's very bold of them," 
says Captain .. an eways altor ego, Kate 
Mulgrew. "And for the first time ever 
you see a woman who's not victimized. 
Her obstacles are obstacles that every- 
body has to overcome." 

Executive producer and co-creator 
Jeri Taylor, a gracious and calm pres- 
ence in this stellar flurry, concurs. "One 
thing that I felt very strongly about was. 
that, surely by the twenty-fourth cen- 
tury, we can say that a woman can be 
successful without having to act like a 
man. That there's room for a feminine 
side, a nurturing side, a warm side, for 
II those things that I think we all agree 
re mostly identified with women. There 
is no reason why she simply has to be 
Jean Luc Picard with long hair." 

Another big difference: This captain 
used to be a science officer. She 
doesn't need Spock or Data to rattle off 
technical explanations. 

"She is by'profession a scientist 
who went on into the military," explains 
Mulgrew. "As a brilliant scientist she rose 
to the top very quickly." She's a compe- 
tent woman, but sad. She left her lover 
back on Earth. "She can run this stuff, 
but there should be moments when we 
can absolutely see not the fractures in 
her life, but the letdown. It's that deep 
strain of vulnerability and longing that 
fuel the robustness of her spirit." 

Like her predecessors, there is no 
doubt that this woman has trod theatri- 
cal boards. She is a commanding pres- 
ence in person and on the Voyager 
bridge. This is an Irish Kate here, posi- 
tively Hepburnian, yet with her own 
identity and her own galactic frontiers 
to explore. 

"We have a cast of young, attractive 
people," says executive producer 
Michael Piller. "Attractive not just in 
terms of physically attractive, but in 
terms of qualities that they bring. Inter- 
esting people who are going to learn 
how to coexist and learn from one an- 
other and grow. And they're all trying to 
get home on this one spaceship. My 
goal and my contribution to the devel- 
opment process is to say, 'Well, let's 
just do a rip-roaring action-adventure 
show and introduce some really neat 
characters in this pilot.'" 



Like it 1 - 1 starship is 

crewed by a diverse mix of personalities, 

"Tom Paris is loosely based on a 
guest star role I did on The Next Gen- 
eration episode called 'First Duty'," 
says Robert Duncan McNeill, a hand- 
some, affable guy with a strong acting 
background that spans soaps, prime 
time, and features. "He's the navigator; 
he flies the ship. He flew for the 
Maquis, but was captured and put in 
jail." Now Starfleet has pulled him from 
jail and asked his assistance. McNeill 
explains, "His job was to help find the 
Maquis. At best, he might have gotten 
paroled from jail, but he'd never be 
able to fly again. With the Voyager lost, 
he can start over again. 

"There are a lot of strong wills among 
the characters. They're going to strug- 
gle for power. There will be a lot of head 
butting." On screen, certainly. But what 
about on the set? "Kate and I were talk- 
ing last week. We were both amazed at 
the great ensemble that has been put 
together. We've quickly become a fam- 
ily and bonded with a sense 
of joy and fun on this set." 

One particularly joyous fel- 
low is Garrett Wang, who plays 
Harry Kim. His thrill with being 
on Voyager is infectious, his 
identification with his charac- 
ter immediate. "I am the oper- 
ations/communications officer 
on the bridge. I had a stellar 
Starfleet Academy career and 
am basically the rookie on the 
bridge. I'm Asian-American. 
There's the professional com- 
petence, but there's also the 
inner fear, the 'Oh my God, are these 
britches too big for me?' His heritage is 
one of focus, of Zen and martial arts." 

Garrett knocked about the acting 
business for a mere year and a half be- 
fore landing this plum role. More expe- 
rienced but no less enthusiastic is Tim 
Russ, who plays Tuvok. 

"Tuvok is a full Vulcan. He's not a 
half-breed like Spook, and therefore 
there's not quite the struggle to keep 
his emotions in control — though it's cer- 
tainly there," asserts the wiry, strong 
man. "He's the tactical officer and tacti- 
cal security. Vulcans are said to be 
peaceful, In fact, if you were in a war 
situation, you'd want someone calm 
and level-headed (like Tuvok). Strategy 
is based in logic." Russ isn't here just 
for the bucks. He's been a fan of the 
show since he first saw it, in the Seven- 
ties. His interests span beyond the se- 
ries, he adds. "I read science fiction. 
My favorites are Alan Dean Foster and 
the classic Trek novels. I also enjoy 
Ben Bova, Arthur C. Clarke, Michael 
Crichton, and Stephen King. I read, 



and I watch. I'm into this genre." 

Star Trek has a history of openness 
to authors with science-fiction back- 
grounds. Harlan Ellison, Theodore Stur- 
geon, Robert Bloch, and others 
originally; David Gerrold striding the 
generations; Michael Reaves, Diane 
Duane, and recently story editor 
Melinda Snodgrass. But actors who 
read science fiction? 

Ethan Phillips also reads science 
fiction. "I'm a great fan of Greg Bear. I 
like Frederik Pohl. I love Kim Stanley 
Robinson. I've read a lot of Heinlein 
and a fair amount of Dick. Actually, 1 
just finished (Clarke's) Garden of 
Rama, the final book of the whole tril- 
ogy. Ursula LeGuin. Philip Jose Farmer. 
I just read Snow Crash by Neil 
Stephenson. And Paul Park's stuff. He's 
really terrific." 

Phillips himself would probably be 
at home on the Voyager. "What ap- 
peals to me in science fiction is being 
taken to a place that's really different." 

Phillips' character, Neelix, tricks the 



UNfVERSE'S FIRST DEAD 

CHARACTER: DOC ZIMMERMAN, A HOIO- 

GRAPHIC iMPRINT OF 

THE SHIP'S ORIGINAL DOCTOR, WHO IS KILIED 

IN THE SHOW'S PILOT.. 



Voyager into helping him retrieve a girl- 
friend named Kes, played by strikingly 
sweet and beautiful Jennifer Lien, late 
of the sitcom Phenom. 

"Kes is of an alien species, the 
Ocarnpa. She's very young and ethereal. 
She's telepathic," Lien explains. Young? 
You bet. Though she's clearly sexually 
mature, Kes is only one year old. The 
Ocampa have a nine-year life span. 

"The Ocampa live at a quicker rate 
in everyway. I learn faster, I grow faster." 
There's no fatalism, though. "The 
Ocampa are very open and at ease with 
being themselves." 

Less easy-going will be Chief Engi- 
neer B'Elanna Torres, played by Rox- 
ann Biggs-Dawson. "Basically, she's 
trying to reconcile both sides of herself, 
her human heritage and her Klingon 
heritage. There's so much potential 
here. She's half-Klingon and half- 
human, but she's all woman." Roxann 
seems charming and demure. It's hard 
to imagine her snarling and aggres- 
sive, but clearly, she excels, and will 
carry on the Star Trek tradition of 



strong, breakthrough characters. 
"Some of B'Elanna's characteristics 
aren't very attractive. There are also 
some strong and intelligent aspects. 
I'm exploring both sides." 

Another example of the ethnic diver- 
sity of character is Chakotay, played by 
Robert Beltran. "He's a Native Ameri- 
can of no specific tribe or culture. I'm 
trying to get (the producers) to go 
Mayan or Aztec, who were very ad- 
vanced in astronomy. Chakotay is a 
Maquis who left Earth to join a rebel- 
lion. He was an academy graduate. 
He's going to be First Officer. He has a 
tattoo above and around his left eye. It 
means whatever (makeup maven) 
Michael Westmore says it means." 

Finally, Voyager will have Star Trek's 
first dead character: Doc Zimmerman, 
played by Robert Picardo of China 
Beach fame. 

"He's a hologram, and he's turning 
out to be a wonderful character," says 
Michael Filler. 

The original- Doctor Zimmerman is 
killed in the pilot. However, 
he has left behind a holo- 
graphic imprint of himself, 
stored In the Voyager's 
computer. 

"We talked at one point 
about changing him to suit 
somebody's need for a 
bedside manner, but we 
found a voice for the char- 
acter writing the pilot and 
first couple of episodes 
that we liked a lot," says 
Filler. "He's a very Nineties 
man in that he is some- 
body who is programmed only for 
work. He has no life beyond his work 
and has no way of understanding the 
needs and demands of a life except 
what is basically put in front of him to 
stitch up or sew or cure. We have to 
learn what the value of a hologram is, 
whether or not it's to be treated as a life 
form or as a member of the crew." 

"This show is really bringing in some 
new scientific ideas." says Robert Dun- 
can McNeill. Indeed, the pseudo- 
science sounds remarkably well 
thought-out. "For example, this ship 
runs on neural gel-packs," Rick Stern- 
bach, artist and resident techie, ex- 
plains. "The neural gel-pack takes the 
isolinear computer chip and moves it 
one step further. Since it utilizes syn- 
thetic neurons, it essentially grows a 
new kind of computer circuit. It's a 
head-end for any device on the ship.. 
Instead of, say, an isolinear-optical- 
based computer thinking out every 
move in a chess game, the neural gel- 
pack system will think out some of 
those moves, but will be able to come 

CON1 INUFR ON PAQE 82 43 



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ARTICLE BY DENNY ATKIN 



VIRTUAL BLUE YONDER: FIGHTERTOWN TAKES OFF 



PHOTOGRAPHS BY DOUGLAS KIRKLAND 



Virtual Simulation Center. 

The pilots are gathered 
lor Operation Dominion, 
Fightertown's first full-blown 
combat campaign, pitting 
the virtual-reality center's 
best pilots against both real 
and computer-controlled 
opponents. "The flight is 
simulated, but the experi- 
ence is real," claims Fighter- 
town's brochure. I'm wonder- 
ing just how real my first 
experience as a correspon- 
dent for a simulated war is 
going to be as I pull into Fight- 
ertown's parking lot. Sud- 
denly my vehicle fa rented 
Corolla— you only get Hum- 
vees for real wars) begins to 
vibrate. I look up to see six 
Marine F/A-18 Hornet attack 
fighters from the nearby El 
Toro airbase screaming 
overhead. The mood is set. 

The mood isn't broken as 
I follow a group of pilots 
through Fightertown's en- 
trance. After checking in with 
a uniformed attendant, I'm 
escorted back to the supply 
48 OMNI 




THE SIM DRIVERS 

EXECUTE HIGH-G 

YO-YOS AND SPLITS 

MANEUVERS 
WITH THE PRECISION 
OF AIRSHOW 
PILOTS. THERE'S A 
TACTICAL 
DEVIOUSNESS EXHIB- 
ITED BY HUMAN 
PILOTS THAT CAN'T BE 
SIMULATED 
BY A COMPUTER. 



room where I'm issued a 
green bag (flight suit). 
Walking down the hall I spot 
walls lined with pictures of 
fighter planes, lockers cov- 
ered with squadron stickers, 
and map-filled briefing 
rooms. Once you've passed 
through Fightertown's front 
doors, the only indication 
you're not walking through a 
squadron headquarters on a 
real military base is the 
presence of civilian cus- 
tomers looking for a chance 
to visit the wild blue yonder. 

Today, though, there are 
no such, distractions. There's 
a war on, and Fightertown is 
closed to the public. Only 
the Fightertown staff, the 20 
Golden Eagle pilots, and 
this correspondent are pres- 
ent. As the pilots file in, 
they're handed papers con- 
taining a campaign over- 
view and rules of engage- 
ment and told to report to 
the Officer's Lounge at 1600 
hours for a briefing. 

In the meantime, I head 



to the flight line to check out 
the pilots' mounts. Entering 
the huge simulation room, 
I'm surprised by the scale. A 
two-story control tower dom- 
inates the dimly lit, ware- 
house-size room. Surrounding 
the tower are 11 full-size 
fighter jet cockpits. Some 
are fiberglass replicas, but 
the F-111 and F-4 Phantom 
cockpits are actual con- 
verted military simulators. 
Some of the fighters face 
huge, 12-foot video screens, 
while others have large 
monitors mounted above the 
instrument panel. Taking a 
closer look, I'm impressed 
by the number of switches 
in a replica F-16 Fighting 
Falcon cockpit. Fightertown 
co-founder John Araki re- 
minds me that there's a lot 
more to the Fightertown 
experience than the cockpit 
simulators. "We don't build 
just pods here," he admon- 
ishes, "we build an expe- 
rience." Still, the cockpits 
are impressive, which is 



After piloting the authentic simulators at 
Fightertown, I was starting to get cocky about 
my flying skills. One quick phone call from 
Air Force Lieutenant Bryan Hubbard brought 
my britches right back down to earth. 

"How would you like to fly an F-15 
Eagle?" he asked. 

Gathering my scattered wits, I confidently 
responded, "Uh, yes!" The Air Force wanted 
me to visit its semiannual William Tell air-to- 
air weapons meet at Florida's Tyndall Air 
Force Base. This would be a chance to see 
in use some of the hottest defense tech- 
nologies around: sophisticated unpiloted 
drone aircraft, the AMRAAM radar-guided 
missile, and 3-D computer-generated ACMI 
playbacks of combat maneuvers. 

Arriving at Tyndall, I don't go straight to 
the flight line. The F-15 is equipped with 
ejection seats, and one has to go through 
egress training before flying. This involves 
sitting in a full-size cockpit mockup and 
learning how to get out of the plane — the 
slow way, by climbing out, and the very fast 
way, by ejecting. Next comes parachute 
training, as well as learning how to utilize 
the beacons, flares, rations, and raft 
included in the seat-cushion survival kit. 
After a quick visit to the flight surgeon, I'm 
fitted for my flight suit. After nearly three 
hours of preparation, I'm off to the flight line. 

My pilot, Major Michael J. Simpson, 
escorts me to the two-seat F-15D. Although 
the F-15 first flew way back in 1972, it's still 
considered the premier air-superiority 
fighter in service anywhere in the world. 
Nearly 64 feet long and 18 feet tall, the 
mach 2.5-plus fighter is an imposing sight. 

We taxi into position, and we're off. And I 
mean off! We execute a ful!-afterburner 
takeoff at a 45-degree rate of climb (it feels 
more like 90), The F-15 feels as if it's been 



SIMULATORS ALLOW 

YOU TO PILOT 
VEHICLES RANGING 

FROM FOKKER 
TRIPLANES TO F-14 

TOMCATS TO 
GALAXY-CLASS STAR- 
SHIPS, RUT 
EVEN THE MOST 




REALISTIC 
SIMS CANT PREPARE 

YOU FOR THE 
FEELING OF NEARLY 

EIGHT TIMES 

THE NORMAL FORCE 

OF GRAVITY 

PRESSING YOU IN 

YOUR SEAT. 



jerked up to 20,000 feet in a matter of 
moments. (The Eagle holds six time-to- 
height records, including a climb to 65,616 
feet in 2 minutes, 2.94 seconds.) 

We form up with another F-15; the planes 
maneuver with such precision that it seems 
as if there's an invisible rod locking them 
together. Then we break off and perform 
some basic fighter maneuvers, with each 
pilot trying to stay on the other's tail. You 
don't gently bank an Eagle — you roll it 90 
degrees and pull back hard on the stick. 
It's at this point that I understand the 
biggest difference between flying a sim- 
ulator and the real thing: G-forces. Simpson 
shows me some tight maneuvers, at one 
point pulling 7.8 Gs. During severe maneu- 
vering the G-suit tightens on your legs and 
lower abdomen to keep the blood from 
rushing from your head and pooling near 
your feet, but that's not enough to keep you 
conscious. You also have to tighten your 
muscles manually and perform breathing 
exercises to keep the oxygen flowing to your 
brain. My vision starts to gray out on the 
7.8-G maneuver, and I'm amazed that pilots 
can even stay conscious during 9-G ma- 
neuvers, much less successfully dogfight. 

At that point my equilibrium protests, 
and my stomach promises to leave me a 
flight souvenir if we don't calm our flying, so 
Simpson leads me through some banks 
and rolls, and then lets me take the stick. 
The Eagle maneuvers with a light touch; 
with real-world feedback around you, it's 
actually easier to fly than the simulators. 

Finally we touch down at Tyndall, the F- 
15's huge airbrake quickly slowing the 
fighter to a stop. I climb from the Eagle fol- 
lowing one of the most exciting hours of my 
life with even greater respect and awe for 
military pilots and the planes they fly. 



probably in no small part a result of 
Araki's and co-founder Dave Kinney's 
experiences in the 1980s working on 
Northrop's B-2 flight simulation project. 

1600 Hours: Briefing 

In the Officer's Lounge, the Golden 
Eagle pilots are poring over their 
briefing information. This may be a 
simulation — a very sophisticated game, 
in all honesty — but they're taking it very 
seriously. The pilots — all male and 
mostly in their 20s and 30s — are all clad 
in authentic flight suits, some Fighter- 
town issued, others personally owned. 
Squadron patches adorn all the uni- 
forms, and some pilots even have 
planning notepads strapped to their legs. 



I sit down at a table with four 
Fightertown pilots: Slider, Hollywood, 
Wolf, and Bagger. (Everyone is known 
by his call sign, just like in Top Gun.) 
They'll be the Alert pilots for the first 
mission, ready to take to the air as 
reinforcements when allied aircraft are 
shot down. Colonel Gary "Six Gun" 
Woods, the squadron commander, 
comes in to address the flyers. Air 
squadrons and ground troops from the 
nation of Sijen have captured two allied 
islands, Bear Trap and North Java, he 
explains. We watch a fictional news 
broadcast recounting the day's events, ■ 
including an interview with a Sijenian 
pilot whose taunts - - help -rile the 
Fightertown jet-jockeys toward action. 



Our boys have two goals: First they 
must repatriate the captured territories, 
then they must teach the Sijenians not 
to mess with the United States. 

The CO. goes over the rules of 
engagement. All combat will be guns- 
only. This is a compromise to help 
keep the simulated combat exciting — 
these pilots are serious, but they're 
here to have fun, and being shot down 
by a computer-generated missile fired 
from 20 miles away just isn't fun. The 
Golden Eagles will face five computer- 
generated F-4 Phantoms, as well as - 
two F-4s piloted by human pilots 
(Fightertown employees, who are just 
as anxious to add some kills to their 
flight logs). The squadrons will be able 



If you can't get to Fightertown, you can still 
get a taste of what it's like to fly high- 
performance jets if you have a personal 
computer. Home PCs have grown so 

powerful that they can simulate air combat 
with incredible realism. "We do a lot of out- 
side flying that way," says John "Wolf" 
Rawson, a member of Fightertown's VMF- 
115 Silver Eagles Squadron. "Falcon 3.0 is 
popular, and Chuck Yeager's Air Combat 
handles real well." 

Spectrum Holobyte's Falcon 3.0 is a 
favorite combat simulator among serious 
PC pilots, The simulator lets you fly the Air 
Force's F-16 Fighting Falcon in a series of 
missions over trouble spots around the 
world. Although it's been surpassed graph- 
ically by more recent simulators, nobody 
has topped it for overall situational realism 
and sophistication. The missions you fly— 
with up to seven F-16s on your wings— are 
part of a larger campaign where the suc- 
cess of each mission determines what 
threats you'll face next. You must carefully 
plan every aspect of your mission; How many 
planes you'll take along, which weapons to 
carry, and what path to take to the target. 

Much of the appeal of Falcon 3.0 comes 
from its connectivity. You can fly head-to- 
head or cooperative missions against 
another Falcon owner over a telephone 
modem connection, or, for a real thrill, fly 
with or against one to five players using a 
group of networked PCs. There are Falcon 
squadrons who meet periodically on 
services such as CompuServe to plan 
elaborate online battles. 

The best way to check out Falcon 3.0 is 
to pick up the recently released Falcon 
Gold CD-ROM compilation, which features 
Falcon 3.0, add-on planes such as the MiG- 
29 and F/A-18, and the 60-rninute Art of the 
Kill combat training video. It's available 
from Spectrum Holobyte, (510) 522-1164. 
The company also makes Falcon MC, a 
similar program for the color Macintosh. 
Later this year Spectrum plans to release 



WHILE VO0R 
HOME PC MAY NOT BE 

EQUIPPED WITH 
A CUSTOM DISPLAY 

CARD, 18-FOOT 
PROJECT SCREEN, 

FIOHTERNET 
COMBAT NETWORK, 




AND FULL-SUE 

REPLICA OF AN F-I8 

COCKPIT LIKE 



RIGS, IT CAN 
STILL CAPTURE THE 



two new simulators: Top Gun, an F-14 
simulator based on the film and geared 
toward the novice computer pilot, and 
Falcon 4.0, updated with state-of-the-art 
graphics, live-action video, and a more 
sophisticated ground campaign. 

Electronic Arts' U.S. Navy Fighters is a 
bit easier for novices to master. You're not 
saddled with the responsibility of managing 
the entire air war; you only have to worry 
about accomplishing individual missions. 
The missions are interesting, and some are 
a welcome change from the typical "blow 
up ground target after ground target" flight 
simulator fare. For example, the first mission 
in the Russian campaign has you escorting 
an airliner carrying Boris Yeltsin through 
hostile territory after an uprising in the 
former Soviet Union. You fly Navy planes 
ranging from the subsonic A-7 Corsair II 
attack jet to a navalized F-22 Lightning II 
fighter against an arrriada of computerized 
opponents that includes most of the major 
combat aircraft in service today. 

Designed by Brent Iverson, the pro- 
grammer responsible for the popular Chuck 
Yeager series of flight simulators. U.S. Navy 
Fighters features graphics and sound 
unparalleled by any other flight simulator. 
SuperVGA graphics, beautifully textured 
clouds, and 16-bit stereo sound help pull 
you into the fantasy. If you got a new 
Pentium PC as a holiday gift, this is the 
program to push it to its limits. On CD-ROM 
for IBM PC compatible computers, U.S. 
Navy Fighters is available from Electronic 
Arts, (800) 245-4525. 

If you want to learn everything there is to 
know about modern PC flight simulators, 
check out Intercept: The Journal for 
Combat Flight Simulation Pilots. This 
subscription-only bimonthly newsletter 
covers the latest and greatest flight sims in 
exacting detail, including information about 
the simulators and technical briefs on the 
actual aircraft they model, For information 
contact SIMCAP at (914) 338-3520. 



to choose which planes to send on a 
strike; they will have F-14 Tomcats, 
F/A-18 Hornets, and A-6 Intruders 
available, as well as a KC-10 tanker, 
Pilots must make it back to a safe zone 
near friendly territory before ejecting, 
or they'll be considered captured by 
enemy forces. 

The pilots are broken up into groups. 
Eight pilots will fly on each strike, with 
four Alert pilots on standby for each 
mission. While one group is in the air, 
the second group will plan the next 

5D OMNI 



strike. Seven missions will be flown 
tonight, and if all goes well, Sijen will 
feel the wrath of Fightertown's air forces. 

1700 Hours: Mission Planning 

I follow the first group downstairs to 
the briefing room. One wall is covered 
with a map of the fictional Gulf of Sijen. 
The CO. points out the targets for the 
first mission: Radar sites must be 
knocked out so thai later strikes can be 
mounted in an effort to recapture" the 
airbase there. The planning is intricate, 



and the pilots are considering all the 
factors that can affect the success of 
their mission. They calculate the 
distance to the target and the fuel load 
needed, what kinds of enemy forces 
they might face, the best altitude to fly, 
and what sort of weapons they'll need 
to knock out the radar site. "Watch out 
for small-arms fire," warns Six Gun, 
The pilots should break to the left after 
firing at the radar site. "Break off the 
wrong way, and you'll run into AAA 
(antiaircraft artillery)," cautions the 



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OPBN1WS MINDS TO CLASSICAL MUSIC. 



CO. The flight will take F/A-18S due io 
range and self-defense considerations. 
The pilots break into individual flights 
and plan their exact attack routines. 

An officer sticks his head through 
the door, "Time to fly," he says, and the 
pilots grab their helmets from the wall 
and scramble to their cockpits. I head 
back up to the Officer's Lounge, where 
I'll be able to watch the mission on 
monitors that show the cockpit views 
from the allied aircraft and the enemy 
F-4s. A group of Fightertown employ- 
ees sits across the room— they'll be fly- 
ing for the Red Sijenian squadron as 
the night goes on. Some good-natured 
banter is exchanged between the pi- 
lots on the two sides. I ask John "Wolf 
Rawson if the competition between pi- 
lots ever heats up. 

"I've seen very few personality con- 
flicts," he explains. "We may have some 
disputes over who shot down whom, 
but everyone gets along well." Things 
might get heated occasionally because 
of the realism of the situation: "There is 
pressure on you to perform," he ad- 
mits, "but it's more in fun than anything 
else." That's actually written into the 
rules of engagement: "Please — Foxtrot 
Uniform November (FUN), hot fights, 
gentlemen." Other than good-natured 
ribbing, fun is the order of the day. 



1730 Hours; First Strike 

From the Officer's Lounge, we can not 
only watch the views from each plane, 
but also monitor all the cockpit commu- 
nications. Each group has a command- 
ing officer sitting in the tower, co- 
ordinating the flights and standing at 
ready in case a rescue chopper needs 
to be launched, The first flight is ' 
cleared for takeoff. The graphics on the 
screens in the lounge look a lot like 
what you'd expect to see in a top-of- 
the-line flight simulator for your home 
PC. But watching eight planes taxiing 
out together and listening to their com- 
munications as they meticulously 
gather into a precision formation to fly 
toward the target, it's very easy to for- 
get that what I'm watching is a simula- 
tion. And listening to the intensity of the 
cockpit chatter, I realize the pilots are 
even more lost in the experience. As 
the mission progresses, the bad guys 
are still sitting comfortably on their run- 
way. Although they're not privy to the 
Golden Eagles' attack plans, it's only 
logical to expect an attack on their air- 
base, so they'll stay on the runway until 
radar picks up incoming bogeys. 

Combat continues into the night. 
Mission plans are scrapped or hastily 
revised by flights as pilots discover that 
previous flights haven't knocked out 



heir :;-gc:t a have ficxpccicc y de- 
stroyed a bonus secondary target. The 
pilots aren't flying with laser-guided 
smart bombs. They have unguided 
Zuni rockets thai take skill and preci- 
sion to use effectively. And most tar- 
gets take multiple hits to destroy; as 
the evening progresses, sighs of dis- 
appointment are heard as targets that 
need five hits to be wiped out are hit by 
only four Zunis. 

The air-to-air combat that ensues is 
intense. The sim drivers execute high- 
G yo-yos and split-s maneuvers with 
the precision of airshow pilots. The 
computer pilots present a challenge, 
but most of the real damage is done by 
the human-piloted F-4s.- There's a 
spontaneity and tactical deviousness 
exhibited by human pilots that just 
can't be simulated by a computer. 

In the briefing room one of the last 
missions is being planned out. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Mike "Mustang" Puckett 
is at the planning map. "Switch will go 
up with the A-6s," he says, sending up 
a couple of tanker aircraft to refuel the 
strike planes on their return. "Doc will 
take the strike '18 package with load 
three." Because the strike is launching 
from the newly recaptured Bear Trap, 
an island with a very short runway, the 
pilots are warned to make sure their 




flaps are down and to raise their gear 
as soon as they unstick from the run- 
way. As it is, they'll have to fly with a 
less-than-maximum load just to get off 
the ground. It turns out one pilot 
doesn't make it, turning' his plane into a 
"lawn dart" embedded in the hill at the 
end of the runway. 

The strikes continue as pilots de- 
stroy ground and air targets and are 
shot down themselves. Suspension of 
disbelief is broken just a bit whenever 
shot-down pilots come up to the 
lounge to order a Snapple while they 
watt to hear whether they were rescued 
or captured, but after all, this is just a 
simulated war. 

And in the end, it's a simulated war 
thai the good guys win. Having recap- 
tured the lost territory, a final series of 
flights launches toward Sijen itself, 
where they wipe out an oil refinery as a 
retaliatory measure. A cheer goes up in 
the lounge as the tower confirms the 
destruction of the refinery, and we 
head down to greet and congratulate 
the last group of pilots upon their return 
to base. It's like watching a scene from 
Top Gun — pilots are patting each other 
on the back, moving their hands 
through the air re-creating maneuvers, 
and good-naturedly ragging the guys 
who came home riding silk elevators. 



Thursday: Debriefing 

John "Wolf" Rawson describes one of 
the later missions, flying a two-seat A-6 
with Badger. "Dominion took a lot out of 
me. We were up there for a long time, 
and then we got hit over the target. We 
fired a Zuni at some airplanes on the 
runway, then shifted over and fired 
some at the tower that was the target. - 
We hit it, and there was an explosion, 
and we got hit by that. Almost immedi- 
ately a fuel leak started. 

"We immediately had to shift our 
thoughts to how to get back. We were 
already low on fuel from dodging enemy 
planes in the area, so we had to figure 
out how to get back to the safety zone 
where we could eject. Right at the end 
an enemy aircraft hosed us down with 
gunfire, and we had to eject early." He 
adds, with relief, "We got picked up by 
a rescue chopper, so we made it back." 

Rawson, an electrical engineer from 
nearby Orange, California, files real 
planes as well. He owns a Stearman bi- 
plane, which is currently in the process 
of restoration. He says the Fightertown 
pilots aren't fascinated with the war as- 
pects of the simulation; they're just 
people with a similar interest in aviation 
and the challenge of flying military jets. 
"It's like a group of guys who get to- 
gether to play basketball on Sunday af- 



ternoons, except that we get together 
once a month to test our skills as a 
team in the air." 

The Fightertown simulators do fly a 
lot like real planes, Rawson says, ex- 
cept for the lack of G-forces and pe- 
ripheral vision. Still, the simulators are 
realistic enough that he feels some as- 
pects are good practice for reai flying, 
such as the IFR (Instrument Flight 
Rules) departures and approaches the 
pilots often practice. Plus it gives him a 
chance to try things that you don't nor- 
mally get a chance to do over the skies 
of Southern California. "Formation fly- 
ing is a bit of a jump," he says. "It's 
probably one of the most difficult things 
you can do in an airplane." 

Test Flight 

Operation Dominion was flown by some 
of Fightertown's most talented and 
dedicated pilots. These are regular 
customers who have flown a series of 
qualification missions, learning real pi- 
loting, navigation, and combat skills, 
until finally receiving their wings. These 
are the die-hards, pilots so enthusiastic 
about the Fightertown experience that 
some of them volunteer time working in 
the tower and performing other duties 
in exchange for time in the cockpit. 
But Fightertown isn't just an experi- 




ence (or wannabe Chuck Ysagers. 
First-time pilots are given an introduc- 
tory briefing that combines video of 
Fightertown cockpits and actual jet op- 
erations with instruction by a Fighter- 
town officer. First-flights are in an 
easy-to-handle T-45 Goshawk trainer, 
and the tower controller is always a mi- 
crophone-button press away if you 
have any questions. 

I strap into one of the F-16 cockpits 
for an introductory flight. Allhough the 
cockpit looks like an F-16, I'll be flying 
the T-45 on this run. Any- of the cockpits 
can be programmed to simulate a vari- 
ety of aircraft, including the F-14 Tom- 
cat, F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-6 Intruder, 
F/A-18 Hornet, Russian SU-27 Flanker, 
and even the AV-8B Harrier jump jet. 

Full throttle, pull back on the stick at 
120 knots, and raise the gear and 
flaps. This is as easy to fly as the per- 
sonal computer flight sims I'm used to, 
but that experience can't compare to 
this. Wearing a flight suit, listening to 
tower communications through an au- 
thentic combat helmet, and feeling the 
cockpit vibrate from engine noise — all 
that's missing is the sensation of move- 
ment. (Fightertown has two full-motion 
cockpits that can even provide that.) 
The iower controller vectors me to a 
canyon for a high-speed run. I push 
the throttle forward, nose down, and 
hang on for the ride of my life. At "the 
end of the canyon is a suspension 
bridge. I lower my altitude a bit, 
scream' under it, ihen pull the stick 
hard back and hit the switch on the 
control stick for a rear view so I can 
watch the bridge retreat into the dis- 
tance behind me. 

The controller knows I've flown sims 
before, so he gives me a taste of what 
more advanced pilots will encounter in 
the simulated skies. "Two bandits at 
your six," he calls urgently. I pull an Im- 
melman, lock up one bandit on the au- 
thentic heads-up display, call "Fox 
One!", and uncage a missile at him. 
Splash one bad guy. Meanwhile I've 
tost the. second bandit. I find him soon 
enough, when I hear the impact of gun 
shells on my plane's fuselage. Jinking 
back and forth, I manage to get out of 
his line of fire. My plane nearly be- 
comes one with a nearby mountain as I 
try to maneuver onto his tail, but I pull 
out at the last second. Finally I squeeze 
off a shot and take him out. Just when I 
think it's safe to let the adrenaline level 
drop, the controller's back on the radio. 
"Ready to try a carrier landing?" On my 
first attempt at what amounts to a con- 
trolled crash on a postage stamp, I 
miss the wires and bolt off the end of 
the ship, but on the second go I trap 
the three-wire. 



Virtual Air Base 

Fightertown isn't about gadgets and 
electronics. It's not a "here's a jet, fly it" 
experience. The human element — with 
tower controllers, uniformed flight in- 
structors, a rank structure that regular 
customers can work through, and the 
ability to fly against live opponents — is 
what makes this a reality simulation 
rather ihan just an arcade experience. 
The Fightertown folks want to make the 
experience a realistic one you'll want to 
come back and try again, something 
you can learn more about and enjoy in 
greater depth. "We're not here to do a 
thrill ride," says John Araki. "Well, 
hopefully it will thrill you," adds Dave 
Kinney, "but we want to provide some- 
thing more substantive than that." 

For $30 (the full-motion simulators 
are a bit more), the Fightertown pilot, 
gets a half-hour of instruction and an- 
other half-hour in the air. For an aviation 
enthusiast, that's not a lot of money, but 
for some potential customers that ex- 
pense might make Fightertown a one- 
time, "gee-whiz" experience. To make 
Fightertown more attractive to casual 
fliers, and to folks who might want to 
bring the whole family along, a new 
Battle Over the Pacific feature will be. 
opening soon. This section will feature 
a bank of full-motion World War II F4U 
Corsair fighter cockpits that will be eas- 
ier — and less expensive at about $10 — 
to fly than the current jet simulators. 
Like the jets, though, the realism level 
is adjustable, so expert pilots can bat- 
tle with torque, stalls, and spins, not to 
mention Zeros and P-38s. 

At the moment Fightertown's Or- 
ange County center is the only loca- 
tion, but the company is looking to 
expand into a nationwide network of 
virtual entertainment centers. The com- 
pany hopes to open another 50 loca- 
tions nationwide within five years. Araki 
says that the initial plan is to allow 
the various centers to compete in tour- 
naments by comparing rankings and 
kill statistics. As computer communica- 
tion technology advances, though, he 
hopes that they will eventually be able 
to link the simulators in real-time, so a 
pilot in Lake Forest could take on a flier 
in Chicago. 

While most of the industry is still 
struggling toward electronic interactive 
entertainment, Fightertown has found a 
winning combination of simulation, 
human elements, and atmosphere that 
works for the uninitiated as well as the 
technical-minded fighter-plane' buff. 
"We think that for most of our cus- 
tomers, it's as close to a jet or an F4U 
as they're probably going to get, so it's 
really important that it Ifve up to their 
expectations," says Kinney.DO 




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PRIMARY WITNESS: 



VITAL STATISTICS: 



specific and corroborated unpublished 
details from the best case data we 
have so far." What's more, he points 
out, Haley's story had a spin: Her "rec- 
ollections" apparently involved the 
United States military, which she 
claimed harassed her so she wouldn't 
go public with her tale. 

After undergoing hypnosis, Haley 
has come to believe her abduction 
dreams were real. She eventually went 
public in 1993 with a self-published 
book, Lost Was the Key after legally 
changing her name to Leah A, Haley 
"to protect my family and children." 

Inventory of Claims 

Memories from the Deep. In 1960 
Haley, then nine years old, and her 
brother, then seven, saw what they 
thought was a spacecraft landing in 
the woods near their home in Garden- 
dale, Alabama. "I saw three objects, 
two of which quickly darted away," she 
explains, "The third was silver, com- 
pletely spherical in shape, and it sat 
still for a long time in the sky," 

Decades later, in July 1990, 
Haley visited with her mother 
and brother in Alabama, and j 
during a conversation about 
extraterrestrials sparked by a 
newspaper article, Haley re- 
counted a "strange, very real 
dream. I was in a spaceship, 
in a round room, lying on a 
platform with small chalky 
white creatures with big black 
eyes doing some kind of med- 
ical (flings io me," she recalls. I ^^™ 

After the dreams increased, 
she contacted John Carpenter in hopes 
of finding some mental illness or disor- 
der to explain what was going on, In- 
stead, dun'ng 15 sessions of hypnotic 
regress on. she recalled countless spe- 
cific abductions starting at age 3. She 
even conjured an undersea alien "facil- 
ity, complete with alien craft and a cap- 
tive soldier, held against his will, 

Military Intervention. During hypno- 
sis and in flashbacks. Haley also re- 
cal sd her abduction by military per- 
sonnel. For instance, she told of an alien 
craft that she believes crashed near a 
beach while she was aboard, after which 
military personnel escorted her away. 
Comments Carpenter, "That episode 
unraveled as vividly as any I've heard." 

Since September 1990. Haley claims, 
she has been "followed by military 
types in navy blue or white cars," and 
occasionally by black unmarked heli- 
copters. She also claims she has been 
monitored via her telephone and in per- 
son, because, she now speculates, "I 
was on that alien craft when it crashed 
and the military wanted to glean infor- 



mation and make me shut up," 

In April 1991, Haley charges, mili- 
tary harassment made its most insidi- 
ous appearance at the Columbus Air 
Force Base in the form of Major (then 
Captain) Tracy Poole, whose wife was 
in Haley's accounting class. Haley says 
Poole extended "an unusually persis- 
tent invitation" to view space shuttle^ 
Endeavour during its stopover at the 
base. Armed guards surrounding the 
shuttle and signs posted around the 
spacecraft warning that "Deadly force 
is authorized," Haley notes, expiar why 
she considered the invitation "a possi- 
ble setup to interrogate or kill me," 

Technology Gone Awry Haley also 
reports loosened locks and window 
screens, disturbances in the phone 
line, and the spontaneous disarming of 
ner security system, not to mention 
strange sounds throughout her house, 
leading her to believe someone or 
something was inside. 

Weird Body Marks. Haley has found 
"more than one hurored strange 



SHE REPORTS MORE THAN 

1 00 STRANGE MARKS ON DIFFERENT PARTS OF 

. HER BODY; INJECTION 

MARKS, SCOOP MARKS, AND CIRCULAR^ 

' VACCINATION MARKS 

SEEMINGLY FORMED WITH THREE PRONGS. 



marks" on different parts of her body, 
Including injection marks, scoop 
marks, and red, circular vaccinal en I ike 
marks, apparently made with three 
separate prongs. She also reports 
other physical anomalies, such as 
"Morse Code-type beeps" in her ears, 
intense back spasms, voices and im- 
agery, and frequent soreness in her 
ovaries. On numerous occasions, she 
says. "I have felt dazed, unable to con- 
centrate or focus." 

Sane Psychometric Profile. Haley 
visaed -lorence, Alabama, psyeiia:ris: 
Thomas G. Shafer three times in 1992. 
Shafer, who has no connection to the 
UFO field, concluded that there was Carpentei 
"no evidence of organic psychoses, people's heads, 
such as schizophrenia, organic brain 
syndrome, or bipolar illness." In a letter 
to her and released to Omni, he wrote: 
"It is my opinion that you suffered some 



me that the actual experience was a 
sexual molestation, It is my profes- 
sional opinion," he concluded, "that 
you suffer from delayed Post Traumatic 
Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to child- 
hood experiences, complicated by a 
paranoid state caused by the hypnosis 
sessions, and I've recommerded you 
undergo treatment by a licensed M.D. 
or Ph.D. certified in hypnotherapy to 
help you resolve these issues." 

In the fall of 1992, Haley also com- 
pleted a Fantasy Prone Test given to 
numerous abductees by the Center for 
UFO Studies (CUFOS). According to 
Carpenter: "It revealed that she was 
less kely than the normal person to be 
fantasy prone. She fell in the frank, 
down-to-earth, conservative range." 

The Investigation 

Memory Lane. Like most ab- 
ductees, Haley has recalled her alien 
encounters primarily through hypnotic 
regression "H^lev de oeraiely did not 
read anything and did not want to be 
an abductee or involved in 
any o ! this,' says he 1 " "iyp- 
notist, John Carpenter, who 
has to date regressed 90 
other abductees. "Under 
hypnosis, she had the 
classic response ;o all this; 
it brought tears." 

Haley's brother, who is a 
law enforcement officer 
with the state of Alabama 
and, as such, requested 
anonymity, was present at 
. the first two hypnosis ses- 
sions. "Carpenter did not 
ask leading questions; rather he tried 
to lead her away from anything having 
to do with aliens," he says. After the 
sessions he says, "she was in oisbe ie:. 
denial, shock, but there was no doubt 
in my mind that she was deeply af- 
fected by what she was remembering." 
All this, say critics, does not prove 
Haley's recollection to be real. Robert 
A. Baker, psychology ororessor emeri- 
tus at the University of Kentucky, who 
has studied psychological anomalies, 
says, "These 'encounters' are really 
hypnagogic images, essentially waking 
nai uo nations or dreams, and nothing 
more." Adds Baker, researchers like 
iay be putting aliens in 



"Baker has not lookeo at ~y work or 
my methods," responds Carpenter, "My 
trademark is deliberately suggesting 
logical responses to the point of n ' 



sort of extremely traumatic experience leading these aodLCtees. These ab- 

in the woods that day long ago as a ductees come from all walks of life and 

child, Your descriptions of being economic status, and yet they all tell 

naked, lying powerless, having your the same story about the same little 

body explored suggest very strongly to guys. It doesn't make sense that these 







fmmeMM 

PROFILES IN 

ARTIFICIAL 

INTELLIGENCE 



LIKE A LOT OF MM THINGS, ACHIEVING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS HARDER THAN IT 
LOOKS. IN THE 1 950s, THE PIONEERS OF Al CONFIDENTLY PREDICTED THAT, BY THE END OF 
THE CENTURY, COMPUTERS WOULD BE CONVERSING WITH US AT WORK AND ROBOTS 
WOULD BE PERFORMING OUR HOUSEWORK. BUT AS USEFUL AS COMPUTERS §|v ARE, 
THEY'RE NOWHERE CLOSE TO ACHIEVING ANYTHING REMOTELY RESEMBLING THESE 
EARLY ASPIRATIONS FOR HUMANLIKE ^^BEHAVIOR. NEVER MIND SOMETHING AS 
COMPLEX AS CONVERSATION: THE MOST POWERFUL COMPUTERS STRUGGLE TO RELIABLY 



THREE RESEARCHERS TAKE A NATURAL APPROACH TO CREATING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 



RECOGNIZE THE SHAPE OF AN OBJECT, THE MOST ELEMENTARY OF TASKS ■ 

A GROWING GROUP OF Al RESEARCHERS THINKS IT KNOWS WHERE THE FIELD WENT WRONG. THE 
PROBLEM, THE SCIENTISTS SAY, IS THAT Al HAS BEEN TRYING TO "CHERRY-PICK" INTELLIGENCE — 



THAT IS, TO SEPARATE THE HIGHEST, MOST 



ABSTRACT LEVELS OF THOUGHT, LIKE LANGUAGE 



AND MATHEMATICS, AND TO DUPLICATE THEM WITH LOGICAL, STEP-BY-STEP PROGRAMS. A NEW 



movement in Al, en the other hand, 
ie-ies s closer loo^. a: the more rounc- 
aocul way in wnicn nat.re came up wth 
-ilolligence. Vlary cr tness resea-che.-s 
study evolution and natural adaptation 
instead of formal logic and con- 
ventiona. computer p-ograms. Rather 
than digital computers and iransis:o"3. 
some want to work wiLn bra n cells and 
orote ns. Tne results of These early 
efforts are as prom sing as they are 
peculiar, and the new nature-based Al 
movement is slowly but surely moving 
to the lorefront of the field. 

Here Is a look at three of the 'ie.d's 
most provocates cioreers. Tne first 
wans to employ nature's teenniquss 
for "programming" intelligence; the 
second wants to get computers ic 
imitate precisely the brain's unicue 
sty e of information processing; and the 
third wants to rep ace computers 
altogether with the chemical building 
blocks of iving tissue. 

Pattie Maes nas an unusually, well, 
cuddly vision of Al. Originally from 
Beg'um and now one of the stars of 
MIT's celebrated Media Lab, the slen- 
oen energetc Maes eschews se'eers 
of text, disembodied voices, and 
gleaming robots. Instead, her efio-ts 
take the form of animated rodents, 
puppets, and hapoy faces, among 
other cha-acters. "My dream." says the 
rescarcner ir her mellifluous accent "Is 
to do a really good dog." 

Maes' "intelligent agents," as she 
calls them, are no mere cartoons but 
a-tifioia intelligence prng-ams capable 
cf soonisticated behavior. What makes 
them special is that they achieve these 
oehaviors without having Maes or 
anyone else specifically program them 
in. Rather, they develop them on their 
own by intenacing with their environ- 
ment. "-i.cn as living creatures dc. 

Maes' happy faces, for example, 
6*; OMNI 



ect as caencar anancinc assistant 
'or their use's, intemsct ng elect ■"one 
mail messages tnat 'eguest meetirgs 
and then scneou ing the meet ngs. But 
before a program can begin sched- 
uling. it has to learn how its user prcr- 
izes such requests. Sc lor a wnile, it 
watches" 'he user schedule meet ngs 



emation its 
priority this 



suggested appc ntment time, If the 
user aoo-oves the cor g-ns with pride. 
If the use- rejects me suggestion and 
picks a different time, the icon loo<s 
surprised— but the assistant won't 
make the same mistake a second time. 
A total of nine diffs'snt facial expres- 
sions for the icon helo the user keep 
track o ] what the ass start s up to. 

To speeO uo tne learning excess, 
assistants can even "consult" with 
other assistants ove r a comoute- 



network to pick i 
ways knowledge 



p tips. "One of the 



ce: 


siqr 


ed to sif 


sue 


ih n 


icssaao: 


out 


the 


"ow mos 


to 


(he 


user c^ 


cor 


nhir 


lations & 


The 







list cf 
wheat 



To avoid that chore, Maes empioys 
a form oi artif c al evolution A use' 
starts elf with not one scting o r og'S'"" 
but s "population' cf severa. hundred 
o : mem Maes ca Is the p-ograms 
"retrievers' anc represents tnern on- 
screen with cartoon faces s milar to the 
scnedul ng cssistanrs'. ~ach -etuever 
is preassigned a dfterem. randomly 
chosen set ol -:ey weds and phrases. 
One might tag al artic es witn sects 
terms as musi-'cao items for example, 
wh e anoiner gives pre : e'e"ce to le-s 
that Include financial terms, such as 
"inie r est rates." 

After working wtn tne retrievers for 
a while, tne user tnen picks out the 
ones mat d;d the oest : ob of n'lte-ing 
through the messages. ~hese are then 
"mated": that s. a new catch of retrievers 
■s cresLed oy mixing anc matching the 
original "parent' retr evers' sts in 
different ways. In aoditcn, a few ran- 
dom "mutations'' are crown into some 
of the lists to make tnern different : rom 
those of the parents. The hope is that 






wecams 




JLAlCRS 




Fiction By Howard Waldrop 


A ypn-hg 


Producer, Releasing Corporation Executive; Bill, you're « 




minute, hebiml on your shooting schedule. 


actor learns to 


Beaudine, You mean, someone', waking to see this crap?? 


bend but 


-William "One-Shot" Beaudu* 


not oreak while 


For « week late in the year 1818. some of the mo.lt famous peopl, 


lie faces 


in the world seemed to have dropped oil' it, surface. 

The Griffith company, filming the motion picture TkcUol 


oppression on 


Dancer, with the palm tree, and heache, of Florida 
standing in for the South Seas, looh a shorting break. 


nisjouraey 


The mayor of Fori Lauderdale invited them for 




a 12-hour eroise ahoard his yacht, the 6Ve B Duck They sailed 


to success an J 


out of harhor on a beautiful iN'overnher morning. Just 


recognition. 


after noon „ late-season hurricane Jammed out of the Carlhheun 
' 1 here was no word of the movie people, the mayor, 




hi, jacht. or the crew for five day* The Coast Guard and the 




Ma. .v ,ent out. every available ship. Two seaplanes flew 




■ ■*n the shipping lane, a, the storm ahated. 




KicbarJ Barthelmes, came down to Florida «t first news of 




1 he disappearance, while the hurricane still raged. He 




» cut out vvilh the crew of the Great War U-boat choser, the 




/tec, I.hnJs. The seas were so rough the captain 




ordered them bach in after six hours. 




The day. stretched on, three, four. The Hearst newspapers 




put out extras, speculating on the late of Griffith, 




illustration By Gary Kelley 



Gish, the other actors, the mayor. The 
weather cleared and calm returned. 
There were no sightings of debris or oil 
slicks, Reporters did stories on the 
Marie Celeste mystery. Hearst himself 
called in spiritualists in an attempt to 
contact the presumed dead director 
and stars. 

On ihe morning of the sixih day, the 
happy yachting party sailed back in to 
harbor. 

First there were sighs of relief, 

Then the reception soured. Some- 
one, in Hollywood pointed out that Grif- 
fith's next picture, to be released 
nationwide in three weeks, was called 
7?"i9 Greatest Question, and was about 
life after death, and the attempts of 
mediums to contact the dead. 

W. R. Hearst was not amused, and 
he told the editors of his papers not to 
be amused, either. 

Griffith shrugged his shoulders for 
the newsmen. "A storm came up. The 
captain put in at the nearest island. We 
rode out the cyclone. We had plenty to 
eat ard drink, and when it _ 
was over, we came back." 

The island was called 
Whale Cay, They had been 
buffeted by the heavy seas 
and torrential rains the first 
day and night, but made do 
by lantern light and electric 
torches, and the dancing fire 
of the lightning in the bay 
around them. They slept 
stacked like cordwood in the 
crowded belowdecks. 

They had breakfasted in I : - " 
the sunny eye of the hurricane 
late next morning up on deck. Many of 
the movie people had had strange 
dreams, which they related as the far- 
wall clouds of the back half of the hurri- 
cane moved lazily toward them. 

Neil Hamilton, ihe matinee idol who 
had posed for paintings on the cover of 
the Saturday Evening Post during the 
Qreat War, told his dream. He was in a 
long valley with nigh cliffs surrounding 
him. On every side, as far as he could 
see, the ground, the arroyos were cov- 
ered with the bones and tusks of ele- 
phants, Their cyclopean skulls were 
tumbled at all angles. There were mil- 
lions and millions of them, as if every 
pachyderm ths> had ever lived had 
disci there, It was near dark, the sky over- 
head paling, the jumbled bones around 
him becoming purple and indistinct. 

Over the narrow valley, against the 
early stars a strange light appeared. It 
came from a searchlight somewhere 
beyond the cliffs, and projected onto a 
high bank of noctilucent cirrus was a 
winged black shape. From somewhere 
behind him a telephone rang with a 

68 QMM 



sense of urgency. Then he'd awakeneq 
with a start, 

Lillian'Gish, who'd only arrived at 
the dock the morning they left, going 
directly from the Florida Special to the 
yacht, had spent the whole week be- 
fore at the new studio at Mamaroneck, 
New York, overseeing its completion 
and directing her sister in a comedy, 
feature. On the tossing, p tchirg yacht 
she'd had a terrible time getting to 
sleep. She had dreamed, she said, of 
being an old woman, or being dressed 
like one, and carrying a Browning 
semiautomatic shotgun. She was be ng 
staked through a swamp oy a crazed 
man with words tattooed on his fists, 
who sang hymns as he followed her. 
She was very frightened in her night- 
mare, she said, not by being pursued, 
but by the idea of being old. Everyone 
laughed at that. 

They asked David Wark GrTiith what 
he'd dreamed of. "Nothing in particu- 
lar," he said. But he had dreamed: 
(here was a land of fire and eruptions. 



THEN THIS YOUNG FILIPINO GUY RAN 
THE ROOM YELLING A 
MILE A MINUTE AND RAN TO A CLOSET 

AND OPENED IT, AND 
A WHITE FELLER FELL OUT OF iT WITH A 
IN HIS BACK. 



Where men and women clad in animal 
skins fought against giant crccodi es 
and lizards, much like in his film of ten 
years before, Man's Genesis. Hal 
Roach, the upstart competing pro- 
ducer, was there, too, looking older, but 
he seemed to be telling Griffith what to 
do. D. W. couldn't imagine such a 
thing. Griffith attributed the dream to 
the tolling of the ship, and to an espe- 
cially fine bowl of turtle soup he'd 
eaten that morning aboard the Grey 
Duck, before the storm hit. 

Another person didn't tell of his 
dreams. He saw no reason to. He was 
the stubby steward who kept them all 
rock ng with laughter through the storm 
with his antics and jokes. He said noth- 
ing to the film people, because he had 
a dream so very puzzling to him, a 
dream unlike any other he'd ever had. 

He had oeen somewhere; a stage, a 
room. He wore some kino of livery; a 
doorman's or a chauffeur's outfit, There 
was a oig Swede standing right in front 
of him, anc the Swed : sh guy was made 
up like a Japanese or a Chinaman. He 



INTO 



had a big mustache like Dr, Fu Manchu 
on the book jackets, and he wore a 
tropical p.anter's suit and hat. Then this 
young Filipino guy had run into the 
roo™ yelling a mile a minute, and the 
Swede asked. "Why number-three son 
making noise like "otcoost?". and the 
Filipino ye ed someth ng else and ran 
:o a closet coor arc opened it, and a 
wni-e teller fell out of it with a knife in 
his back, 

Ther a voice oelrnd the steward 
said Cut 1 " and men said, "Let's do it 
again," ard the guy wth the knfe in his 
back got up ana went back into the 
closet, and the Filipino guy went back 
out the door, and the big Swecc look 
two puffs on a Camel and handed it to 
someone and then just stood there, 
and the voice behind the steward said 
to him, "Okay."' and then, "This time, 
Mantan, bug your eyes out a little more." 

The dream made no sense at all. 

After their return on the yacht, the stew- 
ard had performed at the wrap party 
for the oroducfons. An Elk 
I saw h m. ana they hired 
nim to do ther next initia- 
tion follies. Then he won a 
I couple of amateur nights, 
and played theaiefs in a 
DOOR couple of nearby towns. He 

fetched and carried around 
the mayor's house in the 
caytime, and rolled audi- 
KNIFE encss in the aisles at night, 

One oay eary ir J 9?C. 
he looked in his monthly 

pay envelope and found it 

was about a quarter of what 
he'd earned in the theater the last week. 
He gave notice, hit the boards run- 
ning, and never lookea back. 

So it was that two years later, on April 
12, 1922, Mantan Brown found himself, 
at eight in the morning, in front of a 
large building in Fort Lee, New Jersey. 
He had seen the place the yea' before, 
when he had been playing a theater 
down the street. Before the Great War. 
it had been part of Nestor or Centaur, 
or maybe the Thantouser Film Com- 
pany. T ne Navy had taken it ever for a 
year to make toothbrushmg and 
trench-foot movies to show new re- 
on how 
s work- 



ehev, 
lock. 



rnme'ca studio again, 
nt oy the day or week, 
jction had moved out to 
estern coast, but there were still a 
-in Jersey, out on Astoria, in Man- 
hattan itself— doing some kind of busi- 
ness in the East. 

Mantan had fe-ried over before 



Most I 
thew 



sunup, :aken a streetcar, and decked 


"Willie. 


ir tc the nearby no:e . one :hat let Ke- 


hand, shoe 


croes siay there as long as they paid in 


"Thank 


advance. 


He lockeo 


he went inside, past a desk and a 


wha: the he 


yawr ng cjard who wavec nim on. and 


"Beats 


Icjnc 2 o.iy n cove-alis with a broom, 


things 1 e 


whicn, Mantan had learned in two 


work here- 


vea's in the busiress, was where you 


and carry 


wer* tc *inc out stir 


rented t h 


■ 1 m oo-; rg for The Man with tne 


shoes is 


"You and everynocy else.' sad :he 




hareyman. He souinted. "1 seer you 





o.ma when he came n 
"Mantanl" "Why, Mr. B 



g and 
Looky 
he saw he was 



Cnicke- 


a cane 


sr from Harlem wno'c 


been r 


ri ;/- eh 


A'lth both Moran and 
and Bubbles "Her 



Mantan smiled. "Toured with her 


zard-bunny to me — ne : s got some 


Ma 




p'eased They'd 


and Ma Rairey as^ yea'- ! tnec io "e 


areat sche-e or somenir'. 1 been 


m ade 




ee days -lostly in 


jokes, and oecple :hrew o r cks arc 


paint ng scene-y f or it Don't ~ake 






;an Gardens o; a 


tnincs a; me 'til .hey came back on and 








n nouse in Sea Is- 


sano. Theater Owners Booking 








rc :he mornings 


Ace-icv. The i DBA circuit. ' 


cameras cc m ng ir Thursday ard Fri- 


anc a - 




r.rc nis tent-shows 


Tne guv smred. "Tough On Black 


day snoo.iro time 'xy a lwo--Uer. Otner 


air.gh 


:. Somebod 


had cal ed some- 


Asses, hun?" 


than that, Mr. Brown, 1 dont know a 


body ■ 


i-ho'd catlec 


scmSQOdy else to 


"You got that right." 


thing more, than you do. 1 


eel Ir 


the job, He 


-adnt seer the n'lm 


"Well, 1 thought you were pretty 


"Thanks. 17 


yet, bi 




he f cmemOe'ec uf 


cocc. Cauaht you somewhere ir the 




makirr 




;eoly pretty funny. 


C ty. Went there for the jazz. " 


The wa.ing 'com wasrt like Connies, 


"1 11 




■ve dolars a cay. 


"""hank you — ' 


i- was like a TOBA tent-snow auTus 


JStlk 







G 



E A T 



M O M E N T S 



N 



S'ehrucry 11, 1987: The first online 
exclusive dctim service ntekes its timely 
debut in hopes of ccpitalizirn on the 
similar computer interests of men and women. 



Jne zse-old Valentine's Day 
dilemma 




SAT S'E 3Y ERIC JAY DECETIS 



irUTERVIEUU 

j^scant generation ago, 
/^kscholars painted a 
Utopian vision of the an- 
cient Maya, whose civiliza- 
tion flourished in Cemral 
America from 200 to 900 
a.d, The Maya were por- 
trayed as nature-loving 
pacifists, so immersed in 
philosophical thought they 
remained unmoved by 
power, lust, or greed. Their 
cities of magnificent pyra- 
mids, wide plazas, and 
ballcourts were envisioned 
as sanctuaries where as- 
tronomer-priests contem- 
plated the heavens and 
'he endless progression of 
time. The cryptic writing 
adorning Mayan architec- 
ture, so the experts pro- 
claimed, had nothing to 
do with history, The deeds 
o- mer, they assumed, 
held no interest for these 
star-dazed hippies. 

We now know this pic- 
ture is dead wrong. If any 
person has been instru- 
mental in exploding this 
myth, it is Tennessee-born 
Linda Scheie, a large- 
boned woman with a bawdy 
sense of humor and a 
dazzling facility for teasing 
the hidden meaning from 
the labyrinthine symbols 
the Maya used to record 
their language. In the early 
Seventies, seemingly ou! 
of nowhere, she burst into 
the field of Mayan studies 
and with her collaborators 
transformed our under- 
standing of Mayan beliefs 
and practices. 

Previously, experts 
could decipher only dates 
encoded in elaborate hi- 
eroglyphic signs; now they 

SHE ENCODED AN AN- 
CIENT LANGUAGE, 
SO AFTER CENTURIES 
OF SILENCE, THE 
MAYA SPEAK AGAIN. 




PHOTOGRAPHS BY WILLIAM COUPON 



read more than 90 percent o J some 
texts, The words in the inscriptions can 
actually be intoned jus: as the ancients 
would have pronounced them. After 
centuries of siience, ihe Maya spea^ 
again. And what they say is not what 
Scheie's predecessors expected to 
hear. Formerly cast as the Greeks of 
the New Wo-ld, the Maya were actually 
more ike- Romans. They loved pomp 
and pageantry and relished bloodlet- 
ting on the battlefield, playing ground, 
or ritual altar. As Scheie puts it, "Blood 
was the mortar of their society. " 

Like Jean Frangois Champoilion of 
Hosehe Stone fame, Scheie follows a 
long tradition of epigraphers— experts 
in deciphering lost writing systems — 
who star.se as amateurs. In 1970, as a 
fledgling studio art teacher in Mobile, 
A aoama. she, her husband, and three 
students visr.od vlexco's Mayan ruins 
over Christmas vacation Arriving a: Ihe 
ancient site of Palenque, the group 
planned to stay the obligatory two hours 
-ecom^ended in their travel guide. In- 
stead, they spent over 12 days. What 
began as a standard tourist jaunt be- 
came for Scheie a lifelong obsession. 

Scheie returned to Palenque each 
of the next three summers, bebending 
scholars, knowledgeahle laymen, and 
anyone else who could offer her In- 
sg'nts ir:o :he vanished society. Even- 
tually the Scheles bought a house in a 
neighbor ng village so she could start 
mapping Palenque's sprawling vine- 
covered B'.rjcures. Three years laser. 
Scheie made a formidable irrfpreasten 
at an international gathering of 
Mayan ists held near the ruins. After 
b-ainstcrming with Peter Mathews of 
Calgary University for just three hours, 
the duo presented stunning insights 
into the structure and grammar of the 
iv'ayar written language. They also put 
together 200 years of Palenque's dy- 
nastic lineage, spanning the lives of six 
successive kings — the most complste 
list of rulers for any Iviayar site. "History 
had been made before our very eyes," 
-eoaHs Yale Mayans! Vlichsel Coe. 

As Scheie, Mathews, and others ex- 
tended and elaborated their approach, 
the trickle of decipherable glyphs 
swe ed to a torrent. Fragments of tex:s 
came together into compelling pas- 
sages of prose. Along widi archaeolog- 
ical finds, these reveal an epic warring 
of Maya dynasties. The glyphs also pro- 
vide clues to the sudden, mysterious 



JOB DESCRIPTION: 

.Epigrapher, teacher, 

leading spokesperson for the 

Mayan world view 

INFLUENTIAL 
PUBLICATIONS: 

The Biocd of Kings. Ritual ana Dy- 
nasty in Maya Art 
with Mary Miller and Maya Cosmos; 
Three Thousand Years 
On the Shaman's Past with David 
Freidel and Joy Parker 

WHY THE GLYPHS ARE 

LIKE THE 
JEFFERSON MEMORIAL: 

if our only record of 
American history were what's written 

on monuments in Washington, 

you wouldn't find out much about the 

average American. Similarly, 




there's much the Maya aid not write 

about: taxes, trade, thoughts 

about everyday life. But We can learn 

who was victorious in war 

and had the power to commission 

public monuments and 
buildings — or at least what they 
wanted to te-l about themselves. 

FAVORITE MAYAN 
BUILDING: 

~e—p e of rsciptiors a'' Palenouc 

A LESSON FROM A LOST 
CIVILIZATION: 

In the end of the Mayan empire so 
many resources went 

into warfare the whole social struc- 
ture became unstable. 

The question for us is whether the 

1980s administrations 

spent us into oblivion as well, 



A natural showman, she relishes draw- 
ing sweeping parallels from past to 
present. "Scheie has emerged as per- 
haps the most promment spokesper- 
son of the Mayan world view." 
observes Princeton Mayanist Gilleft 
Griffin. The very qualities that make her 
a successful popuiarizer, however 
make her vulnerable io criticism, Some 
scholars a*:ac her 'o r being wild and 
woo y '.vrh her facts— or implicitly too 
colorful. Others, 'rom the sreheeoogi- 
cal camp, often say Scheie and fellow 
epigraoners reconstruct cis cl Mayan 
history rely too heavily on inscriptions 
which, they argue, are largely the prop- 
aganda of :he noble classes, While 
cencedirg thei r point. Scheie re- 
sponds, "Of course their history was bi- 
ased. So is ours, "here's still much we 
can learn from it," 

To interview Scheie, Kathleen 
McAuliffe iraveled Io Antigua, the old 
colonial capir.a- c J Guatemala, where 
the historian, now 52, was on a mission 
to ieach modem Maya ihe lost writing 
system of their ancestors. Scheie and 
McAuliffe Talked over the span of a 
week with Sequent stops and starts to 
accommodate the endless stream of 
Maya visitors seek-iy Scheie. 

Omni: Tell us about that first epiphany 
at Palenque. 

Scheie; It was like a cream. You see 
about 15 pyramids with huge, ^nee- 
high steps leading to their tops, silhou- 
etted against fores t-cover-od moun- 
tains. The cicadas start with one song, 
then another answers, and another, 
until it becomes a 12-tone harmony, 
Creeks tumble down the mountains tie. 
Where water bubbles out, the mountain 
is streaked with limestone, No one knew 
a single person who had ever lived in 
this mystery piace. It was the. most 
beautiful and sacred place I'd been in 
my life. I had to find out more about it. 

Although no one knew it, the field of 
Mayan studies was about to crack 
wide open. Noi only did I arrive at the 
right place at the right time, I met the 
right anihrcpoogis:s. zoologists, and 



historians. There was no reasor for 
these people to welcome a little of 
Southern girl who'd just gotten a Mas- 
ter of Fine Arts and was teaching at the 
University of South Alabama. But they 
didn't care about my credentials. They 
taught me with generosity and humor, 
and if I had a good idea, they said, 
"Wow! Yeah!" and encouraged me. 
Omni: So nothing was known about 
Palenque at thai time? 
Scheie: Every guide made up his own 
story. By 1970, the great tomb in the 
Temple of Inscriptions had been found. 
Many believed it showed an astronaut 
taking off. In the images on the walls 
people saw astronomer priests or 
maybe a god. In the palace's southern 
wing was a bench palace where 
guides claimed the king took the virgin- 
ity of all the young girls in the city. A 
huge vacuum existed, and people fed 
into it whatever they wanted. 
Omni: What function did the pyramids, 
the courts, and other structures found 
at Palenque have? 

Scheie: The pyramids were, in their 
words, sacred mountains. Mayas saw 
the world as this mountainous thing on 
the back of a turtle floating in the pri- 
mordial sea. The courts below the 
pyramids were the valleys. Near the 
main court would be a ballcourt, repre- 



senlhg an openirc or crsck eadiro to 
the Otherworld. The royal family lived in 
palaces nearby. On important occa- 
sions — holy days, celebrations of a 
battle victory, the birth of an heir — the 
king and queen went into the sacred 
house on top of the pyramid where 
many rituals took place, including the 
torture or sacriiice of war captives, and 
they'd communicate with the Other- 
world. Then they'd come out in front of 
the crowd and perform bloodletting rit- 
uals on themselves. 

Omni: So it is thought they were a 
pretty violent culture? 
Scheie: They worer.': especially bad — 
or good. They were not idyllic nature- 
loving people who never hurt anybody, 
nor were they bloodthirsty sacr'icia 
priests who consumed human beings 
by the thousands. 

Omni: But you said "Blood was the 
mortar of their culture." 
Scheie: It was. But put this in a different 
light. If you're a devout Christian, how 
do you save your soul? By leading an 
exemplary life — giving away everything 
you've got. Maya gave what to them 
was the most precious substance oi 
all, their blood. From a symbolic per- 
spective, the two most important parts 
of the human body are the tongue— 
where intelligent communication 




comes from — and the genitals. Those 
are the parts from which they ritually 
drew blood. 

The Mayan king made the most 
powerful sacrifices. Our presidents, 
chancellors, and prime ministers en- 
gage in political battles end send 19- 
year-olds in their place to fight a war, 
Not only was the Mayan king on the 
battlefield til the day he died, but he 
had to open his tongue and penis 
every time a major ceremony or event 
took place in the center. Now, can you 
imagine how many Clintons we'd have 
if, at every major meeting of Congress, 
at every important event, he had to 
drop his pants and push a great nee- 
dle through his dick in public? We 
wouldn't have many men wanting to be 
politicians; and those who did would 
bo ve'V careful! 

Omni: The king poked a needle 
through the central shaft of his penis! 
Scheie: Through most of the man's life, 
the needle — a bone awl — was poked 
through the skin and top of the shaft in 
much the way abong ncs sea' them- 
selves. There were :hree diagonal slic- 
ing scars across the top of the penis. 
When a person was taken captive and 
was go : ng to be killed, it was far more 
severe, They could be emasculated. 
Omni: Even in the "milder version," 
wouldn't this intertere with a man's sex- 
ual enjoyment or reproductive ability? 
Scheie: No. The. Australian Abo-igir.es 
split the penis along the bottom so it 
splays out like a cut weenie. According 
to one anthropologist, Aboriginal 
women much prefer scarred men. It 
makes the penis much bigger. 
Omni: What was the underlying mean- 
ing of bloodletting? 

Scheie: A fundamental principle of an- 
cient Mayan beliefs was the idea of 
'ccip'ocky: Tne gods of the supernat- 
ural world cannot exist without human 
intervention through ritual and offer- 
ings. And humans certainly cannot 
ex^st without the intervention of the 
gods who bring rain, make food grow, 
and create new life. Underlying blood- 
letting as a central act of piety, is the 
concept of ch'ulel. To both the ancients 
and some modern Maya such as the 
Tzotz ils of the highlands of Chiapas in 
Mexico, ch'uiel is a living force- perme- 
ating everything. They see the entire 
cosmos is imbued with life. Houses, 
mountains, springs, sacred places — all 
have ch'ulel. The most important inter- 
actions are not between human and 
human, human and place, human and 
animal, but between the ch'ulel of 
those things. This force is indestruc- 
tible and composed of 13 parts. When 
you are sick, climax in sex, are terribly 
fnghened— these kinds of situations — 



you car lose a piece of tha: scjI to the 
Earth Lord, Then you nave .to ga 
Through oeremor es to get i oack. 

In tne human bcdy. en uic-i resides 
ir Lhe blood. VVncn ne Vlayan King and 
queen emerged from the inner 
turn on the top of ne pyramid to 



dating from the Spanish 
Omni: Wait— the Maya c vilization co - 
laoseo in 900 a. P.. and ihe Sparisn 
ddn: arive until the '500s Who lo:d 
the Spar sn aoou.-. thei' culxre? 
Scheie: Just as :ie Ir.al a".s cidn't go 



Vla^ 



of hot water book; 



= content as high 



■corcing the passage of Tin 
:ne late Fifties, srchae< 
ch Berlin figureo that s 
i recorded names of peor 



THE ENGINES 
OF GOD 

BY JACK McDEVITT 
Review by Andrew Wheeler 

Like most SF readers, I started 
young. I'd read everything in the 
(admittedly small) "sci-fi" section of 
my junior high's library before 6th 
grade was over. I read all the SF 
classics, and many not-so-classics, 
and some of the books have stuck 
in my head ever since, though their 
titles haven't always stayed with me, 
But my favorite was about a teenage 
boy who was with an interplanetary 
archaeological team. They found work- 
ing alien artifacts, which led them 
(after whizzing all over the galaxy to 
discover other wonderful things) to 
meet the aliens. I loved the book at 
the time and I've had a soft spot for 
alien archaeology ever since. 

So I had high hopes for this 
book, about archaeological investi- 
gations into three different dead 
alien races {two of them medium- 
tech single-planet civilizations 
that disappeared mysteriously), 
McDevitt didn't let me down; I was 
intrigued by the various structures 
left behind by the enigmatic 
"Monument-makers" (the third, 
galaxy-spanning, race) and caught 
up in the race to excavate the 
ancient Temple of Winds on the 
planet of Quaraqua before the 
Kozmik conglomerate began terra- 
forming and destroyed it all. It's a 
story of discovery, of learning the 
true history of the past and of alien 
civilizations. That, to me, is the pure 
core of SF. 

I certainly won't spoil it by telling 
you whether any aliens turn up alive 
or not, but I will say it reminded me 
of that long-ago book. What I loved 
about both of them was the explor- 
ation: how each artifact led to 
another, to a new discovery. I've 
heard a lot of grumbling lately 
that there's no "sense of wonder" 
in SF anymore. Well, there is: it's 
right here. 

The Engines of God is available at 
your local book store and from The 
Science Fiction Bock Club on p. 45. 



ArUTIRflATTER 

UFO UPDATE: 

A new development in the age-old question: 
'"'" ' "irriaqe be saved? 



5 Marriage Be Saved? 



drug addiction, alcoholism, i 
money squabbles. But the * 



testing the ties that bin 

"A husband whose wife r 
been e' 

says Budd Hopkins, the author 
of two books on UFOs. "He 
may think, / can't protect my 
wife." Adds Hopkins, "Wives 
also feel angry and unloved." 

Take Deb Hill, who works with 
her husband in their product-test- 
ing laboratory. Deb's anqst stems 



band during abductions whk 



three times a month. "I'm especially upset by the ! 




received extensive national 
icity about her alleged ET 



taken my wife aw 

Often, when a , m 
been teetering under the weight 
of other problems, abduction 
does it in. "Our marriage was in 
trouble to begin with," admits 42- 
year-old Jeff. "But my wife u — ' 



"What the aliens do to John is tantamount to rape." 

To deal with such feelings, Deb recently attended 

■"*"" support group run by Temple University 

i UFO author David Jacobs. "I needed 

— rfrom other abductees that sex with aliens is 

very mechanical," she explains. 

Animosity, even jealousy, are in fact common 
responses to a spouse's abduction, according to Dr 
Bill Cone, a California psychologist who has treated 
numerous abductees. "Some people get very hostile, 



narital tension, UFO re- 
chers find themselves playing marriage counselor 
to abductees. "I advise people to be careful with wh< 
they speak about their abductions," says Budd 
Hopkins, "because going public can exacerbate an 
already bad situation. Often, a spouse will be toler- 
ated if this doesn't get out to the neighbors." 

' ' 't care less what f 



i using his abduc- 

.. a „„3tody case for their 

five-year-old son. "We had to take psychological eval- 
uations," says Jeff. "My tests showed me to be normal, 
so my abductions were the only things her ' 
could find to put me in a bad light. She almo 
' ive a child with me in the first place," he i 
„juse she was afraid the child might be ab 

Some marriages have actually been strength- 
ened by abduction. Deb Hill says si- 
good that my husband trusts me enough t 
these experiences with me. That helps us turn this 
into something positive." 

Still, Dr. Cone believes that while many abduc- 
tees are psychologically well-adjusted, "some of 
le are actually suffering from identity dis- 
orders and have difficulty telling reality from fantasy 
and dreams. Even if they hadn't gone through the . 
abduction experience, it is possible that they would 
be having trouble in their marriages today." 

—ANITA BASKIN 



AfUTIf¥lATTER 




iergy level of the 

_J rays emitted by 

"V will be relatively 

-"pared to infrare< 

people are ex- 



th your face almost 
ling the TV : 



SWINE ODOR 


once two to three hun- 


TASK FORCE 


dred hogs per farm, now 




it's closer to two to 


.ove the smell of bacon 


three thousand animals, 


rying in the morning? 


explains Dr. Jon Ort, 


You might Ibse your taste 


North Carolina State Uni 


or pig products if you 


versify associate dean 


ived downwind from a 


of the School of Agricul- 


smelly hog farm. The 


ture and Life Science, 


problem's become so bad 


and another task force 


n North Carolina, the 


member. "We're look- 


nation's second-largest 


ing at economically fea- 


log producer, that the 


sible solutions to re- 








cently created a 27- 


While th 


3 task force's 






Vet com- 




Task Force." The 


pleted, Schiffman has 
some ideas for how 




orce's mission: to find 




ways to contro! the 


the odor might be abate 




aungent odor that ema- 


"You might suck 




nates from hog houses, 


odors up into a stack a 




agoons fiiled with hog 


disperse them high 




waste, and lagoon wa- 


up over a larger area t 




ter that's sprayed on hay 


dilute them," says 




ields as fertilizer. 


Schiffman. :i Or you car 


'■■ 


'"People who live down- 


burn them, which 






oxidizes the comDounc 




rate themselves as more 






depressed and anx- 


don't have 


any smell." 


ous than other people," 


And hov 


do the 


reports Duke Univer- 
sity professor and task 


hog farmer 
this? "They 




force member Dr. 


support it." 




■ 









. ■ - - B^BB Bl - 



THE TRUTH 


"While awaiting the an- 


ABOUT 1 3 


swer to this question. 




we may have to accep! 


The superstition sounds 


that Friday the 13th is 


illogical, but maybe Friday 


indeed unlucky for some, 


the 13th really /sun- 


and that for those peo- 


lucky. A study of accident 


ple, at least, it might be 


figures on a section of 


safer to stay home." 


a British superhighway 


— IvorSmuller 


showed that the risk 




of being hospitalized follow- 


EYEBALL MAGIC 


ing a crash soared by 




50 percent on that tradi- 


Have you ever felt vou 






tionally notorious day. 


were being stared at, only 


To reach this conclusion, 


to turn around and dis- 


the researchers exam- 


cover that someone really 


ined statistics for six Fri- 


did have his or her eyes 


days the 1 3th over 


glued on you? A recent 


three years. They found 


test of the phenomenon 


that though consist- 


suggests it may be real. 


ently fewer people drove 


The lab studies 


on those days, there 


were conducted by Marilyn 


was a slight increase in 


Schlitzofthe Institute 


the number of super- 


of Noetic Sciences in Saus- 


market shoppers, indicat- 


alito, Calffornia, and 


ing that people were 


Stephen LaBerge of the 




Lucidity Institute in 




Stanford. To eliminate sen- 


IF YOU BELIEVE SOME- 


sory cuing between 


THING STRONGLY 


the observed and the ob- 


ENOUGH, WILL IT IN FACT 


server, the experi- 


HAPPEN TO YOU? 


menters set up a video 




camera that broadcast 




the image of the person to 


worried enough to travel 


be observed to a monitor 






by other means. 

The increased number 


in a separate room. There 
an observer spent six- 


of accidents, says 


teen 30-second periods 


Thomas Scanlon, M.D., 


concentrating on the 


public health registrar 


image and an equal num- 


for the Mid Downs Health 


ber of periods not "star- 


Authority in Sussex, 


ing." Rather than asking 


could be explained by un- 


the observed person to 


usually high anxiety 


guess when remote "star- 


that serves to reduce con- 


ing" occurred, the exper- 


centration. "Are people's 


imenters monitored the 



vanic skin response in the 



kvvw > 



nomic or unconscious ner- 
vous system would react. 
:, it 
percent 
. the partici- 
' i in- 
crease in their autonomic 
activity during the star- 
ing periods compared to 50 
percent expected by 



. The results surprised 
psychologist Ray Hyman. 
'This has long been a 
classic classroom demon- 
stration. When you do 
it under controlled condi- 
tions, you can demon- 
strate that it doesn't work. 



jgh times though, 
itually son 



VOYAGER 



to a oeciscn faster. Its almost like :'s 
taking its best guess. Thinking in a 
more intuitive manner." With an expla- 
nation like that, you'd think that isolin- 
ear chips really existed. 

The Voyager will have a different 
kind of engine, explains Sternbach. 
l: We still have details about how the 
power is channeled toward those big 
wft-p or-ghe racelles on the oulsido cf 
the ship, but those nacelles are now 
rncjr-.ecl on pivoiable w ngs. We figure 
that since these nacelles are variable 
geometry wings almost like an F-14 
Tomcat, we will be able to say interest- 
ing things about why I nose wings pivot. 
Some of the thinking is that it may 
shape the warp field." 

Graphic designer and co-author of 
the Star Trek- The Next Generation 
Technical Manual Mike Okuda adds; 
"The voyager's engines are substan- 
tially more efficient than the _ 
Enterprise's. They cause sig- 
nificantly less damage to the 
space/t'""e continuum, show- 
ing Star Trek to be environ- 
mentally conscious," 

Mike Okuda and Rick 
Stenba.cn haven't left the En- 
terprise oehirc. Their most re- 
cent effort has been The Star 
Trek Interactive Technical 
Manual, a CD-ROM mom 
Simon and Schuster Interac- 
tive. And Sternbach is helping 

to prepare a set of Enterprise 
buep'ints, available next year, "so 
you'll know where all the toilets are on 
the Enterprise. ' expia ns Ste-nbach. 

If we do catch a glimpse o- twenty- 
fourth-century potties on the Voyager. 
they will have been designed by 
Richard James scene cosigner for the 
new show. James designed fo r The 
Next Generation for many years, He 
worked on the Apollo space program 
moon at North American in Downey, 
C.al Ionia, and then moved on to the 
TV snow S-. 

in an off ce with a drafting board 
prominently In evidence. James de- 
sc-ibes hew the new sets came into 
being. "Basically the underlying direc- 
tive from Rick Berman was that if 
someone was flipping the TV channels 
and came across Voyager, he wanted 
them to recognize it as Star Trek." 

The sets are eon'nitoiy Star Trek, but 
different. "The intention was to make 
-.he"' look mo'e rcai.stic I wanted them 
to look more functional, more like a 
(real) ship," James says. "I sways gel 
a lot of the Frank Lloyd Wright look into 

32 OMNI 



my designs. There's also art dear' Mil- 
itary vessels such as atomic sub- 
marines, as well as movie ces one? 
Syd Mead's work, have also nf.uerced 
J amies' oesign. 

Sei designs also conform to the "rub- 
ber" science rj the snow ~w enty -fourth - 
century science, as ;he writers dub- it. 
is mostly the result of classic Trek's 
1960s production limitations. However, 
tor all the beaming and warp'ng, there 
is a remarkaole cors stercy r- Trek sci- 

w'tn establisheo scientific though: and 
principle. In far/., the show even has a 
science consultant — Andre Bormanis. 

ere of MASA— who locks a: every script. 
"If a script demands some kinds of 
sciertfc explanation," says Bormanis, 
"I will always fry to fine something that 
is cases ir 'airly well established real 
scieree first. If I can't do that, I will go 
into the so-called ruober sc ence or the 
very spec j stive, consistent w th res ty. 
I always try not to violate any basic 

aws of pnysies — censer vat on c~ en- 



STAR TREK HAS A HISTORY OF OPENNESS TO 

AUTHORS WITH SCIENCE- 
FICTION BACKGROUNDS: HARLAN ELLISON, 

THEODORE STURGEON, AND 
OTHERS. BUT ACTORS WHO READ SCIENCE 

FICTION? VOYAGER HAS THEM. 



have a global economy. There's more 
economic upheaval, Voyager says: 
Look, lo.ks. let's wcr* together." 

"I would hope that Gene Rodden- 
berry would be excited about our tak- 
ing his creation further and further," 
says Mike Okuda. "What Berman and 
Piiler and Taylor have done ... is to 
take the spirit of Star Trek, wnieh is 
'boldly gong' (out; ta<irg away all the 
familiar trappings that have accreted 
fcr the last twenty-five years. Hopefully, 
this is a major shot in the arm that will 
make Star Trek fresh again." 

Jeri Taylor elucidates. "Star Trek and 
science fiction give the opportunity to 
explce wondrous, imaginative ieeas. 
We want to keep pressing the edges of 
imagination anc c r sa; v ly ol science 
fiction, to tell -hose wonderful oaracoxi- 
cal stores that n-ake the mind twist 
and bend and embrace them." 

"Our goal is simply to do what Star 
^'SA'has always cone.' assess Micnae 
Filler. "That is, to put quality science 
fiction on week after week, to cc stores 
that people have to think 
about, talk about, that fami- 
lies can watch together 
and discuss the meanings 
of and the relationships to 
their own lives, To entertain 
using the best oroduction 



cgy. momentum or anything mat we 
feel is very firmly established." 

Bomnanis describes some upcom- 
ing scientific suoject matter; "Electro- 
dynamic, c" Tence ,y space and how 
thai might ce 'elated ic iving processes 
I he galactic magnetic field. Whether or 
not there could be any kind of food 
supply in soace. There's a lot of inter- 
stellar matter, One of the most produc- 
tive areas of study lately has been of 
the interstellar space material that we 
didn't realize would be out there. There 
has even been the tentative confirma- 
tion of the presence of s mple ammo 
acids in the interstellar medium with 
some radiotelescope observations. 

"We also want to ces'gn some sort cf 
ccsec et-j'toc- system, as ts called 
in the NASA pa- ance," he adds. Which 
means we can ock io'wa'd to the east 
carder rig in a ■iydroponios section. 

"Conceptually, the original series 
was ahead o : its time," points out T : m 
Russ. "Now Voyager broaders those 
steps. The'e's a wide' variety of char- 
acters. Our society has changed. We 



crew. We'll f.na out wno tney are and 
what the surprises are as time goes on.," 

Paramount is using tne show to 
sooarneac ts new United Paramount 
network. Thats a very small gamble. 
The Star Trek phenomenon seems des- 
tined to be an enduring legend of our 
culture, prodding us with fabulous 
dreams of distant stars and worlds, 
with our descendants among them, 
finding adventure and purpose-. 

Whether or not the human race 
struggles from the bonds of ignorance 
and bceaucracy and finds its way to a 
destiny beyond our solar system re- 
mains to be seen. Wn'le we wait, 
though, shews <e Star Trek: Voyager 
•eeo mat phaser-canole burning m cur 
hearts and hopes.DO 

David Bischoff is co-author of the Star 
Trek: The Nex: Gcnerailor- episode "Tin 
Man." His latest revel is The Judas 
Cross with Charles Sheffield, from 
Warner Books. 



Why 

the jonq -face ? 



-0 i 
— dsMb 



© ARTCUMINGS 



It; just hit me 

J m a ha£l< / 
I m a manufacturei' 
- not an artist / 



4gk / JX 
;L2\ r) 
,4..^ /fer\ 



€> 






-Jit, Lighten up / 

7^| A simple leap 

/*wy \ of 1 imagination and 

,0) you'll have a style 
Picasso would 
, envy 



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a ru^9 







il 



jj 



91 



p 






he. st oppec 

laughing 

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-letwor-iii possess ■.no b'a n iKe ab lity 
to teach themso ves quickly and to im- 
'""■ediasoiy adapt to new patterns. "With- 
out internal feedback, we wouldn't be 
'"iurna-i." G-ossoerg says. "Without it, 
a I you have is another type of com- 
pute:- program." 

Grossberg's devotion to ieecback 
has at times allowed him not merely to 
re create n a computer o r ogram what 
scientists know about the brain, but 
even to get ahead of neuroscience. At 
one point ! or example, he saw no way 
to Insert one important tyoe of feed- 
back hio his network without a soft- 
ware component analogous to a brain 
cell capable of responding selectively 
when two or more visual cues are 
si gncd across space Unfortunately. 
r-Quioscience had ~ound no such brain 
cell P.u G-cssbcg and his colleague 
Ennio Mingolla predicted the cell had 
lo be .here— and within a year. !he 'oi- 
pole" brain cell was discovered. 

In addition, neuroscientists have re- 
cency : scovered certain new types of 
brainwaves, which are surges in activ- 
ity that move across regions of the 
brain. Some of these brainwaves have 
turned out to resemble precisely the 
k.x.ooack oatterns Grossberg had in- 
corocated into ms networks. For ex- 
ample, the networks have both 

86 QMNI 



.empo'a'v and nice permareni mem- 
ories, wnioh oonstanlly s'gns back and 
forth; likewise, the regions of the brain 
that provide short-term and long-term 
memories are now known to swao s c- 
nals known as "M200" and ,:! N" waves. 
And just as the networks emo oy "m s- 
match" and "try again" feedback sig- 
nals when they first fail to identify a 
pattern, the brain issues "P120" and 
"P300' waves wnen i struggles with a 
confusing patter -i. Pemaos mast in- 
triguing of a . wnen deprived cl certain 
types of feedback, Grossberg's net- 
works even imitate human bra;n d'sor- 
ders, including the spurious s : gnals o ; 
Parkinson's disease and memo'y loss 
caused by drug abuse. 

Versions of Grossberg's feedback- 
rich networks have- begun to prove 
themselves in the real world. At Boeing, 
ior example, a neural network inccoo- 
rat ng ore ci Grossoerg s mooels cata- 
logs ine desgr specif icat ons of some 
16 million aircraft parts. The system wi: 
allow the company's engineers to enter 
the specifications of a proposed new 
part and receive infcmatior on trie 
closest existing pad, so that Boeing 
can ■"'■■oclify the ex'sting oart nstead cf 
having to manufacture the new part 
from scratch. And a Nevada medical 
center is cevecpiro a sr"i:a.' network 



li'a: :j r o:];ots a pat.eri's ie:igtn o ; " stay 
based on the patient's nislory, cuiront 
status, ard course o : imal-cnf Gross 
berg's networks are also being incor- 
porated into robots, a lowing them to 
reoogn.ze anc -etrieve oojects while 
moving and even fc produce cursive 
handwriting. 

After years of being ignored ano 
even oisoaragec. ihe outspoken 
GrosKoerg o aims he now 'ees vindi- 
cated by the many uses to which nis 
work is being put. "For a long time ;he 
same people in Al argued that they 
had the only game in town," he says, 
"Bui now many people are jumping on 
the rejral-relwo'k bandwagon.' 

Imitating the b'ain's neural network is a 
nude step in the r'gh* ejection, says 
Wayne State University con-outs- sc- 
entist ana oioonvsioist Michael Conrad, 
but it still rrvsses an impcrtart aspect 
of natural intelligence "People tend to 
treat the brain as if it were made up of 
color-coded transistors," he explains. 
"But it's not simply a clever network cf 
sw-ichss. Ths'e are lots of important 
things going on inside the brain cells 
ihernsc-vos.' Soeoifical y Conrad be- 
lieves that many of the o-air's capaoili- 
ties stem from the pattern-rocogr'ticn 
profciency of the individual "oecules 



At ihis poir 


t en 


v n "es 


would loc 


cherr 


r.alf 


Like the brain 


onto, and thus 


■'BCC 


"in ze 


the moiecu 


devic 




ies very spec 



el-em cai activ ties that taki 



ana-key sV 




ng, they fit lock 
o^s and crannie 


snapGar.ri' a 




tnen changes it 


Conrad ih 






utilized in ar 
tion device c 
cals floating 

example, th 
that certain 


set o- s 


the device has tc 
poken words, fo 
Id be set up sc 


certain moe 
sound "heh" 






After a ser 
leased, their 
to interact w 
distinct mole 







and put bad 
"But reality i: 





large numbe- cf moiecu es w, do n 




says wqj d require a computer th 


n hope- 


Right now, tne notion that conven 


k.do all 


ttonaJ computers ard so^vare are \.r 


ns). He 


damentally ncapable cf -alcnirn th 


a eas y 


p.-ocssses tna. take pace ir the b.-ai 




remains controversial, Bui if it prove 


en that 


true, then the elorts of Coirac and hi 


a work- 


fellow Al rebels coulo turn ou: to oe tn. 



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ABDUCTION 

coniinlll:- '■:;'■.■■ ■ ■■';- ■'.'■ 



are a falsoly cheated from he IrdiviG 
ual imaginations." 

But Ronald K. Siegel. associate re- 
search professor of psychiatry and 
biobe!"ii3v:ora sciences at UCLA and 
author of Whispers: The Voices of Para- 
noia (Crown), coes not agree. "Those 
details don't point to anything more 
than a common merta experience, rot 
unlike parasitoses, the belief you're 
being infested by parasites," Siegel 
says, ivleo cal History documents that 
people who suffer from parasitosis re- 
ported the same paras : tes and drew 
the same drawings, with the same de- 
tails. Given an infinite variety of stimula- 
tions, the brain responds in a finite 
number of ways." 

"Theoretically, Haley could be expe- 
riencing an altered state of conscious- 
ness—caused by anything from a food 
allergy to a physical problem in the 
brain — and having these fan- 
tastic experiences in which she 
has seemingly real feelings 
and images associated with 
being abducted by aliens, 
and which can even include 
physical manifestations," 
adds psychologist Keith 
Harary, research director of 
the Institute for Advanced 
Psycho ogy in San Francisco, 

Military Coup 9 Acting as 
tour guide. Haley drove Omni 

around the Columbus Air | ; 

Force Base :cc<inc 'or a ore- 
story building where she believes sne 
was :a«er ard interrogated. No build- 
ing, however, seemed familiar. Haley 
also cave 0mm he name of a disc/.ir- 
tied civ" an employee at Cok-mbus she 
said might know about the UFOs. 
When Omni tracked this man down, 
however, he said, "I just don't have the 
kind of security clearance to know 
about these things." 

As for Major Poole, he has con- 
firmed that he did .give his wife, a stu- 
dent in Haley's accou'itnc. elass, a space 
shuttle Endeavour pass to give to Haley 
ana did irv'te her to view the shuttle on 
ls sxpove" at :he base '3ut h wasn't a 
personal invitarion." he says. "We have 
standard roped-off areas, where, the 
public can stand and take pictures, 
and that's what I invited her to do. On the 
night in question, I did go to the class- 
room, but it was lo wave to my wife." 

Official Denial. Have UFOs ever 
been tracked over Columbus Air Force 
3ase? Accoroirg to Sergeant Debbie 
O'Leary, Columbus AFB Public Affairs; 
"No. :he'e have beer no UFOs -.racked 



here, and we have not interrogated 
here any people wig claim to have had 
an alien encounter" 

Tammy McBride at die PO'vV/iv'IA of- 
fice at the Per:agon. meanwhile, con- 
duced & seaici for one Larry Mitchell, 
a name that appeared on a soldier's 
uniform in the underground alien facil- 
ity Haley described Under hypnosis. 
McBride found three Lsrrys and one 
Lawrence a I wih the last name o~ Mitcn- 
ell. All four were killed in action in Viet- 
nam. All bodies have been reccverec. 

Vehicular Interference. Tony Scar- 
borough, physics professor at Delta 
S:aie Lnversty r C-evelancI, ivlss-ss po 
and state director for The Mutual UFO 
Network (MUFON). confirmed thai "a 
grapnite-b'ack helicopter came over a 
building where Haley was spea",ng and 
scared'-'^ stUdmtsK) r*BS* in he sum- 
mer of 1991 . "A year later, a similar hel- 
icopter came over my house, her few 
at about 500 feet, traveling parallel to me 
on my way to meet her at Deia State 
Ur versify." he adds, "but the cennec- 



ABDUCTION IMAGERY IS 

A MANIFESTATION OF THE LIMBIC SYSTEM, NOT 

OUTRIGHT INSANITY. THE 

SCARY THING IS, WE ALL HAVE THE SAME 

DETAILS IN OUR NERVOUS 

SYSTEM; ANYBODY CAN BECOME AN ABDUCTEE. 



chine would start without the phone 
ringing, and the air vent once dropped 
on the floor," 

But these everts says osycholoc; st 
Harary, who has studied the psychol- 
ogy of coincidence, don't add up to 
much. "A string cf seem ngly irexplica- 
oie evens thai occur around the same 
time are not necessarily related," he 
says. "You would have to thoroughly in- 
vest cate each and every one. Sure, 
there could have oeer screens physi- 
cally in the house; uno'tunaley. no one 
■was seer., and it's alrnos! imposs ole to 
go: to the oottom of whai was happen- 
ing after the fact." 

Body Scoops. The plethora of un- 
usual marks on Haley's body would 
seem to be significant physical ev - 
cence; howeve:". everyone agrees ha; 
without a thorough exam nation of her 
environment and sleep patterns, they 
mean little in the end, 

"Strange marks appearing overnight 
is just not thai unusual, and without oo- 
serving Haley close up during the 
t'mes these things occur, 
I you cannot craw any kind of 
val'd conclusion about 
| what's going on." says 
Ha'ary. "We would have to 
rule out all conventional ex- 
planations, including, for 
example, the possibility that 
sne coul 



things : 



i be doing these 



t'sliI: i 



al- 



tion between these helicopters and 
Leah Haley is, cf cou-se. speculative!" 

As for Air Force cars following her, 
Poole says, "We have cars running up 
and down Highway 45 all the time." 

H::::-:iBcc!lcs. Jonn Seard. who hsacs 
up Golden Triangle Security Alliance in 
Columbus, the company that installed 
Haley's feme sec.rty system, conf.rmec 
that Haley has experienced an nord- 
nate amount of trouble. "This particular 
system had an inherent engineering 
and design flaw, which the manufac- 
turer has admitted. Consequently, we 
no longer sell it, and we have had to go 
out and change components on most 
of the systems we installed. The'e are 
at least 20 other customers who have 
had the same problems." 

Hahy's : o:-"-e- housekeeper, Eunice 
Egoieston. however, insists there were 
strange things happening inside the 
house. "One cay I was upstairs clean- 
ing, and I heard chords clearly on the 
piano. I was sure the house was all 
locked up. and I was the only one 
_ there. In addition, the answering ma- 



tered, or even an ordinary, 
state of consciousness." 

Get Out the Ink. Biots. 
While Shafer stands by his 
evaluation of Haley, psy- 
chologist Siege insists Haley may test 
out as sane because "here's ar inte'- 
nal reality that everyone shares." Ab- 
duction imagery is a manifestation of 
the limbic system, not ouhght insanity. 
Secel says "Haley is truly an abduc- 
tee, but the aliens are not out there — 
they're in her own b r ain. The scary 
thing is, we all have the same details in 
our nervous system; anybody can be- 
come an abductee.." 

Conclusion: 

Despite the fact that some UFO re- 
searchers have called the Haley case 
one of the most intriguing and appar- 
ently best-documented abduct ors eve: 
without more data it's impossible to 
know wha: Haley nas exper enced. and 
why. There is no hard evidence and no 
cone usive circL.mstarTal evidence ha' 
orcves aoduciicr by exi-ater'-estrial bi- 
ological entities, Given the caveat ha: 
lh"s invest gaticn remairs ircomplete, 
there is also no conclusive evidence 
that Haley has beer monitored cr na- 
rasseo oy "llita-y operei vcs.DQ 



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OCCAM'S 

COVTINUED FROM PAGE 7" 

"That's funny." saio fifteen peopie ir 
unison, "us all is getting ten dollars a 
oay!" 

Whi'e they were laughing, a door 
opened in the far corner. A ;cugh wnite 
""ug who coked like ar iceoc* 3"ok- 
ng a ciga- ca""e cut yelled J or quiet, 
and read names off a list. 

Manian. Pauline Civ stiar. and Lcenzo 
Fa :, "weatner wee taken into an o'fice. 

"Welcome, welcome." said M', 
Meister. who was a shorten version of 
the guy whod callea off the na-cs en 
the c pboard, 



;ed to working, but thi- 



., and smioking a 



' he secmsc Urea. 



s that Mantan Brown found 
e production of The Medi- 
■ of Dr. Kilipstieni 

on the sei, watching them 



Slavo was rehearsing La 4 ayeUe 
Monroe and Arkady Jackson, who'd 
come in tnat morning.. They were still in 
their street clothes. Monroe must have 
been 7feet3 inches tall. 

"Here we go." said Slavo "Ly tnese." 

What he'd given Lafayette were two 
halves of Ping-Pong balls with black 
dots drawn on them. The giant placed 
them over his eyes. 

"Man., man," said Arkady. 

Slavo was back ten feet, holding 
both arms and hands out, one in- 
verted, forming a scuare with his 
thumbs anc .ndex fingers. 

"Perfect!" he said. "Mantan? :l 

"Yes, Mr. Slavo?" 

"Le;'s try :he scene where you back 
around inc cere' anc oumo into him." 

"Okay," said Brown. 

They ran through it. Mantan backed 
into Lafayette, did a freeze, reached 
back, turned, did a double take, and 
was gone. 

Arkady was rolling on the floor. The 
Ping-Pong balls popped off Lafayette's 
face as he exploded with 
laughter. 

"Okay," said Slavo, catch- 
ing his Oreaih. "Okay. This 
lime, Lafayette, just as he 
touches you, turn your head 
down a little and toward him. 
Slowly, but just so you're look- 
ing at him when he's ooKing 
at you." 

"I can't see a thing, Mr. 
Slavo." 

"There'll be holes in the 

pupils when we do it. And re- 

member, a line of smoke's 
going to come up from the floor where 
Mr. Brown was when we get finished 
with the tin." 

"I'm afraid I'll bust out laughing," 
said Lafayette. 

"Just thmk about money," said 
Slavo. "Lei's go through it one more 
time. Only this time, Mantan . . ." 

"Yes, sir?" 

'This time, Mantan, bug your eyes 
out a little bit more." 

The hair stood up on his neck. 

"Yes sir, Mr. S.avo." 



The ci'-cles under Slaves eyes seeded 
to have darkened as the day wore on. 

"I woulo have ■ ked ic have gone out 
to the West Coast with everyone else." 
he said, as they took a break during 
the run-throughs. "Then I realized nis 
was a wide-open field, the race pic- 
tubs, ■•lake exactly :he mcvies I ■.'■.■■ant 
They go out to 600 theaters in the 
North, and 850 in the South. They 
make money. Some go into state's 
rents distribution. I'm happy, Guys like 
■Vi'- f/eister are haopy— " He looked up 
m OMNI 



lo Ine cavvvak ove-iead where Iv'esl.or 
usually watched from, "The people who 
see the films are happy," 

He put another cigarette in his 
holder. "I live like I want," he said, 
Then, "Let's gei back to work, people." 

"You tell her in this scene." said Slavo, 
"that as long as you're- heeled, she has 
nothing to fear from the somnam— from 
wha: Lorenzo refers to as the Sleepy 
Guy." 

He handed Mantan a slim straight 
razor. 

Mantan looked at him. Pauline 
■oofied back anc: fed" between them. 

'■ v 03 Mr. Brown?' asked S avo 

"Well, Mr. Slavo," he said. "Tnis 
film's going out to every Negro theater 
in the U.S. of A., isn't it?" 

"Yes." 

"Well, you'll have everybody laugh- 
ing a? it. but not with it." 

"What do you mean?" 

"This is the kind of razor cadets use 
to trim their mustaches before they go 



WHEN BROWN FLOURISHED THE RAZOR, 

OPENING iT WITH A QUICK 

LOOK, A SHIFT OF HIS EYES EACH WAY, THREE 

GUYS WHO'D STOPPED 

PAINTING SCENERY TO WATCH FELL DOWN 



IN THE CORNER. 



"Well, Mr. Sennett once said, if you 
bend it, it's funry. If you breaK it, it 
isn't," 

"Now a darkie is telling me about 
the Aristophanic roots of comedy!" 
said L'eiste', throwing up his hands, 
■What about tnis :neory cSennett's?" 

"If l use the little razor," said Mantan, 
"it breaks." 

Meister looked at him a moment, 
then reached in his pocket and pulled 
three big greenbacks off a roll and 
handed them io Willie. Willie left, 

"l want to see this," said Meister. He 
crossed his arms. "Good thing you're 
not getting paid by the hour." 

Willie was back in five minutes with 
a rectangular box. Inside was a cold 
stainless steel thing, mother-of-pearl 
handled with a gold thumb-stop, half 
:he s ; ze of a meat cleaver, 1.1 could 
have been used to dry-shave the mane 
off one of Mack Sennett's lions in 15 
seconds flat. 

"Let's see you bend that!" said 
Meisier. 

They rehearsed the 
scene, Mantan and 
Pauline. When Brown flour- 
ished the razor, opening if 
with a quick look, a shift of 
his eyes each way, three 
guys who'd stopped paint- 
ing scenery to watch fell 
down in the corner. 
Meister left. 

Slavo said. "For the next 
scene . . ." 



down to tne ccekyarcs to wait for the 
newest batch of Irish women for the 
sporting houses." 

"We;l. that's the incongruity. Mr. 
Brown.' 

"Willie? Willie?" 

The workman aopea'ed. "Wi : e, get 
$2.50 from Mr. Meister, and run down 
to the drugstore and get a Dcub e 
Duck Number 2 'or me tc use." 

"Wha: ihe hell?" asked Meister, 
who'd been watching. "A tree's a tree. 
A rock's a rock. A razor's a razor. Use 
that one." 

"It won t be right, Mr. Meis:er. Mainly, 
i: went be as fumy as : can ha." 

"It's a tiny -azor" ssio Moists- "It's 
tunny, f you ih:nk it can cefend both of 
you." 

Slavo watched and wated. 

"Have you seen me films of Mr. 
Mack Sennett?" as<eo 3iown 

"Who hasn't? But he can't get work 
now either." sao Meister. 

"I mean his earlier stuff. Kops, Cus- 
tard. Women in banning suits." 

"Of course." 



| It was easy to see Slave 

wasn't getting whatever it 
was that was keeping him going. 

The first morning of filming was a 
nightmare. Slavo was irritable. They 
shot seqjar ally ie :he most oart (with 
a couple of major scenes held back for 
the nex: day). All the takes with the ex- 
tras at the carnival were done early that 
morning, and some of them let go. with 
enough remaining to cover tne inserts 
with the principals. 

Tne set itself was disorienting. The 
painted shadows ana refee-.ions wee 
so convincrg Mantan found himself 
scuinting when moving away from a 
painted wall because he expected 
bright light to be in his eyes there. 
There was no real light on fns set ex- 
cept that which came in from the old 
overneac glass root c : :re sxdio ano 
a tew arc lights used for fill. 

The walls were oa ~ued at odd an- 
gles; the merry-go-round was only 2 
J eet iaii. with oeop e standing around it. 
The Fens wheel was an ellipsoid of 
neon, with one car with people (two 
Negro midgets) in it, the others dimin- 
ishingly smaller then larger around the 



circunre'snce. "he Tents looked I ke 
something out of a Jamaica ginger ex- 
iract-adc ct's nighmars 

Then they filmed the scene of Dr. 
K- oatient at his sideshow, opening his 
giant medicine cabinet. The front was a 
mirro'-, like in a hotel bathroom. There 
was a crowd of extras standing in front 
of it, but what was reflected was a dis- 
tant, windswept mountain (and ir Al- 
abama, too). Mantan watched them do 
the scene. As the cabinet opened, the 
mountain disappeared; the image re- 
vealed was of Mantan, Pauline, 
Lorenzo, and the extras. 

"How'd you do that, Mr. Slavo?" 
asked one of the extras, 

"Fori Lee magic." said Meister from 
his position on ihe catwalk above. 

At last the rooming was over. As they 
brake for lunch they heard loud voices 
coming frarr Mesrars office, "hey h 
went to the drugstore across the street. 

"I hear it's snow," said Arkady. 

"Jake." 

"Morphine." 

"He's kicking the gong 
around," said another extra, 

One guy who had read 
a oi oi hooks said, "he's go: 
a surfeit of the twentieth 
century." 

"Whatever, this film's gonna 
scare the bejeezus out of 
Georgia, funny or not." 

Mantan said nothing. He 
chewed at his sandwich 
slowly and drank his cup of 

coffee, looking out the window i 

toward the cold facade of the 
studio. It looked just like any other 
warehouse building. 

Slavo was a different man when they 
returned. He moved very slowly, taking 
his time setting things up. 

"Okay . . . let's ... do this right, 
And all the extras can go home early, 
la'ayeite." he said 10 the black giant, 
who was putting in his Ping-Pdng ball 
eyes, "Carry . . . Pauline across to left. 
Out of sight around the pyramid. Then, 
extras. Come on, jump around a lot. 
Shao your torches. Then off left. Sim- 
ple. Easy. Places. Camera. Action! 
That's right, that's right. Keep moving, 
Lafe, slow but steady. Kick some more, 
Pauline. Good. Nov.'. Show some dis- 
gust, people. You're indignant, He's got 
your choir soloist from the A.ivl.E. 
cnurch. Tnat's it. Take— " 

"Stop it! Stop the camera thing. 
Cut!" yelled Meister from the catwalk. 

"What?!" yelled Slavo. 

"You there! Vou!" yelled Meister. 
"Are you blind?" 

An extra wearing sunglasses 

m OMNI 



pchtec to nimself "Me?" 

"If you ain't blind, what're you .doing 
wiln sunglasses on? : t a r gni!" 

■How the hell would anybody 
know?" asked lie exha. looking around 
at the painted square moon in the sky. 
"This is the most fucked-up thing I ever 
been involved with in all my life," 

"You can say that again," said 
someone else. 

"You," said Meister to the first extra. 
"You re fi r ed Get out. You only get paid 
through lunch." he cl mbed down as 
the man started to leave, throwing his 
torch with the papier-mache flames on 
the floor. "Give me your hat," said Meis- 
ter. He took it from the man. He 
jammed it on his head and walked o/e- 
with the rest of the extras, who nad 
moved back ofi-camera. "I'll do the 
damn scene myself." 

Slavo doubled up with laughter in 
his chair. 

"What? What is it?" asked Meister. 

"If ... if they're going to notice a 
guy . . . wi"h sungiasses," laughed 



MANTAN STOPPED UNDER THE 

HOTEL MARQUEE, LOOKING OUT TOWARD A 

GREY TWO-BY-FOUR EXCUSE FOR 

A CITY PARK, WHERE A COUPLE OF DUCKS AND 

A GOOSE WERE KICKING UP 
THEIR FEET AND ENJOYING LIFE TO ITS FULLEST 



Slavo, "they're . . , damn sure gonna 
notice a white man!" 

Meister stood fuming, 

"Here go," said Mantan, walking 
over to the producer, He took the hat 
from him, pulled it down over his eyes, 
took off his coat. He got in the middle 
of the extras and picked up an unused 
p tcnioix. "Nobody'il notice one more 
darkie," he said. 

"Let's do it, then," said Slavo. 
"Pauline? Lafayette?" 

"Meister," said a voice behind them. 
Three white gLys in dark suits and 
shirts stood there. How long they had 
been watching no one knew, "Meister, 
let's go talk," said one of them 

Yoj coulc hear oud noises through the 
walls of Meister s e/Ncc. Meister came 
out in the middle of a take, calling for 
Slavo. 

"Goddammit to hell!" said Slavo. 
"Cut!" He charged into Meister's office. 
There was more yelling. Then it was 
quiet. Then only Meister was heard. 

Lafayette Monroe :oek jo most of 



the floor, sprawled out, drinking wate- 
from a quart jug. He wore a biack oody 
suit, and had one of the Ping-Pong 
balls out of his eye soc<e:. A^acy nad 
on his doctor's costume — frock coat, 
hair like a screech owl, big round 
glasses, gloves with dark lines drawn 
on the backs oi them. A big wobbly 
crooked cane rested across his knees. 
Pauline fanned herseh with the hem 
of her long white nightgown. 

"I smell trouble," said Lorenzo. "Big 
trouble." 

The guys with the- dark suits came 
out and wen: past them wYnout a look. 

Meister came out. He took his usual- 
place, clambering up the ladder to the 
w£:-cway above the set. He leaned on a 
light railing, saying nothing. 

After awiY.e a shaken-looking Mar- 
cel Slavo came out, 

"Ladies anc gentlemen." he said. 
"Lets finish this scene, tnen set up ihe 
next one. By that time, there'll be an- 
other gentleman here to finish up 
today, and to direct you tomorrow. I am, 
off this film after the next 
.■ . scene ... so let's make 

this take a good one. 
okay?" 

They finished the chase 
setup, and the pursuit. 
Slavo came and shook 
:heir hands, and hugged 
Pauline. "Thank you all," he 
said, and walked out the 
door. 

Ten minutes later an- 
other guy came in, taking 
off his coat. He looked up 
at Meister, at the actors, 
and said, "Another coon pitcher, huh" 
Gimme five minutes with ihe script." He 
went into Meister's office. 

Five minutes later he was ou: agair. 
"What a load of hooey," he said. "Okay," 
he sa d to Mantan and the otner actors, 
"Who's who?" 

When they were through tne next after- 
noon, Meister peeled bills off a roll, 
gave each of Ihe pr re pa s ar extra 
five cellars, and said, "Keep in touch." 

Mantan took his friend Freemore up to 
the place they told him Marcel Slavo 
lived. 

They knocked. Three times belo'e 
there was a muffled answer. 

"Oh, Mr. Brown," said Slavo, as he 
opened the door. "Who's this?" 

"This Joe Freemore. We're just 
heading out on the 'chitlin circuit' again." 

"Well, I can't do anything for you." 
ssic Slave. "I'm through. Haven't you 
heard? I'm all washed up." 

"We wanted to show you our ac;." 

"Wny me?" 



"Because you're an impartial audi- 
ence," said Mantan. 

Slavo went back in. sat in a chair at 
the tabie. Mantan saw that along with 
bootleg liquor bottles and ashtrays full 
of Fatima and Spud butts, the two ra- 
zors from the movie lay on the table, 
Slavo followed his gaze. 

"Souvenirs." he said. "Something to 
remind me of all my work. I remember 
what you said, Mr, Brown. It has been a 
great lesson to me." 

"Comfortable, M r . Slavo?" asked 
Freemore. 

"Okay. Rollick me." 

"Empty stage/' said Mantan. "Joe 
and I meet." 

"Why, hello!" said Joe. 

"Golly, hi," said Mantan, pumping 
his hand. "I ain't seen you since — " 

" — it was longer ago than that, You 
had just — " 

" — that's right. And I hadn't been 
married for more than — " 

"—seemed a lot longer than that, 
Say, did you hear about—" 

"—you don't say! Why, I saw her not 
more than — " 

" — it's the truth! And the cops say 
she looked — " 

■'—that bad, huh? Who'd have 
thought it of her? Why she used to 
.ook— " 

" — speaking of her, did you hear 
that her husband — " 

"—what? How could he have done 
that? He always—" 

"—yeah, but not this time. I tell you 
he-" 

" — that's impossible! Why they told 
me he'd—" 

"—that long, huh? Well, got to go. 
Give my best to— " 

" — I sure will. Goodbye." 

"Goodbye," 

They turned to Slavo, 

"They'll love it down in Mississippi," 
he said. 

It was two weeks later, and the South 
Carolina weather was the crummiest, 
said the locals, in half a century. It had 
been raining — a steady, continuous, 
monotonous thrumming— for th r ee days. 

Mantan stopped under the hotel 
marquee, looking out toward a gray 
two-by-four excuse for a city park, 
where a couple of ducks and a goose 
■.vers kicking up their feet and enjoying 
life to its fullest. 

He went inside and borrowed a Co- 
lumbia newspaper from the cstston c 
day manager. He went up the four 
flights to his semiluxury room, took of! 
his sopping raincoat and threw it over 
the three-dollar Louis Quatorze knock- 
off chair, and spread the paper out on 
the bed. 



He was reading the national news 
page when he came across the story 
from New Jersey. 

The police said that, according to 
witnesses, during the whole time of the 
attack, the razor-wielding maniac had 
kept repeating, "Bend, d — n it, don't 
break! Bend, d— n it, don't break!" 

The names of "he vc:ims were un- 
known to Mantan, but the attacker's 
name was Meister, 

Twenty years later, while he was filming 
hir. Pilgrim Progresses, a lady brought 
him a War Bond certificate, and a lobby 
card for him to autograph. 

The card was from The Medicine 
Cabinet of Dr. Killpatient, Breezy Laff 
Riot. There were no credits on it, but 
there on the card were Mantan, Pauline 
Christian, and Lorenzo Fairweather, and 
behind them the giant Lafayette Mon- 
roe i 1 "us rr.edicire cab net. 

Mantan signed it with a great flourish 
with one of those huge pencils you get 
at county fairs when you knock down 
the Arkansas kitty. 

He had never seen the film, never 
knew till now that it had been released, 

As the lady walked away, he won- 
dered if the film had been any good at all, 

For Mr. Moreland, and for Icky 
Tv/erp.CO 



Howard Waldrop was born in Missis- 
sippi and has been living in Austin, 
Texas, for many years. He is the author 
of three novels but is better known for 
rus br:ii:ant. quirky shod stories. His sto- 
ries are collected in Howard Who?, All 
About Strange Monsters of the Recent 
Past, and Night of the Cooters. He has 
been a regular contributor to Omni 
s/nce 1982. 



CREDITS 

Page 4. top left: S-.sn'alaw =cr-=nde; page 
4, middle left: Douclrii K ■-;!;!•: p«cs - <~-p 
right: Gary Kelley; page 4, bottom: Julie 
DenmsParar-ioun: Iss'sv sic- page 6: P;;te- 
mary WeObsr; page 12: EC Holub/Photo- 



oi,i;r-i 



page 



page 
■icz/V>arvel Entertainrr 






in- Grc 

C-':GOC 



Book; page 18, oottom: David Sohar/Gol 
Book; osge 20: Tin A i/Dig la. Art. page 26: 
Christopher Spring main; pages 28 and 29: 
Tony Wang; page 31 : Sandia National La'co-a- 
to'os: page 32. top: Car/. BeHion/ivlaste'iile 
page 33: From "F are: c ; Life." courtesy o' 
I II M' I. le 'ii, i. ■. ' . ■ ivery I .r i ■ and 
KBS. page 34, left; Everetl Cc'ieUion p^qp 
34, fight: Tony Wang; page 36, lop; J. H. 
Robinson/Photo Researchers: page 36, 
bottom: Donna Ccveney/MIT; pages 33 and 
39; Julie D en n i a/P a p-io ■..■-,! isie/sio- pace 
39: Paramount Televsion page 40. Ig-:: G=-y 
Huizel/Paramcu-t "eleviaio-i page it), rig-t: 
Paramount Television page 79: Ear 1 keleny/ 
Fran Setae'; page 60, bottom laft: Stcdio M 
■■■ ■ . ... .!!■ mi, Bap right Suaan 
":i*y. page 61; -iruoe Je"aen/Jef : Lavaty. 



IfUTERV/IEUU 



the ruler's birth, the middle stood for his 
inauguration, and the last marked his 
death. Her insights culminated 150 
years of work, 

Omni: Is there an equivalent of the 
Rosetta Stone that enabled scholars to 
crack the code 7 

Scheie: A document from the con- 
quest, Relacion de las oosas de Yu- 
catan, written by Bishop Landa in 1566 
comes closest. On one page, the 
Bishop wrote down an alphabet dic- 
tated to him by a well-eojcaied Maya 
named Gaspar Antonio Chi, It took al- 
most 400 years to figure out what Gas- 
par Antonio had given Landa. Like 
Egyptian hieroglyphics and Sumerian 
cure. form, ;he signs in the Mayan writ- 
ing system represent sy ables, not Indi- 
vidual lexers. Mayan also has signs for 
whole words. Landa believed he had 
an exact alphabet, although you can 
tell by his writings he was very con- 
fused. So were a lot of later scholars — 
some even concluded the alphabet 
was a farce the Maya made up to trick 
Bishop Landa. 

A young Russian, Yuri Knorosov, fig- 
ured out what was going on, and he 
exploited great bilingual dictionaries 
developed by the friars to teach them- 
selves how to speak to the Indians well 
enough to convert them, So the Mayan 
vocabulary was available to Knorosov, 
whose decipherment turned out to be 
exactly right, But at the time leading 
Vlaya'iis:s wice:y dismissed his work 
as Soviet propaganda because when 
Knorosov published his findings in a 
major Soviet magazine in 1952, a bu- 
reaucrat added a paragraph saying, 
"This is what Leninist-Marx st Theory wii, 
do. Look at how poor the capitalist pigs 
in the West are." 

Omni: By the Line you arrived at 
Palenque, the key to transcribing the 
ancient writirg system was available? 
Scheie: Everyth "ng was there except 
for a critical missing part, which was 
esser-ally pioneered by Floyd Louns- 
bury of Yale. He reasoned that if the 
Mayan writing reflects a spoken lan- 
guage, the spoken language must 
have a syntax— grammatical rules that 
determine the order of words in a sen- 
tence, Once we figured out the key ele- 
ments of Mayan syntax, it all came 
together. At the first Mesa Redonda. 
held near the Palenque ruins in 1973. I 
met Peter Mathews, who was about 19 
at the time, and I was 31. Using the 
syntactical approach, we figured out 
Paienque's dynastic history. 

We basically found the major com- 



that, we could 




Omni: 
Iviava i: 
Snhelf 



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nscripUons n their tney didfl't come 

Plus, you nsed tc cation m t otp 

m which you have csme to r ep-5' 

:ions. We're the kind earth leading 

ember where a pas- bsli game is a 

3 by how thick the between good s 

iep we were into it, signifying :nai t 
assage fell on tr 
ed an ability to si 
en things. There's 
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ut the ex:raorc nary 



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Scheie 
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Omni: Their ball game sounds 'ike an 
ns;iiL,: ci as b g as :he NBA or NFL. 
Scheie: You bet— ever bigger. The 
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the good of their souls until they con- 
fessed to being witches, then paraded 
them through the streets in what ater 
became the Ku Klux Klan outfit, and fi- 
nally burned them at the stake. Be- 
tween 1481 and 1540, some 20,000 
people were brought before the Inquisi- 
tion in Seville alone. The numbers tor- 
tured or killed were within the range of 
sacrificial deaths in the New World. 
Omni: What led to the civilization's 



Scheie: The growtn of the noble cess 
had a lot to do with it. Art historian Mary 
Miller calculated that if you start in the 
year 600 with a single noble husband 
and wife with four children who sur- 
vived until adulthood, and they had 
four children who survived, and so on, 
by the year 800 there would be 700 
people who had the right to claim 
noble status. So the percentage of 
people of high status grew rapidly 
along with the demand to access the 
kinds of goods and privileges that 
marked them as noble, This resulted in 
more and more kingdoms, competing 
for fewer and fewer resources, with less 
no-man's land between them. The rise 
in warfare, coupled with overpopula- 
tion, put a tremendous strain on the 
agricultural system. There was massive 
deforestation in the final years. I imag- 
ine the end was pretty gruesome. 

We don't know what actually pushed 
the Maya civilization over the edge— 
whether it was a major war, series of 
droughts, or just one strain too many. 
There comes a point when there's so 
much stress on the society that, as my 
colleague David Freidel says, it just be- 
comes pathological. We saw that with 
the former Soviet Union: It wasn't a 
slow gentle deceleration. It was boom. 
Two years and the empire was gone. 
Omni: You've argued that Mayan cus- 
toms and beliefs have survived despite 
centuries of oppression following the 
conquest. Isn't that a radical notion? 
Scheie: It's mind-blowing to some 
scholars. The perception has been the 
conquest was so traumaiic— between 
the deaths from disease reaching 90 
percent among Native Americans and 
the violent suppression of the people — 
that their world view could not have 
survived. But it's my opinion that, fused 
with an overlay of European customs 
and religious beliefs, there is a pro- 
found, amazingly intact, pre-Columbian 
core underlying it all. Numerous beliefs, 
legends, and shamanistic traditions are 
alive and well. 

Many other contemporary examples 
of Mayan belief and practice represent 
an unbroken heritage spanning around 
3,000 years. 
Omni: By teaching the ancient writing 



system and making ancient material 
access ble to .7icos""i Mayas, you've 
said that you hope to enable them to 
enter the dialogue of history. How so? 
Scheie: History is a phenomenon living 
people invent and create to estaohsn 
who they -ate based on what they think 
they were in the oast. The history of 
evens car neve' reacn oojective truth 
because each generation has to 
rewr'le his;c r y, adjusting it to their own 
exoec:atcns arc exper'erces. Native 
Americans have not been able to con- 
tsmplate iheir history in their own words 
and from their own point of view for 500 
years. So these w'itog workshops pro- 
vide an experience of profound impor- 
tance to them. 

Suppose the Russians had invaded 
the United States and set up a Soviet 
United States for 500 years and told 
Americans everything they were came 
from Marxist-Leninist thought. There 
was no American Revolution., no great 
presidents, that Americans were n fact 
a creation of their conquest by Russia. 
Then cne oay some peoole cam;; wi-i 
a copy of the U.S. Constitution, Decla- 
ration of Independence, books about 
Washington and Jefferson, and said, 
"Hey, maybe you want to read these 7 " 
Mo?: Maya are desoo-ately hungry to 
learn about their heritage, Of cou-se 
get tremendous back in return. They 
soeak tiese anguages. We don't. 

There are 28 Mayan larguace;: still 
surviving. Those closest to the ancient 
larg lages are Yucatec, sooken in the 
Yucatan, and Choi, spoken near 
Palenque. The difference between Yu- 
catec and Choi of today and the lan- 
guages recorded in the inscriptions is 
roughly that between Chaucer and 
modern English, During the workshops, 
the Maya often say to us, "You're ask- 
ing us to recall obscure words and ex- 
pressions—the kinds our grandfathers 
might have used." Sometimes they 
don't have the word at al', but fre- 
quently we find either the same word 
root or a close equivalent. 
Omni: Recently you have reached a 
new leve. of urders'sndira of the Popul 
Vuh. What is the breakthrough? 
Scheie: By chance, Freidel and I dis- 
covered that all these everts aescibed 
as myth are really maps of the sky. The 
Creation myth can be traced back at 
least as early as the second century 
e.c. and describes the sets o : the gods 
on two days — August 13, 3114 3.C., 
and February 5, 3112 e.c. On the first 
day, the gods laid the three stones of 
the cosmic hearth. Maya women tradi- 
tiona y cook on a hearth made of three 
stones. The Maya also see these three 
stones as the three stars in the constel- 
lation Orion, 



In a Maya house, 'ire is built be- 
tween the three hearth stones and a 
large flat clay plate laid on top of them. 
The woman grinds corn, makes it into a 
dough pats the dough into tortillas, 
then places them on the ciay plate ever 
the hearth. The tortillas balloon up to 
form a panza or "belly" The Mays see 
the tortilla as an analog -o" a human 
being. The original hu^an beings were 
made from maize dougn in exactly -he 
same way by the grandmother of the 
Hero Twins. So everyday of her life a 
woman wakes up, creates food for her 
family, and replicates at her hearth the 
acts of c-eaiion, 

On February 5, more than a year 
after the firs! hearth was laid, the gods 
lifted up the cosmic tree. This is also 
visible in the sky. The tree is the Milky 
Way. In 3112 B.C., at about 2:00 in the 
morning of February 5, the entire Milky 
Way rose oul of die eastern horizon, 
until at dawn it stretched north to south 
across the sky. In several Mayan lan- 
guages, the verb "create" is also "to 
dawn." At the base of the tree is what 
we call the constellation Scorpion. The 
Maya also saw the picture of a scorpion 
and called it any of a dozen of their 
words for scorpion. On August 13, the 
cosmic hearth rolled up to the center of 
the sky at dawn, and on February 5, the 
Milky Way really was. erected in the sky. 
These events were real. 

I can't tell you what a revelation it 
was to discover their myths were not 
just stories but actual sky maps, My 
God! They were doing with their cre- 
ation myths what Einstein was doing 
with his formulas. These myths are 
great overarching symbolic arrays ex- 
pressing their understanding of cre- 
ation — their version of what modern 
cosmologists call the Big Bang. 
Omni: What can contemporary c'viNza- 
tion learn from the rise and fall of the 
Ivlsyar empire? 

Scheie: The final episode in the story of 
creation in the Popul Vuh has the gods 
creating human beings out of maize — 
creatures so perfect they understand 
the world with the same clarity and in- 
sight as the gods. Humans' power 
■lightened tie gods, but instead of de- 
stroying us, they gave us myopia so we 
could only understand what's very 
close to us. Isn't that the perfect 
metaphor? We can't see beyond our 
immediate interests and goals, That's 
what ultimately brought about the 
demise of the Maya, and it could well 
be our downfall, too. Except we still 
have a ways to go to emulate them. 
The United Sfsres has existed a bit over 
200 years. Their civtizat.cn was enor- 
mously successful from 500 B.C. to 900 
a.d., a span of 1,400 years. DO 



STARS 



-i;\jEr:-=flOM=AGri2; 



Earn wouldn't have begun in the first 
olace." Aknougn our galaxy contains 
supernovas— violent explosions o ; 
eying stars — "they're s~ply no: ene r - 
getic enough to do the job," Loh adds. 
The shock wave from a supernova mighl 
accele-ate a particle to about 10* 6 eV 
at the very most, he estimates, far short 
of the highest observed values. 

A very large black hole however, 
Gould impart the tremendous amounts 
of energy required— in the neighbor- 
hood of 10 2D eV. The more massive the 
black hole, the more energy it puts out 
in the form of raoiation. According to 
this scenario, matter falling in toward a 
black hole runs into a tremendous blast 
of radiation pouring out. When these 
two waves (matter and radiation) col- 
lide, they create a shock wave caoab e 
of accelerating particles to ^credible 
energies — tens of millions of times 
higher than those reached in manmade 
particle accelerators. 

The Giant Array just may point to the 
centers of active galaxies harboring 
massive black holes. It's cor.ce : vsble. 
on the other hand, that cosmic rays 
Simply fly into Earth from ail directors, 
without ind cat'rg a specific source. 
Cronin calls this the "dullest possible 
result," but his University of Chicago 
colleague David Schramm conside-s i 
the most tantaliz'ng possib' ty. Such a 
firdirg would support Schramm's the- 
ory that the highest-energy cosmic rays 
are produced by the decay of relics 
from the Big Bang called "topo.cg ca 
defects." The idea is not preposterous, 
accord ng to Lon. "If we cannot corre- 
late cosmic rays with any particular 
galaxy or Plack hole, who knows, 
maybe they are from topological de- 
fects." The notion is speculative, now- 
ever, since no one has ever proven the 
existence of topological defects. 

"Regardless of whether it's our the- 
ory, 'rotting defects,' or something more 
mundane like black holes, it wiil be 
ve-y excitmg," Schramm says. "Let's 
face it, when you consider a black hole 
the 'mundane' source, you know you're 
talking about somethirc exc tog DO 



Got something to say but no time to I 
write? Call (900) 285-5483. Your com- 
ments will be recorded and may ap- 
pear in an upcoming issue of Omni. The 
cost for the call is 95 cents per minute. 
You must be age 1 8 or older. Touch-tone 
phones only. Sponsored by Pure Enter- 
tainment, 505 South Beverly Drive, 
Suite 977, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. 



GAMES 



THE SCIENCE OF FASCINATIONS: 
A line of toys combines fun and physics 

By Scot Morris 



The Magic Sand Wand, cre- 
ated by Fascinations, 
of Seattle, is a sealed plastic 
cylinder containing a steel 
ball and colored sand that fills 
about 60 percent of iis 
volume. A player must try to 
get the ball from one end 
of the tube to the other. Most 
people hold the wand level 
and twirl it, trying to move the 
ball through the sand, or 
hold it vertically with the ball 
at the top and shake, 
hoping that the heavy ball will 
sink. It doesn't work. 

The simple solution to the 
Magic Sand Wand reminds 
me of a great Martin Gardner 
puzzle called ''Rescuing 
a Robin," from More Perplex- 
ing Puzzles and Tantalizing 
Teasers. At a construction 
site, a baby robin has 
fallen into a hole in a cement 
block. The rectangular 
hole is big enough to stick a 
hand and an arm into, 
but it's more than three feet 
deep, so you can't reach 

Fascinations' 
Astro-Biasler 
(left) and Levi- 
tran (above) 
are based on 
scientific 
principles. 




your hand all the way down 
to the chick. You don't 
want to use a long stick for 
fear of hurting the bird. 
What do you do? 

The solution is to slowly 
drop sand into the hole. 
The bird keeps moving its 
feet to stay on top of the 
sand until the pile gets high 
enough that the bird can 
be reached. The solution to 
the Magic Sand Wand is 
quite similar: Hold it vertical- 
ly with the ball at the bot- 
tom, Shake it up and down, 
and the ball rises to the 
top in just a few seconds! 

Small particles fall 
into the spaces below large 
particles, simply because 
they can, and push the large 
things up. This same prin- 
ciple explains why the whole 
potato chips rise to the top 
of the bag and only broken 
ones lie at the bottom. 

Fascinations bases all of 
its toys and games on 
scientific principles. Company 
president Bill Hones likes 
to play with science and 
hopes others will, too. 

His Magic Sand Wand 

sells in toy and puzzle 

stores, for $4.95. 



Another Fascinations prod- 
uct harks back to science 
class demonstrations of mo- 
mentum. Hold a tennis 
bail on top of a basketball 
and drop both at the 
same time. After colliding 
with the upward-rising 
basketball and absorbing 
momentum from the 
bigger ball, the tennis ball 
flies up at much greater 
velocity than it had in falling 
down. Hones developed 
this phenomenon into a prod- 
uct called the Astro-Blaster, 
a "multiple-collision acceler- 
ator" (lower left). Hold it 
at arm's length and drop it 
when it is perfectly verti- 
cal. When the pink ball hits 
the floor, it bounces up 
with a velocity close to what 
it had in falling, but the 
blue ball bounces up faster, 
the yellow ball much 
faster, and the top ball shoots 
into the air to a height five 
times higher than that from 
which it was dropped. 

Hones's latest creation 
makes his other toys look 
like, well, toys. It's the Levi- 
tron (above), a top that 
actually floats in midair. It 
uses no wires, batteries, 



or electricity, just two care- 
fully designed permanent 
magnets. The biggest one lies 
' i the wood base with its 
North side upward. The top 
itself houses the other. 
When the top is still, oppo- 
sites attract, and it flips 

r so that its South end, the 
pointed handle, points 
down to the base. When the 
top .spins, however, gyro- 
scopic action keeps it from 
turning over, Eventually 
air friction slows it down 
enough so that it loses 
its stability, falls, and flips 
over, but that can take 
more than three minutes. 

Many people had 
assumed for years that spin- 
ning a top in midair couldn't 
be done. Scientists have long 
thought it wouldn't be 
possible to keep one magnet 
floating above another by 
magnetic repulsion without 
some physical connection 
between them. A scientific 
theorem actually states 
that it is not possible to float 
one permanent magnet 
unsupported above another. 

A warning: Getting the 
Levitron to work takes a lot 
of practice. You have to 
find just the right weight for 
your top, which you ad- 
just by adding or removing 
weighted discs. The "right 
weight" for a top can vary 
from day to day and even 
minute to minute. So if you're 
willing to learn how to surf 
the magnetic waves, the Levi- 
tron can reward you with 
one of the weirdest sights 
imaginable, all the more 
fescinat ng because so many 
thought it couldn't be 
done. It retails for about $45. 
Call 206-244-9834 for 
ordering information, DO