Students! It is we! Long silenced due to lack of funds, The Faculty of Recall has just received a grant to plot the exciting history of rafts. “Lives are built on rafts” as the saying goes – but a little of that stipend we shall devote to our patient Junior Science friends.
Thank you for the letters you have sent to us! We had no idea that people were alive in so many places! We treasure them all but it can’t hurt to mention some of our favourites. Hello to Issi in Ice Land – a land made of ice is wonderful (but The Faculty of Physics were very sceptical when we told them). And to Yuri in faraway Omsk whose letter came via the water trail from Mumanak. Nathaniel says greetings from Al Aska. Hello also to our familiar friend Margethe in New Nuuk, Green Land.
This time we are looking at a recurring fragment from the pre Oops days – this strange blue rectangle:
Those of you that have been following this series would recognise it as a simple design from The Gap. Some of it is deceptively obvious, some is beyond our wildest guesses. Literally translated it reads: “Rank greater than captain, 64, simple, Second World War rocket(?) – 64K, male sheep biological structure(?), 38911 simple bites(?) free. Ready.”
We are sure you find that as unhelpful as do we.
Frankly this is not a message that can be understood with a modern mind. The ancients, as we have seen time and time again, had a proto-mind that straddled that of man and the animals on which they flew about – some of their thoughts are like our dreams – others are based on magic concepts alien to our scientific world.
We can develop a guess based upon common sense and other artefacts from the period. Firstly, this image is found very often in digs, so it must be an important or at least popular item. Secondly, the word ‘commodore’ is an old word that is still in use today for a 10 raft officer, which you would agree is a very important posting. ’64′ is likely to be the age of a person – it is always 64 and never older than that. Which must surely lead to the conclusion that we are seeing a memorial to a naval officer of some sort. So what is meant by ‘basic’ and ‘V2′? This is not even an ancient name but – recalling our own history we come up with famous raft captains of legend such as Captain ‘Rusty Birdhook’ Evans & Admiral ‘Clubber’ McJollo. This surely is a similar use of nickname for some great achievement of this primitive seafarer – and from what we know of the Second World War (which drove the Germans back up onto Mars), he or she must have been a great warrior. A rocket was a flying animal that fought in wars and we know from pictures that the V2 was a very large rocket indeed.
So great was this Commodore that people seem to have carried the memorial around with them inscribed on small shrines.
As great as the person may have been we cannot think that their ‘gravestone’ would be carried about unless there is more to this than we first expect. Consider the next part of the message: again the age, with a K attached – frankly we know not why, then a confusing reference to a male sheep ‘system’. We know that sheep were animals, we now know what animals were like, we also know that the male sheep is used as a symbol of virility in other writings we have collected. If the ram was used here as a symbol of potency the clues start to arrange themselves: Our great man is being used to ensure fertility.
Does your head spin to try comprehend the ancients? Put yourself in a half sleep. Dull your logic. This is a time of magic – where likeness could often mean equality. The great man dies (we suspect a man based upon this magic) and yet his energy is captured in this fetish – if you keep his name close to you during the act of love your offspring will be as he – bold and powerful.
The blue square is likely some formalised vision of the sea on which this man sailed. 38911 has no meaning for us; perhaps it is a magical number or the number of people on his rafts – we suspect that as it is followed by his nickname and ‘bytes’ it could be the number of enemy he killed in the conflicts he fought or perhaps as it implies – captives freed. Truly an astronomical number! The ancients loved to exaggerate numbers whenever possible.
Here at UNP we are gaining respect for this long gone civilisation – true, they knew nothing of science but their lives were full of mystery and enchantment. Every year we discover more puzzling evidence of a past that seems like a madman’s poem. In our softer moments we ponder: perhaps it is not that we are right and they were wrong – it is just that living on the ground, queuing, at places where the spin of the world was noticeable in tides and nights that came every day … how could one expect any mental overlap between these people and their polar descendants? No – they are as distant from us as the Martians. But more about them in the next instalment!