This time the public was still more eager and buzzing with comments. All what was said before was already known, but now Jean's address was new. This speech was even not planned, and only added at the latest minute. Some guessed that an explanation was found, but very few wondered what.
Jean was not alone on stage, there was also Liu Wang and Angela Dexter. More unexpected was also the presence of Sangye Tcheugyal.
They still discussed some things together, mikes off, and Jean began five minutes late.
«Dear representatives of the United Nations and International Organizations, Dear representatives of National Governments, dear colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, please apologize for these lateness, but right now the teams are still working on the fascinating case of Centaurus 1296 and... (Jean could not stop the hall from humming with commentaries, as if the Centaurus 1296 name was some magic triggering signal) Yes, teams are still working today on most of the available quantum telescopes, and observations are still accumulating at an overwhelming pace. We also made hour by hour progress in their interpretation. For this very purpose, we required the help of our estimated colleague Sangye Tcheugyal, of the Zambu Shedrup Ling University in Lhassa, Tibet. (Murmurs in the hall) But Tcheugyal is not here as one of the most prominent exobiologist of the project, he is here as a great level master of meditation and high graduate in Tantric studies, where he got the university title of Gueshe Ngarampa, that he brought to realization with more than twelve years of solitary retreat.»
There was again a buzz of surprise in the hall: to complete Gueshe studies was already a challenge similar to perform high university studies in science, but to accumulate both seemed completely impossible in only one human life. And he allowed himself, in more, to win an Olympic bronze medal in archery. Sangye Tcheugyal was undoubtedly an exception character, despite his natural modesty.
But also, and Steve was not alone to think like that, science and high spirituality were still considered as two separate fields, despite all the efforts of the Zambu Shedrup Ling University and many others to build bridges between both. For most people the resemblance between buddhist Emptiness and quantum vacuum was only formal, and did not reflected a profound unity between them. What was on the other hand more and more accepted now was the General Epistemology of the founder of Zambu Shedrup Ling, which allowed so much progress in ethics, psychology and social science, and even in the law domain.
«It is now time, resumed Jean with a tremolo in his voice, to tell the world what we exactly discovered in Centaurus 1296.
«Following the strange statistical discoveries of Angela Dexter about gaps, missing planets in many solar systems, we launched the Phantom project, which true purpose was to look at physical evidences about these planets being formerly occupied by ancient civilizations, having reached a technological level similar to our, or slightly superior.
«If such a planet disappeared when having reached a space age like ours, there were good chances to find some traces of space exploration or colonization on planets neighboring a missing planet in its own solar system.
«It is what was found, and I can confirm now: missing planets are really civilizations like ours, having reached the technological level to explore the planets of their system like we do right now, and which suddenly disappeared with their native planet. The planet really disappeared, it did not collapsed in a black hole as we first expected: natural or artificial satellites of these planets are now free on stellar orbits, released from the gravitation of the planet.
«We found many such remnants, some as old as four billions years. These very ancient remnants are traceable only with some special conditions, i.e. the hugeness of ruins on neighboring planets without geological activities or erosion. We even found an incredible metallic structure in orbit, a gigantic truss about 150 kilometres in diameter, but marked with meteorites impacts accusing a more than two billions years age. It was hollow, and devoid of any apparent technical purpose, and more resembled some huge space temple.
«Another planet showed a terraformation process, but this attempt was abandoned without being achieved, and now traces of roads and fields wear out on an airless small planet.
«More recent civilizations show more readable traces. The most common are satellites, of all kind and sizes, often closely resembling ours. We could identify communication satellites, observation satellites, space probes, and even space stations. But we never found corpses in these space stations. They were deserted prior to the disappearance of the main planet, and not suddenly cut from it by some unforeseen accident.
«The most interesting discoveries are of course on neighboring planets themselves, where we often found space science bases, such as telescopes, radiotelescopes, quantum telescopes, gravitation telescopes, life support facilities, and even some small industrial plants, in some case in such a good conservation state that we can now reverse engineer them to achieve progress on Earth!»
There was a huge noise in the hall, with such incredible announcements. Some even wondered if the whole affair was not only a huge hoax (Jean was once involved in one, but not so tall, and not to mock at such an hope-raising subject). The noise was however quickly replaced by an attentive silence, while the astounding speech continued.
«The size and disposition of life places allowed us to get an idea of the size and shape of their occupiers. Most are compatible with our human bodies, but some are odd. We even found a space plant with small round doors and long rooms, as for worm-like occupiers. But we rarely found images of the occupiers, and it is logical, as we rarely find this in our own space stations. These images are very interesting, and show human-like creatures, or less common strangest creatures. But these images are difficult to interpret, as we are never sure that they really represent the occupiers themselves.
«An important feature is that these space stations often contain rooms which look like places for meditation, or temples. This is not quite surprising, as we ourselves started to do the same since 2027.
«Space engines used by all these civilizations do not look different of what we know: chemical rockets, space sails, solar cells, nuclear fission or isotopic power, ionic engines. We never found something unexplainable in this domain, for instance things allowing for a practicable interstellar travel. And the sometimes huge size of space undertakings seemed to be due only to the hugeness of the support to these projects, some may have required several thousands of years to be completed.
«But of course the more interesting remnants are when close planets allowed easy space travel, as for our Moon. We found here many artifacts.
«All this make obvious that most, and maybe all, missing planets were inhabited planets like ours, having reached a comparable level, of just some centuries later. But after this time (very short at a cosmic scale) these civilizations all disappeared with their planets, except some which were destroyed by ecological mismanagement, a fate we ourselves escaped only at the cost of war.»
There was a quiver in the room. Everybody remembered the frightening climate changes occurred since about 2010, with some warnings since the 1990'. Everybody remembered the harsh discussions to elaborate a rational ecological conduct to face the catastrophes, and even the wars which were necessary to enforce this conduct.
«The matter is now to try to explain what caused the disappearance of these planets.
«At first we found no evidences. Space facilities were just abandoned, without any trace of neither destruction nor conflict. An interesting case showed not less than 124000 satellites released from a disappeared planet. The study of their orbits showed that they were all released from the gravitation of their mother planet, IN ONLY SOME MINUTES, about 24 millions years ago, as if it suddenly disappeared, without any explosion or any other disturbance. We were even able to determine the dimensions of this planet, which was about 24% heavier than Earth, 4% larger, and rotated in 19 hours.
«We looked more precisely to structures unknown from our nowadays science, in hope to guess what may have happened. We found strange satellites, generally ovoid shaped, with only a shell and no apparent propulsion means, and often as tall as 200m. Many contained earth-looking materials, stones, statues, lodges, and even vegetation, not unlike ours, but long ago dried up. It was obviously some pleasant inhabitation, but nothing indicated how and why they were lifted in space, on varied and unpractical orbits.
«We found some series of tumulus on Moonlike planets, often showing underground structures (that quantum telescopes are able to observe) looking like warehouses, but too far to observe their content precisely. But an interesting detail was that these structures were concealed, as for purpose.
«It is at that time that we began to study Centaurus 1296, a very near case where a missing planet had a moon similar to ours. The disappeared mother planet was 0.92 Earth in mass, and the moon is 0.38, rotating in 18 days and making very frequent total eclipses. It is very likely that the main planet rotated with the same period, thus making their days 18 times ours. It was really a twin planet system, like our Pluto and Charon, but the smallest is bleak and devoid of air. We found on this moon series of walls and tumulus, as we already observed in other cases. So we planned to look inside the tumulus, but one of our technicians had the idea to catch first a global view of the moon.
«On this overall view, as you can see now, walls and tumulus represent several times the solar system of this planet. This was already a strange discovery (why to undertake such a tremendous task) but we soon noted that some of these representation included the mother planet, and others not! You get here two examples, where it is very clear, it is not a mistake.
«Thus it was clearly a message left by intelligent beings having foreseen (or survived) the disappearance of the mother planet!
«And thus knowing WHY it disappeared!»
People could now hardly keep silent, and Jean had to allow for some time. Steve had a glance to Tcheugyal, who was smiling as to angels. Steve suddenly had the conviction that Tcheugyal also knew the truth!
«This discovery occurred only five weeks ago, and we all kept this secret, in order to avoid the spreading of mistakes. Only selected teams using the magnifying quantum telescopes were allowed on this study, but it was several teams with various methods and cultural background.
«There was also smallest drawings, but still in the tens of kilometers. Most of them represented undoubtedly the inhabitant of the mother planet: human like, as you can see now, but with other proportions, like dwarf fat people. Although there were various drawings, it was not clear if there were two genders. These people were also wearing some kind of protuberance on their heads, not unlike ancient Sioux hairdress, which function is not known.
«We then started a more detailed study, looking inside the tumulus. We also found the warehouse-like structures, with a large central hollow, already noticed in other cases. These structures appeared perfectly suited for the observation through quantum telescope, as if they were especially designed for this. They even appeared to be built in such a way to be observed from various directions.
«It quickly appeared that the ground of these structures was filled with drawings, and that the shelves around the central hollow also bore drawings, still large enough to allow for observation. There was a system of numbers which made very easy to understand in which order the drawings were to be examined, and each tumulus is reproduced in several exemplars, as to prevent the loss of content if one is destroyed. All were still intact, since Centaurus 1296 looks rather recent, maybe less than 10 million years, but similar cases at greater distance showed that this precaution is useful, some of the tumulus being completely smashed by meteorite impacts or geological activity.
«It soon appeared quite clear that the tumulus are nothing else than libraries, displaying messages uniquely at the intention of observers like us, using quantum telescopes. We even discovered that the drawings were painted using a mixture of the three most common fluorescent chemicals suitable for quantum telescopes working in the infrared, thus allowing for very clear images even in these dark caves. The drawings are displayed on superposed shelves, and thus appear merged together, but the stereo-power of the quantum telescope allowed, with some computations, to clearly recover each picture.
«The whole thing was to interpret these messages.
«It was in fact quite easy, as they seemed designed for this. There was of course the classical display of Mendeleyev table, mathematics and physics bases and all these things. It was even much easier to interpret than we expected, as in a science-fiction book.
«There is thus a whole history of that civilization, which strangely looks as ours, with a more or less constant tendency to evolve with age. There is a time devoted to industrial activities, woodwork, farming, masonry, electricity, which they discovered in the same way as Volta did, space age... all concrete things. Then come abstract things, especially mathematics. Then comes the introduction of abstract notions, such as the one you can see on this image.
«Two characters, seemingly shepherds, give each one two animals, say two sheeps, to a third who gets of course four.
«But the same drawing also appears there, and the «sheeps» are now replaced with dots, together with this sign that we seemingly must translate as «abstract thought».
«Stranger things then appear. There are many images of persons eating food, having children, being sheltered, encountering each other... always with the same nice sign. These images alternate with pictures of injured or dismembered people, burning alive, fighting, being separated, etc... always with this other ill-proportioned little sign. This clearly means «good» and «evil».
«There was then pictures of the inside organs of the body, similar to ours, except that they seemed to all contain only wombs as sexual organs. These pictures come with the «concrete» sign. Other pictures also give a completely different image of inside the body, but with the «abstract» sign.
«These «abstract bodies» seemed quite mysterious for old timers like me, but they were very familiar for many students or technicians. It was even not necessary to ask for spiritual masters to identify these images: it is quite like the systems of centers (chakras) and channels used on Earth in most Yoga techniques. It was very similar to the human system, except that the human «abstract body» contains only one center on the crown, where the Centaurian contains two, in the two protuberances we already noted on the top of their head. We can expect that these protuberances had a great sensorial or cultural importance.
«There was an even more strange continuation. That Centaurians may have Yoga systems similar as ours is conceivable, and we found many temple-like rooms in their artifacts. But the following series of pictures displays a Centaurian, apparently in a meditation posture, with the «concrete» sign and inner material body organs. There is even a calendar, showing years passing by (the Centaurian year was about 325 of our days, and only 18 of theirs). And the «concrete» sign gets smaller, while the «abstract» sign gets bigger, the vision of material organs fading away to be replaced with that of the «abstract body». After some years, only the abstract body remains.
«The same scene appears here with an observer (labeled material). To his eyes the «abstract body» disappears, while it simultaneously appears to the eyes of an «abstract» observer.
«The same scene appears again, but this time the «abstract body» does not disappear immediately, it first becomes what we may call a «ball of light», that witnesses contemplate with an apparent great surprise.
«Many other scenes are interwoven with the previous. They show persons taking care of seemingly ill persons; there is even this miraculous scene where a person gets up from a wheelchair, when receiving what looks like a beam of light from another person's hand. There are these two fighting people, and a third who try to calm them. There are persons working to cure a river from various objects, maybe garbage. There are other persons interposing against cutting trees. The even is this group of people smashing a petroleum derrick, with this very clear image of sun rays being trapped in greenhouse effect by a layer of gas, the gas is even indicated with the symbols of the Mendeleyev table: carbon dioxide. (Noise in the hall) It is very much like our wars against greenhouse bandits, when we had to attack petroleum drills to fill them with concrete. There are thousands of scenes like that, and we only selected some which meaning was the most obvious. This one for instance is far less obvious: that person is like locked sitting in a box, for so long a time that excrements accumulated under him. It would look like as a punishment, but there is the yoga diagram in. This diagram also, still with yoga signs: a person transmits to another a part of her «abstract» body. It is quite clear, with several steps, like amoebas exchanging parts of their bodies. But we do not know what does this means. Maybe our estimated Tibetan colleague knows.»
Jean had a glance toward Tcheugyal, who did not move, just keeping his smile.
«Further in the library, the scenes with «abstract bodies» become more numerous, and collective. There are couples, and then groups of people, who are together, often surrounded with plants, rocks, or into some charming houses. They sit in the yoga position, and, step by step, perform together the whole process: they get surrounded with a circle, they become clear, and then the whole group disappear to the eyes of an observer labeled «material».
«And at last, the tallest thing: this time it is the whole planet which gets «abstract» and invisible to the eyes of an observer labeled «material»... but in more this material observer is nothing else but a quantum telescope on another planet, it is quite clear, just in the following figure, a working diagram of quantum telescope, with the formula of the key fluorescent chemicals, a magnetic field symbol, Zeeman sensitive quantum states symbols and other numbers involved in the design.»
This time the crowd noise was so huge that it was impossible for Jean to continue his speech for five long minutes. Steve also was amazed. He understood that such an announcement was a very special one, which could not be delayed, or too premature. There were much discussion in the rows of government representatives, and even phone calls, although this was normally not allowed in the conference hall. Steve could see, just before him, two African ministers having exchanges with a low but angry voice. Among western government representatives, there was no anger, but consternation and some very ugly faces. Muslim representatives were looking very excited, while Buddhist countries representatives were more silent, or quietly exchanging together. Steve realized that all these people were feeling very concerned by the strange fate of Centaurus 1296, as if this fate was undoubtedly about to be theirs the next day. Scientists were also very excited, but apparently more cautious.
Steve himself was far more puzzled than excited: what was the meaning of the transition from «concrete body» to «abstract body»? Nothing in his science studies prepared him to such a thing. Although, at this time, many scientists were involved in various religions or spiritual techniques, and displayed this publicly without shame unlike in the 20th Century, the opinion was still very common that consciousness is only an emanation of the material brain. It was still Steve's opinion, and he thoroughly avoided to speak about this with people like Erzeran or Liu, keeping only to exchanges as a physicist or as an observer. To accept a «soul» or whatever else was a leap he never made, and a fortiori that the material body itself may become «abstract» looked only a nonsense to his mind.
Steve looked at Liu, sitting two rows further, and exchanging in Chinese with her colleagues. They were smiling and even laughing. Erzeran also exchanged in Persian with her own colleagues, also very joyful. In front, UNO representatives were looking like organizing a conspiracy. The contrast was strange, and Steve suddenly understood that these people were in fact scared to death.
On stage, Tcheugyal and Jean were speaking in a low voice, carefully. Then at last Jean managed to make him hear again:
«Yes, all this seems incredible, and at least uncomprehensible. But we must find out what may have happened on these planets, in order, if possible, to avoid a similar fate on Earth» The euphemism was tall! Tcheugyal managed to be tactful enough not to burst with laughter on stage, but vibration-sensitive people noticed his huge amusement. Jean was really wonderfully deadpan: he exhibited a very realistic doomy face which may have enjoyed very much the conspirators in the front row. Some representatives of religious countries laughed loudly. Steve and some scientists around him realized that Jean joked, as in his very usual manner, but few realized why. Most people only felt puzzled. Jean's attitude was at last as much uncomprehensible that the Centaurus affair itself.
Jean had to fight again for some attention:
«Yes, at first we did not understood what is the meaning of this. But myself and some elder scientists in the Centaurus observation teams soon realized that younger students had a very clear and immediate explanation to all this. For people like Angela Dexter, it was even obvious from the very start. But we must now have still some further checking before displaying this incredible explanation. So we shall wait for two days. Tomorrow there will be free questions about the data and the already displayed studies.»
The conference thus ended abruptly in a chaos of calls, phones, and a jam of people seeking each other in the overcrowded rows. The representatives of the UNO and some major western countries immediately disappeared through their own exit. Steve found Liu, she was smiling, and he felt confident with her. But she did not explained anything to him.
Scenario, graphics, sounds, colours, realization: Richard Trigaux.
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