The Vanishing Act
W. B. Smith
There have been many well-authenticated reports of flying saucers suddenly vanishing, and a few where they have as suddenly appeared. There is little doubt that the phenomena do take place but we are most perplexed for a satisfactory explanation.
Mead Layne of B.S.R.A. has suggested that the craft materialize from and dematerialize into some other dimension, but since we know so little about this process proffering it as an explanation seems like begging the question. There is a great deal of evidence to support the fact of the materialization phenomena in a general sense, but our understanding of it is so inadequate that we are not really entitled to comment.
Cramp and Michel have suggested that possibly high speed and rapid accelerations might be an explanation, but again there are difficulties. Even a high-speed shell from a big gun can be seen if the observer is favorably situated. Also, high speeds and large accelerations imply large expenditures of energy, and even if the energy itself poses no problem, equipment to handle and control it most certainly does. All the information on the structure and equipment of flying saucers points away from any great aggregation of such equipment, and we are left with the conclusion that it is skill, rather than brute force, which is involved.
There is an increasing amount of evidence that Time is not quite what we assumed, and that it is related to a field condition rather parallel with electric and magnetic fields. If we are prepared to accept Time as a variable quantity, and that it can be controlled we can see how this vanishing trick is worked, because it is indeed a trick. When a magician makes an elephant mysteriously disappear from the stage, he usually does it with mirrors and lighting. The audience continues to look at where the elephant last appeared to be, but instead sees a reflection of the curtains, and therefore think that they are looking through the space recently occupied by the elephant when in reality they are looking around it.
If a flying saucer is parked in a meadow with a background of trees, and arranges things so there is less time close to the ship than remote from it, light will bend towards the ship, because the wave front will find that the side next to the ship has less time and therefore cant go as far as the side away from the ship. Light being reflected from the trees and passing close to the ship to reach the observer will bend around the ship, much as light is bent passing through a lens, and the observer who is accustomed to thinking that light travels in straight lines thinks that the image of the trees has come to him directly through the space occupied by the saucer, whereas in reality it passed around the saucer, and the saucer to all intents and purposes was rendered invisible.
It is true that there will always be a little residue of core made up of light which came directly from the saucer along the same path as the light from the trees, but the effect is exactly the same as if the saucer were viewed through a strong concave or reducing lens, and it would appear to be so small as to be inconspicuous and would not be noticed.
An acute observer might be able to detect the presence of the saucer, either through locating the tiny image, or through noticing the apparent increase in distance from himself to the background in the direction of the saucer, since the light passing near the saucer would have to travel a little bit farther than the light passing at a greater distance. If the observer were in motion while this latter observation were taking place he would note that an area of background would seem to recede as if it were painted on a backdrop and the backdrop had a wave in it.
Since it is rather apparent that saucers do make use of field manipulation for their effort and propulsion, it is not unreasonable to carry this one step further and assume control over the time field, particularly since this offers such an elegant explanation for what would otherwise be an inexplicable phenomena.