Some 13 years ago a flight attendant in Upper Class on a Virgin Atlantic flight from London to LAX was somewhat startled to see me reading Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Not only was I reading it, but I was snorting at the errors in it and making notes. The flight attendant seemed interested to learn that I was on my way to Pasadena, CA, for a meeting with a nice rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the bit of NASA where they do the thinking. I was of course well-known to senior NASA management due to my work on exposing the shameful sabotage of the Orbiters Challenger and Columbia.
I hasten to add, since I’m asking readers to support my work, that my upgrade to Upper Class was authorised by Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Atlantic boss. The meeting with JPL was hitched onto the back of a presentation to the boys at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale by myself and colleagues on the board of Cox Powertrain.
The meeting set up an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider which effectively changed the course of human history. Allow me to explain. The mad German scientist Albert Einstein was for many decades the chief scientific adviser to German intelligence. A scumbag, no offense intended, he was probably the evil genius behind the cunning plan to infect Allied troops with the Spanish Flu bio-weapon, the release of which was timed to coordinate with General Ludendorff’s spring offensive.
The plan backfired of course, rather like the Sino-German plan to attack the West with Covid. The problem in World War 1 was distribution, a common situation with bio-weapons. Our community partner the dastardly Hun, no offense intended, didn’t feed his troops properly, with the result that they were under-nourished and more susceptible to Spanish Flu.
As Einstein no doubt anticipated, the Hun had more success of course in using Spanish Flu to attack weakened Allied civilian populations after the war. Between 50 and 100 million men, women and children were murdered in the greatest crime in history. The outcome of the war was not altered however. (In the case of Covid poor bio-weapons lab security saw the weapon unleashed first on its Chinese creators.)
The Theory of Relativity
In 1905 the Imperial German government permitted Einstein to publish an article entitled Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper (“On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”), in which he set out his Special Theory of Relativity. The article appeared in the journal Annalen der Physik.
The General Theory of Relativity appeared in World War 1, in 1916. Once again it was approved for publication by German censors. (Censorship in Imperial Germany didn’t vary greatly between peacetime and wartime.) It was set out in an article entitled Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie, in the same journal as before.
The theories were published together later in 1916 by Verlag von Friedrich Viewhweg & Sohn, a tame publisher loyal to the Second Reich. They were translated into English in 1920 and published in both Britain and America.
Much of Einstein’s work is valid. There is nothing wrong with the equation E=MC2 and he was undoubtedly correct in saying that mass can be converted into energy, although he may have gone too far in saying, in effect, that mass is energy and vice versa. The dollar in your pocket is convertible into Mexican pesos but remains a dollar.
However Einstein’s work contains two major errors, with respect. (I am not calling them ‘mistakes’, since it’s clear that the errors were deliberate. In the Special Theory of Relativity he posited that a body cannot exceed the speed of light, roughly 186,000 miles a second in a vacuum, about 670,000,000 mph.
If that were right it would effectively limit the human race to the Solar System, since even the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is about 4.246 light years away. The journey would even take longer than South West Railways from London Waterloo to Exeter St Davids.
It has been a staple of science fiction since the original Lost in Space TV series that you can get around the problem by putting human beings in some form of hibernation or stasis. This was taken to fresh extremes in the entertaining but completely ridiculous 2016 movie Passengers, in which the fictional starship Avalon is scheduled to travel to the fictional planet Homestead II in 120 years, even though it’s only 60 light years away.
There is a tiny, technical flaw with the stasis theory however: it’s bollocks. Human metabolism can be slowed down but not stopped altogether and freezing human tissue damages it. If it were to take say eight and a half years just to get to Proxima Centauri (which is even more boring than Duluth, no offense intended) our starship would have to be huge, just to carry enough food and water to sustain her crew and passengers.
Einstein’s second error was to confuse space and time, which are quite distinct concepts. (You travel in time, not through it.) In chapters 26 and 27 of the combined book he bangs on about the ‘space-time continuum’, for example. It’s all complete nonsense of course, albeit a gift to science-fiction script writers.
The idea of time travel has generated decades of hokum, from episodes of The Outer Limits (which went well beyond the outer limits of credibility), through Dr Who to Star Trek IV, my favorite Star Trek movie. There is absolutely no evidence at all that anyone has ever travelled through time and no credible answer to the time paradox. You could not visit the past without changing it and if you change the past you change the future. How could you still be alive if you’d managed to knock off your own great grand-father?
The Large Hadron Collider experiment
The nice rocket scientist at JPL hinted that they had discovered the same flaws in the Special Theory of Relativity as I had, indeed they were puzzled as to how Einstein could have made such a basic mistake as to conclude that the speed of light is a limiting velocity. I explained that he was a German spy and it all made sense.
Einstein didn’t stop spying, by the way, when he moved to America in 1933, the Abwehr having conveniently arranged for the Gestapo to raid his home in Berlin. (Great cover – the FBI fell for it, hook line and sinker.) Interestingly Einstein met fellow German spy David Lloyd George during his brief sojourn in England before emigrating to the States.
His greatest contribution to the Abwehr whilst at Princeton was to shop Allied progress on the atomic bomb. Indeed the Manhattan Project was named after Germany’s second most important atomic target after London, downtown Manhattan. That’s why the Reich Air Ministry were developing an Amerikabomber, an aircraft which only made sense if (a) it could land in Mexico, since it couldn’t cross the Atlantic twice and (b) only needed to carry a single bomb weighing around 10,000 lbs.
Now whilst I may be a genius, putting the matter as modestly as I can (and all ya’ll know how modest I am), I don’t expect anyone to accept what I say just because I’ve been measured as having a genius level IQ. We geniuses can get things wrong, and it’s not unheard of to have geniuses on the opposing sides of an argument. (Equally it’s not unheard of to have a genius’s ideas rubbished by an idiot, as happened to my fellow genius Galileo, when he tried to explain to Pope Urban VIII.)
The boys at JPL and I came up with a cunning plan: why not test Einstein’s theory at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland? The experiment was duly set up and in 2011 some helpful sub-atomic particles (neutrinos) were persuaded to pop down to San Grasso in Italy faster than the speed of light. CERN eventually backed down under heavy German pressure and withdrew the results, but the initial experiment was valid. It’s one of the darkest secrets in science.
If a stream of sub-atomic particles can be persuaded to travel at faster than the speed of light in one direction in an interstellar drive then in theory a starship could travel equally fast in the opposite direction, applying Newton’s Third Law. Of course there are a number of other problems to be solved before interstellar travel becomes possible.
Whilst nuclear fusion promises to supply the required energy you would need to protect the starship from the consequences of colliding with stray gas molecules. Interstellar space is not empty. Travelling at say 20 times the speed of light our starship would disintegrate if it hit a single gas molecule.
The answer may lie in a Star Trek style system of shields, using subatomic particles projected ahead of the starship. It is also possible that as our starship accelerated towards light speed, which might take several days or weeks, a protective wave of gas molecules would build up in the direction of travel.
The point is that humanity need no longer be hidebound by the idiotic, century old theory of a mad German scientist. We can, finally, lift our eyes to the stars.
Being a genius, even a modest one, such as myself (!) doesn’t mean that you can’t get things wrong. I very nearly ran out of gas on my drive from the meeting with JPL in Pasadena. My rented Hummer wasn’t exactly light on gas (I was headed to Colorado and some serious mountain driving), so I ought to have been keeping a closer eye on gas stations.
Not quite ready for a cup of tea and a burger I rolled on past the gas station on I-70 at Salina, thinking there had to be another gas station before long on I-70 east. The sign warning of no gas for another 100 miles was inconveniently hidden behind an 18-wheeler on the inside lane.
So there was I, happily driving along in my little Hummer (it was only an H3), listening no doubt to some Neil Diamond (I always used to take a pack of my favorite CDs if I was renting), completely oblivious to the fact that I had barely enough gas to reach the next gas station, in Green River.
My suspicions were only aroused when I saw a sign saying ‘gas’ and left the interstate. Puzzled by the absence of a gas station and associated fast food outlets I was then startled to see a sign saying ‘gas, 25 miles’. Whoops! By the time I reached Green River I was down to my last pint.
Genius has its limitations. There would be no point booking me for a song and dance show. I can neither sign nor dance. I do a mean scrambled egg but I would advise against accepting a dinner invitation from me – I can’t cook. I can think, however, one reason why my political career has been a failure, to date at any rate.
A warm welcome, incidentally, to Mensa’s youngest member, Isla McNabb, of Crestwood, KY! This charming little girl has an IQ in the 99th percentile, like mine. She has language and alphabet skills way beyond her years, but her parents say she’s decidedly average when it comes to potty training. I am now potty trained, I am pleased to say, but I doubt I got there faster than anyone else. Intellectual firepower isn’t everything!
The race to replace Boris
The final two are that nice lady Liz Truss, representing the Forces of Good, and Rishi Sunak, representing the Forces of Evil, putting the matter as neutrally as I can. Rishi wants to continue to strangle the UK economy under a massive burden of increased taxes and EU-derived regulations. He’s even in favour of continuing to impose tariffs and quotas on food coming from Commonwealth countries in order to drive up food prices.
It’s quite likely that he cut a deal with Penny Mordaunt whereby she would become Chancellor, thereby disenfranchising Tory Party members. Such a deal would suit Rishi’s with respect devious personality, not to mention the sinister Svengali figures of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings, who are backing him.
If Rishi wins I assume that he’ll run the country into the ground, no offense intended, cede the next election to Labour, who have cut a deal with the Lib Dems and the SNP, and disappear off to LA with a nice pre-arranged package. Labour and the Lid Dems want to freeze the Tories out of power for a generation using proportional representation.
The SNP want to turn Scotland into a German client state but need Britain to re-join the single market in order to win a second referendum. Labour are so desperate for power that they have agreed a second referendum in exchange for a confidence and supply deal. The stakes are high, but I predict that the Forces of Evil will lose.
Treorchy Male Choir
I may not be able to sing, but the Treorchy Male Choir most certainly can, indeed arguably they are the finest male voice choir in the world. I motored over to the distinctive and rather nice Garrison Church on Saturday evening to listen to my first post-Covid concert, held to raise funds to repair the roof of Tidworth Parish Church, robbed of its lead roof earlier in the year.
I respectfully associate myself with the comments of HRH Prince Albert of Monaco, who commented after a fine performance in Monte Carlo that “Treorchy Male Choir is universally known as one of the world’s finest choirs.” Their singing on Saturday was utterly magnificent, lifting the spirits of all who attended. There is nothing like a good Welsh male voice choir to stir the soul.
This week’s movie review: The Railway Children Return (2022, dir. Morgan Matthews)
It’s not as good as the original, but then Lionel Jefferies’ The Railway Children was the finest children’s movie ever made. The sequel is set nearly four decades later, in 1944. Jenny Agutter, a fine actress with respect, reprises her role of Bobbie, this time a grandmother.
It is however better than some of its critics will admit. They were offput by the allegedly woke plot, but in fact it’s based on the so-called Battle of Bamber Bridge, when US MPs tried to arrest black servicemen in Ye Olde Hob Inn pub Bamber Bridge, Lancashire. The US armed forces were still racially segregated in 1944. The movie has much more of an edge than the original, but is none the worse for that.
The children are delightful, and the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire once again provides a splendid backdrop. The production values are much higher than the original, exemplified in the moving opening scenes as children are evacuated from Manchester, behind Jubilee Class 4-6-0 Bahamas, a stirring sight.
There’s even an appearance from US Transportation Corporation S160 class 2-8-0 5820, a genuine wartime survivor. The producers committed one chronological gaff however, with a post-war British Railways standard locomotive seen in the background coming into Oakworth Station. Most movie-goers wouldn’t notice it, but it struck a jarring note with me.
The Railway Children Return is well worth watching.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.