reply to post by flightsuit
I personally find Childhood's End
quite significant in many ways. It is specific details
within the story itself that are intriguing. The book was written in 1953 and discusses the technological race between the U.S. and Russia amongst a
top-level intelligentsia that is privy to other advanced technologies and connected to these beings; or Overlords.
Richard Hoagland basically stated on his recent interview on Coast to Coast AM that he felt that Arthur C. Clarke was a part of a top-level scientific
intelligentsia involved with the UFO problem - and leaked details about it in his books.
In contemporary times, being familiar with the decades-old UFO cover-up and covert operations, mind control and alien abduction conspiracies, it's
odd to find paragraphs such as these in Childhood's End:
"In our own past, the use of power has been notably unsuccessful in solving anything."
"The operative word is correct. You have never possessed real power, or the
knowledge necessary to apply it. As in all problems, there are efficient and
inefficient approaches. Suppose, for example, that one of your nations, led by
some fanatical ruler, tried to revolt against me. The highly inefficient answer to
such a threat would be some billions of horsepower in the shape of atomic bombs.
If I used enough bombs, the solution would be complete and finished. It would also,
as I remarked, be inefficient-even if it possessed no other defects."
"And the efficient solution?"
"That requires about as much power as a small radio transmitter-and rather
similar skills to operate. For it's the application of the power, not its
amount, that matters. How long do you think Hitler's career as dictator of
Germany would have lasted, if wherever he went a voice was talking quietly in
his ear? Or if a steady musical note, loud enough to drown all other sounds and
to prevent sleep, filled his brain night and day? Nothing brutal, you
appreciate. Yet, in the final analysis, just as irresistible as a tritium bomb."
"I see," said Stormgren; "and there would be no place to hide?"
"No place where I could not send my-ah-devices if I felt sufficiently strongly
about it. And that is why I shall never have to use really drastic methods to
maintain my position."
The great ships, then, had never been more than symbols, and now the world knew
that all save one had been phantoms.
Yet, by their mere presence, they had changed the history of Earth. Now their
task was done, and their achievement lingered behind them to go echoing down the
"You've often told me, Rikki, that no matter how unlike you we are physically,
the human race would soon grow accustomed to us. That shows a lack of
imagination on your part. It would probably be true in your case, but you must
remember that most of the world is still uneducated by any reasonable
standards, and is riddled with prejudices and superstitions that may take
decades to eradicate.
"You will grant that we know something of human psychology. We know rather
accurately what would happen if we revealed ourselves to the world in its
present state of development. I can't go into details, even with you, so you
must accept my analysis on trust. We can, however, make this definite promise,
which should give you some satisfaction. In fifty years-two generations from
now-we will come down from our ships and humanity will at last see us as we
Stormgren was silent for a while, absorbing the Supervisor's words. He felt
little of the satisfaction that Karellen's statement would once have given him.
Indeed, he was somewhat confused by his partial success, and for a moment his
resolution faltered. The truth would come with the passage of time:
all his plotting was unnecessary and perhaps unwise. If he still went ahead, it
would be only for the selfish reason that he would not be alive in fifty years.
Karellen must have seen his irresolution, for he continued:
"I'm sorry if this disappoints you, but at least the political problems of the
near future won't be your responsibility. Perhaps you will think that our fears
are unfounded, but believe me we've had convincing proofs of the danger of any
"There is far more to it than that-but I do not imagine you will ever get much
closer to the truth. All through history
there have been people with inexplicable powers which seemed to transcend space
and time. They never understood them:
almost without exception, their attempted explanations were rubbish. I should
know-I have read enough of them!
"But there is one analogy which is-well, suggestive and helpful. It occurs over
and over again in your literature. Imagine that every man's mind is an island,
surrounded by ocean. Each seems isolated, yet in reality all are linked by the
bedrock from which they spring. If the oceans were to vanish, that would be the
end of the islands. They would all be part of one continent, but their
individuality would have gone.
"Telepathy, as you have called it, is something like this. In suitable
circumstances minds can merge and share each other's contents, and carry back
memories of the experience when they are isolated once more. In its highest
form, this power is not subject to the usual limitations of time and space. That
is why Jean could tap the knowledge of her unborn son."
There was a long silence while George wrestled with these astounding thoughts.
The pattern was beginning to take shape. It was an unbelievable pattern, but it
had its own inherent logic. And it explained-if the word could be used fur
anything so incomprehensible-all that had happened since that evening at Rupert
Boyce's home. It also accounted, he realized now, for Jean's own curiosity about
"What has started this thing?" asked George. "And where is it going to lead?"
"That is something we cannot answer. But there are many races in the universe,
and some of them discovered these powers long before your species-or mineappeared
on the scene. They have been waiting for you to join them, and now the
time has come."