The Golden Suit
Written by Anthony J Williams, born Durban 03 Dec 1951. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
John felt waves of exhilaration sweep through him as he read the words ‘here stay’ which had appeared in the grass alongside his tent. It was an early misty pink dawn and he had sat in his warm gown watching the eggs sizzling alongside the sausages, sipping his first sweet cup of tea, when he had glanced at a squirrel that had bravely darted up to within a foot of his folding green canvas seat locking eyes, before scurrying off to investigate a patchy area of grass next to one of the tent pegs. As he watched the little creature he suddenly noticed that what looked like patchy grass was in fact caused by clear letter indentations. John put down his cup, switched off the gas cooker and went over to discover the large words ‘here stay’ clearly marked in the grass. Recovering his composure and keeping his excitement in check, he looked around further and noticed a large half metre wide strip of indented grass. He followed the line of the strip and found that it was a twenty metre wide teardrop shaped outline encompassing the words and his tent, with its point ending at the edge of the forest. While continuing with his breakfast John realised the enormity of this event. This was a major change in communication, this was his first instruction.
Three weeks earlier John had arrived at this site, having gained the farmer’s permission to set up his tent just outside the outer edges of the overnight formation and attempt the seemingly impossible. He had gained an immediate interest in the phenomena after a close friend claimed that an amazingly complex pattern had appeared in his rape field below, in a period of less than three hours, the time it took him to take a sick lamb to the farmhouse just after sunset and return with his teenage son and lanterns to check on another. In the light of an almost full moon, the formation below was massive, amazingly complex, and stood out clearly. There was no possible way such a formation could have been carried out by a team of people in such a time slot and right adjacent to his farmhouse without his wife and youngsters hearing or seeing something.
Part time research piqued John’s curiosity and he pondered why such so called ‘crop circle’ creations had used only mathematical patterns and occasionally images. Why was no language used? Surely any advanced beings would be studying us and easily know our languages. Another possibility was that someone had access to a highly advanced form of satellite beamed energy, but countries and the military would have picked up on that very quickly so it was highly improbable and even if it were the case, what would be the purpose of such a vague math form of communication by our own kind? The deduction that John came to was that if such patterns were being created to get our attention, whoever or whatever was creating them must be able to somehow view the surface to create such formations in a suitable medium, but be unwilling or unable to actually visit our planet. Without a knowledge base of our present languages they used the only universally understandable form of communication, mathematics. This meant that the source was most likely off world. Also interesting was the fact that the formations were made only at night, so did that indicate that the off world creators could only clearly see the Earth’s surface at night? Did they use a form of infra red to detect living creatures to prevent harm during the process of forming the mathematical patterns?
Had anyone tried to return communication? John considered ways that this might be achieved; a method of linking basic math symbols with corresponding written numbers and words to slowly build up a vocabulary, the scale likely to be visible based on present crop circle patterns, a location that might be viewed by the off world source. During the winter months John built up a material store of large brightly finished items in preparation of the coming crop season. He ensured he had suitable camping equipment and made contact with various groups to ensure that he had the earliest possible notification of crop circle formations. His farmer friend Barry also kept an eager eye out for a repeat formation, and asked all his circle of rural buddies for immediate feedback on any formation appearance. The successful strike came from a farmer thirty two miles away from Salisbury in Wiltshire.
Within three hours of sunrise, on the warm sunny slightly breezy day, John was standing with the farmer, Peter Wingrove, on a small rise backing onto a delightful deep forest, overlooking the new formation. Peter agreed that John set up his tent on a longish grass area between the forest and the crop circle, which in fact was a series of triangular shapes within five large circles. He would do his damndest to keep others away, apart from the agreed team, presently starting to photograph and assess the tell tale signs indicating whether or not the formation was manmade. Four hours later, John had erected his triple space tent and the team gave the thumbs up that the formation was of unknown origin. A tingle of anticipation ran up his spine.
By sunset that first day John had walked into the heart of the formation and set up his series of large circular white plate objects in basic number groupings, with the corresponding numbers and words one to ten. He then circled this grouping with a wide band of reflective orange material in a long oval shape. He then combined much smaller orange ovals indicating the sets of ten, also with linked numbers and words, up to one hundred, and in a similar fashion with another colour band, sets of one hundred up to a thousand and so forth up to one million. He arranged another separated grouping of objects to show arithmetic symbols and words such as plus with the + sign, minus, division, multiplication, square root etc.
That evening Peter visited for a chat and a nightcap and they spoke of many things and the acceptance that the probability of any success with this first venture was unlikely. What other means might there be to make any contact if this fails and whether in fact the logic and deductions had sound basis. John sat outside his tent, looking at the waning moon and stars late into the cool crisp evening, many hours after Peter had his ‘one for the road’, and walked off down the dirt track whistling a James Taylor song. Eventually he resigned himself to his sleeping bag with a sigh, knowing deep down that this would be a wasted effort and that perhaps the option of a mad scientist with a private satellite or night flying drone with new form of crop bending energy he’d discovered and kept to himself, a far more likely reality. Twice he awoke and went outside for a widdle, looking hopefully at the night sky, but nothing revealed itself.