Monday, 26 May 2014

The Paradoxes of Time

The love of the written word came early in my life, and I remember spreading out on the floor to read broadsheet newspapers well before I left junior school. My father ended up taking me to a huge bookshop stacked to the ceilings with second-hand books, where I could select whatever I wanted without charge. I chose classics, which is why I talk funny.
     Now I am a pensioner I have indulged my desire to write stories, and I do it with gusto. It is gratifying to be told by the limited friends with whom I can communicate that they like my work, which normally focuses on the near-future and believable Sci-fi, heavily laced with quirky humour.
     I base my stories on research, and avidly read about UFOs and new technology to give them a believable foundation. This brings me to the subject heading of this blog, since there are paradoxes associated with time that make my mind go into meltdown. Not that it needs much help to do that, since I suffer from brain damage.
     My initial concern lies with the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second (rounded), in a vacuum. To calculate the equivalent miles per hour, this would be multiplied by 60 seconds x 60 minutes, giving a rough speed of 67,000,000 mph. Thus, the Zeta Reticuli system of Sun-like stars is only 39.5 light years away from planet Earth. Hence, I presume that a spaceship travelling at a sustained 67 million miles per hour would take 39·5 light years to reach us.
     My problem is that we seem to be drowning in a sea of UFO verifiable reported sightings and alleged confirmations by various governments, which are subsequently and hastily retracted. This assumes that inter-planetary travel is a regular occurrence for our alien visitors, via wormholes, warp-speed devices and perhaps other dimensions. No wonder the sceptics are having a field day scoffing at others!
     In my naivety, I wonder if the speed of light is an appropriate, provable measure of distance. It does seem to me that 67,000,000 mph is unachievable by any method of propulsion, sustained for any worthwhile period. Yet, there they are, these aliens, flying in our skies, rising from our seas, mutilating our animals and, I am reliably informed, mutilating us as well.
     One problem is that I am convinced of their existence, since I have been in company where we have witnessed their spacecraft in action. This was in the days before Photoshop could be used to confound everyone with fakery.
Last week, I saw a TV documentary featuring Professor Stephen Hawking expounding on time travel. He insisted that it could only be done “by travelling forward, into the future.” This theory is based on the paradox that if a person could travel into the past, and chose to shoot his grandfather, he would cease to exist.
     Which leads me to wonder, if a person travels into the future, and someone living in that future shoots him (or her), wouldn’t the same paradox occur? Surely Professor Hawking is not as daft as I am?
     As regards alien visitors, there is another plausible explanation for their regular and repeated visits to our wonderful planet. They could have been here for a considerable time already, living undetected by the masses but with the tacit agreement of some of the powers-that-be, who are technologically powerless to prevent it, and are their intellectual inferiors.
    At least, that is what I gleaned from President Reagan’s speech about aliens at the UN. No wonder the US Government allows its citizens virtually unrestricted access to guns, in case things get nasty.