Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty One…


MARCH 2016

A Stellar Solution

The author of this story asked that he not be identified, so Dal named him Stern. But after reading it in the Scrapbook, and deciding he was some kind of a genius, I begged to allow his real name be used. He replied, “Eck! I’m not that kind of brave! How about Reddigo? He was my first dog and a weiner dog at that. Somehow at three years old, ‘The Ruff and Reddy Show’ became ‘Reddigo.’ Mom says I wanted to name him after both cartoon characters at once and that’s how it came out.”

The name doesn’t identify the writer, but it does show that he’s human. f


Mr. Fenn,

A 10″ x 10″ target, to my mind, is an impossibly small target considering the vastness of your target area.  How to reconcile those two extremes has been on my mind a lot and has gotten me off on a tangent that, to my knowledge, nobody has considered.  Possibly not even you, but, given your aviator experiences, it’s a distinct possibility that you’ll understand my reasoning perfectly.  Of course if you did, my hat is off.  It’s brilliant.
However, it’s so brilliant that I have some difficulty in believing that anyone would ever come up with it.  I’m not exactly sure what that meant, but nevertheless…

Google Earth has a sister component named Google Sky*.  If you look up, to the stars, in the right place and at the right time, an entire series of clues fall into place.  For instance,  Acamar, in Eridanus, and Arching are both excellent candidates for “where warm waters halt” because Eridanus is the river constellation and is visible only in the Southern sky. Both stars are known as “the end of the river.” Archinar isn’t visible from above 33d so it gets the axe, leaving Acamar as a reasonable start place. If I assume Santa Fe as a starting point and look south (“As”), there is distinct time of year when Acamar and all the subsequent clues (described below) are above the southern horizon.  That date in the Fall, more or less, is August 22 or roll that to the Vernal equinox and you have the same thing.  Assume “I” is the intercept angle from the horizon up and it’s not a big jump to “horizontal azimuth vernal equinox” or “have.”  At that point, all of a sudden, the “home of Brown,” becomes apparent. The First point of Aries, as described in “Brown’s Nautical Almanac” is your HOB.

There a couple of other indicators.  “Not far, but too far to” sounds an awful lot like “Not Fornax, but to for(nax) two” or Beta Fornax, which lines up with “the bend in the river,” or Angetenar.  Of, course the perfect place to put in.

Horizontal East from there is Columbia (the dove, no place for the meek), Canopus (no paddle, the rudder), the end (Puppis), ever drawing (Pictor, the easel), heavy loads (Vela, the sails), and water high (Antlia, the water pump), and, of course, the chest or Pyxis.  So, who is the blaze?  Beats me.

Wezen (wise and) points at Sirius. Maybe, but there are two wezens in that region of space.”In peace” or in Pyxis, points at Naos, or “the bright and shining one.”  Down, in this reasoning, is the incidence angle to the horizon. A minimum of two over lapping great circles drawn from the incidence angle will define a specific location on Earth.  Whether that’s the start or finish, I don’t yet know.

After that, I’m stumped, but if I ever nail down a specific sidereal hour angle, I think I have a reasonable shot at measuring an assumed position using navigational stars, incident angles, and great circles.  That answers my original question on how to pinpoint a 10″x10″ plot of ground, or at least eliminate a lot of potential targets.  Of course all that also
perfectly fits with your statement about over thinking the solution.  I’m really good at that.

Then there’s my alternate theory.  In Google Earth, just west of Hegben Lake are a couple of silhouettes created by the general land forms.  Directly west is a gentleman with a staff and a hat that looks suspiciously like your TFTW cover, he’s even carrying a sack of gold (Gold Butte).  Directly above him is the silhouette of a ram, and nestled right below there is the city of Sheridan, which is suspiciously close to Sharadan, the second star seen (right behind Mesarthim) in the First point of Aries.  It’s a loose connection to the star solution, but there none the less.

Like before, all the clues are there, like mesa art, as silhouettes and landmarks.  The blaze is a cow’s face.  Wise is a river.  Divide is “ever drawing.”  No place for the meek is Silver Star.  The chest, when you see it, is a heart attack waiting to happen.  Drill down and you find that “Why” has a question mark.  Bell Mountain points to McCartney Mountain.  If you “list ten” degrees good, you’ll finally see the wood.  At that point, you had better be brave.  Else Tesuque will get you.  Just north of there is a flying key, which presumably, fits the keyhole, to its South.  I sent you that picture for a Christmas card.  It’s just north east of Glen, MT.  Take a look from about 30,000 ft.  You’ll see the chest.  Zoom in and you’ll see a great big W with a question mark above it.  Nine clues, start to finish, but again, I can’t imagine anyone ever figuring all this out.  Let alone being within a few hundred feet and not finding the prize.  It’s far too simple after a point.

I know.  It’s a stretch but good for the brain.  You quoted Einstein and after a lot of digging I found the magazine article for that original interview.  His full quote includes another line.  “… Imagination encircles the world.”  So there you go!

Oh, btw, I just ordered “A Walk Too Far.”  If it only came with a sextant, my life would be complete.



*Another excellent star mapping program is “Star Walk.”