Archive of SITU Publications: SITU NEWS — Number 6 — April, 1969
It has been decided to resuscitate a newsletter as a separate publication. Its numbering herewith picks up, serially, from its inception in May, 1967. The second issue under this title (No. 2) was issued in March, 1968; and the third was incorporated in the first issue of PURSUIT. The fourth and fifth were incorporated in Vol. 1, No.4, and Vol. 2, No. 1 of that journal, issued in September, 1968, and January, 1969. This issue thus becomes No. 6.
The reasons for this innovation are twofold. On the one hand, our journal is designed as a commentary on current events. As of now, it runs only 80 pages a year but the material coming in warrants a great deal more space that should not be wasted on mere society news. On the other hand, being a society, members (as opposed to subscribers to our publications) have a right to know just what we are doing. As we see it, those who run any society have an obligation to so keep their membership informed. Further, there are matters that become confidential to its members alone.
It is hoped that this newsletter may also in time be expanded, and perhaps even issued more frequently, or on a different schedule to that of the journal. While members will always be fully credited for their part in any items mentioned in the journal, we would like to find place for a full and free forum; but not, it must be clearly understood, as a “letters to the editor” column which we feel can be a most dangerous device in a serious journal, in that members’ opinions can be twisted by editing or silenced by omission therein.
Actual articles — as opposed to reports — are not solicited for our journal, mostly because the solicitation and obtaining of such is just about the sickest headache that any editor has to suffer. It is almost as much of'a weight upon authors, while there are the constant and never-ending time and cost factors involved, which have wrecked many a fine publication. However, if place can be found in this subsidiary publication for such communications, the authors can submit them in the form of letters, and/or take their time writing them, without giving the editors an excuse for ulcers and mental breakdown.
In future, a fully audited accounting will be published in the first SITU NEWS of each calendar year, covering the previous year's finances, including statements of holdings, income and disbursements.
*BE IT NOTED THAT ALL CONTRIBUTING AND CORRESPONDING MEMBERS WHO JOINED US PRIOR TO THE END OF JUNE OF LAST YEAR, 1968, WERE DUE TO RENEW THEIR ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS AS OF LAST JANUARY THE FIRST, 1969.
*Those joining after the 30th of June, 1968, were granted the balance of last year, gratis, and a free copy of PURSUIT, Vol. 1, No. 3 (incorporating Newsletter No.3). Their membership subscriptions are not due until the 1st January, 1970.
*New membership is solicited; but, to this end, the Society does not “promote”. Therefore, it is up to members and friends to disseminate information on us, our objectives, and the services we offer.
*We do not solicit membership or contributions unless respondents have satisfied themselves that we offer services that they feel may be of real interest to them; and until they have also satisfied themselves of the validity of our intent, as in our journal and elsewhere.
*We are still in the process of building (physically) so that, while making ourselves as available to members as possible, we cannot offer residential facilities to others than Contributing Members at this time; and even those must be by prior arrangement.
*The reason for our regular statement — that the Society is unable to offer or render any services whatsoever to non-members — should be elaborated. It is simply that, with limited. staff and a great pressure of work, we are just physically unable to respond to requests from any but members.
*It would be greatly appreciated if all correspondents would be sure to put their full address with zip code, and their telephone number unless they do not wish this disseminated, in or on the letter, as well as on the envelope. A great deal of our mail comes through third parties, such as radio stations and magazines, and is often opened by them and the envelope is thrown away. We would also appreciate your printing or typing your full name, with title, below your signature.
The first quarterly Board Meeting of 1969 was held on the 25th of January in New York. The only members not present were Peter G. Kamitchis and William F. Peck, Jr. who, however, submitted proxies. The first order of business was the annual election of members of the Governing Board, and of the Board of Trustees as prescribed by the laws of the State of New Jersey in which we are incorporated. The latter calls for five officers: a President, two Vice Presidents, a Treasurer, and a Secretary.
The President, who is ipso facto Chairman of the Board, is elected for five years. On this occasion our founding member and first President, Mr. Oliver G. Swan, tendered his resignation as President on the grounds that, for personal reasons, he can no longer attend Board meetings, which have to be held on weekends. He further offered to resign from the Governing Board as an active member, so that his place might be filled by a voting member who could attend meetings, and thus preserve the five-to-five voting balance. (The Chairman has the casting vote in case of a tie.) This resignation was accepted, but with expressions of the utmost regret and a motion to this effect was recorded as being unanimous. Ollie Swan, as he is known to everybody, is a partner in one of the greatest, and certainly the oldest firm of Literary Agents — the founder, Mr. Paul R. Reynolds, Sr. having been the actual 'inventor' of the literary agency business; and whose son, Paul R. Reynolds, Jr. is still senior partner of the firm — and is a prominent figure in the publishing world. That he acceded to our request that he be our first president must have been due to some sort of true altruism as our objectives, even as initially laid down, were somewhat out of his field. Had it not been for his guidance we would never have “got off the ground” as a working society, and he rendered us services, help, and advice such as we could not have received from anyone else. There is one happy note in this. Mr. Swan accepted our offer of a continuing place on the Board of Governors in the capacity of — as it is officially called — a Member-at-Large. This means that he will attend any meetings that he can, even chairing them when the president is unavoidably absent, and rendering us continued counsel.
As his last motion as a member of the Board, Mr. Swan put forward the name of Mr. Hans Stefan Santesson for President of the Society and thus the incumbent Chairman of the Board, to round out his five year term of duty. This motion was seconded by the Director (ITS), and was accepted unanimously. Mr. Santesson will thus so serve until the end of 1970. Hans Stefan Santesson is also known to everybody in the publishing world and also in various fields of science and the arts. He is a professional parliamentarian, having three decades of experience in the organization, promotion, and management of societies and other citizens' organizations in a wide range of activities. Not only the members of the Board but all those members who have heard of Hans Stefan's acceptance of this responsibility are grateful that he is willing to take on the burden of guidance of our activities.
The result of the above changes was that a seat on the Board became open. For this the name of Mr. Richard W. Palladino was proposed by the Director (ITS) and seconded by Mr. Walter J. McGraw; and was passed unanimously. Dick Palladino is an Administrative Technician in the Plasma Physics Laboratory of the Forrestal Research Center, Princeton University, and is a physicist. He has been a most active member of the Society for some time, and Chairman or our special Committee for the Ringing Rocks Project.
The next order of business was voting on the remaining five members of the Board. After considerable discussion among the Trustees, and an exposition by the Director of the new requirements for filling executive positions (see below), the same five members were re-elected for the year. It had been ascertained in advance that all these individuals were willing to accept another term as Board members and also that they would and could fulfill their new executive duties. This latter is of the utmost importance to our general activity. (The new Board and the executive duties of each officer are listed on the masthead on the inside of the front cover of PURSUIT, Vol. 2, No. 2.)
Organization. Various inconsistencies in allocation of operational duties last year had come to light. Not only was there a considerable change of emphasis between the various departments, but there was an overall change of direction. Also, several members had found themselves responsible for activities that, while nominally in their fields, they could not handle for purely personal, physical (meaning their places of residence and business), and/or professional reasons. As a result, the selection of the new Board was to a considerable extent predicated upon what the members could do. The outcome is as shown in PURSUIT; but this needs some explanation.
Edgar Schoenenberger happens to be moving back to the area in which the Research Center is situated so that he will be able to give more time and closer supervision to the building and other maintenance projects and problems. Second, in an organization such as ours, the records of membership have to be coordinated almost daily with bookkeeping, accounting and general finance. Thus, these items are handled by a special Committee consisting of the Director, the Treasurer, and the Executive Assistant to the Director. This leaves the maintenance of records to the Secretary, who is resident in New York where she is most needed for the implementation of legal and other formalities with the President and our legal counsel.
As Marion Fawcett is resident at Research Center, she deputizes for both the Director and the Treasurer when they are away, which they very frequently are. She also maintains general administration, including staff; and, being a professional editor and librarian, handles the mechanics of both the library and files, and of our publications. The latter are handled basically by a Committee composed of an Executive Director (Mr. Peter Kamitchis), the Director (ITS), Miss Marion Fawcett, and our new President (H.S.S.) in an advisory capacity.
In many respects, attached to this committee as well as to general administration is the officer in charge of publicity, promotion, and public relations. This has always been a major problem; first, because what is commonly called "promotion" has no place in our scheme of activity, while publicity in our case must be only spontaneous, and public relations mean to us just exactly what the term states — i. e. relations between the Society and the public. This calls for a real specialist. A professional has carried this department for us for six months but, not being resident in New York, found it impossible to help just when help was most needed. All P, P, and PR, as it is called, in our case falls in the communications fields. Now, Walter McGraw has actually been carrying this for us all along, being a Founding Member, a member of the Governing Board, and a professional in those fields. The Board therefore asked him if he would take on these duties officially and he very kindly accepted.
We came then to the other major aspect of our activities.
This is the investigative. Our initial intent
was always scientific search, research, and the
dissemination of our findings. The last is taken care
of by our services to members, our publications, and
by (legitimate informational) publicity. During our
formative period, which lasted from our incorporation
in August 1965 to the end of 1967, we had neither
the time nor the money, nor the personnel and outside
cooperation to truly implement this intent. During
the past year, however, we were able to initiate
some original search and institute some proper (physical)
research. To this end it became absolutely essential
that these related departments be properly
represented on the Board and actively pursued by its
executive officers. And here we have — and we can
say no less — been the recipients of what can only
be described as "the bounty of Fate". Three essential positions had to be filled for: (1)
the supervision of straight academic science and
technology, (2) relations with industrial technology
and applied science, and (3) actual field operations.
None of these positions is easy to fill, and the last
presents the most monumental problems. However,
the acceptance of a position on the Board, and as
advisor, by Richard Palladino solved the first, while
a similar offer by William Peck did likewise for the second. Both are involved in just these activities as their businesses. The third, last, and in many ways the most vital to our whole endeavour — to wIt, actual, practical, and physical action in the field had already been accepted by our founding member Jack Ullrich. He has helped us in just about every capacity since our official inception, pinch-hitting for those who could not perform, and handling those departments temporarily without an executive. However, it just so happens he is the only member of the Board whose business allows him to travel, who does travel almost continuously, and who is also a flier, and a professional photographer.
The Scientific Advisory Board. There have been a few changes in this Board. First, Mr. Philip Klass, editor of AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY, resigned since his position thereon clashed with his contractual responsibilities. In his place, Dr. Martin Kruskal, Professor of Applied Mathematics at Princeton, was gracious enough to join us; and a powerful source of advice he is. We have most regretfully to report that Dr. James S. Pickering was taken seriously ill last year and, though recuperating, cannot undertake the sort of counsel he gave us previously.
Library and Publications. Thirty-five new books that we classed as reference works were received during the past quarter. Half a hundred others were assigned to a separate department that is being set up to preserve general informational or purely "recreational" volumes, now that space for such is becoming available. In addition, a whole medical library was donated by Mr. Jack A. Ullrich. This has merely been housed for the moment but will be classified and catalogued when more shelf-space (see below) becomes available. An enormous technical library has been offered to us, as a bequest, when and if we have proper facilities for housing and caring for it.
Periodicals continue to flow in, both by subscription and now from other sources. In addition, there is a constant flow of correspondence (containing information), clippings, reports, and other material. This has swelled some fourfold during the past year and the graph is climbing steeply. Our major battle in this department is not only to keep on top of the in-coming material but to work through the old material and incorporate it into the new filing set-up. Until the latter is completed, moreover, we cannot institute the new overall filing system. To do this, we may have to computerize, and we have a most generous offer of help in this.
Establishment. This is the old and recurrent theme; and it is still the core of our problem and the pith of our overall effort. Without physical space we are doomed to "suffocation" and, despite all that has been accomplished — and a lot has — we now have a very short time to go before we do so "go-under". This winter has not been conducive to building or any other outside activities. Nonetheless, all those stop-gap plans and projects outlined in our last three issues have been completed, relative to everything except the Annex. For the completion of the smaller room in this (as a library extension, additional office space, and living quarters) all materials, and light and heat, are now on hand.
The Society is becoming engaged in an increasing number of both search and research projects. Instead of initiating these ourselves, we are finding that they are being brought to us; and in two cases, under offer of contract. These latter requests have come to us as a result of certain investigations we have been prosecuting in extremely esoteric, and for this reason somewhat sensitive fields. The major items, for two of which there are now special committees, are as follows: —
(1) The Ringing Rocks. This work is proceeding under the chairmanship of Richard Palladino. Field work has, of course, been curtailed by the winter, but it is still hoped that we will obtain some lowlevel aerial photographs when snow is still on the ground; and this, moreover, of more than one of the"fields" that have now been located - we have identified some fourteen to date, all in the eastern Pennsylvania area. Meantime, three sets of petrological, mineralogical, and chemical analyses of the ringing and non-ringing rocks from the fields, and of non-ringers from surrounding areas are being prosecuted in different laboratories. A great deal of unexpected information on ringing rocks has come to us from all over this country and from other continents. From this, a new line of approach has had to be developed. This is an archaeological one.
(2) Stone Spheres. Barney and Vanessa Nashold (87) have returned from their prolonged trip, which amounted almost to an expedition, to Centroamerica, during which they investigated this matter as one of their major projects. They made some extremely worthwhile discoveries but have not yet written up their reports and do not wish to release anything until they have. Meantime again, Basil Hritsco (165) visited RC-HQ and deposited with us a considerable amount of material on this subject from his field work in California.
(3) Mechanical Dowsing. We await an amelioration of the weather to set up the experiments at RC-HQ as described in previous issues. Meantime, Mr. Carl Schleicher of Triangle Research Corp. (260) visited us to discuss procedure and later sent us a manufactured, collapsible, dowsing "L". Our Adviser, Professor George Kennedy of U.C.L.A., has made further suggestions as guidance for our forthcoming procedure and it is hoped that he will be able to visit us when we have the experiment set up.
(4) Gravity-2. This came from 'out field' and caught us awares. It stemmed from our Geophysical Committee's trigonometrical and geographical investigations of what have come to be called "Geo-Dipoles". This, in turn, stemmed from a more or less historical review of the disappearances of planes, ships, and submarines in certain specific areas of the oceans. Having found no evidence for these anomalies being caused by magnetic, or electromagnetic influences, the committee had proceeded to the consideration of the purely mechanical effects of warm water, surface whirlpools. However, the cause of these in turn escaped us until a paper appeared (in the Proceedings of the National Science Foundation) which validated certain hypotheses and facts observed by others concerning the circulation of fluids under both gravitic and counter-gravitic influences. This research is going to occupy the Geophysical Committee full-time.
(5) Examination of a Subman. This is, of course, the matter that is occupying most of the time and effort of the Society at this time. The "Bozo" affair is actually only beginning, since there is still just a chance that his body will be obtained by competent anatomists for proper description, dissection, and preservation. The matter is of enormous complexity; and, even if it proceeds according to the most desired plan, it will be months or even years before it is concluded. Meantime, a related enterprise has come very much to the fore. This is as follows.
(6) Field Search for Living Submen. By the time this is in your hands, a popular account will be in print (in ARGOSY Magazine; on the stands about the 18th March) describing certain events in Wisconsin last fall. This constitutes one of the most cogent"sightings" of a living ABSM (as we have named these items) that we have yet encountered. At the same time, it just so happened that our member Jack A. Ullrich (123) was already scheduled to proceed to Centroamerica in pursuit of a number of "stories", one of which was the Cax-Vinic, Leticayu, or Sisimite, the local ABSM, of Guatemala. Further, our Adviser for zoology, Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans (58), happened to be staying at RC-HQ, on his way to South America, and West Africa, via Guatemala. These two scientists have combined their resources and are almost ready, as of the time of writing, to leave for Guatemala by Land Rover.
(7) The Introduction of Ik-Nish. Basil Hritsco (165) came uPWith still another one last year. This is an herbaceous plant with a large tuberous root like an extended turnip, that grows on only a few, limited, more or less soil-less slopes in the Trinity-Klamath-Siskiyou mountain complex in northern California. From this the indigenous Amerindian peoples derive three distinct spices. The plant was finally identified as an Umbellifer named Lomatium californicum. Growing it at Research Center has become a project.
(8) "Natural Treasures" . For many years the director maintained a commercial enterprise by this name. The company was dissolved in 1958, but the collection of certain natural items continued. These, and notably hard or woody fungi, are preserved and painted or polished for sale as ornaments and command a very high price. This art work is being resuscitated under the auspices of the Society as it is permitted to sell specimens to raise funds for its scientific activities.
END OF ISSUE