THE MAN (who changed everything) – Part Two
Here I am sitting at my desk naked again, with a glass of water and a small fan I purchased last night. It’s 10 am and 37 degrees C / 98.6 F already. The predicted maximum for today is 42 degrees C / 107.6 but it will probably hit 47 degrees C / 116.6 F in the shade, just as it did yesterday. So I’ll be trying my best not to melt and to think clearly. But believe me, it’s not easy, when you feel like getting naked to the bone !
This post is a continuation of the one I started here : https://etandi.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/the-man-who-changed-everything/ . I tried to finish it a few days ago but was unhappy with what I’d written, so here goes round two.
* * *
You will recall that I began this story by telling you that Dude asked me what I knew about Nitroglycerin and he prompted me to follow up by researching it and by asking my ex wife what she knew about it. You will also recall that Nitroglycerin was discovered by the Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero, who has become a footnote in the history of Nitroglycerin. So today I’d like to tell you a little about Dude’s relationship with Ascanio and how that relationship changed the course of the human story.
I’m not sure how it came to pass but Dude knew all about Ascanio from the day he was born. He watched him as a small boy and then one day, just as he did with Rachel, he introduced himself. The young Ascanio loved the natural world and it was in this context that he and Dude became close friends. For the most part, Dude would meet Asacanio when he was outdoors. Both of them loved plants. Dude paid careful attention to Ascanio’s life and where possible – in small ways, nurtured certain interests that he had. Later as a young man, after Ascanio had pursued medicine and turned to chemistry, Dude encouraged him to explore certain aspects of chemistry. Dude knew something about Ascanio’s family, that was largely unknown to his family. The men in his family were afflicted with heart disease and tended to live short lives. They suffered a great deal of pain and it significantly affected the quality of their lives. Dude had grown very fond of Ascanio and wanted to give him something that would help to alleviate his then unknown heart condition. Dude had already seen Asanio’s future when he first noticed him and so what he chose to do, was if you like, a fulfillment of what had already happened. At that time, Dude could see that if he intervened and guided Ascanio towards the discovery of Nitroglycerin; then one of several things could happen. Ascanio could discover Nitroglycerin and eventually use it to treat himself and alleviate much of his heart problem and the heart problems that would affect his siblings and his children. Others might later develop it for application to a broad range of heart problems. Ascanio and others might then create a range of very powerful Nitroglycerin drugs, that would greatly benefit human and animal health. Following this line of cause and effect, the discovery of Nitroglycerin would have enormous benefits for countless generations of humans and animals. There was however another equally probable scenario that could unfold. In addition to Ascanio’s discovery of Nitroglycerin and it’s eventual application to human and animal health, it could be used as an explosive and propellant. In that scenario, one Alfred Nobel could develop stable forms of Nitroglycerin that could be used to create Dynamite, Gelignite and Cordite – which could be used as powerful explosives in the construction, mining and demolition industries and could eventually play a significant role in opening up the America’s, stimulating the development of the ammunition and explosives industry and in stimulating the development of the space race. Dude could see that this path, could lead to the death of hundreds of millions of human beings, the extinction of large numbers of animal and plant species, lay the foundation for much of what today I call the lower arms of The Architecture, reshape the entire structure of the human world, lead to the development of space exploration and eventually create public and private space travel. At this point in Dude’s relationship with Ascanio, he had a choice – to continue to watch a man he loved and cared about suffer or to ease his suffering. It was that simple. As you know, he chose to ease his suffering and that choice has changed everything, for every one of us.
When you think about what Dude did, as I have done, you realize this choice was absolutely catastrophic. But like Pangloss (Gottfreid Leibnez in disguise) in Voltaire’s Candide (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candide – which incidentally is one of my favourite books), you also realize that he had to do this to create “the best of all possible worlds” for the human race.
* * *
Before I tell you a little bit about how Asanio’s discovery changed the world, let me first tell you this. Dude has told me, quite categorically, that there are countless other great benefits to be gained from Nitroglycerin but that we have yet to discover them. We have only just scratched the surface of this wonder compound. It’s greatest powers have yet to be unearthed ! And while Dude and other ETs would be the first to suggest you don’t need drugs to correct any health problem; they would also agree, that at certain times in human history, certain people can and do benefit from drug treatments.
When Ascanio discovered Nitroglycerin, he was terrified of the consequences of sharing what he had learned about it’s explosive potential. But 3 years later, Alfred Nobel’s teacher ProfessorNikolai Zinin At the Uniniversity of St Petersburg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolay_Zinin), made the mistake of showing Alfred and his father the explosive potential of Nitroglycerin (http://www.nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/biographical/articles/russia/):
“The first time I saw nitroglycerine was in the beginning of the Crimean War. Professor Zinin in St. Petersburg exhibited some to my father and me, and struck some on an anvil to show that only the part touched by the hammer exploded without spreading. His opinion was that it might become a useful substance for military purposes, if only a practical means could be devised to explode it … My father tried to explode it during the Crimean war, but completely failed to do so … My father’s later experiments with gunpowder mixed with nitroglycerine were all on a small scale.”
“Yes, Sobrero who discovered it, also discovered that it was explosive. Professor Zinin and Professor Trapp in St. Petersburg went a step further in conjecturing that it might be made useful and called the attention of my father to it, who was then engaged in making torpedos for the Russian government during the Crimean War. My father tried it, but could not get it to explode.”
The Nobel family decided then to use Nitroglycerin in their armaments. But in 1864 an explosion in one of their factories killed 5 people, including his brother Emil. Nitroglycerin was very volatile and unsuitable in it’s current form. It was then that Alfred decided to find a way to stabilize it, which he did successfully, at first by himself and then under the guidance of his father.
You’ll recall that Alfred Nobel went on in 1865 ,to form the Dynamit Nobel AG company. Within a decade, Alfred’s company had 16 explosives producing factories in 14 countries. Alfred’s company did so well, that he began mergers with many other companies and very quickly established a very wealthy and influential industrial empire. According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamit_Nobel) , Alfred was involved in the following expansions :
- 1865 Alfred Nobel & Co founded in Krümmel near Hamburg.
- 1866 United States Blasting Oil Company founded in the United States
- 1867 Nobel receives patent for dynamite
- 1871 British Dynamite Company founded in Ardeen, Scotland
- 1876 Nobel receives patents for gelignite
- 1876 Société Générale pour la Fabrication de la Dynamite founded in Paris, France
- 1876 Alfred Nobel & Co changes its name to Dynamitaktiengesellschaft (DAG)
- 1877 British Dynamite Company changes its name to Nobel’s Explosives Company
- 1880 Dynamite Nobel formed by merging Italian and Swiss companies
- 1886 Nobel-Dynamite Trust Co formed by merging DAG and the Nobel’s Explosives Company in the UK.
In 1871 Alfred apparently said, “England is a jewel worth the rest of the world. A dynamite company there would have the entire Empire as its market,” (http://www.nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/biographical/articles/lundstrom/). It is clear looking back, that Alfred had his sights set on total domination of the explosives market.
Alfred was a very savvy entrepreneur and his formation in 1886 of the Nobel-Dynamite Trust Co, created the first international company that owned shares in other companies and controlled or co-controlled their business. That idea has totally reshaped the way that businesses function in the modern world and has been the driving force behind what we think of as Economic Globalization (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_globalization).
In his life time Alfred developed Dynamite, Gelignite, Ballistite and Cordite – powerful explosives and propellants; which laid the foundation for much of the construction, mining and demolition industries
After Alfred’s death in 1896 but prior to WW1, Dynamite Nobel had become the largest producers of explosives and propellants (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propellant) in Europe. Ballistite and Cordite also became foundation of the emerging armaments and rocket industry (http://www.lr.tudelft.nl/en/organisation/departments/space-engineering/space-systems-engineering/expertise-areas/space-propulsion/design-of-elements/rocket-propellants/solids/). By the time of his death, Alfred had established 90 armaments factories.
By the time of his death, Alfred Nobel had influenced the development of explosives and propellants in America and in Europe. He had over 355 patents/inventions to his name – most of which were related to explosives , ammunition, projectiles and rockets (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Author:Alfred_Nobel / http://www.nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/biographical/patents.html ). Many of his inventions became the precursors to the arms and space race. Although he didn’t invent explosives, he vastly improved them and as a result, created explosives that paved the way for the expansion not just of continental North America but South America and many of the British, Dutch, German, Portuguese and Spanish colonies.
It’s worth noting that many of the companies that Alfred started; now have histories and entanglements associated with the worlds major manufacturers of explosives, railway materials and trains, chemicals, weapons, aircraft, educational materials, agricultural products and pharmaceuticals. They also have very close relationships with the military and finance industries.
In 1888 Alfred formulated the first double bass solid rocket propellant (https://books.google.com.au/books?id=UU3v0tbq8acC&pg=PA186&lpg=PA186&dq=propellants+Alfred+Nobel+rockets&source=bl&ots=bkL1u8gQIF&sig=Q_hXOurZwG-otgyOtrouVVa6EqU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjp2ba-nufJAhUj5qYKHckzD1kQ6AEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=propellants%20Alfred%20Nobel%20rockets&f=false / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-fuel_rocket) and this was later explored and developed by Robert Goddard in the US (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_H._Goddard). Robert is considered by many to be the father of modern rocketry. Robert was concerned that industrial/corporate support for his patents might undermine his work, so he turned to the US Army Signal Corps (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_Corps_(United_States_Army) to support what he was doing. But after the end of WW1, the Signal Corps seemed to lose faith in Robert’s vision. So between WW1 and WW2 Robert’s work on rocketry was supported by the Guggenheim family (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guggenheim_family), who saw great potential in Robert’s work.
Meanwhile in Germany, prior to WW1, certain science fiction writers were developing their own ideas about rockets and space travel. Many of these ideas, such as those of Kurd Lasswitz, who wrote one of the first science fiction stories about ships that harnessed anti-gravity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurd_Lasswitz); were pivotal catalysts in the formation of the German rocket program after WW1. Many of Germany’s armaments pioneers and early rocketeers used explosives and propellants produced by Alfred Nobel’s companies. But there were also other German inventors, influenced by Alfred’s ideas, who developed their own explosives and propellants. The first serious effort to focus on the development of rockets in Germany, began with the formation of The Society for Space Travel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verein_f%C3%BCr_Raumschiffahrt . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verein_für_Raumschiffahrt). An orgnization started by Joahannes Winkler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Winkler), Max Valier (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Valier) and Wiley Ley (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willy_Ley – who wrote Rockets – the Future of Travel Beyond the Stratosphere and Engineers Dreams) . In September 1930 the group received funding and permission from the German Army to begin test firing rockets at a local ammunition dump. Two years later at the request of Captain Walter Dornberger (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Dornberger – who would later head the V2 Rocket program), the group (which then included the young Wernher Von Braun (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun), unsuccessfully fired a rocket in front of 3 high commanded German officers, who asked for another demonstration. Wernher was in favour of the demonstration but the other members of the group disagreed with him and the group soon disbanded. German rocketry moved slowly during this time but then accelerated in the period leading up to WW2. German scientists and rocket enthusiasts became increasingly interested in Robert Goddard’s work in America.
In 1937 the Germans created the Peenemunde Army Research Centre (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peenem%C3%BCnde_Army_Research_Center), under the technical direction of Wernher von Braun. Which among other things paved the way for the development of the V- Weapons rocket program (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-weapons) and Germany’s Wonder Weapons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wunderwaffe).
Near the end of WW2, Wernher von Braun and 127 German rocket scientists (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_German_rocket_scientists_in_the_United_States) came to the US under Operation Paperclip (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip – which included the transfer of 1,500 German and other European scientists, engineers and technicians). After Operation Paperclip, US defense and industry groups integrated many of their German recruits into their best programs. The 26 year old Wernher von Braun was supposedly “bleached” of his Nazism (though there is evidence to suggest he stayed true to his NAZI ideals) and between 1950-56 he was placed in charge of the Army’s rocket development team. He brought with him knowledge of the then captured V-2 Rocket and the other V rockets and drew upon the inspirational work of Robert Goddard’s, to greatly improve rocket design. Meanwhile the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA /https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Advisory_Committee_for_Aeronautics) continued it’s work on the development of advanced aircraft and propulsion systems. As a result of his work on the Redstone Rocket, Wernher was made director of the Development Operations Division of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (which reported to NACA) – which later developed the Jupiter-C rocket and in January 1958, launched America’s first Satellite – Explorer 1. This ultimately led in part, to the transformation of NACA into NASA and shifted the focus of their work towards the development of space technologies – which were largely guided by the vision of Wernher von Braun.
At this point in the story, there is no need to go any further. You all know something about the space race and the kinds of things that NASA has been interested in. And you also know something about the development of the American aerospace industry. This story isn’t really about filling in ALL the gaps. That’s for you to do. It’s more about helping you to see some of the connections and how one thing led to another.
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In his will, Alfred Nobel’s left 94 % of his wealth US $ 186,000,000 by today’s standards) (http://www.nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/will/), to the creation of a set of international awards in 5 different categories – Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Prize). The Nobel Foundation was established after in 1900 to manage Alfred’s bequeath and it now manages assets to the value of US $560, 000, 000 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Foundation). Alfred’s brothers Ludvig and Robert also became very wealthy (thanks to Russian oil – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branobel) and his children have also done very well for themselves. The Nobel family has ties to all kinds of industries – including finance, chemical, explosives, armaments, energy, medicine, defense, pharmaceuticals, oil etc. But they also have ties to medicine, human rights, environmental conservation, helping the disadvantaged, charitable trusts and philanthropy. the Nobel family has often been compared to the Rockefeller family because like the Rockefellers, their seems to be caring family members and greedy family members. Like all families.
Alfred lived alone and unmarried for most of his life, despite having had 3 significant relationships with women. Near the end of his life Alfred met a peace activist by the name of Countess Betha Kinsky (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertha_von_Suttner), who would become for a short while, his second love. Betha was an Austrian peace activist, who had written a novel called Lay Down Your Arms, which had a significant impact on the European peace movement. She also headed the German Peace Society and edited the Peace Journal Die Waffen nieder! After she returned to her former partner, she remained in contact with Alfred and it is believed by many, that she had a major impact on Alfred’s decision to bequeath money for a set of prizes, that included one which recognized an individual had contributed to global peace. But Alfred was a very complex man, who is not easy to dissect from history. He was an avid lover of literature and dabbled in writing himself. On the Nobel Prize website (http://www.nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/biographical/articles/erlandsson/), there is this comment about his interest in writing :
“Nobel was in many respects a man of the pen: he was continuously writing letters, noting down all kinds of fanciful ideas and plans for inventions, philosophising over the origin of the cosmos and the evolution of man, discussing questions of faith and knowledge, war and peace.”
Given his interest in all things, including peace, it is possible that he felt some regret about what he had created. No less than Albert Einstein thought that Alfred may have created the Nobel Prize out of guilt (http://www.nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/biographical/articles/tagil/) to atone for what he had done :
“Alfred Nobel invented an explosive more powerful than any then known — an exceedingly effective means of destruction. To atone for this ‘accomplishment’ and to relieve his conscience, he instituted his award for the promotion of peace.”
Yet Einstein himself contributed indirectly to the development of the Atomic Bomb, by urging Teddy Roosevelt to develop the atomic bomb before the German’s did. But unlike Alfred, Albert Einstein spent much of his life dedicated to advocating peace and the creation of organizations focused on cultivating peace. Whether it was guilt that motivated Einstein to do so or just his constitution is unclear. I think, despite his contribution to the horrors of the arms race, he was at heart a deeply loving and mystical soul, who cared for the greater good.
But perhaps the real motivator for Alfred to bequeth most of his wealth for the greater good, was what others said about him. In 1891, he was accused of “high treason against France” for selling Ballistite to Italy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Nobel#Personal_life). Subsequently he moved from Paris to San Remo in Italy, later that year. In 1888, after his brother Ludvig died, a French newspaper supposedly ran an obituary – naming Alfred as the deceased Nobel brother. In it’s obituary the newspaper said,
“The Merchant of Death is Dead”
“Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.”
Alfred witnessed first hand, how people saw him before he had died and I suspect it made him feel very uncomfortable.
* * *
Alfred Nobel’s inventions changed the face of Earth, its people and it’s plant and animal species. It consolidated the total annihilation of millions of people and animals and almost all the worlds native peoples. And it laid the foundation for the development of space flight. The impact of his inventions will continue to ripple out through time and has forever changed the path of the human species. And everything that Nobel achieved, owes it’s existence to Ascanio Sobrero’s discovery of Nitroglycerin. A discovery that Dude helped him to make.
So let me tell you something important. Dude made a choice. He could have chosen not to guide Ascanio and deterred he or anyone else from discovering Nitroglycerin. And he could have continued to let Ascanio and his family suffer. But he didn’t. Here’s what he did. He consulted with the other 8 ETs who oversee the welfare of this planet and he consulted with the largest collective. He discussed the issue with Number One. And after a consensus had been reached, he chose to help Ascanio to discover Nitroglycerin. Dude’s actions were in alignment with the best possible future for humanity. Voltaire would probably agree ! But in the short term, his actions look like they have unleashed hell upon Earth. Dude wanted to help just one man that he cared about. But he saw how the discovery of Nitroglycerin would create great benefit and great suffering. He saw many potentialities and several probabilities. And I suspect he saw exactly what WOULD happen. Dude made a choice to alter our timeline (see this post on metaphors for time : https://etandi.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/perceptions-of-time-part-2-metaphors-for-describing-time/) for the greater good. This is the timeline that you and I know and the one that created us. Without Dudes intervention, history as we know it and the future as we will know it, would be completely different.
But understand this. The unfolding of humanity is always being influenced by ETs. Not just in big ways but in lots of tiny little ways. You might think that ETs influenced us in the discovery of fire and the wheel but they didn’t. Those were just accidents in our growth. But they did influence the development of the fish hook and spear tip in ancient man. Those two things really changed everything, at that point in human development.
For every ET intervention or influence, there is both a positive and a negative aspect. Just as every human idea has a positive and a negative aspect. But it’s up to us to make choices what we do with these ideas that enter our hearts and minds. It’s not up to the ETs to make these choices. It’s up to us !
We all make choices every moment and every single day of our lives. Ascanio could have chosen stay in medicine or to ignore Dude or to remained quiet about Nitroglycerin or it’s explosive potential. Nikolai Zinin could have said nothing to Alfred Nobel. Alfred Nobel, could have focused on the medical or pharmaceutical benefits of Nitroglycerin. Alfred’s father, could have chosen to give Alfred a stern warning about what he was doing. Any number of countless choices could have been made, that would have changed the path of history.
* * *
Dude didn’t think much of Alfred Nobel. He once appeared before him but he refuses to tell me what he did or said. Normally he would take someone and show them the future. But this time he did something different. I have this feeling that whatever it was, it terrified Alfred and left him an empty man. Perhaps Dude’s actions had as much to do with Alfred’s generous bequeath, as anything else.
Ultimately Dude was unable to save Ascanio but he alleviated some of his physical suffering. As Dude has continued to remind me, the greatest benefits of Nitroglycerin remain hidden before us, waiting for the right people to discover them. And ETs like Dude, continue to influence us and to develop relationships with kind hearted people.
Everything is connected to everything else and everything we do, affects everything else. Life is an never ending series of butterflies, constantly flapping their way across our existence and the development of the human species and life on this precious Earth. Every butterfly casts out it’s own butterfly moments and history itself is made of butterfly moments. You might say that ETs like Dude are simply releasing butterflies at just the right moment. Knowing where the path of every butterfly will lead. And knowing that every butterfly begets other butterfly’s.
* * *
I’ve left lots of hints through this post for you to map out the lower arms of The Architecture and to figure out just how enmeshed this structure is in the modern world. It’s up to you, to be interested enough to discover what I have discovered. Or, alternatively, you might just think this was a quaint little story and leave it at that !
You can read more on things related to this subject here :
- http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&text=Willy+Ley&search-alias=books&field-author=Willy+Ley&sort=relevancerank / https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/630103.Willy_Ley
Posted on December 20, 2015, in Dude, ET intervention, The Architecture and tagged Alfred Nobel, alien intervention, Asanio Sobrero, Dude, ET and I, ET intervention, German rocket program, interventionism, Military Industrial Complex, NACA, NASA, Nitroglycerin, Nobel family, Nobel Peace Prize, Nobel prize, Powers That Be, Robert Goddard, The Architecture, V-2, V2, Wernher Von Braun. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.