Author : TJMoore
The path to the discovery of intelligent non-human life was, for me, a life’s journey. SETI had invested billions in high tech telescopes and antenna arrays, thousands of personnel hours and miles of red tape, without a single positive result. I had done it at the cost of just over five hundred thousand dollars, twenty five years of my own life, my own sweat and tears, my family, my friends, my reputation and my respect. The last two or possibly three items I have since recovered, depending on your definition of “friends”.
It all started with the artifact. I had found an artifact that I believed to be part of a larger artifact that was lost or discarded by prehistoric visitors from another world and time. It ended with my excavation of a site that I had purchased with the proceeds from the sale of my house, my land, my entire estate and personal wealth. The excavation resulted in the discovery of a mechanical devise of unknown origin, composition or purpose. Scientists have analyzed the metal like material and have determined that nothing like it exists in the world as we know it and the material has yet to be reproduced by any known process.
The discovery site was the southern edge of a quarry where decorative marble was occasionally mined for its unusual color, transparency and high concentration of fossils. The fossils were so numerous that the strength of the stone was unacceptable for most building materials so the quarry had been dormant for many years. I had little trouble purchasing it.
I had great trouble finding it. It took years of searching through paper invoices and inventories, work schedules, logs and shipping documents. The final link was actually an artist who had ordered some slab marble for a pedestal he was commissioned to build at a museum. He had personally scouted out the stone to be cut from the quarry, deliberately choosing the brittle stone for its interesting fossils. Unfortunately, the museum changed the color scheme of the atrium and the stone was sold to a tile company to be cut into floor tiles. The tiles sat in a warehouse for several years until it was sold at auction to a wholesaler who shipped it to another warehouse where it sat for another few years. When the wholesaler went out of business, it was sold, again at auction, to a distributor who sold it to a contractor whose business was building and remodeling for small businesses. The contractor had used the tile in the restrooms of a new office building.
So we arrive at the beginning of the journey where I, sitting on the bathroom throne, caught a glimpse of something unnatural beneath the polished surface of the floor tile beneath me. It was a tiny spring with a tiny fossil passing through the coils. A spring deposited in the ancient muck when the now fossilized shellfish was still alive. A spring made millions of years before man.