Aliison Park, Pennsylvania - 1965
The story which I am about to put before you is a radio script which was prepared for use on the Interplanetary Rumble Broadcasting Network. For some unknown reason it never reached the etherwaves.
Good Afternoon. Today we're going to discuss that marvel of modern machinery, without which the limitless power of the mighty Megazomes could never be controlled, the Kirmpad.
The Kirmpad was developed in the period between 1959 and 1962 by by the joint efforts of Robert Sparks, associate professor of Alchemy at the Drocer Institute of Technology in Kingsland Massachusetts and Dr. Patrick Ptarmichael, head of the Consimcalon Laboratories Research Team. The Kirmpad was an outgrowth of the, now well known, Megazome Project.
In order to help us understand the Kirmpad, let us refer briefly to the operation of the Megazome. The Megazome, as you know, generates quasi-coherent beans of electro-plasmic energy by piecemeal destruction of a carefully prepared block of metal, called a brick. The patterns of the molecular structure of this metal are superimposed on the waves.
The actual processes of disintegration and structural recording are accomplished by a Kirmpad.
The Megazome metal which, by the way, is a classified alloy of Silicon and Zekium, is stored in a cool damp place - generally at the bottom of a small river or stream - until needed.
When the Megazome is to be placed into operation, a technician, wearing hip-boots and carrying a long pole to ward off stray radiation and fish, wades into the stream and recovers the brick from the mud using a wire-mesh net. He then puts the brick in a special container which he carries on a shoulder strap. This container is called a creel and is made of the finest alligator hide to prevent the brick from becoming scratched.
The brick is then taken down the guarded elevators, escalators and step-ladders to the secret underground vault that houses the Kirmpad.
Once inside the Kirmpad chamber, the brick is placed in a sealed oven which is evacuated and filled with super-heated vinegar steam. At this time the oven box is moved by a system of ropes, pulleys and tramways to the aperture of the Megazome shaft. A steel door is closed behind the oven and, from this time on, all operations are controlled by a device called the Kirmpad Remote Control Panel.
First of all, the engineer-in-charge plugs the Kirmpad Remote Control Panel into a wall outlet to ensure that the proper operating potential of 110 Volts is applied to the Kirmpad. He then sets up the correct parameters for the day's operation on a switch panel and makes the proper adjustments to compensate for the temperature, the reflected wave characteristics of the antenna, the available electric power, the position of the moon and the price of tea in China.
Finally he activates the Master Control Breaker. This causes two complex events to occur - first: the pilot light comes on and second: a subatomic bean of micro-centramic particles slashes a zig-zag pattern acros the surface of the brick. This is called Zapping.
As the beam is bounced back and collected by Recoverers within the oven, it carries with it bits of the atomic components of the brick. These bits of matter are passed through a complex series of gates which measure their electrical charge and send this information to an Accumulator.
The pattern of charges, or Program which collects in the Accumulator represents the original structure of the material that has been zapped. This program is displayed on a series of indicatore lights on the Kirmpad Remote Control Panel.
The program is also transmitted over huge bus-bars to Distributors in the Megazome cavern.
However, our purpose today is not to discuss Megazomes, but Kirmpads.
As you can see, the Kirmpad has many possible uses besides the controlling of Megazomes. For example, the Program might be transmitted over long distances and, at the other end through a reverse-Kirmpad process, used to re-create the original brick. The end result, aamazingly, would be a form of matter transmission. But more about that later.
The Program could be recorded and played back later to produce a delayed version of the same effect.
Another possibility is the reduction of matter into a program, then the erasing of the program thereby eliminating the original matter from existence. Gyro Duhn, a graduate student at Drocer Tech, is working on that very procedure and is hoping to market a Kirmpad-based garbage disposal sometime next year.
Or. alternatively, one could reverse the process and, using some existing electrical recording as the Program, create entirely unknown forms of new matter using the reverse-Kirmpad process. There is considerable work being done by the leading men in this fascinating field. One of them is Drocer scientist Dr. George Ferdinand, who was kind enough to demonstrate the reverse-Kirmpad process for this science reporter.
We took an electrical transcription of last week's science program on Diminishers to the dilapidated old barn where Dr. Ferdinand has build a reverse-Kirmpad out of parts from junked televisions, automobiles and refrigerators. After playing our tape and having it converted into matter by the reverse-Kirmpad we had no idea what to expect. We hauled the oven box from the shielded chamber at the bottom of the well.
When we opened the door, we found an irregular lump of matter about the size of a pomegranate. It appeared to be composed of pieces of wood, plastic, steel and mud alternated with layers of fish. As you might imagine, we were both completely astounded by this almost perfect replica of an adrovdga.
In fact, so impressed was Dr. Ferdinand that he has switched all his research to the counter-plasmic relationships between Kirmpads and adrovdgas. But that, too, is another story.
I would like to conclude our program today with this interesting event described in the recent book The Lives And Times Of Stram Drocer.
In early 1961, just two years after he was banned from the campus of the university which he founded, Stram Drocer was involved in a crime which only with considerable difficulty was kept from public knowledge. This precaution was necessary due to the secret nature of the devices involved.
I refer, of course, to the theft of the Empire State Building.
It all starts one morning as Stram Drocer is driving to work. He is presently the Chief Engineer at radio station WACI in the Ubangi Swamp near Annipannistan. As he drives his Model T in to the lot and parks it, he is in his usual confused state of mind and is heard muttering to himself.
"I don't understand this place. No way to make money! No way to make money! This radio business is no good.
Aha! I have got an idea... Now, let me see... Yes, it will work. I know it will. With the help of a little hanky-panky at the station, slipping in a few plugs, I know I can make a million.
"I can see it now... 'Stram Drocer presents... the greatest... the GREATEST fireworks demonstration in quite a number of years. THE GREATEST, understand!'
Whoops! I didn't see you boys standing there."
He is refering to Herman-the-gator and Billy LaGoof, two of the station's announcers who are standiing in the doorway. Herman-the-Gator speaks.
"Well, we were standing here because it's much easier than sitting there."
"Ah, I understand." replies Stram, in a tone that shows that he doesn't.
No you don't. But we had the outside microscope on.
Yes. And we heard you talking to yourself," puts in Billy.
"I do not talk to myself!" declares Stram. "Do you think I am crazy or something?"
Billy replies as if in reference to the rumored hole in Stram's head, "That's besdie the point. Anyhow, we want to know what this fireworks business is."
What fireworks business? Are you some kind of a nut?"
No, don't try to get out of it. We heard you talking."
"Yeah. We heard you talking, Stram," adds Herman. "Cough it up! Tell us all about it."
"All right," Stram Drocer gives in, "If it will make you any happier. I am going to put on a great, spectacular fireworks display. Twenty-five dollars to get in."
"To get in?" Interrupts Herman.
"Yes. To get in!"
What do you mean, 'to get in'? All they have to do is sit over there under the tree and watch them go up.
"But that is the part I did not tell you about," explains Stram.
"What is this?"
"It is not going to be outside."
"Well, where are you going to get a building that high?" wonders Herman.
Oh, I have found a building this high."
"Yes, I have found a building very high. It is called the Empire State Building."
"Yeah, but it's got all kind of floors in it," counters Herman.
"That is very easily," says Stram, "I will remove them."
"You're going to remove the floors? That means that we'll all have to go up to New York to see your fireworks display."
"No, no. I'm going to bring the building down here."
"What!" exclaims Herman.
"Yes, I am going to bring it down here," repeats Stram.
"How are you going to do this? This ought to be something else."
"He's crazy!" throws in Billy.
"No, I am not crazy. I have invented a new machine which transforms matter into small molecules... I can make the Empire State Building one inch high. The only problem is it still weighs the same. This is my only problem - lifting a seventy-five thousand ton pebble into the truck. You realize this is how much it weighs after I have taken the floors out and mozied them. I do not need those," explains Stram in an uncommon fit of garralousness.
"Yes, well, lots of luck Stram," offers Herman.
"You will see! You will see! I'm going up there right now and I'm going to take care of everything. Goodbye."
Still muttering, Stram Drocer cranks his complaining Model T and drives off in the general direction of New York.
Nothing more was heard of Stram Drocer until, approximately twenty-four hours later, he came banging into the studio during Herman-the-Gator's program.
"I have returned!"
Herman, who is used to such interuptions and who follows the station poicy of humoring the eccentric engineer, asks him, "Well, where's the building?"
"It is out in the yard," boasts Stram. "Go look and see for yourself. You do not believe?
Herman walks over to the window and looks out. "Good grief! I don't believe it! Where'd billy LaGoof go? He'll never believe this in a million years! The Empire State Building sitting out in front of the Zeke and Charlie Hardware Store! That's hard to believe!
I told you I would do it!" crows Stram.
At this moment Billy LaGoof chances by and is invited to look out the window. "Good heavens! The Empire State Building in front of the Zeke and Charlie Hardware Store!"
"Yes. Isn't that remarkable," adds Herman.
"It's a mirage!" Billy pronounces it MEER-OJ-EE.
No, no.. It's really there." says Herman. "Notice there are no floors in it."
"Oh, that's terrible!" cries Billy. "He even took out the elevator shafts!"
"But you notice the elevators are still there," gloats Stram.
"That's very strange!"
"I am going to start advertising right now... Friends, come and see the great, fabulous, spectacular fireworks display by yours truly, the great one, Stram Drocers... In the Empire State Building in front of Zeke and Charlie's Hardware Store on Rumble Road.
"And if you do not believe it's there, look out your window. You can see it towering above the pines. It's very strange.
"We are going to have the show pretty soon now and we want everybody to come down. Everybody in the range of my voice, come on down... Only Twenty-five dollars to see a great, fabulous indoor fireworks display.
"Come one! Come all! To the great Stram Drocer fireworks display!"
A call from the New York Fuzz, that is to say - Police, caused Stram Drocer to advance the scheduled time of his fireworks display and brought about the eventual return of the, only slightly damaged, building. What actually took place in New York is not know for the authorities steadfastly refuse to admit that any theft of the kind took place.
The only additional information we have been able to uncover is the unofficial story of Robert Sparks, associate professor of Alchemy at the Drocer Institute of Technology. Professor Sarks was, at the time in question, working on the top secret Megazome Project. He was refining a device that Stram Drocer hmself had invented in one of his unexplained flashes of genius. Stram Drocer called this device a Kirmpad.
The Kirmpad was able to scan the structure of a three-dimensional object much in the same manner as a television camera scans a two-dimensional picture. The scan is converted into a series of electrical impulses which can be recorded by ordinary means and played back to reproduce the the original picture or, in the case of the Kirmpad, the original three dimensinal object.
On the morning of the day the Empire State Building turned up in the Ubangi Swamp, Professor Sparks reported that many of his spare parts were missing from the storeroom. After taking inventory of the missing equipment, he estimated that enough had been taken to build a complete Kirmpad with several attachments, the purpose of which he could not guess.
The only clue to the theft was a set of tire tracks from what must have been an antique car. These were found near a little used entrance to the underground cavern where Professor Sparks was working.
When the missing equipment was mysteriously returned the next day along with another set of the inexplicable tire tracks, the theft was dismissed as the work of an undergraduate practical joker.
There is an interesting sidelight to this story. By carefully examining the returned equipment and tracing some cables that had been made for it, Professor Sparks was able to partially reconstruct an improved type of Kirmpad that he had not suspected was possible with the parts he had available. This discovery moved work ahead on the Megazome Project by an estimated six months.
And there you have our science program for today. This is your Rumble science reporter wishing you a good afternoon and inviting you to tune in next week for more little known facts of strange science on The Rumble Science Scrapbook.