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My parents were from Kentucky as were their parents and other generations of ancestors before them. Dad was a research chemist who was instrumental in developing the bazooka (Tacoma, Washington) which was an anti-tank weapon used in WWII, in ushering in the age of plastics (Midland, Michigan), and in developing solid rocket propellants for the space age (various locations). Mother was an art major with a phenomenal ability to vizualize both stationary and moving parts in machines. She was also a great cook.
I began my career as an engineer/scientist at an early age when, playing on the floor of our basement apartment and clad only in a diaper, I found a hairpin lying upon the bare concrete. After a moment of calm deliberation, I plugged the hairpin into a nearby electrical outlet. The resulting tingle and explosive blue flame caused me to set a record for the ten yard crawl - which was the first of a number of accomplishments in track and cross country. My brilliant conclusion, when the hairpin experiment was over, was both eloquent and elegant. I voiced it to Mother who was my secretary since I was not yet able to write. Looking up at her, I stated emphatically, "It bite!" Mother, of course, realized that I had the potential to become another Benjamin Franklin. After all, I liked kites too.
I was born in Maryland and from there we moved to the state of Washington. My brother was born in New Jersey four years after me. We moved so often that we had lived in at least ten different locations from the time I was born until the time I left home at age seventeen. But there was a period of about twelve years when we remained in the same general area at homes near the city where Dad worked.
All of us were musically inclined. Dad played the piano, the organ, and the mandolin by ear. Mother played the piano, the organ, and the steel guitar by note. My brother played the guitar and the organ and later composed classical style music for his own pleasure. I was doing a bad job of playing the harmonica at age four, attempting to learn the piano at age five, learning the accordion at age thirteen, and as an adult have been enjoying various stringed instruments and types of flutes.
Airplanes were always foremost in my life in the form of reading material and model making. Flying lessons were out of the question when I was younger because of a lack of money and time. In high school, I decided that I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer who flew airplanes whenever possible. This was what influenced me to ask for an appointment to the Air Force Academy which was supposed to be starting in Denver soon.
Consequently, Dad began to teach me trigonometry because it was not available in high school then. Shortly after Christmas one year I took the prerequisite exams which were the first step in the process of competing for entry. Some months later I arrived at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver as a member of the Academy class of 1960.
The class of 1960 was the second to graduate from the Air Force Academy. We began at Lowry AFB in Denver and stayed there for two years until enough of the buildings were completed at the permanent site near Colorado Springs. Then we moved to the new site where we completed our Academy education.
The new academy was conceived, in part, as a means of breaking from both the innocuous and the constricting traditions of the Military and Naval academies. The old academies had a prescribed series of time-honored courses from which no cadet was allowed to deviate. At our new academy, Dean McDermott allowed each of us to validate a course if we could pass a test, and to take extra courses if we maintained a high enough academic average. Therefore, it was not uncommon for the brighter cadets to graduate with up to 200 semester hours of credit as opposed the 128 hours of most colleges. I graduated with only 179.75 semester hours of credit.
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One of my goals in going to a college level institution was to learn aeronautical engineering. The Air Force Academy courses were very much the same as what I would have received from Cal Tech or MIT, except that the Academy curriculum was much richer in non-engineering courses. Furthermore, there was a maximum of fifteen cadets to one instructor, allowing more personalized instruction.
One of our required courses was "Logic and Scientific Method". There was a portion of this course on "critical thinking". This did not mean the kind of "thinking" that critics use to denigrate someone's work. Instead, it was a means of examining a theory or a line of reasoning to see if it was (1) logical, (2) consistent, (3) based upon a proper foundation, (4) confirmed by other logical facts or theories, (5) created by someone who was not coerced in any manner, and (6) not created primarily to provide a profit for its creator. We also learned to compare theories or reasoning by using Occam's razor. The least complicated theory was usually the more correct theory. The theory which provided more answers than questions was usually better than the one which created more questions than answers.
The instructors at the Air Force Academy were careful to explain to us that institutions of learning in the United Stated were flawed. Those who best subscribed to and parroted the instructor's theories were the ones retained as future instructors. Professors became professors by teaching only the "traditional" way of thinking. They retained their tenure only by teaching the "traditional" way of thinking. Therefore, scientific progress has been obstructed for many years. This fact has become more and more apparent to me with the passage of time and is one of the reasons we are becoming a nation poor in educators, engineers, and credible scientists.
After graduation, I became a navigator with Military Air Transport Service
(MATS). There were no satellites or satellite positioning then,
and MATS navigators resorted to every form of navigation known
from looking at cloud and ocean wave formations to waves on the oscilloscope
part of a LORAN set. When I left MATS, I was an instructor navigator with
over 4,600 hours of flying time.
This experience taught me:
(1) to use every means at my disposal to establish a line of position,
(2) to think in terms of invisible forces to provide visible results,
(3) to choose the most logical input as opposed to the least logical,
and (4) to build a foundation, using navigational aids known to be reliable to check the reliability of questionable aids.
In early May of 1965, many of us were on temporary duty at an Air Base in France from which we were using the C-130 Hercules to collect and deliver people and cargo throughout the Middle East. Between missions, there was nothing to do but go to the movies or the library. The movies became old very quickly, and I had wanted to do some research on the nature of light, so the library became my choice for entertainment.
While doing this research, it soon became apparent that a major flaw existed in scientific thought regarding the nature of the universe in general. This flaw was so obvious that I could not understand how it could have occurred or how it could have been tolerated for so long. Further research showed why it had occurred, why it was still there, and that Einstein had known about it.
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The discovery of this flaw led to a valid understanding of the nature of matter, electromagnetism, electromagnetic radiation, time, and other questions and supposed paradoxes which still plague physics today. When I began work as an engineer with the telephone company, I was able to comprehend their electronics more quickly because of my findings, and to understand more of the consequences and corollaries of electromagnetism. As a navigator, I had discovered that those whose lives depended upon understanding light as a wave form, did not particularly care what the physicists were preaching. In the telephone company, this attitude was even more evident. It was obvious that our theoretical physicists had lost touch with reality long ago, knew very little of engineering principles, and were now in a fantasy world of their own in which they continued to build castles of sand with our tax dollars. With an attitude of superiority, they had insulated themselves from the rest of us so that no one would upset their little kingdom. They have said, and still do say, that they want to find the answers, but they mean that they want to find only those "answers" which reinforce their fantasies.
It is difficult to avoid laughing, along with a growing number of others, at the small minds in physics who are either too timid or too stupid to think on their own. But laughing will not help us to regain what we have lost. In my opinion, today Japan and India are far ahead of us in the field of physics, and before them the Germans and the Russians were superior. We have been failing in theoretical physics for many years. This is important because the theoretical physicists chart the course for the experimental physicists. So no matter how good a job the experimental physicists do, their work is seriously handicapped because they are being pointed in the wrong direction.
After the mid-1960s, it seemed a waste of time to attempt to show the physics community my theory and I let it drop. The physics community was not willing to listen. However, Mart Gibson and I met at a party in New England and Mart was very interested in what I had to say. This interest continued through the years even though we were on opposite coasts.
When I left the Air Force in late 1965, I went to work for Pacific Telephone. The intention of this company's upper management was to train me for fourteen months in their headquarters theory/trouble-shooting group and then use me as an engineering coordinator for buildings. In the theory group I learned, while working, about basic telephone theory, open wire transposition, microwave radio, wave guides, underground and birdwire cable technology, grounding and grounding systems, earth resistivity, lightning, protection, toll and exchange carrier systems, frequency stacking, pulse-code modulation, and more. I was asked to research, experiment, and write a thesis on grounding systems, and a concept of more economical grounding was proved (of course the highest levels of management refused to use the information - which was typical of them).
People have asked me why I never went back to school for a Ph.D. in physics. There were two reasons. First, I had the equivalent of master's degree from my four years at the Academy, and the equivalent of a Ph.D. in telephone theory from the phone company. Second, I felt that it would be silly to learn outmoded physics from people who were not even bright enough to see where their own field had gone wrong. It would have been very frustrating to sit quietly through a lot of classes where the instructors did not have a clue. Very likely, I would have argued excessively and been thrown out of the class.
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There is a book called Chaos which tells of the experiences of those who discovered fractal theory. There is another book called African Genesis which tells how Leakey's work was received. There is yet another book called Red Earth - White Lies which tells of the trouble involved in attempting to bring anthropology in the Americas up to date. These are a few of the examples which illustrate the roles that subjectivity and dogma play in what we call "science". Probably, the Creator would never have made so many of us so stupid unless it was done for comic entertainment. Fortunately, love does not make the world go 'round and neither do the concepts of contemporary physics.
As I recall, it was in 1974 that I first bought a simple bamboo flute at the Renaissance Faire in Navato. Most engineers dislike moving parts and complicated mechanisms because there is more to go wrong with them. When I looked at this flute, I saw a tube which was closed at one end and pierced with holes (nothing) where air could be the only moving part. Air is replaced all the time and can never wear out. The moving air would not adversely affect the tube. So I was hooked. More than ever I wanted to know how this wonderful producer of sound worked.
There were no books on flute theory at that time, and physics books only told about nodes and an air column. Most of what I could find in writing turned out to be wrong. So I began to work on flute theory and math. Flute physics at the highest level is more complex than the general physics I had begun to find in France in 1965. Furthermore, I had to do my own experiments and develop a new science from scratch. This quest lasted about 25 years. Where the basic physics of universal phenomena is a simple thing once the common denominator is acknowledged, flute physics is like electrical and aeronautical engineering combined with music theory and something very unique.
I began my flute research in about 1974 and started selling flutes in about 1976. Monty Levenson, who has done wonders in improving the shakuhachi, began to sell my first flute theory book shortly after it was published. Due to Monty, this and my later books began to find their way to flutemakers.
In the late 1980s my wife, Sherry Martin, began to nudge me toward researching and making Native American flutes. As a result, I spent some time in the California State Library archives copying dimensions of Native flutes from photos and other means. This was followed by a period in which I duplicated those flutes. What I discovered was that the flutes of the Native North Americans were technical marvels needing only some refining in the mechanism and the tuning to be consistently excellent in sound quality and ease of playing. This was when I began to write books on Native American flutes.
Joe Goure, of The House of Turquoise, asked me to start making a better and less expensive variety of Native style flutes and I followed his suggestion. My native style flutes were discovered by Mary Youngblood as the result of an "accidental" meeting caused by my wife. Mary began to use my flutes for her CD's. At this time, Mary has been the recipient of the Native American flutist of the year award for two years running as well as a number of other first-places.
More about Mary: Mary Youngblood
Jeff Calavan (co-proprietor with his wife of The Oregon Flute Store) found some of my early books through Mary and has been instrumental along with Ward Stroud in bringing them to the attention of the world. Scott Loomis (a famous Native style flutemaker) has been extremely helpful in introducing me to Native American flute enthusiasts.
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Mart Gibson, in early 1998, mentioned that it was time the unified theory was published, regardless of what the physicists were doing. Subsequently, we developed the version of the theory found today in the series of books called Behind Light's Illusion. Since the first books of the series were published, a number of very intelligent and curious people have been helping me to improve the quality of the presentation and one has placed an abbreviated version of it on the website for the class of 1960, USAFA.
As a result of all the help I have received, one can now find some truly interesting things from the books I have written. If enough people read them, there is a good chance that there will be a scientific renaissance, but I am not holding my breath and no one else should either. At best, my books can relieve a symptom (not a cause). To relieve the cause of our scientific constipation, a certain kind of course must be required for every college-level institution of learning. This new course must be at least one semester in length and must teach the students HOW to think rather than WHAT to think. Unfortunately, the mind-constricting inhibitions of our colleges and universities now are causing the United States to become a fourth-rate nation.
I realize how valuable time is today and how short an attention span many people have. Thank you for having patience, listening ability, and for taking the time to read this lengthy dissertation. You and others like you are the reason we will be able to overcome this age of enforced ignorance.
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