The History of Biometal Warfare:
Jon Beardsly, Unknown Pioneer
Hbw front
Date: 1999

Transcript Edit

Introduction Edit

The purpose of this site is to prove to the world that my grandfather, Jonathan Beardsly of Winchester, England, was not crazy, as people claimed, but was actually one of the great scientific minds of this century. His discoveries in the fields of astrophysics and space exploration built the foundation for the space programs of all the great nations. He was a man who was far ahead of his time. But like so many people whose only aim is to advance the cause of science and better the lives of people on earth, he was unable to combat the greed and power-lust of black-hearted politicians and generals who could only see darker purposes in his wonderful discoveries. They stole his work, harnessed it to their own twisted, secret agendas, and wrote him right out the history books. My grandfather foresaw the terrible future that could be brought about through the misuse of the knowledge he had shared and sought to warn the world's governments. But instead of showing gratitude, they publicly ridiculed him, all the while knowing that he was telling the truth. When he was old he once said to me, "I used to believe they were going to try to kill me, but now I realize that was only wishful thinking." He died in 1975 a bitter, broken man, yet throughout the many years of frustration and public scorn that he endured, he never recanted - never stopped trying to show people the truth: that the world's superpowers had been in space for decades, that he had discovered the substance that had made it possible, and that he, Jonathan Beardsly, had been the first human to ever leave the earth.

A Man of Ideas Edit

My grandfather was born in Oxford in 1899 to a family of pig farmers. Despite their poverty, his parents understood the importance of education and made sure that he received the best they could afford. In school he showed such remarkable aptitude in the sciences that he received a scholarship to attend a top secondary academy. He later studied astronomy and physics at the leading universities in the country and won several prestigious academic prizes, including the Harvey Fort prize for physics in 1923. In 1928 he was offered a position with a secret government think tank that was headquartered in Truro in Cornwall (the modern government denies this organization existed, but I am convinced it did.) This group comprised some of the brightest scientific theorists in Europe, and many evenings were spent by the fireplace in the great, old house where they met arguing over fantastic and imaginative new ideas. Many of these ideas were revolutionary, and some were flatly outlandish. Those who made the most preposterous claims were often called upon to offer evidence to support them. Occasionally, bets were even made. One of these bets involved my grandfather.

Bmh prologue house

Van Haal's large house was destroyed along with the rest of Rotterdam in the German bombing of the city during WWII.

Piet Van Haal, the great Dutch geologist, regularly ridiculed my grandfather for his ideas about the moon. 'Green Cheese' ideas he called them. It seems that my grandfather believed that the surface of the moon was dotted with small geysers. (He was later shown to be correct.) "I suppose that next you and Mr. Percival Lowell will sit down and start working out radio messages to send to the Martians," Van Haal would say."I can prove I'm right," insisted my grandfather, "and I'll build a spacecraft and go to the moon and bring back evidence." Van Haal roared with laughter. "Yes, perhaps you could bring back a cup of geyser juice and a wedge of green moon cheddar! A spacecraft to the moon indeed - you are mad, sir." My grandfather would not back down. "What would you bet me that I can get to the moon and back in a space ship?" he asked. Van Haal grinned and raised one eyebrow, "You have always seemed to admire my house in Rotterdam," offered Van Haal, "come back to me from the moon with a rock from the lunar surface and a vial of liquid from one of your geysers and the whole place is yours."

My grandfather's other colleagues all smiled and chuckled. "Such a journey would take months," they said, "and besides, how would you get there - or get back for that matter?" These were perplexing dilemmas, but my grandfather was determined to at least try to figure out a way it could be done. He had already been working on some theories involving the idea of harnessing the energy released when two atoms became fused together, but it would take a lot of additional experimentation to work out the details and develop an engine. The other major obstacle would be money. At first he petitioned the government for funding to research his idea, and for a time they seemed receptive. But as economic conditions in Europe and the Americas worsened, it seemed less and less likely that he would get the backing he needed. Year after year he was put off with smiles and promises. By the Spring of 1935, he finally resolved to begin looking to other potential sponsors. But here he also met with frustration, and after a year and a half of unsuccessful attempts at securing private backing, he was on the brink of giving up. Then a remarkable thing happened. A chance meeting with German industrialist Erich Von Feudler in a Vienna coffeehouse turned into a pledge of support from the government of Germany and from an energetic German politician named Adolph Hitler.

As a girl I remember asking my grandfather what he thought of Hitler (he was the only person I ever knew who actually met him.) "I knew little of politics in those days," recalled my grandfather, "I was much more likely to be found reading a science journal than a newspaper. I certainly understood nothing about the overall aims of the Nazis. They seemed very interested in my research, however, and that was a welcome change from the years of rebuffs I had received from the British government. Hitler himself appeared agreeable enough, and enthusiastic, but there was one thing that struck me a little cold even then. I remember that everyone in that room seemed absolutely terrified of him." My grandfather was soon awarded a modest grant and assigned a small staff of German engineers. It appeared at that moment that perhaps his years of hard work might not have been wasted after all.

A Dream Realised Edit

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A sketch made by one of the German engineers of the launch of the Excelsior

Spring of 1937 found my grandfather packing up for the journey to the east coast of Greenland where the Germans, unbeknownst to the Danish government, had set up a secret research station. He and his little team spent the next three years in the frigid environs of that arctic island putting together the world's first "ice-fusion" engine. My grandfather explained to me years later that, "Ice was the one thing I could think of that I could keep reusing in outer space. I had a pretty good notion that it would be cold out there, and let me tell you - it was." After the first two years, the shipbuilding firm Henkel and Hartbaum was brought in to begin assembling the "carriage" of the spacecraft. They used scrap material from old, decommissioned ships and other vehicles from the Great War. The ship that my grandfather had designed was to have been large enough to accommodate both himself and two assistants, but as the third year of development came to a close, it became clear that he had miscalculated the cost of his project. He would need more money to finish. In the mean time, German attentions had shifted to the expanding new war on the European continent and additional funding would not be forthcoming. The finished spacecraft, therefore, had room for a crew of only one. It was shaped like a slightly flattened sphere sitting atop an overturned porridge bowl and had a vast array of antennae and lenses protruding out the top. My grandfather made sure that in addition to his huge tanks of air and all of his supplies of food and water that he had also made room to carry a tin of biscuits and several bottles of his favorite India pale ale: "something to share in case I ran into any moon-men," he later said to me with a wink.

On 14 March, 1940, the "Excelsior", powered by the revolutionary Beardsly Ice-Fusion Engine, blasted off from the coast of Greenland in a great burst of blue light. It was the last day that Jonathan Beardsly would be seen on earth for over a year.

Triumph and Betrayal Edit

The next part of the story is shrouded in mystery. My grandfather was always irritatingly vague about the details of his journey. "It was beautiful," he said, "the light, the shadows - such great contrast. Everything was so sharp. We walk in a haze down here, my dear. Everywhere you go people are clouded with fear and doubts. Up there, though, up there everything makes sense. I understood myself completely for the first time - who I was and my place in creation." My grandfather told me that he took a number of photographs of space and the surface of the moon, "but none of them came out. The camera must have been damaged during re-entry." In fact the only real souvenir he brought back was a small stone, about the size of an overcoat button. But this was no ordinary stone. My grandfather called it the 'gelstone', and it was unbelievably heavy for its size. I was allowed to hold it several times. "I had a bigger one," my grandfather explained, "but it was lost during the war." The remaining small stone was lost as well in 1969 when my grandfather's house was burglarized. "I don't know why they would want it now," he commented at the time, "I'm sure they've got all they need at this point." I was later to discover that this stone was a sample of what top U.S. intelligence agents called 'bio-metal', and it was for the sake of this substance that my grandfather's life was cruelly wrecked.

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Field Marshal Rommel from the famous painting by James Dietz

It seems that my grandfather rather suddenly reappeared in North Africa in September of 1941. At the time most of the region was under control of the German army's Afrika Corps. My grandfather was picked up in Khartoum, briefly questioned, and then brought before the German commander, Field Marshal Irwin Rommel. It is unclear what my grandfather said to Rommel (he never told me), but whatever it was, it earned him an express ticket back to Berlin and a second audience with Hitler himself. According to my grandfather, Hitler was unimpressed with his account of his adventures until he pulled from his pocket a small gray lump of rock - similar to the one I played with on his dining room floor years later. Hitler was instantly fascinated with the object. After my grandfather explained what could be done with it and that he knew where a lot more could be obtained, he was immediately set to work planning out a second expedition - this time with whatever funding he needed. My grandfather at once started work on designs for a new spacecraft. He also began managing a team of top German cartographers and draftsmen who began drawing out maps of the moon's surface based on a combination of the latest earth-based telescopic observations and my grandfather's recollections from his earlier trip.

"It was a strange time," my grandfather later explained, "on the one hand I was ecstatic about my new opportunities for exploring the universe, but it was difficult for me at the time to discern the Germans' priorities. The gelstones were certainly interesting, but it was the thrill of sailing the uncharted seas of stars that inspired me. The Germans seemed to place most of their energy behind developing those maps - the maps that marked the places where I found gelstones. 'We will worry about the rest later,' they explained. It was several months before I found out what they really had in mind."

It was in fact the week after the maps were finished that my grandfather's life was, in many ways, suddenly destroyed. It was Monday, April 13, 1943. He walked up the steel back steps of the secret research lab where he had been working for the last six months and was surprised to find the door unlocked. As he opened the door, what he saw stunned him. The entire second floor was completely empty. The cartographers were gone, the desks, the chairs, the typewriters, telephones. His maps, too, were gone. In fact, the only thing there was a small yellow envelope on the floor where his desk had been. "Open it", said a voice from behind him. He turned to see a dour looking man in a black topcoat standing in the corner behind the door. He had seen the man in the building before, but never really stopped to consider who he was. My grandfather had heard about the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police, and the cold, dark purposefulness gleaming in the eyes of the man who now stood across from him suggested what his role must be. "Open it," repeated the agent evenly and then, with a faint smile, "it is for you." Terrified, my grandfather gingerly opened the envelope. It contained nothing except a small, red tablet. "Eat it," said the agent. My grandfather hesitated. At first the agent did nothing other than stare at my grandfather. He blinked once, and then agin. "Eat it," he finallly repeated, pulling a Luger from under his coat. My grandfather reached into the envelope with his shaking thumb and forefinger and carefully extracted the tablet. He gazed at it for a moment, slowly turning it over and over just a couple of inches from his face. The Gestapo agent still held the Luger, steadily pointing it at my grandfather's head. "I can get you a glass of water if you like."

"The next thing I knew," continued my grandfather, "I was on the beach in Dover with a terrible headache." Three fishermen had found him adrift on a crude raft, unconscious, and pulled him in. My grandfather was only too happy to be taken to the British intelligence agency. A group of people there questioned him for several days, but laughed when he told of his journey to the moon. He of course was hesitant to mention anything about his work with the Germans, but finally decided it was his patriotic duty to come clean. "I let ambition get in the way of my judgement," he said, "and for that I deserve to be branded a fool, and perhaps even a traitor, but now I think I understand what this was all about. They're putting together a program that will allow them to carry their war into space. Time is of the essence, sirs. We've got to stop them before they discover the ultimate potential of the moon-stone metal material!" There was a protracted silence. The group of men in the room glanced around at each other. My grandfather's inquisitor winked at the man sitting next to him, then smiled and turned to my grandfather. "Well now Mr….Beardsly? Yes, Mr. Beardsly, in the future, do try to be more careful about getting into rocket ships and that sort of thing. There is a war on you know, and there's just no telling where you might end up. You're free to go."

My grandfather was crestfallen. They didn't believe him. This was an even bigger blow than his betrayal at the hands of the Germans. Despite several months of repeated visits to the defense ministry, he couldn't find anyone who would talk to him. He took out several ads in the London Times. He tried again and again, without success, to contact officials in the American embassy. He even attempted to to convince the office receptionist of Winston Churchill. No one would listen. Old friends from the scientific community spurned him. Finally, in despair, he returned to Oxford and sat in his elderly mother's house, eating his war rations and waiting for the inevitable victory of Hitler's Germany.

Aftermath Edit

It is strange, then, that the announcement of Germany's surrender hardly fazed my grandfather. "Most people had no idea that the war could still be going on - in space. But I knew. I also knew that if the Americans or Russians found any of my work as they roared through Germany, the lab records and the moon-rock sample, there would be two more potential combatants up there. The German development of rockets late in war soon became common knowledge, but only I knew what the rocket program was really for." Of course, the Russians and Americans did find records, but were unable to begin building spacecraft based on the designs they discovered because they had no access to the material they started calling 'biometal'. That changed in 1952 when the meteors landed in the Bering Strait. Why did the Russians and Americans rush to investigate? Mere scientific curiosity? No. They had read my grandfather's notes in which he theorized that the biometal he found on the moon was probably there as a result of a meteor shower - and that a similar meteor shower could potentially deposit biometal on earth. Those Russian and American scientists didn't just happen to discover biometal in that rocky meteor debris - they were looking for it. "All my fault," moaned my grandfather shortly before his death, "I was foolish, and now they won't even let me take the blame for what I did." My grandfather died in April of 1975, and with him so much that will never be known. The rest is left for history. A secret history, but history just the same.

Gallery Edit

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