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Our Forbidding Ocean World

by Kenneth W. Behrendt

As a child, I remember going to the movies one day and seeing the Walt Disney movie titled "20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea" which was based upon the Jules Verne science fiction novel by the same name from the 19th century. It is an absorbing tale of a ship that is sunk after being rammed by a mysterious sea monster. Some of the surivors from the wreck are eventually rescued by the "monster" which turns out to be a fabulous submarine built by a genius inventor.

The inventor is a man named Captain Nemo and we learn that he constructed his submarine, the "Nautilus", as a weapon to wage his one man war against the warring land governments of Earth. As the four people he rescues at sea discover, his underwater ship is actually nuclear powered (a remarkable prediction to have been made by Verne in the 19th century!). The Nautilus can travel so fast through the water that, with its heavily constructed metal hull, it is able to literally tear the hulls of wooden vessels apart and quickly sink them along with any of the weapons and ammunition that they might be carrying that enable the world's land governments to continue their warefare. Of course, in the process, most of the crews and passengers of these ships are also killed.

The Disney film, like the original novel, takes us inside the underwater realm of Nemo and we see what it might be like to actually live and work underwater. All of the comforts needed to survive in the dark depths of the world's oceans are at Nemo's disposal and he is, in fact, a kind of ruler of a kingdom that occupies about 70% of the Earth's surface. He has air, water, food and sophisticated electrical weapons that allow him to protect himself from the various gigantic creatures that also share his aquatic realm. Nemo also has access to all of the treasures ever lost at sea during shipwrecks. He is not completely independent of land, however. After completing a journey of 20,000 leagues (about 60,000 statute or nautical miles) while traveling underwater, the Nautilus must be taken back to the secret volcanic atoll in the South Pacific Ocean where it was constructed for repairs and refueling.

Much of the story revolves around the attempts by the four "guests" aboard Nemo's submarine to escape their captivity and return to their own countries. I won't spoil the ending for anybody who has not seen the Disney film or read the original book by revealing all of the details here. Let it suffice for me here to add that the character of Captain Nemo is, perhaps, one of the most fascinating in literature. He is simultaneously both hero and villain. A genius in pursuit of a peaceful world who, like the modern terrorist, has along the way somehow lost concern for the innocent lives he is taking. As a science fiction story, "20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea" is probably in the top ten ever written and well worth reading by anybody interested in science or technology. Perhaps of all the science fiction works ever created, it is truly remarkable for the detail of its accurate predictions about the future of such things as submarines and nuclear power.

Many people have probably read underwater adventure stories like the above and scoffed at the idea that Earth's oceans could harbor creatures the size of the ones Captain Nemo had to combat. They may agree that there are large whales out there, but these rarely exceed a length of about 60 feet and really are not that terrifying. They usually pose no real danger to larger surface vessels or submarines.

The sperm whale is the largest of the 32 species of whale found in the genus Physeter and males can reach lengths of 60 feet with body weights of about 50 tons. Their common name derives from a waxy substance called "spermaceti oil" that is produced by a large organ in the head of each whale. On average each adult whale carries about three tons of this material in its head. This substance was once very valuable and in the 19th and early 20th centuries found use in various cosmetic and pharmaceutical products and even candles. The material was extracted from slaughtered whales and could be processed to produce a light, white crystalline substance that was easily powdered for commercial use. The outlawing of whaling stopped the supply of this material which then caused many developed nations to hoard supplies of it. The reason was that it is also an excellent high temperature lubricant which finds use inside of nuclear reactors. Fortunately, there are now synthetic alternatives to it which perform as well or better.

Sperm whales are extremely intelligent creatures with brains that can weigh up to 20 pounds...far larger than that of a human being. They also live about as long as a human or about 70 years. The whaling industry almost hunted them to extinction, but the banning of whaling is allowing their population to increase. Currently, there are only about 200,000 of them worldwide.

There have been some recent oceanographic discoveries that have revealed a rather sinister face to the ocean depths of Earth. There is now well established evidence that the sperm whale or Physeter macrocephalus can dive to depths previously unsuspected. In fact, deep water submersible craft capable of operating at ocean depths down to almost three miles have recorded some of their whale "songs" at depths deeper than 10,000 feet! That's almost two miles straight down and, starting at that depth, one would have to stack about eight Empire State Buildings on top of each other to reach the surface of the water. The water pressure at that depth is a crushing 4,430 pounds or 2.2 TONS per square INCH!

In order to survive the enormous pressure at these depths, the whales must be doing something rather unique. At the ocean's surface, a whale would hyperventilate through the "blow hole" at the top of the front of his head (the orifice is actually a 20 inch long, S-shaped hole on the left side of the head). This action would build up a large supply of oxyhemoglobin in his blood. He would then begin his dive and, as the external air pressure began to get uncomfortable for him at a depth of, perhaps, a hundred feet or so, he would slowly begin releasing the air from his huge lungs and allow these to become flooded with sea water. Simultaneouly, he would also allow his gastrointestinal tract to fill with sea water.

As his dive continued, the water in his lungs and G.I. tract would serve to resist the enormous pressure of the sea water that surrounds his body. Thus, there would be no danger of his lungs or G.I. tract collapsing from the ambient external water pressure acting on his body. In fact, by allowing the sea water in his lungs and G.I. tract to have continuous contact with the water outside of his body (by merely keeping his blow hole and mouth open), he would feel no discomfort from pressure as the dive continued. This is due to the presence of the other fluids in his bodily tissues which, like all liquids, are relatively incompressible. So, we can expect that a whale's deep dive will result in NO internal injuries to his ribs or other internal organs.

Of course, a whale has lungs and not gills, so he will not be able to extract oxygen from the surrounding water. He will, therefore, be limited in how long he can remain at great depths by the limited amount of surface oxygen he accumulated in his blood during the hyperventilation preparation phase for his dive. Quite possibly, an average whale might, by limiting his exertion, be able to remain submerged at depth for up to an hour or so before he would need to return to the ocean's surface to reoxygenated his bodily tissues. Also, by periodically breathing out the sea water in his lungs, he would, at least, be able to remove some of the carbon dioxide that is produced by the muscular exertion of his dive.

Unlike a human skin diver who must undergo a lengthy decompression phase after a deep dive because he has been breathing COMPRESSED air containing nitrogen, a whale returning to the ocean's surface after a deep dive will require no decompression time at various intermediate depths. This is because the whale makes his dive with air in his blood that was originally at sea level pressure. At depth that air is compressed along with his other bodily fluids and merely expands again when he surfaces. This prevents its nitrogen content from forming bubbles in the whale's bloodstream that can cause the severe cramps and heart failure associated with "decompression sickness".

The big question that emerges from this evidence of whale activity at such depths is: "what would these generally docile mammals be doing down there?". The answer is rather disturbing...the whales are actually FEEDING on something at those great depths. What they are feeding on may actually be...VERY large squid!

From an energy conservation point of view, it would just be too laborious for a large whale to be chasing a few small squid around at such cold and dark depths. Rather, it seems far more likely that the whales, using their songs as a form of biological sonar known as "echolocation", are pursuing squid that may have overall body lenghts up to and even in excess of two HUNDRED feet. Such a squid would have a "head" about thirty feet long and ten or so feet wide. It's beak like teeth could easily disable or destroy a small manmade submersible vehicle and pose a challege for hungry whales that hunt them. Squid, like the octopi that they are related to, have eight tentacles each covered with two rows of suction discs. There are also two extra tentacles are specially evolved to function as whips. These extra whips, known as "feeding tentacles", each terminate in a pad that is covered with powerful suction discs, each of which is lined with sharp rings of a hard material called "chitin" which function like claws.

These giant squid, technically known as "Architeuthis dux" which means "ruling squid", are mentioned in several old Norse legends (they called them "Kraken") wherein they attack Viking long boats and have to be fought off by the crew with swords and axes. In modern times no one has ever seen one alive and the largest dead specimen to wash up on a beach was about 57 feet long. However, there are several 20th century sightings by Japanese fisherman that suggested a size of about 200 feet, but these were only anecdotal in nature.

When preparing to attack its prey, the squid will lash out its whip-like tentacles at the victim and secure a firm grip on it with them. The prey is then hauled directly toward the squid's razor sharp beak-like teeth which proceed to poison and shred the prey as it is consumed. The attack of a hungry squid is so rapid, that most of its victims will be either dead or severely injured before they know what is happening to them.

Unlike the squid, however, whales, because of their huge brains, are far more intelligent animals and they often use a team approach to accomplishing complex tasks. I can imagine that they would attack a gigant squid as a group or "pod" of three. Perhaps one the smallest of the three whales serves as bait to lure a squid out into the open.

Most of the animal life in the deeper parts of Earth's oceans have the ability to bioluminesce. That is, they can metabolically produce a kind of "cold light" that they use to identify each other and attract prey to themselves. Many species of squid also have this ability. However, since the whale being used to draw a giant squid out of its cover does not bioluminesce, we must postulate that the squid can actually visually see them. Perhaps during the daylight hours enough light reaches the gloomy depths of the ocean floor to permit a squid with dark adapted eyes to just barely make out the silhouette of a whale as he floats above the squid's position. Of course, IF the giant squid bioluminesces, the whales will have no problem seeing him. If the giant squid does not bioluminesce, then the whales will use echolocation to track him.

As the squid draws nearer to the smaller, apparently defenseless whale in preparation for the use of its whip-like grappling tentacles, it will focus all of its attention on its target and not notice the two other whales that are rapidly approaching it from opposite sides (at speeds up to 30 miles per hour). The two attacking whales may then tear out the squid's large, basketball sized eyeballs and render it blind and helpless. Without vision or sonar, the squid can only flounder about aimlessly and all three whales can then proceed to tear it to bloody shreds and consume it.

With their stomachs filled with fresh squid meat, the three whales can then begin a rapid ascent to the ocean's surface while still using the remaining oxygen carried in their bloodstreams. Again we note, that since the nitrogen gas that was originally inhaled along with this oxygen at the ocean's surface was not supplied to them at high pressure, there is no need for the whales to delay their ascent so as to allow for a decompression that rids their bloodstreams of excess nitrogen gas before it can form bubbles and cause them to experience the illness popularly known as "the bends".

Although it is only a guess, if these huge squid breed at anywhere near the rate observed for their much smaller cousins dwelling at far shallower depths, then there could be several hundred thousands or even millions of them down there!

While human researchers are just starting to explore a very small percentage of the deepest parts of Earth's oceans, there appears to be a substantial body of evidence that this realm has been of particular interest to the various extraterrestrial races that have visited our planet throughout its history. Many, many UFO sightings have occurred at sea and been reported by human witnesses aboard ships.

Sometimes reports will describe mysterious submerged lights that will follow a ship for miles only to suddenly disappear. Such cases are not that frequently mentioned nowadays, but used to be referred to as "USOs" or "Unidentified Submerged Objects" and they are a significant subcatagory of the UFO literature.

Occasionally, the water near a ship will begin to violently swirl and dance afterwhich the gleaming metallic hull of a spherical or domed disc UFO emerges just prior to the craft rising up into the sky and then streaking away at incredible velocity. Even more bizarre are the cases in which a UFO actually dives directly in the sea and submerges from view.

Many skeptics of the UFO field use such observations to deny the possibility that a real, physical object was involved in such plunges into a body of water. However, I think that they proceed from a false assumption. Namely, they assume that the UFO, if a physical object, must have had its normal mass and weight when it attempted such a maneuver.

Indeed, IF a vehicle with normal mass and weight attempted to plunge directly into the ocean, it would be destroyed upon impact with the water's surface. This would occur because the leading surface of the vehicle which first contacts the water experiences a tremendous amount of hydrodynamic drag which then rapidly decelerates the front of the vehicle. This drag is equivalent to a force pushing in the opposite direction that the craft is traveling in and the result is that the craft's own kinetic energy is mostly dissipated by crushing its superstructure against the water's surface upon impact. There are no known cases of earthly aircraft doing a "nose dive" into the ocean and surviving the impact. They are all totally destroyed upon impact and reduced to smaller pieces of debris. Most of these will sink and a few will float on the ocean's surface to eventually be carried away by currents.

If, however, the craft is MASSLESS due to the use of anti-mass field generators as I am convinced ALL genuine UFOs are, then the situation upon an impact with a massive object is very much different (the reader unfamiliar with the concept of anti-mass field generators and their use by UFOs is advised to read the author's article titled "A UFO Propulsion Primer"). In such a case, the UFO will, since it is massless, weightless, and without momentum, instantly decelerate to a dead stop upon contact with the water's surface. If the craft carries a crew, then they too will also instantly decelerate to a stop. However, lacking any momentum or kinetic energy, neither the craft nor its crew will be damaged by such an abrupt deceleration!

Of course, a massless UFO will only come to a standstill upon contacting the ocean's surface; it still needs some means of forcing its hull beneath that surface and submerging itself.

Upon reaching the water's surface, the pilot of the UFO could reduce the rate of emission of anti-mass field radiation from his craft's anti-mass field generators. This action would cause the craft to regain a portion of its normal mass and weight. This might be sufficient to cause the UFO's water tight hull to submerge. After the craft was underwater, it would then have to rely on some sort of mechanical (i.e., propellers) or, if in salt water, electromagnetic propulsion system to provide a thrust to push its once again massive hull along. Craft that do this will not be able to travel any faster than earthly submarines do underwater.

Alternately, some UFOs may continue to remain massless and weightless while underwater. It is these craft which are capable of performing the bizarre maneuver wherein they APPEAR to literally plunge directly into a body of water and quickly disappear form view as they submerge.

In these cases, the craft will invariably be using the plasmadynamic mode of propulsion to generate thrust when airborne. Basically, the craft is able to project magnetic and electric fields beyond its hull's surface from special devices called "drive units" which are concealed beneath its non-ferrous metallic hull. As anti-mass field radiation leaves the hull of the craft, it interacts with the projected magnetic fields immediately surrounding the hull's surface and is converted into a form of anti-mass field radiation that has the ability to REDUCE the normally present attractive electrostatic forces that act between electrons and the nuclei which hold them inside their individual atmospheric gas atoms.

Once this happens, the thermal energy of the air itself is sufficient to knock the loosened electrons off of their respective atoms. The result is that the layer of atmosphere immediately surrounding the UFO's hull will become highly ionized and converted into a rich boundary layer of plasma. The craft using the plasmadynamic mode of propulsion for thrust then uses its drive units to project crossed electric and magnetic fields into this surrounding layer of plasma that apply what are known as "Lorentz forces" to it. These make the ionized plasma particles flow at very high velocity AROUND the craft's hull WITHOUT touching it. This is how a massless UFO can move so rapidly through the dense lower portions of a planet's atmosphere. As the virtually massless plasma particles are forced to flow around the UFO's hull, they can emit electromagnetic radiation in the VISIBLE portion of the spectrum that is known as "cyclotron radiation". This visible radiation accounts for the amorphous glows associated with nocturnal UFOs.

With this understanding of how plasmadynamic propulsion systems operate, it is a simple matter to explain how a UFO using one for thrust can be able to survive a direct plunge into the ocean's surface a high velocity. In this maneuver, the UFO simple makes the transition from forcing highly ionized atmospheric gas particles to flow around its hull to forcing highly ionized WATER molecules to flow around its hull. Upon contacting the water's surface, water near the craft's leading surfaces will be rendered nearly massless by the craft's anti-mass field radiation emission there. This water, like air, will also be highly ionized and forced by the Lorentz forces produced by the vehicle's drive units to begin flowing AROUND the UFO's hull without touching it. Thus, the massless craft will feel no hydrodynamic drag forces acting on its hull as it enters the water's surface. The craft will slow upon contact with the water because its plasmadynamic drive units can not move the much denser water around the hull as quickly as atmospheric plasma can be moved. But this reduction in velocity will probably not be apparent to outside observers. To them, the craft will appear to make a smooth and instant plunge into the water. Because the craft is massless at all times, it has no kinetic energy and its reduction in velocity upon submerging will not damage its hull or crew in any way.

Once underwater, however, a massless UFO will have a problem that a craft with mass will not have. A craft with some or all of its normal mass can rely upon its weight to counteract the lifting force of buoyancy and keep it submerged. A massless and weightless vehicle, on the other hand, will experience a strong buoyant force acting upon its hull which will try to force it to surface. Like all submerged objects, a massless UFO's hull will be buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the volume of water displaced by its hull.

In order to remain submerged, a massless UFO will have to CONTINUOUSLY use its drive units to force water to flow from its lower hull surfaces to its upper hull surfaces. This action will create a pressure differential on the hull which will counteract its buoyancy so that the craft can remain submerged. When the craft's pilot wants to descent to greater depths, he will simply INCREASE the rate at which water below his craft is forced to flow around the hull to its upper surfaces. Ascending is achieved by merely REDUCING the flow of the boundary layer of ionized water surrounding the hull to the craft's upper surfaces. At some point the downward acting pressure differential on the UFO's hull will be less than the upper buoyant force and the UFO (which is now more properly referred to as a "USO") will begin to ascend.

As a USO reaches the surface of the water, surface witnesses will momentarily see a very strange sight. If the craft is disc shaped, witnesses will see a large "bulge" of water appear and rise up above the surface of the water. This is the boundary layer of virtually massless water that envelopes the craft's upper hull surfaces. This bulge will then break open at its center and flow outward toward the rim of the craft as its metallic hull suddenly becomes visible. As the disc-shaped craft's rim approaches the surface of the water, the drive units it contains may force water near the rim to spray upward to create a momentary fountain-like effect.

As the craft continues to rise, all of the water that surrounded its previously submerged hull will fall back into the sea. The pilot can then REVERSE the directions that his craft's rim drive units force ionized atoms and molecules to flow and this action will then apply Lorentz forces to the atmospheric plasma formed on the craft's upper hull surfaces to begin making it flow around the hull to the now airborne UFO's lower hull surfaces. As the craft rises into the sky, its other drive units will be brought into operation to allow it to engage in lateral flight.

Although it is more difficult to keep a massless USO underwater than a massive one, there are some distinct advantages that massless USOs have over massive USOs. Mainly, the massless USO can travel MUCH faster underwater than a massive USO. Since water is about 1000 times denser than air, we can roughly expect a plasmadynamically driven massless UFO to be able to achieve about 1/1000th of its maximum airborne velocity when it operates underwater and becomes a USO. So, if such a craft could achieve a maximum velocity of 10,000 miles per hour while airborne, then we can expect it to able to move about 100 miles per hour while underwater. This is a very rapid when compared to the motion of such objects as earthly submarines. Also, while underwater, a massless USO may cause the ionized water it forces around its hull to emit visible cyclotron radiation so that these craft can glow while submerged.

A USO, whether massless or massive, will still have to contend with the problem of increasing water pressure as it descends to greater depths. This will require an external hull which is not only water tight, but also capable of withstanding the increase in external pressure during a deep dive. Since most UFOs use metallic hulls that may be an inch or more in thickness, we can expect them to be able to readily descend to the depths most earthly submarines can achieve. This would be in the range of 1000 to about 2000 feet. Beyond that depth, a disc-shaped craft becomes difficult to reinforce against external water pressure and the use of cylindrical and spherical vehicles provide a structurally stronger and more reliable design. To reach depths in the 10,000 to 20,000 foot range will require the use of a spherical hull and it will have to have a thickness of a foot or more like the metal spheres used on earthly bathyspheres and bathyscaphs.

One can imagine that the extraterrestrial visitors to our planet have conducted a complete survey of our oceans and the life they contain. Exploring the deepest oceanic trenches that drop to depths of four miles or more, they have, no doubt, noted the huge variety of life down there. Occasionally, one of their USOs may be subject to attack by some gigantic form of sea life such as the huge squid described previously. Like the fictional Nautilus submarine of Captain Nemo, it would seem that the best way to defend their craft would be to use an electrical defense system. As a giant squid attempted to consume a spherical USO, the submerged craft would be able to electrify various sections of its hull and, thereby, deliver a voltage of tens of thousands of volts into the tentacles of the attacker. This voltage would not, of course, be intended to kill the squid, but, rather, merely to force it to immediately release the USO and jet propel itself away in terror.

The physical capturing of a 200 foot long squid would probably not be of interest to visiting ufonauts although such a task is technically possible. They would probably be content to merely record images of the creature from a distance. However, it is entirely conceivable they might capture smaller bioluminescent sea organisms to study and return to their home worlds for display. It might even rarely be the case that they transplant various species of fauna and flora from other planets into OUR oceans to see if they can adapt to a new environent. Such occasional transplants might account for the recent discovery of various plants that have been found in active underwater volcanoes and which are able to feed off of the various toxic gases escaping there. Since there are no other plants on Earth with this ability, many have speculated that these very unique plants may have been brought to our planet aboard meteorites or comets. Of course, they could also have been accidentally or deliberately released by extraterrestrial visitors.

Alien exploration of Earth's oceans is also probably not limited to their examination of aquatic organisms and geological features. The cover of water can provide extraterrestrials with a perfect opportunity to examine some of the technological products of humanity that lie rusting out on the sea floor. Sunken ships, submarines, and the wreckage of ditched airplanes are there for their close inspection. Ufonauts could directly enter these wrecks and gain an in-depth knowledge of Earth's technology from many periods in our history. Or, they could use remote probes (miniature USOs) to explore and analyze the scattered debris of our fragile technology.

Finally, we must consider what interactions can occur when extraterrestrials encounter single ships in the middle of our oceans.

In most cases, the UFO will merely examine the our vessel and then be on its way. Occasionally, a UFO will hover close enough to a ship to cause its lighting to dim and engine to fail. This effect is known as the "EM Effect" in ufology and is apparently due to an enhancement of the Edison Effect inside the evacuated glass envelopes of incandescent lamps and the creation of electrically conductive plasmas near the high voltage ignition systems of internal combustion engines. As in the case of the generation of a rich plasma immediately surrounding the hull of a UFO which is then used to produce a UFO's propulsive thrust, the EM Effects are the result of anti-mass field radiation from an airborne, massless UFO interacting with the magnetic fields found inside incandescent lamps and engine compartments. As in the case of such failures induced in automobiles, the effects are temporary and quickly diminish after the UFO departs the scene.

On rare occasion, however, a UFO at sea may have a more intimate interaction with the crews of small earthly sailing vessels. If the interaction occurs at night, those crew members on the ship's night watch may be abducted and given medical examinations while other crew members are unaware or asleep. Because of the desolate situation of an earthly ship at sea, this is a unique opportunity for extraterrestrials to examine human beings without the fear of discovery and interference.

Finally, we must consider another bizarre phenomenon that there seems to be some support for in the literature devoted to the mysteries of Earth's oceans. I am here referring to the many cases on record of ships which have been found drifting aimlessly about on the open seas which have been abandoned by their crews. Often another ship will arrive on the scene and send a boarding party to inspect the deserted vessel. In many cases the abandoned ship's mess or dining area will have meals left out that are still warm! The vessel's cargo is intact and one or more lifeboats are missing. Yet, a scan of the ocean's horizon in all directions shows nothing. The impression the boarding parties get in these cases is that the abandoned ship's crew left in hurry, but the reasons are unknown.

It would seem that in these cases of mysterious crew disappearances at sea that the crew was airlifted off of the abandoned ship. Since many of these cases occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries, the possibility of earthly aircraft being responsible is eliminated. One is therefore forced to the conclusion that the missing crews of these ships were abducted by extraterrestrials who had no intention of returning them!

Such abductions of whole crews consisting of a dozen or more humans can only have one implication. Just as our extraterrestrial visitors transplant lower life forms between planets to study how they adapt to new environments, so too they must occasionally transplant higher lifeforms between different worlds to observe how they also adapt to a new environment. The humans taken from our ships at sea were probably taken to Earth-like planets in other star systems of our galaxy to determine how well our species can adapt to a new environment. Quite possibly, to eliminate the psychological trauma of such a transplant, the long term memories of the humans abducted would be erased by the use of various drugs. This process would, most unfortunately, probably also erase any technical expertise that each human had acquired during his lifetime on Earth, but his basic ability to acquire new skills would still be intact.

On their new world, the human abductees would form a simple society and pool their abilities to ensure their mutual survival. The introduction of female humans would allow for population growth and continuing technical progress. Perhaps humanoids from other none spacefaring cultures similar to that of Earth would also be deposited on the host world to see how they developed and interacted with the humans there. In time, an entire planetary culture composed of transplanted humanoids could be constructed. As their biological sciences developed, they would eventually realize that their civilization was not a natural one, but rather one that had been artificially created.

Such an experiment might seem to be a cruel one, but, perhaps, the extraterrestrials who perform these types of abductions go out of their way to find humans who have the least social attachments on their home worlds. The aliens would seek out solitary individuals located in desolate areas such as the surfaces of oceans. These people would be excellent physical specimens in terms of their health and they would have to be intelligent enough to have acquired the skills needed to survive in a hazardous environment. In short, they would be ideal for a interstellar environmental transplant experiment.

I can only imagine and hope that the knowledge gained from such experiments is, eventually, put to good use when it is applied to help the most primitive of humanoid beings survive to develop their own independent planetary cultures...

(Note: this article completed December 31st, 2004)