Partial Interview With John Ripgnor
There was no pain and that, outside of the fact that I was ten years in the past, surprised me the most. You're here in once instant and then there in the next. It is difficult to explain if you haven't experienced it. Except for the hum of the machinery and equipment, you have absolutely no sense that anything is happening at all. No feelings of acceleration, no electric discharges. You literally are in the lab one moment and then at your destination. There is no in-between, if you can rationalize that. It is extremely disconcerting.
To tell the truth, I was initially quite apprehensive about the whole project. I mean think about it. A billion dollar initiative based on ancient tablets unearthed off the coast of the Florida peninsula? That's crazy. That's science fiction, not science. After we had sent the first equipment through and retrieved it, I became considerably less apprehensive. . .less skeptical. We sent a number of research probes across, so we had a good sense of what was occurring and where the probes were ending up. When everything functioned within parameters, the forces brought to bear on the object were really quite minimal. The data we amassed is really quite impressive. Even so, it wasn't until early 2001, after we had completed a number of animal transmissions with a nearly one hundred percent success rate, excluding the Lavalle incident of course, that we began to consider the possibility that a human could be transmitted.
The plans detailed on the Xerxe Tablets work flawlessly. There is no other way to say it. Even if we don't completely understand the science behind it. The fact of the matter is, we don't understand the science behind it. We just have some very educated guesses. So, despite the sucessful tests, I was pretty nervous standing on the "go" platform. Being the first is never easy. Especially for me, I hated being first in line in elementary school for goodness sake! And here I was, a career physicist looking at doing something that no one has ever done before, something that carried a very real risk of death or perhaps something worse. The losses were definitely in the back of my mind. I mean you try not to think of them, but they are there. The tolerances we are working within for a successful loop are unbelievably slim. Unbelievably slim....
Ahh.. But where was I? Oh, yes. There is no "transition" from the point of view of the traveler, despite what the outside lab observer might see. Literally, you go from here to there in the bat of an eye. It is like a bad cut scene in a movie. But again, outside of the fact that I had successfully gone back in time ten years, it is the absence of pain that surprised me the most. Watching the distortions caused by Van Dilgehern Effect on the animal subjects, I surmised that the travel experience must hurt. The animals... They looked like they were in agony. But they never showed any ill effects from the transmission.