Still Picking up the Pieces

Leonard G. Cramp. The Cosmic Matrix: Piece for a Jigsaw, Part Two - Antigravity, Starships and Unlimited Clean Energy. Adventures Unlimited Press, 1999.

Every so often the murky waters of Loch Ufology are disturbed as there arises from unhallowed, truly coelocanthic depths, some prehistoric survivor, believed extinct aeons ago Such is this book by Leonard Cramp who, if you had asked me, I would have guessed had died about twenty years ago. No, old ufologists don't die, they just find loony publishers to produce their books.

Cramp was a figure in British ufology in the 1950s and 1960s. His first book was published in 1954, when our OAP associate editor was but a stripling youth, and his second, Piece for a Jigsaw, was the subject of a critical review in our own prehistoric predecessor, MUFORG Bulletin, back in 1966, by our then science editor Alan Sharp. Cramp was also the centre of a huge row in BUFORA that year, in which members of the Cambridge University UFO group tried to have him removed as vice-president of the association for his 'pseudo scientific antigravity flying saucer propulsion theories'. This led to the members of CUGIUFO to be denounced as 'white-coated young godlings of the laboratory' by BUFORA officials, choosing cranks over scientists.

To call this book pseudoscience would be gratuitously insulting - to the majority of pseudo scientists that is, for most pseudoscientists try to sound like modern scientists, and liberally (mis)quote relativity and quantum mechanics. Cramp does nothing of the sort, his physics, the 'Unity of Creation Theory' of Anthony Avenal bears no relationship to modern (i.e. 20th century) science at all, indeed it is not just pre-Heisenberg or Einstein, it is pre-Clerk-Maxwell, harping back perhaps to Michael Faraday in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Cramp is a classical crank, in that he is not the pioneer of some radical new idea, but the proponent of ideas long abandoned by the scientific mainstream. There are the usual secondary symptoms, the personal history, almost taking pride in lack of scientific education, the constant refrain that soon the hard cruel world will have to listen to him, the idea that because he cannot understand the mathematical complexities of modern science it must be wrong, right down to such minor, but telling, symptoms such as quoting from Jeans and Eddington.

Lovers of nostalgia will be delighted to see that Cramp is still persisting with his orthogonal projections of the Adamski and Derbyshire photographs. -- Peter Rogerson, from Magonia 72, October 2000.

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