|By Clyde Lewis
From the Twilight Zone comes the true story of a phone booth that is in one of the most desolate places in the world. No one lives there. There is just a telephone. A man decided to call it and didn't expect an answer from the middle of nowhere and then one day it happened.
Submitted for your approval, a telephone booth. A telephone booth with shot out windows, no overhead light, and no phone book. This phone booth is located in a very desolate area of the United States, The Mojave Desert. The Phone booth is situated just 15 miles outside the interstate. Surprisingly there is a phone in the booth and the phone works. If you want to call this phone booth, the number is 760-733-9969. The phone was changed from being a rotary phone to a push button phone back in the 70's, the phone has not been serviced since. If you call the number, chances are you will hear a continuous ring. No one will answer. There is nobody there. There is no reason for this phone. It just exists. The local Phone Company keeps it operational. No one can say why. In the desolation and darkness the phone booth is just a communications outpost that sits on a dark road in the middle of nowhere. That's all. One man named Godfrey Daniels has an obsession. He calls this phone booth often. Now he has even visited this phone booth. It is a symbol of determination. His story is remarkable and opens up a very profound discussion. The discussion of communication against the odds. Calling out to someone or something that is not supposed to be at this particular place. However you know that there is that small possibility that someone or something would get that message.
Another question for you to ponder is. If you were given the number to the booth and you knew that there was a small chance of making contact with someone would you call the number? Godfrey Daniels had this dilemma. He received the number out of a fanzine for rock bands. This blew his mind and he decided to ring the number thinking that some day some one would answer the phone. He made the commitment to keep calling. He was willing to follow through with his calls for years, each time recording the calls. A typical call would begin with Godfrey giving the time and the date of the call. He would also encourage visitors to his home to do the same thing.
A month after he first tried calling, Godfrey Daniels dialed up the phone again. This time he got a busy signal. He was shocked after so many tries and getting no answers. He was stunned to hear a busy signal. Did he misdial? He dialed the number again making sure every digit was meticulously punched into the phone. Busy signal again. He then continued to hit redial on his phone. Over and over again, hoping that he could find whoever it was that was using the phone. He kept trying, and after 3 minutes his persistence paid off. The phone rang again and then there was a click. There was actually another human being's voice on the other end. He was so overwhelmed that he accidentally pulled his microphone cord out of his tape recorder. So the first moments of this historic event only linger in the mind of Godfrey. All he could say was an astonished wow, he just couldn't believe that some one answered the phone in a place where people aren't supposed to be.
It was the voice of a woman. She lived out in the desert where she mined Volcanic cinders for cinder blocks. She would occasionally use the phone to get messages while on the way to her home about 12 miles from the freeway. It was pure chance that Godfrey found her. When Godfrey had her on the phone he was asking her all kinds of questions. Why did she pick up the phone? What was its location? Was it really in the middle of nowhere? Why is there a phone out there anyway? Finally he asked the most important question her name. It was Lorene. The connection was bad but it didn't bother Godfrey he was happy that he had made contact so soon. He thought he would have to call for years before he could find someone.
To give you an idea of how remote of an area this is, Lorene mentioned to Godfrey that she was hauling drinking water to her home when she decided to pull over and make a call. The biggest city nearest to the phone booth is Las Vegas, 75miles away. In order for Lorene to have power she must use gasoline generators in order to live normally. Lorene travels 50 miles to get her mail, and parts for machinery at the mine.
Lorene answered the phone because she said that nobody calls out there. So it had to be important. She was happy that Godfrey called. She doesn't hear from many people, especially people who call the middle of nowhere from Arizona. After Godfrey hung up, he sat and wondered if he asked all the right questions. He wondered if he kept calling that he would eventually get a hold of Lorene again. The thing that is astounding is the timing, and the fact that there was a person on the other line who spoke in a language he understood.
There is at least one other place that I know of that is dark and desolate and there aren't too many people who pass through. Outer Space. However there may be someone or something passing through. At least that's what we think.
Astronomer Dr. Frank Drake came up with the Drake equation to estimate the probability of intelligent life in a given area of space, capable of communication. Using mathematics and theory Drake teamed up with Carl Sagan and came up with the probability of 100,000 to 1,000,000 extraterrestrial civilizations existing in the milkyway galaxy. This increases as science gets closer to proof of life elsewhere in the cosmos.
Using the same type of faith of Godfrey Daniels some scientists are calling outer space every day. They let the phone ring and ring and they are determined to do it for years until they have someone or something answer. It is a huge endeavor but the idea of communication is possible. I am willing to believe that if communication has not happened yet, it will, and when it does, will we be ready? What will we say? What questions do we ask? I guess I would say the same thing as Godfrey, Wow!
The story of Godfrey Daniels in an odd way, is a metaphor for the contact of extra terrestrial life. Godfrey continued calling a place that is believed to be desolate and void of any intelligent life. There is life in the desert, but no known life able to pick up a telephone to strike up a conversation. Every once in a while there is a passer by who uses the phone. In Godfrey's case someone who was passing through was already communicating with someone else, and Daniels realized that he had someone out in the middle of nowhere that he could probably communicate with.
Scientists involved with the SETI Project have been listening to the skies hoping that they would be able to find some one or something communicating out there, hoping that they could find a way to communicate with them. Sort of a cosmic phone call to ET, in the desolate reaches of space.
What if Godfrey Daniels got through to someone and he found that he couldn't communicate? What if they spoke a different language? Then what. That his why his communication with Lorene is so mind-boggling. I wouldn't know where to get those odds.
Jerry Ehman had a similar experience but on a grander scale. Back in 1977 he worked at the Big Ear Radio observatory. Jerry was looking over the digital readouts of the station and Big Ear's computer printouts, not really expecting to find anything unusual. On Aug. 15, 1977 he saw something that he wasn't expecting. What he saw, and his startled reaction would be recorded in radio astronomy textbooks and discussed by researchers to this day.
The observatory picked up an extra terrestrial signal and it was so huge it blew the figures right off the page. An excited Ehman scribbled "Wow!" on the printout. Could it be man's first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence? Ohio State University researchers weren't sure. They trained the massive scope on that part of the sky for the next month, and have returned periodically since. The signal hasn't been recorded again. And although many point to it as a possible extraterrestrial intelligence sighting, It hasn't been repeated. So Ehman thinks it wasn't extra terrestrial. He thinks that if it were an intelligent signal that it would have been sent more than once.
Technical printout of a possible Extra-terrestrial Signal now known as the WOW signal
Using the Godfrey Daniels model I really don't think nor do I recall that Godfrey ever got a hold of Lorene again on the phone however he has gone out to her house and left her a note. Besides The Big ear Observatory wasn't looking for the signal. And communication is the exchange between two parties. They dialed us up. There was no answer. The Big Ear called back 50 times and still no answer from aliens. I have called Godfrey's phone booth myself 5 times, No answer. No busy signal. Does it exist? I only have Godfrey Daniels' photos and his words. He still hasn't given up.
Is there a need for man to reach out and find out if he is all alone in the universe? Is it superstition or religion that fuels the fire of our interest? We now have the technology as rudimentary as it may seem to prove whether or not we are alone. It is obvious to me that the reason why probes are sent out, the reason why calls are made into space is because deep down people feel that there is something out there.
Godfrey Daniels I am sure was motivated to call because deep down he knew that some day someone would hear the phone ring and answer the call. He was just lucky enough to call at a time where a communication was being made elsewhere. He patiently waited to see if that person would answer the phone. I stress again, look at the astronomical odds at him even getting some one to answer and after answering being able to communicate.
With the entire budget cuts in government especially in space investigations, do you really think we are capable to monitor every inch of space? What if something appeared on a monitor like in the Jerry Ehman case, and no one was there to take the call? We need to understand that we are not always by the phone when ET makes a random call.
Another point is this. If Extra terrestrials look at us as a lower life form. Would they want to communicate? When was the last time you talked to an earthworm? A cock roach. Maybe we look like that to an alien. Have you ever had the desire to maybe attempt to communicate with an alien life form? The idea is crazy, or is it all that crazy?
People pray to a God that doesn't live on earth. This God therefore is an extra terrestrial and we don't feel at all ill at ease at the fact that we are praying or talking to an entity that we have never seen but for some reason we feel that this entity exists.
Have we ever thought of using the Hubbell space telescope as a huge picture telephone? We see these remarkable pictures come back and we stand in awe and say something or someone has to be responsible for all of this beauty in a place that is virtually dead. Or is it dead? Is the universe teaming with life? Is intelligent life passing through all the time? I would tend to think yes. It's not a crazy notion. Leave behind the myths and you get the huge possibility. Somebody is dialing our number, and we are not answering. The phone is ringing and we are letting it ring.
In Star Trek the Motion picture, The probe Voyager made a return with a message for its creator. It had found civilizations and technology all over the cosmos. It was angry because no one was there to receive the call. In another Trek story whales became extinct. When an extra terrestrial craft attempted to communicate with the whales and couldn't hear the whale's hum it also became angry and began to destroy the earth. This is a parable to teach us that maybe we have a cosmic responsibility.
Maybe we need to graduate to thinking cosmically. The next step. This is the new Millennial objective. Maybe we should not be planning our demise, we should be planning for our enlightenment and empowerment. So that when the call is made you will hear the phone ring. How can we hear the phone ring if we close our minds to the possibilities that exist beyond our universe? How can we answer the whispering voice if we are constantly fed preconceived notions and debate about nebulous theories? Is the belief in aliens a religion out to destroy Christianity? Who cares? Truth is truth. Maybe it's a part of Christianity, or any religious dogma that we have overlooked.
Can we continue to fight amongst ourselves over who is going to a postulated heaven? The debate is getting old. The truth maybe leaking through the cracks. Who is afraid of the truth? What if it all is supposed to be in the big puzzle?
It's ironic the way Christian leaders denounce alien encounters as evil. While at the same time the same groups demonstrate their wickedness and chaotic behavior, through prejudice, sneering, and ostracizing of the thousands who believe in the possibilities of a much larger equation. It's unfortunate. Why can't people be more like Godfrey Daniels?
Keeping the mind open and reaching out to what might be out there is the answer. Wisdom is for those who ask questions. Knowledge is for those who explore against the odds. The Godfrey Daniels story is not just a story of an odd obsession. It is the story of human diligence. It is a model that is an object lesson for all of us. If we are persistent like Godfrey we may find ourselves saying wow! Just remember to make sure everything is plugged in.
Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.