Perhaps the best way to introduce this book is to recall the first encounter I had
with Colonel Bonaventure in the Bell Mountain Wilderness. The Bell Mountain Wilderness is a large area of parks and forest preservation, 9,027 acres in all, as designated by the 96th US Congress in 1980. Located in the St. Francois Mountains of the Potosi-Frederickstown
Ranger District of Mark Twain National Forest, Bell Mountain is the seventh highest peak in Missouri, with an elevation of more than 1700 feet. There is a connection to the Ozark
Trail, and the backcountry is a popular yet uncrowded destination for sportsmen and mountain hikers to enjoy the great outdoors.
Per accident of fortune, I discovered the "Bell
Mountain Lighted Driving Range and Par 3 Course", not far from Widgeon Ford, while working as a graduate assistant at Sylvester College.
As an undergraduate I played golf at L.S.U.,
and was there hitting a 5 iron from a bucket of balls, when I heard someone haw and ask in an almost theatrical voice, "so ... when are you going on tour"? There was a funny sound in his voice, but it seemed that he was being only kind of smart. When I looked
over to see where he was, I saw that he had a handlebar mustache, and looked like an actor out of a car and boating insurance commercial.
"I don't know" I said. "Maybe in a few
more moons, when the game's a little bit more on the mark."
"Yeah, buddy, drive for show and putt for dough. That's the ticket," he said, and returned to his practice, where he
seemed to be of a low and seasoned handicap.
I hit a few more shots, working on my draw, and it was then, as I watched one of the golf balls land in the distance, that I noticed
that a full moon had just appeared, where it had not been only a few moments before. It was perhaps a little strange. I had just mentioned the moon and then suddenly there it was barely floating over the October trees, and it looked so close to Earth that
it was indeed a surprise.
At that hour when it was hovering low over the mountain driving range, like an eye in the sky, it seemed unusually luminous and mysterious. It was burnt
orange and created a scene where one could practice hitting golf balls at an autumn moon that looked like the great pumpkin lantern for Halloween. Charlie Brown would have been impressed.
kept practicing with the 5 iron, aiming at the moon, since it was looming only yards behind the 180 marker, and almost eerie. "That's an eerie looking Harvest Moon," I said out loud.
a little bit", the fellow said, looking at it. "It could be the end of the world like that. Count Dracula and the pyramids of Apocalypto".
After he hit another crisp shot, he was
smiling like a real estate agent, and added, "actually though, that's not the Harvest Moon. That was in September. That's a sanguine moon. They also call it the Hunter's Moon. It's the full moon after the Harvest Moon."
At that time, I did not know much about the moon or astronomy at all, but it was a peaceful evening, and it was then that I would begin to notice the first inkling of the astro-weather and geocentrism, et cetera.
"Do you know which way the moon goes?" the Colonel asked, being sort of jocular.
He did seem like he could
be a joker, and I was not sure what he meant, so I said, "it goes up". I pointed up and said, "it goes that way, for sure." It was a vague answer, but that was about what I knew.
goes from east to west across the sky. It will go up and over, around that way, along the ecliptic, and then set in the west.” He pointed in the direction of the west. “It always is going clockwise around the earth, when viewed from above the North
"Oh, yes,that's interesting", I said.
"Do you know what that means?" he asked.
"No", I answered. "what does it mean?"
"It means that the earth is not moving, of course, as you can
tell, and that the sun orbits the earth. The sun and the moon and the stars are all orbiting the earth, and the earth is stationary in space."
After a little practice, the moon
climbed up a little higher, and the fellow pointed out a bright star underneath the moon, and that it was Jupiter. A sign of kings, it turns out, and there was a conjunction of Jupiter and the full Moon in Taurus. He explained that the moon was rising only
about two or three degrees ahead of Jupiter; but tomorrow it would fall behind by about 10 degrees or so; and it would also wane almost less than the slightest amount, losing the slimmest noticeable roundness from the top, etc.
In fact, most people would not be able to tell any difference, and he added that "most people do not even know which way the Moon goes, or understand the phases, although they have been living on Earth their whole lives".
He observed that Jupiter was going a little retrograde, and explained further what an “orb” meant, and that with such a close orb of only a few degrees that was also a conjunction.
Could be spooky stuff it seemed, astral mysteries over a golf course, and between Jupiter and the moon the sign would continue for about twenty-four hours, as any conjunction like that does, because the moon is slower in its route around the Earth than the
other planets and stars.
The fellow was enjoying his practice, drinking a beer and smoking a cigar. "Vir sapiens evalescet astra, a wise man will dominate the stars" he said on a puff of smoke and alcohol.
Interpreted this would mean that with good sense people can exercise free
will, and with confidence of some good end. That was St. Albert the Great's opinion in "Speculum Astronomiae", the Mirror of Astronomy.
"Audiens sapiens sapientior erit, et intellegens
gubernacula possidebit. A wise man shall hear and shall be wiser: and he that understandeth shall possess governments."(1)
Besides his peculiarity of speaking Latin, I wondered
whether he was not crazy or ignorant of physics when he had said that the sun orbited the earth.
Did he live in a cave? Was he from the "Flat Earth Society"? Yet it seemed that
he was for real.
I talked to him again at the "Bell Mountain Lighted Driving Range and Par 3 Course", when he was there on Tuesday's for the 7:00 pm skins game, and found that he
was unbiased to anything worth knowing. His broad forehead appeared made for thinking, and it seemed also at times to be the seat of some impenetrable joy. I heard more of his scientific ideas as the occasion merited, and learned that he was a retired Air
Force Colonel, and a scholarly sort, of some research and wise counsel, and also sometimes a fully loaded conspiratologist. Among other things, he maintained that NASA had never landed any man on the Moon, nor any rover on Mars, and that all their deep space
missions "were billion dollar'd Judeo-Masonic frauds", as he called them, and egregious hoaxes.
He would quote Aeschylus that "one who is just of his own free will shall not lack
for happiness, and will never come to utter ruin", and somehow from him it did not sound too awkward.
"The power is his, the regiment of stars,
He holds the world enfisted like a nut,
And laughter wreathes his face eternally."(2)
But something simple and beatific like that is not for NASA that makes fake trips to outer space at the cost of billions.
Low Earth orbit is one thing, and the
Moon is another, and Colonel Bonaventure knew more Latin and was more pregnant with intelligence than anybody I had seen. He had many recollected sayings, like "ab amicis honesta petamus, adhuc quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Let us seek honesty from friends,
yet who will guard the watchmen?
So it goes. O tempora! O mores! Civitas perfidiam non sustinere potest. O the times, the customs. The state cannot survive treason. Treason
is like a scam, "yet society must go on, I suppose, and society can only exist if the normal, if the virtuous, and the slightly deceitful flourish, and if the passionate, the headstrong, and the too-truthful are condemned to suicide and to madness."(3)
Since I was playing golf for recreation only, not money or ambition, and was a mere student instructor and graduate assistant at Sylvester College, in Widgeon Ford, also near Irondale and
Belgrade, I asked him that he would send along some of his ideas and research about the universe. Snail mail or e-mail.
He agreed and was surprised to learn about Sylvester College,
since he had never heard of it, but when I told him more about it, he said it sounded like a good school. "I would have imagined it would be hard to miss a college campus in Widgeon Ford", he said, “but I’m not a spy, of course. And I don't get
around too much. It must be situated back in the woods, an obscure side of the mountain, or the students must be studying the books, because I haven't seen any of them, even at the 7-Eleven in Potosi."
"Is it a religious school"? he asked.
Although not a cloister, Sylvester College is a religious school, a small Catholic college that some say has its name after
Sylvester the cat of the cartoons, or because the place is almost lost in the woods. While it may be somewhat remote and unknown, a little woodsy and hidden, that, however, is not why it has the name "Sylvester".
"Silvestris, silvestre" is Latin for "of the woods, wooded, woodsy, wild and rural", etc., and Sylvester the cat may be famous from a time of TV, but the college is named after Pope Sylvester (314-335), who was also St. Sylvester
from the First Council of Nicea (325) and the days of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (272-337), and whose feast day from the traditional calendar is December 31st.
that may remain, and as St. Yves of Kermartin may help advocates and orphans, with permission, the following book is a simple redaction of ad hoc commentaries, analysis, e-mails, miscellaneous notes and papers, calculations, and conversation about geocentrism
and scientific materialism, and the Colonel's remote ideas about the cosmos and the overreaching US government, and its Judeo-Masonic conspiracy, as we have it today, that have been edited into the form of a book. The opinions expressed are sincerely entertained,
and we hope the reader may find the point of view as convincing, interesting, and enlightening as I and a few others have.