(Editor's note: a particular confluence of second- and first-life projects and deadlines have left me a bit behind on keeping up with scientific goings-on. My apologies to readers who have been left adrift without new reading material from the Proceedings. Fortunately, the event described below forced me to again pay proper attention to current happenings.)
Mr Ray Hapmouche forwarded me a curious note earlier this week:
Dear Dr. Nicholas,
I am writing you on the advice of Sir Edward Pearce. It was his opinion the the Royal Society would be best suited to investigate what has occured at my home in Caledon on Sea. Sometime on the 21st of March a flying vehicle of some sort crashed into my beloved home "Portobello". There is very little left of my home or belongings, but there is quite a lot left of the mysterious craft.
Sir Edward, Christine McAllister, and myself were unable to identify the origins of the craft. I am asking the Society to investigate in the name of science and also to ascertain if this vehicle is a threat to Caledon's security.
My home is located in Caledon-on-Sea, 216, 73, 23.
Thank You for Your Time,
A most disturbing event, to be sure. No time to waste, then, in investigating the scene of destruction. Unfortunately, Lady Eva seems to be preternaturally preoccupied with decorating her new castle, and Prof. Krogstad obliquely mentioned being deep in preparation for the World Beard and Moustache Championships.
Therefore, I can only present some initial findings; a fuller investigation will have to wait for the return of my sous-scientists.
1 Synoptic view of the destruction.
Clearly a goodly amount of energy expended in the craft's crash - enough to destroy most of Mr Hapmouche's beloved home.
2 The bisected craft. Note lack of charring around crater site.
An interesting find, this: no evidence of thermal (or similar) destruction around the crater. Definite displacement of the soil from the impact, though. Odd red glow from inside the craft.
3 Aft view of the craft. Derby in foreground for scale.
The craft split amidships; unclear if this was the intended opening method (if the craft should open at all), or the result of the excess structural loading at impact.
4 Closest photo attempted. Unusual plaque on hull.
And here is the most interesting bit: an engraved plaque on the hull. Clearly sturdy enough to survive what appears to be an impromptu landing. Symbol-based message; heiroglyphs, or an attempt at meta-language communication?
5 Obvious combustion now visible from Mt Caledon vantage.
Another interesting development. My initial approach to the site was tentative, as there was nothing aflame... yet. Perhaps a non-combustion propulsion system (and with what side-effects to the human body?). But upon my heading back towards Tamrannoch, a wash of heat behind me, and the craft was on fire. This view was from Mt Caledon, with a large safety margin between myself and the conflagration.
Once my wayward comrades return from their own pass-times, we shall be able to put in honest efforts with what I have labeled as the Hapmouche Event.