(MATILDA O'DONNELL MACELROY PERSONAL NOTE)
"After I explained what I thought were the reasons for the "no
answer" answer to the intelligence agents, there was a great deal of
upset and turmoil. A very heated discussion took place between some
of the intelligence officers, military officials, psychologist and
the language interpreters.
This lasted for several hours. It was
finally decided that I should be allowed continue to interview the
alien, provided I could get a satisfactory answer from her to the
(OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW)
Official Transcript of the U.S. Army Air Force Roswell Army Air
Field, 509th Bomb Group
SUBJECT: ALIEN INTERVIEW, 11. 7. 1947, 3rd
"QUESTION - "What assurance or proof do you require from us that
will make you feel safe enough to answer our questions."
ONLY SHE SPEAKS. ONLY SHE HEARS. ONLY SHE QUESTIONS. NO OTHERS. MUST
LEARN / KNOW / UNDERSTAND."
(MATILDA O'DONNELL MACELROY PERSONAL NOTE)
"When I returned from the interview room to report the alien
response to this question I received a grim and skeptical reception
from the assembled intelligence agents and military personnel. They
could not understand what the alien meant by this.
I admitted that I couldn't really understand what she meant either,
but I was doing the best I could to articulate her telepathic
intentions. I told the officials that perhaps the communication
problem had to do with my inability to understand the telepathic
language of the alien clearly enough to be satisfactory. I was so
discouraged at that point I almost felt like giving up!
And now, there was even more arguments than before! I was sure I was
going to be removed from my position, in spite of the fact that the
alien refused to communicate with anyone else, or that no one else
had been found who could communicate with her.
Fortunately, a very clever fellow named
John Newble, who was a
Japanese language specialist from the Navy, 37 (Footnote) had an
explanation and a solution to the problem. He explained that, first,
the problem had very little to do with the inability of the alien to
communicate. It had more to do with her unwillingness to communicate
with anyone other than myself. Second, in order for any clear,
comprehensive communication to happen, both parties needed to
understand and communicate through a common language.
Words and symbols in language convey very precise concepts and
meanings. He said that the Japanese people have a lot of homonyms
38 (Footnote) in their language which cause a lot of confusion in day
to day communication. They solve this problem by using standard
Chinese characters 39 (Footnote) to write down the exact meanings of
the word they are using. This clears up the matter for them.
Without a defined nomenclature communication was not possible beyond
the rudimentary understanding between men and dogs, or between two
small children. The lack of a common vocabulary of clearly defined
words that all parties can use fluently, was the limiting factor in
communication between all people, groups, or nations.
Therefore, he suggested that there were only two choices. I had to
learn to speak the language of the alien, or the alien had to learn
to speak English. Factually only one choice was possible: that I
persuade Airl to learn English, and that I teach it to her with the
guidance of the language specialist. No one had any objection to
trying this approach, as there were no other suggestions.
The language specialists suggested that I take several children's
books, and a basic reading primer, and grammar text with me into the
interview room. The plan was that I would sit next to the alien and
read aloud to her from the books, while pointing to the text I was
reading with my finger so that she could follow along.
The theory was that the alien could eventually be taught to read,
just as a child is taught to read by word and sound association with
the written word, as well as instruction in fundamental grammar.
They also assumed, I think, that if the alien was intelligent enough
to communicate with me telepathically, and fly a space craft across
the galaxy, that she could probably learn to speak a language as
quickly as a 5 year old, or faster!
I returned to the interview room and proposed this idea to Airl. She
did not object to learning the language, although she did not make
any commitment to answer questions either.
No one else had a better
idea, so we went ahead."
37 "... a Japanese language
specialist from the Navy ... "
"John A. Kneubuhl, was of mixed Samoan/American ancestry, John
was an acclaimed Pacific Island playwright who died in 1992.
Born of Samoan, English and German ancestry, Kneubuhl grew up in
his Samoan grandmother's thatched hut until he was 13 years old.
He was educated at Punahou and Yale and wrote plays for the
Honolulu Community Theater. He joined the US Navy in 1942,
entering the US Navy Japanese Language School at the University
of Colorado in July 1942 and graduated in August 1943. He served
as a Navy Japanese Language Officer.
After the War, he spent 20 years as
a TV writer in Hollywood, writing scripts for the Wild, Wild
West, Waterfront, Markham, West Point Story, and other shows.
John wrote the story for the Star Trek: The Original Series
episode "Bread and Circuses", although he did not receive screen
credit in the finished episode. Overview: Captain Kirk and his
companions are forced to fight in gladiatorial games on a planet
modeled after the Roman Empire."
38 "... the Japanese people have a
great number of homonyms..."
"In linguistics, a homonym is one of a group of words that share
the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different
meanings. Some sources only require that homonyms share the same
spelling or pronunciation (in addition to having different
meanings). Examples of homonyms are stalk (which can mean either
part of a plant or to follow someone around), bear (animal) and
bear (carry), left (opposite of right) and left (past tense of
Some sources also consider the
following trio of words to be homonyms, but others designate
them as "only" homophones: to, too and two (actually, to, to,
too, too and two, being "for the purpose or as in 'to make it
easier", the opposite of "from", also, excessively, and "2",
respectively). The word "homonym" comes from the conjunction of
the Greek prefix homo- (meaning same) and suffix -onym (meaning
name). Thus, it refers to two or more distinct words sharing the
-- Reference: Wikipedia.org
39 "...standard Chinese
"A Chinese character or Han character (simplified Chinese:
traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Hanzi) is a logogram used in
writing Chinese, Japanese, sometimes Korean, and formerly
Vietnamese. The number of Chinese characters contained in the
Kangxi dictionary is approximately 47,035, although a large
number of these are rarely used variants accumulated throughout
history. Studies carried out in China have shown that full
literacy requires a knowledge of between three and four thousand
In the Chinese writing system, each character corresponds to a
single spoken syllable. A majority of words in all modern
varieties of Chinese are poly-syllabic and thus require two or
more characters to write. Cognates in the various Chinese
languages/dialects which have the same or similar meaning but
different pronunciations can be written with the same character.
In addition, many Chinese characters
were adopted according to their meaning by the Japanese and
Korean languages to represent native words, disregarding