OPINION

November 15, 1957

THEOPHILE GAUTIER: Paris, 14 – It was recently revealed that even before the Russian scientists and before Jules Verne, one of the most distinguished French writers, Theophile Gautier, had predicted the fact that the Earth would one day have artificial satellites. That was in 1850, when a certain Mr Petain, a rather amusing person, had invented an airplane that he called the «Petain aerostatic machine.» In the writer’s notes, he described that machine and then made an amazing prediction: He wrote: «Since the time of Galileo, the world knows that the Earth spins… and that its atmosphere, particularly its upper layers, do not spin at the same speed as the Earth. So it would be enough to rise up to a certain height and to remain there, letting the Earth spin below, and watching it turn. So if someone rose up over Paris and remained immobile, one would be over Paris again in 48 hours.» Of course, his theory was mistaken, but it is not always possible to be absolutely right about complicated scientific subjects. ROYAL RECEPTION: Their Majesties King Pavlos and Queen Frederiki gave an official dinner the night before last at the palace for a restricted number of guests in honor of visiting President of Lebanon Camille Chamoun.