ARTHUR W. ORTON

_Ezekiel, they say, "saw de wheel"--but he saw somewhat more

than that. And Orton suggests that what he saw made

perfectly good sense ... to the understanding!_

Illustrated by Orton

* * * * *

We are told from our Sunday School days that the Bible is a "living

book," the oldest of man's written works that is read and used anew,

from generation to generation. It remains "living" because we are able

to find new meaning to fit our daily lives. Although it is not the

usual kind of new meaning, I believe that I have found something of

the sort in the very old prophesies of Ezekiel.

Bible scholars have long recognized the first chapter of Ezekiel as a

strange and nearly unfathomable account of a vision. I suggest that it

is strange only because it is written by a man far removed from us in

time and experience, about a subject totally unfamiliar to men of his

time. I do not think that this was a vision in the usual sense, nor

was it meant to be mystical. This particular chapter has been called

"Science fiction in the Bible" and many attempts have been made to

unravel the meaning of the original author, along both spiritual and

mundane lines. I am convinced that this chapter is the account of an

actual happening; the landing of extraterrestial beings, reported by a

careful, truthful and self-possessed observer.

I am not a student of theology and therefore you may feel that I am

being presumptive in attempting to throw light on a mystery as old and

well-studied as Ezekiel's first chapter. I feel that any success that

I may have in doing so will be due to the accident of my birth at the

very beginning of an era when the events I have to describe are fact,

or are about to become fact.

If, as I believe, this is an account of an actual encounter with men

from space, I may be better able to interpret the meaning than a

student of theology, who by training and interest, is looking for a

theological meaning. I have worked with mechanical things, and as an

instructor of aircraft mechanics for most of my adult life. During

this time I have had to untangle a lot of mechanical misconceptions

and misunderstandings. I think that this gives me some insight into

this problem.

If you are not too familiar with the Old Testament, I suggest that you

read through the first chapter of Ezekiel to get the feeling of the

flow of words, and a general idea of what sort of material we will be

covering. If you have done a considerable amount of reading in the

Bible, I am sure you will notice at once how different and

"un-Bible-like" this chapter sounds. It isn't long. The first chapter

covers little more than one page. Don't expect to get a clear picture

the first time through. It seems to have an elusive quality. About the

time you feel that you have hold of a fact, it seems to be

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