Wallace Thornhill (1942 to present) or Wal as he is known, graduated in Physics at Melbourne University in 1964 and began postgraduate studies with Prof. Victor Hopper’s upper atmosphere research group. Before entering university, he had been inspired by Immanuel Velikovsky through his controversial best-selling book, Worlds in Collision. Wal experienced first-hand the indifference and sometimes hostility toward a radical challenge to mainstream science. He realized there is no career for a heretic in academia.
Wal worked for 11 years with IBM Australia. The later years were spent in the prestigious IBM Systems Development Institute in Canberra, working on the first computer graphics system in Australia. He was the technical support for the computing facilities in the Research Schools at the Australian National University, which gave him excellent access to libraries and scientists there.
Henry Austen Layard (1817 – 1894)
In the spring of 1817, in Paris, Henry and Marianne Layard gave birth to a son who was to make his mark on the world of Archaeology, then a relatively new discipline to the passions of mankind. It is pertinent to remind the reader that his birth was immediately following the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars. Both England and France, weary over the desolation of some thirty years of war, were to turn their national psyches to far more creative pursuits. Adventure and excitement were no longer to be gained on the battlefront and the era of great scientists, botanists and technologists were to change the human race dramatically. In Layard’s time personalities such as Darwin, Agassiz and Watt were typical of pinnacles that represented the new face of achievement in a world thirsty for knowledge in fresh arenas. The explosive growth of Archaeology from perhaps a souvenir gathering pastime to a respected science was driven by such pioneers as Layard, Botta, Champollion and the like. To contemplate why this growth occurred is beyond our present scope but one suspects that such endeavors can only flower in times of peace and for Layard and his contemporaries such a time was about to begin. Further to this, it is important, in our judgments, to remind the reader that Layard and his ilk were relative pioneers and should not be judged from our rigorous modern archaeological viewpoint. Rather, as Churchill is often quoted as urging, use the standards of the era in which that history unfolds.