2) The Goose and Rider

    How many languages would it be necessary to use to get across a message to all peoples of the Earth? Spanish, English, French, Chinese (all the dialects?)? What about Russia and the Indian sub-continent? How about the continents we haven't even mentioned? How many languages?   One.
 Symbolism.   And mathematics.
     When NASA wanted to include a message to any intelligent being that came across the Discovery spacecraft they put a board on the outside of the craft. The board included an outline of the spacecraft itself with sketches of a man and woman. Simple enough to understand and entirely what you might expect. Also included on the board were depictions of a hydrogen atom and various ways of looking at our part of the solar system with a binary distance representation built in. These were thought by many to be too complex to be easily understood. As a test, several scientists were given the data to decode. Most were totally stumped.
    What is shown here is also a message. This time the message is to us. Who or what it is from and how it got here are open to argument - one that will be dealt with later in these pages. The message itself is spectacular - a real attention grabber. Its decoding is possible with a little knowledge of symbology and intelligence - after all we are supposed to be intelligent beings.
    The message is shown below, together with links to a map site so that it can be seen that this is not an elaborate fabrication.

a) Description

    During research for a book in 1985 the shape of a goose and rider was found hidden in the landscape of Britain. The goose is outlined mainly by Roman roads. With the beak at Wellingborough, its tail at Cambridge and a large wing stretching down to Letchworth, it measures some 33 miles wide by 27 miles high. By referring to the map it is possible to see this goose quite clearly as it is outlined entirely by major roads, (most of them old Roman roads). The front of the rider, up to the nipple of her breast, is also formed by Roman roads. The entire back of the rider is formed by part of the London to Edinburgh railway line. Including the rider makes the overall height some 44 miles.

    (There is a larger colour version of the map above available here)

    The main features of its shape coincide with towns:-
        Beak - Wellingborough
        Tail - Cambridge
        Wing tip - Letchworth to Royston
        Wing pivot - Brampton to Godmanchester
    It is not possible though to fully appreciate the figure, or to fully interpret its symbology, until it is studied with the rider. She, if anything, is more staggering than her mount. As can be seen from the section from the Ordnance Survey Routemaster Series, Sheet 9 (above), she is very definitely 'there'.
    Her entire front, from her toes at Biggleswade to her nipple at Norman Cross is outlined by two Roman roads. More modern architects have helped as well. The bypass around Stilton, just below Norman Cross, accentuates the line of her breast, while the line of the London to Edinburgh railway forms the back of the figure. Stretching from her toes, around the line of her buttocks and high waist, it forms the back of her legs, the back itself and finally, the back of her neck.
    The most incredible part of all though has to be the head of this figure. A perfect skull is formed by the Ordnance Survey's yellow shading of the city of Peterborough. Correct in size, correct in shape and correct in proportion, it can be no coincidence.

Figure 2. Ordnance Survey's shading of the city of Peterborough
copyright Ordnance Survey
Taken from Ordnance Survey Routemaster Series
Sheet 6 East Midlands and Yorkshire
Scale 1:250,000

    External map links:
View of head of Goose     http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?&hl=en-GB&ll=52.313096,-0.455246&spn=0.173368,0.607681&z=11
View of head of Rider      http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?&hl=en-GB&ll=52.569256,-0.237923&spn=0.086181,0.303841&z=12
    Please remember that the maps shown on this page are 1984, on Google Maps they are 2011
    HINT- Hover over the 'Satellite' button then click on 'Earth' to enable a 'fly-by' view. Its a great toy as well as a useful tool!

    What are we to make of all this? Did the Romans deliberately lay out their road system in this design? What of the designers of the Stilton bypass? Did they have the figure of the rider in mind? Did the Victorian railway engineers deliberately lay their tracks to form the back of the figure? Maybe they were members of some secret society! Maybe the members of Peterborough City Council Planning Committee are also members of that same secret society. This would explain why St. Neots, located on her knee was so named, and also why the town of Raunds, located on the goose's voice box was so named. (The commonest type of goose to visit Britain today is the small darkly coloured Brent Goose, its call actually being described in 'Wildfowl', a noted guide to ducks geese and swans etc as 'raunk, raunk'). It must be admitted though that it is highly unlikely that any of the people involved in the forming of this impressive, and entirely man made, bird and rider had any idea that they were doing it.

    So, what are we to make of all this? Is it 'there' or is it just coincidence? Is it really trying to tell us something?
     Ultimately everyone has to decide for themselves and like climbing a tree, the further one gets the more branches there are to take and choices there are to make. In the end everyone gets to the top of their particular tree. Some have climbed taller trees than others, some have found the choices more trying, while others have instinctively 'known' the way to go. The route that is chosen will, for some, be 'the path of least resistance', while for others there has to be 'a bottom line', either financially or in some other way of benefit to themselves. Some decide to take everything into consideration, so they do not hurt others - of course; and throughout the journey the crieria of what matters, of 'everything', changes so often that every branch must be explored ad infinitum. It is a bit like cutting the top out of your tree before you even start to climb. You would never feel like you had reached the top even if you managed to.
     The one that reaches the top of the tree of choices effortlessly is the one who knows that he has already reached it. He is able to stand at the top of the pile and see those around him struggle and fall or take the wrong turn. But although he has seen the top of the tree he is not excused the climb. He has to haul his body through the branches the same as everyone else. He sees the pain and suffering around him and starts to realise that most of the suffering is in fact caused by the actions of those who react to the pain they feel by lashing out at others around them. Like five year olds in a playground the pain is passed around like a parcel. Who knows when the music will stop?
    He realises that although his spirit stands at the top of the tree his body is still condemned to climb labouriously through every branch - and he makes mistakes. He is just the same as everyone else. He cries out in his own pain and anguish and in that moment knows that there is a way out. A way off the merry go round of hurt and pain. He hears the sound of something that produces no sound and knows what it is that he is being shown.
     He hears the sound of one hand clapping and knows what it means. It is not the physical clapping that matters, that is only the outward manifestation of what is going on inside. It is the feeling of clapping that matters: the joy, appreciation or whatever causes the clapping is what is important. Someone who claps with one hand feels the same as the person who claps with three. The mind and body act in unison.

    Analogies never work very well; they all break down at some point, but the analogy of life's decisions as a tree can I hope last long enough to show that most of the time we tend to experience life almost as one vast out of body experience. We don't know where we are going or how we are going to get there, but we lurch forwards none the less. Because we do not really understand the potential our minds and bodies have we are content to look on them as two seperate parts of ourselves. If however it was possible to bring together the mind and body in harmony, then it should, using our analogy of the tree of life, be possible to climb it effortlessly and not find one half of ourselves at the top and the other at the bottom.
     For now let us drag our bodies behind us as we decide to click the continue button to find out what the Goose and Rider has to tell us about ourselves.