Monday, September 25, 2006

Tragedy At Lascaux

The state of TIAH

September 25th, 2006

in 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev and US President Adlai Stevenson meet at Camp David in Maryland to discuss peace between their two countries. Premier Khruschev agreed, in principle, to pull troops from East Berlin and reduce the number of Soviet soldiers in eastern Europe, and President Stevenson promised trade and a lessening of hostile espionage against the Soviets. President Stevenson temporarily halted the U2 spy plane program while he saw where this line of talks went. By the time he and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson stood for reelection the following year, there were treaties working their way through the US Congress and the Soviet Politburo to seal these agreements into law. Unknown to Khruschev, Stevenson had NASA working on a spy satellite program, and was able to maintain surveillance of the USSR without the spy planes that had been such a concern to the Soviet leader.

in 1972, Professor Karl Ainsworth and Dr. Roman Pelliot discuss whether to send a larger team into the forgotten passageway in the Lascaux Cave. Dr. Pelliot wants to simply seal the chamber up again, but Professor Ainsworth would like to document it. It was while they were discussing this matter that Ainsworth remembered dropping his camera in the chamber and said, “I've got to at least go back for that.” Dr. Pelliot reluctantly agreed to accompany him back to the cave, but insisted it be early in the morning. “I want as much daylight as we can get,” he said, shuddering at the memory of the passageway. They were sitting in a cafe in the village near the cave, drinking liberally while they talked, and Professor Ainsworth noticed that the other patrons of the bar were gathered around a man with a newspaper, excitedly speaking about something. He walked over to see what it was, and saw a picture of the German intern, Franz Jaeger, on the front page of the paper. He asked the man with the paper, “What happened to the boy?” The man shook his head sadly and replied, “Killed by a wild animal. I saw the body – torn to ribbons, the poor boy.” Disturbed, Ainsworth returned to his table with Pelliot and told him what had happened to Jaeger. Dr. Pelliot teared up, saying, “He was a good young man; such a pity that this was his last discovery.” They both raised a glass in toast to Jaeger, then retired to their rooms for the rest of the day.

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