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The Publius Enigma

By Nicholas Palffy

The Division Bell: A Visual Charade?


The heads have no ears... Why?

The absent organs, in the context of "communication", should be a meaningful element. So where are the missing ears? The first obvious analogy would be to consider the ears of PF fans. Without their listening, there would be no Pink Floyd.

Now, If we accept the idea that the TDB artworks are some kind of visual charades, let's have a look at the cover page.

The Steel Heads have the shape of two "R" letters. Between the mouths stands Ely Cathedral. The eyes look like target and the eye orbits have the shape of "D"'s. The whole structure is symmetrically built to reflect some kind of Mirror, or Chiasmus.

So let's translate this image into words.


Interestingly, the words RELY and RYLE appear when we read forward and backward. Considering the importance of ASTRONOMY in the work of Pink Floyd, this finding is quite revealing.

RYLE is a radio astronomy observatory located a few miles from Cambridge. Here we have monumental EARS listening to the Delicate Sound of the Universe days after its birth. More specifically, the Ryle radio dishes are studying a variety of rapidly spinning neutron star called PULSARS. These stars are TARGETED by the Ryle Telescope.

image of pulsar

It is intriguing that TDB cover page is followed by the Observatory of Cluster One and the radiating/pulsating disco-ball or globe of WDYWFM... It is also intriguing that the Boatman logo could represent the rotating movement of pulsars.

Like Ely Cathedral, the Ryle telescope is aligned along an East-West axis.

ryle telescopes cluster one image

The Ryle "ears" are part of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory (MRAO). Right: the Cerro Tololo observatory of Cluster One.

The Astrophysics  Group at the Cavendish Laboratory runs the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory situated at Lord's Bridge.

The Ryle Telescope (RT) is an 8-element interferometer operating at 15 GHz (2cm wavelength).  The elements are equatorially mounted 13 m Cassegrain antennas, on an (almost) E-W baseline. Four aerials are mounted on a 1.2 km rail track, and the others are fixed at 1.2 km intervals.

MRAO logowinged eyes
Does this logo pattern looks familiar?

[sidenote: MAROONED = MRAO NODE]

cambridge map

The Ryle telescopes are in the close vicinity of Grantchester Meadows.

ryle aerial photo

Eyes... and a nice cross! (The 5 km Ryle Telescope operated by Cambridge University where Martin Ryle and colleagues developed the technique of Earth Rotation Aperture Synthesis.)

cambridge-ely map

Location of the Ryle Telescopes relative to Ely.

map cavendish

The Cavendish Lab, where Astronomy Dominate...

astronomy domine

Date: Fri,  8 Jul 1994 05:54:12 UTC
>Subject: >>>>>>>>> T H E  M E S S A G E <<<<<<<<<
>Lines: 96

... For the ingenious person (or group of persons) who recognizes this - and where this
information points to - a unique prize has been secreted....

Publius said: "Direct yourselves with communication". Did he mean Radio Communication?

A sharp Eye

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Bell whose married name became Burnell is a female British astronomer and astrophysicist who discovered the first pulsars.  Pulsars are stars that release regular bursts of radio waves and the discovery ranks as an important milestone in the history of astrophysics.

One of her main responsibilities on the project was to monitor and interpret the recordings of the radio transmissions once the telescope had become operational in July 1967.  Her work largely involved the tedious analyzing of charts by hand and while usually uneventful the importance of her analysis was critical to the project.  Her persistence and perceptiveness would prove to be fortuitous for her ultimate discovery.

Jocelyn Burnell Bell had made the most remarkable astronomical discovery in recent history; she had detected the first known pulsar, a rapidly spinning neutron star that sends out regular burst of radio waves and other electromagnetic radiation.

In an earlier age the pulsar she discovered would no doubt have been known as Bell’s star but today it is simply know as CP 1919 (CP stands for "Cambridge Pulsar").

Jocelyn Bell Burnell has led a very interesting and impressive life. She has gone beyond in education where tests said she could not go and has believed in herself and her work from the beginning.  She was presented at a young age with failure, but surprised the world with her intelligence.  Jocelyn Bell Burnell is a great example for people to look up to and see that your dreams can come true if you only believe in yourself.

February 29, 1968 in History

Event: 1st pulsar announced (CP 1919 by Jocelyn Burnell at Cambridge)