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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: (urth) FLF: The planes
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 15:27:25 -0600

There are some problems with both the _High Country_ and the B-17 that I
can't resolve. At the end of the book Free tells the four boarders that
there are two ways to leave the _High Country_, either the gizmo or the
B-17. Use of the gizmo entails time-travel; the B-17 doesn't. There is no
doubt that when the four were put aboard the B-17 it was January 1983. Free
also makes reference to the fact that the year on board the _High Country_
is the same as the year on the ground, or 1983. There is also no doubt that
the B-17 came from the W.W. II era, as did the crew. The crew's lack of
contemporary knowledge, their clothing, and their artifacts (guns,
cigarettes) all point to the 1940s. Okay, but the problem is, how did the
B-17 get from 1942 to 1982?

Judging from the backdoor of Free's house, use of a gizmo involves passage
through some sort of field in order for the person/object to be transported
through time. In other words, when the gizmo on _High Country_ was used,
neither the plane itself nor the other persons/objects on it were
transported. The _High Country_ got to 1982 the hard way, by flying
continuously for forty years. When the B-17 appeared in November 1982, how
did it get there?

Improbable as it may seem, the duffel-coated Whitten in 1982 seems to be
totally ignorant of the fact that the _High Country_, in that year, is
completely abandoned and has been for many years. In fact, judging from the
dates on papers the four found, and the globe which still showed many former
colonies as still being colonies, and the natural decay of fabrics and other
items, the plane seems to have been abandoned since the war years. After
all, once the first use of the gizmo to travel to 1952 was successful, the
original purpose for building the _High Country_ no longer mattered. All the
future history books showed that the government powers were not and never
had been threatened. There was no reason for the powerful men to stay on the
plane, so they didn't. The only purpose the plane then had was as a future
staging platform for the gizmo. The OSS wanted to go into the future to get
a jump on future gadgetry that might be useful to them in their operations.
1982 was the year they chose to travel to and set up a base of operations,
which is when and why Whitten bought the Flying Carpet. The orders that
Whitten thought came from 'on high' didn't come from the plane, they were
planted by his future self, after he deserted.

At least, that's how I see it. But I can't explain the B-17.



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