Meet the Mighty Mind of Dr. Robert Duncan-Enzmann
It is a rare treasure, one that could have brought – and still can bring humanity to a very different reality.
Our commitment and the enthusiasm of the pioneering public are crucial to any world-changing effort.
The knowledge in this Mighty Mind can result in powerful changes in our world, but that is up to the people who take action.
“It would be absurd cruelty if humanity waited for centuries before voyaging to rich new worlds with resources waiting unused, like the two-thousand-year Dark Ages in Europe. Let’s go to the stars in our generation!” -RDE
The Skin of the Space Race
In his room, where all teaching now takes place, we were having a conversation about starships. He spoke to me in a warning tone.
“I know you have competition in the starship arena, in who will be associated with Enzmann in that field. You need to secure your place in your relationship with us.”
We bantered a few words of clarification back and forth.
“Take notes,” he said.
I found some printing paper and searched for a pen. He only writes with black Micron 01 marker pens, so that is what I found. As I sat, pen ready, Dr. Enzmann explained that he wanted to solidify our place in the world’s eye as the primary party in relationship to him. He stated: ontology recapitulates phylogeny. Being used to his seeming-change-of-subject conversations, I wrote that down. He gets his rabbit trails connected eventually. Our conversation proceeded in its usual pain-in-the-butt fashion until I figured out what ontology and phylogeny were. Then came the hard stuff. His questions.
Dr. Enzmann: “What is the nature of skin?”
“I know it is the biggest organ in the body.”
Dr. Enzmann: “What does it do?”
After several mumbled and botched attempts at defining this, interrupted by his commentary aimed at directing my thoughts, I said, “Skin contains you?”
This must have been close enough to the right answer for him to offer an explanation.
“Good!” he said. “Skin defines you. It separates you from non-you. Self from non-self.”
Years ago, he had taught me that all humans start as a blob of skin and that the body forms on the inside of the skin, creating holes (gates) and appendages. I said as much. He must have sensed that I wondered what this had to do with starships – that was how the conversation had started.
“I am telling you this as an example of my way of thinking. Ontology recapitulates phylogeny. In other words, how a baby develops is how the evolution from lungfish to human also works. This thinking applies to how I approach starships. There was no chaos in the process; with order and method, we, Joanna and I, created the skin of the space program.”
He sat for a minute looking at me, perhaps he can see when something finally sinks in, or perhaps he just waits a random amount of time.
“I think methodically. There is an orderly development of starship technology. First, there was Mammy Ship. You know that story.”
I do, and readers will be able to know it too when it is published in the Enzmann Chronicles.
He continued, “You also know what the Orion Project was. At first, it was an unmanned space probe and had one engine. I knew that if we had four engines it could take a man! If it had eight engines, it could travel among the stars! From the Orion probe, engines added, was born the Enzmann Pulse Class starship so popularly called the Enzmann Starship. The steps to its conception were orderly. All done methodically. Chaos must become order before there can be progress.”
Another silence, this time for me to appreciate the picture he was painting.
Robert Enzmann was born in China, where he attended an English school. He learned languages from age four by being exchanged to the French, Dutch, Russian, German, Chinese, and Swedish schools. His mother, Florence Goodman Enzmann, was a nurse (Johns Hopkins), and his father, Ernst von Enzmann, was a Physiologist (Ph.D. Harvard). They worked for the Peking Union Medical College when Robert was born. He had one sister.
His father, Ernst von Enzmann of Sudetenland, Austria, married Florence Goodman of Bath, ME, a Johns Hopkins graduate working under a Rockefeller program for medical nursing exchange at the Peking Union Medical College, ca. 1920. Ernst was an Austrian officer in Franz Josef’s Army. He was captured on the Eastern front during WWI and taken to a Siberian prison. After a long and arduous escape on foot from Siberia (as told in Siberian Prison, Ernst v. Enzmann) he met Florence while interpreting English for the Chinese at the Peking Union Medical College.
Robert Enzmann was born in Peking, China in November of 1924 at a time just before the electrification of the city, before the introduction of the motorcar. Life there was similar to life in the United States in the mid-1800s. By the age of four, Robert regularly attended British RAJ Embassy schools with an exchange program in French, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, and German schools, acquiring several languages. Robert learned Chinese on the streets and King’s English in the RAJ schools. The exchange program began in kindergarten.
His home teacher was in her eighties, and she had been educated in the British colonies by a lady in her eighties. The attitudes and traditions conveyed were those of the late 1700s and early 1800s. He was taught reading, writing, composition, arithmetic (emphasizing mental computation), history, astronomy, and navigationally-based geography.
Robert Enzmann has traveled from Peking to England eight times, five by the Trans-Siberian Railway. In 1932 His mother decided life was too chaotic and Europe was not safe and took the family to the USA by way of a Japanese ship Mishima Maru, to Seattle, Washington, then by rail to Boston, then finally to her home in Bath, Maine.
Robert grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts. He graduated from high school in 1943, enrolled in Harvard, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He has four years of active combat duty in WWII, saw fourteen active combat battles, was shot down five times and had considerable radar experience. He married Joanna Muckenhoupt in 1958 while she was a student at MIT, and they have worked together for over sixty years on systems-level projects in many places and in many fields.
Dr. Enzmann’s extensive travel, education, and knowledge of languages, including work on Cuneiform, were of great benefit to his life-long efforts translating ice-age inscriptions from the Bølling warm interval in the area of Gönnersdorf, Germany. His early knowledge of Chinese in particular was influential in translating as it is a pictorial language, as is the written language of the Magdalenian culture. Dr. Enzmann’s book on written language pre-dating the Dryas II ice-age, Ice Age Language; Translation, Grammar, & Vocabulary, was published because of his life-long love of languages. These translations, read from bone, stone, and ivory artifacts for the first time, ‘add to the knowledge we already have’.
Dr. Enzmann is a recognized authority in geology and geophysics. He studied under Dr. Backlund, who, in Russia, rented the Graff Zeppelin in 1931 to make aerial photographs of the coastlines of Siberia for Stalin. Dr. Backlund was taught by Sir Aurel Stein and Erik Norin and gleaned knowledge from the Manfred Richthofen group which had mapped central Asia and China. Dr. Enzmann spent four years on foot mapping and researching southwest Africa and the Kalahari, studying the Namib, Nama, Namaqua, and Skeleton Coasts. He spent some winters working in Greenland, from Thule to the Ice Cap, Eastern Greenland, and Labrador, for radar Gap Filler.
Dr. Enzmann was a student and colleague of Charles Lindberg, Oberth, von Braun, Goddard, Taylor, Teller, Ulam, and others of those times. He has achieved degrees in engineering, geology, and medicine.
He holds an A. B. (Geologic Sciences), Harvard, 1949; B.Sc. (honors), (mineralogy and geophysics), England Standard, 1950; M. Sc. (crystallography and structural geology), Univ. of the Witwatersrand, S. Africa, 1953; Gymnasium Certificate (classics), Royal Scholarship, Swedish research, Uppsala, Sweden, 1954; Ph.D. (polycrystalline solids and diffusion phenomena), Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Research at the Royal Institute of Uppsala, Sweden, 1957, Ph.D./M.D. Cuidad, Juarez, Mexico, 1980.
His geological field experience includes Africa, Greenland, Asia, and Sweden. He taught physics and math at BU, MIT, and South Africa. He is fluent in many languages including English, Chinese, German, and French. He can also read several ancient languages.
Dr. Enzmann is a member of the American Geophysical Union; AIAA; Geological Society of America; Fellow of the NY Academy of Sciences, Assoc. of American Physics Teachers, Founding member of N. E. Cryonics Society, American Institute of Aero and Astronautics, American Rocket Society, American Physics Society, the American Assoc. of Petroleum Geologists, the Geological Society of South Africa, the Swedish Geological Society, and the German Geological Society.
After the war, he circumnavigated the globe in his yacht and researched several ‘interesting’ ports.
1949 BA; BSc, (geological sciences) Harvard University
1950 B.Sc. England Standard (mineralogy and geophysics) Honors
1953 MSc (crystallography and structural geology), Witwatersrand University, So. Africa
1954 Gymnasium Certificate (in classics) Uppsala, Sweden
1957 Ph.D. (polycrystalline solids and diffusion phenomena) Research at Royal University, Uppsala, Sweden Royal Grant with coursework National Science Foundation scholarship to Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Several certificates from Navy Classes.
USN electronic service schools (associates equiv.)
Partial completion of S. Africa Mine Managers Certificate.
Recent experience in National Guard Infantry and Field
Dr. Enzmann was multi-lingual. Languages included English, French, and other Latin languages, Chinese, Afrikaans, Dutch, Arabic, German, and other Germanic languages, as well as many ancient languages.
Dr. Enzmann had lifelong Secret Clearance level.
Then Sweat, Tears, and Blood
I asked Bob one day, “aside from natural interest and curiosity, what and who interested, motivated, and finally impelled your interest in starships?”
He said, “It’s easy to recall the gloriously colored Boston Sunday Advertiser illustrations of cylinders landing on the moon and the short imaginative stories with them. In Germany, the movie Frau im Mon, the fantastic stories in the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, and especially Max Planck come to mind. I played with his two granddaughters, daughters of his twins. We heard him talk about the power locked in atoms, it all came back to me when Hiroshima then Nagasaki were blasted. I knew immediately that mankind possessed the power that will carry any descendants to the stars.
On a second visit with Max Planck as my mother fled from madhouse Europe and my paternal relative’s malfeasant ill will toward my mother, I played and listened. Father (being extracted from Europe by threats of “come or we leave without you”) talked at length with Dr. Planck. Here I gained knowledge of Knut Gödel, who was briefly my father’s classmate. Here I gained a feeling from the senseless waste of talent by Nazi Excesses. Imagine Planck’s son was executed by the Nazis.
In America, inspiration and motivation by Ula, Teller, Bethe, Ted Taylor, Jalbert, Jerry Bull, Murphy of ABFreed Artillery Range), Robert Bussard, and Verner von Braun along with his team at Huntsville, Alabama, were essentially it!”
Technical work through the 1940s started with a hardware item, the Western Union Splice, the field maintenance plus systems installations of aircraft and airport avionics including power grounding, lighting, ILS (instrument landing systems), GCA (ground control approach), MAD (magnetic air detection of ships and subs), and radar-controlled antiaircraft with proximity fuzes.
During the 1950s, he surveyed, appraised, and negotiated for mineral concessions on the African continent. He worked at geophysical exploration, siting, planning, and installations, including chemical processing plants, mineral beneficiation plants, and waterworks foundations. He worked on Pine-Tree-Line, Gap-Filler-Radars, SAGE, ATLAS-IBM system design, DEW-line, BMEWS system integration, and TRADEX-PRESS integration.
Through the 1960s, he worked on modeling and simulating interface, communications, command and control packages for current projects. Supported parts of very large proposals. Had sole responsibility for many smaller proposals, several of which developed into large efforts, working in-house and with potential customers to discover system needs, and develop systems specifications. He formalized these as competitive proposals, often by developing knowledgeable cooperation of other companies’ joint efforts. Government negotiations concerning aerospace contracts ranging from $100,000 values-studies to 2.4-billion-dollar efforts involving scientific, legal, and diplomatic matters.
Concurrent with my work as a geologist-geophysicist and later as an electrical engineer, he taught one to three evenings a week. The teaching included courses I gave in French for the Algerian Government, Northeastern University U.S.A, about eight years, Ann Arbor Michigan, Boston University, high schools(talks), and primary schools ranging from mining camps to American Embassy schools.
Ranged from pick and shovel work and core logging to fieldwork in N. America, the Arctic, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, Greenland, Scandinavia, and all parts of Africa. Worked at exploration, mapping, site testing and appraisal, acquisition of regional concessions from governments (50 miles x 100 miles), to building towns and plants. Wrote articles in the field and booklets.
Bob was hired by Boliden – the largest mining company in Sweden – to investigate a possible mining claim in Africa. He knew the country, spoke the native languages, and had a degree from Witwatersrand University. He was perfect for the assignment.
Straniky and a communist Swede had sold a bill of goods to Boliden, but they looked the part and were well-equipped for a safari. They took an immediate dislike to Bob.
They went to Mozambique; the Swede, Straniky, and the Austrian were royally pissed off. It escalated when they discovered that Bob could speak a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese, and they couldn’t understand anything that was being said. When they arrived at their first accommodations, Bob had a sinus fever. The Swede tried to convince everyone that it was the plague, and they should make him stay in the yard overnight to die, so as not to infect everyone else. He was told to go to hell.
When Bob saw the prospective mine, he was told by the owner that it only had about 2K$ more in profitable asbestos in it. He was curious as to why so many people with so much equipment had arrived for such a small mine. Why would a big company even care about such a place? This confirmed Bob’s suspicions that Straniky was pulling off a huge con. Then he overheard them talking about getting rid of him.
The Austrian said Bob knew what he was doing. The Swede said that if they hit him in the shoulder or knee, he wouldn’t live long. Then they could throw his corps into the crocodile-infested water. The Austrian objected strongly, stating that he was a Catholic and would not go along with outright murder.
Nothing happened right away. As they loaded up the Jeep to make the next leg of the trip, Bob noticed the Swede in the back had a rifle, finger on the trigger. Straniky was driving, taunting Bob about the rutted road and the hair-trigger on the rifle. Accidents happen, he said.
Bob found an opportunity to jump out of the Jeep and disappear into the brush before they could stop the Jeep. They probably figured he would die out there. Bob had many allies in Africa, a place he had spent a lot of time and money learning the native ways. Eventually, he found a village where he was known, and they took him to an airstrip where he found a flight to Rhodesia.
Who says being a geologist is boring.
Work in electrical engineering ranged from repair of cables and radios for the Navy tax through elementary design, system specification, site location, installation, integration, and operation of such major systems as Pine Tree Line (radars), DEW (distant Early Warning Line), Arctic Gap Filler (all phases), BMEWS (ballistic Missile Early Warning System), SAM-D, ANTI-ABM, High Power Laser Systems, and Satellite Communications Systems. Worked at proposal preparation, procurement, and project financing, and concurrent at organizing conferences.
Includes first aid and gross anatomy, particularly neurology, physiology, and biology. Geological work in paleontology is very helpful, as a background for ontology recapitulates phylogeny. It is the fossils that demonstrate phylogeny! Experience with the microscope as a user and instructor exceeds that of most people. Includes use of polarizers, reflectors, darkfield, 5-rind Fedorov Stage, Integrating Stage, Hot-Cold, Vacuum-pressure or special gas stages, and micromanipulation. Prepared both biological slides with various staining techniques and the more difficult petrological thin sections and electron microscope specimens. Worked with electron microprobes.
Deeper Still into the Life of a Mighty Mind
1942-45: Dr. Enzmann served in the USNAC with an Honorable Discharge and was decorated for active duty in Europe and North Africa. He served in the Atlantic Assn RAF, Pacific. He installed, maintained, and tested direction finders, and worked LORAN (Long Range Navigation), airborne radars, radar-gun sighting, IFF, IL-System, magnetic air detection, and ground controlled systems. He also served as a cryptographer.
1943-1946 Active duty in WW II. USN. Enlisted man, fleet air arm, aviation electronics, avionics, radar.
Worked in communications, air traffic control, radar (surface then aircraft), then finally the largest electronic system of the day, G.C.A. (Ground Controlled Approach).
Installed, maintained, tested, and occasionally operated automatic direction finders, and communication equipment. LORAN devices, airborne radars, radar gun sighting, IFF devices, ILS-System, Magnetic Air Detection, SONAR devices, Ground Controlled System.
1946-1948 Attended Harvard University
1946 to 1957: He served on various USAF Survey Teams and solo assignments. He performed geophysical and regional surveys in Namaqualand, Mozambique, Kenya, the Rhodesias, Africa, Greenland, Mediterranean Basin, Antarctica, Europe, North America, and the Pacific. His work covered magnetic, self-potential, pulse, and seismic work on the Gap-Filler.
1948-1958 Performed geophysical and regional surveys in Greenland, Africa, S. E Asia, Labrador, Mediterranean, Europe, North America, Middle East, and India – geophysical, electromagnetic, and mineral plant surveys and installations. Work covered magnetic self-potential, pulse, and seismic work on the Gap-Filler.
U.S. Armed Forces in field assignments including Greenland ranging from Thule to the Ice Cap and Eastern Greenland.