Einstein proved that space and time both bend. Empirical confirmation of this phenomena manifests at Black Rock on the day the Brits go supersonic. There is a parallax of cones which delineates the boundary of the race course, from the shut down area through the “measured mile” speed trap all the way to the launch pad. With the human eye, the cones gradually meld into the floor of the lake bed itself. Off on the horizon, a puff of dusty exhaust blossoms like Teutonic smoke signals as the crewmembers spin Thrust SSC’s turbines and purge the afterburners of its Spey 202s. But this dervish of pyrotechnical activity transpires approximately 45 degrees off axis of the parallax view. Space bends. You are witnessing the curvature of the Earth.
“Thrust SSC is rolling,” the SSC radio hums. For the first mile of the record run, the machine is merely cruising at speeds which would not bat the eye of a highway patrolman in Montana. This is precautionary, to avoid creating a vacuum in the 202’s intake which would suck pebbles and arrowheads off the lake bed and into the motor. At the Mile 1 marker Green stomps on the loudpedal. Instantaneously, copious amounts of thrust sock the RAF hero in the solar plexus and he’s blazing across the lake bed, with a rooster tail of dust and exhaust in his wake as tall as Noble’s phone bill. The trajectory of the vehicle appears to be bending on an exponential curve, even though it is straight as a Southern Baptist. Everything is strangely silent, despite the fact that the machine must be making prodigious thunder in its wake. (Isn’t it?). Suddenly, the trajectory appears to change and is completely linear… it is absolutely boogeying… Thrust SSC enters the measured mile and pushes through a shock wave the size of a football field… silence… a mushroom cloud begins to manifest itself in the wake of the vehicle and then WHHHOOOOSSSSHHH… fuck that is loud! The sound of two fighter plane engines with turbines spinning at warp speed rattles the playa and the schoolhouse in Gerlach.