Books: The Sound of Silence
by Clive Russell
Auriferous Ore, a gold-bearing material, was first found in Queensland at Canoona in 1858. The prospecting area rapidly expanded and when the Nashville Rush started in 1867 at Gympie, it came as a relief from the fierce depression raging in the State at the time.
William Hann, originally from Wiltshire, was appointed by the Governor in an attempt to supervise the fledgling industry, and he himself found gold at the Palmer River in 1872. By 1880 most of the gold was being mined by companies, although many individuals still searched, and hoped, and died, while places like Charters Tors (later Charters Towers) became immensely rich centres of industry.
However one of the independent mines, south of Charters Tors and worked by an extreme religious sect, was doing very well, until in 1886 an explosion, possibly caused by a build-up of helium gas, ruptured an underground spring, and a billabong quickly came into being. There were no reports of any survivors at the time and it lay forgotten, avoided by the cattle herds owing to the acidic water, until a film company happened upon it, leased it for a shoot, and successfully completed the filming on schedule.
However Emma O’Sullivan picks up unknown voices on the soundtrack, and the audio recordist sets out to find the reasons why.
From that point threads of many hues weave their way to reach a climax with a repeat of the earlier disaster, but this time caused by a freak of nature beyond human control.
The story embraces elements of technical, historical, criminal, military, spiritual and sci-fi facts, culminating in a dramatic conclusion.
£6.95 + £1.00 p&p
Length: 240 pages
by Clive Russell • Clive