News of Carl Sagan’s involvement with a plan to “nuke” the moon, Project A119, has become relevant again. In fact, Sagan was involved in a number of military causes during his all-too-short lifetime. But later, he cut all ties with the military. Here’s what happened.
Carl Sagan spent his childhood under the ominous cloud of World War II. As the war faded and the United States and USSR entered a Cold War, the United States once again looked to its best and brightest — including many academic scientists — to consult with the military.
Sagan’s extremely limited involvement in a theoretical plan to “Nuke the Moon” as a show of U.S. military might recently caused an uproar, but this was just one aspect of Sagan’s involvement with the militarily. Sagan’s involvement in Project A-119 occurred while he worked toward his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. The good scientist actually broke personnel restrictions placed on the classified project by listing his involvement on a job application.
Sagan and Project Blue Book The majority of Sagan’s contact with the military came as a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board beginning in 1966. Sagan lectured at Harvard at this time in his life, but would soon depart to become Associate Professor of Astronomy in the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research at Cornell after being denied tenure by Harvard.
At this time in his career, Sagan had already begun to publish his suppositions about the atmosphere of Venus and became a member of the fringe in the eyes of many thanks to his ruminations on the possibility of intelligent life in the universe. Sagan also played a role in advising the U.S. Space Program, a program synonymous with military applications during the Cold War era.
Sagan allegedly received $800 per day (roughly $4500 in current dollars), an astounding sum for a university lecturer, to act as a consultant for the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. The United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board began in 1944 as a secret program with a variety of missions, including determining the possibility of using atomic energy in jet propulsion as well as non-traditional use of nuclear weapons.
Sagan’s military contact revolved around Project Blue Book, a 23-year study of UFOs conducted by the United States Air Force that ceased in January of 1970. Project Blue Book took a systematic approach to the study of unidentified flying objects, analyzing possible UFO data and aiming to determine if these objects were a danger to United States national security.
Within the two-decade-plus report are 12,618 “sightings”, with analysis leaving a mere 700 classified as unidentified. The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, however concluded that Project Blue Book did not meet necessary rigors, suggesting a university-led study of unidentified flying objects would be far more conclusive.
Separation from the military After the closure of Project Blue Book, Sagan continued to act as a prominent scientific advisor for NASA, arguing for the financial merit of robotic spacecraft.
Sagan became an extremely vocal advocate against nuclear proliferation after the rise of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. Sagan openly protested the testing of nuclear weapons, with the sage arrested for trespassing after a 1986 underground detonation of a thermonuclear warhead in the Nevada desert.
Though he cut ties with the military, Sagan continued to ponder the idea of space war. He concocted the Deflection Dilemma — the idea that the using a significant blast to knock a near earth object on a trajectory towards earth off course could also be used as a weapon, sending the object into the country or countries of choice.
If you are curious, you can lose an entire weekend and browse through the entirety of Project Blue Book online thanks to the Project Blue Book Archive, or have a marathon of Twin Peaks to catch a hint of the intrigue surrounded Project Blue Book.
The idea of blowing up the Moon seems far-fetched, but not knocking an asteroid into an orbit that intercepts a certain country(s) and wreaks destruction over one side of the planet. It’s the ultimate Dooms-Day Device!
That’s why I don’t think NASA’s plan of flying to an asteroid in 2025 and Planetary Resources’ idea of asteroid capture and mining will be politically viable or palatable in the international arena because if a country that has the technology to move planetary objects into different orbits, especially in Earth orbit has the ultimate weapon over other nations in the form of a huge hammer.
And I’m really surprised this isn’t mentioned at various mainstream space sites.
Maybe it’s an unmentionable thing?
Calling up visions of the old Mars Radio Detector of 1924, the Square Kilometer Array ( SKA ) is a proposed technological marvel that will be able to detect alien radio signals and radars up to 50 light-years away:
If there are space invaders out there, it won’t be long before they can no longer stage a sneak attack, thanks to a project to build the most sensitive radio telescope ever — one that’s the size of a continent. Known as The Square Kilometer Array (SKA), it will explore the universe, identify any potential alien threats to our planet and hopefully answer some fundamental questions from astronomers. Its thousands of receptors, spaced roughly one kilometer apart, will be linked across an entire continent. They’ll be arranged in five spiral arms like a galaxy, 3,000 50-foot-wide dishes that extend out from a central core at least 1,860 miles (3,000 kilometers) — about the distance from New York City to Albuquerque, N.M. The board of directors behind the telescope met for the first time in late January to kick off the project. Their first decision: where to house such a beast. After all, if it’s located in Australia, the antennas could span the entire continent. If it’s in South Africa, another location being considered, they would stretch to the Indian Ocean islands. Optical telescopes can reveal only so much of the universe. The SKA’s radio telescopes, on the other hand, pick up radio-frequency signals unobscured by, say, cosmic dust. They will survey the sky 10,000 times faster than any other telescope and with 50 times the sensitivity and 100 times the survey speed of current imaging instruments. Among the SKA’s missions: finding an answer to the question, “Are we alone?” From a defense perspective, that’s a coy way of asking whether there are aliens out there with the capacity and appetite to attack us. The SKA will be able to detect very weak extraterrestrial signals and search for complex molecules, the building blocks of life. Many new planets outside our solar system have been discovered in recent years, but it’s not clear whether they host life.
The search for extraterrestrial transmission has been underway for a long time, but the SKA’s sensitivity will provide a key advantage. For the first time, it will even be possible to detect the relatively weak signals of televisions and radars from nearby stars. Spying such an artificial transmission from a planet around a star would be a pretty good clue that we’re not in this by ourselves.
The SKA will also look at how galaxies evolve and investigate the nature of dark energy. By mapping out the cosmic distribution of hydrogen, it will study the expansion of the universe after the Big Bang. Such a map will also allow researchers to track young galaxies. How were stars born and black holes formed? The SKA will study the very first ones, as well as stars and galaxies that shaped the development of the universe. It will even be able to detect black holes forming during the Dark Ages. SKA will also take on Einstein. The board of directors speculate that it may challenge the theory of general relativity and probe the nature of gravity. Initial construction is due in 2016, and the SKA is expected to be fully operational by 2024. By 2019, well before the full array is completed, the team expects some exciting science results will be achievable. All that science won’t come cheap, of course. The SKA is expected to cost approximately $2.36 billion. But those bucks buy an awful lot of power: The SKA’s central computer will have the processing power of approximately 1 billion PCs, and it will produce enough raw data to fill 15 million 64GB iPods every day. The SKA dishes will produce 10 times as much data the world’s Internet traffic. In fact, one of the largest design challenges was how to relay the huge amount of data across such large distances. The solution: Enough optical fiber to wrap twice around the Earth — and take the Earth’s defense to an entirely different scale.
The chances of finding another technological civilization at our level of tech within fifty light-years is pretty remote, but the kidnappers of Betty and Barney Hill are from Zeta Reticuli supposedly and that double star system is 37 light-years away.
I’m not sure what we’re going to do if we find ” space invaders “, but I’m sure our military-congressional-industrial-complex will find a way to empty the pockets of the taxpayer to pay for the damn thing.
Hat tip to Time4TruthDOTorg
Yesterday in Washington D.C. there was a meeting of former military personnel who used to work at secret nuclear missile launch sites.
And their reason for meeting? To let the public know that UFOs (their versions/opinions of what UAPs are) might be tampering with the nuclear defences of the West in the US and the UK:
Six retired officers and one former non-commissioned officer claim to have gathered witness testimonies from more than 120 military personnel revealing the infiltration of nuclear sites by aliens as recently as 2003.
Captain Robert Salas, a former Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Launch officer, said he was on duty during one missile disruption incident at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana in 1967.
“An object came over and hovered directly over the site,” he said.
“The missiles shut down – 10 Minuteman missiles. And the same thing happened at another site a week later. There’s a strong interest in our missiles by these objects, wherever they come from.
“I personally think they’re not from planet Earth.”
He said he was ordered to never discuss it: “The USAir Force is lying about the national security implications of unidentified aerial objects at nuclear bases and we can prove it.”
Colonel Charles Halt said he watched Unidentified Flying Objects directing beams of light into RAF Bentwaters airbase near Ipswich and heard on the radio that they landed in the nuclear weapons storage area.
Col Halt said: “I believe that the security services of both the United States and the United Kingdom have attempted – both then and now – to subvert the significance of what occurred at RAF Bentwaters by the use of well-practised methods of disinformation.”
The group of officers said they would distribute declassified government documents on Monday that would prove there had been alien interference at nuclear weapons sites stretching back to 1948.
Now I don’t know if UFOs are actually ‘alien’ craft, my opinion has changed on this on and off for many years (yeah, I’m kind of wishy-washy) and I don’t know if these people are credible witnesses, but I will tell you I’ll trust a veteran’s word more than I’ll trust other people’s.
For more on UFOs and nuclear missile bases go to researcher Robert Hasting’s site.
UFOs and nuclear weapons sites is a subject I’ve come across the past few years and probably to my detriment I passed it by without reading more about it. Of course I’ve read and heard the name Robert Hastings come up more than once and he’s had more than one interview on several of the podcasts I listen to, Paracast being the main one.
From what little I understand, over the past sixty some odd years, UFOs buzz and scan nuclear weapons sites (or have buzzed and scanned), shooting out beams of light. They sometimes trigger weapon count-downs, or in alot of cases, stop or interrupt count-downs for whatever reason. Possibly to show they have the means to do so at any time they wish.
Now there are retired military personnel who worked at these sites over the years stepping forward to tell their stories about UFOs and how they interacted with these nuclear missile sites; stopping and starting countdowns, messing with the workings of the missiles and sometimes messing with the military personnel themselves:
Consider it the second barrel of the double-barreled shotgun, or the “two” of the proverbial “one-two punch”; the first being Leslie Kean’s new book, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record and now the upcoming press conference being co-hosted by researcher Robert Hastings and former missleer (Minuteman I launch officer – Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander) Bob Salas.
“Declassified U.S. government documents and the testimony of more than 120 former or retired military personnel have established, beyond doubt, the reality of ongoing UFO incursions at American nuclear weapons sites. While most of the incidents apparently involved mere surveillance, in a few cases a significant number of nuclear missiles suddenly and simultaneously malfunctioned, just as USAF Security Policemen reported seeing disc-shaped craft hovering nearby.
On September 27th, during a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. , six former U.S. Air Force officers and one former enlisted man will reveal their own dramatic experiences involving UFOs at nuclear weapons sites. One of them, former Minuteman missile launch officer Robert Salas, is co-hosting the event with me. We hope to draw worldwide media attention to this vital issue by presenting the testimony of highly-credible individuals who witnessed extraordinary encounters which have officially been kept secret for decades.
Five of these veterans were rigorously screened by the Air Force and authorized to launch or otherwise work with Weapons of Mass Destruction. Of the remaining two, one headed-up a USAF communications center where he learned of UFO activity at ICBM sites; the other witnessed a UFO directing laser-like beams of light down into a major military base—including the nuclear weapons depot, according to the radio chatter he overheard.
At long last, all of these witnesses are coming forward to say that, as unbelievable as it may seem to some, UFOs have long monitored and sometimes tampered with our nukes. If ever there were a front page story, this is it.
At the press conference, Mr. Salas and I will be asking simple questions: Why do UFOs continue to appear at nuclear weapons sites, decade after decade? What might these incursions indicate about the intentions and goals of those who presumably pilot these craft? Why has the U.S. government chosen to keep the American public, and people everywhere, in the dark about these dramatic developments? Hasn´t the time come to speak the truth?
The purpose of this short article is to introduce, in alphabetical order, the individuals who will participate in the upcoming event:
Dwynne Arneson, retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel, was the Officer-in-Charge at the Malmstrom AFB, Montana, Communications Center in 1967, when he read a classified message concerning the sighting of a UFO hovering over one of the base´s Minuteman I Launch Facilities (silos), just as several missiles mysteriously malfunctioned. Although Arneson can not recall the designation of the missile “flight” mentioned, researchers now know that two UFO-related full-flight shutdowns—involving 10 missiles each—took place at Malmstrom in March of that year, at Echo and Oscar Flights.
Bruce Fenstermacher, retired USAF Captain, was a Minuteman III missile launch officer (Missile Combat Crew Commander) stationed at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming in 1976. His Security Alert Team reported a cigar-shaped UFO hovering low over his launch capsule, then ignored a direct order to pursue the object after it raced away and began moving from missile to missile in his flight. Fenstermacher´s squadron´s missile crews were briefed about the incident and told never to discuss it with anyone.
Charles Halt, retired USAF Colonel, was the Deputy Base Commander at a joint Anglo/American airbase, RAF Bentwaters, in 1980. Among other events, Halt observed a disc-shaped UFO directing beams of light down into the base, at one point near the nuclear Weapons Storage Area (WSA), according to several Security Policemen on duty there.
Robert Jamison, former USAF Captain, was a Minuteman I missile targeting officer (Combat Targeting Team Commander) at Malmstrom AFB in 1967. He helped re-start the stricken missiles at Oscar Flight, where Bob Salas was on alert duty at the time of the full-flight shutdown. Jamison says that his team was explicitly briefed about a UFO-connection with the incident before going into the field, thereby corroborating Salas´ report of a UFO being sighted as it hovered over the Oscar Launch Control Facility at the time of the malfunctions.
Patrick McDonough, retired U.S. Navy Intelligence Command Master Chief, was a U.S. Air Force geodetic surveyor at Malmstrom AFB in 1966. A disc-shaped UFO briefly hovered some 300-ft. above his team as they worked at a newly-constructed missile silo. They fled the scene, rolling their truck in the process. A Montana State Policeman responding to the accident told the team that some 20 UFO reports had been made that night by civilians living in the area.
Jerry Nelson, former USAF 1st Lieutenant, was an Atlas-F missile launch officer (Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander) at Walker AFB, New Mexico in 1964. His security guards reported a UFO silently hovering over the Site 9 launch capsule on half-a-dozen occasions over the period of a month or so. The object directed a spotlight onto the missile, frightening the guards. Nelson´s reports to the base command post were seemingly ignored at the time, however, evidence has come to light suggesting that the incidents were classified Top Secret.
Bob Salas, former USAF Captain, was a Minuteman I launch officer (Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander) at Malmstrom´s Oscar Flight, on March 24, 1967, when all of his missiles dropped-off alert status—malfunctioned—just as one of his guards reported a UFO hovering over the Launch Control Facility´s security fence gate. Salas and his missile commander, now-retired Col. Fred Meiwald, were debriefed about the incident and asked to signed non-disclosure statements by an agent from the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). Meiwald has confirmed that, shortly after the malfunctions occurred, a two-man Security Alert Team was sent out to one of the flight´s missile silos to investigate a tripped alarm there. Upon approaching the site, the team saw a second (or the same) UFO hovering near it, whereupon they became frightened and quickly returned to the Launch Control Facility.”
“To present their information in the most credible manner possible, Mr. Salas and I have asked each of the press conference participants to sign legal affidavits attesting to their experiences. Those will be posted at this website following the event.”
Given the number of these retired folks stating that they’ve experienced anomalous events while stationed at these bases is interesting because it does give their stories some credence. And given the fact that military folk are trained observers (I can attest to this), it gives them further credibility.
My question however is this; “Why would aliens mess with our land based nukes?”
I would see it if these weapons were small, aircraft loaded types that could be used on hard to access or mobile targets.
But ones designed to wipe out cities?
Well, if they could control them, it wouldn’t take much to wipe out the primitive’s cities and not waste your own reserves.
But then you would have to clean up the radioactivity, fallout and poisons if you wanted to use the planet’s resources.
It’s still alot of work.
The Air Forces’ X37B robot mini-space shuttle type spacecraft was launched last night at 7:52 p.m. atop of an United Launch Alliance (Boeing/Lockheed-Martin) Atlas V 501 medium/heavy lift rocket.
The X37B was a NASA project at one time, but when NASA decided in 2004 to go with the Ares 1 and 5 concepts that used capsules, they gave the mini-shuttle project to the Air Force.
I think the Air Force got the better end of that deal.
Launch of the Air Forces’ X37B Robot Mini-Shuttle
The theory of planetary formation is now being questioned.
A discovery of a planet that orbits its parent star in reverse of its spin is certainly an oddity; only three have been discovered to date.
Now planetary scientists are scratching their heads about how this phenomenon can occur:
Astronomers have found an extrasolar planet with an “outlandish orbit” that circles its star either backwards, or at an angle of around 90º to the orientation of the star’s rotation.Planets in our own Solar System orbit in the same plane and direction as the Sun’s own rotation. This led astronomers to propose the ‘nebula hypothesis’ – whereby planets form from a flat, swirling disk of gas around a proto-Sun.
Now two teams of astronomers – one in Japan and the other in the U.S. – have independently discovered a planet about 1,000 light-years away, which orbits its star either in reverse or at an angle of more than 86º.
Predicted but never seen
Such objects have been predicted in models of Solar System formation, whereby a companion star or gravity from another planet knocks it out of orbit. However this strange phenomenon has never been observed until now.
The exoplanet, HAT-P-7b, is 1.8 times the mass of Jupiter and orbits a star about 1.5 times the mass of the Sun. Out of the more than 400 exoplanets discovered so far, only three are known to have misaligned orbits, but none as widely divergent from their Sun’s orbital plane as this one.
Details of the discovery (made using Hawaii’s Subaru Telescope) were published in October by both astronomers led by Norio Narita, from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan in Tokyo, and a second team led by Joshua Winn from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, USA.
The teams calculated the distant planet’s orbit by looking at how its transit affected the spectrum of light from its rotating star. As the surface of the star spins towards us, its light is blue-shifted (the light spectrum is shifted towards the blue end of the spectrum) due to the Doppler effect (where light is squashed or stretched depending on its motion towards or away from us).
The other side of the star spinning away from us is red-shifted, so astronomers expected to see a blue- then red-shift pattern. But because of the interference of the dark body of the transiting planet, this pattern is reversed in HAT-P-7’s case.
“The extraordinary orbit of HAT-P-7b presents an extreme case for theories of planet formation and subsequent orbital evolution,” write Winn and colleagues in their paper.
It just goes to show that Humanity must spread out to the stars to visit these sites personally, instruments and probes just don’t cut it!
One of the biggest arguments in the memestream is whether global warming/freezing/climate change is man-made or natural.
The petro-chemical/hydrocarbon industry runs our planet de facto and global wars are occurring this very minute in order to secure these resources for certain nations/empires, the very same resources that are contributing to ‘anthropic’ climate change.
But what if a very suitable substitute came along that was able to use the same infrastructure as the above industry with no muss, no fuss and most inportantly, no wars?
One of the nascent industry’s biggest and most well-heeled players, Sapphire Energy, announced last week that it would be producing 1 million gallons of diesel and jet fuel a year by 2011, double its initial estimates.
The La Jolla, Calif.-based company – with big-name backers like Bill Gates and the Rockefeller family – says it will be producing more than 100 million gallons a year by 2018 and 1 billion gallons a year by 2020 – enough to meet almost 3 percent of the U.S. renewable fuel standard (RFS) of 36 billion gallons.
But there’s a hitch: Federal law makes no room for algae-based fuel in the RFS. The 2007 energy law caps corn ethanol production at 15 billion gallons a year by 2015 and has the remaining 21 billion gallons of renewable fuels coming from advanced biofuels, including 17 billion gallons from cellulosic biofuels and biodiesel.
“There needs to be policy work done to incorporate these new concepts like algae, which is an organism that actually consumes large amounts of carbon in the process of creating a liquid transportation fuel,” said Tim Zenk, vice president of corporate affairs at Sapphire.
Sapphire is working to get lipids(oils) from various strains of algae, which would then be fed directly into the current refining cycle, as any other crude product. Source
Algae-based fuel producers use sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to convert carbon dioxide into sugar, which the algae metabolize into lipids, or oil. The industry says it can do so using non-potable water and without converting more forests into farm fields – thus addressing major criticisms of corn- and soy-based biofuels.
Sapphire says its technology is unique because it produces a fuel that can be used with existing U.S. pipelines, refineries, cars, trucks and airplanes. “We are 100 percent convinced that the only way to address climate and energy security is to use the same infrastructure we already have,” Zenk said.
Zenk said his company is supported by major oil companies. Its newly appointed president, C.J. Warner, is a 10-year BP executive.
“They really like us because we’re providing them with what they do today, which is refining crude oil,” Zenk said. “It’s not ethanol, it’s not biodiesel. It has the same molecules as gas, diesel or jet fuels.”
The company’s jet fuel was tested earlier this year by two of three airlines testing the commercial use of algae-based fuels in flight. Continental Airlines reported that the Boeing 737-800 test flight on Jan. 7 was successful. That test was the first commercial airline test of algae-based biofuel.
“Continental’s primary role in the demonstration was to show that the biofuel blend would perform just like traditional jet fuel in our existing aircraft without modification of the engines or the aircraft,” said Holden Shannon, Continental’s senior vice president for global research and security, during a congressional hearing last month. “This is important because … the current engine and airframe technology is unlikely to change materially for many years, so it is crucial that alternative fuel be safe for use with the current aircraft technology.”
Zenk said the test flight showed that algae fuel gets better mileage than petroleum-based jet fuel. “We noticed a 4 percent increase in energy density in the fuels because of the lower-burning temperatures in the engine itself, which resulted in greater fuel mileage,” he said.
But more work needs to be done. Both Zenk and Shannon noted the long certification process to approve jet fuels for commercial aviation. Still, the airline industry thinks it could be using biofuels in its flights on a large scale within three to five years. And Sapphire said its “drop in” transportation fuels – jet fuel, gasoline and diesel – will be ready for commercial deployment in three years.
“Fuel from algae is not just a laboratory experiment or something to speculate on for years to come,” said Brian Goodall, Sapphire’s vice president of downstream technology, in a statement. “We’ve worked tirelessly, and the technology is ready now.”
Indeed, creating fuel from algae is not as far-fetched as it may seem. Petroleum crude oil used today to create gasoline, jet fuel, plastics and other substances was once pond scum – albeit 500 million years ago.
At that time, the Earth’s atmosphere contained 18 times more carbon dioxide than it does today, which resulted in a giant algal bloom. The algae grew over a period of 100 million years and then died. After time, temperature and pressure worked their magic, and that algae became the crude oil extracted today from the Rocky Mountain West and other reservoirs around the world.
“Once we figured this all out and applied modern biology to it – genetics, genetic engineering, molecular biology – it allowed us to think creatively about how to speed up the evolution of that product, that commodity that we value today, by about 500 million years,” Zenk said.
Many things come into play; the military-industrial-congressional-complex/military keynesism for example.
Will the American Federal Empire give up a main portion of their economic engine (war) in order to switch to a ‘renewable’ fuel source in the midst of a ‘great recession’ ?
Aviation history is one of my hobbies and this particular item turned up in my daily search; The Soviet Fighting Nazi UFO Flying Fortress:
During an early voyage of the experimental Kalinin K-7, the aircraft crashed, killing fourteen passengers and forcing Stalin to scrap the project. But an artist has reimagined an alternate history where the Soviet flying fortress takes on Nazi flying saucers.
Aircraft designer KA Kalinin designed the K-7, a massive and extremely expensive prototype plane that briefly carried passengers during 1933. However, the plane crashed in November 1933, causing the project to be scrapped before more prototypes could be built. These images imagine a battle-ready version of a plane similar to Kalinin’s K-7, with enough firepower to take down another non-existent vehicle: the Nazi flying saucer.
Last time we mentioned Detroit here, it was in the less-than-cheerful terms of it becoming a growth region for private security patrols, and the web is full of similar stories charting the Motor City’s decline in lucid hand-wringing detail. But what if they’re ignoring the positives in favour of those apocalyptic headlines and photos?
Aaron M Renn at New Geography makes the point that the city’s administration seems unwilling to face up to the extent of the problem, but also highlights the pioneering atmosphere that Detroit’s “urban prairie” is nurturing. The withering of local government leaves spaces of opportunity for innovative approaches to low-budget living to take root… and while the living ain’t easy, the make-do attitude of the American pioneer spirit seems to be making a return [via Warren Ellis].
Urban agriculture projects are gathering pace; out-of-town artists are moving in, attracted by the low housing prices and the blank-canvas vibe of a city that’s been all but abandoned by consumerism. [image by jessicareeder]
In most cities, municipal government can’t stop drug dealing and violence, but it can keep people with creative ideas out. Not in Detroit. In Detroit, if you want to do something, you just go do it. Maybe someone will eventually get around to shutting you down, or maybe not. It’s a sort of anarchy in a good way as well as a bad one. Perhaps that overstates the case. You can’t do anything, but it is certainly easier to make things happen there than in most places because the hand of government weighs less heavily.
What’s more, the fact that government is so weak has provoked some amazing reactions from the people who live there. In Chicago, every day there is some protest at City Hall by a group from some area of the city demanding something. Not in Detroit. The people in Detroit know that they are on their own, and if they want something done they have to do it themselves. Nobody from the city is coming to help them. And they’ve found some very creative ways to deal with the challenges that result.
Imagine for a moment that this trend continues – might Detroit become some sort of independent city-state, a mildly anarchic rough-and-ready town where the price of freedom is a willingness to work hard for yourself and with your neighbours? How many more cities in the Western world might go the same way as manufacturing becomes increasingly outsourced overseas and/or roboticised? How will national governments react to these places – will they abandon them to the whims of their new residents, or struggle to control them in the face of diminishing tax revenues and the spiralling costs of law enforcement?
I’m not naive enough to imagine Detroit becoming some sort of hippie utopia, but I think it has the potential to become a new type of post-industrial city – but that will depend on a lot of different factors. Should the government be involving itself more closely in these early stages, or will a hands-off wait-and-see approach prove more effective?
It sounds like Detroit is already post-apocalyptic in scope, not only in the inner-city, but in the old ‘burbs too.
I wonder if that’s where the burgeoning biotech industry in Detroit will get their ‘feed-stock’?
I would like to wish my fellow Marines (vets like me and current) a special Happy 234th Birthday and one day perhaps there will be no need for a Marine Corps.
But until that day, SEMPER FI my brothers and fight the good fight.
No matter what the fight.
Gene Steinberg and David Biedny celebrate the life of Fortean/science-fiction writer Mac Tonnies on the November 1st, 2009 Paracast with guests Greg Bishop, Patrick Huyghe, Paul Kimball and Nick Redfern, people who were close friends or worked with Tonnies on various projects.
A very touching send-off for Tonnies.
Somehow, I have to think that in the many Universes of the Multi-verse, Mac got up that Monday morning as normal and went to work as if nothing happened, still thinking about publishing his book.
Western militaries have been searching for a technological edge against whatever enemy-of-the-decade we happen to be fighting against for the past sixty-five years. Power supplies happen to be part of that equation since if western militaries can lower the incidences of refueling airborn and ground fighting machines, that means they can spend more time fighting the ‘enemy.’
Enter Project Kugelblitz.
The announcement came in May 2006 that – after decades of secretly investigating UFOs – the Ministry of Defence had come to the conclusion that aliens were not visiting Britain. The MoD’s claims were revealed within the pages of a formerly classified document – entitled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defence Region, and code-named Project Condign – that had been commissioned in 1996 and was completed in February 2000.
Released under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act thanks specifically to the work of FT contributor Dr David Clarke and UFO researcher Gary Anthony, the 465-page document demonstrated how air defence experts had concluded that UFO sightings were probably the result of “natural, but relatively rare phenomena” such as ball lightning and atmospheric plasmas. UFOs, wrote the still-unknown author of the MoD’s report, were “of no defence significance”.
Inevitably, many UFO investigators claimed that the MoD’s report was merely a ruse to hide its secret knowledge of alien encounters, crashed UFOs, and high-level X-Files-type conspiracies. And although the Government firmly denied such claims, the report did reveal a number of significant conclusions of a genuinely intriguing nature.
The atmospheric plasmas which were believed to be the cause of so many UFO reports were “still barely understood”, said the MoD, and the magnetic and electric fields that emanated from plasmas could adversely affect the human nervous system. And that was not all. Clarke and Anthony revealed that “Volume 3 of the report refers to research and studies carried out in a number of foreign nations into UAPs [Unidentified Aerial Phenomena], atmospheric plasmas, and their potential military applications.”
That such research was of interest to the MoD is demonstrated in a Loose Minute of 4 December 2000 called Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) – DI55 Report, which reveals: “DG(R&T) [Director-General, Research & Technology] will be interested in those phenomena associated with plasma formations, which have potential applications to novel weapon technology.”
This was further borne out in an article on Condign written by James Randerson and published in the Guardian on 22 February 2007 (“Could we have hitched a ride on UFOs?”). It stated in part: “According to a former MoD intelligence analyst who asked not be named, the MoD was paranoid in the late 1980s that the Soviet Union had developed technology that went beyond western knowledge of physics. ‘For many years we were very concerned that in some areas the Russians had a handle on physics that we hadn’t at all. We just basically didn’t know the basics they were working from,’ he said. ‘We did encourage our scientists not to think that we in the West knew everything there was to be known.’”
And it wasn’t just the British Ministry of Defence and the Russians who recognised the potential military spin-offs that both plasmas and ball lightning offered – if they could be understood and harnessed, of course. Official documentation that has surfaced in the United States reveals that only two years after pilot Kenneth Arnold’s now-historic UFO encounter over the Cascade Mountains, Washington State, on 24 June 1947, the US military secretly began looking at ways to exploit such phenomena.
While the US Air Force was busying itself trying to determine whether UFOs were alien spacecraft, Soviet inventions, or even the work of an ultra-secret domestic project, the US Department of Commerce was taking a distinctly different approach. In its search for answers to the UFO puzzle, the DoC was focusing much of its attention on one of the most mystifying and controversial of all fortean phenomena: ball lightning.
A technical report, Project Grudge, published in 1949 by the Air Force’s UFO investigative unit detailed the findings of the DoC’s Weather Bureau with respect to ball lightning, which it believed was connected to normal lightning and electrical discharge. The phenomenon, said the DoC, was “spherical, roughly globular, egg-shaped, or pear-shaped; many times with projecting streamers; or flame-like irregular ‘masses of light’. Luminous in appearance, described in individual cases by different colours but mostly reported as deep red and often as glaring white.”
The Weather Bureau’s study added: “Some of the cases of ‘ball lightning’ observed have displayed excrescences of the appearance of little flames emanating from the main body of the luminous mass, or luminous streamers have developed from it and propagated slant-wise toward the ground… In rare instances, it has been reported that the luminous body may break up into a number of smaller balls which may appear to fall towards the earth like a rain of sparks. It has even been reported that the ball has suddenly ejected a whole bundle of many luminous, radiating streamers toward the earth, and then disappeared. There have been reports by observers of ‘ball lightning’ to the effect that the phenomenon appeared to float through a room or other space for a brief interval of time without making contact with or being attracted by objects.”
Possibly unknown outside of official circles – until I made the discovery at the US National Archives, Maryland, two years ago – is the fact that a complete copy of the Air Force’s Project Grudge document was, somewhat surprisingly, shared with US Army personnel at the Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, in early 1950.
Even more surprising is a curiously-worded entry contained in the covering letter from the Air Force to Edgewood staff that accompanied the Grudge report: “You are aware we have already discussed with Mr Clapp the theoretical incendiary applications of Ball-Lightening [sic] that might be useful to the several German projects at Kirtland. Useful data should be routed to Mr Clapp through this office.”
Precisely who the mysterious Mr Clapp was, I have thus far been unable to determine; however, the fact that he is described as ‘Mr’ is a strong indication that he was not a member of the military. ‘Kirtland’ can only be a reference to Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. Named in 1942 after Roy C Kirtland – the oldest military pilot in the Air Corps – the base is located in the southeast quadrant of Albuquerque, New Mexico, adjacent to the Albuquerque International Sunport airport, and employs over 23,000 people. Moreover, Kirtland AFB has been the site of numerous mystifying UFO incidents since the late 1940s.
As for the reference to “the several German projects” apparently in place at Kirtland at the time, this is almost certainly related to the US Government’s controversial Operation Paperclip which, in the post-World War II era, saw countless German scientists – some of whom were Nazis, and many of whom were engaged in advanced aerospace research – secretly offered employment in the US, and particularly at military installations in New Mexico, such as the White Sands Proving Ground.
So, can we assume from the hints contained in this letter that by early 1950 some sort of combined Army-Air Force project, or at the very least, an exchange of information, was underway at Edgewood Arsenal – possibly working in tandem with a similar project at Kirtland Air Force Base – to try to understand and harness the power of ball lightning?
The answer would appear to be yes. Documentation has disclosed the identity of a project nicknamed Harness-Cavalier, the purpose of which was indeed to understand and capitalise on the true nature of ball lightning, and which, from 1950 to at least the mid-1960s utilised the skills of personnel from Edgewood Arsenal, Kirtland Air Force Base, and also Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio.
Via the Freedom of Information Act, a whole host of documents from the files of Harness-Cavalier – now numbering more than 120 – have surfaced, demonstrating that those attached to the project were kept well-informed of any and all developments in the field of ball lightning, and particularly how it might be exploited militarily.
Such documentation includes: “Theory of the Lightning Ball and its Application to the Atmospheric Phenomenon Called ‘Flying Saucers”, written by Carl Benadicks in 1954; “Ball Lightning: A Survey”, prepared by one JR McNally for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee (year unknown); DV Ritchie’s “Reds May Use Lightning as a Weapon”, which appeared in Missiles and Rockets in August 1959; and “An Experimental and Theoretical Program to Investigate the Feasibility of Confining Plasma in Free Space by Radar Beams”, which was written by CM Haaland in 1960 for the Armour Research Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology.
The strongest evidence that confirms Edgewood Arsenal’s deep interest in the potential use of ball lightning on the battlefield can be found in a December 1965 document entitled “Survey of Kugelblitz Theories for Electromagnetic Incendiaries”. Written by WB Lyttle and CE Wilson, the document was prepared under contract for the US Army’s New Concepts Division/ Special Projects at Edgewood.
This is totally fascinating in that this explains quite a bit of why the US military kept the stories of ‘UFOs’ alive and were able to keep the prying eyes of the public away from their various research projects.
Exploring ‘ball-lightning’ and the use thereof would solve quite a lot of the problems of refueling fighters and other esoteric weaponry DARPA could dream up to kill people.
Tesla invented the concept himself one hundred years ago when he imagined transferring artificial electrical ‘ball lightning’ from transfer station to transfer station around the world (spawning a theory about the 1908 Tunguska, Siberia explosion).
No wires or cables required. A completely ‘wireless’ network world-wide.
We don’t know for sure if the Pentagon has this ability and we only have people like Andrew D. Basiago’s claims they do, but imagine the implications!
Who needs the Constellation Program when we already possess the technology to go to Mars and build underground cities and bases there?
According to Andrew D. Basiago, we (meaning the US) have jump-gate and time travel capability that was stolen from Nicola Tesla before he died in 1946.
Interesting interview on Red Ice Creations.
The military implications of UFO activity has silently been a concern to the national security alphabet soup agencies and the military for over 60 some-odd years, although publicly denied.
Now there is going to be a college lecture on the subject in Wilmington, North Carolina:
At a nuclear missile launch site in North Dakota, a guard spots a mysterious bright light hovering over the location of each rocket silo.
Below ground, officers on duty notice their missiles start to activate one by one.
In the launch capsule, an officer orders emergency procedures when he sees every bomb targeted by the intruder prepare to fire.
UFO researcher Robert Hastings has recorded this and other testimony from retired U.S. military personnel who worked at nuclear facilities over the past four decades. He says there’s a pattern of UFOs targeting nuclear launch sites not just in the United States, but around the world.
“One might interpret that as these beings attempting to send a warning to us humans that we are playing with fire,” Hastings said. “Alternatively, it could be that these beings are planning to invade Earth and don’t want to inhabit a radioactive wasteland.”
A retired laboratory analyst and lifelong UFO investigator, Hastings will give a free lecture and slideshow in the Burney Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington at 7 p.m. today Hastings says his findings confirm beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of UFOs and their concern to top-level military and intelligence officials.
“I’m trying to get this message out to the public to let people know that this is not science fiction, this is not Hollywood, this is not the funny pages – this is absolutely real,” Hastings said.
In more than 30 years of research on UFO sightings, Hastings has collected testimony from 120 veterans, and reviewed thousands of de-classified Air Force, FBI and CIA documents. He has appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live, spoken at more than 500 colleges and published a book on his findings last year. His presentation at UNCW is part of the campus’ ACE Voice program, a series of speakers invited to bring fresh perspectives to campus.
Decades of research was kindled by a mysterious sighting one night during Hastings’ high school job as a janitor at an Air Force base in Montana in 1967. As Hastings cleaned the radar room, an officer on duty told him they were monitoring UFOs in the area, and showed him five hovering objects on the radar screen. Within minutes, the officer grew tense and ordered Hastings out of the room. Later, the officer refused to discuss what had happened. With that, a lifelong quest was born.
Hastings’ focus is on collecting firsthand accounts from military veterans of UFO sightings and activity during their service time. He conducts careful research to confirm each source’s background, and corroborates each account with other eyewitness descriptions and de-classified government documents.
Hastings believes the government’s knowledge of UFOs is kept quiet out of fear of public panic if the information was released.
Over the years, Hastings says he has seen half a dozen UFOs with his own eyes, including a set of bright lights hovering over radio and TV towers in Albequerque that covered eight miles in three seconds. Though Hastings emphasizes that he is only speculating, he believes that at least one race of alien visitors has been monitoring Earth for a long time.
“I think we’re slowly as a race being acquainted with their reality and presence here, and at some point they’re going to leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that that’s what’s going on,” Hastings said.
Hastings has also been on the Paracast about this subject too.
My belief is that the military doesn’t do anything because it can’t do anything about it!
Just when NASA is struggling to get funds for its future LEO and Moon missions, the military of course has no issue what-so-ever for funding:
You would think that an unpiloted space plane built to rocket spaceward from Florida atop an Atlas booster, circle the planet for an extended time, then land on autopilot on a California runway would be big news. But for the U.S. Air Force X-37B project — seemingly, mum’s the word.
There is an air of vagueness regarding next year’s Atlas Evolved Expendable launch of the unpiloted, reusable military space plane. The X-37B will be cocooned within the Atlas rocket’s launch shroud — a ride that’s far from cheap.
While the launch range approval is still forthcoming, SPACE.com has learned that the U.S. Air Force has the X-37B manifested for an April 2010 liftoff.
As a mini-space plane, this Boeing Phantom Works craft has been under development for years. Several agencies have been involved in the effort, NASA as well as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and various arms of the U.S. Air Force.
Over the last few months, I’ve been in touch with DARPA, Boeing, the Pentagon, the U.S. Air Force Space Command, as well as NASA itself. Either you get a “not in our portfolio” or are given a “go to” pass to another agency. Just a few weeks ago, I even commandeered a face-to-face “no comment” from a top Pentagon official for Air Force space programs about X-37B.
The tight-lipped factor surrounding the space plane, its mission, and who is in charge is curious. Such a hush-hush factor seems to mimic in pattern that mystery communications spacecraft lofted last month aboard an Atlas 5 rocket, simply called PAN. Its assignment and what agency owns it remains undisclosed.
But in a brief burst of light eking from the new era of government transparency, I did score this comment from NASA.
While the program is now under the U.S. Air Force, NASA is looking forward to receiving data from the advanced technology work.
“NASA has a long history of involvement with the X-37 program. We continue to monitor and share information on technology developments,” said Gary Wentz, chief engineer Science and Missions Systems Office at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. “We are looking forward to a successful first flight and to receiving data from some advanced technologies of interest to us, such as thermal protection systems, guidance, navigation and control, and materials for autonomous re-entry and landing.”
The vehicle itself is about 29 feet long with a roughly 15-foot wingspan and weighs in at over five tons at liftoff. Speeding down from space, the craft would likely make use of Runway 12/30 — 15,000 feet long by 200 feet wide — at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Vandenberg serves as an emergency space shuttle landing strip, as a second backup after California’s Edwards Air Force Base – which has also been noted as a landing spot for the X-37B.
Once in orbit, what such a vehicle might enable depends on the eye of the beholder. Intelligence gathering, kicking off small satellites, testing space gear are feasible duties, as is developing reusable space vehicle technologies.
Space test platform
Just last month, a U.S. Air Force fact sheet noted that the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO), located in Washington, D.C. “is working on the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle to demonstrate a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the United States Air Force.”
The mission of the RCO is to expedite development and fielding of select Department of Defense combat support and weapon systems by leveraging defense-wide technology development efforts and existing operational capabilities.
“The problem with it [X37-B] is whether you see it as a weapons platform,” said Theresa Hitchens, former head of the Center for Defense Information’s Space Security Program, now Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva, Switzerland.
“It then becomes, if I am not mistaken, a Global Strike platform. There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about Global Strike as a concept,” Hitchens told SPACE.com.
The implications of the program as a possible space weapon are surely not lost on potential U.S. competitors, Hitchens said, who may well see anti-satellites (ASATs) as a leveler.
“Would this thing be vulnerable to ASATs? Yes, if it stayed on orbit any length of time,” Hitchens added. “While I see value of such a platform as a pop-up reconnaissance or even communications platform, if weaponized it becomes yet another reason for other nations to consider building dangerous ASATs,” she cautioned.
Another mission question is, to what extent the X-37B might play into the recent announcement that NASA is partnering with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to develop a technology roadmap for the commercial reusable launch vehicle, or RLV, industry.
All that said, and after years in the making, the X-37B is approaching its first globe-trotting, milestone making and historic flight – that much is known.
My my, I’m sure it’s just everyone’s imagination this little Pentagon item exists!
It makes you wonder what else is up there?
Maybe this is the real reason the Pentagon wants Gary McKinnon sooo Bad?
‘Extraterrestrial Officers?’ Hmm…
If you think this is BS, remember the military always had a more advanced space program than NACA/NASA.
The above space plane has its’ roots in Project Dinasoar.
And Neil Armstrong was involved in that!