6/5/16  #864
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He stays up late into the night - fearful to sleep because of those who watch in the dark. They watch from the sky. The watch from the streets. They watch with the cold, glassy stare of hidden cameras. His communications are not safe. They read all that goes in, and all that goes out. His entertainment is monitored 24 hours a day. They know what TV shows he sees and which web sites on the Internet he visits. But despite all they see and do - nothing can prevent the arrival of his favorite weekly e-mail newsletter of the strange and weird. Yes that's RIGHT! Conspiracy Journal is here once again to reveal all the deep, dark secrets that THEY don't want YOU to know!

This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such brain-panning stories as:

- Muhammad Ali: King of the UFO Watchers -
- Waking the Snow Leopard -

-  The Mystery of England's Ancient Tunnels -
- Chicago Mothman Sightings -
AND: The Time We Almost Lost Albuquerque

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Here is a direct link to Issue # 45

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Mr UFOs Secret Files

 Timothy Beckley, Publisher

Shocking Revelations of Secret Technology Gone Mad!



“We cannot take credit for our record advancements in certain scientific fields alone; we have been helped by the people of other worlds. . . We should think of the craft in the New Mexico desert as more of a time machine than a space craft.” Professor Hermann Oberth, Father of Rocketry

“When WWII ended, the Germans had several radical types of aircraft and guided missiles under development. The majority were in the most preliminary stages, but they were the only known craft that could even approach the performance of objects reported to UFO observers.” Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, USAF Project Blue Book

Here is evidence that Hitler had a top secret brigade of Nazi engineers working in deep underground laboratories – in conjunction with off world interstellar cosmonauts – to establish space flight and time travel years before the start of America’s rocketry program in which the U.S. sought the help of thousands of Nazi war criminals bought into this country under the auspicious of the tight lipped Project Paperclip.

Information recently obtained by the authors indicates that the UFO that crashed outside Roswell might have been part of this Nazi space/time travel program cleverly covered up by our military’ in order to look like the arrival of an out of control interplanetary vehicle. The top brass ultimately looking to cover their tracks which indicated that they were inappropriately working in tandem with non reconcilable war criminals who had been excused of all evil misdeeds and eventually extending citizenship to.

Die Glocke, or The Bell, may well have been used to bend both space and time and give the Nazis the unthinkable power to explore the past freely and even to CONTROL THE FUTURE.

Are we plummeting headlong toward a world under fascist domination – a nightmare in which sadistic, jackbooted thugs are waiting for us to “catch up” in time with our own predestined subjugation to open worldwide rule by the Nazis possible hiding out on the surface of the moon or at “secret cities” at the Poles? Do they lie in wait for us as the clock on our freedom runs down?

This Newly Released Book is Now Available for the
Bargain Price of Only

So don't delay, order your copy of Nazi UFO Time Travelers
today for only $16.00 plus $5.00 for shipping -  A GREAT PRICE!

As Well!  If you order now...we will include a FREE Audio CD by Commander X detailing the secret Nazi plan to control the planet using Tesla-Based UFO technology.

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Timothy Green Beckley
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New Brunswick, NJ  08903

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Exploring the Bizarre - Thursday Nights at 10:00PM EST

Heard Live on the KCOR Digital Radio Network



By Timothy Green Beckley

I learned with heartfelt sadness that my UFO sky-watching friend and boxing icon Muhammad Ali has passed from this realm to the next. There was no one like him inside or outside of the ring for that matter. He was among the most well-known individuals around the world – a true good will ambassador who attracted crowds like few others could. When he spoke, those around him would listen.

When promoting an upcoming fight he was outrageously bombastic and full of self-praise – he made Donald Trump seem like a little punk left in the schoolyard talking trash to kids much younger than he. In person was a real charmer that crowds would encircle just to be within his aura. 

I visited Ali in his New York hotel following one of his UFO sightings, the first that he made public; journeyed to his home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and took Uri Geller with me to Ali’s training camp in Pennsylvania where the mothership was waiting nearby. For those who say that UFOs are NOT a part of the Afro-American experience, this is NONSENSE. Ali tied in his sightings with his religious affiliation with the Nation of Islam and believed that the ultimate UFO was a giant wheel in the sky. We will miss him, of course, but we have fond memories and are happy to share them with our community of friends. 

No more rope a dope or stinging like a bee, but the Champ is in Heaven as peaceful as can be.  

The following is an excerpt from “Shirley MacLaine Meets The Pleiadians, Plus the Amazing Flying Saucer Experiences of Celebrities, Rock Stars and the Rich and Famous” by Timothy Green Beckley.

*     *      *     *    *

Of all the famous folks I’ve spent time with discussing UFOs and theories about extraterrestrial civilizations and life in outer space, no one seems to know more about the subject – at least from a firsthand point of view – than retired heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali. Thus, Ali deserves an entire chapter for himself.

I’ll never forget the first time I went to visit Ali at his home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I remember thinking to myself, “What a place! This looks more like a Holiday Inn than somebody’s residence.” There was a long, circular driveway paved with massive cobblestones with four or five classic cars parked in front of an adjoining garage that would be any collector’s dream. Ali owned them all! Even here where the wealthy reside, it was hard to believe that few would ever attain the financial plateau reached by their most prominent neighbor. Towering well above six feet, I had first met the most famous prizefighter of all one morning around 5:00 AM as he sprinted along the trail that leads into Manhattan’s Central Park around 80th Street. His long-time friend and trainer, Angelo Dundee, warned me that Ali wanted to talk and jog at the same time, as he was getting into shape to fight then-arch rival Oscar Bonavena.

I looked at my own less-than-perfect physique, wondering whether I could keep up with Ali’s pace, even for a short distance.

As luck had it, Ali didn’t plan on doing any heavy sprinting. After introducing myself and giving Ali a brief rundown on what I wanted this opportunity to speak to him about, we began to trot and chat simultaneously – fortunately at a speed that, though taxing, I could maintain.

The “knockout” king had been working out in the park on previous mornings and had made the news by claiming to have seen not one, but two UFOs moving over New York City. Both in the park and later in his home, Ali would tell the same story to all those willing to listen.

UFOS Among the Stars15

“I happened to look up just before dawn, as I often do while running, and there hovering above us was this brilliant light hanging as if by an invisible thread. At first I thought it was a beacon projected from a helicopter,” Ali explained, “but moments later a similar object passed in front of us.” The second UFO had a glowing red trail behind it.

“I brought it to the attention of my trainer, who was standing nearby. We watched them come from behind the skyline and move slowly across the sky for at least 15 minutes. The best I can describe the sighting is to say they were just round and big.” Ali says he later found out there were other UFO sightings made that same night, “including a report from a pilot about to land at Newark Airport.”

A number of reporters traveling with the Champ jumped on the story and it was picked up by the wire services, though Ali was concerned that these reports made it sound as if the subject were to be treated as a joke. He wanted to let me know right from the starting bell that he was quite serious about what he had seen. “This is no joke. All my friends here saw it.”

Ali added that this was by no means his only encounter with a UFO. “Actually, I’ve seen them many times before. I’ve had 16 sightings total to date,” he said as he headed toward his limousine. I was prepared to bid him goodbye, but he waved me over and said he wouldn’t mind talking further.

“I have a few more stories you’ll definitely find of interest. Why not come over to the hotel and we’ll discuss these things some more.”

When I arrived at his hotel suite sometime later along with Global Communications correspondent Harold Salkin, Ali was trying to relax. He was flat on his stomach talking a mile a minute to a small group that had gathered while at the same time getting a massage and rubdown from one of his personal aides.

Trying to cram as many words and thoughts into each sentence seems to be his method for getting a particular message across.

“Hey, I wanted you to check out these paintings. The champ’s an artist you know.”

He motioned to four or five medium-sized canvasses. “I’m quite good, I’ve been told” he went on, rapping to no one in particular but everyone in general. It was easy to see how the public always got the impression that Ali’s a braggart. He is, but it’s all part of the hype that made him the most talked about – and highly-paid – boxer in the annals of prize fighting.

Now he looked directly at me. “I thought you would find this really fascinating,” he remarked. “In my painting, I brush in the number of the round I’m going to win my next bout by. See this one with the number three in it? I did that a few weeks prior to pounding Jerry Quarry into the mat. It happened exactly as I predicted.”

During his career, Ali had long been known for his poetic flights in which he foretold the round his opponent would be knocked out in or otherwise defeated. Some of his divination was accurate; other times . . . well. But his paintings all contained the right round number.

“Remarkable?” One reporter was heard to mumble under his breath that he wasn’t sure our host hadn’t airbrushed the correct round numbers in after his successful ring appearances. (Some people will just never believe, I thought to myself.)

After testing the credibility of the group further, Ali went from predictions and poetry to UFOs. “You know those objects we discussed in the park? I’ve mentioned this to no one before, but they’ve been watching me for some time now!”

“When?” “Where?” “Why?” We all queried at the same moment.

“Many times, in the early morning hours, if you look up in the sky you can see them playing tag between the stars, really high up. I’ve had a good number of sightings myself. The closest one happened when a cigar-shaped ship hovered briefly over a car I was a passenger in one night driving north on the New Jersey Turnpike. What a sight that was. We could see the shadow made by the UFO as it passed over the pavement of the road in the light of the full moon.” His trainer put down the bottle of rubbing alcohol; Ali raised himself on his elbows.

Ali’s voice shifted to a more confidential tone. “I don’t like to talk about this much, but we all seem to be open-minded here. One day, walking through the Florida Everglades, I saw this ship land and, as I watched, a door slid open and a ramp projected itself onto the ground. Out stepped a human-looking figure more than seven feet tall who proceeded to walk down the ramp and stand in front of me.

“‘Muhammad,’ he said, ‘You will beat Sonny Liston in . . .’”

The room filled with laughter. What had sounded at first like it could have been an honest account of an Ali fantasy was really another of Ali’s famous put-ons.

After a last round of stories, Ali excused himself and headed for the shower. “Be sure to call me at home,” he said, grasping my hand, into which he placed a slip of paper with his unlisted phone number. “I just bought a new house and would like to you to see it.”

Three weeks later I called and a soft, feminine voice answered, introducing herself as Mrs. Ali. Muhammad took the phone a few seconds later: “You sure Joe Frazer didn’t tell you to call?” he shouted in jest. All I had to do was mention UFOs, and Ali knew who I was.

“Listen, I’ll be back in around ten days, so come down and bring some photos, slides, films, anything you have on saucers, okay? I’ll even tell you what they are, if you’re interested enough.”

Promising to bring all the material I could carry, we concluded the brief conversation. On the appointed day, I piled everything I could possibly carry into the car, and, with a few friends, headed for southern New Jersey.

We hardly knew what to expect, having read various journalistic descriptions of Muhammad Ali’s new home. Locating the house was a breeze (everyone in Cherry Hill knew where it was located). The house itself was set back a good 500 feet from the road, hidden from the mainstream, but obvious to those looking for Ali’s estate. (I equate it with trying to hide Madison Square Garden on 32nd Street in New York City.) On the edge of the property sat a large mobile house trailer, easily a forty-thousand dollar score. Parked in the drive was Ali’s Rolls Royce, complete with TV and telephone.

Ringing the bell brought no response, and since signs of life in the front section were nil, our entourage hiked through the soft mud to the back entrance. Knocking loudly, we were greeted by a smiling black man who ushered us down into an elaborately set up basement-den-and-work-area.

Here sat the “king‚” gabbing to a roomful of people, mostly teenagers from nearby communities. “Joe Frazer better worry ‘cause when I get finished, he’ll wish he never insulted me.” Ali was using his time-honored trick of turning the truth around to make his opponent look bad.

“Hey, here are my UFO men. What did you bring with you?” he smiled. I explained that we had brought along some motion picture film of flying saucers taken in West Virginia.

“We’ll plug in the projector and let’s see what they look like.” There was never any question in his mind about their being real or not; he’s a stone cold believer. At Ali’s request, we ran the film three times while he pointed out the physical characteristics on these video saucers that were similar or identical to the ones he observed in real life.

When we completed the screening, Ali asked if we could have copies made for him.

“I’d like to show them at my college lectures. UFOs tie in with what my teacher, Elijah Muhammad, says.” To back up his point, he produced a copy of a book, “Message To The Black Man In America.” Thumbing through the clothbound volume, he stopped about midway. Under the heading, “Battle in the Sky is Near,” Ali read us the following passages: “The vision of Ezekiel’s wheel in the sky is true if carefully understood. There is a similar wheel in the sky today which very well answers the description of Ezekiel’s vision. The similar Ezekiel’s wheel is a masterpiece of mechanics. Maybe I should not say the wheel is similar to Ezekiel’s vision, but that Ezekiel’s vision has become a reality.

“The present wheel-shaped plane known as the Mother of Planes is one-half mile by a half mile and is the largest mechanical manmade object in the sky. It is a small human planet made for the purpose of destroying the present world of the enemies of Allah. The cost to build such a plane is staggering! The finest brains were used to build it. It is capable of staying in outer space six to twelve months at a time without coming into the Earth’s gravity. It carries fifteen hundred bombing planes with the deadliest explosives – the type used in bringing up mountains on the Earth. The very same method is to be used in the destruction of the world.

“The small circular-made planes called flying saucers, which are so much talked of being seen, could be from this Mother Plane.”

After closing the book, Ali concluded our discussion of UFOs and indicated to the dozen or so persons seated around that it was time to leave. He pulled me aside and asked if I was interested in seeing the rest of the house. “I got it at a real bargain,” he said proudly. “Originally it was priced at $750,000, but I got it for nearly half.” (Just imagine as I write this, years later, how much that house would be worth at today’s inflated prices!)

Walking up the semi-spiral staircase connecting the basement with the first floor, we stepped into the dining area that is built around an outdoor patio, enclosed on all four sides with glass, behind which two frisky dogs romped. I could see Ali’s eyes glow as he pointed out items of interest. “The crystal chandeliers cost me only $25,000. Can you believe that?”

Looking at them, I could.

Escorted out of the dining room, we were then shown his wife’s and children’s personal quarters. “Notice the black velvet wallpaper. I got that at a real buy. Bet you’ve never seen anything like this,” Ali challenged, pointing to gold bathroom textures.

Indeed, I hadn’t and I suspect neither have many other people. Next, the exclusive set of silver and chinaware were brought out and we were allowed to examine it. I could not even guess the cost of something like this. But from the way Muhammad talked about everything. I’m sure he got the best of the deal.

A tour of the grounds surrounding the house completed the inspection, and I bid Ali farewell. My impressions at that point were mostly positive. I felt an affinity for him, for he has a warmth and glow his public image does not convey. I couldn’t wait to get together for Round Two and find out more about Ali’s interest in UFOs.


Some time passed before I was to see Ali again, which is to be expected, considering the fact that he was in such demand all over the world as a champion prize fighter, a celebrity and a peacemaker who always felt that, because of his status, he had the opportunity to help mend fences and bring about a better Earth.

He’s one of the few well-recognized figures who is comfortable whether he is speaking with a group of ghetto kids, being interviewed on national television or dining with presidents or kings. Regardless of the circumstances, he has always been permitted to get his message across because he is Muhammad Ali.


Muhammad Ali with Johnny Carson

One of his messages happens to involve UFOs. Ali even went so far one time as to break away from a pre-planned conversation on the Johnny Carson Show to bring up a subject that “The Tonight Show” host seemed to have little interest in discussing.

Our next “confrontation” was at Ali’s training camp high in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania at Dear Lake. This time I went along with an entire entourage, including my old friend Harold Salkin, health writer Herbert Bailey and super psychic Uri Geller.

In addition to finding out more about Ali’s UFO experiences (there were several sightings that had transpired since we last met), Ali expressed interest in meeting the young Israeli sensitive who was said to have the power to bend metal utensils and make objects disappear and reappear upon command.

For the record, Geller put on quite a show that afternoon. I remember him standing in the outside doorway of one of the buildings on the camp site with Ali’s ex-wife, Belinda. Clasping her hand in his, Uri asked her to tell him when she felt anything unusual. After a minute or two, she commented that she felt her ring getting warm. After another minute or two, she commented that she felt her ring getting warmer. After another minute of deep concentration, Geller removed his hand and everyone standing around – particularly Belinda – gasped out loud. Without applying any physical strength that was visible to the naked eye, the stone inside Belinda’s ring had vanished from its setting and was nowhere to be found!

Hopefully it was not a valuable stone, because I do not recall it ever being returned, like all professional magicians would do as part of their act. Later, Uri was talking with one of Ali’s sparring partners when he asked if he could demonstrate his powers again. He held a very heavy religious medallion that was around the boxer’s neck and, by merely touching it – and without pressing down his hand – Geller made a considerable impression in the medallion with his fingertip. Again everyone was impressed, as there was no “logical explanation” as to how this extraordinary feat was accomplished.

Meanwhile, back in the main house, Muhammad Ali was doing some fancy “trick work” of his very own. It turns out that the champ is a bit of a magician himself and thinks he can do everything Geller can do with sleight of hand. He did accomplish an impressive rope trick where a piece of thick hemp was sliced in two pieces, only to have it tum back into a single length of rope. Apparently some of Ali’s professional magician friends had told Ali that Geller was not “the real thing” and to be leery of what he was able to accomplish.

Be that as it may, once the “magical” interlude part of our visit was out of the way, Ali happily returned to the topic of UFOs, which he seemed genuinely more comfortable with than psychic phenomena.

“Remember how I told you about Elijah Muhammad’s belief in a large mothership circling the Earth? Well, I think this is what I observed recently over my training camp here.”

Prodded into giving additional details, Ali seemed willing to talk about this sighting, which had taken place over a two-night period on a Friday and Saturday during the summer.

“I had been training for three hours in the afternoon, getting ready to do battle with George Foreman. After a light supper, I decided to take a stroll around the grounds. Around 9:00 PM – it had just gotten dark – I walked up a gravel path that runs along back of our log cabin gym.

“The nighttime sky was as picturesque as one of my poems,” he interjected. “The sun had been down for only a short while, and so the sky was still quite light.”

Suddenly, seemingly from out of nowhere, Ali’s eyes caught a glimpse of a bright glowing orb off in the distance. “At first I thought this flicker was the North Star rising in the heavens. However, within moments, I could tell I was watching something out of the ordinary.”

Ali went on, talking with unusual candor. “Before I could blink my eyes, this ‘light’ had come down toward the mountains until it hovered right above the valley here. I knew I couldn’t be dreaming. Sure ‘nough, it was still there. This had to be one of those big ships they talk about! The UFO was streamlined and shaped sort of like a cigar, but blunt on both ends. I couldn’t see any windows or anything, but I’m certain there must have been people onboard.”

I asked how he knew it wasn’t a helicopter or an airplane. Ali said that the object acted like no conventional aircraft he was familiar with. “First, it would stand still, and then move about, jumping from one portion of the sky to another. From time to time, it would speed away, up to the far reaches of the heavens, and then, minutes later, it would come down toward us again. It did this numerous times during the two hours I watched it.”

Upon first hearing Ali tell the story, a skeptical individual might suspect he was pulling your leg a bit. But, no, as usual the champ seemed sincere enough. In fact, as usual, he shied away from talking about his experiences unless there was someone around to verify them. This time was no exception. Ali says the nocturnal visitor came back to haunt the skies above his mountaintop retreat at the identical hour the next evening.

“For two more hours, until 11:00, I watched this ‘stranger’ maneuver about. It was really somethin’ to see,” Ali related. With him on the second evening was business manager Gene Kilroy.

“I never paid too much attention to Muhammad when he talked about these things. I chalked it up to a vivid imagination. But I know there was something mighty peculiar happening over the camp that night. I looked up and saw this thing – this UFO – doing acrobatics up among the stars. The sighting changed my previous opinion concerning UFOs,” Kilroy conceded.

During our next – and final – formal meeting, Ali only had a few minutes to spare, as he was flying to the West Coast on a promotional tour. Wiping his brow with a towel – he had just gone four rounds with a hard-slugging sparring partner – Ali said he found it a lot easier to live with UFOs than ever before.

“I always speak my mind, since I found out that so many other people have had similar sightings. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years lecturing to college campuses around the country and I find students are open-minded toward the existence of things like this. I hope others will listen in the future as I’m convinced UFOs are of tremendous importance to the whole world.”






Source: Spectral Vision


Waking the Snow Leopard
By Forrest E. Morgan

The Covenant, a religious order that was persecuted and believed wiped out in the 4th century, survived in secrecy and spread around the globe, ultimately becoming rich and powerful.  It now influences world events, manipulating governments behind the scenes.

Owen Powell is the Arbiter, the ultimate authority in disputes between the Covenants 12 Great Houses. A former Army ranger and intelligence officer, educated in the best universities, he was groomed to be one of the most powerful men in the world. The problem is he doesn't know it because his father was murdered before passing on the family legacy.

At the dawn of the third millennium, Covenant leaders meet to discuss an ominous prophecy. The Arbiter will wake and the fate of humankind will hinge on a choice he will have to make. Covenant factions vie to manipulate Powell to their own designs. Little do they know the perils they face when they wake the Snow Leopard.

Having retired from the U.S. Air Force, I am now a political scientist who does strategy analysis for defense and intelligence clients. I also teach courses on strategy and national security space operations at the University of Pittsburgh.  I have long been fascinated by how little most people know about machinations that occur behind the scenes, shaping the world around us and triggering events of global significance. An area in which this is particularly evident is in the field of religion. Few people understand, or are willing to accept, that political intrigue has often played a greater role in shaping religious doctrine than has spiritual revelation. Conversely, the maneuverings of powerful religious groups have frequently shaped world politics.

Waking the Snow Leopard illustrates the dynamic, secret relationship between religion, politics, and power. In this story a man discovers he has inherited the responsibility to adjudicate disputes between factions of a powerful, secret religious order, one that has shaped global events through the ages, often triggering catastrophic wars and other calamities. I did this work as fiction because I felt a tale of mystery and adventure would reach more people than a dry non-fiction book.  Readers can decide for themselves how much of it is based on fact.

* * *

Maryland-Spring 2001

The man stood, hands clasped behind his back, gazing into the plumes of water that danced above the fountain in front of McPherson Library.  He wore a rumpled topcoat, and though he faced away, Owen Powell knew that beneath that coat would be a mid-grade business suit-not cheap looking, but not expensive-something inconspicuous, something a man could afford on a government salary.  Powell knew how the man would be dressed because he knew who it was.  He could not see the face, but he knew that silhouette and it made his stomach churn. 

It had been almost five years since he had last seen the man, and he had sworn that if he ever saw him again, he would kill him.  He wouldn't, though, not here in the warm spring sun, not in the middle of the university campus.

All around them young men and women were hurrying from one class to the next.  Others moved at a more relaxed pace, done with another week of studies and chatting about their plans for the weekend.  Powell and the man standing before him, the man deliberately showing him his back, seemed an island out of phase with this tide of young humanity, like phantoms from another dimension only marginally existing in the present reality.  No one seemed to notice, but Powell sensed it intensely, and it made him furious.
He had once thought he could fit in with the crowd around him.  At a glance, one would think he did.  Striding across campus in faded jeans, knit sweater, and a gray tweed sport coat worn soft at the elbows, he could almost pass for a graduate student heading for a lecture or to help some professor grade undergraduate test papers.  But he wasn't a student and he never quite managed to feel like a member of the faculty.

He had come here four years ago, a freshly minted Ph.D. in political science determined to settle into a quiet, comfortable life as a scholar.  But he soon learned he would never be one of them.  He never managed to bond or even identify with his fellow professors, most of whom had gone straight from their parent's suburban homes to college, from there to grad school, and from there to faculty positions to teach about a world they had never experienced firsthand.
Nor did many of his colleagues accept him as one of their own.  These textbook academics loved to flaunt their mastery of abstract theories in airy discussions over drinks in quaint little bars, but they reddened and shrank away whenever Powell pointed out how often the messy world contradicted their neat, logical explanations.  It was not long before they stopped inviting him to their gatherings.  He didn't care.
Powell felt much more comfortable talking with his students, lounging in noisy coffee houses with dirty floors and young waitresses flirting for tips.  He would sit there for hours, draining pots of coffee and explaining the world in ways that tempered the theoretical principles he taught in the classroom with rich, contextual examples.
Sadly, during the last year or two, he had begun to lose interest even in these sessions.  He didn't want to admit it.  For months he had pushed it to the back of his mind or blamed it on the weather or told himself it was but a passing shadow on his mood.  On a day like this one-the first mild day of the year, the first whisper of the summer ahead after an unusually hard Maryland winter-he could almost believe it.  Maybe it really had been the weather, he had told himself only five minutes earlier.

Then he rounded the corner at McPherson Library, glanced at the fountain, and saw Jack Fowler.  In a single heart-chilling instant, he knew he had been wrong-he would never fit in at the university.  And that made him despise the man all the more. 

Powell stepped up to the fountain a few feet from Fowler, folded his arms across his chest, and gazed at the water.  He could see why Fowler had chosen this place.  The white noise of the fountain would make it impossible for anyone to eavesdrop on their conversation.  The buildings on each side and the spray of water in front of them screened their faces from anyone with a telescopic lens, trying to read their lips.  Tradecraft.

Powell waited, outwardly placid as he contemplated coldcocking the man beside him.

"Hello Owen," Fowler said, not turning his way.

"What do you want, Jack?"  Powell, too, stared straight ahead.

"Now, is that any way to greet an old friend?"

"Our friendship ended when you abandoned me in northern Iraq."

Fowler sighed, but still did not look Powell's way.  "We've been over that.  The operation went bust.  The Peshmerga sold us out to Iraqi intelligence.  They were rolling up the network and-"

"You managed to get your own people out."

"Yeah, well, like I told you before, agency people have priority over private contractors.  I offered to put you on the regular payroll before we sent you in.  Staying private was your decision.  Besides, you managed to find your way over the mountains and across the Turkish frontier without my help.  A hundred miles of cat and mouse with the Special Republican Guard-damned impressive, I'd say.  I guess I trained you pretty well."  He gave Powell a sideways glance and grinned then turned back to the fountain.

"What do you want, Jack?"  Powell enunciated each word slowly, his jaw tight.

Fowler sighed again.  "We need your help.  An American diplomat was killed in England, and the whole thing's turned into one big cluster-fuck.  It looked like some kind of terrorist attack, but it happened out in the middle of nowhere and there are a whole lot of pieces that don't fit.  We don't even know why our man was out there."

"Why come to me?  Aren't the Brits investigating?  Why don't you work with MI5 or Special Branch?"

"They're on it, but they've frozen us out.  We don't know why.  For some reason, MI6 is involved."

"Again, why come to me?  I'm out of that business.  Besides, I've got no expertise in criminal investigation.  Why aren't you working through the FBI?"

"Our relationship with the Brits has gotten complicated, lately.  We thought you might be able to help because you have contacts there.  You went to grad school with the upper crust, people who now have important jobs in the bureaucracy, some in intelligence."

"That's bullshit.  No one who went to school with me would be in a key position this soon.  Your contacts are better than mine, and you know it.  Why are you here, really?

Fowler shifted awkwardly then turned to face Powell.  "I'm here because the man who was killed, Michael Dunross, was a friend of your father's.  They were in Tokyo together when your dad worked at the embassy.  We think Dunross's death might have something to do with your father's."

Owen Powell gave Fowler a hard stare.  "That was almost twenty years ago.  My father died in a fire.  How could that have anything to do with a recent terrorist attack in England?"

"I can't say more here.  Let me give you a full briefing then you can decide what you want to do."  He handed Powell a business card.  "I've got a temporary office on Broad Street.  Come by at four."

Before Powell could say anything else, Fowler turned and walked away.

* * *

Forrest E. Morgan Forrest E. Morgan is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

Since coming to RAND, he has done strategy research and analysis for the Air Force and other defense and intelligence clients. He has authored and coauthored numerous books and published research papers.

Morgan practiced Asian martial arts for 30 years and taught several systems. His 1992 book, Living the Martial Way, has been described as a classic in martial arts philosophy. His first novel, Waking the Snow Leopard, will debut in June 2016.



The Mystery of England's Ancient Tunnels

“How do you like spiders?” asked James Gossip, an archaeologist, British prehistory expert and my guide to this subterranean world – one, apparently, that’s already inhabited. I looked at him, blanching slightly. He laughed. “Shall I just not point them out?”

“Maybe not,” I said, peering into the dark tunnel before us.

I’d come to nearly the very tip of Cornwall, the southwestern peninsula of England, in search of an ancient mystery: the underground passages built here some 2,400 years ago.

As a casual observer, you’d never know this part of the country had prehistoric surprises in store. Halliggye Fogou, on Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, is not only off the tourist track – it’s off any beaten track. The largest town within a 10-mile radius, Helston, has just 12,000 residents. The lush green hills are dotted with cows and itty-bitty villages lacking even a post box.

From this picture-perfect Cornish countryside, only a trained eye can pick out the complex tapestry of mounds, bumps and stones left by 150 generations working the land. “Do you see that, over where the windmills are?” Gossip asked me later, pointing to the nearly imperceptible humps on a hill in the distance. “That’s covered by Bronze Age barrows.” Enclosures – those bumpers of land that once surrounded a farm or settlement – are everywhere. And the landscape is littered with the remnants of roundhouses, stone circles and ramparts.

Gossip, though, is most interested in what people were building underground. Fourteen tunnels – called "fogous” after the Cornish word for cave “ogo” – have been found in Cornwall. Similar to the souterrains found in Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Normandy, fogous haven’t been discovered anywhere else in England. Unlike, say, the labyrinthine copper mines tunnelled out 3,800 years ago in Wales, fogous (and souterrains) weren’t merely dug. They were built. To make them, it’s thought that people opened up deep trenches in the ground, sided them with stone slabs, topped them with capstones and filled in the area above them.

For an Iron Age society, this required a serious devotion of time and resources – and no one knows why they would have done so.

Some of the difficulty is that many of Cornwall’s fogous may already have been emptied. This may have been done by the people who actually used them. Or it may have occurred far later. “Many of them were excavated by antiquarians, so we don’t have many good records for what was found,” said archaeologist Susan Greaney, head properties historian at English Heritage, who specialises in prehistory. “There are only a couple that have been excavated in modern times – and they don’t seem to be structures that really easily give up their secrets.”

Take Halliggye Fogou, the best preserved fogou in Cornwall. Its first, 1.8m-high chamber is large enough to easily move around in. But at the end of the 8.4m passage, it abruptly narrows into another, 4m-long tunnel, one just 0.75m tall. “It’s something anyone would have to crawl along,” Gossip pointed out.

Another tunnel branches to the left off the entrance tunnel. At 27m, it’s three times the length of the first chamber – the distance of two double-decker buses laid end to end – and became progressively darker as we walked further inside. Darkest of all, though, was the final creep, tucked to the left of the end of the passage. Complete with a stone lip jutting up to trip you, the entrance was so narrow and awkward I had to put down my clunky camera in order to clamber through.

In other words, none of it seemed designed for easy access – a characteristic that’s as emblematic of fogous as it is perplexing.

“A lot of the discussion around fogous is what they were for, because they’re really strange,” Gossip said. “Many people talk about them as a place to hide.”

But as he switched off his torch, the likelihood of the hypothesis vanished along with the light. Damp, chilly, and the kind of black that modern-day humans don't tend to witness, it seemed a strange sort of hideaway for even the most desperate of times – or even with the most reliable of flames. “A person wouldn’t have wanted to spend much time in here,” he said.

Meanwhile, although these tunnels seem “secret” to us today, they weren’t necessarily then. Many have lintels that would have been visible from the surface, for example – making them an odd hiding place from intruders.

Over the years, other hypotheses have surfaced. Perhaps fogous were burial grounds: when Reverend Richard Polwhele recorded entering the Halliggye Fogou in 1803, he wrote that it “contained urns”. But the access hole that he made in its roof was used by other enthusiasts in ensuing years, and any urns are now gone. No evidence of burial, whether cremation ashes or bone, has been found in any of the six fogous that have been examined with modern archaeological techniques.

Were they used for storage? The soil is acidic, which helps explain the lack of organic material, like grain and bone. Still, it’s an impractical design for a cold store. As Greaney put it: “If you’re going to build an underground fridge, you’re going to want to be able to step in and out of it.”

And if fogous were used for valuables or metals – like local tin, perhaps – the quirky, yet likely still visible, design is odd; so is the fact that not a single ingot has been found.

The last prominent theory also seems unsatisfying, if only because it’s a frequent go-to for archaeologists who study a period as little understood as this one: maybe they were mainly ceremonial. Perhaps they were meant to be accessed only by the elite, with the restricted space echoing the restrictions of social class. Or perhaps they were places to commune with the gods.

“These were lost religions. We don’t know what people were worshiping,” Gossip said. But, he added, since they were often used over hundreds of years, their purpose probably shifted. And perhaps the real answer was all of the above: “There’s no reason they couldn’t have had a ceremonial, spiritual purpose as well as, say, storage.”

Richard Strachan, senior archaeologist for Historic Environment Scotland, manages the nine souterrains under the public body’s care. Archaeologists have faced many of the same conundrums there, from the odd shape of the tunnels (in Scotland, Strachan said, they’re banana-shaped, curving around a roundhouse, or in a cruciform) to the cleaned-out nature of their interiors. He agrees they probably had more than one use.

“I think they’re multi-purpose,” Strachan said. “Maybe seasonal, as well. Maybe you use them for storage, then when you don’t need them for storage, you use them for ceremony.”

Gossip is hoping that another site, located just three miles northeast of Halliggye Fogou, might reveal a bit more. Like many of the others, the Boden Fogou was found serendipitously – a farmer struck a pit while laying pipe in his field in 1991. Five years later, it happened again, his tractor opening up a hole in the ground. Both holes led to tunnels.

Ensuing excavations, which Gossip has run with volunteers each summer since 2003, have turned up not only an S-shaped fogou, but roundhouses and enclosures. In fact, every recorded fogou has been found within settlements.

One 3,400-year-old roundhouse that the team excavated was abandoned 300 years after its construction. It contained more than 3,000 artefacts, mainly shards of ceramics. In a pattern seen at other roundhouses in Britain, they weren’t where they would have fallen naturally – the shards seem scattered deliberately across the floor. Some came from an enormous, elaborately decorated vessel at least 0.92m high. “It’s the largest Bronze Age vessel found in Cornwall, if not in Britain,” Gossip said.

The S-shaped fogou was dug 700 years after the roundhouse was abandoned, carefully skirting the roundhouse site. “When people come here in 400BC, they don’t disturb the place, perhaps out of respect,” Gossip said. About 500 years later, it too was deliberately closed, perhaps in a similarly ceremonial way. Early Iron Age pottery was placed on the bedrock floor, the roof was removed and dirt and stone from the surrounding bank shovelled in.

This is a pattern also seen with other souterrains. All of it seems to speak to a kind of closing ceremony. But for a structure built to do… what?

What, I asked Gossip, could he find in his excavations that might help answer the question? Is there a Rosetta Stone for fogous?

“I would like to find something that suggested a more ceremonial purpose,” he said. He paused. “But no matter what you found, there would still be discussion.”

Source: BBC


The Ion Lift Air Vehicle: The Ring of The 1948 Luftwaffe Bell

Nick Cook of Jane's Aviation Weekly is one of my favorite journalists exploring the UFO phenomenon. While I was watching his television documentary on this subject retitled "Alien History of Earth," I was struck by his insertion at the end of the program of the claim by a gentleman in Seattle, Washington who had a seemingly anti-gravity lifting platform in his garage which utilized ion propulsion.I was rather surprised to see Nick view this as a new technology, although at the end of the program he briefly eluded to the origin of terrestrial "anti-gravity" Third Reich experimentation with such craft now relegated to a mythological status.One of the admirable traits Mr Cook has is one my own favorite techniques of examination, in terms of historical context, as a certain Mr Keel also noted the parallel path of UFO activity in relation to earthbound events, not as isolated quirks or mere coincidences, a term which is simply a place marker for unanswered questions.

In August of 1964, forty five years ago, a long forgotten article appeared in Popular Mechanics entitled "Major DeSeversky's Ion-Propelled Aircraft by Hans Fantel. It is well worth reading. The simple reason for this is that in the program that Nick Cook had assembled, I was struck to by the similarity of this high voltage craft to that of the Nazi Bell experiments using a similarly tethered vehicle, at least that was the uncorroborated testimony of now long dead witnesses. By the way' this legendary craft makes a nice paper weight for those with admittedly exotic tastes.

"It was downright spooky. Without a sound, the peculiar, spiky contraption rose straight up, hovered awhile, climbed higher. Then it did a few graceful turns, stopped again, and just sat there silently in midair. It seemed like levitation --- some trick to overcome gravity. I could not shake off the feeling that I was attending a kind of spiritual seance, or maybe a Buck Rogers show, instead of an engineering demonstration. The eerie scene took place in the big barn like laboratory of Electron-Atom Inc., research firm in Long Island City, New York, devoted to the development of a new kind of flying machine. I had been invited to watch a scale model being put through its paces by remote control. What we saw was by far the oddest aircraft since the Wright Brothers' motorized kite.

It had no prop. No jet. No wings. In fact, it had no moving parts at all looking somewhat like an old-fashioned bedspring, the rectangular rig is the nearest thing to a magic carpet. It needs no runway, takes off vertically and is expected to climb as high as 60 miles. It can crawl through the air like a snail, or go faster than a jet. Nobody yet knows the speed limit.After a while, I closed my mouth. But David Yorysh, one of the project engineers, noticed my puzzlement.

(Ed Note: Of course to the vast majority of us this description has a very familiar ring both in Nazi mythology as well as in the description of the type of craft predominately reported in the two decades of post war reports, which of course are simply coincidental, right?)

"Any questions?" he grinned.

"Yes. What holds it up?"

"Ions," said Yorysh, as he launched into an explanation of a wholly new flight concept. The magic carpet, called the Ionocraft, flies on pure electricity. It depends specifically on the fundamental principle of electricity that electric current always flows from negative to positive, and it uses two basic pieces of equipment to take advantage of this principle --- tall metal spikes that are installed above an open wire-mesh grid. High negative voltage is shot from the spikes toward the positively charged wire grid, just like negative and positive poles on an ordinary battery. As the negative charge leaves the spike arms, it peppers the surrounding air like buckshot, putting a negative charge on some of the air particles. Such negatively charged air particles are called ions, and these are attracted downward by the positively charged grid.

"Okay," I said. "But I still don't see what holds it up." "I'm getting to that," Yorysh assured me as he spelled out the rest of the Ionocraft principle. In their mad rush from the ion emitter to the main grid, the ions bump into neutral air molecules-air particles without electric charge. The terrific wallop in these collisions hurls a mass of neutral air down-ward along with ions. When they reach that air grid, the ions being negative are trapped by positive charge on the grid. but the grid has no attraction for the neutral air particles that got bumped along. So the air flows right through the open grid mesh, making a downdraft beneath the Ionocraft. The contraption rides on this shaft of air, getting lift just like a helicopter --- by sucking air down from the top.

"Aerodynamically, it works just like a chopper," Yorysh summed it up. "But instead of using a rotor and blades, we create the downward air flow electrically by means of ionic discharge. The ions act on the air like a man treading water. They just push down." The engineers working on Ionocraft are the first to admit that their present rig is still a long way from any kind of practical aircraft. The model we saw measures only 1296 square inches and consists of about $5 worth of balsa wood and aluminum wire. But the principle holds an important promise for the future of aviation.

The problem now is improving efficiency --- getting enough lift from a given grid area and a given amount of energy, Present models cannot yet lift their own electric generators. they get power through a feeder cable, dangling down like an umbilical cord. Ionocraft engineers tend to be close-mouthed on performance figures.But they will tell you that at present it takes 90 watts (30,000 volts at 3 milliamperes) to fly a two ounce model. Translated into ordinary power-to-weight ratios, this works out to roughly 0.96 hp. per pound, as compared with a typical 0.1 hp per pound of helicopter or 0.065 hp for a pound Piper Cub.

But Ionocraft designers are hard at work upping efficiency. One possible power --- boosting technique is to pulse the power in short high energy bursts rather than apply steady voltage. They are also trying out various grid patterns and ion emitter layouts to minimize energy loss through turbulence in the downdraft.Despite such unresolved problems, the development crew almost bristles with optimism, and the most optimistic of all is the Ionocraft's inventor Major Alexander P. de Seversky. No crackpot, Major de Seversky is a practical visionary who in many areas has been far in front of his field.

"We hope to fly a model with self-contained power, perhaps by the end of the year," he told me, confidently.

"Ultimately, the ionic drive will prove more efficient than either propeller or jet as a method of aircraft propulsion."It will achieve lift at less expenditure of energy and fuel than existing form of aircraft. In fact, it will prove the most efficient method of converting electricity into motion."

Coming from a man of de Seversky's background, such a statement has an almost prophetic ring. A leading aircraft designer and ace flyer for the past 50 years, de Seversky's ideas have often been ahead of their time-sometimes to the embarrassment of other aviation experts. Losing his right leg during his first flying mission in World War I didn't deter him from downing 13 enemy aircraft in later flights. After coming to the United States from Russia, de Seversky developed bombsights and course computers during the 1920s that were the forerunners of today's inertial guidance systems."

Of course, the events of 1964 not only included this article in a popular magazine but in the context of the parallel CIA involvement in the manipulation and eager encouragement of UFO sightings by the public, which may have led to the mythology associated with the strange and now infamous encounter of a policeman in the high desert.Rightly or wrongly I remain convinced that the Roswell Incident was a staged ploy to draw our Soviet operatives which had successfully compromised our nuclear weaponry technology.We also fell for this intelligence operation, hook line and sinker.

All this is simply a discontinuous thread, filed as an impossibly subterranean and covert alternative historical footnote..or is it? I came away with the question in mind that has to do with mimicry as a veil of stealth, whom is mimicking whom? More importantly where did the story of the Ionocraft end? Good question.

Source: Intangible Materiality

Bigfoot Sightings Abound At Mysterious Mount Shasta
By Rob Schwartz

Mount Shasta is a place of many mysteries. A sacred ground, home to Lemurian refugees, portals to other worlds, faerie folk, evil giants, and hidden UFO bases. On its forested slopes, conspiracies await all.

If you watch closely, you may even encounter Bigfoot.

That said, the Bigfoot sightings alleged to have occurred at Mount Shasta, located in Siskiyou County, California, are a bit unlike your usual fare. In 1962, for example, one woman claimed she witnessed a female Bigfoot give birth. In another case, date unknown, a mysterious Bigfoot approached two men at the Bunny Flats campground and gave them a crystal.

Your guess is as good as mine.

I’ve often heard it said that Bigfoot may be more than just an ordinary creature. Consider that, when an alleged Bigfoot sighting occurs, he often appears as quickly as he vanishes, leaving little to no trace behind. Pictures are often blurred, as if he were something more unusual. A ghost? A paranormal entity? At Mount Shasta, I suppose anything is possible.

Some have even mused that these creatures we call Bigfoot are actually Lemurians, remnants of an ancient advanced civilization that now live beneath the surface, in a hidden city within Mount Shasta.
Virgil Larson’s Bigfoot Encounter

In 1976, the Mount Shasta Herald published the curious account of Virgil Larson, a logger from Salmon, Idaho. He worked for a logging operation at Mount Shasta, and his story would later become one of the area’s more popular Bigfoot sightings.

One day, at about 8:30 AM, he and a friend, Pat Conway, were making their way down the slopes to the log landing where they worked. It wasn’t the easiest hike, and at one point they decided to take a break.They’d also become separated by the trees, but could still hear one another.

It was during that break when Larson heard what sounded like a third person hiking down the slope. He thought, perhaps, it was a Forest Service man. But it didn’t take long for this seemingly ordinary moment to head for the strange.

Larson shouted to the man, but he didn’t respond. Instead, he seemed to walk behind a bush, and turn toward Larson. Curious, he shouted again. That’s when the creature revealed itself, lifting its head above the bushes. Larson could see it clearly, then — a tall, ghastly, dark-haired beast, something beyond human. It smelled terrible, he recalled, even from 20 yards away. Larson didn’t stick around to witness much more. He ran.

He’d later return to the scene with Pat Conway. The creature had disappeared by that time, but the stench remained. They explored the area, and estimated the creature’s size — 7 to 7 1/2 feet, Larson thought. Forest Servicemen would also later investigate the area, though they found little. Undefined footprints. Blood-smeared branches. A vague smell in the air. Nothing conclusive.

Did Virgil Larson truly meet Bigfoot that day? Or is there a more ordinary explanation for what happened? Why does that area seem to attract so much paranormal activity? Such is the mystery of Mount Shasta.

Source: Stranger Dimensions


Chicago Mothman Sightings

By David Weatherly

According to a MUFON report from 2011, a couple in Chicago may have photographed Mothman.

The married couple were taking pictures with a smartphone on August 22, 2011 when they captured the image.  They say they didn't spot the strange figure in the sky when they were snapping the pics, but only noticed it later when going over the photographs.  The photographer claims that when he enlarged the picture, distinctly bat-like wings became evident.

And it's not the only case of such a creature in Chicago that year.  On the evening of September 30th, students living in the area around Miller Park in the University Park neighborhood of Chicago had a strange encounter.
Two female students were getting dressed to go out for the evening when they saw a pair of large, round, orange eyes peering at them thorough their window.  Their third floor window that is.  The women stood in their apartment, frozen in shock as the creature hovered outside.  They reported being overwhelmed with fear and felt like they were being eyed as prey.

At least six other students in the area also reported the creature.  They described it as between 6 and 7 feet tall, dark grey to black in color with glowing eyes.  They witnessed it ascend into the air and reported that its huge wings made a whooshing sound when it flew.

And the sightings continued.  A young couple enjoying an evening walk on the night of October 14th also spotted the flying figure.  Hearing a commotion amongst a group of people, the couple looked up in time to see what they described as a man with wings flying about 12 feet above them.  One witness to the incident stated that the creature was perfectly silhouetted against the evening sky and reminded her of an immensely oversized Sugar Glider that she had seen back at her home in Tasmania, Australia.

"But they were nothing like the soft eyes of a glider.  These glowed red!  We saw it for about four seconds before it disappeared from view.  At first, I thought I was looking at a man in a hang glider, but it was those bloody eyes that made me think otherwise!"

Source: Two Crows Paranormal


The Time We Almost Lost Albuquerque

A hydrogen bomb was accidentally dropped from a plane just south of Kirtland Air Force Base in 1957

Special report by Les Adler for the Albuquerue Tribune (Thursday, January 20, 1994):

At 11:50 a.m. on May 22, 1957, I was a 15-year-old sophomore at Highland High School in Albuquerque when the city and a good portion of the surrounding region were nearly obliterated by the accidental detonation of a 10-megaton hydrogen bomb dropped on the outskirts of Kirtland Air Force Base.

First reported to the public in 1986, this early “broken arrow,” as such accidents were referred to in military jargon, became as much a historical “non-event” during the intervening Cold War decades as the recently exposed atmospheric radioactivity showers and radiation experiments.  Like these tests, it, too, was a product of what Sen. John Glenn has called “the Cold War frenzy which gripped our nation.”

Those of us living in the region had long known, and, indeed, were strangely proud of the fact, that Albuquerque was likely to be a major enemy military target due to the region’s role in the production, testing and storage of atomic and hydrogen weaponry.

Nearby Sandia Base, nestled in the foothills of the Manzano Mountains, was widely suspected of housing extensive underground storage facilities where much of the nation’s nuclear arsenal was guarded.  Electrified, barbed-wire double fences, patrolled by guard dogs, were clearly visible from the highway as one entered or left Albuquerque through Tijeras Canyon to the east. Sixty miles to the northwest, the heavily guarded Atomic City of Los Alamos, creation site of the first atomic bombs and then, as now, a major national arms production laboratory, guaranteed our supremacy as a prime Soviet target.

For a town without major league credentials in any other fashion, this fact produced a certain cachet, particularly in an age of bomb shelters, civil defense programs and above ground bomb testing in nearby Nevada.

Year after year in public schools we practiced air-raid drills, dropping to the floor at the wailing of the alarm, huddling under our desks, eyes closed, heads down and covered by our arms so as not to he blinded by the flash of the incoming weapons.

With the irreverence of teen-age black humor, we short-handed our instructions to the essential and much more realistic message: ‘bend down, put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye!”

On that particular day in May 1957, unknown to any of us, a huge B-36 bomber with a crew of 13 was preparing to land at Kirtland Air Force base.

On board, as recounted in John May’s “The Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age” and later interviews with surviving crewmen, was the Gold War’s ultimate product.  It was a 42,000-pound, 10-megaton hydrogen bomb – the largest weapon ever made in the world up to that time, and the first droppable thermonuclear device – traveling incognito under the code name of Mark 17.

The giant bomber, a mainstay of America’s Strategic Air Command forces, was commanded by veteran pilot Air Force Lt. Col. Richard Meyer with the mission of ferrying its deadly payload from Biggs Air Force Base in Texas to Albuquerque’s Kirtland field.

Standard operating procedure on all such flights called for the manual removal of the locking pin designed to prevent accidental in-flight release of bombs to allow emergency jettisoning of weapons, if necessary, during takeoffs and landings.

The awkward procedure required a crew member, usually the navigator, to climb into the bomb bay and lean over the body of the bomb at the start and end of each flight to set and later remove the large U-2 pin.  On May 22,1st Lt. Bob Carp was assigned the onerous task.

With the plane descending to 1,700 feet and making its final approach before landing at Kirtland, Carp began moving back toward the bomb.  As described years later by another crewman, the difficult job resulted in Carp hanging over the 25 foot long, steel-encased weapon, roughly the size and shape of a large whale, “literally by his toes” to retrieve the pin.  It was 11:49 a.m.

The plane was nearly four miles south of the airfield, and landing conditions were normal as Carp completed his stretch across the gleaming, rounded shape lying silent and inert in the plane’s belly.  Packed with the explosive power of more than 10 million tons of TNT, enough to destroy a dozen Hiroshimas or Moscows, this bomb and others like it, always in the air somewhere in the world awaiting coded attack signals, formed the foundation of America’s proclaimed military posture of “massive retaliation.”

What happened next is in dispute.  Previously published reports describe Carp reaching up to regain his balance and pull himself into the cockpit, and being unexpectedly jolted as the huge bomber bounced through a pocket of turbulent air.  Trying to avoid a fall, according to this version, he grabbed for the nearest hand-hold, a lever that immediately gave way under his weight, triggering a rapid succession of events: the giant bomb under his feet instantly sank, pulled free from its mooring and tore its way straight downward, directly through the closed bomb bay doors, ripping them away and opening a gaping, terrifying hole in the bottom of the plane; and the bomber itself; suddenly released from the weight of its 21-ton payload, bounded upward, gaining more than 1,500 feet of altitude in seconds before the startled pilot could regain control.

In a recent interview, however, Carp, now a businessman in San Francisco, has challenged the turbulence-fall scenario.  He asserts — as the one eyewitness to the entire event — that a “defectively designed” manual release mechanism had been accidentally pulled into release mode by a snag in his long cable, causing the bomb to drop the instant he pulled the pin.

There is agreement on what follows.

“Bombs away!” reflexively screamed one nearby crewman, his eyes wide with shock as he peered in-to the newly opened void where the weapon and the man had been.  According to another witness, Electronics Operator Jack Resen, it was only a few seconds later that Carp, his face, “whiter than any sheet you ever saw,” slowly pulled himself out of the remaining bomb bay, yelling even above the deafening roar of jet engines and rushing air, “I didn’t touch anything! I didn’t touch anything!”

Radio Operator George Houston, seated nearby, alertly responded by sending a distress call to the Kirtland tower.  To the stunned operator, he reported the ominous news: “We’ve dropped a hydrogen bomb!”

The bomb itself plummeted downward with frightening speed, the 1,700 foot drop far too short for its parachutes to slow its descent.  Long before the plane could pull away, the weapon smashed into the nearly barren mesa, where a lone New Mexico cow peacefully munched sagebrush, oblivious to the source and immediacy of its own destruction.  There was an earth-shattering explosion as the weapon detonated.

The Cold War is now officially over.  Both the looming presence of the Soviet Union, which so terrified us in that era, and the imminence of nuclear war have vanished from the horizon.  More than 36 years have passed since that day in May 1957, when my classmates and I, unknowingly, were nearly vaporized by our own forces.

For most of the intervening years the American public knew nothing of what had happened, and, officially, of course, the event didn’t happen at all.

It was only in 1986 when an Albuquerque newspaper published an account based on military documents recovered through the Freedom of Information Act that the rest of us learned of this accident, and the many other Broken Arrows, both civilian and military, that occurred both at home and abroad.

If exposure of these events is the first step in understanding them, then a subsequent stage should be a frank admission by all of us that we knew and even tacitly approved of the conditions that brought about those near-misses and what we might more appropriately call “poisoned arrows,” the above-ground nuclear tests, the uranium mines and nuclear plants whose careless use contaminated our soil, ionized our atmosphere, poisoned our animals and even irradiated our own bodies.

And if we did not know of them, like the “good Germans” who did not know of the concentration camps, then why not?  What ferocious system of denial allowed us not to know, allowed us to shield ourselves from what should have been evident?  Who is there to blame in a democratic society, finally, but ourselves?

Even the military investigators assigned to the case assessed no blame to the Air Force officers involved in the accidental bombing of Albuquerque.

According to the investigation, Field Command, a division of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, conducted recovery and clean-up operations at the site shortly after the nonevent.  What they found was a crater 12 feet deep and 25 feet in diameter, blown, fortunately, in uninhabited land owned by the University of New Mexico.

Only the bomb’s conventional explosives – those necessary but not sufficient to start the nuclear chain reaction – were triggered by the fall, and, according to the experts, no radioactivity was detected beyond the lip of the crater.  Traces of the luckless cow, reportedly, were scattered over a much wider area.

Reports were filed, and the case was closed for nearly three decades.  The trail was allowed to grow cold.

Extending 25 feet from nose to tail, standing more than five feet in diameter at its core and with a total weight of 41,400 pounds, this was evidently nature’s ultimate experiment in size. At what scale does any creature exceed its own ecological niche?

If there is a lesson to be learned here and in the discovery of other events that “didn’t happen” simply because we did not know of them until now, it is not whom to blame, but rather the many ways in which blind fear, magnified by secrecy, can turn all of us into our own worst enemies.

Adler is a professor of history at the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University in California.


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