"All the world's a stage we pass through." - R. Ayana

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

American Stonehenge: Monumental Instructions for the Post-Apocalypse

American Stonehenge: Monumental Instructions for the Post-Apocalypse
The strange tale of the Georgia Guidestones


By Randall Sullivan 

 Photo: Dan Winters

The Georgia Guidestones may be the most enigmatic monument in the US: huge slabs of granite, inscribed with directions for rebuilding civilization after the apocalypse. Only one man knows who created them — and he's not talking.

The strangest monument in America looms over a barren knoll in northeastern Georgia. Five massive slabs of polished granite rise out of the earth in a star pattern. The rocks are each 16 feet tall, with four of them weighing more than 20 tons apiece. Together they support a 25,000-pound capstone. Approaching the edifice, it's hard not to think immediately of England's Stonehenge or possibly the ominous monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Built in 1980, these pale gray rocks are quietly awaiting the end of the world as we know it.

Called the Georgia Guidestones, the monument is a mystery—nobody knows exactly who commissioned it or why. The only clues to its origin are on a nearby plaque on the ground — which gives the dimensions and explains a series of intricate notches and holes that correspond to the movements of the sun and stars — and the "guides" themselves, directives carved into the rocks. 

These instructions appear in eight languages ranging from English to Swahili and reflect a peculiar New Age ideology. Some are vaguely eugenic
(Guide Reproduction WiselyImproving Fitness and Diversity); others prescribe standard-issue hippie mysticism (Prize Truth — Beauty — Love — Seeking Harmony with the Infinite).

What's most widely agreed upon  —based on the evidence available — is that the Guidestones are meant to instruct the dazed survivors of some impending apocalypse as they attempt to reconstitute civilization. Not everyone is comfortable with this notion. A few days before I visited, the stones had been splattered with polyurethane and spray-painted with graffiti, including slogans like "Death to the new world order." This defacement was the first serious act of vandalism in the Guidestones' history, but it was hardly the first objection to their existence. In fact, for more than three decades this uncanny structure in the heart of the Bible Belt has been generating responses that range from enchantment to horror. Supporters (notable among them Yoko Ono) have praised the messages as a stirring call to rational thinking, akin to Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason. Opponents have attacked them as the Ten Commandments of the Antichrist.

Whoever the anonymous architects of the Guidestones were, they knew what they were doing: The monument is a highly engineered structure that flawlessly tracks the Sun. It also manages to engender endless fascination, thanks to a carefully orchestrated aura of mystery. And the stones have attracted plenty of devotees to defend against folks who would like them destroyed. Clearly, whoever had the monument placed here understood one thing very well: People prize what they don't understand at least as much as what they do.

The story of the Georgia Guidestones began on a Friday afternoon in June 1979, when an elegant gray-haired gentleman showed up in Elbert County, made his way to the offices of Elberton Granite Finishing, and introduced himself as Robert C. Christian. He claimed to represent "a small group of loyal Americans" who had been planning the installation of an unusually large and complex stone monument. Christian had come to Elberton — the county seat and the granite capital of the world — because he believed its quarries produced the finest stone on the planet.

Joe Fendley, Elberton Granite's president, nodded absently, distracted by the rush to complete his weekly payroll. But when Christian began to describe the monument he had in mind, Fendley stopped what he was doing. Not only was the man asking for stones larger than any that had been quarried in the county, he also wanted them cut, finished, and assembled into some kind of enormous astronomical instrument.

What in the world would it be for? Fendley asked. Christian explained that the structure he had in mind would serve as a compass, calendar, and clock. It would also need to be engraved with a set of guides written in eight of the world's major languages. And it had to be capable of withstanding the most catastrophic events, so that the shattered remnants of humanity would be able to use those guides to reestablish a better civilization than the one that was about to destroy itself.



 Monumental Precision
Built to survive the apocalypse, the Georgia Guidestones are not merely instructions for the future—the massive granite slabs also function as a clock, calendar, and compass.
.
The monument sits at the highest point in Elbert County and is oriented to track the sun's east-west migration year-round.

On an equinox or solstice, visitors who stand at the west side of the "mail slot" are positioned to see the sun rise on the horizon.

An eye-level hole drilled into the center support stone allows stargazers on the south side to locate Polaris, the North Star.

  7/8-inch hole drilled through the capstone focuses a sunbeam on the center column and at noon pinpoints the day of the year.

Text: Erik Malinowski; illustration: Steve Sanford


Fendley is now deceased, but shortly after the Guidestones went up, an Atlanta television reporter asked what he was thinking when he first heard Christian's plan. "I was thinking, 'I got a nut in here now. How am I going get him out?'" Fendley said.
He attempted to discourage the man by quoting him a price several times higher than for any project commissioned there before. The job would require special tools, heavy equipment, and paid consultants, Fendley explained. But Christian merely nodded and asked how long it would take. Fendley didn't rightly know—six months, at least. He wouldn't be able to even consider such an undertaking, he added, until he knew it could be paid for. When Christian asked whether there was a banker in town he considered trustworthy, Fendley saw his chance to unload the strange man and sent him to look for Wyatt Martin, president of the Granite City Bank.

The tall and courtly Martin — the only man in Elberton besides Fendley known to have met R. C. Christian face to face — is now 78. "Fendley called me and said, 'A kook over here wants some kind of crazy monument,'" Martin says. "But when this fella showed up he was wearing a very nice, expensive suit, which made me take him a little more seriously. And he was well-spoken, obviously an educated person." 

Martin was naturally taken aback when the man told him straight out that R. C. Christian was a pseudonym. He added that his group had been planning this secretly for 20 years and wanted to remain anonymous forever. "And when he told me what it was he and this group wanted to do, I just about fell over," Martin says. "I told him, 'I believe you'd be just as well off to take the money and throw it out in the street into the gutters.' He just sort of looked at me and shook his head, like he felt kinda sorry for me, and said, 'You don't understand.'"

Martin led Christian down the street to the town square, where the city had commissioned a towering Bicentennial Memorial Fountain, which included a ring of 13 granite panels, each roughly 2 by 3 feet, signifying the original colonies. "I told him that was about the biggest project ever undertaken around here, and it was nothing compared to what he was talking about," Martin says. "That didn't seem to bother him at all." Promising to return on Monday, the man went off to charter a plane and spend the weekend scouting locations from the air. "By then I half believed him," Martin says.

When Christian came back to the bank Monday, Martin explained that he could not proceed unless he could verify the man's true identity and "get some assurance you can pay for this thing." Eventually, the two negotiated an agreement: Christian would reveal his real name on the condition that Martin promise to serve as his sole intermediary, sign a confidentiality agreement pledging never to disclose the information to another living soul, and agree to destroy all documents and records related to the project when it was finished. "He said he was going to send the money from different banks across the country," Martin says, "because he wanted to make sure it couldn't be traced. He made it clear that he was very serious about secrecy."

Before leaving town, Christian met again with Fendley and presented the contractor with a shoe box containing a wooden model of the monument he wanted, plus 10 or so pages of detailed specifications. Fendley accepted the model and instructions but remained skeptical until Martin phoned the following Friday to say he had just received a $10,000 deposit. After that, Fendley stopped questioning and started working. "My daddy loved a challenge," says Fendley's daughter, Melissa Fendley Caruso, "and he said this was the most challenging project in the history of Elbert County."

Construction of the Guidestones got under way later that summer. Fendley's company lovingly documented the progress of the work in hundreds of photographs. Jackhammers were used to gouge 114 feet into the rock at Pyramid Quarry, searching for hunks of granite big enough to yield the final stones. Fendley and his crew held their breath when the first 28-ton slab was lifted to the surface, wondering if their derricks would buckle under the weight. A special burner (essentially a narrowly focused rocket motor used to cut and finish large blocks of granite) was trucked to Elberton to clean and size the stones, and a pair of master stonecutters was hired to smooth them.

Fendley and Martin helped Christian find a suitable site for the Guidestones in Elbert County: a flat-topped hill rising above the pastures of the Double 7 Farms, with vistas in all directions. For $5,000, owner Wayne Mullinex signed over a 5-acre plot. In addition to the payment, Christian granted lifetime cattle-grazing rights to Mullinex and his children, and Mullinex's construction company got to lay the foundation for the Guidestones.

With the purchase of the land, the Guidestones' future was set. Christian said good-bye to Fendley at the granite company office, adding, "You'll never see me again." Christian then turned and walked out the door — without so much as a handshake.

From then on, Christian communicated solely through Martin, writing a few weeks later to ask that ownership of the land and monument be transferred to Elbert County, which still holds it. Christian reasoned that civic pride would protect it over time. "All of Mr. Christian's correspondence came from different cities around the country," Martin says. "He never sent anything from the same place twice."


Daybreak: A carefully cut slot in the Guidestones' center column frames the sunrise on solstices and equinoxes.
Photo: Dan Winters


The astrological specifications for the Guidestones were so complex that Fendley had to retain the services of an astronomer from the University of Georgia to help implement the design. The four outer stones were to be oriented based on the limits of the Sun's yearly migration. The center column needed two precisely calibrated features: a hole through which the North Star would be visible at all times, and a slot that was to align with the position of the rising sun during the solstices and equinoxes. The principal component of the capstone was a 7\8-inch aperture through which a beam of sunlight would pass at noon each day, shining on the center stone to indicate the day of the year.

The main feature of the monument, though, would be the 10 dictates carved into both faces of the outer stones, in eight languages: English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, and Swahili. A mission statement of sorts ( let these be guidestones to an age of reason ) was also to be engraved on the sides of the capstone in Egyptian hieroglyphics, classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Babylonian cuneiform. The United Nations provided some of the translations (including those for the dead languages[?]), which were stenciled onto the stones and etched with a sandblaster.

By early 1980, a bulldozer was scraping the Double 7 hilltop to bedrock, where five granite slabs serving as a foundation were laid out in a paddle-wheel design. A 100-foot-tall crane was used to lift the stones into place. Each of the outer rocks was 16 feet 4 inches high, 6 feet 6 inches wide, and 1 foot 7 inches thick. The center column was the same (except only half the width), and the capstone measured 9 feet 8 inches long, 6 feet 6 inches wide, and 1 foot 7 inches thick. Including the foundation stones, the monument's total weight was almost 240,000 pounds. Covered with sheets of black plastic in preparation for an unveiling on the vernal equinox, the Guidestones towered over the cattle that continued to graze beneath it at the approach of winter's end.

The monument ignited controversy before it was even finished. The first rumor began among members of the Elberton Granite Association, jealous of the attention being showered on one of their own: Fendley was behind the whole thing, they said, aided by his friend Martin, the banker. The gossip became so poisonous that the two men agreed to take a lie detector test at the Elberton Civic Center. The scandal withered when The Elberton Star reported that they had both passed convincingly, but the publicity brought a new wave of complaints.
As word of what was being inscribed spread, Martin recalls, even people he considered friends asked him why he was doing the devil's work. A local minister, James Travenstead, predicted that "occult groups" would flock to the Guidestones, warning that "someday a sacrifice will take place here." Those inclined to agree were hardly discouraged by Charlie Clamp, the sandblaster charged with carving each of the 4,000-plus characters on the stones: During the hundreds of hours he spent etching the guides, Clamp said, he had been constantly distracted by "strange music and disjointed voices."


The team that built the Guidestones didn't know who was financing the project—just that it was the biggest monument in county history. Local banker Wyatt Martin inspects the English lettering with sandblaster Charlie Clamp before the 1980 unveiling.
Photo: Courtesy of Fendley Enterprises Inc.



The unveiling on March 22, 1980, was a community celebration. Congress member Doug Barnard, whose district contained Elberton, addressed a crowd of 400 that flowed down the hillside and included television news crews from Atlanta. Soon Joe Fendley was the most famous Elbertonian since Daniel Tucker, the 18th-century minister memorialized in the folk song "Old Dan Tucker." Bounded by the Savannah and Broad rivers but miles from the nearest interstate—"as rural as rural can be," in the words of current Star publisher Gary Jones — Elberton was suddenly a tourist destination, with visitors from all over the world showing up to see the Guidestones. "We'd have people from Japan and China and India and everywhere wanting to go up and see the monument," Martin says. And Fendley's boast that he had "put Elberton on the map" was affirmed literally in spring 2005, when National Geographic Traveler listed the Guidestones as a feature in its Geotourism MapGuide to Appalachia.

But many who read what was written on the stones were unsettled. Guide number one was, of course, the real stopper: 


maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
 
There were already 4.5 billion people on the planet, meaning eight out of nine had to go (today it would be closer to 12 out of 13). This instruction was echoed and expanded by tenet number two:
guide reproduction wisely—improving fitness and diversity. 

It didn't take a great deal of imagination to draw an analogy to the practices of, among others, the Nazis. Guide number three instructed readers to unite humanity with a living new language. This sent a shiver up the spine of local ministers who knew that the Book of Revelations warned of a common tongue and a one world government as the accomplishments of the Antichrist. Guide number four
— rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason — 

was similarly threatening to Christians committed to the primacy of faith over all. The last six guides were homiletic by comparison. 

protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
avoid petty laws and useless officials.
balance personal rights with social duties.
prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
be not a cancer on the earth — leave room for nature - leave room for nature.

Even as locals debated the relative merits of these commandments, the dire predictions of Travenstead seemed to be coming true. Within a few months, a coven of witches from Atlanta adopted the Guidestones as their home away from home, making weekend pilgrimages to Elberton to stage various pagan rites ("dancing and chanting and all that kind of thing," Martin says) and at least one witch marriage ceremony. No humans were sacrificed on the altar of the stones, but there are rumors that several chickens were beheaded. 

A 1981 article in the monthly magazine UFO Report cited Naunie Batchelder (identified in the story as "a noted Atlanta psychic") as predicting that the true purpose of the guides would be revealed "within the next 30 years." Viewed from directly overhead, the Guidestones formed an X, the piece in UFO Report observed, making for a perfect landing site.

Visitors kept coming, but after several failed investigations into the identity of R. C. Christian, the media lost interest. Curiosity flared again briefly in 1993, when Yoko Ono contributed a track called "Georgia Stone" to a tribute album for avant-garde composer John Cage, with Ono chanting the 10th and final guide nearly verbatim: "Be not a cancer on Earth—leave room for nature—leave room for nature." A decade later, however, when comedienne Roseanne Barr tried to work a bit on the Guidestones into her comeback tour, nobody seemed to care.

Christian kept in touch with Martin, writing the banker so regularly that they became pen pals. Occasionally, Christian would call from a pay phone at the Atlanta airport to say he was in the area, and the two would rendezvous for dinner in the college town of Athens, a 40-mile drive west of Elberton. By this time, Martin no longer questioned Christian's secrecy. The older man had successfully deflected Martin's curiosity when the two first met, by quoting Henry James' observations of Stonehenge: "You may put a hundred questions to these rough-hewn giants as they bend in grim contemplation of their fallen companions, but your curiosity falls dead in the vast sunny stillness that enshrouds them." Christian "never would tell me a thing about this group he belonged to," Martin says. The banker received his last letter from Christian right around the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and assumes the man — who would have been in his mid-eighties — has since passed away.

Joe Fendley of Elberton Granite Finishing posing with his masterpiece.
Photo: Courtesy of Fendley Enterprises Inc.



The mysterious story of R. C. Christian and the absence of information about the true meaning of the Guidestones were bound to become an irresistible draw for conspiracy theorists and "investigators" of all kinds. Not surprisingly, three decades later there is no shortage of observers rushing to fill the void with all sorts of explanations.

Among them is an activist named Mark Dice, author of a book called The Resistance Manifesto. In 2005, Dice (who was using a pseudonym of his own — "John Conner" — appropriated from the Terminator franchise's main character) began to demand that the Guidestones be "smashed into a million pieces." He claims that the monument has "a deep Satanic origin," a stance that has earned him plenty of coverage, both in print and on the Web. According to Dice, Christian was a high-ranking member of "a Luciferian secret society" at the forefront of the New World Order. "The elite are planning to develop successful life-extension technology in the next few decades that will nearly stop the aging process," Dice says, "and they fear that with the current population of Earth so high, the masses will be using resources that the elite want for themselves. The Guidestones are the New World Order's Ten Commandments. They're also a way for the elite to get a laugh at the expense of the uninformed masses, as their agenda stands as clear as day and the zombies don't even notice it."

Ironically, Dice's message has mainly produced greater publicity for the Guidestones. This, in turn, has brought fresh visitors to the monument and made Elbert County officials even less inclined to remove the area's only major tourist attraction.

Phyllis Brooks, who runs the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce, pronounced herself aghast last November when the Guidestones were attacked by vandals for the first time ever. While Dice denies any involvement in the assault, he seems to have inspired it: Spray-painted on the stones were messages like "Jesus will beat u satanist" and "No one world government." Other defacements asserted that the Council on Foreign Relations is "ran by the devil," that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job, and that President Obama is a Muslim. 

The vandals also splashed the Guidestones with polyurethane, which is much more difficult to remove than paint. Despite the graffiti's alignment with his views, Dice says he disapproves of the acts. "A lot of people were glad such a thing happened and saw it as standing up against the New World Order," Dice says, "while others who are unhappy with the stones saw the actions as counterproductive and inappropriate."

Martin winces every time he hears Dice's "Luciferian secret society" take on the Guidestones. But while he disagrees, he also admits that he doesn't know for sure. "All I can tell you is that Mr. Christian always seemed a very decent and sincere fella to me."

A worker uses a special burner to finish a slab of Pyramid Blue granite.
Photo: Courtesy of Fendley Enterprises Inc.
Dice, of course, is far from the only person with a theory about the Guidestones. Jay Weidner, a former Seattle radio commentator turned erudite conspiracy hunter, has heavily invested time and energy into one of the most popular hypotheses. He argues that Christian and his associates were Rosicrucians, followers of the Order of the Rosy Cross, a secret society of mystics that originated in late medieval Germany and claim understanding of esoteric truths about nature, the universe, and the spiritual realm that have been concealed from ordinary people. 

Weidner considers the name R. C. Christian an homage to the legendary 14th-century founder of the Rosicrucians, a man first identified as Frater C.R.C. and later as Christian Rosenkreuz. Secrecy, Weidner notes, has been a hallmark of the Rosicrucians, a group that announced itself to the world in the early 17th century with a pair of anonymous manifestos that created a huge stir across Europe, despite the fact that no one was ever able to identify a single member. While the guides on the Georgia stones fly in the face of orthodox Christian eschatology, they conform quite well to the tenets of Rosicrucianism, which stress reason and endorse a harmonic relationship with nature.

Weidner also has a theory about the purpose of the Guidestones. An authority on the hermetic and alchemical traditions that spawned the Rosicrucians, he believes that for generations the group has been passing down knowledge of a solar cycle that climaxes every 13,000 years. During this culmination, outsize coronal mass ejections are supposed to devastate Earth. 

Meanwhile, the shadowy organization behind the Guidestones is now orchestrating a "planetary chaos," Weidner believes, that began with the recent collapse of the US financial system and will result eventually in major disruptions of oil and food supplies, mass riots, and ethnic wars worldwide, all leading up to the Big Event on December 21, 2012. "They want to get the population down," Weidner says, "and this is what they think will do it. The Guidestones are there to instruct the survivors."

On hearing Weidner's ideas, Martin shakes his head and says it's "the sort of thing that makes me want to tell people everything I know." Martin has long since retired from banking and no longer lives in Elberton, yet he's still the Guidestones' official — and only — secret-keeper. "But I can't tell," the old man quickly adds. "I made a promise." Martin also made a promise to destroy all the records of his dealings with Christian, though he hasn't kept that one — at least not yet. In the back of his garage is a large plastic bin (actually, the hard-sided case of an IBM computer he bought back in 1983) stuffed with every document connected to the Guidestones that ever came into his possession, including the letters from Christian.

For years Martin thought he might write a book, but now he knows he probably won't. What he also won't do is allow me to look through the papers. When I ask whether he's prepared to take what he knows to his grave, Martin replies that Christian would want him to do just that: "All along, he said that who he was and where he came from had to be kept a secret. He said mysteries work that way. If you want to keep people interested, you can let them know only so much." The rest is enshrouded in the vast sunny stillness.
Randall Sullivan ((randysul@aol.com) also wrote about the electric-vehicle company ZAP in WIRED issue 16.04.

The Georgia Guidestones Guidebook

From http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/17-05/ff_guidestones?currentPage=all#ixzz15h4zqcR5

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Monday, 29 November 2010

America's Grand Strategy: Militarizing Space

America's Grand Strategy: Militarizing Space
by Stephen Lendman

X37B
The X37B robot space shuttle could "carry 1000 or 2000-pound re-entry vehicles armed with precision munitions like bunker-busting penetrators or small-diameter bombs (including mini-nukes more powerful than the atom bombs destroying Hiroshima or Nagasaki).
Helen Caldicott says "one single failure of nuclear deterrence could end human history (quickly). Once initiated, it would take one hour to trigger a swift, sudden end to life on this planet."
On January 3, 2001, the UN General Assembly's Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space Resolution A/55/32 said:
"The exploration and use of outer space... shall be for peaceful purposes and be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development. (The) prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international peace and security."
Over 140 nations agreed. Only two declined support, both abstaining - America and Israel.
On August 9, 1996, in Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, then Commander-in-Chief US Space Command, Joseph W. Ashy asserted:
"It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen. Some people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't in vogue, but - absolutely - we're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space. That's why the US has development programs in directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms. We will engage terrestrial targets someday - ships, airplanes, land targets - from space."
On April 18, 2002, the Center for Defense Information's Theresa Hitchens headlined, "Weapons in Space: Silver Bullet or Russian Roulette," saying:
Weaponizing space "could actually undermine, rather than enhance, (America's) national security... There is nothing to be gained, and potentially much to be lost, by (pursuing) a momentous change in US space policy."
Co-founder and coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Bruce Gagnon warned:
"If the US is allowed to move the arms race into space, there will be no return. We have this one chance, this one moment in history, to stop the weaponization of space from happening. The peace movement must move quickly, boldly, and publicly," - what so far hasn't happened, with most people oblivious to the danger.
First revealed in the 1998 US Space Command document, Vision for 2020, it was later released in 2000 as DOD Joint Vision 2020 PDF graphic  calling for "full spectrum dominance" over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to wage and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively, ultimately from space, America wanting unchallenged control.
The Pentagon's Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) plans an array of sophisticated weapons to achieve it, some operational, others being tested, and new ones under development for its Operations Plan (OPLAN) 8010-08 Strategic Deterrence and Global Strike use, the US Strategic Command's (STRATCOM) Strategic War Plan.
Since at least WW II, America's strategy has been permanent war, a topic discussed earlier.
On June 17, Space.com's Jeremy Hsu headlined, "Air Force Sees Hypersonic Weapons and Spaceships in Future," saying:
"A recent (Air Force) scramjet test has hinted at a future where hypersonic vehicles," traveling five times the speed of sound, fly around the world and in space, an "experimental X-51A Waverider," achieving the longest ever Mach 5 flight on May 26, using a rocket booster and air-breathing scramjet.
X-37B Orbital Test VehicleCharles Brink, head of the Air Force Research Laboratory's X-51 program envisions future hypersonic weapons flying "600 nautical miles in 10 minutes," including in space. NASA's James Pittman, principal investigator of its hypersonics project, hopes to have "large vehicles for access to space using air-breathing propulsion."
Earlier X-43A hypersonic scramjet test flights reached Mach 6.8 in March 2004 and Mach 9.6 in November that year - about 7,000 MPH. The X-51A project uses a more sophisticated scramjet engine, but hasn't yet matched or broken the X-43A's record, nor can it reach orbit, a goal Boeing Phantom Works/Defense hypersonics director Joseph Vogel hopes to achieve in the next 15 - 20 years, saying he expects the technology will be able to fly missions not possible today, the X-51A showing early promise.
In April, after years of development, the Air Force successfully launched the X-37B, its robot space shuttle, a reusable spacecraft traveling like an aircraft at Mach 5 - perhaps another future space weapon. Global Security.org's John Pike told Space.com that projects like the X-37B may "represent the tip of a space weapons program hidden within the Pentagon's secret 'black budget,' or they might be nothing more than smoke and mirrors," intended to deceive America's rivals, fueling a space arms race, hoping they'll "waste money chasing down dead ends."
For its part, the Air Force denies wanting the X-37B for an orbital weapons delivery system or for surveillance. Others disagree, journalist Sharon Weinberger saying "the most daring job of a space plane, and the one least discussed, is (its) role (as) a bomber, (letting it) fly over targets within an hour of launch to release cone-shaped re-entry vehicles that would both protect and guide weapons through the atmosphere."
It would also be able to "carry 1000 or 2000-pound re-entry vehicles armed with precision munitions like bunker-busting penetrators or small-diameter bombs (including mini-nukes more powerful than the atom bombs destroying Hiroshima or Nagasaki), or simply use the explosive impact of kinetic rods cratering at hypersonic speeds to destroy targets."
On the other hand, the X37B's main function may be a test platform, perhaps for developing even more destructive space weapons, part of America's permanent war strategy, waging future ones from space, using technologies adversaries can't match.
OPLAN-08 - The Pentagon's Strategic War Plan
OPLAN 8010-08 is a "family of plans" against six or more potential adversaries, including Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and other "terrorist" states. In 2002, the Bush administration asserted the right to:
"…do whatever is necessary to deter the use of (undefined) weapons of mass destruction against the United States, its allies, and its interests. If a weapon of mass destruction is used against the United States or its allies, (or it such use is imminent or threatened), we will not rule out any specific type military response," including first-strike nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.
Under Obama, the policy remains in force. His May National Security Strategy "reserve(s) he right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend our nation and our interests." In other words, to wage preemptive wars, using first-strike nuclear weapons "to keep the American people safe (and advance the nation's) values and ideals," ones pursuing unchallenged global and space hegemony, ruling it by intimidation and war.
OPLAN 8010-08 - Updating SIOP
Unlike the Cold War's Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP), OPLAN 8010-08 contains "more flexible options to assure allies, and dissuade, deter, and if necessary, defeat adversaries in a wider range of contingencies." It includes conventional strike options, but it's mostly nuclear, custom designed for each potential adversary.
The nuclear options include the Emergency Response Options (ERO), Selective Attack Options (SAO), Basic Attack Options (BAO), and Directed/Adaptive Planning Capability (DPO/APO) options, specific details, of course, highly classified.
Options range from limited ones to massive "shock and awe" strikes against many targets, by manned and drone aircraft, ICBMs, and from attack submarines and surface ships, using hundreds of strategically located warheads.
The Pentagon's National Target Base includes four categories - military forces, WMD infrastructure, military and national leadership, and war supporting infrastructure - a post Cold War strategy to deter all so-called WMDs, the Bush administration saying America:
"…has made it clear for many years that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force to the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, our people, our forces and our friends and allies. Additionally, the United States will hold any state, terrorist group, or other non-state actor fully accountable for supporting or enabling terrorist efforts to obtain or use weapons of mass destruction, whether by facilitating, financing, or providing expertise or safe haven for such efforts."
The policy remains unchanged under Obama; OPLAN 8010-08 for preventive or retaliatory "strategic deterrence" and preemptive "global strike." STRATCOM describes the former as its "first line of operation... that includes nuclear force operations." The latter expands national and theater operations globally, the terms Prompt Global Strike and Global Strike used interchangeably, whether with conventional or nuclear weapons, or if prompt or deliberate.
The Air Force's nuclear/conventional command is called Global Strike Command, using America's full attack capabilities to destroy targets, including WMDs preemptively, STRATCOM's counterproliferation strategy designed to destroy all WMDs "before they can be used....(a) preemptive....counterforce....or offensively reactive" strategy.
While claiming to "put an end to Cold War thinking (by) reduc(ing) the role and number of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy," Obama's National Security Strategy puts old wine in new bottles, rebranding it to appear softer while keeping hardline policies in place, backed by a growing arsenal of globally positioned sophisticated weapons, asserting the right to use them preemptively against perceived threats.
During the Cold War, M.A.D. (mutually assured destruction) held both sides at bay. Today's strategy includes "more flexible options (for) a wider range of contingencies (with weapons) to optimize performance," meaning destroy an adversary's capabilities preemptively, then target another.
With America on a nuclear hair-trigger, it's reinvented MAD in new form, threatening potential global nuclear winter, defined as "a long period of darkness and extreme cold that scientists predict would follow a full-scale nuclear war, a layer of dust and smoke in the atmosphere cover(ing) the earth and block(ing) the rays of the sun, (causing) most living organisms (to) perish."
Anti-nuclear expert Helen Caldicott says "one single failure of nuclear deterrence could end human history (quickly). Once initiated, it would take one hour to trigger a swift, sudden end to life on this planet." Only nuclear disarmament and abolition of nuclear weapons can stop it.
In their joint July 1955 Manifesto, Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell put the nuclear threat bluntly:
"Here, then, is the problem which we present to you, stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war? (The) best authorities are unanimous that a war with H-bombs (or today's arsenal) might possibly put an end to the human race." For some, it will be instant, but "the majority (will experience) a slow torture of disease and disintegration." It's our choice. So far we've made it badly.



Stephen Lendman Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.

For further enlightenment see –

The Her(m)etic Hermit - http://hermetic.blog.com


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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Can troops find hidden bombs with sixth sense?

Can troops find hidden bombs with sixth sense?
http://waronterrornews.typepad.com/.a/6a00e551d9d3fd8833011570ea0492970c-800wi

By Steve Hammons

Recent research has determined that some U.S. military personnel are better than others in the ability to detect hidden improvised explosive devices (IEDs). But why?

According to a U.S. Army research project, troops raised in rural and forested areas seemed to be better at it. Troops who grew up in tough urban areas also seem to excel in this kind of perception.

The common denominator is “situational awareness (SA)” that is key to hunting and being aware in the natural environment as well as in dangerous neighborhoods where people can become a victim of violence or other crime.

But what other important factors might be in play? And how might the understanding of human perception and consciousness benefit all of us?

In the first issue of the fascinating new magazine EdgeScience (October 2009 edition), editor Patrick Huyghe’s article “Straight from the Gut” explored the two-year Army study on perception led by researcher and psychologist Steven Burnett. Huyghe also took a look at some of the media coverage on the study.

In addition, he notes the work of other well-known researchers on human consciousness who propose that other interesting elements may affect troops’ abilities to perceive IEDs.

These theories, backed up by significant research, note that hunches, intuition and gut feelings might be linked to the acquisition of information through human consciousness in ways we do not fully understand.

The conscious perception that something is going on that we need to be aware of might be related to factors other than clues in the physical environment that troops and all of us process consciously and unconsciously.

In some cases, another kind of perception may kick in. These may be split-second premonitions or what has been called “presentiment.” Troops and all humans (and maybe many animals) can use perceptual abilities and resources that have sometimes been called “anomalous cognition” of various types.

The recognition of danger, linked directly to personal and group survival, is a fundamental priority of human consciousness. As part of this perceptual priority, do we have a “sixth sense” that supplements and assists our other five senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste?


 MEDIA COVERAGE

In Huyghe’s EdgeScience magazine piece, he examined the New York Times article on the Army study by Benedict Carey who Huyghe described as "an experienced science writer hired by the Times in 2004 to cover human behavior and psychology.” The headline of Carey’s July 27, 2009, was “In Battle, Hunches Prove to be Valuable.”

In Carey’s article, he notes, “The United States military has spent billions on hardware, like signal jamming technology, to detect and destroy” IEDs. He also explains that IEDs “have proved to be the greatest threat in Iraq and now in Afghanistan.”

“Still, high-tech gear, while helping to reduce casualties, remains a mere supplement to the most sensitive detection system of all – the human brain. Troops on the ground, using only their senses and experience, are responsible for foiling many IED attacks,” Carey wrote.

Carey also pointed out, “Everyone has hunches – about friends’ motives, about the stock market, about when to fold a hand of poker and when to hold it. But United States troops are now at the center of a large effort to understand how it is that in a life-or-death situation, some people’s brains can sense danger and act on it well before others do.”

Another article, this one in the Los Angeles Times, also examined the Army study. “Some troops have a sixth sense for bombs” was written by Tony Perry and published Oct. 28, 2009.

Reporting from the U.S. Marine Corps base at Twentynine Palms, Calif., Perry wrote, “Military researchers have found that two groups of personnel are particularly good at spotting anomalies: those with hunting backgrounds, who traipsed through the woods as youths looking to bag a deer or turkey; and those who grew up in tough urban neighborhoods, where it is often important to know what gang controls which block.”

Perry added, “Of the bombs spotted before they could kill or maim, an estimated 90% were detected by someone, for instance, sensing something amiss along a dusty roadside in the southern Afghan province of Helmand or a crowded street in the western Iraqi city of Fallouja.”

Both articles by Carey and Perry examined the Army research project in some depth, interviewed researchers and troops, and explored theories of training to perceive threats and possible psychological aspects of this perception.

But, did either article (or the Army researchers) “take the next step” as EdgeScience magazine editor Huyghe called it?

Huyghe pointed out in his article that extensive studies “show that the brain actually anticipates emotionally charged situations, not only before the person is aware of them, but before any hint of them is available in any way, shape, or form.”

In other words, there are significant experimental and experiential indications that we have the capability to perceive things before they happen in linear time.

This view is consistent with research from the U.S. joint military and intelligence project of the 1970s, ‘80s and early ‘90s generally referred to as Project STAR GATE. This project documented and used aspects of human perception and human consciousness that did “take the next step.”

A subsequent 2001 research paper by a Navy SEAL officer, prepared as part of his studies at the Marine Corps War College, proposed that implications from Project STAR GATE seem to demonstrate the advantages of learning more about human perceptual abilities.

In addition, he suggested that incorporating this kind of emerging understanding can be a key part of what he called “transcendent warfare.”

Project STAR GATE research and operational activities involved what some might call extrasensory perception (ESP). The project involved strict protocols trying to make use of this kind of perception. These formal procedures and methods were key parts of what was eventually called “remote viewing.”

Science journalists could focus more on these developments. In fact, journalists covering many kinds of beats may find important elements related to their work.



http://www.withoutruleoflaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Situational-Awareness2.jpg
SITUATION AWARENESS

Interestingly, in the second edition of EdgeScience magazine (January-March 2010), a letter to the editor was published that provided more useful information on these subjects.

EdgeScience reader John MacLean explained that as a college instructor in Utah, he teaches a class in “Technology Management Program” called “Reliability Engineering and Safety.” MacLean noted, “One of the chapters in this course is situational awareness.”

MacLean provided a short definition of situation awareness (SA): knowing what is going on around you.

In addition to MacLean’s succinct definition, SA has also been described as the perception of environmental factors within time and space, understanding the meaning of the factors and anticipating possible outcomes in the near future.

SA has become an important area in military activities, aviation safety, emergency services, critical engineering operations and similar fields.

“In this class we discuss how to have situational awareness and how to recognize when you have lost it. There are 11 clues that can be observed in one’s operating vocations that tell you that you are losing your situational awareness,” Maclean explained.

He points out in his letter to the editor that the 11 clues to the loss of situational awareness are primarily involved with conventional awareness of instrumentation, communication, adherence to standard procedures and similar aspects.

However, he notes that one of the clues involves “confusion, apprehensive feeling or gut feeling that something is wrong."

MacLean wrote, “Many dismiss various explanations as the subconscious observing a bad developing situation or seeing several of the clues by the subconscious. Personally, although some of these other explanations may be valid, I am wondering if precognition may be operable in these situations that are generally life threatening.”

MacLean goes on to explain how this “gut feeling” clue appears to have been demonstrated. He wrote, “An incident several years ago occurred with a Flying Tigers Airlines 747 on approach to Kuala Lumpur in Indonesia in the middle of a very dark night. From the direction they were on approach, the Instrument Landing System was out of service and they would have had to go another hundred miles to come in from the other direction where it was in service.”

“While several of the clues to losing awareness were eventually present, the first officer tried to get the captain to do the fly around, saying on three occasions, ‘Captain, I really don’t feel good about this, let’s go around and use the instrument system.’ These protestations occurred before any of the other clues were observable,” MacLean said.

“Because of the ultimate presence of several of the clues, unrecognized, they flew into a mountain. The other four clues were observable only just prior to the crash. From the data I observed in this incident, it appears the first officer’s comments were begun at least 15-20 minutes prior to the other four clues being observable.”

MacLean concludes his letter with a thank you to EdgeScience editor Huyghe. “The info you supplied in your article ('Straight From the Gut,' EdgeScience No.1) will be valuable in my class when we discuss situational awareness. I can’t put my finger on it precisely, but I have a feeling the ideas on precognition may be interacting somehow in the other 10 clues. Something to continue to ponder. Great article.”

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/11/16/article-1228060-05DC4743000005DC-931_468x337.jpg

NEUROBIOLOGY AND QUANTUM PHYSICS

From SA training to premonitions, ESP
and remote viewing, we see a growing body of research and knowledge about human perception and human consciousness.

New studies in neurobiology are looking more closely at how the human mind and body might be processing information from our environment that we have no consciousness knowledge of. And when we say “our environment,” we can no longer limit the meaning of this term to the immediate environment that we can see, hear, touch, smell or taste.

Our perception can apparently reach out beyond these five senses. The hypothesized sixth sense may work both independently of, and in cooperation with our other five senses. And, we may have other sensory abilities we do not understand. These might have neurological, chemical and biological aspects.

We may even have some kind of perceptual abilities like the radar and sonar that some other mammals seem to use.

Emerging understanding from quantum physics implies that consciousness itself can be in more than one place at a time. Beyond the physical level of reality there may be more exotic energies and forces that work in mysterious ways.

Consciousness may not be bound by limitations of only the five senses and other possible neurobiological perceptions, nor bound by time and space.

The recent Army study into troops’ ability to perceive IEDs seems to be another valuable step in the analysis of human perception, especially in the maintenance of safety and survival. However, as EdgeScience editor Huyghe noted, maybe we must be willing to go beyond some of the more conventional and limited perspectives.

The safety and survival of our troops, and all of us, are of the utmost importance. In addition, the larger field of human development may be an issue. Should current training and education in diverse and widespread settings include more robust examination of the emerging understanding about human perception?

Let’s catch up to the leading edge of the research and knowledge in these areas and provide training for our troops, students, professionals and people in all walks of life. Let’s cover these developments in science journalism and in the broader media.

Our safety, survival and success may depend on it.

(Editions of EdgeScience magazine are available free in PDF on the website of the Society for Scientific Exploration.)

From http://jointreconstudygroup.blogspot.com/2010/03/can-troops-find-hidden-bombs-with-sixth.html
(This article also appears on the American Chronicle and Transcendent TV & Media sites.)
Images - http://waronterrornews.typepad.com/.a/6a00e551d9d3fd8833011570ea0492970c-800wi
http://www.withoutruleoflaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Situational-Awareness2.jpg
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/11/16/article-1228060-05DC4743000005DC-931_468x337.jpg

For further enlightenment see –

The Her(m)etic Hermit - http://hermetic.blog.com


This material is published under Creative Commons Copyright – reproduction for non-profit use is permitted & encouraged, if you give attribution to the work & author - and please include a (preferably active) link to the original along with this notice. Feel free to make non-commercial hard (printed) or software copies or mirror sites - you never know how long something will stay glued to the web – but remember attribution! If you like what you see, please send a tiny donation or leave a comment – and thanks for reading this far…

From the New Illuminati – http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com