US Capitalism Is The Cause Of War & Terror


(Originally posted 7/13/2017 on Read With The Gringa)

How important is it to really know and understand history? There is the common sense approach to history that knowing it empowers one to avoid making the same mistakes of the past. But ignorance of history can be disastrous and deadly. It can result in an endless cycle of war, chaos and suffering. And, quite often, a society can know nothing at all about certain historical events until decades later. That is because many things that a government does is done in secret.

It is not until enough time passes that it is safe to de-classify information, when agents are no longer operating in the field on a particular mission, that the public can discover critical history. Just because a person reads a history book in grade school, high school or college, one must not lapse into a false sense of security that they have a firm grasp on history. Because most of the devastating events occurring in the present are the fallout of an unknown past. These past catalysts, shrouded in mystery, must be discovered if the right solutions are to be found.

For example, a top secret US strategy that took place nearly 50 years ago is vital to understanding what is going on today in the world. Without an in-depth look at the responsibility of the US in Operation Condor, a person devoted to freedom might continue to mindlessly support America’s position in “spreading democracy”. Understanding Operation Condor means recognizing that endless wars and terrorism can be laid right at the feet of the US government.

Although Operation Condor was the brain-child of the governments of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, the US was also complicit and made the execution of operations possible. Without the technical and military support provided during the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan presidential administrations, the world would likely have not seen the mass terror it experienced then and is experiencing now. Perhaps thousands of Central and South Americans, and victims worldwide, might have survived rather than experienced horrific tortures and executions.

Facts gleaned from de-classified NSA documents concluded that a September 1976 car bombing in Washington DC was directly tied to Operation Condor. Follow the trail of events and come to understand the long-term implications:

–          -June 4, 1976, State Document 137156: In March 24, 1976 a military coup occurred in Argentina. Major leaders were exiled. Many of these exiles died by violent assassinations. This State Department document ordered “immediate action” in response to these events in order to stabilize neighboring nations.

–          -July 2, 1976, CIA Weekly Summary: Operation Condor reports 6 governments (Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil) coordinated efforts to raid a Buenos Aires human rights office in order to steal records about refugees so the governments could squash dissent. Leftist leader Edgardo Enriquez was consequently arrested, turned over to Chile and executed.

–          -July 17, 1976: CIA obtains documents revealing Operation Condor plans to execute Pinochet’s political rival. The CIA intercepted a document from Chile’s Chief of Intelligence Col. Manuel Contreras to Paraguay intelligence requesting assistance for Chile’s agents. Paraguay was to supply the Chilean spy/assassins with false Paraguay passports. This mission was leaked to the US Ambassador who consequently reported it to the CIA.

NOTE: The “leak” to the US Ambassador was the first step in US subversion to create plausible deniability. The US Ambassador was simply a patsy for a US plan to create circumstances to “save face” politically. The CIA already knew the assassination plot when informed by the Ambassador. In fact, it was the CIA who created the “leak” yet disguised the CIA as the source of information.

If the US had wanted to prevent the assassination of Letelier, they could have done so, yet they did not. The only thing they desired was plausible deniability of their involvement and complicity in the mission.

Why would the US support the assassination of Letelier? Could it be that his political position as a strong leftist socialist is not the kind of political leader that benefits the interests of the US, like exploitation of natural resources? Such a leader would do what was best for the people he represented rather than the corporations of a foreign power.

On the other hand, a far right extremist, like Pinochet, is interested only in amassing more power and the wealth that such power can accumulate. For a country like the US, where corporate interests come first, Pinochet was a devil the nation was willing to deal with.

–         – July 20, 1976, Uruguay/US Embassy Communication: Uruguay’s Ambassador Ernest Siracusa defends the actions as sovereign nations taking military action against domestic terrorism. Siracusa points out that the US has long urged southern neighbors to take internal security more seriously so why condemn their actions when they do? He explains that if these nations do not provide for the safety of their populations, they will be alienated by the rest of the world.

–          -July 30, 1976, CIA Report: Operation Condor gains more power. Expanding past intelligence gathering, spies are now authorized to locate and assassinate guerilla leaders. Executions were planned in Paris and London. The CIA officially became an international political assassination organization through Operation Condor by providing intelligence and military training to Operation Condor operatives.

–          -August 3, 1976 Bureau of Inter-American Affairs (State Dept ARA): US ARA Assistant Secretary for Latin America, Harry Shlaudeman drafts a memo to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. He summarizes that the 6 Latin American governments are engaging in, literally, World War 3 as a war on terrorism. They are using as their frontline assault force the CIA-trained assassins authorized by Operation Condor. And assassination plans are crafted based on CIA provided intelligence. Terrorist targets are defined as anyone who “opposes government policy”.

–          -August 18, 1976, State Document 209192: Secretary of State Henry Kissinger responds with instructions to US ambassadors of Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay to express to the respective foreign governments they work with that the US warns of serious moral and political problems if Operation Condor continues as an organization of political assassination cooperating with the CIA. In other words, the State Department of the US government appears to not have the power to reign in who the CIA trains as assassins and provides intelligence to. The US can only appeal to foreign nations not to cooperate with CIA-trained assassins.

NOTE: Who really runs the US? Who really has oversight and authority of the CIA?

–          -August 24, 1976 US Ambassador To Chile’s Response: Ambassador David Popper met with CIA station chief and deputy chief. The CIA chiefs advised Popper not to follow Kissinger’s instructions to request Argentine leader Pinochet to stop cooperating with Operation Condor’s organized assassinations because Pinochet might feel “insulted”. The CIA chiefs instead advise Popper to have the discussion with Argentina’s chief of DINA (Argentina’s equivalent of the CIA).

NOTE: Does the CIA have the authority to override the instructions of the Secretary of State, instructions given directly to a US Ambassador? Again, who runs the US? Who oversees and has authority over the CIA? Whose interest does the CIA actually represent?

–          -August 27, 1976 ARA/CIA Meeting Memo: It is decided not to ask Pinochet to disengage from Operation Condor assassination plans. Other alternatives for dealing with Pinochet are discussed.

NOTE: Without authorization from his boss, Secretary of State Kissinger, the US Ambassador complies with the CIA’s direction.

–          -September 20, 1976 State Dept ARA Orders: US Ambassadors are instructed to take no action regarding Operation Condor and that US opposition to assassination plans under Operation Condor have become a matter of official record.

NOTE: The State Department now follows a policy aligning with CIA recommendations: inaction which allows Operation Condor to continue unleashed, yet creating an “official” public record of opposition to the operation which contradicts US practical position of being supportive and complicit. In other words, the US could say to Americans and the world, “We are the good guys.” while at the same time enabling and empowering terrorism. And this type of policy was established by the CIA, not the democratically elected presidential administration.

–          -September 21, 1976 US State Dept documents 6177 & 6276: US Ambassador to Argentina, Robert Hill, summarizes his meeting with Argentine military ruler General Videla: Hill does not mention US opposition to Operation Condor’s organized assassination plans. The pair discuss human rights. Hill criticizes the murder of a priest and mass killing of residents of a small town. Reminds Videla that the US views these actions as violations of human rights. Videla’s response was to point the finger at US support of such actions seen in Kissinger’s perspective that they were a form of getting “terrorism under control as quickly as possible”.

NOTE: Basically, Kissinger is engaging in double-speak. Officially, the US condemns assassinations and government’s murdering civilians en masse. Unofficially, the US encourages any measure taken by a government to control its population and stabilize the nation. In other words, no one can ever believe a word out of an American official’s mouth when they try to portray the US as the “good guys”.

–          -September 21, 1976: Orlando Letelier, political opponent of Augusto Pinochet, is assassinated with a car bomb while living in exile in the US, the assassination directly ordered by Pinochet.

The dear reader can follow the source links to further study the many de-classified documents. It is important to note that no politician is going to reveal motives in a document. Often, such documents contain double-speak as a means to have an official source that can be pointed to for plausible deniability and absolve guilt. But when a person reads critically and applies sound logic to how certain actions or words lead to specific results, it becomes clear that there are no accidents, ever, in government policy or diplomacy. Every word or action is carefully chosen and crafted in order to bring about a specific result.

And the take away from Operation Condor is that the US had a vital interest in having Pinochet, a murderous tyrant, at the helm of Chile’s government. And copper was at the heart of US interests in Chile during this era. Up until the mid-1960s, US business owned the greater part of the Chilean copper industry. And it was incredibly lucrative for American owned Anaconda Mining and Gran Mineria.

Once Chile’s political left gained power in the mid 1960s, the US quickly became disenchanted with Chile’s socialist president, Salvador Allende, and his right hand man, Letelier. The particular reason for this disenchantment was because Letelier was highly influential in Allende’s policy to nationalize Chile’s copper mines. The US justified overt and covert action to overthrow Allende with President Kennedy’s 1961 policy, “The Alliance for Progress”.

JFK’s policy had nothing to do with supporting the values of democracy as a part of “progress”. Rather, it was a policy to preserve capitalism by authorizing action to prevent the spread of socialism throughout the hemisphere. Basically, it was a political position of arrogance and aggression toward any continental neighbor whose population democratically elected a representative government committed to a socialist model that put the interests of the population above corporate wealth interests, hence exploitive US investors.

This policy is nothing more than a means for the US to continue to wage war as an open aggressor and covert de-stabilizer in the name of capitalism, not freedom. And it has led to the US being an originator and sponsor of terrorism for decades. If the world would really like to see terrorism end, then it will have to commit itself to first putting an end to capitalism.

Without the massive wealth corporate sponsors accumulate to power their war engines, US terror and war can no longer be staged. Without the consequential practical enslavement of masses of people exploited in the process of creating this wealth, corporate warfare can no longer victimize weakened and powerless populations. When a population is truly free, they can resist corporate warmongers and bring their terror to a grinding halt.
US strategy is to condition Americans to believe that they live in a nation whose primary interest is democracy. Free and open elections occur regularly to “prove” this point. First amendment protection is vigorously upheld to “prove” this point. Americans become conditioned to believe that their nation is noble and good and true. But a nation that truly believes in democracy would pursue this ideology everywhere else in the world. The US doesn’t.
Gross luxury and indulgence is marketed in the US as the key to happiness. Americans are conditioned to believe that the ability to afford luxury is what defines a person as success. Americans are conditioned, like good capitalists, to see the homeless person as a person who deserves their misery. American capitalists are conditioned to believe that socialists or communists are thieves who destroy creativity and work ethos. This conditioning creates an arrogant capitalist population incapable of true self-examination which requires overcoming the challenge of accepting inconvenient and painful truths. It creates a cold-hearted population who ignores the hypocrisy of calling itself a “Christian” nation while at them same time mocking and rejecting the Christian value of being its down-and-out brother’s keeper.
In America, the illusion of democracy and Christian values are only tools used by the US government to delude the American people. These political devices are wielded so expertly that most citizens are no match for the well-honed propaganda machine the US government works 24/7. It is a lie that America is the defender of democracy and Christian values.
You see, while the US government goes about building up American egos as the citizens of a capitalist democracy that is better and more honorable than any other country in the world, that same government is covertly, aggressively and violently pursuing, all around the world, its capitalist interests, eagerly partnering with brutal dictators and government leaders who are corrupt, willing to sell out their people and natural resources for a handful of gold.
And should a nation turn socialist or communist as a political maneuver to protect national resources and provide a better life for its people, shielding them from foreign exploitation, the US disregards every principal of democracy in order to purposely de-stabilize these nations.
They are then maneuvered into a civil war, so that the US can become the “good guys” who swoop in and set everything “right” again.
Americans, please stop falling for this crap. Want to end war? End capitalism in the US. End this government by the corporations, for the corporations. Do the entire world a favor. Wake up. Resist. Revolt.

Sources: NSA Archive

State Government History & Milestones

Villanova Law

Yale

Image Credit: IMG Arcade

Video Credit: CGTN America

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Chile’s 9/11 Of US Sponsored Terror


If the gringa has sufficiently whetted the dear readers’ appetites on the sinister and very real nature of US sponsored dark operations and terrorism, you are in for another treat. Although every American knows the significance of 9/11, some Americans even believing this to be a US crafted dark op act of terror, this belief may be further strengthened when it is realized that the US crafted a 9/11 for Chile. But why did Chile matter so much to the US?


Chile’s 1970 democratic election offered the populace 5 presidential candidates. Chileans chose as their new leader Salvador Allende. Allende’s politics were considered center-left. As what was then known as a “developmentalist”, Allende’s favor rode the swelling tides of a populist platform. He promised to re-empower the people at the cost of dis-empowerment of foreign investors. Sound familiar? This is what is known as “going rogue” in US policy.


As a developmentalist, Allende promised to foster the growth and development of national companies. To keep foreign competition at bay, high tariffs would be imposed on imports. Sounds a lot like Trump, huh? Yeah, the US doesn’t mind a strong nationalized economy at home, where American companies benefit. But the US is not too fond of nationalized economies abroad where US corporations want a bigger slice of the capitalist pie. 


When a foreign nation with a consumer population the US desires to exploit begins these populist programs of nationalizing their economies, the US typically starts clanging the alarm bells of, wait for it….. COMMUNISM. And the US has invested great effort in conditioning Americans to have their hearts contract with disgust at the mention of that word. A good, little, patriotic American should have a reflexive response toward Communism as if one just happened upon a cockroach. You eradicate it. And if you peruse the CIA’s website about their activities in Chile during this period, you will see the word Communism as synonymous with Marxist, an equally detestable word to well-conditioned US “patriots”.

Especially during the 70s, at the very thick of the Cold War with Russia, did these particular words have even greater effect on the American people. Once Secretary of State Henry Kissinger saw what was going to happen under an Allende administration, he immediately began the Communism smear campaign. He gave this public statement:

“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”

In other words, Kissinger advocated for interference in the democratic process of a sovereign country simply because it was going to make a dent in American corporate profit interests vested there. But he would convince Americans action was needed to preserve and protect democracy because Chileans were too stupid to recognize “nationalism” as “Communism” in disguise. Because, after all, every good American knows that life under capitalism is ALWAYS better than the lifestyle any communist society offers, right?


Kissinger by-passed the CIA, crafting his own clever plot to do away with an administration elected by the people on a promise to be for the people of Chile. However, Kissinger would eventually get around to using the CIA to help carry out his coup. 


The key Chilean talent Kissinger tapped to be his inside man was Chile’s top military commander, General Rene Schneider Chereau. Chereau was no fan of Allende. The gringa supposed it didn’t take much for a smooth-talker like Kissinger to get him on board. The CIA introduced Kissinger’s scheme to Chereau expecting to easily gain his confidence. They were surprised that, despite his open dislike for Allende, he flat-out refused their proposal. What a surprise for such an arrogant nation! Of course, had the US understood the concepts of loyalty and duty, they would have been able to predict the noble response of Chereau.


So, the CIA picked another Chilean military mark, General Camilo Valenzuela. He quickly jumped on the dark op bandwagon, implementing a gun smuggling operation. He was to select key conspirators who would participate in a very public assassination of Chereau (that’s what you get for refusing to cooperate with the US. Ya get dead). Because it was widely known by the public that Chereau and Allende were anything but friends, it would be easy to convince the public that Allende supporters were responsible for the heinous crime.


Chilean General Robert Viaux was the money man, receiving $50,000. As a US hit man for hire, he turned around and hired a small group of mercenaries, arming them with automatic rifles and gas grenades. October 22, 1970, Viaux’ hit squad approached Chereau’s car, smashed the back window with a sledgehammer, then delivered several gunshot wounds to his abdomen. It took him 3 days to die. 


The CIA crafted a good cover story for their involvement when details came to light. They claimed that the original plan was only for a kidnapping of Chereau. The CIA absolved itself of any responsibility for a kidnap crew that went rogue and assassinated the General. They claimed that their financial culpability was actually only $35,000 which had been paid for humanitarian reasons to particular members of the crew. Because, remember, the US is always the “good guy”.

And now we get to the heart of the matter, September 11, 1973. The US had one more Chilean General up their sleeve. General Augusto Pinochet was their ace in the hole. During the civil unrest and outrage, believing Allende was responsible for Chereau’s assassination, the Chilean people were ripe for a military coup. Which is exactly what Pinochet delivered, ousting the thorn in US corporate interest’s side after they had managed to convince the Chilean people that their political savior was really the “bad guy”. 


And what kind of man had the US gotten in bed with? It seems just the kind of guy they like to train at their terrorist school at Fort Benning. Under Pinochet’s leadership it is estimated as many as 50,000 Chilean citizens were killed from 1974-1990.


But for greedy American corporations willing to overlook all of this bloodshed for the sake of more profit, they were only going to be disappointed by Pinochet. He may have delivered the removal of Allende who would have raised their tariffs, but he ended up plunging the nation into its greatest economic crisis since ancient times. So, apparently capitalism ain’t so great after all, huh? This capitalism inspired regime change experiment was a big, fat failure.

And what happened to the CIA and Kissinger for their part in a chain of events that caused thousands upon thousands of Chileans to lose their lives to brutality and inflicted untold suffering upon the survivors? Well, Kissinger is a household name in America, synonymous with diplomacy and statesmanship. The CIA? Although Americans despise a snoop, they still revere the snoops in the CIA. That’s how amazingly effective US propaganda is. 


What’s the take away of this? The US does not really give a hoot about preserving democracy, only profits. They were willing to overthrew a democratic country for the sake of protecting US corporate interests. The only reason democracy is so seemingly well protected within the borders of the US is because it keeps the populace easier to manage. However, should US citizens ever pose a problem for the nation’s corporate interests, we can all expect democracy and liberty to take a back seat to corporate interests.


Sources: All That Is Interesting


Biography


Britannica


CIA


Image Credit: Next Year Country News


Video Credit: Miguel Ferreira




Super-Size That Telescope Order, Please!


The gringa has previously posted about the significance of the Alpha Centauri system in man’s eternal search for the origins of life, the meaning of life and, perhaps, other life. Europe and Chile are partnering together in an effort to focus their astronomy and scientific efforts to search the planets in this star system to discover any planet’s potential for habitability. 


The Breakthrough Starshot civilian scientist program has modified the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) telescope that is in Chile. Scientists and researchers are setting the stage for Starshot’s probe that will be transmitting images from Alpha Centauri. World renowned Stephen Hawking and billionaire Yuri Milner are the captains at the helm of this ambitious private endeavor. 


Dubbed the “Very Large Telescope” (VLT), the specialized instrument will use infra-red technology to observe planets so incredibly distant the telescope counterparts of ESO’s VLT have only produced very faint depictions in their images of the planets of the Alpha Centauri system. The improvements to the VLT will minimize the interference of surrounding bright starlight that diminishes the clarity of imaging of the planets. Scientists hope that these improvements will make VLT better designed to find and study the Earth-sized planet orbiting in a cosmic sweet spot, the Goldilocks zone, around Proxima Centauri in the Alpha Centauri system. 


An even larger telescope is slated for completion by ESO sometime in the next decade. It’s name, “Extremely Large Telescope” (ELT), may lack imagination, but the gringa doesn’t care so long as it does its job and does it well. This telescope will be committed to gathering data on the other exoplanets in Alpha Centauri. 


Although Chile is a hospitable host to this project, there are more than 16 other countries throughout Europe and South America working together toward ultimate success.  But why are so many observatories located in countries of Earth’s southern hemisphere? Countries like Chile, Puerto Rico, and Peru?


Well, just as Proxima Centauri is a sweet spot for an Earth-like exoplanet, the Southern hemisphere is a sweet spot for observing the heavens. There are many reasons why these locales are considered ideal for astronomy:

  • Remote locations with little industrial and urban development.
  • High mountain ranges.
  • Miles of coastal elevations
  • High altitude deserts with clear, dry air practically year round for clear viewing.

And if you would like to take a peek through Chile’s collection of enormous telescopes, take a trip to the Atacama Desert in the northern part of the country. In addition to the opportunity of a lifetime while gazing into the heavens through a 16 inch telescope, you can tour the Cerro Paranal Observatory and the SPACE Observatory in San Pedro. There are local archaeological sites to explore as well as geographical marvels like a high desert mesa filled with geysers. 

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But if you can’t afford the money or the time for a Chilean astronomy expedition, no worries. There are so many observatories open to the public, surely you will find one near your own hometown. Wikipedia has a rather extensive list so, find your country of choice and see which observatory is nearest you and is open to the public. And, if you have an enjoyable adventure, drop the gringa a line! I’d love to share your experience! 

Image Credit:  Extreme Tech

Let It Rain, Let It Rain, Let It Rain


Although Olympic focus has been trained on Rio, the gringa would like to take the dear reader back in time and to the other side of the globe to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. When China was preparing to host this historical event, pollution was high on the list of problems to solve. Although everyone is probably familiar with the tactic of temporary bans on driving & factory operations as drastic measures to help reduce smog. What many may not be aware of is China’s ambitious plans to control the weather, a $30 million dollar plan that they are still working on today. A plan to shoot into the heavens special “bullets” filled with salt and other minerals. What in the world are those crazy Chinese scientists up to? Apparently, nothing new! They’re just trying to make it rain.

Officially called “weather modification”, China helped clear their smog-filled skies during the Olympic games by making it rain, rain, rain. They are not alone in being rainmakers. Fifty-two other countries have developed their own rainmaking strategies. Ten of these countries joining the rainmaking team only five years ago. Rainmaking countries include: Canada, United States, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Australia, India, Senegal, South Africa, Russia and the list goes on. You can see the map created by the World Meteorological Organization to see who all is in on the rainmaking game.

The gringa is rather ashamed to admit that as for the United States, the origins of its weather modification program is not as noble as China’s. For the U.S., it all started with Operation Popeye which was a top secret program that weaponized weather during the Vietnam War. Although I’m sure the scientists who worked for General Electric had noble intentions, they probably had no idea that the U.S. government was going to take their technology and rain down silver iodide on the poor Vietnamese people.

But I digress. Back to China. In addition to creating rain to saturate polluted air and get rid of smog, they also wanted to prevent rain from spoiling events taking place in the stadium that was dubbed the “Bird’s Nest”. To achieve this amazing god-like feat, the Chinese implemented a 3 stage weather modification strategy:

  1. Officials tracked weather patterns with satellites, planes, radar and supercomputer.
  2. 2 aircraft, 20 rocket launcher & artillery sites sprayed silver iodide and dry ice into remote cloud systems that might approach the stadium so they would dump their rain before arrival.
  3. Nearby cloud systems filled with rain were seeded with chemicals that shrink the water droplets thus ensuring that the clouds would have time to pass over the Bird’s Nest without dropping their rain.

Now was all of this really necessary? The Beijing Olympics were held in August which is a high precipitation season for China so, yes, the gringa supposes that it was necessary. Consequently, China’s success in being a master rainmaker or rainstaller has resulted in China being the world leader in the weather modification sciences. They have more than 1,500 professionals devoted to all things necessary in controlling the weather: scientists, pilots, flight crews. Also proudly serving in the program are tens of thousands of peasant farmers who are more than happy to help their government blast away a cloud when crops have been inundated or have clouds seeded during times of drought. Peasants are on call to operate more than 7,000 aircraft guns and almost 5,000 rocket launchers when called to report to rainmaking duty.

The gringa is not too sure what to make of all this. For the most part I am the type to believe that the less we interfere with nature, the better. However, considering how bad mankind has screwed things up where climate change is concerned, it may just be that Mother Nature could use a few rainmakers. So, I say to the Chinese:

Let it rain. Let it rain. Let it rain.

 

Sources:

www.technologyreview.com

www.wmo.int

uspto.gov

fas.org

wikipedia.org/OperationPopeye

Image Credit:  cloudfront.net

 

 

Were Ancient Martians Vegetable Farmers?


If a petrified cauliflower garden was discovered on Mars would that indicate that ancient Martians were vegetable farmers? Again, images transmitted by Mars rover Spirit have ancient alien conspiracy theorists reveling in the possibility. Unfortunately, unless ancient Martians enjoyed a crisp, tasty salad of silica, no, they were not vegetable farmers.

Near what NASA has dubbed “Home Plate”, Spirit took some pictures of interesting mineral formations that looked like cauliflower. Now, just because something looks like something doesn’t mean that it is that something. Think of all the little fishies in the sea that believe they are about to snag a little morsel for dinner only to realize, much too late, it was actually a bio-lure attached to the head of a deep sea angler fish who is about to be enjoying some dinner of his own. See, although that glowing tidbit looked like food, it was actually a dangerous decoy and not at all what it seemed. So, no, the gringa does not believe that these cauliflower looking formations are actually petrified cauliflower. But, still, is there any exciting news attached to their existence?

According to researchers from Arizona State University, although the mineral formations are no indicator of ancient Martian farmers, they could still very well have been created by alien life. Just not the kind of alien life that walks about, flies in spaceships and probes your brain. We are talking about microscopic alien life in the form of microbes. Which, I guess, technically speaking, under the right conditions could get inside a human brain for a “brain probe”, technically speaking, of course.

Now these silica protrusions were first reported to Earthlings by Spirit in 2008. Why has it taken eight years for the media to find something interesting? Well, science takes its own sweet time in research and drawing the right conclusions. Part of this research involves studying similar mineral formations here on Earth to get some local answers. One place to do that is in the high altitude Andean Atacama Desert of Chile which has some shapes that look like a mirror image of what was found on Mars. Could the microbes that created the Martian formations have traveled to Earth and duplicated their work here? Is that a sign of a cosmic connection between our two planets or is it common for microbes to create silica based cauliflower everywhere? Are conditions simply present in lots of places remote from one another for this to happen?

Scientists Steven Ruff and Jack Farmer, who penned an article published by Smithsonian Magazine, believe that the Martian petrified cauliflower may be proof that at one time, way back when, Mars was teeming with the kind of life commonly found in the vicinity of geysers, even living within the geysers themselves. After their investigation of Chile’s cauliflower, the work of artistic microbes who have a penchant for sculptures resembling vegetables, they linked the microbes responsible to some ancient microbes found in New Zealand that were definitely from out of this world. More silica cauliflower cousins have also been found in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park.

So maybe, just maybe, some space traveling microbes made their way here from Mars aeons ago. And the message they have left behind to get our attention are rock formations that look like cauliflower. Does that sound crazy or what? How would ancient microscopic Martians have ever known humans would ever develop the habit of even eating cauliflower and decide that would be their key way of making first contact or leaving behind a letter of introduction? The gringa appreciates the zeal of scientists but methinks this is all just an accident. Mars probably got slammed by an enormous asteroid, comet or meteor which sent chunks of Mars shooting out into space and one of these chunks happened to make its way to Earth and, bing, bang, boom, a kazillion years later we have cauliflower rocks just like Mars.

If that’s the case, there’s no telling what other bits of Mars may have made their way here and be right under our very noses. It makes rock collecting take on a whole new meaning. That little bit of quartz or gypsum you collect and stuff in a cubby hole or box today may prove to be of galactic origins tomorrow.

More interesting to the gringa than the thought of beings similar to us living on Mars long ago is the implication of space scraps making their way hither and yon from the vast reaches of space to finally land upon Earth. Who knows?! Maybe NOTHING organic on Earth actually originated here. Maybe our planet is a virtual junkyard of the Universe, with little bits from here and there surviving and growing up into what we have today. Hey, stranger things have happened!

Sources:  www.nasa.gov

www.yahoo.news

www.smithsonianmag.com

Image source:  www.americaspace.com

 

 

Who’s In For A 2-Month Long, Melanoma-Free Day?


As researchers plot their space plans to discover where possibilities lie for a home planet like Earth, that might even be supporting our ancestors, where are they looking? MIT astronomers comprising an international team in Belgium are plotting for a search about 40 light years away. That means if we don’t want a spaceship to arrive with astronauts dead of old age or perhaps affected by age-related dementia, we have to send astronauts in the age group of 20s-40s to manage the forty year flight mission. It may take another decade or two for space agencies to have the ability to travel that far so elementary and middle school children of today are the astronauts of tomorrow that may be slated for just such a mission.

Beyond our solar system is the best bet for finding life like our own, or at least a few planets like ours. An MIT team has discovered three planets that orbit a dwarf star about 40 light years away. Their sizes are about the same as Earth or Venus. The telescope the astronomy used to locate them is the TRAPPIST telescope located in Chile. This telescope is designed to specifically focus on a cluster of dwarf stars, 60 in number.  Belgian scientists created TRAPPIST to study the infrared wavelengths of dwarf stars and the planets surrounding them.

The scientist’s favorite dwarf star is an ultracool (as in thermally ultracool, not socially hip) star about the size of Jupiter and much cooler than our own sun. Beginning a period of observation in September, 2015, the astronomy team observed regular intervals of fading in the infrared signature of the star. They theorized that planets were passing in front of the star causing this to occur.

The team turned their attention to the time to expect a light fade event and discovered that there were, indeed, planets orbiting the star. The two nearest planets were similar in size to our own Earth and Venus. The closest planet that has everyone’s attention is named 2MASS J23062928-0502285, commonly called TRAPPIST-1. The two planets have orbit cycles, respectively, of 1.5 of our own days and 2.4 days. The amount of radiation they absorb from their star is significantly more than what we deal with. The closest one receives about four times the radiation we get and the next one about two times the amount. So, if there is any life there it would have to have evolved with natural radiation tolerance.

The third planet in distance from the star has an unknown orbit cycle. The scientists’ best guess so far is that it could be anywhere from four to 73 days but would receive significantly less radiation. I guess that’s good news. If we need to relocate I suppose we could deal with a four-day long day or even a two-month long day and not have to worry about skin cancer.

When the team analyzes the size of the planets in relation to the star, and take into account their proximity to their sun, they believe that life could be sustainable. They calculate that there could be areas with a temperature range less than 400 kelvins. That converts to about 260 degrees Fahrenheit or 127 degrees Celsius. Not exactly a tropical paradise but conditions where liquid water and organic life could survive.

The next step is to study the atmospheric conditions of the planets to see what their atmospheres are composed of. What kind of gases? Is there breathable oxygen? And they believe that within their own working career’s lifetime they will be able to determine if these planets are inhabited with life of some kind, say the next ten years or so.

This is a breakthrough in science. Traditionally scientists have studied bright solar stars like our own. By taking a risk and searching for a cool dwarf star, this MIT group has hit paydirt with the find of a lifetime. To accomplish their task they had to design a whole new set of instruments specialized to detect the radiation emitted by cold dwarf stars and only visible through an infrared telescope. The whole field of detecting other worlds changed simply by changing the wavelength humans were viewing the galaxy with. Perspective is everything.

Source: news.mit.edu

Image Credit: http://www.storify.com

No, Virginia, There Is No Secret Base At Antarctica


The gringa promised to peruse Admiral Byrd’s diaries and report on any log he may have made to support the claims of conspiracy theorists (CTs) that there is a secret German military base at Antarctica. However, his authentic diary is a record of his flight across the North Pole in 1926. Although there is an Admiral Byrd diary website, it is a fraud and does not record any truthful occurrence of Operation Highjump.

The gringa did not want to disappoint the dear reader so she dug a bit further. She dipped her toe into the netherworld of Wikileaks. Here is a brief summary of the most interesting points of research on Pre-and Post- World War II era Antarctica. I have summarized the most important facts and added my own two cent’s worth at the end in a “NOTE”:

UK Polar Record of Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

Polar Record 43 (224): 1-21 (2007)

  • December 1938-April 1939 Pre-WWII German expedition to Antarctica on naval vessel Schabenland authorized by Herman Goering & led by Captain Alfred Ritscher (not a naval military captain but a merchant marine captain who served the German navy in a civilian capacity because he was the most experienced polar explorer in Germany). Mission objective was to evaluate viability of Germany’s whaling industry that supplied oil, lubricants, glycerin (for explosive nitroglycerin), margarine, etc. Their war effort would depend upon these supplies. Mission reports widely published in German scientific literature and eventually translated into numerous languages were later referred to by the British, Americans, Swedes, and Norwegians. The reports contained maps and photographic surveys. (3) landings made
  • January 14, 1939 Norway responds to Germany’s expedition to Antarctica and lays claim to the territory it had earlier discovered, Dronning Maud Land that Germany announced it was setting out to explore
  • Jan-Feb 1939 German expedition visits Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Mission objective: explore area discovered by Norwegian whaling fleets and lay claim to the territory before Norway did for the whaling rights. Any proposed base was not a military base but a whaling industry base for Germany’s fleet of whaling vessels. The outbreak of the war prevented a return expedition to begin construction of a whaling station. No official German expeditions returned until after 1959. Because of Norway’s official territory claim, Germany never disputed the issue (NOTE: this visit did not result in the construction of a secret German base in Antarctica, time, lack of adequate maps and ice conditions would have prevented the completion of any kind of base being constructed. In a later British expedition it took 18 days to complete a crude hut even with the support of specialized heavy equipment).
  • 1943-1945 Great Britain launches secret wartime mission “Tabarin” w/Special Air Services Regiment (SAS). Objective was to occupy Falkland Islands in order to deny use of harbours to German ships because Chile and Argentina were friendly with Germany during WWII. (NOTE: this was not a staged attack upon a secret German base)
  • July & August 1945 (after German surrender of WWII) 2 U-boats arrive in Argentina’s naval base Mar del Plata. Subs were Captained by Lieutenant Otto Wermuth and Oberleutnant Heinz Schaeffer. Rather than be the escape subs for Hitler, Hitler really did commit suicide and these were Germans stationed off the coast of New York when their country surrendered and they were just trying to escape to a friendly country. However, Wermuth, Schaeffer and their crews were taken prisoner by Argentina and officially became prisoners of war, interrogated by Argentine Navy, US Navy and British Royal Navy. (NOTE: these boats were not capable of operation in ice bound waters with pack ice up to 2m thick off the Antarctic coastline so they did not come from a secret German base there)
  • Summer 1946-1947 US Navy “Operation Highjump” (classified Confidential) performs mock invasion of Antarctica. The Operation was not a dark op. The exercise was widely publicized in the New York Times and 11 journalists were imbedded with the mission’s crews. This was Truman’s first Cold War exercise to flex US military muscle in the face of the Soviet Union (NOTE: not a staged attack upon a secret German base but a training operation for the possibility of war with the Soviet Union during a Russian winter)
  • 1958 (3) nuclear weapons exploded in Antarctic region in US classified Operation Argus (NOTE: this was not to destroy a secret German base at Dronning Maud Land. The nukes were detonated 2000km north of that location and again, the flex of US muscle in the face of the Soviets during the Cold War)
  • All classified documents for these operations have since been declassified.

The gringa hates to burst the bubble of CTs who thoroughly enjoy entertaining the notion that there is a secret base of extra-terrestrials and Germans located beneath the ice of Antarctica. But there is nothing there. And since the whole premise of believing in a dark ops space program called “Dark Fleet” is dependent upon the secret Antarctica base existing, that, too, is just a fantasy.

Nothing would delight me more than to find an ET hide-out. The gringa would march right in and have a chat. Maybe even go for a ride, buzzing the horizon in one of their spaceships. I would even be thrilled if they “beamed” me about the globe on a world tour. But, alas, they are not to be found at Antarctica (or Egypt or Peru). But I’ll keep looking.

Source:  https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/attach/49/49783_.pdf

Image credit: http://www.artofadam.wordpress.com (modified by the gringa)