NASA, Please Explain

Why hasn’t mankind been back to the Moon? Why do humans only travel as far as the International Space Station (ISS) and no further if Russia and the United States have already had successful Moon landing missions? These questions fuel the conspiracy fires that claim the Apollo Moon landing was a staged scene and never really happened. Regardless of a person’s position on this, what of Russia? If they made it to the Moon, why haven’t they been back either?

During the years of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, it was always a game of one-upmanship. Rather than flinging bombs at one another it was a bit of “Whatever you can do I can do better.” The space race was no exception.

In 1961 the Soviet Union took the lead in the space race when Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth and returned home, all in one piece. In response, U.S. President John F. Kennedy did not say, “Well done.” No, instead he threw down the gauntlet and swore that the U.S. would out-do the Soviet’s achievement. He declared that within a decade Americans would have a man on the Moon and back home safe and sound. Eight years later people around the world watched televised broadcasts of Neil Armstrong planting a U.S. flag on the surface of the Moon. Or did he?

What we know now compared to what we knew then may cast great doubt on the legitimacy of the Apollo mission. Accusations that film director Stanley Kubrick prepared a fake production staged with the latest technologies of 70s era filmdon may actually have credibility. Consider the most common criticisms that point to the film being a fake:

  • Wind mysteriously blowing a flag that should be in the vacuum of space.
  • Anomalous shadows cast in different directions which would indicate multiple sources of light.
  • No disturbance of lunar dust or the Moon’s surface from the landing of the space module.
  • What are the strange objects that are reflected at different times in the visors of the astronaut’s space helmet?
  • Where are all the stars that should be in the background?

Skeptics of conspiracy theories can argue away these questions. For years the gringa has been inclined to believe in the Moon landing as an event that really did happen. My reason being that, for one thing, think about how many people would have to be in on such a crazy secret for all of these decades. I don’t know about you, dear readers, but the gringa’s pretty certain that somewhere along the way, throughout all of these years, surely someone would have cracked.

Despite my confidence in NASA, however, the gringa must admit that by becoming informed about the Van Allen radiation belts, I may have to change my position. This may be the smoking gun that exposes how the entire world has been duped. The U.S., desperate to remain relevant and seen as the most powerful nation, outperforming its most aggressive global competitor, may have gone so far as to stage the most incredible hoax of all time.

You see, the Van Allen radiation belts surround the Earth. Consider these belts to be an enormous layered donut and the Earth the donut hole. They radiate outward as far as 36,000 miles depending on whether they are expanding or contracting. The innermost ring generally spans from 400-6,000 miles above the surface of the Earth. The outer belt stretches generally from about 8,400-36,000 miles above Earth. The ISS is safely tucked into orbit at a mere 230 miles from the Earth’s surface in what is called a Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Orbiting between the two belts is a GPS satellite set 12,500 miles away, just inside the innermost rim of the outermost belt, where radiation levels fluctuate according to waxing and waning cycles. Just within the outermost layer of the outermost belt is NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in geosynchronous orbit at 22,000 miles away studying the mess solar radiation makes from time to time.

In addition to the Van Allen radiation belts is the problem of a cloud of cool, charged particles which envelopes most of Earth’s outer atmosphere. Its nearest edge is about 600 miles from the surface of the Earth and extends outward and stops just inside the outermost edge of the furthest Van Allen belt. Scientists call this cloud the plasmasphere. It seems to cause particles in the outer belt to scatter. As the electrons scatter they create a loop which becomes a well defined belt. The plasmasphere is responsible for creating and maintaining the belts. When a powerful solar event occurs, such as a solar flare, some of the belts’ electrons can be forced by these extreme conditions into the space void between the belt layers, thus creating the waxing and waning effect of the belts.

The craziness of this relationship boggles the gringa’s mind. Think about it. The electrons are prevented by Earth’s magnetic field from penetrating all the way to Earth and frying all of us Earthlings. However, they also do not have enough energy to escape and dissipate into outer space. Thus they are trapped in this belt system which results in a protective barrier that traps dangerous radioactive solar radiation so that we don’t all get fried. Without the belts we fry. Without the plasmosphere we fry. Without the magnetosphere we fry. And if we hang out in any of these Earth preserving regions for any length of time we fry. Is that not the most amazing irony? That which preserves us can also kill us.

Considering that the Moon is 238,900 miles from the Earth, these dangerous, radioactive belts must have been navigated safely with the technology available in 1969. The only other option would have been to “thread the needle”, so to speak, by using a trajectory that would have allowed astronauts to travel through a narrow window of space that would have avoided the highest concentrations of radiation within the belts.

If this path had been successfully traveled in 1969, and adequate shielding technology existed, why is the danger posed by the Van Allen belts considered to be the main obstacle and unsolved problem preventing a consecutive Moon landing today? The gringa suspects the answer may lie in the fact that there really was no successful 1969 Moon landing to begin with.

Here are the words and quotes NASA uses to describe the Van Allen belts today:

  • 2 donuts of seething radiation.
  • Impenetrable barrier.
  • Wax and wane.
  • Expose satellites in low-Earth orbit to damaging radiation.

So what did NASA do to deal with the dangers of the Van Allen belts? Did they come up with a competent strategy and deliver the real deal with a man on the Moon or did they scam the entire world?

Newly discovered in 1958 by scientist James Van Allen, not much was known about them two years later when the first solution was offered up. In 1960 Robert O. Piland and Stanley C. White told NASA that hoping to shield astronauts effectively from the radiation was impractical. They did believe they could provide moderate protection and a safe enough route that would enable astronauts to not fry as they passed through the outer belt.

NASA got to work with a Group On Trajectory Analysis. Van Allen, himself, suggested that by detonating a nuclear warhead the crew could clear a path of travel. The gringa can only say, “Thank goodness NASA didn’t do that!” However, the defense industry in the US really mucked things up by nuclear testing which only increased the intensity of the radiation levels in the belts.

In 1964 NASA officials were confident that with the right skin on the spacecraft, a layer of protection provided by instrumentation, and the right trajectory, the risk was nominal to the crew. Equipped with dosimeters to record radiation exposure, the gringa is puzzled over the final results as reported by NASA. The agency reports that over the course of all the Lunar missions, astronauts were only exposed to radiation levels that were actually lower than the 5 rem a person working in a nuclear power plant would be exposed to annually. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission claims that the average American is exposed to a radiation dose of about 0.62 rem annually. A full body CAT scan delivers a radiation dose of 1 rem. So any human going through some rather routine medical procedures can easily reach the same radiation exposure levels as what NASA reported in the Apollo Moon landing crew.

ISS astronauts deal with radiation issues daily. It took the gringa quite a bit of head scratching and calculating to discover how ISS astronaut radiation levels compare to the astronauts of the Apollo Moon missions. They use a different measurement, the SI system. Maybe, if there is a conspiracy, this is by design to confuse amateur sleuths like myself. Anyway, I digress.

Basically one mSv is the equivalent dose of radiation an average person would be exposed to on Earth in one year’s time. Astronauts on the ISS are exposed to 1 mSv daily! This exposure takes place well outside the Van Allen belts in a space station constructed with the latest technology in radiation shielding and manned by personnel equipped with the safest space suit equipment available. How, then, could minimally protected astronauts pass through highly radioactive belts not just once, but twice, and not be ravaged with radiation? If ISS astronauts report a daily radiation exposure equivalent to a year’s worth of radiation back home and are not in the belts themselves, how in the world is the public supposed to believe that the Apollo astronauts were only exposed to the amount of radiation a person would absorb if they had 4-5 full-body CAT scans?

The  gringa has become incredibly skeptical. The gringa is going to be hopping mad if she discovers hard evidence that proves we have all been had. NASA, please explain.


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The Allure of Conspiracy Theories

The gringa loves real science and also a thrilling science-fiction tale. I don’t get the two confused. I love to debunk a curious space related conspiracy theory and I have to admit I have believed my share of crazy conspiracy theories in my lifetime. However, there is a difference, I believe, between a person who entertains a conspiracy theory as a possibility, explores it for its entertainment value or believes one with the joint purpose of proving or disproving, and the person who is a whole-hearted conspiracy theorist. Where exactly is the line in the sand between the two psyches? Why are conspiracy theories so alluring to otherwise sound, reasonable minds?

Take for example the true believers in a  YouTube video  that contains audio claimed to belong to a Soviet Union era cosmonaut, the first Soviet woman in space, who was killed upon re-entry when her space capsule failed to withstand the re-entry burn.  The video/audio was debunked as a hoax by former NASA mission control technician James Oberg. His career encompasses space journalist, historian, author and he is fluent in the Russian language, an expert in Russia’s space program.

The hoax award can probably be given to the Judica-Cordiglia brothers who perpetrated multiple space related hoaxes throughout the 1960s. These Italian brothers liked to while away the time underground in an old bunker filled with electronic equipment. Although they claimed the equipment was for detecting radio frequencies filled with covert signals that they decoded and revealed to the public, the truth is it was their own private hoax production studio.

They also claimed to have captured the dying words of Vladimir Komarov, a Soviet cosmonaut whose spaceship burned up in re-entry. Back then the public must not have known what we know now… there is a radio blackout during re-entry as radiation and intense heat interfere with the viability of radio signals.

Although the gringa is certain the hoax videos and audios were highly compelling, the truth is equally, if not more, interesting. While Komarov encircled the Earth in a faulty space capsule he had what he knew was his last conversation with a Soviet official who was safely aground on Earth. It is reported that Alexei Kosygin was in tears as the two talked, knowing his comrade was doomed to a torturous death by suffocation in extreme heat before the capsule ever disintegrated into a ball of flames. The United States had listening posts in Turkey where Cold War spies eavesdropped on the emotional exchange as  Komarov vacillated between rage and despair at his horrible fate.

To make the tale even more gripping is the fact that Komarov’s gruesome death could have been completely avoided. The original plan was to launch a second capsule the day after Komarov’s launch. The two space vehicles were to dock together and Komarov would swap places with one of the two cosmonauts in the second vehicle.  This was all scheduled to coincide with the Communist revolution’s 50 year anniversary and was Brezhnev’s victory plan to reveal to the world Soviet superiority.

Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was slated for the second space capsule. He made a tour of Soyuz 1 with a group of technicians and they recommended a postponement of launch due to hundreds of flaws in the vehicle. Forwarding the recommendation, inspection report and a ten page memo to Brezhnev through a KGB friend, the buck stopped with the KGB. No one dared defy Brezhnev’s dream of glory because the KGB agent, Venyamin Russayev, as well as every other agent who had knowledge of the communique, were summarily demoted and shipped off to remote areas within the Soviet Union for convenient, out of the way service.

Komarov knew he was on a suicide mission but he went anyway. He is a true hero. When Gagarin’s KGB friend suggested to Komarov to simply refuse the mission, he explained that if he didn’t go, the government would send the cosmonaut who was next in line, which was Gagarin. Gagarin had tried to save Komarov’s life by recommending the mission be scrapped. Komarov turned around and gave his own life that Gagarin’s might be saved. If that’s not a hero, I don’t know what is.

Soyuz I launched April 23, 1967 and almost immediately began experiencing problems and mechanical failures. Due to these problems the second capsule’s launch was scrubbed from the schedule. U.S. National Security Agency analysts (fancy words that basically mean spies) recorded and translated what they could of Komarov’s communications to ground control. They describe a cosmonaut who knew he was going to die. Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin cried as he told Komarov he was a hero. American records reveal that when the descent parachutes failed, Komarov raged as he entered his death plummet.

This tragic story is as fascinating as it is sad. Why would anyone feel the need to believe a titillating conspiracy theory rather than the tragic truth? And this is not the only case where outrageous conspiracy theories have often been eclipsed by an even more fantastic truth. Consider the following conspiracy theories and their fans:

  • Da Vinci disciples who believe the mysteries in the book “The Da Vinci Code” are real yet the mystery of Da Vinci’s art is even greater than conspiracy fiction.
  • 9/11 Truthers who believe that the U.S. government murdered thousands of U.S. citizens yet is eclipsed by the intricacies of an ideological war by a small group of terrorists that have managed to capture the entire world’s attention, keeping everyone riveted with fear despite their very small numbers compared to the numbers of allied militaries fighting against them.
  • Birthers who believe that President Obama was not born a U.S. citizen is really quite boring when compared to the fascinating, tragic yet triumphant tale of how a young boy became president of the United States of America despite the statistical odds stacked against him.
  • Amelia Earhart fans who believe that she was abducted by extra-terrestrials yet the biography of this amazing, adventurous woman and the impact she has had on the lives of women for decades is so much greater than chasing shadows.
  • Osama bin Laden – conspiracy theorists believe that he is not dead and that the story of his body being dumped into the sea from a helicopter is a cover story. However, the account of the assassination plan by military special forces is the stuff that best selling novels are made of.
  • Princess Diana – conspiracy theorists believe that she was assassinated by the British Royal family and would rather believe such outrageousness when the life of not only this amazing princess but the entire House of Windsor can keep a person riveted to history books for weeks on end.

The gringa would like to know what makes a diehard conspiracy theorist tick. Experts say that they are more than your average skeptic. To selectively doubt certain scenarios or details that are reported by official agencies is normal. But when a critical political view morphs into believing in the omnipotent power of an elite shadow government ruling the world, a real conspiracy theorist is born.

Conspiracy theorists are not necessarily mentally ill despite the fact that they may believe some things that seem outright crazy, unreasonable or illogical. It is becoming such a widespread perspective, psychologists are categorizing it with its own empirical field definition. They explain that distrust is the underlying condition but it is the wrong kind of distrust. It is a form of distrust that is disconnected from critical thinking skills.

Although everyone has trust issues with someone at some point in their life, not everyone becomes a conspiracy theorist. When a person is able to hold on to the general opinion that most people in society are decent people worthy of measured trust, that trust growing as a relationship grows, that is a person managing distrust in a healthy way. However, once a person becomes so cynical that they believe that no one can be trusted, that everyone is out to get something over on everyone else, they are primed and ready to believe that the entire world is at the mercy of global elite puppetmasters.

Conspiracy theorists believe a distortion of the real truth that governments, though corrupt to varying degrees, do have within them some officials who are puppets serving elite interests in order to line their own pockets yet at the same time there are also officials who genuinely want to serve their people. And working within these governments are programs honestly designed to make the nation, as well as the world, a better place while at the same time operating alongside programs designed to enhance and broaden the scope of power for individual elites as well as the nation. So, a conspiracy theorist neglects to believe the good that is very real and their perspective lacks balance because it lacks the entire truth.

You see, cynicism is like a cancer. Once a person gets into that negative mindset, cynicism grows. At first Frank believes that his coworker, Joe, who got a promotion, somehow conspired to sabotage Frank’s chances at the promotion by telling tales behind his back. Once Frank convinces himself of this truth, rather than the real, ugly truth that he’s just a lousy worker unworthy of the promotion, Frank then has to include his other co-workers in the conspiracy when they object to his accusations against Joe. As Frank continues to stew in his own angry juices he soon believes it all started at the top with a boss who must surely hate him. Eventually he either quits or his behavior is so affected he gets fired. Such an experience will most certainly shape his behavior as he continues on to his next job.

Rather than accept the uncomfortable truth that another person excelled his own capabilities and deserved the promotion, rather than believe the nasty truth about self, that he scapegoated a co-worker and then blamed his other co-workers and, ultimately, his boss, rather than accept that he is the problem, Frank continues in blaming others because that is more convenient than believing an uncomfortable truth about self. By perpetuating this scapegoat mindset Frank becomes unfit for any job. As he continues this self-destructive cycle blaming others rather than practicing self-accountability, Frank must then begin to believe in a united business conspiracy of a network of people who just want to keep him down. Eventually this unreasonable paranoia will affect Frank’s view of pretty much everything in his life.

Eventually, Frank is just a very nasty, negative fellow who believes that everyone is out to get him. He concludes if that’s true about society and work environments, it’s not a stretch to then believe that the federal government also conspires against the little people for their own gain. Mainstream and official sources of information are rejected as “tainted” and Frank only relies on fringe journalism because those are the folks who really know what’s going on and haven’t sold their souls to the “establishment”.  Eventually, by his own selective exposure to views that agree with his personal angry-at-the-world perspective, Frank is a full-fledged conspiracy theorist, brainwashed by himself.

So, when you get right down to it, psychologists are right. Conspiracy theorists are not really mentally ill. They are really just Negative Nellies and Nasty Nelsons. It’s perfectly fine to be a Curious Casper and entertain conspiracy theories for entertainment value or as alternative possibilities to an accepted truth that does not have the evidence to completely prove it to be the truth. But keep things in perspective. Don’t be like Frank.


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Buzzed By Space Junk or ET’s?

In 2017 Earth is expected to be “buzzed” by a mysterious object being tracked by satellites and called “1991 VG” because in 1991 it did its first recorded fly-by of our planet. In December of that year the object, which is about 30 feet (10 meters) across, buzzed past Earth as it continued in its orbit around the Sun (called a heliocentric orbit in fancy Science-speak). Stargazer James Scotti at University of Arizona’s Kitt Peak observatory, using the Spacewatch telescope, spotted VG in November and continued to track it as it passed by.

Observers noted that it shone brightly but this brightness would often go through rapid fluctuations. Scientists argued that this was indicative of it not being an organic object like an asteroid. Could it be a man-made piece of space junk that has been destined to orbiting the Sun until it disintegrates? Well, let’s see just how much space junk is out there in a heliocentric orbit:

American Space Junk

  • Pioneer 4 (1959)
  • Ranger 3 (1961)
  • Mariner 2 (1962)
  • Ranger 5 (1963)
  • Mariner 3 & 4 (1964)
  • Mariner 5 (1967)
  • Pioneer 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 (1966-1969)
  • S-IVB upper stage panels of Apollo 8 (1968)
  • S-IVB upper stage panels of Apollo 10, 11 & 12, & #10s ascent stage panel LM Snoopy (1969)
  • Mariner 6 & 7 (1969)
  • Mariner 10 & Mercury (1974, 1975)
  • Mars Observer (1992)
  • CONTOUR (2002)
  • Genesis, Spitzer Space Telescope, Kepler Telescope, STEREO-A & STEREO-B

Russian Space Junk

  • Luna 1 (1959)
  • Venera 1 (1961)
  • Mars 1 (1962)
  • Zond 2 (1964)
  • Zond 3 (1965)
  • Venera 2 (1966)
  • Mars 4, 6 & 7 (1974)
  • Venera 11 & 12 cruise stage (1978)
  • Venera 13 & 14 cruise stage (1982)
  • Vega 1 & 2 (1984-1986)
  • Phobos 1 (1988)

European Space Junk

  • Helios 1 (1975)
  • Helios 2 (1976)
  • Giotto (1986)
  • Ulysses (1990)
  • Herschel Space Observatory & Planck Observatory

Japanese Space Junk

  • Sakigake (1985-1999)
  • Suisei (1985-1991)
  • Nozomi (1998-2003)
  • MINERVA mini-lander (2005)
  • DCAM1 & DCAM2 (2010)

Chinese Space Junk

  • Chang’e2

India Space Junk

  • Mangalayaan (2013-2014)

Despite the number of man-made objects orbiting the Sun, there are some space enthusiasts who eagerly await 1991 VG’s arrival, wondering if it might be an alien space probe sent to observe our planet. Scientists don’t know exactly what it is… yet. Here are some of the details they are certain of through telescopic and satellite observations:

  • It has a strange rotation.
  • It has existed a very long time in outer space.
  • It rotates rapidly
  • It has reflective fluctuations

Here are the theories bandied about as to what it could be:

  • Alien space probe
  • Small meteorite
  • Apollo 12 rocket

However, after researching each man-made possibility, they have ruled them all out. So, we are left with the possibilities of a small meteorite or an alien-made object. It’s reflective properties has scientists leaning toward a non-organic object which then leaves only an alien-made object left on the list. However, scientists also do not rule out the possibility of a Russian-made object that the science community is simply unaware of. During the years of the Soviet space program, they were very secretive. Information about failed space missions that resulted in space junk left floating about into infinity and beyond was often suppressed. So, there is the possibility that it is a bit of old, secret Soviet space history.

In tracking the trajectory of the object’s orbit, it can be determined that 1991 was not the first fly-by of VG. It also would have passed near the Earth in March of 1975. Repeat visits are another reason scientists rule out an asteroid or meteor because typically if such an object neared Earth like 1991 VG, it would either be trapped by our planet’s gravitational pull and either burn up in the atmosphere or crash (worst case scenario) or have its own trajectory affected and changed by Earth’s gravity. This object’s trajectory remains unaffected by Earth’s pull.

Because its orbit is very similar to Earth’s path around the Sun, some scientists speculate on the alien observation probe theory. Next summer Earthlings will get another up close opportunity to peek at the object as it skims over the planet’s southern hemisphere.

Edinburgh mathematicians have calculated the very real possibility that extra-terrestrials could be successful at launching observation space probes across vast galactic distances to spy on humans. Their work, published in the Journal of Astrobiology, asserts that by taking advantage of gravitational fields surrounding stars they could achieve the necessary speeds for an observation probe to travel to Earth from the far reaches of space of which humans are completely ignorant of and incapable of exploring. In fact, humans are already using this technology in the Voyager probes zipping about the universe.

Regardless of whether it’s a big space rock, hunk of junk or extra-terrestrial peeping Tom tool, the gringa has her calendar marked for the Summer of 2017. I expect interesting things to happen.


Sources & Image Credit:

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.


Image credit: (modified by the gringa)




Here Comes The Sun, Little Darlin’

China may be one step closer to saying, “Bye, bye,” to fossil fuels. With their latest invention, an artificial sun of hydrogen gas, in fact, an incredibly dense artificial sun of hydrogen gas that is triple the power of that glorious glowing ball of gas high in the sky, they may very well have a limitless power source.

The first thought is, “Hurrah! The global energy crisis is over! Human caused acceleration of climate change can be ceased with no more use of fossil fuels!” However, the gringa hates to be the cynic and rain on everyone’s parade. I will withhold my judgement that this incredible invention will work successfully, everything going as planned. And, if it does, that it will be put to use for humanitarian purposes for the benefit of mankind. The gringa will “wait and see”.

China’s Institute of Physical Science in Hefei is the brainchild and creator of a magnetic fusion reactor that has produced this seemingly inexhaustible source of hydrogen based energy. This is a direct outgrowth from technology developed over 60 years ago by Soviet scientists who created the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST). It is a metallic chamber shaped like a figure-8.  The reactor can produce hydrogen energy up to 50 million Kelvins (that’s almost 50 million degrees Celsius or 122 million degrees Fahrenheit). Wow, that’s enough to curl my hair! Consider that the sun burns at about 15 million Kelvins. So, China’s man-made sun is more than three times as hot as the real McCoy. It’s not as big a deal as it seems because scientists were only able to maintain this core temperature for less than two minutes.

Now, really, this artificial sun news is really no new news. The Germans claimed to have created such a thing already. The real news is the length of time the existence of the “sun” lasted. However, at two minutes a pop, the gringa doesn’t see how this is really going to change the energy game around the world. China, Germany and Russia are still years, probably even decades, away from perfecting the technology to the point that it will even matter to mankind.

And really, despite all the fuss being made over China, artificial suns are actually a dime a dozen. The technology has been around for ages. And every nation that has a decent scientific community has one. Consider Coelux. This Italian invention uses nano technology to create the natural lighting of the sun and sky. This technology is being used around the world in museums, shopping malls, airports, subways, garages, and even homes.

However, the gringa’s favorite use of Italy’s artificial sun is in healthcare. The medical community is responding to the human aversion of being confined. By introducing artificial natural light (if THAT’S not an oxymoron!) into treatment rooms that are usually windowless, medical professionals are seeing patients respond positively through the psychological and physiological benefits of being in a space illuminated by the sun and sky.

People can even enjoy this at home. Even on a rainy day you can be enjoying the rays of a tropical sun. And the Italians are not just scientifically sterile in their lighting craft. Channeling Italy’s deep roots within the art community, they offer lighting perspectives for every taste: dramatic tropical sun, a gentle Mediterranean sun, or a cool Nordic sun. The gringa thinks this is sensational, um, I meant “sunsational” (darn you, auto-correct)!

Sources: South China Morning Post,,

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The Federal Space Agency AKA Rocosmos

The Russian Federal Space Agency has an illustrious history managing the space assets of Russia as well as being a cooperating partner with many other nations involved in space exploration. Russia has played a significant leadership role in advancing the technologies and capabilities of exploring space safely.

Although the Russian Bear has historically been depicted by American literature as the “enemy”, and there certainly are Defense Ministry aspects to Russia’s space program, this should not overshadow the fact that Rocosmos is dedicated to the purpose of developing space technologies for socioeconomic and scientific purposes. In fact, their website expressly states that Rocosmos is committed to maintaining “coordination and cooperation with foreign states under cooperation agreements in the field of peaceful space exploration and research…”

Areas of activity Rocosmos is committed to using its space technologies for are:

  • Environmental monitoring of natural disasters and emergencies, natural resource exploration, gathering hydro and meteorological data
  • Improving current space navigation system and creating a unified data transmission system
  • Global communication support over Russian territories
  • Support International Space Station missions
  • Research and development of space technologies and microgravity medical research
  • Research and development of space vehicles, launching systems, experimental facilities and infrastructure

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, visitors are welcome at Rocosmos. Simply write a letter to:

Russian Federal Space Agency (Rocosmos)

42 Schepkina st.

Moscow, Russia  107996, GSP-6

Or, you can send your visitor request by fax to: (495) 688-90-63, (499) 975-44-67. After you send your fax, call (495) 631-94-44 or (495) 631-94-48 to confirm that it was received. A digital request can also be made online through their website:

Online requests will receive a written response via snail mail. If you do a digital visit request, make sure you use the Rocosmos website form and do it correctly. Boo-boos are rejected.

A brief recap of Russia’s accomplishments in space begin even before World War I:

  • In 1929 Konstantin Tsjolkovsky introduced the concept of the multi-staged rocket
  • 1933 the first Soviet rocket launched
  • 1951 the first Soviet rocket with animals aboard launched with successful recovery of live crew
  • 1957 the first intercontinental ballistic missile launched
  • 1961 the first human, Yuri Gagarin, safely completed a single orbit
  • 1961-1963 six manned spaceflights, including the longest flight up to that date, 34 hours
  • 1963 first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova
  • 1968 first living creatures reach the moon & successfully return, Russian tortoises
  • 1971 first space station, Salyut 1
  • 1980 first Hispanic and Black person in space, Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez, Soyuz 38
  • 1984 first woman to walk in space, Svetlana Savitskaya, Salyut 7
  • 1987 first crew to spend over one year in space, Vladimir Titov & Musa Manarov, Soyuz TM-4, Mir space station

So, the dear reader asks the gringa, “What are they up to today?” Well, they are the only space agency that currently has space flight capabilities. Since the United States scuttled the shuttle program, all astronauts around the world have to rely on Russia to ferry them back and forth between Earth and the ISS.

They also manage an orbiting remote sensing system (RSS). Its mission objective is to monitor the Earth and provide images used to manage natural resources, monitor atmospheric/water/soil pollution, monitor natural and man-made disasters, and conduct research.

There are the Meteor-M No. 1 Spacecraft and ELEKTRO Geostationary Hydrometeorological Spacecraft. These spacecrafts observe Earth’s atmosphere and provides hydrometeorological data used for scientific and socioeconomic purposes.

The Kanopus-V spacecraft and Resurs-P spacecrafts are devoted to monitoring natural and man-made disasters. It does this by providing high quality imaging of Earth.

The gringa is a big fan of Rocosmos and grateful that the Russians do not mind letting American astronauts hop aboard and hitch a ride to outer space. It is my greatest hope that this type of cooperative relationship will spill over into all aspects of international dialogue and engagement because the gringa continues to dream a dream of cosmic proportions.



POWs, MIAs, “We Will Never Forget” Part IV, H-J

In continuation of my blog post of Friday, August, 8, 2015, I will continue to list the names of the servicemen still unaccounted for from the Vietnam and Korean conflicts. The gringa will kindly remind dear readers that clicking on incident date, name, branch of service or side note will take the reader directly to a page regarding that serviceman that is linked with the website So, in honor of those POWs and MIAs considered with the November 9, 2000, immigration policy known as the “Bring Them Home Alive Act”, the following men are not forgotten:

17-Jul-72   HAAS LEON F.    USN

24-Jul-68    HACKETT HARLEY B.    USAF    (Photo)


10-Jun-65   HAGEN CRAIG L.   ARMY   Last seen on ground, under fire



08-Mar-71   HALE JOHN D.   ARMY

06-Feb-67   HALL DONALD J.   USAF


15-May-75   HALL GARY L.   USMC   Mayaguez Incident loss 05/15/75

10-Jun-65   HALL WALTER L.   ARMY   Last seen on ground, under fire

22-Mar-71   HALL WALTER R.   ARMY



28-Sep-68   HALPIN DAVID P.   USN


14-Mar-68   HAMM JAMES E.   USAF

10-Oct-68   HANDRAHAN EUGENE A.   ARMY   Photo








12-Oct-67   HARDY JOHN K.   USAF

15-May-75   HARGROVE JOSEPH N.   USMC   Mayaguez Incident loss


18-May-66   HARLEY LEE D.   USAF







25-Feb-67   HART JOSEPH L.   USAF

21-Dec-72   HART THOMAS T. III   USAF   Remains Returned 02/21/85 – Id Rescinded

28-Nov-72   HARVEY JACK R.   USAF




05-FEB-68   HATTON WILTON N.   USAF   Not on Official DIA list


05-Sep-70   HAUER ROBERT D.   USAF









17-Apr-68   HELD JOHN W.   USAF


11-Sep-69   HELWIG ROGER D.   USAF

21-Oct-67   HEMMEL CLARENCE J.   USAF   (Photo)

24-May-72   HENN JOHN R. JR.   ARMY





03-NOV-70   HERBERT MICHAEL P.   RAAF   Australian Air Force – remains located 07/2009






01-Jan-68   HERRIN HENRY H. JR.   USN

31-May-66   HERROLD NED R.   USAF

21-Mar-68   HESFORD PETER D.   USAF   (Photo)

29-Mar-69   HESS FREDERICK W.   USAF   (Photo)

17-Jun-66   HESS GENE K.   USAF


29-Apr-75   HEUBECK ELMER K.   CIV




15-Aug-68   HICKS TERRIN D.   USAF

17-Nov-65   HIEMER JERRY A.   ARMY


29-Dec-65   HILL ARTHUR S. JR.   USN

21-Jan-68   HILL BILLY D.   ARMY



27-Apr-70  HILL JOHN R.   ARMY

28-May-68   HILL JOSEPH A.  USMC

02-Oct-69   HILL RAYFORD J.   USN

06-Dec-63   HILL RICHARD D.   USAF

18-Oct-66  HILL ROBERT L.   USAF

14-Feb-66   HILLS JOHN R.   USAF


08-Nov-67   HINES VAUGHN M.   ARMY

26-Apr-72   HIRONS ALAN   CIV   Not on Official DIA list

25-Mar-67   HISE JAMES H.   USN



07-Jan-70   HOFF MICHAEL G.   USN


03-Jan-71   HOLGUIN LUIS G.   ARMY

11-Mar-68   HOLLAND MELVIN A.   USAF   Not on Official DIA list – TDY CIV/LOCKHEED




14-Dec-66   HOLMAN GERALD A.   USN

15-Mar-66   HOLMES DAVID H.   USAF








29-Apr-75   HORTON PAUL L.   CIV   Left Saigon

24-Mar-70   HOSKEN JOHN C.   ARMY   Group I.D. 06/2001

16-Feb-71   HOSKINS CHARLES L.   USAF   (Photo)

30-Mar-75   HOSKINS THOMAS B.   CIV   Left Saigon 10/75


30-Jun-67   HOUSE JOHN A. II   USMC


07-Jul-70   HOWARD LEWIS J.   ARMY



18-May-65   HRDLICKA DAVID L.   USAF   Photo Published by Communists 07/66

17-Mar-68   HUBBS DONALD R.   USN

13-May-70   HUBERTH ERIC J.   USAF



10-Feb-71   HUET HENRI   Civ


29-Apr-75   HUGHES JOSEPH   CIV   Left Saigon 08/75

29-Apr-75   HUGHES RICHARD   CIV   Left Saigon 08/75


29-Mar-65   HUME KENNETH E.   USN

06-Mar-71   HUMMEL JOHN F.   ARMY

01-Feb-66   HUMPHREY GALEN F.   USMC   (Photo)

04-Nov-70   HUMPHREY LARRY D.   ARMY   Escaped custody to join VC – USA Today 20 Feb 86


05-Feb-70   HUNSUCKER JAMES   USN   Released 02/28/70

13-Oct-68   HUNT JAMES D.   ARMY

28-Feb-68   HUNT ROBERT W.   ARMY

04-Nov-66   HUNT WILLIAM B.   ARMY

29-Oct-68   HUNTER JAMES D.   USA


29-Apr-75   HUNTLEY CHAD   CIV   Expelled from Saigon 06/75

27-Sep-69   HUNTLEY JOHN N.   ARMY


06-Feb-68   HUSS ROY A.   USN 


05-Dec-65   HYDE JIMMY DON   USN



05-Jun-67    IBANEZ DI REYES    USMC

09-Jan-68   IRSCH WAYNE C.   USAF

31-May-70   ISHI TOMOHARA   CIV   Not on Official DIA list


27-Jun-65    JACKSON CARL E.    USAF



24-Dec-72   JACKSON PAUL V. III   USAF   (Photo)



18-Apr-73   JAMES SAMUEL L.   USAF   Charred bodies found at crash site (Photo) 
Remains Returned 02 Jan 99    ID Disputed



12-Mar-71   JEFFS CLIVE G.   USAF

08-May-68   JENNE ROBERT E.   ARMY



11-May-68   JIMENEZ JUAN M.   ARMY   Ground Attack, Possibly KIA


03-Feb-67   JOHNSON AUGUST D.   USN   Reported blown up by grenade in boat


27-Oct-66   JOHNSON DALE A.   USAF









28-Nov-72   JONES BOBBY M.   USAF


03-Oct-66   JONES JAMES E.   ARMY


24-Apr-72   JONES JOHNNY M.   ARMY

29-Nov-67   JONES LOUIS F.   USAF   Remains Returned 11/20/2000 ID’d 11/26/2001
Family has NOT accepted ID as of 10/2002

16-Apr-72   JONES ORVIN C. JR.   USAF

06-Feb-68   JONES THOMAS P.   USN

12-Apr-66   JORDAN LARRY M.   USN


30-Mar-75   JUDSON LORENZO D.   CIV   Left Saigon 05/76


Photo courtesy:

POWs, MIAs, “We Will Never Forget” Part II, B-C

In continuation of my blog post of Friday, August, 8, 2015, I will continue to list the names of the servicemen still unaccounted for from the Vietnam and Korean conflicts. The gringa will kindly remind dear readers that clicking on incident date, name, branch of service or side note will take the reader directly to a page regarding that serviceman that is linked with the website So, in honor of those POWs and MIAs considered with the November 9, 2000, immigration policy known as the “Bring Them Home Alive Act”, the following men are not forgotten:

Date               Name                                                 Branch

27-Feb-71     BABCOCK RONALD L.                   ARMY

31-Jan-68     BABCOCK, WILLIAM H. JR.          ARMY   Listed 2009 in PMSEA as Escaped captivity during the Vietnam War

28-Aug-66    BABULA ROBERT L.                       USMC

27-Aug-67    BACIK VLADIMIR HENRY             USMC

22-May-67    BACKUS KENNETH F.                     USAF

27-Mar-68    BADLEY JAMES LINDSAY             USAF

29-Jan-66      BADOLATI FRANK N.                    ARMY

01-Nov-69    BAILEY DANIEL T.                          ARMY

01-May-67   BAILEY JOHN HOWARD                 USMC

29-Apr-75    BAILEY MICHAEL                            CIV

25-Dec-65    BAILON RUBEN                                CIV

29-Apr-75    BAKER JACKY D.                              CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

15-May-66   BALCOM RALPH C.                        USAF


13-Nov-70   BANCROFT WILLIAM W.               USAF

29-Apr-75   BANHAM MAURICE J.                      CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

23-Mar-61   BANKOWSKI ALFONS A.               USAF

12-Jul-69    BANNON PAUL W.                            USAF


17-Mar-68  BARBER THOMAS D.                      USN

31-Jan-67   BARDEN HOWARD L.                    USAF

27-Jul-67   BARE WILLIAM ORLAN                 USAF


31-Aug-68   BARTOCCI JOHN E.                     USN

10-Aug-71  BATES PAUL J. JR.                       ARMY

21-Sep-66    BAUDER JAMES R.                      USN

17-Mar-71   BAUMAN RICHARD L.                 ARMY

08-Nov-67   BAXTER BRUCE R.                       ARMY

20-Mar-66   BEACH ARTHUR J.                       USMC

07-Jul-70     BEALS CHARLES E.                    ARMY


02-Oct-69    BECK TERRY L.                           USN

15-Aug-70   BECKER JAMES C.                      ARMY

24-Mar-71   BECKWITH HARRY M.               ARMY

11-Jun-67    BEECHER QUENTIN R.                ARMY

05-Oct-66    BEENE JAMES A.                         USN


28-Mar-69   BELCHER ROBERT A.                 USAF

23-Jun-66    BELKNAP HARRY JOHN            USN

02-Oct-69    BELL RICHARD W.                      USN

08-APR-70   BELLENDORF DIETER                CIV

9-Jul-67       BENNEFELD STEVEN H.            USMC

13-Dec-67   BENNETT ROBERT E. III             USAF

29-Apr-75   BENNETT SHERMAN H.              CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

22-Dec-72    BENNETT THOMAS W. JR.       USAF

02-Sep-67    BENNETT WILLIAM G.              USAF

17-Mar-68   BENSON LEE D.                          USN

23-May-69   BENTON GREGORY R.              USMC

27-Apr-67    BENTON JAMES AUSTIN          USMC

20-Jan-72     BERDAHL DAVID D.                 ARMY

31-May-68   BERESIK EUGENE PAUL          USAF

07-Aug-71    BERG BRUCE A.                        ARMY

23-Aug-68    BERGEVIN CHARLES L.          USAF

29-Apr-75    BERARD ARAM J.                     CIV        Left Saigon 08/75

05-Dec-68    BERRY JOHN A.                       ARMY


13-May-69   BESSOR BRUCE C.                   ARMY

26-Nov-71    BEUTEL ROBERT D.                USAF

29-Oct-68     BEZOLD STEVEN                     ARMY

22-Apr-61     BIBER GERALD MACK            ARMY

18-Jun-71     BIDWELL BARRY A.                USN

06-May-69   BILLIPP NORMAN K.                USMC

15-Nov-68    BIRCHIM JAMES D.                 ARMY

15-Jul-68      BIRD LEONARD ADRIAN        USMC


29-Apr-70     BISHOP EDWARD J. JR.         ARMY

07-Jul-67      BITTENBENDER DAVID F.      USAF


14-Jul-62      BLEWETT ALAN L.                  CIV

19-Apr-68     BLODGETT DOUGLAS R.       ARMY

13-Nov-64    BLOOM DARL R.                     USMC


12-Nov-69    BODAHL JON KEITH                     USAF

28-Aug-66    BODENSCHATZ JOHN E.              USMC

12-May-72   BOGARD LONNIE P.                       USAF

27-Aug-67    BOGGS PASCHAL GLENN            USMC

02-Mar-69    BOGIAGES CHRISTO C. JR.          USAF

19-Aug-69    BOHLIG JAMES RICHARD            USMC

11-Jun-67     BOHLSCHEID CURTIS R.              USMC

25-Aug-67     BoisClaire RONALD A                  USN        Name is French/USG shows Clair as 1st name

18-Jan-68     BOLES WARREN W.                      USN

02-Apr-72     BOLTE WAYNE L.                          USAF

06-Oct-72     BOLTZE BRUCE E.                        USMC

11-Mar-68    BOND RONALD DALE                    USAF

30-Sep-71     BOND RONALD L.                         USAF     (Photo)

04-Jul-70      BOOKOUT CHARLES F.                ARMY

23-Dec-70     BOOTH GARY P.                            USN

23-Jun-68     BOOTH JAMES E.                          USAF

16-Oct-69     BOOTH LAWRENCE R.                  ARMY

24-Jan-66     BOOZE DELMAR G.                       USMC

29-Apr-75     BORDEN HOWARD A.                    CIV

13-Oct-66     BORDEN MURRAY L.                     USAF

21-Feb-67     BORJA DOMINGO R.                     ARMY

28-Apr-68     BORS JOSEPH C.                           USAF

28-Aug-66    BORTON ROBERT C. JR.              USMC    DoD Remains Returned list 12/96 – Family rejects ID

29-Jul-66      BOSSIO GALILEO F.                     USAF

25-Sep-66     BOSSMAN PETER R.                    USN

02-Dec-66     BOTT RUSSELL P.                       ARMY

20-Dec-68     BOUCHARD MICHAEL L.             USN

03-Aug-65    BOWER JOSEPH E.                      USAF

24-Mar-69    BOWERS RICHARD L.                  ARMY


16-Jun-68     BOWMAN FRANK                        USN

02-Oct-69     BOWMAN MICHAEL L.                USN

14-Dec-71     BOYANOWSKI JOHN G.             ARMY

28-Mar-68    BOYER ALAN LEE                       ARMY

28-Feb-70     BOYLE WILLIAM                        ARMY

09-Feb-73     BOYLES HOWARD                     CIV        Remains Recovered 04/73 – ID Refuted by family

12-Feb-70     BRADSHAW ROBERT S. III        USMC

08-Jul-65      BRAM RICHARD C.                     USMC

08-May-69   BRASHEAR WILLIAM J.              USAF

28-Sep-66     BRASHER JIMMY M.                  ARMY

06-Apr-70    BRASSFIELD ANDREW T.           ARMY

26-Jul-67      BRAZIK RICHARD                      USAF


24-Sep-68     BREINER STEPHEN E.              USMC

25-Feb-68     BRELLENTHIN MICHAEL         USMC    Not on Official DIA List

14-Dec-71     BREMMER DWIGHT A.             ARMY

26-Nov-67    BRENNAN HERBERT O.            USAF

26-Jul-69      BRENNING RICHARD D.           USN

20-Nov-72    BREUER DONALD C.                USMC    (Photo)

04-Jun-68     BRICE ERIC PARKER               USN

29-Apr-75     BRICKMAN JOSEPH                 CIV        Left Saigon 04/76

30-Jun-71     BRIDGES PHILIP W.                 ARMY

14-Dec-66     BRIGHAM ALBERT                  USMC

13-May-69   BROOKS JOHN H.                     ARMY

09-Nov-67    BROWER RALPH W.                 USAF

 30-Jul-70   BROWN DONALD A.                  USAF


12-Feb-68     BROWN HARRY W.                  ARMY

12-Aug-70    BROWN JAMES A.                   ARMY

05-Apr-66     BROWN JAMES WILLIAM       USMC

29-Apr-66     BROWN THOMAS E.                USN

17-Jul-72      BROWN WAYNE G. II               USAF

24-Dec-68     BROWNLEE CHARLES R.       USAF

25-Apr-72     BROWNLEE ROBERT W.         ARMY

29-Apr-66     BRUCH DONALD W. JR.          USAF

18-Feb-69     BRUCHER JOHN M.                 USAF     (Photo)

21-May-66   BUCKLEY LOUIS                       ARMY

16-Dec-69     BUCKLEY VICTOR P.               USN

21-Aug-67    BUDD LEONARD R. JR.           USMC    Released by DRV 03/05/73

17-Sep-72     BUELL KENNETH R.                USN

11-Apr-71     BUERK WILLIAM CARL           USAF

25-Aug-66    BULLARD WILLIAM H.            USN

31-Jan-67     BULLOCK LARRY A.               ARMY

06-Sep-66     BUNDY NORMAN L.                USN

30-Dec-70     BUNKER PARK G.                   USAF     (Photo)

01-Aug-69    BURD DOUGLAS G.                USAF

13-Jun-66     BURKART CHARLES W.        USAF

19-Oct-66     BURKE MICHAEL J.               USMC

05-FEB-69   BURKE WALTER F.                 USAF     Not on Official DIA list


06-Feb-68     BURNETT DONALD F.           USN

02-Feb-68     BURNHAM DONALD D.         ARMY

25-Dec-67     BURNS FREDERICK J.          USMC    On PRG DIC list 01/02/69 – Remains Returned 1994 Id’d 04/95

04-Oct-66     BURNS JOHN D.                    USN        Released by DRV 03/04/73

31-Jul-69      BURNS MICHAEL P.              ARMY

22-Dec-69     BURRIS DONALD D. JR.       ARMY

02-Feb-71     BURROWS LARRY                CIV

24-Jul-68      BUSH JOHN R.                      USAF     (Photo)

09-Jun-66     BUSH ROBERT IRA              USAF

09-Apr-70     BUSHNELL BRIAN L.            USN

14-Jul-69      BUTLER DEWEY R.               ARMY

26-Oct-69     BYNUM NEIL S.                     USAF

09-Jan-69     BYRD HUGH M. JR.              ARMY

13-Mar-68    BYRNE JOSEPH HENRY       USAF

02-Oct-68     BYTHEWAY FRANK L.         CIV

 17-Oct-67    CADWELL ANTHONY B.      ARMY


17-Jun-66     CAIRNS ROBERT A.               USAF

14-Dec-71     CALDWELL FLOYD D.         ARMY

11-Mar-68    CALFEE HAMES HENRY     USAF     Not on Official DIA List – TDY Civ/Lockheed

27-Mar-68    CALHOUN JOHNNY C.        ARMY

23-Sep-68     CALLAHAN DAVID F. JR.   USN


01-Aug-69    CALLIES TOMMY L.                      USAF     (Photo)

11-Mar-68    CALLOWAY PORTER E.                ARMY

29-Jul-66      CAMERON VIRGIL KING               USN

29-Jan-69     CAMPBELL WILLIAM E.               USAF

29-Apr-75     CANTON SUZAN                           CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

14-Jan-67     CANUP FRANKLIN H. JR.            USN

07-Dec-66     CARLSON JOHN WERNER          USAF

13-Feb-67     CARLSON PAUL V.                      USN

17-Apr-67     CARLTON JAMES E.                    USMC

05-APR-70   CARON GILLES                             CIV

06-Mar-67    CARPENTER HOWARD B.            ARMY

06-Jul-71      CARR DONALD G.                       ARMY

02-Nov-69    CARROLL PATRICK H.                USAF

28-Aug-66    CARTER DENNIS R.                     USMC

24-Apr-72     CARTER GEORGE W.                  ARMY

26-Jan-71     CARTER GERALD LYNN             USN

10-Nov-66     CARTER WILLIAM T.                  USN

31-Jan-71     CARTWRIGHT PATRICK G.        USN

10-Apr-68      CARVER HARRY F.                    ARMY

23-Jun-68     CASEY DONALD F.                    USAF

15-Jul-67      CASSELL ROBIN B.                   USN


25-Feb-66     CAUSEY JOHN BERNAND        USAF


04-Nov-69    CAVENDER JAMES R.               ARMY   Remains of other crew recovered

12-Nov-67    CAYCE JOHN D.                        USN

21-Sep-69     CECIL ALAN B.                         ARMY


24-Apr-71     CHAMPION JAMES A.               ARMY

25-Sep-72     CHAN PETER                                USN        Fell Overboard/Oriskany

06-Feb-68     CHAPA ARMANDO JR.            USN

18-Feb-69     CHAPMAN RODNEY M.           USN

21-Mar-67    CHARVET PAUL CLAUDE        USN

30-Jul-70      CHAVEZ GARY A.                    USAF

28-May-71   CHAVIRA STEPHEN                  ARMY

27-Dec-72     CHIPMAN RALPH J.                USMC

11-Jun-67     CHOMEL CHARLES D.            USMC

22-Apr-68     CHOMYK WILLIAM                  USAF

03-Apr-72     CHRISTENSEN ALLEN D.        ARMY


01-Mar-66    CHRISTENSEN WILLIAM M.        USN

02-Jun-65     CHRISTIAN DAVID M.                 USN        Remains Returned 04/10/86 – Id Questioned

18-Mar-75     CHRISTIAN GEORGE A.             CIV        Left Saigon 08/75

11-Jun-67     CHRISTIE DENNIS R.                  USMC


29-Apr-75     CHUNG YEN BINH                       CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

03-May-70   CHURCHILL CARL R.                  USAF

30-Mar-68    CICHON WALTER A.                   ARMY

01-Jan-69     CLACK CECIL J.                        ARMY

26-Jul-67      CLAFLIN RICHARD AMES        USAF

21-Apr-78     CLARK JAMES W.                     CIV        Phnom Phenh Jail until 11/78

15-Dec-65     CLARK JERRY P.                      ARMY

18-Oct-66     CLARK LAWRENCE                  USAF

24-Oct-67     CLARK RICHARD C.                 USN

14-Feb-69     CLARK STANLEY S.                USAF

03-May-68    CLARK STEPHEN W.               USMC

13-Dec-68     CLARKE FRED L.                    USAF

16-Oct-67     CLARKE GEORGE W.              USAF     (Photo)

09-Nov-67    CLAY EUGENE L.                     USAF

03-May-68   CLEM THOMAS D.                    USMC

22-Mar-71    CLEVE REGINALD D.               ARMY

05-FEB-68   CLEVER LOUIS J.                     USAF     Not on Official DIA list

18-Sep-69     CLINE CURTIS R.                    ARMY

11-Jun-67     CLINTON DEAN E.                  ARMY


18-Jan-69     COADY ROBERT F.                USAF

21-Jan-68     COALSTON ECHOL W. JR.    ARMY

01-Feb-66     COATES DONALD L.              USMC

17-Jun-66     COBBS RALPH B.                   USN

31-Jan-68     COCHEO RICHARD N.            CIV        Taken from house in Yinh Long


17-Jun-70     COCHRANE DEVERTON C.       ARMY

24-Nov-63    CODY HOWARD RUDOLPH       USAF     Crew remains recovered, no sign subj

12-May-68   COEN HARRY B.                         ARMY

12-Jan-68     COHRON JAMES D.                  ARMY

06-Mar-69    COLEMAN JIMMY L.                  ARMY

17-Jun-66     COLLETTE CURTIS D.              USN

04-Dec-67     COLLINS ARNOLD                    USMC

13-Mar-68    COLLINS GUY FLETCHER         USAF

22-Nov-69    COLLINS RICHARD F.               USN

19-Aug-68    COLLINS THEOTHIS                 USMC

09-Mar-66    COLLINS WILLARD M.              USAF

31-May-70   COLNE ROGER                          CIV        Not on Official DIA list

06-Mar-68    COLOMBO GARY LEWIS          USMC

10-Jun-65     COMPA JOSEPH J. JR.            ARMY   Last seen on ground

21-Mar-66     COMPTON FRANK R.               USN

03-May-70   CONAWAY LAWRENCE Y.        USAF

08-May-68   CONDREY GEORGE T. III          ARMY


27-Jan-69     CONGER JOHN E.                    ARMY

16-May-70   CONNER EDWIN RAY                USN

28-Oct-68     CONNOR CHARLES R.             USMC

07-May-72   CONSOLVO JOHN W.                USMC    (Photo)

12-Apr-66     CONWAY JAMES B.                  ARMY

06-Apr-66     COOK DENNIS P.                      USN

31-Dec-64     COOK DONALD G.                   USMC    On PRG DIC list 12/01/67

21-Oct-69     COOK GLENN R.                      USAF

10-Nov-67    COOK KELLY F.                       USAF

28-Apr-68     COOK WILLIAM R.                   USAF

22-Apr-68     COOLEY DAVID L.                   USN

16-Jan-68     COOLEY ORVILLE D.              USN

28-Feb-68     COONS HENRY A.                   USN

04-Feb-72     COOPER DANIEL D.                USN

29-Apr-75     COOPER WILLIAM G.              CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

16-Nov-68    COPLEY WILLIAM M.               ARMY

27-Jul-67      CORBITT GILLAND W.            USAF

27-Jan-68     CORDOVA ROBERT J.            USN        (Photo)

01-May-67   COREFIELD STAN L.                USMC

08-Dec-65     CORLE JOHN T.                      USMC

16-Jun-73     CORNELIUS SAMUEL B.        USAF


08-Nov-70    CORONA JOEL                       ARMY

14-May-68   COTA ERNEST K.                    USN

09-Mar-70    COTTEN LARRY W.                USAF

29-Apr-75     COWAN KENNETH                 CIV

08-Mar-67    CRAIN CARROLL O.               USN

05-Jan-71     CRAMER DONALD M.            ARMY

12-May-68   CRAVEN ANDREW J.              ARMY

21-Apr-68     CREAMER JAMES E.             ARMY

13-Mar-71    CREED BARTON S.                USN        (Photo)

10-Nov-67    CREW JAMES A.                    USAF     (Photo)

22-May-68   CREWS JOHN H. III                 USAF


22-Aug-72    CROCKETT WILLIAM J.        USAF

16-May-71   CROOK ELLIOTT                    ARMY

05-Apr-70    CROPPER CURTIS H.             USN

30-Mar-72    CROSBY BRUCE A. JR.         ARMY

01-Jun-65     CROSBY FREDERICK P.      USN

17-Jul-68      CROSS ARIEL L.                  USMC

24-Apr-70     CROSS JAMES E.                 USAF


16-May-68   CROSSON GERALD J.          USAF

27-Mar-72    CROW RAYMOND J. JR.      USAF

19-Nov-67    CROXDALE JACK L. II         ARMY

07-Jul-67      CRUMM WILLIAM J.            USAF

18-May-69   CUDLIKE CHARLES J.          ARMY



10-Jun-65     CURLEE ROBERT L. JR.     ARMY

08-Jan-71     CURRY KEITH R.                  USN

25-Sep-66     CUSHMAN CLIFTON E.       USAF


Photo courtesy:

POWs, MIAs, “We Will Never Forget”

November 9, 2000, the United States Congress enacted a new immigration policy known as the “Bring Them Home Alive Act”. This legislation was aimed at individuals who were  Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea and Chinese nationals, as well as anyone from a former independent Soviet state. The bill granted asylum and refugee status for any of these people who returned to the United States any U.S. prisoner of war or serviceman who was missing in action. Refugee and asylum status would also be given to their spouse and any children.

This bill also authorized an international radio and television broadcast designed to inform people in foreign countries of this program. Worldwide coverage would transmit the message to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, North Korea and Russia. This program would receive twenty hours of airtime over a thirty day period. A website was designed with international access with information readily available.

Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee was so moved by the sentiment of this bill, she said this when she placed her “yea” vote: “This bill creates an extraordinary opportunity for nationals of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China and the independent states of the former Soviet Union to do a wonderful thing and be richly rewarded for it… I am deeply moved when I think of the grief that is being endured by so many Americans, the Americans who are living with the uncertainty of having family members who were missing in action or prisoners… I feel very strongly that the bill is worthwhile even if it only brings one solder home to his family after all of these years.”

Although there is still debate over just how many are still unaccounted for, as far as the gringa’s concerned, a human being is a human being, not a number. The gringa stands with Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee, if even one, single, solitary soldier is still unaccounted for, he matters. Whether alive or dead, he belongs in his homeland.

The folks at the POW Network,, will never forget. They maintain a database regarding all American POW’s and MIA’s during the Vietnam and Korean War eras. The ones who returned alive or whose remains were returned to the United States are updated. Disputed identity claims are noted. But still, considering the ones who have returned or been identified, the list of the ones who remain lost to us is daunting.

As late as January, 2015, remains were still being identified. Some claims of servicemen who are considered killed in action are disputed because their remains were never actually found. The determination was found because the remains of the rest of the crew were discovered and identified. There are also those that were lost at sea. Some POWs and MIAs are even civilians. Some POWs that are considered deceased have only been identified by photographs which has also caused some disagreement over whether family members actually believe it to be their loved one.

As the gringa explored the website, clicked on random names and discovered the information connected with that name, these names came alive for me. I cannot write about “never forgetting” and yet not mention their names. The names are too numerous to list in one blog post. Even by selecting only the ones who are still unaccounted for, the gringa is still left with an enormous task too big for one post. I don’t know at this time how many posts it will take, but consecutive posts will continue the list of names until I reach the very last name on the list. To the gringa, this seems the only respectful thing to do.

As the dear reader explores the list, if you click on an item, whether name, date, military branch or side notes, it is a link that will take you directly to a data page for that particular POW. The gringa thanks you in advance for your patience as I continue to list these names for the next week or so, maybe longer, however long it takes.

Incident          Name                                             Branch        Notes

07-Mar-73     ACKLEY JAMES W.                          CIV


08-Nov-67     ADAMS JOHN R.                               ARMY

17-Jun-66      ADAMS OLEY N.                              USAF

31-Oct-65      ADAMS SAMUEL                             USAF    On PRG Died in Capitivy 

18-Oct-66      ADAMS STEVEN H.                         USAF

02-Feb-68     ADKINS CHARLES L.                      ARMY

12-Mar-67    ADRIAN JOSEPH D.                         USAF

01-Nov-69    ADVENTIO RUDOLPHO A.              USN

12-May-67   AGOSTO SANTOS JOSE                 USMC

31-May-66   ALBERTSON BOBBY J.                  USAF

13-Dec-68    ALBRIGHT JOHN S. II                    USAF    (Photo)

29-Jun-70     ALDERN DONALD D.                    USN

04-Nov-69   ALFORD TERRY L.                        ARMY   Remains of crew recovered

11-Dec-66   ALFRED GERALD O. JR.               USAF     (Photo)

04-Mar-71   ALGAARD HAROLD L.                  ARMY

24-Aug-67   ALLARD RICHARD M.                   ARMY

26-Mar-70   ALLEN HENRY L.                           USAF

26-Mar-68   ALLGOOD FRANKIE E.                  USMC

12-Aug-66   ALLINSON DAVID J.                      USAF


01-Feb-66   ALM RICHARD A.                           USMC

12-Jul-67    ALMENDARIZ SAMUEL                ARMY

08-Oct-69   ALTIZER ALBERT H.                      ARMY

23-Nov-71   ALTUS ROBERT W.                       USAF

27-Feb-67    ALWAN HAROLD J.                      USMC

28-Jan-70    ANDERSON GREGORY L.             USAF


26-Apr-66  ANDERSON WARREN L.                 USAF

04-Mar-66  ANDREWS STUART M                    USAF   Buried without remains in 1978. Military ID found 2006.

12-Dec-63 ANGELL MARSHALL J.                   ARMY


11-Sep-67  ANSPACH ROBERT A.                    ARMY

24-Jul-71   ANTUNANO GREGORY A.               ARMY

08-Jun-67  APODACA VICTOR J.                      USAF  (Photo) I.D. DISPUTED 06/2001

16-Oct-67   APPELHANS RICHARD D.               USAF

17-Mar-69   ARMISTEAD STEVEN R.                  USMC

18-Jun-65   ARMOND ROBERT L.                      USAF

06-Oct-67   ARMSTRONG FRANK A. III            USAF

09-Nov-67   ARMSTRONG JOHN W.                   USAF

18-Nov-66   ARNOLD WILLIAM T.                       USN

06-APR-70   ARPIN CLAUDE                                CIV     Not on Official DIA Lists

29-Aug-68    ASHALL ALAN F.                            USN

19-Jan-67     ASHBY DONALD R. SR.                  USN

12-May-67    ASHLOCK CARLOS                         USMC

05-Feb-66    ASMUSSEN GLENN EDWARD         USN

18-Jul-71     ASTON JAY S.                                   ARMY

02-Dec-65    AUSTIN CARL BENJAMIN                USN

26-Apr-67    AUSTIN CHARLES D.                        USAF

21-Apr-66    AUSTIN ELLIS E.                               USN

19-Mar-67    AUSTIN JOSEPH C.                          USAF

29-Jul-68     AUXIER JERRY E.                             ARMY

03-May-68   AVERY ROBERT DOUGLAS           USMC

07-Jul-67     AVOLESE PAUL A.                           USAF

18-Jul-65     AVORE MALCOLM A.                      USN

19-Mar-70    AYERS DARRELL EUGENE           USMC

16-Apr-70    AYERS RICHARD L.                         USAF

Photo credit: