September 20, 2009 - At this point, the only pop-cultural event that could possibly upstage Jay-Z's new album, The Blueprint III, is Dan Brown's new book, The Lost Symbol.
But if Brown thinks he has the market cornered on Freemasonry and the occult, he had better watch his back. Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America, says that Jay-Z has a keen grasp of certain esoterica, especially in the music video for his new single, "Run This Town."
In an interview with Guy Raz, Horowitz pointed to Jay-Z's use of the phrase "Peace God" as an allusion to the Five Percenters. Also known as the Nation of Gods and Earths, they teach that the original black man is God — and that all men are potentially God. "Peace God" is a typical Five Percenter greeting.
"A phrase like 'Peace God' does not find its way into someone's vernacular by accident," Horowitz says. "He's making a very definite statement."
Of course, Five Percent Nation teachings have had a deep impact on hip-hop for many years. Though not a Five Percenter himself, Jay-Z was born and bred in New York, the birthplace of the movement. So it's common to find such references in rap.
But Jay-Z's connection to the occult may extend a bit further. In the making-of video for "Run This Town," he's pictured wearing a sweatshirt with the phrase "do what thou wilt" printed across the chest.
"Yes, that has very deep roots in modern occult culture," Horowitz says. "The full expression is 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.' That was one of the key maxims of the British occultist Aleister Crowley. So when Jay-Z appears in a hoodie with that phrase on it in public, that's exactly what he's referencing."
Jay-Z's Rocawear clothing line also often draws upon Masonic symbols: pentagrams, obelisks, pyramids, the all-seeing eye. Of course, that pales in comparison with the near-obsession with the occult of someone like, say, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page.
"I would say that a figure like Jay-Z is probably borrowing some of this material," Horowitz says. "But Jimmy Page was imbibing it even more deeply."
Horowitz says he takes a positive view of Freemasonry and occultists — many of the country's Founding Fathers were masons, he says. He does stop short of calling Jay-Z an actual member of a secret society."I think he's a very shrewd man," Horowitz says. "I think he's a keen observer of everything going on around him. He's a master at using subversive imagery. You don't find your way to Five Percenter material unless you are very aware of what's going on around you."
September 20, 2009 - WHAT IS THE OCCULT?
(And What Is It Doing in America?)
Religious history, like literary or any cultural history, is made by genius, by the mystery of rare human personalities.
—Harold Bloom, The American Religion
In the summer of 1693, the philosopher Johannes Kelpius and a small band of followers fled their Rhine Valley homeland. The region had once been a sanctuary of political independence and esoteric spirituality. It was now a charred land of devastation, crushed by the papal Habsburg Empire during the Thirty Years' War. The twenty-one-year-old Kelpius, a protege of mystical scholars who survived in the Rhine corridor, led his German pilgrims to the New World. Fewer than forty in number, they first traveled over land and later endured a five-month sea voyage, which proved less dangerous for the weather than for warring French and British ships crisscrossing Atlantic routes. By late June of 1694, the group reached Philadelphia, then a cluster of about five hundred houses. They settled along the wooded banks of the Wissahickon Creek outside town. There they lived a monastic existence, occupying caves and constructing a forty-foot-square log tabernacle topped with a telescope, from which they scanned the stars for holy signs. By sunlight and hearth fire, they studied astrology, alchemy, number symbolism, esoteric Christianity, Kabala, and other philosophies that had once flowered back home. Newcomers journeyed to America to join their Tabernacle in the Forest, and in the years following Kelpius's death from tuberculosis in 1708, they created a larger commune at Ephrata, Pennsylvania.
News drifted back to the Old World: A land existed where mystical thinkers and mystery religions — remnants of esoteric movements that had thrived during the Renaissance and were later harassedcould find safe harbor. And so began a revolution in religious life that was eventually felt around the earth. America hosted a remarkable assortment of breakaway faiths, from Mormonism to Seventh-day Adventism to Christian Science. But one movement that grew within its borders came to wield radical influence over nineteenth- and twentieth-century spirituality. It encompassed a wide array of mystical philosophies and mythical lore, particularly the belief in an "unseen world" whose forces act upon us and through us. It is called the occult.
The teachers and purveyors of the American occult — colorful, audacious, and often deeply self-educated men and women — shattered every stereotype, real and imagined, of the power-mad dabbler in dark arts. Rather than seeing mystical or magical ideas as a means to narcissistic power or moral freedom, they emphasized an unlikely ethic of social progress and individual betterment. These religious radicals, acting outside the folds of traditional churches and mostly overlooked or ignored in the pages of history, transformed a young nation into the launching pad for the revolutions in therapeutic and alternative spirituality that swept the earth in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, even reigniting mystical traditions in the East.
Sons of Frankenstein
In her 1818 novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley offered a stirring portrait — not sympathetic, but not as unsympathetic as many suppose — of the European occult in the Age of Enlightenment in the 1700s. Her budding scientist Victor Frankenstein was torn between the occult visions that drew him to science as a child and the materialist philosophy of his peers: "It was very different when the masters of science sought immortality and power; such views, although futile, were grand; but now the scene was changed.... I was required to exchange chimeras of boundless grandeur for realities of little worth." In the public mind, the occultist craved immortality, deific power, and limitless knowledge. It was an image that popular occultists often fed. The nineteenth-century French magician Eliphas Levi fancied the occult arts "a science which confers on man powers apparently superhuman." England's "Great Beast" Aleister Crowley extolled self-gratification in his best-known maxim: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."
The standard-bearers of the American occult took a different path. They sought to remake mystical ideas as tools of public good and self-help. The most influential trance medium of the nineteenth century, Andrew Jackson Davis — called the "Poughkeepsie Seer" after his Hudson Valley, New York, home — enthralled thousands with visions of heaven as a place that included all the world's people: black, white, Indian, and followers of every religion. In early America, the occult and liberalism were closely joined, especially in the movement of Spiritualism — or contacting the dead — whose newspapers and practitioners were ardently abolitionist and suffragist. For women, Spiritualist practices, from seances to spirit channeling, became vehicles for the earliest forms of religious and political leadership. The first American-born woman to become a recognized public preacher was Jemima Wilkinson. In 1776, at age twenty-four, she claimed to have died and returned to life as a medium of the Divine spirit, calling herself the "Publick Universal Friend." The Friend, like the Rhine Valley mystics and Andrew Jackson Davis, remained a Christian. While her claims of supernatural rebirth and spirit channeling fell squarely within the occult framework, her religious perspective was unmistakably Scriptural. For a time, this was the nature of most American occultists (and it would never fully disappear). Few of them expressed any feelings of contradiction between Christian devotion and arcane methods of practice. Eventually, the occult and its acolytes came to branch ever more clearly into a separate and distinct spiritual culture, though not necessarily shedding a Christian moral outlook.
In the years between the Civil War and World War II, Americans took a do-it-yourself approach to many aspects of life, including the occult. Their enthusiasms resulted in strange inventions like the Ouija board, a boom in pop astrology, and a revolution in metaphysical mail-order courses and "how-to" guides. Breaking with the habits of the Old World, American occultists often proved wary of secret lodges and brotherhoods; they wanted to evangelize occult teachings as tools that ordinary men and women could use to contend with the problems of daily life. In their hands, methods that had once seemed forbidden or even sinister in the Old World — such as Mesmerism, soothsaying, and necromancy — morphed into a bevy of friendlier-sounding philosophies, some involving mindbody healing, positive visualization, and talking to angelic spirits. The early-twentieth-century progressive minister Wallace D. Wattles, whose writing later inspired the book and movie The Secret, conceived of a psychical "science of getting rich," which he saw more as a program of wealth redistribution than a means of personal enrichment. Similarly, the black-nationalist leader Marcus Garvey attempted to harness the "mind power," or positive-thinking principles so popular within American mysticism, as a path to black liberation. Even at the highest rung of American politics, the Iowan farmerseeker Henry A. Wallace, who served as Franklin Roosevelt's second vice president, drew ethical ideas from his lifelong passion for the occult and envisioned the dawn of a spiritually enlightened "New Deal of the Ages."
Since the mid-nineteenth century, denizens of the American occult had foretold a "New Age" in education, cooperation, and inner awakening. In the depth and reach of their careers, in their marriage of arcane methods with self-improvement philosophy, and in their determination to bring mysticism to the masses, they remade occultism into the harbinger of a new era in self-empowering and healing spirituality. Its arcane roots, however, became overgrown and forgotten.
The Silver Moon
Mysteries can be found wherever you look — especially when you're not sure what you're looking for. My brush with the occult began on a quiet Sunday morning in the mid-1970s at a diner in the Queens neighborhood where I grew up, a place of bungalow-size houses and cracked sidewalks that straddles the invisible boundary between the farthest reaches of New York City and the suburbs of Long Island. As a restless nine-year-old, I fidgeted at a table crowded with parents, aunts, and older cousins. Bored with the grown-up conversation, I wandered toward the front of the restaurant — the place where the real wonders were: cigarette machines, rows of exotic-looking liquor bottles above the cashier counter, brochure racks with dating-service questionnaires, a boxy machine that could print out your "biorhythm." It was a carnival of the slightly forbidden.
One vending machine especially caught my eye: a dime horoscope dispenser. Drop in a coin, pull a lever, and out would slide a little pink scroll wound in a clear plastic sleeve. Unroll it and there appeared a brief analysis for each day of the month. I was a ripe customer. I had just borrowed a book of American folklore from our local library. It contained an eerie pentagramlike chart over which, eyes closed, you could hover a pin and bring it down on a prophecy: A NEW LOVE; LOSS; GOOD HEALTH; and so on. My prophecy read: A LETTER. At nine, letters rarely found me. But the very next day, one arrived — from the library. My hands shook when I opened it, only to remove a carbon-copied overdue slip. But still. In the 1970s, the supernatural was in the air: I overheard my big sister on the phone discussing whether ex-Beatle Ringo Starr had shaved his head in solidarity with the youth culture's Prince of Darkness Charles Manson. Books on ESP, Bigfoot, and "true" hauntings appeared in the Arrow Book Club catalogs at my elementary school. Friends huddled in basements for seances and Ouija sessions. The Exorcist was the movie that no one on the block was allowed to see. On TV, Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas chatted with clairvoyants, astrologers, and robed gurus. Everything seemed to hint at a strange otherworld not so far away from our own.
Or so it seemed that Sunday morning as I bounded back to the table to show off my star scroll. "Look what it says!" I announced, reading out predictions that were always just reasonable enough to come true. "Does it also say you're a sucker?" asked my grandfather, the perpetually exhausted manager of a flower shop. His lack of even the slightest curiosity about the mysteries of the world was as impossible for me to understand as my boyish enthusiasm was for him. While I didn't yet know the lines from Hamlet — There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy — I felt their meaning in my guts. Peering down at my star scroll, I wondered: Where did this stuff come from? The zodiac signs, their symbols, the meanings — all this came from somewhere, somewhere old. But where — and how did it reach Queens? Although I wouldn't know it until many years later, my dime-scroll philosophy contained a surprising likeness to the ideas of Claudius Ptolemy, the GrecoEgyptian astrologerastronomer of the second century A.D. who had codified the basic principles of heavenly lore in his Tetrabiblos. In Ptolemy's pages stood concepts that had already stretched across millennia and followed a jagged path — sometimes broken by adaptations and bastardizations. They ranged from the philosophy of primeval Babylon to classical Egypt to Ptolemy's late Hellenic era to the Renaissance courts of Europe to popularizations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and, finally, to the star scroll bought by a nine-year-old one morning in a local diner (a place aptly named the Silver Moon). In Ptolemy's day, astrology remained a mainstay of royal courts and academies, but by the fourth century A.D. it would fall into disfavor under the influence of early Church fathers, who warned that divinatory practices were an easy portal for demonic powers. In the Church's zeal to erase the old practices — practices that had endured throughout the late ancient world (even Rome's first Christian emperor, Constantine, personally combined Christianity with sun worship) — bishops branded pantheists and nature worshippers, astrologers and cosmologists, cultists and soothsayers in ways that such believers had never conceived of themselves: as practitioners of Satanism and black magic. It was a new classification of villainy, entirely of the Church's invention. Once so characterized, the religious minority could be outlawed and persecuted, just as early Christians had been by pagan powers.
The fall of Rome meant the almost total collapse of esoteric and pre-Christian belief systems in Europe, as ancient books and ideas were scattered to the chaos of the Dark Ages. Only fortresslike monasteries, where old libraries could be hidden, protected the mystery traditions from complete destruction. By the time GrecoEgyptian texts and philosophies started to reemerge in the medieval and Renaissance ages, astrology and other divinatory methods began to be referred to under the name "occultism." Occultism describes a tradition — religious, literary, and intellectual — that has existed throughout Western history. The term comes from the Latin occultus, meaning "hidden" or "secret." The word occult entered modern use through the work of Renaissance scholar Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, who used it to describe magical practices and veiled spiritual philosophies in his three-volume study, De occulta philosophia, in 1533. The Oxford English Dictionary cites the first instance of the word occult twelve years later. Traditionally, occultism deals with the inner aspect of religions: the mystical doorways of realization and secret ways of knowing. Classical occultism regards itself as an initiatory spiritual tradition. Seen from that perspective, the occultist is not necessarily born with unusual abilities, like soothsaying or mind reading, but trains for them. Such parameters, however, are loose: Spiritualism is impossible to separate from occultism. Whether believers consider channeling the dead a learned skill or a passive gift, its crypto-religious nature draws it into the occult framework. Indeed, occultism, at its heart, is religious: Renaissance occultists were particularly enamored of Jewish Kabala, Christian Gnosticism, EgyptoHellenic astrology, EgyptianArab alchemy, and prophetic or divinatory rituals found deep within all the historic faiths, especially within the mystery religions of the Hellenic and Egyptian civilizations. They venerated the ideas of the Hermetica, a collection of late-ancient writings attributed to the mythical GrecoEgyptian sage Hermes Trismegistus. The name Hermes Trismegistus meant "Thrice-Greatest Hermes," a Greek term of veneration for Thoth, Egypt's god of writing, whom the Greeks conflated with their own Hermes (and later with the Roman Mercury). The Hermetica reflected the final stages of the magicoreligious thought of Alexandria and formed a critical link between ancient Egypt and the modern occult.
The sturdiest definition of classical occult philosophy that I have personally found appears not in a Western or Egyptian context but in Sino scholar Richard Wilhelm's 1950 introduction to the Chinese oracle book The I Ching or Book of Changes:
...every event in the visible world is the effect of an "image," that is, of an idea in the unseen world. Accordingly, everything that happens on earth is only a reproduction, as it were, of an event in a world beyond our sense perception; as regards its occurrence in time, it is later than the suprasensible event. The holy men and sages, who are in contact with those higher spheres, have access to these ideas through direct intuition and are therefore able to intervene decisively in events in the world. Thus man is linked with heaven, the suprasensible world of ideas, and with earth, the material world of visible things, to form with these a trinity of primal powers.
Of Dime Horoscopes
Back, for a moment, to the Silver Moon diner. What of the coin machine where I bought my horoscope that morning? It had its own story, one perhaps less august than that of ancient scholars or Renaissance courts but, to a young boy, no less fascinating. It was invented in 1934 by a clothing and securities salesman named Bruce King — or, as he was better known by his nom de mystique, Zolar. ("It comes from 'zodiac' and 'solar system,'" he explained. "Registered U.S. trademark.") His initiation was not in the temples of Egypt but on the boardwalks of Atlantic City, New Jersey. There he witnessed a goateed Professor A. F. Seward thrusting a pointer at a huge zodiac chart while lecturing beachgoers on the destiny of the stars. Professor Seward sold one-dollar horoscopes to countless vacationers — so many, rumor went, that he retired to Florida a millionaire. (The rumor, as will be seen, was true.)
Bursting forth from the boardwalks, Bruce King knew he had what it took to sell mysticism to the masses. "I felt the competition wasn't great," he told John Updike in The New Yorker in 1959, "and I could become the biggest man in the field." Zolar immersed himself in astrology, Tarot, palmistry, and all the "magical arts," on which he could expound with surprising erudition. "Everything I've ever known I've taught myself," he said. "I've studied psychiatry, sociology, and every field of human relations as well as the occult." For all his have-I-got-a-deal-for-you pitch, Zolar knew his material. His biggest breakout came in 1935, when the dime-store empire Woolworth's agreed to sell his pocket-sized daily horoscopes, the first generation of the mass-marketed horoscope booklets that now adorn the racks at supermarket checkout lines. The secret to Zolar's success was that he spoke in a language everyone could understand. "I'm like the old two-dollar country doctor — a general practitioner," he once said. "If you want a specialist, you go somewhere else." Zolar could even sound like my grandfather when giving a reporter the lowdown on the resurgence of astrology in 1970: "It sounds kind of crazy — but you know that screwy play Hair that has that Aquarian thing?" Zolar was speaking, of course, of the rock musical's rousing opener, "Aquarius." "I think that's sold five million horoscopes."
So it had — and in America the old mysteries were on the move.
"...it was disgracing that a man can stoop so low opting for animal company in a world full of women. This incident is very shocking. It is my first time to see such an evil thing. It is really embarrassing. The head belongs to a man while the body is that of a goat. This is evident that an adult human being was responsible. Evil powers caused this person to lose self control.”No mention is made of the more embarrassing belief of Minister Machaya that it would be possible for a goat and a human to produce offspring despite the chromosomal differences. The villagers did note that even the village dogs were afraid to be near the goat beast and also that the creature had lived only a few hours before the corpse was burned.
“Normally, dogs like to play around a goat when it has just given birth. This time the dogs kept their distance. This is indeed a miracle that has never been witnessed anywhere,” said one elderly villager, Themba Moyo.
June 19, 4:14 PM
The planned October 9, 2009 bombing of the moon by a NASA orbiter that will bomb the moon with a 2-ton kinetic weapon to create a 5 mile wide deep crater as an alleged water-seeking and lunar colonization experiment, is contrary to space law prohibiting environmental modification of celestial bodies. The NASA moon bombing, a component of the LCROSS mission, may also trigger conflict with known extraterrestrial civilizations on the moon as reported on the moon in witnessed statements by U.S. astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, and in witnessed statements to NSA (National Security Agency) photos and documents regarding an extraterrestrial base on the dark side of the moon.
If the true intent of the LCROSS mission moon bombing is a hostile act by NASA against known extraterrestrial civilizations and settlements on the moon, then NASA and by extension the U.S. government are guilty of aggressive war which is the most serious of war crimes under the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions, to which the U.S. is subject. The U.N. Outer Space Treaty, which the U.S. has ratified, requires that “ The moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden.” 98 nations have ratified and 125 nations have signed the U.N. Outer Space Treaty.
NASA’s LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission
The NASA LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission, which departed on Earth on June 18, 2009. According to one report, “Flying over the moon's southern hemisphere, LCROSS will use its high-precision instruments, as well as close-up images of the terrain gathered by the lunar orbiter, to seek out a crater just shallow enough and dark enough to be a prime bombing target.
“There, acting as what the Ames team calls its "shepherding spacecraft," LCROSS will guide an empty Centaur rocket weighing two tons toward its target. The rocket will crash into the crater at 5,600 mph, creating a new crater - perhaps as large as 5 miles wide. The crash is scheduled to occur Oct. 9.”
The two-ton Centaur rocket qualifies as a space-based kinetic weapon. The reason alleged by NASA for the mission is that “the [LCROSS} probes will map possible landing sites and search for water sources that could be used by a future lunar colony.”
According to NASA, “The Mission Objectives of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) include confirming the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the Moon’s South Pole. The identification of water is very important to the future of human activities on the Moon. LCROSS will excavate the permanently dark floor of one of the Moon’s polar craters with two heavy impactors in 2009 to test the theory that ancient ice lies buried there. The impact will eject material from the crater’s surface to create a plume that specialized instruments will be able to analyze for the presence of water (ice and vapor), hydrocarbons and hydrated materials.”
U.S. astronauts, NASA employees, Soviet scientists, NSA confirm the extraterrestrial presence on the moon
There are confirmed reports of an extraterrestrial presence on the moon, both from U.S. astronauts who have visited the moon, from NASA employees, from Soviet scientists and observers of the NASA moon visits, and from witnessed NSA (National Security Agency) reports on a moon based on the far side of the moon.
One report states that, “In a 2006 television documentary, ‘Apollo 11: The Untold Story,’ Buzz Aldrin admitted for the first time publicly that the astronauts saw UFOs on their trip to the Moon, but they were not allowed to discuss this information on the live audio feed to NASA. He stated that he felt it would have caused a ‘panic.’”
Other research on witnessed corroboration of U.S. astronaut sightings of an extraterrestrial presence on the Moon states, “According to hitherto unconfirmed reports, both Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin saw UFOs shortly after their historic landing on the Moon in Apollo 11 on 21 July 1969. I remember hearing one of the astronauts refer to a "light" in or on a carter during the television transmission, followed by a request from mission control for further information. Nothing more was heard.”
“According to a former NASA employee Otto Binder, unnamed radio hams with their own VHF receiving facilities that bypassed NASA's broadcasting outlets picked up the following exchange:
“NASA: What's there? Mission Control calling Apollo 11...
“Apollo: These ‘Babies’ are huge, Sir! Enormous! OH MY GOD! You wouldn't believe it! I'm telling you there are other spacecraft out there, lined up on the far side of the crater edge! They're on the Moon watching us!
“In 1979, Maurice Chatelain, former chief of NASA Communications Systems confirmed that Armstrong had indeed reported seeing two UFOs on the rim of a crater. ‘The encounter was common knowledge in NASA,’ he revealed, ‘but nobody has talked about it until now.’
“Soviet scientists were allegedly the first to confirm the incident. ‘According to our information, the encounter was reported immediately after the landing of the module,’ said Dr. Vladimir Azhazha, a physicist and Professor of Mathematics at Moscow University. ‘Neil Armstrong relayed the message to Mission Control that two large, mysterious objects were watching them after having landed near the moon module. But his message was never heard by the public-because NASA censored it.’
“According to another Soviet scientist, Dr. Aleksandr Kazantsev, Buzz Aldrin took color movie film of the UFOs from inside the module, and continued filming them after he and Armstrong went outside. Dr. Azhazha claims that the UFOs departed minutes after the astronauts came out on to the lunar surface.
“Maurice Chatelain also confirmed that Apollo 11's radio transmissions were interrupted on several occasions in order to hide the news from the public. Before dismissing Chatelain's sensational claims, it is worth noting his impressive background in the aerospace industry and space program. His first job after moving from France was as an electronics engineer with Convair, specializing in telecommunications, telemetry, and radar. In 1959 he was in charge of an electromagnetic research group, developing new radar and telecommunications systems for Ryan. One of his eleven patents was an automatic flights to the Moon. Later, at North American Aviation, Chatelain was offered the job of designing and building the Apollo communications and data-processing systems.
“Chatelain claims that ‘all Apollo and Gemini flights were followed, both at a distance and sometimes also quite closely, by space vehicles of extraterrestrial origin-flying saucers, or UFOs, if you want to call them by that name. Every time it occurred, the astronauts informed Mission Control, who then ordered absolute silence.’ He goes on to say:
“I think that Walter Schirra aboard Mercury 8 was the first of the astronauts to use the code name 'Santa Claus' to indicate the presence of flying saucers next to space capsules. However, his announcements were barely noticed by the general public.
“It was a little different when James Lovell on board the Apollo 8 command module came out from behind the moon and said for everybody to hear:
'PLEASE BE INFORMED THAT THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS.'
“Even though this happened on Christmas Day 1968, many people sensed a hidden meaning in those words."
NSA photos, documents of an extraterrestrial base on the dark side of the moon
Former USAF U.S. Sgt. Karl Wolfe, a Disclosure Project witness, describes photos, documents of extraterrestrial bases on the dark side of the moon that he witnessed at the NSA (National Security Agency), in the 1960s. One report states that “Sgt Wolfe was working with Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia in 1965. There, he was assigned to the lunar orbital project with the National Security Agency where he met an airman who confided in him that they had discovered bases in the far side of the moon.”
Sgt Wolfe’s Disclosure Project testimony, in which he states that he is willing to testify under oath before the U.S. Congress, can be seen in the video below.
One account states, “The airman told him (Wolfe) that all of the NASA photographs were sent to Langley, where they were enhanced, and eventually made into photographs to be sent to and studied by the different branches of the military. He was also told why security was of the utmost importance at the lab on this particular day-recent enhanced imagery had clearly shown structures on the far side of the Moon. These structures were definitely not created by natural forces-they were made by intelligent beings.
“’We discovered,’ the airman said, ‘a base on the back side of the Moon.’
Wolfe was in no way prepared for what he had just been told. When he airman saw Wolfe nearly shaking in disbelief, he reiterated:
“’Yes, a base on the dark side of the Moon.’
“Although Wolfe had not actually been told that some alien intelligence had made the aforementioned structures, who else could it have been? Although Russia had flown unmanned vessels around to the far side, no landing had been made, and the resources and technology needed to build a station there were far beyond that of Russia at the time. Had they made a landing on the Moon, the entire world would have known about it. And Wolfe knew America was still years from a Moon landing.
“His anxiety reached a new level. He was looking at, and being told about, something that he should not have seen or known about. He was actually afraid of being arrested and a court martial. He only wanted to finish his job, and get out of there, and forget the whole incident. He would finish the repair he was called to do, but he could never forget what he had seen that day at Langley. He would tell not a soul for 30 years.
“His release from the military also required that he not leave the United States for five years. This was a condition of his security status. He also was sworn to not reveal anything he had seen while performing his duties in the military. Wolfe would eventually put a report on what he had seen on video, which is now available on the Internet. There have also been several ex-NASA employees who have come forward telling of their experiences in air brushing structures out of NASA photographs of the Moon.”
NASA’s lunar bombing violates space law and must be stopped
NASA’s use of a 2-ton empty Centaur rocket as a kinetic weapon violates space law in multiple ways and must be stopped, in flight or in lunar orbit, which the LCROSS lunar orbiter reaches on Tuesday June 23, 2009.
The bombing of the moon with a kinetic weapon to create a 5 mile crater is a per se violation of the U.N. Outer Space Treaty, which the U.S. has ratified, irrespective of its being designed as part of an experiment related to lunar colonization.
The U.N. Outer Space Treaty (Article III) provides that “States Parties to the Treaty shall carry on activities in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations.”
The Moon Treaty (Agreement Governing The Activities Of States On The Moon And Other Celestial Bodies (1979)) addresses and bans the specific activity bombing of the moon carried out unilaterally by the U.S. The Moon Treaty prohibits disruption of the environment of the Moon. The LCROSS bombing constitutes a disruption of the delicate balance of the lunar ecology. Article 7 of the Moon Treaty states:
Article 7 of the Moon Treaty
“1. In exploring and using the moon, States Parties shall take measures to
prevent the disruption of the existing balance of its environment whether
by introducing adverse changes in that environment, by its harmful
contamination through the introduction of extra-environmental matter or
otherwise. States Parties shall also take measures to avoid harmfully
affecting the environment of the earth through the introduction of
extraterrestrial matter or otherwise.
“2. States Parties shall inform the Secretary-General of the United
Nations of the measures being adopted by them in accordance with
paragraph 1 of this article and shall also, to the maximum extent
feasible, notify him in advance of all placements by them of radio-active
materials on the moon and of the purposes of such placements.
“3. States Parties shall report to other States Parties and to the
Secretary-General concerning areas of the moon having special scientific
interest in order that, without prejudice to the rights of other States
Parties, consideration may be given to the designation of such areas as
international scientific preserves for which special protective
arrangements are to be agreed upon in consultation with the competent
bodies of the United Nations.”
Although the U.S. has not ratified the Moon Treaty, 13 nations have, and it can be construed as a relevant international standard of what constitutes “international law” under the U.N. Outer Space Treaty.
Is NASA’s LCROSS bombing of the moon a camouflaged attack or attempt to impose moon sovereignty by the U.S.?
There is witnessed evidence, through the testimony of UASF SGT Karl Wolfe and through the statements of U.S. astronauts, NASA employees, former Soviet scientists that the U.S., and its agencies NASA and the NSA has had scientific evidence that the moon has extraterrestrial civilizations and present settlements on it for more than 40 years, since the 1960s.
The U.S. has not attempted any public, peaceful diplomacy with the civilizations on the moon. In fact, the U.S. has imposed an embargo on public knowledge that settlements and an extraterrestrial presence exist on the moon.
What is touted as a scientific experiment – the bombing of the moon – may in reality be an attempt to impose de facto U.S. sovereignty on the moon. Article II of the U.N. Outer Space Treaty, which the U.S. has signed, states: “Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.”
Moreover, the LCROSS bombing of the moon may be an intentional hostile act by the U.S. (which has know the moon is inhabited for at least 40 years by other civilizations), a kind of “shot across the bow” to mark turf against other intelligent civilizations on the moon.
The U.N. Outer Space Treaty prohibits non-peaceful activities on the moon. Article IV states, “The moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden.”
NASA’s LCROSS bombing of the moon must be stopped, while the lunar orbiter is in orbit, before the bombing occurs on October 9, 2009.
NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission (LCROSS) based on new analysis of available lunar data, has shifted the target crater from Cabeus A to Cabeus (proper).
The decision was based on continued evaluation of all available data and consultation/input from members of the LCROSS Science Team and the scientific community, including impact experts, ground and space based observers, and observations from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Prospector (LP), Chandrayaan-1 and JAXA's Kaguya spacecraft. This decision was prompted by the current best understanding of hydrogen concentrations in the Cabeus region, including cross-correlation between the latest LRO results and LP data sets.
The general consensus of lunar experts led by the LCROSS science team is that Cabeus shows, with the greatest level of certainty, the highest hydrogen concentrations at the south pole. Further consideration of the most current terrain models provided by JAXA's Kaguya spacecraft and the LRO Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) was important in the decision process.The models show a small valley in an otherwise tall Cabeus perimeter ridge, which will allow for sunlight to illuminate the ejecta cloud on Oct. 9, and much sooner than previously estimated for Cabeus. While the ejecta does have to fly to higher elevations to be observed by Earth assets, a shadow cast by a large hill along the Cabeus ridge, provides an excellent, high-contrast, back drop for ejecta and vapor measurements.
The LCROSS team concluded that Cabeus provided the best chance for meeting its mission goals. The team critically assessed and successfully advocated for the change with the Lunar Precursor Robotic Program (LPRP) office. The change in impact crater was factored into LCROSS' most recent Trajectory Correction Maneuver, TCM7.
During the last days of the mission, the LCROSS team will continue to refine the exact point of impact within Cabeus crater to avoid rough spots, and to maximize solar illumination of the debris plume and Earth observations.
Dusk, and as the shadows lengthen over the streets of ancient Rome, the early evening quiet is shattered by a chorus of piercing screams.
It is the beginning of another of Emperor Nero's infamous orgies.
Peering out of the palace windows, the emperor's drunk guests are confronted by a shocking sight: a dozen terrified men, smeared with tar and bound to wooden stakes.
Orgy of excess: Nero's parties featured male and female prostitutes
Orgy of excess: Nero's parties featured male and female prostitutes
And then, at a signal from Nero, they are set alight, their agonised cries accompanied by the whoops of the half-naked dancing girls.
Burning these Christians, Nero jokes to his guests, is the perfect way to illuminate his magnificent gardens.
In Nero's sadistic world, such barbarity was commonplace. And it was at its most inventive and acute at the parties staged in his fabled rotating dining room.
Canadian/Hollywood punk/metal rockers Nero Zero have issued a free download of the track Super Freak, from their self-titled debut CD, which will be released in North America in time for Halloween. Super Freak is a punked up version of the Rick James classic dance track. The song is available as a free download exclusively from RockStar Weekly.
The first single Fucking A Rock Star will be released to radio in early October. The song was written by the band with La Toya Jackson and Jeffre' Phillips, and was mixed by Frank Gryner (Rob Zombie, Tommy Lee, Powerman 5000).
To hear samples from some of the tracks on the CD visit the band's MySpace Page.
Senate GOP Reaction (9/30)
Climate Change Bill: Draft Legislation
“VeriChip shares jump after H1N1 patent license win
“(Reuters) - Shares of VeriChip Corp (CHIP.O) tripled after the company said it had been granted an exclusive license to two patents, which will help it to develop implantable virus detection systems in humans.
“The patents, held by VeriChip partner Receptors LLC, relate to biosensors that can detect the H1N1 and other viruses, and biological threats such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, VeriChip said in a statement.
“The technology will combine with VeriChip’s implantable radio frequency identification devices to develop virus triage detection systems.
“The triage system will provide multiple levels of identification — the first will identify the agent as virus or non-virus, the second level will classify the virus and alert the user to the presence of pandemic threat viruses and the third level will identify the precise pathogen, VeriChip said in a white paper published May 7, 2009.
“Shares of VeriChip were up 186 percent at $3.28 Monday late afternoon trade on Nasdaq. They had touched a year high of $3.43 earlier in the session.”
If you look at VeriChip share prices for the following trading days prior to this announcement you can see a 100% jump with massive trading volume of shares indicating insider buying. Receiving patents for very unique devices are not surprises. In the couple of days before this announcement the share price went from 0.56 cent to 1.15 cent a 107% rise before Monday’s 186% rise. The maximum number of shares traded in one day for the past few months was sixty thousand. This all kicked off with two hundred thousand shares traded in one day then up to six hundred and forty five thousand last Wednesday. Normally this sort of large volume trading can be seen six months before a big announcement so the correlation is not as brazen. On Monday when the company made a public hoopla about the patent, which allows insiders and others with the knowledge to legally buy, millions of shares were gobbled up within seconds.
Every year it is standard for a mild flu to kill only people who are already seriously ill. The H1N1 swine flu is very mild, how fortunate for VeriChip and fellow corporations in biotech that the media have hyped it up to fever pitch. A few months ago a phase six H1N1 pandemic was put in to place by an unelected organisation, the World Health Organisation. Certainly all this fear will help promote VeriChip’s technology. Soon they might find some government lackeys dumb enough to order some. Ideal technology for surveillance-obsessed-pandemic-worrying states of the 21st century with tax payers’ money to waste. Billions already have been spent on billions of rushed vaccines for a very mild flu and more money spent on plans for ensuring the jab is given to every child, woman, and man. All this during a global recession/depression when governments are making cutbacks except of course for bankrupting bank bailouts. If the mass injection plan goes off without a major incident relegating the banking scandal and the swine flu scare fades away in 2010 governments are going to have a lot of healthy angry people to deal with for throwing money away at bankrupt/corrupt banks.
Exactly what the hell is this new marker chip by Digital Angle’s VeriChip?
The spread of a pandemic with these chips can only be remotely detected if a large amount or the entire population have them. Trading Markets reports the Robert E. Carlson, Ph.D., President and CSO at Receptors, said: “Through our development partnership with VeriChip, we are focused on building an integrated suite of products that will identify a biological threat, from pandemic influenza and multiple-resistant pathogens”.
From VeriChips May 2009 white paper and older product development paper we learn that the chips contain a “glucose sensing system” housed in a “biocompatible membrane” with a Radio Frequency Identification device that WiFi can certantly read the same way Radio Frequency Identification chips in mobile phones are tracked. This “biostable sensing component” is “incorporated into a millimeter scale signal transduction and RFID enabled communication device.”
People who are still trying to catch up from the 250k floppy disk of the 90’s to remote wireless information transfer will struggle to comprehend technology now being introduced in to the public arena. Six years ago Hitachi introduced an RFID chip with embedded antenna only half a millimeter in size called the µ-Chip which are now on the shelves attached to products we buy to track their delivery to the stores, but they don’t remove them once they have arrived. The Hitachi website article from 2003 said it “features an internal antenna, enabling chips to employ the energy of incoming electrical waves to wirelessly transmit”. “The 0.4mm X 0.4mm chip can thus operate entirely on its own”.
Vaccination and id tracking trials have in fact taken place last year. The Boston Globe from November 2008 informs us: “Boston disease trackers are embarking on a novel experiment - one of the first in the country - aimed at eventually creating a citywide registry of everyone who has had a flu vaccination.” “Keeping track of that cache of vaccine - and which patients are getting it”. “Dr. Alfred DeMaria, top disease doctor at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said, “if you’re tracking multiple clinics in real time, you can see where the uptake is better and where it’s less, and then focus on outreach.” “When people arrive for their shots, they will get an ID bracelet […] information - name, age, gender, address - will be entered into the patient tracking database. There will be electronic records, too, of who gave the vaccine and whether it was injected into the right arm or the left, and time-stamped for that day.”
Mass injection of VeriChip devices under all of our skin is the only way the device could detect the spread of pandemics. A lofty and insane undertaking for the near future perhaps, but you’d be surprised how many people would accept illogical measures during a scare. Until there is confirmation these chips will be put in to use everyone’s main focus should be the illogical use of rushed vaccines for a mild flu. There are dangerous ingredients confirmed in the vaccines and the confidence of governments in them can be seen with governments granting legal immunity to manufactures and servants implementing the scheme.
Related:How Google’s Public Phone Tracking System Finds You And It’s Irish Competito
Projects to raise money for training facility concern commissioners
On Sept. 18, you'll find him at the circus.
And, come January, you can join him on a cruise to the Caribbean – if you have at least $669 to spare.
Those things aren't in the usual law-and-order job description of Allen County's sheriff. But, to Fries, his campaign to develop a potentially life-saving $30 million training facility despite a lack of public funding justifies unorthodox tactics – perhaps even if it means wearing huge clown shoes or singing endless variations of the “Love Boat” theme.
But despite the obvious potential for humor, Fries' young but growing fundraising campaign raises serious, and possibly unique, questions about the degree to which one elected official should be able to obligate other officials and taxpayers – even if little or no public money is initially involved.
To Fries, a Republican elected in 2006, there's virtually no chance of that happening. The various components of his plan will be built only as money becomes available, and those donations and income from groups using the facility will be more than enough to meet maintenance and operational expenses – and maybe even turn a small profit.
But Fries' promise, as realistic and well-intended as it may be, doesn't satisfy Bill Brown, president of the county's Board of Commissioners – nor should it. Normally, the commissioners approve major building projects, and the County Council provides the money to build, operate and maintain them.
“We need to understand how all this is going to work. Who's going to control the facility? Who's going to own it? What are they telling people (when seeking funds)?” Brown said, noting that he and fellow Commissioners Nelson Peters and Linda Bloom may consider yet another money-making plan as early as next week – and want to see a definitive plan before giving their blessing.
Interestingly, Fries' latest fundraising venture would see the return of Fries' friend and local businessman Ken Neumeister, who in 2007 paid $615,000 for 200 acres at Adams Center and Paulding roads before selling the property to the county for $675,000 – minus five corner acres Neumeister kept for future development. If the commissioners agree, Neumeister's Freedom Consulting firm will seek grants and donations for the training center and be paid according to the amount it collects.
“I've been involved in raising money for a long time,” said Neumeister, long active in Republican politics before supporting Democrat Tom Henry's run for mayor in 2007. “(Fries) has been struggling to raise money, but I think the project is doable, even though it may take three to five years to raise the money.”
Brown said it's important the commissioners review the Fries-Neumeister fundraising arrangement “so we don't have the perception that it's something it's not.” But Neumeister said he has sold his interest in the property adjacent to the training site, which should remove any potential conflict of interest.
Even so, it won't remove the financial challenge that lies ahead for Fries' dream.
Thanks to $360,000 seized from a 2007 drug raid, ground was broken in July on the facility's outdoor shooting range. Beyond that, though, Fries said he has raised only $50,000, and expects the Sept. 18 performance of the Carson & Barnes Circus at the site of the old Seyfert's potato chip plant on Lima Road to raise another $10,000 or so. He's not expecting a windfall from the cruise, either – especially since he won't be on duty.
“But this isn't just about the money. It's also about raising awareness of the project. It all adds up,” he said.
And, as it does, other features will follow: a driver-training course Fries hopes will reduce the number of late-night death notifications officers have to make; a small replica city that will provide fire and rescue scenarios; water-rescue ponds and a canine training facility.
Fries said he is “100 percent confident” his training center won't drain county funds the way the city's Public Safety Academy at Southtown Centre has. City Council is considering a request to allocate about $500,000 in income tax revenues to the underperforming center, but mayoral spokesman Vince Robinson said the need for subsidies during its first three years was expected.
I applaud Fries' efforts to build a public facility primarily with private funds. But I also know sheriffs are trained and elected to enforce the law, not to oversee massive fundraising and construction projects that could expose taxpayers to risk if it doesn't work as planned.
So keep doing what you're doing, sheriff – and allow other county officials to provide the oversight for which they were elected.
And happy sailing to all.
County Commissioner Bill Brown asked the right questions last week about Sheriff Ken Fries’ plans for a training center, though he and other commissioners should have asked them two years ago. But that didn’t stop the commissioners from approving a questionable fundraising contract.
The entire episode shows how too many aspects of county government are a one-party, insiders’ game that would benefit from scrutiny.
Two years ago, the all-Republican commissioners voted to buy 198 acres from Ken Neumeister – a major contributor to local GOP candidates and a member of the Allen County Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals – for $646,000.
The land is to be used to develop a training center for the Sheriff’s Department that is supposed to be financed from donations and grants.
Last week, with the only real source of funding coming from seized drug money, Brown asked for a detailed business plan from Republican Sheriff Fries. Brown is properly concerned that county government could be stuck with paying part of the tab – especially in light of financial problems facing the city-created Public Safety Academy.
Brown is right to ask the questions. County taxpayers should be particularly concerned that if and when the training center is built, it could fall short on operating expenses and county government could be tapped – just as the Public Safety Academy is turning to city government for financial assistance. Fries, who says he’s already submitted one business plan, insists no taxpayer money will be used.
While the commissioners wait on the plan, they inexplicably agreed during the same meeting last week to hire a Neumeister company to raise money for Fries’ training center. Neumeister’s Freedom Consulting (the company’s address on file with the state is the same as Neumeister’s home address) will receive 8 percent of private donations it gains and 4 percent of any government grants. (A finder’s fee for a government grant raises its own questions; T. Neil Moore, the former police chief who is executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, says his staff can’t remember any such grants.)
Perhaps hiring a professional fundraiser is the best move. Certainly, that is preferable to Fries’ plans to sponsor a circus and a cruise ship trip, which smack of unprofessional desperation.
But does Neumeister present the best option? Should he profit from selling the land and again for raising money to develop it?
Why didn’t the commissioners request competitive bids for the fundraising?
Commissioner Nelson Peters notes that a retired deputy sheriff also has an agreement to raise money for the training center. “I’m prepared to offer the same contract” to other groups or people willing to raise money, he said.
The commissioners – who own the county’s land – should have scrutinized the training center before approving the purchase in 2007.
Though late in the process, Brown was right to begin asking pointed questions about the costs of a future training center. The commissioners should have waited for answers before hiring a Republican insider to raise money for the center.
For more information on the Sept. 18 Carson & Barnes Circus, call Jim Amstutz at Doorway Promotions, 483-3508
For more information about the Jan. 17-24 Caribbean cruise, call the AAA Travel Agency, 484-1542
|MTV Martial Law Warnings Video|
Incredible as it sounds, civil asset forfeiture laws allow the government to seize property without charging anyone with a crime. Until FEAR achieved the nation's first major federal forfeiture law reform at the turn of the millenium, the government was allowed to keep whatever property it seized without ever having to prove a case. Seized property was presumed guilty and could be forfeited based upon mere hearsay—even a tip supplied by by an informant who stood to gain up to 25% of the forfeited assets. Owners were forced into the untenable situation of trying to prove a negative—that something never happened, even though no proof of any illegal act had been offered at trial.
Newspapers and television stories across the nation documented hundreds of cases of innocent citizens wrongfully deprived of their homes, businesses and livlihoods. Eighty percent of property forfeited to the US during the previous decade was seized from owners who were never even charged with a crime! Over $7 billion has been forfeited to the federal government since 1985. Until the advent of FEAR law enforcement officials promoting expanded forfeiture laws comprised the overwhelming majority of lobbyists at hearings on forfeiture litigation. Meanwhile, prosecutors complained that police were less available to investigate crimes that did not involve forfeiture.
Over 200 federal forfeiture laws are attached to non-drug related crimes. Even a false statement on a loan application can trigger forfeiture. Physicians are subject to forfeiture of their entire assets based on a clerical errors in medicare billing. The government even tried to forfeit a farmer's tractor for allegedly running over an endangered rat. The federal governmen
In April, 2000, FEAR achieved the nation's first major federal forfeiture law reform, the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA). The sponsor of the act, Rep. Henry Hyde, thanked FEAR in the April 11, 2000, congressional record "for their long and dedicated work on behalf of forfeiture reform." Though the final compromised version was stripped of many of the reforms for which we lobbied, for the first time since civil asset forfeiture laws were passed, under CAFRA the government:
- must prove its case;
- is liable for damages to seized property;<> must return property to owners pending trial when possession would cause substantial hardship;
- may no longer require an owner to pay 10% cost bond just to contest the forfeiture in court;
- can no longer forfeit property from owners who prove their innocence; and
- must appoint counsel to some indigent claimants.
Further changes are still urgently needed at both federal and state levels. Many innocent owners still face the untenable situation of having to prove a negative—that their property was not involved in a crime, or that they had no knowledge of criminal activity. Most owners of seized property still lack the financial resources to even bring their cases to court. A final hour amendment to CAFRA won by the Dept. of Justice allows appointed counsel only for property owners who have court appointed attorneys in related criminal charges, and for some owners of seized homes.
TO: The Great Chief of the Crow Nation, INLAND PIRACY RED ALERT APB re: Hardin Montana Report
Greetings Great Chief of the Crow Nation:
We need your assistance now, Honorable Chief.
I was one of the staff of Ultrasystems, Inc. who helped
your People to re-negotiate the Crow Nation's strip mining lease
with Westmoreland Resources, Inc. back in the 1970's.
Please dispatch your warriors to investigate probable cause
of INLAND PIRACY in and around Hardin, Montana.
Blessings of the Great White Spirit upon the entire Crow Nation:
As agents of the Most High, we came here to establish justice: we shall not leave until our mission is accomplished and justice reigns eternal -- in our hearts and in our minds. Amen.
/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.
Private Attorney General, 18 U.S.C. 1964(a)
http://www.supremel aw.org/decs/ agency/private. attorney. general.htm
Criminal Investigator and Federal Witness: 18 U.S.C. 1510, 1512-13
http://www.supremelaw.org/index.htm (Home Page)
http://www.supremelaw.org/support.policy.htm (Support Policy)
http://www.supremelaw.org/guidelines.htm (Client Guidelines)
http://www.supremelaw.org/support.guidelines.htm (Policy + Guidelines)
All Rights Reserved without Prejudice
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell
Subject: INLAND PIRACY RED ALERT APB re: Hardin Montana Report (10/2/2009): cars display Serbian Coat of Arms
Date: Friday, October 2, 2009, 6:59 AM
§ 1654. Arming or serving on privateers
/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.
Private Attorney General, Criminal Investigator and
Federal Witness: 18 U.S.C. 1510, 1512-13, 1964(a)
All Rights Reserved without Prejudice
MESSENGER took the picture during a flyby of Mercury on Sept. 29th. The giant paw print was just one of many wonders MESSENGER's cameras saw imprinted on thousands of square kilometers of previously unseen terrain. In this case, a cluster of small craters--"toes"--were by chance arranged in an arc above a stack of larger, partially overlapping craters--the "heel." MESSENGER also photographed a happy crater, a double crater, and a crater splash.
Although early results from the flyby are dominated by pictures of craters, the spacecraft also made new measurements of Mercury's magnetic tornadoes and its comet-like tail. Mission scientists are still analyzing those data, which are more complicated than crater-snapshots and potentially much more interesting. Stay tuned for updates.
MIT prof says technology is bringing us closer to an answer
One of the defining moments of the scientific revolution occurred 400 years ago. In the spring of 1609, Johannes Kepler published Astronomia nova, which provided strong evidence for Copernicus’ heliocentric model of the universe. In the fall of the same year, Galileo used a telescope to observe the night sky for the first time.
In recognition of these seminal events, the United Nations declared 2009 the International Year of Astronomy, and McGill University’s Faculty of Science has organized a triumvirate of commemorative public lectures entitled “Black Holes, New Worlds, and the Universe.” Sara Seager, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), presented the first of these lectures, “Origins and Aliens: The Search for Other Earths,” on September 21 to a near-capacity crowd in Leacock 132.
Seager’s research focuses on trying to find and analyze exoplanets – planets outside our solar system that orbit a star, and which are most likely to harbour alien life. Seager, an expert in analyzing the way that light diffracts in an alien atmosphere to reveal the gas composition, calls the resulting pattern formations the “fingerprints of a planet.” These fingerprints are useful for detecting tell-tale signs of life like oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water vapour.
“Oxygen is such a reactive gas, and if you find that an atmosphere has 20 per cent oxygen [as Earth’s does], you have to ask, ‘Why should it be there?’” Seager said.
The main difficulty in searching for hospitable exoplanets, according to Seager, is that the glare from stars obscures planets with Earth-like orbits. To illustrate this problem, consider that Earth is 10 billion times fainter than the Sun, meaning that our current ability to resolve planets vanishes at about 20 times the Earth-Sun distance. The ability to directly see an exoplanet with an Earth-like orbit would demand a massive, near-perfect space telescope, which would use non-circular mirrors to reduce the amount of glare observed.
Alternatively, a screen could be set up to diffract sun rays to a smaller, non-perfect telescope. But this solution also has its shortcomings, as it would require extreme spatial coordination between the 15 metre-wide screen and the telescope, which would be tens of thousands of kilometres apart.
Fortunately, there are other ways to find an Earth-like exoplanet. The “wobble method” and “transit method” are two indirect detection techniques that measure either the gravitational attraction between a planet and a star, or the change in a star’s radiation pattern caused by a planet’s orbit. From these observations, one can infer the mass, size, and temperature of a planet, but not the presence of biological signs.
“These [indirect] methods can’t tell us the composition of the atmosphere,” said Seager.
According to Seager, exoplanet travel will not be happening anytime soon. The possibility of visiting an exoplanet is a venture currently hindered by considerable economic and logistical barriers. The closest star to Earth is Alpha Centauri, approximately four light-years away, and though we might consider the claim that humans could travel at one-tenth the speed of light, such a journey would still take 80 years, round-trip.
We can still learn a lot about planets by studying them from afar. Current research can identify planets’ densities, atmospheres, and the different phenomena that they experience – for example, how heat is transferred across tidally-locked objects like Earth’s moon.
As for finding an Earth-counterpart out there, Seager is optimistic that she will witness the historic event. “People often ask me whether we’ll find another Earth in my lifetime,” she said. “And I say ‘Yes. But I expect to live a very long time.’”
Realistically, Seager estimates, such a planet will be discovered within 20 to 25 years. Whether little green men will be waiting there is another question.
The next lecture in the series is entitled “The Origin of the Universe and the Arrow of Time” and will be presented by Professor Sean Carroll on October 19, 6 p.m. in Leacock 132.
Beginning in 2003, I worked with Stephen McIntyre to replicate a famous result in paleoclimatology known as the Hockey Stick graph. Developed by a U.S. climatologist named Michael Mann, it was a statistical compilation of tree ring data supposedly proving that air temperatures had been stable for 900 years, then soared off the charts in the 20th century. Prior to the publication of the Hockey Stick, scientists had held that the medieval-era was warmer than the present, making the scale of 20th century global warming seem relatively unimportant. The dramatic revision to this view occasioned by the Hockey Stick’s publication made it the poster child of the global warming movement.
It was featured prominently in a 2001 report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as government websites and countless review reports. Steve and I showed that the mathematics behind the Mann Hockey Stick were badly flawed, such that its shape was determined by suspect bristlecone tree ring data. Controversies quickly piled up: Two expert panels involving the U.S. National Academy of Sciences were asked to investigate, the U.S. Congress held a hearing, and the media followed the story around the world. The expert reports upheld all of our criticisms of the Mann Hockey Stick, both of the mathematics and of its reliance on flawed bristlecone pine data. One of the panels, however, argued that while the Mann Hockey Stick itself was flawed, a series of other studies published since 1998 had similar shapes, thus providing support for the view that the late 20th century is unusually warm. The IPCC also made this argument in its 2007 report. But the second expert panel, led by statistician Edward Wegman, pointed out that the other studies are not independent. They are written by the same small circle of authors, only the names are in different orders, and they reuse the same few data climate proxy series over and over.
Putzig and nine co-authors report findings from 358 radar observations in a paper accepted for publication by the journal Icarus and currently available online.
Their radar results provide a cross-sectional view of the north-polar layered deposits of Mars, showing that high-reflectivity zones, with multiple contrasting layers, alternate with more-homogenous zones of lower reflectivity.
Patterns of how these two types of zones alternate can be correlated to models of how changes in Mars' tilt on its axis have produced changes in the planet's climate in the past 4 million years or so, but only if some possibilities for how the layers form are ruled out.
"We're not doing the climate modeling here; we are comparing others' modeling results to what we observe with the radar, and using that comparison to constrain the possible explanations for how the layers form," Putzig said.
The most recent 300,000 years of Martian history are a period of less dramatic swings in the planet's tilt than during the preceding 600,000 years. Since the top zone of the north-polar layered deposits - the most recently deposited portion - is strongly radar-reflective, the researchers propose that such sections of high-contrast layering correspond to periods of relatively small swings in the planet's tilt.
They also propose a mechanism for how those contrasting layers would form. The observed pattern does not fit well with an earlier interpretation that the dustier layers in those zones are formed during high-tilt periods when sunshine on the polar region sublimates some of the top layer's ice and concentrates the dust left behind.
and other factors caused Africa's seasonal monsoons to shift slightly north, bringing new rains to an area nearly the size of the contiguous United States. Lush watersheds stretched across the Sahara, from Egypt to Mauritania, drawing animal life and eventually people.
Warming oceans could cause Earth's axis to tilt in the coming century, a new study suggests. The effect was previously thought to be negligible, but researchers now say the shift will be large enough that it should be taken into account when interpreting how the Earth wobbles.
The Earth spins on an axis that is tilted some 23.5° from the vertical. But this position is far from constant – the planet's axis is constantly shifting in response to changes in the distribution of mass around the Earth. "The Earth is like a spinning top, and if you put more mass on one side or other, the axis of rotation is going to shift slightly," says Felix Landerer of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
The changing climate has long been known to move Earth's axis. The planet's north pole, for example, is migrating along 79 °W – a line of longitude that runs through Toronto and Panama City – at a rate of about 10 centimetres each year as the Earth rebounds from ice sheets that once weighed down large swaths of North America, Europe, and Asia.
The influx of fresh water from shrinking ice sheets also causes the planet to pitch over. Landerer and colleagues estimate that the melting of Greenland's ice is already causing Earth's axis to tilt at an annual rate of about 2.6 centimetres – and that rate may increase significantly in the coming years.
Now, they calculate that oceans warmed by the rise in greenhouse gases can also cause the Earth to tilt – a conclusion that runs counter to older models, which suggested that ocean expansion would not create a large shift in the distribution of the Earth's mass.
Tracking sea levels
The researchers modelled the changes that would occur if moderate projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a doubling of carbon dioxide levels between 2000 and 2100 – were to become reality.
The team found that as the oceans warm and expand, more water will be pushed up and onto the Earth's shallower ocean shelves. Over the next century, the subtle effect is expected to cause the northern pole of Earth's spin axis to shift by roughly 1.5 centimetres per year in the direction of Alaska and Hawaii.
The effect is relatively small. "The pole's not going to drift away in a crazy manner," Landerer notes, adding that it shouldn't induce any unfortunate feedback in Earth's climate.
But he says the motion is strong enough that it needs to be taken into account when interpreting shifts in Earth's axis. Tracking the motion of the poles could help place limits on the total amount of sea level rise over decades.
"The oceans take up at least 80 per cent of the heat that is added from greenhouse gases," Landerer told New Scientist. "They have a huge heat capacity, so this effect is going to be there for quite a bit."
Maik Thomas of the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, who was not affiliated with the study, says the new work overturns previous ideas. "Up to now, people had believed that height variations [from ocean temperature changes] gave no contribution to polar motion," he told New Scientist. "This is an effect that now has to be considered."
But Thomas notes that polar motion is unlikely to yield a good measurement of sea level rise, whose signal may be difficult to disentangle from a host of other factors that contribute to changes in Earth's tilt, from movements in Earth's crust and mantle to the periodic effects of El Niño, an oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system in the Pacific.
And climate change can also affect the Earth's spin. Previously, Landerer and colleagues showed that global warming would cause Earth's mass to be redistributed towards higher latitudes. Since that pulls mass closer to the planet's spin axis, it causes the planet to rotate faster – just as an ice skater spins faster when she pulls her arms towards her body.