Thursday, December 8, 2011

MONUMENTAL DISCOVERIES & EXTRATERRESTRIAL MEMES: Water on Planet Mars - Opportunity Rover Finds Gypsum, 'Slam-Dunk' Evidence That Water Once Flowed On The Red Planet!

This week surely has been an historic one for scientific discoveries. First, NASA's Kepler telescope found a planet 600 light years away, orbiting its parent star in the nominal "habitable zone;" another step closer to finding Earth-like worlds and possibly extraterrestrials. In addition 18 new Jupiter-like planets were identified orbiting massive stars, the largest single announcement of planets in orbit around stars more massive than the sun. Then, astronomers discovered black holes, 10 billion times the mass our sun's mass, a find that could eventually rewrite the history and evolution of galaxies and universes. Several months ago, Vyacheslav I. Dokuchaev, a physicist in Russia, postulated that aliens could conceivably live on planets illuminated by swirling mass of photons orbiting the singularity of special type of black hole. In other words, these beings could exist on celestial bodies inside black holes feeding off the light and heat of the orbiting photos, as well as the energy of the black hole's singularity. In the midst of all the excitement, NASA's Voyager 1 has just entered a new region of space between our Solar System and instellar space. Unchartered territory that provide us with even more information, as it travels towards interstellar space at 11 miles per second.

Now, comes concrete evidence from NASA's Opportunity Rover of water on planet Mars. A discovery, supporting the theory that the planet once had abundant water in its history;  and the requisite gravity and atmosphere to generate and maintain life.

This color view of a mineral vein called "Homestake" comes from the panoramic
camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. (NASA)
NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity has found what scientists believe is the most convincing evidence to date that water may have flowed on the Red Planet. The rover, which has been crawling along the Martian surface for 90 months, found what appears to be veins of the mineral gypsum, a hydrated calcium sulfate that on Earth is used to make drywall. "This tells a slam-dunk story that water flowed through underground fractures in the rock," Steve Squyres, a planetary scientist at Cornell University and the principal investigator for Opportunity said in a NASA statement. "This stuff is a fairly pure chemical deposit that formed in place right where we see it. That can't be said for other gypsum seen on Mars or for other water-related minerals Opportunity has found. It's not uncommon on Earth, but on Mars, it's the kind of thing that makes geologists jump out of their chairs." According to NASA, the rover found several similar veins on the rim of the Endeavour crater, but scientists have homed in on a 16 to 20 inch-long strip about as wide as a thumb that they've nicknamed "homestake."

The Opportunity has traveled 20 miles since it arrived on Mars in 2004, but this is the first time it has observed a mineral deposit like this. "This is the single most powerful piece of evidence that water once flowed on Mars that has been discovered," Squyres said, according to Wired. "There's no ambiguity about this." Squyres spoke to reporters at the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting in San Francisco on Wednesday. This isn't the first mineral evidence that water may have flowed on Mars, but Squires told the BBC that this gypsum deposit may indicate a less-acidic water supportive of microbial life. "The other waters ... were probably very acidic - pH of five, four, three. Gypsum doesn't require that, and so this may hint at a kinder, gentler chemistry of the water for life," Squyres told BBC News. The solar-powered rover is currently preparing for its fifth winter, exploring areas around the crater where it will be exposed to sunlight. Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, reached opposite sides of Mars in 2004, but NASA lost contact with Spirit in 2010. In August, Opportunity finished a nearly three-year, 13-mile trek to reach the Endeavour crater. In November, NASA's Curiosity, a $2.5 billion, nuclear-powered rover the size of a car, launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Mars Science Laboratory, as it's called, is currently on a 354 million-mile trek to the red planet and should arrive in August of 2012. - Huffington Post.

Several weeks ago, Andrey Finkelstein, the Director of the Institute of Applied Astronomy declared in an interview with RT that alien life inevitably exists due to universal laws and we'll soon discover it. Finkelstein, also indicated that humanity will discover that aliens are likely to look much like humans.

WATCH: RT's interview with Finkelstein.

WORLD WAR III: Countdown to Armageddon - British Report Indicates That Israel Is Preparing A 'Christmas Surprise' for Iran! UPDATE: Iran Airs Footage of Captured Drone With Plans to Reverse Engineer It! UPDATE: Obama Says Considering All Options on Iran!

With an International Atomic Energy Agency report to be issued this week that will state, officials said Wednesday, that Iran is clearly working towards developing a nuclear weapons program, speculation has turned to possible military actions by Israel or other western countries to prevent Tehran from getting “the bomb.”

On Thursday, the British Daily Mail newspaper said that an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities could come as soon as December 25, the day the Christian world celebrates Christmas. The paper quoted a senior Foreign Office official as saying that “‘We’re expecting something as early as Christmas, or very early in the new year.” Israel, the official said, would not wait for Western approval for such an attack, if it felt that Iran was truly at the point of no return.The officials said that the U.S. would most likely support Israel, given that President Barack H. Obama is desperate not to lose Jewish support in next year's presidential election.

Reports last week said that the U.S. was gearing up its own plans to militarily halt Iran's nuclear program, and that Britain was cooperating. The Foreign Office official did not confirm that report in his remarks Thursday, but did say that “of course we are not in favor of Iran developing a bomb.” With that, he said, Britain did not believe that Iran would use a bomb, even if they did develop a one. “The bigger concern is it will be impossible to stop Saudi Arabia and Turkey from developing their own weapons,” the source added. A Christmas attack by Israel would be reminiscent of the famous Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War, a turning point for the colonies of what is now the United States in achieving independence from their British overlords. George Washington, along with rebel troops, crossed the Delaware River to stage a surprise attack on Royalist soldiers in Trenton, New Jersey, on December 25, 1776. The Americans captured 1,000 prisoners of war, killed 22 Royalist troops and injured 98. Only three Americans were killed in the battle. Considering that Iran does not celebrate Christmas, however, it was unclear why that date would be preferred by Israel for an attack against the Shi'ite Muslim country, and the Daily Mail story did not address this point. - Israel National News.
UPDATE: Iran Airs Footage of Captured Drone With Plans to Reverse Engineer It!

Meanwhile, Iranian TV has shown the first video footage of an advanced US drone aircraft that Tehran says it downed near the Afghan border.
Iranian state television broadcast images this morning of what they purport to be a downed U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel drone. The host on the program said the Iranians "hacked into the signal" and landed the drone, which explains why it looks to be in pristine condition. The television host added that Iran is beginning to reverse engineer the stealth drone. The Pentagon did not immediately have comment on the footage. - Business Insider.
WATCH: BBC reports on the growing crisis.

UPDATE: Obama Says Considering All Options on Iran.
President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States was considering all options on Iran and would work with allies, including Israel, to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. On Iran, Obama said: "No options off the table means I'm considering all options." - Reuters.

Thanks to Jacqui Chasson for contributing to this post.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Poses Explosive Peril

Kilauea, the sleepy Hawaiian volcano famed for its quiet lava flows, could awaken into violent explosive eruptions at any time, geologists on the Big Island warn.

Researchers at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory - where 5,000 mainland visitors a day come to see the lava - have uncovered detailed evidence that during three long periods over the past 2,500 years, the summit of the shaking mountain has blasted out fiery rocks, steam and carbon dioxide again and again. It's bound to happen again, but the scientists say they can't predict when. Donald Swanson of the U.S. Geological Survey and director of the observatory, along with his colleagues, are reporting on their research into the volcano's intermittent activity this week at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco's Moscone Center.

"Our research shows that Kilauea is a dangerous explosive volcano for long periods of time, alternating with periods dominated by gentle lava flows," Swanson said during a briefing for reporters. Continuous and often spectacularly scenic lava flows, interrupted only occasionally by modest explosive eruptions, have marked the volcano's activity for the past 200 years, but the 300 years before that saw one explosive eruption after another, he said. Swanson and his colleagues have just completed a fresh look at Kilauea's worst eruption in history, which killed uncounted numbers of Hawaiian people in November 1790. They described what's known about that eruption in a poster presentation for the meeting here. According to sketchy accounts in local folklore, and a missionary's description from 1843, the volcano's summit exploded as a local chief named Keôua led three groups of warriors and their families across the summit on their way to battle King Kamehameha, Keôua's cousin, for supremacy over the island. One of the three groups was annihilated, there were casualties in another, and the third suffered only a few injuries. Remains of the bodies found afterward suggests that a dilute mixture of hot gas and volcanic ash moving at hurricane speed engulfed the victims, Swanson said. Keôua survived, but Kamehameha later won the battle and went on to unite all the islands under his reign, according to Swanson and his colleagues at the University of Hawaii.

The geologic record shows that Kilauea's activity has been marked by a period dominated by frequent lava flows from about 2,500 to 2,200 years ago, followed by a long period of explosive eruptions that continued for about the next 1,200 years; then another 500 years of lava flows, followed by about 300 years of eruptions, and then by more lava flows that continue today. More than 100 radiocarbon observations, based on charcoal from the mountain's burned vegetation, have established the dates, Swanson said. The lava flows are building up the volcano's summit now, he said, and each period of violent eruptions creates and deepens the volcano's circular crater, called the caldera. When even a small eruption is about to occur, he said, the bottom of the caldera sinks slightly. So its level is recorded daily as a possible sign that an eruption is due. "The good news is that we are currently in a period of frequent lava flows, and the hazard of explosive eruptions is small," Swanson said. "The bad news is that we don't know when the next period of deep caldera and explosive eruptions will start. We know too little to estimate recurrence intervals." The Geophysical Union meeting continues through Friday. - SF Gate.
WATCH: A smouldering reminder of nature's power.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONTAGION: Eurozone Crisis - Billionaire Investor Jim Rogers Says Collapse Will Lead To End Of The World As We Know It! UPDATE: France's President Nicolas Sarkozy Warns Europe Risks Disintegration!

Billionaire investor Jim Rogers in a recent interview on Glenn Beck's television network (GBTV), forecasts in a dire warning "that the Eurozone collapse will lead to the end of the world as we know it".

“Jim, economic collapse with the euro: will that lead to a recession?” asks Glenn Beck. “That will lead to the end of the world as we know it,” answers Jim Rogers, founder of Rogers International Commodities Index. “That will certainly lead to the end of the world as Washington D.C. knows it. There’s no question about that.” But who is Jim Rogers and what does he know about the global financial situation? For those unfamiliar with Beck’s guest, Jim Rogers is a famous American investor who, along with George Soros, founded the Quantum Fund, one of the world’s first international funds. Also, as mentioned above, he is the creator of the Rogers International Commodities Index. He is a well-known proponent of free market capitalism, a successful author, a regular lecturer of finance at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and he has been a regular guest on Fox News’ “Cavuto on Business.” Needless to say, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to finances and he has repeatedly proven his keen market sense.

“We do live in very perilous times and I hope you’re very careful and I hope you’re prepared,” Rogers said in regards to the growing financial meltdown. The conversation then turned to the topic of gold and the importance the precious metal may play in the near future. “Everybody knows what that [gold] is. You’ll be able to sell it, barter it you have to, if it gets this bad,” said Rogers. But what could create conditions bad enough to force someone to have to barter gold? A total financial collapse. Beck asked Rogers to explain difference between a recession, a depression, and the much-feared total collapse. “Well, a recession is when your neighbor loses his job and a depression is when you lose your job. And collapse is when nobody has a job and there are people foraging in the streets; happened in Argentina 10 years ago, happened in Germany in the early 20s—“ “But it’ll never happen here. This is the United States of America!” Beck interjected. At that point, for both the host and the guest, trying to keep a straight face became an exercise in futility. - The Blaze.
WATCH: Glenn Beck interviews Jim Rogers.

Read more HERE.

UPDATE: France's Sarkozy Warns Europe Risks Disintegration!

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned that "never has the risk of disintegration been greater" for Europe.

WATCH: Sarkozy in a speech in Marseille.

THE AGE OF OBAMA: Monumental Earth Changes - 2011 Saw Record Number of High-Cost Weather Disasters! Extreme Weather: The New Normal - Floods, Landslides, Fire, Drought, Wildfires, Earthquakes, Volcanoes,...

The United States had a dozen weather disasters that each caused at least $1 billion in damages in 2011, the greatest frequency of severe weather that caused costly losses in more than 30 years of federal government tracking.

However, even with the number of events, the total losses this year from the storms, flooding and droughts is $52 billion, not even close to the most expensive year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina alone cost $145 billion in today's dollars. It was the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history and, with more than 1,800 deaths, the highest fatality toll since a 1928 hurricane in south Florida. The disasters in 2011 caused more than 600 deaths, the agency said. The Groundhog Day blizzard, Hurricane Irene, many tornadoes and drought-fueled wildfires in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona crossed the $1-billion threshold. The increase in losses from hurricanes has more to do with population growth and increased home building near beaches than it does with climate change, scientists from NOAA say.

But, they added, "there is evidence that climate change may affect the frequency of certain extreme weather events. An increase in population and development in flood plains, along with an increase in heavy rain events in the U.S. during the past 50 years, have gradually increased the economic losses due to flooding. If the climate continues to warm, the increase in heavy rain events is likely to continue. There are projections that the incidence of extreme droughts will increase if the climate warms throughout the 21st century." About 343 tornadoes in 13 states in late April was the most costly disaster, with total losses greater than $10.2 billion and insured losses of $7.3 billion. Tuscaloosa, Ala., was badly hit, and 240 of the 321 deaths were in Alabama. Close behind was a drought and heat wave across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, southern Kansas and western Louisiana. The total direct losses to crops, livestock and timber have approached $10 billion; both direct and total economic losses will rise as the drought continues. The weather fueled wildfires across Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, with losses over $1 billion from just the fires. Hurricane Irene cost more than $7.3 billion in damages and resulted in 45 deaths. The Joplin tornado in Missouri was the deadliest single tornado in 61 years, with 160 deaths. That tornado, along with 179 others across 15 states in late May, cost $9.1 billion, with $6.5 billion in insured losses. - LA Times.
Global mean temperatures this year might not have scaled the record-equaling heights of 2010, but it's been another tumultuous 12 months.

According to the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) provisional status report, issued at the United Nations climate talks in Durban, 2011 was the 10th warmest year on record and warmer than any other year with a La Nina event. La Nina -- an opposite weather pattern to El Nino which cools surface waters in the eastern and central Pacific -- occurs two to three times a decade on average, says climatologist and scientific coordinator of the WMO statement Blair Trewin. This most recent one -- which started in the second half of 2010 and continued until May this year -- has been one of the strongest in the past 60 years, says the WMO, and was "closely associated" with many of the regional weather events that have dominated the headlines throughout the year. January saw floods in northeast Australia -- the worst in Queensland's capital, Brisbane since 1974 -- and deadly landslides caused by a deluge of rain in Brazil. The appalling disaster in a mountainous region around 60 kilometers north of Rio de Janeiro claimed at least 900 lives, according to the WMO, making it the single most deadly weather event of the year. Heavy rains also caused many regions of the world to flood in 2011 including parts of southern Africa, Central America and southern states of Europe. But is was major flooding in Southeast Asia that dominated the news as the year came to a close, wiping out more than 650 lives in Thailand, and dozens more in neighboring Myanmar and Cambodia.

solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming...
Michel Jarraud, WMO secretary-general. Rainfall during June to September's monsoon season in northern and central Thailand was up to 80% higher than the seasonal average, says the WMO. The situation came to a head in October as already inundated natural waterways combined with high tides to swamp the Thai capital Bangkok. Among the other more notable extremes of weather in 2011, says Trewin, were the huge weather disparities experienced in the U.S. The WMO reported 14 separate climate events this year in the U.S. which they estimate caused losses upwards of $1 billion. Heavy snow fell across southern and Midwestern states -- including Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri in February. April and May played host to one of the most active tornado seasons on record, according to the WMO, and the Mississippi River suffered its worst floods in nearly 80 years. But 600 miles west in Texas a drought was taking hold and wildfires raged. Summer temperatures in the Lone Star State averaged 30.4 degrees Celsius (86.7 degrees Fahrenheit) -- 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the long-term average, according to the WMO and the highest-ever recorded in any American state.

All the while, many northeastern states and parts of southern Canada were experiencing their wettest year on record -- the most severe flooding coming in the wake of Hurricane Irene in late August and Tropical Storm Lee which followed quickly on her heels. Elsewhere, the Horn of Africa endured a terrible drought which put up to 12 million people at risk of starvation until October's rains eased the threat. But such was their intensity -- Wajir, northeast Kenya received more rain in six weeks (402 millimeters) than the annual average -- it led to crop damage, says the WMO. The general warming trend -- 13 of the warmest years have occurred in the 15 years since 1997 -- was highlighted by summer sea ice melt in the Arctic. The WMO reported that the seasonal minimum, reached on September 9, was 35% below the 1979-2000 average and the second-lowest on record with both the Northwest and Northeast passages ice free for periods during the summer. "Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming ..." WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud said on publication of the provisional report. Human activities are to blame, Jarraud says, and temperatures are "rapidly approaching" a level which scientists believe could kick-start "far-reaching and irreversible" climate change. Final figures for 2011's weather will be published by the WMO in March next year. - CNN.
An environmental group will unveil an interactive tool that highlights weather records set in Maine this year. The Natural Resources Defense Council says nearly 35 extreme weather records were broken in the state in 2011. The nonprofit says those records will be detailed for the first time Thursday with a new interactive mapping tool and year-end review. A corresponding national analysis includes state-by-state figures on extreme weather in 2011, detailing record-breaking temperatures, rainfall and snowfall in each state. The council says this year the country has had unparalleled weather extremes whose impacts cost more than $50 billion. - The Republic.
WATCH: 2011, Worst Year in History for Natural Disasters.

ICE AGE NOW: THE BIG FREEZE RED ALERT: Met Office Issues Highest Warning for Scotland, Arctic Conditions Leave Britain Shivering as Gales and Blizzards Sweep in!

It may have left its arrival a little late, but winter has well and truly arrived and is about to make up for lost time. Arctic blizzards of up to 80mph are set to batter the country in the days ahead, with significant levels of snowfall expected causing misery to millions.

However, Britain's only polar bear, 58 stone Walker, was making the most of the conditions today at his wildlife park home in Scotland. Walker was celebrating his third birthday at the Highland Wildlife Park after snow coated his enclosure. This time last year, swathes of the country had already been covered in thick snow, causing hundreds of schools to be closed, flights delayed and widespread chaos on the roads – and forecasters are now warning of a potential repeat as conditions will only get worse as the week goes on. Also, trouble is set for Scotland with the Met Office issuing its highest red-alert warning for winds of at least 75mph tomorrow. Forecaster Jonathan Powell, from Positive Weather Solutions, said: ‘This is England’s first real blast of winter, with snow and strong winds expected to produce blizzards and hazardous driving conditions. Disruption is expected.’ A continuing drop in temperatures means up to 4in of snow could fall as far south as Birmingham tomorrow night, while high winds are expected to hit the length of the east coast. A spokesman said travel conditions will be ‘extremely poor’ tomorrow and motorists could face ‘significant delays’ between 3pm and 6pm tomorrow. Gusts are expected to reach 90mph during afternoon rush hour in the Borders, Strathclyde, Tayside, Fife, the Lothians and central and south west Scotland. Fife Police said travellers should expect the Forth and Tay road bridges to be closed to traffic. The force said high winds could further disrupt roads, with fallen trees and other debris. Forecasters said rain showers in the afternoon will turn into snow by the evening. - Daily Mail.
Residents across parts of Scotland are being warned to take action as “dangerous” stormy weather with gusts of up to 90mph will hit the country. The Met Office warned of severe weather and gale-force winds on Thursday, as overnight snow on Wednesday closed roads and affected transport to schools in Aberdeenshire as the wintry weather continues. Red warnings – the highest level of Met Office alerts – were issued for wind in the Strathclyde, central belt, Tayside, Lothians and Borders areas. Stirling Council has also taken the decision to close all primary schools, nurseries and high schools at 12.30pm on Thursday. East Renfrewshire also said its schools would close from 1pm on Thursday. North Ayrshire issued a recomendation for parents to “keep children at home” and said its schools would be closing early. North Lanarkshire said it was “likely” its schools will close early if the “red alert” remained in place. South Lanarkshire said it would make a decision on early closing mid-morning. The warnings have been described as “highly unusual” by Transport Scotland, which is urging people to pay attention to police travel warnings. Police advise that conditions for travel between 3pm and 6pm on Thursday are likely to be extremely poor and significant delays should be expected. The Scottish Government said the wind could lead to all main road bridges being closed and will have a severe impact on Thursday’s rush hour, while disruption to power supplies and property is also a strong possibility. Meanwhile, ScotRail said speed restrictions of 50mph could be put in place tomorrow on trains travelling after 10am. - STV.
WATCH: UK on alert for damaging winds.

Police have told people in Scotland not to travel, as severe winds of up to 165mph are battering the country, leaving thousands without power.

WATCH: Scotland storm blackout hitting thousands.

WATCH: 'Major problem' for commuters in Scottish storm.

WATCH: Scotland battered by worst storm for 10 years.

EARTH CHANGES: Natural Disaster in China Would Severely Disrupt Global Supply Chains!

A natural catastrophe in China on the scale of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami would have an even more severe impact on supply chains, given China’s critical role in global manufacturing.

That is according to a study commissioned by global business property insurer FM Global. The FM Global Supply Chain Risk Study surveyed 100 financial executives at large multinational corporations based in North America. It shows there is significant concern among companies for the potential of natural disaster-related supply chain disruptions in China, along with a growing acceptance that firms must be more diligent in addressing their exposures in the region. China is exposed to significant natural threats, including earthquakes, windstorms, floods and tsunamis. The FM Global study underscores the fact that supply chains in the region are more likely to face business disruption by a natural disaster, particularly because China has not yet fully embraced many of the risk management practices followed in Europe and the United States. “A secure and resilient supply chain creates a competitive advantage,” says Ken Davey, senior vice president, FM Global. “Delivering products and services when others can’t results in satisfied customers and opportunities to secure new ones. A fragile supply chain is clearly a competitive disadvantage if a disruption occurs.”

The FM Global research uncovered the following: Twice as many companies surveyed (86 percent versus 43 percent) say they are more reliant on China as part of their supply chain for their key product lines than they are on Japan; Eighty-three percent of companies surveyed consider supply chain disruption a moderate to great risk; Ninety-five percent of companies reliant on China for their supply chain are concerned about natural disaster-related disruptions; Sixty-five percent of companies surveyed are considering “increasing collaboration with suppliers on mitigating risk at their locations.” Vinod Singhal, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Management, said the results should be a “wake-up call” for companies that depend heavily upon supply chains in China. “A natural disaster-related supply chain disruption in China would have far-reaching and long-lasting negative economic impact. It would slow down the global economy because China is not only a major exporter of goods, but also a major importer of goods. It would cause shortages in many consumer and industrial products that could lead to inflation and devastate the share price of companies,” Singhal said.

The findings point to how interdependent risks can have severe financial consequences in global supply chains, according to Dr. Howard Kunreuther, of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Firms need to undertake proactive measures, such as finding several sources of supply so that they are not dependent on one company that may be adversely affected by a natural disaster. There needs to be a realization that the process of developing a resilient supply chain takes time,” Kunreuther said. Rhode Island-based FM Global recommends businesses ask four questions when looking at their organization’s resiliency, especially when it has, or could have, a critical reliance in emerging markets such as China: Does your senior management view resiliency as a competitive advantage and has it made the necessary commitment to addressing supply chain risk? Has your organization examined how it can mitigate risk within its product design and manufacturing processes? How well does your company collaborate with its suppliers to assess and mitigate risk? Does your corporation have appropriate business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place for supply chain disruptions in emerging markets, such as China? - Insurance Journal.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive 18-Acre Landslide Forces Closure of Camping Area in the Tillamook State Forest, in Oregon - Causes Stream to Reverse Course!

A landslide has forced Oregon Department of Forestry officials to close a camping area along Ben Smith Creek in the Tillamook State Forest.

The slide has created the potential for flooded trails and camping sites. The 18-acre slide dumped trees, earth and rocks into the stream and caused it to change course, creating the potential for a large debris flow down Ben Smith Creek into the Wilson River. The creek runs into the Wilson just above where Oregon Highway 6 crosses the river at Lee’s Camp about 25 miles east of Tillamook. Department geotechnical specialists have determined that the slide does not pose a risk to those driving on Highway 6 or to homes along the Wilson River.

Some trails on Ben Smith Creek have been closed by the Department of Forestry because of the potential for trail washouts and debris flows. Signs have been posted at trailheads to warn about the safety concerns. The upside is that wood that washes into the creek will create habitat for fish, officials said. “These actions are part of a natural process always at work in northwest Oregon forests,” said Mike Buren, a geotechnical specialist with the department. “These changes are going on in the forest undetected by most people, especially in fall and winter.” The Department of Forestry will monitor the slide area through the winter and spring. - Statesman Journal.

EXTREME EARTH CHANGES: Severe Weather Grounds Thousands of Passengers in Perth, and Wrecks Widespread Havoc With Over 12,000 Homes Without Power!

Extreme weather conditions have left thousands of passengers stranded at Perth Domestic Airport and 12,000 homes across Western Australia without power.

Passengers stranded at Perth.
At the domestic terminal, Qantas planes have been grounded since mid-morning yesterday as storm activity made conditions dangerous for flying. Perth Airport yesterday afternoon advised 17 aircraft were waiting to be allocated into bays at the domestic terminal, with airline staff unable to service the planes due to safety concerns. It is understood Virgin had grounded all flights out of Perth since yesterday morning. Perth Glory's match against Sydney FC in Campbelltown tonight has been postponed after the team's flight was also cancelled because of the weather. Glory was scheduled to fly yesterday, but thunderstorms across the city meant the club's arranged flight could not get off the ground. Stranded commuters took to Twitter to vent their frustration, with reports of planes stuck on the tarmac waiting to be moved. “‘In my 30 years of flying experience I’ve never before seen chaos like this,’ said the captain whilst waiting on the tarmac at Perth Airport!” tweeted Timcorr. “Nothing in or out of #perth airport as the storm gets worse,” added MattyTrent. Passengers said food vouchers were being handed out to help compensate for the delays.

More than 12,000 homes across the state have experienced power outages as a result of yesterday's storm, with Perth's southern suburbs the hardest hit. A Western power spokeswoman said 4,800 homes lost power in Forrestfield after power lines at a railway freight yard near Dundas Rd were brought down. About 2000 homes in Kardinya were affected after a nearby power fault, while a lightning strike in nearby Murdoch cut power to 1,660 properties. By late afternoon, Western Power crews had restored electricity to more than 7,000 homes across WA. 4500 homes remained without power as of 4pm (WST) yesterday, with most in Murdoch after a lightning strike affected several powerlines on Murdoch Dr. About 1000 homes in isolated pockets of the Wheatbelt region remain without power. Regional areas also bore the brunt of the storm, with about 1500 properties losing power in an wide-ranging area from Bunbury to Jurien Bay. Quairading was the hardest rural area hit, with 725 homes losing power when a lightning strike caused a bushfire in the area.

Main Roads reported several traffic light outages across Perth as the storm affected power supply to a number of areas. Intersections with traffic lights down as of mid-afternoon included: - South St and Gilbertson Rd, Kardinya - Farrington Rd and North Lake Rd, North Lake - Roe Hwy and Berkshire Rd, Forrestfield - Mirrabooka Ave and Marangaroo Dr, Girrawheen. Emergency roadworks were also affecting traffic flow on Thomas St northbound, near Railway Pde and Loftus St in West Perth, with traffic building up in the area this afternoon. Motorists were urged to exercise caution in affected areas. - News Australia.
WATCH: Passengers stranded in Perth.

Plenty of rain and thunderstorms activities are continuing in many parts of Australia. A tropical cyclone is occurring near north west of Western Australia which will be moving towards Western Australia this weekend.

WATCH: Australian Weather Update.

Meanwhile, a scathing report has savaged the state's emergency services' response to Victoria's devastating floods. The document, written by a former Police Chief Commissioner, praises the bravery of individual emergency workers but recommends a major overhaul of government policy.

WATCH: Flood findings.

MYSTERY: Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Around The World?!

Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.

A stunning UFO film capture of an object moving across the Ural Mountains in Russia. There is no indication of when this was recorded.

WATCH: UFO over Ural Mountains.

Numerous sightings of unidentified flying objects in the night skies above Melbourne in Australia. This was recorded on Wednesday, the 7th of December, 2011.

WATCH: UFO over Melbourne.

A visual capture of a large UFO over Misty Mountain by the UFO Hot Spot Event Report.

WATCH: Large UFO in the daylight.

A silent and dark UFO was filmed flying low over an urban area. Location and time are unknown.


The following video comes out of Khazakstan, featuring a live television crew from Channel 31 reporting on a large UFO over Almaty. There is no indication of when the film was taken and why the transmission was cut abruptly.

WATCH: UFO over Khazakstan.

EXTREME EARTH CHANGES: Weather Anomalies - Yukon Wild Storm Breaks Weather Records, Warmest December Day Ever for Kluane Lake, Record Snowfall in Other Areas!

Monday’s storm in Yukon broke a variety of weather records around the territory.

High winds and rain sent temperatures up to 14 degrees in Burwash Landing. It was the warmest December day ever for the community on the shores of Kluane Lake. The community of Haines Junction got the same temperatures, along with some gale-force winds in excess of 100 kilometres per hour. Haines Junction resident Amy McKinnon says it made a mess of some yards in town. “Yeah, it was really warm. We woke up to quite a windstorm as well, so there were stories about damaged roofs, trampolines that took flight, tents that ended up in the bush, downed trees all over town, power outages and I heard the winds peaked at over 114 kilometres per hour. So a little more excitement than we wanted,” said McKinnon. Then a cold front sent temperatures plummeting and produced record snowfalls in some areas.

Temperature records were also set in Whitehorse, with four consecutive days above the December averages. Doug Lundquist, Environment Canada’s Yukon meteorologist, says warm temperatures combined with open water in the Southern Lakes area was likely responsible for the strong blizzards around Whitehorse. “We hit, for example, 6.9 [degrees Celsius], there were record high temperatures for the day, Burwash hit a record with Haines Junction even higher at 14.3 [degrees] - not quite enough to break the monthly record but it broke the daily record. It was nuts,” said Lundquist. Highway crews in and around Whitehorse have managed to clear most roads in the region. City busses are reported to be on schedule, and there’s been no problems with school busses. Weather forecasters say temperatures should stay at more normal levels over the next few days with another possible storm later this week. If that forecast holds, they say it will likely only affect areas closest to the British Columbia border. - CBC.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.1 Earthquakes Rocks and Rattles Atacama Desert Region of Northern Chile, South America!

A strong earthquake of 6.1 grades affected some localities on the north of Chile and caused panic among the inhabitants. The local newspapers informed that a lot of people where in the shopping malls and escaped to open places, thinking that it was a stronger earthquake.

The shallow magnitude 6.1 earthquake  occurred along the northern Chile coast at Atacama desert region at 22:23:09 UTC with epicentre 79 km (49 miles) northwest of Vallenar, Atacama, 80 km (49 miles) southwest of Copiapo, Atacama and 234 km (145 miles) north of Coquimbo,  Chile (27.884°S, 70.932°W) according to USGS. The depth at epicentre was 15.6 km (9.7 miles). Universidad de Chile is reporting a magnitude of 5.8 at a depth of 24.4 km. The University of Chile did report the epicentre in the ocean (approx. 30 km in the Pacific Ocean).

The epicentre is a very sparsely populated area (USGS data). Only a few villages are located in the direct epicentre area and are at risk during this earthquake.  Locations like Huasco, Copiapo and Caldera will have felt the shaking. USGS PAGER issued yellow alert for this event. (Yellow alert level for economic losses. Some damage is possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Chile. Past events with this alert level have required a local or regional level response.) The difference in epicentre location is that USGS is reporting very extreme intensity numbers : 331 people would have experienced a VIII MMI severe shaking, 925 people a very strong shaking, 4,000 people a strong shaking, 207,000 people a moderate shaking and 74,000 people a light shaking.