Thursday, December 15, 2011

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: 250 Crows Die in Hazaribagh District in India - Possibly H5N1 Influenza!

Altogether 250 crows have died in Hazaribagh district in the last 48 hours following an undiagnosed disease.

District animal husbandry officer Yamuna Prasad said the birds died at Bishnugarh and Katkumsandi blocks, and their faeces would be sent to Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bhopal and Indian Institute of Virology, Pune for tests. "After getting the reports we have deputed a team to create awareness among the villagers at every 5 km with necessary instructions like not to handle the dead crows without gloves and bury the birds immediately and using masks," he said.

According to Satya Prakash, the state coordinator of the Indian Bird Conservation Network, said tests on crow deaths in Jamshedpur and Bokaro have been found to be H5N-1. "The crows died in these two blocks due to some virus which may be the same that hit the birds in Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Ranchi during the last fortnight," he said.
- Times of India.

WORLD WAR III: Countdown to Armageddon - Iran Hides its Nuclear Secrets Underground to Foil the United States and Israeli Bombs, Plans to Display Captured Drones Publicly as the Psychological Warfare Continues And Obama Paves Way For Israel Attack With Iraq Troop Withdrawal!

Iran is to transfer its nuclear production across a series of underground and bomb-proof secret facilities as it steps up efforts to thwart an apparent Western sabotage campaign.

The senior officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Force (IRGC) charged with combating foreign infiltration told state media that parts of the nuclear program would be shifted to locations impervious to outside attack. The announcement compounds Western intelligence concerns that Iran's security forces has gone on a war footing. Intelligence officials said that the regime was moving its nuclear and ballistic assets to new locations to defend against foreign saboteurs and the threat of direct military action. Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, the IRGC commander, said that Iran had already reduced to "minimal" the vulnerability of its nuclear program. Reports in the state media quoting Brig Jalali said new locations would be established to house the nuclear program. "Our vulnerability in the nuclear field is minimal," Brig Jalali told Mehr news agency. "If Americans and Israelis were able to attack and harm our nuclear facilities, they would have done so by now. If conditions require, we will move our uranium enrichment centres to safer places." Separately Western diplomats disclosed that Iran was poised to begin production of enriched uranium, which can be refined to build a nuclear bomb, at an underground facility near the holy city of Qom.

Iran was forced to reveal the existence of the mountain plant at Fordow to nuclear inspectors after it was identified by intelligence agencies two years ago. Since then its officials have hinted the country was building other clandestine facilities that have so far not been declared under its non-proliferation obligations. Weapons inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna claim that centrifuges, production systems and nuclear raw materials have been installed at the site. Reports in Vienna on Wednesday said that scientists would begin production within days. The move would mark a watershed for Iran which for the first time could produce uranium at a facility able to withstand bombing from the air. Shannon Kile, a nuclear proliferation expert at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said that secret facilities posed a far graver potential threat than Iran's existing plants, which have attracted international sanctions. By producing enriched uranium underground the regime could race to complete a nuclear warhead in buildings reinforced against attack. Israel and America maintain the option of military strikes if Iran reaches the threshold of nuclear weapons. Signs that a clandestine disruption campaign is under way have mounted in recent weeks. Iran has suffered a succession of mysterious explosions in its military-run weapons factories. Cyber attacks have also caused serious delays in the Iranian nuclear production lines. - Montreal Gazette.
Meanwhile, an Iranian newspaper claims that Tehran intercepted no less than four Israeli drones which will be showcased in an upcoming exhibition.

An Iranian exhibition will showcase four Israeli drones, the Tehran Times reported on Wednesday. According to the report, The exhibition will also display three American drones and will be open to local press and foreign ambassadors. The newspaper quoted a source saying that Iran seized the Israeli jets after they invaded Iran's aerial space on its eastern border. The US drones were apparently caught when flying over eastern and southern Iran. Last January, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander announced that his forces intercepted two spy planes in the Persian Gulf. He did not mention where the jets came from or where they were intercepted but also addressed Israel in the same statement.

The exhibition is part of Tehran's psychological warfare campaign following the interception of a US drone last week. The Islamic Republic wants to prove it can thwart any aerial infiltration attempt and prevent spying missions targeting its nuclear facilities. Last week, Iran showcased the RQ-170 US spy drone it brought down. The Iranians stressed they will study the aircraft and its radar systems. Tehran stressed it will not return the drone despite President Barack Obama's demand. The Fars news agency published a number of cartoons mocking Obama, portraying him as a petulant child. It was also reported that Russia and China asked Iran to allow their experts to inspect the drone. An Iranian official traveled to Moscow to discuss the matter. - Ynet News.
In a counter move, President Obama's movement of America's military troops from Iraq is providing the perfect strategic route for an Israeli attack on Iran.
“The country has a capable and improving capability to see the airspace, a viable system to provide command and control, but no system to defeat incoming air threats until it gets either the F-16s or ground-based systems or, optimally, some of both,” Gen. Buchanan told The Washington Times. Iraq made the first payment in September for 18 F-16s that will not arrive until next fall at the earliest. This means Israel would have a theoretical window of about 12 months if it wants to fly over Iraq unimpeded by the Iraqi air force. Retired Air ForceGen. Thomas McInerney, who advocates a U.S. strategic bombing raid to destroy Iran’s nuclear sites, agreed that Iraq’s open airspace would make it easier for an Israeli mission. “Yes, it will be,” he said. “However, it will be much easier for Iranian forces to get to Israel through Iraq via land and air.” Gen. McInerney said he thinks there is a good chance that Iran, stretched economically by Western sanctions and fearing threats from Israel, will launch a war against the Jewish state through Iraq.

“Our departing Iraq will be a huge strategic mistake,” he said of the Dec. 31 deadline for all U.S. forces to leave. Iraq’s ruling Shiite majority has historic ties to Iran’s dominant Shiite society, but Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has warned Tehran against meddling in his country’s politics. Unknown is the role of U.S. jet fighters stationed outside Iraq but within striking distance from Navy carriers in the Persian Gulf, or possibly Kuwait. “I would hope we would jump to defend Iraqi airspace,” said James Carafano, a military analyst at the Heritage Foundation. “These are the kinds of contingency plans that ought to be put in place.” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, like his predecessor, Robert M. Gates, has downplayed the impact that an airstrike might have on Iran’s quest for an atomic bomb. The Islamic republic has denied that it is trying to make a nuclear weapon. In an appearance this month at the Brookings Institution, Mr. Panetta said U.S strikes might set back the nuclear program two years and acknowledged that some Iranian targets remain elusive. “The indication is that, at best, it might postpone it maybe one, possibly two years,” said Mr. Panetta, who also has mentioned three years as a possible delay. “It depends on the ability to truly get the targets that we’re after. Frankly, some of those targets have been difficult to get at.” - Washington Times.
WATCH: Iraq invasion mastermind prepares attack on Iran.

EXTREME WEATHER: "WEATHER BOMB" Causes Chaos And Widespread Destruction Across New Zealand - Mass Evacuations After Deluge of Floods, Muds and Debris!

Parts of New Zealand were bracing for further chaos Thursday after what the government called a "weather bomb" caused destruction across the north of the South Island.

Civil Defence Minister Chris Tremain flew to the town of Nelson Thursday morning after the area was hit by floods and many communities were cut off by rains that began Wednesday. However, his aircraft was unable to land because of the weather and came within 100 meters of the ground before returning to Wellington, Fairfax News reported. "I want to assess the damage firsthand, ensure Civil Defence is appropriately responding, and identify any way that government can further assist the region to protect life and property," said Tremain in a statement before leaving Wellington. The statement said the Nelson Region had been "heavily hit by a weather bomb with rainfall of up to 320mm in a 24 hour period". More 54 slips have occurred, dozens of roads have been closed, 150 people have reportedly been evacuated, and a State of Civil Emergency was declared late Wednesday by both Nelson and the neighboring Tasman Councils. Many homes had been deluged with mud and debris, forcing their occupants to flee. No injuries had been reported, according to the emergency services.
The New Zealand Police Thursday issued a statement warning Nelson and Tasman residents that emergency services might be unable to reach them if needed. "Police also advise people to be prepared for the possibility they may need to evacuate and have raincoats, torches and essential medications ready," said the statement. Radio New Zealand reported that many dairy farmers might have to dump several days worth of milk because slips had blocked or washed away roads, stopping milk tankers from collecting it. The rain clouds were moving northwards across the North Island, causing minor flooding in the country's largest city, Auckland, and other areas, according to the WeatherWatch website. Forecasters warned of possible flash floods, slips and rockfalls. "Flash flooding happens when a usually small stream, creek or drain turns into a raging torrent within minutes and can be deadly, " WeatherWatch head weather analyst Philip Duncan said in a statement. "This is expected in isolated pockets right up the western and northern coastlines of both islands." Radio New Zealand reported Thursday that flooding and slips had closed roads in the far north of the North Island too, after 100mm of rain had fallen since Wednesday and another 60mm was still forecast. - PhilSTAR.
WATCH: Hundreds evacuated in New Zealand floods.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Lava from Kilauea Volcano's Puu Oo Vent has Reached the Ocean - First Time Since 2007, Scientists are Monitoring the Area Closely!

Lava from Kilauea Volcano's Puu Oo vent has reached the ocean at a spot scientists have named the West Kailiili Ocean Entry, the National Park Service said today.

It is the first time since 2007 that lava is entering the ocean within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Recent ocean entries have occurred outside the park to the east, through private land and areas within Hawaii County jurisdiction. This ocean entry is near the park's eastern border, the park service said. Park visitors are allowed to hike to the site, beginning at the end of Chain of Craters Road. The trek is about four miles one way, across an uneven lava flow field. Several streams of lava were pouring into the ocean today, the park service said. Visitors who stay after dark can also see channels of lava flowing down the pali and across the flow field, but conditions can change at any time. Scientists also confirmed that a lava delta is being formed at the base of a sea cliff at West Kailiili, and are monitoring the area closely. Lava deltas can collapse with little warning, produce hot rock falls inland and generate large local waves. - Star Advertiser.

A new assessment of Kilauea's activity suggests that this "quietly erupting" volcano, on Hawaii's Big Island, may simply be in a lull between violent eruptions, a killer in waiting.

"In fact, the volcano has erupted explosively about as often as Mount St. Helens," the report says, without specifying how often Mount St. Helens erupts. Discovery cites carbon dating of the old eruptions as an indication that "the volcano was explosive for 60 percent of the past 2,500 years. It just happens to be in one of its more peaceful, lava-flow stages at the moment." So peaceful, it seems, that Hawaiian authorities feel confident enough to allow the volcano's thousands of visitors each year to walk up close to the rivers of lava  oozing down the volcano’s slopes, and often into the sea. There’s even a visitor center at the summit, Discovery notes.
Don Swanson, a geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, has referred to Kilauea as a high-risk area. “Though the explosions may be smaller, there are a lot more people in the area, so the risk is very high,” he reportedly told a news conference Tuesday at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. “So we have to be very concerned." And an eruption in 1790 that killed several hundred people makes Kilauea the deadliest volcano active in the United States today, according to Discovery. When Mount St. Helens, in Washington State, erupted May 18, 1980, 57 people died and nearly 150 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing, according to the USDA website.

According to a BBC report, citing the Washington State Department of Game, "nearly 7,000 big game animals (deer, elk, and bear) perished as well as all birds and most small mammals." Swanson, meantime, has been busy gathering evidence about Kilauea’s "dark side," Discovery reports. In a TV interview earlier this year, Swanson said: “The most dangerous part of the explosions is something that is probably least known to people, and that is fact that they can produce clouds that are a mixture of hot ash and gases that can move horizontally across the ground surface at very rapid speeds—hurricane velocity.” Swanson said he was certain that this kind of surge will happen again, though he suggests that it may likely be "preceded by a dramatic sinking of the crater at the volcano’s summit, which would unfold over the course of several days — providing time to evacuate. Only there could be no going back for centuries."
- Global Post.
WATCH: A smouldering reminder of nature's power.

WATCH: Dr. Don Swanson talks about Kilauea.

EXTREME WEATHER: Mexican Farmers Despair Over Record Drought - The Worst Drought in 70 Years, Thousands of Cattle Dead and Over Two Million Acres Destroyed!

Dust blows across once fertile fields in north Mexico, where the worst drought in 70 years has left thousands of cattle dead and destroyed more than two million acres (almost one million hectares) of crops.

"It practically hasn't rained this year," said Ernesto Ruiz, a farmer in Satevo, in the border state of Chihuahua. "It's sad to see the land like this," Ruiz added, observing the remains of his corn and sorghum fields. Dry conditions have affected 1.7 million head of cattle, including 50,000 that have died, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Northern states are suffering the most and seeing record levels of drought, including Chihuahua, neighboring Durango and the northwestern Baja California peninsula, along with their neighbors in the southwest United States. Mexican meteorological services say the nine worst-affected states represent almost half the country. Southern areas have meanwhile recorded some of their wettest periods on record this year. The start of winter brought cold temperatures but no sign of rain in many northern areas. Rainfall could be up to 80 percent less than usual in some areas through the winter, according to the Environment Ministry. The dire predictions provoked dismay, including among farmers who rely on sophisticated irrigation systems, such as Ever Mendoza.

Mendoza said that a river which once reached the same width as his fields was now reduced to little more than a trickle. His water reserves were nearly empty and his few remaining crops were low. "Normally it should grow this high every 22 days after sowing," Mendoza demonstrated with his hand. After a month and a half, the crops were still far below target, he said. Rural development officer Jose Granillo Vazquez estimated that 70-80,000 families in Chihuahua could be seriously affected by the drought. "The smaller the farmer, the fewer the resources they will have to confront a risk like this," Vazquez said. The government is offering subsidies to small-scale farmers to help them survive, as well as sending water to remote villages. Authorities say they have already paid out more than two billion pesos (around 160 million dollars) in insurance and direct aid. Many have yet to receive help. In the northern state of Durango, the drought has also affected drinking water supplies in around 200 communities and authorities are urging the federal government to declare a state of emergency. Many farmers fear they will have to wait until the start of the rainy season next June for rain -- if it comes. "If there's no water, nothing is going to grow," Mendoza said. - Terra Daily.

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.

Residents in Cowley County are still talking about a mystery craft, seen being towed down US 77 Monday. Sitting inside Lindly's Appliance Store, Kammi Root is used to seeing large machinery towed down US 77. But what she saw Monday afternoon is something she won't soon forget. "There was this funny sphere that went through on this big trailer and my first thought was, 'That looks like a UFO,'" said Root. So what in the world was it? Undersheriff Bill Mueller says it was an experimental aircraft from Northrop Grumman, possibly a new unmanned drone. It still has a ways to go. Its final destination is Maryland. - KSN.
UFO On flatbed truck spooks Cowley County residents.

UFO or Fireball over Japan. Specific location and time are unknown.

UFOs over Japan. Specific location and time are unknown.

UFOs flying over the night sky in South Florida. Specific location and time are unknown.

UFO zips by airplane at airport. Specific location and time are unknown.

Strange bright object recorded over Cape Coral in Florida on the 13th of December, 2011.

These unknown bright objects were recorded in the night skies above Marble Falls, in Texas on the 13th of December, 2011.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: 400 Cape Fur Seals Wash Ashore in Cape Town, South Africa - Strong Winds and High Seas, Beaches on Alert for the Great White Shark!

Large sections of Cape Town's beaches were put on high alert for sharks after hundreds of dead seal pups washed ashore over the past weekend.

The 400 Cape Fur seals are thought to have died when they were swept off Seal Island, a rocky outcrop three miles off the coast, by strong winds and high seas. The deaths are a habitual occurrence but not normally in such large numbers. They prompted lifeguards working on beaches throughout False Bay, south of Cape Town, to be on high alert for the seals' main predator, the Great White Shark. Shark Spotters employed to survey the sea for the creatures said there had been increased activity along the shoreline and bathers were ordered out of the water several times. However, the seals' bodies were quickly rounded up and the authorities say there will be little disruption for the thousands of people expected to head to the coast for the start of the long summer holiday this week. Around 100 seal pups were discovered on two beaches on Friday near the south coast resort town of Muizenberg, 15 miles south of Cape Town. Another 300 were washed ashore 11 miles away on the north coast at the village of Kommetjie.

Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, a spokesman for Cape Town's disaster management department, said newborn pups were especially vulnerable in high winds and rough seas. "Sadly they didn't stand a chance," he said. "They were so young that they could not yet swim properly and when a big swell came they were swept away. "The seals were then thrown around in the sea before eventually being beached in the following hours and days. "Our team found hundreds of pups on the beaches and we had to organise a programme to clear them up." Experts believe that Great White Sharks are attracted to Cape waters by the presence of around 50,000 seals in a colony on Seal Island. Sarah Tipley, a spokesman for the Shark Spotters organisation which scouts for the predators along the coast and operates a flag warning system for swimmers and surfers, said four had been seen in the days following the seals' beaching. "We haven't seen any sharks scavenging on the seal carcases so it's unclear if their presence is because of the seals, but we're taking the necessary precautions," she said. In September, swimmer Michael Cohen, 42, who lost his right leg and part of his left foot in after he was bitten by a Great White shark at Fish Hoek beach in False Bay. - Telegraph.

FRINGE SIGNS FROM THE HEAVENS: Mysterious Vortex Over Coventry - Freak Weather Conditions Stuns Motorists, Causes Apples to Seemingly Fall from the Sky!

An avalanche of more than 100 apples rained down over a main road in Keresley, Coventry on Monday night. Stunned motorists were forced to brake sharply to avoid the falling fruit, believed to be swept up by a vortex caused by freak weather conditions in Coventry.

The street was left littered with apples after they pelted car windscreens and bonnets just after rush-hour. The bizarre downpour may have been caused by a current of air that lifted the fruit from a garden or orchard, releasing it over the junction of Keresley Road and Kelmscote Road. One driver said: "The apples fell out of the sky as if out of nowhere. They were small and green and hit the bonnet hard. "There were other cars on the road at the time too and everyone had to stop their cars suddenly. "It wouldn't surprise me if some cars were damaged. I know the area well and there are no apple trees around." Yesterday, the smashed apples could still be seen up and down the 20-yard stretch of road. Dave Meakins, a retired fork lift truck driver, said he thought the apples had been thrown as a prank by children. "I honestly don't know where the apples could have come from," he said.

"I assumed kids must have thrown them because we do get the occasional egg and apple thrown but there's way too much for that. "I would love to know where they came from." Some said they thought the apples had fallen from a passing plane. Keresley parish councillor Sandra Camwell said a freak black-out happened on the same road last year. She said: "Strange things do happen in this part of the world. I think it's highly likely that apples did fall from the sky. "We're in an area with a spooky history, where there have been witches for centuries, after all." The Met Office said it was possible the apples had been scooped up by a tornado. He said: "It's hypothetically possible that a tornado could have picked them up and that they were transported in turbulent air until they fell." Jim Dale, senior meteorologist, from British Weather Services, said: "The weather we have at the moment is very volatile and we probably have more to come. "Essentially these events are caused when a vortex of air, kind of like a mini tornado, lifts things off the ground rising up into the atmosphere until the air around it causes them to fall to earth again. "Returning polar maritime air is such an unstable condition and it basically means air returning from the polar regions which is very unstable. "We've all heard of the fish and frogs falling from the sky and apples is certainly unusual because they have some weight to them but it is not out of the realms of possibility." - Telegraph.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: NASA's Landsat Finds Problems Under Yellowstone's Old Faithful - Erratic Energy Levels in Yellowstone's Underground Geothermal Activity!

NASA's Landsat satellites have been tracking Yellowstone's underground geothermal activity, a deep heat that is stored 4,000 miles into the earth's core. But there are areas where these energy levels are becoming erratic. Old Faithful could be in trouble.

The Landsat Program is jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, beginning its services of remote sensing in 1972. It became part of the Yellowstone National Park's new monitoring plan in 2005. In addition to remote sensing, Landsat also uses airborne reconnaissance in order to "observe geothermal changes across all of Yellowstone in a systematic and scientific manner."  Up until recently, the heat coming from Yellowstone's underground magma chamber has always been the fuel for over 10,000 of the volcano's features: Old faithful, hot springs, geysers, mud spots, terraces and mud pots. But NASA is reporting that the Landsat imagery has picked up some unexpected developments outside the park's borders, also picked up by energy companies beyond the park's borders. "If that geothermal development outside of the park begins, we need to know whether that's going to cause Old Faithful to suddenly stop spewing," says Rick Lawrence of Montana State University. The park had funded a study on the unexpected geothermal activity, looking for a new perspective on the developing event. The results will be presented in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, Dec 9, 2011, at the American Geophysical Union conference. Visible light and heat-sensitive Landsat data channels were used in the study by Lawrence and his co-author, Shannon Savage. To get a better view of what was going on in Yellowstone, the Landsat satellites imagery were used in the study because it was circling above the area at 438 miles, getting a much better view of the entire area. Additionally, the satellites had several decades of data they could use to observe the land's surface and its heat energy.

What makes Yellowstone unique is that the energy Landsat is able to pick up includes not only the heat that has been absorbed through the sun, but also the geothermal energy the earth produces by itself. The satellite's imagery found that one of the geothermal spots, Minerva Terraces, collapsed when the hot bubbling water beneath it stopped flowing. The images that were observed from 1998 to 1999 showed that correlation of the heat and energy in the area. About the time this was going on, one individual happened to see a geothermal explosion occur, causing rocks to fly everywhere. But in areas where it was supposed to remain hot, the temperature actually went down temporarily before coming back up. The Landsat satellite allows the scientists to recognize big changes occurring in the geothermal area, like Yellowstone. However, nobody knows what is happening or where due to the satellite's large pixel size in its imagery. But clues are being found regarding the interconnection of the underground geothermal events. The goal is to obtain higher resolution in future thermal data. NASA's next Landsat satellite, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, will have a new thermal instrument on it for use in 2013 to add to Yellowstone's geothermal record. - Digital Journal.
WATCH: The Landsat Program.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake Jolts South of the Kermadec Islands!

An earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale jolted south of the Kermadec Islands at 1010 GMT on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The epicentre, with a depth of 34.10 km, was initially determined to be at 32.6037 degrees south latitude and 179.1035 degrees west longitude.

The epicenter was 130 km (80 miles) south of L'Esperance Rock, Kermadec Islands; 386 km (239 miles) southwest of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands; 734 km (456 miles) northeast of Auckland, New Zealand; and 1107 km (687 miles) northeast of Wellington, New Zealand. The epicentre was just 456 Miles from Auckland, New Zealand and follows a tremor of 5.6 magnitude earlier this morning that hit the same area, with an epicentre of 721 miles from Auckland.

No tsunami warning was issued and there are currently no reports of any injuries or damage at this time.