Friday, May 4, 2012

EXTRATERRESTRIAL & UFO MEMES: Triangle-Shaped UFOs Buzz Over United States, England And Australia?!

Those triangle-shaped UFOs just don't seem to go away. Whether they're conventional planes, experimental stealth technology or truly unexplained vehicles, reports continue to surface about these aircraft. And the sightings aren't isolated to a single location. Reports and videos have emerged recently from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

It used to be that most UFO spotters related stories about unusual saucer-shaped or cigar-shaped craft in the skies. Around the mid-1970s, sightings of triangle-shaped, boomerang-shaped and, yes, Dorito-shaped objects hit UFO news outlets. Some of these UFOs may, in fact, be top-secret military aircraft like the ones now known to have been developed and tested at the legendary Area 51 base north of Las Vegas. But does that explanation fit all of them? Here's a look at some of the latest triangular craft.
WATCH: UFO over London.

On April 26, three UFOs appearing to fly in a triangular-shaped formation were reportedly videotaped by a passenger on an airplane over England. The video, above, offers yet another example of how people claim to shoot odd-looking craft outside their planes. In another case, a slow-moving triangle-shaped craft was spotted on April 28 over Independence, Mo., according to An eyewitness reported the sighting to the Mutual UFO Network. "It was very odd -- a triangular-shaped flying object that had two blinking lights in the rear only," the witness wrote. "There were no other lights on the craft like you would see on a plane." The Missouri report has no corroborating pictures or videos, and the eyewitness preferred to remain anonymous, but she and a friend were very intrigued by the craft. "We were amazed at how this big solid object was even airborne and how it was moving so slowly!" she wrote in her report to the Mutual UFO Network.
WATCH: UFO over east Tennessee.

With only a background sound of crickets, the video above, shot on April 29 somewhere in Tennessee, shows three lights in the night sky forming a triangular shape, according to A careful look at the short video will reveal a fourth amber light occasionally flashing in between the three white lights.
WATCH: UFO over Sydney.

And on Wednesday, a triangle-shaped UFO was captured on video in the middle of the day over Sydney, Australia, according to A video, above, lasting more than four minutes showcases an object not easily identified. Last year the land down under also made headlines when Australia's official records of UFO sightings suddenly went missing. With these triangular-craft reports surfacing just in these recent months, perhaps the balance of this year will yield more. - Huffington Post.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Japan's Nuclear Dead Zone Spreading Far and Wide - Muttonbird Population Mass Die-Off and Mutation; New Zealand Scientists Concerned Over "Most Unusual Event" in 20 Years of Studies!

The meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may be responsible for a decline in New Zealand's muttonbird population.  A Department of Conservation study found only two-thirds of birds returned to an area near Auckland, after spending the northern summer in Japan - some only 20km from the plant, which was crippled in Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March last year. 

Some muttonbirds returning to New Zealand for the mating season have been in bad condition
- and the Fukushima nuclear disaster could be to blame.
The birds return to New Zealand in November to mate, but DOC seabird researcher Graeme Taylor told Radio New Zealand the ones that returned were in poor condition.  "We won't know if they've died up there in the north Pacific until another year goes by, because sometimes these birds skip a breeding season- where if they are in a poor condition they don't attempt to breed, and so they may turn up again and breed.  "But if the birds never turn up again then you have to start to wonder what's gone on with the population."

Mr Taylor said the research only looked at a small sub-sample of the breeding population, but it was the drop in numbers was the "most unusual event" in 20 years of studies of the birds' numbers.  He said many of the birds which arrived back had old feathers on their tails, wings and body.  "I've never seen birds in that poor of a condition come back to New Zealand."  He said the condition of muttonbirds suggested they did not get the food in the north Pacific they usually do.  The Fukushima disaster may be responsible, he said, although the La Nino weather pattern which lay over New Zealand last year may have been a factor.  Meanwhile a second study, undertaken Ngai Tahu and Te Papa, found 30 muttonbird chicks from the Ti Ti Islands near Stewart Island had no radioactive traces and were safe to eat. - NZ Herald.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONTAGION: The U.S. Economic Recovery Falters - Stocks Plunge Friday, Wall Street Closes Out Worst Week of the Year!

Stocks plunged Friday after the government reported that hiring slowed sharply last month. The report confirmed investors' fears that the U.S. economic recovery is faltering.  The losses in the market were widespread. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 168 points and the Nasdaq composite had its worst day since Nov. 9. Both the Nasdaq and the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed out their worst weeks of the year. The Dow had its second-worst.  The dollar and U.S. Treasury prices rose as investors dumped risky assets and moved money into lower-risk investments.

Energy stocks were among the hardest hit after the price of oil fell sharply and settled below $100 a barrel for the first time since February. Only one of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose, utilities, which investors tend to buy when they're nervous about the economy.  "The jobs numbers were a disappointment," said Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investors. He noted that there were several factors distorting the month's figures including unusually warm weather in the first three months of the year and an early Easter.  It was the third straight daily loss for the Dow, but it seemed too early to declare that the stock market's overall trend was turning downward. The Dow is still up 6.7 percent this year, the S&P 500 8.9 percent.  That said, investors are on edge about Europe once again as France and Greece both hold elections over the weekend. In France the socialist candidate Francois Hollande has a chance to unseat the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been at the forefront of fashioning Europe's efforts to prevent its share currency from collapsing.  Crude oil plunged $4 to $98.49 a barrel on worries that demand would drop because of a weakening world economy. It was the first time oil has dropped below $100 since February 13. 

The late slump in the week was a stark contrast to Monday, when the Dow closed at its highest level more than four years, propelled by a report that showed a pickup in manufacturing. All that become a distant memory after a slew of poor economic reports were released in the rest of the week.  On Thursday major retailers including Costco and Macy's reported that April sales inched up less that 1 percent, the worst performance since 2009. Thursday also brought news that U.S. service companies expanded their business more slowly in April. The Dow closed down 168.32 points, or 1.3 percent, at 13,038. All 30 companies that make up the index fell, led by Bank of America and Cisco.  The S&P 500 slipped 22.47 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,369, while the Nasdaq index fell 67.96 points, or 2.2 percent, to 2,956.  For the week, the Dow fell 190 points, S&P fell 34, while Nasdaq declined 113 points.  The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped sharply to 1.88 percent from 1.92 percent late Thursday as demand increased for safe investments. The yield hasn't settled that low since early February.  The culprit for the distress in financial markets was a report from the Labor Department Friday showing that U.S. job growth slumped in April for a second straight month. The 115,000 jobs added were fewer than the 154,000 jobs created in March.  Job creation is the fuel for the nation's economic growth. When more people have jobs, they have more money to spend. - Huffington Post.

ICE AGE NOW: Britain Facing New Big Freeze - Arctic Blast Threatens to Send Temperatures Plunging to -9C; the Lowest Ever Recorded in the Month of May!

Winter will return this weekend as an Arctic blast threatens to send temperatures plunging to -9C.  Bitter northerly winds will bring harsh frosts and “significant” snowfall to blight the May Day Bank Holiday.  After the coldest April in 23 years, forecasters warned last night that next week’s temperatures could be the lowest ever recorded in May.  The mercury will plunge in parts of the North from tomorrow with lows of -7C (19F) forecast for Cumbria.

Britain is facing another big freeze.
The cold snap follows a week of torrential downpours and flooding with warnings of more heavy rain on the way today.  Parts of Wales are braced for a deluge which could see up to two inches of rain, half a month’s worth, fall throughout the day. The rest of the south of Britain is on alert for heavy showers with further flood warnings in place. Although the whole country is in for a soaking today and tomorrow, the South is once again likely to be worst hit before the new big freeze begins. The weathermen say things will turn wintry from Saturday as temperatures plummet across the country. James Madden, of Exacta Weather, warned of widespread frost, bitter winds and snow. “The picture is set to turn increasingly cold and wintry as we progress throughout this weekend and into next week,” he said.  “Temperatures will fall to well below average for the time of year, resulting in extensive frosts and wintry showers in places.  “Some of these showers will also fall as sleet and snow and become quite persistent and heavy in certain parts of Scotland, northern and eastern England. “Some significant snowfall is likely for the time of the year, esp­ecially across higher ground.”  Leon Brown, meteorologist at The Weather Channel, said the next few days could see some of the coldest May temperatures for years. “It is turning much colder everywhere this weekend with another unusually cold outflow from the Arctic.  “From Friday temperatures will fall dramatically and many parts of Scotland will be more than 10C lower than the those we are experiencing currently.  “We could see some of the lowest May temperatures for many years this weekend with a widespread frost in rural areas across northern England and Scotland by Saturday morning.”

Met Office forecaster Dan Williams said temperatures over the next few days, including the Bank Holiday, would be well below average. “After heavy rain on Thursday it will get drier by Friday but then we will see figures drop by the weekend,” he said.  “There will be some very low maximum temperatures, well below the average for the time of year, which with the wind will make it feel very cold. We also expect some wintry showers and sleet across high ground.”  The lowest May temperatures on record are -8.9C in Braemar, Scotland, in 1927 and -9.4C in Lynford, Norfolk, in 1941.  Warm Atlantic air, which usually floods into the UK in May, is being forced out by a wave of freezing air from the Arctic and Scandinavia.  Bitter winds in the North will make it feel like -9C by Saturday, according to independent forecasters Netweather. The chilly forecast comes just two weeks after the Daily Express reported that experts were warning Britain faced the coldest May for 100 years.  Met Office figures show April was the wettest on record with almost five inches of rain filling reservoirs which were virtually empty because of the drought.  It was also one of the coldest on record. A spokesman said: “Average temperatures for April were lower than those for March for most of the UK. This April was in fact the coldest since 1989. ” - Express.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Popocatepetl Volcano Keeps Mexico on High Alert - Throwing Poison Gases and Ash a Mile up Into the Air Over Puebla State!

Mexico remains on high alert as the Popocatepetl volcano continuous to spew gas and volcanic ash into the air. 

Popocatepetl volcano spews clouds of ash and steam high into the air.
Mexico's National Centre for Disaster Prevention raised the threat level in april to its third highest warning in a seven-step scale. This indicates the possibility of magma expulsion and eruptions of increasing intensity.  Popocatepetl is only 25km (40 miles) southeast of the capital, Mexico City. More than a fifth of Mexico's population of 114 million live within a 60km radius of the volcano .  Residents of the Puebla state town of San Nicolas de los Ranchos have been trying to adjust to life as the 5,450-metre volcano continuous to spew gases and fumes from its core. 

"Sometimes we see it in the night but now you need to be cautious of and watch out if something happens, when it releases its fumes and fire," Leon Analco told Reuters.  After the threat level was raised last month, several nearby schools closed as a precaution and evacuation shelters were prepared.  Student Karina Apanco said: "Grandparents do not want to leave [the town] because of their animals. They have had more time here and are more accustomed [to the volcano] but it scares me. If something happens we will need to go.  "My whole family is scared. They say it has calmed down but I don't know."  Civil protection authorities reported in April that exit routes for towns have been cleared and shelters established with bed and kitchen facilities.  The volcano has spat out mile-high clouds of ash and smoke several times this year. Its last major eruption took place on 18 December, 2000, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from nearby communities.  - IBT.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower Already Underway - Over a Dozen Eta-Fireballs Have Been Seen This Week, Including 7 Last Night!

The eta Aquarid meteor shower, due to peak on May 5-6, is already underway. Cameras in NASA's All-Sky Fireball Network have picked up more than a dozen eta-fireballs this week, including seven last night alone.

 NASA astronomer Bill Cooke prepared this diagram showing the orbits of the fireballs detected so far.
"The purple line traces the orbit of Halley's Comet, source of the eta Aquarids," says Cooke. "Blue lines are orbits of the individual fireballs determined from simultaneous observations by multiple cameras." A statistical analysis of the data shows that the fireballs hit Earth's atmosphere traveling about 66 km/s (139,000 mph) and disintegrated about 90 km (52 mi) above Earth's surface.

Forecasters expect the shower to peak this weekend; the best time to look is during the hours before sunrise on Sunday, May 6th. Because the shower's radiant is located below the celestial equator, southern hemisphere observers are favored, but even northerners should be able to see a few eta Aquarids. Super-bright moonlight will cap the meteor rate at about 30 per hour. - Space Weather.

SIGNS FROM THE HEAVENS: The Super Perigee Moon of May 5, 2012 Aligns with Earth and the Sun - Solar / Volcano / Earthquake Watch For May 8-12, 2012!

The full Moon has a reputation for trouble. It raises high tides, it makes dogs howl, it wakes you up in the middle of the night with beams of moonlight stealing through drapes. If a moonbeam wakes you up on the night of May 5th, 2012, you might want to get out of bed and take a look. This May's full Moon is a "super Moon," as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full Moons of 2012.

The scientific term for the phenomenon is "perigee moon." Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee"). Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright.  Such is the case on May 5th at 11:34 pm Eastern Daylight Time1 when the Moon reaches perigee. Only one minute later, the Moon will line up with Earth and the sun to become brilliantly full. The timing is almost perfect.  Okay, the Moon is 14% bigger than usual, but can you really tell the difference? It's tricky. There are no rulers floating in the sky to measure lunar diameters. Hanging high overhead with no reference points to provide a sense of scale, one full Moon can seem much like any other.  The best time to look is when the Moon is near the horizon. For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects. On May 5th, this Moon illusion will amplify a full Moon that's extra-big to begin with. The swollen orb rising in the east at sunset should seem super indeed. 

Folklore holds that all kinds of wacky things happen under the light of a full Moon. Supposedly, hospital admissions increase, the crime rate ticks upward, and people behave strangely. The idea that the full Moon causes mental disorders was widespread in the Middle Ages. Even the word "lunacy," meaning "insanity," comes from the Latin word for "Moon."  The majority of modern studies, however, show no correlation between the phase of the Moon and the incidence of crime, sickness, or human behavior. The truth is, the Moon is less influential than folklore would have us believe.  It's true that a perigee full Moon brings with it extra-high "perigean tides," but according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this is nothing to worry about. In most places, lunar gravity at perigee pulls tide waters only a few centimeters (an inch or so) higher than usual. Local geography can amplify the effect to about 15 centimeters (six inches)--not exactly a great flood.  Super perigee Moons are actually fairly common. The Moon becomes full within a few hours of its closest approach to Earth about once a year on average. The last such coincidence occurred on March 19th, 2011, producing a full Moon that was almost 400 km closer than this one. As usual, no trouble was reported--unless you count a midnight awakening as trouble.  If so, close the drapes on May 5th. Otherwise, enjoy the super-moonlight. - NASA.
WATCH: NASA issues warning about Supermoon.

UPDATE: Solar / Volcano / Earthquake Watch May For 8-12, 2012.
Targeting Coronal Hole (CH515). After analysis i have Isolated (1-9°N Latitude) on the solar corona. Strong characteristics of this feature indicate a possible 7 Magnitude earthquake in one of these locations during this watch period:  Costa Rica, Panama, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nicobar Islands or Northern Sumatra. Time frame May 9-11. Coronal feature situated (44-49°S Latitude) could produce a possible 5.5-5.8 Magnitude earthquake during May 5-6. Best mapped regions are : Aisen Chile, Auckland Islands New Zealand, Southern East Pacific Rise. - Solar Watch.

WATCH: Solar / Volcano / Earthquake Watch May For 8-12, 2012.

THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE: Manifesting the Blueprint of the "Anti-Christ" - Senior Eurocrats Secretly Plots to Create a Super-Powerful EU President by Abolishing Britain!

Senior Eurocrats are secretly plotting to create a super-powerful EU president to realise their dream of abolishing ­Britain, we can reveal.  A covert group of EU foreign ministers has drawn up plans for merging the jobs currently done by Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, and Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.  The new bureaucrat, who would not be directly elected by voters, is set to get sweeping control over the entire EU and force member countries into ever-greater political and economic union.

Britain will run from Brussels if Van Rompuy is replaced by a super EU president
Tellingly, the UK has been excluded from the confidential discussions within the shady “Berlin Group” of Europhile politicians, spearheaded by German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle. Opponents fear the plan could create a modern-day equivalent of the European emperor envisaged by Napoleon Bonaparte or a return to the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne that dominated Europe in the Dark Ages.  They are concerned that David Cameron’s coalition Government is doing nothing to prevent the sinister plot. The secret talks were uncovered by Independent Labour peer Lord Stoddart of Swindon.  “This is a plot by people who want to abolish nation states and create a United States of Europe,” he said.  “The whole thing is barmy. These people are determined to achieve their final objective. The only hope for Britain is to leave the EU and become an independent nation.” The move will give further momentum to the Daily Express’s hugely popular crusade for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

Tory backbench MP Douglas Carswell said: “It doesn’t matter how you arrange the offices of these technocrats, they are useless at arranging our lives for us and they are not elected so they have no legitimacy.  “My worry is that the president will end up having the charisma of Van Rompuy and the economic management skills of Barroso.”  Euro-MP Paul Nuttall, of the UK Independence Party, said: “This is a truly ridiculous idea that must never be allowed to happen. It sounds as if they are trying to go back to the days of the Holy Roman Emperor.”  At present, the two senior EU bureaucrats, Mr Barroso and Mr Van Rompuy, are locked in a bitter power struggle to determine who is the true big cheese or “grand fromage” in Europe. Former Portuguese premier Mr Barroso, who heads the EU’s executive arm and was elected to his post by members of the European Union, is understood to resent the rival fiefdom of Belgian Mr Van Rompuy, who was chosen by the heads of ­government of EU member states to represent them.  Under the plan, a single figure would be elected by Euro-MPs to perform both roles.  Supporters of the move believe that the rival presidencies are undermining the EU’s ability to speak with a single voice. They argue that merging the two jobs will create a powerful European leader who is capable of pursuing the federalist dream of a united Europe which has been severely shaken by the eurozone crisis.  Lord Stoddart confirmed the existence of the plot thanks to a parliamentary written answer in the House of Lords. He asked Foreign Office ministers to reveal what they knew about the merger talks.  In response to his inquiry, Tory Foreign Office minister Lord Howell of Guildford said: “We are aware of one group of EU foreign ministers meeting on an informal basis to discuss a variety of issues related to the future governance of the EU.

“While the UK is not part of that group, we understand that one idea under discussion is a merger of the positions of president of the European Council and president of the European Commission.”  Lord Howell added: “A merger of the two presidencies would create a potential conflict of interest, undermine the quality of the EU’s decision-making processes and upset the institutional balance within the EU.” Lord Stoddart said: “These sorts of informal discussions within the EU have a habit of rapidly being transferred into formal proposals.  “Since the Government is not party to these discussions, its reservations are academic.  “Such a merger would represent a massive shift of power into the hands of a single, unelected bureaucrat. The Government should be taking this far more seriously and voicing its objections very strongly.”  He added: “The holder of this new office would be both Europe’s political and administrative leader, giving them far more powers than those given to the US president.  “It really is a great disappointment that we have a Conservative-led Government that is supposed to be Eurosceptic yet ministers just go along with this.” - Express.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Greenland Glaciers Are Speeding Up - Glacial Flow Has Sped up by 30 Percent Over the Last 10 Years!

Greenland's ice sheet is on the move, with new images showing its glaciers moving 30 percent faster than they were a decade ago. Greenland and Antarctica are home to the two biggest blocks of ice on Earth. As climate changes, these glacier are shrinking and the water contained in them is moving into the oceans, adding to the already rising sea level.

This relatively small outlet glacier is just one of hundreds (there are many much larger)
that move ice from the interior of the Greenland ice sheet out to the ocean.
A glacier's velocity is a measure of how fast the ice on the surface of the sheet is flowing toward the edges of the sheet. This flow can be faster or slower, depending on how much the glacier is melting. The faster the flow, the more water and ice mass is lost from the glacier. "You can think of the Greenland ice sheet as a really large lake that has hundreds of those little outlet streams that are acting like conveyor belts to move ice from the middle of the ice sheet, where it's getting added by precipitation, to the edges," study researcher Twila Moon, a graduate student at the University of Washington, told LiveScience. The researchers analyzed satellite images of the Greenland glaciers taken between 2000 and 2010. These annual images were put through a computer program to detect how quickly the ice is moving. In general, the glacial flow has sped up by 30 percent over the 10 years, Moon said. To get a better idea of the glacier's dynamics, the researchers looked at the area's more than 200 glaciers individually. Some of these glaciers end on land, some drop off into the sea, and the rest gradually extend their ice sheets into the water, creating an ice shelf. The researchers saw that the glacier's type has a big impact on how quickly it flows. Land-ending ice sheets can move 30 to 325 feet (9 to 99 meters) per year, while glaciers that terminate in ice shelves move much faster, from 1,000 to more than 5,000 feet (305 to 1,600 m) per year.  The glaciers that drop off into the sea are flowing the fastest, Moon said, up to 7 miles (11 kilometers) per year and their speeds are accelerating. "The areas where the ice sheet loses the most ice are also the areas we are seeing the biggest changes," Moon said.
The ice flow depends on the glacier's location, and therefore the local climate. Most of the high-velocity glaciers are in the northwest and southeast of Greenland, and these are also the calving, ocean-ending glaciers.  Greenland is "such a vast area that the systems of precipitation and temperature that we see in the north can be pretty different from other areas. It doesn't see the same kind of summer temperature changes," Moon said. "There are important local factors that are contributing to when and how much the glacier velocity changes."  There's no reason to think, from the new data, that the glaciers won't continue to gain speed. The result would be an increasing amount of ice and water adding to the sea level. Scientists see some good news: This average flow is actually slower than previous estimates suggested, meaning climate and sea-level rise models need to be tweaked.  "A lot of the drive behind current Greenland ice sheet and Antarctica studies is to ask, 'What sea-level rise can we expect?'" Moon said. "Both of these areas hold vast amounts of ice and the potential for very large sea-level rises. We need to understand what's happening on them to see what potential scenario will be realized."  The study is to be published tomorrow (May 4) in the journal Science. - Live Science.

WORLD WAR III: Countdown to Armageddon - The U.S. Department of Defense Unveils HELLADS & FIRESTRIKE Laser Weapons to Shoot Down Aircraft Threat!

DARPA is unveiling a portable laser weapons system, HELLADS, which seems like something out of a sci-fi movie. HELLADS stands for High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System. The new laser application, created by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems with a custom power system from Saft Batteries, will help change the way the American military fights future wars.

A weapon that used to be the size of a passenger jet now fits on the back of a flatbed truck.
(Shark mounting apparatus sold separately.)
Current military laser systems are bulky contraptions which are mainly the size of a passenger jet, while the proposed DARPA weapon can fit on the back of a flatbed truck. The 150-kilowatt, solid state laser weapon is strong enough to take down drones or other aerial targets; a prototype is expected to be available by the end of 2012. Since laser beams work at the speed of light, it's effectively impossible for aerial targets to dodge them. The use of laser beams against land targets is complicated by line-of-sight issues, but the miniaturization of laser technology makes them perfect for use against aerial and naval targets. The demonstration laser for DARPA will be the first 150-kilowatt laser weapon of its kind. DARPA plans to use the completed prototypes against targets at White Sands Missile Range in early 2013--this will include ground testing against rockets, mortars, and surface-to-air missiles. Although video footage of HELLADS is not available yet, this clip of a previously developed American-Israeli laser system (which will be discussed later) from Northrop Grumman gives a good idea of how the system will work.  The big advance with these weapons is in the strength of the lasers and in their portability. Saft's Annie Sennet-Cassity told Fast Company that while previous military laser prototypes were stronger, they were also about the size of a passenger jet. This creates obvious difficulties in battlefield or aerial use. A 150-kilowatt laser beam is powerful enough to destroy aircraft. Previous military laser weapons primarily relied on blinding pilots with laser beams, rather than destroying the aircraft itself. For the United States Air Force, the ultimate goal is to equip bombers and UAVs with HELLADS weaponry. However, the United States is not the only nation developing laser weapons. The Israeli government and American defense contractors have quietly been working for years on the Nautilus laser system, which in the words of Wired's Danger Room blog, gave the country a “ray gun defense.” Russia has been working on aerial military lasers since at least 2010, and India has also been developing a laser weapon system of its own. While the idea of military lasers, death rays, and ray guns encourage all sorts of futurist fantasies, there will be major limitations to these weapons. Despite the fact that DARPA's laser can destroy airplanes, the strength of the laser beam is greatly weakened by clouds, haze, and dust clouds—something that can limit on-the-ground use in warzones. - PBT Consulting.

Northrop Grumman Corporation has test fired the first product in its next-generation FIRESTRIKE family of high-energy, solid-state lasers that meet goals for size and weight reduction and ruggedization for operational applications. The tests, conducted in the company's Redondo Beach laboratory, demonstrated that the laser could burn through the skin and critical components of a target drone used to simulate anti-ship cruise missile threats to U.S. Navy ships.
The laser, called Gamma, uses a "slab" architecture similar to previous Northrop Grumman high-power lasers. It operated at 13.3 kilowatts for a number of shots over a total of 1.5 hours with stable performance and a beam quality that exceeded design goals, completing the initial phase of trials.  "We previously announced the design for a product called FIRESTRIKE™ that builds on our heritage of record-breaking, high-energy, solid-state lasers. Since that time we've invested our internal funds to fabricate, integrate and test a demonstration prototype of the FIRESTRIKE laser that we call Gamma," said Steve Hixson, vice president of advanced concepts, space and directed energy systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.  "Gamma has equaled or exceeded the performance we achieved in previous slab lasers, but the real advancement here is in packaging and ruggedization for operations in real-world military platforms," he added. The term "slab laser" refers to a class of high-power, solid-state lasers with a gain medium, or source of atoms that emit light, in the form of a slab about the size of a microscope slide.  "The Gamma demonstrator is built in a form factor that implements the size and weight reduction goals of the FIRESTRIKE design, which cuts the weight of the finished laser chain to 500 pounds and shrinks the volume to 23 inches by 40 inches by 12 inches, or about the size of two countertop microwave ovens," said Dan Wildt, vice president, directed energy systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.  "This laser has also been ruggedized to demonstrate how robust operational FIRESTRIKE lasers can be," Wildt said. "Our company has more than 50,000 lower power laser devices in operation with the Defense Department. "We applied lessons from those systems to be sure this laser will be able to survive in real-world operational environments and keep operating reliably." - PHYSORG.
WATCH: MTHEL THEL Mobile / Tactical High Energy Laser.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Ecological Effects of the 2010 Chile Mega-Quake - Geological Upheavals and Resurgence of Species Unseen For Years!

The reappearance of long-forgotten habitats and the resurgence of species unseen for years may not be among the expected effects of a natural disaster.  Yet that's exactly what researchers found in a study of the sandy beaches of south central Chile, after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami in 2010.

Uplifted rocky shore shows mortality of marine life after the 2010 Chile quake.
Their study also revealed a preview of the problems wrought by sea level rise--a major symptom of climate change.  In a scientific first, researchers from Southern University of Chile and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) were able to document the before-and-after ecological impacts of such cataclysmic occurrences. A paper appearing today in the journal PLoS ONE details the surprising results of their study, pointing to the potential effects of natural disasters on sandy beaches worldwide.  The study is said to be the first-ever quantification of earthquake and tsunami effects on sandy beach ecosystems along a tectonically active coastal zone.  "So often you think of earthquakes as causing total devastation, and adding a tsunami on top of that is a major catastrophe for coastal ecosystems," said Jenny Dugan, a biologist at UCSB.  "As expected, we saw high mortality of intertidal life on beaches and rocky shores, but the ecological recovery at some of our sandy beach sites was remarkable.  "Plants are coming back in places where there haven't been plants, as far as we know, for a very long time. The earthquake created sandy beach habitat where it had been lost. This is not the initial ecological response you might expect from a major earthquake and tsunami."  Their findings owe a debt to serendipity.  The researchers were knee-deep in a study supported by FONDECYT in Chile and the U.S. National Science Foundation's (NSF) Santa Barbara Coastal Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site of how sandy beaches in Santa Barbara and south central Chile respond, ecologically, to man-made armoring such as seawalls and rocky revetments.  By late January, 2010, they had surveyed nine beaches in Chile.

The earthquake hit in February.  Recognizing a unique opportunity, the scientists changed gears and within days were back on the beaches to reassess their study sites in the catastrophe's aftermath.  They've returned many times since, documenting the ecological recovery and long-term effects of the earthquake and tsunami on these coastlines, in both natural and human-altered settings.  "It was fortunate that these scientists had a research program in the right place--and at the right time--to allow them to determine the responses of coastal species to natural catastrophic events," said David Garrison, program director for NSF's coastal and ocean LTER sites.  The magnitude and direction of land-level change resulting from the earthquake and exacerbated by the tsunami brought great effects, namely the drowning, widening and flattening of beaches.  The drowned beach areas suffered mortality of intertidal life; the widened beaches quickly saw the return of biota that had vanished due to the effects of coastal armoring.  "With the study in California and Chile, we knew that building coastal defense structures, such as seawalls, decreases beach area, and that a seawall results in the decline of intertidal diversity," said lead paper author Eduardo Jaramillo of the Universidad Austral de Chile.  "But after the earthquake, where significant continental uplift occurred, the beach area that had been lost due to coastal armoring has now been restored," said Jaramillo. "And the re-colonization of the mobile beach fauna was underway just weeks afterward."  The findings show that the interactions of extreme events with armored beaches can produce surprising ecological outcomes. They also suggest that landscape alteration, including armoring, can leave lasting footprints in coastal ecosystems.  "When someone builds a seawall, beach habitat is covered up with the wall itself, and over time sand is lost in front of the wall until the beach eventually drowns," said Dugan.  "The semi-dry and damp sand zones of the upper and mid-intertidal are lost first, leaving only the wet lower beach zones. This causes the beach to lose diversity, including birds, and to lose ecological function."  Sandy beaches represent about 80 percent of the open coastlines globally, said Jaramillo.  "Beaches are very good barriers against sea level rise. They're important for recreation--and for conservation." - Infozine.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Nuclear Meltdown Disaster - Energy Crisis Looms as Japan is Set to Close Last Reactor!

Japan is set to shut down its last operational nuclear plant following last year’s Fukushima meltdown disaster. However, with a giant energy quota to fill and no viable substitute, many predict a nuclear-free future will be short-lived.  The Hokkaido electric company closes down its Tomari plant, the last of Japan’s 53 atomic power stations, on Saturday, leaving a country-already dependent on foreign fuel imports -without nuclear energy. 

Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s Tomari nuclear power plant is seen in Tomari town
on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido
Since the earthquake and tsunami caused a triple meltdown last March at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the Japanese government has been gradually de-commissioning and closing plants throughout the country.  The government has faced increasing pressure from environmental groups to abandon nuclear energy following the Fukushima catastrophe. It forced tens of thousands of Japanese from their homes after dangerous levels of radiation contaminated local food and water supplies.  The decision to turn away from nuclear energy is a controversial one in resource-poor Japan.  Prior to the March 2011 disaster the country drew approximately 30 per cent of its energy from nuclear power, a figure that was expected to rise to 50 per cent by 2030 to meet exploding energy demands.  The energy vacuum is set to incur shortfalls and power cuts this summer, with supplies falling short by 14 per cent in Tokyo and up to 16 per cent in western Japan.  "I have to say we are facing the risk of a very severe electricity shortage," said Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano in April. He added that rising fuel imports would be felt by the Japanese taxpayer. Japan bites off more than it can chew?  As it stands the transfer to a non-nuclear energy infrastructure will be very costly as Japan will have no choice but to step-up its fuel imports.  Preliminary figures from the international energy agency increase oil-demand to 4.5 barrels a day, costing an additional $100 million, a bleak prospect for an economy that reported its biggest ever trade deficit in 2011. The Japanese Finance Ministry said its deficit had risen to $50 billion because of the extra fuel imports needed to compensate for the lack of nuclear energy.  Environmental groups see the closure of the country’s last operational plant as an opportunity to wean Japan off atomic energy and follow the German model.

However, creating the infrastructure for green energy will take time and significant investment. Currently, Japan gets around 8 per cent of its energy from renewable sources and is looking to raise that figure to over 25 per cent by 2030.  Many have criticized Japan’s plans as too ambitious and view the reactivation of the country’s power plants as inevitable in spite of public protest.  Dr. Howard Hayden, Professor of Physics at Connecticut University, said that Japan “will probably go back to nuclear in due time because money talks.”  “It’s costing them very dearly. They haven’t got nearly enough electricity and they have actually called on some factories to cut back their operations quite a bit,” said Hayden.  He added that some factories in the North of Japan had been effectively shut down because of power shortages.  “Eventually they will probably restart most of their reactors. The ones that are in possible danger of tsunamis, they’ll of course either shut down completely or build some much better protective walls around them,”Hayden concluded.  There are experts, however, who believe that in shutting down its reactors, Japan could take an economic hit.  “It does present a potential opportunity to Japan to exploit some of its other abilities to generate energy, including geothermal power,”James Corbett, editor of The Corbett Report website told RT.  ““It [Japan] is currently only generating 0.5 Gigawatts of power via geothermal power, but it has the potential for up to 23.5 Gigawatts. Obviously a lot of this is in national parks, in hot spring areas which are currently being used for tourism, but could be converted, at least potentially, to more energy generation.”  Corbett is convinced that Japan’s proximity to the ocean could be exploited for generating tidal power. Even the temperature difference in ocean currents can be used to generate electricity.  “These are experimental technologies at the moment, but Japan could become a leading nation in those types of energy generation techniques,”he added. - RT.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Mounting Concern Along the Korean Peninsula - Geologists Predicting Imminent Eruption of Mt. Baekdu, Due to Rise of the Surface Temperature!

Yes, one! There’s only one thing about which they think in a same way – a concern about possible eruption of Mt. Baekdu. The two Koreas remain at odds in everything. But they are one in voicing how to counter the possible volcanic explosion of the highest mountain in the Korean Peninsula.

Citing the rise of the surface temperature of Mt. Baekdu, geologists predict its eruption in a couple of years.
Inter-Korean anxiety is mounting, with growing apocalyptic predictions on the dormant volcano. A South Korean geological expert has warned that the volcano could erupt sometime around 2014 and 2015. Former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il reportedly said people in some regions of Yanggang and North Hamgyeong Provinces were feeling anxiety over a volcanic eruption of Mt. Baekdu. Kim called for quick countermeasures by the North Korean authorities. If a volcano, located on the border between North Korea and China erupts, damage could be 10 to 100 times greater than that caused by the April 2010 eruptions in Iceland. Experts predict that the ashes would not only hit the neighboring area but damage agriculture and cause serious disruptions in industrial activities and air flights. The Korean Peninsula, China, Japan and Russia would be severely damaged. A volcanic eruption begins when pressure on a magma chamber forces magma up through the conduit and out the volcano’s vents. When the magma chamber is completely filled, the type of eruption partly depends on the amount of gas and silica in the magma. The amount of silica determines how sticky (level of viscosity) the magma is and water provides the explosive potential of steam. The 2010 Iceland eruption caused enormous disruption to air travel across Western and Northern Europe, although relatively small in size for volcanic eruptions. About 20 countries closed their airspace and it affected hundreds of thousands of travelers. A very high proportion of flights within, to, and from Europe were cancelled, creating the highest level of air travel disruption since the World War II.

Fears of a Mt. Baekdu eruption loom large with ensuing warnings based on a series of geological studies from experts. A growing number of scholars have not ruled out the possibility of another eruption, linking the collapse of Korea’s ancient kingdom, Balhae, with the previous one.  One theory comes from professor Hiroshi Machida of Tokyo Metropolitan University. Machida first presented a view in 1992 that the eruption of Mt. Baekdu (Mt. Changbai in Chinese) led to the fall of Balhae, which had expanded its sovereignty to the vast Manchuria territory. His theory was based on volcanic ash found in Tomakomai, a port city in southern Hokkaido, in 1981. The ash was named “Baekdu-Tomakomai volcanic ash” (B-Tm) after Mt. Baekdu and Tomakakomi city where it was found, according to So Won-ju who wrote the book “Secret of Mt. Baekdu’s Great Eruption.”  Machida’s theory has gained momentum as an increasing number of geologists and climate change researchers have presented views that the ash was produced in the eruption of the highest mountain in the Korean Peninsula in the 10th century. The eruption of the 2,744 meter-high mountain was billed as the largest in the history of mankind and was about 50 times stronger than that of Mt. Vesuvius of Italy in 79 A.D. which led to the burying and destruction of the Roman city Pompeii.  Balhae (Bohai in Chinese) was established by Dae Jo-yeong, a former Goguryeo general, in 698 after the fall of Goguryeo. Dae Jo-yeong took the helm of Jin (Zhen in Chinese), founded by his father Dae Jung-sang in 696, and renamed the country Balhae, declaring it as the successor state of Goguryeo (37 B.C. - 668 A.D.). - Korea Times.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake Jolts Two Chinese Provinces!

An earthquake measuring 5.4 today jolted the border region between China's northwestern Gansu province and northern Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Tremors were felt in the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, a major site for launching Chinese spacecraft in Ejin Banner. Details of any damage to the facility are not yet known, state run Xinhua quoted local workers said. No casualties have been reported so far.
Residents in the Gansu province cities of Jiuquan and Jiayuguan also felt the tremor. Lu Zhonghui, chief of Hangtian township of Jinta county, said the quake lasted about a minute, and the township government is collecting casualty and asset loss information. - Business Standard.

HIGH STRANGENESS: Mysterious Case of the Missing German Sub - Equipped With 500 Kiloton H-Bomb?!

A single nuclear weapon has “gone missing” as of last week, one of four missing but this one “more missing” than the other folks. The Thames Valley Police, well-known for their fictional representations in the Colin Dexter detective novels, detained a substantial ranking government security officer, department to continue to be unnamed, at the behest of what we are told is the Property Secretary.  Time we place a contact in to Inspector Lewis? Morse, played by John Thaw, would in no way have permitted such a factor. John Thaw was always a favourite and his pub of alternative, The Trout outdoors Oxford is a good halt off, you can misplace a nuke, torture a spy, this time one of your own, and make it property with fish and chips.  Now, to put this is American English. A nuclear weapon that wasn’t supposed to exist, a single 500 kiloton hydrogen bomb, one of four being tracked, was seen being loaded at the German port of Bemerhaven, Germany. The groups assisting in what we were informed was a counter-terrorism surveillance operation have been the American NSA, British MI 6, the Office of Naval Intelligence and the British Royal Navy. The “device” was loaded onto a Germany built “Dolphin” submarine and left the harbour doing 7.5 knots.

The submarine disappeared even though currently being tracked by each and every sophisticated device NATO would seem to be capable to personal or borrow. At least one of people from among the listed companies was arrested by the local police force in Oxford, their electronic surveillance gear siezed, were confined for twelve hours in spite of getting over arrest and detention as a senior NATO intelligence officer. Attempts to track the sub in the busy harbour were in vain and it is unknown what the nationality of the crew had been or the destination, whether the United kingdom, the US or some location in the Middle East. What we do know is that Germany and other NATO nations, in a extremely disputed exception to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, had held 182 such weapons right up until all had supposedly been given back to the United States in 2005. We now know this to be untrue. There are numerous achievable situations: Germany is a nuclear power in violation of international treaties and the two Germany and the US are lying.  The German government is in violation of international treaties and is selling or transfering nuclear weapons to unknown third parties. Terrorists have stolen a nuclear weapon that Germany was holding illegally. Germany is involved in a terror plot aimed at a third party, Iran, the United Kingdom or the United States

The submarine in query could or could not be one Germany is giving to Israel, this one with a “special enhancement” which, as we had questioned earlier, could be utilized against Iran, the United Kingdom or United States. We know the British government at some ranges, some departments, are mindful of this action and are responding with retribution against their own intelligence services. This looks to be an indication that some authority inside Britain appears to have gone rogue, definitely the Thames Valley Police, probably the Property Office and we can not help but want to take a long hard look at David Cameron and his many mysterious meetings with Rupert Murdoch, the “not quite Australian” ultra-nationalist/Likudist Israeli who stands somewhat accused of limitless criminal acts or probably not. No person in Britain truly is aware of. Is somebody arranging to blow one thing up someplace? Are these just just Germany boys on a lark, stolen submarine, borrrowed illegal nuclear weapon, kind of a prank? Then once again, we have the Bush administration. Assurances were made that all this kind of weapons had been out of German hands 7 years ago. We now have direct evidence, eyewitnesses, that indicate that the US failed to follow the provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that it is utilizing as a pretext to threaten Iran with violations of.  Oddly, Israel never ever signed the treaty and is, by traditional standards, deemed a “rogue state.” A fuller accounting indicates that the warheads might not be American but were of Soviet design. We know the number to be four. - Disclose TV.
WATCH: RAF Waddington flypasts and C-17 (July 4th, 2010).

PLANETARY TREMORS: Moderate 5.5 Magnitude Earthquake Jolts Western Iran - Injuries 8 and Damage Scores of Buildings!

A moderate earthquake jolted a small town in western Iran near the Iraqi border on Thursday, injuring eight people and damaging buildings, Iranian media reported.

The magnitude 5.5 quake hit the sparsely populated area near the town of Mourmouri, about 300 miles (480 kilometers) southwest of the capital Tehran, at 2:39 p.m., said the semiofficial Mehr news agency. The report said the quake sent people rushing out of their homes in Mourmouri and that scores of buildings were damaged in nearby towns of Abdanan and Dehloran.

The area has experienced dozens of moderate earthquakes over the past few weeks. Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes, experiencing at least one slight quake a day on average. In 2003, some 26,000 people were killed by a magnitude 6.6 quake that flattened the historic southeastern city of Bam
. - ABC News.