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Thursday, January 18, 2007
Source: Republic Broadcasting Network
An Anonymous Email From An Airline Mechanic:
For reasons you will understand as you read this I can not divulge my identity.
I am an aircraft mechanic for a major airline. I work at one of our maintenance bases located at a large airport. I have discovered some information that I think you will find important.
First, I should tell you something about the "pecking order" among mechanics. It is important to my story and to the cause to which you have dedicated yourself.
Mechanics want to work on three things. The avionics, the engines, or the flight controls. The mechanics that work on these systems are considered at the top of the "pecking order".
Next come the mechanics that work on the hydraulics and air conditioning systems. Then come the ones who work on the galley and other non-essential systems. But at the very bottom of the list are the mechanics that work on the waste disposal systems.
No mechanic wants to work on the pumps, tanks, and pipes that are used to store the waste from the lavatories. But at every airport where I have worked there are always 2 or 3 mechanics that volunteer to work on the lavatory systems.
The other mechanics are happy to let them do it. Because of this you will have only 2 or 3 mechanics that work on these systems at any one airport. No one pays much attention to these guys and no mechanic socializes with another mechanic who only works on the waste systems.
Fact is, I had never even thought much about this situation until last month. Like most airlines we have reciprocal agreements with the other airlines that fly into this airport. If they have a problem with a plane one of our mechanics will take care of it.
Likewise, if one of our planes has a problem at an airport where the other airline has a maintenance base, they will fix our plane.
One day last month I was called out from our base to work on a plane for another airline. When I got the call the dispatcher did not know what the problem was. When I got to the plane I found out that the problem was in waste disposal system. There was nothing for me to do but to crawl in and fix the problem.
When I got into the bay I realized that something was not right. There were more tanks, pumps, and pipes then should have been there. At first I assumed that the waste disposal system had been changed. It had been about 10 years since I had worked on this particular model of aircraft.
As I tried to find the problem I quickly realized the extra piping and tanks were not connected to the waste disposal system, at all. I had just discovered this when another mechanic from my company showed up. It was one of the mechanics who usually works on this particular type of plane, and I happily turned the job over to him.
As I was leaving I asked him about the extra equipment. He told me to "worry about my end of the plane and let him worry about his end!"
The next day I was on the company computer to look up a wiring schematic. While I was there I decided to look up the extra equipment I had found. To my amazement the manuals did not show any of the extra equipment I had seen with my own eyes the day before. I even tied in to the manufacturer files and still found nothing. Now I was really determined to find out what that equipment did.
The next week we had three of our planes in our main hanger for periodic inspection. There are mechanics crawling all over a plane during these inspections. I had just finished my shift and I decided to have a look at the waste system on one of our planes. With all the mechanics around I figured that no one would notice an extra one on the plane.
Sure enough, the plane I choose had the extra equipment! I began to trace the system of pipes, pumps, and tanks. I found what appeared to be the control unit for the system. It was a standard looking avionics control box but it had no markings of any kind.
I could trace the control wires from the box to the pumps and valves but there were no control circuits coming into the unit. The only wires coming into the unit was a power connection to the aircraft's main power bus.
The system had 1 large tank and 2 smaller tanks. It was hard to tell in the cramped compartment, but it looked like the large tank could hold about 50 gallons. The tanks were connected to a fill and drain valve that passed through the fuselage just behind the drain valve for the waste system.
When I had a chance to look for this connection under the plane I found it cunningly hidden behind a panel under the panel used to access the waste drain.
I began to trace the piping from the pumps. These pipes lead to a network of small pipes that ended in the trailing edges of the wings and horizontal stabilizers.
If you look closely at the wings of a large airplane you will see a set of wires, about the size of your finger, extending from the trailing edge of the wing surfaces. These are the static discharge wicks. They are used to dissipate the static electric charge that builds up on a plane in flight.
I discovered that the pipes from this mystery system lead to every 1 out of 3 of these static discharge wicks. These wicks had been "hollowed out" to allow whatever flows through these pipes to be discharged through the fake wicks.
Chem Trails From Airliner It was while I was on the wing that one of the managers spotted me. He ordered me out of the hanger telling me that my shift was over and I had not been authorized any overtime.
The next couple of days were very busy and I had no time to continue my investigation. Late one afternoon, two days after my discovery, I was called to replace an engine temperature sensor on a plane due to take off in two hours. I finished the job and turned in the paperwork.
About 30 minutes later I was paged to see the General Manager. When I went in his office I found that our union rep and two others who I did not know were waiting on me. He told me that a serious problem had been discovered. He said that I was being written up and suspended for turning in false paperwork.
He handed me a disciplinary form stating that I had turned in false paperwork on the engine temperature sensor I had installed a few hours before. I was floored and began to protest. I told them that this was ridiculous and that I had done this work.
The union rep spoke up at this point and recommended that we take a look at the plane to see if we could straighten it all out. I then asked who the other two men were. The GM told me that they were airline safety inspectors but would not give me their names.
We proceeded to the plane, which should have been in the air but was parked on our maintenance ramp. We opened the engine cowling and the union rep pulled the sensor. He checked the serial number and told everyone that it was the old instrument. We then went to the parts bay and went back into the racks.
The union rep checked my report and pulled from the rack a sealed box. He opened the box and pulled out the engine temperature sensor with the serial number of the one I had installed. I was told that I was suspended for a week without pay and to leave immediately.
I sat at home the first day of my suspension wondering what the hell had happened to me. That evening I received a phone call. The voice told me "Now you know what happens to mechanics who poke around in things they shouldn't. The next time you start working on systems that are no concern of yours you will lose your job! As it is, I'm feeling generous, I believe that you'll be able to go back to work soon." CLICK.
Again, I had to pick myself from off the floor. As my mind raced, it was at this moment that I made the connection that what had happened to me must have been directly connected to my tracing the "mysterious" piping.
mechanic3 (33K) The next morning the General Manager called me. He said that due to my past excellent employment record that the suspension had been reduced to one day and that I should report back to work immediately. The only thing I could think of was "what are they trying to hide" and "who are 'THEY'"!
That day at work went by as if nothing had happened. None of the other mechanics mentioned the suspension and my union rep told me not to talk about it. That night I logged onto the Internet to try to find some answers.
I don't remember now how I got there but I came across a site that talked about chemically-laced contrails.
That's when it all came together. But the next morning at work I found a note inside my locked locker. It said, "Curiosity killed the cat. Don't be looking at Internet sites that are no concern of yours."
Well that's it. Now I know 'THEY' are watching me.
While I don't know what THEY are spraying, I can tell you how they are doing it. I figure they are using the "honey trucks". These are the trucks that empty the waste from the lavatory waste tanks.
The airports usually contract out this job and nobody goes near these trucks. Who wants to stand next a truck full of sh--. While these guys are emptying the waste tanks, it makes sense that they could easily be filling the tanks of the spray system.
They know the planes flight path so they probably program the control unit to start spraying some amount of time after the plane reaches a certain altitude. The spray nozzles in the fake static wicks are so small that no one in the plane would see a thing.
God help us all.
-- A concerned citizen
Source: London Telegraph
By George Jones
Radical measures for tackling crime - ranging from monitoring the behaviour of the mentally ill with radio chips to hormone injections for sex offenders — are to be considered by the Government in a wide-ranging policy review ordered by Tony Blair.
The Prime Minister said yesterday that Labour had to renew its sense of leadership and energy as voters were getting bored with the party after 10 years in power.
He disclosed that he intended to stay in power until at least June to oversee a policy review aimed at ensuring that a "new New Labour" agenda would take the Government into the next election after he had left No 10.
The Cabinet Office published four policy review documents outlining the "big questions and choices" facing society in the next decade.
Cabinet ministers, civil servants and the public, through so-called citizen forums, will be asked to express a view.
Mr Blair asserted his grip on the Government's forward policy agenda as his most likely successor, Gordon Brown, flew to India for an official visit.
The Chancellor has indicated that he will not be bound by the reviews and has blocked Mr Blair's attempts to extend them to his own area of economic policy.
Mr Brown clearly wants a decisive break with the Blair legacy and has already started setting out his priorities, including spending more on education, a less overbearing state and a different style of government.
The policy review programme, which Mr Blair told his monthly Downing Street press conference had generated "real enthusiasm" across government, will be seen as his attempt to ensure that Mr Brown does not backtrack when he takes over.
The Prime Minister dismissed calls from some senior Labour figures to speed up his departure to allow Mr Brown to revitalise the Government before important elections in Scotland and Wales and English councils in May.
He gave the strongest indications yet that he intends to stay in office until the summer.
Asked whether he would be at a summit of European Union heads of government in Brussels on June 21, he responded without hesitation: "Of course."
His comments came after David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, told The Daily Telegraph that Labour would have to "defy political gravity" to win a fourth successive election and urged Mr Brown to adopt a "bold" agenda.
Mr Blair said he agreed with Mr Miliband's stark analysis of Labour's mid-term difficulties. But provide the Government did not retreat, "we will
come through this and come through it with the renewed sense of leadership and energy".
The options explored in the four documents dealing with public services, the role of the State, energy and the environment, and crime, justice and cohesion, are not Government policy but are intended to "facilitate discussion".
They show how the Government is thinking and its readiness to look at contentious and radical policies that have been tried abroad.
The most controversial paper dealing with law and order acknowledges that there will have to be "trade-offs" between liberty and security as technology and profiling are used to reduce crime.
It acknowledged that two thirds of the public believe crime is rising. People were less confident in the criminal justice system after experiencing it, while re-offending rates remained "stubbornly high".
While burglary had fallen, mugging had risen with the expansion of portable high-tech gadgets, and new crime opportunities such as identity theft and internet crime.
The policy paper confirmed the Government's objective of creating a surveillance society despite Mr Blair's denials of a "Big Brother" state. It said new anti-crime measures include face and voice recognition, a DNA database, identity cards, microchip monitoring and satellite surveillance — and confirmed that Britain has the most public CCTV systems in Europe.
It highlighted ways other countries have intervened to tackle crime and drug addiction — though it stresses such ideas "are not presently policies under consideration by the UK Government".
America is said to be "favourably disposed" towards preventing drug addiction through heroin and cocaine vaccination. It is also considering "more sophisticated" monitoring techniques, including a trial of "radio frequency identification chips" for the mentally ill.
Options for regulating behaviour include the use of legal restrictions on television beer adverts in use in over half of Europe. In Denmark, sex offenders are given hormone injections, while Dutch police recently sent text messages to warn citizens of an escaped paedophile.
Public sector unions are likely to be alarmed by suggestions of private and voluntary sectors playing an increasing role — such as the 14,000 bail bondsmen and thousands of bounty hunters who ensure defendants get to court.
Source: Press Telegram
By Kristopher Hanson
For nearly 60 years, rumors have circulated of strange flying objects emerging from the ocean off our coast and disappearing in a fantastic flash of speed and light.
Sailors, fishermen, dockworkers, police officers, coastal residents and others have reported eerie otherworldly ships emerging from and submerging into local waters.
UFOs, it seems, have established an underwater base somewhere in the deep, dark recesses between the Channel Islands and the coastline between Long Beach and Santa Barbara.
Despite a tendency to scoff at such conspiracies, I decided to do a little investigating. You know, just to be sure.
To learn more, I contacted UFO researcher Preston Bennett of Los Angeles, who appeared on the recent History Channel special "Deep Sea UFOs."
Bennett reports more than 40 documented sightings off SoCal's coast since 1947, including several in and around Long Beach-San Pedro.
"In these types of cases, UFOs are seen moving into and out of the water, floating on the surface and also traveling beneath the surface," Bennett said via e-mail. "Many of these cases are well-verified, with witnesses including police officers, lifeguards, military personnel and other professionals."
Intrigued, I contacted Lt. Chuck Engbring of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Engbring wasn't familiar with any recent UFO sightings at his agency, but recalled an incident not long ago where passengers on a commercial flight departing LAX reported seeing an unfamiliar object ascend from the sea to the sky off Point Vicente in Rancho Palos Verdes.
That incident sounded strangely similar to a sighting in early November at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. I called LAX.
Although no one could recall the Pointe Vicente incident, I was referred to a July 22, 2002, sighting of a flying triangle off the coast.
My next inquiry was to the LBPD.
They had nothing recent to report, but there's always the famous images captured by LBPD helicopter pilots on Dec. 25, 2004.
At around 11:30 p.m. that night, the chopper's videocamera recorded a strange glowing object floating through the Long Beach sky. They forwarded the tape to local military officials, who couldn't - or wouldn't - identify it.
A copy of the tape was even given to KABC and broadcast around the world, but nobody could figure out what it was.
Maybe there was something to this UFO stuff after all?
My next inquiry was at Long Beach Airport.
Airport Spokeswoman Sharon Diggs-Jackson said that in December, a resident reported seeing unusual lights moving erratically across the night sky.
Airport officials couldn't explain it.
As I learned during my research, such sightings date back to World War II, when reports of UFOs and USOs (unidentified submarine objects) began surfacing around the area.
The mother of all sightings probably occurred on the night of Feb. 24-25, 1942, in what became known as the "Battle of Los Angeles."
Jittery from the recent attack on Pearl Harbor, military personnel manning anti-aircraft weapons along the coast were ready for action when reports spread of "unidentified aircraft" approaching from sea.
When a bright object was spotted above Santa Monica Bay, shooting began, and "the air over Los Angeles erupted like a volcano," according to press reports at the time.
No enemy plane was ever found.
Many more incidents followed in the succeeding decades, though thankfully none involved heavy weapons.
On Aug. 8, 1954, a Japanese steam ship, Aliki, was floating off the coast of Long Beach when several crew members observed an underwater UFO, Bennett reported in a February 2006 article titled "Is There an Underwater UFO Base Off the Southern California Coast?"
As the intercepted radio message from the ship reads, "Saw fireball move in and out of sea without being doused. Left wake of white smoke; course erratic; vanished from sight."
Source: Information Liberation
Senate bill would 'create most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever'
"In what sounds like a comedy sketch from Jon Stewart's Daily Show, but isn't, the U. S. Senate would impose criminal penalties, even jail time, on grassroots causes and citizens who criticize Congress," says Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of GrassrootsFreedom.com
Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress, as lobbyists are required.
"Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever," Viguerie said.
For the first time in history, he stated, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.
"The bill would require reporting of 'paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying,' but defines 'paid' merely as communications to 500 or more members of the public, with no other qualifiers," Viguerie said.
The Senate passed an amendment on the bill Jan. 9 to create criminal penalties, including up to one year in jail, if someone "knowingly and willingly fails to file or report."
Viguerie said the legislation regulates small, legitimate nonprofits, bloggers, and individuals, but creates loopholes for corporations, unions, and large membership organizations that would be able to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, yet not report.
"Congress is trying to blame the grassroots, which are American citizens engaging in their First Amendment rights, for Washington's internal corruption problems," he said.
Christian leader James Dobson -- along with Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer and Don Wildmon -- spoke out about the provision on a recent "Focus on the Family" radio broadcast.
"The Democrats, and a few Republicans are trying now, very, very quickly, to insulate themselves from the public and to do it by muzzling people like us," Dobson said. "It's a complex piece of legislation and not everything in it is offensive. But the provision that we cannot accept would require organizations like Focus on the Family to report every contact with anyone in the executive or legislative branches and any effort to try to influence grassroots response, even if it doesn't include a call to action. In other words, they are trying to muzzle us and many other organizations."
Last weekend, Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, introduced an amendment to remove the bill's controversial section.
CBN News reported a senior Senate aide said the effort to remove the disputed section is garnering wide support.
"Virtually every single American is represented by a lobbyist," Sen. Bennett said while introducing the bill. "Every single American has someone lobbying in behalf of his or her interests, whether he or she knows it or not."
Bennett argued, according to CBN News, that if the Senate does not remove Section 220, "we will do damage to the constitutional right -- right there in the first amendment, next to freedom of religion and freedom of speech -- the constitutional right to lobby."
"Even though the people who broke the old rules were caught under the old rules, convicted under the old rules, and sent to prison under the old rules, we need to be looking ahead and recognize that in a world where virtually everyone is involved, in one way or another, we need to do this right," he said.
Co-sponsors of Bennett's amendment are Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Source: CBC News
Researchers who've found strange nanoparticles in a handful of kidney stones say the self-replicating specks may play a role in disease.
The U.S. researchers are not sure whether these tiny particles, 50 to 100 nanometres across, are living nanobacteria or some strange, non-living, self-assembling ball of chemicals.
"We have some evidence that would support either possibility," said kidney specialist Dr. John Lieske of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
He and colleagues report their findings in the December issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine.
At some point in their life about 10 per cent of people will get kidney stones, a painful condition in which calcium deposits clog the kidneys.
Scientists aren't sure what causes these deposits, but a theory Lieske and his colleagues are investigating is that tiny calcium-covered particles are partly to blame.
Previous research has found such particles in human serum, urine, renal cysts from patients with kidney disease, as well as in kidney stones.
Lieske says some researchers dub the particles nanobacteria, and propose they are a new disease-causing agent.
But Lieske says there is not yet enough evidence to say the particles are alive.
Lieske's team isolated the nanoparticles — which have a protein-lipid core surrounded by a calcium phosphate shell — from kidney stones.
The researchers grew the nanoparticles in culture over a period of four to eight weeks, and found that antibiotics and metabolic inhibitors slowed their growth.
Then the researchers grew a large batch of nanoparticles, dissolved the calcium shells and extracted proteins and DNA.
Does all this mean that the nanoparticles are nanobacteria after all?
Lieske says it's still too early to say.
"There definitely is DNA associated with [the nanoparticles]," he says. "But is that a contaminant?"
He says some fragments of the protein and DNA appear to match known bacteria.
His team now plans to grow more nanoparticles and see if they can find a unique genetic signature that would prove the nanoparticles are indeed nanobacteria.
Geologists and astrobiologists have also considered the possibility of nanobacteria over the years. For instance, understanding the full range of life forms is important in the search for extraterrestrial life.
Prof. Malcolm Walter of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology in Sydney, says there has been much skepticism about nanobacteria.
For instance, he says, there is still some debate about whether calcium carbonate nanoparticles found in a Martian meteorite are nanobacteria.
"[The particles are] so small nobody could understand how any known biochemical machinery could fit into them," he says.
Walter says the U.S. National Academy of Sciences convened a study to explore how small a living organism could be.
They concluded, he says, that anything smaller than 100 nanometres could be capable of independent life.
"This latest report is interesting but I notice how cautious [the authors] are in what they say," says Walter.
Whether they are alive or not, understanding the role of nanoparticles in kidney stones will be useful in developing treatments, Lieske says.
The particles could still be infectious disease-causing agents whose chemistry allows them to self-assemble.
"That could be a very interesting pathogenic process that might be something like prion proteins where it is disease causing but it's not necessarily an organism like we think of traditionally," says Lieske.
Either way, Lieske and team are containing the nanoparticle experiments so the particles don't accidentally give anyone a disease.
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