Being stationed there so long, I was able to see many of the NASA flight tests. The lifting body was the test vehicle they used to help them develop them in the construction of the Space Shuttle. The first shuttle was named "Enterprise", but it was only used for testing and was never given engines. We at Edwards, who saw the Enterprise very often had always hoped they would've placed engines in her to let her fly into space. But they mounted her a top this 747 and flew her up into the higher skies, where she would disconnect and provide results as she flew and then guided into a landing. For the longest time she landed on the dry lakebeds, which made Edwards the best testing area beginning in the 1930's. A lot of history in Edwards, and being a history nut I dove into the unclassified files stored at the Office of Information. I'll tell some other facts at another time.
When the Enterprise made it first landing on our actual runway, over 5,000 base residents were out there to watch and we received a thrill when she came in and bounced off her left-side wheels, tilting her to the left, but the pilots brought her back down and a lot of people were able to breathe again. She received a grand applause by the people watching from the main hanger area and holding their breath for a brief moment. After that, the Enterprise never had a problem landing.
Oh, one little fact about the Enterprise, when they built her it became time to weigh her and Edwards has a special hanger for this purpose. Edwards is the flight test center for the Air Force and civilian air craft companies bring their military-style aircraft there to be tested. But when they hauled the Enterprise into this hanger to be weighed, a quick thinking enlisted man with a good eye, began shouting an waving his arms. He needed the 747 to come to an abrupt halt. Seems that the tail of the Enterprise was 18 or so inches taller than the hanger and had they not stopped, both aircraft and hanger would've suffered expensive damages. Then they had to back the plane and space shuttle out, which had not been done before. Suddenly a lot of people were down their beside the tow tractor shouting direction to this driver- an enlisted man. To cut this short, they got up on top the hanger and cut a wide opening 2/3 down the hanger roof. During the Enterprise's stay at Edwards, I was first able to get into the 747 and saw the while inside filled with 55-gallon drums of fuel. Never did count them, but the aircraft needed more than its wing tanks to handle weight of the Enterprise. Later, I was told the drums were removed and large fuel bladders were installed. Then came my encounter with sci-fi, for I was given a tour of the Enterprise and the cabin for the pilots were straight out of Star Trek.
But in my time at Edwards, I was able to see a U-2 spy plane very close-up, I set in the cock-pit of the Black Bird- a SR-71, also in the cock-pi of a B-1 bomber and watched the testing for F-15, F16, F-17- which became the F-18, and the A-10 tank destroyer. Now that A10 was impressive, except when it is painted pink. They were trying out various camouflage paint jobs and one had a definite pinkish color. In my color vision- it was pink. They chose the gray, which was on the third aircraft- # 3 out of 7 A-10's.
NASA became one of our favorite places to go and as a dog handler I was brought up there numerous times. Now this was back in 1976 and back then they were testing the first drones. They would paint them up, including the shape, to look like the planes being tested there. That way when someone saw it high up in the sky, they would just think it was one of those test-birds. I nearly stepped on one, as it was warming up for take-off when I came through the wrong door. I then watched as all four of these 6-7 foot long drones took off. Of course I had no idea they were drones back then, but that view came out years later.
Now north of NASA was the secretive "North Base", totally off limits to everyone except civilian workers and civilian security. It was rumored the Roswell Aliens were stored there and where "Blue Eyes came from. Now that a different story for a different day. Now there is a story on line concerning "Blue Eyes, written by a troops who wasn't even stationed there when the event occurred. I was not happy when I found it, as it was a bold a** lie. I'll tell the story, but it will need to be on a day when the mood strikes me.
Back in my day, there was two state highways that went through Edwards Air Force Base, so there were no gates. The base, which took up 300 square miles, was completely open to drive through. This did cause some problems, but the Security Men learned how to work with Civilians, unconnected to the Air Force and had had special citations for them. The speed limit was 65mph and we had several people try to outrun us. I chased ( my longest pursuit ever) one gentlemen for 29-miles. I had seen him stealing copper from the Rocket Site ( not now), and pursued him through the south-base roadways. My Desk Sergeant ( my usual job until I became a dog handler), notified the California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Sheriff of my need for assistance. In was driving a 1968 Chev 4x4 p/u and 120 was my top speed. So, I was clearly losing him when he tried to crash through two California Highway Patrol Cars. When it was shown he was still alive, the sergeant with the CHIPPY's (they were never called CHIPS back then) came up and said, "I don't care what you had on him, this man is ours now.) But I still had to file a report.
Let's go to the news:
Norway News: Police in Norway to now carry weapons after the recent terrorist attack in Sweden. (Another story, same day). Oslo Norway: Now home to two infamous gangs, who members a mainly Pakistani-Norwegians, known cleverly as A-Gang and B-Gang, Story also carried in the Pakistani Daily Times ( In Norway).
Local-Norway News: "Norway grants asylum to torture-fearing Turkish officers". Turkish military personnel have ignored orders to return to Turkey, after last year's failed coup.
N-News Now: Iraq- Kurdish officials report that ISIS have killed 140 civilians, then publicly hung some of the bodies.
N-News Now: Mexico- 588 Cubans stranded on U.S. Border to be given Mexico's "Residency Status".
Jerusalem On-line: United States- 30 gravestones in a Pennsylvania Jewish Cemetery vandalized. ( Our country's anti-Semitism continues to grow. Is it the Jihadist Muslims who've been allowed to legally or illegally enter our country, or homegrown hate mongers?)
N-News Now: New Mexico's governor signs into law protection for LGBTQ Youth from having to go through "Conversion Therapy". To BAN Gay "Cure Therapy" for Minors. (This reminds me of what the Jihadist Islam are doing and what Hitler's "evil" doctors did to Jewish teens and children in the late 1930's through 1945. This should never be allowed to happen to our citizens in the United States.)
The Daily Wire: US- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson orders up a formal audit of his agency as his staff finds a "Staggering $520 Billion in just book-keeping errors".
Global Times: "Big Asteroid to fly very close to earth in Mid April" Date is now forecast to be April 19th, unknown time presently. Asteroid was discovered 3-years ago.
Iran Herald News: British Columbia/Canada- Government rules that "Requiring Women Employees to Wear High Heels at Work is a Safety Issue, Putting Workers at Risk of Slipping or Falling as Long-Term Injuries." - That was the headline but eventually they get to saying the law enforcing this is now no longer in force. (tossed into the trash can).
Iran Herald News: North Korea- "High Profile North Korea Defector Warns the World- 'Beware Kim Jong In is Getting Dangerous and Desperate, and Unless he is Eliminated, the World Should Prep for his 'Desperate and Dangerous Strike'. " The Defector identified as Yong-ho, who had served as North Korea's Deputy Ambassador to the United Kingdom. ( I have read in other articles of how Yong-ho is in hiding to prevent his assassination. If it was me, I'd be volunteering for the next South Arctic year long assignment as cook.))
Iran Herald News: Philippines- Fearing a tsunami hundreds of people evacuated near the Philippine capital of Manila, after 3 reportedly strong earthquakes struck the region. Manila reported to have sustained damage, but no report in any deaths or injuries. Earth Quakes is 5.0-5.9 range.
Guardian News: Greece- "Women's Rights and Gender Equality/ Belgium and Greece Among Countries Failing Women on Rape Laws." Reports by "Equality Now", also found that in Greece, Serbia, Russia and Thailand, perpetrators of sexual violence can be legally exempt from punishment in certain circumstances, for instance - if the girl is deemed "too young to consent" to sex. In Belgium, rape is considered "A Moral Crime" rather than a "Violent" one. Convicted rapists are able to escape punishment by marrying their victim or reaching a settlement with them. The World Health Organization, also known as WHO, reports that about 35% of women worldwide have experienced "Forced Intercourse" or forced sexual acts. ( Go to WHO online and you can find out a lot more information.)
N News Now: Russia- Russia has announced it will recognize West Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Again, we come to our end. I do hope you have enjoyed the reading. In closing I would like to thank the person who contacted me in reference my 3 books in print. He provided a very thorough critique of each book and I'm happy to have received this now because of the re-write I am doing for the Sandbox-Wars. Thank You. I would enjoy positive and negative critiques from other readers. Tell me what you thought of "A Coming Storm", Very soon I'll be transforming this book into a 12-part series and I know the original has ALOT of errors. Please e-mail your thoughts and I promise not to bring down a Chinese curse upon you. True, I doubt I can't even think of one of those.
So, I will try to post my next Journal in 3 days. God Bless all of you, BILL