I am still trying to get one of those big federal grants to provide funds for our educational study on what causes and effects a month-long visit would have for a family of Alaskans to stay in Hawaii. My family has already volunteered to be the test subjects. Believe me when I say I have seen similar grants issued for downright silly projects and its only an example of how taxpayer funds can and will be used. Now I simply have to come up with a name for the company. Sadly, with my luck I'll get everything built and Alaska will suffer its first major drought and a snow-less winter. Even if I danced my head-off. Thinking about that I am reminded of a long ago prophecy by a Native Alaskan elder who spoke about how a snow-less winter will precede the Biblical End of Days. When we went through "the winter that wasn't" a few years back, where we finally got 6 inches of snow, experienced above zero temperatures throughout and that was it for that winter. It had a lot of us wondering.
Now, part one of "The Legend of Blue Eyes".
Thinking back, I suspect some people thought these incidents had something to with all the strange and highly classified experiments NASA or our Top Secret North Base facility, Edwards Air Force Base, California. After all, they both were said to be involved in such activities. It was even "rumored" the Roswell "aliens" was stored away in the North Base underground buildings and the rumored "Hanger 18" was an underground facility beneath the base's largest lake-bed. All one could see were air-shafts and a few upper windows to what was believed to be the North Base administrations building. This place was guarded by men in civilian attire and armed with automatic weapons. Two fences surrounded North Base and the interior one was "electrically" armed. Others believed NASA and North Base were tied in to all the UFO sightings made over the Mojave Desert during this same time period: Summer of 1974. Of course, we had those who believed it all a hoax, due to the showing of a base theater movie entitled, "Legend of Bogie Creek", three days before the first incident. It was a Big Foot movie or swamp monster flick and somewhat terrifying for the movie goers with a weak-heart. Me, I was fine, except for squeezing my date's hand to the breaking bone stage. I blamed it on the music, like from the movie John Wayne made where he was Genghis Khan- terrifying.
I had recently returned from my taxpayer's paid two long tours in Southeast Asia- Vietnam and Thailand. Not the kind of free vacation I had thought about in high school. Now I was assigned to the 6510th Security Police Squadron, Edwards Air Force Base, in the upper Mojave desert and 85-miles from North Los Angeles and 75 miles South East of Bakersfield. For those unfamiliar with Air Force job titles, the Security Police was exactly like the Army Military Police, but better trained. Here, the summer heat went as high as 133 degrees and the cool of the winter night could drop to zero or a bit below. Later, I would realize what serious cold was when I was sent north to Alaska, when I experienced minus 82 degrees for a 7-day stretch and still had to walk to work.
For myself, I found the upper desert to be a place of mystery, where the land could bring one's imagination into reality. Until I married my 3rd wife and was behaving much like any single guy would, I experienced the desert of Edward's 300-square miles with every chance. On duty as a patrolman, when I was able to escape the Security Police Desk Sergeant job, I drove over every dirt road and hard-packed trail I could find. I learned to know all the access points to the two massive dry lake-beds. I felt like an explorer, but chained to the limits of the base while on patrol. But there were times, acting in "hot pursuit", I was able to drive off-base chasing some clown behind the wheel. When this happened, I was promptly assigned to the Desk again. My flight chief always said I was always finding one form of trouble or another just to cause him heartburn.
I doubt there was many people on Edwards Air Force Base who knew the desert of Edwards AFB as well as I. Through my searches I discovered old facilities used by the military as far back as 1942, some of them underground and now used to house families of coyotes. I learned of the old gold-miners still out and about with their mules, drug runners using the Southeast corner of Edwards smaller dry lake bed to make drug drops for the gangs in Los Angeles to sell, a few people I discovered living in shacks on Air Force property and wild longhorn cattle. I later learned about the wild longhorns, an estimated herd of about twenty, that came from an abandoned herd brought into the Mojave Desert in the early 1900's. They were not all that friendly and extremely skinny.
The center of the base was a large complex of family housing, stores and various maintenance buildings and runways, that made up Edwards AFB. The base's runway was the longest in the Air Force-stateside and eventually used as an alternate runway for the Space Shuttle. The lake beds were often used by the various companies testing their aircraft to show the military what they had to sell. Edwards was also used as an emergency landing strip for B-52s carrying nuclear weapons. If something happened only Edwards would be lost, not that we enjoyed that idea or our sacrifice. I watched several B-52s land, but since I am still here we apparently never had an accident. One B-52 actually made a belly landing and you could hear thousands of people stop breathing until the aircraft settled and rescue vehicles raced in to prevent any spot fires from spreading. These were all the military and their dependents who had come to the lake bed to watch the emergency landing. The aircraft would circle the base until it was almost out of fuel, giving everyone notice of what was about to occur. A lot of prayers and crossed fingers happened with those B-52 landings.
Edward AFB was the test flight center for the military. Assorted aircraft manufacturers brought their latest aircraft prototypes here for a series of test and see if the Air Force or Navy and Marines might buy their aircraft. NASA also ran tests with their own aircraft and often these were strange in appearance. The lifting bodies were pod shaped or in the shape of a tear, this engine-less craft were dropped from a B-52 # 0008, which had come to Edwards right out of the factory. These lifting bodies would be dropped from major heights above the desert and would glide down to land on one of the lake-beds. This was part of the Space Shuttle program and delighted many a serious UFO fan, who thought little green men were piloting these crafts. In the 1975 Edwards AFB Open House, the lifting bodies were put on display for the first time, along with the Space Shuttle "Enterprise".
Great thinkers had their magic labs in these two locations; NASA and North Base. Across Main Base was the Rocket Site, about 5 miles from the flight line. This was another large complex and here the engines for the Space Shuttle and many a multiple stage rocket for the likes of Gemini and Apollo missions were tested. One Security Policeman manned the gate entering the facility and a second Security Policeman patrolled the large area. We'll be talking about the Rocket Site further along in this story.
Security Police flights; A, B and C, were each manned by some thirty plus personnel. Working C Flight, we handled the 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. shift or 0001 hundred to 24 hundred hours. We would often rotate to a different shift's hours as needed or scheduled, but most of us preferred the late night shift- less traffic and far less officers looking over our shoulder. I was somehow assigned to the position of Desk Sergeant, a job I had only handled once before for a couple months in Thailand. I much preferred town patrol over there. But I am drifting here and need to pull back to my assignment on the desk. I supervised one Assistant Desk Sergeant, who was often not even a sergeant-yet. I handled the radio for dispatching and receiving call from up to 30 patrolman. The entire base was under our authority, patrol work, gate guards for the flight line and Rocket Site, and one to two SPs in the armory. My job handled counter traffic and phone traffic, dispatching patrols as needed. I typed a running 24 hour blotter and the incident reports turned in by my patrolman and represented the Base Commander during those late hours, with a hotline to the Base Command Post ( unreachable by anyone without the clearance to be there). I mention all this because you will find all this information appropriate for the forthcoming events.
I dealt with many drivers who passed through our base on the open state highways. We had no gates, but they do have them now. These people were often lost, trying to find Los Angeles or San Bernardino and the desert did have a way at night to leave some people confused. Also we helped a lot of the visiting relatives trying to find a service member stationed here. Our patrols all too often fond the lost souls, or they called in on our emergency phones the base had installed on the highways. The summer desert was no place to have a car breakdown or become stuck in the soft sands. We even had some desert rats who passed through, not even caring the military had arrived. It was just another town.
No, Edward Air Force Base was an interesting place to be assigned as long as one could handle the summer heat, sand storms and one blizzard that caught everyone unaware as 10 inches of snow covered the upper Mojave and winds reached 60-70 mph. This place also came with rattlesnakes-named Mojave Greens, spiders in all sizes, scorpions up to 5-6 inches in length and more rattlesnakes. I was once guarding an aircraft crash way out in the Upper Mojave, along with another SP. My wonderful flight chief thought I needed a break and thought this would be a fun assignment for me. He expected a quiet night from me out there. With nothing to do, we each slept off and on, making sure no one came by to steal parts off the aircraft. The Accident Investigation Team was due out in the morning, along with the retrieval trucks and crane. So, the night went by without incident, but in the morning, I was stepping out of our truck to commune with Mother Nature and suddenly heard the hair-razing rattling of dozens of Mojave Green Rattlesnakes. I pulled my foot back in and looked out my door. We counted more than 100 rattlesnakes, which were apparently all drawn in by the heat of the crash. What a sight. We called it in and I could almost imagine the perturbed expression on my flight chief. A fire truck had to come out and start foaming the area to get the snakes to leave, which took several hours. But I was gone by then, needing my bed and some breakfast.
One of our more unusual tasks involved an elderly Hispanic sheep herder, who had protected (grandfathered)rights, older than most of the base, to bring his sheep herd through the Western side of the base. He showed up every summer. But this one summer of 1975, our housing area was visited by more than 200 sheep. They went just about everywhere, causing traffic jams and whatever and our flight was called out to assist the day time shift with corralling them. Seems our herder had fallen seriously ill and needed emergency care. Locating his truck and trailer, we got him to the hospital and he was treated and spent the next couple of days in the hospital's patient wing. This was unusual, as he was a civilian, but the Base Commander wanted him near his sheep for when he got well. The dogs, now willing to leave the herder, did a fantastic job keeping the sheep together, while the base personnel provided food and water for both dog and sheep.
Now my flight chief and I would argue, by ourselves of course, about my job assignments for the next week. I wanted to spend some time on patrol and he wanted my backside glued to the Desk Sergeant chair. True, I often was looking for trouble on patrol, which I continued into my police career. He got mad at me one night and assigned me to Rocket Site Patrol for punishment. Well there was a big strike going on at the Borax plant in Boron. This was located outside the Northeast corner of the base and sometimes we could see the fires burning from the violent incidents between strikers and security personnel. The night I was assigned up there I became involved in a car chase through the open desert, but I was in a four-wheel drive vehicle and my suspect was driving a two-wheel drive truck. I had requested back-up and my buddy Chuck, (we had gone through Vietnam, Thailand and were sent here- its mighty unusual to get assigned to three bases like we were), was dispatched from South Base Patrol.
The suspect vehicle finally got himself stuck and Chuck and I discovered two men in the vehicle. Both of them well-armed but not offering any resistance. We also discovered 22-revolvers and pistols in the back of the truck. This led to a major incident involving notification to the Command Post and the OSI ( Office of Special Investigations- military version of the FBI). It was first believed the two men were running guns to the strikers in Boron, but later it became clear the two men had brought their firearm collection out into the open desert to make sure all the guns were operational with some shooting practice in the morning and had no idea they were on the base property. We allowed them to keep their firearms, but Chuck and I still sited them for Trespassing. At Edwards we had a civilian court with a state magistrate appear once a month to handle minor violations and traffic citations. They both plead guilty to the charge and shook our hands on the way out, glad to have their firearms back. For all this I was once more glued to the desk chair and advised I'd have another birthday or two before I saw patrol again. My flight chief was a mean old dude at times.
Another time, while on patrol I found a suitcase packed with dynamite sitting on the side of the roadway on South Base and a couple of months came upon a suitcase full of marijuana. I gathered I had come across someone's drop point and ruined their day. My best time was a 26-mile chase at 100-120 miles per hour, from the East North Base area, going off base in hot pursuit for some distance and then watching the driver slam his vehicle right into a California Highway Patrol roadblock. Both his vehicle and the CHP unit was totaled and the suspect needed hospitalization. The CHP sergeant came up to me and said, "I don't care what you have on this guy, but he now belongs to us." All I had on him was stealing copper wire from various old sites, speeding and eluding me. Never did find out what happened to the driver, once he got out of the hospital. But I sure was yelled at by the squadron vehicle manager for nearly blowing up the engine of my patrol car. Back on the desk.
I'll stop here and bring you Part Two tomorrow. But now just a few news briefs to keep you updated.
Jerusalem: Nigerian tourist is being examined for possible Ebola. Special quarantine in place.
US Senate - new Bill to be introduced by US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex), which will move to strip American citizenship from those individuals fighting alongside the Islamic State- which will stop them from re-entering the United States.
US Ambassador, Samantha Power, to the United Nations says Syria may be hiding chemical weapons despite signing on to an agreement renouncing its chemical weapons.
FBI reports Cuban Intelligence is aggressively recruiting leftist American academy and college students and professors as spies and influence agents- using sexual entrapment operations- a common tactic. Cuba is working under the assumption how a percentage of students will go on to become US Government employees and will provide valuable intelligence information.
US Authorities have ramped up efforts to prevent Terrorists from acquiring nuclear and radioactive materials as concerns mount the Islamic State and other terror groups seek to develop a weapon of mass destruction for a terrorist attack. (Islamic State already in possession of 90 lbs of radioactive material- plutonium it seized from Mosul University in Iraq. Strange how no one is inquiring into why and how the university had so much plutonium).
World Health Organization reports an estimate of one suicide occurs in the world every 40-seconds, amounting to more than 800,000 suicides a year. Date comes from a study of 172 countries and took over 10-0years to compile. (But is anyone listening?)
United Nations say $600 million needed to attack Ebola Crisis. Volunteer health workers drastically need to help fight this deadly virus and other health concerns.
Another IRS Scandal: IRS improperly obtained donor lists from non-profit groups as part of a "Secret Research" project being run by Former IRS leader Lois Lerner and other IRS officials.
State of California to be the first state to ban single-use plastic bags. ( I wonder what happens with plastic trash bags).
City of Long Beach, California reports first West Nile Disease death for this year. 9 cases of the disease have shown up in Long Beach. State of California has confirmed 181 West Nile cases this year. This is an increase from 101 cases at this point in 2013. 9 patients have died in California this year.
Russia has issued a ban on Candy Import to the Ukraine. (That's really hitting the old sweet tooth).
Russia announced their plan to hold a major exercise this month involving 4,000 troops and personnel involved in Russia's Nuclear Arsenal. This will bring increased tensions between Russia and NATO. The proposed air power to be used is unprecedented for exercises of this kind. Enemy forces to be made up of Russia's Spetsnaz (special forces) units. Expected to be held in Eastern Siberia. ( This makes it very close to Alaska, if anyone noticed).
Russia violates Finland's airspace for 3rd time this week. Finland says it will step up its air surveillance.
6 months of fighting in the Ukraine, involving Russian and pro-Russian troops, has led to an estimated 2,600 deaths.
Ebola deaths now over 1,900. Doctors meet in Geneva to discuss 10-possible vaccines or cures for Ebola. Some experts say "we are losing the battle" to halt its spread. Some are beginning to wonder ( though its a little early) if this Ebola virus is the Biblical one promised to wipe out one-third of the world's population in the End of Days. (As I said it's too early for this. People have suspected the last 3-4 major outbreaks of terrifying virus or diseases to be the one in Revelation's prophecy.)
UNICEF releases report how one-in-ten girls are subjected to sexual abuse worldwide. Report also shows 6-in-10 Children- ages between 2 and 14 subjected to regular physical punishment. This mean nearly 1 billion kids are facing this abuse.
Iceland's Bardarbunga Volcano erupts- second time since August 29th.
Kazakhstan- High alert called after radioactive container fell off a truck and "disappears". Shipment of Caesium-137 radioactive isotope burns and causes death after high exposure. (Could be used for the manufacture of a "dirty bomb".)
It's been a long wet day and nearing dinner time. God Bless, BILL