In Skagway, where back then the Klondike Highway entered the United States from Canada and ended in Skagway dock, it was all hard-pack dirt. Now its paved. I worked a lot of accidents up there where stupid people drove as if they were on some race track, fishtailing around the corners. Forgetting one side of the road was sheer rock cliff and the other side was a direct drop down 3,000 feet into Skagway River Gorge. I had this one lady from Fairbanks, en route to jump on the ferry for a 3 day sail to Washington. She later admitted to thinking she was late and was racing along "just a little bit", over the speed limit when suddenly a squirrel was in the middle of her roadway. She was driving a new car, the make I do not recall, and to save that squirrel she chose to climb the side of the mountain for a good fifty feet, before gravity moved in to the picture and she flipped over. But at least she didn't fall over the cliff, because at the point she was, it would've taken salvage helicopters to bring her car back up and a crew of valiant mountain climbers to bring her body up...plus a lot of rope...yup, lots of rope. The Border closed at Midnight back then and I drove up there if I was free to make sure the Customs agent got his place closed down. Afterward I would park atop this small hill, overlooking the dirt highway and I'd see if there was anyone trying to run the border. The fine was $500 a person. If one of those 45-passenger buses tried to sneak across the company was out $22,500.00. I'd turn them over to the Customs agent, who'd would grin widely with each haul we caught. There were like 8 signs on each side of the border announcing the closure of the Customs stations for both countries and to wait or risk stiff fines. Some people just couldn't read. The one night I was sitting up there, a 1968 Camero and 1973 Firebird came racing by heading south to town. I could see both cars were full of people, and by the speeds and all the swerving, the driver was in no shape to be behind the wheel. I turned on my emergency cop lights and went in pursuit, but I was too late. No one died that night, but only by someones angels did they survive. The Camero bounced off the side of the Firebird and was knocked against the sheer cliff on the right, where it slowly, carried by the cliff rocks and the energy it had produced, went end over end and landed on its roof after 1 1/2 flip. But the Camero, it was sitting nearly halfway off the cliff edge, but on its tires with just the one side bent in and several people inside screaming for fear they were about to fall in to the abyss. I'm calling for help, requesting the army, navy and Marines, plus a wrecker, ambulance and fire truck. But I had to choose and so, I went to the car left hanging. I always carry a tow chain in my patrol car, which is a 1979 AMC Eagle Station-wagon, which comes with a special iron tool to force me behind the steering wheel. Tourist love to see me climbing out of this clown car, thinking the circus has come to town. It was worse in the winter when I wore my parka. I hooked up the vehicle, but with the angle the car was and a small boulder keeping it from going over, I couldn't pull it. So it was question mark for awhile, because I couldn't get anyone out of the car. For when we tried, the car began moving and my AMC Eagle began inching toward the cliff. Finally the cavalry arrived. Enough emergency lights for the upcoming Christmas parade, but I noticed some of our responding volunteers had left the bars to help out. I kept them away from the cliff. It took several ambulance runs and the wrecker towed it back and hooked on to it for the ride down the hill. It ended up with a lot of under body damage. To say the least, I was doing paperwork well after my shift ended. Lots of paperwork in police work, which they rarely show.
Centuries ago, before we came to live in Skagway, the Whitehorse Railroad was running a small train of empty ore cars out of town and all the way to the mines outside Whitehorse, Canada- about 120 miles. The train had reached a point where it was over a thousand feet above the river and that's when the worst nightmare imaginable occurred. A section of track gave way under the train and with the brakeman jumping clear, only the engineer was left, still inside his engine, hooked to cars and caboose, as they went tumbling over the side. It must have been something to see. Once the dust settled the surviving brakeman was positive his engineer had to be dead from all that metal wrapped around him, but he wasn't. He had survived this fall against all odds, riding that engine as it rolled sideways glued to the windswept cliff outcropping and with a lot of prayer sent his way, within months he was back at work until he retired much later. Now getting those train cars up was an all-out effort with multiple cranes mounted on train flat cars. It took some time, but they got their train back, mostly in large pieces, however the ore cars were crushed beyond repairs anyway. One of the problems they had to deal with was the State and Federal Departments of Environmental Control. That train had landed in a lively river working its way out to the ocean and already the engine was leaking out most of its oil and fuel. Now the railroad company couldn't afford the fines if they had just left it laying there to rust. Within a couple of years the US would've owned the railroad, so the company spent a fortune recovering the train piece by piece. One good thing was that the ore cars were empty. It was zinc ore the brought from the mines. Now I met the old engineer and chatted with him a few times. A real joyful fellow, who liked to tinker on bicycles and then give them to kids or he'd work on bikes as he had time for other people.
I've worked plane accidents, boat accidents, car to RV and a train accident, where a car filled with Hazardous materials flipped over smack in the middle of one of my intersections. Alaska Railroad really disliked me after that event, but I was upset and someone happened to have called the Anchorage News....it wasn't me. But I enjoyed seeing the top echelon of Alaska Railroad grimace as a helicopter hovered nearby and took lots of photographs. Front page stuff. Took them 15-plus hours to get the train car righted, but I was ready to foam the whole thing if it started leaking the nasty stuff that was inside. I went through Crown Point Event and that another story for another time.
Let's move on to some News Briefs: Not many-
Germany: Neo-nazi group in the City of Dortmund, has reportedly asked for the names and addresses of all Jews living in the town. The Neo-Nazi Group, "Die Rechte" (The Right), or party has placed a member onto the City Council. Councilman Dennis Glemsch, was who sent the letter of request for Jewish names and addresses to the City Mayor. The Mayor was extremely upset and he, like so many others in Germany, especially the Jewish people, remember Adolph Hitler's plan included the identification and location of all the Jews, so they could easily be rounded up when he implemented his "Final Solution" extermination plan for all Jews. They at first be fed little and work as government slaves, once no longer able to be an asset to the Fatherland, they were shipped off to camps. Adolph Hitler's Special SS Units seized everything of value from the homes and the homes were then sold, with the Nazi Party collecting all of the money made. SS Officers of major and above involved the Final Solution Phase, pocketed the money removed from the Jewish bank accounts, home safe's and jewelry and artwork. It was rumored that some of the Jewish people survived the war, by being ransomed by family members in America or elsewhere. Much of these rumors have been used in fictional literature, but there is a lot of it. In the letter from the Die Rechte letter, they justified their request by saying it needed to know the size of each religious group in order to, "do it's job". The City Mayor called the request "obnoxious and perfidious antisemitism."
China: High speed rail to operate on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, linking Xinjiang with inland, to begin running in December. (Soon, China will have high speed rail moving across their country, into others they have treaties with, which have coastal ports.)
US: Australia, Japan and US have renewed vows on Tripartite Security Cooperation and urged peaceful resolutions of maritime disputes. But Beijing continues to advocate a dual-track approach to the South China Sea disputes, and rejects all external interference.
United Emirates: Now list the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.
Israel: Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman says that Israel will never agree to limit its construction activity in annexed East Jerusalem.
Amsterdam: Dutch authorities say the Bird Flu identified at a poultry farm in the country was the highly contagious H5N8 Strain of Bird Flu first detected in Asia. Lethal to birds, the Dutch government said the strain could infect humans who come into close contact with infected birds.
Israel" Prime Minister Netanyahu vows to push through the "Jewish State Bill", which will, if passed, recognize Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, while promising equal rights to all of its citizens.
Russia: Jehovah Witnesses are being banned in Russia and labeled as extremists. Critics link the ban campaign to the Russian Orthodox Church, which takes a dim view of new religious sects emerging in Russia.
Turkey: Prime Minister Erdogan, in his newest pronouncement, claims Muslim sailors reached the Americas more than 300 years before Christopher Columbus. He adds that Islam and the Latin world dates back to the 12th century. PM Erdogan added, "In fact, Muslim sailors reached the American Continent 314 years before Columbus, in 1178." ( Just to add a bit more rumor to this and a touch of fact, prior to this alleged sailing by Muslim adventurers, earlier civilizations had visited the North American Continent. Norsemen Run Stones have been found on the Mississippi River- almost all the way to where it joins with the Missouri River. Before them, the Phoenicians sailed around the world. If Turkey wants to look backward, it might recall when its mighty armies were wiped out by Alexander the Great and his Greek armies. There was also others and many more who want to say they were first. I believe Erdogan should be more concerned with his people and their needs.)
Earthquakes: (24) in 4.0 or higher in last 24 hours. (3) in Alaska 2.5-3.0, (4) in Oklahoma in mild range, (2) mild in Kansas, (1) 4.8 in Chile, (9) in Indonesia from 4.4-5.4, (1) 4.7 in Iran,
(1) 4.7 in Russia, (2) mild one in Puerto Rico, (1) 5.2 in Costa Rica, (1) 4.5 in Philippines, (1) 4.7 in Fiji, (1) 6.1 in Solomon Islands and (1) 6.7 in New Zealand.
China: Chinese yuan has weakened to 6.1409 against US dollar.
Thailand: Body parts of several babies and adults have been found in a parcel destined for Las Vegas, Nevada. (No exact address given and I am not going to elaborate on what the parts were. ) However they were preserved in preserved containers, with formaldehyde solutions, leading police to believe they might be for a collection or possibly for educational purposes. Thailand's postal services has had similar happenings in the past, where items of a gruesome nature, covered in gold, were being shipped out. These items, from what they were were and how they was covered in gold, were believed to be used for black magic rituals. (Evil is still alive, burying our heads in the sand only exposes our rear ends.)
Hong Kong: 7 Pro-Democracy protest leaders of the Hong Kong Occupy Movement have been banned from traveling into Mainland China, especially flying to Beijing, in hopes to appear before Chinese Authorities. They had began their Occupy Movement to contact China's changing its mind and refusing to let Hong Kong have free elections. China says they can have their free election, but they will choose the men or women who are to run in the elections. The Occupy Movement was entering its 7th week of demonstration, but now the court has authorized the protestors arrests.