I was no stranger to “Stan’s,” I often found myself sitting on a flight line at Karshi Khanabad reminiscing about past jaunts through Uzbekistan. Karshi Khanabad or ‘K2’ was usually the “putting in” point for operations in southern Afghanistan. I’ve also flown out from Manas Air Base at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for operations in northern Afghanistan. Heck, I’ve had the unique opportunity to bunk with members of the Mongolian Air Force in Kabul!
This “far away from the United States, daydreaming as the plane slowly taxis” bit never got old for me. Peering out of the window of an Antonov, hitching a ride while watching minions wearing Soviet-style military uniforms milling about. Some soldiers in fur Ushankas, armed with AK47s while were patrolling the field, wearing the high crested officers’ hats sporting their AKM and Tokarev pistols. These bizarre experiences always made me feel like I was an extra in a James Bond film.
My history buff side wanted to use up a favor from a friend. He was chairing this UN operation that had a contingent of Kazakhstan observers. I wanted to get on the ground in Kazakhstan and take a train up to Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Chelyabinsk is the home of the fortress of Chelyaba. Chelyaba was therefore on my bucket list. I have a penchant for ancient fortresses. I was lucky enough to be able to visit what was left of the Balkh outside of Mazar-I Sharif, the claimed birthplace of Zoroaster. I got to visit Alexander the Great’s fortress in Herat. The Qala Iktyaruddin or, ‘the Citadel of Herat’. Once, while driving on the Kandahar – Herat highway east to Pakistan I got to stop and check out another of Alexander’s fortresses, this one above Highway 1 just as you enter Afghanistan’s eastern border.
I had written a point paper trying to get funding for a project to study the Native American pueblos of New Mexico and compare the New Mexican tribal culture to that of the Afghan tribes. Arcadia CEO Shelly Williams and I had spent a lot of time in New Mexico in the early 2000s. We made frequent visits to Sky City (the Old Acoma Pueblo) to visit our dear friend Orlando Antonio and his family. The Acoma have continuously occupied a series of four Pueblos for over 2000 years.
We spent time with our friends, the Fragua’s on the Jemez Pueblo. I credit the Fragua’s with inspiring my legacy Storytelling aspirations. I still relate some of their stories during my speaking engagements. Shelly and I also spent time with the Taos Pueblo, built a thousand years ago and still thriving with residents.
Land of Enchantment.
New Mexico is beautiful and has a rich history and culture of the supernatural. Roswell is a smallish city in southern New Mexico. Will ‘Teacher’ Atkinson and I were headed to an operation at a location along the New Mexico/Mexico border. About halfway from Albuquerque Airport to our destination we found ourselves in Roswell and decided to stop for a meal.
To me, Roswell immediately conjured up images of Chelyaba, Russia. I’m told that in Chelyaba, everywhere you look there are signs talking about the interstellar visitor that crashed there. They even have a museum dedicated to the event. It’s the same with every business, street, and market in Roswell. Roswell is known for many things but likely most famously for the reported UFO crash in the summer of 1947. They even have a museum dedicated to the event!
A long time ago in the skies above Roswell, a balloon named NYU Flight 4 from the US Air Force Mogul Project crashed in the desert just outside the city limits. The crash scene was littered with strange metal and devices with rarely seen mylar-like material and strange-looking radar reflectors all of which came from a top-secret program, not from outer space.
Roswell, and most of southern New Mexico, is crisscrossed with Native American culture. It’s no secret that rich imaginations and thousands-year-old culture intertwined to form intriguing stories of alien corpses and never before seen metal gilding a craft that came from the skies rather than a simple surveillance balloon named NYU Flight 4. To many locals, a UFO manned by a crew from an alien civilization had crash-landed on US soil in southern New Mexico. The story in Chelyaba, Russia was strangely similar.
The Ruins at Chelyaba.
The Fortress at Chelyaba was built in the mid-1700s in the Bashkir. Trade routes in the area were easy pickings for criminal hordes until the emplacement of troops along the route, Chelyaba being one of the armed outposts.
On 15 February 2013, a superbolide meteor screamed into Chelyabinsk airspace. It exploded in a low atmosphere causing a huge explosion. The explosion caused thousands of injuries, some of them serious. The blast shattered windows, cascading fragments far and wide from a fireball that was brighter than the sun. The meteor that hit Chelyabinsk was 66 feet around and weighed in excess of 12,000 tons. As the Chelyabinsk meteoroid burned in, it was witnessed simultaneously by millions of people over a vast area. First, reports came in about a huge fireball, trailing smoke, heading at incredible speeds in a low arc towards the ground from outer space.
Witnesses report that while in midair, the fireball burst, sending out a blast wave that instantly blew out windows and power to over seven thousand buildings across six cities. 1500 people flooded emergency rooms across the region with blast injuries and severe cuts from flying, broken glass. Amazingly, no deaths were reported.
Please remember that the Chelyabinsk meteor was witnessed by millions of rational people. Tens of thousands of them called authorities reporting that a UFO, a flying saucer, had crashed to Earth somewhere in Soviet Russia. The Chelyabinsk meteor had been predicted, reported, and subsequently tracked by space agencies across the planet but now it was being reported as a UFO and myriad news agencies were reporting it thusly.
The surveillance balloon that crashed near Roswell, New Mexico was also reported as a spacecraft that had crashed to the ground. In the Roswell incident, the US Government was fine with the story. They didn’t want the world knowing about Operation Mogul so they were happy to feed the misinformation that fed the UFO fans wildest theories.
It’s hugely important that reports of Alien bodies within a craft began circulating well after the initial investigation (as recent as 30 years ago, over 35 years after the first reports of ‘space debris’ found in a desert field).
Operation Mogul’s primary purpose was to monitor the then Soviet Union so as to detect sound waves indicating that the Russians were conducting Atomic Bomb testing. The Roswell array of balloons were one of many such high-altitude arrays, many of which crashed here or there in part or in total from mid-1947 through late 1949. None of the other recovered debris drew as much attention as the Roswell “UFO” crash, largely because of the media coverage and so-called ‘witness’ testimony.
Mogul was merely one of many super-secret programs in play from the 1940s through the 1950s in an effort to spy on the Soviet Union from the sky. Project Skyhook, Genetrix, and Moby Dick were in place and scanning Russia from high altitudes with fixed orbits. These same programs are now conducted from the ground courtesy of the Geophysical Measurement and Signal Intelligence corps (MASINT) which, remarkably picked up the large explosion of the Chelyabinsk meteor when it occurred in Russia in 2013.
There are a bunch of less well-known airfields around the States. You can find them on maps and on internet searches, but they aren’t advertised very much. That’s mainly because of the secret nature of the work carried out on them. For example, Bicycle Lake has a US Military airfield. I used the field in preparations for operations at the US Army’s Fort Irwin complex and the NTC National Training Center.
Creech Air Force Base in Nevada is the home of unmanned drone operations where ‘pilots’ fly remotely operated drones that are carrying out clandestine missions across the world.
Nellis Air Force Base is located in southern Nevada and is the home of testing, tactics and advanced training for the Combat Air Force. Nellis has more squadrons than any other air force base in the United States.
Groom Lake has an airfield too. It’s the location of Homey Airport (KXTA) and it has been a US Air Force Base since 1955. It’s more commonly known as Area 51.
Area 51 is in southern Nevada 83 miles from Las Vegas. More importantly, it’s 80 miles from Nellis and 48 miles from Creech Air Force Base. Together, these bases form a huge triangle of intersecting training area airspaces which overlap creating a vast military range where the most secret air testing operations in the world take place.
It’s ironic that conspiracy theorists don’t equate the location of US Military bases and these testing ranges with the thousands of UFO sightings that occur in the area, yet they have no problem believing that the bodies of space aliens taken from the wreckage at Roswell are stored at Area 51. Witnessing an anomaly doesn’t mean that you are seeing something extraterrestrial or alien. Merely that you are likely encountering something which you haven’t witnessed before and your pre-classification brain is trying to figure out what exactly you have found or seen.
Do yourself a favor. Do your homework. Research anomalies for yourself before you try and name them.
Think about it. You can apply for jobs at Area 51. Some people prepare meals, clean offices, drive cabs, pave roads and flight lines, and do any one of the myriad jobs held by ordinary folks at Groom Lake, just like you and me. I had a Top-Secret clearance for decades and at times a TS/SCI clearance. That doesn’t mean I know a damned thing about flying saucers. Further, it’s unnecessary to have a TS clearance to work at the concession stand at Homey Airport.
The likelihood of you knowing so much about a super-secret base as popular in folklore as Area 51 is counterintuitive. It is ironic and defies logic.
Marren and I did a Podcast about Qanon and it was pretty popular. We also did one about Cryptids and I wrote about Globsters before. That one was popular but garnered some hate mail from UFO and Bigfoot enthusiasts. Why? Because people like to stick to their theories no matter how harebrained they might be. Why? Because they are YOURS. People take a greater stake in their beliefs and many times are willing to fight you for them.
Look, it’s not that I have it in (or out) for conspiracy theorists, I just want folks to know that FEAR is causing your fear.
My most recent UFO sighting.
A few nights ago, our son Nico was at Rogue Manor West helping Shelly and me with a project. He left just after dark. We live far enough out of town that we don’t suffer from skyglow or light pollution. That means we can see the night sky, stars, and all things flying from the horizon for miles in any direction. As Nico was preparing to leave, he brought our attention to over 60 lights in the night sky. They were like a string of Christmas lights, following each other through the sky. I went inside after filming the anomaly and checked online for similar sightings in the night sky.
What I found was a series of photos and videos purporting aliens and UFOs, but in between these articles, I found reports of people recording sightings of Elon Musk’s Starlink constellation. We saw a line of Elon’s mass-produced small satellites in an LEO (low earth orbit). I wasn’t afraid because I found a logical, plausible answer to the anomaly I was witnessing. I didn’t call the local authorities and report a UFO because I took the time to research the anomaly and found out that there was a scientific answer for what I had seen in the sky.
Fear creates a lot of confusion and anxiety. You don’t have to be a victim. You can train your brain not to be overwhelmed by fear and not to fall prey to misinformation and apprehension that goes along with the bewilderment caused by encountering an anomaly or experiencing something for the first time.
Most people think that the line, “…the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself” is from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inauguration speech as 32nd President of the United States on Saturday, 04 March 1933. The beginning of the speech went:
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life, a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”
Wow, truer words were never spoken, and Franklin’s presidential words are just as important NOW than they were THEN. Let’s endeavor to give credit where credit is due.
The fear of fear itself is a universal concept and pre-dates FDR. The first draft of FDR’s inauguration speech was written by Columbia University Professor Ray Moly. Moly presented it to FDR and FDR thought it was good but not powerful enough. FDR met with his longtime friend Louis McHenry Howe in DC the day after meeting with Moly. FDR related the first read of Moly’s work and Howe said, “I don’t care what you say as long as you tell people the only thing they have to fear is FEAR.”
Howe took that quote from a work by Henry David Thoreau. If you did some research, I’m certain you could track that term, those words in that order back to the Greeks.
Training changes behavior.