Thursday, July 30, 2020

Smallpox-tainted blankets were 1763 bioweapon on northern Appalachian Mountains frontier

By Steve Hammons 

Many of us might have heard or read accounts about Native Americans being given blankets tainted with contagious disease during the early Indian wars in an effort to create deadly epidemics among American Indian people. 

In situations before, during and after the early colonial Indian wars of the 1700s when this could have occurred, there is often little or no hard evidence. 

However, historians have found solid proof of intentional infection of Indian tribes via gifts of smallpox-tainted blankets during spring and summer of 1763 in the northern Appalachian Mountain region. Smallpox is a highly-contagious disease with horrible symptoms, aftereffects and a high death rate. Even today, it is considered a bioterrorism and bioweapon danger. 

During that 1763 period, British officials, commanders and settlers on the western frontier in the central and northern Appalachian Mountains were facing renewed hostilities with local Native people – Shawnee, Mingo, Delaware and others. And British officials and settlers were eagerly eyeing what they called “the Ohio Country” just west of the Appalachians. 

The British military and colonists had defeated the French in the French and Indian War (1754–1763) for control of the region. Now, in the spring and summer of 1763, what had previously been the site of French Fort Duquesne at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers was the British frontier outpost Fort Pitt, built in 1758 (now Pittsburgh).


After the defeat of the French and their signing of a final treaty with the British, regional Native tribes had also signed agreements with the British. Colonial expansion into Indian lands would be restricted, according to these agreements. Native tribes who had sided with the French to push back British expansion into Indian lands briefly ceased hostilities. 

But the Native people saw that after the defeat of the French, even more settlers from the British colonies to the east were invading the Appalachian Mountains. The French were pushed out, now the regional Indians also wanted to halt and reverse the intrusion into their lands by British colonists and officials who also wanted that land. 

Those British settlers were also pushing over the Appalachian mountains into the western side of the range – into the lands surrounding the vast river said to be known to regional Indians as the “Ohi yo” or “Ohiyo.” 

With more British forts, troops and settlers moving into the region, violence again broke out. This is known as “Pontiac’s War.” There were attacks on settlers and battles with frontier colonial militia and Redcoat troops. 

Around Fort Pitt, Shawnee, Mingo, Delaware and others were fighting back against the steady invasion of their lands from British military forces and colonists. By summer 1763 Fort Pitt was under siege by a force of regional Native tribes. The Shawnee and their allies had been attacking British outposts and settlers throughout the region. 

The commander of Fort Pitt, Capt. Simeon Ecuyer, along with Col. Henry Bouquet and Sir Jeffery Amherst, then commander in chief of the British forces in North America, exchanged correspondence about trying to trigger a smallpox epidemic among their Native adversaries.

Ecuyer had sent word that Fort Pitt was under attack, under siege and in grave danger. Because of the Indian attacks, local colonial settlers had fled to the fort. Additionally, smallpox had broken out at Fort Pitt and was also occurring in the area. 

Bouquet, based in Philadelphia, was on his way to Fort Pitt with military reinforcements. In their correspondence, the two men agreed on the plan to infect local tribal communities with smallpox. 

At the same time of those communications between Ecuyer and Bouquet, a Fort Pitt fur trader, land speculator and militia captain named William Trent wrote in his diary about including blankets from the fort’s smallpox infirmary in gifts and provisions to Native representatives during negotiations. 

In the correspondence and diary entries, there is clear and detailed proof of the intent to spread smallpox among the Indian communities. There are also indications that Gen. Thomas Gage, who replaced Amherst the same year as commander of British forces in North America, also may have known about the smallpox infection tactic.


Regional tribes on the western side of the Appalachian Range wanted to force the British and their colonists out of the Ohiyo or Ohio region, and back across to the eastern side of the Appalachians. 

During the Indian resistance of Pontiac’s War, it has been estimated that more than 500 British troops were killed. In the Ohio River Valley region, approximately 2,000 settlers may have died during the conflicts. 

Native forces destroyed many British forts along the frontier. However, Fort Pitt and two others, Fort Detroit and Fort Niagara, survived. 

Due to the escalated warfare, in October 1763, British authorities did issue the Royal Proclamation of 1763. This restricted any expansion of settlement by colonists west of the Appalachian Mountain Range. 

But by 1763, many colonists were already increasingly at odds with their British overlords, and this proclamation was widely ignored and not enforced. This issue is regarded as one of the many that triggered the American Revolution. British subjects in North America were not about to stop their quest for the land that lay to the west.

And when the full-scale rebellion broke out, the British called upon regional tribes to side with the King and his Redcoats. Because if these rebellious colonists were not held in check, they would surely further invade Indian lands. Many Native tribes did side with the British during the Revolution for that reason. 

When the former British colonists established their new nation -- one they named the United States of America -- the expansion of those former colonists westward would continue to impact Native people in traumatic ways for many generations up to the present day.

Historians apparently are unsure how effective the smallpox-contaminated blankets were in causing an epidemic in the Indian communities involved in the siege of Fort Pitt. Smallpox was an ongoing threat in that era. 

However, through intentional or unintentional means, it is undisputed that huge percentages of the Native population of North America died from European diseases. This probably significantly contributed to their military defeats from the 1600s to the 1800s as well as much damage and destruction for many American Indian societies and cultures.

(Related articles “Storytelling affects human biology, beliefs, behavior” and “Reagan’s 1987 UN speech on ‘alien threat’ resonates now” are posted on the CultureReady blog, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense.) 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Well-known ‘Mothman’ case also about dedicated local journalist, Native history?

By Steve Hammons

The so-called “Mothman” reports around the town of Point Pleasant, W. Virginia, in 1966 have been widely portrayed in books, TV shows and a popular Hollywood movie.

Real-life researcher and writer John Keel went to Point Pleasant to investigate, where he worked closely with local newspaper reporter and columnist Mary Hyre of The Athens Messenger daily newspaper based in nearby Athens, Ohio. Athens was founded in 1797 and is home to Ohio University, chartered in 1787 and founded in 1804.

Hyre had been following up on reports from local citizens about UFOs seen in the sky (now referred to as “UAP” by the U.S. Navy – “unidentified aerial phenomena”). Then, reports of a large, unusual being also started coming in.

Some Point Pleasant locals reportedly wonder if various odd occurrences in the area are linked to the deeper history there. Long before the UFOs and Mothman allegedly showed up in the area, the October 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant or Battle of Kanawha took place.

Native Shawnee of Ohio, Mingo of W. Virginia and other Indian allies were defeated by colonial Virginia militia in this important battle. The father of Shawnee leader Tecumseh was killed in the battle when Tecumseh was just a boy. Shawnee chief Cornstalk is said to have asked the Great Spirit for a curse on the land there.


In the 2002 Hollywood movie version, “The Mothman Prophecies,” based on Keel’s 1975 best-selling book of the same name, Richard Gere plays the Keel-like character. Hyre seems to be represented by actor Laura Linney who plays not a local community newspaper reporter, but a city of Point Pleasant police officer.

The 2019 movie “Dark Waters” starring Mark Ruffalo looks at this same region along the Ohio River. The 2019 best-selling book “The Pioneers” by historian David McCullough also explores the area. In fact, McCullough focuses on Athens and the founding of Ohio University, now home of the respected Scripps College of Communication and E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

Hyre worked at The Messenger’s news bureau covering Point Pleasant and the surrounding region. She was part of the community and her newspaper column “Where The Waters Mingle” was widely read. Point Pleasant is at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers.

In 1966, Hyre was covering the normal kinds of community events and news topics when reports started coming in of unusual lights in the sky. These reports were from reliable citizens. So, she started following up, conducting interviews with locals about what they saw, and writing articles about the accounts and observations being reported to her.

When Keel arrived in Point Pleasant to investigate, he and Hyre worked together to try to understand and document the unusual reports and unfolding developments in the area. There would be dozens of UFO reports in the area, maybe hundreds.

These reports of odd phenomena ended up continuing for more than a year into 1967. There were also claims of pets and livestock being mutilated.

And then, on Dec. 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge from Point Pleasant across the Ohio River collapsed. Thirty-one cars plunged into the cold river, 46 died and nine were injured.

Hyre covered it all, as painful as it was for her. Her role as a dedicated journalist and trusted neighbor to the people of the area is a part of the Mothman story that is often overlooked.

Hyre passed on in February 1970 at age 54 after a brief illness. She had served the people of the area as a trusted journalist at The Athens Messenger for more than 27 years.

On Sunday, March 30, 1975, The Messenger ran an article with the headline, "Mason 'Mothman Prophecies – Author Keel Dedicates Book to the Late Mary Hyre.” The article recounted how Hyre and Keel joined forces to gather information, attempt to gain understanding and inform their readers.


Could Hyre, Keel and the residents of the region have been dealing with, in some mysterious way, the troubled history of that area – and of our country?

According to some accounts, Shawnee Chief Cornstalk called upon the Great Spirit to curse the land around Point Pleasant because of the treachery and harm caused to the Shawnee and other Indians of the region.

European colonists from Virginia and other colonies were pushing further into Native lands. And some of these colonists and their militias were having increasingly strained relations with their British overlords and Redcoat troops.

Tecumseh, whose father was killed at the 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant, would grow into a leader who would try to unite Native people of the region. He unified many Indian tribes in an alliance to establish a joint-tribal territory.

But, in the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers in northwestern Ohio, Tecumseh and his alliance were defeated by frontier militias and forces of the new government formed by the European colonists to the east – now called the United States of America.

The Shawnee were eventually pushed out of all of Ohio. To Kansas, to Oklahoma, to the winds. The Miami or Myaami in southwestern Ohio and Indiana were also forced west to Oklahoma.

The Cherokee, just to the south, 
intermingled and intermarried with Scottish, Scots-Irish and Anglo pioneers during the 1700s. Many mixed-ethnicity families in the region were created. These cultures merged and a unique population developed. Some Cherokee took up the ways of European colonists and new “Americans.”

Yet, the Cherokee, including many mixed-ethnicity Cherokee, were rounded up, forced into harsh detention camps, and forced west on various versions of the “Trail of Tears” around 1838-39, when thousands died, including babies, children and the elderly. 

A so-called “Cherokee diaspora” took place – Cherokee people dispersed far and wide, though many remained close to the homeland in the southern Appalachian mountain area. And many had adopted the Anglo and Scottish names from their fathers and grandfathers, and were as white as they were Cherokee. Over the generations, these families intermarried into the larger population of the region and throughout the U.S.

Is this complex and difficult history related in any way to the UFO and Mothman incidents in Point Pleasant in 1966-67? Were Mary Hyre and John Keel actually encountering something related to a deeper history, an ancient history of that area?

After all, long, long ago, Shawnee, Mingo, 
Cherokee and other Native tribes and cultures had been there for thousands of years. They lived in the deep forests and hills. They lived on, traveled on and fished in the many streams and rivers, including the majestic waterway they called the "Ohi yo" or "Ohiyo."

And generations upon generations were born, lived and passed on in the region “Where The Waters Mingle.”

(Related articles “Storytelling affects human biology, beliefs, behavior” and “Reagan’s 1987 UN speech on ‘alien threat’ resonates now” are posted on the CultureReady blog, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense.)

Friday, July 3, 2020

‘Hillbilly’ J.D. Vance, columnist Clarence Page find common ground in southwest Ohio roots

By Steve Hammons

Long-time Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page and J.D. Vance, author of the book “Hillbilly Elegy” (movie due out soon), have recently acknowledged some overlapping elements of their upbringing.

Both are from Middletown, located between Dayton and Cincinnati in the southwestern corner of Ohio, near the Indiana and Kentucky state lines.

Page, a generation older than Vance, has pointed out that both his father and Vance’s grandfather worked in the same Middletown lumberyard, and that both families struggled financially.

Both Page and Vance have noted that limited economic opportunities contributed to hardships for not only their families, but also for their larger communities. For Page’s family – the Black community. And for Vance’s family – the people in southwest Ohio from southern Appalachia.

In both cases, Page and Vance say that the experiences of their families are similar to those of others from these respective communities.


These two communities have sometimes been perceived and labeled in certain derogatory ways. The two also seem to have several factual historical elements in common, as well as obvious differences.

In the case of southern Appalachian “hillbillies,” often of Scots-Irish backgrounds, they have sometimes been called a dysfunctional group overall, with bad work habits, problematic family relationships, low educational attainment, poor health, drug and alcohol abuse, antisocial behavior, a bad attitude that is rebellious against authority and a chip on their shoulder.

In the case of the Black community, they have sometimes been called a dysfunctional group overall, with bad work habits, problematic family relationships, low educational attainment, poor health, drug and alcohol abuse, antisocial behavior, a bad attitude that is rebellious against authority and a chip on their shoulder.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to examine the histories of these two groups and see that there are significant similarities that could be related to some of these derogatory perceptions and labels.

Both have a history of being used as cheap labor – very cheap labor – and often trapped in oppressive poverty by external economic, sociological and geographic circumstances for generations while trying to survive and work toward a better life.

Both Page’s and Vance’s families had moved north in years past, north of the Ohio River and into that southwestern corner of Ohio. The general route from the southern Appalachian region into southwest Ohio and points north and northwest is known as the “Hillbilly Highway.”

This is not to be confused with the east-west, officially-named Appalachian Highway, State Route 32, between Cincinnati and Athens, deeper in the Appalachian region. Athens is home of Ohio University (Page’s alma mater) and a key data point in historian David McCullough’s recent best-selling book “The Pioneers.”

The Underground Railroad across the Ohio River and through southern Ohio was another north-south route taken by many people who were also seeking a better life. Today, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located in downtown Cincinnati near the Bengals and Reds stadiums on the banks of the Ohio River. After the Civil War, of course, many people headed north for a number of reasons.


Some or many of the experiences of the families of Page and Vance in southwestern Ohio are probably related to the deeper historical background of the area, in one way or another.

Long before the Civil War period, Revolutionary War veterans and other settlers moved into the area as the Shawnee and other Native tribes in the region were being pushed out. Cincinnati was named for a Revolutionary War Continental Army officer veterans’ group.

After the Revolutionary War, the land rush into “the Ohio Country” was on. The Shawnee and other regional tribes fought many battles to protect their land and way of life. But, in the end, they were militarily defeated.

Quaker settlers had arrived in southwestern Ohio in the early 1800s and continued migrating to that area and others north of the Ohio River. In their own way, they tried to help the defeated Shawnee and other tribes, sometimes through misguided approaches. Regional Quakers were reportedly very involved in the Underground Railroad and anti-slavery 
abolitionist movement.

Several waves of German immigrants arrived in the southwestern Ohio area in the mid-1800s. Cincinnati was a major center for German immigrants and is still a center of German-American culture today.

Some people may associate German-Americans of the region with
loyalty and ideological issues during World War I and World War II. However, German-Americans from Ohio fought bravely for the Union in the Civil War. Several all-German-American regiments from Ohio and elsewhere in the North fought in major Civil War battles.

So, it’s probably fair to say that Page and Vance are both products of similar and common experiences, not only of their growing-up years in Middletown, but also of certain larger contexts of American history and the history of southwestern Ohio.

(Related articles "Navy Research Project on Intuition," "Human perception key in hard power, soft power, smart power" and “Storytelling affects human biology, beliefs, behavior” are posted on the CultureReady blog, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Startup company researching advanced tech, UFOs gives updates during Q&A

By Steve Hammons

More information was put forward last week about news reports describing U.S. Navy encounters with unusual, unidentified objects or phenomena.

In an email notice last Thurs., May 21, to interested members of the public, the startup company To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science (TTSA) published questions and answers from a May 13, one-hour, live, Q&A session on Twitter.

Twenty-five of the questions were posted and TTSA adviser Christopher Mellon did the answering on behalf of the company. Mellon is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence.

In the past two years, both the Navy and the U.S. Defense Department have confirmed that multiple incidents involved what they are officially calling “unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP).”

The company also noted that it plans to launch a communications effort called “TTSA Talks” that will use various formats to discuss and explain TTSA’s research and other activities. Mellon’s Q&A session on Twitter is planned to be the first of several TTSA Talks, the company said.


Of the 25 questions selected by TTSA for publication, some focused on the Navy fighter jet videos that have been in the news. Other questions and answers involved the activities of Congress and the U.S. defense and intelligence communities. The role of the media and the accuracy of news coverage were also brought up.

Below are verbatim excerpts from 12 of the 25 Qs and As that seem to provide helpful ways to look at these and related topics:

Q #2: Is it plausible that the #UAP subject has been buried deep within private industry to avoid government oversight and public scrutiny? And if so, what can be done to identify the private entities in possession of the data (or technology)?

A: It is possible that there are aspects of this that are in private sector hands …

Q #7: Reporter George Knapp [award-winning investigative journalist, KLAS-TV News, CBS8, Las Vegas] has speculated there are other, better funded UAP programs that should come to light. Word is about 4 of them in existence for many decades. Do you feel confident we will learn about more programs in the near future?

A: I’m not sure what programs he is referring to but I see no evidence DoD is about to release info about new, undisclosed, classified programs on this topic. We applaud DoD’s recent openness regarding the videos however we would like to see greater transparency going forward. All of us at TTSA would like to see greater government transparency.

Q #9: How would the team respond to criticism of a small group claiming TTSA is positioning #UAP as a potential threat to create a "defense" narrative around the topic? This seems simply a way to engage those who only respond to something if they think it’s a POTENTIAL threat.

A: We were motivated by the lack of support for pilots concerned about threats to (them) from these aircraft, from mid-air collisions, or possibly worse.

Q #11: Thanks for getting credible mainstream outlets to cover this (NYT, CNN, WaPo, etc.)! My question is does appearing on disinformation programs like Glenn Beck/Hannity do more hurt than good?

A: I don’t regard the UAP issue as a partisan topic, and Lue [Luis Elizondo, TTSA director of government services and programs] and I do interviews for all manner of press. I have independently written about my concerns and distaste for excessive partisanship and the problems it poses

Q #12: Has there been any tangible progress on the international stage? What kind of progress, do you believe, has been achieved by other countries in tracking, investigating, and replicating these phenomena? And, lastly, are you seeing positive momentum?

A: There is growing international interest. In 2018, for example, the Chinese government-funded an international UAP symposium focused on high tech issues. Lue recently returned from a visit to Latin America that will feature prominently in an upcoming episode of #UNIDENTIFIED [A&E History Channel docu-series “Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation”].

Q #13: If @TTSAcademy could only accomplish one goal (in my opinion you've already accomplished a great deal) - What would the most important thing that comes out of all this?

A: Great question! If the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life is established, it will prompt the biggest transformation in humanity’s outlook since Copernicus.


Mellon also fielded additional questions that have been raised over the decades as well in the last couple of years.

Q #14: Can you address how the understanding/realization of the UAP being a real phenomenon has changed you and other members of TTSA at a personal level?

A: Wow, interesting question. I’m proud of what we have achieved in a short period of time but also keenly aware that the ramifications are immense and potentially very concerning. The more concrete the issue becomes the more weighty it becomes.

Q #15: How do you guys straddle the confidentiality issues that are inherent with Disclosure of these matters? What's it like to work with people that know things but can't breach their confidentiality?

A: People in the IC live with that all the time. Even among people with TS clearances there are all manner of restricted compartments. I once had to live with a report that terrorists had smuggled a nuke into DC and I couldn’t warn friends and neighbors to get out of town! That was difficult, this is not.

Q #16: In May 2016, Leslie Kean 
[author, journalist, researcher] asked: "Are you certain there is no government cover-up?" You answered, "It’s impossible to prove the negative, so all I can say is that I never saw any evidence of official interest in UAPs."

A: Uncle Sam has a big basement and rummaging around there can turn up all manner of things. However, I think the central problem at the moment is the lack of government interest and effort to get to the bottom of the issue.

Q #17: If the 3 videos released thus far were unclassified (and it’s arguable whether they ever were) it begs the question: why? It seems out of character to release footage like this unless the content is unremarkable or part of a planned disclosure campaign.

A: DoD has thoroughly reviewed the videos and publicly stated: “After a thorough review, the dept. has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena.”

Q #24: Other than "these objects are real" do we know anything about the phenomenon at this stage... like what it is, who it is, where it's from, etc.?

A: Our government hasn’t bothered even to pull data from existing sensor systems much less engage in a vigorous investigation …

Q #25: Hello, my question is: do the vast majority of people in the intelligence community believe that the UAP’s could in fact be extraterrestrial?

A: Absolutely not! We’re still at the stage of getting the community to take the issue seriously. Once people do engage however this hypothesis inevitably arises.

-  -  -

The TTSA company advises people to stay tuned for future communications about their research and work. In their recent email, TTSA explained about future TTSA Talks efforts. “The program will invite different members of the TTSA team to host informative conversations that dive deeper into the complexities surrounding the company’s mission."

"Those who are able to tune-in will get exclusive insight into the various people, partnerships and projects that are helping us achieve our goals. Formats will include live Q&A sessions, podcasts and more. We look forward to announcing our next installment of the series very soon,” the company email stated.

To read the full 25-question Q&A, visit the TTSA site 

(Related articles "Navy Research Project on Intuition" and “Storytelling affects human biology, beliefs, behavior” are posted on the CultureReady blog, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense.)

Sunday, March 15, 2020

‘Boomer remover’ coronavirus is bigger threat to WWII generation that saved the world

By Steve Hammons

So far, the coronavirus seems to be creating more severe illness and death among people age 60 and older, according to reports. This obviously impacts the post-World War II “baby boom” Americans (and those in other countries) who were born between 1944 and 1964, and are now around age 55-75.

Hence, the term for coronavirus, “boomer remover,” that has been circulating out there, along with the virus itself. There reportedly are approximately 76 million baby boomers in America.

Boomers are also the group that generally faced the Vietnam War (1955-1975). They fought in the war, and against it – both often with courage and honor in the face of conflicting, changing and very difficult circumstances.

But the greatest risks from coronavirus reportedly are to the World War II generation, born between 1901 and 1927. Those women and men experienced the Great Depression (1929-1933) and are now in their late 80s and 90s. They are our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

Oh, and by the way, in the World War II era of the mid-1940s, they helped save Planet Earth and humanity from the dire threat posed by the perverse and murderous Nazi movement then centered in 1930s and ‘40s Germany. U.S. military deaths during WWII totaled more than 405,000.


According to news reports, recently-released forecasts by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that, over the next year, the coronavirus could potentially infect between 160 million and 214 million people, and kill between 200,000 to 1.7 million people in the U.S.

Younger adults might think they will not be significantly medically affected by the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease, based on current research data. However, the highly-contagious disease could be fatal for their parents and grandparents.

And recent reports from France note that half of the patients in intensive care from COVID-19 are under age 60. Preliminary medical data from Italy are also noting a significant number of cases in younger adults, somewhat in contrast to initial data from China indicating a significant risk for older adults only.

Generations X, Y and Z might be younger and, in general, healthier than Boomers and the WWII generation, but Gen X Americans are not exactly young anymore, and some Gen Y folks are pushing age 40:

- Gen X:  Approximately 82 million in U.S., born 1965-1979, currently ages 40-54.

- Gen Y: Approximately 72 million in U.S., born 1980-1994, currently ages 25-39.

- Gen Z: Approximately 74 million in U.S., born 1995-2015, currently ages 4-24.

Additionally, people of all ages should be aware and concerned about the possibility of the coronavirus mutating into a form that could impact a wider scope of people. Viruses naturally mutate, and this is a common trait of viruses.

According to some research, the coronavirus might have already mutated into two strains. Mutation could affect how easily a contagious virus can be transmitted, who it affects and how deadly it is.

Mutation can go either way – toward a less harmful or more dangerous virus.

Because there currently is no proven and approved medication, and no vaccine for coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease, a mutation in the wrong direction could be very problematic for a broader demographic of Americans.

So, there are a number of good reasons for people of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances to follow recommendations from public health officials. Today, Grandma and Grandpa are at greatest risk. Tomorrow, it could be you.

The incubation period for the coronavirus is reportedly from 2 to 14 days, though typically around 5 to 5.2 days, according to U.S. public health officials. That indicates that the virus is currently incubating in many Americans who will start experiencing symptoms in the next 10 days or so, and beyond.

That is when our hospitals and front-line health care providers could be pushed to the limit, or past the breaking point. We might run out of hospital beds, ventilators, protective gear for providers – and health care providers themselves as they become ill with COVID-19. 

If you are age 25 with pneumonia from coronavirus, and there are no medical resources to help you, what would have been a treatable condition could become fatal.


According to the CDC, their forecasts indicate that hospitalizations from coronavirus could range from 2.4 million to 21 million people. In the U.S. currently, there are approximately 925,000 beds, less than 100,000 of the beds are for critical patients.

The sooner we “flatten the curve” through robust “social distancing” and delay the inevitable spread of the COVID-19 disease, the better off we all will be.

It seems possible or likely that military resources will soon be deployed further to assist – reserve components (National Guard, Reserves) and active-duty. National Guard troops have already been called out in several states. Military field hospitals, large and small, can be erected quickly and staffed with highly-trained and experienced military physicians, nurses and other health care specialists.

Our military not only has a well-developed and mobile medical system, but also has expertise in logistics, moving things and people from one place to another. Military personnel could also be made available to assist in other non-medical public health efforts of various kinds.

Other potential resources include volunteers who could undergo a rapid-training program to assist in multiple ways. College students and high school students, at lower risk for serious disease, could be trained-up quickly for a number of urgent situations. Other civilian volunteers, many of them suddenly unemployed, could also be promptly trained to help.

The pandemic has cost many Americans paychecks temporarily, and it is certain to result in a loss of jobs and income for a large number of our citizens. In addition to this important factor, many people want to help in any way they can. They want to pitch in to get through this situation.

A trained volunteer force could transition into a paid paraprofessional force on a temporary basis. We will probably need these reinforcements soon. 

It’s time to think outside-the-box, enlist all Americans to pull together, and rapidly implement intelligent, responsible and effective leadership throughout our society  from the top down, from the grassroots up, and from the center out.

(Related articles "Navy Research Project on Intuition," "Human perception key in hard power, soft power, smart power" and  “Storytelling affects human biology, beliefs, behavior” are posted on the CultureReady blog, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense.)

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Sketchy dimensions: UFO investigations reveal need for caution, potential for beneficial discovery

By Steve Hammons

Movies, TV shows, books and other media platforms seem to increasingly explore scientific mysteries about the Universe, Earth and Nature. Although the accuracy and reliability of some of these stories might be questionable, many of the areas of investigation seem to spark the curiosity of millions of people around the world.

New discoveries seem to be happening all the time, and more are surely on the horizon. Keeping up with new, and maybe unusual, scientific developments seems to require increasing open-mindedness combined with common sense, caution and a moral compass.

For example, information technology, quantum computing and artificial intelligence are evolving rapidly. Medical and health sciences are also moving forward. And many other areas of human endeavor and knowledge seem to be generally progressing, despite numerous risks and counterproductive human activities and developments.

In some forward-leaning scientific research, investigators are looking into the expanded potential of human perception and awareness, “weird physics” and the theories about multiple dimensions in Nature and the Universe.

Certain locations in the U.S. and around the world have been the focus of extensive research because of theories that they are associated with connection points or portals to other dimensions – dimensions that may be natural, but unusual for us.


A book published in 1995 was titled “Merging Dimensions: The Opening Portals of Sedona” by Sedona, Arizona, residents Tom Dongo and Linda Bradshaw. The authors shared details of a number of unusual experiences and observations around the Sedona area.

The book seems to reflect other research on that same region that indicates fluctuations in Earth’s magnetism there. This is believed to be related to the geology of the Sedona area – red earth, red cliffs and fantastic red rock formations there are rich in iron oxide and quartz, combined with volcanic geological influences.

Some of the odd phenomena reported in the Sedona area are reportledy suspected of being associated with connections to other dimensions.

Sedona is also on the southwestern rim of the Colorado Plateau, which spans the Four Corners states of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. This overall region is also associated with theories and reports of incidents related to interdimensional phenomena, UFOs and similar mysterious, and sometimes unsettling and concerning indications.

Around the Colorado Plateau and around the world, researchers and average people have reportedly encountered a number of anomalous locations and situations that seem to point to the possible reality of other dimensions. These dimensions might be nearby, or even abut our reality in certain ways, according to some theories.

Research into “near-death experiences (NDEs)” includes widespread reports by credible people of an afterlife dimension of some kind that they encountered.

More recently, the concept of “shared-death experiences” has emerged, describing cases where it’s not just the person passing on who has a weird experience. In shared-death experiences, family members or others in proximity who are perfectly healthy also experience odd phenomena related to the passing of the loved one into another dimension of some kind.

In some spiritual teachings we are told that there are certain dimensions that are good, transcendent and beautiful. And other dimensions – not so much.


Science and spirituality continue to cross paths in many types of research. This connection is sometimes reported in relation to natural and biological sciences, medical and health sciences, aerospace and space science, as well as other fields of human activity and progress.

The classes in Earth science we had in school might have been incomplete. In addition to geography, geology, oceanography and other Earth sciences, textbooks might one day include chapters about Planet Earth’s various interdimensional features.

And like the normal environments we’re familiar with, some dimensions might hold pleasant experiences. These could be like a beautiful ocean beach, scenic hilltop, peaceful blue lake or fertile green pastures and farmlands – with good, kind and wise beings there.

We might wonder if other dimensions, like those we’re also normally familiar with, could be like a wild forest or jungle, with creatures that could be dangerous and deadly. Or, also like on Earth, environments where there is violence, war, cruelty, oppression and suffering. If this could be so, then researchers and average people might consider increased caution when exploring certain unusual phenomena.

In our everyday world, it’s a good idea to avoid sketchy neighborhoods where violent crime occurs frequently. Taking vacations in certain countries and regions of the world is also not a good idea, due to crime, murders, and now, highly-contagious disease.

Maybe this kind of perspective is also applicable to some far-out and forward-leaning research into the ideas about multiple dimensions, UFOs and other anomalous phenomena. In both normal and unusual settings, any number of dangers or unforeseen consequences can sometimes emerge. Caution and safety are probably appropriate.

And for those who are researching theories of other dimensions, there’s also the promise of discoveries that could change Earth and its inhabitants for the better – in ways that could be surprising, signficant, robust, uplifting, transcendent or even miraculous.

(Related articles "Navy Research Project on Intuition" and "Human perception key in hard power, soft power, smart power" are posted on the CultureReady blog, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense.)

Sunday, February 9, 2020

‘Phoenix lights’ UFO linked to multiple incidents around four-state Colorado Plateau?

By Steve Hammons

The March 13, 1997, “Phoenix lights” UFO incident took place in close proximity to several other UFO cases around the edge of the Colorado Plateau, a huge land mass, roughly circular, that spans the “Four Corners” states of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

The large, boomerang-shaped object reported over Phoenix that evening had allegedly been spotted earlier in Henderson, Nevada, a suburban city of Las Vegas, then in Kingman and Prescott, Arizona, heading southeast.

That southeasterly path also skirts the perimeter of the Colorado Plateau and the abutting mountainous “transition zone” which divide Arizona diagonally into the Sonoran Desert in the south and southwest, and the Colorado Plateau in the north and northeast.

In addition to Arizona, in New Mexico, Colorado and Utah – around the perimeter of the Colorado Plateau – there have been reports of UFO incidents over the years dating back to the 1940s.

Could there be any connections or related reasons why these incidents allegedly occurred, and are reportedly occurring, around the edge of the Colorado Plateau?


Using the Phoenix lights case as a starting point and proceeding counterclockwise, Henderson, Kingman and Prescott are on the western and southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, approximately the 9 o-clock to 8 o’clock position of the rough circle of the plateau.

Kingman may have been the site of a 1953 UFO crash incident, possibly involving three or more objects, that was handled in a discreet manner by U.S. government national security officials.

Phoenix is on the southern side of the Colorado Plateau, at approximately the 7 o’clock position, just south of the mountainous transition zone between the plateau and the Sonoran Desert.

Sedona, where UFOs and other odd phenomena have been reported, is also in the same 7 o'clock position, a 90-minute drive due north of Phoenix. At about 4,300 feet elevation, Sedona is considered within the transition zone and on the southern edge of the actual Colorado Plateau. Flagstaff, about 30 miles north, is on the plateau at 7,000 feet elevation, and the vast forests of pondersa pines there welcome visitors.

A bit southeast of Flagstaff is the area of the 1975 UFO case involving a forestry crew and its foreman named Travis Walton. This incident was made into the Hollywood movie “Fire in the Sky.” It reportedly took place in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests on the Mogollon Rim, a notable geographic feature that forms a distinct edge of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona, also roughly in the 7 o'clock location.

At approximately the 5 o’clock spot on the rim of the plateau is Socorro County, New Mexico, the site of the well-known 1964 UFO incident involving City of Socorro public safety peace officer Lonnie Zamora. Astronomer and Ohio State University professor J. Allen Hynek, PhD, a scientific investigator with the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book, flew to New Mexico to investigate this case in person.

In about the 3 o’clock location of the plateau are the towns of Aztec and Farmington, New Mexico, and, to the east, southwestern Colorado’s San Luis Valley. 

According to some researchers, a UFO crash-landed near Aztec in 1948. Federal government and U.S. Army personnel reportedly responded to the scene via nearby Durango, Colorado, just north of the state line. The object was reportedly recovered and removed.

In 1950, a signficant number of citizens of nearby Farmington allegedly observed dozens or hundreds of UFOs above their town over a three-day period. This case is known as the “Farmington armada” incident and was well-documented in newspaper reports at the time.

The 37th parallel runs directly through this region and some researchers speculate that it is a "paranormal highway" for unusual occurrances. 

The Continental Divide of North America also runs north-south through this region, and to Alaska and South America. Water on the east side of the divide flows toward the Atlantic Ocean, and to the Pacific from the west side of the divide.

Colorado’s San Luis Valley to the east, abutting the New Mexico state line, is known as a hot spot for UFOs and other anomalous situations.

Continuing counterclockwise around the Colorado Plateau at approximately the 12 o’clock or 11 o'clock position is Utah’s Uinta (also spelled Uintah) region. This area is a known location of multiple UFO sightings and a diverse array of anomalous incidents.

Going further counterclockwise along the northwestern flank of the Colorado Plateau, abutting the I-15 freeway, continues around the plateau to the 9 o'clock Henderson-Las Vegas area via nearby St. George, Utah, close to
 the Nevada and Arizona state lines(St. George looks a lot like Sedona, with red earth, and scenic red cliffs and mountains, and is also on the 37th parallel.) 


As we know, UFOs have reportedly been sighted and encountered around the world, in all types of locations, time frames and circumstances. Yet, if there are possible clues, patterns or guideposts that might emerge, we might be wise to take note.

The March 1997 Phoenix lights incident is somewhat distinct because it occurred over a major city in the mid-evening hours. Hundreds or thousands of people in the area were looking skyward to view the much-anticipated Hale-Bopp comet on a pleasant and clear Sonoran Desert spring evening. 

A huge V-shaped or boomerang-shaped object with several unusually-large lights underneath reportedly cruised slowly, silently and at a relatively low altitude right over the middle of the metro Phoenix "Valley of the Sun." It allegedly travelled diagonally from northwest to southeast, along the southern perimeter of the Colorado Plateau and abutting transition zone mountains north of Phoenix.

Hundreds, or thousands or tens of thousands of people may have witnessed the object. Many reportedly called 911, local TV stations and Luke Air Force Base on Phoenix’s west side. Luke AFB might have scrambled F-15 fighter jets in response, though this is apparently in dispute.

A few hours later in a seemingly separate incident, conventional illumination flares on parachutes were dropped by Air Force or Air National Guard planes south of Luke AFB at the nearby Barry M. Goldwater Range used for Air Force training. 
These flares would have been to the southwest of metro Phoenix. 

According to a later Air Force statement, a unit of the Maryland Air National Guard deployed the flares while completing training at the Goldwater Range that night before returning to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.

(In 2011, UK Royal Air Force Apache helicopter pilot Capt. Harry Wales, Prince Harry, trained on the Goldwater Range at the Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field.)

In the days after the Phoenix lights sightings, then-Governor Fife Symington seemingly made fun of the incident at a well-known press conference when one of his aides dressed up in an extraterrestrial alien costume.

But in 2007, Symington, a former Air Force officer and pilot, came forward and said publicly that on the evening of March 13, 1997, he heard the chatter about people seeing something above Phoenix, and he went outside to check it out. Symington stated he also observed the huge craft with large lights that he does not believe was a U.S. military or civilian aircraft.

In 2017, actor and pilot Kurt Russell revealed that as he was flying into Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport March 13, 1997, he spotted six unusual, large lights and notified air traffic control at the Sky Harbor control tower. Russell has stated he thinks he might be the civilian pilot who was identified as having initially reported the object/lights on his approach to the airport.

And in 2020, to mark the 23rd anniversary of the incident, the annual March showing of the documentary film “The Phoenix Lights” is scheduled for Sunday, March 15, at the Harkins Shea 14 Cinema, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Looking at the Phoenix lights case in the context of UFO sightings around the world, do the Phoenix incident and other Colorado Plateau-related cases provide any clues about the broader and deeper UFO mysteries?

(Related articles “Storytelling affects human biology, beliefs, behavior” and “Reagan’s 1987 UN speech on ‘alien threat’ resonates now” are posted on the CultureReady blog, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense.)