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[PART 53]

Defense Matters

THE GADGET

By now the Tunguska bomb project had spread its work to more than 35 program most-secret sites across the United States and Southern Canada with two additional research facilities in England. Four of these facilities were now producing high-grade (92.5% pure) uranium-235 and uranium-238. There was one area however, which had been especially selected to put all of this work together and build the ‘gadget’. It had to be not only most secret, it had to be far enough away from populated areas (not a big problem) so that if the device exploded prematurely or some other type of accident occurred few people would be killed and fewer still would know what had actually happened. The site chosen was Los Alamos, New Mexico, in the hot desert (not a particularly welcome spot for Martians which was one of the reasons why it was selected) known by the Committee as “Tunguska West.” (Within the Committee going out west meant a trip to the Los Alamos assembly and test site.)

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The Gadget

After the “West” team put it all together the bomb was scheduled be taken fully assembled to the vehicle designated to deliver it to the target. At the time no one knew what type of vehicle that might be. The only piece that would not be put in at Los Alamos was the igniter, which was about the same size and shape as the average torch (flashlight). That would be carried separately by a second team. This was a failsafe precaution. If the bomb was captured it could not be exploded without the igniter. (Of course the igniter was useless without the gadget). They would have only captured a very heavy piece of very complicated metal, which could not be set off even if the largest conventional bomb had gone off right next to it. It would have been very dirty bomb, but it would not be an atomic explosion.

We still had hopes the Martians were unaware of our work on their very destructive device.

AIRCRAFT CARRIERS READY TO GO

After years of research and development military forces of several major Earth nations now had a new group of truly battle-ready aircraft carriers set to be deployed around the world. Committee and major world governments could now count 102 such massive ships, half of which were slated to be deployed on patrol duty in “peace time” with all 102 to be on duty when and if word was received that the Martians were on their way. The public would soon hear that these carriers such as the HMS Hermes with a British crew, the USS Lexington from America, the Japanese carrier Hosho and the CS Morgan with an international crew were on duty. All of these carriers would act as the central vessel of what was later called a “Carrier Task Force Group”. Each group set sail with at least three battleships, four destroyers and several cruisers as well as tankers and other support ships. They could also boast the presence of at least two attack submarines as part of their task force. The Martians would, we felt reasonably certain, have a tough time going after these ships as they were prepared to do battle over the skies of our oceans. Martian ground forces could not attack these ships. It was our plan to hold and control all of the world’s oceans and sea lanes even as we expected to lose a good deal of ground in land battles, at least at the start of Martian operations.

Adding to these large carriers we had converted dozens of merchant ships, mainly as a stop gap measure, now designated as escort carriers to be used to provide air cover for large convoys as well as a secondary assignment to support any expected amphibious landings. This conversion work was a direct off shoot of the work which had been conducted in the 1920s.

Nations around the world had also produced 60 so-called “light aircraft carriers” which were larger than the escort carriers, but smaller than the Carrier Task Force version. These carriers were the fastest in these fleets as all of these had been built on hulls which had originally been designed and built for fast moving cruisers. It was expected that we would need more air resources than sea recourses to fight the Martians thus the need to convert these hulls to small yet fast sailing aircraft carriers. For the purposes of strategic deployment, nearly half of these light carriers would be pre-positioned off of major coastal population centers providing an additional off-shore air cover for these cities. Their deployment off shore was hoped to be unexpected by any Martian ground based attack force. Ours plans called for our forces to envelop and attack any Martian force from as many directions as possible at the same time (Land, Sea and Air).

THE PANAMA CANAL

Additional work on the Panama Canal area was also being finished up at this time. Begun in 1930 and completed in 1935 workers had finished building the Madden Dam across the Chagres River above Gatun Lake as part of the upgrade work on the Panama Canal. The creation of Madden Lake added a great deal of additional water storage capability long known to be critical for the area. The new submarine bases at both ends of the canal were also complete and were now fully operational. Both had been completely covered by camouflage and protected openings. There was nothing on the surface to indicate that these new submarine bases even existed. If the Martians were to fight on the oceans these submarine bases would give them a good run for their money. We hoped they would provide a very nasty surprise for them to deal with.

It should be recalled that H. G. Wells was never a great believer in submarine technology at the time and more so when it was actually developed. He was even less enthusiastic about the whole thing when he learned that several Directors would probably be onboard when they were deployed. “My imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocate its crew and founder at sea.” The way I looked at it was anything a Martian cannot find they cannot shot at!

WHITEHEAD’S PILOT-LESS AIRCRAFT

It had taken many years of hard dedicated work by several teams to finally put together a workable pilotless aircraft we could actually control, but the task had finally been accomplished. This advanced version had a small TV camera in its noise which transmitted an image to a pilot who could then control the aircraft while he sat in a control plane as far away as 15 miles. Tests of this remarkable device showed that well over 80% of the time the controller could place the 1000lb bomb carrying craft within 20 feet of a target. These however were stationary ground targets. The percentage of hits on moving ground targets was 20% dropping to as low as 10% for airborne targets.

To enhance the accuracy of the device the Tesla teams were working very hard on re-working small radar devices which would “paint a moving target” if it was made of metal. He hoped to increase the accuracy to at least 60% making it almost a sure “kill’ if three such devices were fired at the same time at the same target. Work would naturally continue.

Whitehead pilot-less aircraft in hanger at Committee jungle testing area Guatemala

GODDARD FINALLY REACHES ORBIT

3 July 1935

The first attempt to place a small radio transmitting instrument package or small satellite as it was soon called into low Earth orbit was scheduled for 2 July 1935. However, after a complete ground test of the three-stage Goddard ‘M’ rocket was conducted, (now known as the Thunder Child after the British ship that had fought so valiantly against the Martians in 1901) it was found to be too windy to chance a launch. High flying Phoenix lls had found cross winds over the projected path of the rocket between 80 and 160 miles per hour. And even though Dr. Goddard assured the launch team that his new rocket could handle the wind loads as an unloaded test flight he was not certain the satellite could withstand that much stress. Dr. Tesla who was also on site to view the launch agreed. This was not a rocket test. Putting the satellite into orbit was the goal of that days launch so the launch was postponed for 24 hours.

The forecast was for low cloud cover and winds to diminish to acceptable levels the next day. Dawn on the third showed only slight improvement. Nevertheless, ground crews began what they called their “countdown.” This consisted of a ground and rocket systems check of every aspect of the craft as well as the equipment such as the radar and radio systems being made ready to track and control the rocket before and after it left the launch site. They (Dr. Tesla’s team) would also conduct a full test of the 50lb radio controlled satellite sitting on top of the Thunder Child encased inside a nose cone which would, if all went according to plan, separate once the satellite entered into low Earth orbit. Half way through the countdown liquid fuel would be loaded into the rocket.

As for the odds of success, well I thought it was no better than 50%. Most of the men who had been working on the program gave it anywhere from 25% to perhaps 1 in 3. Dr. Goddard was a bit more optimistic stating that he felt his team had a better than 90% chance of pulling this off since his team had successfully launched three Goddard M rockets in a row with only one going off course and even that rocket had reached 120 miles into space and 14,000 miles per hour before it decided to point itself in the direction of Earth and exploding. Goddard was much more concerned about the viability of the satellite than the capabilities of his rocket.

It was T-15 minutes before launch as we gathered some 7500 feet from launch pad A – Cape Canaveral Florida missile range. It was difficult not be excited at Earth’s first attempt to place a man-made satellite into orbit. My thoughts were on whether or not our launch would be interfered with by any Martians either on the ground or from the air. And what about outer space? We could perhaps protect the rocket and its payload up to a certain point during its assent but after it went out of range of our fighters it was on its own.

At T-12 minutes (T = scheduled take off) Dr. Goddard called for a crew check to insure that no one had been left at the launch site. After that check the command was radioed to the rocket to begin its up-spinning of its third stage to prepare it for stable flight. The launch log would report.

N-Thunder Child
Thunder Child launch site

T-4 minutes: Liquid oxygen tank topped off and sealed.

T-3 minutes: Radio key to launch ready.

T-2-1/2 mins: Power checks, radio check, rudder checks.

T-2 min, 15 sec: Gyroscopic check.

T-1-1/2 mins: Clear to launch.

T-45 seconds: Destruct package armed; recorders on.

T-10 seconds: Recorder tape to fast.

T-3 seconds: Steering vane out of position – Go for launch.

T-0 seconds: Command to fire first stage engine.

T+3 seconds: Fuel pressurized – Tanks go.

T+10 seconds: Internal power on rocket.

T+12 seconds: Tower away.

T+14 seconds: Ignition on Thunder Child.

T+15 seconds: Liftoff at 10:47:51 pm EST.

The Thunder Child rocket now rose on a tongue of flame. Seconds later the roar of the rocket passed over our viewing site.

The rocket rose straight and true climbing vertically then arching off the launch pad as it climbed out over the Atlantic Ocean trailing a red/yellow arch of flame with graphite fragments flying off as parts of the carbon exhaust vans used to steer the rocket burned off.

The first stage burned out on time at two minutes and 37 seconds. At separation the second stage could clearly be seen from the ground as the rocket continued to accelerate and climb over the Atlantic as it entered a bank of clouds. It would be the last time we saw the Thunder Child but we knew that at the time all seemed to be going as planned. All we could do then was wait for the tracking stations in California to pick up the radio signal. If all had gone well we would know in about 113 minutes. Standing by at the United States Naval Research Center in San Diego team members waited to hear the radio signal from the satellite. Dr. Goddard had calculated that it would pass over California at 12:41 am Eastern time.

At 12:40 am the team called to see if the satellite had been heard from but the answer was “Not yet, standing by.” The phone line was kept open for any updates and at 12:41 a.m. one of the officers at the control room asked, “Do you hear her?” Once again the reply was, “Negative. No radio contact. Still standing by for confirmation.”

At 12:43 am General Peterson, commander of the base got on the phone and again he was told, “Negative Sir.” The general then turned to Dr. Goddard and asked, “Well, why the hell don’t we hear anything?” Goddard, now looking a bit nervous replied, “Let’s wait a while longer.” Time seemed to almost stand still as everyone held their breaths.

Then from the radar station at San Diego came, “We have the bird!”

Taking a deep breath Dr. Goddard looked at his watch and said, “Interesting. She is nine minutes late.” Tesla, smiling said nothing and simply walked over to Goddard and shook his hand.

Calculations would later show that the rocket had been 1% more powerful than predicted sending the satellite into a slightly higher orbit than planned requiring more time to orbit the Earth. The next day the new artificial moon was given the designation Earth 1.

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Thunder Child Underground Control Center

MAGIC – MOST SECRET

Magic Order MO-391

Immediate: Directorate C is ordered to produce a contract to build two prime and one spare Command Submarines to be used as underwater command posts in the event of interplanetary war. All three subsurface craft are to be completed within the next 48 months.

MAGIC THREE-NEW YORK

MAGIC – MOST SECRET

Defense of the Above Ground Cities

One of the first areas of responsibility relegated to local governments by the Committee during the early years of the world’s recovery had been the reconstruction of above ground cities. It was felt early on that no one single organization could possibly direct all of the areas needed to rebuild on such a vast scale. As such the Committee had encouraged local control almost as the smoke was still rising from the debris of the Martian War. The only effort the Committee would be involved in when it came to the rebuilding would be to supply as much financial and labor support as they could and if called upon send in experts to help local city planners. At times we were also able to supply prisoner work forces, but only when they were no longer needed for Committee programs. This hands-off approach seemed to be going quite well as local populations stepped forward to do the work. De-centralizing control and responsibility of essentially local matters was a natural progress as we worked to rebuild the world.

However, as would be expected the Committee still had primary responsibility for defense of these new cities and it was a responsibility we took very seriously. Working with local officials both in the civilian as well as military areas the Committee had dreamed up individual plans for all major above ground cities world-wide to put together rings of defense around the largest population centers. From the very start of above ground rebuilding the Committee had put forward three suggestions for these new cities.

One – Where possible there must be large areas near these populated centers that are covered by natural vegetation, preferably tress, which could hide large numbers of people from aerial view. This included a search and development program for local natural caves if feasible to be used as temporary bomb shelters. These areas were to also have at least a minimal amount of emergency supplies in place before hostile operations begin (food, water, clothes, shelter, medical as well as hand held weapons).

Two – There must be underground bomb shelters built into each building above five stories in order to house at least twenty percent of the local above ground population.

Three – Defensive rings around these population centers were to be built which could house military forces which will allow a strong ground defense of each population center and they must be built so as to present no obvious indications of their locations to an enemy ground or air attack. Many of these areas were expected to be defended, at least in the opening part of any conflict by local reserve forces. These reserve forces would be supplemented by regular forces as much as possible.

Four – Deception operations led by experts from the Committee were also to be employed which would hopefully direct hostile actions away from major population centers such as open areas lit and built to resemble actual cities from the air and radio transmitters which could be used in these areas to construct false broadcasts from these false unpopulated areas.

This was part of a multiple layering system of defense which would require the Martians to come up against strong lines of defense time and time again as they went deeper into the cities. It was also recommended by the Committee that any businesses in the cities be required to develop an evacuation plan for their workers as well as instruction in civil defense and weapons training. Over the years these plans had for the most part become part of the rebuilding programs of above ground cities, and by now most large population centers were well on their way to completing these requirements.

Editor’s Note: Having defeated Earth forces on the surface of Earth during the First Terrain War Mars Prime did not consider the build-up of city strong points on Earth to be a major military problem.

World Seed Banks

For many years Directorate A had been working on a special project they internally referred to as “The dooms day food project”. The actual name was the World Grain Project (WGP). The WGP was a plan originally drawn up by England’s new Royal Botanic Gardens headquartered in Kew to build up and safeguard as many different food grains and seeds as possible in order to protect major world grain supplies in case the Martians came up with some new type of virus, fungus or disease which could attack our world grain supplies. These were seen as “insurance policies” against the very real possibility that massive attacks could not only wipe out grain supplies, but could also cause some food plants to go extinct. The first locations were to be set up, once again in deep caves, salt mines and large tunnels, but the sheer volume of the project made it necessary to use many smaller locations as well to ensure survival of the grains. Separation and division were felt to be critical. We needed to spread these locations out around the world. We were later to learn that the Martians had done the very same thing on their home planet (Ref: Martian Electric Document 498D17).

Certainly part of the mix were all four prime underground cities which were soon to became part of the plan, but it was also decided to build four brand new locations, which could hold at least a million tons of seed each which would then be divided up into ten different types of critical grains in each facility. These grain seeds were not to be used for food in the conventional sense. They were to be used to plant a new harvest if our food supplies were destroyed by any outside force (Martians?). The four new primary grain storage facilities were built near large port facilities in Bergen, Norway, Anchan in northern China, Puerto Natales in southern Chile and Melbourne, Australia, code named Mercury, Venus, Earth and yes – Mars.) A later facility – Jupiter – was planned for the Falkland Islands because of its isolated location in the South Atlantic. The Committee felt that even during a major invasion from Mars it would be unlikely that the Martians would pay any attention to those isolated and very thinly populated islands. Redundancy and isolation were keys to the plan. Hide and spread out our resources was the plan.

Three large old salt mines were also selected as part of the original program. The first was a mine located near Mount Morris, New York, code named ‘Rain’. It was a new location, but soon showed promise. The Sifto Salt Mine in Goderich, Ontario, Canada, the largest in the world was also a natural choice. The prime chamber at Sifto is 3.2 miles under Lake Huron showing a layout of 1.5 miles wide and two miles long, code named ‘Wind’. The amount of grain, which could be stored in this secure location, was truly staggering. Finally, the salt mine 1,200 feet below the devastated city of old Detroit was selected, as the mine had suffered no damage to its 1,500 acre site despite the near total destruction of the Detroit/Windsor area above the mine, code named ‘Hail.’ The fact that it was well below the destroyed cities made the rubble mostly still in place after three decades the ideal cover for a hidden facility. It also had the advantage of being located very near the Detroit River where access could easily be gained to Lake Erie, towards the East Coast and a mid-transport location to the Midwest United States. The 30 men who normally worked at the mine soon swelled to 468. Within a year the workforce numbered near 2000.

These new areas were chosen for their generally cold climates as well as their relatively stable geologic situations, even though the facility in Northern China did cause some debate within the Committee. It was finally approved due to its relatively close location to major grain producing areas. As with the New Detroit location transportation was still a major concern even this long after the war. We were still very much in recovery mode, but we had learned a great deal about how to protect our planet since 1901. As in other areas these three salt mines were not to show any outward appearance of defensive forces, which could attract the Martians. The only real major construction would be a series of steel doors built to protect the entrances to the facilities. When they were filled they would be closed off until needed.

As an addition to these prime grain facilities many of the new nations began building their own extended grain storage facilities, which included seeds from many wild plants native to their areas including grasses, flowering plants, trees and just about any type of plant one cares to mention. In California there was even a group who made it their business to begin “seed, nut and pod clubs.” Their members took it upon themselves to collect as many different species as they could, trading with each other to spread out the greatest variety of seeds amongst their membership. It did not take long for these ‘Seed Clubs’ to go nation-wide at first and then world-wide as news spread of the effort. Needless to say, the members of the Committee were delighted to see these grass roots efforts being developed (no pun intended). Not only could these efforts became very valuable to the Earth in an emergency, it put the public into a position of being able to do real work defending our planet. Letters of commendation and yearly awards were soon forthcoming as Directorate L became more involved with news reports of these private efforts.

By November 1935 the World Grain Project would realize one of its original goals of obtaining supplies of just about every food grain readily available on the planet. They had also “banked” 10% of the world’s wild plant types – numbering some 24,000 species. Their work would continue right up to and in some areas, during the Second Martian War. At the same time the Committee was informed that a fifth primary food bank location was being developed just outside of St. Louis, Mo, code named “Vulcan”. This facility was to hold grains only in sealed drums as an additional precaution against contamination. The ‘seed front’ of the war was only one example of mankind’s all out effort to save the planet from interplanetary attack. If anything we humans were going to out-organize the hell out of our enemies from Mars.

SAGED COMES ‘ON-LINE’

It had taken a year longer than projected and I might add a great deal more money to develop and construct, but in December of 1935 we ‘turned on’ the largest set of linked computing devices ever developed by mankind. At noon GMT 25 December the 26 SAGED installations, each weighing in at 250 tons and using some 56,000 vacuum tubes each came on-line. It went down in only 35 minutes when several machines over heated. For eight hours technicians worked on bringing down the temperatures in the massive rooms housing the underground devices and replacing hundreds of tubes. On the second try the machines hummed along and would stay in working order as hundreds of SAGED team members worked around the clock to keep the equipment and computing devices on alert.

What was really a surprise was the fact that only 25 minutes after the full system was up and running are received our first report. The linked machines locked into our newly improved deep radar system reported seven unidentified objects in polar orbit around the Earth. We had spotted Martian craft, at least we suspected they were Martian, orbiting planet Earth! By the gods the bloody system worked!!!

CAIG MOST SECRET

CAIG 50-35 CAIG WEEKLY ACTIVITY REPORT (STAR BRIGHT) 14 December 1935

Historic reports: CAIG historic files presently number some 1234 unexplained aerial reports.

332 B.C. – Alexander the Great while crossing a strategic river was harassed by “shining silvery shields with fire spitting from their rims.” These aerial craft dove at his men making the crossing causing his war elephants and horses to panic and run. Also during the siege of Tyre then held by the Persians in 332 B.C. the “flying shields” returned. Five were reported over Tyre and one of these craft fired a “lightning bolt” which destroyed a large area of the cities thick defensive wall. Alexander then entered and conquered the city.

74 B.C.– A Roman army under the command of Lucullus preparing to do battle with Mithridater VI of Pontas in Phrygia, Asia was interrupted when, according to Plutarch, “all of a sudden, the sky burst asunder, and a huge flame-like body was seen to fall between the two armies. In shape it was most like a wine-jar, and in color, like molten silver.”

1034 A.D. – As reported in Liber Chronicarum published in 1493 a fiery cigar-shaped object was seen flying over Western Europe during a late evening. The object flew from south to east in a straight path and then west towards the setting Sun. A drawing of the object showed flames all around it as well as what seems to be some type of rocket exhaust. This is possibly the first European drawing of a reported UFO. Document held in Verdun, France: underground vault.

24 September 1235 A.D. – Mysterious lights seen high in the night sky near Tokyo were spotted by General Yoritsume. In camp the soldiers saw the object “perform aerobatic maneuvers” which included flying in circles and loops. He was later informed by the government, “after a full scale investigation” that it was “completely natural … only the wind making the stars sway.”

Recent reports: During the past week ending 14 December CAIG has recorded 1351 unexplained aerial reports over the northern hemisphere. Selected sighting briefs below.

10 Dec. – An Italian farmer near Abbiate Guazzone, Lombardy, Italy reported that “humanoids had landed near his property with one of them shooting at him and his work as with “a beam of green light.”

11 Dec. – Numerous colorful spheres were spotted over Hambury, Germany. They appeared to be around three feet in diameter spotted as close as 100 feet from the ground. They were fully under some control.

12 Dec. – Load sonic booms have been heard over the forests of northern central Canada. Many of them have been accomplished by high altitude unidentified aerial craft.

13 Dec. – Several reports have come in from North Africa of unidentified aerial lights hovering over western port facilities all along the continent. None of these lights have been intercepted or fully identified as of this writing. These could very well be “others.”

o Unidentified aerial activity continues to increase world-wide. However, it is believed that rigorous aerial patrols by national and Committee forces continue to discourage abductions. Continuous anti-aircraft engagement of unidentified craft has also had some effect of keeping unidentified craft at a distance from critical defense locations. It is felt however that these incursions are a test of our facilities and engagement of these ‘UFOs’ will be conducted ONLY if our facilities come under actual attack.

CAIG MOST SECRET

[END PART 53]

Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020

[Next week: Part 54: An underground zoo, Machu Picchu and a Mars launch.]

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