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[PART 55]

The Martians Committee Field Notebook Number Four

1935-1938

THE SECOND MARTIAN WAR

Chapter Nine – 1936-August 1938

Earth Braces for Interplanetary War

Chapter Ten – September 1938

The Final Conflict for Supremacy on Earth

Chapter 9

1936-August 1938

Earth Braces for Interplanetary War

Testing the seismic device – Preparations for war with Mars – The Committee renegades – Radio interview with H. G. Wells – Large eruption on Mars – Earth offers peace – The Hindenburg ‘accident’ – Hybrid attack on the Empire State building – Earth launches ‘Defense One’ – Underground missile launch facilities – ‘Crystal Word’ – Phobos moved – I937 Flash on Mars – Radio dishes ready – Deception war/psychological operations – Tunguska project nears completion – Mass migration to the hinterland – 4 July 1938 – Earth’s final preparations.

Testing the Seismic Device

It had been a long time coming: nearly three decades of work of back engineering, building and testing time and time again, before we were ready to deploy our first “human made” seismic devices. Now we needed a test-site far enough away from any populated areas so as not to do ourselves any real damage. We needed a strato-volcano with an active lava lake at its crater summit and one with a recent history of eruptions that we could use as a base of information to gage our results against natural events. It did not take us long to decide that an active volcano named Mount Erebus in Antarctica would make the ideal test-site for our new seismic weapon. As far as I was concerned if we happen to “take out” a few Martians while we were at it – well then all the better.

Scientists had originally become aware of Mount Erebus’s activity in 1841 when an eruption was sighted by several whaling ships passing Antarctica. Several explosive eruptions have occurred since 1841 all of which have been studied for volume of material and violence of the eruptive event. The lava lake when the seismic test was started was nearly 300 feet in diameter. When we finished it would be a great deal larger for this volcano, which happens to be the world’s most southern active strato-volcano. We were about to increase its activity at least over the short term.

Tesla explained the principles behind the new device to members of the Committee during an evening at our Lower-New York City Headquarters. “Earth’s vibrations have a periodicity. That is to say, if I strike the Earth this instant, a wave of contraction goes through it that will come back in one hour and forty-nine minutes in the form of expansion. As a matter of fact, the Earth, like everything else, is in a constant state of vibration. It is constantly contracting and expanding. Now suppose that at the precise moment when it began to contract, I explode a ton of dynamite. That accelerates the contraction and, in one hour and forty-nine minutes, there comes an equally accelerated wave of expansion. When the wave of expansion ebbs, suppose I explode another ton of dynamite thus further increasing the wave of contraction. And, suppose this performance be repeated, time after time. Is there any doubt as to what would happen? There is no doubt in my mind. The Earth would be split in two. For the first time in man’s history, he has the knowledge with which he may interfere with cosmic processes!”

Dr. Tesla was quick to point out that it would take months to years to “split the Earth”, but in only weeks he could do severe damage to the Earth’s crust. The Committee members were to say the least shocked to hear this news knowing how far advanced the Martians were. He assured the group that although the principle was quiet sound it would eventually fail on a planetary scale due to the imperfect resonance of the Earth. It could only be used in local areas, about the size of a large city, and was best deployed using a high energy electrical source instead of dynamite. For some reason that did not give great comfort to the members.

Taking the Martian plan to heart, it seemed that placing three of the devices in a triangular pattern around the target volcano at a distance of no greater than four miles from the caldaria was thought to give the best results. This had been the pattern of deployment used by the Martians and we had seen the results they had achieved. We would therefore begin our tests at that point.

We very well knew that this little test could be somewhat more dangerous than a simple journey to the always dangerous Antarctica. We had to mount the effort with a full military escort in the event any Martians just happened to be in the area. Clearly this was not an area fully controlled by the men of Earth. This was hostile territory in every sense of the word and we had to be ready for anything that may occur. This time the Antarctic team would be led by Australian Marines who had been training for some time in icy conditions.

Earlier in order to perform a small test of the new devices Dr. Tesla came out of his office in Lower-New York City one afternoon. Finding a suitable “test subject” he placed one of the devices on the side of a building under construction and stood back to watch. He later reported the results to the Committee. “In a few minutes I could feel the beam trembling. Gradually the trembling increased in intensity and extended throughout the whole great mass of steel. Finally, the structure began to creak and weave, and the steelworkers came to the ground panic-stricken, believing that there had been an earthquake. Rumors spread that the building was about to fall, and the police reserves were called out. Before anything serious happened, I took off the vibrator, put it in my pocket, and went away. But if I had kept on ten minutes more, I could have laid that building flat in the street. And, with the same vibration, I could drop Brooklyn Bridge (recently rebuilt after the war) in less than an hour.”

There was a good deal of excitement at the Committee, but the statement most heard at the meeting was that we were “glad Dr. Tesla is on our side!”

The Committee members were quite amused to learn that several officers from the Upper-New York City police department having learned about the “little test” visited Dr. Tesla in his underground apartment. They did not know that he was one of the Magic Twelve. What they did seem to understand was that he was somehow responsible for a seismic event. Dr. Tesla, cool as ever reported how he met the situation and disposed of the police officer inquires.

Gentlemen, I am sorry, you are just a trifle too late to witness my experiment. I found it necessary to stop it suddenly and unexpectedly and in an unusual way. However, if you will come around this evening I will have another oscillator attached to this platform and each of you can stand on it. You will, I am sure, find it a most interesting and pleasurable experience. Now you must leave, for I have many things to do. Good day, gentlemen.

Later that day one of the security team members paid a visit to the police station to “explain” to the captain that the late evening visit would not be necessary and that “there would be no need to further inquire about Committee business!” Nothing to see here.

THE MOUNT EREBUS TEST

Once again we were making our way to Antarctica. We knew of course that we were sending in another team which could very well make some type of contact with the Martians however, this test was critical to our defense plans so it would go forward as planned. Antarctica was becoming familiar territory for those who worked for the Committee. Mt. Erebus, which hugs the peninsular coast east of the Ross Ice Sheet is on the edge of the Ross Sea which was the team’s pathway to the volcano. On 14 February 1936 the team set out from our Australian Headquarters sailing with two ice cutters and two battleships. The battleships would follow the ice cutters and if need be would engage any enemy forces that happen to be in the area. There were also three submarines in the group. With the team in place, including Dr. Tesla manning the bridge on the Battleship RAS City of Perth a radio signal was sent to the three jets standing by to deliver their devices. The Martians had been seen to drop their devices in threes from a single craft however, for this test our jets would drop one each and then pull away as air cover for the rest of the operation. They were also tasked to photograph the results – if any. The devices were to be dropped on the south, east and western sides of the volcano approximately three miles in each direction from the base of the target.

Fifteen minutes after the radio call to the jets which had been in a holding position north of the test site the team spotted them coming in low directly at the target. With cameras rolling on both battleships the jets split up into a wide triangle formation which had been practiced for weeks. Counting down to zero the lead pilot radioed “Drop” and almost as one the three jets dropped what looked like small tube-like devices with metal tips. They almost looked like fat spears from a distance and in fact that was about what they were. The speed of the fall and the weight of the devices were such that on impacting solid ground the seismic devices would penetrate some 25 to 30 feet. On hard rock tests showed that they could still penetrate at least six feet which was just enough to make good contact with the target area.

From what could be seen by the observation groups the run went well. Dr. Tesla viewing the ‘bomb run’ with binoculars would only say, “Now we wait – but I don’t think it will be for long.”

True to his prediction it was only a matter of minutes before our instruments began to detect harmonic rumblings emanating from shallow depth focused beneath the volcano. Minutes after the first vibrations the eruption began and it was spectacular. At first a tight steam cloud with some gray ash began to vent from the summit rising thousands of feet above the volcano into the atmosphere. Then suddenly we heard several loud reports like cannon fire as much more ash and smoke began to erupt from the caldera of Mount Erebus. The largest blast in that series took the top off the volcano in a blinding flash that rocked the area. It was the loudest sound I have ever heard and the blast was heard all along the southern coast of Australia and New Zealand. As ash began to fall on our ships we turned around and got out of the area as fast as steam could take us. As we headed north we were able to see huge slices of the ice fields caving off and falling into Ross Sea before the ash fall closed off our view of the spectacular events unfolding at Mount Erebus.

For the next several hours blast after blast sent columns of ash and pyroclastics into the sky rising to at least 40,000 feet. Within an hour of the first eruptive event magma was poring over the mountain which would eventually reach all the way to the north shore and cause a column of steam to rise out of the frozen sea.

In total the eruption lasted a little more than three weeks and was declared a complete success. We had been able to duplicate the same geologic effect that had been perfected by the Martians centuries ago. Now the only question remaining was: Would we ever find a Martian target on which this new technology could be employed? No one believed we could send the device to Mars any time in the new future so any potential target would have to be an area on Earth occupied by the Martians!

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Committee Report (TS) 36-04 – Mars’ moon Phobos, 15 July 1936, 8:04 a.m.

It has been definitely established that the ‘moon’ Phobos is not a natural satellite of the planet Mars. The object is an artificial satellite, probably a massive orbital spacecraft. There is a good possibly that the Martians will attempt to move Phobos from Mars orbit to Earth orbit in the event of open hostilities as a possible command center.

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Preparations for War with Mars

THE ‘CIVILIAN’ SIDE

Much of the work of military preparation for war with the Martians focused on the vast civilian infrastructure developed around the world since 1901. With this in mind and in close working relation with national leaders the Committee began to consolidate organizations with direct control over many of these critical civilian resources. One example would be our over-site of the 15,000 plus independent rail companies operating around the world. The Committee Railroad Administration was soon merging (on paper at the time, to be put into operation in the event of planetary conflict) all of these privately and nationally owned companies into a single world-wide organization with centralized control held in seven strategic locations regardless of national borders with the noted exceptions of the Lawless Zones and the Soviet Union. The ability to move vast amounts of men and material over these now mostly linked rail systems needed to be closely organized in order to place this world resource at its maximum capacity when needed at critical times in the near future. It was not lost on anyone that most, if not all of these rail movements planned in support of anti-Martian activities would need to be completed before the outbreak of any major Martian hostilities.

Along with the Railway Administration came the closely linked Food and Fuel Administration. Even though it had been policy for many years for most national governments to store vast amounts of food and fuel in thousands of mostly underground facilities the Committee took it upon itself to establish a world system for the distribution of these critical items in the event of hostilities expected to open up with the Martians. For the most part however, history would show that most local governments would remain in control of these critical resources due to the fact that moving any large amount of food or fuel on rail or open roads would have made for very easy targets for the Martians in a shooting war. In the end for the most part this was going to be a local come as you are situation for most of the people of Earth.

It was at this point in our gearing up that reserve military units around the world, manned mostly by civilians who had been training on weekends for years, were put on “partial” full-time duty. Most of these unit headquarters were now manned 24 hours a day by skeleton forces amounting to ten percent of unit strength. Drills as they were known were increased to one week per month of active duty as well as duty every other weekend. Training went across the board from small arms instruction to medical/first aid training, radio, map work and small unit tactics. Needless to say, training also included combat patrols wearing protective gas masks.

This was the first time these reserve units would be assigned to active front line units as well as some units being given assignments to defend specific areas including entrances to cities and other underground facilities, stay behind assignments and defense of open as well as closed underground shelters. Because these were local reserve units and as such well acquainted with their own local areas many of the newly formed stay behind intelligence units were manned by these forces as so-called ‘pathfinders’.

Plans were also activated for the final supply of fresh emergency medical items to virtually every underground hospital in every underground city on Earth. All manner of equipment were moving on ships, planes and trains from manufacturing facilities around the world in a massive final effort to pack in as much as could be held and stored at these hospitals and medical clinics in preparation for war. Everything from full surgical team equipment and blood supplies to the smallest item to cover wounds were moving in this final push. Medical and surgical teams – long training for this massive deployment – were also on the move reporting to and setting up their assigned facilities. These teams would spend several weeks at their designated assignments preparing for the work ahead before beginning their rotations of two months on and two months off. If war came they would be fully staffed for the duration – or at least as long as it was feasible for them to stay at their designated assignments.

THE MILITARY SIDE

On the military side of the equation Committee and National forces began preplanned deployment of half of their aircraft carriers fully manned and armed for war. Many of the ships now carried the new Whitehead fighter jets as well as prop-driven fighters and bombers. We could also count some 122 Phoenix II fighters based on carriers with another 148 deployed world-wide from land-based facilities. Five each were based in Lower-New York City, Lower-London, Lower-Upolu, Lower-Sydney and four other underground cities. Each of these could be launched from short underground runways fully covered and express launched by rocket assist pods similar to carrier launches.

We were now able to deploy 156 rebuilt Martian Walkers in 15 strategic locations around the world in teams of ten. Deployment was based on Martian tactical movements during the First Martian War as well as critical developed strong points built after the war. They would fight from New London, Manchester, Paris, Munich, Moscow, New York City, New Washington Center, Chicago, Panama City, Montreal, Nanking China, Rosario Argentina, Johannesburg Southern Africa, Sydney and Cairo. None of these machines would be expected to fight alone as they were deployed alongside active infantry or armored units. This would be a team effort. Six of the rebuilt machines were to be held in reserve in three teams of two as stay behind forces attached to special forces units located near Montreal, Johannesburg and Beijing. It was essential that our stay behind forces be able to present a strong attack capability if only in limited areas. We needed to be able to inflict maximum damage to the limited Martian forces able to attack Earth from as many areas and angles as we could possibly deploy. In other words we needed to wear them down for as long and as hard as we could.

Final deployment of well over 8000 new television monitors was also well underway. Monitory stations, mostly underground, were beginning to be manned but not as yet on a full-time basis. Nevertheless, the machines, small power sources, cables to the stations and radio/cable communication networks were better than 90% complete and were expected to be fully operational within six months.

In the middle of all this effort a problem developed at one of our primary rocket launch facilities.

The Committee Renegades

I suppose those in authority should have anticipated, or at least suspected, that a group like the Renegades could come into being at some point. After all we all knew the very survival of the human species was at stake and not all who knew what was really happening with the Martians could be expected to simply go along with orders and plans approved by the Executive Committee of Twelve. Nevertheless, it came as quite a shock to learn that one of our new rocket launching facilities, the one along the east coast of Florida at Canaveral, had been overrun by renegade United States and British military forces hell bent on launching the deadly bacterial missile to Mars. At the time of the attack the rocket had been fully prepared for launch but the bacterial ‘package’ had not been loaded on the rocket. It was however housed very near at the launch site.

When we realized that the new facility had been taken by forces led by General Jonathon Davis we naturally made every effort to bring the base back under nominal control of the United States government as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the bloody battle to take the base ended only after the missile had been launched. We had been too late to stop the launch. Even a desperate attempt to intercept the missile by two Phoenix II fighter aircraft failed as it rocketed into a low orbit around the Earth.

Backed into a corner by the renegades we now needed to address the Martian notification issue. The question was: Do we simply let the deadly package continue on its way to Mars, send a radio signal to destroy the rocket or failing that inform the Martians about the rocket and give them some type of warning about what it contained? We suspected that no matter what message we sent by radio to the Martians to explain that the launch was an error and sent by individuals not acting on behalf of any Earth government would not be accepted as truth by the Martians. They had no reason to believe the truth. They had no reason to believe anything we said and we certainly had no real expectation that they would. The problem now facing the Committee was quite simple. If we allowed the missile to continue on and possibly hit its target – Mars – we could very well wipe out all life on their planet. This of course would end any further conflicts, which if allowed to begin, would surely cost millions of human as well as Martian lives. (Not that anyone in the highest levels of the Committee cared a damn about the lives of Martians.) Or do we send the destruct signal and destroy the rocket, which would be seen by Mars as perhaps an indication of our peaceful wishes?

It did not take long for the decision to be made. Do not inform the Martians but destroy the rocket. As the satellite passed over one of our Pacific radar sites the signal was sent to destroy the rocket, but for some reason the destruct mechanism did not fire. It was later suspected, but not possible to prove, that the renegades had foreseen the possible destruction of the missile by Earth authorities and had therefore disarmed it. It appeared they had also disabled the backup.

This however, was only an assumption as all of the renegade forces had been killed during the fighting or summarily executed soon after their capture. Their executions were, despite stories by the popular press, not ordered by higher authorities and those involved were disciplined. The men involved however, spent very little time in jail, as public sentiment would not allow it. They were heroes to a good number of people. They were soon freed, but were no longer in the military or the Committee at least for the next couple of years. (War would soon see these men back on duty.)

Now the question was: Do we now contact the Martians giving them warning of the biological threat and hope they had some way of intercepting the deadly rocket before it impacted on their planet or allow events to run their course? It came down to a simple thought. The primary reason for not sending the rocket in the first place was the very real possibility that the rocket could fail and rain its deadly cargo back on Earth. Now that point had been rendered mute since the rocket had obviously worked at least for the moment. It was in fact safely in orbit. So the question became one of ‘humanity,’ for lack of a better term, of the Martians rather than any such risk to Earth. Could the people of Earth live with the fact that we as humans would have been directly responsible for possibly killing off an entire planet’s ecosystem and with it possibly all life on that planet, including the ancient and intelligent life, albeit brutal non-human life of the Martians? Were humans interested in the defense of our home planet and peaceful relations with others or would we step into space for the very first time to cause death and utter destruction perhaps on a global scale mirroring what the Martians had attempted to do on Earth? What Earth scientists did not know at the time was that any Earth bacteria making contact with the Martian environment could not survive. So even if it had impacted the planet nothing would have come of it. This knowledge however was not part of the decision making process. Were we going to be good stewards of our new abilities or become brutal conquers in space as we had been upon our own Earth as did the Martians on Earth? We could not know it at the time, but that was the same question the ‘others’ were asking as well!

And before I became too smug sitting in my comfortable chair about this little dilemma and feeling quite superior, I was reminded of the Great Plains American Indian tribe known as the Mandans who in 1832 were nearly completely exterminated by an epidemic of smallpox in three weeks! The disease had been delivered in the form of intentionally contaminated blankets by the military. Smallpox, measles and other dread diseases had been used before to wipe out whole populations and it could very well be used again. Even without man’s help diseases have devastated native populations such as in California. In the early 1800s European explorers found dozens of villages in the interior areas where only skeletons of the dead could be found.

In the end it was decided that Earth would warn our brutal enemies on Mars that a missile thought to be deadly to all species on Mars was on its way giving them all of the flight information we had in the hope they could find the means to stop and destroy it before it impacted on Mars. Historians and others would study how that decision was made for years to come.

However, fate played its own hand before the message could be sent. As the missile prepared itself to fire out of Earth orbit for its deadly mission to Mars the missile exploded over the Pacific Ocean just as the rocket engines were operating at 100 percent of power with pieces of the destroyed craft re-entering the atmosphere and burning up. We were never able to discover whether or not the missile was defective and simply blew itself up or was perhaps destroyed by one of the Martian craft known to be orbiting our planet. We did discover one thing for certain – the Martians knew we had launched a rocket and they were fully prepared to respond to what we had done with or without any help from us.

PHOBOS REALLY MOVES!

“Eppure si muove!”

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

We were still tracking the missile’s radio signal when the call came in from the people working the Mars Watch Program. It was hard to believe, but reports of confirmation soon came in. Phobos had changed its orbit! This was not news to the Executive Committee of Twelve leadership as we had already received reports that stated that the ‘moon’ was an artificial satellite, but to actually see and track one of the two moons of Mars change its orbit was quite remarkable.

Such technological abilities were far beyond what we could hope to accomplish for many decades to come even if we were to obtain much greater back-engineered Martian technology. Understanding – to a point – was one thing. Being able to actually produce something as massive and scientifically superior as a large manmade moon was quite another thing entirely. It soon became evident that this so-called moon was much more than a massive control center. It also possessed a weapon of extraordinary capability and destructive power.

When Phobos changed its orbit to a much wider one around Mars we saw this as an indication that the Martians were nearing the end of their preparations to once again attack the Earth. The Mars Watch teams now had direct observational data showing that Phobos was indeed a Martian made orbital station of tremendous size and not a natural satellite of the planet. Once again we were amazed at the technical abilities of our off world enemies.

Our questions naturally led to a discussion about the possibility of the Martians sending this massive spacecraft to Earth. And if they did was there anything we could do to somehow attack this object? The only possible way for humans to attack that craft would be to place an atomic weapon of great energy on one of Dr. Goddard’s rockets. And to be clear, we were nowhere near being able to accomplish that little piece of science.

When Dr. Tesla was handed the report on the destructive nature of the Phobos’ weapon he looked ashen. As he finished reading the report and began to walk away all he would say was, “We are in deep trouble. If they bring that weapon to Earth orbit we don’t stand a chance. We have nothing to counter this threat. We must find a method to defeat this weapon as soon as possible. There must be a way and my team must find it, and soon, or any coming war will be lost even before it begins.”

[END PART 55]

Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020

[Next week: Part 56: An interview with Mr. H. G. Wells.]

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