[PART 58]

Hybrid Attack on the Empire State Building


The Americans had built the Empire State Building about as strong as any building ever built above ground on Earth. Whatever engineering requirements for strength and durability science told us the builders more or less doubled the standards for the world’s tallest building. We did not fool ourselves into thinking it was bomb proof, but we did feel that it could take quite a beating before any critical structural failure occurred. We were however, perhaps a bit optimistic in our estimates of its strength, or rather we may have understated the effectiveness of Martian Brotherhood and their Martian allies’ explosive devices.

Radar systems had tracked Martian spacecraft before so that was nothing new; however, this particular event seemed strange even from the start. The Martians had simply not acted that way before. Our newly upgraded radars had shown a vehicle coming into the atmosphere north of New York City (75 miles), not unusual however this vehicle was lost from radar as it came within two miles of the Earth’s surface. The operators felt at the time that this was all there would be to it as it may have crashed, but within fifteen minutes the Martian vehicle was spotted taking off and simply going back into outer space, at least as far as we could tell. (Our tracking even though we were improving the system constantly was still limited to near Earth orbital areas.)

The Martian craft showed no signs of distress and our experts felt that it had not been on the ground long enough to abduct anyone or take any type of sample. We immediately concluded that the Martians had ‘delivered something’ or perhaps ‘someone’ to Earth. The Committee was quickly informed ordering both Cobra and Tango teams to the area to find out exactly what the Martians were up to – and fast!

Cobra had boots on the ground first as a team had been stationed in the nearby town of Monticello, New York. They were able to get to the “landing zone” within 85 minutes of the event and there were no lack of witnesses. Several local residents had seen the ‘unidentified craft’ crossing their farms and fields as it headed for “a stop-off in the nearby woods.” Three field workers very close to the landing had seen the craft slow down behind the trees and stated that it had stayed on or near the ground for less than two minutes. Their first thoughts were that the craft had “dropped off someone.” The men were soon running as fast as they could towards the spot they had identified as the landing site – carrying their farm tools with them. They later reported that each felt they were the “well-armed welcoming committee ready to do-in any Martian they found.”

In the darkness of a cool star-speckled evening the men found a “roughed out area where grass had been crushed down with three distinctive circular markings” they thought must have been some type of landing gear. This was the spot the men showed our Cobra team.

The final information they entrusted to the team was the fact that as they approached the site two of the men stated that they clearly saw three “men of tall stature running south from the area at a very fast pace.” They were moving faster than the three men could follow with their “farm tools.” After further investigation the Cobra team, concluded that a Martian Flying Machine of unknown configuration had delivered at least three individuals – probably hybrids – to the remote location to conduct some type of military operation. At the time we had no idea what their target might be. It would not be long before we had our answer.

As it turned out the hybrids which had landed at Neversink Reservoir did indeed have a specific target in mind. They were to attack a well known symbol of how well the people of Earth had recovered from the First Martian War. They would attack the tallest building on Earth – the Empire State Building. And they would attack using the most modern fully Earth designed aircraft yet developed – the new Whitehead B4 jet bomber. They would find what they needed at the Reserve Flight Center at Fort Delaware.


Security on the base at Fort Delaware should have been much better than it was. The four Whitehead B4 jet bombers were not expected to be at the base. They had recently flown in for refueling after patrols along the NPDL which allowed the crews to get some breakfast and a bit of rest after a long flight.

We would later understand that the hybrids had expected to hijack another type of aircraft most probably a loaded cargo aircraft, in their efforts to attack the Empire State Building. The Whitehead B4s had simply been at the wrong place at the wrong time. After climbing the outer fence the hybrids quickly killed the five guards on flight line duty allowing them to board three of the bombers. It was not long before one of our new bombers was taking off with a decidedly hostile crew heading directly for the heart of Upper-New York City. These were followed by two other B4s but they would be sporting dozens of holes placed there by security teams who had attempted to shoot them down as they took off.

The fact that they could fly with such damage was a testimony to the effort that the team had put into their design and construction. Later, Whitehead would bemuse the fact that it was going to be very difficult to bring one of his new bombers down. In this case it would be a two-edged sword.

At the time the B4s had been taken there were two Phoenix II fighters on the base and if they had been operational at the time they would have been immediately sent up to intercept and if necessary shoot down the bombers. As it was both were “in the shop” for repairs and it would have taken at least 30 minutes to prepare them for take-off. There was simply not enough time to react from the base. It would be up to the locals in New York to take on the bombers.

As soon as the New York City base was alerted six fighters were scrambled on an intercept course with the three bombers now speeding towards the center of the city. Within minutes the bombers were spotted and the encounter began. It soon became apparent to the interceptor pilots that the hybrids who had taken the bombers were very well trained. It also became quite clear that they had no intention of being forced to land as two of the bombers headed directly at the fighters. These hybrids in the bombers were on a suicide mission!

As the bombers pushed hard towards the city of New York the fighters called in to report the situation. The orders came back – shoot them down. With all three bombers heading towards the ground to fly as low as possible the fighters lined up for the attack. Two of the bombers began to swing wildly in flight once again attempting to fly into the fighters. As they did two of the lead interceptors opened up pouring machinegun fire on the trailing bomber which was soon going down in flames. Two to go but the New York City skyline was now plainly in view. Whatever the target was, and no one knew what it was at the time, the fighters knew they did not have much time to stop the attack.

As the bombers rose to 500 feet it was now clear what the target was, the tallest man-made structure on Earth – the Empire State Building, but that building had prepared a little surprise of its own. Alerted by military authorities the team with the responsibility for point defense of the building had run to their posts. Tesla’s Heat-Rays which had been built into the top of the building were about to be tested in close combat with two bombers now heading directly at the building. The new radar tracking system designed to track targets and control the weapon was not yet operational. This would be a defense depending entirely on the skill of the weapon operator – Lt. Weston Mathews.

From Lt. Mathews’ view as he swung the weapon around he could see both bombers heading directly at the building even as they continued to sway back and forth attempting to move away from the four fighters hammering away at them from behind and below. At 5,000 feet distance Mathews engaged the Heat-Ray intentionally firing high and to the right in order to miss the pursuing fighters pressing their attacks. He could see that both remaining bombers must have been badly damaged as smoke poured out of each even as they continued to fly towards the building.

At around 3000 feet all but one of the fighters pulled away as the single lead fighter seemed unwilling to break off his relentless attack even as Mathews lowered the Heat-Ray directly on the first bomber. Mathews had no choice but to engage the bomber. Within seconds the new Whitehead B4 bomber exploded in a red/green ball of flame. Unfortunately the Heat-Ray also took out the fighter who would not stop his attack for any reason. That left one bomber to stop before it could complete its deadly mission.

Redirecting the weapon and firing as he moved Mathews could see two of the fighters making hard turns in an attempt to reengage the bomber from both sides at the same time. They were attempting to cross their fires at the bomber’s exposed sides. But they were out of time.

Only seconds after the second bomber and fighter exploded Mathews found his second target setting the final bomber completely on fire but it was not enough. The enemy controlled bomber flew under Mathews’ field of fire plunging into the Empire State Building with a force so strong the bomber’s engines literally ripped off the wings as the explosion rocked the building with two of the four passing all the way through the building – ‘flying’ out the other side followed closely by a tongue of flame. The blast shock the whole structure as the entire 73rd floor erupted into flame.

The new Heat-Ray had proved its worth, but it was clear that if it were to be of real value in defense of the building or for that matter New York City the device needed to be able to not only track multiple targets, it needed to be able to engage targets at a much greater distance and with much better speed.

For the next eight hours fire teams battled to keep the raging gasoline fed fire under some type of control. In the end three floors would receive major damage with 57 people killed during the attack. As for the tallest manmade structure on Earth – it continued to stand firm! The Martians had failed to bring down the tallest man-made building on Earth. Many in the Committee expected that this would not be the last attempt to bring down the building.

Earth Launches Defense 1

19 July 1937

After many years of testing and not a few rather spectacular failures we were finally ready on 19 July to place into low Earth orbit our first ‘active’ defense satellite (or space platform as Dr. Goddard liked to call it) built specifically to engage any Martian craft that happened to come along. This was also the first satellite launched from Earth to be placed into polar orbit. This meant that the satellite would fly over every area on Earth as the Earth rotated below its orbital path. It also meant that it would be in the same general orbital zone we now knew was most favored by our enemies from Mars.

Q - Defense 1

Defense 1

The new satellite was some five times heavier than Earth 1 and as such required our largest and most powerful rocket to place it into orbit. We had only minimal luck with Goddard’s new four-stage booster so all of our fingers were crossed. It was also the most complicated device we had ever built.

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Rocket assembly facility and launch of Defense 1 satellite

Defense 1 was built with hardware not only developed by Committee labs including work being done in England, the United States and Germany, it also had more than a few built in capabilities taken directly from work being done on back-engineered Martian devices. When all was said and done this spacecraft was as much a hybrid as anything else. Not that anyone would ever refer to it as such when Dr. Tesla was around or for that matter when Dr. Goddard was in the room.

The satellite would have three primary missions. First – it was to use its powerful new radars to look for and report back on any spacecraft flying towards the Earth from any direction or already in Earth orbit within its field of view as it flew its polar orbital mission. Any radar sightings would be radioed back to one of several ground stations specifically set up to communicate with the satellite. Second – it was to turn and focus on Mars during a portion of each orbit in order to locate and track any enemy craft heading towards Earth from that general area of space. Early warning would include spotting the number of enemy craft closing in on Earth and once again relaying that information to ground stations.

Finally, if possible and if the satellite was in a position to do so it was to turn towards any leading Martian craft closing in on Earth and send out a powerful electromagnetic beam of energy designed by Dr. Tesla’s team at the Martian craft in an attempt to disable the electronic equipment onboard. Even Dr. Tesla knew we had no more than a ten-percent chance of this device being in the right place at the right time. But a chance is better than nothing at all. I felt that even if we disabled a single Martian craft it would give the Martians pause and wonder what else we humans had up our sleeves since we last ‘danced’ in 1901!

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Advanced Committee underground satellite assembly facility


Underground Missile Launch Facilities

As our ability to launch both solid and liquid fuel rockets continued to improve, plans were made to develop a system of ground launched rocket defense based on our new technology both man-made and back-engineered from Martian development. With the development of new high speed gyros and sensors from the Tesla labs, sensors and electrical devices from Edison’s programs as well as new so-called composite materials and new small computing devices we were now prepared to match all of these new areas to setting up several areas as missile defense platforms which would be built mostly near major population centers. These rocket defense centers would be prepared to launch ground-based rockets each carrying an explosive warhead towards low and medium altitude aircraft attacking these population centers. Each one would have onboard a heat sensor which would scan the sky for a target focused on the heat given off by the Martian craft.

When completed these stationary launch centers, which had been undergoing design and construction since early 1930, would be able to launch four salvos of two-stage solid rockets, 40 feet long, known as flying telephone poles, in sets of 25. (Liquid fuel rockets would have been too time consuming to be launched in a fast attack situation.) From the air they would show a cross pattern thought to be the best pattern to attack Martian Flying Machines. With the push of a button the operation’s officer could fire all 25 missiles of a salvo each carrying a 1000 pound explosive payload at any target – or targets that flew within four miles of the center. It was therefore critical in our planning to place these underground missile stations in areas which were thought to be prime targets for attack by airborne Martian forces. They would also need to be completely camouflaged so as to hopefully be unrecognizable from the air as anything other than what they really are.

The rockets began arriving for installation into their silos in January of 1938. In total the Committee would construct 42 of these facilities; ten each around New London, New York City, and Sydney as well as single facilities near other major Committee centers. National governments around the world had contracted to construct another 87 of these facilities in and around capital cities such as New Washington Center which had twelve of these facilities, Paris with four and Berlin with eight. Most had no more than one or two. The rocket facilities were not expected to be the final definitive defense of any of these cities. They were however, expected to reduce the number of attacking Martian craft available to rain terror on any of these facilities. Attrition was the primary objective of these rocket forces.

Crystal Word


To hear them report it the breakthrough came in a flash of inspiration. I had the feeling that this so-called “flash of insight” would not have surfaced without many hard years of sweat and toll before the breakthrough came. Nevertheless, a great breakthrough had been made and it came by the mind of man (or rather a large group of women working in complete secrecy over many years) greatly aided by the computers back-engineered from Martian technology and man’s engineering skills. The code breaking technology would be code named “Crystal Word” and without a doubt it was Most-Secret CoT.

The team of language and code experts had been laboring at Brentwater for many years in the hopes that they would be able to eventually learn how to read and speak the Martian language. Slowly and painfully they had deciphered word after word until nearly 97% of the primary Martian A language was understood. They had even produced language tapes and books so that other individuals working on the Martian problem could understand much of what was found in Martian Electronic Documents. What we never really expected to accomplish was a breakthrough that would allow our team to break the Martian code. That was not even a goal during the earlier work. However, with this event, for the first time, humans would have the capability to intercept and read coded Martian messages to their military forces on and in orbit about planet Earth. Many of them used radio waves, as far as we could tell about half the time.

Now we needed to design and build a machine that could be used in the field which would allow our forces the opportunity to have on hand up to date information on enemy forces from Mars. That work would put the ball back into the engineering team’s court at Committee Headquarters in Lower-New York. Before long Tesla’s team had constructed a crude model which looked more like a foot locker with dials on it but it did seem to work. It was however, much too large for proper field work. It would take several more months and a good deal of engineering skill to finally produce a model about the size of a bread box. Limited production line work was now on going in a secret underground production area north of New York City. Very few at the facility knew what they were making and most simply called it the ‘Bread Box’.


Magic Order MO-464

Immediate: Highly trusted “fully human” operatives are to be placed into high levels of the Earth’s top ten governments in order to monitor possible anti-Magic or anti-Committee operations. Top governmental officials are not to be informed in these nations. Operatives are to report only and directly to the Magic Twelve in person. No written reports are to be made. Cover operations are mandatory.





On 18 September 1937, a Japanese astronomer named Dr. Hiroshima Nagato working as part of the Mars Watch Program spotted a very interesting light on the Martian surface. (To be honest ANY light on the surface of Mars at the time would have been of great interest.) In an area quite a bit away from the primary Martian launch site, canals or any of the above ground cities Dr. Nagato spotted a brilliant flash of white light, which was followed by a ring of material moving away from the flash point. Within minutes a large circular cloud seemed to cover the entire expanding area. Dr. Nagato immediately sent out a Mars Flash Telegraph to all stations. His report, filed at the Committee suggested that a new, as before unknown, volcano had gone off or perhaps another much smaller meteoroid impact had occurred. It did seem to be a very long shot that a second impact on the Martian surface was possible in such a short time as we had recently seen the great damage incurred by the cometary body impacting in 1920. Dr. Nagato left it to the Committee to possibly follow up on his observation.

Nothing else of interest was to be seen in that area and for the most part after a few weeks of intensified observation the interest waned. That is not how the people working on the Tunguska Bomb Project viewed the report. To them this sounded exactly like a test of an atomic weapon. Needless to say, the possibly that the Martians had finally developed an atomic weapon could have devastating consequences for Earth. If the Martian’s deployed atomic weapons in enough numbers on Earth any invasion they waged upon Earth would succeed and there would be little we could do about it. Two photos of the cloud taken by Dr. Clyde Tombaugh from the Lowell Observatory suggested a level of energy much greater than that expected from such a compact area. It was also around ten times larger than scientists had estimated to come from our gadget! My thoughts immediately went to the 1908 event at Tunguska. We could be in deep trouble. It could also be that the Martians had had a rather large accidental explosion, not unlike the Tunguska blast but there was no way we could possibly know. All we could do for now was to continue our close watch on our troubled neighbor.

On 21 December 1937, the central group issued Executive Briefing Paper EBP 1937-14A (see Appendix I) which focused on Antarctica in the event the Martians ever accepted the offer to allow all of Planet Mars to ‘immigrate’ to our southern pole. Despite our limited abilities to explore that vast area what we did know showed that the area could easily support any large population of Martians without too many difficulties. There would be a period of support needed by the Martians while they built their facilities, but after that they would be able to self support.


EBP 1937-14A

December 21, 1937



(U) Antarctica, with an overall surface area of 5,400,000 square miles, is the fifth largest continent on Earth – larger than Europe by 30%. Ice free areas amount to only 100,000 square miles or approximately four times larger than the surface areas presently known to be inhabited on the surface of Mars by the Martians. Approximately 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice at an average thickness of some 5200 feet (1 mile) in depth. It is the coldest, windiest and driest continent on Earth. On average 4 inches of precipitation per year may be expected, but only along most coastal areas. There is very little precipitation at the South Pole. RMG

(TS) Average non-captive human population, centered around Little America forward Earth base camp is 500. Captured human population estimated to be no fewer than 300. Martian A and B combined population is estimated to be at least 400. Population levels on Mars estimated to be less than 10 million would easily populate the ice-free areas of Antarctica with a potential population growth to 25 million in these same coastal areas without any problems related to population or resources. Natural resources locally could support such expanded population numbers. WC

(U) The natural residents are cold-adapted animals and plants, which include many types of algae, tundra style vegetation, mosses, seals, penguins, nematodes, tardigrades and small mites. Off the coast are found blue whales, colossal squids and Orcas and a variety of fish. Most of these species survive along coastal areas not internal ice sheets that support very little biology. Antarctica’s coastline measures 11,165 miles fronted mainly by floating ice fronts, ice walls or glacial outlets. 5% of the coast fronts a rock face. A generally continuous food supply would be available without any additional support from human sources to the Martians along the coastal areas. If needed human supplied resources could be put into place with very little difficulty. RMG

(S) Committee members have also tested the possibility of growing hybrid Martian Red Weed on Antarctica. Samples held by the Committee in the lab were taken to Antarctica and planted in tightly controlled areas by biologists with surprising results. The red weed readily took to the conditions and thrived. This Martian food source could easily supply the Martians all they could possibly need in the cold environment found in Antarctica. TG

(U) Antarctica contains 90% of this planet’s ice at this time. This ice represents around 70% of the Earth’s fresh water. This presents no problem for humans on this planet due to the great abundance of water resources on Earth. This is a non-issue for both sides. TG

(U) The highest peak in Antarctica is Vinson Massif at 16,050, which is located in the Ellaworth Mountains (see attached map). NG

(C) Ross Island is the home of Mount Erebus, which is the world’s southern most active volcano, which can be used as a local energy source. Geothermal and magmatic energy are both generated by the volcano. Major oil and coal deposits are to be found in the Trans-Antarctic Mountains. Acquiring these energy resources would not pose any problems for the Martians who could easily drill for the oil or mine the coal. The Prince Edward Mountains would also be a natural resource for the Martians as they contain large deposits of iron ore. Off shore there are large oil and natural gas fields in the Ross Sea another resource easily obtainable by the Martians and a potential future trading commodity for them. RMG

(C) As stated above Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. The coldest temperature so far recorded is –128.6 degrees F. At that temperature dry ice (CO2) freezes, not unlike the temporary polar caps on Mars. Minimum temperature average during the Antarctica winter in the interior range from –112 degrees F to –128 degrees F. Average high temperatures along the coastal areas in summer range from 41 degrees F to 59 degrees F. These would represent a warm day indeed over most of Mars on an average day. The Martians would feel right at home. RMG


EBP 1937-14A


Radio Dishes Ready


It had taken decades to design and build, but on 23 November 1937, we were ready to listen in on Mars, and I mean ‘really’ listen in. Three large radio dishes were finally completed in Goldstone, California on the United States Army’s Fort Irwin Military Base, in Australia some 25 miles south of Canberra near the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and 37 miles west of Madrid Spain at Robledo de Chavela. Due to the Earth’s rotation these stations roughly spaced equally around the Earth would allow for nearly constant monitoring of Mars. Smaller dishes had already been built to transmit messages to Mars and were also ready to add their resources to hear any radio noise from the planet. These three new dishes however, were built to hear radio transmissions that were not meant to be intercepted by Earth. These were our three new big spy ears and they worked well beyond what we could ever have hoped for (if everything worked as designed). We expected to be able to pick up radio traffic between Martian spacecraft as well as messages transmitted (in radio only) to their forces in and around Earth as well as in the general area around Mars itself.

New Radar/Radio dishes listening for Martian transmissions

One of the most unexpected radio transmissions ever intercepted by the new Mars Watch Radio Stations was heard and recorded on 12 June 1938. This of course was the now famous Knakto message, which warned the Earth of the second wave of Martians then preparing to launch their attack on Earth. This was the Mars warning about the start of the Second Martian War. Transmitted by a Martian with a name thought to be something like Knakto, it was at first thought to be a false message sent to confuse or misdirect Earth’s defenses. Only later would we understand that for some unknown reason one Martian had decided to warn the Earth of the attack and betray his own species. His warning gave Earth a three month led time to prepare for interplanetary war.

Knakto, we would later learn from a boasting Martian who had been captured during the Second Martian War, was himself captured and executed by his fellow Martians. The captured Martian was very pleased to tell his Earth interrogators that Knakto was first beaten then almost suffocated to death, then completely stripped of his flesh while being kept alive and only then was he allowed to slowly die while he was “consumed” by what could only be described as the Martian version of ants! As the captured Martian related this tale of Knakto’s gruesome and prolonged death the Martian almost appeared to be smiling! It was a facial expression that I had never seen before or indeed ever since. Needless to say, the small Knakto memorial at what remains of Goldstone is visited by the people of Earth as we remember a Martian whose face we shall never know, but whose sacrifice we shall never forget.

This message also brought up a very interesting question. Why have we been picking up so little in the way of radio or general microwave energy from Mars? From such a technologically advanced civilization we should have been able to easily pick up all kinds of general radio noise yet for the most part the radio spectrum around Mars was almost silent. What have we missed? Are they really that advanced in all areas or have they advanced in some areas and lagged way behind in others?

The Martians appeared to have been rather careless when it came to radio transmissions (as we had earlier been) probably not believing that we had developed the capability to do such work. Even with that line of thought we needed to be careful not to believe all that we heard. Messages sent by the Martians may very well have been for propaganda purposes. A careful review was always the word to the wise.

These new radio dishes also had a much more critical part to play during any war with Mars. Tesla and his team were now ready to test out his new “radio engine disruption device” on aircraft flying near these large dishes. His team felt that they could impede and possibly cause a Martian Flying Machine to crash by hitting it with a powerful radio wave.


Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020

[Next week: Part 59: Psychological Operations Forces, Radio Traps, and the Tunguska Project.]

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