“Fat Boy”, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Trump used the horrific weapons development during the WWII Manhattan Project as a backdrop for his announcement of Operation Warp Speed, his grandiose plan to deliver 300 million doses of a still non-existent COVID-19 vaccine to America by January 2021.
Nathaniel R. “Nat” Helms
Pandemic apologist Donald J. “Warp Speed” Trump on Friday took time out from bungling America’s response to the novel coronavirus scourge to accept a commemorative flag on behalf the U.S. Space Force, the latest creation from the bowels of the Pentagon.
Outside the six-sided puzzle palace, more than 87,000 Americans were already dead and thousands more are fighting for their lives amidst Trump’s strident calls to open up America sooner than later. Vainglorious Trump says their tragic deaths and those sure to come are the unavoidable cost of making America great again.
On the evening of November 11, 1987, in the small town of Gulf Breeze, Florida, a sedate suburb of Pensacola, an ordinary suburban house was enveloped in a strange blue light coming from the sky. The owner of the house, a building contractor named Ed Walters, rushed outside and saw a flying saucer hovering above the street. Walters ran back into his house, grabbed a Polaroid camera and took several photos of the craft. The UFO reacted, shooting a blue beam at him that transmitted telepathic images. Then Walters blacked out, waking up later on his front lawn. The photos from the Polaroid camera revealed several spectacular shots of the space vehicle that he claimed he encountered.
This was, anyway, Ed Walters’ story. The photos were his chief corroboration: no one had taken such up-close and personal pictures of a UFO before. The fact that the camera was a Polaroid was significant. To those who have never heard of this device, which was nothing short of miraculous when it appeared on the market in the 1950s, it was a camera that used film that developed itself in a matter of minutes! It was thought (erroneously) that you couldn’t fake Polaroid pictures with the same sort of double exposure tricks that have been going on for as long as photography has existed. Ergo, Walters had to be telling the truth! Right?
One of Walters’s famous photos. Most experts concluded they were pretty crude fakes; a minority insisted they were real. Few believe in them anymore.
The November 11 “sighting” was hardly the end of the incident. After telling his story to a local newspaper–which caused an immediate sensation–Ed Walters began to report and document other encounters he said he had with the mysterious craft, the obvious implication being that they were aliens of some kind. In fact, Walters said he saw one of them on December 2, 1987, a strange robot-like device or perhaps a creature wearing a spacesuit. He also took many more photographs, including a shot of one of the saucers that landed on his street. As the media picked up the story, public interest increased, as it always does about phenomena like UFOs. Other people around Gulf Breeze began saying that they too had seen flying craft. Walters himself went on TV, including the popular show Hard Copy, to tell his story. I remember seeing him on one of these shows. The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), a non-profit that investigates UFO sightings, claimed that Walters was genuine. By mid-1988 the sleepy town of Gulf Breeze was known as one of the world capitals of UFO sightings, mainly for the quality of Walters’s pictures, which far exceeded the typical grainy, indistinct and wobbly pictures taken of previous supposed flying saucers.
Walters became something of a local celebrity. His TV appearances and the interest in his story eventually led to a book deal with William Morrow, which published The Gulf Breeze Sightings, authored by Walters, in 1990. Walters sold his house and bought a new one. The same year as the book’s publication, however, the owner of his old house–one Robert Menzer–was mucking around in the attic, looking for a water pipe, when he discovered a strange object wrapped in old drafting paper hidden behind a flap of insulation. Unwrapping it, Menzer revealed a model of a flying saucer, made of foam plates, cardboard, paper, and colored plastic gel.
Soon the gig was up. Walters insisted that he was framed. Someone, he claimed, had built a model of a flying saucer, broken into his empty house and hid it to discredit him. He did, however, admit that the drafting papers the model was wrapped in–which contained plans for the model–were his, but they must have been stolen from his trash. Then someone else in the town stated that he knew Ed Walters had previously been fooling around with photographic tricks, including double exposures that could be used even to fake the irreproachable Polaroids; among those who believed the Gulf Breeze UFO photos were faked, this was the leading candidate for how it was done.
At last, Tom Smith, a local teenager, came forward and said that Ed Walters had shown him pictures of the UFO and urged himto go forward to the press with them. Smith had some of the pictures, and was able to show investigators exactly how Walters had faked the pictures–including how he had created a depression in the ground where one of the “saucers” supposedly landed. It was done with an upside-down trampoline. Thus, it was demonstrated pretty conclusively that Ed Walters had faked the incident, and that the amazing spaceship seen in his photos was, in fact, a cardboard and styrofoam mock-up only 9 inches long –- hardly impressive for an intergalactic spaceship.
When I worked with NASA back in the late 1980s, I had to do a large, complicated study on what kind of unit they should design to retrieve satellites in space.
The NASA guys believed anything with fewer than three arms would be worthless. It turns out satellites do interesting things. Not just rolling, but doing a sort of shimmy — like a spitball in space. Despite more than 700-pages of diagrams and explanations, the financial wizards in the government decided on building a unit with only two arms.
Which, as their own scientists had noted, wouldn’t work. They tried it in space. It didn’t work.
They were still putting all the space travel stuff on television, so when the “satellite catching” event came up, I had to watch it. “Hey,” I told Garry, “I was the lead writer on the study for this thing.” I really was, too.
The multi-million dollar satellite catcher did not work at all. It was completely useless and could not catch anything. Eventually, the astronaut dumped the “catcher” and grabbed the satellite with his hands.
It turned out, they didn’t need any kind of special catching machinery because even very big things are weightless in outer space.
So much for a lot of scientists, artists, writers, and editors working on this monumental study. I worked 7-days a week for five weeks. Which earned me some really serious overtime money, even though the study was a bust.
The most interesting thing was I got to talking with my NASA scientist who was in charge of the project.
It was 1988. They already knew about things like anti-matter — something I thought was just science fiction.
My scientist guy said “Oh, no. We know it’s there. We just have to figure out how to get some.”
I said, “What would you do with it?”
He laughed. “Oh, I don’t know. Destroy the world? Maybe the universe?”
He wasn’t kidding. Even a tiny bit of anti-matter could go a long way towards blowing up the universe. Let’s not wait for climate change to do us in. Let’s grab some anti-matter and blow up the world. Whoopee!
Soon thereafter, I quit that job.
It had begun to make my brain do weird barrel rolls in my head. I had nightmares and helping them find stuff that could not only blow up the earth but all the planets and maybe the sun. Maybe the whole universe.
That’s a lot of blowing up. Every now and then, I still have those nightmares. Sooner or later, those scientists will find a way to get their hands on anti-matter.
A slip of the finger later …
I refer you to this article on Anti-Matter. If you think I’m kidding, really, I’m not.
And finally, a little quote to whet your appetite:
“… when matter and antimatter come into contact, they annihilate – disappearing in a flash of energy. The Big Bang should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter. So why is there far more matter than antimatter in the universe?”
Maybe there isn’t more matter than anti-matter. Maybe we just haven’t found the big anti-matter grab bag yet. And if there is an equal amount of anti-matter in the universe, are there also anti-people? Anti-trees? Anti-birds?
Maybe given our human record for destroying everything we get our hands on, we should just skip the whole anti-matter thing and do something positive?
Earlier this month on August 11th, NASA launched its newest spacecraft, called the Parker Solar Probe. The probe’s mission is to study the outer corona of the Sun to better protect our tech-driven lifestyle against destructive solar storms that could take us back to the stone ages.
With an announcement that sent asteroids off predicted trajectories, space cadet and great interstellar explorer Donald “Captain Bone Spurs” Trump added another dimension to the largest and most powerful military force on the planet. As of today the United States of America has a nascent sixth branch of the military – the U.S. Space Force.
Several sources confirmed to the Shinbone Star that Trump conceived his stellar idea while reading the back of a box of Lucky Stars cereal. He told them he had reached his brilliant decision after seeing clear evidence that the Russkies and pesky Chinese want to monopolize outer space in his cereal bowl. To prove it he laid out two soggy bits of cereal that looked like dreaded Communist red stars. He reportedly changed his story after hearing chief of staff John Kelly snickering in the next room.
Secret Tralfamadorian outer space envoy and special counselor…
Every week since our Fucking-Idiot-In-Chief got into the Oval Office, every news report starts with a version of “This is the worst week yet for the President.” And there’s a reason they say that. It’s true. What’s amazing is how he manages to make this week worse than the last.
There’s no floor. You can’t say, “he can’t get any worst than this” because he will just say, “Oh yeah? Hold my near-beer.” (El Presidente doesn’t drink so I had to modify the meme).
But for a while, he was at least funny. He says stuff so stupid you just have to laugh. He writes all the late-night show’s monologues by himself (with a big assist by Fox News). But last week he stooped to depths of depravity so low, so disgusting that all the humor got pushed aside. Ripping children from their parents and putting them in baby/toddler jails.
In the midst of this unspeakable evil, he was still trying to give us some comic relief. We were just too appalled, disgusted and enraged to notice it.
Our Chuckle-Head-In-Chief announced that he was ordering the Pentagon to create SPACE FORCE!
A “separate but equal branch” of the military. Separate but equal? What the hell does that mean? The Air Force and the Space Force have separate drinking fountains? And then he actually said, “There’s no place like space, there’s no place like space.”
That night, all the late show comedy writers went “well, we can take an early lunch.”
But here’s the thing. There already is a Space Force! Really! It’s been around since 1958. It was a syndicated comic strip called “Sky Masters of the Space Force!” created by Wally Wood and the great comic book artist Jack Kirby.
Can they sue? Well probably not, I’m pretty sure they’re both dead.
He said we need the Space Force because we not only need to be in space but we need to DOMINATE SPACE!
Now the question becomes, who do we draft into the Space Force? We can’t use all of our current astronauts. They’re all scientists and engineers who work at an international space station where people from different countries all get along and work together. We can’t dominate space with these wimps!
We need real Americans. Americans who want to make the galaxy great again! The only problem is, Trump only picks people for his administration who are on TV. But don’t despair! We have those heroes. Heroes like the Sky Masters of Space Force!
Oh wait, that was just a comic strip, not TV. OK, what about Tom Corbett, Space Cadet! He’s an American hero! He was on TV.
But, wait, he’s dead.
OK, what about Colonel Ed McCauley, head of the American Space Program in the 1959 TV show “Men into Space!” He was only on the air for a year, but he was still the head of the American Space Program!
The only problem is, he’s also dead.
OK, how about Ed Norton from the Honeymooners? He was an official ranger of Captain Video and his Video Rangers.
And what about Captain Video himself?
Shit, both dead.
Captain Kirk and Captain Jean Luc Picard are both still alive, but they don’t strike me as Trump’s kind of guys.
And hell, Kirk kissed a black girl.
Wait! Darth Vader! He’s totally a Trump kind of guy.
And, crap, he’s dead too.
This could be a problem. Because let’s face it, we know that aliens have already visited Earth. And what do they do? One word. Anal probes.
They’re sending rapists! We need to stop the infestation of real, actual illegal aliens! What can we do? Build a wall. A wall in space! And we’ll make the aliens pay for it!
We need real Americans to step up. How about the real American’s at Fox News? Hannity, Coulter, Ingram, Carlson and those three stooges who do Fox and Friends.
Send them into space to defend America! Defend Earth! Whatever. Just send them into space. And make sure they stay there.
“Captain,” as Tuvok stood tall and saluted Janeway. The tips of his pointy ears twitched slightly, one of the few tells of how intense his feelings were at this moment in time.
“Are the rest of the crew ready?” she asked him. She was asking him again, probably the dozenth time in the past hour, part of the reason Tuvok was getting … twitchy.
“Everyone is ready,” he assured her and wondered if she was really listening. He could see that she was more than a little excited. Her breathing was irregular and he could swear she was sweating right through her Starfleet uniform.
“I spoke to Paris and Tuvok. They think we can launch the shuttle craft and be on the surface in …” and she looked at her watch … “Under an hour.”
Chakotay had approached while they spoke and nodded his agreement. “I had Neelix pack special Voyager lunch packs for everyone. We added one of those purple “People Eater” drinks … with umbrellas. Let’s make this a real celebration.”
The planet below was big and blue and so earth-like as to bring tears to the eyes of many of the long-stranded crew. Not that any of them were willing to give up their endless trek through the Delta Quadrant to read Earth … but what could be the harm of a month … maybe two … on the rich surface of this beautiful planet. The air was right. It was bigger than earth, though the gravity wasn’t much different. Maybe a little bit, but no one cared.
It was a puzzle that no one lived on its surface. For any human-type species, it was ideal. Forests and oceans and mountains — and a sky as blue as a Robin’s Egg.
And thus, nearly the entire crew of voyager boarded their Shuttlecraft, lightly dressed in Starfleet’s casual best. They hit the surface with a quiet hissing sound and the party began. They spread their tepees in a spiral circle and built a fire at the heart. Twenty-fourth century technology made bathrooms and laundry facilities simple and efficient and these were located conveniently out of the way, but near enough in case too many people were drinking an over-abundance of tall purple drinks. With umbrellas.
They didn’t know about the radiation.
It wasn’t the type of radiation their sensors could ever register being half magical. Indeed, it was an ancient form of wizard technology, an effective version of pre-modern total destruction which had sunk Atlantis long before Earth’s modern “technical” revolution would again nearly accomplish the same task.
Humans are nothing if not inventive.
It would take more than a month before the crew realized that they had found their final resting place. But first, they were going to have one Hell of a party.
“Ready to launch?” asked Janeway.
“Ready!” announced Tuvok.
“Ready!” said Chakotay.
“Ready,” said they all announced with merriment they sailed forth to meet their doom.
When I worked with NASA — a long time ago now — I had to do a large, complicated study on what kind of unit they should design to retrieve satellites in space. The NASA guys believed anything with fewer than three arms would be worthless. It turns out satellites do interesting things. Not just rolling, but doing a sort of shimmy — like a spit ball in space. Despite more than 700-pages of diagrams and explanations, the financial wizards decided on only two arms. Which, as their own scientists had noted, didn’t work.
They were still putting all the space travel stuff on television, so when the “satellite catching” event came up, I had to watch it. “Hey,” I told Garry, “I was the lead writer on the study for this device.” I was, too.
The multi-million dollar satellite catcher did not work. Eventually, the astronaut grabbed the satellite with his arms and pulled it in. It turned out, they didn’t need any kind of special catcher because even very big things are weightless in space. So much for a lot of scientists, artists, writers, and editors working on this monumental study. I worked 7-days a week for five weeks. Which was seriously good overtime money, even if the study was a bust.
The really interesting thing — other than the complete waste of time that the project represented — was I got to talking with my NASA scientist. It was 1988. They already knew about things like anti matter — something I thought was a science fiction thing.
My guy said “Oh, no. We know it’s there. We just have to figure out how to get some.”
I said “Well, what would you do with it?”
He laughed. “Oh, I don’t know. Destroy the world. Maybe the universe.” And he wasn’t kidding. A very little bit of that could go a very long way towards un-glueing our universe.
Soon thereafter, I quit that job. It had begun to make my brain do barrel rolls in my head. I had nightmares. Every now and again, I still have those nightmares. Because sooner or later, those scientists will find a way to get their hands on some anti-matter. A slip of the finger later …
Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.