Wednesday, August 8, 2018

August 8, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Atmospheric Shift | Electroquake Risk Rising"--Suspicious Observers (2-1/2 min.)

       A retired Russian colonel has made outlandish claims that Moscow has planted nuclear missiles off the east coast of America that could trigger a tsunami if detonated.
           The far-fetched plans were outlined by Viktor Baranetz, who claimed it was a response to the US building up its military along Russia's borders. 
            “The Americans are deploying their tanks, airplanes and special forces battalions along the Russian border,” Mr Baranetz said in an interview with Russian paper Komsomolskaya Pravda.
              “And we are quietly ‘seeding’ the US shoreline with nuclear ‘mole’ missiles.  They dig themselves in and "sleep" until they are given the command..."
              And, earlier this year, there were reports that the Russians had developed an underwater drone that could deliver a nuclear warhead to the United States' coast. The drone, referred to as Kanyon by the DoD and "Ocean Multipurpose System Status-6" by Russia, purportedly could deliver a 100 megaton warhead to the American coast. Russian scientists claim that  a 100 megatons warhead could produce a tsunami up to 500 meters high
                 The claims of a potential tsunami are pooh-poohed by some because, they reason, the power of a nuclear weapon is so much less than that released by a naturally occurring earthquake and tsunami. (See, e.g., this article at Real Clear Defense and this article from Business Insider). But, the DoD's own research indicates that underwater nuclear explosions can create large waves:
                  The seminal work in the field of nuclear ocean waves is Water Waves Generated By Underwater Explosions, a 400-page report produced for the Department of Defense by Bernard Le Mehaute and Shen Wang. The report, published in 1996, exhaustively examines and summarizes all available research about the ocean waves created by nuclear explosions.
                   The report outlines how when a nuclear weapon goes off underwater, it produces a cavity of hot gasses, which then collapses. If the explosion happens near the surface, it can create some pretty big waves—under some circumstances, they can be hundreds of feet high near ground zero.
              In fact, the DoD reports that waves from a 100 megaton explosion would still be 150 feet tall at a distance of 50 nautical miles from the explosion.
                     Underwater nuclear explosions have other effects which might be useful to an enemy. This was illustrated by the Baker test of 1946, where an atomic bomb was detonated in relatively shallow water off of the Bikini atoll. The purpose of the test was to show that naval vessels would not be as vulnerable to atomic weapons as some feared. As this article from Atlas Obscura recounts, the test went badly for the Navy:
                      When Helen of Bikini exploded, it created a giant, underwater bubble of hot gas. In seconds, the bubble hit the seafloor, where it blasted a crater 30 feet deep and at least 1,800 feet wide. At the same time, the surface of lagoon erupted into a giant column of water, 2 million tons of it, which shot more than 5,000 feet into the air, over an area a half-mile wide. In the seconds after the blast hit the surface, a cloud of radioactive condensation unfurled across the lagoon, hiding the column of water shooting upwards; at the top, a mushroom cloud of gas bloomed against the sky.

                  * * *

                           The LSM-60 was the first ship to go. The bomb had been suspended directly beneath it, and when the blast burst upwards, the ship was pulverized—it was as if it had disappeared. Only a few fragments were ever found, by Navy men cleaning the decks of other ships.
                              Arkansas, a battleship, went next, the first ship ever to be sunk by an atomic bomb. YO-160, an oil barge, went down quickly, along with the auxiliary craft ARDC-13. The Saratoga, an aircraft carrier, took seven and a half hours to sink. After the blast, her stern started to drop into the water, and the ship tilted starboard. Nagato, a battleship captured from Japan, sunk four days later, in the night, when no one was watching. Three of the six submarines hidden beneath the water sank, as well.
                               The true extent of the losses did not become clear for more than a week, though. Even in the first hours after the blast, clean-up crews started heading towards the boats, only to turn back when they measured how dangerously high the radiation levels had risen. The vice admiral heading the task force sent out a crew on tug boats to tow the Saratoga to a nearby island before it sank, but after the radiation turned them back, the crew watched from afar as the ship slowly went down.
                                 The problem was the water. In previous atomic tests, radioactive particles spewed into the atmosphere and were spread over great distances as the blast cloud dissipated. Here, the radiation had been contained in the mist of water and fallen directly back into the lagoon, down onto the ships. Even the vessels that survived the initial were so radioactive that initially levels were at 20 times a lethal dose.
                                   Still, the Navy thought the ships could be saved. The captains of the target vessels wanted their ships back, and Rear Adm. Thorvald Solberg, who was in charge of decontamination, believed the ships could be washed down and sent home. But the clean-up crews were not prepared for how thoroughly contaminated the boats were. They began to hose the ships down with foam and salt water, trying to scrub out the radiation. It was a futile effort: The only way they could have clean them off would have required sandblasting everything down, removing every bit of wood and washing the brass and copper pieces of the ship with nitric acid.
                                     Soon, workers were hitting the daily allotment of radiation exposure—limits set to keep workers safe, which, by today’s standards, were already high. Radiation was spreading everywhere, as the clean-up crews tracked irradiated water back to their “clean” ships. Even the mussels and algae that clung to the hulls of the clean ships were now concentrating radiation and adding to the men’s exposure.
                                       The Navy had to admit that the ships would be impossible to clean. Six vessels, that had been badly damaged in the blast, were sunk right there in the Bikini lagoon. Most of the contaminated ships were towed 200 miles to Kwajalein atoll, where they would stay. A small group of the radioactive ships were towed to Pearl Harbor for examination; more were later taken from Kwajalein to Pearl Harbor, Seattle or San Francisco. But 36 never left Kwajalein. They were towed out to the deep sea and sunk.
                                Keep in mind that this was from what was only a 20 kiloton weapon. (See "DESCRIPTION OF UNDERWATER BURSTS" for more information). Obviously a weapon in the megaton or more class would be much more devastating. And, according to the Popular Science article cited above, "[t]o make matters worse there are reports the [Kanyon] warhead is 'salted' with the radioactive isotope Cobalt-60. Contaminated areas would be off-limits to humanity for up to 100 years."
                                       Underwater tests were put on hiatus after the Baker test, but when resumed in 1958, presented some additional surprises. Gizmodo relates:
                                         According to Pat Bradley, one of the cameramen who documented US atomic tests during the 1950s, the Wahoo and Umbrella underwater explosions were more amazing than a atmospheric nuclear explosion. ...
                                            2.5 miles seemed like a safe distance for an underwater explosion. As it turned out, it wasn't. The waves engulfed an entire cargo ship near to ground zero. The wall of water kept advancing, generating gigantic waves that hit the island from where Bradley and his colleagues were filming. The third wave, the tallest of them all, covered the entire island. They saved themselves by quickly climbing to some palm trees carrying their heavy film camera equipment.
                                    But more than the radiation and tsunamis is that such explosions would create pressure waves that could be used to crack submarine pens and underground facilities along or near the coast--facilities that would otherwise be able to survive anything but a direct hit by a nuclear weapon.
                                    McCain, a sitting GOP Senator, was provided names of “problematic Russians” the FBI had recently investigated or were in the process of investigating. Top FBI executives worked with McCain to provide the names of the Russians, FBI insiders confirmed. Then McCain, handed the list off to Fusion GPS who was working with Christopher Steele.
                                    One of the people on the list was Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was barred from entering the U.S., but suddenly after this obtained a visa, and then arranged a meeting at Trump Tower. "The same meeting was used as an excuse to wiretap Trump associates."
                                    • Rod Dreher morphed into Q so quietly I hadn't noticed: "The ‘Mysterious’ Uncle Ted"--American Conservative. More keeps coming out about sexual molestation by priests within the Catholic Church. This particular article looks at sexual abuse allegations in the United States and explores why nothing was done to remove or expose the abusers. Dreher in particular discusses Cardinal Theodore “Uncle Ted” McCarrick and his role in covering up abuse. Here is the money quote, however: "Father Martin’s longer take in America magazine has a lot of truthful things in with with [sic] regard to why this happened, but it ignores the darkest truth here: that there are secretive cabals of gay priests who protect and advance each other, and who depend on the protective culture of secrecy within the Catholic Church to shield them." (Underline added). Dreher goes on in length to discuss how (as in, the actual mechanics and plotting) the members of this cabal would help protect each other, and help each other advance within the hierarchy. Secret combinations indeed! 
                                    • And the global warming narrative suddenly changes: "Scientists warn Earth at dire risk of becoming hellish ‘hothouse’"--New York Post. For the last couple of decades, the global warming fanatics have warned that the earth would be stuck in an unstoppable runaway greenhouse effect if CO2 emissions were not controlled, even though nothing similar had happened in past ages when CO2 levels were much higher. That has suddenly changed, and they now tell us that even if we meet the Paris climate treaty goals, "Earth’s average temperature would stabilize 4 or 5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels." (I would remind readers that although the United States did not sign the accord, it is pretty much the only industrial nation to reduce CO2 emissions). I take this as signaling an abandonment of the runaway greenhouse theory.
                                    • A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "SpaceX reflies a Block 5 rocket for the first time"--Ars Technica. One of the ways SpaceX has reduced launch costs was to re-use booster rockets. Under their design, the booster rockets, after they detach themselves, land under their own power. In this case, the successfully used a booster rocket that had been used in a prior launch, and returned it safely to a barge where it landed.

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