Tag Archives | Cold War
For more than a decade they toiled in the strange, boxy-looking building on the hill above the municipal airport, the building with no windows (except in the cafeteria), the building filled with secrets.
They wore protective white jumpsuits, and had to walk through air-shower chambers before entering the sanitized “cleanroom” where the equipment was stored.
They spoke in code.
Few knew the true identity of “the customer” they met in a smoke-filled, wood-paneled conference room where the phone lines were scrambled. When they traveled, they sometimes used false names.
At one point in the 1970s there were more than 1,000 people in the Danbury area working on The Secret…
The world has said goodbye to two leaders who were worlds apart. One was a widely celebrated anti-communist, the other a widely despised communist. However, both the lives and thoughts of the Czech Republic’s Vaclav Havel, and North Korea’s Kim Jung-il were given short shrift.
The playwright turned President Havel who parlayed human rights activism into becoming Czechoslovakia‘s post-Communist President was a leader for the pro-democracy Charter 77 Movement, not just a Red-hating politician on a power trip.
Yet, the press praised him more for what he opposed than what he believed. The people who loved him adored him for both.
One report: “Thousands of silent mourners have accompanied the body of Vaclav Havel through central Prague as the Czech Republic began three days of national mourning for the icon of the Velvet Revolution.
About 10,000 mourners mostly in black, some carrying Czech or Slovak flags, joined a solemn procession taking the former president’s coffin from a church through narrow cobbled streets to Prague Castle, the seat of Czech presidents, on Wednesday.”
Havel was an intellectual, a non-violent revolutionary who also presided over the break up of his country into two: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.… Read the rest
Via Best Places To Live In NY, a home for sale for $1.76 million in the mountains of upstate New York offers the perfect retreat for the collapse of civilization:
It might be the closest you can come to having a secret lair. A home in the Adirondacks is for sale – that from the outside looks like a traditional mountain retreat. But underneath is a cold war-era missile silo that would make Dr. Evil drool.
Few films, let alone ones running under ten minutes, have been as frequently referenced, reproduced and satirized as Duck and Cover, yet it is never regarded seriously. Conelrad gives this key piece of cinematic history the treatment it deserves:
We have spent the last two years thoroughly researching DUCK AND COVER’s production history as well as its initial public reception in 1952. Interviews were conducted with living participants involved in the making of the film as well as surviving family members of those key players who had passed away.
Just how did the term “Duck and Cover” become universal shorthand for the paranoid excesses of the Cold War and for every geo-political panic attack since? The film is, after all, the Citizen Kane of American civil defense motion pictures. Clips from this movie are used almost every time a news piece is produced on the 1950′s or the Cold War.
Well, there it is folks. Plain as day: Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap to Ruin” austerity program sh*tcanned the U.S. Spaceshuttle program and left us dependent upon the charity of ex-KGB chief Vladimir Putin.
No you wouldn’t hear much about that from the Fox News(tm) Politburo. Seems that we have to rely on our Aussie cousins to get the scoop.
It’s true. Now without an independent space program of our own, we’ll be at the tender mercies of the apparatchiks in Moscow to support our telecommunications satellite infrastructure.
Now I don’t have definitive proof yet that Paul Ryan is a sleeper agent for Uncle Vanya, but all signs point to yes. In debt ceiling talks this week his lot are trying to force American-born grandmothers to give up their cat food money in order to support the vodka habits of his Wall Street buddies like Frenchman “Fabulous” Fab Torre.
io9 and CONELRAD Adjacent detail a broadcast of the Ed Sullivan Show that “scared the hell out of kids” when a short animation was aired on 27 May 1956. Peter and Joan Foldes’ cartoon, A Short Vision, depicts a nuclear apocalypse, showing the faces of men and animals melting off, the audience off guard when Sullivan shared no warning but this introduction:
“Just last week you read about the H-bomb being dropped. Now two great English writers, two very imaginative writers – I’m gonna tell you if you have youngsters in the living room tell them not to be alarmed at this ‘cause it’s a fantasy, the whole thing is animated – but two English writers, Joan and Peter Foldes, wrote a thing which they called ‘A Short Vision’ in which they wondered what might happen to the animal population of the world if an H-bomb were dropped. It’s produced by George K. Arthur and I’d like you to see it. It is grim, but I think we can all stand it to realize that in war there is no winner.”
One of the secret projects discussed in Annie Jacobson’s new Area 51 book is Project Orion, an ambitious 1950′s-1960′s era attempt to develop a nuclear fission-propelled spacecraft capable of interplanetary travel. Like many of the Cold War aeronautics projects developed at Area 51 and related test sites, it was way ahead of its time. According to Jacobs, however, when ARPA and the USAF took over the project, they had a far more Strangelovian vision in mind:
“From high above Earth, a USS Orion could be used to launch attacks against enemy targets using nuclear missiles. Thanks to Orion’s nuclear-propulsion technology, the spaceship could make extremely fast defensive maneuvers, avoiding any Russian nuclear missiles that might come its way…For a period of time during the early 1960′s the Air Force believed Orion was going to be invincible. ‘Whoever builds Orion will control the Earth!” declared General Thomas S. Power of the Strategic Air Command.” [Jacobson, p. 305]
In this fascinating TED lecture George Dyson, son of Freeman Dyson, shares his special knowledge of the project. Not much information about Project Orion’s proposed weaponization has reached the web, but pay special attention to what he says at around 3:30-3:50…
This is even stranger to me than the famous “it’s aliens!” conspiracy theory we all know and love. Thomas Harding writes in the Telegraph:
Devotees of science fiction have been convinced for decades that an alien spacecraft crashed in the desert of New Mexico – and that the American government covered up the recovery of extraterrestrial bodies. The so-called Roswell Incident of 1947 spawned conspiracy theories by the score.
But now, sadly for UFO spotters, a new book offers an entirely man-made — and some would say even more bizarre — explanation, featuring two of the greatest villains of 20th century history: the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and the infamous Nazi “Angel of Death” Dr Joseph Mengele.
During a powerful storm in July, 1947, an object crashed near a rancher’s home in Roswell, New Mexico.
Roswell army air base initially said that a “flying disc” had come down, but hours later, as government scientists arrived in the area, it was stated instead that a weather balloon had crashed.