Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dead Birds, Missing VX Gas, Phantom Missiles, and Alex Trebek - Where are the Answers?

In the last couple of months, I have noticed a lack of followup from journalists and media on some very odd stories which begged for answers:

Case 1: Mystery Missile
On the evening of November 8th, 2010, many witnesses saw what appeared to be a missile launched from just off the coast of Los Angeles, north of Catalina Island.  The video below was captured by a KCBS new helicopter.  The US military and FAA claimed no knowledge of the launch and that nothing showed up on their radar records of the area.  "Nobody within the Department of Defense that we've reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is, where it came from," Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said. "So far, we've come up empty with any explanation."  NORAD and Northern Command issued a statement the next day, "We can confirm that there is no threat to our nation, and from all indications this was not a launch by a foreign military," the statement said. "We will provide more information as it becomes available."  Well, its been a few months, and I guess no knowledge has become available.

Case 2:  Arkansas Bird and Fish Mass Deaths
A few minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve, December 31st, 2010, approximately 5,000 red-wing black birds fall out of the sky, dead, in Arkansas.  This is just two days after over 80,000 fresh water drum fish show up dead along the Arkansas River.  To date, no word on the fish at all - on the birds, we have been told that bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, pesticides and chemicals used to kill birds have been ruled out - it appears blunt force injuries are the common thread, but those may have been caused by hitting the ground.  Although witnesses say that they saw birds falling out of the air, the official word from the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission as of January 27th is a theory that is that it was likely that the birds were flying low due to theoretical "New Yea'rs fireworks" and just flew into a theoretical solid object.  In theory.

Case 3:  The Missing VX Gas
Dugway Proving Grounds, an 800,000 acre Army base southwest of Salt Lake City, was put into a lockdown from around 6pm on January 26th until around 3am the next morning.  All staff were put under lockdown while officials frantically searched for what was later revealed to be a "misplaced" vial of VX gas.  Upon finding the vial, the lockdown was lifted and an announcement made that "no one was ever in any danger: or had been harmed.  The most dangerously lethal nerve agent on earth was misplaced for nine hours, but no one was in danger?  Oh, but they found it, so its all good!  Nothing to see here, move along.  By the way, in 1997, the US committed to destroying all chemical weapon stockpiles and storage within ten years - it's 2011, and we are obviously still storing VX.  Oops.

What do these stories have in common?
I don't have a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory that answers these mysteries.  I do see a trend - as mass media has taught us, they will give us what we ask for.  Evidently, we are asking for more reality TV, rather than for answers.  Look at the promos for the nightly news shows - they are nothing but scary questions - "What household item might be slowly killing you while you sleep?" or "Guess what unexpected place bedbugs are showing up now?"  Doubtless, focus groups have confirmed that this is the most effective way to lure in viewers.  The problem is, we don't seem to demand answers!  Of course there are exceptions - millions of viewers lamented the lack of pay-off in the Lost finale - where is the outcry for answers or at least further investigation into these stories straight out of our news?  In each case, there are government officials responsible for investigating and explaining these events - where is the accountability?  Have we grown so sheepish as a society that we are put off by these lame non-explanations?  We need to demand better answers, cause these are really weak.

As former Governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura so authoritatively explained on the classic X-Files episode "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'" on which he teamed with Alex Trebek as the Men in Black:

"Venus was at its peak brilliance last night. You probably thought you saw something up in the sky other than Venus, but I assure you, it was Venus."

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