The First Internet Message Was Sent On 29 October 1969

First Internet Message

In the late 1960’s, scientists face a fundamental question regarding computing. In what direction will the future go? The big corporations, IBM and others, want to build centralized, large computers that people must go to. Others want computers to be smaller and not centralized and be linked together remotely. The link? A thing that will become known as the Internet.

ARPANET: Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. There are two versions why ARPANET was started: 1. To exploit new computer technologies to meet the needs of military command and control against nuclear threats, achieve survivable control of US nuclear forces, and improve military tactical and management decision making. 2. Out of the frustration that there were only a limited number of large, powerful research computers in the country, and that many research investigators, who should have access to them, were geographically separated from them.

Regardless. What we call the Internet would never have happened if ARPANET had failed.

The first message ever sent was from a computer in a lab at UCLA to a computer in a lab at Stanford, on 29 October 1969. The image above is the entire extent of the Internet at the end of 1969 via landline.

The first message consisted of: L O and then the system crashed before the LOGIN could be completed. This also foreshadowed the future of the Internet.

What if none of that first message ever made it? What if ARPANET was destroyed? How would that change history?

Los Angeles, California. 29 October 1969. Scout is in the middle of free love, drugs, and the counter- culture. At UCLA, it is the day the first internet message is sent. And someone doesn’t want that message to be transmitted. Of course, as with many Time Patrol missions, it isn’t that clear cut. Is the birth of the Internet the target? Or is the real target, Scout herself?

What will Scout decide? Will she survive? This mission along with 29 Oct 1929: Black Tuesday 29 Oct 1980: Last test flight of Operation Credible Sport. 29 Oct 999: A Viking raid on an English Monastery 29 Oct 1618: Sir Walter Raleigh heads for the chopping block 29 Oct 1972: Survivors of a plane crash in the Andes struggle to live.

A free slideshow on this topic and many others about interesting history, survival, writing and other topics is on my web site at www.bobmayer.com/workshops

How The United States Declares War– Or Is Supposed To

Declaring War

How does the United States go to war? It’s not as clear cut as many think. And it’s been a while since we’ve done it as laid out in the Constitution.

The last time, as written in the Constitution, War was declared by a joint resolution of Congress and executed by the President was against Rumania (yes, spelled that way) on 4 June 1942.

Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution declares that “Congress shall have the power to declare War.”. However, it’s not designated exactly how Congress does that. In fact, war isn’t in Section Eight until Clause 11, where it also allows us to hire pirates to attack our enemies. Seriously.

We’ve Declared War that Way 11 Times. The first was 17 June 1812 when we declared was against Great Britain.

On Mexico. 12 May 1846

On Spain. 25 April 1898

On Germany. 6 April 1917

On Austria-Hungary. 7 Dec 1917

On Japan. 8 Dec 1941

On Germany. 11 Dec 1941

On Italy. 11 Dec 1941

On Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania. 4 June 1942

Korea, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Grenada (remember those?), Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. etc. were Congress allowing the President to send our troops in harm’s way, which is opposite the way the Founding Fathers intended.

Technically we’re not even at war any more. The “War” in Iraq ended on 28 December 2014. The “War” in Afghanistan ended even earlier, on 15 December 2011.

We are currently are conducting military actions in six countries (that we know of publicly): Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and now, Syria. However, the real numbers is in the dozens given the deployment of drones and Special Operations Forces.

U.S. SOF (Special Operations Forces), of which I was a member, are deployed in over 100 countries around the world. The goal is normally to get others to fight a war on the side we desire or defend against aggressors. We also conduct Direct Action and Strategic Recon and some other things.

Carl Von Clausewitz, who by just saying his name makes you a military ‘expert’, stated that: Military Strategy

Above all, military leaders need a strategic goal. Unfortunately, such goals have been nebulous, ever since the last formally declared war: World War II. And thus, we actually have not truly ‘won’ a war. I’m not certain if such a thing is possible in the modern world. With the world remaining intact.

As contained in an unclassified CIA document, the definition of victory in the War on Terror is defined as: Victory against terrorism will not occur as a single, defining moment. It will not be marked by the likes of the surrender ceremony on the deck of the USS Missouri that ended World War II. However, through the sustained effort to compress the scope and capability of terrorist organizations, isolate them regionally, and destroy them within state borders, the United States and its friends and allies will secure a world in which our children can live free from fear and where the threat of terrorist attacks does not define our daily lives. Victory, therefore, will be secured only as long as the United States and the international community maintain their vigilance and work tirelessly to prevent terrorists from inflicting horrors like those of September 11, 2001.

From a military perspective I find the previous definition of winning rather vague and nebulous with no end-game. What must be factored in to our never-ending military endeavors is the military-industrial complex. Has war become so profitable that the United States will be in perpetual war so certain parties can make money? The War on Terror

We hope you’ve found this presentation useful. On The United States and War

A free slideshow on this topic and many others about interesting history, survival, writing and other topics is on my web site at www.bobmayer.com/workshops

Pandemic Day 365. What Has One Year Taught Us?

COVID deaths

A lot and not enough.

We knew a pandemic was inevitable, yet were unprepared. We know many things are inevitable yet prefer to ignore them.

We are now over 530,000 official deaths and the real toll, of course, is much higher. Many have died of COVID but no autopsy was performed. Also, we are experiencing secondary deaths from all the delayed physical check ups and procedures that were put off. The final toll directly and indirectly from COVID-19 will be over 1 million fatalities.

I just looked at my first post on Day 1. I was wrong about a few things: the ripple effect in the supply chain wasn’t very severe. Based on the numbers at that early time, I estimated an outside high chance of close to a million dead. I would revise that number done in the weeks ahead, but I was constantly attacked by people who said I was the man who cried wolf. But the wolf ate more people than any of the positive “just like the flu” fools predicted.

There will be another pandemic and it will be worse. Within the next decade. By the way, COVID will not go away. We will have to get vaccinated yearly for it and the variants from here on out, much like the flu.

We’ve learned that the government can act swiftly and effectively. Unfortunately, for half a million Americans, that action came too late as we were inundated with lies. And we are still are awash in them. I still have people lashing out about masks and vaccines. A large segment of our population, rather than awakening in the face of such a death toll, has withdrawn further into an echo chamber where they repeat what certain people say and then those certain people say “Well, people are saying”. Which is insane.

We are not out of the woods. A lot of people aren’t going to get vaccinated. Which means we will have more waves of deaths. We also don’t know the long-term effects for those who have had COVID-19 and ‘recovered’.

I find the anti-mask crowd particularly vexing. They liken it to other things, but the closest I can come up with is drunk driving. You are not only affecting yourself; you are a threat to others. I plan on wearing a mask for a long time. I will always wear a mask when traveling on a flight from here on out.

Texas went black even though lots of people knew there was a problem. No one did anything. Those who want to deregulate seem to ignore that fact that regulations have a purpose and were often only put in place after good people fought hard for them for the greater good. Did you know that in Texas a chemical storage site does not have to disclose, even to the local first responders who’d have to deal with an accident, what is stored there? Good deal, right?

There will be more storms like those that hit Texas. Are you ready? You are going to see weather extremes wherever you live. Are you ready? At the very least do you have the four basics of survival in your house? Prepared for an extended power outage? Have a grab-n-go bag? Have your car prepared for trouble?

Do you have the right mindset for the future? A can-do, American attitude, combined with knowledge and preparation?

It is never too late to start!

Pandemic Day 365. What Has One Year Taught Us?

A lot and not enough.

We knew a pandemic was inevitable, yet were unprepared. We know many things are inevitable yet prefer to ignore them.

I just looked at my first post on Day 1. I was wrong about a few things: the ripple effect in the supply chain wasn’t very severe. Based on the numbers at that early time, I estimated an outside high chance of close to a million dead. I would revise that number done in the weeks ahead, but I was constantly attacked by people who said I was the man who cried wolf. But the wolf ate more people than any of the positive “just like the flu” fools predicted.

There will be another pandemic and it will be worse. Within the next decade. By the way, COVID will not go away. We will have to get vaccinated yearly for it and the variants from here on out, much like the flu.

We’ve learned that the government can act swiftly and effectively. Unfortunately, for half a million Americans, that action came too late as we were inundated with lies. And we are still are awash in them. I still have people lashing out about masks and vaccines. A large segment of our population, rather than awakening in the face of such a death toll, has withdrawn further into an echo chamber where they repeat what certain people say and then those certain people say “Well, people are saying”. Which is insane.

We are not out of the woods. A lot of people aren’t going to get vaccinated. Which means we will have more waves of deaths. We also don’t know the long-term effects for those who have had COVID-19 and ‘recovered’.

I find the anti-mask crowd particularly vexing. They liken it to other things, but the closest I can come up with is drunk driving. You are not only affecting yourself; you are a threat to others. I plan on wearing a mask for a long time. I will always wear a mask when traveling on a flight from here on out.

Texas went black even though lots of people knew there was a problem. No one did anything. Those who want to deregulate seem to ignore that fact that regulations have a purpose and were often only put in place after good people fought hard for them for the greater good. Did you know that in Texas a chemical storage site does not have to disclose, even to the local first responders who’d have to deal with an accident, what is stored there? Good deal, right?

There will be more storms like those that hit Texas. Are you ready? You are going to see weather extremes wherever you live. Are you ready? At the very least do you have the four basics of survival in your house? Prepared for an extended power outage? Have a grab-n-go bag? Have your car prepared for trouble?

Do you have the right mindset for the future? A can-do, American attitude, combined with knowledge and preparation?

It is never too late to start!


The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide.

How to Prevent Getting Lost & What To Do If You Are Lost

Daniel Boone Lost

We can get lost in a variety of ways. I work under Daniel Boone’s precept: “I’ve never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.”

While I’ve done a lot of land navigation, both day and night, and spent considerable time working off of maps during training and on deployments, there have been times when I’ve gotten ‘confused’. My experience is that once I got lost, it could easily escalate into something worse, unless I follow some guidelines.

As with all aspects of preparation and survival there are numerous variables. We should be properly prepared before any trip with the correct supplies to keep from getting lost such as GPS with applicable map tiles loaded, paper map backups (including in your car), a compass, signal mirror, whistle, signal panel and more.

Know how to us a map and compass. Remember, a compass can’t tell you which way to go if you don’t have an idea where you are. Your local REI stores runs courses on basic land navigation. There is no substitute for actually getting out there and actually doing it.

A big key is if off road is to know what is your ‘safe’ direction. That’s the direction where you will eventually hit a known line, whether a road, rail-line, river, etcetera which will let you know where you are. Then you also need to know whether to turn left or right on that limit to get to safety.

Have enough food and water for whatever activity you plan, plus a bit extra.

Always have a paper map and compass. You can lose your GPS/phone or the battery might die.

SHORTS CUT ARE RARELY EVER SHORT

AND CAN BE DEADLY

Let someone know where you’re going. What your plan is. When you expect to be back. An important key is to tell them after what time, without hearing from you, they should notify help. I do this even if just heading out for a bike ride or run. I use Road ID when I go for hikes/bikes/runs where there is cell phone coverage. I check in with my SPOTX when going on longer or overnight trips. If I change plans for any reason, I update my contacts for both.

At a trailhead it pays to leave a note inside your car/truck window, facing out, with information on what your plans on. When you expect to be back. I’ve checked trucks and cars at trailheads and most are unmarked. I know there might be a fear that someone would break in to the car, but weigh that against not making it back?

Fill out wilderness permits and check in at Ranger Stations. Make yourself noticeable. A couple was left behind on a scuba trip because they kept to themselves, didn’t interact with others and no one missed them on the trip back.

I cover what to do if you do get lost in the Survival section of the book.

What To Do If You Get Lost

Should you stay or should you go?

For most situations, it’s best to stay in place.

If you are injured. Don’t exacerbate your injury by moving.

Search and Rescue will start at the last known place you were or where they think you are. Moving could take you out of the likeliest search area. If you’re lost and don’t have a plan, you will get more lost.

LOOK BEHIND YOU WHEN

TRAVELING SO YOU KNOW

THE ROUTE BACK

Search and Rescue is usually free. The reason for that is often these teams are made up of volunteers. More importantly, they don’t want people to hesitate to call. When in doubt, Call 911 because most teams work through the local sheriff’s office. Remember, a text has a better chance getting through than voice if your signal is shaky. Conserve your phone’s battery as much as possible. If you make contact, set up a time to check in so you can turn the phone off in between.

The key rule to follow is STOP:

STOP: As soon as you suspect you are lost immediately STOP. Many people panic and while in that panic make the situation worse. Panic is your greatest threat.

THINK: How did you get here? What landmarks do you remember? Which way did you turn if you left an established trail? What direction? Do not move until you have a specific reason.

OBSERVE: Which direction is north? Do you have boundaries such as a river, mountain range, road, etcetera that you know for certain are in a certain direction?

If you are on a trail or road stay on it. Roads and trails are built to take advantage of the easiest route. While you might think taking a “shortcut” cross-country might save time and distance, it won’t.

As a last resort, follow drainage downhill. Streams run into rivers and there is usually civilization along rivers. However, depending on terrain, this might not be possible. Also, try not to get wet, especially if the temperature will drop, as hypothermia is deadly.

Can you follow your own trail back to the last known spot? Footprints? Broken branches?

PLAN:

Before moving make sure you have a plan. Think the plan through. Are there other options?

If you are not confident in your plan, stay in place.

Don’t move at night. When we were heading toward the Grand Canyon, my wife said she thought people probably fell into it. When we got there, I saw she was right. Anyone who has been on patrol at night can tell stories of the cat eyes on the back of the cap of the patrol member right in front disappearing as they fell off a ledge or cliff.

STOP: As soon as you suspect you are lost immediately STOP. 

Many people panic and make the situation worse.

THINK: How did you get here?  What landmarks do you remember?

Do not move until you have a specific reason.

OBSERVE: Get oriented. Which direction is north?

If you are on a trail or road stay on it.

Roads and trails are built to take advantage of the easiest route.

PLAN: Before moving make sure you have a plan.

Think the plan through. Are there other options?

If you are not confident in your plan, stay in place.

Signal for help: Cell phone. Satellite messenger. Mirror or anything reflective.

The universal distress signal comes in threes: three blasts on a whistle.

Make a smoky fire. Green leaves and grass help. Ruber makes black smoke. The flame at night is a signal. A VS-17 or bright clothing can be used to signal.

To aim a mirror, hold it in the palm of your hand. Extend the other hand with two fingers forming a V in the direction you want to signal. Angle the mirror so that the reflected light passes through the V.

If you must self-rescue:

Rest when you feel tired. Don’t push it too hard so that you become exhausted.

You can’t hike and easily digest food at the same time. Eat and then rest.

Stay hydrated.

Mark your trail as you move, so at the very least, if need be, you can get back to where you started.

WHAT TO TEACH CHILDREN TO DO IF THEY GET LOST:

Make sure your child knows both parent’s full name, phone number and address. Memorizing key phone numbers is a skill all of us need to practice.

Have your child practice calling your phone.

Teach your child how to ask for help. While we emphasize ‘never talk to strangers’ tell them who it is best to ask: police, a mother with a child, a store salesperson with a name tag, a security guard.

Tell them not to go looking for you if they become detached. It is best they stay in place and you find them.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide newly updated in 2021

OPERATION PAPERCLIP: A Dark Chapter in our History

Operation Paperclip

Operation Paperclip was an OSS, Office of Strategic Services, program which brought over 1,500 Germans to the United States after World War II.

The OSS was in a race with the Russians at the end of the world to reap the cream of the Nazi scientific corps and utilize them. The OSS was the precursor to the CIA.

President Truman formally signed the authorization for Paperclip in August 1945, but the race for the Nazi braintrust had started even before the war ended.

Truman’s order prohibited any person who had been an “active supporter of Nazi militarism”. This exclusion was often ignored. After all, the most valued scientists came out of the Nazi missile program.

There were also scientists who’d worked in the Nazi chemical weapons program. There was Operation Alsos which focused on Nazi nuclear scientists and Operation TICOM which went after German cryptologists.

Werner Von Braun is one of the more famous of these scientists. He worked on the V-2 program and then the United States rocket program, especially the Apollo program. He’d been a member of the Nazi Party and the SS.

Werner Von Braun

Also part of Operation Paperclip, was the recruitment of Japanese scientists and doctors from the infamous Unit 731. That is the subject of a different slideshare.

It is estimated that Paperclip scientists ended up contributing over 10 billion worth in patents and industrial processes, as well as critical help to our space program.

Do the ends justify the means? Besides wanting the expertise, and denying it to the Russians, another aspect of Paperclip was to remove these scientists from post-war Germany so they couldn’t contribute to their own country.

What if there were more to Operation Paperclip than we know? Parts of it are still classified to this day. While Von Braun and others worked at Fort Bliss, what if some were sent to Area 51 to study a rather unique problem?

In the first book in the Area 51 series, one of those scientists from Operation Paperclip plays a key role. Area 51

Area 51- Book One Since before the dawning of modern man, an alien mothership and nine abandoned flying saucers have been hidden away in Area 51, a top-secret military base in the Nevada desert. There, scientists have studied the crafts, hoping to unlock the secrets of the alien technology and, perhaps, the origins of life on Earth. But now a deranged general wants to activate the mothership’s interstellar drive—and the consequences could prove catastrophic for humankind. Dr. Hans Von Seeckt—an elderly scientist, ex- Nazi, and original member of the Area 51 research team—joins up with the president’s science adviser, Dr. Lisa Duncan, and Special Forces officer Mike Turcotte to put a stop to the planned test flight and tell the public the truth about Area 51. Meanwhile, a brilliant archaeologist, Professor Nabinger, discovers a message on runes found in ancient Egypt that could change everything we think we know about human evolution and the role that alien visitation may have played in it.

A free slideshow on this topic and many others about interesting history, survival, writing and other topics is on my web site at www.bobmayer.com/workshops

Who Was Sir Richard Francis Burton?

Sir Richard Francis Burton

Explorer, soldier, poet, translator, diplomat, spy, linguist, writer, cartographer, fencer, and more. A great and enigmatic person in history. Burton traveled the world, going to places that few westerners had ever been. Most importantly, he wrote about them. He spoke 29 languages. While not the first westerner to make the Hajj to Mecca, he was the first to widely report upon it. He translated One Thousand and One Nights and the Kama Sutra. He was one of the first Europeans to visit the Great Lakes of Africa in search of the source of the Nile. And those are just the highlights.

 “Do what thy manhood bids thee do; from none but self expect applause.”

Burton was born in 1821. His family traveled considerably, leading to his love of journey. He had a gift for language. It is reported that as a young man he had an affair with a young gypsy woman, and learned their language.

He attended prestigious Trinity College at Oxford, but spent much of his time pursuing falconry and fencing. He broke rules and was expelled.

 “Fit for nothing but six pence a day,” Burton said and enlisted in the Army. Stationed in India, he immersed himself in the local culture to the point where his fellow soldiers accused him of “going native” and also called him “the White Nigger.” But they also called him “Ruffian Dick” because he engaged in more ferocious one-on-one combat than anyone else they’d ever seen.

Because of his talents, Burton received permission from the Royal Geographic Society to explore India. He determined to make the Hajj, the journey to Mecca, forbidden to nonbelievers. To ensure he would pass, he went so far as to get circumcised.

Then he made the first of his famous explorations in Africa along with Lieutenant Speke. They were attacked. Burton was lanced through the cheeks, and had to make his escape, with the spear still through his face.

Among the works he translated:

He traveled once more to Africa with Speke to search for the source of the Nile River. After much hardship, they discovered the Great Lakes in the interior, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria. The two men had a falling out, Speke returned to England first and claimed Lake Victoria as the source of the Nile. This was eventually proved correct.

Burton married Isabel Arundel in 1861.

For the rest of his life he served in various diplomatic posts, traveling the world, particularly Africa and South America. Burton canoed the Sao Francisco River and explored the interior of Brazil.

He was appointed British Consul to Damascus, a critical post. He tried to keep the peace between the Arab, Jewish and Christian populations. Having made many enemies, he was sacked, and sent a cable to Isabel: “I am superseded. Pay, pack, and follow at convenience.”

Burton died in Trieste on 20 October 1890 of a heart attack. His wife Isabel burned many of his papers, including an unseen manuscript.

Burton’s Tomb in the shape of a tent while on expedition.

I became interested in Burton while researching the Great Sphinx in Egypt. A small footnote in a tome about the Sphinx mentioned that Burton had visited it in 1856. Studying him further, I became fascinated not only by his life, but by that last action of Isabel. What was in that manuscript? What secrets did it hold? This led me to write a book, where my modern day hero must search for the parts of a copy of this lost manuscript that were hidden by Burton during his travels, in various places around the world.

Area 51: The Sphinx. Dr. Lisa Duncan and Special Forces officer Mike Turcotte know better than anyone that no secret is safe for long—especially one that offers untold power. Case in point: no sooner does Turcotte’s elite Area 51 team uncover a dormant alien ship in earth orbit than a group of alien-human hybrids seizes it and uses its technology to commandeer a satellite array bristling with nuclear missiles. Now they’re demanding that humankind hand over the key to an ancient stash of alien technology…or watch an entire continent be reduced to atomic rubble. Doom seems certain, as the required key is believed lost to the ages—until an unwitting anthropologist discovers the first of many clues to its hiding place. As Duncan and Turcotte race to reach the key—and the powerful treasure it can unlock—ahead of their alien foes, the quest leads them deep into a deadly maze within the Great Sphinx of Giza. The prize? Nothing less than the legendary Ark of the Covenant.

A free slideshow on this topic and many others about interesting history, survival, writing and other topics is on my web site at www.bobmayer.com/workshops

Your First Reaction Will Probably Kill You If . . .

Chemical

A gas leak in Bhopal India is considered the worst industrial accident with a death toll that has never been fixed, but was definitely over 5,000. Many died because they tried to escape. Running is the WRONG thing to do.

Disasters at plants like the one in Bhopal, train derailments, tanker truck crashes and other incidents make a chemical accident a possibility anywhere. While outlawed, chemical weapons are a reality of our world. Chemical weapons can be made more easily than the other two arms of the triad of weapons of mass destruction: nuclear and biological. Thus, they are a favorite of terrorists. They have been used. They will be used again.

Chemical warfare is the use of non-living toxins to incapacitate or kill humans, plants or animals. Chemical terrorism is the same, except not state- sponsored.

As long as there has been warfare, humans have used chemical warfare in various forms. Fire, in fact, is considered chemical warfare. Poison is another mode.

Chemical Warfare was used extensively in World War I. The French were the first to employ it. It is estimated there were 1.3 million chemical weapon casualties in the war, including civilians. Like biological weapons, chemical weapons are indiscriminate in who they attack.

In World War II, the Japanese and Germans employed chemical weapons in various ways. The Allies stockpiled them for possible use in the extreme. The Japanese employed them in China. (See my slideshare on Unit 731) The Germans didn’t use them in combat, but in concentration camps for extermination and killed millions.

There are some unique properties to chemical weapons and agents. There are over 70 different types and they can come in solid, liquid or gas form. Some act not only via the lungs but through contact with the skin, such as mustard gas. Agents are divided into lethal and incapacitating. Chemical agents are also rated according to their persistency: how long they remain active after being deployed.

Non-persistent chemical agents lose their effectiveness anywhere from seconds to hours after their dispersal. Persistent chemical agents remain for days and even weeks. For most of us, the biggest problem with chemical agents is detection.

The reality is it’s very difficult to detect a chemical accident or attack. The most important sign is the event that initiates the accident or attack. A train derailment is one example. Often, chemical attacks are done via an initial explosion. It was three hours into the Tokyo Sarin attack before they even realized an agent had been used. Always assume the worst. Observing other people and animals is the last resort of detection.

Besides industrial accidents, chemical agents can be delivered by a variety of means: Air Via the water supply Via the food supply. The bottom line is a chemical agent requires direct contact.

There are four main types of chemical agents: Nerve Agents: require ingestion, respiration or contact Blood Agents: absorbed through respiration Choking Agents: absorbed through respiration Blistering Agents: burns skin and internal tissues (mouth, throat and lungs) on contact.

These agents have various effects: Nerve Agents: loss of muscle control, respiratory failure and death Blood Agents: interferes with the body’s oxygen supply, leading to death Choking Agents: death from lack of oxygen Blistering Agents: causes blisters, lung damage, long term debilitating injuries including blindness

To prepare, there are several items that are of value: A gas mask. Many chemical agents act through the respiratory system. However, most of us don’t carry a gas mask around with us. Most are not trained how to use one and gas masks require maintenance of the filters.

Another way to prepare is to be ready to seal your house, or part of your house, off from outside air. For this you will need polyethylene sheeting and tape. It’s best to find a single room, deep inside your house for this; one with no windows and the least amount of doors. Seal any vents. Remember that agents tend to settle so going higher is better.

Shut all air intakes into the house. Turn off AC/Heating. Use wet towels to seal the bottom of doors. If caught in your car, stay in the car. Keep windows closed. Turn off AC/Heating. Turn off outside air circulation. Covers air vents.

Cover yourself completely. Remember, some agents act through the skin. Long pants, long sleeve shirts, masks, hats and gloves.

A huge mistake people make when caught in a chemical accident or attack is fleeing. This killed many during the Bhopal disaster. You are better off sealing yourself inside. Running will expose you more and also cause you to ingest the agent.

A free slideshow on this topic and many others about interesting history, survival, writing and other topics is on my web site at www.bobmayer.com/workshops

The African Burial Ground and the History of Slavery in New York City

African Burial Ground

We tend to think of the south when we discuss slavery in America. In 1703, New York City had the second highest percentage of slaves in the colonies. After Charleston, South Carolina. More than 42% of households in the city had slaves.

Ongoing slavery began in New York City in 1626, when eleven Africans were unloaded from a Dutch ship. In 1644, these eleven petitioned the director general of the colony for their freedom. The colony was skirmishing with Native Americans and the fear was that the slaves might run away and fight with them. So they were granted partial freedom. They could purchase land and earn a wage from a master, and eventually earn full freedom. However, their children would be born into slavery. By 1644, those eleven, and others attained half- freedom.

They lived north of Wall Street. Which was named thus because there was a wall there. The defensive barrier for New Amsterdam. They were settled outside it to be a further barrier against Native American attacks.

They settled near Fresh Water Pond, also known as Collect Pond. You can see precursors to present day streets in lower Manhattan.

Later, this area became infamous as Five Points. Anthony Street veers off to the left. Orange to the right. Cross Street is across the foreground.

More slaves were being brought into New Amsterdam as the need for labor increased. These came from both Africa, primarily Angola, and the Dutch West Indies. In 1642, a French privateer, the La Grace, off-loaded ‘Spanish Negroes’ that had been captured from a Spanish ship. The men claimed to be freemen, but because they were black, they were sold as slaves.

In 1644, the English gained control of New Amsterdam. They continued to import slaves to New York City. In 1708, the New York Assembly passed the Act For Preventing The Conspiracy of Slaves. This prescribed capital punishment for any slave who attempted to, or did murder, their master. This was partly in response to the murder of William Hallet III and his family in Queens.

In 1711, a formal slave market was established on Wall Street, where it meets the East River. It was active for 51 years, until 1762.

In 1730, in fear of slave insurrection, the New York Assembly banned the gathering of more than three slaves unless under the direct supervision of their masters. Punishment for violating this was whipping, not to exceed forty lashes for each offense.

The Conspiracy of 1741: This was a supposed plot by poor whites and slaves to revolt. The city’s population at the time was 10,000. 2,000 of those were slaves. The War of Jenkins Ear, between England and Spain had begun in 1739 and last until 1748. This reduced the number of troops in New York City and the gentry felt threatened. Rumors of insurrection was rampant.

The Conspiracy of 1741: Much like the Salem Witch Trials, a wave of paranoia swept the city after several fires. A white indentured servant, Mary Burton, testified there was a cabal. Slaves and poor whites were arrested. They often implicated others to save themselves. 17 blacks and 4 whites were hanged. 13 blacks were burned at the stake. Many more were deported. Executions occurred at the then north end of the city near Chambers Street. With her reward, Mary Burton was able to buy her freedom from indenture.

During the Revolution, African-Americans fought on both sides, but predominantly for the British, because they were promised freedom for their service. Since the British occupied New York City for the duration of the war, blacks fled to it and their population grew to over 10,000 and it was a hub of free blacks. Two of them were escapees from George Washington’s plantation in Virginia.

The Treaty of Paris required all property, including slaves, be left in place and returned to their owners. The British commander in New York City refused to comply. He had over 3,000 black loyalists transported to Nova Scotia. A group of those then went from Canada to Africa to found Sierra Leone.

In 1781 the New York State legislature promised freedom to slaves who had fought for three years for the colonists. The African Free School was founded; the first formal education for blacks in North America. By 1790, one-third of blacks in New York were free. In 1799, the Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery was passed. It didn’t free any current slave. However, any slave child born after 4 July 1799 was free (18 years in the future); except they had to serve an indenture (males to age 28 and females to age 25).

African-Americans fought in the War of 1812 and defended New York. In 1817, the state freed all slaves born before 4 July 1799 to become effective in 1827. On 5 July 1827, African-Americans in New York celebrated emancipation with a parade. They chose the 5th because the 4th was not meant for blacks, as Frederick Douglas would lately famously say.

Despite freedom, African-Americans were mostly disenfranchised from the vote until the passage of the 15th Amendment in 1870.

In the early days of New York City, the main burial ground was the north graveyard of Trinity Church. However, after Trinity purchased the land at Broadway and Wall Street, they had a law enacted in 1697 that no Negro could be buried on their property. The “Negro Burial Ground” was established outside the city limits near their community at Collect Pond. (Note, this area, after the pond was filled in, became the infamous Five Points neighborhood) An image is on the next page. Note that it’s outside the city stockade.

This cemetery was closed in 1794. Eventually, the area was slated for development and the burial ground covered with landfill. Occasionally, bones would be found as new structures were built, but this was more a matter for curiosity seekers and souvenir collectors than any concern.

It wasn’t until 1991, when the federal Government Services Administration (GSA) began construction of a large federal office building at 290 Broadway, between Reade and Chamber Streets, that the situation changed. The environmental impact statement had predicted no remains would be found because of the long history of development in the area. They were wrong.

As the first remains were uncovered during construction, the African- American community raised concerns. Excavation recovered 419 remains. However, it became apparent that the scope of the burial ground was so extensive that it couldn’t be excavated.

After strong lobbying and protests by the African- American community, Congress passed a law to redesign the building, avoiding the area where the remains had been found, and to build a memorial.

After gathering over 100,000 signatures on a petition, the ground was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993. An archeologist at the Smithsonian, Theresa Singleton said: “The media exposure has created a larger, national audience for this type of research. I’ve been called by dozens of scholars and laypeople, all of them interested in African-American archaeology, all of them curious about why they don’t know more about the field. Until recently, even some black scholars considered African-American archaeology a waste of time. That’s changed now.”

Of the remains recovered from the partial excavation, over half were children. This is a result of short life expectancy at the time. All were buried in separate coffins. It’s estimated at least 20,000 were buried in the old cemetery.

A memorial was built and completed in 2007. It was designated the 123rd National Monument.

Memorial

The memorial features a map of the Atlantic area in reference to the Middle Passage via which slaves were transported from Africa to North America. It is built of stone from South Africa and from North America, to symbolize the two worlds coming together. The Door of Return, refers to The Door of No Return, a name given to slave ports set up on the coast of West Africa, from which slaves were transported, never to see their homeland again.

The Memorial is located at the corner of Duane and Elk Street in Manhattan. The visitor center is in the Ted Weiss Federal Building at 290 Broadway.

The history of New York City is an integral part of my new series, which starts in 1977. From the African Burial Ground, to Hell Gate, to Hart Island, to Ellis Island, to the Statue of Liberty, to Robert Moses, to the 10,000 miles of tunnels under the city.

New York City. 1970s. Jack Reacher meets the Equalizer by NY Times Bestselling Author, West Point graduate and former Green Beret One of the top five new series of the year. https://bobmayer.com/fiction/

A free slideshow on this topic and many others about interesting history, survival, writing and other topics is on my web site at www.bobmayer.com/workshops

Who were the ENIAC Six? Why were these woman critical to computing?

 ‘Wanted: Women With Degrees in Mathematics . . . Women are being offered scientific and engineering jobs where formerly men were preferred. Now is the time to consider your job in science and engineering… You will find that the slogan here as elsewhere is ‘WOMEN WANTED!’ Recruitment ad for ENIAC, 1945.

ENIAC was formally introduced to the public on the Fifteenth of February, 1946. The press called it the ‘Great Brain’. The project was initiated by the military in 1943 to design a machine capable of rapidly calculating artillery trajectories under a secret project code-named Project PX

ENIAC could branch. Trigger different operations depending on the result of the previous operation. That was a new development in computing.

The ENIAC Six were computing pioneers. The ENIAC didn’t have a memory. It was essentially a bunch of adding machines connected by cables. It had to be programmed by hand to set various tables of numbers. This came down to setting 1,200 ten-way switches. Something, apparently, no man had the patience to figure out.

When ENIAC was introduced to the press on 14 February 1946, it was assumed the six women there were models for the unveiling.

Without these six women, ENIAC couldn’t have been programmed and kept running. Who Were What if those women had never done that job? What if the ENIAC was destroyed?

Moms’s Mission: Valentines Day: For her 24-hour bubble in time, Moms travels back to Philadelphia, 14 February 1945. The day the ENIAC computer is unveiled.

Who was NIKOLA TESLA?

Nikola Tesla

When we turn a light on, or plug in any device, we owe a debt to Nikola Tesla for his contributions to the design of modern alternating current electricity. In essence: the power grid. Tesla was born a Serb in the Austrian Empire on 10 July 1856. His father was a priest; his mother was known for inventing things to make their home life easier. She was also known for amazing mind—she could recite epic Serbian poems from memory.

After seeing a demonstration of electricity, this ‘mysterious phenomena’, he became fascinated by its potential. In school he was known for being able to do calculus in his head. Which led his teachers to accuse him of cheating.

He failed out of University, partly because of his addiction to gambling. He subsequently suffered a nervous breakdown.

At 26, he ended up in Paris, working for Continental Edison, helping develop a rudimentary power utility.

Noticed by his boss for his hard work and innovations, Tesla received a letter of recommendation to Thomas Edison.

In 1884, 28 years old, he emigrated to the United States.

He went to work for Edison in New York City, trying to build a power grid.

Six months later he wrote in his diary: “Good by to the Edison Machine Works.”

He tried starting his own lab, but couldn’t find backers. He did small repair jobs and worked as a ditch digger for $2 a day.

He finally got some backers and worked on developing Alternating Current, as opposed to Edison who was a proponent of Direct Current.

He eventually cut a deal with George Westinghouse to design a motor and transformer. He received $60,000 in cash and stock and a royalty for $2.50 per AC horsepower produced by his motors.

When there was turmoil in the stock market, Westinghouse renegotiated the deal and Tesla lost out on potential billions by giving up the payment per horsepower.

Tesla and AC were pitted against Edison and DC. Edison declared AC current dangerous. He’d ‘prove’ this by publicly electrocuting animals.

This included publicly electrocuting an elephant in Chicago in 1897.

Tesla put on public displays to show that his invention was harmless.

Note that this photo is a double negative, as Tesla wasn’t averse to his own shameless publicity.

Tesla believe electricity could do more than just turn on lights.

Westinghouse won the contract to light the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Tesla designed the system.

Among many things Tesla invented was a radio-controlled boat. He tried selling it to the US Navy as a radio controlled torpedo. They weren’t interested.

Tesla’s main focus was the wireless transmission of power. He believed he could use the planet itself to conduct electricity.

Tesla also picked up what he believed were transmissions from outer space. NIKOLA TESLA

At the turn of the 20th Century, he shifted to Wardenclyffe on Long Island, NY, to pursue his ideas.

Tesla claimed he would be able to transmit to any place around the world. Also, that he could light up the ocean using electricity.

However, funds dried up and Wardenclyffe was shut down.

Tesla and Edison had opposite approaches to their research. Edison believed in experimentation. Tesla preferred to think out his problems.

Tesla never married.

But what if Tesla was someone else? What if Wardenclyffe was more than just an attempt to transmit across the Atlantic. What if it were a weapon?

In the Area 51 series we first learn of Tesla when he shoots down a Swarm scout ship in 1908 using Wardenclyffe. This caused the Tunguska incident when the scout ship crashed.

On 30 June 1908, a massive explosion over Russia, devastated an area of a thousand square miles. Tunguska is covered in a separate slideshow HERE.

In the Area 51 series, Tesla is part of the rogue Watchers. He interacts with the famed explorers Sir Richard Burton and Sir George Mallory. Part of an ancient order who draw their lineage from Myrddin. More commonly know in history and legend as Merlin.

In Area 51: Redemption, Tesla’s granddaughter is a key player. We eventually learn Tesla is much more than just a single man. It’s a key to our prehistory.