The Space Force Will Be With Us

Speaking to military men and women at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, President Donald Trump announced to the men and women present, things were going to change, and they would be changing quickly.

As he spoke, the president emphasized his belief in world peace through strength, and promised the largest pay raise in over a decade for members of the armed forces. He said the 2019 military budget would reflect the biggest buildup since Ronald Reagan, and one of the largest buildups in the history of the United States. President Trump stated the proposed military budget would be $716 billion in 2019, and was quoted as saying that, “We are investing in the greatest weapon, the most beautiful weapon. Our most brilliant weapon — you.”

President Trump’s next announcement introduced his new National Space Strategy. He said we would soon be going to Mars, and that Space is a war-fighting domain. As the US has military for the land, sea, and air, he envisions a United States Space Force.  

The president stated our astronauts historically have been drawn from the military, and he believes service members will be vital to ensuring America continues to lead its way into the stars.

Today, June 18, 2018, President Trump announced, while speaking at the National Space Council meeting held at the White House, he was directing the Department of Defense to immediately begin the process of establishing a sixth branch of the armed forces, the Space Force. He believes this is necessary to have an American dominance in space.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, has stated the US, as a nation, has vulnerabilities to Russia and China, and he would like for the American people to know more, but he would be leaking classified information, so he is unable to say more. But he did add we were in a very bad situation.

There are many issues which must be addressed before the US actually sees a Space Force in uniform. And one that many people have forgotten, or are ignoring, is the Outer Space Treaty. It was opened for signature in the US, UK, and Soviet Union on January 27, 1967; and subsequently entered into force on October 10, 1967. As of 2017, 107 countries have signed the treaty, while an additional 23 have signed, but ratification has not been completed.

In this treaty, what one may or may not do in outer space is clearly delineated. Some of the agreed upon limitations are: No one is allowed to place nukes in orbit, on the Moon, or any celestial body; no war games; no military installations, and no weapons testing sites are allowed.

One thing to keep in mind, as plans for a Space Force materialize, is the Outer Space Treaty is not an agreement that binds a signatory forever. If countries currently involved in the revived space race have intentions outside the mutually agreed upon peaceful use of space, there is a way out.

Article XVI of the treaty reads:

Any State Party to the Treaty may give notice of its withdrawal from the Treaty one year after its entry into force by written notification to the Depositary Governments. Such withdrawal shall take effect one year from the date of receipt of this notification.

This is the beginning of a new thing, and there is much to monitor as the Space Force takes shape. The whole world, and perhaps Universe, will be closely watching as its goals, intentions, and behavior up in space are made manifest.

Posted in Baby Boomers, Current Events, Donald Trump, Outer Space Treaty, Pentagon, Space, Space Force, Uncategorized, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Agnus McVee A 108 Mile House Heritage Site Ghost

Ghosts are the least likely thing I will spend any time considering. I’ve never liked the idea of ghosts, and can say without equivocation, anything without skin is not welcome around me. Thus, my recent experience is made even more incomprehensible; I have encountered a strange, inexplicable apparition.

I have Canadian friends who live in the beautiful, wild, and reportedly haunted Cariboo region of central British Columbia, and through them, have learned about this remarkable place. Through here trekked ever-hopeful miners in the mid 1800s. These intrepid folk were headed to the Cariboo goldfields, which promised wealth, and vast riches of which they theretofore had only dreamed.

To accommodate the great numbers of miners, the Cariboo Wagon Road was built in early 1861-1862. Along the route, settlements sprang up to aid those who were mining, and build settlers’ fortunes from supplying the miners’ needs, at the same time.

One of these was 108 Mile House, 320 acres pre-empted by William J Roper in 1863. Evidence of property ownership is not available for 1871-1880, the year in which William Walker is reported to have pre-empted the same 320 acres.

In the years 1875-1885, legend holds that 108 Mile House had a hotel called 108 Mile Hotel, and was run by Agnus McVee. She was aided by her husband, Jim McVee and Al Riley, her brother-in-law, or son-in-law, depending on whose version of the story one is reading.

The legend says Agnus was a serial killer who murdered miners for their gold. She is said to also have kidnapped, tortured, and sold young girls to miners passing through.

Agnus’ story takes a turn when she killed her husband over the mishandling of Jim MacDonald’s murder. MacDonald was a miner, and one of Agnus’ white slavery customers. He had just bought a seventeen year old girl, and was heading back to the goldfields when Jim McVee killed him on the Cariboo Wagon Road, to steal the gold he was carrying. The girl escaped when MacDonald was murdered, and through a chain of events, caused the arrest of Agnus and her brother-in-law, Al Riley; plus the discovery of eight kidnapped girls in the basement of the hotel.

Agnus and Riley were taken to Fort Kamloops, where they were charged and convicted of murder and kidnapping. After the conviction, both were taken to New Westminster and jailed. In 1885, the story supposedly ends with Agnus killing herself by swallowing poison, and Riley being hanged the same year.

But did Agnus’ story really end? Fast forward to May, 2018. The 108 Mile Ghost Tours, a charitable organization which raises funds for the 108 Mile House Heritage Site, held a ghost tour on May 12th. During these tours, guests are encouraged to take as many photographs as they like. When photographs taken from that event were examined, two people were noticed staring out a window of the Post House.

I found the photos fascinating and one recent evening was studying them. The photos are very dark, so I enlarged the one I was looking at to help me see what may or may not have been there. I was absently staring at it, not really seeing anything. As I continued to stare, something seemed to be taking shape, and I became more than a little curious. It indeed took shape, and that shape was of an older woman. I wondered how I had missed seeing her for what felt like a long time, when she had become quite visible, although everything still was in black and white.

I continued looking at the woman in the photo, and suddenly I realized she was moving. What?? I studied it even closer, and she was moving her head and shoulders around as though she was working on something. Back and forth, this way and that. I was stunned! Jaw dropped open, staring with bugged out eyes, I kept questioning if what I was viewing was real. Then, beyond belief, she turned her head, looked up straight at me, and moved closer to the window. She was watching me watch her!

At that point in time, I had one of those moments that defines us with absolute clarity. I closed that page out on the screen of my phone with greater speed than I had thought possible. As the screen was disappearing, I slapped my phone face down on my lap. Yes! Cowardice at the prospect of seeing a ghost was complete!

My initial and profound reaction to the woman in the picture was that it was Agnus McVee. The only thing that puzzled me was this lady was older, had white hair pulled up into a bun, wore a dark dress with a white lacy collar, and was quite pretty. I had never heard of killer Agnus being attractive, so I was slightly baffled. After a little time, I decided I needed to look for more information, because I could not stop wondering about her. What I found stated she was very pretty. Wouldn’t you know? That seemed to confirm what I had seen in the window.

I have not been able to go back and look at that photograph, again. No. Not a peek! I did share the experience with the leader of the ghost tour, and several people who are friends, and very knowledgeable in the field and realm of the paranormal. None of them, to date, has had this experience, and no one who has looked at the picture since I told my story has seen any movement.

I know what I saw was real, and it scared the daylights out of me. My hope is that an explanation will be forthcoming, which will cause this to make sense. If anyone has an idea, or experienced such a thing, please do not hesitate to share with me. I really would like to know what happened, and maybe even be able to look at the photograph again. After all, no one likes being afraid of a digital ghost.

Posted in 108 Mile House, 19th Century, Baby Boomers, Canada, Crime, Death, Ghosts, Serial Killer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When What’s On My Mind Is Have You Lost Your Mind

Every time I go to update my newsfeed on FaceBook, I am greeted with the question, “What’s on your mind?” Well, so far today, I read the incomprehensible things TV star, Roseanne Barr, said about Chelsea Clinton, George Soros, Valerie Jarrett, the Muslim Brotherhood, Planet of the Apes; and ABC’s response. Shocking, horrifying, and completely inappropriate words spoken by a public figure who one would think knew better than to say them. She did apologize, though. As if. Like none of us recognizes Damage Control when we see it.

I swear we are in a faulty time loop that has mistakenly placed us in the worst of the 1950s, instead of 2018. There are so many excuses and reasons floating around out there, but personally, I blame the Large Hadron Collider that CERN has frolicking underground on the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland. So much has happened in that zany workplace, and it could not have been without consequences. So yes, I am putting my money for all our current global insanity on that pesky Collider. It’s as good a reason as any.

Oh, and if this were not enough to overload a person’s mind, and challenge their understanding of all things right and proper; today I was compelled to read the website for my instant coffee. It is a new brand, and has a flavor one cannot put into words. We need to go visual here: Hideously scrunched up face, one eye closure reminiscent of our old pal Pop Eye, and tongue thrust down to chin, as if that will help escape the awful flavor that is not remotely close to coffee in any incarnation, is as close as I can get to describing the taste of this crapfest of a beverage. And what did the website say in boast of their flagship coffee? INGREDIENTS 100% COFFEE MADE FROM 100% CHEESE!!! Oh yes! I blame CERN!!

Posted in 1950's, Actors, Baby Boomers, CERN, Cheese, Coffee, Current Events, Large Hadron Collider, Life Journey, Racism, Television, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memorial Day Memory

It is Memorial Day weekend, again. As usual, my thoughts turn to those I have loved with all my heart, who served our country with bravery and devotion, and are no longer with us. It is more challenging, and a bit more painful every year, because we Baby Boomers are, sadly, winding down.

And so it was, this past year on July 10, 2017, my very first one-true-love passed away after a four year battle with lung cancer. I had loved this guy since the day I first set eyes on him, which I believe was as a second grader. He was the older brother of my best friend, and I recall so vividly, as a mean sibling, his best game to play was soccer. Only, his version was sock-her; whereupon, after asking if we wanted to play, he would follow the question with a hefty punch to the arm. Oh yes! Young love! My arm would ache and be bruised, but I didn’t mind. He was perfect.

His family left our hometown when I was in sixth grade, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Our families remained friends, and every Christmas his mother sent out greetings with the family photograph on the card, itself. Oh, lucky me! As soon as Christmas was over, and things were being cleaned up and put away, I would snag their family Christmas card and add it to my collection. I could look at him whenever I chose, and no one was the wiser. He was my one and only, at least until high school, when I fell in and out of love as regularly as the seasons changed.

After my first year in college, I had had enough of the little valley town in which I had spent my entire life, and needed a change. His sister and I had remained friends over the years, and she also was ready for a change. We made the big decision to take a break from school, move in together, get jobs, and grow up. And that’s exactly what we did.

During that time, her brother had joined the Navy, and had been assigned a tour of duty for a year with a Marine Division in Vietnam. He would be home for a few weeks before leaving. I had just moved to the Bay Area, and he arrived the same week for his brief vacation before heading overseas. It was kismet!

It took about five, maybe ten minutes for us to take one long look at each other, decide this was it, and stick to each other like glue for every minute he was home. I had been correct in second grade. He was perfect!

The days flew by, and on July 3rd he left for Vietnam. I cannot describe how it felt to watch him go. And I cannot describe how it felt when I received his letter telling me we had to put out plans for the future away while he was gone. What I will admit now is I was young, stupid, and not one to wait for anything, nor anyone. And I was hurt and angry.

After a year of working, I had had more than enough of the 9:00-5:00 routine, moved back home, and resumed school. It was that fall when my phone rang, and he was there. Home. Wanting to see me, again. I said yes, but I should have said no.

I am, to this day, ashamed of how awful I was that night. I was unkind, haughty, and behaved as poorly as I ever have in my life. It was as though I wanted to punish him for leaving, for making a decision for both of us, and for coming home thinking we could just start over. He deserved so much better than my nineteen year old me was able to give. I was truly awful.

We did not see each other again. I kept track of him through the years, and always knew where he was, and the basics of his life: Marriages, children, career, move to another state, deaths in his family, and finally his illness. It was lung cancer. And he fought like a soldier for four years.

He never smoked a cigarette in his life. The doctors had theories about what was behind his illness; but he knew in his heart it was from being sprayed with Agent Orange in Vietnam. He never once doubted this, and I believed him.

It is so hard to say good bye to someone you have loved your whole life. Harder still when you are unable to speak of the loss. When he passed, I sent a note to his sister. That was all. How could I talk of how I felt? No one else knew of what I carried inside. He was my first love, we were supposed to have had a lifetime together, and it was not to be.

It has been a year now, and I have found a bit of my voice to express the memories I kept silent. As usual, with everything I have experienced, I wish there were more. But, for what I did have, I am grateful, and am able to say I have loved someone all my life. This Memorial Day I remember him, and how he served our country well. Brave in Vietnam, and brave until the very end.

Posted in 1960's, Aging, American Graffiti Days, American History, Anniversaries, Baby Boomers, Childhood, Courage, Current Events, Death, Family, Friendship, Heroism, Home, Life Journey, Memorial Day, Memories, Relationships, Romance, Uncategorized, Viet Nam War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hairy Warning From The Sea

A giant, hairy globster carcass has washed up on shore in the Philippines, causing serious concerns among the local residents of an impending disaster. The 20 foot long hairy mass of horribly smelling decomposition washed ashore in San Antonio, a town located in Oriental Mindoro Province. The greyish blob is 4 feet wide at one end, 2 feet wide at the other end, and residents think the sea creature looks like something from another planet.

Believing in old sayings, locals fear the big globster arriving on their shore, from the deepest parts of the sea, is a warning of something bad coming. Their fear is that it most likely will be an earthquake.

Workers from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Mimapora Region believe the carcass probably is a dead whale, although it also could be a manatee, or sea cow as it is commonly known. Whether it is whale or sea cow, the bizarre and mysterious hairs covering the globster are actually muscle fibers which are in a very advanced stage of decomposition.

Fisheries law enforcement officers have taken samples of the creature, and have sent the tissue to their lab for DNA testing. The remains eventually will be disposed of by burying; and until lab results are back, it will be a warning of disaster to locals, and its identity an enigma from the sea to scientists.

Posted in Animals, Baby Boomers, Current Events, Death, DNA, Phillipines, Sea Creatures, Superstitions, Uncategorized, Whales | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Time Travelers Welcome

On June 15, 2018, Stephen Hawking’s Memorial Service will be held at Westminster Abbey. The invitation, announcing 1,000 people may apply for tickets to a celebration of his remarkable life, includes an opportunity for time travelers to attend. Anyone who wants to attend the memorial must complete an application, which includes their date of birth. The birthdate pop-up options are for any day through the close of 2038.

Hawking, who died in March, at the age of 76, maintained a lifelong interest in the mysteries of our universe, black holes, and time travel. He once threw a party for time travelers, posting the invitations after the date of the party. Unfortunately, no time travelers showed up for that party; but there still is a possibility they might be in attendance at his memorial.

Hawking’s ashes will be interred at noon on June 15, alongside the graves of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. And all time travelers should meet up afterwards for a toast to this brilliant man, with champagne; like his interest in you, it was his favorite.

Posted in Aging, Astronomy, Baby Boomers, Current Events, Death, Life Journey, Space, Stephen Hawking, Time Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One More Returns To The Stars

Brad Steiger said, “We are all spiritual beings. The paranormal is just part of the world we all share but do not fully comprehend.” He departed this earthly realm Sunday, May 6, 2018, and has left behind all who believe, and will continue searching for that which has yet to be fully comprehended.

Steiger came into his “Strange World” (a syndicated newspaper column he wrote in the early 1970s) in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on February 19, 1936. He was given the name Eugene E. Olson, and was raised in Bode, Iowa, on his parents’ farm.

In 1947, at the age of 11, Steiger suffered an extreme equipment accident, and subsequent near death experience. That event changed all he had been taught and believed up until then. Steiger had been raised in church, as a Lutheran, and found his religious beliefs altered and redirected after the accident.

Because his parents encouraged him to teach, Steiger attended Luther College in Iowa, graduating in 1957, and in 1963, completed his formal education, graduating from the University of Iowa. After college, he left the farm in Bode, and took a job teaching high school English, later moving on to teach Literature and Creative Writing at his alma mater, Luther College.

The many books and articles Steiger wrote during his lifetime will remain forever on many people’s lists of favorites. He began writing at an early age, stating he wrote his first book at age seven; Ghosts, Ghouls, and Other Peculiar People being published in 1965. He authored/co-authored 175 books, both fiction and non-fiction, which have sold over 17 million copies, and over 2,000 articles on paranormal subjects.

Besides his prolific writing, Steiger believed in, and promoted several alternative theories: Atlantis was a real place, home to a civilization of powerful, technologically sophisticated people; an ancient race of giant humans left their tracks at Paluxy River in Texas; and humans are star people, descended from ancient astronauts.

The worlds of unusual and unexplained phenomena will miss Brad Steiger. But, he has left us his thoughts and beliefs in articles and books, that we may continue the search he lived and shared, so generously.

Posted in Aging, Aliens, Ancient Aliens, Baby Boomers, Books, Communication, Current Events, Death, Fossils, Ghosts, Learning, Life Journey, Space, UFOs, Uncategorized, Writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment