Saturday-Sunday, September 17-18, 2005                                               The Daily Battle Against Subjectivity
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"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism." - Cindy Sheehan


PODCAST September 17, 2005

Signs of the Times

The world as seen from around the kitchen table

Cyclic Catastrophes

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In our latest podcast, (left to right) editors Henry See, Scott Ogrin, and Joe Quinn discuss the historical and scientific evidence that the planet has been subjected to global catastrophes in the past, and that such events may be a part of a cycle that is soon to be repeated.

In past podcasts and Signs pages, we have introduced the distinct possibility that the Powers that Be are conducting their little "War on Terror" in an effort to herd the population to a finer order of control because they are aware to an extent of some impending cataclysm(s). Our latest podcast expands upon this theory, and demonstrates with only some of the relevant facts and data that the theory is more than just plausible.

Given the recent earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, the interest in comets and asteroids on the part of world governments, and many other climatic events - as well as the current warnings from our leaders that more such disasters are on the way - we relate current events to past events to show that what is occurring on the planet right now is most likely not just a series of random, unrelated events.

Our analysis attempts to reveal the bigger picture and its implications for the near future of humanity as a whole.

Below are some of the articles cited so that you can read the material yourselves. And be sure not to miss the following related Signs Supplements:

If you have any questions for the Signs Team or would like to suggest a topic for future Podcast discussion, you can write us at:


Solar Minimum Explodes

Solar minimum is looking strangely like Solar Max.

September 15, 2005: Just one week ago, on Sept. 7th, a huge sunspot rounded the sun's eastern limb. As soon as it appeared, it exploded, producing one of the brightest x-ray solar flares of the Space Age. In the days that followed, the growing spot exploded eight more times. Each powerful "X-flare" caused a shortwave radio blackout on Earth and pumped new energy into a radiation storm around our planet. The blasts hurled magnetic clouds toward Earth, and when they hit, on Sept 10th and 11th, ruby-red auroras were seen as far south as Arizona.

So this is solar minimum?

Solar Flare

Right: An X-flare photographed on Sept. 9th by Birgit Kremer of Marbella, Spain. [movie]

Actually, solar minimum, the lowest point of the sun's 11-year activity cycle, isn't due until 2006, but forecasters expected 2005, the eve of solar minimum, to be a quiet year on the sun.

It has not been quiet. 2005 began with an X-flare on New Year's Day--a sign of things to come. Since then we've experienced 4 severe geomagnetic storms and 14 more X-flares.

"That's a lot of activity," says solar physicist David Hathaway of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Compare 2005 to the most recent Solar Max: "In the year 2000," he recalls, "there were 3 severe geomagnetic storms and 17 X-flares." 2005 registers about the same in both categories. Solar minimum is looking strangely like Solar Max.

Scientists like Hathaway track the 11-year solar cycle by counting sunspots. When sunspot numbers peak, that's Solar Max, and when they ebb, that's solar minimum. This is supposed to work because sunspots are the main sources of solar activity: Sunspot magnetic fields become unstable and explode. The explosion produces a flash of electromagnetic radiation--a solar flare. It can also hurl a billion-ton cloud of magnetized gas into space--a coronal mass ejection or "CME." When the CME reaches Earth, it sparks a geomagnetic storm and we see auroras. CMEs can also propel protons toward Earth, producing a radiation storm dangerous to astronauts and satellites. All these things come from sunspots.


Above: Ruby-colored Northern Lights over Payson, Arizona, on Sept. 11, 2005. Photo credit: Chris Schur. [gallery]

As expected, sunspot numbers have declined since 2000, yet solar activity persists. How can this be?

Hathaway answers: "The sunspots of 2005, while fewer, have done more than their share of exploding." Consider sunspot 798/808, the source of the Sept 7th superflare and eight lesser X-flares. All by itself, this sunspot has made Sept. 2005 the most active month on the sun since March 1991.

Weird? Much about the sun's activity cycle remains unknown, Hathaway points out. "X-ray observations of flares by NOAA's Earth-orbiting satellites began in 1975, and CMEs were discovered only a few years earlier by the 7th Orbiting Solar Observatory. Before the 1970s, our records are spotty."

This means we don't know what is typical. Scientists have monitored only three complete solar cycles using satellite technology. "It's risky to draw conclusions" from such a short span of data, he says.

Flares Chart

Above: Sunspot counts and X-flares during the last three solar cycles. Note how solar activity continues even during solar minimum. Credit: David Hathaway, NASA/NSSTC.

Hathaway offers a cautionary tale: Before 2005, the last solar minimum was due in 1996 and the sun, at the time, seemed to be behaving perfectly: From late-1992 until mid-1996, sunspots began to disappear and there were precisely zero X-flares during those long years. It was a time of quiet. Then, in 1996 when sunspot counts finally reached their lowest value - bang! - an X-flare erupted.

"The sun can be very unpredictable," says Hathaway, which is something NASA planners must take into account when they send humans back to the Moon and on to Mars.

Returning to 2005: is this year an aberration--or a normal rush to the bottom of the solar cycle? "We need to observe more solar cycles to answer that question," says Hathaway. "And because each cycle lasts 11 years, observing takes time."

Meanwhile, Hathaway is waiting for 2006 when solar minimum finally arrives. Who knows what the Sun will do then?

Comment: In her article Independence Day, written July 4, 2003, Laura Knight-Jadczyk wrote:

If there is a brown dwarf perturber that slams through the Oort cloud, and if we do have a cluster of comets being smacked into our solar system like a slingshot, then there is NO WAY to have ANY warning whatsoever without the willingness of the government and the scientists who have control of the instruments of observation to share their data with us. And we also have absolutely no way of estimating - or even guessing - when or where a strike could come. One is reminded of: "No one knows the day or the hour..." In short, other than suggesting that we are probably entering a period when the Earth is going to very likely get hit one or more times, there isn't much else to be said. We are probably entering a hundred year period of planetary dodge'em cars.

Based on what the Cassiopaeans have said, supported by our research to this point, it is very likely that we are already experiencing some of the comets from this event: the close passage of the Dark Star over 300 years ago at the time of the Maunder Minimum.

I think that we will witness some amazing astronomical phenomena in the next few years. "Signs in the Sun and Moon." I think that the powerful activity of the Sun during this sunspot maximum has been because these comets are drawing close - thousands or hundreds of thousands of them. There may be more solar activity. Earthquakes will shake the earth. Volcanoes will erupt.

And we have, indeed, seen some amazing solar activity, huge earthquakes, and volcanic activity since July 2003 - and it seems there is still more to come...

Of course, the Powers That Be are certain that their preparations will ensure their survival. They have been implementing mind control programs for millennia, starting with the monotheistic religions which deprive man of his ability and inclination to think which will, in the last instance of realization that he has been duped, deprive him also of hope. In the past 50 years, these programs have increased in complexity and effectiveness. Mankind is enslaved by their own minds.

The Powers That Be have been as busy as ants before a storm constructing underground enclaves in which they plan to "ride it out." They really think that this will protect them - and it may - though not from direct hits by a "big one."

Through Bush and the gang, the Powers That Be have taken charge of the oil which they plan to stockpile so that their survival will be supplied with all the "comforts of home."

The Powers That Be - whether Earthly or hyperdimensional it doesn't matter - have stepped up the activity in the past two years, sending a strong signal that they are desperate and that "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

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Sun has binary partner, may affect the Earth
September 13, 2005

The ground-breaking and richly illustrated new book, Lost Star of Myth and Time, marries modern astronomical theory with ancient star lore to make a compelling case for the profound influence on our planet of a companion star to the sun. Author and theorist, Walter Cruttenden, presents the evidence that this binary orbit relationship may be the cause of a vast cycle causing the Dark and Golden Ages common in the lore of ancient cultures.

Researching archaeological and astronomical data at the unique think tank, the Binary Research Institute, Cruttenden concludes that the movement of the solar system plays a more important role in life than people realize, and he challenges some preconceived notions:

The phenomenon known as the precession of the equinox, fabled as a marker of time by ancient peoples, is not due to a local wobbling of the Earth as modern theory portends, but to the solar system's gentle curve through space.

This movement of the solar system occurs because the Sun has a companion star; both stars orbit a common center of gravity, as is typical of most double star systems. The grand cycle–the time it takes to complete one orbit––is called a "Great Year," a term coined by Plato.

Cruttenden explains the affect on earth with an analogy: "Just as the spinning motion of the earth causes the cycle of day and night, and just as the orbital motion of the earth around the sun causes the cycle of the seasons, so too does the binary motion cause a cycle of rising and falling ages over long periods of time, due to increasing and decreasing electromagnet effects generated by our sun and other nearby stars."

While the findings in Lost Star are controversial, astronomers now agree that most stars are likely part of a binary or multiple star system. Dr. Richard A. Muller, professor of physics at UC Berkeley and research physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is an early proponent of a companion star to our sun; he prefers a 26 million year orbit period. Cruttenden uses 24,000 years and says the change in angular direction can be seen in the precession of the equinox.

Lost Star of Myth and Time expands on the author's award-winning PBS documentary film "The Great Year," narrated by actor James Earl Jones. The book brings intriguing new evidence to the theory of our binary companion star and an age old mystery - the precession of the equinox.

Comment: We're with Muller on the dates, thinking that the 26 million year cycle better fits than the smaller 24,000 year cycle, but it is certainly curious to see a book on the binary star system of our Sun being trumpeted on a physics news site, especially when endorsements come from such figures as Graham Hancock, John Anthony West, and John Major Jenkins.

Of course, the simple fact that our Sun is part of a binary star system is not what is important; it is the effects of this system upon our lives here on earth. Yes, the Dark Twin does have an influence, the most important of which is that it's passage through the Oort cloud every 26 or 27 million years is like a bowling ball knocking over the bowling pins and sending them scattering every which way. Only, it isn't bowling pins; it is countless numbers of space rock that are sent hurtling inward towards the inner solar system, approaching the Earth from every direction.

Of course, if it comes by only once in many millions of years, one might suggest that we aren't in much danger: what are the chances that WE are alive at the dangerous moment?

Funny you should ask.

We think that the Maunder Minimum, a 75 year solar minimum during the second half of the 17th century, was very likely caused by the dampening effects of the presence of the Dark Star at its perihelion. This means, first, that we're it, the lucky folks who happen to be alive at the fateful moment. It also means that the space rock heading our way has been moving in for over 300 years. Might the recent increase in the number of reported moons for Jupiter and Saturn be due to pieces of rock being picked up by the gravitational fields of these planets?

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Global warming 'past the point of no return'
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
The Independent
Published: 16 September 2005

A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover. Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice that has helped to keep the climate stable for thousands of years.

They believe global warming is melting Arctic ice so rapidly that the region is beginning to absorb more heat from the sun, causing the ice to melt still further and so reinforcing a vicious cycle of melting and heating.

The greatest fear is that the Arctic has reached a "tipping point" beyond which nothing can reverse the continual loss of sea ice and with it the massive land glaciers of Greenland, which will raise sea levels dramatically.

Satellites monitoring the Arctic have found that the extent of the sea ice this August has reached its lowest monthly point on record, dipping an unprecedented 18.2 per cent below the long-term average.

Experts believe that such a loss of Arctic sea ice in summer has not occurred in hundreds and possibly thousands of years. It is the fourth year in a row that the sea ice in August has fallen below the monthly downward trend - a clear sign that melting has accelerated.

Scientists are now preparing to report a record loss of Arctic sea ice for September, when the surface area covered by the ice traditionally reaches its minimum extent at the end of the summer melting period.

Sea ice naturally melts in summer and reforms in winter but for the first time on record this annual rebound did not occur last winter when the ice of the Arctic failed to recover significantly.

Arctic specialists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University, who have documented the gradual loss of polar sea ice since 1978, believe that a more dramatic melt began about four years ago.

In September 2002 the sea ice coverage of the Arctic reached its lowest level in recorded history. Such lows have normally been followed the next year by a rebound to more normal levels, but this did not occur in the summers of either 2003 or 2004. This summer has been even worse. The surface area covered by sea ice was at a record monthly minimum for each of the summer months - June, July and now August.

Scientists analysing the latest satellite data for September - the traditional minimum extent for each summer - are preparing to announce a significant shift in the stability of the Arctic sea ice, the northern hemisphere's major "heat sink" that moderates climatic extremes.

"The changes we've seen in the Arctic over the past few decades are nothing short of remarkable," said Mark Serreze, one of the scientists at the Snow and Ice Data Centre who monitor Arctic sea ice.

Scientists at the data centre are bracing themselves for the 2005 annual minimum, which is expected to be reached in mid-September, when another record loss is forecast. A major announcement is scheduled for 20 September. "It looks like we're going to exceed it or be real close one way or the other. It is probably going to be at least as comparable to September 2002," Dr Serreze said.

"This will be four Septembers in a row that we've seen a downward trend. The feeling is we are reaching a tipping point or threshold beyond which sea ice will not recover."

The extent of the sea ice in September is the most valuable indicator of its health. This year's record melt means that more of the long-term ice formed over many winters - so called multi-year ice - has disappeared than at any time in recorded history.

Sea ice floats on the surface of the Arctic Ocean and its neighbouring seas and normally covers an area of some 7 million square kilometres (2.4 million square miles) during September - about the size of Australia. However, in September 2002, this dwindled to about 2 million square miles - 16 per cent below average.

Sea ice data for August closely mirrors that for September and last month's record low - 18.2 per cent below the monthly average - strongly suggests that this September will see the smallest coverage of Arctic sea ice ever recorded.

As more and more sea ice is lost during the summer, greater expanses of open ocean are exposed to the sun which increases the rate at which heat is absorbed in the Arctic region, Dr Serreze said.

Sea ice reflects up to 80 per cent of sunlight hitting it but this "albedo effect" is mostly lost when the sea is uncovered. "We've exposed all this dark ocean to the sun's heat so that the overall heat content increases," he explained.

Current computer models suggest that the Arctic will be entirely ice-free during summer by the year 2070 but some scientists now believe that even this dire prediction may be over-optimistic, said Professor Peter Wadhams, an Arctic ice specialist at Cambridge University.

"When the ice becomes so thin it breaks up mechanically rather than thermodynamically. So these predictions may well be on the over-optimistic side," he said.

As the sea ice melts, and more of the sun's energy is absorbed by the exposed ocean, a positive feedback is created leading to the loss of yet more ice, Professor Wadhams said.

"If anything we may be underestimating the dangers. The computer models may not take into account collaborative positive feedback," he said.

Sea ice keeps a cap on frigid water, keeping it cold and protecting it from heating up. Losing the sea ice of the Arctic is likely to have major repercussions for the climate, he said. "There could be dramatic changes to the climate of the northern region due to the creation of a vast expanse of open water where there was once effectively land," Professor Wadhams said. "You're essentially changing land into ocean and the creation of a huge area of open ocean where there was once land will have a very big impact on other climate parameters," he said.

Comment: Meanwhile, there are more and more signs that indicate the rockin' and rollin' ain't over yet...

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Tremors may mean 'Big One' on its way
Globe and Mail
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Vancouver - A silent tectonic event, so powerful it has shifted southern Vancouver Island out to sea, but so subtle nobody has felt a thing, is slowly unfolding on the West Coast.

Scientists who are tracking the event with sensitive seismographs and earth orbiting satellites warn it could be a trigger for a massive earthquake -- some time, maybe soon.

But they are quick to add that the imperceptible tremors emanating from deep beneath the surface are sending signals scientists are not yet able to comprehend fully and "the Big One" might yet be 200 years off.

What they do know is that the earth is moving this week on the West Coast as two massive tectonic plates slip past each other.

"Southern Vancouver Island is sort of sliding towards the west right now. We're moving towards Japan," said John Cassidy, a seismologist with Natural Resource Canada at the Pacific Geoscience Centre near Sidney, B.C. "It's a very small amount. We've moved about three millimetres to the west over the past couple of days."

The event, known as an episodic tremor and slip, is a predictable, cyclical phenomenon that is adding pressure to a zone where the Juan de Fuca Plate and the North American Plate are locked, just off Vancouver Island. While the two plates are slipping in some areas, in another they remained locked. That locked zone is where the next megathrust earthquake is expected to come from when it suddenly releases.

Mr. Cassidy said a slip event occurs every 14 months, and when it does, scientists believe the chance of an earthquake the size that triggered the Asia tsunamis increases.

One researcher has likened the event to going up a step on a staircase, at the top of which sits a megathrust earthquake. But nobody knows where the top is or where we are on the staircase.

The geological record on the West Coast has shown that megathrust earthquakes occur roughly once every 500 years. The last one struck on Jan. 26, 1700, which leaves a window of possibility 200 years wide.

"We know there will be another megathrust earthquake, but we don't know when," Mr. Cassidy said.

But he said the slip is important because it is the only predictable event related to earthquakes, and it may hold clues as to when and where a megathrust will occur.

He said experts are so convinced the event is a potential trigger that they have advised emergency preparedness officials to be alert.

"We're in a time window of higher hazard," Mr. Cassidy said. "It's likely that one of these slip events will [one day] trigger a megathrust earthquake."

Mr. Cassidy said a slip event is not an earthquake but involves the release of tectonic pressure in tremors that seismographs are picking up.

"It's really a very subtle shaking. It's different from an earthquake. It has a different frequency content. It's more of a continuous signal, rather than an earthquake which would start with a bang. . . . There's no jolt to this so people don't feel it."

Satellites have tracked the shift of southern Vancouver Island to the west using global positioning technology that can detect minuscule movement.

Tectonic forces usually push the island east, but during a slip event it slides west for about two weeks.

"The normal movement to the east can be thought of as earthquake hazard. That's energy being stored for the next big megathrust earthquake and on top of that regular motion we have this cycle that adds a little more stress every 14 months. So that's why we say it becomes a trigger [event]," Mr. Cassidy said.

Herb Dragert, a seismologist with the Geological Survey, first detected the phenomenon of the slip event in 1999, and since then, it has been confirmed by scientists in the U.S. and Japan. [...]

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Major L.A. quake could be worse than Katrina
Thursday, September 15, 2005 Posted: 1411 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As many as 18,000 people dead. More than $250 billion in damages. Hundreds of thousands of people left homeless.

That's not the latest estimate of Hurricane Katrina's toll on the Gulf Coast. That's a worst-case scenario if a major earthquake were to hit Los Angeles.

The figures are hypothetical, from a model published in May by government researchers studying the Puente Hills fault under the city.

Scientists warn that there's little doubt a major quake will hit California in coming years or decades, though many scenarios are not as disastrous as Puente Hills.

As was the case with Katrina, experts say the federal government hasn't done enough to prepare.

"There's not enough money to carry out the research and implementation programs that need to be put into place," said Susan Tubbesing, executive director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute in Oakland, California. "If funds were available, if these were higher priorities, these kinds of things could be addressed now -- before an earthquake."

California has been hit by significant quakes about every 15 years over the past century. Experts say there's a better-than 60 percent chance that a quake with a magnitude around 6.7 will hit Southern California or the Bay Area within decades.

"The reality is when you have a disaster of that proportion, you need the federal government," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Wednesday in Washington, where he was meeting with federal officials.

"I think the question is, is the federal government prepared to provide the resources that we need? I think that, clearly, by what we've seen in Louisiana, the jury's out."

Just as Katrina exposed a failure to sufficiently strengthen the levees around New Orleans, experts say a big quake in California, Washington state or the Mississippi Valley could reveal that too little was done to make buildings, bridges and roads earthquake-proof. [...]

Congress created the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program in 1977 after a series of major quakes in Alaska, California and China. The goal was to reduce the loss of life and property by funding research on how buildings and structures respond to earthquakes, improving building codes, and conducting earthquake models along different fault lines.

But funding for the program has been essentially flat for more than a decade. [...]

"We have greatly reduced the number of people we have doing research, we have had to cut way back on field investigation programs, we've had to work smarter with less," Ellsworth said.

According to some experts, earthquake readiness has been hurt by the same shift of focus from natural disasters to terrorism that's being partly blamed for the bungled response to Katrina.

In 2003, when Congress moved FEMA to the Department of Homeland Security, lawmakers also moved the lead agency role for the earthquake program from FEMA to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. But they never gave NIST any money to perform its new leadership role.

"Right now you have a program that probably has appropriated somewhere around $130 million per year, and we don't have a lead agency to supervise or manage it," said Tom O'Rourke, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University. [...]

A key network of seismographs USGS is installing around the country is lagging -- only 563 of a planned 7,050 machines have been put in place, mainly because funding has stuck far behind planned levels. For example, Congress authorized $35 million for the network in 2005, but appropriated only $8 million.

Experts contend that spending on mitigation reaps huge dividends. They point out that retrofitted roads and buildings survived the Northridge earthquake, while others that hadn't been retrofitted did not. [...]

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Scientists speculate on curious bulge near South Sister

It could be nothing, it could be a volcano in the making; geologists can do little more than keep tabs as part of the desert slowly rises
Monday, September 05, 2005

BEND -- A group of surveyors on a bare patch of land in Central Oregon usually signals another golf course or subdivision, but the crew working its way across Wickiup Plain west of Bend was measuring a force more powerful than even real estate: a volcano.

As it has for the past four years, the government team trekked this summer to the Sisters bulge, a swelling in the Earth's crust that covers 100 square miles, an area roughly two-thirds the size of Portland.

This year, recent eruptions at nearby Mount St. Helens have rekindled interest in the Sisters survey and its findings. And a U.S. Geological Survey report earlier this year found only basic monitoring at about half of the nation's most active volcanoes.

Oregon has four of the 18 most threatening volcanoes -- Mount Hood, Crater Lake, Newberry and South Sister. The USGS says monitoring is inadequate at all of them.

The bulge, on the other hand, gets an extensive array of poking and prodding to track its growth. It's centered about three miles southwest of South Sister, about 25 miles from Bend.

The results of the late August trip won't be ready for weeks, but scientists have reached some conclusions about the bulge from past monitoring: It probably began growing in 1997 and has been rising ever since at a rate of about 1.4 inches a year. It was first observed from space using a relatively new imaging technology known as radar interferometry that can measure changes in the Earth's surface. The likely cause of the bulge is a pool of magma that, according to Deschutes National Forest geologist Larry Chitwood, is equal in size to a lake 1 mile across and 65 feet deep. And this magma lake is rising 10 feet each year. The pooling magma is under tremendous pressure, and as it expands it deforms the Earth's surface above, causing the bulge.

Beyond that, the uplift could be anything from the birth of a new volcano -- a fourth Sister in the making -- to a routine and anticlimactic pooling of liquid rock, researchers say.

"The honest and shortest answer is, we don't know," said Dan Dzurisin, a USGS geologist. [...]

Comment: We also found the following article:

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Major earthquake exercise under way in Russian Far East
RIA Novosti
September 7, 2005 11:37

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY - A major exercise conducted by Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry to practice dealing with a major earthquake is under way on the far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, a ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

According to the spokesman, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake will be forecast on the first day of the exercise, and an emergency commission will be set up to oversee the preparation of ministry personnel and equipment, as well as coordination between various agencies.

The active stage of the exercise will start Thursday, with Minister Sergei Shoigu expected to attend. Rescue and medical teams, army units, law enforcement agencies and public utility specialists are scheduled to conduct disaster relief operations after an earthquake and tsunami in the Avachinskaya Bay, the spokesman said.

The exercise will involve more than 200 rescuers, and 60 vehicles and aircraft, he added.

According to research conducted by the International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics, there is at least a 30% probability of an earthquake with a 7.2-magnitude or higher in the area of Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands before mid-December.

The ministry's regional forces have been on alert since early August. The ministry has coordinated the delivery of additional supplies of medicines and medical equipment, and its far-eastern local departments in Kamchatka, the island of Sakhalin and the Koryak autonomous area are taking measures to reduce the potential damage and losses from an earthquake.

Comment: In looking at the map on the IRIS Seismic Monitor web site, it appears that the Kamchatka peninsula and the volcanic activity in Oregon may have something in common: both regions lie along the same fault line. The Indonesian tsunami, quakes near Taiwan and Japan, and recent earthquakes in Alaska and California (see below) all seem to lie along the same fault line.

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Flashback: Quake swarm rattles experts

Activity is near faults capable of unleashing massive temblors
Benjamin Spillman
The Desert Sun
September 2, 2005

Since Sunday a swarm of about 300 earthquakes has struck the Brawley Seismic Zone near the southern shore of the Salton Sea.Most of the quakes were too small for people to feel, but five were magnitude 4.0 or greater. The strongest was a magnitude 4.6 on Wednesday.

One of California's most active seismic zones of the 1970s is rumbling again, causing concern among scientists who study and residents who live in the fault-strewn desert region.

A series of earthquakes - the strongest with a magnitude of 5.1 on Thursday evening - are shaking near the southeast shore of the Salton Sea, about 86 miles from Palm Springs.

The earthquake swarm between the San Andreas and Imperial faults is turning heads among researchers in Pasadena. But they stopped short of saying the rumbling temblors are an indication of something greater on the way.

Donna Dearmore, 64, and a 61-year resident of Niland, says people there think the swarm could be significant.

"From what we hear this is supposed to be a good one," Dearmore said. "But we have heard that most of my life around here."

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Japanese Probe Pulls Alongside Asteroid
Associated Press
Thu Sep 15, 8:54 PM ET

TOKYO - Bringing Japan's most complex space mission near its climax, a probe is within 12 miles of an asteroid almost 180 million miles from Earth in an unprecedented rendezvous designed to retrieve rocks from its surface.

The Hayabusa probe, launched in May 2003, will hover around the asteroid for about three months before making its brief landing to recover the samples in early November. The asteroid is located between Earth and Mars.

"The mission is going very smoothly and proceeding as planned," Atsushi Wako, a spokesman for JAXA, Japan's space agency, said Tuesday.

The asteroid, informally named Itokawa, after Hideo Itokawa, the father of rocket science in Japan, is only 2,300 feet long and 1,000 feet wide, and has a gravitational pull one-one-hundred-thousandth of Earth's.

Though it took two years to get there, the asteroid is among the closest neighbors to Earth other than the moon.

The probe's first mission will be to survey the asteroid with cameras and infrared imaging gear. It has already begun sending back images, Wako said.

When Hayabusa moves in for the rendezvous, expected to be over in a matter of seconds, it will pull up close enough to fire a small bullet into the asteroid and collect the ejected fragments in a funnel-like device. It won't be coming back with much - the amount of material planners hope to capture wouldn't even fill a teaspoon.

JAXA officials say Hayabusa would be the world's first two-way trip to an asteroid. A NASA probe collected data for two weeks from the surface of the Manhattan-sized asteroid Eros in 2001, but it did not return with physical samples.

Despite a glitch with one of Hayabusa's three gyroscopes, the mission has been largely mishap-free. Wako said the probe is set to return to Earth and land in the Australian outback in June 2007.

The success of the mission so far is a major coup for JAXA.

Japan was the fourth country to launch a satellite, in 1972, and this spring announced a major project to send its first astronauts into space and set up a base on the moon by 2025.

JAXA already has an unmanned moon survey mission planned. Its SELENE probe - originally scheduled for launch in 2005, but since delayed - is designed to orbit the moon, releasing two small satellites that will measure the moon's magnetic and gravitational field and conduct other tests for clues about the moon's origin.

It had to abandon a mission to Mars two years ago, however, after the probe moved off course. The explosion of a domestically designed H-2A rocket, the centerpiece of the country's space program, in November 2003 also marked a major setback for JAXA's plans. Controllers had to detonate that rocket and its payload of two spy satellites after a booster failed to detach.

The failed launch came just one month after China successfully put its first astronaut into orbit. Beijing has since announced it is aiming for the moon.

Japan returned to space in February with a successful H-2A launch, after 15 months on the ground.

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U.S. Buys $100 Million of Bird Flu Vaccine
September 16, 2005

WASHINGTON - Mass production of a new vaccine that promises to protect against bird flu is poised to begin, as the government on Thursday agreed to stockpile $100 million worth of inoculations.

The new contract with French vaccine maker Sanofi-Pasteur marks a major scale-up in U.S. preparation for the possibility that the worrisome virus could spark an influenza pandemic.

While the vaccine is still experimental, preliminary results from the National Institutes of Health's first testing in people suggest the inoculations spur an immune response that would be strong enough to protect against known strains of the avian influenza, sparking the new investment.

But just how many doses the $100 million will buy isn't yet clear.

That's because there is contrasting research on just how much antigen much be in each dose to provide protection, explained Sanofi spokesman Len Lavenda. The range is huge - from 15 micrograms of antigen per dose to 90 - and the protective amount likely will wind up somewhere in between, he said.

Previously, the government has said it has stockpiled 2 million doses of bird flu vaccine.

Sanofi stored that vaccine in bulk, and the 2 million estimate assumed a single 15-microgram dose per person, Lavenda said. In contrast, the preliminary NIH research suggested it may take two 90-microgram shots to provide protection.

Simple math suggests that means the $100 million purchase could provide enough doses to protect anywhere from 1.7 million people - "we're quite sure it's going to be a lot more than that," Lavenda said - to a maximum of 20 million people.

A study now under way in France pairs the vaccine with an immune booster, called an adjuvant, that may help stretch doses. Sanofi expects results later in the year.

Regardless of the ultimate number, clearing the way for mass production now is a big step. Sanofi's factory in Swiftwater, Penn., can produce bird flu vaccine in September and October - months not occupied making vaccine for regular winter flu - and separate bulk lots into agreed-upon doses later.

The government's ultimate goal is to stockpile 20 million vaccine doses, a first wave of protection if the H5N1 bird flu strain eventually sparks a pandemic.

It's a quest gaining urgency. The virus has now killed or led to the slaughter of millions of birds, mostly in Asia but in parts of Europe, too. Although it has killed only about 60 people, mostly poultry workers, that's because so far it doesn't spread easily from person to person. If that changes - and flu viruses mutate regularly - it could trigger a deadly worldwide outbreak, because H5N1 is so different from the flu strains that circulate each winter that people have no residual immunity.

The nation also plans to stockpile 20 million doses of anti-flu medication, and the government announced Thursday it was purchasing enough of the drug Relenza, from maker GlaxoSmithKline, to treat 84,300 people.

Already in stock is enough of a competing drug, Tamiflu, to treat 4.3 million. Tamiflu is a pill, while Relenza must be inhaled, a drawback. The government still is planning additional Tamiflu purchases.

"These counter-measures provide us with tools that we have never had prior to previous influenza pandemics," said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.

Comment: Melting ice caps, monster quakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, comets and asteroids, the flu threat, and - last but not least - bubonic plague!

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Mice with plague vanish at top-level N.J. lab
Ted Sherman
Newhouse News Service
Thursday, September 15, 2005

Newark, N.J. - Three lab mice carrying deadly strains of plague have disappeared from separate cages at a bio-terror research facility in Newark, sparking a hushed, intensive investigation by federal and state authorities. Officials said the animals could have been stolen from the center or simply misplaced in a colossal accounting error at one of the top-level bio-containment labs in New Jersey.

The incident occurred more than two weeks ago and was confirmed only Wednesday after questions were raised by The Star-Ledger newspaper.

The research lab is on the campus of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

It is run by the Public Health Research Institute, a leading center for research on infectious diseases, now participating in a six-year federal bio-defense project to find new vaccinations for the plague - which federal officials fear could be used as a bio-weapon. The university has responsibility for the security of the building. At least two dozen employees and researchers at the lab have been interrogated and in some cases subjected to lie-detector tests.

However, the disease-carrying lab mice may never be accounted for, federal officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also investigating.

"The FBI has expended substantial resources and put many agents into this investigation to satisfy - among other things - the most compelling question of whether public safety is at risk," said agent Steve Siegel, an FBI spokesman.

Comment: Three lab mice carrying plague have been missing for over two weeks, and all federal officials can say is they may never be accounted for?? Perhaps the mice were recruited by an arm of al-Qaeda under the direction of Zarqawi...

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Man in 'meteor' sighting over town
Shropshire Star
Sep 16, 2005

A north Shropshire man has told of his amazement at seeing a "massive glowing object moving through the sky".

Steve Powell, 49, who lives near Prees Green, saw what he believes was a huge meteor last night at around 11.45pm.

He described the object as a big orange ball, about the size of a full moon.

Mr Powell is now wondering if anyone else saw the phenomenon, which he believes was a meteor crashing to earth.

He said: "It looked like a UFO to start with and didn't seem to be moving, but it obviously was and had a bit of a trail."

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Indepedence Day
Laura Knight-Jadczyk
July 4, 2003

[...] We can, of course, suggest that many Americans are awake and seeing through the propaganda and lies - and that the only reason we don't know about them is due to the fact that the mass media consistently and deliberately filters out any reports of activism as a means of depriving other activists of psychological support and a feeling of solidarity. But I still can't get over the sensation that somehow, ignoring it and hoping it will go away is the reaction of choice.

The other morning, I woke up with the thought circling around in my head: The present global craziness is like a Trojan Horse - a vehicle that carries the instruments of destruction. So many people are like a deer paralyzed in the hunter's headlights - fascinated by the display and completely unaware of the destruction that is imminent.

This thought did not appear out of nowhere and for no reason. It was the result of many days of deep thinking and discussions here at Signs Central. What initiated those discussions is what I want to talk about here: the possibility of global destruction in the wings and that the political machinations on the planet are designed to divert our attention from the clues and signs that this is imminent.

As we have noted in the Signs of the Times commentary numerous times: it seems that the absolutely outrageous behavior of the Bush Criminals who have effected a coup d'etat in America, as well as the staged reactions from the leaders of other countries around the planet, is grounded in a firm conviction that they will never have to pay for their crimes. Their behavior is disquietingly similar to the actions of a conscienceless individual who has been told that he is in the final stages of a terminal disease.

If that is the case, what could it be that gives them the confidence to simply not care that their raping, pillaging and plundering of the planet is becoming obvious to even the dimmest lightbulbs in the carton? [...]

Generally, those who say that cyclic extinctions DO happen - and rather frequently - generally approach the subject from the point of view of collecting and presenting data. The naysayers generally approach the subject from the point of view of "explaining away" the data as being "faulty" or "misunderstood." They also tend to get emotional and attack the personalities of those who present data. Still, more and more facts, data, confirmable information, keep coming to light. In particular, consider the following extracted from my book The Secret History of The World:

Something catastrophic happened to the large mammals roaming the world during the Pleistocene Epoch. Woolly mammoths, mastodons, toxodons, sabre-toothed tigers, woolly rhinos, giant ground sloths, and many other large Pleistocene animals are simply no longer with us. The fact is, more than 200 species of animals completely disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene approximately 12,000 years ago in what is known to Paleontologists as the "Pleistocene Extinction."

At the same time that the paleontologists are dealing with the unsettling notion of such a recent mass death, geologists are confronted with the evidence of terrifying geological changes which took place: extensive volcanism and earthquakes, tidal waves, glacial melting, rising sea levels, and so on. The Pleistocene Epoch didn't end with a whimper, for sure. It went out roaring and thundering.

Geologists and Paleontologists don't like catastrophism - it keeps them up at night. They fought long and hard against the Catastrophists. But in the present day, scientists in both fields are having to face the fact that the Catastrophists were mostly right from the beginning - even if they might have gone overboard and explained everything in terms of catastrophe. It is evident that there are "gradual" changes, but that most of what happens on the Big Blue Marble in terms of significant changes, is catastrophic.

One of the major facts that both paleontologists and geologists and archaeologists have had to face is the stupendous number of frozen carcasses in Canada and Alaska in the western areas, and in Northern Russian and Siberia in the eastern areas - all dated to about 12000 years ago. This suggests, of course, that something dreadful happened on the planet, and its effect on the Northern hemisphere was more severe than on the Southern hemisphere.

Back in the 1940s Dr. Frank C. Hibben, Prof. of Archeology at the University of New Mexico led an expedition to Alaska to look for human remains. He didn't find human remains; he found miles and miles of icy muck just packed with mammoths, mastodons, several kinds of bison, horses, wolves, bears and lions. Just north of Fairbanks, Alaska, the members of the expedition watched in horror as bulldozers pushed the half-melted muck into sluice boxes for the extraction of gold. Animal tusks and bones rolled up in front of the blades "like shavings before a giant plane". The carcasses were found in all attitudes of death, most of them "pulled apart by some unexplainable prehistoric catastrophic disturbance."

The evident violence of the deaths of these masses of animals, combined with the stench of rotting flesh was almost unendurable both in seeing it, and in considering what might have caused it. The killing fields stretched for literally hundreds of miles in every direction. There were trees and animals, layers of peat and moss, twisted and tangled and mangled together as though some Cosmic mixmaster sucked them all in 12000 years ago, and then froze them instantly into a solid mass.

Just north of Siberia entire islands are formed of the bones of Pleistocene animals swept northward from the continent into the freezing Arctic Ocean. One estimate suggests that some ten million animals may be buried along the rivers of northern Siberia. Thousands upon thousands of tusks created a massive ivory trade for the master carvers of China; all from the frozen mammoths and mastodons of Siberia. The famous Beresovka mammoth first drew attention to the preserving properties of being quick-frozen when buttercups were found in its mouth.

What kind of terrible event overtook these millions of creatures in a single day? Well, the evidence suggests an enormous tsunami raging across the land, tumbling animals and vegetation together, to be finally quick-frozen for the next 12000 years. But the extinction was not limited to the Arctic, even if the freezing preserved the evidence of Natures rage.

Paleontologist George G. Simpson considers the extinction of the Pleistocene horse in North America to be one of the most mysterious episodes in zoological history, confessing that "no one knows the answer." He is also honest enough to admit that there is the larger problem of the extinction of many other species in America at the same time . The horse, giant tortoises living in the Caribbean, the giant sloth, the sabre-toothed tiger, the glyptodont and toxodon. These were all tropical animals. These creatures didn't die because of the "gradual onset" of an ice age, "unless one is willing to postulate freezing temperatures across the equator, such an explanation clearly begs the question."

Massive piles of mastodon and sabre-toothed tiger bones were discovered in Florida. Mastodons, toxodons, giant sloths and other animals were found in Venezuela quick-frozen in mountain glaciers. Woolly rhinoceros, giant armadillos, giant beavers, giant jaguars, ground sloths, antelopes and scores of other entire species were all totally wiped out at the same time, at the end of the Pleistocene, approximately 12000 years ago.

This event was global. The mammoths of Siberia became extinct at the same time as the giant rhinoceros of Europe; the mastodons of Alaska, the bison of Siberia, the Asian elephants and the American camels. It is obvious that the cause of these extinctions must be common to both hemispheres, and that it was not gradual. A "Uniformitarian glaciation" would not have cause extinctions, because the various animals would have simply migrated to better pasture.

What is seen is a surprising event of uncontrolled violence. In other words, 12000 years ago, a time we have stumbled across again and again in our researches, something terrible happened - so terrible that life on earth was nearly wiped out in a single day. [...]

There are other solutions to the problem of the isotherms including current day research showing that this can result from global warming. While we don't deny that it's possible for such severe lithosphere disruption as Muck suggests to occur, and we aren't playing soft with the idea of mass destruction of species, it just seems that an event that would produce the sinking of so vast a body of land so completely would be an event from which absolutely nothing on the earth would survive.

Nevertheless, Otto Muck draws our attention to the meteor craters in the Carolinas. The Carolina bays are mysterious land features often filled with bay trees and other wetland vegetation. Because of their oval shape and consistent orientation, they are considered by some authorities to be the result of a vast meteor shower that occurred approximately 12,000 years ago. What is most astonishing is the number of them. There are over 500,000 of these shallow basins dotting the coastal plain from Georgia to Delaware. That is a frightening figure.

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Retreating Glaciers Worrying Greenlanders
Associated Press
Sat Sep 10, 3:26 PM ET

ILULISSAT, Greenland - The gargantuan chunks of ice breaking off the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier and thundering into an Arctic fjord make a spectacular sight. But to Greenlanders it is also deeply worrisome.

The frequency and size of the icefalls are a powerful reminder that the frozen sheet covering the world's largest island is thinning - a glaring sign of global warming, scientists say.

"In the past we could walk on the ice in the fjord between the icebergs for a six-month period during the winter, drill holes and fish," said Joern Kristensen, a fisherman and one of the indigenous Inuit who are most of Greenland's population of 56,000.

"We can only do that for a month or two now. It has become more difficult to drive dog sleds because the ice between the icebergs isn't solid anymore."

In 2002-2003, a six-mile-long stretch of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier broke off and drifted silently out of the fjord near Ilulissat, Greenland's third largest town, 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Although Greenland, three times the size of Texas, is the prime example, scientists say the effects of climate change are noticeable throughout the Arctic region, from the northward spread of spruce beetles in Canada to melting permafrost in Alaska and northern Russia.

Indigenous people, who for centuries have adapted their lives to the cold, fear that even small and gradual changes could have a profound impact.

"We can see a trend that the fall is getting longer and wetter," said Lars-Anders Baer, a political leader of Sweden's Sami, a once nomadic, reindeer-herding people.

"If the climate gets warmer, it is probably bad for the reindeer. New species (of plants) come in and suffocate other plants that are the main food for the reindeer," he said.

Rising temperatures are also a concern in the Yamalo-Nenets region in Western Siberia, said Alexandr Navyukhov, 49. He is an ethnic Nenet, a group that lives mostly off hunting, fishing and deer-breeding.

"We now have bream in our river, which we didn't have in the past because that fish is typical of warmer regions," he said. "On the one hand it may look like good news, but bream are predatory fish that prey upon fish eggs, often of rare kinds of fish."

Melting permafrost has damaged hundreds of buildings, railway lines, airport runways and gas pipelines in Russia, according to the 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment commissioned by the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental body.

Research also shows that populations of turbot, Atlantic cod and snow crab are no longer found in some parts of the Bering Sea, an important fishing zone between Alaska and Russia, and that flooding along the Lena River, one of Siberia's biggest, has increased with warming temperatures.

In Greenland, Anthon Utuaq, a 68-year-old retired hunter, worries that a warmer climate will make it harder for his son to continue the family trade.

"Maybe it will be difficult for him to find the seals," Utuaq said, resting on a bench in the east coast town of Kulusuk. "They will head north to colder places if it gets warmer."

Arctic sea ice has decreased by about 8 percent, or more than 380,000 square miles, over the past 30 years.

In Sisimiut, Greenland's second largest town, lakes have doubled in size in the last decade.

"Greenland was perceived as this huge solid place that would never melt," said Robert Corell of the American Meteorological Society, a Boston-based scientific organization. "The evidence is now so strong that the scientific community is convinced that global warming is the cause."

How much of it is natural and how much is caused by humans burning fossil fuels is sharply debated. Greenland itself endured sharp climate shifts long before fossil fuels were an issue, and sustained Norse settlements for 400 years until the 15th century.

"We know that temperatures have gone up and it's partly caused by man. But let's hold our horses because it's not everywhere that the ice is melting. In the Antarctic, only 1 percent is melting," said Bjoern Lomborg, a Danish researcher and prominent naysayer on the magnitude of the global-warming threat.

What is clear is that the average ocean temperature off Greenland's west coast has risen in recent years - from 38.3 degrees Fahrenheit to 40.6 F - and glaciers have begun to retreat, said Carl Egede Boeggild, a glaciologist with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, a government agency.

The Sermilik glacier in southern Greenland has retreated nearly seven miles, and the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier near Ilulissat is also shrinking, said Henrik Hoejmark Thomsen of the geological survey.

In 1967, satellite imagery measured it moving 4.3 miles per year. In 2003, the rate was 8.1 miles.

"What exactly happened, we don't know. But it appears to be the effect of climate change," said Hoejmark Thomsen.

In August, the National Science Foundation's Arctic System Science Committee issued a report saying the rate of ice melting in the Arctic is increasing and within a century could for the first time lead to summertime ice-free ocean conditions.

With warmer temperatures, some bacteria, plants and animals could disappear, while others will thrive. Polar bears and other animals that depend on sea ice to breed and forage are at risk, scientists say, and some species could face extinction in a few decades.

The thinning of the sea ice presents a danger to both humans and polar bears, said Peter Ewins, director of Arctic conservation for the World Wildlife Fund Canada.

"The polar bears need to be there to catch enough seals to see them through the summer in open warm water systems. Equally, the Inuit need to be out there on the ice catching seals and are less and less able to do that because the ice is more unstable, thinner," he said.

When NASA started taking satellite images of the Arctic region in the late 1970s and computer technology improved, scientists noted alarming patterns and theorized that the culprit was gases emitted by industries and internal combustion engines to create a "greenhouse effect" of trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Inuit leaders are trying to draw attention to the impact of climate change and pollution.

"When I was a child, the weather used to be more stable. It worries me to see and hear all this," Greenland Premier Hans Enoksen said on the sidelines of a meeting of environmental officials from 23 countries in Ilulissat. The meeting ended with statements of concern - and no action.

The Kyoto Protocol that took effect in February aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the 140 nations that have signed the pact don't include the United States, which produces one-quarter of the gases.

The Bush administration says participation would severely damage the U.S. economy. Many scientists say that position undermines the whole planet and they point to Greenland as the leading edge of what the globe could suffer.

"Greenland is the canary in a mine shaft alerting us," said Corell, the American meteorologist, standing on the edge of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier which he is studying. "In the U.S., global warming is a tomorrow issue. ... For us working here, it hits you like a ton of bricks when you see it."

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NEW! 9/11: The Ultimate Truth is Available for Pre-Order!

On the fourth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Laura Knight-Jadczyk announces the availability of her latest book:

In the years since the 9/11 attacks, dozens of books have sought to explore the truth behind the official version of events that day - yet to date, none of these publications has provided a satisfactory answer as to WHY the attacks occurred and who was ultimately responsible for carrying them out.

Taking a broad, millennia-long perspective, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's 9/11: The Ultimate Truth uncovers the true nature of the ruling elite on our planet and presents new and ground-breaking insights into just how the 9/11 attacks played out.

9/11: The Ultimate Truth makes a strong case for the idea that September 11, 2001 marked the moment when our planet entered the final phase of a diabolical plan that has been many, many years in the making. It is a plan developed and nurtured by successive generations of ruthless individuals who relentlessly exploit the negative aspects of basic human nature to entrap humanity as a whole in endless wars and suffering in order to keep us confused and distracted to the reality of the man behind the curtain.

Drawing on historical and genealogical sources, Knight-Jadczyk eloquently links the 9/11 event to the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She also cites the clear evidence that our planet undergoes periodic natural cataclysms, a cycle that has arguably brought humanity to the brink of destruction in the present day.

For its no nonsense style in cutting to the core of the issue and its sheer audacity in refusing to be swayed or distracted by the morass of disinformation that has been employed by the Powers that Be to cover their tracks, 9/11: The Ultimate Truth can rightly claim to be THE definitive book on 9/11 - and what that fateful day's true implications are for the future of mankind.

Published by Red Pill Press

Scheduled for release on October 1, 2005, readers can pre-order the book today at our bookstore.

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NEW! Signs Commentary Books are Now Available!

For the first time, the Signs Team's most popular and discerning essays have been compiled into book form and thematically organized.

These books contain hard hitting exposés into human nature, propaganda, psyop activities and insights into the world events that shape our future and our understanding of the world.

The six new books, available now at our bookstore, are entitled:

  • 911 Conspiracy
  • The Human Condition
  • The Media
  • Religion
  • The Work
  • U.S. Freedom

Read them today - before the book burning starts!

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