Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bent's Old Fort.

This is coolbert:

Here with some images of a recent visit to Bent's Old Fort.

Located near La Junta, Colorado, USA. The fort an important way station on the Santa Fe Trail.

A civilian mercantile enterprise but built with a definite military application in mind.

That reconstruction now a National Historic Site and worth visiting for those in the area of La Junta.

Bent's Old Fort seen from the approach, a two-story structure with thick walls and not a wood stockade. That is an occupied graveyard in the foreground. Those cottonwood trees in the far background on the banks of the Arkansas river. North side of the river circa 1829 American territory.
Inside of the fort from one perspective. The replica built on the same location as the original and constructed of 3 million adobe bricks plastered on the outside. Also the dimensions known with a unprecedented exactitude and preciseness. As measured by an American military officer during a convalescent period, records still existing. Most remarkable.
A further image that interior of the fort from another perspective. Battlements having loop holes built into the construction for riflemen. From the ramparts also defenders could avail themselves of  a cannon, a two-inch swivel gun.

Bent's Old Fort primarily a trading post those travelers along the Santa Fe Trail finding the fort a brief respite and surcease from an arduous nine hundred mile [1,500 kilometer] journey. Obtain victuals, repair wagons, trade and obtain the latest news and gossip.

And a refuge from "hostiles" if necessary.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Open Skies!!

This is coolbert:

Open Skies the treaty now in jeopardy?

Either in abeyance or now made null and void by the crisis in Ukraine?

At least for American and NATO aircraft no more over-flights of Russia.

BUT the Russians still allowed to continue with surveillance of the United States?

This is so?

Thanks to a variety of sources including Bill Gertz.

1. "Russian Spy Planes in U.S. Skies"

"The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military and American intelligence agencies have quietly pushed the White House in recent weeks to deny a new Russian surveillance plane the right to fly over U.S. territory. This week, the White House finally began consideration of the decision whether to certify the new Russian aircraft under the so-called 'Open Skies Treaty.' And now the question becomes: Will the spies and generals get their way?"

. . . .

"At issue is the Open Skies Treaty. First signed in 1992 and finally ratified in 2002, the treaty adopted by 34 nations allows the safe passage of planes equipped with advanced cameras and sensors that give governments the imagery and data they use to assess everything from compliance with arms control treaties to troop movements."

2. "Flying Blind, Russia Blocks U.S. from Treaty-Approved Spy Flights"

"The Russian government this week canceled a planned U.S. surveillance flight over Russian territory in a bid to limit spying on massed troops facing off against Ukraine and Eastern Europe, according to U.S. officials."

. . . .

"The Russian cancellation of the flight comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West over the crisis in Ukraine, where Russian troops militarily annexed the Crimean peninsula last month and continue to foment pro-Russian unrest in the eastern part of the country."

Open Skies as originally proposed during the Eisenhower Administration and not becoming a done-deal for four decades subsequent now apparently in a time of crisis yet more victim of international machinations and we are all the worse for it too.



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Daily Mail online and the tip from Freeper we have news of the SR-72. Alleged American spy plane.

Manned or unmanned? A drone for surveillance and high-altitude high-speed reconnaissance flights or a combat warplane? NONE of this is clear. And should NOT be!

 "Is THIS America's newest top-secret spy plane? Clearest picture yet of mystery aircraft spotted flying over Kansas just weeks after being seen in Texas"

This wedge-shaped object is not hypersonic and cannot cross an "entire continent" in  a hour? More likely the RQ-180 steal recce drone?

•"A new image shows a mysterious aircraft flying over Kansas"
•"The jet appears to be the same one that was spotted over Texas last month"
•"Photographer Jeff Templin says it may have been as high as passenger jets"
•"A retired Marine previously said the mysterious plane is the SR-72"
•"The SR-72 is designed to cross entire continents in less than an hour"
•"Developers at Lockheed Martin say the plane could be operational by 2030"

. . . .

"The Aviationist speculates that the plane could be a RQ-180 stealth drone or a prototype of America's next generation long range strike bomber (LSRB)."

NOT operational until 2030? Seems like a long way off.

And those contrails [condensation trails] have got to go! How stealthy is a combat warplane when it leaves a distinct and highly visible trail behind.


Thursday, April 17, 2014


This is coolbert:


Yet once more please do not think that merely with the end of the Second World War [WW2] in Europe [V-E Day], that the murder and atrocity came to an abrupt and final end!

 Those as designated Trophy Brigades of the Red Army looting and pillaging on a massive even apocalyptic scale. Organized and institutionalized the contrast with the random and almost casual theft by allied troops most apparent.

"The plunder and looting of art and other treasures was not limited to the Third Reich.... The Soviet and American armies also participated, the former more thoroughly and systematically, the latter at the level of individuals stealing for personal gain."

"The term trophy art is used for the cultural objects that were taken by the Red Army and the Soviet Trophy Brigades from occupied Germany to the Soviet Union after World War II."

NOR was the theft and pillage by the Red Army confined strictly to Germany proper. Where ever the Red Army marched in eastern Europe such theft on a massive basis occurred.

The "collecting" of art works by Goering and his various Nazi minions well known. Even just recently that "treasure trove" of  art recently found, the provenance and ownership undetermined.

"PHOTOS: See the German hoarder who had $1 billion stash of stolen Nazi art"

"79-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt of Munich had some 1,400 paintings in his possession, which are valued at more than $1 billion and are believed to have been pillaged by Nazis — mostly from Jewish owners — during World War II. Gurlitt only offered a cryptic response when approached by journalists: 'Applause from the wrong side is the worst thing there is.'"

Red Army Trophy Brigade activity from that same period much less know. Indeed, little if anything ever made apparent to the outside world until only around the time of the break-up of the old Soviet Union"

"In what has been called one of the most important pieces of investigative journalism ever undertaken in the art world, Konstantin Akinsha and Grigorii Kozlov tell the story of how the Russians stole millions of art objects from European museums and private collectors in the final days of World War II and hid them away for fifty years. The Nazi confiscation of art from Jewish families and occupied countries has been well documented, but the story of what happened to the art after the Nazis were defeated in 1945 was virtually unknown until recently. Secret "trophy brigades" were established early in 1945, with specific instructions from Stalin to remove art from Germany and ship it back to the USSR on special trains. This operation began while the fighting was still going on and was conducted at a frenzied pace for several months. It was the most prodigious transport operation of artworks in the history of mankind. Trophies were being removed from Germany as late as 1948. Works by such masters as Botticelli, El Greco, Goya, Delacroix, Picasso, Velazquez, Matisse, Renoir, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, and Degas made their way to the Soviet Union. It was not until the late 1980s, when the Soviet Union began to dissolve, that it was possible to piece together this story. Akinsha and Kozlov were instrumental in revealing it to the West and in forcing Russian authorities to acknowledge the existence of the secret depositories. The Hermitage exhibited its collection of previously hidden Impressionist paintings early in 1995, but the Russians have been adamant in their refusal to return the stolen things, and the fate of the trophy art continues to be hotly debated."

See the whole story here:

"Top Ten ARTnews Stories: Tracking the Trophy Brigade"

That Russian even know refusing to return to the rightful owners art works and other valuables. Legislated theft now apparently a done-deal!

 "In 1998, and after considerable controversy, Russia passed the Federal Law on Cultural Valuables Displaced to the USSR as a Result of the Second World War and Located on the Territory of the Russian Federation to legalize the possession of the stolen art works and to prevent any restitution."

These "looted" items never to be returned to the rightful owners, the provenance not ever to be fully established. These paintings and other treasures too improperly stored for decades now [?], deterioration perhaps having occurred, much to the disgrace of Soviet/Russian authorities?


Amelia & MH370.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune of several weeks ago:


"Vanishing into thin air"

"Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 recalls Earhart flight in '37"

Those Chicago Tribune banner headlines subsequent to 2 July 1937:







The famous American woman pilot Amelia Earhart on her around-the-world flight having disappeared many decades ago, her final fate never determined with certainty.

Earhart at that exact moment in time perhaps of the half-dozen to dozen most recognized women in the world.

As with the current missing airliner MH370 search-and-rescue [SAR] efforts strenuous and continuing for weeks after her disappearance. But neither wreckage or bodies or debris or ANYTHING DEFINITIVE EVER FOUND!

And everlasting mystery so it seems.


High-altitude photography of Japanese Pacific installations a possible. From Lae, New Guinea a slight detour en route to Howland Island the high-flying Lockheed as piloted by Amelia could have passed over the Japanese naval base at Rabaul?

That high-flying and properly equipped Lockheed Electra as flown by Earhart indeed as used by the British Secret Intelligence Service [MI-6] for aerial reconnaissance of German military facilities in those years just prior to World War Two [WW2].

Private citizens as intelligence gathering assets during that period also not unusual.

That private oceanic-going yacht of the American multi-millionaire David Astor [a close personal confidant of President Roosevelt] also dispatched on an intelligence gathering mission, results scant to nil!

That American SAR mission in the aftermath of the disappearance more extensive than normal and the military dimension unmistakable?

A battleship, an aircraft carrier and four destroyers in addition to an American Coast Guard cutter already on the scene spending some weeks searching but to no avail.

The truth is out there but never will be found? This I believe to be so!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


This is coolbert:

We have been aware of the "Nine Dash Line".

NOW to that add the "10-Dash Line".

As duly noted and reported by the Filipino media.

"China's new '10-dash line map' eats into Philippine territory"

Further claims and encroachment by the Chinese into what is deemed as Filipino Economic Exclusion Zone [EEZ].

Apparently included within the Chinese Ten-Dash line claim of sovereignty Scarborough Shoals.

All areas within the dashed line area as claimed by China.

"The Philippines has protested China's recent publication of a new "10-dash line" map that places sprawling offshore territories it claims within Beijing's "national boundaries," officials said Friday."

. . .

"The new Chinese map, which was first published last January by China's state mapping authority Sinomap Press, features 10 dash lines instead of nine dash lines to mark a huge swath of the South China Sea in a tongue-shaped encirclement as Chinese territory."

. . . .

"China's nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea, it added, "encroaches on the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Philippines" and in Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal, site of a standoff last year between Chinese and Philippine ships."

The beat goes on.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014


This is coolbert:

NOT forgotten this blog entry from almost six years ago now.

The significance of which cannot be minimized when taken within the current Ukraine context.

Moldova and Trans-Dneister.

"Here is another Russian-speaking area, Moldova/Trans-Dneister, not contiguous to the Russian 'motherland', where we may see future agitation and strife. Conflict leading to military action on the part of the Russian. An embattled and 'mis-treated' Russian minority, desiring succor and eventual reunification with 'Big Brother' in Moscow?"

Moldova sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine. That area in red along the Dneister river the population of which predominantly Russian-speaking.

"Breakdown of ethnic groups (2005)":

"32% Moldovans 31% Russians 29% Ukrainians"

A conflict having the potentiality of the proverbial "civilizational clash". Language, history, and religion! A volatile and dangerous mix.

Moldova/Trans-Dneister NOT having a contiguous border with the Russian Federation. BUT having a large and restive Russian-speaking population.

That Russian-speaking populace of Moldova/Trans-Dneister concentrated too, that area along the Dneister river predominantly Russian ethnics. Where there is concentration of focused energy there is strength!

Rumania I bring to your attention a constituent member of NATO!