Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Truth or Hoax...Disappearence...
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Truth or Hoax...Disappearence of F89

Harley L. Sachs - October 19th, 2006
Editor’s note: the following is a recap of a story being circulated among UFO buffs on the Internet. The existence of the “Great Lakes Dive Co.” could not be verified at press time.

Late on November 23, 1953 radar from Kinross airbase detected an unidentified flying object over Lake Superior. An F89 jet fighter with a crew of two, pilot Felix Moncla and radar observer Robert Wilson, were dispatched to investigate. At one point the radar images of the plane and the object appeared to merge and then they disappeared. What happened to the plane and the object it was sent to investigate has been a closely guarded secret for over 50 years.
I was asked at one time to interview one of the air force personnel on duty at the time, but he refused to reveal anything about the incident, saying it was classified. Now it appears that the plane and the object it collided with have both been found by the Great Lakes Dive Company. The wreckage is lying on the bottom of Lake Superior about 40 miles off Keweenaw Point just inside the US and Canadian border.
Dirk Vander Ploeg, the editor and publisher of UFODigest.com and PsiTalk.com, obtained a censored copy of the government report for his published story of the incident. It reads in part “Aircraft took off at 2322 Zebra 23 Nov 53 on an active Air Defense Mission to intercept an unknown aircraft approximately 160 miles Northwest of Kinross Air Force Base. The aircraft was under radar control throughout the interception. At approximately 2352 Zebra the last radio contact was made by
the radar station controlling the interception. At approximately 2355 Zebra the unknown aircraft and the F-89 merged together on the radar scope. Shortly thereafter the IFF signal disappeared from the radar scope. No further contact was established with the F-89. (The next 16 or so letters as well as the entire next sentence have been blacked out by Air Force censors) An extensive aerial search has revealed no trace of the aircraft. The aircraft and its crew are still missing.”

Because it was late November, winter weather prevented further searches. Though the approximate location of where the plane was last observed on radar was known, its exact location had been a mystery until late last year.
According to information being circulated on the Internet, the engineers of Great Lakes Dive Company look for shipwrecks. Many treasure hunters gamble that an investment in an expedition will yield valuable finds. What the dive company investors were after was the treasure ship Gunilda which lies in over 200 feet of water. Unfortunately, they had difficulty with their new sonar equipment and once they got it working it was too late in the year. They decided instead to look for the missing F-89 where it was last reported. Sure enough, they found a plane, unmistakably an F-89 Scorpion – given that name because of the raised tail.
They returned to the site with side-scan sonar this summer and revealed the results in August. No other such plane is reported down in Lake Superior. The sunken plane’s canopy is intact, so there is no indication that the crew bailed out. One wing is sheered off. Close examination of the damaged tail confirmed the tail number.
They not only found the plane but their equipment located something else -- a half buried metallic object with the exposed part about 8-by-15 feet resembling the bulge often depicted at the center of a flying saucer. It’s not the missing wing of the F-89 and marks on it analyzed by enhanced imaging match the shape of the nacelle of the Scorpion in collision.
Vander Ploeg quotes Great Lakes Dive Co. spokesman Adam Jimenez in the August 29 issue of Americanchronicle.com: “We have not been able to confirm that the bodies of the two pilots are inside the aircraft”, explained Adam Jimenez, spokesman for the company, “but with the canopy intact, one would assume that would be the case. However, the ROV survey would tell the tale.” (Assuming that a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) is used on a follow-up search.)

It’s still mysterious how the wreckage could be as intact as it is. The collision must have happened at a slow speed. The Great Lakes Dive crew are eager to go back but they have run into a bureaucratic snag. The plane lies near the international border. The Canadians won’t let the diving company resume their search for the treasure ship without being told the exact location of the F-89. If they don’t go after the treasure ship -- the original purpose of their expedition -- the investors will be unhappy. The U.S. Coast Guard reportedly also wants to know the exact location of the plane and the mysterious UFO. They may lay claim to the salvage site.
Though many people believe the whole UFO thing is silly, it has a sinister side to it. It’s been the policy of the U.S. government to deny the existence of UFOs. That has only encouraged the cult phenomenon of UFO believers. There are rumors in the world of UFO aficionados that anyone who knows the facts and reveals them will be killed. Of note, the company’s website, www.greatlakesdive.com, is no longer in service. Of course, conspiracy theorists will claim the Dive company was forced to shut down the web site on pain of death.
My daughter in New Mexico bought the home of a photographer who had been called to the scene of the UFO crash in Roswell. When he returned to the scene with his camera he discovered that all traces of the wreckage had been removed by the U.S. government. He himself refused to ever reveal what he saw there. Was he sworn to secrecy on pain of death? I suspect that the Great Lakes Dive people are afraid that the U.S. Coast Guard will seize anything they bring up from the F-89 site.
Fortunately, the photos are now posted on the World Wide Web and readily available. Just Google the Great Lakes Dive company
F-89 story and you’ll find pictures to prove their story.
The following is a response to the Internet stories provided by Brendon Baillod, a noted authority with the Great Lakes Shipwreck Research center in Wisconsin.

Evidence of a Hoax...

By Brendon Baillod

I have spent considerable time research-ing the claims of Adam Jimenez et al.  Mr. Jimenez is likely a 46-year-old Air Force employee from Oscoda, Michigan stationed at Wurtsmith AFB.  His website, which has been taken down, is registered to a P.O. box in Emeryville, CA.  That said, I do think his claims are based on an elaborate hoax. 
I do a great deal of wreck hunting on Lake Superior with side scan sonar and I’m very familiar with side scan technology.  My wreckhunting partner, Harry Zych, is a well known professional salvor based out of Chicago.  The sidescan we use (a digital Klein) costs over $100,000, as does the Seasmart ROV that we use for filming deep wrecks.  The only reason we can afford to search deep water in Lake Superior is that Harry has a successful marine salvage business, mostly under contract to major insurance companies.  I consider it unlikely that any avocational group could come in completely under the radar with the kind of pricey equipment necessary to do the searching claimed. 
Further, I am very active in Great Lakes wreck hunting and maritime history circles and I consider it very odd that I’ve never heard of Mr. Jimenez or his group.  The Great Lakes wreck hunting and maritime history community is very close knit and we all know each other. Jimenez would have to be extremely discreet in order to have done significant searches without anyone in the mainstream Great Lakes maritime community hearing about it.  I currently serve as a directory at large for the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, an umbrella organization com-prised of every Great Lakes museum, library and historical society.  None of the institutional members I spoke with had ever heard of Mr. Jimenez outside of the recent hype and none had ever met him.
That said, the sidescan images that were on the website seem to be authentic sidescan images.  However, I do believe Mr. Jimenez could have acquired them through his work with the Air Force.  His claim that the images were made with a traditional fish finder routed through Sharc2 software seems incredible, particularly in 500 feet of water.  I’ve scanned in 500 feet of water with a state of the art commercial sidescan and didn’t get images nearly as good as theirs.  Further, it’s generally necessary to use a depressor wing to get the fish deep enough to yield high resolution images of the kind shown.  That requires a power winch because almost 500 lbs of downward thrust is generated by most high quality deep towfish.  Their images were NOT generated from a hull mounted fish finder transducer.  They were definitely generated with a deep towfish IF they truly come from deep water.
I’ve also never heard of the Great Lakes Dive Company and I know a number of groups that are involved in deep work project like those stated by GLDC (French Minesweepers, Gunilda, etc).  None of those groups are familiar with Jimenez.  I personally think that if the claims were legitimate, you’d see additional peoples’ names associated with the claim and you’d see more images of the target on their website.  You’d also see them discussed on websites other than UFO and paranormal sites.  The fact that their chosen media outlets are the UFO and sensationalism sites suggests that they prefer to avoid scrutiny from the mainstream.
I also think it is unlikely that they could have found the plane based on the size of the search grid without being extremely lucky.  Lake Superior weather is notoriously bad and their stated reason for abandoning the mine sweeper search (late season weather) pretty much precludes a far offshore deepwater search.  The minesweeper search is far closer to shore and in safer waters than the Scorpion search grid.  The Scorpion grid is also VERY large and VERY far from shore.  They would have needed a few weeks on a large vessel to cover even a portion of the search grid.  Unless they have corporate sponsorship, or a wealthy benefactor, I consider the search unlikely. 

I must admit, I didn’t see their entire website before it was taken down and perhaps it would have provided more information.  It is possible that this group came out of nowhere and had fantastic luck with primitive equipment.  They definitely use terminology that suggests they are superficially familiar with search technology.  However, their claim that they used a fish finder with Sharc2 software to produce their images from 500 ft of water pretty much debunks it for me.  Also, their disappearing website suggests that this was a hoax.  I expect their website participated in a link click through program that generated revenue for them based on site traffic.  Mr. Jimenez may also have been told to take the site down by the Air Force, if he is still an employee.

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