The Millstone In The Sea (Revelation 18:21)

Why Is Russia Pointing Nuclear Missiles at Asteroids?

Surprise! Russia’s not the only one painting a bull’s-eye on space rocks.

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Chelyabinsk meteor caught on car dashcam, Feb. 15, 2013. Image source: Aleksandr Ivanov via Wikimedia Commons.

On Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, the asteroid 99942 Apophis came within 0.1 astronomical units (A.U.) of striking Earth, carrying a force of 100,000 Hiroshima bombs, and potentially wiping out mankind.
That sounds pretty scary, until you realize that one whole “A.U.” is the distance from the Earth to the Sun, and that therefore, Apophis missed us by about 9 million miles. Nevertheless, astronomers are still not 100% certain that the next time Apophis comes a-calling — on Friday the 13th, April 2029 — it will miss again. Scientists think that Apophis will miss the Earth by about 18,000 miles then. But there’s still a “less than 1-in-45,000 chance” that we’ll get clipped.

And even if we dodge that bullet, the orbital courses of Earth and Apophis will “intersect” again in 2036, producing yet another (hopefully smaller) chance of our getting whacked by this 300-meterwide space rock.

Russia doesn’t want to take that chance.

Apocalypse Now… or Armageddon soon?

After all, Russia had an up-close-and-personal experience with a wandering asteroid on Feb. 15, 2013, when a meteor exploded in the skies high above Chelyabinsk, releasing energy equal to more than 20 Hiroshimas before it hit Earth’s atmosphere, and injuring some 1,500 residents. Worried that an even larger asteroid such as Apophis might one day strike Earth, Russian scientists are taking steps to ensure it doesn’t. According to state news agency TASS, Russia has begun repurposing part of its nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile arsenal for asteroid destruction duty.

Why use ICBMs? According to TASS, most civilian rockets are powered by liquid rocket fuel and must be filled up before launch — a process that can take 10 days. But asteroids don’t always give 10 days’ warning before popping up on our space radar. In particular, for small, previously unspotted space rocks, the alarms may start sounding just hours before impact. NASA says we find about 1,500 new near-Earth objects (NEOs) every year. While most of the larger asteroids are present and accounted for, medium-size asteroids — those less than one kilometer in diameter — remain problematic. For those, NASA estimates we’ve still only found about 25% of what’s up there.

Solid-fueled nuclear missiles, being on launch alert 24/7, are admirably suited for a last-minute launch to blast an asteroid before it turns into a meteor. Russia’s ICBMs aren’t currently programmed to aim at targets above the Earth, however, and will need to be repurposed for such missions. That’s what Russia hopes to do — and with Apophis swinging ’round in just over a decade, Russia thinks the asteroid makes a tempting target for testing its redesign.

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U.S. Minuteman III missile at launch. Image source: U.S. Air Force.

Great minds shoot alike

And Russia isn’t alone. Earlier this year, NASA set up a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) to — you guessed it — defend the planet from asteroids. In furtherance of that goal, PDCO has been tasked with tracking down 90% of all NEO asteroids by 2020.

Such an ambitious goal will cost money. Indeed, according to website DigitalTrends.com, “millions … in federal money is set to pour into detection efforts” over the coming years. National Defense magazine puts the number at at least $50 million annually, citing the recently passed fiscal year 2016 budget. This naturally raises the question in investors’ minds:

Who will get the loot?

ND identifies several likely suspects who could win these funds, including big defense contractors Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and Raytheon (NYSE:RTN). Lockheed is the company in charge of building NASA’s Space Fence, designed to keep track of man-made junk orbiting Earth. Lockheed and Raytheon both bid on the contract in 2013 — but only Lockheed won it. Similarly, Lockheed Martin and Ball Aerospace (NYSE:BLL) helped to build NASA’s NEOWISE infrared telescope,specifically designed to detect and track NEOs.

Multiple historic contract wins in the field of space-object detection make Lockheed Martin a logical beneficiary of any new contracts coming out of the PDCO office. Granted, $50 million might not sound like much to a company like Lockheed (which pulled down $46 billion last year, and is NASA’s single biggest publicly traded contractor). It might seem even less significant, given that Lockheed won’t win all the contracts coming up for bid, and might have to share some of the loot with Raytheon, Ball, or others. But $50 million could be only the starting point.

ND calls $50 million “a drop in the bucket” compared to what it will ultimately cost to categorize all NEO threats, much less develop a means of defeating them. To cite just one example of contracts moving in that direction, in 2022, NASA aims to send a spaceship to asteroid 65803 Didymous in an ambitious experiment to try to push the object into a new orbit far from Earth’s own. Once we know who’s bidding on that contract, we’ll be sure to update you on their chances.

For now, the upshot is this: As time goes by and PDCO ramps up its work “protecting the planet,” that $50 million number could swell — and this could be swell news for companies like Lockheed and its peers.

Babylon Puts Pressure On Pakistani Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

US asks Pakistan to reduce its nuclear arsenal

PTI | Mar 1, 2016, 04.58 PM IST
Secretary of state John Kerry and Pakistan foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz at the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue meeting in Washington. (AP photo)

Highlights

WASHINGTON: The US has pressed Pakistan to reduce its growing nuclear arsenal but Islamabad has refused to accept any curbs on it saying America must show “greater understanding” of its security concerns in South Asia.

Citing the example of the US and Russia which are working to further reduce their nuclear arsenals, secretary of state John Kerry asked Pakistan to understand this reality and review its nuclear policy.The nuclear issue was discussed during security talks held here on Monday as part of the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue.
“I think, it is important for Pakistan to really process that reality and put that front and centre in its policy,” Kerry said in an apparent reference to the reports that Pakistan has the fastest growing stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world.

His remarks come ahead of this month’s Nuclear Security Summit to be hosted here by President Barack Obama that would be attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“We look forward to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s participation in the nuclear security summit next month,” Kerry said, adding “non-proliferation” and “nuclear safety” is of obvious concern to both countries.

“I expect that we continue to discuss the obligation of being a responsible state with nuclear weapons in the coming year,” he said.

“As you know United States of America once had 50,000 (nuclear) warheads pointing at another country/entity the Soviet Union. Soviet Union had 50,000 pointing at us. It took two Presidents (Mikhail) Gorbachev and (Ronald) Reagan to decide that this did not make sense,” Kerry said.

“We have moved in a completely opposite direction. And today, Russia and the United States are operating under a treaty that has about 1500 or so nuclear warheads and we are seeking to reduce that,” said the top American diplomat.

On the other hand, Aziz sought nuclear mainstreaming of Pakistan.

The Sixth Seal by Nostradamus (Revelation 6:12)

The Sixth Seal by Nostradamus

To Andrew the Prophet
Completed February 5, 2008

Nostradamus and the New City

Nostradamus and the New City

Les Propheties
(Century 1 Quatrain 27)

Michel de Nostredame Earth-shaking fire from the center of the earth.Will cause the towers around the New City to shake,Two great rocks for a long time will make war, And then Arethusa will color a new river red.(And then areth USA will color a new river red.) Earth-shaking fire from the center of the earth.Will cause the towers around the New City to shake,Two great rocks for a long time will make war

There is recent scientific evidence from drill core sampling in Manhattan, that the southern peninsula is overlapped by several tectonic plates. Drill core sampling has been taken from regions south of Canal Street including the Trade Towers’ site. Of particular concern is that similar core samples have been found across the East River in Brooklyn. There are also multiple fault lines along Manhattan correlating with north-northwest and northwest trending neo-tectonic activity. And as recently as January and October of 2001, New York City has sustained earthquakes along these plates. For there are “two great rocks” or tectonic plates that shear across Manhattan in a northwestern pattern. And these plates “for a longtime will make war”, for they have been shearing against one other for millions of years. And on January 3 of 2010, when they makewar with each other one last time, the sixth seal shall be opened, and all will know that the end is near.

And then Arethusa will color a new river red.

Arethusa is a Greek mythological figure, a beautiful huntress and afollower of the goddess Artemis. And like Artemis, Arethusa would have nothing to do with me; rather she loved to run and hunt in the forest. But one day after an exhausting hunt, she came to a clear crystal stream and went in it to take a swim. She felt something from beneath her, and frightened she scampered out of the water. A voice came from the water, “Why are you leaving fair maiden?” She ran into the forest to escape, for the voice was from Alpheus, the god of the river. For he had fallen in love with her and became a human to give chase after her. Arethusa in exhaustion called out to Artemis for help, and the goddess hid her by changing her into a spring.But not into an ordinary spring, but an underground channel that traveled under the ocean from Greece to Sicily. But Alpheus being the god of the river, converted back into water and plunged downthe same channel after Arethusa. And thus Arethusa was captured by Artemis, and their waters would mingle together forever. And of great concern is that core samples found in train tunnels beneath the Hudson River are identical to those taken from southern Manhattan. Furthermore, several fault lines from the 2001 earthquakes were discovered in the Queen’s Tunnel Complex, NYC Water Tunnel #3. And a few years ago, a map of Manhattan drawn up in 1874 was discovered, showing a maze of underground waterways and lakes. For Manhattan was once a marshland and labyrinth of underground streams. Thus when the sixth seal is broken, the subways of the New City shall be flooded be Arethusa:the waters from the underground streams and the waters from the sea. And Arethusa shall be broken into two. And then Arethusa will color a new river red.

And then areth USA will color a new river red.

For Arethusa broken into two is areth USA. For areth (αρετη) is the Greek word for values. But the values of the USA are not based on morality, but on materialism and on wealth. Thus when the sixth seal is opened, Wall Street and our economy shall crash and “arethUSA”, the values of our economy shall fall “into the red.” “Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” (Revelation 6:15-17)

Preparing For The Dirty Bomb


ISIS Sought Nuclear Material for Dirty Bomb, Officials Believe

by PATRICK MALONE and R. JEFFREY SMITH

The full version of this story was originally published by The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.

A small video camera stashed in a row of bushes silently recorded the comings and goings of the family of a Belgian man with an important scientific pedigree last year, producing a detailed chronology of the family’s movements. At one point, two men came under cover of darkness to retrieve the camera, before driving away with their headlights off, a separate surveillance camera in the area revealed later.

The Belgian police discovered the secret film on Nov. 30 while searching the home of a man with ties to ISIS. But they became far more alarmed when they figured out that its star was a senior researcher at a Belgian nuclear center that produces a significant portion of the world’s supply of radioisotopes.
That realization quickly got the attention of the world’s counterterrorism experts.
A diagnostic tool used by hospitals and factories around the globe, radioisotopes are also capable of causing radiation poisoning and sickness, making them a potential target for terrorists seeking to build a so-called “dirty” bomb that could contaminate the downtown area of a major city, sowing panic and causing billions of dollars in financial losses.

Mohamed Bakkali, who rented the home where the films were seized in a raid, was captured on Nov. 26 and has been charged with engaging in terrorist activity and murder stemming from his alleged involvement in the Nov. 13, 2015 siege in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more.
Belgian authorities have since speculated that the group was trying to figure out a way to collect materials from the nuclear center as the first step in building a bomb.

“We can imagine that the terrorists might want to kidnap someone or kidnap his family,” so they can force their target to turn over the radioactive innards of such a device after removing the materials surreptitiously, said Nele Scheerlinck, a spokeswoman for Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control, the nation’s nuclear regulator.

Many U.S. experts consider the eventual detonation by terrorists of a dirty bomb containing radiological materials to be inevitable.

“We know that it would not require a team of nuclear physicists or even a particularly sophisticated criminal network to turn raw material into a deadly weapon,” an internal Energy Department report on the threat, designated “Official Use Only,” declared in May 2013. “In many cases, a determined lone wolf or a disgruntled insider is all it might take.

But until now, there has been no public, concrete evidence that a particular terrorist organization is aggressively pursuing the radioactive building blocks of a dirty bomb. Experts have noted that such materials are too plentiful to count precisely, but roughly estimate they are contained in more than 70,000 devices, located in at least 13,000 buildings all over the world — in many cases without special security safeguards.

“The potential for a bad outcome when you have ISIS looking at nuclear people is substantial,” said William H. Tobey, a former deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration. Several other experts said they are particularly alarmed that the incident occurred in Belgium, which they say has a troubled record on nuclear safety issues.
The researcher in question, who has not been identified, was sufficiently senior to have had broad access to sensitive sites throughout the research center. Officials declined to say if he is now under police protection.

Scheerlinck added that in the view of her colleagues, whatever was being planned would have failed, because the nation’s radiological materials are under tight control. But other Western experts are not so sure, given their belief that Belgian nuclear authorities have historically been too casual about security risks.

The Antichrist And The Mahdi (Revelation 13)

This threat is worse than ISIS: Once again, we don’t understand the real enemy 
PHIL TORRES

Terrorism is a form of communication. Through public spectacles of violence, it attempts to convey a message from relatively powerless groups — usually nonstate actors — to more powerful groups — usually states.

Without a doubt, the Islamic State has mastered the art of this form of communication. They’ve beheaded and burned alive captives, thrown homosexuals off the top of buildings, stoned women for being raped, and produced an online magazine that uses stunning high-quality images to convey their propaganda message. The Islamic State has also embraced an apocalyptic narrative that makes it highly attractive to young men looking for adventure and a sense of meaning in life. In fact, their recruitment campaign has been extremely successful, with tens of thousands of foreigners flocking to Iraq and Syria from all around the world.

For such recruits, what could be more exciting than fighting the infidels at the very terminus of world history? What could be more thrilling than clearing the way for Jesus to descend over the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus before he hunts down the Antichrist and slaughters him in the modern-day town of Lod, in Israel? (This is what the Islamic State actually believes.)

In the pursuit of fulfilling what it believes is God’s wish for humanity, the Islamic State has openly fantasized about acquiring a nuclear weapon from Pakistan (which has a history of leaking nuclear secrets), shipping it across the Atlantic, smuggling it through the “porous borders” of South America, and detonating it in a U.S. city. It’s also pondered the possibility of weaponizing the bubonic plague, and even trying to spread Ebola by infecting some of its own members and them putting them on an airplane. While the Islamic State’s initial aim was provincial — to build a caliphate in Iraq and Syria — it later expanded its ambitions with coordinated attacks outside its territories, such as in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015. And there’s evidence that an attack on the American homeland may be one of the Islamic State’s resolutions for the new year. As Vincent Stewart, who directs the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified on Capitol Hill earlier this month, the Islamic State “will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016.”
So the threat is real and ongoing. As President Obama correctly noted back in 2009, even a single nuclear device exploding somewhere on Earth “would badly destabilize our security, our economies, and our very way of life.” An exactly similar thing could be said about a bioterrorism attack, which the former secretary-general of the U.N. Kofi Annan describes as “the most important, under-addressed threat relating to terrorism.” The stakes are high today — in fact, higher than they’ve been in the past.

But the Islamic State probably isn’t the greatest long-term threat to the Middle East — or to the West. While it’s managed to gain a monopoly of media attention because of its theatrical exhibitionism, many experts believe that there are even more dangerous nonstate actors lurking in the shadows. For example, former director of the CIA David Petraeus has claimed that Shia militia in Iraq threaten the “long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium” of the Middle East more than the Islamic State.

An early militia of this sort was the Mahdi Army. It was formed by the influential Iraqi leader Muqtada al-Sadr for the express purpose of driving out the invading Western forces, and its religious ideology had an important apocalyptic twist to it. As the Islamic scholar David Cook writes, the Mahdi Army probably believed that “the purpose of the US-led invasion was to initiate an apocalyptic war — in this case, to find the Mahdi and to kill him.” The Mahdi is the end-of-days messianic figure of both Sunni and Shia Islam, although his role in each tradition is considerably different.

While this may sound like a pedantic detail of the Mahdi Army’s worldview, I’d argue, quite vigorously, that those of us in the West simply can’t understand what’s going on in the Middle East today without some sense of the eschatological beliefs that animate so many Sunnis and Shi’ites in the region.

The Mahdi Army actively fought the Coalition forces for more than half a decade, but in 2008 it spawned, and was replaced by, another Shia militia revealingly named the Promised Day Brigade. This group has since emerged as “one of the most prominent … Shiite militias operating primarily in and around Sadr City and Baghdad,” which the Islamic State failed to capture because of Shia militia resistance. (Sadr City is a suburb of Baghdad.) The Promised Day Brigade is also known to “receive training, funding and direction from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force,” an elite special forces unit that the U.S. has classified as a terrorist organization since 2007. The fact that the Promised Day Brigade is actively supported by Iran — one of the major regional powers — is why Petraeus has worried that, “Longer term, Iranian-backed Shia militia could emerge as the preeminent power in [Iraq], one that is outside the control of the government and instead answerable to Tehran.”