Friday, October 30, 2009

Marine Helicopter & Coast Guard C-130 colllide

SAN DIEGO - The Coast Guard and Navy are responding to a mid-air collision between a Department of Defense helicopter and a Coast Guard airplane 15 miles east of San Clemente Island, Calif., Thursday evening. As many as nine people are believed to missing from the crash.

At 7:10 p.m. the Navy reported to the Coast Guard that they observed what appeared to be a mid-air collision in the vicinity of San Clemente Island.

The Coast Guard responded by sending three Coast Guard cutters, and diverting an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to the area to search for survivors. The Navy sent four vessels and multiple helicopters to aid in the search.

The Coast Guard and Navy are actively searching for survivors at this time.

The Coast Guard plane was a C-130, a long-range surveillance and transport, fixed-wing aircraft that is used to perform a wide variety of missions. There were seven people aboard the plane.

The helicopter was an AH-1 Cobra, similar to the AH-1W Super Cobra, the helicopter that crashed near Alpine in May taking the lives of two Marine Corps pilots.

The AH-1 Cobra helicopter was part of the 3rd Marine Air Wing Light Attack Squadron. There were two pilots aboard the helicopter.

San Clemente Island, the southernmost of the eight Channel Islands, is 68 miles west of San Diego.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Northwest Pilots Were On Their Personal Laptops


The pilots of the Northwest Airlines flight that flew far past the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport last week told investigators that they had been distracted from their duties by a discussion of a new computerized crew-scheduling system that the airline was introducing.

“Both said they lost track of time,” said an interim report released Monday afternoon by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Pilots put in “bids” for routes or work shifts by computer, and both men took out their personal computers in the cockpit, a violation of company policy, the safety board said. The first officer was more familiar with the new system and was explaining it to the captain, the report said.

Both were highly experienced pilots. Capt. Timothy B. Cheney, 53, of Gig Harbor, Wash., was hired in 1985 and had 20,000 hours of experience, about half of it in A-320s, the kind of plane the crew was flying last Wednesday, between San Diego and Minneapolis. First Officer Richard I. Cole, 54, of Salem, Ore., was hired in 1997 and had about 11,000 hours of experience.

“Neither pilot was aware of the airplane’s position until a flight attendant called about five minutes before they were scheduled to land and asked what was their estimated time of arrival,” the interim report said. By that time, they were still at 37,000 feet and more than 100 miles beyond their destination.

There is no procedure for flight attendants to check on pilots during flight. Before the airplane hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001, flight attendants casually entered the cockpit as a plane was cruising, but since the terrorist attacks, cockpit doors have been reinforced and are locked during flights.

In separate interviews totaling more than five hours, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Cole told investigators they had not been napping or arguing during the flight. The cockpit voice recorder captured only the last 30 minutes of conversation, some of it on the ground after landing, but investigators said they would try to use the flight data recorder, which captured the entire flight, including use of radios, to determine the type of crew activity.

Three DEA agents among dead in Afghanistan chopper crashes

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Fourteen Americans died in two helicopter crashes in Afghanistan on Monday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said: 10 in one incident and four in the other.

Three Drug Enforcement Administration special agents were among the dead, according to the DEA, which did not identify them.
The agents were first DEA agents to be killed in Afghanistan.

"Like all those who give their lives in service to America, they were doing their duty, and they were doing this nation proud," President Obama said at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.

"Now, it is our duty, as a nation, to keep their memory alive in our hearts and to carry on their work, to take care of their families, to keep our country safe," Obama said.

It was the largest number of Americans killed in Afghanistan in a single day in more than four years, according to CNN records.
The NATO force ruled out enemy fire in the crash that killed four Americans and said enemy action was not thought to be the cause of the other.

A helicopter went down in the west of the country after a raid on suspected drug traffickers. Seven U.S. service members and three U.S. civilians were killed, according to an ISAF statement. Fourteen Afghan service members, 11 U.S. service members and one U.S. civilian were injured in the crash.

Monday's crash marked the second-deadliest incident in the agency's 36-year history, according to entries on the DEA's Web site.

The deadliest incident for the DEA occurred August 27, 1994, when a plane carrying five special agents crashed in the Peruvian Andes during a reconnaissance mission, according to the DEA's Web site.

One of Monday's helicopter crashes occurred after the helicopter was returning from a raid on a compound, ISAF said.

The joint international security force killed more than a dozen enemy fighters while searching the compound, ISAF said. The site was thought to harbor insurgents tied to narcotics trafficking in western Afghanistan.

The militants were killed in a firefight when insurgents confronted the joint force.
As the force was leaving, a helicopter "went down due to unconfirmed reasons," ISAF said. A recovery operation was launched.

DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart said the crash occurred as the agents and seven U.S. service members were returning "from a completed, joint counternarcotics mission."

"DEA is an extremely tight family, and the death of these three brave agents is a devastating loss for us," she said in a written statement.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the circumstances of the crash were under investigation.

"I want to express my deepest condolences to the families of these heroic agents," Holder said in a written statement.

"During this difficult time, the families of these agents are foremost in our thoughts and prayers."

In Monday's other deadly crash, four U.S. service members were killed when two helicopters apparently collided in the air in southern Afghanistan. Two other NATO service members were injured.

"The incident is currently being investigated, but it is confirmed that hostile fire was not involved," ISAF said.

"Each and every death is a tremendous loss for the family and friends of each service member and civilian. Our grief is compounded when we have such a significant loss on one day," Col. Wayne Shanks, an ISAF spokesman, said in a written statement.

ISAF is not announcing the names of the dead or which branch of the service they were in, pending the notification of their relatives.

The DEA has had a presence in Afghanistan for four years. The agency said Monday that it is increasing its presence in Kabul to up to about 50 agents.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Death Toll Rises in Baghdad Bombings

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- The death toll from twin car bombings in Baghdad climbed to 160, with hundreds more wounded in the deadliest attack in the capital in more than two years, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

At least 540 people were wounded in Sunday's attacks.
One of the bombs exploded outside Baghdad's governorate building, the other outside the justice ministry. The bombs detonated in quick succession about 10:30 a.m., officials said.

Among the wounded were three American security contractors, the U.S. Embassy said, declining to provide further details. The area struck is close to the heavily guarded "green zone," which houses the embassy.

The blasts sparked questions about Iraq's security and national elections planned for January.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who visited the scene shortly after the explosions, said holding the elections as scheduled would send a strong message to the attackers.

"The cowardly attack ... should not affect the determination of the Iraqi people from continuing their battle against the deposed regime and the gangs of criminal Baath party, and the terrorist al Qaeda organization,'" al-Maliki said in a statement.

U.S. President Barack Obama called the attacks an attempt to derail progress in Iraq, and pledged to work closely with the country as it prepares for elections. Obama spoke with the prime minister and President Jalal Talabani to express his condolences and reiterate U.S. support.

In August, more than 100 people were killed in a series of bombings that led to tightened security in Baghdad. Blast walls were installed across the city and checkpoints added.

Two years earlier, three truck bombings had killed hundreds in Qahtaniya, in northern Iraq. Sunday's attacks were the deadliest on Iraqi civilians since the blasts in August 2007.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mig 27 crashes in India

NEW DELHI, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - An Indian Air Force (IAF) MIG-27 Flogger ground support aircraft crashed Friday in northeast India, the country's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The aircraft was on a routine training flight when it went down near the Hashimara Air Force Station in the state of West Bengal.

The pilot ejected safely and there were no casualties on the ground. An inquiry has been ordered to investigate the causes of the accident, the ministry said.

The incident is the second MiG-27 crash and the ninth IAF aircraft accident this year. Another MiG-27 crashed in northwest India in May, injuring seven people on the ground.

The MiG-27 aircraft was originally built in the former Soviet Union in the mid-1970s before it was licensed to be produced in India.

Known as the Bahadhur (Brave) in the IAF, the MiG-27s form eight operational squadrons.

According to the military, the current upgrade program will keep the MiG-27 operational for another 10 years.

Black Hawk Helicopter Crashes on Navy ship

1 dead, 8 injured in helicopter crash on Navy ship

NORFOLK, Va. — An Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed on a Navy ship during training, killing one service member and injuring eight, the Navy said.

Service members were rappelling down a rope from the helicopter to the USNS Arctic around 8 p.m. Thursday off the Virginia coast near Fort Story when the crash happened, Navy spokeswoman Lt. J. G. Megan Issac said.

The helicopter crashed into the ship's stern and ended up on its side, Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, commander of the Military Sealift Command, said at a news conference Friday morning at Naval Station Norfolk. A small fire on the ship's deck was quickly extinguished.

The cause of the crash was being investigated.

A second helicopter took the injured people to a hospital for treatment. None had life threatening injuries, Issac said.

Names of the dead and injured and their service affiliations were not immediately released.

"We deeply regret that it occurred, but unfortunately, it is part of the business we do at sea," Buzby said.

Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Phil Rosi said the training exercise involved the two Army helicopters and members of a Naval Special Warfare unit.

"It was a routine visit, board, search and seizure exercise that takes place between Army and Navy units on a fairly regular basis," Buzby said, adding that ships like the Arctic are used because they are similar to merchant ships.

The exercise trains the service members on how to quickly board a ship that might be threatened by pirates or terrorists, for instance, Buzby said.

The Arctic has returned to Naval Station Norfolk, and the damaged helicopter remained aboard the ship.

The Arctic was damaged and will be repaired quickly. Its deck had superficial damage where the helicopter landed, but the ship's propulsion was not affected.

Officials said the Arctic has no official home port but frequents naval stations in Norfolk and Earle, N.J.

The Associated Press

F-16s were "prepared" to shoot down Northwest Airlines Flight

Armed F-16s from the Wisconsin Air National Guard were on the runway and "prepared" to shoot down the errant Northwest flight if the order had come, a NORAD spokesperson, Mike Kucharek told

Air traffic controllers feared Northwest Flight 188, from San Diego to Minneapolis, might have been hijacked after its pilots failed to respond to radio transmissions for more than an hour. NORAD ordered at least two planes scrambled at the guard facility in Madison, Wisconsin.

The NORAD spokesman said the F-16s, normally armed with 500 rounds of air cannon bullets and six air-to-air missiles, were on the runway when the alert was canceled once the pilots finally made contact with FAA controllers.

Air traffic controllers reported the pilots initially failed to respond to commands as it passed from the air space controlled by the FAA Denver Center into the area controlled by the Minneapolis Center.

The concern grew as the pilots ignored a command from the Minneapolis approach controllers to begin a descent for landing.

The National Counterterrorism Center in Washington was notified, and authorities began to scrutinize the passenger list, according to Pierre Thomas and Jason Ryan of ABC News.

Once contact was re-established, after an hour and 18 minutes of silence, the controllers ordered the pilots to carry out a series of zigzag maneuvers in order to prove "the pilots had command and control of the craft," according to people briefed on the incident.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Northwest Flight Overshoots Airport/Pilots possibly asleep!

Editors note: Gird your loins Northwest - wait until Leno & Letterman get hold of this!

A Northwest Airlines flight approaching Minneapolis Wednesday night lost contact with controllers for more than an hour and overshot its destination by about 150 miles before circling back to land. Federal safety regulators are investigating the incident as a possible case of pilots nodding off, according to government and airline-industry officials familiar with the matter.

Controllers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport were able to re-establish contact with the Airbus A320, after a one hour and 18 minute lapse, before the plane, flight 188 en route from San Diego, landed safely and without injuries to the 147 passengers, according to a statement from the National Transportation Safety Board.

A Northwest flight overshoots its destination by more than 100 miles, prompting questions about whether the pilots were nodding off. WSJ's Andy Pasztor and Gabriel Kahn discuss the latest developments in the inquiry in the News Hub.
The NTSB said controllers lost contact with the aircraft while it was cruising at 37,000 feet, but didn't say how far from the airport the plane was at the time.

The NTSB said the pilots were interviewed after landing by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and airport police. The pilots told law- enforcement officials they had been engaged in a "heated discussion over airline policy and they lost situational awareness," according to the NTSB. The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating the incident.

Northwest is a unit of Delta Air Lines Inc.

"The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority," Delta said in a statement. "We are cooperating with the FAA and NTSB in their investigation as well as conducting our own internal investigation. The pilots have been relieved from active flying pending the completion of these investigations."

The incident comes as the FAA is seeking to update and rewrite decades-old rules governing how long commercial pilots can fly and remain on duty during a given period.

Wednesday night's incident is the second time in less than a week that a Delta cockpit crew was involved in a high-profile safety lapse. On Monday, a long-range Delta Boeing 767 en route from Brazil to Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport landed on a taxiway, rather than the parallel runway. There were no injuries to any of the 182 passengers or 11 crew members.

The safety board is investigating whether pilot fatigue was an important factor. The crew had flown all night and was landing in darkness. The approach lights for the runway weren't turned on, however the lights on the runway surface were illuminated, according to the safety board.

Concerning the Minneapolis flight, it's not clear what the pilots' schedule was in the hours before it overshot the airport Wednesday night. But their work hours and sleep schedules in the preceding few days will be among the main issues examined by investigators.

In the case of the Delta crew that landed on the taxiway in Atlanta, the safety board said Wednesday that a third pilot aboard the twin-engine Boeing 767 had fallen ill during the flight and "was relocated to the cabin" before landing. The board said there was 10-miles visibility when the big jet touched down on the taxiway.

Earlier media reports indicated that the crew of the Boeing 767 had been temporarily removed from flying duties.


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A passenger flight from San Diego, California, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, overshot its destination airport by about 150 miles Wednesday, and federal investigators are looking into whether the pilots had become distracted, as they claimed, or perhaps fallen asleep.

An aerial view shows downtown Minneapolis.

Air traffic controllers lost radio communication with the Northwest Airlines Airbus A320, carrying 147 passengers and an unknown number of crew, when it was flying at 37,000 feet, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. There was no communication with Flight 188 for more than an hour as it approached the airport, the board said.

When air traffic controllers finally made contact with the pilot, his answers were so vague that controllers feared the plane might have been hijacked, according to a source familiar with the incident.

The controllers in Minneapolis ordered the pilot to make a series of unnecessary maneuvers to convince them the pilots were in control of the flight, the source said, adding that fighter jets were poised in Madison, Wisconsin, but were never deployed. Watch how Flight 188 drama unfolded »

Controllers tracked the aircraft on radar as it flew over its intended destination -- Minneapolis-St. Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport -- and continued northeast for about 150 miles over the next 16 minutes. The airport's controllers then re-established communication with crew members, who said they had become distracted, the safety board said.

"The crew stated they were in a heated discussion over airline policy and they lost situational awareness," the board said in a news release.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Map: The Nuclear World

Click to enlarge.

Source: New Scientist.

Clinic shooting report depicts troubled suspect

Clinic shooting report depicts troubled suspect: "BAGHDAD — An American soldier who is accused of killing five fellow troops at a counseling center in Iraq had been unraveling for nearly two weeks, but the U.S. military lacked clear procedures to monitor him or deal with the deadly shooting spree once it began to unfold, a military report found.

The shootings at a U.S. base in Baghdad in May were the deadliest case of U.S. soldier-on-soldier violence of the six-year Iraq war. Sgt. John M. Russell, 44, was arrested and is the only person charged in the incident.The shooting deaths drew attention to the issues of combat stress and morale as troops have to increasingly serve multiple combat tours because the nation’s volunteer army is stretched thin by two long-running wars.

The extensive 325-page report, released Friday and obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, included detailed witness statements and paints a picture of a soldier less than two months from the end of his third deployment who began to show obvious signs of unraveling weeks before the clinic shootings.While all the names, including Russell’s, have been removed from the report, it refers to the person taken into custody as well as his unit, the 54th Engineer Battalion.The internal investigation was ordered by Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, who appointed an investigating officer to determine if policies regarding ‘service members who are believed to be at risk of harming themselves or others, were followed and adequate,’ said military spokesman Lt. Col. David Patterson.A criminal investigation by the military is ongoing.Elizabeth Ann Russell, the mother of the accused, told AP she had no comment, and the military did not answer requests for information as to Russell’s whereabouts and whether he was represented by legal counsel.In previous interviews,

Russell’s family described him as a kindhearted man who so loved his country that he joined the military. However, Russell’s father also wondered whether his son snapped under questioning by counselors, or feared that his career was over.Dozens of pages were redacted from the report, including key materials such as the criminal investigation report. The report was originally posted on the Web site of the U.S. military headquarters in Iraq.The U.S. military in Iraq said the ‘candid review’ is one of the tools used to prevent such incidents in the future, and Patterson said the military in Iraq had already implemented some of the investigation’s recommendations.The report describes a man whose problems were known and who received some counseling, yet at critical times did not appear to get the help he needed.Russell, who faces charges of murder and aggravated assault, was on his fourth visit to a mental health clinic in Iraq when the appointment was cut short because he became ‘verbally noncompliant,’ the report stated.

Clinic personnel then called the military police, who declined to arrest him and just ordered him returned to his unit.Less than an hour later, the report said he managed to grab a loaded M16 rifle from a fellow soldier and steal a white Ford Explorer SUV, before going back to the counseling facility.In the days leading up to the incident, many of Russell’s fellow soldiers had noticed that his behavior appeared to be ‘deteriorating,’ the report stated.According to one statement, Russell, who spent one of his tours in the western city of Ramadi during the height of the conflict there, said he was ‘sick and tired of life and believed everyone hated him.’On the morning of May 11, the day of the shooting,

Russell was taken by a member of his worried unit to the Camp Liberty Combat Stress Control Clinic, according to the report.The report said that although the unit knew of Russell’s suicidal thoughts at least three to four days prior to the incident, little appeared to have been done to effectively monitor him.‘There is no clear procedure or established training guidelines in any of the references for managing soldiers identified as ‘at risk’ for suicide or the proper way to conduct suicide watch,’ the report stated.According to the statement of one of the military police officers involved in the incident, he asked Russell’s company commander whether the sergeant had been on ‘unit watch’ and what that meant.The company commander said his roommate would try to keep an eye on him, but that they didn’t have a 24-hour watch on him until the morning of the shootings.‘I asked him why he had not been on 24 hour a day watch since he first communicated his suicidal thoughts and he replied: ‘I know this sounds bad but we don’t have the personnel available,’ ’ the statement read.A breakdown in communication also contributed to the deadly series of events.

One section of the report describes how units responding, instead of reacting immediately, had to meet up in person to coordinate their actions because radio communication was poor.Additionally, nobody alerted the counseling clinic that Russell had stolen a weapon and a vehicle, the report said.Although Russell told several people — including a chaplain and a worker at the counseling clinic — that he was contemplating suicide, others appeared to have doubts about the seriousness of the situation.The report was also critical of the military police who responded to the incident, saying they did not have enough policies to ‘warn and protect possible victims when informed of a credible threat.’The military has already implemented some of the report’s recommendations, such as a ‘command-wide review of behavioral health care services, updates to all suicide-prevention programs, training and appointing two behavioral health advocates per battalion, and executing new procedures for dealing with service members attempting and/or threatening suicide,’ Patterson said.

The U.S. military has become increasingly concerned about mental health in the ranks after a steady rise in suicides — which the Army says have increased worldwide from at least 102 in 2006 to 140 last year. As of April, the Army had reported at least 48 suicides.Thousands of other veterans are believed to suffer flashbacks, nightmares or fits of anger as they attempt to readjust to civilian life.———Associated Press Writers Kimberly Hefling in Washington and Schuyler Dixon in Dallas contributed to this report."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Maryland Scientist Arrested For Trying To Sell Nuclear/Satellite Secrets.

A Maryland scientist who worked for the Defense Department and other agencies has been arrested on espionage charges.

The Justice Department said Monday that 52-year-old Stewart David Nozette of Chevy Chase was charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to communicate, deliver and transmit classified information to an individual he believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer.

The complaint does not allege that the government of Israel or anyone acting on its behalf violated U.S. law.

Nozette was arrested Monday by FBI agents. He is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Washington on Tuesday.


Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Monday, October 19, 2009
Maryland Scientist Charged with Attempted Espionage

A Maryland scientist who once worked in varying capacities for the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been arrested for attempted espionage, David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Channing D. Phillips, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director for the FBI’s Washington Field Office, announced today.

A criminal complaint unsealed today in the District of Columbia charges Stewart David Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, with attempted espionage for knowingly and willfully attempting to communicate, deliver, and transmit classified information relating to the national defense of the United States to an individual that Nozette believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer. The complaint does not allege that the government of Israel or anyone acting on its behalf committed any offense under U.S. laws in this case.

Nozette was arrested earlier today by FBI agents and is expected to make his initial appearance tomorrow in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

"The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious and should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider compromising our nation’s secrets for profit," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

"Those who would put our nation’s defense secrets up for sale can expect to be vigorously prosecuted," said Channing D. Phillips, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. "This case reflects our firm resolve to hold accountable any individual who betrays the public trust by compromising our national security for his or her own personal gain."

"The FBI is committed to protecting the nation’s classified information and pursuing those who attempt to profit from its release or sale," said Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director for the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

According to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Nozette received a Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences from MIT in 1983, and worked at the White House on the National Space Council, Executive Office of the President, in 1989 and 1990. He developed the Clementine bi-static radar experiment that purportedly discovered water on the south pole of the moon. Nozette also worked at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from approximately 1990 to 1999 where he designed highly advanced technology. At the Department of Energy, Nozette held a special security clearance equivalent to the Defense Department Top Secret and Critical Nuclear Weapon Design Information clearances. Department of Energy clearances apply to access to information specifically relating to atomic or nuclear-related materials.

Nozette was also the President, Treasurer and Director of the Alliance for Competitive Technology (ACT), a non-profit corporation that he organized in March 1990. Between January 2000 and February 2006, Nozette, through his company ACT, entered into several agreements to develop advanced technology for the U.S. government. Nozette performed some of this research and development at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, Virginia, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. From 1989 through 2006, Nozette held security clearances as high as Top Secret and had regular, frequent access to classified information and documents related to the U.S. national defense.

According to the affidavit, on Sept. 3, 2009, Nozette was contacted via telephone by an individual purporting to be an Israeli intelligence officer, but who was in fact an undercover employee of the FBI (UCE). During that call, Nozette agreed to meet with the UCE later that day at a hotel in Washington D.C. According to the affidavit, Nozette met with the UCE that day and discussed his willingness to work for Israeli intelligence.

Nozette allegedly informed the UCE that he had, in the past, held top security clearances and had access to U.S. satellite information. Nozette also allegedly said that he would be willing to answer questions about this information in exchange for money. The UCE explained to Nozette that the Israeli intelligence agency, or "Mossad," would arrange for a communication system so that Nozette could pass information to the Mossad in a post office box. Nozette agreed to provide regular, continuing information to the UCE and asked for an Israeli passport

According to the affidavit, Nozette and the UCE met again on Sept. 4, 2009, in the same hotel. During the meeting, Nozette allegedly informed the UCE that, although he no longer had legal access to any classified information at a U.S. government facility, he could, nonetheless, recall the classified information to which he had been granted access, indicating that it was all still in his head. In the meeting, Nozette allegedly asked when he could expect to receive his first payment, specifying that he preferred to receive cash amounts "under ten thousand" so he didn’t have to report it. At the conclusion of this meeting, Nozette allegedly informed the UCE, "Well I should tell you my first need is that they should figure out how to pay me . . . they don't expect me to do this for free."

On or about Sept. 10, 2009, undercover FBI agents left a letter in the designated post office box for Nozette. In the letter, the FBI asked Nozette to answer a list of questions concerning U.S. satellite information. The undercover agents also provided a $2,000 cash payment for Nozette. The serial numbers of the bills were recorded. Nozette retrieved the questions and the money from the post office the same day.

On or about Sept. 16, 2009, Nozette was captured on videotape leaving a manila envelope in the designated post office box in the District of Columbia. The next day, FBI agents retrieved the sealed manila envelope that Nozette had dropped off and found, among other things, a one-page document containing answers to the questions posed by the undercover agents and an encrypted computer thumb drive. One of answers provided by Nozette contained information classified as Secret, which concerned capabilities of a prototype overhead collection system. In addition, Nozette allegedly offered to reveal additional classified information that directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, and other major weapons systems.

Also on or about Sept. 17, 2009, undercover FBI agents left a second letter in the post office box for Nozette. In the letter, the FBI asked Nozette to answer another list of questions concerning U.S. satellite information. The FBI also left a cash payment of $9,000 in the post office box. Nozette allegedly retrieved the questions and the money from the post office box later that same day.

On or about October 1, 2009, Nozette was filmed on videotape leaving a manila envelope in the post office box. Later that day, FBI agents retrieved the manila envelope left by Nozette and found a second set of answers from him. The answers contained information classified as both Top Secret and Secret that concerned U.S. satellites, early warning systems, means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack, communications intelligence information, and major elements of defense strategy.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office with assistance from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

The prosecution is being handled by Trial Attorneys Deborah A. Curtis and Heather M. Schmidt, from the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Asuncion, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

The public is reminded that a criminal complaint contains mere allegations and that every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Colorado Sheriff: Balloon Boy Was A Hoax

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The parents who set off a worldwide drama by reporting their 6-year-old son was inside a flying saucer-like helium balloon hurtling over Colorado concocted the stunt to market themselves for a television show, a sheriff said Sunday.

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said at an extraordinarily candid news conference that the boy, Falcon Heene, may not have even been hiding in the rafters of the family's garage during the intense five-hour search for him Thursday afternoon.
"For all we know he may have been two blocks down the road playing on the swing in the city park," the sheriff said.
Alderden said the parents Richard and Mayumi Heene "put on a very good show for us, and we bought it."

The sheriff said no charges had been filed yet, and the parents weren't under arrest. He said he expected to recommend charges of conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, making a false report to authorities and attempting to influence a public servant.

Some of the most serious charges each carry a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The sheriff said if charges were filed, his office would seek restitution, but he didn't know the total cost of the rescue effort, which included military helicopters, a ground rescue and even a mounted posse. Officials also rerouted planes around the balloon's flight path and briefly shut down some flights from Denver International Airport.
Richard and Mayumi Heene were shopping at Walmart with their three sons as Alderden told reporters at the sheriff's station that the whole thing was a hoax.
Richard Heene said he's "seeking counsel," though it was unclear whether he was talking about hiring an attorney.

"This thing has become so convoluted," Heene told The Associated Press as tears welled up in his eyes.
He said his wife was holding together better than he was.
The sheriff said all three of the Heenes' sons knew of the Thursday hoax.
"Given the age of the children — 6, 8, 10 — I seriously doubt whether they will be facing any criminal charges," he said.

One of the boys told investigators he saw his brother get in the balloon's box before it launched.
Heene, a storm chaser and inventor, and his family have appeared on the reality show "Wife Swap." Alderden said the couple met in acting school in Hollywood. Richard Heene has described himself as an amateur scientist, but Alderden said Heene has only a high school education.

"He may be nutty, but he's not a professor," Alderden said. He said Richard Heene showed "no evidence of remorse" for the episode.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Alabama ANG F-16s in Amarillo

Haven't see any Vipers in Amarillo in along time. They stopped here for a gas and go - and then on to Nellis.

I'm guesing they were enroute to participate in Red Flag.

Thank's to Tac-Air for the access!

Friday, October 16, 2009

F-16s collide of coast of South Carolina

NEAR CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Air Force says crews are searching for an F-16 fighter pilot off the coast of South Carolina after two jets collided Thursday night.

The jets were based out of Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter.
Shaw AFB spokesman Robert Sexton said the two planes collided at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday about 40 miles off Folly Beach, near Charleston, during night training exercises.

Each plane was carrying one person.
Sexton said a fighter piloted by Cpt. Lee Bryant landed safely at Charleston Air Force Base, but the location of the other fighter piloted by Cpt. Nicholas Giglio is unknown.

Sexton said members of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and pilots from Charleston Air Force Base are currently searching for the missing pilot and the wreckage.

It is unclear at this point if Giglio was able to safely eject from his jet.
Bryant is being looked at by medical personnel. He has been interviewed about what happened but details of that conversation have not been released.

A board of officers is already getting together to review this incident and determine how to prevent it from happening in the future.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Breaking News: Balloon boy found alive at home!

Apparently he never was on the balloon.

The 6-year-old Colorado boy who set a helium balloon adrift Thursday, prompting ground and air searches for him, has been found alive, authorities said.

He was found in a box in the attic at his family's Fort Collins home.

People across the world watched Thursday as the homemade helium balloon soared 7,000 feet over eastern Colorado for more than an hour and a half.

A sibling said he saw the Falcon get into the craft Thursday morning, authorities said.

But the boy was not inside the craft when it made a soft landing near Keenesburg, about 60 miles from the family home.

Authorities said when questioned the boy's two brothers who said multiple times they saw Falcon board the balloon. It is not known yet if the boy untethered the balloon and was afraid of getting into trouble or that the three brothers worked together to perpetrate a hoax.

- Steve Douglass

Listen live to communications involving search for boy who may have fallen out of balloon.

For those interested in listening to live communications involving the search for the Colorado boy who may have fallen from experimental balloon, follow the link below.

-Steve Douglass


Balloon lands - boy missing.

UPDATE: Authorities are searching for a box that was attached to the bottom of an experimental aircraft that took off from a Fort Collins home, CNN affiliate KUSA reported. A Weld County sheriff's deputy says he saw an object fall off the balloon somewhere over Platteville, which is in the search area.

UPDATE: LARIMER COUNTY - Authorities are searching a specific area in Larimer County for a box that was attached to the bottom of an experimental aircraft that took off from a Fort Collins home with a 6-year-old boy inside after a sheriff's deputy thought he saw something fall in that area.

The Larimer County Sheriff's deputy thought he saw something fall in the area around County Road 41 and County Road 28.

The homemade aircraft made an apparent soft landing northeast of Denver International Airport on Thursday afternoon, but rescue crews found no sign of the boy when they reached the aircraft.

When it landed five miles east of Prospect Reservoir, 9NEWS could not see any child rescued from the basket of the balloon, but earlier Fort Collins Police had said they were certain he was still inside.

Police believe the boy, Falcon Heene, was inside the box when the aircraft lifted off around 11 a.m.

Police say there are pegs on the bottom of the aircraft that indicate that a box was attached at some point.

The experimental aircraft, which is a type of balloon filled with helium, was up for nearly three hours and appeared to start to rapidly deflate shortly after 1 p.m.

According to the Larimer County Sheriff's Department, the 6-year-old boy's parents had been building an experimental aircraft which had a large helium balloon attached to it at their home on Fossil Ridge Road in Fort Collins.

On Thursday morning, according to the family and officials, the boy got onto the aircraft and detached the rope holding it in place.

The aircraft was a dome-shaped, 20 foot, 5 foot aircraft covered with foil. As it was flying, it was going about 20-25 mph.

A spokesperson with Fort Collins Police said, "This balloon was never meant to actually carry anybody. It was just a family project they were working on. The little compartment where their son is in is very small and it's not attached very well."

UPDATE: CNN) -- A homemade balloon that was untethered Thursday by a 6-year-old boy from his parents' Colorado home was empty when it landed, authorities said.

The balloon landed south of Prospect Springs, Colorado, on Thursday afternoon.

The fate of the boy, identified as Falcon Heene, was unclear Thursday after the balloon traveled from Fort Collins to south of Prospect Springs, near Colorado Springs.

A sibling said he saw the boy get into the craft Thursday morning, raising concerns that the boy may have fallen out of it, authorities said earlier.

"At this point, we are thinking that he did not fall out of the balloon and is somewhere on the ground," Larimer County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said. "The basket itself was not breached. It does not look like he fell out of it, but again, this is all conjecture."

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A 6-year-old boy is missing after floating over northeastern Colorado in a homebuilt balloon and touched down about 2 hours after lifting off.

The balloon touched down about 2 miles east of Prospect Reservoir at 1:35 p.m., but the boy was not inside. That's abput 10 miles from where it lifted off.

The balloon, in the shape of a flying saucer was covered in foil and filled with helium. It has a compartment for a passenger underneath. It lifted the boy into the air near Fort Collins Thursday morning after the balloon became unhooked at the boy's home.

A sibling saw the boy get into the craft Thursday morning. Officials were concerned that the boy may have fallen out of it, an undersheriff said.

Margie Martinez of the Weld County Sheriff's Office said a sibling saw Falcon Heene climb into the basket before the balloon took off from his parents' Fort Collins, Colorado home.

Since the door on the balloon was unlocked, it's possible the boy had fallen out, Martinez said.

The balloon appeared to be a saucer-shaped, Mylar-coated helium balloon, similar to a party balloon. The craft was drifting eastward, authorities said.

Law Enforcement is searching near (and possibly in) the Prospect Reservoir area because witnesses says they saw something fall from the craft in that area.

Breaking News: Little boy floats away in home made balloon.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A 6-year-old boy is floating over northeastern Colorado in a homebuilt balloon and authorities are racing to try and rescue him.

The balloon, in the shape of a flying saucer is covered in foil and filled with helium. The craft's dimensions are 20-feet across and 5-feet high. It has a compartment for a passenger underneath. It lifted the boy into the air near Fort Collins Thursday morning after the balloon became unhooked at the boy's home.
"We were sitting eating, out looking where they normally shoot off hot air balloons. My husband said he saw something. It went over our rooftop. Then we saw the big round balloonish thing, it was spinning," said neighbor Lisa Eklund.

The father and son had apparently been working on the aircraft for some time..
Airtracker 7 located the craft at 12:35 p.m. at about 8,000 feet in Weld County. It appeared to be slightly tilted. The altitude of the balloon was fluctuating between 7,500 and 10,000 feet.
Skies in the area are partly cloudy and southwest wind speeds are 15 to 20 miles per hour.

Listen live to Colorado State Police tracking the balloon HERE.

"The structure at the bottom of the balloon that the boy is in is made of extremely thin plywood and won't withstand any kind of a crash at all," said Erik Nilsson, Larimer County Emergency Manager.
Deputies from Larimer and Weld counties are tracking the balloon as it drifts. Experts said it could remain airborne for up to 12 hours.

FAA spokesman Mike Fergus said the agency has been notified and it was unclear whether traffic controllers had picked it up on radar.

The balloon may drift into air traffic control corridors used by Denver International Airport, based on its current location and direction. Deputies alerted DIA air traffic controllers to warn them about letting aircraft fly through the area.


UPDATE: Balloon landed in Adams county. Child was not found in balloon. Public Safety officials are searching (backtracking) along balloons flight path searching for the child.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Production of 15-ton bunker buster sped up

Production of 15-ton bunker buster sped up: "WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is speeding up delivery of a colossal bomb designed to destroy hidden weapons bunkers buried underground and shielded by 10,000 pounds of reinforced concrete.Call it Plan B for dealing with Iran, which recently revealed a long-suspected nuclear site deep inside a mountain near the holy city of Qom.The 15-ton behemoth — called the ‘massive ordnance penetrator,’ or MOP — will be the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal and will carry 5,300 pounds of explosives.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said. ‘This is just a capability that we think is necessary given the world we live in.’The Obama administration has struggled to counter suspicions lingering from George W. Bush’s presidency that the United States is either planning to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities itself or would look the other way if Israel did the same.The administration has been careful not to take military action off the table even as it reaches out to Iran with historic talks this month. Tougher sanctions are the immediate backup if diplomacy fails to stop what the West fears is a drive for a nuclear weapon.Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently said a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would probably only buy time.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen has called a strike an option he doesn’t want to use.The new U.S. bomb would be the culmination of planning begun in the Bush years. The Obama administration’s plans to bring the bomb on line more quickly indicate that the weapon is still part of the long-range backup plan.‘Without going into any intelligence, there are countries that have used technology to go further underground and to take those facilities and make them hardened,’

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. ‘This is not a new phenomenon, but it is a growing one.’After testing began in 2007, development of the bomb was slowed by about two years because of budgetary issues, Whitman said, and the administration moved last summer to return to the previous schedule.North Korea, led by Kim Jong Il, is a known nuclear weapons state and has exploded working devices underground. The United States and other countries have offered to buy out the country’s weapons program. The Obama administration is trying to lure Pyongyang back to the bargaining table after a walkout last year.Iran is a more complex case, for both diplomatic and technical reasons. Iran’s president,

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claims its nuclear program is peaceful and meant only to produce energy, but the West suspects a covert bomb program that may be only a year or so away from fruition.‘I don’t really see it as a near-term indication of anything being planned. I think certainly down the road it has a certain deterrent factor,’ said Kenneth Katzman, a specialist on Iran and the Middle East at the Congressional Research Service. ‘It adds to the calculus, let’s say, of Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il.’Details about Iran’s once-secret program have come out slowly and often under duress, as with last month’s surprise confirmation of the hidden underground development site near Qom.

>That revelation came a month after the Pentagon had asked Congress to shift money to speed up the MOP program, although U.S. and other intelligence agencies had suspected for years that Iran was still hiding at least one nuclear development site.The MOP could, in theory, take out bunkers such as those Saddam Hussein had begun to construct for weapons programs in Iraq, or flatten the kind of cave and tunnel networks that allowed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden to escape U.S. assault in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, shortly after the U.S. invasion in 2001.The precision-guided bomb is designed to drill through earth and almost any underground encasement to reach weapons depots, labs or hideouts."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

North Korea reportedly test-fires 5 short-range missiles

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea test-launched five short-range missiles Monday, reports said, in what analysts said was an attempt to improve its bargaining position ahead of possible talks with the United States.
North Korea has recently reached out to the U.S. and South Korea following months of tension over its nuclear and missile tests earlier this year. Leader Kim Jong Il told visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last week that his government might return to stalled six-nation negotiations on its nuclear program depending on the outcome of direct talks it seeks with the United States.
Washington has said it is considering holding talks with North Korea as part of efforts to restart the six-party negotiations.

The missile launches off North Korea's east coast were the first by the communist nation since it test-fired seven missiles in early July, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
Yonhap, citing a South Korean official it did not identify, said the KN-02 surface-to-surface missiles were fired from mobile launch pads and had a range of up to 75 miles (120 kilometers). It said North Korea launched two missiles in the morning and three more in the afternoon.

More missile launches expected today.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Photos from Road Runners Event in Las Vegas.

Some very interesting photos by Photos by Alan Johnson at this LINK.

Of particular interest is the display of secret program patches.

Read the DREAMLANDRESORT discussion thread HERE. in the DISCUSSIONS FORUM.

Related Las Vegas Review Journal article HERE.

-Steve Douglass

Los Angeles man being held for suspected bomb making

A Los Angeles/Lake Elsinore man who lost his hand in an improvised explosion device (IED) is being held in custody today after he went to a hospital emergency room with his hand blown off. His brother and mother have been arrested on suspicion of making explosives and child endangerment, a Riverside county sheriff's sergeant said.

The allegations stem from explosives found at the family's home, where the mother ran a licensed daycare facility, said sheriff's Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez.

Benjamin Kuzelka, 23, walked into a hospital and told emergency personnel that he had shot his own hand, said sheriff's Sgt. Gutierrez.

An examination of the wound determined it was not consistent with a gunshot, and Kuzelka later told deputies that he had been injured by explosives, Gutierrez said.

Sheriff's deputies, along with agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, went to his home at 30524 Audelo Street and found bomb-making materials and marijuana plants, the sergeant said.

Kuzelka was in serious condition and will be arrested when he recuperates.

His brother, Grey Timothy Kuzelka, 21, was arrested and booked into the county jail. He had been free on bail since Sunday, following an arrest on suspicion of drug possession, sales and transport.

Their mother, Rebecca Kuzelka, 55, was also being held.

The possibility that the family is associated with hate groups or other radical home grown or international terrorist with intentions of bombing southern California targets is being investigated by local, county and federal authorities according to an investigator.

Law enforcement in surrounding counties including Orange and L.A.Counties are investigating to see if there is any connection between the Kuzelka family and any recent bomb threats.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

CERN Contractor Connected To Al-Qaeda Arrested In France

Posted on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 10:21 CDT

France has captured a worker at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) for alleged connections with al-Qaeda, officials announced.

The 32-year-old man was one of two brothers apprehended in the town of Vienne on Thursday. Police think that the suspect communicated on the Internet with the al-Qaeda, and had been contemplating attacks on France.

The organization established that a physicist working at CERN was detained "under suspicion of links to terrorist organizations", and is aiding the French police.

"He was not a CERN employee and performed his research under a contract with an outside institute. His work did not bring him into contact with anything that could be used for terrorism," they said to BBC News.

The suspect was a part of LHC Beauty research, which is exploring the distinctions between matter and anti-matter.

CERN, a civilian group endorsed by 20 member states, is Europe's primary laboratory for the examination of the basics of sub-atomic physics.

Security service officers, using a warrant from an anti-terrorist officer, held the two brothers for questions on Thursday in Vienne.

The physicist spoken via the Internet with people connected to al-Qaeda and told them he was interested in performing the attacks, but had "not got to the stage of carrying out material acts of preparation.”

Two computers, three hard drives and other machines were taken from his residence after the arrest.

"The inquiry will doubtless establish what the targets were in France or elsewhere, and perhaps indicate that we have avoided the worst," French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said at a press conference.

"We are in a situation of permanent alert. We follow statements made by the leaders of certain organizations day by day. We never let our guard down. The danger is permanent," he added.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Arrgh! When Will They Learn?

When Will They Learn?: "Pirates last night attacked the Somme, the 157.2 metre long flagship of the French Indian Ocean naval force, mistaking it for a merchant ship.

blog post photo

The Somme  photo credit: French navy

Admiral Christophe Prazuck, spokesman for the French armed forces chief of staff, said ‘the attack occured at about 1:00 a.m. local time some 250 nautical miles (460 kms) off the Somali coast while the Somme was sailing towards the ships of the Atalanta [European anti-piracy force] to refuel them.’ He said ‘the pirates, mistaking the French military ship for a merchant ship in the dark, were on two boats and opened fire with Kalashnikovs.’

Doubtless surprised at the vigor of the responding fire they did a quick about turn but were chased by the French sailors. One of the two skiffs with five people aboard was stopped by the military but they found nothing aboard: no weapons, no food or drink as it was all thrown overboard. The second skiff got away. The five suspects are now aboard the Somme.


(Via Ares.)

MOP Big Bomb Ready For Deployment

Pentagon: New Bomb That Reaches Underground Targets Will Be Available Soon
By VOA News
08 October 2009

The Pentagon says a massive 13,600-kilogram bomb capable of penetrating deep underground facilities should be deployable in the coming months.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell has told reporters Wednesday the "Massive Ordinance Penetrator" (MOP) is designed to defeat "hardened facilities" that are used by "hostile states to protect weapons of mass destruction."

Morrell declined to say whether deployment of the new weapon is linked to International concern about Iran's nuclear program. He told reporters that any efforts to "speculate about possible targets" are unhelpful.

Iran recently confirmed it has a uranium enrichment plant at an underground site near the holy city of Qom. The United Nations nuclear agency, IAEA, is scheduled to inspect the facility, which was built without advance notice to the international community, on October 25.

The IAEA visit was announced after last week's meeting in Geneva between Iran and six world powers that have been pursuing efforts to ensure that Iran's nuclear program does not include any work on nuclear weapons.

Tehran contends its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Western nations suspect it may be weapons-related.

U.S. officials have not ruled out possible military action against Iran if diplomacy fails.

LCROSS Moon Smash Viewing Parties Nationwide Listings

Earth’s closest neighbor is holding a secret. In 1999, hints of that secret were revealed in the form of concentrated hydrogen signatures detected in permanently shadowed craters at the lunar poles by NASA’s Lunar Prospector. These readings may be an indication of lunar water and could have far-reaching implications as humans expand exploration past low-Earth orbit. The Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission is seeking a definitive answer.

In April 2006, NASA selected the LCROSS proposal for a low-cost, fast-track companion mission to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The main LCROSS mission objective is to confirm the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater near a lunar polar region.

LCROSS launched with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on June 18, 2009 at 2:32 p.m. PDT. The LCROSS shepherding spacecraft and the Atlas V’s Centaur upper stage rocket executed a fly-by of the moon on June 23, 2009 (LCROSS lunar swingby video stream coverage) and entered into an elongated Earth orbit to position LCROSS for impact on a lunar pole. On final approach, the shepherding spacecraft and Centaur will separate. The Centaur will act as a heavy impactor to create a debris plume that will rise above the lunar surface. Projected impact at the lunar South Pole is currently: Oct 9, 2009 at 4:30 a.m. PDT. Following four minutes behind, the shepherding spacecraft will fly through the debris plume, collecting and relaying data back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface and creating a second debris plume.

The debris plumes are expected to be visible from Earth- and space-based telescopes 10-to-12 inches and larger.

The LCROSS science payload consists of two near-infrared spectrometers, a visible light spectrometer, two mid-infrared cameras, two near-infrared cameras, a visible camera and a visible radiometer. The LCROSS instruments were selected to provide mission scientists with multiple complimentary views of the debris plume created by the Centaur impact.

As the ejecta rises above the target crater’s rim and is exposed to sunlight, any water-ice, hydrocarbons or organics will vaporize and break down into their basic components. These components primarily will be monitored by the visible and infrared spectrometers. The near-infrared and mid-infrared cameras will determine the total amount and distribution of water in the debris plume. The spacecraft’s visible camera will track the impact location and the behavior of the debris plume while the visible radiometer will measure the flash created by the Centaur impact.

NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., is overseeing the development of the LCROSS mission with its spacecraft and integration partner, Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach, Calif. LCROSS is a fast-paced, low-cost, mission that will leverage some existing NASA systems, commercial-off-the-shelf components, the spacecraft expertise of Northrop Grumman and experience gained during the Lunar Prospector Mission in 1999. Ames is managing the mission, conducting mission operations, and developing the payload instruments, while Northrop Grumman designed and is building the spacecraft for this innovative mission. Ames mission scientists will spearhead the data analysis.

Public viewing parties:

Sci-Quest Museum
102-D Wynn Drive, Huntsville, AL 35805
Overnight lock-in at the Museum. Evening of Thursday, Oct. 8 with viewing opportunities Friday, Oct. 9 (Impact week is also Fall Break for our local schools). We will have LCROSS programs and activities throughout the evening and show NASA TV live coverage in the Sci-Quest auditorium. Members of the Von Braun Astronomical Society will bring out telescopes for observations. Sci-Quest can accommodate 80 children and 40 adults. LPRP is working with MSFC Academic Affairs to select the students for participation.
Tentative: live feed to MSFC auditorium for employees.

Von Braun Astronomical Society Planetarium, Monte Sano State Park
Monte Sano State Park , Huntsville, AL 35805
October 9th - LCROSS Mission's Lunar Impacts -- Early Friday morning (Gathering at around 5 - 5:30 am), October 9th, VBAS Members and news media only are invited to join us at our observatory facilities located within Monte Sano State Park to view and record the two plumes for the LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observatory and Sensing Satellite) mission's lunar impacts! Watch for additional details to be posted soon.
October 10th - Astronomy Day -- On Saturday, Oct. 10th from 3 pm to mid-night, VBAS will host our annual "Astronomy Day" which will include children activities, planetarium programs, an outdoor concert from 5 to 9 pm that the entire family will enjoy featuring the Maple Hill Band & Moondust Big Band, and a star party from 9 pm to mid-night that any one with a telescope is welcome to attend! During our event, we will be showing the video footage of the lunar impact's plume and will celebrate, share the exciting historical moment with the public. Admission is free for children and students, with a $10 donation for adults. Members wishing to help this year should contact Melissa Snider at 256.684.9036 and those with telescopes who would like to reserve a spot for the star party from 9 to mid-night should contact Eric Johnson at 256.682.2401.

California (CA)

Lewis Center for Educational Research
17500 Mana Road, Apple Valley, CA 92307
Doors open to the public beginning at 4am. The Lewis Center can accommodate ~320 and has a small overflow area as well. NASA Channel will all be on all TVs and computers in Mission Control area. The Lewis Center will also have 65 students in house all night. They will be tracking, from the in house mission control, the spacecraft as it impacts the Moon using a 34-m radio telescope. You can see the Mission Control from their website at:

Antelope Valley Astronomy Club
P.O. Box 8545, Lancaster, CA 93539
Antelope Valley - LCROSS Lunar Impact Event Page
The Antelope Valley Astronomy Club is planning a star party for the morning of the impact. The party will be at a private residence in Antelope Acres and some really cool observing equipment will be present.

Lucerne Dry Lake
Lucerne Valley, CA
LCROSS Viewing Party at Lucerne Dry Lake
There will be an 8" Celestron telescope with a low-light video camera going to a projector, so many people will be able to view the event. Camping is allowed on Lucerne Dry Lake, and portable toilets will be available. The event will occur a day before the Rocketry Organization of California (ROC) rocket launch at the lakebed. Directions and camping information can be found on ROC's website at

NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, California 94035
Ames will be hosting an all-night event that is open to the general public and free; however, no-cost tickets are required for each guest wishing to stay overnight. See site for details and schedule of events.

Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd. - Oakland, CA 94619
Chabot - NASA/LCROSS Lunar Impact Event
As NASA’s LCROSS Mission to investigate the presence of water on the Moon comes to a close, get up early and join us at Chabot to view the impact of the spacecraft and the debris plume it is expected to produce through a special live NASA broadcast in our Planetarium, and through the eye of Chabot’s own 36-inch telescope, Nellie. Advanced registration required -- Members FREE / Guests $3 -- Register: (510) 336-7373

California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
LCROSS event during the day Oct. 9
For those who aren't early risers, drop by the California Academy of Sciences to attend one of four debriefings during the day. At 10:00 a.m., noon, 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m., Academy educators will highlight original footage of the impact as well as up-to-the-minute results as the day progresses. Visit the "Science in Action" exhibit on the first floor for updates. Free with Academy admission.

The Fremont Peak Observatory
PO Box 1376, San Juan Bautista, California 95045
LCROSS Lunar Impact
The observatory will open to the public starting around 3:00 a.m. and continue until about 5:00 a.m. The telescope is a large 30" f/4.8 modified Newtonian style telescope. We will be attaching a sensitive video camera and recording the event. The recorder will be connected to the projector in the classroom adjacent to the observing room. This way, we can accommodate about 50 or more people with the ability to see the event live. If more interest picks up, we might move the projector screen outside to the amphitheater -- that configuration can accommodate over 100 people. Other members will have smaller telescopes set up around the observatory also. Campsites are available on first come first serve basis. State Parks requires RSVP's. See www.fpoa.netfor details.

Tierra Del Sol Remote Observation Facility
Tierra de Luna Rd, Tierra del Sol, CA 91905
The San Diego Astronomy Association will host a special star party event at the Tierra Del Sol remote observation facility 90 minutes east of San Diego. Members of the public who wish to attend should call 858-877-3103 or send an email request for a ticket to to RSVP, as the event will be limited to a total of 300 attendees. Overnight camping is available and full details about how to reach the Tierra Del Sol site, and what to bring with you to the event will be emailed to those who RSVP in advance of the event. You must RSVP to attend.

Colorado (CO)

Fiske Planetarium
Regent Drive, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80301
Fiske Planetarium and Sommers-Bausch Observatory will hold a Lunar Bagel Breakfast. The observatory has 16", 18" and a 24" telescope that will be used for the general public to view the impact.

Star Light--Star Bright Observatory
2015 Wickes Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80919
Will have a 10" Mac-Newtonian telescope and video camera system to display the impact to students, teachers, and members of the public who plan to come out early in the morning on the 9th of Oct., weather permitting.

Connecticut (CT)

Discovery Museum and Planetarium
4450 Park Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604
Discovery Museum and Planetarium will be hosting an LCROSS breakfast to view the impact event. Light breakfast will be served, planetarium show, short lecture and live impact downlink followed by discussion and celebratory toast.

District of Columbia (DC)

555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20001
Will present the NASA TV live coverage, will open up the museum free at 6:30 a.m. EDT.

Florida (FL)

NASA Kennedy Space Center
FL 32899-0001
KSC guest operations is considering options to open one of their theaters at the Visitor’s Complex and dedicate it for the week of impact to show various LCROSS launch videos and replays of press conferences. This would be available for viewing by the general public during their visits.

Hawaii (HI)
The State has declared that the week of October 2-9 is Hawai’ian Aerospace Week.

Mauna Kea
Great University of Hawaii-owned UH-88 telescope on Mauna Kea is going to be made available for outreach. Details in the works: Andy Chaikin will be at the telescope, amateur involvement with the gathering of the images. John Herrington and Todd May will also be there.

'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai'i
600 `Imiloa Place, Hilo, HI 96720
Free NASA LCROSS Mission Talk and Presentation.— Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 10:00 AM to Noon

Lanihuli Observatory
Windward Community College, 45-720 Keaahala Rd, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744
Observatory open and free to the public from 10:00 p.m. Oct 8 through 2:00 a.m. Oct 9.

Maui Astronomy Club
Institute for Astronomy, 34 Ohia Ku Street, Pukalani HI 96768
Open to the public from 11:30 pm to 2:30am. Astronomers are advised to arrive early to set up telescopes, video and CCD cameras. Attendees will be instructed and educated as to timing and nature of event. We will be watching the NASA TV live feed on line as well. Hot chocolate will be served.

Idaho (ID)

College of Southern Idaho’s Herrett Center for Arts and Science museum
315 Falls Ave, Twin Falls, ID 83301-3367
'Moon Bomb' breakfast at the Herrett Center
The Center is planning a public event to view the LCROSS impact. The Center has a public observatory with a 24” f/8 research-grade telescope, and a 144-seat planetarium theater with multiple video projectors. Event includes sky gazing, viewing the impact in the auditorium and a breakfast. The Herrett Telescope will be focused on the point of impact by 4:30 a.m. when the doors open.

Illinois (IL)

The Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605
The Adler Planetarium will show the planned impact of NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) live on the morning of October 9, 2009 in the Definiti Theater. The event will begin at 6:00 a.m., alongside a live feed from the Adler's own 20-inch Doane Observatory telescope (weather permitting) as we attempt to see the impact plume through our telescope, as well. This event is FREE, but advance registration is STRONGLY encouraged. Registration is ONLINE ONLY. If space is available on October 9, seating will be first come, first served, based on the capacity of the theater, though there is no guarantee that day-of space will be offered. Doors open at 5:50 a.m.; the event ends at 7:00 a.m.

NIU Geology Department
Northern Illinois University, Davis Hall Room 308, Normal & Locust Rds., DeKalb, IL 60115
The Northern Illinois University Geology Department, hosted by Sigma Gamma Epsilon (Geologic Honor Society) will be hosting a NASA TV viewing party for the LCROSS impact on October 9th. The viewing will be from 6:00am until whenever there is nothing left to see, and the event will be catered by a local restaurant. For more information on attending the event (and having hot food!) please email for more information.

NIU Observatory
Northern Illinois University, Normal & Locust Rds., DeKalb, IL 60115
The NIU Davis Observatory will be hosting an event from 5:00am—7:00am on October 9 to attempt to view the dust plume resulting from the impact. We expect this to also be an excellent time to observe other objects, including Mars and Venus. For more information or for directions to the observatory, please e-mail, call 753-1305 or go to

Kentucky (KY)

Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd, Bowling Green, KY, 42101
The WKU Physics and Astronomy Department, Hardin Planetarium and the Hilltoppers Astronomy Club will host a Star Party starting at 5:00 am Friday October 9th. There will be bagels and juice, talks by professional astronomers and more. Come and be a part of this unique event and watch NASA's video broadcast of the LCROSS spacecraft impacting the Moon live from the Hardin Planetarium. Adults and children welcome. Free. Please contact Dr Rachel Campbell if you would like more information.

Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium
University of Louisville, 108 W Brandeis Ave, Louisville, KY 40292
LCROSS Public Viewing Event
The free, public event starts at 7 a.m. EDT (the crash is scheduled for 7:30 a.m.) and will feature a live broadcast of the collision, behind the scenes videos and a question and answer session with planetarium director Rachel Connolly. Light refreshments, including “moon rocks” (donut holes), will be served. Those planning to attend the event should check to make sure details of the mission have not changed by calling the planetarium at 502-852-6664.

Morehead University Space Center
4133 Us Highway 60, Morehead, KY 40351
LCROSS Public Viewing Event
Join the Faculty and Staff of the Morehead State University Space Science Center Friday October 9th at 6:30 am CDT to witness the culmination of the LCROSS mission, part of NASA’s revived robotic exploration of the Moon. Live coverage from NASA TV will be shown on the Star Theater dome as the LCROSS satellite observes the impact of its Centaur upper stage into a crater permanently shadowed near the moon’s South Pole at approximately 7:30 a.m. CDT, followed four minutes later by the impact of the LCROSS vehicle itself.

Louisiana (LA)

Highland Road Park Observatory
13800 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
Public event from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 9. For more information, contact

Massachusetts (MA)

Boston Museum of Science
61 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114
"Target: Moon!"
Watch a NASA video broadcast of the experiment, and join Museum staff and guest scientists in a discussion on its implications for future human exploration of the Moon. Our guests include Nick Gross, PhD, Boston University Astronomy Department; and Tony Case, graduate student from Boston University Center for Space Physics. Starts at 9:00 a.m. EDT, with the re-broadcast of the LCROSS impacts at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Minnesota (MN)

Jackson Middle School Observatory
6000 109th Avenue North, Champlin, Minnesota 55316
Public event from 5:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 9. Please check the Web site to make sure the session is still on as planned (due to weather conditions) or call 763-506-5372 to listen to the recorded message.

Willmar Senior High
2701 30th St. NE, Willmar, MN 56201
Willmar Senior High's Earth Space Science class will have 2 telescopes set up 1 - 8" Celestron Scmidt-Cass with digital camera and a 10" Orion Skyquest light bucket at 6:00 a.m. for the 6:30 a.m. EDT impact.

Mississippi (MS)

Rainwater Observatory & Planetarium
1 Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39745
Talk and public observing event the night of Oct. 8. Our telescopes will be observing and imaging the event on Friday morning. We will have an open house on Saturday afternoon and another talk Saturday evening at 7pm followed by observing.

Montana (MT)

Montana State University - Northern
300 West 11th Street, Havre, MT 59501
Montana State University - Northern is hosting an observation of the LCROSS impact ejecta plume Oct. 9th, starting at 4:30 am CDT on the campus at the Student Union Building (Sled Hill). We will be setting up several large telescopes and pray for good seeing. Contact info: Professor Trygve "Spike" Magelssen; 406-265-4123, and Dr. Virgil Hawkinson We'll have the hot chocolate and coffee on!

Nevada (NV)

University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89557-0208
The University of Nevada, Reno will be offering public viewing in the parking lot south of the campus baseball field from 4:00 AM to Dawn on October 9th 2009. The University will have its 11" Meade, equipped with a CCD camera to try to get an image of the impact, and Tahoe Star Tours will have an 11" CPC for visual observation, with an additional 8" telescope for general viewing.

New York (NY)

Inwood Astronomy Project
Inwood Hill Park, W 207 Street and Seaman Ave, New York City, NY
Early morning stargazing then breakfast and watch the Impact on NASA TV.

Hirsch Observatory
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th St, Troy, NY 12180
Event starts at 6:30 a.m. EDT. We will attempt imaging the event with the Hirsch Observatory's 16" telescope and live video feeds from NASA and major observatories will be presented. Event is weather permitting. In the event of clouds the event will be canceled. You can email for more information. The observatory phone number is 518-276-6090.

North Carolina (NC)

High Point, NC
Astronomy Lecture featuring LCROSS
(more info forthcoming)

Ohio (OH)

Cleveland Museum of Natural History (in partnership with NASA Glenn)
1 Wade Oval Drive University Circle Cleveland OH 44106-1767
CMNH has a planetarium and a 10.5” refractor telescope. Because sunrise is at 7:32 a.m., they are not optimistic in being able to see much, but they are going to try. They will put a TV camera feed to a public viewing area (as well as to a video recorder) and allow visitors to walk through the observatory. Media will also be invited to the event. NASA TV will be broadcast in the planetarium and perhaps an auditorium. Glenn will provide an LPRP banner it has been in storage since the Oshkosh air show, a model of the Centaur rocket, a pop up exhibit on Centaur history, and possibly a “speaker” to answer questions from a NASA perspective.

Nielsen Observatory
12882 Diagonal Road, Elyria, Ohio 44050
We will open the gates at 5:30 a.m. We will have live NASA Broadcast feeds, canned video, and a camera attached to a C-14 telescope, hoping to capture the plumes as they occur. Other telescopes will be setup so our guests can view the Moon before and after the LCROSS events occur, weather permitting.

Oregon (OR)

ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum in Ashland
1500 E. Main St., Ashland, OR 97520
The ScienceWorks preview of the impact, illustrated with NASA mission video and new lunar images, will be held October 8th, 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the ScienceWorks auditorium. Admission for the event is free.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) will offer space exploration enthusiasts the opportunity to watch the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) crash-land on the Moon Friday, October 9. The LCROSS will crash into the Moon in order to gather data from the 6-mile-high impact cloud it will create. OMSI will be showing the impact in the auditorium live via satellite on NASA TV beginning at 3:30 a.m., with the impact scheduled at 4:30 a.m. PDT. Admission for the televised impact is free.

Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory
57245 River Rd, Sunriver, OR‎ 97707
The Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory will be open for viewing to watch the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) crash-land on the Moon Friday, October 9. The observatory will have up to 10 telescopes viewing the event. We will also be showing the impact on our big screen TV via satellite on NASA TV. Doors will open beginning at 4 a.m., with the impact scheduled at 4:30 a.m. PDT. Admission for the event is free, donations gladly accepted.

South Carolina (SC)

Copeland Auditorium
The Citadel, Charleston, SC 29409
Reveille on the Moon
Friday, October 9th: 7:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. A live view of LCROSS’s impact and resulting regolith plume will be shown using streaming data from the LCROSS spacecraft via NASA. Also a live Earth bound view will be projected from the large telescope at the MMT Observatory in Arizona.

Texas (TX)

El Paso Community College
Valle Verde Campus, 919 Hunter, El Paso, TX 79915
The college will open its dome at 4:30 a.m. CDT to the public to watch the LCROSS impact. The dome is in front of the North Loop entrance of the Valley Verde campus.

Administaff Observatory - Humble ISD
2505 S. Houston Ave, Humble, TX 77396
The Administaff Observatory will be recording and projecting the event as seen on their 20-inch Planewave CDK telescope and viewing it with our eyes on the 16-inch Meade LX-200 telescope. Aaron Clevenson -, Observatory Director, Adminstaff Observatory

Nova Hill Observatory
San Angelo, Texas
The San Angelo Astronomy Association will have an Impact Party on Friday morning, Oct. 9. Impact is 6:30 a.m. CDT. There will be 20" and 30" Dobsonians aimed at the moon, as well as two 12' scopes.

Scobee Planetarium
1300 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, Texas
The Scobee Planetarium will be taking live video feeds through their CCD video cameras and displaying them on various screens at the observatory.

Utah (UT)

Clark Planetarium
110 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
On Saturday, October 10 from 3:30-4:30pm, the Hansen Dome Theatre at the Clark Planetarium will present its original fulldome digital mini-show “Flight to the Moon: LRO and LCROSS” followed by a live-narrated presentation by Programs Manager Mike Murray. The presentation will include images, video and other feedback about the impact of the Centaur rocket booster and LCROSS in the crater Cabeus-A near the lunar south pole.

Washington (WA)

Central Washington University Astronomy Club
400 E University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926
This event will be hosted by the CWU astronomy club and physics department in Lind Hall on the southeast corner of the CWU campus. (See the campus map for details.) Doors open to the public at 3:30 am PDT. NASA channel will be showing the event in room 204. We'll be tracking the collision live with our 12-inch telescope on the roof of Lind Hall (weather permitting). There will be various smaller telescopes available for general sky observing, as well. For more information, contact Bruce Palmquist at

Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church
4102 S. Crestline, Spokane, WA 99203
We will have 4 telescopes set up for the event; two 8 inch schmidt cassigrains, a 12 inch dobsonian and a 16 inch dobsonian. One of the 8 inch scopes will be hooked to a camera and a projector. Viewing will begin approximately one hour before impact.

W.M. Keck Observatory
Pacific Lutheran University, 10th Ave S and 124th St S Tacoma, WA
LCROSS Breakfast Bash
The Tacoma Astronomical Society will be hosting an LCROSS Breakfast Bash at the PLU Observatory from 3:45 am PDT to 30 minutes post impact. We will stream NASA LCROSS footage as well as our own images from the 16" W.M. Keck Observatory.


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