On August 25, 2005, as Category 1 hurricane named Katrina blasted the Florida panhandle with torrential rains and 70-knot winds, Ruthie the Duck Girl wore her customary wedding dress while walking her leashed ducks through the historic French Quarter of New Orleans.
Outside the weather-beaten, century-old St. Roch Market, a queue of African Americans waited to order a mouth-watering concoction of chocolate-colored gumbo and crawfish, while just up the street, a pink grocery store served roast beef sandwiches.
The black neighborhood known as Faubourg Treme was thick with the scent of turkey necks and noodles called “yak-a-mein”. The Saturn Bar was hopping. And down in the bowl of the Lower Ninth Ward, graphic artist Shelby Wilson prepared to visit her two Arabian horses stabled on the levee.
After leaving a billion dollar swath of destruction, it looked like Katrina was all done as the weakened storm staggered back over the Gulf and slowed to crawl. It takes 79° seawater to grow tropical storms into hurricanes. The waters that re-energized Katrina were a record 86°.
Like a recurring nightmare, Katrina morphed into a Category 5 hurricane, terrifying mariners as barometers plummeted to 902mb-the fourth lowest pressure ever recorded in the Atlantic. The Earth’s rotation ensures that westward-tending hurricanes north of the equator invariably “recurve” in an arc back to the northeast. But not Katrina. By August 26, knowledgeable bloggers were mystified:
“The NHC [National Hurricane Center] keeps saying it’s going to swerve more westwards and north, but Katrina steadfastly ignores their computer models. There is a problem with the computer model. There has been since landfall yesterday. Very interesting. This must be most distressing series of false track predictions seen recently for the hurricane computer models. and it all began with that unexpectedly quick dogleg turn to the SW by 75 degrees near landfall yesterday… There is no clue why Katrina continues to move WSW.
“The NHC kept thinking it would turn northwards, at least westwards… Not the slightest change in direction. Not for the last 18 hours… It’s going to come ashore somewhere in Mexico, probably… Looks like it’s going to visit Mexico, maybe Texas… This is one interesting storm!
“…The storm track for Katrina is quite, quite strange. I’d not get upset about it hitting Louisiana yet. It simply is NOT taking aim at it… It looks like it’s going to plow into Yucatan. This is a very unusual storm… Very odd. I have never seen a tropical storm like this one before. Very odd.”
“Katrina continues on a steady, unwavering WSW track taking it into the northern Yucatan. For a day and a half the NHC models have not applied to Katrina, at all. It was supposed to have begun to shift around to the west and then more northerly. But it has failed, totally, utterly to do so. This suggests that Katrina… does not know how to act like any self respecting Hurricane.”
“Well, the thing is still wobbling to the WSW, well off the predicted storm track which would have taken it at LEAST to a heading of WNW by now… It’s like a drunken sailor staggering to the SW… inexplicably and the computer models are WAY off now… No doubt the NHC is really interested in finding out what made it trend SW and WSW, now, in defiance of their good models. It’s possible the thing could hit Yucatan…” [http://uplink.space.com]
The usual 48-hour predicted hurricane track error is 160 miles. But as Dr. Wayne blogged, “Over the last two days the storm course has been now, 600 MILES off projected storm track. “That’s one heckuvan error!”
On August 29, winds surged to 125 knots as Katrina crossed a band of 91° inshore water. But the hurricane that should have clobbered Texas pivoted like a bank-shot and hit Louisiana. Surprisingly, after defying all predictions, official final projections for the storm track were off by only 15 miles. Windspeed was estimated within 10 mph of actual velocity-a near impossible feat of hurricane prediction. [livescience.com; physicsweb.org Oct 5/05]
What happened to Katrina? After studying satellite images of large weather systems with “deleted” sections, and telltale “scalar” imprints of oddly shaped and aligned clouds, Northwest news affiliate meteorologist Scott Stevens was sure the weather was being deliberately manipulated. With 72-hour forecasts persistently and wildly wrong across the USA, this veteran TV weatherman was convinced that sophisticated forecasting models were not accounting for “artificial weather” betraying the “hand of man” in formerly natural processes.
Stevens began using “scalar weapons signatures” to improve his forecasting record. There was no question in his mind that the storms he was seeing were being “altered and guided to their final destinations. Is there some combination of chemtrails and scalar weapons at work to control earth’s weather?” he wondered. [urbansurvival.com; weatherwars.info; coasttocoastam.com ]
Did the latest weather modifying technology involve electromagnetic force?
FOOLING WITH FRANCES
Stevens was on to something.
On the morning of September 5, 2004, WFOR-TV reporter Dave Malkoff had been on hurricane watch at Juno Beach just north of West Palm Beach, Florida when he was drawn to something on the water. Frances was coming in at a walk as Malkoff strode to the water’s edge to get a closer look
“Gel foam down here on the ocean,” Malkoff told viewers. “Once these waves crash, you’re going to see something interesting. Once the waves crash they instantly mix with foam-watch! That’s the foam right there. And it instantly turns into like a foam that you would have in your bathtub, and it blows away like a solid. Instantly, this foam that’s coming off the ocean mixes with the sand and is blowing down this way.”
Whatever he was seeing was too thick for familiar ocean foam. Confirmation came later that morning when a CBS-affiliate reported from Pompano Beach: “White foam all across the water. And it is not blowing away.”
Three years before, on July 19, 2001, ABC News had reported similar gelatinous goo washing up on beaches in West Palm Beach. Identified as Dyn-O-Gel, this air-dropped desiccant had been designed by the Dyn-O-Mat Corporation of West Palm Beach to dry up hurricanes and dial them down. [moonbowmedia.com]
Just before Frances struck the Florida panhandle, its central eye suddenly expanded from the usual 20 miles across to 70 nautical miles wide. “That is just unbelievably large,” exclaimed a CNN affiliate out of Jacksonville. “And it’s moving unbelievably slow. If it’s going five, they say eight miles an hour. It could take 10 hours for the eye to go through. I mean that’s crazy.”
It took 13.
The slow-moving hurricane dumped more than 18 inches of rain on some locations, causing $9 billion in damage, mostly in Florida.
Dumping more heavy rains, and packing winds of 120 mph, Hurricane Ivan came ashore in Alabama on September 16, 2004. The Category 5 storm weakened as it moved inland. Emerging over the Atlantic Ocean, the storm unexpectedly drifted southward for several days before crossing southern Florida and re-entering the Gulf of Mexico on the 21st.
A day later, Ivan deepened into a tropical storm again. After storm surges completely engulfed the island of Grand Cayman, damaging or destroying almost every building, Ivan killed 92 people and caused $14 billion in damage in the US alone-the third largest total on record.
Slowing down a hurricane’s advance, and increasing its destructive precipitation are hallmarks of hurricane modification.
A U.S. military source later confirmed to this reporter through an intermediary that a squadron of rapidly-reloaded C-130 transport planes-“hot refueled” with the engines running-had repeatedly dropped chemicals into hurricanes Ivan and Frances in 2004.
The 2004 season’s unannounced hurricane mitigation efforts were an outgrowth of Project Stormfury. Seeding Atlantic hurricanes in 1963, 1969 and 1971, the intention was to introduce artificial nuclei into these massive storms, altering internal rain patterns and collapsing eye walls into less destructive twins. In August 1969, Hurricane Debbie’s intensity was temporarily reduced by 30% after being seeded twice over four days by several aircraft. [AP Sept. 23/05; naiwmc.org]
But seeding Hurricane Camille backfired. On August 17, 1969 the 909mb hurricane struck Mississippi with 190 mph winds as a record 25-foot storm surge submerged homes up to two miles inland. The Tri-State Natural Weather Association blamed the strongest storm to ever hit the United States mainland on “inept science.” [Courier Press July 16/06]
The unforeseen consequences of Stormfury caused a United States Air-Force report to conclude: “Due to the fact that the consequences of weather manipulation are so uncertain, many wonder if it is such a wise idea in the first place.” [Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the weather in 2025]
“Every time we’ve tampered with an ecosystem, we’ve caused some real problems,” echoed Dr. James Durbin, professor of climatology at the University of Southern Indiana. Failing to learn from disastrous past attempts, we “think we can control Nature, but we can’t.”
On December 13, 2005-not long after Katrina’s traumatic touchdown-Director of the Department of Commerce, John Marburger III wrote to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in response to pending bill S. 517. Hutchison’s “Weather Modification” act sought to officially established weather tampering as a federal department in Washington DC.
“The legal and liability issues pertaining to weather modification, and the potential adverse consequences on life, property, and water resource availability resulting from weather modification activities, must be considered fully before the U.S. Government could take responsibility for this new research program,” Marburger warned. “Small and large scale (e.g., hurricane) weather modification efforts could benefit the United States to the detriment of other countries (such as Canada or Mexico).” [Bay Area Indymedia Dec 13/05.
THE WHITE HOUSE VS LOUISIANA
As Mitchel Cohen observed in “People of the Dome”, the storm struck on Monday. On Tuesday, while a stunned wired world watched people suffering and dying in Louisiana, Bush mugged for the cameras while playing a guitar in California.
Even though Katrina veered and weakened to a Category 2 storm as it sideswiped New Orleans, the vulnerable city's levees failed, completely submerging St. Bernard parish.
“Marginal” levee walls also failed near Lake Pontchartrain on the city's north side after the soaring costs of destroying Iraq led an unelected president to propose spending less than 20% of what the Army Corps of Engineers needed to shore up Lake Pontchartrain. “Experts knew this was coming, and all the preparations ground to a halt because Bush stole New Orleans' disaster preparation money so he could use it for his Iraq debacle,” wrote the American Blog. [New Orleans CityBusiness Feb 16/04; USAToday June 1/06; www.dailykos.com]
“At least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside,” observed Editor & Publisher. “At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars. [americablog.blogspot.com; www.editorandpublisher.com]
“The government, which could have and should have provided water and food to residents of New Orleans, has not done so intentionally to force people to evacuate by starving them out. This is a crime of the gravest sort,” Cohen asserts.
“We need to understand that the capability has been there from the start to drive water and food right up to the convention center, as those roads have been clear. It’s how the National Guard drove into the city. On Wednesday a number of Greens tried to bring a large amount of water to the Superdome. They were prevented from doing so, as have many others. Why have food and water been blocked from reaching tens of thousands of poor people?
“They even refused to allow voluntary workers who had rescued over 1,000 people in boats over the previous days to continue on Thursday… and had to be “convinced” at gunpoint to “cease and desist”. There is something sinister going down… its not just incompetence or negligence.”
As Aaron Broussard, President of Jefferson Parish told the press on September 4, FEMA turned back three trailer trucks of water from Wal-Mart. A Coast Guard vessel offered 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel. But “when we got there with our trucks, they got a word. ‘FEMA says don’t give you the fuel.’ FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice.”
Renita Hosler, spokeswoman for the Red Cross, complained that “the Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the Red Cross not come back to New Orleans… We have been at the table every single day. We cannot get into New Orleans against their orders.”
As Cohen resumes, “The unprepared were left to die in the flood, the poor and black were shunted into filthy detention centers, and the city was transformed into a war-zone replete with armored vehicles and 70,000 military personnel roaming the streets. The men and women who lost their lives in New Orleans they are the blameless victims of a government strategy that is as abstruse as it is lethal.
“Bush was not ‘misinformed’ nor was the ‘White House in a fog’ as the media insists. The evidence clearly demonstrates that the warnings were deliberately delayed, aid was deliberately obstructed, rescue-efforts were deliberately sabotaged, and the entire action was part of a broader government operation to achieve an ‘unknown’ objective.
That objective was a radical demographic displacement of disadvantaged black people from neighborhoods they had resided in with verve and vibrancy for generations. “The largest displacement of Americans since the Civil War,” according to The Washington Post, was “so dramatic,” wrote Naomi Klein, “that some evacuees describe it as ‘ethnic cleansing’.” [Washington Post Sept 2/05; Nation Oct 10/05]
Killing more than 1,577 people-mostly black Americans, who had been discouraged with roadblocks and gunfire from evacuating over city bridges into surrounding white communities-Katrina was the most destructive hurricane on record in the United States. With 80% of New Orleans initially underwater, damage exceeding $100 billion resulted in the forced relocation of some 300,000 residents of the city’s historic ethnic community-including “folk artists, brass-band high-steppers, corner barbers, Mardi Gras Indians, dive-bar guitarists,” wrote Manuel Roig-Franzia. “Gone with them is one of the world’s most intriguing street-life scenes, a culture blended of Catholicism and voodoo, Haitians and Italians, Spaniards and French, slaves and free men…. The poor black neighborhoods birthed jazz funerals and the spontaneous second-line parades are ghost towns.”
Two years later, Ruthie the Duck Girl is gone. St. Roch Market and the pink grocery stand silent. The Saturn Bar is shuttered. And with a Brown University study concluding that 80% of New Orleans’s black population may never return, “miles of culturally vibrant neighborhoods that once smelled of simmering red beans and hosted funky second-line parades lie dark and empty,” writes Roig-Franzia.
With Faubourg Treme slated to become exclusive condominiums for rich white folks, Shelby Wilson suspects “a screw job, a power play.”
“It can certainly be a whitewashed city,” echoes University of Kentucky professor and New Orleans marching club expert, Michael Crutcher. “‘Whitewashed’ means both things-sanitized and whiter.”
“They’re trying to mold this city into a pseudo-Disneyland, gambling center, party center, a facade,” Wilson concludes. “But that is not what New Orleans is about.” [Washington Post Feb 3/06]
It was time to call Hank. Not his real name, Hank’s deep connections inside the U.S. military, political and scientific communities had helped me break major stories over the past 15 years-from the origins of Gulf War Illness, to mind-and-mood altering electromagnetic “poppers” deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israel’s aborted nuclear strike on Iran. A genuine insider never volunteers information. You have to ask the right questions.
“Was Katrina manipulated?” I asked him.
“Yes,” he replied without hesitation. “Look at where it was going to go-Texas. Who lives there?”
When Katrina threatened the Gulf, G.W. Bush was at his Crawford ranch. The Longhorn State was also home to crucial oil wells and the national oil reserve. Nuclear storage facilities were in the storm’s path. So was Houston-“as in ‘Houston, we have a problem,’” Hank added. “NASA, we couldn’t rebuild it. Spacecom, Lackland AFB, Redstone arsenal, Egland AFB, some top secret nuclear projects-add them up.
“Picture this thing from the top falling down like a stack of quarters. It would have gone right down the center of Texas,” Hank continued. “It would’ve hooked left and down and hit Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and made it almost all the way over to El Paso. [It] would’ve drowned NASA and some underground silos that nobody knew about. Bad. It would have been a big inconvenience for them, and they just really didn’t want to go there.”
“How is it possible that our government did not mobilize forces to protect NASA, to protect the president, to evacuate the coast?” Hank asked. “Louisiana was a sacrifice. Texas lives, Louisiana dies. Just like [the shootdown of] Flight 93.”
The people who made up the heart and soul of a city visited by this writer in happier times were mostly black Americans. And they were expendable.
“Triage. They had a choice and they made a choice,” Hank continued. “There was a human cost. But humans come and go. The equipment and the pieces they had set in place they couldn’t replace. People could be replaced. Which is pretty much the way governments have always worked.”
Even with forecasts showing Katrina hooking northwest into Texas, “Nobody in Texas was told to run. There was no plywood over windows. Nothing. Zee-ro. How is it possible that no one was told to do that? Houston is near the coast. There were news pictures of people around NASA having a fucking picnic. They were being told, ‘It will not hit us.’ The same people who tell you that a hurricane will take a 90-degree turn will tell you that there are WMD in Iraq.
“Katrina was a perfect storm-too perfect,” Hank concluded. “Look at the track that they showed. The bottom and the top stayed the same-you could look straight down to the ocean through the eye. Impossible. Meteorologists have never seen it, and I was always told it was impossible. The top and bottom would be moving forward at different speeds.”
He was right. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories, satellite recorded speeds for the clockwise-turning upper-level winds are typically between 144-162 km/hr. Low-level winds spin counterclockwise at between 25-86 km/hr.
A military meteorologist later told Hank that Katrina’s sudden radical swerve signified hurricane “redirecting.