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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
September 2, 2010     Pahrump Mirror
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September 2, 2010

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F.DITORIAL / OPINION MIRROR - Thursday, September 2, 2010 17 The evolutions of the United States and China Fareed Zakaria of CNN had as his guest Sunday, Robert D. Kaplan. They were talking about China. From all I read or see, it seems generally accepted that China is emerging into a major world power rivaling the United States. China's population dwarfs that of the United States. China is a major creditor of the United States. Americans bolster China's rise in the global picture by buying Chinese products in the retail markets such as Wal-Mart. With that in mind I watched Zakaria and Kaplan. Zakaria seemed to have my same frame of mind, how is it that China is becoming such an influence on the world stage and what does it mean? Kaplan wrote an article published in Foreign Affairs in May/June 2010 which can be read on the CNN website at http://www.foreignaffairscomJ articles/66205/robert-d-kaplan/the-geography-of- chinese-power#. Citing English geographer Sir Halford Mackinder and his famous 1904 article, "The Geographical Pivot of History," explained that China located in Eurasia, is in the "geostrategic fulcrum of world power." China has a 9,000-mile temperate coastline with many good natural harbors. It is both a land power and a sea power. MacKinder predicted "China would eventually guide the world by 'building for a quarter of humanity a new civilization, neither quite Eastern nor quite Western.'" With China's centralized government it can expand in ways that "democracies" cannot. But China is absorbing Western technology and practices, integrating them "into a disciplined and elaborate cultural system" forming relationships with other nations. Kaplan noted the United States grew steadily in the 19th century by trading with the outside world. China's ambitions "are as aggressive as those of the United States in the 19th century. China doesn't seek to spread Nye - Eafeway to Nevada's Rurais by lack Wood "an ideology or a system of government" as the United States does. Witness the avowed reasons of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq to establish a democracy along the lines of that of the United States. China is "prolelled by its need to secure energy, metals and strategic minerals in order to support the rising living standards of its immense population, which amounts to about one-fifth of the world's total." I don't hear those kinds of goals being pursued by the government of the United States. China's global "scouring for resources" will bring it into conflict with the "missionary-oriented" United States. Makes some sense to me. Since World War II the United States has resorted to wars rather than building its own resources as evidenced by the Vietnam, Korean wars and now the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The wars in Vietnam and Korea were avowed to be to stop communism. In Afghanistan and Iraq to fight terrorism and spread democracy. Huge amounts of the U.S. treasury and lives have been spent in all four wars, all occurring within my lifetime. No wonder the U.S. economy has been in the tank. The U.S. focus has been outward rather than inward all these years, fighting wars. China is currently mining for copper near Kabul in Afghanistan and "has its eye on the region's iron, gold, uranium and precious gems" while the U.S. chugs away militarily in its pursuits. Meanwhile China is expanding its Navy to control seaports around the south of the Asian continent all the way up to the Persian Gulf increasing its influence to the Eurasian border. All of which can jeopardize the stability among the Asian nations. Yes, times are changing. Relationships between large nations are undergoing revis.ion. Economies of the several nations will also evolve into a different shape following the global recession. If you are so inclined read Kaplan's article. It will leave you with food for thought. You are welcome to read more about this and other matters on the Nye-Gateway to Nevada's Rurals blog at http://nyegateway.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Featheriver. You tufty, in addition, email me at featheriver@hughes.net. Remembering Pas00 John Weisser responsible for the killing of six people and numerous forest fires in the Northwest. Over 1,600 Balloon Bombs were initially released as terror weapons by Japan and hundreds ultimately made their way successfully across the ocean. There were six recorded balloon finds in Nevada and one was recorded as landing south of Indian Springs and found on July 20, 1944. Most civilian sightings of these strange devices looked similar too and were reported as parachutes. The government kept information about the balloons top secret during the war so as not to panic the civilian population. Lt. Smith was flying low up the western slopes of Mt. Charleston searching for the 'parachute' when he crashed. The propellers of the AT- 11 were not damaged, indicating that they were not turning when the aircraft came down. The most probable explanation lays with the co-pilot Beverly Moss, a WASP (Woman's Auxiliary Service Pilot). Moss had been assigned to the LVAAF for only a week before and this was her initial flight.in an AT- 11. Lt. Smith, when flying up Woods Canyon, would most likely have called for increased power to get over the approaching 8,000 ft. peak. Moss had been trained on an AT-10 (Cessna Bobcat.) To increase power in an AT- 10 the fuel controls are pushed forward. In an AT- 11 the controls are pulled back. This mistake of habit would have cut power to the engines shutting them off and at low altitude there was not time to restart the engines. Due to the pilot's skill, the plane made a "soft pancake landing" and the crew would have survived the initial impact. There was, "no damage done to the structure of the AT-11. On the underside of the aircraft, there were no dents or scratches, and even the lights under the craft were not broken." Unfortunately, a rock ruptured the fuel tank in the wing and the three crewmembers in the nose of the aircraft perished. The passenger was found laying half in and half out of the aircraft's only door located in the middle of the fuselage. The official report filed by Colonel Henry states that the six occupants of the AT-11 were killed in the crash while still strapped in their seats and all the long bones (arms and legs) were broken during the crash. As the reader has now noticed the official report differs from the accounts of Lt. Springham who led the rescue team. Many of the photographs taken of the crash site by Lt. Spingham still exist and clearly depict an intact aircraft that had burned. One photograph shows a body lying in the open side door of the AT-11. However, Lt. Springham's report no longer exists. It was immediately destroyed and replaced by the report written by Colonel Henry and two assisting air force Majors. None of these men had been to or flown over the crash site. Only torsos were left of the four bodies located .at the site. There could not have been any broken arms and legs as stated in Colonel Henry's official report, and where were the bodies of the additional two passengers listed in the 'official report?' Lt. Springham was not told how many airmen were on the AT-11 when he started up the mountain. He assumed everyone perished in the fire and that all bodies were recovered, but two men obviously survived and exited the burning aircraft. Did Colonel Henry intentionally leave these two men to perish? What happened to them? Why destroy Lt. Springham's eyewitness report and replace it with one containing so many discrepancies? What happened to the six bodies? Why did the U.S. Air Force send up a team to the crash site 48 years later to sanitize the area? Intrigued? Learn more next week only in The Mirror. call on July 20, 1944 from Colonel George Henry commander of the Las Vegas Army Air Field (since renamed Nellis Air Force Base). Lt. Springham was to lead a team of twenty soldiers up Woods Canyon, located on the Pahrump side of Mount Charleston, to the site of a crashed AT- 11 aircraft. A circling aircraft would direct the men aiding their progress up the canyon. The terrain was so rough and the climb so difficult that only Lt. Springham and an accompanying medic were able to reach the crash site located just below the 8,000-foot level. The twin-engine plane was found to be remarkably intact, but a fire trapped the pilot, co- pilot and bombardier in their respective compartments. One additional body was located laying half way out the only door on the side of the aircraft. Four body bags containing the torsos (the arms and legs were consumed by the fire) were brought back to the Indian Spring Base. The AT-11 began in 1937 as a Beechcraft Model 18 used primarily for commercial short haul transportation with arange of 1,200 miles. During 1941 and 1945 the Army Air Corps purchased 1,582 of the planes at a cost of $67,000 each. The AT-11 Kansen was primarily used as a trainer for reconnaissance, bombing and instrument training. Over 90 percent of the 45,000 USAAFs WWlI bombardiers received training in an AT-11. Colonel Henry and two other majors from LVAAF filed what was to become the official report on the investigation into the crash that occurred during a "Routine Training Flight." After takeoff, the aircraft made one stop at the Indian Springs sub-base; topped off the tanks, and by 2:40 p.m. had resumed the "training mission." At 3:51, pilot Lt. Frank Smith, received new instructions from the LVAAF. The plane was to "look for a parachute" spotted in the vicinity of Mt. Charleston." A civilian reportedly called in the sightirig from Las Vegas The story becomes a little confusing at this point. Take a step back and remember that Las Vegas was a very small city in those days. Anyone seeing a parachute would have had to be very close to the mountains and the long drive over primarily dirt roads back to Vegas would have taken considerable time. However, Lt. Smith was looking for the parachute on The call could not have come fromPahrump. In 1954 there was no phone service nor were there paved roads in the Pahrmnp Valley that would have allowed quick egress. A thorough review of Air Force records showed no listing of any otherplane crash in Southern Nevada during this period of time. Where did the parachute originate? The source of the call also raises questions. The parachute may have actually been a Balloon Bomb released by Japan and carried by the air currents over the continental U.S. These exploding bombs Were Lieutenant Jack Springham received a telephone the Pahrump side of the mountain when he crashed. A routine training .flight - Crash of an AT-11