Tuesday, May 13, 2008


How would you like to carry around your entire DVD collection on a single disk? That is the promise of a new holo–graphic digital storage technology being developed by General Electric and coming to a computer near you around 2012. Although not the first commercial holographic storage system—that honor goes to InPhase Technologies’ Tapestry™ 300r holographic drive—GE’s system could be the first one aimed at consumers. (InPhase’s holographic drives, which debuted last year, sell for $18,000 and target broadcasters who need to archive television programs.)

Holographic media can store huge amounts of data because information is encoded in layers throughout the entire disk, not just on a single reflective surface as in today’s optical media. In GE’s system, a single CD-size disk made of plastic will be able to store about 1 terabyte of data, equivalent to 110 typical movie DVDs. http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-jmbPCHg9dLPh1gHoZxLG.GpS
Louis J. Sheehan Esquire
This kind of capacity would make it possible to back up all your music, photos, home movies, and e-mails in one place; it would also allow for totally new, extremely data-intensive applications, such as Micro–soft’s MyLifeBits project, which aims to capture in digital form every–thing that happens in an individual’s life. Besides automatically archiving and indexing things like e-mails and text documents, the project includes a wearable camera that snaps a picture at least once every 30 seconds, creating a visual index of every day.

To store data holographically, a laser beam (1) is split in two (2). One half of the beam passes through an array of hundreds of thousands of gates (3). Each gate can be opened or closed to represent a binary 1 or 0. The gates either block or pass the beam, filtering it into a coded pattern, or signal. The other half of the beam, known as the reference beam, is bounced off a mirror (4), so that the reference beam and the signal beam encoded with digital information intersect somewhere within the plastic storage medium (5). Light waves from the two beams interfere with each other, imprinting into the plastic a hologram—a three-dimensional pattern. By varying the angle of the mirror, millions of holograms can be created in the same piece of plastic. To read data from storage, the reference beam alone is used to illuminate the hologram. The resulting image can be read by a sensor and converted back into 1s and 0s.

Contrary to public opinion, salted nuts aren't necessarily high in sodium. Because salt is present on the surface of the nut, it's tasted immediately. In actuality, a 1-ounce serving (or 49 kernels) of pistachios only contains 5% DV of sodium. As an option, raw pistachios are sodium free.

A good snack can be part of a healthy eating plan by helping stabilize blood sugar, satisfy hunger between meals, supply extra nutrients including fiber, and keep energy levels high and your mind alert.

Naturally trans-fat and cholesterol-free, and one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat nuts, pistachios make an ideal snack choice. Tasty and delicious, pistachios are the most nutrient dense nut, offering a good source of eight important nutrients including thiamin, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, potassium, fiber, phosphorus and magnesium. http://louisjsheehan.blogstream.com/
Also, among snack nuts, pistachios contain the highest amounts of polyphenol antioxidants. While the role of antioxidants is still unknown, research suggests that a diet of foods containing antioxidants is smart eating.

Pistachios help your heart in four ways. First, most of the fat found in pistachios is "good" unsaturated fat, which can lower blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease when replacing saturated fat in the diet. Second, pistachios offer the highest levels of cholesterol-busting phytosterols among snack nuts, and are a good source of fiber, both of which reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the diet. Also, among snack nuts, pistachios are the highest in polyphenols, antioxidants with potential heart health benefits6. Finally, pistachios offer potassium. An inadequate intake of potassium is characterized by increased blood pressure and may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

You'll also find pistachios included in the FDA's first ever qualified health claim for conventional food, which states: "Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease." http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/117748/move

Your body needs fat to function. But the wrong kind - saturated fat - can raise cholesterol levels increasing the risk of heart disease. Most of the fat found in pistachios - almost 90% - is "good" unsaturated fat. When unsaturated fats replace saturated fats - those found in meats, baked goods and full fat dairy products - they can help lower blood cholesterol along with the risk of heart disease.

Many nutritionists agree that, when eaten in moderation, good fats, along with protein, helps dieters feel full longer. It's also good to know that because pistachios are dry roasted, they are naturally trans-fat free. According to the American Heart Association, trans-fats raise total blood cholesterol levels and LDL ("bad") cholesterol and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol levels; in turn increasing the risk of coronary heart disease and increases the risk of stroke.

Pistachios make a superior snack choice for dieters. One reason is that they are nutrient dense - good news when every calorie counts. Also, many experts believe that because pistachios have both protein and fiber they help you feel full for longer - so you eat less at your next meal. One such expert is Tanya Zuckerbrot, registered dietitian, mother of three and author of the "F Factor Diet: Discovering the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss," who recommends foods containing fiber, such as pistachios, to help weight loss.

Did you know that most Americans fall short of the recommended daily amount for fiber? Fiber is important because it aids digestion, promotes satiety and helps maintain a healthy body weight. Tanya recommends a handful of delicious pistachios as a morning or afternoon snack as an easy way to add an extra 3 grams or more of natural fiber to your diet along with protein.

You may be surprised to know that nut consumption, in general, is associated with a lower body mass index and has not been shown to cause gain. In fact, many popular diet plans including DASH Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Weight Watchers and the USDA Food Pyramid, highlight nuts in their healthy eating plans. Some even believe that the simple act of shelling a pistachio may have the added benefit of slowing down consumption time.

1 oz serving size of pistachios, about 30 grams shelled, yields about 160 calories. That measures out to be about 49 kernels per ounce - which can make for a very satisfying snack. http://louis_j_sheehan.today.com/2008/03/08/gravity/
Pistachios are naturally low in carbohydrates and rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), making them a perfect snack for diabetics following recommended dietary guidelines. Clinical trials have found that diets following such guidelines help maintain blood sugar and insulin levels and reduce risk factors for heart disease, a consequence that accounts for greater than 65% of diabetic deaths. In fact, a 2007 study conducted at the University of Toronto showed that when pistachios are eaten with other high-carbohydrate foods, they slow absorption of carbohydrates into the body, resulting in lower-than-expected blood sugar levels. MUFA-rich foods of plant origins, such as pistachios, contain fiber, phytosterols and antioxidants, which confer a variety of cardiovascular benefits including glycemic control, improved lipid profiles, and reduced LDL oxidation.

It's important to know that the true prevalence of food allergy in the U.S. is not as great as the public perceives it to be. According to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (AAAI) estimates for 2006 suggest that food allergy of all types affects about 4% of the total population, with prevalence in children generally higher than that for adults. About 90% of food allergies in the US and in many other parts of the world derive from milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy. Diagnosis of food allergy, including allergies to nuts, can be problematic because no single laboratory test available today can conclusively confirm that a person will exhibit clinical symptoms in response to consumption of a suspect food. For most people with food allergies, symptoms that occur after consuming the offending food are merely annoying such as a runny nose or itchy skin.

Tree nut allergies are rare in the general population. The best estimates available suggests that allergy to no single tree nut exceeds about .4% of the U.S. population, whereas separate estimates for peanuts suggest the prevalence is about 0.8 percent. If you're concerned about any food allergies, consult your physician.

A 1-oz serving of in-shell pistachios (about 30 grams or 1⁄2 cup), typically retails for about 30¢, a favorable comparison, price-wise, to popular salted snacks such as ready-to-eat popcorn. More importantly, however, you'll find that a handful of pistachios provides significant nutritional value and helps keep hunger satisfied.

You probably already know that junk snacks provide little nutritional value per calorie and can lead to obesity and a number of related illnesses. http://sheehan.myblogsite.com/


When you consider food on a dollar per nutrient basis, healthy choices are not necessarily more expensive. In fact, while you may think you're saving money by choosing a processed "junk" snack, in the long run the choice may be more expensive. Consider the following:

Healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and nuts are more satiating - so you feel fuller, longer. Plus they provide your body with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed to stay healthy. Pistachios offer good nutritional value: the most nutrient-dense tree nut*, pistachios are also among the highest fiber nuts, and also offer the highest amounts of phytosterols and antioxidants. One of the lowest calorie, lowest fat nuts, pistachios are also fun to eat.

And for those people with moderately high cholesterol levels, studies show that a snack of pistachios, when used as a replacement for high-fat snacks, can cut both total and "bad" LDL cholesterol while offering cardioprotective nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and copper. http://louis9j9sheehan.blog.com/2841488/
http://louis2j2sheehan.us/page1.aspxGood news for heart health!

Many people are surprised to learn that studies show pistachios actually help lower cholesterol. That's because almost 90% of the fat in pistachios is unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), which can reduce blood cholesterol levels when they replace saturated fats in the diet. In addition to offering heart healthy unsaturated fats, pistachios provide important antioxidants and amino acids that reduce the risk of heart disease. And among nuts, pistachios have the highest content of phytosterols, a plant sterol shown to reduce cholesterol absorption from other foods.

microkernel family.

Pistachio nuts, dry roasted, w/o salt
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 570 kcal 2390 kJ
Carbohydrates 27.65 g
- Sugars 7.81 g
- Dietary fiber 10.3 g
Fat 45.97 g
Protein 21.35 g
Thiamin (Vit. B1) 0.84 mg 65%
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.158 mg 11%
Niacin (Vit. B3) 1.425 mg 10%
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.513 mg 10%
Vitamin B6 1.274 mg 98%
Folate (Vit. B9) 50 μg 13%
Vitamin C 2.3 mg 4%
Calcium 110 mg 11%
Iron 4.2 mg 34%
Magnesium 120 mg 32%
Phosphorus 485 mg 69%
Potassium 1042 mg 22%
Zinc 2.3 mg 23%
Manganese 1.275 mg
Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

The pistachio (Pistacia vera L., Anacardiaceae; sometimes placed in Pistaciaceae) is a small tree up to 10 m tall, native to mountainous regions of Iran, Turkmenistan and western Afghanistan. It has deciduous pinnate leaves 10–20 cm long.

The plants are dioecious, with separate male and female trees. The flowers are apetalous and unisexual, and borne in panicles. The fruit is a drupe, containing an elongated seed (a nut in the culinary sense, but not a true botanical nut) with a hard, whitish shell and a striking kernel which has a mauvish skin and light green flesh, with a distinctive flavour. http://blogs.ebay.com/mytymouse1/home/_W0QQentrysyncidZ526811010

When the fruit ripens, the husk changes from green to an autumnal yellow/red and the shells split partially open (see photo). This is known as dehiscence, and happens with an audible pop.

Each pistachio nut weighs around 1 gram, and each pistachio tree averages around 50 kg of nuts, or around 50,000, every two years. Pistachios (as part of the pistacia genus) have existed for about 80 million years

P. vera) was first cultivated in Western Asia. It reached the Mediterranean world by way of central Iran, where it has long been an important crop. Although known to the Romans, the pistachio nut appears not to have reached the Mediterranean or most of the Near East in any quantity before medieval times.
The kernels are often eaten whole, either fresh or roasted and salted, and are also used in ice cream and confections such as baklava. In July 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first qualified health claim specific to nuts lowering the risk of heart disease: "Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces (42.5g) per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease". In research at Pennsylvania State University, pistachios in particular significantly reduced levels of LDL, the 'bad' cholesterol, in the blood of volunteers. Pennsylvania State University's Department of Nutrition and Sciences has also conducted related research on other health benefits of pistachios, including an April 2007 study concluding that pistachios may calm acute stress reaction,and a June 2007 study on the cardiovascular health benefits of eating pistachios. http://web.mac.com/lousheehan/Site/Garage_Before_and_After.html
On the Greek island of Chios, the husk or flesh of the pistachio fruit surrounding the shell is cooked and preserved in syrup.

The shell of the pistachio is naturally a beige colour, but it is sometimes dyed red or green in commercial pistachios. Originally the dye was applied by importers to hide stains on the shells caused when the nuts were picked by hand. However most pistachios are now picked by machine and the shells remain unstained, making dyeing unnecessary (except that some consumers have been led to expect coloured pistachios). Roasted pistachio nuts can be artificially turned red if they are marinated prior to roasting in a salt and strawberry marinade, or salt and citrus salts.

The trees are planted in orchards, and take approximately seven to ten years to reach significant production. Production is alternate bearing or biennial bearing, meaning the harvest is heavier in alternate years. Peak production is reached at approximately 20 years. Trees are usually pruned to size to make the harvest easier. One male tree produces enough pollen for eight to twelve nut-bearing females. Pistachio orchards can be damaged by the fungal disease Botryosphaeria panicle and shoot blight, which kills the flowers and young shoots.

Pistachio trees are fairly hardy in the right conditions, and can survive temperature ranges between -10°C (14°F) in winter to 40°C (104°F) in summer. They need a sunny position and well-drained soil. Pistachio trees do poorly in conditions of high humidity, and are susceptible to root rot in winter if they get too much water and the soil is not sufficiently free draining. Long hot summers are required for proper ripening of the fruit.

Pistachio nuts are highly flammable when stored in large quantities, and are prone to self heating and spontaneous combustion.

Share of a total 2005 worldwide production of 501 thousand metric tonnes:
Country Production
Iran 190 000
U.S. 140 000
Turkey 60 000
Syria 60 000
China 34 000
Greece 9 500
Italy 2 400
Uzbekistan 1 000
Tunisia 800
Pakistan 200
Madagascar 160
Kyrgyzstan 100
Morocco 50
Cyprus 15
Mexico 7
Mauritius 5

California produces almost all U.S. pistachios, and about half of these are exported, mainly to China, Japan, Europe and Canada. Almost all California pistachios are of the cultivar 'Kerman'. The tree is grafted to a rootstock when the rootstock is one year old. Only a few years after California growers started growing pistachios, the 1979 crisis in Iran would give stronger commercial impetus to the American-based pistachio nut industry. Previous to that time, most Westerners were familiar with only the slightly smaller, deeply red-hued (dyed) nuts produced mainly in Iran, where it is the second largest export after oil. http://louisajasheehan.blogspot.com/

So late to be “discovered” by the rest of the world—Henry Stanley made the continent's first crossing only in 1877—Africa, it can be forgotten, is probably the cradle of humanity. Palaeoanthropologists, archaeologists and, more recently, geneticists have all bolstered the “out of Africa” theory, which holds that early man wandered out of the Rift Valley. Yet little is known of pre-colonial African cultures. Some vanished out of history, along with their languages and beliefs, before they ever came to be named. That is one reason why Africa's rock art is so precious. The faintest ochre scratches of prehistoric antelope in a cave open a rare window into Africa's—and humanity's—distant past.

Africa may have 200,000 rock-art sites, more than any other continent. The oldest known site, in Namibia, is between 18,000 and 28,000 years old. Several African universities now have programmes to decipher the paintings and carvings. They are being helped by the Kenya-based Trust for African Rock Art (TARA), which seeks to discover and digitally archive as much of the art as it can for future scholars.

The best is in the Sahara desert, particularly in Niger's Air mountains, in the Tibesti mountains of northern Chad and southern Libya, and in south-east Algeria's Tassili n'Ajjer range. Such desert sites are too remote to be damaged by graffiti, though wars involving the local Tuareg have resulted in some being shot up or smashed apart for sale to foreign collectors. David Coulson, one of TARA's founders, raves about a recent find in the Tassili n'Ajjer range: an anatomically perfect four-metre-long carving of a hippo hunted by an Egyptian-looking figure with a superbly sinuous bow. This in a region that dried up several thousand years ago.

Elsewhere in Africa, rock art often chronicles the hunting magic of Bushmen and Pygmies. Not much rock art survives in western Africa, and in eastern and central parts of the continent more recent but still invaluable paintings have been poorly preserved.

But there is progress. Locals are being encouraged to see the value of showing off their sites to tourists. National museums are being overhauled, with new displays of lost peoples. New history textbooks may follow. New finds are being made. A sensational discovery in a cave in Kenya is being kept under wraps until it can be properly dated.

Some think African rock art should provide a pan-African rallying point, free of politics or religion. A rich rock-art heritage could connect Libya and South Africa, two of the African Union's biggest backers, which sometimes struggle to find anything in common. Kofi Annan, a former UN secretary-general, is a big rock-art fan. He reckons it represents nothing less than the earliest record of the human imagination.

First, ask yourself how hungry you are, on a scale of 1 (ravenous) to 7 (stuffed). http://louiscjcsheehan.blogspot.com/

Next, take time to appreciate the food on your plate. Notice the colors and textures.

Take a bite. Slowly experience the tastes on your tongue. Put down your fork and savor.

"Most people don't think about what they're eating -- they're focusing on the next bite," says Sasha Loring, a psychotherapist at Duke Integrative Medicine, part of Duke University Health System here. "I've worked with lots of obese people -- you'd think they'd enjoy food. But a lot of them say they haven't really tasted what they've been shoveling down for years."

Over lunch, Ms. Loring is teaching me how to eat mindfully -- paying attention to what you eat and stopping just before you're full, ideally about 51⁄2 on that 7-point scale. Many past diet plans have stressed not overeating. What's different about mindful eating is the paradoxical concept that eating just a few mouthfuls, and savoring the experience, can be far more satisfying than eating an entire cake mindlessly.

• Assess how hungry you are.
• Eat slowly; savor your food.
• Put your fork down and breathe between bites.
• Notice taste satiety.
• Check back on your hunger level.
• Stop when you start to feel full.
Source: Duke Integrative Medicine

For more information on mindful eating
• "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink
• "Eating Mindfully" by Susan Albers
• "The Zen of Eating" by Ronna Kabatznick

It sounds so simple, but it takes discipline and practice. It's a far cry from the mindless way many of us eat while walking, working or watching TV, stopping only when the plate is clean or the show is over.

It's also a mind-blowing experience: I'm full and completely satisfied after three mindful bites.

The approach, which has roots in Buddhism, is being studied at several academic medical centers and the National Institutes of Health as a way to combat eating disorders. In a randomized controlled trial at Duke and Indiana State University, binge eaters who participated in a nine-week mindful-eating program went from binging an average of four times a week to once, and reduced their levels of insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. More NIH-funded trials are under way to study whether mindful eating is effective for weight loss, and for helping people who have lost weight keep it off.

One key aspect is to approach food nonjudgmentally. Many people bring a host of negative emotions to the table -- from guilt about blowing a diet to childhood fears of deprivation or wastefulness. "I joke with my clients that if I could put a microphone in their heads and broadcast what they're saying to themselves when they eat, the FCC would have to bleep it out," says Megrette Fletcher, executive director of the Center for Mindful Eating, a Web-based forum for health-care professionals. http://louisgjgsheehan.blogspot.com/

Using food as a reward or as solace also interferes with eating mindfully; if you're eating to satisfy emotional hunger, it's hard to ever feel full. "Ask yourself, what do you really need and what else can you do it fulfill it?" says Ms. Loring.

Have you had learned to eat consciously? Has it changed your life? If not, does it sound like something you'd like to try? Share your thoughts.

Chronic dieters in particular have trouble recognizing their internal cues, says Jean Kristeller, a psychologist at Indiana State, who pioneered mindful eating in the 1990s. "Diets set up rules around food and disconnect people even further from their own experiences of hunger and satiety and fullness," she says.

Mindful eaters learn to assess taste satiety. A hunger for something sweet or sour or salty can often be satisfied with a small morsel. In one exercise, Ms. Kristeller has clients mindfully eat a single raisin -- noticing their thoughts and emotions, as well as the taste and texture. "It sounds somewhat silly," she explains, "but it can also be very profound." http://louisijisheehan.blogspot.com/
Mindful eating also means learning to ignore urges to snack that aren't connected to hunger. And it's critical to leave food on your plate once you are full; pack it to go, if possible.

In contrast to other diet programs, the researchers involved with mindful eating avoid making weight-loss claims; that's still being investigated. But some practitioners say it's life-changing.

"I don't think about food anymore. It's totally out of my mind," says Mary Ann Power, age 50, of Pittsboro, N.C., a lifelong dieter who thinks she's lost eight or 10 pounds in two weeks since learning the practice at Duke. "I think you could put a piece of chocolate cake in front of my nose right now, and it wouldn't tempt me. Before, I could eat three pieces."

One mindful meal at Duke made a big impression on me -- I was satisfied with minimal meals for days afterward. But it's hard to sustain. I find myself eating mindlessly again in front of the TV, or at the computer.

"Try to eat one meal or one snack mindfully every day," advises Jeffrey Greeson, a psychologist with the Duke program. "Even eating just the first few bites mindfully can help break the cycle of wolfing it down without paying any attention."

For thirteen centuries, between 1200 B.C. and the second century A.D., the Jews lived in, and often ruled, the land of Israel. The population was clustered mainly in Judaea, Samaria, and Galilee. The Jews’ dominion was long but not eternal. The Romans invaded and, after suppressing revolts in A.D. 66-73 and 132-135, killed or expelled much of the Jewish population and renamed the land Palaestina, for the Philistines who had lived along the southern seacoast. After the conquest, some Jews stayed behind, and the faith of the Hebrews remained a religio licita, a tolerated religion, throughout the Roman Empire.

By the nineteenth century, Palestine had been ruled by Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Christian Crusaders, and Ottoman Turks. When Mark Twain visited in 1867, his imagination soaked with the Biblical imagery of milk and honey, he discovered to his surprise “a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land . . . desolate and unlovely.” Jericho was “accursed,” Jerusalem “a pauper village.” Twain’s passages on Palestine in “The Innocents Abroad” have, over the decades, been exploited by propagandists to echo Lord Shaftesbury’s notion that, before the return of the Jews to Zion, Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land. Twain and Shaftesbury, as it turned out, were hardly alone in failing to recognize a substantial Arab population in the Judaean hills and beyond. http://louisjjjsheehan.blogspot.com/

And yet nineteenth-century Palestine certainly was desolate and impoverished. The population in 1881 consisted of four hundred and fifty thousand Palestinian Arabs and twenty-five thousand Jews, nearly all of them ultra-Orthodox non-nationalists living in Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed, and Tiberias. Palestine, despite its importance to the three monotheistic religions, was a political backwater. The Ottomans divided the land into sanjaks, or districts, which were ruled from Constantinople, Damascus, and Beirut. It was at this time, however, that European Jews—poor, mainly secular, and feeling the onset of an intensified anti-Semitism in their countries of origin—began to emigrate to Palestine. This was the First Aliyah, or ascent. Most European Jewish emigrants headed to North America and Great Britain, but some, in small numbers at first, sailed to Palestine. The local Ottoman bureaucrats were strapped for cash, and the new arrivals had little problem obtaining entry rights, agricultural plots, and building permits. This was colonialism not by conquering armies but by persistent real-estate transactions—and, when necessary, baksheesh.

The plans of the early Jewish settlers were unambiguous, even if they seemed, at the time, wholly incredible. As one early Zionist, Ze’ev Dubnow, wrote to his brother Simon, “The ultimate goal . . . is, in time, to take over the Land of Israel and to restore to the Jews the political independence they have been deprived of for these two thousand years. . . . The Jews will yet arise and, arms in hand (if need be), declare that they are the masters of their ancient homeland.”

In the midst of this first wave of immigration, Zionism found its chief tribune, dreamer, and theorist in Theodor Herzl. A mediocre playwright and the Paris correspondent for a liberal Viennese daily newspaper, Neue Freie Presse, Herzl witnessed the Dreyfus trial in 1894 and the appalling anti-Jewish demonstrations that followed. In the four-volume “History of Anti-Semitism,” Léon Poliakov writes that in the last decades before the First World War it was “hard to determine whether the French Jews or the German Jews were the more fervently patriotic.” But Herzl concluded that if anti-Semitism was as pervasive in the capitals of the European Enlightenment as it was in tsarist Russia there was no hope for assimilation. He was thoroughly secular and had no real Jewish learning. He spoke neither Yiddish nor Hebrew. (Indeed, the pathos of his conversion to Zionism lay in his devotion both to Vienna and to German culture, and in the degree to which events in Europe would, with the rise of the Third Reich, surpass his darkest predictions.)

When Herzl published “Der Judenstaat” (“The Jewish State”), in 1896, the book seemed to most readers as utopian as Bacon’s “New Atlantis.” As portrayed in Amos Elon’s wonderful 1975 biography, Herzl was an almost comically quixotic figure—the bearded café intellectual with his historical dreams travelling the world, trying (and failing) to win financial support from the Rothschilds and political support from the Kaiser and the Ottoman sultan. And yet the Zionist movement, with Herzl at its center, took hold, and in 1897, at the First Zionist Congress, in Basel, Switzerland, a motley collection of Jewish intellectuals and political activists voted to establish a Heimstätte, a “publicly and legally secured home,” for the Jews in Palestine.
Although the delegates surely had a sovereign state in mind, they were careful in these early days not to use such terms, so as not to alarm the Gentiles or offend any Jewish grandees who might eventually decide to fund their project.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Palestinian Arabs identified themselves not as a unified people but as subjects of the Ottoman Empire and of the greater community of Islam; their local identities were tied to their villages, clans, and families. Resistance to the earliest wave of Jewish immigration was apparent, but it was polite compared to what came later. In 1899, the mayor of Jerusalem, Yusuf Dia al-Khalidi, wrote to Zadok Kahn, the chief rabbi of France, saying that the Zionist idea was in theory “natural, fine, and just. . . . Who can challenge the rights of the Jews to Palestine? Good lord, historically it is really your country.” But, like other Palestinian notables, he opposed Jewish immigration, because the land was inhabited and resistance would inevitably follow. “In the name of God, let Palestine be left in peace,” Khalidi wrote. Rabbi Kahn passed the letter on to Herzl, who blithely wrote to Khalidi to reassure him that the Zionists, with their wealth, their skills, and their education, would build an economy to benefit both Arab and Jew.

As the flow of immigration increased, so did the resistance, especially with the end of the First World War and the beginning of British control over Palestine, in 1917-18, and culminating in the 1936-39 Arab revolt against the Yishuv, the name for the pre-state Jewish community. The resistance took the form of demonstrations (some of them virulently anti-Semitic), riots, assaults, and bombings. The Palestinian leadership became more and more radicalized, and small clandestine groups were formed. In turn, radical Jewish factions and militias began to win support.

Where the Arabs were concerned, Herzl had been more oblivious than cruel. But the leader of the Yishuv, David Ben-Gurion, recognized the us-or-them nature of the conflict; he sensed the emotional force of his adversary’s position even as he fought for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. Between 1931 and 1939, as Jewish emigration mounted, the Arab majority declined from eighty-two per cent to seventy per cent. “What Arab cannot do his math and understand that immigration at the rate of sixty thousand a year means a Jewish state in all of Palestine?” Ben-Gurion stated. As he confessed years later to the Zionist Nahum Goldmann, “Why should the Arabs make peace? . . . We have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it’s true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them?”

Among Arab clerics, kings, and diplomats, the view of the Jews hardened into a maximalist politics, at once threatened and threatening. In 1943, when Franklin Roosevelt sent out feelers to King Ibn Sa’ud of Saudi Arabia to solve the Palestine situation, the King responded that he was “prepared to receive anyone of any religion except (repeat except) a Jew.” In a letter to F.D.R., he wrote, “Palestine . . . has been an Arab country since the dawn of history and . . . was never inhabited by the Jews for more than a period of time, during which their history in the land was full of murder and cruelty.” In 1947, Jordan’s prime minister, Samir Rifa’i, hardly the most radical politician in the region, told reporters, “The Jews are a people to be feared. . . . Give them another twenty-five years and they will be all over the Middle East, in our country and Syria and Lebanon, in Iraq and Egypt. . . . They were responsible for starting two world wars. . . . Yes, I have read and studied, and I know they were behind Hitler at the beginning of his movement.”

What followed was a drama of redemptive, liberating settlement on one side and catastrophic dispossession on the other—all of it taking place on a patch of desert land too small for easy division and too imbued with historical and holy claims for rational negotiation. For the Jews in Palestine, Zionism was a movement of national liberation after untold suffering; for the Arabs, Zionism was an intolerable assault by the colonial West against sacred ground and Islam itself. Even now, more than a century later, politicians and scholars alike quickly betray prejudices, passions, and allegiances in the details they select when relating the saga that led to the U.N. Partition Plan, on November 29, 1947, and the war that began just hours later.

In Soviet-era Russia, honest young men and women of academic inclination knew never to enter the field of modern history. In order to live a scholarly life relatively free of cant and suppression, one studied Byzantine manuscripts, Mayan civilization, medieval Burma—anything that would safely skirt mention of one’s own time and place. In the new society of Israel, however noisily democratic, national history is inescapably political, too. And, like any young nation, especially one born of conflict, Israel did not readily accept scholarly work that challenged its most cherished national myths. Self-doubt, complexity, and reflection are not the modes of infancy; in any country, mythmaking precedes documentary rigor. For nearly forty years, Israeli histories and textbooks, with few exceptions, endorsed the notion that the more than seven hundred thousand Arabs who left Palestine as refugees in the years between 1947 and 1950 did so voluntarily or at the urging of their leaders. http://louis3j3sheehan3esquire.blogspot.com/
This was a view echoed abroad by Leon Uris in his fantastically popular novel “Exodus”; Uris writes of “the absolutely documented fact that the Arab leaders wanted the civilian population to leave Palestine as a political issue and a military weapon.”

In the late eighties, Israel encountered its first revisionist historians, a group of rigorous young scholars intent on seeing clearly the founding and development of the state, come what may. At the head of that small and diverse movement was Benny Morris, a Sabra and a Cambridge-educated leftist, who, like Israel itself, was born in 1948. His latest book on that pivotal year of war and transformation, “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War” (Yale; $32.50), is a commanding, superbly documented, and fair-minded study of the events that, in the wake of the Holocaust, gave a sovereign home to one people and dispossessed another. Remarkably, the book makes every attempt at depth and balance, even though its author has professed a “cosmic pessimism” about the current situation in the Middle East and has denounced the Palestinian leadership in the harshest terms imaginable.

Benny Morris’s family emigrated from Britain in 1947, and Morris grew up in the heart of a left-wing pioneering atmosphere. As an infant, he lived on Kibbutz Yasur, which had been established in 1949 on the ruins of the Arab village of Al Birwa, where the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish lived before going into exile. His father, Ya’akov Morris, was an Israeli diplomat and a published historian and poet.

In 1982, Morris experienced Mena-chem Begin and Ariel Sharon’s invasion of southern Lebanon, first as a correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, then as a soldier, when his division was called up and took part in the siege in West Beirut. As a reporter, he visited Rashidiye, a Palestinian refugee camp near Tyre, and interviewed refugees who had lived in the town of Al Bassa, in Galilee. When Morris returned home, he examined newly declassified papers in the Israel State Archive, along with documents in archives in the U.S. and Britain and at the United Nations. (Arab governments have made available very little archival material on the period.) His subject was the military conflict between the early Zionists and the Arabs and the subsequent exile of the Palestinians from their cities and towns.

In 1988, Morris published “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949,” which revolutionized Israeli historiography and, to a great extent, a nation’s understanding of its own birth. Relying less on testimony than on the newly available documents, Morris described how and why sixty per cent of the Palestinians were uprooted and their society destroyed. It was a far more complex picture than many Israelis were prepared to accept. The book features a map that shows three hundred and eighty-nine Arab villages, from upper Galilee to the Negev Desert. Morris revealed that in forty-nine of these villages the indigenous Arabs were expelled by the Haganah and other Jewish military forces; in sixty-two villages, the Arabs fled out of fear, having heard rumors of attacks and even massacres; in six, the villagers left at the instruction of Palestinian local leaders. The refugees, who probably expected to return to their homes in a matter of weeks or months, went to Gaza and the West Bank, and also to surrounding Arab countries—Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria—where, to this day, they have never been fully absorbed.

Morris’s aim was not simply to invert the standard Zionist narrative. He provided a stark picture of the anti-Semitism that infected the Arab leadership, including the influential mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammad Amin al-Husseini, who refused any compromise with the Zionists and, in the forties, promoted anti-Jewish propaganda from Berlin and recruited Bosnian Muslims for the S.S. Morris quoted the many leaders among the Palestinians and the Arab countries who vowed to eliminate the nascent state of Israel and force the European Jewish arrivals back to where they came from. But he also wrote at length about acts of wartime cruelty committed by the Jewish victors against the Palestinians. He counted about a dozen documented cases of Israelis raping Palestinian women but concluded that more likely went unrecorded. He said that there were about two dozen acts of massacre, some involving four or five executions but others involving many more, at Saliha, Deir Yassin, Lydda, and Dawayima. http://louis3j3sheehan.blogspot.com/
Morris wrote that, although the leader of the Jewish forces, David Ben-Gurion, did not give explicit orders to expel Palestinians from their villages and urban neighborhoods, he was, from April, 1948, onward, projecting a message of transfer, an “atmosphere” in which, for example, a young commander, Yitzhak Rabin, could sign an order to expel the Arabs from Lydda just after receiving a visit from Ben-Gurion. “He understood there could be no Jewish state with a large and hostile Arab minority in its midst,” Morris has said.

“The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949” was the most important text in that first wave of Israeli revisionism. (Other “new historians,” as Morris dubbed his generation of like-minded scholars, included Ilan Pappe, Avi Shlaim, and Tom Segev.) The book was published at the height of the first intifada, a Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip led by young people throwing stones at Israeli troops. Morris supported the intifada as a legitimate expression of outrage against the occupation. When his Army unit was called up for service in the West Bank city of Nablus, he refused to go and spent three weeks in jail.

Morris went unrewarded for his independence. Although his book received serious attention in Israel and abroad, he could not get a university job. In 1996, he announced in the press that he planned to leave the country. http://louis4j4sheehan4esquire.blogspot.com/

When the interview was published, Ezer Weizman, a key military figure in the 1948 war and the President of Israel, summoned Morris to his office and asked if he supported Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Morris, who considered himself a liberal Zionist, said that he did. Weizman called the president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Be’er Sheva, and, a year later, after passing through the usual academic checkpoints, Morris began his career there as a professor of history.

Between 1993 and 1998, amid the optimism of the Oslo Accords and the possibility that the century-long conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs might be coming to a negotiated end, Morris worked on a comprehensive survey of the confrontation. The title, “Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001,” attests to the book’s historical and imaginative sympathy both for the Zionists, who acquired a homeland but never a sense of security, and for the Palestinians, whose demand for a homeland remained unsatisfied. Like all Morris’s work, the book does not pretend to some sort of absolute objectivity—he has been attacked from every side over the years—but its attempt at balance is obvious: where there is anti-Arab racism among the Zionist forefathers, it is quoted; where there is venality among the early Palestinian leadership, it, too, is pointed out. The epitaph to “Righteous Victims” is the famous passage from Auden’s “September 1, 1939” that speaks to the degrading costs of war and persecution: “I and the public know / What all schoolchildren learn, / Those to whom evil is done / Do evil in return.”

But, just as the Arab world’s rejection of the 1947 partition plan pushed Israeli leaders toward an even harsher view of their adversaries, Yasir Arafat’s rejection of the peace proposals proffered by Ehud Barak in 2000 at Camp David and at Taba, Egypt, coupled with the second intifada, which followed, disillusioned Benny Morris to the point of embitterment.
Morris, who has always voted for parties on the left, said that Arafat had “defrauded” the Israelis, and he decided that the Palestinians had no intention of forging a compromise. Morris was not at all persuaded by explanations and press reports claiming that Clinton and Barak had offered Arafat an unfair, hastily prepared deal. Even if Israel returned to its pre-1967 borders, Morris concluded, the Palestinians would consider that only a step in a “phased plan” to eliminate a “crusader state” from sacred Arab lands. After 2000, he said in a 2004 interview with Ha’aretz, “I understood that they were unwilling to accept the two-state solution. They want it all. Lod and Acre and Jaffa.” Morris did criticize the Israeli government for continuing to build on occupied territory, but, especially in his role as pundit and polemicist, he was no longer giving equal weight to two “righteous victims.”

In the Ha’aretz interview, Morris took a tone that was in scant evidence in his earlier journalism or scholarly work. He spoke of a “deep problem in Islam,” of a world in which “life doesn’t have the same value it does in the West.” The Arabs belonged to a “tribal culture” in which “revenge” played a “central part,” a society so lacking in “moral inhibitions” that “if it obtains chemical or biological or atomic weapons, it will use them.”

Morris was hardly the only Israeli liberal dispirited by Arafat’s behavior in 2000 and the suicide bombs and re-occupations that followed; nor was he alone in his gloom after September 11th. But his new language came as a shock. He described the Arab world as “barbarian,” and said that the Israeli massacres committed in 1947-48 were “peanuts” compared with those in Bosnia. Then, there was his call to build “something like a cage” for the Palestinians: “I know that sounds terrible. It is really cruel. But there is no other choice. There is a wild animal that has to be locked up in one way or another.” Upon reflection, even Morris was appalled by those words and later apologized.

To some extent, Morris has been writing the same book throughout his scholarly life, and one theme that has been pronounced is that of “transfer.” In all his work, he has explored the thorny question of whether or not Ben-Gurion and his colleagues explicitly endorsed a policy of “transferring”—exiling—the Arab population from Israel.

By the time of the 2004 Ha’aretz interview, Morris had adopted a harsher, more prescriptive tone that was sometimes chilling to the liberal audience that had first welcomed him. Fearing the loss of a Jewish majority and the rise of an Arab fifth column, some right-wing politicians have advocated transferring either the Palestinian Arabs or the Israeli Arabs, or both, to Jordan—a country they refer to as the true Palestinian state. (That was once a theme of Ariel Sharon’s.) Although Morris does not endorse such a policy—“It is neither moral nor realistic”—he does say that, historically speaking, BenGurion “faltered” in 1948. “If he was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job,” he told Ha’aretz. “I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the politically correct types. But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all.” Morris acknowledged that ethnic cleansing was “problematic” but later pointed out catastrophic situations in which it could be “beneficial for humanity.” He cited the Turkish expulsion of the Greek minority, Greece’s expulsion of its Turkish minority after the First World War, and the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia after the Second World War. http://louis8j8sheehan8esquire.blogspot.com/

(His sanguine perspective is unlikely to have been shared by, say, the German survivors of the Brünner Todesmarsch, the Brno death march.)

Four years ago, Morris said that only “apocalyptic” circumstances would demand that Israel carry out a policy of transfer. By January, 2007, writing in the Jerusalem Post, he seemed convinced that apocalypse was around the corner. The United States has been driven to isolationism by its “debacle” in Iraq, Russia and China are “obsessed with Muslim markets,” and Israel, led by a “party hack of a prime minister,” who botched the war with Hezbollah in 2006, will now be “like a rabbit caught in the headlights” as Iran prepares to launch nuclear-tipped Shihab missiles at Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Be’er Sheva. In this scenario, which Morris implied is nearly inevitable, the Israeli leadership knows that it cannot launch a unilateral attack on Iran, for fear of igniting a “world-embracing” terror campaign:

So Israel’s leaders will grit their teeth and hope that somehow things will turn out for the best. Perhaps, after acquiring the Bomb, the Iranians will behave “rationally”?
But the Iranians are driven by a higher logic. And they will launch their rockets. And, as with the first Holocaust, the international community will do nothing. It will all be over, for Israel, in a few minutes—not like in the 1940s, when the world had five long years in which to wring its hands and do nothing.

What is so striking about Morris’s work as a historian is that it does not flatter anyone’s prejudices, least of all his own. The stridency and darkness of some of his public pronouncements is not a feature of “Righteous Victims,” which is the most useful survey of the conflict, or of “1948,” which is the best history of the first Arab-Israeli wars. In “1948,” the assembled compendium of aspiration, folly, aggression, hypocrisy, deception, bigotry, violence, suffering, and achievement is so comprehensive and multilayered that no reader can emerge without a feeling of unease—which is to say, a sense of the moral and historical intricacy of the conflict.

One of the lingering mythologies that Morris set out to confront in “1948” is the iconography of strength and weakness, the competition between Jews and Palestinians for the role of underdog and chief victim. There were two wars following the U.N. partition resolution: first, the immediate Palestinian uprising against the Yishuv, and then, after the Palestinian defeat, the coördinated invasion by the armies of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. Morris concludes that the Arabs were demographically and geopolitically stronger—the Palestinians outnumbered the Jews of the Yishuv two to one, and the surrounding Arab states had a population, all told, of forty million. But in the years leading to the war the Yishuv had organized political and military institutions that were suited to crisis. Troop call-ups, expert foreign military personnel, and weapons-procurement systems were in place. By contrast, very few Palestinians came from the Hebron, Ramallah, and Nablus areas to aid their fellow Palestinian Arabs in Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem, and the Jezreel and Jordan Valleys. “The Yishuv had fought not a ‘people,’ ” Morris concludes, “but an assortment of regions, towns, and villages.” http://louis9j9sheehan9esquire.blogspot.com/
http://louis-j-sheehan.de/When the four Arab armies invaded, on May 15, 1948, they, too, were disorganized and—compared with the Jews, who were fighting for their survival—far less motivated.

About six thousand Jews and twelve thousand Palestinians died in the conflict; the Egyptians lost fourteen hundred men; the Iraqis, Jordanians, and Syrians lost several hundred each. Not long afterward, seven hundred thousand Palestinians were exiled from their homes, and the Jewish minorities in the Islamic world—in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen, and Libya—experienced anti-Semitic demonstrations, pogroms, threats, internments, bomb attacks, synagogue fires. This, too, was a product of the war, and half a million Jews, the Sephardim, eventually left Islamic countries for Israel and, largely because of the circumstances of their exile, formed the Likud rank and file.

In his closing pages, Morris writes with rueful understanding and keen judgment of the consequences of his subject, the rise of a state that gave him a home while displacing so many others:

The war was a humiliation from which that world has yet to recover—the antithesis of the glory days of Arab Islamic dominance of the Middle East and the eastern and southern Mediterranean basins. The sense of humiliation only deepened over the succeeding sixty years as Israel visibly grew and prospered while repeatedly beating the Arabs in new wars, as the Palestinian refugee camps burst at the seams while sinking in the mire of international charity and terrorism, and as the Arab world shuttled between culturally self-effacing Westernization and religious fundamentalism.

Next month, the Israelis mark the sixtieth anniversary of their independence, the Palestinians the sixtieth anniversary of al-nakba, the catastrophe.

The history of the cocaine trade between Andean countries and the United States over the past 30 years shows that no sooner have police and customs officials become adept at spotting one smuggling method than the drug-traffickers come up with a new one. Light planes and commercial flights gave way to shipping containers. Where once cocaine was hidden in shipments of fresh vegetables and flowers, more recently it has been found in specially moulded furniture and concrete fencing posts.

But the latest method is especially cunning: home-made submarines. These first appeared a decade ago, but were considered by officials to be an oddity. Now it seems the traffickers have perfected the design and manufacture of semi-submersible craft (although they look like submarines, they don't fully submerge). In 2006, American officials say they detected only three; now they are spotting an average of ten a month.

Of those, only one in ten is intercepted. Many sail up the Pacific coast, often far out to sea. With enough cargo space to carry two to five tonnes of cocaine, they also carry large fuel tanks, giving them a range of 2,000 miles (3,200km). They are typically made of fibreglass, powered by a 300/350hp diesel engine and manned by a crew of four. http://louis8j8sheehan8.blogspot.com/
They normally unload their cargo onto fast power boats for the final leg to shore. None has been sighted unloading at ports or beaches.

One theory is that the switch to submarines is part of an effort by Colombian cocaine producers to win back from their Mexican rivals-cum-partners a bigger slice of the profits from drugs. In the 1990s most cocaine began to enter the United States across its southern land border, rather than across the Caribbean. That allowed Mexican gangs to oust Colombians from much of the lucrative retail-distribution business in American cities.

The latest innovation may mean that a claimed increase in the retail price of cocaine (up 44% between January and September according to the United States' Drug Enforcement Administration) could prove short-lived. The price rise may have stemmed from a crackdown by Mexico on its drug gangs, which has prompted murderous feuding between them. But many independent analysts reckon that cocaine consumption in the United States has remained more or less constant. John Walsh, of the Washington Office on Latin America, an NGO, says that four similar price increases in the 1980s and 1990s were quickly reversed.

Interdiction of cocaine shipments fell by 20% last year. Stopping the subs requires “wide-area surveillance systems, acoustics and better intelligence,” says Admiral James Stavridis, the head of the United States' Southern Command, based in Miami. Having shot drug planes out of the sky, and used army troops to destroy coca fields and laboratories, it seems that the drug warriors will have to move into anti-submarine warfare.

A disease that carries with it a social stigma causes additional and unnecessary suffering. This has often been so with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), or chronic-fatigue syndrome, as it is also known. Despite debilitating symptoms, patients have been accused of suffering from an imaginary illness: “yuppie flu”. Doctors have struggled to distinguish the ailing from the malingering. Nonetheless, evidence has grown in recent years that the syndrome is real, and now there is news that it has its roots in genetics.

ME manifests as extreme exhaustion, something that may include a range of other symptoms, such as disturbed sleep, difficulties in remembering and concentrating, headaches, and painful muscles and joints. Psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and irritability, can also be present. As the symptoms can vary in severity, the syndrome can be hard to identify, and patients can suffer for months before a diagnosis is made.

However, new hope for ME sufferers arrived this week at a conference in Cambridge, in Britain. The event, organised by ME Research UK and the Irish ME Trust, two charities that help to fund studies and assist sufferers, was attended by researchers investigating what causes the illness and how it could be treated.

Jonathan Kerr of St George's University of London told the meeting that with his colleagues they have identified 88 genes which are expressed differently in the blood of patients who had been diagnosed with ME. http://louis3j3sheehan3.blogspot.com/
Moreover, in studying the records of 55 patients with ME, they found that they could divide them into seven separate sub-types that consistently pair distinct genetic patterns with a combination and severity of patients' symptoms. This, says Dr Kerr, points to a biological basis for the illness and holds out hope that a blood test could be developed to identify its different forms. His group are now trying to find the biological markers that such a blood test would need to detect.
ME, myself, why?

One tactic for dealing with ME is to treat its symptoms with drugs that are already used against other diseases. Patients with some of the severest symptoms suffer from low blood pressure and have difficulty regulating their heartbeat. Julia Newton, of Newcastle University in Britain, says this is because of problems with their autonomic nervous systems, which is responsible for subconscious activities. In studies using a magnetic-resonance imaging scanner, she found a build-up of acid in the muscles of ME patients when they took exercise. This can cause muscle weakness and pain. Dr Newton believes the build-up could be influenced entirely, or at least in part, by the degree to which the autonomic nervous system fails to properly maintain blood flow. It could also mean that drugs that already exist to help improve blood flow might also help some ME patients.

But what triggers ME? Some estimates put its occurrence at around one in 200 people in America and Britain. Sufferers are often in their 20s and 30s, and more women are affected than men. That it is so widespread suggests to some researchers that there are many causes, including exposure to certain viruses and other infectious diseases.

A long period of fatigue after suffering from an infectious disease is not unusual. At the conference, a team of Australian researchers speculated that many cases of ME are in fact cases of “post-infectious chronic fatigue”. Stephen Graves, of the Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory, said they had found a proportion of Australian ME sufferers may have a genetic predisposition to developing ME as a result of exposure to Q Fever or Flinders Island Spotted Fever. These are a pair of relatively uncommon diseases caused by two bacteria which can pass between animals and humans. If their hypothesis is correct, Dr Graves believes the incidence of ME in Australia may be reduced by greater public-health measures.

Although the trigger for most cases of ME may remain a mystery, the discovery of its biological roots and the promise of a test will bring hope of a diagnosis to sufferers. And, perhaps, inspire a sudden recovery in the malingerers.


Up to twelve luminous UFOs flew over this secure test facility and the region, and at least one F-106A interceptor was scrambled from George AFB at Victorville. All of this action was captured on classified U.S. Air Force audio tapes which have now been declassified and are available to the public along with official documentation.The question in my mind is, what was going on during those 3-4 hours we don't know about? If we were allowed to hear only 6 hours of 40, and read only 17 pages of hard-to-read documents, what is it we were NOT allowed to hear and see? The documents we have make it clear that by the time Alpha Lima Zero One was scrambled at at 1209Z or 5:09 PM PDT, "the activity was just about over." http://louis1j1sheehan1esquire.blogspot.com/
Major Struble from an outfit known as LAADS (Los Angeles Air Defense Sector), a division of ARADCOM (Army Air Defense Command) authorized the making of these recordings of voice transmissions made by military personnel to and from Edwards Air Force Base- from base to base communications, phone patches, ground to air radio & tower to air radio. These recordings archived the conversations which documented this event of UFO visitation of a highly secure military base. The audio recordings were made on an extra track of large reels of radar data tapes, which were running all the time in the case of an accident and the need to review the radar tracks.

The event at Edwards Air Force Base took place over about a five hour period and since the voice recordings were made from at least 8 positions, approximately 40 hours of audio recordings had to have been made. Out of the possible 40 hours of these tape recordings only 6 hours were declassified by the Department of the Air Force.

Darryl Clark, Capt. 329th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), George AFB, Calif., was an alert pilot with Detachment.1 at Edwards AFB. He happened to be on duty this evening and was called upon to observe the activity. His observations were all made from the ground. Captain Clark was one of the important Alert Pilots at Edwards Air Force Base on the night of October 7, 1965. He was entrusted with flying one of the Hot Birds, as planes loaded with Nuclear Weapons were called, that protected the western part of the United States. http://louis2j2sheehan2esquire2.blogspot.com/

Skilled at target identification, Captain Clark is heard on the original Air Force recordings describing his UFO sighting of that night. (See Darryl Clark actual statement below)

That evening, October 7 (and the following one, October 8), 1965, some 700 engineers and scientists attended the Fourth X-15 Technical Conference at the (then) NASA Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB. This dealt with the research results of the 150 some X-15 flights made since 1959. (Astronautics and Aeronautics 1965 NASA SP-4006, page 464 - Joel Carpenter)

I am a film producer who is a product of the 1950s: the Saucer Scares, the Cold War, and the beginning of the U.S. Government's official denial of ET visitation of Planet Earth. I guess I have always thought our world was being visited by intelligent beings from elsewhere. When I had a UFO sighting in 1961 and was ridiculed for trying to discuss it, I became determinued to probe and study the UFO issue for as long as it took to discover the truth.

As a logical outcome of that longterm goal, I spent years researching and collating data in preparation of the production of a major film documentary on the UFO/ET issue. I finally got to the point of starting production in 1992. However, so strong is our programmed cultural and political denial of ET visitation that even members of my own staff treated me as an object of derision. This only made me more determined than ever to solve the UFO enigma, and I then began going straight to the very institutions which were witholding the truth from us: our own Military and Space agencies. My goal was to somehow obtain legitimate hard data from them that would be virtually impossible to debunk.

Back on the night of October 7, 1965, an event of historic proportions, a true landmark in UFO history, took place - the actual incursion over Edwards Air Force Base in the Palmdale/Lancaster area of California's Mojave Desert of a number of extraterrestrial craft. If this astonishing event is now, finally, gaining any measurable attention, it is a direct result of my efforts. I make that statement in all humility...it is simply the truth. In fact, this unprecedented event is not to be found in any of the major UFO books, and with the exception of a few UFO magazines reviewing my work, and interviews done with me on programs like Jeff Rense's SIGHTINGS, this event still remains virtually unknown.

What makes this historic intrusion and visit so important is that the US Air Force thoroughly documented it and even gave it a code name: "The Incident." During that fall night in 1965, it seems that 12 luminous UFOs came right down low and just over a secure military runway. These craft were all sighted visually by Air Force personnel and by several types of radar. Further, the Air Force scrambled several jet fighters after them and during the event the possible use of nuclear weapons even became an issue. The entire incident was additionally documented with written reports, radar photos, and AUDIO TAPES made by Air Force personnel while they were actually SEEING the objects, FLYING AFTER the objects, and considering taking SERIOUS MILITARY ACTION against what they might imply as a threat. http://louis5j5sheehan5.blogspot.com/

From my calculations at least 40 hours of recordings were made (a five hour event recording from at least 8 locations). However, only six hours of tapes were de-classified many years ago as a mass of noise and unclear voices, which truly defied interpretation. They had SCRAMBLED the tapes into what they felt was a hopeless jumble of random pieces of conversation utterly out of sequence and logical progression. When I realized what had been done, it presented a challenge which made me determined to find out what was hidden within that chaotic mass of sound.

After many months and countless hours of laborious research, cataloging, and editing the snips and pieces of the audio tape, I was able to organize the sound so the conversations could be understood. I had successfully restored the tapes to their original and correct sequencing. I then added carefully researched narration, which explained what was taking place, so that the listener would clearly understand the unfolding event.

As narrator, I sought out Jackson Beck, the true dean of radio announcers and films commentators - the voice of the Paramount Newsreel, countless original Military films, and even the original narrator of the Superman radio program. Mr. Beck is now heard on many important new national radio and TV commercials. His voice is known to millions, even if his name is not. I felt he would add credibility to the narration of this astonishing historical event. In fact, he told me that he has made a life long study of the UFO field and has had several important sightings himself.

The resulting reconstructed tapes are now ironclad documented proof of the existence of extraterrestrial UFO visitation to this planet. I have sent copies of my finished product directly to a number of major Government Agencies and have received NO NEGATIVE COMMENTS! Not a single Official Agency has tried to debunk or discredit the event, or my presentation of the tapes.

Furthermore, The CSETI organization has used my tape presentation in meetings with members of Congress with the aim of having our government tell the public the truth of ET involvement on the Earth. TSgt Charles Sorrels, heard prominently on the original Edwards recordings of October 7, 1965, and in newly-produced segments confirming the event, made the presentation in Washington which featured my documentary version of the Edwards Tapes. And yes, the plane spotters at Edwards KNEW that UFOs or UFOBs, as they called them then, were not our "black" projects, Soviet bombers, or any known aircraft - they were unknown, fabulously high-tech craft with capabilities beyond any known technology. And..as they said on the old Superman series: "far beyond that of Mortal Man!"

In 1961 I saw and photographed an illuminated domed disc over New York City. I was treated with ridicule then and didn't like it. I had three other witnesses to this event. I planned to do a UFO documentary in the 1960's on this subject and use some of the stills and motion picture footage photographed.

At the time I was more interested in going to LA to make dramatic films, which I did. I came back to my old project in 1992. I had to endure the slings and arrows of ridicule from friends, and even business associates working on this film, now called Beyond This Earth.

I decided that I needed hard evidence that the subject was a real one, especially evidence from government agencies (which would add credibility if they had any connection to this subject).

From December 1992 to about June 1994 we filmed interviews, staged reenactments, obtained unique UFO footage, and even sent up a plane to chase and film UFOs from the air. (The plane succeeded in its mission, but that is another story.)

Having that success, I felt we were on a roll and more real events would take place which we would cover, but they did not. Not knowing if what we filmed in Northern California posed a threat to the public, I felt we should make an official report on it. Which we did. http://louis7j7sheehan.blogspot.com/

This led to the suggestion that we go to various government agencies through the Freedom of Information Act and otherwise.

This has been a long, tedious process because we found out that we could classify the people we were in contact with into three categories, regarding the UFO phenomenon:

1. They knew nothing and couldn't help at all.
2. They knew nothing but wanted to help and were pro-release and moved us along.
3. They knew something and didn't want to help or encourage us.

Even still, we obtained the following de-classified materials, related to the UFO subject: Over 4000 pages of paper documents and correspondence; still photographs, radar photos, motion picture film, videotapes and audio tapes. Audio tapes?? Who was interested in that? We all wanted to see something.

Well, it turned out that the sounds presented some fantastic images all their own. I reviewed the audio materials last, as I had shelved them for months, I wanted visuals. What a mistake! I listened to six hours of confusing audio recordings from Edwards Air Force Base from the night of October 7, 1965 in which it sounded like a UFO alert was taking place over the base with 12 strange luminous objects coming down over the runway of one of our nation's most secure test facilities. This was/is the place where they fly the black, classified projects. They know what they are and what planes, helicopters, stars, weather balloons, planets and satellites are.

So what were they getting excited about? It was difficult to tell on the six hours of tapes. These tapes were de-classified, but in a form called "scrambled release" - all chopped up out of sequence, so they made no sense at all. I knew there was a story in there somewhere.

Between the chopped up editing and the overlay of noise, something very important lay in waiting. I decided to analyze the tapes for possible use in a segment in Beyond This Earth.

I took eight months in my own audio studio editing 1/4 inch audio tapes, after signal processing them in computer to remove noise. I got to know the tapes so well, I felt I almost knew the people on the tapes, which I would in time.

Now, what were these tapes and why were they made? In 1965 the Air Force ran large reels of recording tapes which recorded all of the signals from Radar. http://louis5j5sheehan.blogspot.com/

Then if an accident or problem took place, the Radar could be re-played like running a video tape to figure out what took place. In the case of special events a track on these radar tapes could be used to record voice transmissions at the air base.

This included all Phone Patches, Base-to-Base Communications and Ground- or Tower-to-Air Radio. Now this is what took place on the night of October 7, 1965 at Edwards Air Force Base. By putting the tapes into chronology and doing further research the story emerged.

At approximately 12:30AM, the Tower Operator at Edwards (a/k/a Edwards Tower) - Tech Sgt. Charles "Chuck" Sorrels saw a group of luminous objects flashing red, white, and blue or green light coming over the field. His job as an air traffic controller taught him to be watchful, so he could identify incoming planes. when these objects started to do unusual maneuvers, he knew this was out of the ordinary and called the Air Defense Command - in this case a unit known as LAADS (The Los Angeles Air Defense Sector).

Major Struble at LAADS ordered the recordings to be made--now we hear all this taking place on the actual tapes. He involved NORAD and the following other air bases- NORTON, HAMILTON, GEORGE and MARCH.

The major wanted to send planes up after the objects but could not do this until a CAPTAIN at Edwards approved sending up the planes. This Captain was the . . . get this . . . UFO officer (pronounced Yoo-fo) officer in charge on the base.

This was apparently more than just a job classification for reporting sightings, but he had to request the plane or planes go up, from the 28th Air Division at Hamilton, or they would not go up. In short the Air Defense Command needed HIS authority.

Well, here we are: the UFO subject, which we have heard does not exist, has its own UFO officers . . . how strange.

There were no officers on base for the other paranormal pursuits - Demon Officers, Ghost Officers or Leprechaun Officers. http://louis4j4sheehan.blogspot.com/

Once I started editing the tapes into some kind of sequence, everybody wanted to hear them. I then started making some cassettes as samples, and everybody wanted them. I gave many away and was encouraged to go further with my research. I did.

I found Chuck Sorrels, who authenticated the event and recorded an audio interview for my tape verifying the details.

I went to about a dozen military agencies, and they helped with the research. Eventually I put this together into a 54-minute audio documentary on audio cassette, along with a copy of Air Force written documentation, in a large vinyl display case and called the final program . . .


I have had great positive response to this work. Where I have made feature films for theatres for many years, and do have some fans, nothing I ever worked on yielded this response. Apparently many people, like myself, had been researching the UFO subject seriously, and were ridiculed by friends and family.

They, as I, needed some hard evidence to show/play for others, to gain new respect. I have been told that people are getting this tape, inviting their friends over and having a UFO party playing the tape to the amazement of all present.

That is what has been going on. The media caught onto this. I have been interviewed on numerous radio and TV programs on this subject and Paramount flew me out to California to appear in and work on a two-part "Sightings" episode on the Edwards tapes. We filmed in the Mojave Desert near Edwards AFB, where the original event took place.

They were very pleased with how it turned out and got good reaction to it. I have also sent copies of the documentary back to official agencies, with positive reaction, on a person-to-person basis.

I think many people want to get this UFO information out to the public. One well-known airline pilot, who is also a UFO investigator, sent me a nice letter when he finally got our tape and said: "When I first heard of your tape, I said to myself, who needs this? How wrong I was. This is solid evidence in a field where there is precious little (evidence)."

Since this has only been a side issue away from the production of my film, this tape is not yet available in stores, although we have had requests for it. Many people have contacted me who wanted to obtain it and said it was hard to find. So, we set up a mail order division to make the tape available, generally on short turn-around.

The tapes are guaranteed to be authentic. I am still researching the subject for a two-hour TV special on the same topic and an interactive CD-ROM on it. These programs will take this subject and broaden out the events of 10-7-65 and go forward and back in time. On the tapes the UFOs were spotted on Radar, Heightfinder Radar, Weather Radar and Visual Observations from many locations--ground, towers, tops of buildings, and planes. On the tapes we hear one F-106 pilot chasing a UFO up to 40,000 feet. However, my research shows that one plane may have crashed and a third plane also sent up. http://louis2j2sheehan.blogspot.com/

The six hours of tape I received, I believe to have been cut down from over 40 hours of original tapes . . . what could be on the rest of them?? I am seeking further research on this event and connecting events at Edwards and related bases.

I am also seeking to locate Major Struble, Captain John Balent (the UFO officer) and others involved with this event which was given a Code Name: "The Incident." http://louis1j1sheehan.blogspot.com/

There were some civilians near Edwards who also saw something and some stories in local papers, of which I would like to obtain copies. Many other events like this have taken place at other locations, but the information is . . . where?

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