Russian Bombers Approach West Coast: Training Mission? Magnetic Anomaly Research?
June 13, 2014
Bill Gertz / The Washington Free Beacon & Sorcha Faal & Jeremy A. Kaplan / Fox News & Brian Vastag / National Geographic News
Four Russian strategic bombers triggered US air defense systems while conducting practice bombing runs near Alaska this week, with two of the Tu-95 Bear H aircraft coming within 50 miles of the California coast. Was Russia responding to US deployment of nuclear bombers in Europe? Or was Russia simply investigating troubling "magnetic anomalies" related to the rapidly shifting north magnetic pole, which has begun moving from Arctic Canada towards Siberia at a rate of nearly 365 miles a year?
4 Russian Bombers Flew Within
50 Miles of The California Coast
Bill Gertz / The Washington Free Beacon
(June 11, 2014) -- Four Russian strategic bombers triggered US air defense systems while conducting practice bombing runs near Alaska this week, with two of the Tu-95 Bear H aircraft coming within 50 miles of the California coast, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) confirmed Wednesday.
"The last time we saw anything similar was two years ago on the Fourth of July," Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a NORAD spokesman, told the Free Beacon.
Davis said the latest Bear H incursions began Monday around 4:30 p.m. Pacific time when radar detected the four turbo-prop powered bombers approaching the US air defense zone near the far western Aleutian Islands. Two US Air Force F-22 jets were scrambled and intercepted the bombers over the Aleutians.
After tracking the bombers as they flew eastward, two of the four Bears turned around and headed west toward the Russian Far East. The bombers are believed to be based at the Russian strategic base near Anadyr, Russia.
The remaining two nuclear-capable bombers then flew southeast and around 9:30 P.M. entered the US northern air defense zone off the coast of Northern California. Two US F-15 jets were deployed and intercepted the bombers as they eventually flew within 50 miles of the coast before turning around and heading west.
A defense official said the four bombers also were supported by two IL-78 aerial refueling tankers that were used for mid-air refueling during the operation this week.
The Tu-95 is a long-range strike aircraft capable of carrying nuclear cruise missiles. Other versions are equipped with intelligence-gathering sensors and electronic warfare gear. It has a range of around 9,400 miles without refueling.
Davis said the aircraft "acted professionally" and the bombers appeared to be conducting a training mission. "They typically do long range aviation training in the summer and it is not unusual for them to be more active during this time," he said. "We assess this was part of training. And they did not enter territorial airspace."
The bomber incursion is the latest Russian nuclear saber-rattling amid stepped up tensions over Moscow's military annexation of Ukraine's Crimea. Rep. Mike Conaway (R., Texas), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, called the Russian flights "intentional provocations."
"Putin is doing this specifically to try to taunt the US and exercise, at least in the reported world, some sort of saber-rattling, muscle-flexing kind of nonsense," Conaway said in an interview. "Truth of the matter is we would have squashed either one of those [bombers] like baby seals."
[NOTE: Less than 24 hours after Ukraine's new president Petro Poroshenko announced his determination to retake Crimea from Russia – in a speech that some analysts called a “declaration of war”-- US Admiral Cecil Haney confirmed that the US Air Force had deployed two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers to Europe to conduct "military exercises." The provocative deployment of the B-2 bombers was intended to "send a message to Moscow." Conaway's reference to "baby seals" revives memories of Canadian fur hunters who clubbed baby harp seals to death to seize and sell their fur. While this practice horrified much of the civilized world Rep. Conaway appears to relish the behavior. -- EAW editor.]
"It's a provocation and it's unnecessary. But it fits in with [Putin's] macho kind of saber-rattling," he said, adding that he expects Russia will carry out more of these kinds of incidents in the future.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former Alaska commander for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said he does not remember a case of Russian strategic bombers coming that close to the US coast.
"Again we see the Obama administration through their covert -- but overt to Mr. Putin -- unilateral disarmament, inviting adventurism by the Russians," McInerney said in an email.
"At the height of the Cold War I do not remember them getting this close. Mr. Putin had to approve this mission and he is just showing his personal contempt for President Obama right after meeting him in Normandy less than a week ago," McInerney said. McInerney said no American president has been treated with such disrespect in US history.
"A sad day indeed and at the same time Mosul and Tikrit [Iraq] fall to radical Islamists after the Obama administration's failed Iraq policy," he added. "He snatched defeat from the jaws of victory yet again."
The Alaska-California bombers flight also came a month after a Russian Su-27 interceptor jet flew dangerously close to a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft flying over the Sea of Okhotsk, north of Japan.
In that incident on April 23, the Su-27 jet flew close to the RC-135, turned to reveal its air-to-air missiles to the crew, and then flew dangerously close to within 100 feet of the cockpit in a maneuver military officials called reckless.
Davis said in the past 10 years, 50 Bear H bombers were intercepted near US air defense zone, although he acknowledged that Monday's flight near California was unusual.
In April, a telephone conversation between two Russian ambassadors was posted on YouTube and appeared to show the diplomats joking about the Ukraine crisis and discussing the possible incursions in the United States and Eastern Europe.
The leaked conversation between Igor Nilokaevich Chubarov and Sergey Viktorovich Bakharev, Russian ambassadors to the African nations Eritrea and Zimbabwe and Malawi, respectively, includes references to post-Crimea Russian imperialism to include Eastern Europe and "Californialand" and "Miamiland."
Russian Bear H flights elsewhere have increased in recent years. In February 2013, two of the bombers were intercepted as they circled the US Pacific island of Guam, in a rare long-range incursion. Two Bear Hs also were intercepted near Alaska on April 28, 2013.
A Russian Bear H incursion in Asia took place in in July 2013 when two Tu-95s were intercepted by Japanese and South Korean jets near the Korean peninsula and Japan's northern Hokkaido Island.
The July 4, 2012, bomber flights near the West Coast were the first time since the Cold War that Russian jets has traveled so close to the US coastline. That action followed an earlier intrusion by Tu-95s near Alaska that were part of large-scale strategic nuclear exercises by the Russians aimed at practicing strikes on enemy air defenses.
Russia has stepped up provocative nuclear war games in recent years as part of propaganda efforts to display Moscow's dislike of US missile defenses in Europe.
Russia Issues Grim Report
On North American Magnetic Anomaly
[Note: This site has a history of citing legitimate and little-known news stories and drawing speculative and sensational conclusions. -- EAW]
(June 12, 2014) -- A grim report prepared by Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force Lieutenant-General Viktor Bondarev on the just completed scientific mission of North America carried out by 4 Tupolev Tu-95 strategic aircraft and 2 Ilyushin Il-78 aerial refueling tankers that "electronically swept" for "magnetic anomalies" from Alaska to California warns that a "catastrophic event" may be nearing for this region.
US officials, it should be noted, characterized this purely scientific mission as a "bombing run" that came within 50 miles of California, but which their Air Forces were able to repel by their launching of F-15 fighter jets.
This report, however, states that this scientific mission was necessitated by a "severe mysterious magnetic anomaly" detected by the Kosmos 2473 satellite on 3 June occurring in the Yellowstone region of the Western United States, which resulted in what is called an "earthquake swarm."
Most important to note about the 3 June Yellowstone "magnetic anomaly", this report continues, are that satellite measurements show it being precipitated by the mysterious earthquake swarm hitting the Brooks Range mountains in Alaska, and which seismologists are still at a loss to explain.
The information relating to the linking of these two "events", this report says, was further verified by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) magnetic anomaly maps and data for North America showing a strange magnetic "disturbance/ripple" emanating from Brooks Range and ending at Yellowstone on 3 June, both of these areas, it is important to note, being part of the Rocky Mountains that stretch more than 4,830 km (3,000 miles) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States.
Of grave concern to Russian military authorities relating to these "events", General Bondarev says in his report, was the "catastrophic effect" they had on the advanced "magnetoception" inertial navigation systems employed by many US-NATO-Russian warplanes which use these highly sophisticated aircraft flight devices.
Though no Russia military aircraft were near the "disturbed magnetic zone" emanating our from Yellowstone on 3 June, this report says, two US military aircraft were at its "boundaries" in the Southern California region on 4 June while this "event" was still "active" causing them both to crash.
The two US fighter jets crashing on 4 June, this report continues, were identified as a US Navy F-A-183 that went down when the pilot was attempting to land aboard the carrier Carl Vinson, and a US Marine Harrier AV-8B jet that crashed into a residential community in Imperial, about 90 miles east of San Diego, both of them occurring within hours of each other.
This report notes that no civilian aircraft would have been affected by this "magnetic anomaly" as only the most advanced military aircraft employ these "geomagnetic-satellite" coordinated flight systems which enable them to "hug the terrain" not unlike the magnetic systems used by birds and insects to navigate.
Russian concerns relating to "magnetic anomalies", it is important to note, are related to the rapidly shifting north magnetic pole which since 2005 has been moving at a rate of 40 kilometers (25 miles) a year from Arctic Canada toward Siberia.
Frightening independent research from last year (2013) further warns that this shift is still picking up speed and according to this researcher should reach Siberia in at least within 2 years.
[See video, "Red alert pole shift news it has moved." HERE (banned in US)
YouTube alert: "This video is not available in your country."
In addition, the June 1, 2013 "About" section cannot be copied and pasted from YouTube. The statement reads, in part: "Magnetic North Pole has moved 161 miles in 6 months only, this puts its arrival in Siberia in less than 2 years, and it is when it arrives there that it will have migrated 40 degrees across the Northern Hemisphere. At this point, the poles will shift at high speed over the Equator until it reaches 40 degrees south."]
One of the effects of the rapidly shifting magnetic north pole being noticed the most, this report notes, are the airport runway systems being disrupted because of it, and as we can read one such 2011 example which occurred in the US:
"Tampa International Airport was forced to readjust its runways Thursday to account for the movement of the Earth's magnetic fields, information that pilots rely upon to navigate planes. Thanks to the fluctuations in the force, the airport has closed its primary runway until Jan. 13 to change taxiway signs to account for the shift, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The poles are generated by movements within the Earth's inner and outer cores, though the exact process isn't exactly understood. They're also constantly in flux, moving a few degrees every year, but the changes are almost never of such a magnitude that runways require adjusting, said Paul Takemoto, a spokesman for the FAA." [See full story below.]
The most chilling aspects of General Bondarev's report relating to these "events" are the equations he uses in postulating that what is now occurring in North America with these "mysterious magnetic anomalies" occurring over a large expanse of the Rocky Mountains, and when combined with the rapidly shifting magnetic north pole and growing evidence of global climate change, give "huge credibility" to what is called "The Expanding Earth Theory".
The expanding Earth or growing Earth hypothesis asserts that the position and relative movement of continents is at least partially due to the volume of Earth increasing and stands in contrast to that of plate tectonics, but which new findings relating to "aether theories" and dark matter, General Bondarev summarizes, means "grave consideration" must be given to the words of University of California, Davis, cosmologist Dr. Andreas Albrecht who warned: "We've hit some really profound problems with cosmology Ð with dark matter and dark energy, that tells us we have to rethink fundamental physics and try something new."
Or in simple terms, this report ends, "We may be on the verge of a catastrophic North American "event" that could possibly change the world forever, we should be prepared."
(c) EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.
Magnetic North Pole Shifts,
Forces Runway Closures at Florida Airport
Jeremy A. Kaplan / Fox News
(January 6, 2011) -- The planet's northern magnetic pole is drifting slowly but steadily towards Russia -- and it's throwing off planes in Florida.
Tampa International Airport was forced to readjust its runways Thursday to account for the movement of the Earth's magnetic fields, information that pilots rely upon to navigate planes. Thanks to the fluctuations in the force, the airport has closed its primary runway until Jan. 13 to change taxiway signs to account for the shift, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The poles are generated by movements within the Earth's inner and outer cores, though the exact process isn't exactly understood. They're also constantly in flux, moving a few degrees every year, but the changes are almost never of such a magnitude that runways require adjusting, said Paul Takemoto, a spokesman for the FAA.
The magnetic fields vary from place to place. Adjustments are needed now at airports in Tampa, but they aren't immediately required at all airports across the country.
So just how often is something like this necessary? "It happens so infrequently that they wouldn't venture a guess," Takemoto told FoxNews.com. "In fact, you're the first journalist to ever ask me about it."
Takemoto was quick to point out that the change, which also was required at Tampa's smaller Peter O. Knight airport, will have no effect on passenger safety.
"You want to be absolutely precise in your compass heading," he pointed out. "To make sure the precision is there that we need, you have to make these changes."
Kathleen Bergen, another spokeswoman for the FAA, explained that runway designations and charting rely upon geomagnetic information. "Aviation is charted using latitude and longitude and the magnetic poles," she told FoxNews.com.
The busiest runway at Tampa International will be re-designated 19R/1L on aviation charts. It had been 18R/36L, indicating its alignment along the 180-degree approach from the north and the 360-degree approach from the south, explained an article in the Tampa Tribune detailing the changes. Later this month, the airport's east parallel runway and the seldom used east-west runway will be closed to change signs reflecting their new designations as well.
"The Earth's poles are changing constantly, and when they change more than three degrees, that can affect runway numbering," Bergen said.
While rejiggering the runways is a very extreme event, the fields are constantly in flux and constantly being remapped, explained Lorne McKee, a scientist with the geomagnetism division of Natural Resources Canada.
"Since the fields change relatively slowly, they're marked out at 10 degree increments," he explained. The field has swung from approximately 10 degrees east in the late 16th century to 25 degrees west in the early 19th century -- before returning to a current value of about 3 degrees west.
It wasn't immediately clear when or even if changes would be required at other airports. And even the rate of change is inconsistent, McKee said, noting that it's changing much more quickly at the poles themselves.
Beyond just sliding around the planet, the magnetic north and south poles have been known to completely flip as well; these reversals, recorded in the magnetism of ancient rocks, are unpredictable. The last one was 780,000 years ago. Are we overdue for another? No one knows.
FoxNews.com's Jana Winter contributed to this report.
Jeremy A. Kaplan is Science and Technology editor at FoxNews.com, where he heads up coverage of gadgets, the online world, space travel, nature, the environment, and more. Prior to joining Fox, he was executive editor of PC Magazine, co-host of the Fastest Geek competition, and a founding editor of GoodCleanTech.
North Magnetic Pole Is Shifting
Rapidly Toward Russia
Brian Vastag / National Geographic News
(December 15, 2005) -- Santa better check his compass, because the North Pole is shifting -- the north magnetic pole, that is, not the geographical one. New research shows the pole moving at rapid clip -- 25 miles (40 kilometers) a year
Over the past century the pole has moved 685 miles (1,100 kilometers) from Arctic Canada toward Siberia, says Joe Stoner, a paleomagnetist at Oregon State University. At its current rate the pole could move to Siberia within the next half-century, Stoner said.
"It's moving really fast," he said. "We're seeing something that hasn't happened for at least 500 years." Stoner presented his team's research at the American Geophysical Union's meeting last week in San Francisco.
Lorne McKee, a geomagnetic scientist at Natural Resources Canada, says that Stoner's data fits his own readings. "The movement of the pole definitely appears to be accelerating," he said.
Not a Reversal
The shift is likely a normal oscillation of the Earth's magnetic field, Stoner said, and not the beginning of a flip-flop of the north and south magnetic poles, a phenomenon that last occurred 780,000 years ago.
Such reversals have taken place 400 times in the last 330 million years, according to magnetic clues sealed in rocks around the world. Each reversal takes a thousand years or more to complete.
"People like to think something special is happening in their lifetimes, but despite the dramatic changes, I don't see any evidence of it," Stoner said. "It's probably just a normal wandering of the pole."
The north magnetic pole shifts constantly, in loops up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) wide each day. The recorded location of the pole is really an average of its daily treks, which are driven by fluctuations in solar radiation. The pole is currently at about 80º north latitude and 104º west longitude, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.
Importance of the Pole
Pinpointing the precise location of the north magnetic pole is important for navigation: As you move closer to the pole, the direction north indicated by your compass becomes less accurate.
The pole also plays a role in the Northern Lights, which form when solar radiation bounces across the magnetic field in the upper atmosphere. As the north magnetic pole drifts, it will take the Northern Lights with it. But for scientists, studying the field provides a tantalizing glimpse into the fiery center of the Earth.
The planet's outer core of molten iron spins constantly, acting as a giant dynamo, or electromagnet. This energy interacts with the rocky mantle of the Earth, which is also shifting, resulting in a complex, ever-changing magnetic field. "We're close to having a much better understanding on how the field fluxes," Stoner said.
The first readings of the north magnetic pole date to 1831, when Sir John Ross and his ship searching for the Northwest Passage became ice-bound. To pass the time, he sent out a team with a compass to take readings, and the team soon found a dipole -- an area with compass readings pointing both north and south -- in what is now Nunavut. It was the north magnetic pole.
While historical readings date back almost two centuries, Stoner's team wanted to take a deeper look into the past. They went to the Arctic and pulled 4.5-meter-long (15-foot-long) cores of mud and clay from the bottom of frigid lakes.
Each year, snowmelt deposits a layer of silt at the bottom of the lakes, which is then covered with a layer of clay. "There are these distinct couplets every year," Stoner said. "It's a lot like counting rings in a tree."
Back at his laboratory at Oregon State University, Stoner and his team sliced the cores into thin sections. They then ran each section through an instrument that reads tiny magnetic particles in the silt to reveal both the direction and intensity of the magnetic field.
Each section comprises five to ten layers, or five to ten year's worth of magnetic readings. "We can't get down to the yearly scale yet," Stoner said, "but that's getting to be a pretty tight resolution."
In contrast, similar techniques used to measure magnetism in rock have yielded much coarser resolutions of thousands to tens of thousands of years. Besides recording the movement of the pole, the silt cores also show a recent drop in the strength of the magnetic field, Stoner said, a phenomenon that often accompanies north-south reversals. But research by French scientists published in 2003 suggests that such "jerks" in the magnetic field -- abrupt shifts in intensity and direction -- occur often, not just during reversals.
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