What I have learned on the morning of September 23rd

Get yer popcorn ready.

President Obama, speaking at the UN, calls for an agreement that leads to a new member, a sovereign Palestine.

Obama wants to “blur” borders.

US House puts oceans, coasts under UN: Senate vote will seal the deal http://tinyurl.com/22k75n3

NJ 5th-grader suspended from school after he found lighter; administators consider it a weapon. http://ow.ly/1982mq

U.S. Coast Guard responding to reports of unknown substance off North Carolina coast http://tinyurl.com/25n5x2p

Well-known fisherman threatened with arrest — “Communism? You’re in it as far as I know.” http://bit.ly/c6NEqX

Giant swarms of locusts http://tinyurl.com/2azaa2a

Former Air Force captain to expose UFO threat http://tinyurl.com/24ocdrc

Giant fireball seen in Texas, NM http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Fireball-seen-over-Santa-Fe-likely-a-meteor-

Nope, nothing at all to see here. Carry on.

2010 Predictions

Massive flooding throughout North America and Europe, due to the winter’s above-normal precipitation. The UK is going to have horribly strange weather patterns, as are areas such as Oklahoma, Missouri and North Carolina.

A series of SMALL earthquakes will rattle the Midwest area, with people becoming nervous about it. I dont think it is the big one, but it will cause nervous feelings.

Hurricane will hit Eastern Canada in the summer.

I do not anticipate disclosure in 2010. What I do expect is that people in the “know” regarding aliens and UFOs will have their beliefs solidified.

Another spiral-type light in the sky, in the Northern US.

Anger is starting to reach the boiling point. We are getting to the point of no return. The populace will demand their voices be heard, even via violence.

That is all I have…for now.

USAF: ‘Bright light’ not man-made object

*Of course not. How many times have we seen this in the past few months???*

WASHINGTON – The flashing lights and booming sounds that were attributed to a piece of orbiting space junk were not the result of a man-made object, according to the United States Air Force.

In an e-mail sent to WTOP, Stefan Bocchino of the USAF Joint Space Operations Center says the “bright light” seen over parts of the East Coast Sunday night was not a result of a man-made space object.

The Joint Space Operations Center tracks more than 19,000 man-made objects in space, but no natural phenomena.

It was first believed that the lights and sounds were caused by space junk related to the Russian rocket Soyuz docking with the International Space Stations Saturday.

Geoff Chester, spokesman for the U.S. Naval Observatory, was nearly sure the object was the rocket’s booster tanks for numbers of reasons. Whatever flashed through the sky followed the exact path the space junk was traveling over the eastern seaboard.

Witnesses describe the flashes in the sky as being colored with yellows and oranges. While fireballs usually throw sparks that appear green followed by trains of blue and red. The loud explosion accompanying the balls of fire in the sky also could be explained if the object was a rocket tank with residual amounts of booster fuel.

The flashes and booms that people heard prompted calls to 911 and the National Weather Service late Sunday night.

According to WVEC.com, the calls were numerous enough for the National Weather Service to release this statement late Sunday night:

“Numerous reports have been called in to this office and into local law enforcement concerning what appeared to be flashes of light in the sky over the Suffolk/Virginia Beach area. We are confident in saying that this was not lightning…and have been in contact with military and other government agencies to determine the cause. So far…we have not seen or heard of any damage from this and will continue to inquire as to the cause.”


Streaking lights, explosions reported all along coast

*Interesting 24 hours…*

If the fireball and explosion witnessed by residents along the mid-Atlantic coast Sunday night was a meteor, it’s likely that fragments survived and hit the ocean, an astronomy expert says.

The explosions occurred one to two minutes after the fireball disappeared, which means that a meteor penetrated deep into the atmosphere, said Alan MacRobert, senior editor of Sky and Telescope magazine. That makes it more likely that meteorites survived to hit the ground, although it is not certain.

MacRobert encouraged eyewitnesses to report what they saw at www.amsmeteors.org/fireball/report.html, or at www.spaceweather.com. Scientists can predict where to look for meteorites on the ground “if enough people can accurately reconstruct the flight path that they saw in the sky, or if they can simply say ‘It went behind that tree,’ ” he said.

S. Kent Blackwell, an amateur astronomer, was sky-watching in Pungo when the explosion occurred around 10 p.m. Sunday.

“This brilliant green meteor was probably two or three times brighter than the full moon,” Blackwell said. “Then it turned orange with a white core and disappeared.”

One to two minutes later, a loud low-frequency noise shook houses in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

“It was a very ominous, low-frequency rumble,” said Robert Hitt, director of the Chesapeake planetarium, who lives in the Acredale section of Virginia Beach. “The sound was quite different from what you hear from thunder.”

Sound is quite rare with fireballs, according to a fact sheet from the American Meteor Society, but there can be two kinds. One is a sonic boom one to two minutes after the visible light, created by fireballs usually brighter than magnitude -8. In comparison, the meteor society says the North Star is magnitude 2.1 and a bright Venus is -4.4. The full moon is -12.6 and the sun is -26.7.

The other kind of sound that can accompany fireballs is called electrophonic. It occurs at the same time as the flash is seen and may sound like a hiss, a sizzle or popping noise.

“Often, the witness of such sounds is located near some metal object when the fireball occurs,” according to the meteor society fact sheet. “Additionally, those with a large amount of hair seem to have a better chance of hearing these sounds.”

These sounds may be radio waves, but they have not been scientifically identified, it says.

Many Hampton Roads residents heard a boom, even though they were inside and did not see the flash. One viewer, in an online comment to the newspaper, reported thinking a tree had hit the house. Another said window blinds rattled with the boom.

Most reports place the fireball and noise at around 9:50 p.m., but one local viewer reported seeing a brilliant flash of light at 2:30 a.m. while traveling between Elizabeth City and Virginia Beach.

No meteor showers are taking place at the moment. The next one is predicted for April 21-22.

The Virginia Beach 911 center had numerous calls waiting just before 10 p.m., a supervisor said.

The National Weather Service said reports were made from Dorchester County, Md., to the Virginia/North Carolina border.

Chris Wamsley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Wakefield office, said a team is looking into what happened.

Lindsey Hosek of the Great Neck area of Virginia Beach was jogging along the water with her dog when the sky lit up, she said.

“The bright light at first terrified me because I thought somebody was shining a light on me, and then I saw it, and I was in complete awe because it was so beautiful,” she said.

Then she saw something that looked like a comet moving low toward the ground; it was blue in front followed by orange and appeared to be the shape and size of a refrigerator.

“It was just so low. It was like where a bird should be,” she said. “It was definitely heading downward.”

In an e-mail to The Pilot, a reader reported seeing something similar at 2:30 a.m. “The sky turned brilliant blue,” wrote Bobby Smith. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Here’s the catch: I saw it at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning on Route 17 coming to Virginia Beach from Elizabeth City.”

The American Meteor Society seeks as much information as possible about brightness, length across the sky, color, how long it lasted, direction of travel and position in the sky as compared to constellations or even trees and buildings. Although the sight was unusual, the American Meteor Society reports that thousands of fireballs occur in Earth’s atmosphere each day, many during daylight when they cannot be easily seen, others in remote locations.

Blackwell said the meteor was moving north-northeast between the constellations Ursa Minor and Ursa Major. “I’ve been observing more than 40 years but have never seen a meteor this bright,” he said. “It was absolutely spectacular!”

Mark Ost of Pungo, who was observing with Blackwell, posted this report on spaceweather.com:

“The fireball was approximately 36 to 40 degrees above the horizon … Assuming the speed of sound at 600 mph, I calculated the distance to be 20 to 30 miles away.”

Blackwell suspects that meteorites, if there were any, fell into the ocean, which would be disappointing.

“Heck, I wish it had landed in my driveway!” he said.


No quick end to gas shortage in Southeast

ATLANTA — A storm-related gas shortage in the Southeast that has left some places bone-dry and others with two-hour gas lines is expected to continue for at least another two weeks, energy experts and industry officials say.

The shortage began two weeks after Hurricane Gustav hit the oil-refining regions of the Gulf Coast on Sept. 1. Operations that shut down before that storm were just coming back online when Hurricane Ike hit, forcing another shutdown. The gas shortage, now in its third week, is particularly acute here in sprawling Atlanta, in Nashville in parts of the Carolinas and in Anniston, Ala.

“I don’t go anywhere once I find some and get my tank filled up,” says Alicia Woods, 32, who waited 45 minutes to fill up Sunday morning at a QuikTrip in Cobb County, Ga. “Going out, visiting friends, all that just has to wait. I have to keep my gas for getting back and forth to work.”

Long gas lines continued to plague the Charlotte area over the weekend. Asheville, N.C., shut down some government offices Friday.

“Things were pretty severe to the point gas stations did not have gas, and the ones that did have gas had an hour to two-hour wait,” said city spokeswoman Trisha Hardin.

The pipelines that supply the region are operating at less than normal capacity, due largely to storm-related power outages at Texas refineries, said Kenneth Medlock, energy fellow at the Baker Institute, a non-partisan public policy think tank at Rice University in Houston.

The Southeast, the only region of the nation that has no oil refining or major gasoline storage capacity, pumps all of its gasoline in by pipeline, he said.

“In isolation, neither of these storms would have been that big a deal, because there’s enough inventory (at stations) to make up the shortfall,” said Medlock. “But there was a three- to four-week period of refinery capacity not operating. That’s basically a month when nothing’s being produced.”

Panic buying — drivers topping off every time they happen across a station that actually has gas — made the problem worse, said Marylee Booth, executive director of the Tennessee Oil Marketers Association.

“If people saw a tanker drive up to a station, they’d start lining up. The panic has died down. It’s getting a little better every day.”

Gary Harris, executive director of the North Carolina Petroleum and Convenience Marketers, whose members sell about 90% of the gasoline in North Carolina, says he expects two to four more weeks of shortages. “There was a lot of panic buying fueled by media coverage of the shortage,” he says. “Now, it’s hard to catch up.”

The shortage has residents like Woods changing their habits. There was even talk of canceling Saturday’s highly-anticipated football game in Athens between the University of Georgia and the University of Alabama, which Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue dismissed as “ridiculous.”

Public transit ridership is soaring, more employees are telecommuting or working shorter weeks and Perdue is closely monitoring the situation in case it becomes necessary to close schools or take other steps, says his press secretary Bert Brantley.


Tropical Storm Kyle forms in Atlantic

MIAMI, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Kyle, the 11th of the Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Thursday from a weather system that pounded Puerto Rico and other northern Caribbean islands for days, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Kyle finally gained tropical storm strength, with sustained winds 45 mph (72 kph), as it moved through the Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas, on a path that could take it to a landfall in Maine or Canada’s maritime provinces as a minimal Category 1 hurricane.

The storm was located about 645 miles (1,038 km) south-southwest of Bermuda and was moving to the north at about 8 mph (13 kph), the Miami-based hurricane center said.

The system drenched Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Hispaniola for days before moving north into the Atlantic.

Authorities in Puerto Rico said at least four people were killed and scores of homes were flooded.

Forecasters warned people in Bermuda to closely monitor the progress of the storm. Computer models indicated it could reach hurricane strength within a couple of days.

It was the first tropical storm to form in the Atlantic-Caribbean region since Tropical Storm Josephine on Sept. 2, a lengthy lull in what has been a busy and destructive hurricane season so far.

As many as 700 people were killed in impoverished Haiti when four storms, Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike, hit the island of Hispaniola in a month.

Gustav and Ike forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people and disrupted oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico before slamming ashore in Louisiana and Texas respectively.

Forecasters had predicted the six-month season, which runs through Nov. 30, could produce up to 18 tropical storms and hurricanes.

Long-range forecasts indicated that Kyle would likely move north through the Atlantic well to the west of Bermuda and approach the U.S. state of Maine and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step hurricane intensity scale, with winds around 75 mph (120 kph), by Sunday.

Forecasters were also watching a weather system near the North Carolina-South Carolina border that could develop into a cyclone. They said the storm was producing flooding, a heavy surf and strong rip current along parts of the U.S. east coast. (Reporting by Jim Loney, editing by Xavier Briand)