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Bigfoot Was Investigated by the FBI. Here's What They Found

June 6, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

Legends of large, ape-like beasts can be found all over the world. Since the 1950s, the United States’ version of this has been “Bigfoot.” And since 1976, the FBI has had a file on him.

That year, Director Peter Byrne of the Bigfoot Information Center and Exhibition in The Dalles, Oregon, sent the FBI “about 15 hairs attached to a tiny piece of skin.” Byrne wrote that his organization couldn’t identify what kind of animal it came from, and was hoping the FBI might analyze it. He also wanted to know if the FBI had analyzed suspected Bigfoot hair before; and if so, what the bureau’s conclusion was.

Hair samples sent into the FBI for testing, believed to be from Bigfoot.

At the time, “Byrne was one of the more prominent Bigfoot researchers,” says Benjamin Radford, deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine. “In 2019, a lot of people think of Bigfoot as being sort of silly and a joke, or whatever else. But in the 1970s, Bigfoot was really, really popular. That was when The Six Million Dollar Man had a cameo by Bigfoot” (in which André the Giant played Bigfoot).

Jay Cochran, Jr., assistant director of the FBI’s scientific and technical services division, wrote back to Byrne that he couldn’t find any evidence of the FBI analyzing suspected Bigfoot hair, and that the FBI usually only examined physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Still, it sometimes made exceptions “in the interest of research and scientific inquiry,” and Cochran said he’d make such an exception for Byrne.

READ MORE: People Have Been Chasing Bigfoot for 60 Years—Here’s How It Began

Unsurprisingly, Cochran found that the hair didn’t belong to Bigfoot. In early 1977, he sent the hair back to Byrne along with his scientific conclusion: “the hairs are of deer family origin.” Four decades later, the bureau declassified its “Bigfoot file” about this analysis.


The FBI’s official Bigfoot testing results.

To be clear, this is not evidence that the FBI endorsed the existence of Bigfoot, any more than the U.S. military’s decades-long investigation of unexplained aerial phenomena, popularly known as UFOs, is an endorsement of the existence of aliens.

“All it means is the FBI did a favor to a Bigfoot researcher,” Radford says. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for de facto government endorsement of the reality of Bigfoot.” Even …read more

Source: HISTORY

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7 Surprising Facts About D-Day

June 6, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

D-Day was a historic World War II invasion, but the events of June 6, 1944 encompassed much more than a key military victory.

The legacy of D-Day resonates through history: It was the largest-ever amphibious military invasion. Allied forces faced rough weather and fierce German gunfire as they stormed Normandy’s coast. Despite tough odds and high casualties, Allied forces ultimately won the battle and helped turn the tide of World War II toward victory against Hitler’s forces.

But there are some aspects from D-Day that may not be as well known. Among them: Hitler’s miscalculations, a hero medic who has still not received official recognition, and the horror faced by a 19-year-old coastguardsman as he followed a tough command. Here are some lesser-known stories about the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

1. Eisenhower threatened to quit just months before D-Day.

Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower

Just a few months before the D-Day invasion, Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill were at odds over a controversial plan. Eisenhower wanted to divert Allied strategic bombers that had been hammering German industrial plants to instead begin bombing critical French infrastructure.

For Eisenhower, the switch in bombing seemed like a no-brainer. But others, including Churchill and Arthur “Bomber” Harris, head of the Royal Air Force’s strategic bomber command, didn’t see it that way. Harris saw the plan as a waste of resources, while Churchill was concerned about collateral damage to France—an important ally. Facing this opposition, Eisenhower threatened to step down from his position.

The move worked, the bombing plan went ahead and, historians argue, Eisenhower showed the depth of his dedication to making D-Day a successful operation and defeating the Nazis.

Read more here.

2. Hitler thought he was ready–but Nazi defenses were focused in the wrong place.


Adolf Hitler arriving at the Berlin Sportpalast, being greeted by Nazi salutes, circa 1940.

As early as 1942, Adolf Hitler knew that a large-scale Allied invasion of France could turn the tide of the war in Europe. But thanks in large part to a brilliant Allied deception campaign and Hitler’s fanatical grip on Nazi military decisions, the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944 became precisely the turning point that the Germans most feared. In 1942 Germany began construction on the Atlantic Wall, a 2,400-mile network of bunkers, pillboxes, mines and …read more

Source: HISTORY

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The Latest Balkans Breakdown Is None of Washington’s Business

June 6, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

The Balkans has regained its reputation as a geopolitical black
hole. Kosovo recently deployed armored vehicles to arrest ethnic
Serbs in the north for alleged smuggling. Ethnic Albanian police,
meanwhile, have clashed with ethnic Serb civilians, which Serbian
government official Marko Djuric called a threat to stability and
peace. Belgrade has put army units on alert. Russia, Serbia’s
ally, has criticized Kosovo’s “provocation.”

Germany’s famed Otto von Bismarck once warned that war in
Europe would be triggered by “some damn foolish thing in the
Balkans.” He was proven right when three decades later, the
continent plunged into the abyss of World War I. Out of that
conflict emerged what the Germans called Saisonstaaten, or
“states for a season”: small, undemocratic, and mostly
ethnically based nations that proved vulnerable to rising
totalitarian powers. Most were in or near the Balkans.

The Cold War largely froze these national disputes. But once the
Soviet Union dissolved, multiethnic Yugoslavia joined it in
history’s trash can, and the Balkans again became a fount of
conflict.

Geopolitical meddling has
failed in that part of the world before. Why should we try
again?

However, the extended combat and outside intervention that
followed were not inevitable. In 1992, Bosnia and
Herzegovina’s Alija Izetbegovic accepted the Lisbon
Agreement, which would have granted Croats and Serbs the same right
of secession as his dominant Muslim community claimed from
Yugoslavia. Then at the urging of the U.S. ambassador to
Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmerman, Izetbegovic reversed himself and
decided on war. Three years of brutal conflict ensued, killing tens
of thousands. Ethnic Serbs committed noteworthy atrocities, but so
did Bosnian Muslims and Croats.

Washington took a reflexive anti-Serb position, supporting
anyone who sought to leave a Serb-dominated government while
denying ethnic Serbs the same right to secede from other regimes.
The Clinton administration would not even call the expulsion of
150,000 to 200,000 ethnic Serbs from their ancestral homes in
Croatia’s Krajina region ethnic cleansing. Moreover, the U.S.
counted as a great achievement bombing the Bosnian Serbs into the
1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, which preserved a multi-ethnic Bosnia
against the wishes of most Serbs and Croats.

What of Washington’s handiwork today? Bosniak journalist
Aleksandar Brezar complained that “this multicultural,
multi-ethnic project is under serious attack.” But why hold
it together with international baling wire and duct tape if so many
of its people reject it? (Ironically, Bosnia has not recognized
Kosovo, presumably fearful of encouraging secession by the
Serb-dominated Republika Srpska, which, along with the Muslim-Croat
Federation, makes up Bosnia.)

Bosnia is no model of nation-building. Freedom House rates it as
only “partly free,” and notes, “Politics are
characterized by severe partisan gridlock among nationalist leaders
from the country’s Boniak, …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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The Snowden Effect, Six Years On

June 6, 2019 in Economics

By Patrick G. Eddington

Patrick G. Eddington

Six years ago, the world was introduced to a previously unknown
government contractor who revealed the National Security Agency
(NSA) was conducting an unparalleled level of warrantless
electronic surveillance. Edward Snowden’s explosive
revelations about NSA’s telephone metadata collection program
triggered an uproar at home and abroad, culminating in the 2015
passage of the USA Freedom Act—legislation that supporters
claimed would “end” the kind of mass surveillance
Snowden had exposed to the world.

During the debate over Snowden’s revelations, federal
officials (including President Barack Obama) asserted the
surveillance program had saved lives—going so far as to claim,
without any evidence, that the program had
foiled dozens of terrorist plots against the United States. And
even after Obama’s own hand-picked review group found the telephone metadata
program not worth it (as did the Privacy and Civil Liberties
Oversight Board (PCLOB) in their report), Congress renewed the program in 2015
via the USA Freedom Act.

Supporters claimed the new legislation would effectively
end the NSA bulk telephone metadata program. Others, including
myself, felt the bill was somewhere between terrible and
disastrous
, because its reforms didn’t go far enough.
Last year, critics who predicted that USA Freedom Act would not end
NSA’s telephone bulk collection were, ironically, vindicated by the Office of the Director of
National Intelligence, which admitted that in fact three times
as much American telephone data was being collected than before the
law’s enactment
.

The USA Freedom Act
expiration deadline is an opportunity to holistically address the
wide range of these abuses, as well emerging technologies that
further threaten the constitutional rights and privacy of all of
us.

Amazingly, earlier this year NSA recommended to President Donald Trump that the
telephone metadata program be terminated, claiming the program was
too cumbersome to continue to execute and not worth the
effort—a tacit admission that critics were right all
along.

As it stands, the USA Freedom Act is set to expire on December
15 of this year. So, why not just let it die and move on? Because
even if the USA Freedom Act expires, other vast—and in my
view, unconstitutional—domestic surveillance powers and
technologies will remain untouched and, in at least one case,
completely unexamined publicly.

Executive Order 12333

Executive Order 12333, issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1981
and reissued by every administration since, is the governing
federal regulation for overseas intelligence collection for the NSA
and each of the other 16 agencies that comprise the U.S.
Intelligence Community (IC). Until the establishment of the PCLOB
in 2004, no element of the federal government …read more

Source: OP-EDS