Category Archives: Did I Dream This?

Beyond the limits of logic and science, there are events of the mind and body that defy explanation. Near Death, Out of Body and others that too many people have experienced to totally discard just becasue we cannot easily explain them. Here are stories that take this discussion into all new territory.

The Hang Glider Incident

Two years ago today, it happened.  It changed my life.  At the time, I was care free and enjoying my 200th hang-gliding flight.  I had saved up to do something special.  My plan was to pay a hot air balloon pilot to take me up to 17,000 feet over the northern Green Mountains of Vermont.  I would then try to glide as far south as I could, using the air currents (thermals, ridge lift and mountain waves) of the east-coast mountains to help keep me aloft.  I didn’t realize how far I would travel.

I asked an old friend of mine, Eddie, if I could borrow a 2-person hang glider because it is designed larger for more lift.  He agreed and said to come by sometime and he would show it to me.  He said it was his Mars glider.  I knew a two person model from a maker called Moyes was called the Mars so I figured he had one of those old 1984 designs.

I carefully prepared a special backpack of all the goodies I might need.  I had two radios – a 5 watt CB handheld and a VHF transceiver going to my boom mike.  I had water, food, a bunch of survival and camping equipment.  I had rigged a small 5 watt solar panel to the top of the sail and wired in my iPhone, MP3 player and GPS plus a digital altimeter (variometer) that is combined with a small calculator sized flight computer.  I tried to consider everything from the worst case scenario to the most ideal comfort.

When I arrived, Eddy’s took me out to his hangar and showed me his “Mars” hang glider.  It was huge!  It was, in fact, not really a “hang” glider, Eddie told me.  It was actually a tailless, foot-launched rigid wing sail plane, similar to the Swift – a Stanford design that dates back to the mid 1980’s.  I was familiar with the Swift design and had even flown one.  It is not really in the same class as hang gliders at all.  The one I flew had a 41 foot wingspan with vertical winglets and an aircraft style joystick controlling fully functioning control surfaces that want by names like elevons, flaperons and spoilerons but coming from years of flying aircraft in the Navy, I just called them elevators, flaps, spoilers and rudders.

Eddy’s Mars version was a new prototype that used carbon fiber struts and a metallic mylar/Kevlar laminate for the wing skin but because of the rigid frame, it has fantastic performance and strength.  It was originally developed by and for NASA as a possible Mars exploration vehicle but when funding for Mars missions were cut, the glider project was cancelled and this particular model was given to the engineer that did most of the design and construction of the glider.  It just happened that he (Eddy) and I served in the Navy together at NRL and he retired only about 30 miles from where I live.

The glider is an extension of Swift design but it has been enhanced using computer modeling and more exotic materials.  It has a 54 foot wing and a full pilot fairing shaped like a bomb slung under the center of the wing.  It was designed for the thinner air of Mars so it had outstanding glide slope performance in the thicker air of earth – I was told it might get as much as 60:1.  As I was looking at it, I told Eddy, “This is looks like the best unpowered glider ever made”.  He smiled and said, “Well, that’s partly right”.

Eddy showed me the lexan fairing, seats, wing construction and how it was going to be lifted by the hot air balloon.  He then showed me one feature on it that was so advanced that Eddy said it was just not worth the time and effort to train me on it.  This glider actually had an autopilot.  It sounds weird but at the same time it is a logical extension of putting more real aircraft control surfaces on a glider.  In this case, they created a set of unique double-layer panels on the wing skin that are ribbed with shape-memory alloy wires.  These wires respond to electrical signals from a tiny flight computer that uses a small polymer battery that is charged by a large lightweight flexible solar panel on the upper wing surface.  When these wires are heated up by a flow of electricity, they change shape into something that has been programmed into their molecules when the wire was forged.  In this case, the wires go from straight to being curved by varying amounts depending on the voltage applied.  I had read about memory wire but had never seen a practical application of it until now.

The flight computer, which is actually called the ASFS for auto-stability flight system, takes readings from an internal GPS, and a set of pitot static tubes, rate gyros and tension and torsion sensors located throughout the glider’s frame.  When fully deployed, it also uses a small sensor module that hangs on a thin wire from the tail of the fairing and drops down several hundred feet where it measures temperature, pressure and winds.  It also uses lasers that point in almost every direction that measure thermal density, humidity and air movement with as much or more accuracy as a Doppler radar.  This gives the flight computer all the data it needs to keep the glider stable and to compensate for the shortened fuselage which can make rigid hang gliders more susceptible to spin and wing torque.

When activated, the ASFS (auto-stability flight system), as Eddy calls the flight computer, uses all these inputs to compute the optimum flight configuration to maintain a specified heading and attitude.  It can be set to seek out and maintain a steady altitude or a steady climb or descent on a given heading.  It accomplishes this by adjusting critical panels in the airfoil control surfaces by flexing these thin memory wires with computer controlled electrical pulses.  After measuring the entire envelope of air around the glider, it can optimize the wing for the best possible performance.  The end result is that in a head wind of more than 7 knots, it can climb steadily and when trimmed properly, it can achieve better than 90 MPH.

The system was designed because the hope was that this glider would be so efficient that it could be used to travel long distances or remain aloft for long periods of time while traversing the thinner air of the Martian surface.  Although it was created to be nearly fully automatic, it was also a one-of-a-kind prototype that cost nearly $30 million to develop.  I told Eddy I thought it was kind of neat to have a glider with an auto-pilot.  He frowned at me and said, “It’s an auto-stability flight system, not an auto-pilot”.  I said, “Yeah, whatever, it’s still an auto-pilot”.   Eddy said it was impossible to remove the ASFS so I should just not mess with it.   I agreed and pretty much forgot about it but I also marveled at the thought that this glider might actually be able to fly farther than I expected.

The flight position wasn’t like a hang glider but more like a real airplane.  The fairing covers two narrow seats of fabric drawn tight between the frame spars.  Once it is airborne, you close two small doors that look like bomb bay doors under the seat.  This creates a fully enclosed cabin of Mylar and lexan.  The ASFS control panel and other switches and lights are on a drop down panel above the pilot seat.

The right armrest has a tiny joy stick that controls the elevons and flaps.  It has the usual joystick movements but it also rotates and goes up and down.  As I moved it, I was shocked that nothing was moving – then Eddy reached in and flipped a switch on the overhead panel and everything shook and started working.  The damn thing was fly-by-wire!!  That means that there are no rods and cables going to all the control surfaces – just tiny wires that activate solenoids or motorized screw actuators to move the flaps and elevons and all the other surfaces this thing can control.  Eddy told me that NASA had figured out how to make the fly-by-wire more reliable and lighter weight than cables.

Eddy had rigged the seat so I could sit in the center and place my bag of goodies on the left and right of me in the same seat.  Since it was designed to carry two, I could take all my stuff and still be way under its normal max weight – making its performance even better.  I even found out that it was rigged to use a solar powered electric propeller that would extend out of a tube in the tail of the fairing but Eddy said it was not setup.  I’d be using just the glider aspects on this flight.

Since I was hopeful of being able to fly perhaps as much as a few hours after dark, I was pleased when Eddy showed me that it was rigged with a host of blinking LED lights and two small quartz-iodine beam lights for landing.   All were wired to the lithium-ion battery that was being charged by the wing top solar panel.  He also showed me that NASA had rigged a small generator to a small propeller to give me power after dark using the forward motion of the glider to spin the prop.  He warned me that it was designed to power the ASFS and a few LEDs so I should not be thinking of heating up a coffee cup with it.   As you might imagine, I was getting pretty optimistic about my flight and using all these goodies but since I had nobody tracking me – no ground crew – I had to plan on being on my own, no matter what happened.

Actually, having no ground crew was part of the plan.  I didn’t want to be reporting to anyone or be trying to meet some schedule or destination.  I specifically wanted to simply soar for as long as I wanted to and go wherever the winds took me.  No commitments, no obligations, no limitations.  I accepted that at some point, I’d have to figure out how to get back home but I knew I could rent a car or truck and manage somehow.  The idea of just going without a care as to where or when was a fantastic feeling.  When I tried to express this to Eddy, he frowned and told me not to break his glider.  Then he chuckled a little and said that I probably couldn’t break it if I tried.  I wasn’t sure what he meant but was glad he was letting me use it.

The flight in the hot air balloon was a fantastic experience all by itself.  We launched out of North Troy, Vermont, 2 hours before the sun came up so we watched the sunrise from about 10,000 feet up.  We had caught some very light winds out of the east and were moving toward Jay Peak, about 15 miles away.  Except for the occasional blast from the burners, it was totally silent.  Even from 5,000 feet up we could see and hear traffic and dogs barking.  When we finally got up to about 16,000, I started getting ready and as we hit 17,000 feet exactly, at 6:18AM, I pulled a cord and had a short free fall of about 20 feet before the wing caught the air and leveled off.

I was comfortable despite the 21 degree air temperature, warm in my baggie around my legs, snug behind the fairing under the huge wing above me and wearing a special helmet with a full head shield of clear plastic.  I had on gloves and enough layers of clothes to be very comfortable.  The wing was nearly three times the wingspan of my own hang glider but was completely silent – the Mylar and Kevlar skin was pulled so tight on the frame that there was no flapping or ruffling sound.  The only wind noise was coming from the two small round air vents on the left and right panels of the lexan windows.  I pulled them closed and it was almost silent.  I thought I was in paradise.

I was very impressed with the performance of the glider – the rigid wing gave it good forward speed while the huge size and lift gave it a great glide slope.  It was hard to gauge the real glide slope while over the mountains since I was remaining in nearly flat flight or even gaining slightly in altitude as I traveled south west along the ridge lines.  The vertical updraft winds from the slopes were pretty weak up this high but apparently they were there enough that I was measuring only about 1 or 2 meters of drop in altitude (sink) per mile of forward travel.  That was amazing performance.

About 50 miles south, as I was passing over Ricker Mt., I was still at 16,500 feet.  Another 100 miles south, as I passed over Mt. Wilson, I was still above 16,000 feet.  It was just before 9AM and I computed I was averaging almost 50 MPH.  This was a shock because I had not really been paying attention to my gauges or tracking my progress.  I was too caught up in the sights and the whole experience of it.  The helmet and fairing let me have a full field of view without feeling the wind and gave me no sense of my speed.

Around noon, I had descended to just under 15,000 feet but was able to use the dual ridgelines near Mt. Greylock, and some cooperative mountain waves and winds to climb back up.  Only took two 360 degree spirals to get back up to just over 16,000 feet and then hold that down to Mt. Holy to make the crossing over the Hudson River valley just south of Albany, New York.   I had been fortunate so far to have caught a lot of good thermals and updrafts from the mountains.  The large high pressure center over central New York had given me very favorable low level winds out of the north east producing great lifting winds for my soaring.  Now I had to cross a huge valley of about 25 miles before I could get back to some updrafts from the Blackhead Range near Palenville, NY.

As I passed between Doll and Shaker mountains, just west of Pittsfield, I turned south west toward Queechy lake which I could see reflecting the early afternoon sunlight.  The crossing was mostly uneventful; I caught a few updrafts but mostly relied on the lift of the wing to sustain as much altitude as possible.  I took the time to eat for the first time and drink some water.  A single engine private airplane circled around me a few times and I gave hand signals to the pilot to tune in my frequency on his VHF.  We spoke briefly, exchanging pleasantries and small talk.  He was surprised I had come so far and was still so high.  He told me that a low pressure system was developing over Maryland and moving northeast.  I laughed and told him I wasn’t likely to make it out of New York, let alone get as far south as Maryland.

The clear sunny skies were giving me some interesting thermals that were hard to read as I passed over the river new Catskill but within a few minutes, I was beginning to feel the updrafts coming off the sharp cliff face of North Mountain.  I had descended to about 9,800 feet which worked out to be just over a 30:1 glide slope.   That was about what I expected but a lot less than what Eddy had led me to believe that this glider was capable of doing.   I caught the ridge lift and circled in it for 30 minutes as I climbed back up to 12,000 feet.  It was about 1PM when I headed west again along the southern side of the Blackhead Range.  This route took me slightly north again up toward Prattsville but I was getting really good lifting air. By the time I got to the southern tip of the Schoharie Lake, I was back up to nearly 15,000 feet.

I turned southwest again, heading toward Roxbury and following highway 30 which runs along the ridgeline of a shallow range.  It did not give me the lift I wanted but it kept me level except for passing over the Pepacton Reservoir.  From there, the land flattened out so I made a bee-line for Elk Hill north of Scranton where I circled for about 45 minutes to gain height and map out the rest of my flight.  It was now about 4PM and I was topping out at about 14,000 feet.  This was way better than I had planned so I started thinking maybe I will make it to Maryland.

I had been at this altitude several times before and now noticed it was considerably cooler up here indicating that upper level cooler air was moving up from the south.  This was the weather that I had heard about earlier that was supposed to be over Maryland but because I was so high, I was encountering the changes sooner.  I used my 3G connected iPhone to get into an internet weather radar and flight information web site to see the latest patterns and winds.  I wasn’t surprised but was very pleased that the low pressure were creating lower level winds out of the south west and were tapering off up to about 10,000 feet and then above that, the upper level high pressure winds were out of the north east.  Although this mix of opposite flowing winds created a layer of turbulence, it was tolerable and I was confident my glider was strong enough to take the buffeting.

After gaining as much altitude as I could off Elk Hill, I headed south along the Scranton valley and then followed as much as I could, the ridge lines that fan out over eastern Pennsylvania.  I found that I could catch a slight tail wind above 10,000 feet until I descended into the turbulence and then I’d catch an updraft and gain a little.  I repeated this dive-and-climb maneuver all the way down the south-easterly ridge lines.

I as I moved further south, I found the boundary layer between the lower Low and the upper High was moving up in altitude, indicating that I was moving more toward the center of the Low.  This created more and stronger headwinds that gave me good lifting air but slowed my forward progress to a snail’s pace.  By 7PM, I was still above 10,000 feet but I had only made it to just west of Hagerstown, Maryland.  The low pressure center was passing from my right (west) to my left (east) and the winds were shifting rapidly from head winds to tail winds.

By 9PM, I was getting really cold but I was moving with a ground speed of almost 80 MPH, encountering a lot of turbulence and descending faster than I have on any other part of the trip.  My GPS told me I was near Covington, Virginia but I was down to about 5,000 feet.  I was getting some reasonably good updrafts from the ridgelines but it was not enough to take me much higher.  My plan was to make it to Potts Mountain and circle it to get some altitude but the tail winds and turbulence were getting worse and I could see just ahead, some rain with flashes of lightning.  I had been lucky in avoiding rain so far but now it looked like a wall I could not go around or over.  The lightning was giving me brief silhouettes of the skyline, trees and storm clouds.

It suddenly dawned on me that I might be going down in these rugged hills of Appalachia at night in a storm and with no one knowing where I was or being able to help.  The terrain below me was all trees and mountains with no apparent clearing or opening big enough to plan a landing.  As I descended below 3,000 feet, I raised my helmet visor and took off my gloves so I could see better and not fumble with the tiny joystick.   I was able to see brief flashes of isolated houses and cars in the forest below.  As the tailwinds grew stronger, I was temped to turn back north and just ride the winds to a better landing but I was determined to continue south.  It was a bad decision.

I was now looking up to the ridge lines and mountain peaks above my altitude as I skimmed the trees tops along the valley walls.  The winds were jerking me up and down as my wing lights were now lighting up the trees below me.  To make matters worse, it started to rain.  I was now only a few feet above the trees and was desperately looking for any opening to land without wrecking the hang glider.  I had been following State Road 18, hoping to find a wide place in the road when I was surprised to see a large farmer’s field ahead when a large flash of lightning lit up the whole area around me.  I aimed for the field and was coming in fast and wet over the trees at one end and about to descend onto the field and try to do a pylon turn to land into the wind.

I had turned into the wind with less than 100 feet altitude and was getting ready to flair for the landing – that’s when it happened.  The blinding light and loud sound of the lightning numbed me all over.  I felt the heat from the flash as if someone had suddenly put me naked under a dozen heat lamps.  Even before the flash and loud explosion began to subside, my vision closed down like I was looking through a tunnel and then all went black and I was out.  I didn’t have time to think about landing or falling or anything.  I just winked out.

The cold on my face was my first sensation.  Then I felt my cold hands.  I could see only black.  I opened my eyes and blinked but I still could not tell if I had my eyes open or closed.  All was black.  Then I turned my head a little and could see the wingtip lights on my glider.  There were LEDs that were pointing away from me but I could see that they were lit.  As I was trying to gather my senses and remember what had happened, I was again aware of the cold on my face and hands.  Just as I remembered the lightning, I jerked my head around to see what had been destroyed by the strike.  I figured the wing material would be shredded and all the electronics would be fried.  I whipped around in my seat as I surveyed the whole glider in the dim light of the wingtip LEDs.  I groped for a switch that would turn on some other lights that would let me examine the frame and my instrument panel.  When I flipped on the overhead flood and landing lights, I was surprised that everything looked normal.

My hands and face were now getting so cold from the cold foggy-wet wind that I was totally distracted from everything else to try to get my face and hands warmer.  As I was fumbling with the visor and pulling my hands into the sleeves of my jacket, I realized I should be able to just sit up on the ground and get out my gloves and face mask from my duffle bag.  I bent my knees and pushed them thru the bomb bay doors under me and reached for the ground …and it wasn’t there.  I moved and swung around in my seat harness to extend my legs but instead of touching the ground, the whole glider lurched down and to the right and I felt a rush of wind in my face and my legs were getting really cold.  It suddenly dawned on me that …I was still flying!

I quickly pulled my legs up and closed the hatch doors and straightened out and tried to stabilize the glider but it was already leveling out so my movements of the joystick induced even more violent dips and rocking followed by more leveling out.  I tried to grab the joystick like it was my only lifeline to survival but as my panic subsided; I realized I was in straight and level flight.  I glanced at the instrument panel thinking it had been fried by the lightning.  It said I was at 12,557 feet and climbing and on a heading of 119 degrees (slightly south of due east).  There was no way I could be that high.  I searched for other instruments to crosscheck the altitude and heading.  The variometer, the GPS and the backup barometric altimeter all agreed.  I really was that high.  I thought I must be insane.  This can’t be right.

As I panicked over being whether I was crazy or dead, I saw a persistent flashing LED on my overhead dash panel.  It was labeled ASFS.  I suddenly realized the damn auto-pilot had flown me up this high.  It must have kicked on when the lightning flashed and taken advantage of the strong head winds at the landing site to gain altitude.  I had no idea what it was set to or where it was heading.  I didn’t even know how to turn it off or change its settings.  The flashing LED was just above a small hole which was probably an input jack to connect a user interface of some kind; something that Eddy did not give me.

Before I did anything, I needed to figure out where I was.  I searched around for what instruments were still working and reliable.  The panel lights were out so it was hard to see the screens of the GPS and the variometer since they were simply separate devices velcrowed to the dash panel.  The simple backup systems consisted of a magnetic compass, a backup barometric altimeter and a simply gyro-based artificial horizon combined with a turn-and-bank indicator also called an AHTB.

My watch showed 3:14 AM.  I had been unconscious for nearly six hours!  The GPS put me an incredible 290 miles east of Norfolk, VA. – out over the Atlantic!  I was nearly half way to Bermuda!  I crosschecked and there was no indication that this was wrong.  I was flying just above a cloud layer – skimming into it every few minutes.  That was the wet fog wind I was feeling on my face and hands.  There was a higher cloud layer above me that hid the stars.  Based on the last weather map I downloaded into my iPhone, I was in the southern most portion of the low pressure system that was hitting Virginia and Maryland.  This area of the cyclonic would have winds that generally blew east to west giving me headwinds while I was flying east.

Just as I was trying to figure this out, the glider pitched forward into a slight descent back into the lower cloud layer.  I pulled on the joystick but only succeeded in creating a lot of turbulence and rocking action.  The auto-pilot was obviously taking control and had decided to descend for some reason.

The cold wet fog of the cloud was making we hurt with the pain of the cold.  I figured the auto-pilot had gotten me this far, I might as well let it steer a little while longer while I got out my gloves and face mask.  After 5 minutes of tussle with my bag in the dark, I was all snug in my heavy gloves and full face mask.  I noticed that we were moving at 97 miles per hour – air speed but about 66 miles per hour ground speed – a 31 mph head wind.  The auto-pilot continued to descending until the glider was vibrating all over and we had hit 123 mph – and then it slowly pitched up into a gentle ascent and we climbed back up to just over 13,000 feet.  Then we leveled out for a few minutes before starting another slow and shallow descent.

I figured out that the auto-pilot was using the probe on the long wire hung under the glider to figure the optimum glide path for using the winds to the best advantage.  We would descend into stronger headwinds to build speed and then slingshot up to gain altitude where the winds were lower.  This could be repeated over and over to maintain a relatively high altitude while not having to fly inside the clouds or in strong head winds.  This auto-pilot was smart.

It was time to try to turn around and get out of the danger of flying out over open water.  If I went down out here, I’d simple die without a raft or food or water.  The problem is that gliders don’t fly very well going down wind in high wind speeds.  A tail wind might give you a higher ground speed but it also gives you zip for lift so you can’t maintain any altitude.  That is certainly not what I want to do when I am 300 miles from the nearest land.  I had to think very carefully about what to do.

The low pressure zone I was in had to be moving east or north east fairly fast and I was sure that I was already in the far outer fringe of its southern edge – meaning it was just a matter of time before I flew out of it and into a zone with light and variable or even tail winds.  If I tried to stay with the weather front, I’d have to fly north east but that takes me into an area of the ocean where there are no islands for hundreds of miles.  If I continued on I might be able to make Bermuda but that would be another 400 miles and perhaps 6 or 7 hours of flight under ideal conditions.  I almost certainly would fly out of those ideal conditions within the next hour or two.  There was no option at all to turn south or west.  Turning north will keep me in the air but there is nothing in that direction to land on.  Staying on an easterly heading might get me to Bermuda but is not very likely.

The option to look for a ship or contact a plane struck me as the best possible option.  If I could get thru on my VHF transceiver or iPhone or CB, I could simply land near them and get picked up.  It was coming up on 4AM so I was not sure who might be listening now but I started getting out the equipment to make the attempt.

I figured while I was this high, the VHF might be the best bet because it gives me line-of-sight (LOS) connection to any other VHF in the area which would be a range of about 25 to 35 miles radius.  Then I got to thinking that 25 miles is not much in this big ocean.  The VHF was in my vest pocket and was also already hooked up to my boom mike and head phones so all I had to do was turn it on.  I began broadcasting on various frequencies, asking for anyone to respond.  After talking for 3 or 4 minutes, I would listen for 5 or 10 minutes and then repeat.  I did this for more than an hour and then I heard a short beep beep and the LED on the box in my vest went out.  I had killed the battery.  I plugged it into the solar panel but I knew it would take hours to recharge and only after the sun came up.

By this time, the sun was beginning to lighten up the clouds in front of me and I was noticing that the auto-pilot was dipping further and further down in altitude and coming up less and less.  I was now just over 11,000 feet at the peak of the dive and climb cycle.  This was not good.  The sun was also becoming more clear and distinct on the horizon meaning that the cloud cover was getting thinner.  When the clouds are gone, the head wind would probably go also.

Now I was beginning to panic.  I spent several minutes thinking about my position and then trying to figure out exactly where I was.  At a few minutes before 6AM, I figured I was about 127 miles west-north-west of  Bermuda, moving at about 41 mph ground speed on a heading that would take me just north of the island.  At this speed, I needed to keep this up for about 3 more hours.

I don’t know why or how but the auto-pilot seemed to be making corrections to take me directly to Bermuda.  My guess is that it had a built-in GPS with maps that were used for its testing phase.  It was designed for flying autonomously on Mars so it probably had a logic circuit that seeks out the best landing sites.  That was all just a guess but it seemed to be working that way for now.  I figured I’d let it continue while I tried the CB and iPhone.

The face mask and big gloves I was wearing made the effort ten times more difficult.  I had to pull the duffle out and unzip it and dig around and find the radios and then operate them with these big clumsy gloves on.  I just remembered that cruise liners set up cell phone systems on their ships so that passengers can call on their own cell phones.  These LOS systems could reach out 50 or 75 miles from my altitude.  With luck I might even be able to pick up Bermuda.  This made me excited as I pulled at the bag to see where the iPhone was.  I was bending over the bag pulling against my harness straps while pulling on the bag, trying to see out of the helmet face mask I had on that was riding up against my chest and blocking my vision.  I spotted the iPhone out of corner of one eye and reached for it.   I should have slowed down a little.

My glove straps caught on the zipper of the bag.  I jerked my hand to get it free and watched as the iPhone flew in a slow arc up over my legs and down onto the landing hatch doors under me.  I jerked forward as fast as I could to grab it before it slipped between the doors and fell.  As I jerked forward and reached between my legs for the phone, the seatbelt harness tightened and jerked just as hard to snap me back into my seat.  It also shook the glider enough that the landing doors opened just a little and the phone gently bounced out of the opening and quickly disappeared below and behind me.  It was gone.

I stared at the patch of clouds where it had fallen as if to see if it would come back.  What stupidity.  I was angry.  It was those damn gloves that made me lose it.   I shook and waved my hands wildly trying to shake the gloves off.  At nearly the same time, they both flew off into the air, down between my legs and out the landing doors.  And that damn visor on my helmet that kept me from seeing clearly.  I ripped it off and flung it away.  I was furious and felt somewhat relieved that I had punished the culprits that had caused me to lose my only chance at a radio contact.

My relief did not last long.   Reality set in as I suddenly became aware of the intense cold on my hands and face.  The temperature was 19 degrees F on the gauge and the wind chill from the open landing doors probably brought it down to well below zero.  I carefully dug out my wrap-around sun glasses and the CB radio.  I zipped up the duffle bag and tied off the CB to my vest and plugged in the boom mike and turned it on.  I then pulled my leg baggie up and pulled my coat up over my neck and lower part of the helmet so only the edges around my eyes and the sun glasses were exposed to the wind.  I stuffed my hands into my coat pockets and started transmitting on the CB.

The idea of the CB made sense when I was thinking of flying over highways where truckers still use these radios.  It made a lot less sense when I am out over the Atlantic Ocean and a hundred miles from the nearest land.  I transmitted, listened, changed channels and then repeated for an hour with not even a hint of response.  I gave up.

I had been so busy with being angry about dropping the iPhone and trying so hard to make the CB work that I had not noticed that over the past hour, I had lost almost half my altitude.  I was now down to 5,200 feet and descending more.  The head winds and clouds had gone and the warmer lower altitude air and the bright sun felt good on my face but now I could clearly see the ocean below me.  There were whitecaps on huge waves leaving long tails of foam on the surface.  I was still a mile above the waves but they looked big with deep valleys between the white crests – so deep that the morning sun was casting deep shadows that darkened the wave troughs even more – making them seem even deeper.

I looked ahead, hoping to see land but it was still just over 80 miles away.  The ASFS auto-pilot appeared to be still working because I could see panels in the control surfaces changing position as the memory wires were flexing.  The sunlight was giving a boost to the batteries and it seemed that more and more of the panels were being manipulated as it got brighter.  I guessed that the system had a built-in power saver for night flight.  I watched the GPS and the altimeter closely for a few minutes and figured out I was descending at about 40 feet per minute.  That worked out to be 2,400 feet per hour.  Being off in my descent by a few feet per minute could make the difference of landing miles sooner or having plenty of time.  At my current speed and with no changes, I figured I would land about 10 miles short of Bermuda – close but too far to swim in the cold open ocean.  I also remembered that Bermuda is known for having a high concentration of Great White sharks.

I used the GPS to plug in Bermuda as a waypoint and it calculated and then pointed about 5 degrees to my left – meaning that I was not heading directly at Bermuda but it was hard to determine if this was the auto-pilot’s correction for a cross wind or the GPS pointing to another part of the island or simply a mistake and I would miss the island all together.  I had to think of what to do but this was never a situation that I expected or trained for when I left on this adventure.

Do I try to take this off auto-pilot and steer it myself or let it navigate and trust it will take me where I need to go.  Not having any way to communicate or control the ASFS is making me very nervous since I don’t know if it will take me to Bermuda or not.  I searched for how it was wired so I could disable it if I needed to.  To see the back of the control console, not thinking, I pulled myself forward on in the seat and the whole glider took a dive followed by the ASFS trying to correct by using the flaps and stabilator and elevons and trying to improve lift and reduce the pitch forward and down.  I let go of the joystick and let the glider re-stabilize but I had lost nearly a hundred feet of altitude – that would mean I’d hit the water sooner and have to swim several hundred yards more.  I’d have to be more careful if I want to live to see tomorrow.

I did find the cable that connected the control console to the lithium battery pack and solar panels above my head.  Just above my left shoulder was a connector that would disconnect the power.  I was sure that would kill the auto-pilot but I was still not sure if that was the right thing to do.  What could I do that would give me greater range?  I had to believe the ASFS was giving me the optimum flight profile because if it wasn’t, I was not sure I could do any better.  I imagined all those old movies of airplanes that got shot in the war over Germany – oh damn! Of course, they dumped weight.  I could do that but what could I throw out that would make a difference.  A few pounds would have no effect so throwing out my MP3 player or even the CB would do nothing.  I started to grab for the duffle bag but remembered the last time I moved fast so I carefully moved it from my side to in between my legs.

The shift in weight distribution as I brought the bag forward changed my flight profile – the angle of attack increased – I pitched up just a little – but the ASFS compensated and I kept stable with the same shallow descent.  I rummaged thru the bad and took out my food bag.  I figured I could toss most of that – the water, sandwiches candy bars and other stuff – then I figured why not get rid of it by eating it.  I would get it out of the bag and also feed my hungry stomach.  I began eating the sandwich in big bites and guzzling the water.  I could feel the water bottle getting lighter and tossed the sandwich bags as I finished them.  I imagined how much weight I was saving and how much less I’d have to swim….oh what an idiot!  I wasn’t dumping any weight; I just moved it from the bag to my stomach.  I dropped the rest of the food and cussed at myself for several minutes for being so stupid.

I then reached in and grabbed my camping bag.  I had thought I might have to land and camp somewhere in the mountains for a night or two before I got picked up.  I had a Mylar sleeping bag and a large plastic tarp, a tiny pellet cook stove with a metal cup and a Leatherman multi-tool.  I figured all of it weighed less than 3 pounds.  I grabbed the multi-tool first.  It was one of those really expensive well made tools that has a gazillion blades and tools – pliers, hammer, knife, file, axe, saw…all kinds of stuff.  It was a gift from my sister and probably cost $150 or more.  It could do so many things; I figured I might need it so I tossed it back into the duffle bag.  The pellet stove was just a simple metal “X” that held a fuel pellet and the metal cup.  I tossed it even though it only weighed a few ounces.  I kept the package of fuel pellets and the cup – I figured it might be useful if I ditch in the ocean.  The plastic tarp was a bright yellow and would make a great flag to wave for help and the Mylar sleeping bag was rolled into the size of a tennis ball and looked like polished silver – a great reflector of sun light for a rescue flag.  I tossed all of them back into the bag.

I grabbed the CD and immediately tossed it out the hatch.  I felt good because it had been of no use to me and I imagined the whole glider rose several feet as I watched it fall toward the waves below.  Oh Damn!  The waves below looked so much bigger now.  I snapped my head to the altimeter.  I was down to 3,870 feet and the GPS still pointed just left of straight ahead and said it was 61 miles to go.  Some quick mental calculations showed I was still about the same glide slope I had been on and still destined to hit the water about 10 miles short.  Of course I was rounding off and doing all this in my head so I wasn’t really sure how accurate it was.  Those waves looked a lot bigger now and I had a chill thinking of swimming in those cold white capped waves.

I needed to get serious about this weight toss.  I figured maybe even a little bit of weight loss might help so I stuffed the remaining items from the duffle bag into my pockets and coat vest and unclipped the bag and let it fly away.  As I searched the tiny plastic cabin I was in to something else to tear off and throw away, it dawned on me that this glider was designed with no excess of anything.  Everything was a functioning essential element for flight on….on….Mars!  What do I not need to fly on earth?  Or better, what do I not need for the next 50 minutes to fly over the water toward Bermuda?  My heavy winter boots – I needed them at 15,000 feet but I won’t see that again.  I carefully bent and pulled my knees and slipped off the boots and let them fall thru the bomb bay doors.  My Helmet – I was inside a lexan plastic cockpit and crossing below 3,000 feet to land in water – out goes the helmet.  My heavy insulated leather coat – better keep that.   I threw out the rest of the candy, food and thermos of coffee and the expensive thermos water bottle.  I scanned again and just could not see anything that wasn’t part of what makes me fly.  I kept hoping that I would suddenly zoom up into the sky but I those waves just kept getting bigger and bigger.

I began checking the descent and GPS again.  It was 8:13AM and I was now 39 miles from the north western tip of Somerset Island, off the western tip of Daniel’s Island.  The GPS was pointing to the closest point of land but the glider was still pointing to Ireland Island North, which was about two miles further than Daniel’s Island.  When I checked the wind, as best I could, and watched the waves below me carefully, I concluded that the ASFS was correcting for a slight cross wind out of the north and it might be heading for Daniel’s Island.  I laid in a waypoint in my GPS to create a direct track from my current position to Daniel’s Island so I could check the path I was taking.

I also called up some stored maps on the GPS and noticed that the waters on the northwest side of Bermuda was where all the reefs were for diving that that area was fairly shallow – from 30 to 90 feet deep.  Not deep enough to wade ashore but perhaps it would be shallow enough to reduce the large ocean waves and the presence of deep water white sharks.

I calculated that I had picked up a little speed and flattened my glide slope somewhat to 47 MPH and descending at about 39 feet per minute.  That put me a lot closer but still would need some swimming.  I had not touched the joystick for hours for fear of messing with the autopilot system but I decided to try to see if I could get any altitude – perhaps with a zoom and climb maneuver.  I grabbed the joystick and the glider immediately started resisting my movements.  It shuddered as it tried to respond to two sets of control inputs at once – mine and the ASFS.  It wasn’t working so I stopped.  The only choice was to jerk out the wires and fly fully manual or let continue.  I decided to let it fly for awhile longer.

There wasn’t much to do except sit there and watch the water get closer.  The sky had cleared and the sun was blinding plus I was getting the mirror reflection off the water making it hard to see in the direction of where land might be.  As I came within 20 miles, I began to see the shallower water and a bump on the horizon that was probably Bermuda.  I was down to 1,500 feet and I could see that the AFSF was working much harder now.  It was making flight surface correction every few seconds and making the Mylar skin of the wing vibrate and flex as it tried to maintain level flight in the rough air close to the water.

I thought about the long wire sensor extending down from the glider.  It would act as an anchor and drag me down fast so I got out my multi-tool and prepared to cut it when it was near the water.  I also began thinking of what I might do after I hit the water.  If a boat is nearby, I need only stay afloat until they arrive but if not; I have to get in to dry land somehow.  Swimming is an option but what could I use for a float.  That duffle bag would make an ideal float by simply holding down the zippered end….yeah, that duffle bag that I threw out a few miles back.  Oh! I just remembered the Mylar sleeping bag was just a huge bag that I could fill with air and float on easily.  I felt for it in my jacket pocket and felt secure that it was there.

I was now less than 1,000 feet and the ASFS was working so hard that the fly-by-wire actuators were making a constant clacking and humming sound as they fought the increasing turbulence from the ocean waves and surface winds.  The glider wing tips were weaving and dipping left and right and yawing up and down.  I braced myself on the frame tubes around me and held on.  The sun was bright and shining right in my face but I could see areas of shallower water and the reefs that might be from 10 to 90 feet down since the water was so clear – it was hard to estimate depth.

I was watching the small bulb that was the senor at the end of the long wire extending down from the glider.  It was approaching the water and I reached down with the cutters – getting ready to cut the wire when it touched.  I wanted to wait as long as possible because I did not know what the ASFS would do once it lost that sensor input.  I grabbed the joystick and leaned under the seat to cut the wire.  It was hard to see around the seat and thru the Bombay doors and past the frame rails.  I could only see it with one eye at a time so it was hard to estimate how high it was above the water.  During one violent dip in the rough air, I saw the sensor hit the water and make a small wake of white water.  The reaction by the glider and the ASFS was immediate and dramatic.

I had not even cut the wire yet but the glider jerked several times and I could hear several new actuators moving new areas of the wing.  I spun around in my seat trying to see what was going on but it was hard to see the upper parts of the wing that seemed to be making the noise.  As I moved, the glider was shifting and changing its angle of attack – the pitch up of the front of the wing versus the back of the wing.  I was also shocked that it was actually descending at a much more rapid rate.  I was still at least 10 miles from dry land – that is a long way to swim.  I was now thinking that every second I was in the air, was a few yards I would not have to swim.

I noticed some new LEDs had lit up on the control panel – one was flashing red and one was flashing yellow.  I had no idea what that meant but I was sure it was not good.  The glider was now in a sharp descent that was increasing my speed and moving me very fast toward the water.  I cut the long wire sensor extending down from the glider but it had no effect – except the yellow flashing LED on the dash stopped flashing and was now on steady.  The descent continued.

I figured I was headed for a major crash into the water and I regretted tossing my helmet and gloves.  I figured I was about 50 feet from the water when the glider suddenly pulled up from the dive and slipped into a fast cruise just above the waves.  I was doing 57 MPH and some of the water was hitting my windshield, almost like rain.  I was now passing over exposed reefs and very shallow sand bars and decided that it would not be so bad to ditch out here as I could probably make it to land.

As I looked up, I could now clearly see the island, buildings, telephone poles and cars.  I was about two miles out but I was flying almost level with the buildings.  The glider was going up and down like a roller coaster now and I noticed it was in sync with the waves.  The ASFS was using something called “ground effect” to keep me up.  Air was riding up and down over the waves and as the glider came down, the air between the glider and the waves gets slightly compressed and pushes back up against the glider – giving it a boost in lift.  I had only about a minute to go to make land and I was now for the first time convinced I would make it.  My only concern now was that I was still moving about 40 MPH and that would make for a mighty hard landing on land or water.

I grabbed the joy stick and tried to move it but I could feel the ASFS fighting to control the glider.  I figured even if I muck it up, I still have made it to land.  I pulled back hard on the joystick and the glider shot up to about 200 foot elevation and then nearly stalled and dove back to the water – leveling out just 10 feet above the wave crests.  I was now passing over the surf of the beach – which was not very high because of the long shallow reef that extended out from the north east side of the island.  The glider passed over Daniel’s Island and was coming in to a narrow beach with a long row of small identical cabins.  The glider banked southwest to parallel the beach and then softly and lightly settled onto the beach.  We landed so soft that the glider rolled about 20 feet on the single rear wheel that hung down behind my seat.

It was 9:05AM and the beach was smooth and deserted.  I had approached so low that I was not picked up by any radar and I must have hit a part of a beach resort that was closed.  I grabbed the frame bars and pushed my feet down thru the Bombay doors onto the sand.  Boy did that feel good.   I lifted the glider up and forward and stepped back out from under the glider and let it back down to the ground.  I was standing on the beach and it felt wonderful.  The glider had saved my life – what a story I have to tell Eddy – if he doesn’t have me arrested for messing up his $30 million glider.

I have landed almost exactly 1,000 miles from where I started but the path I took to get here was closer to $1,650 miles.  I sat down on the beach next to the glider and just enjoyed the feeling of being alive.  As I sat there, all I could hear was the small beach waves and a few birds down the beach.  Then I heard a weak voice say, “Hey Gabe!  Are you still alive?”  I looked around but there was no one in sight.  “Hey Gabe, Talk to me”.  The sound was coming from the glider.  I jumped up and stuck my head into the Bombay doors and faced the dashboard just as it said, “Hey Gabe, How you feeling?”  The sound was coming from the dash panel so I just faced it as said, “Who is this”.  “Gabe, it’s me Eddy, we have been tracking you since you left.  Someone will be there in about 30 minutes to pick you and the glider up and bring you back to Vermont”.  I was shocked.  “Eddy, how…what…..why….DAMN….you son of a bitch…..why didn’t you tell me”.  Eddy replied, “Gabe, NASA picked you for this test two years ago.  You fit the profile for a typical trained astronaut and we needed this glider tested in the real world.”  “We have a 727 that is waiting for you at the airport at the north end of the island.  We’ll fly you back and when you get back, you’ll get a new Swift S-1 motorized glider and a payment of $20,000.”  “Is that OK with you, Gabe?”  All I could say was “yes”.

New Power Source Being Tested in Secret

The next time you are driving around the Washington DC beltway, the New York State Thruway, I80 through Nebraska or I5 running through California or any of a score of other major highways in the US, you are part of a grand experiment to create an emergency source of electric power.  It is a simple concept but complex in its implementation and revolutionary in its technology.  Let me explain from the beginning… 

We cannot generate electricity directly.  We have to use either chemical, mechanical solar or nuclear energy and then convert that energy to electricity – often making more than one conversion such as nuclear to heat to steam to mechanical to electrical.  These conversion processes are inefficient and expensive to do in large quantities.  They are also very difficult to build because of the environmental groups, inspections, regulations, competition with utilities and investment costs.   The typical warfare primer says to target the infrastructure first.  Wipe out the utilities and you seriously degrade the ability of the enemy to coordinate a response.  The US government has bunkers and stored food and water but has to rely mostly on public utilities or emergency generators for electricity.   Since the public utilities are also a prime target, that leaves only the emergency generators but they require large quantities of fuel that must be stored until needed.  A 10-megawatt generator might use 2500 gals of fuel per day.  That mandates a huge storage tank of fuel that is also in demand by car and aircraft.  This is not the kind of tenuous link of survivability that the government likes to rely on. 

The government has been looking for years for ways to bypass all this reliance on utilities out of their control and sharing of fuel with the goal of creating a power source that is exclusively theirs and can be counted upon when all other forms of power have been destroyed.  They have been looking for ways to extend their ability to operate during and after an attack for years.  For the past ten years or more they have been building and are experimenting with one that relies on you and me to create their electricity. The theory is that you can create electricity with a small source of very powerful energy – such as nuclear – or from a very large source of relatively weak energy – such as water or wind.   The difficultly and complexity and cost rises sharply as you go from the weak energy sources to the powerful energy sources.  You can build thousands of wind generators for the cost of one nuclear power plant.  That makes the weak energy sources more desirable for the movement to invest in.  The problem is that it takes a huge amount of this weak energy source to create any large volumes of electricity.  Also the nature of having a clandestine source of power means that they can’t put of a thousand wind generators or build a bunch of dams.  The dilemma comes in trying to balance the high power needs with a low cost while keeping it all hidden from everyone.  Now they have done all that. 

If you have traveled very much on interstate highways, you have probably seen long sections of the highway being worked on in which they cut rectangular holes (about 6 feet long, by 18 inches wide by nearly four feet deep) in the perfectly good concrete highway and then fill them up again.  In some places, they have done this for hundreds of miles – cutting these holes every 20 to 30 feet – tens of thousands of these holes throughout the interstate highway system.  Officially, these holes are supposed to be to fix a design flaw in the highway by adding in missing thermal expansion sections to keep the highway from cracking up during very hot or very cold weather.  But that is not the truth. 

There are three errors with that logic.   (1) The highways already have expansion gaps built into the design.  These are the black lines – filled with compressible tar – that create those miles of endless ‘tickety-tickety-tick” sound as you drive over them.  The concrete is laid down in sections with as much as 3 inches between sections that is filled in with tar.  These entire sections expand and contract in weather and squeeze the tar up into those irritating repeating bumps.  No other thermal expansion is needed. 

(2) The holes they cut (using diamond saws) are dug out to below the gravel base and then refilled with poured concrete.  When done, the only sign it happened is that the new concrete is a different color.  Since they refilled it with the same concrete that they took out, the filling has the same thermal expansion qualities as the original so there is no gain.  If there were thermal problems before, then they would have had the same problems after the “fix”.  Makes no sense.   (3) Finally, the use of concrete in our US interstate system was based on the design of the Autobahn in Germany which the Nazi’s built prior to WWII.  Dozens of years of research was done on the Autobahn and more on our highway system before we built the 46,000 miles of the Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, as it was called back in 1956.  The need for thermal expansion was well known and designed into every mile of highway and every section of overpass and bridge ever built.  The idea that they forgot that basic aspect of physics and construction is simply silly.  Ignoring, for a moment, that this is a highly unlikely design mistake, the most logical fix would have been to simply cut more long thin/narrow lines into the concrete and fill them with tar.  Digging an 18” wide by 6 foot long by 40-inch deep hole is entirely unneeded. 

Ok, so if they are not for thermal expansion, what are they.   Back in 1998, I was held up for hours outside of North Platte, Neb. while traffic was funneled into one lane because they were cutting 400 miles of holes in Interstate 80.  It got me to thinking and I investigated off and on for the next 7 years.  The breakthrough came when I made contact with an old retired buddy of mine that worked in the now defunct NRO – National Reconnaissance Office.  He was trying to be cool but told me to take a close look at the hidden parts of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).  I did. It took several years of digging and I found out NERC has their fingers into a lot of pots that most people do not know about but when I compared their annual published budget (they are a nonprofit corporation) with budget numbers by department, I found about $300 million unaccounted for.  As I dug further, I found out they get a lot of federal funding from FERC and the Department of Homeland Security (DHA).  The missing money soon grew to over $900 million because much of it was “off the books”.   

In all this digging, I kept seeing references to Alqosh.  When I looked it up, I found it was the name of a town in northwest Iraq where it is believed that Saddam had a secret nuclear power facility.  That intelligence was proved wrong during the inspections that led up to the second Iraq war but the name kept appearing in NERC paperwork.  So I went looking again and found that it is also a derivation of an Arabic name meaning “the God of Power”.  It suddenly fell into context with the references I had been seeing.  Alqosh is not a place but the name of the project or program that had something to do with these holes that were being cut in the highway.  Now I had something to focus on. As I dug deeper, some of it by means I don’t want to admit to, I found detailed descriptions of Alqosh within NERC and its link to DoD and DHS.  Here’s what I found. 

The concrete that was poured into those holes was a special mixture that contained a high concentration of piezoelectric crystals.  These are rocks (quartz), ceramics and other materials that produce electricity when they are physically compressed.  The mix was enhanced with some custom designed ceramics that also create electricity.  The exact mixture is secret but I found out that it contains berlinite, quartz, Rochelle salt, lead zirconate titanate, polyvinylidene fluoride, sodium potassium niobate and other ingredients. The mix of quartz, polymers and ceramics is very unique and with a very specific intent in mind.  Piezoelectric materials will produce electricity when they are compressed squeezed – this is called the direct piezoelectric effect (like a phonograph needle).  But they also have exactly the opposite effect.  The lead zirconate titanate crystals and other ceramics in the mix will expand and contract in the presence of electricity – this is called the reverse piezoelectric effect.  This is how tiny piezoelectric speakers work.   

The concrete mix, in which a part, was designed to create electricity when compressed by a car passing over it.  Some of these materials react immediately and some delay their response for up to several seconds.  This creates a sort of damper wave of voltage spikes passing back and forth thru the material over a period of time. While some of this mix is creating electricity, some other parts of the specially designed ceramics were intended to flex in physical size when they sensed the electricity from the other quartz materials.  As with the quartz crystals, some of these ceramics delay their responses for up to several seconds.  Sort of like time-released capsules.  The flexing ceramics, in turn, continue the vibrations that cause the quartz to continue creating electric pulses.   

The effect is sort of like pushing a child’s swing.  The first push or vibration comes from the car passing.  That, in turn, creates electricity that makes some of the materials flex and vibrate more.  This push creates more electricity that repeats in an escalating manner until, like the swing, it is producing high waveforms of peak power spikes. The end result of this unique mix of chemicals, crystals, ceramics and polymers is what is called a piezoelectric transformer that uses the acoustic (vibration) (initiated by a car passing) coupling to step up the generated voltages by over 1,500-to-1 into a resonance frequency of about 1 megahertz.  A passing car initiates the series of high voltage electrical pulses that develop constructive resonance with subsequent pressures from passing cars so that the voltage peaks of this resonance can top out at or above 12,700 volts and then tapers off in a constant frequency, decreasing amplitude damper wave until regenerated by the next car or truck.  Multiple axle vehicles can produce powerful signals that can resonate for several minutes. 

Once all this electricity is created, the re-bar on the bottom of the hole also has a special role to play.  It contains a special spiral coil of wire hidden under the outer layer of conducting polymers.  By a careful design of the coil and insulating wires, these re-bars create a simple but highly effective “resonance tank circuit”.   The simplest form of a tank circuit is a coil of wire and a single capacitor.  The value of the inductance of the coil and the capacitance of the capacitor determines the resonance frequency of the circuit.  Every radio and every transmitter made has had a tank circuit in it of one sort or another. The coils of wire on the re-bar create an inductor and the controlled conducting material in the polymer coatings create a capacitor that is tuned to the same resonance frequency as the piezoelectric transformer making for a highly efficient harmonic oscillator that can sustain the “ring” (series resonance voltage magnification over a protracted time domain) for several minutes even with out further injection of energy.   In other words, a car passing can cause one of these concrete patches to emit a powerful high frequency signal for as much as 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size, weight and speed of the vehicle. 

The final element of this system is the collection of that emitted RF energy.  In some areas, such as the Washington DC beltway, there is a buried cable running parallel to the highway that is tuned to receive and pass this electrical energy into special substations and junction boxes that integrate the power into the existing grid.  These special substations and junction boxes can also divert both this piezoelectric energy as well as grid power into lines that connect directly to government facilities. In other more rural areas, the power collection is by a receiver that is hiding in plain sight.  Almost all power lines have one or more heavy cables that run along the upper most portions of the poles or towers.  These top most cables are not connected to the power lines.  This line is most often used as lightning protection and is grounded into earth ground.   

Along those power lines that parallel highways that have been “fixed” with these piezoelectric generators, this line has been replaced with a specially designed cable that acts as a very efficient tuned antenna to gather the EMF and RF energy radiated by the modified highway re-bar transmitters.  This special cable is able to pick up the radiated piezoelectric energy from distances as far away as 1 mile.  In a few places, this specialized cable has been incorporated into the fence that lines both sides of most interstate highways.  Whether by buried cable, power line antenna or fence-mounted collector, the thousands of miles of these piezoelectric generators pumps their power into a nationwide gird of electric power without anyone being aware of it. The combined effect of the piezoelectric concrete mix, the re-bar lattice and the tuned resonant pickup antennas is to create a highly efficient RF energy transmitter and receiver with a power output that is directly dependent upon the vehicle traffic on the highway.  For instance, the power currently created by rush hour traffic along the Washington DC beltway is unbelievable.  It is the most effective and efficient generators in the US and creates as much as 1.6 megawatts by the inner beltway alone.   

The total amount of power being created nationwide is a secret but a report that circulated within DARPA following the 9/11 attacks said that 67 hidden government bunker facilities were brought online and fully powered in preparation to receive evacuated government personnel.  The report, which was focused on the continuity of services, mentioned that all 67 facilities, with a total demand of an estimated 345 megawatts, “used 9% of the available power of Alqosh”.  By extrapolation, that means that the Alqosh grid can create about 3,800 megawatts or about the power of two large nuclear power plants. So why is it secret?  Three reasons.  (1) The government doesn’t want the bad guys nor the American public to know that we can create power from our highways.   They don’t want the bad guys to know because they don’t want it to become a target.  They don’t want the general public to know because they frankly do not want to share any of this power with the public – even if commercial utility power rates get extraordinarily high and fossil fuel or coal pollution becomes a major problem. 

(2) Some of the materials in the concrete mix are not exactly healthy for the environment, not to mention that millions of people have had their travel plans messed up by the highway construction.  Rain run off and mixtures with hydrocarbons are known to create some pretty powerful toxins – in relatively small quantities but the effects of long term exposures are unknown. (3) Its not done yet.  The system is still growing but it is far from being complete.  A recent contract was released by NERC to install “thermal expansion” sections into the runways of the largest 24 airports in the US.  There is also a plan to expand into every railroad, metro, commuter train, subway and freight train system in the US.  A collaboration between DARPA, NERC and DHS recently produced a report that targets 2025 to complete the Alqosh grid with a total capacity of 26,000 megawatts of generating power. 

The task of balancing the high power needs of the government with a low cost while keeping it all hidden from everyone has been accomplished.  The cost has been buried in thousands of small highway and power line projects spread out over the past 10 years.  The power being created will keep all 140 of the hidden underground bunkers fully powered for weeks or months after natural disaster or terrorists have destroyed the utilities.  The power your government uses to run its lights and toasters during a serious national crisis may just be power that you created by evacuating the city where the crisis began. 

Update: The TRUTH about Lucid Dreaming

Some time ago, I wrote about my experiments with lucid dreaming that expanded into sort of a hyper-sensory capability that allows me to visualize in my mind’s eye, my surroundings including things that I cannot see.  The essay on that got a little carried away and in the tradition of this blog, I enhanced the story to the point that it was pretty crazy.  I can really do lucid dreaming and I can control my dreams and I do have problems with controlling the thoughts of my subconscious mind.  All that is true.  The part that talked about the hyper sensory capabilities, the X-ray vision and the reading other people’s dreams…well that was all part of a lucid dream that I created for myself.  It felt very real when I was dreaming it and I could recall almost every detail of the dream so it was fresh in my thoughts as I wrote that essay.  I enjoyed the idea so much that I selected that dream several times and kept adding to it each time.  Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I wrote that one for fun but I do keep using the lucid dreaming techniques and still enjoy creating my own dreams. 

One part of that other essay that I dreamed up but have actually begun to take more seriously is the mix of my own memories and my lucid dreaming.  I have always had a good memory for details.  In school, I could read fairly fast and then recall most of what I read even months later.  It really helped on tests.  Since I have five degrees and over 450 college credits, you can see that I used that technique often and with good effect. Now I am experimenting with recalling old memories and reconstructing the surroundings at the time of the memory.  In my earlier essay, I mentioned my camping trip with my Dad when I was 12.  Using my lucid dreaming, I can proactively recreate that trip and the environment.  It sometimes gets a little confusing as to what I am creating out of imagination and what I actually remember from the event but I see that as sort of extrapolation between known data points.   

I usually begin with a completely static scene – like a painting on a canvas.  Everything is still, even the water in the stream.  I “walk” around the scene and fill in the unknowns like what color were the tent and the sleeping bags and what kind of trees were nearby.  After I get it just so, I press, “play” and let the scene unfold as I remember it.  When I get to a part I don’t remember, I stop and fill it in.  For instance, I remember setting up camp and then I remember being in a canoe fishing.  I don’t remember where we got the canoe or how we got out on the lake – so I create that part.  The creation process is partly trying to dig deep into my memories and partly just imagination to make up what probably happened.  The whole process is like creating a movie by combining a bunch of scenes together to make a whole story. On one trip, I swung off a 30-foot high cliff on a big thick rope.  As I was out over the water, I lost my grip and fell into the lake.  It was a long drop and I belly flopped.  It knocked the wind out of me and I could not breathe and nearly passed out.  My Dad pulled me out and helped me recover.  I have replayed that scene several times.  I found that I could play it in slow motion.  Since this is a dream based on a memory, I can do just about anything I want.  I then would move around the scene and see how it happened, in great detail.  This was informative and I tried it with a number of other memories – like my motorcycle-bus accident, my time in Viet Nam and while I was a cop.  It has given me a whole new appreciation for those events. 

Since I discovered that I could slow down what I have seen, I decided to conduct a few experiments.  I scanned a book by turning the pages as fast as I could and still look at every page.  Then in my dream, I recalled that memory and slowed it down.  I found that I could, in fact, re-read the book because my eyes had indeed captured the text and images of the book even if my mind had not absorbed the content of the text.  Now in my dream, I could look over my shoulder and read the page.  When I was done with the page, I would advance the scene until the next page was visible.  In this way, I read the book in my dreams.  It really did work. I decided to try to learn a skill this way.  I found a book on how to sculpt clay into statues and busts of people.  I have never done that before so I quick-scanned the pages and then dreamed that I was reading it slowly and was learning it.  In my dream, I then sculpted a beautiful clay statue of Zeus.  I was amazed that in my dream, I was able to apply all the skills of the book without having to actually read the book.  When I woke up, could not wait to try to recreate the Zeus statue.  I setup all the clay and tool and went to work and create a statue that might have been mistaken as a mix between a duck and a camel.  It was an utter disaster.  There was no skill there at all.  It was all in my dream and in my imagination.  I had not learned anything from the quick-scan of the book because I had not actually learned or read anything other than looking at the pictures.  This experiment showed me that I have to be careful when I mix dreaming with memories to avoid creating false memories and wishful thinking. 

The Down Side to Lucid Dreams

Some of you may have read my other stories about my experiences with Lucid Dreaming. See LUCID DREAMS and THE POWER OF THE MIND. Now I am going to tell you there is a down side to doing that.

It started when I noticed that I was constantly playing music in my head. Everybody does that but this was different. It was like the background music in a movie. I could “think” this music in my head even while I was actively thinking and even talking about something totally unrelated to the music. Like the music in the movies, I was not always aware that this background music was there but if I had a lull in other thoughts, I would immediately become aware of it.

It was my subconscious mind playing this music and my conscious mind was hearing it while my conscious mind was busy with other thoughts. What was worse, is that I cannot stop it easily. I think to myself – NO MORE MUSIC – over and over again and after several minutes, it stops…only to start again in 10, 20, 60 minutes later.

This sounds silly but my conscious mind seems to have a mind of its own. Yeah, I know that is crazy but why else would I not be able to control it? In my lucid dreams, I have complete control and even instruct my subconscious mind to not do that any more but it doesn’t help much. But outside of those moments when I am expressly trying to control my subconscious mind, it seems to be thinking almost independently of my conscious mind. I say, “almost” because it has begun a new “background activity”.

I am very well aware of both the jokes and the reality of hearing “voices in your head”. These are just a few I found on a bumper sticker site. “You’re just jealous because the voices are talking to me” “The voices in my head are stealing my sanity” “I can’t go to work today – the voices in my head said stay home and clean the guns”. This is no joke. I really do have voices in my head that I don’t seem to have full control over.

In my story THE POWER OF THE MIND, I described over a decade of work with my lucid dreaming and my interactions with my subconscious mind. I have been able to take that to some very remarkable levels to include being able to invade other people’s thoughts and dreams and to extend my remote viewing to some amazing levels. Well now it seems I have a back seat driver to these events. My subconscious mind seems to be working at trying to make these contacts and invasions even during the day when I am otherwise engaged in other activities. It is really annoying.

The other day, I visited a friend; I’ll call her Jane. She had company and I was introduced to “Terry”. As I was introduced, I heard this weak voice in my mind saying she was a smoker and a bad driver and she drinks too much. I was shocked by these comments and could not imagine where they came from since she looked and talked perfectly normal, well dressed and certainly appeared sober. There was nothing to indicate these awful things about this woman that I had just met for the first time.

In my mind, I was literally having an argument in my head between my subconscious mind telling me awful things about Terry while my conscious mind was shouting that all that was nonsense. Meanwhile, I am also having a conversation with Jane and Terry and sitting down for some coffee.

I can’t tell you how distracting these mind games were while I am trying to smile and act cordial. I had to work at not saying some of my responses to my subconscious mind out loud. Just the fact that this was happening at all was annoying and very disconcerting but it was also re-framing the entire visit from a pleasant exchange with a friend to a mental brawl and mental shouting match. Jane had to ask me a several questions twice before I responded because I was so distracted.

I finally had to excuse myself but as I did, so did Terry. As Terry stood up, Jane rushed to help her. I thought she might be disabled or be injured the way that Terry was trying to hold her up but she was in her mid-50’s and seemed quite capable. While Terry was looking for her purse, I wrinkled my brow and shrugged my shoulders to Jane as if to say, what is going on? Without Terry seeing her, Jane curved her hand as if holding a glass and raised it to her face while rolling her head back. The obvious sign that Terry had been drinking. It was only then that I noticed that there was a large empty wineglass next to where Terry had been siting.

Jane and I helped Terry out to her car and she was definitely not able to drive safely. Jane repeatedly said she would drive Terry home – it was just a few blocks. After some effort, we got Terry to agree and I followed them to Terry’s house and then picked up Jane and drove her back home. Just as I was backing out of Terry’s driveway, I noticed deep tire marks on the lawn going right up to the front steps. The first few steps were broken or missing. I made the comment to Jane that somebody missed the driveway. Jane said that happened when Terry was driving home drunk one night and dropped a cigarette into her lap.

I am still annoyed by this running commentary of my conscious world and by the continuous background music but I am learning to live with it. It has not really told be to go home and clean the guns and I am not hearing messages from God. What I am hearing is sort of a news flash or intelligence report from my subconscious mind of matters that I am not immediately aware of and that have, so far. All proved to be correct. I can live with that.

The Power of the Mind!


An idea that we often hear is that we really only use 10% of our brains and if we used all of it we could do some pretty amazing stuff.  It has been speculated that we might be able to do things like remote viewing, telekinesis or mental telepathy or see the future.  This, of course, sounds like crazy talk from some wing-nut with a tinfoil hat but the reality is that a great deal of very serious research has gone into this very subject.

 In 1972, the CIA began a serious 24-year look into remote viewing and clairvoyance.  In 1981, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) began serious studies in the same areas.  These programs had code names like Star Gate, Grill Flame and Center Lane, Sun Streak and others.  DoD kept looking at these subjects up thru June 1995.  Stanford Research Institute (SRI) of Menlo Park, CA., SAIC, Institute for Advanced Studies in Austin and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) all have been or are still working on research in these areas.   

The Cognitive Sciences Lab at Palo Alto Calif. did extensive studies that were critical of the government’s studies of this subject (DIA and CIA).  Their conclusion, published in March of 1996 found, “that a statistically significant effect had been demonstrated” but they also pointed out that the CIA and DoD had ignored compelling evidence and had set the outcome of the studies before they began by using questionable National research Council’s reviews.  “As a result, they have come to the wrong conclusion with regard to the use of anomalous cognition in intelligence operations and significantly underestimated the robustness of the basic phenomenon.”  The reasoning for the government’s perspectives on these studies have been shown to have nothing to do with the science or the efficacy of the research but rather were the petty squabbling of top-heavy bureaucrats and mismanagement of the political and financial support.   

In other words, studies that were conducted by numerous contractors, scientists and government labs over a period of three decades found important evidence that showed this was a viable field of study but for unrelated reasons, they botched the studies and the results so that the net result was that the whole subject has been taboo for serious studies or funding ever since. 

All this is to day that there is much more to this subject than my personal interests.  Lots of very serious scientists, government agencies and academic research facilities have looked and are still looking into these various psychological properties of the mind collectively grouped under headings like parapsychology, “anomalous cognition”, and psi abilities. 

If you read all these reports as carefully as I have, you will find that almost all of them did, in fact, find some statistically significant effect to a greater or less degree.  In fact, some of these studies found capabilities that defied both logic and conventional science so much so, that the scientists involved were ridiculed and derided to the point of nearly destroying their careers, when they tried to get some recognition of their results.  For that reason, many of these kinds of studies are no longer popular or abundant as they once were and are now done, if at all, in secret facilities and those involved are very cautious to keep a low profile. Since I have no interest in research money and have mostly retired from my R&D career, I have no qualms about telling of my adventures and success – especially since they have led to such startling discoveries. 

Most of this is completely verifiable from numerous Internet sources – including many reports from the government and R&D reports from and about programs described above.  For the most part, I have not so much blazed a new trail of research as much as I have combined various proven methods, techniques and processes in a variety of ways that probably were not tried before.  I have used special aids and tools to assist me that have proven to be effective by themselves but have a synergistic effect when combined with other aids and techniques.  In some cases, I have stumbled upon methods or techniques that have been well proven to work but I did not know about them beforehand.  If you doubt any of this, then do your own research on what I am trying and you will find it is all based on sound and proven science.  

What I am about to tell you will be hard to believe because we have all been told that this whole subject area is foolish nonsense and that only tricksters and con-men and deluded space cadets really believe in any of this.  If you are to understand the significance and why it is true, I have to give you some background and tell you the whole story of how I discovered this.  Let me start from the beginning…  

The truth is that humans dream but we don’t know why.  There are lots of theories.  The latest and most accepted is that it is the brain’s way of establishing and organizing our memories.  This sounds plausible until you consider the continuity, complexity and detail of some dreams that bear no relationship to any real-life experience.  It is also thought that dreams might be subconscious manifestations of our emotions but that does not explain the majority of dreams that appear to be about random events and places.  Some people believe that dreams are much more powerful and can tell the future or reveal a person’s innermost feelings.   

One generally accepted biological concept about dreams is that the conscious mind becomes inactive and the subconscious mind takes over.  The subconscious mind is that portion of the brain that is not directly controlled by willful and deliberate thoughts of a person.  It is the part of the brain that runs everything without being told to do so.  It keeps the heart beating, the blood flowing and controls the body’s reaction to temperatures, fear, surprise and other automatic reflexes.   

Some parts of the body seem to be controlled by both the conscious and the subconscious mind.  Like breathing and eye movement.  We can control these parts when we want to but it seems that they shift into automatic for most of the time.  During a dream, the real physical presence around the dreaming person can often be incorporated into the dream.  If you get cold in your bed, your dream might conjure up a dream that involves you getting cold.  If you hear sounds like dogs barking or bells, your dream might also have these sounds.  This implies that the subconscious mind is receptive to the body’s real senses and can incorporate the real world into the dream and yet it can also modify those real world sensations so that they appear in the dream in a totally different form.  Of course, this is simply anecdotal observation and is not a scientific analysis of what is really happening. 

The truth is that our best scientists and researchers don’t know much about dreams beyond what we can observe.  But because we do this every night and there are so many different aspects of it, there is a lot of interest by the hard-core scientists as well as a lot of average people.  I was one of those that was intently curious and wanted to find out more. 

About nine years ago, I began reading and working with lucid dreaming.  This is a technique of training your conscious mind to remain aware and active during a dream so that it can direct and control the subconscious mind and your dreams.   

I had read about brain waves called delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma that are related to various thought patterns in the brain.  Way back when I was in the Navy, I bought a surplus recording electroencephalograph (EEG) and all of the hookups.  I had played with it as an interface to my computer and eventually had gotten it to recognize binary responses to my thoughts.  I could, for instance, answer yes-no questions using the output of this EEG fed into an A-D converted and then into the game-port on my old computer.  Now I got out that old EEG and began recording my night’s dreaming to map my REM and NREM sleep and to record my brain’s electrical activity.  I wired the EEG into some lights and into my computer so I could trigger various events with my brain waves.  It was fun to experiment and helped me define and refine my lucid dreaming. 

It took me about a year of practice before I had my first lucid dream and it was amazing. 

I tried keeping a log of my dreams and ordering my brain to remember to dream but I found the best technique was to first relax all over and then to imagine that I was walking up a long stairway to a special sleep temple.  I enhanced this image by slightly rubbing my feet together as if I was taking the steps up those stairs.  When I reach the temple, I was asleep and dreaming and was aware I was doing it.  Over time, I could shorten this climb up those stairs and even got to the point that I could do it during the day while waiting or riding a bus or train and while riding in a car.  After awhile, I could enter my dreams as if I was a spectator at a movie but I gradually began trying to exert control over what I was dreaming.   

I tried to enhance the lucid dreaming state with various drugs and herbs and teas and other foods.  I tried melatonin, kava kava, passionflower, St. John’s wort, and various herb teas with and without caffeine.  They all had some effect but I did not like the idea of having to take a drug to make this work so I stopped all of them except a multi-vitamin that gave me a bunch of “B” vitamins, fish oil, choline, and other stuff for an old guy like me. 

Eventually, I gained almost complete control of my dreams so that I could conjure up any event, environment or people I wanted to and then will them to do something.  The nature of this control is a little weird.  The subconscious mind is still creating the dream and can take it in an independent direction if I don’t exert some willpower but I can’t just command it to do my bidding.  I have to think it and want it, to make it happen and even then, it will do it but in a way I might not have chosen to do if my conscious mind had full control.  For instance, if I want to go fishing, it will create the entire fishing environment before I can define the boat or where or what I want to fish for.   

When my subconscious mind leaped ahead like that with something I did not want, it took me a long time and it was hard for me to learn to backup and redesign the dream.  At first, I’d have to dock the boat and walk to another boat in order to change.  Now I have learned how to “reset” the dream and do an instant redesign to something more like I want.  My reset signal is a little weird and I found it by accident.  I dropped an LED flashlight in my bed covers one night.  While in a deep sleep, I suddenly lost the dream I was dreaming as if it had been erased.  I willed myself awake and found that the flashlight was on and was under the covers near my legs.  It was odd that it would have any effect on my legs but I wired up a light to a pressure switch on my finger and then tried to reset a dream.  Eventually, I found that if I put the light under my legs, it would give me just the right amount of mind control over resetting my dreams.  Weird but it works so used it.  Using this reset signal, I can exert a lot of control but I have to work at controlling the switch. 

At first, I felt thrilled by this newfound capability and would sometimes remain excited for hours after I woke up.  After awhile, I realized this was not just being thrilled but I was feeling anxious and nervous.  I sometimes felt guilty for what I was seeing or felt anxiety over simply being in the dream.  This got to be a problem until I started making overt efforts while I was in my dream state to tell myself to be relaxed and calm when I woke.  I practiced meditation and yoga-like poses in my dreams to facilitate this effort with very good results.  Eventually, I was able to calm down and enjoy my dreams and actually feel relaxed and calm after it was over – even if the dream itself was exciting. 

I wanted to expand on my capabilities so I contacted a psychology professor friend of mine that I met back in my government R&D days.  He is a good friend and knows how to keep a secret.  I won’t give you any information that will let you identify him because I don’t think he wants to be seen as being involved in any of this but the truth is; he has been dabbling in it for years.  He pointed me toward lots of studies on the various brain waves and processes like REM and NREM sleep and slow-wave sleep and the stages of sleep and circadian rhythms, etc.  He told me about sleep inducements like being body temperature, (hot baths), a high carbohydrate diet and exercise.  I told him I wanted to stay clear of any drugs but he told me that lots of foods and over-the-counter drugs could affect sleep.  I must have spent months reading all about sleep, how it works and what causes it.  As with dreams, I found that there was a lot about what can be observed about sleep but not much about why we sleep. 

One of the most amazing aspects of lucid dreams is that you can immerse your entire being in the dream so that it seems as real as if you were really there.  You get the sights, smells, feelings and taste of your dream world.  It reminds me very much like the holodeck that they showed on the Star Trek TV series in which the computer could create artificial environments, people and nature. 

This realism is great most of the time but it can also be very disturbing.  I foolishly dreamed I was in a shooting war against some gang members and I got shot.  The link between my conscious and subconscious mind was so powerful and complete that I felt the shock and pain in my dream as if I had really been shot and it forced me to wake up and when I did, my heart was racing, my body felt flushed and I was breathing very hard.  I don’t think I would really die if I died in my dream but I have not wanted to test that theory. 

At first it was fun to experiment with stuff.  I even used it to conjure up famous scientists living and dead to discuss some science problem I was having at work.  Amazingly I often would solve relatively complex problems in these dreams and then take them to work and find out that they worked.  I also found that I could look at a book or magazine as fast I could turn the pages while awake and then recall that book in my dream and see every page clearly and even do a word search of the contents.  It was sort of a weird kind of photographic memory that I could tap into only in my dreams. 

I also explored other sensations and wild experiences.  I made myself able to fly, I swam faster than fish, and I became super strong, and other super powers.  I went through a phase of experimenting with sex and drugs – or what I imagined what drugs would do to you.  I played out all the great movies I had ever watched.  Some of these experiences were so much fun that I really looked forward to getting a good night’s sleep and often wanted to remain asleep in the morning. 

One interesting event happened about this time.  I go for a physical every year but the one I had about this time showed me to be in much better shape than ever in the past.  My blood chemistry was that of a person half my age and I had no visible or detectable problems of any kind.  Since I am an old guy with the typical old- guy problems – arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, age spots, etc., the doctor was both amazed and confused that I showed no signs of any of these maladies.  He wanted to do the tests over but first asked me a lot of questions.  I mentioned that I had gotten a lot of sleep over the past two years but I was careful to not mention my lucid dreaming.  He did run the tests again and told me that he added a few extras.   

When he got back the results, we had another meeting.  He told me that I had elevated levels of something called dimethyltryptamine and decreased levels of cortisol.  These were not just slight changes but at levels that he thought were way out of the ordinary.  He also noted that I had unusually high levels of acetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine and said, “no wonder you feel good, you are high on natural uppers”.  I tried to downplay the results and told him it was probably diet. 

After about two years of this, I got tired of all the weird stuff and decided I try to find something really useful I could do.  I wanted to try to do things like remote viewing, telekinesis or mental telepathy, mind reading or see the future.  I quickly discovered that this was not like trying to influence my dreams – I had to exert much more control over my subconscious mind in order to make it focus on what I was trying to do.   This required me to not just direct the subconscious mind with my conscious mind but to actually superimpose the two over each other so that I would have all the benefits of both.   

As with all of this, I did my own research and found that the two sides of the brain are connected by the corpus callosum.  A sort of communications superhighway between the two hemispheres of the brain.  It turns out that this inter-hemispheric communications is vitally important to my efforts to superimpose the conscious mind onto my subconscious mind.  I discovered that being left handed, a musician and having worked in both artistic and math related career jobs, were all contributors to my corpus callosum being very efficient in letting me overlap my subconscious mind with my conscious mind. 

I can’t tell you have many hours it took but about a year later, in 2007, I was able to begin to control the essence of my subconscious.   I began to have some success when I began using a sleep sound machine that gave me 60 choices of various sounds to sleep by.  I began with white noise but soon found that something that had a background beat to it worked better.  To explore more sounds faster, I got two sound machines and put them on the left and right side of my bed for stereo sounds.  After a lot of fiddling with them, I found a range of frequencies that worked best and surprisingly, they worked best when they were not both set to the same tone.  A psychology professor that is a friend of mine told me this was called binaural beats and entrainment and that it was a well developed technique to create infrasound inside the brain.  I read up on this subject and soon was tweaking my sound machines to give me exactly what I needed. 

I also saw an advertisement for a relaxation aid that put flashing LED lights on the inside of some sunglasses so that you could see them with your eyelids closed.  I bought a pair and experimented with them.  I found that different combinations of sounds and flashing lights gave me different capabilities while in my dream state.  With some, I was very pensive and analytical and used them for problem solving and designing.  With other combinations, I was more aggressive and physical and could imagine building things and making decisions better.  I also found that when I used the right combination of lights, I could induce sleep almost immediately and by putting the lights on a timer, I could end my dreams on a set schedule.  My psychology professor friend told me this is called hypnagogia. 

After more than a year of experimentation, I began to have some success but frankly, at first it was a big letdown.  I was able to feel my senses while asleep so that I could feel and hear the environment around my sleeping body.  At the time, I thought “no big deal”.  Almost by accident, I decided to see if I could feel my heart and suddenly I was actually inside my heart – looking at it beating.  I could touch it and feel it and even change its speed of beating, at will.  I continued this exploration all over my body – lungs, brain, ears, eyes, etc.  I tested it by going to my lower left leg where I have been shot.  Some tiny bullet fragments are still in my leg and I could actually see them.  I later matched up where I “saw” them to an X-Ray of my leg and they agreed.  I had actually seen the inside of my real leg…and heart and lungs, etc. 

Then I began trying to push the capabilities of my subconscious to do some of those wild paranormal tricks.  Using all my tricks and aids I have learned over the past 6 years, I was able to eventually totally dominate the subconscious mind with my conscious thought.  The results were amazing.  Every time I tried it I discovered something new I could do or experience.  Here are just a few… 

Hyper-Senses – I was immediately aware of my surroundings at a level far beyond anything I could have imagined.  I could feel the variations in the thread covering of my bed sheets.  I could hear air moving in the room.  I could hear sounds from outside the house like I was using a massive hearing aid.  I could smell individual objects in the room like the wood dresser, the wool rug and the wall paint.  I could feel the vibrations of the furnace and after awhile, I could feel the vibrations of cars driving on the road a block away from my home.   I learned to open my eyes without waking out of my dream state and found I could see colors and detail I never thought possible.  And what was even more amazing was that I could do this selectively so that it was not all flooding my senses at once.  It was like listening to someone talking in a rock concert – only easier – I could tune in our tune out whatever I wanted to concentrate on.  

As I explored these hyper senses, I realized that when I sensed something by smell or touch or hearing, I almost immediately imagined an image of that thing.  When I truck drove down the road, I heard it first and then smelled it and then felt it and as I added each new sensation, I enhanced my image of it until I was convinced it was the garbage truck.  I then looked out the window and – for the first time – visually saw that it was indeed the garbage truck.  I did this with hundreds of things until I could “see” well beyond my visual range. 

X-Ray vision.  Well not exactly x-ray vision, more like having a selective virtual reality vision.  Because I know what it looks like on the other side of a wall, I could look at the wall and then look thru it.  Because of my heightened senses, I could hear, feel, smell and sense things in the next room even if they had been moved since I was in the room last.  It was as if the 3-dimensional qualities of my vision were expanded to include hearing, smell and feelings.  I could “see” – in my mind’s eye – my dog as he was walking across the next room until he walked into my door and was visible. 

Remote viewing  (RV) – or at least something like RV.  My hyper senses and this x-ray vision combined to give me the ability to look outside my house and then into other houses and down the street.  The limit seemed to be about ¼ mile but it was amazing.  I spent hours nosing around inside my neighbor’s houses; listening to their conversations and watching them do stuff. 

These were all just variations on the hyper senses that my mind was giving me but it was rapidly going beyond that.  I added these improved senses to the near photographic memory of what I could do and see now and added in a nearly perfect recall of my own memory to create some really bizarre capabilities.  For instance, I discovered I could revisit a moment in my past and see it in details even beyond what I experienced the first time the event happened.  I remembered going camping with my Dad when I was 12.  I could smell the pine trees and hear the nearby river and feel the heat of the sun on my face.  I could imagine the scene to the point of seeing in 3-D and being able to walk around the scene and see myself back then.  I could play it like a videotape and slow or stop the actions to study and see things that my senses recorded by that I have not remembered in all these years.  It was utterly amazing. 

I was in an accident in which I was hit by a school bus that ran a stop sign.  I cannot remember anything that happened that day from before I got up in the morning until I woke up in the hospital room.  I used these newfound senses of the overlapped mind to revisit that day and follow myself up to the accident.  Just as the accident happened, my visual memory of it went blank but I still was mentally recording the sounds and smells and feelings of the events around me.  I was able to recreate the scene as if I was watching from above looking down on the scene and saw what happened to me.  I heard the bus driver crying when she thought she had killed me.  I felt the ambulance guys working on me and the ride in the gurney to the hospital and the loud sound of the siren blasting.  It was incredible to relive those long forgotten moments.  These discoveries kept me busy for weeks but I wanted to push the limits even more.   

Remembering my earlier studies of brain waves called delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma and that they are related to various thought patterns in the brain, I wanted to see if I could sense these waves.  I invited a friend over for a late night dinner.  She is a sound sleeper and I have had her over many times before so I knew I could count on her being a good test subject.  She slept in the guest room and after several glasses of wine; I knew she would sleep thru almost any noise. 

I waited until she was well asleep and then entered my dream state and quickly moved into my conscious control state.  While remaining asleep, I walked into her room and sat in a chair by her bed.  I then concentrated on visualizing her brain waves.  To my surprise, I began to see a totally new dream scene.  It took me a minute or two to realize I was seeing her dream.  I was looking at her dream as if it was a 3-D movie being projected on a screen in front of me.  She was dreaming of swimming on a beach.  Within a minute or two, her dream changed to a completely different dream.  Now she was back in college and was studying for a test with some friends.  In another minute or two, it changed again.  I sat there for two hours watching her dream snippets come and go. 

She was a good friend and so I did not try to enter her dreams or influence them in any way.  I somehow thought that was not a good thing to do to a friend.  However, in the weeks that followed, I tried this same effort on several other people – mostly neighbors that I knew very little.  Soon, I was able to do it without leaving my bed.  I could use my remote viewing and hyper senses to “see’ the person’s brain waves and then see their dreams.  I even was able to do this with my neighbor but the range of this was very limited – to about 100 feet.  Once, I even went to a motel and roamed all of the nearby rooms and explored their dreams. 

What I found, over time, is that most people dream in very short dreams that often seem disjointed and illogical.  It sometimes seemed like I was seeing a 2-minute excerpt of a longer movie and the film kept skipping and jumping thru scenes.  Only about one in 25 or 30 tries did I find someone that would dream a coherent story line that I could follow and was interesting.  This disappointment prompted me to move into other new directions. 

I figured if I could use my hyper-senses on someone asleep in the next room or next house; why not try it while they are awake.  I began tweaking my sound machines and lights and searching for the right conditions.  I found that noise from them talking or watching TV or music overwhelmed the sensation of vibrations and made it impossible to read anything.  It was like trying to feel your heart beat while riding on a motorcycle.  I began looking for someone that liked to sit in a quiet room and remain awake.  I began buying books for all my neighbors in the hopes they would sit and read.   

Unfortunately, this too was a disappointment.  I found that most people that are reading are paying attention to what they are reading – duh!  The effect was that the image in their mind was simply a dreamlike version of what they were reading and not of any thoughts that they might have about their lives or living.  Once in awhile, I would get someone that would project themselves into the story but even then, the story moved slowly – at the speed they were reading – and had very little personal insights.  It was time to move on to other efforts. 

We are now up to about a year ago.  I have been doing this for more than ten years and have found it has almost dominated my life.  I started it after I retired and I retired with enough money to never have to work again but I have actually done little else.  I have not interacted with my neighbors and I have done relatively little community service or helping of others other than sending money to charities.  I decided I wanted to get active again outside of myself but I was not sure how or what I could do and I wanted to try to do something with my new found skills.  Everything I could think of seemed like it could not bridge the gap between my mental world and the real world.  I could imagine and dream and sense all kinds of things and situations but there was no way to translate that into the real world.  So that became my goal – find some way to manifest my mental capabilities in the real world. 

I got out my old EEG again and began to experiment with the brain-to-computer interface again.  This time, I was in full control of my dream state, my subconscious and my body.  I quickly found I could create code sequence patterns in my delta waves.  I was able to consciously send patterns of two and three cycles of delta waves into the A-D converter and have the computer interpret them.  In my dream, I imagined that I created a typewriter that had a cord that ran first to my head and then to an antenna so that as I typed my brain waves were being “transmitted” out in the proper pattern for each letter.  I then programmed my computer to recognize about 40 different code patterns based on the old ASCII codes that they use to use in TTY devices back in the 1950’s.  This gave me a way to type in my dreams but have the actual printing occur in the real world on a real computer. 

This is a simplified version of what took me a year to do but I eventually got it working.  I found that I could type in my dream state a whole lot faster than I can type in real life.  In fact, what you are reading right now has taken me about 5 minutes to type.  Several other stories on this blog were also typed this way.  I am going to start a novel next week and hope to have it done by the first of March (it is now Feb 15th). 

I hope you have enjoyed this description of my exploits over the past decade in lucid dreaming.  I can only say that that if I can do it, anybody can.  Give it a try.    

That isn’t an itch you feel!

I am writing this because I am hoping that publishing this story, people will begin to understand what is going on.  It won’t make any sense unless I start at the beginning.


I got struck by lightning.  Well, actually I wasn’t struck but I was on wet ground near where it struck and the power of the strike passed thru the ground into four others and me while we were playing soccer.  I was out for perhaps 5 hours and have felt weird ever since.  I told the doctors that it felt like I was being poked with pins but they just said that it was the random firing of over stimulated nerve endings.  It made me jump and jerk every time it happened.   That was two years ago.


The pinpricks have continued at random intervals but about six months ago, I began to feel something else.  It felt like someone was touching my skin and then rubbing it.  Sometimes it felt like someone was tapping my leg or arm and when I jerked my head to look, it stopped.  This went on for weeks at all times of the day and night and began to drive me nuts.  I tried creams and different kinds of clothes but nothing helped.  One evening when I just couldn’t get to sleep, I shouted out, “Leave me alone!” as loud as I could.  I was astonished that the feelings stopped immediately and did not return for two whole days.


I was confused and thought about all kinds of silly answers from aliens to fantastic mind control powers but finally decided it was sort of a mental placebo effect of mind over matter.  When the rubbings and tappings started again, they were different.  Softer and gentler.  I also began to realize that the feelings were making patterns on my skin.  It was hard to tell what they were because I usually moved when it started. 

One night, while lying in bed, and out of idle curiosity, I pulled up my shirt and said out loud, “ Do it here”, offering my chest and stomach.  Almost at once, the rubbing sensation started on my bare stomach and chest in the form of much bigger patterns.  Slowly, I realized they were letters written upside down.  I said “A” and I felt the feeling as a letter “A” was being rubbed on my stomach.  I looked around and tried to see if this was a joke or prank but I was really alone.  Other than the annoyance of the rubbing, I had never been hurt by “it” so I wasn’t afraid but I was curious.  I tried out several more letters and they all resulted in the same thing.  Then I asked a question, “Who are you”.  I got no answer.  I asked dozens of questions and got no answers.  Then I said, tap once for yes and twice for no – “are you ghosts”.  I felt a single tap in the middle of my chest!


I can’t remember or type all of the hundreds of questions I asked over the next few hours but I began to get a picture of who or what I was dealing with.  It was dead people – real ghosts – or rather their spirits.  Here is what I learned.


It seems that String Theory is correct; there are several dimensional universes in our space-time continuum.   The spirit or essence of life force is virtually immortal.  While we live that force is expressed as emotional energy.  That is why people feel weak after an emotionally trying event.  Large emotions can even make us faint but women faint more often because they give up their spirit energy faster than men do.  It has something to do with passing or sharing all that spirit energy at child birth.  

I also found out that these spirits can move from one dimension to another through a complex process that involves just the right amount of emotional energy.   This usually happens at the moment of death or near-death experience.  Those that have described near death experiences, in which they seemed to leave their bodies, really did leave their bodies, as spirits.  If the spirit energy is not just right, then they stay within this dimension but can move outside of their bodies.  When the spirit energy is just right, they can move freely between dimensions. 

Through a lot of yes and no questions, I found out that these spirits are so much outside of our dimensional universe and our space-time continuum that they cannot interact with our material universe except for a few isolated exceptions.  They can interact with each other freely and they can hear and see us but cannot be seen by us or make sounds. 

They could not move or influence anything until about one “lifetime” ago.  It took me a long time to realize that one lifetime was in their terms and equated to 1000’s of years in our universe.  They began to be able to focus their spirit essence on a single point but could do no better than to change the electrical properties at that one tiny little point.  The amount of change is so small that it is not enough to change anything electrically powered but they eventually discovered that if they did this on the nerve endings of someone, the person would feel something.  For thousands of years they have been doing this in an attempt to communicate but most humans or animals do not see these small sensations as anything recognizable as communications.


It is the rare situation that someone, like me, gets hypersensitive to these pinpoint electrical changes and can receive these messages more clearly and easily.  My lightning experience made me a better “receiver”.


I found out that this spirit movement between dimensions is not without risks and effects.  When these spirits come into what we know as our universe, they lose all memory of past history and are sucked into a sort of vortex that exists around every newborn infant.  At the moment of birth or close to it, any spirit that is nearby is sucked into the life force of the infant with a completely clean slate for a mind.  Most often it happens because that is exactly what the spirit wants to do and they came here to do that  – I called these the good spirits. 


I found out that sometimes there is some vague awareness of these past lives and experiences and this comes out as faint feelings and thoughts as adults.  This agrees with several religious beliefs about reincarnation and angels and it may account for sudden changes of direction in cultures and religious thinking over the ages.  The feeling of deje’ vue comes from this carry-over awareness of past experiences.


But once in awhile, this being sucked into the life force of the infant happens to those spirits that have just left a dead body and are trying to get back to one of the other dimensions.  They get snatched back into another newborn and are unable to escape until the body gives up the spirit.  I called these the angry spirits.


When the body does die and the spirit is released, almost all of the learning of that person’s life is added to all of the wisdom and learning that occurred before entering the body and it all comes back to the spirit as fresh and recalled memories.  At that moment, they realize who they really are and what has happened to them.  Those that did this willingly, have enjoyed the experience but those that got caught, exit into the spirit realm angry and want to escape back to one of the other dimensions as quickly as possible.


Unfortunately, therein lies the problem.  I didn’t get the exact mix of emotional energies that must be present to move between dimensions but it seems that the exact mix is happening less and less often and the spirits that are released upon death are piling up and cannot get back to one of the other dimensions.  As some of these spirits that want out are pulled back into bodies and released after a human lifetime, they get more and more angry.  These bad spirits are now piling up, waiting to go back to one of the other dimensions and trying to avoid the newborn vortexes. 

It was these angry spirits that were poking and prodding me so much when I was sensitized by the lightning.  Only after I made myself heard, did some of the good spirits come to my rescue and chase away the bad spirits and tried to communicate with me in a nicer manner.


Now that I have told you how all this got started, let me tell you the problem that is developing.  The bad spirits have learned to expand their ability to interact with our bodies.  Their electrical prod rods, as I called them, are getting better at poking into people to give them headaches, pains and bad thoughts.  They can create blind spots in people’s vision and create the sensation of sounds.  They are doing this more and more out of anger and disgust with being stuck in this dimension. 

It may seem like a small response to all of that bent up anger and it certainly is not like what Hollywood would have you believe is the typical ghost haunting but it is, after all, all they can do right now but they are learning more each day.  It is only a matter of time before they can fiddle with DNA or genes to turn on or off genes that do us harm.  It is becoming a war between the good and bad spirits but the tide of battle is turning against the good guys.


The affect on our universe is that more people are getting weird pains, feeling depression and hearing sounds and seeing things that are not there or not seeing things that are there.  How many car accidents and deaths are being caused by these angry spirits?  How often have you heard a noise and nothing was there?  How often do you get a sudden sharp pain or an itch that seems to have no cause?  It’s them.  But what is worse is that after you die, it might be you.

Lucid Dreams

May 14, 1999      One of the factors I have researched using Plato is my dreams. About 3 years ago, I mastered the technique of lucid dreaming.  I can control not only what I dream about but I can control and direct the dream while I am in it.  I have conjured up people or computers and posed questions to them and had dialogs about complex issues.  When I wake up, I try to remember and save the same logic.   Most often I talk to HAL, which is my mental combination of the computer on the 2001 Space Odyssey movie and the one on Star Trek.  It was actually pretty spooky when I saw episodes on the new Star Trek that were remarkably similar to my controlled dreams.  Way before Geordi or Data did their things on the Holodeck, I had my own holodeck of sorts, in my mind.   What I believe I am doing is taping into using more of my brain than I can while I am awake.  I almost always arrive at an answer but I am not always able to remember everything I did or how to relate it once I am awake.  I have also discovered that I have an incredible ability to see into my own body.  I have “traveled” inside my body and seen a cut in the skin from the inside.  I “knew” that I had a cholesterol problem before I had a measurement made because I had “seen” it.  Actually pretty gross, yuck.   What I am working on now is a modification of the BEAM (Brain Electromagnetic wave Analysis Monitor) to get a direct link between body and computer.  It sounds wild but I have designed it several times in my dreams. The current technology can easily get wave patterns from a variety of machines (electroencephalogram, electromyogram, electroculorgram, and others).  I have focused on the stage 3 or delta sleep phase because delta waves are slow and strong so they are easy to work with.   At issue is the assignment of intelligence to these waves.  We know, for instance that a sound wave pattern represents a sound that can be heard.  Television crews will tell you that a similar looking pattern on an oscilloscope is a particular TV pattern or image.  It is just that we do not know how to assign the relationship to the delta wave pattern.  I think I know how.  I have already gotten it to respond to binary queries such as yes/no, 1/2, true/false and on/off.  Now I am working on the shades between these two. Last week I was able to make a brainwave choice among five menu items!  I thing I will be able to relate the alphabet and numbers if I keep at it.   The mechanism is a simple EEG that I got at a surplus auction and a very sensitive A‑to‑D (analog‑to‑digital) interface to the computer.  The program lets me interpret the 3 to 14 hertz waves that are being detected.  I put in a programmed band‑pass filter to cut off above 5 Hz to limit the response to delta waves for my at‑sleep experiments and to cutoff below 8 Hz to get alpha waves for my awake experiments.  These are the two easiest to detect. I started out by coding the program to respond with a specific answer when it detected a wave of a specific freq and amplitude.  Since this was a simple discrimination of above or below a certain wave pattern, it was easy to detect.  I simply changed my thoughts until I achieved the pattern that made the right signal.  Awake, relaxed was yes and think hard was a no. Then I started making sweeps while recording, mentally what I was dreaming. This allowed me to discover that a concentrated thought of “yes” was a specific pattern different than a concentrated thought of “no”.  I set these two patterns into the program and voila! Brainwave responses.  The pattern recognition algorithm is adopted from the acoustic pattern recognition software that the Navy uses for identifying a submarine’s sonar “signature”.  This is a very well developed algorithm and is used in a number of other areas of science.  I obtained that algorithm as a math model and adopted it to my A‑to‑D interface. 

   The discovery of what a pattern looks like as compared with what I am thinking continues.  I believe that just like in language development, I will be able to soon join these individual images and brain patterns into “sentences” of computer recognizable images.  At first the images will be discrete letters and numbers, then words. Once I get to words and can link them into real word sentences, it is an easy matter to relate the word phrases to images.  Using a neural or expert system and an image generator, I can now imagine how animated figures and scenes can be “thought up”.  

 This lucid dreaming stuff is really a kick, you ought to try it!