By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin --(Ammoland.com)- In 1944 the Japanese army launched approximately 9000 Fugo incendiary balloon bombs into the jet streams headed for North America.
In 2012 our western US is a tinderbox and was so in 1944. The idea was for the balloons to fly at 30,000 feet in 3-5 days, to the west coast of the US, drop fire-creating bombs and set the west a blaze.
It was considered a far-fetched Japanese scheme by our government, with little chance of success. However, over 1000 of the balloons landed in the US, Canada and Mexico. Landing in a total of 16 states & Alaska and reaching as far east as Texas and Michigan.
And of course our wartime government clamped down with extremely tight censorship of the press. In fact, the existence of the balloon bombs probably would never have been confirmed until after the war if six people had not been blown up in Oregon when a church picnicking group found a balloon and inadvertently detonated it.
I have lived about two thirds of my life west of the Mississippi. I remember large forest fires as a child living in California, Idaho and New Mexico. As an adult stationed in California, Colorado, and New Mexico I again experienced large destructive fires up close and personal. For years I have told the Colonel (my wife) that fire could and will be used as a weapon of terror in the US.
Never cancel your homeowners insurance during the western fire season hoping to pick up some new cheaper insurance you saw on TV. Insurance companies do not really like homeowners during hurricane, tornado or fire seasons. These three destructive situations can disrupt the lives, property and economic flow of business to the tune of billions of dollars in any given season.
The Japanese could not figure out how to create destructive hurricanes or tornadoes but they did have the ability to start forest fires in the western US. I recently attended a Domestic Terrorism class at the Milwaukee Police Department Academy put on by the National Guard. We talked about the many extreme groups in this country who are just waiting for the “big-one” to happen in the US. The “big-one” being a large natural or man-made disaster that disrupts our American normal way of life. In the chaos these extreme groups will try to enforce their agenda to include the use of violence.
The definition of domestic terrorism means that the terrorist is US home-grown and is not getting support from outside the country. So that would leave out say, al-Qaeda right? When SEAL Team 6 killed Bin Laden they also captured some very interesting documents, to include the how-to directions for fire related terrorist attacks in the US.
My old neighborhood in Colorado Springs was on fire this past summer. Over 340 houses were destroyed. People lost homes & property and the economy of central Colorado lost over a billion dollars. If you cannot get to work there is no paycheck. Now multiply that times the thousands of Colorado Springs residents and business owners and what do you have?
As dry as the US western states have been for the past 100 years, they were in fact wetter than is normal. The west is drying out and going back to what is really normal for that region of the country. I left the west to live in Wisconsin for one primary reason—water. They have it here. There is strong belief that the Waldo Canyon / Colorado Springs fire was not started by natural causes.
Any person can start a small fire in a windy, dry climate. Drive down the road and start ten more. Then sit back and observe the system overtax itself trying to stop the multiple fires. Take a couple dozen legal American residents with unusual sounding names. Send them all out on the same day in a dozen western states and have them all set ground fires. Do this on wooded acreage in proximity to large metro areas, such as Denver, Salt Lake or Albuquerque. Then the domestic terrorist can watch the billions of dollars burn up on the TV screen.
The nursing student daughter called me right after I had attended the class. I was telling her about domestic terrorism. She told me between the organic chemistry she was taking and my domestic terrorism stories she was not sure she ever wanted to go back out into the public–nowhere is safe from one or the other.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret
You can however wash your hands and get vaccines & antibiotics for organic problems. How do you stop an American passport carrier with a box of matches in Montana?
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret. , is a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. Now retired, these days he enjoys camping, traveling, volunteering with the Girl Scouts and writing. firstname.lastname@example.org