Saturday, December 31, 2011

Getting My Arms Around the OCTOPUS

Got an hour or three? This article,  a repeat from a 1991 issue of the Technical Consultant,  touches upon just about every imaginable conspiracy theory, and quite a few proven ones. (The Iran Contra affair, the CIA's role in Nicaragua, the Inslaw/PROMIS case,  Murder in Rancho Mirage, and many more.)

But if you are short on time, the  points most relevant to the Townsend Brown story are included herein, beginning with the arrest of a weapons systems engineer.

“The Washington man is MICHAEL RICONOSCIUTO who is now waiting for a trial in a Washington jail on conspiracy to sell drugs charges, charges which Riconosciuto claims are manufactured. Indeed, the charge made against Riconosciuto were made one week after Riconosciuto authored and signed an affidavit describing his role in modifying the pirated software. [INSLAW/PROMIS]
Reconosciuto claimed that

...enhanced fuel-air explosive weapons were created and tested in league with Meridian Arms at the NEVADA TESTING RANGE which matched the explosive power of nuclear devices.These enhanced weapons gained their power from polarizing the molecules in the gas cloud by modification of the electric field, a technology developed from exploring Thomas Townsend Brown’s suppressed work, a knowledge which Riconosciuto claims he gained from working at LEAR in Reno, Nevada.
This claim has been supported by former F.B.I. Special Agent, Ted Gunderson who worked with Riconosciuto  as a private investigator.

“The so-called drug operation broken up in Washington State was an electrohydrodynamic mining operation claimed Gunderson, using Townsend Brown technology. A videotape viewed by this journalist revealed metallic powders and apparent processes unrelated to drug manufacture. Indeed, a government analysis of soil samples revealed the absence of drug contamination, but a high concentration of barium. Barium is often found in high voltage related work.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vorticular Madness

From Richard Sauder's lengthy blog post entitled Vorticular Madness Of The Dark Magicians
Interestingly, it is the case that Zanesville, Ohio, the hometown of T. Townsend Brown, also popped up in my research as the proposed site for a deep underground military excavation back in the early 1960s. Given Ohio's close connection to the UFO phenomenon through Wright-Patterson AFB, and through the life work of T. Townsend Brown, it would not surprise me in the slightest if an underground base was constructed far below Zanesville, Ohio that is somehow related to or connected to UFOs or UFO research.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Of Spooks and Sock Puppets

Oh dear.

I am feeling moved to make a comment on the Linda-Mikado situation. Here it is:

I am absolutely certain that Mikado knows [and has always known]  more than he cops to, beyond what he has admitted about his own use of sock puppet characters. (Merlin, Ridgerunner, Bulwark, for those keeping score).

I am also absolutely certain that he is wrong when he claims that Linda has no spooky friends.  She does and I could tell you how I know that but then they would have to kill me.

 She is also well aware that some of those friends, the ones who seem to be helping to push her Dad's story forward, might actually be using her father's  Lifework as counterintelligence bait. If so, then it is fitting, she says, since (we have been told) Townsend was an instrumental part of many CI operations.* 

THERE! That should hold me on this topic for several months now.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Dad story.

I never set out to be a curator of curious, cryptic tales but this appears to be my destiny since I fell into the Parallel Universe.  I had just finished giving Paul's book proposal a scrub (at his request), when I reconnected with a long lost BFF, first met in the early seventies when we were young analysts working for the DoD.

Her father had passed away a couple of years earlier and she was now interested in researching his WW II history and subsequent career.  J Q. knew that he had been a Tech Sergeant and radioman in the Signal Corps, but almost nothing else. At the behest of her more mystical sister,  she made a telephone appointment with one of the psychic medium participants in a University of Arizona research project. 

Some of the clues to Dad's history that came through the  telephone reading were easy to validate.  For example, "someone named Paul would be a help" to her quest.  Presumably that help was I, now historically hooked on the SIGINT entity (that  sprang forth, like The Alien, from the breast of World War II), and just about to embark on research for The Good-bye Man..

The medium also told  J.Q. where she would find Dad's secret diary from the spring and summer of 1944. It was indeed in the promised location and hough he fulfilled his pledge to divulge no secrets, he managed to leave some more hints to his Army career.  Other clues took more time to unravel. 

The first question Dad asked of his daughter when they met in the session was "Have you broken my code yet?" (Apparently,  ingrained habits of speaking cryptically are as eternal as life itself).  I  expanded my  research to incorporate the Army crypto side and found  confirming records of his 1944 tranfer from the European theater to Arlington Hall. That and a certificate of appreciation from Military Intelligence for February - April, 1945, indicate [to me] that he might have been part of a peacetime transition planning effort for hand off of vast communications networks, systems, and codes.

Rich fodder for the project that would follow The Good-Bye Man. And it was all served Medium Well. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mason Rose

Mason Rose and Townsend Brown were compadres and more for a brief period of time in the 1950's.  I know that Rose, a psychologist, published a popularized version of Brown's research, most likely written for him by Beau.

I know that Jacques Cornillion was most intrigued by Rose's thoughts on the electrical nature of the body, as he proclaimed in a letter to his employer, National de Construction Aeronautiques du Sud-Ouest,  the French aircraft firm that sponsored Townsend's Paris experiments.

Cornillion also noted  that Rose was one of Townsend's business partners and Bradford Shank, formerly of the Manhattan Project, was the other.

Those facts represented my entire knowledge of Mason Rose until tonight's dinner with a friend who mentioned that his therapist in the seventies, and friend for many years thereafter, was Mason Rose! Mason, as it turns out, was not only a "psychologist to the stars" in those years, he also had enough clout in places like Edwards AFB, to able to call the C.O. directly to request a gate pass so that he and Allen could watch the first Space Shuttle landing close up.

Allen described him as a man who was very good at compartmentalizing his life. No doubt. Too bad many of those compartments are forever closed to us.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Mrs. Friedman"

Every cryptohistorian knows the name of William Friedman but almost no one is familiar with the contributions of  "Mrs. Friedman" who must have been an unusual woman in her own right.

Early army cryptologist Solomon Kullbeck recalls meeting her  while undergoing his Friedman-directed OJT in the foundational techniques of code making and breaking.  He reported that the older couple sometimes invited the trainees over for what he described as "charming' social gatherings.

But "Mrs. Friedman" also held a day job.Prohibition had turned rum running into a  profitable business based on the ability to plan, co-ordinate, and carry out complex naval operations. The Rum Runners were the single biggest users of coded communications in the period between the wars and the Coast Guard  had its own crypto unit just to break them. Our dear, unsung "Mrs. Friedman"  headed that 3-man  service.

Kullbeck said that Mr. Friedman would sometimes bring in real world problems from "Mrs. Friedman's" unit and ask his trainees to develop solutions for them.  One such  assignment was to solve 'double-transposition' codes, codes which the Coast Guard unit had already met and mastered before Kullbeck and company ever saw them.

All of this makes me think that Mrs. F, and her team of Coasties need further investigation. At the very least, does not "Mrs. Friedman" deserve to have her name known for posterity?

But as always, when delving into things crypto, one story leads to another.  In this case, recall if you will that it was a Coastie radio intercept station that caught the wee-hours German tranmissions from a sub off the coast of Norfolk VA, sent with a distinctive ALK at the end.  It is quite possible that this designation indicated A. L. "Beau Kitselman, who told his youngest daughter that he spent his war years in a Norfolk hotel room breaking codes. I've written about that event and linked to the Radioman's story in at least one other place.

And that story seems to link back to Townsend's  in a quirky sense. As the head of the Atlantic Fleet Radio/Radar/Radar Material school, Townsend had taken over the Cavalier Hotel in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area to use as a training facility.  But that's not the quirky part. This is:

The FBI reported that Townsend's abrupt departure from the Navy was due to an act of "self-confessed" homosexuality in a Norfolk hotel during the war.  What better way to explain why he may have been seen slipping into the same hotel room again and again late at night?

And, going way out on a limb here, perhaps this story also brought about an intended side benefit.   What better way to catch the attention of a prurient, but repressed J. Edgar Hoover and ensure that his office kept a close watch on a man who was a valuable national asset? Oh, to have just one day in the FBI vault where his most secret files were stashed!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Have some Hors D'Oeuvres with that Campaigne

Linda has reminded me  that Twigsnapper once pointed her toward Howard Campaigne, saying it was he who had sent him away from Townsend's side before his (TTB's) WWII mission imploded. Supposedly, Campaigne objected to Townsend's bodyguard and escort being a Royal Marine.

Mr./Dr. Campaigne's own recollections of that time, if not  of that particular event, are posted here as a downloadable .pdf.

To  sum up: As a newly minted (1938) Ph.D. and mathematics faculty member at the University of Minnesota, Campaigne liked to  play around  with crytoanalysis systems in his spare time. He offered up one of his designs to the Army and they told him all of their crypto work was co-ordinated with the Navy, and he should go through them.

When war broke out in Europe,  he was offered a commission in the US Navy.  Toward war's end he was at  Bletchley Park working with the Brits on TUNNY, a machine intended to help break the German High Command's FISH code.  His particular area of interest was in learning how to replicate the FISH technology and he was sent on one of the very first Technical Information Commitee (TICOM) missions to collect classified crypto information before it fell into the hands of the Russians.

 Colonel George A. Bicher, the director of the U.S. Signal Intelligence Division in Europe, conceived of TICOM in the summer of 1944. The organization was so secret that even today, more than half a century later, all details concerning its operations and activities remain classified higher than Top Secret by both the American and British governments. In 1992, the director of the National Security Agency extended the secrecy order until the year 2012, making TICOM probably the last great secret of the Second World War.

Campaigne was in Paris on May 2nd, and  on  his assignment the next day which was  the day the war ended. He says:

A. Now there some other teams in northern Germany and I never did find out what all they got, but they did get things.
Q. Was it a combined British/American team?
A. Yes. Yes. Joint combined, my team when we went over the second time I had a British solider, an Intelligence Corps officer, and I had a British Navy officer and six or eight enlisted men ot various types.
This narrative seems to place his first trip at War's end, at the opposite end of Germany from Townsend's concurrent northern expedition. However, Mr. Twigsnapper has also been known to give out [wrong] information just to point someone in a desired direction.

Is it possible that , not understanding the joint command nature of the TICOM situation until his second assignment, Campaigne simply heard about Twigsnapper's presence  and had him removed via transmittal of a radio order from London?

But why? Linda's hypothesis is that he somehow knew in advance that the meeting ahead was compromised (from Bletchley's big ears? ) and ordered Twigsnapper away before he could fulfill his mission directive of killing Townsend rather than allowing him to fall into enemy arms.

head hurts now.
moving on...

Anyway Campaigne retired as a reserve Captain with the Naval Security Command, but spent the bulk of his professional career in the crypto end of signals intelligence, working on progressive and  sophisticated computer systems from  ATLAS forward.

Although he missed out on  LIL ABNER, "the brute'. Campaigne says that the  program was conducted in parallel with ATLAS development by a (censored) organizational counterpart. He would have been referring to the design bifurcation of the first computers commissioned for the newly born twin INTS: COM and SIG.

LIL still seems to be a well-hidden topic; however, I seem to recall that someone claimed that it was created for ECM/ECW (electronic countermeasures and warfare) purposes. This makes complete sense as these elements are at the the heart and soul of the SIGINT functions, and this particular section of the good Dr. Campaigne's story is  more heavily redacted than the rest of his tale.
One other activity Campaigne was quite proud of was his contribution (in the very early fifties) to the selection of optimum radio intercept locations around the world.  at the same time He was working on this project, Brown's propulsion and communications demonstration was being held at Pearl Harbor, reportedly for the benefit of President Truman.

History says that Truman's meeting with General MacArthur was set for Wake Island at the General's convenience. (Since when do generals dictate terms to Presidents?)  Truman flew from San Francisco to Hawaii, for an overnight stay before proceeding to Wake. The pilots' logbooks in the Truman libary mention that that they had used an impressive new com system  that allowed them to remain in constant in touch with the Naval and Coast Guard ships (and submarine) strung out across the Pacific on the first leg of the journey.

Campaigne's mention of the power of antipodal reception points makes me wonder just what the distance range of the new system might actually have been.

And finally, Campaigne delivers this juicy tidbit:
One of the things that happened in '57 to '59 is that we gave some money to a joint program on satellites. And it got down to the Pentagon, they said what in the hell is NSA doing with satellites? And they wouldn't leave it alone,
And THAT wrangle ended in the NRO compromise. Satellites would not belong to either the NSA or the Pentagon, but to an entirely new agency. Which is .99999 percent likely why Townsend was attending regular meetings in Chantilly, Virginia in the summer of 1960. Chantilly was to become the home of the new agency.

All in all,  .06 degrees of separation between the Townsend's and Howard's work, I'd say.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Stripping Away the Hype

The [persistent] conjecture that NSA publications prove that Alien communications have been received  is taken on by Micah Hanks in Cryptic Communication from the Cosmos: Proof of Extraterrestrials in Radio Signals?  

Long story short: The 'communications' in question were conceptual exercises, NOT  proof that the NSA holds emails from ET.

THAT evidence has not yet been declassified.