Archive for June 2005
For a number of years back starting in the 1950’s, the unofficial record for a Great White Shark was about 26 feet found on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick Canada in the Bay of Fundy where my grandfather, a Canadian World War I veteran (must have been one of the youngest) and later a US Merchant Mariner after his brother, once a Master Mariner and, because he was a pilot, was captain of the “S.S.City of Atlanta” in January 1942, which left from NYC, and was at the helm when torpedoed by U-123 off Cape Hatteras, with a loss of 43, he among them. The wreck is a “hazardous one” and the records appear to be in different locations due to the magnetic anomalies off Cape Hatteras.
Now Grand Manan Island has four whale-watching boats, the “right whale” nursery is nearby the island, and harbor and white-striped porpoises (Passamaquoddy “skunkwahagen”) are observed. James Audubon visited the federally protected Canadian bird reserve in the Charlotte Parish. I’ve never heard another shark story myself from there, perhaps someone else?
“Sounds oddly like ‘Hemoglobin’ which starred Rutger Hauer, partly filmed on Grand Manan Island, in the Bay of Fundy, off the US coast. Maybe he used one of those ‘timelord’ computer pay toilets they had outside NYC’s 1999 City Hall, only to be removed in the restoration of the City Hall Park to it’s, ah, 1870’s elegance. I found a ‘twin’ burial, (I thought they were conjoined, they weren’t, nah…) and made them move the location of the water fountain, I hope. The 17th century Almshouse burials haven’t been chasing me around, no way…”
Long Island-Iran Connection
I guess if I had 100 Grumman F-14 ‘Tomcats’ (i.e., ‘Top Gun’ or is it ‘Shogun’?) that I had bought while the Shah was in power and stopped his agents (‘Savak’ not the Vulcan of Star Trek) from operating with impunity in the U.S. of A. schools, and had had four thousand Grumman employees back then on my side training ‘Anytime, baby’ and ‘Make My Day’ (from their patch, an orange tiger kitty in boxing gloves in a ‘ring’ [isn’t that square?]) fighter bomber pilots, I might exude a little confidence. Sitting with the F-14’s test pilot on his birthday and hearing from the TV media that we were going to blow them all up if the then USSR made a move for Iran’s border, the air-to-air missile technology on F-14’s a ‘secret’, I still wonder today why did we sell it to them? I imagine they were wondering in Iraq too.
One October I was doing some archaeology survey along the St. Lawrence Seaway, the locks, hydro power and dams we share with Canada, (one of Abbie Hoffman’s haunts before his demise and the tribute at the Palladium in NYC, that was torn down for NYU dorms, recently in NBC news as they help free two murder suspects wrongly imprisoned) the NY power authority was looking to return some of the “taken” properties in construction back on to the tax roles (one place Waddington, NY its church originally endowed by Trinity Church in NYC has about 95% of its property off the tax records) and they had a TV ad for “cow stickers” in the local election. You, if you were for the candidate, were to come down and pick up “cow stickers” and place them all over the dairy cows northern New York is known for, though I’m not sure if it was “tongue in cheek” people are always looking at cows aren’t they? And mooing? It was a wet fall.
Well here’s what I learned. I was once, attached by classes, to the wife of the test pilot of the F-14 “Tomcat”, she was in Iran, when we sold 100 Grumman F-14 “Tomcat” fighter bombers to the Shah of Iran. They used to be big on Long Island. She was teaching in the Anthropology Department at Stony Brook University, that just had a British anthropologist “back” from East Timor before the troubles there with Indonesia. Then there was a number of Iranian students who complained that the Shah’s secret police, “Savak” were operating in the U.S. with impunity (? Kissenger said there was nothing he could do about it on record, I used to “Tootsie Taxi” “them” to the store from school). I met “Tom” the test pilot, on his birthday and that night we were told by TV media all “Tomcats” (congratulations Tom Cruise, “Topgun” F-14 pilot in the movie, President “what rush” Bush used to fly the F-102, though, an obsolete dog he thought it, left the Air Guard six months early for a Harvard MBA) would all be blown up if the USSR made a move for Iran’s border (back then in 1979 or so was it?) since the air-to-air missile technology was secret. SO secret we gave it to the Iranians?
Anyway, I read General Schwartzkopf’s father as part of an American Expeditionary Force put the “Shah system” in power in the 1930’s in troubled Iran. He was also in charge of the Federal investigation of the Charles Lindberg baby kidnapping (“Lucky” fell out of favor with FDR though contributed to research to protect our pilots, buried in Hawaii, for fraternizing with the Nazi’s, as many Americans did, including the Bush’s business interest, “strategic metals sales” shut down by the State Department after we were surprised by the German declaration of war on the US 15 days after Pearl Harbor, which was to have a declaration of war before it, held up in translation by an extremely long eulogy in Washington, D.C. one Sunday.
So, I imagine President Carter had trouble thinking about sending in air-craft carriers to fly against what 90+ F-14’s manned by recent U.S. trained “Top Gun” Iranian pilots? Where’s that “October Surprise” when you need one? I think there is still more to it. The press reported Khomeini holding Reagan’s personal bible as a gift. Well if that’s true, I hope the moderates voice in Iran can be heard no matter what the outcome of the election. We need to heal some of the problems (the Aegis shootdown of their jetliner) that money can’t really solve.
Two F-14’s buzzed the Army/Navy game at West Point a number of years ago in a snow squall, while I was working on the EPA cleanup of the NIKE missile battery (nickel and cadmium) contamination in Constitution Marsh or Foundry Cove where the rifled Parrott cannon was produced across the river in Cold Spring, NY. We relocated the prototype of the platform used to bombard Charleston, SC in 1863 with incendiaries called the “Swamp Angel”. Can they really fly that low by law? I’ve seen what might have been the Massachusetts Air Guard’s F-102 (current President’s model once) fly over the West Meadow Beach one Fourth of July.
Note: to check the veracity of this story, I present the shoulder patch I was given. It showed a small orange tiger striped cat in a boxing ring with gloves on. At the bottom it said “Anytime, baby”. It was later replaced I think by the same cat but instead it said “Make my day”. I think testing out on the island saw the last two “Tomcats” to fly over Long Island. They have had some “shoulder” problems swept wing as they are, and I think will be retired over the next few years. They also had had some problems with stall-spins that the government corrected after research at the super spiffy airframe research facility, whose name escapes me. I saw a video of it in Troy, NY on the TV news, that guy Brad Holbrook, who used to by in NYC TV, about air show crashes, falling and spinning, the day they shut Albany, NY, it was so hot. I was in Troy, NY collecting all the research reports in history and prehistory they had at the State Historic Preservation Office, for the PCB cleanup of the Hudson River at Fort Edward, which affects the spawning of the “stripers” (striped bass fish) so important to the fishermen of Long Island. I and another travelled to the State’s Peebles Island Office which also shut down early (in Waterford, NY, where the Mohawk River joins the Hudson River, it’s tidal to there). It was so hot one of the bridges couldn’t close, once opened in Troy. The ice machines in the hotel refused to make ice.
Scotsman.com Sport – Golf – How Scots gave golf to America: “Next there was Willie Dunn. His first act was to set about transforming nearly 4,000 acres along Great Peconic Bay in New York State into America’s first sophisticated golf course.
With the help of 150 Indians from a nearby plantation, Dunn created a 12-hole wonder – the original Shinnecock Hills. When he’d finished he immediately sent for his two nephews, Seymour and John, and that was the way it worked, relation funding relation and friend funding friend on the expensive passage across the sea.” (1890’s ?)
Yesterday I heard first on WSHU (Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT) that there was some new land claims by the Shinnecock of Long Island, who hold a Pow-Wow every Labor Day weekend. Then visiting my mother, read about it also in the newspaper “Newsday” though the article I thought a little one-sided sniping. I recall there has never been a bad incident recorded with the natives on Long Island in the history of the place, (i.e., from west to east: the Matinecock, Unkechaug, Shinnecock, Montauk, and perhaps the last of the Weckqueskecks in Nissequogue, [between Matinecock and Unkechaug] the first four still have some members and chiefs, the Matinecock chief, “Little Fox”) with some others, i.e. Tobaccolot on the southshore, east of Patchogue, etc. Apparently the Shinnecock might hold up the sale of Southampton College (in dire straights) to Stony Brook University. They have some claim to its land and much of Southampton, NY, the “reservation” is on the south side of the Montauk Highway across from the college almost. One archaeology technician I worked with, once a DJ at Southampton College, worked summers in landscaping with the heritable (?) chief of the Shinnecock he told me. He provided background information to me about the Cold Spring, NY problems, a friend of his with the “Clearwater” organization provided him with all the background info they had gathered at public meetings, etc. Still 20 years later and nothing of PCB cleanup has been started in Fort Edward, NY, (where he also worked in archaeology) but Cold Spring, NY (cadmium and nickel) was cleaned up very rapidly. Well actually, done twice, the second time went, “dee dee mao”.