Recovered: Air France Flight 447 Voice Recorder & Flight Data Recorder!

After a 2 year search, the flight data recorder and voice recorder from 2009’s Air France flight 447 have been found. There are several flight 447 conspiracy theories about the crash, though most people seem to agree that it had something to do with the massive storm in the flight’s path. But after nearly 2 years, maybe we’ll find out more about the final moments of Air France Flight 447 and why it crashed into the ocean.

Air France Flight 447 Voice Recorder
Air France Flight 447 Voice Recorder

Vermillion 380 Oil Rig Explodes in Gulf of Mexico

'Vermillion 398' Oil Rig Explodes in Gulf of Mexico
'Vermillion 398' Oil Rig Explodes in Gulf of Mexico

Oh brother. Here we go again! There was an explosion and fire on a rig known as ‘Vermillion 380’ in the Gulf of Mexico. Early reports are that it’s not an active rig. And luckily, no one was killed. The rig is located about 90 miles south of Vermillion Bay, and it is owned by Mariner Energy (out of Houston). And the rig is There’s not a ton of information yet, but here are some links to news stories about the explosion:

UPDATE (9/2/2010 @ 4:30pm EST): Early reports said that the rig was Vermillion 398, but more recent reports all claim that the explosion and fire was on the Vermillion 380 rig.

'Vermillion 398' Oil Rig Explodes in Gulf of Mexico
'Vermillion 398' Oil Rig Explodes in Gulf of Mexico

BP Caps Oil Leak in Gulf of Mexico

It’s about damn time.

July 15, 2010: BP caps the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico
July 15, 2010: BP caps the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico

But we’re not out of this mess just yet. Now people are worried that the pressure in the well may cause another leak somewhere else (link). Sheesh.

11 Reasons the BP Gulf Oil Spill Disaster Should Scare the Sh*t Out of Everyone

Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit on fire 2010
Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit on fire 2010

Update: The following post is full of data and topics that I found when researching worst-case scenarios from the BP Oil Spill in the Summer of 2010. I wrote the post itself on June 14, 2010, and I’m pretty sure everything I found and listed below is unfounded and untrue. I should probably take it down. But I’ve decided to leave it up, as it gives us a glimpse into the hysteria that develops around disasters. Happy reading!

I’ve been doing some research on the interwebs, and here is the stuff that is really scaring me. A lot of the information I found is alarming. To be clear: I do not know if any of this information is true. Please give this a read. Please feel free to comment with other resources. Let me know if the information in this post is on target. Hopefully, this entire blog post is completely false.

This is why our entire planet should be concerned about the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico:

1. That’s really deep, dude.
BP was drilling in an area where it is about a mile from the platform to the ocean floor. That means they had to go down 5,000+ ft just to get to the ocean floor. Humans can’t even go down to that depth because of the near-freezing temperature and the pressure.

2. The Russians did it on land. Maybe we should try it in the water.
Once they reached the ocean floor, BP was trying to drill a superdeep well – maybe as deep as the Russian’s Kola SG-3 borehole which reached 40,000ft deep back in 1989. Basically, BP was drilling somewhere in the range of 25,000-30,000ft below the ocean floor. Apparently that is REALLY deep. And from what I can find, drilling to those depths has never been attempted in the Gulf of Mexico.

3. Who needs an anchor anyways?
To make things even more unsafe, the BP Deepwater Horizon platform was a floating platform that was kept in location by a sophisticated GPS system. That means the the BP platform was not even anchored to the ocean floor, and that is not a very stable/safe way to drill for oil in deep waters.

4. Under Pressure
Typical oil pressures (pounds per square inch aka psi) are in the area of 1,000 psi. BP had reached such a depth that they were seeing anywhere from 20,000-70,000 psi from this oil well. Some geologists predict that the psi at such depths would actually be in the range of 80,000-100,000 psi.

5. Epic Fail-Safe Fail
Due to the massive pressures, every one of the fail-safe measures and valves on the BP platform failed. And there is even a rumor that BP was warned beforehand about a warped fail-safe valve by one of their own employees. Regardless, they are fairly certain that nothing could have stopped that oil because the pressures were too high. We simply don’t have anything that can stop that type of pressure.

6. Oil, Volcanoes, and New Theories
Why would BP want to drill so deep? Well, there is a theory that petroleum oil does not come from dinosaur fossils. To the people who subscribe to this theory, they believe oil is actually “abiotic,” which means that it is continually being formed deep within the earth’s crust by some sort of chemical process. (This same theory appears to be a pillar to other theories that say the energy/oil shortage is entirely false. If oil is continually being formed from some chemical reaction involving magma, then all that stuff we hear about oil peaks is completely fabricated. But that is another story altogether, and like most of this post, it could be completely false. BTW, some people think that if they drilled into an area where magma is creating petroleum oil, they could have possibly drilled into a volcano. Oh good.)

7.  Don’t Hold Your Breath
Oil isn’t the only thing coming out of that well. It turns out that other stuff comes out with the oil. Specifically, we are talking about Hydrogen Sulfide, Benzene and Methylene Chloride. (link)

  • The concentration threshold for people to experience physical symptoms from hydrogen sulfide is about 5 to 10 parts per billion. But as recently as last Thursday, the EPA measured levels at 1,000 ppb. The highest levels of airborne hydrogen sulfide measured so far were on May 3, at 1,192 ppb.
  • Testing data also shows levels of volatile organic chemicals that far exceed Louisiana’s own ambient air standards. VOCs cause acute physical health symptoms including eye, skin and respiratory irritation as well as headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea and confusion.
  • Louisiana’s ambient air standard for the VOC benzene, for example, is 3.76 ppb, while its standard for methylene chloride is 61.25 ppb. Long-term exposure to airborne benzene has been linked to cancer, while the EPA considers methylene chloride a probable carcinogen.
  • The one we should really worry about is benzene. Acceptable levels of Benzene are 0-4 ppb, but some people are reporting Benzene levels near the Gulf of Mexico in the range of 3,000-4,000 ppb.

8. What “they” are not telling us
According to some people, the levels of those 3 chemicals in particular will cause a massive increase in sicknesses, cancers and deaths for people in the southeastern United States. Of course, the EPA is not reporting on the levels of these chemicals in the air right now. Why would they? It would probably create a panic.

9. Nuclear Bombs Fix Everything
If BP did get to those superdeep depths of 30,000+ ft… Because the pressure is so high down there, humans don’t really have anything that can seal that well. There is talk of using a nuclear device to “fix” the problem, but many people claim that would only make everything worse, as it is a last-ditch effort that is not a certain fix. (That kinda reminds me of the movie Independence Day when the government decides to use a nuclear weapon on the ship over Houston. It didn’t work, and it blew up the entire city.)

10. Years and Years and Years
The publicized estimates (in the media) of how much oil is leaking every day are dramatically conservative. Again, many think this is to avoid a panic. The actual amounts could be in the vicinity of 4 million gallons per day. This superdeep oil well could possess over 1 trillion gallons. If we can’t stop the leak – this oil well could be spewing oil for years and years and years. In that worst case scenario:

  • The oil would eventually kill the entire Gulf of Mexico. And then it would continue spreading to other oceans.
  • The oil would reach Europe in a few years.
  • That amount of oil floating on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean would cause all sorts of massive problems. For example: If lightning struck the ocean’s surface, it could spark an oil fire. That fire would eat up a lot of the oxygen in our atmosphere. Obviously, that scenario is problematic for several reasons.

11. Fissures don’t sound good at all
What else? There are things called “sea floor fissures” (i.e. fountains), where oil often seeps up through the ocean floor into the world’s oceans. According to some news articles, this happens naturally from time to time, and minor amounts of oil can be seen seeping on the ocean floor in certain places around the world. However, right now in the Gulf, they are starting to see fissures that are leaking alarming amounts of oil up to 5 miles away from the BP well (link). This is very problematic, and it could point to something even more devastating than the blownout BP well. If the casing was damaged below the sea floor, “basically, you‘ve got uncontrolled [oil] flow to the sea floor. And that is the doomsday scenario.” (link)

Did I miss anything? Let me know.

PS. The information I listed in this post comes from a variety of websites. A lot of this information fits into a doomsday scenario. And then some of it is textbook conspiracy theory. Regardless, there is something really bad going on down in the Gulf of Mexico. It could be something that we really have no way to stop. I hope and pray that we find a way to get ourselves out of this mess. It’s bigger than BP. It’s bigger than us. If even a few points in this post are true, we are going to need a miracle.

PS2. Here are some other articles and sites that have information about drilling:



  • Well, it turns out that this entire post was full of sh*t. Apparently, the oil simply disappeared, probably to the bottom of the ocean floor. That is better than a buzzillion gallons floating over to Europe. But I guess the final question can only be: Have the drillers changed anything to ensure this doesn’t happen again? I hope so.

Moscow UFO Sighting or Weather Phenomenon (Oct. 7, 2009)

The Sun is reporting a massive UFO sighting over Moscow last Wednesday, October 7, 2009. They have a picture, and here is the video:

Is it an alien mothership? Or is it another weather phenomenon? Personally, I’m not sure. However, given the fact that this thing does not move, it is very likely that it is some strange result from the cloud cover. I am not a meteorologist, but that explanation makes sense to me. However, even though we have pictures, a video and potentially tens of thousands of people witnessing this event, we need more evidence. Did it fly away rapidly? Did it simply fade away? Did it move at all? Was it visible from all angles?

In some ways, I’m on the fence about finding conclusive proof of extraterrestrial life. Think about this: If we have a sighting that is indisputable proof of alien life, then it is very likely that our time is about to end. Maybe it will be better for us to have these mysterious sightings.

Swine Flu Conspiracy: H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine & Neurological Disorders

Personally, I’m not a big believer in conspiracy theories, but I do enjoy reporting on various conspiracy theories. However, I do believe the old adage: “Where there is smoke, there is  fire.” I tend to raise my eyebrows and perk up my ears when I see or hear interesting stories about conspiracies. This week, I’m hearing all about the H1N1 swine flu and the swine flu vaccine shot. I posted about the WHO declaring a pandemic back in June, and I’ve been keeping up with the headlines throughout the summer. I would like to think that I am (more or less) up-to-speed on the whole H1N1 swine flu issue. But there is still one stone left unturned: the swine flu conspiracy, specifically the swine flu vaccine conspiracy. Take a look at this video:

To recap the video:

  • Back in 1976, there was a swine flu scare. Several doctors knew that there were neurological disorders and complications associated with the H1N1 vaccine, but that information was not made available to the public.
  • A healthy, active woman named Judy took the swine flu shot in Nov. 1976, and within a week she was a quadrapalegic. Her paralysis lasted 6 months, and she was confined to a wheelchair for over a year. She had developed Guillain-Barré syndrome. According the Wikipedia Page for Guillain-Barré syndrome:

    There were reports of GBS affecting some people who had received swine flu immunizations in the 1976 U.S. outbreak of swine flu. Overall, there were about 500 cases of GBS—25 of which resulted in death from severe pulmonary complications— which, according to Dr. P. Haber, were probably caused by an immunopathological reaction to the 1976 swine flu vaccine. Other influenza vaccines have not been linked to GBS, though caution is advised for certain individuals, particularly those with a history of GBS.

  • After the 1976 swine flu scare and vaccination program, over 300 claims came in from families of victims who died from GBS related to the swine flu vaccine.
  • Concerns include possibly using chemical additives, or adjuvants, to boost the effectiveness of the vaccine. Adjuvants have never been used in flu vaccines in the United States, but they have safely been used in other vaccines, such as Tetanus.
  • There are also concerns that some forms of the H1N1 vaccines will contain Thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative. While Thimerosal has never been associated in any scientific way with any adverse affects to young people or to the fetus, a US Congressional Committee report stated that “Thimerosal…is directly related to the Autism epidemic.” The committee blamed it on “…misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”
  • There is a fear of the Mercury contained in vaccines. A study of vaccinated primates showed increased neurological disorders and nonsocial behaviors similar to autism. There is data that suggests more vaccinations = more autism. And there is circumstantial evidence: In an Amish community that shuns vaccinations, there are only 4 cases of autism in a community of 22,000 people.
  • A bill recently passed in the Massachusetts Senate says that if there is a swine flu pandemic and you don’t get the swine flu vaccine, you could be ordered into quarantine. If you refuse the quarantine, you could face a fine of $1,000 per day that you resist. Many citizens are concerned that the bill’s provision will abuse their Constitutional Rights.

So there. Now you know. But that is not the end of the story. Do some research on your own. Make your own choices regarding the vaccine. But before you decide, check out this 1976 PSA:

Summer of Death 2009 Comes to an End

Summer of Death 2009
Summer of Death 2009

Today (September 21, 2009) is the last day of Summer 2009. Tomorrow is the first day of Fall 2009. And so the Summer of Death 2009 comes to an end. Like they say – “All good things must come to an end.” I’m not sure if a summer death list is a good thing, but when it comes to celebrity deaths, it was certainly a fascinating 3-month time frame. Here is a list of some of the most notable celebrity deaths from the Summer of Death 2009:

  • Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009): American dancer, singer, songwriter; The King of Pop
  • Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009): American actress
  • Edward Leo Peter “Ed” McMahon, Jr. (March 6, 1923 – June 23, 2009): American comedian, game show host, announcer, and television personality
  • William Darrell “Billy” Mays, Jr. (July 20, 1958 – June 28, 2009): American TV sales pitchman
  • Steve LaTreal McNair (February 14, 1973 – July 4, 2009): Air McNair, American football quarterback
  • Robert Strange McNamara (June 9, 1916 – July 6, 2009): Secretary of Defense under JFK and Lyndon Johnson
  • Arturo “Thunder” Gatti (April 15, 1972 – July 11, 2009): Canadian professional boxer
  • Karl Malden (born Mladen George Sekulovich, March 22, 1912 – July 1, 2009): Academy Award-winning American actor
  • Josephine Owaissa Cottle (April 5, 1922 – June 27, 2009): better known as Gale Storm; American actress and singer
  • John ArthurDavidCarradine (December 8, 1936 — June 3, 2009): American actor known for roles in Kung Fu and Kill Bill
  • Oscar Gustave Mayer, Jr. (March 16, 1914 – July 6, 2009): chairman of Oscar Mayer company
  • Robert Lenard “Bob” Bogle (January 16, 1934 – June 14, 2009): founding member of the legendary instrumental combo surf group The Ventures
  • Gidget the “Taco Bell chihuahua” (February 7, 1994 – July 21, 2009): Taco Bell mascot and advertising figure
  • Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. (November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009): American broadcast journalist/anchorman
  • Lester William Polfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009): better known as Les Paul; American inventor, musician, songwriter, guitarist
  • Guiding Light (June 30, 1952 – Septmber 18, 2009): longest-running soap opera, longest running drama in TV and radio history; started on radio in 1937
  • Patrick Wayne Swayze (August 18, 1952 – September 14, 2009): American actor, dancer and singer-songwriter; People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive 1991
  • Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009): United States Senator from Massachusetts; brother of JKF and RFK
  • Donald Shepard Hewitt (December 14, 1922 – August 19, 2009): American television news producer; created 60 Minutes for CBS in 1968
  • Robert David SandersBobNovak (February 26, 1931 – August 18, 2009): Prince of Darkness; syndicated columnist, journalist, television personality, author and conservative political commentator
  • John Wilden Hughes, Jr. (February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009): American film director, producer and writer
  • Adam Michael Goldstein (March 30, 1973 – August 28, 2009): known as DJ AM; American club DJ and musician

Well that is all for this summer. Unless someone dies today. I wouldn’t put it past Death. He’s had a busy summer. If I were a celebrity at any level, I would watch my back today. Godspeed, Death.

U.S. Purchases 195 Million Doses of H1N1 Vaccine

Did you know that this week 100,000 people in the UK contracted the H1N1 flu virus (the Swine Flu)? Well, it’s true. These are confirmed cases of the swine flu. Last week, there were 55,000 cases. The craziest thing is that the flu season doesn’t typically begin in England until December or January. What’s going to happen when flu season actually hits? Here are some of the bullet points for the current UK flu scare:

  • New cases of swine flu double in seven days
  • 840 people ‘seriously ill’ in hospital, 63 in intensive care
  • Majority of cases are people aged 16-64

Thankfully, the United States has purchased 195 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine. That’s good, right? Well, maybe not. There are over 300 million people in the United States. Hopefully this flu virus doesn’t attack everyone. But if it does, our government also purchased 120 million doses of adjvant:

The U.S. government has bought 195 million doses of H1N1 swine flu vaccine for a possible autumn vaccination campaign, a U.S. federal official said Thursday.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department has also contracted for 120 million doses of adjuvant, a compound to stretch the number of doses of vaccine needed, the department’s Dr. Robin Robinson told a meeting of Food and Drug Administration advisers.

Autumn vaccination campaign? I know there is currently a pretty strong flu vaccination campaign every Autumn. But many people ignore it. If the US government wants everyone to get vaccinated, they will need to scare the crap out of people. Maybe with TV ads, newspaper ads, search campaigns, websites, etc… But that is really a doomsday scenario. I hope it doesn’t get to that point. I guess the point is: If you can get a flu vaccine this year, get one.

Blob of Arctic Goo Floating in Pacific Ocean Near Alaska

This huge blob of arctic goo is nearly 12 miles long.
This huge blob of arctic goo is nearly 12 miles long.

Have you heard about the huge blob of arctic goo that is floating in the Pacific Ocean near Alaska? Oh yeah. It’s true. And apparently this huge blob of arctic goo is nearly 12 miles long. Furthermore, it’s not garbage. It’s not oil. Nobody knows for sure what this goo is. Call it crud, gunk, goo or whatever you want. Now matter what you call it, there are globs of this goo for a stretch of 12+ miles near the North Slope Borough of Alaska.

To make things even more odd, no one in the area can recall ever seeing anything like it before. According to Petty Officer 1st Class Terry Hasenauer of the United States Coast Guard:

“It’s certainly biological. It’s definitely not an oil product of any kind. It has no characteristics of an oil, or a hazardous substance, for that matter. It’s definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it, it’s some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism.”

The brownish-blackish arctic goo could be algae.
The brownish-blackish arctic goo could be algae.

Interestingly, witnesses have seen a jellyfish tangled up in the goo. Gordon Brower, of the North Slope Borough’s Planning and Community Services Department, says someone turned in a dead goose – just bones and feathers – that was apparently found in the arctic goo. Weird, huh?

It’s probably some sort of algae of some sort, but this arctic gunk is definitely a mysterious story. I’ll update the post when I find out more.

By the way, because they are finding dead animals in this goo, I couldn’t help but think of the 1987 movie Creepshow 2. In this movie, there were 3 stories, and one of them was called The Raft. If I remember correctly, all 3 stories were written by Stephen King. The Raft featured 4 people stranded in the middle of a lake, and there was some sort of gooey blob in the lake. I was able to find the movie on YouTube. Check it out if you want. It certainly brought back some memories for me. These types of movies terrified me.

WHO Says New H1N1 Flu Virus Is ‘Unstoppable’

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been 94,512 cases of H1N1 flu virus worldwide, and 429 of those cases have resulted in death. Many people thought the swine flu had just gone away after everyone pretty much laughed at the way our US health officials ‘overreacted’ to the threat of this new flu virus. But make no mistake, the swine flu has not gone away. In fact, last month the WHO declared a Phase 6 Influenza Pandemic. Furthermore, the US is one of the most affected nations. Out of the 94,512 reported worldwide over the past few months, more than 33,000 of them have been in the United States, resulting in 170 deaths from the H1N1 flu virus in the U.S. Here are the current stats for the United States:

  • 94,512 cases of H1N1 virus worldwide
  • 429 deaths from H1N1 virus worldwide
  • 33,902 cases in the United States (36% of all cases have been in the US)
  • 170 deaths in the United States (40% of all deaths have been in the US)

Those stats are very alarming, considering the fact that we are not currently in flu season here in the US. That’s why this story is so crazy. Just imagine what those numbers could be when flu season hits.

Here is a map of the worldwide distribution of the H1N1 flu virus as reported by the World Health Organization:

Global Map of H1N1 Flu Virus Cases (July 2009)
Global Map of H1N1 Flu Virus Cases (July 2009)

According to an article at Reuters, the WHO has declared the H1N1 virus to be ‘unstoppable’. Furthermore, the World Health Organization has given drug manufacturers a green light to produce vaccines against the current pandemic H1N1 strain of the influenza virus. Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research said, “The committee recognized that the H1N1 pandemic … is unstoppable and therefore that all countries need access to vaccine.” The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, or SAGE, recommends that all nations provide a vaccine to their health workers – nurses, doctors and technicians. Then, each nation must create a priority list for vaccinations. Uh oh. I wonder where bloggers will be on the list.

Apparently, the elderly have an advantage over this flu virus:

The elderly seem to have some extra immunity to this new H1N1, which is a mixture of two swine viruses, one of which also contains genetic material from birds and humans. It is a very distant cousin of the H1N1 virus that caused the 1918 pandemic that killed 50 million to 100 million people.

Recently, the UK has seen a rise in H1N1 flu virus cases, and they are very alarming because a few healthy people have died from the virus. Most notably, a healthy 6-year-old girl contracted the virus. She got a sore throat, and then 2 days later she was dead. A healthy doctor also died from the virus in the UK:

The deaths of Chloe Buckley, six, and Dr. Michael Day  mean three people with no previous health problems have now died of the illness out of a total of 17 deaths across Britain.

Sorry about the doom and gloom Tuesday. Whatever you do, don’t laugh at the H1N1 swine flu. It’s a very distant cousin of the influenza virus of 1918, which killed an estimated 50-100 million people while infecting upwards of 500 million people. Please take this virus seriously. If you can get a vaccination, please do.

Update (7-16-2009):

  • World Health Organization: H1N1 pandemic spreading too fast to count (Reuters)

“The 2009 influenza pandemic has spread internationally with unprecedented speed. In past pandemics, influenza viruses have needed more than six months to spread as widely as the new H1N1 virus has spread in less than six weeks.”