True Believers: The Founding Fathers of TACAMO
TACAMO, standing for "Take Charge and Move Out," is a vital part of the US strategic communications, flying the E-6B Mercury, a 707 airframe. Today it is an important and well-recognized community, but it wasn't always that way. True Believers is the story of how this community was born. It began with Bill Coyne, a truly significant commanding officer of VQ-4 in the mid-70's who communicated a vision of what TACAMO could be to his wardroom. A dozen or so junior officers seized that vision and bet our future Naval careers that yes, we could found that community from scratch. This book is a collaborative effort, with Bill Coyne talking about his vision, and I and about a dozen others junior officers who took that leap of faith each contributing their chapter. We hope to have a draft finished this year.
Nine thousand years ago, the Black Sea did not communicate with the Mediterranean. It was a closed-off lake, and as the glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age, the water levels fell to about five hundred feet below sea level, exposing huge expanses of fertile bottom land along the northwest coast. When "the firmament separating the waters above from the waters below was broken," the Bosporus was opened and the Mediterranean filled the Black Sea to its present depth. It was around the Black Sea that agriculture developed. Could civilization have gone further in the three thousand years from the retreat of the glaciers till then? This historical fiction explores three hypothetical civilizations there, the ancestors of Indo-Europeans, the Semitic peoples, and the Hamitic people as they cope with the total destruction of their homeland, and their fight for survival with their neighboring barbarian tribes. I only have few chapters started, so this might be a few years in the making!
The Carrington Event
The Carrington Event was the very first solar flare, observed by Dr. Richard Carrington in 1859. It was not only the first, it was also the most powerful ever recorded. Two days later, the coronal mass ejection made a direct hit on Earth. Telegraph lines chattered randomly, even with batteries disconnected, shocked the operators, and the arcing set fire to the alcohol-impregnated copy paper they used. Auroras were observed as far south as Cuba. But other than that, nobody really noticed, as I just described the sum total of electrical devices in 1859... the telegraph.
Such an event happening today would be catastrophic and global in scope. Would a recovery even be possible, or would we be quite literally blasted back into 1859? I don't know yet, the book has just begun!