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H&M weaponized market dissentH&M weaponized market dissent

A leak from CARPA-operatives have revealed a series of CARPA operations in cooperation with the clothes giant H&M from the “neutral” Sweden. Not only is Sweden the world’s largest arms-producing country per capita, but it also has a long history of state sponsored art strategies for soft influence in global politics. This ranges from infiltration into the security council of the UN to ABBA musicals and the promotion of Volvo as a car with socialist values. Not only does the Swedish art and design schools favor communist-inspired “social art”, but also sponsors their artist agents with generous state grants to wage discursive war and value struggles for the benefit of NATO and its allies.

As Carpaleaks has unveiled lately, the DoD has produced a new series of geo-political and economic strategies, and one of these has been the weaponization of waste. CARPA’s recent work with H&M has been explicitly using “alternative” lifestyles and artists to launch their offensive into propagating neo-consumerist power against the post-industrial adversaries of the West, using waste and recycling as instruments to undermine off-shore production and markets.

H&M slays the lifestyle enemies of NATO

H&M slays the lifestyle enemies of NATO

One such example has been H&M’s much debated “metal” collection, where rebellion and anti-authoritarian lifestyle is mixed with consumerism, repeating earlier successes of UK punks and US hardcore cultures and subversive customs, yet with the clear agenda of furthering dissipative cycles of binging new clothes. Recruiting Finnish agents, H&M and CIA has managed to clothe the political insurgents while the CIA simultaneously funds dissident training for “velvet” revolutions in youth cultures employed against its enemies. Such training is defended by liberal progressives, as advancing “human rights”, while simultaneously arguing the UN human rights are based on western hegemony, individualism and consumerist processes of identity production.

HMmia

As a seemingly “responsible” act, H&M’s “World Recycle Week” uses its hegemonic position in fast fashion to posit a new set of “conscious” consumer practices, which all aim at undermining the industrial positions of US and NATO adversaries. By recruiting cool and dissident artists, such as M.I.A., to make this post-colonial grand strategy seem ethical, H&M is now to collect 1000 tons of used garments which can in the next move be used as an “aid weapon” to dump and undermine the clothing industry in a developing economy. H&M thus not only runs the explicit errands of US and NATO economic and geo-political interests, but develops new “closed loop” economic models to make sure Western money stays within economic circuits of western services, while still boosting Western hegemony. Western waste has thus become a weapon against any threat to the current order, assisting western supremacy and the legacy of environmental and instrumental realism and domination.

The struggle for industrial and economic domination takes on new frontiers and tactics. The outsourcing of industrial investments has long crippled the economies of NATO members, reducing their spending on defense. The offshoring of production has over the last decades effectively supported our adversaries with industrial capabilities, and they now wage high-impact trade wars against their former masters. Especially the rise of Chinese industry has long been an issue for the geopolitical developments of US power projection. The more production that goes overseas, the more we develop and support our adversaries, effectively feeding the hand that bites us.

The “reshoring” of economic activities has become a key strategic factor for US and NATO policy, but as reported by DoD, this may not be enough. New “soft” strategies within NATO have recently  been seeking the active undermining of production overseas, introducing such overarching strategy under the cultural label of “sustainability.” The “sustainability” strategy is as effective as it is transparent: by blaming our adversaries for producing our cheap goods in a way that causes pollution the US tries to undermine the economic progress of adversaries while boosting the US economy with “sustainable services,” such as “repair” and “craft.” As usual, the offensive is primarily outsourced to social practice artists operating under the umbrella of soft US power, such as “socially engaged” practices.

Taking the cue from the old straightforward war efforts on craft, such as the famous WWII home-front operations “make do and mend” and “knit your bit,” the aim is to mobilize craft under the total war effort. The strategy has recently been re-developed across NATO countries in recent years, and with the explicit aim of undermining the consumer economy which our adversaries are dependent on.

Examples range from Dutch art institutions promoting projects on Repair, to UK councils supporting research on mending explicitly for weaponized “post-growth” offensives on overseas power projections. In the US, DARPA sponsored Make Magazine has long promoted an explicitly politicized “Bill of Rights” with the “right” to oppose the industrial advantage of our enemies. Make Magazine has also long supported iFixit, with their explicit anti-consumerism aimed at Chinese tech-industries. Like many battle-cries across the ages, the language often takes on a very hostile tone, making sure the call for action in phrased as a “manifesto.

Leaks have reached us regarding a new operational black site run by CARPA in the Pacific Northwest. It is not clear if this is a move from some other of CARPA’s known black sites in New York City, whose craft scene has been infiltrated by agents for many years, or through the CARPA agents active in some of the left-wing underground Etsy cells.

An increase in reported activities on social media hashtags such as #contemporary crafts, #pork, and #indigo have set off nervous discussions in craft forums along the West Coast concerning the possibility of increased CARPA activities in regional craft circles. It seems the various arts and crafts programs in California and Oregon may be at risk of infiltration, not least with the new season of Portlandia taking off.

Stay tuned for more news on this alarming topic.

New black site in Origon

New black site in Oregon

Leaked documents:

BS-telex1

BS-telex2

This week’s news on the crash of Etsy stock may need some closer examination.

We have long known how art has been a part of foreign policy and the projection of US power. But as the frontiers of aesthetics change like any other trends, also the militarized interests in art morph. The neo-liberal offensive across the globe from the banking sectors in Washington and London and their allied aesthetic bases in Basel and Geneva has over the last decades infiltrated almost any art institution. The corruption of the last strongholds of marxism, the cultural sector and biennales, cased extreme frustration within ”radical” elements of the art world and many migrated their practices towards more ”social” or ”rhizomatic” projects, in a last effort to remain loyal to their long dead philosopher-king. Yet, as we have repeatedly revealed by leaks from CARPA, also the last bastion of ”radical” cultural practices has now fallen.

In his essay ”Contemp(t)orary: Eleven Theses” curator Cuauhtémoc Medina criticizes how a global elite of capital and artists have become ”nomadic agents of global culture”, hidden under the utopian ring of the word ”contemporary art.” Yet, as Medina underlines, this global spread of the cultural values of the free west is nothing more than another layer of domination by ”the new private jet set and a jet proletariat” reproducing what he strikingly calls ”NATO art.”

Within the global art world, ”the constant collusion of perfume and theory”, the last refuge of modern radicalism sees itself becoming displaced by their very own anti-capitalist tactics as the ”relational” art is yet again consumed by reinvented forms of rhizomatic power: something already foreseen in Sun Tzu’s classic treatise on armed conflict: The Craft of War.

As one of the many facades of CIA and CARPA, Etsy has been a loyal distributor of US soft power across the globe since its founding in 2005. At the height of the Iraq insurgency, and the global ”war against terror,” The Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF–I), needed new strategies to tackle the spread of anti-american resentments. With the help of CARPA, the Department of Defense winded up the investments in soft power to complement the rise on military spending.

This fitted well with the previous CIA and CARPA soft offensive they called the ”resurgence of craft” (or what should more accurately be called “NATO-craft”). The military-sponsored resurgence had over the last decades been spreading explicitly anti-oppressive, yet vaguely capitalist and pro-US liberal ideals, under names such as ”punk”, ”DIY”, “craft”, and ”Riot Grrls.” Seemingly critical to core capitalist ideals, these facades managed to further the individualist, entrepreneurial and “craftivist” values into almost every cell of resistance to US domination.

Etsy Soft Power at Nasdaq

Etsy Soft Power at Nasdaq

Yet during the last days, after ten years in loyal service to the values of ”NATO-crafts”, the strategic importance of Etsy has been put into question. Many investors have withdrawn their support, most apparently after last week’s DoD-report on the escalating wars across the middle east and the growing humanitarian crisis along the mediterranean and the US-Mexican border.

This may only be a temporary lack of faith in the effectiveness of US soft power, and we can only suspect that CARPA must soon open new recruitment offices as strategic positions to heighten their presence within the most potent craft-scenes. It may seem the military support for crocheted owls as weapons to defend the free West is slowly becoming unraveled. But US soft power has, since the American War of Independence, historically proved to the be the best weapon to conquer the soul and hands of US enemies.

Following the success of the “social fabric” infiltration event at NYC’s Open Engagement on May 16-18, where several “social practice” artists presented on how US soft power can better infiltrate unruly and dissident cultures, CARPA has now moved into the center echelons of US global power: the White House itself. CARPA is among the instigators of the first Maker Faire at the White House, which, according to the official statement, celebrates “America’s students and entrepreneurs who are inventing the future by using new tools and techniques.” As the statement from the White House articulates, the event focuses on how “the rise of the Maker Movement represents a huge opportunity for the United States.” However, the nature of this opportunity is written between the lines, obvious only to the selected few.

The strategic timing of this Maker Faire has been highlighted by several security volunteers at Carpaleaks. Not only is this a time of spreading unrest in the Middle East with declining US leverage in the conflict, but also the date, June 18th, is (according to the White House) “to be a nationwide Day of Making when communities across America share and celebrate their involvement.” As a sign to the White House allies in the Free West, June 18th is also the anniversary of the first flight of the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth bomber, widely celebrated amongst warmongering tech fetishists in the NATO-craft communities. The stealth plane made its first widely-publicized attacks in the Gulf War of 1991, a time of unquestioned “Pax Americana” crafted by Free American hands.

Using the widely celebrated “day of stealth” as the new “nationwide Day of Making” sends a message on the true meaning of the Maker Faire at the White House: it is a day of craft mobilization across the US. The Coalition of the Willing Makers are to once again erect a global peace under the hand-crafted gun of the Free West.

The DARPA-sponsored Maker Movement in the troubled Middle East follows in the footsteps of the wildly successful 2013 Maker Faires in Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar), Jerusalem, and Cairo. It newly implements the strategy of cultural imperialist artists who work from the many CIA-sponsored Artist-In-Residence operations in the troubled region. With the new Maker Strategy by the Department of Defense, CARPA has introduced a whole series of new safe houses in the region. These sites are often nicknamed “Makerspaces” or “Hackerspaces” in CIA terminology (the CIA operated “Makerspace” in Abbottabad played a key role in organizing the killing of Osama Bin Laden). Equipped with American power tools and closely controlled by the NSA, each one is ready to produce any weaponized designs sponsored by CARPA’s close collaboration with the the DIY wing of the NRA.

Homemade mortar launcher in Aleppo

Homemade mortar launcher from one of the Makerspaces in Aleppo

The development of CIA Maker Strategies in the Middle East has not least been visible in the wars in Libya and Syria, which are rife with DIY weapon systems (many inspired by the small prototype models co-instigated by CARPA).

In an interview on the White House blog, Dale Dougherty, CEO of Maker Media, also confirms what the CARPA teams are working on: killer robots hidden as toys, in the form of “an autonomous solar-powered toy that comes alive by day.” “Making is a great way for parents to engage with their kids,” Dougherty states. It is “an activity that is both fun and educational” — producing rockets, robots, and other advanced weapons systems. Similarly, Dougherty suggests that the act of making is a means to “gain control.” He references US heroes like Benjamin Franklin and Henry Ford to suggest how the Maker community may reach positions of imperial power, as pragmatist politicians or heavy-handed industrialists, thereby assuring US domination in their operational fields. Of course, Steve Jobs is also celebrated as the man who put “empowering” NSA surveillance tools in every house in the developed world. “We consider them Makers,” Dougherty says of these imperialist social practice artists. These Makers, through increased efforts from the White House, will soon draw any still-innocent craft community into their political web.

We all know that interest in civil-engineer education is on a all-time low in the US, but using the hashtag #NationOfMakers, weapon manufacturers across the US and its NATO allies can follow the development of a new generation of war engineers, celebrating our future of endless civil wars.

Dougherty claims that the President is “fired up” about the Maker event in the White House, and we surmise that the treacherous CARPA agents are also satisfied with this connection between social practice, craft, and war-in-the-making as a form of democratisation of design.

The best-selling book on weaponised making

The best-selling book on weaponised making

Recoil magazine hires top fiber artist to make DIY project

Recoil magazine shows work by top fiber artist in featured DIY project

The troublesome rumours of military infiltration into DIY communities and Fiber Arts institutes around the US has been proven true. In 2012 the community around Make Magazine and the Maker Faire was shaken by the in-your-face DARPA funding of the MAKE MENTOR division of O’Reilly. As hinted in the long defence of this military intrusion into peaceful crafting, the DARPA-MAKE initiative reaches into (at least) a thousand schools, not only limited to the United States. This verifies the unnerving trend that much of the global trend of “makerspaces” is centrally controlled by the DARPA-MAKE axis. Not only does this seem like a DARPA-funded global outsourcing of arms research, but also a large-scale infiltration and surveillance by “embedded” makers within arts, crafts and DIY communities. But as some argues, “if you want to work in education, you need to work in the government”, and the same logic can be applied to most cultural work, making the this issue all the more urgent.

However, the worrying development of MAKE-militarization has also surfaced from within the highly trend sensitive part of the military-industrial-complex: the “Gun Lifestyle”. There has been a long history of “lifestyle” weapons and products introduced in computer games and movies, but over the last years a more explicit lifestyle trend has emerged where the “army-of-one” everyday soldier is also doing more artsy DIY stuff: a blatant example of how the military industry is encroaching on the arts community.

The November print issue of Recoil, “The Ultimate Firearms Magazine for Gun Lifestyle”, features in its DIY section a perfect example of “Pop Gun”, as famous lifestyle gun acrobat Peter Palma shows the secrets of DIY fiber arts: how to make a professional DIY ghillie suit. The high end textile craftsmanship of Palma reveals how craft education has become a central part of the world famous Marine Corps Sniper School. A close reading of the article reveals Palma’s deep knowledge of natural dyes, knotting and fiber-handling, showing skills only acquired at top-notch fiber arts programs such as CCA and RISD, both known to have close ties to the military through their craft-counterinsurgency boot camps.

Recoil-4

As noted in an interview with Gunnery Sgt. Richard Tisdale at the Marine Corps Scout Sniper Basic Course, the practice of snipers resembles studio practice and is truly avant-garde: “Due to the nature of the sniper’s mission, they must be trained mentally and physically to operate independently forward of friendly positions on the battlefield.” The training of snipers is in some parts modelled after the classic art academies, where students are known to be staying in their isolated studios for days in a row without any human contact except reports from the front line sales of the NYC Chelsea galleries. In a similar vein, both artists and snipers are loners, rarely cooperate and drawn to the front lines of autonomy. Their high skills in field-studies and intense focus on the movement of enemies or collectors bears witness of the close ties between military and fine arts training.

Recoil-5

That DARPA and CARPA are having their tentacles in all current cultural lifestyle trends is not really big news at CARPAleaks. But as some proponents  argue concerning these types of collaborations, we should be happy for the government grants we get, also for the advancement of the under appreciated ghillie arts (as the joke goes, you only see the work of art when it is too late). Not only does Palma expose a truly breathtaking skill as gunner, but also some truly avant-garde DIY educational skills in fiber arts, and we should be happy that Recoil now recruits a new generation of applicants to the fiber arts programs in the US.

Perhaps you meet Palma at the next Creative Time?

Scan from Recoil Issue 9 2013: Recoil-iss9-2013w

Image from First Earth Battalion Field Manual with the 1990 launch of "Artists in Action", what later became known as "Social Practice"

Image from First Earth Battalion Field Manual with the 1990 launch of “Artists in Action”, what later became known as “Social Practice”

The popular movie “The Men Who Stare at Goats” (2009) was to many a point of entry into obscure and quite unbelievable US military programs, in this case a partly true story of a “new age” military research track originated from the Department of Defence as part of their PSYWAR research. However, what the book and movie only hinted at, was that also other military agencies were involved, also CARPA. Yet, most of the media (and conspiracy) attention has fallen on the CIA-run Project MKUltra.

One of the main researchers behind the project on paranormal or psychic warriors, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Channon, who had served in Vietnam, leaked a substantial amount of information and even a sketch of a field manual for US new age super soldiers in the “First Earth Battalion”. These soldiers, Guerrilla Gurus or Warrior Monks, were in the filed manual also called “Artists in Action”, and were to be deployed in military campaigns. Parts of the training involved “soft tactics practice”, where the warrior, through manual action, is to create positive visions that will change the social fabrics and produce social change on high cultural magnitude: a change of values within the mind of the enemy. By gaining leverage in life and spiritual experience, the warrior monks would conquer the enemies and produce “personal and planetary evolution”.

Vaguely referenced in The Men Who Stare at Goats, in order to actually train this type of warriors, the United States Military Training Mission (USMTM) started a campaign with the CIA and CARPA to use the cultural industries for their agenda. With the support from the agencies of the CIA who already were deeply involved in artistic promotion of US values (mentioned earlier at CARPAleaks), the operational command of the First Earth Battalion infiltrated arts education and set up several programs across the US, using the writings of Nicolas Bourriaud and his “Relational Aesthetics” to introduce the curriculum of the Battalion and start to train undercover “Artists in Action”.

The use of artistic models of “social practice” became the tool by which “Artists in Action” were trained to move artistic practice beyond the aim of persona evolution towards “Cultural evolution”, that is, cultural change of the audience. The manual called this the use of active “cultural service” to change the “social architecture” of the adversary. Using the themes of “participation”, the audience of art would become involved in the artistic practice, let down their guard, and thus be an easier target for cultural change and deep infiltration of affect. As the manual makes clear, there were primarily two roles of these Artists in Action, the “systems integrator” or “weaver”, primarily engaged in making sure the values of the free west would be woven into the social fabric of the adversary, and the “imaginer”, chaining the radical imagination of the participants into accepting the ruling hegemony of western mental domination.

Manual page on "weavers" and "imaginers"

Manual page on “weavers” and “imaginers”

As the manual proposes, the “artists in action” were to be disguised and not reveal that they were actually on military orders. They would dress as artists. As the manual explains, soldiers “will be encouraged to represent themselves will in the dress”. Thus civil dress and the identity as an “artists” became the perfect infiltration tool, which actually broke the rules of engagement of the Geneva Convention.

 

Link to Lieutenant Colonel Jim Channon’s field manual for First Earth Battalion

 

additional sources:
Bourriaud, N. (2002) Relational Aesthetics. Dijon: Presses du Réel
Druckman, D., & Swets, J.A. (eds.) (1988) Enhancing Human Performance: Issues, Theories, and Techniques. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
McRae, R.F. (1984) Mind Wars: The True Story of Government Research into the Military Potential of Psychic Weapons. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Thomas, B. (2006) Immortal Combat: Portrait of a True Warrior. Berkeley, CA: Blue Snake Books.
Ronson, J. (2004) The Men Who Stare at Goats. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Manual page discussing the soldier's uniform

Manual page discussing the soldier’s uniform

QuiltMap of insurgent network in Khost region 2010

QuiltMap of insurgent network in Khost region 2010

Human Terrain and Relational Infiltration Teams (HuTRITs) use social craft techniques to infiltrate, classify and trace local loyalties and tribe constellations which are otherwise hard for military commanders to decipher. HuTRITs use local craft techniques to reach deeper into the social fabric of the afghan tribes, often trying to reach working women to help out mapping out local insurgent influence stratagems.

With the help of an established coded quilt system, maps of clan networks and links to insurgents are smuggled out to the NATO forces hidden in the layout of Afghan quilts. With US artisans trained in community quilt-making, a popular aesthetic amongst artists working with “social practice”, the HuTRITs teach women the codes and the secret quilts help unveil the enemy constellations for more surgical strikes and liquidations of adversaries by SEAL teams.

Leaked quilt code manual: 5MQ-2013×2

Improvized crochet battledress for Airborne Rangers

Improvized crochet battledress for Airborne Rangers

CARPAleaks has long heard rumours about the use of different specialized craft techniques in sniper training. Along with yoga, meditation, mindfulness and target acquisition, snipers use textile craft to calm their nerves behind enemy lines and improve their concealment.

Since the second world war sniper training has involved not only sharp-shooting of the highest level, but also advanced infiltration, target acquisition and not least concealment and environmental studies. The chameleon-like sniper wears camouflage that conceal it from observation (crypsis) and/or to make it appear as something else (mimicry). As sniper teams operate independently, with little combat asset support from their parent units, they have to be largely autonomous and thus need to repair and reproduce their camouflage as their mission evolves. In environments with large variation and color settings, this adds not only cumbersome equipment, but also psychological stress to the team.

In such missions sniper teams need to produce their own camouflage and update their battledress. This is done through advanced skills in textile and fibre arts, not least crochet and natural dyeing. Studies have also shown engagement in crafts releases stress and makes for better markmanship, higher kill ratio, and the more successful fulfilment of missions. It is thus of no surprise that the most advanced textile schools in the country supports our snipers with training and skill development.

The manual attached shows leaked crochet patterns for battledress and fiber techniques for sniper ghillie suits. Crochet Manual 3-GC2013b

Artisans working on the A12 at Area51

Artisans working on the Streamline Moderne form of the A12 at Area51

In August the CIA officially acknowledged that Area 51 in Nevada does exist, and the agency came clean about their “weather balloon” and “foam party” cover stories. Area 51, located 83 miles (133 km) northwest of Las Vegas, has for over 50 years been a place of mystery. As highlighted by several media outlets, the official CIA document covers how Area 51 acted as test facility for Project Aquatone, the top secret development of the Lockheed U-2 strategic reconnaissance aircraft. It was also base for Project OXCART, the aerial reconnaissance programs, from 1954 to 1974, intended to create the successor for the U-2 spy plane, the Archangel 12 (A-12). There are still unconfirmed suspicion that the Atomic Energy Commission carried out secret projects at the site.

YF12 / A12 Prototype at Area51. Please observe the tool desks and adjustable craft benches in the foreground.

YF12 / A12 Prototype at Area51. Please observe the tool desks and adjustable craft benches in the foreground.

The documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by  the National Security Archives, in 2005. The archives submitted the request as part of a continuing study of artisans within the aerial surveillance programs and according to the CNN they were not given any explanation of why the new documents were less redacted than previous versions declassified by the agency.

As revealed in the CIA documents, the special teams developing and constructing the prototypes at Area 51 were top graduates from schools such as RISD, CCAC and Parsons, as well as experienced aviation engineers from top institutions across the US. But perhaps unexpected to some, the teams also included several artisans from fine craft studios. Not least the development of the titanium body for the Mach 3 A-12 required expertise in detailed corpus jewellery craft and fine joining and welding. They came to represent the total overlap between the “streamline moderne” designs of design and craft, high modernism, and the military applications of design and craft into Cold War armed politics.

The CIA report also reveals the A-12 related Aquiline project, a six-foot remote controlled drone designed to look like an eagle or buzzard in flight. As part of its development, the CIA had secretly set up a crack-team of ornithologists, taxidermists and wild-life artisans. The drone was according to the documents powered by a chainsaw engine, first donated by one of the artisans at site who had come up with the idea when crafting a rough decoy wood replica of the A-12 in fresh greenwood. Interestingly enough, only traces of the artisan involvement in the story is left in the CIA document (page 339-340), as much is erased by censors.

Aquiline history from CIA document (page 340)

Aquiline history from CIA document (page 340)

The Aquiline drone, developed in the 1960s, carried a television camera in the nose, as well as sensors and electronic surveillance equipment. It also made bird-like sounds as a mode of secret communication with ground operators. According to some sources the project was hibernated in the 1980s, but it would later become the famed high-tech Predator-drone. However, the project still seems ongoing, as the Pakistan government claim they grounded a bird-like drone over Chaman, near the Afghani border, in 2011. According to released photos this drone looks very similar to the original models of the Aquiline, even if the wood work (probably in Balsa, Ochroma Pyramidale) seems very rough and not as refined as in the earlier models.

A Pakistani Army Artisan Officer examines the taxidermic techniques of the crashed Aquiline drone in Chaman 2012

A Pakistani Army Artisan Officer examines the taxidermic techniques of the crashed Aquiline drone grounded in Chaman 2011

The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance document

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