First, the Space Aliens
Posted September 11, 2023
We interrupt our usual probes into breakthrough tech…
Macro market musings…
Contrarian investment opportunities…
And big picture predictions… .
To touch on the untouchable.
If you haven’t yet met our Paradigm colleague Byron King -- or even if you have -- you’re in for a treat.
Not afraid to get his boots muddy…
Byron’s like the Hunter S. Thompson of the resource industry. Without the hallucinogenic haze.
In today’s featured article below, he recounts a recent conversation with a former (Texas) governor and US Secretary of Energy.
Energy discussions? Check. Mention of space aliens? Double check.
Check it out below.
First up, the space aliens.
First, the Space Aliens
Wow, what a week!
It began in northwest British Columbia, in the legendary Golden Triangle, where I was looking at mineral deposits at the edge of glacier fields.
Your editor at the edge of the vast Salmon Glacier, spanning parts of both British Columbia and Alaska. BWK photo.
And it ended in Southern California, where I spoke with former Texas governor and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. We talked about energy, of course, but we also talked about space aliens. Seriously.
Your editor with former Texas governor/Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. BWK photo.
I’ll tell you about the Golden Triangle one day. And I’ll let you know about energy one day, too.
First, the space aliens. Because it’s not every day that you can collar a former cabinet officer and not get hold of a former Energy Secretary, but there we were…
It was a private event, an energy-themed get-together at a secluded spot near Portuguese Bend, in Palos Verde Estates, straight south of LAX and just west of Long Beach. And Gov./Sec. Perry was invited to say a few words.
Perry is a charming, personable guy and deeply knowledgeable about all manner of U.S. policy. He likes to say that he has held “the best job in the country, being governor of Texas,” as well as “the most interesting job in the country, running the Department of Energy.”
Perry discussed his time at Energy, running 17 national laboratories, plus the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, signing off on cutting-edge research into ungodly exotic realms of science and engineering.
We discussed everything from the heavily drained Strategic Petroleum Reserve to U.S. refining capacity to the looming hurricane/tropical storm that was even then bearing down on Baja, Mexico, Southern California, and other parts of the U.S. Southwest.
And then… I popped the question.
“Hey, Mr. Secretary… You were there, in the big building in Washington. You had access to everything about nuclear and energy. What can you tell us about those space aliens we hear about?”
Perry looked straight at me. He tightened his lips. He tilted his head very slightly.
I followed up. “Well, we have former government people, from Navy pilots to Air Force intelligence officers, testifying under oath that they saw aliens or reports about alien tech. Can you say anything?”
Perry thought momentarily and then said, “Well, okay, yeah. Here’s what I guess I can tell you…”
Whoa! We leaned towards each other.
“There’s a place in Nevada northwest of Las Vegas. It’s way out in the desert, called the Nevada Test Site. We used to test nuclear weapons there.”
I said, “Yes, I know. I’m an old Navy nuclear weapons officer. I attended an underground test blast in the late 1980s when I worked for the Chief of Naval Operations.”
Perry looked at me and said, “Okay, then you know the drill. That place has tight security, right? Nobody gets in without serious business.”
He continued, “And at the edge of the test site is a big mountain, Yucca Mountain. The U.S. built a storage facility there for nuclear waste, remember?”
I nodded. Yes, Yucca was supposed to house nuclear materials from America’s reactors, but raw politics got in the way. People in Nevada didn’t want to be the national dump for nuclear waste, so nothing ever went there from the nuclear-electric industry.
Perry continued, “So, the U.S. spent tens of billions of dollars building this underground facility, with deep caverns, just miles of them. Super secure. No nuclear waste, though. We keep the nuclear waste scattered at power plants all over the country. Kind of a shame to have this facility and not use it, right?”
As he said that, Perry nodded his head just ever so slightly. Hmm…
He added, “So there was this one time that I was out there, visiting Yucca Mountain. And we were driving across the desert, and I saw this other huge building. I mean, gigantic. Massive. It’s made of concrete, with steel beams sticking out from it. And a massive gantry crane next to it. And I asked my guides what it was.”
Hmm… A huge building in the middle of nowhere?
“The site manager said that it was constructed in the 1950s and 60s to test new ideas for space propulsion. Basically, it was a test rack for some sort of nuclear rocket engine intended for interplanetary travel. And you know what? It worked! Except the engine was so radioactive that it would have killed the astronauts after a time. So, the project never went anywhere.”
Perry looked at me and said, “Byron, I think that’s about all I can say.”
I asked the Secretary, “Did you read that book by an Army Lieutenant Colonel named Philip Corso? He wrote a book published in 1997 called The Day After Roswell. It’s about how the U.S. found a crashed alien spacecraft in 1947, near Roswell, New Mexico. And the military harvested tech from it. Things like transistors, integrated circuits, glass fiber, night vision, and high-energy lasers. Things like that. Took these alien items and farmed them out to Bell Labs, Jet Propulsion Lab, IBM, and such.”
Perry looked at me and just smiled. “Yes, that’s an interesting book.”
As I said, Rick Perry is a lovely guy.
Quite knowledgeable. And I suspect he knows a few things.
[Ed. note: Indeed. Stay tuned for more from Byron in future issues. While he’s pretty good on aliens, he’s great on energy and resources.]