A SIGINT report from the RNC

Compiled and submitted by an anonymous donor:

2016 RNC Cleveland, Ohio SIGINT

The Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland, OH on July 18-21, 2016. Officials began implementing the security zone and closing areas off to traffic on the evening of July 14th. Monitoring of communications began on a periodic basis on 7/14/2016 and continued until 7/21/2016.

Equipment used was a Yaesu FT2900R with an Arrow J-pole antennae, A Kenwood TM-V71A, and a Uniden BCD436HP.

The following frequencies were observed to have active traffic during this period.

136.3750 AM USCBP Air to Air clear (Two UH-60 Blackhawks relieved each other to provide constant aerial support during hours of activity, Omaha 1 and 2). Usually at around 5000′

139.875 NFM Civil Air Patrol analog Tac #1 (Constant flight operations in the TFR zone utilizing a typical search pattern flight route) Usually around 12,000′

156.120 Unknown Encrypted

160.735 Unknown Encrypted

160.800 Unknown Clear

161.025 Unknown Clear

161.8750 U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Clear

163.6250 USCBP Digital Clear and Encrypted

163.6750 USCBP NFM Analog Clear and Encrypted

164.400 Unknown Encrypted

165.2375 USCBP Tac Digital Encrypted

165.295 Unknown Encrypted

165.785 Unknown Encrypted

167.635 Unknown Encrypted

168.500 Unknown Encrypted

168.835 Unknown Encrypted

168.8375 USCBP Air #1 Encrypted

170.145 Unknown Encrypted

170.550 Unknown Encrypted

170.860 Unknown Encrypted

170.880 Unknown Encrypted

171.250 Unknown Encrypted

171.3125 USCG NET 131 USCG Nationwide VHF

172.410 Unknown Encrypted

172.900 Unknown Clear and Encrypted

173.525 Unknown Encrypted

252.1000 USAF Reserve Command Post to CAP

282.8000 AM USAF CAP

298.950 AM USAF Aerial Refueling Routes, AR-217 Entry

348.9000 AM USAF Aerial Refueling Routes, AR-206H Primary

376.0750 USCBP Air Interdiction Blue 4 Encrypted (Believed to be a digital link)

Additional Notes

  1. Scan of 411.000 to 419.000 revealed no traffic.

  2. City Police Used the Regional APCO P25 system

  3. On the ground intel units initially using an unidentified encrypted frequency later began switching back and forth to the P25 regional net. Total of 21 teams identified (“Oscar” units) that blended right in with the demonstrators.

  4. OHP Ground and aerial units utilized their existing system throughout.

  5. City and OHP aerial units kept below the Blackhawks

  6. Despite all the planning many ground units were without water, food, and battery resupply for up to 18 hrs per day until nearly the end of the operation.

  7. Encryption only works when everything is working perfectly. This operation was in a built up urban area with easily available support. In rural or rough terrain areas it would be hit or miss. Often if the units were encountering problems communicating they would break into clear mode. OTAR (over the air rekeying) effectiveness is unknown to this observer.

  8. Optimum monitoring of this situation would have required a minimum of four trained SIGINT collectors to gather all the available communications.

  9. County EOC (Seperate from P.D. JTOC) was manned 24hr per day with EOC operators and ARES volunteers.

  10. A Second back-up EOC was also manned 24/7 at the American Red Cross in Akron, Ohio about 30 miles South in case primary EOC went down.

  11. Very very slow response to potentially serious info. Example, Out of State troopers reported seeing a male sticking his head in and out of a 7th floor building where all the other windows were closed. Also reported seeing a bright green light periodically from the same window directly overlooking parade route of BLM with P.D. Foot and bicycle units flanking, tailing and leading. Almost 3 hours later before a regular zone car responded to check area.

  12. Did not observe any use of federal or local inter-operability frequencies in the clear.

And there it is…done with simple, off the shelf equipment and good observation.

Open Sources 19AUG16

PLA Chinese Army Snipers 5.jpg

China steps up military aid to Syria

The visit may be intended as a diplomatic poke in the eye for the United States amid mounting tensions over Chinese territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, Ms Meidan said.

This is important on a number of levels. The PLA has been shipping arms and supplies to Syria for a long while now, but this ‘greater military cooperation’ has more to do with exploring the Russian and PLA coordination. It remains to be seen how that’s going to work and what weapons will be put in place. It’s not a stretch to guess that a lot of new equipment will be fielded, such as an update to this story from a year ago, so it’ll be a good idea to keep a periodic eye here.

Good thing they don’t have any TS/SCI emails from our former SECSTATE. Good thing she wasn’t running arms to found what’s known as ISIS today either. Because that would be, well, stupid.

NVIS Explained, III

Admin Note: This is the third and final section of the article submitted by Keypounder. EZNEC, the preferred antenna modelling method, is referenced. I highly suggest familiarizing yourself with EZNEC  for building and modelling antennas for both efficiency and directivity. Included are several practical examples of antennas in the field, which I might add, are similar to those in use by myself pictured in previous posts in this blog. This is not by accident, it’s what correct looks like.

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Antennas and Antenna height

We touched on antennas and antenna height earlier, but at this point let’s peel another layer off the onion and get into this a bit. An 80 meter dipole cut for the center of the band, 3750 khz, and elevated about 25 feet high over average ground (more on ground shortly,) has a radiation pattern that looks like this:

EZNEC1

This slice is right across the broadside of the antenna, perpendicular to the wire. You will note that this dipole emits mostly up which is good for NVIS, and also that it has about 5 db of gain, (almost an S unit on your receiver,) over an isotropic antenna. Although you can’t see this, all of this energy is horizontally polarized, but if you took a slice along the wire, you would find that the energy radiated off the end of a dipole is vertically polarized, about which more later. (Yes, a horizontal antenna can emit vertically polarized radiation.) Also note that the half-power gain is 50 degrees from the vertical; this antenna will easily cover a 600 km radius or more, depending on the height of the F layer.

Here is a full sized 80 meter vertical, cut for the same frequency, compared with the dipole we just looked at; the scales are identical.

EZNEC2

Notice that there is a null in the vertical antenna’s pattern directly overhead. The vertical antenna is vertically polarized in all directions, so the ground wave will also be propagated outward in all directions. I hope that you can see why the vertical antenna is not well suited to support NVIS, and we’ll move on.

Now, here is a comparison between a 25′ high dipole, and a 5′ high dipole, again, over average ground. Note that the signal is about 10db weaker, so if you were S9 at 25′ high you would only have been ~S7 with the antenna 5′ high.

EZNEC3.jpgThe reason that the signal is weaker is that more of the RF is being absorbed by the ground, and not bouncing off it and up to the ionosphere. Weaker is not bad as long as you can be heard by the station you want to work, and are NOT heard by the stations you do not want to hear you. To that point, look at how much stronger the higher dipole is at 45 degrees from the vertical. Also, you want to maximize absorption of vertical polarization to reduce the likelihood that anyone can pick up your ground wave. A lot depends on what sort of ground you have; conductive ground helps propagate ground wave and reflect signals for NVIS, while poorly conducting ground absorbs more RF.

Ground absorption and RF surface

At a fixed location, it is probably worth testing to see what the characteristics of the ground at your location really are, (Rudy Severns has published a very handy tool for doing this, see link at http://www.antennasbyn6lf.com/2015/11/determination-of-soil-characteristics-using-a-low-dipole.html or look at the new Antenna Book) but for portable operations in the context of a grid-down event, this will likely be impractical; your transmission location will be driven by other criteria than whether or not the earth is appropriate for radio communications! Another point to remember is that the RF reflecting surface for the RF coming off your antenna may be many feet below the physical surface of the ground, and lower frequencies penetrate more deeply. Also, the ground is not homogenous; ground characteristics can change depending on both location and depth, sometimes in just a few feet.

Salty ground, such as that in a saltwater swamp near the ocean, or near a salt lake or river, is very conductive, and will bounce your signal nicely. Wet organic clays are almost as good. Dry rocks and sand are very poor conductors, and will attenuate signals more than other soils. Most soils are somewhere in between these two extremes, but there can be considerable variation in soil types especially in mountainous areas, where layers of rock have decomposed to form widely different layers of soil.

Bottom line: don’t be surprised if your NVIS installation at your location works much better than you had expected, or worse than you had expected, and be prepared to raise or lower the antenna to compensate for differing ground conditions. Here is one last graph, showing a horizontal dipole antenna 10′ up over excellent ground.

EZNEC4.jpg

This graph is using the same scale as the other antennas. Although this antenna is only 10′ up, it almost matches the performance of the 25′ high antenna over average ground. Vary the height above ground to compensate for differing ground conditions; raise the antenna if your signals are weak, and lower it if you are getting good solid signal reports and are able to hear well. You can also install reflecting wires on the top of poor ground and this will improve RF reflection. It will also change the impedance of your antenna, sometimes significantly, and it will add to the time required to erect or strike your antenna. May be worth doing for a fixed station location, ( I use them) but reflectors may not worth the effort for portable ops. Try it and decide for yourself.

Simple NVIS antennas

Simple and easy to deploy antennas include:

  • inverted vee dipole;

  • Horizontal low height dipole;

  • Vee dipole;

  • Compact dipole using shortened loaded elements;

  • Dipole on the ground (DOG)

Here is a picture of my 160/80 fan inverted vee dipole.

invertedvee.jpg

Not much to look at, is it? In fact, it is not at all easy to see, which was the point; I used 14 gage copper weld for the 1.90 mHz dipole, which has turned a nice greenish brown, and 14 gage brown insulated THHN house wire for the two 80 meter legs. I managed to get the choke balun in front of the tree trunk in this picture, which is that little white blob. It is MUCH higher than a good NVIS antenna needs to be, and as a result it is also much noisier! The peak is about 60′ high and the two ends are about 15 feet off the ground. This antenna works well for long haul communication on the low bands, but would not be my first choice for NVIS in a grid-down situation, for precisely that reason. If I were to use this antenna for NVIS, I’d drop it to about 25 or 30 feet at the peak and keep the ends just high enough to keep them out of reach of children. This would be easy to do.

Here is a photo of the feedpoint of an NVIS antenna designed for 160, 80 and 40 meters.

feedpoint.jpg

This is a fan dipole- you can see one of the spreaders for one side above and to the left of the gray rectangular balun. Again, it is pretty hard to see, but you can see the coax feeder running up to the feedpoint (rectangular gray box with stainless hardware on the sides.) The feed is about 25′ up arranged in a Vee configuration with the feed point lower than the two ends, and with discontinuous terrain at both ends of the antenna to limit ground wave propagation; there is a 200′ high cliff about 300′ off one end, and a steep 150′ high hill with a 400′ cliff on the other side dropping down to a river. The ground is poor and there is a reflector wire underneath to enhance horizontally polarized NVIS signals. This antenna does exceptionally well for NVIS, and being placed in a valley with terrain discontinuities at both ends, and heavy growth all around it is much less noisy than the inverted Vee shown above.

Here is a photo of a low dipole that can be used for 40 or 80 meter NVIS; it is a cross dipole and can have both 40 and 80 available at the same time.

crossdipole.jpg

In the above picture it is deployed as a horizontal dipole, with the 80 meter legs extended, and the 40 meter legs left coiled up. The feedpoint is suspended from a low tree branch at 6′ elevation at the edge of a clearing, with the insulated brown THHN wire legs draped over convenient shrubs and branches. but it could easily be elevated either by hoisting from a tree or by using a mast system to raise it up. GI surplus masts are relatively light, and if you have the ability to transport them can be used to elevate a compact dipole antenna to 25 feet or so for NVIS. Once elevated, both the 80 and 40 meter dipoles could be tied off at 90 degree angles to each other, and used for 80 meter NVIS and 40 meter intermediate range skywave skip communication. I have successfully made CW contacts on 80 meters using 2 ½ watts to stations 100 to 200 miles away using the antenna pictured above and an FT 817.

A few things to note about the antennas pictured above:

  • All of the antennas above use choke baluns to ensure that the radiation pattern of the dipole is not distorted by RF on the outside of the transmission line being re-radiated. My experience is that choke baluns do make a difference, but you will have to judge whether or not the added weight is worth a couple db of signal. All of the baluns shown are rated for a kilowatt of RF or more.

  • All of the antennas above use brown insulated stranded 14 gage THHN, at least in part where possible and when stretch is not a concern. It is cheap, readily available, hard to see and easy to use. It is heavier than bare wire, but the insulation allows one to thread these antennas through vegetation without changing the resonance of the antenna, which bare wire in contact with moist vegetation will do.

  • Where strength is required, I use 30% or 40% copperweld antenna wire, at least 14 gage. For longer antennas, those more subject to wind and icing, or those permanent antennas more subject to tree sway stress, I use 12 gage copperweld. It may be overkill, but so far I have not lost an antenna due to wire breakage. Rope, yes, copperweld, no.

  • If I were to build an antenna specifically for backpacking and use in an off-grid scenario, I’d make it from 18 gage polystealth wire, I would order smaller toroids suitable for lower power level baluns, and I’d use a smaller enclosure and lighter hardware. When backpacking, “ounces is pounds!”

Here are some pictures of my compact dipole setup I mentioned; the dipole is made up of Hustler masts and resonators with a center bracket with 2ea 3/8×24 threaded fittings and a U bolt to hold the bracket on to a mast. One of the fittings takes a standard VHF coax fitting and the other is a simple coupling nut. The Hustler masts screw in to these two fittings and the two resonators of choice (same band!) screw onto the Hustler mast. Like most compact antennas, this has a narrow bandwidth, but it works very well, is very quick to put up and is handy when there are no tall trees. Here are the components, have fiberglass and aluminum surplus mast sections in the rubberized bag, and the Hustler masts in the tan cloth bag. The tripod fitting I bought from GoVerticalUSA.com. As you can see from the photographs, I have no shortage of trees, but the tripod is extremely useful; I have used it to put up satellite antennas, VHF yagis, cross dipoles, and for a number of other uses.

mastbase.jpg

Here is the base of the tripod assembled with the top mast section (non-conductive fiberglass) attached and the dipole assembled on the fiberglass mast section; the coax is attached to the bracket.

dipole mast.jpg

If needs be, I can attach a length of 550 cord to the top of the mast and support the Hustler resonators to help prevent sagging, but for brief use in calm conditions, I have not found this to be needed.

dipole mast erect.jpg

Now, here is the whole assembly with 5 surplus mast sections through the tripod. It takes a practiced person less than 10 minutes from a standing start with all the components at hand to get this antenna up and on the air.

No description of NVIS antennas would be complete without mentioning the lazy man’s special, the dipole on the ground. If I were stranded in the desert, and needed to build and deploy an NVIS antenna, I’d cut a doublet antenna of insulated wire, lay it out straight on the top of the nearest sand dune and it would be “comms up!” For extremely poor soil (like sand dunes) where there are no trees or masts available it is a possible option.

Most people don’t have a dry sand dune to use as an antenna support, though, and loss increases rapidly in most soils as you approach the ground surface, so it is worthwhile placing the NVIS antenna a foot or two off the ground by any means available if you don’t have trees. Things I have used in the past to get antennas a couple of feet up; fiberglass electric fence stakes, sticks and dry tree branches, shocks of grass gathered into a sheaf and tied into a cone, and brush and shrubs among other things. Basically any non-conductive material that can get the antenna a foot or so off the ground would be preferable to the DOG in terms of signal strength, but DOGs do work if conditions are favorable and more power is available.

Now, if you have time and resources, there are more complicated antennas for improving NVIS signals. I won’t go into them in any detail because they are a LOT more effort, they are frequency specific, and in my opinion not worth the effort under present circumstances. However, the day may come where added gain and maximum reduction in POI is worth the investment of time and resources.

There are two variants of the venerable Lazy H that have been used by the British Empire extensively; one is a folded dipole varient of the Lazy H called the Shirley, and the other is the Jamaica. Basically, both of these antennas are two dipoles at the same height above ground, about 25 to 30 feet up, about ½ wavelength apart, and fed in phase in the center of each dipole. They are reputed to be VERY effective, and modeling shows that they provide at least 3 db of added gain to the vertical signal.

The other is the horizontal loop, which is also reputed to be effective. I cannot comment on any of these more complicated antennas from personal experience (yet!) but they are of interest, and literature and EZNEC indicate that they do provide advantages. If you do try any of these I would be interested in hearing about your results, especially any “A to B” comparisons between these antennas and a reference antenna.

Geography, geology and your signal.

I live on the west slope of a mountain, about halfway up from the valley. The slope is steep, averaging well over 10%, and the top of the mountain creates a barrier to incoming radio waves, especially low angle radiation on the upper HF bands. I have made one contact with Africa in the past two years of operating from this location. However, to the west, I have been able to make many contacts using 100 watts or less into Australia, New Zealand and other far off places, because the long slope down to the west reduces the takeoff angle by about the amount of the slope. While this has nothing directly to do with NVIS, the point is that the configuration of the area around you can have a significant effect on your signal.

In particular, locating your NVIS transmitting antenna on a long slope will change how the antenna radiates RF, and will shift the direction of the peak gain in the direction of the downward slope. A westerly slope will increase the signal strength slightly to the west. In my case, the effects are minimal because the area to the east of me is relatively small, so the fact that I have lost about 50-100 miles of distance in that direction makes little difference to me. If I were in the central US, however, it might become significant. Something to keep in mind.

If my station were located on the top of the mountain, and the peak was a sharp ridge, I would see much less signal propagated upwards, even with excellent soil underneath, and few mountains have nice deep conductive soil beds. For long haul communications, being high up on a mountain top can be good, but for NVIS it is not optimal.

Valleys on the other hand can be very good places to locate an antenna. Antenna theory says that the Fresnel zone, where the RF radiation pattern is formed, lies within about a wavelength of the antenna, so a deep valley about 500′ to 1000′ wide and about 250′ to 500′ deep would be ideal for 160 or 80 meter NVIS. Not only will the valley slopes enhance NVIS by tending to reflect signals upward, but the soil in the floor of the valley is typically more conductive and a better reflector. Such a geologic structure would enhance vertical signals and reduce unwanted vertically polarized sidelobes, especially if the ends of the antenna were pointed at the steepest and highest walls of the valley. Vertical cliffs, up or down, are better still for attenuating vertically polarized ground wave RF. Fresh water rivers and lakes, being sharp discontinuities also act to attenuate ground waves; any sharp change in ground characteristics or angle attenuates ground wave.

Vegetation is a great absorber of RF, more so at higher frequencies than at lower HF. Moist vegetation is more absorptive than dry; attentuation in the summer is more pronounced than in the winter, but in any season, keeping your antenna away from living trees can be very helpful, and if you cannot, it is worthwhile to keep the antenna at right angles to larger limbs. Again, for NVIS, having vegetation around the location of the transmit antenna can also help by absorbing the low angle RF and reducing the likelihood of DF. Unless you are in triple canopy jungle, or perhaps mature sequoia forests, the difference is a db or two at most, but if I had the opportunity, I would take every advantage I had.

Power and NVIS

Most ham operators take every chance to improve their ability to send and receive signals. More power, often through the use of an amplifier, is a common goal, because they want to be heard and make more contacts over a wider area. Experienced NVIS operators, however, try to improve their signal to noise ratio, through intelligent selection of antenna and antenna height, time of day, and geographic location (when possible.) There may be times when a power increase is the answer, but more often, the needed communication can be made with changes in antenna height, or by a change in operating mode. In a grid-down event, with grid power out, and charged batteries a precious commodity, increasing power may not be an option in any case.

Single Side Band or SSB is a significant improvement over AM or FM, in terms of ‘talk power’, especially with modern radios that have integral voice processing. Processors can double or even quadruple the average power output of a SSB radio depending on the voice characteristics of the operator, which means a 3 to 6 db stronger signal. 6 db is an S unit on a calibrated receiver, and sometimes that difference is just enough to make the signal rise up out of the noise. However, that signal is still spread over a wide section of the band, usually about 2500 hertz. (Hz) This means that the average power per hz of bandwidth is very low. Let’s look at the math-

Most modern non-qrp amateur tranceivers have 100 watts of output available. 100 watts divided by 2500 hz is 1 watt for 25 hz, or 0.04 watts per hz. If instead of 100 watts, all you have is 5 watts, a normal QRP radio max output, then your SSB signal is 0.002 watts per hz. 2.5 watts, which is what my FT817 will do on internal battery, drops the average talk power to 0.001 w/hz. Contrast this with a CW signal, which is about 50 hertz wide, or less. 5 watts divided by 50 hertz is 0.1 watts per hertz, 2 ½ times better than the 100 watt SSB transmission, and if your CW signal is narrower, as I often observe with most modern radios, the difference is still greater. Put another way, a CW signal has 100 times the punch of the SSB signal, a 20 db difference in signal strength. That is over 3 S units. CW will get through with minimal power and minimal equipment when nothing else will.

Digital modes vary in bandwidth, but a common one is PSK31, which is 31 hz wide. A 5 watt PSK31 signal is about 0.16 W/Hz, or 4 times more punch than a 100 watt SSB signal. There are better digital modes for NVIS, which again vary in bandwidth, but I have been experimenting a bit with FSQ, designed to be an NVIS mode for HF communications, and it has great potential. The new Fldigi (HIGHLY recommended!) distributions now include FSQ as an option. BTW, while it is worthwhile to learn Morse, if you can’t or haven’t yet, there are other options, including using a computer to read the code for you. Code that is machine generated (computer or keyer) is easily read when there is little interference. Code that is manually created, using a straight key or a bug, is much harder for a computer to read. I can run a bug or a keyer, and I do use computer readers especially during contests, when many stations are running computer generated code at 40 or 50 words per minute (WPM), but most times when I run CW I usually operate with a straight key at 15 to 20 WPM to keep those skills polished.

I hope those who have stuck with me on this long download have not had too much trouble dealing with the pile of onions we’ve peeled! So, to wrap this LONG article up, here are my recommendations for the NVIS operator:

In a grid down situation occurring in a solar minimum, such as we’ll have for the next several years, I would operate NVIS during the day on 160 or 80 meters, using a dipole antenna(s) mounted low to the ground, say 5 to 25 feet up, varying the height to accommodate the ground, weather conditions and space weather. My preference would be to mount this antenna in a vee, with the center lower than the ends, ideally between two trees about 150′ apart, in a valley with heavily forested steep slopes or cliffs and with the ends of the antenna pointing at the slopes. I would run the lowest power I could, and if the other operators could use it, my preferred mode would be CW sent with a straight key. If I did not know CW, and had access to a laptop or tablet with Fldigi, I’d use Olivia or Contestia or FSQ and communicate digitally.

That’s it! Good luck. Questions, comments or concerns can be posted below, or email NC Scout.

Bibiliography-

-ARRL antenna book (recent editions, #21 to #23(current edition), are all useful. Try to get the computer disk that comes with it so that you can get a copy of EZNEC, which is extremely useful)

Web sites to check out-

http://www.antennex.com/shack/Jan02/nvis.html

http://lafayettebrigade.org/s6/comm_badge_files/module_2/NVIS%5B1%5D.pdf

http://arrl-ohio.org/SEC/nvis/nvis.pdf

http://www.raqi.ca/~ve2cvr/ve2cvr/sites/default/files/sura/surra_misc/hfradionvis.pdf

http://www.eham.net/DX/propagation

Hope I will hear you on the air soon!

73, Keypounder

NVIS Explained, II

Admin Note: This is the second part of the article submitted by Keypounder. Topics covered include the layers of the ionosphere and frequency selection characteristics.

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The Ionosphere

We’ve mentioned the ionosphere, but understanding the basics of ionospheric composition and characteristics is very important to proper NVIS operation, especially when signal security and DF are considered.

The D layer of the ionosphere is the lowest layer, from about 50 to 90 kilometers up, and it functions largely as a signal absorbing layer. The lower the frequency of the signal passing through it, the more the D layer attenuates that signal. This is a problem for ham radio operators trying to work DX on 160 or 80 meters, and to some extent on 40, because the D layer attenuates a signal each time it passes through, and the lower the angle of incidence, the more of the D layer the radio wave must traverse, further increasing the loss. For example, if the loss on a single pass straight up through the D layer is 5 db on a given day and frequency, then the total loss due to the D layer is 10 db to get from transmitting antenna back to receiving antenna. This excludes the loss due to the reflection itself and losses in transmission line, antenna, etc.

If your transmission path from transmitter to receiver is at a 45 degree angle from the vertical rather than straight up, the loss due to the D Layer increases to 14 db (1/sine of 45 degrees =1.414 time the original loss of 10 db is ~14 db) If the angle increases to 60 degrees, the loss is 20 db. For EACH hop. In addition, for low dipoles, the signal sent out is less at lower angles, as will be demonstrated shortly. For amateur operators trying to make daytime contacts far away via multi-hop skywave, this attenuation is an issue, but for NVIS operation it can be an advantage.

The D layer owes its existence to the presence of sunlight; it has been demonstrated that the D layer can disappear within a minute during a complete eclipse, for example. As the sun rises each day, the light from the sun progressively illuminates the D layer and gradually starts to attenuate radio signals that pass through it even before the sun can be seen from ground level.

Anyone who has worked the low bands at sunrise can hear the noise dropping as the sunrise line approaches, and has heard distant stations fade away as the D layer gets recharged by direct sunlight. The same thing happens in reverse after the sun sets; as the D layer fades away, contacts on the low bands can be made farther to the west. That is why ham operators talk about the lower HF bands “going long” in the evening as the sunset line moves west and D layer attenuation drops enough to make multi-hop long distance contacts possible. As far as NVIS is concerned, during the daytime, the attenuation of the D layer reduces atmospheric noise, which also bounces off the ionosphere, and reduces the area that the transmitted signal can be heard, both advantages for NVIS communication as long as both the sending and receiving stations are within about 300 miles of one another.

F layer

The F layers of the ionosphere are above the D and E layers, and are largely what makes HF skywave communication possible. They are ionized by solar emissions of various sorts, and unlike the D layer, whose existence is solely due to direct sunlight, F layer ionization lasts for a fairly long time. During the day, the F layer separates into two levels, the F1 and F2 layers, each with different characteristics, but after nightfall the F layer gradually decreases in height and coalesces into one layer closer to the Earth.

During the day, when it is exposed to direct solar radiation, F layer ionization is most intense and at its highest height, and the ability of these two layers, (F1 and F2) to reflect radio waves is best. During the daytime, depending on solar output , the F layers can directly reflect radio waves as high in frequency as 10 mhz or possibly higher, especially at the equator. During solar minimums, such as we are starting to see now, the F layer may not be able to reflect 7 mHz signals even at local solar noon, again, depending on solar flux, location and time of day.

Here in the mid-Atlantic as of July 2016, the FoF2 ranges from a low of around 2 mHz to a high of just a tad over 6MHz. It varies quite a bit, depending on the K index, the solar flux and other factors, but the graph below is reasonably representative of mid-latitude northern hemisphere locations. This is a copy of an ionogram from Wallops Island Virginia, showing a graph of the critical frequency (FoF2- the highest frequency that will reflect a vertical signal back to Earth) versus time of day (UTC or Zulu)-

MUF.png

Sunset is about 8:30 PM local time, or around 0030Z – notice that the FoF2 starts to decline after sunset, and bottoms out just before sunrise, which is around 0600 local time or about 1000Z. You will also notice that there is considerable variation in the FoF2 over just a few days, and that there can be anomalously high or low readings throughout the day. Here is a link to a NOAA/NGDC website that has a listing of all the ionosondes and access to their data if they are active:

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/IONO/rt-iono/realtime/RealTime_foF2.html

Here is another site that presents these data in a simpler format:

https://spawx.nwra.com/spawx/fof2/fof2.html

Ionosonde data, as well as solar flux and geomagnetic data are important to any NVIS operator, but in a grid down situation, they may not be readily available. Government and military radio operators can be expected to have access to whatever data can be collected; they also have access to a wider selection of frequencies on which to operate. In any case, it is worth the time for any radio operator to become acquainted with the general trends for his area, over the different seasons and during different levels of solar flux, so that if the ionosonde date are not available the operator will have a good idea of what can be expected. For the average amateur operator with unmodified equipment, the choice of frequency band will be somewhat limited; you can pick 160, 80 or 40 (and possibly 60 meters, although that band as presently constituted has significant drawbacks.) And that is a good segue to our next topic-

Frequency Selection and Time of Day

For most amateur operators, who are generally not concerned with being DFed, it makes sense to use the highest frequency that you can, in order to minimize loss from the D layer and maximize coverage area, so that you can talk to as many other amateurs as possible. In a grid down situation, where COMSEC is important, you may well decide to use the LOWEST frequency you can, and operate during daylight hours to maximize the loss due to the D layer and reduce the probability of interception and DF location. As you can see from the above ionogram, just before sunrise the only amateur band useful for NVIS in the mid-Atlantic US would be 160 meters. Keep in mind, however, because of the lack of the D layer, even 160 meter NVIS transmissions can bounce all over the dark half of the globe. My 60′ high inverted vee has been heard in Australia, not to mention all over the US, at NIGHT, and just before sunrise, when it is dark all the way from the eastern seaboard of the US to the land of the kangeroos.

During the day, even with the D layer, with 100 watts and an NVIS antenna I can usually put a readable SSB signal out to perhaps 300 miles on 160, and maybe 500 or so miles on 80 meters. On 40 meters in daytime, I can easily be heard on sideband up and down the East Coast, and into the Midwest. For NVIS operation, keep in mind that the D layer is gone shortly after sundown in your immediate area, and HAS BEEN GONE to the east, so if you are in the US your signal can carry easily to Europe.

(True story, a friend of mine had an 80 meter inverted vee dipole up in the tallest tree he could get to, about 40 or 45 feet up. During a windstorm this past winter, the branch he had the antenna suspended from broke and his 80 meter dipole ended up mostly on the ground. He was annoyed that that his antenna was down, as he had been looking forward to 80 meter operation during the winter quiet, and I told him to stretch the dipole along the wooden fence he had along the back and try it anyway. He was very skeptical and doubted that a 5′ high antenna would do anything, but later that week he told me that he had worked England and several other European countries using his 5′ high dipole (and about 400 watts!) at night on 80 meter SSB.)

Not only may YOUR signal be heard where you do not want it to be heard, but other folks’ signals can be heard, too. Apart from being overheard in the wintertime, interference, accidental or deliberate, can be a problem, especially at night. Night time atmospheric noise, especially during the summer, can cover up weak, or even not so weak, signals.

For example, a strong NVIS signal (using a 100 watt transmitter and a good horizontal dipole at 30 feet up) during the day on 80 meters between two stations 100 miles apart would be s9 to as much as 10 db or 20 db over S9 depending on the ground and the geomagnetic and solar weather conditions. The ambient noise level might be anywhere from S1 to about s3 or s4, (unless there were thunderstorms within 3 or 4 hundred miles) and therefore the NVIS SSB signal would be 6 S units, or about 35 db, above the noise level and clearly audible. In fact, NVIS signals between the same two stations with 5 watts transmit would still be about S7, again, clearly audible as long as there was no close thunderstorm activity.

At night, the signal strength would be about the same as long as the FoF2 was above 3.5 Mhz, which it would be likely to be in the early evening, since the F layers (remember them?) would be likely to still be in good shape and able to reflect that frequency straight back down to Earth. However, the D layer does not exist in darkness, so there would be no reduction of noise and every man made noise source along with every thunderstorm in your hemisphere spanning the globe all the way from the sunset line back east to the sunrise line would be clearly audible. It is not unusual for nighttime steady state noise levels in the summertime to be over S9 on the low bands, with occasional static crashes even higher, perhaps as high as 30 db over S9. Your 100 watt NVIS signal would be buried in this noise. During the winter, when thunderstorms are much less common, this situation improves significantly, and noise is less of a problem, but your signals can be propagated all over the dark side of the globe. This is why ham operators typically try to operate on the low bands for long haul communication more during the winter.

With 160 meters excepted, (160 can propagate in odd ways and reflect off the ionosphere at odd angles, a potential advantage with respect to avoiding being DFed ) radio signals that bounce off the ionosphere at low angles of reflection tend to reflect in straight lines, so even at hundreds of miles or even a thousand miles away, you can be DFed within ~3 degrees or less even at that distance. Keep in mind that between a quarter and a third of all U-boats sunk during the Second World War were lost to a direction finding antenna invented in 1919 (do an Ixquick search on ‘Adcock antenna,’ ‘goniometer’ and ‘Huff-Duff’.) U Boats transmitted their messages in less than 20 seconds, btw. Then consider that modern DF equipment is MUCH faster than a manually rotated knob.

So give some thought to where you want your signal to go. Choose a time of day that is least likely to cause you problems, either with regard to being heard by unfriendly ears, or with regard to noise.

NVIS Explained, I

Administrative note: The following was sent by Keypounder, the nom de plume that should be familiar to a few readers. A longtime radio amateur and communications specialist in his own right, he’s generously submitted this article to me, and in my opinion, is among the best I’ve read on the topic for public consumption. Due to length and volume the article is posted in three parts. Contained is a keen rundown of how Skywave propagation works, the requirements for NVIS on the HF bands, the history, antenna modelling with EZNEC, and fantastic examples of antennas in the field for this task.  It is meant to be a much more in depth article than my previous work on the subject, which was intended for beginners.

NVIS is a highly misunderstood term parroted by many ‘preppers’ and militia-types with usually very little demonstration or explanation of said skill. It is for this reason the previous was written, and for this reason Keypounder has given his time to explain it further and give a very practical explanation of skywave propagation. I will re-iterate that these skills, along with Land Navigation, are among the most perishable and most difficult to learn- under duress, is near impossible. So for those of you who feel you’ll do it when ‘the time comes’, you’ll be sadly mistaken.

Please folks, try this at home.

*******

NVIS 201, or peeling the onion on advanced HF techniques

About the author:

“Keypounder” is the pen name of an amateur radio operator first licensed in the 1970s. He is a long-time student of radio propagation, and antenna design and construction, having written an article on low band listening antennas for Signal-3. His interests also include, in no particular order, emergency communications; rag-chews; HF contesting on both CW and SSB; and direction-finding techniques.

Caveat:

This article is not intended for the beginner; it assumes that the reader has basic knowledge of radio electronics and is a licensed amateur operator with an FCC General Class license, or the foreign equivalent. It is NOT possible to gain skill in NVIS operation, the subject of this article, without actually operating. I could spend several pages detailing all the reasons I think unlicensed operation is a bad idea, but if you are thinking about operating without a license, please don’t. A license these days is easy to get; you don’t even have to learn Morse code.

Technician Class licensees who do not operate CW, don’t have the frequency privileges to operate NVIS, but there are a lot of new General Class operators and even some old-time Advanced and Extra Licensees who can benefit from this information. Finally, this material is presented with the thought that NVIS will be most useful in a grid-down emergency situation, where the current VHF and UHF repeater systems are not available.

With that out of the way, let’s get on to the meat of the matter!

I have studied NVIS quite a bit over the years, and I have had a fair amount of experience with it, too. It wasn’t always called that; the current name really came into vogue in the mid 1990’s, but the idea has been around a long time, as we’ll see. Many people have a variety of different, often conflicting, ideas about what and why NVIS is. I was told a long time ago by a very wise and very smart person (and no, they are not the same thing!) that the truth is a lot like an onion; every time that you peel away a layer to get to a deeper understanding of the truth, there is another layer underneath that. Well, folks, I can tell you that I’m not going to get all the layers peeled, but maybe we can shave a layer or two off and get at a better understanding of what NVIS is, why NVIS is, and how NVIS can be of benefit.

NVIS stands for Near Vertical Incidence Skywave, and what that means is that the radio operator bounces a radio signal off the ionosphere more or less directly overhead, and is able to send and receive signals to other stations out to perhaps 300 to 500 miles away, depending on the time of day and the state of the ionosphere.

Near Vertical Incidence Skywave is a specific operational mode for HF radio communication and the distinguishing characteristics are:

  • Intentional limitation of communication range;

  • Use of high angle lower HF radio emissions reflected off the F layer(s) of the ionosphere; NVIS is a type of skywave communication.

  • Generally, use of low power and reduced height antennas.

  • Use of frequencies from 1.8 to perhaps as high as 10 mHz in North America (possibly higher during solar maxima or close to the equator); frequency used depends on solar flux, time of day and other factors.

Let me digress for a moment to clarify some things about HF radio communications. There are three main types of radio propagation:

  • Ground wave, where the signal is usually vertically polarized (perpendicular to the surface of the Earth) and usually low frequency. Ground wave is the propagation mode for most daylight AM radio broadcast stations; the radio waves actually hug the surface of the Earth and travel along the ground. Geologic discontinuities like mountains, rivers, and deep gorges attenuate ground wave propagation, as does the absorption of the RF by the ground. This propagation is inversely proportional to frequency; the higher the frequency, the quicker it attenuates.

  • Sky wave, where the signal travels from the transmitting antenna to the receiving antenna by reflecting one or more times off any one of several layers of the ionosphere. It may include reflection from the ground in between as well. This includes NVIS as well as skip communication, auroral reflection, Sporadic Eskip, and tropospheric ducting, among others. This type of propagation is the most common propagation mode for HF radio communication. While the signals may be horizontally, vertically or circularly polarized by the transmitting antenna, the reflected signal can arrive at the receiving antenna with any polarization due to their reflections from the ionosphere and/or the earth. To reiterate, NVIS is a skywave propagation type, because the signal bounces off the ionosphere and comes back to Earth.

  • Line of sight, (LOS) where the transmitting antenna and the receiving antenna are in view of one another, and propagation is not by means of ionospheric reflections or by ground wave. This propagation can be horizontally, vertically or circularly polarized. LOS signals can be bounced off structures or geologic features like cliffs, too, or refracted off mountain tops, and while the purist might argue that these are not line of sight anymore, the generally accepted definition includes such reflections. Much VHF and UHF communication is LOS, although there are exceptions.

NVIS does not use VHF or UHF frequencies, does not use multiple hops or cover great distances, does not require high antennas, and does not typically use high power.

History of NVIS-

NVIS was first discovered or developed by the German Army in World War Two, while they were engaged with the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. What they found was that while their excellent upper HF/lower VHF radios, developed during the late 1930s during the run-up to the solar peaks of Cycle 17 (1937 to 1939) worked very well for long haul HF communication, they had great difficulty using these radios for intermediate communication between groups or columns; their columns were often too far away for LOS communication and too close for HF skip. Amateur operators (Hams) today call that being in the “skip Zone.”

solar cycle

In modern technical terms, the F layer direct reflection frequency (FoF2) required for short range skip would have been too low for many of their radios. So the Germans started using a lower frequency radio originally intended for infantry use and created special horizontal dipole and loop antennas mounted on their vehicles to give their lower frequency signals maximum amplitude directly up. Here is a photograph of Heinz Guderian’s command vehicle showing a NVIS cage antenna. One can also see the extendable mast used for VHF in the center.

(photograph original Wehrmacht, h/t to http://www.tactical-link.com/WWII_NVIS.htm for posting it. Note that Patricia Gibbons WA6UBE, the author, who was a serious student of NVIS, died in 2010, so best to get any content from that site ASAP as hackers have penetrated the site, deleted some content and posted other material. I have found that this site http://www.raqi.ca/~ve2cvr/ve2cvr/sites/default/files/sura/surra_misc/hfradionvis.pdf has apparently copied much of Gibbon’s material and reposted it.)

wermacht.pngDuring D Day and again during the Vietnam War, the US military also had issues keeping in touch with various elements of their forces, especially in rugged highlands terrain. The answer was, again, NVIS, using low frequency low elevation horizontal antennas to maintain communications. Today, NVIS communication is practiced and used by military organizations and their affiliates, as well as various members of the preparedness community, to provide reliable, fast, and secure communications with lower probability of DF location.

Cognitive Infiltration

A long, but important read,especially if you like to hang out on forums.

As recent posts have demonstrated, there’s great advantage to controlling your own message and being able to quickly identify the patterns used against you.

Take some time to read it all.

Outlander Systems

cognitive-infiltration

What is “Cognitive Infiltration”?

RationalWiki describes CI as:

“Cognitive infiltration is a term coined by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule to refer to the use of government and third party “cognitive” provocateurs and front groups to “infiltrate” social networks, other online groups, and “real life” groups built around conspiracy theories.” 

While the term originated within the context of, “Conspiracy Theories”, the application of these techniques is not limited strictly thereto. Any belief, culture, or ideology, ranging from politics, to religion could essentially be substituted for the term, “Conspiracy Theory”. In short, PSYOPs. Maybe I’ve been quaffing too much Kool-Aide™, but I suspect that the conspiracy angle and terminology was simply a euphemism for making the “medicine” go down a little bit better. Guess I might be in need of some “Cognitive Interdiction” and have my “flawed epistemology” corrected…

…Lest it be suggested that I am a defender of conspiracy-theorizing, I once…

View original post 7,181 more words

Silly Trolls.

the more you know

Now that you’re done, it’s my turn.

174.109.244.121  IVO/traced to the corner of South Washington and East South Street. Time Warner is the provider, so you’re not on a mobile phone. Thank God for your sake.

That places you in the heart of Shaw University in Raleigh NC. Or maybe, you’re in a nice residential area. Nice house you have there on the end of [REDACTED…I’m an Asshole, but not that big of an asshole]. I could go further than that- but I won’t for your safety. There’s crazy people out there and the internet is forever. I did this all from my little netbook. Imagine what some of my friends with real degrees in computer forensics could do.

Tell your marxist betters to at least invest in a VPN. Cheap Bastards. And remember- It’s not that any signal can be Direction Found, it’s that every signal can be direction found.

…And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how we deal with Trolls here.

Brocken Spectre, II

Steven was young, but smart. On the heels of graduating from High School with honors, he was already enrolled in the Criminal Justice program at the Community College across the street for summer. Not really being sure of what the next step was, like every kid growing up around here, he had the presence of mind to listen to others and “test the waters” in Community College before blowing the money on a four year school, if in case he turned out like many and forgo the studies for women and beer.

9am, already hot, humid, and pouring sweat. Nothing like getting up hay in a Carolina summer.

“You see that riot last night?”  Steven asked, straining under throwing a bale up on the trailer. They were packed tight today, a little bit wet, and heavy as a bag of concrete. What my football coach used to call “the summertime Linebacker program.”

“Yeah, hard not to. Like a dumpster fire, everyone wants to see just how high the flames go I guess.” Looks like there’s no avoiding this topic. So much for talk about loose women and huntin while I sweat my ass off.

“Man, those people are crazy. What the hell are they so upset about, anyway? I mean that guy the cops shot, he probably had it coming…”

“Yeah he did. But it’s an excuse to get free stuff other people worked for I reckon.”

“I say the hell with em, all of em, they wanna riot over anything and everything these days, cut their asses down and get it over with.” George shouted down from the top of the haystack on the trailer. “Funny thing is nobody tries that shit around here.”

“That’s cause people work for their money around here.” I calmly replied, before tossing another bale up to him.

“Yeah, I reckon.” George was a mountain of a man, at only  17 years old. Six foot three and 230lbs of muscle, meeting every stereotype of a jock; safe to say he was not a scholar. A standout outside Linebacker, he probably would’ve really went somewhere had he been at a  bigger high school, had better trainers, or just the right people to cultivate that talent. But then, had he had all that, he wouldn’t be here, catching bales, helping us and the old man put up hay.

It’s funny too, I watched these kids grow up, while I was growing up myself. They were just little guys a decade ago, when I was in their shoes, working my butt off in the summer fields, enamored with bad women, bad beer, and bad grades in college, and wanting that action in life that all men want at that age. I got my chance and then some. They want theirs. Not unlike the handful of young men I had under my charge, not that long ago.

“Shit, the way some folks look at you downtown you’d think they’re ready around here now.” He added, straining to place the bale in line.The trailer was nearly topped off.

“Yeah, that’s why I stay outta town as much as I can these days. Either poor gutter trash or rich gutter trash, still running in the same sewer.”

“Like my old hippie teacher at school the other day, talkin bout how they’ve always been put down and they deserve to riot…”

“Well Steven, you’ll learn, a commie will justify anything their side does as long as it satisfies the end goal. Funny he left out all the protesters trucked in, huh.”

“That makes sense. It’s a cold day in hell before you’d see his goofy ass fighting though. Let other folks do it for him so he don’t get his hands dirty. Sounds about right. If he ever got in a real fight he’d probably kill over and die.”

“Probably.”

“President don’t help matters…sonofabitch…” Steven said, trailing off.

“Lenny, I think we’re about full.” I shouted into the cab of the truck. Lenny damn near had a heatstroke yesterday, doing more than his ability. William told him to drive today.

“Hop in boys, let’s go to the shed.”

William Anderson was waiting, just up the hill outside the hay shed, sitting on his tractor after wrapping up the last of the baling. A bon-a-fide badass in my mind, William had been a Long Range Patrol Platoon Leader in Vietnam. An UNC grad, he could’ve went far in a career, but like many, myself even, an Army at war proves to be quite different from an Army in garrison, and soldiers accustomed to one style usually develop little patience for the other. He quit as a Captain, disillusioned from poor decisions in a war out of his hands. God, did I know the feeling. Since then, he spent his life as a farmer, intermittently having run-ins with the law, having to learn the consequences of booze and pent up anger that only warriors having wars lost for them can render. I spent my early to teenage years hunting with him; all of us out here had, as part of a much larger hunting club. And I was out here helping him today because he needed the help, and I respected him enough to give it. At 70 years old he was still working- the only way to be. Maybe I’ll look that hard and mean at his age, if I make it that far.

“Y’all take a little break” he said once we pulled up. “It’s hot today…whew…sounds like it might get hotter…” He said, looking down at the steering wheel of the tractor.

“Sounds like?” I asked, a little puzzled. Of course it’s hot. But William is a master of cryptic thought.

“I was listening to the radio just a minute ago…strange stuff going on these days. And I lived through the 60s.”

“You talking about those riots last night?”

“Nah, that’s not exactly odd. They seem more violent and quick to get violent these days…but the President, wanting to work with Cuba and those other communists in Venezuela and Argentina calling it the “new special relationship”…strange. Real strange.” William knew them when he saw them.

“I don’t disagree.”

“Might be time to clean your rifles. Hate to talk like that at home, but its startin to look that way.”

“That’s why I bought a AR15…I’m ready…” Steven jumped in, a little over eager, but characteristically like a young Joe.

“I had enough of that thing in Vietnam…get a ayy kay forty seven if you want a real gun…” William cut him off, more serious than when he started. “Look around, you ain’t got more than a couple hundred yards shots at best with all the hills and trees. AK is a whole lot like a 30-30, and that puts people and deer down pretty easy. Plus the only time you should be shooting is when you know you got ’em…it ain’t exactly hunting deer…in Vietnam I only ambushed right on top of em.”

“Caleb here used both.” He added, pointing at me. I had kept quiet…firearms debates are not something I get into much. They’re kinda pointless, like talking about hammers. “Which one you like?” asking with a bit of humor in his voice.

“Yeah, I like the AK, it works. Punches through brush pretty good. Accurate enough for around here.”

“I saw that one you got, with the red dot on it…” George cut in. He had been waiting to give his input. George likes guns as much as he does girls. All the boys were looking at me and William with a curious gaze, with glossy stares seeming to be frozen in time.

“It’s fast, I set it up for three gun matches, just to be a little different.”

“Caleb, we need to go to the range sometime soon. Huntin season might come early.”

“We will. I hate to think like that, but it might be.”

William glanced at me and added, “I bet. Took me a long time just to be able to deal with people after Vietnam. As bad as it was then, I couldn’t imagine three years of war.”

“It wasn’t that bad, William.”

“I hear a whole lotta boys say that. I probably said that too at the time.” He said, snaking a grin. He always seemed to do that.

“Y’all get the hay off here, and we’ll call it a day. I think it’s gonna storm later.”

A Forgotten History

armenian genocide2.jpg

It came first with a tax and a set of laws. The Ottoman, seeking to further cement its Iron fist from the Sultanate, fearing growing issues in Europe and desiring a means to motivate the growing social revolutionary youth class, found their savior in creating the long thorn in their side- the holdouts of a conquered culture, the remaining scaffolds of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Roman Empire among the Armenian minority population.  Islam had tolerated them though repression, but as the winds of change began to blow with a new generation, so did the attitude towards the Dhimmi.

Among the youthful Marxist-inspired revolutionary class, an unholy marriage of marxism and Islam was created. The Young Turks, as they became known, sought solidarity throughout the Ottoman Empire. Dhimmis were thus not allowed to own any new property, and what property was owned could no longer sit on higher elevations than their Saracen counterparts. Ethnic schools began to be first heavily taxed then put out of business, and those which refused were killed quietly. As word began to spread, awareness among the oppressed grew. But as the proverbial boiling pot analogy goes, there was little escape.

By this time, in the second decade of the Twentieth Century among the meat grinder of World War I, a final solution to the cultural dilemma was realized based upon the model created first in the progressive United States and then in British South Africa with the Boers; the Concentration and mechanized extermination of those who refuse to submit. The Turkish model differed however; instead of the creation of camps, outright murder would prove a method more palatable.

Prisoners of another minority class, the Kurds, were released and armed, told they’d be exonerated if they killed on behalf of the Ottoman, not unlike the Saracen Janissary of yore. And kill they did. Wanton murder became the norm, and the press created a sensation of this brutal gang running amok in the countryside senselessly targeting the Christian minority. Under the auspices of protection, the Ottoman Gendarme was invited into the holdout villages. They soon joined in the destruction as two pincers of a machine.

armenian genocide.jpg

Pictured above was often the result- crucified women and children in a profane offense to their religion, while the men were forced to watch and later executed. The Ottoman, like most things coming from the Islamic world, was brutish and incompetent; a good number escaped despite their best efforts. The much maligned Kurds of Northern Iraq, some of which complicit in the genocide, also protected the fleeing Armenians and secured passage to other parts of the world.

It is not there that this tale ends; although the Ottoman Empire was broken and the remaining Armenians in the far eastern regions created a new nation and aligned with the Warsaw Pact for protection, this history is still being written today. While any Western school child can tell you anything about the Nazi’s plan of WWII, none are taught anything about the models by which it was built upon, or the other populations which suffered under the boot of tyranny. They are not taught the propensity for violence inherent in both Islam and Marxism; conversely praise is offered along with derision for those cornerstones of Christianity which have moved mountains. Our president refused to acknowledge the genocide on it’s hundred year anniversary in 2015- a terribly significant act but one which went unnoticed by a complicit press and a rabidly ignorant populace. A false coup in Turkey further cemented the power of a man seeking to recreate the glory days of the Ottoman Empire Caliphate, as he says as much. We have a generation of young marxists who see little issue with Islam or the evil at it’s root; as long as it’s profane to the righteous, it matters not by which means control is gained.

To survive, the Lassiez-faire attitude of certain “Libertarians” towards religion must end. Though controversial, this statement is irrefutably true through every historical example. Islam is utterly incompatible with the West and any free people. And Christianity is that which cements and galvanizes a culture. Look about the regions which currently see the greatest cultural siege and tell me this is not true. Although not an essay on dogma alone, this fact cannot be ignored; however anyone refuting such should be, thus. I seek to remind you who disagree, that in the absence of a rooting or unifying culture no movement can or will ever gain traction.The left has it; the right simply has reaction.

This has been an incredibly difficult article to write; I buried my Grandmother yesterday. This story was hers, of a people whom history forgot, and at a time where those reigns seem to be re-forming. She lived to see the Coup of Ergodan, and despite her increasingly frail state, knew the larger plan at work. The faces may change but the people do not, and might I remind you all, the groundwork here at home has already been laid. Don’t say it can’t happen.