7 December 2005
Thank you for writing and for your news updates. Our prison has been in lockdown since Saturday the 3rd. The guards tell us we will be locked in our cells for a month, allowed out only to shower. Supposedly an inmate tried to escape but failed returning to his cell undetected but leaving evidence of his attempt. We were strip-searched, and our cells were searched, but they still haven’t caught this person. The inmates are angry with this inmate, because his botched escape attempt caused the DOC to do this to us. I however, place all the blame on DOC where it belongs. It was they who decided to act so irrationally punishing all of us for the deed of one.
My cellmate had his television confiscated for his drug offense, but we have my radio to entertain us. There is no library service during lockdown, so I am running out of books to read. My cellmate also keeps himself occupied with his art work.
To answer an earlier inquiry regarding the inmate known as “Riot”, who tried to compel me to enter an inmate lottery, his name is R. Mikus, and his ADC number is 140239. (from the ADOC web site – ROLLIN R MIKUS 11/16/1968 FORGERY) He is scheduled for release in February.
Have you found out anything about David Irving arrest in Austria? I read very little about it in the Arizona Republic.
I was surprised to read that my website received more than 1400 visits last month. I did not know my case had attracted so much interest.
Now to answer your inquiry about weather balloons. A weather balloon is used by meteorologists to measure conditions in the atmosphere above the ground, including temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed and wind direction. The balloon is equipped with meteorological instruments connected to a radiosonde, which transmits the data to the ground.
A weather balloon works on the same principles as any other balloon. It is filled with helium. Helium is considerably less dense than air, and that causes the balloon to be lighter than the volume of air it displaces and thus to rise. As the air rises the pressure of the air around it decreases. Eventually, at an altitude of around 15 to 20 miles, the differential pressure causes the balloon to burst, and the instruments and radiosonde fall to the ground, where they can be recovered for reuse.
A balloon could be used as a terrorist weapon, but as its course would be at the mercy of the wind, it would not be a precision weapon. A balloon could conceivably carry a bomb, an incendiary device, radioactive materials, chemical agents, or biological agents.
During the Second World War the Japanese government actually did use balloons as a weapon against the USA. Japanese meteorologists had discovered that strong upper air winds known as the jet stream blow across the Pacific from Japan to the USA. Taking advantage of this, the Japanese launched several hundred balloons equipped with incendiary devices. Most of those balloons did not reach the USA, landing harmlessly in the Pacific, but a few reached the Pacific Northwest and started some forest fires. The damage however, was not particularly severe.
It is possible that terrorists, knowing projected wind speeds and directions, might use balloons to target American cities. They would not, however, have the precision to target a specific building or person.
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