The Thing

Resonant cavity microphone – wanted item

The Thing, also known as The Great Seal Bug, was a passive covert listening device, developed in the Soviet Union and planted in the study of the US Ambassador in Moscow, hidden inside a wooden carving of the Great Seal of the United States. It is called a passive device as it does not have its own power source. Instead it is acivated by a strong electromagnetic signal from outside. The device was codenamed LOSS by the US and RAINDEER (Северный олень) by the Soviets. Continue reading

The Bosnian Pyramids

There are five pyramids which have been named the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, the Pyramid of the Dragon, the Pyramid of the Earth, and the Pyramid of Love.

Here is an overview of the Visoko valley with the location of the pyramids.

The pyramid of the Sun is the talest one and it is estimated 722 feet (220 m) high, which would make it a lot taller than the Cheops pyramid in Egypt (147 meters).

An Eyewitness Account

source: elinorflorence.com

The Bombing of Berlin: An Eyewitness Account

My family members, on both my mother’s and my father’s sides, served in the Canadian forces in both world wars. But I also have another connection with wartime: my husband’s family.

He was born in Berlin after the war and emigrated to Canada as a young man. His father Kurt Drews flew with the Luftwaffe, and his mother Gerda Kernchen lived through the bombing of Berlin and its occupation by Russia at the end of the war.

Gerda is now 86, still living in Berlin, and often visits us in Canada. Recently I interviewed her on tape about her wartime experiences. Since she doesn’t speak English, the recording was translated by my husband.

Her description of what she experienced during the bombing is very sad. Please note that by repeating her words, I make no comment on the Allied bombing initiative, or the incredible bravery of our young air crews. But their courage in the air shouldn’t detract from the suffering of the civilians on the ground.

This is the first of a two-part series. This week, Gerda describes her life during the war, when Berlin was bombed 363 times. Next Wednesday, she explains what happened when her city fell to the Russians.

Continue reading

Things to remember

Things to remember:

  • You can’t remove historical figures from the context of their own time.
  • You can’t blame people in the past for not knowing what we know in the present.
  • Understanding the views of people in the past does not necessarily mean agreeing with them.
  • In a century or two, they’ll look down on our society and say we were backwards.
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