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          North Dakota's Oil Boom Fuels Economic Growth   
By USNews.com

This isn't your father's Fargo any more.

That a state so sparsely populated and geographically remote stands among the top-five nationally in a broad measure of economic, educational, health and other metrics speaks volumes about an economic boom that North Dakota has experienced during the past decade.

Indeed it is the state's economic growth – No. 1 in the Best States rankings – that helped propel it to No. 2 in the overall measure of state economies.

With among the lowest unemployment in the nation and highest labor force participation, North Dakota also ranks highly in the roads, energy infrastructure – and even internet service – that it provides for just over three-quarters of a million residents. Its highly ranked higher education, with among the nation's most affordable tuition, has helped the citizenry reach a high level of attainment of college degrees. All measures considered, the state ranks No. 4 overall.

While 90 percent of North Dakota's land still is devoted to farming – with one-fifth of the population employed in agriculture that produces most of the nation's canola and flaxseed and ranks No. 1 in dry navy and pinto beans – it's what lies beneath the surface of this Canadian border state's wide open land that explains much of the recent growth of a domain that as recently as 2010 counted fewer residents than it had during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

It's oil and natural gas – and the technology for extracting it – that have both boosted the state's economy and also added a new dimension of social controversy surrounding pipelines that the industry is attempting to push through the state. Yet the state also is counting gains in manufacturing and high-tech ventures that have helped diversify the economy as oil has occupied a growing share of it.

"Energy and ag have always been very strong in our state, and the oil boom has moved us forward, but we've also worked to diversify," says Sandy McMerty, co-deputy commissioner for the North Dakota Department of Commerce. 

Recently elected North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum attributes the state's business sense to a long line of governors who came from the business world – in his case, the software industry. And he points to developments that hold promise for the future: A plant manufacturing the blades for 225-foot tall wind turbines employing 1,000 people, unmanned aerial aircraft mapping agriculture lands to amass mammoth data for improvement of crops, Microsoft "tapping in" to the state's well-educated workforce as the state attracts more young people.

"Our infrastructure is in great shape,'' the governor says – indeed, it ranks No. 6 in the Best States analysis. "The economic surpluses that we've had at the state level have allowed us to invest in infrastructure."

The Bakken Formation of oil and natural gas, among the largest contiguous deposits in the U.S., once was deemed infeasible for production. That was before hydraulic fracturing – an injection of water and chemicals into the black shale, siltstone and sandstone holding the oil, a process known as "fracking."

Before the oil boom, as recently as 2004, oil and gas production accounted for just 2 percent of the state's economy. By 2014, it accounted for almost 16 percent. And, while declining world prices for oil in recent years have dampened some of the Bakken boom's luster – and placed pressure on the small state's annual budget, forcing cuts in its esteemed public universities – overall oil production has held up for the most part.

There are fewer drilling rigs at work, but overall production slid to 1.17 million barrels per day in November from a peak of 1.23 million in December 2014 as drillers have pared operational costs. Drillers are employing new techniques that enable them to drill two miles down and then two miles horizontally, the governor notes, with the precision of someone picking the lock on a house.

"We've been a little bit down in production based on pricing,'' says McMerty, who is fluent in the daily price per barrel. "But energy companies are not short-term investment companies for the most part. They can ride out the lower prices."

The state's overall economic output more than doubled in 11 years, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report. The state's gross domestic product in 2013 reached a record $49.8 billion, up from $24.7 billion in 2002. In 2002, the state had the second smallest economy, ahead of only Vermont's. Still, some question the long-term sustainability of an economy hinging on a volatile industry.

"North Dakota has always been a boom and bust state – there hasn't been a time of expansion that wasn't followed by contraction," says Bill Caraher, associate professor of history at the University of North Dakota. "By and large, in terms of the billions and billions of dollars that have flowed into North Dakota's economy, very little has gone into producing the kinds of things that are sustainable long-term economic engines.''

In the state's bid for economic diversification, Northrop Grumman, John Deere and Bobcat are among the manufacturers that have added facilities and jobs – Northrop hoping to employ 100 people in Grand Forks. Caterpillar Remanufacturing recently chose between South Korea and North Dakota for a facility, and chose Fargo. And Grand Forks, inundated by the devastating Red River Flood of 1997, has rebounded 20 years later bigger and better, Caraher notes.

The state also boasts of the second largest campus for the software giant Microsoft outside of Washington state – in Fargo.

More than 80,000 jobs were created in North Dakota from 2011 from 2015, the data behind the Best States rankings show. And this state whose population had long hovered at Depression levels saw its populace grow from 674,000 in 2010 to 758,000 in 2016. Among all 50 states small and large, North Dakota ranked No 1 in the Best States ranking of net migration of people into the state. "Last check, we had 12,000 open positions across the state,'' McMerty says. "We're at a place where we really need that out-of-state population to come in."

The state's unemployment rate ranked No. 3 among all states in the Best States analysis, and running at 3 percent in December it remained the sixth-lowest and well below the national average.

All of this contributed to North Dakota's high ranking in the opportunity it offers citizens – ranking No. 7 nationally, with among the nation's lowest poverty rates, higher median household incomes and most affordable housing.

The state's oil development also has created its own issues. These include the challenges of housing oilfield workers in what have become known as "man camps." And a planned Dakota Access pipeline has generated strong public protest, particularly among the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe objecting to its construction near its reservation.

The tribe celebrated late last year when the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would seek alternative routes for the $3.7 billion pipeline. Then a new president signed an order directing the Corps to "review and approve" the pipeline "in an expedited manner." Allies of the tribe, including Earthjustice, contend that review already has identified problems with the pipeline, and this may end up in court.

The quality of the state's health care – No. 10 in the rankings – is borne out in some of the measures of public health taken into account in Best States.

This includes low mortality and infant mortality rates, 12th and 14th best respectively. One of the offshoots of this is a figure that's not counted in these rankings but measured by the U.S. Census: The nation's highest ratio of people 100 years old and older – with three centenarians for every 10,000 residents, double the national average.

The governor tells the story of a 100-year-old North Dakotan driver who was stopped running a stop sign on the way to his older sisters' place. "The police officer asked, 'Didn't you see the sign?' The man said, 'Sure I saw the sign. I didn't see you.""

The state's governmental services ranked No. 7 in the Best States assessment.

This included well-balanced state accounts – ranking No. 1 in financial health, No. 3 in its operating ratio of income and expenses, No. 6 in the digitalization of state information and No. 11 in the long-term funding of its pension system.

As a measure of that fiscal responsibility, when the state recently lost a sizable share of projected revenue for a two-year budget cycle amid a slowdown in oil drilling, the governor ordered budget cuts and drew $497 million from reserves to close a $1-billion shortfall in a $14-billion budget. Yet with cuts, come pain.

Assessing the cuts at the University of North Dakota – a system ranking No. 6 nationwide – Caraher notes: "People who keep hoping that the boom-bust economies can be leveraged into sustainable growth, these are the kinds of things that give people pause… Universities are one of the major leaders of innovation."

Yet in a world in which everyone holds a miniature "super-computer'' in their hands in their smart phones, the governor suggests, access to learning transcends the traditional boundaries of school buildings, and this too is a question of technology which the state must explore as it seeks to improve education.

Click here to view the full report.

  

 



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          Centers of Excellence Commission Awards Funding Requests Totaling $2.26 Million   
By ND Commerce
The North Dakota Centers of Excellence Commission awarded funding requests for three Research ND grants, five Phase I Venture grants and one Base Realignment grant at its February meeting. The total funding request for the nine projects totaled $2,265,613.
 
The following requests were funded:
 
Research ND
 
  • NDSU Computer Science in partnership with Axelo, Inc. was awarded $103,458 to design and develop a low-cost, high reliability and high accuracy inertial measurement unit. These sensors will be used in unmanned aircraft systems and autonomous vehicles. 
  • UND Petroleum Engineering in partnership with McKenzie Energy Partners, LLC and Schlumberger was awarded $300,078 to build data models that will allow research of hydraulic fracturing and re-fracturing of wells in the Bakken and Three Forks formations. The results of the study will increase the level of oil recovery from these formations. 
  • NDSU Chemistry and Biochemistry in partnership with 3DIcon Corporation was awarded $150,000 to improve the yield and purity of the key ingredient required for an economical synthesis of cyclohexasilane an ingredient for making a variety of commercially important silicon-based materials and materials for lightweight batteries and lightweight solar cells. 
Phase 1 Venture Grant
 
  • UND Petroleum Engineering was awarded $99,932 to apply mathematical models to data from sensors in petroleum pipelines to determine the location and severity of blockages that may exist. 
  • NDSU Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences was awarded $100,000 to develop an antibiotic releasing, biodegradable putty to be used as a bone void-filler that will reduce infection associated with surgically or traumatically induced orthopedic defects. 
  • NDSU Electrical and Computer Engineering was awarded $100,000 to develop a low-cost portable embedded device to support advanced machine learning algorithms for real-time welding image processing. 
  • NDSU Electrical and Computer Engineering was awarded $100,000 to develop a Gallium Nitride based power converter that provides high efficiency and high power density that is more efficient than current silicon power semiconductor devices. 
  • UND Petroleum Engineering was awarded $100,000 to assess the business potential for an interactive software package suitable for performing data processing, modelling and simulation of unconventional shale oil reservoirs. 
Centers of Research Excellence Base Realignment Grant
 
  • UND Center for Innovation Foundation was awarded $1,212,145 for expenses involved in accessing the DASR-11 radar at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. The funds will purchase the necessary equipment and software and establish a temporary physical location to house the equipment and to serve as a base of operations. Funds will also be used to install and make the system operational and then begin providing radar observer services to the Northern Plains UAS Test Site and Grand Sky customers that will conduct research, training and beyond visual line of sight UAS operational activities. Customers include Elbit Systems of America, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics. 
Research ND promotes the development and commercialization of products and processes through industry/university research partnerships. Research ND provides matching funds to help companies pay for the university research.
 
The Venture Grant Program is a designed to help move university-developed technology into the marketplace through startup or spinout companies. The Venture Grant Program provides seed grants and matching funds to facilitate startup and spinout companies’ use of university technology.
 
Centers of Research Excellence Base Realignment Grants provide funding to provide grants to a research university or a nonprofit university-related foundation to enhance economic development and employment opportunities associated with the Grand Forks air force base.
 
The next deadline for Research ND and Research ND BIO and Phase 2 Venture Grant applications is May 19, 2017.
 
For additional information, please visit www.ResearchND.com.  

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          North Dakota Ranks 8th on Forbes Best States for Business List   
By ND Commerce
North Dakota ranks 8th in the Forbes annual best states for business list which measures which states have the best business climates and are poised to succeed going forward.

“We have worked hard and strategically to diversify the economy of North Dakota,” North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Alan Anderson said. “Our technology, manufacturing and aviation industries are booming allowing us to continue to be one of the top rated places in the nation to do business.” 

The Forbes annual ranking measures six categories for businesses: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. They factor in 40 metrics from 17 sources to determine the ranks across the six main areas. The overall ranks are based on a combination of ranks in the six main categories. 

“Companies like Microsoft, Northrop Grumman and Bobcat have all recently announced expansions plans and groups like NASA are committed to long-term projects in North Dakota,” Anderson said. “Our economy is strong and there has never been a better time to be in business in North Dakota.” 

Utah ranked 1st in the Forbes report for the third year. The full report is available at http://www.forbes.com/best-states-for-business

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
 
For more North Dakota news and information go to www.NDCommerce.com

 

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          Diverse Economy Keeping State Healthy, Anderson says: State Commerce Commissioner says ND Remains in Good Shape Despite Budget Shortfall   
By The Jamestown Sun
North Dakota’s economy is more diverse than what some think and that is why it is still strong despite a $2 billion hit to the state economy, according to Alan Anderson, commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

That kind of drop would really hurt the $18 billion North Dakota economy in 2000, and it still hurt in 2015, but the difference now is the state has a $55 billion economy, Anderson said in his keynote address Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp.

“It is going to be pain for the state budget but overall North Dakota is extremely healthy from an economic standpoint,” Anderson said, adding that legislators and agencies will continue to face pressure to cut costs.

A diversified economy means the state must continue providing research dollars to universities and industry partners while also ensuring dollars for other growth and entrepreneurism, he said.

The Spiritwood Energy Park Association’s industrial park at Spiritwood is an example of best practices, Anderson said. It provides water, electricity, natural gas, rail and truck transportation and the essentials for industry at one spot. The new Jamestown Regional Medical Center facility, the Menards and economic parks are other signs of good innovation, he said.

“My hat is off to all of you,” Anderson said. “You’re doing a great job on that.”

Another key to the strong economy is the North Dakota workforce, which has gone from a labor exporter in 2000 to leading the nation in low unemployment and worker immigration for six years, he said. Despite three years of low ag prices and a 40 percent drop in oil, there are 15,000 job openings in North Dakota, he said.

“It’s not due to one particular industry like some would have you believe,” he said. “It’s been that all of our industries have done well over that time frame.”

To get people to come to North Dakota employment and opportunities are needed, he said. North Dakota has grown in population by over 100,000 people in the last 15 years and the average age is 35, the fourth-youngest population in the country. That happened by creating a business-friendly environment, supporting research and connecting universities with industry, entrepreneurship and finding export markets outside of the state and country, he said.

Anderson listed some of the major companies in North Dakota that are growing and currently list around 15,240 job openings. That is nearly twice the number of the 2.9 percent unemployment rate in North Dakota, he said.

For example, Appareo Systems started with two people and now has an average growth rate of 45 percent with close to 200 employees, he said. The North Dakota company Botink just received a $3 million investment to provide software support to the drone industry.

Northrop just made a $10 million investment in Grand Forks, he said. General Atomics has 25 high-income job openings

Agriculture has had three years of low commodity prices but North Dakota overall is still on a good trajectory, he said. The downside is labor as technology allows for higher productivity with fewer people involved in the process, but the upswing is value-added ag with corporations like Cavendish Farms helping to minimize the impact of low commodity prices, he said.

Anderson said the cost to break even in oil is around $45 a barrel when it used to be $70. This is due to efficiency and technology, he said. Bakken shale is doing better than other shale fields around the country, he said. Drilling will remain idle with $40 per barrel prices, he said, and at $50 per barrel it will stimulate more wells coming online and at $60 there will be new drilling.

“The outlook is good there and as that price continues to go up they will pick up quicker than they would have in the past,” he said.

Connie Ova, CEO of JSDC, Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen and Mark Klose, chairman of the Stutsman County Commission, presented H&H Holdings of Jamestown with the Growing Jamestown Award. Jim Grueneich, general manager, and Dean Hafner, owner, were present to accept.

H&H received a $43,000 Flex PACE Interest buy down to help purchase a building, according to the JSDC annual report. H&H continues to operate at its current rate and has created seven full- time jobs.

Diverse Economy Keeping State Healthy, Anderson says: State Commerce Commissioner says ND Remains in God Shape Despite Budget Shortfall - The Jamestown Sun 

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          UAS Entrepreneurs Set Their Sights on North Dakota   
By PR Newswire
A lone aircraft flies over a large swath of land checking for abnormalities in crops before landing safely at the feet of its pilot. A classroom of college-level students gain experience on how to operate an unmanned aerial system through simulation. An entrepreneur monitors his phone app to ensure that his unmanned aerial systems (UAS) tech is operating correctly out in the field. 

As the largest site available for flying UAS anywhere in the United States, these are every day occurrences in the state of North Dakota.

Since becoming the nation's first operational test site in 2014, the Northern Plains UAS Test Site has attracted investment from leading aerospace companies including General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Air Force and NASA.

This week North Dakota aerospace and aviation leaders are at AUVSI's XPONENTIAL 2016, the largest trade show for the unmanned systems and robotics industry in the world, to showcase the state's continual leadership and ability to attract big names in America's ever-expanding UAS industry. In addition, they are going to be on hand to discuss how entrepreneurs are finding success in the state.

"As thousands of entrepreneurs look for exciting opportunities in the rapidly expanding UAS industry, North Dakota wants them to know that we have the resources and capability to robustly support them in their endeavors," said Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, who also serves as chairman of the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority.

Because of North Dakota's reputation for UAS innovation and location as an FAA test site, the state is already seeing organic growth in startups focused on UAS.

Take Botlink, a cloud-based operations platform that links drones to industry in real time. The platform allows users to capture, process and automatically deliver aerial imagery anywhere, including into existing business software. Botlink also provides automated drone control and safety features such as airspace alerts, manned aircraft avoidance and weather advisories, allowing operators to remain safe and compliant with complex flight regulations.

"We're proud to be developing the next generation of drone technology in North Dakota," said Terri Zimmerman, Botlink CEO.

Many startup companies working in the UAS industry are supported by the University of North Dakota's (UND) Center for Innovation, which was the first university to offer a degree program in unmanned aviation in 2009 and has the largest university training program available for unmanned aircraft systems.

This includes SkyScopes, Smart C2 and Field of View. All of these companies have emerged out of the Center for Innovation within in the last five years and have been able to take advantage of the forward-thinking resources that come from an FAA-designated test site.

The state's 'Research ND' program offers $5 million biannually in grants for research and development to organizations and companies involved in UAS research through cooperation with UND and North Dakota State University (NDSU). North Dakotahas invested more than $34 million to establish a national UAS test site, to establish the Grand Sky UAS Business Park (the nation's first UAS business and aviation park) and to advance North Dakota's position as a hub for the nation's growing UAS industry.

"North Dakota continues to attract innovators in UAS technology, and we welcome the opportunity to foster entrepreneurship here and set the leading example for best practices in this sector," said Robert Becklund, executive director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.

For more information on North Dakota's UAS leadership visit NDUAS.com, and for details on the Northern Plains UAS Test Site visit www.npuasts.com.  

UAS Entrepreneurs Set Their Sights on North Dakota - PR Newswire 

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          Dalrymple Highlights State's Economic Strength, Opportunities   
By ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple kicked off the first annual Demographics Conference in Bismarck today by highlighting North Dakota’s economic strength and how the state’s diversified economy is helping to weather fluctuations in the energy and agriculture industries.
 
The focus of the conference was to help participants understand important socio-economic and demographic trends in North Dakota and how those trends impact citizens, businesses and communities. The inaugural event was a collaborative effort between the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the North Dakota Compass at North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota Department of Economics, and was held at the
National Energy Center of Excellence on the Bismarck State College campus.
 
“For more than a decade, we have worked hard and strategically to diversify our economy and expand our target industries and those efforts have produced real results with increased economic production, job growth and rising wages,” said Dalrymple. “Despite a downturn in commodity prices impacting the state’s two leading industries, our diversified economic base is strong and growing, with many exciting advancements occurring in the technology, manufacturing and aviation sectors. Our economy is strong and North Dakota continues to be a great place to do business.”
 
During his remarks, Dalrymple stated that North Dakota’s continued economic growth stems from nearly every business sector across the state and that no single industry tells the whole story of North Dakota’s progress. He highlighted the state’s economic strength relative to production growth, unemployment, job openings and per capita personal income.
 
  • The state’s Gross Domestic Product through 3rd quarter 2015 is still performing well above the 2012-2013 levels.
  • North Dakota continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at just 2.9 percent for February 2016.
  • As of March 2016, North Dakota has more than 15,000 job openings across the state.
  • North Dakota has one of the fastest growing populations in the nation. Up until 2008, North Dakota was losing population. In 2013 alone, more than 18,000 new residents moved to the state. Between 2010 and 2014, North Dakota’s overall population increased 9.9 percent.
  • North Dakota continues to be one of only a few states whose populations are getting younger, with 9.6 percent of residents between the age of 20 and 24 compared to 7.1 percent nationally.
  • Since the fourth quarter of 2007, North Dakota’s personal income has led the nation in growth at an annual rate of 5.1 percent. In 2015, even with the economic slowdown, the state still ranked in the top 10 for per capita personal income at number 9 in the nation. 
The Governor also highlighted some of the advancements and opportunities emerging from North Dakota’s target industries and cited examples of businesses throughout the state that are reporting job and revenue growth.
 
  • North Dakota is well positioned in the energy industry as Bakken Shale is shown as the best cost value oil in the U.S. oil plays. Efficiencies in the industry are lowering the break-even point for companies to make a profit.
  • The state’s technology-based business sector is growing and diversifying, and leading the nation in innovative advances. The state’s technology industry payroll has grown to more than $1 billion a year, providing an average wage of $79,500. Companies like Microsoft and Amazon have long called North Dakota home. They, together with other high-tech companies like NISC, Intelligent Insites and Appareo, have shown growth in the state and continue to expand.
  • North Dakota is home to a growing cluster of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) research, business and military interests. Partnerships among private businesses, universities and state government strengthen North Dakota’s position as a leader in UAS. The state is one of six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS test sites conducting research to determine how to best integrate UAS into the national airspace. The FAA certified the Northern Plains UAS Test Site as the first site ready for operations in April 2014. Northrop Grumman and General Atomics — world leaders in aviation and aerospace — are investing millions in North Dakota.
  • Manufacturers in North Dakota account for 5.8 percent of the total output in the state and employ 5.6 percent of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $3.25 billion in 2014. In addition, there were 25,900 manufacturing employees in North Dakota in 2015, with an average annual compensation of $55,754.


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          A Silicon Valley for Drones, in North Dakota   
By The New York Times
“California and New York want what we’ve got,” said Shawn Muehler, a 30-year-old Fargo resident, gazing at a horizon of empty fields, silos, windbreak trees and hardly any people. A winged craft traces the air, mapping a field with pinpoint accuracy for his start-up, a drone software company called Botlink. “They like drones, but they’ve got a steep learning curve ahead.”

For years, entrepreneurs have come here to farm and to drill for oil and natural gas. Now a new, tech-savvy generation is grabbing a piece of the growing market for drone technology and officials want to help them do it here, where there is plenty of open space and — unlike in other sparsely populated states — lots of expertise already in place.

Silicon Valley has the big money and know-how, Mr. Muehler and others say, but North Dakota can take unmanned aerial vehicles, as the officials prefer to call drones, from a fast-growing hobby to an industry. And just as Silicon Valley got its start with military contracts, entrepreneurs and cooperative universities, they believe they can do the same with drones.

“The potential up here is tremendous,” said Jack Dalrymple, the state’s governor. “It’s not about supporting a company or two; it’s creating the leading edge of an industry.”

North Dakota has spent about $34 million fostering the state’s unmanned aerial vehicle business, most notably with a civilian industrial park for drones near Grand Forks Air Force Base. The base, a former Cold War installation, now flies nothing but robot aircraft for the United States military and Customs and Border Protection.

Right now, private sector drones are where personal computers were in the 1970s: a hobbyist technology waiting to become mainstream. The technology research firm Gartner says that, barring regulatory hurdles, the United States drone business could be worth $7 billion in a decade.

Companies are moving fast. Last month, Amazon released a video showing its planned delivery drone, and companies like Google and Facebook are working on big drone projects. DJI, a Chinese company that is the world’s largest maker of small drones, was funded last spring at a valuation of $10 billion.

Small drones may bedevil cities with privacy concerns, even landing on the White House lawn, but rural states with farming, oil and rail lines see many practical reasons to put robots in the sky. Infrared imaging can judge crop health. Cameras can spot leaks and cracks in pipelines. Smaller copters can inspect windmill blades. Livestock can be located easily.

Judging from Mr. Muehler’s proving grounds, if the occasional experimental craft crashes, it is unlikely to hit much beyond dirt. And with money, expertise and need here, people will keep trying.

Grand Forks Air Force Base, 80 miles north of Fargo, has been an all-drone base since 2013. Big Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles, made by Northrop Grumman, fly reconnaissance missions from the Yukon to Venezuela from there. 

In a smaller brick building in Fargo, Mr. Muehler was once part of a North Dakota Air National Guard unit that flies missions over the Mideast and Afghanistan.

Customs and Border Protection uses the Grand Forks field to patrol from Seattle to the Great Lakes with slightly smaller Predator drones. Sometimes those pilots take over from their Customs counterparts in Texas, patrolling the Rio Grande from screens 80 miles south of the Canadian border.

Where B-52 bombers stood ready with nuclear bombs in the Cold War, the country’s first commercial unmanned aerial vehicle industrial park is under construction. Northrop Grumman and General Atomics, the Predator maker, are taking space to train pilots for international sales of the craft.

Other businessmen are looking at modifying their craft for things like high-altitude surveillance of railroad tracks and pipelines. Involta, an Iowa-based operator of data centers that has already created a windmill inspection business in Grand Forks, is looking at building facilities specialized in collecting aerial information.

A company called Field of View, near the planned site of the industrial park, makes aerial sensing equipment. An outfit called the Unmanned Applications Institute is working with providers away from North Dakota on things like local drone manufacture and warehousing.

Nearby, the University of North Dakota, which already trains many of the nation’s commercial pilots and the air traffic controllers of some 18 countries, has 200 students learning to fly drones in a four-year program that started in 2009; 61 students have graduated from it. North Dakota State University, in Fargo, has also started teaching drone courses.

Besides military contracts and educational talent, North Dakota also has high-tech talent. In 1999, Amazon purchased an online seller of tools and home improvement gear in Grand Forks, and the company now develops customer service software there. In 2001, Microsoft paid $1.1 billion for Great Plains Software of Fargo, and it now has an office there.

The area has thousands of software engineers and not a few millionaires itching to get into the next big thing.

“Every top engineer in all of Fargo works for Botlink,” Mr. Muehler boasted. “We have the top 10 engineers in town.”

Mr. Muehler, who was educated as a pilot at North Dakota State, started on what became Botlink while flying missions from the brick building in Fargo. Governor Dalrymple refers to the military site as “once a well-kept-secret facility,” since its purpose has become common knowledge in the city of about 115,000 people.

One night in early 2014, Mr. Muehler saw a report on Fox News about a hobbyist drone that flew into the airspace at La Guardia Airport in New York. That’s when he hit upon the idea for his business.

“I figured there has to be some kind of software that can give awareness, let a drone know about things like boundaries and weather,” he said.

Alex Kube, a high school friend who was working at the same facility, started making the software. Seven months later, he spoke at a meeting of local entrepreneurs and collected $500,000 in angel funding from local investors. Botlink was formed several months later when Mr. Muehler met Terri Zimmerman, a former chief financial officer at Great Plains who grew up on a farm near the Canadian border.

“We want to be the Microsoft of the industry,” said Ms. Zimmerman, who is now Botlink’s chief executive, and runs another company, Packet Digital, involved in low-power semiconductors used for, among other things, military drones.

So far, the company has raised $3 million more from private investors. “That’s like $14 million in Silicon Valley,” Ms. Zimmerman said.

A Silicon Valley for Drones, in North Dakota - The New York Times

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          Dalrymple, General Atomics Officials Break Ground on Grand Sky UAS Training Academy    
By ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple today joined General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. CEO Linden Blue to break ground on the aviation company’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS) training academy at Grand Sky, the nation’s first operations-ready UAS business and aviation park. 
 
“General Atomics’ business presence at Grand Sky is a testament to the great work underway to build on North Dakota’s position as the premier destination for UAS research, development and commercialization,” Dalrymple said. “Linden and his leadership team recognize the many opportunities and advantages that North Dakota offers the growing UAS industry and we very much appreciate their investments in North Dakota.”
 
General Atomics is a global leader in the development of unmanned aircraft, including the Predator and Reaper series which are widely used by the U.S. Air Force.  The company is building a 19,400-square-foot hangar with adjacent offices to expand its capacity to provide state-of-the-art flight instruction for aircrews that operate its unmanned aircraft, including Air Force personnel, General Atomics pilots and international customers. Construction on the UAS training academy is expected to be completed next summer.
 
“North Dakota was selected as the site for our new training academy not only because it offers uncongested skies and an optimal test range, but also strong support for the continued development of unmanned aircraft capabilities from local, state, and federal government representatives,” General Atomics Aeronautical CEO Linden Blue said. “This investment in the State of North Dakota will establish North Dakota as the center of excellence for remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) training operations, and airspace integration testing and grow the number of high-tech jobs associated with these activities.” 
 
General Atomics’ UAS training academy will require a full-time staff of flight instructors, pilots, sensor operators, maintenance personnel, and administrators. About 25 General Atomics’ employees will staff the academy during its first year of operations.
 
Dalrymple last met with General Atomics officials in Washington, D.C. in September to discuss the company’s plans for Grand Sky and to offer the state’s continued assistance in developing its Grand Sky UAS training academy.
 
General Atomics is the second global aviation company to become a Grand Sky tenant.  Last month, Northrop Grumman broke ground on a Grand Sky facility that will support its UAS operations.
 
Dalrymple has led the state’s efforts to develop Grand Sky, to establish the Northern Plains UAS Test Site and to position North Dakota as the premier destination for UAS manufacturing, research and development.
 
In all, the state has invested more than $34 million to secure and develop one of only six national UAS test sites, to develop Grand Sky, and to support UAS research and innovation in North Dakota. The state has committed about $13 million for infrastructure projects essential to Grand Sky’s development.
 
Those joining Dalrymple and Blue for General Atomics’ groundbreaking included U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Congressman Kevin Cramer, Col. Rodney Lewis, commander of the 319 Air Base Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base and North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson.

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          Dalrymple, Northrop Grumman Officials Break Ground on Grand Sky UAS Facility   
By ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple today joined Northrop Grumman officials at the Grand Sky business and aviation park to break ground on a 36,000-square-foot facility that will support the aerospace giant’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations. Northrop has leased 10 acres of land at Grand Sky and will invest about $10 million in the building project which will also support UAS research and development, mission analysis as well as aircrew and maintenance training.
 
In meetings with Gov. Dalrymple, company officials have said their business plans for Grand Sky involve a significant workforce, but specific employment details are not yet available.
 
“We have worked long and hard to position North Dakota as the premier destination for UAS research, development and commercialization, and our ongoing efforts are beginning to pay off in major ways,” Dalrymple said. “Northrop Grumman recognizes the many opportunities in North Dakota today for the nation’s UAS industry and we appreciate their significant investments and future plans for Grand Sky.”
 
Northrop Grumman signed a lease in April to become the anchor tenant at Grand Sky, a 217-acre UAS business park located at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
 
“Today’s groundbreaking is a key step moving forward in Northrop Grumman’s partnership with North Dakota,” said Janis Pamiljans, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems Division. “We are proud to start this construction project and expand on our long-term commitment to this state and its advancement in UAS technologies. The important work that will be done here will support the evolving needs of our customers’ in the defense of our nation and allies.”
           
Talks between North Dakota officials and Northrup Grumman began after then-Lt. Gov. Dalrymple invited the company’s Sector Vice President of Operations, Gerald ‘Duke’ Dufresne, to visit North Dakota and learn more about the state’s aviation and aerospace offerings.  Since then, the state has invested more than $34 million to develop Grand Sky infrastructure; to land and develop one of only six national UAS test sites and to advance UAS research and development.
 
In May 2013, Dalrymple established the Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems Authority.  The six-member authority, chaired by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, successfully pursued one of only six national UAS test site designations.  A year later, North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site became the nation’s first to be FAA certified as ready to begin the work of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace. 
 
Those joining Dalrymple and Pamiljans for the ground-breaking ceremony included Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, U.S. Air Force Col. Anthony Hernandez, and Grand Sky Development President Thomas Swoyer.

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          Lt. Governor Wrigley Outlines the State of the UAS Industry in North Dakota at Annual Summit   
By ND Governor's Office
Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley today kicked off the 2015 UAS Summit and Expo in Grand Forks, welcoming leaders in aviation, business, and military to the 9th annual, three-day event. The summit will showcase the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) while updating attendees on the current state of the commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry.
 
“We are at the center of technological advancement in the unmanned aerial systems industry,” Wrigley said. “The stakeholders in North Dakota remain committed to creating an environment where private enterprise, public and private research organizations, and educational institutions can aggressively pursue new and exciting opportunities in the unmanned aerial systems industry.”
 
This year, the UAS Summit and Expo aims to combine the perspective of regional UAS personnel with the regulatory insight of national UAV entities, offering attendees a glimpse into the commercial realities and major economic opportunities present in North Dakota.
 
Since 2013, under Dalrymple’s leadership, North Dakota has invested more than $30 million to establish a national UAS test site, to establish the Grand Sky UAS business and aviation park, and to advance North Dakota’s position as a hub for the nation’s growing UAS industry.
 
Dalrymple established the Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems Authority in May 2013.  The six-member authority, chaired by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, is charged with overseeing the operations of North Dakota’s UAS test site, including the development of public safety protocols, privacy safeguards, and UAS research and development opportunities. The authority has worked to develop a national UAS test proposal, to earn a test site designation, and to develop a test site operation that meets Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification.
 
The FAA selected North Dakota to operate one of only six national UAS test sites in December 2013, citing that North Dakota had a strong proposal, a stellar national standing in aviation and aerospace sciences, and university research and development capabilities, along with a diverse climate and open airspace. The Northern Plains UAS Test Site was also the nation’s first to be FAA certified in April 2014 as ready to begin the work of integrating UAS into the national airspace.
 
In February 2015, the U.S. Air Force and Grand Forks County officials signed an enhanced use lease agreement, paving the way for the development of the Grand Sky UAS Business and Technology Park. Northrop Grumman Corporation became Grand Sky’s anchor tenant in April 2015. Grand Sky is the first commercial UAS business and aviation park in the U.S. The park is under construction and will provide state-of-the-art facilities for UAS development, testing and training, sensor technology development and data analysis, and management. It capitalizes on the expertise of regional academic institutions such as the University of North Dakota’s UAS Center of Excellence and Northland Community & Technical College’s UAS Maintenance Technician Program. Grand Sky’s facilities are expected to grow to over 1.2 million square feet and accommodate companies, educational institutions, government contractors, and public agencies involved in the UAS sectors.
 
Also in 2015, North Dakota celebrated landing its first UAS manufacturing venture when Wahpeton-based ComDel Innovation and Altavian began manufacturing UAS and UAS components at ComDel’s plant in Wahpeton.
 
The FAA recently approved expanded operations of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site to include night flight testing capabilities throughout the state of North Dakota. This authorization, granted under the FAA’s Certification of Authorization (COA) process, allows the industry more efficient access to airspace for collaborative research. The FAA was able to approve this COA application based on maturity and the demonstrated safety and operational processes used by the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.

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          Dalrymple, Officials Celebrate Continued Development of Grand Sky UAS Park   
ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple today joined local, state and military officials in celebrating several infrastructure projects critical to the development of the Grand Sky unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business and aviation park. Located on the Grand Forks Air Force Base, Grand Sky is the nation’s first commercial UAS business park.
 
“By moving forward on these projects, we are laying the groundwork to establish Grand Sky as the premier destination for America’s growing UAS industry,” Dalrymple said. “North Dakota is on the cutting edge of the UAS industry and we’re committed to developing our expertise and assets into a national hub for UAS research, development, testing, training and operations.”
 
The state has committed about $13 million for infrastructure projects essential to Grand Sky’s development. Projects in various stages of completion at the 217-acre UAS park include roadway and sewer improvements; upgrades to a flight tarmac; the installation of data services, electricity and other utilities; and the construction of security infrastructure. In all, the state has invested more than $34 million to secure and develop one of only six national UAS test sites, to develop Grand Sky, and to support UAS research and innovation in North Dakota.
 
In April, aerospace giant Northrup Grumman Corporation became Grand Sky’s anchor tenant. Grand Sky officials said the state’s support will help attract other Grand Sky tenants and advance North Dakota’s position as a national hub for the UAS industry. Grand Sky will offer 1.2 million square feet of space to the UAS industry, including manufacturers, flight testing and training centers and data analysis.
 
Among those who joined Dalrymple to celebrate Grand Sky’s development projects were U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. William Bender, Sen. Ray Holmberg, Grand Forks Air Force Base Commander Col. Rodney Lewis, Grand Forks County Commissioner Tom Falck, Grand Sky Development President Thomas Swoyer and North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson.
 
Dalrymple has led the state’s efforts to establish the Northern Plains UAS Test Site and to develop a national UAS industry hub. Working toward those goals, some of the state’s notable achievements include:
  • May 2013 - Dalrymple established the Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems Authority.  The six-member authority, chaired by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, successfully worked to develop a national UAS test proposal, to earn a test site designation and to develop a test site operation that meets FAA certification.  The authority is charged with overseeing the operations of North Dakota’s UAS test site, including the development of public safety protocols,  privacy safeguards and UAS research and development opportunities. Former 119th North Dakota Air National Guard Commander Col. Robert Becklund serves as director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.
  • December 2013 - The Federal Aviation Administration selects North Dakota to operate one of only six national UAS test sites. The FAA cited North Dakota’s strong proposal, its national standing in aviation and aerospace sciences, university research and development capabilities as well as the state’s diverse climate and open airspace
  • April 2014 - North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site became the nation’s first to be FAA certified as ready to begin the work of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace. 
  • February 2015 - The U.S. Air Force and Grand Forks County officials sign an enhanced use lease agreement, paving the way for the development of the Grand Sky UAS business and aviation park.
  • February 2015 - North Dakota lands its first UAS manufacturing venture when Wahpeton-based ComDel Innovation and Altavian begin manufacturing unmanned aerial systems and UAS components at ComDel’s plant in Wahpeton.
  • April 2015 - Northrop Grumman Corporation becomes Grand Sky’s anchor tenant.
  • August 2015 - The FAA approves expanded operations of the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site to include night- flight testing capabilities throughout the state of North Dakota. This authorization allows the industry greater access to airspace for collaborative research. The FAA approved the COA application citing maturity and the demonstrated safety and operational processes developed by the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.


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          Dalrymple Presents $5.6 Million for UAS Park as Construction Start Looms   
By Grand Forks Herald
With a memo line reading "Grand Sky UAS Park," Gov. Jack Dalrymple presented a check Monday for $5.6 million to Grand Forks County.

The state funds will allow construction crews to get in the ground as early as next week to begin building the estimated $25 million unmanned aircraft systems business park, which is touted as the first of its kind in the nation.     

"I think all of us in this room together are building a new industry in North Dakota," Dalrymple said. "It's not very often that you can stand there and say we're building a new industry. Maybe a new company or a nonprofit, but very seldom can we say we are creating an entirely new industry for our state and for our nation."

Of the amount allocated through the state Department of Commerce, $2.5 million depended on the park securing a tenant, which came in the form of a commitment from industry giant Northrop Grumman. The remaining $3.1 million was designated by the state Legislature for infrastructure improvements.

Grand Sky aims to provide space to tenants in various areas of the unmanned aircraft industry, from manufacturers to data analysts to flight trainers. The development consists of 217 acres of land adjacent to Grand Forks Air Force Base, which in turn will be developed to offer 1.2 million square feet of usable space for tenants.

"The state of North Dakota has made a huge investment in Grand Sky," said Tom Swoyer Jr., president of Grand Sky Development Co., the business managing the park's development.

Funding development
The park site, located just southwest the base, is rented from the U.S. Air Force by the county after officials signed a lease earlier this year.

The county in turn leases the land to Grand Sky Development Co.

Swoyer said most of the state money will be used for installing or upgrading infrastructure needed before the park's offices, hangars, data storage facilities and other buildings can be constructed.

The first project will be posting a fence around the site, which will establish a secure perimeter.

Normally, entities such as cities can recoup infrastructure installation costs through special assessments placed on the land, which are then passed on to property owners.

In this case, the land is owned by the federal government and is not taxable, which means Grand Sky can't use this method and makes state funding even more vital.

The state's commitment also helps attract tenants, according to Swoyer.

"Without this kind of money, we can't leverage the private investment that's coming," he said. "Without the state investment, it's very difficult to ... get the private companies to this kind of a project."

Continued growth
The funding to get construction underway at Grand Sky is another milestone for the UAS industry in the state.

North Dakota is one of six states awarded a UAS test site by the Federal Aviation Administration in December 2013.

The test site, known as the Northern Plains UAS Test Site and also headquartered in Grand Forks County, is tasked with researching the integration of unmanned aircraft into commercial airspace.

In total, Dalrymple said the state has spent more than $30 million on unmanned aircraft system ventures, including Grand Sky, the test site and other research and development initiatives around the state, including at UND.

Monday's check likely won't be the last cut by the state for Grand Sky.

"I'm happy to say to this is by no means the end of it," Dalrymple said of the state funding. "There is contingency funding established by our legislature—$4.4 million in additional funding—as Grand Sky continues to develop and land more tenants."

In total, about $12.5 million is included in the state's 2015-2017 budget for UAS initiatives.

Dalrymple Presents $5.6 Million for UAS Park as Construction Start Looms - Grand Forks Herald
 

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          Dalrymple Announces $5.6 Million in Additional State Funding for Grand Sky UAS Park   
By ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced that Grand Forks County will receive $5.6 million in additional state funding to support the continued development of the Grand Sky Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Business and Aviation Park.
 
“I am pleased to announce that an additional $5.6 million in state funding is available for the continued development of Grand Sky, the nation’s first UAS business park,” Dalrymple said.  “North Dakota’s leadership in the growing UAS industry is attracting national attention and we remain committed to developing our expertise and assets into a national hub for UAS manufacturing, research and development.”
 
Of the $5.6 million in state funding, the state is providing $2.5 million following Grand Sky’s success in securing its first park tenant - global aerospace giant Northrop Grumman.  An additional $3.1 million in state funding is also available to upgrade a flight tarmac and other infrastructure that will support UAS testing and flight operations. The 2015 Legislature appropriated another $4.4 million contingent upon Grand Sky’s further development.
 
North Dakota has provided more than $30 million to advance UAS research and development and is collaborating with organizations statewide to build this emerging industry. Within its borders, North Dakota already has all the components needed to support UAS education, training, research and commercialization.
 
The Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation Park, located on the grounds of the Grand Forks Air Force Base, is under construction and will provide state-of-the-art facilities for UAS development, testing and training, sensor technology development and data analysis and management. It capitalizes on the state’s UAS test site, the expertise of regional academic institutions such as the University of North Dakota's UAS Center of Excellence. Grand Sky’s facilities are expected to accommodate companies, educational institutions, government contractors and public agencies involved in the UAS sectors.
 
Dalrymple announced the state’s latest funding commitment for Grand Sky at the Grand Forks County Office Building.  Those joining Dalrymple included members of the Grand Forks County Commission, Grand Forks County Regional Economic Development President and CEO Klaus Thiessen, Grand Sky Development President Tom Swoyer and North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson.
 
Officials with Grand Sky and the North Dakota Department of Commerce have actively recruited Northrop Grumman, General Atomics and other aviation companies to establish a UAS presence at Grand Sky and to utilize the nation’s first UAS test site. Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer are meeting with General Atomics executives in Grand Forks today.
 
Dalrymple has led the state’s efforts to establish a national UAS test site in North Dakota and to develop a national hub for UAS manufacturing, research and development. Working toward those goals, some of the state’s notable achievements include:
 
  • May 2013 - Dalrymple established the Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems Authority.  The six-member authority, chaired by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, has worked ever since to develop a national UAS test proposal, to earn a test site designation and to develop a test site operation that meets FAA certification.  The authority is charged with overseeing the operations of North Dakota’s UAS test site, including the development of public safety protocols,  privacy safeguards and UAS research and development opportunities. Former 119th North Dakota Air National Guard Commander Col. Robert Becklund serves as director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. 
  • December 2013 - The Federal Aviation Administration selects North Dakota to operate one of only six national UAS test sites. The FAA cited North Dakota’s strong proposal, its national standing in aviation and aerospace sciences, university research and development capabilities as well as the state’s diverse climate and open airspace. 
  • April 2014 - North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site was the nation’s first to be FAA certified as ready to begin the work of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace.  
  • February 2015 - The U.S. Air Force and Grand Forks County officials signed an enhanced use lease agreement, paving the way for the development of the Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation Park. 
  • February 2015 - North Dakota lands its first UAS manufacturing venture when Wahpeton-based ComDel Innovation and Altavian begin manufacturing unmanned aerial systems and UAS components at ComDel’s plant in Wahpeton. 
  • April 2015 - Northrop Grumman Corporation becomes Grand Sky’s anchor tenant. 
  • Since 2013, North Dakota has invested more than $30 million to establish a national UAS test site, to establish Grand Sky and to advance North Dakota’s position as a hub for the nation’s growing UAS industry. 


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          There’s a New Silicon Valley of Drones, and it Isn’t in California   
By MW Market Watch
The “Silicon Valley of drones” is taking shape in a place you probably wouldn’t expect.

With the most open airspace in the country, vast tracts of farmland, infrastructure to test on and the nation’s first unmanned aircraft degree program, it makes sense that North Dakota would be the place for drone technology to spread its wings, and it’s now expanding at an unprecedented rate.

The U.S. has previously been circumspect about allowing companies to commercialize drones; murky rulings from the Federal Aviation Administration and the haphazard enforcement of laws have made it challenging for drone companies to operate in the U.S. — so challenging, in fact, that many operators, including Amazon Prime Air, have expressed an intention to leave the U.S. to work in other countries.

But it’s a different story in North Dakota.

This summer, the nation’s first unmanned airport, the Grand Sky Development Park, opens at the state’s Grand Forks Air Force Base. The project, which has 1.2 million square feet of hangar, office and data space, is being developed by Grand Sky Development Co. A runway will allow for traditional and vertical takeoffs by drones.

The airport is expected to generate about 3,000 jobs by its 2016 completion, including 1,000 permanent jobs on site, 1,000 jobs around the community and 1,000 jobs outside the state, said Tom Swoyer, the project’s developer. Pilots would be able to control drones launching at the site from anywhere in the world.

“It’s going to touch a lot of places,” Swoyer said. “A pilot could be in Southern California and pilot the plane launched from North Dakota.”

It’s an appealing proposition for companies like Northrop Grumman NOC, -0.62%  , which has signed on as the site’s anchor tenant but has its aerospace-systems headquarters in Redondo Beach, Calif.

North Dakota committed $5 million to help bring infrastructure to the site as part of its 2015-17 executive budget and another $7.5 million in grants for runway improvements. With the project expected to cost about $25 million in total, the balance will be covered by private investment, said Swoyer.

“This project evolved here in North Dakota with the right combination of political will and an economy that was growing,” Swoyer said. “It’s a state that is investing in the industry. It’s a community willing to raise their hands and say, ‘Let’s try something completely different.’ ”

A community ‘all focused on unmanned aviation’
In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) considered closing the Air Force base.

“Our performance and safety record in fighter aircraft was unprecedented, but despite that our aircraft were getting old and weren’t going to get replaced,” said Robert Becklund, then commander of the North Dakota Air National Guard.

To avoid a drastic action by BRAC, the base made a bold move — replacing its KC-135 Stratotankers with drones.

“This was a dramatic change going from a single-seat manned fighter aircraft to unmanned aircraft,” Becklund said. “But it was the right thing to do for the nation.”

The base is now the site of the Global Hawk and MQ-1 Predator drone aircraft.

At about the same time, the University of North Dakota established a “center of excellence” for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), offering the nation’s first undergraduate degree program in unmanned aviation. Five students received degrees in 2011, the program’s first graduating class. Today, more than 100 students are enrolled, and the program is one of more than 30 similar degree programs at universities throughout the country.

“We have academia, our military, the Department of Homeland Security and industries in the region all focused on unmanned aviation,” Becklund said.

In 2014, North Dakota was one of six states allowed to develop a test site for commercial drone applications: the Northern Plains UAS Test Site in Grand Forks. The site is part of an FAA program looking toward the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into airspace.

North Dakota’s test site was the first to earn operational designation from the FAA and the first to fly under the agreement. The site covers more than half the state, boasting 45,000 square miles of authorized airspace — the largest such volume of any single state.

“If North Dakota hadn’t been selected as a test site, I would have questioned our country’s decision making,” said Becklund, who now serves as the executive director of the test site.

The state budget allocated $4.2 million in its 2015-17 budget for operating the test site. Of that, $1.2 million goes directly to drone companies in the form of a dollar-for-dollar matching program for those opting to partner with one of North Dakota’s research universities on a project. A related but separate program, Research North Dakota, provides up to $300,000 in matching funds for qualified firms.

But there’s a catch. For major companies to fly at the test site, they have to lease their unmanned aircraft to the site so that they can fly under public domain. That caveat is what may have driven companies like Amazon to explore drone-delivery testing outside of the U.S.

“There is no way these companies will lease their airplanes to us,” Becklund said. “It’s a proprietary machine. Any company developing their own aircraft will not lease that to anyone outside their company.”

That restriction has posed a major problem for test sites trying to attract corporate research.

“The FAA says they are here to support industry, but to [participate at a test site] companies have to lease their aircraft to us,” Becklund said.

Companies could get around the requirement by applying for an experimental certification, but that still restricts them to research — not commercial — applications.

A vibrant startup scene
Despite the challenges, other (often smaller) drone companies benefit from the test site.

Most of those companies are based in Fargo, a city that entrepreneurs say bursts with an energy that’s akin to that of the startup scene in San Francisco. But this scene is dominated by drone-based industries.

“We’re becoming a robust startup community,” said North Dakota’s lieutenant governor, Drew Wrigley. “They are the geek squad over in Fargo. You’ve got technical companies and young, energetic entrepreneurs.”

Appareo Systems builds flight-data recorders and ADS-B, a type of aircraft tracking system. Since 2001, that startup has worked on a project in partnership with NASA and the University of North Dakota to build, design and manufacture the ADS-B equipping the airplanes.

Another company, Packet Digital, combines high-speed power electronics with advancements in solar to double drone flight times. The ultimate goal is to provide drones with unlimited flight.

“Once you extend flight time, you open up the possibility of many more types of applications and uses for drones,” said Terri Zimmerman, Packet Digital’s CEO. Those applications could include agriculture, allowing farmers to fly drones over farmland to monitor their crops.

And as more drones fill the airspace, there’s a company working on technology that gives pilots situational awareness of other drones in the area. Botlink allows operators to control a drone from a tablet and detect other drones flying nearby.

The company was founded by Shawn Muehler. He’s the guy behind DroneFocus, a meet-up group in Fargo that grew to 50 members, including Becklund, local startups and public officials. “We’re bringing the government, the private sector, the commercial side together to cut through the red tape,” Muehler said. “It’s the only meet-up where we get every industry player in one room.” Lt. Gov. Wrigley has been known to attend.

Indicative of the group’s attitude, the whole thing is organized through Meetup.com. That means anyone is welcome; you just click a button to join. When the group huddles, the gathering feels more like a block party than a rigid policy meeting with a strict agenda, according to attendees.

“We just have a different personality out here,” Muehler said. “It’s not about how we can beat our competitors. It’s how we can help each other out to propel this industry forward.”

North Dakota’s drone sector has already blown away industry predictions. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) released an economic report in 2013 (before North Dakota was chosen as a test site) predicting the economic impact of drone integration in the U.S. The data were based on airspace activity at the time the report was created.

They forecast that between 2015 and 2017, California’s drone industry would have the largest economic impact in terms of dollars, and North Dakota’s would have the third lowest.

North Dakota’s Department of Commerce revised those predictions in 2013 based on the assumption that the state would become a test site. Its data showed that North Dakota would have the greatest percentage of drone-related jobs (relative to population) of any state.

“Obviously, California has a number of aerospace companies as well as companies that develop sensors, payloads, software and a variety of different products that fit within this industry,” said Paul Lucy, a director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “They underestimated the potential for companies to come here and do R&D work with our test site.”

Still, Becklund doesn’t believe North Dakota is a complete replacement for Silicon Valley, he said. There just aren’t enough people working in engineering and technology to fill jobs in a state that already has one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, he said. North Dakota’s unemployment rate in May was 3.1% versus the national average of 5.5%.

“But if those engineers who developed the technologies in Silicon Valley are looking for a place with a low cost of living, a highly educated workforce and a cooperative community — whether that’s the government or financially — probably this is the best place to do that,” he said.

But even if the jobs get filled, there’s still the issue of funding.

“We can’t get funding because the people in the state tend to be fiscally conservative,” Botlink’s Muehler said. His company received $500,000 in seed funding from local investors. But that’s a paltry figure if the state is going to compete with such venture-backed Silicon Valley drone startups as Airware, which has raised over $40 million in five funding rounds, or 3D Robotics, which has more than $100 million in venture capital.

“We’ve been searching for Series A on a local level because we want to keep the money in the state, so we’re looking for funding sources within North Dakota,” said Muehler.

But where these startups lack private capital, the state is trying to foot the bill. Since 2006, North Dakota has allocated $32.5 million in grant funding to companies interested in commercial drone development through 2017. In addition, the state’s Research North Dakota program offers $5 million biannually in grants from research and development to organizations and companies involved in UAS research through state universities.

Those business incentives have drawn companies from around the U.S. to the state. Florida-based drone manufacturer Altvavian announced in February a $3.2 million agreement to manufacture drones at a plant in North Dakota, the first official UAS manufacturing project in the state.

Wrigley said he sees his state as the Silicon Valley of drones. “People look to North Dakota and say they want to emulate this,” the lieutenant governor said. “We’re blessed with the natural conditions that make it easy to expand drone technology, industries that are keen to tie in UAS technology — and on top of that you have people passionate for aviation and emerging technologies. It’s a part of our pioneering culture.”

There’s a New Silicon Valley of Drones, and it Isn’t in California - MW Market Watch

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          Wrigley, ComDel Mark Completion of First Unmanned Aerial System Built in North Dakota    
By ND Governor's Office
Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley today joined employees at Wahpeton-based ComDel Innovation, Inc. to celebrate the completion of the first unmanned aircraft manufactured in North Dakota. 
 
“Hats off to the great employees at ComDel Innovation for successfully manufacturing the first North Dakota-made unmanned aerial system,” Wrigley said.  “ComDel’s success represents another milestone in our continuing work to grow North Dakota’s UAS industry and to become a national hub for UAS manufacturing, research and development.
 
“By working together in North Dakota, we have also established the nation’s first UAS business park as well as the nation’s first certified UAS test site,” Wrigley said.  “With every advancement we make, North Dakota becomes even better positioned to attract more UAS-related investment and jobs; to lead the nation’s quest for the safe integration of the technologies; and to further diversify our state economy.”
 
In February, Gov. Dalrymple joined executives from ComDel Innovation. and Florida-based Altavian in announcing the companies’ agreement to manufacture unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and UAS components at ComDel’s high-tech manufacturing plant in Wahpeton.
 
“We are excited to be working with Altavian and to play a role in moving North Dakota’s UAS industry forward,” ComDel Innovation President Jim Albrecht said. “At ComDel Innovation, our expertise in high-tech, high-precision manufacturing is a great fit for the UAS industry and we look forward to the opportunities ahead.”
 
Depending on sales, Albrecht estimates that an additional 10 to 20 employees may be added at ComDel to manufacture unmanned aerial systems at its Wahpeton plant.

ComDel Innovation is a precision manufacturer that integrates all aspects of product development. ComDel’s manufacturing services include precision component fabrication, molding, tooling and stamping dies, injection molding, metal stamping, assembly operations and metal finishing.
 
At ComDel Innovation Friday, Altavian founder and CEO John Perry presented the first North Dakota-made unmanned aerial system to Fargo Air Museum officials, a donation to mark the milestone.
 
Altavian COO Thomas Rambo said his company is in the process of hiring a few local employees to help manage the partnership.  Rambo said Altavian is also pursuing opportunities to partner with the Northern Plains FAA UAS Test Site.

Based in Gainesville, Fla., Altavian provides unmanned aerial systems and associated data collection services with applications in the fields of precision agriculture, infrastructure analysis, natural resource management and conservation for government, commercial and research-based customers.
 
Others who joined Wrigley today at ComDel Innovation included Albrecht, Perry, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, Wahpeton Mayor Meryl Hansey and North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson.
 
Dalrymple has led the state’s efforts to establish a national UAS test site in North Dakota, to develop the Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation Park, and to establish North Dakota as a national hub for UAS research and development.

In May 2013, Dalrymple formed the six-member Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems Authority (NPUASA) which was successful in landing one of only six national UAS test site designations approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.  The NPUASA is chaired by Lt. Gov. Wrigley.
 
In April 2014, North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site was the nation’s first to be FAA certified as ready to begin the work of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace.  The state has invested more than $20 million to establish a national UAS test site; to support the development of Grand Sky, a UAS and aviation park located at the Grand Forks Air Force Base and to advance UAS research and development.

Last month, aerospace giant Northrop Grumman signed a lease to become an anchor tenant at the Grand Sky UAS park located on the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

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          Another Major Defense Company Interested in ND Drone Park   
By The Washington Times
The nation's first unmanned aircraft business park currently under construction in North Dakota has a second major defense contractor interested in setting up shop.
 
Linden P. Blue, the CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., plans to visit in July to look into Grand Sky, a 1.2 million-square-foot park located on Grand Forks Air Force Base property. The base recently switched its operations from air refueling tankers to unmanned aircraft.
 
U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer said the General Atomics affiliate is looking not only to test aircraft, but train pilots. "They're the kind of prospect that has more than a casual interest, for sure," Cramer said.
 
Among the unmanned aerial systems General Atomics produces are drones for military combat missions. The MQ-1 Predator drones are being flown by the North Dakota Air National Guard and MQ-9 Reaper planes are being used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Several graduates of the University of North Dakota aviation school are among the more than 6,000 employees for the San Diego-based company.
 
Already, defense technology company Northrop Grumman last month signed a lease to become the park's lead tenant, finalizing a plan that had been in the works for years. Northrop Grumman makes the RQ-4 Global Hawk drone, which is considered particularly valuable because it can conduct long-range missions, fly at 60,000 feet and roam in a particular area for 24 hours or more.
 
"I always have been a big believer in momentum, and someone like Northrop Grumman signing that lease, that's momentum," Cramer said.
 
The momentum continued this past week at an international trade show in Atlanta, where Grand Sky Development President Tom Swoyer said he received inquiries from seven companies. A handful of other businesses also have publicly expressed their interest, he said.
 
"The questions I heard were, 'What do I have to do to get space, what's the process, how fast can I get it, and what does it cost?'" Swoyer said.
 
In addition to the fledgling tech park, North Dakota is one six sites around the country testing unmanned aircraft and the only one to receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly in expanded airspace. Airspace, Swoyer said, was the No. 1 topic at the Atlanta convention.

Another Major Defense Company Interested in ND Drone Park - The Washington Times 


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          North Dakota Dominates North American UAS Industry with Largest Test Site and Key Commercialization Opportunities   
This week, nearly two-dozen North Dakota aerospace and aviation leaders are in Atlanta for the AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America 2015 conference to showcase the state's dominance in America's hottest new industry.

As one of the largest blocks of airspace available in the country for flying unmanned aerial systems (UAS) with the goal of integrating UAS into the national airspace, the delegation will be at the show to discuss how the nation's first operational UAS test site is advancing research and has become increasingly open for businesses in this high profile industry.

In 2014, North Dakota became the first mission-ready test site chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to assist in research integrating unmanned aircraft with manned aircraft into the national airspace. North Dakota alone has invested $22.5 millioninto the test site to advance research and development for the commercialization of UAS, and will be investing an additional $10 million further between now and 2017. In addition, the state's 'Research ND' program will offers $5 million biannually in grants for research and development to organizations and companies involved in UAS research through cooperation with the University of North Dakota (UND) and North Dakota State University (NDSU).

"North Dakota is attracting innovative thinkers in UAS technology, creating jobs and expanding this important industry," said Lt. Gov.Drew Wrigley, who also serves as chairman of the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority. "The momentum our state has gained in the past year alone, in cooperation with the FAA, shows again that we are the premier location for the advancement of UAS."

In February, the Grand Forks Air Force Base officially signed an Extended Use Lease Agreement that will allow for the development of the nation's very first UAS business park, Grand Sky. Governor Jack Dalrymple has already appropriated $2.5 million in state funds to further develop the 1.2 million square-foot UAS aerospace and technology park, with plans ahead for further annual investment. Grand Sky is estimated to eventually house 3,000 collaborating innovators for the advancement of UAS technology, including anchor tenant Northrop Grumman - who just signed a formal lease agreement and will break ground on its new facility at Grand Sky in September.

North Dakota's Governor Dalrymple, along with officials from ComDel Innovation, Inc. and Altavian, also recently announced that the companies have signed a $3.2 million agreement to manufacture UAS and UAS components at ComDel's high-tech manufacturing plant in Wahpeton, the first official UAS manufacturing project in the state.

Alongside these larger business deals taking place in the state, North Dakota's reputation for UAS innovation and proximity to an FAA test site has attracted many UAS tech startups, including Botlink, the creator of an all-in-one control and communications platform that allows UAS operators to control aircraft safely and securely through their own smart phone or tablet by processing all relevant FAA flight data – including avoidance alerts of other aircraft and restricted airspace. Just last week, Botlink announced its new password-protected encryption for secure drone communications that will prevent security breaches between UAS software and hardware, and through this partnership with authorization platform, LaunchKey, Botlink will be the first UAS app in the world with secure logins – solving one of the biggest concerns in the domestic UAS market today.

These new business announcements are just the most recent examples of how North Dakota is leading on UAS research, training and development.

In addition to North Dakota having unencumbered airspace across more than two thirds of the state available for FAA-approved testing, it is also home to a thriving private UAS industry, Grand Forks Air Force Base and partners with four universities prioritizing UAS research, including UND, NDSU, Northland Community & Technical College and Lake Region State College. UND, which has one of the most recognized UAS undergraduate programs in the nation, was the first university to offer a degree program in unmanned aviation in 2009 and is in the midst of a program re-vamp in effort to keep up with the evolving FAA regulations for the sector.

"Building upon North Dakota's long-term operational history and demonstrated performance in unmanned aircraft, and coupled with our collaborative efforts with both industry and the FAA, we are leading the nation's efforts to safely, efficiently and effectively integrate unmanned aircraft to enable commercial UAS operations throughout our National Airspace System," said Robert Becklund, executive director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.

For more information on North Dakota's UAS leadership visit NDUAS.com, and for details on the Northern Plains UAS Test Site visit www.npuasts.com.  

North Dakota Dominates North American UAS Industry with Largest Test Site and Key Commercialization Opportunities - PR Newswire

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          Dalrymple Announces Significant Funding for Grand Sky   
Gov. Jack Dalrymple today said $2.5 million in state funds is now available to further develop the Grand Sky unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business and aviation park on the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Appropriated for the 2013-2015 biennium, the funding was made available contingent on securing a lease agreement with a Grand Sky tenant.
 
“With Northop Grumman’s agreement today to become an anchor tenant at Grand Sky, we are pleased to announce that another $2.5 million in state funds will be made available to continue developing Grand Sky and further solidify North Dakota’s position as a national leader in the growing UAS industry,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said.  “Northrop Grumman is a global leader in aerospace technology and their commitment to Grand Sky represents another important milestone in our continuing work to develop Grand Sky and to become a national hub for UAS manufacturing, research and development.”
 
Dalrymple spoke today with Northrop Grumman Vice President Tom Vice regarding the aerospace company’s plans to build office space and a UAS operations hangar on the Grand Sky technology park. In February, Grand Forks County officials and the U.S. Air Force signed an enhanced use agreement to develop Grand Sky on the military base.
 
Talks between North Dakota officials and Northrup Grumman began after then-Lt. Gov. Dalrymple invited the company’s Sector Vice President of Operations, Gerald ‘Duke’ Dufresne, to visit North Dakota and learn more about the state’s aviation and aerospace offerings. Since then, the state has invested more than $20 million to support the development of Grand Sky; to establish a national UAS test site; and to advance UAS research and development.
 
Dalrymple, other state officials and the state’s congressional delegation have continued talks with Northrop to secure the aerospace giant’s presence at Grand Sky.  Dalrymple also led the state’s successful efforts to establish a national UAS test site in North Dakota and to establish North Dakota as a national hub for UAS research and development.
           
In April 2014, North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site was the nation’s first to be FAA certified as ready to begin the work of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace. 
 
“The signing of Northrop to become another partner at Grand Sky is another indication that our goal of diversification of North Dakota is moving in high gear,” said Sen. Ray Holmberg of Grand Forks.
 
Holmberg, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said lawmakers are supportive of the governor’s request to provide additional funding for Grand Sky’s development and are advancing legislation for additional funding contingent on securing additional Grand Sky tenants.
 
In February, Dalrymple and officials from ComDel Innovation, Inc. and Altavian announced that the companies have agreed to manufacture unmanned aerial systems and UAS components at ComDel’s high-tech manufacturing plant in Wahpeton.
 

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          Roar of Bombers Replaced by Drone Buzz in North Dakota   
By ABC News
The roar of mammoth Air Force bombers and tanker planes has long been silenced at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, but backers of the nation's first unmanned aircraft business park say the drones are creating a buzz.

Construction on the Grand Sky grounds won't likely begin until May, but national and international companies are jockeying for position in the 1.2 million-square-foot park that sits near the former alert pad where bombers and tankers were poised for takeoff on a moment's notice.

North Dakota is one six sites around the country testing unmanned aircraft, for which some Americans have lingering concerns about privacy and safety. The new park's tenants are likely to be researching and developing drones for a host of applications — farming, law enforcement, energy, infrastructure management, public safety, coastal security, military training, search and rescue and disaster response.

Defense technology giant Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Virginia, has already signed a letter of intent to anchor the park and more big names are likely to follow suit, Grand Sky Development President Tom Swoyer said. He added he met with representatives from two prospective companies last week, including a "household name in the unmanned system industry" that he would not identify.

"Companies in the industry are starting to take notice," Swoyer said. "We're getting a lot of input."

One company looking to get into the ground floor of Grand Sky is Smart C2, a fledgling software business that picked North Dakota for its home base because of the state's commitment to unmanned aircraft. Stuart Rudolph, company president and CEO, said the park will have all the key players in one space.

"Grand Sky is going to be the melting pot," Rudolph said. He noted other favorable factors, such as access to talent at the base, University of North Dakota aerospace school and a nearby technical school; government support; private equity financing and lots of airspace.

The possibility of competitors locating under the same roof also is a good thing, Rudolph said.

"This is too young of an industry to worry about your competition," he said. "We're investing in North Dakota because we think this is where the right people are going to come together to solve the problems of the United States."

Not everyone is as optimistic about the future of drones. An Associated Press poll conducted in December showed that 33 percent of Americans oppose using drones to monitor or spray crops, while another third support it. Only 27 percent favor using drones for aerial photography.

Even so, the park is expected to bring thousands of jobs to this part of northeastern North Dakota, a boon given that that the number of airmen at the Grand Forks base has dropped since its mission was changed to unmanned aircraft.

The base had housed heavy bombing operations for more than 30 years and refueling tankers for 50 years. The last B-1B Lancer departed the facility in 1994, and the final tankers left in 2010. Since 2006, the number of airmen at base has decreased from 2,450 to about 1,300, while the number of base employees has declined from more than 3,000 to about 1,000.

Swoyer estimates that up to about 3,000 workers could be hired overall — 500 to 1,000 people on campus, the same amount by companies that support the park and another 500 to 1,000 who visit for training or research and development.

The facility will have space for hangars, offices, shops, laboratories and data centers. It's also the first commercial park where manned and unmanned aircraft can take off from the same place, Swoyer said.

"Hopefully we will start hearing the roar of unmanned jet engines coming into the Grand Forks Air Force Base," he said. "Only they will be turning right at the end of the runway (toward Grand Sky) rather than left (toward the base)."

 

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          New Unmanned Aircraft Research Project Proposed by UND to Take Off   
By Grand Forks Herald
A groundbreaking unmanned aircraft research proposal was approved Friday by a UND research oversight committee
 
The project proposed by staff from the university's unmanned aircraft program seeks to test radio control of unmanned aircraft beyond line of sight. The Federal Aviation Administration is charged with integrating unmanned aircraft systems into commercial air space and researchers said this project supports that mission.

"This is true UAS integration into the (National Air Space). We have not done a project at UND that rivals as far as the importance of it to the FAA," UAS Course Manager Mike Corcoran said. "This is smack dab in the middle of what they're trying to solve."

According to an application submitted to the school's UAS Research and Compliance committee, the project's purpose is to test the "performance and viability of new radio communications" for unmanned aircraft.

The jump from flying these devices within sight of the pilot to out of sight is key to integrating the technology into commercial airspace.

The first flights will be conducted at the Lakota, N.D., airport starting in June. Since flights are expected to go beyond the line of sight of operators, researchers will follow the aircraft from the ground in chase vehicles.

The two-year project is funded with $500,000 from the North Dakota Department of Commerce and a matching $500,000 contribution from avionics company Rockwell Collins.

The university's new UAS training aircraft, a SandShark manufactured by Northrop Grumman, will be flown to test the communication systems and gather flight data. A larger aircraft, a Boeing ScanEagle may be used later on in the project.

All research data collected will be stored by Rockwell Collins, according to the proposal application.

The SandShark is equipped with a forward facing video camera on its nose, but Corcoran said any video taken will not be archived so privacy concerns should be minimal.

The completion date for the research project is set for Nov. 30, 2016.

New Unmanned Aircraft Research Project Proposed by UND to Take Off - Grand Forks Herald


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          Startups Will Star as North Dakota Drone Summit Explores Commercialization   
By Roll Call
 

For drone enthusiasts, Grand Forks, N.D., will be the place to be this week, as the state hosts its eighth annual summit featuring Federal Aviation Administration officials as well as speakers from Northrop Grumman and an array of smaller companies in the fledgling unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry.

Danny Ellis, a spokesman for an Ann Arbor, Mich., start-up called SkySpecs, who’ll be speaking at the summit, said his firm is developing small aerial systems “with a focus on advanced intelligence for applications requiring immediate obstacle avoidance. Our first market and customer is in wind turbine blade inspection.”

 

The firm, with nine full-time employees, all graduates of the University of Michigan, recently won a $150,000 National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research grant to do work on solving the sense and avoid problem for small unmanned aerial systems, Ellis said. The company’s first commercial devices will be available by the end of this year.

Another summit speaker, Zach Lamppa, the president of North Dakota-based firm Energy Intelligence, will be discussing how unmanned aerial systems can be used for inspecting oil and gas pipelines.

Al Palmer, the director of the University of North Dakota’s Center for UAS Research, Education and Training, who’ll also be speaking at the three-day summit, said he expected “a lot of focus on commercialization. I think for the industry to grow, we need to commercialize; very similar to what the airplane did after World War I — a great weapons system, but aviation didn’t come into its own until it was commercialized.”

Last year the FAA chose North Dakota as one of six UAS sites around the country to do research on how to integrate drones into the nation’s airspace.

“The test site is leveraging North Dakota State University research and University of North Dakota’s experience in aerospace, and our expectation is that we will continue doing research after the February 2017 mandate for the test site to shut down,” Palmer said.

Since 2003 the University of North Dakota has carried out nearly $60 million in research on UAS, with funding from federal, state and private sources, he said.

The university launched the nation’s first four-year degree program in unmanned aircraft systems in 2009 with five students. Now there are more than 130 enrolled.

Last week the FAA announced that the fourth of the six UAS test sites, at the Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, became operational. Its missions will include monitoring wetlands along the Padre Island National Seashore and research on tracking tropical storms.

 



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           1/48 WWII USAAF Northrop P-61B "Black Widow" Last Shoot Down 1945    
1/48 WWII USAAF Northrop P-61B This is a plastic model kit, which comes unassembled and unpainted. So glue, model paints and other basic modelling tools are additionally required.

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          1/48 McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18A+/B/CF-188 with RAAF Decals   
1/48 McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18A+/B/CF-188 with RAAF DecalsThis is a plastic model kit, which comes unassembled and unpainted. So glue, model paints and other basic modelling tools are additionally required.

The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation). Designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The Hornet is also used by the air forces of several other nations and, since 1986, by the U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.

The F/A-18 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,034 knots, 1,190 mph or 1,915 km/h at 40,000 ft or 12,190 m). It can carry a wide variety of bombs and missiles, including air-to-air and air-to-ground, supplemented by the 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon. It is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines, which give the aircraft a high thrust-to-weight ratio. The F/A-18 has excellent aerodynamic characteristics, primarily attributed to its leading edge extensions (LEX). The fighter's primary missions are fighter escort, fleet air defense, Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD), air interdiction, close air support and aerial reconnaissance. Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its earlier contemporaries, such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in the fighter and strike fighter role, and the Grumman A-6 Intruder and LTV A-7 Corsair II in the attack role.

Markings:

- Royal Canadian Air Force 409SQ, 410SQ & 425SQ.
- Royal Australian Air Force No. 75SQ, No. 77SQ & No. 3SQ.
- Spanish Air Force Ala 46, Ala 12 & Ala 15.
- Decal printed by Cartograf S.r.l., Italy
- Decal designed by Cross Delta

Model Features:

- Positional flaps, slat
- Extra outer wing for fold wing configuration
- New engraving technology for crispy panel line and laser engraving for super detail
- Highly detailed cockpit
- Full intake
- Super detail MLG and NLG bay
- CF-188 landing gear

Weapon includes:

- Fuel tank
- CVER
- AAQ-13/14, AAQ-28/Sniper

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          1/72 F-5E Tiger II Fighter   
1/72 F-5E Tiger II FighterThis is a plastic model kit, which comes unassembled and unpainted. So glue, model paints and other basic modelling tools are additionally required.

  • Model Dimension: Length: 205mm Wingspan: 115mm
  • Total Plastic Parts: 80+
  • Total Sprues: 3 sprues
  • Camouflage Scheme:
    1.Brazilian Air Force
    2.USAF
    3.Swiss Air Force

  • More Features:
    The kit consists of over 80 parts, includes 4 clear parts.

In 1970 Northrop won a competition for an improved International Fighter Aircraft (IFA) to replace the F-5A, with better air-to-air performance against aircraft like the Soviet MiG 21. The resultant aircraft, initially known as F-5A-21, subsequently became the F-5E. The first F-5E flew on 11 August 1972.

*

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          You Can Help Johnny Read   

By Pamela Schmid When it comes to helping kids read, Shirley Dolland has an arsenal at her disposal: ballerina and car stickers, a giant green die for word bingo, even books she made herself about trips to the zoo and ice cream shop. “The challenge is trying to make things interesting for them,” said Dolland, 70, of Bloomington, a retired corporate manager who spends three afternoons a week tutoring kindergartners and first-graders at Hiawatha Leadership Academy’s Northrop campus in Minneapolis. …

The post You Can Help Johnny Read appeared first on AARP States.


          Comment on In rare case of matricide, Indian-American teen held for killing his mom by Wholesale Jerseys China   
<strong>Wholesale Jerseys China</strong> Frank Moore, 42, has arrived from media relations at Northrop Grumman to be the SCGA's new director of communications and marketing.20." Some of Heaney's favorite memories about Thomas' dedication are from watching him work the State Amateur when i…
          Galerie: Northrop Delta   
Das Original der von Rico Christmann gebauten Northrop Delta stammt aus einer Zeit, in der Flugreisen nur einer besonders gut betuchten Klientel zur Verfügung standen.
          IGS Field Engineer / Technician 2 or 3 - Northrop Grumman - Colorado Springs, CO   
Northrop Grumman is seeking a Ionospheric Ground Systems (IGS) field engineer/technician to be responsible for supporting the IGS Technical Lead for the daily...
From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:01 GMT - View all Colorado Springs, CO jobs
          Sales Assistant   
CT-Bridgeport, Looking for a Customer Service Representatives/Sales Support Assistant within the manufacturing industry! This is a direct hire opportunity paying 40-45k Please send your resume to john.northrop@randstadusa.com for immediate consideration. Working hours: 8-5 Skills: Ideal candidate will have experience with the following: -Order processing. -Scanning. -Filing and data entry. -Proper phone adequate
          Web Design Marketing Services (Grace Northrop)   
In todays' advance world a business must have a website to represent their offering to their potential customers around them or far, it is being consider as a foundation of your business online presence. Regardless of the product or the services what you have been offering to your regular customer you have vast opportunity to offer your products and services to the people...
          Credit Union Call Center Representative I - Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union (NGFCU) - Gardena, CA   
These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, providing counsel to new and existing members, in regards to various credit union products and services,...
From Indeed - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 19:36:55 GMT - View all Gardena, CA jobs
          Danbury's Musicals at Richter Continues 33rd Season with WEST SIDE STORY   

Musicals at Richter (MAR), celebrating its 33rd season as the longest-running outdoor theater in Connecticut, continues its summer season with "West Side Story," the explosive musical retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story set against the backdrop of rival street gangs in 1950s New York City. Staged on the grounds of the Richter Arts Center in Danbury July 7 through 22, performances take place outdoors under the stars Friday through Sunday evenings at 8:30 p.m., with additional specially discounted performances on Thursday, July 13 and 20.

With a book by Arthur Laurents ("Gypsy"), score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, and original conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins, "West Side Story" transplants Shakespeare's classic romance of Romeo and Juliet to the 1950s and Manhattan's Upper West Side as two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds: the Jets, born and bred New York boys; and the Sharks, immigrants from Puerto Rico. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time, and widely regarded as one of the best musicals ever written.

The original 1957 Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and produced by Robert E. Griffith and Harold Prince, marked Sondheim's Broadway debut. Featuring Larry Kert as Tony, Carol Lawrence as Maria and Chita Rivera as Anita, the production ran 732 performances before going on tour. Nominated for Tony Awards including Best Musical, it won for choreography and scenic design, losing out to Meredith Willson's "The Music Man" for Best Musical.

The 1961 musical film adaptation, directed by Robert Wise and Robbins, starred Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won ten, including George Chakiris for Supporting Actor, Rita Moreno for Supporting Actress, and Best Picture.

The iconic score includes such musical theater classics as "Something's Coming." "Maria," "America," "Somewhere," "Tonight," "I Feel Pretty," "One Hand, One Heart," and "Gee, Officer Krupke."

Directed for MAR by veteran actor, director and educator Michael Limone (Long Island), "West Side Story" features a cast of talented local performers, including many newcomers and MAR veterans. Stephen Moores (Brookfield) and Juliet Dale (Fairfield) portray star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria. Sergio Mandujano (Norwalk) is featured as Bernardo, Maria's brother and the leader of the Sharks, and Lauren Nicole Sherwood (Stamford) is Anita, Bernardo's girlfriend and Maria's mentor and confidante.

Brian Bremer (Wilton) is Riff, the leader of the Jets. Fellow Jets gang members include Brian Salvador (Bethel); Andrew Kocur and Noah Matson (Danbury): Will Armstrong (Greenwich); Brian Hinger (New Milford); Jack Armstrong and Jacob Schultz (Newtown); Nathan Clift (Trumbull); and Emma Burke-Covitz (Carmel, NY).

The Sharks are represented by Simon Garcia, Victor Roldan and Tim Sheehan (Bethel); Andre Grigorio, Matthew Olencki and Brailyn Rodriguez (Danbury); and Elias Levy (Monroe).

The Jets and Sharks girls include Jillian Fredette (Brookfield); Olivia Cotter, Abigail Heiden, Cassidy Holmes (Danbury), Lilly Macfayden (Monroe); Elizabeth Koennecke (New Canaan); Teah Renzi (Newtown); Emma Giorgio (Ridgefield); Bonita Gregson (Wilton); Kristyn Vario (Brewster, NY); and Christina Kompar (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY).

Rounding out the cast are John McMahon (Newtown) as Lieutenant Schrank; Steven Taliaferro (Bethel) as Officer Krupke; Kevin McCarthy (Brewster, NY) as Doc; Robert Bria (Redding) as Gladhand; and Pam DeHuff (Pawling, NY) as Adult Soprano.

Heading up the "West Side Story" creative team is Michael Limone, who teaches acting and directs productions at Rye High School in New York, where ten years ago he created the Parsons Street Players, the high school's after-school theater club. Prior to teaching in Rye, he ran the theater program at Stamford High School for ten years and was the Vice President of the Connecticut Drama Association. In addition to his teaching career, Limone has been acting and directing in community theater throughout Fairfield County and now Long Island, where he lives, for the last 25 years. He majored in English and Acting at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and also studied at HB Studios in NYC.

Limone is joined by veteran musical director and conductor Zachary Kampler (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY). A professor at Westchester Community College, Kampler is the Music Director of the Sound Beach Community Band and Conductor for Saint Catherine's Players in Greenwich. Kampler has served as Music Director for Staples Players, Bedford Acting Group, Weston High School Company, Binghamton University Theater Department and the Boys & Girls Club Theater Program. He has also conducted The Connecticut Little Symphony, Nickel City Opera, and Crystal Opera, in addition to holding the position of Assistant Conductor with the Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic, Tri-Cities Opera, and Sarasota Opera. A graduate of the Juilliard Pre-College Program, Kampler holds a B.A. in Music from New York University and earned an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting with a concentration in Opera, from SUNY Binghamton.

Handling choreography duties for "West Side Story" is Jimmy Locust (Black Rock), a multitalented master teacher, choreographer and performer who is also the founder of Stamford-based Locust Performing Arts Center. Among his many extensive credits, Locust has shared his talents internationally, working with superstars Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Quincy Jones and Debbie Allen. He has appeared in music videos and films and has performed at the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. Locust was one of the head choreographers for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and was nominated for an American Choreography Award in 2001 for his work on Warner Brothers' television show Nikki. He worked on the Justin Bieber Tour in 2010 and served as choreographer for the CW Television Network's The Next with hosts John Rich, Joe Jonas, Nelly and Gloria Estefan. Locust's latest endeavor is his new South Florida dance studio Locust Dance Academy in the Miami area slated to open in August.

The "West Side Story" creative team also includes set and lighting designer Jake Liam McGuire (Brewster, NY) and costume coordinator (and MAR Artistic Director) Lauren Nicole Sherwood (Stamford). Katie Girardot (New Fairfield) serves as stage manager and Joyce Northrop (Danbury) is producer.

The main stage season also features the perennial family favorite "Seussical" (July 28 - August 12). For complete details on Musicals at Richter's season, daytime Fairy Tale Theater for children and young people's musical theater workshop offerings, visit www.musicalsatrichter.org.

Main stage musical performances are Friday through Sunday evenings at the Richter Arts Center (next to the Richter Park Golf Course, I-84, Exit 2), 100 Aunt Hack Road, in Danbury. Tickets for "West Side Story" are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students (with ID), and $10 for children 10 and under. For the additional Thursday performances on July 13 and 20, tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $5 for children 10 and under. Tickets may be purchased through the Musicals at Richter website (www.musicalsatrichter.org) or at the door. Grounds open at 7:15 p.m. for picnicking, with curtain at 8:30 p.m. Group rates are available with advance reservation; chair rentals and soft drink/snack concessions are available on-site.

About Musicals at Richter: Nestled in the hills of Western Connecticut, the Arts Center stage has served as the scenic backdrop for over 75 musicals produced by Musicals at Richter, as well as a professional springboard for hundreds of up-and-coming performers. Musicals at Richter is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization run by volunteers. For further information, visit the website at www.musicalsatrichter.org, leave a message at 203-748-6873 or e-mail info@musicalsatrichter.org.


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          Bütün Hikâyeler Aynı   
Turkish

Bir gemi, yabancı bir sahile iner; kendini kanıtlamaya can atan bir genç adam, oranın yerlileriyle arkadaş olup sırlarını ortaya çıkarmak üzere görevlendirilmiştir. Onların yaşam tarzından büyülenmiş bir halde yerli bir kıza âşık olur ve üstlerine karşı güven duygusunu yitirmeye başlar. Kendi adamlarının yerlileştiğini fark eden üstler, karşılık olarak hem onu hem de yerli halkı tek seferde ortadan kaldırmaya karar verirler.

Avatar veya Pocahantas? Hikâye olarak neredeyse aynılar. Hatta kimileri James Cameron’u Amerikan Yerlilerinin mitini çalmakla suçlamıştır. Ancak bu, hem daha basit hem de daha karmaşık bir meseledir, çünkü temel yapı sadece bu iki hikâye için değil, tümü için ortaktır. 

Üç farklı hikâyeyi ele alalım:

Tehlikeli bir canavar, halkı tehdit etmektedir. Bir adam, bu canavarı öldürmek ve krallığa mutluluğu geri getirme görevini kendi üzerine alır.

Bu, 1976’da vizyona giren Jaws’ın hikâyesi. Ama aynı zamanda, 8. ve 11. yüzyıl arası bir zamanda yayımlanmış olan Anglosakson epik şiiri Beowulf’un da hikâyesi.

Ve bundan çok daha tanıdık olarak: Bu The Thing, Jurassic Park, Godzilla ve The Blob – tüm gerçek canavarlı filmler. Eğer bu canavarlara insan formunda rol verilirse, aynı zaman bütün James Bond filmleri, MI5’in, House’un veya CSI’ın her bölümü olabilir. Aynı biçimi The Exorcist, The Shining, Fatal Attraction, Scream, Psycho ve Saw’da da görebilirsiniz. Canavar, Nightmare on Elm Street’teki yalın ve gerçekçi formundan, Erin Brockovich’teki şirket formuna değişim gösterebilir, ama temeli oluşturan yapı –düşmanın alt edildiği ve toplumda düzenin tekrar sağlandığı– aynı kalır. Canavar, The Towering Inferno’daki yangın olabilir, The Poseidon Adventure’daki alabora olmuş tekne veya Ordinary People’daki gibi bir çocuğun annesi olabilir. Görünüşte benzemez görünseler de, her birinin iskeletleri aynıdır.

Kahramanımız cesur yeni bir dünyaya rastlar. Önce onun ihtişam ve cazibesiyle şaşkına döner, ama işler yavaşça tekinsizleşir...

Bu Alice’in Harikalar Diyarındaki Maceraları, ama aynı zamanda Oz Büyücüsü, Life on Mars, ve Gulliver’in Gezileri. Ve eğer bu fantastik dünyaları, yalnızca ana karaktere fantastik görünen dünyalar ile değiştirirseniz, Brideshead Revisited, Rebecca, The Line of Beauty ve The Third Man filmlerinin de aynı şekilde bu kalıba uyduğunu hemen görürsünüz.

Bir topluluk, kendini büyük bir tehlike içinde bulduğu ve çözümün çok çok uzak topraklardaki bir iksiri bulup getirmekte yattığını gördüğü vakit, bu kabilenin bir üyesi bilinmeyene olan bu risk dolu yolcuğu kendi üzerine alır…

Bu Raiders of the Lost Ark, Morte D’Arthur, Lord of The Rings ve Watership Down. Ve eğer bunu fanteziden ziyade daha dünyevi bir hikâyeye naklederseniz karşınıza Master and Commander, Saving Private Ryan, Guns of Navarone ve Apocalypse Now çıkar. Eğer karakterlerin yolculuk amacını değiştirirseniz, işte o zaman Rififi, The Usual Suspects, Ocean’s Eleven, Easy Rider ve Thelma & Louis’i bulursunuz.

Yani, üç farklı hikâyenin pek çok türevi var. Peki bunu özetlerseniz, sadece üç farklı hikâye tipi olduğu anlamına mı gelir? Hayır. Beowulf, Alien ve Jaws “canavar” hikâyeleri – ama onlar aynı zamanda yeni ve korkutucu dünyalara çekilmiş olan kişiler hakkında. Apocalypse Now veya Finding Nemo gibi klasik “macera” hikâyelerinde baş karakterler hem canavarlarla, hem de garip yeni dünyalarla karşılaşır. Gulliver’in Gezileri, Witness ve Legally Blonde gibi “Cesur Yeni Dünya” hikâyeleri bu üç tarife uyumludur: Karakterlerin hepsi bir tür macera içindedir ve alt etmeleri gereken canavarlar vardır. Görünüşte farklı olsalar da hepsi aynı çerçeve ve hikâye lokomotifini paylaşır: Hepsi karakterlerini garip, yeni bir dünyaya sürüklemiştir, hepsi bu yeni dünyadan çıkış yolunu bulmayı içeren bir macera barındırır ve hangi formu seçerlerse seçsinler, tüm hikâyelerde “canavarlar” mağlup edilmiştir. Üstelik hepsi, bir noktada, hedeflerini güvenlik, emniyet, tamamlanma ve evin önemi olarak belirlemiştir.

Bu ilkeler yalnızca filmlerde, romanlarda veya Homeland, The Killing gibi televizyon dizilerinde görülmüyor. Arkadaşımın 9 yaşındaki oğlu, bir hikâye anlatmak istediğine karar verdi. Bu konuda kimseye danışmadı ve sadece yazdı:

Bir aile tatile çıkmayı dört gözle bekler. Anne, kirayı ödeyebilmek uğruna tatili feda etmek zorundadır. Çocuklar bahçede gömülü bir harita bulurlar, ormandaki saklı hazineyi göstermektedir ve peşinden gitmeye karar verirler. Pek çok belaya bulaşır ve takip edilirler, sonunda hazineyi bulur ve daha da iyi bir tatile çıkarlar.

Neden bir çocuk yüzyıllar önce anlatılmış bir hikâyeyi bilinçsizce tekrar eder? Neden, bu çocuk çok spontane bir şekilde yazıyorken, çok açık bir şekilde kuşaklar boyu geri giden hikâyeleri taklit eden hikâye yapısına hakimdir? Neden hepimiz hikâyelerimizi aynı kuyudan çekmeye devam ediyoruz? Bunun sebebi şu olabilir: Her bir başarılı kuşak, sonuncuyu kopya eder, böylece bir dizi gelenek/düzen belirlenmiş olur. Bu, modelin aynı anda her yerde bulunmasını açıklarken, ikon karşıtlığına (iconoclasm) karşı azimli direnci, kendini yeniden keşfetmesini sağlayan tazeliği ve neşesi, ortada başka şeylerin de olduğu hissini veriyor.

Hikâye anlatıcılığının belli bir biçimi vardır. Anlatılmış tüm hikâyelerin anlatım şeklini domine eder ve yalnızca Rönesans dönemine kadar değil, kaydedilen ilk sözcüklere dek izlenebilir. Bu, bir sanat evi veya havaalanı formunda heyecanla özümsediğimiz bir yapıdır, ve bu biçim –fakat dikkatli olmamız gerekir– evrensel bir arketip olabilir.

Sanat üzerine olan çoğu yazı, sanatçı olmayan insanlar tarafından yazılmıştır: Yanlış algılar da böyle ortaya çıkar işte. 
Eugene Delacroix

Evrensel bir hikâye yapısını keşfetme macerası, yeni bir şey değil. Prague School’dan ve 20. yüzyıl başları Rus Formalistlerden, Northrop Frye’nin Anatomy of Criticism eserinden Christopher Booker’ın The Seven Basic Plots’una, pek çoğu hikâyelerin nasıl çalıştığını anlamayı kendilerine görev edinmiştir. Benim alanımda, bu sahici bir endüstri —senaryo yazımı konusunda yüzlerce kitap var (televizyonla ilgili neredeyse mantıklı hiçbir şey olmasa da). Çoğunu okudum, ancak ben daha çok okudukça, şu iki mesela daha çok kafamı karıştırdı:

1. Pek çoğu tamamen farklı sistemler öneriyor, her birinin hikâye yazmak için tek ve yegane yol olduğunu iddia ediyorlar. Nasıl bütün hepsi doğru olduğunu iddia edebilir?

2. Hiçbiri "Neden?" diye sormuyor.

Bu büyük kitaplardan bir kısmı değersiz bilgiler içeriyor, birkaçı yararlı sezgilere sahip, hepsi de bize nasıl olduğunu söylemeye hevesli ve büyük bir hararetle “sayfa 12’de tahrik edici bir olay olmasının gerekliliği” konusunda ısrar ediyor, ama hiçbiri bunların neden olması gerektiğini açıklamıyor. Durup bunun hakkında düşündüğünüz zaman ise gerçekten delice geliyor: Eğer “neden” sorusunu cevaplayamıyorsanız, “nasıl” sorusu kumların üzerine inşa edilmiş bir yapıdır. Ve sonra, bunu kendi kendinize cevaplamaya çalıştığınız zaman, çoğu teorinin –bazısı keskin olsa da– pek de bir anlamı olmuyor. Tanrı, sayfa 12’de tahrik edici bir olay olmasını mı buyurdu, yoksa bir kahramanın yolculuğunda 12 evre mi vardı? Tabii ki hayır; onlar kurgudur. Neden bu biçim/kalıpların bulunduğu konusunda tutarlı bir neden bulmadığımız sürece, bu insanları ciddiye almamız için çok az neden var. Onlar, mallarını satmak için sınırda dolaşan üçkâğıtçılar.

Neredeyse tüm yetişkin hayatım boyunca hikâyeler anlattım ve İngiliz televizyonlarındaki çoğu popüler programda çalışmanın olağanüstü ayrıcalığına sahip oldum. 20 milyondan fazla izleyiciye ulaşan hikâyeler yarattım ve dramatik bakış/çerçeveyi tekrar tanımlayan programların yakinen içinde bulundum.

Neredeyse hiç şahit olunmayan bir biçimde, hem sanat-evi yapımlarında hem de popülist anaakım programlarda çalıştım, ikisini de eşit derecede sevdim ve daha çok hikâye anlattıkça daha çok fark ettim ki, hikâye konularının altında yatan örüntü/model –bir izleyicinin talep ettiği birtakım usul ve gidişatlar – olağanüstü bir istikrara sahiptir.

Sekiz sene önce, hikâye anlatıcılığı konusundaki her şeyi okumaya başladım. Daha da önemlisi, beraber çalıştığım tüm yazarları nasıl yazdıkları konusunda sorgulamaya başladım. Kimisi üç perdeli yapı geleneklerine sarılmıştı, kimi bunu reddetti – ve kimiyse bu gelenekleri hâlihazırda kullandığını fark etmeyerek reddetti. Birkaç yazar dört perdeye, bazısı da beşe yeminliydi; diğerleri de perde diye bir şeyin olmadığını iddia etti. Bazıları titizlikle senaryo yazımı kılavuzlarından öğrenirken, diğerleri yapısal teoriyi şeytan ürünü olarak kınadı. Ancak okuduğum her iyi senaryoda birleştirici tek bir faktör vardı: ister yepyeni bir yetenek tarafından, ister birçok ödül sahibi bir yazar tarafından yazılmış olsun, hepsi temelde aynı yapısal özellikleri paylaşıyordu.

İki basit soru sorarak –bu özellikler neydi ve neden tekrarladılar – tarihle dolu bir dolabın kilidini açmış oldum. Çok kalmadan, üç-perde paradigmasının modern çağın bir keşfi değil, ancak çok daha ilkel bir şeyin artikülasyonu olduğunu; yani modern perde yapısının izleyicinin azalan dikkat süresine karşı bir reaksiyonu ve perdenin icadı olduğunu keşfettim. Belki daha da şaşırtıcı olarak, beş perdeli dramanın tarihi, 19. yüzyıl Fransız drama yazarı Eugène Scribe ve Alman romancı Gustav Freytag’dan, Molière, Shakespeare ve Jonson yoluyla beni Romalılara geri götürdü. Anlamaya başladım ki eğer gerçekten bir arketip olsaydı yalnızca senaryo yazımına değil, tüm anlatım/hikâye yapılarına uygulanıyor olurdu. Biri ya tüm hikâyelerini bir kalıba uygun olarak anlatır, ya da hiçbirini.  Eğer hikâye anlatıcılığı evrensel bir yapıya sahipse bu, apaçık olmak zorundadır.

Konu yapıya geldiği zaman, acaba yazarların gerçekten ne kadarını bilmesi gerekiyor? İşte, film teorisi üzerine Guillermo Del Toro: 

İnsanları bundan özgürleştirmelisiniz; onlara hikâyelerini, hayatlarını, duygularını ve dünya hakkındaki görüşlerini sığdırmaları gereken bir korse vermemelisiniz. Bizim lanetimiz, film endüstrisinin %80’inin yarım yamalak bilgili insanlar tarafından yönetiliyor oluşu. Joseph Campbell ve Robert Mckee okumuş olan insanlarınız var ve şimdi sizinle kahramanın yolculuğu hakkında konuşuyorlar ve siz de lanet penislerini kesip ağızlarına sıkıştırmak için can atıyorsunuz.

Del Toro pek çok yazar ve sinemacının düşüncelerini yansıtıyor; pek çoğu için, gizli saklı olarak, yapı çalışmasının dehalarına bir ihanet olduğuna dair kökleşmiş bir inanç var; aleladeliğin yerine ilham perisini aradığı bir yer. Böyle bir çalışma yalnız bir yolla sona erebilir. David Hare iyi bir şekilde ifade ediyor: “İzleyici sıkıldı. Bu bitik UCLA film okulu formülünü –perdeler, atlayışlar ve kişisel yolculuklar– başladığı andan itibaren öngörebilirler. Onlara yeni-başlayanlar-için-Jung ve Joseph Campbell menşeili çok fazla şey sunulduğu için kızgın ve aşağılanmışlar. Şimdi tüm iyi eserler, tür dışı.”

Charlie Kaufman, formun sınırlarını zorlamak konusunda Hollywood’da pek çoğundan fazlasını yapmıştır, daha da ileri gidiyor: “Herkesin takılı kalmış olduğu şu doğuştan gelen senaryo yapısı var, üç-perdeli olan. Bu beni gerçekten ilgilendirmiyor. Doğrusu düşünüyorum ki, ben muhtemelen yapı konusuyla senaryo yazan çoğu insandan daha çok ilgiliyim, çünkü bunun hakkında düşünüyorum.” Ancak çok fazla protesto edildi. Hare’nin My Zinc Bed adlı bağımlılık çalışması ve Kaufman’ın Being John Malkovich senaryosu, klasik hikâye formunun mükemmel örnekleri. Ne kadar nefret etmişlerse de (ve bence öfkeleri onlara ihanet etti), tiksindiklerini ileri sürdükleri kılavuzu izlemekten geri duramadılar. Niçin?

Tüm hikâyeler aynı şablondan yaratılmıştır, basit bir şekilde, yazarların kullandıkları yapı konusunda herhangi bir seçeneği yoktur; fizik, mantık, ve dikte edilen form kurallarında hepsi tamamen aynı yolu izlemek zorundadır. 

Bu durumda hikâye anlatıcılığının sihirli bir anahtarı var mı? Bu kibir, tedbir gerektiriyor – düzenleme, açıklama, kataloglamaya dair dürtüler, aynı zamanda ilginç olmayan detayları önemsemeye bir eğilimdir. Anlatımın zengin çeşitliliğini ve alışılmadık derecede çok yönlü olan doğasını reddeden kişi, Middlemarch’ta bunun açıklamasını ararken hayata sırtını dönen kurumuş kabuk Casaubon’dan daha iyi olamamayı göze almış olur. Tüm bunlar, bilimsel bir formüle ve gökkuşağını sökmeye olan merakı azaltmak için oldukça cazip.

Ancak kurallar var. The West Wing ve The Newsroom’un yaratıcısı Aaron Sorkin bu durumu şöyle açıklıyor: “Gerçek kurallar, dramanın kurallarıdır, Aristo’nun bahsettiği kurallar. Sahte televizyon kuralları, aptal televizyon yöneticilerinin size söyleyeceği ‘Bunu yapamazsın, yapman gereken şu, bundan üç tane ve şundan dört taneye ihtiyacın var,’ gibi sözler değil. Bunlar aptalca.” Sorkin tüm büyük sanatçıların bildiği şeyi ifade ediyor; onların sanata/beceriye dair bir fikre sahip olmaları lazım. Sanatsal kompozisyonun formları, her bir dil gibi bir gramere sahiptir ve bu gramer, bu yapı sadece kurgu değil, insan zihninin çalışmalarının en güzel ve çetrefilli ifadesidir.

Şunu belirtmek önemli ki, yazarlar yapıyı anlamak zorunda değiller. En iyilerin çoğu, hikâyenin şekline esrarengiz bir şekilde bilinçsizce ulaşabilme yeteneğine sahip; bu şekil dokuz yaşındaki bir çocuk ile aynı derecede kendi zihinlerinde de yattığı için.

Hiç şüphesiz, pek çoğuna yardımcı olan da bu kurallar. Friedrich Engels bunu kısa ve etkili bir biçimde ifade ediyor: “Özgürlük, zorunlu olanı kabullenmektir.” Zaman ve kılavuz bilgisi olmadan çalınan bir piyano, yakında dinlemek için bıktırıcı olacaktır; biçim ve form kurallarını izlemek Beethoven, Mozart ve Shostakovich’i engellemedi. Kuralları çiğneyecekseniz bile (neden olmasın?) öncelikle onlarda sağlam bir temel sahibi olmalısınız. Modernizmin öncüleri –Soyut Empresyonizmciler, Kübistler, Sürrealistler ve Fütüristler– hepsi form kurallarını parçalamadan önce, figüratif resmin efendileriydi. Ötesine geçmeden önce, hepsi sınırlarını bilmek zorundaydı. Sanat eleştirmeni Robert Hughes’un gözlemine göre: 

Çok nadir istisnalar dışında, son yüzyılın tüm önemli sanatçıları, Seurat’dan Matisse’e, Picasso’dan Mondrian’a, Beckmann’dan de Kooning’e, hepsi “akademik” çizimde eğitilmişlerdi (veya kendilerini eğittiler) – bu, hata kabul etmeyen ve gerçek motiflerle verilen uzun bir mücadeleydi ve sonuç olarak bu mücadelenin, modernizmin hakiki, formel başarılarını yükselten tek temel olduğu kanıtlandı. Ancak bu şekilde süregelen bir gelenek içinde doğru bir radikal deformasyon yaratılabildi ve sonuçları doğaçlama bir oyunun seviyesinin üstüne geçebildi. Mondrian’ın kare ve örgülerinin filozofik güzelliği, çizdiği elma ağaçlarının tecrübeye dayalı güzelliğiyle başladı. 

Sinema ve televizyon, yapısal olarak geleneksel olmayan pek çok güzel çalışma içeriyor (özellikle Avrupa’da), fakat buna rağmen kökleri hâlâ sımsıkı içeride yatıyor ve bu kökler evrensel bir arketipe karşı bir reaksiyon. Hughes’un söylediği gibi, onlar süregelen bir geleneğin kasten yapılmış bir deformasyonu. Ustalar, kompozisyonun basit öğretilerini terk etmedi, onları olasılığa tabi olmayan sanatın içinde sınıflandırdılar. Tüm büyük sanatçıların –müzik, drama, edebiyat ve sanatın kendisinde– sahip olunan bilgi bilinçli olsun veya olmasın, kurallar hakkında bir algısı vardır. “Gözüne, eline ve kalbine ihtiyacın var,” der eski bir Çin atasözü. “İki tanesi işe yaramaz.”

Hikâye anlatıcılığı insanlar için vazgeçilmez bir uğraş ve –neredeyse– hepimiz için nefes almak kadar önemli. Mitlere özgü kamp ateşi masallarından post-televizyon çağındaki yükselişine kadar hayatlarımızı da doğrudan etkiledi. O halde onu anlamaya çalışmamız gerekiyor. Delacroix, ilim korkusuna kısaca şöyle karşı koyuyor: “Önce zanaatkâr olmayı öğren, bu seni dahi olmaktan alıkoymaz.” Çağlar boyunca, hikâyelerde devamlı yinelenen bir motif vardır; içindeki karanlık ama hayat veren sırrı bulmak üzere ormana yapılan yolculuktur bu.

Kaynak: The Atlantic

  • Edebiyat Eleştirisi
  • John Yorke
              (USA-FL-Tampa) Arabic Social Media Monitor   
    **Arabic Social Media Monitor** **Requisition ID: 17014151** **Location\(s\): United States\-Florida\-Tampa** **US Citizenship Required for this Position: Yes** **Relocation Assistance: No relocation assistance available** **Travel: Yes, 25 % of the Time** **Northrop Grumman is seeking an Arabic Social Media Monitor to join our team of qualified, diverse individuals supporting a large information operations program supporting United States Central Command\. This position is located in Tampa, FL and requires a TS/SCI clearance\.** **The primary responsibility of the Arabic Social Media Monitor is to provide continuous monitoring, expert analysis, and** _assessment_ **of global, regional, and tailored areas of online geopolitical media and news sources\.** **Role and Responsibilities:** **• To gather information on trends, behaviors, events and directed global developments to generate media synopsis reports and, in particular, assessments of local social media discourse in the CENTCOM AOR and possibly supporting the AFRICOM area of responsibility as well\.** **• Produce predictive recommendations and identify anticipated strategic communications opportunities\.** **• Collaborate with cross functional teams to develop marketing and support communications plans\.** **• Monitor industry and technology trends in traditional, digital, social, mobile media platforms and assessments\.** **• Use directed academic design research methods appropriate to pre\-defined client criteria to assess media products\.** Basic Qualifications: **1\. Must possess a Bachelor's Degree \- experience may be considered in lieu of education requirement** **2\. Must have at least years 15 years of experience\.** **3\. Must have a current/active TS/SCI clearance and the ability to maintain one\.** **4\. Must have experience as a social media analyst focused on counter terrorism issues in the MENA region\.** **5\. Must have experience working together as part of a larger social media engagement and analysis team\.** **6\. Must prove proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic \(3/4 or 4/4 level\)\.** **7\. Must be a U\.S\. Citizen\.** **8\. Must possess a valid US Passport, not expiring within 6 months\.** **9\. Must be willing to travel both CONUS and OCONUS perhaps for several weeks in potentially hazardous environments\.** Preferred Qualifications: **1\. Experience with Information Operations\- Particularly understanding PsyOp doctrine\.** **2\. Experience as a media monitor/researcher for the DoD\.** **3\. Possess proficiency in several Arabic dialects\.** **4\. Native Arabic speaker from the MENA region\.** **5\. Experience developing Intel collection requirements and accessing Intel systems for assessments of MISO products\.** Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce\. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class\. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visit www\.northropgrumman\.com/EEO \. U\.S\. Citizenship is required for most positions\. **Title:** _Arabic Social Media Monitor_ **Location:** _Florida\-Tampa_ **Requisition ID:** _17014151_
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              Northrop CEO: Invest More in R&D   
    Northrop CEO Wes Bush told a crowd at AFA that he's worried about the drop in defense R&D investment from it's high in the 1960's.
              Northrop F-5N Tiger II   
    Autor: Martin Smíšek

    Datum: 01.07.2017 10:21:50



     
    Název:
    Name:
    Northrop F-5N Tiger II Northrop F-5N Tiger II
    Originální název:
    Original Name:
    Northrop F-5N Tiger II
    Kategorie:
    Category:
    stíhací letoun fighter aeroplane
    Výrobce:
    Producer:
    DD.MM.2003-DD.04.2009 Northrop Grumman Corporation, St. Augustine, Florida
    Období výroby:
    Production Period:
    DD.MM.2003-DD.04.2009
    Vyrobeno kusů:
    Number of Produced:
    konverze z F-5E / conversion from F-5E:
    - 41 F-5N + 3 F-5F "FrankenTiger"
    První vzlet:
    Maiden Flight:
    DD.03.2003
    Osádka:
    Crew:
    1
    Základní charakteristika:
    Basic Characteristics:
     
    Vzlet a přistání:
    Take-off and Landing:
    CTOL - konvenční vzlet a přistání CTOL - conventional take-off and landing
    Uspořádání křídla:
    Arrangement of Wing:
    jednoplošník monoplane
    Uspořádání letounu:
    Aircraft Concept:
    klasické conventional
    Podvozek:
    Undercarriage:
    zatahovací retractable
    Přistávací zařízení:
    Landing Gear:
    kola wheels
    Technické údaje:
    Technical Data:
     
    Hmotnost prázdného letounu:
    Empty Weight:
    ? kg ? lb
    Vzletová hmotnost:
    Take-off Weight:
    ? kg ? lb
    Maximální vzletová hmotnost:
    Maximum Take-off Weight:
    11214 kg 24722 lb
    Rozpětí:
    Wingspan:
    8.13 m 26ft 8in
    Délka:
    Length:
    14.44 m 47ft 4.7in
    Výška:
    Height:
    4.07 m 13ft 4.25in
    Plocha křídla:
    Wing Area:
    17.28 m2 186 ft2
    Plošné zatížení:
    Wing Loading:
    ? kg/m2 ? lb/ft2
    Pohon:
    Propulsion:
     
    Kategorie:
    Category:
    jednoproudový turbojet
    Počet motorů:
    Number of Engines:
    2
    Typ:
    Type:
    General Electric J85-GE-21C o tahu 14,59 kN / 22,24 kN s přídavným spalováním General Electric J85-GE-21C, thrust 3280 lb.st. / 5000 lb.s.t. with afterburning
    Objem palivových nádrží:
    Fuel Tank Capacity:
    2540 l
    3x 568 nebo 1041 l přídavná nádrž
    671 US gal
    3x 150 or 275 gal drop tank
    Výkony:
    Performance:
     
    Maximální rychlost:
    Maximum Speed:
    ~1604 km/h v 10093 m ~997 mph in 36000 ft
    Cestovní rychlost:
    Cruise Speed:
    ~882 km/h v ? m ~548 mph in ? ft
    Rychlost stoupání:
    Climb Rate:
    ~145 m/s ~28536 ft/min
    Čas výstupu na výšku:
    Time to Climb to:
    ? min do ? m ? min to ? ft
    Operační dostup:
    Service Ceiling:
    15240+ m 50000+ ft
    Dolet:
    Range:
    ~509 km ~317 mi
    Maximální dolet:
    Maximum Range:
    2861 km 1778 mi
    Výzbroj:
    Armament:
    2x kanon M39A2 ráže 20 mm, 280 nábojů každý


    3175 kg výzbroje podvěšené na pěti nosnících
    2x AIM-9 Sidewinder na koncích křídel
    2x M39A2 20-mm cannon, 280 rpg


    up to 7000 lb of ordnance on five pylons
    2x AIM-9 Sidewinder at the wingtips
    Uživatelské státy:
    User States:

    Poznámka:
    Note:
    bývalé švýcarské F-5E pro agresorský výcvik u US Navy a US Marine Corps ex-Swiss F-5E for aggressor training at US Navy and US Marine Corps
    Zdroje:
    Sources:
    Kinzey, Ben. F-5E & F Tiger II in detail & scale. Aero Publishers, Fallbrook 1982. ISBN 0-8168-5015-1.
    Johnsen, Frederick A. Northrop F-5/F-20/T-38. Specialty Press, North Branch 2006. ISBN 1-58007-094-9.
    http://joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/f5_25.html
    www.navair.navy.mil
    www.navair.navy.mil
    www.navy.mil

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              The collected poems of E.J. Pratt   
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              Nueve FAMILIAS de Banqueros dirigen la CONSPIRACIÓN masónica que gobierna el MUNDO: Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Warburg, Lazard, Mosés Israel Seif, Kuhn-Loeb, Lehman, Goldman (2576)   
    Las 9 familias que gobiernan el mundo
    La humanidad está sometida a un Gobierno Mundial Invisible conformado por banqueros, petroleros, financistas, poseedores de inmensas fortunas y propietarios del Banco Privado de la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos. Es el Gobierno Todopoderoso que impone y ordena a los demás Estados nacionales. El estadista inglés, Benjamín Disraeli que sabía de lo que hablaba sostuvo: “elmundo está gobernado por personajes muy diferentes a los que creen los que no ven más allá de sus ojos“.
    El senado de los Estados Unidos aprobó en 1913 un proyecto por el que la famosa y poderosa familia de los Rothschild quedaba facultada para unir sus riquezas y objetivos económico-financieros a la familia Morgan dueña de la banca e inmensamente influyente y a los célebres Rockefeller de incalculable fortuna. Hasta ese momento, estaba prohibido que capitales extranjeros se involucrasen en la banca estadounidense, como era el caso de los Rothschild, poseedores de capital alemán.
    Todo comenzó, el 23 de Diciembre de 1913, cuando el Banco Privado de la Reserva Federal fué adquirido por esas tres familias para apoderarse de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica, controlando así, la economía del mundo.
     ¿QUIENES son ELLOS?
    Todo se vislumbra cuando leemos las palabras de David Rockefeller:
    • “Los ciudadanos de Estados Unidos y Europa, sentirán en sus carnes una Crisis Económica antes del año 2010, de tal envergadura que tendrán que aceptar, por las buenas o por las malas, el Nuevo Orden Mundial que les brindamos“
    • “Estamos al borde de una transformacion global. Todo lo que necesitamos es la indicada Gran Crisis y las naciones aceptaran el Nuevo Orden Mundial“
    Recordemos que la Reserva Federal es la que autoriza la impresión de dinero en Estados Unidos, y que a cambio de imprimir o generar dinero virtual en la Reserva Federal se pide al gobierno de los Estados Unidos la firma de DEUDA PUBLICA, por lo que el propio dinero, en el mismo momento de crearse ya se convierte en deuda. Algo que nadie o muy poca gente sabe es que el banco Europeo para poder Imprimir o generar euros debe AVALARLOS CON DOLARES, por lo que el círculo se cierra y TODO, absolutamente TODO está bajo el control de las 9 familias.
    Por voluntad de ellos se declaran guerras, se financian atentados terroristas de funestas consecuencias como los de las Torres Gemelas, según algunas hipótesis, los atentados en Londres y en Madrid, o se asesinan presidentes como los del ecuatoriano Jaime Roldós Aguilera, del panameño Omar Torrijos, de J.F. Kennedy, Warren Harding, McKinley, Jonas Garfield, del africano Patricio Lumumba o de decenas de atentados para acabar con la vida de Fidel Castro.
    Esas familias, junto a grupos que ejercen innegable poder, trafican con armas de destrucción masiva o siembran de muerte y destrucción en cualquier parte del mundo. Esos grupos son Carlyle, Bechtel, Lookheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, McDonnel Douglas, Boeing, Northrop Grumman.
    En 1913, el famoso aviador Charles Lindbergh, que en su calidad de senador se opuso al proyecto de los multimillonarios, refiriéndose al proyecto aprobado, declaró: “…con esta ley se constituirá el Consorcio más gigantesco de la Tierra. Cuando el presidente la firme, legalizará el Gobierno Invisible de los amos del mundo”. Algunos analistas sostienen que como consecuencia de estas afirmaciones, su hijo fue secuestrado y asesinado.
    Hace algunos unos años, James Warburg, banquero asociado a los Rothschild y a los Rockefeller, con absoluto convencimiento no exento de cinismo, anunció en el senado norteamericano que “guste o no, tendremos un gobierno mundial. La cuestión es si se logrará mediante consentimiento o por imposición “.
    Son 9 familias las que tienen dinero y ejercen un poder absoluto. Han desarrollado la infraestructura necesaria para que la maquinaria de control de la humanidad funcione. Miles de millones de dólares pagan la infraestructura humana y una organización que domine los medios de comunicación y controle la información.
    En su libro “Tragedia y Esperanza”, Carrol Quigley escribía: ” La red de conspiración que mueve los hilos del mundo, está formada por banqueros y capitalistas internacionales: es decir el alto mundo de las finanzas. Reúnen a su alrededor un ejército de científicos, tecnócratas, políticos y agentes marionetas, para hacer desde las sombras su alta política “.
    Y agregando datos muy interesantes, remata con que “ Los imperios económicos internacionales están interesados en promover el endeudamiento de los Gobiernos. Cuanto más alta sea la deuda, más caros serán los intereses. Pero además pueden exigir al presidente de turno privilegios fiscales, monopolios de servicios o contratos de obras. Si este no acepta, provocarán su caída, promoviendo disturbios y huelgas que, al empobrecer a la nación, les obliga a claudicar ante lo que piden “.
    Cuando a George Bush padre le preguntaron tras el derrumbe de la Unión Soviética qué sucedería, respondió “What we says, goes“ (“Lo que decimos, sucede”). Ese “we“ (nosotros) no hacía referencia específica al Gobierno de Estados Unidos, sino -según una teoría del investigador Garry Adler- al CFR, que es una agencia financiada por los Rockefeller y conocida en el “Establishmen” norteamericano, por “El Gobierno Invisible“. El propio Adler escuchó de boca de unos de sus dirigentes la siguiente afirmación “no importa a quien voten los pueblos, siempre nos votará a nosotros…“. Las principales “delegaciones” de la CFR están en Alemania y en Tokio.
    Aquí teneis como se ha preparado todo:

    Un ex presidente del gobierno albano en el exilio también declaró “…un puñado de personas y la CFR toman las decisiones. Es un poderoso “club privado” que domina todos los gobiernos del mundo. Están confabulados. Quieras o no, hay que hacer lo que ellos dicen…“.
    Los amos del poder mundial; es decir los poderosos entre los poderosos y que actúan -no siempre dentro de la legalidad-, sino como verdaderas familias con prácticas al estilo mafioso y, en calidad de dueñas de la Reserva Federal estadounidense, son:
    1. Rothschild con sede en Estados Unidos y tentáculos en Inglaterra, Alemania e Israel.
    2. Rockefeller desarrollada en Estados Unidos y con fuerte influencia en el imperio y en Israel.
    3. Morgan propietaria, además, de poderosos bancos en Estados Unidos, Inglaterra y otros países del mundo (Banco Santander e Ibex35)
    4. Warburg con sede en Estados Unidos y poderosas extensiones en Alemania.
    5. Lazard de Estados Unidos y grandes influencias e inversiones en Francia.
    6. Mosés Israel Seif de origen judío ortodoxo con poderes económicos y políticos en Estados Unidos, Italia e Israel.
    7. Kuhn-Loeb con sede en Estados Unidos y fuertes intereses en Alemania
    8. Lehman con sede e influencia en Estados Unidos
    9. Goldman de indudable poder en Estados Unidos
    A estas familias es necesario agregar el grupo Bildenberg. Todas son miembros de selectos “clubes”, integrados por los quinientos hombres y organizaciones más ricas e influyentes del mundo que se proponen la instauración del un “Nuevo Orden Mundial“, sostenía Martha González, periodista y directora del Círculo Bolivariano de Galicia. El “club Bildenberg” está integrado por titereteros que, por encargo de las nueve familias, mueven los hilos del gobierno mundial invisible.
    La información de quienes son los accionistas de los bancos que manejan éstas familias es vigilada muy de cerca. Cualquier consulta a los organismos de regulación bancaria sobre los propietarios de acciones en los 25 principales bancos de EE.UU. se concederán bajo el estatus de la Ley de Libertad de Información, sino es así, directamente serán denegadas con la excusa de”seguridad nacional”. Esto es bastante irónico, ya que muchos de los accionistas de los bancos residen en Europa.
    Martha González, refiriéndose a un documento sobre el tema señalaba: “También hay una estrecha vinculación entre estos grupos de los Estados Unidos y el mundo judío. La enigmática secta judía “B’Nai B’Rith” cuenta entre sus miembros de elite a todos los “poderosos” nombrados anteriormente y por supuesto a Henry Kissinger. Fundadores de “La Trilateral” o del mismísimo “Lyons Internacional”, extienden su poder por todo el planeta”. Estos son los aliados incondicionales en la lucha para derrotar a los árabes y palestinos. Es más, al actual Estado de Israel se lo conoce con el mote de “el acorazado de arena” en clara alusión a su subordinación estratégica en Medio Oriente con respecto a los intereses del imperio gobernado por las nueve familias y sus tétricas actividades:
    • Desestabilizar naciones y estados libres, soberanos e independientes, derrocar gobiernos, planificar y ejecutar asesinatos, encarcelamientos, torturas, desapariciones forzadas de personas y, en especial de líderes políticos, sindicales, sociales, de intelectuales, periodistas y hasta religiosos son sus actividades cotidianas. Esas actividades cuestan mucho dinero, tanto como practicar el terrorismo de Estado en contra de otros Estados, pueblos y sus dirigentes u organizar actos de sabotaje, pagar chantajes y sobornos a civiles, militares y policías. Pero dinero es lo que les sobra y esas inmorales inversiones son recuperadas con intereses de usura, luego de cada acto criminal.
    • Violar los derechos humanos, provocar genocidios, imponer bloqueos como el violento y genocida bloqueo a Cuba, provocar otros genocidios en cualquier parte de la tierra, burlarse de elementales principios del derecho internacional y aparecer, en tanto imperio, como guardián de las libertades, de las democracias y defensores de los derechos humanos, cuesta mucho dinero y dinero por montones es lo que les sobra a esa familias.
    • Desatar guerras, cometer toda clase de crímenes por horrendos y execrables que sean, incluso los de lesa humanidad y quedar impunes cuesta mucho dinero tanto como crear, organizar y movilizar fuerzas de intervención en cualquier parte y contra cualquier Estado o mantener más de mil bases militares, aéreas y navales esparcidas por los cinco continentes, en mares e islas cuesta mucho dinero y el imperio y los propietarios del imperio tienen todo el dinero delmundo, precisamente acumulado por el sistema de explotación impuesto a nivel global y por la incesante e inmisericorde depredación de los recursos naturales y humanos.
    La impunidad impuesta por Estados Unidos en convenios y tratados con otros países es una garantía para el cometimiento de todos los atropellos y crímenes. Recuérdese que Estados Unidos no es miembro de la Corte Penal Internacional porque se negó a suscribir el Tratado de Roma.
    Los dueños del mundo, jefes del Gobierno Mundial Invisible, en tanto banqueros, financistas, petroleros son, también, dueños de los medios de comunicación que forman los grande monopolios como: FOX, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, de las agencias transnacionales de prensa, entre ellas, la UPI, AP, Reuteres, AFP que se manejan, inclusive con capitales judíos, son copropietarios de inmensos Estudios de cine o de los periódicos New York Times, Washington Post y un largo etcétera. El mini-imperio Murdoch, comparado con los demás, sirve muy bien a los intereses conservadores de los amos de la tierra.
    Todos se especializaron en utilizar estrategias tendentes a distraer a la población con la prensa amarillista, con cursis programas de televisión caracterizados por la superficialidad, para ofertar productos tecnológicos de corta duración, reality shows y dibujos animados violentos que ridiculizan los valores fundamentales de la familia o menosprecian los valores esenciales del humanismo universal, además, con la difusión de noticias violentas de agresiones bélicas que son transmitidas en vivo y en directo para demostrara el “poder invencible” de las fuerzas imperiales o difunden asesinatos y crímenes que colman el amarillismo noticioso que terminan por destruir poco a poco la confianza en el próximo, evitan la unión, solidaridad y fraternidad entre las personas, y con sus técnicas manipuladoras tratan de impedir una revuelta popular mundial.
    Las familias de la Reserva Federal controlan la NSA, la CIA, el Pentágono y son accionistas mayoritarias del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, Fondo Monetario Internacional, Banco Mundial, en tanto que sus delegados y esbirros ejercen, además, el derecho al voto en la Organización de las Naciones Unidas  con derecho a veto y en la OTAN
    Las nueve familias mega-ricas y sus descendientes son intocables por la justicia y exoneradas de impuestos de por vida. Son dueñas de la paz, la guerra y las finanzas, por eso, cada vez que “conmovedoramente”, hacen un “salvataje económico” en realidad compran los bancos y financieras del mundo, y así se apropian poco a poco del país al que “salvan”, para luego llevarse los recursos naturales que les permite multiplicar, hasta la gula, sus desmesuradas fortunas.
    Los Estados Unidos y las familias que los gobiernan poseen los recursos económicos, tecnológicos, fuerzas militares, sistemas de inteligencia con la CIA a la cabeza, para realizar todo clase de operaciones públicas o clandestinas, “legales” o criminales con el agravante de que los pueblos del mundo terminan por pagar las carreras armamentistas, las intervenciones armadas y los crímenes imperiales, por intermedio del atraco a sus recursos. Absurda e infame ironía es que los pueblos “salvados” deban quedar agradecidos por los intervencionismos e injerencias que liquidan “la barbarie, el caos, la anarquía”, en defensa de los derechos humanos, las libertades y las democracias al estilo occidental y cristiano. Los pueblos pagan con muertos y heridos esos salvajes “salvatajes”.
    Las nueve familias y sus millonarios sirvientes y empleados anglosajones se constituyen en la “clase superior” gobernante. Al respecto, bien se puede afirmar que la famosa Revista Forbes es una farsa porque muestra millonarios populares de segundo nivel como Bill Gates o Warren Buffet, logrando desviar la atención sobre las actividades ilícitas que cometen los verdaderos mega-ricos dentro de la Reserva Federal.
    El gobierno invisible es una realidad innegable y está conformado por los multimillonarios y magnates que son los que realmente gobiernan los Estados Unidos en su rol de imperio. No existe gobierno, presidente o ejército que esté por encima de ellos porque en verdad son los jefes del gobierno de Estados Unidos. Ellos, organizan unas veces, otras dirigen o controlan los poderosísimos grupos como Bilderberg, CFR, Instituto Tavistok, y CIA. Son la “clase superior” en el ejercicio del poder real y, lógicamente, forman la élite que decide qué guerra planificar y ejecutar, qué invasión realizar o qué país atacar, qué presidente matar, qué “atentado terrorista” por monstruoso o infame que sea financiar o cometer, qué crisis económica planear y desatar, qué “pandemia” inventar.
    El escritor-investigador estadounidense G. William Domhoff, en su obra “Quién gobierna Estados Unidos”, sostiene que la clase superior anglosajona de Estados Unidos es la clase de multimillonarios que constan en la lista anual especializada “Social Register”, de mejor calidad que la Forbes. Esta “clase superior” social, económica y política es el poder del poder, y ejerce férreo control sobre la CIA inclusive, y, por tanto, sobre la agencia transnacional del crimen.
    Domhoff señala: “La relación entre los conceptos de “clase gobernante” y “élite del poder” es perfectamente clara, pero es cierto así mismo que puede producirse confusión al respecto a menos que se los compare y se los contraponga. Repitámoslo: La “clase gobernante” se refiere a la clase social superior que posee una cantidad desproporcionada de la riqueza del país (Estados Unidos), recibe una parte desproporcionada del ingreso anual del país, y proporciona una cantidad desproporcionada de miembros a los cargos del gobierno. Sin embargo, puede ocurrir que algunos de los miembros de este grupo no se ocupen de otra cosa que de criar caballos, asistir a las carreras de galgos o codearse con la nata de la colonia extranjera. La “élite del poder”, por otra parte, comprende a todos aquellos que ocupan cargos de mando en instituciones controladas por miembros de la clase superior (gobernante). Todo miembro de la “élite del poder” podrá pertenecer a no a la clase superior. (Caso Obama). Lo importante es si la institución a la que sirve está o no regida por miembros de dicha clase…”
    Para ser miembro de la clase superior estadounidense, si no pertenece a las nueve sagradas familias, debe ser anglosajón-hombre o mujer de empresa al mejor estilo de la iniciativa privada; es decir sin principios éticos, controlar algún sector de las industrias o financieras, los sistemas de producción y los mercados, los bancos y comercios de importación y exportación; y en especial dirigir o controlar el inmenso complejo industrial-militar o poseer o ser parte de las compañías autoescogidas por el Departamento de Defensa o el Pentágono para fabricar y producir todo tipo de armas, desde las convencionales hasta las de destrucción masiva como las nucleares, químico-bacteriológicas, armas satelitales, armas dotadas con tecnología de punta o de última generación.
    Naturalmente que el Departamento de Defensa, como la totalidad del gobierno, están controlados por la misma “clase superior” que gobierna férreamente al Ejecutivo, Legislativo, Judicial, Electoral, la economía nacional y transnacional, las finanzas públicas y privadas para lo que cuenta con políticos, diplomáticos, abogados, periodistas, científicos y técnicos, a la vez que es propietaria o accionista de las principales cadenas de radio y televisión, de las agencias transnacionales de prensa y de los periódicos y revistas más influyentes en todos los idiomas
    Tan inmenso es el poder económico y político de las nueve familias y sus grupos que si se hiciese un ligero cálculo intelectual, sólo si la fortuna de las familias Rothschild y Rockefeller se repartiera entres seis mil millones de personas de las más de siete mil que pueblan el planeta tierra, a cada una le correspondería la suma de tres millones de dólares. Para defender ese poder económico, mantenerlo y acrecentarlo, el Gobierno Mundial Invisible no conoce barreras de la ética o la moral y, por tanto, no hay acto criminal que esté decidido a cometerlo, por monstruoso que sea.
    La periodista y directora del Círculo Bolivariano de Galicia, Martha González, en su correspondencia de cortesía señala que Terry Meyssan, saltó a la luz pública cuando salió a la venta su libro “La Gran Impostura”. Este autor afirma que “los atentados del 11-S fueron llevados a cabo por un sector del Ejército de Estados Unidos. Meyssan, cuyo libro fue uno de los best sellers a nivel mundial, difundió fotos aéreas del Pentágono, probando que ningún avión se hubo estrellado allí y afirma que el 10 de septiembre de 2001, Osama Ben Laden estaba internado en un hospital de Pakistán, realizándose una diálisis, y que ese mismo día recibió la visita de un alto funcionario de la CIA en ese país.
    “Me gustaría -declaró Meyssan en una rueda de prensa en Madrid- que los ciudadanos volvieran a desempeñar un papel más activo y a meditar sobre lo que sucede, sin creerse cualquier estupidez que se les diga, aunque venga del Departamento de Defensa de Estados Unidos.
    González afirma que el 1° de Agosto de 1972, después de “el sábado de las brujas” Philip von Rothschild anunció en el Casino Building de San Antonio, Texas (el Estado de los Bush) y ante los “honorables” miembros del “Consejo de los Trece”, los planes establecidos para dominar al mundo desde 1980 en adelante. La siguiente sentencia marcaba el punto de partida: “Cuando vean apagarse las luces de Nueva York, sabrán que nuestro objetivo se ha conseguido” ¿casualidad? No. Imposible creer en ese tipo de casualidades.
    Así, algunos analistas e investigadores científicos afirman que la obra maestra de los dueños de la Reserva Federal fue el atentado de las Torres Gemelas en New York. Sostienen que “utilizando el poder de convencimiento de la televisión, se mostró un falso video en donde un actor se hizo pasar por Osama Bin Laden, para autoproclamarse autor del atentado, cuando en verdad, las Torres contenían poderosos explosivos colocados por agentes especializados de la CIA y aviones previamente preparados por el ejército estadounidense para que chocaran contra las Torres. De llegar a comprobarse fehacientemente esta hipótesis, la humanidad habría sido testigo de uno de los hechos de mayor brutalidad y sanguinario de la historia de la humanidad.
    Para abundar en detalles, los investigadores que sostienen la tesis del autoatentado del 11-S, presentan las siguientes pruebas:
    1. Derrumbe al estilo demolición controlada de ambas torres. Ese derrumbe se constata a simple vista.
    2. Desaparición de videos que muestran explosiones, muy por debajo de donde chocaron los aviones y donde se ve metal derretido. El combustible inflamado de los aviones jamás derrite el acero ni pulveriza el concreto que requieren temperaturas de mayor magnitud.
    3. Derrumbe a las 5 pm (17H00) de una Tercera Torre: la WWC 7, sin que ningún avión la haya tocado, hecho que casi pasó desapercibido.
    4. Restos de “thermite”, poderoso explosivo usado por la industria de la demolición, que fueron encontrados en el lugar de la ubicación de las Torres Gemelas.
    5. Al Qaeda es el nombre que le dio la CIA al movimiento de los mujaidines que combatió a las tropas soviéticas en la década de los 80s ¡La más hipócrita acusación de la historia!
    6.  Estados Unidos se está quedando sin petróleo y planeó el atentado para saquear los campos petroleros de Irak, comercializar con órganos humanos, apropiarse de los campos de droga amapola/opio de Afganistán, para exportar a Europa y Asia. Se ha denunciado que aviones de la OTAN transportan el opio hacia los mercados europeos.
    7. Lo que impactó en el Pentágono no fue un avión. Testigos silenciados por la CIA, vieron un misil teledirigido a un área en construcción del Pentágono donde casi no había oficinas. Por eso se vio sólo un agujero y no las marcas de las alas de un supuesto avión. Nunca pudieron presentar los restos del avión estrellado y tampoco cuerpos de tripulantes o pasajeros.
    8. Luego del atentado a las Torres Gemelas que sirvió de pretexto para que Bush declarara la guerra global contra el terrorismo, el propio gobierno de Estados Unidos dio facilidades a la familia del verdadero Osama Bin Laden, socio, además, en los negocios petroleros de Bush, para que abandonara Estados Unidos y para que no se presentara o contactara con la prensa.
    9. Presentación en televisión de una fraudulenta lista de supuestos “terroristas” que pilotearon los aviones, cuando la mayoría de ellos, ni siquiera estaba en Estado Unidos, según se comprobó posteriormente.
    10. El testimonio del famoso cineasta y político Aaron Russo sobre el anuncio que le hiciera, durante una fiesta, Nick Rockefeller al informarle sobre un “evento” (atentado terrorista”) que le ayudaría a Estados Unidos a llevarse el petróleo de Irak, nada menos que nueve meses antes de que ocurriera la destrucción de las Torres Gemelas.
    La mafia banquero-petrolera de la Reserva Federal es el origen de los males de nuestro mundo actual. Todas las guerras, todos los atentados, provocaciones por ejemplo contra Corea del Norte, Libia, Siria (ver artículo) e Irán (ver video) o el cuento de la pandemia de la Gripe AH1 para favorecer a la empresa farmacéutica Gileas Sciencies de propiedad de Donald Rumsfeld quien fuera Secretario de Defensa de Bush II, la crisis económica mundial anticipada por la supercomputadora High Frecuency, instalada en Wall Street, son obra de las familias de la Reserva Federal.
    Todos estos actos y muchos más que quizá nunca sabremos, tienen su origen en las decisiones que toman las familias banquero-petroleras de la Reserva Federal. “Al parecer, los acontecimientos que hoy vivimos están programados desde hace más de doscientos años por una elite de personajes famosos, cuyos seguidores siguen actuando en las sombras”.
    El gobierno en las sombras es una realidad. En el último libro del escritor estadounidense, Daniel Estulin, “El Imperio Invisible. La auténtica conspiración del gobierno mundial en la sombra”, constan informaciones espeluznantes, pero al parecer muy bien documentadas.
    “Estulin aborda varios temas, todos ellos desde la misma perspectiva de un gobierno mundial en la sombra que lo controla todo y que su única razón de ser es la de proteger los intereses económicos y de poder de una elite mundial que ha estado ahí desde siempre, y ésta parece ser su autolegitimación para hacer todo lo que hacen. El autor sostiene: “Desde ese punto de vista, sus planes para la destrucción de la demanda y el cataclismo económico tenían sentido. Si el Imperio Invisible no hubiera realizado ese tipo de intervención para ralentizar el ritmo del crecimiento económico, las naciones-Estado comprometidas con el progreso científico y tecnológico se habrían convertido en dominantes. Eso habría significado la muerte de la oligarquía. Implicaría el final del Imperio Invisible. Las naciones que fomentan el desarrollo mental y creativo de sus pueblos producen personas que no tolerarán indefinidamente las formas de gobierno oligárquicas. Los pueblos analfabetos, tecnológica e intelectualmente atrasados, sí lo harán”.
    “En el último capítulo del libro, el más inquietante, habla sobre terrorismo atómico. Sostiene que se han venido llevando a cabo en los últimos años, unos cuantos atentados con minibombas nucleares, entre los cuales destacan:
    • Edificio federal Alfred P. Murrah, en Oklahoma en 1995.
    • Club nocturno de Bali (Indonesia), el 12 de octubre de 2002.
    • Asesinato del ex primer ministro libanés Rafiq Hariri, en Beirut (Líbano) en 2005.
    • Torres Khobar, en Dhahran (Arabia Saudí) en 1996.
    • Aparcamiento T-4 del aeropuerto de Madrid-Barajas en 2004.
    E incluso menciona como ataques atómicos el “desastre nuclear” de Chernóbil, las embajadas estadounidenses en Kenia y Tanzania en 1998, el 11-S de las Torres Gemelas o la embajada australiana en Yakarta en 2004″. Asombroso, espeluznante, inquietante. Cabe preguntarse aún con un poco de escepticismo: ¿Es verdad o ficción o el escritor sufre de alucinaciones? Perro conociendo al imperio y sus actos criminales, todo es posible.
    Beatriz Navés, de conformidad con un estudio reseñado, sostiene que el Grupo Bilderberg es parte del gobierno mundial en la sombra, que decide el futuro del mundo en absoluto secreto.
    El Grupo Bilderberg o Club Bilderberg es una conferencia anual no oficial de alrededor de 130 invitados. El grupo de elite se encuentra anualmente, en el mes de mayo, en un exclusivo hotel de 4 o 5 estrellas en Europa, y una vez cada cuatro años lo hacen en Estados Unidos o Canadá.
    Los asistentes a esta conferencia incluyen banqueros, expertos en defensa, barones de los medios, ministros de gobierno, primeros ministros, financistas internacionales y líderes políticos, que se encuentran durante cuatro días en total reclusión, y no permiten el acceso de la prensa.
    El nombre “Bilderberg” viene del Hotel de Bilderberg, en Oosterbeek, Países Bajos, donde se llevó a cabo la primera reunión en 1954. Actualmente tienen una sede no oficial en Leiden, Holanda.
    Los fundadores fueron el Príncipe Bernardo de Holanda y David Rockefeller pero fue Joseph Retinger, un consultor político polaco preocupado por el crecimiento del anti-americanismo en Europa occidental, quien finalmente propuso hacer una conferencia internacional con el propósito de promover el entendimiento entre las culturas de los Estados Unidos y Europa occidental. La lista de invitados incluyó dos asistentes de cada nación que representaran los puntos de vista de los partidos conservador y liberal.
    El éxito de la reunión los llevó a organizar una conferencia anual. Se formó un Comité Directivo de 39 miembros que nombraron a Joseph Retinger como secretario permanente hasta que murió en 1960, siguiendo en el cargo Ernst van der Bengel. El Príncipe Bernardo de Holanda fue su Presidente hasta su muerte en 2004. El Comité mantiene un registro de asistentes para crear una red informal de gente importante. Sus asistentes más famosos son: 
    Juan Carlos I y la Reina Sofía de España, Henry Kissinger, la Reina Beatriz de Holanda, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, David Rockefeller, Angela Merkel, George Soros, Jacques Chirac, Donald Rumsfeld, pero también concurren los presidentes del Fondo Monetario Internacional, el Banco Mundial, la Reserva Federal y el Banco Central Europeo
    Otros asiduos visitantes son los presidentes de las mayores compañías globales: Coca Cola, Pepsi Co., Ford, General Motors, Nokia, Motorola, American Express, Microsoft, Oracle, Ericsson, Shell, JP Morgan, Xerox, directores de la CIA y el FBI, secretarios generales de la OTAN y muchos representantes de los principales bancos de todo el mundo.
    El propósito declarado de los integrantes del Grupo Bilderberg es promover la cooperación y el desarrollo económico entre los países occidentales, contra el peligro comunista global, pero se sabe que realmente su fin es el petróleo y el gas natural del planeta, porque los que controlan el petróleo controlan la Tierra.
    El periodista estadounidense de investigación Daniel Estulin, un estudioso de los planes del Grupo, dice que “todo eso forma parte de un conflicto global para controlar a la Humanidad: 
    El objetivo final es un futuro que transformará la tierra en un planeta con un mercado único globalizado, controlado por un gobierno mundial único
    Nada escapa al poder del Gobierno Mundial Invisible que aspirfa a controlar todo cuanto ocurre sobre la epidermis terrestre y sus habitahntes humanos. Así creó el famoso Instituto Tavistok. En un trabajo presentado por el Dr. Byron T. Weeks, MD, se afirma que el Instituto Tavistok tiene como objetivo fundamental desarrollar campañas de insidiosa propaganda y la manipulación de la opinión pública a nivel global. Uno de los puntos fundamentales de su agenda es desarrollar programas científicos que permitan el control mental de las personas, para lo que efectúan tenebrosos experimentos que incluyen el lavado cerebral o facilitan conocimientos y técnicas a la CIA para la ejecución de sus experimentos como el secreto proyecto MK-ULTRA.
    El fundador de la Corporación Rand, Herman Kahn, fundó también el Instituto Hudson en1961. En Educating for the New World Order, B.K. Eakman cuenta acerca del manual de entrenamiento para los “agentes del cambio” desarrollado para el gobierno estadounidense por la Corporación Rand.
    El autor John Quinn (NewsHawk) se refiere a un artículo de Byron Weeks, que informa lo que sucede “exactamente en muchos niveles con los extraordinariamente extendidos “viajes de control”, actualmente dirigidos contra las personas del mundo por elementos del gobierno global en la sombra. Weeks, con muchos documentos permite una ojeada del Instituto Tavistok, un instituto británico globalmente activo, que maneja todo movimiento político/ gubernamental de relieve en la mayor parte delmundo desde hace 50 años. Por ejemplo, ¿nunca se preguntaron quién está “detrás” de, digamos, la CIA? Bien. No le juran lealtad a América, eso es seguro. Prueben con la familia real británica, decía. Quinn expresaba que “Constituido en 1947, el Instituto Tavistock (30 Tabernacle Street, London EC2A 4DD) es una organización que combina la investigación en las ciencias sociales con la práctica profesional. Se abordan problemas de construcción institucional y de diseño y cambio organizativo, en todos los sectores: gobierno, industria y comercio, salud y bienestar, educación, etc., tanto nacionales como internacionales, y los clientes van desde grandes multinacionales a pequeños grupos comunitarios. La ideología de las fundaciones americanas fue creada por el Instituto Tavistockof de Relaciones Humanas de Londres. En 1921, el Duque de Bedford, Marqués de Tavistock, el 11º duque, regaló el edificio al Instituto para el estudio del efecto traumático, causado por los bombardeos, en los soldados británicos supervivientes de la Primera Guerra Mundial. Su propósito era establecer el “punto de rotura” de los hombres bajo estrés, bajo la dirección del Departamento de Guerra Psicológica del Ejército Británico.
    Sir John Rawlings-Reese señala que el trabajo pionero de Tavistock es la ciencia comportamental, siguiendo las líneas freudianas de “control” de los seres humanos, lo colocó como centro mundial de la ideología fundacional.
    “Su red de trabajo se extiende ahora desde la Universidad de Sussex hasta Estados Unidos, a través del Instituto de Investigación de Stanford; Esalen; M.I.T; Instituto Hudson, Fundación Heritage; el Centro de Estudios Internacionales y Estratégicos de Georgetown, donde el personal del Departamento de Estado recibe formación; el Servicio de Inteligencia de la Fuerza Aérea estadounidense, y las corporaciones Rand y Mitre.
    El personal de las corporaciones debe seguir adoctrinamiento en una o más de las instituciones controladas por Tavistock. Una red de grupos secretos: la Sociedad Mont Pelerin, la Comisión Trilateral, la Fundación Ditchley, y el Club de Roma, es dirigida siguiendo las instrucciones de la red Tavistock.
    El Instituto Tavistock desarrolló las técnicas de lavado de cerebro masivo que fueron utilizadas por primera vez de forma experimental en los prisioneros americanos de la guerra de Corea. Sus experimentos en métodos de control de masas han sido ampliamente utilizados en el público americano, un sutil aunque vergonzoso asalto a la libertad humana, modificando el comportamiento individual a través de la psicología de tópicos.
    Todas las técnicas fundacionales americanas y de Tavistock tienen un único objetivo: romper la fuerza psicológica del individuo, y dejarlo incapacitado para oponerse a los dictadores del Orden Mundial. Cualquier técnica que ayude a romper la unidad familiar, y los principios inculcados por la familia acera de la religión, el honor, el patriotismo y el comportamiento sexual, es utilizada por los científicos de Tavistock como arma de control de masas”. Como se ve, nada escapa al poder imperial del Gobierno Mundial Invisible.
    “El Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) conforma una organización discreta, de muy bajo perfil público, y de alta efectividad, integrada por unos 3.600 miembros del más alto nivel, prestigio e influencia en sus respectivas disciplinas y ámbitos de poder, tanto en EEUU como en Europa. Reúne a los más altos directivos de instituciones financieras, colosos industriales y medios de comunicación social, investigadores, académicos, oficiales militares de máxima graduación, políticos, funcionarios públicos, decanos de universidades y centros de estudios. Un verdadero gobierno mundial invisible.
    El Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) es una organización poco conocida pero muy influyente en los asuntos internacionales que ha ido creciendo en poder, prestigio y amplitud de ámbitos de acción, hasta tal punto que ya en nuestros días podemos decir que conforma el auténtico “cerebro delmundo” que direcciona el rumbo complejo e incierto hacia el que se empuja y arrastra al planeta entero.
    No existe pueblo, región o segmento económico, social, o político que pueda extraerse a su influencia y es, precisamente, el hecho de haber logrado permanecer “detrás del telón” lo que le otorga al CFR su inusitada fuerza e influencia.
    CFR reúne a altos directivos de instituciones financieras, colosos industriales y medios de comunicación social; a investigadores y académicos; a oficiales militares de máxima jerarquía; y a políticos, funcionarios públicos y decanos de universidades, facultades y centros de estudios.
    Sus objetivos fundamentales consisten en identificar y evaluar amplios conjuntos de factores políticos, económicos, financieros, sociales, culturales y militares que abarcan a toda faceta imaginable de la vida pública y privada de los Estados Unidos, de sus Aliados y del resto delmundo. Hoy, gracias al enorme poder de Estados Unidos, el ámbito de análisis del CFR abarca al planeta entero. En rigor de verdad, el CFR conforma un poderoso centro de análisis y planeamiento geopolítico y estratégico. Sus investigaciones y evaluaciones son realizadas por distintos investigadores y grupos de trabajo conformados dentro del seno del CFR, que se dedican a identificar amenazas y oportunidades del entorno mundial, evaluar las fuerzas y debilidades de los intereses agrupados dentro del CFR, y realizar amplios planes estratégicos, tácticos y operativos en todos los ámbitos…
    Son miembros del CFR los máximos directivos de los grandes bancos como el Chase Manhattan de la familia Rockefeller que se fusionó con el banco J. P. Morgan, el Bank of America y el actual CitiGroup, cuya capitalización hoy excede los 250.000 millones de dólares; los directivos y formadores de opinión de los ocho monopolios multimedia mundiales; los rectores y decanos de las grandes universidades y facultades como Harvard, MIT Massachussets Institute of Technology, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, y Chicago; y -factor clave en esta verdadera rueda de poder planetario-, los 150 puestos clave del gobierno estadounidense incluyendo los cargos más relevantes en sus fuerzas armadas.”
    La humanidad en su conjunto debe poner fin a las guerras. Si la Reserva Federal no entregase el dinero, la CIA no podría cometer tantos crímenes que permanecen en la impunidad y tampoco se producirían las crisis mundiales que dejan tanto dolor y lágrimas entre los pueblos empobrecidos que son los que pagan las gulas económicas de los que se creen amos del mudo. Si los dueños de la Reserva Federal NO existiesen se pondrian a disposición de los necesitados las medicinas que ya existen contra el cáncer y el SIDA y se pondrian en circulación los vehículos que no necesitan gasolinas derivadas del petróleo, pero como esas transnacionales de la guerra y el crimen son dueñas del negocio petrolero, el globo terráqueo seguirá contaminándose hasta el fin de su existencia albergadora de la vida humana.
    Santiago "matamoros" en la batalla de Clavijo (año 859) 
    Píldoras Anti-Masonería 2017
    (Más de 1 millón de visitas)
    Google+Santiago Clavijo España
    (Más de 6 millones de visitas)
    Twitter: @Clavijo859
    (Más de 430 seguidores)
    FORO Anti-Masónico
    Editor: clavijoespana@gmail.com
    Investigador de la Conspiración Masónica-Liberal
     para el "Nuevo Orden Mundial-Nueva Era" 
    Lema: "DIOS-Patria-Familia"

    1. Tesis del Editor
    Aviso, Milagro y CASTIGO
    FIN de los TIEMPOS 
    ¿3ª Guerra Mundial?
    CONSPIRACIÓN MASÓNICA
    Evolucionismo-Creacionismo
    Del Big-bang a ADÁN
    Reconquista e Imperio
    4. Reconquista e Imperio
    Islamismo y Luteranismo
    Nueva ERA
    5. Nueva Era 
    Religión Masónica Universal
    Yoga, Reiki, Espiritismo
    Gnosticismo, Herejías, MASONERÍA, 
    Nuevo Orden Mundial, NUEVA ERA 
    y Gobierno del ANTICRISTO
    MASONERÍA, Feminismo, Socialismo
    Ideología de GÉNERO y Nueva Er
    Cambio Climático
    Calentamiento Global Catastrófico
    Fraude Científico de la ONU
    CONSTITUCIÓN MASÓNICA 1978
    AUTOGOLPE MASÓNICO 1981
    ATENTADO MASÓNICO 2004
    LINAJES DEL REINO DE LEÓN
    DEL BIGBANG AL APOCALIPSIS
    SECESIONISMO VASCO: PNV y ETA
    PNV-ETA
    Origen del Nombre
    Marca Hispánica, Tratado de Corbeil
    Compromiso Caspe, Dinastía Trastamara
    Reyes Aragón, Jaime I el Conquistador
    Almogávares Aragoneses  en Atenas
    Represión Republicana
    La Estrella de BELÉN
    Triple conjunción de Jupiter y Saturno
      17. 
              Data Scientist 4 - Northrop Grumman - Fairfax, VA   
    Ability to communicate deep analytical results in forms that resonate with scientific and/or business collaborators, highlighting actionable insights....
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:25:40 GMT - View all Fairfax, VA jobs
              (USA-CA-Azusa) MATERIAL HANDLER   
    **MATERIAL HANDLER** **Requisition ID: 17014251** **Location\(s\): United States\-California\-Azusa** **US Citizenship Required for this Position: Yes** **Relocation Assistance: No relocation assistance available** **Travel: Yes, 10 % of the Time** Seeking a highly\-motivated self\-starter to work in a demanding manufacturing environment to perform manual and automated functions using SAP to receive, identify, process, distribute, issue and stock incoming and outgoing materials and equipment; including hazardous and explosives material\. Operate trucks, forklifts and other motorized material handling equipment to load, unload, move or arrange material to ensure safe transportation and/or proper storage\. Process related documentation, including receiving memos, supplier packing lists, certifications, test reports, government shipping documents, etc\. Perform inventories and maintains minimum stock level requirements\. Process kits, requisitions, production orders, transfers, etc for proper disbursement\. Perform various shipping functions, including but not limited to assembling crates, boxes and various shipping containers\. Packs, marks and prepares items for shipment in accordance with established practices and specific instructions\. May be responsible for the pick up, storage and proper handling of hazardous waste/materials from collection and accumulation storage sheds throughout the facility to a centralized hazardous waste storage area, and processing related documentation\. May be required to move and replenish liquid nitrogen containers\. Will be required to be certified in handling explosive components, hazardous material and other pertinent manufacturing training and certifications\. Perform related and incidental work assignments as required in the completion of the assigned tasks\. Must be able to follow exacting written and verbal instructions\. Must possess a valid California drivers license and be able to be certified for forklift operators license\. Basic Qualifications: High school / trade school Minimum of 2 years of experience in material handling, storage and distribution Valid California Driver license Must be able to obtain all required skills training and certifications necessary to perform job tasks Ability to lift up to 75 lbs Active Secret security clearance Preferred Qualifications: Certified forklift operator MRP experience DoT certification \(49CFR and IATA\) Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce\. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class\. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visitwww\.northropgrumman\.com/EEO\. U\.S\. Citizenship is required for most positions\. **Title:** _MATERIAL HANDLER_ **Location:** _California\-Azusa_ **Requisition ID:** _17014251_
              Administrative Assistant 4 - Northrop Grumman - Falls Church, VA   
    €¢ Experience with Concur (or similar) travel and expense reporting system. Ability to work in MS Office Suite, Internet/Intranet, Concur, I-Buy, and other...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:25:40 GMT - View all Falls Church, VA jobs
              Pipeline System Engineer Special Programs- All Levels   
    NORTHROP GRUMMAN San Jose, CA
              Senior UI Software Engineer 4   
    NORTHROP GRUMMAN Annapolis Junction, MD
              IGS Field Engineer / Technician 2 or 3 - Northrop Grumman - Colorado Springs, CO   
    Northrop Grumman is seeking a Ionospheric Ground Systems (IGS) field engineer/technician to be responsible for supporting the IGS Technical Lead for the daily...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:01 GMT - View all Colorado Springs, CO jobs
              Mid-level FSR - EOIR Technologies - Tampa, FL   
    Northrop Grumman BIOSLED. EOIR Technologies is proactively identifying Senior and Mid-level Biometrics Site Sensitive Exploitation (SSE) Field Service...
    From EOIR Technologies - Fri, 12 May 2017 02:35:31 GMT - View all Tampa, FL jobs
              Systems Administrator 1 - Northrop Grumman - United States   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. Northrop Grumman Technology Services sector is seeking a Microsoft Identity...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:58:49 GMT - View all United States jobs
              Radio Advertising Sales - SAGA Communications - United States   
    Traci Northrop, Director of Sales. WJMR, Jammin’ 98.3, is in search of a proven and respected sales professional....
    From SAGA Communications - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 16:55:55 GMT - View all United States jobs
              Regional Sales Manager - Cobham - United States   
    Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Atomics, L-3, BAE, General Dynamics. Regional Sales Manager....
    From Cobham - Sun, 28 May 2017 08:13:35 GMT - View all United States jobs
              Quality CMM Programmer 3 - Northrop Grumman - United States   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. Astro Aerospace, a Strategic Business Unit of Northrop Grumman based out of...
    From Northrop Grumman - Sat, 20 May 2017 09:30:38 GMT - View all United States jobs
              2017 PDP Industrial Engineer 1 Apopka (EM&S) - Northrop Grumman - United States   
    Northrop Grumman is seeking. Your opportunities for achievement are limitless with Northrop Grumman Mission Systems....
    From Northrop Grumman - Tue, 09 May 2017 16:05:21 GMT - View all United States jobs
              Computer Operations Analyst 2 - Northrop Grumman - United States   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. Astro Aerospace, a Strategic Business Unit of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, is...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 23:02:33 GMT - View all United States jobs
              Marine Field Service Technician 2 - Northrop Grumman - Cranford, NJ   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. Working in Northrop Grumman Mission Systems means making a direct contribution to...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:25:45 GMT - View all Cranford, NJ jobs
              Quality Engineer - Precision Castparts Corp. - North Hollywood, CA   
    Customer requirements (ASQR-01, S-1000, QX, QJ, SQAR) that is UTAS, GE Aviation, Lockheed and Northrop....
    From Precision Castparts Corp. - Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:52:17 GMT - View all North Hollywood, CA jobs
              Project Management Analyst 3 - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Ability to manage Microsoft Project schedules Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce....
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:22 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              Manager Programs 3 - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Experience in welding, fabrication and machining Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce....
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:18 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              Mechanical Technician 3 - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. The Mechanical Systems &amp; Environmental Labs (MS&amp;EL) Center is hiring a mechanical...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:14 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              Mgr Supply Chain Planning 2 - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. Northrop Grumman Corporation, Mission Systems Sector, Navigation &amp; Maritime Systems...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:11 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              General Machinist B Large - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. Analyze data and plan sequence of operations and set up and perform a variety of...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:08 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              Manager Industrial Engineering 2 - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. Industrial Engineering Manager analyzes and designs sequence of operations and work...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:08 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              Machine Technology Manufacturing Engineer 2 - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Familiarity with Computer Networks Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce....
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:08 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              Organization Effectiveness Rep 5 - Sunnyvale - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. Northrop Grumman Mission Systems is seeking candidates for an Organization...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:08 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              Electrician - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. Troubleshoot and determine cause of equipment failure and malfunction and repair,...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:08 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              Employee Communications Representative 3/4 - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Northrop Grumman is seeking an Employee Communications Representative. Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce....
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:08 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              Engineer Systems 4 - Northrop Grumman - Sunnyvale, CA   
    Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. The Engineering Program Manager 4 will lead engineering teams and be responsible for...
    From Northrop Grumman - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:26:08 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
              What I learned on my long, lovely limp along the Trans Canada Trail   

    Take it from someone with the sore feet of experience: if you walk far enough in this country, you’re going to pass through more than a single Canada.

    This gigantic land of primordial remoteness and sky-scraping mountains, snow that never melts and prairies vast as oceans — I saw none of that on my journey.

    The Canada I walked through on a recent monster-hike was one of rural roads and motel rooms, paved-over rail lines and asphalt parkways. Suburban homes and barn-strewn pastures covered most of my vistas, and the people I met were so generous that one man offered to (ahem) help me unwind.

    That’s the beauty of the Trans Canada Trail. It has everything from Group of Seven splendour to roadside propositioning.

    Timed for completion in this 150th year of Confederation, with a fresh infusion of money from the feds to boot, the trail is a long sequence of regional pathways connected under one banner, offering travellers an ostensible route by foot to all three coasts and across the whole of Canada. The project has some satisfying historical echoes of the great continental railway of the 19th century and the cross-country highway that runs from Victoria to the tip of Newfoundland.

    And like those celebrated precursors, the trail can be seen as a thread across the breadth of the land, something tangible to point to and bring us together in all our geographic and cultural differences.

    To mark the occasion of this country’s birthday, and to ruminate for long, lonely hours about what it means to be Canadian, I walked a 260-kilometre stretch of the trail, from Queenston Heights in Niagara-on-the-Lake to downtown Toronto. It was a relatively tiny jaunt on the trail that snakes through Canada for 22,000 km, but it took me a whole week, while my FitBit clocked my exhaustion at about 50,000 steps per day.

    Being from B.C., I thought of it as a chance to slog through a stretch of this country that I don’t know much about.

    Many of us don’t get to do that, and spend most of our lives in our own corners of Canada. But the trail is an invitation, a new conduit to connect with each other. So I took a walk.


    The first dawn broke moments before I emerged from the woods onto the dew-slick grass at the top of the bluffs in Queenston Heights.

    Sunlight touched the statue of Isaac Brock, who stood on his towering spire 56 metres above. I watched the light expand through the foliage of the maple, elm and other deciduous trees and soon illuminate the whole park where one of Canada’s first nationalistic myths was born.

    It was an October morning in 1812. American soldiers had crossed into British territory to occupy these forested heights at the south end of what is now Niagara-on-the-Lake.

    The story goes that Brock jumped on his faithful steed, whose name was Alfred, and galloped south from Fort George to lead a charge against the invaders from the foot of the heights. He hopped off Alfred and tore into the bullet-buzzing melee, where he was promptly shot in the chest and died.

    Thus began his journey to posterity, for Brock’s troops — a band of British soldiers and volunteers joined by Haudenosaunee and other Indigenous fighters — took the hill back from the Americans, who scuttled across the nearby Niagara River from whence they came. And though many others died that day, including Alfred the horse, it was Brock who was lionized as the “Hero of Upper Canada” and awarded a prime spot in the firmament of Canadian legend.

    It’s a good story with which to begin my journey, because it highlights two things. The first is that our sense of nationalism has always been opaque. Is Brock’s story a tale of British pride at having preserved the colonies from American takeover? Was there even a sense of “being Canadian” at that time, and if so, how did the French and Indigenous peoples fit into that?

    How do we all fit into that now?

    The second thing the story shows is that, even before this country existed as “Canada” — a distinction we got in 1867 — our existence as a physical entity, and more recently as a cultural one, has been threatened by the United States.

    I walked the paved path through Queenston Heights along the edge of the gorge that drops to the frothing Niagara River. On this side was the Canada that Brock and his troops helped preserve; on the other was our leviathan neighbour.

    Canada has long been a precarious enterprise. With the threat of Quebec separatism roiling through the last half of the 20th century, and still burbling at a lower temperature today, the shadow of American influence has always prompted questions about what it means to be Canadian.

    It’s been more than 50 years, after all, since George Grant famously eulogized Canada in his seminal book, Lament for a Nation.

    He argued that not only our sovereignty, but our distinctive British Tory ideology of “peace, order and good government,” was eroding in the face of economic and cultural integration with our American neighbours and its attendant tide of modern individualism.

    We were destined, in his view, to become little more than a “branch-plant” society, a provincial outpost of the U.S. global empire.

    Our answer to this has often been that we’re the “mosaic,” the collection of peoples and nations with various histories that are assembled in the shape of a country. None other than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said there is no “core identity” here, and most of the people I met on the trail agreed that one of the key markers of Canada is its ethnic and linguistic diversity.

    I walked past the mindblowing spectacle of Niagara Falls and carried on south toward Fort Erie. I found Dave and Wendy Wyatt, a retired couple, smoking cigars in camping chairs by the river, enjoying the shade and staring across at the U.S. side.

    I sat on the grass between them and asked how we’re different from the people over there. Wendy quipped that she’s not visiting while Donald Trump is president. She said Canadians are different because we’re more accepting and open. I thought of Trudeau, photo opportunity or not, hugging Syrian refugees at Pearson airport.

    Dave added that we’re different from Americans because of the way people act abroad when you tell them you’re Canadian. Plus, he said, there’s our health care system.

    “You feel that you’ve helped people, right? You’ve been in a country that’s thought of other people.”

    Our communitarian spirit versus their cowboy individualism — that might be the biggest difference. Who’s to say? We’re speaking in generalities here.

    I trundled down the road for several hours. My bag was swollen with 30 lbs of camping gear, clothes and dried food, and it was starting to feel heavy.

    I must have been a pitiable sight, because near the end of the day, as I passed a row of homes outside Fort Erie, a voice called down from the balcony of a home beside the pathway. It was Anne Yurkiw, who sat on a swinging love seat with her husband, Larry.

    She said she’s a registered nurse, and insisted that I stop right there and come in for some ice water. It was some good, old fashioned Canadian communitarianism.


    The next day I walked in the beating sun along an old rail line west of Fort Erie. A cluster of cyclists approached. One of them was a man in spandex with a bushy mustache. He called out: “How far ya walkin’?!”

    “Toronto!” I said.

    GOOD for you!” responded a woman who was biking in the group. She said it in the way you’d congratulate a teacher’s pet for acing a test that doesn’t matter.

    I watched the cyclists get smaller on the path ahead, which was flat and dead straight, until they disappeared into the blurred-out horizon.

    The immensity of Canada is one of its undeniable characteristics. Northrop Frye, the famed thinker from the last century at University of Toronto, called it “our huge, unthinking, menacing and formidable physical setting.” The wild that surrounds us provokes a sense of “deep terror,” he argued.

    Those of us who’ve walked alone in the woods at night or been lost in the backcountry, far away when it’s cold, will know what he’s talking about.

    Frye thought the terror of our natural setting actually gave us the distinct Canadian quality of looking out for each other. The land itself, in other words, accounts for the communitarian quality that Dave and Wendy told me makes us different from Americans. Frye called it our “garrison mentality.” This country is scary and inhospitable, so we need to stick together to get by.

    Bud Heussler was resting on a bench beside the trail just east of the town of Ridgeway. At 84, he had a gentlemanly air in his blue shirt and beige pants. He told me that after he retired more than 20 years ago, he started walking the trail to pick up the trash that people left behind. He’d do 150 bags a summer, he said.

    He only stopped a few years ago when he got mononucleosis and suspected it came from the garbage.

    I walked for a while with Bud as he finished the stroll he does every second day to loosen up his back after surgery a few months ago. He waved and said hello to everyone we saw.

    “Whether it’s Canada or anywhere else,” he said, “I think people enjoy being out in the woods.”

    It certainly wasn’t terror of the land. Like a vacuum, maybe the wild space of this country has a way of drawing us in.


    I hobbled through the centre of Port Colborne on the third morning. The town sits on Lake Erie at the south end of the Welland Canal, that 19th century engineering marvel. Hulking freight ships floated offshore as they waited to take the series of locks north to Lake Ontario.

    Jo-Ann Karn waved me over to where she sat smoking cigarettes with her friend Nancy Green outside the local taxi garage. They were cleaning and had taken a smoke break.

    When you’ve been walking in the sun for days, and you’re sunburnt and your backpack has too much stuff in it, friendly little conversations can seem like monumental gestures of humanity.

    And so it was with Jo-Ann and Nancy.

    Jo-Ann, who is 56, spoke with a rasp in her voice that made me think of my Grandma. She had the same warmth, too. We spoke about Canada and the cost of beer and how Jo-Ann loved the prime minister’s father. Nancy joked about how drunk people get in town during the summer festivals, and told me she’d been to Ottawa once on a school trip in Grade 8.

    When I left, I was hit with a self-conscious feeling. Jo-Ann had said she dreamed of moving back to Toronto, but that rents are too high. “I can’t afford it,” she’d said.

    I walked along the lakefront neighbourhood of the town and on to the forested outskirts, and started wondering how they saw me, the reporter expensing meals and motel rooms to a media corporation, wandering a long road just for kicks and a whimsical story. Was there a gap between us, and if so, was there a way to bridge it?

    Nancy had mumbled something before I walked off about coming back for the Canal Days festival this summer, and then scrawled out a note for me. At the edge of town I pulled it out. She had written, “Come spend time with us.”


    The trail veered back onto an old rail line. The path was bounded by leafy trees and clumps of fragrant lavender and daisies. Birds tweeted in the branches and bushes, sometimes flitting across the track before me and jumping from tree to tree as I walked.

    That afternoon the trail merged onto a series of country roads, where signs at the end of long driveways advertised free scrap metal, firewood for sale, and opposition to the wind turbines that dot the area and sound sort of like landing planes.

    There was a lot of roadkill. Festering raccoons were the most common. Frog corpses, too, smushed thin as cardboard and baked into the asphalt by the heat of the sun. Birds with necks twisted at disgusting angles popped up occasionally on the road’s shoulder, sometimes with wings flayed across the gravel where they had died.

    The most interesting specimen was a turtle about the size of a rugby ball. Its shell was cracked open, presumably from the impact of a car, and flies buzzed around its face.

    The scene was a fitting companion to my gathering dread at having taken this walk. I wasn’t even half done yet and my feet were swollen and blistered. Pain rang with each step, up the Achilles tendon of my left foot and through the out-facing ligaments of my right.

    I somehow got to Dunnville without trying to hitchhike, and checked into the Riverview Motel. It was the proprietor’s 45th birthday, Chirag Kumar Patel, who moved there from India last year to buy the business and live with his mother, wife and two children. He told me with a glint of mischief in his eye that walking between towns is much more common in India.

    I grunted, said thanks for the room and hauled my body to bed, where I slept like roadkill until morning.


    If you ever find yourself wandering for hours in the gravel on the side of a rural highway in southern Ontario, and you’re beaten and bedraggled and barely keeping it together, I implore you to stop in on the good people of Cayuga. They’ll get you sorted out.

    In my case it was the lady at the local pharmacy, who only needed a second to look at me before I was shown the Extra Strength Advil and had a set of soft boot insoles pressed into my hands. Also the women working the post office: they helped me mail back the mound of stuff I’d overpacked — two-man tent; camping stove; sleeping bag; propane canisters; bags of dried food; steel pot — and gave me a couple cold bottles of water.

    It may have been the exhaustion, but these people inflated my spirits like a Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Man.

    I floated on that high into the Back 40 Tap & Grill, where I slugged back a can of pop and devoured a chicken burger. Five men in their 70s and 80s sat around a wooden table drinking tea and coffee. Having inhaled my meal, I walked over and asked to join them.

    Lloyd Kindree, a 74-year-old farmer in shorts and a tee-shirt, told me that since they all retired they’ve come here five days a week to “shoot the breeze” and share a warm drink. His friend, a man named Bruce Miller who drove a truck he calls the “Kerosene Cadillac,” interjected about their retirements: “Put it this way, nobody’ll hire us!”

    The men explained how they’d worked the land around here as farmers for decades. “Fella used to make a living off 50 acres,” said 80-year-old Sam Rounce, bemoaning the rise of industrial farming that has squeezed out smaller businesses.

    Miller riffed on the sentiment. “To me, computers belong in spaceships. Maybe hospitals.”

    I left town not long after that, still feeling the buzz from my lighter backpack, the Advil, and the kind people of Cayuga. The trail continued for a while on the side of a country road, which snaked north up the west side of the Grand River, through a rolling landscape peppered with barns and crops, grazing cattle and bales of hay. The sky above was smothered with billowing grey clouds, which let through shafts of light that cut across the surrounding hills.

    The men in Back 40 clearly felt a kinship with this land. It was the centre of their lives, and they’d earned the right to grouse about how it has changed.

    But like every millimetre of Canada, this land has a deeper story.

    Since at least the Beaver Wars of the 17th century, the entire area was the territory of the Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations, at least until it was gradually occupied by people from other places. Colonizers, you’d have to say.

    The Haudenosaunee were a confederation before Confederation. The union of five, and later six, Indigenous nations occurred centuries ago — researchers have pinned their government’s creation to the year 1142 — and the group is believed to have been sovereign at one time over the land from what is now St. Louis to the Toronto area.

    The nation also joined the British in the War of 1812, with a prominent leader named John Brant fighting with Brock at Queenston Heights. They were later promised tracts of land on both banks of the entire Grand River, from its mouth at Lake Erie to as far north as Orangeville.

    And yet today, the region’s Haudenosaunee territory is officially confined to a much smaller reserve west of Caledonia. I had hoped to hike the area with one of the nation’s clan mothers, who are respected leaders in the community, and had tried to interview people who live there, but arrangements fell through in the end.

    I figured, as I passed along a wooded path by the river, where a boy fly fished and a heron took off in the orange light of dusk that it’s not like anyone would need to explain their connection to this land to me.

    But does this diminish the Back 40 guys’ bond with this place? I don’t think so. It just makes things complicated.

    Let’s not forget that, while Canada’s 150th is an innocent birthday bash to many, to others it’s a celebration of colonialism and decades of forced assimilation, the anniversary of the political system that created residential schools and generations of trauma.

    There’s a relevant and evocative phrase written by the Coast Salish poet, Lee Maracle: “Where do you begin telling someone their world is not the only one?”

    We have different worlds in this country.


    I plodded along the leafy escarpment that bisects Hamilton on the following afternoon. Two men approached walking their bikes. I saw that they wore matching hats with Scottish flags on them, as well as blue shirts that said: “Keep Calm and Eat Haggis.”

    John “Foxy” Fox and Dave Muir grew up in Glasgow on opposite sides of the River Clyde, but didn’t meet until after they both moved to Hamilton in 1974, Foxy to work 33 years in the Stelco plant and Muir to ply his trade in electrical motor manufacturing. Their daughters were in the same class at school, and they’ve been friends ever since.

    “It’s the best country in the world right now,” said Foxy.

    “I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” Muir added. “This is where I chose to live the rest of my life, and this is where I’m going to be. I just love it. My kids have excelled here, done great. Yep.”

    And while Foxy conceded that there’s no “black pudding or haggis or Glenfiddich” to serve as cultural touchstones here — that’s debatable, by the way: poutine, bacon and beer, anyone? — he thinks it’s great that you can feel at home in Canada no matter where you’re from.

    Below the escarpment where Cannon St. runs through downtown Hamilton, Alex Gibaldo and Peter Hanson sat outside a café drinking coffee.

    “We’re a cultural mosaic, right? That’s what they call it,” said Gibaldo, a 26-year-old who has lived in Hamilton most of her life.

    “I don’t think there’s an overarching identity for Canada. Everyone associates with it a little differently.”

    I asked them what they think holds us together, and Hanson told the story of when he moved from Nova Scotia to Hamilton when he was a teenager. It was the mid-’90s, and he took up with a group of skateboarders in town, who welcomed him and became a supportive group in his adopted city. They even gave him a nickname, “Popeye,” because of his sizeable biceps and origins in the Maritimes, where sailors live.

    In other words, they were nice, he said. Most of us are.

    “I think that’s one thing that does hold us together,” he said.

    A storm broke that evening as I crossed the bridge into Burlington. Buffeted by wind and rain, a man who appeared unassuming and ordinary emerged from a park and offered an intimate encounter. Apparently, or so he told me after I had politely declined, the area is known for that sort of thing.

    After wading through shin-deep puddles near the lakeshore, I found my motel. Once inside, I discovered a couple deer ticks gulping blood from my lower limbs. Then I noticed my jacket pocket had filled with rainwater and short-circuited my iPhone. My recorder was soaked, too, but somehow survived the trauma.


    On the last day, a thin mist pervaded the air and smudged out the line between the sky and Lake Ontario. The trail wound through Oakville and Mississauga and into Toronto, where I saw the CN Tower poking through the cloud-enshrouded cityscape of my destination.

    I had asked maybe three dozen people what it means to be Canadian. Brittany Hall, who was eating a shawarma in a park in Burlington one day earlier, told me she thinks it’s how our plethora of cultures and traditions allows each of us to cherrypick elements of how we live — from the cuisine we enjoy to the God(s) we worship.

    Jessica Pan, who moved here from China, said it means a better life and education for her daughter.

    And Giovanni Ling, a 24-year-old who’s saving up to go open a hostel in South America, told me that being Canadian is to be open-minded, polite, and to enjoy the opportunities we share.

    I felt they were onto something, but figured Canada and what it means to be Canadian are elusive and multifarious concepts. The land, the people and our varied pasts mingle in some unknowable way to make us Canadian.

    The trail, then, is a symbol not so much of how we are connected as one people, but how we have the potential to learn about each other if we want to.

    I met a lot of people on the trail, and though they were all friendly, I barely scratched the surface of who they are and what it’s like to live in their skin. It was the same with the path itself. The stretch I had travelled was but a sliver of the entire thing.

    The rest of it is out there waiting to be walked and discovered — like an invitation.


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              What I learned on my long, lovely limp along the Trans Canada Trail   

    Take it from someone with the sore feet of experience: If you walk far enough in this country, you’re going to pass through more than a single Canada.

    This gigantic land of primordial remoteness and sky-scraping mountains, snow that never melts and prairies vast as oceans — I saw none of that on my journey.

    The Canada I walked through on a recent monster hike was one of rural roads and motel rooms, paved-over rail lines and asphalt parkways. Suburban homes and barn-strewn pastures covered most of my vistas, and the people I met were so generous that one man offered to (ahem) help me unwind.

    That’s the beauty of the Trans Canada Trail. It has everything from Group of Seven splendour to roadside propositioning.

    Timed for completion in this 150th year of Confederation, with a fresh infusion of money from the feds to boot, the trail is a long sequence of regional pathways connected under one banner, offering travellers an ostensible route by foot to all three coasts and across the whole of Canada. The project has some satisfying historical echoes of the great continental railway of the 19th century and the cross-country highway that runs from Victoria to the tip of Newfoundland.

    And like those celebrated precursors, the trail can be seen as a thread across the breadth of the land, something tangible to point to and bring us together in all our geographic and cultural differences.

    To mark the occasion of this country’s birthday, and to ruminate for long, lonely hours about what it means to be Canadian, I walked a 260-kilometre stretch of the trail, from Queenston Heights in Niagara-on-the-Lake to downtown Toronto. It was a relatively tiny jaunt on the trail that snakes through Canada for 22,000 kilometres but it took me a whole week, while my FitBit clocked my exhaustion at about 50,000 steps per day.

    Being from B.C., I thought of it as a chance to slog through a stretch of this country that I don’t know much about.

    Many of us don’t get to do that, and spend most of our lives in our own corners of Canada. But the trail is an invitation, a new conduit to connect with each other. So I took a walk.

    The first dawn broke moments before I emerged from the woods onto the dew-slick grass at the top of the bluffs in Queenston Heights.

    Sunlight touched the statue of Isaac Brock, who stood on his towering spire 56 metres above. I watched the light expand through the foliage of the maple, elm and other deciduous trees and soon illuminate the whole park where one of Canada’s first nationalistic myths was born.

    It was an October morning in 1812. American soldiers had crossed into British territory to occupy these forested heights at the south end of what is now Niagara-on-the-Lake.

    The story goes that Brock jumped on his faithful steed, whose name was Alfred, and galloped south from Fort George to lead a charge against the invaders from the foot of the heights. He hopped off Alfred and tore into the bullet-buzzing melee, where he was promptly shot in the chest and died.

    Thus began his journey to posterity, for Brock’s troops — a band of British soldiers and volunteers joined by Haudenosaunee and other Indigenous fighters — took the hill back from the Americans, who scuttled across the nearby Niagara River whence they came. And though many others died that day, including Alfred the horse, it was Brock who was lionized as the “Hero of Upper Canada” and awarded a prime spot in the firmament of Canadian legend.

    It’s a good story with which to begin my journey, because it highlights two things. The first is that our sense of nationalism has always been opaque. Is Brock’s story a tale of British pride at having preserved the colonies from American takeover? Was there even a sense of “being Canadian” at that time, and if so, how did the French and Indigenous peoples fit into that?

    How do we all fit into that now?

    The second thing the story shows is that, even before this country existed as “Canada” — a distinction we got in 1867 — our existence as a physical entity, and more recently as a cultural one, has been threatened by the United States.

    I walked the paved path through Queenston Heights along the edge of the gorge that drops to the frothing Niagara River. On this side was the Canada that Brock and his troops helped preserve; on the other was our leviathan neighbour.

    Canada has long been a precarious enterprise. With the threat of Quebec separatism roiling through the last half of the 20th century, and still burbling at a lower temperature today, the shadow of American influence has always prompted questions about what it means to be Canadian.

    It’s been more than 50 years, after all, since George Grant famously eulogized Canada in his seminal book, Lament for a Nation.

    He argued that not only our sovereignty, but our distinctive British Tory ideology of “peace, order and good government,” was eroding in the face of economic and cultural integration with our American neighbour and its attendant tide of modern individualism.

    We were destined, in his view, to become little more than a “branch-plant” society, a provincial outpost of the U.S. global empire.

    Our answer to this has often been that we’re the “mosaic,” the collection of peoples and nations with various histories that are assembled in the shape of a country. None other than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said there is no “core identity” here, and most of the people I met on the trail agreed that one of the key markers of Canada is its ethnic and linguistic diversity.

    I walked past the mind-blowing spectacle of Niagara Falls and carried on south toward Fort Erie. I found Dave and Wendy Wyatt, a retired couple, smoking cigars in camping chairs by the river, enjoying the shade and staring across at the U.S. side.

    I sat on the grass between them and asked how we’re different from the people over there. Wendy quipped that she’s not visiting while Donald Trump is president. She said Canadians are different because we’re more accepting and open. I thought of Trudeau, photo opportunity or not, hugging Syrian refugees at Pearson airport.

    Dave added that we’re different from Americans because of the way people act abroad when you tell them you’re Canadian. Plus, he said, there’s our health care system.

    “You feel that you’ve helped people, right? You’ve been in a country that’s thought of other people.”

    Our communitarian spirit versus their cowboy individualism — that might be the biggest difference. Who’s to say? We’re speaking in generalities here.

    I trundled down the road for several hours. My bag was swollen with 30 pounds of camping gear, clothes and dried food, and it was starting to feel heavy.

    I must have been a pitiable sight, because near the end of the day, as I passed a row of homes outside Fort Erie, a voice called down from the balcony of a home beside the pathway. It was Anne Yurkiw, who sat on a swinging love seat with her husband, Larry.

    She said she’s a registered nurse, and insisted that I stop right there and come in for some ice water. It was some good, old-fashioned Canadian communitarianism.

    The next day I walked in the beating sun along an old rail line west of Fort Erie. A cluster of cyclists approached. One of them was a man in spandex with a bushy moustache. He called out: “How far ya walkin’?!”

    “Toronto!” I said.

    GOOD for you!” responded a woman who was biking in the group. She said it in the way you’d congratulate a teacher’s pet for acing a test that doesn’t matter.

    I watched the cyclists get smaller on the path ahead, which was flat and dead straight, until they disappeared into the blurred-out horizon.

    The immensity of Canada is one of its undeniable characteristics. Northrop Frye, the famed thinker from the last century at the University of Toronto, called it “our huge, unthinking, menacing and formidable physical setting.” The wild that surrounds us provokes a sense of “deep terror,” he argued.

    Those of us who’ve walked alone in the woods at night or been lost in the backcountry, far away when it’s cold, will know what he’s talking about.

    Frye thought the terror of our natural setting actually gave us the distinct Canadian quality of looking out for each other. The land itself, in other words, accounts for the communitarian quality that Dave and Wendy told me makes us different from Americans. Frye called it our “garrison mentality.” This country is scary and inhospitable, so we need to stick together to get by.

    Bud Heussler was resting on a bench beside the trail just east of the town of Ridgeway. At 84, he had a gentlemanly air in his blue shirt and beige pants. He told me that after he retired more than 20 years ago, he started walking the trail to pick up the trash that people left behind. He’d do 150 bags a summer, he said.

    He only stopped a few years ago when he got mononucleosis and suspected it came from the garbage.

    I walked for a while with Bud as he finished the stroll he does every second day to loosen up his back after surgery a few months ago. He waved and said hello to everyone we saw.

    “Whether it’s Canada or anywhere else,” he said, “I think people enjoy being out in the woods.”

    It certainly wasn’t terror of the land. Like a vacuum, maybe the wild space of this country has a way of drawing us in.

    I hobbled through the centre of Port Colborne on the third morning. The town sits on Lake Erie at the south end of the Welland Canal, that 19th-century engineering marvel. Hulking freight ships floated offshore as they waited to take the series of locks north to Lake Ontario.

    Jo-Ann Karn waved me over to where she sat smoking cigarettes with her friend Nancy Green outside the local taxi garage. They were cleaning and had taken a smoke break.

    When you’ve been walking in the sun for days, and you’re sunburned and your backpack has too much stuff in it, friendly little conversations can seem like monumental gestures of humanity.

    And so it was with Jo-Ann and Nancy.

    Jo-Ann, who is 56, spoke with a rasp in her voice that made me think of my grandma. She had the same warmth, too. We spoke about Canada and the cost of beer and how Jo-Ann loved the prime minister’s father. Nancy joked about how drunk people get in town during the summer festivals, and told me she’d been to Ottawa once on a school trip in Grade 8.

    When I left, I was hit with a self-conscious feeling. Jo-Ann had said she dreamed of moving back to Toronto, but that rents are too high. “I can’t afford it,” she’d said.

    I walked along the lakefront neighbourhood of the town and on to the forested outskirts, and started wondering how they saw me, the reporter expensing meals and motel rooms to a media corporation, wandering a long road just for kicks and a whimsical story. Was there a gap between us, and if so, was there a way to bridge it?

    Nancy had mumbled something before I walked off about coming back for the Canal Days festival this summer, and then scrawled out a note for me. At the edge of town I pulled it out. She had written, “Come spend time with us.”

    The trail veered back onto an old rail line. The path was bounded by leafy trees and clumps of fragrant lavender and daisies. Birds tweeted in the branches and bushes, sometimes flitting across the track before me and jumping from tree to tree as I walked.

    That afternoon the trail merged onto a series of country roads, where signs at the end of long driveways advertised free scrap metal, firewood for sale, and opposition to the wind turbines that dot the area and sound sort of like landing planes.

    There was a lot of roadkill. Festering raccoons were the most common. Frog corpses, too, smushed thin as cardboard and baked into the asphalt by the heat of the sun. Birds with necks twisted at disgusting angles popped up occasionally on the road’s shoulder, sometimes with wings flayed across the gravel where they had died.

    The most interesting specimen was a turtle about the size of a rugby ball. Its shell was cracked open, presumably from the impact of a car, and flies buzzed around its face.

    The scene was a fitting companion to my gathering dread at having taken this walk. I wasn’t even half done yet and my feet were swollen and blistered. Pain rang with each step, up the Achilles tendon of my left foot and through the out-facing ligaments of my right.

    I somehow got to Dunnville without trying to hitchhike, and checked into the Riverview Motel. It was the 45th birthday of the proprietor, Chirag Kumar Patel, who moved there from India last year to buy the business and live with his mother, wife and two children. He told me with a glint of mischief in his eye that walking between towns is much more common in India.

    I grunted, said thanks for the room and hauled my body to bed, where I slept like road kill until morning.

    If you ever find yourself wandering for hours in the gravel on the side of a rural highway in southern Ontario, and you’re beaten and bedraggled and barely keeping it together, I implore you to stop in on the good people of Cayuga. They’ll get you sorted out.

    In my case it was the lady at the local pharmacy, who only needed a second to look at me before I was shown the extra strength Advil and had a set of soft boot insoles pressed into my hands. Also the women working the post office: They helped me mail back the mound of stuff I’d overpacked — two-man tent; camping stove; sleeping bag; propane canisters; bags of dried food; steel pot — and gave me a couple of cold bottles of water.

    It may have been the exhaustion, but these people inflated my spirits like a Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Man.

    I floated on that high into the Back 40 Tap & Grill, where I slugged back a can of pop and devoured a chicken burger. Five men in their 70s and 80s sat around a wooden table drinking tea and coffee. Having inhaled my meal, I walked over and asked to join them.

    Lloyd Kindree, a 74-year-old farmer in shorts and a T-shirt, told me that since they all retired they’ve come here five days a week to “shoot the breeze” and share a warm drink. His friend, a man named Bruce Miller who drove a truck he calls the “Kerosene Cadillac,” interjected about their retirements: “Put it this way, nobody’ll hire us!”

    The men explained how they’d worked the land around here as farmers for decades. “Fella used to make a living off 50 acres,” said 80-year-old Sam Rounce, bemoaning the rise of industrial farming that has squeezed out smaller businesses.

    Miller riffed on the sentiment. “To me, computers belong in spaceships. Maybe hospitals.”

    I left town not long after that, still feeling the buzz from my lighter backpack, the Advil, and the kind people of Cayuga. The trail continued for a while on the side of a country road, which snaked north up the west side of the Grand River, through a rolling landscape peppered with barns and crops, grazing cattle and bales of hay. The sky above was smothered with billowing grey clouds, which let through shafts of light that cut across the surrounding hills.

    The men in Back 40 clearly felt a kinship with this land. It was the centre of their lives, and they’d earned the right to grouse about how it has changed.

    But like every millimetre of Canada, this land has a deeper story.

    Since at least the Beaver Wars of the 17th century, the entire area was the territory of the Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations, at least until it was gradually occupied by people from other places. Colonizers, you’d have to say.

    The Haudenosaunee were a confederation before Confederation. The union of five, and later six, Indigenous nations occurred centuries ago — researchers have pinned their government’s creation to the year 1142 — and the group is believed to have been sovereign at one time over the land from what is now St. Louis to the Toronto area.

    The nation also joined the British in the War of 1812, with a prominent leader named John Brant fighting with Brock at Queenston Heights. They were later promised tracts of land on both banks of the entire Grand River, from its mouth at Lake Erie to as far north as Orangeville.

    And yet today, the region’s Haudenosaunee territory is officially confined to a much smaller reserve west of Caledonia. I had hoped to hike the area with one of the nation’s clan mothers, who are respected leaders in the community, and had tried to interview people who live there, but arrangements fell through in the end.

    I figured, as I passed along a wooded path by the river, where a boy fly fished and a heron took off in the orange light of dusk, that it’s not like anyone would need to explain their connection to this land to me.

    But does this diminish the Back 40 guys’ bond with this place? I don’t think so. It just makes things complicated.

    Let’s not forget that, while Canada’s 150th is an innocent birthday bash to many, to others it’s a celebration of colonialism and decades of forced assimilation, the anniversary of the political system that created residential schools and generations of trauma.

    There’s a relevant and evocative phrase written by the Coast Salish poet, Lee Maracle: “Where do you begin telling someone their world is not the only one?”

    We have different worlds in this country.

    I plodded along the leafy escarpment that bisects Hamilton on the following afternoon. Two men approached walking their bikes. I saw that they wore matching hats with Scottish flags on them, as well as blue shirts that said: “Keep Calm and Eat Haggis.”

    John “Foxy” Fox and Dave Muir grew up in Glasgow on opposite sides of the River Clyde, but didn’t meet until after they both moved to Hamilton in 1974, Foxy to work 33 years in the Stelco plant and Muir to ply his trade in electrical motor manufacturing. Their daughters were in the same class at school, and they’ve been friends ever since.

    “It’s the best country in the world right now,” said Foxy.

    “I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” Muir added. “This is where I chose to live the rest of my life, and this is where I’m going to be. I just love it. My kids have excelled here, done great. Yep.”

    And while Foxy conceded that there’s no “black pudding or haggis or Glenfiddich” to serve as cultural touchstones here — that’s debatable, by the way: poutine, bacon and beer, anyone? — he thinks it’s great that you can feel at home in Canada no matter where you’re from.

    Below the escarpment where Cannon St. runs through downtown Hamilton, Alex Gibaldo and Peter Hanson sat outside a café drinking coffee.

    “We’re a cultural mosaic, right? That’s what they call it,” said Gibaldo, a 26-year-old who has lived in Hamilton most of her life.

    “I don’t think there’s an overarching identity for Canada. Everyone associates with it a little differently.”

    I asked them what they think holds us together, and Hanson told the story of when he moved to Hamilton from Nova Scotia when he was a teenager. It was the mid-’90s, and he took up with a group of skateboarders in town, who welcomed him and became a supportive group in his adopted city. They even gave him a nickname, “Popeye,” because of his sizeable biceps and origins in the Maritimes, where sailors live.

    In other words, they were nice, he said. Most of us are.

    “I think that’s one thing that does hold us together,” he said.

    A storm broke that evening as I crossed the bridge into Burlington. Buffeted by wind and rain, a man who appeared unassuming and ordinary emerged from a park and offered an intimate encounter. Apparently, or so he told me after I had politely declined, the area is known for that sort of thing.

    After wading through shin-deep puddles near the lakeshore, I found my motel. Once inside, I discovered a couple of deer ticks gulping blood from my lower limbs. Then I noticed my jacket pocket had filled with rainwater and short-circuited my iPhone. My recorder was soaked, too, but somehow survived the trauma.

    On the last day, a thin mist pervaded the air and smudged out the line between the sky and Lake Ontario. The trail wound through Oakville and Mississauga and into Toronto, where I saw the CN Tower poking through the cloud-enshrouded cityscape of my destination.

    I had asked maybe three dozen people what it means to be Canadian. Brittany Hall, who was eating a shawarma in a park in Burlington one day earlier, told me she thinks it’s how our plethora of cultures and traditions allows each of us to cherrypick elements of how we live — from the cuisine we enjoy to the god(s) we worship.

    Jessica Pan, who moved here from China, said it means a better life and education for her daughter.

    And Giovanni Ling, a 24-year-old who’s saving up to open a hostel in South America, told me that being Canadian is to be open-minded and polite, and to enjoy the opportunities we share.

    I felt they were onto something, but figured Canada and what it means to be Canadian are elusive and multifarious concepts. The land, the people and our varied pasts mingle in some unknowable way to make us Canadian.

    The trail, then, is a symbol not so much of how we are connected as one people, but of how we have the potential to learn about each other if we want to.

    I met a lot of people on the trail, and though they were all friendly, I barely scratched the surface of who they are and what it’s like to live in their skin. It was the same with the path itself. The stretch I had travelled was but a sliver of the entire thing.

    The rest of it is out there waiting to be walked and discovered — like an invitation.