[PART 50]

Attack on Greenland

February 1932

With hard intelligence (from the “B Man”, radar and sighting reports) that a small Martian base had been established in a cold ice-free area in northern Greenland, it was time to act. The base was north-east of Etah in a small protected valley across from Ellismere Island. The base near Etah was just a short flight from Thule. The real shock was just how damn close these things were to one of our most northern bases – Hell, we were practically neighbors! Before we sat down for a little conversation with the “B Man” there had been many questions about the Greenland situation. The first question the Committee needed to have answered was how were they able to ‘man’ the base in light of the fact that staying too long in Earth’s atmosphere with its known pathogens to Martians was still thought to be deadly? How were they able to stay there? We still thought they would be hard-pressed to stay inside their flying machines and for what purpose for any length of time. Other than keeping a close eye on humanity, the second question was: Why were they in that exact location? The Committee was not certain we would be able to answer either one of those questions, but in the short run they did not matter. When we found out the area was a test bed for the Martians and some of their new technology, that was enough. It was time to engage the enemy.

We had been given the exact location of the base, confirmed by our own investigations, by a Martian Gray as well as the exact layout of the small base. We had confidence in the information as far as it went. However, just in case it was some sort of a trap it was decided to fly in a small team to recon the situation before committing any large attack force to ‘remove’ the base. As the Russians would say, “Trust, but verify.” It would be these reports from recon scouts on the ground that told us that the Martian base in Greenland was not very large, even though they did have enough Martian firepower and fighting machines to make it a very tough go. They had no more than four aerial craft and three walking machines, but we knew how tough they were so we would be taking as few chances as possible. We would attack with as much force as we could bring to bear on the small Martian outpost on the ice. We needed to hit them hard and hit them fast. In short we wanted the Martians to understand that the humans they regarded with such contempt could meet them in battle and defeat them. We needed a big win and we knew it was going to be costly. When the recon teams returned with a report that verified about as much as they could, including a close look at the homing device (very well guarded), it was time to put our attack plans into full operation.

Our job now was to attack that base and eliminate it as fast as we could. It was quickly decided that a combined assault would be made on the base from the air and ground. Two battalions of special winter troops mostly from Scandinavia, Siberia and Canada were put on alert for the mission. As part of the air arm of the operation six Phoenix II flyers were readied to pound the base from the air. 14 February was selected as the launch day for “Operation Northern Lights”.

We knew we would be fighting in an environment most suited for Martian operations, but one way or the other we would eventually be fighting these creatures in winter weather somewhere on Earth in the future so we may as well get used to it. One week earlier the two battalions had been landed at a location near the target moving inland towards the Martian base. When they were in attack position a short-beam radio signal was sent to the command ship off the coast which would order the Phoenix II flyers in for the pre-assault bomb run. Code words for the operation were, “Party Time.” Just after the first bomb run had been completed, the ground forces were poised to make their attack on the base – at least that was how we had planned the operation. The Martians had other ideas.

The attack group took off at 5 a.m. from our base at Thule, Greenland. It was crisp, cold and clear. There were reports of good weather all the way to the target. We sent all six of our new Phoenix II fighter/bombers that were ready to go on this mission. It was that critical that we score a win. We were determined to take out all of the Martians at the base. It was not long before the air over the target was screaming with the powerful movements of the Phoenix II’s coming in from three directions. Two from the south, two midlevel from the west and two flying high-cover from the east were converging on the target. The two heading in low from the south were to make the first pass aiming their new contact bombs at the center of the small base. They began their final run at 1000 yards out and appeared to be heading right dead center of the base. Observing the attack from positions close to the base were three scout and assault teams prepared to make an instant assessment of the results before going in. Their report spoke volumes for what we did not know about the Martians and their new defensive equipment. It spoke of how we had failed.

“We could barely see the flyers coming in from the south preparing to line up for the first bomb run. Seconds later we saw what looked like a large round metal structure about 50 feet across rising out of the center structure at the Martian base. In the light of a star-filled arctic night the shadows seemed to show some sort of round metal ball coming out of the center of the metal structure. The ball seemed to spin and then suddenly a brilliant beam of green light shot out of this ball in pulses temporarily blinding some of the nearby observers. The pulses were sent towards the two flyers which seemed to be held in the pulse for a split second before both craft exploded in a red/green ball of flame. Only a dense cloud of smoke remained where the aircraft had been. It was that fast”

The second wave of flyers saw the destruction of the two lead craft and peeled away from their attack flight paths. It was however, two late for one of the flyers that had come in from the west. As both craft turned away the trailing craft was caught in one of the pulses and was instantly destroyed. The destruction of that flyer sent the wing man down to the left causing the Martian beams to miss the flyer but not by much. The top cover craft were soon flying higher and in a much wider pattern. They had most of the luck that day. The Martian pulse beam weapon could, it seemed with some difficulty, reach their altitude but the accuracy and strength of the weapon was greatly diminished. The pulses did in fact find one of the flyers but managed to do only minimal damage to the craft. We were learning the capabilities of this new device but it had been very costly. Trailing a line of black smoke the pilot managed to fly out of range. A few miles away the pilot made a rather bumpy but survivable landing. A rescue team located him and his craft a few days later cold and hungry but very much alive.

With our aerial efforts to knock out the Martian base completely defeated it was time for our ground forces to attempt on the ground what would not be accomplished from the air. The battalions readied themselves for the difficult task. They made no radio call to the command ship to take advantage of the fact that the Martians were still, in theory, unaware of their presence. Positioned to assault the base from three directions simultaneously the winter troops went in with 418 strong. One group made their way towards the center structures which held the deadly Heat-Ray. A second team moved swiftly towards the two small structures which had been erected at the south edge of the base. These looked exactly like oversized igloos and were jet black. There had been no attempt to camouflage the buildings. Finally the third group made their way towards the Martian Flying Machines, three in all, that sat on what looked to be a small artificial pad. The teams would not get far.

Without warning, and in fact no-one who survived, and there were only a handful who did, could tell whether the event had been triggered by the assault teams moving in remotely or by a Martian that had been inside one of the craft or buildings. Nevertheless, a massive explosion erupted with such force, from what seemed to be the center of the base, that it obliterated everything within the camp including the 418 men coming in from positions just outside of the base. The entire base went up in the blast which also wounded the ten survivors who had been left behind to guard the raider’s camp and equipment. They recovered well enough to later describe the huge mushroom cloud of black and gray rising from a smoldering hole in the ground some 200 feet across. The Martians had destroyed their own base and everyone in it!

We later came to understand as best we could that this had been some sort of test by the Martians of their new ground based Heat-Ray technology on an active military target – us. It was in fact not much more than an elaborate trap our forces had walked right into. The “B Man” had set us up and in our zeal to bring battle to the Martians we had given them an opportunity to test our mettle and we had been found wanting, not in the courage of the men who had gone on the attack, but in our methods and equipment. We were also reminded that the Martians were more than willing to kill any number of their own in order to accomplish just about any military objective they had planned. All of the ‘lessons’ we learned from the Martians were hard and as in this case as well as others – deadly.

We were now quite certain that any future war with the Martians would be as deadly as the First Martian War. We needed to steel ourselves to the fact that anything we could do to prepare ourselves needed to be done with great speed. If a major war came it was going to be a bloody affair. In the meantime, sporadic Martian inspired and probably directed hybrid ground attacks continued.

Hybrid Attack on the Steamboat Observation

On 9 September 1932 steamboat Observation exploded in New York’s East River; killing 72 people. The explosion was soon placed at the doorstep of two Brotherhood hybrids who had taken their last ride on the steamboat.

As I recall, it had been a long hard week of tracking down local criminal hybrids that were determined to cause as much trouble as possible for New York City authorities. Several small fires had been set in and around both Upper and Lower-New York as well as several small bombs set off near government buildings. To say the least local Committee people had stepped up security at all major locations thought to be possible targets of the Martian hybrids. A general hybrid roundup was in fact well in work when we received word that a massive explosion had occurred on the steamer Observation. There would be no good news that day.

Long Island Star-Journal – 9 September 1932

37 KILLED, 40 MISSING IN STEAMBOAT BLAST;

12 QUEENS MEN HURT IN EAST RIVER DISASTER.

100 INJURED IN EXPLOSION

AS CRAFT BEARS WORKERS FROM DOCK IN THE BRONX

Bodies Hurled High in Air Float to Astoria Shore As

Catastrophe Ends Trip to Rikers Island

LONG ISLAND, Sept. 8. – Investigation into the explosion of the Observation in the East River this morning was begun at noon today by at least five agencies. District Attorney Mc Laughlin of the Bronx, Police Commissioner Mulrooney, Plant and Structure Commissioner Goldman. Fire Commissioner Dorman and Committee authorities began to question witnesses. Thirty-seven men are known to have been killed and at least forty others are missing in a terrific mystery explosion which literally blew the steamer Observation to bits at 8 o’clock this morning in the East River. The death toll may reach seventy. All of the dead were workmen. By noon sixteen bodies had been identified. Other bodies were floating in the river, being picked up by rescue squads. Unofficial estimates place the missing at forty.

From the very start of the investigation it was clear that this had been no accident. The first explosion had torn the steamer in half lifting the ship right out of the water, which was quickly followed by a second blast that completely destroyed the entire front of the ship. What remained sank in seconds. Witnesses reported that “bodies were catapulted through the air.” Some of the bodies would land on nearby ships and on the piers. “Remnants of bodies – arms, legs and torsos – were all that remained of some of the victims.” Several of the men who somehow survived the devastating blasts were dragged to their deaths by the mangled sinking ship. We would later find several bodies that had been blown to the roofs of nearby buildings.

The reason for targeting the steamer was soon evident even though it had been based upon a false understanding of the target. The workmen, some 150 of them, were being transported to Rikers Island where a new prison was under construction. Part of the construction work was centered on a new hybrid holding facility. This much was true however; rumors had been circulating for some time that the new Rikers facility would also contain a most-secret holding facility for Martian As and Bs. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. The Committee built these facilities at six different locations, all of which were deep underground and they were never built anywhere near regular prison facilities. Naturally the Committee maintained that those classified Martian facilities did not exist!

Within moments of the blasts nearby ships and crews were rushing to the stricken steamer. The steamer Freeman near enough to have been rocked by the explosions was soon lowering lifeboats in an effort to rescue as many as possible. They soon recovered four men, all of whom were alive but with broken bones. As more rescue personal arrived the dead and mangled body parts were taken to the far end of the dock which had also been damaged by the explosions.

One survivor spoke about the fact that no one had a chance to escape the explosion. “It happened so quickly. There was no stampede, no rush, and no commotion. The boat had pulled out from the pier when suddenly it exploded. Just like that. There was no chance to put on life preservers. Before we could realize what had happened we were flying through the air. It was horrible. Some of the men were dead when they struck the water.”

A local man named William McHugh would later describe what he saw to a Committee investigation team. “The explosion of the Observation was the most horrible sight I have ever seen, and the memory of it will live with me always. I arrived at the dock just as the boat blew up and all I could see at first were bodies, legs and arms, together with parts of the superstructure, hurtling through the air. One man was blown at least 400 feet into the air. He was dead before he hit the ground. Another mangled body part landed on the ferry house many miles away and a third man was thrown a distance of 200 feet. Most of those who were killed were probably knocked unconscious by the blast because they never came to the surface.”

The steamer had been taking the workers to Rikers for several months before the attack and was well known to many who worked the docks. In an earlier life the vessel had seen duty as an excursion steamer between the Battery at the south end of Manhattan, Upper New York City proper and the Rockaways. Built in 1888 it was next part of a small fleet of vessels used to carry day sightseers and Manhattan Island. When the attack came the Observation was under contract with Upper New York City’s Department of Corrections for transportation of workers to the Rikers building site.

The primary explosion was traced to a small area next to the boiler room which killed most of those who had taken their rest in the center of the ship. Most of the injuries, those who survived the initial blast, had been on the prow and the stern of the ship. The second explosion took many more lives of the injured who had been on the prow.

As the noise from the blasts reverberated along the shore the treacherously swift current was making it very difficult for injured survivors to stay afloat. Many, too injured to swim, were simply drawn down to death by the many whirlpools created by the shifting current.

One witness who had been drawn to the area to help in the rescue, William McHugh would later report, “It was the most horrible sight I ever saw even knowing what we had all experienced during the war. The explosion of the Observation was a horrible sight. The memory of it will live with me always. In a short time scores of ambulances had arrived with two police rescue squads and they set to work giving aid to the injured.”

Four teams of investigators were soon “working the wreck” in the hopes of finding the cause. Newspapers reported that, “The boiler exploded, but whether because of a defect in construction or because of improper operation will not be learned unless the boiler is found.” This was, as would be expected, a false report as the Committee had already determined that the disaster had been set off by a medium size explosive device. We did not want to put forward any reports connected to Martian or hybrid activity. In other words no matter what the outcome of these investigations, as far as the public were concerned, it was nothing more than a tragic accident brought on by a boiler which had failed.

When the boiler was finally located Committee teams made certain that it was brought to the surface during the middle of the night so as to lessen the number of people able to get a close look. Naturally no one, including the Press who were “to be kept at a respectable distance,” would be allowed to photograph the badly mangled boiler. When we saw the considerable damage it was clear that one side of the boiler had a rather large hole explosively punched into its side. What really surprised all of the men who worked on the recovery was the “evidence located inside the largest section of the boiler.” It was clear that the individual who had set the explosion had not escaped his deadly work – a portion of his hand, crushed and blackened by the flash of fire, and had been blasted into the boiler without being completely destroyed. Small remnants of six fingers were still attached! The bomber had been a hybrid.

The final public report was delivered to the people of New York City by the Press eight weeks after the disaster. It was of course a complete lie.

“OBSERVATION DISASTER RULED ACCIDENTAL”

On 27 October 1932 in the quiet town of Gaillac in the south west of France over 100 people witnessed three large cigar-shaped aerial craft identical to the craft reported two weeks earlier over Oloron, a small town 130 miles west of Gaillac. Several times the French government had sent up fighter aircraft to engage these craft and each time they had simply and easily flown out of range. These did not appear to be of Martian origin. GAIG soon had several teams in the area to interview as many of these witnesses as possible. If ‘others’ were flying around we needed to know and how many. Not that we could do anything about what we may learn – but still. In the meantime we had a new problem to deal with; we had discovered that a small number of Martian As were on the hunt for humans just for sport!

HUNTER MARTIAN As

No one on Earth had earlier suggested that these creatures even existed. All of our intelligence reports and interrogations up to that point indicated that Martian As were for the most part of one frame of mind, not necessarily open to private out-of-the-box thinking. However, when it came to a small minority of Martian As, it was becoming apparent that this was simply not the case. These deadly alien hunters had come to Earth beginning in early 1933 to hunt humans simply for game and did not seem to fit into any plans for capturing the Earth as part of continuing Martian conquests. Nevertheless, these Hunter Martian As were still susceptible to Earth’s atmospheric plagues and therefore needed to hunt in colder areas on Earth at least in the beginning which they did in full pressure suits for only limited amounts of time. As we began to field reports of Martians ‘on the hunt” in the colder high northern latitudes it became clear that the hunt could only go on for little more than 36 hours before these creatures were required to retreat to the relative safety of their space craft’s atmosphere. The first reports of these creatures came from men who worked as foresters in the north western areas of the United States and Canada; mostly in logging camps.

The logging camp around 60 miles north of Jasper, Alberta, Canada had been in operation well before the First Martian War. It had only recently been re-activated and was now back to full operation with both Canadian and American companies working the forests full time. It was one of these teams that first ran into a Hunter Martian A. These reports would continue for the next five years mostly in colder areas of North America and northern Russia.

One of the most detailed reports came from a young Canadian who had only been on the job for a few months when his group encountered a Hunter Martian A.

“It came at us as if it was walking in a park. Calm as you please. At first no-one moved. It did not look much like a Martian with all that get-up it was wearing – helmet, puffed up suit and large back pack. Everyone was stunned and really did not move. This thing then raised its weapon and pointed at the guys to my front left. The green ray arched into the air and simply cut four guys in half setting part of the woods on fire. The sharp screams from the now dead men caused everyone else to run for cover. Turning around as I dove for cover I saw the Martian taking its time, very calmly picking off crew members one at a time. Running was not an option so I stayed behind one of the longer felled trees and waited. It felt like an eternity but was probably no more than a minute when I looked around the end of the log. The bloody Martian was taking heads and putting them on some sort of rope or metal chain one on top of another. At that point it simply walked back into the woods from the same direction it came. Fourteen men were dead. I was born after the Martian War but I’ve heard stories about the blood lust of the Martians. If this is what Martians are like I want nothing to do with those devils.”

It soon became one of the many tasks assigned to the CAIG organization to keep track of and plot any reports of Hunter Martian As. It also became a primary assignment for a small specialized group of Tango teams to go after these enemy aliens and kill them as fast as they could find them. This was not going to be an easy task – as if anything remotely related to killing Martians was easy. (Classified records would show that from 1934 through 1937 special teams were able to track and kill, at some cost, 23 of these Hunter Martian As. CAIG losses were not specifically mentioned in these reports.) This assignment however was especially difficult as these Martians obeyed no standard rules of combat either Martian or human. These were pure killing machines that, if reports could be taken on face value, cared not a bit for the lives of anyone or anything including their own. We would later receive several unconfirmed reports of Hunter Martian As hunting and killing both Martian As and Martian Bs. I don’t know if this is a proper term to use for these killers but I began to call them Martian serial killers.

Editor’s Note: The actions of those so-called Hunter Martian As on Earth, although advantages to Mars Prime objectives, were never authorized by Mars Prime – This activity was monitored but no action from Mars Prime was ever contemplated.

1933 saw the publication of Outlaws of Mars by Otis Adelbert Kline. This Committee sponsored book detailed the construction of the canals in parallel and in multiple on Mars “surrounded by walls and terraces,” as well as the Martians, which built them. Otis was allowed to generally describe the massive machines the Martians had used in there construction but not too detailed. The title of course was designed to keep people on the proper side of the “Martian Question.” A whole new generation had grown up since the Martian War and keeping the horror of that war on everyone’s mind was still paramount in our eyes. Later the book was turned into a movie and became one of the first to be made mostly in full color. The Committee continued to put out “Mars bulletins” with Committee logs, etc. They were also putting out a number of other publications which had no Committee references so as to have as many “different” sources as possible for the public to read about our enemies on Mars.

At the same time a report had come in from Central Australia by a hunting party of Unmatjera aborigines. They had come across a group of landed Martian Flying Machines in the “outback” which seemed to be exchanging crews of Grays. They also reported that several humans were working with the Grays, but were unable to state if they were full humans or hybrids. After the crews were exchanged several animals were loaded into one of the vehicles. When completed all four craft took off and headed south. When we were finally able to put “boots on the ground” in the outback where the locals had reported the landings nothing out of the ordinary was discovered. We were relieved to discover that this would not be a new staging area for the Martians. However, considering the vastness of the Australian outback we could never be completely certain that any Martian base would not be developed. Heat was our only defense in that area and it was a very weak defense indeed.

Along with keeping track of many individual files also included such reports as could be gleamed from newspaper and news magazine sources. One such report taken from the American Time Magazine of 2 July 1933 had to do with one Adolf Schicklgruber alias Adolf Hitler. It seems as if his star was setting. “In 1931, Adolf Hitler was Germany’s rising star. In 1932 he and his Nazis slipped back to the tune of 2,000,000 lost votes. His thunder was largely stolen by General Kurt von Scheicher, the new Chancellor to whom many a German looks as Man of the Next Year.”

Nevertheless, within a few weeks Mr. Hitler would find himself in the Chancellor seat. Things were not looking up for Germany; nor perhaps for the rest of Europe.

GHOST FLYERS

From mid-1933 until early 1938, Finland, Norway and Sweden were inundated with hundreds of reports of unidentified aerial craft being referred to in the local press as “Ghost-flyers.”

These were called Ghost Flyers due to the fact that no one ever saw a hard or metallic surface or body on any of these ‘craft’. For the most part they were seen as what one observer called “solid balls of bright white light which at times could morph into an elongated shape but never into any shape resembling an aircraft or for that matter any craft seen from Mars.”

For some reason most of these sightings were made over Scandinavia as they were seen to pace alongside both civilian and military aircraft. And they proved to be a great deal more maneuverable than anything we had yet to fly including the Phoenix II aircraft. Get too close to one and it would simply fly farther away. Nevertheless, these objects, whatever they were, did not seem to mind if we took photos of them as we soon had dozens of these objects on motion as well as still pictures. There was even one unconfirmed report of a Martian Flying Machine being paced by one of these things over the North Sea. Despite these strange ‘craft’ flying alongside aircraft in a limited airspace there were never any reports of any of them making any aggressive moves. To this day no one knows what these objects were or who sent them. As far as we could ascertain even the Martians were bewildered by these objects.

At the same time we were trying to figure out what these Ghost Flyers were our Moon observation teams reported an extremely interesting and for that matter quite troubling event emanating from the Lunar surface. On the second of May 1933 members were actively watching the Moon for any unusual activity when the teams from four locations simultaneously spotted an orange beam of light (some reported it as a deep ray) projected off the Lunar surface near Mt. Hadley. The beam of orange light was witnessed for a full fifteen minutes before it suddenly went out.

This beam was emanating from an area that had previously shown no interesting phenomena. It goes without saying that the Committee and leading governments were alerted and military units were placed on standby. However, nothing of an unusual nature was ever again seen to come from the area around Mt. Hadley. This was about the time we received another interesting report from our Moon Watch Program. Close observation had spotted “a reddish glow emanating from the center of the crater Alphonsus”. At the time it was not clear if this was some sort of natural event such as gas venting from the surface or perhaps some type of lunar volcanic activity or if we were seeing some type of Martian activity on the lunar surface. Either way it was clear that the area around Alphonsus needed to be studied with increased care. If it was Martian inspired we had to know about it. Needless to say this report was not released to the general public as anything other than a natural lunar event. That however, cannot be said of the events centered around a small base in China which was about to receive some very unwelcome ‘guests’ from the planet Mars!

[END PART 50]

Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020

[Next week: Part 51: Martian raiding party as the work continues.]