Does the disaster of the Columbia mean the Beast of Terror is loose in space?  Does the disaster drive us from our goal of exploring space, of seeking answers to the limitless questions posed by the universe?   If we let the Beast of Terror soil the exploration of space, have we surrendered to Fear, Intimidation and Complacency?  Find out.


Sunday--February 2, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 508
 Does The Beast Of Terror Rule Space In the Wake of Columbia's Horrible Space Disaster

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Feb. 2--The Beast of Terror rained death and destruction on Texas and the world yesterday as body parts and fragments of Columbia, America's first space shuttle built in 1981, disintegrated upon reentry at 40 miles above the earth traveling at 12,500 miles per hour.  The explosion spewed the venom of Terrorism over thousands of square miles in Texas and adjoining states, including the torso and a skull of two of the seven astronauts just minutes from a landing in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Debris from the space shuttle Columbia

      Ironically, part of the epicenter where the Terror rained to earth was a town called Palestine, Texas.  And aboard the ill-fated Columbia was Israel's first space voyager, Ilan Ramon, a colonel in the Israeli Air Force who more than two decades ago participated in Israel's attack on a nuclear reactor in Iraq.
      It was 17 years ago almost on the same day and month that space shuttle Challenger exploded during take off.
      The Terror stared 14 minutes before the break up when Columbia, on it 28th space mission, started reentry into earth's atmosphere.   Temperatures soar up to 3000 degrees as the craft rocket toward earth, protected by heat shields to deflect horrendous heat produced by friction with the atmosphere.  But 113 other space shuttle missions had successfully negotiated their landings, and reentry, although a critical time for all aboard, had no history of disaster.
      Not until yesterday, that is.
      Early prognostications suggest the heat tiles protecting the underbelly of the Columbia had been damaged during lift off when a booster rocket on the Saturn--used to piggyback it into space--bumped against its right wing.  Unable to inspect the degree of damage, the heat from reentry is thought to have ripped away the protective hide of the Columbia possibly caused during its lift off, promoting its destruction at 9:13 a.m. yesterday.
      No official cause has been identified as investigators scramble to determine the exact cause that killed six Americans and one Israeli.
      Terrorism as we commonly refer to it--acts of sabotage by "enemy" forces--is considered slim, but not totally discounted.   It is thought at this early stage that "Insidious Terrorism" may be the fault.  Internal Terrorism is the kind generated by budget-cutting and negligence in the safe conduct of space flight.  

Columbia on March 1, 2002 at the Kennedy Space Center

     Over a decade and a half ago, the Challenger disaster was linked to the Terrorism of Complacency by NASA.   Certain structural flaws were hidden and NASA audit teams did not insure the specifications of component parts.  This oversight lead to a failed "O" ring that triggered the loss of seven astronauts, including a school teacher.
      No matter how fierce the denial, there is a lingering belief among a number of people that overt Terrorism may have played a part in the explosion because of the Israeli officer aboard the craft.  Prior to Columbia's  launch, security was heightened to insure there were no attempts to foil the lift off 16 days ago.    Aboard also was an American scientist of Indian descent, the first woman with a legacy from India to enter space.

  Space!  The final frontier--as so indelibly scribed by the words of Captain Kirk on television's Star Trek-- rings above the disaster.
      In the 44 years America has been reaching toward the heavens, hurling human beings into the beauty of Zero Gravity, we have lost 17 courageous Sentinels of Vigilance, three in 1967 when an Apollo capsule ignited during a test, seven in the Challenger disaster in 1986, and another seven yesterday.
      I think back to the pioneer days when in wagons, families braved the unknown to reach far distant lands, or when explorers set sail with no maps of where they were going except dead reckoning, searching for the riches of new lands, new opportunities to expand human evolution.

Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam" depicting  the Hand of God

     In the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the famous fresco by Michelangelo painted between 1508-512, "The Creation of Adam" shows God reaching out with his index finger extended to Adam who is reaching toward Him with his finger extended.  That portion of the painting is commonly referred to as the "Hand of God."
    "The Hand of God"  is alleged to represent the "divine spark of the soul" passing from God to Adam.  It is also thought of as a message to all the Children's Children's Children that human beings' primary mission on earth is to reach beyond  their limitations so that they might also touch the "Hand of God."  God, in a universal non-religious framework, is the unlimited potential of human goodness as evidenced by its struggle to overcome its weakness, to corral and constrain its Beast of Terror so its Sentinel of Vigilance can reach for the stars.
      I see the deaths of these seven Columbia space shuttle explorers not unlike I do the deaths of the thousands who died on Nine Eleven.  Like the Sentinels of Vigilance who died on Nine Eleven, the Challenger Sentinels gave their life so that the Terrorism of Complacency could be faced, fought and leashed.   That Complacency is the limitations humans put on their condition--those specifically who assume the Beast of Terror can be tamed.  It cannot be.  It can only be constrained through Vigilance, through a constant awareness of its presence.
      Terrorism breeds in the quagmire of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   It stops human evolution in its tracks, and tries to force the imagination of mankind and womankind back into the dank dark shadows of the cave where the Beast of Terror lurks behind every shadow.  Those who turn their heads to the impending threat of the Beast of Terror are blind to what the Columbia scientists saw in space--that only Vigilance will conquer Terror.  The ripping of the heat shields on Columbia is not unlike the stripping the world of protection from the Saddam Hussein's or the Kim Jong Il's who seek to burn Vigilance by pretending to be civilized as they plot to destroy the children of either today or the future.
      It would be easy for America to question the waste of space exploration in the wake of this disaster and to trumpet the dangers versus the returns, to parade out the billions of dollars of waste and corruption and quash our hunger to explore the unknown, to journey into the abyss of darkness in search of the light.
      Some will certainly rally toward that goal.  Their Voices will ring as loudly as those who want us not to attack Iraq, to wait until the smoking gun smokes.   Those seeking the smoking gun forget it only smokes after it is shot.
      Our challenge to face the space issue is parallel to our challenge to face the Terrorism dilemma.

Space is the extension of human purpose

      Space is the unknown, the ultimate extension of human purpose.  Space offers the solution to Terrorism, for to conquer it, we must conquer the gravity of our Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies.
      Human beings have since the dawn of time sought to answer the unanswered questions of existence:  "Who are we?"  "Why are we?"
      We have probed science, religion, philosophy and reality for our answers, and haven't punctuated the questions with definitive exclamation points.   Our thirst to unravel the Gordian Knot of Knowledge drives us to the edges of the earth and beyond.  It fuels our search to uncover and discover the ponderous questions of life and its meaning, not only here on earth, but beyond.
       Space exploration is ultimate source of Vigilance, for it requires our unified Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that the security of our children, and their Children's Children's Children depends ultimately on pioneering other worlds, finding new sources of energy, food, and opportunities to sate the human spirits hunger to evolve beyond earth's gravity.
       The deaths of not only American space pioneers, but also of the Russians who have lost their Sentinels of Vigilance in search of the far reaches of space, join all those who have died standing up to the Beast of Terror.  The Beast  would have us fall into the armchairs of Complacency and deny our destiny to expand beyond the gravity of reality--the here and now--the safety of the present.  It hungers for us to concede to the Saddam Hussein's and Kim Jong Il's so our attention will be diverted from what we can become to what we are.   There is no evolution in what we are, only in what we can become.   These Gravity Terrorists want us to fight over earth and threaten to destroy it with no exit plan, no freeways to the future.
       Few want to risk the safety of the present for the dangers of the future.   No one really wants to put out the flames of Complacency for fear it might disrupt the harmony that currently exists.  Those crying for the "smoking gun"  would rather wait until the space shuttle burns up in the atmosphere before they react.  They would rather wait until Saddam Hussein launches an attack, or explodes his first nuclear test bomb before eliminating the threat he poses to the future of the Children's Children's Children.
      The same is true with North Korea and Iran.   The United Nations wants the Beast of Terror to bite them before recoiling and retaliating.  There is no Courage in such a strategy, no Conviction, and no Right Action in behalf of the Children's Children's Children.
       Explorers into the unknown don't wait for answers, they create them through questions such as.    "What will Saddam Hussein do if he is left to devise his weapons of mass destruction?"   Few need to ponder that question to chart where his final destination leads.    "What will Kim Jong Il do if allowed to build upon his stockpile of crude nuclear weapons?"   Again, no one needs to give this question much consideration
       Space is the difference between these Question and the Right Answer.   

We must seek the answer for the Children's Children's Children

       If we do not seek the Answer to human evolution, we become victims of Terrorism.   We let the world of gravity consume us.  We burn up in the atmosphere of Complacency because we have not checked our heat shields, we have not been Vigilant in assuring the safety of future generations by reaching out to touch the "Hand of God."
       Insidious Terrorism comes from within.   Its Fear, Intimidation and Complacency chews at our imagination, making us blind to the reality of the dangers of the future. The politics or economics of the present shackle us.   The gravity of "no imagination" nails our feet to the ground.
       Space exploration is the ultimate in Vigilance.   As Adam reaches for God, and God reaches for Adam, we are reminded that it is only by "seeking" that we "find," only by "journeying" to the unknown do we "discover" who we really are.
       Space exploration forces us as a world to face Fear with Courage, Intimidation with Conviction, and Complacency with Right Actions for our Children's Children's Children.
       Imagination is reaching for the Hand of God.  It is stretching to our extremes, denying the lead that holds us prisoner to earth.
       I have imagination.   It is in the form of questions.   Is it within the scope of human imagination that one day each parent on earth will subscribe to the Pledge of Vigilance, and vow to raise his or her children in such a manner that the child recognizes the Beast of Terror's footsteps and can put up the heat shields of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children to stop the Beast's advance, to harness and leash the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency the Beast exhales on all its victims?
       Is it possible a child can be taught by Parents of Vigilance the Vigilance Formula, so that the child knows that One Percent more Courage protects him or her from the Fangs of Fear, that One Percent more Conviction will keep the crushing jaws of Intimidation squashing him or her into nothingness, or that One Percent more Right Actions in behalf of the future of the children who will come after him or her will be the antidote to Complacency?
       Is it possible that one day there will be a Council of Vigilance replacing the United Nations, and that its composition will be Parents of Vigilance elected from each nation under a charter that looks to protecting the rights of all children as the foremost element of human existence?

       Imagination is nothing more than seeing past the present into the future.
       Space is our future.   It holds limitless secrets to the universe, fuel for our children to explore the meaning of life in vast reaches of the universe we have yet to fathom in reality.   No one doubts the presence of life far out in space, somewhere, perhaps not unlike our own, and, if different, complimentary in its goal of searching for the meaning of existence.
       But we don't have to look into the future to answer the question of "Who we are?" and "Why we are?." 
       We are now, and have always been, Terror Hunters.  We have been created to explore and conquer our Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies, to rise above the primordial ooze that sucks at us to ignore the future and live in the present.

We must reach out and explore our potential to battle the Beast regardless of our Fear, Intimidation & Complacency

       Our imaginations--the belief we can be better, make the world better for our children--that we can find a way to live in peace and harmony with one another--that we can explore the far reaches of the universe--all conspire to remind us we were born Sentinels of Vigilance, each of us, from the first time our fingertips reached for God's fingertip.   From the moment we asked "Why" we removed ourselves from the ordinary.   The question "Why" is the one question the Beast of Terror despises, for the answer to that question destroys his hold on us.
      The answer is to "explore our potential."  
      The Beast of Terror would rather we explore our defects, not our potential.
      The Beast of Terror would have us focus on the burning of the Columbia as a signal we must not explore the unknown, and would have us hide in the shadows of our Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
      We cannot allow that and we won't.
      We are Sentinels of Vigilance, with our fingers outstretched, searching for the Hand of God.
      Seven new fingers touched God's yesterday.
      Let us reach for on earth, what they did for in Celestial Heaven.

Feb 1.--Biting The Hand That Feeds Terrorism

©2001 - 2004,, All rights reserved -  a ((HYYPE)) design