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Posted: 12/6/2001 3:35:55 PM EDT
How many of these actually detonatated in the US? I heard over a hundred. Any casualties? DaMan
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 7:43:50 PM EDT
If I remember correctly, it's believed that somewhere between 250 - 300 balloons made it to the western part of the states. Most balloons ended up in the pacific and the ones that did make it to our shores generally crashed to the ground without incident. There where a few explosions and I believe several people where killed in Oregon in one incident. Coincidently NPR had a story this afternoon about balloon attacks. It highlighed the U.S. Army's study of agricultural warfare during the cold war, you can probably find the story on their website it aired as part of the "All Things Considered" show.
Link Posted: 12/8/2001 6:56:37 AM EDT
OddSix, yes, I heard this on NPR "All Things Considered" a couple days ago. But, I only caught segments of it. They pointed out that the balloon attacks were much more effective "casualty wise" than the current anthrax scare. But they caused very little panic because the "media" at the time downplayed the attack. They quoted the exact number of balloons that reached the US and exploded. As I recall, it was about 1/3 of the balloons launched by the Japanese. There was at least one that blew up in Colorado! DaMan
Link Posted: 12/8/2001 7:05:36 AM EDT
Very few made it and only 1 caused casulties. It fell near a family of picknickers on the west coast. At the time, the government supressed the information and the picknickers' deaths were called a camping accident. FDR is said to have not wanteds a mass hysteria.
Link Posted: 12/8/2001 7:43:08 AM EDT
The US govt. purposely suppressed any mention of the balloon bombings in the print media. Our govt. knew that the Japanese were just waiting for news of success(bombs reaching the continental US) before launching them in earnest. What we probably didn't know at the time was that the Japanese were waiting for news of successful bombings to begin launching biological weapons against us. They spent a lot of time in Manchuria, experimenting on Chinese villagers, to weaponize all sorts of diseases. At the end of the war, we "Paperclipped" their head biological war criminal inorder to get his inhuman knowledge for the upcoming Cold War. The Japanese used to experiment with different bomb designs to deliver Bubonic Plague fleas over Chinese villages. Supposedly, there are still outbreaks of plague in Northern China today, due to Japanese wartime experiments on the locals. --------- "The Emperor will (not) live for 10,000 years, Banzai!"
Link Posted: 12/8/2001 8:28:19 AM EDT
cc48510 - You jogged my memory with the picnickers, I want to say they where in OR somewhere. I remember reading that there was questions as to whether the balloons where launched by ship or in Japan itself. I seem to recall that it was determined they where launched by land and had some rudimentary mechanism to maintain a certain altitutde range. I've heard that they have found remnants of the balloons as late as 1987 and someone may have to correct me on this but I think they where made out of a type of paper????? DaMan - Here's a link to the story on NPR, you can listen to it on RealAudio. [url]http://search.npr.org/cf/cmn/cmnpd01fm.cfm?PrgDate=12/06/2001&PrgID=2[/url] It's about half way down the page listed as Crop Terrorism.
Link Posted: 12/8/2001 11:32:04 AM EDT
Most landed in the Pacific NW. I read years ago it was a women & 2 kids that were hurt. There was a black parachute infantry regiment the 555th (Triple Nickels) They ended up being used as firefighters & were dropped on a lot of these fires to fight them instead of Japs & Germans!
Link Posted: 12/8/2001 6:50:46 PM EDT
There is a book by John Mcphee, titled... "Irons in the Fire", a collection of true stories. One of them is called "The Gravel Page" and it is about forensic geology. This is a fascinating read and tells how the ballast sand for the balloons could only have come from a certain two beach areas in Japan. The US then targeted the area to stop the balloons. GREAT, GREAT READ by a fascinating author. BTW...The book title comes from a story about a State brand inspector and modern day rustling. Stay safe
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 7:55:40 AM EDT
OddSix, thanks for the NPR site! That was the program I heard. Lots of other interesting stuff there too. Well worth bookmarking. DaMan
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 12:32:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2001 12:25:17 PM EDT by JIMBEAM]
Sparky you beat me to it.
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 6:28:01 PM EDT
JB, you a Mcphee fan or just that story?
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 2:29:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sparkyCG: JB, you a Mcphee fan or just that story?
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I know you addressed this question to JB, but I just got done with John McPhee's "Basin and Range" and am listening to "In Suspect Terrain" by Recorded Books. I found him EXTREMELY BORING........at first! But then, as I listened, I became captivated by his stories. DaMan DaMan
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 6:37:22 PM EDT
DaMan...you may have picked two of the least captivating of his books. Try "Giving Good Weight", "Table of Contents", or "The Control of Nature". "Oranges" is my barometer; the entire book is about oranges yet reads like a good novel. If someone likes that one, I know they'll like the rest. Enjoy. Stay safe
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 3:33:52 PM EDT
An old history of WWII said 9,000+ of these ballons were launched by the Japanese but very few made it across the Pacific. The balloons carried both incindiary & HE bombs and landed along the west coast of N. America; CA, OR, WA & Canada. Six people were killed in a church group who found one of the bombs. It did not say what state they were in.
Link Posted: 1/1/2002 3:07:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/1/2002 4:29:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: You think the Japanese baloons strange? Wait till you hear about the Bat-Bomb.
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I think it was Ghengis Khan who used a similar trick when sieging cities. He used "captured cats" and had flaming pitch tied to their tails. The panicked kitties would run back to their home and set the place on fire. Daman
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 8:13:02 PM EDT
RE: that family of picnickers. After the war, one of the Japanese personnel involved with the project presented them with an ancestral sword in a gesture of his sorrow for their loss. For a time it was displayed unsheathed at a coastal museum in OR, but supposedly was later sheathed as a Japanese sword unsheathed is supposed to draw blood. Maybe someone here can verify whether the sheathed vs. unsheathed symbology is BS or legit? One of my friends who was logging out in coastal OR found a weather balloon with recording apparatus while out in the woods. He was a little leery initially, having heard about of the Japanese bombs. ************************************ From www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/history/wwii/jbb.htm One of the best kept secrets of the war involved the Japanese balloon bomb offensive, prompted by the Doolittle raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942 as a means of direct reprisal against the U.S. mainland. Some 9,000 balloons made of paper or rubberized silk and carrying anti-personnel and incendiary bombs were launched from Japan during a five-month period, to be carried by high altitude winds more than 6,000 miles eastward across the Pacific to North America. Perhaps a thousand of these reached this continent, but there were only about 285 reported incidents. Most were reported in the northwest U.S., but some balloons traveled as far east as Michigan. The first operational launches took place on Nov. 3, 1944 and two days later a U.S. Navy patrol boat spotted a balloon floating on the water 66 miles southwest of San Pedro, California. As more sightings occurred, the government, with the cooperation of the news media, adopted a policy of silence to reduce the chance of panic among U.S. residents and to deny the Japanese any information on the success of the launches. Discouraged by the apparent failure of their effort, the Japanese halted their balloon attacks in April 1945. On May 5, 1945, six picnickers were killed in Oregon when a balloon bomb they dragged from the woods exploded. The U.S. Government quickly publicized the balloon bombs, warning people not to tamper with them. These were the only known fatalities occurring within the U.S. during WWII as a direct result of enemy action. Actual damage caused by the balloon bombs was minor. However, the incendiaries which they carried did pose a serious threat to the forests of the northwestern U.S. during the dry months. These balloons also offered a vehicle for germ warfare had the Japanese decided to use this weapon. The balloon attack began after U.S. air defense facilities had been deactivated. To counter this threat, AAF and Navy fighters flew intercept missions to shoot down balloons when sighted and AAF aircraft and Army personnel were stationed at critical points to combat any forest fires which might occur. Also, supplies of decontamination chemicals and sprays to counter any possible use of germ warfare were quietly distributed in the western states. Before detailed AAF defensive plans had been put into effect, the attacks ceased. Japanese bomb-carrying balloons were 32 feet in diameter and when fully inflated, held about 19,000 cubic feet of hydrogen. Launch sites were located on the east coast of the main Japanese island of Honshu. Gun camera photos showing balloons being shot down by 11th Air Force fighters near Attu in the Aleutians on April 11, 1945. Nine balloons were downed in two hours. (Note P-38 in lower right frame).
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 5:00:07 AM EDT
I believe the picnicers were the only casualties. The only people to die on US soil.
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 5:40:21 PM EDT
A samurai's blade should NEVER be drawn without tasting blood. Even if it is the blood of the owner Scott
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 5:40:53 PM EDT
A samurai's blade should NEVER be drawn without tasting blood. Even if it is the blood of the owner Scott
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 3:15:21 PM EDT
About the "Bat Bombs". I have a book somewhere in the mess that is my "reference library" written by one of the men involved with the project. Was really interesting. The project had great potential to cause trouble for the Japanese, if it had been perefcted. On the ballooon bombs, the Japanese used a timing mechanism to release the sand bags one at a time as the ballooons travelled, so that the balloons would maintain attitude as they slowly lost gas.... BTW, one of the cover stories tried for Roswell was that a Japanese balloon bomb had been caught in the jet stream for years, and had finally fallen to earth in Roswell in 1947 Scott
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