Solar Warden Begins
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I got some intel that a retired high level politician will supposedly come forward about the U.S. Military's involvement in the so called "Secret Space Program". He was active in the U.S. Navy from 1954 until 1957, and in the reserves from 1957 until 1975. We'll see if that actually pans out. For now, what I do know is he had been working on it during his service in the Navy during the 60's.
The following is how he told it to me from his perspective. He normally would have stayed in regular service, but he was moved into the Navy Reserves on Earth so he could work in the Space Program. They wanted people who had training as pilots on Earth so that they already had some experience, then had them fly the spaceships.
There was a Non Disclosure Agreement they sign, then an additional Non Disclosure about the Non Disclosure. It was kept vague and they didn't know what they were signing away. Nobody was really tricked into it, they were enticed by being told they would be serving their country, having an opportunity that no one else had, and would be a part of history one day.
It was basically you sign it, then from that point forward whatever they tell you is Above Top Secret under penalty of death. That was emphasized. Not imprisonment, but death. Specifically by hanging. Not firing squad, not electric chair, but hanging. That was worded in the agreement. It was also implied off the record that their families would face some kind of penalty as well, but that was vague too.
Records of these agreements are supposedly still stored somewhere. Certain documentation was being protected from being destroyed by a certain group who are "preserving history".
He flew a transport vessel. It's a pretty big ship, bigger than any transport plane on Earth. Estimated as being at least large enough to store several tanks in two rows side by side. It would fly from outpost to outpost within the solar system. Smaller vessels referred to as "Skimmers" would depart from the ship then land down on the outpost.
There were "Cruisers", "Destroyers", "Corvettes", two-man "Scouts" and a larger one that held the command referred to as a "Carrier". It was in fact called the USSS Enterprise. The description of it is reminiscent of what an aircraft carrier looks like without it actually being a boat.
The "Scouts" look just like an X-Wing from Star Wars too. They couldn't figure out why someone would build something that looked like a plane for space since aerodynamics don't apply up there and the thing wouldn't fly in an atmosphere either.
The weapons consisted of high powered lasers. They looked a lot like this.
The weapons were more advanced than Earth technology at the time, but there wasn't really anything special about them. Just straight up lasers. They floated around the idea of employing electromagnetic railguns because of the sheer force, but they decided that if they missed, the projectile could continue out into space forever and didn't want to accidentally start a war with some alien civilization. At least with a laser, there would be no evidence left behind and they wouldn't have to worry about aliens analyzing the metal and hunting down Earth.
The ships had armories on board. Some smaller than others. The budget was tight and all they had were old M16 and 1911 leftovers and rejects that were basically given to them by the Army. Sometimes they had to cobble together working ones from the parts. They weren't given anything more than that because they didn't want to take the chance with hull breeches and those were already pushing it as it is, but they still wanted them armed just in case. They later went to a suppressed MP5-N. It had two magazines clamped together with subsonic rounds on one side and something nastier on the other.
They came up with the idea of using plastic guns. They wanted something lightweight that personnel could carry around comfortably. Even the bullets were plastic. The guns were electric and the propellant was plastic explosive. The hulls of the interior of the ships probably weren't going to be penetrated by gunfire, but they wanted to be extra careful just in case. The plastic bullets were enough to wound and kill a Human, but problems might arise should they encounter aliens with armor.
There were a few "unpublicized" rocket and shuttle launches bringing up supplies. They could land Skimmers, but they couldn't carry a whole lot and they had to rely on cloudy and foggy days to get supplies on Earth so they wouldn't be seen. The Skimmers look something like a combination of the Snowspeeders from Star Wars how the cockpit looks and the Shuttlecraft from Star Trek. Pretty utilitarian, and had a cargo area.
Back then, the computer systems were far more advanced than what was on Earth. The usual guess is at least 40 years, and that was back in the 60's. Each vessel is equipped with its own A.I. There's "artificial gravity" onboard. Most pilots don't know much about it or how it all works. It was basically just knowing how to fly it and what to do in an emergency.
Due to the environment of being in space, you're basically told if something happens, you're screwed. The only real thing you can do if there's some kind of hull breach for whatever reason is there are emergency "pods" you can climb into.
They don't go anywhere and are built into the ship. They're lined along a wall. You run to them, step inside, you slide the door shut, and it seals. The "pod" has an oxygen supply and 3 foil packets of a high calorie ration bar and emergency water pouches. Then you just wait for rescue. There was enough room to stand or crouch down and that's it. If that area of the ship happens to be where the damage is, there's nothing you can do. It's not like you can just jump overboard and swim to shore.
There was an emphasis on the danger involved. They would say the ships were generally safer than airplanes on Earth because if an engine dies you don't just crash. You just kind of float around for a while. They were mindful about safety, but there were no safety codes of any kind. You pretty much had to rely on common sense. Due to the secrecy of the program, there was no recourse should something happen to you either.
I don't have an exact figure on how fast the ships were since there were no speedometers. They went by time and how much power was applied to the engines. A MPH value could be estimated based on distances between planets, but they didn't bother with it. Later on they started using radar for speed readings, then started going by light speed.
For example 1 would be the speed of light. Then it would go 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc., all the way up to 2 for twice the speed of light and so on. Back in the 80's it was mentioned it went up to 10 times the speed of light, but there were rumors about some classified stuff and that it went way beyond.
They would be scheduled to arrive within a certain timeframe with a bit of leeway and were going by Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). A round trip across the solar system could be completed within a day. Going from one side of the Earth to the other would take seconds, and that wasn't at full speed.
If they were later than 5 minutes, they'd put out a radio call. If there was no answer and 10 minutes had passed, they assumed there was an emergency or the pilots were trying to steal the ship. From that point they'd send out a party to retrieve them. It shouldn't take long. They all had transponders and were using radar.
Back then the communication systems were surprisingly low tech too. They were apparently using something like Ham Radio. The cockpit had a handset just like a CB too. All the controls for flying the ships were simple. Going from flying a plane to these were a piece of cake.
There's a couple space stations that were built. One is currently at approximately the midway point of the solar system, and the other is outside of it just beyond Pluto. They both follow the orbit of the Earth around the sun. Before acquisition, the SSP has been all over the solar system and there's outposts on Mars, Venus, and the moons of both Jupiter and Saturn. They're not like full military bases, just depots for resupplying.
One thing mentioned was one or more of Saturn's moons may be artificial and there was some investigation in their records about it. There's investigation of both of Mars' moons and they think one may actually be an ancient spaceship. They're aware of the monolith on Phobos and think it may be some kind of apparatus or antenna. They don't know any of this for sure, it's just speculation. At least that's how it was back then.
An interesting thing noted was they had been using currency in the SSP. It apparently was in use up there long before it's been in use on Earth since at least the 80's. They had their own mini economy. Before then, they had been using "vouchers" which they used in the Commissaries.
Whatever they bought up there had to be used and they couldn't bring anything back. They had all of the same stuff like candy bars and whatever, but still couldn't take them home even though they were on Earth. They had things like Snickers and KitKats but the reason was they were made of better ingredients instead of the junk food on Earth.
The food in general was better than regular military food. They wanted their "astronauts" healthy and they figured investing a little more in food quality would save on medical costs long term. There were a few other things that aren't generally available on Earth too, but nothing alien.
They actually made and recorded some of their own music up there that they passed around. It was semi-professional and sounded decent for not having a studio. There was one noteworthy guy who made something that could be described as "funny blues". He wrote humorous lyrics mostly about the tedium and boredom that went on with a lot of the terminology they used up there that no one else would get. It was good for morale and kept them going.
They had a Packet Radio network with chat rooms, email, and video calls. They didn't use them much since the overall population was low and everyone already knew everybody else. They were pretty much sick of each other anyway. They had broadcast TV signals and terrestrial radio. They had VHS, CDs, tapes, books, and magazines.
Yet another interesting thing is they also had "vapes" up there too. Smoking wasn't allowed onboard ships or space stations and they wanted to keep their guys going without the distraction of nicotine withdrawal so they had been vaping. This has also been going on since the 80's. Before then, all they could use was chewing tobacco or nicotine gum. A lot of smokers had some good experience, but the equipment is not something you want mistakes with so they wanted them focused.
They had specific personnel for coming up with ideas like these to make things more comfortable and to help with productivity and adapting military personnel for space. This was in collaboration with NASA.
Basically what they all wore up there were dark blue one piece military type jumpsuits. All rank insignia, etc. were Velcro patches. For some reason there was no metal on them, not even the zippers. Might have been something to do with the artificial gravity generators. At least that's what a lot of crewmembers would say.
The rank insignia started out like stars on the jumpsuit collar. The more you had, the higher in rank you were. After the takeover, they switched over to something looking exactly like the "pip system" in Star Trek. They had the hollow circles and the solid ones. They were made of plastic and sewn into the collar.
They used to have dog tags at first. They were formatted like the Navy ones except they were black and they came with silencers. They stopped using them around the 70's or so because they leave too much of a trail and people could lose them. Every last one was turned in and melted down.
It was all structured exactly like the U.S. Navy for the most part with only a few small differences. Rank earned on Earth transfers to the Space Navy, but if you get promoted while up there it doesn't transfer back down.
There's something that was described as the "Old Timers". These were guys that were kept in the program beyond a normal military retirement age. They did this because they were experienced, and as long as they could do their job they felt it was ok. Plus they didn't have to recruit and train more people.
The recruitment process is time consuming and tedious apparently. They do thorough background checking and look into you before you're aware you've been selected as a potential candidate. There are supposedly some of the original crew from the beginning still operating up there. Jokingly referred to as the "OGs". Some of them may be in their 90's.
These types of people are kept aboard because of the cumulative experience they gain. It's one thing to train a new recruit and for them to be competent and even excel at it, but older folks have a certain kind of wisdom that you can't really be trained to have. They know all the quirks and glitches aboard these ships and know them better than anyone else.
There's something called the "Emergency Evacuation Protocol" (EEP). It's basically if there was a nuclear war or the Earth became uninhabitable for whatever reason. They gather up persons of value like doctors, scientists, engineers, and even entertainers. They either bring them to the space stations, down to outposts, or otherwise off world and try to rebuild everything. Some possible planets were scouted out.
The 80's has been mentioned a couple times in here, and the reason for that is because this was a major point in the program where a lot of changes took place. This is when more ships were being built including the infamous USSS Hillenkoetter among others. A lot of retrofitting and upgrades to the systems and new technology was being introduced. The ships started out as nuclear powered, then it started being phased out by the mid 70's.
This was also the beginning of the transition from just a space navy to "Solar Warden". Before then, the whole program didn't seem like there was a point to it. It was like they were just running back and forth around the outposts and building things without a clear end goal. A lot of them were wondering why they weren't doing much exploring beyond the solar system. The exploring within the solar system was limited. It seems to make a lot more sense now to them.
This stuff was supposed to come out sooner. They've been working on preparation and getting everything into place so they can reveal it all to the public. It was supposed to have already happened by the 80's, and the idea was to prove military superiority to the Russians during the cold war. That was the goal they had set, but there has been a few setbacks.