I have received several e-mails from irate Antarctic personnel
and others upset at "MY" article re Lake Vostock and "NSA
Overide-Coverup" as shown on your web site. Basically they seem
to think that I verified and am the source of the "anonymous NSA
Overide-Coverup" story that started this entire discussion -
which I was NOT!!!
Whilst reviewing the recent post on your web site it has become
obvious that the ex-Nexus ex-Scientific American ex-anonymous
(believed to be an NASA-JPL insider) "NSA Overide-Coverup" story
line as reproduced there DOES give the impression that I have
written it and verified it.
I am sure that this is purely an editing error whilst attempting
to cull the various dispatches forwarded to you by me a few
months ago. In fact, I DID NOT write it, NOR have I verified its
AND, in later emails on the subject matter over the
last few months I have raised several redflag outpoints
concerning different aspects of this allegedly true "NSA
Overide-Coverup" Anon story.
In short, I am reasonably certain that 90% of the original
anonymous story is a concocted piece of bullshit that was fostered upon
Nexus Magazine via Scientific American magazine from person(s)
unknown for reasons unknown.
The story of the re-forced repatriation of the two female
Antarctic skiers, the alleged "pulled" satellite image, the
location of the Lake Vostock camp and magnetic anomaly, and the
original dispatch's apparent legal NASA advisory report number
are all seriously flawed and quite untrue aspects of this
anonymous story. Thus, there appear to be enough outpoints to junk the
entire story. This was not the case when I first received it a
few months ago - but has been the case since a week after my
first dispatch on this matter.
Some basic aspects of the original anonymous story ARE factual
regarding the Lake Vostok magnetic anomaly and potential
environmental dangers of drilling there.
What I have done is to
append to my advisory e-mails to you and others on this
anonymous storyline MY OWN views on geological aspects and INFO from my
discussions on matters geological with Prof. Thomas Gold (which
he was keen to see go public) as regards to the Lake Vostok
magnetic anomaly and the possible truth of the environmental gas
emission dangers reported in this anonymous story.
I append below relevant quotes from my various e-mails on this
subject for your info.
Perhaps you could post this correction
onto the same page as the Lake Vostok story to clear up any
misunderstanding that might arise in your readers minds as to
the EXACT origins of the original anonymous Lake Vostok story line,
and my personal beliefs as to it's veracity.
Excerpts from my more recent private
discussion e-mails to Nexus Magazine personnel (Jeff Rense - and
others) on the Lake Vostok NSA Over-Ride story line:
Re: the two women skiing across the
ice shelf scenario - they were interviewed on Australian ABC
news a few days ago after being dropped off at an Australian
Antarctic base by the US "rescue" team. I saw this news segment.
They stated they personally
requested airlift as their progress had been slower than
anticipated and they were in danger from rapidly advancing
winter storms. Once these hit you are isolated from air or
ground rescue for months. They appeared quite relaxed but
wistful about their need for rescue - did not appear "got at" -
but who knows ???
I have previously seen the most outrageous lies propagated by
our ABC TV News over
the AUM sect and Banjawarn Station Sarin
Nerve gas stories. My personal field research interviewed the Banjawarn Station people (indigenous and white) and uncovered a
huge series of lies aired knowingly by the ABC - so who knows on
this Antarctic scenario??? But I begin to suspect we should red
flag this story as of doubtful veracity!!!
Just another point about the "Space Mapping Mission of
Antarctica Aborted Due to NSA Over-Ride" story.
The letter states that,
"The linked photo at the end was released
by NASA in Jan 2001 seemingly by mistake. It is no longer
available from the official archive"!!!
Yet take a look at this reproduction of an official
site of the EXACT SAME radarsat image and the attached section
(58.1Kb jpg) image I just cut out today (1-03-2001 - 2.00pm)
from the Vostock High Resolution Bird's Eye View Tif (3.8Mb)
that I downloaded today from
Thus it has NOT been pulled as the anonymous "NSA
Over-Ride" story alleges...
Further - a close inspection reveals a road running diagonally
from SW to NE across the lake (smoothed out on anonymous original
jpg - but just visible there also) that originates at a camp
site in the SW corner of the lake with a NNW trending "airstrip"
The road continues NE off of the
field of the image. I suspect that the image provided by
anonymous has incorrectly labeled the SW airstrip and camp as the
"Magnetic Anomaly" and has most certainly placed Vostok Station
(Russia) with an arrow pointing where there is nothing but Ice.
Incidentally elsewhere in NASA
literature Vostok Station is said to be situated at the southern
end of the lake and if NASA followed convention with it's image
orientation then Vostok Station is where the airstrip-camp site
show in the SW part of the lake. In other words who ever wrote
up the story line did NOT know much about the correct location
of things around lake Vostok.
Also the Russians have drilled down 3600 meters since the lake
discovery in the 1970's (to some 400 meters??? above the liquid
lake surface) with preserved ice cores being sent to Montana
State University a few years ago. These have been analyzed and
they found various gases locked up in the ice (including
Due to the above errors about the so called missing (removed)
image and the location of sites around Lake Vostok I am inclined
to place a very large red flag against this anonymous post.
have any corroborative data for the original premise of NSA
Over-Ride and the removal from stage of Debra Shingteller...
A friend has found NASA Press Release 01-24 from Feb 21-2001 which I
copy below for your info. This is where the first part of David's
original anonymous post came from - namely the names and addresses of
David E. Steitz and Rosemary Sullivent followed by the
Release - 01-24 number.
It does not prove that David's post from the anonymous editor source is a
fake however - since the body of his anonymous letter states who it came
from - but it is a tad worrying as to why it was inserted in a
manner that "appears" to give official status number 01-24 to the
title "SPACE MAPPING MISSION OF ANTARCTICA ABORTED DUE TO NSA
When the actual title of NASA Release 01-24 is (as seen
below) "SPACE MAPPING MISSION CATCHES ANTARCTICA IN MOTION"
Personally I would like to see some more backing for the original
press conference - anonymous story?? Have you got any more info?? Just
two extra points re Vostok story.
I have just read
the story in
the Antarctic Sun. I quote from
"The evidence is a huge magnetic
anomaly on the east coast of the lake's shoreline. As the first
SOAR flight crossed over to the lake's east side, the
magnetometer dial swung suddenly. The readings changed almost
1,000 nanotesla from the normal 60,000 nanoteslas around Vostok.
A tesla is the standard measure of magnetism.
typically finds anomalies of 500-to-600 nanotesla in places
where volcanic material has poured out of the ground.
"When we first saw this huge
magnetic anomaly, that was very exciting," Studinger said.
Usually magnetic anomalies are much
smaller and it takes some effort to distinguish the anomaly from
normal daily changes in the magnetic field. In this case there
was no confusion.
"This anomaly is so big that it
can't be caused by a daily change in the magnetic field,"
The anomaly was big in another way,
encompassing the entire Southeast corner of the lake, about (65
b 46 miles) 105 km by 75 km (click below image).
The size and extremity of the
magnetic anomaly indicated the geological structure changes
beneath the lake, and Studinger guessed it might be a region
where the earth's crust is thinner.
To create the type of topography found at Lake Vostok, the
earth's crust was probably stretched, thinning one to three
percent as it pulled taut, Studinger said."
I (HM) deal with interpreting
aeromagnetic imagery daily in my mineral exploration work here in
The huge size and intensity of the above mentioned magnetic
anomaly strongly suggests a very large ultrabasic complex is present
below this section of lake Vostok in the continental crustal rock
surface i.e. at the old land surface -pre ice level.
This would fit with the apparently
tensional pull-apart rifted tectonic style of the lake
geo-environment and would probably represent a major mantle derived
plume of ultrabasic intrusives along the lines of Prof Careys
Expanding Earth diapirs - this fits the stretched crust model noted
by Studinger above.
As such it would also fit Prof. Gold's hypothesis that there is a
substantial - possibly world climate dangerous amount if released -
volume of methane (as hydrate at the expected temperatures ???) plus
oil and other exotic gas (He, X, etc) component to the hot water
lake - sourced from the Mantle-Core along the upwelling structural
The reported "ice boils" could easily be
composed of gaseous plumes frozen into the ice - arrested as it were
in their upwards progress - initially as hot water gas mixtures but
cooled by the surrounding ice until their water content froze and
they could no longer melt (i.e. rise) through the ice above them.
As such these ice boils could represent
fascinating analogies with granite intrusive plumes in mountain
belts - both "boils" rise due to their heat melting above rock (ice)
layers whilst their lower density relative to enclosing rocks causes
a gravity gradient and drives their upward motion until they
The ice "dunes" look like flat ice folded under stress - also
analogous to folds in sediments in mountain belts around the planet
- possibly due to gravity sliding away from the upwelling diaper of
From: Nexus Magazine-UK
Yet unable to confirm authenticity
of JPL source
2/24/01 6:23:56 PM Pacific Standard Time
This was sent to me. Where it came from I don't know yet.
David E. Steitz
Headquarters, Washington, DC
February 21, 2001
Phone: 202 358-1730
Space-Mapping Mission of Antarctica
Aborted - Overruled by The NSA
Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
In a brief announcement today, NASA and the JPL terminated
all further study of Lake Vostok in S. Antarctica. In an
apparent slip of confidentiality, spokeswoman Debra Shingteller alluded to "National Security Issues" allowing
the NSA to assume full control of what had been an
International effort to explore a huge, under-ice lake near
the Russian Vostok research station.
Ms. Shingteller was immediately
led away from the podium, and an aid responded to the many
further questions with the same answer: "the project has
been halted due to environmental issues", and that no
further releases were pending. The large crowd of press
corp. were left clamoring as the officials left the stage.
Ms. Shingteller has not responded to repeated attempts at
The above is a report from an official JPL PR representative
who attended the announcement.
The following is part of a letter written to an editor of
Scientific American Magazine (who has requested anonymity).
The linked photo at the end was released by NASA in Jan 2001
seemingly by mistake. It is no longer available from the
Approximately 300 miles from the South Pole there is a lake,
a very large lake. It is Lake Vostok.
It is also located
over 3/4 mile beneath the Continental Ice Sheet. The best
photos of Lake Vostok are from space, where the outline is
clearly visible. Current ice-penetrating radar studies
indicate that the water is up to 2000 ft deep in places, and
has an over-arching dome up to 1/2 mile high.
Estimates for filtered light at
the lake surface indicate something like "continuous first
morning light" during Antarctica's summer months.
Thermograph imaging proposes an amazing 50-degree average
water temperature with "hot spots" near 65 degrees.
only be attributed to subsurface geothermal heat sources. At
300 miles long, and 50 miles wide, the encapsulated
atmosphere should have the ability to cleanse itself through
interaction with the lake, and possibly... plant life.
Also proposed as a possible route for atmospheric
interaction with the lake's environment are what are being
labeled "geothermal boils".
These are thousands of bubbles
in the ice sheet located in the some 200 sq. miles of "ice
dunes" discovered by the late Russian scientist Ivan Toskovoi who was stationed at Vostok research base until his
disappearance in March 2000. The surveyed bubbles range from
a few to several hundred feet in diameter.
Quite possibly just as exciting as all of the data related
so far, is the discovery through Magnetic Imaging that
is an extremely powerful source of magnetic energy located
at the North end of the lake's shoreline. As of this
writing, no one has suggested an explanation for the
As recently as February 2000, at least two international
teams were planning separate probes of the lake. Both
consisted of fairly similar robotic sensors that would have
been lowered through shafts (to be drilled). The team based
at Cambridge University, London were sponsored by the UK and
US governments, and backed by NASA technology.
For reasons not clear, both
programs have been shelved indefinitely, with NASA going so
far as to deny any involvement, and both governments citing
An independent source that visited
Norway's research base some 150 miles to the East stated
that a large amount of new equipment and personnel have been
arriving at Russia's Vostok Station over the last six
months. This is interesting considering Russia's current
A final note is a verified dispatch out of
(AU). The pair of women adventurers who were attempting to
ski across the continent last month, and were extracted by
plane during the last leg of their trip, did NOT request the
Over the protests of the
Australian crew at Casey, the two were airlifted via an
extraordinary 48 hour flight by a USN Special Forces team
out of American Samoa. According to the dispatch the women
were insistent on reporting something unusual they had seen.
The latest news reports have the pair resting in
Lake Vostok: A Curiosity or a Focus
for Interdisciplinary Study?
The lost world of lake Vostok
radio echo sounding of ice deciphering mysteries of past
climate from Antarctic ice cores Antarctica's lake vostok
exploring lake vostok scientists say Antarctic lake worth a
look-see warm lake found under Antarctic ice sheet frozen
time capsule from lake vostok arrives at Montana state
university bacteria may thrive in Antarctic lake the frosty
plains of Europe
The following e-mail reflects Professor
Thomas Gold's views on the subject of the above Nexus
Magazine Lake Vostock post data.
Professor Gold and I have
entered into a long e-mail debate over Martian Water & Palaeo
Seas/planetary wide Ice sheets and have discussed at length his
theories of continuously renewed Earth Core-Mantle derived methane
and oil - as opposed to the finite volume squashed bug/plant
theories of the origin of oil - extant in western oil company
Prof Gold had previously stated
his belief to me that Lake Vostock could contain large
amounts of methane under pressure and that drilling into same might
represent a hazardous operation...
See his various oil & gas
papers (including reasons for magnetite concentrations) at
Dear Mr. Mason:
Thank you for this fascinating information.
I had previously considered informing the Vostok investigators,
Russian, UK, US, that there was a severe hazard that above the
water there would most likely be a large amount of methane, and
breaking into that would be very hazardous. It may of course be
so large an amount that letting it out would make a severe
change of atmospheric chemistry, and hence of climate.
The bubbles in the ice, the large dome, and the magnetic anomaly
all point to such a situation. Most permafrost regions have
methane underneath them, and this would be by far the largest of
them. May be the scientist who vanished crashed into a methane
ice bubble. Large deposits of magnetite are common in
methane-rich regions, being produced from iron oxides acting as
oxygen donor to microbes that live on the oxidation of methane.
If you have the contacts, feel free, or even encouraged, to
distribute this letter to other parties in this business,
together with my name. I don't wish to hide behind anonymity.
(Here is the original story on
rense.com about the exploration of Lake Vostok. -ed)
Isolated 40 Million Years
To Be Explored
by Roger Highfield
The Electronic Telegraph
Scientists are to explore one of the
world's last uncharted natural wonders, a lake trapped beneath the
Eighty scientists from 14 countries will meet in Cambridge next week
to discuss how to study the strange life expected to lurk in Lake
Vostok, a body of water the size of Lake Ontario resting more than
two miles under the East Antarctic ice cap.
The lake is one of the
world's 10 largest and one of about 80 lakes that underlie 10 per
cent of the ice sheet of Antarctica.
Lake Vostok formed as a result of the combination of overlying
pressure of ice and heat from the Earth's core. It fascinates
scientists because it appears to have been isolated for millions of
years, providing an opportunity for life to develop along a separate
Micro-organisms that have been isolated for between one and 40
million years may be found in its sediments and water, potentially
yielding promising new enzymes or antibiotics, and offering views of
how ancient and contemporary microbes differ, says Cynan
Ellis-Evans, who is organizing the conference at Lucy Cavendish
Dr Ellis-Evans, a microbiologist with the British Antarctic Survey,
Cambridge, said the conditions in the lake are probably too barren
and cold - sub-zero - for larger organisms to evolve.
"It could be one of the most
extreme, nutrient poor, permanently pressurized, permanently
cold, permanently dark environments on the planet."
This would lead to slow-growing microbes
that are adapted to a life of starvation. However, if a volcanic or
hot spring system pumped in energy, a greater diversity of creatures
may be present.
Lake Vostok is likely to be the oldest of all the "sub-glacial" ice
lakes because of its size. If it has been isolated for 40 million
years, there would have been enough time for unique creatures to
evolve, as opposed to creatures that have adapted to a new
The Antarctic studies may be a prelude to similar
missions elsewhere in our solar system, notably to
Jupiter's moon Europa. NASA regards the Vostok mission as a test-bed for the search
for alien life on the oceans thought to exist on Europa.
The Vostok exploration would take place in the next five years. The
exploration of Europa would be in a series of missions beginning in
2003 and lasting for 15 years.
Dr Ellis-Evans said:
"All the NASA people I am talking to
are very enthusiastic about an ice penetration mission in 2015.
I have no problem with the basic idea that there may be
microbial life somewhere like Europa as good life markers exist
there, notably liquid water, organic molecules and chemical
The first entry of a probe into Lake
Vostok will require extraordinary precautions to ensure that the
vehicle and its instruments are clean, so as not to contaminate the
One suggestion is to use a Cryobot, a 10ft 6in
pencil-shaped device with a heated tip that unspools a cable
carrying power and a fiber-optic video and data cable.
The Cryobot splits into two under the ice and the top half stays at
the ice-water interface to hunt for life. The lower part (the point
of the pencil) continues down a smaller cable until it hits the
sediment at the bottom, where it will also search for life and
release a Hydrobot, a tiny submarine equipped with sonar and a
The Hydrobot rises like a soap bubble, reporting what it
sees above and below it.