Military

revolution 2015 fashion show;
I was asked to take photos for a show that showcases diversity and eco-conscious fashion. This particular designer is very dear to me and the way he tackled the concept was very amusing. He chose to showcase used military uniforms and alter it in his own style. Military culture is known for being one with the team. There is no such thing as individuality in military culture, you have to know uniformity. By altering these clothes, STAYINQUEUE, broke into the barrier of uniformity and added identity in each piece. It also helps that you also look good wearing these clothes.

ig: STAYINQUEUE

This was one of the operating rooms in the Fort Totten Army Hospital, serving the 19th century US Army base in Queens until 1974.  All manners of procedures were performed here; apparently one of its main “client types” were soldiers wounded during training exercises.  But most people who write to me after reading my blog post on the hospital write about another procedure that was regularly performed here - births.  I’ve heard from dozens of people born in the hospital, most between the 30s and the 60s.  When one thinks of army hospitals, one might be inclined to think of amputations, war wounds, and death.  But life also abounded in these places, since they served all military wives living on base.

Print available here.

“In February of 1943, a Soviet soldier stands guard behind a captured German soldier. Months after being encircled by the Soviets in Stalingrad, the remnants of the German Sixth Army surrendered, after fierce fighting and starvation had already claimed the lives of some 200,000.”

(Bundesarchiv)

Explosions in the sky

Today in photos: South Korean Marine amphibious assault vehicles fire smoke shells to land on the seashore during a joint landing operation by US and South Korean Marines in the southeastern port of Pohang on March 30, 2015. The drill is part of the annual joint exercise Foal Eagle to enhance the combat readiness of the US and South Korea supporting forces in defense of the Korean Peninsula.

It is pretty common knowledge by this point that Area 51 exists. It might not be the fantastical area where America hides Alien technology, but the secret air base out in the Nevada desert at Groom Lake has been, since early in the Cold War, home to some of the most secret military projects conducted by the American military, including the U-2 program, and early development of stealth aircraft.(1)

What is less known however is its predecessor, Area 29. Founded in 1862 by Executive Order of Abraham Lincoln, Area 29 was situated in a remote region in Washington Territory, and served as home to top secret testing of weaponry and equipment for the Union Army. Special exemptions to normal procedure unfortunately mean that much of the development programs run at Area 29 remain highly classified, despite numerous FOIA requests. The testing conducted there at the time was kept well under wraps, and thanks to the lack of quick use cameras, let along the internet, few rumors ever managed to escape the confines of the base. The low profile has managed to continue to keep knowledge of the program outside of the public eye, but the small cadre of researchers who continue to gleam bits of information from the what pieces they can pick up have nevertheless managed to give us a glimpse inside.

Perhaps the most notable program was aimed at camouflage for Army marksmen, with early development of what we would know refer to as a ghille suit. Apparently they were never able to get the colors right, and development was soon scrapped, but not before a few fleeting glimpses by unwitting woodsmen. The myth of “Bigfoot” is in fact generally attributed to these sightings in fact! There is also limited evidence of a steam-powered Gatling Gun, and although most sources will point to their early development being several decades later, documentation uncovered in a Portland archive in 1994 points to early experimentation with rigid dirigibles, although none were ever deployed in the war.

Area 29 remained open for several years after the end of the war, with its focus shifting to technology more suited to warfare on the open plains against American Indian tribes than war against the Confederacy. It was their forays into mechanized warfare, first with a prototype armored train mounting several of the aforementioned Gatling Guns, followed soon after by attempts to create a “Trackless Train” that would be the undoing of the research center. In command of the Department of the Missouri and fearful that such contraptions would doom his beloved cavalry into obsoleteness, Lt. Gen. Sheridan used his political connections to kill funding for Area 29, which closed up shop in 1873.

The highly classified nature of the work done there saw all material classified for 75 years, with the option for a closed door Congressional Committee to renew the information blackout for additional 25 year terms continually, which they have continued to exercise each time, leading to the hardcore Congressional observers to speculate as to just what potential bombshell(s) are hidden in those documents.