My favorite thing to read in a long time

Like many writers I tend to read a lot. Lately I have been into more supernatural things, some horror, and tending towards either graphic novels or straight up comics for a variety of reasons we will discuss in a later post. Today all I want to talk about is this comic I came across that I enjoyed more than anything in a long time.

The Pound – from Frozen Beach Studios.

Capture

The oddball minds of Stephan Nilson and Charles Pritchett, who have been around the comic industry for a while, have an original take on a werewolf, vampire, and other supernatural being story.

How is it different?

Do the vampires glow? Oh hell no.

Do the werewolves get over the top jealous of the human girlfriend of the vampire that glows? Oh hell no.

The story follows two Animal Control Specialists who lost their jobs due to budget cuts and start their own private stray animal removal business.

When one of their firsts calls turns out to be a werewolf…but when in human form a werewolf that takes them out to breakfast and is a really nice guy…the whole thing just gets weird.

If it sounds different it really is. It has some of the most original content I have seen in a very long time.

I can (and have) had to go home and have uncomfortable conversations with my wife about losing a job. It happens.

Have you ever had to go home and explain to your wife, who thinks you are chasing down racoons, that you spent all night fighting an actual, no shit, real werewolf…in a town that has never ever seen one in real life?

That is a fun conversation destined to ensure you aren’t going to be seeing your wife anything but fully clothed for a really long time.

Between the stresses on the job, and at home, it is absolutely hilarious. It is one to really not miss if you are into the supernatural genre.

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A children’s story as told by an 8 year old – The Adventures of Hammy and Sam

One of my sons, Elliot (the tallest of the kids in the photo), loves to make things up. I don’t mean the dog ate my homework, I mean he loves to make up his own games, tell stories that he thinks are fun and is, in general, a really creative kid.image1

When he was in first grade during creative time in class he started writing a story. I cleaned it up a little but basically, what you see below came directly from the mind of a 7 year old (he’s 8 now).

It is part of a longer chapter book I’m coaching him on writing for other kids his age. Knowing that dude and his drive, he will get it done.

So I bring you Chapter One of The Adventures of Hammy and Sam — The Fix Mix

 

Hammy was so glad his parents finally got him a dog, it was something he wanted for as long as he could remember. He had to convince them he would be a good dog owner, and take care of his pet. They finally agreed. It was a day he was sure he would remember for the rest of his life.

He and his dog Sam had been best friends ever since, it was more than a year now. Other than his dog Hammy loved being in the second grade but he was always bored on rainy days.

On this rainy day he decided he would play with Sam, until it was time for the dog to take a nap which seemed to happen every afternoon.

Sam is a Golden Retriever. Sam was big, he weighed almost 70 pounds, and that meant when he was on a leash Hammy had to hold on really tight so Sam wouldn’t get distracted and chase a squirrel into traffic. It also meant that Sam had really long fur that Hammy was responsible for cleaning off the furniture, and that the dog really loves to chase a ball and bring it back. They could spend hours doing this, and Hammy liked to try to throw it someplace Sam would have trouble finding it. He laughed every time the dog got confused.

Hammy was throwing a ball for Sam, and had been for a while. What Hammy didn’t know was the reason Sam brought it back so often was that he really liked seeing Hammy smile, and it seemed to bring his friend pleasure.

Because of the rain they were playing in the upstairs hallway of their house. Sam would run as fast as he could toward the ball, and when it bounced off a wall he would slide trying to stop and change directions making Hammy laugh every time.

This time Hammy was going to go for a record. Sam brought the ball back, set it at the boy’s feet and Hammy threw it as hard, as far, and as fast as he could. Sam ran after it as fast as his paws could carry him on the slippery floor.

The ball flew into the closet where his mom kept all the clean sheets and towels. Sam couldn’t find it and started to search, and whine. Sam kept looking back at Hammy with a worried, almost panic stricken expression on his doggie face.

Hammy called to his dog, “SAM! Come here boy, we have more toys!”

His dog did not come.

Something really seemed to be bothering him more than a lost tennis ball should.

Hammy decided to help him search for the ball. “Sam, next time I call you I want you to come, we have more tennis balls you silly dog,” the boy said.

When Hammy got to the other end of the hall he looked in the closet and saw something he had never seen before. In the back of the closet, behind all the stuff his mom put in there was an elevator!

“Sam, when did the house get an elevator, and where does it go, the kitchen right below us,” Hammy asked his beloved pet.

Hammy pushed the button to call the elevator, but it didn’t work. The two best friends went to the garage to borrow some tools from Hammy’s dad.

They worked hard, forgetting about the rainy day. Hammy tightened screws, he banged on things with a hammer, and still the elevator did not work. Finally, Sam noticed a switch on the bottom of the wall. He had never seen that switch before, but it looked just like a light switch. He pushed at it with his paw, he pushed again and again, finally it moved!

Hammy saw the dog move the switch and decided maybe he should try to push the elevator button again.

The button lit up!

The elevator started making a noise, and the doors opened with a BING.

Hammy and Sam looked inside, not sure what was going to happen next.

It looked just like a normal elevator, kind of like the one in the mall. But where did it go? It was in a closet? Maybe it was just a shortcut to the kitchen.

The two friends walked into the strange elevator and pushed a few of the buttons just to see where the doors would open. The doors closed and it started to move, going down. Then, it started to spin. It spun faster and faster.

After what seemed like minutes the doors opened, and it wasn’t in the kitchen.

They slowly stepped out to get a better look, not believing their own eyes.

They saw a strange land. It had trees, hills, and flowers they had never seen before. The flowers came in all sizes, some taller than Hammy and what seemed like a never ending number of color choices.

They could hear birds, Hammy thought they might be hawks but he wasn’t sure.

There was a sign, the two made their way up to it. Sam looked at Hammy, not sure what to think.

“Sam, the sign says be careful the elevator disappears in two hours!” Hammy explained.

“Two hours? Disappear? Should we go look around or just go home?” Hammy asked, not sure what to think of any of this.

Hammy never dreamed his dog would answer but Sam said, in words Hammy could understand, “I don’t know Hammy, but whatever we go, we better hurry back!”

“What?” Hammy asked, totally surprised. Sam talking surprised him more than the elevator in the closet!

“This place must be magic. I can talk here!” The dog said. The golden retriever seemed just as surprised as Hammy at what was going on with his new talent.

They had no idea where they were, but Hammy was sure of one thing.

A great adventure was about to begin.

Writing, The Book and Entertainment Business, What is Going on Around Here?

I have been on this earth for 45 years (give or take a few months).  Perhaps it is just my approaching (ok in the) middle age but I am noticing a few things about the entertainment industry.

When I was a kid, and even into my later teenage years, you could go to a movie or pick up a book and it would just be what it was.  A book or a movie..Not a political or environmental statement on something.  There was no message, just fun.  In the case of some books just flights of fantasy (e.g. Dragonlance).  I don’t see that much anymore.  Ok maybe Harry Potter, Twilight, there are exceptions in books but movies are guilty of it fairly often.

The other thing I am noticing is that when I was a kid you could save $2 or something and go buy a book.  Enjoy that book and move on…Even if it was new.  There was a market of paperbacks, there was a $1 theatre you could go to and see movies.  They weren’t the brand new ones but it was fun all the same.

Now when I go to the book store and buy a new book I’m staring down $40 for a hard cover and $12.50 the other day for a paperback.  Buying kids books I’m forking out $10 a shot.  (Thank goodness for the used bookstores, love you guys).  I don’t mind paying through the nose for great stuff, but stuff with a message?

I tried to price my book as cheap as Amazon would allow.  $2.99 to $3.99 for Kindle and for paperbacks was the cheapest I could make them.  Shoot if you have Amazon Prime on Kindle they are free!

These things seem to be disappearing more and more.  People ask me why I write books. The idea was to put out a story that entertained people.  That’s all.  I didn’t want a political message.  I didn’t want to sway people to some ideology.  I wanted to give a low cost way you could pick up something, and forget your troubles.  Ok, maybe my subject matter of a nuclear assault, which became the topic for The Last World War was too much for that, but I wanted to pick a topic area that was so horrible that I hope it never happens.  Those weapons are well protected, and hopefully they won’t get loose.  Hopefully those who have them are smart enough to say NO NEVER! Although lately if you watch the interchange between North Korea and Donald Trump that may be a real hope, not a reality.

In another book we do use a topic of global climate change, not to say who did it. That book is to show through science fiction that working together humans can solve any problem, no matter what the problem happens to be. In that novel there is no “humans did it” or “no they didn’t” we just assumed that the climate is out to kill us, and showed that through real science it can, indeed, be tamed. Everything (from the solution side) in that novel is real science, not made up, it’s just expensive ;-).

I do hope that other people start to think in this method.  Low cost entertaining things with little to no political message (unless it is necessary for the story as it was in some ways in mine).

I didn’t want to win prizes, I just wanted to entertain.  I do hope the books do that.

Are we provoking a potential Nuclear War?

North Korea, and President Trump’s interaction with them has been a constant news buzz for the last few months. The stories all seem to go like this…Trump tweeted this, North Korea says that, Trump tweeted again, let’s all discuss that tweet for a few days, North Korea’s leadership is angry blah blah blah.

This newest one has me thinking.

North Korea Listed (again) as a Terrorist State.

North Korea may terrorize it’s own citizens (ok they do), but do they really export that terrorism anywhere? Maybe they do, maybe they don’t but I haven’t heard of any strikes anywhere by them.

Do they have the capability of doing it? Sure, but are we now witness the impact of the newly formed department of pre-crime? (I love that book/movie, but we can’t live in that world it is fictional.)

North Korea is run by a crazy man, of that I have no doubt. But without a UN resolution, without an international coalition we can’t go remove him and nation build, I seem to recall us doing that recently and it didn’t go well.

The difference here is North Korea is a nuclear power. They have nuclear weapons. There is no doubt about that. They may not have a missile with sufficient range to his us…yet, but does it make sense for us to pick a fight?

Does it make sense for Mike Tyson (in his prime) to challenge a lightweight high school boxer to a few rounds?

What could possibly go wrong if we provoke a crazy man who has nukes into using them? I thought long and hard about that nightmare scenario when I came up with the concept for my book The Last World War Volume 1 (volume 2 almost finished).

Could we win such a conflict? Does anyone really win when someone starts using these massive weapons? Ok, we can’t bit hit in our homeland, but we do have a lot of troops on that border, and South Korea has a massive part of their population right on that border. Could North Korea float a fishing boat just off shore of Los Angeles and set one off? All kinds of things can happen when you provoke a crazy person. I only hope we proceed with caution, and things don’t escalate, but for the first time in my adult life I see the potential for a nuclear weapon used in anger as a real possibility.

Sample Chapter from upcoming Novel: The Last World War Volume 2

If you haven’t read it I have a book called The Last World War, Volume 1 (Trial by fission). Many people have enjoyed it, and we always intended for there to be a second. This is a preview of part of that second book which is now in the final stages of preparation.

If you haven’t read it just click books at the top of the page, and you will see it there, or just click right here -> LAST WORLD WAR VOLUME 1

 

 

CHAPTER SEVEN DRAFT

 

Alex sat down at his computer to do another financial model that would show the “on paper” value of a small company to potential investors. This was the third one this week, and while it sounded like boring work to most people, to him there was a real beauty in those numbers. These number represented people’s professional lives, their hopes and dreams. If he did the numbers in certain ways, these people will prosper, or if he did them wrong, the people would die in a pile debt from which they would never recover. They had to be done just right, with no margin for error.

The people around him sat tapping on their keyboards doing similar tasks, and he assumed it would be a day like any other. As he was just getting on a roll with the numbers, out of the corner of his eye, he saw someone drop a soda can in the trash and hurry out the door. He wondered why someone was drinking soda from a can instead of bottles, but he shook his head and just assumed it was just someone who preferred the cold metal instead of the plastic. What Alex did not notice was the louder than usual popping sound the can made when it hit the bottom of the waste bin.

The news had said something about an “invasion,” and some kind of series of attacks in New England, but that was a half a country away, and he had work to do.  The news was something that he never put too much stock in anyway, since they had shown time and time again that they could not be trusted to actually report the news accurately.  The “news” companies were constantly reporting poorly researched information and then they always seemed to be retracting some part of a story, if not the whole thing, so he would just wait it out and see what was true and what wasn’t.

Everyone said to be on the lookout for anything unusual, but how weird was an aluminum soda can? It wasn’t that strange, was it?

He knew the attack in Los Angeles was real, but he still had to work. Getting paid by the hour did that kind of thing to a newlywed. If he didn’t work, he didn’t get paid, and last time there had been an attack in the United States it was over that same day. That had to be the case again, didn’t it?

Someone started coughing on the other side of the office hard enough that it caught his attention. Normally it wasn’t the kind of thing he would notice, but this was different. The coughing became harder than a person at work should. He hoped they wouldn’t get everyone sick, he didn’t have time for that. “Go home asshole,” he thought to himself, if they had something that might be contagious they should have just stayed home and not come in and risk infecting everyone. Then surprisingly, a second person, then a third started coughing a sickly wet cough.  One person, then another, and another turned the corner and started coughing so hard that they vomited, then vomited again. Someone screamed and joined in with the rest and added to the vomiting.

The amount of spewed forth bodily fluid had to be enormous. He was fifty feet away and the smell was enough to make him want to join them and bring his breakfast back to the surface.

Alex took off his headphones, stood up and looked over the cubicle walls, trying to figure out what the hell was going on. A small sound escaped his throat at the sight of people on the other side of the office who were bent over coughing and spewing forth vomit of a variety of colors based on the contents of their most recent meal. He couldn’t begin to imagine what made all of them start at once, but he realized there was no way there was anything normal about any of it. Something was wrong, and it had happened fast.

Looking around and realizing just how widespread it was he began to panic, fear was setting in, his eyes went wide and breathing was coming faster and faster with every passing second. The sounds coming from people were like nothing he had ever heard from a human, and the smell filling the room was like something out of a cesspool.

Then his eyes found Angela. She was a great friend, and had been through so much lately. While she would never be a Victoria’s Secret model, she had an aura of self-confidence and sensuality about her. Now, she was bent over coughing and suffering from what looked like a nose bleed, or was the blood coming from her eyes, it was hard to tell. Alex tried to rush over to her side of the room but, as he got closer, he got a tickle in his throat and started coughing. He couldn’t figure out why, he was healthy. Then he coughed harder and harder. His eyes were flooded with tears as if someone had turned on a faucet. Stopping his advance towards Angela he bent over, all of his muscles tensed at once. He fought back, but had somehow lost control over any part of his body.

Violently, with no way to catch himself, he hit the ground hard, face first.  Through the ocean of tears freely flowing down his face he saw Angela on the ground about twenty feet away. She had drool coming down the side of her face and blood quickly running out of her nose, ears and eyes. Then it dawned on him, that he had the same problem.

When did this happen?

How did this happen?

He could not focus on anything except Angela and her body spasming on the ground in front of him. His eyes clamped shut uncontrollably, and trying as hard as he could, there was no way he could open them. His muscles started flexing, doing some crazy things, sending his body thrashing in all directions.

Then, without warning every single muscle tensed at once and he could no longer move. No longer in control of any of his muscles, his lungs started to spasm, alternating between trying to draw breath into his now destroyed lungs and projectile vomiting massive amounts of blood. Then, his colon was next to release its contents and the flood of bloody shit flowed out of his anus emanating a smell that was like rotting flesh as it mixed with the reddish colored urine that his bladder had formed a pool on the floor.  His mind recognized that as the smell coming from the room letting him know that he wasn’t the only one in this condition, and finally understanding where that smell was coming from.

What the hell was going on?

How can everyone here go from healthy to this in such a short period of time?

It didn’t make any sense.

He lost consciousness not understanding what had happened.

 

***

 

The President stood at the head of the conference table, frustrated that he was still stuck on board Air Force One. He held his cell phone at chest level staring into space for a moment. Only some of the electronics gear was back up and running, with technicians and software people working furiously on the rest. Thankfully the cell phone networks were working again, or they would have almost no updated information about what was going on outside the airplane, which was still on the ground.

“Everyone quiet,” the President shouted.

The room fell eerily quiet, more so than the President had intended. He slowly put down his phone.

“Everyone, Given that the Prime Minister of Israel was going to surrender, and has now either done so or been killed, we have to think this through. The only way that man would have agreed to lay down arms is if his citizenry were about to be exterminated,” the President said.

“Mr. President, we have no other source, are we sure it as bad as he made it out to be? Is it possible tha the fighting was localized to just the capital” some unknown intelligence staff member asked.

“That was the Prime Minister himself, not some aid. Given that we had no cell access anywhere at the time, yet his call and that damn General got through, I feel safe saying that I’m sure,” the President said. His tone of voice showing his growing frustration.

“If that is true, and satellites gave us no warning, the electronic systems have been down longer than we realized. Mr. President, I believe we may have the modern-day version of the D-Day invasion taking place, only we are on the defensive side. I think they are coming at us with everything they have available, as fast as they can put it into the field. If we don’t have our networks, smart weapons, and sensor platforms this will be a war we are really not ready to fight without unconventional weapons. The numbers are just not on our side,” surmised the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

“General, we just launched two unconventional nuclear warheads and they took control of one of those. How do we know that the next time we launch one it won’t be retargeted to hit one of our cities? Maybe it will be reprogrammed to hit one of military bases around the world, and how the hell would that be helpful?” the President’s anger was coming through loud and clear.

“That is a possibility while those devices are on ICBMs. However, if we launch our attacks from bombers we can guarantee a hit thanks to the human pilots. However, we will have to turn off as much in the way of electronics as we can, just in case those aircraft are penetrated by this network attack as well. But, this may be the best pathway forward. We could also use one of those really fast point to point transport devices that research scientist just showed us, if it would work for the task. He said faster than light, and I don’t know how fast that is, but if we can deliver things without the need for missiles, that just might save our ass,” the General was a professional in every way, and clearly was not ready to talk terms with the enemy.

“Ok. Israel is gone, and that is a huge problem, but let’s figure out our status at this point. Do we have word from any other allies around the world? Is anyone else under attack?” the President asked looking at his Secretary of State, the nation’s chief diplomat.

“Without access to our computer networks, or even television news, it is really hard to tell. I’m going to have people light up the phone line and do this the old-fashioned way, but it will take some time,” the Secretary of State said.

“Get to work,” the President ordered.

“General, where is our heavy combat gear? How much do we have in transport, and how hard will it be to make sure we bring everything we can home as quickly as we can? I have a feeling we may have to become an isolationist nation for a while,” the President said.

He clearly did not like these decisions, but knowing he was painted into a corner. Becoming isolationist could result in the rest of the world falling into an even greater level of chaos. That might be very challenging to fix once things got under control domestically, but he couldn’t very well protect the world and in the process, lose the homeland. America had to be able to protect its own before it could worry about any other nation’s citizens.

“Mr. President, we have probably forty percent of our hardware being repositioned. If you recall, we took a bet, we sent almost every asset we had into the Middle East to try to bring an end to hostilities quickly, most of it is still there, or in transit. If we can find their staging area there perhaps we can launch an attack before they make a move elsewhere in the world. We can issue an order for everything in motion to come home at best possible speed, fuel conservation be damned, and develop a reasonable plan to pull out of everywhere we are that isn’t currently a war zone, but that will take time, I don’t know how long, but at least weeks to months. The other problem is that there are many places around the world that if we pull out with the threat of global armed conflict spreading everywhere is going to go way up,” the Chairman said, clearly not happy with the timeframe any more than the President.

“Fine. Someone figure out where the Vice President is, and get him here to meet that bizarre scientist. Perhaps that crazy man can save us, if we can figure out how to properly use that stuff. He showed us that thing that apparently enables faster than light travel. Perhaps that can deliver our weapons, and people where they need to be without the need for air support. I can’t believe I just said those words, and let’s hope to Christ that the thing works.

“Also, we need a better understanding of what manpower the enemy has already managed to land on our shores. Even if I would launch a nuclear strike here, which I won’t, and we still have active cyber-attacks that may make matters worse, AND our smart weapons are fucked, then maybe, just MAYBE our scientists can pull our asses out of the fire,” the President was shouting louder and louder as he finished his statement. He was also starting to ramble, which was uncharacteristic, the stress was obviously taking its toll.

“Yes, Mr. President,” said the Chairman.

More computers and video screens had been coming online during the exchange.

“Mr. President,” the Vice President’s voice said.

“Frank, I didn’t realize your link was back up. Where the hell are you, and how soon can you get to wherever I am?” asked President Press.

“Somewhere in Texas, I think. However, I’d like to make a point that both of us being in the same place at the same time is a very bad idea, Mr. President,” said Frank.

“Of course, and honestly I’m not 100% certain where we are, just that there is some technology here that you have to see, and help us figure out how to use it to clean up this mess,” said the President.

“I’m told the electronics in this plane is fine. Mr. President you need to get someplace safe and organize a response to the invasion making its way through New England, as well as a nerve agent attack that is at this very moment putting Americans into a horrifyingly painful death spiral, on top of all that we also had a massive nuclear strike. I suggest you go to Fort Bragg and I go wherever you are,” Frank said.

“Mr. Vice President, if I may?” the Surgeon General interrupted.

“I have been on the phone with some of the Emergency Rooms in the impacted areas of this nerve agent. The people infected are experiencing the following symptoms: muscle convulsions, runny nose, crying, drooling, release of bowels and bladder, even some temporary paralysis. Those that will die are doing so in about ten minutes post exposure. Everyone else will recover, and all we must do for the moment is to keep them comfortable. The hospitals in the area surrounding the nuclear strike are over run in the same way we experienced last time, and that must be our priority,” said the Medical Professional.

“Mr. President, that may have been a test of some new capability. If they use those weapons on our troops while we are in contact, they will be slaughtered as they won’t be able to offer any kind of resistance thanks to the associated symptoms. Everyone must wear protective gas masks, whenever they are about to make contact with the enemy, or set foot outside of a base until we fully understand the situation,” the Vice President said.

“General, issue that order, and Doctor, you better figure out if whatever it is that is happening is contagious or not, we don’t need a fucking pandemic on top of everything else,” said the President.

“Frank, get here and get to work, we will be at your old stomping grounds,” the President said, then walked out of the room to see the pilots.

 

<AP NEWS FLASH> Hospitals in some of the southern states are being overrun with citizens suffering from the effects of a nerve agent. Many people around the nation are nervous they are showing signs. There will be an upcoming press release showing what symptoms to be watchful of, however if symptoms being experienced are not chronic, the malady is likely not a nerve agent. Hospitals are asking that people think before jamming local emergency rooms.

Writing the Apocalypse, it is harder than you think

Writing the apocalypse is a hard thing to do. Let’s assume you are a writer, storyteller, movie maker, or just someone who enjoys thinking about how YOU would tell a story instead of the way some other person has done it.

Now, let’s assume you want to write about the end of the world. Assuming your story is more complex than BOOM the world exploded (George Lucas pulled that one off) it is a hard thing to start. How do you want to destroy the world? Chemical? Biological? Aliens? Zombies…again?

Do you start with the world already destroyed and just live through the aftermath as one of those lucky survivors? What to do? There are endless choices.

I am in the middle of writing a series that will, ultimately, become one in that genre. It took me an entire book to open up that apocalyptic story line. It didn’t destroy just a ton of stuff, but I wanted to tell that story from the beginning. How would it begin?

In my case I chose political chaos. World leaders not getting along, someone taking advantage of a leadership shakeup in one nation, in this case one of the few remaining superpowers. That might do it?

That story thread turned into how would I do it? Well, in this case nuclear has to be the start. What has enough bang to get the U.S. to respond with the heat of 1,000 suns. Well, I’m not sure we can do more than we did in the Global War on Terror UNLESS we were responding to a nuclear attack.

Find the last world war on Amazon by clicking here!!!

I took some criticism for that first book. People thought (and told me loudly) YOU ARE SO WRONG. If someone nukes the US we would turn them to glass. I’m not so sure. First, I’ve met a lot of DC based politicians. I’m not sure we would take that retaliatory nuclear strike so lightly, especially if the nation that nuked us used up their entire arsenal in the attack (limited to five) and we could still crush them conventionally.

Then, I thought about it. And I think I am right. The US if attacked with a very small number of nuclear weapons (two in my story) would not respond nuclear. We would handle it conventionally. I’m almost certain of it.

But what happens on round two of a nuclear strike? Or a nuclear strike with a follow on invasion? What do we do then?

Can the world be turned into something where humans really do struggle for survival? Well, yes we can. In the series The Last World War, that is exactly what happens. Book 2 is almost complete, I thank you for your patience, and that series will live up to the phrase…Go big or go home!

Thanks to everyone who has enjoyed my writing! I will keep putting it on the page, if you keep turning those pages.

Plots to declare world leaders insane

It seems like every election cycle we see a news story about how this candidate, or that potential challenger is “mentally unfit for office.” This typically means that the opinion writer, or news host making the claim disagrees with that candidate, and nothing more. Everyone once in a while they will even find a psychologist as a guest who agrees with the host, but somehow has never met, nor examined the candidate in question. There have been times in history where it might have been true.

I have been reading this fascinating book by William Breuer about some of the previously Top Secret stories that went on during World War II. There was an instance before the war that several military leaders had an active plot to declare Hitler insane. I think we can all agree that in this case, the leader they worried about actually was completely nuts.

In November of 1937 there was a meeting of top General and Admirals with Hitler. Hitler had summoned them to discuss future plans.

It is an important historical note that Hitler was a corporal in the German Army during World War I. He had been in the trenches in France, which was the worst of the fighting. During his time there he had been gassed with chemical weapons, and earned the Iron Cross, First Class, for Valor. This is unique for an enlisted man.

Before the meeting began Hitler swore everyone in the room to secrecy. This might be a surprise for a group of General Officers who keep military secrets and know how to not disclose things publicly. However, this was not the only surprise of the day.

These men sat and listened as the madman announced his plan to gain more living space for the German people. It appears he was determined to annex or conquer, whatever was necessary, Austria, Czeckoslovakia, and Poland. Then, when Germany was powerful enough, he intended to invade the Soviet Union.

The officers in the room were certain that France and Great Britain would never stand for this. Hitler had an answer ready. These two nations would only launch a war of words, and would never do anything more than talk.

Hitler went on to describe how he would accept nothing less than absolute and total obedience from his officer corps. Then he said the operation was to be launched in 1938, then completed by 1943.

The men were surprised to say the least. Hitler was not even supposed to have much of a standing army as part of the agreement that ended World War I. That didn’t bother Hitler, he was getting ready to fight a war of conquest, and nothing would stop him.

At this point a group of these Generals, Admirals, some civilian leaders, and a few government officials created a conspiratorial group who would declare the man insane.

The leader of this group was General Ludwig Beck (I have written about him before, this isn’t his only disagreement with Hitler, Click here for previous article). Beck was regarded by other German Generals, and many world leaders as a man of honor and integrity.

Their plan was simple. Unfortunately, it was also known as coup d’état.

In their plan, Hitler would be arrested in Berlin, and great care would be taken to ensure he wasn’t killed. They needed him discredited so that none of his closest confidants would take power and make things worse.

He would then be put on trial. The claim that they intended to make was based on his medical history from the Great War. The had obtained former Corporal Hitler’s records which said that he had “gone mad” from being gassed.

Kicking off the plan would be simple.

At the right time, General Fellgiebel, the chief signals officer, would cut all communications throughout Germany. That would isolate Hitler in Berlin. At the same exact time, General Erwin von Witzleben, the commander of the military in Berlin, would rush his men into the capital and arrest Hitler along with his two top aids. These two men you may have heard of before: General Hermann Goering, and Heinrich Himmler.

Once on trial, according to their plan, Hitler was to be exposed as totally nutso. They would tell the world that his madness had caused him to put together a plan for world domination, and the execution of that plan would be the demise of Germany.

Once a judge declared Hitler to be nuts they would put him in an institution under constant armed guard.

The only question was when to strike because they had an issue. Hitler had the absolute love of most of the German military. He also had some of the biggest names in German industry on his side. It appears Hitler rebuilding the military was making them very rich. That, in turn, because of some of the higher salaries being paid made many of the German people really like Hitler, and they didn’t realize that he was crazy. So, these men had an issue.

They determined that they needed to time things just right. They could not launch the plan until Hitler did something to turn the German people against him. Unfortunately, by time that happened it was a little late.

If you enjoy history, like this, you may enjoy a Novel I had the pleasure of working on, which you can find by clicking on the title: China Bones.

Unexplained Mysteries of WW2 by William Breuer – Dress Rehearsal for Pearl Harbor?

William Breuer was a military historian with more than two dozen books to his credit. He passed away several years ago, but his work is still with us, and continues to fascinate readers.

He had a deeper knowledge base of the war than most writers, and it wasn’t just the big battles. He had details on little things that might have turned the tide on any given day than any other historian to the best of my knowledge.

He wrote a book called Unexplained Mysteries of World War 2 that contains a ton of stories about events that have not been fully explained across the intervening decades between that horrific period in history and now. One of those was about an event that occurred long before the war. It happened in China on December 12, 1937. This one, or so his theory says, could have been a test run for the attack on Pearl Harbor.

People tend to forget is that before the War the United States had troops in China. They had been there for a variety of reasons and pulled out before Pearl Harbor. Mostly we knew the position would be taken over, and the men killed or imprisoned if we left them in place.

On that fateful December day, a Lieutenant Mastake Okuyama led a squadron of Japanese Imperial Navy bombers flying up along the Yangtze River. That river is some 3,100 miles long that eventually empties into the Yellow Sea. At that point in time it was used primarily for transportation of goods and people to get out of a number of cities into the open ocean for movement to the rest of the world. At the same time the bombers were going up that river the USS Panay (a U.S. Navy gunship) was going down the river.

Normally the Panay had one job, protect US shipping on that river from pirates that tended to raid other vessels of anything valuable. On this day there was a Lieutenant Command James J Hughes serving as the Captain of the vessel which was equipped to fight pirates, not bombers. The ship was also transporting U.S. citizens out of Nanking which was under siege by the Japanese military. It had four U.S. Embassy officials, five refugees, and a number of western journalists on board. The picture of this boat going down the River was obviously one of U.S. activity given the giant US flags flapping in the wind off the bow.

Now, before we get into what happened there is something that must be revealed. In 1927, Japanese military leaders decided that armed conflict with the United States was inevitable. At that time they put together a top secret plan called the Tanaka Memorial which was their plan for military conquest of China and for that eventual war with the United States. Might that have had something to do with what comes next?

If you read our book called China Bones you can find a very dramatic telling of what happened to the Panay. The result was that it was sent to the bottom of that river.

Recall that there were reporters on the ship. They showed that the attacking aircraft came in so low that there was no way, based on the direction of their attack and the placement of the US flags that the Japanese pilots could have not known the Panay was a US ship.

As the Panay started to sink, to make matters a little more intriguing, a Japanese ship came up on the Panay and opened fire on the already doomed ship. Once the Panay was evacuated the Japanese sent several officers on board looking for equipment or top secret documents in a quick search of the bridge.

Over the next several days the survivors and wounded form that ship had to hide, and travel on foot across the Chinese countryside looking for safety. Again, this ordeal was shown in the historic fiction novel China Bones.

The day after the sinking of the Panay the Japanese military went into the city of Nanking and launch a barbaric bloodbath the likes of which had not been seen on the planet for hundreds of years. Even German military who witnessed it were shocked in their reports back to Berlin. In that attack more than 250,000 Chinese men, women, and children perished. It was an attack that came to be known as the Rape of Nanking.

To make matters worse, a number of days later, a Japanese officer was quoted in the news as saying he had orders to open fire on the Panay.

Was the attack really an accident? Was the attack planned?

Well, William Breuer offers up an alternative theory.

Perhaps this event was a test. Perhaps, just perhaps, it was a trial run for Pearl Harbor. Ok, now we know, Pearl Harbor had much larger Navy vessels, and a lot greater ability to respond but the ability of our military to fight isn’t the theory.

Perhaps the axis powers wanted a way to see what the US would do IF the US was attacked. Perhaps they wanted to be able to attack our forces and take out large amounts of equipment and the result would be public condemnation of the attack, and not a counter attack as we did not counter the attack on the Panay.

Maybe that was the idea, but history knows that we did indeed respond to Pearl Harbor and the rest, as they say, is history.