Civilian rocket range in Arnhem Land… or something different
by Tony Ryan on 28 Feb 2018 0 Comment

Easy money for Gumatj clan, or a development that might alarm not only Arnhem Land people, but all Australians? Despite widespread suspicions, details about the evidently broader military function of the base will never be accessible until it is too late to alter the course of events. If our suspicions prove correct, we are trilaterally confronted by: [1] The threat to survival of East Arnhem Aboriginal culture; [2] The possible elimination of our only Arnhem Land town; and [3] The nationally pivotal issue of Australian defence sovereignty, which now appears the subject of capitulation to the US.


Like the citizens of any other country, we cannot accept foreign military occupation as fait accompli merely because mercenary federal politicians want to retain US corporate election funding for the Liberal/National coalition (and for the Australian Labour Party for that matter). Responsible Australians must look at the available evidence and identify probable Pentagon objectives, and then challenge government to confirm or deny. For this we rely on the media.


Of concomitant concern: if Australia is truly a democracy, this kind of situation should never have evolved in the first place. The already exposed covert military incursion runs parallel with the US-led natural gas campaign, with government clearly about to capitulate in the face of massive electoral opposition. This attack on Australian democracy must be resolved in the very near future.


When national discussions about an Australian civilian rocket base began quietly four years ago, the parties identified on the internet were the Australian Department of Defence; Lockheed-Martin; and Raytheon. As plans progressed, Raytheon and the Department of Defence dropped out of media publicity and a couple of new organisations emerged: DEAL (Develop East Arnhem Land) and Equatorial Launch Australia. The word civilian has been stressed, again and again and again. The repetition is far from subtle and has triggered wide-ranging speculation.


Initial public dialogue suggested unambiguous intent; however…

-        As we all know, the Department of Defence deals in wars.

-        Lockheed-Martin makes aircraft

-        Raytheon makes only war machines, particularly rockets and missiles. Its best-known is the Patriot Missile.


So far, it has become obvious that whoever initiated this project wants the words weapons and defence eliminated from publicity. And, curiously, the article outlining the Raytheon /Dept of Defence discussions has been withdrawn from the internet. Again, we wonder why? So… what other factors might expand the parameters of, or further illuminate, the circumstances of rockets and defence and leases on Aboriginal land near the NT’s Gove Peninsula?


Geopolitical context: The search for clues


The people of Guam and Okinawa, where there are giant Northern and Mid-Pacific American military bases, are sick of their women being raped and assaulted by US servicemen; of having sleep interrupted around the clock; and they do not want any more poisons from military bases contaminating their water supplies and seas. They also fear their land will be nuclear bombed by China or North Korea in the event of war with the USA. With America entirely ignoring conciliation opportunities with North Korea; avoiding any attempt at peaceful negotiation and, instead, engaging in calculated provocation, the long suffering civilians want America out… now! Both North and South Koreas appear to be taking the initiative.


Obviously, the US needs a new site for another and much bigger military base and this must be in a China-confronting South Pacific deep-water harbour. We have long been aware of rumours that the Pentagon wants to move its Naval fleet to Melville Bay on the Gove Peninsula. However, just when one might reasonably expect negotiations to warm up, there has been a sudden cessation of dialogue.


In the context of typical American lack of subtlety, this silence is deafening. If Australians knew the truth about the 750 American bases around the world they would probably deliver a loud NO to such a base here. So, if Melville Bay is indeed on the Pentagon’s agenda, it would certainly make sense to move into stealth mode.


With a little imagination, reinforced by the patterns of geopolitical history, we can guess the likely progression of events:


First, a tiny civilian rocket base will be established, with maximum publicity blurbs about Australia finally joining the exciting Space Exploration Frontier. Indeed, this was the exact line adopted by Alan Duffy, ABC TV’s celebrity astronomer… not conspiratorially, I hasten to add, but demonstrating the kind of scientific naiveté that governments have learned to rely upon to establish credibility and believability.


In the second stage of the PR campaign, two or three satellite relay installations will be established on neighbouring clan leases, to track the rockets and satellites. Then, entirely disparately of course, will follow a few minor reconstructions to Rio Tinto’s bauxite plant in Inverell Bay to enable “civilian” ships to call in with “civilian” communication technology, installations and equipment. At some stage, there will be a projection of hundreds of jobs for Aborigines and former mine workers.


Then, as the US creates more tension in the Asia Pacific, there will be the Australian Government’s inevitable ‘speculation’ that our national security might well be served if the civilian installations also provide minor assistance to the Depart of Defence. No doubt, the term “cost-effectiveness” will be injected into media releases, as will the forecast potential for passenger ship visitation and a lucrative explosion of tourism. The eyes of shop keepers and traders in Nhulunbuy will glitter at this prospect, even though anyone with market research capability would roll his eyes and refocus on real-world prospects.


Meanwhile, additional evidence draws into focus:

Government has already budgeted for $50,000 and $75,000 for consultation and negotiation; to help out, among other things…“increasing the American Defence Presence”…

Ref: Estimates transcript - Day 1 – 28 November 2017 page 49.


This was a quote from Luke Bowen, General Manager of the NT Government’s Northern Australian Development Office, and in charge of major projects and strategic infrastructure.


Bowen’s position is both curious and telling. He was formerly Executive Director and CEO of the NT Cattlemen’s Association; General Manager of Northern Territory Cattlemen's Trading Ltd; Member of the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council (Chaired by Federal Minister for Agriculture); on the Prime Minister’s Centenary of ANZAC Advisory Board (past); and gained nationwide notoriety as the conspicuous promoter of the nationally-unpopular Live Cattle Export campaign, which was roundly condemned for:

-        Destroying Australia’s good reputation for humane animal handling

-        Elimination of 150 abattoirs

-        Destruction of 240,000 regional Australian jobs (directly and from feeder industries); and

-        Decimation of entire regional populations in NSW, Queensland, and Victoria.


It would seem that archetypical pragmatist Luke Bowen is a useful person to front enterprises which can be expected to attract national and even global condemnation. A corresponding anticipation of more conflict in the wind seems reasonable under the circumstances. Right man; right place; right time.


Harkening back to the original picture painted for national electoral edification, one might now well ask why the Pentagon is progenitor of a “civilian space rocket launching facility”. This is not a situation in which the perception of agenda overlap is an interpretive option. Once the military are involved, the term civilian is automatically disqualified. To claim otherwise is like being half pregnant.


Meanwhile, the current number of US Marines in Darwin is around 2000 and Defence Housing Australia has announced provision of 329 new houses in the new Breeze Muirhead suburb. Northern military expansion is clearly on the horizon.


America, in its additional PR contribution, makes daily references to North Korea’s ability to drop nuclear bombs on Australia; which is absurd as North Korea does not have the prerequisite guidance systems, or miniature war heads.


Conveniently, the entire media circus surrounding the North Korea “crisis” ignores the contextual nature of the original American attack on North Korea; the criminal fire-bombing of entire cities of civilians (an estimated burning to death of one third of all men, women and children, in horrific contravention of the Geneva Agreement); then the ongoing trade sanctions which starved to death thousands of women and children; the fly-overs by nuclear bomb capacity planes; and cruise-bys by American warships and aircraft carriers. Seventy years of intimidation has most certainly created an entirely justified paranoid attitude in North Korea’s government, and nuclear defence was clearly their only way to end this.


Moreover, in spite of the hype of remarkably ignorant politicians (i.e., American Senators Lindsay Graham and Mike Pence), the US has never attempted diplomacy. Transparently, the ‘North Korean Crisis’ is a manufactured false flag exercise, intended to intimidate America’s client states, of which Australia is one. It would appear that the South Korean Government now realises it is about to become a sacrificial lamb and has hastened to extricate itself by establishing bilateral dialogue of a depth and quality not seen in 70 years… to the White House’s acute dismay.


For readers sceptical of my presentation of the ‘North Korea Crisis’, I refer you to Justice Michael Pembroke, a NSW Supreme Court judge and author, who has studied the recent history of Korea in depth and who described the current situation to ABC TV’s The Drum, in much the same language. He was scathing of the media’s reporting only the US’s gross distortions of events.


Impact on NT tourism


An aspect that does not appear to have been factored in, is tourism in the Top End. International awareness of nuclear missile-attracting installations might well, during periods of international tension, harm NT tourism. One reason for Australia’s tourism success has always been our excellent personal security status. A US military presence could very well drive tourists away. Nuclear war targets are not renowned as tourism icons.


Environmental pollution


Western nation rockets use solid fuel, which produce chlorine gas, which interacts with oxygen to form chlorine oxides, which damage the ozone layer. A rocket base in Arnhem Land could possibly create an ozone void.


If we list all relevant military developments in the Top End, and fill in the gaps with the most likely projections, a credible albeit disturbing picture emerges.


What we already know:

-        A US Airforce Base in Tindal is gaining in military significance (and is already poisoning the region’s soils, ground water, and the Katherine River)

-        A US Marines Base in Darwin is destined for rapid expansion

-        The Australia-epi-centred hemisphere spy and navigation satellite relay bases in Shoal Bay and Middle Point (active for decades and off-limits to all Australians, and serve only American interests), will gain in regional military first-strike target significance for China;

-        The ongoing militarisation of Darwin International Airport for nuclear-armed B52 staging (which has happened in the past and made Darwin a double nuclear target during the Cold War).

-        There is now, apparently, a US Nuclear armed submarine base in Darwin harbour, which we always thought was built for Australian Collins submarines.


Only two more elements of the prospective South Pacific US war machine have yet to be installed:

-        A major navy base; and

-        An Intercontinental ballistic missile-launching platform.


Melville Bay is the perfect deep-water harbour for a naval base, and the nearby “civilian” rocket installation completes all elements of the Pentagon’s Military Acquisition Strategy… as contextually speculated. By the time the South Pacific naval base strategy becomes public knowledge, Australians will be inured to the US military presence and, anyway, 60% of Australians believe we must put up with bully Americans because we need the superpower to defend us from China or Indonesia.


Are they right? According to former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, the answer is NO! and NO! Before he passed away a couple of years ago, Malcolm Fraser several times warned Australians to cut the military alliance with America because, he said, the US cannot be trusted. Fraser pointed out that when Indonesia planned invasion of North Australia in 1975, America took Indonesia’s side against Australia. According to our own military intelligence, the information produced from the joint survey of Timor and Arafura oceanic sea floors was shared exclusively between the US and Indonesia. Australia was left out in the cold. We paid our way and Indonesia did not.


Since 1946, the US has militarily and aggressively invaded 56 sovereign nations and confiscated their resources. Arnhem Land is one of the richest resource zones in the world and we know America wants to own this too. That taking over Top End will also create a vast new complex of American military bases is simply a magnificent bonus.


Does Australia need a super-power ally?


No. It has long been recognised in military circles that Australia is simply too expensive to invade conventionally. This is the reason for the old reference “The Brisbane Line”, which means that by the time an invader has brought ammunition, transport, fuel, food, water, personnel, and equipment to the Australian coast, the costs would already be prohibitive; and for every 100 kms inland penetration the costs would magnify exponentially. The economy of even the most powerful of nations would be destroyed by the time they had ventured 1000 kms inland. To progress towards the nation’s capitals would be economically impossible.


Obviously, the invasion would need to be on the rugged East Coast, with its Great Barrier Reef and surf coasts to the south; and Great Dividing Range guarding the hinterland; the logistics would be just as exorbitant as in the north. Because the continent is so vast and the terrain so inhospitable, this would make viable occupation by an enemy quite impossible (as Indonesia realised in 1975). Tiny forces of Australian guerrillas could have an invading force running in catastrophic circles. Conclusion: in terms of economic practicality, the Australian continent is invasion-proof.


This is why the global investment banker consortium which has been behind all major wars since the Battle of Waterloo, gave up the idea of invading our country and instead simply destroyed our manufacturing sector and domestic food production, and flooded our labour pool with refugees and immigrants. We have already experienced the new-age-style invasion, backed by an American military whose flag proclaims them as our allies.


How will an American Base in Gove affect people in Arnhem Land?


Based on the kind of security exclusion zones imposed on other US Bases (Okinawa, Guam, and in Latin America), we can guess that the Wessel Islands and mainland almost as far south and west as Gurrumuru will be off-limits to Yolngu and other Australians.


-        If events follow the usual American pattern, Yirrkala, Ski Beach, Wallaby Beach, and all nearby Homelands will be bulldozed and the residents relocated to a new and no doubt flimsy town located somewhere just north-east of Gurrumuru. Nhulunbuy will be militarised; only people with appropriate security classification will be permitted to visit or reside there, and no civilians whatsoever.


-        The kinds of toxic substances used in military bases will inevitably poison the local coast, creeks, and groundwater.


-        Americans typically treat local indigenous people with contempt, and so any interaction with US personnel will not be a positive experience. Abuse and rapes will become commonplace. With Rio Tinto already in situ, this ruthless mining corporation may follow its South American tradition of assisting the elimination of Aborigines with introduced diseases before expediting more extensive Arnhem Land resource exploitation. Handily, even its traditional agent for distributing disease-infected clothes, The Summer Institute of Linguistics, (a bible-interpreting service) is also already in position in Top End. (War hero, explorer, journalist, and historian Frank Alcorta accurately narrated this sad episode of history in the NT News three decades ago).


-        If the US provokes war with China, Russia, or North Korea (which is what is going on at this moment), this is likely to develop into World War Three. If this happens there will certainly be Chinese nuclear bombs dropped on: Melville Bay, The new rocket launching site, Darwin Airport, The satellite relay signal installations at Middle Point and Shoal Bay, and Tindal airport.


Australians not killed in the immediate blasts will die from the nuclear fall-out; some quickly, others in the years that follow. When bombed, the three giant Inpex gas tanks will also explode, with a reported devastation radius well beyond Darwin.


This scenario mirrors the warnings issued by ultra-insider, Malcolm Fraser


As former PM, and with ongoing privileged access to classified information, he was in possession of the disturbing facts. We would be prudent to heed Fraser’s warning, which he clearly intended as his legacy to the Australian People. Many Australians will conclude that to ignore his warning would be to court national suicide, in the most literal sense.


Even if an American military presence was not on the table, there is still the matter of public safety surrounding even a civilian rocket base. Indeed, a comprehensive 1987 government study found that there was no place in the north of Australia where it would be safe to install a rocket launching platform, let alone the initially envisaged Gunn Point location.


Quote: “As all of the common trajectories for geostationary, polar and space shuttle orbits traverse populated areas, and most of impact zones occur in inhabited localities including cities, towns and communities, the Working Party has reluctantly drawn the inevitable conclusion that none of the studied sites is suitable for a commercial spaceport”… (1987 Cabinet Papers, NTRS 2575/P1, Decision 5266; Northern Territory Archives Service)


The question is: why is a rocket base now suddenly classified as safe, especially considering that the relevant resident population is much denser now than it was in 1987? And why has internet reference to the results of that study, and the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin link, suddenly disappeared?


Another question: Why has the Native Title Act been breached? Traditional consensus protocols, these forming the Indigenous decision-making process, have been ignored. Instead, a purely western process was applied and completed in 13 days, inclusive of weekends.



Some links for Fraser Papers and those of other defence experts in similar vein:

Independent Report on “Adequacy of Consultation: pertaining to Waramirri, Wanggurri, and Lamamirri language Groups acceptance of the proposed rocket base in North East Arnhem Land. © Copyright Tony Ryan 2018

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