6/17/04

Pieces of Paper

During the Second World War, the Japanese were the only people to employ the use of air balloon bombs as a part of their operational tactics. The concept of using the Pacific wind currents to deliver paper balloon bombs is ingenious. The physics and engineering involved in the process of constructing and successfully launching these balloons is extraordinary. The meticulous process of creation, to ensure no flaw in design, took a considerable amount of time to complete.
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The Japanese air balloon bomb mission created the first intercontinental missile. It took the Japanese people over two years to design the balloons, bombs, and automatic dropping mechanisms. On November 3rd, 1944, the first balloon was released from Japan. Over the course of the War's last year, the air balloons traveled as far east as Michigan in the U.S., Manitoba in Canada and as far south as Mexico.
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Should the Japanese have had knowledge of their success with the balloons, it is possible that the greenish liquid found in the celluloid containers may have been replaced with disease causing bacteria. Interestingly enough, such a threat, is still around 53 years later. We are having these same discussions related to Iraq and even a more deadly virus potentially being released on the world.

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