What is causing all the damage in Iran?

Orbitallaser

"A building used for producing centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site was blown up with a powerful bomb, the official told the newspaper.

A member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps also confirmed to the newspaper an explosive was used. He ruled out cyberattacks as the cause.

The unnamed official said, however, Israel was not responsible for the other fires occurring around the Islamic Republic.

On Wednesday, seven ships caught fire at the Persian Gulf port of Bushehr which houses Iran’s only nuclear plant. It was the second blaze reported that day, with another breaking out at an aluminum factory in Lamerd in southern Iran.

There have also been a series of mysterious gas blasts and explosions in the Tehran area.

An explosion at the Parchin military complex, which analysts believe houses missile production facilities as well as a subterranean tunnel system, occurred a week before the Natanz blast."  Breitbart

—————

Well, well.  the number, nature and distribution of these explosions and fires make it tempting to think of the incidents as targeting.

If it IS targeting, the pattern seems to be a drip-drip campaign of de-stabilization attacks in conjunction with other covert action to try to bring the mullocracy down.  Now, I have zero actual information official or otherwise about this phenomenon but consider one fanciful but perhaps entertaining possibility.

The USG and other countries have been doing R&D on directed energy weapons for decades.  They are all reputed to be still in R&D stage having major problems including diversion and/or obstruction of the death ray itself in the case of massive pumped lasers.   One such project was "Excalibur" (link below).  I never worked on any such project.

In the dark world of secret projects the US and other governments conceal projects that are too valuable to risk in public exposure or that are of dubious international legality.  The really valuable ones are often declared to be cancelled even as the work is moved into a SAP where it can be adequately protected.  The F-117 and the B-2 bomber were both carefully concealed in that way until the day of terrible revelation.

So, how about an orbiting pumped nuclear laser weapon aimed at targets on the ground?  Fun, eh?  I know there are problems with clouds and such like getting in the way but, you can wait for the clouds to clear.

This could be Space Force's first major operation.  pl

https://www.breitbart.com/middle-east/2020/07/19/another-mystery-blast-hits-iranian-power-plant/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Excalibur

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35 Responses to What is causing all the damage in Iran?

  1. Avatar turcopolier says:

    I realize that the death ray itself would be invisible but the picture is cool.

  2. Avatar A.Pols says:

    It would need the sort of power source which is currently not to be had in orbit. That aside, the idea is intriguing and has been in circulation for a long time. But burning a hole in a steel plate at 100 meters in a lab setting and torching a building from a minimum distance of 150 vertical miles through variable density atmosphere while moving at 17K MPH is probably a bridge too far and likely to remain so for a long time.

  3. A laser, even powerful, would burn on one spot, not explode a building. And it would be visible even on the UV or infrared wavelenghts because it would heat the air around the beam like a pillar of fire.
    However, a laser would require too much energy to be fired from a little solar-powered satellite. Even dry air would disperse much of the beam at distances superior to some KM, because of heating turbulence and ionization. The more powerful the beam, the more turbulence and ionization interference.

  4. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    Would it necessarily be invisible? From the wiki:

    There was the possibility that a powerful enough laser could reach further into the atmosphere, perhaps as deep as 30 kilometers (19 mi) altitude if it was bright enough.[129] In this case, there would be so many X-ray photons that all of the air between the battle station and the target missiles would be completely ionized and there would still be enough X-rays left over to destroy the missile.

    It sounds like ionization is a consequence of having a laser powerful enough to reach the ground. In that case, would not ionization of the air above the target look like a linear lightning strike? If hot enough, might the lightning even be accompanying by a thunder clap? Real wrath of God stuff. I genuinely don’t know and would appreciate informed scientific opinions.
    I have one other reservation about an Excalibur-like weapon being the source of the ‘accidents’: If the US has such a weapon would it not wait to expose it at a more critical juncture – say imminent hot war with a near peer foe? Unless what we are seeing is just the prelude to its much wider use and the planned destruction of Iran.

  5. Avatar walrus says:

    Col. Lang,
    “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence three times is enemy action” – Goldfinger by Ian Fleming.
    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Clarke’s first law.
    I think you are being wicked today. I will put these events down to coincidence, but as you know, such an operation would require plausible reasons for each and every event. The fire in the boatyard was in wooden dhows, which have probably been incinerating themselves for hundreds of years. Aluminum production from alumina requires continuous production of carbon electrodes made by baking petroleum pitch so fires would be a known risk. likewise explosions involving ordnance.
    Thinking back to the Enigma decryption operations of WWII, I have a hard time believing that 2020 Washington would demonstrate the self restraint, wisdom and maturity required to carry off such an operation. I would expect something more hollywoodesque – showy and unsubtle, even “Trumpian”.
    …but of course that is the sort of reputation that a good operator would foster.

  6. Avatar turcopolier says:

    walrus
    You have no idea how many secret programs we have that do not leak. Why? the number of people in the know” is very small, very small. Throughout the Cold War American cities were ringed with Nike Hercules bases all of which had nuclear warheads. Nobody knows that and the government stopped hiding it long ago. We have lot of gear that is not showing. There is a reason that US Space Force was created.

  7. Avatar Mark Logan says:

    If this is the first operation of the Space Force it could well be it’s last. It would be a direct attack on a foreign nation, an act of war and undeclared by Congress. Not that such isn’t practically SOP these days, it’s that it would’ve been an act by the despised Trump administration which places the fate of Space Force branch in grave peril. It’s live expectancy would be on a par with that of a doughnut in a cop shop. It’s difficult to imagine that not leaking, and when it does the Space force would be summarily tarred, feathered, and burnt at the stake.

  8. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    The easy way around that is to have a presidential finding for a covert action and give the task to CIA with Space force acting “in support’ of them. This has been done many times.

  9. Avatar J says:

    Walrus, Mark,
    Compartmentalization is the key.

  10. Avatar John I says:

    The movie “Dark Territory” explores this very situation in that it features:
    1. a satellite-hosted chemical laser capable of destroying sea, air, and land targets
    2. the weapon’s creator is lied to by his employer (US Gov), who tell him that the project is no longer considered viable and the weapon’s creator is fired from the project
    3. the weapon IS viable and once armed is placed into service
    4. weapon’s creator and now ex-employee hacks into the weapon, takes control, and proceeds to demonstrate its capabilities while offering its use to the highest bidders
    Warning: Steven Seagal superantics and wooden dialog abound

  11. Avatar walrus says:

    Col. Lang, I agree. I am sure you are right about secret programs and I look forward to being astounded in due course if some tidbits are ever released.
    As my godfather used to say:” those that know don’t talk and those that talk don’t know.”
    It’s fun to speculate however. I assume for example that all foreign electronic communication and computer systems are penetrated. I assume we have “stealth” satellites, probably armed and I wonder if we have something like “the rod of god” space weapon.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_bombardment

  12. Avatar turcopolier says:

    walrus
    How’s this for a scenario: A US DoD only stealth space station big enough to house a variety of Hammer of Thor type weapons.

  13. Avatar turcopolier says:

    walrus
    The next question asked will be where these missions to build the stealth space station were launched. Well, Kodiak of course why do you think we built the site. Is it because we love giant brown bears? You people are a lot of fun. BTW expect the people who run the SAP to denigrate the possibility.

  14. Avatar Fred says:

    Intriguing idea. Who are we sending a message too since there’s no point in blowing up a building full of centrifuges in a country which hasn’t had a nuclear weapons program in years? On that note I wonder what President Xi is worrying about, besides the apparently non existent flooding on the Yangtze below the Three Gorges damn, loss of all those western pharmaceutical factories if it gives way, and famine, which won’t of course happen, otherwise he might need food imports to keep his party in power.

  15. Avatar J says:

    Colonel,
    Uncle Henry must be smiling from where ever he passed on to. To see his children having fun with their toys. I’m sure there’s a statue of him somewhere in the black world to honor the go-to-guy when you needed it.

  16. Avatar Leith says:

    Last week there was also a mysterious fire in a Navy shipyard at the port of San Diego.
    From the damage shown it looks like it may not be worth it to do the repairs.
    https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2020/07/17/heres-what-the-damage-inside-the-bonhomme-richard-looks-like/

  17. Avatar turcopolier says:

    fred et al
    There are a lot of boring, literal minded people here. Do not be among them.

  18. Avatar J says:

    Colonel,
    Things are heating up
    China threat: Taiwan aims US missiles at Beijing after imminent invasion plot exposed
    MILITARY tensions between China and US escalated further today, after a strong ally of President Xi warned that Beijing would invade US-backed Taiwan “early next year”.
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1311201/China-World-War-3-WW3-US-Taiwan-military-drills-invasion-Beijing-latest-news

  19. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Fred
    I guess on the positive side the 3 Gorges dam is producing record amounts of electricity.
    https://youtu.be/aJYAnIjM7QM

  20. Avatar Yeah, Right says:

    “So, how about an orbiting pumped nuclear laser weapon aimed at targets on the ground?”
    My understanding is that the x-ray lasers are “pumped” with a small nuclear explosion.
    Pretty hard for a nuclear explosion in space to go noticed, isn’t it?

  21. Avatar Yeah, Right says:

    Sorry, meant to say “go unnoticed”.

  22. Avatar mcohen says:

    Bit off topic but someone told me he thinks the Harry and Meghan show that went to Hollywood is to distract us from the Randy Andy suspicions.That and the fact that Maxwell has set a trap and is marshalling her considerable forces to hit a few funny bones.

  23. Avatar ked says:

    Extraordinarily concentrated power generation is required. Any evidence of that technology being achieved, engineered & thence deployed to space?
    Alternatively, even assuming these events were purposeful operations, could they be achieved by well-known, low cost means of sabotage?

  24. Avatar turcopolier says:

    All
    Surprising how many of you took this seriously.

  25. Avatar Fred says:

    Col.,
    I’m hoping they are working on a langston field or alderson drive. What’s the likelyhood that there would at least be a project to put string of orbital satelites around Mars? That way would could get daily weather updates, or at least a lot more information on a continuous basis. If Musk can create his low Earth orbit satelite network here I would think lifting a shuttle craft to carry a smaller payload to the red planet and put them into orbit there might be easy for SpaceX to pull off. It should certainly be cheaper than launching one-off probes like we do now.

  26. Avatar Yeah, Right says:

    Unlikely, Fred.
    Sure, the physics of an Alderson Drive can be derived from first-principles, but something like the Langston Field is only ever going to be discovered by accident.
    As for putting satellites in Mars orbit, no need. Just land your payload on Deimos and let it do the orbital-mechanics work for you.
    Well, until the UN gets the s**ts with the Martians and blows the damn thing up.

  27. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    Sir
    Perhaps some of us were just be playing along to see if our responses were taken seriously.

  28. Avatar Christian J. Chuba says:

    I’m taking off my Cap morality hat and just looking at the physics.
    Pro-side:
    1. We already have lasers that can light up a drone from a small ground based system, one in geosynchronous orbit would have scads of time to focus on one spot. Scads is a scientific term :-).
    2. It does not have to melt steel or blow up a building, it just has to find something that would go boom if it gets really hot and start a chain reaction.
    3. If you get that clear day, I don’t think that photons lose energy over distance. That is what the sun uses and on a clear day we get baked pretty good.
    Con side:
    1. Once anyone suspects we have this capability, I would think this would be fairly easy to detect. You are talking about a line of sight weapon firing a straight beam in geosynchronous orbit. It could move after the attack but I would think the attack itself would take time.
    I think it’s more likely we are tossing around bags of cash to find locals but who knows?

  29. Avatar CK says:

    There was once a literary “law” attributed to R. A. Heinlein that goes:
    “Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by human stupidity.” This is a parsimonious law as malice must always include intention while stupidity only requires existence.
    HOWEVER:
    There is another literary “law” often attributed the L. J. Gibbs that goes:
    “Once can be happenstance, twice is reconnaissance, third time is enemy action.”
    It is probably good to obey the correct law.

  30. Avatar Christian J. Chuba says:

    Power:
    Regarding power source, nuclear reactor or solar array with battery cells to store necessary energy the choice will be driven by whichever one is easiest to maintain. Size is not is not the driving factor has pieces of it can be shot into orbit and then assembled like the ISS.
    Detectability:
    While I believe the military can design a weapon in secret, I find it hard to believe they would deploy and use it without notice but I guess Russian Intelligence is too busy infiltrating Facebook and the Chinese looking at yearbook videos on TikTok.
    Dissipation: Can a bean stay concentrated and powerful enough over distances? I’m in over my head here.
    Countermeasures:
    The target would need to be exposed or in a building that can be penetrated. Now that I think of it, even if it could penetrate that building that looks like half a steel can on its side (must be easy to build), can’t be too hard to put in a loft with a light layer of sand bags. Just need something that can withstand heat for a period of time and make the weapon too expensive to operate.

  31. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Christian Chuba
    How much did you know about the F-117 before its existence was announced?

  32. Avatar Fred says:

    Yeah, Right,
    Then you would have a single package on a 6 mile wide rock orbiting along the equator a few thousand miles up. It wouldn’t give you the planetary covered I envisioned.

  33. Avatar ambrit says:

    Sir;
    The other aspect of such a “Death From Way Above” scenario is the possibility, or probability, of the Russians and Chinese doing the same things in space as many here suspect America is doing.
    There is a saying somewhere that posits that any new weapon devised will be eventually used.
    For that reason alone, here’s hoping we manage to get off planet in numbers large enough to perpetuate the species before any “accident” happens here at the base of the gravity well.
    Oh, and I’ll go out on that rotten limb and say that many here believe your original idea because we want it to be true.
    Stay safe!

  34. Avatar Christian J. Chuba says:

    Col, regarding the F-117 nothing. If a space weapon is feasible, I’m certain our military could build it and deploy it above the U.S. to test it in secret. We have been blessed with ample room.
    Just thinking that someone would figure out that we had a space weapon after we used it the first time against another country even if they did not know how it worked. But if you start a fire here and there, maybe not.

  35. Avatar Christian J. Chuba says:

    It would be a great weapon. Even if you figure out how to shield against the laser, you can’t put shielding on everything. You will always have high value soft targets somewhere. All you need are other satellites or drones and a secure communication channel and the entire country is vulnerable to attack. Even with limitations, that is a weapon worth having. The best counter-measure would be to figure out how to destroy it.
    Sorry to go on but this is interesting.

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