Now, here's one that made me sit and ponder for several minutes, and I suspect it will you too. It was shared by Mr. V.T., and I suspect his reasons for sharing it with us will become immediately apparent once you read it:
Now, excepting the sad story of the retiree from the plant, Mr. Harding, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer but denied a disability on the basis that his cancer was caused by eating "country ham" instead of walking through, and breathing, uranium hexaflouride (yes, folks, the corruption and stupidity in the USSA is that bad!), what I found interesting here was the irradiated gold story itself, and the slant it might provide as a high octane speculative explanation for all the high strangeness going on in the bullion markets, not to mention all that high strangeness with obfuscated amounts of gold bullion. (Not to mention that, once again, Ian Fleming's weird James Bond storyline plots seem to find yet another confirmation that the man, in some loose sense, was writing fiction based on fact. One can hear German actor Gerd Frobe even now, as James Bond is strapped spread-eagled to a table while an industrial laser calmly slices its easy way through the steel plate up to... well, you get the idea. Bond says, "Do you expect me to talk?" And Frobe aka Auric Goldfinger calmly responds, "No Mr. Bond. I expect you to die!")
According to the article, between 1964 and 1985, approximately 1 to 2 tons of gold was recovered from nuclear weapons during "reprocessing" at the plant:
"Now, according to the Department of Energy Report released December 21, 2000 on the Cold War ERA activities at the Paducah site:
"In a separate report, DOE also investigated past metals recovery programs performed at the site from 1952 to 1986. The review included an extensive study of historical documents and interviews with current and retired employees. During this period, large quantities of steel, nickel, aluminum, copper, monel, cobalt, gold and silver were recovered at Paducah.
"'Based on available records, DOE estimates that between 2,800 and 5,300 pounds of gold from retired nuclear weapon assemblies and scrap parts was recovered and shipped from the Paducah Plant from 1964 to 1985. The operations used to reclaim gold were kept separate from other materials and contaminated processes onsite, but were conducted in contaminated areas of two buildings. For much of this period, recovered gold was shipped to the U.S. Department of Treasury for refinement and reuse. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, some gold was sold to commercial reprocessors.'
"So, there you have it. The Department of Energy confirms in the released reports that 2,800-5,300 pounds of gold were recycled and shipped from the Paducah plant. What is really interesting is the sentence that states, FOR MUCH OF THIS PERIOD, RECOVERED GOLD WAS SHIPPED TO THE U.S. TREASURY FOR REFINEMENT AND REUSE.
"Now…. I don’t see how that sentence could be misconstrued as it was from an official government agency. Of course, we don’t know how much gold was recast into bars and made it into the U.S. Gold Reserve, or how radioactive this gold may have been, but we do have clear evidence that it did occur.
"If we consider that say 3-4,000 pounds of gold were recycled and made their way into the U.S. Gold Reserve, that’s upwards of (160) 400 oz bars sitting in Fort Knox or sold to some POOR CENTRAL BANK SLOB… who has no idea the gold they received may indeed be glowing." (All emphases in the article or added in the original article).
Now, some readers here will recall that I mentioned gold in connection to the uranium recovered by the USA on the surrendering German u-boat, U-234(yes, it was really numbered that!), in my book The Nazi International. For those who don't know that story, the U-234 departed Germany with 80 gold-lined cylinders containing uranium, in 1945, with two Japanese officers on board, bound for Japan and Japan's atom bomb project. The German officers of the U-boat recounted seeing the Japanese officers labeling these cylinders "U235". While I won't go into all the details of why I think this U-boat and its cargo were part of a super-secret deal negotiated between the USA and Nazi Party Reichsleiter Martin Bormann (I recount that scenario in my book, for those who might be interested), what is interesting in the atomic-weapons context is the significance of gold for uranium storage, for gold is the metal-of-choice to store highly enriched, i.e., weapons grade uranium, rather than lead. The reason? Gold is not corrosive with uranium, and hence, won't corrupt the stock, like lead would. It is the shielding metal of choice for storing highly enriched uranium, not to mention shielding the electronic circuitry of nuclear weapons, which circuitry has to fire perfectly, and hence, has to be shielded from radiation.
Now why am I bothering you with all this?
Well, in the context of the article, it should be obvious. Gold is used in nuclear weapons, particularly those utilizing uranium as some sort of fuel, even though plutonium is the fuel of choice for fission weapons in and of themselves (think of the third stage of those 1950s three-stage fission-fusion-fission weapons here too, folks). So, according to the article, a mere 1-2 tons gold was recovered from nuclear weapons that were being reprocessed or retired, due to obsolescence or for whatever reason. This is plausible, as the big clunky H-bombs of the 1950s were replaced by smaller lighter weapons from the 1960s to 1980s. But as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, perhaps this story has something to do with all the strangely obfuscated figures for the amounts of gold in the world, not to mention all those strange stories of gold-backed bearer bonds, not to mention the limitless possibilities associated with gold re-hypothecation, Operation Golden Lily, and so on. It might even have something to do with why certain countries want their gold back, and why it isn't being given to them. Bear with me on this one, as I explain in my high octane speculation of the day:
A mere 1-2 tons would certainly not account for the wide discrepancy of figures we've seen for amounts of gold bullion in the world. But here, I am bold to suggest, we are dealing with perhaps a bit of obfuscation and deliberate dissembling, for the article states that this recovered gold was merely from the nuclear weapons themselves. But as I've also indicated with the U-234 story, gold is the metal of choice for storage of highly enriched uranium. Thus, one must also consider that gold used for storage of enriched uranium might also have been reprocessed, and that consideration would lead to higher figures for such reprocessed gold. Thus, any way one slices it, a certain amount of the world's gold is of necessity essential for the thermonuclear powers (the USA, Russia, France, the UK, China, and in a de facto sense, Germany, and in a probable but "unannounced" sense, India and Israel).
So one reason for the obfuscated bullion figures is "national security," but in a dual, not a singular, sense, for such figures would obviously, disclose the financial health of a nation, and in the deeper murkier sense, discrepancies between the publicly stated figures and actual amounts of bullion on deposit would disclose how large (or small) a nation's nuclear program really was. One would, in effect, have to obfuscate the amounts of bullion estimates lower than the actual amounts of existing bullion if simply for the reason that some of the world bullion stockpile was irradiated. This raises the possibility that such nuclear programs may have been far larger than even publicly available figures of warheads and megatonnage that were bandied about during the Cold War have indicated. And for the gold-bugs and gold standard advocates, this would also mean that the gold standard, in the thermonuclear age, is really an H-bomb standard.
Bottom line: there may be something hugely significant to this story. But if there is, it may be quite a while before we hear any more significant details about it.
See you on the flip side...