Every now and then an article is emailed to me that is so off-the-beaten-track that I simply have to talk about it. Regular readers here will know why: I simply cannot resist an opportunity for high octane speculation. This is one such story, for Mr. V.Z. sent me story that I wasn't even aware of: not even the so-called alternative me has covered this one, except in one lowly article that is ostensibly about Trump appointing a "judge" to stop those "destroying America," but the bulk of which is curiously about a dam in northern California.
Yes, you read that correctly: a dam in northern California. Before we get to that article however, I want to stress that today's high octane speculation is probably better qualified as overboard groundless suspicion, since I haven't been able to find any confirmation of today's main article's speculations, except for some interesting "suggestive" comments from an article appearing in the Sacramento Bee. Nonetheless, the Bee's coverage of the story raises certain questions, which makes it important to at least communicate and entertain today's overboard groundless suspicion.
Here's how the Sacramento Bee first reported this story on February 7:
Ok... so it's just a story about a big earthen dam with a big erosion problem in its major spillway.
But then, the next day the Bee is reporting this:
Now before we move on to the article that Mr. V.Z. shared, there are a number of things about this last article I want to draw to your attention; note these statements:
OROVILLE State engineers have found new damage to the Oroville Dam spillway, although not as much as they’d feared, after conducting two test releases to see how much water the scarred facility could handle, the state said Thursday. Meanwhile, reservoir levels continued to climb behind the critical flood-control structure.
The gash that was discovered Tuesday grew by another 50 feet after engineers released water for a combined six hours Wednesday and early Thursday, according to Department of Water Resources spokesman Doug Carlson. “They found additional damage to the spillway, which was predicted,” Carlson said. “It wasn’t as bad as they thought it might be.”
OK, fine: they tested a release in the spillway after discovering it was damaged to see how it would function. But later in the article, we read this:
Croyle, DWR’s acting director, said it was not yet clear what caused the crater to form. Three recent inspection reports for the dam – one from 2014 and two from 2015 – noted no visible signs of deficiencies along the chute.
Gary Leese and his girlfriend, Beth Bello, were among the first people this week to see that something was seriously wrong. On Tuesday morning, they hiked down the hillside adjacent to the spillway, something they’d done many times over the years. Leese said he knew something was amiss when they came upon a giant, angry splash of water instead of the normal gentle waterfall that runs down the sloping structure.
“I knew there was something up just because of the load roar it was making,” Leese said. “That’s when we walked a little closer and saw the plume of water coming up in the air, and we kept seeing the fragments of concrete shooting up in the air.”
The couple soon was asked to leave by state employees. (Emphasis added)
Now, this is where it begins - to my mind - to get more than a little suspicious. There was no evidence that the spillway was damaged to the extent that would cause the massive erosion beneath it. Moreover, while I'm obviously not familiar with "routine dam operations," I find it difficult to believe that no regular inspections are performed prior to major releases of water. Big holes in the middle of a spillway are probably going to be rather obvious to whomever is running the dam at the moment and pushing buttons and turning wheels to release major amounts of water. In this case, the damaged spillway was causing a plume of water to shoot up, containing chucks of concrete that were being ripped from the spillway by rushing water. The couple who discovered the damage are then asked to leave. But there are a number of unasked and unanswered questions here: did the couple call the dam authorities to alert them of the damage? Or did they discover it themselves? And if so, when?
With these questions in mind, we at last come to Mr. V.Z.'s submission:
Now, as the link above indicates, there's very little here about Mr. Trump, judges, and saving America, and a great deal about the Oroville Dam damage. Obviously, in reading the last article, the author or authoress, "Tapestry", has a "point of view" about California, subversives, Communists, and so on, and believes that the state government is intentionally trying to destroy California's once prosperous agriculture. On a personal note, I can honestly say that on a recent trip through California's San Joaquin valley with friends, including friend and colleague Walter Bosley, I was utterly dumbfounded and shocked at what I saw: the southern valley was a wasteland... the once lush and rich farms and orchards had almost been completely denuded. It was as if western Iowa had been turned into a vast desert wasteland. So I do suspect there is truth to "Tapestry's" allegations. Where I would part company is about the "Communists" bit, for it would be more likely that wealthy and powerful people and corporations are attempting to bankrupt the state's agriculture to pick up prime farmland for pennies on the dollar.
That said, now consider the major argument in the article:
The engineers are totally confused at what happened, and are saying they can’t explain it because “it was not supposed to do that”. That is engineering lingo for “there is something seriously unexplained here”. Yeah, like 2,000 pounds of high explosives.They probably will not be able to make the mental leap to that conclusion however, because, you know, the brain wash.
I strongly suspect it was destroyed by a bomb by communists and subversives in California’s government. I find it extremely odd that this enormous water resource has been crippled right when it could save California agriculture after an extended and proven fabricated drought, which absent the draining of the dams on purpose would have meant nothing. It is proven that the dams were drained in the name of giving tons of water to a fictitious fish called the “delta smelt”, which was an invasive species dropped in the Sacramento River delta by settlers 100 years ago. It does not belong there anyway, so saying it is endangered is pure fiction, and nothing but an excuse to destroy California. A textbook communist tactic.
Due to the well proven fact that California has been over-run by subversives who fully intend to destroy America, I believe it is perfectly rational to state a high but unprovable probability that the destruction of the spillway at the Oroville dam was done with explosives. “Made In America” does not fail at 28 percent capacity, “made in America” fails at 300 percent capacity, when this dam was built America usually overbuilt everything by that much. It is irrational to the fringe of lunacy to think that there would be any reason at all, other than intentional sabotage and destruction for this to have happened. (Emphasis in the original)
Now we reach the high octane speculation, or the overboard groundless suspicion of the day, because when I saw this article, notwithstanding its obvious tendencies, I began to entertain the same suspicion, though for very different reasons. I too entertain suspicions of a bomb, though certainly not 2000 pounds: all one would need would be a small but sufficient shaped charge to punch a hole in the concrete, a small one, and let the water erosion do the rest. Or perhaps only knowledge of scheduled water releases, and enough time to hammer a hole into the spillway. But who would do it?
What intrigues me about this scenario is when one places it in context of other "happenings" in northern California in the past few years, which I have occasionally blogged about. Recall a few years ago there was an attack on an electrical p0wer substation at the southern end of the silicon valley (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metcalf_sniper_attack). The attack was characterized by state authorities as highly professional: it was executed in short time, damage was created that showed precise knowledge, and the attack was carried out in a time that allowed the perpetrators to enter the substation, attack, and leave before authorities were able to respond. There have been other curious incidents in northern California, including attacks on internet cables - again, having all the appearance of having been carried out by professionals - in the San Francisco bay area (See https://gizadeathstar.com/2015/09/those-attacks-on-computer-network-infrastructure-in-the-bay-area-continue/). And notably, these incidents were in the same general region as the Oroville dam. And they all involve infrastructure.
So in answer to the question of "who would do it?", by putting the speculation into the context of other known infrastructure attacks in northern California, one has to answer: someone with professional training. Could it be radical leftists? Certainly. But it could equally be someone else with very different motivations. What those motivations may be remain to be seen. Tapestry may be right; it may be an attempt to damage California agriculture at a time when much-needed water could be supplied. But it could be a part of that larger picture of infrastructure attacks we've seen recently in the Bay area.
That is... if - and it's a huge if - this overboard groundless suspicion of the day has any basis at all.
See you on the flip side...