My inbox was flooded last week and over the long weekend with various versions of this story, and there's so many people to thank for sending it that it would be impossible to list all their initials. Suffice it to say: "thank you!"
What's the story? It seems that our "friends" at the Diabolically Apocalyptic Research Projects Agency (and again, thanks to J.B. for providing that one!) are looking for underground corridors and so on. Here's RT's version of the story, and as one might imagine, its assessment of "totally not suspicious" might represent the tongue-in-cheek intelligence assessments of the Sluzhba vneshney razvedki Rossiyskoy Federatsii as they pondered the whole thing:
The request, as the article points out, came in a most unusual manner for an agency of the federal goobernment: it was made not in a contract offering or a notice on DARPA's website, but in a tweet:
“Attention, city dwellers! We're interested in identifying university-owned or commercially managed underground urban tunnels & facilities able to host research & experimentation,” the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) tweeted on Wednesday, sparking a wave of alarming theories ranging from zombie and alien invasions, to psyops and the end of the world.
And sure enough, when one visits DARPA's website, there's a screen capture of the tweet:
So, DARPA tweeted on August 28th, 2019, that it needed underground complexes to "host research and experimentation" by August 30th, a margin of only two days. Now if you've ever watched those goobernment websites where contract notices are posted, and tried to follow one through the labyrinth, you'll be aware that the process usually moves at the speed of evolution encompassing several geological ages (but hey, they've got your back on health care). But here DARPA wants to hear from you in two days. And that implies that there's some urgency involved in the matter.
The RT article concludes with an outline of various scenarios being debated:
DARPA dismissed one person’s theory they wanted to store monsters down there by responding with a reference to the sci-fi Netflix show ‘Stranger Things’: “Please. Demogorgons are such a Department of Energy thing.”
Many were amused that DARPA would even make such a request on social media. Others offered up their own basements, and some speculated that the tweets themselves were some sort of experiment, pointing out the US government is likely already well aware of the country’s underground structures.
DARPA is the US Department of Defense arm responsible for the development of emerging military technologies, and has a long history of coming up with crazy (and terrifying) ideas.
An article by Matt Novak at Gizmodo had a bit more information:
Why Does Darpa Need a Huge Underground Facility by Friday?
Here's where it gets interesting (citing from most of Mr. Novak's article):
Gizmodo reached out to Darpa and the agency confirmed that the turnaround time was short, but said that it was originally posted last week. That’s still incredibly short notice for a government agency that needs a large space for its experiments. Darpa wouldn’t explain why they needed an underground facility so quickly.
“Complex urban underground infrastructure can present significant challenges for situational awareness in time-sensitive scenarios, such as active combat operations or disaster response,” a Darpa spokesperson who asked to remain nameless told Gizmodo by email.
“DARPA is interested in exploring this domain for researchers to analyze and enhance approaches to improve situational awareness and response times in emergency scenarios,” the Darpa spokesperson continued. “Locations submitted could help the research community identify relevant sites for further field experimentation to accelerate their development of such technologies.”
Darpa is currently hosting the Subterranean Challenge, which is a bit like their old Robotics Challenge from 2015 only for mapping and traversing underground environments. Darpa’s “Urban Circuit” challenge is happening in February of 2020, so we can guess that this underground location might be for that, but we don’t know for sure. And it would be strange to only organize something like that on a week’s notice.
Darpa simply isn’t telling us much. In fact, Darpa is making us a bit nervous by its responses on Twitter. When someone said that the urgent need for a tunnel, “sounds both exciting and ominous,” Darpa replied, “even to us.”
So... it would appear at first glance that DARPA's sudden request is related to that story that came out a few months ago that the US military was to begin combat training in underground facilities, implying that they sensed a a potential danger that had to be addressed. DARPA's entry into this subterranean warfare theater implies that they have or are developing "technologies" to "analyze and enhance approaches to improve situational awareness", perhaps things like robot drones to map complex labyrinthine underground structures with their tunnels, tubes, corridors, rooms, and so on.
The real question is why? And why the seeming urgency?
Like Wile E. Coyote, I intend to run right off the twig on this high octane speculation, or rather, speculations, because I have three basic versions, and as one might have guessed from my assigning this blog to the "Giza and Archaeology" file, I suspect one of them might be archaeological in nature. Suppose one has come across vast, interconnected underground facilities somewhere, that one suspects are (1) boobytrapped, and (2) potentially still occupied. Such facilities might be found in - oh, I don't know - Germany, for example, or Antarctica. In that case, one would need to develop technologies to map the layout and spot any potential boobytraps lovingly placed by the Waffen SS, or by ancient Atlanteans, or whomever. Of course, I jest (partially), but the point is clear: technology could both explore dangerous facilities and save lives. And of course, the use of such technologies would also require training humans to use them in such environments, and to do so when time is precious. This seems to me to be the most apparent explanation. And the allusion to the Waffen SS was to underscore the main point: such underground facilities are typical for black projects research in any country, and such facilities have check points, and boobytraps. According to some individuals, there are underground facilities in Germany to this day that have not been explored precisely because of the fear of boobytraps.
Ok, if that's so, then what are the other two possibilities? (This is the part where I've not only run to the end of the twig, but right off of it, and am now, like Wile E. Coyote, suspended in midair, arms and legs flailing wildly, with not a shred of corroborative or supportive evidence to support my speculation.) If one looks at the implications of DARPA's tweet, at Mr. Novak's article, and my parsing of what he indicated were DARPA's responses to Gismodo's inquiries, there are other potential contexts and scenarios in which this combination of mapping robot-drones and humans operating in an unknown artificial environment and under time constraints would be useful: large spaceships, and facilities not even on this planet, for if one stops and thinks about it, the technologies and training that are implied are viable or applicable in a variety of contexts, and hence, I would not be a bit surprised to learn that the human component of this training and experimentation will be run through a variety of scenarios along the lines I've outlined. And there's the fact of the recent creation of "the space force" to be considered, which I suspect is related to this announcement that DARPA is seeking elaborate underground structures.
And there's one more feature to note about these speculative scenarios I've advanced; they all fit the conditions of that last sentence cited above:
When someone said that the urgent need for a tunnel, “sounds both exciting and ominous,” Darpa replied, “even to us.”
See you on the flip side...
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