Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
 on: Today at 02:46 PM 
Started by GoldLeaf - Last post by GoldLeaf
Thank you Rad for your advice. It is really hard to find a Homeopathic vet in my area. I have spoke to one vet today over the phone and they say they only use Arnica topically...

I have given Lilly 4-6 drops of Sanicle, with water every few hours. I really have no idea what I'm doing, but I feel that its better than doing nothing. her gums were pale yesterday, but today they have alternated between less pale and pink, so I'm hoping that the bleeding is slowing down. Her breathing has also been better today, with periods of it being nearly normal, but mostly slightly elevated..

She has been much better today, even getting up off the sofa and wagging her tail at guests. She has also eaten two portions of boiled chicken, and drunk a fair bit of water. Life is so challenging sometimes. I will see how she is tmw morning. Having spoke to the vet again today her advice was again to have her put to sleep, it just feels like an 'easy' option for them to suggest that. How can you put a dog down, when she is eating, drinking, going to toilet and displaying pleasure with others?

I have also done a small ritual, and asked for Tara to help. Maybe my prayers have been answered, and the goddess has help alleviate her symptoms, and moment of grace to allow me to say goodbye properly, or more time to assess the situation.

Rad, I hope you don't mind me posting this, as I'm aware that it has no astrological learning, but I wanted to ask a question about animals/pets and karmic connections. I mean is it possible to have a karmic connection to the dog 'over' soul, or is it possible to have a connection the Lilly's particular part of that soul. I have a very profound connection with her; she was my mothers dog who passed away in June 2012. I also had a reading from Jeff in 2003, and he mentioned that my soul originated in Sirius, and many have posted here about the Daemon Souls connection to nature and animals. I'm not sure if any of this clear, I have hardly slept for two days.

I give my birth details and Lilly's, although I have no exact time for her.

Me 21st Feb 1976, 4.20am Newport South Wales uk
Lilly 1st Nov 2013, Newport South Wales Uk

 on: Today at 10:12 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Zoos resist guidelines to limit elephant tuberculosis

Originally published March 28, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Elephant sanctuaries are cited as hotbeds of tuberculosis. But they have embraced testing and treatment regimens that many zoos and circuses opposed.

By Sandi Doughton
Seattle Times science reporter

When communities debate what’s best for elephants — zoos or sanctuaries — one subject is almost certain to come up: tuberculosis.

From Toronto to Dallas to Topeka, representatives from zoos as well as zoo-industry groups have warned against sending animals to sanctuaries, which they portray as hotbeds of the disease. When officials at Woodland Park Zoo decided to send Seattle’s aging females, Chai and Bamboo, to the Oklahoma City Zoo instead of a sanctuary, TB was one of the reasons cited.

The country’s two elephant sanctuaries have, indeed, taken in several animals with confirmed or suspected cases of the disease. But TB is by no means exclusive to sanctuaries.

It flared first in circus elephants, with infection rates in some herds as high as 40 percent. Since then, tuberculosis has cropped up in zoos from San Francisco to St. Louis. Three males at Oregon Zoo in Portland were recently diagnosed in quick succession, and six staff members tested positive for exposure.   

But while sanctuaries were quick to embrace the most stringent testing, quarantine and treatment regimes, many zoos — including Woodland Park — fought guidelines that several experts say could slow the spread of the disease and lower the risk to elephants and the public.

“I’m not sure everybody involved with elephants is truly vested in eliminating the disease and protecting elephants from infection,” said Dr. Chuck Massengill, former director of the animal health laboratory at the Missouri Department of Agriculture and a contributor to the new guidelines.

“I think there were clear indications that some people had vested interests that were diametrically opposed.”

“Trunk wash”

Developed under the auspices of the independent U.S. Animal Health Association, the guidelines emphasize the use of blood tests to detect signs of infection before full-blown disease develops.

In some cases, the guidelines would prevent zoos or circuses from transferring suspect animals around the country — a provision that drew furious opposition.

Woodland Park Zoo joined other zoos and zoo associations in challenging the validity of blood tests and arguing the rules would raise costs and unfairly restrict movement of animals. Zoos also downplayed the severity of the problem.

“This disease in elephants is slow-moving, has a low incidence and a low prevalence in the captive elephant population,” said a statement submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture by Woodland Park and endorsed by Ringling Bros.

The USDA received nearly 1,600 comments on its 2013 proposal to adopt the guidelines. Most came from members of animal-welfare groups who favored stricter standards. Response from the zoo and circus industry was uniformly negative.

The guidelines have not been adopted, though an agency spokeswoman said they are still under consideration. An older version remains in use.

But the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and some zoos opted to voluntarily adhere to the tougher rules.

Reports of TB-like symptoms in captive Asian elephants date back 2,000 years, but the disease does not afflict wild herds. All indications point to humans as the original source.

The first high-profile outbreak in the U.S. occurred in 1996, when two emaciated circus elephants collapsed and died in a three-day span.

Elephants can infect each other, as can elephants and humans. The common practice of transferring elephants between zoos, circuses and performing troupes is believed to be a major factor in spreading TB.

Staff who work closely with elephants are at risk, but the threat to zoo or circus visitors is extremely low, said Dr. Joel Maslow, a TB expert who investigated early outbreaks and worked on the guidelines.

Between 1994 and 2013, 57 U. S. elephants were confirmed with TB. The disease is rare in captive African elephants, but their Asian cousins have a one-in-six chance of falling ill.

Experts suspect the numbers are actually higher. Just as in humans, TB in elephants can be devilishly difficult to diagnose.

The standard method is called trunk wash. It’s kind of like collecting a sputum sample from a person — but a lot trickier. Elephants are trained to suck up saline solution with their trunks and spit it back into a plastic bag.

Trunk wash is called the gold-standard test because a positive result is slam-dunk proof of active TB. But a negative test is far from a clean bill of health.

The method can only confirm TB if an elephant is giving off bacteria — something that only occurs intermittently during the chronic disease. Many elephants have been diagnosed only after death, despite decades of trunk washes. During an outbreak at a Swedish Zoo, just 7 samples out of 189 tested positive, though all the elephants involved had TB.

“Trunk washes are just totally unreliable unless the elephant is shedding the day you do the trunk wash,” said Walter Cook of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, who oversees tuberculosis control at The Elephant Sanctuary.

Blood tests

Blood tests can spot signs of infection earlier and with greater sensitivity, allowing quicker treatment and quarantine, explained Dr. Mo Salman, a veterinary epidemiologist at Colorado State University who did much of the early research.

The tests rely on the fact that when elephants or people are exposed to tuberculosis — usually by inhaling bacteria — their bodies’ defenses react quickly.

Skin tests are used to detect those reactions in people, but don’t work on elephant hide. So scientists instead focus on antibodies cranked out by the immune system.

There’s little disagreement that the tests do a great job of detecting antibodies. What’s contentious is the meaning of a positive result.

In people, only 5 to 10 percent of those with positive TB skin tests develop active infections. The immune system usually keeps the bacterium in check, but rarely eliminates it from the body. It lurks in a state called latent infection.

A person — or elephant — with latent infection isn’t sick or infectious. But if the immune system is weakened by stress or disease, the disease can break out quickly.

No one knows what percentage of TB-exposed elephants will develop active disease. Dr. Susan Mikota, the leading authority on elephant TB, says zoo and circus animals may be particularly vulnerable due to the stress of captivity.

“The occurrence of TB in elephants may be a symptom of a greater problem,” she writes. “Namely our inability to meet the social and biological needs of this amazing and intelligent animal.”

Massengill said he and his colleagues focused on science, not cost or inconvenience, when they drafted their proposed guidelines. The evidence convinced them positive blood tests are a warning sign.

“If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably going to be a duck,” he said.

One study of 16 elephants found warning signs in the animals’ blood months to years before the disease was diagnosed with trunk wash. Oregon Zoo’s infected elephants had positive blood tests months before their disease was confirmed. Zoo staff took the results seriously and started treatment right away.

The disputed guidelines suggested all elephant owners do the same, and proposed restrictions on transport of animals with multiple positive blood tests.

“In my mind, the likelihood is higher that they are infected,” said Maslow, chief of infectious disease at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey.

But zoos and circuses argued that the evidence of the tests’ effectiveness isn’t good enough to justify additional treatment and testing. Curing TB in an elephant can take 18 months and cost $50,000.

Alternative guidelines recently drafted by an industry-dominated task force say blood tests should not be used at all for regulatory purposes.

Salman, at Colorado State, agrees more studies are needed and that the tests can give false-positive results. He’s working on a more sensitive, DNA-based approached.

But elephant captivity and TB have become so controversial that zoos and circuses are reluctant to share information, Salman said. USDA mandates annual TB testing for elephants, but even that data isn’t easily accessible. Research has nearly ground to a halt.

“In my opinion, our knowledge about TB in elephants in the last 10 years has not really expanded or increased,” Salman said.
Rarely life-threatening

Sanctuaries became synonymous with TB because of their willingness to care for old, sick and unwanted elephants. The Tennessee sanctuary adopted several survivors from the “index herd” ravaged by the 1996 outbreak.

With the luxury of space, sanctuaries can more easily than zoos separate infected from healthy animals. At the 2,700-acre Elephant Sanctuary, five uninfected Asian females share 2,100 acres and a barn, while five elephants with confirmed or suspected TB are quarantined in a 220-acre tract with its own barn.

The PAWS sanctuary is currently home to only one Asian female, named Gypsy. She has never had a positive trunk wash, so under current guidelines there would be no restriction on shipping her across country. But PAWS keeps her quarantined because of positive blood tests and past exposure to an infected elephant, said PAWS spokeswoman Julie Woodyer.

PAWS is willing to adopt the Seattle zoo’s Chai and Bamboo, and private donors offered to pay for the move and help build a new, 15-acre enclosure where they would be kept separate from Gypsy. Managers at the Tennessee sanctuary said they would consider adopting the Seattle elephants. But they would need approval from Cook and his agency, which imposed a moratorium on new Asian elephants after an incident in 2009, when a TB-infected animal passed the bacteria to nine workers.

Since then, the sanctuary improved its management, implemented cutting-edge infection-control procedures and cooperated with researchers and medical experts, Cook said. “They have done everything that could possibly be done.”

Despite its use as a wedge between zoos and sanctuaries, elephant TB is rarely life- threatening.

Out of nearly 400 elephant deaths in accredited U.S. zoos between 1962 and 2012, four were attributed to TB. A 2012 Seattle Times investigation found most captive elephants die from arthritis, bad joints and other conditions aggravated by life in captivity.

Herpes infections, like the one that killed a six-year-old calf at Woodland Park Zoo in 2007, are far more virulent than TB. Chai and Bamboo were exposed to that virus, which attacks young elephants, yet there are no restrictions on moving them to Oklahoma City to live alongside two calves.

But even if TB and other diseases are removed from the equation, the question of what’s best for elephants isn’t easily resolved.

Zoo officials say Chai and Bamboo will benefit most from living in a multigenerational herd at Oklahoma City. Sanctuary advocates insist freedom to roam, a more natural environment and a milder climate are more important.

Barring a last-minute legal victory by opponents, though, Oklahoma will be the new — and likely final — home for Chai, 36, and Bamboo, 48.

There they will meet a bull called Rex, who exemplifies the ongoing uncertainty about elephant TB.

In his 47 years, Rex has lived at zoos in Canada and California and was once owned by a company that hires out elephants for parties. When he arrived at Oklahoma City in 2011, he tested positive for TB exposure on a type of blood test with a false-positive rate of about 5 percent. The test has since been replaced with a more accurate version.

Rex shows no signs of infection on follow-up blood tests or trunk wash, which the zoo says is evidence that he’s TB-free.

But Maslow said he wouldn’t be as confident.

“If I have any positive test, my concern is raised.”

 on: Today at 08:16 AM 
Started by Deva - Last post by Deva
Thanks to all who participated in last Saturday's class! The next class is scheduled for Saturday 4/18/15  at 10-11 AM  Pacific Time.
     The study group has recently completed reviewing Pluto in the natal chart through each house/sign (Pluto in Aries/1st house through Pluto in Pisces/12th house) and the planetary method of planetary of chart interpretation.  We will begin a new series which reviews the meaning of Chiron from an evolutionary point of view. To begin the next class We will review core EA principles (open Q and A as needed) and begin to discuss the specific meaning of Chiron in the natal chart.  (the class will utilize case studies to demonstrate how to interpret Chiron in the natal chart).

Birth Data:

Charles Darwin: February 12, 1809, 3:00 AM Shrewsbury (United Kingdom)

Hilary Clinton: October 26, 1947, 8:02 AM,  Chicago, IL

Dial-in Number:    1-605-475-6333
Participant Access Code:    9890099

Recordings of previous classes are available (please contact Deva via email at


Deva Green, Jeffrey Wolf Green's daughter, has stated a monthly phone class for all who are interested in learning and discussing the core principles of E.A. These phone classes will be a forum in which we can discuss and apply the main principles of Evolutionary Astrology as an interactive group (study/practice group).

     The first class was Saturday Oct.19th 2013, from 10am- 11am PT.  We began with the core correlations of Pluto and their meaning from an evolutionary point of view in the birth chart.  We discuss Pluto and its correlation to the Soul, its meaning from an individual as well as generational point of view, and practice interpreting specific Pluto placements (house and sign locality) in the birth chart. The classes are open to Q and A as well. We are applying the various components of the “Pluto Paradigm”  using case studies, and review/discuss core principles that students/study group want to develop/understand further. If you would like to participate in these monthly classes, please contact
Deva at

 on: Today at 07:34 AM 
Started by GoldLeaf - Last post by Rad

It might be smart to seek out a holistic veterinarian who uses homeopathy, naturopathy,  as well as allopathic drugs. If you do ask them about using homeopathic arnica to help stop that internal bleeding.

God Bless, Rad

 on: Today at 07:28 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Hi Katherine,

All of them .... the exact ones... being equal  ... that got acted upon relative to the captain of the plane having to go to the bathroom: the specific circumstantial trigger 'in the moment'. That moment then symbolized by all of these exact aspects. Elimination, urinating/ defecating, correlates to Scorpio.  So even though his reported psychological issues had been in place for awhile it was the immediacy of the moment that created the 'opportunity' for him to do what he did: in the moment. The fact that ten minutes or so went by while he descended the airplane, knowing what would happen because of, was the 'Uranus affect' in that in those ten minutes he remained essentially detached...breathing normally ... which means he contemplated what he was doing in that time .. possibly going back and forth in his mind whether to follow through with his decision or not.

God Bless, Rad


The mystery of flight 9525: a locked door, a silent pilot and a secret history of illness

When the Germanwings Airbus disappeared, Europe was united in grief. Then, as the troubling facts behind the crash emerged, shock and incredulity took over

Jamie Doward, Kim Willsher in Paris and Luke Harding in Montabaur
The Guardian
Sunday 29 March 2015 00.04 GMT Last modified on Sunday 29 March 2015 00.07 GMT

The gaggle of 16 German schoolchildren making their way through Barcelona’s El Prat airport last Tuesday morning had been up since dawn. As they waited to board Germanwings Flight 9525 to Düsseldorf, some texted friends and family to say that they had enjoyed their week in Llinars del Vallès, the Spanish village twinned with their home town of Haltern in western Germany, but were looking forward to coming home. Several promised to bring souvenirs back from their trip.

It was a promise they were prevented from keeping. Just under 40 minutes into their journey, the plane’s 27-year-old co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, turned the Airbus A320 into a missile, guiding it into the southern Alps after locking its captain, Patrick Sonderheimer, out of the cockpit.

In the doomed flight’s final minutes, Sonderheimer attempted to force his way through the security door that separates the passengers from the pilots. At one stage he reportedly tried to use an axe. Recordings obtained by crash investigators capture him attempting to remonstrate with Lubitz – whose breathing, according to the microphones in the cockpit, remained sure and steady as the plane made its rapid descent. It was only in the final seconds that there was the sound of screams. Experts said death would have been instant.

For the families of the 150 people who perished, this is the only thin comfort to be grasped in a grotesque tragedy, the first crash of a large passenger jet in France since the Concorde disaster outside Paris nearly 15 years ago.

Within minutes of the plane going down, a frightened world was scrambling for answers. The A320 is the workhorse of the aviation industry and is considered one of its safest planes. Every two seconds of every day, one takes off or lands somewhere.

In Washington, the White House was quick to suggest that the crash did not appear to have been caused by a terrorist attack, while Lufthansa said it was working on the assumption that it had been an accident, adding that any other theory would be speculation.

One popular theory was that the cockpit windscreen had shattered. Another suggested mechanical failure. But there were many unanswered questions. Why had the pilots not issued a mayday? Why, if a mechanical failure had made it impossible to stop the plane from dropping, had they failed to alter course and swerve away from the mountains? And why had they failed to respond to repeated and increasingly frantic calls from air traffic controllers and other aircraft?

It was a mystery. As one former pilot told French television: “The pilots must have been unconscious, or dead, or forced by someone to fly the plane straight into the mountain.”

Speculation had reached fever pitch by 5pm on the afternoon of the crash when it was announced that one of the black boxes – the cockpit voice recorder – had been found and would be sent to the French air accident investigation bureau just outside Paris, an operation that inexplicably took until 9.45 the following morning.

The suspense was intense. The black box had been damaged in the 435mph impact and there were doubts it would yield any information. The announcement by Rémi Jouty, the bureau director, that “sounds, voices, alarms” had been extracted from it, sparked enormous relief. Jouty said he was optimistic that accident investigators would solve the mystery but refused to say more and became tetchy when asked to elaborate. It was, in his precisely translated words, “much too soon to draw the slightest conclusion about what happened”.

But even as he was speaking, investigators were becoming aware of what had happened to flight 9525.
German police officers carrying items out of the home of Andreas Lubitz's parents
Facebook Twitter Pinterest
German police officers carrying items out of the home of Andreas Lubitz’s parents, where the pilot also lived part of the time. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

As the New York Times revealed early on Thursday, French time, the voice recorder confirmed that Lubitz had locked the captain out of the flight deck and set the plane on its descent. The bureau battened down the hatches and refused to comment.

There were claims that the investigators, who come under the authority of the transport ministry, had been leant on to delay revealing its findings, to allow someone high-profile to break the “exclusive”. The French pilots’ union was outraged at the leak to the paper and announced that it was taking legal action to find out who had breached investigation secrecy rules.

Brice Robin, the French public prosecutor appointed to head the crash investigation, had not been immediately informed either, and was also angry. Robin began his press conference on Thursday saying that he had received the information he was about to give “a bit late for my liking”, but his irritation was quickly overshadowed by the extraordinary information he then released.

As Robin outlined slowly and clearly the grim and almost unbelievable events that brought the plane down, a sense of shock and incredulity spread around Europe and beyond. Half of the 150 victims of Tuesday’s disaster were German, with Spain accounting for at least 50, but the dead came from more than a dozen countries.

Politicians found themselves struggling for words. France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, said that all the signs were “pointing towards an act that we can’t describe: criminal, crazy, suicidal”. German chancellor Angela Merkel said the conclusions brought the tragedy to a “new, simply incomprehensible, dimension”.

Comparisons were quickly made with the doomed flight MH370 that plunged into the Indian Ocean last year and has never been found. Many believe that plane was deliberately brought down, a scenario that is rare but not unprecedented.

In November 2013, a flight between Mozambique and Angola crashed in Namibia, killing 33 people. Initial investigations suggested the accident was deliberately caused by the captain shortly after his co-pilot had left the flight deck. In October 1999, an EgyptAir Boeing 767 went into a rapid descent 30 minutes after taking off from New York, killing 217 people. An investigation suggested that the crash was caused deliberately by the relief first officer, although the evidence was not conclusive. And in December 1997, more than 100 people were killed when a Boeing 737 flying from Indonesia to Singapore crashed; the pilot, who was said to be suffering from “multiple work-related difficulties”, was suspected of switching off the flight recorders and intentionally putting the plane into a dive.

But many who knew Lubitz were quick to defend him from being placed in the same category, saying that they did not believe he would have intentionally downed a plane in a deliberate act of mass murder.

Neighbours in his small home town of Montabaur in the Rhineland, where he lived some of the time with his parents, described him as a keen runner in excellent physical health. Several said they had seen him in the weeks before the crash and remarked that he seemed untroubled.

But this picture was contradicted dramatically by his ex-girlfriend. In an interview with the bestselling German tabloid Bild, the 26-year-old flight attendant, known only as Maria W, said that they had separated “because it became increasingly clear that he had a problem”. She said that he was plagued by nightmares and would wake up and scream “we’re going down”.

Last year he told her: “One day I’m going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember.”

Bild also reported that Lubitz had sought psychiatric help for “a bout of serious depression” in 2009 and was still receiving assistance.

A search of his parents’ home, and an apartment he kept in Düsseldorf, unearthed what prosecutors describe as “medical documents that suggest an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment”. The documents included “torn-up and current sick leave notes, among them one covering the day of the crash”.

Carsten Spohr, chief executive officer of Lufthansa, Germanwings’ parent company, said that Lubitz had suspended his pilot training “for a certain period”, before restarting and qualifying for the Airbus A320 in 2013.

On Saturday the New York Times reported that Lubitz had sought treatment for vision problems “that may have jeopardised his ability to continue working as a pilot”, according to two officials with knowledge of the investigation.

Lubitz’s ex-girlfriend suggested that if he did deliberately crash the plane, it was “because he understood that ... his health problems, his big dream of a job at Lufthansa, as captain and as a long-haul pilot, was practically impossible.”

Mental health charities have urged people to avoid linking depression with murderous acts. But it is clear that understanding Lubitz’s psychology will form an integral part of an investigation that will shine a spotlight on the pressures facing today’s pilots.

“This tragedy has opened a window into the issues of pilot pressures and mental health,” tweeted Brendan O’Neal, chair of pilots’ union Balpa. “No kneejerk but the issues are real.”

A debate now rages about the extent to which companies and regulators can monitor a person’s mental health, especially if they perform a job that carries responsibility for the lives of others. The UN world aviation body has stressed that all pilots must have regular mental and physical checkups. But psychological assessments can be fallible. “If someone dissimulates – that is, they don’t want other people to notice – it’s very, very difficult,” Reiner Kemmler, a psychologist who specialises in training pilots, told Deutschlandfunk public radio.

The task of sifting through Lubitz’s back story, trying to discern the causes of his actions, is almost as complex as the forensic combing of the crash site. French police said that they have so far recovered between 400 and 600 pieces of human remains.

Germanwings crash: ‘The feeling among recovery teams is of injustice. These people didn’t deserve to die’

Colonel Patrick Touron of the Gendarmerie Nationale said DNA samples had been taken from objects provided by victims’ families, such as combs or toothbrushes, that could help identify their loved ones. “We haven’t found a single body intact,” said Touron, who explained that the rough terrain meant that recovery workers must be backed up by mountain rescuers. “We have particularly difficult conditions, and each person needs to be roped up,” he said.

There is speculation that Lubitz picked the crash site intentionally. He is known to have visited the region regularly as a member of a gliding club.

Already, the tragedy has prompted a shake-up of airline safety rules. The European Aviation Safety Agency has recommended that at least two people are present in the cockpit at all times, something already standard in the US.

German authorities have agreed to the rule for Lufthansa, its subsidiary Germanwings, and other companies. Austria and Portugal also announced that they would be requiring the adoption of the “rule of two”, which has been backed by Air France, KLM, Britain’s easyJet, Brussels Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle, among other airlines. Ireland’s Ryanair, Finland’s Finnair and Spanish carrier Iberia already adhere to the rule.

Balpa said such a reaction needed to be part of more fundamental changes. “Suggesting temporary measures such as this as an immediate response to this tragic incident is understandable,” a spokesman said. “When the investigation into this crash is completed, pilots want to work with regulators, airlines and other specialists to identify and thoroughly test all of the long-term solutions that will ensure it does not happen again.”

But this offers little comfort for those grieving. On Saturday Lufthansa and Germanwings took out a full-page advert in all major German newspapers expressing “deepest sorrow” at the crash. The black-bordered announcement read: “In deepest sympathy. The incomprehensible loss of 150 human lives fills us with deepest mourning. Our sincere condolences, our thoughts and our prayers go out to relatives and friends, and to our customers and colleagues. We would like to thank the many thousands of helpers from France, Spain and Germany and from numerous other countries of the world for your help and support.”

In Haltern, where pupils at Joseph Koenig school are trying to come to terms with the fact that they will never again see 16 of their friends and two of their teachers, there is a plea for people to be left alone. Cards reading “camera keep away – accept mourning” have been placed on the cars of the scores of journalists who have descended on the small town. Meanwhile, in Montabaur, the mayor, Edmund Schaaf, urged reporters to show restraint towards Lubitz’s parents. “Regardless of whether the accusations against the co-pilot are true, we sympathise with his family and ask the media to be considerate,” he said.

But the world wants answers and all eyes are on Montabaur. Johannes Seeman, the priest at St Paul’s, the town’s evangelical church where Lubitz’s mother played the organ, admitted: “We don’t know what to do as a community. It’s unreal for us.”


03/27/2015 07:54 PM

Descent to Oblivion: The Death Wish of a Germanwings Co-Pilot

The flight was routine, but it ended in disaster. On Tuesday, a Germanwings co-pilot apparently intentionally flew Flight 4U9525 into the ground, killing 149 people and himself. It is unlikely we will even know why he did. By SPIEGEL Staff

The pressing question in the immediate aftermath was not initially "why?" The question, rather, was whether the passengers of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 suffered in the last moments of their lives. Whether they suspected, or even knew, that their plane's eight-minute-long descent over the Alps was not a normal course correction but was, in fact, part of the diabolical plan of a mass murderer. Whether people on board cried, screamed or prayed. Whether panic broke out on board. On Thursday, the tragic answers to those questions became known. And the question as to "why" returned to the forefront.

The French prosecutor in charge of the investigation was the first to provide certainty. It was, he said in a Marseille press conference, not an accident. It was a crime. The head of Lufthansa concurred as did, soon after, the German government.

Why would someone suddenly decide to kill himself and take the lives of 149 others along with him? Why was someone carrying the seeds of such lunacy able to become a pilot? Why did Andreas Lubitz -- the 27-year-old from Montabaur who had only been working for the airline for a year and a half -- become one of the most cold-blooded killers the world has seen in recent years?

It might sound cynical to say that, had a technical glitch been responsible for the crash, the tragedy would be easier to digest in the long term. But it's true. The search for concrete causes such as material defects and hairline fractures; the careful analysis of wreckage; the detailed review of maintenance schedules; the legal and journalistic hunt for those ultimately responsible: All of that would at least have provided a rational anchor to the deep mourning. Such an investigation would have provided a framework for the family members of those who lost their lives, and for a grieving society at large, to slowly move beyond the catastrophe. But this?

Andreas Lubitz would seem to have inflicted a tragedy whose ultimate source will remain a mystery. As of Thursday evening, it appeared that he left nothing behind that might provide further insight into his thoughts. He appears to have been a man without an agenda, without a motive and without a plan. Investigators and police who spent hours searching through his home on Thursday did find indications of a psychological illness, but details regarding what that illness might be were not forthcoming.

Furthermore, on Friday it became known that Lubitz had apparently concealed an illness from Germanwings. During the search of his apartment on Thursday, investigators found a "torn up, current sick note," one that also encompassed the day of the crash, Düsseldorf prosecutors said. Documents "indicating an existing illness and corresponding medical treatment" were also found. They did not, however, find a claim of responsibility for the crime.

Megalomaniacal Narcissist

Lubitz used the same weapon as the Sept. 11, 2001 attackers, but in contrast to them, there was apparently no larger message. He seems more similar to the insane Norwegian Anders Breivik, but in contrast to him, Lubitz didn't leave behind a muddled treatise. Perhaps he killed only because -- in the position he found himself shortly after 10:30 a.m. last Tuesday, in the air above France -- he could. Perhaps he was merely a megalomaniacal narcissist and nihilist.

Lubitz, of course, was the co-pilot of the Airbus A320, with the tail number D-AIPX, flying from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. In the cockpit with Lubitz was Captain Patrick Sondenheimer, 34, and the plane was carrying 144 passengers and four crew members. Shortly after takeoff, the plane turned to the northwest according to its registered flight plan and headed out over the Mediterranean as it climbed to its cruising altitude of 11,500 meters (38,000 feet).

It was the kind of routine flight that Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings, makes 2,000 times a day -- and the German flag carrier hadn't had an accident in 22 years. But at exactly 10:31, the plane began losing altitude at a steady rate of 1,000 meters per minute as though it were preparing for a normal landing. But below the jet, there was no runway. Just the mountains of the Alps.

French air traffic controllers, following Flight 4U9525 on their screens, were immediately concerned. They radioed the crew using a standard voice frequency, but received no response. They then tried to use the emergency frequency of 121.5 MHz, which all airplanes are required to monitor at all times. Again, nothing.

At 10:36, the air traffic controllers made a final attempt and again were met only with silence. A new routine was set in motion -- the one followed for emergencies. A Mirage fighter plane was scrambled from its base in Orange, France, to look for problems with the German passenger jet and civil defense groups on the ground were alerted. At 10:40 a.m., the Germanwings Airbus disappeared from radar screens. One-hundred-and-fifty people had perished.

Left Unspoken

News of the crash spread quickly and reporters in France, Spain and Germany rushed to gather as much information as possible. Television stations went to live coverage and newspapers began churning out headlines, but initially, nobody knew that what had happened was no accident.

Experts, of course, began to suspect as much almost immediately, based on analysis of the flight. Had the pilots really sought to reduce altitude in response to a sudden loss of cabin pressure, they would have chosen a safer altitude. But initial speculation focused on the possibility of a technical failure and the possibility that the pilots may have lost consciousness. Or that they weren't able to bring the plane back under their control. The possibility that a pilot had intentionally crashed the plane was left unspoken.

That changed on Wednesday night. Citing investigators who had analyzed the cockpit voice recorder, the New York Times reported that the pilot left the cockpit and returned a few minutes later to find the door to the flight deck locked. In the recording, the paper reported, a knock could be heard as well as the pilot's voice asking his co-pilot to open the door for him. The knocking became louder and louder until, in the end, it sounded as though the captain was trying to break down the door.

Inside the cockpit, it was initially quiet, apart from Lubitz's breathing, which was picked up by the voice recorder. But the noise from the door became louder and louder, to the point that it's almost certain that all the passengers saw and heard what was going on -- and that they must have known that their situation was hopeless.

To understand why it wasn't possible to stop Andreas Lubitz in that moment, one must have a grasp of how cockpit doors were changed in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. It is those modifications, designed to protect pilots from attackers, that transformed Flight 4U9525 passengers into Lubitz's hostages.

Under normal circumstances, the crew enters the cockpit by typing a code, known to the pilots and the flight crew, into a code pad. To prevent the possibility that hijackers might force a crewmember to divulge the code, the pilot(s) in the cockpit have ultimate control over whether the door opens or not via a toggle switch in the center console. If the toggle is pushed forward, the door opens. If it is pushed back, the door remains locked.

'Pull Up! Pull Up!'

For the eventuality that a pilot in the cockpit loses consciousness while the other is away, there is an emergency code. When it is entered from the outside, the door pops open after a 30 second interval -- unless the pilot inside the cockpit uses the toggle to override the request. On Thursday, French investigators seemed certain that that is what happened aboard the Germanwings Airbus.

At 55 seconds past 10:30 a.m., Lubitz reprogrammed the autopilot. He retained the flight path, but changed the altitude -- from 38,000 feet to 96 feet.

The plane quickly began descending at a rate of 1,000 meters per minute. Lubitz was sitting in the right-hand seat and he ignored the banging on the door, he ignored the calls of his captain and he ignored the radio calls of air traffic controllers concerned by the loss of altitude. He ignored the plane's instruments and the electronic voice alerting him that he had come too close to the ground: "Pull up! Pull up!"

He continued breathing normally, and otherwise did nothing. And said nothing. Perhaps he watched as the Alps grew closer and closer out the window. Toward the end of the recording on the voice recorder, screams from outside in the cabin can be heard.

Lubitz comes from an unremarkable single-family home at the edge of Montabaur. When reports began to emerge on Thursday morning about the true nature of the crash, a thin-haired, medium-sized man quickly closed the door to the garden shed before fleeing inside the house. Shortly afterwards, he said two short sentences over the intercom: "We are endlessly sorrowful." And he asked for understanding that he wouldn't be making further comment.

The man's son, Andreas Lubitz, was 14 when he began flying. On almost every summer weekend, he went to the nearby knoll where the grass runway belonging to the local glider club, LSC Westerwald, could be found. He started out in a two-seater with a flight teacher before soon being able to go up by himself. "He loved flying," says Klaus Radke, 66, head of the club.

Often, Andi -- as they called him -- would make eight to 10 flights a day, using a winch launcher to propel his glider into the air above the rolling hills of the Mittelgebirge, a low-lying range in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

There were several other young flying fanatics in the club with whom Lubitz learned to fly -- a group of 10 or 12 boys and girls who regularly met at the club's runway. "They also partied together or barbequed. They studied together for high-school final exams while waiting their turn for the next flight," says Peter Rücker, the club's technician. "Andi was a likeable guy; we laughed together a lot."

Low-Key, Happy and Average

Lubitz passed his final exams in 2007 in Montabaur and soon thereafter his career dream came true: He was accepted to the Lufthansa flight school in Bremen. He celebrated his achievement at the glider club. Later, he told his friends that he had been offered a job as co-pilot with Germanwings and not, unfortunately, with the well-respected parent company Lufthansa, which offers better terms to its young pilots. Club leader Radke, though, says that Lubitz was lucky anyway. Young pilots who now finish their training with Lufthansa often have to wait extended periods for jobs to open up.

Radke says he last saw Lubitz at the club last autumn. He and others in his group of friends needed to renew their glider licenses and had come together on several successive weekends to perform the necessary take-offs and landings. Andi, Radke says, had seemed "completely normal" and didn't look at all unhappy or otherwise in need of help. "They sat together happily and barbequed after flying just like they always had," Radke says.

Radke's account is consistent with all that is known about Lubitz's life. He was apparently a low-key, happy, average guy, which is exactly how he looks in photos from his high school yearbook. In his portrait, he has short hair and appears to be in good spirits. Nothing stands out. Of his future, the year book notes that he "will become a professional pilot so as to sell his cocktails around the world. … After years of training, he will participate in the Iron Man in Hawaii." On the back of the yearbook is a Lufthansa ad claiming "fascinating opportunities." The ad was placed by the company's recruiting department; Lufthansa, it said, was looking for candidates for its training program.

Such artefacts and images from the past seem not to fit with the present. Nothing is there that might provide an answer to the question: Why? None of the past clues help to explain why a young pilot would do something so horrific. And it could be that none will be found that might lead into the mass murderer's deeper thoughts -- because there may not be any deeper thoughts to be found. Not even when the mountains and valleys of the Trois Èvêchés Massif grew larger and larger in front of the cockpit windshield. Others must now live with the consequences.

On Thursday, two days after the disaster, Max Tranchard stood on the scruffy meadow next to the Le Vernet campground. Nearby, low wooden houses are built into the hillside and in front of him, two blue vans belonging to the Gendarmerie are parked, along with two red SUVs from the fire department. Mountains are all around, Tranchard's mountains. With decades of experience as a mountain guide, he knows the area better than anyone.

Steep Mountain Walls

Countless times, he has trudged up the plateau to Col de Mariaud, behind which the rugged terrain of the Trois Èvêchés Massif begins. It is an area of gray ravines of marlstone, sandstone and limestone, many of them filled with scree. There are few trees. In the local dialect, Mariaud means "mauvais pays," or bad land. There are few trails in the craggy hills and the ground is too barren even for sheep or goats. It is here where the Germanwings Airbus shattered into thousands of small pieces, spread over an area of more than four hectares (10 acres). Workers now have the task of finding and recovering 150 bodies, or whatever is left of them. Exactly as many people as live in Le Vernet.

On the day of the crash, 63-year-old Max Tranchard got a call from his friend François, who has been the mayor of Le Vernet for three decades. The mayor informed him that a German plane had crashed and asked if he could lead 20 members of the Gendarmerie, France's federal police, to the site where they suspected the crash had taken place.

An hour and a half later, four all-terrain vehicles spent 40 minutes driving along dirt roads. Another hour was spent on foot, trudging through rugged terrain. The area doesn't even have trails, just rough slopes and steep mountain walls.

When they arrived at the site, they discovered wreckage so fragmented that it bore little resemblance to an aircraft, Tranchard says. He says it looked more like the mountain had swallowed the plane whole and only left a few crumbs behind. There were bits of the plane's body and unidentifiable scrap, much of which had melted together into clumps. The gendarmes then moved to secure the site, which is the habitat of vultures and wolves.

A narrow, winding road connects Tranchard's village, Le Vernet, with Seyne-les-Alpes, a hamlet of 1,400 residents living in weathered, stone homes with colorful window shutters and paved alleys between them. The crash has transformed Seyne into a makeshift logistics center. A helicopter carrying the French president and the German chancellor landed on Wednesday on a field between the supermarket and the lumber mill that normally wouldn't be used for much more than glider take-offs. Surrounded by mourners, helpers, officials and local residents, they created one of those touching European moments together with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. At the time, they still spoke of an accident, not yet knowing that they were, in fact, visiting a crime scene. But the politicians' solidarity and dismay felt authentic and palpable. It's the same spirit that has characterized the people helping in Seyne-les-Alpes.

Families of the victims have been received in the local youth center and the local gymnasium has been converted into a temporary chapel. Bouquets of flowers and floral Arrangements were lined up beneath a basketball hoop and a German flag was placed in the corner. As the first German family arrived on Wednesday, psychologists and their interpreters were on hand to provide support.

City Hall, a simple stone building in the Grand Rue with France's tricolored flag flying over its entrance, has become the catastrophe response operations center. With the mayor is constantly on the move, his deputy, Michel Astier, 66, has moved into his office. Astier shakes his head and says he's never experienced anything like this. "And I don't ever want to experience something like this again," he says.

Tracing the Path

Two soldiers guard the entrance and stone steps with wooden railing lead to the first floor. Astier peers out a long window over the rooftops of Seyne all the way over to the youth center. He and his secretary have pushed their desks together and laid maps out on them. The office has also become the home of those deployed with the French mountain Gendarmerie who are coordinating the salvage effort. A red star on the map marks the site of the airplane's impact, a mountain ridge at an altitude of about 2,100 meters (6,890 feet). Two members of the mountain infantry lean over the maps and trace a path with their fingers.

The remains of the dead are being brought to a site on the outskirts of Seyne -- located just 200 meters away from the place where the victims' families are being brought -- and forensics detectives take delivery of the body parts. White tents, cooled by generators, have been set up in a lumber yard that is shielded from view by surrounding structures. Forensics detectives wearing white overalls and face masks have outfitted the tents with technical equipment. The property is guarded by a dozen gendarmes and they wave away anyone who gets too close to the site.

Among those who perished in the crash are Maria Radner, 33, an alto opera singer from Düsseldorf, and Oleg Bryjak, 54, a bass baritone born in Kazakhstan. They also include Manfed Jockheck of Dortmund, a married man and father, local politician, artist and college lecturer with myriad honorary posts. His wife Sabine also died in the crash. Ramón de Santiago, a 60-year-old entrepreneur from the town of Mataró near Barcelona who goes by the name Don Ramón, also perished along with his son of the same name, a nephew and his company's head of manufacturing. The dead include Josep Borrell, a 66-year-old mechanical engineer from Angles, Spain, a man regarded as hard-working and conscientious. There's Mohamed Tahrioui, 24, an immigrant originally from Morocco living in La Llagosta near Barcelona who had just found a job in Duisburg, Germany. He died together with his wife Asmae Ouahhoud, whom he had only married days prior to the crash. Marina Bandrés, a 38-year-old woman from Jaca, Spain, perished together with her baby en route to Manchester in Britain. Laura Altimira Barri, an executive at high street fashion chain Desigual who had wanted to visit one of the company's stores near Düsseldorf, also died.

The dead also include Sonja Cercek and Stefanie Tegethoff, teachers at the Joseph König Gymnasium in Haltern am See in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and 16 boys and girls who were their students. Yvonne and Emily Selke, a mother and daughter from the United States who were touring Europe, perished. Gabriela Maumus and her boyfriend Sebastian Greco of Buenos Aires died too. They had been on vacation in Spain. Paul Bramley, a 28-year-old studying hospitality and hotel management from Kingston upon Hull, died. Milad Hojjatoleslami, an Iranian journalist with the news agency Tasnim, died together with his colleague Hossein Javadi of the Iranian newspaper Vatan Emruz. The two had traveled to Barcelona to cover a match between the football teams FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. The victims included Japanese, Colombians, Brits, Germans, Americans, and Spaniards.

They all died because of Andreas Lubitz. But as unimaginable and singular as the crime may appear, there have been similar incidents in the history of air travel.

Progressively Lower

In November 2013, a LAM airlines Embraer 190 jet took off in Mozambique on a flight to Angola. The jet was only one year old and was free of technical problems, but the plane crashed in Namibia, halfway to its destination, killing 33 people.

Investigators were able to accurately reconstruct the events leading up to the crash. The machine flew to a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet -- the point at which the co-pilot left the cockpit and took a break to go to the lavatory. The captain remained in the cockpit, a man investigators would later discover had marital problems and had lost a son. He programmed three successive flight altitudes into the auto-pilot, each progressively lower.

Data from the cockpit voice recorder provided clear evidence in the case. For minutes, the co-pilot could be heard pounding against the door, to no avail. The captain also didn't respond to air traffic control's attempts to communicate with him. He activated the spoilers on the wings, putting the aircraft into a faster descent. In this instance, the co-pilot finally managed to get back into the cockpit, but it was too late. The plane shattered on impact.

There are also further examples of murder-suicides of this type. In December 1990, soon after takeoff en route from New York to Cairo, a life and death battle ensued aboard Egyptair Flight 990. The co-pilot suddenly pushed the control yoke sharply forward as the captain used all his strength to pull his control yoke as he tried to pull up the nose to keep the plane from crashing. But the co-pilot, who was clearly disturbed, prevailed. Calling out "I trust on God," he drove the plane into the ocean, killing all 217 passengers on board. US investigators at the time concluded they had sufficient evidence of a murder-suicide, but Egyptian authorities never accepted the finding.

A Silk Airways Boeing 737 jet from Singapore had only been flying for a year and was in perfect flying condition when it began plunging from an altitude of 10,600 meters in December 1997. Only a minute later, it crashed into the ground, killing all 104 people on board. The investigation concluded that Captain Tsu Way Ming had forced the aircraft into a nose dive, causing it to break the sound barrier before it crashed.

Of course, there's also the mystery of MH370. Over a year after its disappearance in March 2014, nobody really knows that happened aboard the plane. A technical malfunction remains a possibility, but investigators are also pursuing the scenario of a possible pilot suicide.

Pilots struggling with mental illness have a good reason to hide it. As soon as they inform their employers, they are stripped of their suitability for flight and thus lose their jobs. In the case of Andreas Lubitz, there are indications that he had to suspend his pilot training for a short time because he was battling with depression. Later, however, Lufthansa doctors determined him to be "fit to fly." The airline is certain to face further questions about its diagnosis, but even if Lubitz were found to have been suffering from depression, such an explanation would hardly be satisfactory. The crime is simply too horrendous, combining as it does two of the greatest fears of our times: mass murder and airplane crashes.

Suicidal Tendencies

People who knew Lubitz as Andi -- people like classmates from his school days and his teachers -- say they are unable to explain how he could have done something like this. A former teacher of Lubitz's at the Mons Tabor Gymnasium said he had not spoken to a single former classmate of the co-pilot who had heard anything about possible depression, behavioral problems or suicidal tendencies.

Of course, that doesn't mean much and a person's life can go off the rails from one day to the next. For the moment, though, it appears that no one is able to make sense of what happened. "Everyone has incredibly positive memories of him," says the former teacher. They are memories of a man who was a blank canvas. Lubitz had no criminal record, his name cannot be found in major German police databases, and he's an unknown quantity to state criminal police as well as the domestic intelligence agency, which is in charge of monitoring possible extremist activity in Germany.

If there are any lessons to be learned from this tragedy, it is in the organization of the work that takes place in the cockpit. Many US airlines dictate to their crews that no pilot can be left alone in the cockpit. If one of the two has to go to the bathroom, a member of the cabin crew takes that person's seat as a watchdog. Lufthansa didn't have such guidelines, though many companies have now changed their rules, requiring that two crew members be in the cockpit at all times.

As tempting as it may be, one shouldn't imagine the people in the cockpit as teams or partners who know each other well and have done so for a long time. The opposite is actually true. At major airlines, pilots often aren't very familiar with each other, if at all. The pilot and co-pilot are often teamed up for a flight by throw of dice. Afterwards, they have a few days off and then fly again with a different colleague. The lack of familiarity is deliberate because the airlines want to avoid situations where too much trust gets built up. Everyone is meant to work as dictated by the rules and not like some old couple who create their own. This lack of familiarity is considered to be beneficial to safety, but is it? Could problems with a man like Lubitz have been detected earlier if someone had been more closely associated with him?

In many ways, the fact that taking a closer look at the life of Andreas Lubitz may not get us closer to solving the mystery is even more disturbing than it would have been if a convincing motive could be found. A closer look at the life of a co-pilot who became a murderer shows a lot of signs of ordinariness, with nothing to indicate he might be close to the abyss. Throughout his life, Lubitz cracked ordinary jokes, he listened to ordinary music and he wrote ordinary things. By all appearances, he seemed to be just a normal guy.

It's possible that his insanity was buried so deep in his head that even his girlfriend had no idea about it. It has been reported that the two lived in Düsseldorf and that they wanted to get married. She worked as a math teacher and was reportedly already on her way to the site of the crash in southern France when she learned that her boyfriend had not been a victim, but rather a likely perpetrator responsible for killing 149 people.

 on: Today at 07:15 AM 
Started by Linda - Last post by Rad
As Einstein said: "When genius interfaces with mediocre minds expect violent opposition".

 on: Today at 06:10 AM 
Started by Linda - Last post by Shawn Rollins
OMG...a couple of years ago..I asked this question to a lot of the professional astrologers on my FB...a lot of the top names in the business...and boy howdy did I get a major argument going!  There are some well established pros out there who can't stand it.  It was weird...seeing all the people I admired going back and forth at each other...

 on: Mar 28, 2015, 05:30 PM 
Started by GoldLeaf - Last post by GoldLeaf
I have just found this  - July 1, 2010 “My eight year old dog developed some swelling on her gum above her tiny front teeth. It persisted for several months. When I took her to my vet, he said that it was an indication that there was something wrong with her tooth. I had a hard time believing that, since her teeth and gums were in excellent condition. She has no tartar or gingivitis because she eats a raw diet and thus chews through bones that are nature’s toothbrush. So I got an appointment with one of the two canine dentists in the Chicago area for a second opinion. The canine dentist told me that the swelling was a benign growth that older dogs often get and her teeth looked like those of a three year old dog! The vet did not want to put my dog under anesthesia to remove such a small growth, and I was not inclined toward this as my dog has never been put under except when she was sprayed at five months. She has never had her teeth cleaned by a vet. So I decided to try Sanicle on her gum.

Every day for a week, I dribbled Sanicle over the swollen gum and my dog licked up what dribbled into her mouth. At the end of the week, I noticed that the swollen growth was hanging on by a thread, and that the thread was darker than the rest of the growth. The next day, it was gone and only healthy tissue remained. It seemed to me that the Sanicle had cut off the blood supply to the growth so that it finally just died off. Another victory for herbal treatment!” -M.M., Chicago, IL

 on: Mar 28, 2015, 04:20 PM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Linda
Hi Rad and group,

I will be continuing on too.

I shall work on Saturn in Cancer ruled by Moon in Scorpio.



 on: Mar 28, 2015, 04:16 PM 
Started by GoldLeaf - Last post by GoldLeaf
Hello, its been a while since ive been here and I feel this is my only hope.

I have recently been getting back into herbs. I have bought some Sanicle. My dog has become very ill this last week. Today I went to the vets and after some blood samples and an x-ray, they have fopund bleeding into the lung cavity, not the lung itself but the cavity. My dog has heighnted breathing problems. I was advised to have her put down, but I selfishly couldn't bring myself to do this at that moment. She is at home and on Tramadol, an opitate painkiller, so a little disassociated but still aware enough. I have asked for healing. My question is; is sanicle safe for dogs? I have read that it is useful for internal bleeding.

thank you for your time. My dogs name is lilly.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10