So why did the US Secretary of State John Kerry going to the South Pole, as US presidential elections were being held on November 8, 2016, and why was the news provided late in the game and as an unexpected surprise? One need to keep in mind that many US states allowed early voting, so millions of Americans had already cast their ballots beforehand; they and perhaps Kerry too did not have to be in their home districts on polling day, or perhaps he did not want to wait in long lines like in places like Ohio where the number of polling stations were reduced to keep some categories from voting.
Presumably John Kerry is not one of these and his vote would have been counted. It will be remembered that Kerry stood for president himself, against George W. Bush, and would have beaten him if he had won Ohio, which he failed to do by only a few thousand votes. So you would imagine a man of such experience and seniority would be out on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton right until the polls close in the East of the country, which is when candidates traditionally claim victory or concede defeat.
But Kerry wasn’t even in the country in November 8th. He was considered so important that he had been sent to – of all places – the South Pole. While the rest of his party was hard campaigning for Clinton he was chilling it at the US military-scientific facilities there, apparently looking into something to do with “environmental policy” which wasn’t part of his job description last time anyone looked. However, perhaps now, in retrospect, he knew the election results that many are now claiming was a total surprise—how all the poll results were wrong and the American people had spoken in rejecting the status quo, and all what Clinton and those who stand behind her stand for.
Nonetheless, on a lighter note, no one knows the full extent of the US footprint in Antarctica as it is all classified. The bases there are known primarily for drug abuse, which was once widespread, with the US itself supplying the drugs to its own employees as it did in Vietnam. But Kerry’s visit there was unlikely to have influenced the outcome of the election, or indeed much else. Unless the US is willfully changing the environment of regional countries from its Antarctic bases it seems very odd that Kerry should have gone to the South Pole, and then followed up with a tour of the Southern hemisphere countries, to discuss such an issue at such an inopportune time.
So why was Kerry sent to the South Pole, about as far away from the election as possible? There are plenty of possibilities, many of which are credible. But as ever, the most unlikely one is the most likely to be true – and it isn’t pretty.
Poles not so far apart
One day the performance artist Laurie Anderson decided she would go and visit the North Pole, just like that. She managed to get near it and found it was a restricted area, owned by the US military, so she couldn’t actually reach the pole itself.
Anderson’s North Pole trip was in 1974. Five years later a New Zealand airliner crashed into one of the Antarctic mountains, or so we were told. As a result, all civilian over flights of the South Pole were also banned. The US doesn’t extend as far north as the North Pole, or as far south as the South Pole, but they have somehow become US-controlled territory regardless, part of the vast swathe of land where the US exacts different forms of taxation without giving the inhabitants representation.
In Merab Ratishvili’s novel White Lama the leading character ends up going to the South Pole. He finds a gap in the ice and discovers a hidden colony of very tall psychics, who live in a temperate climate and grow tropical fruit trees.
That is only a story, but it is based on a real event: the attempted Nazi colonisation of Antarctica in 1938. These characters are alleged to be descendants of those Nazis, maintained by foreign powers for the own purposes.
For many years it has been rumoured that the Nazis built some sort of scientific-military base in Antarctica. They are most unlikely to have gone all that way on a fishing expedition. As their victims knew, the Nazis were very well-organised and efficient. We know for example that if they had invaded England they were intending to use the town of Bridgenorth as their UK operations base – a very sensible choice, as it is near the geographical centre of the UK, between its two main industrial hubs of the time and gives easy access to all the important cross-country transport and communications routes.
After the Second World War a number of leading Nazis were spirited away to the US on ratlines so that they would neither stand trial for their crimes or have their knowledge fall into the hands of the Russians. In 1947 US Admiral Richard E. Byrd led 4,000 American , British and Australian troops in an invasion of Antarctica called “Operation Highjump”. This and at least one follow-up expedition was called off because the troops came under attack by what are described as “flying saucers”.
Even in the country whose citizens went running to the hills when Orson Welles told them that the Martians had landed their military do not run away from flying saucers. Why is the US unable to describe what forces were unleashed against the invasion force, and by whom? What truth is so frightening it has to be shrouded in science fiction terms in order for people to dismiss the reports?
Whatever the Nazis did in Antarctica, the US probably found out about it. The US biolab in Tbilisi is one of a number of dubious former Soviet facilities it has taken over and turned into restricted areas in the same way. It would be in character for the US Antarctic base to have once been operated by a foreign power, and have been taken over for “scientific purposes” most self-respecting scientists would never touch, those with military applications the US always denies until it can gain political capital from them.
Cats among the penguins
Kerry does have an indirect connection with the Nazis. Like the Bush family, he too is part of the Skull n Bones secret society. George Bush Sr’s father, Prescott Bush, ran the Bank of America which financed the Nazi Party’s initial bid for power, and got its own money from somewhere.
Antarctic expeditions cost a lot of money, particularly when a country is spending vast amounts on armament production preparing for war. Kerry may have a personal connection with whatever is going on down there now, which the US keeps strictly under wraps.
But there are also precedents for sending important people to the South Pole at historic turning points, which this US election is bound to be, whoever wins. The most famous concerned Colonel Leroy Fletcher Prouty, Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President John F. Kennedy. He was on his way to the South Pole on a government mission at the time John F. Kennedy was shot, and for the rest of his life maintained that that was not a coincidence but a deliberate attempt to get him out of the way so that he could not impede what he later stated was a plot.
Prouty retired from military service soon after the assassination, despite the siren call of the pension, and always maintained that the CIA assassinated Kennedy to prevent him taking it over after the Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba. He also maintained that the CIA itself answered to a shadowy global elite rather than the US government, and that this elite acts with impunity throughout the world. If so, it does so through secret societies, like Skull n Bones.
As Colonel Prouty had worked in senior CIA roles for years he had considerable inside knowledge of how that organisation operated and who did what. He was dismissed as a crackpot, as all those who dispute the official version of the Kennedy assassination are, but his claim that Edward Lansdale, the basis of Burdick and Lederer’s novel The Ugly American, was present at the scene as one of the “Three Tramps” is perfectly consistent with what the public knows about Lansdale and his work, let alone what Prouty must have known.
We should all hope that no one is planning a political assassination. But there is some reason why Kerry was being kept out of the way. We can speculate what his connections with the shadowy global elite are, but we know his connections with the US government. If the government wanted him out of the way on Election Day, with all his campaign experience, we can assume that whatever someone doesn’t want him to see, or he himself doesn’t want to be implicated in, involves the current US administration itself.
He who knows least lives longest
Though various Americans once claimed to have been the first man to reach the North Pole the claims of each one were disputed, largely by other Americans. The first people who undoubtedly reached the North Pole were the crew of the airship Norge, which flew over it in 1926. Their commander was Roland Amundsen, who had also famously been the first person to reach the South Pole in 1912, that time by land.
Amundsen did not enjoy this triumph for long, as he disappeared along with his plane and five crewmen two years later. He was searching for the missing crew of the Airship Italia, commanded by one of his 1926 crew, Umberto Nobile. Neither most of Amundsen’s plane, or any of the bodies, have ever been found.
The Airship Italia disaster aroused a lot of suspicion at the time and since. The Italian government refused to fund this polar flight. When the airship crashed one of the crew twice tried to commit suicide. The Italian ship supposedly monitoring the distress signals from the survivors ignored them and the Italian government made no attempt to rescue its stranded citizens. Eventually Captain Nobile and his pet dog were rescued while his men were left on the ice, most unusually, and many of these later disappeared without trace, just as Amundsen was later to do, having volunteered as a private citizen to lead a rescue attempt.
Maybe Nobile himself didn’t know what his polar mission was supposed to accomplish. But it was clearly something people in high places did know, and were embarrassed by. Amundsen’s death left Nobile as the person who knew more about the two poles than anyone else, and he was subject to a smear campaign which had the effect of damaging anything he might say later, just as the one against Prouty did.
Now we have a situation where the poles are considered so important that they are restricted areas controlled by the world’s only superpower. But few people fight over other inhospitable areas. This is why various Eskimo and desert peoples are allowed to continue their traditional way of life, rather than being forcibly “civilized” by great powers, as, for example, the highly cultured Tibetans are by the Chinese.
This changes when energy resources are involved. But even then the oil and gas-rich zones do not become restricted. They may be taken over by big corporations working hand in glove with foreign governments, but what they are doing is trumpeted to the skies, not restricted to an inner circle which probably doesn’t include most of those carrying out the work.
Frozen before the politicians get there
John Kirby, the man who is trying to minimise terrorism and helping John Kerry prevent the Saudi government being prosecuted for their part in 9/11, was apparently expecting to go along with Kerry to the South Pole base when he gave his briefing. We do not know what is going on at the US South Pole base but we do know what is happening at some other US bases with a similar classified level. In each case, what we know is connected with terrorism: manufacturing biological weapons, arming and training terrorists, spying on the local population and then strangely failing to discover successful terrorist outrages in advance, despite the US admitting straight after them that it knows a great deal about the terrorists involved.
At one time the Southern hemisphere wasn’t a problem to the US. A string of compliant democratic governments and military dictatorships kept things under control well enough, despite some local terrorist groups doing their best to remove them. It could concentrate on other parts of the globe, like the Middle East, and simply send in new diplomats, or CIA torture trainers, to sort out any government that started backsliding.
Now the worm has begun to turn. The Broad Left remains in control of Uruguay, despite being composed of former urban guerrillas who were tortured by previous US-backed regimes. Philippines president Roberto Duerte is cosying up to China and telling the US it has lost an ally, and despite his backtracking on this in later statements his new deals with China remain in place. Chile and Paraguay have elected leaders determined to move on from the US-controlled past, and even Nauru, the tiny phosphate-rich but future-challenged Pacific state, is selling itself to the highest bidder, a new one every week, whatever the US thinks about it.
So there are reasons Kerry wanted to go to the Southern hemisphere and find new levers of influence. But he doesn’t know whether he will be Secretary of State after the election, or who any new Secretary of State will report to. Whatever Kerry does now the new US president, Donald Trump, will just have to tolerate. Of course Kerry cannot take overtly political initiatives without knowing who the new president was going to be. But he started his diplomatic tour by having visited the South Pole – as mysterious, but nevertheless blatant, a command and control centre as the US has anywhere, as its own behaviour towards it makes clear.
It may well be true that Kerry went to the South Pole to keep him away from something serious the US government or Soros funded NGOs are planning. But more likely his job may be to take actions which will forestall anything a new government might want to do—such as draining the swamp. Such actions are not likely to be legal or desirable actions if they began with a visit to the US South Pole base. Whoever Kerry was really working on a highly-contested election day remains a big question; it was likely someone whose interest is in a transparent government, rule of law which are the kind of things a real democratic system is supposed to stand for.
Seth Ferris, investigative journalist and political scientist, expert on Middle Eastern affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.