In the spring of 2015 a banana stand appeared in Seattle's historic South Lake union neighborhood. Situated outside one of the many towering Amazon buildings, it was offering anyone who wanted, free bananas compliments of Amazon. Many thought this was a onetime occurrence/PR stunt that harkened back to Seattle's quirky pre-tech days. But week after week the stand was not only there, but a second one opened up a few blocks away. Later that year the Wall Street Journal took interest and noted that "The idea of a community banana stand came from Bezos himself, and the Kiosks now give out over 1.7 million bananas per year." Why bananas? Where did they get them? Why would the CEO of a tech firm (especially a scrooge like Bezos) give away anything? Like all well executed conspiracies on the outside this one appears to be nothing more than a well-intentioned publicity stunt. But, once you peek behind the curtain you find intentions are often misinterpreted or intentionally misleading.
Lets start by looking at the noble banana. If one were to pick a fruit for the city of Seattle it would be an orange. They have ample vitamin D which helps combat seasonal affective disorder a common condition in the rainy city. One thing that bananas do have is potassium. Specifically the unstable isotope potassium-40 which emits a surprising amount of radiation as it breaks down. The breakdown is significant and predictable enough that scientists sometimes use a "banana equivalent dose" or B.E.D as a unit of measurement. Alone the dose is negligible, but a truck load of bananas releases enough radio activity to cause a false alarm when passed through a radiation portal monitor. Which every U.S. port is equipped with to detect the illegal smuggling of nuclear material. This is why Bezos personally chose to give away bananas as opposed to oranges. Bananas are the number one export of Ecuador. Another thing Ecuador has a surplus of is uranium. The Russians have been working alongside the Ecuadorian government since as early as 2009 to find and develop Ecuador"s uranium fields. It is HIGHLY probable that Bezos bananas originate from the sunny banana plantations of Ecuador. What Ecuador lacks is money and an honest government. This creates the perfect environment for a clandestine smuggling operation.
Bezos doesnt need the bananas (hence, giving them away). But, he does need refined uranium. Unfortunately he lives in a nation of regulations and close scrutiny to anything fissile in nature. He also doesnt want to call attention to possibly one of the largest and eventually, most profitable clandestine business operations in history. Bezos has been spending years carefully spending a vast fortune to build the framework to circumvent not just U.S. law but international law as well. Amazons business for years, has quietly been infrastructure. Not books or the vast consumables they are known for. Bezos came to the same conclusion the Walton (Walmart) family did. Whoever controls infrastructure sets the price and dominates the market. In 2013 Amazon effectively took control of American infrastructure when they strong armed the U.S. post office to deliver on Saturdays. That same year Amazon used a recently purchased Chinese company called Joyo to start purchasing their own shipping boats and by 2016 they were registered to operate as an ocean freight forwarder. This whole operation was plotted, and executed by Amazon Shipping fulfillment service or (FBA). The project was aptly code named "Dragon Boat". After three short years and billions of dollars Bezos finally had the infrastructure to complete the shrouded, covert mission of project "Dragon Boat", smuggling Ecuadorian Uranium to china where it is traded for refined uranium that is then delivered to Seattle Washington.
The raw uranium is purchased in Ecuador and loaded onto a ship full of Bananas to hide the radiation signature of the contraband. From there the Uranium is shipped to china where the raw Uranium is traded for already processed uranium238. The processed uranium is then loaded back onto the same banana boat and shipped to Seattle where the vessel naturally sets off the radiation portal monitor. This alarm raises no suspicion for a few reasons. 1. If one truck load can set off the monitor imagine what the signature of a boat load must be. 2. The ship and the shipping company are all owned by Amazon a beloved and trusted Seattle based company that creates thousands of needed jobs and runs millions of items through the port of Seattle daily without a hitch. 3. The port of Seattle is notoriously corrupt. As recently as February 11, 2017 the Seattle Times published an article calling the port "A mess lacking in oversight". There can be no doubt that the Mob has gotten a cut for turning a blind eye to many of Amazons shipments. After all of this, all the pay offs, infrastructure building, and logistics work there was still a problem. What to do with several million unwanted bananas? This left Jeff in a strange spot. He owns grocery stores and it wouldnt seem too odd to ship in bananas. BUT the volume if sold in stores would flood the market and potentially do economic harm and call unwanted scrutiny. He could discreetly dispose of the fruit, but that would run the risk of exposure and scrutiny from the media and their tree hugging flock of lackeys. Instead he would give them away under the guise of philanthropy and community outreach and build good publicity for a company with a less than stellar track record for do-goodery. This gambit worked. The media did a few fluff pieces about the mysterious Banana stands popping up in Seattle. But in the end it was just written off as one of Seattle's many eccentric Tech overloads doing what they do. No one seemed to think much of it. So, why would Amazon need refined uranium?
Amazon first voiced their intentions to deliver items VIA drone in late 2013. The announcement was met with skepticism. Some of the shorter sighted of the "mainstream Media" mouth pieces went so far as to claim the announcement was a PR stunt. But, "Prime Air" as it would later be called was very far from a stunt. By April of 2014 Bezos announced to shareholders that Prime Air was flight testing 5th and 6th generation drones and had already begun design work on the 7th and 8th generation. By July of that same year they began to petition the FAA to begin outdoor testing. In typical, slow, Federal government fashion they all but ignored the request to the point that Amazon made a second request threatening to move the operation to another country.
The Amazon Air Research and Development center opened to much fanfare in Cambridge UK by the end of the year. They also discretely opened a much more secret facility code named "Tool Shed" a mere 2,000 feet from the U.S. border in Vancouver Canada. Not only did the Canadian government streamline Amazons application to test autonomous drones. They also awarded them their own private, restricted airspace. Which is under constant monitor by Amazons own private, plain clothed security force. What the Canadian government has allowed Amazon to do is basically build the area 51 of the private drone world. Not much is known about the Tool Shed facility. Only one news organization has ever been allowed inside and was constantly followed by no less than 3 security personnel at all times and forced to sign Very serious non-disclosure forms. What's known is that the facility is within eyeshot of the US border outside Vancouver and that the Canadian Government is also going to award amazon a 700 square nautical mile test site outside of Alberta to test drones "beyond visual line of sight". There is also a new site in Washington states Snoqualmie County, Just outside of a sleepy lumber town called North bend. This facility has been slowly expanding on a piece of once wooded property owned by the Weyerhaeuser Corporation. It is viewable at the following co-ordinates 47°31'57.9"N 121°48'14.4"W This site is used to test very short range less experimental aircraft. Because of the slow, draconian machine that is the Federal government. Amazon is still forced to test the advanced projects at the ultra-secret Canadian "Tool Shed" site.
These sites are currently being used to test a myriad of small delivery drones. The program seems to be Focusing on Logic, avoidance, delivery, stealth and observation systems, for future delivery drones. Taken at face value there would not seem to be a link between a rogue nuclear program and small, unmanned, flying delivery trucks. If you were to take Bezos at his word and the ongoing propaganda campaign for Amazon Air you wouldnt find much that needs to be scrutinized. But, if you look through Amazons patents which are hid in plain sight. You begin to see a different story. If you apply enough scrutiny to Prime Air you will see more than just a company trying to stay ahead. You will see a passion project rooted in a foresight not often seen in corporate history. Bezos and his conspirators plan to remake, and dictate not just how business is done, but how the world and its governments operate, ending ultimately with a profound shift in world infrastructure. What these patents reveal is not a bunch of fascinating small robotic delivery trucks that can bring you almost anything you desire in 30 min or less but, massive airship storage and delivery fulfillment centers that will stay airborne for months at a time. Giant beehive structures built into cities with literal swarms of drones coming and going. Large observation robots that will help identify and coordinate the air born drone armada. Analyzing Amazons patent trail, it would seem that Bezos has hired as many talented engineers, programmers and futurists as possible and given them an imperative to Think up anything and patent it. Amazon is discreetly burning research and development money faster than any government or corporation since the space race. Why the refined Uranium?
The patents make it clear that large drone systems have proven problematic for Amazon Air. If you look at the illustration below you will notice that dirigibles are suggested to elevate the monitoring and fulfillment center drones. This is likely a believable lie meant to be a smoke screen to throw off, not just the Federal Government but also Amazons competitors.
It is conceivable that a blimp system could maintain large drones airborne for brief periods of time, perhaps a few hours depending on weather? The problem with lighter than air tech and large drone platforms is power. Amazon Air has explored many ways to power and recharge the small delivery drones. Some of the ideas are as straight forward as solar; others are more out of the box. One design proposed setting up a system whereby the drone would roost on power poles to recharge for long flights. Another patent suggests landing on trains to reload and recharge.
But the large scale drones would be literal flying warehouses. These giant airships arent going to need power just to stay afloat. They will need enough energy to run thousands of complicated and power hungry systems that will be corner stone to essentially building a 24/7 shipping infrastructure in the sky. It would also make more financial sense to keep these important components airborne for as long as possible to recoup the cost. Efficient motors and cheap power would also help limit the amount of ships that would need to be built and maintained. There is not a single known lighter than air system that could meet the lift requirements let alone the longevity it would take to get the job done. This is where the processed Chinese uranium238 comes into play.
As early as 1957 The US government had begun designing and testing nuclear powered aerial propulsion systems. The first known program was called "Project Pluto" the stated goal was to build a multi-warhead missile that could circle the ocean for months at a time before being given orders to destroy multiple soviet cities. Several engines were built and successfully tested before DARPA thought better of building such a device. It would make sense that Bezos would want to go the nuclear route. The groundwork and development for such systems have already been laid down. Done correctly a modern Nuclear power plant source would be just as safe as any of the alternatives currently available for such a complex system. Nuclear engine tech fits all of the criteria with one exception. Regulation! The United States Nuclear regulatory commission (NRC) since September 11, 2001, all licensed facilities have received increased security attention, including research and test reactors. On 9/11 the NRC advised all research and test reactor licensees to go to a pre-established heightened level of alert. During the remainder of 2001 and in 2004, NRC gained commitments from the research and test reactor licensees with nuclear fuel to implement additional security measures (ASMs), which enhanced protection against radiological sabotage or theft. This bureaucratic clampdown was the obstacle that forced Amazon to create a covert research operation. Amazon Air, forced to go incognito has done a very good job of managing the flow of information. Unable to hide everything, they have resorted to controlling the trial of bread crumbs. Despite their best efforts there are other companies working toward the same ends. This has forced Amazon to file patents for some of the emerging technology that they have been working on.
On May fifth two thousand and sixteen Amazon filed Patent #9,305,280 for an airborne fulfillment center (AFC). The patent describes an AFC airship that remains at a high altitude (e.g., 45,000 feet) and UAVs with ordered items deployed from the AFC to be delivered to user designated delivery locations. Between this and other ambitious patents we can get a picture of what one of these AFCs would entail. Large storage areas for product and drone storage, docks for medium sized drones (shuttles) designed for replenishment of stock and crew (human and nonhuman). The proposed AFC design would have one section full of delivery drones in a warehouse filled with product. When an order comes in, one of the small drones will awake and search the warehouse to load the items that have been ordered. Once it is loaded with goods it will vacate the AFC and glide from 45,000 feet in the direction of the order. At this point the drone is using minimal power. To maintain power conservation, the motors and flaps will only initiate to make very small adjustments for trajectory due to factors such as weather and air traffic. Once the delivery drone reaches roughly 400 feet it will power up all systems and begin controlled flight to its delivery point. This is a fast and efficient way to get the package to its recipient. Delivery drones are powerful enough to complete tasks in rough weather with roughly 55lbs of cargo. But they lack the economy to return to the mother ship after delivery. To recoup this break in the supply chain Amazon proposes to use the shuttle class drones to resupply the AFC's with new drones. There is no way to power a system this large and intricate with conventional power supplies. The most damning aspect is that the AFC isnt the only large scale perpetual drone that Amazon will need. To run an infrastructure like the one that Bezos proposes will take massive amounts of power and stopping to refill drones wont be efficient with current mainstream technology. The large AFCs will not only have to power themselves but all of the drones and other devices to run a shipping facility it will be imperative to conserve energy efficiently. The technology exists but government regulation has forced Amazon air to go underground to develop the tech. It is highly likely Amazon has opted to turn to other countries and the industrial military complex to get the equipment developed. Getting the Nuclear fuel from China is only a small step in the development and testing wing of the program.
Boeing is not only local to Amazon they are also a trusted partner. Amazon Air is already using hundreds of 767 transport planes to move product around the world. Planes arent the only thing Boeing can offer Amazon Air. As a large cog in the Military Industrial Complex, Boeing isnt shackled by government regulation. As recently as 2015 Boing patented a laser/nuclear powered engine using uranium238 as part of the combustion process. The proposed engine would not just create propulsion but be self-powering by redirecting the heat from the small nuclear explosions to move fans to generate its own energy. This sort of efficiency and long term use is exactly what Amazon air needs to operate their industrial drones. Amazon is a very wealthy and powerful company but, they would be crazy to try and build an airplane company from the ground up. Boeing is more than happy to aid their regional business partner knowing that any and all technology will not only be shared, but Boeing will certainly be building all of the vehicles that Amazon needs. Amazon air will effectively be a secondary research and development operation for Boeings on going contract war with Airbus and Lockheed Martin.
This isnt enough though, even if they build and successfully test one of these monster drones they would still have to explain what they have done and how. There is no way to explain how they legally developed the tech it would take for such an operation. That is why they have developed a second front to the drone program.
On September of 2017 Amazon announced their intent to start a second headquarters. For almost an entire year cities across the globe made offers and proposals arguing why they should be chosen. Sadly the "contest" was a publicity stunt as Bezos had already made the decision long before the announcement was made. In the 1960s another eccentric billionaire named Howard Hughes had come to the conclusion that the only way to run an economic empire unobstructed by pointless government over reach was to be involved in politics. Hughes understood that he was not stable enough to do what it takes to reach high office. So he bank rolled a useful idiot named Richard Nixon to be his puppet. Bezos doesnt seem to have the same hurdle that kept Hughes from public life. That is why Amazon has strategized a two pronged front on the government by breaking the second "headquarters" into two separate but equally important locations. The first location, being planted in New York the world hub of finance, and home to the UN. The second location is much more telling. A few months before the HQ2 winner announcement, Bezos bought the largest home in Washington DC. The long term plan appears to be getting the government out of the way by becoming an integral part of it. Amazon air can design test and prove all of the drone concepts it wants but, it wont mean anything if they dont get government organizations like the FAA to let them do business. Specifically what Amazon wants is free use of the open airspace between 400 and 200 feet, with a 100 foot buffer zone up to the 500 foot level. Oddly enough this is also the only airspace that would be open to other emerging tech such as flying cars. Amazon and Boeing (who are actively designing personal flying vehicles) want to be first to implement and control the infrastructure. Your first drivers license for an automated, personal, flying transport may not be issued by a federal or state agency, but come free with your purchase of an Amazon prime air transport, built by Boeing. The Boeing partnership in tandem with Bezos certain move into politics, on paper will create an almost unstoppable force.
Many of the patents are seemingly private in use and logical innovations for the consumer class. If you scrutinize Amazons patents, it becomes clear that they have moved into the dark world of weapons manufacturing.
October 4th 2016 Amazon filed patent #9,459,620 titled "Human interaction with un-manned aerial vehicles" Stating "The unmanned aerial vehicle may include a propulsion device, a sensor device, and a management system". In some examples, the management system may be configured to receive human gestures via the sensor device and, in response, instruct the propulsion device to affect an adjustment to the behavior of the unmanned aerial vehicle. Human gestures may include "visible gestures, audible gestures, and other gestures capable of recognition by the unmanned vehicle." Essentially amazon is self-assured enough in its collected data that the drones will have more than facial recognition. They clearly already have body data enough to inform their drones what is and is not normal physical movement.
June 22nd 2017 Amazon filed patent #US 2,017,017/4319A1 for an adjustable propeller blade system that would deaden the sound of the delivery drone. The patent is titled "Active air-borne noise abatement" It is essentially an audible stealth system. The consumer application of this tech seems intuitive, but the military use is obvious.
On August 8th 2017 Amazon filed patent #9,725,171 which proposes a system that would allow drones to scan each delivery destination in order to identify characteristics at that address that would be used to generate product recommendations for future purchases. For instance, a drone flying over a customers property might capture footage of a broken gutter. A computer analysis system that is able to recognize the gutter as being dilapidated would then generate a recommendation for a gutter product or company to solve the issue and send that recommendation directly to the consumer.
It is important to remember that these are patents. They are public and Amazons competitors can see them. Things like the nuclear motor program are left out. A thorough investigation of the known data exposes the gap in their patented and known tech. Occams razor points toward nuclear power plants to make the whole thing work. There is much to learn here and little to be sure of. What we can discern is that Amazons ambitions go beyond what is made public. What should be bet on is that they have gone underground, and taken great lengths to achieve their aims. They created a shipping fleet not to cut costs, but to develop power sources that they will need down the road, Created secret alliances with other corporations to collude and fill gaps in their R and D, they have also constructed covert test facilities.
Do note that we live in an age where Amazons transformation from being a modern Sears Roebuck to a cog in the military industrial complex has seemingly, taken place with little or no scrutiny from the media or the public at large. Sadly the spinsters that handle Amazons propaganda and public image have been successfully keeping the focus on Amazons attempt to be the worlds grocery store, Amazon fresh is a publicity straw man, although a very profitable one. If this is what we are allowed to see, imagine what they have kept to themselves?
-- Arthur B. Alexi