The swine flu immunization program was officially suspended on December 16, 1976, because scientists said they could not be sure it was not linked to an outbreak of a paralytic illness called the Guillain-Barré syndrome. This syndrome caused a form of paralysis which was usually temporary.

When cases of Guillain-Barré's paralysis began to appear in the late fall of 1976, the Center for Disease Control found a strong statistical link between those receiving the swine flu vaccine and the syndrome. An ordinary citizen had a one in a million chance of contracting the Guillain-Barré syndrome. Those receiving swine flu vaccinations multiplied their chances of contracting the Guillain-Barré syndrome by a factor of ten to one in one hundred thousand. A moratorium was issued barring the use of swine flu vaccine and all remaining vaccine was quickly destroyed!

The administration was successful in stopping the program thanks to Henry Kissinger's plan and the American public's tendency to quickly forget events and move on.

During 1977 the United States launched two probes to explore the outer planets of our solar system. On August 20, 1977, Voyager 2 was launched from Cape Kennedy in Florida on a trajectory that would take it on a flyby of Jupiter in July of 1979 and then on to Saturn in August of 1981. The probe would also visit Uranus and Neptune before leaving our solar system.

Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977. The probes were named by their arrival dates, not their launch dates. Because of its trajectory, Voyager 1 which was launched second would overtake its sister probe Voyager 2.

Both probes carried a phonograph record and a cartridge and needle to play it. On the copper record were greetings in many languages, music, sounds of animals which live on Earth, and digital information by which intelligent beings elsewhere in space could determine where Earth was located. All of this in case other intelligent life in the universe came upon the probes.

In addition, one or both of the probes carried the toxic gray matter safely out of our solar system, thus disposing of enough poison to kill every human on Earth.

Starting in 1977, the United States gradually slowed its military and financial support for the Shah of Iran. Finally, in January of 1979 the Shah retired to exile. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile in France on February 1, 1979, and on February 11th the Shah's caretaker government collapsed.

One of Russia's long term goals has been to secure a year round warm water access to the sea. This could be accomplished by seizing Afghanistan and then Iran, thus having Russia border the Persian Gulf. In the same year that the Shah's government fell, on December 25, 1979, Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan and quickly gained control of Kabul and other key centers. This would not have been attempted if a strong United States presence had remained in Iran.

Rommel died at the age of fourteen, quite an old age for a dog. He was a wonderful animal and the best dog he could be. That's all anyone could ask. We now have three fine dogs and three curious cats and all have unique personalities. Two of the cats wandered up as strays and decided to stay. Sunny says God was placing them in a good home. I suppose it took this many pets to replace Rommel. He is buried on our home site.

As for myself, as I grew older I discovered life can be a series of compromises. I did not get my way and produce only reproductions of my wonderfully beautiful wife. Our family consists of two beautiful girls and one handsome young man.

Sunny and I have been happily married over twenty years now -- she knows I'll never leave her. She is still beautiful and remains the best thing that ever happened to me. That bear was a close second.

I no longer believe I'm as intelligent or as immortal as I was as a youth. Reflecting back, I wonder if I was allowed to survive my experiences as D88 in order to fulfill my destiny of saving lives during 1976. I am not sufficiently intelligent to answer that question, but the evidence indicates the answer to be yes. If this is the case, I feel honored to have been selected for the assignment! I don't totally understand the grand scheme regarding what's happening here on Earth, but I do know some plan is being worked out. Only a fool would deny that conclusion.

I still run once in awhile, but I awake sore the next day. I'm different from most people in this respect. Most people's minds stop them from performing strenuous activities. As soon as they start hurting a little, their mind tells them to slow down or even stop. My mind is handicapped in that it believes the body it controls can do most anything. However, nowadays my body has the last word, speaking through sore muscles.

Against Sunny's wishes, I periodically pull out my sky diving gear and jump out of a perfectly good airplane at about fifteen thousand feet. It isn't really for the thrill anymore. It can be over a hundred degrees in the summertime where we now live. Yet only two miles away it is forty degrees. That direction is straight up. It makes me realize how fragile a world we live in. I don't really enjoy free falling as much as I enjoy popping the chute high up, hearing the total silence, and looking down under my feet, seeing the warm Earth beneath me. I usually make one jump then pack my chute and leave until the urge hits me again, typically about once a month.

Man can survive in only a very small band around the planet Earth. No other place in the vast universe has been found that could support any form of life which we know. As I drift ever so slowly and quietly back to Earth I'm thankful to be alive. Over and over I think to myself what a beautiful country and what an incredible world!

Freedom is a powerful elixir to which I've become addicted. I've become a true American. It's been twenty years and my oath has been honored. Things which only I know seek to escape the prison of my mind and witness the light of day!

Please excuse me, I have a book to write!

---  The End   ---


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