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Entries in military (7)

Sunday
Jul102011

Futuristic Fliers for the Army (1958)

Who needs an army of robotic killing machines when you've got planes that look so darn intimidating and futuristic? According to this blurb in the March 29, 1958 Miami News, scaring the enemy to death was a possibility with a platton of these "fantastic fliers."

PHILADELPHIA, March 29 -- If the U.S. Army of the future can't beat an enemy, it may scare it to death with a platoon of flying machines like these. This is an artist's conception of air-ground vehicle designs submitted to the Army by various aircraft firms. The goal is to provide the Army with a utility vehicle that will give troops more mobility. These machines are supposed to rise vertically, hover at three feet or zip over mountains at 150 mph. They also are designed to fire rockets, duck behind hills, fly down an alley, hide amid trees and turn in their own length without touching the ground.

Monday
Jul042011

Dear People of the Year 2076 (1976)

The 1970s was a tough decade for America. As we saw in the second episode of paleofuture.tv, many people were predicting apocalypse. But in 1976, it seems Americans were determined to hold their heads up high and celebrate 200 years of a country that was experiencing some major growing pains. If there's one thing Americans know how to do well, it's throw a party. And the U.S. Bicentennial was supposed to be one hell of a party.

On July 4, 1976 newspapers all across America dedicated special sections to the history and future of the country. The Grand Prairie Daily News in Grand Pairie, Texas invited readers to write letters to the people of 2076, who would presumably be celebrating the United States Tricentennial. Today we have some of those letters from high school students of the year 1976. What's pretty clear in reading the letters is that even most high school kids weren't very optimistic about what the next hundred years had in store for them.

[I've redacted the number that appears under Mike Sharp's letter because it looks like a Social Security number. I'm not sure why Mike would include his Social Security number, but I'd rather not create any unnecessary problems for ol' Mike, because most of these people are probably alive today.]

The drawing above was made by little Lisa Givlar in 1976 and appeared in The Tricentennial Report

 

Dear People of the Year 2076,

In the year 2076, the world will be far ahead in space travel and modern technalogy. There will be space flights to other planets.

Machines will take over, modern man will become a living blobb.

California will not be on the map and the weather will change through out the world.

Hungar will strike Asia and Europe. The civilization of 2076 will depend upon the polluted sea waters for food.

Nuclear enery will supply our needs.

Population control will be put into affect. The world will be over populous.

Schools wll be television programs. This may all seem funny to you but I remember a time when space travel was all just a dream.

 

Earthling,

Pat Bentley

 

 

To the people of the year 2076,

In a hundred years I think the world will be overpopulated and people will have to live in apartments to accomodate for this. Everything will be able to be recycled and what little that can't will be shot out into space.

 

From

Greg Redding

 

Many things will change some good some bad. But most of all I hope that the people of the year 2076 still love and protect the United States and what it stands for. This world is tough, but I am glad to be born in a place such as America were I can say what I please.

 

Sincerely,

A South Grand Prairie High Warrior

[unreadable] Allen 

 

I believe 100 years from now, ("1976") the year I graduate, crime will be wiped out completely. There will be some kind of magnetic force field to stop anyone from doing something illeagle.

Someday in the future I hope the world will not need army's, but I doubt that day will come. There will be new weapons being built all the time. I feel that the wars will be push button wars not on the battefield with hand-to-hand combat.

We probably have traveled to new planets and had started new colonies. Concerts and music is something important in my life, but I doubt it will be in the future.

I hope the world is at peace, and I wish all of you Americans the best of luck.

 

Mike Sharp

 

To: Whomever,

I'm suppose to write what I think the world will be like in 100 years. Well, honestly, I doubt if the world will even exist. The earth will probably destroy itself by then with a nuclear war.

The people of today just can't get along together, or even seem to be trying. But if by some miracle, and it would be a miracle, man still exists 100 years from now, I'm hoping the world will be a peaceful place. Maybe man will have learned to live in harmony with nature. Instead of polluting the air and sea. Maybe all the countries of the world will destroy their weapons and love their fellow man. This would be a great accomplisment and I'm wishing you all the luck in the world.

 

Maura McDonald

 

There is one thing specifically I would not like to see in the year 2076 and that is war and hostility of any kind. Peace is an all important thing the people of Earth must learn in order to progress and survive.

I truly wish humanity knows what to do with itself.

 

Spirit of 76 Bi Centennial

Yours truly

Bobby Jack 

Tuesday
Jul062010

Will Humanity Annihilate Itself? (1939)

The March 29, 1939 San Antonio Light (San Antonio, TX) ran this teaser for an article that was to appear in the April 2nd issue of The American Weekly.

At first glance, I had assumed that the ad was referencing this article that we looked at from 1935, but upon closer inspection it would seem they simply used the same drawing of a robot soldier from Erik Nitsche. Maybe if I track down the actual 1939 article from Professor C.M. Joad I'll straighten this whole robotic mess out. Until then, enjoy the pictures (...of an uber-dystopian, sentient robot hellscape!)

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Monday
Sep282009

When Wars Are Fought With Robot Soldiers (1935)

The idea that robot soldiers would inevitably replace human troops pops up repeatedly in newspapers of the 1930s. The emergence of humanoid robots, however primitive, lent themselves to people thinking about the human toll of the first World War and how it might be avoided in future wars.

This article from the July 28, 1935 San Antonio Light (San Antonio, TX) features illustrations from artist Erik Nitsche depicting robots with machine guns for heads, robot scouts with movie camera faces, a twenty-five tube robot military band, and even a robot hospital for the repair of robot soldiers. An excerpt appears below.

Erik Nitsche, a distinguished European artist, has looked into the future of a century from now and has made a series of remarkable prophetic pictures of a war fought solely with robot soldiers. The majority of them were drawn exclusively for The American Weekly and appear on this page.

Instead of the human machine gunners, crouched in their emplacements, waiting for the mangling shell to end them, there is a steel encased mechanism. The most important organ to the machine gunner, without which his hands would be useless, are his eyes. Nitsche's robot machine gunner's head is the gun itself. His eyes are in the heads of those who by television and radio direct his fire. he crawls forward, his human masters miles away, striving to direct the deadly stream into the mechanical vitals of the enemy's robots.

Patrol work was desperately dangerous in the last war. But a flying robot, equipped with motion picture and sound recording machines, could dart and hover over the enemy with no danger to human life -- and bring back vastly more accurate observations. When a human soldier gets a bullet in his heart, or in his liver or has himself partly blown to pieces, that is the end of that soldier. Not so with the robot. A new heart can be put in him as easily, almost, as changing a tire. Doctors were notoriously insufficient in the World War, and they found their tasks unpleasantly dangerous in the future, Mr. Nitsche thinks war robot doctors will attend to the injuries of robot soldiers. There will also be hospitals where all the equipment will be mechanical, reeking no more of blood and antiseptics but of machine oil.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Monday
Jun292009

The Domination of Space (1950s)

The History Channel documentary Sputnik Mania uses footage from the films Space and National Security and Challenge of Outer Space to tell the story of the United States' ambitions to dominate space. Wernher von Braun and General John Medaris are seen in this clip from the film speaking out publicly about their desire for the militarization of space, fearing that if they do not act quickly the Soviets would do it first.

 

During an interview Major General Bernard Shriever proclaims, "The day will come when perhaps our major battles will be space battles instead of air battles. I certainly couldn't predict exactly when that will be, but I'm sure it will come in the future."

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Wednesday
Mar252009

The Future of the Helicopter (1955)

Flying Platform - 1955

The April 30, 1955 issue of Pacific Stars and Stripes (Tokyo, Japan) ran this short piece about the future of the helicopter. While it's certainly up for debate, I think the "hoppi-copter" pictured in the article below may be the most dangerous flying machine this side of a flying Ford Pinto

The many different shapes and sizes helicopter-like flying machines have assumed in recent years were designed mainly for military use but the future promises civilian occupations for almost all of them.

The Navy's new "flying platform" is a recent example. The machine consists of a wingless circular platform. It contains two fans rotating in opposite directions and producing an air blast that lifts and propels the platform.

Inexpensive and so simple to operate it could serve as an assault boat for the individual solider, it also may be the businessman's speedy coupe of the future.

Another unusual whirlybird is the "portable helicopter," a four-bladed rotor and engine weighing 60 pounds. To fly, the operator simply straps the contraption on his back, starts the motor and takes off.

In war the infantryman might use it for airborne assaults. In peacetime the Dodger fan could take in a double header without having to fight stadium crowds on the way to the game.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Friday
Mar142008

Air Force Predictions for 2063 (1963)

The 1963 book, 2063 A.D., includes the predictions of Brigadier General Irving L. Branch. Branch was a commander at the Air Force Flight Test Center and predicted that by 2063 exploration of the near planets (Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn) will have been accomplished with manned vehicles. He also predicted that the moon and Mars will be heavily populated with researchers living in space colonies.

His contribution to the book appears below.

1. What kind of space vehicles do you think man will be using?

 

In the year 2063, a broad spectrum of space transportation systems will exist. Fusion power will provide the primary energy source for the large space transports of 2063. Single stage, high thrust recoverable boosters using a conventional thermal rocket engine propulsion cycle will provide ascent capability from the surface of earth or other planets, whereas low thrust electric propulsion will give an efficient means of transport in the low acceleration environment of free space between the planets. Both chemical and nuclear propulsion will, however, be used as required to extend the operational domain of man.

2. How far out in space will we have moved?

Thorough exploration of the near planets - Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn - by manned vehicles will have been accomplished by 2063. Preliminary manned exploration of the outer planets and all secondary bodies of the solar system as well as comets will be in process. A major effort will be fully organized to develop a transportation system for manned exploration of our closer stellar neighbors.

3. What sort of colonization will have taken place on other planets?

Population of the moon will have attained 100,000 by 2063. Primary products of the lunar colony will be rocket propellants for planetary exploration. Mars will attain a population of 10,000 by 2063, though rate of growth at that time will far exceed that of the moon. Population centers of the moon and Mars will consist primarily of research and engineering personnel with supporting technicians. Colonies will contain an acceptable mix of both male and female personnel. Development of these extra-terrestrial colonies will occur employing a transport mechanism operating with a steadily reducing crew return rate, i.e., emphasis will be given to encouraging a oneway system of space transport. Scientific and economic information will be readily communicated between the colonies though personnel and cargo will tend to remain fixed upon first delivery to the specified target body of the solar system.

4. Will we have moved closer to a one-world concept in our space efforts?

The one-world concept in our space efforts will not be particularly strengthened because of steady improvements made in propulsive capabilities. Independent scientific exploration and economic development of our solar system by many nations will be possible prior to 2063, due to readily available low cost propulsive systems.

5. What will ballistic missiles be used for?

Ballistic missiles will not be employed as a weapon system by 2063 due to development of other more lethal military systems and due to increased international competition in the scientific exporation and economic development of our solar system.

6. What natural resources will be taxing in outer space?

No extra-terrestrial natural resources will be taxed with direct monetary return to earth though the growing economic systems of the lunar and planetary colonies will maintain independent taxation for maintenance and development of local activities. Monetary benefits to the international bodies on the earth will accrue only through application of scientific information derived from interplanetary and interstellar exploration.

7. What commercial ventures will have derived from this feature?

Space transportation will have comprise the bulk of interplanetary activities though the primary goals of such extra-terrestrial colony will be the extraction of scientific data and transmission of this information.


See also:
General Dynamics Astronautics Time Capsule (1963)
Broken Time Capsule (1963-1997)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Edmund G. Brown's Californifuture (1963)
James B. Utt on Space Travel (1963)