Monday, February 15, 2010

The CIA funding of Glomar Explorer salvage attempt of a sunken Soviet Submarine, K-129

Well. it is begunnung, The article below is going to be just the first of many. I'm just glad I was able to play a tiny role in the whole operation as we detected the sub just outside Petropavlvsk harbor as she began her mission   Click below:

Originally posted on Saturday, February 13, 2010
I just received my copy of the newly released documentatary film about a Soviet Submarine operation in which I was involved in the first detection of the boat after it started its patrol from the Soviet submarine port of Petropavlask, Kamchatca Pennisula, in late February 1968. At the time, I was the Evaluation Cemter Officer at the headquarters of a system known by the acronym "SOSUS." It stands for SOund SUrvellience System, which back then was a super secret land based Anti Submarine Warfare platform providing frontline early warning to Washington D.C. military leaders of Soviet missile launching capable submarine threats on both coasts.

This Soviet submarine threat is one of the five Soviet submarine transit operations that I use in my novel, “The SOSUS Man.” You can read my synopsis and first couple chapters of my book by clicking here:

This is a system which, at the real time in 1968, we thought it had detected the explosion or implosion of this submarine in March 1968 but as I learned through the discovery and release of information by Michael’s work, which was previously unknown to me and my command senior officers, indicates we were incorrect in our real time post- analysis re-examination and reporting of a possible detection.

The documentary film is described below:

Produced, written and directed by Michael White Films, Vienna Austria;(please scroll down for purchasing information)

“AZORIAN - The raising of the K-129

A mysterious CIA cold war operation.
A secret journey into the oceans depths
A challenge of ingenuity and imagination
A story of man’s unprecedented resolve"

Michael’s work, through his team of consulting experts, information data collection and verification technical advisor and meticulous computer animation and graphics by his production staff, have woven a factual visual presentation and story about one of the most controversial events undertaken by our CIA.

This is a spectacular documentary film which finally appears to have revealed all of the highly classified sensors, intelligence, detection and tracking, sinking, search & localization and ultimate salvage attempt of a Soviet diesel-electric ballistic missile launching capable submarine during the height of the cold war period of 1968-1973 in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean.

Purchasing information follows: (extracted from Web-site of Michael White Films)

"Please help DVD copyright protection. This DVD can only be purchased new via this website [ ]. If you purchase this DVD new elsewhere, you are buying an illegal copy that is not authorised by the Producer of this film. Title: Azorian The Raising of the K-129 (Region 0/PAL - DVD)
Language: English
Run Time: 104 minutes
Sound: Dolby 5.1
Rating: NR
Format: 16:9 PAL
Please note: You are buying a PAL/DVD. Please check your DVD Players compatibility.Price: € 33.00 Applicable taxes included. Without shipping.
To see total price please choose your country, quantity and shipping speed."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Have to Question What We Are Doing With the  Celebration of our Heritage!

By John Olney
Web site: E-mail:

Copyright February 10, 2010 all rights reserved by
1370 Trancas St., #409, Napa, CA 94558 Phone: 707-299-9548
Web site: E-mail:

(This article may be copied, reprinted and forwarded to others as long as no fee is
collected specifically for this article and the name of author and copyright holder are cited.)

February is Black History Month. With only about two weeks of time past in the month, I noticed that there are quite a few references to Black History as spot-like ads on many TV channels and radio stations.

I got to thinking about this in terms of my awareness of other nationality groups getting as much, or creating as much, exposure for their respective sub-nationalities.

I say sub-nationality because first of all, if they were born here, they are therefore Americans by birth and the other heritage is derived by parents or /grandparents born in some other country. If they are nationalized citizens, then their birth place nationality takes a back seat to their new adopted citizenship. Thus, this latter category falls into the same definitions as if they were originally born here.

If you think about it for a minute, we are basically dealing with three primary terms here: racial, ethnical and cultural differences. Collectively I merge these three terms into one which I refer to as “heritage groups.”

But, I’m getting off my primary point, so let me get back to nationality heritage months. My curiosity prevailed so I began googling the Internet to see if any other nationalities had such a special designation.

Wow, I was surprised by what my search results which are shown below:

February - Black History Month
We celebrate Martin Luther King Day in January but we marked February as Black History Month
I’m not sure that we are being fair by allowing two months to be dominated by one sub-heritage group.

Black Heritage Month was instituted in 1926 when it was celebrated as “Negro History Week" during the second week of the month. This period incorporated the birthdays of “two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social condition of African Americans: former President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass.”

March - Irish-American Heritage
Sure, we all like to wear a bit of the green and hoot and holler and devour corn beef & cabbage on St. Patty’s Day. But celebrate all month? I certainly can’t recall such dedication to the American-Irish citizens of our towns, states and indeed in the nation lasting all month. Certainly, I cannot recall seeing much Irish history spots on TV or hearing the same on radio.

The American Foundation for Irish Heritage wants to have the same national recognition as other ethnic cultural sub -groups; There are “lobby-type” groups who are trying to conduct a grass route campaign to get all the Governs to sign a proclamation marking March as the Irish heritage month. They claim that there are about 44 million Americans having a bit of the Irish in them.

May - Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month
In June 1977, congressional representatives introduced a House resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. That initiative was quickly followed by Senate action. Then in 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush designated the entire month as the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The selection of May was based on the following rationale (in italics):
- To commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843,
(We probably shouldn’t mention the events of December 7, 1941)

- To mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869  because the majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
(We should also thank them for the dyke system in the California Delta, and caves in mineral mining and California
wine country)

It just might also be wise of us to also recognize some other important contributions by the citizens of Japanese ancestry to our nation such as during WWII when the Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team composed of American-Japanese soldiers - the most decorated army unit of its size in the history of America - fought so valiantly while their parents, grandparents and siblings languished in internment camps and had their personal and real property carpet-bagged away from them.

We also need to recognize the Koreans, Vietnamese and many others of Asian ancestry in this celebration.

But what about the Phillipinos who have also accomplished so much in support of the US? They are not Asians but are Islander’s in the Pacific.

Where are we going to put the Aleuts and Eskimo’s? They are not Asians. Aleuts are Pacific Islanders though, just locate way up north. The Eskimo is neither Asian nor an Islander. What do we do with them, as both are the original inhabitants of lands now included in the USA? We might have a serious dilemma here.

September - October - Germans, Hispanic and Italians all claim this timeframe
The September - October timeframe is simply a poor marketing strategy by the three groups that are competing for public service allotments in the media.

Middle of Sept to the middle of Oct - German American Heritage Month.
September 15 to October 15 - National Hispanic Heritage Month
October - National Italian American Heritage Month
German Heritage
Well over 60 million claim German ethnicity. We all know how much they have contributed to our nation. We probably shouldn’t mention WWI or WWII even though we offered many in the military sciences following WWII to come to America to build our early missile and space technology programs.

Hispanic Heritage
Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California were once part of Mexico and they sold it to the USA, albeit under duress. Cinch de Mayo celebrations are big particularly in the western states of the USA. Once again, like the Black Heritage Group, we have multiple months of major celebration for one heritage group.
Our current bountiful agriculture production would be stalled without their participation in harvesting and processing our food. The western and southwestern portion of our country represents the largest concentration of Hispanic descendants distributed between actual citizens and those in our county illegally.

Italian Heritage
This heritage group celebration coincides with festivities associated to Columbus Day. Over 5.4 million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 1992. Today there are over 26 million Americans of Italian descent in the United States, making them the fifth largest ethnic group.
Do  you recall from your history classes that the USA is named after an Italian? It comes from an explorer and geographer named Amerigo Vespucci.
November - National American Indian Heritage Month,
Started in 1915 with one day in May and finally in 1990 President George W. Bush signed the proclamation marking November as National American Indian Heritage month. About 400 years after the foreigners first arrived, we finally recognized the original inhabitants of the land finally gained through the great Manifest Destiny.

Who’s Missing?
Three groups we have not yet discussed for inclusion in Heritage Months are briefly mentioned below:

The British - They started the original 13 colonies and this whole thing about America rolling!
The French - They sold us the Louisiana Territory and gave us our great symbol of freedom -                        the Statue of Liberty.
The Russians - They sold us Alaska
What About Celebrating Being An American?

We have to put all this heritage thing in proper perspective. Please realize I have no objections what so ever to celebrating any heritage group. But number 1, all that are born on USA soil whether within the lands of the USA and it Territories, or sovereign USA government property within foreign countries, ARE FIRST AND FOREMOST USA CITIZENS until they decide to disclaim such. Number 2, almost none are exclusively of one sub-heritage group so how do they decide to align themselves?

I propose that all government literature, including school history books teaching our USA citizen and legally in-country foreign children about the USA, MUST USE any “HERITAGE “ designation starting with the key word “AMERICAN” to which would be added the sub-heritage category the author and/or individual wishes to discuss, or be known as.

It will takes some years, possibly a generation or two, to get used to saying the word “AMERICAN” first but it will finally happen and when it does, shouting out loud the slogan, “I am proud to be an American,” will truly carry the weight it deserves.

July - American Heritage Month

To further enhance, encourage and enforce the use of the “AMERICAN” designation first in naming heritage groups, I suggest a month long celebration under the umbrella of the theme, “I am proud to be an American,” using the 4th of July, our INDEPENDENCE DAY, as the kick off for celebration.

All month long, we should encourage our schools, and local leaders of our towns and cities to return to community action to celebrate being an American by developing interactive projects focusing on what it is to be an American! Bring back the school play, the local pancake breakfast, park softball, sack race, carnival, picnic day, the local parade, and all the other homey things we have let go by the way in our rush to payday gold only!

“Yes sir, yes, ma’am,
 I am proud to be an American!”

(Oh yeah, I’m about 50% Portuguese, 40% Welch and 10% French)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Martinez, Ca, - Louie Bertola’s Restaurant and the Beaver Dam

       On a very rainy day, in January 2010 I had to go to the Probate department of Superior Court in search of a definition of a probate code. After going to the wrong building first and after removing all my metal items, I discovered I was at the wrong building and was instructed to go next door for the office I wanted. I bundled back up and ventured out into the rain once again. I dashed to the court house building only find I had to take off the jewelry and belt, empty my pockets and get scanned again. I passed the scan and found the elevator to the 2nd floor. As I approached the office door, I saw a big sign indicating that it was not open until 1:30pm daily during the work week. Looking at my watch I found it was only noon. But more importantly, if I left the building I would have to go through a third metal scan. I didn’t have a choice so I left to find a place to have some lunch.

Beaver Dam
     As I walked down Main Street going west, I recognized the creek area when the now famous Beavers built their nest and family. If you haven’t heard of the famous little critters, here are some of their press they’ve gotten since their arrival.
Oops, I overlooked this one but after a well desserved slap on the hands here it is.,_California
Just scroll down in the article and you’ll find these creatures highlighted

The Restaurant  
      I called my good friend Michel Campbell to find the name of a restaurant he liked in the area near the little creek. He told me it was in an old house and it’s called “Louie Bertola’s.” I finally reached it - located at 611 Escobar Street - and climbed the stairs up to the main floor. Now, this is truly a family-style restaurant. All the non-load bearing walls were gone. To my left (west) was the main dining area which stretched from a bay window facing Escobar Street (south), all the way back to the stair well ( and restroom area) at the north end. These stair led to the third floor which was the banquet room that can accommodate parties up to 50 guests. Hardwood floors everywhere.
     Immediately to the right of the entry door was the stairs down to the kitchen area located on the first floor. Running north of those stairs is your basic plywood rustic bar sanded and stained to be dark. The area between the dining tables and this bar was open and could easily be used for some good dancing room. It was a very large empty area.
     Michael told me to look for one of the two owners and introduce myself as his friend. Well, sometimes that can really be good but sometimes it can backfire if who you are about to meet doesn’t like your friend anymore. Mike (last name “Abel“) was working as bartender, waiter and whatever else needed to be done. Apparently Michael was not in trouble with him as he was most polite to me. Mike Abel has partner named Dan Murphy.
     I don’t know what it was about the place but I felt very comfortable sitting by myself at the bar. I ordered a glass of cheap (oops, I mean inexpensive) red wine and kicked back to kill another hour before I could back to Probate. Mike doesn’t talk to much so I just sat and watched some sports on the only TV at the bar. I looked around and saw that the very northern portion of the floor I was on had a deck area outside, I asked Mike about it and he said is was only used by his real die hard smoking friends.

      I was starting to get a little hungry so I got the lunch menu from the waitress, Pat, working theis main dining and bar floor .   I almost fell of my bar stool! Prime Rib, Steak, or Calamari sandwiches were only $9.45. Their special cheesebuger was $6.45 or you could have Pot Roast for $9 dollars. They came with either salad or pasta. Wow! Did I just step back in time?
     Complete lunches included choice of soup or salad, some pasta, fresh veggies and hot bread. Besides the Prime rib, beef or calamari steak plates for $9.45 Louie’s offered a pot roast for $9 even. One could have chicken or ground beef or grilled egg plant for only $8.45, and they offer fresh fish (when available).
      But if you were a light eater, Louie’s let you have minestrone soup or Italian salad - all you can eat - with tons of bread and butter for only $5.45. Finally, one could just enjoy pasta with plenty of bread and butter. I opted here and it was only $5.45. There was so much I took half home. The food was perfectly fine and filled my needs. Was it gourmet? Heck no! But I didn’t go there for that anyway. I just wanted a glass of red wine and some good home-cooking and that was exactly what I got.
      I asked Mike about the famous Beavers who were his neighbors. He said that they were definitely a boon to his business but the recent heavy rains broke up their Beaver dam home. He thinks they are re-establishing a new dam just down stream from his restaurant going north towards the river.

Dinner Menu
       Well, it was nearing time to go back to the court house to get my information. I asked Mike for a copy of their dinner menu. It is shown below.

As you can see, great prices.

        The style is home-cooking and genuinely good tasting food, very fairly priced, in a comfortable setting. You can go there with friends and just plain enjoy each other in a relaxed atmosphere. I will definitely be going back and taking friends with me.

Monday, February 08, 2010


The Essence of the Modern Napa Valley Wine Industry
Book II -  Pacesetter and Innovators - 1970s to 2000

(September 12, 2010)

* indicates inducted into Calif. Vintners Hall Of Fame

Primarily Growers/Vineyard management and development
*Andy Beckstoffer -- Interview completed - - -
Very large vineyard owner in North Bay counties

Volker Eisele -- Interview completed -
Vineyard/winery owner. Activist for greenbelt, AG preserve, hillside ordnances, etc.

Ken Laird - waiting for reply- - - - - -
Very large vineyard owner in Napa county.

Salvador “Sal” Renteria -- Interview completed
One of first large managers vineyards and pickers

William “Bill” Hill -- Interview completed, - --
Created the establishment of what would become the Hess Collection, William Hill on Atlas Peak Road now owned by Piero Antinori of Italy, and now co-owner in Big Horn. is on my 1989 SERIES “B” Wine Label Poster-map

Primarily Winemakers
Mitch Cosentino -- Interview completed -
Created Cosentino winery in Napa and Crystal Valley Cellars in Lodi and contributed to establishing Merlot as great wine by itself. Cosentino is on my 1989 SERIES “B” Wine Label Poster-map

Randy Dunn - -Interview completed - -
Often considered a “cult” winemaker/winery who re-established Howell Mtn name.

Ric Forman -- Interview completed.- -
Started as partner in Sterling then moved on to Madrone and now has own winery and consults many. is on my 1989 SERIES “B” Wine Label Poster-map

Tony Soter -- Interview accepted, DTBD, Spring 2010. .
Soter was a consulting winemaker in the Napa Valley where he guided such wineries as Araujo, Niebaum-Coppola (Now Rubicon), Shafer, Spottswoode, Viader and Dalle Valle. He now owns and operates Soter Vineyards in Williamette Valley, Oregon.

Primarily Small/Mid sized and/or Family owned wineries
Jack Cakebread -- Interview completed
Creator of Cakebread winery, wine photographer, land preservation, tourism guidance and many more wine business related organizations. is on my 1987 SERIES “A” Wine Label Poster-map

Dan Duckhorn -- Interview completed.-
Created Duckhorn and contributed to establishing Merlot as great wine by itself.

Agustin Huneeus -- Interview completed.-
Partner and acting President of Franciscan Estates in 1985. Under his leadership, the ailing company was transformed into a successful group of premium wine estates. In 1999, Agustin sold his interest in Franciscan Estates. Today, he devotes his time to Quintessa. He also maintains vineyard holdings in Chile, Alexander Valley and Napa Valley. Franciscan is on my 1987 SERIES “A” Wine Label Poster-map.

Francis Mahoney -- Interview completed
Creator of Carneros Creek winery. A major player in establishing Carneros as a great Pinot Noir district. Is on my 1987 SERIES “A” Wine Label Poster-map

Mary Novak -- Iinterview completed
Before there were “cult” wineries, she was one by starting Spottswoode

*Warren Winiarski -- Interview completed  No current web site
Founder :Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.   Beside the winner of the 1976 taste-off with French, strong advocate of AG Preserve. . Is on my 1989 SERIES “B” Wine Label Poster-map

Primarily Executives in Larger Corporate type winery operations
Michael Mondavi -- Interview completed
- - -
Heir of a great wine and Napa Valley ambassador. Was once Robert Mondavi winery CEO. Now owns Folio Wine Partners. R. Mondavi is on my 1987 SERIES “A” Wine Label Poster-map.

Michael Moone -- interview accepted DTBD in spring 2010
Top notch large corporate executive who, through Silverado Partners headed a machine that took Beringer Brothers to a major player in the wine industry. As Beringer, is on my 1987 SERIES “A” and LUNA is on my 1989 SERIES “B” Wine Label Poster-map when it was originally St. Andrews

Dr. Richard Peterson -Interview completed - - -
Winemaker and business leader at large, medium and small wineries in a multiple number of counties.

Dario (Daryl) Sattui -- Interview completed -  and Created the highly successful V. Sattui winery, deli and picnic grounds. Most recently completed the Castle de Amorosa, a 15 year building construction project, which is already a major destination for tourists. V. Sattui is on my 1989 SERIES “B” Wine Label Poster-map

Louis “Bob” Trinchero -- interview completed - - -
Creator of “White Zin and much more.

Ancillary Business (Insurance) development for the Industry
Ed Brovelli -- Interview accepted, DTBD- - No web site .
Developed first models to enable the insuring of winery operations.

Marketing/Advertising/Public Relations/Trade Advocacy
Gary Ramona -- -Interview completed --  no web site
Headed teams at R. Mondavi and most recently at Fred Franzia’s Bronco - creator of “$2 Buck Chuck,” and now consulting with Antigal Winery and Estates of Argentina.

John DeLuca -- Interview accepted DTBD.  Headed up The Wine Institute 1970-2003

Charles L. Sullivan -- Interview completed- - - - - No web site.
Well noted historian, published writer and University Professor

Government Policymaking
Jim Hickey -- Interview accepted DTBD  No web site
Planning Dept. leader of the determination of the definition of what constitues a winery

Harold Moskowite -- Interview accepter DTBD  no web site
Family owned ranch in upper valley area of Lake Berryessa where they were farmers.  Harold first became County Supervivior just as county struggled with land preservation codes, then built a winery and returned to be re-elected supervisor as the American Canyon area underwent huge growth.

Comments about my book concepts

Volker Eisele -  grower/winemaker, land preservation
Date: Sep 6, 2009 phone message
This is Volker Eisele with a message for John Olney. John, I got your thing on Napa interviews you want to do. I think this is very exciting so I shall cooperate with you … I’m looking at questions and it should be an interesting interview and congratulations on good idea.


Ric Forman - Primarily a winemaker
Sep 12, 2009
John, good morning to you. It’s Ric Forman calling in rwsponse to your offer to interview me….. Sounds very fascinating and I’d be glad to be included.......  Great! I’ll make the time for you. I think it’s a great idea and I’m looking forward to it.

Charles Sullivan - Noted Wine historian, writer and Instructor
Date: 9/15/2009 12:30:32 P.M. PDT
Dear John,
I have your email with all the info on your project. I read it with great interest and will be happy to participate in its development. I have plenty of time open in the coming months, so I don't think we'll have any problem making a date for an interview. I also think I can be of some assistance with the historical aspects of the piece. Feel free to have me take a look at such material as you put it together. I have a lot of experience in such a process, having traded mss regularly with Tom Pinney over the years. Keep in touch and let me know how I can help. Cheers! Chas Sullivan

Bob Trinchero/Sutter Home
Date: 9/11/2009 4:28:39 P.M. PDT
Greetings John,I'm the Public Relations Specialist at Trinchero Family Estates and Barry Wiss forwarded your message on to me that you'd like to interview Bob Trinchero. Barry has spoken with Bob and I believe he has agreed to do theinterview. It sounds like a great book and I think the Trincheros would be a great addition! So, at your convenience, please give me a call and we can get the ball rolling on setting up an interview. Thanks!-Juliana -Juliana French-Arnold Public Relations Specialist, Trinchero Family Estates


Beckstoffer Vineyard 
Date: 7/27/2009 2:53:43 P.M. PDT
Hi John,
Thanks again for your interview with Andy Beckstoffer - I know he enjoyed it and I hope you did too. Tara - Tara L. Thomas Balzac Communications


Mahoney Vineyards
Date7/15/2009 8:49:47 A.M. PDT
Thank you so much for inquiry concerning a interview with Francis Mahoney. I would be very happy to help establish a day and time for this to occur. Do you have some dates in mind? Like many of those on your list, has some sales travel planned before we head into harvest. Please provide me with some dates and I will coordinate it with him. Thank you again and we look forward to the book. Sincerely Stacy Manley -


Dario Sattui
Date: 7/9/200912:32:29 P.M. PDT
Dear Mr. Olney,
Thank you for reaching out to us. I apologize for the delay in response. I know Dario would be humbled to be considered an “Innovator” of the modern Napa Valley wine industry. I also know he would be interested in participating in your project. He is however out of the country until mid to late August. Do you have any dates available in September we can schedule an interview? Looking forward to working with you.
CHEERS! Claudette Shatto - Vice President of Marketing