Welcome to the latest issue of the newsletter dedicated to the CANDOERs (Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement). This newsletter will be distributed quarterly. New issues will be posted on the Web for viewing on or about, January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.
The CANDOER Web site and newsletter may be viewed by going to the following URL: www.candoer.org
The success of this newsletter depends on you. I need story contributors. Do you have an interesting article, a nostalgia item, a real life story, or a picture you would like to share with others? Do you have a snail-mail or an e-mail address of one of our former colleagues? If you do, send it to me at the following e-mail address:
or to my snail-mail address:
Robert J. Catlin, Sr.
2670 Dakota Street
Bryans Road, MD 20616-3062
Tel: Home (301) 283-6549 --- Cell (301) 535-9263 --- VOIP (240) 627-7821
Please, NO handwritten submissions.
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Well winter has arrived in Southern Maryland. We had an unusual fall. In October we set records for dryness and heat. The boat was put in mothballs after Thanksgiving and will stay there until the yellow perch start their run in the spring!
The information you see between stories is called "Life Hacks!" I copied these from a Facebook entry I received!
At your Shell gas station, press the button three times on the side of the air pump and you can get free air!
By Mike McCaffrey
This is yet another memory involving our days in Paris (1976-78).
If you are in an area where you should have cell phone service but don't, put your phone on 'airplane' mode and then switch it back.
While in Paris, I started running again. Come to find out, I really began to enjoy it again. Since we lived right on the River Seine, with paths right next to the river and sidewalks on our apartment side of the street, you could go as far as your lungs would take you.
I do recall one run in particular. It was a cool Sunday afternoon and I was really into "the zone." I was pretty far from the housing area where we lived, down by a large stadium housing a bicycle racing track. I had a sweat suit on, hood drawn over my head. As I was lumbering along, I began to hear a cacophony of sound, getting louder/louder. I glanced up and saw a line of cars, side by side, the width of the street, approaching me. I could see some people in cars with sun roofs open, standing up and waving at a tiny figure approaching me in the distance. As that figure began to approach, I could see it was a female, and WHAT a female! Bridgette Bardot! She was out on a jog, driving the Parisian male population that Sunday afternoon nuts! As we came up side by side, she . . . so sweetly . . . gave me a big smile and said "bonjour!" I took two or three more steps before stopping in my tracks! My goodness! The French female goddess herself! (These sightings were not super unusual in Paris, I saw many celebrities out jogging during my runs. I recall when ABBA came to town, I ran into Benny [guitar player/singer/song writer] several times. We always exchanged greetings, as runners do. (He was a dedicated runner).
I returned back to the apartment, still with that goofy frozen smile on my face, and told my wife of my much unexpected encounter. To this day, she still insists I must have been mistaken, couldn't have been THE BB! I smile as I recall that scene again . . . and it was, indeed: THE BB!
This will cause your phone to register and find all the towers in your vicinity!
Received from Richard Kalla
I recently ran into a copy of the below Employee EER Statement that has been in my files forever. I'd forgotten about it and it made me laugh all over again. I don't know who wrote it, but whoever it was did a great job. Of course, maybe it's just me and my weird sense of humor. I do think that some of the readers of the CANDOER News might enjoy it. They might even remember some of their old EER's back in the day.
Here it is:
Never feed bread to wild birds. It has no nutritional value to them and they cannot digest it. It may even kill them!
Here is my employee comment section, verbatim:
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, and I manage time efficiently.
Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.
I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.
Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted in the Mets, and I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.
I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400.
My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.
I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven.
I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin.
I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.
But I have not yet been promoted!!!!!!!!
By Bob Catlin
Even though I had spent three years in the Army I did not realize just how much clout a three star general had until my four year assignment to the Office of the Manager, National Communications System (OMNCS) (1990-1994).
Cannot afford Microsoft Word? Get "Open Office"! It is free and has more features that Microsoft Word!
50th Anniversary of our Immigration Travel to the U.S.
At that time, the OMNCS was co-located with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on South Court House Road in Arlington, VA.
After I served there for about two years they had a change of command. The military commander for DISA received his third star when he took over this command!
When you entered the building there was a row of six turnstiles, like you might see in a subway station. A guard stood to one side to check your pass and then he would release the turnstile and let you pass.
After the ceremony for the change of command, which was held out in the front of the building, the newly promoted three star general came into the building, flashed his pass, and proceeded to go through the turnstile. The guard, I can only guess, not paying attention did not press the release and the General did a header over the turnstile.
A few hours later I came down to the front entrance, from my office, to go to lunch. The six turnstiles were gone and there was no sign they had ever been there. They had been removed and a new floor was installed, all in a few hours. There was also a new guard on the entrance.
Rank has its rewards!
By Rudy Garcia
Next month it will be 50 years since we started our immigration travel to the U.S. from Tehran, Iran. I can't remember the exact day of the month so I will say mid-November, 1967.
Love of the Truth Puts us on the Spot
The loaded car's leaf springs were perfectly straight without people on board, so we postponed the trip to have a blacksmith make a spare leaf spring for the rear axle of our 1960 Opel Olympia SW. Amazingly, he made the set out of metal strips, pounding them on an anvil after firing them. The car had made this journey a few times but they were during summer. My parents picked my sister and I up from school in England and bought it in Waterloo, Belgium, and drove to Tehran, via a loop around Spain, crossing from Italy through what was then Yugoslavia, taking the central route through Ankara in Turkey. A couple of years later my mother had my brother drive her from Tehran to Rabat, to interview King Hassan II, using the same route plus a ferry crossing from Spain to Morocco.
Finally, in mid-November, we started off on the way to Tabriz (it was an unpaved highway back then), and soon had a flat in the middle of dessert country.
We overnighted in Tabriz and continued on the next day to the border with Turkey where it took over 4 hours to cross.
In Turkey we took the route that passed through Karakose, Erzurum, Bayburt, Trabzon, along the Black Sea coast to Samsun and then took D100 to Istanbul. This route had us crossing the mountains in Eastern Turkey during the start of winter.
In Bayburt the overnight temperature went down to -27C and the next morning the car wouldn't start. After several tries a man, sitting on a box near his doorway smoking a pipe, stood up, broke the box up and poured some fuel on it. He put it on top of our engine and lit it to thaw the engine block, apparently a common practice there. That didn't work so the army garrison commander was called to assist us foreigners. He had one of his trucks tow the car up and down a wide avenue to try to jump start it. It finally caught and after thanking the commander we set off.
The snow on the mountain roads was so high we had to walk in some areas while the car, packed with household effects and equipped with chains, was driven in 1st gear to the roadway summit.
We were warned about bandits on the road and were recommended to drive in a convoy, but we soloed. It was quiet on the road except for the howling of the wolves echoing through the range.
We met a German family going the other way so we both stopped and brewed some tea in the middle of the road to inform each other of the conditions where came from; no traffic to interrupt our tea. Reaching the Black Sea the weather warmed up and we had no snow along the coastal road. We had some car repairs done in Istanbul and took the ferry (no bridges back then) across the Bosporus.
From Istanbul we drove into Greece, overnighting in Alexandropoulos. For my 18th birthday, the next day, we stayed in a newly opened motel on the beach of Thessaloniki; we had been sleeping in the car most of the previous nights.
We took the ferry from Patras into Brindisi, Italy, and on to Naples. On this section on the autostrada one of the leaf springs finally broke. We had it changed w/the spare spring in Naples and continued on to Fribourg, Switzerland, via the Great St. Bernard tunnel (if I remember correctly) where we waited for the rest of the family to fly in and join us. I assisted in driving on the super highways of Greece and Italy, as I wasn't old enough yet to obtain a license in Iran.
From Fribourg we drove up Cherbourg, France, and took the RMS Queen Elizabeth bound for NYC. The crossing was rough and everyone got seasick except my younger brother. I don't think the QE1 had stabilizers. After a day of feeling queasy a steward told me to have some toast and a "nice cup of tea" and it would stop my seasickness -- which it did. So for the next four days just my brother and I ate three full meals a day and snacks; gained a lot of weight during this crossing but never got seasick since then.
We arrived in the New York area on the first week of January, 1968, passing under the Verrazano Narrows bridge and the Statue of Liberty while standing on the deck of the ship with bundles of our belongings in hand -- just like the immigrants in the movies.
After a couple of days at the Times Square Motor Hotel processing our paperwork, we drove to Falls Church, VA, where my father's company headquarters, Melpar was located.
By Sandy Williams
Things falling apart are a kind of testing and a kind of healing. We think that with obstacles the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem; but the truth is that things don't get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: disappointment, embarrassment, pain, aggression, and finally joy.
Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty (50) years of age or older.
A. This article is my experience with the true meaning of harassment, intimidation, and torture - looking all 3 square in the eyes. My journals, covering events from 2005 - 2017, have been sifted, shifted, and toned down for this submission. My main point in presenting this article is to look at my situation, speak publicly about it, and to hope for reform even if my issue does not get resolved. The following was an awakening. Consider a daily life the following:
- Organized stalking.
- Eavesdropping and electronic wiretapping of all your communications
- Felony home invasions.
- Violation of your freedom of speech by intercepting and destroying mail.
- Character assassination through an active campaign to intentionally spread lies and disinformation about you to discredit you.
- Identified for illegal bodily and mental torture.
- Using energy style surveillance equipment to monitor you which have a potent effect on your cognition, emotion, and sleep.
- Worshippers at your Buddhist Center coughing, sneezing, clearing their throat, suffering cramping from collateral electronic-style sonic waves that are intended for you.
B. My story begins now.
- It took my sister's keen skills of observation to point out that I was under covert surveillance while shopping at the Best Buy store in 2005. Imagine four people descending upon you - front, back, beside you -- watching what gadgets you are about to purchase. My security training kicked into high gear prompting me to get to the bottom of this infringement upon my life. In hindsight, I should have left matters alone. I was a bit ignorant of the backlash of playing "catch the spies." Moving headlong with my quest, I began to follow the followers. After three months of engaging face-to-face with stalkers, I realized that I had begun to antagonize the intelligence agencies. My act of confronting stalkers led to a score-settling vendetta that I am paying for to this day.
- I've asked myself again and again "how did I become a "person of interest initially?" it appears that all is needed is a "word" spoken during a conversation that's interpreted as radicalism, or a telephone call outside of the USA, or an email with the wrong 'words.' In my case, a telephone call to the American Embassy in Bosnia Herzegovina - just before 9/11 - may have been the trigger to make me a 'person of interest.' Unfortunately, I exacerbated the issue by getting actively involved in a covert surveillance that was stumbled upon.
- A personal vendetta had begun that consisted of one or more federal agencies, and I was a one-man army set on finding the truth. You are now asking "why" the surveillance? "Why the fight?" "You can't fight city hall." Well, the surveillance began in 2005 (overtly) and is still active in 2017 with the added twist of electronic torture. I have yet to be given an explanation explaining why I became a "person of interest" to the federal government. The decision to call-out the stalkers began a systematic harassment at the U.S. embassies abroad.
- I was making loud noises about the surveillance to anyone who would listen, including my friends and family. Attempts were made to quiet me down, and dangerous events were staged to entrap me. For example, I was jogging on Ft. Lauderdale beach just as the sun was setting. Of all the people walking and jogging on the beach, a wrapped box, approximately 8 x 10 inches in size, was placed on the ground directly in my path. Clearly, the wrapping style was familiar. Checking my surroundings, I noticed several out of place telltale figures lurking at the edge of the water. Just by chance I looked up and down the street near the beach and noticed a flatbed truck parked in front of my vehicle. Ding, ding, ding, the light bulb kicked in and I continued along the beach smiling as I ran past the figures at the edge of the water. Obviously, the flatbed truck driver was given a signal and pulled off as I approached my car. I looked back down the beach and one of the figures was retrieving the box. Are you thinking drugs in the box? Cash? A fabricated setup? I still don't know why the elaborate scheme. If there were questions out there, why not call me and ask. I sent letters giving anyone the opportunity to respond and explain themselves.
- My Volvo was due for service. I was not asked to pull my vehicle into the drop off point. When I asked why the change in procedures, it was stated "we were told to work on your car in the lane and not to take it into the maintenance garage." Who had that amount of influence? No one was prepared to identify who "they" were.
- While working a short assignment in Jordan, my neighbor sent me an email stating that she let two men into my apartment to perform plumbing. I never found a set of house keys to my home in Washington, D.C. Several years later, I realized that it, too, was thoroughly search.
- Sitting in my mother's living room one evening with my sisters, we heard screeching of tires, car doors slamming, and the storm door to the apartment building banging open. A loud menacingly knock on the door caught us by surprise. Looking through the peep hole, 4 to 5 policemen were ready to push open the door. They yelled "this is the police" and we opened the door. They stepped in, looked around, and left saying apologizing about entering the wrong apartment. Harassment? Intimidation? My mother received a letter one week later from the Fifth District police department in Washington, D.C., apologizing for the officers' actions.
- On my visits to the U.S. Department of state to take a physical after a WAE assignment to Iraq, I asked to talk with a personnel officer about being hit by signals and the sense that I was under some type of illegal brainwave testing. Because no one would remotely believe such electronic signaling attack could exist and be directed at an American citizen, the complaint was ignored. I reported to the medical unit at the U.S. Department of state to take the required Iraq returning physical. I had set up an appointment for the physical while in Iraq and was given a date and time. Upon reporting to the Medical Unit, the person at the desk directed me to go to my own doctors.
C. So, you may ask why didn't I go to the police about all of this? I went to the Broward county police internal affairs office in Florida to file a complaint of harassment. The Lieutenant on duty told me straight up that I was more than likely dealing with the CIA, NSA, DOD, or FBI.
D. I told you earlier that you would not believe the extent to which the U.S. Government would go when they initiate a vendetta against an individual. The harassment turned to torture.
- In Florida and when visiting Washington, D.C., the residences were bugged; ultra-high-pitched soundwaves are always targeting my ears; low sonic tones creates a vibration to the body; sirens blare staccato sounds as it passes me in my car or in my home.
- One evening, a police car pull into the alley behind my house in Washington, D.C. The person in the car sat looking up at the house. I came out on my porch and asked if there was trouble in the area. He stated "there was a rash of home invasions and they enter through backyards." He then backed up and drove off.
- There were a lot of military and government people driving around monitoring my every move, stalking and making it a game of some sort. Once while walking in my neighborhood, a stranger crossed the road into my path, suddenly grabbed my right wrist, raised my arm in the air, and told me to look as he pointed in the direction other males were sitting. He instantly melted into the beach crowd. I wonder to this day what may have been planted on my skin. This was the beginning of electronic style harassment. It was also during this time control of my codes to the car alarm and car key were accessed from a van travelling parallel to my vehicle. The Lojack code was accessed and my car was stopped in the middle of a dangerous intersection. It is at this point that I began to become seriously concerned for my health and well-being.
- But the initial conditioning for the sonic ear noise and brainwave targeting began in Iraq at a group meeting with DOD and DOS staff filling out a personality questionnaire prepared by the DOD. I was not overly concerned when an army PSYOPS guy walked into the meeting, whispered something into the ear of a Colonel wearing a PSYOPS patch, and then turn and look in my direction. Half an hour later, there were three bursts of an electronic signal striking my heart. At the end of the meeting and as I walked towards the stairs, I almost passed out. Was my heart rhythm changed? What had just happened? I recall, prior to arriving in Iraq, I was pulled to the side and was told "if you become ill don't hesitate to leave." The warning did not make sense at the time, but it had its significance later. Shortly thereafter and over a period of one week, my roommate went absent, and I was subjected to constant ultra-high pitched soundwaves and low pitched sonic noises which appeared to be generated from the two half ton military trucks idling outside my room all night long. Imagine sleeping with your Kevlar vest on at night to ward off the signals that were causing pain and discomfort. Many years later I know now that it was my head and my chest that the sonic waves were targeting. In 2017, U.S. Government intelligence agencies are still bombarding me with ultra-high frequency signals and low-frequency waves primarily aimed at my head.
- The signals began to interfere with my sleep, and I was afraid that it may have an impact on my performance in Iraq. I approached a Department of State officer and asked that some intervention be done to halt the painful attacks of frequency waves that were heating and burning my feet and hurting my eardrums. Asked if I knew who was behind the attacks, I could not say specifically. The response to me will not be included in this article.
- The harassment turned into persecution by employees. Everyone had a DISA clearance, and I was supposed to support DOD classified systems; however, when I went to get a DISA clearance, DOD personnel stated: "you don't have a clearance." "We don't see your name on any government list." That included a Department of State list per them. Around my neck was a Top-Secret badge higher clearance than was being requested. This did not seem to matter to them. I knew that I was out on this limb by myself. The DOD clearance official told me they issue clearances to whomever they want. Thus, without their clearance, I was excluded from the all-hands classified staff meetings. The conversations about the clearance is omitted from this article.
- Denying me the DOD clearance was part of the vendetta that has lasted until present day. It is during this period, I had been identified by U.S. Government to be subjected to this electronic torture treatment. Over a 12-year period, the attacks caused damaged to my hearing, to my muscles, to my feet, to knee joints, caused some vision loss, some hair loss, and possibly contributed to other internal organ damage.
E. With the vendetta evolving into bodily threats and torture, I had to get help. After many letters, to NSA, CIA, FBI, DOJ, Congress, DOS, DOD, and DHS, ACLU, and others, all responses were the usual canned phrases that said "nothing found" but some things can be held back. I realized that none of them were willing to call me or investigate my complaint. At an ACLU meeting I asked for help in exposing the use of electronic signal torture on Americans and the speaker said "we don't handle cases of this nature." it is ironic that now, U.S. Department of state is being bombarded with employee complaints about noise pollution and other forms of brain damage from sonic attacks in Cuba.
- I filed a complaint with the office of civil rights/equal employment opportunity, sent a letter to the OIG at the U.S. Department of State, and sent a letter to the secretary of state about the hostile environment. Responses to my FOIA and Privacy Act letters shed no light on why I became a person of interest while working as a WAE 2000-2013, or why I was identified for torture.
F. Why am I telling the world my story? The Cuba sonic wave events were a stroke of luck for me to look at my situation and to now speak out about it. Until now, the federal government, medical profession, and friends showed little interest in my story. This is not the complete story. I highlighted events that had the greatest impact on me over a 12-year period as a WAE. Perhaps a biography about my career in the U.S. Navy, the Diplomatic Service, and as a WAE contractor will be written.
A warm hello and shout out to all my wonderful retired colleagues. Lots of Love Sandy Williams
Be safe and enjoy life!
See you next quarter.
KEEP THE STORIES COMING!