This collection of videos offers a disturbing picture of what might be going on 'behind the scenes' in the Gulf of Mexico, and raises a number of questions:
- Why is the press being restricted from seeing and reporting the news?
- Is BP covering up the extent of the damage?
- Why is the public not being warned of the toxic dangers?
Worse yet, ominous reports are indicating that the oil spill unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico may lead to results much, much worse than you might have imagined.
Some scientists believe that 251 million years ago, an undersea methane bubble caused massive explosions, poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed more than 96 percent of all life on Earth. Their theory is fifty-five million years later, another methane bubble ruptured, causing more mass extinctions.
Now, some scientists are increasingly concerned the same series of catastrophic events may be happening again -- with no way to stop it. Some claim BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered a chain of events that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years.
The drilling might just have set the stage for the eventual premature release of a methane mega-bubble.
According to Helium.com:
"The warning signs of an impending planetary catastrophe -- of such great magnitude that the human mind has difficulty grasping it -- would be the appearance of large fissures or rifts splitting open the ocean floor, a rise in the elevation of the seabed, and the massive venting of methane and other gases into the surrounding water ...
All three warning signs are documented to be occurring in the Gulf."
Helium.com, incidentally, is not some crackpot site. It is a well-respected information hub that bills itself as a "knowledge co-operative where our writers are also our editors who read and rate every article on the site."
According to the a BP press release, dated July 26, integrity testing on the MC252 exploratory well has been underway since July 15 and it's still holding. The well is capped and the pressure inside the well is slowly rising. This rise in pressure is important, as if it does not increase, it could be a sign of a leak elsewhere, as discussed in a July 20 article by Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, the first relief well had reached a depth of nearly 18,000 feet on July 18 th. Relief well activities were temporarily suspended on July 23 due to Tropical Storm Bonnie, but resumed on the 24th.
"Although uncertainty remains, the first half of August remains the current estimate of the most likely date by which the first relief well will be completed and kill operations performed."
Is Oil Still Flowing in the Gulf of Mexico?
I'm sure you, like I, drew a big sigh of relief upon hearing the news that the oil gusher had finally been capped after 87 days of unimpeded flow. But plenty of questions and suspicions about the veracity of BP's claims still remain.
Just days later, oil started appearing some distance from the blown-out well. BP was quick to claim that it has nothing to do with their well…
Matt Simmons, founder of the Ocean Energy Institute, strongly disagrees.
In the first MSNBC video above, he goes on the record in a July 15 interview claiming that BP is covering up a massive open hole in the bottom of the ocean that is spewing 120,000 barrels of oil a day, miles away from the well head.
And that might not be the only, or even the biggest, problem we could still be facing in the Gulf.
Has Ruptured Well Unleashed Yet Another Unstoppable Mega Disaster?
As discussed in the Helium.com article above, scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the possibility of a massive methane gas deposit beneath the ocean floor. Methane is the main component of natural gas, which is highly combustible when mixed with air. Richard C. Hoagland also warns about this distressing possibility in a Coast to Coast interview that aired in June.
The ramifications of a methane deposit explosion are so staggering it can only be described as a planetary catastrophe en par with what some believed to be previous extinction events, as illustrated in the History Channel video, Mega Disasters, above.
And, according to a July 21 article in the St. Petersburg Times, methane readings in the area are definitely on the rise:
"Two years before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, scientists from SRI International took readings on the levels of methane in the Gulf of Mexico less than 10 miles from the rig. Last year, they went back and did it again.
Now, after the rig blew up and gushed oil for more than 80 days, SRI's scientists from St. Petersburg have returned to the same area just northwest of the disaster and taken fresh readings.
They found levels of methane — a particularly potent greenhouse gas — are now 100 times higher than normal, SRI scientists said. They can't say for sure it's from BP, said SRI director Larry Langebrake, but "it is a sign that says there are things going on here that need to be researched."
Scientists from Texas A&M found even higher levels of methane when they recently tested water within 5 miles of the Deepwater Horizon.
They found methane concentrations 100,000 times higher than normal.
But even if the worst-case-scenario doesn't happen, raised methane levels can still cause significant environmental damage.
Methane is consumed by naturally occurring microbes in the ocean, and higher methane levels mean an increased microbe population. But these microbes also consume oxygen, which will expand the size of current dead zones in the Gulf and help to create new ones. No marine life can exist due to lack of oxygen in these dead zones..
Damage Already Incurred Will Take Many DECADES to Clean Up
It is probably obvious to all that the story is far from over just because the oil flow has decreased. After all, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of gallons of oil has poured into the Gulf. The Exxon Valdez disaster was "only" 12 million gallons of oil.
The second MSNBC video above offers a sobering report of the extent of the destruction already caused. A rare view from a helicopter makes the disaster painfully evident – rare since draconian measures have recently been implemented to limit media access and reporting on the disaster.
In the CNN video above, Anderson Cooper reports on the troubling new rule that prevents anyone, including reporters and photographers, from coming within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms anywhere on the water or on beaches.
Violators face fines of up to $40,000 and class D felony charges.
It is easy to speculate on conspiracy explanations as it just doesn't make any rational sense to restrict American media from showing the full extent of the damage. Is the US government in collusion with BP?
Meanwhile, "BP has been offering signing bonuses and lucrative pay to prominent scientists from public universities around the Gulf Coast to aid its defense against spill litigation," claims al.com, who also reports that "BP PLC attempted to hire the entire marine sciences department at one Alabama University, according to scientists involved in discussions with the company's lawyers."
No doubt BP will need all the legal defense it can get its hands on.
Earlier this month, the Atlantic Wire reported on BP's numerous shortcomings and wildly exaggerated claims on how much they'd be able to clean up, showing how their cleanup efforts "have fallen drastically short of its own predictions."
There's no doubt in my mind this disaster will take DECADES to clean up, if it's at all possible.
Will BP really be around for the long haul?
Remember, at first, BP denied there was a leak at all. Only when that fact became painfully obvious did they fess up to it, estimating the leak at 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of oil a day. As of June 20, experts estimated the ruptured well was spewing out a staggering 4.2 million gallons of oil daily!
That level of low-balling must be a record in and of itself.
BP says it will make it right…
Time will tell if "making it right" is even within human capacity anymore.
The environmental disaster has since been significantly magnified by the reckless use of dispersants that are 4.5 times more toxic than the oil itself! These chemicals now pose a dire and direct threat not only to marine life, but to any human who comes too close to the waters of the Gulf.
To get more in-depth information about these dispersants and their environmental impact, please see this recent article.
Gulf Water Poses Direct Threat to Human Health, Toxicologist Warns
Corexit products were removed from a list of approved treatments for oil spills in the U.K. more than a decade ago after the agents were linked with human health problems including:
- Blood disorders
People living near the Gulf of Mexico and those who have come in contact with its waters are now exhibiting these symptoms, according to toxicologist, Dr. Ricki Ott, in the video above.
She warns that the oil/dispersant mix can literally burn through your skin, through the subcutaneous layer, causing deep scarring. The dispersants break down your skin barrier, allowing the mix to penetrate deeply – far deeper than the oil could by itself.
"This is a huge problem," Dr. Ott says. She goes on to say that people are describing it as invisible jelly fish.
The other concern is that it's not just skin issues. It's also a respiratory irritant, so people are experiencing respiratory problems, as well as central nervous system problems, such as:
- Burning eyes and sore throat
- Ear bleed
- White spots in the back of the throat
- Immune suppression
Dr. Ott is convinced that these ailments are linked to the oil and dispersant mix in the water and air in the area.
I agree, and strongly caution you to STAY OUT of the Gulf of Mexico. In my opinion, it's simply not safe to swim there.
The MSDS for Corexit 9527A lists the human health hazard as "acute," stating that:
"Excessive exposure may cause central nervous system effects, nausea, vomiting, anesthetic or narcotic effects."
According to Carys Mitchelmore, a researcher at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the detergent-like brew of solvents, surfactants and other compounds are known to cause a variety of health problems in animals, including:
- Reduced growth
- Reproductive problems
- Cardiac dysfunction
- Immune suppression
- Altered behavior
- Carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic effects
Remember also that children are far more prone to experiencing health problems from this type of toxic exposure than adults. So please, keep your children safe. Do not allow your children to swim or play on the Gulf coast beaches.
In addition, if you can smell the crude oil, even if you're miles inland, then you know you are being exposed to UNSAFE levels of toxins. Dr. Ott goes so far as to recommend all residents along the Gulf to acquire vapor organic respirators and keep them on hand at all times.
Take Action to Stop the Use of Toxic Dispersants
No matter where you live, you can still join the movement to stop the use of these dispersants by signing this petition.
This issue does NOT ONLY affect the Gulf States, or just the U.S.—it has global ramifications that grow with each passing day. I urge you to take action now, without delay, pressing your representatives to hold BP accountable.