BRIDGING TWO WORLDS: A Book Report & a Friend

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This is a story of a life. The life of a shipmate of mine on the USS Porterfield (DD-682) — Adam von Dioszeghy.

Mr. VonD as he was called in the mid 1960s (1964-67) was our Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) officer. He was also the Officer in charge down in IC-Plot where he and I served elbow-to-elbow during General Quarters. He was a crazy and fun man to be around, and since he had a “von” in his name and an accent I always thought he was Dutch.

This book is much more than Adam’s Navy remembrances. It begins with 7 year old Adam and his mother in the bomb shelter basement of their Budapest Hungary apartment building during World War II with war raging all around them — from the bombers above and the Germans and Russian Red Army across and down the street.  It continues post war with life under brutal Communist rule and continues to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution when young teenage Adam is twice wounded and he and his mother have to flee the country with nothing but the clothes on their back.
They eventually make it to the US, speaking no English at all, where Adam gets a University degree from Stanford and then joins the Navy and is assigned to Porterfield where I knew him — not very well because he was an officer an I was enlisted.
Following his Navy service Adam returns to Stanford where he gets a Law degree and practices law in California for many years.
He and his wife moved to Hungary about 7-10 years ago and have a small 7 acre farm where they enjoy life and make home-made Hungarian wine. I hope some day to be sitting with them with my wife sipping some of that wine and enjoying the Hungarian countryside and their company.
I hooked up again with Adam recently through the magic of my 1966 WestPac cruise book and the internet. We have been corresponding with each other via email — after all these years he is my very first pen pal.
I highly recommend Adam’s book. It is a man’s life written in a very readable style — much humor and much attention to detail that is amazing to read. It’s much more than a man’s Navy experiences and covers a young 7 year old boy in the midst of the carnage of WW-II, life under Communist rule; the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and escape in the middle of the night. It tells of a young man and his mother assimilating as refugees into a brand new country and culture, having to learn the new language as they go, the adventures lived, and successes achieved along the way.
An amazing book by an amazing man making a new life in a new world — and no, he’s not Dutch.

MrvonD3VonD Navy

Here’s a link to the book, now go buy it!

BRIDGING TWO WORLDS: Memories and Reflections

ISIS, the Nations and the End of the World –maybe it’s time to take the Bible seriously.


I became a Christian in 1981 largely through the unexpected realization that the Bible was true. This realization in my life came through predictive Bible prophesy made vivid in the books of Hal Lindsey, mainly his book The Late Great Planet Earth, what the New York Times called the “no. 1 non-fiction bestseller of the decade.” (1970s). 

Hal Lindsey
               (click  on the image above)

Read here the Barnes & Noble Overview of the book:

The impact of The Late Great Planet Earth cannot be overstated. The New York Times called it the “no. 1 non-fiction bestseller of the decade.” For Christians and non-Christians of the 1970s, Hal Lindsey’s blockbuster served as a wake-up call on events soon to come and events already unfolding — all leading up to the greatest event of all: the return of Jesus Christ. The years since have confirmed Lindsey’s insights into what biblical prophecy says about the times we live in. Whether you’re a church-going believer or someone who wouldn’t darken the door of a Christian institution, the Bible has much to tell you about the imminent future of this planet. In the midst of an out-of-control generation, it reveals a grand design that’s unfolding exactly according to plan. The rebirth of Israel. The threat of war in the Middle East. An increase in natural catastrophes. The revival of Satanism and witchcraft. These and other signs, foreseen by prophets from Moses to Jesus, portend the coming of an antichrist . . . of a war which will bring humanity to the brink of destruction . . . and of incredible deliverance for a desperate, dying planet.

And here we are,  decades later. Has that scare gone away? Are the events Lindsey talked about no longer of interest? Can we go  on with our lives and no longer worry about such earth-shattering events and now concentrate our worry on Global Warming?

Well no … the events and players in and around Israel are still in play, and perhaps even more relevant than in the 1970s when Lindsey wrote.

Even a casual, uninformed and uninterested person must have at least a passing interest and knowledge of events in the Middle East … and this describes me in those many years ago in my Atheist past.

So let me bring you up to date on what some are saying here in the much more enlightened year of 2016.

The following article is by Greg Laurie from the January issue of Decision magazine:

ISIS, the Nations and the End of the World

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The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3 that in the last days, things will go from bad to worse. We could compare events in the last days to dominoes that are closely stacked together. Once the first domino goes, the others will fall in rapid succession.

That is how it will be with world events in the last days, beginning with the emergence of the Antichrist. Then there is the Tribulation period. Then there is the Battle of Armageddon. Then there is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Then there is the Millennium. These events are closely stacked together. And once the first one starts, the others will follow in rapid succession. Events in our world today are getting very close to that. I think I can safely say that we have never been closer to the return of Jesus than we are right now.

In October 2014, at the Aspen Institute’s Washington Ideas Forum, former U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was quoted as saying, “I think we are living through one of these historic, defining times. I think we are seeing a new world order.”

Hagel went on to say, “What we’re seeing in the Middle East with [ISIS] is going to require a steady, long-term effort. It’s going to require coalitions of common interests, which we are forming.”

We have shifting and change in global powers right now. A new world order will emerge. And I believe there are things happening right now that we have never seen before in human history. It is a reminder that Christ is coming.

Ezekiel 38 says that a large nation to the north of Israel’s newly established homeland, along with a number of allies, will invade Israel from every direction.

Get out a map of the world and find the little sliver of land in the Middle East known as Israel. Now look to Israel’s north. What do you find? You find Russia. Is Russia actually the force known as Magog, which the Bible says will march against Israel in the last days? No one can say with absolute certainty, but I think we can make a pretty good case for it.

Magog was the second son of Japheth (see Genesis 10:2), whose descendants, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, settled north of the Black Sea. The descendants of Tubal and Meshech, Japheth’s fifth and sixth sons, settled south of the Black Sea. These tribes intermarried and became known as Magog, settling to the north of Israel. In Ezekiel 39, God says, “I am your enemy, O Gog, ruler of the nations of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and drive you toward the mountains of Israel, bringing you from the distant north” (Ezekiel 39:1-2).

Then there are the allies that ultimately will march with Magog. In Ezekiel 38 God says to Gog, “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya will join you, too, with all their weapons” (Ezekiel 38:5). Persia officially became known as Iran in 1935. In 1979, Iran became an Islamic republic.

If the Magog that Ezekiel is speaking of is indeed Russia, then it’s fascinating that Iran is identified as an ally of Magog’s. It is worth noting that for 2,500 years, Russia had no alliance with Persia (Iran). That is, until now. Today they are officially allies. An alliance prophesied 2,500 years ago has been formed now. It is indeed a sign of the times.

General Mohammad Naghdi, commander of Iran’s Basij forces, stated, “Our ideal is not [nuclear] centrifuges but the destruction of the White House and the annihilation of Zionism [Israel].”

Which brings us to ISIS. Initially dismissed as a junior varsity rebel group, they have proven to be a major player in terrorism. We were all horrified by the attack in Paris, where 130 people died. Now it has come to America’s doorstep. San Bernardino is now the site of the largest American terrorist attack since 9/11. Terrorists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14, leaving another 21 wounded. Malik pledged her loyalty to ISIS on Facebook and ISIS has called the shooters “followers.” It appears that Malik radicalized Farook.

We have never faced a terrorist group like ISIS before. Sebastian Gorka, an expert on ISIS, works closely with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and the intelligence community. He proposes that ISIS is far more dangerous than Al Qaeda.

Among his findings are the fact that ISIS is the richest group of its type in human history, with enough cash to level about 1,600 terrorist acts equivalent to 9/11. He describes their ability to recruit as mind-boggling; they have recruited 19,000 foreign fighters in the last nine months. They do this largely through social media, radicalizing people online who have no digital footprint. These people are not necessarily being monitored by authorities. They do not have to be authorized by ISIS or anyone else. They get radicalized and they act. There are links to training videos that show them how to create acts of terrorism. They use encrypted technologies that hinder the ability of authorities to intercept and analyze information. This was not even possible until the last 10 years.

All of this is done with the objective of producing a global caliphate, or Islamic government.

Jesus told us to be aware of the signs of His return. And when those signs get closer together and bigger and brighter, we know that His coming is near. In fact, it seems as though every time we turn around, there is a new sign. That is what Jesus said it would be like before His return. These events will be happening closer and closer together, and we certainly are seeing that today.

As I see world events unfolding, I wonder if perhaps the Lord isn’t waiting for that last person to believe before He calls His church home. In fact, that person may be walking around on Earth somewhere today.

I believe the only hope for America is a nationwide revival.

Not convinced?
I can understand your reluctance and hesitance – even your welled up anger at some religious Jesus Freak  “trying to push his religion down my throat.” I’ve been there … I understand.

Don’t believe me … don’t believe Hal Lindsey … don’t believe Greg Laurie.

Do your own homework, your own research … don’t trust me … don’t go to church (yet) … read authors like Lindsey, Laurie and others and ask yourself perfectly reasonable questions:  “are these guys nuts?” “are these guys extremist religious weirdos … and how dangerous are they?”

Then check out what they are saying against history and current events.  Are they just liars out to make a buck on the gullible?

And finally … check out what they are saying against what’s actually written in the Bible. This may take some amount of courage … to actually open and read the Bible.

But ultimately what you do with it is totally up to you alone. You must decide for yourself what is truth in these matters.

This is not a matter of trying to win an argument.




Don Johnson – February 2016


Loose Lips Sink Ships

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Originally posted on A Yearning for Publius:
Grassley questions whether Clinton attorney had clearance for thumb drives Official: More than 300 Clinton emails flagged for potentially classified info Just how potentially serious is such a security breach? The invasion of…

Preparing for Dictatorship … Questions for the Younger Generations

From time to time I review some things I’ve written in the past as a check to see what kind of track I might be on — have I been speaking truth or falsehood?
As we are once more entering the voting season and soon will have new national leadership, will we study the issues carefully before we choose. And more importantly will we carefully examine the character of each who would lead us into the future? And is character important? A few items to consider:
— Our National Debt has just passed 19 trillion dollars.
— Do we understand that out of control massive debt kills nations?
— A leading candidate for President will likely be indicted for serious federal security violations … this less than a year from the election.
— Another leading candidate is and advocates Socialism. Do us voters (especially the young) understand Socialism and its record down through the years?
— A growing number of the young are embracing Socialism as a replacement for our Free Enterprise Capitalist economic system.
— Have those advocating Socialism carefully examined how a heavy handed government may be contributing to the failures they see in Capitalism?
— We have a Strong Man coming on the scene (Trump) who promises , in a very bombastic and uncertain way, to fix everything. Have we heard that before – here and around the world – now and down through history?

— A Watchman on the Wall – Glenn Beck – has been looking for a new George Washington. He’s wondering if Ted Cruz is such a man. I don’t know, but perhaps we need to take a close look at this man lest we miss the right man for this time.

Finally, in my review of this article did I find truth or falsehood? Sadly I find mostly truth … what do you find?

A Yearning for Publius

Following the reelection of Barak Obama many of us in the Conservative/Republican minority are asking “What now, what next?”

I’m closing in on 70 years, and having lived a life blessed by living in a free republic, I think it’s time these questions be directed to the younger generations. So here goes you young folks … let me ask you:

  • Are you ready for life under a dictatorship?
  • Are you even aware that the prospects of a dictatorship are very probable?
  • What will you do if suddenly you awoke realizing your valuable freedoms have been taken away?
  • Are you willing to reexamine some of your core beliefs?
  • How will you react if you come to see that what you have believed, even for many years is wrong?
  • What will you personally do to preserve liberty and opportunity for your own and future generations?
  • Are you paying attention to what’s going…

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Glenn Beck; the man with four hands

I repost this in light of recent commentary by Beck regarding 2016 Presidential candidates:

I followed Beck closely when he was with FoxNews … I still find his wise commentary and analysis to be very much on the mark.

A Yearning for Publius

Posted by The Real Don Johnson on Saturday, June 12, 2010 12:02:24 PM

Glenn Beck; the man with four hands

· With one hand he shines a bright light into the dirtiest, most corrupt and dangerous places in American government.

· With another hand he shines a bright light onto the founding people, values and principles that have made this country the greatest civilization the world has ever seen.

· His other two hands? He holds a rabid, slobbering snarling wolf by the ears, and tries to keep it at bay.

You can help Glenn keep the wolf at bay. Grab hold of a part of that wolf yourself, and help to banish it from our midst.



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Hope–A note to myself from 1987

And read the comments as well. Somewhere I read “There is nothing new under the sun.”

A Yearning for Publius

I found this note I had written to myself in 1987. I think it still applies, don’t you?

We live in extremely perilous times. Reading the daily newspaper gives the impression that there is little hope in this world.

We have wars in many parts of the world and the threat of the ultimate war that would wipe out all of mankind.  The continent of Africa is virtually on fire with war, rebellion and famine from top to bottom, East to West. We have new and incurable diseases diseases. Treason is common place in our country. Drugs are taking a heavy toll in all segments of our society. Government takes beating after beating with one scandal after another. We hear that the earth is warming, and that our sea shores will rise and devastate costal cities. Earthquakes are said to be more frequent in recent years than ever before…

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Election 2016: The Possibilities are Bizarre and Frightening

We are less that a year out, and the first voters are set to cast votes in the soon coming party primaries. The polls continue to come hot and heavy and if they are even somewhat accurate then I dread some of the very likely possibilities:

On the Democrat side …


Hillary Clinton, the front runner and widely assumed Presidential candidate for the Presidential election is facing possible prosecution and imprisonment for multiple counts of felony mishandling of national security data — yet she has wide but diminishing support among core Democrat voters.


Bernie Sanders comes out of relative obscurity as an Independent/Democrat Senator who is a self described Socialist. It seems that Socialism and Sanders are gathering increasing strength — Consider:

In the Washington Post (“The Fix”, January 17), Aaron Blake reports the following polling results:

  • 43% of likely participants in the Iowa caucus identify as “socialists” compared to only 38% as “capitalists” in a January Selzer poll.
  • 47% of all American voters are willing to vote socialist in a June Gallup poll; 59% among Democrats.
  • 56% of Democratic voters had a positive view of socialism in a November NYT/CBS poll; 49% considered themselves “anti-Wall Street.”

Blake concludes that “this number proves Bernie Sanders can win Iowa.”

An article from Fortune Magazine reports that

“ … Sanders’ new programs would cost $18 trillion in taxpayer money over ten years, which would increase federal spending by around a third. That includes an estimated $15 trillion in healthcare costs, $1.2 trillion in social security, and $319 billion in paid leave funds. … “

This coupled with the current US debt approaching $20 trillion dollars is a frightful prospect. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen has  said on many occasions that the most serious national security issue facing America is the National Debt. And yet many Americans appear willing to vote in this looming national disaster — not only for themselves, but many future American generations to come.

As I am writing this I came across several articles concerning the National Debt and the rise once more of socialism. I encourage you to read the articles, but a few snippets will illustrate the problems of debt in Brazil and elsewhere.

Brazil Losing the Battle to Debt – Update

“ … Latin America’s largest economy ended last year with a budget deficit equal to 10.34% of gross domestic product, the bank said, the widest level in at least 13 years, including the 6.05% in 2014. The country’s debt is also expanding at a rapid pace, putting the country on a hazardous path, economists say.

Brazil’s fiscal profile worsened sharply last year despite deep budget cuts and repeated promises by President Dilma Rousseff’s administration to improve government finances, promises she was unable to fulfill.

“What is being done to keep the debt from getting to a point where it can’t be paid?” asked economist Armando Castelar of the Ibre think tank in Rio de Janeiro. “There are no signs of change. … ”

The second article is by Peggy Noonan with the title “Socialism Gets a Second Life” (pay walled)  Here are some snippets from Noonan:

“ … And Mr. Sanders makes it sound so easy. We’re rich, he says; we can do this with a few taxes. It is soft Marxism. And it’s not socialism now, it’s “democratic socialism” like they have in Europe. You’ve been to Europe. Aside from its refugee crisis and some EU problems, it’s a great place—a big welfare state that’s wealthy! The French take three-hour lunches. … “

“ … Socialism is an old idea to you if you’re over 50 but a nice new idea if you’re 25.

Do you know what’s old if you’re 25? The free-market capitalist system that drove us into a ditch. … “

What’s left out of Sander’s analysis is the destructive role often played by the very government he advocates more of. The economic melt down of 2008-2009 being a recent example young and old have experienced. If you dig a little (I did) you will find the Government sponsored Community  Reinvestment Act (CRA) to be the root cause of that economic disaster … not the bankers and billionaires.

The Clinton legal problems. The publically released evidence of Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified e-mails, up to and including the very highest levels would indicate that the FBI will push for an indictment on multiple felony counts. However, such an action by the FBI would face the (hopefully minor) hurdle of the Obama Justice Department and a strong push back by the Democrat party to avoid the embarrassment and chaos resulting in having to endure the “trial of the century”  — in the midst of a presidential campaign.  

So what if the Justice Department (read Barack Obama) decides not to prosecute Clinton? What chaos would such a decision generate? What rebellion/revolution might ensue within the ranks of the Justice Department, and in the general society. Would the FBI go public with the evidence, along with mass resignations as some leaks indicate would happen? If such a decision is made to not prosecute in spite of an FBI gone rouge, will we finally see the unmistakable end to the Constitutional Republic of the United States and will we then descend into a one-party/one-man-rule dictatorship?

On the Republican side …

there are certainly more choices – more hats in the ring. But I will focus in on what today seems to be the two front runners – Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.


Donald Trump, along with Bernie Sanders, is a direct backlash against what many see as the massive corruption and failures of the Federal Government, and in particular President Barack Hussein Obama.  Trump has masterfully capitalized on this backlash and his popularity and poll numbers have dominated for many months.

However, in my view, Trump is much the same as Obama but expressed in a very much contrasting fashion. Obama is smooth cool and collected in his demeanor and public persona whereas Trump is bombastic and confrontational.

Even with these outward personality differences, both come across as narcissistic, self-centered and egotistical. Both prefer the one-man-rule mode of governance at the expense of the long successful limited form of government, i.e the Constitutional federalist model —  “We the People … “  .

Our founders structured the Constitution, and therefore our government, with an implied “government can not and should not be trusted.”   This is seen in the separation of powers between three co-equal branches of government — Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Further separation of powers is between the Federal and State governments. And not least are the rights of individuals – you and I — as codified in the Bill 0f Rights. All this is the bedrock of protection against a tyrannical government.

This Constitutional structure is long lived, has been largely successful and has resulted in more freedom and opportunity for more people than any other form of government ever seen and tried down through history … including and especially socialism.

I see both men – Obama and Trump – as paying lip service to the Constitution, but operate on the principle of “my way or the highway”  … long the traditional form of governance throughout history.

Barack Obama has governed in such a way as to render Congress near powerless and irrelevant. This was seen early on by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and others, — and we were warned by these watchmen on the wall.

But perhaps a Donald Trump could be even more dangerous and destructive. Why? Because Obama has opened a door that will be difficult to close, and someday one like Caesar, perhaps not Trump — but someone — will cross the Rubicon as Caesar did and  destroy the American Republic as Caesar destroyed the Roman Republic and usher in the era of Imperial America as Caesar ushered in the era of Imperial Rome. 
Are we ready for that? Do we care?



Ted Cruz. Of the front four I’ll go with the Texas Senator based on his record of Constitutional defense. Read the opinion piece below by John Hawkins for an excellent recommendation of Mr. Cruz … I echo that recommendation.  

Read Why John Hawkins and I am Endorsing Ted Cruz For President at:

Things to think about … things to ponder … things to worry about … things to guard against


Don Johnson – January 2016

GPS-less Navigation: A Study in Intelligent Design

This paper presents my personal study of a potential – design – engineering and prototyping of a GPS-like, but GPS-less navigational system based on the navigational capabilities we see in nature in the form of migratory animals of a variety of sorts – birds, fish, turtles, whales, butterflies …

And right up front I would like to acknowledge and thank the Intelligent Design (ID) movement  – in particular the Discovery Institute , the ID blog Uncommon Descent, and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), for much informative reporting of science over the years that was a major inspiration for this study.


The paper is divided into three main parts; the first being brief descriptions of the migratory/navigational capabilities of various animals, the second part being brief descriptions of some human designed navigational systems and a third part describes a methodology for achieving the desired end product.

I.  Natural/Animal Navigational Capabilities.


The past two Octobers have found us along the shores of the St. Lawrence Seaway just east of Quebec City, Canada.  While there we witnessed the annual migration of tens of thousands of Snow Geese as they stopped along the way from the Arctic regions to Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere south. Later on, that same trip, we witnessed a similar migration at Lake Champlain NY. This migratory phenomenon, along with  memories of my professional past as a software developer involved with a tracking intense military training system called TACTS/ACMI, has kindled an interest in how animals accomplish these amazing feats of migration and navigation, and how can we humans learn and benefit from the designs contained in these animals.


Animals … how do they do it?

Cryptochrome protein helps birds navigate via magnetic field

From the report: “ … Each year, the Arctic Tern travels over 40,000 miles, migrating nearly from pole to pole and back again. Other birds make similar (though shorter) journeys in search of warmer climes. How do these birds manage to traverse such great distances when we need a map just to make our way to the next town over?

Researchers have established that birds can sense the earth’s magnetic field and use it to orient themselves. How this internal compass works, though, remains poorly understood.   … “

Researchers Identify Protein Tied To Avian Navigation Using Earth Magnetic Field

From the report: … Researchers have found a protein that is responsible for the navigation ability of birds. The protein helps the birds in sensing the Earth’s magnetic field for navigation. …


Magnetism guides salmon migration, research suggests

From the report: “…One of the world’s great migration mysteries – how salmon find their way home from the distant ocean – may have been solved.

Researchers studying the movement of sockeye salmon from British Columbia’s Fraser River say the fish are imprinted with a magnetic map when they are juveniles. And they later use that map as adults to read the Earth’s geomagnetic field, which guides them back from the North Pacific to the river mouth … “


Loggerhead Turtle Migration Follows Magnetic Map

From the report: “ … The extreme vulnerability of loggerhead hatchlings to predators and the whims of wild oceans begs the question: How do any of these animals survive their marathon migrations?

Surprising new answers come from a research team led by Kenneth Lohmann, a marine biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who is partially funded by the National Science Foundation. According to the team’s latest findings, which were published in two recent companion papers, loggerhead turtles are born with an inherited “magnetic map.”

The Earth’s magnetic field varies across the globe; slightly different fields exist in different geographic regions. As they encounter magnetic fields at specific locations along the migratory route, the turtles’ magnetic map — a series of inherited instructions — tell young turtles which way to go. The magnetic map allows young turtles, as Lohmann puts it, to use these different fields as “road signs in the open sea.” Differences in magnetic fields at different locations cause the turtles to change swimming directions so that they stay on course along their migratory pathway … “



How do monarch butterflies migrate so far? Hint, it’s in their genes.

From the report: “ …The researchers carried out genome sequences on 92 monarch butterflies from around the world including non-migratory ones as well as on nine butterflies from closely related species. To study the genetic basis for migration, they compared the genetic blueprint of migratory monarchs to those that do not migrate.

“One gene really stood out from everything else in the genome,” Kronforst said. … “



Amazing Navigation Skills Seen in Humpback Whales

From the report: “ …It remains a mystery how these whales are capable of such exceptional precision. For instance, buoys along their routes showed that highly variable sea currents were capable of significantly deflecting their headings.

Animals are known to figure out direction over long distances from the Earth’s magnetic field or the direction of the sun. For instance, researchers of tiger sharks and thresher sharks recently said cues from Earth’s magnetic fields may what enables those sharks to orient themselves and travel spot-on toward a far target.

In the case of the humpback whales, however, magnetic cues by themselves might not help, as the Earth’s magnetic field varied widely along each whale’s voyage, with magnetic north changing by as much as 12 percent and as little as 0.5 percent across these journeys. Similarly, the sun alone could not explain the whales’ success. Humpbacks from the same area were found to follow similar headings despite seeing the sun in different positions in the sky, and they also followed different headings despite seeing the sun in similar positions.

“Although we saw no clear relationship between solar and magnetic directional cues and whale headings, it is entirely possible that they are using both the sun and magnetic field in a coupled system of orientation,” Horton said. … “

How Whales Work

From the report: “ … Transmitters have shown that some whale species travel much greater distances than scientists previously estimated. Researchers have tracked humpback whales traveling thousands of miles in only a few weeks, swimming from high northern latitudes to equatorial latitudes and back again. Male sperm whales seem to be solitary wanderers, traveling from ocean to ocean with no particular pattern. A single sperm whale might easily swim around the entire Earth in its 70-year lifetime. … “



Some Sharks Take Aim and Go Miles for a Meal

From the report: “ … Tiger sharks’ journeys were particularly interesting, because they swam across deep water at night, indicating they were not using their vision for navigation. Smells or sounds possibly provided cues, but given the long distances over which the sharks traveled, those senses were unlikely to be adequate.

It’s possible the sharks are sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field and use this sense to orient themselves for long journeys, Papastamatiou said. … “


Animal Magnetism Comes to Light

From the report:

” … The only global force available to make long-distance migration possible for sea creatures is the Earth’s magnetic field — something humans cannot sense. A compass can point a hiker north, but it cannot tell her the intensity of the field at any given point. A map can tell her companion where he is, but cannot tell him which bearing to take. Both tools are necessary, and both are available to many animals with input from the magnetic field.

At long last, Chinese investigators recently reported in Nature Materials the putative discovery of the physical basis of the magnetic sense in animals: “A Magnetic Protein Biocompass.” If their findings are correct, the capability resides in a rod-shaped complex of iron-rich proteins inside particular cells. The abstract explains: …”


It has been known for years now that the magnetic fields surrounding and enveloping the earth provide protection from the destructive and deadly radiation coming from space, primarily from the sun. Without the protection of those fields, life on earth would be impossible. Yet those same fields allow a “good” type of radiation to filter down to the earth which is necessary for life. These “good” rays enable the photosynthesis process in plants, and thus food for the vast array of animal life including you and me and that delicious steak on our plate. 

As shown above, it seems also that a compelling case is being made that certain types of animals can interface with and productively utilize the magnetic fields that surround the earth.


And Now We Humans … how do we do it?

II. Human Developed Navigational Systems.


TACTS/ACMI (Tactical Aircrew Combat Training System/Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation) is a system I worked on for many years. The system, in its early versions, tracked fast and maneuvering fighter jets by interrogating each aircraft with a set of four ranging tones (frequencies). These tones received at the aircraft were then re-transmitted to surveyed ground receivers and then passed on to a master station. At the master station, the aircraft position in x/y/z was computed based on the surveyed positions of the ground stations, and the arrival of the four ranging frequencies. In other words, the distance from the aircraft to each of the receiving ground station was measured and thus the position is made known.

The key point here is that the aircraft is maneuvering in the presence of a well understood radio frequency spectrum, and is interfacing directly with that spectrum thus providing real-time navigational data.


Another navigational system developed by humans is the Global Positioning System (GPS). By now most of us are familiar with GPS, and many of us carry a GPS receiver in our pocket smart phone. The TACTS/ACMI system I briefly described above eventually transitioned to GPS as its positioning system. The concepts are very similar, but with GPS, the only dependency on ground stations is to relay aircraft data to a master site for viewing and recording.


Here is another depiction of a joint military operation being conducted using GPS to position a variety of sea-land-air participants.

What these systems seem to have in common; the salmon and turtles – the birds and butterflies – the whales and sharks – TACTS/ACMI – GPS … is they are all bathed in an electro-magnetic spectrum and are in communication in some fashion with that spectrum and are deriving useful real-time navigational capabilities as a result.

Our challenge – the challenge of this study – is to understand how the animals accomplish this interface, and translate that into navigational capabilities useful to humans for a variety of uses.

III. Proposed Methodology for Developing a GPS-less Navigational Capability

Now that we have taken a brief tour of various natural and human navigational systems, we need a Systems Engineering approach to bridge to the next step … a navigational system I can carry around in my smart phone, but with no GPS satellites required … only the earths naturally occurring magnetic fields. Let’s call it the Turtle 1.0, or the Salmon 1.0, or Tern 1.0 … Actually I prefer the Tern 1.0 as in “tern right at the next corner.”

1.  Establishing the viability of the earth’s magnetic fields as a tracking co-ordinate system

This must be the first order of business. Do the earth’s magnetic fields offer the stability and accuracy such that an Earth Centered/Earth Fixed (ECEF) type of coordinate system can be established?  Has this question already been answered by other scientific/engineering disciplines such as petroleum exploration and mapping?

Whatever mechanisms the animals use in their worldwide navigational systems, they seem more than adequate to get them to a pre-determined mouth of a particular river – are there limits as to the dynamics of these animals such as velocity and acceleration? In other words, can this system support real-time navigation of fast moving objects such as automobiles or jet fighter aircraft?

What are the expected accuracies of such a tracking system in terms of x/y/z position, velocities and accelerations?

2.  Establishing the software required to interface with the magnetic fields

Assuming a positive conclusion to III-1 above, what software will be required to translate our current real-time Tern 1.0 position to an ECEF point in space?

Are there commercially available software packages that can be used as is, or modified, to produce the ECEF position?

How do we blend an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) with the Tern 1.0 in order to produce a complete Time Space Position Information (TSPI) picture of the real-time activities of the tracked object?

IV. Potential Application & Market for a GPS-less Navigational Capability

If a Tern 1.0 navigation system as described in these pages is viable, then it would be immune to jamming  (how do you jam the earth’s magnetic fields?).

Targeted end-products of the technology described in this document would most likely be in the military realm. Of interest is that the studies cited in Animal Magnetism Comes to Light come from China. Could it be that the Chinese are studying this navigation phenomena with military applications in mind, perhaps similar to that proposed here.

Commercial applications such as in smart phones are also a potential market.

V. Am I Late to This Party?

As it turns out – yes I am late to the party. Inquiries I have made to contacts in the industry reveal that extensive work is underway to mimic these amazing animal designs and apply them to human use.  This does not surprise me in the least, but on a personal note, I’ll have to postpone that house in the Bahamas, the yacht and the Lamborghini.

VI. Conclusion

In this paper I have followed the long trail of investigators who see design in many of the natural things around us, in this case animal navigation and migration. I have coupled this inference to design with many years of personal experience in human developed systems that are in many ways analogous to the systems used by animals.  A few names for this type of investigation are Systems Biology, Biomimicry and others.

I see actual design in these animal capabilities, and not any illusions or appearances of design that many evolutionary biologists tell me I should be seeing – I see real and intelligent design. And in recent inquiries I have found that researchers also see these designs and are validating these ideas in university and corporate laboratories, and are on the path to building useful intelligently designed systems for human use.


Don Johnson – January 2016

The Refugee at My Corner


I set out for a walk the other day, and as I approached the corner the Q bus stopped just across the street from its usual stop.

As the bus pulled away and I reached the corner, there was a woman standing on the street – not on the sidewalk, but in the street where apparently she had just gotten off the bus.  She waved to me as if asking for directions or help, so I approached her.

Right away it became obvious there would be a language problem as it seemed the only two words she used in pleading with me were “block” and “central.” 

We walked back to the sidewalk and I tried to understand her dilemma and possibly help her. She kept saying those two words – ‘block’ and ‘central.’

Then she started asking about a B bus and seemed to want to find a B bus. So slowly, and with much gesturing we started a bit of communication. Using hand gestures and pointing back and forth to the street we had just came off of, and the street where the bus dropped he off on its way away from downtown New Haven, then gesturing up and down towards the street we were walking down, Central Ave, and then pointing down Central to the next street and gesturing left and right, I then started saying to her “block .. .block … block. ”  Slowly, and mainly by gestures we began to communicate. I asked her, again by gestures, where was she from, what was her country … Syria she said.  And after pointing to myself and saying ‘Don’ she looked at me and with a bit of a smile and a hand pointing to herself said ‘Lenna.’ I asked about family, and with her hands sweeping about waist high in a gesture she held up the fingers of one hand and said ‘five.’ 

Pointing to myself again and saying ‘72’ she then held up three fingers on each hand and pointed back at herself … she was thirty three years old and the mother of five.

By then we had walked several blocks down Central to where the B bus stopped and she seemed to be a little bit more comfortable.

A woman across the street was walking a large dog,  and when Lenna saw the dog she pushed up close to me and slipped her hand behind my elbow and said ‘I afraid dogs!’

As we approached the B bus stop she was able to communicate to me that she needed to go downtown and catch the O bus to Milford. Apparently having been downtown just before I met her on the street, Lenna had mistakenly gotten on the Q bus rather than the O bus – O/Q – Q/O – an understandable mistake.

I should have stayed with Lenna and made sure she got on the proper O bus downtown, but she seemed insistent that she would be OK from there on.

We smiled at each other and I continued my walk …

  **  **  **  **

I have a soft spot in my heart for refugees. Perhaps it’s because I’ve known some of them, and know of tens of thousands second hand through my Navy experience and research. Here’s some I remember:

  • Gabe Harkey. Gabe was an engineer I worked with for a number of years at Cubic. He was a refugee from the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and a fine man as well as an excellent engineer.
    Gabe escaped from two revolutions; the first as I said, as a young man escaped the Communist/Russian tyranny of 1956, and the second escape was from the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
       Gabe was on assignment in Teheran for a system we were to install in a few months for the Iranian Air Force. While there, the revolutionaries invaded the hotel Gabe was staying in and set fire to the lounge on the ground floor with flames spreading to the higher floors. Escape below was cut off by the fire so Gabe and others fled to the roof. Fortunately there was a building being constructed next to Gabe’s hotel and a construction crane rescued many from the roof top. Needless to say, we never deployed to Iran with the system.
  • House Painters. I don’t remember the names of this young couple from Czechoslovakia that we hired to paint our house in San Diego in late 1989. This was the time when the Soviet Union was collapsing and the Iron Curtain countries broke away from the Soviet Union.
       This young couple had tried once to escape Czechoslovakia by applying for a vacation visa to Yugoslavia with the intent of sneaking into Italy and thus to the freedom of the West. Shortly before departing for their “vacation”, their visa was revoked and their escape plans were dashed. They then applied for an exit visa which was granted, and they left for Italy as legal immigrants. They came under the sponsorship of an Italian Catholic organization, and eventually were able to come to the US where we met them and got to know a little of their story.
       As we were having dinner at our house and listening to the story of this couple, Czechoslovakia was still under Communist rule and the last of the East European Soviet Union client states still under Soviet control.
       The young painter was very critical and dismissive of his former country and its people. He spoke of them as lazy Stalinists who would never get off their lazy butts to get out from under the oppressive yoke of Communism.
       Ironically, just several weeks after we last saw them, those lazy Stalinists did overthrow their government and became a free nation.
       I wish we had somehow kept in contact with them.
  • LTJG Adam von Dioszeghy. Adam is both a new and an old friend.
       Old as when he was a young LTJG ASW Officer and I was an even younger enlisted Seaman. Mr. vonD and I stood bridge watch together as well as stood side by side at our General Quarters station in Fire Control Plot. At the time, and since, I thought Mr. vonD was Dutch.
       New as when I recently made contact again with Adam who now lives in Hungary (he now asks me to call him Adam rather than Mr. vonD).
       Adam apparently is a refugee from that 1956 Hungarian Revolution that produced so many refugees. I don’t know much about that time in his life, but he wrote a memoir, BRIDGING TWO WORLDS: Memories and Reflections, that I’ve just ordered and am anxious to read. 
  •   Charlie. I’ve never met Charlie, but have met his wife and widow who now lives in Idaho. Joan had us over for lunch one day and over a meal told us a bit of her life with her husband Charlie, a Hungarian refugee. Charlie came to American out of that terrible time of the 1956 Hungarian revolution that was so brutally stomped out by the Russian Soviet army. Between the two of them,  Joan and Charlie managed to produce three memoirs; Joan, Charlie and US.
       I have to admit I haven’t read all of these memoirs, but along with Adam’s work I’ve got a bit of reading ahead.
  • Hai (David) Nguyễn.  I  met David in prison in San Diego back in the late 1980s. Hai was a young boy when he escaped South Vietnam as one of those countless “boat people.” He somehow ran afoul of the law and wound up in the Donovan prison where I met him as a friend in a Christian outreach program. We visited him on a number of occasions in prison, and once in Los Angeles when he invited us down for dinner. A very nice fellow, but we haven’t maintained contact with him.
  • The Lucky Few.  And this is the story that gets my refugee emotions churning big time. The story of a small US Navy Fast Frigate – USS Kirk (FF-1087) and how they rescued 30,000+ Vietnamese from  almost certain annihilation by the Communist North Vietnamese invaders.
       Click here to see this amazing story, and here as part of a video I put together as a companion to my book I Didn’t Want to Worry You Mom

Reading some of the stories of the brutality happening to so many in the Middle East, in particular Iraq and Syria is heartbreaking, and being Christian, my inclination is to help, and be supportive of a nation  that traditionally has helped those in dire need.

The scourge of the twentieth century was Communism, Nazism and Fascism.  The scourge of the twenty first century is and will be Islam – not militant Islam – Islam. They are at war with us even as we deny our role as a combatant.  But just as we fought those enemies of the last century – we also provided a new home and new opportunity for millions of victims of those horrible years of war.  We must do the same now – fight the barbarous enemies and yet find room for the many victims.

  **  **  **  **  

**  **  **  **

There’s more.

By now most of us know of the hundreds of thousands of ME refugees flowing into all of Western Europe.

What we are now learning is that there have been spikes in violent crimes, mostly rapes, committed by many of these Muslim young men in many European nations that have welcomed these refugees. We also learn that many of the cell phones contain grotesque pictures of torture, beheadings and mutilations. 

Norway, where we have much family, is one of the nations being effected by these new found problems. And I know from personal knowledge that the Norwegians are a compassionate people, willing and actually helping many in great need.

So there is legitimate reason to exercise caution and great care when vetting and admitting ‘refugees’ into our nations. There is reason to suspect that many of these young men are posing as refugees, but are in fact enemies set on destroying the ‘infidel’ and establishing the Muslim Caliphate where we live.


Don Johnson – January 2016







On old long syne — 2015

(click on the image above)

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne*?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.”

Should auld acquaintance be forgot  … ?

Pushing on to 72 years means many “auld acquaintance’s” there behind me, but with fewer coming along with me.

It’s been a good life!  … Easy?  Well in a very broad sense yes it has been easy, but there are those times, in the midst of it all, when it has seemed hard and troublesome.

But then I think on the many “auld acquaintance’s” and I am indeed a very grateful and blessed man. Blessed by God with much family — parents who loved me and raised me with love … a wonderful woman, a wife, as a lifelong companion, lover  and friend  … a wonderful son and wonderful daughter (I love you both!) … three wonderful grandchildren … and two brothers.

And the other family spread out all over this amazing nation and across the world. Father in law, mother in lay, brothers and sisters in law, aunts & uncles – cousins aplenty, both mine and Diana’s. I love and have loved them all.

Friends – some lifelong and some new. Friends across this fruited land and far away places like The Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Hungary, Fiji, Zambia, Italy, South Africa.

In 2015 I was amazingly able to renew some truly “auld acquaintance’s.” Old meaning from the days of my youth and  early adulthood:

Here are a few:


Coach Sam Jankovich.

Coach SamCoachSam now 

You can read about Coach Sam’s storied career at the link above, but let me tell you the story of how he and I are connected and how we became reconnected this past year. 

Sam and I are Butte Montana natives, and after having gone our separate ways following high school, I didn’t give much thought to Sam, and I’m sure he could not have remembered me as an undistinguished skinny high school kid.

But then a few years ago Sam’s son Sam bought the iconic M&M bar in Butte and set out to reestablish it a watering hole in uptown Butte.

Young Sam

A few years ago while visiting Butte we met young Sam in the M&M, had a beer and exchanged pleasantries. Sam brought us to the back of the bar where he had a “Sam Jankovich Hall of Fame” display with many mementos of his father.

While looking at all of this stuff I mentioned to Sam that I remembered his dad from Butte High. Sam, expecting I was perhaps a football jock, was surprised and laughed when I told him that his dad taught me typing.  That’s right … Coach Sam, football legend,  also taught typing, and I am forever grateful for that skill.

Sam gave me his dad’s phone number in Haydon Lake Idaho and said “give him a call. So I tucked the number in my wallet for a couple of years.

Then in August 2015, while walking a trail in Idaho not far from Sam’s place in Haydon Lake, I took that number from my wallet and called:

Coach: Hello …
Me: Hello Mr. Jankovich (you should always address a teacher as Mr. Miss or Mrs.)  This is Don Johnson, you may remember me from your days at Butte High.
Coach: Well the name sounds familiar … (he’s thinking football.)
Me: You’re perhaps thinking I’m one of your players, but actually Mr. Jankovich I remember you as my typing teacher.
Coach: “ … laughter … ”
Me: “ … laughter … ” I’m in your neighborhood for awhile, and it would sure be nice to see you again.
Sam: Well what a surprise. Tell ya what, I’m going to Butte this weekend, and if you are still around next week when I get back why don’t you come on over and we’ll have a drink and talk Butte.
Me: Sounds like a plan, I’ll call next week.
Sam: Ya know I hear from my players now and then, and sometimes we get together. But you are the very first of my typing students to ever give me a call … laughter … laughter.

So the next week I visited Sam at his house and we had a cup of coffee and talked Butte. And as I was leaving he said “next time bring your wife … I’d like to meet her.”


Major Mark (Foxy) Foxwell


Mark Foxwell was the Air Force Officer in Charge at Tyndall AFB Florida in 1977 when we installed the ACMI range there. We worked with him on an almost daily basis back then and he was one class act and fun to be around, to say nothing about how helpful he was in coordination things we both needed.  The following is the e-mail I sent to him recently, followed by his reply.

Hi “Foxy” It’s been many a year, but we worked together at the ACMI at Tyndall. I was part of the Cubic crew that installed the range back in 1977.
I think of those days every now and then, and they were good times … and I remember working with you with your dedication and good hummer.
Your name came up last night in one of those strange “small world” events. My daughter’s friend Krissy was at our house baking Christmas cookies and they took a break to make some Red Beans & Rice. It smelled really good and I made the remark that it reminded me of my days in Panama City with my old friend Ed Burdik. Krissy perked up and said “you were in Panama City? That’s where I was born … my dad was a F-106 pilot stationed at Tyndall.” And as it turned out we were all there together at the same time.
I don’t know her dad’s name, but when I find out I will send it to you per chance you may know one another.
Another name that came up was Skip Sanders. I knew Skip over the years as I continued working Cubic Air Ranges and we would run into one another on occasion.
I don’t know what you did following Tyndall, but you may be interested in knowing a bit about what happened to ACMI in the subsequent years. You can take a look at and see the latest. The last project I worked, in 2009, was what is called P-5 and handles 72 aircraft and the pretty much the entire battle space (computer technology is wonderful).
And I put together my own remembrances and history of the system and its people at:
It’s good to see your face once more.
Don Johnson

Mark’s reply:

Wow, Don, what a pleasant surprise to hear from you. Working with you and Cubic on the ACMI helped really propel my career; I got promoted early after that stint at Tyndall, later became IWS Commander, then on to Europe and F-16s. I retired as the Tyndall Base Commander in late 1992. I do not recognize Krissy; but certainly I relished knowing and working with Skip Sanders. Thank You for contacting me. Let’s keep in touch.


Jack Hix

JackHix2JackHix3Jack Hix FT SeamanJackHix4

Jack and I were Fire Control Technicians (FTG) who operated and maintained the equipment associated with controlling the five 5” guns we had on board. We served together on the USS Porterfield (DD-682) in 1965-66 and then did our active reserve duty from 1966-69 on board the USS Shields (DD-596) also  a Fletcher class tin can.

We were both married, and had apartments off base and were quite good friends during those years. But as time moved on we went our separate ways and lost contact with one another.

Then in recent weeks I was able to contact Jack via Facebook. Not much conversation yet, but hopefully that will change and I hope to see Jack at the 2016 ship reunion in San Diego where he still lives.


LTJG Adam von Dioszeghy (Mr. vonD)

VonD NavyMrvonD3

Adam von Dioszeghy was the ASW (Anti-Submarine-Warfare) Officer during the time I was on the USS Porterfield (DD-682) in 1965-66. Mr. vonD was also the Officer in Charge of IC-Plot during General Quarters, and we spent a good deal of time together side by side, along with Jack Hix,  running the Fire Control Computer. Mr. vonD, being the officer also had the responsibility for actually pulling the triggers which shot our matched set of 5 –  5”/38 Caliber guns.

My normal underway watch station was the Bridge watch where I actually took my turn as helmsman and steered the ship as well as phone talker, look-out and Lee Helmsman where I relayed ship speed to the engine rooms via an Engine Order Telegraph. Mr. vonD was one of the Officers of the Deck, and and we worked together there as well.

The following is the e-mail message where we hooked up again after almost 50 years:

Hello Mrs. Von Dioszeghy,
I hope you get this message, and I hope I have the right people to send this to.
I was in the Navy back in 1965-66 on board the USS Porterfield (DD-682) and at one of my General Quarters stations in a place called IC-Plot was this crazy guy LTJG Adam von Dioszeghy who was the officer in charge in that space and the guy that actually pulled the gun triggers. I was an FT Seaman at the time and made FT 3’rd class on the Porterfield.
If he is the guy, it would b e great to say hello once more after all these years.
My wife and I and another couple from Ridgecrest CA visited Hungary several years ago and enjoyed it very much. We spent a week at Keszthely, and then a week at Budapest. We enjoyed our time in both places very much, and at Keszthely met a couple of Americans that snow bird between Tucson and Keszthely.
Looking at your pictures, it looks like you have a lovely place and a good life.
In recent years, I have rekindled a passionate interest in things Navy and have published a book and put together a video of life at sea. You can see them at:
The Porterfield has had reunions for 40 years now, and my wife and I have attended the last three and have met and re-met sailors and family going back to 1943 through 1969 — it’s been an amazing experience for me.
I am in charge of organizing the 2016 reunion in San Diego next September, and if ya’ll are the Von Dioszeghys I think you are, we would love to see you there. I know it’s a long shot, but hey if the question is never asked, the answer is always no. Short of that, a greeting from Adam would be most welcomed by the group.

And his response:

Hi Don…yes indeed, I am the one and only crazy guy in IC-plot. As you may recall, everyone called me Mr. vonD. I’d like to keep in touch with you, so here is my e-mail (better than Facebook): I also have written a book, which contains a number of Porterfield stories: the link to it has already been sent to you. I will order your book right now….can’t wait to read it. I loved your video about life at sea (and the story of the Murphy which I didn’t know). I have just looked through my 1965 cruise book and found the picture of second division, but I don’t know where you are in it…please tell me the row and the number (I’m sure you have the cruise book). I’m looking forward to hearing from you VERY SOON! Happy New Year! Adam von Dioszeghy

It turns out that Adam was a Hungarian refugee who escaped in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution. Years later in 2005 he and his wife bought a small farm outside of Budapest and now live there.  Someday I’m hoping they will invite us over to sip a bit of their home made wine and chat a bit.


So there you have it from the end of 2015. I enjoy life, and I enjoy learning the life stories of others. I hope you have enjoyed my time travel with a few of my auld acquaintance’s

Don Johnson – December 2015