By David Franke
© 1999

A bomb exploded on the Internet around mid-day Thursday. Those of us
on various Y2K lists started getting notices advising us to click on
a site registered in Tonga, an island nation
in the South Pacific.

It seems that Jim Lord, a noted Y2K author and speaker, has either
gone nuts or has come up with the most sensational — and disturbing —
scoop of the Y2K era. If the document he writes about is authentic and
true, it’s a whole new ball game. Start dusting off your worst-case

Lord, a retired naval officer, says his information comes “from the
U.S. Navy and Marine Corps (Department of the Navy). They were
apparently tasked to conduct a study of the Y2K exposure of their
worldwide shore facilities. A copy of this study made its way into my

“The information was obtained from a confidential source of the
highest reliability and integrity,” he adds. “The identity of this
source will be staunchly protected.”

In short, he says the Navy report’s “results are horrifying. They
expect more than 26 million American citizens in 125 cities to be
without electricity, water, gas or sewer services next January.” And
the cities are listed and classified according to probable and likely

For starters, the Navy — if this report is true — thinks “total
failure is likely” in New York City, with a loss of water, gas, and
sewage services. This is the financial nerve center of our nation,
where hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent making the
financial infrastructure “Y2K-ready.” Who’s going to protect, run, and
maintain all that infrastructure if this scenario comes about? Most
people will be busy trying to protect themselves and their loved ones,
and trying to flee.

Eight of the nation’s dozen largest metropolitan areas are on the
list, and 45 of the 125 cities have populations of more than 100,000.
And these are just cities with naval facilities. We have yet to hear
from those with Army and Air Force facilities.

The initial reactions I saw from Y2K authorities on the Internet were
cautious. Dumbfounded would be a better description. Most everyone who
knows Jim Lord, or has heard him or read his books and articles,
respects him. In Y2K circles, he’s not considered an extremist or a
hothead. The last time I saw him, he seemed to have all his marbles
and his sense of humor, his perspective, intact. And yet. …

“Jim Lord is one of the more credible Y2K sources I’ve read over the
last two years,” said the
Y2K Weatherman.
“Still, use your own discernment, and avoid the tendency to panic when
you read this. It isn’t very comforting. Time will tell what Y2K
really brings, and if this is even half right, you’ll be glad you’re

Y2K Newswire issued a members-only
alert that “Jim Lord has just posted a document that, if authentic,
could prove to be critical in exposing the Y2K cover-up.” It then
asked, “is it possible these documents are a hoax? Yes, it is
possible. Y2K Newswire is beginning an investigation to find out … In
the meantime, these papers are about to become the hottest discussion
topic on Y2K.”

Sanger & Shannon’s Review wrote
that “most of you probably have read Jim Lord’s stuff on the Westergaard
Year 2000 site, or elsewhere. He has a solid reputation.”

Then, the review added, “There are people who think this may be a
hoax, either someone using Jim Lord’s name, perpetrated by Jim Lord to
sell his Y2K stuff, or perpetrated ON Jim Lord by whomever gave him the
document he describes. Until there’s evidence to prove anything one way
or another, I would encourage each of you to check this out, and keep in
mind that the validity of this should be questioned. (I think it’s
authentic. … I also don’t think he would risk his reputation with
something like this unless he was convinced that his sources were
solid. Still. …)”

And Gary North pretended to be upset
that Jim Lord had upstaged him as the Y2K doomsayer. Then he got
serious and added, “Lord is a Navy vet. Maybe that’s how he got access
to it. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a fake. I don’t know that, either.
But he has been a straight-shooter on Y2K from 1996. He does not
overstate his case. That’s why I am posting this.”

I personally see at least three possibilities here:

1. Jim Lord is suffering from pre-Y2K traumatic stress syndrome,
which comes from nobody listening to you, and he’s gone south. I do not
think this is the case, and apparently the people who know him don’t
think so either. People who turn out to be flakes usually give you some
indication of that in advance.

2. Someone he trusts gave him a fake document, for whatever reason.
This may be more plausible than the first explanation, but still it’s
hard to believe that someone of Jim Lord’s experience (see his resume
following the secret report) could be taken in so completely that he
would go this far out on a limb.

3. The report is true.

Now, if the report is true, we’ve had one massive conspiracy
at work here to keep it from the American public. And that’s where I
have my problem accepting the report. It’s also Jim Lord’s biggest
problem coping with the report.

Bear in mind that the Department of the Navy has facilities in nearly
500 locations around the world. Since this allegedly was a study of the
Y2K readiness of each of those facilities, each facility commander would
have had to be involved. It follows that they were then involved in the
cover-up of the report from the American people — or that the Pentagon
hid the report’s combined findings from each of those commanders who
contributed to it.

I don’t find either explanation plausible.

We are not talking about politicians, after all, but about hundreds
of professional high-ranking military officers. I certainly am under no
delusions about the pervasiveness of politics in the armed forces, but
it stretches my credulity to think that this report (said to be prepared
in June) wasn’t leaked by one patriotic officer until Jim Lord’s source
spilled the beans to him in August.

I find the second explanation more plausible — that the Pentagon
kept the results from the base commanders. Those folks in the Pentagon
are politicians. But don’t you think each facility commander
would be asking questions and demanding answers? At least 125 of them
would, I expect — the ones in cities with utility problems. Even if
you have no knowledge of the total situation worldwide, you’d be
concerned that your base or facility was at risk.

Beyond the honor of all the people involved, there’s the
logistical problem involved in trying to keep something this big
and dangerous a secret. Think about it.

Don’t you think these facility commanders talk to each other? And
they’re not the only ones in each facility who were involved in
preparing the report. Those hundreds of people have families living
with them on or near the facilities, and they have family members and
friends living in other cities affected by problems. They’re smart
enough to connect the dots, and figure out what will happen to their
loved ones if the utilities don’t work. And yet none of them confide to
family or friends? Nobody gets tipsy at a party and says something that
others hear? C’mon.

The first rule in a conspiracy is to keep the circle as small as
possible. I don’t buy this one, and I don’t quite understand Jim Lord’s
readiness to accept this report as authentic. He needs to provide more
explanation, and for starters he should post a photocopy of each page of
the report on his website.

One thing is for certain: His web site is going to be one of the
hottest spots on the Internet in the next few days. Meanwhile, the Y2K
community has been appropriately cautious while we try to sort out the
meaning of this bombshell.

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