Yesterday's raids on the homes of Rep. Curt Weldon's daughter and pals is bad news for the Republican party, of course. But it's really, really bad news for the Russian flying saucer community, Wonkette reminds us -- pointing to one of my own dang articles.Long before he started pushing kooky theories about Saddam's WMD and military data mining, Weldon -- a fluent Russian speaker -- was one a one-man quest to find jobs for former Soviet scientists and engineers. "It keeps them from otherwise working with the bad guys around the world," he told me, for a 2003 Wired News story.The employment process seemed to begin by getting these Russian firms, like the Saratov aviation company, to hire Weldon's daughter as a lobbyist. Meanwhile, the Congressman would convince arms of the U.S. military to take on projects by the ex-Sovs.In Saratov's case, Weldon was particularly impressed with "Ekip" -- a flying saucer, relying on vacuum shell for its lift."The fact that they had put together a full-scale prototype -- with very limited resources, because of the cutbacks in the military-industrial base -- that was remarkable to me," Weldon said.So Weldon asked some folks at the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, or NAVAIR, to take on the saucer project. The initial prototype was supposed to be 500 pounds -- just a speck compared with the 12-ton craft that Saratov claims to have successfully test flown in the early 1990s.If memory serves, NAVAIR wound up abandoning the project after a while. And if Admiral Joe Sestak winds up beating Weldon in next month's election, it may be a very, very long time before the saucer takes flight.(Big ups: Haninah)
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