Friday, March 7, 2008

Xtra Files 3: How to Hide a Mountain

Don was happy that the war was over. He had been away from home for what seemed like a lifetime, and in his absence, the world, and the role of his country had changed forever. He gazed out across the barren panoramic landscape of southern Utah, and pondered his life experiences. He considered that although the world was a much different place than it had been before the war, out in the vastness of the desert, everything appeared to be pretty much the same as it had always been.

The arid-desert air dried his sinuses as he savored the aroma of Basin Big Sage mingled with Pinion and Juniper. Worlds away from the moist climate of Japan where he had spent the previous couple of years of his life serving in the United States Army assisting in the rebuilding** of Japan, after the war. He loved the Japanese people, and thought about the good friends he had made there. The memory of their faces was still fresh in his mind, when it occurred to him that he would probably never see any of them ever again.

Don had a date later that night with a gal named Puss,* and would need to head back to town before too long, but it was so good to be home, and the desire to explore couldn't be squelched, so he pressed on. He was already about twenty or so miles west of Cedar City, when he decided to head over to the magnetic mountain he remembered from his youth.

It's difficult to misplace a large 300- to 400- foot tall, cone-shaped mountain with a diameter of approximately 1/4 mile, that is composed entirely of high-grade magnetite (a naturally occurring magnetic iron ore), but as he approached the area where he knew it was located, it was nowhere to be seen. It seemed like a dream at first... after all, he had been there dozens of times, but now, the large mountain was entirely gone. Vanished from the landscape forever. Things had changed more than he originally suspected. Still, it was good to be home.

Where did the mountain go?

The probable answer is that as the war effort increased, so did the need for new sources of iron ore to build America's war machine - ships, tanks, jeeps, trucks, bomb casings, and etc. would all be needed to defeat the Axis Powers in Europe and the Pacific. The Manhattan Project alone required millions of tons of steel.

** A role the US would continues to practice throughout the world to this day.

Names have not been changed.

"to remove a mountain and cast it to the sea" Isaiah

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