Midnight in Malta
“Did you hear they declared martial law in the States?”
It was midnight in Malta, a tiny island off southern Italy, and Denise and I have just landed here, awaiting transport to the even smaller island of Gozo, after a 10 hour flight from Cairo. We are, in a way, on the run.
I learned the news of martial law from the lady behind the counter at the Malta ferry terminal, who upon hearing I was American, wants desperately to share this latest news bulletin with me.
Cannons at Citadel on Gozo island
Her startling information comes on the heels of a series of unwelcome news, starting with the warnings of imminent terrorist attacks to the small, quiet village on the Red Sea in the Sinai for which we had just purchased tickets but 24 hours earlier. Not to be deterred, we sought to go to other, less targeted regions of Egypt’s Red Sea for some rest and relaxation, only to be told that most rooms were now taken for upcoming Eid festivities this weekend. Except for one. Yet it had one minor downside; we would need to be ever mindful of possible unexploded land mines scattered about the beach.
While we knew the chances of such encounters was slim, it was the final warning that an armed guard would be needed to transport us from this chosen remote Red Sea village to our reserved Nile boat departure in Luxor some 100 miles away, coupled with Denise’s lack of sleep for the past 7 days, that had us decide to fold our cards for now, and head to any nearby location that didn’t require artillery protection.
Gozo shrine built 1000 years before pyramids
We thought we had found it in Malta, an island but 2 hours from Cairo, and site of historical constructs that predated the pyramids. But now, with news of Marshall Law being declared in the States, I was thinking we might be here for little longer than the 8 planned days.
The Maltese vendor grabbed her laptop from behind the kitchen curtain and clicked on the YouTube video, entitled “martial law coming to US". I felt some sense of relief when I noticed that the date of the video was Feb, 2012. Fifteen seconds into the first of three very grainy videos I knew War of the Worlds was not upon us. The first hard hitting expose, , narrated by none other than former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura, revealed the US was now in control of a massive weather-changing device that Jesse inferred caused last year’s horrific tsunami off the coast of Japan. And that this was all part of the New World Order and its planned takeover of the world. The leaders behind the New World Order, Satanists for sure, also were behind the beheading of targeted Christians at Ft Lewis, now on the rise. Again, given that I was from Washington State, she was sure I would have at least heard of the guillotines present there (and clearly shown on this video, along with a stack of 3-4 heads lying on the ground nearby). If that wasn’t enough, she showed me another video revealing the stockpiled coffins that FEMA had on its grounds, all set to haul the Christians away.
“Get out of the United States now, before it’s too late!” she warned, as she rested her case.
Mediterranean one night in Malta
The hour was late, but as the only American for miles around, I decided it was my duty to gently but firmly address this fool hardiness, point by point. I rarely try to refute someone else’s reality when I am traveling, preferring instead to try to understand theirs and learn. But somehow, at this late hour, and in my own state of uncertainty, I chose this as the time to clarify truth from falsehood, and stand my ground.
I acknowledged that indeed these coffins could be owned by FEMA, and that in fact they could be for dead bodies, given that it is FEMA’s role in our country to deal with natural disasters. I told her I live 30 minutes from Ft. Lewis and we would have heard, rest assured, if there were guillotines in operation there. I have friends who have been stationed there, I added. I went on to tell her that FEMA has done some unusual stuff in its day. In fact, I explained, “In 1983 I had personally conducted a fact-finding protest tour with 20 other citizens and went inside one of about a dozen FEMA bunkers that were built in the 70’s and 80’s to house the top 75 corporate and political leaders in the Northwest, in the event of a nuclear war”.
“But what you are telling me takes a grain of truth and turns it into a grand fabrication", I said.
Our ferry was coming to take us to our island destination, so I rested my case and bid her a warm farewell. But I could see she was a bit taken aback about the nuclear war thing, and now, in the light of day, I am thinking she may have thought I was the gullible whack job. “Nuclear bomb shelters with names of the 75 people (families not included) to save while their families and 200 million others perish? And they have food and generators to last for 60 days till the war is over?!
I know there truly are people who want to blow up buildings with innocent women and children in them, and I know there are people who think the end is near, and who drink Kool-aid to meet the Messiah, and devise sophisticated cigars that will kill elected leaders.
It’s a big world. As my dad said, it takes all kinds. But 99.9% of the people I have met on this trip to Morocco, and Egypt and Malta are men and women and children laughing, and wanting to be kind, and who help me cross crazy streets, and want to help me understand the complexities of a revolution and nation-building, and who will stand up to despots and fanatics who seek to benefit a few at the expense of the many.
But at midnight in Malta, reality and fantasy can be like two identical twins under the shadow of a dark Mediterranean sky.
Greg Tuke teaches and travels internationally, working with university faculty in India, Indonesia and the MIddle East, sharing strategies for implementing international collaborations within course work. This blog chronicles key experiences and insights about those experiences. All opinions expressed are mine, and represent no other institutional affiliation.