Chapter 53 - New Messiah is born in Colorado
While he was in the air, the latest Weekly World News story broke:
New Messiah is born in Colorado
A new born baby born in Colorado is being hailed by leading doctors as the new Messiah. The new baby Jesus was born at 4.35 AM and weighed 9lb 2oz …
The editorial staff at Weekly World News were largely used to their stories being parodied, lampooned or ignored, but this time the story went viral on the internet. Word spread at lightning speed around the world and this edition became the largest selling edition of the paper ever.
In Colorado the crowds began gathering.
Within 2-days the Marines estimated that the crowd outside the Colorado bunker complex was 20,000. They called for reinforcements. Estimates were another 15,000 people on the road being held back at road blocks by the National Guard. The highway to the site was closed. But overnight more people had headed cross-country on foot, in 4x4’s and in RV’s.
A number of news helicopters hovered over the sight broadcasting live pictures. The helicopters stationary positions gave a clear direction to the people who wanted to believe in the new messiah. The NSA rushed a court injunction through the Colorado courts and the news gathering helicopters were prohibited from overflying the bunker on the grounds of national security. But the news story would not go away.
There were the weirdo’s and the zealots, but there were normal people as well, from all the religious groups Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, who were all in hope that this was the second coming, the new Messiah, or whatever they called ‘Him.’ In countless TV interviews the followers in Colorado came over as idealists, who wanted a new hope. Something new that they could believe in.
The Admiral and the NSA Director had a crisis meeting with the President, and the White House Press Office (PO) went into full swing.
First there were denials.
The momentum on the story continued to build.
The PO issued more denials.
The momentum built further.
The Vice President went on record to deny the story. On the PO advice the President was advised to ‘No comment.’
Privately they briefed world leaders.
The PO wanted specialist help and contacted Malcolm Packer, a retired British PR consultant, had been involved in the PR covering the birth of Prince William and Prince Harry, the children of Princess Diana and Charles the Prince of Wales. He was considered by the White House as a world expert on managing the PR on celebrity babies. ‘Manna from heaven’ he thought when the White House called and offered him a 3 month consulting contract at twice his previous salary.
Malcolm’s advice was to take the responsible press ‘inside,’ and allow them full access one-time, in return for leaving the story alone afterwards. This was a deal that the British Royal Family had struck with the press many times, and it was a formula that worked. In any case, he advised, that once the story was out and splashed on every newspaper front page, TV news program and internet site, people soon bored of it.
The Admiral and the NSA Director partially took his advice. But they also had plans of their own.
A struggling actress desperate for her first break was brought in, and an orphaned white baby as a decoy. At the same time Mary and the black baby Jesus would be smuggled out of the complex to a secret location. The White House PO, the Admiral and the NSA Director figured that there may be a black US President, but the world wasn’t yet ready for a black baby Jesus.
The actress name was Jenny Able (actually that was her stage name it was really Jennifer Clarke). She was a ‘plane Jane’ with a peaches and cream complexion, with dark hair, brown eyes and not much of a figure. The PR people advised that their ‘Mary’ couldn’t be too sexy.
She had had a boob job supposedly to help her acting career, but given the right bra and costume, it would look as if she was producing milk for a new-born baby. Make-up was applied skilfully, and a screen test given. The girl thought she was being auditioned for a movie part to play Mary in a historical religious movie.
An elaborate operation was set-up to ensure that the decoy-baby was well cared for, and a team of 12 specialist carers were brought in at the NSA’s expense. The President ordered this operation filmed 24/7, because he didn’t want any claim that the baby had been harmed in any way, if it all leaked later on.
A psychologist was now assigned to Jenny and her job was to turn her to being Mary so she could play the part, not just to act it but to believe in what she was doing. She had to be convincing. Jenny was given some mild sedatives to make her appear sleepy and motherly.
Jenny had been selected from a long list of possible ‘plane Jane struggling actresses’ because she had no immediate family, she too was an orphan. Hopefully few people would recognise her, or miss her.
The White House PO went into high-gear 24 hours before the press conference was scheduled with a specific plan to target 36 journalists they felt represented the best national and international reach for this story. It included international correspondents from leading news agencies around the World including the BBC, the China People’s daily and Al Jazeera.
TV cameras and tape recorders were banned, but HD video footage would be made available after the event. The event would not be broadcast live. The NSA considered that too risky.
The journalists were told only that they were being invited to a special briefing by the President on the story about the baby born in Colorado. When the White House Press Office called person to person like this, it wasn’t an invitation it was a summons.
The White House also began confidential briefings to world leaders. Sometimes in person from the President, sometimes through US Ambassadors abroad and sometimes through the Secretary of State.
US forces were put on a heightened state of alert, and US Embassies were told to invoke a ‘lock-down’ procedure. Just in case.
The Admiral and the NSA Director briefed the President on the evening before the press conference in the Oval Office. The President told them the news had brought a very positive response from the world leaders he had spoken to. All politicians liked a good news story. The President also said he was now more optimistic for the Middle East Peace talks.
Both the NSA Director and the Admiral were deeply concerned about possible leaks. With the number of people who now knew, it was inevitable that the story would get out.
The Director General of the United Nations would be joining the President on the platform at the press conference tomorrow. The 36 journalists didn’t know this as yet. It was hoped that this would be an unexpected surprise, and give additional credibility and gravitas to the proceedings.
However, just in case anyone was in any doubt, the President spelled out for the record, in a room where he knew the cameras were recording everything he said, ‘that on the advice of the NSA he was about to lie to the Director General of the UN, the assembled press, the American people and America’s closest allies. They were all going to be led to believe that the baby they were to see tomorrow, the white baby boy, was the alien baby and possibly the new Messiah.’
The President continued for the benefit of the recording, ‘the real baby Jesus is being well cared for with a team of 12 trained nursery staff dedicated to his every need, and being supervised by a distinguished scientist from NASA, Dr Mary Morrell, who had been significantly involved with the Silver man since he was taken to the Colorado bunker.’
The President paused in his monologue, he thought for the first time of the significance of the names Jesus and Mary. He had not thought about that before. He could see the NSA Director was about to speak, but waived him to silence so he could continue.
‘The real baby Jesus has been taken to a secure CIA location on a Caribbean Island. He has arrived safely.’
Nobody was going to sleep well tonight, thought the President. His ‘make-up’ team were going to be challenged to make him look fresh at the press conference tomorrow.
The following 12 hours were a hive of intense international diplomatic activity.
Every world leader wanted to share the platform with the President with the announcement of the new baby. Passionate requests and solid cast iron reasons why they should be there were put forward by almost every major nation. Israel was one of the most passionate. With an offer to fly not only the heads of their Jewish religious orders but also the Christian leaders in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. On top of this the Washington envoy to the Vatican, had been requesting a meeting with the President, on the basis that the Pope himself would fly in.
On advice of the Secretary of State, they turned down Israel’s heartfelt requests because if that happened they would have to ‘balance’ with the Palestinian countries. This would mean the Israelis’ sharing the platform with Jordan or Syria, or a representative from the Palestinians, of course out of the question. Even the President acknowledged that the Middle East Peace talks were not going that well.
Nobody said ‘no’ to the Pope so instead the Secretary of State played a waiting game, delaying and putting of a decision, until he knew it would be too late for the elderly pontiff to reach Washington in time.
The British Prime Minister wanted to be there and his plane was already in the air. After all it was a British scientist’s work that has led to the capture of the Silver man, and Britain was the US’s greatest ally. After several long telephone calls via secure satellite phones the Prime Minister’s plane was diverted to Alberta, and he paid an unofficial and unexpected visit to the Canadian Prime Minister. Of course the intensive use of so called secure satellite phones, alerted the listening posts all over the world. The conversations caused mild hilarity in basement offices in Pyongyang, Tehran, Moscow, Berlin, Paris and Beijing. Nothing much remained secret anymore, the information just never went public.
Representatives of the Hindu and Sikh religions in India, and the Buddhists in Tibet all wanted in. The Chinese government was suddenly very pro-Tibet. The 15 other countries where sensors had been discovered other than the UK and the US, also wanted in. This included Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Finland, New Zealand, New Guinea, South Africa, Chad, Morocco, Denmark, Malaysia, Germany, Japan and Indonesia.
In the end they chose only the UN. Even the NSA Director acknowledged that sometimes the UN had its uses.
At 10 AM EDT the next day, 35 expectant journalists sat in the White House briefing room, surrounded by as many Secret Service personnel and White House staff.
One journalist from the Washington Post, who actually had the shortest distance to travel, had not been able to make it at the last minute, because her young daughter had been taken ill. The PO refused to let her send a colleague as a replacement. When the Editor of the Washington Post was given the bum shift by the White House press officer, he was not in a positive frame of mind towards the White House, and told the ‘prick on the phone’ sarcastically and with no disguised threat of malice ‘that he was itching to write his editorial when he knew what the fuck this was all about.’
The journalists who were regulars at White House briefings were surprised, because the normal form was to find a prepared statement printed on the President’s note paper on their seats, and relevant briefing notes. Today their chairs were empty.
As the radio synchronised clock in the White House ante room struck 10.01 AM the Vice President, NSA Director, Head of the White House Press Office, Secretary of State, Heads of Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of NASA walked in and took their assigned seats in the front row.
There was a stirring amongst the journalists. This was an unusually auspicious gathering. Then the Master of Ceremonies announced ‘Ladies and Gentlemen the President of the United States and the Director General of the United Nations.’
As was custom everyone stood, and on queue the White House staff and Secret Service personnel applauded enthusiastically. The President could see many familiar faces in the room, and he could also see even amongst the press veterans that they were totally thrown by the attendance of the UN Director General, and although they applauded politely, their own applause was less than enthusiastic. In fact it was a very rare event for the UN Director General to share a platform with a serving US President and the UN Director General. Especially with this one thought the President, because he disliked the man intently, and the White House had continually clashed with the UN all the time he had been in office.