CLASSMATE  DESTINY - Burke Shewmake’s classmate at Virgnia Military Institute had a destiny.  Shewmake’s family hailed from Burke County, Georgia, but expanded their land holdings to acquire thousands of acres at the southern end of Walke Dairy Road, giving birth the a community known as Shewmake, Georgia.  Burke, who was born in Dublin on June 16, 1856, was followed in birth by his classmate, George William, some seventy-five days later.  Both men attended Virginia Military Insitute in Lexington.  

George’s father, George Smith Sr., while in command of the 22nd Virginia Regiment, was killed in action in the Battle of Winchester, in the last autumn of the Civil War.  George’s uncle, Waller Tazwell, led one of Gen. George Pickett’s regiments in the infamous, failed charge against the Union stronghold which ended the epic three-day battle of Gettysburg, and killing any of General Robert E. Lee’s hopes of a successful invasion of the North.

Neither Burke nor George, Jr.  pursued a military career, Both men into farming, George in California and Burke in Laurens, Burke, and Richmond counties in Georgia.  Burke was a grocer and George, Jr. was a lawyer.   Neither man shied away from politics, the most important issue during the prime of their lives.  Burke’s father, John Troup Shewmake, was Georgia State Senator at the beginning of he Civil War and a member of the Confederate Congress as the war was nearing its end. 

But George’s destiny for a military career was not over by any means.  Although he did not serve as did his grandfather and great uncle, George’s wife gave birth to a son, George Smith, III.   A half century later, George Smith, III in the latter years of his fifties lived and died as one of the greatest generals in the history of the United States.  It is, as you now see, that the son and great nephew of valiant and successful Confederate colonels, who himself never served in the military, was the father of Burke’s classmate, the legendary and enigmatic General George Smith Patton, III. 

IN SEARCH OF ALIENS - Joseph Richard “Dick” Jones was born in Dublin on August 8, 1925.  A son of Lawton Jones and Maude Jones, Dick served in the United States Navy during World War II, Korea and Vietnam.  Fascinated with the heavens, the Naval officer, completed three world tours and some time in the 1950s, Dick volunteered to serve in the super-secret Project Magnet.  

Unlike the Air Force’s Project Blue Book, Project Magnet focused on magnetic fields around the Earth . A special U.S. program was created to work with Canadian Government to seek out to find the source of any disruptions. 

The group of airmen, naval personnel, and private scientists used specially designed Constellation airplane to fly high into the atmosphere to gather valuable and top-secret .  It has been said that the program was so secret that not even many of the nation’s top generals and admirals were unaware of its existence. 

One important result of Jones’s research came with the discovery of certain, obvious variations in the Earth’s magnetic field were detected in the area east and southeast of Key West Florida.  The group had heard of the pilots who were lost while training off the coast of South Florida in 1945.  They had heard the legends of mysterious ships and underwater colonies off the lower Florida Coast.  Their work laid a foundation for research into the area infamously known as “The Bermuda Triangle.”

After the end of the project in the mid 1950s, Dick Jones returned to his regular duties in the Navy, which included a term as an instructor of Celestial Navigation.  As a civilian, Dick worked for four and one decades before his death in second hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia on August 8, 2017.