There is nothing in this particular document to link Earth First! with the 1986 incident. And the FBI surveillance at the Rendezvous by Fain would not begin until two years after the Palo Verde vandalism. Nor is there any tie-in between Shackleton's comments and the Prescott contingent of Earth First! But clearly the FBI thinks there is some connection. For God's sake, Shackleton claims that if the moon had been in Aquarius, if just one or two happenstance events had coincided, there would have been a holocaust.

And we are left to wonder: Is it possible that a leader who espouses the benefits of the Stone Age, that his wife who arrives at decisions within the circle of consensus favored by communes in the Sixties, that their followers, some of whom favor floppy Western regalia and flutes sheathed in leather and a diet rich in peyote, that this particular type of dissident could, somehow, trigger a nuclear meltdown that would kill all of us who live in Phoenix?

And if that's true, what the hell happens if a Cessna prop falls out of the sky--they do that once in a while, you know--and strikes one of the Palo Verde transmission lines? Are we all toast?

And if Dave Foreman, Peg Millett, Ilse Asplund, Marc Baker, and Mark Davis were on the path to creating a nuclear meltdown, you can understand why Special Agent Michael Fain of the FBI wanted to send a message to the members of Earth First! to back off.

Yet it remains unclear whether Arizona's radical environmentalists understood the message contained in the headlines that announced the Earth First! bust.

On Memorial Day weekend, a controversial off-road race chewed through the Prescott National Forest over the objections of local environmentalists. As the dirt bikes progressed, they discovered nails and logs had been strewn along their path while signs marking the course had been changed. The family event was monkey-wrenched.

This eco-tage occurred in the very community where the Earth First! trial is scheduled to begin in less than two weeks. Someone isn't getting the FBI's message.

Did the government really expect Stone Age saboteurs to be able to read the headlines?

To be continued

Not everyone at the Earth First! conclave was an FBI informant; some were actually FBI agents.

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