New ISIS video raises questions about existence of secret US “dino-soldiers”
June 13, 2031
NEW MANHATTAN– When historians look back years from now, this week may mark the dawn of a new era in modern warfare, the day when the ghosts of the past came back to haunt the living. Rumors began circulating late Wednesday about a dramatic Special Forces assault that took place in the Alhulu West Forest of the Islamic Republic of Syria, located in the heart of the An-Nusayriyah Mountain chain west of the city of Homs. The target of the covert op was allegedly an ISIS forward operating base that was being used to coordinate cross-border attacks in northern Lebanon and southern Turkey. Almost nothing is known about the operation, but one dramatic detail stands out in the few reports so far—the claim that it involved dinosaurs.
When asked, one US intelligence official laughed off the possibility of dinosaur soldiers.
“The likelihood of Uncle Sam having an honest to goodness dino army,” a skeptical Colonel Adam West suggested, “is about as great as the Army winning this year’s Commander-in-Chief Trophy.” West suggested that it was more likely someone saw one of the next-gen K-9 tactical support droids, known as Iron Wolves, and confused one of these hybrid robots for a dinosaur.
Perhaps the most intriguing piece of evidence so far is a forty-five second video uploaded to an ISIS holographic media account on Wednesday. The video claims to show US troops using dinosaurs in their attack on their base in the Alhulu West Forest. The video went viral after a copy was posted to VHnet, and it already has over 2 million holoviews.
One high-ranking intelligence official, who was not authorized to discuss the operation, suggested there may be something to the story. Several terrorism experts in charge of monitoring ISIS holographic media posts have also suggested there may be something to the rumors. One expert from the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) noted that further analysis of holographic media traffic was being done, but there did appear to be a spike in virtual traffic overnight Wednesday. A number of those communications, according to TRAC, included references to some kind of monster.
After hearing initial rumors about the sighting, dinosaur blogger Bryen Swetik tweeted “Did the US mil break the DNA time barrier and make dino soldiers? If so, this is beyond huge! Can anyone confirm? #de-extinction.”
Several years ago rumors circulated about a top-secret experimental project that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was working on, code named—X-RAC. The project was thought to have begun many years ago as part the DARPA-BAA-15-35 project, one of the first biotech research experiments to fall under the new Biological Technologies Office, or BTO. While White House officials have denied such a project ever existed, that fact has not slowed down speculations. One former official suggested that such a project, if it did exist, may have involved two separate research groups, one focused on creating genetically enhanced super soldiers and another focused on synthetic biotechnology, cloning and nanotechnology.
The idea isn’t entirely far-fetched.
The 2015 film Jurassic World was premised on a similar idea. Private scientists worked with military contractors to secretly develop genetic hybrid dinosaur species (e.g., Indominus Rex), while attempting to train Velociraptors for use in combat. Instead of InGen technologies, DARPA might be doing the research leg work. Rather than field tests in Tora Bora, we have the Alhulu West Forests of the Islamic Republic of Syria.
Allix Jonez is director of Project Wide Awake, a leading conspiracy tracking website. Jonez is a vocal believer that the US government has been secretly developing a “dino army.”
“If you look at all the pieces of the picture—government biotechnology and cellular regeneration projects, dozens of specific DARPA research grants, secret genetics labs in the Rockies—it’s not that hard to imagine. After the whole Edward Snowden and NSA spying scandal in 2013, only a fool would believe the government isn’t doing more crazy stuff we have no idea about.” If anyone has resources to crack the de-extinction problem, claimed Jonez, it would be DARPA.
Jonez preferred theory is that that X-RAC stands for Experimental Reptilian Assault Corps. A second theory, he said, is that it stands for X-Recombinant Army Clones, with the X being an inside reference to P. funkei, also known as Predator X, an aquatic creature discovered in 2009 near the Arctic island of Svalbard. The discovery was initially hailed as “the most fearsome of all prehistoric creatures” by the media. Jonez speculated that scientists working on the project may have thought they were cooking up the next “Predator X” in their secret labs.
For many years, scientists believed that DNA had a half-life of approximately 521 years, placing Jurassic period DNA far beyond the window of viability, even with the best preserved specimens, such as those recovered from deep under ice in Siberia or Greenland. But thanks to rapid advances in genomics, synthetic biology and gene mining techniques, a small group of researchers has begun to question whether the lack of a complete genetic code is truly an obstacle to de-extinction. While many in the science community tend to dismiss such claims as more fiction than science, a small number of scientists have begun to take a second look at the supposedly uncrackable dinosaur DNA problem.
Dr. Ensong Hueng is one such scientist. Hueng took part in the first successful de-extinction projects last year in South Korea. Hueng led the team of geneticists and biomolecular engineers from Maos Biotechnology Foundation who successfully engineered and bred the first wooly mammoth clone using DNA recovered from the Yana River in Siberia.
“It was very exciting to think that we were the first people in thousands of years to see this species alive,” said Hueng. “Thanks to advances in this project, we have some new ideas about reaching back even later into time, maybe even millions of years, something that most scientists say can’t be done.” If the US government were to successfully reverse engineer and revive a dinosaur, the implications would be huge, say scientists, opening up new possibilities for everything from species conservation to biodiversity preservation.
Hueng thinks it might just be possible. By using stem cells injected with custom transgenic DNA partially derived from extinct species, and placing them into a synthetic bioframe that mimics the shape of that species, Hueng thinks it might be possible to grow a dinosaur hybrid.
Hueng is working on a printable 3D bioframe for a triceratops, into which he hopes to insert stem cells which have been programmed to develop into something resembling a rhinoceros. The transgenic DNA would spur the growth of a thick bony plate along its skull and three longer horns, instead of just one short one. It won’t be a pure Jurassic triceratops, Hueng admits, but he thinks it is a step in that direction.
While it is still too early to know for sure if DARPA has been secretly cooking up a new dino soldier in their labs for the past few years, one thing is certain: Whatever happened this week in the Alhulu West Forest has gotten everyone’s attention. Whether or not there are dinosaurs among us, one thing is sure: the truth is out there, somewhere.
About the Author:
Chris crews is a freelance reporter and holovid producer based in New Manhattan. He spends his time between teaching at the Graduate Research School and documenting the aftermath of the West Continental Collapse of 2024.