ARMED FORCES: The Bad Earth

As he whistled southeastward out of Oakland, Calif. in his T-33 jet one day last May, Air Force Lieut. David Steeves, like any pilot, could survey the earth beneath him with something of detached contempt. Traveling at better than 500 m.p.h., he seemed almost motionless in space. Just behind him, in twinkling miniature, lay the sweep of San Francisco Bay; ahead, curving gently with the earth, was the hot yellow of Death Valley and the desert wastes beyond. And below, like the riffles in a child's papier-mache relief map, were the grey...

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