Wednesday, February 23, 2011


So, you've all heard about those fighter jets from Libya, right? In the wake of all the political unrest, two fighter jet pilots from Libya flew off in their jets, seeking political asylum on the tiny island of Malta.

Malta has long been an important spot, despite its small size of just over 115 square miles. The apostle Paul shipwrecked there, and the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans all saw its strategic value. Though the exact meaning of the name Malta is unsure, the most common idea is that it means "honey", after the populous species of bees that do indeed produce honey there. Some believe the name originates from the Phoenician word Maleth, meaning "haven".

Whether those pilots sought after a haven from the turmoil in their own country, or just wanted to see the Megalithic Temples, there they landed and surrendered their aircraft.

In view of that, you can imagine Jack's great surprise yesterday when he heard ON THE RADIO that Libyan fighter jets had landed in Malta, Montana, which is near Fort Belknap.

I can certainly understand the confusion. For one thing, the state of Montana is almost 1300 times as big as that little island - much easier to aim for. For another thing, Malta has had its own post office since 1890. With Kid Curry, part of Butch Cassidy's gang, carrying out a robbery in 1901 to the tune of 40 G's, there is no shortage of historical interest. And if they had preferred dinosaurs, well Malta, Montana has plenty of those, too.

Leonardo, the mummified brachylophosaurus, was found there, one of only four mummified dinosaurs in the world. His unmummified-but-fossilized cousins, Peanut, Roberta, and Elvis, are also on display at the county museum in Malta.

With so much to offer, I can only wonder why Malta, Montana was passed up by these Libyan pilots as they looked for a landing place. What's that? Other side of the world? Details, schmetails. Help spread the word - next time you want to defect, go to MALTA, MONTANA!!!

Rooting for Malta,
Noni Beth

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