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Ed Thelen's Nike Missile Web Siteed@ed-thelen.org
Visiting again? - updates, Bulletin Board
Table of Contents. This site presents a great deal of Nike Hercules historical, technical and operational information and provides extensive links to Nike related books, documents, museums and to other Nike related web sites. This site also provides a photographic tour of Nike site SF-88 (being restored), location and status of Nike sites, and a List of Nike People, some on-line documents, a bulletin board, a search, a Photo Exchange, an FAQ, and a variety of other features.
Table of Contents
Introduction Colorful Pictures, Movies, Brochures Nike History Nike Site Technical information Nike Operational information Nike Locations and Nike People Books & Manuals, On-Line documents Places to visit, physical and on-line,
People and Trip Reports,
Nike related web sites FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions Stories, Questions Other & Thanking Veterans Search Function Bulletin Board Items, Wanted or for Sale General diagram of a Nike Hercules site. To List yourself or update e-mail address
What Nike is all about
This three minute video is a (successful :-) test of an early Nike Ajax destroying a radio controlled WW-II B-17. Later tests verified that the Nike Ajax was also a killer of higher flying sub and supersonic jets such as used by the Soviet Union. The next generation was the Nike Hercules which was faster, longer range, and could carry nuclear warheads to destroy multiple targets.
The equipment shown in this video must have been an engineering prototype - Things were much more crowded when installed in the two vans - among other things, the plotting boards here are horizontal, in the BC van, they are vertical. The analog computer operational amplifiers are different, big tubes here, in the vans they were "miniature" tubes, and on and on - the zero set switches (the round spinning things in the analog computer) were a little different style -
I think you could say that this equipment was "re-packaged" for field use.
Mike Stucka, a staff writer for the Taunton Daily Gazette, was looking for images for a Nike story and e-mailed "This story is interesting, and everyone is so darned helpful."
( That story has disappeared - I should have made a "local copy" ! )
I thought for a bit and replied:
"These were good days for lots of now older folks - and we were quite proud of - the learning experience - some of us even got a little more "mature" ;-)) - doing something useful - better than flipping hamburgers or selling shoes ?
"Most look back and smile, and like to share the warm feeling :-))"
This site has become a cooperative effort as more than 350 people have contributed text, stories, ideas, information, and corrections.
The Nike surface to air missile system was named after the winged goddess of victory in Greek mythology. Two versions of this system defended the U.S. and other places from hostile aircraft.
The 1st version, the Nike Ajax, was deployed in the U.S. from 1954 to the early 1960s. It had an effective range of 25 miles.
The 2nd version, the Nike Hercules, was developed which was faster, had a range of over 75 miles, and had nuclear capability. The Hercules was deployed starting in 1958. In 1963, there were 134 Nike Hercules and 77 Nike Ajax batteries defending the U. S. - as per "Rings of Supersonic Steel".
Both versions above are made light and transportable by wheeled vehicles, transportable in cargo planes for "easy" mobility. With practice and preparation, a site could be moved in a long, hard day. As many parts as practical are made of aluminum or magnesium, the standard power frequency is 400 Hertz (cycles per second) saving iron and weight in transformers and motors as in aircraft.
The Hercules is still in use (with an improved computer and a few other enhancements) by several countries today.
This web site does not present photos, histories, nor detailed status of most NIKE sites. I link to other web sites take up that interesting challenge.
Almost all Nike Hercules related information has been declassified - the only exceptions are some IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) information, some flight characteristics, and some nuclear warhead information. This site has a little information on the Nike Ajax, and no information on Nike Zeus (external link).
I installed and maintained Nike Ajax fire control equipment (radars & computer) at Chicago site C-41 during 1955-1957. Maybe "we" deterred "them". I have served as a volunteer helping restore an old Nike site (SF-88) near San Francisco for the National Park Service.
About submitting photos to this web site.
Colorful Pictures, Movies, Brochures
Two "action" pictures and four movies
Hercules Night Launch,
(17 K bytes)
From previous army pictures at
Nike Ajax Intercept - 1 minute, Internet Archive
Nike Hercules Intercept - 1.5 min, Internet Archive
Annual Practice - 1.5 min, YouTube
Hercules Launchs - 6 min, YouTube
Nike Hercules night launch
The missile (with booster) was launched 0.4 seconds ago, is accelerating at 25 times the force of earth's gravity, has risen 60 feet, and it is now going 210 miles per hour.
Four seconds from now, the missile will be:
If the target is 90 miles approaching at mach 1.5, the missile will meet the target 60 miles away in 90 seconds.
- going 1,700 miles per hour straight up,
- separated from the booster, (the black flaming thing with the white fins),
- turning (diving) towards the intercept point with the target,
- starting the sustainer rocket engine to reach 2,700 miles per hour.
The Nike Hercules shown here defended major U.S. target areas against aircraft attack from 1958 to 1974. It had an effective range of over 75 miles and a speed of mach 3.6. South Korea has over 200 of these missiles, with associated radars and guidance systems, currently in service.
Its predecessor, the smaller Nike Ajax, was in service from 1954 through about 1965. It had a range of 25 miles and a speed of mach 2.5.
... ... Click here for expanded graphics scanned by Pete Wurzbach C/4/562 Alvarado, Texas
A short easy introduction to the Nike Anti-Aircraft system - from Michael Keller - posted May 3, 2013 Click on image to download the .pdf "Camp Sarafi", South Korea
from Al Dietz ... I believe the balloon antennas are left to right: TTR, TRR, and MTR. The LOPAR acquisition radar is behind the building.
I don't normally post pictures of individual sites (too many), but isn't this bleak ?? Gads - imagine winter -
Intercept - A little more technical ;-))
This is a plot of a Nike intercepting a target flying at 52,000 feet.
The vertical scale is altitude in feet. (max 100,000 feet)
The left trace is the Nike missile, the right is the target.
The horizonal scale is computed time to intercept, in seconds.
The middle is time zero, intercept.
from TM9-1400-250-10/2 page 36, Manual
Cold War in South Florida, ... Study available free online - posted Mar 4, 2010
Click on image to download the .pdf
Good news. The Cold War Study of Nike Hercules in South Florida ($19.95 plus shipping) has been re-released in pdf format as a public domain document.
The tours of HM-69 has been overwhelming at Everglades National Park for the second year. Tours will be conducted through the end of March.
Charles D. Carter
Michael Keller wrote (Feb 2009) & (Dec 2010) & (Aug 2011) & (Dec 2012)
Cover of 2 MByte brochure Just found this nice piece on Ebay. Printing Date is 10-15-56. "The purpose of this booklet is to inform high-school graduates-and their parents-of the matchless opportunities that lie within the Army Antiaircraft Command." Well, most of the once-adressed kids will be retired by now, but maybe they remember this booklet. Its a 3 page folder, size 500mm x 100mm. (Yes I prefer metric) :) But look, on the frontcover: seems that track LIMA296 has slipped through!! :)) It has a beautiful painting inside, and a funny 70's scene on the backside. It contains the original Team Nike decal, and a small brochure. Both items came to me together with the MISSILE MASTER booklet. [600 KB]
The diameter of the decal is 4,06 inch. (103 mm)
with kind regards from germany,
A recruiting brochure featuring the Nike Hercules, "Now making its appearance on-site."
- Acoustic Ears
- Pre-Nike (Anti-Aircraft Guns)
- Nike Historical Information
- First Nike Missile Site
- Nike Technical Background, Then & Now
- Nike A Remarkable YouTube Presentation, - 10 minutes - recommended by Jon Little
Nike in Overall Air Defense
TU-4 "Bull" Bomber
photo credit Wikipedia
TU-95 "Bear" Bomber
TU-22M "Backfire" Bomber
photo credit Wikipedia
- 416L is the name of the North American air defense system. ( 28 page, 3.3 MByte .pdf document )
- DEW Line Distant Early Warning Line - more
- Pine Tree Line (with techie error about how radar cooks)
- Some info on Texas Towers 1, 2, 3, , Picket Ships 1, 2, 3, AirForce, ...
- SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment)
Nike Site Technical information
- Nike Site Overview
- Nike Integrated Fire Control (IFC) Area Overview
- Acquisition Radars
- Battery Control
- Tracking Radars
- IFC Test Instruments other than Radar Aiming Alignment
- Lesson 8. Target Simulation - 1.2 megabytes
- - IFF Symbols and FUIF sysbols
- Greg's Nike Utilities fans, heaters, event recorder, ...
- Nike Radars and Computer Manual, MMS subcourse number 150
- Nike Training Films
- Nike Launcher Area Overview
- Missile Pre-Launch Sequence
- Missile Flight Sequence
- Nike Missile and Test Equipment Manual, MMS subcourse number 151
- Nike Hercules Updates Allied Supportability Program
Command and Control between Nike Batteries
Nike Operational information
- Life on a Nike Site
- Nike Missions Surface-to-Air, Surface-to-Surface, Radar Bomb Scoring
- Nike Battery Alert
- Nuclear Nike Launch Authentication Procedures
- Target Practice
- Nike Site Support
- Command and Control of Nike Batteries
- Documents from a Battery Commander - from Earl Close
- Air Force provides long range radar data to Army Nike centers - (off site) 1960, after I left
- The National Guard *is* Ready
- US Army units on NATO Countries Batteries -by Richard Scheffler
- Life before Transistors
- Nike "Kill Ratio"? or "How good was Nike"??
Support for Nike Field Batteries (and museums)
On-Line documents ( Atempting to sort - somehow ) - Longer range radars another site
- Documents w/out numbers
- Documents w numbers
- Un-Numbered Documents - recently added at top (here)
- Army National Guard in Air Defense 51-74 - from Danny Johnson - 18 MBytes
- Nike - U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous ..., also local copy via Ken Conger - Mar 2014 - 3.3 MB
- NikeAjaxOrd&PropellantHandlingProcedures-1-July-1954-TempSites.pdf 1.2 MB, from Ron Plante Mar 21, 2014
- Winged Victory - The History of the Nike Missile Training Program At Fort Bliss 48 pages, 7 megabytes
- A Western Electric Nike-Hercules Technical Data - about half the pages, 10 MBytes - from Greg Brown
- 412L Aircraft Warning & Control System 1959-1980 7 megabytes, from Jim Tarbet
- Introduction to Radar Systems by Sloknik, An external SERIOUS book
- Antiaircraft Journal 1948-1954 - spotted by Mark Morgan via Ron Pickinpaugh added July 2010
- Army Preventive Maintenance Magazine - Notes, Nike - from Michael Keller
- U.S. Army Air Defense Digest 1965
- U.S. Army Nike Brochure (Improved Hercules, recruting)
- Emerging Shield .PDF from the Air Force History Office. - spotted by Peter Goetz P.Geol.
- Redstone Arsenal, 11 minute publicity video - spotted by Olav ten Broek
- Production of Hercules Missiles by Douglas Aircraft - thanks to Tony Moore
- "Ring of Fire" Could Nike missiles have protected U.S. cities from a Soviet attack?
- on www.radones.org
- "What We Have, We Shall Defend: An Interim History and Preservation Plan for Nike Site SF-88L, Fort Barry, California" by J.A. Martini and S.A. Haller, National Park Service GGNRA, San Francisco, CA, Feb 1998 External link to NPS, local copy - (870 kBytes)
- " An Antiaircraft Artilleryman 1939-1970, - my life in the antiaircraft for 30 years from private in 205th CA(AA) Seattle National Guard to retired Army colonel." by Wilfred O. Boettiger (now for sale at Xlibris)
- A SAGE Movie - thanks to Ben Abzug
- [ICBM] INTERCEPT TEST HITS BULL'S-EYE We couldn't do this with Nike
- Link to offsite Vigilant and Invincible (local back-up)
- Field Trip to North Bay - (to see a SAGE installation) by Gordon Bell (12 megabyte .pdf)
- Missile Master - brochure - Thanks to Robert C Barr
- Excess Report, NIKE Hercules Site D-FW-20, Terrel, Texas,
- - .pdf, 1.12 Megabytes, includes site drawings, thanks to Mark Berhow,
- Last Line of Defense from the National Park Service
- "US Army Air Defense Digest, 1966" a Management Overview of US Air Defenses
- "US Army Air Defense Digest, 1972" a Management Overview of US Air Defenses
- AJAX Historical Monograph also now in .pdf form Redstone
HERCULES Historical Monograph
Introduction to SAGE, 14 page visitor's document
Site Summit - Nike Hercules Missile Installation June 1996
The Nike Preservation Group Newsletters
From SF-88, Nike News The Launching Pad 5th Missile Battalion Veterans
Offsite links to T1 .pdf manual & NAMFI Hercules Launch QuickTime movie (big files!) W-25: The Davidsonville Site and Maryland Air Defense, 1950-1974 by Merle T. Cole To Defend and Deter: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Missile Program Warning - 70 megabytes of .pdf - - spotted by Dave Fields History of the OOZLEFINCH by Errol Porter (Published with permission.)
Documents with Numbers - those marked "(if requested)" have not been scanned yet. Let me know if you want to see one.- a .pdf file of the manual - spotted by Tom Page FM 44-8 Army Air Defense Command Posts August 1962, with change 1 - 1964, 2 MByte .pdf, scanned by Cory Newman FM 44-10 U.S. Army Air Defense Fire Distribution System AN/FSG-1 (Missile Master) February 1963, 6 MByte .pdf, scanned by Cory Newman, images trimmed by Ed Thelen FM44-80 - Procedures and Drills of the Nike I System - Table of Contents, Manual - 24 MByte .pdf MMS Subcourse Number 150 - Nike Radars and Computer Manual, MMS Subcourse Number 150, revised November 1973 MMS Subcourse Number 151 - Nike Missile and Test Equipment Manual, MMS Subcourse Number 151, revised November 1973 MMS Subcourse Number 900 - Lesson 2. Major Units of the Nike Hercules Missile - from Manual, MMS Subcourse Number 900, "Nike Missile Maintenance" Revised March 1973 - 2.1 megabytes MWO 9-1400-250-30-22 Modification Work Order, to Launcher area PIO4324, "On Site On Guard", 1963 2 MBytes ST-44-188 - AN/TPS-1G, a close relative of the AN/FPS-75 ABAR acquisition radar used in some Nike sites
- Introduction to Radar ST-44-188-1 - from Chuck Zellers
- Introduction and Start-Stop to the AN/TPS-1G ST-44-188-2G - from Chuck Zellers - 3.8 megabytes
- Modulator and transmitter of the AN/TPS-1G ST-44-188-3G - from Chuck Zellers - 2.5 megabytes
- AN/TPS-1G Receiver System ST-44-188-4G - from Chuck Zellers - 2.08 megabytes
- AN/TPS-1G Moving Target Indicator System ST-44-188-5G
- (Chapters 1 - 4) - 2.1 megabytes (Chapters 4+ - ) - 2.7 megabytes - from Chuck Zellers
- AN/TPS-1G Indicator System ST-44-188-6G - 3.8 megabytes - from Chuck Zellers
T1 Field Manual 7.6 megabytes - thanks to Rolf D Goerigk TM 9-1400-250-10/2 - A great introduction to the Nike Hercules system, in technical manual format - 135 pages, and also in smaller sections. (There is also a Tactical Control section) TM-9-1410-250-12/1 - OPERATOR AND ORG MAINTENANCE MANUAL: MIM-14A AND MIM-14B (NIKE-HERCULES AND IMPROVED NIKE-HERCULES) November 1967 TM 9-1410-1250-12/1(FMS) Intercept-Areal Guided Missile MIM-14A, B, C - July 1981, 88 MBytes - from Rolf Goerigk TM-9-1410-250-24P-1-2 Organizational, Direct Support and General Support Maintenance Repair Parts and Special Tools list Including Depot Maintenance Repairs parts and special Tools - Illustration Supplement for ... MIM-14B and MIM-14C - - 10 MB .pdf TM9-1430-250-12P/10/2 Illustration Supplement for ... (Improved Nike-Herc)
- big trouble scanning - I quit - here is two page sample
TM-9-1430-250-24P-9-1 special tools ... for Director Station @ SF-88 TM-9-1430-252-12/2 Unit Schematic Diagrams Target Tracking and Missile Tracking Radar Systems and Radar Test Set TS-847/MSW-1 - October 1966 @ SF-88 TM 9-1430-1256-12/1(FMS) Check Procedures, Target Tracking, Target Ranging, Missile Tracking Radar Systems and Radar Test Set Group - Allied Configuration, September 1983, 28 MBytes - from Rolf Goerigk TM-9-1430-250-15P/9/1 Radar Course Directing Central Director Station - 1969 @ SF-88 TM-9-1430-257-20 ??? @ SF-88 TM9-1440-250-10-1 Nike Hercules Overall System Description TM 9-1440-250-20-1 GUIDED MISSILE LAUNCHING SET, Organizational Maintenance, Nike-Hercules TM_9-1970-2_Feb_58, part 1, part 2, Ammunition Antiaircraft Guided Missile M1 (Nike-Ajax), Identification, Description, Packing, Care, Handling, Preservation, and Destruction ( each about 4 megabytes ) from Scott Murdock via Ron Plante TM9-1970-2-35P Field and Depot Maintenance Ammunition, Guided Missile, M1 (Nike-Ajax), Repair Parts and Special Tools List
- 2 MBytes, from Michael Keller via James Fee Langendoen
TM9-5000-3 - NIKE I ComputerNIKE I Systems, - 4.5 MB TM9-5000-9 - Acquisition Radar Circuitry - 13.5 MByte, TM9-5000-13 - Nike I Computer - SAM Problem Analysis, DC Amplifiers, Automatic Zero Setting, Servo Loop Elements, and Power Distribution - 6.3 MBytes TM9-5000-14 - Computer Prelaunch Section and Initial Turn Section Circuitry 2.7 MB TM9-5000-15 - Computer Steering Section Circuitry - 6.8 Megabytes TM9-5000-18 NIKE 1 Systems, TTR Transmitter and Receiver Circuitry - 8 MBytes TM9-5000-19 - Target Tracking Radar Range and Presentation Circuitry 3.7 MB TM9-5000-20 - TTR Antenna Positioning Circuitry - 10 MB TM9-5000-21 - Missile-Tracking Radar Circuitry - 10 MB TM9-5000-28 NIKE 1 Systems, Nike I Missile Guidance Unit
TM9-5000-29 - Missile Electrical Checkout Equipment - 9.3 MByte TM 9-6092-1-1 - Antiaircraft Fire Control System M33C and M33D Operation, June 1956 TOE 44-535T, 1959-TO&E, 753 KBytes, pdf, from Charles Carter
Places to visit, physical and on-line
- J. P. Moore's RED CANYON RANGE CAMP web site
- Google Nike videos YouTube Nike videos
- Nike Movies on Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=nike and
http://www.archive.org/details/nikeherc01 - To open, click on "Unknown" in the "Stream (help)" box. Service can be a little slow. Spotted by Mike Stucka
- Manufacturing Nike equipment
- How to Visit SF-88, the Nike Site being restored
- Photo tour of SF-88, the Nike Site being restored
- Locations of Former Nike Sites
- Maps showing Nike sites
- Nike Museums & Displays
- Nike, Military related and other favorite WWW sites
- Three Nike sites in National Register of Historic Places, Cold War Resources, 1945-1989 - I understand the Army is about to obliterate listed Site Summit March 2004 Help Save Summit, -spotted by Thomas Page
People and Trip Reports
- List of Nike People, Please add your self to the list
- Current volunteers at SF-88
- On-going Maintenance at SF-88
- SF-88 Benign Neglect
- 2004 Red Canyon Reunion organized by Ron Pickinpaugh
- Ed's Crete Trip Report (NAMFI Nike Firings), side trip to Bletchley Park
- Trip Reports
- Ft. Bliss Foreign Student Handout Handout .pdf 8 Megabytes from A.J.M. (Jos) Weijenberg
- 1999 White Sands Missile Range Trip Report and Red Canyon Reunion
- People (even soldiers) like pay.
- 2012 Florida Nike 2/52 Reunion ( lots of big pictures )
- Ken Bahr Docs mostly Surface to Surface development testing
and The 1974 digital conversion of Nike Hercules.
- Nike People Stories
- Nike Technical Stories
- An illustrated article by a Nike officer at BA-18, gives a flavor of the army, including scrounging for trading material ;-)) From the Coast Defense Study Group (CDSG) Journal, thanks to editor Mark Berhow. 5 MB .pdf, Dec 2013
- "A "Cold War" decade as a Missileman in Air Defense" - by Eric P. Muth - updated Nov. 2006
- Once busy "Red Canyon Range Camp now dozes" - by Jim Eckles
- Ken's & Friend's RCAT Korner (stories)
- Images of Soviet bombers and airfields
- Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQ")
- Unit Histories
- Eric Muth et.al. vs. CIA, DoD, and U.S. Army 134 K Byte .pdf
- An excellent Nike System description - in French by "Gaston J. Dessornes" - 10 MB .pdf, July 2014
- A Nike Ajax Missile restoration project - Turning junk into beauty
- then came Oct 2012, Hurricane Sandy - devastation :-((
- - A Nike Simulation "Game"
- Hpasp provides Soviet equipment simulation from this web site.
- I (Ed Thelen) have not run the above program and can guarantee nothing.
- Even better than The Statue of Liberty :-))
- Got tired blood? World Class Drum & Bugle from Eric Muth
- "THIS I BELIEVE" by Robert A. Heinlein
- The Famous Patton Speech
- What has America become?
- 2nd Verse of the Star Spangled Banner added June 7, 2010
- Ratings of Veterans Charities - from Jim Biles
- Physics 10 Physics for Future Presidents non-techie physics lectures from Berkeley - need fast internet connection. You might be especially interested in the lectures on radioactivity and nukes.
- Reactions to a magazine article - from e-mail
- Bull Crap Journalism
- Help with Cold War Metal - letter from Jim Rhodes Cold War Veterans Association
- Nike Folk Art
- Photo Exchange
- Start your own Nike Web Site
- So you want to do Nike Research?
- Nike Recruiting Brochure
- Sample Technical Diagrams (Schematics)
- Nike Glossary
- Search for people
- Yarbourgh's "How To" book
- Nike Components in use today
- Are there Nike Models, Kits, Dimensions?
- Nike Aircraft Kill vs. Patriot Scud Kill
- Remedial Efforts
- Korea Songbook - Hum along ;-)
- Thanking Veterans - newest near top
- Taps with Andre Rieu's orchestra. Full length. Beautiful trumpet solo. Spotted by Jay Youngbluth
- Remember that silly tale spread by the administration about the cause of the Benghazi Massacre
"Someone in Los Angeles offended Muslims."
reminded me of this "joke".
- Little Known VA Benefit - from James Biles - jtbiles @ earthlink . net
- Angel Flight
- It is the Veteran - J.P. Moore votes this best
- Veteran vs ("liberal") Politican
- Jane Fonda Memorial
- History Not Taught in School!
- Bill Mauldin, for Willie&Joe, 1921-2003, 1.1 million Veterans do not get the multi-million dollar bonuses handed out to bailed out Wall Street gougers
- Ann Margaret :-))
- Memorial for Darrell "Shifty" Powers of "Band of Brothers"
- A Simple Thank You
- The Rock
- The Final Inspection
- It Won't Be Long And They Will Be Gone - forwarded by Byron
- Standing Guard at the 38th Parallel
From Richard Brody, author of "Standing Guard at the 38th Parallel" - What really pisses me off- glad you asked- is that the dogs killed in Vietnam have a website dedicated to them, listing each of the dog's names. None of the US soldiers lost (killed) in Korea after the war, (which never really ended), are listed anywhere as casualties. Only their moms, wives and families know, and some of us who were there and lost buddies :>((
- Veteran's Day Poem
- Christmas Poem
- Simple Soldier
- Naval Aviator
- Experts or at least helpful
- Stories about SAGE, Sage Talk, manual Introduction to SAGE AN/FSQ-7 & AN/FSQ-8
- An (offsite) Nike game web page - dead link
- collecting aadcp information
- Military Occupation Specialty Codes (MOS)
About photo submission
New policy: I am introducing a Photo Exchange so that those who wish to share can, and those who wish, can ask. I hope this works better than my previous "no photos" policy. You are still invited to look up web sites who specialize in a particular area, and offer there.
General diagram of a Nike Hercules site.
Figure from FM 44-1-2 ADA Reference Handbook, 15 June 1984, as found on page 20 of "Rings of Supersonic Steel".
If you have comments or suggestions, Send e-mail to Ed Thelen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Some flattering pictures of Ed, a short bio.
This page updated Feb 21, 2015
The rest of this web site is being enhanced frequently.
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From YouTube - "Never Say Can't"