250Federal Support Center
- Jun 1, 1999Recent discussions on about NAWAS got me interested in FEMA's Federal
Support Center near Laytonsville, MD, so I visited there on Sunday
(5/30/99). I had driven by a couple of times in past years, but hadn't
taken a close look.
The facility is in a fenced compound at 5321 Riggs Rd. which presents a
distinctly seedy appearance to the passer-by. There's a shabby chain-link
fence with the usual red, white, and blue "U.S. Government Property" signs,
and the address on a routed wood sign with peeling paint. Curiously,
there's no sign at the gate telling what the place is. The only indication
is a small (maybe 24" square) metal sign saying only "Federal Support
Center" located about 30' *inside* the gate.
Just inside the motorized sliding gate, there's a small guard shack
(unmanned during my visit) with a CCTV camera on the roof. Outside the
gate is a telephone box, a proximity card reader, and a sign with
step-by-step instructions about how to gain access to the place, as well as
alternate instructions in case those do not provide satisfaction. The sign
looks like it's been modified several times.
One entrance to the bunker is visible in the distance. It consists of a
concrete wall with a normal-looking double metal door, flanked by two side
walls holding back the earth. Outside the door is a small dumpster and a
pile of wooden pallets. I saw two cars, apparently parked atop the bunker.
Most of the bunker is hidden by trees.
Nearby is a pile of large rusting metal objects, like appliances or filing
cabinets. There used to be a small decrepit wood-frame structure near the
road, but it fell down and was removed a year or two ago. A couple of
ancient light fixtures (inverted enameled-metal bowls on posts, as were
used long ago at gas stations, etc.) remain.
There are one or two small shelters near Riggs Rd. with nearby equipment
suggesting that they're for on-site water supply or sewage treatment.
There's also a flat area of ground with small vent pipes sticking up along
the edges - probably an underground reservoir.
On the grounds are at least four pairs of short steel towers, and a pair of
wood poles, each pair supporting a multi-wire, center-fed HF dipole. The
wood poles appear to be close to the bunker, and had the big red balls
which are used on power lines to warn approaching pilots of an obstruction,
so presumably there's a helipad on the site. There's also a tall,
free-standing red-and-white tower, and of course the usual HF log-periodic
on its own tower.
Driving around the area, I found two AT&T fiber-optic crossings, indicated
by modern signs on orange PVC poles. The cable appears to go toward
A short distance to the east on Riggs Rd. is a Maryland National Guard
armory. There are striking similarities between the two facilities,
notably in the guard shacks and underground reservoirs, which make me think
they might have been built as part of the same activity. However, I saw no
indication of a bunker at the Guard installation. It would be interesting
to learn the history of the two sites.
Finally, the greatest mystery of all. In the SE corner of the FSC site,
fronting on Riggs Rd., is a heavily wooded area, in which reside two horses
and what I think is a donkey! I checked carefully and verified that the
animals are in fact on the FEMA property.
Y2K contingency transportation? Genetic material for those alien-sponsored
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