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28490RE: Re: [coldwarcomms] Project Office Conspiracies

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  • Mike Cowen
    Sep 4, 2013
      Yes, I specifically meant a remote collection point.  However, There might be some limited storage capability to cover an "oops", or maintenance outage.

      Given how tiny things have become since those facilities were built, and how big those holes are, I'd suspect there's plenty of room for that mission.  Might even have some space left.


      At 05:50 PM 9/4/2013, you wrote:

      Remember the "Quantico circuits" scandal in 2008; if you are right we now have the "Hagerstown & Charlottesville circuits"; however if NSA involved I'd suspect a consolidation fiber/satellite hub, not data storage, given the limited space for such things of their scale(unless they dug out 10X more around it).

      --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, <coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


      Don't take it too personally.  Tim/Polo Hat/Hooligan has been known to go off on list members in great disproportion to any perceived "wrongdoing".  I've been there myself, despite the fact we generally get along.  I have no idea what compels him to do this.  He is very knowledgeable, and has gone to considerable lengths to photodocument, and preserve the history of many of the western sites we discuss here.  While I'm grateful for his contributions, there's no excuse for the haughtiness or vitriol that pops up on occasion.

      As to Project Offices, my best suggestion is to scour the list archives for tidbits.  Remember, truth is stranger than fiction, and to no greater extent than when applied to national security.  You have good questions, but answers may be elusive due to the ongoing activities at some sites.  Don't look directly at things to see what might lie just below the surface.  Personally, I don't "know".  However, I'll offer one -speculation- that seems plausible in my eyes.  Take Dex's earlier comment with a grain of salt.  If you were a 3-letter organization with a new, massive data processing facility in Utah, you'd still need various "collection points" to gather that data from different locations to be analyzed.  Can you think of a better place to siphon that data than a nuke hardened underground facility already sitting on ludicrous fiber bandwidth connected to various national and international circuits?  It's my own "WA" guess, complete with the warranty "if you break it, you own both parts".  Could I be completely wrong?  Without question.  However, despite my disdain for -that- particular mission, I'd be hard pressed to name a better type of facility to use for the task.  One of the advantages of that sort of thing with current technology is it requires extremely little Human ministration after re-fitting.  A site could easily and intentionally look unused on the surface, while still being -very- active below ground with no people present.


      At 03:12 PM 9/4/2013, you wrote:

      Polohat, I don't think I deserved the tenor of your comment. I may not have the expertise on these sites some group members have, but you have no reason to be rude over that. It always pays to be a gentleman.

      Here is what I know of the Project Offices and why I phrased my remarks as I did:

      1) At one point in the Cold War, these sites were used for emergency communications for national command authorities. It appears more recent technological advances have made the line-of-sight and toposcatter microwaves links formed by these sites out of date for the purpose of such government communications.

      2) One site was sold to a private landowner. Obviously, it was no longer needed and anything "secret" was removed. That would also portend that the general design of that site at least doesn't give away much about the overall mission of these sites in general, if it could be sold off in this manner.

      3) News reports indicate the North Carolina site was closed up, though still in AT&T or government hands. However, there has also been reports of apparent renovations at that site and others. The aforementioned helipad was repainted at one site years ago. There is on one hand signs of expansion at some sites, and on there other some seem abandoned or at least left as-is. Am I wrong?

      4) If you call up the Army, Navy, or Air Force and ask about most any facility you will at least get a polite response along the lines of "that facility is essential to research [or training, or whatever] but we cannot go into much detail about it for national security reasons". However, it is very very rare to see the response of AT&T which is a very blunt "no comment" and even in regard to Albert's website a request to not publish the official names of the Project Offices (which suggests they do each have a specific name?) nor their exact locations, though the locations are no secret whatsoever. I find that very funny. It seems like a lot of over-reaction for sites that appear to probably have been reduced in their importance to our national defense.

      Guys, I don't have the experience some of you have. I didn't work for AT&T or serve as a major who had an inside view to many of these things. I have an academic background in architecture, an ample software engineering background, too, and work in journalism. I am very interested in Cold War history—especially the material culture side of things. Forgive me if I was mistaken about any aspects of Project Offices, but here's the things: if I'm off the mark, PLEASE clue me in as far as possible. You know? If I'm wrong, tell me what can be told about these facilities. If you read every one of my posts, you'll not find any AboveTopSecret mutterings about space aliens or the like. I ask what I think are intelligent and valid questions. What I am asking now is this: if the original technological processes of communication employed at the Project Offices are no longer in play, what are some of the repurposed applications of these facilities that could require them to retain the level of secrecy which seems to be provided to them even to this day? What are some ideas? I find the evolution of these facilities fascinating.


      On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM, John K Scoggin, Jr <aat3bf@...> wrote:
      Nothing at all strange – remember, it’s probably “Government Work”. When it’s black budget, they can’t spend it fast enough. Other People’s Money.
      And the Deathstar on the helipad might just be their funny little corporate way of thumbing their noses at the Other’s recon birds and the Google Earth fanboys, “nya, nya, nya, guess what we’re doing here…”. Gr

      From: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com [ mailto:coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Polo Hat
      Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 3:57 PM
      To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Project Office Conspiracies
      Mike, over the years, you just don't seem to be... evolving... much here.
        It's great that you claim not to understand their past or current missions, but then you have the audacity to make statements like "what is known of the others indicates they're outdated and probably of little current use..."   I assert that your chronic confusion about them is of your own making or deficiency.
      AT&T is "hush-hush" over them because any release of information about the sites besides a very basic statement of their existence needs to either come from the AT&T customer, and/or the organization that operates one or more of the sites, under AT&T cover, and any wonderment by us isn't exactly compelling enough to cause official information to be released.

      On Wednesday, September 4, 2013, Mike Walker wrote:
      When the one (not awake yet so the "name" escapes me) got a new Deathstar
      helipad paint job; and I casually mentioned to a friend Inside, he
      immediately said "No Comment."
      And this is an example of exactly what I don't understand: AT&T is so very hush-hush over these facilities yet at least one is closed and sold off, what is known of the others indicates they're outdated and probably of little current use, but all the same some have upgrades including a helipad that broadcasts loud and clear to anyone in the air "look at this AT&T facility on a mountaintop!!!". Folks, it's just very . . . strange.
      Not X-Files strange, but more like Kafka strange.

        Mike Cowen      Practice random acts of kindness
                                    and selfless acts of beauty.
       mcowen@...            -Anonymous

        Mike Cowen      Practice random acts of kindness
                                    and selfless acts of beauty.
       mcowen@...            -Anonymous

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