28514Re: [coldwarcomms] Project Office Conspiracies
- Sep 7, 2013On 9/6/2013 7:29 AM, Marc's Yahoo Account (original) wrote:I live near a major AT&T project office in MD outside of Washington DC that is still AT&T and am amazed at the perception of lack of OPSec. Gates usually open with no visible perimeter security. Not that I would venture past the open gate. I understand that most assets are below ground but am surprised at minimalist approach at perimeter. Kinda like what I've seem at some other below grade facilities in Dakotas although they have gates and lots of sensors
The appearance of minimal electronic/physical security presence can help present the facility as being relatively unimportant & thus unworthy of much
attention, but if the facility is truly important, they should want to detect & identify potential threats as early as possible.
Circa the late 1990s, one with enough intestinal fortitude or stupidity could ignore countless N-T signage (with increasingly harsh levels of verbiage) and drive right up
to the top of that site near Hagerstown, and only once at the top of the road were there noticeable CCTVs and the heavy physical security. My friend who
did this nervously sat up there for a couple minutes looking around & possibly taking photos, but never got real close to the (raised) hydraulic anti-crash barrier or
inner security fence gate, which some CCTV were clearly focused on. No black helicopters or ninja troops ever intervened, and on his way down the mountain,
out of curiosity he stopped about half-way down & picked up one of the phones handsets mounted in yellow boxes every half mile or so along the guardrails. There was a huge
amount of static on the line -- if the site is truly operated by AT&T, they should have been ashamed (actually, the circuit was just as noisy as a lot of calls made
thru the NORTH STAR GEP system are!). The person on the other end of the circuit just said something like "Hello," my friend pretended that he'd hit a deer & wondered
what he should do -- asking if he'd reached a ranger with the wilderness management area. The vivisectionist on the other end of the circuit ignored Bambi
& was focused on finding out where my friend was. My friend said he was at the base of the access road (the fact that there may not have been one of these
callbox things at the base of the mountain access road was an afterthought to him & perhaps the bunker man as well). Dude said to be sure to NOT drive up the
access road, my friend assured him that he had no plans to go (back) up the access road, and the two parties hung up, after the possible AT&T dude said he
hoped that my friend's car wasn't damaged too badly.
Granted, this was during the Clinton area -- the Cold War had supposedly ended, and the muslim problem was still mostly overseas. Lots of sites
were ripe for the pickings of a C3,I site-seer (around the same era, the friend drove right up to the main entrance gate at Site-R & stopped -- what did the
TDY ARNG guys inside the guard house do? They opened the gate, of course!) .
Could there have been hidden CCTVs & sensor/alarms part-way up the access road? Absolutely, but...
In the same era, one of the other Potomac Project sites in the DC area had a heavy-duty (but not crash-proof) automatic gate & CCTV part-way up the mountain.
Sometime in the later 1990s or early 2000s, they put in that red gate across the base of the road -- something they probably should
have had all-along to keep the curious out. If they're leaving that gate open, it's probably laziness that technically violates their
security protocols, but the such a gate can also be a security risk, as an organized threat could secure that
gate behind their own vehicles, and thus delay any law-enforcement/security assistance responding via ground transport to calls for
assistance up at the top or inside the facility.
This fictional book:
http://www.stephenhunter.net/books/1989-the-day-before-midnight/ has the site featured prominently in the plot,
much like Seven Days in May covered Mt Weather. Stephen Hunter lived/lives in the area & had heard the rumors
about the Hagerstown site.
For the record, here's a piece of apocrypha about the site. This isn't something floating around on the internet, but
related to me directly by my source who heard it directly from the originator:
A long time ago... one Winter night a law enforcement person was dispatched to respond to the site, to take a car vs. deer
property damage report from a worker at the site. Person arrives up at the top of the site, uses an intercom, and is buzzed-in
thru a door & told to take an elevator down to where the reporting party will meet the LE person. LE person claimed that the
elevator traveled down for a "long time." I somehow want to throw in 10 levels down, but just can't recall for sure if that was
what I was told, or if it's some sort of false memory. Anyway, the elevators door eventually opens, LE takes the brief
property-damage report so the guy can file an insurance claim, and while doing so, LE notices people in military
uniforms walking around. LE completes the report & leaves -- not a huge event in this LE person's life as he/she
wasn't really interested in such things, etc. but the LE person relates the story to the person who was curious
about such things, and passed the story on to me. I don't know if it's true or not, but I trust my source & my
source trusts the originator who told my source. Seems like an OPSEC violation for any military personnel to
be wearing uniforms to/from that site, and a major violation to let an LE person down inside the site instead of meeting
topside in the parking lot or just inside the first door.
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