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BARC and other agency uses

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  • Doug Humphrey
    This pops up often, since there is so much strange stuff, especially when seen from overhead sources, located on the center property. Beltsville Agricultural
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 1, 2009
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      This pops up often, since there is so much strange stuff,
      especially when seen from "overhead" sources, located
      on the center property.

      Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) is indeed
      a real research center, one of the Agricultural Research
      Service (ARS) more important centers. They own what
      is really vast (for a suburban location) amount of land in
      suburban Maryland, stretching from Greenbelt up to
      the southern Laurel area; it is very handy to Washington
      DC, and located on the axis drawn between DC and
      Baltimore, along which you will find Ft. Meade/NSA just
      north of Laurel.

      There are a lot of other federal agencies who lease land
      on the BARC property because there IS a lot of land (so
      they can have privacy) and it is very easy to get to from
      wherever their headquarters in the DC area is.

      Sub-Leases of note:

      1) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - GSFC is the main
      communications hub for NASA and the Deep Space Network,
      and many many other things (satellites are prepped there,
      the Hubble was prepped there and is controlled by Hopkins
      Advanced Physics Labs in northernmost Laurel, a few miles
      away) NASA has their main compound, and several more
      remote locations also on the BARC property - several of
      which I have worked at:

      Optical test range which will look like a bunch of telescope
      domes and support vans and buildings - firing big lasers into
      the sky scanning objects in orbit and stuff like that

      Propulsion test range - hydrazine handling and other bad
      news - nobodies favorite place to hang out (very poisonous)
      there are good stories....

      Antenna test range - boring except that there is a nice baseball
      diamond on the range - you can play baseball while they test
      antennas over your head....

      lots of others little sites scattered around

      2) US Secret Service - the training center is well described, so
      I won't go into it - they used to leave the gates to the driving
      course open, so I went in with a crappy Chevy Vega once
      (the model of the car ALONE will tell you how long ago THAT
      was) and drove the course - nobody seemed to notice at all.
      Bet THAT never happens again.....

      Cool course - not your usual - you make a turn and suddenly you
      are driving through a playground, with playground equipment,
      etc. training agents to be able to drive in any kind of situation.

      3) Communications centers - Odell road and Springfield Road
      sites are also very well documented - it is on the west side of
      the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, while the USSS and GSFC
      sites are on the East side. Springfield road on that side of the
      parkway used to be called Fairfield-Springfield road. These are
      very secretive and classified sites. generally thought that one
      of them is NSA/State dept. They have dedicated fiber running
      up the parkway, to Ft. Meade, from long ago (the old ICC fiber
      system, bought by MFS and then MCI and now verizon i guess)

      4) DC area defense radar site - recent addition,located at the
      Odell road site - likely not part of the real mission of that site, but
      a good location for one of the recently installed radar sites which
      we are pretty sure is part of a ring of radars around the DC area
      dedicated to air defense.

      5) there are stories of other tenants - if so, then likely they are
      short term ones, if they want to remain secret, because any
      substantial physical facilities get discovered quickly.

      6) GSFC itself have a few other agencies on its site but generally
      short term stays while they manage their involvement in some
      NASA project, likely a satellite program in most cases.... there
      used to be a classified up/downlink site next to the DSN and
      other big antennas in the antenna farm but when they redid that
      side of the center that went away - now that whole area is secured
      so who knows what is over there....


      i drove through a lot of this stuff today going to a new years day party
      by some of the Hubble people in greenbelt, so any questions i can
      try to answer - know the area well.

      doug humphrey
    • paul rosa
      Funny you should mention this. Out here in West Virginia some 60 miles northwest of DC we have a funny facility known as the Summit Point Raceway. On
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 1, 2009
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        Funny you should mention this. Out here in West Virginia some 60 miles
        northwest of DC we have a funny facility known as the Summit Point
        Raceway. On weekends the race tracks are leased to the Sports Car Club
        of America (SCAA). During the week, anything goes.

        On weekdays this is the US Government's premier anti-terrorism drive
        training center. Enter State Department, USMC, Blackwater, CIA or
        whoever. It's balls to the walls run-for-your-life driver training and,
        the worse the weather, the better training scenario. Our neighborhood
        also host submachine gun and shotgun ranges for close order drills and,
        also, a lot of other toys and drills. Several US government vendors are
        presently building additional and extensive training facilities. I mean
        isn't this why God invented West Virginia? Way far from anywhere, yet
        available from DC?

        BTW, for $1,500 you can get yourself into a kick-ass defensive driving
        course.

        Paul Rosa
        Harpers Ferry, West Virginia


        Doug Humphrey wrote:
        >
        >
        > This pops up often, since there is so much strange stuff,
        > especially when seen from "overhead" sources, located
        > on the center property.
        >
        > Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) is indeed
        > a real research center, one of the Agricultural Research
        > Service (ARS) more important centers. They own what
        > is really vast (for a suburban location) amount of land in
        > suburban Maryland, stretching from Greenbelt up to
        > the southern Laurel area; it is very handy to Washington
        > DC, and located on the axis drawn between DC and
        > Baltimore, along which you will find Ft. Meade/NSA just
        > north of Laurel.
        >
        > There are a lot of other federal agencies who lease land
        > on the BARC property because there IS a lot of land (so
        > they can have privacy) and it is very easy to get to from
        > wherever their headquarters in the DC area is.
        >
        > Sub-Leases of note:
        >
        > 1) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - GSFC is the main
        > communications hub for NASA and the Deep Space Network,
        > and many many other things (satellites are prepped there,
        > the Hubble was prepped there and is controlled by Hopkins
        > Advanced Physics Labs in northernmost Laurel, a few miles
        > away) NASA has their main compound, and several more
        > remote locations also on the BARC property - several of
        > which I have worked at:
        >
        > Optical test range which will look like a bunch of telescope
        > domes and support vans and buildings - firing big lasers into
        > the sky scanning objects in orbit and stuff like that
        >
        > Propulsion test range - hydrazine handling and other bad
        > news - nobodies favorite place to hang out (very poisonous)
        > there are good stories....
        >
        > Antenna test range - boring except that there is a nice baseball
        > diamond on the range - you can play baseball while they test
        > antennas over your head....
        >
        > lots of others little sites scattered around
        >
        > 2) US Secret Service - the training center is well described, so
        > I won't go into it - they used to leave the gates to the driving
        > course open, so I went in with a crappy Chevy Vega once
        > (the model of the car ALONE will tell you how long ago THAT
        > was) and drove the course - nobody seemed to notice at all.
        > Bet THAT never happens again.....
        >
        > Cool course - not your usual - you make a turn and suddenly you
        > are driving through a playground, with playground equipment,
        > etc. training agents to be able to drive in any kind of situation.
        >
        > 3) Communications centers - Odell road and Springfield Road
        > sites are also very well documented - it is on the west side of
        > the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, while the USSS and GSFC
        > sites are on the East side. Springfield road on that side of the
        > parkway used to be called Fairfield-Springfield road. These are
        > very secretive and classified sites. generally thought that one
        > of them is NSA/State dept. They have dedicated fiber running
        > up the parkway, to Ft. Meade, from long ago (the old ICC fiber
        > system, bought by MFS and then MCI and now verizon i guess)
        >
        > 4) DC area defense radar site - recent addition,located at the
        > Odell road site - likely not part of the real mission of that site, but
        > a good location for one of the recently installed radar sites which
        > we are pretty sure is part of a ring of radars around the DC area
        > dedicated to air defense.
        >
        > 5) there are stories of other tenants - if so, then likely they are
        > short term ones, if they want to remain secret, because any
        > substantial physical facilities get discovered quickly.
        >
        > 6) GSFC itself have a few other agencies on its site but generally
        > short term stays while they manage their involvement in some
        > NASA project, likely a satellite program in most cases.... there
        > used to be a classified up/downlink site next to the DSN and
        > other big antennas in the antenna farm but when they redid that
        > side of the center that went away - now that whole area is secured
        > so who knows what is over there....
        >
        > i drove through a lot of this stuff today going to a new years day party
        > by some of the Hubble people in greenbelt, so any questions i can
        > try to answer - know the area well.
        >
        > doug humphrey
        >
        >
      • tsniffin20902
        Thanks for the information Doug. I ve found there to be a number of interesting facilities in that area. By any chance do you know what the facilities below
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 1, 2009
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          Thanks for the information Doug. I've found there to be a number of
          interesting facilities in that area.

          By any chance do you know what the facilities below are? And are they
          related to NASA or any other BARC tenants?

          http://tinyurl.com/9dqa3j

          and http://tinyurl.com/8eax97

          Thanks

          Todd

          --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, Doug Humphrey <doug@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > This pops up often, since there is so much strange stuff,
          > especially when seen from "overhead" sources, located
          > on the center property.
          >
          > Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) is indeed
          > a real research center, one of the Agricultural Research
          > Service (ARS) more important centers. They own what
          > is really vast (for a suburban location) amount of land in
          > suburban Maryland, stretching from Greenbelt up to
          > the southern Laurel area; it is very handy to Washington
          > DC, and located on the axis drawn between DC and
          > Baltimore, along which you will find Ft. Meade/NSA just
          > north of Laurel.
          >
          > There are a lot of other federal agencies who lease land
          > on the BARC property because there IS a lot of land (so
          > they can have privacy) and it is very easy to get to from
          > wherever their headquarters in the DC area is.
          >
          > Sub-Leases of note:
          >
          > 1) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - GSFC is the main
          > communications hub for NASA and the Deep Space Network,
          > and many many other things (satellites are prepped there,
          > the Hubble was prepped there and is controlled by Hopkins
          > Advanced Physics Labs in northernmost Laurel, a few miles
          > away) NASA has their main compound, and several more
          > remote locations also on the BARC property - several of
          > which I have worked at:
          >
          > Optical test range which will look like a bunch of telescope
          > domes and support vans and buildings - firing big lasers into
          > the sky scanning objects in orbit and stuff like that
          >
          > Propulsion test range - hydrazine handling and other bad
          > news - nobodies favorite place to hang out (very poisonous)
          > there are good stories....
          >
          > Antenna test range - boring except that there is a nice baseball
          > diamond on the range - you can play baseball while they test
          > antennas over your head....
          >
          > lots of others little sites scattered around
          >
          > 2) US Secret Service - the training center is well described, so
          > I won't go into it - they used to leave the gates to the driving
          > course open, so I went in with a crappy Chevy Vega once
          > (the model of the car ALONE will tell you how long ago THAT
          > was) and drove the course - nobody seemed to notice at all.
          > Bet THAT never happens again.....
          >
          > Cool course - not your usual - you make a turn and suddenly you
          > are driving through a playground, with playground equipment,
          > etc. training agents to be able to drive in any kind of situation.
          >
          > 3) Communications centers - Odell road and Springfield Road
          > sites are also very well documented - it is on the west side of
          > the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, while the USSS and GSFC
          > sites are on the East side. Springfield road on that side of the
          > parkway used to be called Fairfield-Springfield road. These are
          > very secretive and classified sites. generally thought that one
          > of them is NSA/State dept. They have dedicated fiber running
          > up the parkway, to Ft. Meade, from long ago (the old ICC fiber
          > system, bought by MFS and then MCI and now verizon i guess)
          >
          > 4) DC area defense radar site - recent addition,located at the
          > Odell road site - likely not part of the real mission of that site, but
          > a good location for one of the recently installed radar sites which
          > we are pretty sure is part of a ring of radars around the DC area
          > dedicated to air defense.
          >
          > 5) there are stories of other tenants - if so, then likely they are
          > short term ones, if they want to remain secret, because any
          > substantial physical facilities get discovered quickly.
          >
          > 6) GSFC itself have a few other agencies on its site but generally
          > short term stays while they manage their involvement in some
          > NASA project, likely a satellite program in most cases.... there
          > used to be a classified up/downlink site next to the DSN and
          > other big antennas in the antenna farm but when they redid that
          > side of the center that went away - now that whole area is secured
          > so who knows what is over there....
          >
          >
          > i drove through a lot of this stuff today going to a new years day party
          > by some of the Hubble people in greenbelt, so any questions i can
          > try to answer - know the area well.
          >
          > doug humphrey
          >
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