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Re: [coldwarcomms] Project Office Conspiracies

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  • Mike Cowen
    I had considered the same thing, but when looking at current technology power efficiencies, it s likely -far- below what the facility was originally designed
    Message 1 of 30 , Sep 4, 2013
      I had considered the same thing, but when looking at current
      technology power efficiencies, it's likely -far- below what the
      facility was originally designed for. Less primary load, less HVAC,
      etc. Another consideration is using the Earth as a heat sink. My
      hunch is that spot would be pretty neutral (i.e. background) in the
      IR spectrum, even in winter.

      Mike



      At 06:21 PM 9/4/2013, you wrote:
      >On 9/4/13 9:14 PM, Mike Cowen wrote:
      >
      > > 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.
      >
      >
      >Iffem I was wondering what was going on, I would wonder how much power was
      >being consumed. PEPCO et.al is badly set up to classify such; although it
      >may be easier to just look at waste heat being shed. (Unless they have an
      >ongoing water pumpout; in which case they could dump the heat to it.)
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >------------------------------------
      >
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      ---------------------------------------------------------------
      Mike Cowen Practice random acts of kindness
      and selfless acts of beauty.
      mcowen@... -Anonymous
    • Blake Bowers
      The sites that have been kept will most likely be kept forever. They do have specific missions, and are still AT&T facilities, staffed primarily by AT&T
      Message 2 of 30 , Sep 4, 2013

        The sites that have been kept will most likely be kept forever.  They do have specific missions, and are still AT&T facilities, staffed primarily by AT&T employees.  Vendors are escorted to their specific areas, interior doors are locked, and someone stays with vendors every bit of the time they are there.  No cell phones, no recorders, no cameras (unless that is what you are there to do, as in take pictures of old equipment)

         

        They will take a peek at your pictures when you leave.

         

        They are definitely in use – but even walking through them you really don’t know what for.  I suspect nothing more sinister in most cases than data storage, fiber junctions, etc.  Space is beginning to be back at a premium, so they are removing rooms full or RIP’d equipment.

         

         

         


        From: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com [mailto:coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mike Walker
        Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 2:36 PM
        To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Project Office Conspiracies

         

         

        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.

         

      • wftroskey
        So is/was Hearthstone Mountain connected with Cannonball, which is not too far away to the north? Bill ... On 9/4/13 3:50 PM, ozob99@... wrote: Mentions of
        Message 3 of 30 , Sep 5, 2013

          So is/was Hearthstone Mountain connected with Cannonball, which is not too far away to the north?

           

           

          Bill

           



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

          On 9/4/13 3:50 PM, ozob99@... wrote:


          >
          > Mentions of new fiber at Hagerstown 2 are confirmed by this 2004 news article:
          >
          >
          > <http://articles.herald-mail.com/2004-07-21/news/25013099_1_directional-drilling-accident-crew-members>

          "They were installing underground fiber-optic cables from Hagerstown to
          Hearthstone Mountain near Clear Spring for AT&T, he said."

          Good find!

          Stupid tragedy.
        • ozob99
          According to John Cross who was at Cannonball, there was a 50 pair cable;& possibly another to Site R. Snippet from post 23150: Later when Hagerstown 2 was
          Message 4 of 30 , Sep 5, 2013

            According to John Cross who was at Cannonball, there was a 50 pair cable;& possibly another to Site R.


            Snippet from post 23150:


            Later when Hagerstown 2 was built, the 50 pair cable mentioned in a previous post(possibly part of the original cable to Cearfoss) to Cannonball may have negated the need for the direct Site R connection, or it could have been continued for some time.


            If this was a N cxr route from Cannonball to BRS2(Site R) there would have been N repeaters between Cearfoss & BRS2."


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

            So is/was Hearthstone Mountain connected with Cannonball, which is not too far away to the north?

             

             

            Bill

             



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

            On 9/4/13 3:50 PM, ozob99@... wrote:


            >
            > Mentions of new fiber at Hagerstown 2 are confirmed by this 2004 news article:
            >
            >
            > <http://articles.herald-mail.com/2004-07-21/news/25013099_1_directional-drilling-accident-crew-members>

            "They were installing underground fiber-optic cables from Hagerstown to
            Hearthstone Mountain near Clear Spring for AT&T, he said."

            Good find!

            Stupid tragedy.
          • David I. Emery
            ... While this might indeed be asking *WAY* too much on a public list, can you in any way comment on what the RIP d equipment being removed is and from what
            Message 5 of 30 , Sep 5, 2013
              On Wed, Sep 04, 2013 at 11:50:16PM -0500, Blake Bowers wrote:
              > The sites that have been kept will most likely be kept forever. They do
              > have specific missions, and are still AT&T facilities, staffed primarily by
              > AT&T employees. Vendors are escorted to their specific areas, interior
              > doors are locked, and someone stays with vendors every bit of the time they
              > are there. No cell phones, no recorders, no cameras (unless that is what
              > you are there to do, as in take pictures of old equipment)
              >
              >
              >
              > They will take a peek at your pictures when you leave.
              >
              >
              >
              > They are definitely in use - but even walking through them you really don't
              > know what for. I suspect nothing more sinister in most cases than data
              > storage, fiber junctions, etc. Space is beginning to be back at a premium,
              > so they are removing rooms full or RIP'd equipment.

              While this might indeed be asking *WAY* too much on a public list,
              can you in any way comment on what the RIP'd equipment being removed
              is and from what era ? Switches ? Antique analog mux gear ?, Early
              digital cross connect gear ? Old network monitoring gear ?

              Stuff from the 70/80s or post 2000 ?

              And how much of it is *ahem* obviously spookish (eg Narus DPI boxes)
              ... versus all the ordinary stuff you'd expect in a network hub...


              --
              Dave Emery N1PRE/AE, die@... DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass 02493
              "An empty zombie mind with a forlorn barely readable weatherbeaten
              'For Rent' sign still vainly flapping outside on the weed encrusted pole - in
              celebration of what could have been, but wasn't and is not to be now either."
            • Marc's Yahoo Account (original)
              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
              Message 6 of 30 , Sep 6, 2013
                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 

                Sent from my iPad

                On Sep 5, 2013, at 11:53 PM, "David I. Emery" <die@...> wrote:

                 

                On Wed, Sep 04, 2013 at 11:50:16PM -0500, Blake Bowers wrote:
                > The sites that have been kept will most likely be kept forever. They do
                > have specific missions, and are still AT&T facilities, staffed primarily by
                > AT&T employees. Vendors are escorted to their specific areas, interior
                > doors are locked, and someone stays with vendors every bit of the time they
                > are there. No cell phones, no recorders, no cameras (unless that is what
                > you are there to do, as in take pictures of old equipment)
                >
                >
                >
                > They will take a peek at your pictures when you leave.
                >
                >
                >
                > They are definitely in use - but even walking through them you really don't
                > know what for. I suspect nothing more sinister in most cases than data
                > storage, fiber junctions, etc. Space is beginning to be back at a premium,
                > so they are removing rooms full or RIP'd equipment.

                While this might indeed be asking *WAY* too much on a public list,
                can you in any way comment on what the RIP'd equipment being removed
                is and from what era ? Switches ? Antique analog mux gear ?, Early
                digital cross connect gear ? Old network monitoring gear ?

                Stuff from the 70/80s or post 2000 ?

                And how much of it is *ahem* obviously spookish (eg Narus DPI boxes)
                ... versus all the ordinary stuff you'd expect in a network hub...

                --
                Dave Emery N1PRE/AE, die@... DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass 02493
                "An empty zombie mind with a forlorn barely readable weatherbeaten
                'For Rent' sign still vainly flapping outside on the weed encrusted pole - in
                celebration of what could have been, but wasn't and is not to be now either."

              • Blake Bowers
                Spookish? The small portion I am aware of there is nothing spookish. Just a lot of older gear, analog and early digital stuff. Older switches are gone, they
                Message 7 of 30 , Sep 6, 2013

                  Spookish?  The small portion I am aware of there is nothing spookish.  Just a lot of older gear, analog and early digital stuff.  Older switches are gone, they had value at one point and where removed.  Stuff from the 60’s to the 80’s has been researched and rip’d in quanity.

                  Remember, AT&T built these for survivability, that was their intent. 

                   

                   

                   

                  > They are definitely in use - but even walking through them you really
                  don't
                  > know what for. I suspect nothing more sinister in most cases than data
                  > storage, fiber junctions, etc. Space is beginning to be back at a premium,
                  > so they are removing rooms full or RIP'd equipment.

                  While this might indeed be asking *WAY* too much on a public list,
                  can you in any way comment on what the RIP'd equipment being removed
                  is and from what era ? Switches ? Antique analog mux gear ?, Early
                  digital cross connect gear ? Old network monitoring gear ?

                  Stuff from the 70/80s or post 2000 ?

                  And how much of it is *ahem* obviously spookish (eg Narus DPI boxes)
                  ... versus all the ordinary stuff you'd expect in a network hub...

                  --
                  Dave Emery N1PRE/AE, die@... DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass 02493
                  "An empty zombie mind with a forlorn barely readable weatherbeaten
                  'For Rent' sign still vainly flapping outside on the weed encrusted pole - in
                  celebration of what could have been, but wasn't and is not to be now either."

                • Tim
                  ... The appearance of minimal electronic/physical security presence can help present the facility as being relatively unimportant & thus unworthy of much
                  Message 8 of 30 , Sep 7, 2013
                    On 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.


                  • Polo Hat
                    Probable correction: it s been over a decade since I read the book and more I think about it, the more I believe the semi-fictionalizated bunker location may
                    Message 9 of 30 , Sep 7, 2013
                      Probable correction:  it's been over a decade since I read the book and more I think about it, the more I believe the semi-fictionalizated bunker location may have been a different hardened site in Washington County, though I seem to recall some of the physical description sounding more like the "AT&T" site.

                      On Saturday, September 7, 2013, Tim wrote: 


                        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.


                    • Mike Doughney
                      Back in 1987 there was no pop-up barrier, one could drive all the way down to the other side of the facility and see the second drive-through door. There was a
                      Message 10 of 30 , Sep 8, 2013
                        Back in 1987 there was no pop-up barrier, one could drive all the way down to the other side of the facility and see the second drive-through door. There was a small AT&T deathstar sign at the base of the access road but no other gate or barrier along its entire length. Photos: http://www.boxoprints.com/hagerstown2

                        On 9/7/2013 21:25, Tim wrote:
                         

                        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.

                      • Mike Walker
                        Back in 1987 there was no pop-up barrier, one could drive all the way down to the other side of the facility and see the second drive-through door So, is
                        Message 11 of 30 , Sep 8, 2013
                          "Back in 1987 there was no pop-up barrier, one could drive all the way down to the other side of the facility and see the second drive-through door"

                          So, is that to say the facility around this point in time appeared not to really be in use?


                          On Sun, Sep 8, 2013 at 3:08 AM, Mike Doughney <mike@...> wrote:
                           

                          Back in 1987 there was no pop-up barrier, one could drive all the way down to the other side of the facility and see the second drive-through door. There was a small AT&T deathstar sign at the base of the access road but no other gate or barrier along its entire length. Photos: http://www.boxoprints.com/hagerstown2


                          On 9/7/2013 21:25, Tim wrote:
                           

                          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.


                        • Mike Doughney
                          Not clear what was going on at that time... road was clearly plowed of snow, but my visit was on a Saturday outside usual business hours. I do remember an
                          Message 12 of 30 , Sep 8, 2013
                            Not clear what was going on at that time... road was clearly plowed of snow, but my visit was on a Saturday outside usual business hours. I do remember an entry turnstile with a sign reading "Face camera for identity check."

                            Use Google Earth historical imagery to view how the facility changed over the years - what looks like construction activity around 9/2005, with the site looking completely dormant in the 90's.


                            On 9/8/2013 03:15, Mike Walker wrote:
                             
                            "Back in 1987 there was no pop-up barrier, one could drive all the way down to the other side of the facility and see the second drive-through door"

                            So, is that to say the facility around this point in time appeared not to really be in use?


                            On Sun, Sep 8, 2013 at 3:08 AM, Mike Doughney <mike@...> wrote:
                             

                            Back in 1987 there was no pop-up barrier, one could drive all the way down to the other side of the facility and see the second drive-through door. There was a small AT&T deathstar sign at the base of the access road but no other gate or barrier along its entire length. Photos: http://www.boxoprints.com/hagerstown2


                            On 9/7/2013 21:25, Tim wrote:
                             

                            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.



                          • ozob99
                            IIRC there was still some circuit activity in the late 1980 s, but the original customers might not have been reporting there daily. --- In
                            Message 13 of 30 , Sep 8, 2013

                               IIRC there was still some circuit activity in the late 1980's, but the original "customers" might not have been reporting there daily.



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

                              Not clear what was going on at that time... road was clearly plowed of snow, but my visit was on a Saturday outside usual business hours. I do remember an entry turnstile with a sign reading "Face camera for identity check."

                              Use Google Earth historical imagery to view how the facility changed over the years - what looks like construction activity around 9/2005, with the site looking completely dormant in the 90's.


                              On 9/8/2013 03:15, Mike Walker wrote:
                               
                              "Back in 1987 there was no pop-up barrier, one could drive all the way down to the other side of the facility and see the second drive-through door"

                              So, is that to say the facility around this point in time appeared not to really be in use?


                              On Sun, Sep 8, 2013 at 3:08 AM, Mike Doughney <mike@...> wrote:
                               

                              Back in 1987 there was no pop-up barrier, one could drive all the way down to the other side of the facility and see the second drive-through door. There was a small AT&T deathstar sign at the base of the access road but no other gate or barrier along its entire length. Photos: http://www.boxoprints.com/hagerstown2


                              On 9/7/2013 21:25, Tim wrote:
                               

                              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.



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