Field Trip Report - Monticello, GA, AT&T
- Took a 12-hour trip from Gainesville, FL, to Monticello, GA, and back to
look for the AT&T facility there. Comments indicated it was an underground
facility similar to Ellisville, FL, and Windermere, FL.
Matthew Sadler provided coordinates of N 33 20 16, W 83 34 59 for the site.
Punched them into my Delorme Street Atlas, hooked the TripMate GPS to the
laptop, and headed out.
Finding the site was simple with the coordinates. Drove right to it, some
10 miles outside of Monticello (would have still been wandering around if I
hadn't had them - thanks, Matthew!).
Drove up onto the crest of a hill, and there it was - a nuclear blast
detector sitting in a field. Then, the characteristic squat, pyramide
screens over the air shafts!
Oh, yes, a big microwave tower and horns, but there are *lots* of those
The underground site is pretty much a carbon-copy of the others. One large
building with the AT&T deathstar, a large paved area, and another smaller
building (the large building at Ellisville is the main entrance, the
smaller building the backdoor to the molehole.
Standard remote-controlled security gate - TV camera, small proximity
detector outside the gate just where a car would stop, and a telephone
handset inside a call box.
Automatic ringdown when the receiver is lifted. "Monticello," he said.
I introduced myself and explained I wandered around looking for/at the AT&T
underground sites constructed back in the late 1960's and would he answer a
few questions for me.
Giving him no time to say "yes," or "no," I plunged ahead asking if any of
the equipment, racks, or panels that were originally spring-mounted still
existed in his facility. "All gone." Other questions were prefaced with
info I already knew, such as "Did the nuclear blast detector system ever
really work." He confirmed the system was never actually in an operational
He was reluctant to answer some specific questions about current
operations, but I did get him to admit to having a #4ESS (after I told him
of the #5 at Ellisville). He said "No Autovon." He flatly refused (in a
nice way) to tell me where Monticello fiber connected to these days (except
for Ellisville, especially since I told him that was one connection!)
I asked about the next underground facility north that connected with the
L-4 carrier system. He said it used to be a place he *thinks* was called
Stanfield (or Stansfield), NC, but was bypassed when the fiber was installed.
All microwave has been turned down and fiber is the only link with the
other stations. There were no radio antennas on the tower, not even the
8-bay I've seen on other AT&T sites.
Asked about any National Command Authority radio systems, specifically
saying Echo/Foxtrot and Combat Ciders and GEP. He said they do not have any
of that and didn't think they ever had.
Pressing my luck, I asked who to contact about a tour - hoping he'd say,
"Come On Down." (He didn't). Said to call AT&T PR in the Atlanta office.
One thing I have noticed when talking to these people - make sure they know
you know something about what the facility was originally constructed for,
housed, and what some of the surface equipment is for.
It's an old trick used by reporters. Make 'em think you already know all
the good stuff <grin>.
I'll make photos available when Seattle Film Works does their thing.
I checked two other sites (coordinats supplied by Matthew).
The "MCI" site is a typical microwave site with guyed tower and torque
platforms at two levels, and round Andrews dishes at various levels and
directions. The site is the middle of a cow pasture. Closest approach is
about 1/2 mile unless you want to jump a fence and walk through the cows. I
chose to use binoculars. No sign of human habitation at the two small
buildings at the base.
The other site was an "ECS" site. There was no facility of any kind at the
coordinates. About 3/4 mile down the road was a cellular site administered
by BellSouth. Nothing remarkable about this site at all.
Stanfield, NC, is about 30 miles East of Charlotte on what looks to be a
small country road (fits the profile), but is also some 230 miles or so
from Monticello, GA (more than the +/- 150 miles).
Anybody know the area or have coordinates?
- On Sat, Mar 20, 1999 at 09:47:05PM -0500, John Warne wrote:
>No coordinates immediately available, there is bunker
> Stanfield, NC, is about 30 miles East of Charlotte on what looks to be a
> small country road (fits the profile), but is also some 230 miles or so
> from Monticello, GA (more than the +/- 150 miles).
> Anybody know the area or have coordinates?
there and a standard microwave tower but the facility is just
used for storage or similar functions as of 1995 or so. It was
a very similar site to what you describe when it was active.
> Ideas on how we can improve ONElist?
> Check out the Suggestion Box feature on our new web site
Dave Emery N1PRE, die@... DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass.
PGP fingerprint = 2047/4D7B08D1 DE 6E E1 CC 1F 1D 96 E2 5D 27 BD B0 24 88 C3 18