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Re: [coldwarcomms] DC-area nuclear Nikes

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  • hooligan@aol.com
    ... Are an official secret? What the heck is that supposed to mean? The site always got a lot of publicity & bigwig visits while operational, due to it s
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 25, 2000
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      > The very interesting Washington Post article quoted below was forwarded
      > to me.
      >
      > The source URL is
      > http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57611-2000Apr21.html

      >
      > BEGIN QUOTE
      >
      > Shrines on the Information Highway
      >
      > Nuclear warheads were once deployed at Lorton prison.
      >
      >
      > Okay, maybe not in the prison. But from 1958 until the early 1970s, the
      > Army stationed nuclear-armed Nike Hercules surface-to-air missiles on the
      > 3,200 acre grounds of the Lorton Correctional Complex in Fairfax County.
      > The warhead bunkers, located at the launch site at Hooes and Furnace roads,
      > are an official secret.

      "Are" an "official secret?" What the heck is that supposed to mean? The site always got a lot of publicity & bigwig visits while operational, due to it's proximity to federal gov't bigwigs...


      > Internet detractors say the Web is a repository of dangerous information,
      > but the nuclear deployments at Lorton are not discussed anywhere online.

      Sounds rather disjointed to me -- mentioning that there is an old Nike site at Lorton doesn't really sound like "dangerous info" any more than a discussion of shoelaces is 'dangerous info' because people have tripped on shoe laces & injured themselves! Also, I could swear that there IS at least one web site that mentions the old Nike site at Lorton...

      OK, just checked Altavista, using "Nike +Lorton" as the search string. Definitely NUMEROUS good hits...

      > More than 15,000 such shrines to military units and individual weapons exist
      > on the Internet. The sites reveal fascinating details, many still guarded by
      > an over-classified military.

      Hmm, if he knows there are 15,000 plus, yet didn't know there is one that mentions Lorton, that's rather embarrassing...


      > Christopher Bright, a doctoral candidate in history at George Washington
      > University, is an expert on the now-obscure Nike Hercules missile. As a
      > historian with a capital "H," Bright displays an academic skepticism about
      > the Internet as a source for history. "Thirty-five percent of the stuff is
      > inaccurate or distorted" on the Nike Web sites, he says.

      I'd like to see him back that assertation up. Besides, many of us know how badly the traditional media misquotes & misinforms, right?

      > Site W-64 at Lorton was the first site to open - the largest in the
      > Washington area - and was for a while the national visiting site, frequented
      > by VIPs (the crown prince of Iraq once paid a visit) and open to the public
      > on Sundays. That is, until the nuclear warheads arrived.

      And this is the same site he claims _is_ an official secret??!

      > END QUOTE


      Tim
    • Matthew Sadler
      I think the single biggest thing to remember is to take it all with a grain of salt. Use your common sense. The rule I subscribe to is that if I see it in
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 25, 2000
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        I think the single biggest thing to remember is to take it all with a grain
        of salt. Use your common sense.

        The rule I subscribe to is that if I see it in print, or see it on several
        different websites (different meaning maintained and/or sponsored by
        completely different parties), then I'll tend to trust it. Otherwise, I
        regard it with skepticism. But that's just me.

        And, for those who care, I _am_ still here. Just working two jobs and taking
        15 hours at college. Thank God exams are Thursday and Friday. What am I
        doing next week? NOTHING!

        -----------------------------------------------------------------------
        Matthew Sadler / mws@... / mws@...
        http://www.trainweb.org/tnvalley/ Tennessee Valley Railfanning
        http://www.kf4lhp.net/ Chattanooga's amateur radio & scanner resource


        ----- Original Message -----

        > > Christopher Bright, a doctoral candidate in history at George Washington
        > > University, is an expert on the now-obscure Nike Hercules missile. As a
        > > historian with a capital "H," Bright displays an academic skepticism
        about
        > > the Internet as a source for history. "Thirty-five percent of the stuff
        is
        > > inaccurate or distorted" on the Nike Web sites, he says.
        >
        > I'd like to see him back that assertation up. Besides, many of us know
        how badly the traditional media misquotes & misinforms, right?
        >
        > > Site W-64 at Lorton was the first site to open - the largest in the
        > > Washington area - and was for a while the national visiting site,
        frequented
        > > by VIPs (the crown prince of Iraq once paid a visit) and open to the
        public
        > > on Sundays. That is, until the nuclear warheads arrived.
        >
        > And this is the same site he claims _is_ an official secret??!
      • LOKUTIS@AOL.COM
        Having lived in fairfax co. for many years and driving past the lorton site almost every day in the early 80s i was very interested in the article. the site
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 30, 2000
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          Having lived in fairfax co. for many years and driving past the lorton site
          almost every day in the early 80s i was very interested in the article. the
          site was in pristene condition as it was used by the prison to train guards
          so i could not get in to explore
          however i have been to the other bases off pohick rd. badly vandalized by the
          late 70s one bunker not flooded. the base at utterback store rd. was also in
          great condition ,all buildings good no flooded bunkers in fact they were
          full of survival supplies !!!! some of them i liberated, cans of buiscuits
          and carbohydrate suppliment
          that were balls of hard candy. i wish i still had them being worth something
          by now :)
          in fact this base still had power i turned on lights and the bay doors
          opened. this site seemed to be as large as the lorton site. at no time did i
          see any signs or warnings
          in the bunkers about nukes ie radiation warnings nor did i see any seperate
          bunkers for the warheads, they would have been kept seperate fromthe missiles
          until use.
          also several books over the years mention another site near the pimmit hills
          area
          some don't can anyone confirm?? anyone wanting more info please e-mail me

          LOKUTIS@...
        • Albert LaFrance
          ... site ... the ... guards ... the ... I live in Falls Church, and two Sundays ago went to the Lorton area to see what remains. Much of the Lorton prison
          Message 4 of 6 , May 10 7:27 PM
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            >Having lived in fairfax co. for many years and driving past the lorton
            site
            >almost every day in the early 80s i was very interested in the article.
            the
            >site was in pristene condition as it was used by the prison to train
            guards
            >so i could not get in to explore
            >however i have been to the other bases off pohick rd. badly vandalized by
            the
            >late 70s one bunker not flooded.

            I live in Falls Church, and two Sundays ago went to the Lorton area to see
            what remains. Much of the Lorton prison complex has been closed, including
            the minimum-security unit which occupies the missile site. The perimeter
            is secured, and from the public road I couldn't see any unusual structures
            - just a mix of old (possibly Nike-era) buildings, and modern ones.
            There's an historical marker nearby, describing the Nike sites protecting
            Washington.

            > the base at utterback store rd. was also in
            >great condition ,all buildings good no flooded bunkers

            Sadly, that site has been removed. All that remains is a spherical radome,
            with two openings cut in it to make it a play structure, part of a county
            park. Also some groundwater-monitoring wells.

            > in fact they were
            >full of survival supplies !!!! some of them i liberated, cans of buiscuits

            >and carbohydrate suppliment
            >that were balls of hard candy. i wish i still had them being worth
            something
            >by now :)

            Right, I read somewhere about a guy who was selling his stash of that candy
            as Cold War souvenirs!

            >in fact this base still had power i turned on lights and the bay doors
            >opened. this site seemed to be as large as the lorton site. at no time did
            i
            >see any signs or warnings
            >in the bunkers about nukes ie radiation warnings nor did i see any
            seperate
            >bunkers for the warheads, they would have been kept seperate fromthe
            missiles
            >until use.

            I think the nukes were only at Lorton - not sure, though.

            >also several books over the years mention another site near the pimmit
            hills
            >area
            >some don't can anyone confirm?? anyone wanting more info please e-mail me

            Interesting - I don't know of any missile sites near Pimmit Hills, and I
            couldn't find any mention of one in "To Defend and Deter". Is it possible
            that the site was some other kind of defense facility, like a radar or
            communications station?

            (For those not familiar with the DC area, Pimmit Hills is a 1950s
            residential neighborhood about 9 miles west of DC, just inside the Capital
            Beltway).

            ...Albert
          • Mark Foster
            ... Check out: http://www.jps.net/ethelen/appndx_b.html It is the best list I know of all the NIKE site in the US.
            Message 5 of 6 , May 11 4:15 AM
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              At 10:27 PM 5/10/2000 -0400, you wrote:

              >Interesting - I don't know of any missile sites near Pimmit Hills, and I
              >couldn't find any mention of one in "To Defend and Deter". Is it possible
              >that the site was some other kind of defense facility, like a radar or
              >communications station?
              >
              >(For those not familiar with the DC area, Pimmit Hills is a 1950s
              >residential neighborhood about 9 miles west of DC, just inside the Capital
              >Beltway).
              >
              >...Albert

              Check out:

              http://www.jps.net/ethelen/appndx_b.html

              It is the best list I know of all the NIKE site in the US.
            • LOKUTIS@AOL.COM
              hi albert , yea the lorton site bunkers were paved over just before i moved to fla. in late 91 or early 92 thats where the new bldg is just past hooes rd .
              Message 6 of 6 , May 14 1:53 PM
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                hi albert , yea the lorton site bunkers were paved over just before i moved
                to fla. in late 91 or early 92 thats where the new bldg is just past hooes rd
                . the low green bldgs with brick chiminys are nike, last i saw the guard
                shack was still there that would make a neat souvineir :) also the other base
                was on popes head rd not pohick
                as i wrote earlier , now called nike park on maps. the site in pimmit hills
                was described in a book called the history of fairfax co. i was digging
                through the web and found a site where you could read this. it said the base
                was located off magerity
                or magretty rd.any such rd in that area ?? if i find this web site again i
                will write it down . fyi there is a fellow in your area who regularly listens
                to af -1 and the airforce
                orderwire comms on wbfm in the mil air band e-mail address is hobnail@...
                he reports some very interesting stuff .it may be of intrest to you. i also
                enjoy reading your reports of inspecting various sites ..

                thats all for now LOKUTIS
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