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16 June 2002. Thank to E:

More links on AUTOVON: [Map of the AUTOVON switching centers] [Map of the AUTOVON switching centers]

15 June 2002. Thanks to Anonymous.
Source: Color maps and photos:; black and white photos: TerraServer USGS 1 Mar 1993

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From Independent Online, December 13, 2000 [Revised 16 June 2002]

Big Hole, Deep Secret

Beneath the Chatham County countryside lies AT&T's covert military site, the most intriguing local landmark you're not allowed to visit

By Jon Elliston

Ask Pittsboro Mayor Chuck Devinney what he did when he worked for AT&T, and he offers evasions straight out of an X-Files script. "I wiped it all out of my head," he says. "When I went out the door, I never looked back." Coming from a public utility employee turned small-town public official, that might sound pretty melodramatic. Unless, that is, the door walked out of was the secured gateway to Chatham County's underground enigma, the Big Hole. That's where Devinney and dozens of other AT&T employees holed up for much of the Cold War, soldiers in a hidden battle to safeguard a U.S. command and control system in the event of nuclear war.

Photos By Alex Maness

At the government's "Big Hole" communication center in Chatham County, it's what can't be seen that matters most. The system, called the Automatic Voice Network (AUTOVON), was put in service in 1964 by the Defense Communications Agency; the Chatham facility came on-line in 1966. About 60 AUTOVON relay and switching centers were built across the country. Of those, 20 sites, including Big Hole, were underground, hardened facilities, engineered to withstand anything but a direct hit by an enemy missile. AT&T won the classified contract to operate domestic AUTOVON centers, while the U.S. military manned those established in other countries. AT&T will not say if another part of the Defense Department or any other government agency is secretly using Big Hole today, but the company still owns the property, the grounds are maintained and the security barriers remain. [More on Continuity of Government facilities at the URL.]