Donate $25 for two DVDs of the Cryptome collection of files from June 1996 to the present

Natsios Young Architects

28 May 2002. Thanks to M for circa 1992 photo from

27 May 2002
Source: Color photos and maps:; black and white photos: TerraServer USGS photos dated 25 March 1995, not long before NSA gave up the site that year.

In January 2001 the Baltimore Sun reported on the NSA Rosman site's facilities since its transfer from NSA to the National Forest Service in 1995 (the site is located within the Pisgah National Forest), and provided accounts of workers there during its NSA operation and subsequent takeover by the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (the Sun story is no longer online). Messages to mail-list Cypherpunks responded to the story:


12 January 2001

See related:

See also:

From: "Robert Windrem" <>
To: <>
Subject: Rosman's NSA role
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 08:35:41 -0500

I am a producer for NBC Nightly News in New York.  In 1986, I spent several days in Rosman and nearby Asheville researching Rosman and shooting it from the ground and the air.  The ground level shooting was mostly fruitless, but I still have video I shot from a helicopter.

At the time, Rosman had 14 dishes in a bowl-like area in Pisgah.  It was quite secret as the Sun notes.  However, the FAA never instituted any restrictions over the site, as it did with other sites.

We included it in a two part series we did in 1986 called "The Eavesdropping War" -- NBC having refused to kill the story, as requested by then-NSA director William Odom.   Odom threatened legal action if we ran the piece.  They are particularly concerned about Rosman.

We determined that Rosman had several missions. 

One was intercepting communications from Soviet geosynchronous satellites, the Gorizont and Raduga.  We were told interception had two values: 1. the satellites were used to communicate with Russian forces in Cuba and 2. they were also used to communicate with Soviet SS-20 sites in Europe...several of which were in East Germany. The farthest Raduga, as I recall, was at 14 degrees west, putting it in range of both Rosman and East Germany.  It should be noted that Rosman is almost due north of the old Soviet headquarters in Lourdes, Cuba, southwest of Havana. Lourdes, of course, is also the largest satellite sigint base in the Russian equivalent of Echeon, which I just wrote about for  I was told that Rosman was used in part to capture signals being sent between Lourdes and the Soviet sigint downlink at Vatutinki outside Moscow.

The other mission was intercepting signals from the agent satellite network the Soviet Union maintained to communicate with its agents worldwide.  A crude version of Iridium, it contained eight satellites in low earth orbit.

The property was ceded to the DoD from the General Services Administration in December 1980, at the close of the Carter administration, on the same day another smaller NASA site outside of London was turned over to DoD. 

At the end of the Cold War, with the signing of the INF Treaty and lessened tensions, it was shut down and some of its equipment sent to the NSA base in Sebana Seca, P.R.

I hope this was helpful to you.  If you need to call, give me a ring at 1-800-NBC-NEWS, ext. 7390.

Jeffrey Richelson wrote in The U.S. Intelligence Community (Ballinger, 1989):

According to one account, Misawa's AN/FLR-9 "can pick up a Russian television broadcast in Sakhalin or an exchange of insults between Chinese and Soviet soldiers on the Sino-Soviet border."69 The INSCOM contingent focuses its attention on Soviet army and General Staff activity, as well as on Afghanistan. The NSGC contingent monitored the Soviet Navy's search and rescue activity after the Soviets shot down Korean Airlines Flight 007 in 1983. Misawa is also the site of Project LADYLOVE, which involves the interception of the communications transmitted via several Soviet satellite systems--Molniya, Raduga, and Gorizont. Also involved in the satellite communications interception project are three additional stations, all run by the NSA. Rosman Research Station was transferred from the NASA to the Department of Defense on February 1, 1981 for use as a "Communications Research Station" and became operational on July 1, 1985 with 250 employees. At present it has four satellite dishes pointed straight up and four in radomes.