10 June 1998

Date: Wed, 10 Jun 1998 15:52:20 -0600
From: Gomez
To: John Young <jya@pipeline.com>
CC: Tim Skorick <tskorick@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: Ramparts Article

I got to thinking about that article this morning, and re-reading my
comments I realized there was something I left out.  Fellwock refers 
to large antenna arrays which he called by some name [Feranine] I didn't 
recognize.  (I've left the article at home, so I can't look it up).

I wonder if he was referring to the Wullenweber array (also called a 
Circularly Disposed Dipole Array - CDDA.), what we used to call "The 
Elephant Cage." I'm not entirely sure his terminology is incorrect, 
since he might be referring to the other commonly used listening post 
antenna, the  rhombic.  

Giant arrays of rhombics (some small, some quite large) are used all 
over the the world.  They are very low-noise, highly directional, 
tunable, and you can even change the resonance bandwidth!

But if he was referring to the CDDA, then the proper name he used was
the wrong one.

There is one of these arrays at the Denver Federal Center in Colorado, a
large Federal reservation which, among other agencies, also shelters a 
large facility of FEMA.

At one time, there was a windowless building with a small white sign
that said "NSA" (and nothing else) near the antenna field.  I always 
wondered about that - thought it was someone's idea of a joke - it seems 
just a wee bit too obvious.  Anyway, the sign is gone now, but the 
building and antennas remain.

Some other fascinating installations in Colorado, which may or may not
have anything to do with intel, but are interesting nevertheless.  I should
point out that, under the circumstances, and considering where we worked and
what we did at the time, we felt we would likely have heard about these two
places before, but we hadn't.  And were never able to find anyone who would
admit to knowing anything about them.

Thing One:

About 25 miles north east of Buckley ANGB, is an antenna farm that went
up almost over night.  The antenna farm contains four tallish towers, about
100 ft each, in a square array.  Each tower has a box-like truss surmounted
by many small antennas.  I've seen this sort of installation many times on 
military bases.

Anyway, this installation appeared almost overnight, as I say, about
eight years ago.  That was my last year in the USAF.  I noticed their
appearance because Buckley, where I worked, was way out in the boonies, east 
of the suburbs of Denver (then), and I routinely drove home at night.  I 
knew the skyline well.  One night, I saw a whole slew of new flashing red 
tower clearance lights off to the north/north-east.

An AF buddy of mine and I decided (foolishly, as it turned out) to go
investigate.  We drove out that direction during the day, and spotted
the towers.  When we got closer, we found _three_ barbed wire fences on the 
perimeter, and a "Controlled Area" sign with the "Lethal Force Authorized" 
language at the bottom.

Now this last part is very unusual.  As a general rule, "Controlled
Access Areas" exist only within "Restricted Access Areas".  There were no
resources within the fence other than a small equipment building and the 

Lethal Force being authorized (the same lingo is on the fence around the
place where I worked at Buckley) means that the military has designated
the area a Priority-A Resource.  As soon as we figured this out, we started
to high-tail it out of there, but we were soon blocked (on a public,
country road mind you) by a blue USAF pickup full of Security Police (SP), 
who wanted to know what we were doing snooping around that site.

We told them we were just curious about it, and we thought that this was a
public road (it was).  By our haircuts, it was probably obvious we were
military, but they didn't ask for our ID's, which is fortunate.  If word
had gotten back to our squadron security officer, our clearances would have
been pulled, and we'd have been turned into cooks or something!

My buddy went back a week later, although he didn't approach as closely,
and found to his astonishment that this public, county road was now gated
with a sign proclaiming it a US Gov't installation, etc.

Story Two:

A fellow co-worker of mine told me this tall tale of a site not far from
the "Magic Antenna Site," as we'd begun to call it, that he had seen from the
air, while tooling around in one of the local flying clubs Piper

What he described sounded unlikely- large metal buildings, like small
airplane hangars, but painted to look like barns, houses, and farm sheds.
He said he'd never have noticed that they weren't farmhouses, except that
he was looking through binoculars at parts of the old Lowry Bombing Range,
just out of curiosity.  These buildings were adjacent to the bombing range.

I was skeptical, but I agreed to go take a look.  My other friend from the
(first adventure) went along.  Sure enough, we found the buildings right
where my friend had said they were, about 100 yards behind a double-barbed-
wire fence which had an obvious 30-foot cleared zone in front of it (which
usually means buried line-intrustion detections systems).  

Once again, there was a "Controlled Area / Lethal Force Authorized" sign,
on an outside area.  Very unusual.  Note that a Restricted area can only
be entered by people wearing the right badge (the badge having certain
security features), but a Controlled Area can only be entered by people on 
a list of authorized persons, and everyone who enters has to be positively
identified (by a  variety of means) before they are allowed in.

While anyone entering a Restricted Area can be searched, they usually
aren't, except during heightened security periods.  Persons and their
vehicles entering a Controlled Area are always searched and wanded.  And it 
is not uncommon for their vehicles to be left outside.  If the area is
large enough to warrant it, there may be vehicles inside the area which you
can use and which have been thoroughly searched, radios and other
electronics equipment removed, and in some cases, specially equipped so as 
not to interfere with sensitive electronic equipment.

Anyway, we hadn't been looking at this gate for more than thirty seconds
when another of the ubiquitous SP trucks roars up, out pours about five or
six SP's, looking all excited, and they run us through the ringer again.

This time, they did ask us for our military ID's, then asked us where
we worked.  We told them "on Lowry AFB" (which is where some of us lived,
in base housing, at the time).   This wasn't entirely untrue, as there was a
facility on Lowry where two of us occasionally worked for short periods.  
They also asked what we did, and we told them (truthfully) that they didn't 
have the need to know, and we weren't allowed to tell them.  Apparently, 
they assumed that we were instructors, since Lowry was a tech school base.  
I fully expected them to ask us next for the names of our CO's and First 
Seargents, but they didn't. They seemed really eager to get rid of us, 
rather than stand around and ask us questions.  Fortunately, they told us 
to shove off and didn't ask too many pointed questions.

I've always wondered what the hell those buildings were, why they had to
be above-ground if they were so damned secret, and why they were
camouflaged so artfully.