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From: MarkFarmer@aol.com Date: Tue, 14 Jan 1997 18:03:26 -0800 Subject: Report on Groom Lake flyby, by Hombre Secreto "X" Having spent the past week in the environs of Area 51 conducting network TV production ops -- here are a few tidbits: Cessna Turbo 206 (with a starboard window that opened) trip along the Eastern boundry of the Nellis Range produced new images of a near totally-flooded Groom Lake from the north and the east. Runway 14R-32L (the 30,000-footer) is actually built up higher than the dry lakebed. 35mm images from the north (taken with a 500mm lens at an altitude of 9,600 ft show water on both sides of the runway -- with only the area of the runway at mid-lake partially submerged. Visual conditions at the time of the flight were outstanding, although the high sun angle (1315 local time) was less than optimal. Following four 360 racetracks at the north of the restricted area we proceeded to Rachel then Coyote Summit and then down the Tikaboo Valley right along the line (we were equiped with a Garmin-90 GPS with a moving map display). New shots of Bald Mountain show no change over the past two years. The large solar cell panel, radar dome, helipad and living quarters were noted. I fired-off a roll of stills and some video as Nellis Range Control asked us what were our intentions. We had enough stand-off range from the line, so we asked to conduct a 360 to the right towards the line. "Negative **U, steer a course of 140 to Alamo". We then asked for permission to make a 360 to the left. "Negative **U, you must steer a course of 140 at 9500 feet towars Alamo Airport". We had a lipstick cam mounted to the exterior of the plane... hoping for an intercepter interception of an Interceptor. Nuts! Only ordered out of an MOA -- shameful indeed. During the flight near the Ranch, we heard lots of normal chatter on miltary channels and many common call-signs. But as we flew over Tikaboo Peak (almost no snow on top) to the NW a plane was directed from the Box into the heart of the Range -- call sign Predator. It had a man in it responding, rules out the UAV of the same name. On the return leg to Boulder City, I had us steer a course to the NE of Area 2 (itself on the NE corner of Nellis AFB). Formerly know as the Lake Mead Base, Area 2 is the largest nuclear weapons storage site in the Western US -- over 200 nukes are in the bunkers. Got some great shots of Area 2, the Federal Prison Camp and Nellis AFB. While standing in line for a cheese danish at my hotel -- I ran into a man that means a great deal to me. Dressed in a $2,000 tux and making a commercial for the Rio was none other than Adam West. The Real Batman! As he walked by I winked at him, he looked back and I gave him the thumbs up. He stopped and turned, walking towards me, he asked "Whats that for?". All I could say was "Holy Tuxedo Batman..." Following with, "Mr. West I grew up watching Batman, I had a cape, I had a hood -- you deeply warped me -- Thank You." He looked at my flight suit and name tag and said "Thats OK Agent X". I've waited almost my whole life to get that off my chest. Made a return to Brainwash Butte -- the semi-secret Interceptor overlook of the Tonapah Test Range. Despite road damage caused by recent heavy rains -- I was able to penetrate to the base of the Butte in my 97 Buick LeSabre (no large convertibles available). We had a Canon 33X sports lens for the Digital Betacam and my Hi-8 camcorder goes to 40X. We imaged TTR and its surroundings, conducted an interview and shot the best shots of the real Site IV -- not the Lazar fabrication -- but the real one. Areas are AEC/DOE designations and Sites are USAF. Site IV at TTR is the most sensitive location on the facility. In the past it was the home of terrain-following radar development, covert testing of purloined Soviet, Warsaw Pact and Chinese radars and ECM and making sure that they wouldn't jam fuzes on our nuclear weapons and disable our penetrating bombers electronic navigation and countermeasures. It seems to be integral part of the Nellis Range Complex electronic warfare and evaluation capabilities along with the Tolicha Peak Electronic Combat Range and the testing capabilities present at the north end of Dreamland. Went to the gate of TTR -- ASI just watched and didn't come close while we filmed. As a sidenote... cowboys with satellite dishes on their horse trailers and driving in US Government pickup trucks were holding a wild-horse roundup. This type of activity has been recent source of troubling rumors of horses being rounded up by rustlers with BLM/DOD approval from officials on the take and sent to dining room tables in France with a few folks making some dough on the deal. Wrecked the Lesabre on Mailbox Rd on the Medlin Ranch, Groom Lake Road Cutoff. 60-mph left side slide into a ditch -- the Le Sabre rose in a 45-degree left roll before hanging for a moment and falling back to the desert floor. The previously brutalized front left tire fell-off the rim in high-speed right turn. No injuries, but it did take three hours to limp the LeSabre back on a tiny spare to Vegas -- were my rental company had a new car waiting. "We are so sorry Mr. Farmer for the inconveinence. We will give you a free-day.You are such a good customer. We truly appreciate your business." That, was number 5. After that, and a very large room-service bill at the Rio, I quickly departed Vegas for Seattle. Rented a Black Cadillac and was still in my black BDUs. Canadian customs was not amused. I was the there at the invitation of the X-Files. They ripped apart all of my gear, went through the car and called the producers of the X-Files if Agent X was my real name and that I was there working for them (Cananda is very sticky about work permits). After an hour or so, all was straightened out and I hurriedly drove at 140 km/hr to make up time. Got to the studios, met everyone and hung out watching a location shoot for an upcoming episode. Vancouver is one hip city... cosmopolitian, great food, codine over counter and Gillian Anderson is truly hot. Adios, Hombre Secreto X
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