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Commuter flight at Northrop's Hawthorne, CA, complex

From: (Glenn Campbell, Las Vegas)
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 19:10:25 -0800
Subject: Commuter flight at Northrop's Hawthorne, CA, complex

Subject: Northrop Hawthorne Groom commuter flights
From: Dan Zinngrabe <>
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 20:59:36 -0400 (EDT)

Today I had an unplanned and unexpected chance to watch a turboprop land at
Northrop's Hawthorne, CA complex. After missing my exit on the 105 freeway
I got off right near the complex as I new how to get hom from there easily.
As I took the offramp what appeared to be an unmarked white Jetsream
bizprop lined up on the runway. I sat at the light and waited for it to
land. I paralleled the runway as i drove, watching the turboprop taxi up to
a small building and empty out passengers. The plane was a T-tailed twin
low-wing turboprop pained overall white with some blue stipes (i was
keeping my eyes on the road and passengers) and had a rather obvious
registration number on the tail in blue. All of the passengers were showing
exposure to the sun on their upper surfaces and cheeks, and were dressed
for the most part in "business casual", with small carry-on luggage.

I boxed around the airport on Prairie and Crenshaw to catch the workers as
they exited to drive home. I got a good look at several- it was obvious
that they had been in the desert from their tans and dust accumulation on
the insides of their cars and on their bodies (yes, I'm THAT observant-
analizing satellite photos does that to you), and two had security badges.
One of those two had one which looked corporate, and another badge which
from my experience was US Gov't issue- colored white with a pinkish panel
over the good old ID numbers and what was either a bar code or magnetic

This was all around 3:45pm today.

Of course this raises some qustions-

-What is Northrop working on at Groom? I can only see two possibilities
other than, of course, UFOs- SENIOR CITIZEN (which would mean that it went
into production and northrop won- kinda a longshot according to paul
Mcginnis and my own research) and B-2 testing. it could easily be work on
the B-2 weapons trests being done on the Tonopah and Nellis ranges or some
of the RCS work- though neither would really justify the 45-50 people
(guesstimate- I couldn't count them and drive at the same time!)

-Does each contractor use different airlines to ferry workers into Groom?
We know about Janet bringing in EG&G, Raytheon E-Systems, hughes, and
Lockheed people. Why does Northrop use it's own planes?

And of course, if anyone can help me get the flight plans filed for a
certain aircraft for today (5/27/97) I would be most appreciative!

On a sidenote- At Hawthorne there is the Western Museam of Flight- which
has odd hours but a great selction of aircraft. Mostly Northrop designs but
those you'll find nowhere else, like flying wing prototypes and a YF-23.
Seems well worth a visit if you're in the area.

Black Dawn


Observations From Glenn:

-- Workers getting off flights from Groom Lake would not be wearing
ID badges.  I understand that the standard procedure is that you MUST
be wearing your badge when you get off the plane at Groom, but you
MUST NOT have it on when you get on and off the plane at the other
end.  Here at the Janet terminal, no badges are seen (except on
security guards).

-- There is no reason for most Groom Lake workers to be dusty or
tanned, any more than if you just got off a plane from LAX.

-- The tail number of the commuter plane is probably the most useful
data you can get.  The blue stripe on a white body does match the
T-tails here at the Janet terminal, and these planes do fly to
California from Las Vegas. (I don't know about whether they fly
from Groom directly to California.)

-- There's no evidence that separate contractors use separate air
services, although I suppose you could ferry a gaggle of Northrup
types in a single EG&G flight.  (Remember the Lockheed engineers
who went down together on Mt. Charleston in 1955 enroute to A51.)

-- GC

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