17 October 2006

"The Lights Are On, But Nobody's Home..."
(quote from Col. Jack O'Neill)

One of the last vestiges of the Cold War is now closed....

NORAD, otherwise known as the Cheyenne Mountain Complex is basically shut down, with all major operations now coming from a building at nearby Peterson AFB.

You might recall this facility as the headquarters for STARGATE COMMAND (from the longest running sci-fi series: Stargate-SG1)...

((BTW...it's rumored that the "Stargate" is on level 28 of the complex...but you didn't hear that from ME...and *if* you DID...I'll have to kill you...))

*Quote from Robert Weller's AP article* - 17 October

((The United States and Canada spent hundreds of millions on early warning systems to detect a Soviet attack in the 1950s. All the information was funneled into a two-story blockhouse at Colorado Springs’ Ent Air Force Base that could be taken out by a bazooka, NORAD historian Thomas Fuller said.

So crews began digging in 1961 on the edge of Colorado Springs on what used to be a ranch, eventually removing 700,000 tons of granite. Two 25-ton blast doors were constructed to protect the 15 tunnel-like buildings 2,400 feet underground. Each is suspended on thousand-pound springs or, as the joke goes, “the real Colorado springs.”
The mini-city included a barbershop, medical clinic, convenience store, even a fire and police force.
For 40 years, staff in the mountain kept an eye on the Soviets from a command center in a small room.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was the death knell for Cheyenne Mountain. A few years later, Russians were invited to Peterson in case the change of the millennium caused any catastrophic computer problems.
Then came the Sept. 11 attacks. The Northern Command was created in 2002 to defend the nation from internal attacks. Its headquarters were built at Peterson and NORAD’s commander was put in charge of both. It was from Peterson where the military was able to scramble fighter planes 10 minutes after a small plane crashed into a New York City high-rise last week.

Cheyenne Mountain was a comfort for many during the Cold War. It was put in the middle of the continent for safety reasons, to help ensure that key decisions on defending the nation from a nuclear attack could be made before it was too late.
Until the later years of the Cold War, when more accurate and high-yield bombs were developed, Cheyenne Mountain could probably have even withstood a direct hit.
NORAD recently said it would like to begin talks with the Russians about joint surveillance flights along the Alaska-Siberia frontier.))

* * * * *
I'm sure that Cheyenne Mountain might just become a "fan-mecca" in the near future...that would mean some $$$ for someone with the "right stuff". But just like the huge (once secret) bunker under the Greenbriar Resort Hotel in W. VA (to house our government in case of nuclear holocaust), it could prove financially viable in another venue. (Just make sure NOBODY touches the RED button, OK?)

I'm sad to see it close, but then again, I'm sure "Jack O'Neill" is looking forward to some "down time" finally...right? After all, there IS something to be said for the fine art of fishing (with a cold Guinness nearby)...!

Sustineo Alas

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