Greenwater’s Area 51 or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Cold War

WTF?!

WTF?!

Did you ever happen to catch The Prisoner? If you are an American I’m guessing probably not.

I happened to have a grandma who was hooked on BBC shows. Consequently I was just as likely to be sat down in front of Monty Python as I was Sesame Street.

Bad rover! Bad!

Bad rover! Bad!

Anyway, on the show The Prisoner there was this strange white orb called The Rover. It kept the prisoners from escaping “The Village” by incapacitating them, I seem to recall that it could even kill people.

Get walkin'

Get walkin’

It made an impact on me as a kid, and the bizarre thing continues to dwell somewhere in my psyche.

Then one day driving down the Hwy 410, there it was. Looming white in contrast to the stately evergreen blanket beneath it. What was the Rover doing here in real life? and in Washington State?

I decided to do some internet research…and then the story got a little weirder.

Turns out that the mysterious white orb was a “gap-filler” radome built during the cold war to detect low flying Soviet Bombers. While that’s not incredibly remarkable, the fact that it is even there may be…

я покажу вам Кузька и мать!

я покажу вам Кузька и мать!

On paper the thing was planned, but never built. Yet there it is, boldly standing in defiance to it’s own non-existence along the Hwy 410.

According to the information I found, the site’s ID designation was to be P-1B

I was also able to get my hands on a current flight planning map, on which it is simply marked as ‘radome’.

Nothing unusual here...

Nothing unusual here…

THEORIES

  1. Bond villain hideout
  2. Aliens bro!
  3. Exclusive nightclub?

The site is hemmed in with barbed wire topped chain-link and to add a little bit to the mystery, the private property signs are completely devoid of any information as to identity of the operators.

It's not flying, so it's not a UFO

It’s not flying, so it’s not a UFO

An L-shaped building with blacked out windows is also within the fenced area.

Numerous security cameras watch your every move with silent vigilance. A tin foil hat might help keep them out of your thoughts.

Tin Foil Cat

Honestly if I were to guess I’d bet this is a Boeing site, but admittedly I base that on very little.

Firstly they are the largest aviation company in the area. (…and the second largest defense contractor on the earth.)

Two-stly, the private property signs look very much like the ones posted around Boeing property.

Shaky? Maybe, but I think it holds up to Occam’s Razor better than Bond Villain nightclub staffed by Aliens. (But I want it to be so badly!)

RED TAPE

THIS TRIP MAY BE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY, but…

So far as I could tell there is no legal reason you cannot visit the area, so long as you do not attempt to enter the enclosure itself which is clearly marked as private property.

The Hancock gate at the bottom does not state that a Hancock Forest Pass is required for walk-in entry, but this could be out of date, or subject to change at any time.

Is it just me, or does this look...dirty?

Is it just me, or does this look…dirty?

Know before you go. Trespassing is trespassing, and usually moreso if you are being a general nuisance.

GETTING THERE

If you are driving SE on the SR 410 during the daylight hours, you will probably notice this thing hanging out on top of the hills north of the highway.

You’ll have to deduce which logging road you will have to take to get you up to the thing. The correct one has a rather large open area to park, and past the gate, starts climbing immediately.

If you get to Federation Forest, you’ve driven too far. (but Federation Forest is another great place to go roaming around!)

When walking up the logging road there are a couple of intersections, when in doubt, stay right.

As always, PACKITINPACKITOUT!

Oh, and if you ever plan to have children, don’t hang around this thing too long.

Avon calling!

Avon calling!

Happy Trails!

 

 

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