posted on Jan, 12 2006 @ 02:26 PM
Harvey’s Point was originally a tugboat base used during WWII and Korea. It served as a base for tugs that towed targets into Albemarle Sound for
the Navy pilots flying down from the Norfolk, Virginia.
In August of 1968, a friend of mine purchased a houseboat in Winton, NC, and asked me to help him bring it back to Richmond, VA, via the Intercoastal
Waterway. There were four of us on the trip.
The second afternoon, we were sailing east in Albemarle Sound when a nasty squall line started making up in the west. Albemarle Sound is very
shallow, and no place to be in a houseboat with the sea keeping characteristics of a shoebox. After a quick look at the chart and the Notice to
Mariners we found this “abandoned” tugboat base very close on the port beam at Harvey’s Point. We got in just ahead of the storm, and found a
covered slip with concrete pier. Very snug, almost a boathouse. We had a beer as the storm blew past us, sideways.
Suddenly, three men in civilian clothes, each with a different type weapon, ran into the boathouse, spread out and told us not to move. Then another
civilian arrived (for some reason I remember he wore cowboy boots) and we were marched up a path thru the pines to a two-story brick building; told to
empty our pockets and left in the small lobby. A half hour later our things were returned, we were told the boat would be confiscated until the next
day. One of their people would drive us into Hertford, but we would have to find our own way back.
A guard, in some kind of generic uniform, drove us to the only motel in Hertford. On the way we were complaining about not being able to leave –the
storm having blown itself out, and the guard told us we were lucky. He said two fishermen had their boat sink off Harvey’s Point, and when they swam
ashore, they had been arrested. The next morning, the motel clerk called the local sheriff and he agreed to drive us back to the base. On the trip
he admitted the whole thing sounded kind of funny, since the base had been abandoned for years. When we got back to the fence –there was a small
plywood box with a phone, hanging next to the vine-covered gate. It really did look abandoned from that side. The phone worked and they sent a car
for us. It was kind of funny to watch the sheriff trying to look thru the gate which they only opened wide enough for us to squeeze thru. Driving
back to the boat slip I did notice a new runway running north to south between rows of those WWII “temporary” barracks. Probably about 3,000 feet
long. Some new roads had been cut off the main road, but didn’t see any new construction.
When we got back to the boat it was pretty evident it had been searched without much effort to disguise the fact.
We didn’t find out what was going on there until years later when I read G.Gordon Liddy’s autobiography, “Will”, in which he tells about
flying down to “the CIA’s secret weapon’s testing facility at Harvey’s Point, NC.”
So while trying to get out of the weather, we had come waltzing into a secret CIA operation.
If you go to Google maps and try to “zoom” in on “Harvey’s Point Defense Testing Activity” you will find that the images are blocked three
clicks from full resolution, but you can make out the runway.