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ex-Area 51 workers rally to save a top secret aircraft project called Article 122

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posted on Sep, 1 2005 @ 11:32 PM
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Former employees of the top secret Area 51 military base are banding together to try and save an icon of the Cold War era. The men, all former CIA contractees, are heartbroken because of the shoddy treatment given to an amazing spy plane that once flew from the Groom Lake base, but is now stuck in a New York Harbor and is literally falling to pieces.

The I-Team spoke to the CIA men about their interest in saving the plane known as Article 122.

Gen. Dennis Sullivan said, "It was on a flight from Nevada to Idaho. I turned back, pushed the throttle up -- by the time I came in over Groom Lake, I was at 90,000 feet."

One of the planes, known as Article 122, was special, even for an A-12, special because of the advanced composite materials that modified its titanium structure, and because of other design changes inspired by Sullivan himself.

The composites meant that Article 122 was the most fragile of the A-12's, a fact that is all too evident today. Instead of being sent to air museums like the other surviving A-12's, Article 122 was handed over to a private businessman who plopped it onto the deck of an aircraft carrier for the past several years, a decaying tourist attraction.

People who care about Article 122 are pretty steamed. T.D. Barnes, a former CIA specialist, said, "We're upset. It shouldn't be on a carrier in salt water. It's composite materials; it's rotting down, using it as a moneymaker. Robbie Knievel jumped over it with a motorcycle, cutting wheelies."

Officially, Article 122 is still on loan from the Air Force, but military officials have shown little interest in the terrible state of the plane, now a target for graffiti, bird droppings, and vandalism. Rivets have fallen out, leaving holes in the sides. The nose has been replaced by a makeshift "doo-hickey."

To try and hide obvious wear and tear inflicted by the elements, someone applied a coat of latex house paint to 122's unique skin, and didn't even bother to match the color. People who remember the plane from Groom Lake are sick about it. Plus, why put a CIA plane on a Navy carrier? It makes as much sense as putting an Army tank on the flight deck.

The International Roadrunners organization, made up of former Groom Lake employees, would like to see Article 122 returned home to Nevada, perhaps as part of an aviation museum or Cold War exhibit. It's a long shot, but the situation has the Roadrunners riled up.

The Roadrunners know they face long odds in trying to rescue Article 122, but they are a determined bunch.

full article >>

Hmm... sounds interesting....hopefully they can find a better use for it.
I wonder if this same composite technology was used on the F/A-22 as well ?

[edit on 1-9-2005 by Stealth Spy]




posted on Sep, 1 2005 @ 11:59 PM
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hmmm...I understand there thought process, about the AF jet on the carrier, but there are blackbirds that are allready in museums...So most will wonder why take extra time and money to put another one inside.

but for the record, I would rather it be in a building.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 11:49 AM
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Interesting post (link looks broken)
Wow, so there's an organized group of former Groom Lake employees. That is good to know. They probably have allot of stories to tell.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 11:57 AM
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IF they could tell you, hehe...




The International Roadrunners organization, made up of former Groom Lake employees, would like to see Article 122 returned home to Nevada, perhaps as part of an aviation museum or Cold War exhibit. It's a long shot, but the situation has the Roadrunners riled up.


I doubt it would even survive such a trip at this point...without falling apart. I doubt the composites are anything like what the Raptor uses, or they wouldn't allow it to be on loan....maybe similar to the Blackbirds, but not the Raptor.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 11:59 AM
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Lots more info on the Article 122 here. Lots of pics too...sad to see it decaying so much.

area51specialprojects.com...



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by nullster
Interesting post (link looks broken)
Wow, so there's an organized group of former Groom Lake employees. That is good to know. They probably have allot of stories to tell.



Yes , there is a group. They have their own web site at ROADRUNNERS INTERNATIONALE. Covers the U-2 /A-12/YF-12 testing as well as other programmes.

And yes they do have some good stories to tell. I'm an Assocaite member will be attending the Reunion in October.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 02:35 PM
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How can there be graffiti on it? Its on a CARRIER, is security really that pethetic.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by ajsr71

Originally posted by nullster
Interesting post (link looks broken)
Wow, so there's an organized group of former Groom Lake employees. That is good to know. They probably have allot of stories to tell.



Yes , there is a group. They have their own web site at ROADRUNNERS INTERNATIONALE. Covers the U-2 /A-12/YF-12 testing as well as other programmes.

And yes they do have some good stories to tell. I'm an Assocaite member will be attending the Reunion in October.


I should ask my Uncle if he's a member, he was a U-2 mechanic in the Air Force.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 02:55 PM
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U-2 ops from Groom Lake were a C.I.A oparation.

USAF OPS were flown by the
4028th SRS/ 4080th SRW,
Later 349th SRS/ 100th SRW.
9th SRW /RW - 1st, 5th and 99thRS.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by ajsr71
U-2 ops from Groom Lake were a C.I.A oparation.

USAF OPS were flown by the
4028th SRS/ 4080th SRW,
Later 349th SRS/ 100th SRW.
9th SRW /RW - 1st, 5th and 99thRS.


I've always wondered if he was involved in more, though. He has never told us any hard details of anything except the one time he told us about a fighter that looked like it was from 'Star Wars' that he 'saw' once. This of course turned out to be the F-117 but he told us before it was public knowledge. Oh yeah, one more thing, he's lived in the southwest for as long as I can remember. Lastly, he says he still knows plenty of things he can't tell us..........



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 03:25 PM
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Some very nice pic's thank you. That is clearly the CIA version of the sr-71 blackbird. It is a little known fact that the CIA had a fleet of these babbies.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 03:35 PM
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Yes the CIA Operated the A-12 OXCART With the 1129th Special Activities Squadron.

As the A-12 came first it would be more appropraite to say the SR-71 was a version of the A-12.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 10:06 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
How can there be graffiti on it? Its on a CARRIER, is security really that pethetic.


Murcielago, we are talking New York here.
Virtually nothing is safe from the famous New York graffiti artists and those up and coming ones.






seekerof



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 10:32 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

Originally posted by Murcielago
How can there be graffiti on it? Its on a CARRIER, is security really that pethetic.


Murcielago, we are talking New York here.
Virtually nothing is safe from the famous New York graffiti artists and those up and coming ones.

seekerof


yeah I guess...I understand under a bridge or on a busted down building...but on a carrier. I would think they would have a security gaurd to watch it at night.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 05:20 AM
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Originally posted by nullster
link looks broken


My apologies, here is the corrected one >> LINK



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 08:52 AM
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While it is sad, the conditions of many planes at museums is pretty poor. A visit to the PIMA museum in Arizona, many of the outside displays are in pretty bad shape. However, the Seattle Museum of FLight is an excellent one to visit.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 04:37 PM
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This is sad, very sad. Shouldn't be allowed to happen at all.


It really is a terrible, terrible shame. It should be rescued, ASAP, before it gets worse.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 05:13 PM
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For the record:
A-12 (USAF serial no. 60-06925/Article 122) is the second A-12 built and the first fitted with the composite anti-radar materials. Only the first A-12 (60-6924/Article 121) and the TA-12 trainier (60-6927/Article 124) and the YF-12A (60-6934, 60-6935, and 60-6936) had all-metal construction. All of the other A-12 and SR-71 airframes incorporated composite chines, edge treatments, inlet cones and tail fins.

The anti-radar materials were crude by today's standards fo low-observables technology. It mainly consisted of asbestos/fiberglass and silicone materials.

The CIA would love to have Article 122 for their museum, but sources at the Agency say it may be too expensive to move and restore.



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