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Dugway Proving Ground and the German Village

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posted on Nov, 17 2007 @ 09:36 PM
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In 1941 Erich Mendelsohn, a highly respected German emigre architect was commissioned by the US Army and Standard Oil to build a 'typical' German working class apartment buildings at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

Mendelsohn replicated the design of six apartment blocks that existed in Berlin at that time. Every detail was replicated. The timbers were imported from Murmansk via Hull - at that time one of the most dangerous crossings for merchant vessels and when they arrived in Utah they were sprayed with water to mimick the effects of a damper climate. RKO was contracted and the Oscar winning set designers of Citizen Kane were drafted in to produce the interiors based on those that would be found in the original buildings in Berlin. Furniture was hand made by German craftsmen employed by RKO to match the cheap mass produced furniture found in working class German homes. Carpets were manufactured to German specifications and designs and textiles were made up by German seamstresses.

The buildings were completed in June 1943.

Ostensibly the purpose of these building was to test just how accurate the Norden Bomb sight was in the urban environment however, testing was postponed when FDR felt that pin point bombing was unnecessary due to the success of 'Bomber' Harris' attack on Hamburg and the adoption of what Professor Lindemann termed 'de-housing policy' against German cities and civilians.
en.wikipedia.org...

At least one of the apartment buildings still stands today.

Ever since I read about this I have found it hard to believe that they were really intended to be used as bomb targets. Do you really go to all that trouble just to destroy something? Admittedly the Norden sight was one of the most desired technologies at the time, with the Abwehr going to incredible lengths to obtain the plans - but why spend two years creating the perfect testing ground? But then what could they have been used to test?

It just baffles me...and I was hoping someone here on ATS might have some ideas or insight that evades me.




posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 11:38 AM
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I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed that no-one has any insight on this testing ground. On the off-chance - maybe a little bit more information may help.

As I understand it, Dugway is one of the most contaminated areas in the world. There has also been considerable UFO activity in the area according to some web-sites.

I would be grateful if those with knowledge of US military installations like this could tell me whether it is normal to go to such detail when simply planning to blow up a building.

Perhaps, it was designed to house chemical workers 'liberated' from Germany?

Or possibly, and this is what niggles me most, as some kind of mind control experiment....though not sure how or why they would want German blocks. Training spys...elite units...?????

Dugway proving Ground - the apartment buildings
msqr.us...

principality-of-sealand.eu...

History of Dugway
historytogo.utah.gov...

www.unc.edu...

www.globalsecurity.org...

www.wdtc.army.mil...

Erich Mendelsohn
en.wikipedia.org...

Norden Bombsight
en.wikipedia.org...

Any ideas would be gladly considered, however off the wall. We have nothing like this on Salisbury plain - they don't generally even bother putting actual windows in
if all they are going to do is blow the thing up. I'm baffled and looking for a bit of brainstorming.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 12:45 PM
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I really can't answer most of your questions. But I lived at DPG for five years of my life. My father was a col. there. He was in the chemical corp, and had several jobs during his tour of duty there. I graduated from high school there as well. I do have many stories I could share. But, I don't think that they would help you with your specific questions.

Please U2 me if you think that I could be of any assistance to you.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:16 PM
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Thanks Porcupinepie (nice name)

I would be interested in hearing your stories even if not too relevent to my questions - you never know what might tweak a connection. I don't suppose you actually saw the Village and whether you know if they were ever used in any capacity? I do find it intriguing.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 05:01 PM
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I was living at Dugway from 1958-1963. Security there was very tight, as you can imagine. I was 13 when we were transferred there, and 18 when my dad retired. I never heard my dad speak of the German Villiage, but I do remember the guys I knew mention it a couple of times. I will have to put on my thinking cap to see what I remember. It seems to me that I wouldn't have even heard referrance to it if it weren't used for something.


It was a very sheltered life style for a teenager. My dad was the Inspector General for a couple of years, and then was given the job of starting the CBR school there.

As you mentioned, the proving grounds was the size of Rhode Island, but the population of us living there was extremely small. I graduated with a class of 24. The gov't spared no expense when it came to us dependents. We had a fabulous school, with all the bells and whistles. We had a great teen club and all the latest movies. They provides us with everything that they thought we would like, to make the tour of duty there as pleasant as possible for the troops. (keep the family happy, and the men will be happy).

It is too bad that my dad is gone. He was stationed at Deseret before I was born, and again from 1948-1951, and then of course back to Dugway in 1958. His whole career was in the Chem. Corp, and I am sure that if he were alive, he could probably have answered all your questions, if they in fact had been declassified.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 07:04 PM
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Perhaps the building of specific apartment blocks was because they were planning and rehearsing an OSS mission.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 10:17 PM
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Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
It seems to me that I wouldn't have even heard referrance to it if it weren't used for something.

It would be incredibly wasteful surely to go to all that expense and not use it for something but then it seems awfully strange to go to all that expense on the pretext that it is going to get blown up anyway
Not just monetarily wise either, the Murmansk to Hull route that the timbers were transported for the roof trusses - 5,000 merchant seaman lost their lives in 41-42 in attacks against allied convoys. I just find the whole thing so bizarre....


Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
We had a fabulous school, with all the bells and whistles. We had a great teen club and all the latest movies. They provides us with everything that they thought we would like, to make the tour of duty there as pleasant as possible for the troops. (keep the family happy, and the men will be happy).

Sounds like you have good memories and the Army suceeded in making the experience as pleasant as possible. There does not seem to have been any funding issues and wonder whether this was because of the involvement of private/corporate funding - Specifically Standard Oil, I know they were in on the original construction of DPG, I wonder how long this relationship lastest and whether they transferred their testing operations there from Germany when the US joined the war. Do you remember being aware of any corporate sponsorship or private enterprise?

The building were supposedly to test the Norden Bombsight - now presumably if it was to be tested at DPG the bombs would have been chemical or biological in nature? Although I suppose it could just have been chosen for its isolation...


Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
It is too bad that my dad is gone. He was stationed at Deseret before I was born, and again from 1948-1951, and then of course back to Dugway in 1958. His whole career was in the Chem. Corp, and I am sure that if he were alive, he could probably have answered all your questions, if they in fact had been declassified.

I am sorry too that your Dad is gone, and so many others that died not even knowing what they had seen or heard would ever interest the next generation and generations after that. We have so much to learn from our more recent history and such a lot is kept hidden from us it is a struggle to get even a partial picture of some events that have shaped the world we live in today. We can but try though...

Thanks for your help, you may not think it is much, but it does help believe me.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by DeltaNine
Perhaps the building of specific apartment blocks was because they were planning and rehearsing an OSS mission.



I thought about this - but again it is the detail of the relpication of the buildings. Right down to authentic curtains and wall paper - plus it was working class accommodation, you'd expect any mission to require knowledge of more up market facilities. I did wonder, and this is a bit 'out there' whether they were planning to bring people from Germany and 'trick' them into believing they were still in Germany - if you catch my meaning. Of course it begs the question of why yet again.

I also wondered whether it could have been used to de-stabilise German agents that were captured in the US - of which there were hundreds at the time - in preparation for interrogation.

I can't see how they would have been beneficial for use in preparing overseas missions, but then I could be missing something. The one key difference from the buildings that Mendelsohn copied in Berlin (evidently still standing in Charlottesburg a suburb of Berlin) is that they were six stories, where as the DPG ones were only three. This to me would indicate they were not really designed for mission preparation as if you were going to that much trouble for training you would want the full detail in order to prepare for access and containment. The detailing was more focused on the living accomodation itself and making it indistinguishable from a home in Berlin.

Strange.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 11:45 PM
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Still fits with my theory in that case. Get the agents used to living in German style rooms with all their subtle differences from the American norm.

Would make more sense to do that in the US rather than in the UK too, where the Gerrys could have overflown and thought "Oi, whats this?"

Not a perfect theory, but which are?



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by DeltaNine
Not a perfect theory, but which are?


Absolutely but....I doubt it would have been OSS simply because of the Standard Oil connection. If it was OSS it would not have been officially sactioned by OSS but possibly by Dulles who covertly represented the interests of the industrialists and financiers behind the German war machine.

Erich Mendelsohn arrived in the US in late 1941 and depending on the source was contracted sometime between then and 1943 to create the replicas. Given that the buildings were such intricate copies I personally favour the earlier date - it would have taken considerable time and contacts to get the materials. OSS did not become operational until mid 1942 and was not part of the military industrial complex - in fact they were really organised in response to that group of people.

Standard Oil of course were instrumental in feeding the German war machine and in raising the Nazis capability for war. Utilising Germany to bi-pass and contravene British and US anti-trust laws. Effectively they were (one of) the enemies that Churchill and Roosevelt were fighting.

OSS was set up by Roosevelt at Churchills recommendation. Churchill's own man in the US, William Stephenson (codenamed Intrepid...Intrepid??)recommended his friend William Donovan to head it up. However, it was very quickly infiltrated, for one reason or another by the industrialists, which meant that it was in some areas operating against its own government.

You have to remember in Germany, the US and the UK there were at least two opposing factions at any given time - we were all fighting the war from within as well as on the field of battle.



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 

I would think that anything that they had planned, would be of the CBR nature. I know that there was a substantial amount of explosives being designated during my life there. I can't tell you what they were, but some were obviously way off in the distance of the housing area, and then some were much closer, because you could feel the earth rumble.

I would assume that you know about the wild mustangs that roam Dugway. there were several heards withing the fence lines of the post. Very often, they were roaming within the housing area. Quite unique, I must say. But anyway, at times the explosions were so close that it would send the mustangs into a stampede, and it was quite dangerous at times.
But it was common place, and we all took it in stride.

As far as Standard Oil being involved, there was no obvious evidence that they were present in any fashion. The whole operation seemed very military with the exception of the civilian civil service type, and then the few upper grade scientists. You could tell the status of the jobs by the housing in which they lived. There was a definate social pattern to the housing areas. It is possible that some of the scientists were connected to Standard Oil, but it was not a known fact to me, and I never heard anything that would indicate such.

Back to the German Housing, I was thinking that perhaps the Govt. was using, or was going to use them to test CBR weapons to test the effects on the living quarters as far as contamination, errosion, etc on them. I know my dad talked alot about theories of how to kill man without destroying the enviroment. I know that that sounds very crude, but then, my dad was 100% military, and during the cold war, the mission was to get rid of the enemy, no matter what the cost. Sorry.



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
Back to the German Housing, I was thinking that perhaps the Govt. was using, or was going to use them to test CBR weapons to test the effects on the living quarters as far as contamination, errosion, etc on them. I know my dad talked alot about theories of how to kill man without destroying the enviroment. I know that that sounds very crude, but then, my dad was 100% military, and during the cold war, the mission was to get rid of the enemy, no matter what the cost. Sorry.


Don't apologise I believe in frank talk and cold facts, your Dad was a result of his environment (as we all are) and you should rightly be proud of his career, knowledge and accomplishments. I'm here to learn not criticise. I value your honesty.

This is actually excellent and makes a lot of sense - do you know whether we are talking Chemical AND biological weapons? Combining with the Norden Bombsight we could be looking at penetrating a building without actually damaging the exterior - ie effecting the interior without anyone on the outside actually being aware that the target had been hit may be....I need to give that some thought.

I didn't know about the mustangs - I'm in Britain and have never been to the US - my knowledge of DPG is purely in relation to my attempting to understand the German village. Must be a pure joy to see horses like that - I've been to the Camargue in southern France where they have wild horses it was an incredible thing to see. You certainly were raised, for that time, in a unique spot.

Just out of curiousity - Were the civilian and military employees segregated to an extent? Did their kids go to school with you?

All the best



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 10:13 PM
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From what I know, they tested Chemical, biological and radiological weapons. Now known as neuclear. I ran into a lady the other day at a hardware store, and believe it or not, she had lived in Dugway for 30 years. I didn't know her at the time, and her kids were much younger than I. She was a secretary there. Anyway, she said that her middle daughter had died from Cancer, and she swears it was due to the testing. She said that there were alot of people that had died from cancer.

The military and civilians were not segregated as far as living was concerned, although it was odd, that the kids of the civilians never spoke of their fathers jobs or positions. But we knew by what housing area that they lived, if their father held a position of importance, or one of a more supportive type of job.

I was thinking about what you said about relocating German Nationals to the village. And having them think that they were still in Germany. Well, I think that you can disspell that thought. I lived in Germany for a total of 7 1/2 years, and there is no way on earth that anyone could transform the terrain to in anyway resemble Germany. There is not enough money or time to transform that salt flat to any kind of fertile landscape. I think that is a deal breaker on that theory.

this thread is fun for me. I hope that I am not devuldging any secret stuff from my country. But I am sure not. I was a kid, and really have not info that could hurt. As you said, It was a very unique situation.



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
she said that her middle daughter had died from Cancer, and she swears it was due to the testing. She said that there were alot of people that had died from cancer.

I was going to ask about this but was wondering how to phrase it. From all that you have said it doesn't seem like the best place to be raising kids, bad enough for adults but they at least have a choice whether to be there or not. It would be some comfort to believe that the military and government didn't know what the effects and impact would be - but I think it would also be rather naive.

The 'bells and whistles' are all very well but when it comes down to it, the good health of our children is all that we really aspire to, the rest is just trimming.


Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
although it was odd, that the kids of the civilians never spoke of their fathers jobs or positions.


I suppose this could just be that they didn't want to highlight their difference, afterall the military kids would have been part of their parents career from birth - travelling from place to place, and used to mixing with a new group every few years. For the civilian employees and their kids it would have just been a house move, they were unlikely to have been involved in postings etc.

I've met a lot of people who grew up in the military and it either made them very confident or completely insular - very little in between, they just had to get used to being carried from pillar to post and not being able to commit to longterm friendships.


Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
I lived in Germany for a total of 7 1/2 years, and there is no way on earth that anyone could transform the terrain to in anyway resemble Germany. There is not enough money or time to transform that salt flat to any kind of fertile landscape. I think that is a deal breaker on that theory.


I agree, I think that you probably nailed it in your previous post with what your Dad said about trying to kill without touching the environment - it ties in with the Norden Bombsight. I'm still a little perplexed why they would go into such detail - but perhaps they just had fun doing it, who knows and we probably never will, too much water under the bridge and all that.


Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
this thread is fun for me. I hope that I am not devuldging any secret stuff from my country. But I am sure not. I was a kid, and really have not info that could hurt. As you said, It was a very unique situation.


I'm glad you're having fun, I have certainly enjoyed talking to you (figuratively) - ain't ATS a beautiful place...



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 08:23 PM
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You are correct that DPG was not the safest place to raise a family when it came to the enviroment issues. But you know at that time, I am not really sure that anyone knew the real dangers we were living in. Although there were the insidents with the dead sheep in Skull Valley, that were directly associated with DPG.

No one in my family has had cancer as of this time. My brother had some skin cancers removed from his bald head, but that was marked up as over exposure to the sun. He has always lived in the southwest and has been going bald since he was 13 years old.

My Mom and Dad both developed, and died with Altzheimers. That seemed odd to the medical profession. If fact, they test me every 5 years to see if I am developing any signs. I am 62 now, and have no signs at all as of yet. I do believe that people are predisposed to cancer through the genetic pool. I don't know about Altzheimers though. It could have been something to do with DPG, who knows. I do know that I do worry about Altzheimers. It is an awful disease, and one that I don't want to put my children and grandchildren through. I was my parents soul care taker, and It was a real chore. Well actually my dad was in a nursing home, but I went and fed him his lunch everyday while he was there. (4 years). I took care of Mom though, She didn't need so much medical attention. I could deal with her. But Dad needed more nursing care, and I wasn't equiped to deal with him. But I saw him everyday, I think he knew that most of the time. Neither of them died alone, which was a blessing.

Even though I realize that I spent 5 years in a chemical sesspool, It is what it is, and it can't be changed. I do have many good memories and I don't think that I would change it if I could. It was part of what made me who I am, and I am happy with that. It is the hand that I was dealt, and it wasn't all that bad.

I am on a run this evening, and I could type all night, but there is too much to talk about. I will save more for next time.

Take care



posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 04:00 AM
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Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
But you know at that time, I am not really sure that anyone knew the real dangers we were living in. Although there were the insidents with the dead sheep in Skull Valley, that were directly associated with DPG.


I suppose those were the days when we trusted in our governance and leaders not to put us in harms way. I think that we have slowly come to the realisation that this is not quite the case, all we need to do is look to Tuskagee and many other similar experiments conducted on the trusting, not just in the Military.


Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
My Mom and Dad both developed, and died with Altzheimers. That seemed odd to the medical profession. If fact, they test me every 5 years to see if I am developing any signs. I am 62 now, and have no signs at all as of yet. I do believe that people are predisposed to cancer through the genetic pool. I don't know about Altzheimers though. It could have been something to do with DPG, who knows. I do know that I do worry about Altzheimers. It is an awful disease, and one that I don't want to put my children and grandchildren through. I was my parents soul care taker, and It was a real chore. Well actually my dad was in a nursing home, but I went and fed him his lunch everyday while he was there. (4 years). I took care of Mom though, She didn't need so much medical attention. I could deal with her. But Dad needed more nursing care, and I wasn't equiped to deal with him. But I saw him everyday, I think he knew that most of the time. Neither of them died alone, which was a blessing.


My Nan (Grandmother) died five years ago this month from Altzheimers. She had needed 24 hour care for 10 years, luckily she had a house and some savings so we were able to get her into a good Nursing Home. Like your Dad it was never an option that she be cared for by the family.

She had always been very independent, she was in her late 60s before she was diagnosed but we all recognised that we had been seeing the signs for a number of years before that. It was a very long deteriation in my Nan's case. She actually thrived in care but her memory was highly confused and she had no idea who any of us were - except my Step-Dad who she had decided was her secret lover


It is a very cruel illness, you must have extraordinary patience to have cared for your mother. I don't think I could do it.

It is interesting that you get tested for it every five years, I am not sure if they even offer the test over here. I too, am unsure if there would be any connections to Alzheimers and the chemical, biological and radiological agents your parents would have been exposed to. I suppose you'd need much more specific knowledge of what they were exposed too. You could waste a whole lifetime trying to find that out.

Interestingly though, my Nan worked in a munitions factory during the war - I had never considered whether there was a connection.


Originally posted by PORCUPINEPIE
Even though I realize that I spent 5 years in a chemical sesspool, It is what it is, and it can't be changed. I do have many good memories and I don't think that I would change it if I could. It was part of what made me who I am, and I am happy with that. It is the hand that I was dealt, and it wasn't all that bad.


It is the only attitude to have.



posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 09:38 AM
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Don't have much to contribute here but I used to go fishing and camping just off the road that leads to DPG as a kid. It seemed every single time in the middle of the night a huge convoy or two would travel down the highway towards DPG in the middle of the night with all their headlights off. This was back in the late 80's.

It wasn't strange to me for a military convoy to travel down that road, but every single time I was out there and in the same fashion, no headlights in the middle of the night? If I can get back out there one day I'll snap some photos of the terrain just for giggles.

since I still live in the general area I'd love to know any info about DPG anyone has.



posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 12:40 PM
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Things at Dugway are named for people who died at Dugway.

Main post is English Village. Does not look like the set of A Knights Tale.



posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 11:40 PM
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reply to post by mortified
 


I would love to see pictures of the old place. I moved when my Dad retired in 1963. You probably weren't even born when I lived there. I went to school with the ranchers kids, and other civilian kids in the area, of course there weren't many, but perhaps if you are from the area, I may have gone to school with your parents.

Because we were so isolated, everyone knew everyone. It is just a matter of timing if by chance our paths crossed at some time. You know, it could be one of those six degrees of seperation things. Interesting!



posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 12:16 AM
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well, my training time at dpg had to be yanked for something else but a bunch of my team did train there. obviously i cant be specific but lets just say that many of the CT's ive read about the place are entertaining at best.

but to the question of why recreate something just to blow it up, not that uncommon really. maybe they took a little more care and attention to detail than most but it was the cold war...



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