Just to kick things off, I've spent alot of time reading and looking into this very bizarre landing strip I found in google earth. After looking
around in google earth I discovered this really odd looking (and pretty danged long) landing strip in the middle of nowhere. Landing strip is
approximately 1.7 miles (around 2 miles) in length.
The coordinates for this location are:
Because of the details of my job, I am not at liberty to discuss the particulars of my work and although not all of it is classified I do work in an
area of the private sector where information is highly confidential. But keep in mind that everything I will post here is publicly available on the
internet and is unclassified material (just to get things straight right off the bat). Alot of it is difficult to find, however.
Just for some personal background, I spent 6 years in the USAF working in the 2w0x1 career field in munitions systems (non-nuclear). The work I did
was really wide-ranging. Everything from hauling munitions trailers to and from the flightline to building conventional bombs and processing 30mm
ammunition for the A-10's. Because of my work in the military, I saw about every aircraft in the inventory either coming or going at some point,
everything from A-10's to B-2's and U-2 spy planes.
The runway in question at the above coordinates has a variety of aspects that point to this being a classified operating location. The area is
completely remote and is about 20 miles from Fort Greely (army post) which lies to the SE from the location of the runway. West of Fort Greely
(across the Richardson Highway) lies what we call the "Donnelly Training Area" named after the nearby "Donnelly Dome" which is a very distinct
land feature in this area. Donnelly Training Area is a pretty immense tract of land. Some of it is public land because of the Pipeline running
through it and the pumping stations along the pipeline. But most of it is government-owned land used for a wide variety of training purposes.
Fort Greely is home to the new Missile Defense site and CRTC (Cold Regions Test Center). The area of the remote runway does not lie in the inclusive
area of the Donnelly Training Area, rather, it seems it is a completely separate operating location from Greely or Donnelly Training area.
The odd thing is, there are no support facilities.. There is a 1.7 mile pair of runways and taxiways on the Northeast end of the runway. The runway
isn't even gravel or dirt. It appears to be akin to freshly-mowed grass. The white squares you see behind some of the aircraft originally looked to
me like some kind of temporary structures for housing the aircraft. After looking at the image a little closer, I believe these are for deflection of
aircraft thrust up and away from the treeline. There appears to be a built-in system designed for quick-reaction takeoffs. Also notice the complex
system of strips, taxiways, and aircraft parking (all apparently built around the idea of launching aircraft at a moment's notice). For
Here is a list of the Alaskan military facilities and their distance from this remote airstrip:
Eielson AFB...........50 miles away
Clear AFB.............85 miles away
Elmendorf AFB......223 miles away
Fort Wainwright.....66 miles away
Fort Greely ..........20 miles away
Fort Richardson.....220 miles away
The nearest site is, of coarse, Fort Greely which is an army base anyway (no fighters to speak of). The Donnelly Training Area West/SW from Fort
Greely is used for Army training purposes. Yet there is a remote airstrip with odd looking fighter jets 20 miles from civilization in the middle of
the boonies with no support facilities to speak of and a grass airstrip. Could there be facilities underground to hide them from satellites? This is
not your standard military airstrip. This looks to have been built and constructed for a very specific purpose. Also notice that some of the planes
are missing (possibly even flying sorties at the time the google earth images were shot?).
There is a reason this facility was built and there is also a reason they are using this particular airstrip for these jets instead of the various
other facilities throughout the state.
Here are some images..
Area showing taxiways, aircraft, and what may be deflectors behind some of the aircraft:
One of the parked aircraft showing the deflector:
3 more of the same kind of jet with deflectors behind them (notice the metallic sheen of the deflector in the middle. This and the shadows tell me
that's what these are:
taxiway and aircraft parking locations not being used:
Closeups of some of the parked jets:
I know it is unlikely, but could this aurora?
In order to get an accurate assessment of the actual dimensions of these jets, I measured the wingspan of one of the jets in google earth. I then
exported the image to Autocad and scaled 2 of the aircraft closeups to full-scale. I then added dimensions in Autocad to show the measurements.
Here's what we're dealing with..
Keep in mind this is an estimated size of this particular kind of aircraft. This is not 100% accurate but probably in the ballpark.
Wingspan....................................................... 28 feet
Length of aircraft............................................ 31 feet
Length of aircraft (including vert. stabilizers)..... 37 feet
Width of vertical stabilizers (tip to tip)............... 12 feet
This appears to be a delta-wing type configuration with 2 powerplants.
They have two vertical stabilizers at the rear that are slightly angled/canted (not perfectly vertical). You can see this in some of the aircraft
closeups. The delta-wing leading edge is pretty danged long (around 18 feet in length from the tip of the wing to where it joins up with the fuselage
near the cockpit).
Any thoughts or opinions on what this could be?
Right off the bat, I'd like to thank Zorgon's for his assistance with this and for posting content up on his website regarding this bizarre landing
strip in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.