It could be that the object thought to be hidden inside the facility was an unmanned drone aircraft, designed to disseminate Chemical and Biological
agents. These aircraft were certainly in use at Dugway during the 1950s.
Since September 11 2001, the increased Biodefense budget has meant huge increases in the amount of CBW field trials conducted by various US Government
agencies/contractors. This has prompted some locals to voice their concerns about the dangers presented by the releases of CBW agents/simulants.
Dugway tests expanded quietly
By Dawn House
The Salt Lake Tribune June 17, 2004
A Utah lawmaker is attempting to revive a state oversight committee to monitor the U.S. Army's quiet expansion of biological warfare defense
testing and other programs at Dugway Proving Ground.
Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, is sponsoring the bill to resurrect the Utah Federal Research Committee, which former Gov. Mike Leavitt
disbanded in the late 1990s.
Davis, a former member of the defunct committee, said he does not understand why Utahns continually challenge federal policies involving grazing
rights, natural resources and wilderness areas while turning a blind eye to the testing of lethal biological and chemical agents.
"This mind set makes no sense," he said. "When it comes to the military, why do we choose not to know what's going on?"
Davis had filed a similar bill earlier this year to re-establish the oversight committee, but in February the Senate defeated the proposal by a
Republican Sen. Thomas Hatch said that while his Panguitch constituents have expressed concerns about expanded military testing outside Utah, he
is not convinced the state needs another committee.
"We already have all kinds of control boards," said Hatch, who led the fight to defeat Davis' bill. "I have yet to be convinced that we need
another layer of bureaucracy."
To test that claim, Steve Erickson, a longtime citizen advocate who monitors Dugway, asked military and state agencies for information on five of
11 proposals to expand bioweapons defense testing and training at Dugway.
The military had published the expanded plans last year in several newspaper legal notices under so-called findings of no significant impact
(FONSIs) -- a move Erickson says is a way to circumvent the required public environmental impact statement whose 2002 draft is still under Pentagon
Erickson said the Army belatedly provided information on only two of the five plans -- despite calls for public comment in the legal notices.
When Erickson used state open-records laws to send queries about the expanded plans to three state agencies, he said he discovered that Utah
officials know little of the military's expanded programs.
"The bottom line is that the three state agencies had precious little information on any of the new projects at Dugway Proving Ground," said
Erickson. "That's not oversight, that's narcolepsy."
For instance, there was no mention of Dugway during 14 months of meetings conducted by Resource Development Coordinating Committee in the
Governor's Office of Planning and Budget. That agency was touted as the justification for defeating Davis' oversight bill.
The resource committee provided information on two of the Army's five plans, said Erickson, including one of the proposals the Army had refused
The state Department of Environmental Quality had information on only one plan: the construction of four temporary germ laboratories to test
biological warfare agents, he said.
The Utah Department of Health provided 25 pages of materials, including five unsigned handwritten notes, all describing a general overview of
Dugway. None of the materials, however, "had anything to do with" the Army's expansion plans, Erickson said.
Last month, the Army published legal notices on four more proposals. Erickson said he asked for information on three of the plans, which the Army
"There has been a massive increase in programs and activities at Dugway, all without the completed  environmental impact statement," said
Erickson. "The Army is building programs piecemeal without having to go through a public process, which is undermining the National Environmental
The 1969 act requires federal agencies to consider environmental impacts of proposed actions, along with reasonable alternatives.