Area 51/Groom Lake Research Project

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posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 07:28 AM
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The find by Fred on the ATF/F-22 was good! The catch is that the ATF program is very public so my theory about a spin off from it being at Groom Lake might have been wishful thinking. What we need now is to find some newer Black Projects. Here is a list of watch words to look for: Have, Tacit, Senior

Tim
ATS Director of Counter-Ignorance




posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 08:23 AM
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The Bird of Prey was built to test daylight stealth technology. It was a secret until October of 2002. The Bird of Prey was based at Groom Lake for many years. Let's see if we can find dates and add it to our timeline!



Tim
ATS Director of Counter-Ignorance



posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 09:48 AM
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Stealth Technology was almost competely developed at Groom Lake through the work of three companies. Even though the programs are technically no longer Top Secret, they are still shrouded in a high degree of mystery today. I want to take an in depth look at these programs because they were the X-planes that made some of our most important modern aircraft possible. without theses three planes (Have Blue, Tacit Blue, Bird of Prey) many of our most imporant modern planes: F-117A Nighthawk, B-2 Spirit, F/A-22 Raptor, F-35 JSF, as well as some others that are unknown, would not exist. here are the Dates we have so far:

Have Blue: (April 1976- July 11, 1979) The Experimental Survivable Testbed (XST) was the first US Stealth Prototype and it proved that stealth technology worked; Lead to the F-117A


Tacit Blue: (1978-1985) Proved the idea of using curved airframes for stealth, also proved that a stealth plane could carry Radar and secure radio systems for use in combat.





TACIT BLUE was one of the most successful technology demonstrator programs in Air Force history, meeting all program objectives and most low observable and sensor performance goals.

Tacit Blue

Bird of Prey:A still little known stealth prototype. If anyone can find some good solid info on it please do. (I heard that it studied Daylight stealth, but I don't have a source)




Can some one help me dig deeper into these programs? They may be old, but they were Key Players in one of the most important and sucessful scientific developmets at Groom Lake that we know of. They also layed the foundation for many of the aircrafts that are likely to be at the base today.

Tim
ATS Director of Counter-Ignorance



posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 05:57 PM
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I'll take Bird of Prey to have a look at. Maybe if we take one each, that would be a better way of us focusing?



posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 06:14 PM
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POPULAR SCIENCE.

This morning, October 18, 2002, the Air Force and Boeing unveiled to a small group of selected journalists the Bird of Prey, a previously "black" or ultra-secret airplane prototype that was built and tested in the mid-1990s. The unveiling took place at Boeing's Phantom Works facility in St. Louis.


Black airplanes—their existence itself is secret—are used to demonstrate high-risk technologies with a big military payoff, and a revelation like this is a once-or-twice-a-decade event. Most of these vehicles are tested at Area 51, the Air Force's secret flight-test center in Nevada.

The Bird of Prey (it looks more like the Klingon Bird of Prey from Star Trek than any feathered creature) is a prototype for a very stealthy fighter or tactical bomber. Some of its features are also in use on Boeing's X-45 Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) prototype.

Stay tuned for a more detailed report early this afternoon, and read our January issue for a full-length analysis of the Bird of Prey.


UPDATED 2:00 p.m. EST, October 18, 2002

The white-painted patch in front of the jet inlet on the newly revealed, previously top-secret Boeing Bird of Prey demonstrator is a dead giveaway: This stealth airplane owns not only the night but the daytime too. Senior officials at the October 18 unveiling of the radical prototype—named after the Klingon spacecraft in Star Trek, which shares its aft-set, cranked wings—acknowledged that the Bird of Prey was designed to be stealthy enough to survive in broad daylight. Today's F-117 and B-2 operate only at night.

The white patch offsets shadows cast by the jet inlet, as part of a sophisticated camouflage scheme. Officially, Boeing and the Air Force say only that the airplane tested "new low-observables technologies," but it's more than likely that other techniques—such as lamps or luminous panels for eliminating shadows—were used as well. The jet also employs new technologies to reduce its radar signature, such as flexible covers that join the moveable control surfaces to the wings. These covers conceal gaps that might cause unwanted radar reflections.

The Bird of Prey has made 38 flights since being secretly launched in 1996. Nobody's saying where the flights took place, but the best guess is Area 51, the USAF's secret flight-test center in Nevada. The Bird's innovative features are sure to inform the design of next-generation stealth aircraft, but the plane itself, having served its purpose, is being retired—which is why Boeing and the Air Force were willing to make it public today.

Powered by a single engine from a Citation business jet, the Bird of Prey is pure prototype, with a maximum speed of 300 mph and a maximum altitude of 20,000 feet. Its take-off characteristics were "normal, but in slow motion," according to test pilot Joe Felock. Though its primary mission was to demonstrate stealth technology, it also allowed Boeing's Phantom Works—the company's special-projects arm—to demonstrate it could build prototype airplanes quickly and cheaply. The airplane was made from a small number of carbon fiber composite parts, and—amazingly, in view of its shape—had a simple all-manual flight control system without a computer in sight.

-----------------

GLOBAL SECURITY

Boeing unveiled, on October 18, 2002 the "Bird of Prey," a technology demonstrator that pioneered breakthrough low-observable technologies and revolutionized aircraft design, development and production. The once highly classified project ran from 1992 through 1999, and was revealed because the technologies and capabilities developed have become industry standards, and it is no longer necessary to conceal the aircraft's existence with the aircraft eventually scheduled to end up at the Air Force Museum located in Dayton, Ohio.

In addition to proving many new stealth concepts, the Bird of Prey program demonstrated innovative rapid prototyping techniques. Developed by the Boeing Phantom Works advanced research-and-development organization, the Bird of Prey was among the first to initiate the use of large, single-piece composite structures; low-cost, disposable tooling; and 3-D virtual reality design and assembly processes to ensure the aircraft was affordable to build as well as high-performing.

The program reportedly went through dozens of variations within a span of four years before being flight capable. It is reported that the aircraft made a total of 38 flights over a three-year testing period above Area 51, in the state of Nevada.

Fully funded by Boeing, the Bird of Prey project costs $67 million. A subsonic, single-seat technology demonstrator, the aircraft completed 38 test flights as part of its flight-demonstration program. Its first flight took place in fall 1996. Bird of Prey has a wingspan of approximately 23 feet and a length of 47 feet, and weighs nearly 7,400 pounds. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5C turbofan engine, the Bird of Prey has an operational speed of 260 knots and a maximum operating altitude of 20,000 feet.

The edges of the Bird of Prey's fuselage and wings are parallel to each other, resulting in radar waves reflections being limited to directions where detection is unlikely. The Bird of Prey's upper and lower skins are made out of large single carbon composite pieces, fashioned on plywood frames beneath glass-fiber molds. Other characteristics used to augment its stealth capability include the use of special materials and the treatment of the aircraft's seams with special sealing treatments. The Bird of Prey also features only one removable service panel, located within the landing-gear wells, for easy access by mechanics.

Other peculiarities of the aircraft include its top-mounted engine-air inlet which is located behing the cockpit and its diamond-shape exhaust outlet, located at the tail.

The X-45A Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, or UCAV, technology demonstrator draws directly on its Bird of Prey experience. Some aspects of the UCAV's innovative radar-evading design, such as its shape and inlet, were developed from this project.

Aaaaaand. Heres a good site. www.boeing.com...




Timeline of the A/C coming next post in a few mins.


[edit on 24-8-2004 by DeltaNine]



posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 06:25 PM
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Alright, this is the best timeline for the BoP that I can work out.

Project started 1992.


First flight Fall (Autumn) 1996.

38 flights total.

Project end 1999.

Revealed Oct 18 2002 at St. Louis.


Interesting A/C. Uses lights and panel colour changes to hide itself.



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 09:06 AM
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Tim, another area we may want to look at is the Big Safari group of the AF




In field trials at Indian Springs, near Nevada's Nellis Air Force Base, a Predator fired a laser-guided Hellfire missile that destroyed a stationary target. An Air Force spokeswoman at Nellis confirmed the second phase of the tests were completed just weeks ago, when Predators fired laser-guided Hellfire missiles against moving targets.

Thomas J. Cassidy Jr., GA Aeronautical Systems' chief executive, would not discuss details of the Predator's Hellfire field tests, except to say the tests "have been pretty successful across the board." The armed drone tests were pushed by the Air Force's "Big Safari Program," a secretive agency renowned for its ability to rapidly modify aircraft to meet specialized military needs.

"Big Safari is not one of the Pentagon's black programs," said defense analyst John Pike, referring to the military's most-secretive projects. "But it is a dark shade of gray."


Note the "Field Trials" at Indian Springs which is right by Groom and in the Nellis range. If you aka the CIA wanted to develop hellfire capacity for your predator is secrecy were would you base it?????



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 09:09 AM
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Aerospace Daily: Boeing Lifts Secrecy On Bird Of Prey Stealth Plane
By Stephen Trimble/Aerospace Daily
October 21, 2002


A highly classified Boeing aircraft that led to the design of the X-45A Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle and improvements in stealth and lean manufacturing techniques was unveiled to the public Oct. 18.


Boeing Phantom Works launched the \"Bird of Prey\" technology demonstrator in 1992, and it flew 38 times between 1996 and 1999 before it was retired, spokesman Jim Bafaro said. Its existence was revealed after many of its breakthrough technologies became standard in the industry.


The single-seat, subsonic plane has gull-shaped wings and an engine inlet placed directly behind the cockpit on top of the fuselage. The aircraft\'s body rises to a point at the nose, a style similar to Boeing\'s X-32 Joint Strike Fighter demonstrator.


The UCAV\'s inlet placement and overall shape can be traced directly to the Bird of Prey, Bafaro said. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5C, the 47-foot-long Bird of Prey has a wingspan that measures about 23 feet.


The aircraft also pioneered the use of several lean manufacturing techniques, including the use of a large composite structure, disposable tooling and virtual reality design and assembly processes, according to a Boeing statement.


The aircraft temporarily \"goes back under wraps\" after the brief unveiling in St. Louis, Bafaro said, until Boeing finds a permanent place to display it.



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 09:12 AM
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Boeing apears to have financed the BOP itself which is interesting.




Fully funded by Boeing, the Bird of Prey project costs $67 million. A subsonic, single-seat technology demonstrator, the aircraft completed 38 test flights as part of its flight-demonstration program. Its first flight took place in fall 1996. Bird of Prey has a wingspan of approximately 23 feet and a length of 47 feet, and weighs nearly 7,400 pounds. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5C turbofan engine, the Bird of Prey has an operational speed of 260 knots and a maximum operating altitude of 20,000 feet.





posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 10:46 AM
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Have Blue

The Experimental Survivable Testbed (XST) was the plane that started off the USA's stealth research. It was born from a DARPA study into ways to improve the ability of aircrafts to survive against Radar-based air defenses.

The fallowing is base on various sources I've studied over the years

The program origionally started in 1974 when DARPA asked several companies to look into ways to inprove the survivability of aircraft against Radar guided air defenses. The Origional study didn't involve Lockheed.



DARPA study

The study was initiated and led by Ken Perko, who had recently come to DARPA from the RPV System Program Office (SPO) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). Perko requested White Papers from five companies - Northrop, McDonnell Douglass, General Dynamics and Grumman. The study asked two questions:

* What were the signature thresholds that an air vehicle would have to achieve to be essentially undetectable at an operationally useful range?
* What were the capabilities of each company to design and build an aircraft with the necessary signatures?

Fairchild and Grumman did not express any interest in the study. The General Dynamics response emphasized countermeasures and had little substantive technical content regarding signature reduction. Northrop and McDonnell Douglass (MD) responded indicating a good understanding of the problem and some capability to develope a "reduced-signature" air vehicle. McDonnel Douglas was also the first to identify what appeared to be the appropiate RCS thresholds. In late 1974 DARPA awarded Northrop and McDonnell Douglass contects of aproximatly $100,000 each to conduct further studies. These initial studies were classified "Confidential", the lowest of three major levels of security classification: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. In the spring of 1975, DARPA used McDonnell Douglass's values (confirmed by Hughes radar experts) as the goals for the program, and challanged the two participants to find ways to achieve them.


Lockheed did not become involved until after the CIA agreed to let them reveal the RCS data from the A-12 and SR-71 Blackbird Programs. By this time the contracts had been issued, so Lockheed had to fund it's own Research. the Big breakthrough came from Denys Overholser an electrical engineer working with mathmatician Bill Schroder. Together these two men figured out that a plane made of flat panels that were alligned at carefully selected angles would deflect the Radar away from the target making the plane very hard to see. The Initial Design was called the "Hopeless Diamond".

After a very close "Pole-off" Lockheed was given a contract to build and fly two full-scale XST aircraft under the code name: Have Blue. Two test planes were build at the Skunk Works, and flown to Groom Lake for testing. The Aircraft were given the Lockheed Serial numbers 1001 and 1002 respectivly. Aircraft #1 was assign to test the plane's flight qualities.

Aircraft #1:



The Second aicraft was used to test the RCS, and other stealth signatures.

Aircraft #2:



On May 4, 1978, Have Blue #1 crashed after a landing gear malfuction on landing.



On May 4, 1978, (the 36th flight) Have Blue prototype number 1001 was landing after a routine test flight when it hit the ground excessively hard. Rather than risk skidding off the runway, Park pulled the aircraft back into the air, and went around. As he did, he retracted the landing gear. Park did not know that the right landing gear had been bent by the impact. When he lowered the gear, the T-38 chase pilot, Col. Larry McCain (the base commander) radioed that the right gear was jammed. Park made several attempts (including hard landings) to shake the gear back down again. The fuel supply was running low and there was no time for additional attempts. As Park climbed to 10,000 feet, one of the engines flamed out from fuel starvation. Once the other engine quit Park knew he would only have 2 seconds before the aircraft went out of control. Park radioed "I'm gonna bail out of here unless anyone has any better ideas." Although Park departed the aircraft successfully, he hit his head on the headrest and was knocked unconscious. Unable to control his parachute during descent or landing, he was still unconscious when his limp body hit the desert floor. Park's leg was broken, he suffered a concussion, and his mouth was filled with dirt as the parachute dragged him across the desert in a strong wind. By the time paramedics reached him, his heart had stopped. The paramedics were able to revive him, and he survived, but was forced to retire from flying. The aircraft reportedly came down like a falling leaf, wobbled around, lost control, went inverted, and went straight in. The Have Blue aircraft was destroyed in the crash. The wreckage was secretly buried somewhere on the Nellis test range complex.


Not long after Have Blue #2 made it's first flight. The Second Have Blue did all the signatue testing. The second aircraft Crashed July 11,1979. Before it crashed, it proved that stealth technology worked.

Tim
ATS Director of Counter-Ignorance



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 01:08 AM
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One amusing little tidbit:

During the inital tests the AF range opertors were dismayed to see that thier previously stealthy pole had a greater return than the models themselves. Lockehhed was given funds to design a stealthier pole. When the new pole was put up and the radar return gone, the Northrop program manager turned to John Cashen (thier stealth guru) and said "if they can do that to the pole, what can they do with thier friggen model?"



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 12:15 PM
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In order to complete this Research Project, We (as a team) need to create a report of what we have found! I need everyone's help to do this. Currently there are six of us on the team, and the project has six Main Goals! To try to divide up the work, I would Like EVERYONE to select a goal and U2U me your choice. Once everyone has selected a goal, I will post them on the Form. Then I would like each Person to compile ALL the posts relating to Your goal into A report of what we have learned. All the reports will be combined into a final report that We will turn Over to ATS Administartors.

You can continue your research, But we need to start analysis of our data soon, or we never be able to finish the Project



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by ghost
In order to complete this Research Project, We (as a team) need to create a report of what we have found! I need everyone's help to do this. Currently there are six of us on the team, and the project has six Main Goals! To try to divide up the work,


Ill take #1 if nobody has any objections, more if needed......

EDit: I can tackle #6 also since alot of the names fit in with the time line:


Fred

[edit on 30-8-2004 by FredT]



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 05:19 PM
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I'll take number two.



posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 03:57 PM
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This came curtesy of Jrsdls regarding the CSS connection to the NSA. Intersting tidbit on how they share command eh?



: FredT, your article on more NSA stuff you mentioned CSS. I retired from NSA in 2001 and I can tell you that CSS is NSA. The offical designator is NSA/CSS. Dirnsa, Director NSA is a 2 star and his deputy is a civilian. Dirnsa is alternated between the different braches of services, Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines.

Jrsdls



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 02:21 AM
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Okay everybody here is the revised timeline. Ive included the info we have dug up in the previous posts. We have a pretty big gap in the 90's onward. Not shocking given that most of the testing during that time is still classified.


A lot was taken from:
Groom Lake Timeline
By Tom Mahood
Latest Revision: December, 1996
Significant and interesting events in the history of Groom Lake

However, the research group has also made significant findings and these have been added

Silver was discovered in 1864 and worked occasionally until the early 1870s when, because of its isolation, the mine was abandoned

The Conception Mines were the first worked in that area, in about 1871. The name "Groom" appeared in the early 1870s as a result of an English financing of the Conception Mines by the "Groome Lead Mines Limited." The area contained mostly low grade ores of silver and lead - no gold. Other claims in the vicinity of the Conception included the Willow, Maria, and White Lake (sometimes referred to in these records as Whitelake).

J.B. Osborne and his partners acquired the claims at Groom and patented them in 1876. Osborne's son, T.J., acquired these interests in the 1890s. In June, 1916 these claims were incorporated as the Groom Nevada Lead Mines Company and as the Groom Southend Mining Company. As records in this collection indicate, Osborne worked the mines yearly to maintain his claims according to federal mining law. Reports by mining engineers gave enough promise of possible discoveries to maintain interest over a long period of time. The property was leased to several operators, including L.L. Patrick and Tom McCormac but after Osborne's death in 1918 the lessees withdrew and the mine was closed. Production resumed after World War II but closed permanently in the early 1950s.


Circa 1941-45:
Two dirt landing strips (one approx. 5,000' and one 7,000' long) are scraped into the bare desert floor, on the east side of Groom Lake. They are used as an outlying training strip for flyers based at Nellis. The strips are abandoned at the end of WWII and quickly deteriorate.

November, 1954 The CIA memo that started Aquatone and Ult. Area 51 This is the actual CIA memo that recommends the production of the CIA's U2 and ultimately lead to the founding of Area 51 for testing.
www.gwu.edu...

April, 1955:
Lockheed test pilot, Tony LeVier, under orders from Kelly Johnson, searches for remote site to test the U-2. He finds Groom Lake and returns with Kelly Johnson and a representative of the CIA. Johnson decides to place the runway at the south end of Groom Lake. Work begins on the facility there under the direction of Lockheed Skunk Works. (1)

(This is also confirmed by Ben Rich's "Skunk Works" and Kelly Johnson’s " Kelly" Rich says "Tony Levier" found the base, Kelly claims he did, but the time is similar for both.)

July, 1955:
Work on "The Ranch" is complete at a cost of $800,000. It consists of three hangars, control tower, mess hall, runway, and numerous mobile homes. The first U-2 was shipped out on July 23. (1)

July 24, 1955:
The first U-2 prototype is shipped via C-124 transport plane from the Lockheed Skunk Works in Burbank to Groom Lake. (9)

August, 1955:
Project oilstone between the CIA and AF
www.gwu.edu...

August 4, 1955:
First flight of the U-2 at Groom Lake. (1)

August 19, 1955:
Executive Order 10633 is signed by President Eisenhower restricting the airspace over Groom Lake for the first time. The rectangular airspace is an extension of the Test Site airspace (known as "The Las Vegas Project") at its northeast corner and measures 5 by 9 nautical miles. (8)

November 17, 1955:
A C-54 transport, enroute to Groom from Burbank, crashes into Mt. Charleston killing all aboard, 9 civilian workers and 5 military. (5)

Fall, 1956:
Six pilots from SAC start training at Groom in the U-2. (1)

April 4, 1957:
A U-2 with radar spoofing equipment (#341, the first prototype) crashes during testing near Pioche, killing the pilot. (1), (9)

June 20, 1958:
Public Land Order 1662 is enacted by Roger Ernst, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, withdrawing 38,400 acres (60 square miles) for use "..by the Atomic Energy Commission in connection with the Nevada Test Site." The area, 6 miles North/South and 10 miles East/West, forms the first "box" around the Groom base, beneath the already restricted airspace.

September 21, 1959:
The USGS snaps a photo (13-146) of the Groom Lake base as part of a routine mapping program, which is still available.

November, 1959:
A full scale mockup of an A-12 is shipped to Groom, via truck, for radar signature testing. (4)

September, 1960:
Construction begins on a major expansion of the Groom Lake facility to accommodate the A-12 (OXCART) program on behalf of the CIA. This period of construction is not be complete until mid 1964. (4)

September 7, 1960:
Work begins on lengthening and strengthening the existing 5,000' runway to 8,500'. It is completed November 15. (4)

August 11, 1961:
The newly created R-4808 restricted airspace becomes effective, covering the Test Site and Groom Lake. Use is restricted from the surface to FL600. The restricted airspace over Groom Lake remains 5 by 9 nautical miles in size. (8) (26 FR 6233)

Late 1961:
Colonel Robert J. Holbury, USAF, is named Commander of the Groom base. (4)

Early 1962:
The fuel tank farm is completed with a capacity of 1,320,000 gallons. (4)

January 15, 1962:
The restricted airspace directly over Groom Lake (R-4808) is expanded to 22 by 20 nautical miles. The basis of the expansion was a request by the Department of the Air Force citing an immediate and urgent need due to a classified project. This creates the "Groom box" as it exists today. (8) (27 FR 205)

February 26, 1962:
The first A-12 Blackbird (#121) is brought to Groom via truck for testing. (4) (Ben Rich says January, 1962)

April 26, 1962:
First flight test of the A-12 Blackbird (#121) at Groom Lake. (4)

February, 1963:
The first 5 CIA A-12 pilots (Collins, Ray, Skliar, Sullivan and Walter) arrive at Groom Lake. (9)

May 24, 1963:
An A-12 (#123) crashes due to pitot icing 14 miles south of Wendover, Utah. The pilot, Collins, survives. (4)

July, 1963: memo from CIA outlining steps to transpher control of the AF-12, the R-12 and Tagboard to the USAF

July 20, 1963:
An A-12 finally achieves Mach 3 in testing. (9)

August 7, 1963:
First flight of the YF-12A (#1001) at Groom Lake. The YF-12A was a Mach 3 interceptor, based on the A-12 design. (9)

July 9, 1964:
An A-12 (#133) crashes on final approach to Groom. The pilot, Park, ejects at an altitude of 500' and survives. (4)

Beginning 1965:
The OXCART construction project is now complete and the base population has reached 1,835. (4)

December 28, 1965:
An A-12 (#126) crashes immediately after takeoff from Groom. The pilot, Vojvodich ejects and survives. (4)

March 5, 1966:
First free flight test of the D-21 drone near Point Mugu, launched from a Blackbird out of Groom Lake. (9)

July 30, 1966:
A D-21 drone is launched over Point Mugu, but strikes the A-12 (#135), destroying it. The two crew members eject, but one drowns before being pulled from the sea. All future launches of D-21 were to be done by B-52s. (9)

1967:
The Defense Intelligence Agency acquires a MIG 21 which it ships to Groom Lake for testing and names the program "Have Doughnut". This is the start of the ongoing MIG testing program that likely runs to this day. (9)

January 5, 1967:
An A-12 (#125) runs out of fuel 70 miles east of Groom and crashes. The pilot, Ray, ejects, but fails to seperate from the seat and is killed. (4)

January 10, 1967:
The decision is made to phase out the A-12s in favor of the SR-71. The phase out is to be completed by January, 1968. (9)

May 22, 1967:
The first of the A-12s leave Groom for Kadena Air Base on Okinawa for the beginning of "Black Shield", their first operational deployment. "Black Shield" involved reconnaissance flights over North Vietnam. (9)

June 21, 1968:
The last flight of an A-12, #131, was made from Groom to Palmdale and the entire fleet was put in secret storage. (9)

August 28, 1968:
The US Geological Survey snaps an aerial photo of the Groom Lake complex as part of a routine high altitude survey. This photo, since published in numerous places, was available to the public until early 1994, when it was withdrawn from release by the government.


February, 1972
This document essential IMHO kicks the CIA out of the SIGINT business and installs the NSA. The NSA in turn has to be responsive CIA requests for info. Dated in 1976. It is reasonable to assume that the CIA would have to turn over any air based sigint assets it owned at the time. Perhaps this is the entry point of the NSA to area 51.
www.gwu.edu...

November 16, 1977:
"Have Blue" (#1001), the F-117A Stealth fighter prototype, is shipped to Groom Lake for flight testing. (9)

December 1, 1977:
First flight of the Have Blue at Groom Lake. (2)

May 4, 1978:
The first Have Blue prototype crashes at Groom after its landing gear is damaged and was unable to land. (2)

July 20, 1978:
First flight of the second Have Blue prototype (#1002). (9)

July 11, 1979:
The second Have Blue prototype crashes 35 miles NW of Groom, due to an engine fire. (1)

May, 1981:
First production F-117A is airlifted to Groom for testing. (1)

June 18, 1981:
First flight of the production F-117A Stealth fighter (#780) at Groom. (1)

February, 1982:
First flight of "TACIT BLUE" (demonstrator for stealth technology) at Groom . (7)

April, 1982:
The existence of the A-12 aircraft was finally declassified. (10)

April 20, 1982:
The first production model of the F-117A crashes at Groom during Air Force acceptance tests. (1)

October 15, 1982:
Beginning of acceptance flight tests with second production model of F-117A. (1)

Late 1982:
First Stealth fighter squadron begins moving from Groom into new facilities at the Tonopah Test Range. (1), (9)

1983: Beginning of ATB (AkA B-2) testing begins and continues to this day

April 18, 1983:
Four Greenpeace protestors trespassed just south of Area 51 on a 5 day trek to sneak into the Nevada Test Site. (9)

June, 1983:
First flight of HALSOL at Groom Lake. HALSOL was a solar powered high altitude, UAV. The test program ran two months. (9)

March, 1984:
The Air Force posts armed guards along the access points to the 89,000 acres of public land to the east and north of Groom, expanding the borders. The guards request the public not to enter the area, thus effectively (and apparently illegally) closing the land to public use. (9)

April 26, 1984:
General Robert Bond is killed when the MIG 23 he was flying out of Groom crashes into Little Skull Mountain on the Nevada Test Site. (9)

August, 1984:
In Congressional hearings concerning the land seizure, the Air Force representative (John Rittenhouse) makes the statement that while the Air Force had no legal authority to seize the land (as far as he knew) the decision to do so was made at a much higher level than his. He would only go into the details in a closed session. (5)

1985:
Tacit Blue program ends. (7)

December, 1987:
Congress finally authorizes the Air Force's land seizure. (2)

July 17, 1988:
A Soviet spy satellite takes a photo of the Groom Lake area destined for release in a number of publications, including Popular Science and The Lazar Poster.

May, 1989:
Robert Lazar's first interviews are broadcast on KLAS-TV in Las Vegas. Lazar states he had been hired to reverse engineer extraterrestrial craft at a facility at Papoose Lake, just southwest of Groom Lake. Lazar's appearance focuses the first widespread public interest on
the Groom Lake area.

1991:
Detachment 5, the remaining test fleet of YF-117 move to Palmdale, CA

1992:
Boeing Phantom Works launched the \"Bird of Prey\" technology demonstrator in 1992


October 18, 1993:
The Air Force files a notice in the Federal Register seeking to withdraw another 3972 acres from public use to curtail public viewing of the Groom base from Freedom Ridge and Whitesides Peak. (3)

April, 1994:
Popular Science magazine appears, featuring a satellite photo of the Groom Lake base on its cover and containing a lengthy article on the base and its history, thus igniting mainstream media interest in the facility.

April 10, 1995:
Freedom Ridge and Whitesides Peak are officially closed to all public access. (3)

May 1995 :
EPA and the Air Force affirmed by a memorandum of agreement that EPA w ill continue to have access at the Groom Lake facility for purposes of administering the environmental laws and that the Air Force is committed to complying with RCRA at the location. The details of the issues resulting in the agreement are classified. According to the director of EPA's Office of Federal Facilities Enforcement, EPA is fulfilling its oversight responsibility at the facility. However, he said he was uncertain of the extent to which other such highly classified federal facilities-- or areas within facilities-- may exist and whether their research operations are in environmental compliance.

September 1995:
President Clinton exempted the Air Force's classified facility near Groom Lake, Nevada from the public disclosure provisions of RCRA, determining that the exemption was in the paramount interest of the United States.

January, 1996:
The Bechtel Corporation is reported to have begun work lengthening the secondary runway (14L-32R) by 5,000'. (3)

1996-1999: Boeing Phantom Works launched the \"Bird of Prey\" technology demonstrator in 1992, and it flew 38 times between 1996 and 1999 before it was retired, spokesman Jim Bafaro said. Its existence was revealed after many of its breakthrough technologies became standard in the industry.

September, 1999
Reports that ELECTROCHROMATIC PANELS being tested at Groom Lake/AREA 51



posted on Sep, 8 2004 @ 08:20 AM
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#3: Identify likly areas of technology and science being researched at the base and how they apply to Defense and National Security.

Here is a list of research that has Been at Groom Lake:

Stealth Technology: Groom Lake has housed stealth research since it's earliest days. The first tests related to stealth were conducted to support the CIA's OXCART Program (A-12 Blackbird). At that time a Radar facility was built at the base for pole mounted and In-flight Radar Cross Section testing. In the 1970's the base was upgraded with state-of-the-air RCS and IR mesurment equipment to support the Defense Department's Stealth Inititive. The Stealth Inititive involved three Major Research programs:

Have Blue: April 1976-July 11, 1979; Origionally known as the Experimental Survivability Testbed (XST), the Have Blue was built by Lockheed Skunkworks to test the concept of Faceting to achieve a low Radar signature.


The Experimental Survivable Testbed (XST) was the plane that started off the USA's stealth research. It was born from a DARPA study into ways to improve the ability of aircrafts to survive against Radar-based air defenses.

The fallowing is base on various sources I've studied over the years

The program origionally started in 1974 when DARPA asked several companies to look into ways to inprove the survivability of aircraft against Radar guided air defenses. The Origional study didn't involve Lockheed.



DARPA study

The study was initiated and led by Ken Perko, who had recently come to DARPA from the RPV System Program Office (SPO) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). Perko requested White Papers from five companies - Northrop, McDonnell Douglass, General Dynamics and Grumman. The study asked two questions:

* What were the signature thresholds that an air vehicle would have to achieve to be essentially undetectable at an operationally useful range?
* What were the capabilities of each company to design and build an aircraft with the necessary signatures?

Fairchild and Grumman did not express any interest in the study. The General Dynamics response emphasized countermeasures and had little substantive technical content regarding signature reduction. Northrop and McDonnell Douglass (MD) responded indicating a good understanding of the problem and some capability to develope a "reduced-signature" air vehicle. McDonnel Douglas was also the first to identify what appeared to be the appropiate RCS thresholds. In late 1974 DARPA awarded Northrop and McDonnell Douglass contects of aproximatly $100,000 each to conduct further studies. These initial studies were classified "Confidential", the lowest of three major levels of security classification: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. In the spring of 1975, DARPA used McDonnell Douglass's values (confirmed by Hughes radar experts) as the goals for the program, and challanged the two participants to find ways to achieve them.


Lockheed did not become involved until after the CIA agreed to let them reveal the RCS data from the A-12 and SR-71 Blackbird Programs. By this time the contracts had been issued, so Lockheed had to fund it's own Research. the Big breakthrough came from Denys Overholser an electrical engineer working with mathmatician Bill Schroder. Together these two men figured out that a plane made of flat panels that were alligned at carefully selected angles would deflect the Radar away from the target making the plane very hard to see. The Initial Design was called the "Hopeless Diamond".

After a very close "Pole-off" Lockheed was given a contract to build and fly two full-scale XST aircraft under the code name: Have Blue. Two test planes were build at the Skunk Works, and flown to Groom Lake for testing. The Aircraft were given the Lockheed Serial numbers 1001 and 1002 respectivly. Aircraft #1 was assign to test the plane's flight qualities.

Aircraft #1:



The Second aicraft was used to test the RCS, and other stealth signatures.

Aircraft #2:



On May 4, 1978, Have Blue #1 crashed after a landing gear malfuction on landing.



On May 4, 1978, (the 36th flight) Have Blue prototype number 1001 was landing after a routine test flight when it hit the ground excessively hard. Rather than risk skidding off the runway, Park pulled the aircraft back into the air, and went around. As he did, he retracted the landing gear. Park did not know that the right landing gear had been bent by the impact. When he lowered the gear, the T-38 chase pilot, Col. Larry McCain (the base commander) radioed that the right gear was jammed. Park made several attempts (including hard landings) to shake the gear back down again. The fuel supply was running low and there was no time for additional attempts. As Park climbed to 10,000 feet, one of the engines flamed out from fuel starvation. Once the other engine quit Park knew he would only have 2 seconds before the aircraft went out of control. Park radioed "I'm gonna bail out of here unless anyone has any better ideas." Although Park departed the aircraft successfully, he hit his head on the headrest and was knocked unconscious. Unable to control his parachute during descent or landing, he was still unconscious when his limp body hit the desert floor. Park's leg was broken, he suffered a concussion, and his mouth was filled with dirt as the parachute dragged him across the desert in a strong wind. By the time paramedics reached him, his heart had stopped. The paramedics were able to revive him, and he survived, but was forced to retire from flying. The aircraft reportedly came down like a falling leaf, wobbled around, lost control, went inverted, and went straight in. The Have Blue aircraft was destroyed in the crash. The wreckage was secretly buried somewhere on the Nellis test range complex.


Not long after Have Blue #2 made it's first flight. The Second Have Blue did all the signatue testing. The second aircraft Crashed July 11,1979. Before it crashed, it proved that stealth technology worked. Dispite the crashes, The results of Have Blue lead to the Creation of the F-117A. In addition the Defense Department, DARPA, and the Air Force invested large amounts of money into Expanding the Technologies explored in Have Blue for more applications.



Tacit Blue: (1978-1985) Proved the idea of using curved airframes for stealth, also proved that a stealth plane could carry Radar and secure radio systems for use in combat.




quote:
TACIT BLUE was one of the most successful technology demonstrator programs in Air Force history, meeting all program objectives and most low observable and sensor performance goals.

Tacit Blue's Main contrabutions to steath were in the Area sensor systems and communications equipment. For the first Time Stealth aircraft could get information in real-time which greatly improved their tactical flexability in combat. Also Tacit Blue introduced Radar, Giving Stealth Aircraft all-weather Capability for the first time.

Bird of Prey:



Boeing unveiled, on October 18, 2002 the "Bird of Prey," a technology demonstrator that pioneered breakthrough low-observable technologies and revolutionized aircraft design, development and production. The once highly classified project ran from 1992 through 1999, and was revealed because the technologies and capabilities developed have become industry standards, and it is no longer necessary to conceal the aircraft's existence with the aircraft eventually scheduled to end up at the Air Force Museum located in Dayton, Ohio.

In addition to proving many new stealth concepts, the Bird of Prey program demonstrated innovative rapid prototyping techniques. Developed by the Boeing Phantom Works advanced research-and-development organization, the Bird of Prey was among the first to initiate the use of large, single-piece composite structures; low-cost, disposable tooling; and 3-D virtual reality design and assembly processes to ensure the aircraft was affordable to build as well as high-performing.

The program reportedly went through dozens of variations within a span of four years before being flight capable. It is reported that the aircraft made a total of 38 flights over a three-year testing period above Area 51, in the state of Nevada.

Fully funded by Boeing, the Bird of Prey project costs $67 million. A subsonic, single-seat technology demonstrator, the aircraft completed 38 test flights as part of its flight-demonstration program. Its first flight took place in fall 1996. Bird of Prey has a wingspan of approximately 23 feet and a length of 47 feet, and weighs nearly 7,400 pounds. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5C turbofan engine, the Bird of Prey has an operational speed of 260 knots and a maximum operating altitude of 20,000 feet.

The edges of the Bird of Prey's fuselage and wings are parallel to each other, resulting in radar waves reflections being limited to directions where detection is unlikely. The Bird of Prey's upper and lower skins are made out of large single carbon composite pieces, fashioned on plywood frames beneath glass-fiber molds. Other characteristics used to augment its stealth capability include the use of special materials and the treatment of the aircraft's seams with special sealing treatments. The Bird of Prey also features only one removable service panel, located within the landing-gear wells, for easy access by mechanics.

Other peculiarities of the aircraft include its top-mounted engine-air inlet which is located behing the cockpit and its diamond-shape exhaust outlet, located at the tail.

The X-45A Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, or UCAV, technology demonstrator draws directly on its Bird of Prey experience. Some aspects of the UCAV's innovative radar-evading design, such as its shape and inlet, were developed from this project.

And. Heres a good site. www.boeing.com...

Currently there is a new Area of Stealth Research at Groom Lake, involving visual stealth. Currently they are trying to use Electrocromic panels that change color to blend into the background and make the aircraft "Appear" invisible to the human eye and to Electro-Optical scensors. There is also paralell research in the use of holographics for a similar effect.

Stealth Skins for Aircrafts

UAV/UCAV's:UAV's, which used to be called Drones, are an older technology that is now getting renewed intrest from the DoD, and military. As far as we know Groom Lake recived it's first UAV in 1966, when the Lockheed/CIA D-21 and has expanded ever since. Today the program also involves armed combat aircraft.

D-21 Tagboard/Seinor Bowl:

The D-21 was a CIA project that spun off from the A-12 Blackbird. The goal was to build a mach 3 drone that could be air launched over "Friendly Airspace" and then directed to fly through denyed airspace gathering photo-intelligence. After Completeing it's mission, it would head for international or friendly airspace, where it would eject a pallet containing the camera and film. Once the sencer pack had been jettisoned, the drone would continue to fly untill it ran out of fule. Once the fule ran out, the drone would self distruct. The Tagboard project involved launching the D-21 from the M-12 (A modified A-12 Blackbird with a second seat for the launch control officer. The Project was renamed Seinor Bowl after the D-21 was modified for launch from the B-52. This change was the result a crash, during a test launch.

June, 1983:
First flight of HALSOL at Groom Lake. HALSOL was a solar powered high altitude, UAV. The test program ran two months.

There is also some circumstantial evidence that they are researching hypersonic aircraft, but not enough to Pin down any specific programs at this time that is strictly research based.

Tim
ATS Director of Counter-Ignorance

[edit on 9-9-2004 by ghost]



posted on Sep, 9 2004 @ 09:39 AM
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#4: Determine what government Departmets/Agencies are at the base

We have a list of who from the Government is out at Groom Lake. This list include what we know about the current role about the role of these occupents as well.

United States Department of Defense: Groom Lake is a joint use facility that is used for many defense and national security related activites. Because of its joint use, it is officially owned by the Department of Defense (this is why it is Not listed as an Airforce Base). Being a Defense Department OWENED base, means Groom Lake is open for Use by anyone within the defense establishment who needs to use it for "Black Projects" at any time. While the Base commander is military, the Base also has a permanent civilian represenitive who reports directly to the Penagon. Who this DoD Rep. is, is not known!

US Air Force: The Air Force seems to be the primary user/tenet at the base right now. The base commander is a USAF officer (Probably a General). The air force operates many of the Test aircraft at the base as well as some highly classified spy planes. We are not 100% positive but think these may include the Aroura, and the TR-3. they also are working on other classified weapon systems. The USAF also owns and Runs "Big Safari", a secret Group that provides a variety of support services for Classified programs of all kinds. Since Groom Lake is a secret base, Big Safari provides the base and it's occupents with a variety of specialized support services.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA): The pentagon's "Think Tank", DARPA is a civilian agency made up mostly of Top Grade scientist and engineers. DARPA's mission is to apply cutting edge science and technology to the development of new weapon systems and support systems that can be used to aid in the achievement of National security goals and objectives. Some of the technologies they have help develop include: UAV's, Stealth Technology, Smart Weapons, Global Positioning System (GPS) and Laser Weapons (SDI A.K.A. Star Wars).

Central Intelligencs Agency (CIA): The Base was first built for the CIA. Today however, the Agency seems to play a much smaller secondary support role. They still are working on some UAV related development out at the base. (Note: We have found several "contractors" at the base such as EG&G, and Carley Group that Appear to Be CIA "Fronts"! We aren't sure exatly what these "CIA Fronts" are up to!)

National Security Agency (NSA): The NSA most likely serves two roles at the base, although our group only looked into and research one of them. First, the NSA Provides Tech. support for USAF SIGINT/ELINT Aircraft at the base, as well as controlling their mission. Second, Even though we didn't really look into it, The NSA almost certainly provides INFOSEC and COMSEC services to support operations at the Base. (Note: The NSA has listing of a possible Top Secret SCI Project at Area 51, but we opted not to explore it as part of this research effort!) There were also NSA ties to UAV research.

These are all of the Departments and Agencies we are sure have ties to Groom Lake, and what we think they are doing based on the evidence we have collected.

Tim
ATS Director of Counter-Ignorance





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