reply to post by usmc4hire
This is one of the better Area 51 videos on youtube. The music isn't in the way, and the voice over is pretty good.
Just a few comments. First, the distance of the hike sort of depends on your tolerance of off-road driving. The route to Tikaboo from route 93 is
documented on this page:
Tikaboo route at the top
It comes from a GPS. For the hike, it is a mixture of a few GPS tracks since accuracy isn't so great under canopy. Anyway, one person lost an axle
doing the last mile on the road. With only one vehicle, you probably want to avoid that last mile of driving. I hope people note you have a full size
spare. Over the years, I have had 3 flats around the range. One doesn't count because I was using street tires, but two were with off road tires. And
hard to believe, but they were both in the relatively nice part of the drive up Tikaboo, not in the rough section. [Nothing like changing a tire in 95
degree F heat.]
I've been much closer to the camo dudes. I've had them drive right past me. This was over by Bald Mountain. That area has a lot of routes and the
dudes can get messed up trying to find you. I actually chased one dude out of the area. [And a big grin was on his face, as seen in his rear view
I'm not entirely sure what exists of EG&G anymore, so I don't know who employes the dudes. Somebody has to swing by the old EG&G Special Projects
building in Vegas by the airport and see what is on the sign.
In the section of the video where you are shooting the chopper, what is the location? I see a street light in the video. I don't recall seeing any
lighting around the range.
Regarding light "trails" in the sky, I have done many shots like this over the years. The problem is you capture aircraft, probably satellites, and
of course stars. The view from TIkaboo towards the base will capture lights from the air traffic flying along route 95 west of the NTTR and clear out
to California's Central Valley. If you use the standard radar horizon equation, the distance in statute miles is 1.4*sqrt(height in ft). It is
additive, so you need to compute the radar horizon from Tikaboo and that of the plane. [Light is just high frequency radio waves, so the equation
holds.] Tikaboo has a horizon of 123 miles. The aircraft are flying at least 30kft MSL. That is 242 miles. So you can see lights 364 miles away. Then
the atmosphere absorbs wavelengths differently, so you can't tell much by the color.
I think these long exposures are useful, but if the light is high in the sky, I don't think they are related to the base. Here is a shot where the
trail is probably over the range, but not the Groom Lake airspace:
This is a long exposure of a Janet landing at Groom Lake, clearly over the airspace.
I guess lastly, who started the rumor that the new hangar is the base headquarters? I have no way to dispute this, but I haven't heard that before.
If anything, I think the new hangar is owned by a contractor and is placed away from the base to keep the contractor from doing too much snooping on
other base activity. You may recall in one of the Google Earth data sets, there is a Beechcraft by the hangar which could be that of Northrop.
I don't know if you were "packing" on your trip up Tikaboo, but I would suggest using a walking stick. You never know when it might be necessary to
poke an animal that wants to get close. Having done the hike more than a few times, you generally don't find any wildlife once you are hiking the
last mile. There is no water, and unlike you, the animals can care less about seeing the base. I did have a prong horn scare the crap out of me once
about half a mile from the peak. The walking stick helps on the way down. It reduces the need to "butt surf." ;-)