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The Many Names for Groom Lake

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posted on Apr, 16 2007 @ 07:17 AM
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As we all know, Groom Lake is a top secret research and testing facility in the Nevada desert used to developsome of the most advanced Areospace technology in the world. Over the years, this place has picked up countless names. I would like to compile a list of all the known names and nicknames for this top secret base. I'll start with some of the most known ones:

Groom Lake
Area 51
Dreamland

Please help me add to this List. My goal is to give the ATS community a complete, or nearly complete list of all known names for the base.

Tim



posted on Apr, 16 2007 @ 07:24 AM
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  • The Ranch

  • The Box

  • Watertown Strip

    Got those from a google search.



  • posted on Apr, 16 2007 @ 11:09 AM
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    The names associated with the Groom Lake test facility include both formal and informal designations, and don't all refer to precisely the same thing.

    Groom Lake is the name of the geographic feature that defines the test site. It is an ancient dry lakebed with a surface of sufficent hardness for aircraft operations. It includes some marked airstrips, but for all practical purposes the entire surface should be considered an active runway under the jurisdiction of the air traffic control tower.

    Paradise Ranch is the name suggested for the test site by Clarence "Kelly" Johnson of Lockheed in 1955. According to his personal log, this name was approved and accepted. This is why many oldtimers refer to the site as "The Ranch." This nickname has been used for many years as generations of workers passed it on.

    Watertown is the official name bestowed on the test site in 1956. It was taken from the name of CIA director Allen Dulles' hometown. Watertown is still legally listed as a member of Alamo Township in Lincoln County, Nevada.

    Area 51 is the designation applied following the land seizure of 20 June 1958. This designation specifically identifies a 38,400-acre block of land surrounding the airfield and much of the lakebed.

    Dreamland is the radio callsign for the base, introduced in the late 1960s (it replaced Yuletide). It referred specifically to a large area of airspace (a special operations area) surrounding Area 51 and parts of the Nevada Test Site and Nellis range. Eventually, the Dreamland airspace was reduced to cover an approximately 24-square-mile box with Groom Lake at its center. This resulted in many pilots (mostly Red Flag participants) nicknaming it "The Box" of "Red Square" (because it was defined as a no-fly zone during the various exercises in the range). The Dreamland callsign still appears in Air Force pilot's flight guides.

    Detachment 3, Air Force Flight Test Center, (DET 3, AFFTC) is the name of the unit and the operating location at Groom Lake. It was established in the late 1970s. The organization has grown from a small cadre of less than squadron strength to an entire test wing with multiple groups of squadrons and flights.


    Other designations used over the years include:

    Detachment 1, 1129th Special Activities Squadron. This was used by the operating unit mainly during the timeframe from 1960 to 1968, when the base was called Area 51, but it also appears for some years afterward on Nevada Test Site security regulations.

    Home Plate and C-Base were nicknames used mainly by security personnel in unenecrypted radio communications, rather than calling out the actual name of the base. The Home Plate nickname dates to at least the 1960s and was used to identify the base in Project OXCART flight logs and occasionally in other documents and correspondence.

    Pittman Station. If asked where they worked, Air Force personnel were told to say "Pittman Station, Henderson, Nevada." This was derived from the original mailing address at the now defunct Pittman Postal Station (originally P.O. Box 121, later P.O. Box 52B). Civilian contractors at Groom lake were told to say the worked for "EG&G at the Test Site." In the 1990s, the mail drop moved to an office building in Las Vegas.

    Homey is the name given in the Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) database, that also includes the airfield's four-letter designator KXTA (the three-letter domestic designator is just XTA). The database lists the paved runways 14-32 and 12-30.

    The base has also been referred to in much more informal fashion by personnel who say they work "Out of Town," "Out at the Range," "Elsewhere," "St. Elsewhere," "Nowhere," "The Test Site," or simply "The Site."

    [edit on 16-4-2007 by Shadowhawk]

    [edit on 6-5-2007 by Shadowhawk]



    posted on May, 9 2007 @ 09:42 PM
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    The name "Homey" may derive from the "Home Plate" nomenclature. I have only ever seen this in the TAWS database.



    posted on May, 10 2007 @ 09:37 AM
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    Originally posted by Shadowhawk
    The name "Homey" may derive from the "Home Plate" nomenclature. I have only ever seen this in the TAWS database.


    TAWS? May I ask what TAWS stands for?

    Tim



    posted on May, 10 2007 @ 10:12 AM
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    Ghost, check out my earlier post for information on TAWS. It's near the end of the long list of names for the Groom Lake base. I spent a great deal of time assembling that data in response to your original post, only to watch the thread sink into oblivion without comment.

    I only entered the last post to bring it back to the top, on the theory that you might have forgotten about the thread and not seen my response to your question.



    posted on May, 10 2007 @ 10:35 AM
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    Thanks Shadowhawk!
    Here it is: Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS)
    I missed it the first time.

    Tim



    posted on May, 10 2007 @ 11:26 AM
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    Originally posted by Shadowhawk


    Dreamland is the radio callsign for the base, introduced in the late 1960s (it replaced Yuletide).



    Dreamland was the radio callsign until shortly after December 23, 1994. It is now, (or was up until a few years ago) "Control".

    On the evening of December 23, 1994 I was flying a DC-8 from Blythville, Arkansa to Oakland on a mail contract. Passing a few miles north of Groom Lake I switched to their VHF tower frequency and made the following call:

    Dreamland, Dreamland, this is John Lear and Bob Lazar wishing you a Merry Christmas."

    Dreamland never responded but a few days later aircraft operating around Groom changed their "Dreamland" calls to "Control".

    The reason I know is that for many years I recorded Dreamland tower frequency on a voice activated tape recorder, recorded from a AR-3000 scanner hooked to a special antenna on my roof. I have many hours of calls to Dreamland and to Control.

    I have not had this hookup for several years so it may be changed. I think I quit recording in 1998.



    posted on May, 10 2007 @ 10:09 PM
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    The DREAMLAND call sign is apparently still in use. Primary and secondary frequencies are listed under that name in official USAF publications used by pilots flying within the Nevada Test and Training Range. The same call sign and frequencies are listed in publications dated 1988, 1998, and 2001. If I can find a more recent edition, I'll see if there are any changes.



    posted on May, 10 2007 @ 10:41 PM
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    Originally posted by Shadowhawk



    The DREAMLAND call sign is apparently still in use. Primary and secondary frequencies are listed under that name in official USAF publications used by pilots flying within the Nevada Test and Training Range. The same call sign and frequencies are listed in publications dated 1988, 1998, and 2001. If I can find a more recent edition, I'll see if there are any changes.




    The frequencies would certainly be listed under Dreamland as they would under any of the other Air Access Only or other sites. But it would be my speculation that no matter where the facility is or what its 'real' name is the word used to contact is "control". That would avoid compromising the name of the facility being contacted.



    posted on May, 11 2007 @ 04:42 AM
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    Originally posted by johnlear
    The frequencies would certainly be listed under Dreamland as they would under any of the other Air Access Only or other sites. But it would be my speculation that no matter where the facility is or what its 'real' name is the word used to contact is "control".


    John,

    There is a good reason for that. The base callsign for Groom Lake is Dreamland. All radio communication to the base begin with "Dreamland". Dreamland Control is their air traffic control tower. Dreamland is use mainly for general communications to the base.

    Also, unless you are calling "MAYDAY" the ground communications center at Groom Lake will Not answer a civilian call for security reasons.

    Tim



    posted on May, 11 2007 @ 06:41 AM
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    Originally posted by Ghost01



    There is a good reason for that. The base callsign for Groom Lake is Dreamland. All radio communication to the base begin with "Dreamland". Dreamland Control is their air traffic control tower. Dreamland is use mainly for general communications to the base.

    Also, unless you are calling "MAYDAY" the ground communications center at Groom Lake will Not answer a civilian call for security reasons.




    Tim, I don't think you are following the conversation here. Please read the previous posts and then answer the question "What has calling Dreamland Tower "Control" have to do with a civilian call?" Thanks



    posted on May, 11 2007 @ 11:21 AM
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    Originally posted by johnlear
    Originally posted by Ghost01



    There is a good reason for that. The base callsign for Groom Lake is Dreamland. All radio communication to the base begin with "Dreamland". Dreamland Control is their air traffic control tower. Dreamland is use mainly for general communications to the base.

    Also, unless you are calling "MAYDAY" the ground communications center at Groom Lake will Not answer a civilian call for security reasons.


    Tim, I don't think you are following the conversation here. Please read the previous posts and then answer the question "What has calling Dreamland Tower "Control" have to do with a civilian call?" Thanks


    Nothing! The point is that the Tower at Groom Lake does NOT answer calls from civilians unless it is an emergency.

    The Base's Air Traffic Control Tower Uses the Call Sign "Dreamland
    Control" not control as you are suggesting. I've spent years doing the research. The name Dreamland comes fron the Call Sign of the base.

    John, nothing personal, but I think you've missed what Shadowhawk and I are trying to tell you here. The Call Signs for base ATC Towers Do NOT change!

    Tim



    posted on May, 11 2007 @ 11:35 AM
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    Originally posted by Ghost01



    John, nothing personal, but I think you've missed what Shadowhawk and I are trying to tell you here. The Call Signs for base ATC Towers Do NOT change!




    Tim, I think you missed what I have been saying. I said I had about 12 hours of Dreamland Tower recorded on tape, recorded in the mid 90's in which all aircraft instead of calling "Dreamland, Dreamland" which they did prior to December 23, 1994 called "Control, Control".

    Now when you say "the Call Sign for base ATC Towers Do NOT change" are you telling me that I don't have the recorded tape, both prior to when they called "Dreamland, Dreamland" and after December 23, 2007 when they called Dreamland "Control, Control." Or what?

    You and Shadowhawk seem to know a lot more about than me. Which is interesting because I am the one that has the tapes. And I am the only one that has talked to Dreamland tower. Please clarify. Thanks.



    posted on May, 11 2007 @ 03:56 PM
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    Originally posted by johnlear
    Now when you say "the Call Sign for base ATC Towers Do NOT change" are you telling me that I don't have the recorded tape, both prior to when they called "Dreamland, Dreamland" and after December 23, 2007 when they called Dreamland "Control, Control." Or what?

    You and Shadowhawk seem to know a lot more about than me. Which is interesting because I am the one that has the tapes. And I am the only one that has talked to Dreamland tower. Please clarify. Thanks.


    I never said you don't have the tapes! You probably do have both sets of tapes. I believe you were talking to some kind of Air Traffic Control Center inside of the Nellis Range Complex HOWEVER, I don't believe that the tower you were in contact with was at Groom Lake.

    Do you have any idea how many Air Traffic Control towers are in the Nellis Range Complex between Las Vegas and Tonapah? Here's a short list of ATC centers that you were in Radio Range of that day and their Call Signs (the ones I know):

    Groom Lake (Area 51): DREAMLAND
    Nellis Range Safety Control: BLACKJACK
    Nellis Air Force Base: (Call sign unknown)
    Tonapah Test Range: (Call sign unknown)
    Indian Springs Air Force Base (Call sign unknown)

    These are just the Quick examples of some of the facilities out there. Nothing in your statement about someone useing the call sign "CONTROL" proves that you were talking to Groom Lake. The Fact that Groom Lake was the closest airbase also proves nothing. You might have been talking to Nellis Air Force Base for all you know!

    Tim

    Personally, I believe John may have been talking to Nellis AFB!


    [edit on 5/11/2007 by Ghost01]



    posted on May, 11 2007 @ 04:29 PM
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    A 1996 chart of the Nellis Range from a Sandia National Laboratories publication lists the following call signs:

    R-4809 (Tonopah Test Range) - SILVERBOW
    R-4608 (Nevada Test Site and Area 51) - DREAMLAND
    R-4806 (Indian Springs Aux. AFB and South Ranges) - RAYMOND CONTROL
    R4807 (North Ranges between TTR and DREAMLAND) - RAYMOND



    posted on May, 11 2007 @ 04:49 PM
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    Originally posted by Ghost01


    I never said you don't have the tapes! You probably do have both sets of tapes. I believe you were talking to some kind of Air Traffic Control Center inside of the Nellis Range Complex HOWEVER, I don't believe that the tower you were in contact with was at Groom Lake.


    I was on Groom Lake tower frequency Tim. That was the frequency I was on. Nobody answered. It was at about 7 pm at night.


    Do you have any idea how many Air Traffic Control towers are in the Nellis Range Complex between Las Vegas and Tonapah?


    Three. Groom Lake, Tonopah and Creech.


    Here's a short list of ATC centers that you were in Radio Range of that day and their Call Signs (the ones I know):

    Groom Lake (Area 51): DREAMLAND
    Nellis Range Safety Control: BLACKJACK
    Nellis Air Force Base: (Call sign unknown)


    Airplanes call it "Nellis, Hotshot 123 initial."


    Tonapah Test Range: (Call sign unknown)


    Silverbow


    Indian Springs Air Force Base (Call sign unknown)


    Creech


    These are just the Quick examples of some of the facilities out there.


    Tim, what is a 'quick' example? Do you have any 'not so quick' examples?

    All have frequencies assigned under their name. So does Groom Lake tower.


    Nothing in your statement about someone useing the call sign "CONTROL" proves that you were talking to Groom Lake.



    Those are 2 separate stories Tim. The only thing the story about the aircraft using "Control" is that they changed from using "Dreamland" to using "Control" right after I made the call to Dreamland Tower on December 23, 1994.


    The Fact that Groom Lake was the closest airbase also proves nothing. You might have been talking to Nellis Air Force Base for all you know!


    Tim, the frequency I was on was Groom Lake Tower and it was the frequency I had been recording and it was the frequency aircraft were calling Dreamland on for landing and it was the frequency that aircraft were calling Dreamland on departure. Now unless they renamed Nellis as Dreamland then you can be pretty sure I was on Groom Lake tower.

    But being on Groom Lake tower wasn't the point of the story. The point of the storywas that shortly after that call, maybe 2 or 3 days they changed the call from Dreamland to Control.


    Personally, I believe John may have been talking to Nellis AFB!


    Tim, I was on Groom Lake tower Frequency. Nellis Tower does not guard that frequency. It is unlikely that I was talking to Nellis. But thanks for the post and I hope we have this straightened out. Not being a pilot or knowing anything about communications may be a little confusing for you but I am willing to help you along, so to speak.



    posted on May, 11 2007 @ 04:55 PM
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    Originally posted by Shadowhawk
    A 1996 chart of the Nellis Range from a Sandia National Laboratories publication lists the following call signs:

    R-4809 (Tonopah Test Range) - SILVERBOW
    R-4608 (Nevada Test Site and Area 51) - DREAMLAND
    R-4806 (Indian Springs Aux. AFB and South Ranges) - RAYMOND CONTROL
    R4807 (North Ranges between TTR and DREAMLAND) - RAYMOND


    Thanks Shadowhawk,

    This is a very helpful list! I've never seen such a complete list of call signs before. You did a good job of explaining it clearly. However, I feel the need to point out one minor correction to this list:

    DREAMLAND (Area 51) is R-4808 (not R-4608 as listed above). Other then that minor typo, Pete has done well at Denying Ignorance (as usual)!

    Thanks Pete!

    Tim



    posted on May, 11 2007 @ 05:12 PM
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    Originally posted by johnlear
    Tim, I was on Groom Lake tower Frequency. Nellis Tower does not guard that frequency.


    I'm not sure what you mean by "guard"! I always though a guarded frequency meant that it's uses a COMSEC system. However, if the frequency was carrying encrypted traffic, I don't understand how you could have gotten through on it.

    What do you mean by Guard?


    Tim



    posted on May, 11 2007 @ 08:25 PM
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    Originally posted by Ghost01

    Tim, you just got through telling everyone that after 40 years of flying I didn't know whether I was talking to Nellis Air Force Base or Groom Lake.

    Then you said you felt I was talking to Nellis.

    Now you're asking what 'guard' means? Is this a joke? I'll assume it isn't and you are just being your usual rude self.


    I'm not sure what you mean by "guard"!


    Guard can be used as a verb or a noun. Example of guard as a verb:

    Dutch 50 please guard 123.45. This means Dutch 50 should switch Comm 2 to 123.45 and listen.

    Example of guard used as a noun:

    This is Cricket on guard with an air strike warning for all aircraft.

    This means Cricket is transmitting on guard channel whatever guard happens to be for that area or for that day.


    I always though a guarded frequency meant that it's uses a COMSEC system.


    Whoever told you that had no idea what he was talking about.


    However, if the frequency was carrying encrypted traffic, I don't understand how you could have gotten through on it.


    The VHF frequency for Groom Lake was not encrypted.


    What do you mean by Guard?


    Please see above.




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