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Michael Morrison ( writes:

I was the signal detachment commander for 3d battalion, 5th SFG (A) out of Ft Campbell, KY. I'm a plain old civilian now. None of what I will be sharing with you is classified. Nor was I told anything with any understanding that it was to be kept secret.

Back a couple years our battalion took part in an NTC rotation, but we set up by conducting an airborne insertion into Mercury, NV. We landed on Desert Rock DZ. I have read a lot of what people say about that area and they make a few erroneous statements.

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The place is not guarded by military guards. They are contracted civilians working for Whackenhut Security services. I met both male and female guards in the Mercury cafeteria. In fact any one can sign up for and take a bus driven tour of the Mercury site and view some of the nuke detonation craters.

Second I was joking around with one of the cute females about possibly mounting an operation to take down the area just for training purposes. Thinking that would impress her on my skills as a warrior. It didn't even faze her. Her response was, "You'd lose. We have Delta and SEALs attempt probes and direct assaults every so often, we even have chemical attacks; everyone loses. And if you DO get too far we just throw the switch." Later she implied that there is an underground nuclear device somewhere near by that they would throw the switch if things get too far. She also said that things were pretty polluted up there and that they were moving ops to area one. I have no way to corroborate that other than I know that she was a guard there.

I spent 30 days and nights looking skyward. Nothing but a jet at high altitude, every morning at the same time, going north. I make the assumption that it was a Janet shuttle. The most interesting and unexpected contact I experienced was with the dumpster trash truck driver. He had spilled some of the trash but was very quick to say that union rule forbade him from stepping down out of the truck to pick it up and that his helper was home sick that day. So as I helped him out we started chit chatting. I commented on the number of security badges he was wearing. We only had the radiological meter badge so him having 5 or 6 caught my eye. He started telling me what each one was for. Then he grabbed one that was almost all white with black small lines and blocks (like a bar code of sorts). He leaned forward towards me as if he didn't want anyone to hear and he said, "Now this one gets me in up there." And he pointed north. I said, "Cool. I bet you see all kinds of trash from the ordinary to the bizarre." He started to tell me about some of the aircraft that are there, that he's seen during the day.

Lesson learned. 1. Sometimes your best sources of intel come from the most unlikely places. 2. People love to be the center of attention so get them talking about something that they believe they have specific and privileged knowledge about.

Webmaster: Michael Morrison also sends us these photos, with these designations. I don't know what they mean, maybe you do.

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