Tuesday, December 24, 2013

An Unexpected Nuclear Target

Back in the Cold War era there was lots of talk about nuclear targets. I suppose that given that there are still plenty of nuclear missiles there are still targets is Washington State. So a bit of trivia for those that might remember old target maps.  

Where is the nuclear target on the above map?
And a really bad but true hint - it is a Navy facility.

If you said Everett; yes the Naval Base in Everett would probably be a target, but there is another one:

Jim Creek Naval Reserve

This big circular clear cut is a gigantic antenna for generating low frequency radio waves that can reach submarines. Back when there was more worry about nuclear destruction and nuclear winter, it was always a bit surprising to see a mushroom cloud symbol in the Cascade Mountains.

I came across the Jim Creek site while doing some fast research on a logging project. Despite the rather permanent clear cut there are areas of old growth trees within the reserve outside the antenna area, marbled murrelet (a threatened bird) nesting sites and reportedly great fishing.  


Geoffrey Middaugh said...

Is this like the VLA (very large array) on the Plains of St. Augustine in New Mexico? Is this private land or was it USFS?

Dan McShane said...

Not so large as the New Mexico site. More like Puerto Rica. The site abuts US Forest land but I am not sure of its original ownership prior to 1952. I do believe that part of the original reserve was sold to private timber companies and an addition was made for environmental mitigation to protect as 1,000 year old + stand of timber.