Southern Cal Cold War Artifacts, Hawes Radio Relay Facility

Discussion in 'Modern' started by syscom3, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Hawes Journal Page 1

    In the 70s and 80s, if you were driving Highway 58 between Barstow and Kramer Junction, it would be to your south and you weren't always aware of it right away. In the daytime you might even miss it if you were looking at your road map, tuning the radio, or (heaven forbid) watching the road. Watching the road was much more vital then, for Highway 58 was two-lane, full of whoop-dee-do's and idiots with get-home-itis making suicide passes in front of you. But even with the distraction of the tomfoolery on the road in front of you, it slowly entered your consciousness that there was something ahead and just to the south of you that was very out of the ordinary, something you wouldn't see in a city, but something that was equally out of place in the barren, uninhabited Mojave. Westbound, you could see it from Barstow. Eastbound, you could see it from Kramer Junction. Once it finally caught your eye you kept a watch and noticed one other curiosity: no matter how much you drove, how much persevered in your automotive march toward this glittering anomaly, it never really seemed to grow in size. No matter how much you drove, you didn't seem to be getting any closer. And just what were you seeing? During the day, a thin, pink and white latticework perpendicular to the desert with a top that seemed to be above the cruising altitude of airliners. And at night...at night you saw, to your pleasant disbelief, a twinkling, sparkling crimson pyramid, a coruscating red Christmas tree that seemed to get larger and larger but only degree by degree. Finally, it dawned on you that it wasn't getting larger because it was was huge but still a long way off, and always a long way off no matter how long you kept driving. You knew you'd get there eventually; no matter which direction you were heading, it was directly in front of you, so you knew that it was only a matter of time before you were at its foot, whatever it was. And finally, as you were craning your neck at a forty-five degree angle to keep this twinkling giant in sight, the road took its inevitable maddening turn and you were directed away from this blinking, flashing oddity, and you watched it dwindle and disappear at the same rate it had appeared and grown during your approach: very slowly. And what was it? Your only clue, immediately after the diverting bend in the road, was a sign which read, "Hawes Radio Relay Facility." As if that was an explanation.

    In a region defined in modern times by the military, you took that sign in stride. It was yet another military facility, beyond your reach, but assuringly placed there by Your Government for Your Protection, so you passed it by, though wondering at its immensity but at the same time granting its mystery your acceptance as one of those government curiosities necesary to preserve the freedom you enjoyed on your pleasant night drive through the Mojave. And you were quite right.

    Known in the decades following its abandonment as "The Barstow Bunker," there this mystery waited for explanation, and provided endless befuddlement for those who wished to know.
     

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  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    We had all sorts of stuff like that in Southern California when I was growing up...there was even a Nike base in the hills that over-looked our town where I lived as a kid. We used to imagine it was a space-port and stuff like that...lol
     
  3. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    Very cool find syscom thanks:D :D
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Neat stuff. I started in the AF as a radio relay guy, although in my day they called it "Wideband". Sad to see those cold war relics fall into decay like that before they are completely demolished.
     
  5. kj4ex

    kj4ex New Member

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    Greetings,

    I was stationed at HAWES from 1979 to 1981, worked in the LIVE facility. Will check my photo albums, may have some other pix, and lots of stories. Nothing dramatic, but was a cool place to work. We spent 24 hours on-site, and 72 hours off-site, living at Edwards AFB.

    Bill, MSGT, RET. USAF
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I would love to see the pics you have!
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Very Cool!

    I've had the opportunity to fly over that area a few times. A few more miles to the south east is the B-70 crash site.
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I'd love to see the pictures, Bill. I worked on the AN/UCC-4 and the LC-4K at Lakenheath. Did they have the UCC-4 at Hawes?
     
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