From the beginning to the present
SOMETIME IN THE 1960's
United States Government enters in to secret talks with the Australian Government on the topic of constructing a Satellite Relay Station somewhere in Australia's inland. USGS (United States Geological Survey) begins to study geological maps and surveys of inland Australia. In either 1964 or 1965, central Australia is selected as the region to construct the facility. Request is made to the Australian Government to provide suggested locations to construct the facility. Proposed site is offered to the United States of a 25 acre piece of land owned by the Australian Air Force with the option of expanding the land holdings. The site, located only 7 kilometres from the town centre of Alice Springs, is inspected by U.S. Government, but found unsuitable. U.S. Government decides on Alice Springs environs as the site for the future facility.
MAY - NOVEMBER 1966
Land owners observe American drilling teams working on their properties south west of Alice Springs.
December 16 - Anouncement made of a Joint Australian-American facility to be constructed near Alice Springs, Northern Territory of Australia. Project to be completed over 18 months. Land selected on Temple Bar Station owned by Mr Jim Bullen.
Controversy begins when Bullen is asked to volunteer his land to the project. BULLEN is offered 52 cents an acre, take it or leave it. Bullen asks for fair compensation and an assurance that the facility to be built is a wholly Australian operated facility and that no military activity be performed at the proposed base.
Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt says there will be no launching or firing from the proposed Pine Gap facility. Alice Springs Member of the Northern Territory Government, Mr Charlie ORR, criticises Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt for his "non-commital and misconstrued attitude" in relation to the information releases from the Americans. Mr Orr also questions what economic benefit there would be for Alice Springs to have this base established.
(TO READ MORE ABOUT THE LAND DEAL, CLICK HERE )
Bullen continues to protest for fair compensation of the 900 acres of land taken from him, for which he was paid a total payment of only $470.
The facility is first given the pen name of "The Space Base".
It is anounced that local Alice Springs construction company, Nor-ter Pty Ltd have signed a contract worth $51,485.69 to construct roads, streets and guttering.
Mr Richard Stallings gives a talk to members of the Alice Springs Rotary Club. Mr Stallings is named as "Senior US-Australian Representative" of the facility. Mr Stallings anounces that there would be "no serving military officers or men at the site". He announced that construction of the buildings would be completed in 15 months and it would take a further 9 months to install the equipment. He said that one of the radomes would be 100 feet in diameter. He also stated that the facility would employ 25 Americans and about 60 Australians initially with further advancement employing a further 100 Australians. He stated that the facility would expand over the years with most of the materials for the facility being pre-fabricated in the United States.
Mr Charlie Orr voices his concerns of the proposed Facility. He lists his concerns as fears that the cost of living and property rentals may increase due to the 'military base'; concerns of the Americanisation of Alice Springs,; imbalance to the ratio of gender and single to married people of Alice Springs,; concerns over greater demand for local schools in regard to overcrowding,; and his concerns that the establishment of the facility was undemocratic since Alice Springs residents were not consulted.
Australian Commonweatlth Gazette reports that Mr Edwin J Hatt of the Austrlian Department of Supply is to be placed as Officer in Charge of Security at the Defence Facility. His job title referred to as Executive Officer and Representative of the Department of Defence. Mr Hatt was formerly in charge of security at the Woomera Rocket Testing Range in South Australia.
Public anouncement for first time that there was already a secret U.S. facility in central Australia, having been in existance since the 1950's. Name and location of that facility remains secret.
Official name of the facility penned as "United States - Australia Space Defence Research Facility."
Announcement made that the facility will be enclosed by a 50 mile fence. Reported that fence is to prevent motor vehicle entry that might cause radio interference with facility's equipment.
MEDIA RELEASE - "It will house two antenae, housed under plastic radomes as protection against desert sand, dust and rain".
Further reported to the media by the Australian Government- "It is believed that the facility will cost in excess of $8 million and will be mainly staffed by Americans."
Mr Charlie Orr said "We have had the wool pulled over our eyes". His comment came as a result of speculation that Alice Springs would become a target in the event of a military conflict after it was anounced that the facility would be associated with spy-in-the-sky operations and was in fact a "defence facility".
LATE MAY - Construction halts when a general strike is called by construction workers.
June 9 - Construction recommences after a general strike was called by the construction workers when their Trade Union claimed that workers were underpaid.
Mr Reg Harris, a prominent Alice Springs resident speaks out in support of the defence facility. He stated that he discovered that the facility was inject a lot of finance and economic benefit to the town. He discovered 13 local companies were contracted to supply goods, services and labor valued at over $250,000.
A survey of 300 Alice Springs residents revealed an "overwhelming support for the facility".
Construction had slowed down further due to extensive flooding as a result of torential rains. Proposed completion date has been expanded. The completion time is now speculated to take a further18 months to 2 years.
Mr Noel Gee, the general construction supervisor, discloses what was supposed to be a secret. He reveals that there is extensive drilling taking place at the facility. Mr Gee then rebutted his own comment saying that his workers had drilled two water bores and that the Facility would be self sufficient.
Mr Gee further anounces that the facility would have an unspecified number of buildings constructed mainly of concrete block work with little timber used.
The facility under construction is open to the media for one day. Journalists saw numerous trucks and earth-moving equipment, tents and a large trench set amidst the numerous roads and tracks around the construction site.
The Information below is brief and not fully verified,
and will be updated in the near future as I complete the research.
1970 - Pine Gap becomes operational. COLLINS RADIO of Dallas, Texas is the major company involved at the facility.
1974 - The Australian Government announces that Pine Gap is being controlled by the C.I.A.
Unauthorised photographs and other information from inside the facility are reported to have been sold to Russia.
1983 - Protest against Pine Gap leads to arrest of many people
1985 - An unconfirmed report of an unidentified aircraft travelling at erratic speeds buzzes a government employee and police officers, 100 kilometres west of Alice Springs.
1986 - Over 300 people arrested at a Pine Gap Protest Rally at the gates of Pine Gap.
1988 - A local hot air Balloon pilot is forced to down his balloon when wind currents caused him to drift over Pine Gap land holdings. There were several tourist on board at that time. There are unconfirmed reports of minor injuries
1989 - Pine Gap is de-classified. Security is reduced and much of Pine Gap's operations become public knowledge. Pine Gap receives the name change to Joint Defence Space Research Facility Pine Gap
1991 - U.S. Newspapers report that Pine Gap is instrumental in the tracking of Iraq's SCUD Missiles and the guidance and trajectory of the the U.S. PATRIOT Missiles. Also reports that Satellite Imagery from Pine Gap was monitoring the troop movements and other miltary activity of Iraq.
1996 - Rumours begin to speculate when witnesses allege to have seen a triangular shaped aircraft crash or land rapidly at an area west of Pine Gap. A local man looking for the alleged site reports he is stopped and expelled by Pine Gap Security staff. The alleged area of land is on private property outside of Pine Gap's land holdings.
November 1996 - UFO hoax perpertrated by a local youth launching hot air balloons. Rumours speculate UFO's until cause of lights in the sky is discovered..
1997 - Further rumours begin to speculate when a woman and her son claim they saw a blue glowing light rise and descend over Pine Gap.
1998 - I established my Pine Gap Research Pages and posted them on the Internet. As a result, some Pine Gap Executives don't talk to me any more.Related Links:
- This is the Collins Radio Section of The Broadcast Archive - In 1977, Collins Radio Co. was bought by Rockwell and moved to Dallas, TX, as Rockwell-Collins
- Pine Gap - Bibliotecapleyades.net - [Outside Link]