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Decades Later, a Cold War Secret Is Revealed
AP via FoxNews ^ | December 25, 2011 | Helen O'Neill

Posted on 12/26/2011 5:30:15 AM PST by Daffynition

DANBURY, Conn. – For more than a decade they toiled in the strange, boxy-looking building on the hill above the municipal airport, the building with no windows (except in the cafeteria), the building filled with secrets.

They wore protective white jumpsuits, and had to walk through air-shower chambers before entering the sanitized "cleanroom" where the equipment was stored.

They spoke in code.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans; Science
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs
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Fred Marra, left, listens as Bob Zarba describes the camera operation of the Hexagon KH-9 secret spy satellite in Danbury, Conn. They have been meeting here for 18 years, whiling away a few hours nattering about golf and politics, ailments and grandchildren. But, until recently, they were forbidden to speak about the greatest achievement of their professional lives. (Kathy Willens, STF / December 1, 2011)

1 posted on 12/26/2011 5:30:17 AM PST by Daffynition
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To: Daffynition

A tip of the hat, to Americas unsung patriots.


2 posted on 12/26/2011 5:34:47 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

Ditos to that!!


3 posted on 12/26/2011 5:42:00 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12... Don't complain if 0 shreds the constitution!!!)
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To: Daffynition
In the late '70s, I was stationed in Italy with the Electronic Security Command. Things we take for granted today were super-secret then and we even had to refer to them by codewords that were also protected as super-secret.

In today's world, all one can really hope for is to keep the full functionality/capability from leaking before a system goes operational. The American People are far more in the dark than our enemies are.

4 posted on 12/26/2011 5:43:10 AM PST by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
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To: mylife

>>He describes the white-hot excitement as teams pored over hand-drawings and worked on endless technical problems, using “slide-rules and advanced degrees” (there were no computers), knowing they were part of such a complicated space project. The intensity would increase as launch deadlines loomed and on the days when “the customer” — the CIA and later the Air Force — came for briefings. On at least one occasion, former President George H.W. Bush, who was then CIA director, flew into Danbury for a tour of the plant.<<

Slide rules? I can imagine what the napkins scribbled on, at the local coffee shop looked like! Top secret.


5 posted on 12/26/2011 5:46:22 AM PST by Daffynition (*Pray for whatever passes for America these days* Amen. ~ ScottinVA)
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To: Daffynition
He describes the white-hot excitement as teams pored over hand-drawings

It truly used to be this way.

6 posted on 12/26/2011 5:48:30 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: trebb
KH-9 HEXAGON at the Smith.


7 posted on 12/26/2011 5:49:25 AM PST by Daffynition (*Pray for whatever passes for America these days* Amen. ~ ScottinVA)
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To: trebb

In today’s world, all one can really hope for is to keep the full functionality/capability from leaking before a system goes operational. The American People are far more in the dark than our enemies are.
++++++++++++

How true. The clock starts ticking once the operational capabilities of our systems become known to our enemies. That knowledge cannot be supressed indefinitely but good security practices can push that date far to the right. Good security pays big dividends.


8 posted on 12/26/2011 5:49:46 AM PST by InterceptPoint (TIN)
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To: Daffynition

By 1980, TI made the slide rule obsolete with hand held scientific calculators.


9 posted on 12/26/2011 5:50:03 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

Little known facility in Arkansas was used in the “70’s for research on saccharine effects i.e. cancer. It was managed by FDA and was called NCTR. It was a converted WW2 Germ warfare research and development center. It had a room almost as long as a foot ball field that raised Mosquitoes that to be infected with malaria and dropped over the Japs... The unit had many work stations that had rubber gloves (to the shoulders) The bugs were to be infected and harvested by air pulling then to a collection chamber. Been there , saw it. It was bulldozed into a great pile on the back of facility and covered over! Don’t think it was ever put in operation. They did a lot of stinky stuff there!


10 posted on 12/26/2011 5:53:46 AM PST by primatreat (I am really tired of "0"s craping and slinging shit toward the middle class.)
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To: Daffynition

Slide rules? I can imagine what the napkins scribbled on, at the local coffee shop looked like! Top secret.


You and I can laugh at that thought now. But I did know a young lady at the time whose primary job was a ‘minder’ and after every luncheon or dinner her ‘principal’ was at found her gathering up the napkins including the expensive linen ones.

She was also having to write out checks to reimburse the restaurants for confiscating them. She told some very funny stories that were made even funnier by all of the censoring she had to do. Half the time she would throw her hands up and just say,’well you just had to be there..’.

Ah yes, The cold war a damn serious yet funny and farcical time... I’m dating myself but in some ways I preferred that time to now. At least I didn’t have to deal with the TSA then or carry an electronic leash among other things so common to today.


11 posted on 12/26/2011 5:56:25 AM PST by The Working Man (The mantra for BO's reign...."No Child Left a Dime")
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To: Daffynition

Well done gentlemen, very well done.


12 posted on 12/26/2011 5:56:33 AM PST by SueRae (I can see November 2012 from my HOUSE!!!!!!!!)
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To: primatreat
It was bulldozed into a great pile on the back of facility and covered over!

I hope they gassed them skeeters first!

13 posted on 12/26/2011 5:57:07 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Daffynition

14 posted on 12/26/2011 5:58:34 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas gerit)
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To: Daffynition

The technology for making the optics for Hexagon was, I suspect, used elsewhere in Perkin-Elmer for the optics to make the high-resolution “wafer steppers” that printed sub-microscopic lines on the silicon chips that made the PC/internet revolution possible.

For years, P-E was the leading manufacturer of these systems.

In the early ‘90s, they had to spin off their wafer stepper business, which carried on for a few years as SVG, then as SVG-L, and then as ASML.


15 posted on 12/26/2011 5:59:59 AM PST by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: trebb

In today’s State Department and for past twenty years, a foreigner can marry a US Department of State employee overseas and become a “Communicator”; they are accepted as foreign service specialists and given the crypto keys, management of long haul communications and even privy to the identities of our agency personnel at their mission, and insight into how to identify covert operatives. Worst though is that many hate the USA - and I doubt their alligence. It has long been my belief that it is policy’s like diversity and family member hiring preferences that make this situation a reality. Can you imagine granting a Top Secret clearance to someone just a few years removed from their homeland into a position where they handle all US Communications at an Embassy or Consulate? It may be possible due to the compartmentalization of information that the US uses these people to LEAK information which we want them to see. It is just unreal that in the 70s and 80s I would have lost my security clearance for marrying a South Korea (Ally?), but today we make it a matter of National Policy to hand the “keys” to Turks, former USSR soldiers, etc.


16 posted on 12/26/2011 5:59:59 AM PST by Jumper
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To: primatreat
Little known facility in Arkansas was used in the “70’s for research on saccharine effects i.e. cancer.

And let us not forget the chemical warfare research. Various stuff to various things.

17 posted on 12/26/2011 6:02:12 AM PST by VRW Conspirator (Neo-communist equals Neo-fascist - VRW Conspirator)
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To: Daffynition

18 posted on 12/26/2011 6:02:43 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas gerit)
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To: Daffynition
In the 60s came the Friden calculater ...

We used to program them to play Yankee Doodle.

Then came the first electronic calculator, by Friden ...

.. priced at ~ $1,200 as I recall.

19 posted on 12/26/2011 6:03:30 AM PST by shove_it (just undo it)
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To: Daffynition
Thanks for the post.
This part blew me away:
"The film was shot back through the earth's atmosphere in buckets that parachuted over the Pacific Ocean, where C-130 Air Force planes snagged them with grappling hooks."

I worked in one of their clean-rooms (actually one of their spin-off companies) for three years (95 - 98) between gigs at aeropsace companies.
Learned a ton about optics and laser technology, not as cool as combat aircraft, but interesting as all hell.

20 posted on 12/26/2011 6:11:15 AM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: shove_it
Jack lemmon at his desk in "The Apartment"

21 posted on 12/26/2011 6:39:43 AM PST by Bobalu (even Jesus knew the poor would always be with us)
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To: Steely Tom

Interesting. I’m always whining that they don’t make anything in CT anymore.


22 posted on 12/26/2011 6:59:15 AM PST by Daffynition (*Pray for whatever passes for America these days* Amen. ~ ScottinVA)
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To: Psalm 73

Merry Christmas darling! Much love to your family. Blessings of the season and for the new year!

I thought that’s what *tail hookers* did!


23 posted on 12/26/2011 7:01:55 AM PST by Daffynition (*Pray for whatever passes for America these days* Amen. ~ ScottinVA)
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To: shove_it

WOW!


24 posted on 12/26/2011 7:02:56 AM PST by Daffynition (*Pray for whatever passes for America these days* Amen. ~ ScottinVA)
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To: mylife

:D


25 posted on 12/26/2011 7:05:46 AM PST by Daffynition (*Pray for whatever passes for America these days* Amen. ~ ScottinVA)
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To: shove_it

26 posted on 12/26/2011 7:06:58 AM PST by Daffynition (*Pray for whatever passes for America these days* Amen. ~ ScottinVA)
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To: shove_it

And all the durn thing could do was add, subtract, multiply and divide!


27 posted on 12/26/2011 7:12:52 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Daffynition; ASA Vet
Not really news to some of us.

Personally, I like to think I was more talented.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

28 posted on 12/26/2011 7:16:51 AM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: LonePalm

Did they have an Affirmative Action hiring program?


29 posted on 12/26/2011 7:22:44 AM PST by DIRTYSECRET
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To: Daffynition
C-119 also used to retireve satellite capsules
30 posted on 12/26/2011 7:46:05 AM PST by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all......)
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To: DIRTYSECRET
Sorry, that was an inside joke for ASA Vet.

If you were in the community, you would have gotten the joke.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

31 posted on 12/26/2011 7:54:32 AM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: mylife
By 1980, TI made the slide rule obsolete with hand held scientific calculators.

I beg to differ, both by date and company. In February of 1972, Hewlett-Packard (HP) introduced the HP-35 ($395), the first practical, general production, hand-held, scientific calculator. In November of that same year, Texas Instruments (TI) introduced its SR10 ($149) "Slide Rule" Calculator. In 1975, the Keuffel and Esser company ceased its manufacture of its formerly very popular Deci-Lon lines, the ten-inch "regular" (Deci-Lon 10) and five-inch "pocket" (Deci-Lon 5).

My first calculator was a $100+ 4-banger brick of un-recallable name but I moved to the first HP-25 in '75 and updated as new models came along until my last and still best HP-200LX. I still use this jewel on a frequent basis even though I have an iPod Touch and other gadgets. It had the near-ultimate PIM (Personal Information Manager) that I have yet to see the equal let alone superior.

[Sorry TI fans, I could not resist. And for the HP Management IDIOTS who bowed to Microsoft and killed the great HP Calculator Division, eternal shame!]

32 posted on 12/26/2011 7:58:21 AM PST by SES1066 (Government is NOT the reason for my existance!)
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To: Daffynition
Waiting for clearance was a surreal experience as family members, neighbors and former employers were grilled by the FBI, and potential hires were questioned about everything from their gambling habits to their sexuality.

Unfortunately, today in this country, promoting political correctness and advancing "diversity" command much higher priorities than maintaining national security.

33 posted on 12/26/2011 8:02:37 AM PST by GreenHornet
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To: SES1066

I went to college in 1973 and most of the chemistry students I was with had SR10’s. A few of the Electrical Engineers had HP-35’s. I was stuck with a Texas Instruments TI-2500, a four-banger that cost me $79.99 and can’t do a tenth of what my $3 Casio wristwatch can today.


34 posted on 12/26/2011 8:03:42 AM PST by IronJack (=)
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To: SES1066
In February of 1972, Hewlett-Packard (HP) introduced the HP-35 ($395)

Yes, my Dad was an engineer and brought one home from work. I took it to my HS Physics class and wowed the teacher.

35 posted on 12/26/2011 8:10:24 AM PST by laker_dad
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To: IronJack

I remember scientific calculators in 1972, made by ti and others.


36 posted on 12/26/2011 8:11:58 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Gimme that old time fossil fuel.)
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To: SES1066

Fair enough, but it was the hand held scientific calculator that was a milestone in engineering.

TI was one of the leaders in that field.


37 posted on 12/26/2011 8:15:17 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: IronJack

In 1970 a fellow student brought in a hand-held calculator to our calculus class. The professor looked at it a few minutes then promptly banned it from his class! As I recall it only did basic math to 6 places, used 4 D cell batteries, and cost over $300!


38 posted on 12/26/2011 8:28:28 AM PST by cartoonistx
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To: mylife
TI was one of the leaders in that field.

TI Still is - try finding an HP 'Scientific' calculator in the stores - slim pickings but there are still lots of good TI ones at excellent prices! I root for TI but like HP they have found it hard to stay at the forefront.

The one current HP that I still find worthy of its heritage is the near-immortal HP-12c Financial which celebrated its 30th birthday this year. I remember teaching evening classes to realtors and brokers on how to use this gem 20 years ago. Like the DC-3 and C-130, there are some items that are the acme of practicality and design and just keep going!

39 posted on 12/26/2011 8:34:59 AM PST by SES1066 (Government is NOT the reason for my existance!)
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To: Semper911

Later


40 posted on 12/26/2011 8:36:01 AM PST by Semper911 (When you want to rob Peter to pay Paul, you'll always have the support of Paul.)
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To: SES1066

Whats her name Carly Fiorina destroyed HP.
They used to lead the world in scientific measurement.
Now its Agilent, and some of its good and some of it sucks.


41 posted on 12/26/2011 8:37:10 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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We are now in a new world of development, using Software defined defined instruments. Matlab and Labview.


42 posted on 12/26/2011 8:41:57 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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We are now in a new world of development, using Software defined instruments. Matlab and Labview.


43 posted on 12/26/2011 8:42:17 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: shove_it
When I took Freshman Chemistry, it was the first year they replaced slide rules with calculators. I bought one of these awesome state-of-the-art beauties at an office supply house. It was used, and therefore only half price at $40.00.

Two years later I could have gotten a wristwatch calculator at the swap meet for five bucks.


44 posted on 12/26/2011 9:05:23 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati)
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To: mylife; Daffynition
And before the Friden mechanical calculator, came the Comptomoter ...

... rows & rows of women operating this marvel of efficiency, with both hands. Now, dem wuz da good ole days!

45 posted on 12/26/2011 9:26:10 AM PST by shove_it (just undo it)
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To: shove_it

Ooops, make that comptometer.


46 posted on 12/26/2011 9:30:23 AM PST by shove_it (just undo it)
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To: Daffynition

They still make thingsin CT still, but the liberals and unions are making it hard. Royal and Underwood used to make typewriters in Hartford, Columbia bicycles were made in Hartford, there a few auto companies (Charter Oak, Locomobile, Pope Hartford) in CT and guns.


47 posted on 12/26/2011 9:33:56 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12... Don't complain if 0 shreds the constitution!!!)
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To: IronJack
In 1974, in high school, I had a nice TI CALCULATOR. It was nice and I had it until 2003, when I lost it. The TI had LCD in it.

My dad was a computer engineerand Ihave a picture of him next to a 50's computer, my dad said today's watches are more powerful than that computer.

48 posted on 12/26/2011 9:58:21 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12... Don't complain if 0 shreds the constitution!!!)
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To: shove_it

A room full of computers, as they were called back then.

Not the machines, the people.


49 posted on 12/26/2011 11:42:12 AM PST by Erasmus (Rage, rage, against the dying of the light. Or, get out your 50mm/1.2.)
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To: ExCTCitizen
My dad was a computer engineerand Ihave a picture of him next to a 50's computer, my dad said today's watches are more powerful than that computer.

It'd be great to see that photo.

I first got my mitz on a computer (an IBM 1620) briefly at my college in early 1963. It took about another decade for me to get fully immersed in computer software and eventually architecture.

50 posted on 12/26/2011 11:50:52 AM PST by Erasmus (Rage, rage, against the dying of the light. Or, get out your 50mm/1.2.)
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