Disclaimer and warning. Do not enter these sites without the permission of the owners. They are not on public land and
are very dangerous both on the surface and inside. There is no lighting in the silos and one mis-step and you could take an
express elevator 180 feet straight down with no stops until you hit the bottom. Respect the privacy of others don't trespass.
Enjoy a virtual tour with my photographs and if you have questions send me an email.
Also, if I have misrepresented anything, tell me so I can correct it.
Drove up to Site 1, Champlain from Burlington, VT via Champlain Islands, Alburg and Rouses Point, NY. It was a Beautiful fall day in the northwoods.
Fitz has put major effort into debushing and reclaiming his site and is starting to look like is was back in 1965 when the site was decommissioned. For an overall view of the site click Site Panoramics. You can pan and zoom if you download the file (the files are large 8 to 12MB).
The original door to the LCC entry way has been refinished and has a water tank on top to supply water to the high pressure sprayer. The stairs have been covered with plywood to protect them from the material being removed from the LCC. Continuing down the entry way, looking around the first corner at the entrapment area (one wall has been removed) and then back at the 2nd blast door from the LCC stairway. Now looking back from level 1 of the LCC towards the stairway you can see some of the railings are still in place.
Take a look at the Site Panoramics page and towards the bottom of the page you can see panoramic pictures of Level 1 and Level 2 of the LCC. Here's a picture looking up the escape tube (there's a fan topside).
Below are various shots inside the silo.
- GOX vent tube on level 2 that would vent gaseous oxygen from the missile boil off valve just below the reentry vehicle. Notice the baffle in the vent which (looks like a horizontal bar where the tube meets the side of the crib). This would assure a smooth flow around a 90 degree bend with the super cold GOX. I'm not sure what the tubing is made of, but it had to hold up to very cold temperatures.
- I believe this is the part of the collimator tube which connected to the instrument pod on the missile to provide alignment with the north star (Polaris).
- Level 5, looking from the facility elevator area towards where the genset would of been. Notice the spiral stair case on the left - the only way up or down in the silo.
- Level 6 - This has only been out of the water for a short time, lots of muck down here by the collimator housing! Looking up up at a vertical crib lock.
- Silo is almost dry to level 7 - you can see the decking just below the water level.
Spent the morning back at site 1 taking pictures of areas I had missed the day before - like the site from the side where the diesel tanks would of been (the septic tank and field are to the left).
Next was Site 2 - Alburg. First ICBM site east of the Mississippi. The sign is located next to Alburg's visitor center. This site was also the lead site for construction. I'm afraid this road sign for the base will become more famous than the historical marker (check the spelling), notice the visitor's center in the background.
Stayed the night in Rouses Point again.
Started the day off at 8:00am, great weather again. Drove from Rouses Point to Site 12 - Mooers.
If you wondering why I'm starting at the highest numbered site after visiting Sites 1, 2 & 3, the answer is simple: The Air Force numbered the sites with the northern most site starting at 1, then continued clockwise numbering each site. The first three sites are fairly close to each other, only 20 to 30 minutes or so. Site 4, which is in Willsboro is south of Plattsburgh by about 30 minutes, logistically not favorable to travel that distance in order to keep visiting the sites in numerical order. So, I'm traveling Counter clockwise from site 12 back to site 9, still a fair bit of driving but very doable.
Site 9 - Dannemora is owned by the township. Access is uphill from the main road, you can just make out a brown Quonset hut. Both Quonset huts remain and as is popular around here, snow plow blades are stored on top of the silo cap. The silo cap is covered with loose sand and gravel, an electrical stub up still remains, fill & vent, exhaust and intake areas have been covered over. I was able to locate the LCC entry, original door remains and the site is flooded. Was unable to locate other typical landmarks (UHF antenna, antenna silo,etc) as the site has been filled with 6 to 8' of rubble and gravel. I did talk to one of the people working there and they mentioned when the township first moved in the silo doors were open. When they pushed the first one over, it broke loose from it's bearings and slid halfway across the silo opening. He said it was a major challenge to drag the door back to its proper resting place as the door pins had bent when it fell.
Started off at 8:00, headed off to Plattsburgh Air Force Base. The base was closed in 1995 and to my surprise, the base is going through a rebuilding period that appears to be working. The old base buildings, officers row, have been converted to townhouses or condos and have been kept up very nicely. Below are pictures of several buildings that were used during the construction of the missile sites and have been converted to office buildings:
- Building 108 - Used as a photo and chemical lab during construction
I was not expecting to spend much time at all in the museum, but as you can guess I was starting to run out of time. I really could of spent another day or two there.
I was off to site 8 - Redford. The current owner did not want any visitors so, I took this picture and this picture of the access road.. If you're still interested you can see some of the site here (silohome.com) or here (ny17.com).
Site 7 - Riverview was even more disappointing - I could not locate it, even with my GPS. I'll have to return sometime to photograph this one. Although all was not lost, I still took a couple of nice fall pictures.
At least the morning was enjoyable and driving through the back country was certainly relaxing, but I'll have to come back some time in the future to photograph these sites to satisfy my curiosity.
Below are pictures from various levels in the silo:
Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Level 7
......... Continuation of Day 5
If you wondering, I took about 1,600 pictures during the 5 day excursion. When you shoot panoramas it takes more pictures than I care to think about, especially when you shoot the same panoramic two or three times!!
Ok, you've taken the time to read everything this far, why not send me an email and let me know what you think of this site!
I am only documenting the 556th SMS from Plattsburgh, if you have any information about these site, let me know.