MAY - NOVEMBER 1966
Land owners observe American drilling teams working on their
properties south west of Alice Springs.
December 16 - Announcement 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
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, criticizes Australian Prime Minister Harold HOLT for his
"non-committal 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.
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 announced that local Alice Springs construction company,
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
announces 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 Americanization 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 Commonwealth Gazette reports that Mr Edwin J
HATT of the Australian Department of Supply is to be placed as
Officer in Charge of Security at the Defense Facility. His job
title referred to as Executive Officer and Representative of the
Department of Defense. Mr HATT was formerly in charge of
security at the Woomera Rocket Testing Range in South Australia.
Public announcement for first time that there was already a
secret U.S. facility in central Australia, having been in
existence since the 1950’s. Name and location of that facility
Official name of the facility penned as "United States -
Australia Space Defense 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
MEDIA RELEASE - "It will house two antennae, housed under plastic
radomes as protection against desert sand, dust and rain".
Further reported to the media by the Australian Government.
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 announced that the facility would be associated with
spy-in-the-sky operations and was in fact a "defense facility".
LATE MAY - Construction halts when a general strike is called by
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 defense 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
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 torrential 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 announces 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.
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.
Unauthorized 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
1985 - An unconfirmed report of an unidentified aircraft
traveling at erratic speeds buzzes a government employee and
police officers, 100 kilometers 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.
receives the name change to Joint Defense 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 military activity of Iraq.
1996 - Rumors 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 perpetrated by a local youth launching
hot air balloons. Rumors speculate UFO’s until cause of lights
in the sky is discovered..
1997 - Further rumors 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.