Australia's Area 51
The History of Pine Gap
Is Pine Gap Australia's Area 51?
From the beginning to the present


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.


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.


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.

MARCH 1967

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.

APRIL 1967

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.

MAY 1967

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 1967
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.

JULY 1967

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:

Camel car on its way to Alice Springs
Dust storm, Alice Springs - L & H Whittaker

Alice Springs - Historical Photograph Database

Pine Gap Land Grab

Another Part of the real story of the Joint Defence Space Research Facility Pine Gap


In December 1966, the decision was made to construct the Joint Defence Facility in central Australia. Before such construction could commence, a sizeable tract of land was required. The site chosen was upon land owned by Jim Bullen, a 66 year old experimental farmer.

Mr Bullen had spent some 3000 hours on a tractor modifying his lease of land some 19 kilometres south west of Alice Springs. His objective was to purchase poor quality cattle and place them on his improved pastoral holdings. Within weeks, these cattle were fattened up on the pastures established by Mr Bullen and to reurn them to the market place where he would make a respectable profit on each beast. Mr Bullen had this land for 14 years before the Lands Branch representative Mr Morrie Hocking, under direction of the government siezed 900 acres of his Pastoral Lease. This was more than half of Mr Bullens established grazing pastures.

Mr Bullen was told he would be compensated for the loss of land. On December 22 1966, Mr Bullen said " How can they compensate me for five hard years of my life. I am an old man and couldn't start this all over again. I have accomplished something, completely without government help on land that the government considered useless. Now it is all going for nothing."

Mr Bullen said that he would agree to release the land if he was given an assurance that the base would be a wholly-Australian defence project, but not otherwise. Mr Bullen went on to say that even if he were compensated for loss of he land, it would mean the loss of his entire venture.

Mr Bullen was eventually offered a mere 52 cents an acre for land that he expected to turn a profit of $1000 over six months. (Average Annual Australian Salary in 1967 was a little over $1500). Mr Bullen continued to fight for fair compensation, but the offer remained of a mere 52 cents an acre to which he was basically given no choice. The government took his land and he was given the choice of accepting the small payment or receiving nothing. It did not matter if Mr Bullen were to accept that small amount or to reject it. On January 26 1967, the 18 month project to construct Pine Gap commenced on the land that Mr Bullen once called home.


Alice Springs Flooding
Commonwealth of Australia 2006

Flash flood alert for rainy Centre
Dec 16, 2005

WARNINGS of possible flash flooding have been issued for Central Australia with more showers expected today. Alice Springs residents flocked to the Todd River yesterday to watch it flow for the third time in two months. An Alice Springs weather forecaster warned of possible flash flooding.

"With thunderstorms and heavy falls there's always the possibility of flash flooding for a short time," the forecaster said.

But there were no alerts from the NT Flood Warning Centre late yesterday, with the Todd River near Anzac Oval running at a high of 1.42m at 1.21pm yesterday -- below the minor flood level. A spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts said there was no reason to be alarmed because the river was not at a dangerous level. The forecaster predicted showers and storms today, clearing late this afternoon.

Alice Springs Airport was drenched by 20mm of rain up to 3.30pm yesterday after getting only 2mm up to 9am.
A rain gauge at Eastside recorded 14mm up to 9am yesterday, with that figure expected to rise further when it is next checked today. The normally dry Todd River flowed in mid-October and again on November 3.

Yesterday people braved the rain to watch the water creep along the riverbed and under the Stott Terrace bridge. Causeways crossing the river were shut because of the strong flow. This month 37.8mm of rain has been recorded at Alice Springs Airport.

Resident Penelope McDonald said she could not believe the river was flowing again so soon. Her co-worker Merrilyn McIver has lived at Alice Springs for 35 years and said that she could not remember the river flowing so often. She said: "It's great. We've had the drought and it seems to have broken."

Ms McIver said that in 1972 Roe Creek -- on the Stuart Highway near Alice Springs -- flooded and cut the town off. She said motorists were allowed into the nearby Pine Gap spy base. "It was one of the very few times the space base let people inside because people were stranded," Ms McIver said.

Original Source: NT News

Related Links:

Magnetic and Gravity Anomalies at Pine Gap
Gravity Anomalies in Australia. Pine Gap is situated at one of the strongest Anomalies
Gravity Anomaly Map of Pine Gap region. Pine Gap is situated at one of the strongest Anomalies
Magnetic Anomaly Map of Pine Gap region.

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