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Somewhere under New Mexico skies…

History of the IRON HORSE system

In 1967 the United States SIGINT system (USSS) improved the speed of its support to air operations over Vietnam by a quantum leap. The older manual system, HAMMOCK, was replaced by IRON HORSE, a flashy new automated system which could deliver information in seconds rather than minutes. Designed by the National Security Agency, IRON HORSE…

FOIA Follies – Appeal for Hex-TUNITY records

Watch what I have to contend with, and how to respond. I’m sure there’s a dartboard in Washington, D.C. somewhere with my name, address, and photo on it. Maybe two dartboards, if I’m lucky… Dear Sir or Ma’am, 14675 Lee Road Chantilly, VA 20151-1715 Dear Sir or Ma’am, This is an appeal for NRO FOIA…

Onizuka AFS/AFB Talk at Sunnyvale Historical Society

Two days ago (20 June 2022), I spoke in front of an audience at the Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum on the legacy of Onizuka Air Force Base/Station. I spoke to a mixed audience of interested community members, Society officers, and former Blue Cube workers for about an hour, and had a lengthy Q&A session afterwards.…

A Six-pack of Corona (film buckets)

My newest article is now posted on The Space Review: National Reconnaissance Program crisis photography concepts, part 1: A six-pack of Corona. At first glance, this reminded me of a KH-9 Hexagon satellite or an early concept of one. At the time this Six-Pack Corona was proposed, Hexagon was well on its way to being…

Memory Musings: The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

In case you were wondering about the recent posts about space history and California, I’m scheduled to head to Sunnyvale in June to give a talk about Sunnyvale Air Force Station (aka Onizuka Air Force Base, the “Blue Cube”). I’ve been looking back at the historic material on the base and its operations to refresh…

Coming Soon! Schriever SFB Through Time

Okay, “coming soon” might be a bit of hyperbole since the publication date is scheduled for August 2022. But, hey, I was excited to see the cover *and* finish the final proofing of the manuscript this weekend. Since Falcon Air Force Station (now known as Schriever Space Force Base) was the successor in both legacy…

Comments on “Have You Ever Heard of the Blue Cube?”

On April 7, 2022, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) added a blog post titled “Have You Ever Heard of the Blue Cube?” about Onizuka Air Force Station. While I was excited to read something about the Blue Cube that was “new,” I wanted to punch my computer screen after I read it. So, in typical…

Ode to the Tech Controller

I live in the heavens. I reside on mountain tops. I am at constant vigil over thee. I monitor thy righteous ways. Thy levels art mine to command. When thou art in trouble, I will help thee through distorted times. When thou art low, the touch of my hand shall raise thy spirit to the…

Tilting at Windmills (Pt. 1)

RE: Copyright Fair Use of United States Air Force Emblem in Historical Book Dear Senator [———], My name is Joseph T. Page II and I’m an author, military veteran, and constituent who resides in your state. I’ve been given a cease-and-desist order by the United States Air Force Trademark Licensing division about the use of…

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