Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Off-Season: Killing Time at Mount Weather

Cvr-CU

The massive top secret government relocation site known as Mount Weather (aka the Classified Location) has been featured in political thrillers since at least 1962 (its debut was as the thinly disguised “Mount Thunder” in the novel Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II), but some of its more mundane, real life functions may surprise readers. Indeed, CONELRAD recently discovered a “Weekly Schedule of Activities” for the legendary Cold War super fortress that has all of the excitement of a corporate retreat agenda. But what makes this document of particular interest is that it is from the extremely tense early 1960s when one would have thought more would have been going on. But perhaps even government bunkers have off-seasons.

harvard club

If nothing else the memo proves that the Classified Location had a war room and showed cool old (even for 1961) propaganda movies. For the weeks covered in the schedule, the Raymond Massey-hosted Seconds for Survival (1959) screened at 10:45 AM on November 7, 1961 and the NBC television documentary Nightmare in Red (1955) ran at 9:00 AM on the following day. There are also unidentified movies that ran at night which may have been from an entirely different genre (one not featuring the likes of Mr. Massey). 

Classified Location-CU-2

And what taxpayer funded getaway would be complete without church services and a bus ride home? 

Church Services

Mount Weather Weekly Activities: 1961

Figures mentioned in the document:

Walter L. Mazan (1921-1991)
Project Director, Programs
Classified Location

Frank J. Muckenhaupt (1922-1992),
Director, Operations Classified Location

Jack R. Scott (1921-2008)
Director, Classified Location

J. Leo Bourassa (1917-2000)
Deputy Director, Classified Location

George Grace,
Project Director, Emergency Operations, Classified Location

E. McKay,
Project Director, Plans and Readiness, Classified Location

G.H. Chandler Tredick (? – 1984),
Director, Administration and Security, Classified Location.

William Kittel,
Director Passive Defense Office Corps of Engineers

Joseph P. Sahm (1914-1991), Technical Director, U.S. Army Interagency Communications Agency

E. Allen Aime,
Meteorological Consultant, Classified Location

Dr. Joseph D. Coker,
Director National Resource Evaluation Center

John Richardson,
Operations Classified Location

Source: National Archives, College Park, Maryland. Records Group 306, Records Pertaining to Emergency Planning. Box 3, Folder O-113, OCDM / CL Schedules.

2 comments:

Rod Mollise said...

Not too surprising...whether you were pulling alert in a missile LCF, sitting alert in a bomber or tanker, or maintaining a alternate command center, the Cold War was the most boring of wars. Most of the time. LOL.

Jimh. said...

please keep up the good work. We need more people to blog on things like this. Particularly the Cold War. The younger generation, and sometimes myself included, forgets what it was like. I note that you have had some long periods between posts, I hope all is well and that you continue blogging! I have had a similar lapse on my own site...I guess having a kid will do that. Best wishes!!