Saturday, November 16, 2013

MOUNT WEATHER MEMOS: PART 2

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As we mentioned in Part 1 of our series, the Cold War era meeting minutes from the top secret government relocation site known as Mount Weather (aka The Special Facility, aka High Point, aka the Classified Location) are mind-numbingly routine. Indeed, these notes are probably as stultifying as your last corporate conference call. In short, when we happened upon these documents at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, we were hoping for Seven Days in May but what we got was Office Space. And just as we did in Part 1, we have combed through the bureaucratic dross to find a few noteworthy highlights. In other words, we read the entire document so you wouldn’t have to. It is, however, embedded at the end of this post in case you want to read the whole thing. So without further delay, here are the gems.

The year began with the promise of more dining options.

Cafeteria News_02121965

In the minutes for the February 12, 1965 meeting, it was announced that the phrase “DEFCON 4” would not be used at the facility, but rather the less alarming advisory to “monitor news broadcasts/telecasts” would be deployed. Note: FAR stands for Federal Agency Representatives (i.e. the people attending the weekly meeting at the Special Facility) and CINCONAD stands for Commander in Chief, Continental Air Defense Command.

Defcon_02121965

The February 12th minutes also featured an inside (?) joke about syndicated newspaper columnist Drew Pearson and rabbits. Hmmm.

Pearson_Rabbits_02121965 

March brought news of an exciting new training tape about brainwashing in Korea.

Brainwashing_03121965

The April 16th notes revealed that Mount Weather has a firing range…

Firing Range_04161965

…And that food services had attained “a very high level of compliance with regulations.” Leftover business from 1964 regarding a site barbershop was also raised.

Food Service_Barber_0416165 

The June 18th minutes announced a dance at the American Legion hall in Berryville, Virginia.

Dance_06181965

The July 2nd notes previewed an upcoming briefing on “Censorship Plans.”

Censorship_07021965

The July 23rd minutes announced, among other things, a farewell party for U.S. Army Interagency Communications Agency (USAICA) official Colonel Bruce Caron. The party was to be broadcast live over the facility’s closed circuit channel 2.

EBS_Pass_Party_07231965

The August 6th minutes included mention of “emergency Chaplain replacement.”

Chaplain Replacement_08061965

The August 20th notes promised an investigation into the matter of “speeding carts” in the corridors of the Special Facility.

Cart Speeding_08201965 

The August 27th minutes announced the company picnic (?).

Picnic_08271965

October brought “constructive” criticism of the cafeteria.

Cafeteria Criticism_10221965

The year ended on a high note with congratulations to the Mount Weather team for their handling of the Northeast Blackout of November 9th.

Blackout Congrats_11191965

To read the letter referenced in the minutes excerpt above click on this link.

And, finally, the Special Facility Meeting Minutes in their entirety…

Mount Weather Meeting Minutes: 1965 by Bill Geerhart

Stay tuned for Part 3.

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