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The asphalt runway stretches for a mile on Yucca Flat, deep in the Nevada National Security Site about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Built in 2005, the runway covers a dirt landing strip from the 1950s, when the wide, flat valley was used for atomic bomb test shots. A small complex of buildings dominated by a large hangar with unusual clamshell doors dominates the southern end of the asphalt strip.
The complex has no official name. Not many people even know it’s there.
As secret airbases go, the single runway in the test site’s Area 6 is easily overshadowed by the world’s most famous secret military base, Area 51, a dozen miles northeast. Area 51’s existence was only recently acknowledged, even after decades of speculation by UFO enthusiasts that the aircraft development and test facility also houses space aliens and extraterrestrial technology.
Unlike Area 51, which is protected by shoot-to-kill security and shielded from outside view by mountain ranges, Area 6 has only fences and visitor checkpoints. It can be seen at a distance from tour buses on the highway to historic bomb craters at the northern end of Yucca Flat.
But exactly what goes on at the much smaller and much newer Area 6 is still top-secret defense research-and-development work. It’s so hush-hush that the security site’s spokesman can say little about it.
Ray Tomlinson, widely credited as the inventor of email, died this past weekend. He was 74.
By all accounts, Tomlinson was a brilliant man. And he’s being mourned around the world as the person who brought us the @ in our inboxes. The format novak@gizmodo didn’t just invent itself. Tomlinson did that. But the fascinating secret history of email was that the US Defense Department was initially angry that Tomlinson helped create it.
“It wasn’t an assignment at all, he was just fooling around; he was looking for something to do with ARPANET,” Raytheon spokeswoman Joyce Kuzman said in a statement about Tomlinson’s death.
When Tomlinson showed his early work on email to his coworker at Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), Jerry Burchfiel, he was initially warned that he shouldn’t show anyone what he was doing. “Don’t tell anyone!” Burchfiel reportedly said. “This isn’t what we’re supposed to be working on.”
Tomlinson’s death gives us a chance to look at how various innovations come to pass. They are rarely, if ever, the work of one person. And in the case of email, Tomlinson contributed greatly, along with people like Bob Clements of BBN, Dick Watson of SRI International, and Stephen Lukasik of ARPA (now known as Darpa). And they all managed to anger the Department of Defense for quite literally being too ahead of their time.
What did Mozart and Bach, Oscar Wilde and Anthony Trollope, George Washington and Frederick the Great, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt have in common? They were all Freemasons, a subject of endless fascination. To the layman, they are a mysterious brotherhood of profound if uncertain influence, a secret society… Continue reading
Hillary Clinton wrote 104 emails that she sent using her private server while secretary of state that the government has since said contain classified information, according to a new Washington Post analysis of Clinton’s publicly released correspondence.
The finding is the first accounting of the Democratic presidential front-runner’s personal role in placing information now considered sensitive into insecure email during her State Department tenure. Clinton’s authorship of dozens of emails now considered classified could complicate her efforts to argue that she never put government secrets at risk.
In roughly three-quarters of those cases, officials have determined that material Clinton herself wrote in the body of email messages is classified. Clinton sometimes initiated the conversations but more often replied to aides or other officials with brief reactions to ongoing discussions.
A 25-year veteran of the DEA and author of the book, Triangle of Death, Michael Levine claims the CIA played a key role in allowing the trafficking of drugs, particularly cocaine, into the U.S. from Latin America. Acting as a deep undercover agent for … Continue reading