If you’ve never heard of the secret government installation in South Mountain, Maryland, then today I would like to introduce you to the legend and the conspiracy. Most people have heard of the amazing Civil War battles that took place in and around South Mountain. The state was a major flash point between the Union and Confederacy.
General Robert E. Lee invaded Maryland in September 1862 in his bid for Harper’s Ferry. Union Major General George McClellan countered in Federick, Maryland before heading to South Mountain. The historic mountain itself became an epicenter of fierce battles, particularly in Crampton’s, Turner’s and Fox’s Gaps mountain passes. During these battles, countless soldiers on both sides died upon the mountain. Considering the historic and military importance of the site, it is no surprise that there are rumors of a secret government installation in South Mountain, Maryland.
Where is the Secret Government Installation in South Mountain, Maryland?
Why would anyone make the claim that there’s some sort of secret facility within this mountain? That’s easy – northern Maryland, and specifically two or three of the large tracts of land are suspected by most locals of being secret government installations. There are several reasons for this – but most importantly due to the numerous “black” helicopters (actually dark army-green) traveling throughout the area.
There are also dead giveaways, like heavily secured areas with guards and monitored gates the likes of which you would never expect around a normal “communications” tower. Camp Ritchie was built by the Maryland National Guard in 1926. It included 638 acres and named after the governor of Maryland at the time. Throughout 1942, South Mountain was used by the War Department as the American training ground to prepare U.S. troops for fighting conditions in Germany.
Almost 20,000 World War II troops were trained there, including a significant number of intelligence personnel. In 1944, the Army invested over five million to expand the complex to house thousands of personnel (including even captured war criminals from Germany and Japan.) It was also a major counter intelligence training facility for the OSS (Office of Strategic Services).
The fort was an impressive, sprawling military complex, with homes, training facilities and many other buildings spread out over many acres. The vast tract of land west of the fort served as an ideal, secluded training area for military exercises.
During the cold war, the facility became “Fort Ritchie.” However, post Cold-War cutbacks led to the facility shutting down in 1998. Today, the entire area of Northern Maryland is rife with alleged secret government facilities, mostly underground locations bristling with dishes, antenna and communication towers. What’s interesting about these claims is that when you examine the massive communication tower (named WAYZ) at the top of South Mountain, it’s very apparent how isolated the facility is.
There are three access roads, one dirt road from Fort Ritchie, one dirt road from the southern part of Range Rd, and one paved from the North. As you zoom in closer to the facility, you can see the amazing size of the tower (check out the length of that shadow) and the various transmission dishes and second communication towers around the facility.
As you can see there’s the massive tower (red/white) in the center, a dish array on the southern side, and other smaller towers throughout, such as the one on the northern side of the site. The largest building and tower is surrounded with fencing around the perimeter.
This is the closest overhead view of the massive tower and the facility. The half-full parking lot indicates that this is a fairly busy facility with a decent staff. It definitely lends some credit to the stories that the facility was a cold war microwave transmission facility.
The “AT&T” Facility at Hearthstone Mountain
Another interesting facility a bit west and a little north of Fort Ritchie is the well-protected underground facility over at Hearthstone Mountain. This facility is revealed best by a local hiker writing about the Bear Pond mountain range. The hiker reported that Cross Mountain has a communication antenna that was allegedly used to send microwave signals during cold war. However, the fascinating facility is the one set up on Hearthstone. The entrance gate attempts to convince visitors that it’s just an AT&T research facility.
And his snapshot from the air is just as interesting (click on either photo to visit the hiker’s website.)
A closeup of the facility using Google maps satellite imagery is even more revealing.
Notice the AT&T logo painted on the helipad? It’s like a signal straight up to the sky for foreign spy satellites to see – like a message that screams, “Look, see – we’re just an innocent research facility owned and operated by AT&T….no secret U.S. government research going on in any underground bunkers here!” I wonder what genius thought up that one.
Zooming in as close as possible, you can see the thick concrete entrance (there’s one on each side of the massive underground bunker) where there are doors big enough for large vehicles to drive into (like the bulldozer sitting outside this one). If this is truly an “AT&T Project Center” – they better produce a much better model of my Windows Mobile phone if they’ve got this much money to throw at a research facility!
Observing these areas from the ground is virtually impossible. The second facility is surrounded (according to the hiker) by remote cameras all around the gate, and very likely throughout the land that surrounds it. Local members of the community report black helicopters all throughout these region of Maryland, so it isn’t at all surprising to find facilities like this nestled in the middle of remote tracts of land.
What do you think, a simple private research facility or one of the governments secret underground installations? Share your opinion in the comments section below!