TOP SECRET TOURISM

Top Secret Tourism

  1. In a new book, Top Secret Tourism, writer Harry Helms dishes dirt on places "you're not supposed to know about," such as paramilitary training bases and weapons-testing sites. Bud Travel, we have a mission for you! But you'll have trouble believing what you see. (Mark Zingarelli)
  2. Drive 65 miles north of Las Vegas and you'll find the most heavily nuked place on the planet: The Nevada Test Site. Since 1951, more than 800 underground tests and 126 above-ground tests have been conducted here. It's pockmarked by craters and radioactively "hot" areas. Tours are offered. Find the site at the Mercury exit off Nevada Highway 95. (Mark Zingarelli)
  3. This National Security Agency location houses the world's most formidable computing power. It analyzes intercepts from all electronic sources (satellites, cell phone towers, etc.) from a network of monitoring sites. The HQ of the NSA is inside two high-rise, glass-and-steel office buildings on Route 32 between Canine and Emory Roads. (Mark Zingarelli)
  4. Harvey Point in Hertford, N.C., is a pleasant little town where the CIA trains its paramilitary forces. Want to learn how to use explosives and the latest "personnel snatches" (that is, kidnapping) techniques, as well as ways to be inserted into and removed from hostile territory? This is the place! (Mark Zingarelli)
  5. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency analyzes satellite images to determine what's happening at a given point on the Earth. Since the 9/11 attacks, the NGIA has been authorized to offer "passive assistance" to U.S. law enforcement. You'll find its headquarters at 4600 Sangamore Road. (Mark Zingarelli)
  6. Dugway Proving Grounds is a site in Tooele, Utah, where, in 2005, a mock city was built for tests of chemical, biological, and other weaponry. The main entrance is at the end of highway 199. At night, you may spot strange aerial lights moving rapidly. Your cell phone may stop working, too. (Mark Zingarelli)

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