Batwing CMD's sixth expedition launched to explore the deep black secrets of the US-Southwest was successfully completed early in October 1998. The Swiss part of the team comprised Raphael [T-Bird] Bloechlinger and Meinrad [Swiss Mountain Bat] Eberle. Later on, they got reinforcement by Rohan J. Bourke from Australia, a Pine Gap expert.
Fun-factor rating: 10. Flat tires: 1. Road Kill: 0. Best Burgers devoured at Kim Mc Donald's 'Wing & a Prayer' in Lancaster CA.
"Dammit, it wasn't even a Firestone tire...!" The Swiss Mountain Bat changing tire at his Ford Explorer Expedition Vehicle (EeVee) atop Brainwash Butte near TTR in 9/98, only a few dozen hours after Groom Tower's very own Panic Experience thanks to a silvery radar reflector.
From team's logbook: Wednesday, 9/30/98, a day that young radar operator up in Groom Tower might not forget for the rest of his life. Because it was the day he tracked an uncorrelated target hovering high in the skies above Tikaboo Peak - and clearly lost control over his voice then:
'Radar contact to the East, radar contact to the East!'
The joint Swiss-Australian team observed the event using both Canon 15x45 image-stabilized binoculars and intercepted relevant radio-broadcasts with a Uniden Bearcat 3000 XLT scanner and a tape-recorder while spending 11 hours on the Peak, constantly monitoring both Area 51 and Tikaboo Peak's surrounding airspace.
After that glinting rectangular object had been hovering and zig-zagging in the skies oh so close to the Mother of all Bases for a full hour, - the wind died down! If the latter had not done so, Groom might have thrown alert craft of whatever sort at the uncorrelated target, to check out its nature...and three ruthless Interceptors would probably have died of ROFLing up on Tikaboo. To learn why, just check out http://www.skystreme.uk.net and you will be in the know about one of the most interesting GADGETS for outdoor activities close to deep black US Air Farce - eh, Force bases:
The world's first radar reflective personal location marker which flies, floats, self-launches and requires no power supply or gases.
Just about around 3 PM, while our team was preparing the radar reflector's veritable Maiden Launch on US-grounds, the three of us turned with excitement when the scanner suddenly started spitting out a call sign never heard before:
"BLACK SPOT, you're FL......" What followed were statics and some sort of hacked, garbled voice mumbling a pair of numbers. The latter were DEFINITELY not more than just two numbers, I'm sure: They were either SIX-FIVE or THREE-FIVE. With FL standing for Flight Level, that airborne device was certainly NOT flying higher than 99K:)
Early into the night, a B-2 Bomber on his way to Tonopah got intercepted while calling Groom: DREAMLAND was the designation he used! Just too bad our tape was not running that very moment. So don't scratch your heads about alleged secret new designations for the Mother of all Bases: At least for B-2s, it's still that good ole DREAMLAND. Now, with reference to exotic crafts probably featuring next century's engines or design features, it MAY be completely different a story.
But that's why we'll be back soon, for sure.
Meinrad "Swiss Mountain Bat" Eberle, Switzerland
The Groom Lake Interceptors - European HQ