Desert Rock Airport
Desert Rock Airport (DRA) is located near the town of Mercury, Nevada. According to Paul Freeman's website on abandoned and little-known airfields:
- "Camp Desert Rock was also known as Desert Atom Camp. It was home to the Army's Atomic Maneuver Battalion from 1951-1955. The camp consisted of 100 semi-permanent buildings, and was often filled to the 6,000 personnel capacity. These troops, from all four services, observed nuclear detonations from trenches, tanks and armored personnel carriers at distances of 2,500-7,000 yards... According to a Department of Energy Environmental Impact Statement, 'After 1958, the camp was essentially removed, with the exception of the Desert Rock Airport.' ... As of 2003, the Desert Rock Airfield is still active,and owned by the US Department of Energy."
According to information previously published by aerospace journalist Keith Stein's ISI Consulting website, a series of aircraft linked to the CIA have visited the landing strip at Desert Rock. The list includes a number of planes which have been linked to the practice of extraordinary rendition, such as N2189M, N8183J, and N313P.
The Swiss newspaper Blick has speculated that, given the large number of movements of CIA-linked aircraft in and out of this supposedly disused facility, Desert Rock has been used at some point as a secret prison or "black site". It is not known whether Blick's source was Stein's website or if it obtained the information independently.
- ^ Paul Freeman, "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Desert Rock Airfield", enthusiast website, April 23, 2006.
- FAA information on KDRA Desert Rock Airport, Mercury, Nevada, USA, airnav.com, April 13, 2006.
- ^ "Desert Rock, Nevada", published by aerospace journalist Keith Stein's ISI Consulting website. Now only available from the Google cache (dated June 11, 2005). (173KB PDF copy)