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Site Updates 2012

This is a log of changes and updates to the web site listed in descending order from newest to oldest.  This site is very much a Work in Progress and my work on it is ever on-going though updates may be slow.


If you are looking for what's new, you've come to the right place!  Links are provided to updated material when applicable, and postings are organized by date.  Check back often, you never know when I'll add something new!

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11/20/2012 - Update!  Plus an informal poll & the debut of the Overpressure Archive

Just in time for the holidays, the Adventures of Groundskeeper Pete sails on in Part IX of the water-logged saga.  This time around Walter and myself tackle the cribwork at last.  What will we see?  Can we disembark without further loss of cameras?


This update was rather large so I ended up splitting it into 2 parts.  The good news is that the 2nd part is mostly done and that means another update will follow shortly-- instead of months from now!


Titan I Epitaph Reader Survey

I want to invite everyone who graces my site to offer their most valuable insights, suggestions and opinions in a reader survey in order to improve the site as well as to gain insight over whether I am fulfilling its intended purpose.  Got something to say?  Let me know about it.  Sure, I wrote all the questions up, but there is ample space to say whatever you would like about the web site so please take part and give me a piece of your mind!


I'm not sure the survey will translate on its own so I apologize to those who do not read English and hope that you can still find a way to participate as your feedback is of great interest to me.  In addition, I do not write surveys for a living (or a hobby) so excuse any poor design you may encounter.  


The survey will close on Jan 1st, 2013, please take a few minutes to complete it.  If there are enough respondents, I will post some data here on the responses for readers' perusal.  All survey results are completely anonymous and will not be used in any fashion other than the stated purposes of the survey as mentioned here.  Click the following link to begin your own survey adventure: 


Take the Titan I Epitaph Survey


And now, without further delay I would like to introduce the Overpressure Archive.  While there are not many photos there yet, it will be expanding indefinitely.  Currently, there are mostly photos not featured on the site or anywhere else, so go browse around and see.


As the archive expands, the search function will be useful for finding specific subjects.  The search functionality is sadly not fully documented and so its full capabilities may or may not be known to me.  So far, a simple one-word search is just that: type "antenna" and pictures on the antenna tunnels and terminal from any Titan 1 sites in the archive will result.  Multiple word searches can be performed using the "+" operator with no spaces.  For example, typing "beale+silo" finds all the photos related to silos at the Beale 851st SMS.


You also have the option to subscribe, via the orange RSS icon to receive updates to the archive as they become available, so you needn't check back at the site to see if anything has been added lately.  This service has not been tested so let me know if it has issues please.


The archive is a work in progress so it may change in appearance or function as work continues.  I hope that all the features will work properly for everyone, but please let me know if something is broken or otherwise in need of refinement or remedy.


Visit the Overpressure Archive


That's it for now, but expect another update shortly after the holiday.  Please take the survey and enjoy the photos.

11/01/2012 - An Update is in the Works!  Stay Tuned!

September saw continued work on the site with a new Adventures of Groundskeeper Pete section in the works.  I missed a really interesting film reel on ebay entitled "Time of the Titans" about the weapon system.  It was perhaps 15-20 minutes long and talked about the design and strengths of the system (presumably, I have not seen it unfortunately). I had hoped to have it transferred to digital and put it in an upcoming media library planned for this site. I'd like to ask that whomever had the winning bid please contact me and perhaps we can work out some way to make it available for viewing by the world at large.  Contact me please.


For those impatient for the next update, I am close to having it ready, but you may wonder: the section is titled "Adventures", plural, but it has taken me 2 years to get this far with just the first adventure.  Are there really more adventures?


Yes there are!


In 2011 I traveled back to Washington state to meet up with Walter and 3 guys from Great Britain who were kind enough to invite me along on the Titan I portion of their tour of North American missile defense installations. (video here: youtube link) On my 2011 trip I visited Larson 568-C again and also saw 568-A near Batum.  The sights I saw at 568-A definitely rivaled, and in some instances surpassed those at 568-C.  Those adventures will be following on the heels of the current one so keep watching because I promise there are some really interesting sights to see that I had never seen before.


An Appeal (again)

It has been over 10 years since work on this site began.  I have worked to expand and expound on the Titan I weapon system and work to continue its growth over the past decade.  I never sought to make money or otherwise benefit from this project, rather to offer it up as a resource to anyone with an interest, a question, a curiosity or inquisitive nature on missile defense, urban exploration, urban decay or military, missile or ballistic missile history, and especially to those involved in its development, design, manning and construction.


Whatever may bring you to this site, it seeks to be as open and informative as possible with no strings attached.  I have worked to collect, archive, collaborate and catalog as much information as I can on the Titan I weapon system as I can to make this a library for everyone.  I expect nothing from the world at large because this is NOT a commercial web site.  I hesitate to even try to underwrite its existence as that runs against the grain of this web site's reason for being.  


As lofty as all that sounds, I am limited in my ability to pursue the many and varied resources on this subject.  There are at any given time scores of photos, videos and items of historical interest on sale on ebay and elsewhere.  Testing, launch and construction photos are a small part of the history of the Titan I, but each is relevant in the vast mural of history behind the enormous weapon system.  I try to acquire what I can, but I just can't do that much I'm afraid.


To The Point

I want to ask again that anyone with photos, video or other media (documents or promotional materials) please offer up digital copies for preservation here on this web site.  You will be given full credit for your work, contributions and for any resources you can offer.  I will happily link to your web site, youtube page or what have you to give proper credit for your work and expense.  All I want is to be able to put more pieces of this giant puzzle together for the world to see.  It is entirely clich´┐Ż to say I can't do this entirely on my own, but it is true.  ANY help is appreciated!  Thank you.  =)


More Stuff In the Works

Along with the long-overdue update, there will soon be a new resource available on the site which will grow into a monster over time and see more regular updates while offering more photos and resources not presently available on the site:


A searchable archive of photos of the Titan I system from all eras of its lifespan-- development, testing, construction, operational and post-operational along with training and any other relevant images will soon make its debut here.  This archive will allow searching for specific subjects with a somewhat limited search functionality, but makes it possible to find all photos say, of the missile silos at Larson, or the power house at Lowry 725-A.


Not only will the archive include ALL the photos on this site, (eventually that is) but I will be including a host of photos never seen here before like the ones posted in the last 2 updates below.  All of the images will be searchable, or can be viewed in sequence or as a slideshow.  New additions to the archive can be received via RSS subscription so the new material can be viewed immediately.  Photos included in the gallery will include many that have not been included in the site and as a result cannot be found elsewhere and will make those heretofore unseen photos available for everyone to see.


This is a work in progress and I will be tweaking and refining how best to caption the images for best search results.  It will not be a highly sophisticated photo database due to its simplicity, but I think it will provide a great source of material on this fascinating niche of defense history.



So keep an eye open for the Overpressure Archive, coming soon to the web!

07/02/2012 - Holiday Update!!!  The Adventures of Groundskeeper Pete Part VIII now online

Part VIII dives right into the tepid, buoyant action as at long last we take to the tunnels in our less-than-trusty vessel SS Moistbottom.


Here's another construction-era photo from Beale 851-A, this time looking down silo #2 from the catwalk level.  You can see part of the launcher elevator motor platform to the left and across the yawning abyss you can see the fuel cribbing and all around a network of scaffolding, platforms and walkways temporarily installed during construction.  Notice that this silo has no safety netting.  Silos #1 and #3 on the same date, July 24th 1961 do have nets installed.  Perhaps they were lowering equipment down #2 later that day or something was being installed that required the net's removal.  If you were going to fall down a silo that day, make it #1 or #3!

Historical photos like these are part of the scanning I've been working to complete.  There are A LOT more of these and I plan to include them in an image library here on the site as a reference for all to use, peruse and enjoy.  In the meantime, I will post some here to share as I try to get my ass in gear on some of my many, many projects.  Enjoy!


For those here in the US, have a reasonably-safe (if you enjoy setting off fireworks) and fun 4th of July celebrating our transition from tyrannical rule under colonialism to random oppression under selective capitalism. *wink*  Have a great 4th and try not to burn off any eyebrows (your's or anyone else's!)!

05/30/2012 - Update in the works!  For now, please enjoy this construction photo

For those of you who curse my name every Friday in the late afternoon when it's too late to start another project but there is still 90 minutes of time to kill and you're browsing the web for something interesting or cool to read or look at and once again I still haven't made an update-- well, hang in there!  Help is on the way!

The next Adventures of Groundskeeper Pete is underway along with other projects ensuring that there will be updates on and on into the unforeseeable future until long after I am dead so keep checking back.


In the meantime, please enjoy this construction photo from Beale (851-A I believe) showing launcher #1 with scaffolding and temporary work platforms and a couple union boys.  You can't see it in this photo, but there is a net below-- a wise measure added for safety after a number of fatal falls at other sites.  Those nets would later end up saving multiple lives over the remainder of the construction phase of the Titan I sites.

02/01/2012 - An update?!  Yes!  The Adventures of Groundskeeper Pete - Part VII now online

Still the work continues!  Perhaps slower than ever but still it moves along.  2011 was a busy year, full of work and a bit of adventure once again and saw a return to the watery world of Royal City 568-C and a visit to 568-A and its relatively-dry silos and exposed cribwork that laid bare fascinating details of their structure that have been hidden away for so long.


Walter and I once again returned to Washington and joined forces with 3 lads from Great Britain who had come to the U.S. on a "nuclear tour" of former Cold War missile sites.  The nuclear tourists were kind enough to help us gain access and make arrangements so we could ride along on the final leg of their whirlwind tour of old missile sites.  Our deep gratitude goes out to them for the awesome sights we saw, made possible by their gracious assistance.  Thanks guys!  


I've received many letters from all over thanking me for my work on the site-- some from folks who worked on the sites themselves, or closely with the construction and other aspects of the operational sites-- a great treat indeed.  I am slow to respond to emails most times, but I am always happy to hear from people who share an interest, history or enjoy the site.  


Keep checking back, there is going to be lots more material in the future as I keep plugging away.  I hope I can update more often if I don't get too busy or distracted (curse you Minecraft!).


Please enjoy Part VII of the Adventures of Groundskeeper Pete.  More of that adventure will be forthcoming along with more Titan I Topside.  

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