I posted this photo today, because it represents a piece of old past to me. When I look at this photo I remember how pleasing and interesting it was when American people was here, as it often happens when there are cultural exchanges and mutual help. I am conscious that it is an old photo and doesn't have the same effect to you all, anyway I would like to keep this one together with the others in my gallery.
San Vito dei Normanni Air Station (home to the ‘silent warriors’) Italy, opened in 1960 and closed in 1993, employing 700 Air Force and fewer Navy intelligence personnel listening to the same areas as Field Station Augsberg along with additional listing in the Middle East.
In 1964, the San Vito base and the base at Chicksands were the first to be equipped with the FLR-9 radio interception system and were part of a new intelligence network codenamed `Iron Horse'. Three other FLR-9 antennae are known to have been built at Misawa Air Base in Japan, Clark Air Base in the Philippines, and Elmendorf Air Base in Alaska.
Though the base supposedly closed in October 1994, as part of the US military drawdown, the Bosnian mission kept San Vito's gates open. Most of the buildings are sealed, except for needed housing and a few workshops and recreational areas that are still maintained. Surrounded by artichoke fields and vineyards, San Vito's 318-acre site is too small for a runway and flightline, so Pave Lows and fixed-wing aircraft operate from a nearby Italian air force base.
For 34 years during the Cold War, the place hosted various intelligence people that intercepted and analyzed transmissions from former Warsaw Pact countries.
A defense contractor runs the San Vito Solar Observatory at San Vito dei Normanni Air Station, a former intelligence base that remains partly open for Balkan contingencies. Located 300 miles southeast of Rome, on Italy’s boot heel, the observatory is one of six global sites in the Air Force’s Solar Electro-Optical Network, which is strategically located worldwide to ensure 24-hour sun monitoring.
Organizationally under the 55th Space Weather Support Squadron, Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., the observatory operates seven days a week, 365 days a year. Its mission: reporting real-time solar events to the 55th, the Department of Defense’s sole centralized space environmental forecast and warning unit, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Operation Center at Boulder, Colo. They, in turn, analyze information to predict solar and space environmental phenomena for nearly 500 organizations, including NASA, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Space Command and Air Force Space Command.
You can see in the photo the big Flare-9 antenna - nicknamed the elephant cage - they used, that has been removed in December 2001.
* scanned photo, it was a dia *
Critiques | Translate
daliakpinar (2549) 2007-05-18 14:21
Hi Stella;İt's taken 25 years agoThanks for nice note and the picture.Ali
syd1946 (18663) 2007-05-18 14:29
I like this photograph very much.Indeed it looks old and gives a very nice sense to me increasing the interesting and in this way your note is very important...
Wishes for a very nice weekend,
Clementi (52514) 2007-05-18 15:02
Ciao Stella , bella testimonianza brutta o bella non c'e' piu' e tu comunque l'hai documentata .
evanrizo (456) 2007-05-18 15:04
A very interesting constraction, almost a historical think.
I love your noticies.
Hava a nice night.
batalay (33377) 2007-05-18 23:13
This is an unusual and original presentation, confirmation that the ordinary can yield something quite extraordinary. It is called "cylindrical perpsective," when a cylindrical shape, viewed from one height (as it is here) will display different aspect ratios at different heights. But to fully appreciate this, you have to have a transparent cylinder (which you have). "Apect ratio" is, as you know, the eccentricity, or, in its simplest form, the length-to-width ratio.
Older televisions have a screen aspect ratio of 4:3 (=1.333). That comes from the 3-4-5 triangle. The newer televisions have ratios of 4^2:3^2 (16:9=1.777. The latter is better, but they are still missing the best ratio, 1.618 034.
Camera film is still has aspect ratios of 4:3. That is how we shoot photos.
Silvio1953 (105343) 2007-05-19 6:03
Ciao Stella sembra costruita dagli ufo per l'atterraggio delle loro astronavi, bella non si può certo dire, resta però un interessante testimonianza, ti auguro un buon week end, ciao Silvio
vonp (2235) 2007-05-19 8:25
La scansione ha sicuramente deteriorato l'immagine ma la simmetria e la composizione sono assolutamente buone.
Ottima la nota.
Cretense (68671) 2007-05-19 13:46
Very original, very interesting photo! Nice structure the one that you show us here. Simple but great composition. As I have written in some other of your photos, a bit of contrast increase could help.
dip (22130) 2007-05-19 18:43
a interesting shot and notice.The quality is not the best one but is OK because is a scanned photo.The composition is good.
Greetings from Germany
AROBN54 (11469) 2007-05-20 22:47
This is a very interesting shot to me having been in the Navy and stationed in Naples. I had friends who did tours at San Vito. My first duty station in California had this same "elephant cage" for 'spooks' to listen in on broadcasts. Great note and interesting photo. Thanks a bunch. Brought back some nice memories. Buonna sera, kindest regards!
towerpmc (0) 2007-07-19 10:04
I just stopped in and now will stay! Saying that this photo brings back memories as I was stationed there from 83 / 84 to 86 / 87. This was shot from the road a while back yes? Good old earth picture.
LadyKimberly (0) 2008-02-16 19:39
Stella, What a wonderful memory of the old "Elephant Cage!" Let me compliment you (HIGHLY!) on a great recap of SVAS. It's hard to imagine the big antennae array is gone, it stands in my memory like your photo! Ciao for now, Kim Hagen (PS I was stationed there twice, living in Ostuni for 3 years, and on the base the last tour)
AnthonyD (0) 2008-09-25 9:40
Goodness, I surely remember the Flr9 array. I was stationed at San Vito in '71-'73 in the Security Police field. I used to walk around the elephant cage guarding it on the graveyard shift.
Nice photo--centered just right.
bebberob (10) 2008-10-19 10:44
questo me lo ricordo bene. Se non sbaglio ora non esiste piu'. Una testimonianza di un'epoca lontana, infatti si vede che la foto e' datata. Ciao. R.
knwick (0) 2012-01-22 10:40
Thank you for this picture! I grew up both on and off base and have very fond memories (especially while living off base) and have always tried to explain the elephant cage that welcomed everyone coming onto the base. It is nice to see it again.