It seems most every county in this area has some sort of a secret government facility. Generally they’re understated — a chunk of land in the woods with a suspiciously unguarded entrance. Something that may or may not be a camera is mounted in a tree. A sign says “No Trespassing” in polite lettering.
There are rumors, friends of friends who were involved in the construction. It goes down six stories, they say. It looks like a little one-room building, but there’s an elevator. See them antennas up on the hill? They talk to satellites.
There’s nobody to ask, no phone number to call, no obvious way to figure out what, exactly, they do there.
In the mountain range that I call home, the Southwest Mountains, we’ve got one of those. A gravel road crosses from Stony Point over to the Cash’s Corner / Cismont area. On the east side of it is a big ol’ chunk of land, running clear along the ridge line, with a single paved lane snaking up to it. “PRIVATE ROAD NO TRESPASSING” is marked on a faux highway sign. I’ve never seen any vehicles go in or out of there, but I don’t exactly live next door, so that doesn’t necessarily mean much. There are rumors about what they do there. It’s said they dug way down to put in a big underground compound, though to what end, nobody knows. The presence of the National Ground Intelligence Center in town only adds to the intrigue.
So I was interested to read William Arkin’s “Back to the Bunker” in the Post a week ago Sunday, in which he reported that a huge practice government evacuation will take place in a week’s time. Four thousand federal employees are going to head out to the dozens of secret bunkers scattered around Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, practicing for the eventuality of an attack far more severe than that of September 11, 2001.
Once upon a time, back before decentralization was en vogue, it was planned for all of Congress to be evacuated under The Greenbriar. Long abandoned, it’s now part of the tour offered to its well-heeled guests. I can only assume that, under the current administration’s vision of government, the legislature is viewed as somewhat more disposable. I suspect they won’t be included in next week’s drill.
As for me, I intend to keep an eye on the road on Monday. I’ll consider anything beyond the average couple of cars an hour to be confirmation that the facility over the mountain is some kind of an underground bunker. If there’s something to it, I think I should know about it. Just in case the occasion were to arise.