Monday, December 12, 2011

Google Maps reveals secret military spots - 12th Dec 2011

The Yucca Lake airstrip sits deep inside the heavily restricted Tonopah Test Range, but is now easily seen on Google Maps.

Google has come under fire for compromising the national security of the United States with satellite images of secret military bases.

The general public was able to use Google's Maps program to search for the bases, and then zoom in to see airstrips and "possible top-secret military drones", according to reports.

"The discovery of a hidden airstrip at Yucca Lake in Nevada, which is used for testing the R-170 drones similar to the one lost in Iran last week, has raised further concern," Britain's Daily Mail said.

Retired Air Force colonel Cedric Leighton said Iranians would be "most interested in operational bases because that tells them how we fly our surveillance missions".

"Google is making public what was once the sole province of the military and intelligence community, making this a brave new world for the intel agencies as well," he told Fox News.

Col. Leighton said that although Google had the right to show the images to the public, they should opt not to because they comprised military operations.

Aviation website Flight Global said it used Google Maps to discover the secret Yukka Lake airstrip.

"The satellite image, taken in early 2011 and available on Google Maps, appears to show a roughly 5200ft (1585m) asphalt runway and what appears to be a General Atomics MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper UAV being towed on the parking ramp," Flight Global said.

"The airfield has four hangars of varying sizes, including a hangar with clamshell doors that is characteristic of US UAV operations.

"Details of the airfield, including a parking lot, security perimeter and ongoing construction are clearly visible." Source