Secret Places: Dr. Larry Burriss

Larry Burriss, a professor in Middle Tennessee State University's College of Mass Communication and president of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, welcomes the crowd before the induction ceremonies at the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters conference in Murfreesboro for the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

Secret Places

     I received a couple of books from Amazon the other day, and as I was opening the box in my office a friend stopped by, and was shocked at what I was reading.  Both books were non-fiction, and one was about a husband and wife team who use their free time visiting nuclear weapon sites.  The other was a tour guide to top secret government locations all over the country.  Both offered fairly detailed descriptions of how to find the places and what to expect when you get there.
     My friend couldn’t believe anybody would tell about such locations, or that the government would allow these books to be published.  “Aren’t these things just guides for terrorists,” he asked.  “Now they know where the president will be in the event of an emergency, and where hydrogen bombs are built.”
     OK.  Let’s slow down a bit and think this thing through.
     I checked on a couple of internet map sites, and there they were:  satellite photographs of Camp David, Area 51, Fort Knox, and a place I bet you never heard of, Raven Rock.  I’ll let you figure out what and where that is.
     I also did some checking, and the folks who live in the city where the bombs are put together know exactly where the plant is, and what goes on there.
     Did you know there are public tours of the Trinity test site in New Mexico, and the underground bunker in West Virginia that was supposed to be the secret emergency evacuation location for members of Congress. 
     And at what is one the most secure and heavily guarded top secret locations in the country, there is a church across the street from one entrance, and a housing subdivision across the street from the other.
     The point of all this is to say that if a few untrained writers can uncover all of this stuff, I think the enemy spy satellites and trained undercover agents probably know all of these details, and a lot more.
     I’m Larry Burriss