Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

The Overlook Hotel Times Twelve

April 6th, 2009 · 2 Comments

greenlanddyeOne of my great regrets was not bringing a camera on my 1999 trip to the heart of the Greenland ice sheet. I was there doing a freelance piece on the Air National Guard unit responsible for resupplying polar scientific missions; we spent three days on the ice, learning how to survive in the event of a crash. (Rule Number One: if you see a polar bear, put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye.)

The highlight of the trip was a snowmobile ride out to DYE-2, an abandoned American radar station that scanned the heavens for Soviet ICBMs in the pre-satellite era. The place was hella spooky—like something the Empire would’ve constructed on Hoth after routing those pesky rebels.

Fortunately, more recent visitors have remembered to tote along their PowerShots. Check out this excellent gallery, which includes interior shots; the DYE-2 staffers were in such a rush to get out of Frozen Hades that they left behind everything—including a rather impressive collection of vintage porn.

More on America’s polar radar outfits here. How these mega-isolated skywatchers kept from going crazy is beyond me.


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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Jordan

    Two possible options spring to mind:

    a) the military is very good at finding people who enjoy isolation.

    b) who says they weren’t crazy?

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    Hmmm, good points. I wonder whether there was any psychological testing involved, so that the military could pick DEW liners of special mental fortitude.

    Also, I think alcohol was involved. Lots and lots of alcohol.