Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

This week’s challenge is to find something foreign, “…things outside of or different from your normal environment, or even something which is out of place in general.”

My entry this week is a look back at what we may now think of as a foreign concept: Nuclear-tipped missiles in the San Francisco Bay Area as a last-line of coastal defense against an air attack by Russian bombers during the Cold War.

This Nike site is in the Marin Headlands and the Fabulous Mizz N and I went on a tour of the facility. For me, it brought back memories of my childhood in the 1950s when we did the Duck & Cover drills in school. I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla and I still have memories of the anxiety and bewilderment generated during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962.

For the FMN it was a cool, hands-on place to visit. This site had missiles with 10, 20, and 30 kiloton warheads in each of 3 batteries. As you can see, the missiles are so well-balanced that a seven year-old child is able to move one into position for launching.

At the time, this installation made sense to our leaders, but with the passage of time many people have questioned that decision and these bases are now de-commissioned.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

  11 comments for “Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

  1. October 29, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    I grew up in Fort Lauderdale too, but by my time the threat of nuclear war had mostly faded away. Neat to see places like this which hopefully remind people of what could have easily happened


    • October 29, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      Thanks for your comment, Nick. I am glad that you picked up on the underlying message.

      I took a look around your blog and like what I saw. I might even join in on one of your photo challenges.


  2. October 28, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Great photos and an interesting take on this challenge – I remember those duck and cover drills like they were yesterday!


    • October 28, 2012 at 9:31 PM

      Thanks for the reply. I am getting in the mood to watch “Atomic Cafe” again, for old times’ sake.

      Sent from my iPad


  3. October 28, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    Fascinating story and shot. 😉


  4. October 27, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Great take on the theme. Makes so much sense to decommission since I’ve read it takes bizarre amounts of $$$ to keep them from deteriorating altogether (that is aside from other moral and practical considerations.)


  5. October 27, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Wow, fascinating photos of Foreign! I never thought about a lot of these for years. Thank you for sharing 🙂


    • October 27, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      It was 50 years ago today that President Kenedy agreed not to invade Cuba if the USSR removed their missiles from the island.

      This missile site was opened in 1954 and closed in 1974. SF-88 was one of 280 sites in the US.


      • October 27, 2012 at 8:39 PM

        Part of the deal, I believe, was that the U.S. would also remove its Jupiter missiles from Turkey as part of the bargain, though Kennedy denied publicly that it was a quid pro quo.
        Very nicely done. Great pics.


      • October 28, 2012 at 6:26 PM

        Hello, Bill and thanks for the reminder of RFK’s public denial of removing the missiles in Turkey. My lasting memory of this time period is when our neighbor across the street added a layer of red brick to the outside of his concrete block house to ward off radiation from “The Big One”. No alterations were made to the roof, so go figure.



      • October 27, 2012 at 10:54 PM

        I was 4 when that happened, but I can still remember my parents talking about it with my older sister. 🙂


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