Google has come under fire yet again for making secret US Military air bases and projects easily locatable through its Maps service.
The new wake up call has come after website Flight Global claimed it had discovered a secret airstrip at Yucca Lake, Nevada. The airstrip is allegedly meant to be the testing location for Lockheed Martin’s latest unmanned aerial vehicle, the RQ-170.
According to Flight Global: “The Yucca Lake airfield, deep inside the heavily restricted Tonopah Test Range, is on land owned by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a division of the Department of Energy (DoE), but was constructed and operated by an undisclosed government customer. The satellite image, taken in early 2011 and available on Google Maps, appears to show a roughly 5,200 ft (1,580m) asphalt runway and what appears to be a General Atomics MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper UAV being towed on the parking ramp.”
This has led Flight Global and other sources to believe the Yucca Lake facility is used by the CIA to test a variety of areas in its unmanned aerial vehicle projects. According to Cedric Leighton, a retired Air Force colonel speaking to FOX News, the Iranians and other countries against the Allied Forces would be most interested in this news.
“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.”
It’s a double blow to the US Military which just lost a fully intact RQ-170 to the Iranians. But this type of imagery from Google is far from illegal, albeit frustrating for the government. And it works both ways as well. Google Maps turned the closed North Korea into the country all could see into to from the comfort of their lounge room, and has also revealed secrets of many other countries.
Being that the US Government knows when the satellites will be flying overhead and snapping away, it’s strange they don’t take avoiding measures.
The coordinates of the Yucca Lake facility are: 36.927577,-116.008137. Enter them into Google Maps for a closer look at the area.
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.