Mr. Bill and Miz Mona

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Moose Pass Journal/Blue Eyes Part 2 10/20/11

Bill Says: Hello People- it's a lovely day here in Moose Pass land, though a bit windy and snow is for casted for this weekend. Temperatures in the low 40's during the latter part of the day and dropping to 22 degrees. So, enough on the weather report. We are now on part two of the Legend of Blue Eyes-

In the late summer of 1974, I was stuck on the desk as usual and working the 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. shift. So far it had been a relatively quiet night; a drunk sergeant needing a ride home from the NCO Club to an angry wife and a brief fight at the Airmen's Club, which was broken up by the time the patrols arrived. With all the alcohol served at these clubs there always seemed to be a disturbance at one of them.

It was coming on 9:30 p.m. or 2130 hours in military time, when the emergency line began to ring. I quickly reached up and grabbed the special phone before the ring even ended, startling my assistant desk sergeant with my speed. To my surprise, all I heard on the phone was a woman's loud terror-filled scream, which was immediately followed by a thunk-like sound and I imagined this was the phone hitting the floor or table-top. This left me with an open phone line and no detectable background noises.

We had set procedures for such incidents and I grabbed up the other phone, while advising my assistant to go get the flight chief from the other office. I called the base phone exchange, which always kept an open tap on our emergency line, which would show the exact location the call had come in from. It took a young sergeant about 12-minutes to show the location- a bit slower than usual, but the call had come in from the base MARS Station on South Base. This surprised me, I was expecting a domestic disturbance from base housing or the woman's barracks.

As I dispatched three patrol units to the MARS Station, I was recalling what the building looked like; a single building of approximately 800-square feet and manned 24-hours a day by between two to five personnel. It was their job to operate radio equipment, which connected them to locations all over the world, similar to HAM radio operation. But this MARS equipment was far more complicated and extremely expensive. The station was located 8-miles south of the main base area, surrounded by a vast expanse of open desert. It would take my south base patrol a good five minutes to make it there. My highway patrol unit and a patrol I dispatched from the housing area, would take approximately 9 minutes to arrive on site for back-up.

I had the assistant desk sergeant continue to listen in on the open line in the event the caller came back on or if he could hear any other sounds, while I briefed the flight chief on the initial call and what actions I had taken.

8 minutes later, ( I had to record all the times in my running police blotter), my south base patrolman came on the emergency phone and my assistant handed the phone to me. He requested an ambulance for two personnel and our flight chief to respond to the MARS Station. When I asked for further details, he advised me it would have to wait and I hated waiting. So, I dispatched the ambulance for unknown injuries and watched as my flight chief left the office to respond to the location. I was getting mighty curious and had a strong desire for a chocolate donut. Whenever I got anxious, I had a hankering for a donut and my 300-pounds was evidence of this problem.

10-minutes later, the flight chief came over the radio and requested I contact the on-call Investigator and have them respond. He also add that since I'd be typing up all the reports, I'd better respond also once another NCO arrived to take over my duties. My assistant was only an Airman First Class and at least a Sergeant had to be on the desk at all times. I brought in a Sergeant from off North Base Patrol to relieve me and I took his vehicle to respond to the site. The flight chief felt my first hand look would help in what I needed to write up and I could tell by his voice he was somewhat confused and this had me really wondering what had happened at the MARS Station, as I drove south with my red and blue lights flashing.

I also realized my recently appropriated patrol vehicle was having transmission problems; the clutch was going out. I'd deadline this vehicle once I got back to headquarters and hoped the grinding gears would survive the round trip and then address this problem with the sergeant who was operating it earlier. He should've reported it and checked out another vehicle, instead he was up in North Base grinding gears and tearing up a transmission because the vehicle didn't belong to him. Or maybe he simply didn't know how to use a manual shift and thought the grinding was normal usage, I'd have to check into this. As Desk Sergeant I was also partially in charge of the vehicles used on my shift, a sad fact I came to learn early on when I was called back from a sound sleep to explain some of these problems discovered by the next shift and not reported in my blotter.  

The MARS Station is one large two-story open floor building, with the lower level sunken half-way into the desert floor; a split level surrounded by hard packed desert sand. The site is also surrounded by an 8-foot tall chain link fence, with coils of barbed wire on top of it. A large vehicle gate, which is always secured by a chain and heavy lock, is the only access. The lower level of the building is three feet tall and made of cinder block construction. The only door has four wooden steps leading to it and there are four sets of two windows on each side of the building and the area inside the lot is completely lit up by overhead security lights.

Driving south and grinding gears, I felt this location was one of the more secure sites on south base, especially since it was manned 24/7. I figured it would be pretty difficult for someone to break in and assault the personnel and why would they...unless someone wanted to steal all the equipment. That's what I thought, until I arrived on scene.

When I drove up, the first thing I noticed was how the heavy metal front gate was mashed down, appearing to be actually run over. All the Security Police vehicles were parked outside the compounded, not wanting to drive over any possible evidence. But it appeared strange, not like a gate being run over by a vehicle; the center of the gate was smashed down, but not wide enough for a vehicle to pass through and still secured by the chain and lock. I believed it would've taken a very large and mighty heavy motorcycle to accomplish such a degree of damage. Something like a two-ton bike at least and I couldn't remember any bikes weighing that much.

I parked my funky patrol vehicle and walked in to where the others were standing. The ambulance crew were inside the building. My Flight Chief saw me and he walked over to brief me on what he had learned so far.....

Part 3 to follow

1 comment:

  1. I'm waiting for a new post! Follow your blog and enjoy your writing. God bless. Monica Lawson, Vicki Williams' mom