Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex | Via
A huge pyramid in the middle of nowhere tracking the end of the world on radar. An abstract geometric shape beneath the sky without a human being in sight. It could be the opening scene of an apocalyptic science fiction film, but it’s just the U.S. military going about its business, building vast and other-worldly architectural structures that the civilian world only rarely sees.
The Library of Congress has an extraordinary set of images documenting the Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex in Cavalier County, North Dakota, showing it in various states of construction and completion.
Taken for the U.S. government by photographer Benjamin Halpern, the particular images seen here show the central pyramid—pyramid, obelisk, monument, megastructure: whatever you want to call it—that served as the site’s missile control building. Like the eye of Sauron crossed with Giza, it looks in all directions, its all-seeing white circles staring endlessly at invisible airborne objects across the horizon.
Wright Brothers’ Flying Machine Patent, missing from the National Archives
December 17 is the anniversary of the Wright Brother’s historic first flight in 1903. For most, it’s a day to celebrate a pivotal milestone in aviation history. But here at the National Archives and at other archives, libraries, and museums it’s a reminder of the threat that cultural institutions face on a daily basis. The patent for the Wright Flyer is missing—presumed stolen—last seen in 1979, and it’s not the only item missing.
When such records are stolen —sometimes for resale on web auction sites— our shared history is lost and our ability to maintain accountability in our government is lessened. Together, with your help, we can return our cultural heritage to its rightful place.
For More Information:
- Help the National Archives Recover Lost & Stolen Documents
- US National Archives Archival Recovery Team on Facebook
via the AOTUS Blog: The Impact of Theft