II was largely populated by HVAC (heating, ventilating and air
conditioning) equipment that serviced the missile and launcher silo
and kept the systems at optimal operating temperature. It also
contained the elevator machine room where the motor and logic for the
personnel elevator were located.
level had the most junk laying about of any of the four levels.
Since the heating/cooling units were quite large and probably quite
expensive just to remove, I would surmise that it was not cost
effective to relocate them. Add to that the cost of dismantling
them so they could be hoisted out through the access hatch and its not
hard to see why they might have been abandoned.
II as viewed from the access hatch of level III. Stacks of
ductwork clog most of the floor space making it difficult to move around
on level II.
some reason, perhaps a tight schedule, just about all the ductwork on level
II (and there was a lot of it) was taken down and left strewn about the
floor in teetering stacks of galvanized steel. There was probably
every intent on behalf of the scrappers to take all that steel with them but
time and priorities likely dictated its eventual abandonment.
view of level II from level III. This doesn't really show much I'm
afraid, but the clutter on level II seems to have resulted in few photos
of that area. The utilities tunnel section is closely related to
level II because it connects to level II however.
from level III, the personnel
elevator shaft showing the top of the elevator car. The service
hatch on the elevator has been removed and you can see a couple rungs of
an emergency exit ladder through the opening. At the top center
you can see the motor and relay logic cabinet for the elevator.
on which equipment terminal you are at, each elevator seems to be frozen forever on a
different floor at 724-C. At E.T.#1, it was on level II.
Fortunately secondary access to each level was provided by steel ladders
elevator and accordion-style inner doors on level II
was important to watch one's step on level II and in fact on all levels of
the equipment terminal since the open access hatches in the floors provided
a means by which to plummet several stories (depending on which level you
were on) to an unforgiving steel and concrete surface below. Overhead
obstacles provided by hanging pipes, conduit and disconnected plumbing were
common and threatened the unprotected head with unyielding and jagged
protrusions from above.
very functional and no-frills interior of the 5' x 4' personnel elevator.
Note the open hatch in the ceiling.
elevator motor, cable drum and reduction gear
shot of the elevator motor along with the relay-based logic, which was
housed in a steel cabinet (at left). This shot is from
E.T.#2. Notice how much more oxidation has occurred here as
compared to the previous photo.
elevators employed old, noisy mechanical relays for the logic that
controlled them. Many people may not give much thought to the
complexity of a simple elevator serving more than 2 floors, but with each
floor, the control systems of an elevator get much more complex. Each time
a button is pressed the elevator must know what floor it is currently on and
then consider if the doors are open or closed and a number of other
variables. Once it arrives at the floor that called it, it checks to
see if it has stopped in the right place, checks the door status and once
finished, checks for the next call. The more floors, and the more
elevators there are in a given multi floor structure, the more complex the
elevators' logic becomes.
These relay systems were one precursor to
the computer systems that later evolved to handle increasingly complex logic
systems. Even though transistor-based computer logic existed by the
time the Titan I missiles were deployed, such technology was very new and
still cumbersome by modern standards. Mechanical relays persisted in
elevators and phone switching systems for decades after the Titan I system
gear and cable drum for the personnel elevator-- and my leather
gloves. It's impossible to take photos with those clumsy things
Otis Elevator Company provided the elevators for both the entry portal
freight elevator and for the equipment terminals. There were also small
one-man lifts in the antenna silos that went up to the catwalk level, but I
am not certain if they built by Otis. I would suspect they were
given they got the other two contracts, but cannot confirm this at present.
down the open elevator shaft at 724-C E.T.#2. At the bottom you
can see more of the dark, filthy water with its unpleasant-looking scum
on the surface. The elevator car is one level up at this terminal.
conditioning unit manufactured by the Trane company. One of
several large units on this level, all of which had been left behind at
media inside one of the AC units. The fibers were metallic and
appeared to be made of copper. I'd never seen filters like those
before or since. Strange.
leading from level II down to level I and a thick muck of rust flakes
photo directly above is of E.T.#1 and is what you might expect a
derelict underground missile facility to look like after over four decades of neglect. The following photos
however, show what Lowry 724-C E.T.#3 looks
like on the lower two levels.
ladder leading down from Level III of Equipment Terminal #3 into Levels
II and I which are completely flooded and inaccessible.
is the view from E.T.#3 looking down the access hatch into the black
lagoon of levels I and II. This water is nearly 40 feet
deep. Dive certified anyone?
terminal #3 is completely flooded on the lower two levels. This is
because for some reason the rate of ground water infiltration at
launcher silo #3 seems to be quite a bit greater than that of the other
two silos. Perhaps the silo doors are more badly damaged, or maybe
there are more open avenues into silo #3 through which water can
enter. Maybe there is simply more groundwater at higher elevations
at silo #3 resulting in more infiltration. Whatever the reason may
be, launcher silo #3 has approximately 100' (30.48m) of water in it,
effectively flooding it right up to the personnel tunnel.
that means is that the utilities tunnel that connects silo #3 and E.T.#3
is approximately 12' (3.66m) or more under water. As a result,
water from silo #3 has flowed through the utilities tunnel into E.T.#3
creating a dark underground pool some 32.7' (9.7m) deep. Some
useless figures on this:
flooded volume in E.T.#3: 41,071.2 feet3 (1163 meters3)
liquid volume of flooding: 307,234 US liquid gallons (1,163,007
weight of water flooding E.T.#3: 2,563,867.7lbs. (1,162,950.8
weight of water flooding E.T.#3 in tons: 1282 short tons (1163
figures like these excite you, you can find more on the flooding of
the launchers in the Missile
Silos section part VIII.
III is where the personnel tunnel connects to the equipment terminal and
housed the logic racks which contained, among other systems, Control-Monitor
group equipment and other electronics comprising the launch and guidance
systems. Level III also contained that most indispensable piece
of equipment without which any missile installation would be doomed to fail
horribly: the latrine.
inside level III and to the right of the door. This area is the
"ladder vestibule" which from what I can tell appears to be a
separate contained zone insofar as heating and AC are concerned.
This small room was sealed by a door that isolated it from the rest of
the level and from the levels above and below.
bottom of the ladder is just visible at the upper right of the
photo. Conduit, fiberglass pipe insulation and debris carpet the
floor. The long black bundle consists of flexible radio wave guide
sections which for some reason were removed by left behind. Wave
guides like those are usually made of copper or bronze so its surprising
they were abandoned.
Just inside level
III services routed from the power house and control center via the
personnel tunnels break out into panels, cable trays and junction
boxes. The communications panel consisting of wiring and punch
down blocks, supplied phone, alarm, public address and other services
from the wall panel you see in the following photos.
view of the ladder vestibule and the "up" ladder to level
IV. On the other side of the personnel entrance there is a ladder
down to level II.
These pictures of
the ladder vestibule are from E.T.#3 which is far more water-logged
than the other two terminals. Corrosion was very heavy in this
blocks inside the communications panel. The Titan I comm. system
was not simple by any means.
trays and penetrations just inside the equipment terminal. You can
see where the cables have been cut off just inside the concrete wall of
Just inside level
III, the floor is far less cluttered than level II as you can see in
the photo below. It was essential to be careful in the equipment
terminals as the yawning maws of doom that were the open access
hatches and elevator shaft waited for you on each level. Since
they were only about four feet apart, you could fall down either one
while braving the narrow path between them as you can see in the
particularly true when taking pictures. Suitably
blinded while looking through a camera viewfinder, it could be all too
easy to accidentally plummet through one of these hazards.
hazards: the access hatch at left and the open elevator shaft at right
offered two easy paths to serious injury or death. Notice one of
the access hatch cover panels between the hatch and the elevator
door. These panels were universally strewn about on each
level. I don't recall seeing a single one in place covering the
you look in the background here you can also see the removable railings
provided to protect against deadly falls down the open floor leaning
against a vertical support. I rarely saw any of these being used
is a lot of sand and dirt on the top two levels that has been washed in
through the roof access opening.
open elevator doors on level III of E.T.#1
back toward the personnel tunnel you can see that very little was left
behind on level III. The rust and peeling paint here shows where
water keeps pouring in when it rains.
ductwork, piping and crumbled asbestos plaster from damaged pipe joint
assemblies for shock mounting pipes and conduit resting near a section
of removable railing
up into level IV: rust and a lone section of railing that is actually in
battered door to the latrine. I can't help wondering why there is
a padlock on the door. Either this was turned into a makeshift
brig or the scrappers used it to lock up their tools when they left for
the night. Note the pink toilet brush at the bottom left of the
The latrine is
small and like all the others in the site, it is in sorry shape
indeed. Actually, since none of the fixtures have been smashed,
its far better off than most. It has seen better days and
reminds me of some independently owned gas station rest rooms I've
been faced with on long road trips, but the truth is that I've seen
worse. At least this latrine has a flush toilet and even a few
paper towels still left in the dispenser. The Boraxo
soap dispenser (yes, they still make it, though it has changed formula
I suspect) has been dispensed with but at least there's a sink, a
toilet and a urinal.
Restrooms at a
county fair can be truly frightening by comparison-- at least the
Titan I sites didn't have a communal trough!
55 gallon drum stationed in the latrine. Okay, who still plays
Tic-Tac-Toe and can't get at least a draw?
the copper piping is gone from the fixtures as usual. There is
also an odd sign on the urinal that reads "DO NOT USE - TRAP FILLED
WITH ETHYLENE GLYCOL" Sure, that makes perfect sense.
ethylene glycol is used in chilled water AC systems, I suspect that the
chiller units in the equipment terminal were purged into the urinal by
the scrappers to dispose of it. Not the most environmentally sound
method but it explains what its doing in the urinal. My only
question is, what difference does it make if someone uses the urinal
when there is E.G. in it? Does urine mixed with E.G. form nitro
and explode violently or something?
of Order: This always happens to me at the worst times
floor stains and rattle space in the E.T. latrine
road less traveled: This toilet is located at E.T.#3, practically the most
remote area of the entire complex relative to the entry portal, so
its a small wonder it has not been violated nearly as badly as the one
in the next photo which is the most readily available latrine in
the launcher area.
toilet is also protected by deterrents like deep water and greater
distance from the entrance. It has been largely spared the
indignities suffered by the fixtures in the control center which have
been smashed to bits.
at E.T.#1: If you've ever had a terrible foreboding when entering an
unfamiliar public restroom in a time of urgent need, you know the
awful shock of finding that the reality which lies beyond that door is
even far more horrifying than the devastation you had imagined.
is pretty much the epitome of that thoroughly unpleasant scenario.
Now to make it complete, there only need be no door on the stall, a
weirdo in the next stall, and absolutely no toilet paper left at all!
completes level III-- the next section finishes up the equipment
terminals with level IV.
the link below to see more about the equipment terminals or select
another location from the map below.
Terminals Part IV
Location: Equipment Terminals Part III
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