Pasco County, Florida may not be a popular vacation spot compared to other hot spots in the state but nonetheless it is amongst the fastest growing counties in the United States.
As the Plans Examiner Supervisor for Pasco County’s Building Department, I have had the privilege of being part of that growth for the last seven years. From new homes to new hospitals, we have reviewed construction plans for all of the buildings to ensure their compliance with the Florida Building Code.
In early April of 2021, I was contacted by the project engineer of a newly proposed Air Force site being constructed along the Gulf of Mexico coast line. Initially, I was a bit perplexed as the Federal government has exemptions to state and local permitting requirements. This particular site was not owned by the Federal Government rather it was being leased and therefore, the exemption does not apply. The gentleman I spoke with was already prepared for the permitting process which made my job a lot easier.
Being proposed was a new Air Force telemetry site on a large coastal parcel that is owned by Duke Energy and adjacent to an existing gas fired power plant.
The site consists of several structures:
- 100′ Tall Tower with Radar Dome
- 2, 50′ collapsable Auxillary Towers
- An elevated Monitoring building with observation deck
After our initial conversation we had a virtual meeting where he shared with me the preliminary drawings of all the assets. Here are images of the approved plans that are on file for Public Record as part of the building permits:
Normally, I wouldn’t look at this particular project with too much zeal especially since MacDill Air Force Base is about 45 miles south at the southern tip of Tampa Bay. MacDill is Central Command for Middle Eastern operations. However, being that I am a life-long UFO enthusiast and given everything occurring recently, my radar went off, no pun intended.
When I first saw the images of the tower, I said to the Project Engineer, “Wow! Thats some hefty equipment. This is obviously for tracking possible UAP activity that we’ve had around our coasts in recent years.” Now, I half-way said that in jest and certainly did not expect his response.
Almost instantly, he said, “You got it! And as a matter of fact, if you are interested in that subject it may also interest you to know that this facility is not being manned and monitored by MacDill Air Force Base… it’s being monitored in its entirety by Eglin.”
I said, “Wow, that is interesting. I am surprised this project isn’t Classified.”
“The assets themselves are not classified, however the data that will be collected is. Therefore, this facility will be under heavily armed guards and only people with Top Secret clearance will be allowed in.”
He also added that they are contracted to construct several similar facilities along other coastal areas.
Needless to say, I was somewhat speechless. First and foremost, he so nonchalantly confirmed what this site was to be used for and secondly, this site is being monitored by Eglin Air Force Base, a large 640 square mile base that’s about 60 miles east of Pensacola; not MacDill our local base here in the greater Tampa Bay Area.
For me, as the UFO enthusiast that I am, this suggested at my own little grass roots level that the military is taking the UAP phenomenon seriously. But haven’t they always taken this seriously? I’m starting to wonder…