Green Scene: “PARI Presents a Look Back in Time”

My favorite stories are the ones that involve some adventure and a sense of discovery. My first staff assignment for Xpress promised to deliver on both counts. When the National Security Agency abandoned its top-secret spy station deep within the Pisgah National Forest in the mid-1990s, neighbors southwest of Brevard believed hush-hush government activity was continuing at the site, as I found out before I even made it past the old guardhouse. — Susan Andrew, Green Scene reporter

10:27 a.m.: My car's alternator abruptly dies along Highway 64 southwest of Brevard. No choice but to pull over.
10:31 a.m.: State trooper pulls up with lights flashing. (I've never been so happy to see those blue lights in my rearview mirror.)
10:32 a.m.: Leaving my car behind, we're off to the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, some eight miles away.

“‘Do you have a security clearance?’ the trooper asks. ‘I live just a few miles from here,’ he says, shaking his head. ‘We still see the black Apache helicopters heading this way sometimes.’ He chuckles. ‘The government is still doing something secret over here.’”

To view the full story, visit

For more on the Rosman Research Station’s shrouded history, see “Land of the Sky Spies” ( and “Out of the Shadows” (, both by former Xpress Managing Editor Jon Elliston.


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