Rosman Research Station: The NSA in WNC

This collection of declassified documents is the source material for the Dec. 15, 2010, Xpress article, “Out of the Shadows: Declassified Documents Shed Light on WNC Spy Base,” by Jon Elliston, which probed the secret history of a National Security Agency facility near Rosman. The documents were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the website GovernmentAttic.

Rosman Research Station: Defense Department Environmental Assessment, January 1995

Shortly before the National Security Agency closed down shop at Rosman Research Station, the Department of Defense commissioned an in-depth environmental assessment to determine how the site would fare once the NSA pulled out. This three-page excerpt from the report includes the conclusion that “the proposed action would have no significant adverse effects on the natural environment,” and presents a map of all of the structures at the spy base.

NSA Daily newsletter, April 14, 1995

This declassified NSA brief, published on the 14th anniversary of the establishment of Rosman Research Station, explains that the site was recently closed “because of changing priorities and the need to effect budget cuts at the end of the Cold War.” In a humorous aside — “Stock up on sharpened stakes and garlic!” — it riffs on the fact the station was located in a county named Transylvania.

NSA Communicator: “Rosman Closes its Doors”, April 24, 1995

This two-page excerpt from a classified internal newsletter, “NSA Communicator,” reveals how the agency dispersed and disposed of much of the equipment used at Rosman Research Station.

NSA Center for Cryptologic History: “Rosman Tracks on to the End”, Aug. 14, 1996

This once highly classified report by the NSA’s official history office notes that “the work at Rosman, even the number of employees, was a closely guarded secret” and adds, cryptically, that “in spite of adversity, significant notoriety came to” Rosman Research Station

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