We live right next to Beale Air Force Base! Our property is just outside the back gate! Living next to an Air Force base can be weird at times. We hear all types of strange announcements over the loud speaker, weird sirens, and see odd planes coming and going. There is also a gigantic over-the-horizon radar structure that we immediately get asked about by friends who come over for the first time. The radar was built in the Cold War to give early warning of a nuclear attack. I guess that’s a good thing? When we first moved in 18 years ago, we couldn’t use our VCR or analog answer machine without hearing pops and static over our movies and messages because of this radar!! Thank goodness we are all digital now! However, it still interferes with some of my recording equipment and camera microphone on certain days.
The military has its secret,s and when they are your immediate neighbor, it spurs your imagination and sometimes paranoia. I can’t just go walking up to their door and say “howdy neighbor what’s going on here” without a large – fully automatic rifle pointed at me! I better have good reason to be there!
A few years back, there were 5 large planes from the base that circled our neighborhood at about 2000 feet for several hours every night! These planes carried a crew of six and were outfitted with equipment to listen in on phone conversations. We were told they were just training and not really listening to us.. hmmm…….
Our neighbor also has the U2 Spy plane that takes off like a rocket daily, flying to foreign lands to see what’s going on. The U2 can go check out the happenings in the middle east and be home by dinner! When it takes off, we can hear it climbing to its 70 thousand foot cruising altitude for a good 15 minutes! The pilot has to wear a space suit! Oh and our neighbors have a really REALLY cool drone called the Global Hawk!
Today our mysterious neighbors invited the public to enter this secret-mysterious land and treated us to an airshow free of charge!
With the Sutter Buttes as a backdrop, the show was pretty spectacular! If you are into airplanes, you are gonna LOVE this video!