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  • Writer's pictureDallas Area Visitors

Is Falls City Watching You?

The next topic in our ongoing series is the story of a "secret government facility outside of Falls City that is watching Dallas". We asked several people from all walks of life if they had heard about this because we weren't finding anything in our own research. Nobody we encountered had ever heard anything about this and simply laughed at the notion of a secret government facility; seriously, isn't that idea just a big conspiracy theory? Maybe not! Frustration just about killed this part of the series until we suddenly remembered that a member of our community had said he had links to information about this topic. We reached out to him and sure enough, he was right! Just outside of Falls City lies Laurel Mountain. Laurel Mountain is the fourth highest peak in Oregon's Central Coast Range with an elevation of 3,592 feet (1,095 m). The peak is located in Polk County west of the city of Dallas. In 1997 it was labeled the wettest place in Oregon and in 1996 it set an all-time calendar year rainfall record for the contiguous United States with 204.04 inches.(1) On Laurel Mountain there is a 40 acre parcel of land owned by Weyerhaeuser Company. This property is home to a very interesting "secret government facility" that may or may not be watching you!

Falls City FAA Radar Site is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Long Range Radar (LLR) site first established in 1959 near Falls City, Polk County, Oregon and is still active today. The site is used to identify and track military and civilian aircraft movements within a 200-mile radius and to provide air-ground radio communication with those aircraft.(2)

This site was constructed in 1958-1959 and became an operational FAA radar site in 1959, furnishing radar track data to the FAA ARTCC's and to USAF Direction Centers. The initial search radar was replaced with an ARSR-4 radar in the mid-1990s.

This radar site was placed halfway between Mount Hebo Air Force Station and NOrth Bend Air Force Station and could back up either one with manual inputs initially and automated inputs by the 1970s. It is no coincidence that Mount Hebo AFS officially closed the same day that this site became an operational JSS site, 1 May 1979. North Bend AFS closed shortly thereafter on 11 Feb 1980 leaving this site to guard the entire Oregon coast.

Currently, the radar site data is available to the USAF/NORAD Battle Control System-Fixed (BCS-F) operations centers (EADS & WADS) as well as the FAA Seattle ARTCC and adjacent ARTCCs. Communications to and from the site are provided by a microwave link. This was the first JSS site in the 25th NORAD Region. Operational on 1 May 1979, as OL AJ/25th ADS.

Again, according the myth that there is a "secret government facility outside of Falls City that is watching Dallas".

According to research, yes, there is a government facility outside of Facility City. Is it secret? NOPE. Is it watching Dallas? NOPE. That is, unless you're flying a military or civilian aircraft.


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Sep 02, 2023

Years ago before too many forest roads were gated, I rode my motorcycle to Laurel Hill and just knocked on the door. I got a splendid tour, they even lowered the radar to I-5 and showed me the cars going by.

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