Snrith Gulch

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 This article is a B-class article. It is written to a good standard. This article is part of Altverse II.
Snrith Gulch
International Joint Military Research Base Leadwater
Flag of the Sierran Royal Air Force.svg Flag of Sierra (military).svg Seal of the Brazorian Armed Forces.svg
Part of Sierran Royal Air Force and Brazorian Air Force
Clear Creek County, West Colorado, K.S.
Snrith Gulch Henderson Tower.jpg
The Henderson Tower, an entrance to the Snrith Gulch underground facilities
Coordinates 39°43′35.9″N 105°48′48.48″W
Type Joint military research facility
Site information
Owner Governments of Sierra and Brazoria
Controlled by Western Anglo-American Joint Air Command
Open to
the public
No; maximum security restricted area
Site history
Built March 30, 1961 – September 18, 1965
Built by Royal Army Corps of Engineers and Royal Surveyors' Corps
In use 1965–Present
Battles/wars Cold War
Airfield information
Identifiers IATA: LWD, ICAO: KLWD
Elevation 8,140 feet (2,481 m) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
5L/23R 12,281 feet (3,743 m) Asphalt/Concrete
16L/34R 7,391 feet (2,253 m) Asphalt/Concrete
Location Elkmount Airfield, Denver, Brazoria
Snrith Gulch (IATA: LWD, ICAO: KLWD, RAA LID: LWD), officially known as the International Joint Military Research Base Leadwater, is a joint military research facility owned and operated by the Sierran Royal Air Force and the Brazorian Air Force, located near Empire, West Colorado, Kingdom of Sierra in Berthoud Pass of the Rocky Mountains. It includes the Red Mountain Center, a country retreat which hosts international diplomatic meetings between Sierran and Brazorian government officials, as well as other invited dignitaries from other countries during special occasions; Elkmount Airfield, a detached military airfield due 27 miles east across the Brazorian side of the international border near Denver; and the Pettingell Air Force Observatory, a research facility complex that includes a space observatory and a satellite communications center. It is classified as maximum security restricted area by both the Sierran Royal Armed Forces and the Brazorian Armed Forces, and details of its operations and research are highly classified.

Built and completed in 1965 during the Cold War, Snrith Gulch played an instrumental role in modernizing Anglo-American aerial technology and nuclear development. It became a joint international military base in the 1990s following the restoration of the Brazorian monarchy during the Yellowrose Revolution. It continues to be one of the most important strategic installations in both Sierra and Brazoria, and has often been regarded as the primary candidate headquarters in continuity contingency plans for both nation's governments due to its relatively isolated and insular geography, and high-security internal defenses. Officially, the military facility is used to conduct research on reconnaissance aircraft, missile technology, radar technology, and provide aerial support and command. Since 2010, it has been designated as the center for the Western Anglo-American Joint Air Command, a combined organization designed to protect air sovereignty for Sierra, Brazoria, Astoria, and southern Superior, and provide support for the broader air command network in the Conference of American States. Much of the base's laboratory and bunker facilities are located underground. Snrith Gulch includes the 22-mile tunnel between the main complex and the Elkmount Airfield in Brazoria, which is only accessible from within the general restricted area. It also houses residential and recreational facilities for the base's personnel and staff at the Red Mountain Center. The Center is notable for its use for high-profile meetings during state visits by foreign leaders and officials. Since the facility is jointly owned by Sierra and Brazoria, the two governments often host meetings with one another at the location, and as partnering hosts for international guests. Since 2010, the biannual CAS Convocation takes place at the Red Mountain Center during the second week of June where the heads of state and government from all members of the CAS are invited to join and participate. Snrith Gulch also conducts space research and satellite imagery at the Pettingell Air Force Observatory.

Due to its high security and the sensitive nature of the facility, Snrith Gulch has been the subject of conspiracy theories and urban legends, ranging from claims of human experimentation to harboring extraterrestrial life and UFOs at the site. The Sierran and Brazorian governments did not officially acknowledge the base, disclose the name of the facility, and declassify its purpose until 2006, referring to the facility in the shorthand form as the "Leadwater Base", although its common name, the "Snrith Gulch" appeared as a codename (in reference to the Pacific Northwest cryptid) for the area on official surveying maps for years prior to the official acknowledgment. After the official acknowledgment of the base, it has been utilized for a number of widely publicized events involving international leaders. Prior to this, the base was only used strictly for meetings between Sierran and Brazorian officials, often only for military and internal administrative purposes.

Geography[edit | edit source]

Although it is officially referred to as "International Joint Military Research Base Leadwater", it is registered as the census-designated place of simply, "Leadwater", by the K.S. Royal Bureau of Census. Unofficial maps refer to the base by its common name, Snrith Gulch. The base covers 30 square miles of land and restricted airspace, and is primarily situated at Berthoud Pass in the Rocky Mountains in unincorporated land of Clear Creek County, West Colorado, Sierra. The main underground complex is located underneath the slopes of Red Mountain, whilst aboveground facilities including the Red Mountain Center are located on a leveled area just north of Bard Peak and Mount Parnassus. The Pettingell Air Force Observatory is located about 4 miles southwest of the main complex on the northeast side of Pettingell Mountain, which can be seen from the nearby community of Loveland on clear days. The Elkmount Airfield is located 22 miles east of the main complex in Denver, Brazoria, or about 2 miles east of the Sierran–Brazorian international border,

The base is located at a elevation of 11,307 feet (3,446 m) and sits on the eastern side of the Continental Divide. It lies approximately 3 miles northwest from the junction between the limited-access K.S. Route 444 and the publicly navigable Interprovincial 70. Although direct access to the road is possible through the connection with K.S. Route 444, the section of the highway that runs through the base is closed to the public past the town of Empire. An alternate detour route leads traffic away from the base, beneath Mount Eva, towards Winter Park. Along the boundaries of the restricted area are reinforced, fortified walls with barbs and spikes, as well as posted signs warning civilians of the restricted nature of the area and the warning that any trespassers may be meant with lethal force. The area is continuously patrolled by security and surveillance. Authorized vehicles may continue up the restricted-access road, which transverses the pass, along difficult terrain, with a series of switchbacks and steep grades (6.3%) on both sides at the southern rung of the pass.

Climate data for Leadwater, Western Colorado (Elevation 11,307 ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 42
Average high °F (°C) 21.2
Average low °F (°C) 1.4
Record low °F (°C) −33
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.496
Average snowfall inches (cm) 49.8
Source: Royal Meteorological Agency

Facilities[edit | edit source]

Main chambers[edit | edit source]

Western Anglo-American Joint Air Command Center

According to a declassified document released by the Royal Surveyors' Corps, the total square footage of the underground facilities was 550,137 (12.62 acres or 51,126 sq. meters), making it one of the largest underground structures in Sierra. It includes over 110 individual rooms and chambers, four wings, and four main arterial hallways, and three floors, including five shaft elevators leading down to a cavern shaft excavated below the mountain with a tunnel of undisclosed, indeterminate dimensions or exits. The main underground complex is built below approximately 2,000 feet of granite, and supported by a system of springs designed to protect the facility from sudden movements, such as those caused by earthquakes or explosions. It is designed to withstand an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and also has defenses against nuclear explosions and fallout.

The main chambers consist of a central command room (the headquarters of the Western Anglo-American Joint Air Command); laboratory rooms including those that handle biologically or chemically hazardous materials; bunker rooms for military personnel and staff; two cafeterias; a medical office with certified surgeons on standby; a fitness room; a sauna and swimming pool; weapons and ammunitions storage room; suites for higher-ranking officials; and a garden which grows an array of fruits and vegetables. The underground facility is capable of sustaining a population of over 1,200 people, with at least 5 years worth of supplies and food stocked at any given time, as required by the Federal Master Contingency Plan. There is a master suite known as the Sovereign Room, which was officially built and intended to be the personal room for the Queen and the Royal Family in the event of a crisis. Unofficially, the room is used to store cleaning supplies and archival material.

Access to the chambers can be done through four entrances, the most prominent being from the elevator descending from the Henderson Tower on the eastern foothills of Red Mountain. Intermediary rooms, furnished with blast doors designed to endure nuclear blast waves contain a network of valves built with unique filters that can capture and remove airborne chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear contaminants. Military security personnel are also posted at every overground tower entrance.

Red Mountain Center[edit | edit source]

The Red Mountain Center is an aboveground complex consisting of three main buildings which sit to the east of the main underground facilities on an artificially flattened basin just north of Bard Peak and Mount Parnassus, and west of Silver Plume Mountain. The Mountain Center includes the Village, a number of apartments and cabins, which surrounds the main center building, known as "The Lodge". The Lodge is a two story building with an underground tunnel that connects it directly to the underground base. It contains a reception room, a number of boardrooms and offices housing the administrative personnel of the Western Anglo-American Joint Air Command and other military organizations from both Sierra and Brazoria respectively. In addition, it features an entertainment hall with eight bowling alleys, a movie theater, a cafeteria and bar, a ballroom, a fitness center, a spa and sauna, and a petting zoo. There are also suite rooms for overnight guests, reserved for high-ranking dignitaries including the Sierran and Brazorian heads of state and government respectively. There are two helipads on the Red Mountain Center grounds, which are capable of docking five standard helicopters on standby each.

The Red Mountain Center also contains an adjacent four-level parking structure and additional parking spaces, as well as maintenance building units and energy generating stations. An internal police station and military outpost are also present near the heavily fortified center, and include a series of gates designed to prevent trespassers who managed to evade detection upon entering in the restricted area's periphery boundaries.

Elkmount Airfield[edit | edit source]

Elkmount has generated significant national controversy in Brazoria over its overtly aggressive signage.

Elkmount Airfield is a two-runway airfield with a control station and aircraft hangars located across the international border in unincorporated area of the Denver Metropolitan Province in Brazoria. It is also an aircraft manufacturing plant, used by Brazorian Air Force, the Sierran Royal Air Force, the Brazorian Commission for Space Exploration (CSE), and the Sierran Royal Aeronautics and Aerospace Administration (R3A). The airfield contains facilities purposed to assembling and compiling aircraft components and engines, and includes laboratory facilities dedicated to provide design, engineering, pre-production, production, modification, flight testing, servicing, refueling, and repairing for a number of military jets and other aircraft. Several private aerospace contractors have an established presence at the Airfield, including Overstars, which maintains a plant on the site.

The base is considered an extension of the nearby Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, which is home to the 420nd Space Wing, a combined Brazorian and Sierran air squadron under the purview of the Conference of American Force Combined Air Force. The airfield serves the Denver Metropolitan Province and vicinity, with over 32,000 active duty personnel assigned to it as their home base. Several dozen tenant units are also on-site.

Since Elkmount Airfield itself is part of Snrith Gulch, it is subject to the same restriction level of maximum security. Only authorized personnel and defense contractors who have undergone appropriate levels of security clearance may enter the premises, and access is heavily controlled at traffic stops. In 2007, two years after the existence of Snrith Gulch was officially acknowledged by the Brazorian government, new warning signs with stern wording were posted throughout the perimeter of the airfield, attracting major controversy and widespread media attention. In 2010, a 25-year old civilian male of Brazorian citizenship attempted to breach the airfield and was quickly apprehended. A single warning shot was fired near his feet to which he fell to the ground in surrender. He had ran about 10 metres into the security perimetre before he was intercepted by nearby security personnel.

Pettingale Observatory[edit | edit source]

The Pettingale Observatory is the most recent addition to the Snrith Gulch, with construction completed in 1981. It was built to take advantage of the night sky, unhindered by local light pollution at the high altitude and considerable distance away from the largest city in the area, Denver. The Observatory includes four different telescopes, including the Deep Space Survey Telescope (DSST). It is staffed by the Brazorian Commission for Space Exploration and the Sierran Royal Aeronautics and Aerospace Administration (R3A) and conducts research on space exploration and mapping, as well as provide support for Anglo-American space communication. It also houses communications line with non-military satellites, tasked with the role of satellite imagery and logistics.

Unofficial sources and whistleblowers have asserted that the Pettingale Observatory is also dedicated towards the search for extraterrestrial life, including the identification of distant planets suitable for sustaining human life. Another commonly purported goal of the Observatory is to discover viable means for advanced space exploration and space colonization. Officially, the Observatory does not mention any of these objectives, although internal documents indicate that these fields of research fall within the acceptable purview of the research facility.

Support area[edit | edit source]

Snrith Gulch is supported by a power generating plant, heating and cooling system, continuous surveillance system, a water supply, and an on-site medical team capable of performing emergency medical procedures ranging from surgeries to decontamination. There is also a large storage of fuel, food, and supplies in the underground facilities, and an undisclosed number of vehicles and aircraft on standby which may be used in an emergency. The base is also capable of communicating with other nearby bases for support. The 89th Command and Control Squadron is responsible for system maintenance and engineering reliability at the facility, and have their own outpost located near the main complex.

History[edit | edit source]

Research and official uses[edit | edit source]

Security[edit | edit source]

Official signage warning the restricted nature of the area

Throughout the perimeter, a highly reinforced, barbed double-fence runs the entire length of the restricted area, and includes posted signs warning would-be trespassers to leave the area promptly. There are security surveillance cameras posted every 10 meters, capable of activating remotely upon detecting movement within a 50 feet radius. In addition, most sections are routinely patrolled or passed by security personnel, and more vulnerable areas (those closer to public roads) have posted security forces on camouflaged mounts. All access points to the base are heavily guarded, with traffic stops arranged about two miles before the actual entrance. Authorized persons must show proof of identification and a written writ from the installation commander indicating they have the security clearance to access the facility. All non-military visitors, including civilian government officials, are subject to screening and body search prior to proceeding. All technology capable of sending or receiving outside communications, recording images or videos, and other items such as knives, weapons, and notebooks are expressly forbidden and will be confiscated and held for the entire duration of the individual's stay at the facility.

UFO and other conspiracy theories[edit | edit source]

The infamous glower alien is an alleged alien kept captive at Snrith Gulch

Similar to the Clark counterpart of Area 51, Snrith Gulch's secretive nature, connection to classified aircraft research, prominence in collaboration between Sierran and Brazorian governments, alleged disappearances, and numerous reports of unusual phenomena around the area have fueled conspiracy theories by UFO enthusiasts and others. Most conspiracies focus on the underground facilities at Snrith Gulch, although some also place importance at the Red Mountain Center and the Elkmount Airfield, both of which are also part of the base and are heavily protected from public access. Popular claims include the use of human experimentation and torture on kidnapped test subjects, often orphaned children or homeless people; storage, examination, and reverse engineering of crashed alien spacecraft; interaction and imprisonment of extraterrestrial beings; the development of advanced technology including time travel and weather control; Freemason and Illuminati-related activities among world leaders; practice of Satanic rituals; development of exotic weapons such as direct-energy beams; breeding supermen through eugenics and bioengineering, including the use of cloning techniques; and the study and captivity of cryptids including the Snrith and glower goblin alien.

In 2009, an anonymous Brazorian amateur filmmaker, purporting to be a soldier stationed at Elkmount Airfield, made a series of three short videos on the video-sharing platform VidStream which claimed to show footage captured in the underground base at Snrith Gulch. The first and second videos focused primarily on extraterrestrial life; the first claimed to show footage of an extraterrestrial being undergoing dissection, and the second claimed to show a UFO being reverse-engineered. The third video, the one which caused the series to go viral, purportedly shows a hallway lined with captured, encased cryptids, including among them specimens of the famous Sasquatch, Snrith, and Chupacabra. While the videos were quickly called out as fake by the mainstream media, the films continue to hold a significant amount of followers and "true believers" who claim that the media's dismissal of the footage is a state-sponsored attempt to cover up the true nature of the underground facilities.

Following the official disclosure and acknowledgment of the base's existence by the Sierran and Brazorian governments in 2006, Snrith Gulch has continued to attract interest by conspiracy theorists. Although some UFO claims near the area have since been debunked as prototypes of aircraft being tested at the base, reports of UFO sightings and other strange phenomena have persisted and stories of such claims have even become a staple mainstay in Anglo-American entertainment and documentaries.

In popular culture[edit | edit source]

Snrith Gulch has become a prominent fixture in Anglo-American culture due to its connection with extraterrestrial life and conspiracy theories. It has been the subject of various films, television shows, songs, books, and other forms of medium in the past few decades of its existence.

Film[edit | edit source]

Television[edit | edit source]

  • In the Sierran animated series My Love/Last Summer, Snrith Gulch is one of the primary setting during Season 2, and includes references to the base's urban legends such as the glower and secret world government.
  • The Snrith Gulch is featured heavily in the Continental-Sierran television series and Webbox original programming Peculiar Occurrences.

Music[edit | edit source]

  • Sierran rapper Thomas Winslow has promoted conspiracy theories surrounding Snrith Gulch to his fanbase through his social media and music. In spring 2018, he claimed he was visited by law enforcement who informed him to take down online posts relating to the conspiracies. He further claimed that he was being monitored and gangstalked by the government due to his comments.

Literature[edit | edit source]

  • Jack Kreyling's Beneath the Radar science fiction-mystery series deals heavily with Snrith Gulch and other secret locations, and includes the base as the setting for several of its books.

Video games[edit | edit source]

Other[edit | edit source]

  • Sierran-Brazorian fast food chain restaurant Crashburger refers to its secret menu as "Snrith Gulch" and features the glower alien, an alien strongly associated with the base, on its logo, marketing, products, and merchandising.

See also[edit | edit source]