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  Secrets and signs in NRO, DoD patches

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Author Topic:   Secrets and signs in NRO, DoD patches
KC Stoever
Member

Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 04-01-2008 08:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A distinguished "aerospace archaeologist" named Trevor Paglen (getting his PhD at UC Berkeley) is quoted at length in this fascinating "Science Times" (NYT) story by William J. Broad on military patches, particularly those designed for black ops.

There's a funny patch devoted to Area 51 too. The print version shows more patches than the online version.

And eminent cSer Dwayne Day is quoted as well. Day and coauthor Roger Guillemette wrote about patches for clandestine space programs in the Space Review.

Day says, in the Times story: "It's neat stuff... They're not really giving away secrets. But the patches do go farther than the organizations want to go officially."

Oh, with Wally's Sigma 7 in mind, "Sigma" appears to be a favorite greek symbol for many of these patches.

Anyway, a lovely article, with terrific (and a little scary) patch designs!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27914
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-01-2008 10:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This topic came to mind earlier today as I was taking part in the Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museum's conference. Cathy Lewis with the National Air and Space Museum spoke about her research into Znachki, Soviet space pins that were contemporary to the programs they represented.

During the Q&A session, Lewis was asked to comment on how the space hardware depicted on these pins differed from the actual vehicles. She replied that Soviet engineering bureaus would never have wanted the details of their spacecraft to appear on the pins, as the specifics was sensitive data to be protected.

I immediately thought of the NRO patches (such as this one, as well as Dwayne's and Roger's recent article).

kyra
Member

Posts: 517
From: Louisville CO US
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-04-2008 08:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The policy of only representing the rocket and spacecraft in generic terms extended to all contemporary memorabilia and published materials.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27914
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-16-2010 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NRO spokesman Art Haubold, in an telephone interview with collectSPACE was unable to comment on Molczan's findings.
The above is an excerpt from an article I wrote about an NRO patch in 2000.

I couldn't help but recall that conversation when, through Twitter, I came across this NRO memo (PDF) today. It was issued in 2008 to specifically address what to do if and when questions arise about space patches and their symbolism.

(The two journalists referred to in the memo are undoubtedly Dwayne Day and Roger Guillemette about their 2008 The Space Review article, as linked to earlier in this thread.)

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2236
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-17-2010 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In a related topic, and a question probably best posed to one of the two, how was it found out that there existed a variant STS-38 patch, one with the black/gray section of the starburst on the top and the yellow on the bottom? Was there a photo that inadvertantly showed this?

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 604
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 06-15-2012 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
Was there a photo that inadvertently showed this?
The photo is at the top of this page.

p51
Member

Posts: 839
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 06-15-2012 10:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have designed a few ICBM test launch and nuke unit patches in the past for the USAF, and all of them had hidden things.

The people out at "Groom Lake" have patches that, if you saw them somewhere, you'd never connect the two. NOBODY out there wears a patch that is obviously related to that location just by reading it...

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 604
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 10-14-2013 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is another example: STS-27 "Spirit of Forty Four: First to Fly" patch.

All times are CT (US)

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