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View Full Version : Need a primer on US cloak and dagger stuff



Willowmound
09-01-2009, 11:39 AM
Let's pretend the US found a crash-landed flying saucer. Or maybe it was an interdimensional toilet seat. Anyway, they want to keep it and they want to keep it a secret.

WHO would get the responsibility of looking after it? The army? NASA? The Secret Service?

WHERE would they take it? Let's say it's the size of a fridge. Do they always haul these things to Nevada? Why not a lab in, I don't know, Miami?

HOW MANY people would necessarily need know about something like this? Or rather, how much of a secret can an interdimensional toilet seat held by the Americans be kept?

I hope none of this is too vague. I'd appreciate any input muchly.

:Thumbs:

alleycat
09-01-2009, 01:41 PM
Just guessing . . . (what would work for a story anyway).

The Air Force would probably be in charge. They could take it to the nearest Air Force Base and put it in a hanger. If you need to, you could involve other government agencies in a limited degree for their expertise in certain areas (say, the Center for Disease Control if they want to make sure the UFO doesn't contain any pathogens; or the FBI if a civilian saw the UFO and they want to find the person and keep him quiet).

The Secret Service probably wouldn't be involved at all in something like this. They have a rather limited focus.

Linda Adams
09-01-2009, 02:38 PM
WHO would get the responsibility of looking after it? The army? NASA? The Secret Service?

Military sounds like a good bet because they have the manpower and the equipment to haul away the spacecraft, not to mention facilities. Army would probably do the hauling because they have the equipment to transport it. Army is set up for ground transportation.

Secret Service: Not their mission. http://www.secretservice.gov/mission.shtml


WHERE would they take it? Let's say it's the size of a fridge. Do they always haul these things to Nevada? Why not a lab in, I don't know, Miami?

Probably the nearest military facility. After that, you might get Air Force involved to haul it to a more secure place.


HOW MANY people would necessarily need know about something like this? Or rather, how much of a secret can an interdimensional toilet seat held by the Americans be kept?

Given the Internet, if a spaceship crashed in the desert, it seems like it would be awfully hard to keep a secret. All you need is one person to take a cell phone picture and it's out there.

Willowmound
09-01-2009, 02:52 PM
Okay. Very good. Thanks.

Now what if these secretive Americans learned of the existence of another such interdimensional toilet seat in another country and were determined to get it? Whom would they send?

This would be a covert operation aiming to extract the thingamajig without the other country's government's knowledge, of course. And with as few people as possible in the US knowing as well.

Noah Body
09-01-2009, 05:12 PM
Is this to be a military operation to take the device?

Willowmound
09-01-2009, 05:16 PM
Probably. Whichever way would be the most likely.

Noah Body
09-01-2009, 05:17 PM
The type of operation to be launched depends entirely upon the value of the asset, and of course, its size. It also depends on which host nation is the target. Can you be specific?

Willowmound
09-01-2009, 05:30 PM
The interdimensional thingamabob is valuable enough that the US will risk stealing it from foreign soil, but not so valuable that they would risk a war.

I'm thinking it's in Argentina. The Argentinian government doesn't know that it's there.

It's the size of a large fridge.

Noah Body
09-01-2009, 05:52 PM
Then a special operations task force would be best. The smaller the better, but not so small that it can't reasonably do the job, and not so large that it would be detected. I'm most familiar with the Army side of the house, so I would start there (though I have had practical experience with Navy SPECWARCOM and USAF SOWs.) Ingress from the sea from over the horizon would be the most likely route, since the object has to be transported out of the country. I'd recommend the following:

Two USN frigates (Perry class), though in truth an aircraft carrier would be best

Three MH-47E Chinooks from 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)

Four AH-6J Little Birds from 1st Battalion, 160 SOAR(A) for aerial suppression and CAS, each carrying two M134 miniguns and 14 2.75" folding-fin aerial rockets

Two squads of ground operators--I would recommend Delta, since they have the most wide-ranging skills out of the box. (SEALs have similar skills, and Army Special Forces could probably fill in as well. USAF Air Commandos, if they still exist, would be a poor choice.) One squad would be the actual go-team in one MH-47E, while the second is the standby in case something goes wrong, like the first MH-47E burning in. The third MH-47E would conduct Combat Search and Rescue (C-SAR) in the event one or both Chinooks go down

If this sounds like something you're interested in, let me know--the tactics, techniques, and procedures are very detailed, and I don't want to spew them out here if this isn't what you're looking for.

Willowmound
09-01-2009, 06:11 PM
This is fantastically good, actually. I'm not planning on including this as a scene, so very detailed it need not be, but still -- the more I know, the better. Feel free to spew as much or as little as you like. So far, it's gold.

Noah Body
09-01-2009, 06:44 PM
Well, if it all happens off-stage, you could just refer to it as a special operation in Argie territory to recover the goods.

There are a host of factors that would shape such an operation, such as ground defenses surrounding the object of interest, its geographical location (mountains? coastline?), the political environment of the time, and resources available. U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base has oversight for the entire special operations forces community, so the go orders would come from there and be pushed down to the organic SOF command at the respective branches: Army Special Operations Command (A-SOC) for the Army, Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM for the squids) and Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) for the zoomies. There was once a component called Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) which was a battlefield liaison between the respective services and SOCOM, but that's likely a thing of the past, now that SOCOM has their own liaison officers attached to pretty much every divisional command.

Also, one thing I didn't mention earlier: you said your object is the size of a refrigerator, but you didn't say how heavy it was. MH-47s are heavy lift helicopters, so they could sling it out and back to the boats, or just redeploy to the continental US by conducting several aerial refueling missions (referred to as A/R in the special operations aviation community) and fly it home that way.

If there are specifics you'd like to know, tell me. Otherwise, I'm not so sure I should be tossing you a bunch of gems you have no use for. ;)

DavidZahir
09-01-2009, 09:32 PM
Just a thought -- to some extent jurisdiction might depend on where the thing came down and/or which military units might be closest. I would imagine that the FBI would be called in for purposes of security regarding any civilians. Another thought -- the CIA would very likely want to be involved in this kind of covert operation. Which is not to say they would be involved, because I don't believe that would be their call to make.

At one time (and I've no reason to believe this has changed) covert operations (at least major ones) were vetted by something called the 40 Committee, which included the heads of the CIA, NSA, etc. Just an extra detail you might or might not find useful.

Noah Body
09-01-2009, 10:46 PM
That's just not so. When a SOF mission is launched, the CIA is consulted if it's in the best interests of the mission, but since they do not routinely practice IPB--Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield--what they have to offer usually encompasses other aspects that would not be available to the J-2/G-2. NSA intel is usually much more useful than anything the CIA brings to the table.

The FBI is also proscribed by law from becoming involved in international operations unless a crime against US civilians has occurred. I'm sure there are circumstances which might dictate otherwise, but they are far from the norm.

DavidZahir
09-02-2009, 03:11 AM
Okay, I bow to your superior knowledge.

StephanieFox
09-02-2009, 04:05 AM
They keep the extraterrestrials in the southwestern part of the USA (like Nevada) because there aren't many people and lots of empty stinkin' desert. Also, if one got out, you probably couldn't tell it apart from the rest of the local population. Just sayin'.

They might take it to North Dakota, but I don't think there are any people there at all.

Willowmound
09-02-2009, 03:00 PM
If there are specifics you'd like to know, tell me. Otherwise, I'm not so sure I should be tossing you a bunch of gems you have no use for. ;)

No, better hang onto those gems till they're needed.

You seem something of an expert. Any thoughts on the kind of equipment one might need for a clandestine surveillance job in Antarctica? This one is on stage, and already written, though not at all finished.

Noah Body
09-02-2009, 05:56 PM
What kind of surveillance are you asking about? Human eyes on target, or otherwise?

Noah Body
09-02-2009, 05:58 PM
Okay, I bow to your superior knowledge.

LOL, I don't know about that!

Willowmound
09-02-2009, 06:05 PM
Some people on an Antarctic research station are searching their surrounds for something (another interdimensional toilet seat, in fact).

Our group of professionals have been hired to make sure their boss knows everything that goes on at the station. If the researchers find what they are looking for, our professionals are tasked with seizing it. In addition to this, they are keeping an eye out for a certain individual who may or may not show up at the station. If he does, they are to capture him.

Throughout, they can NOT enter the station. Also, they must attempt to remain undiscovered. They have a mole at the station.

I think that should cover most of it.

Willowmound
09-02-2009, 06:07 PM
Oh and they are a private security firm. Mixed nationalities.

Noah Body
09-02-2009, 07:09 PM
Well, I don't know how a private security firm would do this kind of work. Though they would likely recruit former professional soldiers, like Blackwater (or Xe Services (http://www.xecompany.com/index.html), as it's called these days). You've selected an area where physical surveillance would be difficult, as aerostats (blimps with surveillance gear) would most likely be noticed. There are some Israeli-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) available which could provide high-altitude overflights of the installation to map physical changes, as well as provide radar and infrared coverage, but the only way to provide fulltime surveillance without using satellites is for your guys to dig in, camouflage their hide sites, and keep eyes on target. Essentially, they would use Special Reconnaissance (SR) tactics employed by US Army Special Forces. I've never done anything like this personally, as I was with another unit entirely, but this is pretty tedious work. Not only are you tied to the hide site, but the site has to be completely sanitized--that is, constructed in a way where people won't notice it unless they actually walk into the thing. (And having to poop in baggies probably gets old pretty quick, too.)

Binoculars, night vision devices (AN/PVS-7B night vision goggles, also referred to as just "NVGs"), even sniper scopes would probably be used. Maybe even recording devices, though that might be going a little far, since if the team is compromised, they'd have all that evidence on hand unless they uplink it. Commo would likely come from encrypted satellite communications gear, like the SATCOM III or STU stuff. I would presume this type of gear is commercially available at this point in time.

Inserting the team would be difficult as well--they'd have to come in at night, most likely, and using vehicles would be problematic as they would have to be camouflaged as well, so it's either by helicopter or parachute, or what I would presume would be an arduous overland march. Exfiltration offers another dimension in complexity--if the team is compromised, how do they get out? Helicopters seem to be the best way, and it's the manner I'd be used to, but does your contractor team have these resources?

Willowmound
09-03-2009, 05:22 PM
Oh, very good. The team's resources are limited only by what I need for the story. Their employer is rich, to put it mildly.

I've had them come by sea because I need their stealth boat later. And I thought it made sense. Everything's happening near the coast.

Thanks hugely again for your help. I hope you're around the next time I need this kind of advice.

Noah Body
09-03-2009, 05:23 PM
Sure, no problem. I'm usually around. Until then...stay thirsty. :D

jeseymour
09-03-2009, 05:57 PM
(And having to poop in baggies probably gets old pretty quick, too.)

Especially in Antarctica. Seriously. My brother-in-law just got back from a stint in Antarctica, with some interesting stories. We are talking really cold. He explained things about how you can't land a plane (or a helicopter) if there are penguins on the runway, as the penguins are protected. You are not allowed to shoo the penguins away either. You have to wait until they leave. He also mentioned another type of bird that will physically attack anyone they think might have food. Scooby birds? I could ask. But Antarctica would be a tough place to operate in. Just saying. :)

quixote100104
09-04-2009, 08:35 AM
Now what if these secretive Americans learned of the existence of another such interdimensional toilet seat in another country and were determined to get it? Whom would they send?

This would be a covert operation aiming to extract the thingamajig without the other country's government's knowledge, of course. And with as few people as possible in the US knowing as well.

I seem to recall a (possibly apocryphal) story about a covert US operation to recover a crashed Soviet aircraft (either a Mig or a Hind, I forget) in the 80s. Flew in in helos and lifted it back over a freindly border. Anyone else familliar with the story? Even if untrue, the story itself might provide good ideas for this.

Noah Body
09-04-2009, 04:29 PM
We pulled it out of Afghanistan. It was one of the first ones captured, and it was taken to the Operational Threat Support Activity (OTSA) at Ft. Bliss and rebuilt. It was airlifted out by an MH-47D.