Followup: Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) in Seattle, in daylight

(Photo by MIKE SIEGEL/SEATTLE TIMES [WSB partner], republished with permission)
Hundreds watched it arrive in Elliott Bay, passing West Seattle shores late last night (WSB coverage here) – and this morning, the Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) is in place at Vigor Shipyard (formerly Todd) on Harbor Island for three months of work – also visible from the West Seattle Bridge, as Brian Presser from TouchTech Systems observed while in this morning’s nightmare traffic (WSB coverage of THAT, here):

Hours after the SBX arrival, officials from the Missile Defense Agency and Vigor hosted media reps to get a somewhat closer look, though tours on board the facility itself were not offered. Army Col. Mark Arn, the SBX project manager for the MDA, explained a few things you might not have heard, even if you have been following our coverage over the past week. For one, a little more on why it’s here for the next 3 months: Routine maintenance, upgrades including power and radar – such as, enabling it to hook into shore power so its diesel generators don’t have to run ALL the time – and work on its thrusters, since it’s coming up on a “5-year certification renewal.” That requires a shipyard at a deep-water port (at least 50 feet), and Vigor qualified.

Yes, he reiterated, it won’t be operating while here. So what if somebody just accidentally flipped the switch? That can’t happen, Col. Arn insisted – putting it into operation requires a sequence of processes far beyond just pressing a button or flipping a switch. By the way, up to 100 people can live on board, though they have been closer to 85 lately. How sensitive is it, as a missile (or whatever) detector? He had an interesting analogy in this next minute-plus of video (the main questioner you hear is longtime aerospace reporter Glenn Farley from KING5), along with information on what’s under the dome:

Col. Arn said the SBX arrival here now also has to do with its schedule; it participates in missile-defense tests, including one less than a month ago. It’s the only one of its kind, and he said there are no current plans for another one; he mentioned its total cost in the vicinity of a billion dollars. The work at Vigor is estimated at $27 million.

ADDED 5:33 PM: One more view, from our friend Rebecca Nelson, who runs Ravenna Blog, has some nautical chops, and was first to tell us (about two weeks ago!) that something big was headed this way – a look from the water:

26 Replies to "Followup: Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) in Seattle, in daylight"

  • Maggie "SudsyMaggie" Sudduth May 11, 2011 (12:30 pm)

    WOW! That first shot by Mike Siegel is amazing. I look forward to wandering down to the port one of these days to get a closer look. Thanks for all the great SBX coverage!

  • austin May 11, 2011 (12:50 pm)

    With all the fishermen out on the bay this morning the water taxi had to cut more eastward than usual, giving riders a good view of the thing. Avoiding the traffic while getting an up close look was worth the extra 50¢.

  • dsa May 11, 2011 (4:04 pm)

    He said it can track a Safeco baseball from *where*? I thought he said Chesapeake

    • WSB May 11, 2011 (4:12 pm)

      That’s exactly what he said (I was standing about two feet from him). THAT sensitive, apparently.

  • S May 11, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    Saw this docked at Harbor Island this morning on the way to work.. Pretty cool.

  • Mookie May 11, 2011 (4:55 pm)

    I’ve read that it can “track something the size of a baseball over a distance of approx 2900 miles.” Just when, you know, it feels like it – the SBX-1 failed to detect much during a US anti-missile test of ‘Iran or N Korea’ attack in February 2010.
    $900 million. Yay.

  • Rebecca May 11, 2011 (7:31 pm)

    “Nautical chops.” What a nice way of saying “big ‘ol boat geek.” Thanks. :)

  • Marc Mauger May 11, 2011 (8:13 pm)

    oh good, I can sleep at night now knowing I am safe from missiles.

  • Rhonda Porter May 11, 2011 (8:16 pm)

    it’s like a Rumba for missiles!

    • WSB May 11, 2011 (9:00 pm)

      That’s a good one too. I opined on Twitter that it looked like the OmniDroid from “The Incredibles” …

  • MikePiz May 12, 2011 (10:17 am)

    Pretty cool. Check this picture from Boeing News of the SBX at night with the Space needle in the background:

    • WSB May 12, 2011 (10:23 am)

      Unfortunately that appears to be an internal Boeing link. Our many Boeing readers may at least be able to see it!

  • Leroy Font May 12, 2011 (11:30 am)

    When my wife asked me if I heard about the strange ship that came into Elliot Bay I said no. I was horrified when I saw
    it because I instantly recognized it. “What did they say it was?” I asked. So I watch the local news and read the paper hoping at least one media outlet would do their homework, but this is Seattle, and the real news is never there.

    This is a floating HAARP facility. Google HAARP SBX and read
    up to speed. I suppose weather modification, strings of massive earthquakes, 1,300 tornadoes in April. birds falling from the skies in triangular patterns and virtually no garden insects in Seattle is perfectly normal. Go back to sleep its just a big radar.

  • S Kelby May 12, 2011 (1:03 pm)

    On a note unrelated to the XBS itself, the photoshop “enhancements” on the first picture were executed extremely poorly and are very distracting! This is the type of thing that detracts from otherwise credible blog posts and stories. Not sure who performed this retouching but hiring a professional with the appropriate skill set would be highly advised if there are plans to enhance further photos. Sorry to get off topic.

    • WSB May 12, 2011 (1:39 pm)

      S Kelby, we haven’t enhanced ANYTHING. The only thing we have ever done is blurred license plate numbers or faces on occasion, or tags, and if we do, we SAY SO – this is a 100 percent transparent news organization. The top photo is taken directly from the Seattle Times, whose photographer Mike Siegel was at the same official event I was, but he went with a separate group that got closer on the ground to the facility. What do you think has been “enhanced”? If you tell me what looks enhanced to you, I will ask them about it – I got permission, as we have a relationship with the Times, to save the photo from their site via right-clicking, which I did, and my only further processing action was to resize it and upload it to our server, as I can’t run it at the size they did – here’s the page on which they published it:

  • VBD May 12, 2011 (1:36 pm)

    @ Leroy: Thank you for the good laugh! The HAARP crazies are one of my guilty pleasures. Right up there with the chem-trail nuts.

    BTW, if anyone is interested, I have special shielding crystals, designed from secret Tesla documents, that will protect you. Just send me $50, and I’ll sell you a one.

  • S Kelby May 12, 2011 (1:55 pm)

    Hey TR, here is a link to the non-retouched image, much different then the image posted here as you can see.


    • WSB May 12, 2011 (3:22 pm)

      Different photographer. Not the same image. Have no idea what equipment they respectively use, either.

  • austin May 12, 2011 (2:37 pm)

    It’s just the shadows/highlights filter, it will not harm you.

  • Leroy Font May 12, 2011 (3:18 pm)

    @ VBD: If only it were funny. The old ploys of ridicule will no longer work when people look at their own soil in their own yard and virtually every living insect is gone. No butterflies no bees. But don’t take my word look at the latest soil test taken by professionals and the film recorded by the current geo engineers meetings. see link.
    The canary in the coal mine died people. The days of warnings are over. Look at the levels aluminum and ask yourself how it got on the sides of mountains and inaccessible pristine lakes? If you watch the news they say the radiation from Japan is perfectly fine, nothing to worry about, then you see what they say off camera. Don’t eat the food for 600 years! 1,300 tornadoes! Does that sound natural to you? Come on turn off America Idol for a second and look outside,

    “If all the insects were to disappear from the Earth, within fifty years all life on Earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within fifty years all forms of life would flourish.” ~Jonas Salk

    1 of 7 What in the world are they spraying?

  • vbd May 12, 2011 (5:04 pm)

    Oh Leroy…. Good luck with your quest.

    Just know that you will have as much success stopping the chem-spraying as you will keeping the Easter Bunny from delivering eggs.

  • jane May 15, 2011 (9:13 am)

    er, this is HAARP. you are all gabbing about how ‘cool’ it is….wake up! it’s NOT just about tracking. weather manipulation, mind control, more…don’t believe me? i have all the data, it’s just in pdf government docs and i haven’t figured out how to link to them. working on that. but it IS THERE, so before you go saying i’m full of it, find out for yourself.

  • vbd May 15, 2011 (12:48 pm)

    er, Jane, did you even read the information in the site you posted? HAARP is an HF research facility in Alaska, used for analyzing the ionosphere. The SBX is an X-band radar designed for missile defense. The two projects are not related in any way.

    You ask that readers “wake up”, and do some research. I would suggest the same to you. And believe me, the engineers working on these projects did not get their education watching YouTube and Jessie Ventura….

  • vance May 22, 2011 (1:26 pm)

    I want to put up some really large video projectors and project some images on this thing. What a great venue for some public art. Except – I don’t think I’d like the coast guard’s reaction….

  • vance May 22, 2011 (1:29 pm)

    Oh good lord Jane: HAARP systems look very different from this. Sure, HAARP is a real thing, but it wouldn’t really make sense to put a HAARP antenna in a dome like this.

    That bizarre assertion that it’s for weather manipulation and mind control really doesn’t make any scientific sense. I look forward to reading though those government PDFs.

  • Greta June 11, 2011 (2:05 am)

    I have a B.S. in physics from MIT and a his Ph.D. in physics from a prestigious University, I can assure each and everyone here since i have worked on the sytem with the late Dr Eastlund, that HAARP can and has the capibility to do all which Miss Jane has stated.
    To vbd you are an ignorant person who lacks comprehensive understanding of scientific inventions, further Geo-engineering also known as Chentrails works in unisom with the HAARP system.

    Intense aerial spraying has being reported over: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
    Here is a list of what is being sprayed via aerial distribution, the contends what’s in the aerial spraying conducted in all 50 states and in the NATO countries by the way,

    Aluminum Oxide Particles, Arsenic, Bacilli and Molds, Barium Salts, Barium Titanates, Cadmium, Calcium, Chromium, Desiccated Human Red Blood Cells, Ethylene Dibromide, Enterobacter Cloacal, Enterobacteriaceae, Human white Blood Cells-A (restrictor enzyme used in research labs to snip and combine DNA), Lead, Mercury, Methyl Aluminum, Mold Spores, Mycoplasma, Nano-Aluminum-Coated Fiberglass, Nitrogen Trifluoride, Known as CHAFF), Nickel, Polymer Fibers, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Pseudomonas Florescens, Radioactive Cesium, Radio Active Thorium, Selenium, Serratia Marcscens, Sharp Titanium Shards, Silver, Streptomyces, Stronthium, Sub-Micron Particles(Containing Live Biological Matter), Unidentified Bacteria, Uranium, and Yellow Fungal Mycotoxins.
    This has been a black OPS operation since the early ’60 if not earlier.

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