Archive for the ‘Roadrunner News Archive’ Category

CIA Pilot BrigGen Dennis Sullivan enshrined in Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame

On 29 November 2011 BrigGen Dennis Sullivan was enshrined into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, in 1927, Brig. Gen. Dennis Sullivan is a 1950 Naval Academy graduate. In 1962, he was chosen for the Central Intelligence Agency’s Project OxCart to pilot a Mach 3-plus A-12 reconnaissance airplane to replace the U-2. For five years he flew top-secret missions, including combat missions in “Project Black Shield” over North Vietnam to locate SAM sites. He returned to regular Air Force duties in 1968, accumulating 7,000 hours in dozens of aircraft.

General Sullivan holds the distinction of flying the only Blackbird surveillance, CIA A-12 or Air Force SR-71, to be hit by an enemy missile. During a flight on 30 October 1967, CIA pilot Dennis Sullivan detected radar tracking on his first pass over North Vietnam. Two sites prepared to launch missiles but neither did. During the second pass at least six missiles were fired at the OXCART, each confirmed by missile vapor trails on mission photography. Sullivan saw these vapor trails and witnessed three missile detonations. Post-flight inspection of the aircraft revealed that a piece of metal had penetrated the lower right wing fillet area and lodged against the support structure of the wing tank. The fragment was not a warhead pellet but may have been a part of the debris from one of the missile detonations observed by the pilot.

Legion of Merit Medal w/1 OLCAir Medal W/2 OLCDistinguished Flying Cross Medal W/1 OLCMeritorous Service Medal

Awarded CIA Intelligence Star for Valor

Click here for more about BGen Sullivan

BGen Sullivan's Induction Photo

29 September 2011 News Release

Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame
468 Palegold Street
Henderson, NV 89012
Phone: 702-481-0568


CONTACT: Dawn Barlow-Curtis, 702-561-6372 September 29, 2011


HENDERSON, Nevada – September 29, 2011 is Media Day to kick off several exciting events leading up to the March 2012 opening of the Atomic Testing Museum’s new exhibit, Area 51 Myth or Reality. NVAHOF Director, Thornton D. “TD” Barnes, MSGT Harry Martin, and retired atmUSAF Lt. Col. Roger Andersen, all of Area 51 CIA Project OXCART fame, will join the Atomic Testing Museum for this special VIP Media Day where they will discuss their recently declassified activities at Area 51.

On October 4, 2011, at the museum, the NVAHOF will field a broad spectrum of former Area 51 CIA and Air Force pilots, project support personnel from CIA, FAA, USAF, and the civilian sector, to share their recently declassified accounts of the early projects at Area 51. This is a great kickoff for the Atomic Testing Museums Area 51 Myth or Reality exhibit, and an equally great opportunity for NVAHOF to educate the public and tomorrow’s engineers and leaders about the exciting, state-of-the-art achievements emerging from beneath the shroud of secrecy that is Area 51.

The evening of October 4th, NVAHOF, the Central Intelligence Agency, the UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, and the UNLV History Department will conduct the second lecture of the Dean’s Conversation Series at 7:30 p.m. in the new UNLV Science and Engineering Building. Archangel: the CIA’s Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft, will be presented by CIA Chief Historian, Dr. David Robarge and a panel discussion will take place veterans of the A-12 program, CIA pilot, Frank Murray of Gardnerville, CIA Special Projects engineer/technician, TD Barnes of Henderson, and CIA/Air Force pilot and Operations Officer Roger Andersen of Las Vegas. Dr. Robarge will give a brief overview of CIA activities in Nevada during the Cold War and particularly will discuss the generalities of the A-12 program. The rest of the evening will be a conversation between the historical program participants and the audience. Only recently declassified, many of these details and topics have rarely been discussed in open public forums.

On Wednesday, October 5th, capitalizing on the presence of Roadrunners Internationale members and the Lockheed-Martin sponsor in town for the 22nd biennial Roadrunners Internationale reunion, NVAHOF has organized an optional activity for those attending the reunion to meet in Rachel, Nevada for a fun-filled afternoon mixing with the locals. Members of the public are welcome to join the tour. An invitation has also been extended to the Air Force to join in the fun as three decades or more of myths about Area 51 vaporize into reality. Dr. Robarge, Chief Historian at CIA, and Cheryl Moore, with the CIA EAA Store, will join in the public relations and fun as the Roadrunners autograph Dr. Robarge’s monograph and photos provided by NVAHOF photographer Mike Schmitz. Connie Pardew, NVAHOF Director of Communications and Development for Northern Nevada will generate an excellent account of this historical event. NVAHOF thanks Dreamland Resorts and Roadrunners Internationale webmaster, Joerg Arnu for organizing and managing this historic adventure. It has been said that controlling the Roadrunners on a tour is more challenging for the organizer than herding cats and chickens.

On October 7, 2011, following the Roadrunner reunion, Barnes, Friedrichs, Robarge, Moore, and Schmitz will join Nellis Public Affairs officer Gene Hill on a tour of Nellis AFB. After the tour they will be meeting to discuss plans for the organized collection and preservation of future declassified aerospace history to ensure that nothing is lost.

October 14, 2011, the NVAHOF will conduct its second annual Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony and Dinner. Eight legends of aviation in the state of Nevada will be included this year. The event will be held at The Landing Restaurant in the Henderson Executive Air Terminal. The induction dinner and ceremony is open to the public. Those wishing information or wanting to attend can contact NVAHOF at

NVAHOF public outreach and educational activities for the past year included: promotional presence at the Reno Air Races and the Nellis Air Force Base Open House, and Naval Air Station, Fallon. NVAHOF also participated in the reunion of the Atomic Curtiss Marines and meetings of the Daedalians Fighter Flight #62 at Nellis AFB. On September 23rd NVAHOF participated in an educational tour of Bigelow Aerospace in North Las Vegas.

In 2010 the NVAHOF organized and participated in a 10-day, Oxcart Legacy Tour in Washington, D.C. Former workers of Nevada's Groom Lake facility gave presentations at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum, the Capitol Hill Club, and the International Spy Museum. They held their first induction ceremony in November 2010.

About the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame

The Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame is a non-profit, educational foundation dedicated to preserving the legacy of the men and women who pioneered aerospace within the State of Nevada. The Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame established and maintains an ongoing means of honoring individuals who have contributed in a significant manner, to the development, advancement, and promotion of aerospace in the Battle Born State of Nevada, or elsewhere. NVAHOF also honors individuals who were not native to Nevada, but whose careers enhanced the aerospace climate worldwide as well as in space. The mission of NVAHOF is unique as it especially recognizes and honors the men and women of the Cold War who worked within the CIA, USAF, and civilians, who worked in secrecy at Groom Lake, the Nevada Test Site, the NASA High Range, Tonopah Test Range, Nellis AFB, Creech AFB, the Fallon Air Station, Stead AFB, and related sites in the state of Nevada.

The goal is to foster, promote, and encourage a better sense of appreciation by the public of those persons’ contributions and the role of aerospace, and to perpetuate the memory of those honored by means of public displays and announcements. Except in cases involving national security concerns, archival materials collected in the course of researching the above mentioned individuals, will be filed for future historical reference. Exceptional and responsible consideration will be given to selection of nominees without compromising the secrecy of their deeds and accomplishments.

The primary educational objectives of the NVAHOF focus on honoring the past while promoting the future of aviation. NVAHOF provides a state-wide Speakers Bureau for outreach within the community. They have also created an accessible archive of Nevada aviation history on the organizations website. An on-line virtual museum and artifact archive/storage satisfies the final educational objective, while the NVAHOF searches for a permanent home for its collection. The uniqueness and diversity of Nevada’s aviation projects make it the most important state in the nation in regards to cutting-edge aerospace technology and development.

Archangel – CIA’s Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft

On October 4, 2011, UNLV (University Nevada Las Vegas) College of Engineering and the History Department and NVAHOF (Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame) will sponsor and conduct a presentation and Q&A about the Archangel – CIA’s Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft that flew at Nevada’s Groom Lake to conduct reconnaissance missions over North Vietnam and North Korea in the 1960s. CIA Chief Historian David Robarge, Ph.D., CIA A-12 pilot Frank Murray, and Area 51 Special Project’s Hypersonic Flight Support Specialist Thornton D. “TD” Barnes will conduct a question and answer presentation at the SED Auditorium SEB (Science & Technology Engineering Building) auditorium starting at 7:30 p.m..


The public is invited to join NVAHOF and the Atomic Testing Museum as they kick off the 18-month Area 51 Myth or Reality educational exhibit by hosting members of the Roadrunners Internationale participants in CIA Projects AQUATONE (U-2 plane) and OXCART (A-12 Blackbird plane) in Las Vegas for their 22d reunion.The Roadrunners will be available at the Atomic Testing Museum to speak and meet the public from 09:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. October 4th.

November 2010 Roadrunner News

American Flag heading Nevada Flag


October 2010 Roadrunner News

American Flag heading Nevada Flag


September 2010 Roadrunner News

American Flag heading Nevada Flag


August 2010 Roadrunner Newsletter

American Flag heading Nevada Flag


July 2010 Roadrunner News

Dear Folks,

As we head toward the traditionally patriotic July 4 festivities, I thought of you all. I want to thank you all for the time and effort you have accorded me in my search to understand my Grandfathers life and accomplishments. I began this whole endeavor with an extremely narrow, self centered view of the history that you all lived. Through our many and different conversations, I have begun to gain a profound gratitude for the truly amazing things you have been a part of. It has been an awesome privilege to have “met” you all, and to have the opportunity to begin the learning process with your help. So from my generation to yours, I humbly submit a heart felt thank you for all the ways you have labored to preserve our country’s freedom and sovereignty, not to mention the astounding technical advances borne of your labor. Without you, and the men and women like you, my children would be inheriting a very different world.

Happy Independence day,

Regards and best wishes,

Tristan Fernald.

May 2010 Roadrunner News

LM OXCART Dinner & Symposium


On 22 April 2010 Lockheed Martin Leadership Association hosted a dinner and symposium event for the participants in CIA A-12 Project OXCART at Groom Lake and Operation Blackshield at Kadena, Okinawa. Master of Ceremonies Kent Burns with LM did an excellent job of organizing the event. Roadrunner President T.D. Barnes moderated a panel consisting of Lockheed Test Pilots Bob Gilliland and Jim Eastham, Lockheed engineer and manager Bob Murphy, Air Force 1129th SAS commander Colonel Slip Slater, CIA A-12 pilot Colonel Ken Collins, and CIA A-12 pilot Lt. Colonel Frank Murray. The panelists provided a feisty account of the Oxcart Project that resonated and created a common bond with others who worked or are working at Groom Lake with the mention of Murphy Green who ran a tight, regimented mess hall for several generations of Groom Lake workers.We thank all those at Lockheed Martin who made this enjoyable dinner and symposium possible and those who attended to hear our stories. We especially want to thank Pete Merlin for making the Blackbird Airpark available for those attending the event and to Mike Schmitz for his photographing the event and making these photos available for us to share. We thank Jim Brown for his presentation on the A-12 imagery and Angus Batey who traveled from the UK to attend the event.Please let us know if we missed identifying those in the photos

Host Kent Burns playing Uncle Sam Jim Eastham Barnes, Eastham, Slater Roadrunner President T.D. Barnes
Symposium Panel Murray, Eastham, Murphy A-12 Pilot Ken Collins Test Pilot Bob Gilliland
A-12 Pilot Frank Murray Murray w Lockheed Cap Murray, Murphy, Andersen at Air Park Colonel Slip Slater
Test Pilot Jim Eastham Lockheed Engineer Bob Murphy Pete Merlin Murray and guests
lm_4-22-10-019.jpg Murphy Sandra and Barbara Slater Linda and Slater
Merlin Andersen, Linda, Murphy Annie Jacobsen and Andersen Gilliland and Barnes
lm_4-22-10-029.jpg Barnes, Merlin, Batey Doris Barnes, Stella and Frank Murray lm_4-22-10-032.jpg
Roger Andersen, Linda, and table mates Kent Burns and son

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