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Old 11-11-2008, 03:55 PM   #16
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So, a little info on the Hot Cell building. As I mentioned, this was the one building they did not tear down. The blame lies on the incredible effort and expense it would take to knock down 48 inch thick steel and concrete walls. All openings have been sealed with concrete blocks and steel plates. The 2 fences are there to deter people from getting a closer look. Radiation gauges are apparently placed around the property (I did not find any though) to monitor the remaining traces of Cobalt 60 and Europium 152.

Amazingly, the way they chose to block the three tunnels which lead to the underground facility was somewhat less permanent. They blocked the tunnels with (drumroll please) BULLDOZED MOUNDS OF DIRT. Yes, impenetrable... DIRT. The DNR has had to continuously re-bulldoze the entrances because once in awhile some redneck or crazy conspiracy theorists dig their way into the tunnels.

And folks, I have actually found some idiots that posted pics of themselves in these tunnels on one of those nutjobs websites. Real conspiracy theorists.... they did not even cover their faces! DISCLAIMER: These are NOT my pics, I boosted them from the interweb.

The underground LAIR! Why in the hell anyone would go in here is beyond me. I guess the curiosity factor is there, but damn!

















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Old 11-11-2008, 04:05 PM   #17
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Well, there is still alot more to Dawson Forest. Keep in mind this place is over 10,000 acres!

As you head away from the hot cell site, the first interesting thing you come to is an old, narrow, wooden and steel bridge. This was part of the small rail line which was used to move irradiated materials from the reactor site to the cooling area. This was big during the phase of the project "Lockwood" we discussed earlier. If you look close you can see the grooves which housed the rail lines, which are not there anymore.








There are also some nice views around here.





Some construction going on in the property adjacent. Looks like a water treatment plant. There is a high school next door to that.




After the bridge, the next interesting thing is making sure you don't drop your bike into Shoal Creek.




That water is actually alot deeper than you think going in. Standing on the pegs, I looked down for a quick sec and noticed the water was halfway up my shin! Some slippery stones but level underneath, no big deal if you feather the clutch and keep your head up.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:13 PM   #18
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After you ford Shoal Creek, there are several ways to go. Find the roads that take you to the location of the old railway bridges that go over the Etowah River. After the decommission of the GNAL in 1970, both bridges were exploded and only fragments remain. For all intents and purposes, these are referred to as Bridge #1 and Bridge #2. Bridge 1 is further upstream than 2. Bridge #1 is very cool, you can still see the steel skeleton of the suspension part. The bottom is blown out of it, though, and there is no way to cross. The rails are supposedly still in the ground on the other side, I will have to cross one day and find out for sure. Unfortunatly during this report, hunting season is going on, and the hunters have made a big ass base camp at the entrance to Bridge #1 so I could not collect any pics but will at a later date.

I did get pics of Bridge #2 though, which is nothing more than the concrete pylons the bridge rested on. Still cool though.








I do think there are other structures out there that I am overlooking and intend to go back in the next few days to double check I did not miss anything. But really, that is the most part of what you'd find out there.

Coming up... the area today.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:32 PM   #19
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Today....

As I mentioned earlier, trace amount of radiation can still be found near the hot cell building. The Environmental Protection Agency has place monitors in areas of question throughout the forest. These monitors are looked at every 3 months. In addition, the Etowah River is tested on a regular basis.

Still, despite these precautions, Dawson Forest is shaded by mystery and local rumors, not to mention some gruesome facts that made national press not too long ago.

Some older residents recall the "Red Sky" or "Red Dawn" in 1959. Many Dawson County folks remember thinking that the red sky was the mark of the end of the world. Many families, fearing the apocalypse, gathered inside to pray. To this day it is not known if the deep crimson skies were related to the GNAL's research, but it does seem to correspond with the times of the highest concentration of radiation in the forest.

Beyond that, locals STILL talk about finding mutated animals in the forest. The most popular story is of the fabled Cyclops Deer. Hunters report seeing deer with 5 legs, extra sets of antlers, and other oddities. Of course, there has been no evidence that I have come across to back these stories up.

But, there are some very eerie things that HAVE happenned in the forest. The first one to make national headlines was the dissappearance of a little 11 year old boy named Levi Frady. He was abducted near his home on Little Mill Rd in Forsyth County, GA in 1997 and his body was found the next day inside Dawson Forest. To this day the GBI lists his murder as unsolved. Many of you have heard of a 'Levi's Call' otherwise known as Georgia's Amber Alert. This is where the name came from.

Sadly, the latest story to come out of Dawson Forest is the murder of a young woman named Meredith Emerson, who was abducted on New Year's Day this year from Vogel State Park. She was hiking solo (with her dog) when Gary Hilton abducted and murdered her. He beheaded poor Meredith, and later led authorities to the 2 sites within the forest that he unceremoniously dumped her body. This one struck really close to home for alot of us. They searched the hell out of North GA for her and when this news came around it was all anyone here could talk about. RIP, Meredith.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:40 PM   #20
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To get back to lightheartedness, alot of things have also come up around the forest. One of them is a new park along the Etowah River and Hwy 9, which offers a canoe launch and a self guided tour. The tour will take you down the river and you will pass some of the landmarks we talked about today.



The Hwy 9 bridge near the put in.






The Etowah River is home to 76 species of fish which is TWICE as many as ANY other river in the United States!!! It's said to be one of the richest river habitats in the WORLD.





Well gang, that is it for this report. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed researching it. If anyone has any questions, comments, or anything of their own to add please do. There were many sources for information on this subject, but the main one I could not have done this without was entitled "Red Sky in Morning" by Dwayne Keith Petty as found in the magazine "Georgia Backroads", Winter 2007.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:41 PM   #21
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Very cool history lesson. From what I gathered is that this site was used for testing crew member surviability from the reactor and that Russia also developed a nuclear powered bomber and acually flew it under nuclear power unlike the U.S. air force which never flew under nuclear power but the Russian crew from that flight all died within a year from over exposure.

I have also read reports that almost all the personnel from the test site have all died prematurely from odd cancers and such. I would love to see some real photos of the site when it was operational.

Thanks for the great report, I plan on check this place out for my self early spring.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by dirty-diesel
Very cool history lesson. From what I gathered is that this site was used for testing crew member surviability from the reactor and that Russia also developed a nuclear powered bomber and acually flew it under nuclear power unlike the U.S. air force which never flew under nuclear power but the Russian crew from that flight all died within a year from over exposure.

I have also read reports that almost all the personnel from the test site have all died prematurely from odd cancers and such. I would love to see some real photos of the site when it was operational.

Thanks for the great report, I plan on check this place out for my self early spring.

I have also read the same reports about the Russians. I have seen aerial photos of the site when it was operational but for the life of me cannot find them online. They are in that Georgia Backroads article I referenced. I found that mag at the library and photocopied it... the black and whites I have of the aerials are not good enough to scan in.

When you come out this way let me know. I am very close. There are alot of dirt roads in the WMA... most of the gates will get shut when hunting is done though... really not a great place for motorcycles but close enough to good stuff to make the trip worthwhile.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:18 PM   #23
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Wicked Flux's exploring

Gez love the report,
and BTW that 625sxc is looking
pretty cool!
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:20 PM   #24
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Great report Flux !

The seed is growing, isn't it ?

I have been researching this site too. When I come down are you going into the underground part with me ?

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Old 11-11-2008, 05:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flux_capacitor
When you come out this way let me know. I am very close. There are alot of dirt roads in the WMA... most of the gates will get shut when hunting is done though... really not a great place for motorcycles but close enough to good stuff to make the trip worthwhile.
Will do thanks for the offer.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:37 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osbo
Gez love the report,
and BTW that 625sxc is looking
pretty cool!

Hey Jim, how ya been? I love the 625. You took damn good care of her.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:40 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlrides
Great report Flux !

The seed is growing, isn't it ?

I have been researching this site too. When I come down are you going into the underground part with me ?


Yo Don, yeah, man, I will be in that tunnel right behind ya! Yeah, that seed is growing, and I've climbed the beanstalk all the way to the castle and fought the giant. Thanks for the comments, same as Dirty Diesel, look me up if'n you head this way. I take it you saw my Lake Lanier report...
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:46 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Dirtysouth
That explains why Bill Elliot just won't quit, he's fucked up on radiation.






Great read here, Flux!!

Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:37 PM   #29
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Very interesting stuff, Flux. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks.
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:27 PM   #30
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Very cool Mark!
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