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Top Secret military “bases” in Canberra

By H1NG0 - 17 January 2008 127

As I took the day off from work (sick) today, I decided to fill in time by doing some random google and wikipedia searches. I got onto the topic of secret bases in Australia, in particular, Canberra.

I’m not one to be convinced by these kinds of stories; none the less, my search recovered quite a few interesting articles and theories from different people. Here are several of these so-called “secrets” I found regarding Canberra:

Deakin Exchange is apparently a NSA facility disguised as Telstra.

Telstra Tower has secret areas. One particular communications tech who worked on the tower claims that it has been used to spy on the Chinese Embassy. He gave a long interview to Jana Wendt which was shown on the ABC and which now has a ‘D-notice’ on it – that is, further publication of the interview is forbidden by the Federal Government.

An 1973 interview with a former NSA agent living in Australia “confirms” that there was a large base operating under the US Embassy guarded by US Marines. Apparently employed up to 100 people. No longer exists and just patrolled by Rent-a-Cops.

Various tunnels running underneath Lake Burley Griffin, New Parliament House, Old Parliament House, US Embassy, Black Mountain Tower etc. Maybe someone can confirm or deny if there are any known tunnels under Canberra.

Foreign Affairs (Underground Bunkers, Forrest)

A massive multi-level underground facility under Parliament House.

There are tons more. One poster ‘Ixataar’ on the Above Top Secret forum lists a whole bunch of secret facilities in Canberra which he claims to have set foot in. In his words “Canberra has everything…”. God help us if there is anther world war, it seems like Canberra is the biggest target in the Southern hemisphere!

Here are some of the sources I quoted from. All coming from different threads/pages on the one forum.

Former NSA Agent Interview “confirms” base under US Embassy
Secret sites observed by Canberra resident ‘Ixataar’
Telstra Tower Spy Conspiracy

It is all quite an interesting read. Some ideas I find amusing such as Canberra becoming the Capital of a New World Order (One World Government). I’m not one to be easily convinced but one has to wonder that by Canberra being the nations capital, the chances of it having some sort of secret underground facility would seem appropriate.

Has anyone heard of any other rumoured Top Secret facilities in Canberra? Has anyone set foot in any of the tunnels underneath Canberra? Opinions? Let us know!

What’s Your opinion?

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127 Responses to
Top Secret military “bases” in Canberra
Vic Bitterman 9:49 pm 17 Jan 08

Reveal their secrets. Protect ours.

idea_authority 9:44 pm 17 Jan 08

I’m surprised no ones has said anything about Fairbairn. It was a very secure RAAF installation for a long time. Yet no rumors have cropped up yet.
I would have thought someone would have at least let slip that Fairbairn is where RAAF kept the strategic nuclear stockpile the US gave us to keep the Reds back in the 70s.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 9:43 pm 17 Jan 08

PS – fascinating thread hingo/all who replied thus far.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 9:39 pm 17 Jan 08

Which is the ‘old Administration building’?

cranky 9:23 pm 17 Jan 08

Yes, tunnels joining OPH and East & West Blocks.

Yes, old DFAT Comms under the car park at Admin.

No secret bunkers under current DFAT – but see if you can spot the opening wall in Brisbane Ave.

David MacCormack 8:59 pm 17 Jan 08

I sincerely hope Telstra Tower is being used to spy on the Chinese. Surely our intelligence agencies are spending at least some of all that money on monitoring our strategic rivals rather than using it all to kidnap Australian Muslims.

Deadmandrinking 8:59 pm 17 Jan 08

I’m Elvis.

Deano 8:16 pm 17 Jan 08

The old Administration Building has a secret tunnel. In the event of a nuclear blast the building was designed so that it would collapse in on itself and provide extra protection to everyone who had hopefully sheltered in the sub basement. Once the all clear was given everyone would be able to leave by the tunnel that came out just past the high court. Unfortunately they have since built the lake and the entrance is under water.

The car park in front of the Administration Building sits on top of what was once the underground communications centre for DFAT.

There are numerous tunnels between building at Russell. The reason for them isn’t anything sinister. They are there so that staff can carry classified documents between buildings without leaving the security area.

One of the lower levels of Telstra tower was surplus to requirements and has been turned into a conference facility. Its meeting rooms have the best views in town!

idea_authority 8:05 pm 17 Jan 08

As a person with ties to Defence in the 70s and 80s, I feel I can comment on these:

“Naval communications station in Belconnen is probably the most famous. Rumours of an underground base have been surfaced all over the place.”
False. It was a communications facility but security, location and budget would make it an unwise location.

“An 1973 interview with a former NSA agent living in Australia “confirms” that there was a large base operating under the US Embassy guarded by US Marines. Apparently employed up to 100 people.”
Can’t say much about this one, only that if they wanted to they could as the land is technically American. However, Why? This is Australia, not Berlin during the Cold War.

“Foreign Affairs (Underground Bunkers, Forrest)”
True for the old building and likely the new ones too. It is well known the old Foreign Affairs Building (now home to Dept. Admin…) had bunkers, which now house Environment Australia. The new building is much more advanced with eavesdropping proof windows and a full time communications room. The lack of underground parking would suggest other stuff may be beneath like in the old building.

“A massive multi-level underground facility under Parliament House.”
True, and was on television. There is extensive infrastructure under Parliament House, mainly service tunnels and janitorial quarters. Could be more extensive than reported in the media but they didn’t dig to far into the hill.

Tunnels under Canberra
There is one under Blamey Square of course. Very useful in the rain and an important security feature of the Defence campus. Rumour has it that there a tunnel from Old Parliament House to the old ASIO HQ, what is now the National Archives though unlikely. Any other tunnels would be quite unlikely. If they do exist, they weren’t in service in the 70s and 80s.

idea_authority 7:49 pm 17 Jan 08

Actually, the notion of an NSA presence in that Deakin Telstra building is not so far fetched, though unlikely in this security conscious age. Don’t forget that a whole floor of it was dedicated to NASA communications for the Apollo missions, with telecommunications links to Honeysuckle being routed threw there. Heaps of opportunities to add some extra features.

AaronT 6:03 pm 17 Jan 08

As Sammy pointed out above the building at Deakin is a Defence facility. But Telstra/KAZ also have a datacenter in there that houses various government agencies.

scumdorg 6:02 pm 17 Jan 08

There is supposedly a secret tunnel leading from Old Parliament House to an underground spy facility (now disused). There was a lot of activity building it in the late 1970s when I walked from Treasury to the post office at OPH to send my Letters to the Editor in those pre-email days. I know for a fact that there is a tunnel running under Sir Thomas Blamey Square connecting buildings at Russell. When the first Gulf War was on (1991) we were told to use it more as it was “a security risk” to walk outside the buildings showing our security passes.

DJH 5:52 pm 17 Jan 08

This stuff is great fun. For a cute fictional take on this topic, try reading ‘Underground’ by Andrew McGahan. I won’t say any more as it would give the plot away.

NathanaelB 5:35 pm 17 Jan 08

I’m not going to comment if I can’t do so anonymously 🙂

Sammy 5:29 pm 17 Jan 08

The building next-door to Deakin exchange is a Defence facility, so that is probably the reference.

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