inner space….




dirigable hanger

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

The building in this photgraph is a dirigable hanger. The look of it is deceptive even with the semi-tractor parked in the foreground to try to give it comparison but the size of the place makes it impossible to share that within the walls of this structure the vast size of it allows it to produce its own atmosphere being foggy inside in the mornings and cloudy sometimes in the afternoon,I was told it could even sprinkle inside -it also houses hundreds and hundreds of feral cats.

I was sent to New Jersey to pick up and relocate a support trailer for one of the famous ‘blimps’….the one from Sea World-the trailer enclosed the gondola that the pilots maintain an office in when up above a football game some where. This blimp had just completed a flight over the Olympics in Atlanta-but the reality of how much work and time involved in setting one of these things up and later takeing apart boggles the mind.
The trailer that carried the gondola had been sitting for so long the brakes had sealed up and a mechanic had to come to the Navy Base where we were to do a complete brake over haul on the trailer-so I had to wait around for that to get done….its never the easy load your dispatcher tells you it is….oh,its a simple hook up and you’ll be on the road in minutes.
No-stuck on a Navy Base way out in the middle of no where in New Jersey-did you knoe New Jersey had a middle of no where? No place to eat breakfast…or lunch and dinner,thats the way works in trucking!

So while the guy did the brakes I spent the first part of the morning exploring the hanger. The place was so huge you could throw a party in one section and nobody would even know if they working on the other end. I actually experimented with the truck when the load was ready-I got it up to 45mph by the time I reached the center of the building.
So I begin climbing all of these miles of stairways walking all over the place-pidgeons were all in the roof support beams and all around on the ground were carcasses of dead birds and feathers and frames of rotted pidgeons….and everytime I turned a corner to look into where hallway would go the scampering of cats-hundreds of them became a steady thing.
Me being a knucklehead went back down to the ground floor and located a sailor and said something about the cats-and he looked at me with a look saying….what are ya gonna do? Here I was worrying about the critters but this sailor said they had no rats!
This hanger is in Elizabeth City North Carolina and I was in Lakehurst where the Hindlinburg exploded. This place had several hangers-and there was one that was even three times the size of this one…it was off limits and very well protected.
I hauled a NASA load one time to the southern tip of Texas bringing it down from Kent Washington-a Boeing load I recall. So the route that made the best sense went around from El Paso and head south into the Big Bend section of Texas. Now thats open country there-the ride is wonderful because of the views into the canyons and across the terrain.
As Im driving along I begin to see this shining dot in the distance. You would see it-then it was gone,but the more I drove the larger the dot became…and shinier. It was’nt lack of sleep and a hallucination…but it was strange and became eire to me as it was in the distance and would be hiding from site behind a mountain sized ledge and then when the view changed and things became more visable there it was again. I’d say this went on for about an hour.
All of a sudden there it was.
At first I thought it was a space shuttle-the thing was that big.
It was a tethered dirigable that was used as a weather eye in the sky and was sent up and brought back down on a cable-and along the highway were several spots where tourist could pull off and snap photos of this thing….but there no getting a closer look ( as if you needed one-by that time you were sick of seeing it and trying to figure out what it was) .
I have to be honest-the first time I ever saw it I was actually getting scared thinking I was seeing a space ship and going further into the nut zone than I had ever been.

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