Taken by a roving Ballarat news breaker, this incredible photo of the Government’s new Titan Rocket Launch Pad nestled unobtrusively in the heart of Ballarat atop the Black Hill Recreation Reserve, is indicative of the secretive nature of the Rudd Government’s Top Level Strategic Arms Initiative.
This amazing photograph was hurriedly snapped when a flock of Black cockatoos accidentally perched on the rocket base’s cloaking sub-station which was expertly camouflaged as the flag post (the transmitter) atop the raised bluestone ‘lookout vantage point’ on the pinnacle of the Black Hill Reserve. The amount and weight of the birds shorted out a vital transducer coil and briefly exposed the secret base to a number of astonished onlookers.
For approximately 30 seconds the entire pad and rocket, apparently primed for launch, was visible to the naked eye before backup generators kicked in and the whole facility faded back into invisibility against the surrounding environment.
Elsie Talmadge of Clissold Street said she often wondered why there were so many stunned birds flailing about on the ground on the walking tracks around the base
of the hill.
Upon enquiring amongst local exercise enthusiasts, our news breaker (who we shall call ‘The Shadow’ to preserve his anonymity) discovered some very interesting information. Apparently most people that live in the Black Hill/Brown Hill area had no idea that a full sized rocket launching facility had been constructed right next to their backyards.
“We used to hear a lot of trucks and banging and machinery,” says Tommo McCuthbert of Newman Street, Brown Hill “but Marjorie and I just thought it was the rail yards or road works over the back”. Elsie Talmadge of Clissold Street said she often wondered why there were so many stunned birds flailing about on the ground on the walking tracks around the base of the hill. “Now I know why, the poor things were flying straight into the side of that rocket and knocking themselves senseless… It all makes sense now!”
Young Willy Freeforall, who regularly plays in the reserve on his BMX bike with his mates, told The Shadow that several of his friends had apparently been struck by lightning on a clear blue autumn day whilst biking in the location. Willy said the doctors at the hospital concluded that it must have been freak lightning bolts that caused the horrific injuries to the young men. He went on to say that the doctors had previously said the burns were consistent with the kind one would get if one ran into a 10,000 volt electrified cyclone fence, but they dismissed the notion as implausible.
"The Valley will act as a funnel, protecting the richer and more expensive neighbourhood above and behind the facility whilst obliterating everything at the open end at the same time.”
Today, Ballarat City Council denied any knowledge of the secret rocket base, as did the Victorian State Government. A representative from the National Defence Department was remaining relatively tight lipped about the subject, but did concede that if there were to be a rocket launch facility in the centre of Ballarat, it would definitely NOT be functioning as a military operation with any nuclear predilection. “Any facility that close to a populated area would only ever be used for purely scientific deep space research purposes, repairs to the Hubble Telescope or to ship vital instruments and domestic products such as toilet paper up to the International Space Station.
Doctor Joseph Herganschmidt of the University of Ballarat Physics department, upon sighting the incriminating picture; expressed concern for the safety of the residents of Black Hill and extreme concern for residents and their homes in the Brown Hill area. “When this first rocket is launched, because of the geography of the valley where the facility has been constructed, the resulting enormous back blast will vaporise the majority of the houses in the Brown hill area. The Valley will act as a funnel, protecting the richer and more expensive neighbourhood above and behind the facility whilst obliterating everything at the open end at the same time.”
Opportunities to really hook into the whole Star Wars/Star Trek marketing machine are becoming apparent. A “Thunderbirds the musical” production is in the throes of scripting at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Real Estate developers said it was a good chance to ‘wipe the slate clean’ in the old and run down suburb, giving investors the chance to buy up deceased estates and share in what could well be the new multi-million dollar ‘Toorak’ of Ballarat. “If anyone from Brown Hill survives the launch, they can be relocated and accommodated in cheap, clean, modern temporary housing further out of town on the Western Plains…somewhere like Cardigan…or Trawalla.”
Tourism experts predict a swift turnaround for Ballarat’s ailing tourism industry. “We’ve already seen an upward trend in local businesses and this will just keep continuing. Opportunities to really hook into the whole Star Wars/Star Trek marketing machine are becoming apparent. A “Thunderbirds the musical” production is in the throes of scripting at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Submissions to council have been made to construct a life size replica of the ‘Jupiter ‘2 from “Lost in Space”. The fully functioning sculpture will replace the aging Poppet Head tower at Sovereign Hill when the theme park makes the complex changeover from the Historic Australian Colonial Theme to “Space World” in a bid to attract Gold Coast tourism. Sovereign Hill management are in talks with the expert owners of the Wycliffe Wells Roadhouse in the Northern Territory, on just what kind of ‘Alien’ exhibits should be planned and budgeted for.
The diorama display of scenes from the torturous voyages of colonial ships to the new land will be replaced with diorama scenes depicting the development of space flight. Starting with famous moments from the initial voyage of the USS Enterprise, through her various crews and culminating in scenes from the arduous, long journey back from the distant Delta Quadrant with Captain Kathryn Janeway and her intrepid crew aboard the fabulous intergalactic starship, the USS Voyager.
Part 1 in a new series exposing the business of development and construction-lead recovery in Ballarat.
Coming soon: Monorail on Sturt Street - is Ballarat ready for the future?
- published by Vinnie the Skip for and on behalf of the Shadow
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