Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Yellow Sign

Outside of Idaho Falls is a big Folsom site. Our field school group was invited by the local archaeologist to have a tour of the site.

The ride out of town into the middle of nowhere was long and well - boring.

The long fences on each side of the road sported signs saying such things as: No Entry; US Federal Property; Do Not Enter; No Trespassing. We were in the middle of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory; 900 square miles of it - a nothingness!

Our Folsom site tour guide suddenly took a left onto a road that came out of nowhere.

There was building with a ramada, water and latrines. The brick building was built in 1950s – the world’s first Nuclear Power Plant! There were two immense Atomic powered aircraft engines in the parking area. The engines were never used, as they were too heavy for existing aircraft.

We were invited to use the facilities but to tour the building later upon our return.

We were given ‘visitors passes’ for the US controlled entry to the Folsom site.

The Folsom site was very large and was fairly untouched, almost pristine. There were obsidian lithics/tools scattered over the entire area. No excavations had taken place that I remember and because it was on “Laboratory” controlled property it was fully protected from pothunters or other loot seekers.

It was overshadowed though by a huge concrete capped Nuclear Waste dump. Red warning signs “Radio Active” were located around the dump. What looter wanted to be near that nuclear, radio active, dumpsite any way?

On return we stopped at the 1950s building to tour the World’s first Nuclear Power Plant.

There was a yellow sign to the right of the front door – the sign read:



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