Sunday, February 15, 2015

Aborted trip to the Bohemian Grove (1971)

Aborted trip to the Bohemian Grove
Entrance to the Bohemian Grove
Type Of Activity
 Unknown Presidential Function
 Santa Rosa/Monte Rio CA
Date of Activity
 29 July 1971

July 29, 1971 the aborted trip to the Bohemian Grove in Monte Rio CA
Since the CCT was a fast response communications team, we got our share of short notice activity especially on the west coast.  We also had a few false alarms, one of which was a trip to the Santa Rosa CA area in July of 1971.
We were notified on July 28, 1971 that the President was going to attend a function at the Bohemian Grove in Monte Rio, CA. in two days. We loaded our equipment on to a C130 Hercules and departed El Toro Marine Air Station at 5am the next morning. The flight to Hamilton AFB just north of San Francisco CA took about an hour and a half.  
C130 Hercules Cargo Transport 
Passenger jump seats
We arrived at Hamilton AFB at 6:30 am and started to unload our equipment, there were rental vehicles available to transport the equipment to a nearby hotel where we would meet with the Secret Service advance team who would reveal to us the President's itinerary. 

Since this was a Presidential trip we would set up a base of operations in the hotel which would include the Switchboard separate Comm. Center, and the Secret Service Command Post. We also installed radios for the USSS and paging for the WH staff.
We were told that the President would be going to a location north of Santa Rosa CA. It would be necessary for us to provide radio coverage for USSS security detail and the of course the President while at the club. We set up a meeting with the local TELCO in Santa Rosa, loaded our radio equipment into a van and headed north! We met with the TELCO in Santa Rosa and discussed the geographic location of the site; we determined that the best place to install our radio base stations would be in the Monte Rio central office, which was near the entrance to the Bohemian Grove.

The Bohemian Grove just outside of Monte Rio, CA.
Two future U.S. presidents, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, are pictured with
Harvey Hancock (standing) and others at Bohemian Grove in the summer of 1967.
The membership list has included every Republican Party and some Democrat Party U.S. presidents since 1923, many cabinet officials, directors and CEOs of large corporations including major financial institutions. Major military contractors, oil companies, banks (including the Federal Reserve), utilities (including nuclear power) and national media (broadcast and print) have high-ranking officials as club members or guests.  

We met a local TELCO representative at the Monte Rio central Office (CO) where we were going to install the FM radio base stations. Once the base stations were fired up and the antennas were installed on the roof we began a radio survey to determine how well we could cover the area in and around the Bohemian Grove. We never received the authorization to conduct radio tests from within the grove, so we could only test at the entrance which was guarded by camp valets.

We returned to the CO. to wait for the remote keying lines to be installed in the USSS CP and the WHCA switchboard.  At about 10 PM we got a call that the President’s visit had been canceled and that we need to pack up all of the equipment and return to our base of operations.

The next morning we loaded up all of our equipment and returned to Hamilton AFB to catch a C-130 back to El Toro. We departed Hamilton never getting to see first-hand exactly what was so exclusive about the Bohemian Grove!

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