What you did not know about this event might change your point of view. Some say it was a started at Niagara Falls. Some say it was just a power surge. Was it? I can tell you that it was neither. How do I know? Well a air force base (kind of, sort of) told me so.
John Fuller was supposed to write a book on this event, but he died before he could finish it. I was asked to do some investigation for John for this book.
I lived in the town beside Pease, Air Force Base, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and was trying to figure out an angle to approach to gather information. The base was only about 2-3 miles away from where I lived? So one day I decided to do some looking around the perimeter of the base.
I wondered was there anything new or different? I wanted to see the area on all sides. There are roads, some old roads, some major highways and some back roads that nobody uses but hunters. On one side of the street you could hunt and the other there were barred wire fences to keep people out. So I decided to make a daylight trip around the backside of the base, now this was about 70-71 miles. So I loaded up my camera and headed for the "blind side."
What did I find? Well I would have never thought so, if I didn't see it myself. It was an all new stainless steel barbed wire. But the question, why was all the new electric wire strung from pole to pole? I had hunted on the other side of that road for years but didn't remember seeing the new wire. So I decided to follow the wires.
The wire went all around the circumference of the base. I found out the wire was electrified also. In all my years of hunting on the other side of the road I do not remember it being electrified. Excuse the pun but that was shocking! Something I never expected!
Being naturally inquisitive I decided to investigate a little further. I followed the new wire to and walked almost a full circle until it ended to where the telephone poles started. Not out of the ordinary, right? But where the telephone poles there was also almost new telephone wires. That intrigued me. Out in the middle of nowhere all new telephone wires? Why?
Well the next day after work I followed the wires right up to where the runways ended and even into the base itself! Now, my own enquiring mind was wondering: I had to figure out why? That night I pondered it.
The next day I went to the phone company and asked if I could have the wiring on my home phone checked. They did. I mentioned to the guy they did a great job on the base. He asked me how I knew. I told him I hunted on the other side of the road. He then said they had been working on it for a while.
I did not push my luck but I asked him if they could do an upgrade to my street. He said the town would be who to ask. Well, I decided to do just that. They told me that Public Service did that and the town had to go through a lot of budget steps to get it done. I told them that Pease looked awful good. The guy looked at me questioning. I told him no big deal. Then I went in the Newspaper and asked if they had any articles on the renovation of the base wires. They said they had some. Do they give me about two reports on the topic, but this was just the tip of the iceburg.