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View Full Version : I've been linked!


bh4rnnr
02-24-2007, 11:52 PM
That's right, been linked over on 4wd trips. Reading through a thread on the Swell and came across this (http://www.4wdtrips.net/forum/showthread.php?t=4162&page=4). Kinda cool to see.

Inukshuk
02-25-2007, 12:00 PM
Cool - but he called you "odd" as in "that link I attached I noticed that guy has done 3 trips to the Swell on there, and he keeps going back to the same places. Kind of odd to me" I guess I'm odd then too!! and looking forward to going back again.

Those guys write about the "MK Tunnels". Google it. We should check them out.

cruiseroutfit
02-25-2007, 09:33 PM
...Those guys write about the "MK Tunnels". Google it. We should check them out.

Do before they are gone... The government plans to seal them up somehow in the coming year I beleive. I'de love to meet you guys done there one of these months! :cool:

Hulk
02-25-2007, 10:35 PM
The MK Tunnels
Also in the second session but in the Band Room, Greg Fausett, a local historian explained the impact of the San Rafael, and the role it played during the Cold War, specifically, what are known as the MK Tunnels. Following World War II, the United States found itself in a nuclear race with the Soviet Union. As both countries established and expanded nuclear arsenals, the United States looked for a place where it could establish a protected command center that would be safe from nuclear attack, from which military direction could be given. That path of that search stopped in the San Rafael Swell. Here, two tunnels were dug into the rock in an effort to determine if the area was suitable for an under-ground bunker. Once the tunnels were constructed, numerous explosions were detonated above the tunnels to measure the impact such blasts would have on the tunnels, and if the tunnels were solid enough to support a remotely located control center. The experiments found the rock highly unstable for this type of using, leaving a legacy of empty tunnels and blast craters the only remnants of this idea that could have had great impact on the San Rafael Swell region.
http://www.ut.blm.gov/sanrafaelswell/news.htm

Hulk
02-25-2007, 10:38 PM
CHANGES DUE AT MK TUNNELS
The Emery County Commission will host an open house at the Museum of the
San Rafael on Thursday, August 31 for the purpose of allowing the Utah Department of Oil Gas and Mining (UDOGM) to present proposed measures affecting the sites locally known as the “MK Tunnels”.

In 19??, when the United States Department of Defense (DOD) was looking for
naturally occurring defenses from air-delivered explosives, it’s search brought it to the Western flank of the San Rafael Swell. Several horizontal shafts were created, after which varying amounts of explosives were detonated above them at ground level. The relatively soft rock of the Navajo Sandstone probably didn’t perform as well as the hard granite of Colorado where NORAD and other military facilities were ultimately located.

There were no military installations developed here. However, the craters that resulted from the detonations, along with the prepared shafts, gained some local notoriety and have come to be known as the “MK Tunnels”, taking their name from Morris and Knudsen (MK), the contractors DOD enlisted to prepare the shafts.

In the ensuing fifty years, local travelers and a few out-of-area visitors have
roamed in and out of the tunnels, thrown rocks in from the top to determine the depth, and generally wondered at the occurrence of these man made oddities. Fewer and fewer Emery County residents remain that are aware of the MK Tunnels’ history, or even their location.

At a recent Public Lands Council meeting in Castle Dale, Mark Mesch, a
representative of the Utah Department of Oil Gas and Mining (UDOGM) gave a
presentation to the Council which would implement some risk management measures at the sites. According to Gary Riemer, acting Field Manager for the Price Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Field Office, it is the desire of both BLM and DOD that some measures be taken to reduce the risk of injury or even fatality at the sites. Some of the sites expose visitors to sheer drops of up to sixty vertical feet. The open shafts also allow those visiting the sites to wander, perhaps unknowingly, under thousands of tons of loose and fractured stone.

UDOGM’s abandoned mine program is in the process of closing or rehabilitating
old mines throughout Utah. Hundreds of these mines are present in the San Rafael Swell. Local desert wanderers are familiar with the work done at Temple Mountain a few years ago.

Because of their expertise and availability, BLM and DOD have requested
UDOGM to assist in creating a safer environment in and around the MK Tunnels. The proposal includes backfilling of some craters, closure of some shafts and a couple of craters with steel bars, which would still allow both visible enjoyment of the tunnels and passage for small animals such as bats. It also leaves some areas unchanged. The proposal could also include some interpretive facilities such as kiosks and signage.

The open house is intended to educate Emery County residents to the nature and extent of the proposal, and also receive input. Mr. Mesch states that it is important for the local folks to understand that UDOGM has developed the proposal to meet the desires of BLM and DOD, who are the responsible parties concerning the tunnels. However, the state agency wants to ensure that any management choices that are made are viewed as suitable by the residents of the area as well as the County Commission.
http://www.emerycounty.com/publiclands/MK%20Tunnels.pdf

Hulk
02-25-2007, 10:40 PM
Commission to hold meeting on MK tunnel project

http://www.ecprogress.com/archive/pubs/2006-08-29/photos/front2a.jpg
This photo shows one of the explosions at the MK tunnels in the year 1948 between Feb. 15 and Oct. 4, 1948.

The Emery County Commission will host an open house at the Museum of the San Rafael on Thurs., Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. for the purpose of allowing the Utah Department of Oil Gas and Mining to present proposed measures affecting the sites locally known as the “MK Tunnels”.
In 1948, when the United States Department of Defense was looking for naturally occurring defenses from air-delivered explosives, its search brought it to the Western flank of the San Rafael Swell. Several horizontal shafts were created, after which varying amounts of explosives were detonated above them at ground level. The relatively soft rock of the Navajo Sandstone probably didn’t perform as well as the hard granite of Colorado where NORAD and other military facilities were ultimately located. There were no military installations developed here. However, the craters that resulted from the detonations, along with the prepared shafts, gained some local notoriety and have come to be known as the “MK Tunnels,” taking their name from Morrison Knudsen, the contractors DOD enlisted to prepare the shafts.

http://www.ecprogress.com/archive/pubs/2006-08-29/photos/front2b.jpg
The largest of the MK Tunnels.

In the ensuing 58 years, local travelers and a few out-of-area visitors have roamed in and out of the tunnels, thrown rocks in from the top to determine the depth, and generally wondered at the occurrence of these man made oddities. Fewer and fewer Emery County residents remain that are aware of the MK Tunnels’ history, or even their location.
At a recent Public Lands Council meeting in Castle Dale, Mark Mesch, a representative of the Utah Department of Oil Gas and Mining gave a presentation to the Council which would implement some risk management measures at the sites. According to Gary Riemer, acting Field Manager for the Price Bureau of Land Management Field Office, it is the desire of both BLM and DOD that some measures be taken to reduce the risk of injury or even fatality at the sites. Some of the sites expose visitors to sheer drops of up to 60 vertical feet. The open shafts also allow those visiting the sites to wander, perhaps unknowingly, under thousands of tons of loose and fractured stone.
UDOGM’s abandoned mine program is in the process of closing or rehabilitating old mines throughout Utah. Hundreds of these mines are present in the San Rafael Swell. Local desert wanderers are familiar with the work done at Temple Mountain a few years ago.

http://www.ecprogress.com/archive/pubs/2006-08-29/photos/front2c.jpg
MK Tunnels from the air.

Because of their expertise and availability, BLM and DOD have requested UDOGM to assist in creating a safer environment in and around the MK Tunnels. The proposal includes backfilling of some craters, closure of some shafts and a couple of craters with steel bars, which would still allow both visible enjoyment of the tunnels and passage for small animals such as bats. It also leaves some areas unchanged. The proposal could also include some interpretive facilities such as kiosks and signage.
The open house is intended to educate Emery County residents to the nature and extent of the proposal, and also receive input. Mesch states that it is important for the local folks to understand that UDOGM has developed the proposal to meet the desires of BLM and DOD, who are the responsible parties concerning the tunnels. However, the state agency wants to ensure that any management choices that are made are viewed as suitable by the residents of the area as well as the Emery County Commission.

http://www.ecprogress.com/index.php?tier=1&pub=2006-08-29&page=news