‘Never told my family’: Veteran revisits secret Cold War surveillance building near B.C. airport

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There’s an aged abandoned gathering successful the backmost country of the Boundary Bay Airport.

It was determination that, during the tallness of the Cold War, the Canadian subject was intercepting signals from the Soviet Union.

Bill Rogers worked there, and much than 60 years later, helium got his archetypal look astatine the building’s blueprints.

“This is wherever we had records,” Rogers says, pointing the rolled-out sheets.

For 14 years, helium was posted astatine the Vancouver wireless presumption acquiring highly classified information. It was truthful secretive, helium couldn’t adjacent archer his woman and kids what helium did for work.

“Nope, ne'er told my family. They had nary thought what we did,” the 91-year-old says. “They thought we had a radar station.”

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Says his son, Frank: “At immoderate point, I became alert that helium had thing to bash with keeping the remainder of the satellite harmless during the Cold War.”

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Rogers was intercepting Morse codification signals from Soviet ships, icebreakers and commercialized vessels during immoderate historical times.

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He was determination erstwhile British spy Kim Philby defected to Moscow. He was connected ticker during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And helium was monitoring aft the Soviets launched satellites into orbit.

“Every 90 minutes, (the satellite) went implicit and we copied (the signals). That was the lone clip we could transcript (them), for a fewer minutes.”

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After being posted to Germany successful 1968, Rogers yet moved backmost to Ladner, present surviving adjacent the “north 40” — the Vancouver wireless presumption helium called location for galore years.

“We had immoderate large parties successful the messiness hall,” helium says. “They were truthful good, the (commissioned officer) of the campy would travel to our parties.”

There was a coworker reunion successful beforehand of the aged airdrome gathering respective years ago, and each the memories travel flooding back.

Just similar they did arsenic helium was looking implicit the blueprints, retracing his steps successful those top-secret rooms.

“This was slope for antithetic antennas,” helium says, going implicit different leafage of blueprints. “I tin retrieve sitting there, trying to enactment awake connected midnight shift.”

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