A year before President John F. Kennedy gave his famous “We go to moon (not because it is easy but because it is hard) speech,” on September 12, 1962, at Rice University in Texas, the Cold War leader announced in May 1961 that the U.S. would beat the Russians in the space race to land men on the moon.
After Kennedy’s sweltering Texas oratory, the national spotlight swiveled to NASA – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The young U.S. space agency needed a quiet, out-of-the-way place to build a testing facility to support new, advanced, federally-funded projects such as the Saturn V spacecraft C-1 booster – “generating power equivalent to 10,000 automobiles with their accelerators on the floor” – and F-1 rockets that would transport humans to the moon and back.
The John C. Stennis Space Center was born to meet NASA’s needs. In the early 1960s, local residents living in the nearby towns of Logtown, Gainesville, Santa Rosa, Napoleon, and Westonia numbered fewer than 1,000 people. Senator John C. Stennis met with nearly 1,500 residents and pledged full compensation in exchange for their land and homes – non-negotiable:
“There is always the thorn before the rose. You have got to make some sacrifices, but you will be taking part in greatness.”
News of this federally-forced logging community land-grab was met with dismay by those residents who traced their families back to the original settlers from the 1700s. They were born there and expected to retire and die on their ancestral lands.
The Stennis Space Center was built north of Interstate 10 in the Mississippi wetlands, near the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, about an hour’s drive northeast of New Orleans, Louisiana. The spacecraft proving ground is located on the coast near the town of Bay St. Louis, MS.
NASA and the Army Corps of Engineers needed 13,000 acres for the building site and purchased more than 3,200 parcels of privately-owned land, including 786 homes, 19 stores, three schools, and various commercial buildings. Interred bodies were dug up (exhumed) and moved from at least four local cemeteries.
At the time, the new space facility’s construction project was the biggest in Mississippi and the second-biggest in the United States.
The space center was first named the Mississippi Test Facility, renamed the National Space Technology Laboratories in 1974, and, finally, in May 1988, honored the Senator who was instrumental in pushing the project through.
Today, Stennis supports many NASA projects, including the International Space Station (ISS), Hubble Space Telescope, and Curiosity Mars Rover.
The $2 billion Stennis Space Center “asset” serves as the country’s leading rocket propulsion test facility and serves up propulsion testing and engineering services for NASA, the Department of Defense, and commercial customers.
The Engineering and Test Directorate (ETD) at Stennis aims be the nation’s premier provider of ground-testing services for rocket propulsion systems:
“The ETD mission is to support the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) through execution of the Center’s major line of business in rocket propulsion testing.”
NASA space shuttle fuel tanks are tested at Stennis. It takes half a million gallons of fuel – 2 feet per gallon – to vault a shuttle the 130 miles between the ground and outer space.
The flagging (and, frankly, obsolete-when-finished) Space Launch System rockets are also being tested at Stennis after President Trump pressured NASA to speed things up. There’s a lot going on in the boonies of Mississippi, as you can see in these official videos.
A resident of the tiny community of Kiln, MS, moved to a rural, wooded property three years ago. She told me that when she first heard the engines roar at Bay St. Louis, a scant 22 miles away, at first, she thought it was an earthquake. The windows throughout the house shook violently – usually at 3 am.
Gradually, the Stennis neighbor got used to the noise, audible in this YouTube video. (It does go on and, I must say, I find it quite annoying after a short while.) Now, when the tremendous noise starts to ramp up, she simply tells herself:
“OK, the monstrosity is firing up again.”
What can you do? Life goes on.
The Kiln resident contacted me to report that she and her husband have spotted an odd light on two separate occasions in the skies over the Stennis complex. The lighted object, a bright white that demanded attention, was shaped like a snake and moved like one, too. It was hard to tell whether the object glowed or reflected sunlight but it stood out against the blackness of night.
“What do you think it was?” she asked me. I replied:
“Well, it was either ours or theirs.”
I explained that UFOs are famous for showing up near NASA and nuclear project sites. They seem interested in the goings-on but seldom interfere – as far as the general public knows, that is. However, those undulating lights might just as easily have been part of a national space agency rocket or spacecraft test.
There was a summer UFO sighting from Kiln reported July 8, 2019 – a 3-second appearance of a “White/clear object flying over with white light.”
Because the U.S. government is vitally interested in cloaking its space advancements under the cloak of secrecy, We the People will probably never know the ground-shaking truth about what is going on at Stennis – or within NASA, for that matter.