A ghost town
Mystique surrounds former station

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

RESOLUTION ISLAND (Oct 11/99) - As is the case with all ghost towns, Resolution Island is a bit eerie.

Vacant, ominous looking buildings haunt the landscape in various stages of disrepair, massive satellite dishes ring with the memory of Cold War tactics, and on just the right cold and windy night, employees almost swear they can hear the raucous laughter of the some 200 United States Air Force officials that used to call the island home.

While it sounds like the perfect setting in which to launch a ghost story, not all of the mystique has fiction as its base.

In fact, Scott Mitchell, the head of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development's contaminated site's office, said that in the years he's been snooping around Resolution Island, he's had the opportunity to unearth some fairly suspicious facts.

"There's no written history of exactly what happened here, but the more you look around, the more you see things," said Mitchell.

Like the direction the satellite dishes point, for example.

According to Mitchell, the USAF said they used the island as a pole vault station in the 1950s and '60s. That means it was set up to intercept messages coming off the DEW line. But the actual direction the dishes point completely contradicts that.

"If you look at the orientation of the dishes, they don't point at the DEW line, they don't point at the south. They point over towards Europe. So the theory came out that they must have been listening to the Russians."

And to the great satisfaction of all the conspiracy theorists employed on the island, Scott said they received confirmation of their belief this summer.

"People have given us faint clues, but a guy that was here this summer was a civilian contractor and he worked here for a few months way back when. He knew what the radio equipment was for. He told us that yes, they actually did listen to the Russians and yes, they did used to listen to submarines here."

Submarines, who said anything about submarines?

Mitchell did, and again to his satisfaction, it was confirmed this summer by that same former employee.

"Each person takes the story a bit further. We also say the Americans put fog generators on the island. We always said the only reason they put this site here was because they knew the Russians would never be able to find it."