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Why would Washington choose Sullivant's Hill (Today's Hilltop) to be the country's Top Secret Project Headquarters from 1861-1920:

In 1917, the US Government finally admitted to operating a secret espionage agency, MI8. For 141 previous years, our leaders maintained: "Unlike Kingdoms, Democracies are run by their citizens, so we have no need for secret agencies."


Before military airfields (around 1915), a sizeable, mysterious, federally guarded complex would have exposed hypocrisy. So, top-secret federal programs had to have been disguised as something else.

Around 1915, powerful nations began operating secret agencies at their military airfields, ending the where and how to hide secret programs.  By 1920, US Army Air Corps fields began providing Washinton with many secured locations without needing a public cover story. 

Before aircraft, if these covert programs provided weapons, equipment, security, relief, or secret agents, the most crucial aspects would be privacy, security, and rapid response (accessibility).


Before airplanes, trains were humanity's swiftest form of cross-country transportation. So, to minimize the (average) time needed to reach most of the nation, this location would be near the mathematical center of the nation's railroad network. 

By the late 1840s, Columbus had become the mathematical center of North America's railroads. Its central location also turned Columbus into the nation's warehousing center. Ohio also had more miles of rail than any other state.

The railroad also turned Columbus into the country's fastest-growing city from 1850 through the mid-1870s.  


 Columbus offered the nation's swiftest distribution.



However, hiding secret federal programs in a rapidly growing city was also impractical because seclusion offers far more privacy. This brings us to a shallow valley that stretches west from downtown (early) Columbus for two miles.  

This tiny settlement known as Franklinton was a floodplain; it looked more like a lake after heavy storms or deep winter thaws. Franklinton's frequent floods kept Columbus's rapid expansion moving in only every other direction.


Franklinton ended at a sudden 110-foot rise called Sullivant's Hill (today's Hilltop). This nearly uninhabited hill covered about 12 square miles. Although it was secluded, railroad line 51, which opened sometime in the late 1840s, ran directly over Sullivant's Hill, thus providing it with the same rapid transit advantage as Columbus, plus seclusion. 

My verifiable timeline exposes the steps three presidents in a row from 1868-1881 (all Ohio-born Civil War generals) took to ensure that Sullivant's Hill would remain highly isolated and secured, which worked perfectly until radios, cars, and aircraft changed the rules by 1920.

Oh, that cover story?


The secret security force that guarded Sullivant's Hill were the guards from, by far,  America's largest building (in SF), The Hilltop Lunatic Asylum.  



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