Friday, October 3, 2008

Blue Light Special

I worked in an environment once that required a high level of security. To be permitted onto the property you had to have a "badge" issued by the company. The badge had some features that were supposedly difficult to forge: a photograph on the front, the logo of the company, a color stripe to show your security clearance level, and a coating of some sort that was sensitive to black light. After having been permitted onto the facility's premises, you would park in the parking lot and trek to the lobby, where you would present your company badge for a special badge specifically for that building. After having exchanged badges you would need to pass the badge over a magnetic badge reader to get through the first layer of security in the building. After having entered into the core of the building, you could now use a memorized cypher to get into your work space. Having arrived in your work area you would need to open your safe and get to you work documents.

On occasions it was necessary to escort people into the area that was considered "classified". They were not allowed to see anything that was considered classified while in the facility. In order to ensure that people knew there were people not allowed to see the documents considered sensitive, a switch would be flipped to engage the blue lights on the ceiling, and they would have to announce that there was somebody entering the area that was not cleared to see classified information. The common chant was, "UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN".


  1. I'm guessing Jeanette and the kids didn't visit your office too often.

  2. I worked in the USARV headquarters in Vietnam. Even newspapers were treated as classified documents.
    There was a fellow who made a radio controlled model airplane at the local hobby shop. He spent a lot of time on it and it was really impressive. It had a 3 foot wing span. When he flew it too close the the communications center, it got shot out of the air.

  3. Working under that kind of situation sound stressful. I am glad that I don't have that kind of supervision. I guess it is necessary to keep some things secret.

  4. Brandy,

    I could tell you about it, but then I would have to shoot you.


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