Nike Hercules missile being lowered from launch position. Recorded on August 2, 2008 at launch site SF-88L, one of the hundreds of US Army Nike missile batteries that formed rings around major US cities and other strategic locations from 1954-1974. Nike missiles, which could be equipped with high explosive or moderate-yield nuclear warheads, were intended as last resort defense against Soviet bomber attack.
Site SF-88L is in the Marin Headlands of California (near San Francisco) and has been preserved as a museum staffed by volunteer Nike veterans. The bunker elevator and launch platform have been restored to operating order, and visitors can watch as a missile (sans warhead, we're assured) is raised from underground and into its launch position in less than a minute.
This sample was recorded with a mid-side pair of MKH-800 microphones on a Sound Devices 744T recorder at 96KHz/24 bit, and converted to L-R stereo with Logic Pro 8.
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