691st Radar Sqdn., Cross City AFS, FL

email excerpt from Richard Grimm

I was stationed [at Cross City] from January, 1968 through January, 1969, in Height Finder Maintenance. In 1998, I was in Gainesville, Florida on business. My wife and I decided to take a side trip to Cross City and see what had happened to the old site.

The old 691st has been converted to a county prison, and there is no lack of security around the place. I parked in the visitor`s parking area (outside the fenced portion of the compound). There were no signs posted that I could see about photography being prohibited, so I got out my video camera and started recording a tape. I should have asked permission first, I guess, but did not see anyone around (it was a Sunday afternoon). I had recorded exactly 39 seconds of tape when I was approached by two prison guards, who told me to stop recording immediately and to come with them. I was escorted to an office inside one of the buildings, and locked inside while the guards called someone in authority to find out what to do. I waited about 15 minutes when one of the guards came in and told me that I would have to be interviewed by the prison commander. I sat with the guard for about half an hour until the commander arrived. He asked me why I was there taking pictures, and I explained that I had been stationed at the site 30 years earlier. He informed me that photography was prohibited and that I would have to surrender the tape I had made (which I did). I had the distinct feeling that I would be arrested, but luckily this did not happen and I was released after about 15 minutes of questioning by the commander and both guards. During this interrogation a photocopy of my driver`s license was taken, and I assume that I am now on some list of potential prison security risks.

I`m passing all this along to you in case you want to post some sort of advisory on the Cross City AFS page. Photography is frowned upon "with extreme prejudice" at Cross City.

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