Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tempus Fugit

I received some Corona satellite images of Taipei via  Corona was a US military reconnaissance satellite system operated by the CIA Directorate of Science and Technology with substantial assistance from the US Air Force, used for photographic surveillance of the Soviet Union, China and other areas from June 1959 until May 1972.  The images were declassified during the Clinton administration.

The first image here is a diagram of buildings in the HSA East Compound as they appeared around the 1970s.  If you click on this same image down the right-hand column of this page, you'll be able to view a much larger version in which you can read the purpose of each building.  USTDC is at the top of the page.

The next image is from 1966 and shows the same general area.  You can just make out some of the buildings, as well as the river at the top of the page.  The three "H" shaped buildings to the right should help you get oriented.

The next image is from 1969, three years after the one above was taken.  The image is noticeably clearer, showing the technical improvement in spy satellites in that relatively brief period of time.  The large white building toward the north and slightly to the east was the TACF and the main USTDC building was to its left.

Finally, here is a modern satellite photo of the area.  The structure toward the upper left -- the one that looks like it was constructed with Lego blocks --  is the Museum of Modern Art.  To the east of that was the approximate location of the US Taiwan Defense Command.

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