Plum Island, the 843-acre property off the tip of Orient Point here on Long Island, may be the most valuable piece of real estate in the world. In recent months, appraisers have been on the island, trying to determine its worth on the open market. It has beaches, low hills, woods and a little lighthouse at one end, and nearby, the ruins of a small fort built during the Spanish American War. It may be worth a billion dollars.
The federal government, which owns the property, announced last month that the island is “surplus property.” It would be offered up to any other agency of the federal government, and if no agencies wanted it, then it would be offered to the State of New York, and then to the county and the towns. Then, if it was turned down by all government officials—most properties that become surplus are usually turned down—it would go to auction. That, it was said, would happen sometime next year, and so appraisers were looking Plum Island over—Donald Trump’s people were among them—and the island was thought to make a most fabulous billionaire’s retreat.
But now that is not going to happen. Dan’s Papers has exclusively learned that the Department of Homeland Security has taken the Plum Island property out of the hands of the Surplus Property office.
According to our unnamed source, Homeland Security will use Plum Island as the single secure location for all its top-secret security data. The activities of Julian Assange, who released billions of bytes of top-secret government information onto the internet, will never happen again. The hacking of government workers’ files by the Chinese will never happen again. The problems with Hillary Clinton’s emails will never happen again. This will replace the current situation, where secret data is stored in a variety of servers around the country, a very dangerous practice indeed.
“Homeland Security will move everything secret into a single giant cloud directly over Plum Island,” our source told us. “First, they will build a huge grouping of servers underground on the island, transmit everything there temporarily, and then upload it to the new cloud above the island.”
Plum Island has been chosen because it is completely isolated and can be made completely impregnable. A combination of Coast Guard boats from Montauk and submarines from the Naval Base in Groton, Connecticut will patrol the waters around Plum Island, periscopes up, 24/7. Any ships approaching the island—fishing boats, pleasure craft, speedboats—will be issued a warning by ship’s radio, and if these ships do not change course the Coast Guard will board them, search them, ticket them and send them away. If there is further trouble, well, the submarines will have the torpedoes at the ready.
Construction equipment will begin to arrive on the island in late October, and demolition of the present buildings on the island will begin in November. Plum Island had been, from 1954 to 2008, the only place in the country where studies could be done to further the prevention of Hoof and Mouth Disease for cows. This disease is not harmful to humans. But the cattle industry today is a $45 billion industry and is constantly funding new research. Since 2008, other facilities around the country study this disease.
So now the Plum Island Lab is surplus. When built it was in a remote area. But now it is near to a major population center, directly adjacent to the wine country and tourist industry of
the North Fork, and, not far away, the glittering billionaire’s resort in the Hamptons. The housing units, labs, animal pens and other facilities, with only a few exceptions, will be demolished.
Our source has shown Dan’s Papers the plans for Cloud Island, as it will be renamed. Our source secretly obtained the plans from another source.
The underground servers will be finished by next April, and so will the demolition of all the buildings—except for the administration building and the lighthouse. The lighthouse beacon will stay lit to prevent shipwrecks. The administration building will be disguised to look like a rich man’s mansion in a Rococo style so that the island, if photographed from the air by a passing plane—a 777 from Moscow, for example—will look to be just a bucolic hideaway.
“But almost nobody will ever see the island from above,” our source told us. “Once the cloud is placed, the island will be almost always covered by a nearly impregnable fog and mist. The ruse with the Rococo mansion is just for the few days a year the sun peeks through.”
We asked about the cloud.
“The transfer happens in seconds, as you know,” he replied. “Some nearby clouds, unused clouds, will be drawn in, slide over and clump together and then lower toward the hole in the ground from which the data will rise. After the transfer, the cloud, as a drizzly mist, will completely cover the island and billow up around 2,000 feet. And that will be that.”
I had lots of questions.
“What will keep the cloud from spilling over the edges of the island to affect the North Fork and the Hamptons.”
“An array of 204,500 underground fans will be installed inside the sand dunes lining the circumference of the island and they will shoot air upwards, creating an invisible fence. Inside it, the cloud will swirl but will not get out. The fans will also serve another purpose. The underground servers can get very hot. The fans will be sucking out the hot air from these servers, allowing cool air to come in.”
“Will the surrounding area have a temperature rise?”
“No more than a half a degree every 10 years, according to our calculations.”
“Will the facility affect the weather in any other way over the surrounding area.”
“The area should experience more sunshine, year round. Smaller clouds will be drawn into the operative cloud over Plum Island.”
“Won’t that make the cloud bigger and bigger?”
“No. The cloud as configured for the island will be adequate for the next 50 years. Excessive clouds drawn in will be either blown away or dissipated into rain by a combination of thunder and lightning, which we control from below.”
“What will it be like above ground on the island?”
“Stormy. You wouldn’t want to be there. Occasional clumps of static electricity will form and have to be dissipated. This is also done with the lightning. That’s why we have that.”
“Will government workers live on the island underground? And how will they get there? By ferry?”
“No one will arrive by ferry. No one will arrive on the island at all. It will be entirely operated by remote control from a top-secret concrete bunker at Orient Point. There, two of our most highly trained scientists will operate the facility over a secure WiFi network. Only they will know the password. Actually, there will be two passwords, one known by one scientist and the other known by the other scientist. The passwords will be changed daily by two other scientists in another secret bunker next to the Merry-Go-Round in Greenport, and all passwords will only work when used together. For that reason, between shifts neither of these two sets of scientists will be allowed to talk to one another. Furthermore, it all only works when the scientists sit at their respective desks in the two mainland facilities behind locked steel doors that only open with fingerprint recognition.”
Next spring, the dirt will fly. This is going to be an exciting time for eastern Long Islanders.