Defense: The Big Bird Sanctuary

The "PMR" is a wasteland of sand and water. It covers more than 50 million square miles and extends almost halfway around the earth. Its inhabitants hunt goats in fern-forested Kauai. and missile nose cones in the sleepy lagoon of Eniwetok. It is the habitat of strange "birds" with peculiar names—Samos, Discoverer. Midas, Nike-Zeus—whose flights are scratched across the sky in weird contrails and tracked by missile-watching machines on a California mud flat and in such far-flung outposts as Alaska, Hawaii, Kwajalein and Christmas Island. The PMR—for Pacific Missile Range—is the...

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