We have said that the Burragorang Valley ‘Base’ has a long history. This history
began in 1940, when the Australian Army High command, in the face of the
growing threat from Japan, in a top secret move, established numerous bases in
strategic parts of the country, for the purpose of gathering information and coordinating
communications in the event of a Japanese invasion.
These secret communication centres took many forms, such as remote farm
houses, suburban houses where the plain clothes occupants attracted no attention;
even a residence in a prestigious part of Sydney’s North Shore.
Yet more ambitious centres are said to have been established in remote
mountainous areas, including the Blue Mountains, which even today continues to give
up its secrets of those dark days. The most closely guarded of these wartime secret
bases was established deep in the Burragorang Valley.
Access to this base was via a
dirt road whose entrance was said to be south of what is now the Kanangra Boyd
National Park. The entrance to this road was heavily camouflaged and guarded by
hand-picked troops, the road itself being covered overhead by camouflage netting as it
wound its way through dense forests into a deep gully to the base, which was
constructed deep into a mountainside.
According to old soldiers this base served other purposes than mere
communications, for actual strategic discussions were held here by Australian “Top
Brass”, and it is rumoured that American General Douglas MacArthur had visited this
facility at the height of the immediate threat to Australia’s north.
[These visits might
have occurred when the General spent time at the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow
Bath, which while on the outside was supposed to be a military hospital, was in fact
one of the General’s secret Headquarters in Australia!].
So secret was this base and its purpose that ordinary and unauthorised
personnel were forbidden entry to the area, and aircraft, even military [unless by prior
arrangement] were also forbidden to fly over the Burragorang Valley.
It is rumoured
that one day in 1943 an Australian aircraft carrying military personnel heading west on
matters unrelated to the base, [of which they are believed to have had no knowledge],
was shot down by anti-aircraft gunfire when the plane chanced to fly on a course
directly over the base area!