Pocketful Of Rockets: History And Stories Behind White Sands Missile Range

Pocketful Of Rockets: History And Stories Behind White Sands Missile Range

by Jim Eckles


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An informative and entertaining look at the history of White Sands Missile Range. Not only does the author delve into V-2 rockets, missiles gone astray into Mexico, and the introduction of African oryx, but he also tells how the Apache fought buffalo soldiers there in 1880, how Sheriff Pat Garrett investigated the Albert Fountain murder and how ranchers lived on the parched lands raising both cattle and goats.
The history of the first atomic bomb test at Trinity Site is covered in detail as well the various searches for the fabulous and mythical Victorio Peak treasure of gold bars. Eckles even provides the military history behind programs responsible for the Roswell UFO phenomenon.
The author worked in the missile range's Public Affairs Office for 30 years and had access to most of the Range. He interviewed many of its early pioneers, men and women who made White Sands the birthplace of America's missile and space activities. In the process, he collected many stories that provide that extra insight into the historical events he writes about.
This is a rare look under the covers at the largest military installation in America. The missile range's isolation and sensitive testing mission have made it relatively invisible to most. Pocketful of Rockets reveals some of that history and provides a look at the landscape before the military moved in.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492773504
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 10/04/2013
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 578,351
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.03(d)

About the Author

Jim Eckles is a native of Nebraska. He grew up in Lincoln and earned his bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from the University of Nebraska. Next it was on to Seattle where he received his master's degree in English literature from the University of Washington.
Eckles arrived at White Sands Missile Range in 1977 as a member of the Public Affairs Office. Most of his 30 years were spent on the news media and community relations side of the office.
From the start, he was hooked by the history of White Sands. He found the steady march of science and technology interesting, and the pioneers who made it all work were a joy to talk to. To top it off, everywhere he looked were great stories behind the official Army facade.
But, equally so, he was captivated by the history of the area before the military takeover in 1942. He found there was much to like about seeing Indian rock art a thousand years old, the place where Pat Garrett lived at the end of his life and the many ranches where people struggled to make a living in such a harsh environment. Finally, Eckles' love of the outdoors gave him new perspectives of the Range as he hiked and biked its remote areas.
Eckles retired from White Sands in 2007 and still lives in Las Cruces, N.M. He was elected to the missile range's Hall of Fame in 2013.

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