In the Area 51 time line, we were prehistoric. From 10
December 1961 to 1 June 1965 I was Chief Forecaster and Briefer at the Area.
Actually, I flew out to the ranch almost a year before I moved out there, things were not really set up, and I went back to MKC where I was working on a tornado project. When I finally moved in, the cadre was really small, uniforms were optional until Bob Holbury shortly arrived and shook things up.
The airplane was just a mockup to setup for radar tests. The palatial housing was brought in on truck beds from a base up by Reno . Came in a cloud of dust over that stretch of flat desert between the back gate and the area. As I recall we were Bob Holbury, Doug Nelson, Ray Haupt, Danny Mitchell, Sam Pizzo, Jack Thornton, Burt Barrett, Duke Rowden, Steve McIlvane, Bob Seymour and another navigator working with Sam whose name eludes me. Werner was there, and Charlie White for security.
Being there for the early tests, setting up base operations, the crypto, navigation facilities and general support took up our time. I was there for the first flight and later saw Lou roll the beast (Sam says it was on takeoff, but I maintain it was during a fly-by. Lou wasn't that zany).
It was Sam Pizzo and I who designed the "Roadrunner" emblem.
Lt. Col. Robert Louis Seymour, 90 of Columbia, SC, passed away Saturday, September 3, 2016, following a brief illness.
Lt. Col Seymour was one of the first Air Force personnel of the 1129th Special Activities Squadron to arrive at Area 51 for the CIA's Project OXCART, the A-12 Archangel. He arrived on 10 December 1961 and departed 1 June 1965. He was a meteorologist, the Chief Forecaster and Briefer at Area 51. He arrived before the facility was ready for him. He left the Area for a year, working on a tornado project before returning shortly before Colonel Holbury's arrival to take command of the 1129th SAS. At the time, there was only the mockup of the plane undergoing radar cross-section tests. He was there before the arrival of the palatial housing brought in on truck beds from the Navy's project at Hawthorne, Nevada. He, along with Bob Holbury, Doug Nelson, Ray Haupt, Danny Mitchell, Sam Pizzo, Jack Thornton, Burt Barrett, Duke Rowden, Steve McIlvane, another navigator for the Air Force and CIA's Werner Weiss (Commander), and Charlie White (security) witnessed the first flight of the Lockheed-built A-12 by Lockheed Test Pilot Louis Schalk. It was Seymour and Sam Pizzo who designed the "Roadrunner" emblem.
Seymour was born October 4, 1925, in Yonkers, New York, and was predeceased by his parents, Basil and Emma Seymour. Robert is survived by Darian Whitehurst Scalard and her husband, Blaine, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Robert Seymour, Mr. and Mrs. Clayton St. James Seymour, Mr. and Mrs. Robin Rory Seymour, and his grandchildren, Savannah, Madison, Cooper, Louis and Levi. Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 9, 2016, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 1100 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201, followed by a reception at the church. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family. Family and friends may sign the online guest book at www.dunbarfunerals.com.