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[[File:Thornton D. "TD" Barnes is the president of Roadrunners Internationale and former Executive Director of the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame. Since the CIA declassification of some of his projects at Area 51, Barnes has appeared on numerous TV shows, symposium panels, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas Cold War Oral History Project. He was featured in 2011 in a National Geographic Channel documentary titled Area 51 Declassified. He is the author of Soaring With the Eagles - Odyssey to Area 51 [1], CIA Bride [2], and EmP - Nuclear Winter [3]. Sub Page Navigation Mr. Barnes was born at

Thornton D. "TD" Barnes at Nellis AFB, Nevada 2009

Dalhart, Texas on January 25, 1937. He graduated from Mountain View High School in Mountain View, Oklahoma in the class of 1954.. Mr. Barnes began a unique and diverse career while in the U.S. Army where he advanced from serving in Korea as an Intelligence Specialist to attending years of formal electronics training in surface-to-air missiles that included the Nike Ajax missile, Nike Hercules Missile, and HAWK missile. Becoming advanced in missile ECM and ECCM, Barnes was selected to participate in the CIA ELINT projects, including Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Science & Technology Project Palladium under S. Eugene Poteat, the evaluation of Soviet radar threat to Project OXCART. Barnes deployed to Germany with the first Hawk SAM battalion to be mobilized as a combat unit. During the course of his military career Barnes was awarded numerous Missile Badge awards and was selected to attend Officer Candidate School (U.S. Army) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in preparation for advisor duty in the Vietnam War. Barnes’ military career ended after 10 years due to permanently disabling injuries sustained during survival training while in Officer Candidate School (U.S. Army), class 5/62.

Honorably discharged from the Army, Barnes was recruited for an electronics engineer position at the Beatty, Nevada station of the NASA High Range for flight testing of the X-15, XB-70, the LLRV (Lunar Lander prototypes), the Lifting Bodies, A-12, YF-12, and SR 71 Blackbird flights. He participated in establishing four world speed and altitude records in the YF-12A. He spent a year at the United States Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio performing integrity tests on the Apollo Lunar Module Concluding this project, he returned to the NASA High Range as a Hypersonic flight support specialist for continuation of his high Mach and hypersonic flight testing. Barnes was instrumental in resolving a test pilot life threatening “inherent and unsolvable” altitude error problem that had for years existed in the radar data of Dryden Flight Research Center/Edwards Air Force Base, Beatty, and Ely tracking station NASA High Range. Shortly thereafter Barnes was recruited to Groom Lake, Nevada as part of the most highly classified special projects team since the Atomic Energy Commission atomic bomb Manhattan Project. Cleared at both “Q” and “Top Secret” security levels, at the Groom Lake facility Barnes, operated under a code name, serving as cadre for ultra secret projects of the CIA, National Defense Agency, National Air and Space Intelligence Agency, Air Defense Command, Tactical Air Command, U.S. Air Force Foreign Technology Division, the Air Force Flight Test Center, the Naval Air Test Center, Naval Weapons Center, and the Tactical Air Command, most of which remains classified today. The few declassified activities that can be disclosed include CIA A-12 Project OXCART and the Soviet MiG exploitation projects Have Doughnut, Have Drill, and Have Ferry. The Soviet MiG exploitation projects were instrumental in reversing the 9-1 kill ratio against U.S. pilots in air combat in the Vietnam War and were the genesis of the Navy’s Top Gun and the Air Force’s Red Flag exercises that continue today. Following the MiG projects Barnes participated in Project Have Blue, the development of stealth technology introduced by the Air Force stealth aircraft including the F-117 Nighthawk. Details of Project Have Blue and the identity of other projects in which Barnes led or participated cannot be disclosed as they remain classified today. Between projects at Groom Lake, Barnes was loaned to NASA’s Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program at the Nuclear Rocket Development Station (NRDS), Jackass Flats, Nevada to develop a nuclear engine for future manned flight to Mars. Also between projects at Groom Lake, he participated in the Atomic Energy Commission tests of the atomic bomb.

Under the leadership of Barnes, the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame is heavily involved with various universities and other learning establishments wherein their students are directly involved with the activities of the NVAHOF Hall of Fame. As leader of the Roadrunners he has made the recording of the individual legacies a priority project with the UNLV Cold War Oral History Project and the Library of Congress. Since declassification of some of the projects in which he participated with the U.S. Air Force and CIA, Barnes has participated in symposium panels and been a guest speaker telling the previously untold story of these secret heroes of the Cold War. In October 2009, Barnes moderated and participated in a symposium of the Roadrunners of Groom Lake hosted by the Atomic Testing Museum and filmed by C-SPAN.

Barnes is also a successful businessman, forming an oil and gas exploration company in the 1970s, he served as its CEO until 1982 where he sold his oil business to divest in a mining company where he serves as President of Startel, Inc today.

Soaring With The Eagles - Odyssey to Area 51 by Thornton D. Barnes
Em) - Nuclear Winter by Thornton D. Barnes


National Geographic documentary about Barnes and others at Area 51

Barnes is one of those featured in author Annie Jacobsen's nonfiction book, Area 51 Uncensored listed on at and Barnes & Noble Nook at Barnes on ABC Nightline

CBS Affiliate news about Barnes and Area 51

Megan Kelly Fox News interview of Barnes

Resume of Thornton D. "TD" Barnes

Thornton Barnes presentation to the Defense Intelligence Agency September 2011

Thornton D. Barnes Nellis AFB and Curtis Atomic Marines

Thornton D. "TD" Barnes, Director of Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame participation in 2010 Oxcart Legacy Tour

[D. Barnes Participation in Project Have Doughnut at Area 51]

[to Thornton D. Barnes article in referenced ] [D. Barnes referenced article in Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame]

Website by Thornton D. Barnes often referenced by WikipediaWebsite of Thornton D. "TD" Barnes often referenced by Wikipedia[4] TD Barnes Family Website. ]] CBS affiliate KLAS TV 8 coverage of OXCART PR educational tour

LVRJ news coverage of Barnes' OXCART tour during 2011 Roadrunners Internationale reunion

Barnes coordinate Roadrunners Internationale OXCART PR tour of Nellis AFB and NVAHOF to Rachel, Nevada Barnes promoting Atomic Testing Museum Area 51 exhibit Barnes arranges educational tour of Bigelow Aerospace Barnes interview by student newspaper staff at UNLV, University of Nevada Las Vegas