Hell Holes 3 – Background

← Back to Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back

Eielson AFB Map, Amber Hall, Base Commander’s Conference Room, Goldrush Inn, Yukon Club, Joint Mobility Complex, Demon Plague UAV, B-61 Variable-Yield Thermonuclear Bomb,
Tunnel through Permafrost
, Hell

Eielson Air Force Base

About half of Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back takes place at Eielson AFB, which is only a few miles south-east of Fairbanks.

Eielson AFB Map

The following is a map of Eielson Air Force Base (AFB). Relevant buildings in Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton and Hell Holes: To Hell and Back are marked with a star. They include the Goldrush Inn (14), the Wing Headquarters – Amber Hall (17), the Yukon Club (20), and the Thunderdome (29). The smaller aircraft hangers where the demons are studied and interrogated are just to the left of the Thunderdome. The Mission Briefing Room is in a building hidden by the map’s legend.

Amber Hall

Amber Hall is the headquarters building at Eielson AFB. This is where the meetings in the book take place.
Amber Hall

Base Commander’s Conference Room

This is the conference room in Amber Hall where the major meetings take place.
Base Commanders Conference Room

Goldrush Inn

The Goldrush Inn is the Eielson AFB hotel and the on-base lodging used by members of the hell hole assault teams, support personnel, and associated VIPS (members of the The Order’s High Council). Not only is it the only hotel on base, it is also within easy walking distance of almost all relevant locations.
Goldrush Inn

Yukon Club

Only a couple of blocks from the Goldrush Inn, the Yukon Club is the Eielson AFB combined officers and enlisted club.
Yukon Club
Inside the Yukon Club is the Bonfire Grille and Restaurant, where the members of the hell hole assault teams have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant has two main dining areas, and the back area has been temporarily restricted to people associated with the mission.
Bonfire Grille and Restaurant

Joint Mobility Complex

Joint Mobility ComplexThe cavernous room in which the personnel mounting the attack on the two inactive hell holes receive their mission briefing immediately before setting out to deliver the thermonuclear bombs and demon plague UAVs to the demon homeworld. The people receiving this briefing would barely fill a tenth of the room, even though they include the two attack teams of US Army special forces, members of the order, and scientific advisor traveling through the portal, the two teams special forces that responsible for defending the holes from demon attack, and the flight crews of the two Chinook transport helicopters and the eight escort Pave Hawk attack helicopters. This building is just south of the Thunderdome, the base’s huge hanger. The Chinooks would be parked on the tarmac just outside the doors visible on either side of the front of the room. I took this photo while being escorted around by the base historian during my visit to research books two and three.

Demon Plague UAV

Hero 30 UAVFor the purposes of the book, I needed a small, man-portable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to spread the demon plague on the demon homeworld. To avoid attack by gargoyles, it needed to be fast and relatively quiet (electric motor). It also needed to be fast enough and have sufficient range to rapidly avoid the nuclear blast zone, with a military on-board control system to survive the bomb’s electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

For these reasons, I selected the Israeli Uvision Hero-30. The wings and tail fins fold lengthwise so that it fits into a rectangular canister launcher. The UAV weighs 3 kg (6.2 pounds) and can carry a payload of .5 kg (1.1 pounds). It is 80 cm (2.5 feet long) and has a wingspan of 70 cm (2.25 feet) when its four wings are unfolded. It has a cruising speed of 100 knots (115 mph) and a maximum speed of 160 knots (184 mph). It has an endurance of 45 minutes. It is typically controlled via a communication link with a range of 40 km (25 miles). It is man-portable in a tall bulky backpack that carries 3 launch canisters. The actual UAV is a loitering munition (flying bomb), but was modified in the book to carry and distribute the plague virus while flying a pre-programmed flight plan.


B-61 Variable-Yield Thermonuclear Bomb

To totally destroy the portal complex used by the demons to invade Earth, I needed a nuclear bomb that was reasonably available, flexible (large enough yield to guarantee destruction, small enough so that the six plague UAVs could exit the blast zone before the bomb explodes), and sufficiently portable to be taken down into a hell hole and through the associated portal to Hell. The B-61 model 10 variable-yield thermonuclear bomb set to 10 kiloton yield fit the bill, assuming that you remove all of the unnecessary parts.

Four Major Components of B-61 Variable-Yield Thermonuclear Bomb As you can see, the bomb is made of four major subsystems. From left to right, they are the tail assembly, the section holding the preflight controller, the section containing the warhead, and the nose cone containing the radar and associated electronics.

In the book, only the middle two components were taken through the portal in order to make the bomb as small as possible (approximately 5 feet long, 13 inches in diameter, and TBD pounds). Steel disks are welded to the two ends of the resulting bomb to prevent demon access before the bomb explodes.

B-61 Preflight ControllerGround-based personnel set various control parameters by using the preflight controller, which they access via an access panel on the side of the bomb. As shown in the figure, the preflight controller has 9 dials, 2 sockets, and a T-handle. The top socket is a Permissive Action Link (PAL) connector that prevents unauthorized use, while the bottom socket holds a “strike enable” plug which must be inserted in order to complete critical safety, arming, and firing circuits. Three dials are used to enter numerical codes, whereas the remaining six dials are used to set such parameters as explosive yield (option dial), time delay, blast altitude, and mode (such as “command disable”). The T-handle is used to permanently disable the bomb by frying critical circuits.

In the book, parts of the preflight controller are reprogrammed to enable the air-dropped bomb to operate as a Earth-saving time bomb.

Tunnel through Permafrost

Permafrost TunnelIn the book, I have the demons create tunnels through the permafrost connecting their interplanetary portals with the hell holes. To ensure accuracy, I toured an actually permafrost tunnel dug by the US Corps of Engineers outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. That’s where I learned the distinctive smell of permafrost and the fact that as the ice sublimes, it releases the wind blown dust that ends up on the floor of the tunnel. The picture is of the tunnel that I visited.


In the book, Hell is a planet orbiting close to a small orange dwarf star. The Goldilocks zone (where water is liquid) for an orange dwarf is closer to the star than the sun’s Goldilocks zone. This makes the angular width of the star roughly three times larger than that of the sun.

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