Inside The CIA’s Secret ‘Drone Den’ Hidden Deep In The Australian Outback

Said to be the most powerful American intelligence installation outside of the United States...

Inside The CIA’s Secret ‘Drone Den’ Hidden Deep In The Australian Outback

Image: The Intercept

A plucky bunch of YouTubers recently snuck inside the secretive facility, a crucial CIA spy base in Australia’s Northern Territory outback.

After scientists found a mysterious structure hidden under the Australian land mass or the string of increasingly brutal shark attacks that blessed our shores last year, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were across everything that’s strange and unsettling about the Aussie wilderness. However, a plucky group of YouTubers ventured into the outback to reveal something even weirder…

Deep in the remote outback lies Pine Gap, one of the CIA’s most critical spy bases, shrouded in secrecy and surrounded by controversy in equal measure. A recent report by Boy Boy has shed some much-needed light on this enigmatic facility, which is said to be the most powerful American intelligence installation outside of the United States

Pine Gap — officially known as the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap — is located near Alice Springs in central Australia. Primarily used for satellite surveillance, its roles include monitoring military and civilian communications, navigation, and weapons systems. While the base is technically a joint operation between the Australian and U.S. governments, it is heavily dominated by American interests and materials.

The significance of Pine Gap in the so-called West’s intelligence operations cannot be understated. Its strategic location allows the U.S. to maintain a truly global surveillance network, intercepting signals from Asia, the Middle East, and even parts of Africa alike. The US argues this capability is crucial for its military operations, enabling precision strikes and intelligence gathering in regions of interest.

However, the presence of Pine Gap on Australian soil has long been a contentious issue. Critics argue that it compromises Australia’s sovereignty and makes the country an unnecessarily significant target in the event of a conflict involving the U.S. The base has also been linked to controversial drone strikes in the Middle East, raising ethical concerns about Australia’s involvement, no matter how indirect, in these operations.

Despite these very serious threads running through the above video, it didn’t stop commenters from. making light of the situation. One of our favourites was as follows…

“When the lawyer starts chuckling like that, you know it’s uncharted territory…”


Security around Pine Gap has been tightened massively in recent years, with increased surveillance and stricter trespassing penalties to deter unauthorised access (the very kind of unauthorised access that makes this video so compelling). Unsurprisingly, this has not deterred activists and journalists from attempting to uncover the mysteries of the base — quite the opposite, in fact — often facing legal challenges in the process.

The debate over Pine Gap clearly reflects broader tensions in the Australia-U.S. alliance. As geopolitical dynamics continue to shift, the future of Pine Gap and its impact on Australian foreign policy will continue to be a topic of intense scrutiny.