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When you cross the East end of Choctawhatchee Bay on Highway 331, on the northeast side of the bay there is a piling "city"- hundreds of them, standing upright from the channel to the the northeast shoreline.

I was told that they are some kind of Air Force prop to simulate a particular target on radar. I really have no idea. But What i do have an idea of is that this much structure has to hold fish! (sheepies?)

So I was wondering, are these pilings off limits to fishermen? Has anyone here ever fished them?

Inquiring minds want to know!
 

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They used to have lights on them and were used as a decoy at night.

If an enemy was flying over, it was to look like an airport and they would bomb the heck out it instead of bombing an actual airport.
 

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It used to be an old wood mill. You can fish it. It's only like 3ft deep so more of a spring time spot and good luck horsing a red around the pilings. Tried it once in a kayak and lost 3.
 

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they actually had a strange looking metal reflector of sorts round w/a multi point star shape in the middle that Eglin used in some type of training. I've never heard the light theory, and I know it was not lights, as I had personally seen and touched the reflectors which have since been removed. Years ago a County commissioner was caught removing them to salvage the metal and got himself in some hot water over it, can't remember his name.

I have fished there a few times and never caught anything and is uncommon to see anyone amongst those pilings fishing. It does look fishy though. Try it and report back :yes:.
 

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they actually had a strange looking metal reflector of sorts round w/a multi point star shape in the middle that Eglin used in some type of training. I've never heard the light theory, and I know it was not lights, as I had personally seen and touched the reflectors which have since been removed. Years ago a County commissioner was caught removing them to salvage the metal and got himself in some hot water over it, can't remember his name.

I have fished there a few times and never caught anything and is uncommon to see anyone amongst those pilings fishing. It does look fishy though. Try it and report back :yes:.
Yeah...maybe it was just reflectors. Could have sworn I read where there were lights there at some point.
 

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60 I googled around and there are conflicting stories and some suggest they were illuminated at some point in time others say just reflectors, so maybe. When they were still out there I saw nothing that suggested they could light up but maybe :)
 

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Yeah I was always told it was a wood mill as well.
It was indeed part of the sawmill. The sawmill was actually at Pt Washington. All the piling were used to moor the log rafts that were floated down the river. I've fished them before and never caught much. Eglin may have used them at some point but I've never heard about it.
 

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If you look at the configuration of those pilings it makes no sense that they had anything to do w/the logging operation out of Pt. Washington, the area where the saw mill operation was done is in Tucker Bayou close to the old Plantation house where the mill owners lived , the Wesley family.

Here are the facts on the piling U see from the bridge:

Folks often ask about the pilings in the Choctawhatchee Bay – why are they there and what purpose the pilings served. There are many a theory, however, truth is the pilings were installed many years ago by the Air Force.

Here is what Eglin Air Force representatives have to say:
"Test Area D-55 is an air-to-ground radar resolution test facility installed in May 1959 and is currently inactive. It is located in Choctawhatchee Bay and originally consisted of 25 arrays of 2,040 omnidirectional radar corner reflectors, each mounted on a creosote-treated wood piling extending above water. Most of the reflectors are reported missing with the pilings remaining on-site. The pilings are clearly marked on navigation charts. The pilings have not been removed due to potential environmental impact to water quality from the creosote."




 

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they actually had a strange looking metal reflector of sorts round w/a multi point star shape in the middle that Eglin used in some type of training. I've never heard the light theory, and I know it was not lights, as I had personally seen and touched the reflectors which have since been removed. Years ago a County commissioner was caught removing them to salvage the metal and got himself in some hot water over it, can't remember his name.

I have fished there a few times and never caught anything and is uncommon to see anyone amongst those pilings fishing. It does look fishy though. Try it and report back :yes:.
The comish was Fred Bishop he ran the old ferry across the IC for years always claimed he call Eglin and they said go for it. Think he was telling the truth just didn't ask the right person.
 

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If you look at the configuration of those pilings it makes no sense that they had anything to do w/the logging operation out of Pt. Washington, the area where the saw mill operation was done is in Tucker Bayou close to the old Plantation house where the mill owners lived , the Wesley family.

Here are the facts on the piling U see from the bridge:

Folks often ask about the pilings in the Choctawhatchee Bay – why are they there and what purpose the pilings served. There are many a theory, however, truth is the pilings were installed many years ago by the Air Force.

Here is what Eglin Air Force representatives have to say:
"Test Area D-55 is an air-to-ground radar resolution test facility installed in May 1959 and is currently inactive. It is located in Choctawhatchee Bay and originally consisted of 25 arrays of 2,040 omnidirectional radar corner reflectors, each mounted on a creosote-treated wood piling extending above water. Most of the reflectors are reported missing with the pilings remaining on-site. The pilings are clearly marked on navigation charts. The pilings have not been removed due to potential environmental impact to water quality from the creosote."




Learn something new everyday don't we...:thumbsup:
 

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This blows my mind I always thought they were for logging too, there are 2 or 3 at least sets of piling areas up the river in different places that do look like they are for logging so I always assumed or thought I was told these were additionally. good stuff.
 

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if the creosote pilings are bad for the enviroment, why leave them there. seems like pulling them would be better. there's only about 17 million creosote pilings in the gulf.
love getting to the bottom of a urban legend.
 

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Have always been curious about them myself. Have head sawmill, oyster, etc. Finally met an old timer who works at Eglin for years. He said he used to help maintain them when he worked for Vitro. He said they were used to align sensors, etc. Thought he said optical but radar makes sense too. There was a piece about them in Walton Outdoors, will see if I can find it.

Personally, I think they have something to do with a UFO landing field
 

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My late father in law was stationed at Eglin during WW2. I believe he told me that those pilings were used in some way as a bombing range. I've fished them a few times without much success.
 

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It was indeed part of the sawmill. The sawmill was actually at Pt Washington. All the piling were used to moor the log rafts that were floated down the river. I've fished them before and never caught much. Eglin may have used them at some point but I've never heard about it.
^^^^^Exactly. ^^^^^^^
I`ve fished them before and had no luck catching anything. You won`t see many locals fishing them.
 
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