The awkward truth about Mt Louisa. Part 4

vent-standard dod


The images above & below are actual ventilation shafts for Australian underground structures used during WW2.


The image below (whilst not the best image) shows a vent photographed on top of Mt Louisa in 1995.

There are no civilian or mining reasons as to why the building would be placed high up the side of the mountain. It is clearly from WW2 era or earlier and is consistent with the standard type of vent used by the military right up to current day. Even the Coffey report agreed that this is more than likely a vent. If this is the case, why did they draw the conclusion that there are no bunkers in there report?

vent-mt louisa

The 2 photo’s below were taken by us in the mid 90’s

vent-mt louisa-1
vent-mt louisa-2
vent-mt louisa-3

Above large vent holes on top of Mt Louisa. This site did have a small concrete building on it before it was destroyed.

There are another 3 vent holes of this size spaced out across the mountain. The hole is almost 2 meters in diameter and around 2-2.4 meters deep. In the Coffey report it was claimed that this was a foxhole.

There is no logical reason for a hole of this size to be on the ridgeline of the mountain. It would not be a test hole for civilian mining or engineering purposes. The cost to bore a hole of this size would send cost straight through the roof. For Coffey to claim this is a foxhole only goes a step further to point out that they had no idea on what they were doing or saying.

This is the only hole of its type and size for roughly 5oo meters in each direction of the ridge and no other supporting slit trenches or machine gun nest are near it. Further more it is against military procedure to put a machine gun nest or foxhole on the ridge, as you have no cover from the enemy. This has not changed since the war.

Again the Coffey report failed to take into account as to why the hole is there and why is it nearly perfectly round, which can only be done via raise boring. It would be near impossible to dig a hole of that size and depth with a shovel. Take note in figure 29; look at the size of the rocks that have been dug out. Given that the natural geology is mainly granite or ironstone that is the two hardest things to dig, drill or blast. Even more so if done by hands. It is therefore in my opinion by now means a foxhole, machine gun nest, slit trench or a test hole. Even more importantly, we did not say this was a portal as claimed by Coffey. We said it was a vent hole. Even more proof of the ramblings of someone who does not know that they are doing.

vent-mt louisa-4

Above this vent hole here is another hole the same size and shape as in the previous figure.

This hole here was backed filled with a mixture of crusher dust, topsoil and the rocks that came out with the fill are not from the area. About 5 meters of back fill was removed before I deemed it to dangerous to keep going without shoring up the structure .Had Coffey gone onto this private property and the block beside this one and inspected the other vent hole and combined it with the findings, a different outcome would have been reached. By excluding private property that we already had permission to be on, would have been easily arranged for Coffey.

Due to much of the review not being admitted, it brought about an outcome that was not true and correct. Given the manner in which Coffey went about this, it was clear that the outcome had already been prearranged. The Coffey report scribbling in the back of the report. Contradicts their conclusion and summary done. There were no fewer than 9 recommendations were a site review should be done on Mt Louisa, In fact on Page 35 of the Coffey report.
q 15 is said to be a vent and should be reviewed.Then how is that Coffey in its summary forget the nine reviews and then went ahead and claimed that there were no bunkers in this mountain.

Archival file below clearly show the intention was there to go underground.


Below is a copy of the report by Applied Ecology


A pilot study of selected sections of part of the Townsville area thought to have underground military facilities dating from World War II has been commissioned by NQRS. The firm of Applied Ecology has completed this pilot survey. While specialising in environmental impact assessment studies, we make extensive use of stereoscopic aerial photo interpretation to report on patterns of vegetation and past and present land use and have extensive experience throughout Queensland, northern NSW and the Northern Territory in analysing air photo patterns of development.

Time series of aerial photography in Queensland are generally available from about the mid 1950’s to the present at intervals of 10 years or lesser. In some areas, such as Townsville and other areas of military activity RAAF photography from the period 1940 to 1946 is available.

There is some evidence that underground military facilities were constructed at Mt Louisa, Townsville and may have been used for a range of activities. Such activities might include stores depots, administration, medical treatment and others. No matter what the use, their construction and or use would have required very significant movement of men and machinery, which could not have happened without leaving evidence of this movement. In addition to the presence of one or more entrances, ventilation shafts would be needed for all but the smallest of underground facilities and some surface construction would be needed.

A time series of aerial photography for the Mt Louisa area has been examined stereoscopically to attempt to locate any of these facilities. Stereoscopic interpretation and analysis allows the terrain to be viewed in 3 dimensions with the depth (or height) dimension significantly exaggerated.

The earliest photography dates from 1959 and is State Government photography while the most recent was flown in 1995 for the Townsville City Council. In spite of very significant changes in land use and the advance of urban development, most of the natural topographic features remain the same and many of the artificial features such as roads and power line easements can still be recognised after the passage of forty years.

The following features on the aerial photographs were used to attempt to distinguish construction sites and underground facilities: –

  • Unnatural ground contours
  • Vertical faces where the surrounding terrain does not naturally possess these, which might indicate a bunker entrance
  • Round, square or other unnatural shaped structures on the ground which could indicate ventilator shafts or small entrances
  • Buildings without well established surrounding vegetation indicating recent construction and buildings not used for residential purposes
  • Roads and tracks terminating at a point for no apparent reason, or the width and usage level of a track suddenly changing for no apparent reason.

Both the early and most recent photographs of the Mt Louisa show a landscape severely affected by excavation, road and track building and other forms of land use. As a consequence of these impacts there is also significant natural erosion in a number of locations.

Within the area shown on the 1959 photography at a scale of 1:11500, a length of about 3.5 km of the Mt Louisa range is shown. Stereo analysis of this area shows a number of anomalies, four to the north of the range and two to the south. These include: –

  • Terrain anomalies (possible bunker construction),
  • Excavation not consistent with normal quarry practice and
  • Buildings, which are not consistent with normal construction for this rural area.

On the 1995 photography at a scale of 1:4000, a length of about 2 km of the northern face of the Mt Louisa range is shown. While no terrain anomalies were detected there are a number of small abandoned buildings with a roofline less than 5 m square. There are no surface facilities, which appear to link these small buildings, and they may be related to underground facilities (ventilation shaft exits?).

All these features mentioned above have been plotted on the relevant aerial photographs and there is sufficient corresponding detail on the photos and recent topographical maps of the area to allow accurate pinpointing of their locations to within 10m on the ground.

It should be noted that no ground truthing of this stereo analysis of the photos has been undertaken. Particularly in the case of the terrain anomalies this is most important as it will allow us to confirm that the features seen on the photos are the result of human activity and are not the result of the sometimes-severe erosion that has occurred in the study area.

Subsequent to completing the above study we became aware that RAAF photography from 1941 and 1942 is available for study. We have briefly examined this photography for the same areas as in the above study. This wartime photography shows much less surface disturbance and we believe that it will allow rapid pinpointing of the exact locations of military activity along the Mount Louisa Range.

Yours sincerely

Mr R Bennett

Principal Scientist