The Bidganeh Blast: Hidden Secrets!

The Bidganeh Blast (Source: USA Today)

On November 12, 2011 a massive explosion rocked a military complex in Iran. It killed 17 soldiers; including Brig. Gen. Hassan Moghaddam, the reported mastermind of Iran’s missile program.

Was the explosion caused by an errant missile test or by an ammunition dump explosion as some have reported?

Lets look into that for ourselves.

By doing so we will dig deeper into the story than anything yet reported on TV!

Beat The New York Times Challenge!

There is a little game I like to play. I call it the “Beat The New York Times Challenge!”

This is how it works…

While reading a New York Times story you see it contains one of those famous little square NYT close up satellite images showing where some major headline event happened.

They never really tell you exactly where it is at, but provide tantalizing clues as to its exact location. I’ve seen this in dozens of stories. You never quite know where it is but really want to find it for yourself.

For me, that little satellite picture just stares up thumbing it’s pixels at me and sneering, “Bet ya can’t find me!”

I think they do it on purpose just to irritate folks like me who believe, “Inquiring minds want to know!”

Your challenge, should you chose to accept it, is to find that very spot on planet Earth and dig deeper into the story than even the venerable New York Times!

Today’s challenge is to find the exact spot where the big explosion took place using information from this story in Tuesday’s New York Times:
Images Show Devastation at Iran Base After Blast
-William J. Broad, New York Times, 11/29/2011

How to Win The New York Times Challenge

In this particular case there are two ways to beat the NYTimes…

WAY #1:
At great expense take a 24-hour flight to a neighboring country. Then spend big bucks to rent or buy a vehicle, supplies and survival gear for about a 1-2 week ground trip.

Then illegally enter Iran under cover of night hoping to avoid capture for espionage and face years in an Iranian prison.

While avoiding contact with the indigenous population find your way deep into Iranian territory to within 30 miles of Tehran.

Locate and reconnoiter the explosion site at great risk to life and limb, then escape and return via the way you came to report your findings.

WAY #2:
While swilling beer and wearing just your bathrobe, use the NYT and Google Earth and the Net to find the explosion site in about 5 minutes from the comfort of your own beer stained keyboard.

As much fun as Way #1 sounds, I’m choosing Way #2!

Why Find the Blast Site?

There are two compelling reasons to look up the actual blast site on Google Earth.

  1. Its cool to find it and win the game
  2. You can find more out about the story than even the NYT!

Finding the Explosion site

The NYT provides these clues:

  • The satellite image
  • The blast site is 30 miles west of Tehran
  • It is 3 miles west of a town called Bidganeh

Should be a snap. Just bring up Google Earth, type “Bidganeh, Iran” into the ‘Fly to’ box and it should whisk you within 3 miles of the site.

Then just zoom-out to a 3 mile scale view and pan left 3 miles and there you are.

Once Google Earth (GE) is up it should take 2-3 minutes tops to find the blast site.

What could be simpler, right? wrong!

The NYTimes still has a trick up its sleeve… there is no city in Iran named “Bidganeh”!!

That slowed me down a bit.

Should you chose to play the game I’ll help you out… the correct English spelling of the town name is “Bid Kaneh”.

That’ll get you within spitting distance of the blast site. Piece of cake!

Oh, btw, if you are adept at Googling then a logical search criteria will take you right to the coordinates of the blast site. You don’t even have to know the correct spelling of the town. Then you can simply copy and paste the coordinates into Google Earth and zero in right to the site! 🙂

What Does Google Earth Tell Us That the NYT Doesn’t?


The latest GE satellite image of the site was taken on September 9th, 2011. That is just two months before the explosion. That makes for an accurate cross comparison of the site before and after the blast in order to assess the damage.

If you read the whole NYT story there is a link to a bigger, better satellite image of the blast area at the Institute For Science and International Security (ISIS).

I used that one for my comparison with what I found on Google Earth.

Here are the highlights:

  • 4 large structures were totally blown off the face of the earth
  • Two of those large structures appear to have been replaced with craters
  • The largest building at the site, a very big blue-topped hanger-like structure, is one of the craters
  • At least 6 other buildings within 1,000 feet were severely damaged or totally destroyed
  • Large debris widely scattered by the blast is easily seen 2000 feet away

Pretty much everything out to the outer gate of the facility has significant damage.

The fact that it appears two of the buildings are craters supports the ammo dump report. Perhaps the Iranians were stupid enough to conduct a missile firing test at an ammunition dump.

But Wait, There’s More!

This is where it starts to get interesting.

Google Earth has two exceptionally useful features that take us beyond the NYTimes headlines:

  1. Zoom-In and Zoom-Out
  2. A history of satellite images

We can use the zoom-in/zoom-out feature to get a far better look at the pre-blast site and surroundings than what the NYT supplies.

The most striking discovery zooming way in is that there is no apparent military look to the site. There are no helicopters, planes or military vehicles visible at all. It looks quite innocent.

From Google Earth’s history of satellite images we learn that this facility has existed in it’s current configuration back to March 20, 2003. That is as far back as GE’s history goes for this place.

However, after being static for years it suddenly dramatically changed after July 8, 2009.

Since then six new major structures were built there. All but one of them had blue roofs.  A gated security post was also installed at the entrance.

Something BIG is brewing!

The blast site is only a tiny part of a much larger and sprawling desert military complex. That complex may be upwards of 100 square miles.

It is clear from GE that a lot more has been happening around that area than just at the blast site… and most all of it since July 8th, 2009!

All you have to do is scan the area with GE and zoom-in and zoom-out to find that stuff has been sprouting up like mushrooms there over the last couple years.

In and around the military complex there is a great deal of industrialization going on. It is scattered about over a very wide area. That is entirely consistent with a major military push to build missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload. Being widely separated like these projects are, some within populated areas, they cannot easily be destroyed with air strikes.

There is one ginormous construction project under way right now just 3 miles northeast of the blast site next to a populated agricultural area.

The development is 3 miles long with row after row of interconnected buildings. From GE we learn it was completely undeveloped desert on July 8, 2009.  Now it has hundreds of interlinked concrete buildings and construction of many more is in full swing.

Most structures are 5 stories tall which is very unusual for this part of the world. There is nothing like it anywhere, even in Tehran 30 miles away.

On GE the development looks like one of those giant communist-style housing projects built in Moscow during the Soviet era.

Is that what it is, or is it a military research and development community under construction like those built in the U.S. during WW II to develop the bomb?


There is growing concern that Iran is actively developing nuclear weapons and are retrofitting missiles to deliver those weapons. We see evidence of it on Google Earth.

The Bidganeh explosion that killed the architect of their missile program may have been part of that effort. Nobody knows for sure. Regardless, Israel is probably planning air strikes right now against Iran should it be successful.

One thing is certain… something big is brewing 30 miles west of Tehran. They ain’t building innocent apartment houses on a military reservation.

And just think, we can learn all that by playing the “Beat The New York Times Challenge!”

Dang! That reminds me…

I’m outta beer. Now I’m gonna have to get dressed and go pick up another 24-pack at the mini-mart.



This story is the first in a 3-part series on the military explosion in Bid Kaneh, Iran on 11/12/2011:
The Bidganeh Blast: Hidden Secrets!
-Azleader, Inform The Pundits!, 12/2/2011

The Bidganeh Blast: More Secrets!
-Azleader, Inform The Pundits!, 12/7/2011

The Bid Kaneh Blast: A Theory
-Azleader, Inform The Pundits!, 12/8/2011

Today’s article is also a supplement to one of my more popular articles. That one was written in May 2011 yet still gets several hits a day:
Finding Secret Military Bases Made Simple
-Azleader, Inform The Pundits!, 5/15/2011


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, in Bidganeh, explosion, Iran, Middle East, Military, news, Politics, Satellite images and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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