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ArkLaTex Made: Radar

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O. E. Mims and his radar O. E. Mims and his radar
TEXARKANA, Ark. -

It's one of history's great blunders; a radar station outside of Pearl Harbor. See something on its screen but the interpretation of those images goes terribly wrong.

"He saw something and it looked like they were right out there, he could see people on the street" recalls James Burt.

Burt remembers other images on screens; images that were being seen by his neighbors across the street.

Mr. Mims was a wiz with radio's. He made them and repaired them and played with them.

"In the summertime he would leave the door open and you could hear him in there."

There isn't much left of that workshop out back where Mr. Mims tinkered with history. No one knew exactly what was going on behind those doors but Ann Winger's uncle saw something scary.

"Mr. Mims showed him a radar image on a radar screen. My uncle was terrified because he thought he had seen a ghost" says Winger. "He had been telling people he was seeing people walk on the street."

Then one day, in 1942, two men dressed in uniform came up and knocked on her door.

"Two days later, moving vans showed up there. Loaded up everything they had in the house."

No one ever saw or heard of Mr. Mims again except for a chance encounter years later with a scientist who had worked on the space station at Raytheon in Dallas.

"There's a large plaque on the Raytheon building honoring Mr. Mims and his contribution to radar."

Apparently in the back of that house in Texarkana, Arkansas, came a man who helped develop a system of detection enemy planes and ships that would prove essential to winning the second World War. We don't even have a picture, just an old man's memories.

"He knew what he was doing because he was a smart man."

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