The Alpha Sites are safe-havens to which Earth's population can evacuate and where the Tok'ra and Jaffa resistance fighters are based. They also serves as an off-world labratory and a back up facility for off-world teams when the SGC is not available.
There have been at least three known Alpha Site locations and at least one additional Beta Site.
Location and Purpose
The first mention of an alternate site was when Dr. Daniel Jackson was transported to an alternate SGC. In that AU, the Earth was under attack and the leading scientists and politicians were being sent off world to a "Beta Site" for safety.
It is possible that this gave the SGC the idea. When Aphophis's ships approach Earth, people are evacuated to an Alpha Site.
Later, to escape Aphophis' doomed ship, Dr. Jackson escaped through the stargate to the same address, P3X 984, which turned out to be this SGC's Alpha Site. (1.21 "There But the Grace of God")
The Alpha and sites are chosen from addresses added to the Stargate dialing program by Col. O'Neill when he possessed the Ancient's knowledge. These addresses are not known by the Goa'uld. (2.15 "The Fifth Race")
Protocol dictates that if a team cannot return to Earth, they are to proceed to the Alpha Site.
Description of the Alpha Site (P3X-984)
The first Alpha Site looks remarkably like the North Western portion of America. Filled with pine trees, the Alpha site sits in a clearing close to the Stargate. The military issue quanset huts are arranged in a lose circle. The Rebel Jaffa make thier camp, nearby. The base includes an infirmary, a lockdown, several labratories and is powered by a naquadah reactor.
The first record of a mass assignment to the Alpha Site was during Aphophis's attack on Earth. The Alpha List was compiled of the "best we have in all fields of expertise." It was made up of at least 13 "Alpha Teams" made up of about a dozen men and women each. Major Castleman coordinated the move from the Alpha Site with Tech Sgt. Harriman coordinating from the SGC. (2.01 "The Serpent's Lair Part 2)
Hammond's Speech to the Alpha List
Ladies and Gentleman, as you have all been made aware this nation, the entire world, faces a deadly threat. With this knowledge, you have all volunteered for a mission intended to perserve human kind. You have been chosen because you represent the best we have in all fields of expertise. What you have not been told, for reasons of security, is where you're going or how you are going to get there. [Stargate Kawooshes!] You're going to step through that [the Stargate] Once through the Stargate, you will find yourself on the opposite side of this galaxy. A place we call the Alpha Site. If we do not prevail, you, and those that follow, will call it "home". A new colony. Godspeed. (2.01 "The Serpent's Lair Part 2")
Escaping yet another Tok'ra base under attack. The surviving Tok'ra, including Jacob Carter/Selmac, arrive at the Alpha Site under fire. The Tok'ra are not impressed with the very basic living conditions of the base and tension on the base is high. Chaos breaks out when several Jaffa and Tok'ra are killed. It is discovered that an Ashrak, a Goa'uld assasin is in their midst. When Bratac kills the Ashrak he extorts the three groups to cooperate. (6.09 "Allegience")
Additional References to the First Alpha Site
When Col. O'Neill goes undercover during the Rogue-NID sting, O'Neill confesses to Dr. Jackson that "Hammond and I were planning a secondary SGC base offworld. It was going to serve as a backup in case ours was attacked. I was going to command." This might suggest that initially, the Alpha site was not a permanent command, but a temporary outpost during a threat to Earth and it wasn't until after this incident that a permanent base was established. (3.18 "Shades of Grey") This would explain why we don't hear about the Alpha Site again for almost two years.
A giant asteroid is hurtling towards Earth! It is armeggedon! By order of the President, the "Alpha Team" is evacuated to the Alpha Site. Major Paul Davis coordinates the evacuation. General Hammond orders Col. O'Neill to take command of the Alpha Site if he should survive his mission and Earth does not. Dr. Janet Fraiser, Tech Sgt. Walter Harriman, and the three engineers that repaired the Alkesh on Revanna, including Spellman, were also evacuated the Alpha Site.
General Hammond refused to abandon his post. He claimed that "If that asteroid hits, the only chance for the survival of the human race will rest with the Alpha site. We limited their number because they'll have limited resources. Everyone will have to contribute." (5.17 "Failsafe")
When the goa'uld Sokar attempts to tie up the gate by maintaining a constant wormhole, Carter programs the dialing computer to dial the Alpha site immediately after the incoming wormhole closes. (6.02 "Redemption Part 1")
This reference is questionable. Three months before Dr. Daniel Jackson returns, he witnesses Bratac and Ryac attempting to return to an Alpha site when they were captured on Erebus. Were they attempting to return to the first Alpha Site or had the site already been relocated? Later Col. O'Neill relocates the rescued Jaffa slaves to the Alpha Site, but this could be assumed to be the second site. (7.04 "Orpheus")
Abandoning the first Alpha Site
The SGC abandoned the first Alpha Site sometime after Jonas Quinn was captured and his mind probed by Anubis. (7.02 "Homecoming")
Destruction of the Second Alpha Site
Maj. Samantha Carter and her father, Jacob Carter, were developing a new weapon to defend against the new Supersoldiers. The site was attacked by a fleet of ships and subsequently destroyed. The buildings were razed to the ground and the Stargate was thrown off its base. Colonel Riley, commander of the Alpha site, orders an evacuation to the Beta site. A Kull warrior was left to find and finish off the survivors.
At the time the site was destroyed there were more than 90 people occupying the site. (The Beta site reports 90 people missing.) It is unknown what the exact mix of Jaffa, Tok'ra, and Tau'ri were during this occupation, but from the discussion between the Tok'ra Daleg and Hammon we know that of the 90 reported missing, 77 were human, 5 Tokra, and that leaves 8 Jaffa.
SG-1, SG-11 (commanded by Col. Edwards), SG-3 (commanded by Col. Reynolds), and SG-21 were assigned on a rescue mission to the Alpha Site. They discover Major Green, the base's second-in-command and a dozen survivors.
General Hammond ordered an investigation of the leak that exposed the Alpha Site, which revealed a growing distrust between the Jaffa, Tok'ra, and Tau'ri. The investigation did not reveal the source of the leak.
The Tok'ra use the excuse of their dwindling numbers to withdraw from the Alliance. Although still allies, the Rebel Jaffa chose to start their own coloney rather than continue to live under the protection of the Tau'ri. (7.22 "Death Knell") It is assumed that neither Jaffa nor Tok'ra followed the SGC to the Third Alpha Site.
The Third Alpha Site (P4X-650)
With the destruction of the Second Alpha Site, a third Alpha Site was selected from the list of Ancient gate addresses. It is not known if it is the Beta site or an entirely new site.
Description of the Third Alpha Site
A second Alpha Site was built on P4X-650, some 640 light years away from Earth. It is inside a mountain and contains several chambers including living quarters, a command center, a Stargate room, a medical facility, science lab, and a large hanger to house the F-302s.
The gateroom is much smaller than the SGC's gateroom and does not appear to have a seperate control room. A DHD sits in the gateroom, but the gate is controlled by computers on a desk only a few yards from the gate. A seperate secondary control room with a starmap is located nearby, but not adjacent to the gateroom.
The new location is considerably more secure than the original Alpha Site with the entire facility hidden under the mountain, including the F-302 hanger bay. Huge blast doors protect the hanger, and outside the base is a large landing pad. It is apparently normal to have a few trucks parked outside.
More of the Alpha Site is revealed when the Replicator-Carter comes to our galaxy and Col. Carter brings her to the Alpha Site for questioning. (8.11 "Gemini"). For security, Col Carter recommends that the Alpha Site is reduced to a "Skeleton crew, security personnel only," but there are clearly at least 4 technicians still on site while Col. Carter and Replicator-Carter are working on modifying the Ancient disruptor weapon.
Additional References to the Third Alpha Site
During Anubis's attack of Earth, Vice-President Kinsey attempted to escape to the Alpha Site. (7.20 "Lost City Part 1")
During the "Avenger" virus debacle, when the gate systemwas disabled, Dr. Jackson evacuated the inhabitants of P3L-997 to the Alpha Site. (7.09 "Avenger 2.0")
While the SGC is in lockdown, due to Col. Vasilav's mysterious condition, General O'Neill sends the off-planet teams to the Alpha Site. (8.03 "Lockdown"
When industrialist/philanthropist Alec Colson needs to be convinced that the Stargate program is worth keeping a secret, so he gets a tour of the base and a joy-ride in a F-302. When the Trust destroys his credibility and life, he is offered permanent residence at the Alpha Site. (8.08 "Covenant")
After the Trust steals the Stargate, the off-world teams, including Teal'c on a diplomatic mission to the rebel Jaffa, follow protocol and head to the Alpha Site. Colonel Pearce was the commanding officer and Dr. Harris the medical officer. (8.10 "Endgame")
Although not mentioned specifically, when SG-1 discovers the Ancient Timeship, Carter implies that the plan is to "bring it back." She then explains that the ship is the right dimenions to fly through the stargate. The standard operating procedure would indicate it should go to the Alpha site (8.13 "It's Good to Be King")
The current status of the Alpha site is active. It is manned by at least a small contingent of Air Force personnel, including F-302 pilots and their mechanics, and one displaced billionaire, Alec Colson.
- 1.20 "There But For The Grace Of God"
- 2.01 "The Serpent's Lair Part 2"
- 2.16 "The Fifth Race"
- 3.06 "Point Of View"
- 5.17 "Failsafe"
- 6.09 "Allegiance"
- 7.04 "Orpheus"
- 7.09 "Avenger 2.0"
- 7.16 "Death Knell"
- 7.22 Lost City Part 2"
- 8.04 "Lockdown"
- 8.08 "Covenant"
- 8.10 "Endgame"
- 8.11 "Gemini"
- 8.13 "It's Good To Be King"
- Col./Gen. Jack O'Neill
- Dr. Daniel Jackson
- Maj./Col. Samantha Carter
- Jacob Carter/Selmak
- Alec Colson
- Senator Robert "Bob" Kinsey
- Replicator Samantha Carter