E. Carl Kiekhaefer, president of Kiekhaefer Marine (which would become Mercury Marine in 1971), took to the skies of central Florida in 1957 in a small, single-engine plane in search of a site away from prying eyes – and complaining neighbors – where he could secretly test his marine engines day and night. The result of his search, like so many other Kiekhaefer projects, would become the stuff of legends. From the air, the team spotted 1,400-acre Lake Conlin in a parcel of woods and swampland, inhabited by alligators, snakes and panthers. What better place for a secret test facility? And to throw would-be spies off the trail during purchase negotiations, Kiekhaefer’s team referred to the site only as "Lake X.