Originally Posted by wobbly
Umm, You can look a that Reagan photo (they made that not me) and still insist the Sentinels are a big secret and the public did not know they even existed? It's not exactly a 'Where's Waldo?' moment.
Seriously, they have shown one standing guard over that Presidents inauguration so that's either 1981 or 1985, so they are public knowledge prior to the OT. The public aint blind.
Only way for them to have remained a secret as you state is for us to ignore the viral site completely (is so then what's the point of them making the thing?)
Now the info there does allow for the Mark I being taken out of service for a spell covering the OT due to it's production stopping in 1996 (though they do state the earlier models are all still in service prior to the Mark X, so not unlike how old air planes or cars can remain in service for decades after production has ceased), but they were still first built in 1973 and they were in the public eye (you can''t exactly hide an 18ft tall robot running around after all).
So either the viral site info is accurate or its a lie. If it's accurate then the public does know about them and has done since 1985 at the very latest.
They didn't exist or they weren't active sometime between 70s and DOFP. Thats why they weren't mentioned in the original trilogy.