By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Design
Satellite photos from Google Earth show massive structures that appear designed for a military purpose.
There was a time when a remote desert was the perfect spot for covert operatives to carry out all sorts of weird, elaborate government schemes. But in the age of satellite technology, you never know who's watching.
Case in point was the discovery last week of massive and mysterious man-made structures that appear as scribbled white lines from outer space. Satellite photos from Google Earth pinpoint the coordinates at a location in Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Gansu, in the Gobi Desert. The site, which covers a mile long expanse of land and 3,000 feet in width, is reportedly in close proximity to the headquarters of China's space program and an old Chinese nuclear test site.
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Almost immediately after the image surfaced on the tech site Gizmodo, more snapshots of nearby sites erected in the shape of strange geometric patterns began to crop up, setting off a snowball of speculation as to what the heck they were seeing. Subtracting some of the more imaginative explanations such as a concerted attempt to communicate with space aliens, most guesses pointed to some kind of Chinese military operation.
Paul Marks, New Scientist's tech correspondent says:
My money's on it being a target practice range for the People's Liberation Army.
Why? One of the other formations gives the game away: looking tantalisingly like Stonehenge from a great height, zooming in reveals three aircraft sitting at it's heart. Clearly, it is some kind of military target for airstrike or gunnery practice. Another 4 x 4 piece grid some 200 metes across has some pieces clearly blown to smithereens, again supporting the target practice theory, and a dummy runway in garish bluish-white is probably not for style-conscious aliens but air-to-ground strafing practice.
However, there is always the chance the Google maps have been hacked and that these "structures" are mere overlays, inserted through digital skulduggery and intended to keep conspiracy theorists happy for weeks. The 21st century version of crop circles, in other words.
Skeptic Benjamin Radford at Discovery News concurs:
At this point no one really knows for sure, but the most likely explanation is that it's a military target practice range. It is in fact only one of several similar sites in the area, and at least one of the others has airplanes sitting in the center of it.
The Telegraph even got a defense expert named Tim Ripley to give an assessment:
Tim Ripley, a defence expert from Jane's Defence Weekly, compared the structures to similar grids in Area 51, the secret United States military test base in Nevada. "The picture of the circle looks very like a missile test range, with target and instrumentation set out to record weapon effects. The Americans have lots of these in Nevada – Area 51!" he said.
Here are some more photos of structures around the site. What do you think they are?
Images: Google Earth
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Nov 14, 2011
...satelites and new technologies couldn't find out what these markings are then how come someone who sits far away comes know about? whatever are them don't worry about them. you can only put assumptions as long as China is not ready to disclose it to the world or you tell us.
-these appear to be an area of pallets that have been set aside for cataloging? and keeping away from general population? the pallets are not the normal wooden type. But rather some type of fibreglass or other holding matierial. The blast pattern is such that one of the items was being moved away and blew up and damaged some of the other piles. Also , it appears some people are laying around injured? - Am I way off base, with too active an imagination?
Referring to the reddish-brown squares in a grid. Looks one or more of the squares was destroyed. If you look to the east in Google Maps, there is a similar area but instead of squares there seem to be antenna or power arrays/grids. Maybe for EMP testing.
A simple square grid would display the ground disturbance too easily. A random reticulation is less likely to be recognised for what it is, but just as useful for measurements. Please don't tell anybody who I am. I want to live.
Yep, USA roadmaps for the upcoming invasion. Not sure which states yet, though. We need someone to do a map overlay.
Checking back imagery on Google Earth indicates that the right grid did not exist prior to 2005 and was not completed until June of 2005. Viewing the mountain range in the area, or lack thereof, indicates a lot of activity.
It reminds me of a few years ago, overflying China from S Korea to Europe, during the winter when the wasteland below was covered in a white blanket of snow and ice. We were well north and no towns, roads or other signs of life had not been seen for some considerable time. Suddenly, three clearly visible circles appeared through the snow, almost like something out of a 007 movie ??? a missile silo for example!! I have ever since wondered what was really there and wished that I had taken a photo or two. I have taken the same flight a number of times since, but have never seen the site again. Have I not looked at the right time? Was the aircraft slightly off course? Did I imagine it? What I saw did not look anything like the photos shown with the article.