We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, January 5. 2013
As far as I've seen, the best Google Earth site out there is my Google Earth Project. Nothing else even compares.
The video tours are divided into categories, such as "Animals", "Designs", "Geometric", "Ancient UFO Landing Sites", etc. The usual stuff Google Earth stuff, in other words.
On each tour's database page is a small pic of each site, its GoogleMaps and Google Earth link, and the GPS coordinates. Some of the entries have a 'More Info' link which leads to an article on that particular odd/strange/bizarre/probably-alien location.
That's where you come in. The 'more info' part, I mean, not the bizarre alien part — although I'm willing to make exceptions.
If you want to test your search skills and contribute to this fun project, the basic premise is simple. Find an odd/strange/bizarre/proof-that-aliens-once-visited-us spot and dig up the background info on it. Somewhere out there, somebody knows what's going on and has written about it — probably in Chinese or Norwegian — so finding it is the goal. Leave the name of the location and the 'More Info' link in the comments and I'll have it on the site within minutes.
If we get enough entries, I'll collate the best of them, include small pics with the links and make a whole post out of it.
Below the fold I'll lay out some search tips, and thanks from both me and any future viewers of the site. A gal from the Google Personnel department emailed me about a year ago and said they all loved it.
You can pick out your spots of interest from either viewing the video tours or just looking over the database pics and then clicking on the GE link. You might want to do the tours, though, as they'll give you an idea how far out in the boonies the spot is, which in general will be the tougher spots to find info on — and thus the more appreciated.
When you get to the spot in Google Earth, open the 'Layers' area on the lower-left if it isn't, select 'Photos' and 'Gallery'. If nothing informative pops up, click on every box and hope for the best.
Assuming this thing is a couple steps beyond the boonies, be grateful if any markers show up. Even then, most of them will just be clueless observations and guesses ("Chinese Stonehenge?", "UFO landing site?", etc), but you might get lucky and someone will note the actual name of the place or at least what it is, and occasionally you'll find a link to some web forum that's talking about it.
As a good example, here's 'Big Circle'. There's no telling what the hell it is. The sucker's over a mile across.
The only reasonable guess would be an agricultural circle, bolstered by the fact that it was green colored when it caught the first GE goer's eye. The problem is that it's about a thousand miles from the nearest farm house. It's way the hell out in the middle of nowhere in southern California near the Nevada border, miles from any road. If you have GE installed, you're welcome to look for yourself.
As you'll note, there's one marker on the whole thing, where someone's asked "WTF?" in some forum and left a link to the spot. You click on the link, which goes to the forum, then skip through a number of guesses and there, at the very bottom, is the answer:
It's a parachute practice landing site for Edward Air Force Base.
It was basically a great big green field used by the Air Force to train troops, and kept somewhat manicured so there wouldn't be a bunch of twisted ankles after every drop. I gather choppers brought the troops back to Edward Air Force Base, 75 miles to the south.
You'd start with a general description of its location in the country, like "central china". If you can find a county or province name, include it. Ditto any local named spots, both man-made and geographical. For all we know, the huge symbols in the ground just south of Yellow Duck Mountain in central China actually are called "Huge Ground Symbols South of Yellow Duck Mountain" by the locals. Or "黄色小鸭山以南的巨大接地符号", to be more precise.
Speaking of which, you might need Google Translator at some point.
You'd also include any descriptive word you can think of, like 'curved', 'arc' 'angled', 'bent', 'upward', 'downward', 'round', 'oblong', ' ancient space ship design', 'nazca alien astronaut', whatever comes to mind. The idea is to get zero hits — and then start working backward from there.
And don't forget Google Images; the link at the top of the Google page. If all you've got is "big spiral design in middle of azerbaijan desert", you might get lucky.
And two Google tricks while we're on the subject:
— To make Google look for an exact phrase, put it in quotes
— To ensure a keyword is actually on the web page, not just in its list of keywords, precede it with a + sign, like '+spiral'.
BTW, the software for our comments area is real sensitive to what it perceives as 'spam', so if you get the red 'Spam Prevention' message, convert the link to something else using TinyURL.
Tracked: Jan 05, 20:30
Tracked: Jan 06, 19:53
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Doc - You're right about this endeavor being informative. I now know the Batman logo has a real history to it. Go, Vampire Bats of the 44th!
Okay, I'm in.
Fish Pool 1:
Fish Pond Resort:
What a hoot! But it's time for something more challenging, like "Oddities of Deepest China". Back in a bit, hopefully.
Thanks so far! If you want a real challenge, try this baby out.
For "Golf Green" -
This time I learned a whole new word:
The next time I'm at the club, I'm going to look around and say, "Nice park you got here."
Doc - have you looked at "Giant Globe" recently? It's a trip. Rather than remove it for the 3-D globe, it's like they just shuffled it off to the side.
And it gets even better. It's not a structure - it's the world's largest helium balloon!
Bwah-hah! You're right -- that's just what it looks like. Too funny! And that it's just a balloon is a riot!
I have good news, Doc. You are NOT a mealy-mouthed bald-faced liar! This time, I mean. After your stating that "Indian With iPod" was the only "looks-like" spot on the site, I had to wonder about "Gun Lake". I figured it was just an accident of geography that it looks like a gun and that you had LIED to your innocent and trusting readers.
But, lucky you, here ya go:
"Schulensmeer Lake in Belgium was artificially created in 70s when a highway was built in the area. When it was obvious that the lake could have interesting and unusual gun shape, parcels of land were brought for this purpose."
Close one, buddy!
Whew! It's nice to know I can count on you to watch my back. This time, I mean. And that they purposefully shaped the lake in the form of an evil, murderous gun in Belgium, heart of the peaceful, liberal, we-heart-everybody Europe, says something. This project truly is turning into a learning experience!
"Ilyushin Restaurant" is part of this:
Doc - I think you're going to have to put "Triangle 2" in the "Most Challenging" area. Not even a crummy "WTF?" for such an enigma. Obviously, the aliens are doing their usual superb job of keeping people from exposing their secret UFO landing strip to the world.
For "Six Spirals", I'd go with the opinion that it's part of the nearby satellite tracking station, probably some groundwork for an array that was never finished.
"X Marks the Spot":
(I keep getting the Spam Prevention error when trying to post Wikipedia links)
Chinese Train Station:
Saudi Royal Palace:
King Khalid City:
I can't believe there's no info by "Royal Symbol"!
Did you read the 'More Info Challenges' page? As big a mystery as some of the spots are, that there's not even a "WTF?" next to some of them is even more mysterious. But when it comes to something like 'Royal Symbol', which is right out in the open and everybody knows about it, that there's not even a picture really boggles the mind.
I lived in the area at the time and figured it was worth chasing down a link for the project. A great example of "more to it than meets the eye."
And I'm lovin' the video tours. As you said, the flight path is quite something, changing every time like it does.
You make a great point. It doesn't look like anything in the pic, but what a story behind it. Much thanks.
I couldn't find much on "Jesus Loves You', but this page has a few tidbits.
My brother was at Burning Man in [url=http://tinyurl.com/bd5j66n[/url] in 2009. "Hot hippie chicks!" said his one postcard before the debauchery began.
"Bull's Eye" is the toughest one yet. Some people claim it's a partially covered reservoir, with pics leading to similar ones in Britain. Then someone else said, "It's a photographic resolution target. Remember, Beale is an air recon base.", which makes all kinds of sense. Then it turns out it's on Beale AFB sitting right next to a PAVE PAWS radar site, the latest of its kind and the first thing an enemy would take out, so, as it turns out, it actually IS a bull's eye, daring the Russkies to take the first shot.
We'll let you make the call on that one. :-)
Thank you so much, old friend! Your confidence in my ability to solve this mightiest of posers is truly awe-inspiring. After long and deep thought on the bull's eye issue, I think I'm going with "a 3-way tie". Sure, that sounds like the easy way out, but that's because it is.
Doc, you're very welcome. When I think of tough, vile, loathesome questions, my first thoughts are of you.
Monkey in Sand Trap
Juarez White Horse (I was looking for something on the Salamander and came across a better page for the horse)
Guess which site this pertains to:
There's only one!
I think there's a scoop here, Doc. It's not quite "Largest Solar Farm in the Galaxy Goes Bust", but heading that direction.
Very interesting. Further examination will be required, and thanks.
Gotta couple more:
"Auto Test Track" -
"Nazca Lines" (various)
Can't find anything on "Mongolian Geoglyph," dammit.
I just spent 10 minutes on Google looking for things like "Mongolian geoglyph" and came up with the same zilch you did. I'll copy (not move) both it and "Triangle 2" to the 'Most Challenging' page. Some of these really boggle the mind.
Thanks, Doc, that was loads of fun. I spent the whole damn day learning about all kinds of things. One of the first sites I looked at was Mongolian Geoglyph and read what they guy said about it looking like a shaman, so I included "shaman" in the google search and ended up reading about shamans for half an hour. If you're looking for someone with a fresh incantation at the ready, I'm your guy.
I also know a piss of a lot more about glyphs than I ever did before, including the existence of the word "glyph." You can also add "Nazca", "Atacama" and "Cerne Abbas" to my store of knowledge. If Trivial Pursuit ever comes out with a 'Glyph' edition, I'll be ready.
Doc - Looks like I'm late to the party -- and you guys started without me! Had to work all day, darn ($) my bad ($) overtime ($$) luck. :-(
I think I'll tackle 'Craters' and see what happens.
We'll do the easy one first.
"my bad ($) overtime ($$) luck. :-("
That is truly a sad, sad story, good friend. As you arduously and painstakingly work to keep your bank account from overflowing, we here in the real world will hope with all our heart that the impending stress attack doesn't actually kill you. No sense in our going overboard in our lust for vengeance accountability, right?
As for 'Craters', don't forget that cool crater on Mars that we saw in 'Watchmen'. Do you know what an 'overlay' is?
It looks like you're about to learn. :)
I agree with Don, Doc, that was quite interesting. Looking forward to a bit more hunting tomorrow.
Looks like fun, Doc, I'll see if I can participate tomorrow. In the meantime, here are two baseball swimming pools you might like.
Very cool! I can't believe I haven't seen that second one before -- what a trip!
Doc - I got 'Craters' done but keep running into the spam error. Email me and let's do it that way.
Fish Pool 2:
And here I thought it was the late-night result of some drunk frat house. That'll learn me.
I had to delete your last comment because the Google Translate link was one solid long line and was pushing the right border way out. Great effort to nail down the smiley, though.
Bob, got the list, getting on it now.