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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Who is Miss Terry and what's she objecting to? - UPDATED

From a comment on Zero Hedge via Nanny Knows Best, some mystery objects springing up in North Wales. Quoted en bloc except for the addition of commenter names from Zero Hedge:
In fact, on the subject of pollution, what the hell is going on in Wales?

Of possibly more worrying importance for Europe is that I saw today THREE brand new 'boxes' being installed in my local area. Green, 4 feet tall, air intake on top, exhaust vent on the back, air pump constantly pulling air through a suspiciously military looking black metal unit inside. Couldn't see all of the printing on that, but it looks like a NSN (Nato Stock Number. I'm ex-RAF and I've seen millions of them). Built hurriedly (I'm an engineer and I know the difference) with commercially available components everywhere you can see by shining a torch through the vents. Installers all very hostile to anyone asking questions. Which I did. Was pointedly told to fuck off and mind my own business.

Ok, they're quite obviously environmental monitoring stations. But designed to measure what? Fallout?

After Fukushima, most of the governmental rad monitoring stations in North America and many parts of Europe went dead. Offline. We have no bananas. No one here guv. What's this 'radiation' thing again?

What's your local area? On what type of land are they sited? Also, did they have UHF/VHF antennae on top? A flat satcoms box? A panel for access to a display/meter? Solar panel on top, or wired to the grid, etc?

Ta muchly.

North Wales, UK.

All on cycle paths; moderately 'off the beaten track' positions. Looks like theres a GPRS antenna inside near the top (top made of fiberglass and marked 'Morgan Marine' on one corner), also a visible 'wallwart' that looks very much like a cellphone charger plugged into a 6-pack extension strip mounted inside on the back. All 3 sited immediately next to a street light pole and wired into it (fresh asphalt strip between pole and green box on all of them).

They're not elegantly engineered at all. Look thrown together out of the cheapest commercially available parts they could get - rain guard inside mesh screen on top is simply a plastic funnel with a rubber 'condom' blanking off the top.

Look like this;

...almost exactly, but green and much cheaper construction. Really bad / hasty silicone sealant application on all exterior joints, etc..."

Thanks for the response. If you can post the rough co-ordinates, I'll take a look some weekend! :o)

Looks unpleasantly like a rad monitoring station. Can't be weather stations, no anenometer etc. (Obviously, you know that.) Mind you, lots of local authorities also monitor everything from pollen to air pollution, and their monitoring stations can look painfully bodged together. It wouldn't surprise me if some spiv from the public sector convinvced the EU to shell out a couple of million for some 'vital' (i.e. not vital) environmental monitoring stations that would keep him and his mates in work for a few years. Probably wrote on his grant application that it was important to measure North Wales' incredibly high pollution levels, and some bloke in Strasbourg signed-off on it. When you look at the other council-sponsored white elephants in the region, that wouldn't surprise me ;o)
Any ideas anyone?
Indeed. I'm not one to reach for the tinfoil whenever I want new headgear but if the guy really did ask and was told to burn off it bears looking at. What and why? Anyone know or know someone who might know? Anyone in North Wales able to get more details off them and maybe FOI it to see whether you get a straight answer or if an attempt is made to kick it into the long grass? I'm not going to take much notice of the Fukashima remark and I'm prepared for it to turn out to be an innocent and reasonable purpose - radon gas monitoring in areas on lots of granite, methane monitoring if there's a badly maintained or designed landfill nearby, something like that. Per Hanlon's Razor I don't like to ascribe to malice (or conspiracy if you prefer) anything that can be explained by incompetence, and Britain has enough self important jobsworths about that it's perfectly plausible for someone asking a perfectly reasonable question to which there's a completely innocent answer to be given the flick instead.

All the same... what is it?


Well, you'll be pleased to know that the local knobheads have also apprently decided it's suspicious. Cos they've kicked the fuck out of it and the fan ain't working now. ;-}

I'm hoping to spot whoever comes to do the repairs and pick that moment to walk the dog. If the guy gets arsey about me taking a few pics of the innards, then we'll know whoever owns it has something to hide.
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