UFO Landing Pad...?

Time magazine recently ran a feature, "the "Top 10 Google Earth Finds". Number 3 is a "true Google Earth Mystery," they pant. But let's back up and look at the satellite photo and their text.

Google Maps satellite image

Here's how Time describes this photo:

Here's a true Google Earth mystery. These odd formations can be found on air bases in the U.S. and Britain -- this one comes from a base outside of Norwich, England. The U.K. Ministry of Defense called it a motorcycle range, but other [sic] speculate it may be some sort of calibration tool for satellites. No one really knows -- and the military isn't saying anything more.

"No one really knows"? Well, the people who painted it certainly know. As does anyone who has taken a safety course sponsored by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, as I happened to have done just last week. The MSF is funded by motorcycle manufacturers to help bikers be safe on the road, which helps attract more people to the sport to buy their bikes.

And yep: that's exactly the layout of the "range" that I rode on to get my certification last week. Here's a schematic copy of their course, directly from the MSF's web site (click to see it there -- as Time's researchers could have done with 3 minutes of work):

MSF's course schematic, which matches the satellite photo exactly

So, OK: it could be a UFO landing pad -- if space aliens happen to travel the many light years from their planet to ours on a Suzuki.

- - -

See this on Google Maps.


Posted June 15, 2009

« Spot the Blonde | Home | Random | The War on Terror: a New Direction »

Category: Idiot -- Prev: Do the Math on $700 Billion | Next: The Bar Bully
Category: Media -- Prev: Actual Obituary: Chuck P. Dimmick | Next: When Editors are Asleep
Category: Photo -- Prev: Spot the Blonde | Next: Hold On Tight While Train is Moving
Category: True Story -- Prev: Reply to Hercules vs. the Falcon | Next: Working at Motorola
Category: Urban Legend -- Prev: The Saga of the Hotel Soaps | Next: "True" School Voice Mail Greeting?