You call that radiation? | Bleader

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

You call that radiation?

Posted By on 06.19.07 at 09:20 AM

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As a connoisseur of conspiracy theories, I was reminded by Hot Type of my favorite radiation/communications-related conspiracy theory, a fascinating bit of midwestern history that doesn't seem to be terribly well-known.

In 1968, the U.S. Navy proposed turning two-fifths of Wisconsin, as well as some of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, into a giant, extremely low frequency (ELF) transmitter for the purpose of communicating with submarines. Proving that our military is not unironic, the proposal was called Project Sanguine. The proposal was killed in committee, reintroduced a year later in a scaled-down version called Project Seafarer, which also got kiboshed, and then languished until, not too surprisingly, the Reagan years.

In 1989, Project ELF went live, consisting of two transmitters, one in Wisconsin and one in Michigan, connected by a 165-mile cable. It operated for ten years before political opposition sunk it, depriving conspiracy theorists of some great material.

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