Sunday, April 08, 2007

Before radar there were 'Sound Mirrors'


In the 1920s England began building giant 'sound mirrors', that were capable of listening to approaching aircraft. Radar quickly replaced these giant concrete monuments and many still exist throughout the countryside.

10 comments:

Greybishop said...

Very cool. I knew nothing about these until just now.
Can't you just hear archeologists from 2000 years in the future expounding on how these giant disks were used for stargazing or worship or some such?

Sawsee said...

Great thought GB!

I can just imagine the theories in 4000 ad!

Greybishop said...

I always loved the "in 2000 years they'll have no clue what this is for" idea. I stole it (if you're gonna steal, steal from the best) from an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel I read when I was 11 or 12. I can't recall the book, but I remember that it was about a guy returning to Earth in the VERY distant future. At one point he wonders what would have motivated the "ancients" to carve stones smooth and lay them end to end for miles and miles. He figured it was some kind of worship or maybe a calendar...
Obviously they were roads, but in his reality there were no cars or even horses, so a road was rather useless...
Always makes me wonder about our interpretation of things like Stonehenge or the Nazca lines...

Greybishop said...

Actually, it's not that farfetched. Not knowing what they were for, if I had stumbled on one of these while on holiday in England, I wouldn't have concluded "sound mirror". Given enough time though, I might have come up with an equally plausible explanation that would have been completely off the mark. Good thing I'm not an archeologist...

Sawsee said...

Hey GB! I can just see us looking at the 'perfect' curvature of the 'sound mirror, and rationalizing that it was a sun or moon worshipping device.

It's funny you bring up the Nazca lines as I have had similar thoughts. Maybe they were ancient shopping lanes to help organize shoppers, waiting in line to buy a sackful of dried corn or quinoa.

Greybishop said...

Absolutlely!
I mean, maybe Stonehenge was the world's first shopping center! I can imagine a big tent-like structure over the top and signs painted all over the stonework that is standing over various wood stalls that have long since rotted away...
Or something else equally mundane that we as twenty and twenty first century folk just don't see.

Sawsee said...

GB! Yes! Maybe the tent-like structure was one of the first travelling 3 ring circuses! Eventually the circus fell into ruins as it did not travel well (too heavy!).

Greybishop said...

Before finding it's permanent home, the circus travelled around, bringing with it it's giant stone pillars. Every weekend, they'd knock 'em down on to specially constructed carts and head off to the next town...
The original Rolling Stones Tour...

Sawsee said...

To keep the carts rolling, a star soon emerged nicking the jags so the stones could roll easier. He was nicknamed 'nick the jagger'. According to folk lore, he could not get much satisfaction.

Greybishop said...

Nice.