Dozens of Americans have moved across the country to live in the off-the-grid town of Green Bank, West Virginia, which has purportedly banned WiFi and cellphones. Why? Because West Bank is located in what’s known as the “National Radio Quiet Zone.” What this means is that ALL electromagnetic signals are banned, including, of course, WiFi and cellphones. So, why would people want to live in a non-electromagnetic small town? Because they believe the electomagnetic signals that emanate from cell phones has been making them sick.

Okay, but why is the town smack dab in the middle of the National Radio Quiet Zone?

Well, because the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope is housed in the area. So, the Quiet Zone was established to protect the telescope from electronic interference of all kinds. Nestled within the West Virginia mountains, the town of Green Bank, home to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory welcomes newcomers seeking to get away from “modern life” (i.e. electromagnetic , which many residents believe was causing them serious sickness.

Green Bank provides a safe haven for people who suffer from “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” disorders. Here, they can build their own homes, and life off-the-grid (in more ways than one). It’s also becoming ground zero for the hunt for extraterrestrials. According to the weekly science journal, Nature: “Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in West Virginia: one of three telescopes being used in a decadal, $100-million search for extraterrestrial life.” Generally, scientists searching for intelligent life in the universe are only afforded between 24 and 36 hours of telescope time a year, but with this new initiative, they’ll have access to massively powerful telescopes, including the Green Bank telescope, for thousands of hours:

“The initiative, called Breakthrough Listen, will see radio telescopes at Green Bank in West Virginia, the Parkes Observatory in Australia, and the Lick Observatory’s optical telescope in San Jose, California, scanning around one million stars in the Milky Way and a hundred nearby galaxies. Milner is also releasing an open letter backing the idea of an intensified search; it has been co-signed by numerous scientists, including physicist Stephen Hawking. “In an infinite Universe, there must be other life,” Hawking told luminaries at today’s launch event. “There is no bigger question. It is time to commit to finding the answer,” he said.” – Nature

But, the most important element to this community is the absence of electromagnetic signals:

“Jonah Bauserman, a technician who patrols the community, carries a device that detects radio frequencies that may be harmful to the telescope’s research. The responsibility is not without heartbreak, as Bauserman’s device alerts him of belligerent rebels, firing WiFi-signals under the nose of the law. For one of the only towns to ever criminalize WiFi, you might as well be hocking a loogie right in old Bauserman’s eyes. After signing a rental agreement that disallows microwaves, WiFi and cordless telephones, you would have to be one sadistic motherfucker to sneak in a modem—but people do it. The world is bleak and cruel.” – Read more at Plaid Zebra

I don’t know if I could live without my cellphone, or WiFi, but if it meant I could participate in the search for intelligent life in our universe, I’d quit cold turkey. Who wouldn’t want to live in a real-life episode of The X-Files?!

H/T Plaid Zebra

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