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What in the hell is this thing?
http://www.heinleinsociety.org/thsnexus/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1386
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Author:  JamesGifford [ Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:30 pm ]
Post subject:  What in the hell is this thing?

I found this very strange object in a university salvage yard, amid abandoned buildings, a couple of large aerial masts and what appeared to be a dismantled metal sculpture.

On one hand, it resembles some microwave-frequency ducting I've seen (at a certain frequency, you can't transmit signals over wire and have to do it via carefully sized and shaped "waveguide" tubes). OTOH, it looks as if it was built to handle pressure - or maybe it's made from a zillion pieces to allow very precise interior machining. In any case, it's the weirdest item I've seen in a while.

It probably cost a zillion dollars, and there it is, sitting outdoors in the snow, abandoned.

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Author:  PeterScott [ Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What in the hell is this thing?

Paging Bill Higgins. It makes me think particle collision chamber. Looks built to handle vacuum.

Author:  JamesGifford [ Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What in the hell is this thing?

PeterScott wrote:
Paging Bill Higgins. It makes me think particle collision chamber. Looks built to handle vacuum.

There's been a very long discussion on another forum populated by the geeky, and no one has figured it out yet. The two best guesses are a mold for concrete bollards and art.

I just drove by it again today and it's important to note that there are three parallel and identical tubes like that you can see, each with one rounded and one flat-capped end. I can't think of any functional use for that kind of setup, so I am leaning towards "art" that may have been in the physics building or something.

I am going to send some emails to various U department heads to see if I can unravel it.

Author:  beamjockey [ Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What in the hell is this thing?

JamesGifford wrote:
PeterScott wrote:
Paging Bill Higgins. It makes me think particle collision chamber. Looks built to handle vacuum.

There's been a very long discussion on another forum populated by the geeky, and no one has figured it out yet.
I don't recognize it, and I suspect any insights I might offer have already been discussed by your correspondents.

I do, however, have people cleverer than me in my address book, and they love a good puzzle.
JamesGifford wrote:
The two best guesses are a mold for concrete bollards and art.
I'm not buying "art." Might be something to the mold theory. But why carefully screw the halves of the mold back together before tossing it in the scrapyard? Also, what would be the function of the holes we can see, if it were a mold?

Author:  JamesGifford [ Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What in the hell is this thing?

I discovered that you can see the damned thing from space - on Google Earth, at least. It's in every shot back to mid-2009 and I think I can see it in a blurry 2006 shot. So it's been sitting there for 4-7 years at least; the lack of corrosion is impressive.

I agree that the extra ports weigh against it being a mold.

Author:  beamjockey [ Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What in the hell is this thing?

JamesGifford wrote:
I discovered that you can see the damned thing from space - on Google Earth, at least. It's in every shot back to mid-2009 and I think I can see it in a blurry 2006 shot. So it's been sitting there for 4-7 years at least; the lack of corrosion is impressive.
How about a link?

What's the diameter?

(By the way, as of a couple weeks ago, Google Earth can now see ME. Personally.)

Author:  JamesGifford [ Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What in the hell is this thing?

beamjockey wrote:
How about a link?

I don't want to globally publish its location. See email.

Quote:
What's the diameter?

Three, maybe four feet across.

There are still no good answers on the sci/tech forum, either. Weird.

Author:  PeterScott [ Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What in the hell is this thing?

That is way overengineered to be a mold for anything short of molten zinc. Hundred to one it's a pressure vessel.

Author:  beamjockey [ Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What in the hell is this thing?

PeterScott wrote:
That is way overengineered to be a mold for anything short of molten zinc. Hundred to one it's a pressure vessel.
But it appears to be a pressure vessel assembled out of hundreds of little square pieces, if the "fasteners" that appear on each edge of each square are really fasteners. Which is not an ideal way to make a pressure vessel. Perhaps my inference about fasteners is incorrect.

Author:  NickDoten [ Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What in the hell is this thing?

this out of a distillery ?

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