Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Forbidden Holland

In the Netherlands, there was commentary in the Dutch press a couple of years back when a list of "blurred out" sites was published on the excellent Marketingfacts site. Most are barracks, aiports or military basis. In early lists, they claimed that the European Space Agency centre in Noordwijk was blurred too, but that doesn't seem to be the case these days. Strangely, I live close by to what looks like a Google Earth "bluurper". Go to these coordinates ( 52°15'37.43"N 5°16'47.78"E) and you'll see the marine listening post itself is blurred, but the circle of direction finding antennas next to it are in the clear. Not sure why they bother. They must be a lot happier in Emmnes now that the 500 kW transmitters from the Flevo polder ( 52°21'43.98"N 5°27'19.34"E) have gone off the air...that kind of power is not something you want next to a sensitive antenna field.

If you look in on-line history books you'll find that during the Cold War, Holland was littered with listening posts, some in old villas, or some like the Post Golf in Goes (Location: 51°32'2.48"N 3°52'32.83"E) who's occupants had the job of listening in to and transcribing the Dutch language transmissions of Radio Moscow which ran from 1956 to 1991. They also monitored traffic coming out of Warsaw Pact embassies in the Hague. These days, the place is used by the National Amateur radio society, the VERON.

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