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Mystery Tower

Last week in a Spring Valley business park, a tower nearly 100 feet tall sprang up seemingly overnight. It was not there on Monday, March 30, but the thin skeletal structure was noticed on Tuesday morning. It dominated the sky in the center of the block bordered by Sweetwater Springs Boulevard, Austin Drive, Calavo Drive, and Jamacha Boulevard, near the main Spring Valley post office.

At about 2:35 p.m. on Tuesday, I approached three men, dressed as though they might be engineers, who were standing in the parking lot outside NSM Surveillance on Via Orange Way. When I asked them what the tower was for, one of them responded with the joke, "We can't tell you. We'd have to kill you." They all laughed good-naturedly. I countered with, "Well, let me call my wife first, because I really want to know what it is!" More laughter. Then the tallest man gave me an answer: "Communications." I asked, "Oh, you mean like cell phones?" He replied, "Just communications, in general." I asked, "Is it for spying on people?" The tall one again replied. "No. It’s just for fun." I asked one more question: "Is it permanent?" The engineer delivered his terse answer in a friendly tone: "No."

The tower was based on a large sand-colored metal platform with wheels, which can evidently be towed as a trailer. Huge, steel spider-like square-tube stabilizers had been deployed to give the tower a wide and stable base. Guy wires stretched from the top down to the platform to keep the tower straight and immoveable. On the corner of the roof of NSM Surveillance (aka NS Microwave) stood a device mounted upon a tripod, seemingly aimed directly at the top of the tower. Though it was difficult to see clearly because of its great height, the top of the tower seemed to hold several small white dishes as well as other equipment.

By Wednesday afternoon the tower had disappeared.

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Last week in a Spring Valley business park, a tower nearly 100 feet tall sprang up seemingly overnight. It was not there on Monday, March 30, but the thin skeletal structure was noticed on Tuesday morning. It dominated the sky in the center of the block bordered by Sweetwater Springs Boulevard, Austin Drive, Calavo Drive, and Jamacha Boulevard, near the main Spring Valley post office.

At about 2:35 p.m. on Tuesday, I approached three men, dressed as though they might be engineers, who were standing in the parking lot outside NSM Surveillance on Via Orange Way. When I asked them what the tower was for, one of them responded with the joke, "We can't tell you. We'd have to kill you." They all laughed good-naturedly. I countered with, "Well, let me call my wife first, because I really want to know what it is!" More laughter. Then the tallest man gave me an answer: "Communications." I asked, "Oh, you mean like cell phones?" He replied, "Just communications, in general." I asked, "Is it for spying on people?" The tall one again replied. "No. It’s just for fun." I asked one more question: "Is it permanent?" The engineer delivered his terse answer in a friendly tone: "No."

The tower was based on a large sand-colored metal platform with wheels, which can evidently be towed as a trailer. Huge, steel spider-like square-tube stabilizers had been deployed to give the tower a wide and stable base. Guy wires stretched from the top down to the platform to keep the tower straight and immoveable. On the corner of the roof of NSM Surveillance (aka NS Microwave) stood a device mounted upon a tripod, seemingly aimed directly at the top of the tower. Though it was difficult to see clearly because of its great height, the top of the tower seemed to hold several small white dishes as well as other equipment.

By Wednesday afternoon the tower had disappeared.

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Comments
3

I, for one, feel better that the "24-hour tower" is gone. But I wonder what the heck were they looking at with that thing? Hmmph.

In any case, nice reporting, Steve Terry. I love the slow-building tension, culminating in a sweeping and immediate resolution in the final sentence, with all of its sharply crafted directness. And the video is an enjoyable supplement.

April 7, 2009

They make equipment for law enforcement and other agencies... they were probably doing a field test of one of their models.

Maybe they have it on their website? http://www.nsmsurveillance.com/products/vehicles/mcu-features.htm

April 8, 2009

Security stuff like this is essential for me and my cronies, sorry, business associates, to make a living.

Remember, if you have nothing to hide from authorities, then you have nothing to fear.

That's why I have my bank statements delivered on postcards rather than in a closed envelope.

May 11, 2009

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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