Unexplained antennas discovered by Utah authorities

Unexplained antennas discovered by Utah authorities
# 09 January 2023 00:41 (UTC +04:00)

Strange antennas have baffled authorities in the vicinity of Salt Lake City in the US state of Utah, with the identity of the people who installed these antennas or their purpose still unknown, APA reports citing Sputnik.

According to local media reports, each contraption is comprised of a fiberglass LoRa antenna, a locked battery pack and a solar panel, with as many as twelve of these devices being discovered.

The Salt Lake City public lands department has since moved to pull down the antennas since installing structures on public lands is illegal. Some antennas have also reportedly been found in the University of Utah.

Salt Lake City’s recreational trails manager Tyler Fonarow told one US media outlet that these antennas were first noticed about a year ago and that the devices bore no identifying marks.

One of the antennas was found at the top of a mountain at an elevation of around 7,000 feet, with Fonarow remarking that a single person could’ve installed it in theory, as the three main components of this setup are “suitcase-sized”, even though it would have been quite a feat.

“It was about 50 or 60 pounds. And then there’s two antennas, four to six feet, and the solar panel which is about three by four feet. It would be a pretty tough thing to do by yourself,” he reportedly said.

While Fonarow initially suspected that the antennas were cell phone boosters of some sort, the media outlet noted that the devices were possibly used to mine a cryptocurrency called Helium. Helium “uses antennas to create a long-range, wide-area network” and relies on “proof-of-coverage,” rather than on proof-of-work, when awarding tokens.

Fonarow also mentioned that this antenna scheme has so far brought no harm to public lands, adding that “if someone wanted to put an antenna in the exact same location for scientific purposes, we’d probably allow it.”

“As long as it’s not dangerous, we really don’t care,” he said.