[Image: Via the Pacific Cold War Patrol Museum].
Somewhat randomly—though I suppose I have a thing for antennas
—I came across a blog post looking at the layout of Circularly Disposed Antenna Arrays
A Circularly Disposed Antenna Array, he explains, was "sometimes referred to as a Circularly Disposed Dipole Array (CDDA)" and was "used for radio direction finding. The military used these to triangulate radio signals for radio navigation, intelligence gathering and search and rescue." [Image: Via the Pacific Cold War Patrol Museum].
While discussing the now-overgrown landscapes found on old military sites in Hawaii, the post's author points out the remains of old antenna set-ups still visible in the terrain.
A series of photos, that you can find over at the original post
, show how these abandoned circular land forms—like electromagnetic stone circles—exist just below the surface of the Hawaiian landscape, thanks to the archipelago's intense militarization over the course of the 20th century.
He then cleverly juxtaposes these madala-like technical diagrams with what he calls a "Polynesian guidance system for navigating the Pacific" (bringing to mind our earlier look at large-scale weather systems in the South Pacific and how they might have guided human settlement there
). [Image: Via the Pacific Cold War Patrol Museum].
The idea that Polynesian shell map geometries and the antenna designs of Cold War-era military radio sites might inadvertently echo one another is hugely evocative, albeit purely a poetic analogy.
Finally, I couldn't resist this brief passage, describing many of these ruined antenna sites: "Their exact Cold War era use, frequencies and purpose isn't yet known but were most likely for aircraft radio navigation, direction finding, intelligence gathering and for search and rescue."
You can all but picture the opening shots of a film here, as concerned military radio operators, surrounded by the arcane, talismanic geometries of antenna structures in the fading light of a Pacific summer evening, pick up the sounds of something vast and strange moving at the bottom of the sea.