Cell Phone Tower Equipment Sheds Way Station-Style

Clifford Simak, in his wonderful 1963 novel Way Station, described a special kind of switching station for interstellar travelers that was located on Earth. To be precise, it was built within the house of Enoch Wallace, a Civil War veteran; the reasons were explained by an alien Enoch named 'Ulysses.'

Ulysses said, "We are a traveling people. We need a travel station here. We want to turn this house into a station and you to keep the station...

"We could not build a station, for then we'd have people asking who was building it and what it might be for. So we are forced to use an existing structure and change it for our needs. But inside only..."

Enoch Wallace's house was covered with a kind of force-field that prevented anyone from Earth from breaking in. You couldn't see in, either.

...he realized something he had not noticed before, something that made the house gaunter than it really was. The windows were black... they were simply black rectangles... he could not see into the room beyond."

Virtually the entire interior of the small 19th century farmhouse was filled with the machinery of the Way Station, the switching equipment that was manually controlled by the operator of the station:

...the second-story floor and all of its partitions had been stripped away. Now the house was one great room. One side of it was the galactic station...

We've all read about the cell phone towers that have been built to resemble trees and cacti. But I didn't realize until recently that all of the equipment that is needed to provide functionality to the tower is also sometimes hidden. In one case, it is hidden inside what appears to be a small house.

(A cell phone equipment hideaway)

If you come up real close to the house, you can see that the windows are just black rectangles.

(Black rectangles for windows)

And finally, the interior of this supposedly two-story structure is really just one large room full of equipment, that helps route calls to the appropriate places.

(Inside the station)

Read more about the technovelgy from Way Station; the pictures and stories were taken from a CBS news video - Cell Phone Towers in Disguise.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/10/2007)

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