Strange stuff in the desert - Utah

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DKR, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    On a recent vacation trip to Nowhere-in-Particular in west-central Utah, we wanted to visit the site of the old Topaz Internment Camp of WWII fame. On the way back to Nowhere-in-Particular we ran across this.

    It's a 'solar plant' or was anyway. Had to look this up on the web to see what it is all about....

    The old Ra-Power solar generator site (scam, visit their site at your own risk (




    As an aside - here where these strange lollypops came from-

    International Automated Systems claims it's revolutionized energy production — and can make investors money. The Utah County firm deploys patented "solar lens" technology to focus the sun's rays into intense thermal energy that drives bladeless turbines that are far more efficient than traditional electrical generators, according to company founder Neldon Johnson.

    His system, which uses 24-foot diameter refractive lenses crafted from rolled plastic, can be mass-produced cheaply, requires minimal maintenance and will last a century, he claims.

    (The photos obviously say otherwise)

    These lenses and related advances can replace coal and other fossil fuels blamed for climate change.

    "It produces heat well-above what you would get on a solar collector, more than 1,000 degrees," Johnson said. "The lenses concentrate the sunlight on my systems that produce electricity. We collected that and put it on the grid. We demonstrated that and put it into production."

    Under their sales scheme, IAUS and RaPower3 sell the lenses to customers all over the country who then enter into "operation and maintenance agreements" with a third firm called LTB1. At no cost to the purchaser, the firms are supposed to install the lenses at the Millard County site and other sites and generate power from them.

    The customers get federal tax incentives for participating in a renewable-energy project and the companies pocket their investments, federal attorneys say. They have sold hundreds of the lenses, but most have never been mounted and remain in storage.


    system 'generator' - steam flow out of the nozzels, turning generator....

    Too bad it's a lot of hot air, according to a suit filed Monday by federal attorneys who say Johnson's inventions are part of an "abusive tax scheme." It already has cost the federal treasury $4 million and it needs to be shut down, authorities allege in papers filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City. They seek an injunction against Johnson and his associates who use a multilevel marketing program to sell the technology through a Millard County firm called RaPower3.

    Classic Utah-based scam.

    Still, it makes for an interesting road-side attraction, if junk is your thing.

    I get a kick out of checking old, abandoned sites. The web if full of site covering everything from abandoned amusement parks in Japan to abandoned military sites in the US - like the old Safeguard system in ND.

    Anything in your neck of the woods that is both abandoned and available for photographing?

    Show us what ya got....
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    No pics at this time, but right around the corner are some nice WWII concrete bunkers. A couple feet thick, dirt mounded up and over bennie from living on an old training base ;)
    Gator 45/70, sarawolf and sec_monkey like this.
  3. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Don't have the issue with Mormons being in the con trade around here, but blacks, whites and SW Asians more than take up the slack. :( SW PA there was an abandoned telco switching office, and the switches were humans when it was active (up into the early 1960s.) Neat seeing all of the old switchboards looking like they were ready for action after a light dusting :)
    chelloveck and Motomom34 like this.
  4. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    The old SafeGuard site in ND

    folks have gotten inside and posted pics if anyone is interested.
    chelloveck and sec_monkey like this.
  5. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

  6. sarawolf

    sarawolf Monkey+++

    Don't blame all Mormons for what a few do and shame on them for being con men. It was an interesting read on the so called solar place. So many places that were supposed to do more good than harm were just cons and now just sit around as junk.
  7. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    the exterior design of the Safeguard Complex in ND was used in the F 4 post apocalypse simulator :)

    the rest of the facility in F 4 is fictionalized
  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    An abandoned gas works in Australia.....

    Abandoned Australia - Urban Exploration in Australia
    There is a whole site devoted to documenting abandoned buildings and structures in and around Sydney Australia...
    Including the Rachel Forster Hospital for women, where a former girlfriend of mine worked during her nurse training...(sigh).

    The website gives a rundown of each site, together with many pictures.

    One of the sites was a former malting house for a well known Brewery...

    There's something rather depressing about experiencing sites of former human activity that are falling into decay...I sometimes wonder about the former human occupants of such places, their lives and the dramas that they lived through in those places of work / living. It also annoys me seeing the tagging and graffiti sprayed on those me it has no artistic merit, and it feels like the dignity of the buildings (and the memories of those who worked / lived there) have been desecrated.

    Abandoned Australia - Urban Exploration in Australia
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  9. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    This gunmount to me looks alot like an early version of 5" 54cal more than it does any 5" 38cal gun mts i had contact with. Some things however are off. Will have to do a little research. The variation of open pedistal, partially enclosed, and fully enclosed is multitude. This looks the closest to me. [​IMG]
    or this.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  10. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    I grew up LDS (the technically correct term for "Mormons", Latter Day Saints), was born in Utah and moved back after high school and lived there for another 12 years. I say this as background and for no other reason.

    In Utah County, the "joke" was...if anyone wanted to "share an opportunity" with you, you asked a couple of questions:
    1. Is the company based in Utah County?
    2. Are any of the examples of success a Stake President or higher?
    3. Did it involve becoming a "distributor"?
    If the answer to 1 and either 2 or 3 was yes...RUN away. It was a scam and/or MLM. For some reason, multi-level marketing health food companies seemed to be all the rage for at least a couple of decades and it was sad and frustrating.

    That being said, I wouldn't say that most or even many Mormons are dishonest or shady, but Utah County did seem to have more than their fair share.

    Since leaving Utah, I have learned to be cautious of anyone claiming to be "a good <insert religion of choice here>". Here in the south east it's "a good Christian man/company". That is, unfortunately, code for "don't question me, I'm honest, I wouldn't lie to you, just sign on the dotted line, you can trust me" and will result in a back stabbing 100% if the time, zero exceptions.

    Again, that having been said, it's only the ones that feel the need to tell you how honest they are, which is not unique to Christians or any other religion. Don't tell me, show me.
  11. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    I lived in a heavily conservative LDS area of Eastern Idaho for three years. I didn't have any bad experiences and found that they treated me a lot better than the area i moved from (Nutlandia, which wasn't so bad then, either). I was mildly ripped off by an auto mechanic that wasn't connected to them, but that's about it. Streets were clean,schools were good, etc.. I had a few door knocks on Sundays pushing the religon, but you get that anywhere. The only strange thing was that Halloween couldn't happen on Sunday (Even though it's a Christian holiday - All Hallowed Eve), so I got caught off guard on that one year. On the other hand, when my car quit in traffic one day instead of getting car honks and the finger, people go out of their cars and offered assistance.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    DarkLight got Utah County exactly right... Lots of "Get rich quick" type scam artists ply that area, looking for gullible LDS Folks, many of whom are not very "Street Wise" because of their upbringing.... My brother "The Engineer" lives in Provo, and loves to tell stories about being approached with many such deals... We were raised by a Old School Banker, and he listens to their "Speel" for a 2 minutes, and then shows them the Door...
  13. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    I have property near Nowhere-in-Particular, Utah. Years ago I had to remove everything moveable or the 'good neighbors' would steal it. Not unique to Utah or even rural areas. There is another thread here (stealing veggies) where urbanites stole the dirt... yes, the damn dirt, from what was to have been a "Community garden".

    These gardens do work - just not everyplace they are tried.
  14. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey


    The 5 in mounts likely came from the predecessors to the Fletcher class Destroyers, but I'm no expert and am going on what I was told. They do look very much alike. If there was a build plate and the plant that made the guns could be determined, that would give a firm answer as to the type and date of the mount. It's my understanding that If they were Built By Dhalgren, they predate the Fletchers, and if built in the Philly Arsenal, they ARE Fletchers, and post ( Adams?)
  15. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    There have to be 15 to 20 variations if you count dual barrel gun mounts in the variations of 5"38caliber gun mounts, maybe more. I just did a 5" 38 caliber gun mounts, then also pictures of.
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  16. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    There could be even more. I was told that during the build up pre war, that ships got first cut and shore batteries got the left overs, and when ships got up gunned, the removed guns would often be sent to the batteries as replacements or new installations!
    sec_monkey likes this.
  17. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    [chopper] @tacmotusn @Ura-Ki :)

    It appears the battery originally consisted of 6" guns, the 6" guns were removed some time after WWII and were replaced by a pair of 5" guns in single mounts.

    Stay tuned .. :)
  18. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    LOL, I have manned and fired in some cases, 20mms, 40mm twins, 3" 50cal twins, 5" 38cal twins, 5" 54cal mk42 mod9&10s and last but not least 8" 55cal 3 gun turrets. The 5" 38cal guns probably replaced the 6" older guns because of the massive stores of ammo from WW2 and Korea. I served on a Reserve destroyer out of Tampa bay in the very early 70s with working 5" 38s
  19. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    It appears the mounts did not come from the Sampson, Caldwell, Wickes, Clemson, Porter, Somers, Allen M. Sumner, Robert H. Smith and Gearing classes.

    That leaves about 9 other WWII era classes some of which can be eliminated because they used a different mount.

    The Post-WWII Charles F. Adams class had Mark 42 5"/54 caliber guns which use a different mount plus the gun was new/newer.

    It appears to be a WWII era Mark 30 mount, which was used on several Destroyer classes including but not limited to the Fletcher class plus some auxiliaries. Possibly a Mk 30 Mod 18 or another variant of the Mk30 ..

    The Mk 30 Tac posted earlier looks very similar :) [winkthumb]

    Mk 30 mounts were also used on some allied ships not built by the US.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
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  20. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    .. however the Mk 30 was also used after the war on the Garcia-class plus
    Brooke-class ocean escorts DE/DEGs later reclassified FF .. .. which were decommissioned by 1989/1990

    they used an updated Mk 30 which is very similar to but not identical to the earlier Mk 30s

    the Mk 30s installed at that location might be a more modern variant and might in fact be late WWII or post WWII which is why @tacmotusn said some things were off :)

    plus some classes used slightly different variants of the Mk 30 fore and aft and different Mk 30s depending on the gun position .. **


    The Mk 30s used on Fletchers and other classes are not a perfect match


    Also under the FRAM programs several older ships were extensively modified, under FRAM I some Fletchers had their No. 2, 3 and 4 Mk 30 5"/38 guns removed, WWII Fletchers originally had 5 Mk 30s 2 fore plus 3 aft. Additional modifications were performed under the FRAM II program. Certain ships received other upgrades as well including the DASH system.

    The Gearing
    and Allen M. Sumner classes also received FRAM upgrades, both classes had twin Mk38 mounts. 94 Gearings and 33 Allen M. Sumners were upgraded under FRAM.

    Many classes were modified or upgraded during their service life.
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