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What Did Google Earth Spot In the Chinese Desert?

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the secret-alien-base dept.

China 257

New submitter snooz_crash writes "An Ex-CIA analyst requests your assistance in IDing a base that he has been observing for quite a while. The base has been in existence for several years, but its shape and location do not lead to an immediate answer to the riddle of 'what the heck is it?'"

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257 comments

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Isn't it obvious? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551067)

It's a cleverly designed denial of service attack against the CIA/NSA/etc. By making them waste time trying to figure out what this base is, they're keeping them from discovering actual information.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (2, Funny)

Dishwasha (125561) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551901)

And here I thought it was our base that r belong to the Chinese.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (2)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552179)

It's a snow cone machine.

It is obvious! (4, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551991)

This is a clever trick designed by Slashdot to make people RTFA.

You're not making me fall into that trap, by gum...

It can't be an underground complex (3, Funny)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551069)

Too obvious...

Factory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551099)

Factory on the left, dorms on the right. Nothing to see here.

Re:Factory (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551501)

Factory on the left, dorms on the right. Nothing to see here.

Sooo...

Newest Foxconn facility?



Where are the roof nets?

Re:Factory (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552195)

Roof nets are more expensive than replacement workers, they're only used to save the share price from falling when people complain about high suicide rates, catching the workers is just a side-effect.

Re:Factory (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551591)

If that were the case you'd expect the road to run straight from the dorm building to the factory and not take a half kilometer detour on it's way there. It looks like the plan is for traffic to run between the town to the south and the various sites at the complex with little traffic going between sites.

Here's a clue: the two units under construction to the right of the "dorm" look like what I imagine two coal fired power units under construction would look like. Some of the larger open-air structures around the area look like "transformer stations" (or whatever they actually are) under construction.

Re:Factory (1)

colin_faber (1083673) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551687)

I was thinking this as well, with the largest earthen structure possibly the start of a impound pond for cooling

Re:Factory (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552117)

THe fact it's in a dessert made me think that it's a building to house water. Not a water tower or indoor artificial lake, but maybe a waste treatment plant or something like that. You need to build infrastructure to support people if you are going to build towns and cities, and China is building ghost cities in preparation for the upcoming global crisis (when the US collapses, SSEZ - Shenzhen, will go down with it - so much of that area is dedicated to Hong Kong production and US company outsourcing, and the millions living there - many illegals, will want to flee). So having pre-built cities that are empty, something the US sees as stupid, will let the government step in and give 10,000,000 jobs to people to run the empty cities, then millions more will follow them with services and support, cleaning out the localities that are in crisis. They don't have enough space for the people flocking to the cities now, so expanding, even if only by pre-making cities, makes sense. At least, it will in 10 years when the US defaults on the debt and the world economy routes around the damage.

Re:Factory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552181)

The debt is denominated in dollars. The U.S. can print as many dollars as it wants. How could it ever default?

Re:Factory (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552013)

look like what I imagine two coal fired power units under construction would look like.

Its probably just a mining operation, of some kind because there is no major transport, no huge power lines, no stacks, convener belt systems. (Coal fired plants would have all of those, and aren't nearly so spread out).

No major rail lines.
No paved roads, just low traffic low speed gravel roads (90 degree corners etc).
Only the eastern most group of buildings seems to be fenced

There are "tailing pile" looking like humps, but not nearly enough for this to be a high burden mine requiring massive material removal, unless they are dumping the tailing back down the mine. There appear to be fields of spread out tailings with lots of bulldozer marks just east of the blue topped building.

The lack of security, transport, massive power, and distance to population centers (which themselves are not that big) all suggest small mining operations, perhaps by several different organizations.

Nothing was there in 2009, so it may be still in the process of drilling to deep ore bodies, and not actually in production yet.
The thing about desert areas is every little truck track shows up forever.

Maybe.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551113)

Maybe that's why he's an ex-CIA analyst.

Re:Maybe.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551249)

He hasn't been with the CIA since 1985. China isn't a closed off mysterious communist land of wonder any more. He could just ask them.

Looks like a mundane farm or factory or both to me.

Re:Maybe.... (4, Funny)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551525)

Not necessarily. China may not be super secret squirrel any more about everything, but they still have plenty of secrets.

That said, it's probably a Wal-Mart.

Re:Maybe.... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551671)

Not to mention they could just lie. After all, he's just some schmuck in their eyes.

Re:Maybe.... (1)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551809)

>That said, it's probably a Wal-Mart.

That's easy to check. Is it near a national monument?

Wal-Mart knew about Mexico bribery [cnn.com]

Ummm.... maybe go there? (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551133)

You'd get a pretty good idea, I think... if you simply went to the area. If it's a secure location, you'd get some idea of what it is based on the type of people who are guarding the entrance.

Re:Ummm.... maybe go there? (5, Funny)

Albanach (527650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551313)

Go there, who does that these days? Click street view and read what the sign above the door says.

Re:Ummm.... maybe go there? (4, Funny)

djl4570 (801529) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552107)

I tried that. It's blurred out.

Re:Ummm.... maybe go there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551361)

You'd get a pretty good idea, I think... if you simply went to the area. If it's a secure location, you'd get some idea of what it is based on the type of people who are guarding the entrance.

Yeah, and after you report back what caliber of bullets just shredded through your brain using the ubiquitous, non-restricted internet connections you've heard so much about in the Chinese desert before the soldiers there remove your body (now freed from any pesky motor control), we'll clearly have an answer!

Re:Ummm.... maybe go there? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551607)

Go there? Why not try calling a local official first? The site is right next to the city of Kashgar -- find a phone number and pick up the phone. (OK, find a native Chinese speaker first...) 60 seconds and few questions later you might have *an* answer, if not *the* answer.

Who knows, the city's website (http://www.xjks.gov.cn/) might even have news about the project. Although I think the site may be Slashdotted already.

Re:Ummm.... maybe go there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551903)

Reminds me of a small aircraft factory with runways. Maybe we should send Steve Austin in by parachute so he can report back...

Re:Ummm.... maybe go there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552175)

What a stupid comment by someone who has obviously no experience visiting such sites.

"Oh there was guys with guns in uniform wanting my id"
"ITS A SECRET AIRBASE!!!! I CAN TELL BY THE UNIFORMS!"

Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551141)

Disclaimer: I've never done anything like this. Well, this structure is pretty unique [google.com] in its shape. Judging by the shadow, it's pretty high up and probably serves the most distinct purpose? It almost looks like that might be a prison yard in the middle with a fence in the back? If you're going to make a building that large and use it for office space, why make that shape? Why not just a rectangular or square building? It could also maybe be the beginnings of an airport or air base with that structure being the tower and the field to be built in front of the flat side of the U. The other sites might be hangars?

If it's a prison, the other sites might be places for arrays of solar panels or perhaps mining sites with the intent of prisoners working on those things. I mean, when you're that far out are you going to make a run for it? The electricity and/or ore would be for nearby Kashgar, Xinjiang?

If any of that were true, I have no clue what this stuff would be though [google.com] . It looks like the upper left of that has had dirt pushed around to level out the ground for something to be built on top of it though. This went up fast but you might have to give it another year or two before it starts to take shape?

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551193)

That U shaped thing looks almost exactly like part of the temple gate from 2012's Burning Man, if it were viewed from above.

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551297)

Judging by the shadow, it's pretty high up and probably serves the most distinct purpose?

If it's not a question, don't use a question mark.

It almost looks like that might be a prison yard in the middle with a fence in the back?

If it's not a question, don't use a question mark.

If you're going to make a building that large and use it for office space, why make that shape? Why not just a rectangular or square building?

Yes, those are questions.

The other sites might be hangars?

No, that is not a question.

The electricity and/or ore would be for nearby Kashgar, Xinjiang?

Guesses are not questions.

This went up fast but you might have to give it another year or two before it starts to take shape?

Even with an observation attached, guesses are still not questions.

Are You Brave Enough to Ask Questions? (1, Troll)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551401)

If it's not a question, don't use a question mark.

Hey, look, buddy. I'm just the only one here brave enough to ask questions, okay? There's nothing wrong with asking questions, is there? Is it illegal? I'm just asking questions. I'm just wondering if maybe this is the site for China's deathray that Obama gave them the plans for under Jimmy Carter's guidance. I'm just asking questions. I'm not making any statements. You can't get mad at me for that. Is this what unions want? China to be free to build whatever they please in the desert? Again, I'm just asking questions. I mean, if I was going to build a soylent green plant, where do you think I'd do it? I'm just asking questions here. I'm not saying that China is turning its overpopulation and starvation problems into a combined solution. But what do you think? I'm just asking questions.

Re:Are You Brave Enough to Ask Questions? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551503)

You can ask as many questions as you like, but when the sentence is not a question, don't use a question mark at the end. I thought "If it's not a question, don't use a question mark." is pretty clear on that.
Let me break it down for you:
"not a question" means a sentence other than a question. For example a guess on your part.
"don't use a question mark" means use the proper punctuation mark instead of the question mark. For example a period at the end of a regular sentence (which would cover guesses on your part).
A question mark is called a "question mark" because it's the punctuation (mark) you put at the end of questions. That should not be a difficult concept to understand.
I am really not sure how a simple sentence like "If it's not a question, don't use a question mark." means "Do not asks questions at all." to you.

Re:Are You Brave Enough to Ask Questions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552051)

You can ask as many questions as you like, but when the sentence is not a question, don't use a question mark at the end. I thought "If it's not a question, don't use a question mark." is pretty clear on that. Let me break it down for you: "not a question" means a sentence other than a question. For example a guess on your part. "don't use a question mark" means use the proper punctuation mark instead of the question mark. For example a period at the end of a regular sentence (which would cover guesses on your part). A question mark is called a "question mark" because it's the punctuation (mark) you put at the end of questions. That should not be a difficult concept to understand. I am really not sure how a simple sentence like "If it's not a question, don't use a question mark." means "Do not asks questions at all." to you.

Don't Fuckin' Tell Him What To Do? If he (or I) want to use question marks (Or Capitalization) incorrectly, that's our business? Do you get it. I can go on like this...for a long time? perhaps I Will...??? oR, mAYBE not? You mad now.

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (0)

fluor2 (242824) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551411)

I think it's great we are living in a world where you can ask questions. Because, without questions - we would just have answers. And a question without an answer is just a statement.

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551639)

Yes, asking questions is great. However, the post you're replying to has nothing to do with asking questions. It just says when you're making a statement (which are not questions), for example guesses, don't use a question mark at the end.
A question mark is called a "question mark" because it's the punctuation (mark) you put at the end of questions. That should not be a difficult concept to understand.

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551859)

imho you're a great big fartface

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (4, Informative)

mindcandy (1252124) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551489)

Just southwest of that structure is what's obviously a pretty big electrical substation (you can see the transmission tower shadows leading to it) .. also, look further west and you see another U shaped building with no roof and what are obviously little rooms/cells .. so be it dormitories or whatever, I think you're on the right track.

That's a big substation though .. something need a lot of juice.

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551941)

You could think of it in reverse. They could be excavating a historic site and built a electrical substation and other buildings to assist in the operation.

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (2)

Gertlex (722812) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551493)

Going by the shadow of what looks like vehicles, I'd say that's a 2 or 3 story building, and it's early/late in the day so the shadows are reasonably long...

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551533)

"Judging by the shadow"

if you go a bit to the right where 2 photos join up. you can easily tell the photo to the left, where this grid stuff is, is taken late afternoon, and anything tall (including all the trees between fields), cast extremely long shadows, and also probably why everything looks orange instead of green like the right side photo.

people have mentioned it could be a mining facility or a dry goods storage area, and from the U shaped buildings internal structure, the latter seems like the most likely candidate. (there is a photo of the U shaped half way built, where you can see it's a lot of same sized rectangular compartments.

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (3, Interesting)

choprboy (155926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551749)

I don;t think that is very unique at all... Given a layman's construction viewpoint of the surrounding structures, this would appear to be an industrial/earthworks park, not a military base. The structure looks like a simple shed in a large "U" shape, with an entrance gate in the center. This is very reminiscent of the grand walls and entries you see in lots of Chinese structures, even in otherwise mundane industrial settings. You can see a similar structure here [google.com] missing most of its roof.

Looking around the site, this seems to be a series of 4 brick making facilities, which are mostly in a state of disrepair. Lot the distinctive features:
- The site is on the edge of a plateau to two distinct soil types.
- The site has large scraped areas and ramps down into the secondary soil type to the north (many of which have subsequently been eroded away).
- The site has piles of earth (apparently from the scraped areas), adjacent to the building sites.
- There are multiple excavators [google.com] and front end [google.com] loaders [google.com] , as well as dumptrucks [google.com] and associated equipment [google.com] .
- There are long rows of parallel molds [google.com] set out to dry in the sun.
- There are additional areas that look to have been indoor (heated?) drying areas in now delapidated buildings. [google.com]
- There are extra [google.com] (unused) molds [google.com] stacked in adjacent areas.
- There is an old power station which probably fed all the facilities when in full productions, but most seem to be derelict today. [google.com]
- There are no apparent gaurd gates, road blocks, or fences/walls enclosing these surrounding areas... just an open road back to the farmland and local villages.
- There are no apparent army trucks, equipment, bunkers, runways, or barracks anywhere in the area.

Conclusion... This is a series of mud/clay brick making facilities, now mostly in a state of disrepair. The 2 (of about 5 or 6 separate facilities) that appear to have some remaining functionality no longer have production buildings or significant equipment remaining, just open air minimal facilities. Look at any old/disused mining sites in the American southwest deserts and you will see similar features.
 

Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551795)

Conclusion... This is a series of mud/clay brick making facilities, now mostly in a state of disrepair. The 2 (of about 5 or 6 separate facilities) that appear to have some remaining functionality no longer have production buildings or significant equipment remaining, just open air minimal facilities. Look at any old/disused mining sites in the American southwest deserts and you will see similar features.

You must have missed the part where they talked about how fast this just went up.

Shadow? (1)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552199)

Except you have no idea what time of day or what time of year that photo was taken.

Ikea store (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551149)

Blue roof, yellow trim. Built on cheap land for no good reason. Duh! It's an Ikea store.

The backup site for my porn collection. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551157)

this post no text

Area 52 (2)

warewolfsmith (196722) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551183)

Isn't it obvious, the Chinese military like a good anal probing too.

PIg farm with big building for pregnant sows (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551185)

This looks like a pig farm, Once they get the pregnant sows into the farrowing pens in the big buildings, they will eventually give birth an then a bunch of tiny huts will appear spread out through the larger farm area. It will take a couple of years to get up to full production/population.

Chinese copy of Hanford Reservation? (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551189)

no cooling for reactors, so if it is, it's the processing site only.

secret apple factory? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551199)

railway and airfield close by

Go there (0)

jelwell (2152) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551201)

Is it really too much to ask to just go there? Ex-CIA agent has no money to fly, no license to kill, but plenty of time to kill; especially yours.
Joseph Elwell.

Re:Go there (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551521)

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't go anywhere near a "mysterious installation in the Chinese desert". I'm guessing due process wouldn't either.

IDing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551213)

Try the maps on IBing

Re:IDing (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551817)

According to Apple Maps it's the Swaffham branch of Sainsburys.

Commercial Launch Facility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551233)

Given its location it's probably a EtO launch facility.

Obvious (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551247)

it's obvious that there was an accident at Area-51, causing it to clone itself in the Chinese desert. It looks different because you are seeing he underground portion of the site, since it is on the other side of the planet. Now, be quiet about it before the Chinese discover they have a copy of all our alien technology, and hack into it using an apple laptop.

Maybe (2, Insightful)

Krojack (575051) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551251)

It's the new burial grounds for the current ruling party. They always like to go out big don't they?

Re:Maybe (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551575)

I do see a bunch of square pits dug to the Northeast...

A stargate? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551271)

For some reason this reminds me of Stargate. No idea why.

New Terracotta Army Site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551299)

Is this the location of the new Terracotta Army site that was recently discovered?

Meh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551315)

Looks like a mine with some processing facilities.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552145)

Geological thought: this looks like it's on the shoulder of a syncline to its north. That kind of formation often traps hydrocarbons. Maybe this is a natural-gas powered energy station.

Bigfoot / Monster-Truck Playground (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551367)

Looks to me like really big tire-treads on terrain that is naturally bumpy, but they put in a few obstacles as well for fun. I'm sure its always fun running over an apartment complex in a vehicle that is as big as a two-story house.

The building looks like (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551373)

Gus Fring's chicken farm.

Mine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551393)

Looks like a mining operation, with the underground entrance at the bottom of the U shaped structure.

Re:Mine? (2)

drkim (1559875) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551731)

Looks like a mining operation, with the underground entrance at the bottom of the U shaped structure.

You're correct. Mining and refining.

Probably something with a low recovery ratio, like a rare earth. This makes it wasteful to ship the bulk of it elsewhere for refining, so it's done on site.

Some strip mining:
http://goo.gl/maps/ENccv [goo.gl]

Post-process waste:
http://goo.gl/maps/cxjrV [goo.gl]

Its vs. it's (0, Offtopic)

ski9826 (2541112) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551405)

Learn the difference. It's is a combination of two very large words: it and is. Its is possessive.

Re:Its vs. it's (1)

ski9826 (2541112) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551783)

Ha! It got labelled as Offtopic, but at least they changed their summary!

Subterrene Dock, Duh (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551465)

Obviously it's a dock for their new fleet of Subterrenes [wikipedia.org] , as the patent [google.com] recently ran out.

Sounds crazy, right? Yea, that's what people said when I told them about HAARP 10 years ago; now it has its own website. [alaska.edu]





Crazy is, apparently, a matter of perspective.

Re:Subterrene Dock, Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551989)

...subterrenes...

Oh man, I love the wikipedia sentence "The prototype has been produced and successfully tested until its nuclear reactor blew out". I wouldn't call that success.

...HAARP...

They just recently released an album [apple.com] .

Found Em! (1, Funny)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551471)

That's where they are keeping Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Ship building? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551479)

Looks like a dry dock for several emomous boats . . .

Re:Ship building? (1)

Tynin (634655) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551645)

Yeah, i also thought dry dock. The U shaped building would work well for it, but the position of the U shape building doesn't lend itself well to transporting large vessels in and out of the area. Though there is a railway just south of there.

Ask Mojang? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551485)

It looks a lot like map a few days after my last Minecraft server map restart. Maybe the Chinese are playing for real.

Agriculture (1)

RalphTheWonderLlama (927434) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551507)

That town has a ton of agriculture (irrigated it looks) around it and it is very remote. It pretty far away for it to be feeding other points in China. Just thought I'd point that out

Well nevermind. I looked at a map of the Midwest at the same scale and it's almost all agriculture albeit with a lot more cities.

Nothing to see here.... (2)

malakai (136531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551629)

Selective responses from the end of the Wired article....

It's just another industrial zone being set up around Kashgar, this one near the airport. They're all the rage there, now that the city has been prioritized as a special economic zone.

Large population center to the south and west and lots of agriculture to the south and east. Most likely ag processing.

There's a large reservoir just to the right (East) of the site. Also, if you scan out further you'll see that the whole area is agricultural / dairy. You certainly couldn't have all that farming without a LOT of water.

My main point is this location is not of sensitive nature, being that all foreign satellite topography imagery for public use is heavily screened. This ex-CIA agent knows this, and just fed Wired a hollow bone

Yeah, that U-shaped thing looks like the normal open-air agricultural storage thing. We have them all over the west and midwest.

Super secret headquarters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551523)

of Movementarians. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_The_Simpsons#Movementarians

Launch site for the new bombers disguised as Ikea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551537)

Pretty sure that's just a military launch site for trans-continental bombers disguised as an Ikea complex.

I don't think its so mysterious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551577)

Unfinished structures: http://goo.gl/maps/Z40lf
Probably means this is something abandoned

Vehicle (truck?) tracks: http://goo.gl/maps/R42Nf
An evidence for a construction site?

Proximity to some sort of rocky canyon: http://goo.gl/maps/D7wqz

A warehouse: http://goo.gl/maps/Fa5e7

Unfinished "production line" style of building: http://goo.gl/maps/4tUjb|

Tracks clearly leading to the canyon part: http://goo.gl/maps/7VFde

My guess: they were building some sort of mining facility to mine something, but it didn't turn out good so they left it abandoned.

English (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551593)

"An Ex-CIA analyst requests your assistance in IDing a base that he has been observing for quite a while. The base has been in existence for several years, but it's shape and location do not lend to an immediate answer to the riddle of 'what the heck is it?'"

Seriously, how hard is it?

No fences. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551603)

There are no fences or road blocks between that area and nearby Kashgar(less than 5km away from the airport), and it's only 1km from the nearest farm and water source.

Therefore it must be a secret base. WTF? no wonder the guy is ex-CIA.

Re:No fences. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551807)

This.

I call (agriculture/poop power?) industry site.

Lets try this the other way round (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551669)

Can you imagine the outcry in the US if someone in China started posting pictures of Area 51 or other secret US military bases, the sort of stuff they blur on google maps, asking if anyone can help identify their top secret war toys. Team America Fuck Yeah..
It's probably just some sort of mine/procesing plant to dig up/process more weird elements from the ground so they can continue to sell bigger and bigger TVs to the rest of the world.

Re:Lets try this the other way round (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552233)

The first maps of are 51 that the American public could get were from Russia.

Archaological discovery site for tourism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551721)

When I enlarge that first image to 300%, it looks to me like whatever the far right U shaped structure is, it probably some kind of grand-entrance that is merely there for show. It has what looks like a parking lot just under it to the left. Plus that road that goes up to that structure is the widest of all shown, so it was probably built expected to get more traffic.

The far rightmost structure has a large body of water with a bridge going over it for some reason, which implies that people will just generally be walking-around in that area. I also notice that there's a rift-valley that snakes north of the buildings, and toward the left "grand entrance" area, there's a leaf-shape in the steep wall that would be likely large and box-shaped when standing before it on the ground.

The largest building second-to-the-right is probably a theater and/or gift shop.The bracket shaped buildings are probably parking garages for busses that they'll be using to take people from one place to another at the site.

Mitt Romneys new vacation home (1)

gearloos (816828) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551737)

That's just Mitt Romneys new vacation home.

Not military... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551739)

There is no access control. Look at the airport south, and you will see what is normal, clear access control. This facility has no such feature, although it is still in construction, a sensitive military site (which is what the ex-CIA analyst seems to be referring to) would have some sort of perimeter, and a gate. Commercial sites tend to incorporate those things much later, which is what I bet this is.

Check the scale, not so ominous (2)

phossie (118421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551763)

The main building is about 150m wide. The two vehicles parked inside it, on the right side, are bulldozers / tractors. The "weird U-shaped thing" is the size of a house... might even *be* a house. The whole thing looks like an ag school field station or, at worst, a work camp (see the stuff to the right of the main building).

See you again in another few years.

Aliens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551803)

They're setting up to bring their planet here. And knock down the Washington Monument, help a bus elude a drone strike, etc.

Cement Kilns (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551813)

Could be a set of cement mills and kilns, especially if there's lime in the area. They tend to be built near the rock, with the finished product shipped out by road.

Its: F*** You USA (In Chinese) (1)

AlienSexist (686923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551819)

The formation of structure and paved spaces almost looks like Chinese characters (to a layman). Probably a clever debt-collector scheme. Once USA intel deciphers it they'll find the secret location where a collection agent will pounce them asking for payment. Sea ports, telcos, ... pay up! It's that or a failed attempt to build a shipyard for a new Noah's Ark for the end of the world... lazy Commies.

Simple boring guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551849)

It's a chemical plant (fertilizer, explosives, whatever). The plant and storage areas are spread out so if something goes bang or emits gas it's not a total loss. Maybe they are a reconfigurable lab, doing different product at different times, so it's not neatly optimized to a production line, hence the chaotically changing look of the place.

Kashgar? (2)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551887)

Isn't that the location for an underground alien complex?

Looks like... (1)

Panaflex (13191) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551943)

A high energy laser testbed. The barrels of oil, the cooling pond, the coal electric generators, and the long straight area that would be used for measuring beam focus.

It's China giving the finger (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551993)

to the Israeli Air Force.

China's Secret Village Cloning Program (2)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552005)

Remember last June, when a village in Austria found out it had been copied by the Chinese, down to the sashes and doorknobs? http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/06/05/2332224/china-secretly-clones-austrian-village [slashdot.org]

Now they're copying Area 51 in Roswell. Or maybe Six Flags.

Unicorn Lair (1)

Bayoudegradeable (1003768) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552011)

Clearly you people don't know what Unicorn Lairs look like. They're not limited to DPRK ya know....

Mining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552073)

My bet it's mining

It's all spread out... (2)

enter to exit (1049190) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552141)

It's all spread out so probably a processing plant for something with a high risk of exploding of burning.

If you look at the second image you'll notice there's a fair bit of greenery nearby and what appears to be residential blocks.

Obviously ... (1)

Hans Adler (2446464) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552219)

... they are applying stratagem 29 and decking the tree with false blossoms.

A user called "Anonymous Coward" has said it earlier in different words, but that was voted "funny". Probably because Mr(s). Coward didn't explain it properly.

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