Saturday, February 28, 2015

Odd the things that don't make the news

I first got wind of this bit of news via the Email Reflector That Must Not Be Named and have since seen it pop up on a couple of preparedness boards.  Working in the information technology arena, it's sort of odd that I'm hearing about this from that direction, rather than in my own trade press.

It seems that around noon on February 25, 2015, someone cut a fiber optic cable outside of Phoenix, AZ.  Now this in itself isn't that big a deal.  "Backhoe fade" is a fact of life in my business.  Even though everyone knows to call in the locators before digging, sometimes it doesn't get done, and sometimes the locator services goof and miss things.  It happens.

Details vary depending on the source, but the fiber optic cables (yes, plural) were buried somewhere between "several feet" and 15' deep.  However, one detail that doesn't vary is that they were cut by "vandals".  Now this doesn't seem all that likely to me.  Vandals, while destructive, are stupid, lazy beasts.  They aren't going to grab picks and shovels and dig up buried fiber--even assuming they know where it's buried.

Some speculate that this was the government making some sort of trial run for martial law.  I'm not buying that BS either.  If the government wanted to turn off part of the telecommunications infrastructure in this country, they have easier ways to do it.

It is possible that it was an accident of some sort.  Someone was digging for some unknown reason, didn't get a locate, cut the cable and, knowing he was going to be liable for the repairs, ran like hell.  It could happen.  However, supposedly there was zero evidence left behind at the scene.  I take that to mean not even tire tracks, and most folks digging hole like this would be using heavy equipment of some sort.  Some kind of evidence would be left behind.

I have to wonder if this is something like the incident a couple of years ago where an electrical substation near San Jose, California was shot up and put out of commission in a very sophisticated attack that also didn't get much media play.

No, I think that something else is going on here.  Hard to say just what, but it feels like we are being probed.  It's also possible that this was a diversion to allow a tap to be installed elsewhere in the data lines.  Given it screwed up telecommunications over an extremely wide area, perhaps it was to allow a crime or series of crimes to be committed.  If I puzzle over this long enough, I'm afraid I'll come up with even worse possibilities.

At any rate, you can read some conspiracy theory-ish stories here and here, while I was able to dig up a few local media stories in Google News here.  Draw your own conclusions.

I guess strange times are going to make for strange news, but things like this really make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  Whatever this is and whatever the reason for it, the odds are against it meaning anything good.

If you depend on the Internet for communications, I suggest you come up with some new plans.  Part of my plans include amateur radio, but that costs money and it takes time to study for and get your license.  You can substitute CB and GMRS to some extent, but you won't have the distance capability that amateur radio brings to the table.  Unfortunately, there are few workable alternatives out there.

The interesting news just keeps on getting more and more interesting, doesn't it?

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