10 Places You’re Not Allowed to See on Google Maps
Google Earth lets us travel the world from the safety of our computer screens. Yet there are places they are hiding from us, why?
Google Earth is a virtual globe, provided by web giant Google, with maps of the entire world. Well… mostly. The map and geographical information program offers satellite imagery, street view, maps, directions, and overhead views of nearly everywhere on Earth.
10Shansi Airfield – Pakistan
In 2009, images published on Google Earth on 2006 showing controversial unmanned drones on the Pakistan air field came to prominence. Owned by United States, the Predator drones were able to travel across the globe, allowing America to observe and attack their enemies. Following the reveal, Google whited out the runway, hiding the airfield´s activity from the world. Pakistan has since ordered American troops to vacate the site, mainly in response to NATO airstrikes which killed 25 Pakistani solders.
09Severnaya Zemlya – Russia
Scan the Russian Artic Ocean on Google maps, and you´ll eventually find the uninhabited archipelago, Severnaya Zemlya. On rather you´ll see its 12.000 square miles blocked out by a crudely drawn white mass, partly covered by a large grey bar. Google isn´t the first in history to leaves the islands off the map. Despite being clearly visible from the European mainland, it´s presence wasn´t formally recorded until the early 20th century.
08Military sites – Taiwan
Concerned with national security, Taiwan authorities have asked Google to censor numerous military sites across the country, including National Security Bureau Headquarters and Command Headquarters. Clearly tampered with, Google have pixelated some sites, and pasted over with outdated images.
07US/Mexico Border – Texas
For those wanting to plot their trip between Texas and Mexico, a visit to Google Earth want bring them many answers, as the company have heavily distorted the area, around Hudspeth Country. Looking like some incredibly poor photo-shopping, Google twisted the landscape until a section of the Rio Grande was transformed into a surreal blur of waved lines. The blurring hides an area renowned for its violent drug trade, which sees thousands of pounds worth of narcotics pass the border each year.
06Marcoule Nuclear Plant – France
This French nuclear plant that holds uranium and plutonium supplies, has been home to research into atomic weapons and seen the country´s first use of nuclear electricity. Projects now focus on nuclear decommissioning and recycling. But thanks to security concerns Google Mars has transformed it into a patch of heavy pixellation. The site was rocked by an explosion in 2011 when a furnace used to melt nuclear waste blew up. Investigations found no evidence of a radioactive leak, however one employee die in the incident.
05The Volkel Air Base – The Netherlands
The Netherlands is notorious for censoring its online maps, covering military bases across the country. The Volkel Air Base is just one example of the heavy pixilation that scatters the country. In 2013 the country´s former Prime Minister Rund Lubbers revealed that 22 nuclear weapons are stored at the site´s bunker. Four times more powerful than those used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they had been placed there by the US at the height of the Cold War.
04Portlaoise Prison – Ireland
Holding the country´s most dangerous terrorists, including several members of the IRA, Ireland´s maximum security prison has been censored from Google Maps. With round the clock armed military surveillance abd an air exclusion zone, this is recognized as one of the most secure prison in Europe. Though it can still be found online, the photographs shown were taken over a decade ago. Google hasn´t done a great job masking the use of out-of-date images, which are noticeably duller than the area immediately surrounding the prison.
03The Michael AAF Building Utah – America
Based in Utah airfield, the Michael AAF building is surrounded by 86.000 acres of sweltering desert that would put most would-be attackers off infiltrating the site. Home to projects like the Unmanned Aircraft Systems, the airfield is located on the Dugway Proving Ground, America´s primary bio-chemical weapons test center. This is where toxic agents and biological warfare weapons were tested during WWII. So it´s hardly surprising that America has enlisted Google to help keep its research as secret as possible.
02Mysterious Square – Spain
What lies behind a blurry square spotted in El Ejido remains a complete mystery. Located in the South of Spain, it´s not just Google hiding the spot, as both Bing and Yahoo maps have also hidden the area. While some online conspiracists have suggested the site could simply be a heli-pad, other side has speculated that a missile silo could be behind the fuzzy shape.
01HAARP Government Research Facility Alaska – America
The Defense Department´s experimental weather station and its 180 antennae, have become the root of countless conspiracy theories. blamed for everything from global mind control to natural disasters. In 2010 the then-Iranian president blamed HAARP scientists for the devastating floods that hit Pakistan, while one-time Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez claimed they were responsible for the Haiti earthquake.