from VICE

Mysterious Antennas Are Appearing in Utah’s Hills and Officials Are Stumped

City officials have found around a dozen of the antennas and no one is sure what they’re for.

by Matthew Gault


Strange antennas have appeared in the foothills around Salt Lake City and authorities have no idea what they are or who put them up.

As first reported by KSLTV 5 in Utah, people first began noticing the antennas a year ago. They’re simple machines made up of a LoRa fiberglass antenna, a locked battery pack, and a solar panel to power it. The Salt Lake City public lands department has been pulling them down as they find them, and told KSLTV that there have been as many as a dozen.

It’s illegal to place structures on public lands without permission and some of the antennas have appeared on steep peaks. In one instance, the removal of an antenna required a team of five people. Other antennas were found on land managed by the University of Utah and the Forest Service.

Tyler Fonarow, Salt Lake City’s recreational trails manager, told Motherboard that when the antennas were first noticed a year ago, “We didn’t really have the bandwidth to look into it or remove them,” he said.

Fonarow said that there were no identifying marks on the antennas and that they’d been bolted into the stone and required special tools to remove. “We honestly didn’t even open the box,” he said. “We just wanted it off the hill.”

“Our Trails team and Foothills rangers have found some unauthorized solar panel towers in the Foothills,” Salt Lake City Public Lands said in a post on Facebook. “If you have information about these towers or who they belong to, please call our office at (801) 972-7800 so we can return them back to their owner.”

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