To Study the Stars, This Town Went Off the Grid
Worlds collide in Green Bank, West Virginia, which sits deep inside a radio-free zone established in 1958.
Sometime in 1962 over Green Bank, West Virginia, a single-engine Cessna airplane dove through the clouds, nose-first, toward the ground.
The plane had appeared out of nowhere on an otherwise unremarkable, overcast day. As he hurtled downward, the pilot spotted an improbable landing strip that had been bulldozed into the surrounding fields. He pulled up, aimed toward the rustic runway, and somehow managed to safely land the aircraft. Trembling, he emerged from the cockpit and took a good look around.
Between the rolling mountains and handful of farm homes, a cluster of large radio telescopes erupted from the landscape. He’d almost bulls-eyed one of them, a giant structure with a dish stretching 300 feet across; another smaller and less conspicuous dish