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Anybody Know What This Is?


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I was out searching for new cache locations today and came across a number of these.



They are about 10 feet high and look like they are meant to be visible from the sky.


I tried mapping them but can't see a sensible pattern. I thought about using them as a cache theme but need to know what they are first!

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Back in the 60's & 70's there were loads of these installed to track the path of the new North-Sea-Gas pipelines that were being installed.... I'm talking about the 16" and 24" sort of sizes! There's a big pipe that goes through Lords Wood in Southampton (from Chilworth, where I lived for a while)... and as it gets to lordswood, you can see the pipe rise out of the ground at its "termination point"..... it looks huge!


Yes, they are designed to let TPTB find & follow the pipes easily from ground and air.



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Not near and airstrip I'm afraid, if only they were :)


The gas/water theory is a runner for some, the one in the picture has a gas warning sign at its base. But as I said there are quite few round here. I can't find a similar sign near others, and they don't form a logical line.


However, I guess there may be a number of gas and water mains and each would have its own markers.


Ta for that.

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Their purpose is to make the regular helicopter inspection of the pipeline easy to navigate for the crew.


The most important thing they are looking for is the presence of backhoes or other digging equipment in the vicinity of the Right of Way of the piperoutes. That's why you most often see them beside roads, co's that where you most often see diggers! They also alert road maontenace and cable company crews to the presence of the pipe.


Nowadays the pipeline patrol helicopters have GPS with the piperoute shown as a trackline on the display, but before then all the nav had to be done by the Mark One eyeball of the pilot and observer.


Cheers, The Forester

Former Operations Manager of Helicopter Hire Ltd -- who did a *lot* of pipeline and powerline patrol work before GPS came along

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