One of the most ambitious civil engineering projects currently running in the world at the moment is the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel in
State. Seattle, Washington USA.
This will divert a major road, SR99- Alaskan Way,
from its current route along a 60 year old double-decker viaduct running by the
seafront, into a brand new 2 mile tunnel. The tunnel is the widest to be built in recent
years, 57 feet, enough girth to accommodate the same double-decker highway that
the viaduct currently does, see: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/About/Tunneling.
In order to accomplish this, the builders have employed the world's biggest
tunnel boring machine. Tunnel boring machines are fascinating devices; they're
gigantic cylindrical self-contained diggers that move themselves forward through
the ground as they bore, rather like a gargantuan earthworm. Behind the digging
section are machines for processing and removing the spoil and also installing
the artificial structure and walls of the tunnel. The TBM for the Alaskan
Way project was built in Japan
and shipped right across the Pacific Ocean in several pieces
to be assembled in Seattle. It's
been christened "Bertha" after Seattle's
former mayor Bertha Knight Landes. The dig began in July and is due to finish
in the spring of 2015. But all has not gone well. Bertha has so far dug just over
a 1000 feet of the proposed 9,200 foot tunnel and has had to stop, not for
Christmas, but because it's hit an obstruction of some kind that it cannot bore
through and was not originally spotted by the surveyors. The engineers are
currently investigating what has become known simply as "the Object".
There are all kinds of speculations going on among the people of Seattle
and beyond. The New York Times has
suggested, with tongue firmly in cheek of course, that it's a "den of
interstellar aliens, see: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/us/under-seattle-a-big-object-blocks-bertha-what-is-it.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.
Gizmodo has suggested that it's a
"lost city or UFO", see: http://gizmodo.com/something-called-the-object-has-stopped-worlds-large-1487090414/@maxread.
A lost city might not be too far from the truth, but not Atlantis, Seattle
itself. It's possible that Bertha has blundered into the foundations of a large
building demolished long ago, but surely the architects would have checked for
that on the land registry. The strangest things can appear when you dig a new
tunnel. The recent London Crossrails tunnel dig turned up some bodies from a
mediaeval mass grave of plague victims; doctors had to be called in to ensure that
there were no pathogens left alive to contaminate the crews, see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8574619.stm.
Bertha is currently at a standstill, boxed in behind "the Object" 50 feet beneath the ground. Directly above is the junction of
South Main Street
and Alaskan Way. So far the
project's management, the Washington State Department of Transport, are not
saying much except that they don't know what "the Object" is, and
they won't until at least after the New Year, see: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/Contents/Item/Display/1369.
I myself would like to know too because any object large enough to stop the
world's biggest tunnel boring machine dead in its tracks, but yet was not
spotted by surveyors and is absent from the land registry, deserves some major
explaining. As you know, I take the idea of UFO's seriously, and many other things
along those lines. What's happening in Seattle
right now is remarkably similar to the 1958 sci-fi horror TV series Quatermass and the Pit, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7JY9xtpCxY.
What I predict you will find if there is indeed something extraterrestrial in
Bertha's path, or otherworldly in any way, is a sudden silence regarding news
stories on the subject. Along with that, local residents will notice strange
activity around the end of the new tunnel, with screens being erected to shield
the site from the eyes of the general public. Strange people may wander from
door to door asking the residents peculiar and intrusive questions. Large
helicopters might land behind the screens; again, with not a peep out of the
media. There may even be an evacuation of the area with garbled excuses to do
with a "gas leak" or an "unexploded bomb". Rest assured I
will be keeping a close watch on this incident and will report anything
interesting that I find; if there are any HPANWO-readers in the Seattle area who can help me gain information, I'd be very grateful. Until then, Merry Christmas!