Why is the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), which is part of the European Space Agency, blocked in such a dramatic way on Google Maps? It even has a visitor’s center open to the public, so it’s not like we aren’t supposed to know it’s there.
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RUSSIAN MISSILE SITE
Not much is known about this mysterious locale, but Wikipedia says it’s “possibly a Russian ICBM Complex, near town Egvekinot, Russia, officially claimed as gold-mining facility Kanchalano-Amguemskaya Square.”
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BAKER LAKE, NU, THE INUIT NATION IN NORTHERN CANADA
A man indentified as “Dr. Boylan” believes that the blacked out area seen above and those found in several other locations are blocking the locations of extraterrestrial beacons.
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RAMSTEIN AIR FORCE BASE, GERMANY
This NATO air force hub is a retreat for the Operation Iraqi Freedom forces, and as such could definitely be considered a terrorist target. That could explain why the facility is partially blanked out on Google Maps.
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PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA
Here’s one that gives us chills. What exactly are we not seeing here? The site is close to the Washington-Oregon border and is rumored to have something to do with FEMA, HAARP or, really, anything at all. Prison Planet readers inspected the site in person and could find no identifying details other than an ominous fence and unmarked entrance.
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SZAZHALOMBATTA OIL REFINERY, HUNGARY
One of the strangest acts of alleged “censorship” is this Hungarian oil facility, which is simply rendered green. That’s right — the grounds are deleted, the buildings are missing, and what you have left is flat grass.
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HUIS TEN BOSCH PALACE, NETHERLANDS
You wouldn’t think the Dutch Royal Family would be a prime target for madmen, but the Huis Ten Bosch Palace remains heavily pixilated on Google Maps no matter the angle. (The surrounding area and trees therein, on the other hand, come in crystal clear at close range.)
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UNKNOWN AREA, RUSSIA
Another one that is so mysterious, no one has a clue what it is. One commenter on the website Siberian Light speculates it’s either “a radar station or missile interceptor,” while another notes that the image of the surrounding area appears to have been copy-pasted from another part of the country.
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MOBIL OIL CORPORATION, BUFFALO, NY, USA
Some have criticized Mobil of Buffalo, NY for blurring their facilities, saying the oil corporation doesn’t have much of a case for being a terrorist target (terrorists hate snow, you know.) On the other hand, we can’t be sure what their reasoning is.
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You’ve no doubt heard about this country, one of the members of the supposed “Axis of Evil,” but few have ever visited. You won’t see it on Google Maps, either, as the entire country exists in images but without highway markers, street names, or any other identifying details.
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REIMS AIRBASE, FRANCE
Why is the Reims Airbase in France blocked out? Perhaps it emits a particularly foul body odor. (Just kidding, we love the French.)
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INDIAN POINT POWER PLANT, NEW YORK, USA
Everyone from Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo to former Republican Congresswoman Sue Kelly has called for the Indian Point Power Plant to be shut down. On top of environmental concerns, the upstate New York structure is, according to experts in the energy field, not strong enough to withstand an earthquake like the one that recently devastated Japan.
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VOLKEL AIRBASE, NETHERLANDS
It’s pretty ridiculous how blatantly blurred this one is, but then again, WikiLeaks did publish a diplomatic cable that confirmed the presence of nuclear warheads at this base.
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HAARP SITE, GAKONA, ALASKA, USA
HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is one of the most controversial operations currently active in the United States. The Gakona, AK site and its ionospheric testing is believed by some conspiracy theorists to be the cause of everything from floods to earthquakes, although the evidence of this is very minimal.
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MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA, SALINAS, CA, USA
Here’s the strangest bit of censorship on Google Maps: the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California. It’s heavily whited out, in fact, as if an angry hand did the trick. The weirdest part is the facility is just what it sounds like: a seemingly-harmless racetrack
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While the surrounding area (including its surprisingly rich farmland) is visible, the city of Babylon, Iraq itself is all blurry. You can bet it has something to do with the insurgents there.
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TANTAUCO NATIONAL PARK IN CHILE
Why is this refuge for Endangered Species completely washed over on Google? Mashable, which seems to have discovered the strange censorship, doesn’t have a clue.
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“THE HILL” AKA ELMIRA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
This maximum security prison in upstate New York is understandably blacked out… we guess. After the Attica Prison Riots and several incidents worldwide of uprisings and mass escapes, officials could be worried about a possible helicopter-led breakout.
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THIS RUSSIAN GUY’S HOUSE
What? Some rich guy’s personal paradise is blurred on Google? According to Wikipedia, what you’re seeing here is “a private palace of the Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller.” Why is he given preference over the rest of us? Perhaps we just aren’t powerful enough to convince Google to blur our own homes.
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Here’s the strangest of them all: Col. Sanders, the face of Kentucky Fried Chicken, appears in exactly zero Google Street View images. That’s because, as a Google spokesperson notes, Sanders was a real person and everyone is supposed to be blurred on Google sites.