Trying to identify antenna(?) in New Mexico

CaptBill

Well-Known Member
While on the jumpseat on my way to JC Vegas this year I looked down and saw a massive antenna (I think) over New Mexico. As I recall, it was north of ABQ but can't be 100 percent sure exactly where we were. It had buildings in the middle and there were three distinct evenly spaced spokes running out for miles (guessing 4 or 5) from the center. It looked like these spokes might have been in-ground but was hard to tell. I have flown to the west coast hundreds of times and never seen this. Any ideas what this is or who it belongs to? :confused:
 

CaptBill

Well-Known Member
I didn't notice the big white dishes, but we were at 38,000 feet. The spokes extended out for many miles. I just haven't been able to see an airborne picture that resembles what I saw.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
I didn't notice the big white dishes, but we were at 38,000 feet. The spokes extended out for many miles. I just haven't been able to see an airborne picture that resembles what I saw.
The VLA is comprised of an "array" of small dishes that are arranged in three spokes extending for several miles.

Add the service roads, and that's probably what you saw.
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
Did it look like this?



That's the VLA. Short of busting out my enroute charts and picking out your airways, I'd have to scour satellite images on Google Earth.

Were you in the cockpit/i.e. did you know what NAV fixes were being used? That'd help.
 

CaptBill

Well-Known Member
Did it look like this?



That's the VLA. Short of busting out my enroute charts and picking out your airways, I'd have to scour satellite images on Google Earth.

Were you in the cockpit/i.e. did you know what NAV fixes were being used? That'd help.
That is probably what I saw except that I didn't notice the white antennas which were likely not discernible from the 757 jumpseat. I think we were 80 to 100 miles north of ABQ, but really don't recall for sure. The spokes may have been service roads but were very straight. I have another question about seeing a spaceship over Roswell but will save that for a later thread. :crazy:
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
That is probably what I saw except that I didn't notice the white antennas which were likely not discernible from the 757 jumpseat. I think we were 80 to 100 miles north of ABQ, but really don't recall for sure. The spokes may have been service roads but were very straight. I have another question about seeing a spaceship over Roswell but will save that for a later thread. :crazy:

There isn't really anything 80-100 miles north of ABQ. There is a solar collector array just to the SE of ABQ, but it isn't readily seen from altitude.
 

CaptBill

Well-Known Member
There isn't really anything 80-100 miles north of ABQ. There is a solar collector array just to the SE of ABQ, but it isn't readily seen from altitude.

OK, I was lost, I admit it. At least I got the New Mexico part right. Perhaps that is why I often land in Jamaica when trying to go to Belize. :crazy:
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
OK, I was lost, I admit it. At least I got the New Mexico part right. Perhaps that is why I often land in Jamaica when trying to go to Belize. :crazy:

I'd say you were lost!

The VLA is located on the Plains of San Augustin, between the towns of Magdalena and Datil, some fifty miles West of Socorro, New Mexico. That places it 80-100 miles SW of ABQ
 
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