Unfold the mystery behind these giant concrete arrows
All across the United States of America, you can find giant concrete arrows. These arrows, each of which are 15 to 21 meters across, all point the same direction. Did you know about these arrows? And if you did, do you know what you’d find if you were to follow them all the way?
They stretch about 18,000 miles, so we’ll save you the effort and tell you just what’s at the end of this massive treasure hunt.
No, these are not evidence of aliens or of some kind of sinister plot. We know where they came from. These arrows were all constructed in the early 1900s. Back in the day, each arrow used to have a 15-meter-tall steel tower on top of it, with a rotating beacon adorning the top.
They were constructed for a very interesting purpose.
Where are the towers?
Like we told you on the previous page, each arrow used to have a 15-meter-tall steel tower on top of it. Nowadays, most don’t. But what happened to these towers? Why are they not there anymore? The answer is simple. Most fell out of use and were dismantled for scrap metal to fuel the war machine, back in the ‘40s.
In the 1920s, the US Post Office started experimenting with air mail. The airplane had proven to be a useful machine during World War I and the Post Office saw its potential to deliver mail with greater speed than by train. Unfortunately for the pilots, there was no GPS, radar or radio guidance yet. You basically had to wing it.
Solution to a problem
Even during the day, with clear weather, flying to a destination was quite tricky. Some stretches of land were empty and repetitive. You wouldn’t know you had gotten off course until it was too late. So, the US Post Office came up with an ingenious solution.
That’s right, they constructed the arrows and the beacon towers. They literally pointed the pilots in the right direction. They were installed about 16 kilometers apart and all pointed towards the next beacon, so the pilot would always know he was flying the right way.