The pine trees have ears. Some of them, at least – the ones that are really tall cell phone towers in disguise, that is.
There has been controversy since the major telecommunications companies began planning to blanket the earth with 5G cell coverage. The high-powered radio frequency (RF) antenna arrays send and receive digital data used by mobile devices such as the now-common cell phone.
It takes a lot of equipment to deliver cellular service, including not only towers but buried fiber optics and orbiting satellites. Many people find utility wires and poles disagreeably ugly. They clutter up the landscape with their pointy bits and obscure the view.
Vodacom Group Limited (operating as Vodacom) is a South African mobile communications company that provides voice, messaging, data, and converged services to over 55 million customers. Few people know that a man named Ivo Branislav Lazic, employed by a telecom service company called Brolaz Projects, and his coworker Aubrey Trevor Thomas were commissioned by Vodacom to solve the visual pollution problem cellphones towers posed.
The result of their labors was a U.S. patent (#6122866A) for “A support structure is provided for supporting at least one antenna” that included “a body portion, mounting means, an access passage, and artificial foliage.” (emphasis added.) The fake foliage attaches to the body portion and is arranged to at least partially conceal the antenna. And get this:
“The artificial foliage typically resembles the fronds and leaves of a natural palm tree.”
What better way to hide a massive microwave generator in the subtropical jungle than to disguise it as a palm tree?
The first fake cell tower tree, made from non-toxic plastics, was installed in Cape Town in 1996.
Photographer Dillon Marsh chronicled the Palm Pole Tower, as it was dubbed, and other similar structures that had sprung up around Cape Town, in a series of the camoflaged tower images he titled “Invasive Species.” The collection of technology-as-nature photos demonstrated “the lengths telecommunications companies have gone to make residents feel comfortable with having the masts so near to their homes.”
At that time, more than a 1,000 such camouflaged structures had been erected in South Africa. Others were exported to the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Australia.
Brolaz announced plans to expand the novel and misleading design to other types of trees, roadside advertising structures – even lighthouses and windmills.
Stateside, Larson Camoflage, LLC was pursuing the same dream: hide the politically provocative and aesthetically unsightly cell towers from the public gaze. Larson was acquired by Valmont Industries in early 2019.
In 1992, Larson made its triumphant debut with a naturalistic “monopine” that hid a contentious cell tower in Denver, Colorado.
The U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 restricted the ability of municipalities to block tower construction. It went further to ban blocking cell tower projects over any still-untested 5G radiation health and safety concerns:
“No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.”
The 1996 law resulted in towers built in historic districts and other areas where local residents might object.
Fast forward to 2019. The U.S. National Park Service approved adding the first monopine cell tower in Sequoia National Park when Pacific West Region director Stan Austin signed the contract to construct a 138-foot cellular tower west of Wuksachi Village.
The Parks Service deal began in 2015 with Verizon Wireless feasibility meetings. On March 2, 2017, Verizon submitted a formal application to install a WiFi telecom facility. Only 42 comments were received during the 32-day public review of the environmental assessment. About half of them (17) “expressed concerns that widespread cellphone coverage “reduces the contrast between wilderness and other lands, and negatively impacts wilderness character.”
Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks are currently working with Verizon to design the tower with construction slated as early as 2020.
A Verizon spokeswoman said the telecom giant anticipates that WiFi data usage will quintuple (5x) by 2021:
“To meet — and stay ahead of — rising demand for mobile data, we are using small cells to deliver the coverage, capacity and network reliability to users where they need it most.”
A single pseudo-tree can blast anywhere between 250mW (milliwatts) for a Small Cell and 120W (watts) for the biggest 5G MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) arrays. A typical 2G, 3G or 4G antenna transmits about 20 watts of power.
That much 5G wattage could pop a lot of corn. Opponents of 5G technology believe our bodies and our brains might be cooked as well.
Is this why the Big Telcoms are using legislation and outright deception to push their profits-driven agenda to cover the land, sea, and air with nonstop, possibly irreversible radiation exposure?