Mysterious images from Gobi desert raise alarm
VAST, unidentified structures have been spotted by satellites in the Gobi desert, raising questions about what China might be building in a region it uses for its military, space and nuclear programmes. Two images, available on the Google Earth internet service, have prompted speculation.
One shows reflective rectangles up to a mile long, and the other is a tangle of bright white intersecting lines, visible from space.
Other pictures show enormous concentric circles, with three jets parked at their centre.
A further image reveals an array of metallic squares littered with what appears to be the debris of exploded vehicles, while another shows an intricate grid that is some 18 miles long.
All of the sites are on the borders of Gansu province and Xinjiang, in north-west China. Some are less than 100 miles from Jiuquan, the headquarters of China's space programme and the location of its launch pads.
The two reflective rectangles lie 70 miles from the nearest main road. Ding Xin military airbase, where China carries out its secret aircraft-testing programme, is relatively nearby, at a distance of some 400 miles.
Some experts have suggested the structures might be optical test ranges for missiles, to simulate the street grids of cities. (© Daily Telegraph, London)