Experimental, High Tech 'Ghost Town' Being Built in New Mexico
It sounds like something out of an Ayn Rand novel or a Ray Bradbury short story: an experimental, high tech "ghost town" being built to try out new inventions like driverless automobiles, renewable energy sources, and upgraded communication networks.
TheBlaze.com's Liz Klimas reported Thursday that "[i]t may be hard to believe, but the latest ghost city isn't being constructed in China (where such a thing is common) or anywhere overseas for that matter. It's going up right here in the United States -- in the middle of New Mexico." From the article: "[T]he tech company Pegasus Global Holdings is spending $1 billion in Lea County, New Mexico, to construct a town that will test a wide range of new gadgets and systems." The project has been dubbed The Center for Innovation, Testing, and Evaluation, or The Center, New Mexico.
According to the BBC, the town will "test out the latest technologies such as renewable energies and terrorism security systems." BBC: "It'll look just like a city with roads, houses and buildings -- but no one will live there. Scientists want to use it to see the effects of new technology in a 'real world' setting."
If the idea of an empty experimental ghost town sparks thoughts of the atomic bomb scene from the film Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, worry not. According to Pegasus Global Holdings' Robert Brumley, "The only thing we won't be doing is destructive testing, blowing things up -- I hope."
In September 2011, Popular Mechanics reported that "the Pegasus facility will have the same mix of new and old infrastructure found in typical American cities." Brumley: "You'd be able to experience what you'd experience if you introduced a new product or service into an urban, suburban or rural environment, and then see what the ripple effect would be." Brumley used the example of driverless vehicles. Whereas "some companies are already developing the technology" for driverless trucks "controlled over a wireless network" in order to make shipping more efficient, "testing unmanned trucks on real highways would endanger human drivers, and tinkering with telecommunications could disrupt regular service."
According to Popular Mechanics, "Pegasus chose New Mexico for the project because it's the location of two Department of Energy labs -- and also because it has a lot of undeveloped land. The company expects the Center to span up to 20 square miles, about the size of New Haven, Conn."
According to TheBlaze.com, "plans are to break ground on the town by June 30. The initial development cost is estimated at $400 million, although Brumley estimates the overall investment in the project to top $1 billion." In terms of employment going forward, "[t]he project is expected to create 350 permanent jobs and about 3,500 indirect jobs in its design, development, construction and ongoing operational phases."
Regarding the project, conservative commentator Glenn Beck said on Thursday, "I love this." Beck suggested that the New Mexico project hearkens back to Walt Disney's plans for Epcot. Beck: "That is fantastic. This is the way America will get out of this rut... The changes that are coming to this world are profound... We can do it now, but we have to figure it out... I want to move there." Beck's sentiments reflect a subtle, profound emerging consciousness in American society hungry for technological growth and development -- a consciousness that may have been spurred by the somber thought that in light of the ideas of Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury, perhaps we are far from where we should be in terms of technology and space colonization. In light of the efforts of Google, Tesla Motors, and Pegasus, the private sector's drive for further growth and development is becoming apparent.
In some ways, the concept of a high tech ghost town hearkens back to Ayn Rand's vision of Galt's Gulch. Ray Bradbury's short story "The City" also comes to mind. Aside from the prospect of self-flushing toilets in homes, driverless vehicles, and upgraded communication networks, one can only imagine what sorts of high tech devices may be tested in the city. Perhaps automated, "intelligent" homes or flying cars? Going along with the analogy of Galt's Gulch, perhaps the use of refracting rays that can render a town invisible?
I recently discussed that we may be seeing shadows of a coming tech boom. As I previously discussed, such a tech boom would help to bring about the creation of actual wealth and employment going forward in American society. News regarding the Center in New Mexico appears to be just another symptom that a major tech boom may very well be on the horizon. Of course, given that the Center will be in the same state as Roswell, the location of the alleged UFO crash, and will be in a neighboring county to Chaves County (where Roswell is located), I imagine that it will only be a matter of time before we start hearing stories alleging extraterrestrial contact and conspiracy theories regarding the high tech, futuristic town. Godspeed, Pegasus.
© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.