- Jun 15, 2010
Conspiracy theorists mistake Kia storage site for U.N. takeover of Florida
Click above to view in Google maps
There are an endless amount of interesting tidbits to be found when browsing satellite images in Google maps and Google Earth. Unfortunately, we have to keep in mind that the images are not in real-time, or even close too it. Most are 2–3 years old or more. That means whatever you see today is likely long gone by the time you're looking at it.
Such is the case for the imagery of a sad little industrial park in Green Cove Springs, Florida, just south of Jacksonville. The Reynolds Industrial Park was once an airport where the U.S. stored mothballed aircraft. Recently, some people with overactive imaginations when it comes to the topic of the United Nations stumbled across this image and came to the erroneous conclusion that the thousands of white vehicles parked on the airport's abandoned runways were UN trucks, possibly being readied for an invasion of Disney World (our guess, not theirs).
In fact, the truth is nothing quite so insidious. The two airstrips full of cars were a surplus of unsold Kias that had been shipped in from Korea and were being stored. Their white color is simply the shrink-wrap that's applied to almost all new cars during shipping to protect their finish. Prior to becoming a Kia storage lot, the same facility was used by Kelsey-Hayes/TRW Automotive as a test track for anti-lock brake systems for some 20 years (this writer formerly worked as an engineer for TRW and spent time at this facility). The white ceramic tile pad formerly used for simulated ice testing is still visible on the upper part of the runway as are the circle tracks.
The airstrips weren't the only automotive use of Reynolds Industrial Park. One of the buildings to the right of the strip was home to Vector Motors for a time in the mid-1990s before it went belly up. Rusting frames of the M12 supercar could be seen stacked outside for several years after.
[Source: Clay Today, Ubest1]