The Internet giant Google has numerous facilities across the United States, on land (terra firma), in:

  • Mountain View, CA (Google’s headquarters)
  • Manhattan, NYC
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boulder, CO
  • Cambridge, MASS
  • Seattle, WA
  • Reston, VA
  • Washington, DC

So one must wonder why Google has built new facilities (“secret projects”) on water, like the ones on HUGE barges off the west and east coasts of the United States. Are we running out of land space in America?

Google bargeKPIX 5 hired a boat to get an up close view of a barge off Treasure Island believed to be a secret project by Google.

KPIX Channel 5, a CBS affiliate in San Francisco, reports on Oct. 30, 2013, that nearly a week after three mysterious barges were discovered off Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay and in Maine, Google is staying mum about the secret projects and has not responded to numerous requests for comment.

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Note: Treasure Island is a man-made “island” in San Francisco Bay, constructed by the federal government beginning in 1937 as a naval station that included several hangars. In 2007,  the Navy sold the island to the city of San Francisco for $108 million as part of a redevelopment project.

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But KPIX 5 has received comment from the U.S. Coast Guard about the project, and has obtained details about the barges and who owns them:

At least three barges have been found, two with container structures on them, all marked with the letters “BAL” followed by four numbers. The two barges located at Treasure Island are identified as BAL0010 and BAL0001. A similar barge in Portland, Maine is identified as BAL0011.

According to a document provided to KPIX 5 by the Treasure Island Development Authority, four tenants lease space at Hangar 3 that sits directly across from the two mysterious barges. A sign posted inside Hangar 3 orders anyone who is allowed in to turn over cellphones, cameras, and other recording devices.

One of the tenants of Hangar 3 is called By and Large or BAL.

BAL moved in on August 1st. So far, the authority has not provided KPIX with a copy of the lease to show how much they are paying and how long they plan to stay.

Last week, tech website CNET first disclosed the barge building and speculated Google might be building a floating data center to house server banks on the water. Well placed sources told KPIX 5 that the barges are being built and outfitted as retail sales and marketing centers for Google Glass, the tech giant’s wearable computer.

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) would need to approve docking the vessel, but building on the barge is subject to Coast Guard review. The Coast Guard issued a statement only confirming it is working with the barge’s owners. They did not give any additional details, saying, “Due to issues of commercial confidentiality, we are unable to disclose any more information at this time.”

Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that at least one Coast Guard employee had signed a confidentiality agreement with Google which, according to a Coast Guard spokesperson, is an “unusual situation that they don’t typically deal with.”

Lord of the Flies

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From Wikipedia:

Baal, also rendered Baʿal (Biblical Hebrew בַּעַל, pronounced [ˈbaʕal]), is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning “master” or “lord” that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor. […]

Baal Zebub […] occurs in 2 Kings 1:2–6 as the name of the Philistine god of Ekron. […] Jewish scholars have interpreted the title of “Lord of Flies” as the Hebrew way of calling Ba’al a pile of dung, and comparing Ba’al followers to flies.

Beelzebub, also Beelzebul, is also identified in the New Testament as Satan, the “prince of the demons”.

See also:

H/t FOTM’s pnordman

~Eowyn

Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.