To bad this happened before I started blogging because I could tell you exactly when it happened.
I could figure it out if I found all my old diaries.
My guess is it was ten years ago.
I looked at the list of shuttle missions on the NASA web site.
I remembered what time of day it launched and could not find a listing of one that matched.
They did show one picture on TV, during the mission.
It was a photo taken in orbit with the bay doors open and this big dish thing coming out.
The claim was that they deployed it, tested it and brought it back to earth.
My idea was that once they got up and were able to position it, they ran a preliminary test at the first opportunity.
They picked out the first clear spot they would have run across, as they came over the Gulf of Mexico.
This is on the West coast of Florida and it would have been the first place on an East-West line that they had a clear shot.
This is a google earth shot of the area. The burn spot is where the "41" sign is.
So you can go ahead and reject the whole thing, based on what looks like a ridiculous spot to pick out.
The median was a lot wider when this happened.
They added left turn lanes on both sides, so it looks a lot narrower than it was.
I just recently found those photos.
They were shot on film with a small 35mm camera.
I do not have a scanner so I can not put them up right now.
What the photos show is a nice green median, well mowed, with a big black area.
You can see the ends are rounded, as if a big circle was superimposed over a grass strip that was narrower than the circle.
It just looks too perfect, all uniform, everything inside the circle looks the same.
Then there are close-ups showing how the area underneath looks unaffected.
To me. it looks like a beam was put on it that fryed the exposed part.
I would think that if gasoline was used, it would have burnt right to the ground.
Again, I think they were just testing their aim and were running low power.
There was probably another place, inland, that got blasted.