Another Oufo (originally unidentified flying object)Ron Brodigan from the Great Lakes School of Log Building, about 35 miles north of Two Harbors on Highway 2, brings us this week’s mysterious flying craft photo.
Ron Brodigan from the Great Lakes School of Log Building, about 35 miles north of Two Harbors on Highway 2, brings us this week’s mysterious flying craft photo.
The area has been bombarded the past month with planes surveying the Lake Superior shoreline and the state Department of Health spraying for gypsy moth caterpillars. What Brodigan saw last week, a “helicopter attached to a giant hula hoop,” was a rather new method of exploring for minerals without boring into the ground.
It’s called a “time domain electromagnetic survey” operation and the helicopter was spied in the hinterlands of northern Lake County and around Birch Lake near Babbitt over the weekend. Call it a large and sophisticated metal detector. The helicopters repeatedly went over the treetops in a grid pattern.
Sand Lake area neighbor Dan Donnelly took this picture and showed it to Brodigan.
There was no way of determining which mineral exploration company it was from. The borderland area between northern Lake and St. Louis counties has been a hot bed for mineral exploration by companies from the U.S. and Canada in recent years as they try to keep up with foreign countries in the extraction of precious metals for use in electronics such as cell phones.
In the past, aerial surveys were done only by fixed-wing aircraft. Technology introducing the hoop and its attachment to helicopters allows the survey to be done closer to the ground for more accurate results.