Down in the Antarctic researchers are building an "ice cube telescope" to detect neutrinos. It's one of the stranger telescopes ever built. Popular Science provides this description of it:
Using a five-megawatt jet of hot water, technicians are melting two-foot-wide holes 1.5 miles into the Antarctic ice near the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Before the water refreezes, they insert a cable strung like a set of Christmas-tree lights with globular camera housings. By the time the technicians are done in 2010, Ice Cube’s 80 vertical strings will adorn a cubic kilometer of ice from a depth of 1.4 kilometers down to 2.4 kilometers. In other words, it’s an instrument of 4,800 cameras looking at solid black ice...
One in a million neutrinos passing near Ice Cube’s photomultiplier cameras will—just by chance—smash head-on into an atomic nucleus within the ice and produce a muon particle that will give off a blue glow called Cherenkov light. Unlike the ice in your freezer, Antarctic ice is stunningly clear, and the blue light travels more than 100 meters in the dark ice. Each muon’s glow will be picked up by several cameras, and its position and direction triangulated.
But, of course, the conspiracy theorists have some different ideas about what is really being built down there in the South Pole. One such theory has been posted in an unlikely place, explorersweb.com -- a site that's usually devoted to news about the exploration community, not woolly conspiracy theories.
The theory was posted by Irish South Pole skier Kevin Dempsey. Here's the gist of it:
the so called Ice-Cube project is in fact the first of a new generation of ARC, as we believe it is now as internally. Think ARC, think Noah. But not in the same way. Noah used his arc to save all life forms from extinction. This new ARC is in a way a reversal of that process."
"ARC stands for..... ALIEN RECEPTOR CENTRE."
"They are bringing aliens in from outer space & other galaxies, processing & programming them for eventual release into countries, societies, cultures all over the planet, that they ultimately want to control. This is not a simple war on the battle for control of oil. This is total & ultimate control of the planet.
I'm not sure whether or not Dempsey's article is meant to be a joke. Supporting the joke theory is the unusual note that Explorerweb appended to the article: "Dempsey is not a scientist; his emails carry advertisements for stylish blinds and rugs."
(Thanks to CuChullaine O'Reilly of the Long Riders Guild for the link.)