In a comment to a story I posted yesterday, about the use of US Navy radar technology in weather forecasting, fellow blogger Dad29 had this to say:
When GE was developing PAR, the work was being done in Syracuse. (This goes back quite a number of years.)
The R&D was being done in and atop a building near I-90. Engineers would turn the PAR on using various levels of 'power' and observe the results.
Well. One day, a semi-load bound from GE/Nela Park to Kodak's NY State facility happened to be on I-90, lined up with the PAR beams when it was switched 'on' at full-power.
The semi was filled with flashcubes.
Tremendous FLASH and 'boom' occurs. Semi-driver looks in his mirrors and there is (literally) no trailer left--just a few black-rubber scorch-marks on the pavement 1/4 mile behind him.
Poor soul spent DAYS writing the same report.
About 6 months later, GE figured it out...
Thanks for a great story, Dad29! I wonder whether the insurers ever paid out for that loss? (I added hyperlinks to some of your abbreviations for the benefit of non-US readers, who might not understand them.)
The funniest part for me was, when she read this, Miss D. asked blankly, "What's a flashcube?" Turns out she was born too late to have used them, or even seen them! Makes me feel old . . .