Coulrophobia Sufferers Beware!
// Written by Drew Allen –
WHAT ARE THESE THINGS?:
As part of my never-ending quest to discover more about the French Quarter and, along the way, solve some of its enduring mysteries, I have once again discovered a mystery which needs everyone’s immediate attention.
What are these things located all over the FQ?
Some are free standing (such as the one on the sidewalk on Royal Street on the backside of St. Louis Cathedral). Others serve as posts for stop signs (such as the one at the corner of St. Ann and Bourbon).
Oh, and they buzz…
Possible explanations include: Vertically challenged cell phone towers, nefarious mind control devices, Trojan horses secretly housing dwarf clowns.
On November 13, 2014, Reporter Tania Dall of Channel WWLTV initially investigated these devices, whereby she discovered that devices are indeed apparently miniature cell phone towers. Their sudden construction and appearance all over the French Quarter was in contravention of city regulations. In other words, they were placed in the French Quarter illegally.
Crown Castle is a company that builds these towers (referred to as “small cell solutions”). Apparently, Crown Castle bought out another company, Newpath Networks, some time in 2010. It was Newpath Networks that apparently applied to the VCC (Vieux Carre Commission) to install 36 of these devices within the French Quarter. The city then informed Crown Castle that prior to the installation of any of these devices, Crown Castle was required to negotiate a franchise agreement with the city and was further required to apply for and obtain permits from the City Planning Commission, as well as from the VCC. Only after acquiring these permits, would Crown Castle be able to obtain final approval from the NOLA Department of Public Works. The Landrieu administration confirmed that it gave Crown Castle permission to only perform sidewalk boring, but that Crown Castle began installing these towers without the city’s approval.
I am not one to normally subscribe to conspiracy theories. In my opinion, most conspiracy theories fail on many levels. Generally, those that routinely advocate conspiracy theories purport to come across as a know-it-all, while actually knowing nothing; an interesting paradox.
That being said, the successful installation of these towers is pretty mysterious.
Given that the VCC requires that any property owner within the French Quarter obtain prior VCC permission to do even the smallest of projects, including something as innocuous as repainting their shutters (even the exact same paint color), it is hard to believe that the VCC would fail to strictly enforce its mandate with regard to the installation of these ugly towers. I likewise cannot fathom why the City would allow these towers to remain installed if in fact Crown Castle did so without obtaining all of the necessary permits.
But if it is not a cell phone tower, then what could it be? My previously sarcastic suggestion that these towers are mind control devices is still not something I would bet any amount of real money on, but the possibility remains that these towers are not entirely what they appear to be. My mind begins to wander (especially at approximately 4:20 a.m. every morning), when I begin to imagine that the arrival of these towers was part of a nefarious plot to overthrow the United States Government, using mind control beams housed by these towers. Not by Russia or China or even Iran (that’s so 2018). Instead, perhaps the plot to infiltrate America was caused instead by a country like… Aruba. Perhaps it will soon be discovered that Aruba is trying to grab a controlling market share of the Aloe Plant export business.
A Trojan horse? The Trojan horse suggestion makes reference to subterfuge that the Greeks presumably used in their war against the City of Troy. As the fable goes, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse on the outskirts of the City of Troy, and then purportedly sailed away. The Trojans brought the horse within their city fortress, as a sign of their victory. But later that night, a group of military men snuck out of the horse and opened the gates of Troy for the remaining Greek forces, which had clandestinely returned under cover of night, and entered the city in force.
Perhaps with regard to these mysterious towers, at a predetermined time, the towers will suddenly open, with thousands of clowns emerging, (similar to the circus act where tens and even hundreds of clowns billow out from a small car), meting out havoc and carnage wherever they go. Coulrophobia sufferers beware!
Finally, even assuming that these towers are exclusively being used as cell phone towers, several organizations and concerned citizens such as Save Our Vieux Carre and French Quarter Radiation Free have noted that these towers are a “visual blight” and emit Radio Frequency (RF) radiation harmful to human health.
In fact, there are growing grave concerns about the negative externalities regarding Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR). Specifically, “Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from WIFI and cell towers can exert a disorganizing effect on the ability to learn and remember and can also be destabilizing to immune and metabolic functions,” according to Dr. Martha Herbert, PhD, MD, a pediatric neurologist and neuroscientist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, Board Certified in Neurology.
It seems obvious that the residents of the French Quarter need additional information regarding the risks and benefits of these devices before reaching a decision regarding their continued use.