92 - Secret Soviet Plans for the Complete Removal of the North American Continent
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
This recently unclassified, formerly top secret document released by the Russian State Archives illustrates (quite literally) the lengths the Soviets wanted to go to in order to win the Cold War: not just the defeat of the capitalist USA, but its complete removal off the face of the earth.
The document is dated February 26, 1973 and is signed by Yuri Andropov, then head of the KGB. In the mid-1980s, Andropov rose to be secretary-general of the CPSU (effectively the Guy in Overall Charge), in which post he was the immediate predecessor of Mikhail Gorbachev (*).\n
It reads, in part: “This is a scheme of assumed changes in geographical structure of Earth continents which may happen as a result of correction of gravity field of the Earth by the A-241/BIS device.”\n
I’ve never heard of such a device outside the realm of fiction (the Doomsday Machine in the movie Dr Strangelove springs to mind), so I suppose this document is a hoax.\n
The map is presented at this page of bldgblog, an excellent blog about “architectural conjecture, urban speculation and landscape futures”.\n
(*): Not. Please check the comments.\n