søndag 18. september 2016

Expensive fog (long and boring read, probably).

Fog, as we know it.

The good fellow Michael over in North Ireland posted a nice set of snaps from the West Lighthouse over there a bit more than a few days ago. One of them snaps were showing a nice device used to detect fog, and that led me to think of the old discussion going on for decades over here in Norway a few years ago now. It was all about where to put the new big airport, and I think the first political decision about the matters were done already back in 1972, then a second one in 1988 before they finally made a third and final decision in 1992.

You see, we were badly in need of a new and centrally located main airport in this old country, as the old one in the middle of Oslo were really getting too tiny to accommodate the rapidly increasing air traffic.  Discussions were going back and forth between the many politicians wanted to have their saying into the matters, and a lot of words were spoken from all corners of the country, in addition to old rich businessmen and maybe a few women as well for all I know. After all this was happening over a few decades, which would make it all add up to a lot of words.

Anyway, to make this extremely long story a bit shorter they came up with three different ways to get things done, and with three different locations to vote between. One suggestion was to do a nice makeover of the old one, which none of the folks in the position of deciding things really seemed to opt for. And then there was a suggestion to build out the existing military airport at gardermoen, and a third suggestion at a place where no airport existed from earlier. All three locations would be fit for the purpose in one way or the other.
And this is where the battle really came to stand. Between the "Gardermoen" and the "Hurum" locations, as the old Oslo Airport on Fornebu was out of the question more or less from the start.
A lot of strong reasons were put on the table suggesting that Hurum was the best choice and the location most suitable to put the new airport. If you look at the combined benefits for the country, that is. If you had a look at where the strongest politicians lived at the time around when the decision was about to be made, the answer would be Gardermoen.
The weather was an issue and something to really take into consideration, and the discussions went on for years about where they would have the overall best weather of the two locations still discussed.
After some time without getting any closer to an agreement, they decided to bring in experts from the National Norwegian Institute of Meteorology to actually do observations. Lots of stuff were measured, and fog was naturally a very interesting matter on both of the actual locations.

At some point, just before the final voting was about to take place, it became evident that the fog measurements had been really tampered with. I mean tampered with Big Time! Vaseline or something similar had been smeared onto the lens on the measuring device. The objective was to fool the desicionmakers, and probably the norwegian people as well, and lessons could and/or should be learned from this.
For some reason the foggy days in the area of Hurum had exploded to a level where it just had to be questioned, and people did just that. The whole country was led to believe that there was nothing like one day in the year without fog around the place, and somebody would have to answer for the measurements. 
A very well known engineer at the time were working to find evidences that someone had tampered with the instruments, and had therefore been doing a lot of digging into the matters. He claimed to have found the answers he had been looking for, and was determined to give away names on people trying to fool the government into choosing Gardermoen instead of Hurum, and also to give away the strong reasons they might have to set up the whole plot. 
Strange things happened in this case, and one morning he was found dead, naked in the street in Copenhagen having fallen through a closed window just a few days prior to be ready to tell the truth about who was acting like a mafia to make the decision process a bit easier for the government. The Danish Police were extremely quickly jumping to the conclusion that we were talking about a suicide, and did not want any more talk and chit-chat about the matters. A lot of others were thinking, and maybe rightful, that the dead engineer was not the kind of man you would suggest being able to commit suicide. In addition the circumstances were a bit suspicious, and maybe should call for a bit further digging into the matters.

Gardermoen, at the time, used to be the location of the biggest military airport in Norway. Some have suggested that someone wanting the Royal Norwegian Air Force to become weaker would have strong enough reasons to get the deed done, while others thought maybe business and money was the reason why the highly respected engineer Jan Wiborg ended up dead and naked in the backyard of a hotel in Copenhagen early in the morning on the 21st of June, 1994. 
We will probably never get the full answer to why all this happened, but a book came out in 2014 where the author seems to have very good reasons to believe that Jan Wiborg did not commit suicide. 

Anyway, this is not the full story by any means. There is probably a lot more out there on the web if you like to do a search. What we do know is that this was one of the biggest political questions in Norway throughout history, so there was a lot of political prestige into it as well. 
So, folks, stay away from a fog measuring instrument if you see one! It might do a lot more than you think it does... 

2 kommentarer:

  1. Well I thought I knew the way the story was going...and then the tale took a twist and a turn for the worse. Hmm. Generally I am one for not listening too much to the gossip and whatever you might get in the newspapers, but on occasion there is actually a need for proper investigative journalism. But for whatever reason, everything seems to go a bit quiet at those times.

    Reminds me of the case of Dr David Kelly here in the UK, at the time of the Iraq War.

    1. Not too different from the Dr. Kelly case at all, even though I never studied either of them very deeply.
      And further I'm not willing to swallow everything written in the newspapers these days either, but some of them are still very good and will still get very well and deeply studied facts on the table. Which is good me thinks, in a world that seems getting more tabloid each day.


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