Military Airplane Graveyard Resembles Modern Day Nazca Lines

Illustration for article titled Military Airplane Graveyard Resembles Modern Day Nazca Lines

The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is a 2,600 acre sprawl of mummified aircraft. From the ground, the vacuum-sealed planes of "The Boneyard" may look like a scrap heap, but from space, the aircraft form a message to the sky.


This Tuscon military base houses $35 billion worth of grounded airplanes, helicopters, and sundry aviation scrap. The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base may look like a junkyard from the ground, but thanks to Google Earth satellites, we can see the meticulously preserved aircraft form curious patterns, not unlike the geolyphs of the Nazca culture of Peru. What does this panoply of jets convey to our alien brethren? Our guess - "Welcome to Earth."

[via Guardian UK]

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I've always been curious as to why they keep old, unusable aircraft around. Anyone know the reason?

Military craft, I get. However, I've driven past two of these enormous scrapyards (in the California high desert and near Phoenix) that are full of old commercial airliners.

Why not just remove all valuable material and then recycle or destroy what's left? Why let them sit in the hot sun rotting away? What's the point?