back to article US gov now says Eye-o-Sauron™ border masts are crap

After revealing last week that a pilot installation of controversial, buggy border-security scanner towers had finally been accepted into service, the US government has now admitted that the project is a technical failure. Plans to build a so-called "virtual fence" along the Mexican border will proceed, but there will be long …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Luke
    Black Helicopters

    Teh real reason it was canned...

    "Then the all-seeing infrared or low-light eyes atop the towers swivel round and stare at each radar blip, making sure it is a group of intruders rather than a cow or something."

    Some bleeding heart liberal doogooding (keep inserting appropriate titles here)

    complained about the seventy thirteen megagigawatt laser that instantly fired

    at said target reducing them to a lump on smouldering jelly.


    /Sarc (for those that need this tag)

  2. John Macintyre
    Black Helicopters

    getting numb in my old age

    Maybe this is what the govt's all want, but with the amount coming out about millions and billions being wasted, saying "an additional $65m on top of the $20m " sounds like an awfully small amount, almost makes it sounds reasonable in cost.... Or is it a really low-tech system?

    Black copters, because they're making all of us into sheep :(

  3. toby powell-blyth

    I think I have spotted a flaw in the logic!

    "The radar can pick out all human-sized or larger moving objects across a wide stretch of territory."

    So all I need to do is cut myself into small less-than-human sized pieces, throw myself over the border and then....

    Oh, wait a minute.....

    I'll go get my coat.

  4. Paul

    Beat the cyclops

    Make like Odysseus and tie yourself under a sheep.

  5. Blane Bramble

    @toby powell-blyth

    Presumably it's no good at detecting Hobbits then either...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big success

    "Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already paid Boeing an additional $65m on top of the $20m for Project 28 ..."

    If the purpose was to make a secure border then yes it would be a failure, but is that the purpose? I reckon the purpose is to find expensive domestic projects done by American companies into which you can pump dodgy dollars you just created in the money supply spreadsheet.

    Take a look at m3b, it's going up ever faster, so they continue to expand the money supply numbers at an ever increasing rate. (18% a year currently),_repos_&_Fed_watching.html

    That would lead to a falling dollar, and increasing inflation. But then if you can find domestic projects to pump that money into, you can lessen those by expanding the domestic economy.

    i.e. it isn't that you just made 10% more dollars by increasing the money supply by 10%, it's that the US is now 10% bigger, it has 10% more expensive border security business and 10% more airport scanner businesses, 10% more TSA staff, 10% more spying equipment makers,... etc. etc.

    This makes this project a big success, it cost a lot of money, was done by a USA company, it overran it's budget even better!, and it didn't work so needs, more investment.

    By my estimates, they need to make $2.3 trillion in new internal US business this year to fend off inflation and a dollar collapse. (11 billion M3 *18%). So 27000 $85 million projects like this one need to be done this year alone.

    Impeachment, better late than never.

  7. Gaz

    "complained about the seventy thirteen megagigawatt laser that instantly fired"

    So will the Eye-O-Sauron 2.0 feature the Obelisk of Nod 1.0 add-on?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @toby powell-blyth

    You might be right if human size means at least 1,5 meter then a legless guy could crawl across.

  9. Sam

    Low profile

    "You might be right if human size means at least 1,5 meter then a legless guy could crawl across."

    So anyone from Romford on a Friday night, then?

    The bouncers leather jacket, ta.

  10. Ash

    With schemes like this...

    ... they should really turn the cameras around so they can watch the US citizens leaving for the more liberal Cuba.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    @beat the cyclops

    So that's any welsh or NZ immigrants entirely safe then...

  12. Jamie

    Walled Communities

    If the powers to be had thier way they would just put up a big wall all around the country. What is the difference between a virtual wall, a brick wall, and the Berlin wall, good PR spin.

  13. 4a$$Monkey

    How it was defeated

    It didn’t take long for the Mexicans to find a way for defeating Eye-o-Sauron™. Here is the latest shocking photo from the border...

  14. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: How it was defeated

    Right. The next person to make a pantomime cow/horse/elephant joke is banned from the entire internet.

  15. David Rollinson
    Black Helicopters

    Sounds like the Black Chamber

    is planning a "Scorpian Stare" upgrade...

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @ Sarah Bee

    No need to have a cow about it! I bet all the people who made the livestock jokes are feeling well sheepish now.

    Posted anonymously udder-wise you'd be removing my internet privileges along with my grazing rights!

  17. Anonymous Coward

    They started too big...

    They should have used the UK as its proving ground and built a smaller scale Eye-o-Sauron to protect London from all them bloody Northerners that keep coming in and polluting our language...

    Anything from north of Watford to be shot on sight - migratory birds beware.


  18. Daniel Dainty

    Stop hoofing around

    Methinks the worst thing to have said in this instance is "the next person to say x will have impossible punishment y inflicted on them".

    Especially on El Reg. Doubly so in the comments page.

    In other news, testing on the v2 EoS is going so well. Here's some footage recovered earlier today.

  19. michael

    the real reasion it was scraped

    patent infringment saron sued the us gov and there contractors

    yer mine is the eleven one

  20. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    Wait a second....

    The US gov't and army spending money on something that is not going to work but needs to be done for "the US people". Next you will tell me on their shopping list is a boeing 747 with "Fricking laser beam" on their noses or anti missile shields that cover the planet, or stealth planes that work in rain, sun, sand... or robot helicoptors or flying unmanned gun platforms... Oh wait... They already paid for them.


    I always see the "Obelisk of nod" as something the scientologists would bring out, too cult like and minority for the US government. They are more the orbital ion cannon.

    But I like your thinking.

    Tom cruise is Kane, except for the looks and the charm and the height.

  21. Law

    real reason for needed upgrades

    They realised that the towers should have been pointing the other way, to keep the Americans out of Mexico!

  22. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects


    There was something about the use of the word "American" to describe the colonistas using hi-tech to keep out the natives that just got my gall.

  23. Mike Crawshaw

    @AC "They started too big..."

    Why would anyone North of Watford WANT to come to London?? To pay to get in (congestion charge), pay for parking (if you can find one), pay for the tube (risking being shot if you run to catch it), and then pay £4 a pint?? I'll stay in Sheffield - and that's saying something!! =;-)

  24. David S
    Black Helicopters

    @Big Success

    Cool. Reckon there'd be a chance of getting one of those 27,000 projects over this side of the pond? Special relationship and all that... 100% guaranteed to cost tens of millions of dollars and come _this_ close to working, requiring only another few tens of millions of dollars next year to come a little closer?

    I mean, if the US govt are that keen to throw away trillions of dollars, then I'm happy to supply a binbag or two...

  25. Nomen Publicus
    Thumb Down

    DDOS The Border!

    As it doesn't yet have a megawatt laser to zap people it detects - the effectiveness of this multi-million $ dinosaur is limited to the call out time of the patrol guys with the truck.

    A DDOS attack on the border will probably work well and a fair percentage of people will get through.

  26. Dick Emery
    Paris Hilton

    If this is to prevent illegal immigrants

    Don't they realise that the entire US economy would collapse from lack of workers to do the shitty jobs?

    Paris because she knows a thing or two about slave labour.

  27. Mark Hewitt
    Jobs Horns

    Now with Web 2.0™!

    "Plan to buy new, better Eye-o-Sauron™ 2.0"

    ..with Web 2.0™-enabled cameras allowing Young, Homeland Security, True American Volunteers™ to protect the Land of the Fee without leaving the comfort of their flats and barkaloungers. One quick call to, ah, the Authorities and you can settle back and enjoy the show. Why settle for "reality" television when you can have the truly unreal?

  28. Daniel B.

    Re: real reason for needed upgrades

    Nah, its because the zoom isn't good enough to catch the Spring Breakers getting wasted on the other side of the border, thus saving billions on GGW videos. ;)

  29. Andy Bright

    It won't work

    For the exact same reason Eye of Sauron 1.0 failed. They have no Saurons or even Nazgul to operate them.

    The answer is not to make new towers, the existing towers are just fine. The answer to to contact your local branch of Noldor and ask them make you some rings. After they make themselves 3, probably 7 for union leaders (got to keep the unions happy) and maybe 9 for various Governors of our border states, the President and his administration should make themselves 1, let's call it a master ring, one that controls all the others.

    You then install a ring-controlled State Governor in each of the towers, and maybe some sort of video link connecting them all, seeing stone, whatever.

    And there you go, fully operational Towers of Sauron.

  30. Jay

    The need for upgrades...

    Aros when a small band of immigrant workers casted a small piece of jewelry into the pit of the grand canyon, rending it useless.

    Mine's the cloak, I'm one of them rangers.

  31. Silentmaster101

    better idea.

    why dont we just save all the money spent, and randomly mortar the entire border constantly. i mean if we use cheep chinese made mortars and shells, the 65 +20 million could keep it secure what, 10 years?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Homeland Security cracks me up

    I accompanied a friend to a "Homeland Security" border post so he could get a commuter pass for rapid crossing of the border. The process involves giving up a lot of personal information and answering leading questions like:

    "Have you ever used illegal or 'street' drugs?"

    Hmm... what would I answer on a government form asking me that question. I'm not sure how he answered. ;)

    They wanted a document that he didn't have with him - and we'd driven two hours to get there. He was allowed to use a "Homeland Security" PC to access the internet (after the employee logged the computer into their Novell network) and print a copy of something that proved something or other of their complicated requirements.

    Ummm... physical security of the network? Anyone?

    Anyway he was issued his very own RFID-embedded ID card and they stuck another one on his car.

    They also do "immigration checkpoints" that are MILES from the border. It's a great way for Uncle Scam to search US citizens who they otherwise have no cause to stop. BAD idea to smoke tobacco alternatives ;) in the car prior to pulling up at one of those checkpoints. It'll ruin your day.

  33. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    Perhaps the US Government is funding an ultra top secret Black program over at Boeing and is using this as a cover of sorts for that program !

    I recall that the undocumented work force being paid less then $5 per hour has become such a key component within the country that if all were expelled on the same day , it would prove to be an absolute disaster and cause the entire country to implode and Wall Street would just cease to exist as well with every house and business mired in their own mountain of self generated rubbish in the same day !

  34. Solomon Grundy

    You heard it here first


  35. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    Call me stupid, but...

    ... if you're going to put a fence on the border, why not use... I don't know... a FENCE. For the cost of this they could build a triple layered concrete barrier along the entire border *and* man it with 24 hour patrols *and* have enough left over to do it again at the canadian border. Gotta stop all those "cheap meds" daytrippers getting across somehow...

  36. night troll

    @ @beat the cyclops

    Nah, they are strapped to the back of the sheep ;-)

  37. mh.
    Paris Hilton


    Why is a company more normally known for building aeroplanes being paid silly money to construct an overengineered fence? Also, how come the US govt (or indeed the UK's) doesn't have some basic criteria to check they're not about to spend taxpayers' money on overpriced contraptions that either don't work or could be done by simpler devices for much less money?

  38. Herby

    With apopogies to Princess Diana...

    An easy way to fix this is a small land line field. Just start with a backhoe and dig some holes. Populating all of them could be optional.

    Another alternative is an electric fence at 1kv or so. Don't want to touch that!

    Muy peligro!!

  39. Bevyn Quiding

    break out the cow suit boys we are coming through

    mines the fresian cheers

  40. Anonymous Coward

    There have been over 20 tunnels

    discovered, the last one was 60ft underground and 2,400ft long, going from a Mexican warehouse to one in San Diego near the airport. Because you could walk in it at 5ft by 3ft, they could move drugs and people through, mainly bulky bales of cannabis of course and people who needed 100% safety in crossing back and forth without being stopped.

    It was only discovered when a road started to collapse into it and the cartels killed a police chief to keep it secret prior to that. So the drugs, criminal gangs will go through tunnels, planes, boats, and the ordinary illegals will get caught by Eye-o-Sauron™.

    This is good for the criminals because stops people going it on their own in crossing the border, reduces chancers from dabbling in drug smuggling including steroids ,medicines etc so raising the market price by reducing supply. Trebles all round.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't it just be cheaper...

    ... to hire some cheap immigrant labour to link hands along the entire border and whistle loudly if they detect anything? Maybe give them mobile phones for added sophistication. Oh, wait...

    The XL with the snug fitting sleeves please

  42. Paul
    Black Helicopters

    @um: Why Boeing?

    Maybe for the same reason that Lockheed Martin is bidding to run the 2011 UK census.

    Don't you?

  43. Simon Day

    Thermal blankets anyone?

    Lovely little things, a couple of quid from any camping of hiking supplies, fit in your pocket, cover you completely and stop 99.9% of infra-red.

    Sew a couple of these into your clothes and you are now a small enough signature to appear more like a rabbit than a human.

    There is always a work around!

  44. Dennis Price
    Black Helicopters

    re: Americans

    "There was something about the use of the word "American" to describe the colonistas using hi-tech to keep out the natives that just got my gall."

    This is why liberals should be sent to remedial history/reality classes. You have two classes of citizens in Mexico, Mexicans and Indians. Mexicans treat their native Indians like crap - you think Americans are harsh? Not even close. Not even in the same ballpark as the Mexican government and it's policies toward "natives".


    @Dick Emery: Baaa Baaa Baaa! Ba Ba Ba Baaaaaaaaaa!

    (for those who don't understand sheep, here is the translation for you...)

    Those "shitty" jobs used to be done by teenagers and non-high school graduates who can't get those jobs now because they are being "outsourced" to countries who can't/won't support their own people. Why the fuck can't people blame the source of the problem (i.e. Mexico's government) and not fall back on the "Blame America First" ideology is beyond me - too damn lazy and morally corrupt I guess.

This topic is closed for new posts.