back to article Giant flying pliers menace West Bromwich

We're obliged to all those readers who've sent us new Street View sightings gleaned from the pretty-well nationwide coverage now enjoyed by the UK, especially those involving surveillance feedback loops. We'll be doing something on your spots next week, but in the meantime we invite you to ponder the disturbing case of the …


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  1. Yas

    Invasion of the DIY'ers

    I for one welcome our DIY Overlords!

    May they repair my electrical appliances in peace.

  2. paulf

    Woa? Huh? Wha?

    Just how do you get a Fail on this level? Its off the register (ahem, apols). I thought things couldn't get more surreal than "Soul Godfather's body snatched" was enough Bootnotes to set me up for the weekend, but this has just about wrapped it up for Friday.

    Time to get out of the office just in case it is the Borg-pliars invasion. Mines the one with the "POETS day" card in it.


  3. The Indomitable Gall

    Isn't that...

    Isn't this just a publicity shot from the next Doctor Who Christmas Special?!?

  4. Martin 19

    Clearly a local objected to being photographed

    and wanged his pliers at the Orwellian spymobile.

    Every true midlander has a pair of pliers within easy reach, after all.

    1. Robert E A Harvey


      or, indeed, a pair of someone else's pliers..

  5. Tom 35


    They are testing the new system to cut off internet P2P users.

  6. Les Matthew

    What's the betting

    That somebody left them on top of the camera after a bit of impromptu repair work?

  7. Alex 75

    What's even more disturbing...

    This street view must be from an alternate reality because what's even more disturbing is that everyone is driving on the wrong side of the street.

  8. ElNumbre


    I wonder if this is the precusor to 'The Great Adjustment' that is due in West Bromwich? I should know, I'm only a few miles from there.

    IFO welcome our Giant Plier weilding overlords.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Nope, look much more like side-cutters to me.

    Mine's the one with the round-nosed circluip pliers in it....

    1. jake Silver badge

      Not side cutters.

      Linesman's pliers.

  10. EmperorFromage

    I for one

    I for one welcome our Chrome Vanadium Overlords ...

  11. David 132 Silver badge

    Someone at Google's a "Look Around You" fan?

    Any fan of "Look Around You" knows that this is what happens when you put AC and DC current through an iron pyramid.

    It could be a bizarre photo-stitching accident after a Google Earth operative left a pair of pliers on the spymobile camera.. but I prefer the first explanation!

    1. Eddy Ito

      bum civilian

      Clearly it was no pure iron pyramid that made this. It must have been allied with another metal and only partly ironic or someone reserved the annoyed and cathoyed battery terminals providing a negative initial molarity, that's magnetic polarity for the unscience terrific types.

      1. Steve Evans


        I'm not sure. Whilst an impure iron sample could be responsible for the sub-standard result, I believe the pyramid itself may have been a cheap irregular Chinese manufactured one.

        I've seen many Iron experiments ruined by bad geometry.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Advertising coup?

    It appears just outside the 'Cutting and Welding' store!

  13. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    And the Lord said...

    "Oi! Your chimney cap's not tight. No bother, I'll take care of it meself!"

  14. Brian Miller

    What were those snipping?

    Those aren't really pliers, those are wire cutters which are designed to make a flush cut.

    So what was being snipped, and who is God's maintenance man? Do we live on a clockwork Earth?

    1. jake Silver badge

      @ Brian Miller

      See my reply to Brian Morrison.

      'tis truly the life of Brian tonight :-) Beers all around?

      (Gawd/ess ... that's the second time I've used an icon in under a fortnight ... I must be mellowing in my old age ...)

  15. Mr_Pitiful

    Ok so WHO

    Nicked my bloody plyers again

    I'm fed up with this. every time I put them down they are stolen

  16. Stewart Haywood


    These pliers will be dropped by a femail astronaut working outside on her way to Mars in 2051. They will then fall into a highly eliptical sun orbit where they will be accelerated to light speed and beyond resulting in them expanding and traveling back in time to menace West Bromwich six months ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      You broke teh physics! Fix it now! Recursive servalence was bad enough, now look what youve done.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Scared now

    the icon says it all

  18. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    These are normal pliers and Google has responded to public concerns by adopting microscopic spy cars - that can zip around the streets unnoticed.

    Good job us northerners always tuck our trousers into our socks

  19. Petrea Mitchell
    Black Helicopters

    Adjustment captured in progress?

    I think what this picture shows is that Google is tired of getting complaints about its database being inaccurate-- now when it finds a discrepancy, it adjusts the material world to match the virtual one. That house probably used to be on a completely different street...

  20. Gavin Jamie

    They are enormous

    You don't really get the scale of these things until you view all the pictures all the way down the road to Lidl. They are so far away (and therefor huge) that the car does not appear to move relative to them at all.

  21. Alan Esworthy

    Oh, get a grip.

    Th-th-th-that's all, folks.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    In tha Black Country

    they'm known to professional tradesmen as an omma

  23. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

    Only one question:


  24. Crazy Operations Guy

    I have to point out

    That those aren't actually pliers, they are wire cutters.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @COG ... They are Linesman's pliers ...

      Oh, faggedaboudit. What do I know.

      Mod(s): I'll stop now. You're quite welcome ;-)

  25. disgruntled yank Silver badge


    They have something to do with that giant clothes pin shown on the other display.

    What that is, I can't guess, for they do look like wire cutters.

  26. WhoIsThis?

    Drive along the street then look up

    These pliers were left on top of the camera - move along the street and then look up - the pliers have moved with you. Or maybe that's just what they want you to think.......

    1. Steve X
      Black Helicopters


      Or are they really following me...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's the Anti-flying spaghetti monster come to snip at his noodlely goodness.

    Quick gather together my hearty pirate crewmates we need to repel this foul demon.

  28. ElNumbre

    An important question.

    So where's the Giant Chaka Demus?

    Stop (Omma Time).

  29. Dave 62

    suprised at ElReg

    As a few have pointed out above, those appear to be cutters, not pliers.

    I am deeply disappointed that you cocked this one up. How can you fail to recognise everyone's favourite tool after the hammer? You can do anything with a claw-hammer and a good pair of wire cutters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Rotate the image in the streetviewfun link. They're a pair of pliers with a side-cutter section. So essentially both pliers and cutters.

    2. Paul 4

      Don't forget...

      The gaffer tape.

  30. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

    At last

    Somebody's finally decided to fix that faulty thermostat and put an end to Global Warming.

    It has the Haynes "Habitable Planets" manual in the pocket.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    It was probably...

    Someone trying to protect his privacy by throwing the nearest convenient object at the camera to try and break it.

  32. jake Silver badge

    Obligatory ...

    Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers ...

  33. ShaggyDoggy

    Street name

    Why has Google mostly blocked out the street name sign of Whitehall Road,

    while at the same time their own captions say "Whitehall Road" twice on my screen.

    Oh wait, it can't be Whitehall Road unless Google says it is. I can sleep now

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think we would all agree...

    ...that God uses a good quality set of professional sockets, spanners and allen keys - in Imperial, if I am not mistaken - in no more than three sizes, i bet, as he no doubt carefully planned the whole "firmament" thing with long term maintenance in mind.

    It is the devil who takes to creation with his sloppy, gnarled, pliers and wrenches. We will all be familiar with the old folk-warning "Beware the devil for his iron jaws will strip your nuts, and leave your cotter pin twisted and fatigued. "

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Imperial sizes?

      Don't be daft, it would have been Whitworth back then.

    2. Paul 4


      "in Imperial, if I am not mistaken"

      Of course. God uses proper mesurments, non of this heathen metric. He also drinks ale and enjoys cricket. Its a fact!

      *fade to the gental sound of Jerusalem*

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Plier Propellers?

    Could be perfectly Innocent- by there are a couple of kids who appear standing on the green junction box in some shots as you move round the t-junction.

  36. gimbal

    It's, like, one of those Star Trek things, right?

    I bet, it's all from a set for the new Star Trek movie, The Wrath of Joe the Electrician, in which Joe steals a Romulan pliers-ship, so as to subject Captain James T Kirk to an adulthood Bris -- the catch phrase, "From hell's electrical closet, I snip at thee! Snip snip!"

    ...and all that, just because Joe's union was denied the right to take Earth Day as a holiday. Pure Evil (R)!

  37. Mark York 3 Silver badge

    Spare Us The Cutter

    They are clearly on the way to get rid of those old rooftop TV aerials in the picture.

    Sory for the title title - Had an 80's flashback to Echo & The Bunnymen.

  38. Argus Tuft
    Big Brother

    what's with the " ®"?

    "Just in case it's the latter, I for one would like to welcome, and so forth... ®"

    If i want to grovel to our supreme robo overlords, I should be free to do so without fear of litigation..... Maybe Reg is taking lessons from Apple?

  39. Number6

    Someone must be losing it...

    and was told to get a grip...

  40. Number6

    Further thought

    Could it be the visible manifestation of a Vogon constructor fleet?

    It's actually visible all the way down Whitehall Road. Could it be that someone misread the map and picked the wrong Whitehall? It's another one that really needs fixing.

  41. TRT Silver badge

    Have no fear...

    Ceiling cat will protect us!

    Maybe these are an incarnation of the devil, what better form could the destroyer take to battle the FSM.

    Or is it Google's latest weapon to cut off The Cloud?

  42. Sandy Ritchie


    For anyone who's actually done some DIY you'd know instantly that those are snips, not pliers!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      If you actually look at the image on street view you'll see that they are indeed pliers, not wire cutters as many people have suggested.

  43. Ben Rosenthal
    Big Brother

    Petrea Mitchell has a scary good point

    I mean have YOU ever found your way to Shell beach?!?!

  44. Spudders
    Thumb Up

    if you...

    Go to the weblink in the original post you will see a better shot and they are indeed pliers - try scrolling out for a better view too :D

  45. Frank Bitterlich

    More obvious explanation...

    Looks like a curageous neighbor wasn't too impressed with a spycar snapping his house, so he took out his toolchest and applied the other meaning of the word "snapping" to the camera hardware. One down, 10.000 to go...

    "Attention please! Would the student who is constantly cutting the wires of the school's announcement system please report to... <SNAP!>"

  46. numptynet
    Thumb Up

    adhoc repair

    If you look back along the road, the rear-view has a strange green colour cast. Then just after Cradley Heath DIY, the colour cast has gone, and the pliers appear!

    I reckon they were freshly bought at the shop, used to re-crimp a BNC connector, then left on the roof!

  47. PsychicMonkey
    Big Brother

    did no one notice

    that google have claimed copyright ont the pliers/cutters

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Nice shot!!

    I'm guessing the pliers may have once belonged to the couple of scallywags standing on top of the BT street cabinet. Remarkable Vanishing act once they chucked it too

  49. Clinton

    The Invasion is spreading!,-2.07191&sspn=0.009702,0.015428&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=&t=h&layer=c&cbll=52.470165,-2.082675&panoid=BI32I2U_eu0IucKblb4Tqg&cbp=12,187.04,,0,-90&ll=52.470233,-2.082875&spn=0,359.98071&z=16

  50. gollux

    Standard Electrician's or Lineman's pliers...

    Have a pair sitting right here on my desk. You can tell from the raised hip-roof reinforcement on the sides of the jaws.

    Go to Google maps and give it a spin, it's pretty impressive. The handles appear to be coming out of the clouds, the Heavenly Electrician has decided to shock Ceiling Cat by a true Journeyman's tour d'force...

    Beware if your hair starts to stand on end, for you are next in the flight path.

  51. Steve Evans


    ...nose I believe.

    Looks like a bit of on the road repair was carried out, and the pliers left on the top (sky) camera.

    I know, how boring, lets go back to the Vogon constructor fleet theory.

  52. Willum08

    I Wonder.....

    Could they have been thrown from Downing Street ?? Makes a change from flying mobile phones...........

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