While planning our trip to Easter Island I picked up a copy of “A Companion To Easter Island” by James Grant Peterkin. I had been in touch with James and ordered the book from him directly. (James would also end up being our guide for two of our days on EI)
While reading the book, I came across an odd site that I was interested in visiting. It was very different from the other sites around Easter Island. It was an old NASA Facility that was opened in 1983. The photo in the companion guide reminded me of something that belonged in the TV series Lost!
I found Easter Island an odd place for the United States to put a NASA site.
According to the guide book the site was built by NASA “to monitor seismic activity in the Pacific Ocean, measuring the movement of the tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s crust. Easter Island sits on the edge of the Nazca plate and creeps approximately 15 centimeters closer to the South American mainland each year.”
We ended up visiting the NASA Facility on our last day on Easter Island and found the site by mistake.
I was driving back from a long day of site seeing around the island and we decided to take a road through the interior which we had not been on before. I was keeping my eyes on the road when Kim happened to notice what she thought was the NASA site. I immediately stopped and turned around to go check it out.
Although there wasn’t much to see at the NASA Facility I was really glad that we had found it. The facility consisted of a few buildings- all painted a dull green. It was pretty interesting to see but I really wondered what was doing inside of the buildings. The facility was surrounded by a fence so we couldn’t go directly up to the buildings which was a bit annoying.
I am not sure if the site is still used but from the looks of the area I’d guess that it wasn’t.
If you’re planning a trip to Easter Island I definitely recommend that you pick up a copy of the guidebook: A Companion Guide To Easter Island.