SBX sailaway update: Floating radar leaves Seattle

(UPDATED Saturday night, as we keep getting photos, including one night shot from Port Townsend)

(Added 12:42 pm)
11:51 AM: The Missile Defense Agency would only say, when confirming Friday that its SBX (“big white ball” Sea-Based X-Band Radar dome that’s been on Harbor Island for three months) would leave Seattle today, that its movement would be “in daylight hours.” We’ve been watching in lieu of staking out Harbor Island all day – and the tracking on that site suggests SBX and accompanying tugboats are now under way. Off to check. Let us know if you’re seeing it.

12:21 PM: Commenters confirmed it, and now we can too – it’s definitely moving out, albeit very slowly, so it’ll likely be visible from West Seattle shores for a few hours; it hasn’t even rounded Duwamish Head yet.

3:51 PM: It’s close to being out of Elliott Bay – off Magnolia at last report. Bob A. sends this view from North Admiral:

Thanks to everyone who’s sent photos – just going through them now!


From Craig, taken from the Admiral Way Bridge:

From Melanie Dixon, the SBX with the West Seattle Water Taxi (check the crowd on deck):

From John M:

From Brian Presser of TouchTech Systems, a distant night view from Port Townsend:

And still a few more to come …

14 Replies to "SBX sailaway update: Floating radar leaves Seattle"

  • Michael Stusser August 20, 2011 (11:58 am)

    Oh, it’s moving alright! Sad to see the giant oracle go…

  • Diane August 20, 2011 (1:11 pm)

    glad it’s slow going; I’m heading down to the beach now

  • Aman August 20, 2011 (3:26 pm)

    At 3:27 p.m. it is currently across from Elliott Bay Marina center channel in Elliott Bay.

  • jasong August 20, 2011 (3:28 pm)

    Came into view from Alki Beach 20min ago, now past Magnolia and moving at a pretty good clip.

  • Ed August 20, 2011 (3:40 pm)

    It is almost to Magnolia now…it is moving pretty slow.

  • Fred August 20, 2011 (9:31 pm)

    I saw it in the water near Point No Point (Hansville) This evening about 7pm. 2 tugs and Coast Guard escort. Very cool.

  • Kristina Noir August 21, 2011 (1:26 pm)

    Sad I missed its exit. I liked that thing. I felt the need to tell everyone about it. Nerdy goodness.

    • WSB August 21, 2011 (1:40 pm)

      “Nerdy goodness,” nice. That’s sort of how we felt about it. It had an odd attraction … like, looking back a few decades, Devil’s Tower in “Close Encounters” … wonder if anyone ever sketched it, or replicated it in their mashed potatoes … Just kidding. Sorta. – TR

  • Brian August 22, 2011 (9:29 am)

    I’m glad this floating symbol of unsustainable military deficit spending is leaving.

  • Professor Mobiius August 22, 2011 (9:31 am)

    I wonder why they leave now…

    ‘confidence high’ as they say in the movies?

    or perhaps, a bit to high…

    it will return, just a hunch… or maybe vanish into the sea? I hear the Jellyfish have been getting together and going after the Nuclear Plants?

    Anyways – I don’t know anyone who is fond of big weapons these days…

  • Brian Bundridge August 22, 2011 (12:34 pm)

    I actually saw it from the ferry in the third photo! I have a few photos if you all wanna see it.

  • Grendel August 22, 2011 (5:51 pm)

    Why didn’t they paint a nice smiley face on it?

  • Brynda August 24, 2011 (2:34 pm)

    Someone sent me a link to this article when this thing first arrived in port. Incredibly interesting. After reading the article we would joke about whether the earthquakes would start up again when it left. Curiously, they have. Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but that is one weird coincidence.

  • VBD August 25, 2011 (8:35 am)

    Brynda, please. It says right in the article that the SBX is an X-band radar. What makes you think it can generate anything like what is being claimed? HAARP is a research facility in Alaska. SBX is a floating radar platform. They are not even remotely similar in purpose or appearance.

    Even IF electromagnetic waves could induce earthquakes (which they can’t) the SBX does not produce that frequency. What is does produce, unsurprisingly, is X-band microwaves.

    The article is pure baloney, designed to lure the uninformed into false belief, and spur mistrust in our government. Our leaders have done plenty of genuine things to garner mistrust. No need to make this stuff up.

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