TOOELE, Utah -- It’s like a treasure hunt, but instead of gold, there’s a giant concrete arrow waiting to be found.
“I found a 121 of them,” boasts a smiling Charlotte Smith. She and her husband Brian started looking for the slabs shortly after they retired.
“I just felt interested in it,” Smith added. “It fascinates me that this technology existed back in the 1920’s, and no one knows about it.”
The technology Smith speaks of, is what the arrows were used for.
“The beacons and arrows were typically 25 miles apart,” said Steve Durtschi, who has flown planes for the past 30 years. “If you could see the next beacon from the one you were at then you would push and you would keep flying to the next one and the next one. The arrows were sort of scattered between the beacons to keep you on course.”
Durtschi is talking about the U.S. postal pilots who flew threw the country in the 1920’s without sophisticated radar or radio to navigate them. They would use the arrows and beacon lights instead.
“Those pilots would push on in weather we wouldn’t even think about flying in,” Durtschi smirked.
The Smiths weren’t the first to find them after years of being neglected.
“When I started looking, I only found three on the internet,” Smith said. However, the former genealogy researcher started scouring Google Earth trying to find more. The couple just recently finished a 6,000 mile road trip where they went to take pictures of all the arrows and beacons they discovered.
“I’ve been to a couple of these that are hidden,” Smith said. “They are on the top of nothing, there’s no roads, nothing.”
The couple’s website maps out all the GPS locations for each state where they’ve spotted arrows or towers so far.