A view inside the Battlebox

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 21:41

Source: This image came from Flickr, see https://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=10585830285

Date picture taken


In http://gwulo.com/battle-box-hong-kong David quotes Mac talking about his visits to the abandoned Battle Box when he was a youngster in the mid 70’s to 80’s. Mac recalls that in one of the rooms, “there was a sheet of glass standing upright in the centre with an outline map of Hong Kong Island, Stonecutters and Kowloon.”


The photo above appears to have been taken through a transparent glass sheet or wall with an outline map in the top left corner. I wonder if it’s the same room and map that Mac remembers?


Comparison of the outline on the glass map with other maps reveals it’s almost certainly of the Guangdong coastline from Macau (seen in part at the top edge of the photo, just to the right of centre) westwards to Hailing Island (the Island marked on the map nearest to the left edge of the photo).


Markings on the glass map show it had been used to track the movements of something labelled “FO4/1/26”. The plot starts in the waters just to the south of Macau and follows an irregular route in a south-easterly direction. As its course was entirely over water, I presume it was a ship or airplane. I wonder exactly what it was and why it was being tracked from the Battle Box?

What you say about the glass screen with the map makes sense,  but if you ever get an answer to your question I shall be amazed. You will see,  from the other thread,  that I have been trying to get answers for years,  but the secrecy that surrounds the Battle Box is unbelievable!!



Having zoomed in again on the glass map, I now think the lines plotted on it represent the courses of two moving objects, not one.

The one labelled “FO4/1/26” starts south of Macau and, according to the direction arrows marked on it, moves first towards the SSE, then to the SE, then changes to an almost due E direction, until turning sharply to the NNW.

Meanwhile, the other plotted course starts near the right edge of the photo, and according to its direction arrow, proceeds towards Macau to the NW until very near the first line, at a position marked “J” on the map. The second line then closes slightly towards, and finally intersects with, the first line. Both lines then stop.

I wonder if the two lines represent the movements of two vessels? If so, the first vessel changed direction three times, each of which took it nearer to the second vessel until they finally met. In contrast, the second vessel had sailed in almost a straight line directly towards Macau, until the slight change of direction just before the two vessels met.

It seems to me that the first vessel was moving faster than the second and searching for it. On seeing the second vessel, the first closed towards it until needing to execute a sharp turn to come along side and intercept it.

Bearing in mind the two vessels were being tracked from the Hong Kong Battle Box, I presume they were not involved in a routine manoeuvre such as a pilot boat delivering a pilot to a large ship about to enter the Port of Macau. So if this was not a routine manoeuvre, what was it and why were the occupants of the Hong Kong Battle Box tracking it?

Another interesting observation is that the arc of part of a circle, the sort that normally indicates a fixed distance from the focal point of a map, is marked on the glass map. Estimating from the curvature of the circumference line, its centre is near the mainland part of Macau. I wonder why the occupants of the Hong Kong Battle Box were focusing their interest on Macau?

No answers, just more questions.