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Saturday, July 21, 2007

I win!

Well, the tenth time was the charm: last week's Unidentified Earth location has remained Unidentified, which means I win, and therefore I get all your Quatloo's. Heh!

As for the solution, the two hints probably weren't as helpful -- but the second one, referring to the movie that used that location coming out in 1969, pinpoints my favorite James Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The location is Piz Gloria, a revolving restaurant that sits atop the Schilthorn in the Swiss Alps. In the movie, Piz Gloria was the hideout of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, where he was masquerading as "Count Balthasar de Bleuchamp", and using Piz Gloria as a facility for "allergy research". (Turns out he was really developing a biological weapon for his next diabolical scheme.)

The construction of Piz Gloria was actually partly funded by the film's production company, in exchange for exclusive filming rights. As you look at the Google satellite, shot, the round conical shape is the roof of the restaurant, while the circular platform off to the left (connected by walkway) is a helipad. Piz Gloria is also accessible by cable car from below.

I think the location was also obfuscated a bit by virtue of the location having been apparently imaged during summer, when the Alps are quite a bit less snowy, except on their shadowed north faces. The almost "lunar" look to the location helped make it a lot different from in the film, when it's all snow as far as the eye can see (which it had to have been, really, since James Bond could hardly have escaped from Piz Gloria on skis had it been otherwise).

So there you go.

1 comment:

Red said...

OK. I've learned a few things from my attempts to identify "Unidentified Earth 10." The first is that what looks like clear blue water may actually be snow in shadow.

Second, listen to my Dad when after 3 seconds of contemplation he says "That looks like it's in the Alps..."

Third, I need to get a sense of proportion. What exactly can 10000 Quatloos really buy that would warrant spending at 10 hours this week with Google Earth muttering to myself?

And last, I seem to have a new obsession that will require careful handling. Thanks for the fun, Kelly!