October 31, 2013

Coast Guard confirms Google involvement in mystery barge

Later, the agency says it can neither confirm nor deny the connection and says it has signed a non-disclosure agreement.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

and Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

The barge holding a four-story structure made of shipping containers sits Monday in Portland Harbor. There are signs it may be a floating data center for Internet giant Google.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

The barge holding a four-story structure made of shipping containers sits Monday in Portland Harbor. There are signs it may be a floating data center for Internet giant Google.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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Interactive: clues to the mystery barge
 
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According to vessel registration records, the barges in Portland and San Francisco are owned by a Delaware company called By and Large LLC. The company owns four barges, BAL0001, BAL0010, BAL0011 and BAL0100.

In the binary code system used by computer programmers, the last four digits of each of the four registration numbers spell out “one,” two,” “three” and “four.” The barge in Portland is BAL0011, apparently code for “barge number three.”

That barge is at Rickers Wharf, on Portland’s western waterfront, so Cianbro Corp. can install undisclosed technological equipment in the structure. Even Cianbro workers on the project aren’t being told about the structure’s purpose.

The Coast Guard’s Prevention Department must be made aware of all vessels coming into or out of the harbor to ensure that nothing aboard poses a threat or danger. The Coast Guard logs the names of the vessels and their owners, but log nothing further unless an inspection is required, Ingham said.

“As of now, no work has been done on the vessel (in Portland Harbor), so there has been no need of an inspection,” Ingham said. “Since nothing has actually been done, there’s really no involvement from us at this time. Once they do start doing it, the one in San Francisco will be done.”

And by then, perhaps, the mystery will be solved.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: @scottddolan

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