MAKHTESH GADOL, ISRAEL–Our primary field area on this trip is near Dimona, Israel. Outside the town is a famous facility with domed buildings and a very well guarded fence, complete with cameras and razor wire. My Israeli friends tell me that it is a top secret ice cream research complex.
Part of the security for the production of all this “ice cream” is a tethered blimp which rises high above the desert, presumably carrying loads of cameras and other remote sensing devices. Today we saw it being slowly reeled out, first rising as a startling image on the horizon of the makhtesh, and then almost disappearing in the distant sky. We waved hello.