In Green Bank, West Virginia, population 143, the only thing eerier than the silence is the strange white truck, outfitted with giant rooftop antennas, that coasts up and down the streets of the rural town like a high-tech ghost ship.
Also known as the Quietest Town in America, Green Bank sits at the heart of the USA’s National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area straddling the mountainous border of Virginia and West Virginia. Within this zone, all broadcast transmissions are highly regulated, and once you get to Green Bank itself, the dial goes entirely silent. It’s a place whose few residents exist at both ends of the technological continuum: there’s a high concentration of scientists, as well as those looking to escape digital life altogether.
You can blame aliens. Sort of.