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In a town dominated by secrets, the untold story behind the National Radio Quiet Zone


Driving through the twists and turns of the National Radio Quiet Zone, there are plenty of signs for what the U.S. government wants you to see. Towering above the mountains is Green Bank, the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope.
Cell phones and Wi-Fi are restricted in this 13,000 square mile area to limit interference with telescope’s work listening to galaxies light years away. And for many who visit or choose to stay, that ability to disconnect is part of the lure.
“It’s very quiet and peaceful,” explained Robert Crider, who works in Harrisonburg but lives near Sugar Grove.
It was the spark that led journalist Stephen Kurczy to the region starting in 2016 to write his book, ‘The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence.’
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