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U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, white-maned, and alternately searching either the heavens or his prepared text for each phrasing, orated on stage to an adoring flock of about 1000 West Virginians and out-of-staters.

In the backgrond and tucked amid verdant mountains in the midst of the 33,700 square kilometer National Radio Quiet Zone in Pocahontas County (where cell phones go dead and fixed radio transmitters have limitations on power use, to keep the air clear for receiving extraterrestrial frequencies), a white paintedradio telescope simultaneously squatted and reached for the sky.