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TUCoPS :: Phreaking Public Phones :: mojave.txt

The Mojave Phone Booth

                          The Mojave Phone Booth
                             Written By Kyle D

A payphone number list... almost all phreak sites have one. But there is
one payphone that sets itself apart from the others, the Mojave Phone.
Supposedly the most desolate booth in the world this booth sits in the
middle of the desert and is labeled the "loneliest phone". This phone
has struck such an interest, people from around the world have called it
just to see if anyone would pick up. Some of those who do answer are
previous callers who, for some unknown reason that makes sense only to
them, also feel compelled to visit the booth. "For us," wrote
screenwriter Chuck Atkins of his recent trek to the booth, "it was about
driving into nowhere for no good reason, meeting fellow netizens who
shared our sense of childish glee at the coolness of a phone booth in
the middle of nowhere."

The craze began two years ago after a high-desert wanderer noticed a
telephone icon on a Mojave road map. Curious, he drove out from Los
Angeles to investigate and wrote a letter to a counterculture magazine
describing his exploits and including the phone number. After spotting
the letter, computer entrepreneur Godfrey Daniels became so captivated
by the idea he created the first of several Web sites dedicated solely
to the battered booth. Since then word of the phone has been beamed to
computers virtually everywhere. Its has evolved into a worldwide
listening post. Fans have taken the neglected old booth under their
wing. Outside, they've posted a sign that reads "Mojave Phone Both - you
could shoot it, but why would you want to?" Next to that is another card
reading: "If you call it, they will come."

Rick Karr, a 51-year-old spiritual wanderer, has no Web site, but says
he was instructed by the Holy Spirit to travel to the desert and answer
the phone. The Texas native recently spent 32 days camping out at the
booth, fielding more then 500 calls from people like Bubba in Phoenix ,
Ariz., and Ian in Newfoundland and repeated contacts from a caller who
identified himself as "Sgt. Zeno from the Pentagon." "This phone," he
said with a weary sigh, "never stops ringing."

While she would not provide the statistics, a Pacific Bell spokeswoman
said the phone experienced "very low outgoing usage." Still, the booth
is sometimes used by locals to conduct business or check messages.
University of California, Los Angeles sociologist Warren TenHouten
stated "Some people just have nothing to do, so they pursue shreds of
information that have no value. It amuses me, but there's something
pitiful about it too. I mean, what's the most interesting thing that
could happen by being so mischievous as to call a public pay phone?"

               Web sites that feature the Mojave phone booth:


                 Mojave phone booth number: (760) 733-9969

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