UK-based Zimbabwean millionaire buys 25ft tall Cold War era radar system to ‘hunt UFOs’
- William Sachiti bought a former Royal Air Force base in Norwich, England
- It uses the 250,000 square foot stretch to test its self-driving delivery cars
- On the ground is a decommissioned radar system used to detect incoming nuclear weapons
- Sachiti posted on Reddit asking the public for ideas on how to use it
- He said if the public wants to use him to hunt UFOs, then he will hunt UFOs
While most millionaires spend their fortunes on expensive cars and fancy boats, William Sachiti used his fortune to buy a Cold War-era radar station in Norwich, England.
Sachiti, who is a British entrepreneur, bought a 250,000 square foot network of private roads to test his “alien-looking spacecraft” autonomous vehicles, but the radar system was an added bonus.
‘UFOs obviously,’ he jokingly told DailyMail.com in response to being asked what he planned to do with the gigantic 25-foot-tall machine that once alerted the British Army to the arrival of nuclear missiles.
“I’ll find a way to bring this to life and let people choose how best to use it,” he said.
The massive system is located on Royal Air Force Neatishead, an air defense station in England.
In 2010 it was advertised for sale with an asking price of $4,780,000 – Sachiti declined to say how much he paid for the location.
During a Zoom interview, Sachiti gave DailyMail.com a close look at the coveted radar system which is around 65ft wide and sits on a tall pedestal.
“This thing could do for others what Star Trek did for me when I was a kid,” he said, noting that it will take about two years to get the radar system up and running.
He reached out his hand Redditto help bring it back to life, which he says is part of his belief in the power of crowdsourcing.
Sachiti is a roboticist, artificial intelligence expert and serial entrepreneur who uses his free time to solve the world’s problems, he told DailyMail.com.
His most prized possession, however, is his company Kar-go, which uses self-driving cars to deliver packages.
“Think of it as a post office sorter on wheels. He goes to an address, opens his trunk and pulls out a package,’ Sachiti said, sharing a look at the little green robotic machine with DailyMail.com.
“He only delivers small packages because they represent 80% of the packages shipped.”
The self-driving four-wheeled vehicle sits low to the ground and features an aerodynamic look colored in green and black, as well as a front and rear license plate.
Sachiti told DailyMail.com it’s not just the vehicle he’s focused on, it’s the supercomputer’s “brain” inside.
The system is used by the Royal Air Force and by a company that monitors 25% of UK roads.
“They use our automotive vision to detect potholes and depth,” he said.
Elon Musk’s Tesla announced on Monday that its vehicles now scan for potholes – a feature that came much later than Sachiti’s.
He also gave DailyMail.com a tour of his “space bus”, which is a mobile office and car shop for engineers to work on autonomous vehicles.
It used to run on diesel, but Sachiti redesigned it to use only the power of the sun.
The highlight of the bus is a chair with a steering wheel on the back, which resembles the one seen in the arcades.
The chair allows engineers to take control of self-driving vehicles and drive them onto the bus for work.
While his team tests the vehicles along the roads, Sachiti plans to breathe new life into the radar system, which was part of an early warning system intended to alert the British military if nuclear missiles were coming.
Known as the AMES Type 84 radar, this operated from 1962 to 1994 and emitted microwaves to detect nuclear weapons.
Sachiti does not plan to use it for its original purpose, but rather hopes that audiences can find a task more suited to the modern world.
“My expensive hobby will be finding UFOs,” Sachiti said. “If that’s what the world wants, who am I to judge.”