CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Driving into a remote location and seeing your cellphone signal slowly dissipate is not a comforting feeling for many of us.
For others, it is the definition of comfort.
The community of Green Bank in Pocahontas County is home to the world's largest fully directional radio telescope and several smaller ones.
The big dishes led to the area being designated as a "National Radio Quiet Zone," with electromagnetic transmissions largely forbidden to prevent interference.
"The signals that radio astronomers are trying to receive are astronomically weak," said Mike Holstine, business manager for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
"They've traveled such a great distance through space. Generally, the signal has about the same energy as that given off by a single snowflake hitting the ground."
That's because of its lack of cell towers, wireless Internet and microwaves.
Diane Schou was one of the first of such people to move into the area after she came to believe a cell tower near her former home in Iowa was making her sick.
"In 2002, they built a cell tower about a third of a mile away from our home," she said. "Nine months later, I was extremely tired. Extremely tired.
"My vision changed. I couldn't read. My skin became wrinkled. I thought I was just aging. I had a rash - I thought it was something I ate. I got a headache."
She tried getting away from the area. When she did so, her symptoms went away. When she came home, the symptoms came back. She tried going to a park but developed symptoms there, too. She soon discovered a cell tower not far from the park.
"That's when we knew for sure it was that tower," Schou said.
She went to the doctor. His advice? Move.
She became aware of the Green Bank area - a place free from electronic emissions. Now, she has been joined by more than three dozen others who find themselves in similar situations.
"Someone may be harmed by a cell tower, a cellphone, by Wi-Fi at their work," Schou said. "There are many different types of emissions or frequencies.
"Another could be affected by a USB, power supply, a computer, an iPad, microwave, large power lines, a little watch that runs with a battery. There are so many different triggers."