According to a freedom of information request made by a journalist in 2010 a number of secret social experiments were tried out on the Irish public by a market research company on behalf of the Irish State between 1996 and 1998. We also know from this that they came to Carrick-on-Shannon in June 1998 and worked for a three month period. We can only speculate on what they got up to while they were here but the only evidence said to be left of them today is a mysterious truck trailer which can still be seen at the side of a road surrounded by a security fence. It can be located just outside the town opposite the North West Business & Technology Park (which is pretty empty of business and technology these days) which wouldn’t have even been built at the time.
The company involved would probably have set up a number of experiments in the town and its environs but the truck container aspect appears to be a variation on a pretty standard test. After bringing the trailer to this location and setting up some obstacles such as the fence they would have installed a number of hidden cameras to observe how many people were drawn to it and how far they would go to investigate what was inside. The colour they chose for it is also said to be a recognized trigger pattern which can get into your mind and for some subjects even enter their dreams. Finding out how much physical reality each person filters out of their reality tunnel is part of the experiment so even registering its presence tells them something as a good percentage would never even see it. Why it was left behind is a bit of a mystery though. Rust has been attacking it and trees are already growing around it so it will soon be out of sight to the public for real. What’s in the trailer today, probably nothing or maybe everything! (Stephen Rennicks)