Starfish decoy sites were built during WW2 and used light and fire to divert nightime German bombers away from their intended targets. The starfish decoy site built on Guisborough Moor was one of a number to built to protect industrial targets in Teesside.
Starfish sites were large scale night-time decoys created during The Blitz to simulate burning British cities. The aim was to divert night bombers from their intended targets so they would drop their ordnance over the countryside. The sites were an extension of Colonel John Turner's decoy programme for airfields and factories (code named "Q" Sites). Following the bombing, and near destruction, of Coventry in November 1940, Turner was tasked with creating decoys for 7 major cities. Turner referred to the new sites as "Special Fire" or "SF". However, one early site (near Bristol) was given the name "Starfish", which subsequently became used for all of the decoys. The sites were constructed around 4 miles (6.4 km) from their protection target, and at least 1 mile (1.6 km) from any other settlement. They consisted of elaborate light arrays and fires, controlled from a nearby bunker and laid out to simulate a fire-bombed town. By the end of the war there were 237 decoys protecting 81 towns and cities around the country. (Wikipedia)