Short reach of prototype blackout Edit
The boy was outside the field made by the towers.
Crow Theory Edit
Crows have a deeper connection to the Flashforwards than originally anticipated. They are seen near D. Gibbons in the doll factory, and the "smoke" (which could also be a flame) seems to be in the shape of a crow in flight,.
Smoke is atmospheric effect Edit
The 'smoke' could be an atmospheric effect of the time displacement.
The satellite images are fake Edit
The satellite images were provided by a Mr. Cheeto Dust, someone we know nothing about. He was probably contacted using a computer network and supplied his results in the same way. Computer networks are, however, prone to attacks, as both, D. Gibbons and the story of the photographs origin, demonstrate. So, in a nutshell, the pictures are from a very untrustworthy source.
If someone forged the photographs, the FBI and/or Simon were meant to find the towers. If they were meant for the Mosaic team, they are probably meant to lure them to Somalia. If they are meant for Simon to find, there purpose is probably to distract him from something else or as a way for him to gain respect within the FBI. After all, Wedeck did say he'd think about a permanent role for Simon if he proves useful.
As a nice side effect, this theory explains why there are pictures of something that was invented in 1992 in photographs taken in 1991. Extra credit: 100% time-travel free! ;)
Look like Microwave TowersEdit
It could perhaps be that they built a set of towers somewhere remote to test with, and that they are not different from regular microwave towers (which exist all over the world).
From the latest episodes, it is revealed that the towers are afterburners for a proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration experiment for a linear accelerator. When fired, they can create so much energy that it literally sends a wave across the globe. If this were combined with another wave of some sort, like one coming from NLAP, it could send a shockwave through your consciousness and send it to a given time in the future. There are most likely more towers around the world for security reasons.