NEW MEXICO – On a scale of one to ten, my interest in the unexplained is definitely a ten. So when I learned of plans for a conference debating the existence of a secret military base jointly operated by extraterrestrials and the U.S. government near Dulce, New Mexico, my attendance was a foregone conclusion.
I had read and heard rumors about this secret base for years. The rumors began after a 29-kiloton nuclear explosive was detonated at a depth of 4,222 feet near the Archuletta Mesa on the Jicarilla Apache Indian reservation near Dulce in 1967. The detonation was an experiment jointly conducted by U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the U.S. Department of the Interior (Bureau of Mines) and the El Paso Natural Gas Company, and was known as Operation Plowshare. Part of the Atoms for Peace program, the experiment itself was dubbed Project Gasbuggy. According to a December 22, 1967 story in Time Magazine, the official explanation for Project Gasbuggy was that it was intended to produce underground routes for an estimated 300 trillion cubic feet of gas flow. Unfortunately, according to an August 29, 1959 follow-up report in Time, the explosion resulted in only a minor gas yield, worth less than the cost of the explosive. More important, the gas released from Project Gasbuggy was too radioactive for use.
By the mid-1970s, reports of unusual military activity, UFO sightings, higher-than-normal cancer rates, decreased fertility in women and cattle mutilations in the area had begun to surface. In 1980, physicist Paul Bennowitz, then president of the Thunder Scientific Labs adjacent to Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, made claims that extraterrestrials were transmitting signals to him from a base hidden underneath Archuleta Mesa just north of Dulce. At the same time, Bennowitz also investigated the case of a New Mexico woman named Myrna Hansen, who reported having been abducted by extraterrestrials near Cimarron and taken to an underground facility consisting of laboratories, high-velocity transportation vehicles traveling through underground tunnels, high-tech computing areas and cooperative activities between groups of extraterrestrials and humans. Hansen described seeing cattle being drained of their blood and vats containing both human and animal body parts.
By the 1980s, illustrations of a seven-level facility operated with self-sustaining magnetic energy, along with detailed descriptions of gruesome human-alien-animal biogenetic experiments and government cooperation with extraterrestrials were distributed to scientific and UFO researchers around the world. At about the same time, sinister rumors surfaced concerning the mysterious disappearance (or death) of Thomas Edwin Castello, who claimed he had worked as a security officer at the Dulce base, and that a revolt by human workers at the base in 1979 resulted in nearly 100 human and extraterrestrial deaths. The revolt, known as The Dulce War, has been detailed in a number of books and publications.
Armed with this factual and rumored data, cameras, laptop and a high level of curiosity, I set off for Dulce and the underground base conference at the Best Western Jicarilla Inn. The conference was hosted by Norio Hayakawa, a UFO researcher from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Hayakawa’s goal for the conference was to determine whether an underground base at Dulce really exists.
Nearly 130 people from as far away as Hawaii and New York attended the conference –– more than three times the number expected. High-profile UFO and exopolitical experts such as Dr. Michael Salla, Dennis Balthaser and Gregg Bishop presented both pro and con arguments concerning the base. They were joined by eyewitnesses, law enforcement officers and local residents, all of whom presented credible and convincing testimony. In addition to the rumors about the base which have circulated for more than 30 years, new evidence and theories surfaced which provided lively discussion and much food for thought.
There were also low-flying military helicopters which slowly circled the hotel on the morning of the conference. According to local residents, seeing military aircraft in Dulce is not totally unheard of; however, what appeared to be close-up surveillance of cars in the hotel parking lot left many conference participants apprehensive.
Area rancher Edmund Gomez spoke first, explaining how the Dulce mystery began in 1976 when he discovered mutilated cattle and found physical evidence of classified military activities on his ranch. He also discovered an air vent emerging from the Archuleta Mesa –– the first concrete evidence that something exists under the mesa. Eventually, dismayed by continued cattle losses and the mysterious disappearance of evidence he collected, Gomez said he felt forced to vacate his ranch.
Former New Mexico State Patrol officer Gabe Valdez also told of investigating cattle mutilations during the 1970s and 1980s. Although declaring they were not connected to either UFOs or aliens, Valdez alluded to other explanations which he described as “too sensitive for discussion.”
Gregg Bishop, author of “Project Beta,” a 2005 book detailing the claims of Paul Bennowitz, said he initially believed military disinformation precipitated the rumors of a secret alien-military underground base at Dulce. Bishop then admitted that recent insider information and additional research, along with the Gomez air vent discovery, make him doubt his previous skepticism. He said he now accepts the possibility of a Base at Dulce.
Expanding on astrophysicist Jacques F. Vallee's research relating to sidereal time and interdimensional wormholes, Keith Ealy then presented a theory involving a time-space portal as explanation for the many UFO sightings and other unexplained events near the Archuletta Mesa –– a theory unexpectedly supported by Hayakawa.
Hawaii-based exopoliticist Dr. Michael Salla spoke next, strongly advocating serious investigation of eyewitness and whistleblower testimony supporting the Dulce rumors, citing claims of human rights abuses and detailed descriptions of the 1979 gun battle at the underground base. Although he also suspects deliberate government disinformation is responsible for some of the rumors, Salla believes there is an underground base jointly operated by the U.S. military and extraterrestrials at Dulce.
Highly-regarded UFO and Area 51 investigator Dennis Balthaser agreed with Salla, concluding that an underground facility at Dulce not only exists, but that its existence corroborates much of the UFO activity in New Mexico. Balthaser also shared his belief that government disclosure is not forthcoming because it would involve an admission that the military is unable to understand or control vastly-advanced extraterrestrial technology.
Perhaps the most powerful testimony at the conference came from retired Dulce police officer Gabe Julian who emotionally described his feelings of powerlessness when attempting to do his job in the face of UFO activities in the area. He told of three UFO craft seen by himself, his police backup and multiple other witnesses –– and of not being believed. Trained in police science and forensics at Western New Mexico University where he was on the dean's list, with additional training as a firefighter and EMT, Julian expressed his frustration at being unprepared and unable to protect his community, despite all his training. Other local people also came forward to describe their UFO, cattle mutilation and military-intrigue experiences, with a Dulce teacher noting that UFOs and aliens are often found in the stories and artwork of local children.
My personal eye-opener occurred when a native-American man quietly showed me about 20 photographs contained in an old, worn photo processing envelope. Shot from several different angles, the pictures showed gruesome images of a grotesque creature. The creature had what looked like an “unfinished” human head, with lumps and hair on it, but without any definite features like eyes or ears, as well as appendages which looked like human arm stumps and small slender legs like those of a baby deer. What looked like a long black “tail” emerged from a darkened opening centered at the rear of the creature.
While no official conclusion was reached at the conference, it ended with overwhelming agreement that serious additional investigations into the Dulce mystery should be undertaken, and that close-up surveillance of cars at the conference by unmarked helicopters was unnerving. Strong beliefs that disclosure of governmental activities in the area is overdue were also expressed. Conference host Norio Hayakawa indicated his willingness to hold more conferences as new information is gathered; however, some Jicarilla Apache residents expressed misgivings about having more people disrupt their homeland.
With plenty of time on the drive home to consider all I had seen and heard at the conference, any doubts I had regarding the Dulce rumors disappeared. While I was persuaded by powerful witness testimony, what really did it for me were the military helicopters and the photographs. The images in those pictures remain with me and trouble my dreams, and I find myself considering the acquisition of a new license plate. Rumor or not, I believe SOMETHING is going on in or near the Archuletta Mesa at Dulce, New Mexico.
Those who wish to know more about the mysteries surrounding the alleged secret alien-government underground base at Dulce will find more than a half-million Internet sites devoted to the subject.
* Janet Sailor resides in Angel Fire, New Mexico, where she owns Access Media and is president of the non-profit organization Alliance Studying Paranormal Experiences (ASPE).
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