There is something about the desert. There is something about places unknown and outside of our daily endeavor– vast mountain ranges, the oceans, the desert. Outside of our vision we imagine all sorts of terrible things. It is not surprising that the remaining and most intriguing mysteries of our planet reside in these largely inaccessible area. The Bermuda Triangle is a mystery of the sea; Bigfoot and Yeti are denizens of the high mountains and deep forests. Aliens reside under the desert. It’s like the old mariner charts. Beyond the charted seas there was only one warning: “Here be dragons.” Where we cannot see, we imagine the worst things to be. The unknown is not only mysterious. It is frightening.
Logically, however, it works the other way as well. If there are truly intriguing mysteries remaining in this world, then logically they can only be where we do not daily tread– the sea, the high mountains and deep forests, and the desert landscapes.
The desert is one of the oldest badlands of mystery and terror. Satan dwelt in the wilderness and had to be appeased in ancient times. Incubus came from the desert.
Today it is “aliens.” They not only are said to have bases underneath the American southwest, they are in the central desert of Australia. The desert is alluring. Hot breezes dry the sweat on your brow. The wind speaks in many odd ways. Joshua trees wobble a little with the hot desert breath. Then it is silent again. Like the sea, the wind is the only thing that gives animation to the desert. It then returns to mimic suspension.
Joshua Trees are one of my favorites. My mom loved them as well. The picture that heads this post was taken by her a long time ago during WWII when she was stationed at Muroc AFB– later named Edwards AFB. There is something truly enticing about such a landscape.
Perhaps it is the legend of the Rosswell Incident that has made the desert the beehive of alien earth bases. But ultimately, it is our instinct to believe there be dragons where we cannot see and where our maps end.
For these dragons, we have conceived them to be some humanoid insect– gray and green, big insect eyes and head, thin, lightweight arms and legs. It is based on the earliest theories. Radar and theodolite trackings declared these unusual silvery discs were capable of high speeds and sudden, even right angle maneuvers. Only something insect-like could survive those. We didn’t have theories of flying saucers traveling in their own magnetic fields yet, so the “spaceships” were viewed as being more conventionally powered. It took some kind of bug creature to withstand pulling 20 Gs.
A new legend developed. I won’t say myth because there is a kernel of truth.
The kernel begins with bona fide sightings. Silvery discs have been seen, filmed, and reported by very reliable witnesses. Reports began en mass in 1947. Officially they were never identified. Within the annals of mystery, the category of Unidentified Flying Objects begins. Add to this the hypnotic deserts of the Southwest and the image of small little “grays” running about at night. Their saucers, of course, are buried in mountainside bases. The legend of alien colonization is with us. We seem to like the legend. By contrast the truth is bland– silver discs in the atmosphere.
The deserts of the Southwest team with strange lights. Many have seen them. We have secret bases out there ourselves, all of them isolated because of the type of work they do. That’s the only reason why anybody would want to be in the desert wilderness. They don’t want company. Before “UFOs” became such a pariah, many of those working out there reported tracking such silver discs. They were level-headed scientists and military personnel. These provide the backbone of the modern legend of aliens preferring the desert wastes and vastness.
For example, personnel at White Sands missile testing area reported more than a few of them and even tracked a couple with a theodolite. A famous example of this information being released was in March 1950 when Commander John McLaughlin wrote of their sightings there in True Magazine. He is the first to openly suggest insects. The scientific “wise guys” in Washington loved to speculate on this. Robert Sarbarcher, noted physicist, picked up on the conversations and even told Canadian scientist Wilbert Smith. He, in turn, electrified Canadian physicists. Everybody was sure Washington knew more. The flying saucers existed, he wrote. No one denied that at the Pentagon. It was the most highly classified secret in Washington.
The publishing of McLaughlin’s article was a rare moment, no doubt made acceptable because Washington believed these saucers were real and that they would soon be openly confirmed as coming from Russians or perhaps even outer space. Remember, we did not know that Mars and Venus were not inhabited, so it seemed theoretically possible if there were civilizations there that life could come to Earth in space ships.
Such an open minded attitude in the upper echelons, even if theirs was acquired reluctantly, soon shifted to concealment and denial. Flying saucers were illusionary or hoaxes. There was nothing to worry about. This is the official attitude today. It is a bold attitude if saucers truly exist. Washington’s establishment would have no excuse to justify their skepticism. Are they right? Flying saucers simply do not exist?
In the public forum such a-alienism is the extreme end of the spectrum. The other represents the most sensationalistic– complete belief in almost supernatural beings telepathically communicating with mankind for some higher purpose– usually to rid us of our most current evils. During the Cold War, they were going to help save us from nuclear holocaust; now, today, it is from a global corporate conspiracy.
None of this, however, does away with the beginning. Unexplained silvery “ovoids” were tracked, spotted, and filmed. They seemed quite interested in our military bases, especially those that concentrated on rocketry, like White Sands, or other bases devoted to space age development, like Edwards. We now know that astronaut Gordon Cooper reported seeing film of a disc land at Muroc AFB (Edwards) in 1957/58. Off the disc flew never to make contact. “Flying saucers” seem the gutsiest (or most concerned) around the desert bases.
Everything indicated intelligence was behind such discs. However, without the overt contact prophesied in the popular forum like The Day The Earth Stood Still, the phenomenon became a breeding ground for palmists and mediums. They shaped these rare sightings and encounters into anything they wanted. The occult used “alien contact” in the same vein as mediumship contact. “Aliens” were now the “higher power” to tap into rather than ancient Egyptian priests or the spirit of Indian chiefs. What was an unexplained phenomenon sank into the broad world of the “paranormal.”
Facilitating the mainstream’s march away from believing in the topic was the fact that such sightings didn’t really continue. Films like the Montana Film and then the Utah Film are not being taken today. This is truly astounding considering today’s culture has so many recording devices handy, almost one on each person in the form of their iPhone. The upshot is that few truly appreciate the unexplained flap that occurred in the 1940s and 1950s.
It really happened.
Over the decades our mythology has had no choice but to retreat to the desert and the wilderness in order to justify that “they” are really still amongst us, for certainly the “aliens” aren’t in our cities or parks.
But that “Catch 22” is still pertinent. If such a thing as aliens from outer space are visiting this planet and have bases, they can only be under the sea, in the desert or in the wild fastness of the northern tundra.
Along with the myth came conspiracy theories. It didn’t seem reasonable that such aliens would not make contact and yet continually visit the planet. This inspired an entire scenario where the US Government is capable of concealing the dark truth. Within this cold world aliens had bases under the desert by agreement with the US Government. They might even secretly run Washington DC (they don’t do a great job).
All of this sells books and makes for filler news shows. But it also buries the kernel of truth. Credible people have reported such silvery discs over the desert and in the early days (1947-52) such saucers seemed interested in our missile programs.
The mainstream news has shied away from the topic. They have a good reason. There are so many conflicts of interests and ulterior motives in those who report “flying saucers” today. There is usually some occult motive, some desire to promote their own philosophy. They believe in good aliens and bad aliens. Why not just say “angels and demons”? For one, those are already defined and carry too much religious stricture and taboo with them. None of it can be wistfully molded into a more SCI-FI and engaging framework.
Modern mythology is a real life fantasy comic book which some people truly believe they are living. They are at the forefront of making contact with “them” through psychic means.
But truth has something enormously powerful on its side. The reality of what Gordon Cooper speaks about, what the Montana and Utah films show, is not conducive to the world of make believe. They present to us a repeating theme of lenticular, silvery “saucers” moving through our atmosphere and eventually withdrawing back to space or to . . .the deserts.
Are there really dragons here?
The entire phenomenon should have been far more seriously investigated than it has been.
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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.