Jul 24, 2013 I Mack Maloney

Weirdness at Dead Center

Pine Gap is considered one of the most secret places in the world. Located in a small valley at the foot of the McDonnell ranges, the facility, (official name: Joint Defense Facility Pine Gap), is about 12 miles east of Alice Springs, considered the geographic dead center of Australia. The surrounding area is hot, desolate and inhospitable.

Described as “a control and processing station for geosynchronous satellites engaged in signals intelligence collection,” Pine Gap is operated jointly by Australia and the United States. It’s from here that America’s newest fleet of spy satellites is run, many of which are designed not just to eavesdrop on other nations, but on targeted individuals as well.


Pine Gap consists of a large complex that includes up to 18 giant igloo-like radomes, each hiding an extremely power antenna. About a thousand employees of the National Security Agency and the CIA work there and what they do is considered so secret, the airspace around it has been declared a no-fly zone.

A massive security fence surrounds Pine Gap and its perimeter is patrolled both by American and Australian guards. Meanwhile, security inside is said to be so severe, some have claimed personnel are hypnotized to insure they will not talk about what goes on there.

This last point is interesting, because there are many rumors that more things go on at Pine Gap than just controlling spy satellites.


One frequent claim about the Pine Gap base is that a borehole, some five miles deep, has been drilled below the facility to house a massive underground antenna. This giant antenna might be used for emitting very low frequency radio signals to the U.S. military, or for some kind of mysterious subsurface research, or, as some people assert, to tune a gigantic “wave field” around our planet.

Other rumored deep-secret projects at Pine Gap include on-going high-energy high-voltage research, construction of a “Death Ray” plasma cannon, electromagnetic propulsion tests, and even specialized “power broadcasts” that are able to fuel U.S. Navy submarines thousands of miles away. A large nuclear reactor is also alleged to be in place at the facility, hidden deep within an underground chamber.

Even stranger, some locals say enormous amounts of food arrive at Pine Gap by airplane from the United States on a weekly basis, while other eyewitnesses insist they’ve seen air transports unloading things like furniture, high end appliances and other provisions that one would ordinarily expect to see in a plush hotel.

This has led to speculation that an entire city exists somewhere beneath the facility.


It’s no great surprise then that Pine Gap has been the site of many UFO incidents.

But few, if any, of these stories depict unidentified objects buzzing the facility or interfering with its functions. Just the opposite. Many of these reports come from people claiming to have seen UFOs operating out of Pine Gap.

For instance:

  • In 1975, passengers on a plane passing just outside Pine Gap’s restricted airspace say they saw a large white object take off from a hidden tunnel on the base and fly off to the northwest.
  • In 1980, two members of the Northern Territory police saw a trio of “bathtub-shaped objects” appear over Pine Gap. The strange aircraft then disappeared, one at a time, into an opening in a hillside deep within the base.
  • In 1989, three hunters saw a large camouflaged door hidden in the side of a hill inside the base suddenly open. A large disk flew out of this opening and climbed into the sky at fantastic speed. Once the flying machine disappeared, the door quickly closed behind it.

But if these are “UFOs,” whose “UFOs” are they? Some locals say they’ve observed “white discs” about 30 feet in diameter being unloaded from large U.S. cargo planes at the airport serving Pine Gap. So are “UFOs” somehow assembled at Pine Gap and flown from there? Could they be spy craft? Drones made to look like UFOs?

It’s impossible to tell. But whatever the case, flying objects of uncertain origin are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to strange things happening around Pine Gap.


According to a number of media sources, something really spectacular happened at the Pine Gap facility in 1984.

The story comes from five UFO enthusiasts who were reportedly tipped off that, on a certain night, a major event was going to take place at the base. In position about five miles from the base and equipped with binoculars, they first saw a number of people inside the base, wearing coveralls, assembling out in the open.

Suddenly an intense beam of gold light appeared from the center of the base. This beam was at least 15 feet wide and shot straight up into the night sky. Clouds began forming around the beam, staying in place despite a steady wind blowing in the area.

The beam started pulsing, causing the clouds to take on the appearance of massive smoke rings. Then the witnesses saw five objects approaching the base from the south, flying at about 1000 feet. Four of these objects were described as “star-shaped” and arranged in a diamond formation. The fifth object, which was shaped like a cylinder, was following about two miles behind.


Once over the facility, the four star-shaped objects took up positions at each corner of the base. Then the cylindrical object arrived, lowering itself to about 500 feet off the ground. Light beams began flashing all over the base and between the five objects, a display that lasted several minutes.

Then one of the small star-shaped objects landed at the northern end of the base. It remained there for nearly 20 minutes before taking off and resuming its original position.

Now the intense beam of gold light re-appeared and one of the small star-shaped objects began to orbit it, as if examining it. As this was going on, the strange clouds returned and surrounded the gold beam once again.

After a few minutes of this, the gold beam disappeared for good and the weird smoke rings blew away. The cylinder-shaped vehicle rose in altitude as the star-shaped objects went back to their original diamond-shaped formation.

Then as a group, the five objects roared off to the south, vanishing in seconds.

UFOs have also been frequently reported around Alice Springs, the small town about a dozen miles away from Pine Gap.

In 1998, people there watched a weird silver glow hover over their town for nearly a half hour before it disappeared to the south. Also spotted over the town on several occasions have been triangular-shaped clusters containing five lights which flicker brightly before eventually fading away.

In 1996, up to forty orange lights, comprising two distinct formations flew over the town. Half the lights formed a circle that was visible for about 15 minutes. Then the remaining lights moved in from the east, forming an evenly spaced straight line. Both formations then traveled west and soon went out of sight.

That same year, a UFO touched down about five miles west of Alice Springs. Some witnesses driving nearby said the UFO was about 75 feet in diameter, colored blue with a flat base.


As the witnesses watched, a halo formed around the blue object. This was followed by a whirling noise. Suddenly the UFO took off, and an instant later, it was hovering above the witnesses’ car.

It stayed there for a few terrifying moments, before finally flying off towards Pine Gap.

Perhaps with the exception of America’s Area 51, no other secret military base has been so directly linked with the operation of UFOs as this highly unusual place in the middle of the Outback.

But making the whole UFOs Down Under story even more puzzling, in 2010, Australia’s Department of Defence announced it had “lost” many of its records on UFO sightings, not just over Pine Gap, but over the entire continent, files it had collected over several decades.

This episode began when a Sydney newspaper asked the Australian military to turn over the UFO files via a freedom of information request. But after two months of searching, the Australian DoD admitted the documents could not be found and that some of the files had likely been destroyed.

According to the Australian military, this was part of “normal administrative procedure.”

With the recent revalations about the massive scope of America’s NSA spying programs, the operators of Pine Gap might soon find themselves in the spotlight.

Could this mean Pine Gap’s strange connection to UFOs will also be revealed?

Excerpted from Beyond Area 51 by Mack Maloney, published by Berkley Books USA. For more information please visit www.mackmaloney.com

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