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An “Underground Base” That Probably Doesn’t Exist

Occasionally, I’m asked for my thoughts on the claims that there’s a huge “alien base” below Dulce, New Mexico. Well, I don’t think such a thing exists, but I can definitely see why people think there just might be. Dulce is a pleasant and inviting town that is situated in New Mexico’s Rio Arriba County. It’s a small town of less than 3,000 people and which is around thirteen square miles in size. It was founded in the latter part of the 19th century and, today, is the home of the Jicarilla Apache Nation. There is nothing particularly unusual or out of the ordinary about Dulce – at least, not at first glance. Look a little bit closer, though, and you’ll find yourself in a world filled with dark secrets and terrifying tales of the cosmic and conspiratorial kind. And, “by closer,” I mean below your feet. Way below your feet; maybe even miles down.

Since the late 1970s, rumors have swirled to the effect that deep within the massive Archuleta Mesa, which dominates the town, there is a secret and futuristic facility that has been out of bounds to the U.S. Government since 1979. Today, it’s said that the installation is under the complete control of hostile and deadly extraterrestrials – the so-called “Greys” of UFO lore, those dwarfish, black-eyed, large-headed entities that are practically part of popular culture. So the story goes, it was in seventy-nine that a violent confrontation between military personnel and the aliens broke out – and we were the losers. The base, which was once a hub of human / alien interaction, is now theirs – and theirs alone. Witnesses talk of people going missing, and of vast, cavern-like rooms in which people are devoured by voraciously hungry aliens. Are the tales true? How did the rumors begin? Let’s take a trip back in time to the mid-to-late 1970s.

Paul Bennewitz was a scientist who, at the time, ran a company in Albuquerque called Thunder Scientific – a company that quite literally backed onto the well-guarded fences of Kirtland Air Force Base. It was around 1978 that Bennewitz – who had a pre-existing interest in UFOs – began to hear of more and more so-called alien abduction events in and around Albuquerque and further up into northern New Mexico. On top of that, strange signals were picked up by Bennewitz on his radio equipment. He saw weird-looking aircraft soaring silently across the skies over Kirtland late at night and in the early hours of the morning. He was given accounts of abductees being secretly taken to Kirtland and grilled by U.S. intelligence agents, who were deeply concerned about the growing number of people seemingly being kidnapped from their homes and subjected to terrifying and bizarre experiments of a genetic nature.

As the weeks and months progressed Bennewitz came to believe something incredible: that deadly ETs were secretly getting ready to take over the planet. They were planning on doing so from their command post deep below the town of Dulce. Worldwide invasion and the enslavement of the human race were lurking just around the corner – as Bennewitz saw it, at least. Suspecting that the end really was possibly getting nearer and nearer, Bennewitz prepared a dossier on his findings and theories. He called it Project Beta. Bennewitz mailed copies of the controversial report to the FBI, to the CIA, to the NSA, to every branch of the military, and even to the White House. People had to be warned – and warned now, Bennewitz said.

Notably, Bennewitz was not written off as a crank, as many might expect him to have been. In fact, quite the opposite was the case: intelligence agents at Kirtland Air Force Base quickly established a secret liaison with Bennewitz. They warned him about digging any further into things that could be dangerous – even to Bennewitz’s life, no less. But, those same agents also confided in Bennewitz something incredible: that he was on the right track. They did all they could to keep Bennewitz quiet, almost to the point of begging him to keep his mouth shut on what he knew. For Bennewitz, though, this was like a red rag to a bull: the somewhat veiled threats to keep his nose out of things only served Bennewitz to push further for answers.

As a result, U.S. intelligence fed Bennewitz more and more horror stories of what was supposedly going on several miles below Dulce, including tales of the aliens using captured people – in their thousands – as food. It’s no wonder – given the nature of the stories and that they were coming directly from the military – that Bennewitz became more and more paranoid. Eventually, he became completely unhinged, and to the point where he ended up spending time in a local medical facility, where he was treated for stress, anxiety, and, finally, what practically amounted to a complete mental collapse. Thankfully, he recovered, but was careful to keep his distance from Ufology.

Today, some UFO researchers dismiss Bennewitz’s theories and conclusions – preferring, instead, to suspect that Bennewitz had stumbled on not alien activity but top secret programs of the U.S. military and intelligence community. By steering Bennewitz down a path filled with fictitious tales of dangerous aliens, the government would be able to divert him away from the far more down to earth truth, so the theory goes. On the other hand, Bennewitz, who died in 2003, still has a huge following of UFO sleuths who are absolutely certain that below Dulce something abominable is going on – and has been for years. Maybe even for centuries.

While Bennewitz’s Project Beta report reads like something straight out of the early years of The X-Files, there is absolutely no doubt that Dulce itself is a very weird place, one where strange activity has been reported for years. For example, in the 1960s the area around Dulce became the site of a classified U.S. Atomic Energy Commission program called Gasbuggy. It was part of a larger operation code-named Plowshare. The plan was to explode a significantly-sized atomic device, underground, deep below the Carson National Forest, which just happens to be only a few miles from Dulce. The reason was to try and access massive and precious supplies of natural gas. The bomb was detonated on December 10, 1967 – more than four thousand feet below the surface. Although the Plowshare program continued in the area until the late 1970s, even today digging underground in the area is strictly forbidden.

In light of all of Bennewitz’s findings, it’s not at all surprising that there are those in the UFO community who believe that the Plowshare program was actually a cover story – one created to mask the fact that the U.S. Government had tried to destroy the alien base under Dulce with a nuclear weapon. That just such a weapon really was exploded, underground, and only a few minutes’ drive from Dulce, only ensures that the rumors of an alien presence in the area continue to thrive. And, that people are warned not to dig underground in the area only adds to the suspicions that there is something very sinister going on below Dulce.

Not only that, in 1989, and thanks to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI declassified into the public domain its extensive files on so-called “cattle mutilations” in the Dulce area, most of which occurred in the 1970s. Such mutilations have been reported all across the county and since 1967, but Dulce is renowned for the huge number of cases in its midst, as the FBI learned. Cattle are found lacking major organs. Blood is removed from the bodies in astonishingly quick time. And, black and unmarked helicopters are seen in the areas of mutilation – as are strange lights in the sky, and UFOs too. Incredibly, all of these issues are discussed at length in the FBI’s official files on the mutilations in and around Dulce, all of which can be read online at the FBI’s website, The Vault. So, yes, there is definitely something strange going on at Dulce – and something which has been going on for an extraordinarily long time. But, that base? I’m saying “No.”

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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