The lonely expanses of the world's deserts seem to be devoid of much of anything. They are forbidding, arid wastelands where few tread and where even fewer care to spend much time. Yet, from these expanses of rugged, withered wilderness there have sprung some very weird accounts within the world of the weird, these remote locales and their bleak atmosphere seemingly a perfect recipe for tales of the truly outlandish. Here we will look at some accounts of very weird supposed encounters with what seem to be alien entities, which have occurred out in these moonscape deserts and which serve to perplex.
One of the most bizarre desert alien encounters I have ever seen comes from Timothy Green Beckley’s Strange effects of flying saucers, and supposedly happened in the summer of 1967 somewhere out in the moonscape of an unspecified California desert in the very dark early morning hours. According to the report, 18-year old Jerry James, his father, mother and younger sister were all driving through these badlands on their way from Colorado to a vacation home they kept in California, and the mood at the time was one of excitement and merriment. The drive had been an arduous, 18-hour-long ordeal, but despite their weariness they were in high spirits. They pulled their Chevrolet pickup and house trailer into a service area to get some rest and relax in their trailer before the last leg of their journey, and this is where their vacation would take a turn for the increasingly bizarre.
It began when one of them noticed an object in the sky that was pointed out to the others. Whatever it was soon proved to be no normal aircraft, about the size of a car, somewhat spherical, and sort of resembling a top in that that it was continuously spinning as it wandered about the area, and it suddenly emitted a bright beam like a searchlight down to the parched earth below, much to the family’s surprise. The craft and its inscrutable piercing, searching beam then circled around the area and they had the distinct feeling that it was looking for something down in the dust and scrub below it. They looked on in awe and bewilderment for a few minutes, but this turned to fear when that beam suddenly trained right upon them. The UFO then approached to hover directly above them, that blinding light making it as if it were broad daylight outside and the whole time completely silent. Just as they thought that they were perhaps in big trouble they were bathed in darkness again like a curtain coming down as the craft shot off into the night, leaving them quite shaken. But things were about to get even weirder still.
The next day the family was only a few miles from the service station when they stopped and got out to stretch their legs and noticed a silver-looking vessel or craft of some type come towards them to approach to such a close distance that they said they could even see the little rivets in its metallic surface. It was all rather terrifying, to the point that the mother fainted to crumple to the ground and had to be revived with smelling salts. They then retreated into their trailer and found a strange sight awaiting them there. Whereas moments before the trailer had been rather a mess, with unmade beds and dirty dishes in the sink, now everything was completely in order, cleaned up, and the entire trailer was pristine and spotless. Everything had been put away and it was as if someone had come in and cleaned it all, which was very odd considering they had all left the mess it has been in just minutes before. Just about the only thing out of place was a single kitchen dish lying on the counter, which held something weird within.
Sitting in the dish was what looked like a sprouting carrot, but it started to transform before their startled eyes, sprouting roots that were almost like tentacles in their mobility and the speed in which they fell down over the counter to spill to the floor below and writhe about. The family stared in puzzlement as the plant further bloomed outwards, taking steps back to avoid the ever expanding tangle of quivering roots at their feet. It was also noticed that the plant, the dish, and the cabinet it sat upon were covered with a slimy green-colored substance, of which Jerry would say:
It was a vile smelling substance, and other than that I can’t tell you much about it. One thing strange though. When I touched it with a pencil it ‘ate up’ the wood and lead in a matter of seconds.
The family continued their surreal odyssey when they took the truck out on the road again and found that the vehicle would accelerate and slow against their will as if it had a mind of its own. When they reached a service station and tried to put gasoline in, the cap was removed to belch forth a horrific stench and hissing noise. Making it all even more absurdly weird is that they would later find that the seat where the driver sat had inexplicably rotted away, and the ignition key had become malleable like rubber and now glowed in the dark. What in the world?
This is one of those cases that seems to transcend bizarre and firmly lodge itself into the realm of the truly fringe. Also from 1967 comes an odd report from the Vizcaino Desert of Baja California in Mexico. On the evening of July 2 of that year military intelligence units were reportedly called out to an isolated area of the desert to investigate an alleged UFO crash, and when they arrived at the scene they supposedly found what they were looking for in an unearthly oblong metal craft that had apparently broken in half and was surrounded by a “pungent odor.” Strangest of all were the four bodies of what could only have been the occupants, described as being very odd indeed.
Each of the enormous creatures was said to measure around 9-feet in height, covered with hair and with squashed, hairless ape-like faces with flat wide noses, and mouths twisted open in grimaces of agony that exposed smallish fangs, for the most part more or less looking every bit like what one imagines a Bigfoot would look like. The only thing they wore were a kind of sandals with very thick soles and a copper colored belts with huge buckles lined with small buttons, but other than that they were completely naked and carried no tools. Weirdly, one of the creatures was supposedly found to still be alive, but died soon after. According to the report, the U.S. military moved in and whisked away all of it to Yuma Air Base in Arizona. What happened then? Well, your guess is as good as anyone's.
Moving into later years in May of 1980 there was a strange encounter described in Linda Moulton Howe’s book An Alien Harvest, and supposedly occurred in the remote desert near Cimarron, New Mexico. The witnesses were a woman and her 8-year old son, who were driving through the desert and spotted three odd lights out in the open landscape near a cattle ranch. They could see that one of the objects was larger than the others, with what looked like lit windows embedded within it. After that they apparently fainted, and it was only when the woman was hypnotically regressed that she would remember what had happened to her out there in that remote place.
According to the witness, she had been gripped by a stifling fear when she heard the cows “screaming in agony,” after which she was purportedly approached and captured by four inhuman entities, three of them troll-like and greenish in color and another, taller hairless pale being with a high forehead and large beautiful eyes and wearing a flowing white cape, which seemed to be the leader. The taller one apparently telepathically scolded the witness for being out there, and she claimed that his touch caused a tingling, burning pain as if it were a hot iron. She was then dragged kicking and screaming to their ship, where she would see her son fast asleep. The aliens then allegedly began a medical examination of her and brought her past a room where greenish shuffling creatures wearing brown clothing were dissecting a cow, horrifically as it was still alive and gurgling in pain, eventually bringing her to another room where there were more of the pale white entities. Her memory then jumps to standing in the desert again, and this time she was brought down to an underground facility populated by more of the ethereal pale beings and where she spies a vat of gelatinous liquid holding a horrific collection of animal and human body parts suspended within. The next thing she would remember after this would be sitting safely back in her car with her son, who would not remember any of it as he had peacefully slept through it all. Weird to say the least.
Another report from Phantoms and Monsters also apparently happened in 1980 in the desert wilds near Tucson, Arizona, where two friends were out exploring on a chilly October evening. They were making their way along a dry riverbed, the darkness pushed away by miner’s lights on their heads, when they came across a large, thick Palo Verde tree that appeared out of the night in the light of their lamps. As they approached, the branches of the tree allegedly started shaking violently, but they could not tell what was causing it. They at first thought it might be wild pigs, but then the shaking stopped and began again higher up in the tree. As they shone their lights and peered into the thick foliage they say they were startled to see two bright blue eyes spaced around a foot apart staring down at them, after which they withdrew and some heavy footfalls could be heard thumping off into the night. The witnesses claim that they would find enormous footprints there the next day, and that the area would have intense UFO activity for several weeks after.
Another strange case involving some sort of humanoid creature comes from the deserts of the Mexican State of Chihuahua. At the end of 1989 and the beginning of 1990, a group of teenagers were on a mission to explore the caves of a place called Cerro Pajarito when they came across something that would haunt them for the rest of their lives. As the group was exploring one of the caves, they came upon the discovery of a dead deer and a doe that were freshly killed and exhibited three odd perforations on their necks that formed a triangular pattern. In the surrounding area, there were footprints that looked like those of a puma, but it soon became apparent that no puma had done this. The group suddenly heard blood curdling squealing sounds and the air became pervaded by a stench described as smelling like burning wood. The terrified group of teenagers looked and saw a hunched over, humanoid figure crouched upon a rock outcropping about 15 meters away from them. The creature apparently started bounding towards them and one of the groups emptied his pistol at it, although the bullets seemed to have no effect. As the panicked group turned tail and ran for dear life, they reported passing yet another humanoid creature that was described as being metallic green in color and standing only 80 cm high. What could this have possibly been? Who knows?
It certainly seems that the isolated, inhospitable wilds of the desert are prime locations for some very strange encounters, and it leaves us to wonder what could be going on here. Are these genuine alien encounters with creatures from another world, interdimensional phenomena, or what? How can we comfortably fit the utter, sheer bizarreness of such reports into what we know? There is no way to be sure of the answer to these questions, but if you are ever out in the sun scorched desert wilderness, be sure to keep an eye out. You never know what you might find.
A special thanks to intrepid researcher and friend Albert S. Rosales for providing these accounts and sources.