Oct 18, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Is There Really a Secret Underground Alien Base Below New Mexico? Or is it All Just a Legend?

For what is certainly a picturesque area on the map, the New Mexican town of Dulce – located in the north of the county in Rio Arriba County – is steeped in mystery. It’s also home to around several thousand people and has a square-mileage of barely thirteen. Its origins date back to the 19th century. It’s not what goes on at Dulce that concerns us here, though. Rather, it’s what is said to be going on far below the town – in myriad tunnels, caverns, caves and hollowed-out chambers that are all said to be where untold numbers of dangerous and hostile aliens live. And even worse, the U.S. Government has had the fear of God (or of the aliens) put in them, and to such an extent that they dare not descend into that deadly, dark realm far below Dulce’s huge Archuleta Mesa. Today, tales of underground bases – in which nefarious experimentation is widespread – are all over the Internet. Just type “Underground Base + UFOs” and you’ll find an endless array of tales of the controversial kind; they are overflowing with paranoia and tales of menace.

Such tales were far less told in the 1970s, which is when the Dulce stories began to surface, specifically in the latter part of the decade. What makes the Dulce story so notable is that the initial rumors about the vast, alien facility miles below ground-level came not from wide-eyed conspiracy-theorists, but from a number of people who worked deeply in the clandestine worlds of counter-intelligence and disinformation. The latter is described as “false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth,” while counterintelligence is defined as “organized activity of an intelligence service designed to block an enemy's sources of information, to deceive the enemy, to prevent sabotage, and to gather political and military information.”

In other words, we’re talking about spies, secret agents, lies that might be truths, and truths that might be lies. As for the Dulce story, it suggests that when there was a violent, deadly altercation in the Dulce base at some point in 1979, the U.S. military – along with numerous scientists and engineers – were forced to flee for their lives. What had begun as a fairly amicable arrangement between the aliens, of the black-eyed “Grey” type, and the government team was now over. Irreversibly so. The Dulce base was now in the hands of a band of extraterrestrials who were done with the human race. This, you won’t fail to note, is very similar to the story told to Bob Lazar in the latter part of 1988, but that in the scenario given to him it was at S-04, rather than at Dulce, where the deadly confrontation occurred. Unless both stories are true (which is unlikely, because they are almost identical in nature), then there is a high likelihood that somewhere there was deceit at work.

Back in the 1970s, Paul Bennewitz - who died in 2003, in Albuquerque, New Mexico – had his own company that stood adjacent to Kirtland Air Force Base. Its name was Thunder Scientific. All was good, as Bennewitz had a number of good contracts with the military. And living and working so close to the base made things comfortable and handy for Bennewitz. It was the perfect relationship. Until, that is, it wasn’t. In shockingly quick time, Bennewitz’s life began to fragment in chaotic fashion. But, how and why did such a thing happen? It’s important to note that by the late 1970s Bennewitz had been interested in UFOs not just for years but for decades. He had a large library of books on the subject and subscribed to a number of newsletters and magazines on the subject. On occasion, Bennewitz had seen – late at night and in the early hours of the morning – strange, unidentified objects flying over Kirtland Air Force Base and the nearby, huge Manzano Mountains. They could have been early drone-like craft being tested secretly. But, for Bennewitz they were alien craft.

(Nick Redfern) The grave of Paul Bennewitz

Bennewitz’s head spun: he came to believe that aliens were in league with the U.S. Air Force, and that much of the secret program was run out of Kirtland. And he shared his views with staff at Kirtland, the CIA, the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, his Senator, his Congressman, and just about anyone and everyone in a position of power and influence. It was all but inevitable that by firing off lengthy letters about a secret alien-human operation at Kirtland someone would take notice. That’s exactly what they did. While one school of thought suggests that Bennewitz was indeed tracking the movements of UFOs in the skies over Kirtland, another suggests that Bennewitz had actually stumbled on test-flights of new and radical aircraft, of the aforementioned drone kind. In the latter scenario, the government (as a collective term for all of those agencies and individuals that Bennewitz approached) decided to first politely, but quietly, request that Bennewitz bring his research to a halt. This was like a red rag to a bull. Bennewitz would hear none of it. He was primed and ready to go after the U.S. Government and to confirm what he saw as the dark and sinister truth of Uncle Sam’s liaisons with aliens. One man against the government? It was clear who was going to win; although Bennewitz couldn’t envisage such a thing at all.  

In ingenious fashion – but from the perspective of Bennewitz, in terrible fashion – a plot was initiated to, in essence, give Bennewitz exactly what he wanted to hear. So, well-placed government agents, intelligence operatives, and experts in the fields of counterintelligence and disinformation, all fed Bennewitz fictitious tales of dangerous ETs, of thousands of people abducted and mind-controlled in slave-like fashion by the aliens, of terrible experiments undertaken on people held below the Dulce base, and of a looming confrontation between the human race and the deadly creatures from another galaxy.

That the data was all coming to him from verifiable insider sources impressed Bennewitz and led him to believe their every word – which is precisely what the government was gambling on. The government then tightened the noose even tighter around Bennewitz’s neck: they fed him more and more horror-stories of the alien variety. And, slowly and bit by bit, Bennewitz’s paranoia grew. If anyone walked casually past the family home, they just had to be government agents. If the phone rang out, but stopped ringing before he had a chance to get to it, then that was a sign of intimidation, from them. He couldn’t sleep, he became stressed to the point where he required medication, and eventually had a nervous collapse and was hospitalized. The result: he walked away from UFOs, secret projects, and cosmic conspiracies as a crushed man. Which may well have been the intent of the government, anyway. 

(Nick Redfern) Black Helicopters are seen over Dulce

Although the saga of Paul Bennewitz began in the latter part of the 1970s and was pretty much over by the early-to-mid 1980s, the story of the Dulce base developed legs. They are legs that still walk to this very day, and primarily because so many people within Ufology find the tales of the underground base exciting – it really is that simple. And, the government has – to a degree – continued to encourage the wilder and darker side of Ufology as a means to further darken the waters of what it is really up to when it comes to new and advanced aircraft that many might perceive as UFOs. That said, though, there are those who absolutely stand by the claims that a huge, underground installation exists below Dulce. In many respects, the newer tales are even stranger and more horrifying than those that Bennewitz had shoved down his throat in the early eighties. And, admittedly, it’s intriguing to note that Dulce is indeed saturated in weirdness – some of which occurred years before Bennewitz was on the scene.

More than a decade before Bennewitz came to believe the awful rumors of Dulce were true, the U.S. Government already had a stake in the area. A contingent from the Atomic Energy Commission rode into town and set up what was called Project Gasbuggy. It was a sub-project of a much bigger project called Plowshare. The plan was to detonate – way below Dulce – a small nuclear device, as a means to try and extract natural gas. The operation went ahead on December 10, 1967 – and it worked all too well. The bomb was detonated at a depth of more than 4,000 feet. Years later, however, researchers suggested that the natural gas scenario was a cover for something else. You may already see where this is all going. There is an enduring belief in Ufology that the nuke was actually used, by a panicked government, to try and wipe out the alien base and the extraterrestrials said to live deep within it. Even to this day it is illegal to dig in the area, on the orders of the Atomic Energy commission – the AEC having deep ties to Area 51.

Moving on, from 1975 to 1979, the town of Dulce was hit by numerous cattle mutilations: black helicopters soared across the skies of town by night – and sometimes, and incredibly, silently. Strange lights were seen flitting around Dulce’s huge Archuleta Mesa. Cows were found with organs removed and blood drained from their corpses. The incisions looked as if they were the work of lasers. For those who might find all of this to be just too incredible, it’s worth noting that the FBI was heavily involved in the investigation of the mutilations at Dulce and has now placed its files on the mystery on their website, The Vault. It’s a file that reads like science-fiction and that runs to more than 100 pages.  And, as we have seen, there is strong evidence that the silent, black helicopters had their origins at Area 51.

(FBI) This document was released into the public domain from the FBI's "Animal Mutilation" file

In the post-Bennewitz era, other figures came forward with their very own tales of Dulce and its subterranean nightmare. Whether they were telling the truth or were fed lies and disinformation by government agents is something very much open to interpretation. One such account came from one Jason Bishop III, which is an alias for another alias, that of Tal Lavesque. No wonder the Dulce saga is so confusing. Lavesque / Bishop published what he claimed were the words of a former employee at the base, Thomas E. Castello. According to Castello: “Level 7 is worse, row after row of thousands of humans and human mixtures in cold storage. Here too are embryo storage vats of humanoids in various stages of development. I frequently encountered humans in cages, usually dazed or drugged, but sometimes they cried and begged for help. We were told they were hopelessly insane, and involved in high risk drug tests to cure insanity. We were told to never try to speak to them at all. At the beginning we believed that story. Finally in 1978 a small group of workers discovered the truth.” 

Then, there was Alan B. de Walton, who also wrote about the claimed firefight that led to the hasty retreat of the U.S. military. In his controversial work, The Dulce Book, he stated that the human body is “…surrounded by the etheric ‘body,’ surrounded by the astral ‘body,’ surrounded by the mental ‘body.’” On this same issue, an insider told de Walton that: “We also actually have an extra ‘body,’ the emotional ‘body,’ that the aliens don’t have. This part of us constantly puts out a kind of energy they cannot generate or simulate. This emotional energy…is to them, like a potent, much sought-after drug. They can take it out of us and bottle it, so to speak…Also during this ‘harvesting,’ Greys will look directly into our eyes, as if they are drinking something or basking in light.” This sounds not at all unlike the plotline in 1985’s Lifeforce.

In 1991, Valdemar Valerian’s book Matrix II, hit the bookshelves. It referred to a female abductee who had seen in the Dulce base “…a vat full of red liquid and body parts of humans and animals…she could see Greys bobbing up and down, almost swimming.” In 2015, Joshua Cutchin penned A Trojan Feast: The Food and Drink Offerings of Aliens, Faeries, and Sasquatch, Cutchin’s words are chilling, to say the very least: “While abduction research does not overtly suggest that aliens are harvesting people for consumption, there may be a grain of truth to the report [contained in the pages of Valerian’s Matrix II]. ‘Nourishment is ingested by smearing a soupy mixture of biologicals on the epidermis. Food sources include Bovine cattle and human parts…distilled into a high protein broth…’” Is there really an alien base below Dulce? The debate continues.

Nick Redfern

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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