So I guess this Dulce thing is finally happening. I mean really happening.
The flights, hotels, and rental car are all booked. I have interviews lined up. I leave July 12th and return on the 17th. Even spoke to representatives of the Jicarilla Apache Nation today about times for an interview and looksee. The main thrust of this work of literary/gonzo journalism is my seeking an answer to "why are people so drawn to the Weird?" By "people" I mean me, you since you're reading this, and the American public in general if current TV offerings are any indication. Juxtaposed against all this in Dulce are real people living real lives with real needs and carrying on rich cultural heritage.
I know that I have written about my interest in Dulce before, particularly the allegations of high strangeness. Since it's been a while, however, I thought that I would once again offer a brief (and I mean very brief) primer on the story that drew me to that corner of New Mexico in the first place.
Editorial note: much of what follows can be found in the book Project Beta by Greg Bishop.
The story of Paul Bennewitz is probably as good of a place to start as any. He was a businessman who lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1979, he began witnessing strange lights in the sky and picking up odd transmissions on his ham radio gear. Believing the sightings and sounds to be evidence of alien visitation, Bennewitz felt duty bound to bring his findings to nearby Kirtland Air Force Base. There, he met with an intelligence official named Richard Doty.
Doty realized that what Bennewitz had been hearing and seeing were clandestine military tests and operations. Rather than discourage Bennewitz's interest in the matter, Doty and the Air Force fed the fire. They put on an elaborate show for Bennewitz, giving him classified "software" that could decode alien languages (dragoman to the stars!) As Bennewitz carried out his "specially assigned mission," he learned of an astonishing secret lurking inside Mt. Archuletta in Dulce, New Mexico.
The story went that there was a top secret installation inside the mountain. It stretched many levels deep into the ground and housed horrors beyond imagination. A joint cadre of government and extraterrestrial workers conducted experiments there on live human subjects. At one point, the various aliens (there were said to have been multiple species in residence) broke their end of whatever agreement was made and took over the base, carrying out even more nefarious experiments. A team of special ops soldiers went in to reclaim the base. A firefight ensued and casualties mounted on both sides.
Bennewitz soon went to Dulce to see things firsthand. Around Archuletta he found props left behind by intelligence operatives to keep the ruse going and while flying over the mountain in his private plane, Bennewitz even photographed the remains of a crashed spacecraft (just what that wreckage was is still subject of contested opinion.) The story of Paul Bennewitz is ultimately a sad one, however. In time his "special mission" and the baloney fed to him by Doty and the Air Force consumed him. Paul's family had him committed to a mental institution and he died shortly thereafter.
Yet the story of "Dulce Base" persists. Why? It is rather well established that this was equal parts disinformation operation, modern folklore, and classified government operations, but the alien angle is still going strong. In fact, a quick Google will show you that the rabbit hole is deep indeed, involving a cavalcade of characters, among them being Tom Costello, Cherry Hinkle, Greg Valdez, Edmund Gomez, Phil Schneider and more. The weirdness does not stop with aliens or even cover ups and conspiracies. There are cattle mutilations, allegations of psychic phenomena, and even accounts of intelligent, non-human beings living deep beneath the earth. That last facet being reminiscent of Mac Tonnies' Cryptoterrestrials and the work of William Michael Mott with his book Caverns, Cauldrons, and Concealed Creatures. Do we share this world with another intelligent civilization? Are accounts and sightings such as those purportedly in Dulce nothing more than an update of what people once called elves, trolls, gnomes, and djinn?
Probably not, but it's fascinating to think about.
There is much more to tell and I will be uploading posts prior to my departure and during my excursion. If you would like to help fund my research (and believe me I could use it) please see my Fundrazr page. I have rewards for all levels of investment and I thank you for even considering a donation.
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