La Zona del Silencio

Have you ever had a strange feeling about a place you couldn’t immediately identify? Perhaps you felt it at that eerie abandoned plaza of a once-bustling town, or maybe you had a general sense of foreboding when you hit a particular stretch of land while walking through the sprawling acreage of a wilderness.


You can’t put your finger on it; there’s just something different about that spot. Perhaps it’s all a neurological phenomenon. Experiences such as déjà vu, for example, may simply be little more than brain quirks.


But what if you aren’t the only one to feel that way about the place? What if there are repeated reports of strange activity there?


There are several places dotting the globe where such reports have occurred, including the (in)famous Bermuda Triangle; an area surrounding the Mediterranean island of Elba, where Napoleon was first exiled; and Mount Stredohori in Czechoslovakia, where car engines tend to mysteriously drain of power along a 75-foot stretch of road.


One of the spookiest of these weird places is Mexico’s La Zona del Silecio, “Zone of Silence,” a desolate desertscape 400 miles south of El Paso, Texas, which seems to be a hot spot for strange and possibly supernatural activity. The many reports adding to this area’s mystery include:


Radio and television signals seem to disappear there, while just outside the zone, in the same desolate desert, they work fine. Francisco Sarabia, an aviator from the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, said that his radio mysteriously ceased to work while he was flying over the area during the 1930s. Decades later, Harry de la Pena, not a Mexican national, and his group found that radio waves behaved differently there.


From a base in Green River, Utah, the U.S. military launched an Athena test missile destined for the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The missile mysteriously lost direction in the Zone of Silence region in Mexico and crashed there. The rocket was carrying two small containers of cobalt 57, a radioactive element. A team was sent to recover the material, as well as lots of topsoil, apparently due to possible leakage. Because of the extraordinary interest in the area, speculation includes extraterrestrial visitations.


Strange dwellers have been reported to exist in the region. Many who were exploring, passing through or studying the area for scientific purposes have reported beings who were very tall and fair in complexion, with a Nordic quality, and genial in personality. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Walter Tevis’ “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” (I really have to write about that classic sci-fi novel soon!) Other travelers have reported seeing very small humanlike dwellers, said to be wearing helmets.

Many crossing the region report a variety of strange lights or

fireballs maneuvering at night, changing colors, hanging motionless and then

taking off at great speed. Also there seem to be very, very ancient ruins, which archeologists have had trouble dating. Some have called the site the “Mexican Stonehenge.” A meteorite crashed near the area in the 1950s. Researcher Luis Maeda Villalobos concluded that the meteorite contains “material as old as the universe.”


So, what do all these reports add up to? How much is overblown hype, or coincidence; and what are the signs of something truly profound and beyond our current understanding?


Perhaps those strange, tingling intuitions about a place are more than just brain quirks; perhaps we are indeed picking up on something mysterious. The best advice in thinking about and studying strange phenomena, as usual, is to keep an open mind.

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