10 Lesser-Known Military Installations Of Conspiracy Lore
ne knows about Area 51, supposedly the center of secret American UFO research and the most secret military installation in the world. While in reality the base has been used for the development of superbombers and stealth aircraft, conspiracy lore has it that it has also been used for a variety of more esoteric research and development projects, including reverse-engineering alien technology, time travel, weather control, teleportation, and energy weapons. Although Area 51 is the most notorious military installation beloved by conspiracy theorists, there are other bases and facilities around the world with their own stories and legends as well.
10 Roosevelt Roads Naval Facility
Once the largest naval facility in the Caribbean, the Roosevelt Roads Naval Facility near Ceiba, Puerto Rico, has been linked to the bloodsucking chupacabra. Rumors abound of animals found drained of blood near US military assets in Puerto Rico. Eyewitnesses have claimed that the Forestry Service was colluding with the creature or its handlers to allow it to escape into nearby woods, while agents of the Department of Agriculture actively kept people away. People believed that the chupacabras were fleeing into the Yunque and Toro Negro rain forests to escape deforestation and pollution.
Many of these reports also coincided with UFO sightings, particularly near a controversial US Navy radar installation at Lajas, the National Guard’s Camp Santiago in Salinas, and Roosevelt Roads. A janitor employed at Fort Buchanan in San Juan reported seeing a dead chupacabra kept on ice and said that military officers threatened him to remain silent. Supposedly, vicious living chupacabras were kept at Roosevelt Roads in the 1990s before being shipped to the mainland US. Some claim that the Navy was engaged in genetic manipulation, possibly linked with the nearby Caribbean Primate Research Center. Rumors persist of a network of caverns beneath Roosevelt Roads, said to be inhabited by a tribe of chupacabras which were left for the people of Ceiba to deal with when the Navy abandoned the base in 2004.
According to Puerto Rican ufologist Jorge Martin, in 1997, a young man was killed on the streets of La Colectora in the city of Santurce. The man was shot at close range as he sat in the driver’s seat of a Honda Prelude. In the backseat, police found a vial inside a manila envelope in the pocket of a military-style jacket. The crystal vial contained some kind of embryo in a translucent liquid, and the manila envelope had the handwritten words “Base de Ceiba,” which could only refer to Roosevelt Roads. A television news investigation ensued, which received phone calls saying that the embryo was nothing more than a souvenir toy.
However, an anonymous source from the Puerto Rico Forensics Sciences Institute reported that a medical examination was underway when an American pathologist burst in, and federal agents came to declare the area off-limits. He also said,
We saw the small body that was in the jar, and it was different from the ones shown on TV. It was not a keychain. It was not a toy. [. . .] What I saw was made out of flesh, tissue and what seemed like blood. It had very pale skin. It looked like a small fetus or embryo . . . but it was really weird. It was an ugly little thing.
9 Rudloe Manor
Situated beneath Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, RAF Rudloe Manor was a highly sensitive military installation that some conspiracy theorists believe to be far more extensive than the British government is willing to admit. They claim that beneath Wiltshire, there is a virtual underground city controlled by the government, with secret NATO command posts, nuclear bunkers, and computer complexes. It was indeed a highly sensitive facility, the center for nuclear missile deployment, as well as for military and intelligence communications relays and the government’s contingency seat in the event of a crisis. They also claim that Rudloe Manor is the center of the secret British UFO research program, a claim that is strenuously denied by the Ministry of Defense.
In 1996, MP Martin Redmond asked a number of questions in Parliament about the government’s UFO investigations. He was given some classified material, including documents related to a group called the Provost and Security Services (P&SS), which is based at Rudloe Manor. Several years earlier, ufologist Timothy Good had reported speaking to a P&SS agent who had detailed information about UFOs.
One of the responsibilities of the P&SS is the “Flying Complaints Flight” department, where citizens can complain about low-flying planes over Britain. Some believe that this is merely a cover for the Rudloe Manor UFO research program. In the early 21st century, many British UFO research documents were released, which admitted that Rudloe Manor collected information on UFOs until 1992 and also detailed several attempts by UFO enthusiasts to break into the base.
8 Diego Garcia
A plethora of wild and wacky conspiracy theories were touted in the wake of the tragic loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Many focused on the military base on the Diego Garcia atoll, which is a British-controlled territory leased to the US military. Ex–Proteus Airlines head Marc Dugain has claimed that the US Air Force shot the plane down when they learned that hackers had taken control of it and were possibly about to stage a 9/11-style terrorist attack. He claims that Maldives residents spotted an aircraft with “red and blue stripes with a white background” heading toward Diego Garcia and that he has seen photographs of an empty Boeing fire extinguisher washed up on a beach at nearby Baarah island. He says that Boeing planes have a remote control system, which is vulnerable to attack.
Others have also cited anecdotal evidence for the conspiracy theory. British woman Katherine Tee says that she was aboard a sloop traveling between Cochin, India, and Phuket, Thailand, when she saw “the outline of a plane. It looked longer than planes usually do. There was what appeared to be black smoke streaming from behind it.”
Freelance journalist Jim Stone, meanwhile, claimed that a passenger named Philip Wood sent out an image and a voice-activated text claiming to be held hostage by unknown military personnel, along with GPS coordinates corresponding to a location a few kilometers from Diego Garcia. While it is true that the atoll is cleared as an emergency landing site for commercial aircraft crossing the Indian Ocean, the US military has denied that the plane came anywhere near the base. When possible wreckage from the ill-fated flight washed up on Reunion Island in 2015, interest in the Diego conspiracy theory peaked again.
Author John Chuckman agrees with the theorists:
There would be nothing unprecedented in such an act: on at least three occasions, regrettably, America’s military has shot down civilian airliners. [. . .] I have no idea what event (a rogue pilot, a hijacker?) led to Flight MH370 turning off its communications, changing course, and flying low, but I do know that the event could not have gone unnoticed by America’s military-intelligence eyes and ears.
7 Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
While the UFO crash at Roswell is most commonly linked with the Area 51 facility in Nevada, it is said that the recovered aliens and their technology were actually transported to Hanger 18 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Inside the hanger, the story goes, is the infamous Blue Room, where the recovered extraterrestrial materials were inspected by President Harry Truman himself. While many have scoffed at the claims, Ohio ufologist Leonard H. Stringfield published monographs in which he claimed to have heard firsthand accounts describing the bodies of creatures with pear-shaped heads and large, slanted eyes being stored at the base.
There have been a number of Congressional investigations into the notion that there is extraterrestrial material stored at Wright-Patterson, but they have turned up nothing. However, that hasn’t dissuaded recurring interest from many different quarters over the years. Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater told the New Yorker that he asked his friend, General Curtis LeMay, if he could see what was inside Hanger 18. Goldwater described the response: “He just gave me holy hell. He said, ‘Not only can’t you get into it but don’t you ever mention it to me again.’ ” In 2014, an elderly woman told MUFON that a close friend who held a high rank at Wright-Patterson told her, “If the public knew what was at the base from the Roswell incident, there would be a general panic amongst the public.”
6 Loring Air Force Base
In the 1970s, Maine’s Loring Air Force Base was the world’s largest strategic nuclear B-52 bomber base and home to the 42nd Bomb Wing, which was operational from 1953–94. On October 27, 1975, a patrolman near the Loring weapons dump reported seeing an unidentified aircraft over the northern perimeter of the base. It ignored attempts at contact and entered the area over the nuclear weapons storage area at an altitude of 100 meters (300 ft) before dropping to 50 meters (150 ft). It was described as having helicopter-like attributes.
The commander of the 42nd, Colonel Robert E. Chapman, soon arrived with military police and ordered the base sealed. The object was tracked on radar for around 40 minutes before it vanished from radar, though witnesses reported seeing it moving toward Grand Falls, New Brunswick, to the east. The base remained on high alert, and official attempts to identify the aircraft went nowhere.
The following evening, the craft, or another like it, returned. It was described as an orange and red football-shaped object and was seen hovering over the weapons depot while also being tracked by radar. The same object, or possibly a second one, was reported hovering above the flight line and was pursued to the edge of the northern runway. Described as five car lengths long, it moved in a strange, jerky fashion, turned its lights on and off, and at one point was reported as being only 1.5 meters (5 ft) off the ground. However, a Maine Army National Guard helicopter that was deployed to the area found nothing. While there were further military and civilian UFO reports in the area, no explanation was ever released.
5 Kapustin Yar
On the Volga River, close to the modern Kazakh border, stood Kapustin Yar, an extremely sensitive Soviet aerospace research facility that was one of the launch sites for the Soviet space program. The nearby town of Zhitkur was evacuated to help maintain the military’s secrecy, as Soviet and captured Nazi scientists worked on rockets for the Soviet space program, as well as new aircraft, new missiles, and other weapons systems.
According to conspiracy lore, in 1948, an unidentified object was picked up on radar, and a visual sighting was confirmed by a fighter pilot, who described it as a silver, cigar-shaped object. Ordered to engage, the pilot attacked and brought down the UFO with a lucky missile shot after a three-minute dogfight, but he may have also been shot down by a particle beam weapon. Recovery teams collected the wreckage and brought it to the underground facility at Kapustin Yar.
After that, MiG pilots were ordered by Stalin to attempt to bring down any UFO seen over Soviet airspace, which they allegedly did many times over the ensuing decades, helping to boost the Soviet space program with alien technology. A team of scientists was even sent to the site of the 1908 Tunguska explosion, where they allegedly collected radioactive metal fragments and noted an area around the blast site where plants and animals died.
Kapustin Yar allegedly became the epicenter of Soviet UFO research. American U-2 spy planes photographing the base reported not only launch sites and runways, but also mysterious glyphs, which ufologists speculate were used to attract UFOs. In 1960, another two UFOs were said to have crashed near the base, causing a fireball that persisted for over an hour, killing personnel and damaging parts of the base. In 1989, members of two army units near Kapustin Yar reported seeing a phosphorescent green UFO hovering 20 meters (60 ft) above the base’s arsenal. It was described as a 5-meter-wide (15 ft) circular disc with a semi-spherical dome on top. Some ufologists believe that even today, the Russians still have caverns filled with UFO material and alien corpses at Kapustin Yar.
4 New Berchtesgaden
In 1939, a secret German expedition was sent to Queen Maud’s Land in Antarctica, supposedly with the intention of setting up a base. According to most historians, the expedition aboard the naval vessel Schwabenland was largely for aerial mapping purposes, with an eye toward making territorial claims or setting up a whaling station. The outbreak of World War II pretty much scuttled those plans.
Conspiracy theorists don’t believe that story. They claim that the Germans successfully constructed a base in Antarctica, an icy redoubt to which the Nazis could flee. They did just that in U-boats following the end of the war. One theorist called the base New Berchtesgaden and claimed that a German U-boat, U-530, which had called into an Argentine port in 1945, was spiriting Hitler, Eva Braun, and others to the secret base.
The British, meanwhile, had their own secret bases on the icy continent, which they used to spy on the Germans. The British SAS attempted to attack and destroy the base on Christmas 1945. Attacks by the Americans during Operation Highjump culminated in the detonation of three atomic weapons over the base, finally eliminating it. Rumor has it that the Germans defended themselves with flying saucers.
As sensational as the story is, the narrative is pieced together from random factual information and doesn’t really hold together. The Germans didn’t have the time or resources to set up a base in Antarctica in 1939–40. Subsequent British and American activities in Antarctica had their own geopolitical motives and were nowhere near Queen Maud’s Land. The nuclear tests over Antarctica took place in the upper atmosphere, south of Cape Town. There was no way for U-boats to approach any secret base due to pack ice, and supposed references to flying saucers were a bad translation of an article in a Spanish magazine in which a US Navy admiral talks about the threat of Soviet aircraft operating over the polar regions.
3 Porton Down
According to pseudonymous ufologist James Prescott, in 1974, North Yorkshire police sergeant Tony Dodd was stationed at an Army barracks in Southern England when his unit was suddenly placed on emergency status and ordered to proceed toward Birmingham. They were then ordered to North Wales, where they finally ended up in the town of Llangollen. The Welsh town was buzzing with military activity, both in the air and on the ground. They were next directed to the village of Llandderfel, where they were charged with delivering two oblong-shaped boxes, without opening them, to the base at Porton Down.
When the unit reached the facility, the staff opened the boxes. According to Dodd:
What I saw in the boxes that day made me change my whole concept of life. The bodies were about five to six feet tall, humanoid in shape, but so thin they looked almost skeletal with a covering skin. Although I did not see a craft at the scene of the recovery, I was informed that a large craft had crashed and was recovered by other military units.
He also told of speaking to other military men who claimed that they had been given similar missions, but the creatures they had transported were still alive.
Even stranger was the fact that at the time, the Ministry of Defense was said to be giving technical assistance and support to a BBC science fiction production titled Invasion Earth that dealt with an alien attack on Earth. People thought it was suspicious that the MoD would be helping to produce programs about the Royal Navy shooting down UFOs while publicly dismissing them.
Porton Down had already been linked with rumors of germ and chemical warfare experimentation on humans in the 1950s and 1980s. These are said to involve 20,000 unwitting British servicemen who were exposed to sarin and tabun nerve gas, mustard gas, CS and CR riot gas, LSD, and a mysterious hallucinogen called BZ. One campaigner who tried to uncover the truth was Liz Sigmund, who said:
We know that 40 people were injected with the biological warfare agent Kyasanur Forest Monkey (KFM) disease in 1968. That was apparently done to see if it was of any therapeutic value to leukemia patients. KFM disease has a 28 per cent fatality rate and causes horribly painful encephalitis in humans.
While nothing has been uncovered about the supposed North Wales UFO crash, the British government has admitted to secret biological weapons trials from 1940–79. Centered at Porton Down, the experiments were designed to test British defenses against attack, using “harmless” analogues to biological and chemical weapons. They included dumping zinc cadmium sulfide from Northeast England to Cornwall via plane and exposing over one million people on the south coast of England to bacteria including E. coli and Bacillus globigii. Some ufologists have suggested that it is no coincidence that captured extraterrestrials were taken to a center of germ warfare research.
2 Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center
Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center is a FEMA facility located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 100 kilometers (60 mi) west of Washington, DC. Originally used by the National Weather Bureau to launch weather balloons and kites in the early 1900s, it was acquired by FEMA in 1979. An underground complex was set up to house government officials in the case of nuclear war. The center has its own fire department, ambulance service, and police force. The facilities present at the base are said to include hospitals, streets, office buildings, a freshwater lake, sewage systems, a transit system, a television station, and accommodations for thousands of people.
It is an open secret that these facilities are meant to protect high government officials during periods of crisis. However, conspiracy theorists take it a step further. In 1976, author Richard Pollock wrote an article entitled “The Mysterious Mountain,” claiming that the Mount Weather facility houses an unelected “Government-in-Waiting.” Pollock claimed:
High-level Governmental sources, speaking in the promise of strictest anonymity, told me that each of the Federal departments represented at Mount Weather is headed by a single person on whom is conferred the rank of a Cabinet-level official. Protocol even demands that subordinates address them as “Mr. Secretary.” Each of the Mount Weather “Cabinet members” is apparently appointed by the White House and serves an indefinite term, many through several Administrations. [. . .] The facility attempts to duplicate the vital functions of the Executive branch of the Administration.
Mount Weather is said to house shadow versions of nine federal departments (Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Health, Education and Welfare), five Federal agencies (Federal Communications Commission, Selective Service, Federal Power Commission, Civil Service Commission, and the Veterans Administration), and even offices for the Federal Reserve and US Postal Service. According to Pollock:
As might be expected, there is also an Office of the Presidency at Mount Weather. The Federal Preparedness Agency (predecessor to FEMA) apparently appoints a special staff to the Presidential section, which regularly receives top secret national security estimates and raw data from each of the Federal departments and agencies.
Other activities that are said to be carried out at Mount Weather include collecting data on American citizens, storing information vital to the maintenance of government in crisis, war games, civil crisis management, and maintaining a “survivor’s list” of those deemed vital to national survival. Not surprisingly, the facility has attracted a lot of attention from conspiracy theorists, as they fear that it will be used by FEMA to launch a coup under the guise of a national crisis. In truth, little is known for sure about what’s happening under Mount Weather. In 2001, a FEMA spokesman told Time magazine, “I’ll be glad to tell you all about it, but I’d have to kill you afterward.”
Northern New Mexico’s border town of Dulce is a small community made up of around 3,000 mostly Native American residents. Over the years, residents have reported strange vibrations coming from the ground, as well as the frequent appearance of military helicopters, vehicles, and personnel in the desert. There have also been frequent reports of UFO sightings and cattle mutilations over the decades. Many people believe that there is a secret military base in the area which is engaged in nefarious experiments, performed by humans and aliens working together. There are rumors of a secret underground connection with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, implying that the two centers share information.
In the 1970s, Albuquerque resident Paul Bennewitz began to intercept extraterrestrial signals coming from Dulce, which is near the UFO hot spot around the Colorado–New Mexico border. After some investigation, he came to the conclusion that the signals were originating from an underground base and were communicating with other alien bases and spacecraft. The notion proved popular, and soon, the Dulce base had its own complex mythology surrounding it.
Supposedly, a subterranean nuclear blast in the 1960s carved out a chute to build a secret underground facility that is shared between humans and aliens, specifically the reptilians and the greys. Their primary interest is in genetic experimentation on kidnapped human subjects, but they are also said to be involved in such research as atomic manipulation, cloning, human aura studies, advanced mind control, human-animal crossbreeding, and the wiretapping of human beings’ visual and aural systems. Some say that the aliens are working on ways to adapt their own physiology to Earth’s environment.
According to Thomas Castello, who claimed to be a former member of the Dulce base security personnel, genetic, psychic, and esoteric experiments of many kinds are being performed on human beings who are kidnapped from across the country, caged, and then heavily sedated to seem insane or catatonic. He even reported that a 1978 battle for control of the base took place between human soldiers armed with beam weapons and the reptilians, while the greys played both sides against each other. Interestingly, he claims that the reptilians aren’t actually aliens. They consider themselves native Terrans.
Unfortunately for Castello, after he supposedly took photographs and video footage of genetic experiments, caged humans, greys, and alien technology, he returned home to find that his wife and son had been abducted. Coming to the surprisingly rapid conclusion that they were probably too far gone to saved, he went on the run to save his own skin.
David Tormsen has no security clearance at the Pine Gap facility in Australia. Email him at [email protected].