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10 Conspiracies And Crazy Claims From The Pine Gap Facility

by Marcus Lowth
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Said by some to be the Australian version of Area 51, Pine Gap is certainly the most secretive and off-limits piece of land in the country. A joint US-Australian venture, there are many reports of strange activity around the facility as well as claims of dark conspiracies involving it, as has been the case since operations began in the early 1970s. The base’s officially stated purpose is to monitor the many satellites in space.

Like many highly classified bases, the reports vary. In the case of Pine Gap, the accounts range from intriguing reports of strange lights to the deadly consequences of intelligence-driven drone strikes. Are any of these accounts true, or are they the province of those who find tin foil fashionable? You decide.

10 Lethal Drone Strikes Connected To Pine Gap

Many of us have seen likely seen news footage of drone strikes or, more to the point, the bloody aftermath of them. Following such a drone strike in July 2013 in Pakistan (just one of many), many campaigners claimed the intelligence gathered for the strikes had originated from Pine Gap.[1] Given that many Australians are not in favor of the secretive nature of the base in the first place, these further claims did little to soften their stance.

In fact, such was the anger by some opposed to the strikes, including several human rights groups, that there were calls for a UN inquiry into whether the Australian government could be classified as complicit in the strikes as the United States military. Some of the allegations even went as far as to say Australian officials may have “facilitated targeted killing,” which is against international law.

The claims made by our next entry would appear to not only back up those of the anti-drone groups but suggest that they are merely the tip of the iceberg.

9 Edward Snowden’s Claims About Pine Gap

Photo credit: Skyring

Whistle-blower Edward Snowden has made various claims over the last few years—some of which appear to be remarkably accurate. One of his claims was that the Pine Gap facility is the hub of the NSA and their constant monitoring of the world’s citizens.[2]

As we have mentioned, among the official activities of Pine Gap is monitoring the many satellites that are in orbit around the Earth. Essentially, if Snowden is correct, then everything is already in place for the monitoring of the communications of a vast majority of the world’s population (and, in reality, has been for many years). While this will likely be the result of the ongoing fight against terrorism, it is easy to see why these kinds of claims make many people feel uncomfortable.

Even the location of Pine Gap is said to be such that many signals can be monitored, while at the same time, outside signals don’t get in.

8 The Camouflaged Door Encounter

Perhaps one of the most well-known encounters at Pine Gap is that of three men returning home from an all-night hunting trip. It was around 4:30 AM on December 22, 1989, when the three hunters noticed a “hidden door,” camouflaged in the natural surrounding terrain, open before them.

From behind the door emerged a huge, metallic gray disc.[3] The object moved without sound, hovering for a moment over the base. As the three shocked young men looked on, the disc suddenly shot upward at a lightning pace. In a moment, it was gone. As they gathered their thoughts, they would witness the camouflaged door moving back into place, shutting tight as if it was never there.

The three men would tell their account to a local university professor, who, in turn, would forward a report to UFO researcher John Lear, vouching for the witnesses as “reliable but reluctant to discuss what they saw.”

7 ‘Flying Bathtubs’

Almost a decade previously in 1980 came a similar sighting to that of the three hunters. Two Northern Territory police officers were part of a search operation for a missing child. They were covering the area alongside the Pine Gap facility when suddenly, a door that was previously camouflaged opened in front of them.

Amazed, they watched as several objects with a “bathtub shape” left the doorway and made their way calmly across the base.[4] Even more unbelievable, a dark hole appeared from nowhere in the hills that surrounded the facility. The strange objects entered this opening before it and they disappeared. By the time the two officers had focused their attention back on the doorway, it was nowhere to be seen.

Although both officers would speak of their sightings to researchers, it remains a mystery as to just what they saw. The following two incidents, however, have some remarkable similarities to each other, despite being a decade apart.

6 Strange Blue Lights

While carrying out work for the Australian government in early 1973, a cartographer would have one of the earliest-recorded strange experiences connected to Pine Gap. It was shortly after midnight when an intense vertical shaft of blue light lit up in front of him, obviously coming from inside the grounds of the base.

Going against his better instincts, he slowly moved his vehicle closer to the base. Upon arriving as close as he dared, he could hardly believe the sight before him. About 300 meters (1,000 ft) from the ground, a large, gleaming disc hovered.[5]

As he watched, another beam of blue light came from the UFO and toward the ground, where several radomes (weatherproof housings that protect radar antennae) were situated. A few moments of silence followed the lights ceasing before another light beam appeared again, this time from the radomes to the craft above. This situation repeated for around 30 minutes before the disc began to spin quicker and quicker. In a flash, it shot into the sky and was gone.

5 Mysterious Tip Leads To Strange Sightings

Perhaps because of the nature of their work in the Australian government, the five witnesses of a 1984 encounter at Pine Gap preferred to tell of the incident anonymously.[6] The leader of the group had been receiving increasing reports of UFO sightings in the skies over Pine Gap in the weeks leading up to the encounter. One message, however, was more mysterious than the rest. It advised that “something big was going to happen” at Pine Gap in the upcoming days. (The dates given remain a mystery, again in the interests of protecting the men’s identities.)

Acting on this news, the five men split themselves into two groups, and using two vehicles, they approached the base from different positions. Once there, they essentially kept a stakeout of the grounds.

For the first three days, there was no activity of any kind. On the fourth night, however, that changed. Several large military vehicles began ferrying large groups of workers in coveralls to the large radomes on the base. As this was taking place, a pillar of light suddenly shot upward from the ground to the sky. A strange cloud was forming high up above around the pillar.

When it vanished, five strange craft were making their way to the base—four diamond-shaped UFOs and one of a cigar shape. Once they were over the base, the pillar of light appeared again, this time from the craft above to the grounds below. This went on for several minutes, all while the strange cloud above continued to form. In a moment, the five craft had vanished.

4 Strange Activity Viewed From Private Plane

In 1975, while flying a private plane near Pine Gap’s airspace, the pilot and the several passengers on board were all interested to get a sneaky look at the strange activities in the relatively new and secretive facility. Hence, all had their attention toward the base. And they were not to be disappointed.[7]

Out of nowhere, a large, white object appeared to take off from the base below them at absolute breakneck speed. Almost as soon as the witnesses focused their eyes on the bizarre object, it had vanished into the sky above them.

The plane continued on its journey, and upon landing, the pilot made a report of the sighting. Both the pilot and all of the passengers were asked to wait for investigators to take further details of their encounter. Upon arriving, these investigators allegedly told the witnesses that they were not to talk about what they saw and essentially to forget the incident.

3 The Many ‘Gardeners’ Of Alice Springs

Photo credit: Pavel Špindler

The Pine Gap facility employs as many as 1,000 people. Most of these employees make their homes in nearby Alice Springs and are, for the most part, split between Australian and US intelligence.

Many people have researched and explored the town as part of their investigations into Pine Gap, and many of the residents of Alice Springs are indeed American. However, should you ask any of these transplanted Americans what their line of work is, most will reply they are a gardener.[8] At least, that is the in-house joke among such researchers. These “gardeners” (or various other low-key professions) are most likely workers at Pine Gap.

Their need to remain low-key suggests, to some, that the work carried out at the facility is indeed of a top secret nature. Such secrecy often creates suspicion, as it would seem very much has happened here. Perhaps that is the reason for the outlandish nature of our last two claims.

2 Operating In Other Dimensions

Similar to how those at CERN have been accused of looking to open doorways to alternate dimensions, so has the facility in the desert lands of Australia. One particular researcher and author, Richard Sauder, wrote extensively of these claims in his book Underground Bases and Tunnels, in which he boldly stated that the base operates in alternate dimensions.[9]

While these claims are crazy in their own right, the reasons given for them are perhaps even more so. They include experiments with time travel and super soldier programs that take place in the future, before the soldier is age-reversed and sent back to the past.

As you might imagine, those who subscribe to Sauder’s claims are few and far between, and while there is most probably is some clandestine activity taking place at Pine Gap, it is very likely to be in our reality.

The last entry on our list is no less outlandish.

1 The CIA Portal Experiments

While it is widely accepted that various branches of US intelligence operate out of Pine Gap, the presence of the CIA is often the one met with most suspicion. Perhaps the truly strangest conspiracy claims involving the CIA are those suggesting time travel experiments and super soldier programs that take place on Mars, no less. Many of these claims exist, and while they have to be treated with a very large pinch of salt, they are interesting.

The aforementioned Richard Sauder claimed to have spoken with a whistle-blower named Rich Hansen. According to Sauder, Hansen not only was a part of these ultrasecret programs, but he “left for Mars military service from a time portal in Australia.”[10] While Sauder didn’t confirm the location to be Pine Gap, assuming for a moment there is some truth to these wild claims, the only likely location would be such a place.

Unless the facility suddenly becomes declassified, and its decades-old secrets are laid bare, then the theories, claims, and sightings will likely continue for some time.


Read about more alleged sites of nefarious conspiratorial activities on 10 Alleged Top Secret Bases That Officially Don’t Exist and 10 Lesser-Known Military Installations Of Conspiracy Lore.

fact checked by Jamie Frater
Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a passion for anything interesting, be it UFOs, the Ancient Astronaut Theory, the paranormal or conspiracies. He also has a liking for the NFL, film and music.

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