Here’s something interesting — try searching for these GPS coordinates on your preferred satellite imaging program: 33°44’01.9″N, 106°12’28.2″W
Notice anything strange? While a line of military vehicles snaking through a remote area of the New Mexico desert isn’t unheard of, their apparent destination might raise some eyebrows.
Where are these tanks and trucks headed? There doesn’t appear to be any large outpost or above-ground structures nearby to serve as a destination. A popular explanation is that the image benignly depicts a staged “dummy convoy” used for target practice and military exercises. Maybe — but the fact that there isn’t evidence of damaged or destroyed vehicles in the vicinity contradicts this interpretation.
Alternative theories for the traffic in the desert have to do with massive subterranean complexes built by the military. Known as Deep Underground Military Bases (DUMBs), these unacknowledged installations have a long and storied history. From extraterrestrial shoot-outs to clandestine apocalypse-proof safe havens for the elite, these facilities have played a central role in many conspiracy theories — but how real are they?
Declassified Air Force documents prove that the concept has been seriously considered for decades, with one 1960’s plan calling for the construction of a “super hardened” post-attack bunker 4,500 feet below the surface.
This Deep Underground Support Center (DUSC) was intended to encapsulate 40,000 square feet worth of military operations, crew and equipment. A similar proposal was put forth by the Secretary of Defense calling for a Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC) to provide for continuity of critical government functions should a nuclear event ever threaten the United States. Officials insist that neither of the DUMBs were ever constructed.
One well-known underground base established in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Pennsylvania was designed to act as a mini-Pentagon in case of an assault on Washington DC. Known as the Raven Rock Mountain Complex, the sprawling compound (also called Site R) amounts to over 265,000 square feet of highly-classified activity. According to James Bamford, author of A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies, the interior of the hollowed-out mountain consists of “a secret world of five buildings, each three stories tall, computer-filled caverns, and a subterranean water reservoir.” Not bad for 1950’s technology.
A similar outpost (or inpost?) was built in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the 1960s. Situated below 2,000 feet of solid granite, Cheyenne Mountain Complex was forged to withstand earthquakes, nuclear explosions, biological threats and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks. It’s been home to various top-secret military projects since its inception and is kept active in case a national emergency arises.
Over the decades, the allure of DUMBs have acted as a UFOlogical ‘trou de loup’ — the medieval booby trap consisting of a spike-lined hole in the ground disguised with dirt and leaves. Their concealed dangers have crippled plenty of researchers’ careers, with the sharpest stick in the pile being Dulce.
Multiple ‘whistle-blowers’ have attempted to raise the flag on an alleged DUMB black-project unfolding in Dulce, New Mexico. Rumors surfaced in the 1980s about the existence of an underground base extending over 7-stories and 3 cubic miles beneath the Archuleta Mesa. Various documents of unknown provenance, commonly referred to as “The Dulce Papers,” assert that extraterrestrials have been holed up below the surface of the New Mexican town for centuries, partaking in human genetic and hybridization experiments after striking a bargain with the U.S. government.
In a recently published book, Saucers, Spooks and Kooks: UFO Disinformation in the Age of Aquarius, author Adam Gorightly traces the genesis of the infamous Dulce rumors, finding that many of them were introduced into the public consciousness by a small group of UFOlogists.
Gorightly makes the case that these ‘useful idiots’ were leveraged by intelligence agents to sow seeds of disinformation about bloodthirsty, cave-dwelling aliens in order to both discredit the field of UFO research and muddy the waters around real government projects. These hard-to-swallow anecdotes did more than just set the stage for a niche-industry of books, lectures and videos about battles between Delta Forces and violent aliens — they also provided critics with a broad brush with which to paint all UFO researchers (the label of “Kook” comes readily to mind).
Spooks and Kooks poses an interesting question: Just how much of the eye-rolling fodder about massive bases buried in the ground is based in reality? The author notes that some of the best falsehoods are built upon layers of truth, referencing 1967’s Project Gasbuggy as an example of a secret government initiative designed to detonate a nuclear device 4,200 feet underground in northern New Mexico. Ostensibly billed as an early attempt at fracking, similar efforts were replicated in other states over the next few years. Could tales concerning deceptive DUMBs simply serve as convoluted cover stories to obfuscate actual events?
Although the military denies the presence of any DUMBs near Dulce, according to a hand-drawn map that made the rounds in the 1980s, the below-ground installation was real. Different versions of the crudely drawn map showed Dulce as the hub for a state-spanning system of secret tunnels and bases. Despite being derided as a fake, some of the underground facilities pictured on the DUMB map were later confirmed to exist.
This seems to support Gorightly’s take that some of the biggest promoters of DUMB conspiracies blended kernels of fact with over-the-top fabrications to create a perfectly unbelievable mixture.
As far as the mysterious ‘convoy to nowhere’ pictured at the start of this article — some have commented that the vehicles’ location is near a covert entrance into a sub-terrestrial highway. The region in question is within a 100-mile radius of both Socorro and Roswell, New Mexico, and adjacent to the White Sands Missile Range. All of these areas have associations with crashed UFOs and secret government projects.
Adding fuel to this DUMB speculation, a 2019 article in Military Times noted that White Sands is one the few bases with the infrastructure in place to train soldiers in “subterranean tunnel warfare.”
Perhaps immense underground bases are more prevalent than we think — the truth hiding in plain sight, if you can separate fact from fiction.
Good luck. You’re gonna need a map.