I've always had an interest in the paranormal. Ghosts, cryptids, haunted locations, you name it, I loved it. I loved it so much that I started up a blog dedicated to my obsession. I would post often about urban legends, ghost sightings and haunted locations. Most of the time, the stories were just that –stories that people would send me, or I'd write them up myself and do research. But every once in awhile, I'd find a case worthy of doing some "in the field" investigative journalism; this was one of those cases.
I had actually stumbled upon it by accident, having discovered it by scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing a video someone had shared. The first thing that intrigued me was that this story took place right in my own back yard –Las Vegas, Nevada. In the video, a reporter was talking about how two teens had been detained for trespassing on land owned by the United States government. Sounded simple enough, right? The strange part is what the two teens had to say about the incident.
"Something is wrong there. Sirens. Abandoned buildings. Other things, ones that shouldn't exist... they're hiding something..." The one teen spoke in a calm, trance-like voice, staring off into the distance, her eyes glazed over.
The other one spoke hysterically: "I can't believe it! They just came after us, they wouldn't stop... screaming," the teen shuddered at this statement. "I'm not crazy! The buildings just appeared before my eyes, and so did they..."
The reporter said that a drug screening was pending. See, the thing is that it's not all that uncommon for someone to have a really bad trip and go blab random spooky shit on the news, but this one seemed different. The kids looked completely sober –no bloodshot eyes, no clammy skin, no slurred speech, but what was off about them was the marks that covered their bodies. It was hard to see on my old tv, but I could just barely make out red marks crisscrossing both teens' arms, marks that were not explained or looked over in the thirty second news report. The second strange thing was the fact that they were being detained for trespassing in the middle of the desert. Now I know the government owns quite a bit of land north of Vegas that comprises the Nevada Test Site, but this wasn’t part of that land.
That land is to the northwest of town, while this land was to the northeast, a huge empty spot with no uses to it. Some immediate questions came to my mind: why were these kids exploring this seemingly random patch of land, and why did the government own this seemingly random patch of land? I even did a quick Google search and looked on every map I could find, but on none of them could I find any record of the government owning or purchasing land there. This is strange, because even top secret facilities tend to show up on Google and are usually the subject of numerous conspiracy theories. For example, you can find facilities like Area 51 and Yucca Mountain on Google Maps, but this? This land didn't exist.
Something really weird was definitely going on. Now I normally don't investigate cases that are too conspiracy theory-like, but given the rather chilling and convincing testimony from the two teens, I was willing to investigate it myself. This was going to be a tough one, but I started looking for clues anywhere I could. I checked public documents, old news stories, press releases, anything I could get my hands on that showed existence of government land on that spot. It all came up blank. Hell, I even drove up Interstate 15 to check it out and there wasn't a damn thing except dirt on that entire stretch of land. The only thing that even hinted there was something there was that Facebook video which had since been mysteriously deleted. But I wasn't about to give up, no, this only made me more determined.
I had a gut feeling that something was going on here, something that scared me deeply. I decided to call a friend of mine, Will, who happened to be an expert in the field of strange occurrences. Some would probably call him a conspiracy theorist, but I would call him a government watchdog. We met in a little diner on a bright Saturday morning to discuss the situation.
"So, I hear some spooky shit is going on, huh? What's up?" the large man spoke as he eyed the stack of pancakes in front of him.
"Last week, I saw a news video on Facebook about some teens who got caught on restricted government land."
"What's so interesting about that?"
"They seemed scared out of their minds, like they had been attacked by monsters or something. It seemed like genuine fear."
"I'm always down for some strange government exploits, but teens make stuff up all the time. What made this believable?"
"It wasn't just the way they talked, they had marks on them. Like they had been attacked." Will suddenly leaned forward, his attention now fully mine. "And that's not all, I looked up this government land, right? It doesn't exist. Not on any map, I even drove out there. Nothing, zip. But the news cast was real, I recognized the channel and the anchor, there's no way it was faked. The kids are actually in jail. The video has since been suspiciously deleted and I can't find anything on the news channel's website. So what the hell is going on?"
Will sat back for a moment, deep in thought. "The government's definitely hiding something, that's for sure. Probably a lab that those kids stumbled upon. But you're usually into ghost stuff, right? You think it's paranormal?"
"I don't know, but I wanna find out. You think this place is hidden?"
"If it turns out it is real and not just some doped-up kids, then yes, I think it's hidden. The government uses a kind of cloaking device that can disguise a large area in plain sight. You could scan the whole desert by helicopter and never spot a misplaced stone. This is perfect for something like a hidden base or whatever, I've seen it used before. There are a few different ways to interrupt the device, but unless you wanna spend hours throwing rocks at the dirt looking for a ripple, there's an easier way. Traveling faster than 95 miles per hour seems to let you see through the cloaking field. I don't know why it works, but it does."
"So I just have to speed?"
"Yep. But seriously, be careful, okay? I know you'll probably do better than those kids but if the government is willing to jail people and cover this place up then it must be something serious; I don't wanna think about what happens if you get caught."
"Thanks, Will, you know I'll be careful."
I spent the rest of the day packing up a little survival bag just in case before setting off towards the northeastern edge of town. I was nervous as I traveled, but I just had to know what the hell was going on. The fact that something serious was going on in my own back yard was irresistible to me, I had to know the truth. It honestly wasn't even about the blog post anymore, though that would certainly be great as well. I got onto the interstate, and as I passed the last exit in town I put my foot to the floor, working my engine hard as it accelerated. I figured that out of this trip I would either get a hefty ticket or a hell of a story, but the risk was worth the reward. Luckily, the road was fairly empty today and so I didn't have much trouble speeding like a maniac. I was just starting to lose hope in my adventure when I spotted something that I had never seen on this highway before: an old, tattered billboard. The sign read 'rest stop, 2 miles' and pointed off into the desert. Off in the distance, I could vaguely make out some worn out buildings that I certainly haven't seen before. It dawned on me that this had to be the spot because these buildings hadn't been here before.
I began to slow down as I approached the billboard and sure enough, it all faded away right before my eyes. I stopped right about where the sign should be and stared into the desert. There was nothing there –no signs, no buildings, just empty land. I hesitated at that junction, I suddenly felt afraid of what I might find. This was all suddenly getting a little too real for me, having actually seen this unexplained phenomenon in person. I had dealt with some possibly paranormal situations in the past, but I had never seen something disappear before my eyes. I sat there in my car, regaining my composure in the sheer silence of the desert. No, I had gone too far to back out now, I'd invested too much interest to not find out the truth. I cranked the steering wheel and drove my car off the road towards where the billboard was. The air around me rippled suddenly and it was as if the horizon parted, revealing a different world.
I was driving on an ancient-looking, sun-bleached road that was somehow connected to the highway. Along the sides of the road were various pieces of junk; rusted cars and broken appliances sat abandoned. Up ahead, the ramshackle buildings became more clear to my view. They looked very old, like a ghost town almost. They were clearly public buildings and not government facilities, though it seemed likely that it might be just a front for the real operation. I felt a cold chill on the back of my neck as I got closer to the cluster of buildings. Something just didn't seem right about this place. If it was a government area, why were there no guards? Why were there no security measures, no military bunkers? I was genuinely scared, and not because I was afraid of getting caught, I was afraid of what the hell they were hiding there. I eventually pulled up to a bend in the road, and right around the corner sat a long line of abandoned buildings.
This place looked like it hadn't been touched in 50 years; the paint peeled, rust covered everything, and not a single spec of land was free from the dirty clutches of dust. I stopped my car right next to the first building on the right. That creepy, cold feeling still sat on the back of my neck as is meekly peered out at the surroundings. I left my car and began to walk down the street, having no idea where to start first. I decided upon a small, squat building with what was once a baby blue paint job. A sign read 'grocer' in dull black letters that sagged over the front of the building. I walked up to the dirt-covered windows, not seeing a damn thing through the thick, dusty panes. I quickly look around me once again like a paranoid fool before opening the door and stepping inside. The door opened roughly, stopping halfway through as it caught on who knows what. Being fed up with this already, I slid through the cracks in the door and was immediately struck by just how much dust was in this damn place.
The whole place was dim despite the sunlight outside, the thick dirt on the windows blacking out the sun. I pulled out my flashlight and pointed it around, noticing nothing at all of interest. This was weird to me. The government was covering this place up, they obviously didn't want anyone here, yet there wasn't a thing of interest there. I checked every corner of that room before moving on to the next building, then another, then another. I was starting to think that maybe I had just somehow stumbled across a ghost town by accident. Then I saw it. Right as I was considering packing it up and leaving, I saw... something... stumble out of a building on the far side of the street. It was too hard to tell who it was from here, but I could tell it was a person.
I was starting to get excited, thinking maybe they had come out of a hidden bunker, that maybe that was where all of the secrets were hidden. But something was wrong with this whole scene. The person just seemed to stumble along the street aimlessly, walking almost like a zombie. They zigzag'd back and forth without any sense of direction; I don't think they even saw me. I curiously began to approach the figure, wondering if maybe they were sick or something. The person slowly approached another building as I came up behind it while still keeping a safe distance. From here I couldn't tell much, but the person appeared to be wearing a pair of overalls and an old t-shirt. The rest of their body was covered in dirty brown bandages, ones that were thick and stained with what I could only assume to be blood.
The person looked ancient, like a mummy come to life and just seeing the figure made my blood run cold. It stopped suddenly before the door, turning its head slightly to the left. The thing didn't breath, but I could distinctly hear the sound of its joints snapping as it turned. It looked directly at me and I froze in place, paralyzed by fear. The thing let out a loud, agonizing wail. It began to twist and shake, contorting sickly in front of me. At first I thought it was is anger, but it wasn't –it was pain. The creature twisted and screamed and yelled in pain... so much pain; agony incarnate. I took a step backward and the thing suddenly came to life, lunging at me impossibly fast. I immediately turned around and ran as fast as I could. I couldn't help but look behind me as I ran, only to see the creature limping and dragging its tortured frame at an alarming speed.
I ran directly across the street, heading for the building that it came out of, hoping beyond hope that it wouldn't follow me inside. The door slammed shut behind me as I entered total darkness –the windows here were draped with heavy curtains. I stopped and sat against the door, bracing for the bandaged creature to bang against it, but the knocks never came. I don't know how long I sat there in the dark, contemplating all of this. Eventually, I regained the courage to stand up and turn on my flashlight. I was surprised to see that the room around me was completely empty except for a large vault door that was slightly ajar. I had come so far, and despite my deep-seated fears I felt that I had no choice but to keep going.
I opened the large steel door wider, cringing at the sound of heavy metal grating against the wood floor. Behind the door was a long, steep flight of stairs that descended into a pitch black abyss. With some hesitation I began my descent into the bunker. This was it, the secret base I had been waiting for... the place where the bandaged figure had emerged from. Two things were blatantly apparent to me as soon as I reached the bottom: the strong metallic scent and the unnatural chill. It was over 100 degrees outside, but this bunker seemed to be freezing despite apparently not having any power. I shined my flashlight around to see that I was in some sort of central room with several smaller rooms branching off of it, along with one long hallway directly to my left.
Surrounding me was a scene out of a 1950s cold war movie –hastily scribbled notes covered bare metal tables and huge arrays of tapes and tubes made up what I could only assume to be a military computer from the 50's. Along the far wall was a cork board covered in various pinpoints dancing across a map of the world. There was a large red circle surrounding Las Vegas, and one surrounding Moscow. All around me were cold war propaganda posters and signs reminding workers to always wear proper safety equipment. This was definitely a military base like I had hoped, but not some sort of current high-tech area 51-styled place. No, this was a relic. Lost, abandoned. Locked up by the military and left unguarded for years. Something terrible must have happened here. It was then that I noticed the steady, rhythmic sounds of air seeping through one of the doorways, though I couldn't place its source. Obviously, this place must still have power if an air system was running, so I thought I would try to turn on this ancient computer and see what secrets I could find.
Unfortunately, I knew nothing about 60-year old industrial computers, so I was having some trouble. I instead turned to the various notes surrounding me, looking for any sort of clues. Most of them listed a date, sometime in 1956, and said "test failed". I saw that over and over again –February 2nd, 1956, test failed. March 8th, 1956, test failed. March 27th, 1956, test failed. Dozens and dozens of entries littered this desk. But then, at the very bottom of one of the pieces of paper were two final entries. The first one said "November 1st, 1956, progress made, connection unstable. Otherside coordinates unknown." The second one read "November 7th, 1956, connection successful... my God, what have we done?"
A bad feeling manifested in the pit of my stomach at the sound of those words. What had they done in this place? Before I could further contemplate my thoughts, I heard a loud, muffled bang coming from my left. Startled by the sudden noise, I slowly crept closer to the door, which was the one leading down the long hallway. As I got closer, the sound of moving air grew louder and louder... its steady beat sounding almost like breathing. I went up to the small glass window in the door, peering through to investigate; what I saw shook me to my core.
Eyes. Hundreds of large, red, glowing eyes stared right back at me. They peered at me, those trench coat wearing figures bore down on me through their military grade gas masks. The heavy sound of mechanical breathing was loud in my ears. They moved, crowding around the door, banging on it, screaming things that I couldn't understand. I stumbled back, tripping over my own feet as I struggled to get up and leave that cursed place. I ran blindly up the stairs, leaving the building in total panic. As I burst out into the sunlight, my eyes struggled to unjust to the bright Mojave desert. I rubbed my eyes as I ran, hoping desperately to reach my car. Then suddenly I stopped, my ears growing keen to the sudden, unmistakable sound of an air raid siren blaring through the town. It pierced my ears, driving my panic even further. I watched around me as creatures emerged from buildings and alleyways, slowly filling the street. Some of them were human looking, covered in bandages or wearing gas masks. Others were different; grey skinned, hulking, impossibly long and skinny. They had long, sharp claws, bulbous heads with no faces... big, leathery wings that hung limply at their sides. They all lumbered slowly towards me, twitching, scraping against the ground.
I just ran. I felt nothing but the beating of my heart in my chest, I just ran. I came upon my car, entering it and flooring the gas more so than I ever had in my life, turning sharply and speeding out of that damned place. The air raid sirens continued behind me, a cacophony of chaos in my ears. Then suddenly, as my car rocketed down the aged road, I was surrounded by dust and my vision was lost. A huge boom –unmistakably an explosion– pulverized the town behind me. I just kept going. I chased that road until I saw the old billboard where I turned back onto the highway, back into the normal world where monsters don't exist and I just... kept... going.
I looked behind me one more time as I sped away incredibly fast, only to see no mushroom cloud, no smoke; yet the town still stood in the distance, mocking me, perfectly preserved with its menagerie of horrors. I slowed down back to a normal speed and the town disappeared into nothingness, as if it had never existed.
I shut down my blog after that. I stopped talking to Will, I stopped exploring and questioning things. I had spent a good part of my life exploring the 'paranormal' and had never seen anything more than an object move or an unexplained noise. This was real, it was tangible; it was pure evil... this wasn’t something to be messing around with as a hobby.
I was never contacted by the government after that, though sometimes I’ll see a completely blacked-out Suburban parked near my house that I swear I’ve never seen before. I guess I’m not worth their time to mess with, or maybe I’ve just gotten lucky. No matter what the truth is, I’m never going back to that life ever again. The truth is uglier than I thought.
Written by KillKoss