We are lost in the desert in northern Mexico, between the states of Durango, Chihuahua and Coahuila, in an area known as zona del silencio, in english, the “zone of silence”. This area is also known as Mapimí Silent Zone, for its close proximity to the mexican city of Mapimi. According to the legend, in this area electromagnetic transmissions cannot be received, radio doesn’t work, compasses do not point to magnetic north, and the flora and fauna have abnormal mutations. Over the years, of course, they told stories about alien, falling “hot pebbles” and all sorts of paranormal activities that have been drawing tourists and courious from all over the world.
The myth started in July, 1970, when the U.S. military base near Green River, Utah fired an Athena test missile toward White Sands Missile Range. The missile lost control and instead of landing on the intended target, continued 400 miles south and fell in the Mapimí Desert region. Immediately, a team of specialists arrived to search the fallen rocket, and when was found after three weeks of intense research, was built an airstrip to transport the wreckage. The entire operation was very silent, like governmental common sense, and nobody was told anything or asked. But despite this, the secretive nature of the operation was already spurring rumors among the local people. One of the different versions of the story tells about a certain local man, Jamie, who was hired by the military to guard the missile from vandals and sight-seers. Jaime rather liked the attention and money that the missile had brought, and when the military left, with two local landowners began to talk about the possibility of building a hotel in the area to encourage tourism. Some people say that it was Jamie who began to generate interest in the area, creating a story with both ingredients of science and local folklore, and fed it to the regional media. According to this bizarre story, strange magnetic anomalies of the atmosphere prevent radio transmission in specific points and make the needles spin on magnetic compasses. The magnetic waves are so strange to create a vortex that draws in material from the upper atmosphere, including the ill-fated missile. The Allende meteorite, which fell in the general region of the Zone in 1969, is often cited as undoubt evidence.
It seems that the phenomena have been first reported in the 1930s by Francisco Sarabia, a Mexican pilot, who said that his radio had mysteriously failed to function while flying over the zone. Others tells to have seen UFOs, and a variety of no-identified objects falling from cloudless skies.
Sories, legends, reality or coincidences….but now hundreds of people come from all over the world to do an experience in all the area, people called by the locals “zoneros”. They are always surprised when they find that their radios and compasses regularly working, and their guide, often a local, explains to them that the zones move, and therefore be hard to locate. Mmm…of course, these tourists represent for the guides a source of income, and enterteinment it’s all their interests! In fact, also the local residents themselves do not believe in the Zone of Silence. When asked about strange phenomenas, they always reply that they don’t see strange things in the desert, but only strange people! It’s a real business, and some people eking out a living becoming guides or selling sodas and eatables to tourists.
Somebody shares a funny anecdotes:
Upon being asked where the Zone could be found, a local rancher told a group of people that they needed to keep following the road until they saw aliens jump from one side of the road to another. The crazy part was that they thanked him. Another group of zoneros arrived at the station and asked one of the workers how to get to the Zone. The young only replied “Nunca van a llegar” (You are never going to get there).
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From Sofia, Bulgaria. Despite my 31years old, I lived in 8 different countries. While I write, I explore the world, I watch movies and fall down the stairs.