High Strangeness: Area 51 1/2

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Area 51 1/2

Today I did something I've been dying to do for a few months... When Vxxxx, the Wisconsin State MUFON Director, interviewed me a while back about my Burlington Vortex UFO sighting ("Straight To The Top," 12/14/2011), she had asked if the burning orange lights in the sky had come from the direction of the Bong Recreation Area, and indeed they had.

Ever since that interview, I've been wanting to visit the Bong Recreation Area to see if I could find any evidence that this former almost-but-not-quite Air Force Base was in fact the site of a secret UFO base, a sort of Area 51 1/2 right here in southern Wisconsin ("Bong, Bong, Bong," 12/15/2011). I guess the fact that it took me two months to actually do it doesn't say much for my dedication to the craft, especially since I drive within about 10 miles of Bong once or twice a week, but in my defense I have been studying pretty hard to be a MUFON Field Investigator while juggling a fairly successful career, being an exemplary husband and father, writing magazine articles and doing radio interviews, and, well, it just got away from me.

But that all changed today. Sit back and I will tell you about my somewhat odd and chilling visit to the Richard Bong State "Recreation Area"... It's such an odd, strange tale I may and up splitting it up into two parts. We'll see.

I checked in at the entrance station to buy my state parks sticker, and I casually asked the cashier if she was aware that UFO buffs suspect that Bong may be a secret UFO base (TIP: when asking this type of question, NEVER identify yourself as one of the UFO buffs; always distance yourself from "those people"). The cashier, correctly surmising I wasn't one of those people, rolled her eyes and said, "Yea, I know." I laughed (further distancing myself from those people) and said, "Do you hear that a lot?" Again she rolled her eyes and said, "Oh yes I do." I took my sticker and entered the park.

Now, to the untrained eye, the Bong Recreation Area looks like any other Wisconsin prairie: flat, grassy and bleak. How they can get away with calling this place a Recreation Area is beyond me. Here's the view to the west:

Here's the view to the east:

But wait! Is it really as bleak as it seems? Maybe not. You see, the view from above is altogether different. When you look at Bong from Google Earth, you can clearly see the remnants of the stillborn Air Force Base...

Yep, those are runways, all right. Legend has it that plans for the Air Force Base were scrapped a mere two days before the concrete for the runways was to be poured. Today, that long swath of prairie, a full two miles in length and a half mile wide, is mysteriously identified on park maps as the "Special Use Zone."

What on earth is a Special Use Zone? And why is it covered with mysterious and forbidding diagonal lines on the park map?

I had to find out. Throwing caution to the wind, I drove along the straightest road in the world, scanning the flat, bleak landscape for any sign of alien presence. I soon came across an odd, unearthly sight... There, in the middle of nowhere, was an observation tower... where there is nothing to observe! 

Trust me, there is nothing to observe here.
I knew I was on to something, so I kept moving ever onward. I ventured off the very straight paved road onto a very straight muddy, rutted dirt road, and came across a sight that made my blood run cold...

This made my blood run cold.

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