America’s Paranormal Highway: The 37th Parallel
Welcome to the 37th
Drop a pin at the Atlantic Ocean border between Virginia and North Carolina on a U.S. map. Tie a string to the pin and and stretch it across the map to the Pacific Ocean, south of San Jose, CA. You’ve located the 37th Parallel North.
Stretching from the Chesapeake Bay to Santa Cruz, CA, the 37th Parallel has been called the “UFO Highway” and the “Paranormal Highway.” From sea to shining sea, this line on the map is littered with histories of cattle mutilations, UFO sightings, reports of underground military bases, and ancient native sacred sites. The phenomena zone stretches about 70 miles either side of the 37th — roughly, the area between the 36th and 38th parallels, 150 miles of anomalous real estate.
A few odd facts about the 37th: Americans living north of the 37th parallel are twice as likely to develop multiple sclerosis than those who live south. This may have to do with lower amounts of sunlight north of the line, as MS seems to be related to a lack of vitamin D. There are economic impacts as well. In 2010, homes below the 37th were more likely to be upside-down on mortgages.
- The Pentagon, Fort Knox, Washington, D.C.
- Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park
- The notorious New Mexico Dulce Base
- Los Alamos, New Mexico
- Colorado’s Mesa Verde
- Four Corners (where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico meet)
- Aztec, New Mexico (1948 UFO crash)
- Death Valley, Nevada’s Area 51
- The Grand Canyon
- Utah’s Moab and Canyonlands National Park.
- Outside the U.S., the 37th parallel (north) passes through Granada, Spain (documented UFO sightings in 1976), Fukushima, Japan — site of the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster; and the border between North and South Korea.
A History of Mysteries on the 37th
Anomalies along the 37th have been reported since the 19th century — and earlier, if you include reports from indigenous people. “The Joplin Spook Light,” also called the “Tri-State Spook Light” and the “Ozark Spook Light” was first noted in 1836 — it was seen by native people on the Trail of Tears in Missouri and Oklahoma.
Luminous objects were spotted near the rising sun at Burritt College in Tennessee on June 1, 1853. Students reported that one looked like a moon — the other like a star. The lights did not move for 30-minutes, but expanded and contracted in size several times.
Residents of Wilmington, DE. saw the sky fill with a pale blue light as a large object moved overhead; it was followed by three “red and glowing balls” in July, 1860 according to the Wilmington Tribune. Mystery airships were reported in Arkansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Texas, Kansas, and Kentucky in the late 1890s.
Native people all have ancient “star people” stories; many tribes, including the Dine (Navajo), Apache, Pueblo, Hopi, and Santa Clara, all tell creation stories that include their people being brought to the earth’s surface at locations along the 37th — generally in Chaco Canyon (New Mexico) and the Grand Canyon (Arizona). The Tewa people identify a location near the Great Sand Dunes Monument in Colorado’s San Luis Valley as their place of emergence. These sacred sites are called “Sipapu.”
37th Parallel Cattle Mutilations
For decades, ranchers in the 37th zone have been frustrated and confounded by loss of livestock to mutilations. The documented methods, regardless of location, are virtually identical; the removal of genitals and bowels, eyes, and sometimes ears with surgical precision and a complete absence of blood.
Missouri cattle mutilations, beginning in 1975, continue to be reported. Arkansas had its share of cattle mutilations, and a history of UFOs first reported as the Arkansas airship mystery. The 1894 Kansas UFO/Cattle Mutilation is perhaps the earliest recorded event, but mutilation activity ramped up in the 1970s.
In Kansas, thousands of cattle turned up dead — enough that there was an FBI investigation in 1975. The mutilations were making mainstream news; the March 2, 1975 edition of the New York Times reported that ranchers along the Texas/Oklahoma border believe the relentless mutilations were the work of Satanist cults. “This thing will probably end with the vernal equinox which is the same day as Easter,” said John Dunn, president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. Unfortunately, the livestock deaths have continued to present day.
Further west in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada, mutilations are so common that most go unreported. Researcher Chuck Zukowski, subject of author Ben Mezrich’s bestseller, “The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America’s UFO Highway,” has documented mutilations, from Kansas to Arizona, for decades; in fact, it was Zukowski who identified the 37th as a continental zone of heightened anomalous activity. No matter how many cases are reported and documented, or who investigates them, the mutilations continue unabated for unknown reasons by un-apprehended perpetrators.
Watch this documentary to learn more about the bizarre cattle mutilation phenomenon:
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The Strange Heartland of the 37th: The Southwest
Things get stranger along the 37th between Colorado and New Mexico, and the weirdness doesn’t abate until the line crosses into California. The Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado landscape between the 36th and 38th parallels is weird enough, ranging from lunar landscapes to pristine alpine zones, river valleys, and canyons. Sparsely inhabited, for decades, the major industry has been oil and gas. Vast reservation lands stretch across the New Mexico/Colorado state line at Four Corners.
Northern New Mexico
New Mexico is a place of contradictions; as one of the poorest states in the U.S., it also home to the highest concentration of Ph.D.s in the country at the Los Alamos research laboratories. Spending time in New Mexico can give a visitor the sense that they have left the continental United States and are in another country altogether.
Inhabited by native Americans and the descendants of 17th century Spanish colonists, in the land of enchantment, quirkiness is noted as a fact of life. The overwhelming number of stories, rumors, and facts regarding UFOs, aliens, underground bases (Dulce), vortexes, portals, Sasquatch sightings, chupacabra (a.k.a. “goat-sucker), living dinosaur birds (teratorns), and high-speed underground transit tunnels are commonplace; then there are the ghosts and spirits of Spanish folklore.
“La Llorona” is the story of a woman who drowned her children, and now, as a spirit, wanders the Rio Grande River territory crying and dragging children to their death in the river. She is the official state bogeyman for the children of New Mexico; her legend is alive and well, and she represents the old Spanish culture of the region — conquistadors arrived in the 16th century. Santa Fe, the oldest state capital in the U.S., was established in 1610. Indigenous people, the ancestors of the Hopi, Navajo, Comanche, Ute, and Zuni tribes, have lived in the region since 10,000 BCE.
Dulce, New Mexico
While the entire state is a paranormal playground, a standout, located on the 37th parallel at the Colorado/New Mexico state line, is the notorious Dulce underground base on the Jicarilla Apache lands. Subject of books, articles, and widespread speculation, Dulce was brought to public awareness by Paul Bennewitz, an Alburquerque businessman and UFO researcher.
Insiders reached out to Bennewitz; he heard stories of off-world species living in the underground base, and descriptions of bizarre genetic hybrid research. He naively reported his findings and suspicions to the government, but misplaced his trust. Bennewitz eventually had a nervous breakdown under suspicious circumstances. He was dismissed as a delusional paranoid, dying in 2003, but rumors and discussions of a secret military base housing aliens at Dulce persist. Software engineer Anthony Sanchez began researching UFOs and Area 51 in 1989 and wrote the “bible” on Dulce, “UFO Highway.”
Next: The San Luis Valley, Aztec, NM, and Four Corners
Learn more about the mysteries surrounding the Dulce Air Force Base in this episode of Deep Space: