America’s Paranormal Highway: The 37th Parallel

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.

Landmarks include:

  • 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:

Cattle Mutilations

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

“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:

A Secret Base at Dulce

These Near-Death Experiences Describe Direct Experiences With God

These Near-Death Experiences Describe Direct Experiences With God

What do near-death experiences suggest about the ultimate source of reality, spirituality, and what many call “God?” Psychiatrist Raymond Moody explains the answer to this question in his latest book “God Is Bigger Than the Bible.”

Dr. Raymond Moody has spent more than four decades studying the afterlife. In his 1975 book “Life After Life” he first presented his research on the “near-death experience” or NDE, the transcendent experience of death that radically transforms the life of the person who lives to tell about it. In his new book, Dr. Moody presents his thoughts on God, drawn from the accounts of the thousands of people he has interviewed about their near-death experiences.

“You know, when I was a kid I didn’t think about God. I can’t say I was an atheist because I never really thought about God,” Dr. Moody said. “Then I went to college and got interested in these near-death experiences through Plato, and subsequently have heard of thousands of these from people all over the world who have this same kind of experience—many of them have conversations with God. So that is how I came to God, you know God has become just a big part of my life in the last few decades.”

Dr. Moody’s motivation for writing his latest book is to provide readers with an understanding of God, or source, that is entirely outside the realm of organized religion. To Dr. Moody, idealized religion can present a fearsome image of God that has scared many away from developing a personal relationship with the divine.

“Well, before I started hearing of people with near-death experiences, my notion of God was that people had this imaginary figure who was watching their every step with a little book, trying to see if they’re going to stumble or something,” Dr. Moody said. “But when I started hearing these people with near-death experiences it was a whole different take on God. People say that when they had their cardiac arrest or whatever, that they left their bodies and dissolved into this light, almost. People say that whatever kind of love that you have experienced while you’re alive, that is just beyond description. You go through a passageway to this light of complete comfort, peace, and love, you feel sort of wrapped up in it.”

A common component of the NDE is what is known as the “life review.

“People say they’re surrounded by a holographic panorama consisting of everything they’ve ever done, and they witness it from the point of view of the other people they’ve interacted with. And all of this is being experienced in the presence of a being of complete compassion and love, who sees all those things they’ve done there, but there’s no judgment coming from this—that this being is helping you evaluate these things. They say that there are no words but that the thought comes through. The question that comes from this being is ‘how have you learned to love?’ People learn a lot about themselves from these encounters with God,” Dr. Moody said.

Through his research, both with near-death experiencers and the elderly, Dr. Moody has come to an understanding of God as the writer of our life stories.

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