Dulce Base

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Dulce Base is the subject of a conspiracy theory claiming that a jointly-operated human and alien underground facility exists under Archuleta Mesa on the Colorado-New Mexico border near the town of Dulce, New Mexico, in the United States.[1] Claims of alien activity there first arose from Albuquerque businessman Paul Bennewitz.[2]


Starting in 1979, Bennewitz became convinced he was intercepting electronic communications from alien spacecraft and installations outside of Albuquerque. By the 1980s he believed he had discovered a secret underground base near Dulce populated by grey aliens and humans.[3] The story spread rapidly within the UFO community and by 1987, UFOlogist John Lear claimed he had independent confirmations of the base's existence.[4] In 1988, the tabloid Weekly World News published a story entitled "UFO Base Found in New Mexico" which claimed that "diabolical invaders from another solar system have set up a secret underground base in the rugged mountains of northern New Mexico – so they can shanghai human guinea pigs for bizarre genetic experiments". The Weekly World News story used supposed quotes from UFOlogist Leonard Stringfield as a source for its claims. Upon learning of the story, Stringfield protested, "I never read such a distortion of facts in my life".[5]

Political scientist Michael Barkun writes that Cold War underground missile installations in the area gave superficial plausibility to the rumors, making the Dulce base story an "attractive legend" within UFOlogy. According to Barkun, claims about experiments on abductees and firefights between aliens and the Delta Force place the Dulce legend "well outside even the most far-fetched reports of secret underground bases."[2]

Residents of Dulce claim to have seen UFOs, moving lights, and other unexplained sights in the area, which has little economic activity.[6] Jicarilla Apache Legislative Council president Ty Vicenti "has embraced the notion of a Dulce Base, partly in a push to stimulate tourism", and in 2016, the town hosted the Dulce Base UFO Conference at the local casino hotel.[7]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Dulce base was the subject of a season three episode of the History Channel program UFO Hunters.[8]
  • It was also featured in an episode of Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.
  • Ancient Aliens Season 2, Episode 4 had a short segment talking about the brief history of the alleged Dulce Base and its impact on the Jicarilla Native American Culture.
  • Dulce base is also featured repeatedly on the series Unsealed: Alien Files and Unsealed: Conspiracy Files "Secret Alien Attack" Season 1 Episode 18.
  • The alleged experiences of Thomas Castello, as well as what goes on inside the top secret base, were featured in a two-part episode of Last Podcast on the Left (episodes 187 and 188).
  • Popular Deathcore band Oceano discusses “The Alien-Human Battle of Dulce” on track 7, "The Dulce Incident", on their album titled Ascendants.
  • In the alternate history anthology Alternate Presidents, Michael Dukakis is revealed to be an alien upon being taken to Dulce Base, which causes the Base's personnel to rewrite history to allow George H. W. Bush to be elected president instead.
  • Dulce Base appeared in the comic series The Invisibles, where it housed a secret AIDS vaccine.
  • Dulce Base and Archuleta Mesa played a major role in the early run of the Outlanders series of novels from Gold Eagle.
  • Dulce Base appeared in the Lorien Legacies Saga written by Pittacus Lore, as a secret facility in which the US government worked together with an evil alien race


  1. ^ Donovan, Barna William (29 July 2011). Conspiracy Films: A Tour of Dark Places in the American Conscious. McFarland. pp. 149–150. ISBN 978-0-7864-8615-1. 
  2. ^ a b Michael Barkun (4 May 2006). A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America. University of California Press. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-0-520-24812-0. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Dunning, Brian (3 December 2013). "Skeptoid #391: 8 Secret Bases: Real or Fictional". Skeptoid. 
  4. ^ Gulyas, Aaron John (25 January 2016). Conspiracy Theories: The Roots, Themes and Propagation of Paranoid Political and Cultural Narratives. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 88–89. ISBN 978-0-7864-9726-3. 
  5. ^ Bird, Kay; Terrel, Steve (1 September 1988). "ETs living in NM? Not likely, investigators say". The Santa Fe New Mexican. 139 (255). pp. A–1, A–2 – via Newspapers.com. 
  6. ^ Chacón, Daniel (7 May 2016). "Move over, Roswell. Dulce is home to true UFO believers". The Santa Fe New Mexican. 
  7. ^ Chacón, Daniel (8 May 2016). "A town of true believers". The Santa Fe New Mexican. 167 (128). pp. A–1, A–7. 
  8. ^ Birnes, William J. (23 February 2016). UFO Hunters Book Two: The Official Companion to the Hit Television Series. Tom Doherty Associates. pp. 310–336. ISBN 978-1-4299-5396-2. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Gregory J. Bishop, Project Beta: The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security, and the Creation of a Modern UFO Myth, Paraview Pocket Books, 2005; ISBN 0-7434-7092-3
  • Jerome Clark, The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial, Visible Ink, 1998, ISBN 1-57859-029-9