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Science And Nature

What’s the Zone of Silence?

With regards to conspiracy theories, there is a huge difference between some harmless urban legends and a dangerous or potentially threatening belief. EASILY were to inform you that meteorite detritus rains down on the planet earth in a wispy web, it might seem it is a spooky phenomenon and tell all of your friends on the playground. However, in the event that you were to trust that space aliens made the ancient Peruvian geoglyphs called the Nazca lines and you trampled over them so that they can collect “samples” your fun little hobby would now be seriously damaging to the archaeological record.

The “Zone of Silence” (or La Zona del Silencio) is really a “mystical” spot in the Mapim Biosphere Reserve in Durango, Mexico, where radio and TV signals allegedly usually do not work. In 1970, an American missile fired from the White Sands Missile Base somehow went off course and landed right in the center of the reserve, 400 miles (644 kilometers) south of its intended target. U.S. Air Force officials hired several locals to find the missile, keeping its location and details a secret. After the missile was within a sand dune, American workers rigged up an elaborate system to dig it out, creating an extension from the railroad to the dune [sources: Corrales; Kaus]. The complete point was to help keep operations a secret but that may only have made people wonder, that which was there to cover up?

After 28 days, the missile was dug out and the Americans left making use of their weapon, pulling up the railroad tracks. From then on, it appears that among the local workers decided that advertising the region as a spot for strange and unusual happenings was a sensible way to drum up just a little tourism money. The Zone of Silence was created, spurred on by tales of abnormal animals, plants and also some “communications” from other worlds. The founders of the myth and the tourist guides, collectively called zoneros, claimed that the reason why the missile went astray was the magnetic waves in your community are so unique that radio transmission and compasses usually do not work [source: Kaus].

So, will there be any truth to some of this? “Neither I nor a person with whom I spoke (in addition to the zoneros) had any trouble with either their radios or compasses while employed in the Reserve,” wrote Andrea Kaus, who did her doctoral dissertation concerning the Mapim Biosphere Reserve. “The claims of mutations make reference to natural phenomena; the triangles certainly are a normal pattern variant in the Bolson tortoise populations and the pads of nopal coyotillo turn a shade of violet throughout a dry spell.” As to the reasons the missile went so off course, no-one knows for certain. It might have already been human error or faulty equipment, she speculated.

For several years, tourists visited the region to see if they would encounter any spooky goings-on, UFOs or aliens. Now, you can find few visitors, partly because of the security situation for the reason that section of Mexico [source: Wilson]. There’s, however, a study station that studies the ecology of the region, and that research is hindered by people searching for aliens, leaving trash and generally showing environmental ignorance.

Originally Published: Mar 20, 2015

Zone of Silence FAQ

Where may be the Zone of Silence?

The Mapim Silent Zone can be referred to as the Zone of Silence. It’s the name directed at a patch of desert close to the Bolsn de Mapim in Durango, Mexico, that overlaps the Mapim Biosphere Reserve.

Exactly why is it called the Zone of Silence?

In accordance with urban myths, this specific parcel is called the Zone of Silence because no radio signals or any telecommunication signals could be received there.

What phenomena exist in the Zone of Silence?

While you can find claims of supernatural forces that cause the signal blackouts in the Zone of Silence, individuals who live in the region don’t seem to possess a problem with getting radio and communication signals.

SUBSTANTIALLY MORE Information

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  • Corrales, Scott. “Beyond Reality.” Strange Magazine. (Jan. 19, 2015) http://www.strangemag.com/zoneofsilence.html
  • Crystal, Ellie. “Mexico’s Zone of Silence.” Crystalinks. 2014. (Jan. 19, 2015) http://www.crystalinks.com/zoneofsilence.html
  • Golomb, Jason. “Nasca Lines.” National Geographic. 2015. (Jan. 19, 2015) http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/archaeology/nasca-lines/
  • Kaus, Andrea. “The Zone of Silence of Northern Mexico Scientific Marvel or simply Fiction?” Mexconnect. Jan. 1, 1997. (Jan. 19, 2015) http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1468-the-zone-of-silence-of-nothern-mexico-scientific-marvel-or-just-fiction
  • Wilson, T.E. “Exploring Mexico’s Zone of Silence, Where Radio Signals Fail and Meteorites Crash” Nov. 3, 2016 (Aug. 15, 2022) https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/exploring-mexicos-zone-of-silence-where-radio-signals-fail-and-meteorites-crash

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