Friday, March 13, 2015

Life in the Paranormal Lane

As a kid, you may have heard family stories or asides about “unusual events,” a house with a “presence,” extrasensory perception, “little green men,” those brief sidebars in life that hook up an axon here and extend a dendritic connection there in your developing brain.  Over time, the references may or may not stick.  You may bury that information in other interests and demands and never revisit such topics, except perhaps on sci-fi TV programs or in film or books as escapist entertainment.  Or the paranormal may take root and insert itself into your life in ways you could never have imagined.  

For me, UFOs and aliens were remote novelties enjoyed occasionally in fiction, film and TV:  “Star Trek”; “The Invaders;’ “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and other offerings.  In 1977, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was a fun ride with awesome special FX for that time, but most of the UFO insider references were lost on me.  

However, I was aware that we lived about 75 miles south of the Nevada Test Site, parents of some kids I knew worked up there, and up there was, well, special.  After all, in 1952, I had witnessed atomic bomb tests from our kitchen window.  And, as we all knew back then, atomic power was our friend.

Then, circa 1992, I hired on as registrar at the Clark County Museum to catalog an archive donated to McCarran International Airport by the widow of George Crockett.  The collection founded what would become the airport’s Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum.  Crockett was a pioneer in aviation in the Las Vegas Valley, beginning with his establishing Alamo Field back in the 1940s.  This airfield was later taken over by the county for a municipal airport site and opened as McCarran Field.  As Las Vegas evolved and grew, so did the airport.  My family arrived in 1952, and I grew up along with both the community and its aviation support.  We lived just east of Paradise Road in full view of the incredible expanding airport.  Ironic that, many years later, I would be working 9-to-5, logging in aviation-related archives and artifacts so closely related to this history.

George Crockett was a conservative businessman on the Las Vegas scene.  His papers reflected a hard- working family man with no surprises, just a dedication to building and maintaining his business, keeping in touch with fellow aviation business types and flying enthusiasts, and providing aviation services typical as an FBO (Fixed Base Operator).  And why, you might ask, was the museum not named for him?  Well, clout counts.  Howard W. Cannon was a long-time U.S. Senator for Nevada and a mover-shaker who helped de-regulate the airlines for good or ill (ill, I say), got money and muscle for the State, and was also a WWII pilot and war hero. ‘Nuff said.

Anyway, working into the last bits of that sizeable collection, I opened up an untitled document file that contained an old photocopy of a March 1951 Las Vegas Review-Journal page featuring a large picture and article of Davis Dam and other smaller articles.  Paper-clipped to that were seven carbon-copy sheets typewritten on Crockett’s personal machine.  (He did most, if not all, of his own secretarial work.)  The first three pages assessed his plans for expansion at Alamo Airways which by then served as a general aviation airport on the McCarran Field site.  Given the time period, Crockett logically assumed commercial growth for his facility.  The big push had started to promote Las Vegas as a tourist destination for “fun in the sun,” a popular slogan for the desert resort town.  Nothing unusual.

Then I read the next four pages -- and dropped into the Twilight Zone.

Jolted out of stultification (a danger periodically facing all cataloguers/archivists), I re-examined the newspaper photocopy to see how Davis Dam fit into what I was now reading and realized that an X marked a small article just below. That short news piece noted the beginnings of Indian Springs and what was to become the Nevada Test Site -- and that all other information pertaining to the U.S. Government’s doings there was under blackout. 

Then I began to understand and reread those four pages, which content follows below (brackets, tightened spacing and any missed typos are all mine).

 [Page 1:]
The project will be several times the $300,000,000.00. [sic]
There will be two town [sic] of 20,000 population created.                                                                      
The H-bomb is being hatched.
Atomic power for saucers, or guided missiles is to be manufactured.
Much of the installation is to be underground.
It is to be the largest defense expenditure in the history of the United States.
The activity of the National Lead Company, General Motors and Consolidated Vultee in this area is tied into the Indian Springs operation in some way.
[Page 2:]
1.  There have been three separate aerial surveys made of the area north of here in the past year.
2.  Several large engineering firms have spent months in this area during the past year.
3.  There is a large area of government land about 45 miles north of here.  It contains ample water supply. [sic] and there are several valleys and mountain ranges in it.
4.  For several months Carco’s planes have been bringing in groups of men from Los Alamos.  Each group is accompanied by a security agent.
5.  In the last groups that came in this week were two generals.  One, a brigadier in uniform with medical ensignia [sic] and the Atomic patch on his shoulder.  The other general, in civilian clothes, obviously outranked the brigadier by a star or two.
6.  McKee Construction Company and Reynolds Electric and Engineering have leased a sizeable building for office space to have 35 office employees.  This lease is for five years at $500.00 per month with option to renew for 5 years.
7.  High caliber construction men have been seen pulling up in cars with license plates from Washington, Idaho, and New Mexico.  They great [sic] each other like they haven’t seen each other for several years.  It appears that key men are being pulled in from all directions.
8.  Between six and ten U-Drive cars and pickups have been rented for an indefinate [sic] period.
9.  There are between fifteen and thirty executive personell [sic] staying at the Last Frontier Hotel.
10.  My wife’s folks have a group of construction executives desiring to rent their entire dude ranch for a five year period.
11.  National Lead Company officials are in town accompanied by security agents.
12.  General Motors just paid the state some $123,000.00 to form an $88, [sic] million corporation in the state and rumor has it that G.M. is to spend over $100,000,000.00 in Southern Nevada this year.
[Page 3:]
"Proven Facts, Cont.
13.  Consolidated Vultee have [sic] four U-Drive cars reserved for the middle of this month.
14.  The town is teeming with security agents.
[Page 4:]
"[1]   I prepared this information [sic] I have obtained the following information, which I believe to be authentic.
[2]  The admitted $300,000,000.00 expenditure is just one-fifth of the money already appropriated for this project.
[3]  It is definitely the biggest project ever undertaken by this or any other country, and will be the biggest development of the century.
[4]  It is the center of development for Atomic power for the propulsion of everything from guided misseles [sic] to tanks, submarines, ships, trains, and everything that moves.
[5]  This would explain the interest of General Motors, and Consolidated Vultee.  Also, I note that the president of Union Pacific has just spent a week here.
[6]  The installation is permanent and will expand this area many times it’s [sic] present size in the next few years.
[7]  This town is swarming with Security Agents.
[8]  Consequently, I would appreciate your immediately destroying this sheet, as they will no doubt trace any authentic information to it’s [sic] source.”

On being shown this document, the late Chris Crockett, a son of George Crockett, surmised that the person to whom this information was directed was Howard Hughes, whom his father knew and who frequently used the Alamo facilities in its early years.  Because of his aviation and engineering industries, Hughes would have been especially interested in what was going on at the new Nevada Test Site.

Whatever the outcome for all the plans and players noted above, the development of the U.S. Government’s soon-to-be Nevada Test Site was a done deal by 1952.  But what of those plans posited as rumor that might be hidden from public view?  Apart from the atomic bomb testing that pockmarked Nye County’s outback and the existence of Area 51 and S-4, it was the mention of “saucers” (and we’re not talking about Avro aircraft and similar failed attempts) and the implied size of underground installations and budgets that brought me up short. 

Point is, falling onto something unexpected like the above documents can be transformative and clarifying to one’s thoughts.  In a way, it is a conversion experience.  Certainly, it ignites a serious desire to find out what is really happening in the world you think you know.  It brings together all sorts of little snippets of remembrances that start to make sense and paint quite a different picture of reality.

So, I’m sharing.  Future blog entries will focus on other bits of paranormal weirdness that bump into our lives (mine, at least) now and then, reminders that all is not always what it seems.  Stay tuned.

Source:  Crockett Collection, Clark County Museum/Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum.

Alternate topics may occur in this blogsite from time to time, covering that other zone of strangeness:  politics.

My novel, The Genesis Codex, a paranormal thriller, is now available on  and Kindle.  I hope you will enjoy reading it, the first in a series.


  1. Wow, interesting. I bet the government really wouldn't have liked that getting out.

    1. Well, I guess it's "outed" now. I sat on this for a long time and finally decided to do something with it now that I'm happily retired from the museum. I figured it's the best opening salvo for my author platform when my novel, "The Genesis Codex," comes out shortly through

  2. The Paranormal Investigator attempts to rule out all possible natural explanations, are open minded and inquisitive, do not make assumptions and do not just assume ghosts exist, they take a scientific approach to their research and many are versed in a variety of other areas of related fields such as Parapsychology, Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Environmental, geological, and others.anomalies

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  4. Interesting post, would you happen to have seen any correspondence between George Crockett and Jack Frye? He was president of TWA between 1940 and 1947 and he lived over in Sedona, Arizona.