and the Edwards Air Force Base Surveillance
Written By Doug Trapp
The Sun dropped quickly behind the desert rock-piles revealing a deep red glow to the western sky as Corey Rudolph and I made camp at the east end of Avenue J in Palmdale one spring night in 1977. We had been visiting the area as often as possible in response to several credible Bigfoot reports in this California desert. To the east was nothing but dark black sky with thousands of stars and periodic meteors whizzing by. Our objective was two-fold. One, to observe all we could during the night, and, two, to get away from the Los Angeles rat-race. We had been driving through the areas north of the mountains separating the Los Angeles area from the desert in search of clues, and people to interview who claimed to have encountered a desert Sasquatch.
Through the next three years, Corey and I, and sometimes myself with my faithful Red-tailed Hawk, Nixon, we gathered as much information on desert Sasquatch activity as we could. In many cases, the witnesses told very similar tales of large hair-covered man-like apes observed crossing the highway, or looking in their windows at their homes usually after midnight. Through these witnesses we slowly became aware that the military, just north of Lancaster, California at Edwards Air Force Base had been witness to these desert man-beasts for several years. We finally made contact with three different military security officers, all of which did not know of the others, who provided us with information relating to what the Air Force knew about these animals. Before I continue with this, I must inform the reader that these three men were willing to discuss this with us only because we promised to never reveal their names or ranks, and if we did, they would deny everything. Because I believe in keeping promises, I will comply with their request, but will refer to them only by rank since I do not believe that their status at the time would indicate or reveal their true identity, thereby keeping my promise. I will also add that I have spoken to five additional ex-military officers who were once stationed at Edwards AFB and they all claim that what the first three revealed was accurate, and that not much has changed there since the 1970s.
The first I interviewed was a Lieutenant in charge of security in the sector of Edwards AFB near Rogers Dry Lake. He was primarily responsible for supervising the surveillance activity from sunset to sundown from 1972 to 1975 when he was then transferred to Germany, then retired. This gentleman explained to me that the base security was primarily involved with monitoring for unauthorized entry to the base by curiosity seekers. The base was highly involved with classified secret aircraft testing at the time, and there were many curious people trying to take photos, or just see these things. In addition, the base had a very high level of UFO activity, or, as he put it, Alien Spacecraft. In fact, he made it clear that these craft were not from Earth, and that the Air Force knew very little about them. When any unauthorized people or Alien craft entered his perimeter, he was to report to the higher command, and observe. All of his personnel had top security clearance, and were to discuss nothing of what they saw. He further described some of these craft to me, but I was not very interested at the time.
While they were conducting surveillance one night, always using starlight scopes and motion detectors spread throughout the base, one of the guards reported an infiltration in his perimeter. When he asked for details, the guard described a very tall man, but not really a man. Perplexed by such a report, he decided to drive to the location and talk to the guard, perhaps thinking the man had lost his marbles. When he arrived, a wide-eyed guard met him and repeated his story. The lieutenant began to scan the desert for the intruder and soon spied him, or it. Through the starlight scope he could clearly see that this was not a man. It was a very tall, hair-covered, ape-like man walking through the desert. He said the animal appeared to be looking at the desert floor in search of something. The animal was about 500 yards distant, but the scope was very powerful and tripod mounted so it could be observed clearly. Both men continued to observe the animal as it wandered around almost aimlessly. He then reported to his superiors of the activity and was told to keep the animal in sight. This was no problem as the animal remained in the area. About five minutes later a helicopter was heard approaching the area, then it was seen coming in fast from the east. They continued to observe the animal which continued its activity. The helicopter came in over a rock-pile, then the animal "spooked." It looked at the helicopter, turned, and ran "like a deer" around a rock-pile and out of sight. The helicopter searched the area, but never found the animal. The two men could hardly believe what they had seen.
The next day the Lieutenant reported to the command post of the previous night's activity. The command told him that these animals had been seen on the base before, and the public knew them as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. The command explained that they were concerned that these animals may be related to the Alien Craft, and that all such reports must remain top secret. He was told to continue to observe and report, but not to intervene or disturb the animals until the command determined what they were.
The lieutenant had heard of Bigfoot before, but not in the desert. He had always thought that this was some sort of fable or hoax. But he knew what he saw, and now knew that they were real.
Through the following years he and his crew observed the Sasquatches on the base several times. By 1975 they had sophisticated equipment including video surveillance cameras mounted in "key" areas. He then explained to me that they had video taped these animals several times, but the tapes were classified and held under top security at all times. By the time he left Edwards, they had learned very little about these creatures, but his feeling was that they were not UFO related, but biological living beings.
The second officer I interviewed was a Major before he too retired in 1978. He had served at Edwards AFB from 1970 through 1978 and was in charge of one of the Command Posts on the north end of the base. He too explained that they were primarily interested in UFOs and Aliens. In fact, it was through his words that I first heard the term "EBE" which is apparently the military term for Aliens, or Extraterrestrial Biological Entities. It is only in recent years that this term has been coined in UFO books relating to the military UFO cover-up.
In any case, the Major confirmed what the Lieutenant had told me, but added that these creatures also found their way into the secret underground tunnels that run under Edwards. Although the use and existence of these tunnels was classified, he told me about them knowing that their importance was a moot subject to me. He said that they had surveillance cameras in the tunnels and had, in fact, video taped the Sasquatches as they wandered through them. He said that they were not concerned with the Sasquatches on the base because they had learned that they were not related to EBE activity, and that they were certain that they were simply undiscovered animals. When I asked why they had not captured or killed one in order to prove the existence to the world, he returned that they could not reveal anything that happened on the base. He said that if they were to admit that these creatures often wandered around on the base, the public would loose confidence in their ability to keep the base secure. This, in turn, would give people the idea that they could do the same. Since there was so much secret work continuing on the base, it was not in their interest to discuss the Sasquatches with the public. They wanted to keep people out, not encourage them to visit in search of Sasquatches. They already had enough problems with UFO seekers, or those wanting to get a peek at a secret aircraft.
The third man was a security "grunt." That is what he termed himself. He claimed to have seen these Desert Sasquatches through starlight scopes on scores of occasions. This man was only about 19 years old, but extremely military in his self presence. He called me "Sir" until I asked him not to. He told me that he had seen a couple of Sasquatches that stood over ten feet high, had seen "obvious" females (one with a young one walking with her), and once saw a group of five Sasquatches walking together, all over six feet tall with the tallest about eight feet tall. They were fully hair-covered except the palms of their hands, the base of their feet, and their face. He said their face resembled an ape with very small eyes, a flat nose, and ape-like lips. The arms were long and slung down to the knees. He said their feet were like ours, without an arch, as they had tracked them through the desert several times. When I asked him about the surveillance videos, he told me that he knew of them but was not involved in that. He said only officers were allowed to videotape the creatures or UFOs. Cameras were not allowed on the base in the hands of the "grunts." He said that he felt very privileged to have seen these animals with such clarity because he knew there were several like myself that would do anything to see one. However, he suggested that these animals were not as rare as people assumed, but they are very shy and almost strictly nocturnal. They could be photographed, given the right opportunity, but those opportunities were rare because these creatures are very good at remaining concealed ... even in the desert. He told me that the reason they were on the base was that they "knew" they would not be harmed. He thought that somehow they could "feel" danger, or even pick up on human thoughts. Since the officers and grunts on Edwards were ordered not to harm or intervene with the creatures, they could feel this vibe and felt protected. Some of these animals, of course, wander around outside of the base, but these animals are always watching their backs, he explained.
To conclude this report, I should advise that several sources have told me in recent years that the Desert Sasquatches are still being watched at Edwards AFB. In fact, one officer recently told me that the base security actually appreciates the presence of the Sasquatch there since they give the officers some "needed entertainment." Then a question came to mind. Could the EBEs be just as interested in the Sasquatches as they are of other base activities? The officer stopped for a moment, thinking, then said simply, "Perhaps."
Douglas E. Trapp, Dallas, Texas
This article is Copyright © 1997 by Douglas E. Trapp. All rights reserved. Re-publication rights may be granted by permission of the author. The author assumes all responsibility for the contents of this article, and will not reveal the names of the above mentioned witnesses for any reason. Consequences derived from any follow-up investigations of Edwards Air Force Base remains the responsibility of the party(s) involved.
This article was first written specifically for inclusion on Bigfoot Encounters: California Sightings List.
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