Mapimí Silent Zone
|The Silent Zone|
|Location||Mapimí Biosphere Reserve, Mexico|
|Operated by||Municipality of Mapimí|
The Mapimí Silent Zone (Spanish: La Zona del Silencio) is the popular name for a desert patch near the Bolsón de Mapimí in Durango, Mexico, overlapping the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve. It is the subject of an urban myth that claims it is an area where radio signals and any type of communications cannot be received.
Ironically, communications equipment tends to work properly in the zone. Guides assert that the zone moves around; as a result locals are highly skeptical of the zone's existence.
In July 1970, an Athena test missile launched from a U.S. military base near Green River, Utah toward White Sands Missile Range lost control and fell in the Mapimí Desert region. The rocket was carrying two small containers of cobalt 57, a radioactive element. Immediately, a team of specialists arrived to find the fallen rocket. The aerial search lasted three weeks. Finally, when the rocket was found, a road was built to transport the wreckage, along with a small amount of contaminated top soil. As a result of the US Air Force recovery operations there, a number of myths and stories relating to the area arose, including "strange magnetic anomalies that prevent radio transmission", mutations of flora and fauna, and extraterrestrial visitations.
- Eckles, Jim. "The Athena That Got Away". White Sands Missile Range. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Kaus, Andrea. "The Zone Of Silence of northern Mexico - scientific marvel or just fiction?". MexConnect. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Mapimí Silent Zone - Atlas Obscura