Mapimí Silent Zone
|Zone of Silence|
|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.
However, 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 commonly associated with the construction of Salted bombs. After several weeks of searching, local farmers found and reported the crash in the Northeast corner of the State of Durango. Once 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
- Barclay, Michael (July 13, 2015). "USAF Accidentally Launched Rocket into Mexico's Mapimi Desert 45 Years Ago". Unredacted. The National Security Archive. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
- Associated Press (August 4, 1970). "Mexicans Find Radioactive Cone". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved July 27, 2015 – via Google News.
- Associated Press (August 4, 1970). "Mexicans Find Errant Rocket". The Toledo Blade. Retrieved July 27, 2015 – via Google News.