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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dark Desert Highway

Not everyone can claim they’ve ever seen a UFO, much less a cigar-shaped craft of gleaming silver streaking across the sky, though throughout history in the villages of Arizona’s Navajo nation a great many people swear they have, and are eager to share their stories as well as ancient depictions; painted on handmade pottery and carved on the walls of caves. While generally attributed to the peculiar philosophies of those accustomed to seclusion, the stories continued and grew in such numbers as to eventually warrant a team of experts called the Navajo Nation Rangers to investigate such reports as multiple lights hovering low before jetting straight up and out of sight, followed by a sonic boom and power outages in the town of Chinle.

One retired Lt. described being followed by an orb for over 30 minutes on his way to investigate such accounts as that of a Skinwalker, posed as a human-sized rabbit in a distraught woman’s driveway, or coins falling out of thin air near the home of an elderly man. 

But in the four corners area, the dark desert highway; widely recognized as one of the most dangerous and downright haunted stretches of highway in America, known as The Devil’s Highway, was largely left to fend off its demons without assistance or scrutiny; leading to historically high numbers of accidents with fatalities. Some cases involved Satan’s Sedan; a sleek black car that bore down from behind until the driver drove off the road, or causing the same effect with a head-on approach. There are reported incidents of a possessed Semi-truck barreling down the center line; causing multiple-car crashes in a one-mile stretch. Hitch hikers were noted as well, though perhaps not the typical stranger one would expect, because they look like someone you know or have known – until they get into your car.

Oddly enough, fatalities and disturbing accounts in general declined dramatically in 2003 when the highway was, not quite by an act of congress, renamed (re-numbered) to Route 491, from its former moniker Route 666.

And speaking of state routes, I’ll be watching a Cavalcade of Cars parade down SR 260 for the 33rd annual Run to the Pines car show this weekend as I embrace the first brisk days of fall! I hope your weekend is unusually fun too!

If you thought you saw a UFO, would you say so? If you could skin-walk, what would you choose to be? Do you believe the very name of a highway could affect events occurring on it?


  1. Hi Diedre - I tend not to think about these sorts of things ... so can't really comment. The Cavalcade of Cars ... looks to be a fun event ... enjoy - cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!
      Truthfully, my sister doesn't care for ghosts and legends either,nor am I a triathlete like she is ;-)But I am so very glad you stopped in anyhow!
      Yes, the parade and weekend car show is always a fun affair and draws an impressive crowd to a tiny mountain town that might ordinarily be rolling up the sidewalks for winter about now.
      Cheers to you as well, Hilary!

  2. Dr. Miles J. Bennell: They're here already! You're next! You're next, You're next...!
    - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1955)

    Ned "Scotty" Scott: And now before giving you the details of the battle, I bring you a warning: Everyone of you listening to my voice, tell the world, tell this to everybody wherever they are. Watch the skies. Everywhere. Keep looking. Keep watching the skies.
    - The Thing From Another World (1951)

    Hi, Diedre!

    Mrs. Shady and I just saw an episode of Forensic Files about brutal serial killings that took place in the four corners area. The legend of Satan's Sedan and the Semi-truck hogging the road reminds me of the Steven Spielberg film Duel (1971) and similar movies including The Car (1977), Road Games (1981), Christine (1983), Maximum Overdrive (1986), Joy Ride 1 & 2 (2001/2008), Death Proof (2007) and Road Kill (2010).

    I think a good rule of thumb is as follows:
    Route 66 = safe. Route 666 = unsafe. :)

    I would most certainly be eager to report a UFO sighting. If I could skin-walk I'd be careful not to morph into a game animal during hunting season. I don't believe the official name or nickname of a highway can directly affect events occurring on it, but here in Central Florida there is a route that has seen far more than its share of fatal accidents. It is nicknamed "Bloody 27" and, year after year, lives up to its moniker.

    I hope you have good weather for the vintage car show. I'd love to see it and hope you post more pictures.

    Thank you, dear friend Diedre, and enjoy the rest of your week!

    1. Hi Shady!
      Well, now I'm curious about that episode of Forensic Files!
      I've seen three of the movies you mentioned - both my shoes came untied each time;-)
      Eesh! "Bloody 27" is as disturbing as 666. I bet if they renamed it Magnolia Blvd folks wouldn't be as reckless.
      If I skinwalked as an Owl I could keep a lookout for dangerous highways and warn good people like you, my friend ;-)
      The weather should be just right for the car show and I hear they're already taking entries for next year as this one is full ;-)
      Thanks, Shady. Your comments are always immensely entertaining!

  3. Well, there is an A666 in England, and yes, I've been on it. Probably lucky to escape unscathed!

    1. Hi Nick!
      Glad to hear you escaped! I think the trick to avoiding trouble on the old 666 highway was not to drive it at night. I guess that's why you never hear of things "going bump" in the day ;-)

  4. I have a huge aversion to the number 666. That association could be part of the lore. Frankly, I think there are characteristics of the road that may heighten problems versus the boogeyman. I think the real boogeyman is some of the mischief humans can do to one another.

    But I love a good ghost story. UFO stories, meh, they are not so exciting to me. I do love Irish fairy tales. I'll have to look up the big rabbit. One time I saw this huge black bird in a tree. I got out of the car and approached the tree. It was a large plastic bag.

    1. Hi Ann!
      "the mischief humans can do..." Isn't that the truth? I agree, overly nervous people tend to act and react that way. I'm not saying I'm superstitious, but Friday the 13th heightens my senses a bit;-)
      I love Irish folklore! Do share the ones you know ;-) Is the big rabbit an Irish tale too?
      Aw, how disappointing to find the black bird was really a plastic bag! I once had a Great Northern Owl park himself outside my office window - I had to laugh at how much work I accomplished with him watching me all day ;-)

  5. Yes, I think the very name of a highway could be affective. But for a different reason. It's all psychological. So a person who's highly susceptible to superstition is going to notice things more.
    As for reporting a UFO, I would be happy to report one if I saw one. I'm not saying it would be aliens, I would just claim it was a UFO; Unidentified Flying Object. So I would be looking for someone to explain what it really was.

    1. Hi Jeffrey!
      Exactly! A mind over matter type of issue. People can convince themselves of anything ;-)
      I like your logical way of looking at UFO reporting, I'd be worried about being called crazy - ha!

  6. I can think of so many story ideas for The Devil’s Highway. That would be a fun concept for an anthology. Writers all coming up with different stories set on that stretch of highway.

    When I was little, my mom and both thought we saw some light in the sky that acted strange and followed us in our car. We did think it was a UFO...

    If I could skin change, I'd turn into a cheetah, panther, or leopard. A strong, fast cat. :)

    1. Hi lady Chrys!
      I love the idea of an anthology! Many stories I write a formed on "dark desert highways" ;-)
      I can't say as I've ever seen a UFO, but it's not for lack of hoping - ha!
      Oh, you'd make a beautiful feline, I'm sure. Oooh, you just inspired an idea!

  7. My husband swears he saw a UFO when he was a kid (he lived in Oak Ridge--the "secret city"). He was walking through a field and an object came over his head, hovered for a few seconds, then whizzed away. No, he doesn't normally tell people about it. People just don't believe stuff like that, sadly.

    1. Hi Stephanie!
      I hope you're resting up after that whirlwind tour;-)
      The 'Secret City' intrigues me no end! Sounds like just the place to see and feel things otherworldly.
      I agree, folks with blinders make us reticent to share the enchantment of the world around us, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Tell your hubs I'm jealous!

  8. If I saw one, I would probably try to convince myself that it was some super secret military thing. And a skinwalker? No way! With my luck, I'd transform and get stuck that way!

    1. Hi Quanie!
      Ha! Secret Military is the excuse you always hear around here.
      Interesting you should consider getting stuck that way. It's my understanding (ha!) that a skinwalker is always and only whatever it needs to be at the time. I'm with you if back to human can't be one of the choices - who's going to feed the girls if I don't come home?


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