Friday, March 27, 2009

The Black Mailbox on the Extraterrestrial Highway

Today is a milestone of sorts for the Extraterrestrial Highway near the infamous Area 51 in Nevada. On March 27, 1996, a white, locking, bulletproof box replaced a local rancher's mailbox that was formerly black and unmarked, leading UFO buffs to quite appropriately dub it the "Black Mailbox." The replacement was necessitated after overeager UFO watchers had been found to be sorting through the rancher's mail (reportedly confusing it as the actual mailbox of nearby Area 51) and/or playing target practice with the box, filling both it and his mail full of bullet holes.

The rancher has the unfortunate distinction of having his mail delivered on a road that intersects with the infamous Groom Lake Road that leads to Area 51. The area around the box has been turned into a stopping point for those interested in keeping an eye on skies over the area for strange objects and has quickly grown the reputation as being the best spot for sightings. It has been reported that it is not unusual to find folks camping out near the mailbox for this sole purpose.

The rancher apparently has taken it all in stride. Armed with the knowledge that his mailbox had become a landmark on the famous Extraterrestrial Highway whether he liked it or not, he decided to auction off the former "black mailbox" to UFO enthusiasts to help curb the costs of its replacement. He reportedly netted $1,000 for it. Of course, the now-white box, which still bears the name of its former incarnation, needs a fresh paint job now and then due to the graffiti that is often left behind by visitors - presumably of the human being variety.

Read about other landmarks on the Extraterrestrial Highway.

-Casey H.


IQXS said...

Thank you for the post!

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Kristin Maun said...

That is so cool! I'm always looking for interesting roadside attractions like that on my drives! Of course, if I ever make it to Nevada I have to see the 91 mile marker on Highway 55, just because of the Horrorpops song.