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(How it all began)

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Visit 1: Aug97
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Visit 5: Jul99
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A Pointless Exercise in Archaeology


Kurt Heidelberg

(All photos on this page courtesy of Gabrielle Duff)

Kurt Heidelberg: Hello, Cinder Peak Phone Booth!

Deuce: Is this the Mojave Desert speaking?

Yes, it is!

Who am I speaking to?

This is Kurt Heidelberg. Is this Deuce of Clubs?

It is indeed, sir.

All right! I figured it'd be you calling. We just got here. I was talking to my mother.

I just called, & it was busy. It was busy a couple weeks ago for about 12 hours straight. I don't know if it was just that something was wrong, or . . . so I was just going to keep ringing. So what do you think? Beautiful, huh?

Yeah, it's really nice! All these Joshua Trees everywhere.

Isn't that something? It just looks weird out there. Did you have any trouble finding it?

No. No, your directions were exactly right. Right on the money.

Is that Aikens sign still on the ground?


If I ever get her on the phone again, I'm going to ask her if I can have it, next time I come out.

Hey, where's the pool buried? I forgot to bring the description of where that was.

It should be marked, more or less. It's not far. It's within five or ten paces of the Booth.

Okay. Is it on this side of the fence or the other side?

This side.


You'll see it. You're an archaeologist!

Oh! I see a shoe. There we go. And something yellow & white.

You got a camera with you?

Oh, got lots of cameras.


I brought a four-by-five out here.

[Thinks: Whatever that is . . . ] What else you guys gonna do out there?

We're gonna head up to Area 51 later on this afternoon.

What are you going to do up there?

Take more pictures. Shoot the black mailbox. Have lunch at the Little Alien.

What did you say -- "black mailbox"?

Yes, black mailbox. That's where all the sightings are. There's a big, black mailbox. Some farmer's mailbox.

Really! Never heard about that. Did you just drive out this morning? Did you stay at Baker?

Yeah, we stayed at Bun Boy, at the World's Tallest Thermometer.

I've never been able to get a room there.

It's expensive -- fifty bucks.

Yeah, but you know what? You do NOT want to stay at the place across the street.

Yeah, we looked there. It looked kind of scary.

It's awful, trust me. We stayed there on the way to Burning Man last year and almost got no sleep. It was terrible. Well, have fun digging up the pool.

Yeah, thanks for calling. I'll e-mail you when I get back.

The Aikens sign still stands (lies) guard.
A breakthrough: finding the tell-tale shoe.
Dr. Kurt hunts for the burial site. (But when did dowsing become an approved archaeological method?)
Digging for fire.
Kurt: "[This] was taken at the black mailbox in Rachel (now covered by a white casing), where most of the UFO sightings are supposed to be. Notice my tripod hovering in the air. this really happened. Really."
Kurt: "This was one of the brothels in Nevada. I thought the sign was funny."