Tony scooted his chair up to the table and leaned forward,
motioning for Frank to also
lean closer. Scanning the room
for potential eavesdroppers, Tony began to speak in an un
characteristically soft voice. Frank, about three days ago I was
down around Las Vegas.
I stopped for dinner in a little town called
Beatty, about 115 miles north of Vegas on U.S. Highway 95.
I had dinner in the restaurant and then I went into the small bar
and casino to make my usual donation to the Nevada treasury.
There was a pretty good crowd that night, mostly other truckers
like myself. There was a boxing match on television so I sat down at
the end of the bar and ordered a Coke.
Tony drained his drink just as the waitress arrived with their
refills and he didnt say anything more until she had left the table.
When she was out of ear shot, Tony leaned back over the table
Between the rounds of the boxing match this old guy
named Al and I got to talking.
I mentioned that I was a truck driver
and I asked him if he was retired because he looked like he was in his seventies, at least.
The old man shook his head and said No, I should be,
but I work up at the mountain.
I had no idea what mountain he meant, so I asked him.
Yucca Mountain, he replied. Its southeast of here,
out on the range.
Well, at this point I was completely lost, because Id never
heard of any Yucca Mountain and I didnt think there was much
range country around Las Vegasjust desert and military stuff.
Ive heard of that place, nodded Frank, Its been in the news
a lot lately. Its out near a place called the Nevada Test Site.
I think theyre planning to use it to store radioactive waste or something like that.
Well, Id never heard of it. Anyway, between rounds
this old guy starts telling me about a huge underground tunnel
the government is building up there, all the time glancing back
over his shoulder as if checking to see if hes being watched.
When he started talking about how they are using it to store
some very unusual objects, I got curious.
Tony paused and took another sip of his drink.
Is there a point to all this, Tony? asked Frank.
Every old timer in Nevada has a story about buried treasure
or hidden gold mines. Thats how they bilk drink money out of
touristsand apparently truck drivers, too, smiled Frank.
Well yes, my friend, there is a point, if youll just be patient,
whispered Tony. Between rounds 8 and 9 of the boxing match,
old Al tugged on my sleeve. They have alien stuff up there,
you know, he said in a matter-of-fact tone.
I tried to humor him and explained that Id heard stories
about alleged flying saucers that had been captured by the
Air Force and were being reverse engineered at a place called
Area 51. No, he shook his head, I never saw any flying saucers,
but I do have a couple of these gadgets that Ive been studying.
Strictly hush-hush, you understand. They have more of them out
there, too, he said as he handed me what looked like a dimpled black metal sphere about the size of a major league baseball.