Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tagus Triangle...The Mystery and some fiction

After I started up in North Dakota, I started driving one of the vans into work for some extra money and some less sleep. As I have said before it was an 80 mile drive from Minot out to the oil fields. We would leave the yard at 5am and not get back until 7 or 8 pm sometimes. I would drive a van full of sleeping oil construction workers.

I can't tell you how hard it is to drive 14 people for 80 miles while they sleep.  I'm a sleep psychic, if there is someone sleeping in the car with me I can read their sleepy mind and want to sleep.  The power of 14 sleepy people is like Kryptonite on

I would have coffee with me and play something annoying on the radio, NPR to piss me off, or Coast to Coast to listen to all the UFO, Bigfoot, Chemtrail people talk about their hobbies. I saw some cool stuff out there on the prairie in the early mornings, a nice Lunar Eclipse one night, and the Aurora Borealis dipped way down south and we got a cool light show.  Kept and eye out for cows and other animals, snowy owls are cool if you can see them. But I never saw a UFO or Bigfoot...grin  Coast to Coast for those of you not familiar with late night radio is one of the most listened to late night radio shows in America. It focuses on mostly the paranormal and conspiracy with a sprinkling of normal stuff. It's topics can drive you nuts, but they can keep you awake while driving, with their madness.

There was a little anomaly that I notice one dark morning. I tend to watch the mile markers so I know where I am on road. Just outside of a town called  Berthold ND there is something out of whack with the mile markers.

But first I need to tell you about Tagus ND.  I think I have mentioned it in an earlier post. In Berthold there is a sign with the distance to the next town ahead.
That is the sign post up ahead we are entering the Tagus Zone.  I looked up Taugus ND on Google and it came up with some fun stuff.  It is mostly a ghost town, just a few residence left at this point. It is a destination on the sign above but there is no sign directing you after 9 miles.  Taugus has a spooky story to tell though.

Urban Legend has it that the old church had been used as a place of satanic worship and that there was a stairway to hell in the basement.  Read some of the comments on this site Ghost of North Dakota.  I guess the local kids liked going out there back in the 80's and there ghost stories ballooned into the urban legends that are today. It is unfortunate that vandals burned the Tagus Lutheran Church down.

I'm interested in ghost towns, I love going and seeing the old homes and buildings, nostalgia junkie I guess. Because we couldn't ever find Tagus, we started calling it the Tagus Triangle when we found this next anomaly.

There is a problem with the mile markers on Highway 2 west of Berthold ND.
 One night I had just passed this mile marker, and a tenth of a mile later my high beams where making the next mile marker glow green.  I though I must really tired for a mile to go that fast. When I saw the next mile marker number I knew I was really friggen tired.
But wait, I really hadn't gone that far in that amount of time.  The Strong Kum and Go coffee was working it's wonders on me. (yes there is a convenience store named Kum and Go, I started calling it the "unfortunately named Kum and Go" after I got there)
That night on the ride home I came over the rail road bridge, you can barely make it out on the left in the photo. I came to marker 117 and made note of  the odometer numbers and only 8 tenths of a mile went by when we hit the 120 marker....what the?

For the next couple of weeks any victim that sat shot gun with me got treated to the mile marker mystery.  It was very funny when a couple of months later I'm riding shotgun and the driver, a new guy, started telling me to watch the mile markers and he was telling me my

Another thing about this area is the ICBM's  There are hundreds of missile silos dotting the land scape of northwest North Dakota.  You are driving along and there is a road sign that says I-8 thru 11 that way, the missile numbers, and next to the road there is a fenced off area with all this surveillance equipment and the no trespassing signs.  Occasionally you will see a Military Humvee with a 50 caliber gun on the roof in front of these areas or on a hill nearby keeping an eye on a site from afar.

When they move one of these missiles they are all business.  Military Police and armed Humvees on the road in front and behind a convoy.  They burst onto the highway without stopping and you better get out of the way.  The local sheriff usually runs blocker for them.

With all that missile/ Air Force activity and the mile marker anomalies and my joke about it being the Tagus Triangle I came up with a tall story for my friend one night. They never change the mile markers to fix them because they are in the right place but the military has a secret base there and they have some sort of break in time and space there and we pass through it and don't even know it.  My friend laughed and said I should blog about that story and "spin my tale" as he put it.

Here is my tall tale.

The Tagus Triangle
We start out at five every morning from a yard in Minot ND, and we head 80 miles west out onto the prairie to go work in the oil fields. My friend and I stopped and got some coffee as we left our house and our snacks for the day. Yesterday had been a warm day, but this morning there was the first hint of chill in the fall air. It wouldn't be long now and the prairie of North Dakota would be covered in snow and ice for the next 6 months. We got in our van, today was my turn to drive, and we headed out of town.

Highway 2, the western part, starts in Michigan and follows the route of the Great Northern Railway all the way to Everett Washington. As you leave Minot you head north up a valley that follows the Souris and Des Lac rivers and then finally pops you out onto the prairie where you travel through rolling land of wheat, soy, flax, and rapeseed better known a Canola, oh and cattle.

This morning was like all the rest for us Minot based oil workers.  Hour and a half drive west work our butts off for 10 to 12 hours then and hour and a half drive east back to home for some quick sleep and repeat that the next day. It was cool this morning so I had to run the heater for the first time in months.  That dusty unused smell hung heavy in the air for a while as we headed west.  The sky was clear and the stars were brilliant. I turned on the radio as everybody usually is knocked out and starte their snores, farts and mumblings. No Country right now, Definite no on NPR that my friend always listens to, AM was what I needed, a talk show to keep my mind from getting highway hypnosis.  Coast to Coast AM was still on, what was the topic for today. They were talking about the Mayan Calendar and this guy was saying the coming Dec 2012 end date didn't mean that the world was ending.  Finally something with some sense on this show.

I drove on listening to the show, the gentleman giving some interesting information on Mayan culture and beliefs. His proper Spanish accent made him sound very credible. We were coming up on the town of Berthold ND, you had to slow down from 70 mph to 50 there, the company had installed these little satellite tracking box in all the vehicles. It tracked you by GPS and if you speed it rats you our by emailing your boss on his smart phone. I usually would slow down late and set the email off going in and out of Berthold to wake the boss up, it was 5am after all and he shouldn't be sitting in bed lounging. I always tell him it is a lag in the cruise control slowing down and speeding up the van. He hates that answer.

There was the sign for Tagus 9 miles ahead. Berthold was one of the companies way points, if the weather or some other condition warranted it we were to stop there and hold until it cleared or head back to Minot and not risk the trip. Blizzards and heavy rain were huge problems here in North Dakota and could strand motorist very easily.

This is where the day took an unexpected turn, literally. Outside of Berthold was a oil tank farm and a set of railroad tracks  that you crossed and after that the speed limit went back to 70 mph, then 4 miles down the road there was an overpass that went over more railroad tracks and it was an almost straight shot to Stanley ND where we sometimes stopped to get some grub for breakfast.

After mile marker 120 the road starts to turn to make the hook to go up over the overpass. This morning there was something different about the turn. The dash on the van flashed ever so slightly and the cruise control had turned itself off. There was also a weird sensation the went over my body. A huge rush of absolute tiredness.

I was guiding the van around this curve that was a little sharper than normal and all of the sudden there was a lot of street lights overhead and I was coming up to a gate and guard shack. There was red lights and blue strobes flashing. I had the foggy view of what looked like the gate to a military installation.  There was a guard standing at the curb next to the shack he had his pistol out and pointing down and one hand out to halt me. He was talking on what looked like a microphone on a headset.

I had this hard urge to stop and I pressed the brake and held it there. We stopped.  The automatic locks popped up and the door was opened and the guard reached in and put the van in park, I tried to move my right arm to help him but I couldn't.

I could hear him talking, I guess on his headset, "the driver is still responsive, we may have to have him wiped".  That voice where have I heard it before, it was very familiar, like the hint of a voice that had grown up from a younger voice. I literally had to force my head to turn to look at the guards face. When I did that he looked very surprised and his eyes went wide with recognition. I knew this kid, well he was a good looking young man now.

"Ryan is that you?" I got the words out and my mind was starting to clear a little. It was just like fighting heavy road fatigue and you had to will yourself to stay awake. I knew Ryan Gamble pretty well, he was a once pudgy but starting to grow Boy Scout in my sons Troop over 5 years ago. He had camped with us in my son and I's tent a couple of times on outings. We helped him on his Eagle Scout Project, a very nice Forest Service help project that got him some good recognition in our local papers. After that he joined the Air Force with a lot of adventure ahead of him. He was tall and trim now, I was proud to see what he had become and that made it easier to make the fatigue go away.

"Mr Larsen!"
"Good to see you son, look at you, I'm very happy to see you"
I turned to introduce my friend to Ryan but he was out cold sleeping, I turned and looked behind me and the whole crew in the van was out cold too. It dawned on me right then that I was probably not suppose to be where ever I was right now. I turned back to Ryan he was talking into his headset.
"Captain I know the man at the gate sir, he is coming more awake by the minute, I can't explain it, he is not making any moves to exit the vehicle, I doubt if he will"
Ryan looked at me and held his hand up. "Mr Larsen please do not exit the vehicle"
I looked at him as he was about to close the door on me. "I shouldn't be here should I Ryan" I asked mildly.
The door closed and he shook his head no, at me.

I unwittingly rolled down the window, and caught more of his conversation with the captain at the other end of his radio. "Yes captain it is from the same company, you better get those tech people up here to fix this GPS device." there was a pause, "Yes Captain he is awake, he is being cooperative, but we will need to wipe him"
That is the second time he has said "wipe him". I was sure that he was not talking about my nose or my backside.
Ryan held his hand to his ear as if listening, "copy tech team en route, I will have the driver exit the vehicle for the wiping procedure".
I was looking around, maybe not the best idea considering where I might be. I could see something shimmering beyond the gate. It hid what was really behind the gate so someone that stumbled into this place wouldn't see much, but that little, for lack of a better term, porthole we had just come through would be enough to set anybody's curiosity on overdrive. What ever hid this place was way advanced stuff it must hide something pretty damn special.

A cylinder started coming out of the ground across the roadway from the gate. It had a door and it slid open and several armed men and some tech looking guys popped out the door. Ryan came back to the door and opened it.

"Please step out of the vehicle Mr Larsen"
"I hope I haven't got you into some trouble Ryan, I wouldn't want that to happen".
"Everything will be fine Mr Larsen we will fix a few things to correct this stupid problem and then.."
Ryan hesitated. "You and your crew will be on your way to work"

I nodded at him in understanding. I'm sure I still looked a little wide eyed. One of the tech guys came and put a laptop on the drivers seat, another tech opened the passenger door and pointed a strange gun looking device at the dash right over the motor compartment and some LED lights lit up on the gun.  The Tech with the laptop taped a key and said, "there is the code and frequency". He entered something into his keyboard then hit the enter key saying "sent". The guns LED's blinked and then turned green and the techs pulled out of the van and left for the door they came from. I hadn't notice but the armed men had stood on either side of Ryan and I.
Ryan nodded to the armed man behind me and he opened a door on the back of the guard shack. Ryan Guided me to the door. It was a small cubical with a chair and some sort of apparatus that I had to step around to sit down.

"Ryan this wipe you keep talking about will it hurt?"
"There is two parts to it Mr Larsen, one is the sleep inducer and then the image replacer"
"Ok Ryan which one hurts, you have walked around it son"
"I always liked you Mr Larsen, I'll give it to you straight.  The sleep inducer will hurt if you fight it, the image replacer will flash some images to replace the ones you have of your time here, the science on how it works I do not know. Some people show a flash of pain when the bright lights flash but it is gone in an instant"
"Thank you Ryan," I paused. "Do me a favor son, check on me in a few weeks and see how I'm doing. Surprise me at store or something. I live in Minot, will you do that for me?"
"I will see what I can do, you will be ok, our government has it's secrets but it is not in the business of doing harm to it's citizens, you know me sir, I wouldn't be here doing this if it would hurt you."
"Exactly what I thought son, thank you, you take care."
"Thank you sir, sit here and look and focus on this light"

I did as I was told. The wave of exhaustion hit me again, I let it happen. There was a flash that hit my eyes, it did hurt, I felt myself jerk, I was floating and then that horrible noise and feeling as you hit the side rumble strips on the side of the road, something like and echo voiced something in my head, The van just died guide it off the highway, stop put in park and try to start it"

That's what I was doing, I could see it, we were just before the over crossing and I guided the van to a stop on the side of the road. My friend woke up in the seat next to me. "What happened?"
"Van died" I told him. I had it in park and tried to start it, it came to life and I put it in gear and we headed off to work. As I pulled back on to the highway I looked back over my shoulder looking back towards where we came from. "That was so totally weird"
"What my friend asked"
"I don't know" I looked at the dash, "The dash blinked and the cruise control shut off and the van died"
I shook my head.
My friend switch position and mentioned I need to write up the issue and give it to the mechanic shop so they could look at it, and he was back asleep.
"It is probably just the type of crap that happens in the Tagus Triangle" I chuckled.
"Tagus Triangle" he mumbled and chuckled
We made it to the shop, my boss was mad that we were ten minutes late, I handed him the report to inspect the van and told him it had died outside of Berthold.  I wasn't sure how it could have made us that late.

I was at Walmart a couple of weeks later and a young man came up to me. He was lean and tall and had a military hair cut. I smiled. "Ryan is that you!?"
"Yes Mr Larsen what the hell are you doing way up here in North Dakota?"
"Working in the oil Fields, money is good"
"I'm stationed up at Minot Air Force Base" Ryan smiled and then asked "how are you doing?"
"I'm doing great, maybe eating too well" tapping my belly, "but doing well"
"Mr Larsen give me your phone number and we can go get a meal or something when we have some time"
We exchanged numbers. I'm so friggin stupid I should have not kidded with him. I gathered him in a fatherly hug telling him I was proud of him and then whispered. "I think that bright light gave me a tumor" I could feel him sag right there in my arms.
"Mr Larsen your sense of humor is failing you right now"
I knew by the look on his face how badly I had screwed up. "Are they listening" I asked
Ryan nodded his head. "I have vouched for you Mr Larsen don't make me regret it"
"I was just kidding Ryan, anyways what is there to tell, and I'm sure that is the way they want it"
Ryan screwed up his face and nodded again

I spent over a month with some heavy weight military brass telling them I wasn't a threat, I even talked to the inventor of the mind wipe/image replacer to find out what went wrong. They told me they would tell everyone I was crazy if I got to talking. They were all very discrete in their dealings with me and I got a few meal out of them. I got out of one General that kept a watch on me that our companies GPS tracking devices under the dash of our vans was triggering the porthole to open, and that they had finally reprogrammed all of them to get them to stop. I'm not sure how that porthole works or what that cloaking field is that covers that hidden base, but it is fantastic to think about. I guess none of our other drivers knew they had made that turn into the Tagus Triangle.

I have dinner with Ryan from time to time and he got me on the base one time to see the flight line of B-52's they have there at Minot Air Force Base, but we don't talk about what he really does. I don't think he knows what he really does and what is happening on that base. I'm proud of him though, I told the General I was proud of him.

On another morning as I passed by with the same van load of sleepy passengers and listening to Coast to Coast AM. The guest was talking about Area 51 and how there was a hidden UFO base there, he sounded ridiculous. I looked at the spot after mile marker 120 where I thought the porthole might be. I could go on Coast to Coast and tell them how I saw a top secret guard shack that is hidden on several square miles of North Dakota property and that the GPS in the van opened the porthole...where is it?...I don't know, you can't see it. What is on the base, I don't know you can't see it. No one would believe me!. 
The End

I hope you enjoyed the story...grin


  1. Hi, Mr. Larsen. I've been researching myths and rumors of paranormal activity around ND lately for ideas for my own fiction, and I enjoyed your short story about the Targus Triangle. I've never listened to Coast to Coast AM live, but I listened to some recordings on YouTube related to demonic activity, and it was a little frightening because callers' cell phone connections would weaken or end.

  2. Just a curious reader living in Minot who's interest you've peaked. Is there anything real about this story and if I were to go out there could I have anything weird happen? Where exactly would I have to go? Street names, and mile markers I guess. Appreciate the help! Always up for some crazy stuff.

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  4. I never would have thought that my backyard would be turned into a place centered around the likes of urban legends that as a kid we loved to tell. A great title for the story - a great story, in fact. While the military was involved in the area, I never knew of a porthole, and I never saw a stairway leading to hell, even though the stairway to the basement was quite steep and treacherous. Also, Tagus is a little further down the road than the bridge. However, there were very unusual happenings in the area for years that ended the night of the VERY strange end of the town's church - vandalism - yeah, right!! Vandalism did occur in the church prior to its destruction, but it's demise was intentional - no one knows by whom. WEIRD!!