Strange Plains – The Unearthing of Something Weird in the Beaver Sands
(The true story of the Beaver Sands Portal, also known as the Shaman's Portal)
Besides researching purportedly haunted places, we also research urban legends and local folklore. I ran across one story that was particularly intriguing to me – The Beaver Sands Portal, or Shaman's Portal, as some call it. It is supposedly a "portal" in the sand dunes in Beaver, Oklahoma where several people have disappeared, much like the Bermuda Triangle. There are several theories about the portal, one of the biggest being that it is a UFO crash site. When I heard about this place, I immediately began planning a trip and doing as much research as I could on it. The following is what I found out and my account of what happened when I looked too far into something so weird…
Richard E. Bohlander, editor of World Explorers and Discoverers, 1992, The Journey of Coronado, tells the history of the portal.
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was born in Salamanca, Spain in 1510. When he was 25, he set sail for the new world and eventually settled in what is now Mexico City. He raised a family there and in 1538 he was appointed governor of the province of Nueva Galicia.
There were reportedly riches in the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola and in 1540 Coronado led an expedition of nearly one thousand men into what is now the southwestern part of the United States and northern Texas. Much of the party returned to Mexico the following year after being unsuccessful at finding any gold, but Coronado and a smaller group charged ahead only to return to Mexico in 1542 empty handed.
Even though the disastrous expedition caused Coronado to lose some credibility, he returned to his post as councilman and remained there until his death in 1554.
Coronado may not have returned with any gold, but the expedition did fuel many stories of lost treasures buried in Texas and what has long been called No Man's Land in the panhandle of Oklahoma. Some of these tales were documented while others were only passed down by word of mouth. One particular legend emerged from the others and remained a mystery for quite some time – that of the Shaman's Portal, or the Beaver Sands Portal. The Shaman's Portal is said to be nestled in the sand dunes near Beaver, Oklahoma in Beaver State Park. The Native Americans were aware of this portal, or gateway, into the unknown and Coronado and his men experienced it as well. A friar that accompanied Coronado's expedition logged the occurrence in his journal:
"It was the work of El Diablo. That night by the sandy hills we had been warned by the natives to avoid, we lost three able bodied men of valour: Juan Viscaino, Marco Romano, and Juan Munoz. They had been hunting game for the men when the three ill-fated men were taken from us in lightening bolt of green." (Translated by Albert Gettis, The Journal Discourses of Fray Juan de Padilla, 1543)
Apparently another soldier on the expedition also recorded the incident but was ordered by Coronado to strike it from the log. It took centuries for the truth to come out. In 1993, bits and pieces of the truth began to surface. There had been disappearances in the area up until 1987 and each one was documented as being accompanied by a flash of green light. Was this why the natives called it No Man's Land?
With each new generation, explorers set out to find the answer to that question; the most recent being an investigator by the name of Dr. Mark Thatcher. Dr. Thatcher reported that he researched the area for three years after receiving reports from an Oklahoma State University archaeologist. In 1995 he hired a geologist to test the location and they found samplings of ionized soil cores and there was a great deal of electromagnetic interference in the area. There were many similarities between the Beaver Sands Portal and the Bermuda Triangle and Roswell crash site. They were discovered during their research and warned off by men in suits that produced very official looking government credentials. Their careers were threatened if they were to return to the site or to speak publicly about it.
Because of the incident with the men in black in the middle of Beaver State Park, Thatcher was led to believe that rather than a portal into the unknown, that they were possibly dealing with a UFO crash site. Thatcher explained that the ionized soil cores, the green light, and the disappearances might all be explained by the fact that there was a spacecraft buried beneath the sand dunes of Oklahoma with some of its elements still intact and working. He left the site and was planning to return when yet another odd occurrence took place.
Apparently a man and some family were camping out at Beaver Sands for a family reunion when they witnessed military looking people digging what can only be explained as a spacecraft from beneath the dunes under cover of darkness. They were caught and detained by these officials for over three hours and threatened in various ways and released some 10 miles from where they were camping, being forced to return to their campsite by foot. They maintained their silence for years and finally decided to share the story when they learned of the websites and questions that began popping up about the location.
Being an investigator of all things weird in Oklahoma, you can imagine how these stories sparked my interest. I was determined to go there and check it out and had the rest of the group ready to go, too. I read everything I could find online about it and I began contacting everyone with an email link. Oddly, my emails bounced back to me. The following is what took place, via email.
"OK, you are the third person I have tried to email about this - all the other ones failed. I have been researching Beaver Sands and it is getting extremely odd that anyone that had a report about it can no longer be contacted. I am the founder of a paranormal investigation team in NW Oklahoma and we were talking about going there and with all these reports of men in black and whatnot, it's becoming even more intriguing. Have you had anything weird happen since you posted the information on the internet?
I would like to know more about this place.
Tammy - Eerie Oklahoma"
"DO NOT GO THERE! Forget you ever heard about the Beaver Sands portal. Anyone who ever knew anything is now gone... be safe. I am not in the country so do not try to find me. Do me a favor and ask no one about me. You may already be monitored if you are asking questions. This isn't a game… seriously give it up. DT"
Of course I was somewhat rattled by this response, but not enough to be deterred from my investigation. I shared it with the team and it only made us want to go that much more. The next day, I got this email in my inbox:
"It is not a healthy interest to involve yourself. Endeavors of this nature are best left to those who understand the risks. Beaver, Oklahoma has an abundance of predators in its Sand Dunes. It also has an equal abundance of victims buried beneath them. Not a threat... Just advice.
This was totally bizarre and even more intriguing. So I replied. What follows is the correspondence between me and this "friend."
"So what's going on out there and who are you and how do you know? How did you know I was looking into it - you weren't one of the people I inquired of."
"If anyone were to make inquiry of events in Beaver, Oklahoma I would be the first person to know. I know quite a lot about you... Tammy.
Miss Eerie Oklahoma, eh? Born March of 1973... the places on Broadway... Randolph… Coolidge... Etc., etc. Enid is a nice town. Saw your picture on the website...pretty Girl.
This isn't one of your pleasant little jaunts into the back roads. You get involved here and you will find yourself way over your head. Trust me...take my advice. None of this is meant as a threat. I truly am being your friend. People a lot more visible than you are now invisible.
This reply was odd to me because I am pretty much an open book, plus, hello – I do a lot of research, so I know how easy it is to find these answers about people. We went further:
"None of those things are hard to find out about me - I am a pretty public person. Your emails do sound like threats to me even if you state they aren't. You say it is friendly advice - why would you be concerned and why all the high drama to try to scare me?"
"Well Warnings and drama didn't scare me either. Wish they had. Read the below link and you will understand I am a friend.
Still not scared enough to drop the subject, I persist:
"I read an account about that. It says you wish someone would seriously investigate it."
Then I received this ever so interesting reply:
"That was years ago… before a lot of events transpired. Look at the list of investigators who have disappeared
Carrol Hempsted -RUFOA and SETIRP (RUFOA and SETIRP are now defunct)
Stirling Dutchford (Phoenix Foundation , Co-chair of SETIRP)
Dr. Mark Thatcher (Shaman's Portal Author, Phoenix Foundation)
Delbert Trammell (in hiding)
All these were real people who tried to help me. All are gone now (disappeared) with the exception of D.Trammell who had his life turned up side down. This doesn't even include the witnesses who have all disappeared...including my family members. Davis Humes isn't my real name. It is as if none of them ever existed. This will be my last correspondence with you. I tried to warn you. This address will no longer be valid in a few days.
Over the couple of days that this was going on, I had told my mom and my husband about it and they both became very worried about the entire ordeal. They wanted me to stop looking into it and just move on. But I couldn't. After I received this last email, my husband was adamant that I drop the subject. I told him that it was probably some 34 year old gamer dude living in his mom's basement in Pennsylvania getting a big kick out of trying to scare me over the internet. He didn't agree. He was sure we'd be met by some scary guy with a big knife out in the sand dunes or something worse. I just wasn't buying the whole story because things didn't really add up to me. I was doing research on domain names and analyzing the writing styles and spelling and grammar usage of the writers and things just weren't jiving. The next morning, I received another email:
"It's hard to keep a straight face… before you waste your time with any of this which would be a shame, it is all a hoax. There never was a Beaver Sands portal. I made it up as a psych experiment in 97 about belief apart from evidence. It got out of hand and I abandoned it in 98. But the internet wouldn't let it die. lol
No one knows I created it, as well as a good portion of the web sites. It's funny the things people believe in. Well, it did help the tourist trade in Beaver… haha. This should tell people volumes about Roswell. Check the history… no one has ever disappeared. Now go find a real story.
PS: I am also Dell Trammell as well as all the others listed in my previous email. Fun's over."
HA! I KNEW IT! I was just glad that I had actually said as much before he came clean. I was so glad I had persisted in finding out about this story and I was feeling pretty excited about debunking a pretty big urban legend, too. The rest of the emails follow:
"I would have never made a good MIB anyway… really… I let it die years ago and have done nothing since...but the internet conspiratists won't let it go. It's kinda funny. I tried before to tell folks but they wouldn't believe me... Dreams die hard. Anyway… good luck in the future
Davis (Not my real name), your anonymous friend.
P.S. could I interest you in a slightly used sandy space craft? Lol"
"LOL. Obviously, we research things like this and this is a great urban legend now. I am thinking about writing an article on it - would you mind? I can keep my sources anonymous. Or would you rather keep it going? I was kinda hoping you'd take it as far as meeting us in the dunes with some mind zapper looking thing, lol."
What he said next was very interesting and valuable – read it closely.
"Nah. I don't especially want to keep it goin'... but it will, despite what you or I say or do. People like to believe in things like this. My experience has taught me something valuable though...beyond the jokes and the legends there is a hope that people hold onto that goes deeper than facts will ever support. I think that is cool. It is evidence of something more in itself. The experience also tells me that many of the other... (not all) but many of the other urban legends are just a fake. As one who has woven the tapestry, I have begun to recognize the threads of tom-foolery when I see them. I think I would make a decent researcher because of this. I would always be looking for the little man behind the curtain.
Please write about it. And if you include any emails in the article include this one especially.
"Folks... never check your minds with your hats at the door. True faith is almost always fact based. Faith based on wishful thinking is nothing but deception waiting to happen. There will always be someone like me lurking in the shadows with a woolen blanket to pull over your eyes."
I cannot reveal my true self at this time because it would play havoc in my life… don't need it now. I won't have to use the mind zapper. ..unless of course you find me....lol
....Now everyone look into the flashy thing and say "cheese".
So there you have it. The Shaman's Portal debunked. What an awesome story, though, huh? Since I began researching this story and found out the truth behind it, it has indeed continued to grow still and maybe it will continue to do so. I have no idea of the identity of this person but I would definitely like to meet up with him in person some place and discuss this over a cold beer. In a very well lit, well populated place that is.