The next time you hike through the Dreamy Draw Recreation Area
, watch out for aliens -- not illegal immigrants, but the extra-terrestrial sort. They may be looking for the space ship some people believe crashed there more than 60 years ago.
Today, Dreamy Draw is a quaint, desert park next to Piestewa Peak, where people ride horses, have picnics, and bird watch. But this area also boasts its own alien lore: that there's a 36-foot UFO buried beneath the Dreamy Draw Dam.
There were reportedly two UFO crashes around Phoenix in 1947, one in Dreamy Draw and one in Cave Creek. In the first story, which appears in Frank Scully's popular 1950 book Behind the Flying Saucers
, a UFO crashed in the Dreamy Draw area in October, 1947. Two men named Silas Newton and "Dr. Gee" told Scully they pulled two alien bodies from the wreckage, and the remains were stored in a freezer until the Army picked them up.
The second story's told in Timothy Good's 1987 book Above Top Secret
, in a chapter titled "Paradise Valley, 1947." In this version, the UFO first crashed at Dreamy Draw, then somehow bounced or hopped to Cave Creek. No wreckage has ever emerged from either site, but conspiracy theorists say that's because the government built the "useless" 455 foot-long Dreamy Draw Dam
to cover up the space ship crash.
Neither story really holds up. The supposed UFO crash site investigators from Scully's book, Newton and "Dr. Gee," were exposed as con men. And the Dreamy Draw Dam, allegedly a cover-up for the 1947 crash site, wasn't built until 1973. Its function really is to prevent flooding to the surrounding neighborhoods during monsoon season.
While it's unlikely that little green men touched down at Dreamy Draw, the park and dam are still worth a visit. There's plenty to see and do and learn. For example, it's true that the area was once mined heavily for mercury, back before its debilitating effects on the nervous system were known. The phrase "mad as a hatter" is believed to be derived from the effects of mercury poisoning, which include hallucinations -- like UFO crashes, perhaps.
Dreamy Draw Recreation Area is located at 2421 E. Northern Avenue. Call 602-262-7901 for more information.