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Deep in the desert in northern Mexico, between the states of Durango, Chihuahua and Coahuila, is an area known as zona del silencio or the "zone of silence", also known as Mapimí Silent Zone for its close proximity to the city of Mapimi. Legend says that in this area electromagnetic transmissions cannot be received, radio doesn’t work, compasses do not point to magnetic north, and the flora and fauna have abnormal mutations. Over the years stories of alien encounters, falling "hot pebbles" and all sorts of paranormal activities have been drawing tourists and curiosity-seekers from all over the world.

The myth started in July, 1970, when the U.S. military base near Green River, Utah fired an Athena test missile toward White Sands Missile Range. The missile lost control and instead of landing on the intended target continued 400 miles south and fell in the Mapimí Desert region. Immediately, a team of specialists arrived to find the fallen rocket. When the rocket was found after three weeks of intense search, an airstrip was built to transport the wreckage. The entire operation was very hush-hush, consistent with governmental common sense, and nobody was told anything or asked. The secretive nature of the operation was already spurring rumors among the residents.

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