THE THING Dragoon, Arizona

Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Shane Miller, Holly Miller, Matt Miller, Jacque Miller

Expedition Date:  August 4, 2009

A great roadside attraction.  P.T. Barnum once said “A sucker is born every minute”. I must have been one of those babies. For over 90 miles throughout New Mexico & Arizona I kept reading yellow billboards painted with giant letters stating “We Dare You to See The Thing”, “What is The Thing? Creature From Another World”, “The Thing – Mystery of the Desert”.

I was hooked. We had to stop and find out what The Thing was. Finally, in the middle of the desert at Exit 322 off of Interstate 10 a sign with a 30 foot arrow said “Enter Here to see The Thing”. We exited to find a large yellow building (Photo #4) containing a gift shop, gas pumps and ice cream shop. I should have known better when we were charged only $1.00 for adults and 75 cents for kids to see a possible alien from Outer Space (photo #1). I thought an extraterrestrial would have better market value.

We entered a room and the first thing I saw was one of Adolph Hitler’s staff cars with a wax museum body of Hitler in the back seat (Photo#2). The car was surrounded by wax figures of American Indians, some on horseback. I know a lot of history but I don’t think that Apache Indians fought against the Nazi’s in Europe in WWII? Well, it was too late to turn back now. I had to continue.

There were several more rooms that contained old covered wagons, a teepee ,western antiques, ancient methods of torture and a few classic cars but nothing that looked like it came from our solar system.

Following the painted monster footprints on the floor, up ahead a sign stated “Beyond this Door is The Thing!“. Finally, the moment of truth. We opened the door and went in. In a white, block, coffin-like box with a see-through plastic cover was a body. It did not look like an otherworldly creature from Mars. It was very old, dry, with wrinkled skin. It looked like a cross between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who in real life look like 150 year old walking mummies. (Photo #3) Yep, no alien from the Milky Way. Probably was an old Indian mummy from a century or two ago resting comfortably with a Japanese garden hat laying on its lower body instead of a space helmet.

So was it worth stopping at? You betcha. It is exciting to explore unknown things. Even if they are fake.

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