The Australian outback is a harsh, expansive place – anything could be happening out there and it’s absolutely possible for mysterious stuff to go down without anyone knowing about it. Especially if said “mysterious stuff” is occurring on a top secret military base run by both Australia and the United States. Folks, welcome to Pine Gap.

Pine Gap is only a short drive from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, but it may as well be hours away considering the heavy security and secrecy surrounding the military base. It was founded in 1970, with 400 American families flying to Australia to settle in Alice – families where at least one person would work at the base during the height of the Cold War.

The official story is this – the base is run by the run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). It’s a satellite surveillance base and was originally called the Joint Defence Space Research Facility back in the 70s, even though it, well, didn’t really have a lot to do with space research.

Credit: Wikimedia

In 2013, NSA analyst Edward Snowden lifted the lid a little on what was going down at the facility in his groundbreaking leak of US high security documents. His leaks showed that Pine Gap contributed to the NSA’s global interception and collection of internet and telephone communications. So… spying.

But what about the conspiracies surrounding Pine Gap? The mysterious base has been the focus of rumours for decades – they’re using Telsa‘s Earthquake Machine science to maybe destroy cities. They’re experimenting with time travel and alternate dimensions. They’re making super soldiers like Captain America. And the big one – they’re harbouring aliens.

Credit: wikimedia

Several reports over the years have mentioned alien sightings at the base. There’s the two hunters out for an overnight jaunt who say they saw an alien craft emerge from a secret door hidden in the Earth. The two NT cops who reckon they saw aliens beaming light down to one of the many radomes scattered over the base. And even one guy who says he was recruited by aliens to become a Men In Black type figure.

What’s real? What’s not? We covered it all in the latest episode of our true crime/mystery podcast, All Aussie Mystery Hour. Have a listen on iTunes, Spotify, or below.

Image: Getty Images