Mar/30 UFO believers can be found in your backyard - Brownsville Herald: Local News

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Mar/30 UFO believers can be found in your backyard

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 1997 12:00 am

By ALLEN ESSEX

Valley Morning Star

WESLACO -- News of the Heaven's Gate mass suicide this week brought back

memories of the mid-1980s, when a local group of UFO believers and tax

opponents clashed with local and federal lawmen.

The Outer Dimensional Forces is still active at their "base," a piece of

prime property at the corner of FM 88 and U.S. Expressway 83 in Weslaco,

surrounded by a Wal-Mart store and parking lot.

City and business leaders wanted the land for a shopping center. But members

of the ODF were reserving it as a landing site for a flying saucer that will

carry them away from the Mid-Valley when Armageddon arrives, according to

federal officials who investigated the group after it was linked to a 1985

pipe-bombing in McAllen.

The Outer Dimensional Forces property was owned by the group's leader, Orville

T. Gordon, who used the name "NODROG" -- Gordon spelled backward -- for ODF

activities.

A sign posted on the gate of the property states: "A.T.A. Base, Manasseh Free

Territory, Manasseh complex, Area 6, Armageddon Valley. Warning, .2

contamination 100 ft. radius from house. Do not cross fence line. Honk horn

three times."

Two men approached the gate Friday, but upon learning a newspaper reporter

wished to visit, one man said, "Yeah? Bye."

Several Weslaco residents said Gordon has either become a recluse or died. No

outsider can confirm rumors he is buried on the property.

Longtime city resident Glen Housley said the violence of the 1980s may not

have been caused by members of the original Weslaco UFO group.

"Evidently, there was an additional group came down and infiltrated it and

brought along with them the knowledge of explosives and all," he said. "I

know that one afternoon, the FBI, the ATF and everyone was out there and they

raided them."

The group had a history of sending ultimatums to City Hall, federal

prosecutors said during the 1986 trial of Mark Alan Lingenfelter, who was

associated with the group. The ODF's philosophy seemed similar to that of

anti-government militia groups.

In 1985, Mark Alan Lingenfelter and two others were charged with attempting to

blow up former Weslaco Mayor Hector Farias' car with a pipe bomb at the

McAllen Sherwin-Williams paint store he managed. ODF members apparently were

angry with Farias for his efforts to develop a shopping center next to their

property.

Lingenfelter was convicted of the February 1985 pipe bomb attack. He was

sentenced to 10 years in prison, fined $8,000 and ordered to pay $3,447 in

restitution for damage to the paint store and a car.

Farias declined Friday to discuss the ODF incidents or the trial.

A Weslaco man, Dan Hoverson, was indicted for involvement in the bombing, but

his charges were later dropped. A woman named Kathleen Bruckner was also

indicted, but could not be found.

Retired /Valley Morning Star/ reporter Nolene Hodges recalls that Farias' car

was not bombed; another car was mistakenly damaged by the pipe bomb. No one

was injured.

In 1985, federal officials said members of the group refused to acknowledge

the jurisdiction of the federal courts and claimed to be aligned with an

extraterrestrial power they called Outer Dimensional Forces.

Their house, owned by Gordon, was called the Center of Time Station Earth and

members at the time claimed a Time Arc would lead them from the destruction of

Armageddon. The extraterrestrial spacecraft will land at the Weslaco property

for the final days of Armageddon, ODF literature distributed in the 1980s

states.

The struggle over the property was not the first between Gordon and the

government, Hodges said. Hidalgo County leaders had gone to court to condemn

part of Gordon's land for the expressway project, she said. Money was

deposited in a bank in his name, but he never used it.

During Hurricane Beulah in 1967, Gordon came to City Hall, she said. "The

whole Valley was flooded. It was terrible. He said they were putting out the

wrong information, that it was not the hurricane that was causing the problem.

It was a spaceship that had landed out there (at Gordon's property)."

Many Weslaco residents, including herself and family members, are still afraid

of ODF, Hodges said.

Follow us on Facebook

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>