Down East 2013 ©
Jo Miller swears she doesn’t sport retractable antennas on her head or have the ability to twist time, but a bunch of folks on the internet suspect she’s hiding a flying saucer in the Worumbo Mill in Lisbon Falls, a tiny town between Brunswick and Lewiston. Miller and her husband, Herb, operate Miller Industries at the mill, producing some five thousand blankets a week for upscale companies such as L.L. Bean, Macy’s, and Land’s End.
Lately, though, they’ve spent a good part of their time answering questions about what really goes on inside the huge brick building on the banks of the Androscoggin River.
It seems the Worumbo Mill and Lisbon Falls have the huge UFO internet community all a-twitter. According to an outfit calling itself the Counter Evidence Research Consortium, the Worumbo Mill is heir apparent to Area 51. As any fan of the X-Files knows, the highly secretive military test site in the Nevada desert is where the government does research on alien spacecraft — and perhaps even aliens themselves.
“The first we knew about it was when a crew from WGME-TV showed up one day in February asking questions: what do we make, how do we make it, what do we make it from?” Jo Miller recalls. “There was this story on the internet that Area 51 had moved here.”
According to the Counter Evidence Web page, the Washington, D.C.-based group claims it tracked a “massive airlift transport operation that originated in the vicinity of Groom Lake on the Nellis Air Force Range in Nevada and inevitably [sic] found its way to the Brunswick Naval Air Station, near the coastal town of Brunswick, Maine.
Eight of the twenty large tractor-trailer trucks that disembarked from the air transports at BNAS were inevitably [sic] tracked to the small town of Lisbon Falls.” Why all of this was “inevitable” remains unclear, but the website includes photographs of the mill and security guards called “black dogs,” faithful companions, perhaps, of the famous Men in Black who supposedly protect aliens from publicity. Meanwhile, the destination of the other twelve tractor-trailer trucks is not revealed.
Miller doesn’t know where the beefy “guards” shown in the website’s photos came from, nor how the Worumbo Mill came to attract all this attention in the first place. “Maybe someone liked the name,” she muses. Miller notes that some of the company’s eighty-five employees have taken to playing X-Files dress-up games. “A lot of people here have started wearing those white clean-room suits and antennas on their heads,” she says. “We even put up a bunch of phony signs — ‘Authorized Personnel Only’ and ‘No Admittance Beyond This Point.’ It’s been a real hoot.”
But then Miller has had plenty of time to cover her tracks. The alleged airlift took place in January 2001, after all. What if the signs are real? What if the antennas are real?
(Published July 2002)