by Joseph Trainor

Volume 10, Number 24
June 15, 2005
from UfoInfo Website

From the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun June 6, 2005

Many thanks to Angela Tarohachi for this newspaper article

"Japanese scientists are to explore the center of the Earth. Using a drill ship (subterrene or tunneler-- J.T.) to be launched next month, the researchers want to be the first to poke a hole through the rocky crust that covers our planet and to reach the mantle."

"The team wants to return samples from the mantle, 10 kilometers (6 miles) down, to learn more about what triggers undersea earthquakes, such as the one off Sumatra that caused the December 26, 2004 (Indian Ocean) tsunami. They hope to study the deep rocks for records of past climate changes and to see if the deepest regions of the Earth could harbor life."

"Asahiko Taira, director-general of the Center for Deep Earth Exploration in Yokohama, said, ’One of the main purposes for doing this is to find deep fractures within the oceanic crust and upper mantle. We believe there to be life forms there. It’s the same mission as searching for life on Mars.’"

"Material in the upper mantle produces compounds essential for life when they interact with seawater. ’This is the system which we believe created early life. There may be a chance we can watch the origins of life still taking place today,’ Dr. Taira said."

"The 57,500-ton drill ship Chikyu (Japanese for Earth--A.T.) is being prepared at the southern port of Nagasaki. Two-thirds the length of the R.M.S. Titanic, the ship is fitted with technology borrowed from the oil industry that will allow it to bore through 7,000 meters (23,100 feet) of crust below the seabed while floating in 2,500 meters (8,250 feet) of water. The ship requires a drill measuring 25 times the height of (New York City’s) Empire State Building," i.e. 32,500 feet or 9,750 meters.

"The deepest hole drilled through the seabed so far has reached 2,111 meters (6,966 feet). After final sea trials this year, the scientists will set sail for the deep Pacific, where the Earth’s crust is the thinnest. Drilling is expected to begin next year."

"It could take more than a year to drill through kilometers of crust and reach the mantle, so the ship is fitted with six rotating thrusters controlled by GPS satellites to keep it directly over the hole. The drill is surrounded by a sleeve that contains a shock-absorbing chemical and a blowout valve that will protect it should the drill strike oil or superheated rock (magma--J.T.) within the crust."

(Editor’s Note: This may be Japan’s first subterrene, but evidence exists showing that the USA already has a number of these strange vehicles)



From the UFO Files...

The plans of Japanese scientists to send a drill ship to pierce the Earth’s crust on the Pacific Ocean floor has called attention once again to the subterrene debate. Namely, do Earth’s military powers, particularly the USA, have subterrenes or "tunnelers" capable of traveling through unconsolidated rock beneath the Earth’s surface?

There is interesting evidence that the USA worked on just such a project during the 1970s and the 1980s.

On January 8, 1971, the U.S. Patent Office received a strange application from "the Armstrong group," a bunch of scientists in New Mexico. The group wanted to patent,

"a machine and method for drilling bore holes and tunnels by melting in which a housing is provided for a heat source and a heated end portion and in which the necessary melting heat is delivered to the walls of the end portion at a rate sufficient to melt rock and during operation of which the molten material may be disposed adjacent to the boring zone in cracks in the rock and in a vitreous (glass) wall lining of the tunnel so formed."

(Editor’s Note: By a strange twist of fate, the patent application was filed on Elvis Presley’s thirty-sixth birthday.)


The proposal, advanced by Dale E. Armstrong of Santa Fe, N.M. and

  • Berthus B. McInteer

  • Robert L. Mills

  • Robert M. Potter

  • Eugene S. Robinson

  • John C. Rowley

  • Morton C. Smith,

...all of Los Alamos, N.M., called for the construction of a nuclear-powered tunneling machine, "designed to convert the rock that it excavates into a molten liquid" that lines the walls of its tunnel--a wheeled vehicle that could move under the land the same way a submarine travels underwater.

The patent for the Armstrong group’s design was approved on September 26, 1972. (See U.S. Patent No. 3,693,731 dated Sept. 26, 1972)

In his classic book Underground Bases and Tunnels, Dr. Richard Sauder gives a brief history of the mysterious "Subterrene Affair."

"The nuclear subterrene (rhymes with submarine--R.S.) was designed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico. A number of patents were filed by scientists at Los Alamos, a few federal technical documents were written--and then the whole thing just sort of faded away."

"Or did it?"

"Nuclear subterrenes work by melting their way through the rock and soil, actually vitrifying it as they go and leaving a neat, solidly glass-lined tunnel behind them. The heat is supplied by a compact nuclear reactor that circulates liquid lithium from the reactor core to the tunnel face, when it melts the rock. In the process of melting the rock, the lithium loses some of its heat. It is then circulated back along the exterior of the tunneling machine to help cool the vitrified rock as the tunneling machine forces its way forward. The cooled lithium then circulates back to the (nuclear) reactor where the whole cycle starts over. In this way, the nuclear subterrene slices through the rock like a nuclear-powered 2,000-degree Fahrenheit earthworm, boring its way deep underground."

"The United States Atomic Energy Commission and the United States Energy Research and Development Administration took out the patents in the 1970s for the nuclear subterrenes. The first patent, in 1972, went to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission."

(Editor’s Note: The second patent for subterrenes was issued on May 6, 1975.)

Dr. Sauder wrote that the second patent,

"was for ’a tunneling machine for producing large tunnels in soft rock or wet, clayey, unconsolidated or bouldery earth by simultaneously detaching the tunnel core by thermal melting a boundary kerf into the tunnel face and forming a supporting excavation wall liner by deflecting the molten materials against the excavation walls to provide, when solidified, a continuous wall supporting liner, and detaching the tunnel face circumscribed by the kerf with powered mechanical earth detachment means and in which the heat required for melting the kerf and liner material is provided by a compact nuclear reactor.’"

"This 1975 patent further specifies that the machine is intended to excavate tunnels up to 12 meters (40 feet) in diameter or more."

"The kerf is the outside boundary of the tunnel wall that a boring machine gouges out as it bores through the ground or rock. So, in ordinary English, this machine will melt a circular boundary into the tunnel face. The melted rock will be forced to the outside of the tunnel by the tunnel machine, where it will form a hard, glassy tunnel lining."

"And yet a third patent was issued to the United States Energy Research and Development Administration just 21 days later, on 27 May 1975, for a machine remarkably similar to the machine patented on 6 May 1975."

"The abstract describes,

’A tunneling machine for producing large tunnels in rock by progressive detachment of the tunnel core by thermal melting a boundary kerf into the tunnel face and simultaneously forming an initial tunnel wall support by deflecting the molten materials against the tunnel walls to provide, when solidified, a continuous liner; and fragmenting the tunnel core circumscribed by the kerf by thermal stress fracturing and in which the heat required for such operations is supplied by a compact nuclear reactor.’"

"This machine would also be capable of making a glass-lined tunnel of 40 feet (12 meters) in diameter or more."

"Perhaps some of my readers have heard the same rumors that I have heard swirling in the UFO literature or on the UFO grapevine: stories of deep, secret, glass-walled tunnels excavated by laser-powered tunneling machines. I do not know if these stories are true. If they are, however, it may be that the glass-walled tunnels are made by the nuclear subterrenes described in these patents."

Apparently, sometime in February or March of 1975, during President Gerald R. Ford’s administration, a top-secret Request for Proposals (RFP) went out from the Defense Department, inviting design teams to submit proposals for workable subterrenes. Two proposals were accepted, and both were granted patents in May of 1975.


Were the prototype subterrenes ever built?

For years, your editor has heard rumors of strange glass-walled tunnels found under private range lands in Monero, New Mexico, 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Dulce, a town that made its mark in UFO history. Then there were the equally strange cases of subterranean hums heard in Floyds Knobs and Kokomo, Indiana. Could the people there have heard a subterrene passing beneath their community?

It could be that the subterrene plans simply gathered dust on the shelf.

Then again, perhaps at this very moment Subterrene X-1 is cruising beneath the sands of Iraq’s Anbar province, hunting for insurgents. (See Underground Bases and Tunnels: What is the Government Trying to Hide? by Richard Sauder, Ph.D., Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, Illinois, 1995, pages 94 through 97.)


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