The invoking, alien landscape of White Lake, just beyond our quaint, outwardly undisturbed, unassuming borders of Penticton, echoes a dark, unnamed, indefinite mystery. It is, regardless of what people say and what it is “deemed to be”, deeply mysterious and truly alien – a befitting sentiment for the centre of Canada’s astrophysical research and development. Masquerading as an inconspicuous scientific place of study and observation, (Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory) there nevertheless lurks an undertone of intrigue and clandestine – as if the place and landscape itself, has furtively locked within it, universal secrets of the unknown: perhaps an untold tale of alien visitations, or alien investigations… The space invokes thrilling imagery of brilliant flashing lights, spherical, metallic, opaque intergalactic spacecraft and alien technologies beyond the scope of our intellectual consciousness. In fact, the extending space literally screams everything “alien”, making you want to take that second backwards glance, that sideways glimpse, or that gaze upon the horizon –as if there are eyes at your back, watching your every step. You couldn’t whisper soft enough in a space like that. Everything seems to have ears that can hear even one’s most subtle thoughts, and the overwhelming silence of the space only makes your beating heart grow louder. The stretching columns of thousands of wooden poles, spatially separated by several meters of connecting wires, summons a stirring image of docking stations for alien spaceships, and the austere, almost decrepit looking rusting telescopes, unevenly placed along a running track, pointing purposefully upward toward the outward abyss of blue, black and beyond, give the place a deserted, sort of haunting feel. The dusty path leading into the research facility is a call back to those dated horror and sci fi films involving desert landscapes, alien creatures and deserted towns. It winds discreetly around a square, unadorned brick building with narrow, blacked out windows – the refrigerated laboratory for alien dissection, and circles around a compound of severe buildings, undetectable and impenetrable, no doubt a centre for harbouring the enthralling secrets of the stars. Area 51 may have world renowned recognition, but what many do not know is that the Okanagan harbours its own mysterious region of alien activity, right in the heart of the Osoyoos Desert, among a parade of sage, tumbleweed, and dry salt beds. White Lake is nothing short of mysterious, and if you dare take a moment to look out among the army of wooden poles, and stand amidst the array of telescopes, or walk along that dusty path adjoining the various sobering and unsolvable buildings of that small unremarkable compound, you may just come to feel the same undetectable eyes upon you, the same impregnating feeling of alien energy, or you may just see an alien visitor yourself!
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