Oklahoma UFO’s and the Shaman’s Portal
We've been over quite a few Oklahoma urban legends over the last few years, but here's a new one for even me... UFO's and a Bermuda Triangle type place affectionately dubbed the Shaman's Portal up in the panhandle. It's a very loose and iffy tale about disappearing people, a very small section of sand dunes, crazy stories of lights and no obvious explanation for any of it outside the realm of it being an urban legend type story. Here's how it all starts.
If you're an outdoor powersports type ATV/UTV/Motorcycle fan, you've no doubt heard of the Little Sahara State Park up by Waynoka. It's way out in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma, but that's the nature of deserts, they're not usually located metro-adjacent. It's a place where weebs take their new motorsports toys to test out the quality and longevity of a fresh factory build. It's also where the most experienced sandsports people of this state thrive with their loud four-stroke exhausts and rooster-tail flinging paddle tires go to play. Odds are, you've heard of it at some point in that crowd of people. What you probably never heard about was the other sand dune area of Oklahoma called Beaver Dunes Park. Another, albeit much smaller desert area featuring the mystic more than fueled fun.
Now there are two different stories to the strange legends of this very small 300 acre tract of sand, and they couldn't be further apart in way people describe it. As the story goes...
Rumor has it, thanks to someone finding some random artifacts, this area is known to have been explored by Spanish conquistador Francisco Vazquez de Coronado - AKA - Explorer of the America's. Way back in the 1500's, they came up through Mexico in Arizona, were the first Europeans to discover the Grand Canyon along the Colorado River, traveled across New Mexico, Texas, the Oklahoma panhandle and Kansas in conquest for Cibola... The Lost City of Gold. While traveling across the 300 acre tract of sand dunes near Beaver, OK, the caravan of conquistadors apparently lost three men to a mysterious green flash, and the legend continues to this day why you shouldn't remain in the park as dusk approaches.
The other story goes in a different direction... Legend has it, a UFO once crashed in these dunes. There's no specific date or timeline given, but it has to be within the last seventy years or so because of the next part of the story. If you spend enough time there, rumor says men in black, just like the movie, will show up and question you before erasing your memory of the event... which leaves a great big hole in this theory... If everyone gets neuralized, who's telling the story of the men in black? This goes on to detail the handful of missing people that wandered into the park, which is the only believable portion of the story, but still... it's regarded as Oklahoma's own Bermuda Triangle for the odd manner in which people tend to disappear.
At no point in either story does it detail why the locals still call it Shaman's Portal. If you look at it on a map, like Google Maps in the satellite mode, it's literally some sand right off the highway. Coronado could have legit traveled through the area in search of his golden cities, there's a ton of Spanish and French history in Oklahoma long before America established and moved this far West... but UFO's and men in black? Come on... Still, it'd be a neat little side note to a longer road trip if you were headed that way.