BLM moved quickly to fill hole outside of Phoenix in 2017

Tonopah Arizona hole

A perfectly round hole in the desert in Tonopah, Arizona. (Courtesy,

MYSTERY WIRE — A 30-foot hole in the desert that no one could explain prompted a quick response from the government two years ago.

In April 2017, Michele Thompson and her son Hector were walking in the desert near their home in Tonopah, Arizona, when they came across the hole. Tonopah is about 80 miles west of Phoenix, just south of Interstate 10. Thompson thought the hole was a hazard, and someone might fall in, so she called it in.

“It gets dark out here and that’s just an accident waiting to happen,” she told

READ: ‘Mystery hole’ found in Tonopah is raising questions

A crew from lowered a camera into the hole, and measured the depth at 30 feet. There was nothing remarkable in the hole — just trash.

The Bureau of Land Management filled in the hole within 24 hours, but questions about why it was there — and what it was for — were never answered. And plenty of people were asking.

A BLM spokesperson told reporters the Federal Aviation Administration owned the land in the 1950s. The hole didn’t appear to be a well, and it looked to be lined with concrete.

Some speculated it had something to do with the Army, and a report from Mysterious Universe aked if there might be a connection to the nearby Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. The website suggested the government’s quick action to fill the hole might be related to the possibility of radiation.

The website also notes the proximity of Luke Air Force Base, which surfaces in explanations for the Phoenix Lights phenomenon in 1997.

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