"Generations" A Location

By Richard Vaughan

January 21, 1997

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas and visit some friends of mine who are avid Star Trek fans. I was told that they had a special treat for me when I arrived. Special it was! We headed out of town on I-15 west about 20 miles to a turnoff that went to a place called the Valley of Fires.

As we went through the sandstone cliffs and hills of various shapes, we came upon a vista that included part of Lake Mead. A few minutes later we stopped at the visitor's center for the Valley of Fires. This much be a check point for we then backtracking a mile or so, and then we took a secondary road north into the hills to a side road parking area and then walked back in westward a couple of miles to the familiar peak that you see Dr. Soran raised his hands as he waited for the Nexus that was approaching the planet. This is also the area were Dr. based and launched the rocket to destroy the planet's star so he could zip off into another dimension.

Yes we were at the actual place where the movie "Star Trek, Generations" was filmed! If there was any doubt, that too soon evaporated. It seems that Paramount had actually taken the set walkways down and had them stacked along side of a narrow gravel road that was at best a service road for park vehicles. We climbed all over the sets and hung perilously from the very part that Captain Kirk himself met his final end.

There were several chains that were used as hand rails and other supports for the sets and the walkways. They were easily removed by unbolting the retaining clips and taken home as a souvenir. I was able to recover a few of these chains and I also retrieved a couple of the railings.

All in all a great way to do a Star Trek Con.

Area 51

Later that afternoon, the adventure continued with a return to I-15 and then north on Route 93 to Route 375 ( that famous "Alien Highway") and on to the small town of Rachel, Nevada. For those that are not aware, this is the site of the Little A-Le-Inn and the also famous Alien Burger!

No trip all the way out here is complete without a visit to the Black Mailbox. Merely a spot on Highway 375 by a road that leads off in the distance to a ranch house and beyond to the entrance to the Groom Lake base (which doesn't exist by the way, according to the government) and other jeep trails that meander off into the desert.

The Black Mailbox is real, it is that previously mentioned rancher's mailbox. It is also one of the most desolate areas you can go. In the couple of hours we spent at the site, only one car came down highway 375.

After the sun went down, the stars were absolutely awesome! To the west, just above a distant ridge line, a small single light popped up. Stationary at first, the light started to move erratically in the sky just above the ridge for about twenty minutes and then drifted off west southwest until it vanished.

Back at the Little A-Le-Inn to have coffee and discuss what we witnessed, a couple of the locals said that the base was not known to fly helicopters at night (one possible answer in our minds to the light in the sky) and that we were blessed with an actual sighting of a UFO!

We left shortly after that, facing a three hour drive back to Vegas and our hotel. Tired but happy to know we had seen the climax site of the movie "GENERATIONS" and perhaps witnessed those strange lights in the sky.

Truly a full and interesting vacation.

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