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Heaven's Gate/Area 51

From: Dave B 
Date: Thu, 03 Apr 1997 08:16:06 -0600
Subject: Heaven's Gate/Area 51

This AP story indicates an interest in Area 51 by the cult members.
----------

PM-Mass Suicide,0312
Report: Cult members took trips to Vegas, Mexico, before suicide

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Heaven's Gate cult members gambled in Las
Vegas and visited Sea World, Mexico and several other tourist
destinations in the weeks before they committed mass suicide, the
Los Angeles Times reported today.

The newspaper said a meticulously kept financial ledger, now in
the hands of San Diego County officials, provides a glimpse into
the cult's final weeks before they killed themselves in the hope
that a spaceship would take them to the ``next level.''

Although celibate and teetotalers, the cultists satisfied their
cravings for candy, maple syrup, cookies, soda pop and pizza, the
newspaper said.

When investigators found the 39 corpses March 26 at the Rancho
Santa Fe mansion the group rented, they also found seven quarts of
Starbuck's Java Chip ice cream in the freezer, according to the
report.

In Las Vegas, the report said the cultists visited the
Stratosphere Hotel amusement park in late February and won more
than $20 at the slot machines.

The group may have been drawn to the gambling mecca not by the
lure of easy money but by a public meeting to discuss Area 51, the
part of the Nevada desert thought by UFO buffs to be where the Air
Force has kept an alien spacecraft, the newspaper said.

According to the Times, group members also went to Mexico and on
a bus trip through Northern California and southern Oregon in their
final weeks.

Even farewell video tapes made March 19 to announce their
suicides did not seem to disrupt the group's mania for cleanliness,
orderliness and financial tidiness.

The Times said after making the tapes, the group enjoyed a trip
to a pizza parlor _ the tab was $417.27 _ and attended the movie
``Secrets & Lies,'' where they drank $75 worth of soda.

(Copyright 1997 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

APTV-04-03-97 0226CST


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