The Ballad of O.T. Nodrog

In the 1930s, Orville T. Gordon started a lumberyard in Welasco, Texas that remained in operation until the early 1960s when he shut down the business due to an ongoing feud with local government over unpaid taxes. In 1963, Orville purportedly came into contact with a group of extraterrestrials who—after witnessing how humankind was despoiling the Earth—got a bit miffed and informed him of their plans to bring about Armageddon to teach the sinners a lesson. To prepare for the forthcoming apocalyptic flood, Orville founded a group (which some have termed a cult) called Outer Dimensional Forces and changed his name to O.T. Nodrog. (Nodrog is Gordon spelled backwards.)


O.T. Nodrog (Photo by Douglas Curran)

In his efforts to immanentize the eschaton, Gordon (now Nodrog) constructed a UFO landing strip at his erstwhile lumberyard and christened it the “Armageddon Time Ark Base.” It was here, presumably, the space brothers swoop down at the appointed hour and spirit away Nodrog and his crew.


With all that being said, a perusal of ODF literature seems to suggest that Nodrog and his group are the actual ETs (or at least ET channelers) and the Armageddon Time Ark Base, of which they rant, is an invisible flying saucer hidden on Nodrog’s property that will be employed in the End Times (with Nodrog in the role of Noah.)  Or something like that.  In addition to selling berries and honey at the Welasco flea market, Nodrog offered seats for sale on his UFO and an ostensible ticket out at the appointed hour.

The United States (in ODF-speak) is known as the “Manasseh Complex”, a reference to one of the Lost Tribes of Israel that once inhabited North America before it went to seed on account of corrupt government agencies and other evil-doers. “Time Station Earth” embodies only three and a half dimensions, whereas the Armageddon Time Ark is a fifth-dimensional construct tuned to a higher vibratory level. If you want to become more confused, ODF maintains a website at which includes the revelation that AIDS is the “Armageddon disease.”


Douglas Curran’s In Advance of the Landing: Folk Concepts of Outer Space (1986) chronicled an episode that occurred in June 1976 when Nodrog sent a package of materials to John Schuessler, a NASA space shuttle engineer and founding member of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). The package included blueprints for a spaceship propelled by “5 D.O. Power!” and a list of charges Nodrog had brought against MUFON in the name of Commander Yahshua Hamashiia of the Positive Section of Outer Dimensional Forces. To conclude his long winded diatribe, Nodrog offered Schuessler an opportunity to surrender at the Armageddon Time Ark Base on July 4th, 1976.

Schuessler decided to ignore Nodrog’s missive and a month later received another package postmarked: “A.T.A. Base, Manasseh Free Territory, Manasseh complex, Area 6, Armageddon Valley.” Among the contents of Nodrog’s next rant, these ominous words stood out: “War Crime 7-A Decree of Judgment!” in addition to an edict that found Schuessler and MUFON guilty of suppressing the ODF’s Armageddon Time Ark Base operation.

Unnerved by the threatening tone, Schuessler brought Nodrog’s letters to the attention of the FBI.  Around this same time, a fellow named Merlon Lingenfelter and his family joined ODF and moved into the Armageddon Time Ark compound. Merlon—it so happens—was a right wing extremist aligned with the Christian Identity Movement and the anti-gov group, Posse Comitatus. In addition to a seething hatred for the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy, Lingenfelter was also skilled at rigging up explosives, which would come in handy as the ODF grew increasingly hostile toward local government.

By the late ‘70s, Welasco townsfolk had grown less than enamored with Nodrog’s apocalyptic lumberyard which was viewed as a massive eyesore holding back development. Part of this planned development included an expressway that would run through a section of Nodrog’s land. There were also plans for a new shopping center adjacent to the expressway that would include a Walmart. To this end, Walmart attempted to purchase the land, but Nodrog told them to go pound sand. Through legal wrangling, local officials condemned this portion of Nodrog’s property as a public safety hazard and awarded him compensation for the land grab, which was then deposited in his name at a local bank—but Nodrog was having no part of the Zionist pay-off and refused the money!

Things came to a head on February 25th, 1985 when a pipe bomb exploded in a car parked in front of a Sherwin-Williams paint store managed by Welasco mayor, Hector Farias. The individual who planted the bomb confused another car for the one owned by Farias and fortunately no one was injured. That same day, a threatening letter courtesy of the ODF arrived at Weslaco City Hall. Afterwards, security was beefed up at the facility in anticipation of more ODF mischief.

On July 16th, 1985, ATF agents raided the ODF compound, seizing a cache of illegal firearms. During a search of the premises, beehives were discovered in the living quarters and there was no evidence of indoor plumbing. (Apparently, the City of Weslaco had cut off Nodrog’s water supply at some point due to his failure to pay property taxes.) In the aftermath of the raid, Weslaco City Hall received so many prank calls that for “two weeks, city officials stopped answering their phones.”

In March 1986, ODF member Mark Alan Lingenfelter was brought to trial for the bungled pipe bomb caper and was represented in court by his father, Merlon, who informed The Brownsville Herald: “Your President, all supporting Bloodsuckers of the United States, plus all Bloodsuckers of Canada and Mexico, have been duly served and convicted in the Outer Dimensional Forces Foursquare Court at Alternate Base, of Triple High Treason!” (Yes, you read that right: Triple High Treason.)

During the course of the trial, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa dismissed himself from the proceedings on account of a series of threatening letters he received from defendant Lingenfelter who had been held in contempt of court after several outbursts. The jury found Lingenfelter guilty and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

As for Nodrog, he hasn’t been seen since the late 1990s and many locals assume that his physical body is buried somewhere on the ODF compound while his spirit resides in the fifth dimension.