The Mount Chiliad Mystery

January 30, 2017 6:07 PM ‐ Long Reads
Vinewood Sign

Welcome to Los Santos, San Andreas, the city that never sleeps. In the shadow of the iconic Vinewood sign the shallow and desperate come and spread across the city, from Rockford Hills to LSX Airport, hoping to find fame and fortune . But away from the glitzy premieres of Vinewood Boulevard and the hipsters of Vespucci Beach, Los Santos has many dark secrets to hide, from bent government agents to secretive cults, there's even a classified chemical research plant and the heavily guarded Fort Zancudo military base.
If you're anything like me, then when you play Grand Theft Auto V you make the most of the amazing world that Rockstar Games have created.

A trip to San Andres can involve a game of tennis in the city of Los Santos or shooting dear with Cletus in Blaine County. You can even climb aboard a cable car and take the ride to San Andreas' highest point, Mount Chiliad.

When stepping out of the cable car you come face-to-face with a mysterious hieroglyph pyramid and it's this mural which has started the biggest ever virtual conspiracy theory and even now, three years after the game's release the mystery still hasn't been solved.
Mount Chiliad Mural

The mural seems to depict Mount Chiliad itself with a representation of a UFO hovering above it.

Five boxes with red crosses in them dotted across the diagram of the mountain indicate the locations where further glyphs can be found, each of which is a clue on the path to the UFO above the mountain at the top of the pyramid.

These additional glyphs all contain the same flying saucer symbol but are accompanied by additional symbols, including:

• An image of a winding path indicating that players should make the journey back up to the top of the mountain.

• A storm cloud which suggests that the UFO may only be visible during a storm.

• A crescent moon which indicates that the UFO is only visible at night.

The two remaining glyphs appear to be faded but you can just make out three dashes which could refer to a time of day.

A further clue is offered at the top of the mountain where the same flying saucer symbol can be found painted in red on a rock underneath a viewing deck, on the side of the deck just above the symbol the words "come back when your story is complete" have been scratched into the wood.

All of this adds up. As the five glyphs suggest, the player should make the journey back up the mountain, during a storm, the lightning bolts around the outside of the mural also back this up. This should be done at night, 3am to be precise and the player should have completed story mode.

If you follow these instructions then you'll be able to see a UFO hovering in the sky above the scenic lookout at the top of the mountain.

Despite the need to find all of these clues and visit the mountain top at a very specific time and during the right weather conditions, it was less than a week after the game's release that players found this easter egg.
Mount Chiliad UFO

However, this isn't all the mural has to reveal, you might have noticed the boxes at the bottom of the image. These relate to three other easter eggs which can be discovered in GTA V.

These are a UFO floating over a huge picture carved in to the rock by a group of hippies at Salvation Mountain, a threatening looking flying saucer high above the Fort Zancudo base and a UFO which has crash landed in the Pacific Ocean.

But these aren't the only extraterrestrial easter egg in the game. There's also an alien suspended in a frozen river in the game's opening chapter and scattered across the whole map are 50 glowing spaceship parts, collect them all and you get your own, glowing alien-car known as the "Space Docker."

So, if people cracked all of these secrets three years ago, then what's left to find? Well, for this you've got to enter the mind of a conspiracy theorist.

Not content with four UFOs and an alien corps, fans are convinced there is more to find. For over three years they've been trying to line up the mural with landmarks and overlaying it on the mountain in the hopes that some of the map's other symbols with reveal secrets.

One of the symbols on the mural seems to depicts a jetpack and many believe that the game's ultimate easter egg is the jetpack but to reach it, the Mount Chiliad Mystery needs to be cracked.

Some have speculated that the jetpack can be found under the military base, this is because in the earlier 'GTA San Andreas,' a jetpack was hidden in Area 69.

For this reason, I think the jetpack icon on the mural is an indication of where to find one of the UFOs, floating right above the place where a jetpack might be stored. The Sandy Shores UFO is floating above the hippy camp's UFO artwork which would also make sense with the icon on the bottom-left of the mural and the UFO that crashed into the ocean could be described as broken like the icon of the cracked egg.

In Area 69 the jetpack was hidden underground and it turns out that in Fort Zancudo, right under the spot where the UFO can be seen in the sky is a small building, inside is the top of a lift shaft. According to the indicators outside the elevator, the only direction this lift travels is down, although no one has yet managed to find a way to get it to work.
Fort Zancudo

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Mount Chiliad Mystery Solved

The amount of videos which have popped up in my YouTube feed with the title "Mount Chiliad mystery solved" is unbelievable. From time to time I watch a few but no one is ever any closer to solving this mystery but their speculation keeps fueling the fire with more and more desperate evidence.

I've seen everything from the way the shadow of a tree falls on the side of a mountain to the way the setting sun reflects off of a stone alter in the altruist's camp.

People have tried flipping the mural horizontally and vertically, overlaying it on the in-game map and then gone to find out what's at each of the points. Some claim this has worked, they've found various collectables there, but none of it really adds up, not in any meaningful way and it's certainly not unlocked any jetpack.

The thing is, when people try to uncover easter eggs like this, they don't just play the game, they dig around through the game's code, open map files and game textures and so far, that's proved fruitless too.

Most of the interiors of the game can be found by glitching your way through the map and seeing what's underneath but in the case of the elevator in the military base I mentioned, there's nothing under it, no lift shaft, no secret bunker and no jetpack.
Fort Zancudo Elevator

However, this doesn't necessarily put the Chiliad mystery to bed, there are parts of the game where a player climbs inside of an elevator and the lift doesn't move to another level but it triggers a cut scene, usually the player is transported to another part of the building such as in the Humane Labs and FIB building but, what if they player could be transported to another location all together?

It wouldn't be the first time players leave the San Andreas map in the game, twice during the game, including the first chapter, you'll find yourself in North Yankton.

There's also the possibility that Rockstar just haven't put the easter egg into the game yet. Perhaps the Chiliad mystery is real but the game's developers plan to add the easter egg into the game in a future update.

Either way, it doesn't look like the mystery is going to be solved any time soon but if you think you're up to the challenge then all of the current evidence and clues are below.

The Mount Chiliad Mural

Mount Chiliad Mural

A depiction of the mountain found in the upper cable car station. The image shows a UFO hovering above the mountain. Five crosses below mark the location of five glyphs containing further clues which can be found on the mountain. The three boxes at the bottom of the image refer to three other UFOs which can be found in San Andreas, one over Sandy Shores, one over Fort Zancudo and one crashed in the ocean.

Mount Chiliad Glyph: 1 of 5

Mount Chiliad Glyph

This is one of five paintings that can be found on the mountain as the squares marked with an "x" on the glyph pyramid suggest. This glyph depicts the winding path to the top of the mountain, a clue that players should return to the top of the mountain once the game has been completed.

Mount Chiliad Glyph: 2 of 5

Mount Chiliad Moon Glyph

This moon-shaped glyph, also found on Mount Chiliad is most likely a clue to the fact that players should return to Mount Chiliad at night time. Also note the 3 dashes above and below the UFO shape, this could indicate 3am.

Mount Chiliad Glyph: 3 of 5

Mount Chiliad Glyph

The third painting daubed on to the side of the mountain appears to be a clue which reenforces the fact that the UFO over the mountain will only appear during a storm.

Mount Chiliad Glyph: 4 of 5

Mount Chiliad Glyph

It looks like the lower part of this glyph has warn away making it hard to determine the nature of this clue but again, perhaps the three dashes refer to the time of day the UFO is visible, 3am.

Mount Chiliad Glyph: 5 of 5

Mount Chiliad Glyph

The final glyphs located on Mount Chiliad. Five glyphs completes the blank spaces marked with red crosses on the Chiliad mural but this painting fails to give us any further clues.

Mount Chiliad Clue

Come Back When Your Story Is Complete

Once the glyphs of Chiliad have revealed their secret, then there's only one thing left to know and this clue tells you all you need to know. In order to see the UFO you need to have completed the game in story mode.

UFO: 1 of 4 - Mount Chiliad

Mount Chiliad UFO

As the clues hidden in the glyphs suggest, this UFo is only visible at 3am from the scenic lookout point at the top of the mountain on a stormy night once the story mode of the game has been completed.

UFO: 2 of 4 - Sandy Shores

Sandy Shores UFO

One of three UFOs hovering over San Andreas, like the others you need to have completed story mode, but once you have this craft is visible any time of day hovering over the hippy alien shrine at Salvation Mountain.

UFO: 3 of 4 - Underwater

UFO Under Water

To the North of the island in the Pacific Ocean you'll find the remains of a flying saucer which appears to have crashed into the sea.

UFO: 4 of 4 - Fort Zancudo

Fort Zancudo UFO

This sinister looking UFO floats directly above the military base and is visible at any time once story mode has been completed. The UFO can be found at maximum height but only appears once you get close to it, the easiest way to find it is by listening out for the eerie sounds it makes.

Fort Zancudo Bunker Elevator Shaft

Fort Zancudo

If you can make it to this small hut without being killed by base staff, you'll find the top of a lift shaft. Of course from ground-level in a single story building an elevator can only go down leading players to speculate what might be below Fort Zancudo.

UFO Light Beam At Fort Zancudo

UFO Light Beam

At 3am the UFO above Fort Zancudo beams a light down on top of the building with the mysterious inaccessible elevator. The pattern the light creates on the roof is a sun symbol which is similar to glyphs found all over the game.

Altruist Camp Sun Symbol

Altruist Camp Sun Symbol

In a remote location near the foot of Mount Chiliad is the camp of a naturist cult but perhaps this cult know something we don't. Note the sun icon painted on to the side of their water tower.

Jetpack Symbol At The Altruist Camp

Jetpack Symbol At The Altruist Camp

If you visit the Altruist Camp at sunset this symbol reveals itself on the stone alter at the far end of the camp, overlooking the ocean. The symbol resembles the image of the "jetpack" seen in the Mount Chiliad mural.

Underwater Hatch

Underwater Hatch

Just off of the East coast at the bottom of the ocean, you'll find a circular hatch with a small rectangular window in the seabed. Players believe that this is a reference to "The Hatch" from the television show, 'Lost'.

Space Docker

Space Docker

The Space Docker is given to you by Omega once you collect all 50 of the UFO parts scattered across the game map, thus completing the mission 'The Final Frontier'. If this vehicle has some role in cracking the Chiliad mystery, it has not yet been uncovered despite plenty of creative attempts.

Frozen Alien

Frozen Alien

Early in the game in North Yankton, it's possible to jump out of the car and find the corpse of an alien frozen near a bridge in an icy river which runs alongside the road.


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