ObscUrban Legend Wikia
Doveland, Wisconsin
A photo supposedly 'recovered' from Doveland.
Type Location
Continent North America
Country United States
One-Time? No
Theories  · A hoax
 · Vanished town

Doveland, Wisconsin was supposedly a small town which somehow disappeared in the 1990's. Some people in Wisconsin allegedly have shirts, mugs, souvenirs, etc. from the town, and some even remember it or had relatives who lived there.


Outside of memories and stories from relatives there are also ephemera such as mugs and shirts bearing Doveland's name.[1] There was also a digital "ghost trace" of Doveland in the form of Google search autocorrect and recommended search options suggesting the term Doveland, Wisconsin to many users without it bringing up any results. This phenomena is similar to Langville, Montana. Unlike that "vanished town" no ARG or online publicity campaign can be linked to the town, which first started appearing in online mentions in 2015.[2]


  • A hoax, tall tale or internet legend. The lacking evidence and information on this town could be explained as a coverup but more plausibly it could be a mass delusion or urban legend.
  • A town or unincorporated settlement that was destroyed by damming, similar to Werner. However towns that 'vanished' this way were historically well documented.[3]
  • It has been suggested that the t-shirts and mugs associated with Doveland might be examples of bot-generated advertisements based on users recent search history.
  • A town which simply dispersed due to the failing economy in isolated rural townships at this time, or a military town which was abandoned once the operation ran its course. Some have suggested the 'Project Sanguine' builds of the ‘80s as an explanation for Doveland's sudden disappearance.[4]
  • A town that was destroyed by the state due to a military science experiment gone wrong. [5] [6]
  • A town that literally vanished out of existence.[7]
  • A hyperstition, or an idea which functions retrocausally to bring about their own reality.[8] In short although it did not exist at first the idea of Doveland told in modern stories may retroactively grant it some foothold in reality. A famous literary example is found in 'Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius' (1940) by magic-realist Jorge Luis Borges. The world of Tlön begins in the story as fictional, with the protagonist actively seeking out footnotes and rare documents with fleeting references to the supposedly fabulous place. As the story progresses Tlön takes on an increasingly material reality, with an established history and relics. The story parallels how Doveland emerged from mysterious Google search suggestion, then grew through research to the point it took on a sort of reality in the memory of real Wisconsinites.

Notable Accounts[]

  • "​​​​​​I just learned of all the noise surrounding Doveland, and I think I can add some insight.  Doveland was a small town in Wisconsin that housed a lot of military families.  My father lived there for a year or two and spoke of it occasionally.  The main thing I remember is that it had to do with "Project Sanguine" in the early 60's.  I don't think it was X-Files type stuff, but the town was destroyed after an incident.  I thought they were digging up a ton of land for something and they flooded the town or something, but this is a rehashed secondhand memory from years ago."

- Spec. Jamie Ivanov, 12B

  • "The locations for Doveland don't coincide with Project Sanguine (aka Project ELF) due to the bedrock. There are two ELF sites (no longer in operation) with one being outside of Clam Lake, WI and another in the UP; these are extremely low frequency transmitters that use the bedrock to bounce signals under the crust to signal nuclear submarines to surface to receive action messages. The antennas were above ground and look like power lines running through the middle of the forest -- if the antennas were buried then they would short out to earth ground and be useless (I'm also an amateur radio operator so this is second nature to me). There is nothing sci-fi about Sanguine and nothing that could cause an accident where a town would disappear but there have been studies about the possible increase in cancer due to the power and frequencies used at these sites."

- Nate Allen[9]

  • "As someone who has lived in various places in Wisconsin for over 30 years and has been in the Army, never once has any single person ever mentioned Doveland."
  • "I think you make a good point, but Doveland was very real. My father used to mention it occasionally before he passed, and the only reason I remember it is because I found it ironic that a town named “Doveland” was populated by almost exclusively military personnel and their families. I will dig around for a shirt when back home next in early September. If I remember correctly, the town was built as part of “Project Sanguine” in the mid to late 60’s. Maybe everyone left when the project was cancelled, but I thought something went very wrong. You can only dig up that much turf for so long before you’re bound to have problems."[10]
  • "[The] freaky bit is how many people in my familly, from wisconsin, say they remember doveland."[11]
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