From   Mysterious California   by Mike Marinacci

(c) Copyright 1988 by Mike Marinacci

Panpipes Press, PO Box 25226, Los Angeles, CA, 90025-0226 USA (213)285-8034

Buy your own copy and read the whole book!

II. Central California



Coso Mountains - On February 13, 1961, three rock hunters here made one of the strangest and most inexplicable archeological finds in California history.

The three picked up a brown rock near the top of an unnamed 4,300 foot peak 12 miles southeast of Olancha. Thinking it was a geode, they took it home, and almost ruined a diamond sawblade when they tried to cut it open.

When they fmally split the rock, the real mystery began. Lodged inside the shell of petrified clay was a cylindrical object made of steel, porcelain and copper. X -rays later revealed it as a primitive spark plug of a type used in pre-1940s gas engines. How it got there was a problem, since a geologist who examined the outer shell estimated it to be 500,000 years old.

The bizarre artifact defies easy explanation. The few who have tried at all say it's a clay-coated piece of mine-machinery debris; this is unlikely, since the "Coso geode" was found several miles from the nearest mine shafts. At any rate, clay concretion processes don't happen in dry, rocky desert regions like the Coso range.

The spark-plug-in-a-rock was on display for a while at the East California Museum in Independence, but it's now in private hands. Its owners have disallowed any further dismantling or examination of the strange relic.

For all we know, the spark plug might be a cosmic practical joke. Maybe unexplained forces snatched a random object from the Industrial Era, took it back to the early Pleistocene period, and dumped it in clay sediment that encased it, at a spot where rockhounds would be searching for geodes a half-million years later. The perpetrators must be having a good laugh at the expense of 20th-century humans.


Death Valley National Monument - Perhaps Death Valley's name is what gives the land its sinister, otherworldly reputation. Certainly, the subzero elevation, the searing summer heat and the moonscape panoramas also lend themselves to the atmosphere of mystery that surrounds the park.

And of course there are the legends. Tales tell of rotting wagons and gingham dress-clad skeletons half-buried in the shifting sands, of the fabulously rich Lost Gunsight Mine and Breyfogle's elusive gold vein, and of Death Valley Scotty's outrageous adventures.

A more malignant mythology has taken hold, too, in the wake of mass murderer Charles Manson's capture up here in 1969. Manson, who had been involved with some of Southern California's most sinister and evil cults, was searching Death Valley for a passageway to a legendary underground world, where he hoped to lead his followers after starting a cataclysmic race war. He thought he'd found it at Devil's Hole, a deep, water-filled cavern on the park's Nevada side, but was arrested before he could figure out how to get his gang of killer flower-children through several hundred feet of hot, salty water where two skin divers had drowned just a few years earlier.

Manson may have learned of the underground world from the story of Tom Wilson, a Cahroc Indian who was a Death Valley guide in the 1920s. Wilson said that when he was a boy, his grandfather told him he had found a tunnel that extended for miles beneath the valley. Walking its length, the man ended up at an underground chamber where a race of fair-skinned people dwelt.

Welcomed by these subterraneans, Wilson's grandfather lived with them for a while. The people spoke a st!ange foreign language, wore clothes made of a leatherlike substance and illuminated their home with a pale greenish-yellow light of unknown origin.

The Indian eventually resurfaced and returned to his people, who were understandably skeptical about his adventure. But Tom Wilson believed that the old man hadn't lied, and he spent the rest of his life searching for the entry to this underground world, convinced until his death in 1968 that it actually existed somewhere beneath Death Valley.

At one point, Wilson teamed up with a prospector named White, who claimed that he too had found strange underground dwellings in Death Valley. White had been exploring an abandoned mine in Wingate Pass when he fell into a hidden tunnel that led to a series of rooms.

The rooms were filled with leather-clad human mummies. Gold bars and other fabulous treasures were stacked in piles around them. There was a passageway leading beyond the rooms as well, lit by an eerie greenishyellow light. But White dared not explore any further, fearful of what might lie beyond.

White visited the rooms three more times, once with his wife and once with another miner. But he was unable to locate the cavern later when accompanied by Tom Wilson and a group of archeologists, though they did find a curious dead-end tunnel into the solid rock. The area around Wingate Pass was eventually absorbed into the China Lake Naval Weapons Center, and is now closed to the public.

Two other mystery sites in Death Valley are still accessible to the public:


The Amargosa Mountains (in the SE corner of Death Valley) - Years ago, a desert rat was driving through this range in his Jeep when he came to a group of boulders blocking the road. He parked his Jeep, found a narrow pass between the rocks and wa1ked down into a sandy valley, where he saw about 30 wooden buildings half-covered by sand dunes.

Too big and elaborate to be miners' shacks, the structures were laid out like a planned community. The explorer went inside some of them and found wooden tables set for meals, brass candlesticks, cloth and even an empty picture frame on a wall. There were no human remains and no signs of violence or natural disaster.

No record exists explaining this settlement, and the unnamed explorer's story could very well be another wild-goose chase designed specifically for desert neophytes.


Racetrack Playa (in the NE corner of Death Valley, along Racetrack Rd.) - This dry lakebed features one of the most peculiar unsolved geological mysteries in North America.

Rocks lying on the lakebed move silently and secretively across its surface, cutting furrows in the earth and leaving trails up to 1,200 feet long. The rocks, ranging in size from pebbles to 600-pound boulders, have never actually been seen moving, but careful record-keeping by rangers and researchers shows that some unknown process does indeed roll them over the alkaline flat.

The most popular theory says that high winds push the rocks across a thin film of ice formed by rainwater. However, this doesn't explain why some rock trails are zigzagged, while others are straight, curved, irregular or even full circles. Also, some formerly adjacent rocks have moved in completely opposite directions.

More adventurous theorists talk of unknown geophysical processes occurring beneath the lakebed, but they have yet to be identified, proven or explained.

Recently, an unnamed individual allegedly carted off some of the Racetrack Rocks for use in a rock garden. Whether the stones started rolling around his driveway wasn't reported. .

Racetrack Playa can be reached by taking the North Highway to Grapevine Ranger Station, then turning left and driving 28 miles up Racetrack Valley Road. Be sure to ask at the station about road and weather conditions; the road is unpaved and the Racetrack is many miles from civilization. Caution: Don't even think about coming out here in the summer.

III. Southern California


Lost Desert Ship

Salton Sea - Somewhere beneath the brackish, sub-sea level waters of this huge lake lies the rotting hulk of an ancient Spanish galleon. Or it might be hidden somewhere on the shore, its broken timbers and masts buried in the shifting sands. No one knows for sure, but the legend of the Lost Ship of the Desert has become one of the Southwest's most tantalizing tales.

How did a seagoing vessel beach itself a hundred miles inland? Legend has it that in the 16th century, what's now the Imperial Valley was then an inland sea, linked by passages through the flooded valley to the Colorado River and, from that, to the Gulf of California.

Spanish ships are said to have frequently sailed into this desert sea. Their navigators thought that California was an island surrounded by the Pacific, the then-unexplored San Francisco Bay, and this vanished body of water. Some maps of the period even showed California as an island, with a strait of water going through the Central Valley to the Mojave Desert.

One galleon was sailing up around what's now the Salton Sea, when it either hit a sandbar, or sank in a storm. Either way, it was left high and dry when a great earthquake hit, and drained the waters of the sea back to the Colorado River. Indians, Spaniards, Mexicans and American prospectors all had stories about the great ship that they had seen lying in the Imperial Valley desert sands. Though geographers deny that the valley held water during the period of Spanish exploration and conquest, the myth refuses to die. Many men have been convinced that the ship really exists, and have searched the valley and the surrounding desert for the vessel. And one man actually claimed that he had found the ancient, landlocked craft.

He was Charley Clusker, a miner who led three expeditions to find the galleon back in 1870. A veteran of many desert and mountain adventures, Charley heard about the lost ship at age 60, got two men to bankroll an expedition and accompany him, and set off in search of the phantom craft.

The first attempt ended in failure, but Charley and three new companions headed into the desert again, and claimed they found the rotting hulk on this second try. The San Bernardino Guardian, following his adventures, placed the wreck "45 miles southwest of Dos Palmas Station," which would put it around the mouth of San Felipe Creek at the Salton Sea. The paper then printed some wild, exaggerated stories, describing the ship as 200 feet long, decorated with ornate crosses and filled with gold doubloons and pearls.

On the third expedition, Charley and a new crew loaded themselves down with picks, shovels and other salvage implements, and headed out towards the Salton Sink once more. But after a suspiciously long time, they reappeared in civilization empty-handed. They claimed that their animals had been worn out by the long, roughjoumey, and they were forced to turn back. This wasn't surprising, since Charley and his party approached the ship's supposed location from an unexplained detour that took them dozens of miles out of their way.

By this time, some commentators were getting very suspicious of Charley's claims. They hinted that he wasn't interested in finding the ship as much as he was in doing a little good old-fashioned prospecting on other people's money. Skeptics pointed out that Charley's trip-mates had paid for all of the expeditions, and said that he waS approaching the "lost ship" from different angles so that he could cover as much new gold country as possible, courtesy of his mates' grubstakes.

To be fair, though, Charley did seem to be convinced of the ship's existence, truly believing that he had pinpointed the landlocked craft's location in what was then the dry, hard-bottomed Salton Sink. He and his associates probably gave up on the third trip when they found the ship, searched it, and found no treasure. Eventually Charley moved on to chase other golden phantoms, and the Lost Ship of the Desert entered Western lore as an unsolved mystery.

The Salton Sink was flooded in a storm, and the area that Charley and his men searched in was submerged under several fathoms of water. Now the Salton Sea is slowly drying up, and the paths that the lost-ship hunters walked are exposed for the first time in decades. What strange, ancient artifacts might someday poke above the sinking surface can only be guessed at. Charley Clusker might yet be vindicated. (For an account of an even more fantastic Lost Desert Ship, see SAN DIEGO COUNTY: Anza-Borrego State Park: Agua Caliente Springs.)


Ancient Humans

Calico Early Man Site - This extremely controversial archeological dig, high in the Calico Mountains, is either the biggest and most successful scientific hoax since the Piltdown Man, or a bombshell that will destroy many traditional theories and views of the prehistoric New World.

The site was discovered back in 1958, when archeologists surveying an Ice Age-era lake called the Manix Basin found what looked like Old Stone Age artifacts on the basin's surface.

The artifacts soon touched off a heated debate among experts. Many archeologists insisted that the rock objects were nothing more than "geofacts," false artifacts created by nature. Others were deeply impressed by the finds.

Among the latter group was Ruth DeEtte Simpson, who took some of the artifacts to Dr. Louis S.B. Leakey in London. Dr. Leakey, who was famous for his excavation of Olduvai Gorge in Africa, visited the site in May 1963, and eventually obtained funds from the National Geographic Society for a full-scale excavation that began in November 1964. Leakey served as the site's Project Director until his death in 1972.

Since 1964, three master pits have been excavated, and over 12,000 stone items have been found. Most common are objects that appear to be hand-held scrapers, choppers, axes, gravers, perforators and sawing tools, many of which show use-wear._ Some of the tools resemble similar items found in China, Korea and Siberia.

The real shocker came when the tools were given uranium-thorium dating tests. Analyzed at both the U.S. Geological Survey lab and the University of Southern California, the artifacts turned out to be 200,000 years old, give or take about 20,000 years. Since official estimates placed , humans in the New World no earlier than about 10,000 BC, one can understand why the crude rock tools ignited a firestorm of controversy.

Because of the tools' extreme age, pro-Calico theorists believe that they could not possibly have been made by Indians or paleo-Indians. They would have been the work of a more primitive human subspecies, possibly Neanderthals or even Homo erectus. Orthodox archeologists deny that either of these proto-human groups ever occupied the Western Hemisphere.

But if they had been here, current views of late human evolution would have to be revised. New World archeology would also take on a whole new meaning and importance. Because of these potentially devastating changes, it's easy to see why many mainline scholars refuse to accept the Calico artifacts.

Calico's partisans have opened the site to the public. There are displays of the controversial artifacts, and guided tours take visitors to the excavation site. A visit is highly recommended; this is a rare chance to see what may turn out to be the most important prehistoric dig in the Western Hemisphere.

Directions: From Barstow, take Highway 15 north to the Mineola Road exit, and turn left. Follow the signs to the "Calico Early Man Site" and be prepared for about 1.5 miles of rough, unpaved road.

The site is open Wed.-Sun. from 8:30-4:30. Phone (619) 256-3591.

The Integratron

Giant Rock Airport - The 40-foot tall, white-domed "Integratron" is the showpiece of this UFO cult's fenced-in compound.

The Integratron was built by the late George van Tassel, one of the original postwar UFO contactees. Like George Adamski and George Hunt Williamson, VanTassel claimed he was taken for a ride on a spaceship by benevolent aliens (who seemed to have a weakness for humans named George). He also said that these beings often contacted him afterwards through both "energy beams" and personal visits.

VanTassel soon turned his experiences into a religion. Feeling that the Giant Rock area was a "natural cone of receptivity" for UFOs, he organized a church here, known as the "Ministry of Universal Wisdom," to communicate with alien visitors. From 1954 on, the Ministry held UFO contactee conventions at Giant Rock, and devotees of the Space Brothers came from allover the country to have tent revival-style gatherings and receive wisdom from the all-knowing aliens. Sometimes mysterious lights hovered in the night sky above the meetings.

The Space Brothers are said to have given VanTassel the idea for the Integratron as well. The domed device is allegedly used to rejuvenate aging cells and reverse gravity, and can even allow one to travel in time. Naturally, this top-secret, dangerous device is heavily guarded and fenced off, and it's become something of a local landmark.

When Van Tassel died in 1978, there was a dispute over the Integratron's future uses. A man bought the building and announced plans to turn it into a disco. Horrified, Van Tassefites around the country rallied and bought back the Integratron. Today it's again in the hands of-UfO devotees.

Directions: From Yucca Valley, drive north on Highway 247 10.5 miles, and turn right at Reches Road. Drive 2.3 miles, east, turn left at Belfield, and follow it to the end. The Integratron is at 2477 Belfield. The dome is on fenced-off, guarded private property; please restrict visits to views from the road.


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park - For sheer volume of strange phenomena, California's largest state park must also be its most mysterious as well.

Lost Viking Ship

Agua Caliente Springs (26 mi N of Ocotillo on Hwy S2) Today, the hot and cold springs in this desert canyon are maintained as a county park. Sufferers of arthritis and rheumatism park their mobile homes here for up to six months at a time, to enjoy the springs' soothing waters.

But back in the Thirties, Agua Caliente Springs were known only to a few locals, such as Myrtle and Louis Botts of nearby Julian. Myrtle, an amateur botanist. was especially fond of the springs. since brilliant wildflowers grew in the canyons above them.

In early 1933, she and her husband, on a wildflower hunt here, were camped at the mouth of a canyon, when a dirty old prospector wandered by and told them an amazing story. Up in the canyon a few days earlier, he had seen an old ship sticking out of a sheer mountain wall. When the desert rat then told the Bottses that he had also found Pegleg Smith's legendary lost mine, they thanked him for the information, saw him off, and had a good laugh.

But they weren't laughing the next day. That morning the Bottses hiked into the canyon, and when they passed beyond a steep grade, they saw the forward half of a large, ancient ship poking out of a mountainside, just as the prospector had told them. The vessel had a curved prow, circular marks along its sides where shields had once been, and four deep furrows in the bow. The craft was high above the Bottses, and the mountain wall that held it was a sheer, nearly impassible sheet of shale and clay. The couple noted its exact location, memorized the nearby landmarks in the canyon and excitedly headed back to camp.

Seconds after they returned to their camp, the devastating 1933 earthquake hit with full force. Their campsite was destroyed, so the two returned to their home in Julian.

Myrtle Botts was tantalized by the mysterious wreck, and immediately began to read up on ancient ships at the library where she worked. After several days of study, she decided that the craft most closely resembled one of the old Viking sea raiders, though she couldn't bring herself to believe that Norsemen sailed the ship over 40 miles of mountains to Agua Caliente. She and her husband resolved to visit Agua Caliente Springs the following weekend, and take pictures of the craft to prove it existed.

But when they returned to the canyon, they were stopped short by a slide that blocked the trail where they had hiked a week earlier. There was no trace of the ship or the canyon wall that held it. The Bottses decided that the earthquake had shaken tons of earth loose from the mountain, burying the craft beneath it.

The idea of a Viking ship stranded in the Borrego Desert may not be quite as preposterous as it sounds. During the great Norse expeditionary period from 900-1100 AD, high temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere melted away much of the Arctic ice north of Canada. At least one Viking ship may have sailed through the Northwest Passage there and down through the Bering Strait, though the prevailing east winds in the Arctic guaranteed that the adventurers would never make it back to Scandinavia.

A curious Indian legend implies that Vikings may have strayed as far south as Mexico. The Seri Indians of the Gulf of California's Tiburon Island still tell of the "Come-From-Afar-Men" who landed on the island in a "long boat with a head like a snake." They say the strange men had yellow hair and beards, and a woman with red hair was among them. Their chief stayed on the island with the redheaded woman while his men hunted whales in the Gulf. When they had finished hunting, the strangers went back on their ship and sailed away.

One version of the legend says their ship sank in the Gulf, and the survivors swam ashore and were taken in by the Mayo Indians. Even today, the Mayos sometimes produce children with blond hair and blue eyes, and say that they are descendants of the strangers that married into the tribe in ancient times. .

Others say that the fair-haired foreigners sailed farther up the Gulf and were never seen again. If, as some revisionist geographers insist, the Imperial Valley was once an extension of the Gulf of California, then the ship could have run aground on what are now the Tierra Blanca Mountains. So it may lie today buried under tons of earthquake-loosened rock and soil in the canyon above Agua Caliente Springs. . (For another account of a legendary desert ship, see IMPERIAL COUNTY: Salton Sea.)

PegLeg's Phantom

Borrego Badlands (8 mi. E of Borrego Springs) - For over a century, prospectors have roamed this rough, desolate outback in search of Peg leg Smith's fabulous treasure. One of America's most famous lost gold mines, the legendary Lost Pegleg has lured countless miners, desert rats and dreamers into the Badlands, each one confident that he could locate Smith's fabled lode of black-stained nuggets. To this day nobody's succeeded, though there is a crude memorial four miles northeast of Borrego Springs, at the end of Pegleg Road honoring these adventurers.

Around the turn of the century, when the legend of the Lost Pegleg was most potent, another curious story began to circulate around the Borrego Desert. It seemed that a terrifying phantom was chasing miners out of the Badlands, one of the lost-mine hunters' target areas.

The first man to see the phantom was Charley Arizona, a wise old desert hand who thought he'd seen everything the land could throw at him. One night, Charley was camped on the western edge of the Badlands, when something scared his burros. Walking over to investigate, the prospector spotted an eight-foot tall skeleton stumbling around just 200 yards to the east. The skeleton had a lanternlike light flickering through its ribs, and Charley swore that he "could hear his bones a-rattlin'" as it disappeared over a ridge.

The phantom showed up again about two years later, when two prospectors saw it in the Superstition Hills to the south. They forgot about the incident until a year afterwards, when another prospector told them he'd seen a giant skeleton with a light in its chest loping aimlessly around the Badlands.

Soon, almost all of Borrego's regulars knew about the strange phantom. Stories and speculations about it made the rounds of the prospectors' fraternity for several years. Eventually two men, whose names are now lost, set out to.track down the skeleton for themselves.

They weren't disappointed. On the third night of their hunt, they spotted an eerie light bobbing around in the Borrego Badlands. They approached it, and sure enough, it was the skeleton, running around crazily in the black night. The pair took off after it, chasing the wraith at top speed over hills and through arroyos. One of the men even took a shot at the shambling phantom. But after about three miles, the skeleton lost his pursuers in the dark desert.

The skeleton was seen infrequently afterwards, usually in the Badlands, and a story began to grow up around it. It was, they said, the spirit of a man who had found and worked the awropriately named Phantom Mine, and had died on the desert, his body reduced to bones by scavengers and heat. And his ghost, in the form of a huge skeleton, wanders the night desert around his old claim, chasing off all intruders.

Though the glowing phantom hasn't been seen in recent years, it would still take a brave soul to spend the night in this lonely region, the C home of a fabulous treasure and, if the stories are true, a singular desert phantom.

Borrego Sasquatch

Borrego Sink (45 mi SE of Borrego Springs) - It's hardly surprising that Bigfoot has been seen on this desert. If the land can house beached Viking ships and eight-foot-tall glow-in-the-dark skeletons, it can certainly provide a home for everybody's favorite North American mystery creature.

Southern California Bigfoot expert Ken Coon once interviewed a man who said he'd seen Sasquatches in the tangle of dry gulches known as Borrego Sink:. The man, a store owner who wished to remain anonymous, told Coon that he was prospecting around the Sink back in 1939, camped alone at night, when he was confronted by a pack of hairy, two-legged creatures. The beasts were covered with white or silver fur, and had red eyes that glowed in the dark. They surrounded his camp and menaced him for some time, but were frightened by his blazing campfire and kept their distance.

Almost 30 years later, Harold Lancaster was also camped near the Sink when he spotted a "giant apeman" walking towards his camp one morning. Lancaster feared that the beast would attack him, so he grabbed his revolver and fired some warning shots into the air. The apeman "jumped a good three feet off the ground" when he heard the reports_ then glared in Lancaster's direction, turned tail and ran. The low-desert Sasquatch hasn't been seen since.

Phantom Stagecoach

Carrizo Wash (16 mi. N of Ocotillo, N of Sweeney Pass on Hwy S2) - A Flying Dutchman of the desert haunts the old Butterfield Stage road here, a phantom stagecoach doomed to travel the desert highway for eternity.

Philip Bailey, who collected Borrego's strange tales and legends in his book Golden Mirages, recounted how he first heard of the ghostly stage. Bailey was hanging out at the old site of Carrizo, talking to an ancient desert rat, when the man told him that only the other night, an 1860s-era four-mule stage had rumbled along the dark road, carrying only a lone driver and no passengers. The old prospector said he'd first seen the stage on the long-unused trail back in the 1890s.

Bailey then recalled that he'd heard a peculiar story about a stage that disappeared near Carrizo back in the 1860s. The stage was carrying a driver, a guard, and a box of gold bound for San Diego when the guard became ill and got off the stage. The driver then headed out into the desert alone, only to be held up by bandits in the Carrizo Wash, and shot dead. As the driver's body lay slumped over the reins, the team pulled the stage through Carrizo, out to the desert, and into oblivion.

And ever since then, the stage has returned to haunt the Carrizo Wash. They say it leaves wheel ruts in the soft soil as the ghostly driver urges his team on, running full speed towards a destination it will never reach.

The Ghost Lights

Oriflamme Mountain (4mi W of the Butterfield Ranch on Hwy S2) - On dark desert nights, mysterious "ghost lights" often play over the slopes of Oriflamme ("golden flame") Mountain.

These strange lights have been seen in other parts of the Borrego Desert as well. Back in the 1880s, miners said that "burning balls" often lit up the night sky like fIreworks over the Vallecito ¥ountains, in the center of the park. A "spirit light" that bobbed along nearby San Felipe Creek in the 1930s was written up in the American Society for Psychical Research's journal.

For a long time, it was thought that Oriflamme's lights were signalflares from bootleggers. But the mountain is an exposed, barren ridge of little use to moonshiners, and its glowing balls have long outlived Prohibition.

Others have said that the lights are caused by natural processes. They maintain that dry desert winds blow sand against quartz outcroppings on the mountain, and this produces static electricity that lights the dark slopes with bright flashes. It's a good theory, but it hasn't been proven yet.

Die-hard romantics take a third position. They claim that the glowing orbs on Oriflamme are "money lights." These are the legendary luminous balls, most famous in South America, that mark gold veins and buried treasure. The Borrego desert is probably hiding a few major ore deposits, but nobody's ever followed the lights to them.

Until somebody does, or until an alternative explanation is proven, the strange "ghost lights" will remain a mystery.

Sasquatch Rampage

Deadman's Hole (7 mi NW of Warner Springs on Hwy 79) - Back in the 19th century, this wooded hollow witnessed a string of unsolved murders that were blamed on a rampaging Sasquatch.

It all began in 1858, when an unidentified man was slain here. Twelve years later, a Frenchman who had just settled in the Hole was murdered in his cabin. Two more locals were killed at the Hole: prospector David Blair, who was found dead of "knife wounds" in June 1887; and a young woman named Belinda, who was either shot, strangled or mutilated three months later.

The rest of the story is vague and controversial. In March 1888, two hunters from Julian went up into Dark Canyon, just west of the Hole, and were allegedly attacked by "an immense unwieldy animal" that was over six feet tall, covered with black hair, with huge feet and a humanlike face and head. The hunters had been exploring a little cave full of human and animal remains when the creature surprised them. Cornered, they shot it dead.

. The beast's body was then supposedly taken to either Julian or San Diego, and exhibited publicly at a police station on Aprill. The San Diego Union covered the story, and blamed the beast for the recent murders at Deadman's Hole. The next day, though, the paper ran a retraction, dismissing the whole thing as an April Fool's Day joke and belittling credulous readers who had trudged down to the PD to see the monster. If the whole incident was a joke, it was in extremely poor taste, considering that it made light of real, recent murders.

Ugly rumors and feelings still surround Deadman's Hole. Local sportsmen tell of "bad vibes" around the hollow, and Indians give the area a wide berth. Nobody quite knows why the wooded glade still inspires such feelings of dread.

Southwest Humor, South West Humor, Southwest, South, West, Humor, Folk, Lore, Folklore, Lost Treasure, Lost Treasures, Lost, Treasure, Treasures, Harry Oliver, Harry, Oliver, Desert Rat, Desert, Rat, DesertRat, Scrap, Book, ScrapBook, Desert Rat Scrap Book, DesertRat ScrapBook, Peg Leg Smith, PegLeg Smith, Peg, Leg, PegLeg, Smith, Lost Dutchman Mine, Lost, Dutchman, Mine, Ghost Town, Ghost Towns, Ghost, Town, Towns, Lost Gold Mines, Gold, DRSB, HOFC, Harry Oliver, Harry, Oliver

DRSB ! Bisbee ! Elvis !!

[home] - [HOFC] - [links] - [top]