Friday, March 8, 2019

Lost Ship of the Desert


WikipediaThe Lost Ship of the Desert is the subject of legends about ancient ships found in California's Colorado Desert. Since after the U.S. Civil War, stories have been told about buried ships hidden in the desert lands north of the Gulf of California.


The lost Spanish Galleon stories began after the Colorado River flood of 1862.  The reports were of a half-buried hull in the dry saline lake not far from Yuma, Arizona.  It is today believed by many to be under the Salton Sea in California.


A serpent-necked Viking ship was also reported by natives in 1900 in the Colorado River region. Supposedly in 1933 someone had a photo of it and a map to the location which is now held by a museum.

Another legend involving a Spanish Galleon was from supposedly the 1500s involved one going up the Gulf of California. Someone supposedly in the 1700s stole the pearls from the stuck ship and in 1917 supposedly a farmer stole a chest of jewels from it.

Many still go in search of this disappearing and reappearing ship, everywhere from the Yuma Arizona area to the Salton Sea. Some say they ran across it, but produce no relics or photos. It's a very interesting prospect, but given the lack of rain in California, I'd rather doubt it would pop up and go away so easily. Still, there's nothing like a ghost ship on land to set you wondering.... 

LINK:  Among those who say they’ve come close to the ship is small-town librarian Myrtle Botts. In 1933, she was hiking with her husband in the Anza-Borrego Desert, not far from the border with Mexico. It was early March, so the desert would have been in bloom, its washed-out yellows and grays beaten back by the riotous invasion of wildflowers. Those wildflowers were what brought the Bottses to the desert, and they ended up near a tiny settlement called Agua Caliente. Surrounding place names reflected the strangeness and severity of the land: Moonlight Canyon, Hellhole Canyon, Indian Gorge.

To enter the desert is to succumb to the unknowable. One morning, a prospector appeared in the couple’s camp with news far more astonishing than a new species of desert flora: He’d found a ship lodged in the rocky face of Canebrake Canyon. The vessel was made of wood, and there was a serpentine figure carved into its prow. There were also impressions on its flanks where shields had been attached—all the hallmarks of a Viking craft. Recounting the episode later, Botts said she and her husband saw the ship but couldn’t reach it, so they vowed to return the following day, better prepared for a rugged hike. That wasn’t to be, because, several hours later, there was a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in the waters off Huntington Beach, in Southern California. Botts claimed it dislodged rocks that buried her Viking ship, which she never saw again.

This is a very intriguing legend and very persistent. I can imagine the amazement if some day the sands uncover a ship and the legend is proven true. In the mean time, there are lots of people searching....

I was inspired to do some Google Earth searching and, as always, found some cool things - 




Below - Arica Mountains
Strange hand-like shape


Below is the Priest Mine in Arica Mountains - 





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