The stretch of wash by the golf course is now closed so you need to follow the route in the hills. Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park is a beautiful 710-acre park set amid expansive lawns and picturesque mountain views, making it a spectacular day or overnight destination. The L.A. Daily News reported in August 1870, that Col. Albert S. Evans sighted the ship in 1863, buried in the sand near Dos Palmas at a location now beneath the Salton Sea. There were also impressions on its flanks where shields had been attached—all the hallmarks of a Viking craft. "We had a bad windstorm awhile back, and it blew a lot of sand off of one of the dunes near the back of the house," she said, according to Grasson. On that recording, Carver says he saw the ship protruding from the ground. Here, your sense of wonder dissipates and is replaced by dread. With one ship remaining they sailed up the Gulf and eventually up the Colorado River and into the Salton Sea (or the Blake Sea or Lake Cahuilla as it may have been called long ago). Legend states that somewhere in the Mojave desert there is a shipwreck with a huge cargo of gold. It's reasonably plausible that a small ship could have made it there and become stranded, but the Sand Hills are too high and too far from Lake Cahuilla's maximum level. If the Vikings did in fact climb up the ten miles westward from the ancient shoreline of Lake Cahuilla as it forged its way into the canyons of the Tierra Blancas and the final resting place of their fair and noble craft to the top of the mountains at or near Laguna Peak (because it was the highest peak along that section of the mountains) then continued west down the other side toward the Pacific, they would … It is enough for Grasson to live inside the legend, the way a believer lives inside a religion, never questioning its outer bounds. The weight of the water in Lake Cahuilla caused the surface beneath the lake to sink by about 0.4 metres (1 ft 4 in). Audiences appeared to agree. According to two witnesses, (off-roaders who’d seen the skeletal remains of the ship as recently as 1975), the shipwreck lies sixteen miles northwest of El Centro, in dunes on the southeastern edge of the Superstition Mountains. Be the first to receive all the latest, video’s, stories, information! The story goes that Iturbe beached the ship and hoofed it to the nearest Spanish settlement. Then, that became too expensive. That took three days and cost $500. The last leap has to be into something beyond fact. The park offers individual and group camping, fishing, picnicking, swimmings, special events and equestrian and hiking trails. By the time Myrtle and her husband had set out to explore, amid the blooming poppies and evening primrose, the story of the lost desert ship was already about 60 years old. known as "Lake Cahuilla"; which was once much larger than the present-day Salton Sea. It is fed entirely by agricultural run-off that will soon cease to flow, for an insanely complex set of reasons having to do with California's insanely complex water-rights statutes. Some believe that one of Cardona's captains lost a ship full of black pearls in Cahuilla, but Grasson concluded this couldn't be because Cardona's book suggested his fleet consisted of frigates, which would have been unable to sail up the Colorado. Let us only believe that which is shared with us on Facebook. If the flow from the Colorado into Lake Cahuilla increased following a series of flood years, earthquakes or volcanic activity, it would begin the cycle again. One story says that Rosales's ship was sunk in a terrible storm. To enter the desert is to succumb to the unknowable. T he only addendum to this lost treasure story comes from a 1775 story of a DeAnza expedition herder on his way to the mission at San Diego. This indicates the waterline of Lake Cahuilla. As the sea dried up, the hapless ship sank beneath the shifting dunes...The probable inspiration for the legend was a boat built in 1862 by a Colorado River mining company, transported part way across the desert by ox team, and then abandoned because of the difficulty of the journey from San Gorgonio Pass to the Colorado River. His license plate is DEZERTMAG, because he was once editor of Dezert Magazine, which was the short-lived successor to The Desert Magazine, which was published from 1937 until 1985. The shoreline extent of Lake Cahuilla is not known, making the exact location of the shipwreck rather nebulous. He prefers to be called an "explorer of legends and lore," not a treasure hunter. Surrounding place names reflected the strangeness and severity of the land: Moonlight Canyon, Hellhole Canyon, Indian Gorge. "[Their] science basically started with a treasure hunter looking for gold." His quote, stripped of context, is frequently found on college-dorm posters, because it seems to say that the pleasurable work of dreaming is more important than than the grinding work of accumulating and mastering fact. In early December, there was another search, by another production company, using LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging. El Galeon - 16th Century Replica Spanish Sailing Ship In New York Harbor, Viking Hoard Found In Silverdale Lancashire, On Display At Lancaster City Museum, We respect your privacy and we won't share your information. He was on disability because of his knee when I met him, but that was about to end, and then he'd go back to selling mattresses, helping other people sleep better. The ship could easily have then run aground, because Cahuilla was created by the natural damming of the Colorado River (lots of silt) and thus given to periodic drying up. Scholarly history is arrayed against him. "I tell you something strange," Santiago said to his wife. How did it get there? He knows they look down on him, but he also thinks he knows more than they do. He once met Jay Leno, but asked me not to repeat the story of that encounter because he thought it was salacious. Researchers believe this cycle happened many times, as indicated by the levels of ancient wave cuts that are visible on nearby mountain slopes. Most of these do not return to search for ancient treasure ships. In it, he claims, Carver describes an incident in 1907, when he was invited to work on the farm of Niles Jacobsen in Imperial, a town about 15 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. What was deposited on the rocks is not coral, but tufa-solids left behind on the rocks as the water evaporated. You believe in a burial shroud supposedly worn by the Son of God, who ascended to heaven after crucifixion; he believes in a Viking shield turned into a baking implement. "If you gotta guy who spends 10, 15 years looking at one particular story," Grasson said one day over breakfast, "and you got an academic who spent maybe a summer or two—you gotta realize who really knows more.". 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. While inspecting the property, Carver noticed that the fence posts were oddly shaped. If not, they may end up in a mass grave in Holtville, where many undocumented immigrants who've died during the border crossing are buried. He became an avid visitor to TreasureNet.com, an international clearinghouse for those seeking Jon Swift's silver mine deep in the Appalachian Mountains or a vault made by the Knights Templar on an island off Nova Scotia. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the deserts of California each year—Death Valley National Park alone attracts more than a million tourists. Lake Cahuilla is the ideal nature getaway with 91 individual and group campsites, and other outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, horseback riding trails, and swimming in the pool. His faith may be strange, but it meets several hallmarks of a religion, right down to the prolonged sojourn in the desert, as well as a convoluted and improbable origin story whose artifacts are at once valuable and irrecoverable. John Grasson’s long, dogged pursuit of the Viking ship (or was it Spanish?) I didn't want to ask how much money Grasson made, but every indication was not much. The lake was almost 100 miles long by 35 miles across at its widest point. The Lost Ship of the Desert is the subject of legends about various historical maritime vessels having supposedly become stranded and subsequently lost in the deserts of the American Southwest, most commonly in California's Colorado Desert. They also told stories of the existence of a strange ship buried in the sand, having a snake’s head at one end and round wooden objects (shields) on the sides that indicated it was a Viking longship. It may be a story about some masterpiece you've been nurturing for years, of selling a tech startup to Google, of raising a family in rural Vermont. If Lake Cahuilla formed today, it would flood many towns in the area, including Indio, El Centro and Mexicali. Situated at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains 6 miles South East of Old Town La Quinta, Lake Cahuilla offers a delightful experience in the Coachella Valley. There are date groves everywhere, disconcerting green rectangles carved out the desert, tattoos of our weird civilization. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. There are many tales speculating on the fate of the cargo of pearls, and the location and sightings of the ship. He also argues that fieldwork is everything—you can't find a desert ship in an academic journal. Yet there are believers who insist that, using recent advances in archaeology, the ship can be found. But if the lake is allowed to disappear, maybe Grasson will discover the desert ship on what is today the lake's floor, and what was 147 years ago the moonlit valley above which Albert Evans stood. But when he tried to lift the chest out it fell completely apart." 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. The desert is a changeable place, but not so changeable that an entire ship can disappear from view overnight. Ancient Lake Cahuilla was a huge freshwater body which completely filled the Salton Basin to overflowing between (ca.) He doesn't fly, and his allegiance to land-borne transportation deprives him of the view I saw as my jet descended, the khaki-colored expanse of the desert giving way, suddenly, to rectangles of green and circles of blue, the lawns and pools of a desert oasis at once alluring and freakish. "I don't think that has anything to do with the lost ship of the desert," Grasson says. The largest was in about 1500, when Lake Cahuilla (as it was then called) was 26 times the size of today's Salton Sea, and its shoreline is still visible on the surrounding hillsides. Those "round metal disks"—the superior comals Santiago promised his wife—suggest a Viking ship that would have sailed through the Northwest Passage, down the coast of Canada, around Baja California and up the Colorado River, which before a modern-day diversion flowed into the Gulf of California. He also says that, during his trip to Los Angeles, Jacobsen met with a lawyer named Levi and a pawnbroker named Barney, presumably to trade some of the treasure he'd found. Grasson does not think the desert ship is in Canebrake Canyon, where Myrtle Botts claimed to have seen it in 1933. That's not what Einstein meant, however. Such ground depression has been observed at the ancient lakes Lake Bonneville , Lake Lahontan , Lake Minchin , and the modern reservoirs of Lake Mead , Three Gorges Reservoir in China , and La Grande in Quebec . Which is the more fantastic tale? I will say this in defense of John Grasson: If catfish farms are possible in the desert, so are ancient treasure ships. Here there's some slight departures in the story. The 123.5-foot ship was christened in 1868, a … Born in Cleveland in 1957, Grasson enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school and worked as a cook. (Grasson), The Mysterious Lost Ship of the Laguna Salada Baja Ca. Few visitors to the Colorado Desert realize that at one time an extension of the Gulf of California reached northward nearly to San Gorgonio Pass and that marine waters lapped at the outskirts of present-day Palm Springs. Carver asked her about the ship. He also read Philip A. Bailey's Golden Mirages, a compendium of desert lore. But many years ago, Lake Cahuilla was a place occupied by the Cahuilla, Kumeyaay and Cucapa tribes, who came there to catch fish, trap waterfowl, harvest salt for curing meat, gather tulles for building shelters, and collect mesquite beans, seeds and desert herbs. To continue reading login or create an account. 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