The explorers may have thought the lake was a strait, since California was believed to be an island into the 18th century. They point, for example, to a wooden sloop from the 1770s unearthed during excavations at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan, or the more than 40 ships, dating back perhaps 800 years, discovered in the Black Sea earlier this year. Colonel Albert S. Evans reported seeing such a ship in 1863. In 1933, she was hiking with her husband in the Anza-Borrego Desert, not far from the border with Mexico. Grasson has never met anyone who'd seen the ship, and all the evidence he has of its existence is third-hand, at best. But in Imperial, the search turned up nothing. But if an area is prone to wet and dry cycles, such as rain, floods or a river that rises and falls, Creasman cautions, the opportunity for preservation is "considerably reduced.". "The beauty with legend," he says, "is that you're never wrong.". He had given himself to a greater faith and, like all devoted believers who do so, he could not be bothered by the petty inconveniences of everyday life. The book so entranced him that he eventually drove to the Arizona State University library in Tempe, asking to photocopy all of Bailey's notes for the book. But included in California State Parks' files is an old, black-and-white photo of Justus, wearing dark sunglasses, from an unidentified publication. We cannot subsist on faith alone, but can we subsist without any faith? After his discharge, he went to Los Angeles in 1985, hoping to become a comedian. Viking ships were marine vessels of unique structure, built by the Vikings during the Viking Age.The boat-types were quite varied, depending on what the ship was intended for, but they were generally characterized as being slender and flexible boats, with symmetrical ends with true keel.They were clinker built, which is the overlapping of planks riveted together. John F. Kennedy will stay a paragon of 20th century liberalism, no matter how much we learn about his philandering, drug use and mafia associations. She bought a tiny 8-room farmhouse and began a little refurbishment which would take $5.5 million and … I fear, also, that Grasson was too nice and too Midwestern for the likes of the Comedy Store. Then, that became too expensive. Perhaps the most plausible tale of a ship lost in the desert involves the pearling expedition of Señor Juan de Iturbe in the year 1615. Grasson's conviction, though, remains as solid as the black and brown hills. To naysayers, it’s simply a myth passed down through oral and literary tradition. That took three days and cost $500. It is exactly what I'd expected him to say. Desert Legends: The lost ships of the desert. Yet there are believers who insist that, using recent advances in archaeology, the ship can be found. This is, Coolidge wrote, "a record of the old Norsemen who visited the west coast of Mexico long before the Spanish came. He is trying to reconcile the imagined and the real, but he must do it in his free hours, on a bad knee, with no apparent means of outside financial support. By John Grasson. He could take up yoga, learn to garden, start a tour-guiding business. There were also impressions on its flanks where shields had been attached—all the hallmarks of a Viking craft. "All archeologists are wreck hunters," he told me. Nearly 10,000 years ago the Colorado Riveremptied into the Gulf of California or the Sea of Cortes. It told us to keep looking. this year. In other words, Grasson has plenty in common with the WWCs—i.e., members of the white working class—who handed the presidency to Donald Trump: he's a middle-aged, white-as-the-driven-snow guy from the Midwest who served in the armed forces but can't even get decent medical care. It reads, "One of the last photos of Larry Justus, who reportedly found the Lost Ship of the Desert.". "I tell you something strange," Santiago said to his wife. Lost Viking ‘highway’ revealed by melting ice. 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. 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. "The moon threw a track of shimmering light," he wrote, directly upon "the wreck of a gallant ship, which may have gone down there centuries ago.". Among those who say they've come close to the ship is small-town librarian Myrtle Botts. Most of these do not return to search for ancient treasure ships. Grasson isn't denigrating professional archeology; only reminding its more pedigreed practitioners that their profession rewards a well-developed imagination—something it shares with astrophysics and pure mathematics but few other disciplines. Searching for California's Lost Viking Treasure Ship By Alexander Nazaryan On 2/2/17 at 9:00 AM In the rugged Colorado Desert of California, there lies buried a treasure ship sailed there hundreds of years ago by either Viking or Spanish explorers. It's only as his work has become better known—he was on Myth Hunters, on the American Heroes Channel, the History Channel filmed an episode for a show about unexplained phenomena (he isn't sure when it will air), and he recently shot a pilot for another show, which could air on a major channel (Grasson asked me exclude details of this last production) —that he has gone out there more and more, as a field guide to and custodian of the desert ship myth. And yet the legend about a long-lost vessel has persisted for centuries. Newsweek is drawing attention to a search for California’s lost Viking treasure ship Breaking News tags: California, Spain, Viking, Archeology. Grasson had mentioned meeting someone who claimed to have Spanish armor from the ship (he asked me not to reveal the names of these people, because they fear being harassed by treasure hunters). It is believed that an English ship called The Content took a plunge off the coast of Baja, California, into the Cortez sea aka The Gulf of California — the home of the indigenous Kumeyaay tribe. Yet never once did I hear him air any grievances. Today, the Salton Sea is the largest body of water in California. '", You have 4 free articles remaining this month, Sign-up to our daily newsletter for more articles like this + access to 5 extra articles. The legend includes a history of California from Cortez to 1695. His attorney first contacted the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 1974 and then two years later with a proposal to enter an agreement with Justus and the Imperial Valley College Museum in El Centro, Calif., to secure an antiquities permit, after which he'd be able to keep "all gold, silver and rare stones.". It sounds implausible, right? Tucker's wife was a Mexican woman named Petra, whose previous husband was a man named Santiago, "a high class Mexican from Los Angeles." It took Jakie quite some time to get through all the sand, but when he did he found a small chest full of gems. 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 I really think this ship is there." Such a ship then, would have to be much closer to the river's delta, in the armpit between Baja California and the Mexican mainland. There are date groves everywhere, disconcerting green rectangles carved out the desert, tattoos of our weird civilization. Newsweek is drawing attention to a search for California’s lost Viking treasure ship Breaking News tags: California, Spain, Viking, Archeology. Most notably, how would a ship get into the middle of the desert? Like all great legends, the desert ship is immune to its contradictions: It is fake news for the romantic soul, offering passage into some ancient American dreamtime when blood and gold were the main currencies of civic life. By the time I heard it, while working on a story about desert conservation, it had been nearly a century and a half since explorer Albert S. Evans had published the first account. "I know too much," Grasson lamented in a radio interview, "but not enough.". Others have also seen this vessel, but much farther south, in Baja California, Mexico. He knows they look down on him, but he also thinks he knows more than they do. We stood for a moment, watching the white bird pass. The grave was found during excavations in Trondheim, Norway. "I don't question the existence of the Lost Ship of the Desert," he wrote to me in an email. 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. The State of California has vowed to invest $80.5 million to make sure the Salton Sea doesn't dry out, mostly because of toxic sediment that could blow all the way to Los Angeles. It was a hint, though also a taunt. Traveling to San Bernardino, Evans came into a valley that was "the grim and silent ghost of a dead sea," presumably Lake Cahuilla. The last leap has to be into something beyond fact. To continue reading login or create an account. In the parking lot of a small Indian casino where we stopped for lunch, Grasson pulled from the back of his Jeep a copy of The Last of the Seris, a 1939 book by Dane Coolidge about the indigenous people of Tiburon Island, in the Gulf of California. Reach her at kristin.scharkey@desertsun.com or on Twitter @kscharkey. Born in Cleveland in 1957, Grasson enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school and worked as a cook. A new study reveals how they eked out a good life on the icy island by cornering the … The Content was loaded with 4 million dollars in stolen gold but it is believed that the ship ended up in the desert never … Almost everything on a Viking ship would get recycled or rot away. While inspecting the property, Carver noticed that the fence posts were oddly shaped. There are reports of sightings around the Salton Sea and Imperial Valley, extending as far south as Mexico’s Baja peninsula, though firsthand accounts are rare. The nearby U.S. border is a popular crossing for undocumented immigrants. He sells mattresses. We were driving to the Jacobsen farm when I saw it in a grove of trees behind which stood a modern-looking house: pointed directly at us was the wooden prow of a ship. Let us banish forever all traces of wonder from our lives. Some time ago, he listened to a recording made by a farmhand named Elmer Carver. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the deserts of California each year—Death Valley National Park alone attracts more than a million tourists. To enter the desert is to succumb to the unknowable. Lost Viking ‘highway’ revealed by melting ice 1,000-year-old horseshoes, sleds, and tools are emerging from a shrinking ice patch in Norway, telling the story of the rise and fall of a mountain pass and the people who travelled along it. That tribe, he says, is concerned only with self-enrichment, willing to abuse property rights and historical artifacts in the pursuit of some long-lost trove. 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. The desert ship is buoyed by legend, but scuttled by facts. The land is featureless except for the brown jags of mountains that squat on the horizon. It's "not uncommon" for entire vessels to last 500 years – in Egypt, buried ships dating back to around 2700 B.C. Here, your sense of wonder dissipates and is replaced by dread. The road to Vallecito Stage Station and then Borrego Springs is long and lonely. This was once the property of Nels Jacobsen, the farmer who supposedly made fence with slats from a Viking ship. Grasson pointed to a passage about "Came From Afar Men—the strange whalers who cooked whale meat in an enormous iron pot, ate it and drank the oil." The Jacobsons eventually divorced and left Imperial. Kristin Scharkey is features editor at The Desert Sun and editor of DESERT magazine. Are we ready to become mere aggregations of lifehacks, corporate efficiency our only goal? Phantom Ship of the Gulf of California (Ives) "Could a ship pass through here? A cache of Viking artifacts discovered in the Arizona desert launches Scott Wolter on a quest to find a lost Viking ship that legends claim is buried somewhere in the Southwest. He also read Philip A. Bailey's Golden Mirages, a compendium of desert lore. 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. A serpent-necked Viking ship was also reported by natives in 1900 in the Colorado River region. "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.". Einstein once said imagination is more important than knowledge. * Vintage 1960's Salton Sea, California Bathers and Boaters Post Card * // Circa 60's // Sexy Guys and Gals // Fast and fun boats // Summer time scene // Salton Sea, California // New old stock // Photo by David Mills // would make a great birthday card or bitchin' postcard to send someone special Please feel free to contact me prior to purchase with any questions you may have. Here, in the creosote wilderness, he found a tranquility he had never known before: "You start getting giddy when you realize how relaxed you are," he told me. Botts claimed it dislodged rocks that buried her Viking ship, which she never saw again. Totally insane, right? The Canyon collapsed and the ship was buried in the rubble. Ships were a Viking's most prized possession, and if a high-born Viking did not die at sea he would be buried in a ship on land. What was a ship doing out here, of all places? Grasson went out into the desert, to the Vallecito Stage Station, one of the stagecoach stops on the Butterfield Overland Mail Trail. If they are lucky, their "treasure" might be steady work in the shadows. 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-Wanderling) There are many places to cast doubt on the Botts’ story. Hell, yes.". See why nearly a quarter of a million subscribers begin their day with the Starting 5. I will honor his request, but will note that it's kind of refreshing—and indicative of Grasson's character—that what he fears might be salacious wouldn't even make a fifth grader's cheeks turn red. According to Grasson's most recent research, the desert ship is here. But those who believe in its existence point to the way water once covered this arid landscape. 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. He is also driven by a slight sense of grievance, a conviction that academics are errant in their near-unanimous assertion that there is no desert ship. Sufferers of arthritis and rheumatism park their mobile homes here for up to six months at a time, to enjoy the springs' soothing waters. Magazines, newspapers and books across the world have long perpetuated the idea that a ship is buried beneath the desert floor. 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. You could argue that Grasson is wilfully blind to some facts, but we all practice the same kind of selective history-making. But they did leave a trace, and Parcak's team were determined to pick it up, however faint. Grasson thinks that was because only a small segment of the Jacobsen property was searched. is fueled by his boundless curiosity and his craving for validation—although pocketing a hidden treasure wouldn’t be such a bad thing. In a guide to California published during the Great Depression by the Works Progress Administration, author Kane Springs writes about a ‘shipwreck’ on the edge of the Salton Sea, saying that there was “a boat built in 1862 by a Colorado River mining company, transported partway across the desert by ox team, and then abandoned because of the difficulty of the journey from San Gorgonio Pass to the … "When the storm was done, Jakie noticed what looked like the front of a boat coming out of the ground, so he went to investigate. The story begins in the year 1587. Lost Ship of the Vikings (Grasson) Featured, Stories, Vikings, Yarns 8998. This indicates the waterline of Lake Cahuilla. It is enough for Grasson to live inside the legend, the way a believer lives inside a religion, never questioning its outer bounds. 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. In 2003, the Los Angeles Times concluded there were plenty of craft lost to the saline depths of the Salton Sea, but these belonged to the U.S. Navy, which had a test site nearby. Unfortunately, that very day, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California. One of the most intriguing story lines of the Lost Ship saga, is whether there could have possibly been a Viking voyage in which one or two ships were lost. One day, Santiago saw Petra making tortillas on a type of round griddle called a comal. This is what Grasson believes. More likely, Grasson has concluded, the ship is closer to the Mexican border, where the land is dusty and flat, where the dry riverbeds have names like Coyote Wash and the irrigation canals have names like Wistaria Lateral Eight. In 1870, for example, explorer Albert S. Evans was traveling to San Bernardino, Calif., when he claimed to have stumbled on its remains. Surrounding place names reflected the strangeness and severity of the land: Moonlight Canyon, Hellhole Canyon, Indian Gorge. It may be about a ship stranded in the desert. Subscribe today. Jacobsen said this was because they came from a boat he'd found on his property. This was all once desert, but irrigation has turned it into a breadbasket producing vegetables like potatoes and spinach and onions, as well as alfalfa, Bermuda grass and hay. A new life was started in San Jose California in 1886 by an eccentric lady named Sarah Winchester from New Haven to California. He played some of the city's famous clubs, but did not become famous himself. The Dutch didn't really buy Manhattan from Lenape natives for $24, but that legend persists. There has changed many times, dotting the landscape of the Colorado Desert with visions of a ship that never quite docked at the port of reality. Sailing up the Colorado River back then would have brought this ship into Lake Cahuilla, an enormous body of water that once occupied much of what is today California's Coachella Valley. 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. "The usual theory advanced is that it is a mirage," Bailey said of the desert ship. 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. The legend does seem, prima facie, bonkers: a craft loaded with untold riches, sailed by early-European explorers into a vast lake that once stretched over much of inland Southern California, then run aground, abandoned by its crew and covered over by centuries of sand and rock and creosote bush as that lake dried out…and now it lies a few feet below the surface, in sight of the chicken-wire fence at the back of the Desert Dunes motel, $58 a night and HBO in most rooms. Even Grasson concedes that a part of it should have remained above ground. Jacobsen promptly left for Los Angeles, and his wife invited Carver to stay in the main house, because she was afraid of a "crazy Swede" who was prowling the area. "You will say I am crazy, that I lose my water and get thirsty and see dreams, but it is the truth." There's no way a historic ship is buried beneath the California desert. In the rugged Colorado Desert of California, there lies buried a treasure ship sailed there hundreds of years ago by either Viking or Spanish explorers. A few have even claimed to have seen the ship, its wooden remains poking through the sand like the skeleton of a prehistoric beast. While the type of wood can be a determining factor, ships are expected to be "critter-resistant" to marine worms or termites, Creasman says. Santiago said he was pulled away by his companions before he could explore the ship, and he never went back. In 1870, Philadelphia’s Evening Telegraph called it “a marvellous story” about “a ship high and dry on a Colorado Desert – billows of sand beating about her.” In 1875, British publishing house Chapman and Hall released poet Joaquin Miller’s book of verse The Ship in the Desert. John Grasson picked me up at the Palm Springs International Airport in mid-November. Scholarly history is arrayed against him. The stories have given Pal… In early December, there was another search, by another production company, using LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging. So they left and decided to come back in a few days. His point was that knowledge can only take you so far. Searching for a Lost Viking Ship in California Viking ship from the Ship Museum in Oslo. The possibility that there is no ship at all, he simply won't entertain. Let us only believe that which is shared with us on Facebook. In the rugged Colorado Desert of California, there lies buried a treasure ship sailed there hundreds of years ago by either Viking or Spanish explorers. A 16th-century Spanish ship seemed the most plausible to Dunning, but he discounted this as well, largely on the grounds of paleo-hydrology: Given the course and depth of the Colorado River, it could not have deposited a ship in some of its more popular mythological locations in the Colorado Desert. Look back at historical accounts, and you'll find little proof. "He's got some facts, but the dates are all wrong, the places are wrong.". Bailey might not have many more facts than Grasson, but he has does have the force of conviction, annealed by the passage of time. Viking ship's buried clues may reveal identities of mystery women. The route Evans took came nowhere near Canebrake Canyon, and the ship Evans claimed to see was Spanish, not Norse. The earliest tales of a lost Spanish galleon appeared shortly after the Colorado River flood of 1862. Sarah Winchester as a young woman. This may be foolish, for there are surely more productive ways Grasson could spend his time. Named Elmer Carver pulled off the highway, drove through town and toward a farmhouse by. Reservation of the Torres Martinez desert cahuilla Indians its existence point to the Stage. Flourishing at the Palm Springs International Airport in mid-November a type of round griddle called a comal in 1964 it... 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