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Thread: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    om
    Jan 2006
    SoCal
    Modded SD2000 / XTerra70 / Fisher Gemini /
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    I've been hiking around Anza-Borrego Desert and the State Park for a few years now, and have found some amazing things. I tripped over pic1 completely by accident. I was trailing a herd of Bighorn Sheep (to photograph) for about 8-9 miles over some low mountains, when I wandered up an arroyo. When I turned to start back I saw this face profile sticking out of a 30ft cliff. After some other signs (which I won't show), I was led straight to pic2. I actually hiked right past it without seeing it. I passed it by about a quarter mile. I turned around just to look where I had come from. That's when I saw the cut in the side of the mountain. Obviously man made. That boulder that is stuck in the middle of the cut very conveniently hides the entrance (originally caved in) to a shaft that runs all the way up under the mountain. There is a lot of honeycomb around the entrance, but the bees must have gotten tired of animals scraping away their hive, and moved it to the top of this 40ft cut. The combs in the picture are about 6ft long. Luckily the bees aren't Africanized. They just find me VERY interesting and check me out closely every time I go in.

    This shaft drops about 15ft, and I have been in to about 90-100ft. At that point the shaft gets too small to continue without digging. About 25 feet further in, the shaft turns right (directly into the mountain) and looks like it opens up. I'll get all the way in this year and keep this updated (but if there is something special, you may never hear from me again)! LOL
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  2. #2
    Charter Member
    om
    Jan 2006
    SoCal
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    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    Here are the rest of the pics. I can only post three at a time with decent resolution.
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  3. #3
    ZumbroKid

    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    One of the nicest photo groups posted showing you found something.

  4. #4
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,689
    48 times

    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    This is really a cool find. Were you able to photograph from inside the shaft? Looking forward to hearing more on this when you return.
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    om
    Jan 2006
    SoCal
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    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    The last pic is from 100ft in. Yes, the shaft is quite small, and I'm 6'4" 260lbs. There is not enough room in there to turn around. I am literally tied off at the entrance, and I pull myself out backwards. If you look at the pile of cave-in rocks that are well lit, and look above and to the left of the highest point that is wel lit, you can see where the shaft continues then turns right and opens up.

    There are only three things that still worry me:
    1. Coming face to face with a surprised cougar(I have pepper spray and a stun gun)
    2. Crawling on top of a nest of scorpions (I have a black light)
    3. A moderate earthquake (nothing to fight that with )
    Rick4570 likes this.
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  6. #6
    us
    TEA...taxed enough already

    Oct 2005
    San Diego California
    Bounty Hunter
    226
    7 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    Gollum,

    I live in SD. I have a snakebite kit . Let me know if you would like some company. Maybe it's the southern entrance to Kokoweef!

    In any case, you should NOT be alone. Too many bad things can happen in the desert, as in diving.

    Bob

  7. #7

    Dec 2005
    CHICO- Northern California
    anything handy
    51

    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!


    I am interested in seeing more pictures. Is there a trail of tailings from this shaft? The wide angle picture of the cut in the hilside and the boulder make it hard to tell if it is manmade or a natural cavern. Are there any tool marks on the rock to indicate manmade ?Do you have tool marks to indicater time in history of digging? I hope you find something good, keep your eyes open for all the story and try not to get so excited you have tunnel vision and miss important pieces of this puzzle.
    Like the divers say,"When all is said and done, more is said than done!"

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    om
    Jan 2006
    SoCal
    Modded SD2000 / XTerra70 / Fisher Gemini /
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    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    Hey Daydreamer,

    It's almost impossible to take pictures of the shaft while in it. It is very tight. At point about halfway in, a vein of quartz about 1.5ft thick takes up most of one of the sides. This whole vein is covered in mica that reflects gold from my LED lights. I almost soiled myself! At first glance, it looked like a 1.5ft wide vein of solid gold. IF ONLY!

    The cut is most definately man made. Outside the cut, the tailings are mostly buried and spread out so as not to be too noticeable. Inside the cut is another story. There is not one thing natural about the cut. Broken rocks and rock chips fill the cut from the base of the blocking boulder to the shaft entrance.

    Yes, there are tool marks all over the place. Some parts of the shaft look natural. This could mean any number of things: 1. Someone a long time ago opened up a natural shaft that was too small. 2. Shaft may be very old and someone more recently opened it up after hundreds of years of earthquakes 3. The whole thing is manmade at one time, and is so old, that the tool marks are coated with dust (and yes, I know, goggles and a respirator).

    I tend to mention earthquakes a lot because this area is directly at the end of the San Andreas Fault. If you have Google Earth, type in Borrego Springs, Ca once it gets the area, zoom out a ways and put a check in the box called earthquakes in the layers section. You will see so many red dots denoting earthquake activity, the map will look like it has the measles!

    While poring over the pictures pics I have, there may be another explanation; when I say the shaft turns right into the mountain and opens up, it may open up in both directions. This shaft may be secondary to a main shaft that the entrance caved in. If, instead of turning right, the shaft tees out, the main entrance may be under tons of boulders about 75-100ft to the left of this shaft. HHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! I'll see what other pics I feel comfortable sharing. I'll resize some and post them tonight.
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  9. #9

    Dec 2005
    CHICO- Northern California
    anything handy
    51

    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    Thanks for the update. I appreciate any pics you feel like sharing as I am greatly interested in these old mines from a point of view that I just wonder how these guys put so much work into them and then hauled out whatever they took. It must have been quite a lot of hard work. Of course I would like to find some insitu miners gear or a sample of their hard life -take pictures, and more pictures. Maybe some day it will pay off with a cache to, that stays in the back of my head.

    I heard of a desert rat crawling into these coyote sized mines and finding very worthwhile things, because other people are rightly afraid to go in there. The story goes that the chinese miners would dig a hole just big enough to follow on their hands and knees and follow the deposit vein for as long as possible. The big earthquakes in the 90's messed a lot of these mines up bad. The desert rat in question allegedly crawled into the right hole one day and found a chinese miners bag with chinese coins in it - the mine was so narrow he had to drag himself on his belly. Going in is easy backing up kinda hard.

    I was able to locate an interesting find myself, all bottles, by crawling down a coyote hole with pups in it - they ran off down side tunnels that were about rabbit sized and the momma never bothered me. The den turned out to be an old collapsed underground food storage area that the coyotes had just reopened.

    If you want a hand going in the side shafts, I might be available. Good luck!!
    Like the divers say,"When all is said and done, more is said than done!"

  10. #10
    Cptbil

    Mar 2003
    Az/NM/Ca/Nv/Tx
    1,402
    10 times

    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    gollum:
    I know the feeling!
    I have been in those small tunnels, the spanish never were ones for wasting efforts on comfort for their slaves!
    Luckly! There aren't too many earthquakes in Az. to contend with !
    But!
    I have been down 5000' ! , in Magma Copper Co. Western Div Shaft!
    Down There, you can actually hear the earth moving!
    But!
    DO! Take the sound advise of those who are advising that you have, atleast one person along with you!
    I have been, and I will be, this spring, out in that area!
    I'd hate to come upon a bunch of bones in a small tunnel!
    You and I know, how easy it would be to NEVER BE FOUND!
    Remember the guy, who just recently, in Southern Utah, who had to cut off part of his own arm.
    There!
    A rock just shifted and he was trapped !
    I don't know, Regardless, if I'd have the guts to do that !
    An once of prevention is worth several hundred tons of " I SURE! should have ! "
    cptbil & Bugs
    CptBil & Bugs

  11. #11
    us
    Sep 2004
    Kingman AZ
    385
    34 times

    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    Just to show how quickly the hand of death can jump up and slap you . Some time back a fella came across the back of a pick up truck down in a hole . Come to find out it contained 2 guys . They were driving and went straight down an old shaft . They were wedged in tight . Hope they died on impact . Otherwise they just died of starvation or shock . They were probably driving at night . Another no-no.
    TOM
    KINGMAN LODGE #22 F&AM KINGMAN, ARIZONA
    NRA
    LDMA
    U.S. PARATROOPER

  12. #12

    Nov 2005
    Wyoming
    13

    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!


    In a grim kinda way, that would be cool to see. Are there any local legends of the mysterious disappearing truck?

    I do search and rescue work and have discovered that truth can be stranger than fiction. Some things you just couldn't make up, even in Hollywood. People can get injured or killed in the strangest of ways.


  13. #13
    Charter Member
    om
    Jan 2006
    SoCal
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    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    You are both correct. At another site, I was excavating a covered shaft that went from a cliff face at a 70 degree downward angle. The shaft was 2.5ft Wide X 2.5ft high X about 6ft in at the time. I was headfirst in the hole dislodging rocks and pushing them out behind me usually by 8-9AM on Mondays. A few months ago there was a 6.4 magnitude EQ centered in Anza that occurred at 9AM on a Sunday. I hiked out to the shaft the following day to find the shaft now measured 2.5ft wide X 6 inches high! I couldn't help but think that if the EQ had happened exactly 24 hours later, I would have been crushed in the collapse (with my feet sticking out of the hole no less! What a sight!).

    Here are some more pics I promised Happy Trails 55:

    Pic#1 is a Man Made flat faced boulder marker.

    Pic#2 is a boulder with about a 90 degree wedge cut out of it roughly in the shape of a chair. This boulder is across the valley from boulder in Pic#1. If you sit in this chair at the right time of day, at the right time of year, the sun reflects of it very brightly, making it visible from a long way away.

    Pic#3 is a turtle that was almost destroyed by some previous erstwhile TH'er. Only the hind legs, tail, cut up shell, and two-thirds of the head remain. Doesn't look like he found anything else, because all the other markers were intact.

    Pic#4 is Turtle#2. This one is in an area that is not easily accessible. That's probably why it is still intact. This pic was taken with a 300 power zoom lens. It is on a boulder strewn ridge that is very hard to climb. As it is somewhere in the middle of the marker trail, and I have found several markers on either side of it, it doesn't seem like much of an emergency to get up to it.

    Pic#5 is the same turtle from a little different angle.
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  14. #14
    Charter Member
    om
    Jan 2006
    SoCal
    Modded SD2000 / XTerra70 / Fisher Gemini /
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    The markers I'm posting are in random order (that's actually how I found them. I started in the middle and worked the wrong way. I then had to go back to start and the opposite way until I came to the shaft. The whole thing took almost a year of hiking and photographing. There are actually a lot more markers that I won't post pics of until the shaft is fully explored from end to end. There is the Face on the cliff wall, the chair rock, the flat-faced boulder, a carved crow, two turtles, a couple of compass rocks and piles of stones with sighting holes.

    Enjoy-Mike
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  15. #15
    Charter Member
    om
    Jan 2006
    SoCal
    Modded SD2000 / XTerra70 / Fisher Gemini /
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    Re: Old Shaft Unearthed in Anza-Borrego Desert!!

    OOOOPS! Sorry, I resized the wrong pic. Pic#5 is not the different angle from pic#4. That's something altogether different.
    Check out 1ORO1.COM

 

 
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