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Thread: Searching for Californias Lost Viking Treasure Ship

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  1. #1
    um
    Dec 2008
    3,964
    2783 times

    Searching for California's Lost Viking Treasure Ship

    Our own pegleglooker is featured in this very interesting article! He posted a modest link to it in a more general thread. I think it deserves a new thread of it’s own!

    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. Some say this is legend; others insist it is fact. A few have even claimed to have seen the ship, its wooden remains poking through the sand like the skeleton of a prehistoric beast.”

    Searching for California's Lost Viking Treasure Ship

    Now, to fully justify starting a new thread (and to add value, as we say in the world of commercial real estate) I’m including the account by Col. Albert S. Evans referenced in it (at least, the best version I was able to find).

    Alone I had made the return trip from La Paz to Chucolwalla, and thence to Tabasaca and Canon Springs, where the faithful old buckskin steed Muchacho Juan, companion and friend in all my wanderings, had fallen down and died in terrible agony, after eating the poisonous weed of the desert known as “muerto en clcampo” (death in the camp), leaving me to finish my journey of two hundred miles back to the settlements of California on foot and alone. Out of the jaws of death we had ridden exultantly into the camp at Dos Palmas a month before ; into the gates of hell I walked with bleeding feet as I left Dos Palmas next, in the terrible silence of the desert night, on my weary tramp toward San Bernardino.

    It was two a.m. when I wearily climbed the summit of the divide between Dos Palmas and the Palma Seca, and looked down into the great plain below. When the last man looks down on the wreck of the universe, and sees our world going back into chaos, without form and void, he will not behold a scene of more utter and savage desolation, or find himself wrapped in a silence more truly terrible. The full, round moon flooded the whole landscape with mellow light, but naught of life was to be seen; the ghastly pallor of death was upon and over everything. Southward to the horizon stretched a great plain of snowy salt -- the grim and silent ghost of a dead sea of the past, which once covered all this accursed land, but being cut off by volcanic changes in the country below from the Gulf of California, dried up beneath the blazing sun of the south, and passed away forever. Across this vast white plain, as across the waters of a placid lake, the moon threw a track of shimmering light so bright as to almost dazzle the eyes of the beholder.

    Right in this glowing pathway of light, far out in the centre of this ghostly sea, where foot of man hath never trod, lay what appeared in the dim distance the wreck of a gallant ship, which may have gone down there centuries ago, when the bold Spanish Conquistadores, bearing the cross in one hand and the sword in the other, and serving God and Mammon, and the Most Catholic King of Spain and the Indias, with exemplary zeal, were pushing their way to the northwest, in search of souls to save for the love of Christ, and new kingdoms to plunder on shares. They sought then in vain for the fountain of youth, El Dorado, and the far-famed “Seven Cities of Civola.” The fountain of youth lies ever just beyond the western horizon; we shall find it, and drink of it, and bathe in its waters bye-and-bye; the kingdom of Civola, from whence came the gems and treasure of Montezuma, lay even then in ruins in central Arizona, as we know to-day; and El Dorado they found, but knew it not, leaving it to us, who long years after came in and possessed the land, and made it to blossom as the rose, and to our children’s children, to shout “Eureka!” over it’s abounding wealth.

    To the southwestward, beyond the western shore of the ancient sea, the Coyotero mountains broke the outline of the horizon. Farther northward, Mount San Jacinto lifted his rugged form in a black mass against the sky; and northward, still the desert, in pulseless waves of ashes, minute seashells and yellow sand, stretched away for a hundred miles, like a stagnant, tideless sea, to where Mount San Gorgonio and' Mount San Bernardino towered aloft in awful majesty—twin giants, grim and grand -- at the gateway of this strange, wild, weird, mysterious land. Upon their sides, far above the yellow sands of the desert, belts of dark-hued pinon forests stretched upward to their crowns of white, disintegrated granite, which gleamed like snow-fields in the clear moonlight, contrasting like frosted silver against the sapphire sky, and seeming to be cut off and detached from the earth below—floating like aerial icebergs through the starlit sea of the heavens. In vain I looked and listened; sight or sound of life, save my own, there was none; the eternal silence of the desert rested like a pall on the scene.

    This stillness is something awful, beyond the power of words to describe. In the absence of all other sounds, save that of my own hushed breathing, the ticking of the watch in my pocket was so distinctly audible as to become painful to hear. The world in ruins lay around me, and though in it, I seemed not of it. “Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death,” cried the Psalmist: lo, the Valley of the Shadow stretched out before my feet! As the grey light, creeping sluggishly over the glacier mountains, announced the coming dawn, I limped into the thicket of rank, bitter-leaved arrowwood which surrounds the bitter and nauseous alkaline springs of the Palma Seca, drank of the slimy waters, filled my canteen afresh, and pushed on again down into the plain, with a walk of twenty-five miles through alkaline dust, in the hottest valley on the surface of the earth—seventy feet below the level of the sea at that—before me.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ALaCalif Crossing Desert.jpg 
Views:	257 
Size:	105.3 KB 
ID:	1412307

    About ten o’clock, a ranchero from San Bernardino, who had been out to the new gold mines of Arizona with a drove of beef cattle, came up and joined me. His horse, a noble, fine-haired half-breed, far too good an animal to be brought out into this accursed desert to die of heat, thirst and starvation, was so weak that he could no longer bear the weight of his master, and jogged mechanically on, with his eyes closed and his ears hanging down, like two frost-bitten tobacco-leaves, as his late rider limped before him, packing his blankets on his shoulder, and pulling sadly at the halter. Noble—such was the name of my friend from San Bernardino—had been a jaunty-looking young fellow when I saw him starting out for the mines from home six weeks before. When I met him that day he was a fit subject for the pencil of Hogarth. His coat had dried up and vanished, piece by piece, in the thorny thickets beyond the Colorado, and his vest had followed suit; his hat was a wreck, his pants in ruins, and the uppers and soles of his boots having parted company, he had, in a fit of desperation, parted company with both. To replace his boots, he had split his lower nether garments in twain, and bound the sections around his swollen feet, thus in a measure protecting them from the blistering sun over the excoriating alkaline dust and ashes.

    Opposite where we met that morning was a broad sheet of dried mud, broken from the bed of what in the moment of a cloud-burst had been a roaring torrent, capable of sweeping away a whole train in an instant, as one was swept away near there in 1866, when men were drowned and their bodies carried miles away into the desert, and set up on end like a grave-stone.

    Some passing miners on the back track had spent an hour or more in cutting an inscription on this monument, as follows:

    “In memory of the Infernal Asses who left home,
    square meals, and the comforts of civilization behind
    them in San Francisco, and sought their eternal fortunes
    among the mines in the blessed regions beyond
    the Colorado, of which are we. This monument was
    raised at the joint expense of the merchants of Los
    Angeles and San Bernardino, who drove a thriving
    trade, and had a grand thing out of it while the excitement
    lasted. And of such is the kingdom of Heaven.”

    ~ from Ά La California; Sketches of Life in the Golden State, by Col. Albert S. Evans
    Author of “Our Sister Republic.” With illustrations from original drawings by Ernest Narjot
    {San Francisco: 1873}

    Editor’s Note: I have not been able to locate a copy of Col. Evans’ original newspaper article [The Galaxy V.10 no.1 Jan. 1870 (New York) "in the Valley of the Shadow"]. I have made the rash assumption this version of The Lost Ship of the Desert is similar to it. If a TN member has a copy of the original, or any other early-day accounts, please post them here or send me a link and I'll do it!

    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    Last edited by Old Bookaroo; Feb 08, 2017 at 08:28 PM.
    Make America Think Again

    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

  2. #2
    us
    El Dorado: Gold is where you find it.

    Apr 2015
    Valley Center, CA/Yuma, AZ
    567
    2477 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    As usual, Bookaroo, an interesting and informative post. I always look forward to reading anything you have posted.

    JB

  3. #3
    um
    Dec 2008
    3,964
    2783 times
    Shortfinger:

    You are too kind. I do appreciate your post.

    I get a kick out of doing it; it's nice to hear other share my enthusiasm for the old treasure yarns.

    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    Make America Think Again

    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

  4. #4
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    7,328
    7938 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Bookaroo View Post
    Our own pegleglooker is featured in this very interesting article! He posted a modest link to it in a more general thread. I think it deserves a new thread of it’s own!

    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. Some say this is legend; others insist it is fact. A few have even claimed to have seen the ship, its wooden remains poking through the sand like the skeleton of a prehistoric beast.”

    Searching for California's Lost Viking Treasure Ship

    Now, to fully justify starting a new thread (and to add value, as we say in the world of commercial real estate) I’m including the account by Col. Albert S. Evans referenced in it (at least, the best version I was able to find).

    Alone I had made the return trip from La Paz to Chucolwalla, and thence to Tabasaca and Canon Springs, where the faithful old buckskin steed Muchacho Juan, companion and friend in all my wanderings, had fallen down and died in terrible agony, after eating the poisonous weed of the desert known as “muerto en clcampo” (death in the camp), leaving me to finish my journey of two hundred miles back to the settlements of California on foot and alone. Out of the jaws of death we had ridden exultantly into the camp at Dos Palmas a month before ; into the gates of hell I walked with bleeding feet as I left Dos Palmas next, in the terrible silence of the desert night, on my weary tramp toward San Bernardino.

    It was two a.m. when I wearily climbed the summit of the divide between Dos Palmas and the Palma Seca, and looked down into the great plain below. When the last man looks down on the wreck of the universe, and sees our world going back into chaos, without form and void, he will not behold a scene of more utter and savage desolation, or find himself wrapped in a silence more truly terrible. The full, round moon flooded the whole landscape with mellow light, but naught of life was to be seen; the ghastly pallor of death was upon and over everything. Southward to the horizon stretched a great plain of snowy salt -- the grim and silent ghost of a dead sea of the past, which once covered all this accursed land, but being cut off by volcanic changes in the country below from the Gulf of California, dried up beneath the blazing sun of the south, and passed away forever. Across this vast white plain, as across the waters of a placid lake, the moon threw a track of shimmering light so bright as to almost dazzle the eyes of the beholder.

    Right in this glowing pathway of light, far out in the centre of this ghostly sea, where foot of man hath never trod, lay what appeared in the dim distance the wreck of a gallant ship, which may have gone down there centuries ago, when the bold Spanish Conquistadores, bearing the cross in one hand and the sword in the other, and serving God and Mammon, and the Most Catholic King of Spain and the Indias, with exemplary zeal, were pushing their way to the northwest, in search of souls to save for the love of Christ, and new kingdoms to plunder on shares. They sought then in vain for the fountain of youth, El Dorado, and the far-famed “Seven Cities of Civola.” The fountain of youth lies ever just beyond the western horizon; we shall find it, and drink of it, and bathe in its waters bye-and-bye; the kingdom of Civola, from whence came the gems and treasure of Montezuma, lay even then in ruins in central Arizona, as we know to-day; and El Dorado they found, but knew it not, leaving it to us, who long years after came in and possessed the land, and made it to blossom as the rose, and to our children’s children, to shout “Eureka!” over it’s abounding wealth.

    To the southwestward, beyond the western shore of the ancient sea, the Coyotero mountains broke the outline of the horizon. Farther northward, Mount San Jacinto lifted his rugged form in a black mass against the sky; and northward, still the desert, in pulseless waves of ashes, minute seashells and yellow sand, stretched away for a hundred miles, like a stagnant, tideless sea, to where Mount San Gorgonio and' Mount San Bernardino towered aloft in awful majesty—twin giants, grim and grand -- at the gateway of this strange, wild, weird, mysterious land. Upon their sides, far above the yellow sands of the desert, belts of dark-hued pinon forests stretched upward to their crowns of white, disintegrated granite, which gleamed like snow-fields in the clear moonlight, contrasting like frosted silver against the sapphire sky, and seeming to be cut off and detached from the earth below—floating like aerial icebergs through the starlit sea of the heavens. In vain I looked and listened; sight or sound of life, save my own, there was none; the eternal silence of the desert rested like a pall on the scene.

    This stillness is something awful, beyond the power of words to describe. In the absence of all other sounds, save that of my own hushed breathing, the ticking of the watch in my pocket was so distinctly audible as to become painful to hear. The world in ruins lay around me, and though in it, I seemed not of it. “Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death,” cried the Psalmist: lo, the Valley of the Shadow stretched out before my feet! As the grey light, creeping sluggishly over the glacier mountains, announced the coming dawn, I limped into the thicket of rank, bitter-leaved arrowwood which surrounds the bitter and nauseous alkaline springs of the Palma Seca, drank of the slimy waters, filled my canteen afresh, and pushed on again down into the plain, with a walk of twenty-five miles through alkaline dust, in the hottest valley on the surface of the earth—seventy feet below the level of the sea at that—before me.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ALaCalif Crossing Desert.jpg 
Views:	257 
Size:	105.3 KB 
ID:	1412307

    About ten o’clock, a ranchero from San Bernardino, who had been out to the new gold mines of Arizona with a drove of beef cattle, came up and joined me. His horse, a noble, fine-haired half-breed, far too good an animal to be brought out into this accursed desert to die of heat, thirst and starvation, was so weak that he could no longer bear the weight of his master, and jogged mechanically on, with his eyes closed and his ears hanging down, like two frost-bitten tobacco-leaves, as his late rider limped before him, packing his blankets on his shoulder, and pulling sadly at the halter. Noble—such was the name of my friend from San Bernardino—had been a jaunty-looking young fellow when I saw him starting out for the mines from home six weeks before. When I met him that day he was a fit subject for the pencil of Hogarth. His coat had dried up and vanished, piece by piece, in the thorny thickets beyond the Colorado, and his vest had followed suit; his hat was a wreck, his pants in ruins, and the uppers and soles of his boots having parted company, he had, in a fit of desperation, parted company with both. To replace his boots, he had split his lower nether garments in twain, and bound the sections around his swollen feet, thus in a measure protecting them from the blistering sun over the excoriating alkaline dust and ashes.

    Opposite where we met that morning was a broad sheet of dried mud, broken from the bed of what in the moment of a cloud-burst had been a roaring torrent, capable of sweeping away a whole train in an instant, as one was swept away near there in 1866, when men were drowned and their bodies carried miles away into the desert, and set up on end like a grave-stone.

    Some passing miners on the back track had spent an hour or more in cutting an inscription on this monument, as follows:

    “In memory of the Infernal Asses who left home,
    square meals, and the comforts of civilization behind
    them in San Francisco, and sought their eternal fortunes
    among the mines in the blessed regions beyond
    the Colorado, of which are we. This monument was
    raised at the joint expense of the merchants of Los
    Angeles and San Bernardino, who drove a thriving
    trade, and had a grand thing out of it while the excitement
    lasted. And of such is the kingdom of Heaven.”

    ~ from Ά La California; Sketches of Life in the Golden State, by Col. Albert S. Evans
    Author of “Our Sister Republic.” With illustrations from original drawings by Ernest Narjot
    {San Francisco: 1873}

    Editor’s Note: I have not been able to locate a copy of Col. Evans’ original newspaper article [The Galaxy V.10 no.1 Jan. 1870 (New York) "in the Valley of the Shadow"]. I have made the rash assumption this version of The Lost Ship of the Desert is similar to it. If a TN member has a copy of the original, or any other early-day accounts, please post them here or send me a link and I'll do it!

    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    Another GREAT post Old Bookaroo and a great idea too (Pegleglooker's own thread)! Sorry but 'like' was simply not a strong enough compliment. And ditto to Shortfinger's post too! Please do continue!

    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  5. #5
    us
    Dec 2014
    Deep in the woods in South Central Pa.
    Fisher CZ7 Pro
    866
    869 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I was under the impression that these 2 ships were separate instances.
    With the time of each being pretty different in the old recollections.
    To locate either one would set the Archies and historians into a full melt down.
    When do we leave? I love busting paradigms..
    lolz
    Oroblanco and Real of Tayopa like this.

  6. #6
    um
    Dec 2008
    3,964
    2783 times
    Hitndahed:

    You raise a valid point. Is "The Lost Ship of the Desert" the same story as "The Pearl Ship?" Is the desert Viking vessel tied to the first - or is it a third in the fleet?

    Personally, I think the LSotD and TPS are the same story. But I'm open-minded on the point - particularly if one (or the other or the third) is ever found...

    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    Make America Think Again

    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

  7. #7
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    7,328
    7938 times
    There is reason to think there are at least three different ships stuck in the desert, the famous Pearl ship, the Viking ship and the lost English privateer ship the Content. The last named is lesser known, and I can not post a link to an article on it here due to the rules (it is on that "other channel") but if you do a search for "The Last Voyage of the Content" it should pull it up. Interesting story, and it can not be denied that the Content was never seen again.

    Please do continue;
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  8. #8
    um
    Dec 2008
    3,964
    2783 times
    I'm heading out of town to the "Lost Cabin" country so this will be brief. Based on Probert's bibliography and the excellent Golden Mirages by Bailey, there are a number of different Lost Ship of the Desert stories. Again, until one has been located, I think it's helpful to keep the conversation in one place.

    For example, there are a couple of relevant newspaper articles down in the California Treasure Legends sub-Forum. Easy to miss if you don't know to look for them.


    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    Make America Think Again

    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

 

 

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