When we hear the phrase “ghost ship,” we usually imagine an abandoned ship with tattered sails, sailing somewhere in the ocean. Sometimes these mysterious ships are thrown on the shore, and there they continue to lie, gradually being covered with sand. But how do you explain the seagoing ships that are found from т¡мe to т¡мe in the middle of the deserts?
Legends about these ships have been circulating for at least several centuries, and none of the eyewitnesses usually could understand how these ships got into the desert. There is a hypothesis among urologists that such mysterious ships are victims of alien abduction, for example, from the area of the Bermuda Triangle.
The most famous place in the United States where mysterious ships are often seen is the Colorado Desert in the state of California in the southwest. Similarly, over the past two centuries, reports of ancient sailing ships thrown as if “out of the sky” onto desert rocks have come from the Sonoran Desert, which covers the states of California and Arizona.
Local Indians who occasionally came across these vessels described them as old, sun-dried, and half-buried in the sand. From their descriptions, however, one could easily recognize, for example, the Spanish galleons of the Middle Ages or the Viking ships.
On several occasions Indians ventured into the wrecks of abandoned ships and even found treasure there. These stories were told not only by adventurers with rich imaginations, but also by far more reliable eyewitnesses.
One such story dates back to 1775, when a young mule driver, Tiburcio мคหkern, was hired on the desert expedition of Juan Baptista de Anza in search of a land route from Sonora to Alta California, Upper California. One day the fellow happened to stumble upon a huge wooden ship with sails that looked as if it had recently been in the sands.
Mankern was alone at the т¡мe, and there were no other members of the expedition near him, so he decided to climb inside the ship to get some profit out of it. And inside he did come across мคหy chests laden with pearls and gold coins.
“That day I was sent to the right of the course in search of a passable road to the ocean. Traveling at night because of the heat, I came upon an ancient ship, in the hold of which were so мคหy pearls that it is impossible to imagine. Overjoyed by this wealth, I took what I could carry and left my companions behind.
I headed for the ocean and tried to go as far as my mule could carry me. I hiked up the steep western mountains. After finding shelter and food with the Indians, I finally reached the mission of San Luis Rey. I’ve been looking for that ship all my life ever since.”
Yet no matter how мคหy т¡мes мคหkern returned to the desert again and again, he could not find the same ship from which he had taken too little treasure. Either he remembered the road poorly, or the ship was completely covered with sand, or it disappeared as mysteriously as it had first appeared.
Another story occurred in 1862 after a major flood caused by the Colorado River overflow. When the water finally receded, locals unexpectedly discovered an old ship, partially buried in the sand, resembling a Spanish galleon, in a deserted area near Dos Palmas, California. The waters of the Colorado River have eroded the sand and exposed the hulk of the ship, which appears to have lain in these sands for at least several hundred years.
Many people purposely came to see the ship from afar, as it was clearly visible from the nearest hill. However, when a special team arrived there some т¡мe later to study the ship, they could not find it. It is assumed that the location of the galleon was hidden by the waters of Salton Sea Lake, which regularly dries up and then fills with water. Because of this, it is almost impossible to carry out any excavations in these areas.
In November 1870, a мคห named Charlie Clasker and his friends heard from Indians about a large sailing ship, which they described as being in the same spot of Dos Palmas, but on the other side of Salton Sea Lake. Clasker and his friends went to the area several т¡мes and searched for the ship until they finally found it.
Clasker described the ship as an ornate Spanish galleon carrying мคหy luxuries. It took a lot of resources to get all that wealth out, and they went back to town to round up more men and carts of mules.
They were even written about in the Los Angeles Star newspaper:
“Charlie Clasker and his group returned from the desert yesterday. They had a hard т¡мe, but they succeeded in their efforts. The ship was found! Their group had been without food and water in the scorching sun for over twenty-four hours and nearly died. Today Charlie returns to the desert to reap the fruits of his labors. He has prepared a good wagon, pack saddles, and planks for crossing the sandy ground. ”
Unfortunately, there is no information about what happened next to Klasker’s crew. Not a word was said about them in the papers, and nothing more was heard of them either. It looked as if Klasker and his team had just disappeared somewhere in the sands.
Somewhat later, in 1878, about 120 miles northwest of Yuma and 40 miles east of Indio, California, three Gerмคห prospectors saw a similar “Spanish galleon” in the desert.
One of the miners was so excited that he ran out into the desert to get to it and never came back. Strangely enough, when the others searched the area, they could find no trace of their comrade or the ship, as if the desert had simply swallowed them up.
Only later, when the official search party combed the area, did they find that мคห dead and naked in the desert, with no clothes and no ship they found there.
Ghost galleon sightings continued into the early 20th century. One day an Indian arrived in the dusty remote town of Borrego Springs, California, and paid in stores for food and drink with very expensive-looking pearls.
It seemed very strange that poor desert Indians had such a commodity, and when asked where he got the pearls, he explained that there was a strange wooden “structure” half-buried in the sand and full of pearls
The local adventurers, who had heard about the Spanish galleons full of gold in the deserts, rushed to look for another ship, but none of the expeditions found anything, and the Indian himself suddenly disappeared somewhere.
In 1907, another similar report appeared from a farmer named Niles Jacobsen, who claimed that the remains of a ship had been found during a hurricane near his estate in Imperial, California, from which he then made wooden posts for a fence.
In 1933 the newspapers published the story of a woмคห named Myrtle Botts who was walking with her husband in the Anza-Borrego Desert when they came across a prospector who told them that he had found a mysterious ship in the desert on a rocky cliff in Canebrake Canyon.
He told them that the ship was made of wood and had a serpentine figure carved on its prow. Botts and her husband went in search of the ship and soon found it sticking out of a pile of rocks in the canyon wall.
As soon as they got closer, an earthquake began and they had to retreat. The next attempt was unsuccessful, as the earthquake completely hid the ship under large rocks.
In 1949, three students at the University of California at Los Angeles went in search of an abandoned ghost ship. They heard from a Cahuilla Indian about a “big boat” shaped like a snake that he had seen in the area in 1917.
According to the students, the description matched the Viking ship. The students were well prepared, taking 1910 irrigation maps and various published reports of similar desert ships from the 1800s, and set out to search from Salada Lagoon in Baja California.
It is not known what eventually became of this expedition or whether they found what they were looking for. They simply disappeared.