Lost Ship of the Desert

Lost Ship of the Desert


The Lost Ship of the Desert is the subject of legends about ancient ships found in California's Colorado Desert. Since after the U.S. Civil War, stories have been told about buried ships hidden in the desert lands north of the Gulf of California.

A mountaineer, storm-stained and brown
from farthest desert touched the town
And, striding through the town held, up
Above his head a jewell'd cup.
He put two fingers to his lip,
He whispere'd wild, he stood a-tip,
And lean'd the while with lifted hand,
And said, "a ship lies yonder dead,"
And said, "Doubloons lie sown in sand
along yon desert dead and brown,

Joaquin Miller 1875, The Ship in the Desert,
Roberts Brothers' version.

The Basic Stories

The Lost Galleon, or The Spanish Galleon

The Galleon stories started shortly after the Colorado river flood of 1862. Colonel Albert S. Evans reported seeing it in 1863. In the Los Angeles Daily News of August 1870, it was described as a half buried hulk in a drying alkali marsh or saline lake, west of Dos Palmas, California, and 40 miles north of Yuma, Arizona. It could easily be viewed at a distance of several miles from a mesa that lay between Dos Palmas and Palma Seca, California. (Stories have given Palma Seca other names: Soda Springs, Indian Springs, and Bitter Springs, as the area was not well mapped in 1870.) Expeditions were sent out in search, but the ship had vanished into the sand and mud once again. The Galleon, according to old timers, is now under the waters of the current Salton Sea.

There are those[who?] who claim this ship is Cavendish's Content filled with pirate plunder[citation needed]; others[who?], that she is the Iqueue, a ship of Spanish mutineers.[citation needed]

The Viking Ship, or the Serpent-Necked Canoe

The Viking Stories started sometime around 1900 by the Mexicans and Indians who live in the Colorado River delta region near the Laguna Salada basin. The ship is consistently described as an open boat with round metal shields on its sides in the badlands someplace westerly of Mexicali, Mexico.

Around 1933, Myrtle Botts, a librarian from Julian, California, had an encounter with an old prospector who showed her photos of what she calls a Viking ship. He gave her and her husband directions to the location but an earthquake prevented the Botts from following the prospector's trail to the ship. Julian's Pioneer Museum, which inherited Myrtle Botts' papers, also inherited those directions.

The Pearl Ship of Juan De Iturbe

The Pearl Ship may be the same ship as the Lost Galleon but it has always been reported close to the sand hills west of El Centro, California. Its descriptions when given are closer to the size of one of Columbus's small Caravels. 15th century records from New Spain (Mexico) indicate that the De La Cadena family had in a pearl diving monopoly in Baja California.

The Pearl Ship is rumored to have been seen as recently as the 1970s[citation needed]. The story goes that in 1615 Spanish explorer Juan De Iturbe sailed a shallow-drafted caravel up the Gulf of California, and a high tidal bore carried him across a strait into Lake Cahuilla, which was in the process of drying up. Unable to sail out again, Iturbe beached his craft and made his way back to the nearest Spanish settlement leaving a fortune in black pearls behind.

This ship has been seen and lost several times and there are several stories about this ship having been looted. A mule driver of the de Anza expedition was said to have removed the pearls in 1774. Around 1917 an El Centro farmer named Jacobsen was said to have found a very small chest of jewels that he quietly sold in Los Angeles and that he used timber from the pearl ship to build his pig pens.

The Ferry Boat or River Schooner

This story really grew out of an effort to explain or debunk the Lost Galleon story. It was thought that an abandoned ferry or steamboat that had broken away during a Colorado River flood and left dry in the vast sands of the river delta was the start of the rumors. Others claim that it was a schooner that gold seekers wishing to search the more inaccessible portions of the Colorado River had built in Los Angeles and hauled through the desert by a mule or oxen team until the animals perished leaving the boat mired in soft sand[1].

The Ferryboat story changed over time more often than the Lost Galleon story. One incarnation said that a small ferry (a two man sweep) was built away from the river in a place a hundred feet or so above sea level where a source of wood was found and that a six oxen team (or more) perished hauling it through the sand near Los Algodones.


Evaluation of the Legends

From a smattering of first-, second- and third-hand accounts, a variety of fictional (especially graphic and cinematic) variations of the Lost Ship stories have been created. Not surprisingly, the first-hand accounts are extremely rare. Many of the above references fit the Lost Mines and Urban Legends molds, where the story passes from ear to ear, with all evidence disappearing along the way.

Searching for and finding the remains of a Lost Ship now would be rather problematic. The greater part of the Salton Sink is submerged under (highly polluted) water. Much adjacent land is under military control and has even been used as bombing ranges, rendering on-the-ground searches highly hazardous. The military has undoubtedly performed intensive aerial surveillance of the area, but apparently has not released any information about lost ships.

Lands adjacent to Laguna Salada in Baja California (Mexico), and between the Gulf of California and the Salton Sea, regularly receive wind-blown sand from the desiccated delta of the much-diverted Colorado River, generating vast sand dune systems. Aerial searches using ground-penetrating radar might (or might not) reveal ships' remains, but there has not yet been an agency that undertook this project and revealed its findings. Whether or not any such ships actually existed, the legends are entertaining to many.

Media renditions of lost ship stories

This is a media timeline list of ship in the California Desert related material; it shows how the story has changed in each generation's telling.

Note: Although most written items are a paragraph or more long, and sometimes lengthy articles, some are only a brief sentence or two in passing of what the author had heard and thought about a ship in the desert story.

{see other item: has information about or reprints this item}
* A short note on the items contents


-1870- The Galaxy, V.10 No.1, Jan. 1870 (New York newspaper)

"In the Valley of the Shadow" by Albert S. Evans
Reprinted 1873 in Evans' book, "A la California, Sketches of Life in the Golden State."

* Autumn of 1863 - Evans' horse died, leaving him to walk out from the Colorado Desert's Dos Palmas westward toward Palma Seca, where Evans saw the lost ship.
-1870- Los Angeles News, Aug. 1870 (California newspaper)

"Interesting Discovery"
{see: 1953 Nov. "The Calico Print"

* Indians report a ship emerging from a drying alkaline marsh.
-1870- Sacramento Union, Oct. 6 1870 (California newspaper)

"Dateline Los Angeles?"
{see: 1977 July Lost Treasure magazine}

* Article about men from San Bernardino seeking the ship.
-1870- Sacramento Union, Oct. 13 1870 (California newspaper)

"Dateline Los Angeles?"
{see: 1977 July "Lost Treasure" magazine}

* Article about ship hunters returning without discovery.
-1870- Sacramento Union, Nov. 16 1870 (California newspaper)

"Dateline Los Angeles?"
{see: 1977 July "Lost Treasure" magazine}

* Article about new search for fossil boat.
-1870- Proceedings of California Academy of Sciences, Nov. 21 1870

(California journal) notes of regular monthly meeting

* Albert S. Evans tells about the two different times he saw the ship; not a mirage, nor Martin Vise's oxen-hauled schooner.
-1870- San Bernardino Guardian, Dec. 31, 1870 (California newspaper)

"The Search for the Lost Ship"
{see: 1953 Nov. "The Calico Print" }

* Joshua Talbot leaves Clusker party, having found nothing.
-1871- San Bernardino Guardian, Jan. 14, 1871 (California newspaper)

"Return of the Ship Prospectors"
{see: 1953 Nov. "The Calico Print" }

* The Clusker party returns, not having found the ship.
-1871- Proceedings of California Academy of Sciences, July 3, 1871

(California journal) notes of regular monthly meeting

* Author decides from correspondence that the ship is an optical illusion.
-1871- Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Oct. 21, 1871

(Worcester, Massachusetts journal) notes of annual meeting

* report on what the California Academy of Science reported.
-1872- Sacramento Union, Sept. 30, 1872 (California newspaper)

"Dateline Los Angeles?"
{see: 1947 "Gold Guns & Ghost Towns" by Chalfant }

* The "Arizona" desert ship proves to be a ferryboat.
-1873- Inyo Independent, Sept.27 1873 (California newspaper)

"? Lost Ship? "
{see: 1977 July "Lost Treasure" magazine}

* James expedition found mast of ship.
-1873- "A La California: Sketches of life in the Golden State"

(book - chapter IX, pg 201) by Albert S. Evans, 1873

* Same as Evans' 1870 "Shadow of Death" newspaper account; this book was published after his death at sea.
-1874- "The Ship in the Desert"

(book of verse / poem) by Joaquin Miller, 1874
published by Roberts Brothers, Boston, and by Chapman & Hall, London.

* The British edition is not quite the same as the American edition , Miller rewrote his poem.
* Men battle over a beautiful Indian maiden; everyone dies at the ship in the desert.
-1875- "The Ship in the Desert"

(poem) by W. T. Grant & Pap Walker
written in 1875, Olancha, California.
published in "Desert Padre" (book) by Joan Brooks, 1997

* The desert ship as a sort of Flying Dutchman in Death Valley.
-1878- "On the Frontier: Reminiscences of Wild Sports, Personal Adventures, and Strange Scenes"

(book, pg 244) by J. S. Campion, 1878

*Mission Indians & Monks of lower calilforina have a tradition of a wreck

freighted with gold from Arazona - the Spanish el Dorado

Author knew of two well equipped expeditions

that nearly perished of thirst while searching for the Ship near Dos Palmas California.

-1881- "Reminiscences of a Ranger, or Early times in Southern California"

(book, pg 423) by Major Horace Bell, 1881

* Story about Joshua Talbot finding a mule-hauled boat built by Perry & Woodworth of Los Angeles.
-1886- Chicago Tribune Sept. 12 1886 (Chicago, Illinois newspaper)

"Whence came the ship?"

-1886- Atlanta Constitution Sept. 20, 1886 (Atlanta, Georgia newspaper)

"The Stranded Ship"

*a mystery of the famous so called Colorado desert
-1886- Boston Daily Globe Sept. 26, 1886 (Boston, Mass. newspaper)

"Whence the ship?" pg 17

*A Mystery of the Colorado Desert. Unsuccessful Effort of a Prospector to Examine the Hulk. A Padre's Theory that it May Have Been a Gold-Laden Galleon.
- 1870- Chicago Tribune Dec. 20, 1870 (Chicago, Illinois newspaper)

"Finding of the desert ship"

*report of a Ship found on the Colorado desert
-1889- American Notes and Queries, Sept. 14, 1889 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania magazine)

Ed. by William S. Walsh: "The Ship in the Desert"

* Story about finding frame of small two-sweeper ferry boat that was hauled by half a score or more of bull-teams which mostly perished.
-1889- Los Angeles Times Oct. 6, 1889 (Los Angeles, Calif. newspaper)

"The Ship of the Desert"

*The Phantom ship of California
-1889- Sandusky Daily Register Nov. 16 1889 (Sandusky, Ohio newspaper)

"The Phantom Ship"

*The hulk buried in the sands of the Colorado desert
-1890- Atlanta Constitution July 27, 1890 (Atlanta, Georgia newspaper)

"A Ship of the Desert" by Paul Grant

*a traveler had found in the desert of Colorado a dismantled ship
-1891- Ohio Democrat Jan. 8, 1891 (New Philadelphia, Ohio newspaper)
*a Mysterious Vessel said to have been seen in the Colorado desert
-1891- Galveston daily news Feb. 1 1891 (Galveston, Texas newspaper)

"A Ship in the desert"

* Strange tale of a Spanish Galleon in Colorado desert

this article was printed nationwide and was the inspiration for John Blondelle Burton

-1891- The Standard Feb. 10 1891 (Ogden, Utah newspaper)

"A ship in the desert"

*Strange tale of a Spanish Galleon
-1891- Los Angeles times Mar. 1 1891 (lost Angeles Calif. newspaper)

"A ship in the desert"

*Strange tale of a Spanish Galleon
-1892- "Manual of Geography"

(book, pg 95) by Jacques W. Redway, 1892

*In the sink of the san felipe, or conchilla valley, the ship is beyond doubt the frame of a ferry boat designed for the Colorado river. the teams dragging it to the river died. The ships projector (promoter?) was living in 1885
-1892- Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, 1892 (Great Britain journal)

Jacques W. Redway: "New Lake in The Colorado Desert"

* Blames the legend on Joaquin Miller, and refers to Maj. Horace Bell.
-1895- "The Ship in the Desert"

(book) by John Blondelle Burton, 1895

* Historical adventure fiction based on newspaper story.



-1909- National Geographic magazine, Aug. 1909 (U.S. magazine)

W.C. Mendenhall: "The Colorado Desert"

* mentions a widely published and graphic 1891 Lost Ship account.
-1916- "History of Arizona Book IV"

(book, pg 31) by Tomas E. Farish
chapter: "Charles B. Genung- His Story of how he became a Hassayamper"

* Hassayamper is synonym for Arizonian Liar.
-1919- Los Angeles Examiner, June 15, 1919 (Los Angeles Calif. newspaper)

J.A. Guthrie: "Mystery of the Desert"
{see: 1953 Nov. "The Calico Print" }

* Tells Coahuilla Indian Chief Cabazon's version.
-1928- Los Angeles Times, April 8, 1928 (Los Angeles Calif. newspaper)

"The Lost Ship of the Desert"

* It was that ole buzzard, 'Quartz' Warner, that swore by all The howling bobcats that he seen It.
-1933- "Journey of the Flame"

(book) by Walter Nordhoff under the pen name Antonio De Fierro Blanco
{see: 1961 "Desert Rat Scrap Book, Packet 1 of Pouch 11" }

* One of the most quoted sources for Pearl Ship stories.
-1939- Desert Magazine, Jan. 1939 (Palm Desert, California magazine)

Ed. by Randall Henderson: "Lost Ships: Fact or Fiction"
+ Charles C. Niehaus: "Lost Ship of the Desert"

-1940- "Golden Mirages"

(book, pg 139) by Phillip Bailey, 1940
chapter: "Lost Ship of the Desert"

-1941- The Colorado Conquest

(book) by David O. Woodbury, 1941
{see: 1950 "Desert Rat Scrap, Packet #3 of Pouch #3}

-1941- Death Valley Days (NBC radio broadcast)

aired Jan 24, 1941, #533: "The Lost Pearl Ship"

-1942- Marvel Mystery Comics #29, Mar. 1942 (U.S. comic book)

Mickey Spillane: "The Ship in the Desert"

* This was short written story used as filler between comics, and locates a galleon near Wilcox, Arizona
-1947- "Gold, Guns, & Ghost Towns"

(book, pg 164) by Walter Chalfant (aka Willie Arthur Chalfant), 1947

* Has story of the lost Pearl Ship of Juan de Iturbe
-1948- "Arizona Highways" magazine, Apr. 1948 (Phoenix, Arizona magazine)

article, pg 4: "The Ship in the Desert," by Norman G. Wallace

* At the time the railroad was being built down the west coast of Mexico, engineer Bill Walters met with Papago Indian Juan Pablo (a.k.a. Khave the badger). Juan Pablo showed Bill pearls, china dishes, and gold coins taken from a ship half buried in the sandhills of the Arizona mountain Pinacate.
-1949- Chillicothe constitution tribune April 6, 8,& 9 1949 (Chillicothe, Missouri newspaper)

Pop goes the queen Newspaper serial story written by Bob Wade and Bill Miller

*Fictional Story of a Murder involving an 18th Century Spanish treasure galleon, which sailed up the flooded Colorado river in 1744,
-1949- Los Angeles Times, Aug. 1949 (Los Angeles, California newspaper)

{see: 2003 June 8, Los Angeles Times}

* Three UCLA students search for a Viking exploration ship blown off course.
-1950- Action Comics #146, July 1950 (U.S. comic book)

Joe Smachson: "Vigilante, The Galleon in the Desert"

* Musical villain using fake desert galleon like a trojan horse; caught by musical hero.
-1950- Desert Rat Scrap Book, Packet #3 Pouch #3 1950

ed. by Harry Oliver: "The Spanish Galleon At The Bottom Of The Salton Sea"

-1950- Western Folklore, Vol. 9 No. 3, 1950 (Long Beach, California journal of Western States Folklore Society)

"New Tales of American Phantom Ships"

* Story is of an Elizabethan boat flying over the Colorado Desert near Indio, California.
-1950- Dell Comics: Gene Autry Comics, Vol. 1 No. 39, May 1950 (U.S. comic book)

"The Lost Galleon"

*Story of how the Conquistadors lost a ship in the desert near Laguna Salada south east of San Diego
-1951- Dell Comics: Gene Autry Comics, Vol. 1 No. 52, June 1951 (U.S. comic book)

"Gene Autry and the Ship in the Desert"

*Story has Autry finding ship in ancient river channel after a flash flood.
-1951- The Indio Date Palm, Oct. 4, 1951 (Indio, California newspaper)

Paul Wilheilm: "Paul Wilheim's Desert Column - A Ghost of the Vikings"
{see: 1953 Nov. "The Calico Print" }

-1951- Pioneer Cabin News {Nov. 1951 to Apr. 1952} (San Bernardino, California journal of the San Bernardino Society of California Pioneers)

O.J. Fisk: "Story of the Pearl Ship in the Desert"
{see: 1953 Nov. "The Calico Print" }

-1951- "Legendary and Geological History of Lost Desert Gold"

(book, pg 66) by Ralph L. Caine, 1951

-1953- San Bernardino Sun-Telegram, Feb. 15, 1953 (San Bernardino, California newspaper)

L. Burr Belden: "The Lost Spanish Galleon"
{see: 1953 Nov. "The Calico Print"}

-1953- "Casey Ruggles," 05-23-53 to 1-2-54 (syndicated daily U.S. newspaper cartoon strip)

Warren Tufts: "The Pearl Galleon Episodes"

-1953- "The Calico Print," Nov. 1953 (Twenty Nine Palms, California magazine)

Ed. by Harold & Lucille Weight: "Lost Ship in The Desert"
+ Ed Stevens: "the Serpent-Necked Canoa"
+ Adelaide Arnold: "Butcherknife Ike and the Lost Ship"
+ reprints other several well-known Lost Ship accounts

-1954- Uncle Scrooge Adventure, Sept. 1954 (Walt Disney comic book)

Carl Barks: "Seven Cities of Cibola" }

-1957- "Lost Treasures: The Search for Hidden Gold"

(book, pg 48) by Robert G. Ferguson, 1957

-1959- Bat Masterson, starring Gene Barry (NBC television program)

original air date: July 15, 1959
Richard O'Conner & Wells Root, writers: "The Desert Ship"

-1961- Desert Rat Scrap Book, Packet #1 of Pouch #11, ed. by Harry Oliver

"The Spanish Galleon Of Salton Sea", by Antonio de Fierro Blanco

-1962- Suspense , starring Matt Cooper, Bill Adam, & Jean Gillespie (CBS Radio Program)

original Air date Aug. 26, 1962 "The Lost Ship" episode was written by Irwin Lewis

-1962- "More Western Treasures"

(book) Jesse Rascoe, editor
chapter- "The Lost Ship of the Desert"

-1962- "The Beckoning Desert"

(book) by Ed. M. Ainsworth, 1962

* Tells of the 1949 search for Joseph Ive's lost steamship.
-1963- "Lost Desert Bonanzas"

(book, pg 12) by Eugene L. Conrotto, 1963

* Written to mark 25 years of Desert Magazine's lost mine stories.
-1966- "Buried Treasures and Lost Mines of Southern California"

(book, pg 90) By Jack Black, 1966
chapter: "A Handful of Mysteries"

-1966- Desert Magazine, March 1966 (Palm Desert, California magazine)

D. Galbraith: "Lost Ships of the Desert" (??)
+Bill Boyd: "Lost Ships of the Desert"

-1967- "California: a Guide to the Golden State"

(book, pg 461) by the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration of Northern California, 1967

* Brief mention of 1890 old timer at Kane Springs claiming to have seen the ancient ship nearby.
-1967- "The Mysterious West"

(book) by Choral Pepper & Brad Williams, 1967

-1968- "Dead Men do Tell Tales"

(book, pg 71) by Lake Erie Schaefer, 1968
chapter: "Desert Pearls"

-1969- "True Treasure" magazine (date of issue # unknown) (U.S. magazine)

Ray Weiss: "Letter to the editor"

* Ray wrote about a sighting by plane, and plans to search afoot.
-1970- Saga's Treasure Special: Exclusive Guide to America's Fabulous Bonanzas Vol.1 #1, 1970 (book)

chapter by Al Masters: "California's Fabulous Dune-Locked Pearl Galleon"

-1973- Treasure Search magazine, Vo1 #1 1973, pg 52 (Canoga Park, California magazine)

Jeff Ferguson: "Pearl Galleon of the California Desert"

-1974- Desert Magazine, April 1974 (Palm Desert, California magazine)

Harvey Grey: "Phantom Ship of the Gran Desierto"

-1977- Desert Magazine, March 1977 (Palm Desert, California magazine)

Harold O. Weight: "Charley Clusker and the lost ship"

* 1870's Clusker found a good way to acquire a grubstake.
-1977- Lost Treasure magazine, July 1977, pg. 58 (Grove, Oklahoma magazine)

Al Masters: "Amazing Treasure Ship of the California Desert"

-1979- Lost Treasure magazine, June 1979, pg. 37 (Grove, Oklahoma magazine)

Benito Villa: "Treasure ship in the Desert"

-1980- Desert Magazine, Nov. 1980 (Palm Desert, California magazine)

Choral Pepper: "Ships that Pass in the Desert Sands"

-1983- Lost Treasure magazine, December 1983, pg. 24 (Grove, Oklahoma magazine)

Jack Peterson: "Was the Lost Ship of the Desert Found?"

* Story from 1973: Paranoid hermit Lawrence Justice found ship with WWII military air photos of Imperial Valley. would not reveal location until getting government search permits in order. Justice died before finishing paperwork in late 70's.
-1984- Treasure Found! magazine, Spring 1984, pg. 26

"New Clues Surface to Three Fabulous Caches"
Publisher Ken Doe interviews George Mroczkowski

* Article includes a story of George going to a remote location with a friend of Larry Justus, with photos of what could be part of the ship. Story also mentions the Viking Ship, and a group of wildflower enthusiasts who had seen it, and a Mexican who had taken one of the shields.
-1989- Riverside Press Enterprise, July 30, 1989 (Riverside, California newspaper)

Tom Patterson: "Tales Persist of Viking and Chinese Ships Found in the Desert"

-1990- Lost Treasure magazine, Aug. 1990, pg. 30 (Grove, Oklahoma magazine)

Michael Paul Henson: "California - Golden State Glitters with Gold - Spanish Ship"

-1991- Lost Treasure magazine, Apr. 1991, pg. 44 (Grove, Oklahoma magazine)

B.G. Revis: "Treasure Ships of the California Desert"

-1992- "Columbus Was Last"

(book, pg 162) by Patrick Huyghe, 1992

* Tells of Vikings? exploring upper Gulf of California.
-1992- "Ghost Ship," starring Jay Robinson

(movie) James T. Flocker, director

* Teens find adventure in the desert. Not to be confused with the 2003 Warner Brothers movie with the same name.
-1993- "Traveler" (a tile mural located at subway entrance to Union Station, Los Angeles, California)

artist: Terry Schoonhoven

* Far left corner of the mural shows a galleon in a desert.
-1995- The Periscope (Coachella Valley, California Museum annual publication)

Pat Laflin: "Lost Ships in the Desert"

-1995- Buried Treasures of California

(book) by W.C. Jameson, 1995

* 1892 prospectors find mast of ship but no ship.
-1996- Scrooge Adventures in Color #7, Aug. 6, 1996 (Disney comic book, pg. 31)

Geoffrey Blum: "Wind From a Dead Galleon"

* Text filler has the story of what inspired the Carl Barks 1954 comic book.
-1997- Little Known Tales in California History

(book, pg 30) by Alton Pryor, 1997

-1998- Classic Tales in California History

(book, pg 67) by Alton Pryor, 1998

-1998- Mysterious California

(book) by Mike Marinacci, 1998

* Has a chapter on the lost ship, and a chapter on the Viking ship.
-1999- Desert Lore of Southern California

(book) by Choral Pepper, 1999

* Contains several ship legends including the Elmer Carver account.
-1999- Book Again, Sept. 1999 (online newsletter, folklore section)

Joe Nolte: "The Phantom Ship of the Salton Sea"

* Mention of sighting by three German prospectors in 1878, and a sighting in Feb. of 1882.
-1999- Great God Pan, The Champion of California magazine #13, 1999 (San Francisco, California magazine)

Eric R. Blum "The Mysterious Lost Ship of the Desert"


-2000- Lost Treasure's Surf & Turf, June 2000 (Lost Treasure magazine's online newsletter)

Ken Weinman: "Treasure Galleons of the Mohave desert

-2000- Strange Sea Tales Along the California Coast

(book) by Claudine Burnett, 2000

* Published for Historical Society of Long Beach; has a story on Viking ships in the desert.
-2001- Desert USA Online, April 2001 (online magazine, Borrego Springs, California)

Tim McCrerey: "The Last Voyage of the Content"

-2002- "Lost Treasure" magazine, Nov. 2002, pg. 18 (Grove, Oklahoma magazine)

Ettore & Diana Nannetti: "Pearls in the Desert: A Galleon Hidden in Sand"

-2002- "La Contessa" Art Car, Aug. 2002- Dec. 2006 built by Simon Cheffins, Maduro and the Extra Action Marching Band
* This desert ship was a half sized 16th century Spanish galleon replica.

It was built around a school bus and cruised the Burning man festival in Nevada's Black rock desert. It was destroyed by an arsonist in Dec. 6 2006

-2003- Desert USA Online, May 2003 (online magazine, Borrego Springs, California)

Bob Difley: "The Lost Ship of the Mohave"

-2003- Los Angeles Times, June 8, 2003, pg. B4 (Los Angeles, California newspaper)

Cecilia Rasmussen: "Were there Spanish Pearls Before Brine in Salton Sea?"

* Has a nice list of airplanes lost in the Salton Sea.
-2004- "Ben Jordan: Paranormal Investigator" 2004 (animated computer game adventure)

Francisco Gonzalez: "Case 2 - The Lost Galleon of the Salton Sea"

-2005- The Lost Ship in the Desert: The True Story

(booklet) by William Pfost, 2005, 2007
Sold only by the Coachella Valley Museum in Indio, California.

* Was updated and rewritten with several changes and corrections in 2007. After the 2005 publication, Bill Pfost met a former (never to be named) rancher from Indio who claims to have gone to the lost ship in Imperial Valley with other Imperial and Coachella Valley residents about 40 years before.
-2005- Desert Magazine, June 2005 (Palm Desert Sun newspaper publication, California)

Ann Japenga: "The Glamorous Galleon"

-2005- Sacramento Valley Detecting Buffs, Aug.5 2005 (online newsletter - pdf. format)

"The Legend of the Mohave Desert's Lost Ship"

-2006- Weird California

(book, pg 61) by Joe Osterle, 2006

-2006- From the Desert to the Sea... Saturday, Jan. 21st, 2006 (online Blog / syndicated newsletter)

John Stoddard: "Story for a Desert Campfire"

-2006- Exploritoria, Sept. 2, 2006, (online Blog)

"Exploritoria of a Viking Ship in the Desert"

-2007- Prime View , June 6, 2007

(online edition of "View Neighborhood Newspapers" a Las Vegas , Nevada regional newspaper) "Ships in the desert? Mirage or unsolved mystery?" By Florine Lawlor

*tells of 1867 sighting by Dusty Millor & Duke Chellow

See also


  1. ^[citation needed].
  2. ^ Los Angeles Daily Star, 31 May 1862.

External links

  • More Lost Ships from the Harry Oliver Fan Center site - tales of submarines, an aircraft carrier, and wagonloads of booze, in the Southern California deserts.

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