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Lost Viking - and other - Ships in the Colorado River Delta

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posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 10:27 AM
Every once in a while, I’ve found and read small excerpts about the lost Viking Ship in the delta of the Colorado River.
Reputed to have been last seen in the 1930's and now presumed to be covered by drifting sand.

Some interesting reading is to be found at the sites listed and the most interesting to me was that there are ships from other era’s and other nations to be found there.
Most interesting of all is the story about the Chinese Junk found there although the Spanish smugglers ship full of pearls could be the most interesting of all if it was found.

A small excerpt from the first site listed.
(San Gorgonio Pass is near San Bernardino, California.)

Somewhere in the great Salton Basin, or the Laguna Salada or the delta of the Colorado River, lie the bones of an ancient ship stranded hundreds of years ago — seen now and again by desert wanderers or by Indians. That is one of the most persistent legends of the far Southwest — and there is every reason to believe that such a ship does or could exist.
That is not to say that the ship — be it Viking, or Spanish, or Chinese, or Russian, or even from Mu — sailed into what is now desert when the great California Gulf was open all the way to he slopes of San Gorgonio Pass. Neither does it follow, necessarily, that scientific doctrine is right, and that the Gulf and the Basin have not been joined by navigable water for numberless thousands of years.

For more, go here:

This one is about geological specimens - rock-hounding is another way to put it - and it talks a bit about how the ancient lakes of the lower Colorado were formed as well as how the Colorado Desert came to be.

Some interesting reading about American history 1530 - 1564.
It’s condensed into short paragraphs about a particular explorer or other locally famous person - and their particular explorations - and gives a good idea of the explorations occurring at the same time in various parts of the country.

It focuses mainly on the Western US and the explorations of the Spanish, but talks about other areas of the US as well.
Some interesting history about Vikings is spelled out.

Searching for these lost ships is something that seems to have been done in the middle part of the 20th Century.
It’s surprising there is no particular interest in mounting an expedition today.
With the sophisticated devices we have available today it wouldn’t have to be a foot by foot rough and tough slog through the desert like it was not too many years ago.

A slow flying light plane would do it for the initial stages of the search and a helicopter would be ideal to use once some promising sites were found.
Flying the copter in, setting down and working a few hours should give us enough information to decide whether to mount an extensive overland expedition or not.

It is surprising at the things you can see from the air and not notice at all from the ground.

My personal experience as a pilot has been the realization that the earth is built on a grand scale and the works of man all but disappear at the higher altitudes.

[edit on 14-10-2005 by Desert Dawg]

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 10:55 AM
This is extremely interesting, Desert Dawg. Good find.
In terms of mounting an expedition, the problem that is persistently encountered in matters such as this is the availability of funds. It is unlikely that a university would be willing to make any significant expenditure to examine a site which may reveal no atrefacts and may make the university look bad. The only way I can foresee this happening would be something along the lines of a project organised by a professor, whereby his students would handle the grunt work. Yet even this may be difficult to organise, given the fact that they may very well find nothing at all and be made laughing stocks of. The archaeological community can be quite scathing, believe me.

I agree that an aerial survey of the area would be extremely beneficial. These days, in addition to visual spotting, archaeological aerial surveys utilise infrared, thermography and ground-penetrating radar to detect buried artefacts. Furthermore, certain patterns of rock aggregation or plant growth may indicate that a hidden structure or artefact lies beneath them, and these are often only noticeable from the air, as you noted through your own experiences.

But again, there is the problem of cost. The notion that vikings penetrated North America to any significant extent is still a subject of debate amongst archaeologists and many may be unwilling to risk their time, money and reputations. Private funding would be a better way to go, but private firms usually require some evidence that your expedition will actually find something of interest.

Which is a shame, because this is an extremely interesting subject. The best way to approach it from a professional standpoint would be to catalogue all of the reported sightings and to send a small (possibly a couple of students and a professor, maybe for a thesis project) initial group to determine whether it would be beneficial to continue. If only money were not an issue, but unfortunately it usually is in archaeology.

Good find, again.

[edit on 14/10/05 by Jeremiah25]

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 11:54 AM
It's always about the money isn't it?

No other way around it, but it is a shame that so many deserving projects go unexplored due to lack of funds.

Even so, for most areas close to your own home, a bit of exploration can yield interesting results.

We've found petroglyph's in the Southern California forest canyons as well as in the desert.

Now that I live in Arizona, we're having an interesting time with some light research about the area and it's rich history.
Once we find something interesting we set out in my friends Jeep - on legitimate, open to the public - desert trails and roads.

Photo's and rock samples are the only things we take.

One really nice aspect about Arizona desert exploration is that so many places are open to exploration.

Many of the places we find, ghost towns, adondoned mines, large and small as well as buildings out in the middle of nowhere do not have the vandalization (izzat a word?) that some areas of Southern California do.

Part of the vandalizing perhaps due to easier access in California as well as more pressure from human visitors.

Note that I am not criticizing Californian's here, just that some area's get a lot of traffic proportionate-wise and in every population there's a vandal or two.

One thing in California that tends to focus vandals on a particular area is the tendency to close off areas leaving the ones that are open subject to even more pressure.

Aside from all that, I'd like to see a university get interested in the ghost ships of the Colorado Desert, run a proper expedition with proper scientific controls as well as Discovery Channel type documentation and see just what they can come up with.

I know it happens, but it's a little strange that a university which is supposed to be the seat of knowledge and real learning would turn it's back on such an interesting subject as this.

I have yet to read an article debunking the ghost ships, but like I mentioned, every now and then someone will resurrect old stories and put a new slant on them.

I flew down to San Felipe, Baja, California as a passenger in a light plane sometime in the early 70's.
Traveling over the Colorado river Delta, seeing where the river has run as well as seeing the Salton Sea from the air and then transiting the Gran Desierto (Grand Desert) as Mexico calls it, noting the tidal flow patterns up into the desert and back out again - due to the 22' or so average tide rise at San Felipe as well as the monthly high tide and then the even higher yearly high tides.

Times of extreme high tides have the Sea of Cortez running like a river and there's a corresponding 2-3' high wave that travels down the gulf when the tide is going out.

As a complete aside from all this, the Gulf of California proper is an interesting place.
German ships called upon neutral Mexico's ports in the area During WW1 and I understand German subs made it quite a ways up the gulf during WW2.

(Edited for spelling.)

[edit on 14-10-2005 by Desert Dawg]

posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 08:17 PM
Hi DD,
Just browsing and found your thread. I grew up and lived in Denmark until recently and I know of a Danish news paper editor who loves to spend his money on impossible adventures. Would you like me to look it up for you. Can't remember his name at this moment. But I'll find him perhaps he's still active.

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