The Lost Ship of The Mojave

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Legend Detectives
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Re: The Lost Ship of The Mojave

Post by Legend Detectives »

I would like to introduce myself to the group here. I'm Steve Baldwin of the Legend Detectives research team and we research Old West legends and have spent years researching the Lost Ship story. One poster mentioned a researcher named "Pegleglooker" and that nickname refers to John Grasson, who was the nation's leading researcher of the Lost Ship legend until his untimely death by car accident over two years ago. John was a member of our team and we miss him dearly. We have inherited his files and hard drive and, as John would want, we are carrying on his research into the Lost Ship story.

A few comments about some of the posts. Oroblanco says academics don't believe Lake Cahuilla was ever connected to the Gulf of California in modern times but that's not true. We have interviewed several geologists who say that a water channel most likely connected Lake Cahuilla to the Ocean during specific time periods and as recently as the 1600's, which would be during the European exploration era. Also a few posters mention Capt. Iturbi but accounts of his expedition show that he was never near Lake Cahuilla and he certainly didn't die there as he had quite a career years after all the stories claim he and his crew died after being grounded in Lake Cahuilla. Many Lost ship stores mention Iturbi but they are all traced back to a fictional book published in 1939. While we believe a European ship or two did sail up a water channel to the Salton Sea basin during this era, it couldn't have been Iturbi.

The story about one of de Anza's men stumbling upon the ship wreckage is also derived from a fictional account. There are several accounts written by members of this expedition but none mention this incident. Gollum talks about a man who built something in his home from ship wreckage but won't reveal his name. We figured out who he was, located him and interviewed him and he says the story is BS. So it appears Gollum got suckered on that one.

Another poster mentioned the Nels Jacobson ranch story and how his ranch hand, Elmer Carver, used wood from a ship to build a hog pen. We have acquired a audio 1965 tape of Carver telling this story and have also located exactly where the ranch and ranch house were located and will soon be excavating this location. This is the best documented story of the entire Lost Ship saga.

The pic of the mast sticking out of the desert was taken by archeologist Morlin Childers in 1965 and we have acquired his maps and photo originals. In fact, Childers found 4 different ship wreckage sites, three are which are south of the border. However, the photo in question does portray a mast collar so we had it analyzed by the San Diego Maritime Museum and they said the collar was from a ship built in the late 1800's or early 1900's. This ship probably broke from its moorings in Port Isabel by the Colorado Delta during a storm and was then washed up to Laguna Salada by tidal bores.

Another poster mentioned a ship on wheels, but what he is referring to was a ship -- maybe two of them - that were built in Los Angeles in the 1860's for miners working La Paz on the Colorado River. Using the nearly created Bradshaw trail, these ships were hauled across the desert on large custom made wagons. However, one got bogged down in the desert and for years, part of this ship stuck up through the bog and we believe it may account for some lost ship sightings. As you all can see, this story is a multi-faceted story and we would love to exchange info with Aaron, Crazy Old Man, and other posters who appear to have some info about this story that may be new to us. I can be reached at
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Re: The Lost Ship of The Mojave

Post by cubfan64 »

Welcome Mr. Balwin - It's clear you and your group have dug deeply into this story. It's refreshing to hear someone talk about treasure legends with an open mind while at the same time letting discovered facts lead the way. Too many times I see folks who've already made up their minds what's true and what's not and they simply ignore or explain away any facts that don't align with their theories and beliefs.

I don't know anything about the Lost Ship of the Mojave, but wanted to say hello and good luck in your research. DUSA and this specific sub category doesn't get many viewers these days, but there's still little tidbits of old interesting information and potential leads. There are other more active forums where you might run across someone with good information to share.
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