Category Archives: Prospecting

The basic idea’s sound enough

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by.

shaker drywasher

Most of you probably won’t find this of interest, but possibly Eddie and Keith might.  Keith saw earlier efforts directed to a similar end back during the early 1990s, and I described something similar to Eddie last December.

The idea here’s to have a portable enough contraption to be light and easy to manage through some walking distance, fast enough in the assembly, unstable enough to allow a lot of shaking.  The whirlygig on the weedwhopper needs to be out of balance enough to provide the vibration.  But the bearing will be side loaded, so it might self destruct before enough use to justify it.

The next frame will be an aluminum golf-caddy on wheels, which is capable of being as unstable as the chair frames.  That would also allow it to be rolled instead of carried where it’s to be used.

There’s going to have to be a grizzly up ahead of the platform/table, which might cause too much weight for this method to allow enough shaking of the table/riffles to do the job.  Might also need a counter-balance at the bottom to keep an angle on the table, which will also need to be tested.

I don’t know how much adjusting will be needed on the table to keep things moving, but slowly enough so’s it doesn’t move too fast.  Also don’t know how much classifying would be needed ahead of the thing, how large the material could be for it to work.

You can see the two front legs on the frame are off the ground.  That’s so it can be rocked forward, both to provide instability, and to allow adjustment of the table angle.  Naturally it has to have a bottom surface on the riffle/table.

But the whole thing as the huge advantage, provided it works, of not throwing up a mile-high cloud of dust.  I doubt it will move as much material as a store-bought portable drywasher, but it lacks a lot of the disadvantages, and it is an inexpensive alternative.

Might be worth trying, anyway.

Old Jules

The Lost Adams Diggings Revisited

Lost Adams Diggings Number 2297

I probably shouldn’t be telling you this because some of you might still think I have good sense.  But I’m going to anyway because I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t care whether you do or not.

What you are seeing in that Google map is the Lost Adams Diggings.  The line wandering along the lower right corner is the continental divide.  The areas with snow on the surface are shaded part of the day so’s not to have melted yet, the dark areas are lower, now in shadow.  The tiny short lines all over the place are deadfall left by a forest fire that swept the area in the 1990s.

Elevation’s around 9000 feet, the trails are all blocked with deadfall from the fire, but even back in the day the area never saw much human traffic.  It’s one of the more remote, tougher places to get to in the continental US.

Which is the reason those three dark lines you see running diagonally in the upper center have no business whatever being there.  Those are artifacts of human activity.  Those, and the lower left-of-center dark spot resembling an arrow.  The dark lines at the top, unless I miss my guess as I’ve done frequently before, are what is known in legend as ‘The Zig Zag Trail”.

A person wanting a closer look would have to go in on foot, crawling over deadfall.  Or a person 70 years old would probably have to have a donkey or pack goat or three.

I decided over the years this is the place after I’d already published the Lost Adams Diggings book because of various pieces of information acquired after the book was published. 

Soooooo.

I just happened to notice on Coleen’s Workers on Wheels Newsletter:

NM: Seasonal Camp Hosting and Mini Storage
by Mountain Spirits RV Park – Mimbres, New Mexico 88049
(Work Camping with Stipend in the Historic Mimbres Valley)

Mountain Spirits RV Park in Mimbres, New Mexico, needs camp host couples for the 2013/14 season. Our campground consists of 20 RV sites and 52 self storage units.

The park is located 25 miles east of Silver City, New Mexico, at an elevation of 5800 feet. We are in the historic Mimbres Valley, which is the gateway to the Gila Wilderness.

Couples share duties for this position. They include cleaning and maintaining a neat appearance of the office and two modern restrooms, waiting on customers and residents during 8-5 business hours, and checking in guests. Yard work includes weeding and watering of landscaping and yard areas.

Couples will work the same three days and same shift.

We offer a 30amp space, free WiFi, and $100.00 a month credit towards electric and propane use. We also offer a $100.00 cash stipend per month to help with expenses.

We would appreciate at least a three month commitment, if possible.

The nearest shopping is in Silver City.

Cell phone coverage is either Verizon or TracPhone.

If interested in camp hosting with us, please call 575-574-7000 or email coveroadnm@yahoo.com. Be sure to let us know that you saw our Help Wanted ad on Coleen’s Workers On Wheels website when you contact us about this campground job. Bill and Wanda, Managers. Mountain Spirits RV Park – Mimbres, New Mexico 88049. Posted June 2013.

Any of you who think you might be interested in being the other half of a couple to apply for that, I’d be obliged if you contact me.  josephusminimus@hotmail.com and we can discuss it.  I’d hope if you’re the other half of a couple with me you’ll look after my cats on my days off while I go trekking up into the high canyons.

Searching for The Lost Granfalloons* – Mine

FAST-GROWING SUNSPOT: Barely visible when the weekend began, sunspot AR1619 has blossomed into a large active region more than three times as wide as Earth.  So far the growing sunspot has not produced any significant flares, but the quiet is unlikely to continue if its expansion continues apace. Fast-changing magnetic fields on the sun have a tendency to reconnect and erupt. NOAA forecasters estimate a 20% chance of M-class solar flares during the next 24 hours.  http://spaceweather.com/

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been watching SS 1619 and wondering what the hell is going on with Old Sol. Likely you’re wondering, as I am, why he persists in blessing us with all those weird smiley faces with Errol Flynn mustaches.  Wondering what he’s got up his sleeve.

I have the advantage on most of you because I’ve been messing around with rare earth magnets, glueing them behind cabinet doors in the RV to keep them closed.  So rapidly changing magnetic fields are fresh on my mind, along with the wrinkled, crispy fingertips acquired by fastening them in place with super glue.

Which has created a loose granfalloon Old Sol and I both belong to.

But I’m what most people would call a real cool guy, full of compassion and sensitivity for all you who aren’t in a granfalloon with Old Sol right now.  So I’m not going to arouse your fears and spoil your Thanksgiving holidays by telling you what he might have up his sleeve.

One of the shortcomings, in fact, with granfalloons is that it might be anything, anyway.  Your guess is as good as mine.

But I’ve digressed.  My main purpose in posting today is to tell you about some other granfalloons of my past are cropping up hither thither and yon in my sinookas**.  For reasons I dassn’t speculate about, a good many of them involve a search I used to do for a lost gold mine.  Strangers from hell to breakfast are sending me emails wanting to talk to me about it, hinting around that, though they haven’t been within a thousand miles of that country, they know where it is.  Or might be.

Some granfalloons just don’t let go once they get their teeth locked into your leg.

So maybe  all this busy, busy, busy*** going on around here right now is about me going out and searching for the Lost Granfalloons – Mine.

Not that I plan to bank any money on it.  I’m spang out of money until my SS pension check arrives.

Old Jules

* granfalloon – a false karass; i.e., a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist. An example is “Hoosiers“; Hoosiers are people from Indiana, and Hoosiers have no true spiritual destiny in common, so they really share little more than a name. Another example is a Cornellian, a student or graduate of Cornell University.

**sinookas – the tendrils of one’s life.

***Busy, busy, busy” – what a Bokononist whispers whenever he thinks about how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.

Escape Route [or Rout] Projects and Such

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I suppose any vehicle as old as this one and built as this one was built would inevitably require some fixup before becoming a cabin on wheels.  I mentioned in an earlier post about the springs sagging, and the springs have arrived, waiting for the new shocks to get here.

But I’m going to remove that AC unit up there to get rid of the weight, replace it with a roof vent, which is in transit.    That’s a lot of weight up there to be carrying around for something I’m unlikely to use much.  And there’s evidence the roof structure doesn’t need the challenge it provides.

I covered that crack in the front window with Gorilla tape for now, but ultimately I’m thinking I’ll cut a flat piece of panel to place behind it and fill in the bubble-void with insulation foam. 

Probably put a compartment in it for a GPS receiver with a better view of the sky than I’d get from the dashboard.

I’ll run Delorme Street Atlas on the laptop when I’m trying to navigate around towns, but I truly love Terrain Navigator where there’s enough variation in the terrain to justify using it.  I’m rigging a stand for the laptop to swivel from one of the passenger-side neck-support posts.

This thing just posted by itself.  I’m just going to finish it, editing in the rest, I reckons.

Anyway, once I get the AC off I’ll do a complete over on the roof with this stuff, and new caulking anywhere my imagination leads me.  The critical path on this part is that I can’t pull off the AC until the 14×14 roof vent arrives to replace it.

I’ve been feeling the walls and ceiling inside and out, drilling through and squirting in a lot of that Great Stuff foam where I find a void, of which there are a sufficient number to allow me a sense of accomplishment.

Then there’s the matter of the cats.  I’m making that overhead into a travel space for the cats to enjoy themselves in while we’re on the road.  A place where they can’t contrive to get underfoot, or jump out at a gas station to find a new life for themselves.

Once we’re parked somewhere it will go back to being a bed, whatever, but on the road it will be a cage.  They won’t like it, but they’ll like it better than all the alternatives they’d find in the alternative Universe they’d be choosing for themselves if they got loose.

And against the advice of people who know a lot more than I do about these matters, I’m going to find, or construct a small trailer to pull behind for large bags of cat food, tools, extra clothing, and probably some prospecting gear.

This thing’s for sale in San Antonio [Converse] on Craigslist for $100.  If I weren’t so far from SA I’d snap it up, gut it and convert it to a light haul trailer with a top to pull behind the Toyota.  Might be a ragged out popup is sitting behind someone’s house within a 40 mile radius they’d part with at a similarly righteous price.

But I’ve messed this post up enough for now.  Maybe I’ll go into this more later on a post I haven’t already posted.

Old Jules

A Matter of Curiosity, Mostly

Good morning readers:

I doubt anyone among the current readers is going to put my speculative assertions about the abundance of platinum of a few days ago to the test.  But someone who finds the blog on a search engine someday might.  It would be a lot simpler and easier today than it was a decade-or-so ago.  Not to mention cheaper.

So, for that potential reader, here’s what I’d suggest as a minor project:

Get one of these – They’re getting cheaper every day.  $100 will probably get you one.

QX5 Microscope – Digital Blue QX5 Digital Microscope

The QX5 Microscope is the upgraded version of the award-winning Intel QX3 computer USB microscope.

Explore the microscopic world with the only USB microscope that connects to a computer. The QX5 USB Microscope includes software that allows you to view, edit, animate and even measure samples, then create slideshows and videos. The QX5 USB Microscope has the mobility to come out of its base for the viewing of larger or possibly live samples in their natural habitats.

Then build one of these:

Build a high resolution spectrograph in 15 minutes

http://sci-toys.com/scitoys/scitoys/light/spectrograph/spectrograph.html

Find a weathered Quaternary caldera and dig into the inside of the rim, near the top, saving the sample below about an inch deep to a foot deep in a five gallon bucket.  Carefully, carefully, carefully pan down the sample until whatever’s heaviest is all that’s left on the bottom of the pan. 

Then do direct microscopy on the sample, after familiarizing yourself with the appearance of micron platinum.  If you see some prime suspects work the sample down a lot further, but saving the spoils because you’re going to be interested in whatever else is left in the sample, and micron minerals are prone to float on the static surface of the water.

Once you’ve got it separated, use the spectrograph you built to determine whether what you’re seeing is actually platinum, and what else is in there with it.

If you don’t have a Quaternary caldera, but would still like to give it a try, go somewhere with a history of active vulcanism during the Quaternary, find a corrugated culvert 4-5 feet diameter going under a road  downstream, but as far upgrade as possible.  Crawl into the culvert with a whisk-broom and large spoon and take concentrate samples from the bottoms of the corrugations.

Then do your direct microscopy and spectograpy on the concentrates, same as above.

You could do something similar from streambeds in mineral bearing areas, but you’d need to learn to ‘read’ a channel so’s to know where to take your samples.

Old Jules

Recapping the Lost Gold Mine Search

I think I’ve posted most of this before in earlier posts, but for those who weren’t here to read it at the time, I’ll do it again. 

A longtom sluicebox axed out of a 3 foot diameter log, a spring 75 feet above the sluice, an arrastra below.  I’d been walking past the arrastra a few years before I recognized it for what it was.  One day I was leaning against a deadfall aspen getting my breath, gazing at it, when it dawned on me that 500 pound rock had a reason for being shaped the way it was.

A burned out cabin ruin with an aspen tree growing out of the inside, bear claw marks 12 feet up, 3 hand forged nails. 

A mysterious map chiseled on the face of a 300 pound rock surface depicting the exact layout of the canyon, the cabin, the waterfall, all so accurately depicted the person had to have scrutinized the layout from the mountaintop, then scratched it on this stone 600 vertical feet below and half a mile away. 

The rock was carefully placed on the canyon wall above eye-level so it was easily seen, but only by someone looking up.

Dozens of places upgrade where the man worked the quartz outcroppings.

Symbols carved into rock faces long ago on the upper-west face of the mountain below the most heavily worked quartz outcroppings near the crest.  None of it made a hell of a lot of sense.

One day I was climbing around up there with my lady friend of the time, Jan.  Following the guy around, trying to figure out what the hell he was doing and why.  We came to a rock face with a quartz outcropping he’d been working, but stopped, obviously half-done.  Not like him at all.

I stepped back a few paces studying it, mildly confused.  Glanced at the ground at my feet and there lay an arrowhead, quarter-inch of the point broken off.  I believed I was looking at the reason he quit before the job was done.

But that long tom and that sluice were testimony the man [or men] working there were in a production mode.  They weren’t prospecting, they were processing ore.  Scrapings from the bottom surface of the sluice, burned and panned didn’t turn any signs of anything heavy.  Downstream just below the V-bottom of the canyon went 100 yards or so to a stricture might have once had a beaver dam, landslide, something clogging it so’s there was a flat bottom with maybe 7-8 feet of sediment.  Along one side a channel had been cut going through the sediment, but not all the way to the bottom of the V.  It would have been a major job getting to the bottom for sampling, never got around to it.

But from the bottom of the existing channel the pans showed a huge amount of heavy, heavy, heavy bead-like material, rusty brown.  Eventually spectroscopic assays showed what was mentioned a couple of posts ago.

And there was considerable more of it in other nearby canyons.

But we never found the source of whatever the guy was running through that longtom, what he was crushing with the arrastra.

Old Jules

The Undone, the Undead and the Unexpected

I should have named those claims the Onyx.  Everything about them, start-to-finish was Onyxpected.

Keep in mind, I was looking for evidence of a fairly specific group of legendary dead men who met their demise in the early 1860s.  Not just any old group of dead guys.  Special dead guys, though mostly nameless.

I’d been compiling, studying the versions of the legend, of accounts handed down by searchers, survivors and a lot of lies I couldn’t afford to judge without checking them out.  The evidence I was looking for was a burned out cabin ruin, maybe a sluicebox, something akin to a waterfall.  A pair of bare peaks roughly 20 miles to the north the legend called, ‘Piloncillos’.  Baldies.  Possibly a formation resembling the head of a bear.

Keith and I had been bouncing around that country for a couple of years, chasing dead men.  The Zuni Mountains, Santa Rita Mesa, Largo Canyon, Red Hill caldera, Pelona Mesa, the Sawtooths.  We saw a lot of fine real estate,  had plenty of adventure, but we hadn’t found anything to nail theory to anything on the ground.

Eventually I began assembling fragments of various versions of the legend, each at least mildly supported by some other version.  Began drawing circles at ten mile intervals outward from somewhat verifiable points, overlapping circles.  I ended up with a slice of orange peel on a map where the circles converged.   On a 7.5 minute USGS topo I counted 32 canyons within the orange peel that seemed to have possibilities.  Numbered them 1-32 with little stickers on the face of the map.

Keith was tied up in Santa Fe a day-or-so longer than I was, so I headed out, intending to cross some canyons off the map before he arrived, meet him at a camp on Elk Plateau when he got there. 

But canyon #3, I learned from a Hispanic rancher I met when I went to cross off Cabin Springs [canyon #2], had a burned out cabin ruin and something he described as a water-trough cut with an axe out of a 3′ diameter tree.  Late evening I arrived and set up camp on Elk Plateau to wait for Keith, me in a state of high anxiety.

But I’ve digressed. 

I was going to tell this story in full, but leading into the subject of platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium and osmium.  How, in those days a person would have a hell of a time even assaying for them, how if located, they had to be sold through the Platinum Consortium, which wasn’t interested in buying.  How the melting temperature of the stuff makes a serious challenge of smelting it, in any case.  How it takes a special kiln, a special crucible to do anything at all with platinum.

How the New Mexico Bureau of Mines assured me our expensive spectroscopic assay was meaningless, a scam.  “There’s no platinum in New Mexico,” they assured me.  How at the precise time they told me that piece of fiction, the Platinum Consortium was mining the tailings of 19th Century gold mines near White City, New Mexico, for platinum they didn’t want when those mines were active, maybe didn’t even recognize.

How Sunburst Mining Company opened an operation mining platinum, gold and silver in microscopic quantities on the edge of a caldera within view of the peak above my claims a couple of years later.

I’d figured on telling you how they employed over a hundred people over there for a few years, got crosswise with New Mexico Department of Environment, ran into financial problems in other mining locations, went kaput.

And I was going to tell you how Keith and I found a canyon of maybe the weirdest geology I’ve ever come across.  Named it No Name Canyon.

But hells bells, I reckons I’m going to have to save that for another day.

Meanwhile, if you’ve missed the other background on all this you can find it by exploring the tags and whatnot or searching the site for ‘lost gold mine’.

Old Jules

Gamblers, Gambling and Risk-taking

Previously blogged May 17, 2005

Saturday a recently acquired friend and I revisited one of the sites I spent a lot of time puzzling over during the search for the lost gold  mine.  The place was the focus of the ’98 search  and a good many years prior to that.  Sometimes it amazes me how many times I climbed and unclimbed the west face of that mountain, always finding something new and puzzling.  I spent most of a month camped at the top, friends coming in for a week or so, then heading back to their lives elsewhere without finding what we were looking for, but finding enough adventure, fellowship and mountain air for a while and remember as one of the good times.This was Jim’s first time up there.  We went in mainly to look at a rock pillar that’s peeling away from a cliff face.

It’s a formation that fascinated a man I’ve come to know awfully well by his work; a man I never met, but whom I followed around that mountain puzzling over what he did, how he did it and why he did it.  A man who lived and died 150 years ago, roughly.  A man who knew a gamble when he saw one, went into a canyon spang in the middle of Apache country at a time when the best he could hope for if he was a quick death, or if his luck was bad, hanging upside down over a slow fire.

I’ve been wearing the arrowhead that almost certainly killed him hanging from a leather thong around my neck for a decade or more.  The ruin a few charred logs high, a long-tom sluice he carved with an axe out of a three-foot diameter log, a 400 pound rock he chiseled down to use as an arrastra and a hundred or so signs and symbols he made on rocks, along with his various diggings are all that’s left to tell what kind of man he was.

A gambler, he was, gambling on being caught by Apaches, gambling a broken leg in a place where such a thing was sure death.  A man who believed in himself so thoroughly that in that setting that he pecked away at the base of a 50 ton pillar of rock trying to get at what was underneath until it gives a man the fantods even today to walk beneath it.

One of the things I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating as I watched Orion chasing the Pleiades across the night sky to the background music of wind in the treetops is the thought of how a man of that sort would feel about a world where low-level risk-taking is a criminal offense.

A time when edging the nose of  a vehicle onto the pavement without fastening the seat belt probably won’t get you hurt, but it will almost certainly get you a conversation with an armed pair of mirror sunglasses.  A time when risk is defined in how many years it might take you to get cancer from whatever you’re eating or smoking.  When excessive gambling is betting the grocery money at the blackjack table.

I wonder if he’d have played a wheel, or just picked a few numbers that suited him and bought a hundred tickets with the same six numbers on them, going for broke on something he believed in, the way he did in life.

One of the ways we define who and what we are includes what we’re willing to give up to travel around the sun a few more times.  That guy on the mountain wasn’t inclined to give up much.

Old Jules

Dear Hearts and Gentle People – [Bullet Holes in the Ceiling]

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

It must have been an Eve, Christmas or New Year, 1996 or 1997.  Keith and I, or Mel and I were partnered that trip and the cold, or the mud drove us into town.  We got a room in the motel you see just beyond the cafe with the chuckwagon on the roof.  Quemado was dead, every business in town shut down except the bar underneath the yellow sign on the right side of the picture.

Sometime after dark we wandered across the highway to the bar.  A couple of pickups were parked in front and we hoped there’d be a hamburger and beer to be had.  At least we figured it would be warmer than the motel room.

We stepped up to the bar and examined the half-dozen other customers through the smoke as we pulled off our coats.  Behind the bar a guy probably named Bad Teeth was grinning, looking us over.  Same as everyone else in there, all of whom appeared to be ten-generations of first cousins inter-married to Bad Teeth’s ancestors. 

“Any chance of getting something to eat?”  The faint odor of hamburgers lingered in the background.

Bad Teeth just grinned and looked past me at the badasses huddled over one of the tables.  “You won’t be here that long.”

“Long enough for a beer, anyway.”  My partner was showing signs of irritation.

“Only certain kinds of people come in here.”  My eyes followed where Bad Teeth was pointing at the cluster of bullet holes in the ceiling.  “Nobody else stays long.”

But my partner, Mister Wiseass, wasn’t looking at the ceiling.  He was letting his gaze size up all the drinkers, them doing the same to us.   “Gay bar in Quemado?”  He poked me in the ribs with his elbow, laughing.  “He’s right.  If anyplace else was open we ought to go there.”

The door was only a few steps away.  I grabbed his arm and headed for it.  “Let’s go there anyway.  The smoke’s stuffing up my sinuses.”  I suppose we’d have just been too much trouble.  Nobody followed us out to the street. 

Or maybe it really was a gay bar.  I’m happy enough not knowing. 

Bad judgement was driving to Quemado instead of another  80 miles to Springerville, AZ, if we wanted something as complicated as a hamburger.  Just saying.

When Ned Sublette used to sing the song linked below at a honkytonk out on the West Mesa in Albuquerque he always got out alive.  Maybe all those cowboys were just glad someone finally said it.

Old Jules

Ned Sublette:  Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other:

 

Dinah Shore 1949 – Dear Hearts and Gentle People

 

‘Squirrelly’ Armijo Survives his own Funeral

A legendary man in the Quemado/Reserve area nicknamed ‘Squirrelly’ Armijo had a good working claim down near Queen’s Head in the Gallos near Apache Creek in the 1940s  through the 1960s. Maybe that’s where he came across a skeleton, and probably just figured he might as well take it home, so he put it in his truck.
Driving up those winding mountain roads he lost control of the truck and rolled it. Squirrelly was thrown clear and the truck caught fire. He must have been out of his head, maybe with a concussion, because he evidently wandered into the mountains in a daze.

The police arrived and found the burned out truck with a skeleton inside and assumed because the truck belonged to him the remains were Squirrelly’s. He was pronounced dead, an expensive funeral held, and he was buried.

Twelve days later Squirrelly wandered out of the woods several miles away, which was a source of, first joy and awe, then suspicion. Initially it was thought he’d killed the person the skeleton belonged to. Then the lawsuits began, the Armijo family and the Funeral home arguing heatedly about who owed money to whom for burying some anonymous skeleton.

The story is so well-known it was used in a book about forensic pathology in New Mexico during the 1990s, the forensic pathologist explaining such a thing could never happen these more enlightened times.  Journey in Forensic Anthropology, Stanley Rhine, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1998.  Author Rhine elected to change Squirrelly’s surname to Aramando to avoid any sort of civil action.   The Armijo family’s been herding sheep in that country since the time there was nobody out there but them and Mimbres Apaches.  A lot of them are still there.

“A Premature Funeral

“Bones and Fire
“On June 4, 1959, Forest Service lookouts reported smoke rising from what was assumed to be a small forest fire just east of the Arizona state line, among the 8,000-feet peaks of the San Francisco Mountains of southwestern New Mexico. A firefighting crew dispatched to the scene discovered no forest fire, but an automobile burning furiously on the side of a gravel forest road. Dousing the flames, they found a mass of burned flesh, a skull, some other bones, and some teeth resting inside the burned-out hulk.

“The car was found to belong to a Mr. Armando, well known in the
lightly populated region. His fiery demise prompted the organization of a six-person coroner’s inquest in Catron County. According to former Catron County Sheriff and now Washoe County ( Nevada) Coroner Vernon McCarty, the “six responsible citizens” required by 1950s New Mexico law were most easily found by the justices of the peace at a local bar.

“McCarty observed that an insufficiency of able-bodied citizens could be remedied either by visiting several such spots or by prolonging the official quest at one of them for as long as it took to empanel the necessary six people.

“The resulting coroner’s jury in this case was made up of ranchers, Forest Service firefighters, two bartenders, and a service station attendant. It concluded that the remains were “badly burned and charred beyond positive identification,” according to the Albuquerque Journal for June 17, 1960. Nonetheless, an identification was made by Armando’s two brothers-in-law and the district attorney, apparently functioning in his multiple roles of death investigator and skeletal “expert.” That it was Armando was attested to the by the fact that the human skull was accompanied by some impressively large upper incisors. These prominent choppers had . . .”

Probably Squirrelly never paused to wonder about any moral or ethical issues when he put that skeleton into his truck. He just did it absent-mindedly the way any of us might.  Probably somewhat as Mel did on Gobblers Knob:

Exploring Alley Oop’s Home Circa 1947.

I suppose the Squirrelly story came to mind because it’s a synopsis of the possibilities carried to the ultimate extreme, accompanied by the fact I recently had an email from his great-nephew wanting to ask some questions about my mention of his Queenshead claim in my lost gold mine book.

Old Jules

Previous posts:  Skulls, skeletons and homicides:

The Ruin Skull – A Long Day Ago

Cold Mystery, Fevered Romance and Lost Gold

The Strangeness – Background Context of Unsolved Homicides

Meanwhile, today on Ask Old Jules:  Mirror Holds Information From the Past? -

Old Jules, if someone had a mirror from 40+ years ago, could something be gathered from its backing?

Old Jules replies:  The pastametric pressure of all that stored history would almost certainly explode backward opening a hole into a parallel universe carrying with it the identities and souls of everyone who ever looked into the mirror.  Read more …..