Lost Desert Ship Still Holds Public Imagination

by Dave Sadler

Lapped by Moonlight Canyon, Indian Gorge, and Hellhole Canyon is, as explorer Albert S. Evans described it, “the grim and silent ghost of a dead sea.” California’s Colorado Desert may still cling to remnants of its aquatic past life. Legend has it that the carcass of a once great ship lays beneath its golden sands. Here are the accounts of a few who have made the tale a part of their personal narratives.

One of the most discussed sightings occurred in 1933. Librarian Myrtle Botts was hiking with her husband in the Anza-Borrego desert state park near the Mexican border, where they enjoyed wildflowers, and hoped to find a new species of desert flora

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  • boo radley

    Several factors preclude the possibility of a viking ship high on the cliffs of canebrake canyon. One is that the level of Lake Cahuilla (Salton Sea) never approached that level. The other is even though the area has been uplifted by earthquakes they predate human civilization by over 100,000 years. There is evidence of a spanish ship crossing into the lshallow sea during a high water period and getting stuck when trying to cross back into the Sea of Cortez in the 1500s. It is down by the anci

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