Photography, history, and stories from all my treks plus crafts, antiques, art, and much more...
The Mysteries of Gila Bend
There is one little town set in the middle of the desert that wouldn’t appear to be a hotspot of UFO and even Bigfoot activity, but Gila Bend can brag that it is. Founded in 1872 and located in Maricopa County, Arizona, Gila Bend gets its name from the 90 degree bend found in the Gila River at the point where the town is established. With a population of about 2,055 people living in this town, it is the roadside attractions, Spaced Age Lodge and unusual theme of the place that seems to keep the tourist and enthusiasts coming along with the UFO hunters. Gila Bend is a popular place for many UFO sightings. There have been numerous reports of strange objects and lights in the sky which have been hard to explain.
Here is some history of Gila Bend from Wikipedia: “The town of Gila Bend is situated near an ancient Hohokam village. When Father Eusebio Francisco Kino visited in 1699, the older site along fertile banks of the Gila River had been abandoned by another early tribe called the Opas, who instead used the river to irrigate their crops at a nearby rancheria. This same rancheria was visited by Juan Bautista de Anza, commander of the Presidio at Tubac and founder of the city of San Francisco, and by Father Francisco Tomas Garces in 1774. The nickname the "Crossroads of the Southwest" stems from the area having been part of an important transportation route in the settling, development and growth of the Great Southwest. Gila Bend was the "center of a wheel", with spokes leading in many directions throughout the region. A more recent event in the area was the October 1995 sabotage of the Amtrak Sunset Limited train.”
Among the quirky roadside attractions and the space age café are many mysterious graves. No one is sure who is buried in most of them, but they seem to be all over the town. Another reported sighting that you would never equate with a desert town is that of the elusive Bigfoot. On some of the rocks in the middle of the desert, picture graphs have been found with drawings indicating a large hairy creature was seen in that area. Others have their own eerie stories of encounters with the beast.
Sharon (Autumnforest, Ghost Hunting Theories ) and I are taking another one of our daytrips, this time to Gila Bend. On our way are the abandoned trailer park and the burnt down house we found. By the way Max Evel, we are giving you a days notice to clean up the park for your visitors. I am confident that you can get it done. Anyhow, I will be taking lots of photos of the trip while Sharon will be documenting the trip on her flip camera. Look for both of us to do one or more posts on the trip depending on how much information we collect.
Immersed in the Hereford’s history in Eagar, AZ, sits the 26 Bar Ranch. It was first known as the Milky Way Ranch in the 1940’s with its big white show barn which housed many Hereford cattle. The barn is now a local landmark. In 1964 the ranch became the 26 Bar Ranch or John Wayne’s Ranch, who was one of the owners. Wayne, along with Ken Reafsnyder and Louis Johnson, his business partners, kept the ranch until John Wayne’s death in 1979 from lung and stomach cancer. Lately, I have heard rumors that Bigfoot has been seen near the ranch. I don’t know if that is true or not, but it would be worth checking out. John Wayne and Louis Johnson
We have been to this trailer park for 12 years now. When we first laid eyes on it, there were several trailers still sitting on the land. Three were intact, while one was about to collapse. As we went there through the years, we watched two trailers disappear without a trace. The swing set that was still set up finally fell down from the harsh environment. The last remaining trailer finally crumpled and looks like a pile of rubbish. What once was a trailer park or graveyard, now looks like a junkyard. We ended up finding some items to take home and took lots of pictures. I think this is the last time we will go there. Time to find other abandoned places to photograph.
There are many strange stories in the Arizona files. One that is told is about the mummy found in the desert near Gila Bend nicknamed “Sylvester”. Many believe that he once was a 19th century cowboy, a con that loved to play cards. Stories are told that he finally got caught cheating and was shot in the stomach. He made a hasty exit while bleeding profusely from his wound. He got as far as Arizona’s Gila Bend desert when he fell off his horse and died face down in the sweltering heat. Shortly afterwards, he was covered by the blowing sands, which appeared to have dried his body overnight. This apparently preserved his body resulting in the mummified form he was found in. The more believable story was that he was found shortly after death and preserved in a high level of arsenic. Arsenic was used to stop the physical occurrences of a corpse rotting by killing bacteria and insects that invaded it. This custom of using arsenic was found to be poisonous by the 1900’s and never used
I'm bummed out, Ms. Julie, because Autumnforest says she's not taking me along with you two. I think it's cause I'm getting into lots of trouble, but I can't help myself. She even introduced my two doll-friends to each other and they didn't know I was seeing both of them at the same time. I'm a bad boy.ReplyDelete
That place is freaky central. I can't wait. Plus, I can't wait to get away from Dale for a while!ReplyDelete
Sorry Dale but we can't have you running amok in Gila Bend and getting us in trouble.ReplyDelete
Autumn, I can't blame you since he has been a rambunctious little doll lately. I can't wait for you to show me all the cool places and photo opts.