Sunday, November 27, 2011
Superstition Mountains Claims More Lives
Sadly, on this past Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, a twin engine plane took off from Mesa’s Falcon Field airport and crashed in the Superstition Mountains. On board were the pilot and father, his three children, a co-pilot, and a mechanic who were headed to Safford. The children were to spend Thanksgiving with their father this year. Some witnesses said they saw a blue light followed by an explosion and then a large fireball. It took rescuers a while to get to the crash site because they had to use a DPS helicopter, then two by two they were dropped off on the top of the mountain, and had to hike in to where the plane went down. There were no survivors. The Superstition Mountains have a steep and rocky terrain and have claimed many lives in the past especially from those seeking the riches of the mysterious “Lost Dutchman Mine”.
Last year, July 2010, there was a report of three men who hiked into the mountains looking for the Lost Dutchman’s mine. They had been hiking the mountains in the day and returning to their motel room at night. The area they focused on was about 40 miles east of Phoenix where they would spend the day exploring the area looking for the elusive mine. Since they were only taking day hikes, they did not have the provisions and equipment to spend the night in the sweltering desert. Their vehicle was spotted in the parking lot where the trail begins. When they didn’t check in with their family the following Sunday, they became alarmed and called authorities. With the soaring temperatures of about 115 degrees, they are not expecting a good ending to this story. Searchers have swept about 100 miles of the harsh desert and rugged mountain terrain looking for the three men. There were rumors that this story was a hoax. I haven’t been able to confirm that as of yet.
The Superstition Mountains were named for all the tragedy that the gold seekers came across while searching for the gold mine. Many met their demise either from the Apaches, the extreme heat or the elements or the harsh desert. One of the rock shapes that people come across while searching for the mine in the mountains, is Weaver’s Needle. This tall mass stands as a symbol for all of those who searched, and possibly died, never finding the Lost Dutchman Mine.