Desert Rat Scrap Book archive

Friends Of Old Fort Oliver, Org.
The Old Dream Merchant!
Desert Rat Scrap Books - Etc.


Welcome to the Harry Oliver archive! But there's more here than just HO/DRSB stuff. Below are links to tales of the fabulous Lost Ship(s) of the Desert(s) and their lost cargo.

We need your contributions of memorabilia, images and texts to fill in the holes. [hint, hint...] Join the Desert Rat Scrap Book discussion group and post or upload your treasures there.   Enjoy —Ric

 Ship Ahoy!

Lost Ship(s) Of The Desert

Is there a Spanish galleon, perhaps fully laden with buckets and barrels of fabulous black pearls, buried somewhere beneath the unforgiving parched sands of the Salton Sink or under the steaming toxic waters of the Salton Sea? Harry Oliver published three accounts of the desert ship legend in the DRSB (below). See the following informative pieces and draw your own conclusions. Then grab yourself a shovel, metal detector, GPS system, wide-brim hat, snakebite kit, shotgun and canteen - and get to work.

NOTE: Any information or contributions you can provide will be most welcome. But don't expect to find me out under the desert sun digging for treasure!

LOST SHIP OF THE DESERT: A Legend Of The Southwest by Harold O. Weight - a folio from The Calico Print (Nov. 1953). Contents include:
Lost Ship Of The Desert - Harold O. Weight
A Ghost Of The Vikings? - Paul Wilhelm
Mystery Of The Desert - J.A. Guthrie
The Lost Spanish Galleon - L. Burr Belden
The Serpent-Necked "Canoa" - Ed Stevens
Butcherknife Ike and the Lost Ship - Adelaide Arnold
The Story Of The Pearl Ship - O.J. Fisk
from the San Bernadino Guardian, 1870-71:
- The Quest For The Lost Ship
- The Desert Ship
D.R.S.B. Accounts
The Spanish Galleon Of Salton Sea by Antonio de Fierro Blanco, in DRSB 1-11, 1961
The Spanish Galleon At The Bottom Of The Salton Sea by Harry Oliver, in DRSB 3-3, 1950
A Ship In The Algodones by David O. Woodbury, in DRSB 3-3, 1950
Search Resources
Google the Web for Lost Ship Of The Desert and for Juan De Iturbe's Lost Pearl Ship and just for Juan De Iturbe and his Lost Pearl Ship. And look for Fierro Blanco and Hakluyt’s Voyages California.

(More coming, when I find something good...)

RV JOURNAL Compendium
SHIPS IN THE SAND by "Kookie" Suprin, Fall 2001, RV Journal. This article only tangentially deals with the legend, but valuable references include:
Phantom Ship of the Gran Desierto by Harvey Gray, Apr 1974 ­ Desert Magazine
Charley Clusker and the Lost Ship by Harold O. Weight, Mar 1977 ­ Desert Magazine
Lost Ships: Fact or Fiction, editorial, Jan 1939 ­ Desert Magazine
Lost Ship of the Desert by Charles C. Niehus, Jan 1939 ­ Desert Magazine
Lost Ships of the Desert by Bill Boyd, Mar 1966 ­ Desert Magazine
Various Articles
The Lost Ship of The Mojave by Rev Will Sheephogan, Ancient Lost Treasures, Jan 2004
The Lost Ships Of The Mojave Desert by "Kookie" Suprin: Part II, Spring 2001 — Part III, Summer 2001 — Part IV, Fall 2001 (see SHIPS IN THE SAND above)
The Lost Ships Of The Mojave Desert by Paul Roberts, RV Journal, Fall 2000
Surf and Turf - Treasure Galleon of the Mohave Desert By Ken Weinman, June 2000 ­ Lost Treasure Newsletter
Lost Ships Of The Desert by P. Laflin, 1995, The Periscope, Indio, California
Lost Desert Ship and Lost Viking Ship by Mike Marinacci, from Mysterious California, 1988
The Lost Ships Of The Desert by S. Harris AND MORE
The Lost Pearl Ship By Dylan E. Prentiss
The Last Voyage Of The Content by Tim McCrerey
Amazing Treasure Ship of the California Desert by Al Masters, July 1977, Lost Treasure magazine.
Tall Tales (The Lost Pearl Ship of Juan De Iturbe) by Walter Chalfant, from ­ Gold, Guns & Ghost Towns, 1947

The Carl Barks (Disney) Lost Ship Connexion

Carl Barks drew one of the finest Disney comicbook adventures, The Seven Cities of Cibola - Uncle Scrooge #7, which is a Lost Ship of the Desert tale that had its origins at Indio / 1000 Palms. Here's Geoffrey Blum's trenchant review, Wind from a Dead Galleon, and some further backstory notes by Daniël van Eijmeren: seven cities of cibola. And don't miss John Steele Gordon's profile of Barks, Uncle Scrooge’s Father.

DisneyWorld incorporates Barks' imagery in their Coronado Springs resort - see The Digsite - The Lost City Of Cibola. Some of Barks' visuals were stolen, er adapted for Raiders of the Lost Ark. The Lost Ship legend also spawned a more recent film, Ghost Ship. For more, search for Cibola+Barks.

Thanks so much to 'DuneSong' Anne, who brought up the Barks connexion and who contributed the link to the comicbook images, as well as this: A la California: Sketches of Life in the Golden State (scroll down to page 201) - she writes, "there is just a brief reference to the ship but the whole thing makes for an interesting read." Yup!

Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge Adventures in Color #7
Commentary by former publisher, Bruce Hamilton.

  One of the best remembered and most treasured stories of the 500 plus that Carl Barks wrote and drew is "The Seven Cities of Cibola," which originally appeared in the seventh issue of Uncle Scrooge comics (September 1954), also featuring Donald Duck and the nephews, Gyro Gearloose and the Beagle Boys.
  "This tale results from more research than I usually devoted to my comic work," Barks once recalled. The lost ship of the desert, the fate of Admiral de Ulloa, and the location of the Seven Cities of Cibola came from reading very old books in the La Jolla (California) library."
  Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, both admirers of Carl Barks and collectors of his original art paid ultimate homage to the Old Duck Man's genius by hijacking Cibola's emerald guardian for the opening sequence of the first Indiana Jones film, "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Fascinating details about Barks' research for "The Seven Cities of Cibola" -- the first Uncle Scrooge treasure hunt -- and more about Spielberg and Lucas' interest in Carl Barks is told in Geoffrey Blum's two-page article, "Wind from a Dead Galleon."

The Gene Autry (comics) Connection

"Dunesong" Anne of the DRSB group contributed this goodie, a panel from an old Gene Autry story about a (guess what?) lost ship in the desert. The source is Gene Autry Comic Book, issue #52. The title of story is Gene Autry and the Desert Ship. Maybe someday she'll scan and email me the whole story, hint hint. She writes,

The interesting variation on this one is the ship is lost in an old dry (disused, abandoned?) Colorado River channel and is covered and uncovered by flash floods from nearby washes.

And More Lost Desert Ships

Some fringe Egyptologists have their own tale: Ships of the Desert
Aircraft Carrier of the Desert: Flying Dutchman at Edwards AFB
Some Different Kinds of Ships: Submarines in the Desert
Another Submarine in the Desert: USS Hawksbill, Aground

(Still looking - stay tuned - more to come)

Lost Booze In The Desert, etc

Besides the usual tales of lost treasures (on shipboard or not), related lore tells of wagons loaded with fine liquors bound for Old Alta California, caught in sudden sandstorms and buried under the relentless infinite dunes, aging for centuries now, smooth as silk. Harry mentions parts of the legend here and here and here, and Bob Wynn tells another part here. I'll try to dig up some online references Real Soon Now...

For more mysteries, see the Desert Mysteries section - if you DARE!

click for source
DRSB ! Bisbee ! Elvis !!

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Ric Carter,,, copyright © by OTRSS