Friday, April 22, 2011

Thomas Noguchi, Cielo Coroner
Strange Happenings:
Verdugo Hills Cemetery, meets Cielo Drive Coroner, Thomas Noguchi.
Lynn said: "Thomas Noguchi did the autopsies for Cielo Drive and was also involved in the bodies that washed away from the cemetery. There are actual photos from a local newspaper where people found human remains such as feet in their garden"
 "Also, students from a local high school, broke into the cemetery and were propping up dead bodies, putting cigarettes in the deceased mouth and having their pictures taken with them. The students were eventually caught".

Thomas Noguchi - Interviewed November 1986 by Douglas Stein
Noguchi Sates: "After a torrential rain the whole topsoil of the old cemetery in Verdugo Hills, California, started sliding. It happened to contain over ahundred bodies that floated first across the street, then into the yards and into the living rooms of houses and the doorway of the supermarket. It was a tragic scene. My staff tried to ascertain who had jurisdiction by calling a county lawyer. I said, "Forget it, I am going." I was the first on the scene to represent a governmental agency, and I ordered the public works' heavy bulldozers in. Those bodies posed a health hazard. So we moved.
The Verdugo Hills persons had drowned in a flood and had been buried soaking wet in caskets. These bodies changed to an almost soaplike consistency that resists decay. The corpses looked more like horror-movie ghouls than ordinary corpses. Adipocere, as it's called, happens when a combination of moisture and highly alkaline soil reacts with fat tissue and solidifies into a soaplike consistency".
Full Story: http://www.astralgia.com/webportfolio/omnimoment/archives/interviews/noguchi.html
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Related Story from Kimchi:
"Vandals Exhume Bodies From Crypts"... 11-14-96 - Yvonne Milosevic - LA Times.
In a gruesome act, vandals broke into eight crypts at the abandoned Verdugo Hills Cemetery and exhumed the bodies, propping one corpse up against the crypt and shoving a cigarette in its mouth, Los Angeles police said Wednesday.  A volunteer caretaker who last visited the cemetery in October discovered the macabre scene Tuesday afternoon.  The mortuary is trying to locate family members of the exhumed bodies.
In the 1970s the cemetery fell into disrepair. It lost its license in 1976 and since then has experienced a series of bizarre pranks and natural disasters.  Heavy rains in 1978 sent corpses and coffins sliding down the hillside into neighbors' yards, leaving 41 graves partially exposed. The city spent more than $200,000 to collect and store the corpses and build a retaining wall to prevent another landslide.  Even so, five bodies were exposed after heavy rains in February 1980.
Full Story Here:  http://articles.latimes.com/1996-11-14/local/me-64634_1_exhumed-bodies
Thanks Lynn and Kimchi!!

74 comments:

Kimchi said...

Eewww..can you imagine? Opening your front door and a "soap like" body lying there? That would be creepy..

What an interesting life Noguchi had, so many high profile cases during his time as Coroner, even
Bobby Kennedy..but I wouldn't want that job...I wouldn't even want to work there.

North Mission Road was a docu-series that was on for a few years and took you inside and on ride-alongs, ever watch it?

katie8753 said...

Hi Kimchi. I agree. You get up and get your first cup of coffee, go out to get the paper, and there's a half rotted corpse on your porch. Likened to a horror movie ghoul. YIKES.

Interesting reading on Noguchi. I knew he was top notch in his field and was very good at doing autopsies, but didn't realize his extreme dedication.

I saw where he was at Cielo Drive right after the murders. I always thought that was kind of strange, thinking that medical examiners don't see the bodies until after they're taken from the scene of the crime. But he makes a lot of sense visiting the crime scene.

Interesting that he liked to look in the fridge to get a better understanding of the victim. I wonder if he looked in the fridge at Cielo Drive???

I found his explanation of rigor mortis very interesting. I'd never read exactly why that happens and he explains it well.

Never saw North Mission Road. Any info on where to find it?

katie8753 said...

Those bodies floating out of that cemetery reminds me of the movie Poltergeist. I wonder if that's where they got the idea.

"You didn't move the bodies...you only moved the headstones".

HA HA.

Kimchi said...

I think reruns of North Mission Road is on A&E or Biography...

LA Coroners even have a gift shop..you can buy toe-tag key chains and coffee mugs, all kinds of stuff for the macabre, it's called "Skeletons in the Closet"--Saint C needs to visit that when he's out here.

Lynn said...
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Kimchi said...

Lynn, did you live around there when this happened?

Lynn said...
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Kimchi said...

Interesting, how old is it? What is the oldest grave?

katie8753 said...

Thanks Kimchi. I'll have to check those channels to see if if can find that. Yes, Circumstance needs to visit the coroners office to see what trinkets he can pick up. LOL.

Lynn, that's really sad about that cemetery. There are a lot of bodies buried there that they're not sure who they are?

I believe it said that these people died in a flood and were just dropped into coffins sopping wet, therefore the decay process was slowed down.

I guess that was done in haste.

Lynn said...

Opened in 1922 and closed in 1976

Lynn said...
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Lynn said...
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Kimchi said...

There's been other cemetary scandals in LA - Paradise Cemetery where the caretaker was digging up remains and reselling the plots..they found all those bones in a shed on the property...what people do for money!

Lynn said...
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Kimchi said...

I didn't hear about Glendale, what happened there?

Lynn said...
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Kimchi said...

Hey Lynn, wasn't the Hillside Strangler(s) in Burbank and that area?

We had Richard Ramirez out my way..

Lynn said...
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LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

OK... Major Cathing-Up To Do!
Starting from the top. LOL


Kimchi said>>>>
"Eewww..can you imagine? Opening your front door and a "soap like" body lying there? That would be creepy".

These events are so bizarre, it's like pages straight-out of a science-fiction novel.
It's almost surreal.
Honestly, I had to read these articles a few times, to believe these things really happened.
It's like that old saying "sometimes truth is stranger than fiction"


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Kimchi said>>>>
"What an interesting life Noguchi had, so many high profile cases during his time as Coroner, even
Bobby Kennedy".

It IS quite the interesting read.
For a guy born in Japan, he really became a huge part of American History.
He's directly connected to ALL the hugest cases and headlines.
Jeez... the Kennedy Assasination, and Tate alone, are quite enough to cement anyone in the history books forever!

Evidently, he returned home to Japan, and was presented with a very prestigious award, comparable to being "knighted" in Britain, I guess.
Word has it, he decided to retire on that very day.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Katie said>>>>
"Interesting that he liked to look in the fridge to get a better understanding of the victim. I wonder if he looked in the fridge at Cielo Drive"??

Katie said>>>
"I found his explanation of rigor mortis very interesting. I'd never read exactly why that happens and he explains it well".

That's ironic, because I didn't read the entire article, but those are the two sections I decided to read myself... the crime scene/refrigerator thoughts, and the "rigor" explanation. LOL

He explained that the body goes into "rigor" (stiffens) starting with the jaw... down the neck, to the arms... downward to the legs last.
Top to bottom.
Then it "loosens", in the exact opposite direction, starting in about 48 hours.
He explained that the loosening begins, as connective tissue breaks-down.
Sorry... I know, kinda gross.

As for the refrigerator thing...
I think he was just hungry, looking for a free lunch at each location, and needed a good allibi! LOLOL
J/K : )

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Kimchi said>>>>
"LA Coroners even have a gift shop..you can buy toe-tag key chains and coffee mugs, all kinds of stuff for the macabre, it's called "Skeletons in the Closet"--Saint C needs to visit that when he's out here".

Toe-tag key chains and coffee mugs!
That's hilarious! hahaha

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Lynn said>>>>
The Verdugo Hills Cemetery is now closed. A fence sits around it. For years, it was mismanaged and bodies were not properly taken care of, catalogued (for lack of a better term), so there are many bodies up in the cemetery that either they aren't sure who they are or where they are buried. The cemetery was actually built for a Parsons of Methodist faith, who wanted to be buried on the hill and overlooking the valley. At that time there were no roads, so they carried the coffin up the steep hill.

Interesting Stuff Lynn!
Jeez... they carried a coffin all the way up that hill by hand?
That's dedication! : )
I was reading about some of the mis-management, of which you speak.
There's so much there, you could do a thread, on that angle alone.

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Lynn said>>>>
The Vons where I shop now is the store where the body came floating down the hill and wedged itself in the door.

OMGoodness!
You know where the actual store is, where the body got wedged in the doorway?!
Wow... you ladies are incredible!
Amazing the store is still open.
Although, many times that kind of wild publicity, can be great for a location.
I guess it's true... "no publicity, is bad publicity".

Panamint Patty said...

very good post - this one and the last one about the Hog Farm. Mr. Patty is getting the itch to do some offroading...

Lynn said...
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katie8753 said...

The Hillside Strangler is actually two men, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono. They did kill in the Glendale area.

I read the book about Richard Ramirez. That was one nasty guy.

Boy, all these cemetery scandals. You gotta be pretty low to re-sell plots and stack bodies. YUUCCCHHH.

Lynn said...
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LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

((((((((((PATTY))))))))))

Thanks Patty, and WELCOME!

Off-Roading... SWEET!!!!

I've never owned a 4x4 truck, but I owned MANY off-raod motorcycles in my younger, mis-spent youth! LOL
That was, by far, my favorite hobby.
Needless to say... between that, and "keg parties"... I spent a LOT of time in the woods! LOL

Peace... and great to see ya!

BTW...
You still have the best screen-name in "Mansonland"! ; )

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Do you guys/girls remember those "Faces of Death" videos from the mid 80's? AHahahaha

This topic kinda reminds me of those films. LOL

Bodies (and body parts) floating out of cemeteries, into people homes... this is crazy stuff!

katie8753 said...

California is an "endlessly interesting" state to visit. I guess it depends on your interests, but not only am I interested in the Manson case and everything they did in the 60's, I'm also interested in the very beginnings of cinema, silent movies, talkies, etc.

I love those old mansions built in the 20's & 30's, most of which are still occupied, having been remodeled over and over again.

The Hearst Castle, The Remington House, Alcatraz....main you can't find a better place to vacation and explore!!!

I MISS IT!!!

Lynn said...

Yes...I remember the Faces of Death...great watching material after a night at the bar and while eating pizza...

katie8753 said...

Faces of Death??

I know I'm a die-hard horror movie fan, but I passed on that one. Too much reality.

HA HA HA.

Lynn said...
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Mary said...

Faces of Death - once again Thomas Noguchi...he was actually in one of them...geez - this guy is almost like playing the Kevin Bacon six degrees game

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Lynn said>>>>
"Yes...I remember the Faces of Death...great watching material after a night at the bar and while eating pizza"...

Yeah!
Remember how stupid that narrator was though? AHahaha
"And now, we take you to the Swiss Alps... where Franz has a date with destiny". LOLOL

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Are you kidding me Mary??
Noguchi really was in "Faces of Death"?!
For Reals???
AHahahaha ROFLMAO

Oh, that's priceless.
I guess I'm not that demented after all. : )

This just keeps getting better by the second.
We may never need another thread. : )

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Mary said>>>>
"this guy is almost like playing the Kevin Bacon six degrees game".

AHahaha
Yeah, you could fashion an entire "trivial pursuit" board game around this dude.

"Hey look guys, I got the new Noguchi Trivial Pursuit... version 2.0"!

Mary said...

Seriously

Faces of Death (1980) Directed by
John Alan Schwartz (as Conan Le Cilaire)

Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
John Alan Schwartz (as Alan Black)


Cast (in credits order) Michael Carr ... Dr. Francis B. Gröss
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Samuel Berkowitz ... Himself; Cryogenics patient
Mary Ellen Brighton ... Herself; suicide victim shown jumping out of a window
Thomas Noguchi ... Himself
Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
John Alan Schwartz ... Leader of Flesh Eating Cult (uncredited)

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

That's insane.

Noguchi led quite a life... and he's still alive!

Can you imagine the stories that dude could tell?!

He must have been at the top of a lot of guest lists. LOL

The subject of John Kennedy alone, would be quite an evening.

katie8753 said...

I wonder if Noguchi was ever on Hollywood Squares??? HA HA.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Katie said>>>
"I wonder if Noguchi was ever on Hollywood Squares??? HA HA".

Honestly Katie, at this point, I wouldn't be surprised in the least.
The guy was involved with the autopsies of Marilyn Monroe, Robert F. Kennedy, Janis Joplin, Albert Dekker, William Holden, John Belushi, Natalie Wood, Sharon Tate, and Gia Scala.
He had at least four books based on him, AND the TV series Quincy, M.E. (1976–1983), which starred Jack Klugman.
He was in the original "Faces of Death" film.
When you consider the fact that he was right there, in the Hollywood area, all those years... it's actually somewhat likely.
Especially, when you consider all the lesser names they've had on that show. LOL

"Noguchi for the win please". LOL

Mary said...

I swear I am googling everything with Thomas Noguchi connected to it...Trival Pursuit Thomas Noguchi - Nothing

Hollywood Squares Thomas Noguchi - Nothing...

maybe not quite the six degrees of separation - but it has to be damn close

Ken619 said...

Lynn said...
I have become fascinated with the Salton Sea and am trying to talk my other half into a mini vacation there and to perhaps stay in Borrego Springs

My dad lives in Borrego. There isn't much to see at The Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is refered to as Rosevelt's Folly. This is due to him having the Colorado River damed and it filling the desert up with water. This happened due to that area being below sea level. Now what keeps it full of water is the agriculture run off from Imperial Valley. It's full of pesticides and smells. If it wasn't for the farming, it wouldn't be there. It's not a natual body of water. If you are traveling far, not worth the trip. Borrego is a nice place to visit though

Lynn said...
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katie8753 said...

Lynn take lots of pics when you go there. Especially the history. That's so interesting.

>>>We did that recently in Bakersfield and had a blast.>>

Bakersfield???

That reminds me of a song.

Dwight Yoakum, a/k/a Doyle Hargraves. HA HA.

Man, that guy has a cute butt!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBaVUaHlZm8

katie8753 said...

"Now ain't that sweet???" (That Doyle - Slingblade)

HA HA.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hi Lynn!

Thanks again, for the two great threads.
The Hog Farm, Verdugo Cemetery, Coroner Noguchi... all very interesting topics.
Your knowledge of the history out there is impressive, and you express yourself fabulously.
Great Stuff Lynn!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Lynn said>>>>
"I am fascinated at the characters who live there and how an area once touted as the next big thing in the same vein as Palm Springs could deteriorate and become what it is today. The photos of abandoned properties etc is fascinating to me".

Lynn you'd LOVE Jerome, Arizona!
Seriously... you'd be in absolute rapture. LOL

I visited Arizona, 20 years ago, for a 6-week vacation... primaraily to see the Grand Canyon.

There was a modern-day "ghost town" in Jerome, Arizona.
It was one of the best parts of the trip.
An entire town was established in 1883, atop "Cleopatra Hill", for the purpose of mining.

Jerome became a notorious "wild west" town... a hotbed of prostitution, gambling, and vice.
On 5 February 1903, the New York Sun proclaimed Jerome... "the wickedest town in the West".


The town mined gold, silver and copper... but, copper was their main commodity.

By 1950's, the area was "mined-out"... and the mining industry abruptly halted.
There were no jobs.
What was once a hopping wild-west town, was now completely abandoned.
Records estimate 50 people were left.

"In 1953 the last of Jerome's mines closed, and much of the population left town. Jerome's population reached a low point of about 50 people in the late 1950s.

Lynn, if you visit, it's wild!
It's literally an entire town, atop this hill... just as it was... only no people around! LOL

There's currently about 350 people living in Jerome... mostly artists, musicians, bikers and such.

Jerome was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, known as Jerome Historic District.

Ken619 said...

@Lynn From what you said, Salton Sea should be interesting for you. Be sure to check out Slab City. A Doomsday group lives there. There is a religous leader there. I forget what the church is called. Yes, he drives around in a bus. I've seen him a few times in Borrego. I was afraid that you were thinking that the Salton Sea was something different than it was. I guess you have a pretty good idea of what it is. When I was a kid, my parents tossed the idea around of buying some property there. Glad they didn't! The dreams of what Salton Sea could of been went down the toilet when the water went foul. It stunk horrible for years. Almost all the fish died. I remember there were dead fish everywhere all over the shore. They built streets with curbs and everything and couldn't sell any of the lots.


I love the desert and go there alot. If you go to Borrego, be sure to visit Font's Point. A two wheel vehicle can get to it. The view is amazing. Carley's is a great bar/restaurant. There food rivals any 5 star resturant in San Diego. Hope you have fun!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hello Ken, and Welcome!

Ken said>>>>
"Be sure to check out Slab City. A Doomsday group lives there".

I gotta ask this question:

One of my favorite books, is "Into The Wild", by Jon Krakauer.
The true story of Chris McCandless.
The book was awesome!
The movie was average... although Eddie Vedder's soundtrack was enjoyable.

At any rate...
"Slab City" is one of the key destinations Chris visits and resides for a stretch during his adventure.
It's also one of the most enjoyable parts of the read.

My question:
Is this the same "Slab City" of which you speak?


From Wiki:
"Slab City was featured in the book 'Into the Wild', and also in the 2007 movie of the same name".

Chris stays with a really nice couple while at Slab City.
I can't remeber their names...
Anyone?
I think the man's name was Rainey... or something like that.

Ken, I rarely suggest books, but that's a great read!

Now, I wanna visit "Slab City"!

You guys/gals are gonna have Lynyrd in Cali, before it's over!!!

Ken619 said...

That's the one I'm talking about.

Patton's Proving Grounds is close by also. That is where Patton trained his guys or something. Not sure of the full story on that one. It's on maps of the area. There are tanks buried in the sand. Jeeps are buried also. You can find training missles or bombs up to 12' long. Great place to explore if you like the desert. My favorite is the Borrego Bad Lands. The deserts in S. CA are pretty harsh compared to the other desert areas in CA but are very interesting and fun. Glamis and Gorden's Well are AMAZING!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Wow.
WWII... another one of my other favorite topics.

Ken,
I'm a Massachusetts resident, and admittedly, my knowledge of California geography, and interesting locations is very weak.
So unfortunately, I'm not well-equipped to expand on these conversations a whole lot.
But, as my Dad used to say "You learn more by listening, than talking" anyway.
Very interesting stuff!
Thanks for sharing.

It seems if I ever do visit Cali., I'm gonna need at least a month! : )

Some days, I really wish "The Family" oprated out of Cape Cod Mass. LOL
It'd be a heck of a lot easier for me! LOL

Ken619 said...

Well, if you do come out here, there are a lot nicer places than Slab City to see.

St. Circumstance said...

L/S- a follow up book is coming out soon....

I have been working with Chris' parents Walt and Billie McCandless on a new book about Chris and his adventures through his journal and hundreds of photographs. The book will be released early in 2011 (approx April), but you can read more information about it on the Back To The Wild Book page. Here is a picture of the new book cover! The official website is: www.backtothewildbook.org

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Wow... that's incredible Circumstance.

Awesome that you're involved in this project!

Hundereds of photos and journal entries...
I seriously can't wait.

As I said, "Into the Wild" is one of my most favorite books. Fantastic read.

St. Circumstance said...

I copied that- I am not involved- sorry ...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

LOLOL

Cool anyway Saint... Thanks!

I had no idea they were doing a follow-up, so I'm glad you told me.

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Lynn said...

Katie- totally agree about Dwight- he is sexy!

Lynn said...
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LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Lynn said>>>>
"Lynyrd- Are you a native MA? My fiance was born in Springfield".

Hi Lynn... born and bred! LOL

I've been to Springfield manys times.
It's one of the more interesting spots in Massachusets.
For starters, that's where basketball originated.
The old children's author "Dr. Seuss" as well.

There's so much to tell, I'll let Wiki help me on this one. LOL

"James Naismith, a theology graduate, invented the sport of basketball at the YMCA International Training School - now known as Springfield College - to fill the gap between the football and baseball seasons. The first game of basketball ever played took place in the Mason Square district of Springfield.

Springfielders produced many of America's "firsts," including:

*the first American-English dictionary (1805, Merriam Webster)

*the first gasoline-powered car
(1896, Duryea Brothers)

*the first successful motorcycle
(1901, Indian Motorcycle)

*America's first commercial radio station (1921, WBZA)

*America's first UHF television station (1953, WWLP)

*And most famously, the world's 2nd most popular sport worldwide, basketball (1891, Dr. James Naismith.)

Today, Springfield is home to the Basketball Hall of Fame, a major tourist destination for basketball fans.

It is also home to the Springfield Armory National Park, which houses a museum featuring the world's largest collection of guns.

Springfield's Forest Park, is one of the United States'largest urban parks at 735 acres - it features a sizable zoo, a nationally-famous holiday lights festival called Bright Nights, and America's first public swimming pool (1899.)

The Quadrangle of Springfield features five different museums and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, honoring the popular Springfield artist and author.

Additionally, Springfield's Indian Orchard neighborhood houses the Titanic Museum, a collection of artifacts and information and about the RMS Titanic.

Springfield is home to the Fortune 100 Company
Mass Mutual Financial,
Smith and Wesson,
Merriam Webster,
Spalding Sports Equipment,
The Milton Bradley Company,
the American Hockey League,
Peter Pan Bus,
Big Y Supermarkets, and Massachusetts' third largest employer, Baystate Health.

Quite a place!!!

Kimchi said...

OMG - you guys talking about Salton Sea...my parents "did buy" a place there...from 1965 to 1975 - our "in case place" - not really, but it was fun back then..our place was at Helen's Marina in Salton Sea Beach..wild place on weekends...LOL..

Have to visit Blythe sometime too..that's where the Solar Lodge of the OTO was, and Jean Brayton locked that 11 year old boy up in a box because he set the house on fire - they were busted the same day Gary Hinman was killed..

But that's another chapter of Sander's book...

Ken619 said...

Lynn - Yes, I'm in San Diego, born and raised. No I have'nt seen Salvation Mountain. Calipatria is as far north that I've gone on the eastern side of Salton Sea. Niland is above Calipatria. Westmoreland is a pretty rough place. I broke down there one night and was kind of nervous waiting for help. I don't intimidate to easy, but I was worried.
The Patton area is at the south western tip of Salton Sea. It is on Federal property, but I haven't had problems with the military while there. I haven't been there in years to know about the lines. You would drive by it going to Borrego from Salton Sea. It would be on the south side.
The places that facinate me the most in that area is Font's Point and Fish Creek. I mentioned Font's Point before. Fish Creek is the best place to explore over there. It is south of Ocotillo Wells. There are wind caves, mud volcanos, the Elephant Knees and all kinds of rock formations. When ever I want to impress someone who has never been to the desert, I take them to these two places first. They are always in awe. You can see where the earth has been twisted from the sysmic activity here. AMAZING! My dad took me in a cave there when I was a kid that is either the deepest or the longest cave in the U.S. (don't remember). Go to Google earth and look at pictures people post on it of this place. I've been everywhere in the San Diego deserts, off-roading and hikeing. Been doing it my whole life. One of the many perks living in SD.

oh yeah, don't buy property around Salton Sea unless you are retiring. It's a loser always. No work and can't resell it.

Lynn said...
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Lynn said...

KimChi,

Am curious about Blythe- tell me more! Sound very very interesting.....

Lynn said...
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LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hi Lynn!

Lynn asked>>>>
"Hey Lynyrd- have you ever read the book or seen the movie "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud"? It was filmed in Springfield and Agawam, MA...and also Los Angeles. The author, Max Erhlich who also wrote the screenplay was from Springfield. He also wrote the book The Cult- which is about a religious cult and interestingly enough, he references Charles Manson and the case throughout the book"....

Hmm...
"The Reincarnation of Peter Proud".
Unfortunately, no.
It's not sounding familiar.
I'll have to look into that.