Monday, January 23, 2017

Another Mystery of the Mountain

January 16, 2017 © Thomas J. Kollenborn. All Rights Reserved.

Each year another intriguing story about Superstition Mountain emerges and captures the imagination of some and compels others to search the most remotes areas of this wilderness. A few years ago a man reported seeing an unusual reflection in the mountains in the late evening as he was flying over the central region of the Superstition Wilderness Area on a flight between Chicago and Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. His story and search has created more unanswered questions than answered ones.

The landmark of “Circlestone” from about three thousand feet altitude.
I asked this man to present his story and ideas to Greg Davis with Superstition Mountain Museum, but he was reluctant to share it. He said he had known Joseph Roider and he recommended me for any help. I told him I couldn’t be much help because I didn’t go into the mountains anymore. He said he didn’t want me to go into the mountains with him because it would upset the “Earth God.” The man has asked me not to reveal his name until after his death. His story goes something like this.

I didn’t take the “Earth God” statement serious at all.  It was a way for him to be different in his communications with me. Then he told me about this flight over the wilderness area. He said somewhere east of Tortilla Mountain there was a tabletop mountain and on this mountain there was a large stone altar. At this point I interrupted him and ask how he could see anything from the airliner. He told me he carried an excellent pair of Nikon field glasses for looking at things while flying across the country. Then he continued the story.

He said the stone altar was not that important, it was what he saw on the stone altar that was significant. He said there was a reflection so intense it had to have been created by a parabolic mirror of some kind. It was too intense to look at with a pair of field glasses from an airliner at about 8,000 feet above. The airliner had decreased its altitude for the approach to Sky Harbor International Airport. He also said it was very difficult to see any details on the ground, but he did recognize a couple of landmarks. He said there was a ranch house southwest of the site about three, maybe four miles. He also said there was a running stream to the west of site, a few miles. These landmarks gave me an approximation as to where the site was located.

The man was completely convinced this was an ancient religious site still used by Native Americans today. The powerful parabolic mirror must have been powerful medicine for the group. I have ridden in the area, but have never seen this altar or religious site. I have been told about it by a couple of pothunters many years ago who said there was nothing buried in the area worthwhile. I took a group of riders from the Reavis Ranch to Walnut Springs and back through the area. I didn’t see the mesa or altar, however that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. There is a lot of rugged country in that area especially west toward Boulder Mountain and northwest toward Reavis Fall. I have looked for the sight from the ground and from the air, but never had any luck.

My Chicago friend believed if the Native Americans had a large parabolic mirror carved from some kind of crystal it would be extremely valuable. It would be a treasure in itself regardless what it was carved from. He also believed it came from the Aztecs in central Mexico and brought here by the Jesuit priest to help pacify and convert the native people of this area. I am not one to say something like this is not possible, but I would say it was highly unlikely.

There are many unexplained things in these mountains and their mysteries still linger today in the minds of men and women who hike or ride the “Trails of the Superstitions.” Doesn’t this tale remind you of the story about the “Crystal Skull” in La Barge Canyon? Stories about these mountains are only limited by the imagination of the storyteller’s mind.

As far as I know, Joseph Roider’s friend is still alive, living out his life in southern Florida. I promised I would keep his name secret, but would one day tell his story.