The Borrego Mystery Lights

The Borrego Mystery Lights
by Rhetta Akamatsu
Associated Content

Since 1858, mysterious lights have been seen in what is now the area in and around Anzo-Borrego State Park in Borrego Springs, California. A stagecoach driver was the first to report the lights, and since then, they have been seen by prospectors, soldiers, explorers, and many, many tourists. The location of the lights varies, but the general description has remained pretty consistent over the years.

In 1892, a man named Charles Knowles and two other men were camping when they witnessed what they referred to as "Fire balls" near the Grapevine Canyon area. Knowles described the "Fire balls" as being akin to fireworks. They rose about 100 feet into the air and then exploded. This happened three times, and then there was a thirty minute pause. After that, the lights began again, but this time they rose in an arching pattern and then returned to the earth without exploding.

A possible explanation for these fire balls offered by scientist is that if the wind blows sand against quartz crystals embedded in the desert rock, it could create sparks of electricity, which would appear as lights in the dark.

The strangest manifestation in the area is said to be an eight-foot skeleton, dsecribed as having a lantern under his ribcage. The first person to encounter the skeleton was a prospector named Charley Arizona. Two years later, two more prospectors told the same story, and a year after that, a traveler came into Vellecito Station and reported having seen a skeleton carrying a lantern. Two adventurous men set out after that to track down the skeleton. After three days, they spied it and one of them shot at it with a gun, but the skeleton wandered on, unphased. Many people believe this skeleton to be the apparition of a prospector who mined the Phantom Mine, now lost to us and apparently to the skeletal miner as well.

No scientific explanation has been offered for the skeleton, which also does not appear to have been caught on film or video.. at least, not yet.
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