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Old 10-09-2006
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Johnny Thunder Johnny Thunder is offline
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Default Part 1 - Mysteries in Arizona - ghosts, timeslips, lights in sky

Mysteries in the Mountains

A real-life Twilight Zone may exist in Southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.

By RON QUINN

Deep in the mountains close to the Mexican border, a mysterious place exists where time is altered at random.
A joke? Not according to Ron Quinn.

Quinn first submitted his stories to The Weekly's former editor, Michael Parnell, in November 2002. Upon his departure in January, Parnell passed them on to current Weekly Editor Jimmy Boegle.

The Weekly staff decided to publish them; after all, they are quite compelling. Plus, Quinn's got some credibility; a life-long treasure hunter, Ron Quinn's stories have been appeared in Arizona Highways, Treasure Magazine and Fate.

The Weekly does not know the location of the site Mr. Quinn speaks of, nor could we verify the events mentioned. Therefore, we present his anecdotes as interesting stories--nothing more.

--Irene Messina


This fascinating journey into the unknown began in early 1956 and still remains an unsolved mystery today.

It all began during a two-year adventure into Southern Arizona in search of lost mines and hidden Spanish treasures. High among the rugged terrain bordering Mexico, my brother Chuck and I discovered a location where time itself is altered. This natural freak of nature lies deep within a region seldom visited by modern man.

The reason I'm bringing this tale to light after all this time is because something in the works might effect this interesting place. Tucson Electric Power Company plans on building a 345,000-watt high-voltage transmission line from Tucson to Nogales. The line could come quite close to this site.

When this line becomes active, what, if anything, will this enormous voltage do to this delicate location? Enhance the natural energy already lurking within it, or nothing? Only time will tell.

The following stories all took place around this mysterious location.


Lights in the Sky
This all began after my release from the military. My brother Chuck asked if I'd be interested in taking an extended trip to Arizona to search for several of the legendary lost treasures allegedly hidden during the Spanish occupation. This ignited my adventurous spirit, so plans were made. We saved enough capital, with the help of our parents, for two years. I was 23; Chuck was 26.
We left Tacoma, Wash., on March 20, 1956. Our final destination was Arivaca, Ariz., a small desert hamlet of perhaps 70 residents. This old adobe village was located squarely in the center of the country harboring some of these well-known hidden treasures.

About three weeks into this treasure game, Chuck and I were relaxing at camp one evening. Towards the south, the craggy peaks of the Tumacacori Mountains were silhouetted against the darkening sky.

Our attention was directed toward two large balls of blue-green lights slowly descending behind the mountains several miles away. They were not flares, as no sound of aircraft broke the silence of the night. Both vanished within minutes.

The following night at precisely the same time, 8:05 p.m., the lights appeared once again near the identical location. These also disappeared behind the peaks.

Several days later, Louie Romero, a local cowboy who rode for the Arivaca Ranch, stopped by. Over several weeks, we became friends and learned a great deal of the history about the area from him. While in Arivaca, we heard from the locals that if Louie tells you something, you can bet your life it's the truth.

During one of his weekly visits, Louie told us many stories centering around the nearby mountains. Several bordered on the paranormal. After describing the odd lights we had seen, he smiled, saying he and others have spotted them since 1939 in the same location. Over the months, we saw them several more times.


Doorway to the Gods
One day, as we were returning to Arivaca, we spotted an old truck parked beside the road with a flat tire. Not having a spare, the gentleman stood beside his vehicle trying to hitch a ride to the nearest service station. We picked him up and soon arrived at the Kinsley Ranch and gas station.
After having the tire repaired, we returned John, an Indian, to his truck where we mounted the tire for him. John couldn't thank us enough, as not many white men had shown him such kindness.

A month or so later at camp, we spotted a rider approaching--and were surprised to see it was John. He told us he was working temporarily for a local ranch, checking the fence lines.

While talking in general about the surrounding country, Chuck mentioned we were treasure hunting. As a boy, John said he heard many of the tales of lost mission gold and silver. He also believed some of the tales were true, as treasure was found in 1907 near Nogales.

Later, John told us about a mysterious stone archway. Roy told him we came across such a formation south of camp. John's first words were, "Did you walk through its opening?"

Walt answered, "No. We noticed it while descending a slope, but paid little attention to the oddity."

John told us around the 1800s, three Indians were hunting and upon returning to their village, discovered a stone archway. Being in a jubilant mood, they began chasing one another through the opening in a playful manner.

Moments later, one jumped through but never emerged from the opposite side. Fearing they had entered some sacred ground of the gods, the remaining two fled the scene. Arriving at the village, they told the medicine man how their friend had vanished before their eyes.

As the story spread, others journeyed to the high plateau to gaze upon the stone structure. Rocks and other items were tossed through, but nothing occurred--until an elderly woman approached. Tossing in a live rabbit, it suddenly vanished. The Indians backed off in fear and spread the story of this "Doorway to the Gods," as it came to be known.

John himself has been to the site on many occasions. The only time he witnessed anything strange was around 1948. A big storm had blown in, and the sky was filled with dark clouds in all directions. As he rode past the archway, he noticed the sky through its opening was blue--no clouds were visible. Dismounting, he walked cautiously toward the formation and peered through. The mountains on the other side hadn't changed, but the sky was clear. Looking around the corner of the structure, the sky was once again covered with dark clouds. Fear gripped him and he rode off.

Some believe John was looking into another time period through the portal. We asked John: If the story was indeed true, why hadn't it been investigated? He replied that only his people knew of the story, as it had never been mentioned outside the tribe. The only reason he told us was because we had shown him kindness while stranded beside the highway.

Curious, we decided to make another trip to the remote site with Roy Purdie and Walter Fisher--two fellow treasure hunters who were camping with us. It's a rugged climb, and the torturous, craggy mountains play no favorites. Enter their domain, make an error, and you'll be added to the list of the injured and missing.

This mysterious area is covered with windswept rock formations that dot the landscape. Searching further, we discovered an enormous deposit of geodes. The ground was littered with them. Some had broken open, revealing their crystal-lined interiors.

As we approached the archway, the structure took on a menacing appearance. It stood beside a rocky slope, and was perhaps 7 feet high by 5 feet in width. Its columns measured approximately 15 inches in diameter and were made of andesite.

Chuck jokingly tossed several rocks through, but nothing happened. Next, I placed my arm in. Roy, the superstitious member of our foursome, said I was flirting with danger if the story was true. Knowing his nature towards the unknown, I decided to play a joke. I suddenly yelled, like something was pulling me through. Jumping back, I began laughing as Roy cussed me out. By now, we were all close friends, so no offense was taken.

After several hours we departed this interesting location, carrying a number of geodes. I remember glancing back at this lonely part of the world, wondering if there was truly something within the area that could alter time at random. Was it just the archway itself, or were other unknown natural forces at play?

We would definitely discover the answer--at least to the time-altering question.


Horses From Beyond
It was roundup time on the Arivaca Ranch. That evening, Louie and several others were camping beside the corral just north of the mountains to get an early start the following morning.
As they sat around having coffee and making small talk, Louie noticed how still the night was. Most evenings, one could hear the night sounds of the desert. But this time it was unusually quiet, and the livestock seemed restless.

As they were about to bed down, they suddenly heard the rumbling of approaching horses. As the sound grew closer, one could hear the clattering of hoofs among the rocks accompanied by the whinnying of many horses. As the sound increased, the boys dove for cover, expecting to see a herd of horses stampeding through camp. But as the rumbling reached the opposite side of a nearby canyon, it abruptly ended.

The following morning, they searched, but found no evidence of horses. Louie mentioned wild horses once roamed the country around the turn of the century. Were Louie and the others caught on the outer edge of some time change?

It turns out they were near our mysterious archway.
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