Posts Tagged ‘1959’

Tea Break Read!

The USS Salem was ordered by the US Navy on 14th June, 1943 and launched 25th March, 1947. She was then commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 14th May, 1949. She never fired her guns but was a stimulus for peace during the Cold War. She was decommissioned on 30th January, 1959 and in 1994 she went back to her birthplace in Quincey.

She is now a museum, on 14th May, 1995 she was re-commissioned as a member of the Historic Naval Association. So despite the fact that she has never gone to battle, rumours are that she is haunted. Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International certainly seem convinced of the validity of the claims. Summarising their shows witnesses have reported shadow figures and a young girl who has been seen walking around the snack bar. A man who died I the anchor room is thought to haunt the room. In the medical suite a groaning has been heard and on clear nights some have heard blood curdling cries of pain.

A couple of links

https://www.navysite.de/ca/ca139.htm

http://www.uss-salem.org/

USS Salem underway in May 1949
By U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships – This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the National Archives Identifier (NAID) 7577535., Public Domain, Link

 

The cemetery doesn’t really have an official name; instead it’s a little place that might well have been given a history thanks to the Las Vegas Mafia, who may well have used it as a great place to dispose of their snitches, thieves and troublemakers. The pet cemetery is used perhaps as a luscious rouse to the more nefarious activities… Next to Rover the Dog you might well be inadvertently paying respect to a former snitch or otherwise.

Even with the help of Google earth and modern satnav etc. it is still quite hard to find, and then you have the speculation of the Mafia which may well put many off heading to the site anyway. If you try to find it then the best information I got was take the 95/93 from Las Vegas towards Boulder city and then about half way between the 95 changes towards Laughlin, you need to turn off there for a few miles then opposing lanes split in two, take the first possible U-turn, drive back the way you came for a few seconds before the lanes come back together. Right before this lane merges you will see a dirt track on the right and an open white gate that leads to the beginning of the cemetery.

The creation and abandonment of the cemetery seems to also go with the rise and fall of the Mafia success. Stories on the internet go around about a Boulder City veteran who wanted a place to bury his pets, so it was created in 1953 by said gent, Marwood Doud. Another says that it was a civil engineer that year, Emory Lockette, who offered a pet funeral service for fifty dollars per pet. The two stories might well have merged at some point but at least the year is consistent so I will go with 1953.

The fact does remain that the cemetery was placed on federal land and therefore built illegally so no official name was given, possibly to help avoid it being found. Later on it was acquired by Boulder City but there is still no firm decision on what will be done with it, so it’s still pretty much abandoned and for the most part lost to many.

The earliest of the graves are from the 50’s and are closest to the road, and many are in poor shape, having gone or on the verge of doing so. The graves are small and would have been bordered with little wooden fencing; some of the remnants still remain. The layout shows that they are arranged in a linear fashion with plays to keep it neat and orderly as the grounds expanded. The further you travel around the three acre land you see that some are more complex graves, with more creative displays involved.

Amongst the pets you find dogs, cats, rabbits, a fish named Spike II and a little hidden gem, a headstone for Flash, the son of the TV star Rin Tin Tin IV. He was groomed to be the star of the 50’s show but was replaced due to the poor screen showing, he was nominated for an award in 1958 and 1959 despite that.

The graves show a lot of love to the former pets and some make a slightly more ghostly allure because they have lights on them that come on at sundown, which leads me into ghostly tales. There is really only one mentioned in a couple of places with brief lines, about a friendly ghost kitty that will follow you to the gates if you visit at night.

In regards to the Mafia story it seems a little unlikely for body dumping, given how well it seems to have been constructed for the pets. The area is susceptible to flash floods and would make it likely to be a place where the bodies would be found too quickly, natural erosion of the desert would push the heavier bodies downstream from their original locations. Graves could be dug up by coyotes and other desert inhabitants, this is shown where they have dug up little ‘mittens’ etc. and exposed buts of fur etc.

Really this seems more like a little hidden gem of a history of showing love for pets, not a Mafia dumping ground, and it’s a shame that it’s likely to end up lost entirely one day due to it’s location.

Japanese immigrants brought the legend with them to Hawaii, the legend is of the faceless creature. In Japan a famous Mujina was Kozo, he took the form of a monk and would travel the roads at night, he would ask passers by for tea or water.

In 1959 at a drive-through in Kahala, Hawaii, a woman was reported to have come into contact with one of these creatures. The local woman went to the restroom and noticed a red-headed lady brushing her hair. She got close enough to see the woman had no facial features, she had to be treated at the hospital for a nervous breakdown over the event.

A local radio show host, Glen Grant, picked up the story and gave it to his listeners in 1981. The woman involved called up to recount the tale and told him the previously unreported detail about the red hair, since then it seems other witnesses have come forward about the Mujina.

A story about the Mujina here.

Ryoan_Mujina

 

According to Japanese Copyright Law the copyright on this work has expired and is as such public domain. According to articles 51 and 57 of the copyright laws of Japan, under the jurisdiction of the Government of Japan all non-photographic works enter the public domain 50 years after the death of the creator (there being multiple creators, the creator who dies last) or 50 years after publication for anonymous or pseudonymous authors or for works whose copyright holder is an organization.

An island that is only accessible by boat, it’s a small Bahamian Island and it’s most prominent feature is it’s lighthouse.

The lighthouse was erected in 1859 and rumours, from some, say that when there is a full moon strange noises are heard on the island. In the late 19th Century local lore says an infant was the only survivor of  a shipwreck on the island. A Grey Lady, the mother, is said to be so distraught that she roams the island. She waits in sorrow and vain during the full moon.

4th August, 1969 two of the keepers abandoned the island, they were never found. Some claim that they were taken by the Bermuda Triangle. It might not have been such a mystery however, as Hurricane Anna passed close by at that time.

It is currently said to be possible for the public to visit.

A nice link for information. 

Fidel Castro was a men who’s 1959 revolution brought Communism close to the USA, a boat ride away. Cuban exiles pressed for direct action against him, and in 1961 President Kennedy approved the Bay of Pigs landing. The operation was a disaster.

There were proposed CIA acts of terrorism sanctioned as a way of implicating Castro in plots that would mean a viable reason for his death or at least political destruction. They schemed to use hijackers to take planes, or to use urban bombings in the USA. The ‘Northwood’ planners also suggested sabotaging the spaceflight by Mercury astronaut John Glenn. When the CIA director was forced to quit in 1961 the President rejected the ‘Northwood’ plans outright.

The CIA still continued to plot a way to neutralize Castro, kill plans included using a mistress to poison him in bed, injecting him with a poisoned pen or slipping him an exploding cigar. Another was the idea of a contaminated wetsuit with a fatal disease, as they knew he was fond of scuba diving.

Despite these plans Castro continued to be an irritant to the US government but was forced to retire in 2008. With ill-health plaguing him he handed the power over to his brother, Raul.