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Author: Subject: The "Lost Mission" Mystery Walls (Las Animas) drone flyover. Video added.
David K
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[*] posted on 4-16-2019 at 07:03 PM


Quote: Originally posted by OCEANUS  
I've been out to see the rock "walls" several times now. Because of the slope on either side, these stacked rocks always gave me the impression of something to used divert/contain livestock than the remnants of something more structurally significant. The dead palm tree at the bottom of the slope that David K mentions in an earlier report was also intriguing - so atypical and out of place for that region. Who planted it, and why? Never came across the "sleeping circles" that Choral pepper references, either on foot or with Google Earth. I was searching for these on the flat mesa like clearing south west of the walls on the same outcrop. But perhaps, I've bee looking in the wrong places.

But the cave on the south side of the outcrop is something new to me. I don't recall anyone on this board posting about it, and these drone shots are the first time I've seen it.

I would be interested to know if Geoff took the time explore the area around the cave on foot. If so, what were his impressions on the area - coincidental geology? Potentially habitable? It looks to be quite large, but the boulders hanging off it's roof perhaps make an entrance into the cave appear precarious.

Looking forward to what Geoff has to say...


In my 2009 thread, the photos were all shared... Only a few Nomads have been to the site after I confirmed it was indeed the Choral Pepper Santa María Magdalena lost mission.

From the desert floor, by the dam/ reservoir:



From the entrance:







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[*] posted on 4-16-2019 at 07:04 PM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  
'Geoffff' (4WD van traveler) recently returned from another of his super expeditions to Baja and I anxiously await his trip report.

In the meantime, he sent me the photos and videos of his drone flyover of the mesa near Bahía las Animas with the mystery walls and cave. This was the site of a discovery made in 1966 when the Erle Stanley Gardner expedition found these walls, a dam, a lone date palm, and Indian sleeping circles. Desert Magazine's Choral Pepper was on this expedition and climbed to the top of the mesa for a close look at these walls. Her research following that trip would conclude that this was likely the lost Jesuit mission project of Santa María Magdalena, shown as "started" on the Jesuit's 1757 map... south of Bahía de los Angeles and north of Santa Gertrudis (first called 'Dolores del Norte').

Read more about this site: https://www.bajabound.com/bajaadventures/bajatravel/mystery_...

EDIT ADDING VIDEO of drone flyovers:



March 2019 drone photos

























Thanks Geoffff, these are great!

Here are the 2009 site and Desert Magazine's 1966 photos:







[Edited on 4-17-2019 by David K]


Its a geoglyph. Art. Probably no utilitarian purpose. A couple of the pics it appears to be an abstract phallus.




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[*] posted on 4-16-2019 at 07:55 PM


To entertain aliens flying above, eh goat?



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[*] posted on 4-16-2019 at 08:00 PM


Here's another 1966 Desert Magazine photo at the site and my 2009 photo at about the same place:




I placed letters matching rocks and background points between the two photos.

[Edited on 4-17-2019 by David K]




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[*] posted on 4-16-2019 at 08:06 PM


Here's the 1757 map with Mission S.M. Mag. "started" between L.A. Bay and Dolores del Norte (Santa Gertrudis) that put Choral onto the idea that this was the (abandoned) Jesuit project:


The map is drawn from data of about 10 years earlier. Dolores del Norte was renamed Santa Gertrudis upon its founding in 1752.




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[*] posted on 4-17-2019 at 06:11 AM
Sleeping circles/ rooms


Between the top end of the long wall and the high point (above the cave):

Many of these have never been posted before:















Inside the circles was evidence of what they ate:



A grinding base stone:



The date palm tree remains at the base of the mesa:







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[*] posted on 12-31-2019 at 07:18 PM


Quiz.
Where does the following quote come from?

"Al folio 549, línea 3a., [11, 341], se nombra la misión de Nuestra Señora de los
Dolores del Norte. Esta misión, cuando llegó a fundarse en el sitio mucho antes
destinado para ella, como a veintiocho leguas de San Ignacio, se llamó, y se
llama, de Santa Gertrudis. La razón de esto se dará en otro lugar. Aqw basta
advertir que, en lugar de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores del Norte, se debe poner
Santa Gertrudis: y lo demás, como es, por quién y cómo se administraba, ponerlo como lo trae la Historia, porque así estaba administrándose cuando fueron
los informes del estado de las misiones, que va poniendo en este lugar.
Aquí faltó advertir, que debe suprimirse el parrafito en que se pone la que
!,e cuenta por onceava misión en este folio 549, [rr, 341), con el nombre de Santa
María Magdalena, inchoada en el norte; porque ésta es la misma que se acaba
de contar por décima en el mismo fol. 549 con el nombre de Nuestra Señora de
los Dolores. El motivo de esta equivocación fue que, cuando se comenzó a tratar
de tal fundación, se creyó con fundamento que se le daría el nombre de Santa
María Magdalena, y así de esto como de los indios ya bautizados, que habían
de pertenecer a esta misión, se dio noticia a Móxico. Después de algunos años,
habiendo con nuevo fundamento creído que la intentada misión se intitularía Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, y habiéndose ya determinado el sitio en que se había de
poner la cabecera, se escribió sobre esto a México. Estos papeles o cartas pasaron
<le México a Madrid, con otros papeles pertenecientes a la Historia. El autor,
leyéndolos, no dudó que hablaban de dos diversas misiones, viendo dos distintos
nombres, como es regular el persuadirse a ello; y por eso las puso por dos distintas. Mas en realidad es una sola, que en diversos tiempos, y antes de fundarse,
con diferentes motivos se les dieron distintos nombres; y al fin ninguno de ellos
pudo conservarse, por no haber llegado a efecto la fundación o dotación, que
se había tenido por cierta y asegurada. Y cuando llegó a establecerse esta misión
se le dio el nombre y advocación de Santa Gertrudis, conforme a la mente del
que finalmente quedó por fundador.
Del mismo moda debo suprimir el parrafito en que se pone la misión que se
-encuentra en el XVI y último lugar, al folio 550, [rr, 341), con nombre de San
_Juan Bautista, inchoada en el norte; porque, si estuvo ideada tal misión, nunca
llegó a efecto, ni ha habido dotación para ella. "



[Edited on 1-1-2020 by Juan N.]

[Edited on 1-1-2020 by Juan N.]

[Edited on 1-1-2020 by Juan N.]
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[*] posted on 12-31-2019 at 08:55 PM


Can't wait to hike and camp in this area...
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[*] posted on 12-31-2019 at 11:20 PM
Google Translation of Juan N. post [with my notes]:


[Not a very good or clear translation but basically stating the reason for the confusion of names of proposed or future missions from a 1745 Jesuit report. I covered these missions beginning on page 184 of my book, in the chapter called: "Missions that Never Were and Lost Missions."]

Here now is the Google translation of what Juan N. posted:

"On folio 549, line 3a., [11, 341], the mission of Our Lady of the
Dolores del Norte. This mission, when it came to be founded on the site much earlier destined for her, like twenty-eight leagues from San Ignacio, was called, and llama, from Santa Gertrudis.

The reason for this will be given elsewhere. Enough here warn that, instead of Our Lady of the Northern Sorrows [Dolores del Norte], you should put Saint Gertrudes: and the rest, as it is, by whom and how it was administered, put it as History brings it, because that was how it was being administered when they were the reports on the status of the missions, which he puts in this place.

Here it was necessary to warn that the paragraph in which the
!, and counts for eleventh mission in this folio 549, [rr, 341), with the name of Santa María Magdalena, [started] in the north; because this is the same one that ends of counting by tenth in the same fol. 549 with the name of Our Lady of Pains [Dolores].

The reason for this mistake was that when it began to be treated of such a foundation, it was believed with foundation that it would be given the name of Santa Maria Magdalena, and thus of this as the already baptized Indians, who had of belonging to this mission, news was given to Mexico.

After a few years, having, on a new basis, believed that the intended mission would be titled Our Lady of Sorrows [Dolores], and having already determined the place where it was to be put the header, it was written about this to Mexico. These papers or letters passed [from] Mexico to Madrid, with other roles belonging to History. The author, reading them, he did not doubt that they talked about two different missions, seeing two different names, as it is regular to persuade oneself to it; and that's why he put them for two different ones. But in reality it is only one, that in different times, and before being founded, with different motives they were given different names; and finally none of them could be preserved, because the foundation or endowment had not come into effect, which
It had been taken for granted and assured.

And when this mission was established He was given the name and invocation of Saint Gertrudes, according to the mind of the that finally remained as founder. In the same fashion I must suppress the paragraph in which the mission that is put -

Find in the XVI and last place, to folio 550, [rr, 341), with the name of San
_Juan Bautista, [started] in the north; because, if such a mission was devised, never It came into effect, nor has there been an endowment for it. "




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[*] posted on 1-1-2020 at 01:34 AM



This comes from Miguel del Barco's additions and corrections to Venegas. The author in Mexico he is referring to would be Venegas. When he writes about the misinformation being repeated in Madrid he is referring to Burriel.

So basically he is saying that Delores del Norte and Santa Maria Magdalena were both proposed names for what would become Santa Gertrudis. Santa Maria Magdalena was the first proposed name then after a few years it was changed to Delores. This explains why there is a bell with the name Santa Maria Magdalena located at Santa Gertrudis. I have read somewhere about bells being cast and donated to the missions by individuals but I cannot recall where. It appears someone trying to score some brownie points with god jumped the gun and had the bell cast.

As you know, the name was finally changed to Santa Gertrudis to comply with the wishes of the Marques de Villapuente

[Edited on 1-1-2020 by Juan N.]

[Edited on 1-2-2020 by Juan N.]
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[*] posted on 1-1-2020 at 09:07 AM
Google Earth


I think the wall can be seen on Google Earth?

https://earth.google.com/web/@28.77854557,-113.34146275,29.5...
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[*] posted on 1-1-2020 at 09:16 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Juan N.  

This comes from Miguel del Barco's additions and corrections to Venegas. The author in Mexico he is referring to would be Venegas. When he writes about the misinformation being repeated in Madrid he is referring to Burrus.

So basically he is saying that Delores del Norte and Santa Maria Magdalena were both proposed names for what would become Santa Gertrudis. Santa Maria Magdalena was the first proposed name then after a few years it was changed to Delores. This explains why there is a bell with the name Santa Maria Magdalena located at Santa Gertrudis. I have read somewhere about bells being cast and donated to the missions by individuals but I cannot recall where. It appears someone trying to score some brownie points with god jumped the gun and had the bell cast.

As you know, the name was finally changed to Santa Gertrudis to comply with the wishes of the Marques de Villapuente

[Edited on 1-1-2020 by Juan N.]


You have the story down pretty good!

San Juan Bautista, Dolores del Norte, and Santa María Magdalena were three proposed Jesuit missions in the ambitious program to convert souls and pacify the land for the King.
The three missions were included in their 1745 report (page 267 of Engelhardt's The Missions and Missionaries of California, Vol. 1, Lower California). The same three missions are shown on the 1757 Venegas Jesuit map as being "started".
Only one of the three was actually founded and the name changed from Dolores del Norte to Santa Gertrudis, as you explained. Rather than "started" the were three "proposed" missions, all in different locations.

Since Santa María Magdalena was shown north of Dolores del Norte (Santa Gertrudis) and south of Bahía de los Angeles, it was natural for Choral Pepper to propose the ruins they discovered in 1966 could have been for Santa María Magdalena, if they were indeed from the Jesuit period. Obviously, the site was abandoned before the mission was too far along... and its bell hangs at Santa Gertrudis, as you said.

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[*] posted on 1-1-2020 at 09:22 AM


Quote: Originally posted by KRB  
I think the wall can be seen on Google Earth?

https://earth.google.com/web/@28.77854557,-113.34146275,29.5...


Yes, that is them, all right! It was what Sharksbaja (a Nomad) saw and shared with me, back in late 2008... As soon as my wife and I could leave for Baja to check it out to confirm, we did... New Years 2009, 11 years ago today! It was all posted here on Baja Nomad when we got back.




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[*] posted on 1-1-2020 at 10:47 PM


Del Barcos writings are know for being wordy, rambling, and repetitive so he can be difficult to understand at times.

The name Santa Maria Magdalena was being used before a suitable location for a Cabacera was found. There were already many converts from the region to the north of San Ignacio and the Jesuits knew they wanted to establish a mission in the area. Santa Maria Magdalena was the name they planned to use once a site was found and a cabacera established.

Once a site was found (at La Piedad), due to motives Del Barco does not explain, the name was changed to Nuestra Senora de los Delores del Norte.

The expected endowment for the mission never arrived.

They ended up using the endowment for the mission of San Jose del Cabo once it closed. At the request the person who provided the endowment, the Marques de Villapuente, the name was changed to Santa Gertrudis.

So Mission Santa Maria Magdalena never had a location.

Delores del Norte was an early name for the planned cabacera to be built at La Piedad, the future site of the cabacera of Santa Gertrudis. Both those names refer to the same location.

There was a Pueblo called San Juan Bautista where, according to Engelhartdt, a cabacera was to be built. The area to the west of San Ignacio was decimated by disease and the population reduced to said mission.





[Edited on 1-4-2020 by Juan N.]

[Edited on 1-4-2020 by Juan N.]
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[*] posted on 1-1-2020 at 11:14 PM


The site of La Piedad was chosen for the mission (Dolores del Norte) because Padre Consag could not find any site better during his three expeditions seeking mission sites from 1747-1751. When the funds for the next mission were going to come from the Marquis de Villapuente (with the abandonment of his sponsored mission of San José del Cabo) the mission name was changed to honor his wife, Gertrudis.

Construction of the new mission buildings were started in 1751 before it was officially founded with the arrival of Padre Retz in 1752 following language training for several months at San Ignacio.

Thanks for posting, Juan N.




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[*] posted on 1-3-2020 at 03:28 PM


hi David, saw you last week on the X Games youtube videos (recon) and was very impressed...ordered and received your book a couple days back. We drive down from Oregon each year (for the last 3 years, newly retired) and live in or around San Jose for about 3 months. I'm really looking forward to reading the book and driving by many of the missions!
thanks for these extra pics and the info. so much info so little time!
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[*] posted on 1-3-2020 at 04:45 PM


Quote: Originally posted by MarthaJ  
hi David, saw you last week on the X Games youtube videos (recon) and was very impressed...ordered and received your book a couple days back. We drive down from Oregon each year (for the last 3 years, newly retired) and live in or around San Jose for about 3 months. I'm really looking forward to reading the book and driving by many of the missions!
thanks for these extra pics and the info. so much info so little time!


Hi Martha!
Welcome to Baja Nomad and many thanks for the nice words...

It was very fun to ride with those famous off-road racers for six days doing that Recon trip. We were told that the footage would be incorporated into the tour TV show, but there ended up being not enough room as they had plenty with the tour itself, although there is a scene of me riding with Curt LeDuc in the TV tour show.
The 5 recon episodes on YouTube (about 6-10 min. each) are all linked on my website, near the top: www.vivabaja.com

Thank you for ordering my book! Not sure if you got it from Amazon, another site, or from me at www.oldmissions.com but any questions or assistance needed, just ask. Please join my Baja California Land of Missions Group for more photos and discussion at https://www.facebook.com/groups/bajamissions/
Happy New Year!


[Edited on 1-3-2020 by David K]




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