Spring in Death Valley is a breathtaking spectacle. What was once mere desert for nine months out of the year suddenly blossoms into a vast ocean of yellow and purple wildflowers, drawing photographers, sightseers, and whoever else happens to be driving through.
On the Nevada side, U.S. Route 95 borders the eastern portion of Death Valley National Park, about 140 miles north of Las Vegas. Driving the 95, you’ll find more than flowers, of course; you’ll also encounter giant salt deposits (left over from when the valley, like California, was an inland sea) that will tempt the B-movie director in you to film a low-budget sci-fi opus. Indeed, the beautiful desolation in wandering a seemingly infinite salt pan in the desert sun will leave its mark on your imagination.
And it wouldn’t require much of an imaginative leap to believe that somewhere around here a 19th-century American explorer named Captain Ives William Walker stumbled upon the vitrified ruins of a mile-long city. Among these ruins, there was, according to Walker, liquefied rock surface that looked to have “been attacked by a giant’s fire-plough.”
Walker’s mysterious observation first crops up in a 1977 book by Rene Noorbergen called Secrets of the Lost Races — without any citation, of course. Regardless, the Walker discovery has taken on the guise of fact and spread through the literature of what speculative researchers characterize as “ancient atomic warfare.” Basically, ancient atomic warfare is a term that helps explain geological anomalies like patches of fused green glass found in deserts around the world. After all, nuclear detonations at the Nevada Test Site just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, turned desert sand into glass, right?
Well, lightning strikes and meteor impacts cause the same reaction. Except that many of these questionable patches lack the characteristic patterns created by lightning and meteors. So what caused these anomalies, then?
Speculative researchers like David Hatcher Childress (Technology of the Gods: The Incredible Sciences of the Ancients) and Charles Berlitz (World of Strange Phenomena) look no further than ancient Indian adventure narratives like the Bhagavad-Gita to posit their theories. These stories include descriptions of super-weapons like the “Iron Thunderbolt,” a death-dealing mega-bomb that eerily formed giant umbrella-shaped clouds in its wake. The Bhagavad-Gita was written around 500 B.C.
Of course, it was Robert Oppenheimer himself who noted the connection between the atomic bomb he helped father and the Bhagavad-Gita. Indeed, he famously quoted the ancient Indian text in the aftermath of the Trinity explosion at Alamagordo on July 16, 1945: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” But it’s doubtful old Oppy would have placed any value in tales of prehistoric nukes.
Besides, ancient India is a long way from Nevada, even if UFO-flying extraterrestrials introduced the technology to humans in order to, say, turn the biblical Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt (which is not a post-nuke byproduct). Or to level Sodom and Gomorrah. And so on.
Squelching further the notion of Ye Olde Armageddon is the added fact that it’s impossible to find a single archeologist, geologist, or any “-ist” on the West Coast who has heard of Death Valley anomalies like glass-like sand fusions.
At the same time, however, there isn’t a single scientist who laughed at the question, “Do you believe in ancient atomic warfare?” Most have never heard of the theory and, believe it or not, are eager to learn more.
So maybe the anomalies are waiting to be rediscovered. Maybe William Walker’s vitrified ruins are out there somewhere in the desert’s expanse.
In any case, a trip to Death Valley trip is definitely a must-see part of your Nevada experience. The terrain is so marvelously strange — alternating between beautiful flowers and utter barrenness — that your mind will escape its shackles of convention and begin to ponder new and exciting possibilities.
Besides, according to Hal Turner, Chief Archeologist for the Nevada State Department of Transportation, the problem in locating an ancient nuke site is the simple fact that history is written by mainstream historians instead of long-time Nevadans with firsthand knowledge of the state.
“The old timers who might have know about something like a patch of fused green glass in Death Valley are dead or have one foot in the grave,” says Turner. “History continues to be lost.”