A People of Mystery – Are They Remnants of a Lost Race? – 1932

A People of Mystery – Are They Remnants of a Lost Race?


by Edward Lancer

THE LOS ANGLES TIMES, May 22, 1932—When I boarded the Shasta Limited, bound for Portland on a relatively unimportant mission, I did not dream that on this journey I was to make an astounding discovery.

Sleep had deserted me at the break of dawn. My berth was stuffy; I had no reading matter at hand, so I resolved to rise, dress and see the sunrise from the abandoned observation platform.

Snow-capped Mt. Shasta – the “Fuji-yama of America” – stood before us, a fearsome, beautiful, majestic sentinel.

Gazing upon its splendor, I suddenly perceived that the whole southern side of the mountain was ablaze with a strange, reddish-green light. A flame of light that grew faint then flared up with renewed brilliance.

My first conjecture was a forest fire, but the total absence of smoke discounted that theory. The light resembled the glow of Roman candles.

The rising sun dimmed the color of the scene, and gradually, as the train crept north, the weird phenomenon was lost to view. The thing intrigued me, yet I felt unable to discuss what I had seen with anyone. However, when I met my traveling companion at breakfast, he asked me if I had seen the forest fire on Mt. Shasta.

“Did you see smoke?” was my quick question.

“No,” he replied. “Just a red glow.”

Convinced that I had not been the victim of a mirage, I later asked the conductor about the mysterious pyrotechnics. His answer was short but enticing:

“Lemurians,” he said. “They hold ceremonials up there.”


The fact that a group of people conducts ceremonials on the side of a mountain is not of exceptional interest, but when these people are said to be Lemurians, that is startling, for the continent of Lemuria, like the lost Atlantis, disappeared beneath the ocean ages ago, and the Lemurians have long since been known as an extinct race.

Just as soon as I had transacted my business in Portland, I returned to the Mt. Shasta region, incredulous but consumed with curiosity. If there were survivors of the lost race, I would find them, for I planned to equip myself for an expedition into the wilderness surrounding Shasta.

Mystic Village Known

I motored toward the point of my investigation, pausing at Weed, a town near Mt. Shasta, for the night. In Weed, I discovered that the existence of a “mystic village” on Mt. Shasta was an accepted fact. Businessmen, amateur explorers, officials and ranchers in the country surrounding Shasta spoke freely of the Lemurian community, and all attested to the weird rituals that are performed on the mountainside at sunset, midnight and sunrise. Also, they freely ridiculed my avowed trek into the sacred precincts, assuring me that an entrance was as difficult and forbidden as is an entrance into Tibet.

It appeared that although the existence of these last descendants of the ancient Lemurians has been known to Northern Californians for more than fifty years, only four or five explorers have penetrated the invisible protective boundary of this Lemurian settlement; but no one has ever succeeded in entering the village; at least, no one has ever returned to tell the tale. It is of course quite possible that if anyone did manage to visit the Lemurians in their Mt. Shasta stronghold, such a person might have good and sufficient reasons to hold secret that which he may have seen.

It is safe to say that fifty out of a hundred people living within a reasonable distance of Shasta have at some time or other tried to approach the Lemurians, yet many – who are known to have penetrated at least part of the mystery—will vehemently deny, perhaps out of some well-founded fear, having made such an investigation or having any knowledge concerning the Lemurians.

It began to look as though the whole affair was a matter of well-seasoned legendry – and yet, I myself had seen the strange illumination on Mt. Shasta before I had heard any of the stories that are so common in the towns surrounding the mountain. And yet it seemed incredible that a colony of people could so successfully seclude themselves in the heart of our thoroughly explored State.

Scientist Investigates
Edgar L. Larkin, Dir. of the Mt. Lowe Observatory

Just when I learned that the existence of Lemurian descendants on Mt. Shasta was vouched for some years ago by no less an authority than the eminent scientist, Prof. Edgar Lucin [sic] Larkin, for many years director of the Mt. Lowe Observatory in Southern California

Prof. Larkin, with determined sagacity, penetrated the Shasta wilderness as far as he could – or dared – and then, cleverly, continued his investigations from a promontory with a powerful long-distance telescope.

What the scientist saw, he reported, was a great temple in the heart of the mystic village – a marvelous work of carved marble and onyx, rivaling in beauty and architectural splendor the magnificence of the temples of Yucatan. He saw a village housing from 600 to 1000 people; they appeared to be industriously engaged in the manufacture of articles necessary to their consumption, they were engaged in farming in the sunny slopes and glens surrounding the village – with miraculous results, judging from the astounding vegetation revealed to Prof. Larkin’s spyglass. He found them to be a peaceful community, evidently contented to live as their ancient forebears had lived before Lemuria was swallowed by the sea.

When Prof. Larkin concluded his investigation he had gathered enough proof to warrant him to say that in this village, in a secluded den at the foot of Mt. Shasta’s partially extinct volcano, far from the beaten paths that lead to our civilization, there live the last descendants of the first inhabitants of this earth, the Lemurians.

Some scientists have long ago declared that certain of these early people migrated to other parts of the earth before the continents of Atlantis and Lemuria are supposed to have disappeared beneath the waters of the ocean and the Lemurians on Shasta are doubtless the descendants of those early survivors who trekked to the American continent, possibly South America, the succeeding generations finally moving north to California.

That these Lemurians who live in California are cognizant of the disaster that befell their ancestors is revealed in the fact that each night, at midnight, throughout the entire year, they perform a ritual of thanksgiving and adoration to “Guatama,” which is the Lemurian name for America. The chief object of this midnight ceremony is to celebrate the escape of their forebears from the doomed Lemuria and their safe arrival in Guatama.

In this midnight ceremony, as in the sunrise and sunset rituals, the weird but wonderful light that first attracted my attention when traveling on the Shasta Limited is used. During my period of investigation, I have seen the midnight ceremonials cause the entire southern side of Mt. Shasta to be illuminated in a most baffling way – a light that reaches up and covers the landscape for great distances. From a practical point of view alone, this mysterious village and its equally mysterious dwellers is of vital interest, for their display of light far excels our modern electrical achievements, and I for one am consumed with curiosity to know how these primitive people can produce such amazing light effects.

The Lemurians have been seen on various occasions; they have been seen on various occasions; they have been encountered in the Shasta forest, but only for a brief glimpse, for they possess the uncanny secret knowledge of the Tibetan masters and if they desire, can blend themselves into their surroundings and vanish.

Robes are Spotless

At times they came into the neighborhood towns – tall, barefoot, noble-looking men, with close-cropped hair, dressed in spotless white robes that resemble in style the enveloping garment worn by the high-caste East Indian women today – to patronize certain stores.

Adama, the Lemurian.

Indeed, the records reveal that at one time an official visit was made to the city of San Francisco by a white-robed patriarch from the mystic village. He came on foot, with an escort of younger men, to bring greetings and an assurance of goodwill upon the anniversary of the founding of their sacred retreat in California.

The patriarch was met by an official committee at the Ferry Building and escorted to the City Hall. As soon as greetings had been exchanged, the visitors returned to their retreat.

Various merchants in the vicinity of Shasta report that these white-robed men occasionally come to their stores. Their purchases are of a peculiar nature. They have brought enormous quantities of sulfur as well as a great deal of salt. They buy lard in bulk qualities, for which they bring their own containers – peculiar, transparent bladders. The gay materials and novelties of our modern civilization

Nuggets are Their Currency

Their purchases are always paid for with gold nuggets, since of course they have no money, and the gold always far exceeds the value of the merchandise. The Lemurians are friendly in their contacts, though taciturn – searching through the shops until they find what they want since they cannot speak our language – and they are certainly generous.

To say that they must have a rich gold mine on Mt. Shasta is a foregone conclusion. Perhaps this – gold – is another reason why we are not made welcome in Lemurian territory.

They have frequently donated their large gold nuggets to charity. During the World War, they came forward with generous gifts to the American Red Cross, and more recently they sent a bag of gold to the fund for sufferers of the Japanese earthquake.

Power of Invisibility

The idea that these people possess powers that to us are strange, such as the ability to blend themselves into their environment, making themselves invisible, should not be ridiculed, although it is difficult for us to comprehend such powers from our modern, western point of view. Civilized in material things as we are, it is, nevertheless, true that we are underdeveloped in personal psychic powers and scientific knowledge as compared to the oriental mind.

The continent of Lemuria was a highly developed civilization long before our western world existed, and to credit these Mt. Shasta descendants of that early civilization with natural powers that are foreign to us should arouse neither doubt nor ridicule.

As an illustration of the true scientific knowledge possessed by these Lemurians, we can take the forest fires that raged in many parts of Northern California last year as an example. When a forest fire crept up Mt. Shasta, threatening the mystic village, they caused a wall of invisible protection to rise between the village and the forest fires. As the flames reached that certain point, they were mysteriously arrested, snuffed out.

One can see the very definite line where the fires ceased to this day.

Story Not Incredible

Monumental carvings and inscriptions eloquent of a vanished race were recently found buried in the Sierra Nevada Mountains; in Mexico, there has been discovered a strange and almost inaccessible city of mysterious people laid entirely on the inside of an extinct volcanic crater; in New Mexico, we have the puzzling ruins of the cliff dwellers. Suppose we had come to this country a thousand years sooner than we did and had found them living in their cliff houses, we would not have been greatly surprised – neither should we be surprised to find remnants of a lost race living in a mountain fastness today.

It is not, therefore, incredible that the last sons of lost Lemuria are nestled at the foot of Mt. Shasta’s volcano. The really incredible thing is that vanished race has succeeded in secluding themselves in the midst of our teeming State and that they have managed through some marvelous sorcery to keep highways, hot-dog establishments, filling stations, and other ugly counterparts of our tourist system out of their secret precincts.

Prof. Larkin poses outside of the Mt. Lowe Observatory.
Prof. Edgar Larkin poses outside of the Mt. Lowe Observatory.

The following excerpt comes from an article “Lights on Mt. Shasta” by William Bridge Cooke, June 27, 1940, which debunks Larkin’s “Lumeria” claim:


Dr. Edgar Lucien Larkin of the Mt. Lowe Observatory saw a strange phenomenon with his telescope. He was searching for an object on the earth, the distance from which was known, by which to calibrate his instrument. In looking through the telescope, supposedly placed parallel to the earth’s surface, he finally brought Mount Shasta into range. Around the foothills of the mountain and at about 30 miles from the mountain Dr. Larkin reported seeing a shining metal object, which, on focusing, turned out to be a massive oriental temple. At a later date, in order to check these observations, Dr. Larkin saw a number of shining white marble temples in Greek style. At night he could see lights in the vicinity.

I have not quoted the story by have only taken parts of it—enough of it so that my readers may know the source of the tale, repeated by Brisbane several years ago, concerning the seeing of a light “somewhere, sometime and by someone” on the mountain—proof of the local existence of these “Masters.”

For those of my readers who are interested, I shall now try to debunk this story. Mt. Lowe, back of Los Angeles, is approximately 800 miles, as the crow flies, south of Mount Shasta. The earth’s surface curves as one would expect if one recognized the earth as a nearly spherical object. The latest list of observatories and astronomers in the world does not mention the existence of a Mt. Lowe Observatory, or of a Dr. Edgar Lucien Larkin, and it does mention some very inconspicuous persons and institutions. Mount Shasta is 14,161 feet above sea level at the summit. Mt. Lowe is about one mile, not more than 5500 feet, above sea level.

During the last 10 years, in an issue of the Mazama, journal of the Mazamas of Portland, Oregon, there was published an article in which it was demonstrated mathematically that a person standing on top Mt. Hood, 11,250 feet, could not see the top of Mount Shasta, 400 miles south and 14,161 feet above the sea. Thus I knew some mathematical formula existed by which this story could be disproved.

I corresponded with Dr. Hans Lewy, Associate Professor of Mathematics, University of California, who climbed Mt. Shasta last summer; and I consulted a book on surveying and a newspaper article. The results are as follows:

Dr. Lewy found, by good geometrical procedure, that one could see 125 miles (approximately) from the summit of Mount Shasta to the horizon. From the summit of a mountain, a mile high one could see the horizon at a distance of 89 miles away. Thus Mt. Lowe would have to be 214 miles from Mt. Shasta in order for a person standing on the summit of either to see even the top of the other—and Mt. Lowe is 800 miles away.

In the book on Geodesy, or surveying, a correction table was found for the earth’s curvature and refraction. Together with formulas of geometrical nature, it was discovered that a person would be able to see the horizon 156 miles from the summit of Mount Shasta. And that in order to see Mount Shasta from Mount Lowe, even the highest tip on a clear day, one would have to build a town on Mount Lowe which would reach more than 40 miles into the air. This sounds too fantastic to believe until one draws a scale map and sees how much curvature there is in 800 miles of earth’s surface.

In commenting on a new popular-priced aeroplane recently put on sale, a formula was published in the Cincinnati Enquirer for March 24, 1940, which gives a method of finding out how far away the horizon is from different altitudes. In this formula, one takes the square root of the altitude in feet and multiply by 1.44 miles. Using this system it will be discovered that the horizon is about 179 miles from the summit of Mount Shasta.

It is obvious that the facts of clear wealth, atmosphere, and intervening mountain ranges play a large part in determining how much of these miles a person can actually see, as anyone who has tried to see the ocean on a clear day from the Summit well knows.

Using the last set of figures, the farthest Mt. Lowe could be, in a straight line, from Mt. Shasta would be 240 miles in order that the summit of one could be seen from the summit of the other. Nothing has yet been said about the foothills, which would be covered up by intervening hills from the observer’s view even should the earth be proved flat. However, we leave to the judgment of the reader conclusions as to the validity of this story which sounds to us more like an opium dream.

Liked it? Take a second to support Bizarre.Los.Angeles on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *