Mysteries Abound In Christopher Creek


Christopher Creek is not without its mysteries. Notorious John See told his mother that he had just “kilt” his wife, Annie, before he lit out for Mexico with the silver bullion stolen from the Silver King Mine. Now, the mystery isn’t whether he shot her on his ranch here along the Creek or in Tonto Basin. Nor, is the mystery whether there is still silver bullion hidden around the old ranch. No, the mystery is how does a wife-murdering-silver-bullion-robber get a spring and a canyon named after him. Not only that, how does Gila County get off not releasing case files? It remains an open murder case, after well over 100 years! That is quite mysterious in and of itself.

Mystery No. 2 has to do with bones ... human bones! Back in the very early 1990s, a fella was hiking along the base of the Mogollon Rim, right near the Creek. He happened upon some bits of clothing, which included a web belt, some denim and maybe a tennis shoe among skeletal human remains. GCSO was summoned to investigate. A report came out in the paper a few days later with even fewer details. The fella who made this discovery was Frank Szczepanski. His name could have been mentioned a little earlier in this story, but the mystery of the spelling of his last name gave me pause. To whom the bones belonged is not the mystery. Nor is the mystery why we never heard any results of the GCSO investigation. The mystery is how does one hike along the base of the Mogollon Rim in some of the most treacherous terrain imaginable?

Mystery No. 3 will remain just that. Some people wait their entire lives for a UFO encounter and when it happens, it takes considerable time to wrap their minds around what it was that they saw. Since it has been only one year since this sighting, we must be patient until the three individuals are ready to come forward and, thus, their names shall remain a mystery ... for now!

Another mystery concerns a dinosaur bone unearthed while excavating a footing right here in the Creek. One can easily determine that this is a vertebra, that there are attachment points for appendages such as ribs or hips and that the poor fella may have suffered from arthritis owing to its rough texture. There is also a perfectly symmetrical oval through which the spinal cord would pass. Now, the mystery is twofold — how old might this fossil be and from what dinosaur did it come? No one need be contacted to authenticate or debunk the authenticity of this specimen because they would only try to take it away from the person who has possession ... and, fossilized dinosaur bone or not, he has become quite fond of showing it!

Six years ago, Ashley Dodson, first grandchild of Dean and Genny Dodson, was diagnosed with lupus. This is a nasty autoimmune disease, which targets the organs. At age 19, Ashley required open-heart surgery for a valve replacement. Saturday, 10 of the family, including Ashley’s boyfriend, will do the three-and-a-half mile walk. Donate online at: AshleyTeam.

Remember next Saturday at 1 p.m. is the Chili Cook-Off and Kentucky Derby Party. Tasting is $3. If you are not cookin’ chili you are a taster. The winner takes home the cash. Call (928) 363-0121 to enter chili.

Among the first sightings last weekend were Wayne and Carol, along with their guests Dan and Sherry. Mark and Linda Kessler, who have the new house up on Acorn were here. Greg Kuntz from way down on Columbine Road was here.

Kenn and Pat’s grandson, Chase, came to the Creek to take his granddad fishing. Three-year-old Chase also found great joy in traversing the Creek at the car wash in the golf cart ... again and again and again.

Gary and Marge Anderson just returned from their adventure to the African Savanna. Adventure, indeed ... somehow Marge ended up with a broken arm!

Event planners and other powerful people in the Creek have determined that the Fourth of July Parade will again be held on a day other than the 4th. July 6th will be the date and 11 a.m. will be the time.

Back in the day, Feb. 4, 1950, to be a little more precise, 22-year-old Delbert Worcester crashed his Taylorcraft airplane into the side of the Rim a couple miles up See Canyon. Several people have visited the wreckage over the years. Little was known about the pilot until this month when an 85-year-old Delbert Worcester returned to See Canyon to tell his story while his two sons hiked to the crash site.

This is the final mystery ... just how in the world did he survive it?

We must thank the Worcester Family and Jan Clark from Mountain Meadow Bible Camp for allowing us to be there as this story unfolded. Thanks, also, to Duane Hansel for the heads up ... and that’s another week in the Creek!

“Do it again, Grandpa!”


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