Gems of Research: Unusual Places, Mysteries Abounding


Doing research for one of my novels years ago I came across the mysterious moving rocks in Death Valley National Park, California. Specifically they are in the Racetrack Playa of Death Valley which is nothing more than an almost perfectly flat dry riverbed. The boulders actually move by themselves and leave long trails in the dirt behind them. (Check out the photos on the web, just search for: Death Valley Moving Rocks). Some of these boulders weigh hundreds of pounds. There are many theories about how these boulders move around as they do, but none that can be proven.

Then there is Superstition Mountain in Arizona. I first heard of that when a Las Vegas local man claimed to have communed with extraterrestrials on that mountain. Doing research I found the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s gold mine, which is supposed to be somewhere on Superstition Mountain and has to this day never been found.

And hearing more stories of UFO’s and alien activity I made a trip to Search Light, Nevada and the dry riverbeds just south of town. I saw lots of lights zipping around in the sky and with my writer’s imagination working overtime the trip was labeled as successful. (I later learned I was under a flight pattern for McCarran Airport in Vegas).

However, as a fiction writer I am not bound by facts or truth. I am fascinated by these places and hope someday to find a place for them in my writing. In the meantime I’ll surely uncover more mysterious places and tales of the unknown. Are there mysterious places close to where you live? Places that tweak your imagination?


Filed under writing

2 responses to “Gems of Research: Unusual Places, Mysteries Abounding

  1. christinehusom

    Nancy, I hadn’t heard of the moving rocks–intriguing! Mysterious places? We lived in a haunted house for a while. We kept trying to give logical explanations for the unusual happenings and then gave it up and accepted it was “Old Man Maas”.

    There are 300 lakes, 2 rivers and countless ponds, marshes, creeks in our county, and they provide endless possibilities for the fictional crimes in my mystery thrillers.

  2. Wow Christine, have you made friends with Old Man Maas? That’s really interesting and I think those spooky places add a lot to the mood of the thrillers and mysteries.

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