UPDATED NOV 27 2016
A GOOD STORY FOR THE SHABOT TABLE
Every night the TavrigerRav lit a candle and sat in his room learning. One night thelight was spotted and a team of soldiers came bursting threw hisdoor. In a heartbeat he was sentenced to death. He was asked ifhe had any last requests. He said, “You caught me in the middleof a very difficult Rambam. I would like a few minutes to try and get clarity in it. In those passing minutes the noise of national army was heard in the distance and the enemy soldiers fled. For some, a few minutes of life means a few more minutes of learning. For all, a few more minutes of learning means life. Every once in a while we get to see it clearly.
Here follow the famous story of Yosef Mokir Shabbat (Joseph who honors the Sabbath) who was especially known by this title even by non-Jews due to his special honor for Shabbat by buying special delicacies for Shabbat. Anyways, there was this rich non-Jew in town who was warned by astrologers that his positions would be taken over by the Jew known as Yosef Mokir Shabbat. Fearing this prediction, he sold all of his possessions for a precious pearl which he placed in his hat that he was wearing. Then one day, he passed by a river, and puff…the wind blew his hat into the river, which was swallowed by a fish. Before long, fisherman were attempting to catch some fish at the river on a Friday, and after waiting long for their efforts, they came up with a big fish. However, it was rather late in the day, and the Jews in town already had made their Sabbath purchases, and so there was no special demand of fish at this time of day (there was no refrigeration the way that we have it today, and hence, were afraid of loosing a day’s work worth of fish). Then, someone suggested “Hey, we know of the perfect customer – Yosef Mokir Shabbat”. Upon this, they wasted no time coming to his door with the prized fish, which he gladly paid for. He then opened up the fish in preparing it for Shabbat, only to find that pearl that the rich non-Jew lost; following which, the Jew sold it for 13 attics full of gold dinars, making him a wealthy person. Now, the story does end off with who is believed to be Eliyahu HaNovi (Elijah the prophet) who encountered him, telling him what the rabbis say that one who borrows to honor the Shabbat, the Shabbat repays him back, and we can all learn from this story when it comes to having faith in Hashem in terms of honoring the Shabbat via our finances.
it is interesting to note that the particular number used in reference to Yosef Mokir Shabbat becoming wealthy as a result of his honoring the Shabbat is 13, and perhaps is even the basis, along with what I have mentioned in the past, as to why non-Jews consider the number 13 a most unluckly number, while we Jews consider this a most lucky number. And to think of it, this story of the fish took place on a Friday. Indeed, following the story of the non-Jew loosing his wealth to a Jew who became wealthy on Friday and sold the pearl for 13 measures of gold, it is no wonder why non-Jews have a superstitious crush on Friday the 13th
Yesterday I posted something on the “superstition
mountains” . Today I was on a thread about faces
of Holy men and someone put up part of this story
from the “superstition mountains”. I found more
of it. There is no coincidences , Its a very strange story.
|I am submitting to all Dragonslayers a multipart true life adventure as told to me by one of our members as he experienced it 24 years ago. Some of you know him for who he is; a retired, at the age of 22, highly decorated Vietnam war veteran who was Special Forces trained and who served three tours fighting communists, rescuing POW’s and working special missions for Air America. It cost him his right leg, yet he was still well equipped to meet this next period of his life. Keep in mind that the Soldier had no knowledge of Dracs at the time. When we met, and he began his new education to what is going on around him, and I could see curious recognition from time to time coupled with a deep fear that he quickly hid. It was three months later that he told me of his 18 month ordeal in the Superstition Mountains in May of 1975 . The story came grudgingly at first; obviously with much mental pain, and with occasional reluctance and reservation. But because of what he knows now, taught by myself and others on DS, he knew he couldn’t keep hidden what he now recognized as a Draco base camp. He desires to use for the present a fictitious name for his boss…. we will call “Phil Allen”.
Here is the beginning of his story…. of his life for two years among the Dracos and Pteradons with their little ( 5 foot) Pets!!
In May of that year, I was asked to join a group of men who were bringing gold out of the Superstitions. The leader, Phil Allen, spent 20 years of his life researching Mexican archives, Spanish landgrants and Mexican Government documents. He discovered what he believed to be routes to 9 of the 12 Peralta family mines. Phil enlisted the aid of several others and together they found all 9. Using pack mules and horses, they moved in electric generators, hand held drills, food and supplies and set up a base camp 15 miles in. Others would keep this camp supplied and alternating teams of men would keep the mining camp supplied….well supplied…especially with ice, lots of ice as they liked to drink cold beverages, the one pleasure of the long hot day.
Since the last of the mines, No.’s 7, 8, & 9 were the most productive, they started there, core mining much in the ways the old timers had 150 yrs prior. The operation was covert. It was illegal for civilians to own bulk gold in those days. It was processed and flown out of the country. At 18 to 25 ounces per ton, it was a lucrative business at best. The mining camp was very small. It was at the top of a small arroyo or ‘holler’ and measured about 60′ square.. flaked on two walls by cliffs going up…on one by a sheer 90′ drop-off and open on the arroyo side which looked downhill of the 1/4 mile long arroyo. The mines were in the sides of the arroyo walls… so was the Draco entrance to their lair. Two-thirds of the way down from the mini-camp was a small stand of pinion pine trees..about 400 yards away and downhill.
Phil Allen knew. He had known of their existence for over 20 years. He had read of them in the old archives. He knew what they were …but not why- they were. Phil had spent his life in these mountains running down leads to the gold he was searching for. He saw them from time to time, following him, pacing his movements. Terrified at first, he soon came to the conclusion that if he simply ignored them nothing would happen…and nothing ever did.
It was different at the little camp, for in the arroyo walls was a fourth entrance, hidden behind brush as were all of the others. At first the group would set up a night guard for themselves. But it soon became evident that they could not continue mining by day and guarding by night. It was decided that they would hire a full time night guard. They lost five men in the first three months. One simply ran-never to be heard of again. Two returned via the base camp, not even stopping for water or supplies, they rode their horses clear out to U.S. 60 and on home! Two were found shredded, some parts missing but obviously quite dead. They were found down toward the end of the arroyo near a small stand of pinion pine trees, about two hundred yards from the camp. This was where the Dracs congregated and fed at night. This was were the Soldier’s year and a half nightmare began.
|Let’s digress for a moment and set some background to this epic. Phil and I met years ago shortly after I had retired from Vietnam. We both had an affinity for guns and through the heat of a summer afternoon we drank beer at a bar in Apache Junction while discussingballistics and shooting. It came out that Phil and some friends owned a local horse ranch and when called, worked as stuntmen for whatever Hollywood movie set that needed them. We got along famously and over the course of the next two years, I learned horses-how to ride, how to care for them…how to do stunt falls…trick mounting and dismounting; and guns. They taught me how to fast draw, shooting two hundred rounds a day and reloading them in the evening. They had a quick draw holster rig that was handmade for me and periodically I would join them in the little skits doing stunt shoots and falls they put on at Rawhide.
Conversely, I taught them long range shooting; being the expert, and at the end of two years, all five were as deadly at 800 yard shots, as I had become at 50 feet with my Long Colt 45. We had fun.
From time to time the men would disappear for a few weeks at a time to do movie stunts leaving the operation of the ranch to me. More often, Phil would go with some of the men and some others that I didn’t know into the Superstition Mountains. When I would ask about it, I was told simply, “Don’t ask!” – and I accepted that. In May of ’75 Phil came to me and explained what they were doing. Phil had spent his entire life researching and prospecting in the Superstitions. He spent months in northern Mexico in libraries, monasteries and in family archives researching Spanish land grants looking for information on what others thought were only rumors, the mysteriousPeralta gold mines. These were the mines that the Peralta family supposedly had developed between the mid 1700’s and the early 1800’s. Phil spent twenty years of his life being rich one-year and then dirt poor the next. He found 9 of the 12 reported mines.
It was at this point that Phil decided he needed my help. After an afternoon and most of one evening explaining what he had accomplished and what he wanted me to guard, Phil offered me what appeared at the time to be an exorbitant amount of money for the job. I was to move into the mountains with them and literally live there; sleeping days and doing the guard job at nights. I would be guarding against would be claim jumpers and the occasional weekend warrior who had stumbled off the beaten path who needed guidance to forest service trails ……..and against the Others.
Phil then told me what he had seen over the years. Only fleeting looks and occasional glances of men who looked like lizards.
Apparently the mines, No.’s 7 , 8 and 9 were nestled in the middle of a whole community of them. I had a hundred questions none of which Phil could answer. Two things came out,
number 1- they did not attack the miners unless they went down to the stand of pinions near the end of the arroyo at night and–
number 2- there were unspeakable horrible screams, growls and sounds that came up the arroyo for hours on end.
I was to ignore them and under no circumstance leave the safety of the camp. I knew Phil Allen; and despite the disbelief running around inside my head, knew that he believed what he had just told me. I then suggested that the authorities be called in and was promptly told that the mining operation was covert at best, since owning bulk gold was illegal. Phil had worked too long and too hard all of his life for this fortune to lose it over some “anthropological throw back”. I went to bed that night doubting Phil Allen for the first time since knowing him. But for $5000 a month, I’ll stay up nights and listen to anything scream a little.
At dawn the next morning we were on our way to the base camp with a small convoy of supply trucks, pickups pulling horse trailers and a new crew to replace those at the base camp. The operation lacked for nothing. At the main camp we had steak, beer, water, tents with comfortable bunks and beds, generators and the fuel to run them with electric lights-there were barbecue grills, hibachi’s and ice; Sweet wonderful ice. 105 temperatures were a daytime norm and 110+ were too frequent to count. We lived on ice. I was told that at least half of the supplies muled in to us every few days was ice.
We arrived at the mining camp about 4pm on my first day. As we rode up the arroyo the stand of pinions was pointed out to me. I stopped to have a look around and everything appeared to be normal. There were no signs of anyone or anything having ever been there. Off to the north in the canyon wall could be seen the entrance to what Phil called their cave. It was slightly larger than 4′ in diameter and was perfectly round. Nature doesn’t do straight lines or round ones. That was obviously man made. As I turned to go back to my horse and continue up to the camp, something caught my eye between two clumps of scrub grass. Moving one aside I saw what immediately scared the living hell out of me. It was a footprint…… three toed, wide and long enough for my size 11 Cochran’s to fit inside the print.
This brought goosebumps up along my arms and a chill to my spine. “Lets go.” I said. I suddenly didn’t want to be there anymore. My mind was having a hard time absorbing what I’d just seen and making it come out normal. One part said that what you just saw cannot be, and the other part said, well, there it is. It was then too, as we rode up the arroyo, I understood the Hollywood movie term we’ve all heard, “I need a drink”. Phil had some cold Beam at the camp.
|Finally we arrive at the mining camp; four men with horses and nine pack mules ready to be unloaded. The camp area itself was like a large flat rock about 60 feet square, more or less — and situated at the top of the arroyo. Off to the North side were some faded petroglyphs carved into the rock edge; A common thing throughout the desert southwest where Indian pilgrims and prospectors would carve or mark an area for whatever reason. While the other three were helping the two men that were already at the camp unload, I went down the 30 feet or so to see what Phil was using as a guard post. It was a series of boulders ranging from three and a half-to four feet high and each was nearly as wide, or wider. There were five of them arranged in a small semicircle, which was about fifteen feet long from one side of it to the other.
Two of them didn’t quite meet at the bottom leaving about a fifteen-inch gap in almost a square shape. I decided right then that it would become my prone firing position. I lay down and looked through. It would take a bit of clearing to get a clean shot from side to side; no problem there. The tops of the five boulders would be sufficient for a bench rest, a place where I could lay a rifle across the top of the boulder for a steadier shot down the slope toward the end of the arroyo, about 400 meters away. I made a mental note to have aiming stakes placed every fifty meters beginning at one hundred meters from the guard site. I didn’t like the curved gap between the tops of the boulders though. Phil would solve that later by having a few bags of concrete sent in and we would place other rocks between the boulders topped off by the flattest rocks that could be found from the abundant desert landscape in an effort to create as level a firing plane as possible. The arroyo walls were sheer all the way down with the usual desert flora and fauna abundantly flourishing. Some of that would have to be removed if for no other reason than to prevent someone from hiding behind it. The view of the stand of Pinions and Palo Verde trees was excellent from here. Again I made mental notes to have certain branches on particular trees removed and in two spots I had the smaller trees in front removed altogether.
The entrance to the cave was included in that clearance effort. I wanted to be able to see anything that moved in that part of the arroyo even if it was 400 metes away. Returning to my horse I pulled out the 30-06 Remington 700 that I had custom made here locally. The barrel was tuned and floated in the stock and was as accurate a weapon as man could make. I liked 180 grain, boattailed bullets for distance shooting and striking power at the end of a long shot. Those were custom made as well with just a little more power than the average factory round. My scope was a cheap Reddfield 3X9 variable but it suited me just fine and I was used to it. After years of practice I could hit anything I could see at 800 meters with relative ease so the 400 to 450 meter range I would have to deal with here was not going to be a problem.
Little did I know what changes were to be forthcoming.
Back up at the camp, the others were finished unpacking and caring for the mules and horses. It was a little crowded with six horses and four mules, but they were well hobbled and attached to a tie line in one corner of the camp area. Two of the men were just finishing up watering them as I came into the living area were the tents with cots inside were.
There was a rather sophisticated campfire/barbecue edifice made of cemented stones near the tents and one of the men was busily cooking up steaks and baked potatoes and ofcourse beans. Phil offered me a cold bud as I sat down on an empty box with some of the other men. There were six of us altogether and from what I was seeing each had his own specific assignment or job duty that tied in with everyone else. There was little wasted effort here!
“What do you think?” he asked.
“You tell me I’m up against giant lizard men capable of shredding a man wearing a .45 before he can pull it from his holster,” I said, referring to two of the five former guards who didn’t last. “These were stuntmen, quickdraw trained men who knew what they doing and they couldn’t protect themselves. What the hell good do you think I’m gonna’ be if they rush us?”
“They won’t.” Phil said.
“How can you say that! Is it just because they never have?”
“Nope, and I can’t tell you why either. A couple of times one of the big ones and a few of the little ones would come hauling ass up the canyon at us but they always stopped about fifty feet or so down from those boulders there and screamed and squalled at us for awhile before running back to that Palo Verde stand.”
“Hell, why didn’t you shoot ’em! I said.
“We did! Shit we’d burn up 30 or 40 rounds apiece and when they’d had enough, they would gather their dead and wounded and hightail it back down the canyon. They quit that shit though. Guess they couldn’t stand the losses.”
” I don’t understand. All they had to do was come up here and eat your asses up, but they stood out a ways and roared at you. This shit doesn’t add up, Phil. In fact, why have a guard at all? Looks like this rock is a safe haven for you.”
“Well, if it were up to me I probably wouldn’t have. I’ve been running around here for twenty years now and they haven’t bothered me. But if they do rush us or try to sneak up on us it’s going to be at night and I want some kind of warning if they do.”
“You won’t get much. Shit I could move half a dozen teams of SF troops right up to where that brush stops and you would never hear or see a thing – especially without a moon or a Starlight scope to see with.” “You want one?” he asked.
“What, a Starlight? Hell, they cost about $4 grand to start!”
“Look,” Phil said, ” I’m taking over $20 thousand a week out of here and flying it out of the county for processing to my banks in the Caymans. As long as the Feds won’t let us common citizens have bulk bouillon gold, I have no choice. I’m damn sure not gonna’ let things get fucked up just because of some goddamned anthropological throw back. The fuckin’ money is not the issue here!
Keeping my people safe is and I’ll spend what I need to keep this operation going for as long as I can. It won’t be long before some stupid ass ranger stumbles onto this and the game will be up anyway. For right now, you tell me what you need and I’ll see to it that you get it.”
“Alright. Bring in the best Starlight you can get and have it mounted on a Colt M16. I’m used to using it that way. Those Verdes are just about at the end of its range, but I like it better.”
“Be here in a week, ” he said, “Want another Bud?”
It was starting to get dark, and supper was being called out. We went over and sat down to eat a good medium rare steak.
|night fell quickly after we ate. Not having slept till 4am that morning I was not looking forward to
spending the warm night trying to stay awake watching the grove and the arroyo walls some 400 yards
below me. The moon would be full later on but it was near 7:30p now and the grey of twilight was
fading quickly to pitch black. I wore a Colt .45 revolver and I laid out my Remington 30.06 (with
scope). The scope was a post instead of the usual crosshairs and I’d had the post tipped with a little
radioactive titanium so I could aim at night with it. Phil and several of the men crowded into my little
watch area with me. Since this was my first night Phil thought it prudent that someone be with me for
the first few hours. After all, the goal was to mine Peralta gold and although they wouldn’t admit it,
the crew was anxious to be back up to the safety of “the rock”. Using the 60x spotting scope I began
to methodically search the clearing and the trees that ringed it.
“Anything?”, Phil asked.
“No, nothing but shadows so far,” I answered. “Why don’t you go ahead and get some sleep. You’ll
know if I need some help!”, I said with half a grin.
“Nope, not yet. You’re the new kid on the block and I figure they’re gonna cook something up special
just for you.”
He no sooner did he quit talking than a spine splitting scream came spiking its way up the path from the
direction of the little grove. I hadn’t had a scared feeling like that since I was in Vietnam six years
earlier. I grabbed the spotting scope, knocked it out of focus in my hurry and then jammed the damn
thing into my eye in my haste to get a look at what made that sound. I lost precious moments clearing
the tears out of my eye and getting the focus back.
Phil dropped behind the wall of boulders cursing faster than I could hear it and his son-in-law, Ron hit
the ground at a dead run, falling to his knees next to Phil. He was carryiing a Remington 12ga and he
chambered a round as his head came up over the top of the boulders at the same time the barrel did.
What I saw make my blood run cold. Not just the lizards but the woman who was tied to the X cross
in the grove below me. The taller of the lizards leaned over and buried his head between her head and
right shoulder. It took a moment for her second scream of the night to reach us. It like to split me open
with it’s sound of pure terror and forlorn frustration. I grabbed my rifle, cranked the scope to it’s max
power setting and took another look. When that thing moved away from her most of the muscle
above her right clavicle was gone and although I couldn’t see color at night that far away, I knew
what I saw running down her blouse was her own blood.
“Take ’em both.”, Phil whispered.
I put my first round exactly between her eyes and the second into the lizard just below where his right
ear should have been. His head split open like a melon spewing crap everywhere.
“Oh, you done it now!”, and I could see a dozen or more of the lizard bastards running, zig-zagging
up the arroyo toward us using the boulders and brush for what cover they could.
Oh, you done it now!” and I could see a dozen or more of the lizard bastards running, zigzagging up