Blythe Intaglios The Southern California Geoglyphs

Four thousand miles to the north of the widely photographed and thoroughly studied geoglyphs at Nazcathere lies another, almost unnoticed and certainly neglected, identical unsolved mystery of gigantic proportions, and in the most unlikely of places—Southern California. The best known of the Southern California geoglyphs are the Blythe Intaglios, located about 230 road miles east of Los Angeles. Although discovered in the 1920s from an old WW I vintage aircraft, they were not photographed until 1932. The ground drawings or geoglyphs were created by humans for an, as of yet, unknown reason. The intaglios are located east of the Big Maria Mountains, about 15 miles (24 km) north of downtown Blythe, just west of U.S. Highway 95 near the Colorado River.

The now widely known Blythe Intaglios caused a stir of interest in 1943 when General George C. Marshall, along with General Hap Arnold flew over the site in a WW 11 bomber. As a consequence, General Marshall persuaded the National Geographic Society to do a cursory ground and flyover survey of the area nearly 9 years later.

One of the Blythe Intaglios (photographed by Ron's Log)

The Blythe Intaglios (anthropomorphic geoglyphs) were created by scraping away layers of darker rocks or pebbles to reveal a stratum of lighter-valued soil. The displaced rocks outlined the figures and the exposed soil was stamped down which makes it more difficult for plants to grow in the lines.

There are three groupings here, each having a giant human figure, the largest 170 feet tall with outstretched arms extending 158 feet. Another is stepping out of a large disfigured circle 140 feet across, while two have long-tailed 50 ft. horse-like animals alongside. There is a spiral glyph clearly etched above the rump of one and a double-linked spiral near the other (maybe snakes?). 

These enormous effigies, impossible to comprehend from the flat desert surface they are imprinted upon, are estimated to be about 1100 years old (900 AD). The experts conclude, therefore, that the two longlegged animals must be mountain lions, since only the Spanish usurpers had horses and they would not be on the scene for another six centuries. Any earlier horses or pack animals would therefore have had to be of foreign origin. Strangely, a geomagnetic anomaly was also detected within these figures, according to Salvator Trento, author of Mysterious Places of the Pacific Coast.

Fisherman, Bouse AZ

At Bouse near Parker, Arizona, about fifty miles up-river from Blythe, a 200 ft. tall human figure
lies engraved into the flat dry desert surface as if standing poised, with spear in hand, taking careful aim at stylized fish swimming just below the implied surface of an incised ripple. Over one shoulder the universal sun symbol seems to shine brightly while a lone bird, as if in flight, glides over the other. An almost idyllic scene in simplistic art style, as if it were intended to be a travel poster for the local imaginary “Riverside Sportsman Club” of long ago. A powerful message, but for whom was it intended and is it also ancient?

Still the same enigma, this giant graphic expression cannot be seen from the surrounding area unless the observer can levitate to about 1000 ft. above the image. This “ Fisherman” effigy [there may be another] was found only recently in 1984, and many more images could still exist, isolated and undiscovered in the vast reaches of this inhospitable desert. Some could, however, remain inaccessible by being located on restricted Government lands.


Atlantis Rising Magazine vol.29 September/October 2001: "Southern California's Geoglyph Mystery by Richard McNulty"

Pic Source:

Atlantis Rising Magazine vol.29 September/October 2001: "Southern California's Geoglyph Mystery by Richard McNulty" page 24

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