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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 09/24/2008 : 9:06:27 PM
Return to Covelo
Author: Michele Stump
Distributed by Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
HPI (Hegelianism Paranormal Intelligence) International
Paranormal Hotline: (916) 203-7503 - 4 Advice & Investigations
Hegelianism Paranormal Intelligence (International)
BELOW IS A BLAST FROM THE PAST!
Dennis Rano - UFO Artist Draws Deanna Jaxine Stinson
as an Angel.
When someone thinks they may have a haunting, the first question that is usually asked is if their suspicions are true. When evidence suggests that it is, the next question is usually, why? It is at that time that historical research is necessary to get to the bottom of why a haunting is occurring. When researching the dark history of the little town of Covelo, California, the question of whether or not it is haunted is a resounding, “How could it not be?” Covelo, located in the mountains of Mendocino County is the site of mass extermination and genocide of the Northern California Indians. It is often referred to as the California Holocaust History says that approximately 15-20 thousand Indians died in the Round Valley and Covelo, as well as the surrounding mountains. The locals will tell you that the numbers were probably much, much more. It is these horrific deaths, and a somber and disturbing series of events that unfolded upon this place that has left me with the absolute certainty that hauntings do exist. It is also the history and the people of Covelo that has caused me to fall in love with the beautiful Round Valley forever. Allow me to tell you the tale.
For thousands of years, the Yuki Indians, as well as other tribes resided in the vast wilderness of Northern California. The Yukis were naturally protected in the valley from predators including the mountain lion, grizzly bear, and wolves which are now extinct in California, and also from the Spanish rounding up Indians to work in the missions dotting the California Coast during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. The Yukis, as well as other tribes in California were very spiritual. They believed that they were one with their surroundings and the animals and humans were once one in the same. Together, animal and human spoke to each other. To the California Natives, as well as ancient people throughout the Americas, the supernatural was a regular way of life. There are hundreds of myths and legends involving mythical creatures like the “giant” and “little people”, water nymphs, elves, tree fairies, ogres, and other spirits that roamed the dense forests. Yuki Indians, as well as the surrounding natives, were effective hunters. They spent hours along the banks of the Eel River patiently and diligently carving arrowheads and spearheads from jagged rocks scattered on the ground. At our campsite, I found many remnants of these artifacts. One in particular was in surprisingly excellent condition. Upon inspection of my unique find, it was determined that this particular arrowhead was someone’s favorite stone as it had been recarved several times. I became quite addicted to kicking through gopher holes and sifting through dried riverbeds trying to find sharp, shiny, grooved stones. It was clear that the Indian population was flourishing long ago, as artifacts were abundant along the Eel River.
In 1848, gold was discovered in Coloma, and as the news spread, thousands of settlers migrated west, and eventually began to explore coastal territory in search of the precious metal. Along their journey, settlers were apaulled by the sight of native “savages”. Their garments were of animal skin and barely covered them. It was common for them to completely unclothed. They scrambled along the ground and collected insects and acorns, and other leavings. They spoke different tongues and hunted with crude weapons. They had grown quite fond of whiskey, yet became oblivious, pathetic creatures when they consumed it. They were feared and despised and soon, a plea was made on behalf of the new Californians that these monsters must be disposed of, and what resulted was the most abhorrent and evil strategy to bring the California Indians to extinction. And so, with the aid of pioneers with a lust for blood and a vengeful and greedy government, massacres and acts of abhorrent inhumanity sprawled across California. I read of a massacre that occurred near Ukiah in which 40 Indians, mostly women and children, were hacked to pieces and left near a creek, their arms and legs severed from their bodies, children decapitated, the scalps of their bucks proudly displayed. Women were frequently violently raped and beaten and then disposed of violently or mayhem was committed against them, leaving them permanently disfigured. Venerable, frightened, and helpless children were stripped from their mothers’ arms and kept as slaves or sold to ranchers to be held to work in the fields. The children were sent to boarding schools to learn the ways of the white man and brainwashed to abandon their beliefs and heritage. Most of the natives succumb to disease; among these was syphilis, as a result of the frequent sexual attacks committed upon their squaws. Syphilis causes painful ulcers in the skin and in the later stages, attacks the nervous system causing damage to the heart, internal organs, and the brain, causing insanity and eventually, a painful death. The Round Valley and protective mountains managed to avoid such atrocities, but their lives would soon turn to nightmares.
In 1856, the peaceful lives of the Yuki Indians would become an existence of death and despair. Frank Azbill, a white pioneer, gathered his men and rode into the valley. At the base of the mountain, they came across a small village of Yukis totaling about 40 in number. All of them, including women and children, were brutally slain without provocation. The remaining Yukis were taken prisoner. As more pioneers arrived in the valley and staked claim on the land, the Yukis were driven further north into the valley, the driest and more undesirable part of the land. Because of the isolation of the valley, it was later determined that the Round Valley would serve well as a reservation and over the years, thousands of Indians were driven into the valley by force.
This round up of the surrounding tribes was referred to what is now called the “Death March”. Indians collected from Chico were marched into the Round Valley. The trek was 140 miles and it took a week to complete. An estimate 450 Indians began the trek but only about half ever made it into the valley. The elderly were far too week. Survivors recall the old ones insisted that they could not go any further and asked to be left at the side of the trail, their baskets laid next to them, and left to perish alone in the harsh wilderness. Other horrific stories were told by the survivors. One Indian recalled that the mothers would kill their babies along the trail because they were slowly suffering and dying of starvation. Other infants were silenced of their cries at the hands of the soldiers and volunteers by swinging them by the feet and crushing their tiny skulls against the rocks. A ten year old girl was shot dead for being a nuisance and lagging behind.
Upon arriving in the Valley, they were subjected to even more challenges. The Indians followed a rigid social structure. The ignorant whites did not realize this, nor did they realize that some small tribes were bitter enemies. The Nomlaki tribes, for example were enemies with the Yuki’s; as a matter of fact, Yuki means “enemy” in Nomlaki language. The Wialaki tribe was also an enemy to several tribes. They were considered aggressive and many tribes feared them. Suddenly, these tribes, and others, some nine or more tribes in all, found themselves in a fight for their lives, and a fight that these enemies must fight together or surely die. Round Valley Indians are often referred to as Pomo. Pomo is not an individual tribe but a name for a mix of about 7 tribes, as a result of this forced cohabitation. Another challenge was the scarcity of food. The Indians fenced off areas to grow their small crops but whites continued to encroach upon reservation land, allowing their livestock to trample through their gardens and whites even proceeded to steal their modest crops, thus leaving the Indians no choice but to steal livestock and cattle. When the Indians attempted to hunt for deer and boar, they were driven away, or even killed. Mining operations upstream severely damaged the fish population also, depleting yet another valuable food source necessary for Indian survival. The desperation for food caused the natives no other recourse but to steal, causing even more bitterness toward the poor, starving Diggers. At one point, the whites tried to encroach upon Indian land fenced off and separated by a creek. The Indians fought back and a melee ensued, killing more Indians and some whites as well. The site of the melee is now the property of the local landfill. Proper, considering that this area has a very dismal feeling to it. I doubt that this area could be inhabitable because of the intense negative energy there. My dog would not get out of the car at this place. He found the area unsettling, as did I.
It has been 150 years since the horrors of the Round Valley unfolded. Unfortunately, the bitterness here still lingers today. It seems that there are many factors that leave Covelo in a state of stagnation with the modern world. First of all, there is Highway 162. This is the only road leading in and out of the valley. It is a 28 mile winding road leading into the mountains. Many people have lost their lives on this road traveling too fast, losing control, and plunging into the Eel River below. Each time I have traveled this road, I become very nervous. Both times, I have not driven, just sat in the passenger seat silently saying a prayer that I would make the trip safely. Many conversations from the locals involve the condition of their brakes in their vehicles. It is quite clear that the long drive along Highway 162 is treated with respect and caution. Some residence of Covelo never leave the Valley, avoiding the danger altogether. Some have said that if a road were to lead out of the Valley to the north, it would provide more opportunity to seek work and encourage more people to venture out. A new, safer road may also lower costs of goods and services, as distributors and trucks drivers would not be so reluctant to risk their safety. Some residents of Covelo avoid civilization outside of the Valley for other reasons, mostly to avoid prejudice from the general population and from law enforcement. No one in Covelo likes the police. I have not, however, observed exactly why. Apparently, there is harassment, prejudice, and even corruption involved with the local law enforcement, including a controversial shooting that occurred in the 1990’s, killing a young resident on the reservation, and more recently, the “suicide” of a police officer in town.
Alcoholism may be to blame for this soured relationship between the police and the Indians on the reservation. Indians historically have a weakness when it comes to liquor. Having worked with police officers, correctional officers, and prosecutors, I understand that an indifferent attitude emerges when law enforcement deals with addiction and crime on a daily basis. What I can’t understand is why no one has attempted to unravel the mystery of why Indians in particular are so profoundly affected by alcohol. Perhaps some compassion can be practiced on the part of law enforcement, and health care professionals. If the healthcare industry were to discover a physiological explanation into the Indians’ intolerance to alcohol, millions of people all over the world may be freed from the personal imprisonment, hopelessness, and imminent death of alcoholism. This concept could pave the way to opportunity and empowerment in communities across the globe.
The spirits of Covelo may be the most influential factor in the negative energy surrounding the Valley. On this trip to Covelo, I did not feel or experience as strong of a presence as my last visit here. Perhaps this was due to the lack of water flowing through the Eel River and surrounding creeks. Most of the creeks were dried up completely and the river was barely trickling. Moving water produces energy, as an alternative to fuel, as well as portal to the spiritual world. Even with the absence of flowing water, subtle happenings did occur to alert me that the presence of spirit was still very much alive. As I walked along the bank of the dwindling river, just down the bank from our campsite, I was overwhelmed by the feeling of deep sadness. In some places, I had to fight back the feeling of wanting to weep. In this riverbed, I found a very bizarre stone that appeared to have been carved into a face. What is really chilling is that the face looks like that of an ape. Could this have been a depiction of Sasquatch? We walked across a small footbridge over the Eel River at night. As I walked, I distinctly felt something grab onto the back of my arm. I looked to my left, think that my boyfriend Scott had grabbed hold of me but both of his arms were at his sides. A photograph revealed a small bright orb on my arm where I felt the invisible hand. I caught a glimpse of some shadows out of the corner of my eye as well as unexplained noises, but nothing really poignant. What happened when I returned home however, was a bit disturbing. On Tuesday night, the night after we returned home, I was awakened by a violent nightmare in which I was being beaten over the head with a large stick or a bat. Just after I woke, my four year old daughter began to scream. It was about
2 a.m. When I reached my hallway to enter my daughter’s room, I was overcome by a foul odor. I turned on the light to see if perhaps my dog had left me a present on the floor in the hallway, but I saw nothing to explain the nauseating smell. When I opened the door to my daughter’s room, the smell disappeared. Lindsey had also had a violent nightmare in which she was being chased by some girls with a knife. She awoke just as she was being attacked. The next day I burned some sage and said some prayers, asking for any negative spirits to leave my home, and for only the love and light of God to enter. None of us have had any nightmares or our sleep disturbed since. My boyfriend, Scott did experience some severe fatigue in days following our trip. I also had this experience the first time I went to Covelo. I have called this “Indian Fever” which is the drained feeling from spirits drawing energy from the living. His fatigue subsided after about four days. I can certainly understand that the negative energies emanating from the blood soaked land could cause the residents to live in an angry, depressed, and hopeless state. It is my understanding that Shamans have come to the Round Valley and have attempted to heal this land, but to no avail. Perhaps the healing must begin from within the living souls that remain. Sobriety, restoration of strong native spirituality, compassion, and encouragement by the unoppressed, may one day, slowly restore this beautiful valley to the peaceful land that it once was. It is my hope and belief that continuing understanding of our California history and vigorous philanthropy and advocacy toward the Round Valley Indians will make this dream a reality.
Sam - New HPI Fan!
A Special Note from the General Manager of H.P.I. (Haunted and Paranormal Investigations International).
Michele Stump is an exceptional paranormal investigator and has been with HPI for some time now. She has conducted several investigations and came up with some fantastic results in either debunking or actually capturing paranormal evidence. Michele recently was positioned as a lead investigator and will be conducting her first private home investigation with her selected team. She is an exceptional researcher, historian, paranormal investigator and now lead investigator. Congratulations Michele!
Paul Dale Roberts, General Manager/Ghostwriter
H.P.I. (Haunted and Paranormal Investigations International)
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