First stop on the way to Ballarat was the former home of TJ Walleman in Trona.
(photo taken at Marc's request. lol.)
Next stop, Ballarat.
This is the Ballarat General Store
This is Rocky the caretaker and Grump
We gave Liz some private time with Bobby's Power Wagon
Patty, Matt & Liz in front of the Power Wagon
Close by is a cemetery for old miners.
Seen here is Seldom Seen Slim.
Shortly after after our arrival we were met by Sgt. Paul Dostie
Sgt. Dostie and Buster
At the Ballarat cemetery Sgt Dostie demonstrated for us how Buster finds graves.
Buster chose the two spots that had the highest composition of "Volatile Organic Compounds" (VOC's) which are produced by human bone decomposition.
ON TO GOLER WASH
The mouth of Goler Wash
The only really difficult spot to pass is a spot called "the waterfall". It was mostly dry on this morning but it's no easy task to get even a four wheel drive over it. We had three!
We helped get some dune buggies over the waterfall by moving around some rocks, etc. They then in turn helped us get the first of our three vehicles across. Funny story: Later on in the day these folks in the buggies arrived at Barker's and listened to the stories with great interest. Long story made short, we have some enthusiastic new readers!
The Newman Cabin. Located about half way up Goler.
It was frequently used by the Family.
A few shots of our inspection of the main house:
THE SUSPECTED GRAVE SITES
Sgt Dostie, Buster and others have identified five possible VOC "alert sites" around Barker Ranch. They are referred to as: Buster 1, Buster 3, Buster 4 and Ness 1.
Four of them are believed to be grave sites, the other (Buster 2) is believed to be a "scent pool" since it is located just downhill from Buster 3.
Sgt Dostie with Mr. Patty at VOC site "Buster 1"
Sgt Dostie with Mr. Patty at VOC site "Buster 3"
Sgt Dostie with Mr. Patty at VOC site "Ness 1"
Sgt Dostie explains VOC site "Buster 4". It is located close to the front porch of the ranch. This one is particularly strong. It is speculated that it contains two young men killed with swords by two male family members. This may be why Robert Hendrickson said he could smell death while at the front door!
A bit of explanation is in order. Excavations on Barker's Ranch have come up "empty" by the authorities. The problem is this:
The point is, that the 3- 3 1/2 feet that was excavated only reached down to where the topsoil was in 1969! Charlie learned early on in prison that cops will only dig 6 feet. He has admitted in recorded telephone conversations that the Family buried these people at least 8 feet to avoid detection by police digs. With the alluvial deposits described above, law enforcement would have needed to dig 11 feet to find these remains. They stopped at less than 4 feet!
The "Helter Skelter Truck" located in a gully behind Barker Ranch.
It is also a Dodge Power Wagon.
The group with the Helter Skelter Truck
Curiously, somebody moved the Helter Skelter Truck. It used to be in a mostly buried state here, where you see the tire. Someone (fairly recently) dragged it down to where you see it farther down the hill.
Myers ranch is is nicely maintained. The pool looks usable and irrigation hoses feed young trees and shrubs around the house that will eventually become great shade.
The main house
The Myers Ranch pool
The Myers Ranch pool and a side building