If you are familiar with the memorial that sits in Josephine Saddle in the Santa Rita Mountains, you at least know that three boys died during a hiking trip in November of 1958.
Thomas Johnson, a Green Valley resident and avid hiker with the Green Valley Hiking Club, interested in the history of the Santa Rita Mountains for many years, has written an accounting of the events surrounding that sad day.
Here is Part Thirteen:
About 150 people were participating in the search with about another 150 people providing support. Also, a helicopter and a C-45 from Davis-Monthan AFB and numerous civilian light aircraft participated in an aerial search of the area. The helicopter, piloted by Capt. Robert Johnson, rescued two airman from Davis-Monthan who had been marooned in the canyon but had not yet been reported missing. Bruce LaNoue returned home to get provisions and equipment and then returned to the canyon. He set up camp on Josephine Saddle and remained there for the next 18 days participating in the search for the three boys. He even had the family dog join in the search for three days hoping the dog would find his master. Temperatures were dropping to around 0°F at night and only raising to about 32°F during the day
Tuesday, 18 November 1958– About 100 searchers participated in the search on the 18th without any success. Two of the searchers were young ranch hands Glenn Carleton and J. L. Monzingo who searched up the Temporal Trail from Patagoniaon horseback. Just before reaching the U-shaped curve in the trail around McBeth Springs, Glen’s horse suddenly stopped. Upon dismounting, Glen noticed that his horse’s hooves had become entangled in a telephone wire. Glen removed the wire from his horse and wrapped it around an adjacent bush. The wire at one time had connected the Forest Service’s Madera Administrative Site to the Patagonia Ranger Station but was no longer used or maintained and had fallen down in many areas. He also retrieved a matchbook that had been clipped to the wire. The two cowboys noticed nothing else out of the ordinary so they proceeded on to Josephine Saddle. These two clues would help many years later in an analysis of how the three boys ended up where they did. Before the day was over, FortHuachucawas requested to provide a large number of soldiers when they realized it was going to take a massive search effort. A call was also made to Russell Cone who was living in Los GatosCaliforniato come and bring his bloodhounds to aid in the search.