|Posted on June 16, 2017 at 8:50 PM|
Stockton and Lemuria: Case Closed
Posted Jun 3, 2017 at 1:30 PM
A New York paranormal researcher and filmmaker says he’s finally cracked the case of a mysterious man who pulled off the most outlandish flimflam in Stockton history.
Stephen Sindoni says after years of sleuthing he’s discovered the true identity of a ‘J.C. Brown’ who in 1934 tricked scores of Stocktonians into believing in a fabled place called Lemuria.
“The information below will connect the dots,” Sindoni writes. “American folklore and legend has now one less mystery.”
Come with me down the rabbit hole as I explain. And remember, I don’t make ’em up. I just report ’em.
The Stockton Record of June 9, 1934, reported that 80 Stocktonians were found that morning at the inner harbor waiting in vain for boats. When questioned, the people said they had signed onto an archeological expedition. One supposed to take them north to Mount Shasta and deep inside the mountain.
There, these people believed, recently had been discovered remains of a race of higher beings, the Lemurians. Lemuria is a legend, “the Atlantis of the Pacific.” Many Stocktonians had sold their houses and quit jobs, expecting to become rich and famous, like Lord Carnavon had done a decade earlier by discovering the treasure-filled tomb of Tutankhamen.
Except the boats didn’t come. It was all bullpucky. The Record ran a jubilant, top-of-the fold, page 1 headline: 80 Stocktonians Left Behind in Search for ’Lost Continent.′ When the reporter got around to the “who” and “why,” the victims said they had been attending daily lectures on Lemuria held in a house on the 1700 block of North San Joaquin Street. The lecturer, a mining engineer who claimed to have discovered it, called himself J.C. Brown.
Cultured, white-haired, Brown, 79, said he had stumbled onto a hidden door on Mount Shasta while doing geological research. The door opened onto a tunnel. In spellbinding detail, Brown described descending 11 miles to what he called “the Village” and finding among its dwellings, streets and ornate altars 27 skeletons of beings up to 10 feet in height; an embalmed king and queen; and a fortune in gold, radium and copper.
Brown was supposed to lead the expedition. But on departure day the boats (which had unbreakable Lemurian glass bottoms, Brown said) Brown did a royal Houdini. He was never heard from again.
Reporters investigating found he wasn’t who he said he was. But they never established Brown’s true identity. Or why he’d run such an elaborate ruse — he never took a penny from anybody.
I reported this delightful, baffling tale 10 years ago. Sindoni plucked it off the web. Sindoni became — I won’t say obsessed — determined to unravel the mystery of J.C. Brown.
The twist (as if this saga needs another one) is that Sindoni is one of those New Age/ufologist-types who really believes in Lemuria and other paranormal things.
He’s traveled to Stockton with a film crew to film locations (and me, sheepishly). He’s scoured the side of Mt. Shasta for the hidden door. For a decade he’s burrowed into archives in America and the United Kingdom to find who J.C. Brown really was.
“It is my strong belief that that J.C. Brown was really a man named John Benjamin Body,” Sindoni said. J.B. Body really was a (retired) mining engineer who had worked in Mexico and elsewhere for the Lord Cowdray Mining Company of England.
Sindoni unearthed records that show Body’s in-laws lived in a house right across San Joaquin Street from the one in which he lectured about Lemuria.
So it appears the man who pulled off the biggest prank in Stockton history was really a visiting retiree named J.B. Body.
But why? Who does that? Powered, perhaps, by energy from the vortex surrounding Mount Shasta we’ll find answers one day.