* Editors' Follow-up, 8/6/01: Recently our good friend and esteemed author LeRoy Johnson agreed that the time had come to lift the veil of anonymity from the entertaining, albeit now fictional, prose on the origin of the mysterious trunk. Below are LeRoy's words of explaination, but first our thanks to LeRoy for choosing DeathValley.com as his medium for mischief:
"I must confess, I did it. In my futile effort to find the hoaxter who planted the trunk, many trail buffs and would-be historians gave me their explanation on how the trunk got in the cave where Jerry Freeman found it (Jerry died of prostate cancer in March). Some even went so far as to suggest space aliens are the culprits. I wove their comments into the spoof story. These "believers" are suffering from the Roswell, New Mexico syndrome, as are those who believe William Robinson left the trunk there in 1850.
There will be people who will not believe I wrote the spoof. For those doubters, look at the first capital letter letter in paragraphs 1,2,3,4 and 5 of the story—LEROY. I had hoped this spoof would flush the hoaxter out of the cholla cactus grove, no luck. I had fun writing it and I hope you had fun reading it.