Lake Mead bodies interest climate scientists, mob historians

Skeletons found in a crate in Lake Mead earlier this month fascinated and horrified two distinct groups that often don’t have much in common: historians and climate scientists.

Less than a week after the unnamed body was found in a crate, paddleboarders found another set of remains at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada. Authorities are not surprised that more and more bodies are seeing the light of day as Lake Mead writhes during a prolonged drought in the West.

The crate was found in Lake Mead on May 1 heralds a major climate disaster, but also tells a story about Las Vegas. Homicide investigators believe the victim was shot dead and put in a bin 40 to 45 years ago, based on the shoes found in the crate. Lt Ray Spencer of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department earlier this month told The Times that 40 years ago, the current coastline would have been less than 100 feet of water.

The person in the barrel will be shot at the moment the mob organization is destroying in the City of Sin.

“The late ’70s, early ’80s, was the beginning and end of the crowds in Las Vegas,” said Geoff Schumacher, vice president of the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.

Schumacher recalls a few instances when barrels featured prominently in mob stories, including the murder of Johnny Roselli, who testified before Congress in 1976. Roselli disappeared shortly after he testified. plot to assassinate President Kennedy and was found in a floating fuel tank in a bay near Miami.

However, mass murders in Las Vegas often end with burials in the desert, Schumacher said. It is not unthinkable that there will be many crowd victims at the bottom of the lake. But it’s likely that drowning victims and other remnants of the past will be revealed as the waters recede, Schumacher said.

“This is what matters most to a lot of people here,” Schumacher said. “It’s really a story that captures people’s imaginations, you know what else could be lurking in the depths of Lake Mead.”

To climate scientists, the writing on the wall is the surface of a corpse at one of the nation’s largest reservoirs that serves water to some 20 million people. The word drought doesn’t tell the severity of what’s happening across the region, Brad Udall, a water and climate scientist at Colorado State University.

“It’s time to stop calling this a drought, because that messes with what’s happening here. Drought is only temporary. What we are seeing is temporary,” said Udall.

A better way to describe the current water depletion in Nevada, California and other states, says Udall, is the aridity of the American West, which will become more arid in the long run. . That’s happened in many parts of the region where wet winters don’t turn to wet summers because the soil doesn’t hold as much water as it did the year before.

Skeletons emerging from the earth are the byproduct of a decaying system.

“We are discovering the horrors we will soon have Udall said. “Unfortunately, I think we will find more horrifying things, including more bodies, but more disturbing to some extent, just that our human system is not designed established to deal with these types of water depletion.”

Piece of human skull in the sand

A human skull was discovered at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

(Lindsey and Lynette Melvin)

According to the United States Bureau of Reclamation, the water level at Lake Mead in April was 1,054 feet above sea level. At the same time last year it was 1,079 feet and in 2020 it was 1,096 feet. A distinct circle has encircled Lake Mead, clearly showing where the previous breakwater reached and was much higher than the present water level.

Sisters Lynette and Lindsey Melvin were paddle boarding on Lake Mead on Saturday when they stumbled across a sandy beach they had been in the water just a week before. The winds blew through the area and they parked their boards on the sand to admire the antique piles of trash, including an old Coca-Cola bottle, stuck in the sand. Then they saw a strange object sticking out of the ground.

“At first, we thought it was a rock,” Lynette told The Times. The sisters started digging thinking it might be a bighorn sheep skull, but then they saw a toothed human jaw and what looked like a tooth with metal-like fillings.

“We wanted to make sure what we saw was a human skull before we contacted the park rangers,” said Lindsey, who works as a registered nurse and can identified several other bones besides the skull, said.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told the AP news agency there was no immediate evidence of foul play and that it would open a homicide investigation pending coroner’s report. The Clark County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death, according to the National Park Service.

Lynette hopes that if more bodies are found in the lake, it will bring closure to families who think their loved ones are lost forever.

However, as a regular visitor to Lake Mead, Lynette has watched the water levels drop over the years and dreads a future without water.

She said: “I am more worried about the lake drying up than finding the body.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-05-11/skeletal-remains-found-at-lake-mead-tells-story-of-climate-change-crime-in-las-vegas Lake Mead bodies interest climate scientists, mob historians

Edmund DeMarche

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