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This Wild Story About a Secret City Under Mt. Shasta Has Fueled Conspiracy Theorists for Decades

What actually went down on the mountain?
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California’s Mount Shasta is no stranger to legend. Among its myriad mysteries, the mountain is sacred to several Native peoples, including the Atsugewi, Achomawi, Klamath, Modoc, Wintu, and Shasta. The Modoc people believe a Bigfoot-like creature called the matah kagmi protects the woods, and many indigenous ceremonies are held on the mountain to this day.

It’s also home to more modern stories of the supernatural. Several occult groups claim that an ancient city hides beneath the mountain, which they say is home to giant refugees from the lost continent of Lemuria, and responsible for the many UFO sightings and disappearances in the area. This story of a lost city was popularized by a scam artist in 1930s, who promised to lead a bunch of locals on a treasure-hunting trip into the heart of the mountain…then vanished.

In this video, we learn the story of the strange case of J.C. Brown, and the dozens of Stockton, California residents he duped in 1934 into attending his lectures on “Lemuria”, planning an expedition to this lost city, and even selling their homes and belongings in anticipation of their expected windfall from the treasures beneath the mountain.

Brown claimed to be a mining engineer who stumbled on a door into the mountain while doing a geological survey. This path, he claimed, led to a city, complete with streets and buildings, enormously tall humanoid remains, and a veritable fortune in earth minerals.

After recruiting about eighty locals for his treasure-hunting expedition via a series of lectures, he left them all stranded on the day of departure when he failed to show up with his supposedly unbreakable Lemurian glass-bottomed boats, and was never heard from again.

It was an especially fascinating scam, given that he himself did not take any money from those he’d convinced to come on the trip.

Though we now know that Brown was not in any way who he claimed to be, his bonkers story had great staying power, possibly because there was no conclusion, and many true believers believed that he did not run away in shame, but was rather “disappeared” by Lemurians who did not want their city discovered.

In the decades since, the Lemurian story enjoyed an odd staying power, and the Mountain retains New Age spiritual significance in several belief systems.

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