The best-known documentation of human interaction with the Lone Pine Mountain Devil came in 1878, when a stagecoach train of Spanish settlers disappeared in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Southern California. A group of 37 settlers — men, women and children — vanished without a trace for two months, after which their rotted corpses were discovered by a team of copper miners. Weeks passed since their scheduled arrival at a missionary about 110 miles north of San Diego, when a lone priest, Father Justus Martinez, approached the mission. He was weak, thirsty and hungry. He had no horse and no supplies, only the clothes on his back and a journal. Upon questioning, the priest informed the others that while on his journey, he had taken a vow of silence when confronted by the “beasts damned by the good lord.” The last entry in his journal was related to the disappearance of the Spanish convoy in the mountains. In it, he describes the settlers, weary from their cross continental journey, taking part in a celebration to honor Saint Roderick. The celebration escalated into a “riotous orgy” and the settlers began to burn trees for heat and light as the party carried on into the dark hours of the night. The priest writes that he took refuge by himself in a small tent on the outside of the convoy and watched as “winged demons” swarmed from the trees and attacked the settlers.

His final entry of the journal read:

“My God. My God. They are all gone. The winged demons have risen! What sin have they committed against each other and thy sacred earth. May the forgiving Lord not abandon their souls, which were taken from them into the depths of hell! And through the earthly fires of man, a sole tree remained on the mountain’s peak. And the Devils that spared me, returned to the refuge of the Lone Pine on the Mountain.”

After years of decline, the new millennium has seen a sudden jump in Mountain Devil sightings. California cryptologists have stated that they have recorded an exponential rise between 2003 and 2010. Local authorities are currently investigating the disappearance of a group of local high school students missing in the Death Valley region since March, 2010.

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