It has been a long time since I felt that our national forests in the southern part of Arizona were safe to spend leisure time in. I used to be able to hike, hunt for mineral specimens, camp and really enjoy the wildlife in those areas. Now I, as well as others that I know, have been warned by Federal Agents in our area that it is not safe to be unarmed and traveling alone in areas outside of town which includes both public and private land. While I am on that subject, the Arizona Game and Fish officers were tracking a mountain lion and had to warn a woman who was walking daily down a particular road, that the lion was tracking her and her dog! She had also been warned by federal agents who were about to bust a group of smugglers that they had been tracking. They were just sitting and waiting for them to reach a certain point before arresting them. She asked me to go with her because she was disabled and could not use a firearm, so I provided the weapons and protection necessary to protect her on her walks. The general public has no idea of how dangerous it is near our southern border and I am about to share a little of how it was previously, before I moved into town.
There was a 10 year period from 1987 to 1997 when I had personal interactions with the illegals coming into our country. Some were involved in human smuggling and others were traveling in small groups and they did not bring their contraband into my camp so I am not sure what their primary purpose was. One who came alone into my camp did speak English and said that they were lost and needed directions. He was in charge of this group and was being paid for his services, I am sure of it. After I told him what his choices were I asked if they had a container to carry water because it was getting hot and their route had no water along the way that I was sending them. He indicated that they needed a container so I turned my back and started for my 17 foot travel trailer to get it. Something felt wrong and I am sure now that it was The Holy Spirit warning me so I turned my head to look behind me and he was about to jump me from behind! When he saw that I had caught him in the act, he stopped and I continued into my trailer to get what I needed. Then I cautiously handed him the container. As he turned to go out to where he had left his companions, I said : “may God go with you”. He then began cursing me in Spanish as he was walking away. I believe that one reason why he hesitated and did not follow through and jump me was that I was a little bigger than he was and he could also see that I was no wimp. I had hiked the sides of the canyon for years while working very hard and carrying heavy loads up and down the sides of the canyon! This is just one instance of what might happen while I was at my camp area.
When I was away, while in town trying to find work, all too often they would come through and break-in and steal as much as they could, to re-outfit themselves with as much as they could carry. It was tough because I would go back into the mountains with only enough gas, food and other supplies to last me a few days or longer and they would have stolen more than I had been able to obtain for myself. It was not easy being a Christian toward these criminals. After years of experience with this flow of illegals, I had pretty strong evidence that at least 80% were indeed criminals and would do whatever they needed to do to carry out their goal. If they had not committed a crime before reaching their destination, it was because they did not have the opportunity to do so! I once out of desperation, asked a deputy : “what if I have to shoot one of them”? He said “bury him”! As a Christian, I could not do something that was illegal so I said : Wouldn’t that be illegal”? Then he said “well, then you should report it”. These are people who see first hand the kind of human trash that are coming across our southern border!
I was once approached by a hunter during deer season who warned me about the bear and lion in the area and said that I should have a gun. He said this because I mentioned that the homemade walking stick that I was using was my only protection. It was made from a straight oak sapling that I had come across and it had a bit of a club end on the bottom. I replied that because of my experience up there, it was the “two-legged” predators that I was concerned about, not the “four-legged”. I had been growled at by both bear and lion while hiking around the area of my mining claim and the local wildlife by then had become somewhat used to me being there. In fact, It had to a certain degree, become “my territory”.
On another occasion, a retired deputy sheriff said that he was coming up to visit but I forgot and needed to make a trip into Tucson, Arizona. When he arrived at my camp he spotted an illegal alien trying to hide himself across the canyon. When he saw that he had been spotted he got up and ran while carrying an aluminum type suitcase which probably had cocaine or heroin in it because the marijuana is normally wrapped with plastic and then again with burlap having baling wire wrapped around it to be able to carry it. It would also have a rag wrapped around the wire to keep the wire from digging into their hands.
One day, I saw a twin-engine airplane dive into the canyon and then pull-up using full power to climb over the ridge on the other side of the canyon. He had a helper who dumped a big bale of what must have been marijuana out of the plane, then he circled around and did it again! As it turned out, the second time was to spot where the bail had landed so that they could mark it on a map. Right after he did it the second time, a military green twin-engine plane flew over following after the same route while trying to catch the first plane! It had something that looked like a torpedo under the bottom of the plane. I think that it was either a radar unit or a jamming device to possibly cripple the first plane with a pulse of energy. It was dispatched from Fort Huachuaca in Sierra Vista, Arizona where they have a special army base used for a variety of things including training foreign military units. They have an “Aerostat Balloon”which is on a cable that they winch up and back down in bad weather. It is loaded with electronic gear including radar. That is how they spotted the first plane.
The next day a Big Hertz/Penske moving van type of rental truck drove by me while heading up the canyon. I could not believe my eyes. What on Earth was that big diesel truck doing so far up in the mountains, I thought to my self? About an hour later two young Mexicans came into my camp to ask for help. They said that the truck was ready to fall off of the road into the canyon so they needed a ride into town. I had no money or gas to get back so I said that I would help if they had gas money for me. They said that they had no money so they were on their own, I could not help them. While we were talking, one mentioned that they had a “map”. When I heard him say it , I said “you have a map”? He immediately stopped talking at that point because it was the “smugglers map” that he had! That night at around 8pm a big Kenworth conventional type semi-tow-truck stopped by my camp and the driver walked a little further up the road and then turned around and left. It was from a big towing company in Tucson. This was on a Monday. That company tried all week to get that rental truck turned around and on Thursday it came driving by, all scratched up from the tree branches. It was a new truck when it went by the first time! The next day just before sunset, a ’75 Chevy pickup with two older Mexicans in it went up the canyon and just as it was getting dark they drove out of the canyon with a big bail covered with dark green plastic in the back of their truck. I took a hike up canyon about mid-week to have a look at the truck but I did not touch it. I thought that they might have had someone on the hill watching the situation. I was just a little curious.
These are just a sampling of the kinds of things that happen down by the southern border. Now things have gotten much worse since the National Guard built barriers to keep smugglers in smaller vehicles from cutting the ranchers fences and just driving across the border! The big drug cartels are at war with each other over these routes since they are hauling these loads on foot with human mule trains carrying 40 pound packs on their backs and with an AK-47 in the front and another assault rifle at the rear of the mule train. They have their own cooks, satellite telephones and all the gear that they needed. They rest during the day and travel at night with their dope. They have totally trashed these forest trails with trash multiple feet deep in certain areas! I have been warned by the local ranchers who know me to not go into the mountains where my mining claim is alone, even armed. I would be seriously out gunned! This is “Organized Crime” and we must stop it!
Ladies and gentlemen, we are at war and losing the battle! Those in power in our government know very well what is going on but because of the politics, they are doing very little about it! The only thing that these cartels are AFRAID of is the U.S. Military and the politicians will not use the resources that we have to stop this INVASION. Yes we are being invaded and there is nothing that the citizens can do except just sit back and watch our country going down the drain! There is one thing that we all should be doing and that is to pray for our nations leaders and those who are on the front lines like the Border Protection Unit (Border Patrol) and Customs Service as well.