Walter Bosley: Occult Murder II – Friends From Sonora

Walter Bosley’s new book is called Empire Of The Wheel Part II: Friends From Sonora. It is the second in a trilogy of non-fiction books examining little-known intrigue surrounding an unsolved murder of a mysterious woman which happened almost a century ago in Southern California.

Walter discussed his research and revelations about the identity of the woman and her possible connections to the airship mystery of the late 19th century, German immigrants who may have been operating flying machines in the US before the Civil War, and two of the most famous outlaws of the old wild west.

Some of you may remember Walter’s background includes stints as in the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. In the last part of the show, we looked at Sgt. Richard Doty’s Air Force record (sent to me recently by researcher Alejandro Rojas) and discussed the implications of this legally released material.

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31 Responses to Walter Bosley: Occult Murder II – Friends From Sonora

  1. Red Pill Junkie says:

    So, if NYMZA & the Sonora Air Club were connected to Germany, does that mean Maria Orsic is gonna feature in the 3rd part of Empire of the Wheel?

    I don’t have a problem with the airships of 1897 being completely terrestrial in origin, but at the same time we should have in mind how the UFO phenomenon seems to ‘project’ the expectations of a given culture. In the Middle Ages the flying boats people saw were equipped with sails & had to rely on anchors (!) and sometimes those got stuck on the towers of churches.

    Furthermore, it was not only a matter of finding the key to antigravity & VoilΓ‘: you’ve got yourself an Aero! Those mysterious aircraft were capable of projecting powerful beams of light during a considerable amount of time, and electric batteries had just been invented at the beginning of the XIXth century. Even now we’re facing a future ‘brickwall’ with the development of new batteries for our modern gadgets, where we might not be able to follow the same level of miniaturization that is so easy to achieve with microprocessors. That’s why the electric car has not become a reality.

    So there had to be quite a number of critical discoveries the ‘Breakaway civilization’ needed to do in order to be so far ahead by the 1890s –unless the Breakaway civilization had been operating centuries before –so now I’m reminded of the famous ‘Baghdad battery’…

    • Walter says:

      Your fallacy is looking at the past through present day eyes. That is, because we have miniaturization now, to develop anti-gravity technology was impossible back then because they didn’t have miniaturization. If you will study the aeros, you will have a better understanding of how they could have used anti-gravity because miniaturization has nothing to do with what they claimed to be doing.

      Because I don’t like to debate, I present the context of the lore and circumstances that exist and show where my case resonates. I would say that your position about where technology was at is based on accepted documented history, i.e. the state of battery technology. The whole supposition of a breakaway civilization is that there was something going on that was kept from documented accepted history, so it’s sort of pointless to debate the issue in those dogmatic terms, in my opinion. That’s why I don’t do it. This is mainly because I take a ‘consider it or don’t’ philosophy regarding my work.

      No reason yet to consider Orsic in what I’ve found.

      • Red Pill Junkie says:

        I only mentioned miniaturization because the main problem with batteries today is weight –obviously not an issue if you have anti-gravity– but the second main problem with them is charge.

        Sure, invoking a Breakaway civilization lets you ascribe them any number of significant advancements, but the main problem here is that the UFO phenomenon always seems to be just a little more advanced than current standard technology. So now that’s why everybody is explaining away UFO sightings as possible stealth craft or even military drones, the same way in the XIXth century journalists were pondering whether a fan of Jules Verne was following the instructions of his books a little too literally πŸ˜‰

        • Walter says:

          Again, your assumption re: stored energy technology is based upon the limits of what you have decided you will and will not consider, and based on battery technology as you know it.
          If these guys did develop an anti-gravity technology, it stands to reason they may also have been smart enough to develop a battery system that defies your argument. This is why debating it is a waste of time. πŸ™‚

          • Red Pill Junkie says:

            Ok, so they had anti-gravity tech & superior batteries.

            But then… why the need of the steam-punk look in their craft? Why did they craft look as if they could be constructed with XIXth century technology?

            Is this an indication of their own limitations in available resources, or an indication of the limitation in the witnesses’ imagination?

  2. Steve Ray says:

    Why bother transliterating when J is a perfectly good letter in both the German and English alphabets? It’s not like replacing ‘ß’ with ‘SS’.

    • Walter says:

      Someone much better at German than I am agrees with the transliteration explanation.

      AND, as I explain in the book (and thought I did in the interview, as well, maybe I didn’t) transLITERation is when you come up with a spelling that communicates PRONUNCIATION from one language to another, especially when the original language either has a completely different alphabet or uses the same alphabet in a different manner. Case in point: the German ‘J’ being pronounced like the English ‘Y’.

      Therefore ‘NYMZA’ is a transLITERation for NJMZa.

      Nice try, but what I’ve done is solid and passes the muster with German language, and my transliteration explanation is also solid. I’m confident with it.

      So THAT’s why a ‘J’ is not ‘perfectly good’ in this instance. Your argument’s flaw πŸ™‚

      • Walter says:

        Appendix to my comment:

        NJMZa is not pronunced “nimza”

        NYMZA has BEEN pronounced “nimza” all these years. I argue Dellschau likely intended the pronunciation to be “nYIMza”

        Dellschau was a German immigrant attempting to communicate a name with transliteration (not translation, transliteration), which means he intended to communicate the proper pronunciation. In his native tongue, pronunciation of his ‘J’ was like our ‘Y’ specifically the ‘yih’. Therefore, Dellschau transliterated the NJMZa to NYMZA and not NIMZA because proper pronunciation was “nyimza” not “nimza” and he thought using a Y would communicate that better. Why he didn’t spell it “NYIMZA” I can’t satisfactorily explain (to you), I can only work with what he provided. I suggest that the spelling was his choice and we have to live with it. Regardless, my translation of NYMZA is more solid than other previous attempts.

      • Steve Ray says:

        O Walter:

        I’m familiar with transliteration, but if you’ll endure a couple more jabs from Occam’s Penknife:

        Since Dellschau wrote in both German and English, why do you think he was using a transliterated acronym? Did he transliterate elsewhere in his notes?

        Unt Zee Doytch sprecke, ya? So if you think the Y was a transliteration, wouldn’t a more obvious candidate for the final ‘ZA’ be ‘Zonora Aero,’ given that [ word-initial S ] followed by a vowel is pronounced ‘Z’ in German?

        • Walter says:

          Because in the local vernacular, Sonora was the proper name and there was no need for such a usage of Z.

          Anyway, read the book. I made my statements there. The only reason I even respond here to the degree that I do is because a complete disregard would imply to some, unfortunately, that you have the trumping point (Which you don’t).

          The book presents what I think based on my investigation, analysis and consulting someone more knowledgeable on German than I (who himself consulted native speakers) . The bottom line is that you either agree or you don’t but that disagreement doesn’t change my position at all. I have reasons why I’m confident and what’s in the book alone is sufficient enough for me to go out on that limb.

          Here’s the deal: It’s nice that you express your opinions but opinions they remain. Your points do not in any way conclusively disprove my propositions. My proposed translation stands as valid as any, more valid than some, actually. πŸ˜€

          • Walter says:

            What I’m trying to say, put another way, is that if you haven’t read the book then you’re not coming from the advantage of knowing the context of my proposal.

            And I hate conversing in forums because if you don’t put a hundred πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ it really comes across as being pissed off, LOL

            Anyway, I think if you read the book, you’ll understand better why I (and others) stand by my translation.

            πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

          • Steve Ray says:

            You could have mentioned details like “Dellschau stated that NYMZA headquarters was in Germany […] and claimed he was sent by the NYMZA to observe and report on the progress of the Sonora Aero Club,” which explains why you think NYMZA refers to a German organization, as opposed to something like the Council of YTROF, which was also active in the Western U.S. in the mid-19th Century.

            Thank you for your patience, your time, and your research. All are appreciated.

  3. Walter says:

    Red Pill,

    You seem to really be hung up on design. You ask why the “steampunk” design — it was the Victorian Era, after all. Duh. Again, with this design issue, you’re judging a 19th Century issue with 21st Century attitude.

    I’ll make it easy for you: Go straight to dismissal of what I’ve proposed. It sincerely won’t hurt my feelings nor make me doubt myself. That way you don’t have to waste time debating or trying to reconcile why 19th Century guys might have done things in a 19th Century context. πŸ˜€

    • Walter says:

      Ultimately, it’s only a book and it’s only a theory about something that might or might not have happened a long time ago. I don’t mean to be a dick πŸ˜€

      • Red Pill Junkie says:

        Well I feel so much better now that you clarified it! πŸ˜›

        Sorry for the insistence, but for me Design is a big issue. After all, I *am* a designer πŸ˜‰

        And one of the things I’m also interested in is how people perceive things, and how limited language is when describing what we’ve seen to a third party –trying to describe a design project to a client over the telephone is a REAL bitch!

        Allow me to make use of another example: We can take a look at woodcuts & illustrations made in the XVIth & XVIIth century, of the animals European explorers were encountering in their travels to the Indies & the Americas. With our XXIst century understanding & familiarity of say, a giraffe, we look at early illustrations of a giraffe & we could laugh at how inaccurately those ancient artists rendered it.

        But the thing is that –like Greg is fond of saying in the show– we humans have all these little mental boxes that have been created by our previous experiences, and we catalog new experiences according to our mental boxes. If those early explorers tried to describe a giraffe, they would necessarily have to use a familiar animal as a point of reference, and go like “well, we found this animal that looks like a horse, but with a really long neck…”

        So imagine trying to describe what a gargoyle is to an 8-year-old child. You end up with a weird mix of different elements that will only become unified once the child is shown an actual picture of a gargoyle. From then on, the gargoyle can be used as a point of reference –quite useful if you want to describe say, a Chupacabras πŸ˜‰

        So, my point is, that when we encounter something that falls completely outside our mental frame of references, we nevertheless will try to make sense of it according to our cultural baggage –i.e. what we already know

        Getting back to the airships of 1897, I read the accounts & look to the newspaper illustrations or the funky watercolors made by Dellschau, and what comes to my mind is: “how much of this is an accurate description of a real event, and how much is a biased interpretation based on the witness’ cultural points of reference?”

  4. Walter says:

    Steve: Actually, I do say that in the book, re: NYMZA was a German-based organization. Thought I said it on the air. Mea culpa if I did not. πŸ™‚

  5. Steve Ray says:

    I think you described 97% of a very complicated story, so kudos regardless, and I have skimmed forward to the NYMZA part of EOW2 and am now down with your hypothesis.

    Tua minima culpa – pax tecum

  6. Frank Glaza says:

    Nice photo of Etta Place and the Sundance Kid.

    • Walter says:

      Yes, that photo is on the back cover of the printed edition of my book. Also, Kevin Smith and I discussed the photo on his show. He and I agreed that it doesn’t necessarily show a married couple, which I argue in the book that they weren’t.

      I have put in a request at Secret Service headquarters in DC for an archive search on Etta Place and Longabaugh, among associated others, and am still awaiting response. I will further comments on this n my next scheduled interview. Chris O’Brien has contacted me about going on his show and he’s presently reading the book.

      • Indridi I. Kaldtsen says:


        I liked this show, although I felt you were grasping at straws regarding the Sundance Kid and the murdered woman being a nun.

        One thing about the value of I/J in the 19th century: if writing classic Roman then I stood for J (with the sound of Y as in Yeti), but if in Greek mode, Y could also stand for long U, Upsilon, so that OlYmpia could be rendered phonetically as OlOOmpia/Oluumpia. This value for Y survives in modern Finnish, Estonian and certain German words.

        Chris O’Brien things “peer review” is an essential step in the Scientific Method. Originally, the term “scientology,” in its first usage, referred to such bedazzlement with Science. Be careful, although Chris is RIGHT-ON regarding the Tricksterish nature of the UFO phenomenon, he is subject to certain intellectual frailties. I will look forward to the Paracast episode.

        Before I end, I wanted to ask you, have you read or looked into or spoken with Adam Gorightly on Crowley in Socal? He seems to know quite a bit, imho.

        • Walter says:

          Actually, when you read the book, you’ll find there’s no straw-grasping. There is something there. It’s in the book. Gotta read it. πŸ™‚

  7. Walter Bosley says:


    I respectfully suggest you read the book. I’m not grasping at straws regarding the nun option nor the Etta Place/Harry Longabaugh possibility. The book does the topic more justice than I can in an interview πŸ™‚

    Re: Crowley, yes I did consult AG when writing the first book. I also consulted my co-author’s very thorough work on Crowley’s presence in the US and specifically Southern California in 1915, written prior to his work on EOW1. In fact, the editor Scott Moody even consulted Crowley scholars in England and elsewhere. Their input backed up our Crowley assertions in EOW1. What I personally contributed of particular significance to EOW1 was confirming that Crowley had to have passed through San Bernardino in Nov 1915, the middle of the mystery. πŸ™‚

    Interesting info re the ‘J’. I do have it upon native speaker verification that my NYMZA translation is solid. πŸ™‚

    Chris is an honest broker. I am looking forward to a discussion with him on the EOW books.

    • Walter Bosley says:

      Correction: Scott Moody didn’t edit the book, he served as a consultant on Crowley and ran our material by some top scholars. The editing thing was relative to a hardcover edition only that didn’t happen, unfortunately. It would have been cool. But that didn’t work out so I ended up editing the book myself.

  8. Walter says:

    Indridi and others: Please remember that I never mean to come off like a jerk in commentary! πŸ™‚
    I feel the need to clarify that because I don’t think the gentler intention comes through in forumspeak, so don’t take my replies as snarky πŸ™‚ I don’t mean to read as snappy! πŸ™‚

    Here’s a review of the book posted today by Joseph Farrell — and yes, he and I discussed the footnoting at length this week and I’m presently adding them…

  9. Walter Bosley says:

    I just loaded the footnoted edition onto Amazon for Kindle and it is processing. It should be available shortly. Also, I’ll be loading it onto the print-on-demand page in the next couple of days.

  10. Walter Bosley says:

    The FOOTNOTED edition is NOW available at Amazon!

  11. SRomano says:

    Hi Walter — i am fascinated by your research into the Sonora Aero Club. have a look at my Chalres Dellschau Website and get in touch !

  12. Walter Bosley says:

    For those who have asked and those who may be interested, the printed edition is now available:

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