Amazing Explorations, Inc.

From Kook Science

Amazing Explorations, Inc., also referred to as Amazing Discoveries, Inc., was an apparent California-based non-profit corporation that was stated to have been founded by F. Bruce Russell and several partners, including Daniel Snyder Bovee (1900-1983), a Los Angeles dentist, and which was formed to finance expeditions to rediscover a cave system south of St. George, Washington Co., Utah, spanning an area that either stretched into the Colorado Desert or the Panamint Range, and which had, according to Russell, been inhabited by advanced peoples some 80,000 years ago, variously described as Atlantean or Mu in press accounts. The first public statements about this company and its plans were made by Howard E. Hill, a publicist, in 1947 at engagements before Los Angeles speaking clubs, including the La Brea Optimists in late June and the Los Angeles Transportation Club in early August, where he related Russell's story about having discovered the cave system in 1931, including a ritual hall with elements reminiscent of Masonic traditions, unknown hieroglyphs carved in polished granite, and trophy niches displaying the preserved remains of "dinosauria, saber-toothed tigers, imperial elephants and other beasts," in addition to "the perfectly preserved bodies of 112" individuals, each measuring seven to eight feet in height, sporting Dutch bob haircuts and zoot suits made of "unknown animal" hair (with a texture similar to "gray dyed sheepskin"). Hill further related that Russell believed that there was evidence at the site of an "atomic chain reaction" that had presumably destroyed the civilisation.

There seems to be no record of the corporation ever being registered in California, and it received only limited press attention after initial interest had subsided. There was one further story, in late August 1947, regarding an expedition during which Ben F. Allen was said to have photographed a 22 inch (55.8 cm) long, 8 inch (20.3 cm) wide footprint on a gypsum flat at Arizona-California-Nevada borderland region where the caves were supposed to be; the caves, however, were not reported to have been found at that time. For his part, Russell briefly drew renewed attention two years later, in 1949, making the same claims but this time under the aegis of his American Society of Anthropology, which was reported to be the sponsor of a new expedition to find the caves that would include C. L. Burdick, a mining engineer, and Lawrence Decker, college student, among others. This later attempt seems to have likewise amounted to little.

Press Coverage

First Reports (early Aug. 1947)

  • LAT (5 Aug. 1947), "LOST LAND OF ATLANTIS 'LOCATED' IN SOUTHLAND", Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA): 1, 
  • AP (6 Aug. 1947), "Discover Relics Of Ancient Civilization Where Men Grew To Be Eight Or Nine Feet Tall", Santa Cruz Sentinel (Santa Cruz, CA): 2, 
  • Edgerton, Jay, ed. (6 Aug. 1947), Nine-Foot Mummies in Utah?, "The World at Press Time", Minneapolis Daily Times (Minneapolis, MN): 2,, "Trim, bespectacled retired Los Angeles psychoanalyst, Dr. F. Bruce Russell, who claims to have discovered the 'Lost Kingdom of Mu' in the wilds of Utah (complete with nine-foot tall human mummies) was unperturbed today over frank, unconcealed scientific scepticism on his reported find[...] In ancient caverns, south of St. George, Utah, Dr. Russell claims to have discovered huge mummies, relics of a bygone, legendary civilization. To back up his 'discovery,' the retired psychoanalyst today had organized Amazing Explorations, Inc., (non-profit California corporation), said he would establish a base this fall at an old trading post, Wolf Hole, Utah." 
  • AN (1947), "Spooks", Archaeological Newsletter (Archaeological Institute of America), "A Dr. F. BRUCE RUSSELL, described as a retired Los Angeles psychoanalyst, was reported in press dispatches of August 4 and 6 to have announced the discovery of a new outpost of the elusive Lost Kingdom of Mu, complete with mummies 'eight or nine feet tall.' Los Angeles archaeologists have expressed scepticism and several universities have refused to support the project, but Dr. RUSSELL has organized a group of backers under the name of Amazing Explorations, Inc., and plans to establish a base in Utah this fall." 
  • AP (Aug. 1947), "HILL DEFENDS LOST LEMURIA DISCOVERY; CLAIMS WORLD-SHAKING FACTS IN CAVES", San Fernando Valley Reporter (San Fernando, CA) 

Footprints (late Aug. 1947)

New Expedition (Jan. 1949)