Friday, May 27, 2016

The Mysterious Disappearance of the Scroll People


The abandoned site near Mojo Point, where the Scroll People tried to start a community.
      The sparsely populated northeastern coast has historically been visited upon by outcast groups attempting to settle on it's often steep slopes. The Japanese fishing families, who arrived in 1807, and are still there, can lay claim to being the first.
      In the early 1970s, about 35 quasi-religious seekers who called themselves the Scroll People hiked to this blustery spot (above), and built crude huts out of local stone and some canvas they brought with them. They were certain the world was going to end very soon in a nuclear holocaust - it was written on The Scroll, which they claimed to have found in a cave. They had lived communally in Putney, but their constant pleading with people on the street to "End all wars now!", and then ask for money, aroused the attention of the local Soviet authorities.
      After two of their leaders were sent to a work camp for six months for "public nuisance behavior", the group, led by the wild-eyed Carla Fingle, packed up all they could carry and took the Islebus from Putney (with a change-of-coach in Wheatland) out to Oakland. They then hiked the remaining five miles to the remote beach shown above.
      At that time, the group was thought to include 27 adults and eight kids, all in pretty good health, according to neighbors in Putney. They often came in to Oakland for food and supplies, though they told the locals they were, "on their way to complete self-reliance". They never applied for Tribe status.  They eventually became more secretive, and showed up in town less frequently. Since their area was far from the Path System they saw few visitors, and increasingly discouraged those who ventured too close.
      About six years after arriving, they completely vanished, leaving only some piles of stones that were once the walls of their dwellings.

      The mysterious Scroll, somehow preserved, was anonymously delivered to the Putney Library in 2005. It indeed foretells the end of the world, and outlines the causes and subsequent scenarios, names the world leaders responsible, and offers a dateline beginning in 1962 (the Cuban Missile Crisis) and ending in 1999. It was written in elegant longhand on eighteen feet of sheepskin vellum, and is thought to be the original.