INTRODUCTION In December of 1887 Dr. Edward Palmer, the naturalist, set sail from the port of Guaymas in Sonora, crossed the Gulf of California, and landed at Bah?a de Los Angeles on the peninsula of Baja California. Then, as now, there was a modest gold-mining operation at the bay. During his brief stay at the mining station, Dr. Palmer excavated a small natural cave which had been used by the Indians who were then extinct in that part of the peninsula. Seven partially disturbed skeletons and a variety of associated artifacts were collected and deposited at the United States National Museum. The collection also included some potsherds and shells from a midden on the shores of the bay. All of these items were listed and briefly described in the Annual Report of the United States National Museum for the year 1888 (pp. 127-129). Aside from the intrinsic value of presenting archaeological material from the little-known area of Baja California, the Palmer Collection has particular importance because of its immediate geographic source. Bah?a de Los Angeles lies in that part of Baja California most accessible to the Mexican mainland (map 1). Not only is there a relative physical closeness, but the Gulf islands form here a series of ?stepping stones? from Bah?a de Los Angeles across to Tiburon Island, home of the Seri, and thence to the adjacent mainland coast of Sonora. The bay lies in the north-central desert region of the peninsula, where the environment is especially difficult because of extreme aridity, scarcity of surface water, and the consequent dearth of plant and animal life. In view of these conditions, it has been suggested that the Seri may be descendants of people who, hard-pressed by the environmental poverty of this section of Baja California, may have moved across the Gulf to Tiburon Island and Sonora (Kroeber, 1931, pp. 5, 49-50). This hypothesis has appealed to one California archaeologist, although at present there is insufficient evidence from archaeology or ethnography either to support or to deny it (Rogers, 1945, p. 194). However, the archaeological collection from Bah?a de Los Angeles does indicate trade and some contact across the Gulf. In this paper emphasis is placed on the evaluation of the Palmer Collection with respect to the known archaeology and ethnography of Baja California. ?
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The flight was listed at GHQ as _Project Songbird_. It was sponsored by the Space Medicine Labs of the U.S. Air Force. And its pilot was Captain Dan Barstow.A hand-picked man, Dan Barstow, chosen for the AF's most important project of the year because he and his VX-3 had already broken all previous records set by hordes of V-2s, Navy Aerobees and anything else that flew the skyways.Dan Barstow, first man to cross the sea of air and sight open, unlimited space. Pioneer flight to infinity. He grinned and hummed to himself as he settled down for the long jaunt. Too busy to be either thrilled or scared he considered the thirty-seven instruments he'd have to read, the twice that many records to keep, and the miles of camera film to run. He had been hand-picked and thoroughly conditioned to take it all without more than a ten percent increase in his pulse rate. So he worked as matter-of-factly as if he were down in the Gs Centrifuge of the Space Medicine Labs where he had been schooled for this trip for months
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