Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Fallacy of Extremist Theories—the Baja California Theory, Part V

Continuing from the last four posts regarding the lack of qualifications that Baja California has for a Land of Promise that matches the scriptural record, the narrow neck of land suggested for Baja is woefully lacking. As can be seen from Rosenvall’s simple map, the area of Baja California is basically a constant 50-mile width, with just a couple of notable exceptions. One is the Vizcaino Peninsula, which ends at the tip of Punta Falsa—False Point, shown below from an enhanced satellite photo (most of the details are too small to note), which shows the extension out into the Pacific that creates the Sebastian Vizcaino Bay. Rosenvall’s “narrow neck of land,” or what he calls a Defense Line, is shown to the north (yellow line).

As can be seen from this map, there are numerous canyons, cuts, and rifts among the hills that stretch from the Pacific coastal area to the Sea of Cortes. With so many passes or passages through these hills, it would be, as stated in the last post, almost impossible to guard against a military incursion. Nor is there any one pass as Mormon described (Mormon 50:34;52:9). In addition, there simply is no narrowing of the land at this point (or anywhere else in Baja except for just north of La Paz, about 110 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, the southern most point of the peninsula—making any Land Southward, a very tiny area. Thus, there is no match with Mormon’s description of “narrow neck of land” (Mormon 63:5) or “small neck of land” (Alma 22:32).

In addition, Rosenvall’s map shows an area for the “Land of Many Waters,” however, in that area of Baja, like almost everywhere on the peninsula, there is very limited water resources. The only possible place that could even be considered would be the area of Laguna Salada, located just south of the U.S. / Mexican border and west of Mexicali. The Laguna Salada is a huge dry lake bed, left over from the geologic flooding of the area when the Salton Sea and the Sea of Cortes were connected after the collapse of the Elsinore fault zone of the Andreas fault zone complex and larger rift zone. Today it is dry most of the year except for the wet season when it can completely fill from rainfall. It has no natural spring, nor is it fed by any rivers. It is across this dry lake bed that the Mexican 500 is run

The dry bed stretches south for almost 60 miles and is shaped somewhat like an hour-glass, long and skinny and very narrow at the center. During times of little rain the lakebed becomes dry and can be driven on it in most any type of vehicle. During times of significant rain the lagoon can fill completely with water. In Guadalupe Canyon, a small river flows out of the Suerra de Juarez mountains, forming waterfalls and pools in the granite rocks. However, these water sources are not large and were undiscovered in modern times until 1940, when a rancher named Don Jose Loya Murillo, was searching for strays on hourseback. The topography is rugged and difficult to traverse, even a modern road requires a high-clearance vehicle to hopefully make it through.

Upper left and right shows the rugged terrain of the Guadalupe Canyon where the river and pools are; below left shows the dry lake bed of Laguna Salada, and right, the rift of the fault line running along the hills within the dry bed.

(See the next post, “The Fallacy of Extremist Theories—the Baja California Theory, Part VI,” for more information on Rosenvall’s land of many waters)


  1. I find the idea of a Land of Many Waters in northern Baja California to be ridiculous. This is a desert and all lakes, rivers, etc., dry up in the summer, which lasts about 9 month so of the year. As you said, the Salada Lake is where they run the Baja 500 and the Baja 1000. Having seen these races, it is hot and dry, dirt and sand. Where are the fountains and rivers Mormon described? Come on, let's get real.

  2. It is amazing that anyone would consider Baja as the BOM promised land. Lehi & Nephi would turn over in their graves at the thought.