This Power Wagon has sat baking in the sun, broken down and abandoned for 41 years in the hills near Barker Ranch, the final hideout of Charles Manson and his crime family.
Near the 100+ year old ghost town of Ballarat, CA, sits an eerie roadside relic of one of America's most notorious crime sprees. Ballarat is located down a dirt road in the middle of Death Valley about 150 miles Northeast of Los Angeles. Though a general store does still exist, the last permanent resident of Ballarat, "Seldon Seen Slim" was buried there in 1968.
Barker Ranch is reached by ascending Goler Wash, making a 4x4 truck necessary for access. The Power Wagon was picked for its off-road prowess by murderous cult-leader Charles Manson, who acquired two Power Wagons not only as a practical hill-climbers, but also to hoon in the desert.
"One time Charlie and I drove two trucks through Death valley, just for the hell of it...We took two 4-wheel drive Army surplus Power Wagons...We wanted to hellraise and it was a blast" said Bobby Beausoleil, a member of the Manson family, in a 1981 interview with OUI Magazine.
As pressure mounted from the authorities, Charles "Tex" Watson took one of the Power Wagons and attempted to flee nine days before the Oct. 10th raid of Barker Ranch. Unfortunately for Tex, the truck broke down and he was forced to hitch-hike all the way back to his home in Texas, where he eluded the police for another month. Dry desert heat and the remote location of Ballarat have left the truck in relatively good condition. The only clue to the truck's seedy past are several pentagrams drawn on the ceiling, a symbol the Manson family represented themselves with.
The truck sits there to this day, just begging to be a Project Car Hell contestant.
Last Edit: Sept 2, 2014 15:32:35 GMT -5 by Mrs_Toni
There were two power wagons. Bobby supposedly had one and then the one that Tex fled in and abandoned in the salt flats. Wonder which one this really is? Guess checking the VIN numbers is out of the question! They were probably stolen to begin with LOL
The Greenish Power Wagon belonged to Bobby B. He said it was his because of the stars he painted on the interior roof. I read somewhere that the Manson girls painted the stars on it. (Who knows). The yellow Power Wagon was the one Tex ran out of gas in the desert and abandon it. He walked to the nearest road, hitchhiked into the next town and somehow made it to Texas. The green and yellow Power Wagon's sat next to each other for a couple of years in Ballarat, then a man named Leon Griffin acquired the yellow Power Wagon. He was going to make it roadworthy again, however he got sick and died before it was possible. The bottom picture is the yellow Power Wagon of Tex's rusted out after being in the desert climate.
Last Edit: Dec 5, 2017 23:02:49 GMT -5 by Christine
So Charlie, Tex and Beautiful Bobby = Power Rangers?
More like Looney Tunes.....
Or....Huey, Dewey and Louie??
When you adopt a pet, you not only save a life....you make a friend for life. The more you adopt, the more friends you'll have! Don't adopt more than you can care for! (If you can't adopt, please consider being a foster parent for pets! Or volunteer at your local shelter)
I stumbled upon this piece years ago and, while it's an interesting article, it's got a hint of sensationalism in it where it calls the stars painted on the interior roof pentagrams, and says the group represented themselve's with them.
Any other mention anywhere of the family using pentagrams? Maybe the writer is confused with Marilyn Manson.
Theres been a lot of conjecture over the years about the Manson Gang and Satanism but apart from Susans short lived association with Anton Lavey and Charlies possible contact with The Process church in San Francisco, theres been nothing concreate uncovered...
Last Edit: Oct 8, 2019 16:14:48 GMT -5 by stranger67
Apparently, the family parked it there for some unknown reason.
From the Barker Ranch report:
"Poston states that 2-Dodge trucks, both owned by BEAUSOLIEL, Robert, are in the Golar Wash area. One truck is a black Dodge weapons carrier that is at the Barker Ranch. The other is an orange Dodge power wagon which is parked at Ballarat."
Edit:Just noticed the color discrepancy. Was Posten mistaken about which was parked at Ballarat? Are there three trucks?
Last Edit: Oct 14, 2019 11:11:47 GMT -5 by unbridled
Christine: time flies pappy
Jul 4, 2020 21:36:27 GMT -5
paulhart: Hi Coldwater. I also heard about the attack on Manson by Mike Deasy with a pitchfork at Spahn's Ranch. Can you tell me where you heard about that incident? I'm trying to track down the original source. Was it Deasy himself? Was it in a book? Thanks, Paul
Jul 16, 2020 8:12:22 GMT -5
Christine: Thanks everyone for sharing and supporting our site. 6 years flies along.
Jul 26, 2020 15:43:40 GMT -5
swennync: Leslie Van Houten okayed for Parole again. What will Gavin Blewsome do?
Jul 26, 2020 19:10:38 GMT -5
Pappy: How dare you rag on my beloved Gov. Newsolini......
Jul 26, 2020 20:44:34 GMT -5
maudes harold: Gruesome Newsom will re-open his winery and extend the hours:Ubers available for your "Not In My Backyard" ride home!!
Jul 26, 2020 21:13:01 GMT -5
maudes harold: Props to Lt. Daniel McWilliam, firefighter and flag bearer during 9/11. We remember.
Jul 26, 2020 21:13:45 GMT -5
2RGJ: @ swennync: Thanks...looking forward to contributing, but feel a bit of a novice when looking through this site!
Jul 29, 2020 17:00:43 GMT -5
swennync: 2RGJ- So did I Brah. Don't sweat it, though. There's alot of cool people here. And it's become clear to me that when it comes to this case, there is no clearcut "Correct" or "Incorrect". Dive on in.
Jul 29, 2020 17:11:58 GMT -5
movies: Jay Sebring : Cutting to the Truth, due out in Sept. 22, 2020
Aug 4, 2020 5:17:58 GMT -5
movies: are there any estate/ probate documents for jay sebring?
Aug 4, 2020 5:43:23 GMT -5
vickie: I wanted to use this opportunity to share with you guys how sad this date makes me! However, we can celebrate the wonderful lives each one shared. Their memories live on in our hearts and minds. May each victim rest on in perfect peace. Take care everyone.
Aug 8, 2020 21:10:37 GMT -5
swennync: 51 years ago today.
Aug 9, 2020 3:53:04 GMT -5