Cecil B. DeMille and the Tiburon Island Adventure
Bowen, Thomas, Journal of the Southwest
Cecil B. DeMille needed a vacation. He had been working hard preparing for a new motion picture to be titled The Ten Commandments (the 1923 silent black-and-white version), and he needed a break before the exhausting job of filming began. What better way to rest up, he thought, than to get together with some friends on his beloved yacht Seaward for a few weeks of sailing and casual hunting and fishing. And what better place to get away from the Hollywood pressure cooker than Mexico? He and his friends could sail south to the tip of Baja California and then head northward into the Gulf of California. To add a little extra adventure, they could chart a course for fabled Tiburon Island and take a first-hand look at the notorious Seri Indians. But the idyllic voyage he had in mind proved to be anything but smooth sailing. Things began to go awry right from the start, and through a combination of misinformation, misunderstanding, perhaps a bit of hubris, and plain bad luck, it turned out to be a trip that would dog him for the rest of his life.
The idea of sailing into the Gulf of California and visiting the Seri Indians was a familiar one to southern Californians, for intrepid sailors had occasionally been doing just that for more than two decades. Unfortunately, some of the earlier trips had come to tragic ends. Two parties of Americans who went ashore on Tiburon Island in the mid-1890s disappeared and were presumed killed by Seris. The fate of the missing Americans had made lurid copy for the Los Angeles newspapers. For a while, imaginative journalism ran wild, and the Seris were accused in print of cannibalism and a litany of other sins against God and Nature. These fanciful reports induced a number of prominent and self-righteous southern Californians to concoct schemes to buy Tiburon Island, conquer or exterminate the loathsome Seris, and turn the island into a cattle ranch or a vacation resort with luxury hotels. Nothing ever came of these quixotic schemes, of course, and gradually the wild and sensational tales of mysterious Tiburon and its ferocious Serfs faded from the newspapers.
In the meantime, Los Angeles yachtsmen had quietly begun exploring the gulf waters for their sport fishing potential. By the early 1910s, several had been ashore on Tiburon Island and had found the Serfs to be a bit wary but otherwise friendly toward Americans. Even the wives of these gentlemen-sailors were having their pictures taken with the supposedly "fierce savages" (Bowen 2000: 175-201,247-55).
Exactly how or when DeMille first began to consider a trip to the gulf is not known. The Los Angeles yachting community of the early 1920s was a small and exclusive club, however, and DeMille would have known from his fellow yachtsmen that Tiburon Island was a superb destination and a reasonably safe place for Americans. The immediate inspiration to make such a trip himself probably came from a voyage of the yacht Maud F. This vessel had spent six weeks in the spring of 1921 cruising the gulf, sailing as far north as Angel de la Guarda Island and stopping at Tiburon Island on the way back. Those aboard had found Tiburon a highlight of their trip--the fishing had been little short of incredible, and a shore party had no difficulty bagging two of Tiburon's huge and abundant mule deer. After the Maud F. returned to Los Angeles, DeMille had a typescript copy made of her log (Log of the Maud F. 1921).
The following year DeMille began planning his own gulf trip, which he scheduled for December 1922 and January 1923. By the fall of 1922, he had extended invitations to five friends to join him. What he needed to do next was secure the appropriate permits that would allow him to enter Mexican territorial waters, call at various ports, hunt and fish, and go ashore on Tiburon Island.
DeMille had long since achieved international acclaim as a director and producer, and he had acquired personal connections and power commensurate with his status. He had also become accustomed to delegating tiresome tasks, such as obtaining permits, to well-connected agents who could act effectively on his behalf. Thus he assigned the role of overseeing the organization of the cruise to John H. Fisher. Fisher was the director of the Southern California Edison Company, a close personal friend of DeMille's, and one of the five guests DeMille had invited on the trip.
Fisher began by soliciting a letter of introduction from Governor Jose Lugo of the territory of Baja California del Notre, in whose jurisdiction the group would be spending much of their time. For this particular task Fisher engaged the services of H. H. Clark, general manager of the Colorado River Land Company, which had extensive holdings in Baja California, and who presumably had close personal ties with the governor. But Governor Lugo was already familiar with DeMille from his films, and he hadn't much liked what he had seen. Consequently, Clark's overtures fell on deaf ears:
I am indeed very sorry, in regard to your request of 6th, instant, of being unable to comply with it, because Mr. De Mille, as you said, is one of the biggest man [sic] in the motion picture business; but precisely said gentleman has endeavored himself to produce films hurtful to my country and it would be inconsistent for me if I would recommend Mr. DeMille's party when I am aware he is a person having no esteem whatever for Mexico. (Lugo 1922)
Clark forwarded the governor's letter to Fisher with a handwritten note saying that he didn't see what more he could do. Fisher decided the best way to handle the intransigent governor was to go over his head. For that job he contacted Dr. Pea Smith, a Los Angeles banker who was a personal friend of the president of Mexico, General Alvaro Obregon. On November 1, Rea wired President Obregon directly with his request:
Five men various professions of Los Angeles planning cruise in Mexican waters guests Cecil DeMille Stop Governor Lower California advises unable furnish safe: conduct account films attributed Mr. DeMille uncomplimentary to Mexico Stop Mr. DeMille realizing injustice to Mexico has been done by moving picture industry desires to see Mexico and its people so that he may in future pictures portray truth Stop Am asking you as an old friend if under circumstances you could not give us safe conduct. Kindest regards to yourself and Mrs. Obregon. (Smith 1922)
But the ploy failed. The next day Obregon cabled Smith:
Regarding cable of yesterday in my executive capacity I regret that I can make no exception and there exists a general disposition to consider as pernicious foreigners all movie producers who make films derogatory to Mexico. (Obregon 1922, my translation)
Obregon's blunt reply must have been a major setback to DeMille's plans. DeMille, however, was a person who got things done, and he was not in the habit of taking no for an answer, even from the president of Mexico (one biography of DeMille was aptly titled Yes, Mr. DeMille [Koury 1959]). DeMille apparently believed that thee-to-face diplomacy could succeed where indirect contact had failed. Accordingly, about two weeks later he authorized as his personal representative a man named George A. Pezet, who would travel to Mexico City and plead his case directly to President Obregon. Pezet, who would report to and consult regularly with Fisher, was provided with $1,000 expense money. He was also provided with a letter and a memorandum from DeMille that spelled out the details of the proposed trip. The voyage, DeMille stated, would be four to six weeks long. It was to be strictly a vacation trip, with some hunting and fishing in addition to the cruise itself. It would in no way involve his motion picture affairs--in fact, he would not even have a movie camera with him. He listed his five guests by name and profession (carefully omitting their business connections with him). He said that he wished to visit Magdalena Bay, make stops at the tip of the peninsula at Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, and then cruise northward as far as Angel de la Guarda Island, with stops at Tiburon Island and some small ports on the peninsular side of the gulf (see figure 1). He and his guests would leave the yacht at Guaymas, on the Sonoran side of the gulf, and travel back to Los Angeles by train while the crew brought the Seaward back to California (DeMille 1922a, b).
Pezet was a man who understood how business was conducted in Mexico, and he knew how to work the machinery of government bureaucracy. He arrived in Mexico City on Friday, November 24, and immediately set up a meeting for the following Monday with Secretary of Foreign Relations Alberto J. Pani. On Monday the two men had a long and pleasant chat, and at the end of their meeting, Pani gave Pezet his verbal promise that DeMille would be granted a permit for his trip. Pezet realized that it would take some time for this to get done because, as Pani explained, the consent of several other department secretaries would have to be obtained. However, Pezet now understood that President Obregon would not have to be consulted until the end of the negotiations, if at all.
Over the next three weeks Pezet massaged the system, making daily calls on the Department of Foreign Relations and getting acquainted with the other secretaries whose blessings would be required (Pezet 1922a). There were also brush fires to be put out. Suspicion of DeMille's motives ran high in Mexico, and one Mexico City, newspaper that learned of the trip suggested that it was merely a cover to explore the suitability of the Mexican coast for some big business ventures ("Un millonario" 1922). But Pezet was able to keep the potential problems under control. On December 16 he wired Fisher that he had all the necessary permits in hand and that letters had been sent to the appropriate state and territorial governors (including Governor Lugo) requesting that DeMille be given every courtesy and assistance. With his mission successfully completed, Pezet told Fisher he would be departing for the United States on December 19 (Pezet 1922b). His expenditures had totaled $1,247.61, of which $325.00 were delicately itemized as "tips" and "meals and invitations to people of high standing thanking them for services" (Pezet 1922c).
Flush with success, Pezet suggested to Fisher that Mr. DeMille might wish his continuing services on the voyage itself in the event that any problems arose while in Mexican territory (Pezet 1922a). However, he was not among those on board when the Seaward finally sailed.
After the permits arrived, DeMille moved quickly to have the Seaward readied for departure, now scheduled for January 7, 1923 (see figure 2). On January 4, DeMille's office announced the trip to the press. The following day, January 5, the Los Angeles Times ran a short piece under the title "De Mille Seeks Cannibals":
A combination hunting and exploring trip to Tiburon Island, off the coast of Baja California, will be made by Cecil B. De Mille and a party of friends, who will leave Sunday, Mr. De Mille announced yesterday. They will return in forty-five days. Mr. De Mille says he expects to settle, once for all, reports that natives of Tiburon are cannibals, and discover possibilities of the island for motion-picture work. In order that the asserted cannibalism may not be determined by personal experience, the party will go well armed. Two machine guns and plenty of rifles and revolvers were being loaded abroad [sic] the De Mille schooneryacht yesterday. ("De Mille Seeks Cannibals" 1923)
This was news to DeMille, and the timing of this sensational piece of misinformation could hardly have been worse. The article came to the attention of Leandro Garza Leal, Mexican consul for Los Angeles and the man whose signature DeMille needed the next day to clear the Seaward to enter Mexican waters. Garza, of course, had no intention of letting machine guns or any other contraband arms into Mexico, and he lost no time informing DeMille that if the article were true, he would wire the authorities in Mexico and have DeMille's permits canceled. He also told DeMille that he considered this business to be highly denigrating to Mexico as well as an act of piracy. DeMille assured Garza that he knew nothing about the newspaper charges, that they were completely untrue, that he had no arms on board apart from some light rifles and shotguns, and that Garza should come aboard and inspect the vessel himself. An inspection was duly made and DeMille's claims confirmed. As far as Garza was concerned the matter was now closed, apart from fulfilling his obligation to report the incident to his superiors (Garza, quoted by Thomson 1956a). On January 6 he signed the Seaward's manifest papers, clearing it to depart for Mexico (Garza Leal 1923).
The Times later explained where the machine gun story had come from:
[A]bout the time he [DeMille] applied [to the Mexican Consul in Los Angeles] for clearance papers his press agent, who had found a faded newspaper clipping captioned, "Seri Indians Are Cannibals," informed the world that Mr. De Mille was going to hunt the man-eaters of the Gulf and for that purpose was taking down machine guns and rifles, of which there is a good supply on the [motion picture company's back lot]. ("Who Bets on Steak Cecil?" 1923)
Although the matter had been officially cleared up, the press was on to a good story and was not about to let go of it. On January 7, the day the Seaward sailed, the Times ran another piece about the venture. The Times was a newspaper with a long memory for Seri stories, and its mocking headline for this piece--"Yo, Ho! For Tiburon! Is Their Hail"--derived directly from a story that had lampooned a harebrained 1895 expedition to Tiburon proposed by a previous wealthy Angelino ("Ho! For Tiburon" 1895). Of DeMille's expedition, the Times now reported,
Tiburon Island is little known and therefore is the subject of wild tales and colorful adventures. Cameras are among the chief equipment of the expedition. The party will do some hunting, if the consent of the Mexican authorities can be obtained, but yesterday Mr. De Mille laughed at the erroneous report that two machine guns would be included in the equipment. "Machine guns?" he asked. "What for? No, we are not going to take along any equipment of that kind. The trip is for pleasure and exploration. Instead of turning the crank of a machine gun, we'll be busy turning the crank of a motion-picture camera in order to bring back many views of the interesting and litle-known [sic] island." ("Yo, Ho!" 1923)
And the Times couldn't resist a humorous parting shot at DeMille with an article headlined "Who Bets on Steak Cecil?" (1923):
Before leaving, however, Mr. De Mille adverted to the matter of the cannibalism of the Seris and would not leave, it is said, until he was satisfied that the reports were equivocal, if not downright slanderous. Being a rather plump person, Mr. De Mille took the matter somewhat seriously.
The Los Angeles Examiner, however, stuck to its guns (so to speak), repeating the original report of heavy armament and adding some spicy details of its own:
Yachtsmen To Explore Cannibal Island
CECIL DE MILLE ON DARING TRIP To seek out possible man-eating cannibals, said by previous explorers to be living on the barren Tiburon Island, in the Infernal Channel of the shores of Sonora, Lower California, a party of wealthy Los Angeles and San Francisco men will be guests of Cecil B. DeMille.... The Infernal Channel is one of the most dangerous water passages in the entire world and, for this reason, has seldom been penetrated. Explorers have declared that the island is peopled by a race of humans akin to cave men, who least on raw animal meat. They also relate stories of cannibalistic desires.... Defying death at the hands of these savages, DeMille and his party of six, heavily armed as a protection against possible attack, will penetrate into the wilds of Tiburon on a hunting and scientific exploring trip. Cameras will be taken along. ("Yachtsmen to Explore Cannibal Island" 1923)
DeMille must have been relieved to finally cast off before any more problems developed. The Seaward pulled away from the California Yacht Club docks at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 7, under the guidance of Capt. Ed McNeary.
TO THE GULF
There are many contradictory second-hand accounts of the voyage, but the basic facts are clear from the Seaward's log (log of yacht Seaward 1923). Accompanying the log is the impressionistic and "STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL" journal of the trip to the "ISLAND OF THE CANNIBALS," eloquently penned by of one of the guests, Paul Iribe, who identified himself only as "a Frenchman" and "a foreigner" (Iribe 1923). Although DeMille had coyly described Iribe in the documents Pezet had taken to Mexico City as an "Architect, Painter and Newspaper Artist" (DeMille 1922b), he was in fact DeMille's art director, the man responsible for set design and costuming. In addition to Iribe, only one other person on the original guest list actually sailed. This was Carmen Runyan, a retired California businessman who served on numerous boards in southern California and New York and belonged to yacht clubs on both coasts. One of the new guests was Dr. Frank Watson, a retired Los Angeles physician who, it was understood, would act in his professional capacity if needed. Although two other men would be dining with DeMille, Iribe, Runyan, and Watson, their status was not entirely that of guest. Capt. Walter R. Bethel, a retired sea captain from San Francisco, had been hired by DeMille as a back-up skipper at a salary of $200 for the trip (Bethel 1922). Similarly, Joseph L. Kane was responsible for maintaining and operating the wireless equipment. Four weeks into the trip the group would be joined by a final guest, Neff McCarthy, DeMille's long-time friend and attorney.
The Seaward itself was nothing short of magnificent (see figures 3 and 4). She was a Gloucester fisherman--type twin-masted schooner, 106 feet long with a beam of 21 1/2 feet. She was outfitted with a single-screw 65 (or 85?) horsepower auxiliary motor and was capable of 7 1/2 knots under power. She carried a crew of eight and could accommodate seven passengers. Her hull was painted white with gold trim, her decks were natural oak, and her interior was black and white walnut. She was furnished with the finest and most luxurious conveniences. Each private stateroom was equipped with electric lights, hot and cold running water, showers, and hot air heating. The beautifully appointed main salon included a carefully selected library and an electric phonograph with an equally careful selection of records. Electric refrigerators enabled the guests to dine on fresh meat and vegetables throughout the trip. The vessel was equipped with the most advanced navigational and radio equipment available. Her state-of-the-art wireless was capable of sending voice messages 250 miles or coded messages 1,000 miles, and it could receive from a distance of 3,000 miles. During the voyage, DeMille and his friends would use this recently invented device to the fullest, and radiograms flew back and forth between the Seaward and the United States with considerable frequency ('Caption" 1923; "Bills" 1923; Kiesling 1924).
By 3:25 p.m. the Seaward had motored past the harbor's pilot station. A few minutes later the crew hoisted the sails and Capt. McNeary set the vessel on a course for Mexico. The next day (January 8) the Seaward made her first port of call at Ensenada, on the Pacific coast of Baja California. After clearing Mexican customs, DeMille and his friends went ashore, primarily to visit a shop called The Green Mill where they purchased their liquor supply for the voyage (these were Prohibition times in the United States). Setting sail from Ensenada, they spent part of the next day fishing. About noon on January 10 they dropped anchor at Cedros Island, halfway down the peninsula, where they remained for two days. DeMille and Iribe fished while the others went ashore to hunt. Iribe observed that the hunting was really just an excuse to get some exercise, and nobody cared that they didn't find any deer because they all enjoyed the island's scenery. "One leaves as a hunter,"
wrote Iribe, "and one comes back as an artist."
On the morning of January 12 the Seaward weighed anchor and sailed to Turtle Bay (Bahia Tortugas) for more hunting and fishing. They arrived at their next stop, Magdalena Bay, on January 15, and stayed four days to relax and explore. On January 20 they made a brief call at San Jose del Cabo, at the southern tip of the peninsula. The following day the Seaward turned northwestward and headed into the Gulf of California.
As they rounded the cape, DeMille and his guests agreed that the trip so far could hardly have been better. The weather had been generally good and the fishing excellent. Only the hunting left much to be desired--they had shot a few birds but no deer. DeMille, who was an experienced sailor, was enjoying spending time at the helm of his yacht while Iribe was setting the wonders and beauty of Baja California to words in his journal (see figure 5). Everyone was having a fine time exploring the settlements and wild countryside. A wireless message from Nell McCarthy confirmed that he would meet them in Santa Rosalia on February 1, just before they sailed for Tiburon Island. Everyone was in high spirits and looking forward to the next phase of the adventure.
Heading up the Gulf, the Seaward cruised past Cerralvo Island and on January 23 anchored at La Paz, the pearl capital of Baja California. Although DeMille and his guests tried to negotiate with some of the town's many pearl merchants, they came away virtually empty-handed. They did, however, make friends with one of La Paz's leading businessmen, Antonio Ruffo, who gave them a letter of introduction to help them arrange hunting guides in Loreto, their next major port.
Departing La Paz on the twenty-sixth, they headed north past Espiritu Santo Island and sailed as far as San Jose Island. There Kane and Iribe went ashore and hiked to the ruins of a building that Iribe romantically likened to an old fortress. On the twenty-seventh they again set sail and the following day dropped anchor near the north end of Carmen Island. On the twenty-ninth they made the short hop to Loreto, the historic capital of colonial Baja California (see figure 6). DeMille's party explored the town but did not try to set up a hunting trip with Ruffo's letter (see figure 7). They left Loreto on January 30, and at noon on the thirty-first sailed into the harbor at Santa Rosalia, where they would await McCarthy's arrival the next day from Guaymas.
Santa Rosalia was a copper-mining town owned by a French company. Iribe found it to be an ugly place, all the more so when McCarthy failed to show up on February 1 or even February 2. On February 3 the wind picked up and the weather began to deteriorate. The noon entry in the Seaward's log stated that the wind was "increasing to moderate gale" (32-38 mph on the Beaufort scale). McCarthy finally arrived by boat from Guaymas, and Iribe observed that he was "looking a bit pale." No wonder, because Iribe also noted that the sea was now "very, very bad and the wind is blowing terribly hard."
Later that day (February 3) the Seaward was cleared for Guaymas, the final destination of the trip, by way of Tiburon Island. The log entry of 6:30 p.m. states that the crew was "preparing to sail at 8:00 P.M. wind moderating."
But conditions were still not auspicious, and at 6 a.m. the next morning, February 4, the Seaward was still lying at anchor at Santa Rosalia. Although the log indicated clear weather with a "fresh breeze from WNW" (19-24 mph), by 8 a.m. the wind was increasing and by noon it was again howling at a moderate gale.
An exasperated Iribe wrote that this was now their fifth day in Santa Rosalia. DeMille and his friends were thoroughly bored. After lunch everyone went into town and took their now-habitual walk through the French and Mexican quarters. But time was running out and a crucial decision had to be made. Iribe summed it up:
After dinner we play poker. I loose [sic] $17 and C.B. [DeMille] wins $17. We vote and decide to leave tonight for Tiburon Island, in spite of the weather, hoping it will be better tomorrow morning. At midnight we sail!
With the wind again moderating, the Seaward headed out from Santa Rosalia just after midnight on the morning of February 5. As she set her course toward Tiburon, she met with fresh breezes and moderate seas, certainly an improvement over the gale conditions of the past few days. But this was still rough weather. Moreover, the past few days the Seaward had been riding at anchor in a protected harbor; it was a whole different experience to meet these conditions on the open sea, particularly for those who were not seasoned sailors. And by daybreak the weather was again deteriorating. Iribe wrote succinctly:
Sea and wind worse, and it means something.
At 8 a.m., with conditions worsening, DeMille and his friends took another vote and decided to abandon Tiburon and set a course for Guaymas. But by late morning the fickle wind had decreased substantially, and the party voted to make another try for Tiburon. Again the winds and seas failed to cooperate, and at 2 p.m. Iribe wrote that they voted once more to change course for Guaymas.
DeMille related his version of the situation to Gladys Rosson, his secretary in Los Angeles, in a wireless message transmitted at 8:20 a.m.:
Northwest gale with terrific sea has made it impossible to reach Tiburon / have only progressed fifteen miles north in thirteen hours of drenching and been blown clear across the Gulf/we made second attempt from El Haro coast of Sonora with same result / so are turning south to Guaymas hoping to reach there tonight / Seaward behaved splendidly but this wind and sea would stop anything / everyone in good spirits though some a little the worse for wear / notify all families ... stop gale has blown for five days and still increasing / if we only had a week more time would stay and fight it through / love to all / DeMille. (DeMille 1923)
The Seaward dropped anchor in Guaymas harbor at 6:30 that evening. Although everyone was disappointed not to have reached Tiburon Island, they were not ones to mope about it. As Iribe reported, that evening: "We play poker. I loose [sic] $10, C.B. wins $10."
The next morning, February 7, a pilot took the Seaward into Guaymas's inner harbor, and everyone spent the day in town. Iribe mentioned that Guaymas, their one stop in Sonora, was the only port where the authorities had been less than courteous to them. They dined that evening with Mr. Yost, the U.S. consul, who produced an excellent 1858 cognac. The next day, they made preparations for the trip back to California. At 6:30 that evening, DeMille and his guests (except Bethel and probably Kane) boarded the train. They arrived in Los Angeles on the morning of February 10.
Press reports of DeMille's return contained none of the satire that had marked coverage of his departure. DeMille's office had immediately released his radiogram about the storm and their retreat to Guaymas, which the Times printed verbatim on February 7 ("Storm Turns De Mille Back" 1923). On February 11, the day after the party arrived in Los Angeles, the Times printed a statement in which DeMille diplomatically praised the friendly and courteous assistance his party had been shown by Mexicans throughout their trip ("De Mille and Party" 1923).
The Los Angeles Examiner was equally restrained in its February 10 announcement of DeMille's return ("De Mille Back" 1923). The following day, however, it quoted DeMille as having claimed to have "learned positively that the Sieri [sic] Indians of Tiburon are not cannibals ... but it is known that they are a race with almost prehistoric customs because of their isolation. It is said that the terrific storms prevent more than two or three boats a year from reaching them" ("Tiburon Still Lures" 1923).
The Examiner went on to assert that DeMille was planning another expedition for the following summer, and that he would take "expert anthropologists to study the Tiburon people and gather data for a scientific book on the effects of isolation on human beings" ("Tiburon Still Lures" 1923). That DeMille ever intended to make such a trip is most unlikely.
Although DeMille and his guests were safely home, the adventure was not over for everyone, for the crew of the Seaward, with the addition of Capt. Bethel (and presumably wireless operator Kane), still had to sail the yacht from Guaymas to Los Angeles. The Seaward left Guaymas on February 9, the day after DeMille's party had departed by train. Everything went smoothly until February 20, when the vessel was some fifty miles from Ensenada. At 2 a.m. the Seaward received a distress signal from the sailing yacht Eloise. As with many of the events surrounding the Seaward's voyage, reports of the situation differ greatly. According to the Los Angeles Examiner ("Yacht in Peril" 19231), the Eloise had been becalmed for several days, was out of fuel for her auxiliary motor, and was in danger of drifting onto the shore rocks. The Los Angeles Express, under banner headlines, gave a much more dire account, claiming that the vessel had already been severely battered by a storm, that she was even now being beaten by the waves, and that the lives of one hundred prominent California business and professional men who were on board were in peril. Moreover, the Express was uncertain that the Seaward was capable of rendering assistance since she too was "nearly a wreck owing to its encounter recently in a similar storm" ("100 Drifting on LA Yacht" 1923m).
Once again the Seaward's log gives at least an outline of what actually happened. At 2 a.m. on February 20, under calm conditions, the Seaward's crew had seen the Eloise's flare and approached within hailing distance. Capt. Piver told them that the Eloise had been becalmed for three days and was out of fuel and short of food. The Seaward then radioed DeMille in Los Angeles for instructions, and DeMille directed the vessel to proceed to Ensenada and await further orders. But the Seaward was also low on fuel, and three hours later she, too, ran out of gas. At 9:50 a.m. Capt. Bethel and a crew member set off in the vessel's launch for Ensenada for fuel for both yachts. They arrived at 4:40 p.m. and by 7 o'clock were loading fuel and provisions on board a local vessel, the Bijo, which was scheduled to depart for the yachts at 3 a.m. the next morning, February 21.
Meanwhile, the Seaward was proceeding slowly under sail toward Ensenada. She arrived at 10:30 p.m. on February 21, having been towed the final miles by a tug. And the Eloise, refueled by the Bijo, arrived in Ensenada at 10:45 a.m. on the twenty-second under power. With the situation completely under control, the Seaward departed for home. The entire incident was of little real consequence but it did provide DeMille with some good publicity for his very minor role in the affair.
The publicity was not so good, however, when the Seaward finally docked in Los Angeles. On February 27, U.S. Customs agents inspecting the vessel discovered some eighty quarts of liquor that had been smuggled in from Ensenada, violating both customs law and the Twenty-third Amendment. DeMille was ultimately able to convince the authorities that he knew nothing about the contraband, but Capt. McNeary faced a heavy fine, and it was March before the Seaward was released to DeMille (Higham 1973: 108-9). And on that sour note the Tiburon Island adventure came to an end. Or so DeMille thought.
With no more breaking news the voyage was quickly relegated to history, and for more than a decade nothing further was heard about it. But DeMille was a major celebrity and, as part of the price of fame, his life was constantly under public scrutiny and fair game for the press. Perhaps it was inevitable that the Tiburon trip would be resurrected sooner or later.
That moment came on November 3, 1935, when the Los Angeles Times ran a feature piece in its Sunday supplement entitled "Cecil--and the Cannibals" by Timothy G. Turner. Turner, a feature writer for the Times, usually did not write satire, but with DeMille as his subject he pulled out all the stops. Drawing on articles from the time of the trip, Turner's feature was intended as satire and not to be taken too literally. Hence, although fundamentally factual, Turner added a liberal dose of exaggeration, fabricated dialogue, and statements that were actually untrue but helped make a funny story. Turner established the tone of his piece in the opening lines:
This is the thrilling story of how Cecil B. De Mille escaped being cut into steaks by the cannibals of Tiburon Island. Only two things intervened: The Seri Indians who inhabit Tiburon are not cannibals; and Cecil B. De Mille didn't go there. Nevertheless the Great De Mille Expedition should become history. (Turner 1935)
Turner then told about how he himself had supposedly met the amiable "Seri chief, Coyote Iguana" while he was a correspondent during the Mexican Revolution. The good chief had assured him that the Seris were never cannibals and that the only gastronomic incident that had ever caused a ruckus was when some shameless Indians ate the bull terrier of an English yachtsman who had unwisely brought his pet ashore on Tiburon Island. Having assured his readers that the Seris were in tact charming and "simple children of Nature," Turner launched into an account of DeMille's trip:
Cecil B. De Mille, like any true movie baron of the silent film days, had a yacht. He planned a trip down the Mexican West Coast as far as Mazatlan, and a run up the California Gulf to do some fishing in a big way (he always did everything in a big way) and some hunting on the Island of Tiburon where, he had been misinformed, there were lots of birds and small game. He needed a rest. Doing things in a grand way did take it out of one. It even took it out of one to hear everybody say "yes" any longer. There they would say, "si."
Turner then gave a tongue-in-cheek review of how the zealous DeMille press agent had got hold of an old newspaper clipping that described the Seris as cannibals, how the press had turned that into a machine-gun-toting expedition to explore Tiburon Island where "any Seris that came within range were to be 'mowed down without mercy,'" how these reports had prompted Mexican Consul Garza to inspect the Seaward before clearing her, how the state government in Hermosillo, Sonora, had reacted to Garza's cables by calling out the military, and how DeMille was blissfully unaware of any of this until Garza threatened to deny him clearance papers. The piece ends with DeMille finally learning the reason for all the trouble:
"Are they really cannibals?" he asked. "They say they're not ... but are they?" Mr. De Mille glanced down over as much of his own body as his perspective permitted. He was inclined to be plump. "Take this cablegram, hurry up there. Cable Honolulu," cried Mr. De Mille. "Say I am coming over to do some fishing and surf bathing in Hawaiian waters. Say we will be there as soon as the yacht can make it." And Mr. De Mille, as far as this writer knows, enjoyed Honolulu no end. (Turner 1935)
DeMille certainly must have seen Turner's article (he had a highly efficient clipping service) but there seems to be no record of his reaction to it. Given that it was a basically accurate review of the events (allowing for journalistic license), he may have shrugged it off as just one more piece that poked fun at him. Twenty-one years later, however, another report of the trip appeared that had none of the humor of Turner's piece. This account gave a decidedly Mexican perspective, and because it was presented as serious history, DeMille felt compelled to respond to it seriously.
The account was written in February 1956 by Roberto Thomson, a longtime resident of Hermosillo, Sonora, as a letter to Jose Healy. Thomson was an amateur historian, and his letter described a number of incidents involving the Seris during the 1910s and 1920s. The account would never have come to DeMille's attention had it not also been printed in El Imparcial, Hermosillo's major newspaper. Thomson wrote that
[Governor] don Alejo Bay saved the Seris from catastrophe, or rather, infamy, and the country from embarrassment, when the motion picture magnate Cecil B. DeMille and others like him left San Diego, California, in a boat named "Black Swan" for Tiburon in order to make a film, "Real: Hunting Seris with Machine Guns" (his very words). The Mexican Consul in San Diego telegraphed the Ministry of [Foreign] Relations in Mexico City, reporting this fact, and from Mexico City. the message was transmitted to the Governor's Office in Hermosillo. They were looking for me to tell me about the message as I entered the [Governor's] Palace with a long and urgent telegram from Mr. Edward Davies [sic], who informed me from Mesa Grande [California] of the danger that threatened his esteemed friends, the Seris. We all left that same day. The well-known Chino Fragozo (don Manuel) left with sixteen mounted soldiers, [while] my brother Luis and I went on ahead by car to recruit volunteers from among ranchers and friends. There were twenty-six of us by the time we regrouped with Fragozo at Pozo de Pena, near the Canal del Infiernillo, and from there we crossed over [to Tiburon] in pangas belonging to the Seris. With their consent, we prepared a foolproof trap for Cecil which he could not sniff out. We spotted the boat, which circled the island for eight days. Our lookouts never lost sight of it for a moment. It circled, but not a single man came ashore. As we later learned, he [DeMille] had been informed by wireless of our departure from Hermosillo to "receive" him. When the "Black Swan" returned to San Diego, many of Cecil's friends and many friends of the millionaires who accompanied him were waiting at the dock to greet them. His Failure was already common knowledge. Also, there were many who disapproved of his rash adventure. From among these came a shout, "Cecil, why didn't you go ashore on Tiburon, eh?" "Because the sea was trembling too much," was Cecil's reply. "Cecil," asked the same voice, "wasn't it your legs that were trembling'" It was also common knowledge that among the discontented, silently keeping watch for us, was our faithful friend, Mr. Davies who, besides having informed us about the situation, sent us newspaper clippings about the event. (Thomson 1956b, my translation)
Thomson felt highly protective toward the Seris. As a young boy he had seen a group of Seris, shackled and bound together in chains, being led off to prison by soldiers, and the experience had affected him deeply. He had also heard stories about the dark years of the late nineteenth century, when a bounty was placed on Seri heads and Mexicans hunted Seris for sport, sometimes wiping out whole families. As an adult he resolved to look after Seri interests. At the time of DeMille's trip he was serving as a government liaison to the Seris, and he had been instrumental in defusing a number of potentially explosive confrontations between Mexicans and Indians (Bowen 2000: 242-43). It was no wonder he was determined to protect the Seris when an apparent threat from the United States appeared on the horizon.
As for his narrative of the incident, Thomson tried to make history come alive by embellishing the facts with romantic images and dramatic details he could not possibly have known (Bowen 2000: 245). That, and normal lapses of memory during the thirty-three years since the events occurred, probably account for some of the discrepancies between his version and contemporary sources such as the Seaward's log. But there is no question that Thomson was correct about the forceful response of the Sonoran government to the perceived threat of DeMille's trip. As the Los Angeles Times reported shortly after the Seaward set sail,
The affair would have rested there if an American, connected with a hotel here, who is a friend of Governor Francisco Elias of Sonora, had not telegraphed that official that a party of American motion-picture men, according to the press, were on their way with machine guns and rifles to hunt Seri Indians.... When Gov. Elias heard that Mr. De Mille's expedition intended to hunt Seris he became so alarmed he advised Gen. Angel Flores, commander of the military zone, and it is understood that the Mexican gunboat Tecate and the revenue cutter (ex-U.S. submarine chaser) Yaqui have been ordered north from Mazatlan to look into the matter. It is also considered probable that Federal troops have been dispatched to that part of the mainland near Hermosillo, which is nearest Tiburon Island. ("Who Bets on Steak Cecil?" 1923)
Twelve years later, Timothy Turner told much the same story, citing telegrams between Governor Elias and the military commanders, but he could not resist injecting some humor into the situation. According to Turner, Elias's telegram to General Flores read
Consul Los Angeles California United State North America informs yacht load adventurers armed machine guns on way to Tiburon to massacre Seri Indians who probably will be stuffed and put in North American museum stop venerable lie that Seris cannibals again circulated in California Alta probably accounts for this scandalous expedition which insult to Mexican sovereignty stop please take any steps you see fit protect Seri Indians or any other Mexican citizens or wards who may be endangered stop sincere regards and affectionate salutations. ELIAS. (Turner 1935)
Because the Times article appeared alter the Seaward had sailed, because (contrary to Thomson's account) there was apparently no radiogram to DeMille telling him of the situation, and because he and his guests were cordially received in every port they visited in Baja California, it seems likely that DeMille had no idea at the time that his voyage was creating a diplomatic uproar in Sonora.
DeMille became aware of Thomson's article through an April 20, 1956, letter from a man named Anthony Gibbon, editor of a Tulsa-based trade publication called World Oil. DeMille held a substantial portfolio of oil investments, and he and Gibbon had known one another for many years. Gibbon explained that he had hired Thomson as a guide on two visits to Tiburon Island in the early 1950s. He and Thomson had become friends, so when the article appeared in El Imparcial, Thomson had sent him a copy. In his letter to DeMille, Gibbon explained further that
Roberto had told me the story which is set forth in the enclosed newspaper clipping. However, I am sure your motives were greatly mistaken and I wonder if you'd care to give me your version of the cruise of the "Black Swan" so that I may straighten the record. I know you for too good a man and a humanitarian to have undertaken the trip to Tiburon for the purposes alleged and, unfortunately, generally believed by the good people of Sonora. (Gibbon 1956a)
It was that last clause that struck a raw nerve. DeMille, who, ironically, was hard at work on The Ten Commandments (this time, the 1956 VistaVision Technicolor version), instructed his public relations director, Art Arthur, to look into the matter and craft a response that would clear his name. Arthur first checked the credibility, of the sources to find out if El Imparcial was "Moscow-tinted" or if "Roberto Thomson may be another name for one of those exiled 'unfriendly' Hollywood columnists" (Arthur 1956a). Being apparently satisfied that the piece was not politically motivated, Arthur replied to Gibbon on May 11, telling him,
Mr. DeMille appreciated your thoughtfulness in directing his attention to the hare-brained newspaper story from Hermosillo.... [H]e would be inclined to dismiss it as being beneath his contempt, were it not for your information that the story is "unfortunately generally believed by the good people of Sonora." ... What made the story all the more amazing to him was the fact that the boat on which he was sailing carried many boxes of candy, trinkets, warm clothes, blankets and other gifts for the Seri Indians on Tiburon Island, because Mr. DeMille and his friends had heard that the Seri Indians used pelican skins to keep themselves warm in the very bitter winds that blew across the Island. Had they landed on Tiburon Island, this vicious legend would have been replaced by a story reflecting those humanitarian qualities of which you speak in your letter.... As to the legend about a machine gun, Mr. DeMille commented to me, "I do not hunt any four-legged or winged animals, and it had not occurred to me to hunt any two-legged ones...." Since you seem to know Mr. Roberto G. Thomson well, perhaps you can assure him that, had he been aboard the Seaward, he would have applauded the intention to distribute clothes and blankets and would never have permitted himself to swallow the sort of story which he apparently has chosen to believe all these years (Arthur 1956b).
Gibbon immediately forwarded Arthur's letter to Thomson and asked him to place another article in El Imparcial describing DeMille's "real" motives in attempting to land on Tiburon (Gibbon 1956b). Unfortunately, no copies of the follow-up article have been located, but subsequent correspondence indicates that Thomson published both Arthur's letter to Gibbon and the letter Gibbon had sent him. On February 28, 1957, Gibbon wrote Thomson to thank him for forwarding a copy of the article to DeMille and clearing his name (Gibbon 1957).
But Thomson was deeply insulted that his credibility had been challenged, and he tried to salvage his honor, and that of his ethnologist friend Edward H. Davis, by defending his original piece with an explanation of how events had unfolded in Sonora in 1923. In a deliberately formal letter to his now-former friend Gibbon, dated October, 1956, he stated
Mr. DeMille should consider that these "eccentric and wild" news articles are not the fruit of my imagination. The California press gave them ample publicity a third of a century ago. I was made aware of them on the day after they were published by way of telegrams received in the Governor's Office in Hermosillo, and just a few hours later by a message sent directly to me by Mr. Edward Davies [sic] of Mesa Grande, California, a close friend of mine and of the Seris.... From the moment when a daily newspaper as credible as "The Los Angeles Times" revealed the intentions of the expedition they were accepted as certain, and I was one of those commissioned to go and wait for the expedition at Tiburon. Having received the commission, I lost no time in departing, carrying with me a highly unfavorable impression of Mr. DeMille. I returned with it and it has remained all this time. [This impression] was with me in February 1956 when I wrote the aforementioned article. I wrote it from the heart, truthfully, with feeling, and just as the Sonorans who were there had felt. I was not able to make any corrections to these events because I was not there [on board the Seaward] to experience them.... Is it possible to ask: did the Government of the State take into account what it was told by the Consulate [Mexican Consul Garza in Los Angeles], correcting the previously published articles? We do not know. During that time such reports were not entered into the public domain, nor was any explanation made to the commission sent to Tiburon. Indeed, I remember that the Acting Governor, at the time Don Francisco Hoyos, upon learning of the commission's return, did not expect me to present myself to report.... He came to my house to inquire [Hoyos was Thornson's neighbor] and he was very pleased to learn that we had not had disagreeable incidents. Neither did he make reference to the explanatory reports.... Today some muddy details have been cleared up, but at the time, Mr. Gibbon, things were not clear, and indeed action needed to be taken quickly. Those of us who left to intercept them went with justifiable indignation toward the Expedition. (Thomson 1956a)
And so the saga of Cecil B. DeMille's Tiburon Island expedition finally ended, just two short years before the famed director's death. Despite the brouhaha it created, the affair was really nothing more than a tern pest in a teapot. Relations between Mexico and the United States were undamaged, no property had been destroyed, and nobody had been hurt, apart from a little seasickness and some bruised egos.
Nevertheless, a few nagging questions remain. One is whether the Mexico City newspapers were right to be suspicious of DeMille's motives in 1923 when Pezet was greasing the wheels of government to obtain permits for the cruise. Six days after the Seaward set sail, the Hollywood Daily Citizen reported that the cruise was in reality a business trip, motivated by a scheme to acquire land in Baja California and commissioned by a syndicate of film industry people headed by Carmen Runyan ("Mystery Shrouds Trip" 1923). Indeed, a few months later George Pezet was again in Mexico City as DeMille's agent in an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a lease or purchase of Cedros Island, one of the places in Baja California that DeMille's party had explored (Pezet 1923).
And then there is the confusion over who was governor of Sonora at the time of the trip. On this point, Timothy Turner and Roberto Thomson both got it partly right. Francisco Elias was governor when the Seaward set sail from Los Angeles and the Mexican military was called out to intercept it (Camp 1991: 441). Francisco Hoyos took over as acting governor on January 19, just before the Seaward entered the gulf, and he remained in office until February 19, about a week after DeMille and his friends returned home (Almada 1952: 349). Alejo Bay, whom Thomson cites as governor in his 1956 article, did not take office until September 1, 1923 (Camp 1991: 441).
One of the most interesting mysteries is the identity of the vessel Thomson and his militia apparently tracked for eight days as it circled Tiburon Island. According to Thomson's chronology, the boat must have appeared well before the Seaward reached Santa Rosalia and was turned back by the storm. One might speculate that the name he gave it in his article, the Black Swan, came from the 1942 movie of that title, and that failing memory over the years caused Thomson to equate DeMille's mission (as he understood it) with the fictional pirate drama. Whatever the explanation, it is fairly certain that the vessel Thomson sighted did not have Tyrone Power at the helm and Maureen O'Hara at his side.
Finally, there is DeMille's rejoinder to Thomson's article (quoted in Art Arthur's letter to Gibbon) in which he claimed that he did not hunt either "four-legged or winged animals." This is a rather astonishing assertion, coming as it did from a man who had not only bagged a moose and two grizzlies among his numerous four-legged trophies, but who owned a famous gun collection, held a lifetime membership in La Grulla Gun Club of Ensenada, and had a private target range and trap-shooting facility at his Paradise Ranch retreat thirty miles from Hollywood. Perhaps at age seventy-five, DeMille was thinking about his legacy and was willing to bend reality a bit to quash the latest resurrection of the "cannibal hunt" story. Under the circumstances, this minor transgression can surely be forgiven.
I wish to thank to Scott Ryerson for access to his collection of Roberto Thomson's papers and the staff of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library at Brigham Young University for help in locating relevant materials in the extensive Cecil B. DeMille collection. I am also indebted to Richard DeMille and Bill Hendricks for drawing my attention to sources I would otherwise have missed, to Tom Duncan and Tom Jones for checking translations, to Bill Fike for nautical advice, and to Paul Mirocha for creating the map. As always, I owe special thanks to Marty Brace for her excellent advice and keen editorial eye, and I am equally grateful to Joe Wilder for the continuing support of the University of Arizona Southwest Center.
Almada, Francisco R.
1952 Diccionario de historia, geografia y biografia sonorenses. Hermosillo: Gobierno del Estado de Sonora.
1956a Memo to Luigi Luraschi, May 4. MS 1400, Box 16, Folder 54 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
1956b Letter to Anthony Gibbon, May 11. MS 1400, Box 16, Folder 54 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Bethel, Walter R.
1922 Letter to John H. Fisher, December 29. MS 1400, Box 758, Folder 2 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Bills to famous players
1923 Bill to Lasky Corporation from Federal Telegraph Company, San Francisco, California, February 21 and March 20. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 11 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
2000 Unknown Island: Seri Indians, Europeans, and San Esteban Island in the Gulf of California. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
Camp, Roderic Ai
1991 Mexican Political Biographies, 1884-1935. Austin: University of Texas Press.
1923 Caption for photo 1218. P-146, Box 4, Folder 15 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
DeMille, Cecil B.
1922a Letter to George A. Pezet, November 17. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 3 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
1922b "Mr. De Mille's Contemplated Trip into Mexican Waters." Memorandum, November 17, 1922. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 3 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
1923 Radiogram to Gladys Rosson, February 6. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 9 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
"De Mille and Party Are Home"
1923 Los Angeles Times, February 11, Section I, p. 4.
"De Mille Back to See 'Adam's Rib'"
1923 Los Angeles Examiner, February 10, Section I, p. 13.
"De Mille Seeks Cannibals"
1923 Los Angeles Times, January 5, Section II, p. 5.
Garza Leal, Leandro
1923 Manifest clearing the Seaward for Ensenada, January 6. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 1 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Gibbon, Anthony 1956a Letter to Cecil B. DeMille, April 20. MS 1400, Box 16, Folder 54 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
1956b Letter to Roberto Thomson, May 14. Thomson papers in possession of Scott Ryerson, Tucson, Arizona.
1957 Letter to Roberto Thomson, February 28. Thomson papers in possession of Scott Ryerson, Tucson, Arizona.
Higham, Charles 1973 Cecil B. DeMille. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. "Ho! For Tiburon"
1895 Los Angeles Daily Times, November 27, p. 1.
Iribe, Paul 1923 Journal of Paul Iribe, January 7 to February 8. MS 1400, Box 964, Folder 1 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Kiesling, Barrett C. 1924 Memorandum to Gladys Rosson, July 25. MS 1400, Box 244, Folder 21 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Koury, Phil A. 1959 Yes, Mr. DeMille. New York: Putnam.
Log of yacht Maud F. 1921 April 23 to June 14. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 11 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Log of yacht Seaward 1923 January 7 to February 23. MS 1400, Box 964, Folder 1 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Lugo, J. I. 1922 Letter to H. H. Clark, October 21. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 1 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
"Mystery Shrouds Trip of De Mille" 1923 Hollywood Daily Citizen, January 13, p. 1.
Obregon, Alvaro 1922 Telegram to Dr. Pea Smith, November 2. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 1 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
"100 Drifting on L.A. Yacht Call for Help" 1923 Los Angeles Express, February 20, Section I, p. 1.
Pezet, George A. 1922a Letter to John H. Fisher, December 10. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 3 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
1922b Telegram to John H. Fisher, December 16. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 3 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
1922c "Detailed Account of Expenses Connected with the Mission." Report, n.d. [late December 19227]. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 3 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
1923 Letter to Cecil B. DeMille, October 15. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 3 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Ruffo, Antonio 1923 Letter to Fidencio Perpuly, January 25. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 1 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Smith, Rea 1922 Telegram to General Alvaro Obregon, November 1. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 1 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
"Storm Turns De Mille Back." 1923 LosAngeles Times, February 7, Section II, p. 10.
Thomson, Roberto 1956a Letter to Anthony Gibbon, October. Thomson papers in possession of Scott Ryerson, Tucson, Arizona.
1956b "Fue firmada la paz con los Indios Seris en la epoca del Gobierno de Don Alejo Bay." El Imparcial, February 9. MS 1400, Box 16, Folder 51 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
"Tiburon Still Lures De Mille" 1923 Los Angeles Examiner, February 11, Section I, p. 7.
Turner, Timothy G. 1935 "Cecil--and the Cannibals." Los Angeles Times, November 3, Sunday Magazine, pp. 10, 26.
"Un millonario viene a la costa del Pacifico" 1922 El Universal, December 5. MS 1400, Box 35, Folder 3 in L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
"Who Bets on Steak Cecil?" 1923 Los Angeles Times, January 16, Section II, p. 5.
"Yacht in Peril off Ensenada" 1923 Los Angeles Examiner, February 21, Section I, p. 1.
"Yachtsmen to Explore Cannibal Island" 1923 Los Angeles Examiner, January 7, Section II, p. 13. "Yo, Ho! for Tiburon! Is Their Hail" 1923 Los Angeles Times, January 7, Section IV, p. 12.
THOMAS BOWEN is professor emeritus of anthropology at California State University, Fresno, and a research associate at the University of Arizona Southwest Center.…
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Publication information: Article title: Cecil B. DeMille and the Tiburon Island Adventure. Contributors: Bowen, Thomas - Author. Journal title: Journal of the Southwest. Volume: 46. Issue: 3 Publication date: Autumn 2004. Page number: 559+. © 1999 University of Arizona. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.
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