National Geographic : 1951 Nov
Mineral Hunters Risk Death on Mexico's Paricutin Volcano Dr. W. F . Foshag, Curator of Geology, U. S. National Mu seum, and Celedonio Gutierrez, an Indian guide, braved a Pari cutin eruption in 1944. Cross ing an open ash field, they were caught in a shower of volcanic rock. "Lava bombs were dropping all around us," Dr. Foshag re calls. "We couldn't see them coming, but we could hear their high-pitched whistles. At first we ran, but there was no place to hide. Finally we decided it was safer just to stand still." The shower lasted five min utes. One 40-pound missile, with a surface temperature of 400°, missed Dr. Foshag by a few feet (page 633). This picture was taken several days later at the crater's rim. Dr. Foshag (background) hoped to obtain sal-ammoniac crystals in the crater. Steam jets, how ever, prevented his approach. Ward Smith w Rock Collectors Camp Out in the Rocks Amateur mineralogists love to "rough it" on field trips. Arriv ing by car, they explore hillsides and gullies by foot. Night finds them gathered by fires, singing songs and telling tales. One out ing, a Mojave Desert agate hunt, drew more than 1,000 rock hounds in 320 automobiles. This Los Angeles group, seeking gyp sum and other minerals, camped near Saugus, California.