Sunday, December 18, 2011

Intriguing New Lead In EOW Case

For those familiar with the 'San Bernardino Working' deaths as explored in our book Empire of the Wheel, you will recall one of the seven victims, O.H.Bailey, the man found dead near the giant Arrowhead in the foothills north of town. Bailey was the alleged suicide whose remains were physically unidentifiable due to the body's condition after a lengthy time in the elements. He was identified only by information in his wallet and on his clothes. As we suggest in the book, there is truly no way to be certain the body actually was the man known as O.H.Bailey, itinerant resident of a local boarding house.

So who was O.H.Bailey? We may now have a suspect.

You recall that our Bailey was identified as being 50 years old, claimed to be from Maine, and was known around San Bernardino for only a few years. We point out that there was a well known O.H.Bailey at that time, one Oakley Hoopes Bailey, a mapmaker who created and popularized bird's eye view maps. Mapmaker Oakley H Bailey lived to be 104 years old, dying in 1947. That would have made him 72 years old in 1915, clearly not our Bailey. However, as considered in the book, Oakley Bailey could have been the father of our Bailey, though we found no evidence due to limited records. In the book, we suggest the possibility that our Bailey may have lifted the name from a map. As explored in our investigation, there is reason to suspect our Bailey was a man not wanting to reveal his true identity and that the body found may not have been his, giving whoever he was the opportunity to slip away for whatever reason.

So who was O.H.Bailey of the San Bernardino Working deaths of 1915?

A possible suspect has emerged in further research: F. Lewis Clark

F Lewis Clark was an American industrialist who founded the C&O Mill & Elevator, the largest flouring mill in the Pacific Northwest, in 1884. Clark was also a yachtsman who was a member of the New York Yacht Club of America's Cup fame, among others. Clark also owned the Spokane, Washington, land upon which the famous Davenport Hotel was built in 1914. Zane Grey and Dashiell Hammett each set stories in this hotel. Guests have included Amelia Earhart, Bob Hope, Charles Lindbergh, Clark Gable, Mary Pickford, John Philip Sousa, Lawrence Welk, Bing Crosby and Benny Goodman among others -- including nearly every US president of the 20th Century. Clark built the most expensive home in the state of Idaho in its day and also had built an elaborate mansion in Spokane, Washington, known for its wood features and art work. Clark was a wealthy man who enjoyed the finer things in life.

So why is it possible that he was the O.H.Bailey of the San Bernardino Working mystery?

F. Lewis Clark disappeared in 1914. He was 52 years old.

At the time, Clark was reportedly on a business trip to Santa Barbara when he disappeared and his hat was found in the waters off a pier. Based on this, investigators and authorities concluded that Clark had committed suicide. No body was ever found. Clark left behind a wife who struggled after his disappearance and was eventually forced to sell their estate to get by. Clark was never heard from again. One source retrospectively theorizes that Clark was suffering from cancer, because he was reportedly ill and in pain a lot. That same source reports that Clark and his wife lived in Santa Barbara during the winter. The New York Times reported Clark kissing his wife good-bye at a train station then dismissing his chauffeur and walking off into the night, never to be heard from again. The same story even reports an alleged ransom note demanding $75,000 and adding that Clark was safe. Police even dynamited the area where the hat was found and no body appeared (though this might be a dubious method for body retrieval, in our opinion). Reportedly, heavy surf and a bad undertow were cited as the reason his remains might have been forever lost to the sea.

But what if Clark did not die in the water? What if he were not kidnapped?

There are other circumstances to suggest that F Lewis Clark was our O.H.Bailey. First, we must recognize that Santa Barbara is linked to our San Bernardino Working mystery via Chumash mysticism, as presented in our book. Next, look at the timeline: Clark disappears from Santa Barbara in 1914 and Bailey is allegedly found dead (unrecognizable) in 1915. Clark spent much time on the US west coast, as businessman and resident of Washington State, and certainly could have visited San Bernardino many times before his alleged death. In these circumstances, we have a lead that bears further scrutiny. But what else is there to suggest Clark and Bailey were the same man?

Here is where it gets really interesting: F Lewis Clark was born in Maine and our O.H.Bailey claimed to be from Maine. Not enough? How about the fact that Clark was a founder of The Inland Empire Railway in Washington State -- and San Bernardino Valley, along with nearby Riverside, are the heart of California's Inland Empire. This is yet more curious when you learn that the term 'Inland Empire' for the San Bernardino-Riverside area was first used in the Press-Enterprise Newspaper of Riverside in the year Clark disappeared, 1914.

Here we have a man within two years of age of our victim O.H.Bailey at the time of his own disappearance. This man clearly has the material means to effect a comfortable and well-covered change of identity. Being a businessman who deals in real estate, properties, railways and the like, this man would also use maps a lot in his dealings, therefore would likely have known the name of Oakley H Bailey the mapmaker (if he wasn't actually personally acquainted with the mapmaker). Thus might he have chosen to use the name 'O.H.Bailey' while in San Bernardino. Admitting a past in Maine would have been part of keeping his story close enough to the truth to not make mistakes in whatever new identity he had forged. This is a common practice of many operatives in the intelligence community who work under a more shallow cover. That this man had spent time in Santa Barbara, with its associations to our mystery that we point out in our book, raises the possibility as to what he knew about San Bernardino in that regard, and why he may have went there. Finally, the moniker 'Inland Empire' not being used for the California region of our mystery until the very year this man Clark disappeared, though the least of our evidence, isn't as thin as one might conclude. Someone had to get the idea somewhere. The point is, all this points to F. Lewis Clark as a reasonable candidate to have been 'O.H.Bailey' of our San Bernardino Working mystery.

We must also point out that in the book we consider the man whom star victim Cora Stanton may have been in town to meet was 'O.H.Bailey'. If our 'Bailey' were actually F. Lewis Clark, might the wealthy industrialist have decided to fake his own death and run off to meet a lover? What if he actually had been the body found and identified as Bailey, murdered by the same hand that would do in Cora? There are different ways you could look at it, including the possibility that Clark's killer -- if he were murdered -- may have been our Bailey and used the opportunity of his 'suicide' to dispose of the millionaire industrialist's body and then disappear himself. It also must be considered that Clark, or an associate, may even have faked the ransom note that surfaced after his disappearance from Santa Barbara. With all this, we now have to wonder what role Clark could have had in the San Bernardino Working mystery if he indeed was our 'Bailey', when you consider the esoteric circumstances of 'Bailey's demise. Keep in mind also that, like San Bernardino, Santa Barbara was a major enclave of Spiritualists (our book's main suspects), thus Clark may have been a Spiritualist or involved with them in some manner.

We find all these circumstances too intriguing to ignore and will continue investigating this thread of possibility.

The plot thickens...