As first described in the San Juan Record in July, 2008, Bluff resident Dennison “Denny” Bellson has pieced together two separate stories that may have resulted in the discovery of Ruess’ remains.
Ruess, a gifted and adventurous youth renowned for his writings and art, simply vanished in the canyon country in 1934, at the age of 20. His whereabouts have been the topic of much speculation in the subsequent 75 years. Despite years of search, the desert, until now, has not given up its secret about the fate of Ruess.
Bellson first heard the story in 2008 about his grandfather, Aneth Nez. In the story, Nez, then in his 30s, witnessed the murder of a white man with light brown hair near the San Juan River.
Nez witnessed the murder from a vantage point high above the valley floor. He buried the body soon after the murder and returned many years later, in the 1970s, for ceremonial purposes. He never did notify authorities of what he had witnessed.
A national magazine is giving widespread attention to the discovery in an issue set to be released tomorrow, April 30. National Geographic Adventure magazine is announcing the discovery in its tenth anniversary issue, following up on the initial issue of the magazine ten years ago which featured Ruess.
The National Geographic website includes a preview of the article, with accompanying photographs, maps and facial analysis of the remains. It is expected to be announced Thursday that DNA evidence has positively identified the remains of Ruess.
While the news may be new to a national audience, it was published in a front page story in the San Juan Record on July 2, 2008.
Another chapter in the mystery of Everett Ruess
National Geographic article