By Chuck Woodbury
Mt. Shasta is California’s most beautiful mountain. On a clear day you can see it from at least 100 miles away. People who live near it have remarkable stories about the 14,162-foot Cascade volcano.

The most remarkable stories are the legends about the mysterious people who supposedly live inside the mountain. They are said to be descendants of an ancient society from Lemuria, a lost continent that sunk eons ago. These Lemurians supposedly live deep inside the mountain in apartments plated with gold. In this secret colony, they preserve their ancient customs.

Lemurians are commonly described as graceful and tall — seven feet and up — with long, flowing hair. They dress in white robes and sandals. They are said to have long, slender necks which they adorn with beautiful decorative collars made of beads or precious stones.

Perhaps their most unusual physical characteristic is a walnut-sized organ that protrudes from the center of their foreheads. This sixth-sense enables Lemurians to communicate among themselves by extra-sensory perception.

A Dr. M. Doreal claimed years ago that he visited the Lemurians inside their mountain. “The space we came into was about two miles in height and about 20 miles long and 15 miles wide,” he wrote. “It was as light as a bright summer day because suspended almost in the center of that great cavern of space was a giant glowing mass of light.”

Another man reported that he fell asleep on Mt. Shasta, to be awakened by a Lemurian who led him inside the mountain to his “cave, which was paved with gold.” The Lemurian told the man that there were a series of tunnels left by volcanoes that were under the earth like freeways — a world within a world.

Lemurians supposedly mastered atomic energy, extra-sensory perception, electronics and science as long as 18,000 years ago. Back then, they knew how to propel boats using energy radiated from rocks. They had airships and flew them to Atlantis and other places.

Today, people report seeing strange lights on the mountain. One explanation is that they are spacecraft coming and going from a fortress deep in the mountain.

Lemurians, it is said, possess supernatural powers that enable them to disappear at will — one reason why they aren’t spotted very often. Their power also allows them to “will” an intruder away.

You can’t visit the Mt. Shasta area without reading or hearing about Lemurians. The local chamber of commerce must like the publicity, because it attracts tourists.

Still, talk to the local residents and you’ll hear the popular belief about the Lemurians.

“I think there could have been a city of Lemuria, but as far as them being in the mountain, I don’t believe it,” said Jan Taylor, owner of Jan’s Shear Magic Salon in Mt. Shasta City and a local resident for 27 years.

“I don’t believe any of it,” said resident Pam Minafo. “I believe in things I can see.”

Doug Gilliam of Doug’s Barber Shop agreed. “I’ve been here 34 years and I’ve never seen any Lemurians. Hey, they can say anything, but let them produce it. They even said there’s a black panther up there.”

My guess is what’s really inside Mt. Shasta is dirt, rocks and some lava.