Excerpt from NASA’s Last Stand:
Petroglyphs and prehistoric cave paintings hold a particular fascination for people. Seeing a color-enhanced photo of the Burro Flats Painted Cave on the cover of the Los Angeles Daily News June 29 allowed hundreds of thousands of people to possibly see an unprotected, priceless cave, perhaps the finest of its kind in North America.
That kind of photo, in that kind of cave, inspires copycats who too would brave trespassing into SSFL to get the kind of pictures longtime Rocketdyne gadfly Christina Walsh took in 2007 that ended up on the cover of a major newspaper this summer. Photographs recently obtained by EnviroReporter.com show Walsh taking photographs in the Burro Flats Painted Cave with her hiking boots outrageously braced against priceless prehistoric Native American paintings and carvings to get the perfect shot.
Christina Walsh in Burro Flats Painted Cave
To see someone actually get into the Burro Flats Painted Cave wearing heavy hiking boots braced on the priceless prehistoric petroglyph and hieroglyph art at this Native American sacred site is astonishing and dismaying. These photos point to the need for immediate, robust protections for the cave. The resultant photographs from this unfortunate trespassing have been seen by countless thousands, making the sacred site that much more known and enticing.
Though not intended, photographs of the Burro Flats Painted Cave put it in exceptional danger in an urban area with millions of people, especially considering the lack of physical protection for the 11.74 acres of protected land and in general for the 2,850-acre SSFL. There have been tragic instances of petroglyph vandalism of the worst kind in Canada and Michigan in the last few years that are heartbreaking. This shouldn’t happen at the Burro Flats Painted Cave. Treating the cave this way and exploiting it is saddening.
Christina Walsh’s photo in the June 28, 2020 Los Angeles Daily News is just one of the places her photographs of the Burro Flats Painted Cave have appeared.
The June 30, 2020 edition of The History of Burro Flats, Rocketdyne and the SSFL was produced and posted by the Chatsworth Historical Society. It shows a digitally enhanced photograph of the Burro Flats Painted Cave “courtesy” of Christina Walsh.