Sometime in the night of Aug. 5, the Cook Bank ruin in Rhyolite was trashed by one or more persons supposedly conducting an unauthorized photo or movie shoot.
Whoever it was strung yellow caution tape on the building and on the fence in front, scattered hundreds of empty shotgun, rifle and pistol cartridges of various calibers on the sidewalk in front of the front steps, and left a pile of small, white bundles secured with duct tape. They also burned several flares.
The responding deputy, a military veteran of several deployments to the Middle East, used what he referred to as a “soldier’s trick” to determine that the bundles did not contain explosives. It is assumed that they were used as props to resemble packages of drug contraband.
BLM personnel filed a police report. The person or persons responsible can be charged with littering. A malicious destruction of property charge is also possible because the flares burned the concrete on the building’s steps.
Anyone with knowledge of the incident is encouraged to contact the Nye County Sheriff’s Office or the Bureau of Land Management field office in Tonopah.
Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.