NILAND — Larry Bowers has cut open thousands of rocks over the years but was surprised by a particular one earlier this year when he saw what’s interpreted as the Virgin Mary inside.
Bowers found the rock by Palo Verde more than a decade ago with his son but only cut it open weeks ago.
“I saw the image when I first cut it. It looks like a figure of probably the Virgin Mary,” Bowers said.
It’s one of numerous geological finds found throughout his home including petrified wood, fossils and more. The rock has quartz inside and a sandstone figure.
Bowers describes himself as spiritual and Gnostic, actually reading Gnostic scripture reportedly written by Mary at the time that he opened the rock.
He showed it to friends who became even more excited about the image than he was.
Bowers said he has many geodes that haven’t been opened from years ago, but only opens them as he has time.
The polite and well-spoken man recently retired and has been able to focus more time to geological and archeological interests.
As for what the rock image means?
“No idea,” he said. “I wonder about that, ‘Do I see what I’m seeing?’ But I do see something.”
There’s something in every one that you cut, and it’s interesting to find one with a silhouette in it.”
El Centro resident Eddie Mealey is one of Bowers’ friends who has had a chance to see the rock.
“It looks to me like a picture of the Virgin Mary. It’s not an absolute replica, but it looks like it,” he said. “She has a history of turning up at certain places or certain times to certain people, generally when there’s problems or strife on the planet. She presents herself to people for whatever reason.”
He felt it was an interesting find that should be shared with others “where people can look at it and gather from it what they choose.”
“I think it needs to be preserved. You don’t want it thrown away or put in a corner somewhere,” he said.
Bowers anticipates probably donating it to the Imperial Valley Gem and Mineral Society but hasn’t shown it to them yet.
Regardless, Mealey believes it’s not likely to be an ill omen but rather, “it’s a good sign of things to come, especially this close to Easter.”
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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