The La Paz County Sheriff’s Office received some calls the weekend of June 22-23 about what was described as an alligator in the Colorado River near Parker. It turned out it was a mechanical, radio-controlled toy.
LPCSO spokesman Capt. Curt Bagby said he had received three calls about the alligator, and there were posts online speculating about it.
This is just the latest odd thing to be found in the river near Parker. On June 9, the day after the Parker Tube Float, the LPCSO and Buckskin Fire Department divers removed two explosive devices from the river at Castle Rock Shores RV Park. This RV park is located just north of where the Tube Float started at Buckskin Mountain State Park.
The explosive devices were described as the equivalent of M80s, a firework that delivers the punch of an eighth of a stick of dynamite.
In October 2010, a real alligator was caught on the Colorado River by a fisherman and Fort Mohave Indian Tribe Animal Control. He was a six-month-old gator named Wally, and he had gone missing a week earlier when the Shrine Circus was in the area.
On April 1, 2016, Jud Burkett at “The Spectrum & Daily News” had a column about an alligator nest and two mated alligators being found in Lake Powell. At the end of the column, he reminded readers of what day it was and wrote, “April Fool!” A disclaimer stated the whole story was ficticious.
The most famous items to be found in the Colorado River were the two fake skeletons, Bernie and Bernadette, who were found in May 2015. A local snorkeler, Martin Sholl, saw them and reported to authorities he might have seen human remains on the bottom of the river. When a diver went down to the site, he found the skeletons were fake.
The skeletons had been placed there by a Phoenix couple who were both divers. They had purchased the skeletons as Halloween decorations from Costco, and had put them in the river as references for themselves on their dives. “Bernie” was named after the 1989 dark comedy, “Weekend at Bernie’s,” where two young insurance company executives have to maintain a ruse that their murdered boss is still alive.
The two fake skeletons caused a media sensation. Bagby said he was kept busy handling inquiries about them. He added he was receiving calls from media is places he’d never even heard of.