When John Muir, the noted explorer of the American West, first spotted Mt. Shasta in in 1874 in northern California, he wrote: "I was 50 miles away, afoot, alone and weary, yet all of my blood turned to wine and I have not been weary since."
The picturesque 14,162-foot peak has long elicited such awe. It has been touted as the site of an energy vortex that allows passage into the metaphysical dimension, called the birthplace of a spiritual foundation whose adherents believe they can ascend to the eternal realm, and is said to be a hot spot for UFOs that hide in the clouds and enter the mountain's core through mystery portals.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
A tale written a few years later (after Muir’s account) by a teenager from Yreka, just northwest of the mountain ~ a story of advanced beings living in a crystal city beneath the mountain ~ cemented Shasta's otherworldly reputation.
Newer to the repertoire are sightings of Bigfoot (the word serves as both singular and plural, like fish and sheep), believed by some to conceal themselves by passing into a fifth dimension.
In 2008, the Mount Shasta Herald reported that five people claimed to have witnessed a jellyfish-like craft that hovered noiselessly over neighboring McCloud, with what appeared to be a fire raging inside it.
"Mt. Shasta has always had a spiritual drawing, but it's getting more and more popular," says, Karen Anderson, a supervisor in a local visitors bureau, who estimated that a fourth of the area's tourists are drawn by the mountain’s unusual reputation.