Bill Sanger was known to have ridden the rails all over the map. In his time he had seen all there was to see. One day he was talking with Jim Craig about mirages. Mirages are common sites. You see a lot of them, millions of them, in the dry lake bed out there at Amboy.
“Bill,” said Jim, “did you ever see the city that gleams out there on the lake in hot weather?”
“Yeah,” Bill replied.
“What you make of it?” said Jim.
Nothing,” Bill answered. “I do not hold with those dude scientists, that try to explain goes by saying the light rays pick up the picture hundreds of miles away and then bend it back and drop that same picture out there on the lake. It do not make sense. They’re ghosts, that is what they are. Just plain ghosts.
“One time,” Bill went on, “I nearly killed myself trying to hop a ghost train pulling out across Bristol Lake. I was walking out toward the salt works when along came a freight, not going very fast. I forgot where I was, and made a run for it. it started to pick up speed, so I gave a leap and grabbed on– nothing!
“I sprawled out flat on that dry lake bed. I looked up and saw the ghost train running in long as nice as you please– 42 cars and one caboose I counted. they road right smack over me and never even mussed my shirt. They are ghosts I tell you. Ghosts!”
Pioneer tales of San Bernardino County
WPA Writers Program – 1940