Update added 9/8/23
Burning Man death caused by suspected drug intoxication
A California man likely died at the mud-impacted Burning Man festival from drug intoxication, a coroner’s office has said.
Leon Reece, 32, was found unresponsive on the remote and weather-hit Nevada festival grounds on Friday evening, according to authorities.
The exact cause and manner of Reece’s death are still pending but the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement that drug intoxication was suspected.
Graeme Massie reports.
Leon Reece, 32, was found unresponsive on the remote and weather-hit Nevada festival grounds on Friday
Megan Sheets 7 September 2023 23:00
Investigation underway into death of 32-year-old Leon Reece
The Pershing County sheriff’s office identified the man as 32-year-old Leon Reece.
Authorities received a call around 6.24pm (local time) on Friday about an unresponsive man on the ground at the ephemeral Black Rock City, sheriff Jerry Allen.
The man was being administered CPR by medical personnel at the festival as flooding on the playa due to heavy rains delayed the arrival of deputies.
By the time the deputies arrived, Reece was pronounced dead by the festival doctor, Sheriff Allen told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The officials performed a preliminary investigation in the playa, around the area where the man was found unconscious, and interviewed witnesses. However, no immediate cause of death was determined, the sheriff said, adding that authorities were still investigating the cause of death.
Reece’s body was transported to Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy and his toxicology results were pending.
Following Reece’s death, the organisers had asked the “burners” to conserve food, water, fuel and shelter in a “warm safe space”.
The gates were shut after a large downpour turned the arid desert floor into thick mud, making it difficult for over 70,000 festivalgoers to even manoeuvre through.
The Black Rock Desert in Nevada, where the festival was held, experienced around two to three months’ worth of rain, up to 0.8 inches in just 24 hours between Friday and Saturday morning.
Some attendees braved a several-miles-long walk to the nearest town or catch a ride there.
The roads were opened Monday, allowing the traffic to flow out around 2pm (local time), even as the organisers continued urging attendees to delay their exit to help ease traffic.
According to a social media account associated with the festival, the wait time to exit Burning Man was eight hours, with hundreds of vehicles standing in a queue on the main road. It said the last Burner Express to Reno would depart at 10am (local time) on Tuesday.
The annual penultimate event of burning “The Man” – a giant wooden manlike figure – took place on Monday night after the weather deterred organisers from setting it ablaze on Sunday as had been planned.
|Even before the Event was able to open, it was delayed to HURRICANE! When have you ever heard of a HURRICANE affecting NEVADA??|
|Camper access to Burning Man delayed due to Tropical Storm Hilary rainfall, officials say BY ALEX MUEGGE AUGUST 21, 2023 1:52 PM 00:29 00:59
It’s easy to see lights of Burning Man Festival from 25 miles away The new Fox Mountain fire camera, run by Nevada Seismo Lab, in northwest Nevada caught the lights of Burning Man Festival from 25 miles away at 10 p.m. on September 2, 2018. BY NEVADA SEISMO LAB Campers’ set up for Burning Man’s 2023 festival is being delayed by Tropical Storm Hilary. The festival, which is set for Aug. 27 to Sept. 4, takes place in Black Rock City within Black Rock Desert; the city is created when a “metropolis” of campers arrive. The gategranting entry to Burning Man will remain closed all of Monday and Tuesday until noon due to the playa needing to dry as a result of the storm’s rainfall, according to festival officials. Attendees will often arrive the week before to build their camps. Festival officials said if someone was planning to arrive Monday or Tuesday with a work access pass, they should delay their travel plans. It can take 12 or more hours for the playa to dry after heavy rain, officials said. They said the gate to enterBurning Man will open once it is safe to do so. All vehicle movement in, out and around Black Rock City has stopped, festival officials said in a social media post. During peak traffic periods, authorities control traffic along State Route 447 before the Gerlach and Empire gas stations in Washoe County. “Do not drive to Gerlach to queue up and wait,” the Burning Man official Facebook account read. “Your vehicle will be turned around.”
The worship of atmospheric powers can only with difficulty be separated from the worship of heaven. In most cases the high god in heaven is also the god of thunderstorms and rain. Specific gods of wind and storm are found especially in countries with tornadoes and hurricanes (e.g., the Maya deity Huracan). Peoples such as the Tuareg and Arabs, who live in arid zones, dried out by the wind, speak of sand funnel spirits or of a desert god; such a creature is the “boneless Kon” of the Peruvians.
From northern Europe to the tropical forests, thunderstorm deities rule heaven and earth. The most famous group of these spiritual beings are the Indo-European thunder gods (Thor-Donar of the Germanic peoples, Taranis of the Celts, Perkunis of the Slavs, Indra of the Indians, Zeus-Jupiter of the Greeks and Romans), who throw their thunderbolts or bundles of lightning. The Finnish god Ukko and the Basque god Orko probably stem from the same root; these gods still continue in the popular beliefs of eastern Europe or Latin America today, such as St. Elijah or Santiago. They are related to the gods Teshub and Hadad (associated with the steer and with lightning)of western Asia and also to the thunder god Shango of the Nigerian Yoruba, who is accompanied by a ram (as Thor uses a he-goat for pulling his wagon). Shango, as Yakuta, throws thunderbolts (i.e., stone axes) to the earth, as does the Mayan rain god, Chac.
The goat, the ram, or horses appear as companions of weather gods or as animals that pull the thundering sky vehicle. In other cultures thunderbirds are the companions of the thunder gods or are the lightning itself. The lightning bird Zu, or Imdugud, occurs in ancient Mesopotamia, and the Garuda (with Wadjra) in Vedic India. Thunderbirds are represented (sometimes with arrows or spears in their bills or fangs) on archaeological artifacts of the Bronze Age in Dodona in Greece, Minussinsk in Siberia, and Dong Son in Vietnam and on pots in northern Peru; they are described in myths of the Pueblo and prairie Indians of North America and among eastern and southern Africans.
Where prayers or sacrifices to gods and ancestors in the religious cult are not effective in producing rain, rain magic, which is practiced universally in similar rites, is often able to accomplish it. Trained magicians usually perform such rites, but ancestral priests or “persons holding power” also may do so. In rain magic, sprinkling, spitting, or immersion of people or things is often used to call down heavenly moisture. Smoke clouds to attract the rain accomplish the same purpose. There also must be suitable vestments (fresh greens, skins or pelts of water animals), body painting (representing clouds), or adornment with bird down. The colour black in the clothing or on a killed or exposed animal is believed to be especially effective. Animals held responsible for holding the rain or water back (frogs, snakes, or mythological dragons) must be challenged. The sound of rain or thunder is produced with bull-roarers, whistling, noise pots, rattles, and chains. If excessive rain is to be stopped, the injunction to perform or refrain from certain acts (e.g., the prohibition of washing, boiling water, burning objects, making noise, and whistling) must be observed.
The rainbow often is considered a being, generally in the form of an animal, who swallows and holds back rain or water. The rainbow serpent (as a double bow also conceived as bisexual) is a figure that is found especially in the tropics of Africa, South Asia, northern Australia (where it is called Ungud), and Brazil. Elsewhere the rainbow is viewed as a heavenly bridge that connects the worlds of gods and men: the Bifröst bridge in the Edda, the bridge of the soul boats in Indonesia or of the creator god in Africa, and the path of the Greek goddess Iris. In Christian iconography the rainbow is the throne of Christ; among Arabs and some Bantu of Central Africa it is the bow of god, and among the Nandi, the Masai, and the Californian Yuki it is the robe of god. SOURCE
THEY FOUND A TIME SUITABLE ACCORDING TO THEIR RITUALISTIC REQUIREMENTS TO OFFER UP “THE MAN” TO THE BURNING IN CLOSING OF THE FESTIVAL