'Lone Ranger' crew to ride again at Tsé Bit'Ai

By Cindy Yurth
Tséyi' Bureau

SHIPROCK, June 12, 2012

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(Special to the Times - Donovan Quintero)

TOP: A movie set crew for the Lone Ranger movie works on the set that will be used in the film Monday at the Shiprock. Security was tight as guards quickly met any curious onlookers with assertive action.

SECOND FROM THE TOP: Shiprock stands tall against the cloud-filled sky Monday as a Lone Ranger movie crew is busy constructing a set for the film.

THIRD FROM THE TOP: A Lone Ranger movie crew builds a set using a hammer, paintbrush and boards Monday at the Shiprock. It is not known when filming will actually begin.

T he Lone Ranger and Tonto are riding again, or will be shortly.

Kee Long of the Navajo Nation Film office Tuesday confirmed that a set crew for the much anticipated Disney movie "The Lone Ranger," starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp, has been "prepping" sites on the Shiprock for about two weeks now.

Monday, four or five men were visible constructing something out of wood on top of one of Tsé bit' Ai's wings.

The security guards at the site certainly weren't talking.

When the Navajo Times pulled up and asked what was going on, a guard curtly said, "They're building something up there," which was pretty obvious. Asked what it was, he looked around at the other guards for a few seconds, then answered, "They're fixing something."

The guards would also not reveal who had hired them, only that they had "strict orders" not to let anybody take pictures or come near the site.

He then instructed an NT photographer not to take pictures and threatened to confiscate his camera, then had a security vehicle follow the reporter and photographer back to the road.

The construction on Shiprock was news to Shiprock Chapter Manager Loretta John.

"This is my first time hearing about this," she said Tuesday. She said the crew of "The Lone Ranger" did have a permit to film around the Shiprock, but she didn't know if that's what was going on Monday.

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