Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Lost Dutchman Mine: Indian Treasures Lost or Found - 111

Nearly all of us at some time or another are like a teabag. We really aren't worth much until we've been rinsed through some hot water. We learn from failures, too, the trick is to get stung once or twice, but never a third time, however those who search for The Lost Dutchman Mine seem to disappear the second time by accident or design of scrupulous others.

Take Jacob Waltz and Jacob Weiser for example. Both men arrived from Spain, but were European (Spain, France and Germany) and trained as mining surveyors and prospectors before they arrived in America around 1845 and remained until the 1880's. These men had heard tales of vast Peralta treasures hidden in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. One lone survivor named Carlos Peralta and his brother Don Peralta escaped to Mexico in 1848.

Carlos told Waltz about the families Lost Dutchman Mine via a map carved in stone at the base of the eastern Superstition Mountains. Could these carved Peralta Stones be the same Spanish stones found when the Jesuits fled the Superstition Mountains some 30 miles above the Gila-Salt River junction?

Carlos became the silent partner, but he and Weiser were involved in an Apache ambush in 1874. Both men were killed, but Waltz survived. Some people and descendants of Weiser speculate Weiser wasn't killed by the Apaches, but by Waltz, however nobody could prove it. Greed changes the heart of treasure hunting partnerships. What they do know is that Weiser removed nearly 7 million dollars worth of gold and sent a map of the Peralta Stones with carved legends back to his sister in Germany. All three men reported wandered around the Superstition Mountains from 1864-1871, about 8 years until they reportedly found the Lost Dutchman Mine and began extracting the rich minerals, while constantly evading Apache detection.

A year earlier (1863) a miner and prospector named Henry Wickenburg threw a stone at a stubborn burro, but noticed it contained a trace of raw gold ore. Camping in the desert without a broom to whisk away the dirt, he shot a vulture hovering overhead and hoped to use a wing as a broom. The vulture fell out of the sky right onto an outcropping of gold encased in white quartz. In Michigan you find placer gold in black sand and Lake Superior quartz. Gold in quartz shimmers and can be seen up to 10 miles distant in bright sunlight. In Arizona, Wickenburg discovered the Vulture Mine which produced 200 million dollars in gold and it was this mine that significantly sparked the development of Phoenix, AZ and the State of Arizona, which became the 48th State of the Union in 1912.

Cochise and Geronimo were Indian warriors no white treasure hunter wanted to meet from the 1860-1880's. The Southwest was running in blood from renegades who refused to be shipped to reservations where the Apaches were mistreated and left to starve to death on barren lands. These indians used the military trails in the Superstition Mountains to evade the U.S. Cavalry.

Waltz it is said knew where his gold ore samples were found and mined it exclusively. He wasn't interested in gold candelabras, goblets, gold plating or gold crucifix's inlaid with precious gems (the treasured items of Jesuit priests who hid them in a secret place). Some historians think that the Apaches reburied the treasures in the caves where adult Indians were buried. Only ocean pirates might collect these items, but not miner's on dry land. Trying to sell these rich objects would insight suspicion and it'd draw attention to himself. Somebody would always be prying or spying on him hoping he'd lead them to his hidden treasure cache. Some might assume he robbed a church. No self respecting treasure hunter would risk his own privacy with such minial treasure. The hidden treasure he'd keep secret.

Gold crucifix's with rich mineral gems were found buried when sewer lines were installed below the streets in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the 1870's and 1880's. Such items were found buried near the Norton Indian Mounds near Grandville. Gold crucifix's were trading items among Native American Indians, those Christianized by Jesuit priests who roamed most of North America between the 1600's and early 1800's. Legends of the Superstition Mountains say the Jesuits squirreled away huge amounts of gold and silver treasures before they left. The raw gold ore from the Lost Dutchman Mine has its own special color signature and easily recognized from other mines in the Superstition Mountains.

Some believe the Peralta Stones will lead them to the Lost Dutchman Mine, while others contend they show the trails leading from Mexico to the Superstition Mountains. In an old story that appeared in a Michigan newspaper in the 1880's, the fabled mine is outside the boundary areas of the Superstition Mountains - not in the mountainous wilderness of the Lost Dutchman State Park. Accordingly Waltz, Weiser and Peralta found the mine again in 1871. The three men reportedly returned to the site twice, but Weiser and Peralta were killed by the Apache.

Jacob Waltz never returned to the Lost Dutchman Mine. In fact his health declined and in early 1891 he started telling his caregiver, Julia Thomas and associates clues to where his mine was located. She strained her ears to hear the particulars as he approached the end of his life and death was imminent. Greed took over Julia Thomas' brain and she filed for divorce from her husband, Emil W. Thomas in Maricopa County on Oct. 9, 1891. Waltz was hoping to take Julia to his mine, but Waltz died October 26, 1891. He was destitute and broke according to them, but Waltz didn't reveal his own secret below his bed for fear he'd be found out.

Waltz left clues for Julia Thomas and in fact said his mine was a ledge he found that was only 18 inches wide of pure gold high above a gulch well concealed by a Manzanita thicket. Manzanita in Arizona or California is a close relative of Arbutus in Michigan. Its a member of the Arctostaphylos densiflora (bearberry) or its evergreen species that grow from six inches to 5 feet tall depending on the species They have ornamental bark; colors purple, red or orange, but the plant requires full sun to partial shade in fertile moist sand. Waltz left Thomas a multitude of clues to finding his Lost Dutchman Mine and she was hunting for his mine on September 1, 1892. Waltz told her nobody would ever find his mine unless they could understand the clues.

They must pass the cowbarn, but from my mine anyone could see the military trail and Weaver's Needle to the South and from the trail find the rock-face. Nobody can see my mine 250 feet above the canyon floor trail. The rays of a setting sun shine upon the entrance through a Manzanita thicket. Beware of the false trick, but my mine is located in a north trending canyon. The mine has a small two foot diameter entrance that leads 20 feet down to the cavern. How claustrophobic would you be going head first into such a narrow entrance? If you are don't become a treasure hunter. Upon entering my mine it has 40-50 foot ceilings with stalagmites (floor) 9-15 feet tall with stalactites 10 feet long (ceiling).

Additional clues: mine lies within a 2.5 mile radius whose center is marked by Weaver's Needle. See Weaver's needle to the south and four peaks that look like one peak. The setting sun shines thru a break in the mountains and glitters upon the outcropping of gold ore and shaft. Don't pass the three red hills. You must climb a shortways up from a steep ravine in order to see Weaver's Needle to the south from above my mine. Then you will have found the Lost Dutchman Mine. Time and time again over the last 120 years treasure hunters have said they found this mine, but time and time again once they've found it they can never find it again or perish in the Superstition Mountains. Many people wander around in the Lost Dutchman State Park wilderness areas and although I've never been to Arizona and from clues Waltz left to Julia Thomas I suspect the mine never existed here, but it is located outside of the Superstition wilderness area or it is located to the north. Julia Thomas searched but never found the Lost Dutchman Mine as have many other treasure hunters. It was reportedly found in 1920 and 1940, but without proof.

What is more intriguing upon Waltz' death was the fact that under his death bed was a small box of gold. The gold inside isn't from the Lost Dutchman Mine, but it is from the Vulture Mine. Could it be that the Lost Dutchman Mine doesn't really exist -- its just a fictious treasure legend?

One could only wonder why he had gold in the box from the Vulture Mine? Why didn't he use it to pay his bills? Why die destitute and broke? He either worked for the Vulture Mine company or he was a high-grader. High-grading was the theft of high grade ore and it was a common occurence at this mine. If anyone was caught high grading it was a hanging offense and more than 18 men during the early years dangled on the Vulture City hanging tree. High-grading was done by freighters - miners and people employed to haul the gold nuggets for processing. As soon as wagons were loaded they disappeared fast when they stopped to sift and steal the biggest and best nuggets for themselves. Freighting from the Vulture Mine was more profitable than mining it.

Want to find the Lost Dutchman Mine? Set up a game spy camera or infrared video unit and chart from where bats appear at night. Bat's live in caves. Find the Manzanita thickets. The entrance is hidden by stones. It shouldn't be too hard to find the mine (north canyon facing west) - its within 2.5 mile radius of Weaver's Needle. This concludes my diatribe on the Lost Dutchman Mine. Next time I start talking about Chief John Wabesis and his lost or found treasure (Michigan Native American Indian legend. Lost or Found?

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