Don Joaquin’s Lost Gold..


Don Joaquin’s Lost Gold:

In 1847 a Mexican Army Officer named Don Joaquin led a small mining expedition into the Sierra Estrella Mountains in the hopes of finding rich gold or silver deposits. Like anyone with geology, military training and experience he located a very promising location to mine. As well as a defensive area to set up a camp not far from the mine.

The mine was producing well and with no problems to speak of except low food stores. Until one day a Gila river Pima scout ran into camp and told the commander that the American Army was moving along the Gila and will be soon heading to Pimeria Alta.
Pimeria Alta was Spanish Arizona and at that time modern Mexican settlements, ranches, Presidial’s-Forts, Pimeria Alta is located from pretty much Arizpe in Sonora all the way north to the Gila river. Tucson, San Xavier, Tubac, and other places of importance are within Pimeria Alta.

Realizing his situation, not having the security of reinforcements and his path south to Mexican settlements about to be cut off. He ordered his men to abandon the mine for the time being, pack up everything and make for a small butte nearby.
This butte is modern Butterfly Peak, the path they took to get there is known as the Zig Zag trail.
Don Joaquin made a tactical decision to hide all the gold with the help of one Indian laborer. So if in the event he and his party were to be captured by the approaching Americans that their gold would not become plunder for the enemy.

With the help of the Indian laborer, they moved half way down the trail into a type of box canyon where they found a small cave. Then they removed the gold from the mule packs and piled it up inside of a small cave (probably an alcove). It is said they hid 3,000lbs from the packs of 15 mules.

When the job was completed, Joaquin killed the Indian laborer and placed him inside with the gold ore and then sealed/walled up the cave with the intention to return. He quickly sketched a quick map of the canyon he was in near the butte, so he could easily recall the location of the walled up cave.

He joined up with his men later on the evening of the following day right before sunset. His men nervous about the on coming American Army, the threat they posed to their families south of the Gila and their commander taking his sweet time in hiding their wealth caused the men to make a quick but drastic decision. Upon Joaquin’s return his men killed him, took his crude map and quickly under cover of darkness made there way south to the northern most Mexican outpost, being Presidio San Augustine de Tucson.

For thirty five years no word of the lost gold was known until in 1882 a man arrived claiming to hold a old Mexican map and asking for a guide to take him to the areas the map depicted. His expedition was a quick one as the local natives quickly chased him out of that area and upon his return to Phoenix he soon returned south back to Mexico without ever finding the hidden gold.
To this day there are many stories and claims as to what happened to the man and the crude map.

This treasure is still out there and within the Sierra Estrella Mountains south of Phoenix. If this could be found, it would be not only a great payday but also a priceless window into the past.

(Please follow state, federal, reservation laws and respect private property. If you have any doubts at all, simply ask permission)

gold

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Categories: artifacts, gold, gold coins, gold ingots, Gold Mine, hidden, Legends, Lost gold, Lost Mines, Lost Treasure, Mexico, placer gold, Spanish gold, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Purple Gang


The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Purple Gang

Purple Gang roundup by Detroit police: Sam Axler, Eddie Fletcher, Sam Goldfarb, Phil Keywell, Abe Zussman, Willie Lake, Harry Fleisher, Jack Stein, and Abe Axler (seated)

There is an oft-repeated story about how the Purple Gang got their name. When an Eastern Market butcher was assaulted and his shop vandalized, he reported to police that “These boys are not like other children, they’re off-color. They’re rotten purple like tainted meat. They’re the Purple Gang.” Whether the anecdote is accurate or not, the street thugs made their presence known to merchants and street peddlers from Paradise Valley to the Eastern Market–anybody they could squeeze a buck from was a target.

Ray Bernstein

The Bernstein brothers–Raymond, Abe, Joe and Isadore “Izzy”–were young teens who ran with the gang of street toughs in their Hastings Street neighborhood on Detroit’s lower East Side. The gang started off as petty thieves and skakedown artists. By 1919, they branched out to armed robbery, extortion, protection, hijacking, and murder under the tutelage of more experienced neighborhood gangsters from the Sugar House Gang. As their reputation for ruthless savagery grew, so did their power and grip over Detroit’s underworld.

In 1927, Frank Wright, a Chicago-based jewel thief, along with Joseph Bloom and George Cohen, New York based burglars, began to kidnap Detroit gamblers for ransom. Among the gamblers snatched were some Purple Gang members. The Purples plotted against the interlopers. One of Wright’s men–Meyer “Fish” Bloomfield–was kidnapped by the Purples to lure Wright into the open. The ploy worked. A ransom was agreed upon and a hostage exchange for money was to take place at the Milaflores Apartment on 106 East Alexandrine Ave.

At 4:30 am on March 28th, 1927, Wright showed up with Bloom and Cohen and knocked on the door of room 308 as prearranged. Three men at the end of the hallway opened the stairwell door and fired at point-blank range with pistols and a Thompson Sub-Machine Gun. The first known use of the Tommy Gun in Detroit. The trigger men escaped down the back stairway.

Evidence was found in the apartment connecting it with Purple Gang members Eddie Fletcher and the Axler brothers–Abe and Simon. The next day, Purples Abe Axler and Fred “Killer” Burke were pulled over on Woodward Avenue. Although they were suspects in the Milaflores slaughter, nobody was ever charged. It was commonly believed that Fred Burke wielded the Tommy Gun and Abe Axler and Ed Fletcher–known as the Siamese Twins–used hand guns.

Charles Givens, a reporter for the Detroit Times wrote, “In nine out of ten unsolved cases, investigators are virtually certain who the murderer is. Proof is another thing. Ask detectives who handle these cases and you get the same answer: ‘We knew who the murderer was, but there were no eyewitnesses or evidence’.”

The Milaflores Apartment murders did result in a Michigan ban on hardware stores and other retail outlets selling submachine guns and multi-round magazines to private citizens. Only police and the military could legally buy them.

Abe Bernstein

Abe Bernstein was essentially the gang’s behind the scenes business manager. In 1925, Bernstein and corrupt American Federation of Labor president Francis X. Martell went into a business partnership to control prices in the cleaner and dyers industry. The Cleaners and Dyers Association was formed and the city’s independently owned cleaners were forced to join or pay the consequences. Shops were dynamited or burned down. Laundry plants were destroyed, owners and employees were beat up, and some people were gunned down.

A brave businessman stood up and filed a complaint in 1928 with the Wayne County prosecutor. In all, nine Purple Gang members (Raymond Bernstein, Irving Milberg, Eddie Fletcher, Joe Miller, Irving Shapiro, Abe Kaminski, Abe Axler, and Simon Axler) were indicted for extortion. Several days later, Abe Bernstein surrendered and paid a $500 appearance bond. All the Purples were acquitted. The gang was at the height of its power with a feeling of invincibility. The huge amount of money the Purples skimmed from this labor racket allowed the gang to dominate the city’s underworld until 1931.

The Collingwood Manor Massacre on September 16th, 1931 marked the beginning of the end of the Purple Gang’s stranglehold over Detroit’s underworld. An inter-gang dispute erupted when three Purple Gang members violated the underworld code of poaching outside their operating territory. Herman “Hymie” Paul, Isodore “Izzy” Sutker, and Joseph Leibowitz were members of a Purple Gang faction called The Little Jewish Navy (LJN). They owned and operated boats transporting liquor across the Detroit River. The trio wanted to break away from the gang and establish their own organization and territory.

Collingwood Manor at 1740 Collingwood Avenue

A bookie go-between named Sol Levine brokered a meeting between gang factions and transported the LJN men to the apartment on Collingwood Avenue. The LJN, thinking they were going to cut a deal with the gang’s leaders. Ray Bernstein ordered the hit and stayed outside in the car acting as the wheel man. After a brief discussion with Purple Gang members Harry Fleisher, Irving Milberg and Harry Keywell, Fleisher stood up and brutally shot the three unarmed men to death. Fleisher dropped his gun into an open can of green paint as he and his men ran down the stairs and out a back entrance to the alley where Bernstein was waiting in the get-away car.

In the heat of the moment, Sol Levine was left behind in shock and was arrested when the police arrived. In fear of his life because he was the only eyewitness to the murder, he turned state’s evidence placing himself under police protection. Milberg, Keywell, and Bernstein were arrested and convicted of first-degree murder and sent to Michigan’s maximum security prison in Marquette. The trigger man Harry Fleisher left town and was never convicted of the crime. In those days, criminals had a much larger and less-documented world to move around in. It was still possible to simply vanish.

Eddie Fletcher and Abe Axler–“The Siamese Twins”

The Sicilian Mafia–called the “Moustache Pete’s” in Detroit–began to fight the Purples over territory they could no longer control. The bodies of Abe Axler and Eddie Fletcher were found shot to death on November 27, 1933 around 2:00 am in the back seat of a brand new Chrysler at the corner of Telegraph and Quarton roads in Bloomfield Hills. The bullet-ridden bodies of the so-called “Siamese Twins” were placed side-by-side, their hands intertwined as a sign of disrespect.

Harry Millman

Purple Gang gunman and loose cannon Harry Millman was brutally shot to death on Thanksgiving Day, November 24th, 1937. Radio crime reporter Walter Winchell described the hit this way:
 
In a big Midwest metropolis yesterday, another gang member met justice at the end of a gun. Prominent Detroit Purple Gang member Harry Millman was enjoying a drink in the bar of Boesky’s Restaurant, on 12th Street (and Hazelwood), when four men entered brandishing guns and shot the hoodlum ten times. His body was still warm on the floor when the Detroit Police arrived. His killers were rumored to be members of Brooklyn’s notorious Murder, Incorporated. Millman’s death signaled the end of the Purples as a force in organized crime in the Motor City. Because of his repeated escapes from convictions for kidnapping, robbery, and extortion, Millman earned the nickname “Lucky.” Yesterday, his luck ran out. This is Walter Winchell reporting.

Millman was whacked for feuding with the Detroit Mafia and extorting money from their brothels and gambling operations. The predecessors of Detroit’s modern day Mafia simply stepped in to fill the void once the Purple Gang was neutralized.

Abe Bernstein was spared because he had friends in high places–namely New York gangsters Meyer Lansky and Joe Adonis–with whom he co-owned several Miami gambling casinos. Abe Bernstein was allowed to live out his life bookmaking from his suite at the Book-Cadillac Hotel in Detroit until his death from a stroke in 1968.

Detroit Police Chief of Detectives James E. McCarthy credited the Collingwood Massacre for “(breaking) the back of the once powerful Purple Gang, writing the end to more than five years of arrogance and terrorism.”

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“Kosher Nostra”–Detroit’s Purple Gang Origins


Russian immigrants waiting on Ellis Island.

Detroit’s slums were the breeding ground for crime and violence when waves of European immigrants settled in the city between 1881 and 1914. The Purple Gang members were second-generation Jewish-Americans of Russian and Polish descent. Their Hastings Street neighborhood was on Detroit’s Lower East Side known as Paradise Valley. It was anything but paradise. These young men were born into poverty and received little education barring them from desirable jobs. Mob life offered them everything but respectability.

Street punks waiting for some action.

Before they were known as the Purple Gang, they were part of a neighborhood mob of delinquent youths who became thieves, pickpockets, and shakedown artists primarily in the Eastern Market area just north of their home turf. Under the mentorship of older neighborhood gangsters–Charles Leiter and Henry Shorr–the Purples began to commit armed robbery, hijacking, bootlegging, loan sharking, kidnapping, extortion, and murder for hire. Soon, gang members ran gambling rings, speakeasies, and a numbers racket (lottery) among Detroit’s black population.

Purple Gang members avoiding a press photograph at the 13th Precinct police station.

The Purple Gang was exceptionally violent and ruled the Detroit underworld from 1927 until 1935. Authorities estimate that the gang murdered over 500 members of rival bootlegging gangs during Detroit’s bloody turf wars. They were virtually immune to police interference because of payoffs to city officials and local beat cops. When known Purple Gang associates were arrested, witnesses were terrified to testify against them.

The Purples came about through the merging of two groups–Oakland County’s Sugar House Gang led by Leiter and Shorr, and a mob of Jewish street hoods led at that time by nineteen-year-old Sammy Coen, who assumed the alias Sammy Purple. Detroit detective Henry Gavin claimed the gang was named after Sammy. Once the police tagged the group as the Purple Gang, the press took up the drum beat. Gang members hated the label. There are several urban legends about how the gang’s name came about, but Henry Gavin’s explanation is the most credible.

Canadian liquor being smuggled on the Detroit River.

The gang grew into manhood with the emergence of Prohibition. Three years before the Volstead Act and national Prohibition became the law of the land, Michigan passed the Damon Act in 1917 prohibiting the sale of liquor within the state. Henry Ford supported and financed the movement because he wanted a sober workforce, but the Damon Act was declared unconstitutional in 1919.

By the time the whole country entered Prohibition with the Volstead Act in 1920, Detroit was already a haven for bootleggers and hijackers of Canadian liquor shipments. Detroit was the gateway for the illegal distribution of alcohol to larger cities like New York, Chicago, and St. Louis. By the mid-1920s, Detroit was home to an estimated 25,000 illegal drinking establishments called speakeasies which were full-service bars. For people who couldn’t afford cafe society, blind pigs developed which sold liquor by the shot in private homes and after-hour businesses.

Legend has it that a church in Walkerville, Ontario installed a neon cross on their steeple to signal bootleggers that a shipment of booze was coming across. The neon beacon could be seen through the fog which was when the boats would leave. Pint bottles were developed so they would sink in case bootleggers had to ditch them in the Detroit River. Fifth-sized bottles would often wash up along the shoreline.

The four Kaminski brothers grew up in Delray on Thaddeus Street. They would hang out along the river and watch the rumrunners try to outrun the Coast Guard. If a shipment was in danger of being seized, the “Little Jewish Navy”–as they were called–would throw the booze overboard to ditch the evidence. The brothers knew the river currents and would dive in to retrieve as much product as possible–then sell it. Seems like virtually everyone in Detroit was in the liquor business.

Boats were used on the water, and trucks were used on the ice to transport booze.

Seventy-five percent of the liquor smuggled into the United States during Prohibition passed through Detroit. The Purple Gang’s liquor, gambling, and drug trade netted the gang hundreds of millions of dollars annually providing the “grease” to make hefty payouts to city officials and police who agreed to look the other way. Turf wars were inevitable, and it wasn’t long before Detroit streets ran with the blood of would-be rivals. The Purples became overextended and began to import hoods from New York and St. Louis to work as “muscle” for the gang.

Unlike the Italian-American gangs who pioneered organized crime, the Purples were a loosely structured gang with shifting allegiances that came together and drifted apart when the need arose. After Sammy Purple’s leadership, Raymond Bernstein ruled the gang until his murder conviction. Ray’s soft-spoken brother Abe became the boss thereafter.

Author Robert A. Rockaway wrote in Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies (2001), “Italian gangsters tended to involve (cross-generational) family members in their criminal activities. With the Jews, it was that one generation, the children of immigrants, and it ended with them.” As a postscript, the Purple Gang reigned over Detroit’s underworld for only five years. Most of the gang were either gunned down or died in prison.

credit to https://fornology.blogspot.com/2018/02/kosher-nostra-detroits-purple-gang.html

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WWII The Great Escape Read the last part of particular interest….


The Great Escape Untouched for almost seven decades, the tunnel used in the Great Escape has finally been unearthed.The 111-yard passage nicknamed ‘Harry’ by Allied prisoners was sealed by the Germans after the audacious break-out from the POW camp Stalag Luft III in western Poland.Despite huge interest in the subject, encouraged by the film starring Steve McQueen, the tunnel remained  undisturbed over the decades because it was behind the Iron Curtain and the Soviet authorities had no interest in its significance.

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But at last British archaeologists have excavated it, and discovered its remarkable secrets.

  Many of the bed boards which had been joined together to stop it collapsing were still in position. And the ventilation shaft, ingeniously crafted from used powdered milk containers known as  Klim Tins, remained in working order.

Scattered throughout the tunnel, which is 30ft below ground, were bits of old metal buckets, hammers and crowbars which   were used to hollow out the route.

A total of 600 prisoners worked on three tunnels at the same time. They were nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry and were just 2 ft square for most  of their length. It was on the night of March 24 and 25, 1944, that 76 Allied airmen escaped through Harry.

  Barely a third of the 200 prisoners many in fake German uniforms and civilian  outfits and carrying false identity papers, who were meant to slip away managed to leave before the alarm was raised when escapee number 77 was spotted.

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Tunnel vision: A tunnel reconstruction showing the trolley system.

  Only three made it back to Britain. Another 50 were executed by firing squad on the orders of Adolf Hitler, who was furious after learning of the breach of security.   In all, 90 boards from bunk beds, 62 tables, 34 chairs and 76 benches, as well as thousands of items including knives, spoons, forks, towels and blankets, were squirreled away by the Allied prisoners to aid the escape plan under the noses of their captors.

Although the Hollywood movie suggested otherwise, NO Americans were involved in the operation.   Most were British, and the others were from Canada, (all the tunnelers were Canadian   personnel with backgrounds in mining) Poland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.

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  The site of the tunnel, recently excavated by British archaeologists . The latest dig, over three weeks in August, located the entrance to Harry, which was originally concealed under a stove in Hut 104.

The team also found another tunnel, called George, whose exact position had not been charted. It was never used as the 2,000 prisoners were forced to march to other camps as the Red Army approached in January 1945 .

Watching the excavation was Gordie King, 91, an RAF radio operator, who was 140th in line to use Harry and therefore missed out. ‘This brings back such bitter-sweet memories,’ he said as he wiped away tears. ‘I’m amazed by what they’ve found. ’

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Bitter-sweet  memories: Gordie King, 91, made an emotional return to Stalag Luft III.

In a related post:

  Many of the recent generations have no true notion of the cost in lives and treasure that were paid for the liberties that we enjoy in this United States. They also have no idea in respect of the lengths that the “greatest generation” went to in order to preserve those liberties. Below is one true, small and entertaining story regarding those measures that are well worth reading, even if the only thing derived from the story is entertainment.

Escape from WWII POW Camps

Starting in 1940, an increasing number of British and Canadian Airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape..

Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of ‘safe houses’ where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.

  Paper maps had some real drawbacks — they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.

Someone in MI-5 (similar to America’s OSS) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It’s durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads and, unfolded as many times as needed and, makes no noise whatsoever.

  At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington Ltd When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.

By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game Monopoly. As it happened, ‘games and pastimes’ was a category of item qualified for insertion into ‘CARE packages’, dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war.

  Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington’s, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany, Italy, and France or wherever Allied POW camps were located. When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.

As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington’s also managed to add:

  1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass

2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together

3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!

  British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a ‘rigged’ Monopoly set – by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.

Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war. The story wasn’t declassified until 2007, when surviving craftsmen from Waddington’s, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.

It’s always nice when you can play that ‘Get Out of Jail’ Free’ card! Some of you are (probably) too young to have any personal connection to WWII (Sep. ’39 to Aug. ’45), but this is still an interesting bit of history for everyone to know.

Categories: D Day, hidden, Uncategorized, War, WWII | 2 Comments

To those who have given their all….


If you don’t know what an Angel Flight is, this explains it. They bring home our Fallen, this song had me in tears. To all the brothers and sisters who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and to all those families left with an empty spot at the table, this is for you.

To the pilots of these flights, and to the Casualty Assistance Officers we salute you and thank you for taking care of our brothers and sisters on their final flight home. Words can never express how grateful we are that men and women like this have lived. Without them, there would be no America, and there would be no Freedom. You will never be forgotten. and your sacrifice will never be in vain. 

 

 

Categories: American Flag, Internet Radio, Memorial Day, Uncategorized, vietnam war, War, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Metal Detector Sales in Wisconsin…


Ground View Metal Detectors is a Wisconsin dealer in many makes and models…here is his presentation on Garrett….

Garrett Detectors: https://t.co/pKM1KvnWJ6 via @YouTube

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Jesuits, saving souls with slave labor for gold….


The Jesuits priests, in addition to saving souls, set about enriching the church. Through their travels in the new world, they took advantage of mineral finds by getting locals to work the mines and send the gold and silver back to Spain.

Somewhere around 1635 the good fathers established the Plazuela Monastery in Bolivia. The Monastery was located at the junction of the Inquisivi and Ayopayo Rivers. This area was very rich in gold and silver and the monastery severed as a central holding place. Massive amounts of treasure were collected here and then sent back to Spain.

King Charles III was concerned about the growing wealth and power that the Jesuits controlled. There were rumors that the Priests were planning to establish an independent colony in South America. So he ordered all the Jesuits expelled from the new world in 1767.

The Spanish set up blockades in the mountain passes to prevent the Jesuits from exporting their gold. The priests in Plazuela knew it was only a matter of time before the Spanish came in after them. Over the next few years, they assembled all the mined ores and church artifacts at the monastery. They enlisted the help of 500 local Indians and set about hiding the treasure.

There are rumors of two mass graves in the area. One is said to hold the remains of 300 of these Indians that died of yellow fever, the other is said to hold the remains of the other 200 Indians without reference as to their cause of death. In any case, no Indians survived that were involved in the hiding of the Plazuela treasure.

In 1778 the Spanish came to Plazuela. They found the monastery deserted and without the expected wealth waiting for them. They rounded up some of the local Indians and through use of various means, including torture, attempted to extract the treasure location from them. The soldiers left the area with nothing.

In 1910, Corina San Roman approached Cecil H. Prodgers with a proposition. Mr. Prodgers was a well-known mining engineer. Ms. San Ramon’s grandfather was the Prefect of Callao in 1778 and his brother was one of the last Jesuits to leave Plazuela. Father Gregorio San Ramon left his brother the following description of the treasure location:

There is a hill on the left bank of the Rio Sacambaya opposite the Monastery of Plazuela. It is steep and covered with dense forest. The top flat and with long grass growing. In the middle of the long grass there is a large stone shaped like an egg, so big that it took five hundred Indians to place it there. If you dig underneath this stone for five cordas you will find the roof of a large cave which it took five hundred Indians two and a half years to hollow out.

The roof is twenty-four cordas long and there are two compartments and a long narrow passage leading from the room on the east side to the main entrance two hundred cordas away. On reaching the door you must exercise great care in the opening. The door is a large iron one and inside to the right, near the wall, you will find an image of the Madonna, made of pure gold, three feet high, the eyes of which are two large diamonds; this image was placed there for the good of mankind.

If you proceed further along the passage you will find in the first room 37 heaps of gold, and many gold and silver ornaments and precious stones. On entering the second room you will find in the right hand corner a large box clamped with iron bars; inside this box are 90,000 duros reales in silver money and 30 bags of gold. Distributed in the hollows on either side of the tunnel and in the two rooms are, altogether, 160 heaps of gold, of which the value has been estimated at 60 million duros reales.

Great care must be taken on entering these rooms, as enough poison to kill a regiment of the King has been laid about. The walls of the two rooms have been strengthened by large blocks of granite; from the roof downwards the distance is five cordas more. The top of the roof is portioned off in three distinct esplanades and the whole has been covered for a depth of five cordas with earth and stone.

When you come to a place twenty feet high, with a wall so wide that two men can easily ride abreast, cross the river and you will find the monastery, church and other buildings.

Ms. San Roman’s proposition was to share the treasure with Mr. Prodgers if he could find it. Prodgers accepted. She provided him with the information above and with the assistance of an old Indian named Jose Maria Ampuera. Senor Ampuera was the grandson of one of those who hid the treasure and was paid by the San Romans to watch over the site many years earlier.

Prodgers found Ampuera in 1905 living in the town of Cuti. The old man was over 100 years old. Ampuera told of how President Melgarejo had searched Negro Muerto for the treasure, but that was on the wrong side of the River Sacambaya. The actual location was on a hill called Caballo Cunco.

Prodgers found the egg shaped rock where Ampuera told him it would be. He dymamited the stone and began digging at that spot. He found a manmade roof of bricks and slate slabs. He wrote that while digging:

..at 12 feet, yellow alter slab with flowers nicely engraved on it, there was no longer any doubt in my mind…

The digging was difficult and the locals were afraid that what they were doing was an affront to God. On one occasion, after sinking some bamboo into the dig, noxious fumes were emitted. By the end of 1907, Prodgers was nowhere near the depth he needed. He returned to England to gather a work force a little more skeptical. He was never able to return.

It appears that Prodgers discussed his find with a Cornishish miner named Tredennick. Tredennick searched the area from 1921 to 1927. He dug numerous tunnels into the area. At one time he dymamited a tunnel that set of an internal upheaval that lasted for an hour and a half.

In 1920, Prodgers made a deal with Dr. Edgar Sanders. Prodgers gave Sanders all the details on the condition that his original deal with Corina San Ramon would be honored. Sanders set out with a small group in 1925. At 900 he found another stone. This was 618 feet by 128 feet and a perfect rectangle. The stone is now referred to as the Square Heap Stone. Sanders believed the treasure was under this stone, that the stone was the roof of the treasure room. Near there, he found a tunnel.

Sanders and his group relied mostly on the locals for the digging required. He started clearing the tunnel. As they progressed, they came across a silver crucifix attached to a board. Four feet later they encountered a wall made of stones. In the wall was a hole and in the hole was a wooden box. The digging stopped as all gathered around. Sanders removed the box and in crumbled in his hands. He was left holding a piece of parchment. With the locals and his group from England around him in the tunnel, finally at the wall to what they believed to be the treasure room, he read aloud from the parchment:

You who reach this place withdraw. This spot is dedicated to God Almighty and the one who dares to enter, a dolorous death awaits him in this world and eternal condemnation in the world he goes to. The riches that belong to God Our Master are not for humans. Withdraw and you will live in peace and the blessing of the Master will make your life sweet and you will die rich with the goods of this world. Obey the command of God Almighty our Master in life and in death. In the name of God the Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Indians refused to continue. All left the tunnel and Sanders was unable to continue on his own. The rainy season was now upon them and all hope of continuing was lost. Sanders returned to England and was able to enlist a investors. He put a new group together that not only included 22 others, but included compressors, generators, pumps and tractors. They left Liverpool on June 15, 1928. They cleared out the tunnels and removed the stones only to find the tunnel ended there.

They went back to the Heap Stone and started looking for other tunnel entrances that would lead them into the room below. The local Indians said that their ancestors told of three iron doors that into the room. All the digging and prodding done by the group led them to stone. Sanders worked the area until he was broke. He wrote that he was beyond heartbroken. He believed the treasure was right below him, but could not find a way to reach it.

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Jesuits, gold and the Sierra Madre….


Four bells, the largest weighing 28 arrobas and 17 pounds on which where inscribed Tayopa. One bell inscribed TAYOPA. One bell inscribed REMEDIOS. Weight 11 arrobas and 10 pounds.One small bell inscribed PIEDAD. Weight 5 arrobas. These bells were cast in 1603 by the Right Reverend Father Ignacio Maria de Retana.
One high cross of carved silver from the Tayopa mine, weight 1 arroba, 15 pounds, with an attached crucifix of hammered gold from the Paramo placer.A pair of processional.candle holders and six bars of hammered silver, weighing 4 arrobas, 13 pounds from Santo Nino Mine.Four incensories of silver and gold plated, weighing 1 arroba, 3 pounds from the Cristo Mine. In a cut-stone box are stored jewellery. Box is buried in basement under room built of stone and mud, between the church and side of convent and fruit garden.

One large custody with silver bracket, weighing 1 arroba from Santo Nino Mine, with gold glimmer from placer El Paramo and four fine mounted stones from Remedios Mine.Two silver chalices from the Jesus Maria y Jose Mine, and twelve solid gold cups. Six gold plates made from the Jesus Maria y Jose Mine, and twelve solid gold cups. Six gold plates made from Cristo Mine and Purisima Mine, and two large communion plates of gold made from placer El Paramo.One shrine with four hammered silver columns weighing 4 arrobas from Senor de la Buena Muerto Mine.Sixty-five cargas [packloads] of silver packed in cow-hide bags, each containing 8 arrobas, 12 pounds. Eleven cargas of gold from four mines and placer El Paramo, each wrapped in cloth and cow-hide, with a total weight of 99 arrobas [2512 pounds].Also 183 arrobas of Castilla ore, and 65 arrobas first-class Castilla ore from El Paramo, with a know assay of 22 carats, clean and without mercury.

For the knowledge of our Vicar General, I have written this to inform our Superior. This inventory, written by a Jesuit and sealed on 17 February, 1646, was found by Henry O. Flipper, the Spanish legal expert, surveyor and historian of mines and mining, in 19121. It tallies almost exactly with another of the same date which had been in the possession of the priest of Guadalupe de Santa Ana, a tiny village in Sonora, Mexico, and which came to light in 1927. Both are headed: A true and positive description of the mining camp Real of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Tayopa, made in January 1646, by the Right Reverend Father Guardian Fray, Francisco Villegas Garsina y Orosco, Royal Vicar-General of the Royal and Distinguished Jesuit Order of Saint Ignacio of Tayopa, and Jesuit of the Great Faculty of the Province of Sonora and Biscalla, whom my God keep long years.

Both list the number of mines at or around Guadalupe de Tayopa as seventeen. For many years before these documents were found, there had been tales of a real de minas – a group of mines – at a place known only as Tayopa. This was the first time that its full name had been discovered. Now it only remained, it seemed, to identify Guadalupe de Tayopa and to sear for the treasure in the church vaults and for the mines in the mountains.

The Jesuit MinesIt may at first sight seem odd that a real de minas of such legendary richness should simply have disappeared from written history and form the face of the map. It must be remembered, however, that, although many of Mexico’s mines were owned by Jesuits, it was illegal under Spanish law for priest to own and operate mines. This law was initially passed in 1592 and reiterated in 1621 in the face of gross violation by the Jesuits. In 1703, a royal decree was passed to reproved those who were consistently breaking this law.

It was in the interests of the Jesuits, therefore, to keep their mines secret – not least because they would have wished, as at Plazuela, to avoid having to pay the Royal Fifth to their king.The first Mexican finds seem to have been made in 1600 when a rich lode of silver was discovered in Chihuahua. Sometime around 1603, according to our inventory, the mines now known collectively as Tayopa were discovered in Sonora, the westernmost province of northern Mexico, which rapidly became famous as one of the richest mining regions in the world.

Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende and Queretaro, now architectural gems on the tourist circuit, were once mining towns that owed their existence and in due course their pomp and magnificence to mineral wealth. Even today, the town of Pachuca has the largest output of silver in the word.In Frutos En Que Comercia O Puede Comerciar la Nueva Espana (Fruits In Which New Spain Trades) by Father Francisco Javier Clavijero, published in 1767, we find the following reference to ‘Projecto Sobre La Sonora’ (‘The Sonora Project’): ‘La Sonora…is the province that is the richest in gold and silver. What is said of it in the History of California is no exaggeration; that “there are mountains there that are of little less than solid silver”.’

Father Clavijero also described, however, the principal hazard of the area:These mines were first worked by various individuals, but when the Royal Council of the Indies declared that they were not mines, but treasure trove, and as such belonged to the Royal patrimony, the workers withdrew, and they were abandoned to the incursions of the barbarians. These incursions which prevent the working of extremely rich mines, which there are in the provinces of Primeria, Sonora, Tarahumana, Tepehuana and others of New Vizcaya could be avoided by the erection of various strongholds and fortresses along the frontiers with the Apaches – according to representations made to the Viceroys by various zealous missionaries of the Company [i.e. the Jesuits].

Guadalupe de TayopaSome traditions maintain that Tayopa was razed after only fourteen years in the great Apache uprising of 1646, thus dating its foundation to 1632; however it is clear from Father Clavijero’s account more than a hundred years later that the Jesuits maintained an active interest in the area.Other evidence shows that Tayopa was inhabited regularly or even continuously during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Flipper, the most dedicated and successful of Tayopa seekers, found documents referring to marriages and deaths in Tayopa in a village in Eastern Sonora. Other Tayopa records were discovered in the town of Granados. In 1927, Carl Sauer of the University of California, trapped by rain in Arizpe, Sonora, inspected a chest full of documents including marriage banns drawn up at Tayopa shortly before 1700. Various ‘miners of Tayopa’ testified in these as to the pure Spanish blood of the men and women to be married. Sauer also learned that the baptismal records of Tayopa were kept at Bacadeguachi.

‘The records that I saw established the fact that, in the seventeenth century, Tayopa was a mining camp of sufficient importance to have its own cura (priest). At the time there were probably not three other curas in what is now the state of Sonora. If it had a cura, it had a church. The church should have been built of stone; if so, remains of it should be evident today. The Apaches were very hostile towards the close of the seventeenth century; my guess is that Tayopa had to be abandoned because of them. I judge it lay somewhere between Nacori Chico and Guaynopa.’

Britton Davies, an office in the United States army, was leading troops in pursuit of Apaches in 1885 when he came to Nacori. He found there, he says, ‘a curious state of affairs. The population was three hundred and thirteen souls; but of these only fifteen were adult males. Every family had lost one or more male members at the hands of the Apaches.’ He also heard here of the lost mines of Tayopa. ‘This mine was said to have been of such wonderful richness that blocks of sliver taken from it had to be cut into several pieces so that mules could carry them to sea coast for shipment to Spain. My informant, the white-haired presidents, a man over eighty years of age, told me that his grandfather, who also had lived to be a very old man, had worked in the mine as a boy, and that it was ain a mountain range to the east of Nacori.

‘The Apaches attacked the place one day when the men were nearly all away at a fiesta in one of the river (Rio Bavispe) towns, killed everyone in the camp, destroyed the buildings, and blew up the entrance to the mine. A hundred years went by with no force in the country strong enough to conquer the Apaches, and the mine has never been found.’ The presidente’s grandfather had also stated that ‘Here in Nacori, where we stand, on a still night one could hear the dogs bark and the church bells ring in Tayopa.’ If we take the presidente’s evidence literally and assume that the word ‘grandfather’ was not, as in many tongues, a generic word for an ancestor, it is unlikely, although not impossible, that his grandfather could have been working at the mine earlier than, say, 1720.

The Gold and Silver BellWhether as a result of the Jesuit expulsion order in 1767, or as a result of Apache depredations, then, the mines at Tayopa seem to have been closed and the village itself lost by the mid-eighteenth century. Flipper, incidentally, heard of another tradition that, from Tayopa, one could hear the dogs barking in Guaynopa. This proximity of the two settlements may find confirmation in the evidence of a bell of gold and silver which was dug up near the Sonoran border in 1896, but has since been melted down. The legend inscribed upon it read, “TAYOPA, GUAYNOPA, GUAYNOPITA, SONORA. TRES MINERALES DEL MUNDO’. This as been mistranslated as ‘the three mines of the world’ and even, by optimistic implication, ‘the tree richest mines of the world’. We can find no evidence, hover, that the word ‘minerale’ has ever been used to mean ‘mine’. The legend, simply translated, means ‘three minerals of the world’ – a reference, perhaps, to gold, silver and copper. ‘Throughout history and throughout the world,’ says Alan Hughes of the Whitechapel Bell foundries, ‘Bells have been cast in bell metal, an alloy of copper and tin, because their brittleness give the bell its tone. Soft metals are totally impracticable.’ If, therefore, this bell existed, tit was not a church bell, but might, perhaps, have been a memento cast by the mines, or even a Jesuit device to disguise a large amount of precious metal. It is, at any rate, an unsatisfactory piece of evidence.

James Kirker’s DiscoveryIn 1842, James Kirker, riding with a party of seventy Shawnee warriors, came to a ruined town on the western slopes of the Sierra Madre, which many have since believed to have been Tayopa. Kirker was a bounty-hunter, who made his living by collecting Apache scalps. He was pursuing a large band of Apaches who had captured some freight near Vera Cruz and killed many Mexicans.‘In wonderfully rich country,’ beside a lake some six to eight miles across, wrote Captain James Hobbs, who was riding with Kirker, ‘we found some ancient ruins, the cement walls and foundation stones of a church and a lignum vitae cross, which seemed as sound as it had ever been. We also found remains of a smelting furnace…and some drops of silver and copper. From the appearance of the ruins, it seemed as if there had been a considerable town there. The lake was the headwaters of the river Yaqui…Besides the remains of furnaces, we saw old mine shafts that had been worked, apparently long before. Specimens of gold, silver and copper ore that we took to the mint at Chihuahua were assayed and pronounced very rich.’

Whether this was Tayopa – and it may well have been – it is not likely to be the same site as that seen by Casimero Streeter just a few years later. Streeter was a ‘white Apache’, a renegade white man who lived and fought of some years with the Indians. He was on a raiding-party to the south-east of Cananea in Northern Sonora, when his fellow braves pointed to some ruins way below in a canyon and told him, ‘That is Tayopa, leave it alone. Never try to go to it.’ He could just make out a bell in the ruined church tower. He subsequently identified this spot as lying on a fork of the River Yaqui. Neither the canyon or the church bell are mentioned in Hobbs’s account of the town which he visited. It is therefore unlikely that they are the same, though both are said to be on the Yaqui, from whose headwaters, Hobbs tells us, ‘the Indian [i.e. Mayos] bring down much gold, thought they dare not venture far into the mountains for the fear of the Apaches.’

The Search for TayopaIn 1909, Henry O. Flipper, still searching for Tayopa, was living in Ocampo, when a surprising activity was noted in the area; ‘Many Jesuits came into the Sierra Madre, taking charge of churches that had for generations been abandoned and even establishing themselves where there were no churches. In one little Indian village without a church there were four Jesuit priests. The mountain natives thought theses Jesuits were after Tayopa and other lost mines or hidden treasure. Whatever they were after, the Revolution of 1910 prevented their accomplishing anything.’ In 1910 another attempt to find Tayopa was made by a mining company on the basis of a map copied some fifty years previously by the caretaker of an ancient by regrettably unnamed church in which man y Tayopa documents have been housed. This map gave clear directions to Tayopa. Following these, a party of thirty arrived at a remote and hidden valley in Yaqui country. They found traces of adobe houses and between fifteen and twenty mineshafts some eighty feet deep and full of water. The samples of ore which they took there proved rich in silver. They returned to civilization, founded a new company named Cinco de Mayo, staked their claim to the site, and were poised to sell out to some larger company which could exploit the mines properly when the Revolution also put paid to their hopes. The number of mines that they found is consistent with that in the Tayopa inventory, but we have no idea where the site lies.

In 1911, Flipper was in Spain where he discovered a paper giving directions to Tayopa. He quotes it verbatim:On the 7th day of March stand on the summit of Cerro de la Campana, near the Villa de la Concepcion, and look at the sun as it sets. It will be setting directly over Tayopa. Travel eight days from the Cerro de la Campana towards the sunset of March 7th and you will come to Tayopa.

He was able to identify Cerro de la Campana with considerable confidence as Cerro de la Minaca, a bell-shaped hill a few miles south of the town now called Guerrero, in Chihuahua. But Flipper could never avail himself of this clue: the Revolution prevented further work in Mexico, and he was sent to Venezuela. He never came back. In 1927, C. B. Ruggles, a latterday frontiersman and veteran Tayopa hunter, and the writer, J. Frank Dobie were approached at their camp in La Quiparita, a valley to the west of Chihuahua, by a man who gave his name as Custard. Custard possessed an extended version of the original inventory which included directions to Tayopa from a flat-topped mountain or mesa

Campanero. He also had an approximate and highly stylized map which placed Tayopa amidst the hills of the Sierra Madre. These documents had been copied from originals left by Father Domingo, the parish priest of Guadalupe de Santa Ana, a man who was described by an old Indian parishioner as ‘a queer man…always walking about and looking, looking.’ Custard proposed that they pool. Their skills and resources. IF they should find the lost village, Custard would take the treasure in the church crypt and Ruggles and Dobie could have the mine.

Ruggles agreed. He believed the Mesa Campanero to be an alternative name for the Sierra Obscura, a mountain which stand alongside the river Mayo.The three men spent ten days exploring the Sierra, searching for the two cerritos chapos or ‘runt’ hills which were said to form the gateway to Tayopa and the ‘two notably thick guerigo trees’ mentioned in Custard’s directions. They found nothing.

On their gloomy descent from the mountain, they stopped at the little range of an Opata rancher named Perfecto Garcia. Garcia’s brother had that day pursued a big boar. At bay, it had gored his dog and, when he attacked it with his machete it had turned and nearly slashed off his ear. Ruggles had some skill in medicine. He washed, stitched and bandaged the man’s wounds. When he had finished, in Dobie’s words, ‘Don Perfecto was in an expansive humour.

“Are you not hunting for mines?” he asked Ruggles. “Yes.”“Do you have any documents to direct you?” “Yes.”I have one also. Let me show it to you.”’

And incredibly, Garcia drew from a niche in the wall an old parchment entitled ‘Conocimento de Tayopa’ or “Recognition of Tayopa’. Ruggles and Dobie copied it eagerly. Garcia informed them that the Opatas had taken the document in a raid on a ranch owned by the Pima Indians. It read, ‘It is worthwhile to remember and never to forget that there is a famous mining camp of prodigious richness known to the ancients by the name of Tayopa. It is situated on the first flowings of the River Yaqui, on the downward slopes of the Sierra Madre, in the direction of the town of Yecora in the ancient province of Ostimuri. The smelters remain there not only with great deposits of ore of high assay but with considerable silver in bullion form, stored away just as the antiguos left it. During long years Ostimuri has been almost altogether depopulated.’ From this point onward, the partly torn parchment was unreadable except for a few disconnected words.

The searchers left immediately for Yecora, which still bore the same name. The natives had seen no strangers for two years and in their own curiosity were happy to answer Ruggles’ questions. Asked for directions to Mesa Campanero, they at once pointed to the pine-clad ridge to the west of their village.Here, on top of the mountain, the party found the ‘first flowings of the river Yacqui’ to their west. They followed Custard’s map from this point. They had already concluded that Guadalupe de Tayopa might be Guadalupe de Santa Ana, but resolved for fear of error to follow the map implicitly. It took them two weeks. Amongst others whom they met were the descendants of some Confederate soldiers who, in the aftermath of the Civil War, had turned their backs on their country. At last they found two giant trees of a variety u familiar to them. Ruggles rode ahead to Santa Ana and brought back with him an old man who at once identified them as guerigos, which Dobie later ascertained to be populus wislizeni.

The villagers show them the MinesThey followed their road down to the village, passing between two ‘runt’ hills. After initial hostility from the villagers Ruggles’ medical skills once more saved the day. He treated some fifty influenza sufferers over the next three days. Only then did they broach the subject which had brought them so far. Was Guadalupe de Santa Ana really Guadalupe de Tayopa? To their delight, the villagers, now deep in their debt, showed them the ancient circle of mines. Even the names mentioned on the map and in the inventory were still in current use. The smelters were still there too, and many told of evidently Spanish provenance.

The villagers told stories of other treasure seekers who had come to the village and had dug towards the church. It seems probable, however, that the present church, built by Father Domingo in 1888, was not on the same site as that which the Jesuits had built. Flipper at some stage in his researches had come upon a traditional document which claimed that a huge quantity of bullion was secured in a tunnel or vault 2, 281 varas (about 57 years) south of the church door. This tunnel was said to have a metal door or lock. Flipper had been sceptical of this story, but the head of the village independently confirmed it. His mother and aunt, he said, had found an iron door in the ground somewhere east of the village about fifty years before. They had never been able to guide the villagers back to it, and had been subjected to much mockery. Their story had never changed, however, and the village head knew that it must be true.

The villagers gave Ruggles and his party several old derroteros, one of which had guided an ill-fated expedition to Tayopa in 1858. A Jesuit had led the party. Only one member had survived. Those who were not killed by Indians on their way, died one way or another at their destination. The sole survivor had been hidden by an Indian girl who later married him. Ruggles and his party surveyed the mines and made estimates as to the time and money necessary to re-open them. They then, tantalizingly and mysteriously, disappear apart from Dobie who later wrote up the story of their expedition in detail. Dobie suggested that Ruggles returned to Guadalupe de Santa Ana shortly afterwards but does not record that he succeeded in extracting any of the silver ore or in finding the great Jesuit hoard.

For the Modern Prospector and Treasure Hunter. There is still much to find in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. A prospector with his gold pan and pick and a treasure hunter with his metal detector could still do very well. If they have managed to do all there research. For it takes much more than courage to crack the secrets of Jesuit order.If you are interested in searching for Jesuit Gold. Go to the following section of the website to learn about some rare maps that will help you in your quest.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, artifacts, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, gold jewelry, Gold Mine, Jesuits, silver coins, Spanish gold, Treasure Hunting, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Leon Trabuco’s Gold….


Leon Trabuco’s Gold

In 1933, Leon Trabuco was a Mexican millionaire. He believed he could use the Great Depression of the United States to increase his fortune. Convinced the United States would soon devalue the dollar and that gold prices would skyrocket, Trabuco and four other men bought up much of Mexico’s gold reserves to resell in the United States when the price went up.

At a makeshift Mexican foundry, gold coins and jewelry were melted down and cast into ingots. In less than three months, he and partners had collected almost sixteen tons of solid gold. They smuggled the gold into the United States, where if caught, they faced long prison terms. Trabuco searched for a safe place to hide the illegal treasure, but eventually, he decided it would be smarter to bury the gold. In the heat of the summer, he hired a pilot named Red Moiser to make several covert flights into the New Mexico desert for Trabuco.

It is believed that Trabuco chose a sparsely populated region near the Ute and Navajo Indian Reservations in New Mexico. Moiser allegedly made sixteen flights, carrying one ton of gold each time, taking them to pick-up trucks that transported them to burial site. Trabuco never revealed the location and was careful not to create a map. When the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 passed, the price of gold soared, but instead they waited for prices to soar higher.

Unfortunately, the Gold Act of 1934 made private ownership of gold illegal, and Trabuco was unable to cash in on his scheme. Over the years, he and his partners all died untimely deaths. Trabuco took the location of the gold to the grave.

Treasure hunter Ed Foster has searched for Trabuco’s Treasure in the desert around Farmington, New Mexico for over thirty-five years. He is convinced that he found the 1933 landing strip used by Red Moiser at a plateau called Conger Mesa. He has spoken with an Native American lady and Navajo woman who was six years old in 1933 who both recalled a plane that would land and take-off from there. Ed said she remembered several Mexican men who lived on the Reservation.

He also found an old Navajo home unlike any other on the reservation about twenty miles west of the mesa. It was probably meant as a guard post to guard the gold. It is a Mexican-style structure with windows, a front door, a back door and a veranda. Not far away is Shrine Rock inscribed with a date and the words: “1933 16 Ton.” Ed believes the gold could be hidden away somewhere in the vicinity of these three points.
Treasure hunter Norman Scott believes Trabuco’s Treasure has an air of authenticity to it. He believes that with available technology, it is only a matter of time before it is discovered.

It is believed that the treasure consisted of Mexican gold bought by several millionaires.

Categories: gold, gold coins, gold ingots, hidden, Legends, Lost gold, Mexico, Old West, Treasure Hunters, Treasure Hunting, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WE ARE EARS RADIO…Country music and more….


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