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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
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.
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.
Leon Trabuco’s Gold
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.
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The most adventurous treasure in the world must lie on Cocos Island. There are many versions of this treasure cache, and about as many suppositions as to where it is buried on the island. All of the details gleaned from a number of documents and sources are listed in the following account:
In 1820 when the revolt of Peru against Spain seemed imminent, the Governor and clergy in Lima entrusted their treasures to a Captain Thompson of the British brig, Mary Dear, for shipment to Mexico. The Loot of Lima consisted of a fabulous treasure from the cathedral and as worth some $60,000,000. Among the items were two life-sized statues of the Blessed Virgin holding the Divine Child, each cast in pure gold; 273 jeweled swords and candlesticks, and an enormous hoard too extensive to contemplate.
The lure of this immense treasure, however, proved too great for him; Thompson had his passengers killed, sailed to Cocos Island, some 400 miles off the coast of Costa Rica, and there buried the loot in a cave. Later, he joined forces with the pirate, Benito Bonito, and eventually was the only one on his ship to escape capture when it was attacked by a British warship. In 1844 he met and imparted his secret to a stranger named Keating, with whom he arranged an expedition to the island, but Thompson died before the departure, and Keating set sail with a Captain Bogue, master of the vessel. Keating and Bogue landed at Cocos Island and found the treasure, but their crew mutinied and the two men capsized while endeavoring to depart with as much of the treasure as they could carry. Bogue was drowned, Keating picked up by a passing vessel and taken to Newfoundland, where he later died.
One version of the waybill left by Captain Thompson to the Loot of Lima is given here. The ‘bay’ mentioned, located on the northeast, MAY be Chatham Bay: “Once there follow the coast line of the bay till you find a creek, where, at high water mark, you go up the bed of a stream which flows inland. Now you step out 70 paces, west by south, and against the skyline you will see a gap in the hills. From any other point, the gap is invisible. Turn north, and walk to a stream. You will now see a rock with a smooth face, rising sheer like a cliff. At the height of a man’s shoulder, above the ground, you will see a hole large enough for you to insert your thumb. Thrust in an iron bar, twist it round in the cavity, and behind you will find a door which opens on the treasure.”
This cache, as given by Captain Thompson on his death bed, according to a second version is: “Disembark in the Bay of Hope between two islets, in water 5 fathoms deep. Walk 350 paces along the course of the stream then turn north-northeast for 850 yards, stake, setting sun stake draws the silhouette of an eagle with wings spread. At the extremity of sun and shadow, cave marked with a cross. There lies the treasure.”
Keating is said to have bequeathed his secret to a quartermaster, Nicholas Fitzgerald by name, who was so poor that he was never able to organize an expedition to Cocos. Fitzgerald’s letter, reiterating the notes left by Keating, is preserved at the Nautical and Travelers’ Club in Sydney, registered under No. 18, 755. In it, the following in instructions are given: “At two cable’s lengths, south of the last watering-place, on three points. The cave is the one which is to be found under the second point. Christie, Ned and Anton have tried but none of the three has returned. Ned on his fourth dive found the entrance at 12 fathoms but did not emerge from his fifth dive. There are no octopuses but there are sharks. A path must be opened up to the cave from the west. I believe there has been a fall of rock at the entrance..
Another original document, found in the museum of Caracas, is the inventory left by Fitzgerald at Coiba: “We have buried at a depth of four feet in the red earth: 1 chest; altar trimmings of cloth of gold, with baldachins, monstrances, chalices, comprising 1,244 stones. 1 chest; 2 gold reliquaries weighing 120 pounds, with 624 topazes, cornelians and emeralds, 12 diamonds. 1 chest; 3 reliquaries of cast metal weighing 160 pounds, with 860 rubies and various stones, 19 diamonds. 1 chest; 4,000 doubloons of Spain marked 8. 5,000 crowns of Mexico. 124 swords, 64 dirks, 120 shoulder belts. 28 rondaches. 1 chest; 8 caskets of cedar-wood and silver, with 3,840 cut stones, rings, patents and 4,265 uncut stones. 28 feet to the northeast, at a depth of 8 feet in the yellow sand; 7 chests: with 22 candelabra in gold and silver weighing 250 pounds, and 164 rubies a foot. 12 armspans west, at a depth of 10 feet in the red earth; the seven-foot Virgin of gold, with the Child Jesus and her crown and pectoral of 780 pounds, rolled in her gold chasuble on which are 1,684 jewels. Three of these are 4-inch emeralds on the pectoral and 6 are 6-inch topazes on the crown. The seven crosses are of diamonds
124 swords, 64 dirks, 120 shoulder belts. 28 rondaches. 1 chest; 8 caskets of cedar-wood and silver, with 3,840 cut stones, RINGS, patents and 4,265 uncut …
.The hiding place has been calculated to be within 100 yards of 5 degrees, 30 minutes, 17 seconds latitude north and 87 degrees, 0 minutes, 40 seconds longitude west, south of the Bay of Hope, north-northeast of Meule Island, possibly in a cave that is accessible at low tide.
One version states that the Loot of Lima is buried in 4 different caches all within 100 yards of each other in an area an eighth of a mile inland near Chatham Bay.
According to Keating’s wife, the Loot of Lima was cached in a bay with a little beach shaped like a crescent, with black roots on either side and hidden from the open sea.
A German hermit, Heinz Hemmeter, who lived on the island for many years believed the hoard of treasure was lying at the bottom of a waterfall in a pool about 100 feet in circumference.
The treasure of the great Lima cathedral has been estimated to be worth some $60,000,000. The value of the State Treasury, which was also part of the cargo of the Mary Dear, cannot safely be estimated. Numerous expeditions have attempted to recover this great hoard of plunder, but all have failed, possibly due to the fact that landslides have occurred since Keating and Bogue departed, and have buried the treasure under tons of earth and rocks. Benito Bonito, or Benito of the Bloody Sword, supposedly buried a sizable collection of plunder on the island. In 1819 he landed at Acapulco port and captured a rich mule train loaded with treasure being sent from Mexico City. Disguised as a muleteer, he headed the treasure convoy to the coast where he loaded it into his boat, the Relampago.
He then sailed to Cocos where the vast hoard was buried some estimates evaluate his hoard in excess of $25,000,000. 300,000 pounds weight of silver bars, plate and coin was cached in a sandstone cave in the side of the mountain. He then placed kegs of powder on top of the cave and blew away the face of the cliff. The silver is reported to be buried on the north side of Wafer Bay.
In another excavation he placed 733 gold bars, 4 by 3 inches in size and 2 inches thick, 273 gold-hilted swords inlaid with jewels, and numerous articles of jeweled church ornaments and vessels.
In a third location, he buried several iron kettles filled with gold coin, this on a bit of land in the little river. On Cocos Island are several caches of treasure credited to various buccaneers and pirates, among whom was a certain Captain Edward Davis. Davis, a successful pirate who operated his ship, the Bachelor’s Delight, along the western coast of South America, made at least two trips to the island, in 1684 and 1702, laden with plunder which he buried. Edward Davis landed John Cook’s ship, the Bachelor’s Delight at Chatham Bay in the late 1600’s and left behind several chests of pirate loot.
Many ingots and pieces-of-eight obtained from Spanish towns in Peru and Chile by the pirate Edward Davis was cached on Cocos Island.In one cache he buried over 300,000 pounds of silver bar and plate. In another he “‘put away 733 bars of gold, 7 kegs of gold coin and a quantity of church jewels and ornaments.A cache of treasure hidden by the pirate Benito Bonito was stashed in the caves under a projecting tongue of land on the north side of Wafer Bay. . The officers and crew of Benito’s pirate rig, the Relampago, hid their share of the loot in neighboring parts of the island.
In 1845, a British explorer found an iron-bound chest high in a cave overlooking Wafer Bay which, when opened, spilled out a golden hoard of Spanish coins. Captain John Cook landed a ship loaded with loot at the island. It is believed that some, or all of this treasure, was left there.Sir Frances Drake frequently landed on the island and rumors persist that he cached treasure on Cocos.In the official Costa Rican survey of Cocos island in 1895, it was reported that, “There are signs of mineral wealth, and gold has been found. In 1793, there was a mysterious cryptic carving found on the island on one of the big boulders in Chatham Bay that various seamen observed upon landing there. It read:
Look Y. as you goe for ye S. Coco” with four branched crosses. The carving had originally been badly executed and had letters much defaced. Also found was the mark of a sombrero on a stone called by generations of treasure hunters, “Bonito’s Hat”. This could be a pirate’s guide to his buried treasure cache. Freebooters frequently put in at Cocos Island for fresh water and for a supply of coconuts. Several buccaneers stopped here to give their crews an occasional holiday, and some of them are said to have buried treasure here.It has been reported that in l931, a Belgian treasure hunter found a 2 foot gold Madonna which he sold in New York for $11,000.
In 1939, an unconfirmed report said that one bar of gold, which sold for $35,000, was found in a small mountain stream near a waterfall on Cocos Island. More than 100 pounds of gold lie in Chatham Bay, treasure dug up in 1844 and lost in the water by two of the finders of the hoard on the island. Of questionable sources came the report that in the 1880s, soldiers found 80,000 dollars worth of money of all nations in silver and 30.000 dollars worth of English and French gold coins, “in a small excavation made in the face of a cliff (in Wafer Bay) about 12 feet square. The coin rotted away owing to the percolation of water through the roof of the cave.” Then, lying apart was a pile of 300 silver ingots, and on top rotten clothing, a binnacle compass and a small brass cannon with the muzzle blown off. On another day the soldiers were ordered to blast the tap-root of a cedar tree near the shores of Wafer Bay.
Dislodged in the concussion, a ledge of rock in a tendril-covered cave, which brought down a small, heavy chest containing a number of gold ornaments, obviously looted by Bonito the pirate from south American churches. The cache seemed to have been privately made by one of his officers, for in the box were letters of Evan Jones, one of his gang and best friend. The hoard was valued at $10,000. How far in this story fact is mingled with fiction is hard to say.Legends say that Captain Kidd used Cocos Island as a burial place for treasure.Gold-bearing quartz was found in test drillings on Cocos Island by two mining engineers in 1933. The island of Cocos is honeycombed with caves and was frequently infested with pirates and buccaneers for several centuries. Many of these caverns are still unexplored. A persistent legend associated with Cocos Island concerns an Inca treasure which is still guarded by descendants of Inca leaders on Mount Iglesias, the highest point on the island. Finding a vast network of caves here, the Incas retreated to this sanctuary and remained hidden whenever a vessel approaches Coco’s. The inca treasure has never been found.
The Treasure of Lima
This map is supposed to be the real location of the Treasure of Lima, which is not Cocos Island, as many have believed in the past, but an unknown island located off the coast of Central America.
The federal government dropped a bomb on college basketball Tuesday, indicting 10 men in a wide-spread fraud and bribery scheme involving top recruits, college programs, agents, financial planners and the shoe and apparel company Adidas.
It’s thorough. It’s ugly. It’s unprecedented.
“Fraud and corruption in the world of college basketball,” Joon H. Kim, Acting U.S. Attorney said at a news conference in Manhattan on Tuesday.
Assistant coaches at Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and USC were all arrested and their programs are almost certainly in dire straights with both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and NCAA. The evidence here is based on an undercover FBI agent, wiretapped phones, recordings, written communication and financial transaction data. The feds win nearly every case for a reason. And the indicted haven’t even started flipping yet.
Also in the crossfire is so-called “University 2,” which in the complaints is described in a way that resembles the University of South Carolina and only the University of South Carolina – “a public research university located in South Carolina … with over 30,000 students …”
Then there is “University 6” which is described in a way that resembles the University of Louisville and only the University of Louisville, linking it to a $100,000 payout for one recruit and a potential $150,000 payout for another, all while on probation for a scandal involving using prostitutes to lure other recruits. “University 6” doesn’t appear to be in any legal trouble, yet, but the NCAA is another story.
The above alone consist of a national championship program with a Hall of Fame coach (Louisville), a Final Four team from 2017 (South Carolina), historic powerhouses (Arizona, Oklahoma State), as well as major schools (USC and Auburn) with a history of NCAA problems.
Death penalty. Postseason bans. Mass firings. It’s going to be a scorched earth, the bill coming due on a sport that has operated in the shadows of corruption for generations.
Yet for college hoops none of it represents the scariest part of the three complaints laid out by the DOJ on Tuesday. This, a statement by said undercover FBI agent, should terrify every coach in America:
“Because this affidavit is being submitted for the limited purpose of establishing probable cause, it does not include all of the facts that I have learned during the court of the investigation.”
Meaning, this is the tip of the iceberg.
“Our investigation is ongoing,” FBI assistant director Bill Sweeney warned. “And we are currently conducting interviews.”
“If you yourself engaged in these activities, I’d encourage you to call us,” said Kim, the Acting U.S. Attorney. “I think it’s better than us calling you.”
The operation that the feds laid out is college basketball recruiting 101. It began when a prominent financial planner from the sports world was ensnared in a securities fraud case and turned into a cooperating witness. He was able to bring an undercover FBI agent along as a supposed assistant for meetings, payouts, recorded conversations and so on.
Top basketball talent is worth more on the open market than the NCAA limit of scholarship, room, board and a small stipend. NCAA limits are an attempt to stop the wheels of capitalism, which like floodwater will simply readjust and go where it wants.
A top high school player can make a school and its coaches millions. His future potential can make shoe companies and others even more. His likely NBA earnings in this era of the one-and-done make him a coveted future client for agents, financial planners, even clothiers, real estate agents and car salesmen.
Families, aware of their son’s worth, have their hands out.
“The mom is like … we need our [expletive] money,” sports agent Christian Dawkins is alleged to have said during a July 27 meeting in a Las Vegas hotel room about the mother of a top recruit in the class of 2019, according to the indictment.
It came during a meeting between Dawkins, Brad Augustine, a prominent Florida-based travel team basketball coach, an assistant coach from “University 6,” the cooperating financial planner and the undercover FBI agent, who recorded it and bugged the room.
Paying the family to go to a certain school not only aids the school’s team on the basketball court, it builds up the relationship between the player/family and the assistant coach. The school gets a great talent, while the assistant coach creates additional trust with the player/family.
Those college coaches then receive kickbacks ($13,000 here, $9,000 there, according to the indictments) from Adidas or the agents/financial planner to steer the player to them when he reaches the NBA. A young player turning pro will almost always seek guidance on who should represent him, or who can give him a good deal on a car or a draft night suit.
One hand washes the other. Rinse and repeat.
None of this is any surprise for anyone who follows the sport. Proving it, though, has always been nearly impossible … neither the NCAA nor investigative reporters have the resources of the FBI, nor the ability to provide the legal pressure that flips someone into a cooperating witness.
So now the lid is off the jar and where this ends is anyone’s guess.
Tuesday, college coaches were calling emergency staff meetings and coaches at all levels were consulting attorneys. This is an entirely different level than anyone has seen before, not a mostly toothless NCAA, but a motivated FBI and U.S. Attorney in New York looking to make a big media splash.
And splash they will. Even if there aren’t legal ramifications for everyone, the recruiting dirt that is about to get turned over will be unprecedented. The code of silence that has protected the sport and the NCAA’s system of “amateurism” is about to be cracked into a million pieces under FBI questioning, where a single lie is a felony.
The NCAA may be backed into a corner where it needs to blow up one of its signature revenue producers. And financial planners don’t just care about basketball. Football players make big money, too.
In basketball, nearly everyone has recruited Brad Augustine’s “1 Family Hoops” out of Florida, which is annually loaded with talent as one of Adidas’ signature programs. Nearly everyone knows powerful Adidas executive Jim Gatto, who was arrested, too. All of the indictments Tuesday stem mostly from the acts of one financial planner and one agent.
There are many more who operate the same way. Who knows when the heat shifts to them.
Big, bigger … biggest scandal ever.
Tuesday was Armageddon for college basketball. Tomorrow and the tomorrow after that and the tomorrow after that promise to be worse.
Only four men had been killed in the incident so far, but after the submarine sank many men succumbed to the thirty-six-degree (Fahrenheit) water temperatures. After an hour the fishing boats Alexi Khlobystov and Oma arrived and rescued thirty men, some of whom later succumbed to their injuries. Of the original sixty-nine men on board the submarine when disaster struck, forty-two died, including Captain First Rank Vanin.
In the mid-1980s, the Soviet Union constructed a super submarine unlike any other. Fast and capable of astounding depths for a combat submersible, the submarine Komsomolets was introduced in 1984, heralded as a new direction for the Soviet Navy.
Five years later, Komsomolets and its nuclear weapons were on the bottom of the ocean, two-thirds of its crew killed by what was considered yet another example of Soviet incompetence.
The history of the Komsomolets goes as far back as 1966. A team at the Rubin Design Bureau under N. A. Klimov and head designer Y. N. Kormilitsin was instructed to begin research into a Project 685, a deep-diving submarine. The research effort dragged on for eight years, likely due to a lack of a suitable metal that could withstand the immense pressures of the deep. In 1974, however, the double-hulled design was completed, with a titanium alloy chosen for the inner hull.
Project 685, also known as K-278, was to be a prototype boat to test future deep-diving Soviet submarines. The Sevmash shipyard began construction on April 22, 1978 and the ship was officially completed on May 30, 1983. The difficulty in machining titanium contributed to the unusually long construction period.
K-278 was 360 feet long and forty feet wide, with the inner hull approximately twenty-four feet wide. It had a submerged displacement of 6,500 tons, and the use of titanium instead of steel made it notably lighter. It had a unique double hull, with the inner hull made of titanium, that gave it its deep-diving capability. The inner hull was further divided into seven compartments, two of which were reinforced to create a safe zone for the crew, and an escape capsule was built into the sail to allow the crew to abandon ship while submerged at depths of up to 1,500 meters.
The submarine was powered by one 190-megawatt OK-650B-3 nuclear pressurized water reactor, driving two forty-five-thousand-shipboard-horsepower steam-turbine engines. This propelled it to a submerged speed of thirty knots, and a surface speed of fourteen knots.
The sub had the MGK-500 “Skat” (NATO code name: Shark Gill) low-frequency passive/active search and attack spherical bow array sonar system, the same sonar used in today’s Yasen-class attack submarines, which fed into the Omnibus-685 Combat Information Control System. Armament consisted of six 533-millimeter standard diameter torpedo tubes, including twenty-two Type 53 torpedoes and Shkval supercavitating antisubmarine torpedoes.
The submarine joined the Red Banner Northern Fleet in January 1984 and began a series of deep diving experiments. Under Captain First Rank Yuri Zelensky the submarine set a record depth of 3,346 feet—an astounding accomplishment considering its American equivalent, the USS Los Angeles class, had an absolute maximum depth of 1,475 feet. Crush depth was estimated at approximately 4,500 feet. The submarine had a special surfacing system, “Iridium,” which used gas generators to blow the ballast tanks.
The Soviet Navy considered K-278 invulnerable at depths greater than one thousand meters; at such depths it was difficult to detect and enemy torpedoes, particularly the American Mark 48, which had a maximum depth of eight hundred meters. Although the submarine was originally to be a test ship, it was eventually made into a fully operational combat-ready ship in 1988. It was given the name Komsomolets, meaning “member of the Young Communist League.”
On April 7, 1989, while operating a depth of 1266 feet, Komsomolets ran into trouble in the middle of the Norwegian Sea. According to Norman Polmar and Kenneth Moore, it was the submarine’s second crew, newly trained in operating the ship. Furthermore, its origins as a test ship meant it lacked a damage-control party.
A fire broke out in the seventh aft chamber, and the flames burned out an air supply valve, which fed pressurized air into the fire. Fire suppression measures failed. The reactor was scrammed and the ballast tanks were blown to surface the submarine. The fire continued to spread, and the crew fought the fire for six hours before the order to abandon ship was given. According to Polmar and Moore, the fire was so intense that crewmen on deck watched as the rubber anechoic coating tiles coating the outer hull slid off due to the extreme heat.
The ship’s commanding officer, Captain First Rank Evgeny Vanin, along with four others, went back into the ship to find crew members who had not heard the abandon ship order. Vanin and his rescue party were unable to venture farther—the submarine was tilting eighty degrees headfirst—and entered the rescue chamber. The chamber failed to dislodge at first, but eventually broke free of the mortally wounded sub. Once on the surface, the abrupt pressure change caused the top hatch to blow off, throwing two crew members out of the chamber. The chamber, as well as the captain and the rest of the rescue party, sank under the waves.
Only four men had been killed in the incident so far, but after the submarine sank many men succumbed to the thirty-six-degree (Fahrenheit) water temperatures. After an hour the fishing boats Alexi Khlobystov and Oma arrived and rescued thirty men, some of whom later succumbed to their injuries. Of the original sixty-nine men on board the submarine when disaster struck, forty-two died, including Captain First Rank Vanin.
Komsomolets sank in 5,250 feet of water, complete with its nuclear reactor and two nuclear-armed Shkval torpedoes. Between 1989 and 1998 seven expeditions were carried out to secure the reactor against radioactive release and seal the torpedo tubes. Russian sources allege that during these visits, evidence of “unauthorized visits to the sunken submarine by foreign agents” were discovered.
Leishmania is the second-most deadly parasite in the world. According to the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Institute, 20,000-30,000 people die from Leishmaniasis annually. Other estimates put the annual death toll at 50,000. About 350 million people are at risk across an estimated 90 countries, and some scientists have called the parasite the next plague. If you are infected with the visceral variety of Leishmaniasis and don’t treat it, you will likely die within a few months.
With mounting fears about a future increase in U.S. cases, a group of scientists in Georgia is racing to create a vaccine—and their new study shows they may be almost there.
Female sandflies transmit leishmania when they bite people, and the painful disease the parasite causes comes in three varieties. Visceral leishmaniasis, which attacks internal organs, is deadly. With mucosal leishmaniasis, the parasite spreads along the moist surfaces of the body—the linings of the mouth and throat, for example—and can scar these mucus membranes. Cutaneous leishmaniasis, the most common form, produces bumpy and cratered lesions. “People suffer a lot because [leishmaniasis] kills slowly and most of the time it devastates your face,” Alexandre Marques, a parasitology professor at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil, told Newsweek.
The treatment has problems of its own, largely because the disease is most prevalent in developing nations. The medication for leishmaniasis is fairly effective and affordable, but only for those who can easily access hospitals with trained staff and enough of a supply. And a course of treatment takes four weeks, which can be financially devastating. But if patients discontinue treatment too early, they may relapse.
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology appear on the brink of creating a successful vaccine that could prevent people from being affected with Leishmaniasis in the first place. As described in their study published today in ACS Central science, the researchers injected virus-like particles into 12 mice genetically engineered to have immune systems similar to humans. The approach was designed to attract major immune system forces to attack Leishmania. Another 12 mice were unvaccinated.
After infecting all 24 mice with Leishmania parasites, none of the vaccinated mice developed the disease. All 12 of the unvaccinated ones developed the sickness.
However, mice aren’t people. We don’t know how long it will take before enough tests show that the vaccine is safe and effective in humans. Marques, who was also part of the research team, laments that current funding is not sufficient enough to support further research.
Will this parasite start affecting Americans? People who engage in ecotourism (traveling to pristine areas in an environmentally responsible manner) have already come home with the sickness. The increase in U.S. cases was significant enough to trigger the country’s first-ever guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of leishmaniasis.
And some experts are concerned that warming temperatures could expand the habitat of the insect vector. The parasite cannot be transmitted between people, only from certain species of sandflies, and these species live in tropical and subtropical regions. But if the climate warms enough, the flies could extend their range to the southern United States, and bring the deadly, flesh-eating parasite with them.
Recent history shows how readily the disease can spread. Last year, leishmaniasis moved across the Middle East by refugees fleeing Syria. For those who survive the infection, the resulting disfigurement can be devastating.
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