Clue 18 – Mining activity is present.
Arcana Exploration, has discovered evidence of past mining activity on site, including mining ruble, signs of quarrying, a drag stone with chain link attached, plus filled-in coal pits, walled up tunnels, un-walled tunnels and other entities.
The photo to the right is of Davey and Rodger climbing up to the mine. In places it is almost impenetrable a great place for snakes and scorpions. If you look closely, you can see Rodger looking down toward the cactus and the vertically inserted stones.
The ground there is solid stone with some loose dirt on top. It appears that someone, most likely the Mexicans (Peraltas?), quarried a round center stone for one of the small Arrastra pits. Notice the stones wedged into the void.
The Apaches said that after massacring the Mexicans, their squaws and young children were taken to the mine site and labored there for many days. This was their sacred mountain. They wanted to remove any sign that other people had been there, cleanse the mountain, remove the scars and make the mountain whole again. It was their most sacred place, home of their Thunder God and the place of the ancient ones.
Amazingly, Arcana Exploration has photos of an archeological feature that most likely was what the Apache’s referred to as their “Thunder God”.
Jacob Waltz also said there was an archeological carving at his mine, that the Apaches worshiped it, and that it was their Thunder god.
The presence of Mexican mining activity, plus the archeological sculptures and other entities that are on site, are very significant because they support the narrative that the Apaches, the Mexicans (Peralta’s) and Jacob Waltz had been on the same mountain at different times and at the same, exact location.
For several days the Apache women and children filled in the pits then buried them under stones and dirt. Furthermore, they walled up the tunnels and pilled dirt on top of them so that all prior mining activity would be fully concealed.
You can see in the photo with Davey and Rodger that stones have been placed and wedged into a quarried void. At one time this would have been covered with rubble and dirt but now, after 170 plus years of heavy rain, most of the dirt has been washed away, exposing the wedged-in stones. Higher up the mountain, Arrastra pits are now also visible.
Mining equipment, including some Arrastra rubble, has been pushed over a cliff into the thicketed and bushy gorge below. There are also boulder jams from earthquake activity, leaving the gorge below being full of debris. This makes for a very dangerous situation. At times boulders have rolled down while our guys have been up there.
We have photos of a drag stone with a metal bar fixed to the stone; a chain link is affixed to the bar, which is in the bushes and rubble below. I will share a photo in an upcoming post.
After nearly two centuries, the dirt has washed away, but the mountain doesn’t want to give up her secrets easily. With the continued new growth, such as the cactus below Rodger, she protects her secrets by sheltering her precious identity.
Mexican Arrastra mining with drag stones
Arrasta mining has one goal, which is to break down material. The type, size and form of an Arrastra is dependent on the location and material available. No two Arrastra locations have the exact same landscape.
Some pits have features, lined with stone, and some are carved out of hard-pan rock. Our site is a combination of both features. The drag stones, center stones, and base can vary greatly. Location is the biggest factor in the make-up of mine workings.
The area where our site is that has been used for the workings is on a very small shelf, which hangs out over a severe drop-off. Much of it has collapsed down into to the area below. The surface area is small; so therefore, the pits are small.
A Peralta daughter is said to have described the site as a god-awful place, and that the ledge was dangerous. She also said there was a carved devil head and Indian head and deities carved into a cliff.
She saw what the Apaches saw, Jacob Waltz described seeing what she saw, and we have seen what they saw. Arcana Exploration has photos that we will share later.
Monument Marker With Arrow?
On our next trip we need to check out the stone on the ground, just to the right of the shadow. Could that be a roughly chiseled arrow face down? We missed that when we were up there on our last trip. It is probably not an arrow, but we need to check it out.
Keep in mind that Jesuit trail markers are meant to be missed, except by those who know what to look for. You need a trained eye. A good rule of thumb is that if something looks a little strange or is clearly not natural, it might be a marker.
But do not go overboard on strange trail signs, because the only thing that is normal in the Superstition Mountains is that that nothing is!
To say that this place has a strange feel would be an understatement. At times there is a presence that you feel. I have thought about how to explain it, but I cannot. Our guys really don’t want to talk about it, so I don’t push them. On a couple of occasions after they have come down off the mountain, from up near where the Thunder God is, they have been curt, agitated, very subdued, non-talkative and more than ready to leave. I do not ask.
As you get closer to the mine site, the trail markers are more obvious. The Jesuits knew if you had come this far and you were this close, you most likely were a Jesuit. Close to the mine there are carved arrows into the rock and boulders. I know what you are thinking. I will discuss the Jesuit link later. It was the second biggest shocker.
I have spent thousands of hours of researching written material, along with 25 plus hard days on the ground where our team has been traversing impenetrable and dangerous topography often on their hands and knees. They have explored canyons and mountains with no known trails.
Then after finding and vetting the pieces of the puzzle, something no one (in modern time) has done. You have found the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. Naturally you are excited, you feel a sense of accomplishment.
Then you start to realize, the challenges to your success have only just begun only.
Talk about being naïve!
Jack-pot, home-run, we hit the lottery, bingo, hello-world look at us look, see what we found, order the new Mercedes, drinks for everyone, and O-H-I-O!
Most importantly, we will be part of history… OH, but wait…not so fast Sherlock!
- You cannot stake a claim. If you do, the park service will take it over as a historical site.
- If you go to a television or film producer, you cannot show all your cards because you will give away the location before you have a commitment. Understand this: Captain Dave and myself have worked with contracts for years, we know the turf. One producer already tried to pull a fast one on us
- It takes lots of time and money to be on site—we have flown from Columbus, Ohio on four separate trips. Plus, there is the cost of being there for weeks at a time. However, we are going back soon to further document our discovery.
- There are endless legal issues plus contacts, non-disclosure agreements…it never ends.
- Also, when it comes to the LDGM, after almost a century and a half, no one wants to take you seriously, unless you show all your cards which you cannot do until after you have finished your on-site documentation.
- Keep in mind that the site is hanging off the side of a mountain and because of landslides, it is almost impossible to explore—you are crawling around on hands and knees while hanging over a cliff. This makes exploration time intensive, dangerous and slow.
- So, in the end what you do is write a book and document your findings and tell your story: the journey of five guys from central Ohio. And if the cards fall correctly, maybe someone will tell your story.
- Where’s the beef! You need on-site documentation. This is undeniable. and again, you cannot show your cards until your investigation on the ground is completed.
- Also, at any time you can be kicked off your site. As soon as the powers to be realize what you have found, they will block access and shut it down as a historical site.
- There is no doubt in my mind that it will take years to explore and fully document the site and put the pieces together. Our goal on our next trip is to do an overall photo documentation, proving that the legend of the LDGM, along with additional historical objects, are present.
- Again, keep in mind that as soon as we divulge the precise location of our find, the state of Arizona will lock it down. No one will have access, and surely not five guys from central Ohio.
Our Goal: The Five Basics
A – B – C – D – E
There are five basic issues that must be considered when looking and then finding treasure; there are more, but these are the top five. In the weeks and months to come I will share some of the challenges that we at Arcana Exploration continue to face.
A – Research and Development
Start with basic research, not too involved (too close to the trees to see the forest). What is the overriding roadblock to finding what you are looking for? Come up with a new hypothesis and stay with it until it evolves into a workable theory. Now that you have a theory, you can get closer to the trees and do focused research that will make or break your theory. Stay focused on your theory until you break the bank.
The Witch – Priest Stone
It is known that around 1846-1847, the Peralta family made one last trip from Sonora to their mines in the Superstition Mountains, before the pending takeover of the territory by the U.S.
It is believed that they brought anywhere from 300 to 400 peon miners with them to make one last-ditch effort to load up with gold. They knew that once the Treaty of Hidalgo was enacted, they would not be able to mine in the newly purchased United Sates territory.
They felt somewhat secure with such a large force. What they did not expect was that the Apaches would join forces with other tribes against them: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. The Apaches’ amassed about 2000 braves, and for two days and nights they stalked the miners as they traversed over mountains, and through deep and rock-strewn canyons.
The only survivors were two badly wounded Peralta brothers who were able to make their way south, back to Sonora.
Even though the miners numbered 300-400, most had only shovels. A few had machetes. It is believed that only the two Peralta’s and maybe a dozen or so Vaqueros were armed and on horseback. That number was probably not much more than a dozen armed men, no match for 2000 Indian warriors.
The photo on the previous page could be very close to what the Peralta’s fighting force would have looked like. It was not a big enough force to buffer a human train of 350 peons on foot leading 100 burros heavily laden and struggling with leather saddle bags full of gold. The Apaches held the high ground. Slowly snaking through deep and winding canyons, the Mexicans were picked off one by one.
The battle raged for two days and nights. Finally, the Mexicans huddled beneath a cliff. Many were family, and here their final blood was spilled, and here blood lines were bled dry. Today, this place is known only as the Massacre Grounds. It is said that during the second night, down the hill below the cliffs, the Apaches tortured the wounded stragglers, in full view of the others. Throughout the night, those who were barely clinging to life had to watch and listen to the screams and horrors, a preview of what they knew was to be their enviable fate.
The Massacre Grounds
The Mexicans’ last stand pressed hard into the box canyon where they fought all day and through the night until the end. But what about the two Peralta brothers who were the only ones to escape? They were part of a small number of men who were armed and had horses.
Did the two badly wounded Peralta’s quietly slip away during the night, or did their Spanish Mustangs out run the Indian ponies through the mountains to the open desert, which was only about two miles away? Up against and below the cliffs at the Massacre Grounds, there is water.
During the night, did the Peralta’s freshen their mounts with water and rest them? Did they then make a break for the desert? Was it the two Mexican horsemen pitted against the Apache riders, all exceptional horsemen? Certainly, the two Peralta’s would have known that at any time during the trip their lives would depend on their mounts.
The Peralta’s were a wealthy family, knowing the extreme danger, so it would only make sense that they brought their fastest and most agile Spanish Mustangs on this trip. Did advance planning save their lives?
In 1519 – the greatest military tactician in history, the great Spanish conquistador, Hernando Cortez, had a secret weapon—well bred and trained Spanish war horses, operated as fighting machines to be used in battle.
These four-legged devils were by far Cortez’s greatest weapon in defeating Montezuma and an Aztec army of well-trained warriors, numbering several hundred thousand.
As much as any society, the Spanish have always revered their great Spanish horses, along with their own pride in horsemanship.
When the Peralta’s brothers reached the open desert, did their fast and agile Spanish Mustangs, bred to be stayers, top end – open…up and separate themselves and their riders from the Apache ponies in hot pursuit? No one really knows?
There are two substantiated facts known about the 300 plus killed at the Massacre Grounds, Fact 1: Only the two severely wounded Peralta brothers escaped; nearly dead, they made their way south to the safety of their beloved Sonoran home. Fact 2: Only their family, had loved one’s to welcome home.
Some people say that their Alfa mine never existed. Some people say that none of it happened. After all, such a mine site has never been found, a mine site that checks off all the boxes that is, until now!
B – The Team
- After you have found that your hypothesis has shockingly worked, evolving into a solid and foundational theory (believe me it was a shock), the next step is to form a trusted team. For me this was a no-brainer, I knew exactly who I needed. This is your most important asset; one bad cog in the wheel can disrupt everything you are trying to accomplish.
- Trustworthy – honest – loyal
- Physically capable
- Proficient with fire arms (a must)
- Someone you know very well
- Must have a comprehensive skill set
- Need at least one MacGyver (i.e. Rodger)
- Time away capabilities
- Always have each other’s back
We have a tradition on every trip. When we fly from Ohio to Arizona, we get an early flight to Phoenix, arriving early in the afternoon. We spend that afternoon provisioning up. The first night we go out and have great dinner, usually at a sports bar/restaurant, have more than a few brews, and reconnect, have some fun and relax after a long day. The next day we leave early for the Supers, which means no more fine dining. We are all eager to get back to a special place that we love.
C – Maximize
If writing a book, have a bona fide editor. We a have great one. Howard is a published historian and teaches writing at a local college. Howard is an important asset in many areas, especially media presentation, both written and visual. Howard is a most trusted friend and an important member of our team.
He is often my most important confidant, especially when it comes to analyzing and vetting truth from fiction. Howard is a historian and has an analytical approach to sketchy facts. Howard’s approach to historical information regarding the LDGM is perceptive, but always the information must conclude with the most rational answer possible, whatever the outcome.
Maximize Your Discovery
Get someone to tell your story – find a producer. This is very difficult even if you have found something historic. To do this properly without giving away the location before getting a non-disclosure agreement in place.
It should be easy, but it is not. In our case we have found a historic mine, plus other very important discoveries at the same site. What we have discovered so far points to the possibility that different groups may have been on our site as far back as the 14th century AD, and that is hard to fathom.
Certainly, during the past 135 years, people have actively been looking for the “Lost Dutchman Gold Mine”. When you go to a producer, it is hard to show what you have that is credible without giving away the location. We were dealing with one producer that we know was taking our information and giving it to a Dutch Hunter they had worked with. They were trying to figure out where we had been, so they could cut us out of the picture.
Their producer kept asking for more pictures and more proof, which was the kind of stuff that would give away our location. I purposely fed him three things that only he would have known. If it came out later, we would know the source.
Several months later it showed up on a Treasure forum, where the producer’s miner guy had shared it with some of his Dutch Hunter buddies. They were talking specifically about us and the three things I had fed to the producer’s miner guy. You cannot trust anyone “Beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
D – Get Funding
Funding may seem basic – but it is not cheap to provision up with equipment that you must have: camera gear, guns, clothing, vehicles, lodging, camping gear, climbing gear, flying to Phoenix from central Ohio (5 guys 5 times).
Plus, there are other expenses. Time away has cost team members more than the expenses I have already listed. The Dutch Hunters in Arizona should count their lucky stars – I wonder if all of them are as committed as we are?
So far, we have paid most of own way, along with some good friends who are involved. Like I have often said, we are five regular guys from Ohio climbing around in Arizona – go figure. We are going back soon, to check off more boxes in the gotcha column, with a little help from our friends.
E – Enjoy the Ride
When everything is said and done, this is the best part—enjoying your friends, the comradery, the experience. The guys on our team are the greatest, and the best I could ever imagine. I would not want to be on this journey with anyone else. I am a lucky person. Late in my life it has been an unexpected gift. I hope someday that you too have your journey of a lifetime.