Jacob Waltz – Additional Clues
Pierpont C. Bicknell
Many Dutchman scholars believe that the source for many of the most important and credible clues come from an early authority, that being newspaper man and author, Pierpont C Bicknell, who interviewed, in person, several of Jacob Waltz’s friends and acquaintances.
One of the most significant people Bicknell interviewed was none other than Julia Thomas, Waltz’s longtime friend and caretaker. Julia Thomas had been married to another German before knowing Waltz; her German husband was from an Austrian–German section in Bavaria that spoke a unique form of German; Waltz was also from this region and spoke the same dialect. It is believed that Julia’s husband had abandoned her and had left Phoenix several years before Waltz met her. It is not known if her husband and Waltz ever knew each other. Because Julia was fluid in this unique form of German and an attractive lady, Waltz was captivated by her and was often seen at her ice-cream parlor. At the time that Jacob and Julia first met, Phoenix had a population of about 500 people. What would the odds be that two unrelated people who spoke an uncommon German dialect would be living in the same tiny frontier town in the 1860s?
Waltz became Julia’s guardian angel and several times payed off her debts in gold. She was with Waltz, sitting by his bed, when he died. I will discuss more about them later on. The important point is that many of the most accepted clues from Julia to Bicknell were first person.
It is believed that most of the people that Bicknell interviewed had known Jacob Waltz personally and that Waltz had given them some clues about his mine. Waltz gave hints to them on to how to get to his mine along with some physical descriptions of the mine itself. Years later when Bicknell interviewed many of these people, their stories had a common and coherent thread.
It had been thirty years since the Civil War had ended and America needed to move on—it was focused on a new United States and Western expansion. When Bicknell’s syndicated article on “The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine” was published in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1895, the time was perfect. America was fascinated with anything and everything about the American West, and along came Bicknell writing the Dutchman’s story; this was the icing on the cake, and the American public ate it up. Jacob Waltz and his story had officially been born.
The Superstition Mountains’
When I think of all the great Dutch Hunters over the last 125+ years, it is humbling to think that 5 regular guys from central Ohio, should be the ones to find, Jacob Waltz’s mine.
Major newspapers from across the country along with their readership could not get enough. Bicknell’s articles were especially popular east of the Mississippi River. Thousands of men and women began entering the Superstation Mountains, obtaining grub stakes, procuring their outfits, fitted with supplies of equipment including guns, pack animals and partners. Some Dutch Hunters worked alone, many of whom simply vanished, never to be found, this only added to the lore and intrigue of the appropriately named the “Superstition Mountains”
The Old Military Trail
Clue 16 – Miliary Map
Jacob Waltz said, “From the RIDGE ABOVE my mine you can see the Military Trail, but from the trail you cannot see my mine”. True. Some sources of this clue say only from my mine and leave out THE RIDGE ABOVE. This is very interesting and both are true. The reason you can see Weavers Needle to the south is the same reason you can see the Military trail to the south. The thing is, there is no official military trail. There are known area’s the Military traveled within the mountains, many of which are not on any maps, yet could have been described by Waltz as the Military passing below his mine. The military trail maps that most people are looking at, in relation to the Superstition Mountains have a flaw when trying to connect them to the Waltz’s mine. I will share this later in our book. I am biting my tongue here; I want to explain this, but for now I cannot. Yes.
The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing!
Clue 17 – Jacob’s Doodle
Early on I said this was scribble scrabble and could have been done by a five year-old. Even though Waltz did it, I said it was useless, that it was the most worthless of all the Dutchman clues. I said it was a dog. Bow wow. Boy was I wrong. Much to the contrary this drawing done by a man who was close to death after fighting pneumonia for six months, is actually quite remarkable. When you split-screen it with our drone film, imaged from the same vantage point that Waltz’s mind’s eye remembered it, and then drew it, it gives you chills.
I know some critics will say we are just trying to make it fit. It is understandable that those people who have not seen what we have recorded on film would feel that way. Anyone who has seen the split screen, including those who were either early-on sceptics or those who are a couple of brain cells short say, “Oh my God, that’s it. Will you look at that?”
This is a very important point: All of the on-ground clues that we have discussed, plus others we have not yet talked about, are all contained within an area that is clearly depicted by Waltz’s sketch.
Waltz’s – Doodle
From Helen Corbin’s book, “The Curse of the Lost Dutchman”
One of the Biggest Surprises: Clue 17
This clue is one of the most important clues out of hundreds of clues. It is in the top 10, and the top 10 are all very significant. This clue was drawn with Jacob Waltz’s own hand on his death bed, and was witnessed doing so personally, by three people.
For a couple of years I was a huge critic of this clue; having taken two and three-dimensional drawing at Columbus State, I was not impressed. I was very negative on one of the Dutchman forum sites, calling it joke and that it could be rocks piled anywhere in the Superstition Mountains, or the curb rocks outside a Seven-Eleven. I said it was a joke, a dead end or a dead duck and Waltz could not pass a kindergarten art class. Boy was I wrong.
When first viewed, the doodle appears to be the poster boy for the term, “chicken scratching”. In fact, it is anything but that. Drawn by Waltz’s own hand, it is the glue that binds many of the most significant clues together. It is the stone cold- killer of clues, the wolf that sinks its teeth in and won’t let go!
One night I was looking at one of our drone flights, but it was not where we usually flew the drone; it was about a quarter mile down canyon. As the dust swirled around on my computer screen, slowly our
Arcana Exploration and Discovery
Planning the next day’s climb: Captain Dave, with Rodger and Webb
Phantom drone climbed off the parched canyon floor, climbing to several hundred feet. For the first time in three years I was seeing our site from this view, a picture you simply can get from down below. My eyebrows rose up; are you kidding me? l was looking straight on at Waltz’s Doodle. l could not believe it, but it was absolutely his doodle. I was seeing what a man on his death bed, a man in declining health, a miner who had not been to his mine in over ten years, was remembering. He had drawn a picture of what his mind’s inner eye remembered of the place. Waltz didn’t need a Phantom drone to know the overall view because, unlike us and others, he had most likely crisscrossed north, south, east and west while traversing every square foot of the place from top to bottom. It had been ten years from the time Waltz had last been to his mine.
A few weeks before his death, in his small adobe house on the banks of the Salt River, with Julia Thomas and his friends Rhinehart Petrasch and Petrasch’s son by his side, Waltz took out a small tablet used for the collection of German stamps. Jacob Waltz opened his stamp collection book to a blank page and drew a picture of his mine site.
Later, Julia and Petrasch and Petrasch’s brother Hermann would become partners and try to find the mine from the drawing. They never could locate it because they could never see from down on the dusty boulder strewn canyon floor what Waltz could see in his memory, only Waltz knew what it looked like from top to bottom, and bottom to top. Our Phantom drone let us see something that Waltz’s mind’s eye could remember, top to bottom and bottom to top, it let us see Waltz’s Doodle. Julia Thomas and her partners went broke trying to find the mine. It just hit me the model of our DJI drone is the Phantom model, a little ironic that it has helped us to find a mine that has often been described as a Phantom mine. Yes.
Backtracking a quarter mile on the canyon floor from our drone’s launch spot and then climbing back up to the mine, you lose the doodle angle, and you lose sight of Waltz’s image. Howard, our editor, and l have analyzed the doodle drawing at some length and I feel confident that our conclusions confirm that the doodle is more than representative in likeness to what we have on the ground. l will have to hold those shared thoughts for a later date.
Watch for more in the upcoming weeks.