Monday, March 14, 2016

A Letter from Glen Magill

March 7, 2016 © Thomas J. Kollenborn. All Rights Reserved.

This story will hopefully provide you with a little insight into the fraternity of treasure and lost mine hunters. This is a unique group coming from all walks of life. Their faith in their story or tale of lost gold that is usually unshakeable. Here is a story based on a letter I received from Glenn Magill dated May 11, 1989.

“Tom, I have just finished reading your commentary: The Last Great Search For The Lost Dutchman Mine. I fully enjoy your reflections over my twenty-four years and I want to take this opportunity to thank you. Not to just thank you for the confidence you displayed in me by giving me ‘the benefit of the doubt.’ 
“Over these past years, from the conversations I have had with you and the letters I’ve received from you, I have noted that you are a kind, considerate and caring person, and notwithstanding your own rival pursuits, and vested interests in your father’s legacy, you have shown no malice whatsoever to me, in fact you have always been an advocate rather than a competitor. And as a professional private investigator for more than 33 years, I also have acquired a good sense for character. Whereas: I can, therefore, speak with some authority in addition to my own personal experiences with you. It’s too bad that you and I did not ‘break trail’ together in the very beginning of our quest. I know that we could have complimented each other in many, many ways along that ‘trail’.

“The Superstition Mountain Journal (Volume 7) has a great new look and all of the other articles there in were very interesting too, especially the story by Slim Fogle’s daughter. She would no doubt be surprised to learn that her father made his last trip into Superstition Mountains with me. It is a long story and would make a full chapter in any worthy history of the Superstitions, but I will give only a brief account of that day:

“It was during one of our routine trips to the area. By prior arrangements, we met Slim at the Superstition Inn Saloon to pack us in to Al Morrow’s camp. We always took Al fresh supplies and stayed over-night in his camp before going on to our project the next morning.

“Arriving at Al’s Camp in Needle Canyon, Slim Fogle unloaded our packs from the pack horses, and in the comfort of Al’s Camp, at my insistence, Slim  promised me that he would return at a certain future date to take us out of the range and back to civilization. But Slim Fogle never returned for us. We finally had to walk out to First Water in the rain where our vehicle was parked, and then went searching for Slim.

“When we arrived back at the Superstition Inn, we learned that Slim had taken seriously ill while we were still in the mountains, and that he had died in a hospital in Globe. (Slim Fogle died on February 1, 1968, at the age of 72 in Globe, Arizona). As always, we took photographs for slides of our entire trip from First Water to Al’s Camp in Needle Canyon. Consequently, I know that I now possess the very last pictures of Slim Fogle, who indeed was a ‘real cowboy.’

“Meanwhile Tom, it now appears that I have a different kind of mountain to climb. My injuries, as mentioned in your story, are far more serious than the physicians first thought, subsequently clinical tests reveal severe damage to my neurological system, and because of constant pain (both day and night) I was forced to quite my business after more than 33 consecutive years. Presently I am confined at home and put to bed under traction with pain-killing medications, but like that marvelous sacred bird called “Phoenix” I, too will rise from this dilemma and be right back on the trail.
“For the time being, however, I suppose the Thunder Gods have truly had the last laugh and, according to Carl Sagan, the prestigious authority on Astronomy with NASA, there is a basic law of the Universe that decrees: ‘Anything that can happen will happen, sooner or later.’

“Perhaps someday, Tom, you and I might walk together down that “Monumented Trail,” where I may prove that your faith in me has not been misplaced.

Sincerely, Glenn Magill, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma”

Glenn Magill’s health in no way detered his desire to continue the search. The likelihood at that time, Glenn Magill and I would be walking down that “Monumented Trail” together someday would not occur. However, if it does we will be beyond that “great divide in the sky.”

This is a story based on a letter I received
from Private Detective Glenn Magill of
Oklahoma City, dated May 11, 1989.
While reading this letter I sensed great despair and helplessness as he shared his feeling with me. He still addressed his obsession with the Lost Dutchman mine with vibrant vigor. This is the way of most true Dutch hunters and dreamers. All of them are special people and their success will be measured by the legacy they leave behind.

Tom Kollenborn’s extensive research is dedicated to preserving the history of the Superstition Wilderness and the historic Apache Trail of Arizona. Kollenborn is a noted author and historian of the Superstition Wilderness and is one of the leading experts on the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine legend and has written numerous articles and books about the Apache Trail and related history. Tom shares his experience with the public every week in the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon News with “Kollenborn Chronicles.” The articles are also available online.