Monday, January 16, 2017

Gold Mine & Treasure Fraud

January 9, 2017 © Thomas J. Kollenborn. All Rights Reserved.

Prospectors and treasure hunters have often referred to Peter’s Mesa as the heartland of the lost gold and treasure stories about Superstition Mountain. History has recorded many expeditions in this region based on stories and different maps of the region. These trips may have begun long before the turn of the twentieth century. One of the earliest recorded trips appeared in the Arizona Republican about 1893.

The article mentioned groups of prospectors spending several days exploring the area between La Barge and Peter’s Canyons looking for color. These prospectors had no luck finding any color and soon abandoned their search and returned to Phoenix or Mesa City. Throughout the twentieth-century, men continued to search the top of Peter’s Mesa.

John Chuning, Joe Deering, Abe Reid, Chuck Aylor, Jim Butler, and others spent time on Peter’s Mesa from 1900 through 1960. The old-timers were followed by contemporaries such as Gassler (1932), Herbert (1954), Butler (1955), Hill (1960), Jacob (1966) and many more during this time in their search for gold. Yes, Peter’s Mesa and Tortilla Mountain were very popular Dutch hunting destinations during the mid-twentieth century and prior to this period. During the period from 1980-2000 you found men like Jacob (1960s), Worst (1980s), Corbin (1980s), Davis (1990s), Roberts (1990s), Carlson (1990s), Short (1990s), Hat (1990s), and Glover (1990) searching around on Peter’s Mesa and making some interesting claims.

In addition to all this prospecting on Peter’s Mesa there have been many fraudulent schemes hatched by those who made outrageous claims about rich gold specimens they had recovered from Peter’s Mesa. There are those who claim to see Apache Mountain Spirit Dancers dancing around old burial sites on Peter’s Mesa. There have always been stories about the Apaches guarding their gold caches in the Superstition Wilderness Area protecting these precious resources from the “white eyes” or “long knives.” These claims get more preposterous as you go from one source to another. Rest assured, my friends, there are no Apaches in the Superstition Wilderness Area guarding reservation gold reserves.

Usually all it takes to fire
one’s “imagination to invest”
 is a sample of gold.
Also the United States government is not protecting the gold reserves of the Superstition Wilderness Area by not allowing people to excavate.

Now, if you were to fall for one of these ridiculous stories and invest your hard earned dollars in some secret operation, I would say it is time for you check out your source and verify the information. The storyteller is always a good place to start by verifying his background.

Those who want to get rich quick always seem to fall for these kinds of stories. Or those who want to gather information without proper documentation and accept it as fact, based on the credibility of the source, may suffer if they use the information in print. This happens all the time.

It has happened to me on a couple of stories I printed several years ago. Checking the source and the creditability of your source is extremely important. You can’t take anyone’s word to be fact. I learned that the hard way and now I am very cautious. However, we are all susceptible to accepting false material thinking it is authentic.

A recent scam penetrated into the Dutch hunting community around this area and still has some who believe the information is true and others who are convinced it is false.

This story is very similar to the fraudulent Peralta Stone Maps. This scam has broken several families financially over the years and destroyed their futures. The other side of this story is greed on behalf of the investor. I have watched the evil misuse and misinterpretation of information to verify something that is fraudulent for more than fifty years. It is absolutely amazing how easy bright people are fooled by these con artists.

These unscrupulous individuals will purchase antiques on line then claim they are part of the treasure story. The laughable part of this story is the con artist will use the investor money to buy antiques or gold samples  to prove his theory .

However, on the other hand it is very interesting to explore history and legends about the Southwest and especially lost gold and treasure. I have always been fascinated by stories of buried or lost treasure. I have done my share of searching also, but I have not invested my hard earned dollars in somebody else scheme or story.

Treasure hunting is a healthy avocation if you keep it in the family. I have hunted gold coins, fire agate, placer gold, and even a few lost mines that proved to be just tall tales. Many individuals will tell you I don’t know what I am talking about, however after they lose a small fortune they want me to help them try and get their losses back.

I would recommend you approach all treasure and lost gold stories with caution and don’t invest your hard earned dollars in someone else’s dreams or tall tales without thorough investigation of the claims and stories.