History's Greatest Mysteries (2020) s05e13 Episode Script

The Legend of the Lost Dutchman's Mine

Tonight, the most famous
lost mine in the old West.
The quantity of gold
in the Lost Dutchman mine
is over half a billion dollars.
People have been searching
well over a century,
but no one's found it.
The clues to its
whereabouts are intriguing,
but some say the land is cursed.
Anybody who trespassed
against this sacred land
would face death.
The Superstition Mountains
are unusually dangerous,
they're rugged and unforgiving.
Now, we explore the top theories
surrounding the Lost
Dutchman's mine.
Lo and behold, they have
these cryptic symbols on them.
The heart on the stones is
the key to the entire puzzle.
As legends suggests,
is it possible the gold
and the land it's hidden on
are somehow cursed?
Many people have died
trying to find the
Lost Dutchman mine
and there are people
that are still willing
to risk their lives to find it.
Where is the Lost
Dutchman's mine?
Spring 1891.
On the outskirts of
Phoenix, Arizona,
83-year-old German
immigrant Jacob Waltz
is having a string of bad luck.
Jacob Waltz is a prospector
who has come to Arizona
during the Gold
Boom in the 1860s.
By 1891, he is a farmer
and his farm home has
been basically ruined
in a massive flood.
Some accounts have him spending
as many as two nights in
a tree to avoid the water,
contracting pneumonia
in the process.
Jacob is nursed back to health
by a woman named Julia
Thomas, who's 29 years old,
so she's much
younger than Jacob.
Now she runs a boarding house
that Jacob eventually
moves into,
and since they
both speak German,
they eventually
develop a rapport.
What happens next
is Jacob is visited by
some of his friends,
who bring five sacks of gold
that they recovered
from his farmhouse.
Julia perks up as anyone would,
and she starts to
realize, you know,
maybe there's more to
this scruffy looking man
than she first thought.
Julia plays
nurse for several months,
taking care of Waltz,
and they grow close.
With that growing
trust and friendship,
Jacob could find some Julia
where the gold his
friends brought, is from.
He tells her that
the gold is from a mine
that is hidden in the
Superstition Mountains nearby
and that it's filled with gold.
Jacob confides in Julia,
this mine has over
$20 million in gold,
which in today's dollars
would be around 700 million.
The Superstition Mountains
are sacred territory to
the Apache Native Americans
who are indigenous to this area.
So according to Apache lore,
the Superstition Mountains
are named as such
because it's the hum
of their thunder god,
who lives in the mountain.
And according to their legend,
he will kill anyone
who trespasses there.
The historical root
of this tradition
seems to lie in
events from the 1840s.
There was a family from
Mexico City called the Peraltas,
and they made it a point
to mine the gold in there.
And the Apaches told them
that they should not
be in the mountains.
So one day, the Peraltas
got tired of the harassment
and so they decided
to pack up and leave
and take their whole
operation back to Mexico,
but they only got so far.
When they were exposed
in the clearing,
that's when the Apaches swooped
down on the whole party.
The Peralta family don't
have a lot of history
on what happened next.
One version of the story is that
there was a big
fight with the Apache
and that a lot of people died.
The other story is that
they were all massacred,
but one or two people,
who managed to escape
back to the family.
The last thing the Apaches did
was to go and take mules
with saddlebags
full of gold ore,
and they took them
back into the mountain.
The Apache's dynamite
some of the mines closed,
but according to legend,
one of them stays open.
Waltz claims that
10 years later,
while prospecting on his own,
he comes across the
last Peralta mine.
Waltz goes
inside and what does he find?
Gold everywhere.
So much gold, he can like
cut it off the walls.
It's embedded in
quartz, it's gold ore,
there's veins of
gold everywhere.
Then, many years
later on his deathbed,
he makes something
of a confession
to what might have
been his only friend.
He says that when he recovers,
he's going to take
her to this mine,
but his situation
only gets worse.
And so he develops a stroke,
he's partially crippled,
but he's still able
to draw this map
and it has these cryptic clues
to the location of this mine.
One of the clues that Jacob
leaves behind for Julia,
is he says that at the
entrance of the mine,
it looks like an
upside down funnel.
One of the other clues is that
from the mine's entrance,
you can see what he
calls a military trail.
Another clue says
that a particular shadow
would be cast from
Weaver's Needle,
which is a distinctive
geological formation
in the Superstition Mountains.
The entrance to the mine
is within the shadow
cast of Weaver's Needle,
and the sun will shine
into the mine's entrance
and the mine is located on a
north-south running canyon;
with a rock face
near the entrance.
Waltz also tells Julia
that from the mine,
you can see four peaks
that appear to be
lined up as one.
The four peaks landmarks
is about 40 miles
outside of Phoenix.
It's part of the
Tonto National Forest.
But did he mean they line up
and look like one peak,
or can you see all
four peaks at once?
No one knows quite
exactly what he meant,
and where to start from.
Waltz dies
on October 25th, 1891,
taking the mine's exact
location to his grave.
Julia immediately determines
to go and find the lost mine.
But after months of searching,
using the clues in the
map that Waltz had left,
they are unable
to find anything.
No gold, no mine, nothing.
She gets to the point where
she becomes
financially destitute,
and eventually
she has to give up
because she can't find it.
But she does decide
to tell a newspaper
everything that
Jacob had told her.
And the story begins to spread
and this is how this
whole new fervor starts,
looking for gold in the
Superstition Mountains.
With these articles,
the term "Lost Dutchman's
mine" is invented.
Interestingly enough, Waltz
is not Dutch, he's German.
A lot of German immigrants
during this period,
and the Americans hear Deutsch,
which is German for "German,"
but the name Dutch sticks;
and so they become known
as Dutch immigrants.
People now pour into
the Superstition Mountains
in search of the
hidden treasure.
many of these fortune
hunters alight on one spot.
Weaver's Needle is a
very unique land formation.
It is the remnant of what used
to be a prehistoric volcano,
on the very eastern part of
the Superstition Mountain.
It eroded throughout time
and all that's left now
is a huge, tall pinnacle
and it looks like a real
tall skinny mountain.
It's named after Pauline Weaver,
a mountain man and scout
who explored the area
in the 19th century.
You can see from
it, a military road.
And if you remember,
Jacob Waltz refers to being
able to see a military road
from the entrance of the mine.
But, there's a size problem.
Weaver's Needles very big,
it's like a thousand feet high,
so it casts a very big shadow.
Doesn't make finding the
actual mine very easy.
Even before Jacob Waltz
makes his deathbed confession
and the Lost Dutchman's
mine gets its name,
the area around Weaver's Needle
earns a sinister reputation.
In 1880, two former
soldiers travel into Phoenix
and they approach a silver mine
and the manager there
looking for work,
and they have gold
ore with them.
Remember, at this time,
Phoenix isn't very big.
It's a small rural community,
about 2,500 people.
So if someone rolls into
town with a bunch of gold,
people are gonna notice.
They sell some gold ore
and the person buying the ore
is struck by the quantity,
as well as the
quality of this ore.
And he asks these two soldiers,
where did you find this gold?
And they said, well,
there's tons of it
laying around this mine.
So he tells them, well,
if you guys think
there's that much gold,
I'll outfit you and you
bring back some more samples,
and I'll invest and back
you on this venture.
So the soldiers then
leave, outfitted.
After two weeks,
the soldiers failed to return.
Hoping the men haven't
run off with the gold
or been taken by the Apache,
a search party is sent out.
And they eventually
find the two men,
naked and dead, each
shot in the head.
Murdered for the gold?
We're not sure.
The reality is that
this is a really
treacherous landscape
and mining is a very
dangerous, cutthroat business
and people are afraid.
It lends credence to the curse.
It makes it more real.
Well into the 20th century,
People searching for
the Lost Dutchman's mine
close to Weaver's Needle,
have met with tragic ends.
Some people are murdered.
You have dehydration,
These are very treacherous
conditions in these mountains,
so there's a lot of mystery
and legend tied to this.
But with so many deaths
and so little gold found,
treasure hunters
are now beginning
to search other
locations for the mine.
Numerous lives have been lost
in Arizona's
Superstition Mountains,
in the hunt for the
Lost Dutchman's mine.
Some swear an Apache
curse is to blame,
but that hasn't
stopped prospectors
from carrying on the search.
And along with Weaver's Needle,
there is another location
that's long been associated
with the Lost Dutchman's mine.
This spot isn't without
its tragedy as well,
and it's home to one of
the most well known and puzzling
attempts to find
the lost goldmine.
In 1914, Erwin Ruth,
the son of an amateur treasure
hunter named Adolf Ruth
travels to Mexico on business.
While he's in Mexico,
one version of the story is that
Erwin saves the life of
a government official.
The official learns about
his father's interest in
Western folklore and treasure,
and it so happens
that this Mexican
has some connection to
treasure in the American West.
He is in fact a distant
relative of the Peraltas,
and he gives to Erwin some maps;
maps of the fabled Peralta mines
somewhere in the
Superstition Mountains.
Erwin is not especially
interested in the maps,
but his father certainly is.
He has them inspected and dated
to around the time of
the Mexican revolution,
which seems to provide
some sense of authenticity.
The maps are in
some ways legible,
in that they seem to
denote a particular area;
the Superstition Mountains,
but other things about
them don't make sense.
He's studying this map
and he's looking
at the geography,
and it doesn't quite match up.
Ultimately, Ruth concludes that
people have been looking
in the wrong place
the whole time.
Weaver's Needle is not the key.
It's, in fact,
another equally distinct
geological formation:
Blacktop Mesa.
So Adolf Ruth decides to go
on this solo expedition
to blacktop Mesa,
using these maps to try to find
this secret hidden mine
that it supposedly
holds the clues to.
Adolf Ruth arrives in Arizona
in the spring of 1931;
a 66-year-old with
chronic pain and a limp.
Adolf Ruth is
about five feet tall
and just about a
hundred pounds wet,
so he's not the guy to be
going into the
mountains at that time.
What happens is, Ruth
finds some ranch hands
that are willing to
make a few extra bucks
to take Ruth in and
set him up in a camp.
So June 14th, 1931,
they take him to a place
called Willow Springs
and that's where they leave him.
After about a week,
they don't hear from him,
so they go into the
mountains looking for him
and they don't find him.
His camp has been abandoned.
Nothing more is heard about
Adolf Ruth for several months
and then some campers
eventually make a discovery.
Over near the Salt River,
some campers end up finding
a message in a bottle
and it's allegedly from Ruth.
And it says, I'm under
a tree, I'm injured,
I found the Lost
Dutchman's mine.
Fast forward to December,
they eventually do
find Ruth's skull;
just a skull, no body,
and there is what appears
to be a bullet hole in it.
About a month after
they discover Ruth's head,
his body is found.
And none of his
belongings are missing,
except for the maps.
In a bag, he has a checkbook
in which he's
written some notes.
One of the most relevant
notes is the Latin phrase,
Veni, vidi, vici, which
is Julius Caesar's words,
I came, I saw, I conquered.
Does that mean that Ruth found
the fabled Lost Dutchman's mine?
Well, some of his
other scribbles
suggest that maybe he did.
Unfortunately, most of what
he writes doesn't make sense.
The only thing he does
leave that you can read,
is something about
a mysterious circle
and then fields of
black basaltic rock.
The Ruth story
grabs headlines
around the country
and the public becomes obsessed.
All of these elements add
up to a media sensation,
which is attractive to audiences
in the depths of
the Great Depression
where their eyes look west
to a place where most
Americans will never go,
except in their imaginations.
A place where they
can imagine themselves
leading more authentic,
more exciting,
more dangerous lives.
It reignites interest in
the Lost Dutchman mine,
interest that has not
abated to this day.
Initially, they rule
Ruth's death a suicide,
but then they realized
he never fired his gun.
So now they believe that he died
because of natural causes,
the harsh conditions,
dehydration, starvation,
and they believe that the
holes are from a predator
and happened after he died.
But even after all these years,
many people theorize
that Ruth was murdered
by someone who wanted
the Lost Dutchman's mine
all to themselves.
Ruth's argument
for Blacktop Mesa
being the locale
of the lost mine,
is persuasive to him and has
been to other treasure hunters,
but it doesn't line up
with all of the clues that
Waltz left on his deathbed.
Blacktop Mesa is not
within the shadow
of Weaver's Needle,
so that clue is
kind of outta play.
However, it is
geographically sort of close
and the black basalt
sort of fits in
with the note he left
in his checkbook.
There are other points
that are in favor
of Blacktop Mesa.
It gets its name from
its top of basalt,
which is also more
impervious to erosion,
that gives it its flat top.
We also know that
volcanic eruptions can,
under the right circumstances,
help to produce precious metals.
Could the blacktop
sit on top of a layer of gold?
Blacktop is also located
above the canyon floor,
so you can see a
military road from there.
Because Blacktop Mesa
is relatively close
to Weaver's Needle,
the rest of the clues
left behind by Jacob Waltz
line up about as well as
they do for Weaver's Needle.
Whatever Ruth did
or didn't discover,
whatever did or
didn't happen to him,
those are secrets he took
with him to his grave.
The 1950s and sixties
brings new types of gold hunters
to Arizona's
Superstition Mountains
in search of the
Lost Dutchman's mine.
Some are meticulous researchers
with intricate plans
forged over years.
Others are professional
with the money to invest
whatever it takes.
With the 1950s and sixties
comes a new breed
of treasure hunter.
Taking advantage
of new surveying
or geological tools
that can not only
look at the land but
look into the land,
in ways that haven't
been possible before.
In addition, they
aren't just looking
at Weaver's Needle
and Blacktop Mesa,
they're looking elsewhere.
But there's one fortune hunter
who's convinced Adolf
Ruth was onto something.
In the 1960s, a private
investigator from Oklahoma City
by the name of Glen MaGill
becomes interested
in Ruth's story.
He's a respected
man in his community
and he's actually interested
in debunking myths
and mysteries.
MaGill reads about Ruth's maps
and he concludes
that there's no way
he would've brought the
original map that he had,
into the Superstition Mountains
when he was prospecting.
He concludes that
the original maps
had to still be at
Ruth's original home.
To test his theory,
he tracks down Adolf's
son, Erwin Ruth,
and arranges a meeting.
MaGill learns from
Ruth's son, that yes,
his father had
taken the originals.
But, and Erwin says,
he did make copies
and I have one.
MaGill and Erwin strike
up something of a friendship
and so Erwin eventually gives
MaGill a copy of the maps.
Being the good private
investigator that he is,
MaGill also contacts
and speaks with
members of the Peralta family
to see what they know.
MaGill eventually concludes
that all of Jacob
Waltz's cryptic clues
lead to a spot
called Cañon Fresco,
which translates to the
cool or fresh canyon.
This is a good
spot to look, why?
Because it's in the
shadow of Weaver's Needle,
you can see the
four peaks from it
and you can see
the military road.
Incidentally, you can't see
from the military
road, up to the area.
MaGill is a private eye,
he's not a mountain man.
So what he does is
in December of 1964,
he hires a helicopter
so he can look at the
location from the air.
He takes hundreds of
aerial photographs
of the Superstitions,
hoping to correlate those to
the copies of Ruth's maps.
Based upon the aerial
photographs in the flyover,
he finds this green area
which he decides to investigate.
MaGill identifies
a hidden green canyon
atop Bluff Springs mountain.
He thinks this is Cañon Fresco.
He heads out to investigate.
And when he is able
to make it there,
he finds mule
shoes in the ground
purportedly from
the Peralta's stock.
MaGill assembles a small team
and returns for a closer look.
He and a team decide
to go into the mountains,
in this particular area.
And in the process,
they find this hidden
vertical mineshaft,
which matches the description
of the entrance to the mine
that Jacob Waltz
had reflected on
in his cryptic clues
that he relayed to Julia.
They end up going
into that mine shaft
and find even more clues.
You find some
rough hewn timbers,
exactly of the type
that the Peralta said that
they used in their mines.
So, all this is coming together.
He's super excited.
MaGill is so confident
that he has found the
Lost Dutchman's mine,
that he files a claim
to start excavating;
which is huge national news.
Only trouble is,
there's no gold.
He spends thousands
and thousands of dollars
going in to the mountains
and going to this specific
spot in Cañon Fresco.
But, he finds no gold;
but he doesn't give up.
He really believes
he's in the right spot.
to MaGill's expeditions
slowly fade from the news,
but his work breathes new life
into the search for the
Lost Dutchman's mine.
Even though it turns out
that MaGill didn't
find the treasure,
he did find this green
area, Cañon Fresco,
that none of the
other treasure hunters
before him had discovered.
But I think what a lot
of people don't understand
is that in desert regions,
climate can change very quickly.
This can wreak havoc with
some of these older maps,
because the terrain changes.
It's hard to say if MaGill
found Cañon Fresco
from Ruth's maps,
or he found a different spot.
The original clue from the
maps might still be valid.
The tale of Jacob Waltz
and the Lost Dutchman's mine
has been told and retold so
many times over the years,
it's impossible to know
where the truth ends
and the legend begins.
Hundreds of treasure hunters
have ventured into the
supposedly cursed land
of the Superstition Mountains,
only to come up empty
time and time again.
But what if the tale of
an accidental discovery
of a relic on the desert floor
could be the key that
finally unlocks the mystery?
Throughout the 20th century,
Adolf Ruth's maps, as
complicated as they are,
were considered the
only legitimate maps
to the Lost Dutchman's mine.
But it is possible
that there is another
guide out there
just waiting to be decoded.
One local legend
goes back to the late 1940s.
Oregon police officer
Travis Tumlinson
is vacationing in Arizona.
On the long drive,
he pulls off the
side of a highway
some 10 miles from the
Superstition Mountains
to stretch his legs.
He's walking along Highway 60,
outside Apache
Junction in Arizona,
and he trips on what
appears to be four stones.
He picks them up.
They have these cryptic
sketches and carvings on them.
One has a carving of
a priest and a cross,
one has a horse, another has
a heart with an inscription.
He's curious.
He thinks he's found
some southwestern art,
so he sells it to
a local collector.
But then, the Dutch
treasure hunters come in
and what they see is
something very different.
They see stones that
can be put together
in such a way is
to reveal a map.
A map to what? The
Lost Dutchman mine.
What could be the
real clue on the stones,
is that there seems to be
an inscription of
a name, Miguel.
Miguel is a Peralta
family member.
There are also words
that translate to,
I pasture north of a river.
There's also this phrase,
18 places to get to El Corazon.
It does sound like a
cryptic treasure map.
And one of the stones
has a shape of a heart
with the year 1847.
Well, that is a year before
the Peralta family is massacred.
Decades have gone by,
no one can decode these stones,
not for a lack of trying.
One of the things
that the stone maps
have going for them,
is that unlike their
paper counterparts,
they're unchanged by
the passage of time.
They're not as
easy to manipulate
and they can't be redrawn
like the paper
maps may have been.
Eventually, the stones
end up in a Phoenix museum.
Decades later, they become
very interesting to a couple,
Robert Kesselring
and his wife Linda.
He's a missile systems engineer,
she's a computer scientist.
They spend a lot
of time and energy
trying to decode
those stone carvings.
They take the stones
and they compare them
to topography maps
and they really focus in
on one part of the stone,
which is this heart
indentation in the stone.
Starting in 2009,
the Kesselrings spend years
trying to decode the clues.
Finally, in 2013,
they think they've
cracked the mystery.
Robert Kesselring
seems to believe
that the heart is one
of many mining symbols
that date back to the
time of the Peraltas;
and to Kesselring,
the heart along
with other symbols
like crosses and circles
are part of what is
kind of like a secret code.
For Kesselring, the heart is
almost like an arrow
pointing to the mine.
The Kesselrings head out
to the Superstition Mountains
to narrow their search area.
Using a combination
of aerial photography
and on the ground observation,
they determined that the
place we should be looking
is somewhere else in
the Superstitions.
The Kesselrings think the mine
is in a spot called
Deering Canyon.
They also think this area
lines up to Waltz's clues.
Having concluded
that Deering Canyon
is where Waltz's mine is,
they set out to search the area.
In route, they pass
by some tribal remains,
which make them think of the
curse of Superstition Mountains
so they really think
they're on the right track.
The Kesselrings setup camp
and search the area for
signs of the lost gold mine.
Against a cliff face,
Kesselring finds what
he believes was once
the entrance to a mine shaft.
He says he sees
what he believes are
Spanish mining symbols
around the entrance
to the shaft,
and he believes that
this is evidence
that the Peraltas once
mined in this area.
They think this could be
one of these sealed
Peralta mines.
According to Kesselring,
the entrance to the
mine shaft looks like
it's been filled up
through natural erosion.
Next to that
first caved in mine,
they find a series of others
and that aligns with legend
that the Apaches
sealed up the mines
after trespassers
had come through.
As they continue
to survey the area,
they notice a distinct
patch of very tall grass
suggesting that at some point
in the not too distant past,
that ground had been disturbed;
that its composition
is different,
enabling a different
type of vegetation.
Kesselring uses a piece of tech
called a ground phase recorder.
It's kind of like radar
and it creates a hologram image
of what is under the
surface of this earth.
And underneath, they
seem to see a mineshaft
a couple feet below the surface.
What the
Kesselrings think is a mine
is covered with two feet
of dirt and overgrowth.
Looking at the cliff face,
Kesselring believes
that he could see cracks
that are known as fault gouges.
These cracks are pinkish-white.
Kesselring believes
that this pinkish color
comes from rhyolite lava,
which sometimes can be
an indicator of gold.
For Kesselring, this
is the moment of truth,
the moment of proof
that the mine exists.
I know where it is, here it is.
But as with his predecessors,
that isn't enough.
There's something that's
going to stand in his way.
Now fortunately for
Kesselring it isn't death,
it's the federal government.
Deering Canyon, like the
whole Dutchman search area,
is part of the Tonto
National Forest.
There's this thing
called the Wilderness Act.
They're in a national park
and you can't dig and
mine in a national park,
without permission.
So until the government
gives permission
for people to
excavate this area,
they could have found
the Lost Dutchman mine,
but no one's gonna know.
Some find reason
to question the
Kesselrings' findings
and the validity of the
Peralta stones themselves.
Many have argued that the
Peralta stones are fakes,
that they aren't ancient stones,
that they're the product
of more contemporary hands.
The heart in particular
seems like machine cut;
like it seems too
perfect of a heart
to have been carved in
the mid 19th century.
So whether or not
the Peralta stones
actually relate to
the Lost Dutchman mine
and whether they
are real or not,
it matters, but it
sort of doesn't.
Why? Because it really brings
the idea of the lost mine
front and center.
Stories of
the Lost Dutchman's mine
continue to echo throughout
the Superstition Mountains.
And in the early 1980s,
a new treasure trove of
information about the mine
comes to light.
Ted Cox is a local,
born in the 1920s.
Very interested in a lost mine.
Cox has been looking for
the Lost Dutchman's mine
his entire life, and
based upon his notes,
he thinks he found it.
One of the important
things about Cox
is that his father was
a contemporary of Waltz,
so he's a little more
closely connected
than other people who've
been looking for the mine.
Like many Arizona miners,
Cox is raised with the stories
of the Superstition Mountains,
which come to include
the Peralta family
legend very quickly.
When he dies in
the spring of 1983,
all of his prospecting notes,
2000 pages worth are uncovered.
Cox's Widow gives the papers
to a local Dutchman treasure
hunter, Ron Feldman,
who begins to go
through his papers,
which are the story of his life.
What Feldman
learns from the notes
is that Cox concludes,
partly based on the
information he gleans
from his personal
connection to Jacob Waltz,
that the majority of
the searches for
the Dutchman's mine
have been in the wrong area.
The mine is not in the west
side of the Superstitions.
In 1957, Cox is sure
that he has found the
Lost Dutchman's mine.
It's located on the eastern side
of the Superstition Mountains.
The mine that Cox discovered
matches up with
Waltz's original clues.
The mine Cox finds has
a funnel shaped entrance,
just like Waltz described.
You can see a military
trail from the location,
but not vice versa.
And Weaver's Needle is
visible from the mine.
The mine that Cox discovered
even has a rock in the
formation of a horse
that could match one
of the Peralta stones.
From his voluminous records,
it's clear that at this
moment Cox believes
that he is on the precipice
of a great discovery;
that there is gonna be gold,
so he begins digging.
He digs until he's too
old to dig anymore.
And what he does not
find, is any gold.
According to his notes,
Cox doesn't find the treasure,
but he does dig up
what he believes
is the true story of the
Lost Dutchman's mine.
Cox believed that Waltz
was working the mine
without any claim.
So Cox, like Waltz before him,
conceals the mine
when he's not digging,
not wanting anyone
else to find it.
He does this research
and then discovers that
probably somebody had already
swooped in after Waltz,
and taken the gold.
That's why he's not finding
anything in the mine.
A prospector named
James Rogers, in fact,
filed a claim in 1875 for the
mine and it turned out
to be an incredibly
lucrative proposition.
This would've been
roughly 20 years
after Waltz discovered the mine.
files the proper paperwork
and is able to claim
the mine as his own.
Naming it, the
Silver Chief mine.
The mine becomes a
rich producer for Rogers;
the most bountiful
producer in the entire area
during the Gold Rush.
Rogers and a partner
ended up making a
million dollars.
If Cox's theory is right,
it means the Dutchman's vast
treasure is already long gone.
But science may
have a way to prove
if the Silver Chief and
Lost Dutchman's mine
are one and the same.
A year after Jacob
Waltz passed away,
a piece of his quartz
that had the gold laced in it
was taken and made
into a matchbox.
That matchbox now exists
in the Superstition
Mountains Museum.
The type of gold ore
in the so-called Waltz
matchbox embedded in quartz,
looks very similar
to some quartz
with some veins of gold
running through it,
that was found in the
Silver Chief mine.
Some modern Dutch hunter
enthusiasts take the matchbox
and they decided they're going
to do some extreme analysis
to try to match it
to some other locations in
the Superstition Mountains.
Purportedly, the
matchbox was tested
against a variety of samples
from different places in
the Superstition Mountains,
but the only good match
was the one from
Silver Chief Mine.
So if we have direct
signature that corresponds,
we have done scientific testing,
process of deduction
suggests that
well, maybe the
mines were the same.
So, maybe the Silver Chief mine
is the Lost Dutchman mine.
The most distinguishing
feature of the matchbox
is its high
concentration of mercury,
which also exists in
the Silver Chief Mine.
Mercury is not very common
to find associated with
other mineral deposits.
It doesn't occur very
often in mines like this,
so, this is a pretty
important clue.
But skeptics argue that
the Silver Chief mine
can't be the Lost Dutchman mine,
because the word
silver is in the name.
But silver and gold
also occur together.
And in this case, who knows
why the silver name was chosen?
But obviously gold was there,
too, because it's there.
But can we really be sure
the Silver Chief and
the Lost Dutchman
are the same mine?
Lots of the clues
are matching up
to what Jacob Waltz left behind,
but it's really hard to tell
because he didn't keep
any accurate records
of what he discovered.
For generations,
Fortune hunters have tried
to decipher Jacob Waltz's clues
and uncover the Lost
Dutchman's mine.
People have searched all over
the Superstition Mountains,
but the fortune remains elusive.
One man thinks he
has a good idea why.
John D. Wilburn was a miner
and geologist and an author.
In 1984, Wilburn writes a book
and his intervention into
the Lost Dutchman mines saga
is to suggest that we go
right back to the
beginning, back to 1892,
and the suggestion is
that Julia Thomas' clues
were either intentionally
or mistakenly wrong.
That they have effectively
misled generations
as to the true location
of the lost Dutchman mine.
Wilburn has studied
rocks and their formations
and he really does not believe
that the formations in
this particular area
would produce that much gold.
Volcanic activity,
like the events that
created Weaver's Needle,
a volcanic plug doesn't
always lead to gold.
It's a sometimes,
not an always thing.
And we have to keep in mind
that Jacob Waltz didn't say
that the gold mine was
at Weaver's Needle.
It was in the shadow
of the needle.
Anybody who's been
to elementary school
knows that the Earth
travels around the sun
and when it does,
shadows change.
So really, how good is
the direction of a shadow
gonna be for a clue?
You do the math.
To Wilburn, the
logical place to look
is somewhere there
is actual gold,
and there are a
number of these places
close to the
Superstition Mountains.
There were boom towns that
arose when gold was discovered
and then vanished after
the mine was played out.
Nestled at the base
of the Superstition
Mountains, sits a ghost town.
The mountain runs east to west
and there's a place that
they refer to as Goldfield
on the very western
part of the mountain.
It's like a little,
tiny ghost town now.
It's a tourist attraction.
That's the closest mine
that they have in that area.
It's in the late 19th century
that gold is first
discovered there.
And as prospectors
rush into the area,
the town of Goldfield
is officially founded.
Goldfield was a boom town.
In its heyday, there were over
4,000 people living there,
hoping to strike it
rich in the gold mines.
Right by Goldfield,
is one of the largest
producing gold mines
in the Superstitions
area; the Bulldog Mine.
The story about Bulldog Mine
is that it was first
discovered in 1864
as part of the big
gold rush in Arizona.
And then perhaps Waltz
worked it starting in 1868,
for about 20 years.
Why does Wilburn think that
the Bulldog mine makes sense?
Well, for starters,
we know not only was
there gold there,
but there was a lot of gold.
The Bulldog mine was in an area
of a lot of producing mines.
Over a million dollars in
gold was taken out of there,
and there was a military trail
that traveled through the area
which is one of
Jacob Waltz's clues.
Finally, in 1897,
the gold in Goldfield
is played out.
The town disappears,
but the legends of the
Lost Dutchman mine remain
and even grow stronger.
Some of the evidence supports
Bulldog mine as the
possible location
of Jacob Waltz's mine.
But once more, we may
never know for sure.
So in 2003, when some
landscaping was being done
by the Bulldog mine,
it collapsed and
it was filled in.
So was the Bulldog mine
the Lost Dutchman mine?
We may never know.
But even today,
when it rains heavy,
you can find gold in the washes
around Goldfield and
the Bulldog mine.
Even now, the lure of gold
still draws tourists to
the area around Goldfield
as well as to the Superstition
Mountains themselves.
While digging is prohibited
and many explorers
still live in fear
that this area is cursed,
treasure hunters can
still be spotted today,
searching for gold
with metal detectors.
Is there a billion dollar
gold mine lurking underfoot
somewhere in the shadow
of Weaver's Needle?
We can only dream.
I'm Lawrence Fishburne.
Thank you for watching
"History's Greatest Mysteries."
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