The Lost Dutchman – the German clues

•December 8, 2017 • 1 Comment

Apologies dear reader for the long absence here, as they say the best of intentions never got the goose cooked.  Anyway due to being very busy, and a little time spent in the mountains hunting for lost mines, I will try to provide something worth your time to read.


Of late some interesting discussion has arisen on the so-called German clues to the Lost Dutchman gold mine in Arizona.  This set of sentences in German, with fair translations of them first appeared in 2002 in a book written by Helen Corbin, the Bible on the Lost Dutchman.  This book is fast becoming a rarity but anyway there is no record or mention of these German clues prior to that date.


The story goes that Herman Petrasch, brother of Reinhardt (“Reiney”) Petrasch had walked over to the Holmes camp and given them this list of clues, which were supposedly gleaned from Reiney and Helen Thomas, both of whom had known Jacob Waltz while he was alive and had befriended him.  The reasoning given was that Herman had compared the statements from both Reiney and Helen, and the statements that agreed he included, but the statements which had any differences between what Helen remembered and what Reiney remembered, he did not include.  So we end up with this list of clues.


However the source of this story is a highly questionable one, a person whom has been proven to be a liar and fraud.  In fact his questionable information being included in Helen Corbin’s book is the reason why the book is becoming a rarity, because a relative of Helen’s is taking them off the shelves of the stores and buying them back from anyone that can be found.  To add to our doubts, we should take into consideration that Herman Petrasch seems to have been a bit confused himself, or deluded.  In a magazine interview done near the end of his life, Herman “remembered” some incidents that placed him with Reiney as friends of Jacob Waltz among other highly doubtful statements, for there is no record that Herman ever met Jacob Waltz in his lifetime.  In fact Herman came to Phoenix along with the father of the Petrasch boys after Waltz was dead.  This is only one such example.  Now consider that Herman was actively searching for the lost mine his entire life – so why would he have simply strolled over to his fiercest competitor, the Holmes camp, and given them this set of instructions which would (if true) be his best information?  One possible reason to suspect is that they are deliberately false, given to the Holmes in order to mislead and confuse his most able competitors and keep them from having any chance of finding the mine.

Post containing the extract German clues

The Bible on the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine and Jacob Waltz: A Pioneer History of the Gold Rush , by Helen Corbin


Now I do not want to discourage anyone from following their dreams, but I would prefer that you are working with the best possible information and not trying to follow falsehoods and frauds.  If you wish to use the German clues to search, good luck to you and I hope you are able to prove my doubts 100% wrong.



Side note here but of late I have noticed quite a few treasure hunters whom have a very dim view of books!  At first I thought they were joking, but having heard the same reasons several times now, perhaps it is time to consider it.


The argument against reading any books on the Lost Dutchman’s gold mine (or any treasure hunting books etc) is that they are all written by people who never found it.  How could that be any use, they say.  One fellow told me, that when ever he wants to know anything about the lost Dutchman, he just goes and talks to the men whom are out there looking for it.


Lets consider that last part first – for those men have not found the mine either.  Oh there are plenty of people who have claimed to have found the famous Lost Dutchman mine, even a couple of instances that have gold to show, but they never want to have the ore compared to the famous matchbox.  One can only surmise that the reason they don’t want an ore comparison done is that they know it will not match the ore used to make the matchbox from Waltz’s ore, and thus can not be the famous lost gold mine.  So just talking to these people won’t provide anything if judged by the same reasoning used to not read books.


Next, we could ask those most closely linked to Jacob Waltz, however not one of them is alive today.  The only way we can get any information from those people at all is through books.


Last  – it is only good sense to try to learn from the mistakes and discoveries of those who went before us.  Why make the same mistakes they did, if you could read about it and thus avoid ever doing it?  Not to mention that some of those treasure hunters spent whole lifetimes searching the mountains, men like Clay Wurst, Tom Kollenborn, Bob Corbin, Sims Ely, Jim Bark, heck even Pierpont C. Bicknell, for all his unfortunate embellishments, did a good deal of exploring in the wilds of the mountains.  We could learn a lot from these earlier treasure hunters, in effect ‘standing on their shoulders’ gaining a boost in our own efforts to locate what was reportedly the richest gold mine in the world.


And a disclaimer – I must admit that I am a writer and am writing books too, so I have a bias where books are concerned.  In my opinion we can all learn a great deal from books, they are well worth the time and investment.  Just think of the boot leather you can save, not to mention some of the landmarks which have disappeared like the marked Saguaro cactus.  If not for the books from our earlier treasure hunters, we would be hard pressed to find the landmarks that are lost today.


Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.


I Found the Lost Dutchman Mine!

•November 14, 2015 • 2 Comments

NO not me, I did NOT find the lost mine, I just used that title to get your attention.  So you found the infamous Lost Dutchman’s gold mine! Congratulations to you!

Amazingly, someone is claiming they found the lost Dutchman’s gold mine quite frequently – and in modern times, rarely do they have even a SPECK of gold to show for it! It is supposed to be a GOLD mine after all, and reputedly one of the richest in the world – you should expect to show at least a little gold from this famous gold mine if you want people to believe you really found it.


I get a lot of flack for this next bit, but you should get a sample of your gold ore tested against a known specimen from the Lost Dutchman mine.  Not just an assay or spectrographic analysis, although both of these tests do result in some information, but an ore comparison, done by a qualified geologist.  This involves examining the actual minerals that make up the ore and country rock hosting it, which will result in a scientific method of proving that your gold mine is THE lost Dutchman’s gold mine IF the ore matches identically in its mineral makeup.   I get a lot of grief from guys that insist that this would not prove anything, that you can get similar ore from other mines, but you will never get identical ore from a different mine because gold mines are like fingerprints in that no two ores are identical in their make up.  And you should get a geologist to do this comparison, for even a well seasoned prospector could be fooled, as has happened in recent years with some ore that a prominent person in the Dutch hunters community claimed was from the LDM.  <LDM being short for Lost Dutchman’s Mine>

Now let us assume you have done this and got an exact match.  It has been done before, for example with the lost Breyfogle mine (now known as the Amargosa mine) which was an exact match, and with the lost Josephine mine.  So let the skeptics howl about how such a match does not prove anything, a geologist will tell you differently.   These people that insist that such a scientific method won’t prove anything, may be trying to pretend that they found the LDM or some friends of theirs did, but even they know they have not found the real LDM or they would not be worried about having an ore comparison done.

So what is your next step?  If you were only hunting the mine to ‘solve the mystery’ and – or claim the transitory honors/glory of having been the one to finally solve the mystery, you merely have to contact the news media and go from there.  They will want some solid proof, or maybe not, depending on which news media you are talking to.  It won’t help your case to post your claim to glory on treasure forums, for there you will find lots of people ready and willing to try to shoot down your claims.  I am guilty of that myself, for it gets tiresome to have so many people all claiming to have found what is now the most famous lost gold mine, and never have any gold to show for it, or if they do have gold, refuse to have an ore comparison done.  If you read through some of the older postings on such a forum, you will find several hundred different people that all claimed to have found the LDM, and of course NO gold to show for it, but in several hundred different places too.  But don’t bother to try to get your desired recognition from a treasure forum or other internet discussion groups, these are not the right venue to seek out fame and fortune; you need to approach the major news media.  I don’t mean your local newspaper either.


If you plan to open the mine up and start mining gold, you may have some steep hurdles if the mine is within the Superstitions Wilderness Area.  That area is closed to mineral entry, meaning you can not stake a claim on it inside those boundaries.  You may try it, file your claim, and then hire a lawyer because you are in for a long and pointless fight with government bureaucrats, along with elitist protectionist groups that the aforementioned bureaucrats seem to be working for, all of whom will do everything in their power to prevent you from ever opening up that mine and getting some gold out of it.  It is not impossible however, there ARE a few ways you MAY win out, one method that is being used by big mining companies is to purchase lands that the elitist protectionists want to add to a wilderness area or national park or monument, and offer to exchange those lands for the land where the gold mine is located.  In other words it takes a heap of money to try this approach.  Another way might be to use the Wilderness Act’s provisions and your best evidence of the mine, to get that particular piece of land removed from Wilderness designation due to the Wilderness Act having a restriction in that mineralized lands were NOT supposed to be included within the boundaries of any Wilderness Area.  This would then require you to file your claim of course, immediately when the Wilderness status was removed from that small parcel of land where the mine is located, and of course this method is very far from a certainty to win, but it MIGHT work.  Be prepared for loads of red tape, obstructionism, perhaps even staged protests by those elitist protectionists to try to get the public to be against you.


Or you can just take your chances, and try mining it illegally.  Doing so will absolutely guarantee that if you are ever caught, all the gold you find will be seized and taken from you, along with possibly your vehicle, your home, any kind of equipment or arms you took along for protection, and you will likely spend years in state or Federal prison to boot.  But you will be able to keep 100% of your gold this way, if you don’t get caught.  You stand a very good chance of getting caught, for the trailhead parking lots are monitored, there are hidden cameras set up in a few places in the Wilderness Area, and if you told anyone at all about what you found, they will almost certainly turn you in.  Also anyone that sees you working at the mine, or hiking out with gold, will be sure to turn you in.  So if you are considering this route of action, be prepared to accept the consequences when you do get caught.  They may even wait until you are home with millions of dollars worth of gold, before they bring in the SWAT teams to make a spectacle out of your arrest.   Oh and working at night?  That will really attract attention, and remember the Feds have night vision devices galore.  So think twice before you go this route.


I have seen quite a few people propose that they could file a Treasure Trove claim on the lost gold mine, and believe that would give them ownership (legally) of one half of all the gold.  This is a very mistaken belief, for a gold mine is not covered by Treasure Trove law, nor is the gold ore itself, should you be lucky enough to find a stash of it.  Only smelted, refined gold (and precious metals) coins, bars, or jewelry are really covered by Treasure Trove claims.  So don’t waste your time on that, for it will NOT give you ANY legal rights to the gold or the mine.  Only a mining claim would do, or an exchange of real estate in which case you would own the land and minerals outright.  So don’t waste time on filing a Treasure Trove claim.

Anyway congratulations to you, if you really found the LDM, or if you found a rich gold mine that was NOT the LDM, for really who cares what the name of a gold mine is, isn’t the gold what will result in money in the bank after all?   I wish you the best of luck in getting your new gold mine up and in operation, and hope that you will sell me a small specimen of the ore from your mine.  I will be watching the news for when they announce your big find, hope that I helped you in some small way.


Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.







Is There Any Evidence that the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine Really Exists?

•May 2, 2015 • 6 Comments


Hola amigos – I am writing this post because of the continuing controversy over whether there is any real evidence of the famous Lost Dutchman’s gold mine. Quite a few people have made skeptical statements on some treasure forums including Treasurenet, THunting dot com, DesertUSA and a few others. It is an easy thing to say that THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF THE LOST DUTCHMAN’S MINE – demanding that those whom are convinced the mine exists, must present a case to prove it does, for our skeptics entertainment and amusement. Let us see if that statement about NO EVIDENCE is really fair and accurate.

For starters, we have the famous matchbox. frequently mistaken for a cigarette lighter due to the resemblance, but it really is a matchbox, made from thin slices of very pretty ore which is clearly loaded with gold. There is a clear trail of documentation establishing that the gold ore from which the matchbox was made, came from Dick Holmes, and was made by a jeweler in California, along with cuff links, a tin pin and if memory serves one or two other small pieces of jewelry. Dick Holmes stated that he obtained this gold ore from a candle box, given to him by Jacob Waltz on his deathbed, which Waltz was keeping under his bed at the time.

Now if Dick Holmes was simply lying about where he obtained that gold ore, which unfortunately he was forced to sell off virtually all of it to finance his own search for the mine, then why would Holmes then have spent the rest of his life searching for it? Then told his own son Brownie, that there was such a mine, and Brownie then proceeded to spend his entire life hunting for the mine – along with his partner Clay Wurst. If Holmes was really lying, then the actions he, his son and his partner all did for a century plus, does not make any sense.

We know for a fact that Jacob Waltz was a real person, as was Julia Thomas and Reinhardt (“Reiney”) Petrasch whom was the informally adopted son of Julia. It was a fairly common practice to adopt children without bothering with courts and hearings in those days, although Julia and Reiney ended up contacting Reiney’s blood father and brother to assist in the search for that mine. See Julia and Reiney had been friends with Waltz in his last days, and Waltz actually died in one of Julia’s rooms. If there was no such mine, then why did both Julia and Reiney then go searching for it? Julia sold off her business to finance her search, and when they had no success, partnered up with Reiney’s father “Old Man” Petrasch and his brother Herman. They too spent the rest of their lives searching for the mine. Does that make sense that all of these people would go searching for a lost gold mine, if it were not based on facts?

We also know that Jacob Waltz had come originally from Germany, that he had become an American citizen in California before ever coming to Arizona. He had worked at others gold mines in Grass Valley CA and found or helped locate at least three good gold mines in the Bradshaw mountains around Prescott area, named the Big Rebel, General Grant and Gross Lode. Waltz even signed a petition for Army protection from the marauding Indians while he was prospecting and mining in the Bradshaws.

We also know that Waltz SOLD all of his claims in the Bradshaws and staked a homestead claim (or pre-emption, I don’t have the document in my hands) in Phoenix in 1868. He worked on the Dutch Ditch, built himself a small but respectable adobe home, and raised chickens. He would ride his mule (or some say burro) into town to sell and swap eggs for things. We know that he was concerned about his last days, and signed an agreement with his neighbor Andrew Starrar (or Starrar, don’t have reference books in hand) to care for him if his health should go bad, in exchance for his homestead and I think something like $50 paid by Starrar to Waltz. This agreement is dated August 8, 1878. Unfortunately Starrar died before Waltz, so that agreement was pretty much nil.

Some have proposed that since Waltz made that agreement with Starar, this proves that he had no gold mine, since he would have been able to afford to live like a king and have servants if he really had all that gold. That is making several assumptions – one that Waltz would have dug out as much gold as possible, hoarding up a fortune as that is what many people would do. Based on his actions, I would say that Waltz simply was not greedy, had dug several thousand dollars in gold that he probably intended to hold on to regardless of his situation concerning his home, as a sort of ’emergency fund’. I have known older folks whom have had stashes of money, silver and gold that they kept and retained even after losing their homes to nursing facilities, and held on to that reserve as long as they possibly could. Remember there was NO Social Security in 1891 when Waltz died.

I have also heard that argument proposing that Waltz had simply saved up rich specimens of gold ore from all the different mines he had owned or worked in, as a sort of gold savings account. In support of that contention, the statement given by Herman Petrasch in an interview done when Herman was then quite old, that his brother and he had both seen the gold in the candle box, and it was a wide assortment of different types of ores, including even gold in chalcedony which would be very rare and peculiar. The problem there is that this would require Waltz to be packing around that savings account pile of gold ore from California to the Bradshaws to Florence to Phoenix, and then there is a much bigger problem in that Herman never saw Waltz while alive. He made several other erroneous statements in that same interview, including his insistence that Waltz’s real name was Walzer. We know from the documents signed by Waltz that he spelled his own name W-a-l-t-z not Walzer or any other spelling. Perhaps Herman really believed what he was telling the interviewer, people can mis-remember things especially after decades, even convincing themselves that the mistaken memory is true.

Waltz had Reiney go to his farm and dig up a number of small cans and tins when he learned that Julia was in financial trouble, about to lose her bakery/ice cream parlor. While we do not have the records from Goldman’s store where the gold was sold, we do have evidence that Julia’s debt was paid from the proceeds. One source had that sum at over $4000, others now say it was more like $1800. Either way it was a sizable sum for 1890-91. If Waltz had no gold mine, where did that gold ore come from?

So we have at a minimum, in this case, a German immigrant prospector, whom had proven his abilities as a prospector in the three gold mines (the Big Rebel, General Grant and Gross Lode) and had sold all three before he moved to Phoenix. Waltz was seen by a number of persons over the years selling small amounts of gold, AFTER having sold those three mines and moving to Phoenix. Mitchell reported about a sale of two burro loads of ore sold in Tucson, witnessed by Colonel Poston, George McClarty, Charlie Brown and a man named Myers, (Mitchell says that Poston and Myers bought some of that ore) and attempted to trail him back to the mine, but lost him near the Whitlow ranch on upper Queen creek. A man interviewed in the Pioneer Interviews done during the Depression years as a way to put writers to work, whom we only have the name as “Old Frank” a carpenter, stated that Waltz had come into Florence to buy supplies and hired him to build a portable drywasher. He stated that in those days, it was, quote “no big secret” that Waltz had a rich gold mine up in the Superstitions. The mine only became a secret later, when Waltz quit going to the mine and stayed in Phoenix, raising chickens, a few hogs, making wine from his grape vines, and was said to be a regular fixture in Lukes Brewery. According to Mitchell, Waltz made his last trip to the mine in 1884, and brought out some $500 worth of ore.

I realize that many of our skeptics would prefer to dismiss all such witness statements as hearsay, worthless and unscientific. I must disagree and point out that while eyewitness testimony has been under attack in our courts in recent years as being so unreliable, however it IS still considered evidence, and you can be convicted of murder on eyewitness testimony. If we wish to start attacking eyewitness testimony, then by extension, virtually everything we know is open to doubt and the same attack, for even scientific tests are “witnessed” by the scientists, who may or may have a bias, and we have taken their word as to their results in experiments.

Next let us look at the possibilities and probabilities concerning whether a rich gold mine, capable of producing the somewhat unusual gold ore we can see in the matchbox, COULD even exist in the Superstition mountains.

Many of our skeptics like to point to the three mineral studies done by the USGS, when they were given the task to examine the grounds in order to exclude any mineralized areas so that the remainder could then be made into a Wilderness Area. (By that term I mean the official legal designation, not just saying ‘a wilderness type area’ but the legal sense only) By that Wilderness Act all known mineralized lands must be excluded. The results of those several examinations and sampling tests done by USGS geologists, are now public record, and they are very un-promising for gold. However ONE of the tests done by the USGS was the so-called Mercury Vapor test, which is actually testing the air over the mountains, and this test had rather surprising results – for it indicated that it is probable that a large gold deposit is located in the Superstition mountains, possibly quite rich and possibly quite deeply buried. A careful reading of these several reports (I know of three, two are available online) will disclose that their sampling tests DID find gold in a number of places, as well as silver, copper and lead, and even uranium. But the driving force and goal of those studies was to create as large a “Wilderness Area” as possible, so most of these otherwise tantalizing test results are ignored.


Tom Kollenborn, who now publicly states that he does not believe there ever was a Lost Dutchman gold mine, wrote a very good article on the geology of the Superstition mountains. Most of the official Wilderness Area is actually three large volcanic calderas, and most volcanic type rocks are generally very poor types of rock to find precious metals in. There are a few small areas of plutonic rock and even sedimentary rock also in the Wilderness Area boundaries, and most of the mineralized indications are along the edges of those boundaries. There are known mines (silica) inside the Wilderness Area too, as well as Dacite mines and at least one Mercury mine. These areas should have been excluded by the terms of the Wilderness Act but anyway basically most of the Superstitions are most unpromising for gold.

However – there are quite a number of places in the Superstition mountains, that indicate hydrothermal activity. The most easily visible signs are veins and float pieces of Chalcedony and Quartz, for these minerals are only formed by hydrothermal activity. We also know that you can pan out black sands and even GOLD in a number of places in the Superstitions, including inside the Wilderness Area boundaries. Outside the boundaries, we find even more intriguing and promising indications – including over 30 silver mines in the old Randolph or Rogers district, which is centered mainly on Rogers canyon and where the now famous Pit mine is located. To the east, there are a number of silver and copper mines, and a number of active gold placer claims on Pinto creek, which can be traced right back into the Superstitions and Iron mountain specifically. One version of the Waltz story has it that his mine is located on a side canyon of Pinto creek by the way.

Along the south side of the Wilderness Area, even the USGS geologists, doing their best to include as much land as possible in the Wilderness Area so as to satisfy the preservationists and block further expansion of the ever-expanding suburbia, had to admit there are a number of promising silver occurences, as well as some copper mineralization. According to the Arizona Bureau of Mines publication, Arizona Lode Gold Mines and Gold Mining, in Arizona, gold is always found in association with copper. So the fact that copper indications are found along the south border of the Wilderness Area, is actually a good indication that gold may be found there as well. This is even partially proven out, by the fact that right on the south edge of Superstition mountain itself, we have the old Palmer gold mine, which did produce some gold.

On the Northwest side of the Wilderness Area, across the highway in the Goldfield hills and coincidentally the same ground that Julia and Reiney trekked across in their second attempt to find Waltz’s mine and cache, there are several good to excellent gold mines. Some were very large producers of gold, like the Black Queen and Bulldog. The fact that we have these rich gold mines, SO close to the Superstitions, is also a good indication that there is an excellent chance for gold veins to exist inside the Wilderness Area as it is physically close. In fact a vein of gold has been discovered running from one of those gold mines, directly under the highway and extending inside of the Lost Dutchman state park! Don’t go digging for it or you will find out how our justice system works however. This is very solid evidence that gold veins exist inside the Wilderness Area for an actual vein is KNOWN to exist that runs into it.

A friend of mine, (whom is now a TV star) Sarge, aka Sgtfca or simply Frank Augustine, along with his partner Woody have proven beyond all doubt that gold can be found in the Superstitions for they have shown it to many people and even posted photos online for anyone to see. It is real Superstitions gold, and shows clearly that it is also linked with copper, visibly.

There are several other mining activities that have been carried on in the Superstitions over the years, which produced some gold. Plus we have the incident with two men named Silverlock and Malm, who found an old rotten pack saddle and some piles of rich gold ore, which they sold and made a tidy sum. These two men then spent the rest of their lives searching for the source of that gold without success, and one of them landed in an insane asylum, however it is a matter of record that they found a pile of rich gold ore, and inside of the Wilderness Area boundaries.

There is also the story of a prospector name Kochera, who said he found a small amount of rich gold ore much in the same way as Silverlock and Malm. Some have believed this ore to be one and the same with that of Waltz, but it does have enough differences to not be from the same vein.

The hydrothermal activity in those otherwise unpromising volcanic calderas and associated flows (and ash layers) are exactly what forms quartz gold deposits. We can look at the Vulture gold mine for some parallels with the situation in the Superstitions, for a recent study of that mine, even though the main vein seemed to be cut off, actually is still there and runs to an unknown depth but over a considerably larger area the deeper you go, although on the surface when first discovered, there was not much to see. This is the same type of vein that produces the type of gold ore we see in the famous matchbox, and this type of gold vein does not occur in pockets or small lenses as does the far more common Epithermal type gold vein. So the chances of this kind of gold vein having been quietly found and all worked out, are practically nil.

We also know that Dick Holmes had an assay done on the ore, required by Goldman’s store before they would agree to buy it, and this assay was performed by Joe Porterie. The assay result came back at some $110,000 in gold per ton, along with about two ounces of silver per ton. Now our skeptics will point out, that jewelry ore was probably not like most of the ore in the mine, and I agree – however the assay was not done on the jewelry, it was done on the average ore in that candle box, because it was going to be purchased and Goldman’s did not want to pay top price for all of it, if one piece happened to have a lot of gold and the rest did not. The fact that the assay came back with a very high gold to silver ratio is also very much in keeping with the geologic type of gold vein the matchbox ore had to come from, for the other types of gold veins (Epithermal and Mesothermal) generally have a lot more silver with the gold, or we could say a higher silver to gold ratio.

I will go out on a limb here and say that we should ignore the description of the mine itself, as we get it from both the Holmes and Julia/Reiney versions, which includes a huge funnel shaped pit and a tunnel below it on the ridge. There are several reasons to discount it; first, if the mine had such large physical features, the odds are that it would have been found by now and not be lost – just as we have the Silver King mine which also was a lost mine at one time. Next, the amount of logs or timber, and labor needed, for Waltz to have closed in the mine shaft/pit, would likewise be huge. He was working alone remember, with but a few burros or mules to help and did not have reason to spend a lot of time in those mountains for the Apaches were still very much on the warpath right up until 1886, by which time Waltz had quit venturing into the mountains except for possibly one attempt near the end of his life. I am digressing but anyway another and bigger reason to discount these features is the fact that we have virtually the identical description found in an older story, involving a lost Peralta silver mine and two men named Ludi or Ludy. This story dates to about 1860, before Waltz had even moved into southern Arizona. Over time this lost SILVER mine morphed into a gold mine, but we have seen this happen with other lost mine stories as well, and is easy to understand as the story is told and retold, a ‘rich silver mine’ becomes a ‘rich mine’ which then must be a ‘rich GOLD mine’ for Anglo treasure hunters and prospectors are almost always more interested in gold than silver, while the Mexican and Spanish were very much interested in silver not just gold.

The alternate version of Waltz’s gold mine, description is a shaft perhaps no more than a dozen feet deep, and with an opening no larger than a barrel. We might notice the similarity to what was found at the somewhat similar Vulture mine, which also did not look like much on the surface but the vein grew larger as excavation proceeded. This amount of mining activity would not have produced many tons of ore, and will fit very well with the reports of Waltz being seen selling a couple of burro loads, or $500 worth, or even the highly controversial Wells Fargo shipping receipts for $250,000 worth. That value may have been overstated for insurance purposes, but would still have been an impressive amount of gold, however when compared to the known assay done for Holmes, this would have been a bit over two tons of ore! A surprisingly small amount of rock will make a ton, less than a cubic yard in fact. So two and a half tons of that $110,000 (at the old $20.64 per ounce price, more in a moment on this aspect) ore will easily account for ALL of the gold attributed to Waltz! This is all the more reason to believe the mine had rather little actual mining done in it, for had it included a huge funnel shaped pit and tunnel, the amounts of gold recovered should have been many times this amount we can account for. In fact two and a half tons of ore, in a shaft three feet or so in diameter, would not even quite make twelve feet deep. This is just the description we have in that alternate, and not widely accepted version of the lost Dutchman’s gold mine.

Thank you for your indulgence, my apologies for having to use so many words to sum up the case for the Lost Dutchman gold mine. There is MUCH more, and a great deal of false, erroneous and unrelated information, maps etc that is all mixed into the lost Dutchman legend today, and it is almost a Herculean task to try to sort it all out. I hold it as a maxim that in researching anything historical, it is best to stick to the oldest sources available and avoid the later and newest sources. The oldest sources have had less time for errors and falsehoods to have gotten mixed into the original facts. In the case of the Lost Dutchman at the root we have a German immigrant prospector whom had found several good gold mines before moving to Phoenix; his closest friends certainly all believed he had a secret gold mine in the Superstitions and spent their lives and their fortunes seeking it. There was almost certainly a box of rich gold ore left from Waltz’s mine, which then was made into the matchbox and other jewelry. These items are not fantasy but solid fact. Just because no one has found the mine in over a century (with one possible exception) and SO much false, erroneous and even deliberately fake information has been added to the original story, does not make the original story false. We could point to a simile with president George Washington, long after his death many stories were attributed to him, including the cut down Cherry tree and “I cannot tell a lie” – stories which had little basis in fact but there really was a man named George Washington who saved our country in its darkest hour and won our independence from Britain. Not trying to say Jacob Waltz is like George Washington, just to illustrate that despite false information being added to a story does not mean that the original story is not true.

We owe debts of gratitude to authors and researchers including Helen Corbin, Dr. Thomas Glover, Garry Cundiff, Greg Davis, Joe Ribaudo, Paul Shimek and others too many to list, through whose efforts we now know to be fact that Jacob Waltz really existed and many other facts that were just treasure stories before. We should also be thankful to the old treasure writers like John D. Mitchell, Pierpont C. Bicknell, Sims Ely and even Barry Storm, for having preserved the tales for us to read and search for the lost mine ourselves. After all, had those treasure writers not written and published the stories, would we even know about the Lost Dutchman gold mine today? I doubt it.

Don’t take my word on any of this – do your own research, buy or borrow some books that include excellent research on the Lost Dutchman “legend”, visit the courthouse in Phoenix and look at the records for yourself. Talk to a geologist, ask about hypothermal type gold veins and what characteristics are known for gold ore from that type of gold deposit. Don’t expect some online treasure hunter is going to do this homework for you, just to prove to you that the lost Dutchman gold mine certainly exists.

Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.




The Truth about Lost Mine Legends

•March 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment

A big Dakota HOWDY pards!

I hope you are having a great day, and will try to keep this short and sweet.  As you know from reading my blather, hunting for lost mines is my personal favorite thing to do, and in researching lost mines I have found that despite what the skeptics will say, the great majority of these stories are based on actual facts.

A popular example is the Lost Dutchman gold mine of the Superstition mountains in Arizona.  Skeptics have all sorts of excuses as to why this can not exist, but a little research will turn up that there was indeed a real Jacob Waltz (the Dutchman, actually from Germany) and he was a successful and experienced prospector; he was seen selling small amounts of gold in various places, and in three instances larger amounts, as for example when he was able to dig up gold he had hidden on his farm to help out his friends Julia Thomas and Reinhard Petrasch her adopted son.  On his death a candle box of gold ore was found under his bed, which ore was very rich indeed.  The fellow who ended up with it, Dick Holmes, had to sell it to finance his search for the gold mine, but he did have some pieces made into jewelry and a match box (often mistaken for a lighter) and this ore is unique – it is unlike any gold ore from any known source in Arizona.  This is solid evidence that Waltz had a source for very rich ore in Arizona, and not very far from Phoenix.  The fact that he was able to get to the mine and back in three days (in the 1800s) and even pointed at the Superstitions while telling his friends where the mine is located, certainly supports that the mine is there somewhere.  It is however well hidden, and at least two other mines have gotten mixed into the stories so that has helped make it even more difficult for anyone to find today.

Well the skeptics may well say, this is just one example, and is one of the most famous if not THE most famous so it is not true for the many thousands of other lost mine legends.  Many lost “Mine” legends by the way, are not really mines but lost ledges or rich placers, which were never actually mined but were discovered (often by accident) and then lost again.  So I flipped open Terry’s state treasure atlas (for South Dakota) to find a lost mine legend sort of at random, one that is more obscure, to do some research on just to prove the point.  I ran across Bailey’s lost silver ledge of Custer Peak.

A search through the newspaper archives, the Lawrence county courthouse, and a couple of genealogy sites online and I was able to find that indeed there was such a man named Bailey whom arrived in Deadwood in 1876, had brought in some almost incredibly rich silver ore to an assayer in Deadwood, and then was not able to find that ledge again.  he staked a land claim by pre-emption near Spearfish and apparently made a number of return trips to Custer Peak but never did find it again, and while I have a copy of the actual assay I have misplaced it and can’t find it again but it was well over 1000 ounces of silver per ton and a little gold too.  The point here is that these stories of lost mines and rich ledges are most often based on real events and real places, not fiction made up to sell treasure books.

In the re-telling of these stories, details get garbled, the richness gets exaggerated, sometimes innocently by the author multiplying a value at an early date by the value in his own day, even completely different and unrelated lost mine stories get mixed together, again sometimes innocently by someone who ASSUMES the two stories are the same when they are not.

The skeptics love to howl that no mine could ever be lost, when in truth that happens all too easily.  Most of these lost mine stories date to a time period when there was NO GPS, few accurate maps, and few people on the wild frontier even had any map at all.  They were lucky if they had a compass.  Now add in that the finder may have had outlaws, claim jumpers and dry gulchers to watch out for, maybe hostile Indians too, and there were no highways and few settlements and you start to get the picture.  Even if he (or she) marked off the site, Indians may have found it and then erased the marks, torn down any structures or burned them, and Nature herself can conceal a mine incredibly fast by the action of storms, landslides, and growing brush!

So dear reader take heart, pack your backpack, pick, shovel, gold pan and metal detector, get the best maps and all the versions of the lost mine story you can find, and go find it!  If you have a GPS bring that too, and be sure to bring a notebook to document your search and what you find.   You WILL find something!

Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.


To whet your appetite, here is a sample of rich silver ore: <maybe like Bailey’s ledge?>

Native silver!

PS almost forgot, here is a link to buy Thomas Terry’s treasure atlas set:

Bits and pieces

•October 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Hola amigos!

Just an update this time, summer is again over and the rather hectic daily routine is about wrapped up.  My apologies for not posting something for your entertainment, have been busy with other things.

I have to make a plug here for a great tribute magazine to the old Desert! mag, which always had lots of great treasure stories, natural history, photos etc of the great American southwest.  The new magazine is Dezert and in some ways is superior to the old one, better photography and great articles.  If like me, you love the southwest, I highly recommend you check it out; here is their website:

I have not been able to keep up on the various treasure forums too well, seems to be the usual patterns so it is rather difficult to have a serious treasure discussion.   One thing has struck me however that seems curious, which is the number of fellows whom are active on the treasure forums, and have NO interest in the cash value of the treasure(s) or lost mines they are seeking.  They say they are only interested in the history.   I do not understand this, for most lost mines and many treasures have little historical value, and great monetary value.   Even if a long-lost mine is found, it rarely rates more than a paragraph on a back page of a local newspaper for fame.  There are exceptions of course like Tayopa or the Lost Dutchman which are much more famous.  However I wonder if some of these fellows are not being entirely honest about their true motivation in seeking these lost treasures?   Perhaps they are and it is me that is the oddball.

Speaking of the famous Lost Dutchman gold mine, another rather surprising thing to me is that so few treasure hunters seem to be interested in the “other” lost Dutchman mines in Arizona.  There is one in the Wickenburg/Vulture area, somewhere near Vulture peak;  this mine was found in a quartz blowout, and the finder was apparently killed by Apaches.  His remains were found near Vulture peak, along with a little pile of very rich ore similar to what he had been seen selling in Wickenburg, and a small gold prospect was near by, yet this prospect had ore very different and much poorer grade so could not have been his mine.

Then there is the lost Dutchman mine up near Prescott; this German was named Youngblood, and he came from Missouri to try to make his fortune as he was in danger of losing his farm there.  After searching for quite some time, nearly destitute and utterly discouraged, he sat down on a rock in despair.  At that moment he noticed that the rock he was sitting on was white quartz loaded with gold!  Youngblood mined out a small fortune and returned to Missouri, I presume he managed to save his farm as he is later listed on the census as living there, never returned to Arizona to his mine again.

Do any treasure hunters go looking for either of these lost bonanzas?  As far as I could learn, no.   I had the pleasure of spending some time hunting for them on my last trip to the southwest, and never ran into another prospector – just hikers and deputy sheriffs who seem to have thought Mrs O and I were a couple of dangerous desperados.   I may write up an article on these mines for in my opinion a treasure hunter often has a better chance of success with a less famous, little known lost mine or treasure, than one of the famous ones which have been hunted for a century or more by many thousands of treasure hunters like the Lost Dutchman of the Superstition mountains.

rich gold ore from Colorado

roasted rich gold ore from Cripple Creek, Colorado, image borrowed from Wikipedia commons at: Just included this to get your prospector blood pumping. 🙂

Well good luck and good hunting amigos, I will try to post something interesting for you when I get back from Arizona.  I hope you find the treasures that you seek.


The Lost Stone Cabin

•February 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

One of the lesser known lost mines of the Black Hills is the Lost Stone Cabin mine.

The sources are sketchy on this lost mine, but the basic story is that an old prospector got lucky up in the Bear Lodge district, in the northern end of the Black Hills. He had found a rich gold deposit that looked to be a lifetime’s worth of work but would make him a very rich man. The area did not have much timber so he built a small but substantial stone cabin close to the mine, so that he would be able to survive the harsh winters at his mine in some comfort, and provide some protection against hostile Indians in case he should be attacked at his mine.

The old prospector then made a trip to town to purchase supplies for the winter, and on returning, could not find his own mine or his cabin! He searched for a while and becoming desperate, headed for Deadwood to enlist aid in locating his own mine. He managed to gather a group of helpers to return to the Bear Lodge with him and hunt for his mine, but they were un-successful in finding either the mine or the cabin. The search party broke up and returned to Deadwood.

The old man made a number of repeated attempts to locate his mine again, and never was able to find it. Finally he drifted out of the area and I could find no trace of where he went.

The Bear Lodge gold district of northeastern Wyoming is not known for rich gold veins, in fact most gold deposits of that area have proved to be small in extent and hardly economic to work. However the geology does not rule out the possibility of a rich vein (or more than one) could exist there, as the old man claimed – and he had gold to sell when he came into town, which had to come from somewhere. It only makes sense that he would not have made up such a story as to lose his own mine, and then to proceed to go back in search of it time and again.

Somewhere in the remote canyons of the Bear Lodge of northeastern Wyoming, the old stone cabin is probably still standing, waiting for some lucky treasure hunter to find it, and rediscover the rich gold mine with it.

Good luck and good hunting to you amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.

Lost Gold, Mildred Fielder
US Treasure Atlas, Vol 10, Thomas Terry,
The Black Hills Weekly Pioneer, Deadwood City, Dakota Territory

President John F. Kennedy assassination

•November 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of president Kennedy, which took place in Dallas Texas on November 22nd, 1963.

For decades, we have been told that the lone nut assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald, whom supposedly fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, three rounds from an Italian army surplus Mannlicher-Carcano, caliber 6.5mm. The gun found on that floor of the Book Depository was that make, and three empty cartridges were found near the window – and one live round was the chamber.

Why have all of our major news media continued to press this lie upon the public?

Oswald was seen on the second floor of that building, minutes before the shooting, in the lunch room apparently eating lunch, and seen by a second witness in the same location minutes after the shooting, now with a fresh bottle of soda pop that he was drinking. The rifle itself cannot have been the weapon used to kill the president on several grounds. Firstly, the Mannlicher-carcano cannot be loaded with more than one round at a time without the inclusion of a stripper clip, which is a small metal clip that holds the rounds in the magazine – without it, you must load one round at a time by hand into the chamber. No stripper clip was found when the evidence was collected, and anotehr interesting point about the stripper clip is that when you cycle the last round in it, into the chamber, the stripper clip falls out of the bottom of the rifle. Yet no stripper clip is listed on the evidence found on the sixth floor. In fact ten years later, when people had started raising issues about it, then a stripper clip is added to the evidence. Then there is the scope on the gun – it was broken! Now maybe it is possible to shoot a gun accurately with a busted scope, but there is yet another problem, that is that the scope was not even sighted in. In fact, the government investigators had to add two metal shims to the scope to even get it sighted in, to perform their tests! NO ONE could have made those shots, from a sixth floor window at a moving target, through the leaves of live oak trees that partially blocked the view of the presidential limousine.

Even if you stick oto the belief that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin, which any decent defense lawyer could have easily proven him innocent, then the murder was the work of our own American Intelligence Agencies! Oswald was a Marine, but he had been quietly entered into a fake Communist defector program, even got training in the Russian language, and has links to the Office of Naval Intelligence and CIA. Even the FBI caught it that there were problems with Oswald well before the assassination, as a memo from none other than Hoover himself stated that someone else was using Oswald’s passport and birth certificate in the USA. Then there is his fake defection – how could he have pulled such a stunt, then be allowed back into the USA, and not just himself but his Russian wife as well?

Oswald knew Jack Ruby, David Ferrie, former FBI spook Guy Bannister and possibly Clay Shaw as well; in fact he was “working” out of the same building as Guy Bannister’s secret anti-Cuban program was being run when Oswald was in the staged scene of a fight for having passed out pro-Castro leaflets.

Then what abotu motieve? Lee Harvey Oswald had NO motive for killing JFK. According to several of the conspirators, JFK was killed for being a Communist, the very thing Oswald was being set up to appear to be. Oswald “confessed” to having attempted to assassinate General Erwin Walker, a Fascist. Why would a Communist sympathizer, wish to kill a Communist sympathizing president? It makes no sense.

Some of the conspirators are still alive and could be prosecuted. Why will no law enforcement investigators press forward and prsoecute them? The Congressional investigation into the JFK assassination concluded that it was almost ertainly a conspiracy, yet our news media continues to prattle on with the Warren Commission fairy tale. Jim Garrison, so far the only one to ever prosecute any of the conspirators, was publicly attacked and ridiculed, his character assassinated in an attempt to silence his investigation. Would we stand by and say nothing, if this were a case of some person that murdered a person of another race? Yet we are stalled, frozen and impotent to do anything about one of the greatest disgraces to our nation in all history.

Thank you to all of you whom have pressed on in investigating this assassination, in the face of official stonewalling, ridicule and even personal danger, as we saw with the case of nationally famous reporter Dorothy Kilgallen, whom had interviewed Jack Ruby and announced that she would “blow the lid off” the case, only to be murdered, and both copies of her notes vanished even though one copy was kept with a trusted friend, whom also died mysteriously within two days of Kilgallen’s death. Don’t give up, researchers, slowly the truth is coming out, and even our news media will have to admit it one day.

I highly recommend a book for anyone interested in the JFK assassination – “They Killed Our President” by former governor Jesse Ventura, with the assistance of Dick Russell and David Wayne. In it, he presents 63 different proofs that it was a conspiracy and that Oswald could not have been the killer. Vincent Bugliosi should be ashamed to be the current mouthpiece publicly protecting the conspirators still living, by his defense of their fictional lone-nut assassin theory.

It has been fifty years since that tragic day; high time that some of the vicious men who plotted and executed a coup detat in America should pay for their crimes.

The Lost Cabin Mine -(s)-

•September 14, 2013 • 2 Comments

For many years, the most famous lost mine in the USA was the Lost Cabin mine.
Lost Cabin?

Long before the Lost Dutchman gold mine grew to become the most well known lost mine in America, several other lost mines were the object of many a determined search, numerous newspaper articles and even books.  Many lost their lives in the search, for the western wilds were not quite the same as they are today.  The lost Pegleg Smith, Breyfogle and even before these the silver mines of Jonathan Swift were being hunted, and the lost Cabin mine was (arguably) the most famous of the 1800s.

One of the problems inherent in hunting the Lost Cabin mine is that there are in fact several of them!  There was one in Colorado, found and lost more than once, or the lost cabin mine of the Black HIlls, also found by happenstance repeatedly only to be lost again when the finders could not return to the site.  Then there is the lost stone cabin of the Bear Lodge country, the northwestern portion of the Black Hills, which was lost by the owner himself when he made a  trip out for supplies and on returning, could not find his cabin or his mine.

The famous one however is somewhere in the Bighorn country of Wyoming, and with a small area in adjoining Montana where the mountain chain extends into that state.  Like the others, it too has been found on several occasions, in fact there is even a place named Lost Cabin (Wyoming) for a long abandoned cabin found there with the skeletal remains of two prospectors, whom had apparently fallen into quarreling and killed each other, but the location of their mine has not been found.  Several famous frontiersmen have claimed that they had seen the lost Cabin mine, including the renowned Kit Carson himself – but he was convinced that the mine and cabin were in the Black Hills, not the Bighorns.

Geologically, the Bighorn mountain range is very similar to the Black Hills, however missing the gold deposits.  That there is gold in these mountains however is not a matter of dispute, just not generally in paying quantities.  The Wyoming legend has it that seven Swedes had first discovered the mine, built themselves a cabin to live in for winters are severe in these mountains, set up a flume to divert the water from the stream at a waterfall, only to be suddenly ambushed by hostile Indians who killed all of the men but one.  The lone survivor struggled across country for three nights, traveling only at night, to arrive at Fort Reno, where he told the sad tale and showed some of the gold he had recovered.  In spring, joined by a larger force of new partners, they set out to return to the mine.  Unfortunately for them the plains Indians were then at war, and the party was not heard of for some time.  Later, their remains were found, as they had been attacked and killed to a man by the Indians.  None survived, and the secret of the location of the mine and the cabin were lost to the grave.

Others have stumbled across the remains of the cabin, which the Indians had burned, then trekked out to report of their discovery; this was reported in newspapers several times in the last hundred years, however in each case, the party that found the mine and cabin, was then unable to relocate the site on returning.

The Thoen Stone

The Thoen Stone
(from the Rapid City Journal article at )

Could the legend of the Thoen Stone be linked to the lost Cabin mine?  The Thoen stone was found in South Dakota on Lookout mountain near Spearfish, in 1887.  The stone was inscribed on both sides in English, which I will post:

“Came to these hills in 1833
seven of us
all died but me Ezra Kind

Ezra Kind
G.W. Wood
T. Brown
R. Kent
Wm. King
Indian Crow

killed by Indians beyond the high hill
got our gold June 1834″

The reverse side read:

“Got all of the gold we could carry
our ponys all got by Indians
I have lost my gun and nothing to eat
and Indians hunting me.”

Evidence that others had been mining in the Black Hills well before the official discovery of gold in 1874 turned up for decades, picks, shovels, even guns of old type (flintlocks) were found by early miners.  Clearly someone had been mining there, which does support the story found on the Thoen stone.  Researcher Frank Thomson carefully checked the records and found evidence supporting the names listed as belonging to men who went west searching for gold in 1832, and were never heard of again, with the exception of “Indian Crow” which may not have been a name, rather a Crow Indian.  The Crow tribe owned the Black Hills prior to the invasion by other tribes, and were usually friendly with the ‘whites’ so it would not be a great surprise if a Crow had acted as guide for Ezra Kind’s group.

The Thoen Stone makes no mention of any cabin, but it is logical that they should have some shelter built.   Could this be the lost Cabin mine?  True, the survivor of the seven Swedes who went into the Bighorn mountains is fairly well documented, which would point to the lost Cabin mine being in those mountains rather than the Black Hils, but then too, Kit Carson himself claimed that the mine and cabin were in the Black Hills, that the route in from the south, had a point where you would turn east to the Black Hills rather than west to the Bighorns.

Perhaps the truth is that there really are several lost Cabin mines; that it was not unusual for prospectors living on a wild frontier to build a cabin for shelter, and this becomes part of the story when the mine is lost.

Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the Lost Cabin gold mine – and send me photos of your find!

An update

•March 18, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Hola mi amigos,

My apologies for not posting something here sooner, or I should say for not posting something interesting here for so long.  As you may know, Beth and I have been fairly  busy since last fall, but now spring is arriving and we will be back in our usual haunts with more time to spend online.  Not a lot of internet access in the deserts, though we now have a way to get online occasionally if there is enough of a cell signal and the batteries are charged up.  Anyway have new stories to tell, will try to post something good for you when we are back online.  In the meantime, I did post something on my old blog, just to kind of explain what and why we do what we do, which has been tough to try to explain to many friends and relatives.  In case you don’t have that link here it is:

It has been a most pleasant winter for us, many discoveries and adventures.  Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.

Roy ~ Oroblanco


Epitaph for Old Treasurenet Forum, R.I.P.

•March 29, 2012 • 14 Comments

Rest In Peace Old Treasurenet

Rest In Peace old Treasurenet Forum

So long old friend

The largest and what was the best site on the internet for talking with fellow treasure hunters and prospectors has gone through a change of ownership and a major metamorphosis, but not a positive one.

With over 32,000 members, Treasurenet was the most popular treasure forum on the internet for some time.  I had joined it about 1995, but after a couple of years left it due to the hostile attitude of a couple of members, but those members were thrown out and I re-joined the site in 2005.  I do not hesitate to confess that I spent many an evening reading the fascinating and entertaining posts from our fellow treasure hunters, and swapped stories and great information.  More than once, an evening visit to Treasurenet to catch up on the latest treasure gossip was a high point on an otherwise dark day.  In that membership were many very experienced and knowledgable experts, most of them happy to offer helpful advice for the asking.

We knew that the site was likely to get sold as the owner needed to sell it, but never expected that anyone would “kill the goose that lays the golden egg” for a site that is SO popular and has many thousands of visitors, generates income from advertising and some of the members even paid for a ‘charter’ sort of membership.  We were in that last category.  It would not have been a great surprise to see some changes made, but not the complete change that was done – for the new owners pulled the plug on the site, left it down for a day or so, then put it back up online under a completely different operating system known as “V-bulletin” which is the one used by most forums on the internet.  No polls or survey questionnaires had been sent to the members to find out if they liked the old system or would they prefer a new one, or what features or functions they liked or disliked, just suddenly one night it is gone, then reappears as a different creature entirely.

The old forum operating system was known as “phpBB” <I believe>  and is open source, meaning that if you are a capable programmer, you can make modifications to the operating system to suit the needs or wishes of your customers, or in this case members.  Did the buyers not notice that the operating system and format on Treasurenet was different from all the rest, and the huge membership?   Couldn’t they see a connection there, that the operating system the new owners hate so much, might have been one of the main attractions for the members and visitors because it was SO easy to use?

Probably they could see that and knew it, for they openly stated they were confident they would not lose more than one to three percent of the members and new ones would replace them, so the old ‘true blue’ members were really just a number in an equation for them with no more meaning or factor than the number in a telephone number.  The new owners do not know the members (nor vice versa) and did not make any effort to get to know them; from what I can judge, they do not appear to be treasure hunters or prospectors, nor arrowhead hunters or bottle diggers, not coin roll hunters or armchair adventurers – they are what is popularly termed “technogeeks” who like forums for the computing challenge not for talking with treasure hunters.  The members and their wants simply do not matter to them, unless it is some widget in their beloved V-bulletin system that they can then tweak and diddle.

I can only speak for myself, and did not like the new format and system at first glance but thought I would give it a little time, maybe the new owners would see this is a mistake and go back, or at least change the format enough to come as close to duplicating the old, user friendly and easy system as was possible.  I noticed that some other members were posting grumbles and complaints, which the new administrators and moderators seemed to be scrambling to correct and adjust – but only where it involved tweaking some part of the new format, not replacing the popular tools found in the old system.  When we asked what was so wrong with the old phpBB system, we were told that it “had to go some where” and was so bad, so insecure.  I did not catch the lies they were giving at first, but when I asked them about one of the main functions that I used a great deal (and did not realize how much, before that moment) a tool that would allow you to pull up a list of all the threads that you had posted in which had gotten new posts in ONE click called “new replies” or “unread replies” the new owners and managers had no idea what I was even talking about.  They did not know it because they had never even tried the old system they had killed and said was so horrible.  Hmm.

Then the nasty and sarcastic remarks from the supporters of the new owners toward any member that made a complaint started to grate on me; for in the supporters view, if you love the new format they were happy, if you hate it then you must not be smart enough to run a remote for your TV.  Not a great public relations method for dealing with unhappy customers.  Apparently the new owners are not aware of the old principle of KISS= Keep It Simple Stupid –  for they have quite a complicated system for the users now.  That attitude and crystal clear policy from the new ownership, that we members have to either love it or leave it because they have killed the old and widely popular Treasurenet and refuse to even consider the idea of returning to the popular format really rubbed me the wrong way.

The new owners and moderators repeatedly kept saying “give us more time” or “wait a week” but then I noticed they admitted that no more changes were going to be made, period.  The repeated requests for “more time” are just a game, waiting for the members to “get used to it” or get left behind as they said in so many words, not a time period for them to try to undo the giant mistake of changing the format and system.  I guess we were supposed to be stupid and not see the game.

Probably I should have simply quit the forum outright, but if I do, I will lose contact with a large number of friends.  So I left my membership active only so I can have a way to keep in touch with those friends, but will certainly not renew a charter membership and just as certainly will not spend much time there, as I find myself getting angry at just trying to find the various discussions that I was interested in and participating in.   The all new Treasurenet is definitely not the old animal, not by a long shot – it is more complex, much more fiddling and diddling with the settings and controls are involved just to use it, and some of us have only limited amounts of time to be online.  I don’t need to go to a treasure forum to get angry and frustrated.  I don’t think that I am the only member feeling much the same way either.

If you would live to visit the all new Treasurenet, here is the link;


I can’t recommend it for anything but headache or heartburn, but if you love to fiddle with lots and lots of settings and tweak adjustments, it may be fun for you.  If you want to try to have a discussion that is treasure related however, brace yourself for a lot of aggravation.

There are other treasure forums of course, some are pretty good – looks like it might fill the ticket for treasure hunters, or the old Lost Dutchman Gold Mine forum that seemed to have gone less active in recent years may revive with interest and new members.  Lost Treasure magazine has a forum again too, so there is hope for us treasure hunters to have places where we can swap tall stories or ask questions and tell jokes that non-treasure hunters could not understand.  We can’t very well get together around the campfire, even though that would be really great.  But I just wanted to acknowledge what a great web site the old Treasurenet was, it is all too true that you never know what you had until it is gone.

The old Treasurenet was great while it lasted, I really enjoyed the time I spent there and the great people I got to talk to.   It is now history and will never return.  Rest in peace good old Treasurenet, many of us will remember what a great spot you were for a gathering of the treasure hunters.  Sad to see you gone.

We will miss you!

Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.
PS almost forgot, here are the links for some of the other forums, – this one is getting HIGH MARKS in my book, wish I had paid more attention to it sooner, but with limited time to be online, I can only really follow one forum and keep up so did not see how great this one is before now:

Lost Treasure magazine forum – the BEST treasure magazine period,(don’t take my word for it read it and see!)  the forum is still growing,

Lost Dutchman Gold Mine forum, an oldie but a goodie, LOADS of Dutchman info you won’t find elsewhere, a bit more focused on the Lost Dutchman, Peralta Stones and the Superstitions than others but worth checking out

DesertUSA a forum that covers all aspects of our beautiful desert southwest, including gold and treasure hunting but also camping, hiking, exploring, gardening etc; a smaller group but much good information; I had personally dropped out of this one due to a difference of opinion but have returned with no regrets

There are many, many others out there, I am only scratching the surface.