Unexpected discoveries

When talk gets round to the infamous Lost Dutchman gold mine of the Superstition mountains in Arizona, sooner or later someone claims to have found it.  Since the advent of Google Earth, the number of such claims has risen in frequency.  The problem is that none of them seem to have any gold to show for it, which is strange when we are talking about a gold mine, said to be the richest in the world.

While I respectfully disagree on the Lost Dutchman being the richest gold mine in the world, the Homestake of South Dakota or the famous Witwatersrand of South Africa may claim those honors, sometimes when you are out looking for something else, you make an unexpected discovery.  Then another, and another, until you find something quite unexpected altogether.

Such was the case for Beth and I, a few months ago.  We were in the Superstition mountains of Arizona, with three dogs all out searching for some trace of a fellow Dutch hunter (as LDM mine hunters are called) whom had gone missing over a year ago.  The area is fairly remote and the hike in is not for the faint of heart, and we were not having any luck at all in finding any trace.  The last thing we had in mind was looking for the lost mine.  So when Beth spotted the “rock face” near the trail, we simply took a couple of photos.

Then we found the rock corral.  The brush was very thick, but we kept on hunting, thinking to find anything that might help lead to our missing comrade.  Again we got photos, and went on with the dogs.  Shortly after this, we found the stone house.  How strange, we thought and did discuss it since none of these are marked on any maps that I know of.   A bit further on, we found a spring.  It was well hidden, and likewise is not marked on any maps.  Just above the spring, we spotted something unusual, something that didn’t quite look right through the brush.  So we fought our way through thick cactus and thorns only to find a tunnel!  At first I thought perhaps it was a cave, but it is no cave; it is very much man-made, and is also not shown on any maps – nor is it even near any known mine.  We spent some time investigating the mine and getting some photos and samples to have assayed, and recorded the GPS coordinates before heading back to camp.  It is, in every sense of the word – a lost mine.  It has a number of features that will fit the clues to the Lost Dutchman mine, from the “pointed peak” visible from above the mine to the South, to the spring close to the mine but a better spring further away.

Am I going to claim that we have found the famous Lost Dutchman gold mine?  Don’t hold your breath, however you can rest assured that we intend on returning to that mysterious mine, and will be spending time there on our next trip, assuming our lost friend has been found by then.  If he has not been found, we will be hunting for him first, before going back to the mine.  If it is the Lost Dutchman, we won’t carry the secret to the grave.  In the meantime, don’t waste your time asking any details on where this mine is located – it is in the Superstition mountains of Arizona, and that is as detailed as I will get.

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


Since psoting this over two years ago, I have received a number of emails and messages asking many questions about this site. While I am not prepared to tell everyone exactly where it is, I will explain a few things.

Firstly, my wife and I were truly and honestly NOT looking for the Lost Dutchman mine, or trying to find any kind of lost treasure or solve any stone maps. At that time a fellow Dutch hunter named Jesse Capen had not yet been found, and the idea was to try to search a wider area than was covered by the search and rescue teams. Jesse owned a number of topo maps which cover a much larger area than were he went missing and was eventually found, so we thought we would spend some time searching those other areas which extend miles out in all directions from Tortilla mountain. The reason for doing so is obvious, for if Jesse had gotten lost, he could very easily have traveled a considerable distance. Besides, I would hope that if I were to turn up missing, that other treasure hunters would likewise not hesitate to spend some of their time looking for me, even if it was some distance. I know that other treasure hunters have gone looking for lost people too, and it was a treasure hunter who found two of the Utah men. It may be hard for some folks to believe that a treasure hunter would be willing to spend time lookkng for a lost fellow, and I have been accused of having a hidden agenda at the time which I resent very highly. I may be a treasure hunter but was happy to give it a try, especially as we are friends with the family of Jesse.

We have several dogs, and while they are not “professionallY” trained to search for missing people, we have done some training with them and they have shown themselves to be very good at sniffing things out, especially bones, and even if buried. While it had been a long time since Jesse had gone missing, the hope was that the dogs would perhaps turn up something, which could then help the search and rescue teams.

I have been asked why I did not bring out samples, well I did get a little bit. I could not get more, as I did not have a rock hammer with me, nor much of anything else besides water, map, compass. What samples I got were not anything to get excited over, as I could only pry a bit loose with my knife. There was no mound of gold laying there waiting to be picked up, if anyone thought that were the case.

I have seen others claim they know “exactly” where it is, and this gave me a good laugh for they are so far off. I doubt that anyone has bothered to go into this particular canyon for quite some time. It is a tough hike in to it, and is thick with thorny brush. It is also not in the popular area where the Lost Dutchman mine is thought to be.

I have been asked to please post all the photos, but sorry no I won’t do that. At least two of the photos show landmarks that might help someone locate the site, so I am not going to share them publicly. Others are not different from what was posted on the forum, and a couple are not as clear anyway.

To those who wonder why we don’t just tell everyone and let someone else find it, I might remind you that I am a treasure hunter too and to simply give it to another when if I simply wait, I can get it, so why should I do that? Besides, there are some with very low morals, as one told me, the minute the photos were posted, that he was going to take ten men and go right to the mine right away! Needless to say that apparently did not do him any good, and now we know the kind of man he is. I will clarify one point for this fellow too, the things we found, including the cabin, corral, spring, rock face and mine, are not in Peters canyon, which he seemed to have thought. I did say we were searching farther out from where Jesse Capen’s camp was located, as that area had been searched by the Search and Rescue teams pretty well already, but apparently that point got missed. I will say that if I become unable to return on my own, I will simply publish the exact site on this blog, including the hidden spring which is not on any map. Don’t hold your breath on that, I plan to be around and kicking for some time to come.

Lastly, no we hae not been back to that mine yet. We have had a chance, but even the road in to the trail head is rough and we have had plenty of other things to take up our time. We will be going back, perhaps not this year, and if this should turn out to be the Lost Dutchman mine, I won’t keep it a secret, but may keep the location to myself.

I hope this helps answer some of the questions, sorry but I am not going to say where it is, and I have tried Google Earth to see if I could find it that way and that does not help either. I am not trying to “tease” anyone, not at all, just that it was a surprising turn for us. Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.


~ by Oroblanco on February 17, 2011.

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