The Lost Dutchman – the German clues

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.



~ by Oroblanco on December 8, 2017.

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