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Thread: My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .

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  1. #1
    us
    Jul 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Whites TDI
    261
    4 times

    My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .


    The Tombstone news has an article about this robbery . . . http://thetombstonenews.com/the-will...ry-p447-84.htm

    It states that the safe contained "eighty-four thousand dollars" in gold and jewelry. Correct me if I am wrong, but the bandits made away with all of it, and, gold is priced based on the "troy ounce". One troy ounce is equivalent to 1.09714 avoirdupois ounces. The price of gold was about 18.93 dollars per troy ounce in 1895, (http://www.nma.org/pdf/gold/his_gold_prices.pdf)
    the stated date of the robbery. Let's do some fuzzy math.

    If gold was 18.93 a troy ounce, and $84,000 was taken, I have heard $50,000 too, so lets just say $60,000.

    So, how many ounces of gold do you suppose they got away with?

    60,000 / 18.93 = 3,169.57 Troy ounces.

    Now, if one troy ounce = 1.09714 ounces:

    1.09714 avoirdupois ounces
    3,169.57 Troy ounces * -------------------------------------- = 3,477.46 Ounces
    One Troy Ounce


    Now let's convert that to pounds:

    One pound
    3,477.46 Ounces * ------------------- = 217.34 Pounds
    16 ounces

    That is almost 110 extra pounds each horse would be carrying . . . . conclusion . . . I do not think they
    went very far before they buried some of the loot and scrammed. They would have known ahead
    of time that a posse would be sent as soon as possible, and planned for that contingency . . . . by
    having selected, maybe even prepared a place to bury the loot ahead of time, and it was common
    practice for outlaws to bury the loot after the robbery and hightail it out and return later for the loot.
    The average man is going to weigh about 180 pounds, add that to 110 and you have about 290 pounds.
    The average weight of a horse is about 1000 lbs. 290 Pounds is nearly a third of that weight. A horse
    is not going to be able to go fast for very long carrying that weight. I would say they took some with
    them, but cached the dollars in a well-known hiding place somewhere not to far from the site of the
    robbery. They were very successful in evading capture, so that also points toward validation of this
    theory.
    We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful god, who creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes.  Gene Roddenberry

  2. #2
    us
    Jan 2008
    Black Hills of South Dakota
    Tesoro Lobo & Garrett Stinger
    4,172
    75 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .

    Are you talking about the train robbery that took place with the guys that blew up the train?

    Just asking, because there are far more than just the one -

    Beth
    "Irony is the rule"

  3. #3
    us
    Jul 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Whites TDI
    261
    4 times

    Re: My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .


    Yes, see the info in the link I posted at the beginning. If you find anything based on this theory, I would appreciate a little part of it!
    We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful god, who creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes.  Gene Roddenberry

  4. #4
    us
    Jan 2008
    Black Hills of South Dakota
    Tesoro Lobo & Garrett Stinger
    4,172
    75 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .

    I thought you were - the one in 1895 (one of the ones in 1895 ).

    These guys who pulled this job were not the brightest individuals in the world.

    First, it wasn't their first "job". They actually robbed the train by taking the train, and then unhooking it when it got outside of town. Unfortunately for them - they unhooked the wrong car, and stranded themselves. True story. (Joe George and Grant Wheeler).

    Also, you have to have some knowledge of the area. They would have had to go a considerable distance - just to not be seen. If you go out there, you will see that the "trees" are not very big, and you can see for 60 miles. (assuming the wind isn't blowing the dirt around). The "dry lake" is out there, adding to the openess of the area. So, in order to hide, they would have had to go to, either someones ranch (sometimes thought to be what some of them did - some thought they went to the Riggs ranch - a ranch which borders our property in Arizona) - or up
    to the mountains - Dos Cabezas would be the most likely in that scenerio - and the spot where some folks, including us, have found old signs of
    outlaw living. That would be the two closest places - if you really wanted to hide. Another thing to add - pretty much nothing grows at the
    dry lake in the area - so, depending on the weather - it could either be like quicksand (if there was recently water in it), or hard as a bullet, or somewhere in between, so, you could see horse tracks.

    We do know that they stopped at Moore's ranch and got food, and they admitted to Moore that they had gotten lost in the night. Then they went to Yates ranch, and left their horses (one was lame, one was exhausted). After they left that ranch, the rancher went to Willcox and reported them.

    So, pretty much, thy didn't care how much their horses were carrying, and, we don't even know if they had an extra horse or two, because some people said their were more than two horses hidden in the brush. (there are only a few areas out there where they could have hidden any horses, actually - using the real term "hiding". The vegetation just is not there. Too much mineral in the dirt - its pretty nasty.

    Beth
    "Irony is the rule"

  5. #5
    us
    Jan 2008
    Black Hills of South Dakota
    Tesoro Lobo & Garrett Stinger
    4,172
    75 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .

    I forgot to add that there are as many stories about this incident as there are newspapers, and they are different.

    If you look at the Tombstone newstory that I think you are looking at - it is an "way after the fact" accounting.

    Here is one of the time.

    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...649C94649ED7CF



    Beth

    pippinwhitepaws likes this.
    "Irony is the rule"

  6. #6
    us
    Jul 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Whites TDI
    261
    4 times

    Re: My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .

    The dates of the robbery match up, but the info is pretty sketchy between the two . . . . given that this one is from California, it had to have come via telegram, as it is dated January 31. It would be nice to find one that was done locally, a few days after the dust had settled.


    There is also an account by Fred Moore after the fact:
    http://www.infinet-is.com/~jcarhart/...fred_moore.htm

    An interesting question that might even be answerable, would be, who was the
    payroll for, and, how many men was it for? Answer that question accurately, and
    you might also get an idea of the actual amount taken. Wells Fargo may have been
    reluctant to admit the amount actually taken too, which could be one reason for the
    inconsistant figures.
    We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful god, who creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes.  Gene Roddenberry

  7. #7
    us
    Jan 2008
    Black Hills of South Dakota
    Tesoro Lobo & Garrett Stinger
    4,172
    75 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .

    Which one from the Tombstone paper do you have?

    If it is this one, it is not "written in the times"

    http://thetombstonenews.com/the-will...ry-p447-84.htm

    The link I already posted was from the New York Times.



    Beth
    "Irony is the rule"

  8. #8
    us
    Jul 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Whites TDI
    261
    4 times

    Re: My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .

    I have given you two the one you list and the other, an account by Fred Moore years later.
    as for the link you posted that you said was from the NY Times, at the very beginning of it
    it says, San Francisco, January 31 . . . . so it may have been contemporary, but if it is saying
    San Francisco, January 31 at the beginning of it, and it is indeed from the NY Times, it is
    second-hand . . . . meaning they got their news from San Francisco, and, San Francisco
    probably got it via telegram. Hard to say just how accurate it is . . . . Then in the article
    I listed by Fred Moore, he says he saw Joe George much later, so sorting out the bull *&^%
    from fact is not so easy.
    We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful god, who creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes.  Gene Roddenberry

  9. #9
    us
    Jan 2008
    Black Hills of South Dakota
    Tesoro Lobo & Garrett Stinger
    4,172
    75 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .

    The New York Times (back in the day) did get much of their "western" information from California.

    There is a lot of "local" talk in the Willcox area - and at the Rex Allen museum and the other place (which escapes my memory right at the moment, but it is in Willcox).

    One of the two places has a piece of silver peso from the train robbery - pretty sure it is authentic, because it was buried in a railroad post, and
    found by someone who donated it. It is a cool place to visit - actually, they are both neat places to visit. Willcox is proud of their heritage.

    Also, every once in awhile, the railroad will have an "event" - which talks about, not just that robbery, but the history of the railroad in that area over all.

    I, personally, think that they ended up in the Dos Cabezas mountains. That just comes from putting together all the stories and info we have seen over the years. Used to think a little differently, until we moved there - and started listening to the local stuff.

    That link from Fred Moore is not actually from Fred Moore, but from a historical writing project that they are doing all over the west.

    On my old (currently dead) computer, I have a bunch of the local newspaper stuff that we got from the library microfische. I suggest that, if
    you want to read that sort of stuff, you might want to spend a day (or two, because there is a lot), doing just that.

    Of course, if you do that - good luck getting access to the mountains - the state sold off some land and it is now gated. (at Dos Cabezas).

    If you were to drive to Rucker Canyon, from where the robbery happened - you would not think they went to Rucker Canyon.

    Beth




    "Irony is the rule"

  10. #10
    us
    Jul 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Whites TDI
    261
    4 times

    Re: My theory regarding the Wilcox Train Robbery . . .

    If I thought there was a good chance of finding something in Dos Cabezas, I would not have any problem with asking the
    owners for access . . . . some say yes, some say no, some want part of what you find.
    I still think there is a good chance they stashed some place closer. Five miles from town would not give them a lot of time
    to make an escape, given that they had to blow the safe, and had difficulty doing so. The robbery was said to have been
    committed in the evening in bad weather. They bought the dynamite ahead of time, they hid their horses ahead
    of time, that all points to advanced planning. Even thieves get better at what they do, the more they do it. Also, some
    have stated that there were coins imbedded in trees . . . not railroad ties. Granted, they were probably not much more than the small bushes they call trees here. Also, why would they use Mexican Pesos to pay workers in Arizona?
    It is doubtful I would find the time to get to the library there, as if I go on vacation I decide where I am MD'ing beforehand and
    then hit it. I wouldn't want to spend my vacation sitting in a library. If you get your computer fixed, I would not mind seeing
    what you have.
    I do wonder why it is you say that Rucker Canyon was not their ultimate destination. I would assume it is because it is extremely rough terrain. From what I have read though, it appears that there were quite a few people who settled in that area.

    We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful god, who creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes.  Gene Roddenberry

  11. #11

    May 2013
    455
    82 times
    The workers weren't paid in pesos. They were paid with the money that was in the safe. That story isn't true about $84,000 in gold. It was money in the safe, not gold.

  12. #12
    us
    Jan 2012
    Pinal Mountains,Arizona
    Garrett Groundhog-2012-1st MD. White's Goldmaster V/Sat-2nd-MD-2013
    1,026
    333 times
    Prospecting
    I just read the first article and it sounds like all some one would have to do is go to the cave.
    Then start searching in a circle, and go wider and wider in a grid pattern.
    Plus,the stash couldn't be deep,if it where rocky, and hard packed dirt.
    They wouldn't have had time to dig,unless they dug a pit before the robbery.
    Even my MD will some what respond to lose dirt,or a place that is hollow, or dug up with voids underneath the ground.
    Unless they used a natural crevice and put rocks or boulders in front of it so it looks natural.

  13. #13

    May 2013
    455
    82 times
    Good luck! Its rough country out there. In the hundred or so years since, there's probably been at least a hundred people out there looking for it. Its possible someone found it and unless they're stupid, they're not going to say. You never know.

  14. #14
    donald peterson

    Jan 2013
    somewhere between flagstaff, preskit
    Whites prism III
    4,541
    1913 times
    Relic Hunting
    lol...best go see that cave system prior to believing a circle is the method to find the loot...

    that cave system is confusing at best..even with hand rails an guides.

  15. #15

    May 2013
    455
    82 times
    I don't know if he meant go around in circles in the cave or outside. I would probably say outside.

 

 
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