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  1. #1
    us
    Jun 2005
    The Edge
    315

    Story From Salt Lake Tribune: "Want to find Aztec gold? Search soon"

    Want to find Aztec gold? Search soon
    Montezuma's treasure has been rumored to be hidden deep in mines that'll be closed shortly
    By Mark Havnes
    The Salt Lake Tribune
    Salt Lake Tribune
    Article Last Updated:04/03/2008 10:41:45 AM MDT

    KANAB - Sorry, prospective prospectors, but you'll have to bury those dreams of unearthing Montezuma's gold.
    Land managers plan to close nearly two dozen abandoned mines on southern Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, including some shafts outside Kanab where residents used to hunt for the Aztec emperor's rumored riches.
    Old mines pose safety perils. Curious kids and other explorers can get trapped, injured or worse. Some shafts contain lethal gases.
    Douglas Powell, a geologist with the Bureau of Land Management, said the mines need to be closed to protect the increasing number of visitors who traipse through the 1.9 million-acre monument in Kane and Garfield counties.
    Steve Fluke, an environmental scientist with the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, said crews could begin closing 22 mines in September at a cost of about $1,200 per site. They sometimes use backfill, masonry, stones or steel grates - which provide access for bats that frequent some of the caves.
    The closures comply with a 1977 law that mandates shutting down abandoned mines by tapping coal royalties. In 2004, 46 mines were closed on the monument.
    There are no active mining claims on the monument now, although BLM archaeologist Matt Zweifel said he still fields occasional inquiries from hopeful prospectors.
    Conditions were much different a century or so ago. Starting around the 1880s, miners began probing these parts of southern Utah for copper, lead, manganese and coal.
    Then, in the 1920s, a man named Freddy Crystal showed up, claiming he had a map that identified Johnson Canyon, east of Kanab, as the place Montezuma's treasures - said to have been spirited from Mexico to keep out of the hands of Spanish conquistadors - had been hidden.
    Many residents caught gold fever and began burrowing into a mountain, creating what became known as Montezuma Mine.
    The treasure hunters struck out and eventually lost interest. Now, those shafts are slated for closure.
    Kane County resident Monte Chamberlain doubts the Montezuma Mine is a hazard and noted it remains popular with locals, including Boy Scouts.
    "We never found gold there," he said, "but never lost a Scout, either."
    mhavnes@sltrib.com
    He who made kittens put snakes in the grass.

  2. #2

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Story From Salt Lake Tribune: "Want to find Aztec gold? Search soon"

    Quote Originally Posted by grndfisher
    Want to find Aztec gold? Search soon
    Montezuma's treasure has been rumored to be hidden deep in mines that'll be closed shortly
    By Mark Havnes
    The Salt Lake Tribune
    Salt Lake Tribune
    Article Last Updated:04/03/2008 10:41:45 AM MDT

    KANAB - Sorry, prospective prospectors, but you'll have to bury those dreams of unearthing Montezuma's gold.
    Land managers plan to close nearly two dozen abandoned mines on southern Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, including some shafts outside Kanab where residents used to hunt for the Aztec emperor's rumored riches.
    Old mines pose safety perils. Curious kids and other explorers can get trapped, injured or worse. Some shafts contain lethal gases.
    Douglas Powell, a geologist with the Bureau of Land Management, said the mines need to be closed to protect the increasing number of visitors who traipse through the 1.9 million-acre monument in Kane and Garfield counties.
    Steve Fluke, an environmental scientist with the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, said crews could begin closing 22 mines in September at a cost of about $1,200 per site. They sometimes use backfill, masonry, stones or steel grates - which provide access for bats that frequent some of the caves.
    The closures comply with a 1977 law that mandates shutting down abandoned mines by tapping coal royalties. In 2004, 46 mines were closed on the monument.
    There are no active mining claims on the monument now, although BLM archaeologist Matt Zweifel said he still fields occasional inquiries from hopeful prospectors.
    Conditions were much different a century or so ago. Starting around the 1880s, miners began probing these parts of southern Utah for copper, lead, manganese and coal.
    Then, in the 1920s, a man named Freddy Crystal showed up, claiming he had a map that identified Johnson Canyon, east of Kanab, as the place Montezuma's treasures - said to have been spirited from Mexico to keep out of the hands of Spanish conquistadors - had been hidden.
    Many residents caught gold fever and began burrowing into a mountain, creating what became known as Montezuma Mine.
    The treasure hunters struck out and eventually lost interest. Now, those shafts are slated for closure.
    Kane County resident Monte Chamberlain doubts the Montezuma Mine is a hazard and noted it remains popular with locals, including Boy Scouts.
    "We never found gold there," he said, "but never lost a Scout, either."
    mhavnes@sltrib.com
    If the proposed USFS regs go through and are adopted "SEARCH SOON" will be the motto of anyone who hopes to find anything of value on government land.

  3. #3
    us
    Dec 2006
    325
    5 times

    Re: Story From Salt Lake Tribune: "Want to find Aztec gold? Search soon"

    This is sort of like Spanish gold and silver, in caves on White Sands Military reservation. You can not get permission to search.

  4. #4
    Cptbil

    Mar 2003
    Az/NM/Ca/Nv/Tx
    1,402
    10 times

    Re: Story From Salt Lake Tribune: "Want to find Aztec gold? Search soon"

    You don't have to worry about the Gold, Silver bars & Relics in
    The White Sands, aka Victorio Peak (Treasure caverns)
    The US Govt. stole it from the legal owners, The Noss Family!
    It's long gone!
    But!
    It left a BLOODY TRAIL behind!


    (I know! Personally!)
    (In Detail!)

    If you'd care to read about finding the Treasure & the later theft,
    The Book, "100 Tons of Gold"
    Is an excellent, true & factual account off the entire story
    CptBil & Bugs

  5. #5

    Jun 2004
    99
    84 times

    Re: Story From Salt Lake Tribune: "Want to find Aztec gold? Search soon"

    I've been to the White Mountain site of the alleged Freddy Crystal Monteuma treasure. It's a fascinating site and an interesting story. I talked with a lot of the locals while workign on a book I'm in the process of writing about various versions of the Montezuma Treasure present throughout the Southwest US. The site itself is not, in my opinoin, the final location of the treasurte but holds historical context nonetheless. Thereare actually two different supposed locations of this same treasure in the immediate vicinity, which is notweworthy. First hand accouts of the digs at White Mountain are not forthcoming but would certainly lend a great deal of detail to what is otherwise a beautiful local legend. White Mountain as a site is relatively harmless with the exception of a few deep holes in the tunnels themselves which could be covered with ease, protecting expoloerers, without closing off the tunnelsas a whole which strikes me as beign overly cautious.
    (For over 10 years, the internet's best source of information on Utah Treasures and Mines!)

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,784
    26 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Story From Salt Lake Tribune: "Want to find Aztec gold? Search soon"

    bump

 

 

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