California Legends

Tanneyhill

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Mar 5, 2023
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As a newbie I've been reading non-stop to learn the history of the Southwest Frontier. One thing I noticed here on TN is the vast majority of legends, finds & interests of treasure hunters have been in Arizona & New Mexico, which mainly have been Jesuit, Franciscan, Dominican Mission & Aztec era treasures.

I would have thought that with the Sierra Nevada Motherlode as the richest source of gold in America that there would be all sorts of legends and treasure hunters chasing treasures in California. After all, it was the Fraciscan Missionaries Francisco Tomas Hermenegildo Garcés and Pedro Font who discovered and came up with the name of the "Sierra Nevada" Mountain range.

If Jesuit & Spanish Missions in Arizona & New Mexico have history of mining and treasure why isn't there much literature on the same in California especially given that the Franciscan's were in the Sierra Nevada Motherlode in the late 1700s, well before the 49er gold rush.

What about treasures left behind by the 49ers? Lost mines & caches etc.

Apart from ships (not necessarily Spanish) with valuable cargo sunken off the California coast and a few legends of large caches in Southern California (Imperial, San Diego & San Bernardino Counties) there doesn't appear to be any large caches at least not what people are talking about, investigating, and searching for.

There are endless discussions about the Superstition Mountains, Tumacacori Missions, Fort Huachuca, Victorio Peak, Skeleton Canyon, Capitan Mountains (Aztec), & the Caballo Mountains but not a whole lot about California other than discussions about where to hunt for placer gold deposits.

I'm wondering why is that? Perhaps there just isn't many legends of large caches in California to capture peoples interests and imaginations? Just an observation I have noticed here.

If my observations about California are mistaken please do correct me and please kindly point me in the direction where I can research more about California legends of large caches. I am trying to learn as much as I can. Thank you all.
 
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Blackfoot58

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I struggle with one thing considering the Spanish hiding gold in North America. What would you do in the same shoes? You just marched across Mexico and were considered gods by the natives. You have an abundance of gold! Gold makes people kind of crazy. You have ships anchored off shore (maybe far away). You’ll be a hero (very well paid) if you bring the gold back to the king and queen. Now do you hide it for a l-o-n-g time, or get it to the ship?
Remember, you have ALL of the firearms at this time. I’d be loading a ship, no matter how long it took. I’m sure they stashed some, but I’m not seeing this happening a lot. However it is historically romantic to have legends of Coronado’s gold, etc. Just an opinion. 😢
 

sdcfia

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I struggle with one thing considering the Spanish hiding gold in North America. What would you do in the same shoes? You just marched across Mexico and were considered gods by the natives. You have an abundance of gold! Gold makes people kind of crazy. You have ships anchored off shore (maybe far away). You’ll be a hero (very well paid) if you bring the gold back to the king and queen. Now do you hide it for a l-o-n-g time, or get it to the ship?
Remember, you have ALL of the firearms at this time. I’d be loading a ship, no matter how long it took. I’m sure they stashed some, but I’m not seeing this happening a lot. However it is historically romantic to have legends of Coronado’s gold, etc. Just an opinion. 😢
Agreed. These miners were legal contractors to the Spanish Crown. The first wrong thinking is that the miners left the Kings Fifth hidden in North America for the King to retrieve, marked by "treasure signs" in the wilderness, presumably detailed on a map delivered to His Majesty. No. The King wanted his payment in hand when the expedition returned to Mexico. I detailed how the laws worked in a thread called "Who Owned Those Spanish Mines?" some years ago. It's a starting point for those who care about facts.

The second wrong thinking is to believe that the mining owners/contractors decided to return home empty-handed following all the expense, hard work and deprivation required to exploit the paying mine they may have discovered in the wilderness of the Northern Frontier. This would have been a job that likely took many months or years. No. The enormous cost of outfitting the expedition was borne by the contractor - assembling skilled labor, equipment, animals, et al, for the job. Add to that the logistics of travel and encampment in uncharted territories - food and water sources, security, locating and exploiting the lode, et al. With all the time, money and trouble encountered on a project with no guarantee of success, do you really believe that one day the boss would announce that the hard-earned loot will now be abandoned, a map will be drawn up and we'll all go home now?

Were there Spanish mining caches created in historic times? Maybe a few, due to extraordinary circumstances at the time. Do they still exist? Possibly a few of the few, those that weren't quickly recovered later.

Then why all the "proven stories"? Why all the clues and "treasure signs"? A very few of the early legends are based on facts, yes. Look for documentation to support these from multiple, unexpected and generally hard to easily find sources. It's tedious work. For example, I believe there is great potential in the Caballo Mountains in New Mexico for various reasons, not the least of which is its strategic location and numerous limestone caves. The problem there is the history of the area and the impossibility of separating truth from fiction.

Some of the early Anglo period "lost mine" tales have some truth too, although it's likely some, but not all, were later found and exploited by others. Maybe worth spending time on if you can find an obscure account. IMO, most public domain treasure stories are either fabrications or cover stories designed to divert your attention away from areas where bona-fide caches are located. These caches are not Spanish, but created in the 1910s-1930s for reasons not relevant to this thread's topic. Same goes for all the mysterious clues, carvings, et al that support them.
 

Blackfoot58

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I appreciate your viewpoint. If someone wants to go all “Indiana Jones” on unproven tales I say, whatever makes them happy. I sincerely hope a cache hunter finds a huge treasure. But as you said, most stories are fabrications. Thanks for a well thought out post.
 
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Tanneyhill

Tanneyhill

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Mar 5, 2023
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Blackfoot58, sdcfia - I appreciate both very thoughtful replies. Something definitely to think about.

So "IF" the easily obtainable legends in the public domain are fabrications used as decoys to keep people away from sites where there might be real caches then perhaps California is loaded with real caches given that there aren't any legends of large Spanish caches in California apart from a few in SoCal which are easily obtainable in the public domain.

I have not come across any in the Sierra Nevada motherlode despite the fact the Spanish were first to discover the region and very likely first to mine it. There was a post by EagleDown (may he rest in peace) some years ago about a discovery of a Spanish mine in Mariposa County which he did not pursue as they were afraid of booby traps. Then years later the BLM caved in the entrance of the mine and he got side track with life and other projects.

In regards to why miners may abandon a mining post and mined bullion - unless they were forced to stay by Royalty military forces then I would think during times of upheaval and conflict with the various Native Indian Tribes that lived in the Frontier. Back then if miners fled & abandoned a mine how were they going to be tracked down by the King of Spain's royalty in New Spain? Its not like you could easily find and track people back then. In the midst of a violent conflict far away in mountains of the southwest frontier are you likely to stay and risk almost certain death to protect the King of Spain's bullion or flee and disappear knowing full well that you could re-appear & find employment somewhere else in the vastness of the New Spain's empire? Just a theory of course, but without any system of tracking people I would think people were more easily inclined to move about if they could.

Thank you for the heads up about Caballo. I will do more research here.
 
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Tanneyhill

Tanneyhill

Jr. Member
Mar 5, 2023
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25
Agreed. These miners were legal contractors to the Spanish Crown. The first wrong thinking is that the miners left the Kings Fifth hidden in North America for the King to retrieve, marked by "treasure signs" in the wilderness, presumably detailed on a map delivered to His Majesty. No. The King wanted his payment in hand when the expedition returned to Mexico. I detailed how the laws worked in a thread called "Who Owned Those Spanish Mines?" some years ago. It's a starting point for those who care about facts.

The second wrong thinking is to believe that the mining owners/contractors decided to return home empty-handed following all the expense, hard work and deprivation required to exploit the paying mine they may have discovered in the wilderness of the Northern Frontier. This would have been a job that likely took many months or years. No. The enormous cost of outfitting the expedition was borne by the contractor - assembling skilled labor, equipment, animals, et al, for the job. Add to that the logistics of travel and encampment in uncharted territories - food and water sources, security, locating and exploiting the lode, et al. With all the time, money and trouble encountered on a project with no guarantee of success, do you really believe that one day the boss would announce that the hard-earned loot will now be abandoned, a map will be drawn up and we'll all go home now?

Were there Spanish mining caches created in historic times? Maybe a few, due to extraordinary circumstances at the time. Do they still exist? Possibly a few of the few, those that weren't quickly recovered later.

Then why all the "proven stories"? Why all the clues and "treasure signs"? A very few of the early legends are based on facts, yes. Look for documentation to support these from multiple, unexpected and generally hard to easily find sources. It's tedious work. For example, I believe there is great potential in the Caballo Mountains in New Mexico for various reasons, not the least of which is its strategic location and numerous limestone caves. The problem there is the history of the area and the impossibility of separating truth from fiction.

Some of the early Anglo period "lost mine" tales have some truth too, although it's likely some, but not all, were later found and exploited by others. Maybe worth spending time on if you can find an obscure account. IMO, most public domain treasure stories are either fabrications or cover stories designed to divert your attention away from areas where bona-fide caches are located. These caches are not Spanish, but created in the 1910s-1930s for reasons not relevant to this thread's topic. Same goes for all the mysterious clues, carvings, et al that support them.
Out of curiosity what were the reasons that these caches were created in the 1910-1930? If you have written other threads about this can you kindly forward me a link? Thank you.
 

sdcfia

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Out of curiosity what were the reasons that these caches were created in the 1910-1930? If you have written other threads about this can you kindly forward me a link? Thank you.
Big topic, mostly political, ultimately reaching back a thousand years in human history to the Name Stealers from today's Ukraine region. This is my brief working model only, which you'll have to ponder for yourself, if interested. As with all things, of course, I could be wrong.

Actually, there were three periods of caching. The first was 1860s to early 2000s, stemming from attempts by a group of influential people to position themselves for future events following the Civil War. The Civil War was fought to resist the power of foreign-owned central banks controlling the USA. The gold was hidden because it is real money with no debt attached. At the time, paper currency issued by the foreign-owned Federal Reserve Bank.

The security of these caches was allegedly compromised in the early 20th century and many were relocated - the second period. An additional layer of security was added to the new positions by concocting a "treasure legend" in the new cache's general vicinity. This cover story was bolstered by a set of "treasure signs" that also appeared - carvings, artifacts, et al, that were designed send a snooper in circles until he got discouraged and gave up the "search".

The third period was different. The same influential group - descendants and other Constitutionalists who opposed foreign-owned central banks - acted against the traitor FDR, who massively devalued the wealth of the citizenry with the Gold Act of 1933. This set the stage for full-blown fiat currency and made possession of US gold coins illegal. Reacting to this change, many new caches were created in order to secure gold from government seizure. Same story as before - hide the goods and further secure the locations with a scavenger hunt phony "treasure legend" and a bunch of "treasure signs" that led nowhere. As additional security, in many cases the coins were melted down and cast as "Spanish gold" bullion bars for easier disposal, if necessary later.

Interestingly, a new wave of "treasure legends" and "treasure signs" seemed to surface ca 1980s in several locations. I don't know what prompted this - maybe something to do with eliminating the redeem-ability of federal reserve notes for physical gold.
 
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Tanneyhill

Tanneyhill

Jr. Member
Mar 5, 2023
56
25
Big topic, mostly political, ultimately reaching back a thousand years in human history to the Name Stealers from today's Ukraine region. This is my brief working model only, which you'll have to ponder for yourself, if interested. As with all things, of course, I could be wrong.

Actually, there were three periods of caching. The first was 1860s to early 2000s, stemming from attempts by a group of influential people to position themselves for future events following the Civil War. The Civil War was fought to resist the power of foreign-owned central banks controlling the USA. The gold was hidden because it is real money with no debt attached. At the time, paper currency issued by the foreign-owned Federal Reserve Bank.

The security of these caches was allegedly compromised in the early 20th century and many were relocated - the second period. An additional layer of security was added to the new positions by concocting a "treasure legend" in the new cache's general vicinity. This cover story was bolstered by a set of "treasure signs" that also appeared - carvings, artifacts, et al, that were designed send a snooper in circles until he got discouraged and gave up the "search".

The third period was different. The same influential group - descendants and other Constitutionalists who opposed foreign-owned central banks - acted against the traitor FDR, who massively devalued the wealth of the citizenry with the Gold Act of 1933. This set the stage for full-blown fiat currency and made possession of US gold coins illegal. Reacting to this change, many new caches were created in order to secure gold from government seizure. Same story as before - hide the goods and further secure the locations with a scavenger hunt phony "treasure legend" and a bunch of "treasure signs" that led nowhere. As additional security, in many cases the coins were melted down and cast as "Spanish gold" bullion bars for easier disposal, if necessary later.

Interestingly, a new wave of "treasure legends" and "treasure signs" seemed to surface ca 1980s in several locations. I don't know what prompted this - maybe something to do with eliminating the redeem-ability of federal reserve notes for physical gold.

Fascinating theory. Thank you for sharing. This is one of the most useful posts I have read on TN.

I actually subscribe to the same theory as it relates to the real reasons for the Civil War. It was all about the the attempt to establish a foreign owned & controlled Central Bank. Do you think then that KGC (& other similar institutions) would play a prominent role in a lot of large caches?

Lincoln was at war with the Banking Cartel and they instigated the Civil War to bankrupt America in order to push in a Central Bank just like what they did after Congress did not renew the charter of the First Bank Of The United States in 1811 by causing the war of 1812. Due to poor government finances after the war, 5 years later President Madison signed the Second Bank Of The United States charter.

Do you have any books or research papers regarding your theory as it relates to the Civil War and/or KGC that you could recommend I read? Fascinating subject.
 
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sdcfia

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Fascinating theory. Thank you for sharing. This is one of the most useful posts I have read on TN.

I actually subscribe to the same theory as it relates to the real reasons for the Civil War. It was all about the the attempt to establish a foreign owned & controlled Central Bank. Do you think then that KGC (& other similar institutions) would play a prominent role in a lot of large caches?

Lincoln was at war with the Banking Cartel and they instigated the Civil War to bankrupt America in order to push in a Central Bank just like what they did after Congress did not renew the charter of the First Bank Of The United States in 1811 by causing the war of 1812. Due to poor government finances after the war, 5 years later President Madison signed the Second Bank Of The United States charter.

Do you have any books or research papers regarding your theory as it relates to the Civil War and/or KGC that you could recommend I read? Fascinating subject.
There are lots of breadcrumbs to follow, and it seems like you are already facing in an interesting direction. IMO, curious people are selling short when they simplify the "KGC" (and others) and their alleged caches as simply a "South shall rise again" bunch of frustrated Rebels. Whoever they and their ilk were (are) isn't completely clear, and neither are their long-term plans.

I don't have a good reading list to recommend. I've been questioning the Big Narrative literally all my life and things just seem to have piled up for me. Being involved with a "treasure hunt" back in the 1980s got me into the KGC realm and that opened many doors in many unexpected directions - most not "treasure" related. Once you start pulling threads from sweaters, your yarn pile keeps growing.

However, as far as the "KGC" itself is concerned, there are TNet threads to look at, numerous books and videos available, other websites and blogs to read, etc. You'll have to weed through conflicting ideas and settle on your own understanding. Be willing to change your beliefs as you go, because you'll be teaching yourself.
 

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