Doc, what happened to your guide? Has he returned from being AWOL, I hope?
I'm not sure about Jesuits being up there, but I don't know much about them. One thing that strikes me about this area, it kinda makes sense but in a backwards way.
I don't buy the "8 years in captivity" story, nor do I think it's very likely Thorne would have been picked up by Indians near Gila Bend, then taken into the Sierra Ancha country. This means he would've been grabbed by Yavapais, maybe raiding Tontos, and taken to the lands of the Pinal...by the same band? OK, but I just don't see that happening. Doesn't compute.
The stories seem accurate in that, as a Quaker, Thorne would've never raised a hand against any man. They were pacifists, friends to all men. Nor would he have subscribed to racial extermination policies, or thought himself above anyone. A doctor, IMO, is a natural occupation for someone with that world-view, in America, in those times.
So if he were taken captive by Indians, I don't think he would have resisted much by trying to fight them off. I don't think he would have shown any fear either. If any of his companions were murdered, it may have angered him but I don't think he would've tried to avenge them or shown any physical hostility to those who had done it. He'd probably be more likely to pray. That type of violence would be out of character for a Quaker.
Given where Thorne lived, we can be safe in assuming he knew many Apaches from many bands, and most likely treated their injuries and ailments. Most of the old stories have Thorne coming from California, along the Gila, to either Ft McDowell or back east. What makes more sense to me, what if Thorne was actually traveling DOWN the Gila from NM, to return to family in CA? What if the stories just got his travel backwards? Easy mistake to make. He would've started by going through the lands of friendly Apaches. But after passing through that country he would have entered the lands of the Pinals, and he wouldn't have been very welcome, to say the least. I can see a scenario where he may have been grabbed, treated one or more Pinals, seen some gold, and spared indefinitely until he was able to walk over to another band of Indians (not necessarily Navajo's, but still closer to his home), and from there would've easily made his way back to NM, as told in the stories. If his home was in NM, it seems a natural place to go, especially as it was in the other direction from hostile Indians But the stories seem to agree that he ended up in NM.
Speculation, for sure...but such a scenario seems to fit the area of Sombrero Butte better. While it's very possible that Cooley was searching the wrong area, and should've been closer to or in the Supes, it seems unlikely Cooley would've gotten it so wrong. I think he was too familiar with NM and AZ to be that far off, given that he was a contemporary of Thorne's and quite possibly knew him well. That being said, he never found the gold...Banta thought it had been a fool's errand, and McCarthy said he'd found it and it was just a pile of Pyrites.
He's around, Don't know if he got a new phone or what. He is a survivalist. So likes being out of cell service. A free bird. Why I liked his company. Was just up for the adventure. had no clue of what I was looking for. But do know he found a tunnel. Said he wouldn't tell me if he had found something good. Know he went back up atleast once. Other than that when I didn't go down last yr in Dec, he went total quiet. Im sure when I Do my thing Ill find him and give him his share of the take of "rock samples" for his time he spent with me. Maybe in return he will share what he had found. Im sure Ill find his cave this yr. I vaguely remember where he was at when He yelled at me to look at a natural bridge (arch) he was walking on. I was in a hurry though to get off of the mntn to see my grandma, while we were at camp after leaving the area on the way out he told me about the walled up tunnel by the arch. I haven't been been back since. Its coming tho. mntns are calling me, 2 yrs is too long.. Getting old fast.
As for Sierra Ancha country , Believe the story of Pipps being buried above was from up that way. If there was gold that way, I damn well believe the Jesuits knew about it . Think this map takes out any doubts.