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

Jagdpanther

Sr. Member
Jun 22, 2005
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The Edge
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."
[email protected]
 

Highmountain

Hero Member
Mar 31, 2004
616
33
New Mexico
Re: Story From Salt Lake Tribune: "Want to find Aztec gold? Search soon"

grndfisher said:
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."
[email protected]

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.
 

gilmerman

Hero Member
Dec 31, 2006
682
433
Central South East
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.
 

cptbil

Bronze Member
Mar 27, 2003
1,402
79
Az/NM/Ca/Nv/Tx
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! :tongue3:
But!
It left a BLOODY TRAIL :( behind!


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

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

Randy Bradford

Sr. Member
Jun 27, 2004
488
855
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.
 

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