Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Geology, geology, geology in the Superstition Mountains!"


 

Field producers Nina and Michelle relax between takes.

 

Lots of visible gold in this sample Ron Feldman says came from the Lost Dutchman's Mine.

 
 

Ron Feldman with son's Josh and Jessie and Scott.

 

Lost Dutchman, Jacob Waltz, is buried in a lonely part of the cemetery.

 

The photograph sent anonymously after I returned from the shoot shows rich gold ore inside what appears to be the secret location of the Lost Dutchman Mine in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona.  

 
The Lost Dutchman Mine mystery was a really fun episode because I had the chance to do several days of hard rock geology in the field.  It brought back memories of my first job out of college as a field geologist looking for gold in Northern Minnesota with Mapco Minerals.  Even though it was fun to be prospecting out in the desert, searching for clue's to Jacob Waltz's "honey hole" of gold ore was tough to do.  It seemed like everyone I talked to thought they had it all figured out when clearly they didn't.  Some thought the gold was a rich ore deposit while others thought it was a cache of gold bars, coins, or placer nuggets mined from a different location altogether.  As you saw in the episode, some are convinced the Peralta Stones are definitely connected to the Lost Dutchman Mine when in fact, there is no clear indication on the stones it even is a map to a gold mine. 
 
I've received a lot of emails from people who think they know where the gold mine is in the Superstition Mountains.  While there definitely is gold in those mountains, I wasn't certain during the search that anybody living today knows where the mother lode is for certain.  If they did, why would they say a word to anyone about it?
 
On the other hand, the photograph sent anonymously to me after we shot the episode clearly shows a spectacular amount of veins of gold inside what appears to be quartz host.  The occurrence of gold in this photo could very well be the source of the sample Ron showed me that he said came from the Lost Dutchman Mine.  One thing I know for sure is this large, gold-rich quartz vein was not from the Mammoth Mine Ron took me to.  Even though Mammoth Mine was a reliable gold producer for several years, based on this photo (if legitimate) and the geology I saw, it can't be the Lost Dutchman. 
 
What I can conclude is if the site in this photo truly is the mine where Jacob Waltz got his gold, the Lost Dutchman was, and apparently still is a gold-rich deposit and someone out there knows where it is.  Maybe one day they'll take me there?  If I had to wear a blind-fold so as to never reveal it's location, I'd be happy to so I could answer the question of it's existence once and for all. 
 
 

57 comments:

  1. Good episode. Keep on exploring.

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  2. Aren't the Superstitions amazing? Arizona must be heaven for a geologist. It was a great place to find Apache Tears, peridot, geodes. Too much fun!

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  3. They are amazing, rugged and beautiful. I was able to hike around for quite a while and was really impressed with the wildlife and the overall desert environment that is so different than Minnesota where I live. I'll be back in Arizona next week to give a lecture and visit a few sites without the cameras!

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    1. with so much at stake in all this, and seeing that both "lifetime" experts suggested you "go east" to see what you could find, I would have gone WEST. who knows how many times being asked, that your two sources pointed to the same direction for all inquiries. There may be a geological anomaly on the Western sections of Superstition.........unless of course you have already explored this angle. Loved the show

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    2. It looks like there's a new show coming on History Channel about the Superstition Mountains; maybe they will go west?

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    3. Who are these hott ladies and why wasn't I invited...JK...Keep up the good work Scott!

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    4. A true scientist keeps an open mind. Thanks Scott for all you do. Keep up the fight!

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  4. Love your show but especially enjoyed this episode. Good job!

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  5. Love your show. This episode was great!

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  6. You should get in contact with a guy named Rick Gwynne. He lives in Apache Junction, AZ. He has a vast amount of knowledge about he Superstitions and the Dutchman. He also knows that mountain like the back of his hand. He's a treasure hunter that we met a few years back.
    Also, there is a theory that I heard that the gold Jacob Waltz had was from the Vulture Mine. Theory was he was high grading it out of there and bringing it back to a secret location in the Superstitions.

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    1. The Vulture Mine is a long way off from the Superstition Mountains. The Superstions are located a ways east of the Phoenix metro, while the Vulture Mine is located quite a ways west of the Phoenix metro. Even in a car it's a long way!
      I've always been intrigued by the legend and myth surrounding the Dutchman and his fabled mine. But I do believe it would be near impossible to ever prove the existence of the mine as genuine. Arizona is still full of gold that has been lost or never discovered. But the intrigue will always be there!

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  7. Kim,

    There are at least a dozen individuals (all men interestingly) I've been referred to who insist they know where the Lost Dutchman mine is. It's very likely there is more than one rich deposit of gold ore in the Superstitions. Some have probably been mined out, perhaps in the distant past by cultures that were there hundreds if not thousands of years ago.

    The photo I was sent and posted here of what looks like a gold-rich vein inside a mine somewhere in the mountains has me intrigued. Hopefully, I'll get more information and possibly a site visit.

    Stay tuned...

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    1. There are a bunch of old gold mines in the area. There is one guy on youtube that has access to one mine that still has gold ore in it and he slowly picks gold out from time to time. I think the spanish came up this way after they conquered south america and the aztecs and was told more gold was up this way and they came up here to and made some gold mines.

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  8. how do I email you I have info but will not post it directly (publicly)

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  9. My personal email is: swolter@amengtest.com

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  10. Hi Scott
    I just wanted to say your show ROCKS!
    Take Care
    Jennica

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  11. Scott
    Is it really you who answers all these comments? How nice!
    Jennica

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  12. Thank you Jennica. Rocks...? Good one!

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  13. Yep, I answer all comments sent in and I enjoy it.

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  14. Wow, it's really you??!! It's great to know that you'll answer any question that I may have!��

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  15. OK which was lost, the Dutchman or the Mine, because shouldn't it be "The Dutchman's Lost Mine"?
    Just kidding ;-)

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  16. I don't understand why my comments are not being included/approved? I had legitimate questions and concerns, none of which were critical or negative. If anything they could be rather helpful and interesting to you, Mr.Wolter; both historically, and geologically.

    Sorry I am not sure how to operate my Google account.

    Sincerely,
    Charlie Jordan, WV.

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    1. Hey Charlie,

      This is the first message I've received from you. Fire away with your questions pal.

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    2. My bad. And thank you, Scott.

      I am pretty limited technologically. This is my first time using my Google account.

      I am a big fan of your show, but a bigger fan of your work in general. The truth is THE most valuable thing we have. It is always worth it to press the issues.

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    3. No worries Charlie; I'm glad you feel your thoughts and ideas about this subject matter were important enough to get fired up about.

      It's important to me too, and believe me, I can get pretty fired up!

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  17. Hi Scott:

    Your show is awesome ! My 9 y/o daughter follows your every step. She recognizes your face, name & voice in commercials on upcoming shows. She gets excited and yells, "it's Scott"! Abby shares & will quote what she has learned from you. She wants to find a local archeology dig or reputable group in Georgia?? Abby would love to be a part of ongoing investigation/dig so she can discover history!!!

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  18. Teresa,

    That's pretty cure your daughter likes the show; tell her I really appreciate it.

    I don't know of any groups specifically, but I'll bet if you scout around the Internet you've find something interesting and fun.

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    1. Thanks Scott!

      Would you say hello to my daughter Abby. She would be thrilled!!

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    2. Hello Abbey! Thank you for watching the show.

      Scott

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  19. Hi There
    I think I posted a question I had incorrectly somehow.
    Who do you think really wrote "Inventio Fortunata"?

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    1. I suspect it was a Cistercian or Franciscan monk traveling with post put-down (after 1307) Templar fleet on one their many secret voyages to North America.

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  20. Hi Scott,
    First of all, we really love your show. My question is regarding equipment. In your most recent two shows, you used a microscope that attached to your digital camera. My husband is intrigued and wants to know how he can get his hands on one. Can you give us any information about who makes it? Thank you!

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    1. Kristina,

      The equipment you saw me use is a Canon Digital Microscope with three different magnification lenses. I bought it for field work about 10 years ago and don't know if Canon even carries it still.

      I'd just do an internet search and see what you come up with? It's a simple but slick unit that takes good, quick and dirty photos!

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    2. Wow! Thanks for the speedy reply! My husband and I both work for the East Bay Regional Park District and got super excited when we heard that you were interested in investigating the rock walls in some of our parks. We were bummed when it didn't happen! We'll continue to watch and enjoy your show. Thanks again!

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  21. I was wondering if you did any research on the death of Adolph Ruth. He was an amateur explorer and treasure hunter whose skull was found in the Superstition Mountains in 1931 six months after heading to what he was said to know as the site of the Peralta Mine. What I find interesting is that the skull was reported to have two bullet holes in it from a high powered rifle. He also has not been the only death in pursuit of the mine since 1931. Reading about the deaths that have occurred since then it has struck me that perhaps there is more to this than relegating it to a curse. Perhaps involving govt or military knowledge of the mine and a presence monitoring it. I would guess that after WW2 such a location would be very interesting to certain entities.

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  22. J Moore,

    I have not done any specific research about Adolph Ruth, but I did hear that story, along with a lot of other stories. Too many to follow up on each one. However, I've reached the conclusion that based on the picture sent to me after I was there and posted above, there is still a mine shaft out tere somewhere rich with gold.

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  23. Thank you for responding and I agree about that. The fact that those who claim to know where it is wind up dying leads to me to believe that even more. Thanks also for a thoroughly interesting and informative series that makes you question the spoonfed accounts of our history. The truth is so much more interesting.

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  24. Scott, I love the incredible landscape of the Superstitions, and I was very excited that you did a show about the Lost Dutchman mine. I very much enjoyed the show, but I am puzzled about something. Having visited the Superstition area a few years back while on a trip to Phoenix, I knew right away while watching the episode that the Peralta Stones were in the small Superstition Museum near Goldfield. I was surprised that the gentlemen you interviewed, especially Ron Feldman, did not know this. For Mr. Feldman to have such a great interest in the stones, and to even have plaster replicas of them, I would expect him to know where the original stones where located, especially since the museum is located in the same town where Mr. Feldman lives - Apache Junction. If a tourist like me knew where the Peralta Stones where, I find it curious that your show presented this as a mystery that was only solved by a text message tip near the end of the episode. A quick internet search would have also told you where the stones were located. As I mentioned above, I do enjoy your show, and the questions you raise are intriguing. I just don't understand the theatrics of presenting the location of the Peralta Stones as a mystery. Can you give me some insight into why this was done? Thank you.

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  25. Will,

    I suspect there was a little theatrics going on, but I was not part of it. Ron didn't seem to know where they were the first time I talked to him. In any case, I'm not convinced the Peralta Stones are connected to the Lost Dutchman Mine. Some people believe they are connected to Montezuma's treasure and lead to Utah.

    I've also heard there are four more inscribed stones connected to the ones we looked at on the show?

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  26. Thanks Scott for your explanation. Keep filming.

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  27. Dr. Ales Hrdlicka and Adolph Ruth -- these are two figures from the "lost Dutch mine". Think of this. Why was the director of the Smithsonian doing an autopsy on a "murder" victim from the Superstitions.

    http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gcundiff/LostDutchman/ruth/Newspaper,%20Phoenix%20Gazette%20-%20January%201932.pdf

    this gets better every day. Scott didn't find the "mine" yet but having lived in the SW - this story is "gold", so to speak.

    Enjoy!!

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  28. http://www.desertusa.com/lost-dutchman/dutchman-found1.html

    this is a great web site with up to date information -- enjoy --- this story goes way, way back. Enjoy.

    I think Scott could spend a lifetime in the SW and still not get to all the stories. Great shows -- thanks

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  29. Scott:

    I have sent some base stone analysis in regards to the origin of the Peralta Stones to the America Unearthed site. Essentially, these break down into two distinct sections:
    -The map stones
    -The horse/witch stones

    We did not find any basis tying these to a Peralta family or incident, not that if such an incident did occur, it would leave a trail of history to follow. Therefore we pursued the map stones, in which we believe have a reasonable basis, but nothing to do with the Superstitions, but which may point southward to the Quijotoa mountains and gold/silver therein, and potentially back to the Jesuit days in the 1700's.

    Once you have had a chance to peruse, please let me know if you'd like to review further research.

    The origin of the stones is trickier than one my originally realize,
    We drilled long and hard into the basis for each, and when the

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  30. Scott, we really enjoy your show. As an amateur genealogist I am most interested in your portable microscope. I am wondering if it would help me to read some of the old tombstones that are so weathered that they are illegible now. Could you tell me what type you use and where to get one. Do you think it would be helpful for that application? Thank you for any advice you have.

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  31. Actually, the best way to read old weathered tombstones is to look at them at night with a flashlight or lantern shining the light across the inscriptions at a low angle. You can also move the light around which makes it that much better.

    It's really fun being in a cemetery at night too!

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  32. Hi Scott, I am a big fan of the show and even bought a 50 inch tv so I dont miss anything. I read you post about your digital microscope and it really interested me. I could not find any trace of a Canon Digital Microscope anywhere so I contacted Canon. They claim that they have never sold a Digital Microscope in the US and that it must be made by someone else. Would it be too much trouble to tell me the make a model so that maybe I can track it down.

    Thanks for your time
    Mike

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  33. Hello Scott,
    My wife and I really enjoy your TV show. I think you & the show are going to be around awhile.
    I'm going to tell you why nobody has located the lost Dutchman mine. It's the way that Jacob Waltz hid the mine. It was pure genius.

    B. W.

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  34. B.W.

    Maybe it was all mined out? Why wouldn't he have done what anybody else would do if they could? Perhaps the bulk of the gold is gone?

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  35. Scott,
    I don't think it has been mined out. I think it's just the beginning. I think this a outcrop of a vein and some person or persons has taken the first 3-4 feet off of the end where it was exposed at one time to hide it. I have taken my Minelab 3500 back there and got a hit on that spot that runs for more than 35 feet up a hill, and you know it runs deeper the farther it runs.
    You ask why didn't he mine it all out ? Well, at that time this place was not the most hospitable place. I think he felt he could never stay very long each day during the winter. Most likely he had a burrow and a mule standing around and Apache Indians for what I have read enjoyed eating burrows & mules back then. Also he had history with the Apache Indians, they had already shot Waltz in the right shoulder with a arrow years before.

    I think the reason why the gold is still there is because maybe there is so much of it. He couldn't take home, there was no one home to guard it while he was away at the mine. People knew he had a mine, people knew where he lived.
    I think it is a vein of hydrothermal gold. There is a old volcano in the area, " Weavers needle ". That is just my guess.

    B.W.

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    1. I'm sure there's more gold out there. The question is how much and where is it. That's what keeps people on the quest isn't it?

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  36. Hi Scott,
    Great show. I hear different stories of laws governing the Superstitous area. Where can I find records of these laws?
    Thanks

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    1. I would start by calling the Arizona Geological Survey; they would probably know.

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  37. Scott,
    I think your right about gold being in there. I suppose, if you ever to decide to visit the Superstition Mountains again you might bring a mercury vapor analyzer with you. It would be interesting to see whether mercury vapor patters in the Superstitions line up with known fault lines.

    I will tell you how Jacob Waltz hid his mine.
    Jacob Waltz worked all winter and built a stone house over the mine entrance. It was a 2 room rock house. It's true. That's why Waltz always said a miner would never find his mine. I think Waltz got tired of killing people to protect the mine. I think this was pure genius.

    B.W.

    B.W.

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  38. Love the show Scott.

    If I ever find anything geologically interesting here in Northern Indiana, I'll certainly give you a jingle.

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  39. Thanks Brad; can't have too many eyes on the lookout!

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