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Treasure hunting in North America

Updated on January 11, 2010

Hells Backyard

If history, legend, lore, and a huge untapped source of treasure is what your looking for, this is the North American Motherlode. The undiscovered Lost Dutchman Mine lies somewhere within a rather small mountain range known as the Superstitions. While now under the protection of numerous Federal agencies that have curtailed any and all mining and mineral removal activities within the Superstitions, the opportunity for fame and fortune still exist aplenty! Negotiated finders fees, books, television spots, and lecture tours all await the individual who locates this historic landmark. To illustrate this point the undiscovered location remains Arizonas second most popular tourist attraction falling short only to the Grand Canyon. Imagine the monetary value to the State of Arizona in tourism alone if the location was discovered!

Strong evidence exists that the Dutchman is nowhere neared "played out" and consists of a near surface vein of gold two feet wide and over four hundred feet long.

Can the Lost Dutchman Mine be found?

The resounding answer to that question is YES! The key to it's discovery lies within a a set of maps created by a family named Peralta. Unlike Jacob Waltz who wanted to hide the locaton of the mine, the Peraltas were a mining familiy from Mexico who wanted to pass the location of the mine to future family members. Unfortunately, they encrypted their maps and only other members of the family were privy to the encryption methodology. The "not so simple" answer to finding the mine is this: Discover the encryption medthodology and discover the Lost Dutchman mine!

When and Where to search.

Any search for the Lost Dutchman Mine should begin on your computer with research that produces copies of the Mexican maps that are connected with the mine. (Don't worry, the maps are readily available.) My personal favorite is the Ruth / Peralta Map, AKA: The Lost Dutchman Mine Map, AKA: The Profile Map. From there it's probably going to be a lot of hard work and creative thinking about the maps encryption methods.

Make no mistake, the Superstitions aren't called the "killer mountains" and "Hells backyard" for no reason. They have richly earned and continue to earn to this day their ominous reputation and nick-names. Any off-trail searches for the mine should be conducted from November 1st. to the beginning of March when the weather is more than cooperative for rugged terrain off-trail hiking. Your equipment should include a good quality back-pack, a gallon of water, protection from wildlife, and a good reliable, brand name hand-held GPs unit. For those of you who choose, a quality metal detector may provide interesting finds, don't forget, there's been a lot of human activity in the Superstitions since the mid 1800's and many items from that era may be only a steady beep away.

The Superstitions

An old "claim stake" from the good old days when mining claims within the Superstitions was a commmon occurance.
An old "claim stake" from the good old days when mining claims within the Superstitions was a commmon occurance.
A view of the Superstitions from the inside. Two treasure hunting landmarks, Weavers Needle (extreme right) and Black-Top Mesa
A view of the Superstitions from the inside. Two treasure hunting landmarks, Weavers Needle (extreme right) and Black-Top Mesa
Could this be the rock formation of "Escarbadia" as drawn on the Lost Dutchman mine map?
Could this be the rock formation of "Escarbadia" as drawn on the Lost Dutchman mine map?
A rare and wonderful find. A longitude and latitude stake from early maping of the Superstitions from the USGS
A rare and wonderful find. A longitude and latitude stake from early maping of the Superstitions from the USGS
Every off-trail trip offers a new discovery in one form or another. Even Mother Nature contributes. Can you find the rock formation face looking back at you from this canyon wall?
Every off-trail trip offers a new discovery in one form or another. Even Mother Nature contributes. Can you find the rock formation face looking back at you from this canyon wall?
Getting ready to enter one of thousands of caves within the Superstitions.
Getting ready to enter one of thousands of caves within the Superstitions.

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    • Andrew Ward profile image

      Andrew Ward 

      3 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia

      Hi RJ,

      Thank you for the quick response. I was sorry to read in your writings of your illness and long recovery and I hope that all is well now. I confess that I love a good unsolved mystery, but in this case it appears that you have solved the mystery! I would love to meet you and explore the area one day; that is a very kind offer. I wish you all the best and I can't wait to read the next part of the research. Cheers, Andrew.

    • R J Bax profile imageAUTHOR

      R J Bax 

      3 years ago from Glendale, Arizona

      Thanks for the kind words Andrew. In the mid 1980s the Superstitions were declared off limits to any sort of excavation, precious and semi-precious mineral mining or removal. In fact, your not even allowed to bring a metal detector into the range. I've spent over 10 years in those mountains doing my research work, and, YES, there is "evidence of occupation". How I know is something I really won't discuss, but the evidence IS there! As far as the ruggedness of the "off trail Superstitions" is concerned, it's the worst terrain I've ever seen in my life! I limit my travels in the range to the cooler months as do most knowledgeable Dutch-hunters. It's nothing short of a death-trap due to the heat in the months of June, July, and August. That's a far cry from where your located. If your ever in the area, contact me and I'll give you a guided tour of the Superstitions and take a keep-sake picture of you standing in the funnel shape cover-up of the mine. Have a great day and thanks again for your comment and interest......R.J.

    • Andrew Ward profile image

      Andrew Ward 

      3 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia

      Hi RJ,

      Reading your Lost Dutchmen articles is like reading a fantastic detective story!

      I was thinking that perhaps that there would be any evidence of the mine's camp if they were there for a long time? I know that you wouldn't find tin cans or anything like that, but they must have left some evidence. It looks like a very rugged area to explore. Good luck and I look forward to the next installment. Cheers, Andrew.

    • R J Bax profile imageAUTHOR

      R J Bax 

      8 years ago from Glendale, Arizona

      Thanks Mike:

      I agree, the Superstitions have a certain lure to most who like to explore. Watch out for some of those "books". Many are filled with nonsense and are written by people just looking for their 15 minutes. There is however some GREAT literature out there too. A metal detector may work in the washes on the outskirts of the mountains but probably not in the mountains themselves since most of the range is still covered in a thick layer of volcanic tuft. Aerial testing does show a high probability of electrum within the Superstitions but it may not be detectable for quite a "geological" period of time.

    • profile image

      Mike 

      8 years ago

      Nice article!

      I've read quite a few books on the Superstitions years ago and have always wanted to explore it with a metal detector.

      I don't know for sure how much I've read has been truth or legend, but the mystery of the place really can really get the imagination going.

      Maybe when I retire :=)

      Mike

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