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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The search for Corral Falso

The search for Corral Falso

All Italicized material herein are quotes from the research papers found at Berkeley Library
as a result of  the William Page expedition of 1912

A little history…

Some time in about 1912, William Page was visiting the area of San Blas in the territory of Tepic Mexico, now known as the state of Nayarit. At this time he received in a manner unknown to me, a document which was found by a woman digging in her garden. The document was contained in a wooden and iron box. The document was written by one of the two Banditos Captains the document spoke of, it was their redotero (old Spanish) or derrotero as it is said today, their charted course to several cache sites left by them in their career as Bandito Captains robbing from the many Spanish mule trains that passed through the area in route to the port of San Blas.

At the time William set out to verify information contained in the document and made preparations to make an expedition to the area and most particularly to find Corral Falso being a main cache site and hold up for the Banditos for many years, unfortunately his efforts were halted by an invasion to the area of the followers of Emiliano Zapata Salazar a key figure in Mexico’s revolutionary war.

While waiting for political conditions to improve in Mexico, William took the liberties of further research in the histories of Banditos occupation in Mexico at the Archives of Seville, Guadalajara and local records in Tepic. William provides a perspective of the Banditos I had not considered as a result of his research. I had always pictured the Banditos as the Mexican wild bunch running around robbing anyone who looked like they had something, raping and pillaging.

To understand the term Banditos as it is applied herein, Banditos were no different than the patriots of the war of independence here in the United States. According to Mr. Pages research, they were “all honest artisans and mechanics, and membership was handed down from father to son, being looked upon with pride as a mark of distinction.” Pertaining to the Banditos in the area of Tepic he says, “they lived at home, either in Tepic or the immediate vicinity, and followed their various trades except when called into the field by their local Captain, acting upon information sent down from San Luis Potosi” which was the location of their main headquarters, information “relative to the anticipated movement of some state convoy. At such times, the band was sent to assemble at their mountain headquarters, a natural stronghold known as Corral Falso.”

Interestingly enough, knowledge of Corral Falso first came to my attention in about 2003 when I received a document with map, of the writings of another Captain of those times in a location much further North, unfortunately it only mentioned Corral Falso equating it with the famed corrals of the brena, most particularly Corral de Majoma, the most famous of them all in it history and the amounts stored within its natural caverns. 14 cache locations used by the Banditos are mentioned in this document, so far, 6 have been located.

The Banditos instructions were simple, “they were to attack only such convoys as carried royal or Spanish treasure, but they were to allow no opportunity to escape inflicting as great a loss as possible upon these.

“Of the proceeds of their assault, the gold was to be held as an inviolable trust against the needs of the nation, while the balance was to be employed as might required to further the ends of the organization.”
These men “were bound by the strictest of oaths of secrecy and, if required, they were prepared to lay down their lives for the cause.”

At this time, “the Spaniards were extracting not less than 50 million pesos annually from the country.”… “this systematic despoliation of the land was one of the first causes of the bitterness against the Spaniards and was one of the first evils to be assailed.”

The Banditos organized as early as the 1600's, with a few of the most famous of cache site strongholds having been used and contributed to for near 200 years! The most notable being Corral de Majoma, the largest of those in the brena near Durango.

These earliest of Banditos “foreseeing the day when Mexico’s independence would be proclaimed, determined to prepare for this time by preventing the export of gold and silver by the Spaniards. They stored such booty as they were able to seize until it should be required to equip and arm a patriot army.”  To accomplish this. Many bands of Banditos were formed “recruited from criollos (Mexican Born Spaniards) and Indians of humble origins and good character

One of these bands was assigned to operate on the Camino Real between Mexico City and Veracruz,” another on the Acapulco road, other in the north between Durango and Zacatecas, others further North but the names will be withheld… and as it pertains to the main topic of this document, a dispatchment of Banditos meticulously operated the road between Tepic and San Blas.

Finding the corral…

I wish I could tell the whole of this but it will have to be in synopsis form and lacking details… Perhaps some day if… WHEN we find success in the development of the site, THEN I can write about the experience… much of which some would find boring but it is the many coincident that occurs along the way that I find most interesting…

Suffice it to say, prior to receiving certain information from a friend, the only knowledge I had of the corral Falso was from a document written by another Captain of the Banditos who operated along the Camino Real some 200 miles north, and was the last contributor of the famed Majoma Coral, where in he only mentions the corral Falso in a comparison to Majoma in value and type of location it is, Majoma is estimated into the Billions.

After reviewing the information sent to me a few months ago, it became apparent as to how close Mr. Page and Quinn came to locating the corral Falso, In fact, I don’t know how Quinn could not know… but it appears it slipped past him.

As I reviewed the information I realized that no modern tactics had been used to search for the site, so a simple application of modern technology, and I was able to accomplish in 20 minutes what Mr. Page could not even had he spent months searching, and... wallah! There is was… The only bad thing about being certain you have the right location is… The thrill or at least for me is now gone… then comes the painstaking problems of evaluating the land owner, finding the land owner, finding contact information of the land owner, speaking to the land owner, negotiating, making agreements, checking pertinent laws, researching archaeological concerns of which most treasure hunters have none… however implicating it may seem, I am not a treasure hunter… I do wish that any indigenous archaeological items be preserved... 

Then comes more research, searching any and all articles from what ever source derived pertaining to the key words identifying the site, searching for anything given further understanding of the site and heaven forbid, any information which might give validity of not only existence, but remaining in existence or has some lucky soul of the past found it? If so, I assure you it would appear in some written form as I have learned over the many years, most if not all with few exceptions, cannot keep their mouth shut, someone is going to talk and someone is going to print the story in one form or another... and all of this has to be searched in a language you are only FAMILIAR with!

Then it gets worse… now you have to find the right people to become a part… although not always necessary, finding the people who may have original information, it is so much easier… I think, in finding people to help having most original information…

Treasure hunters however are a strange breed… I have seen some pick up a book written by a man who hasn’t found a damned thing per say, and off they go chasing after another mans OPINION. I don’t know why they can’t see it…

Anyway, this is where we are at this time with at least 3 sites in Mexico, I believe I have the right people involved and I am biding my time with no patience whatsoever…

UPDATE…
Since the above article was written I have had a friend who is a professor of a certain University in Mexico and he is a treasure hunter, who has been to the site and has confirmed all of my suspicions... There is no doubt that I have identified the correct location. Contact with the land owner was successful, and at the time he shared a few stories he knew of more recent attempts to locate the cache, by all evidences known, the cache definitely still lies within the coral. There is also the land mark given, by the description given in the old document, which tells of what to look for when one arrives at the corral, a specific target which identifies the sealed caverns entrance, it is as was described. Planning the recovery process and opening the cavern is about all that is left.

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