Rumors and the writings of those who sell book have conjured stories for treasure books for a long time, one such version of a story which is to follow, seems to have an agenda of convincing the reader of a fallacy story of Moctezuma instructing his people to haul hordes of silver and gold back to their ancient homeland… and it just didn’t happen. However the truth of what happened to me is even more exciting and compelling than the embellishments… Was there a caravan which brought valuables back to the home of their ancestors? Yes… twice in fact and in one incident they were being pursued by their enemy, it just wasn’t tons of gold and silver. One incident that include some precious item of gold and silver took place during the time of Moctezuma the 1st, it was intended as a gift to those of their people whom stayed behind long before, but in all probability never made it to its intended destination. As it would seem according to the Aztec record many priests were entrusted with the shipment, when they returned with their made up story claiming to have delivered it, 9 of the priests did not return, when Moctezuma asked what happened to them they claimed that the wicked spirits required their soul in exchange for turning them into animals in order to transport them to their ancient home. Moctezuma did not question it.
Another incident took place at the time the Spaniards invaded Mexico, when the Aztec saw the Spanish priests burning their history and records of their linage, something that was most important to them, they gathered their remaining records and sent them north to be returned to their ancient home. There was one other item than may have been returned to their ancient home, it may have occurred in its own separate time, or possibly accompanied one of the other two previous mentioned incidents, this item was more important to them than any other substance they had, and is of ancient origin.
The following is the actual article about Jake Johnsons adventures which was publish in 1903, years before the embellished (Abridged) version written for a treasure magazine was published.
Jake Johnson with a well-earned reputation as an experienced prospector, but not so much of a miner as he preferred to roam the hills rather than work underground, in a way he was a pocket hunter and with his two burros with pick shovel gold pan and a few primitive mining tools a sack of flour and a couple of slabs of side bacon would start for the hills and would be gone for months to return eventually with a buckskin sack well filled with placer gold or with a few fine gold nuggets wherewith to purchase a new grubstake for a new start which generally occurred as soon as he had been on a spree for a few days which left him penniless before he took to the mountains again.
On one of these trips, while in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, near the Utah-Arizona line, he had the misfortune to fall from a precipitous cliff into a box canyon, which in this region are numerous. The fall resulted in a broken leg, and for a day after the accident he was unable to stir. The next morning, with slow movement and painful exertion, he was able to crawl a hundred yards to the bank of a little stream which wound its way to its confluence with the main river. Here he was able to quench his feverish thirst, but, being without provision of any kind, he was almost on the verge of starvation when he was found by an old Indian, who, with his squaw, was wandering around in this mighty wilderness, subsisting on rabbits and other game, and upon fish from the river. His wickiup was near at hand, and with great difficulty Jake was helped by the Indian to his humble abode. Here he was carefully nursed by the Indian and his squaw, and, within a month was able to hobble around on improvised crutches, and was soon able to resume his prospecting; his burros, in the meanwhile having been found by the kindly Indian and brought, with considerable difficulty, to the little stretch of grass-grown land bordering on the stream, and the sky-towering cliff near which Rabbit Tail, for this was the Indians name, had his temporary lodge.
During his convalescence Jake won his way to the heart of Rabbit Tail and his squaw, and many were the weird tales told by the old redman of exciting adventure, of privations endured, of hunts, battles, victories and defeats, and once, when in a more communicative mood, he told of finding nuggets of gold, and hinted of the existence of an old mine, on the dump of which great trees grew, and in the ancient and abandoned workings of which there were still left standing great bodies of ore in which native gold sparkled in the glare of a pitch-pine torch.
Jake, upon hearing this, was all excitement, and begged the Indian for more information concerning this old treasure vault, but without avail, as the wily savage became as mum as an oyster upon seeing the interest the white man had taken in his narrative.
It happened shortly after this, that Jake was able to rescue Rabbit Tails squaw from the attack of a mountain lion, which so softened the Indian that he told him that if he would meet him at that place within a year that he would show him the old mine, but that he could take no more of the gold than he could carry away with him and that he would be led blindfolded to and from the old bonanza, which, he said, was located in an almost inaccessible spot ,near the brink of a yawning precipice, and above which were towering cliffs which rose perpendicular until their summits were lost in the blue of the sky.
Jake then started on his way to civilization, but, before leaving the canyon, had the good fortune to find a rich placer deposit in one of its tributaries, from which he took about $1500 in the yellow metal. Marking well the spot, he pulled out for Dandy Crossing, and finally reached Marysvale, from which point, after putting his burros into pasture, he came to Salt Lake City on the train. Soon after he left for his old Missouri home, where he soon had his cousin, Mike Smith, in a fever heat over his placer find and the story told by the Indian of the existence of the old gold mine. After a week or so of rest, Jake could stand the monotony of civilization no longer, and started for the west again, but not before he had drawn a crude map of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, and indicated the spot where Mike was to meet him within the next six months, when they would both work the placer, and meet with the old Indian, provided the redskin was true to his Word.
This was what brought Mike Smith to Salt Lake City within the next three months, and this was why he informed all who questioned him that he was a prospector. Having been enjoined to silence and secrecy by Johnson, he avoided all intercourse, as much as possible, with everyone, and one day, with a modest outfit, he left for Marysvale, where he purchased two burros and started on his lonely and solitary trip for the Colorado River. It was then that his real troubles began. Unacquainted with the ways west and totally without experience, he was often without water, and many times he lost his way. At last, however, ragged and worn, haggard and thin, he reached the Colorado, and after many days, reached the little camp prepared by Johnson, where he was heartily welcomed by this grim old prospector, who enjoyed life in the wilds, alone with nature, more than he did in the busy haunts of men.
For the first few days after the arrival of Mike, the two worked the placer, and with most satisfactory results. In the evenings, before rolling up in their blankets for the night, they would smoke their pipes and wonder if Rabbit Tail would keep his tryst and show them the gold-laden caverns which had evidently been discovered and worked soon after the subjugation of the Montezumas. While thus engaged, one evening, the Indian stood before them, coming as silently as the rising of the morning sun. He was welcomed, but was surprised that Johnson had brought a companion with him, and seemed disinclined to fulfill his engagements. After much discussion, however, and taking a liking to Mike, he expressed his willingness to make him one of the party, and warned the two white-men to be ready to start at early dawn.
Almost before it was light enough to see their way, the three were up and afoot. The way was difficult. Sometimes thick brush hindered their progress. Occasionally a blank wall confronted them, and it was necessary to climb upon each other’s shoulders to overcome these obstacles; and creeping, climbing, clinging, to roots and bushes growing in the crevices of the rocks, they at last reached a point where they were blindfolded by the Indian. From here they traveled in single file, clinging to a rope held by their guide. For an hour or more they followed, skinning their shins against rocks and boulders, and sometimes falling to their knees because of inequalities in the ground. After what seemed an age, and when tired and exhausted almost beyond belief, the bandages were removed and they stood in almost midnight darkness. At a word from Rabbit Tail a light was struck and a torch lighted. Upon looking around, the two prospectors and fortune-seekers found that they were in an enormous cavern, the sides of which gave no trace of mineral. At their feet, however, were masses of rock, which, upon examination, were found to be rich in native gold, but their source was not apparent. Elated, and yet disappointed, Mike and Jake turned to the Indian, who motioned them to a small drift in the cavern that they had not noticed before.
Following the redskin, they got down on their hands and knees and crawled for a hundred feet or more through a small passage, coming at last to a narrow shelf of shale which bordered a chasm about five feet in width. This must have been very deep, for when rocks were dropped down it the sound coming from the bottom seemed but an echo. The Indian lightly leaped the gulf and Mike and Jake followed, but not without apprehension, and found themselves, breathing hard and trembling, on the other side, with but a narrow shelf for a foothold. Almost creeping along a torturous path, hardly able to keep their balance at times, they at length arrived at the entrance to a wide passage, which seemed to cut the chasm at almost right angles. Penetrating this for several yards and then climbing up an incline upraise for twenty or thirty feet, they were ushered into a great chamber. The sight that met their gaze in this chamber rendered the two prospectors speechless. Under the glare of the torches bottom, sides and top were resplendent with bright, glittering gold.
In front was a great body of honey-combed quartz, in which were nuggets of the pure metal as large as walnuts. These were bound to the quartz by wire gold. The roof of the stope presented a perfect fretwork of wire and native gold, which seemed to be woven into festoons. On the sides the gold occurred in hard, white quartz such as beautiful jewelry is made from. On the floor great chunks of the gold-bearing ore were laying around and, among them were to be seen mining tools of ancient make, while, in one corner, could dimly be discerned the skeleton of a man, evidently that of a white miner.
Recovering from their astonishment, Smith and Johnson fell into each other’s arms, but the Indian stood silent and stolid. A few minutes later he said, Come, we go out. Then it was that the white men came to their senses. They plead with Rabbit Tail for an hour, for half an hour in which to explore, to investigate this place of more than Monte Cristo wealth. But Rabbit Tail was obdurate and would not yield, and obeying his commands, they filled their pockets with the biggest nuggets, the finest specimens of wire gold, and the richest pieces of gold-filled quartz that they could find. Retracing their steps, but with greater difficulty than when they entered the treasure vault of the ancients, for they were heavily loaded with gold, they at last reached the cavern where their eyes had first been uncovered. Here the bandages were replaced by the Indian, and, led by him as before, they set out on their journey to their camp, which they reached just as the sun was setting in the west.
Tired and worn, they devoured the food that had been left from their morning repast, and were soon in deep slumber. It was long after daylight before they awoke, and when their eyes were fairly opened they discovered that during the night their Indian friend had left as quietly and as suddenly as he had arrived. For two or three days Jake and Mike rested, gloating over their store of gold. Then they spent several days in an effort to rediscover the wonderful mine. Time after time they climbed to the spot where Rabbit Tail had put on the blindfolds, but from there on all was a blank, and no trace was left of their previous passage. At last they left for Utah’s metropolis, packing their gold on their burros. Arriving at Salt Lake, they sold their wealth of gold, and for several days the papers were full of accounts of the small lot of fabulously rich rock that had been put through the sampling works, but no one ever found from whence it came, although Smith and Johnson were shadowed day and night until they left for their Missouri home.
Ever since then, year after year, two prospectors, with four burros, have been seen haunting the beautiful yet desolate regions of the Grand Canyon. Smith comes to the city once in a while, and to all inquiries he says, I am only a prospector. And yet he does not know the difference between lime and quartzite, slate and shale, nor is he posted on country rock; but, if he would tell the truth, he does know something about honey-combed and white quartz. Best of all, down on Shell Creek, in old Missouri, he has one of the finest arms in Caldwell County, which he purchased with a portion of the wealth gained by him in the old mine in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado which was found and lost under the guidance of Rabbit Tail the redskin.
This is as it was originally printed in the Mining Review in 1903
There is an abridged version on the internet but would be better described as the “Embellished Version” or exaggerated, it also has an inserted paragraph designed to sell stories…
According to Indian tradition, an expedition of well-organized and warlike men had come from the south escorting a long line of slaves, dragging boxlike containers shrouded by skins. The party went directly to the Grand Canyon and descended down from the south rim. The treasure was placed in a cavern that evidently had been chosen earlier. The slaves were killed on the spot, while half of the men remained as a guard and the others returned to the south. It was probably planned by the Aztecs that they would recover the cargo once the Spaniards had been driven into the sea, however, months and years went by without word for the garrison at the cavern. Eventually, they intermarried with the local Paiutes and told them tales about a great Indian empire in the south with their emperor, who would return in the future with an army to bring prosperity to the Paiute tribe. Until then, the treasure must be guarded from discovery by anyone. It was a responsibility that meant annihilation for the Paiutes should they permit the hidden cache to be stolen.
To Date, I have not been able to verify the validity of the above paragraph, it is likely an embellishment to attract sales. The following description is included in the embellished version as well.
The glare from the four torches suddenly magnified several times the magnitude of golden idols, shields, and other objects reflecting the light in the eerie flickering flashes. Neither of the men had time to inspect the cave at length, as the Paiutes continually urged them to take what they could carry and retrace their steps to the surface. It was clear that they were at the base of the Grand Canyon, since an opening could be seen in the distance that led onto a sand beach. However, the men were never sure whether they had come down through the cave from the rim of the canyon or whether they had been led at some point along the sheer walls when they had entered the cave.
the part about the opening could be seen in the distance that led onto a sand beach was no doubt added to tie the story to the embellish James White story. The original publication of the James White story, made no mention of a cave with untold riches. Do your research people, it isn’t worth it chasing after fallacy.
However… the following story which has never been published has been verified in many ways and will be given in a small part, but I assure you it is original information as received several years ago.
The original document and story came from a Mexican man by the name of Reuben who came from a small town on the inland side of the Gulf of California, I will withhold his last name as it is believed he is still alive and living in Texas and I am still trying to locate him.
Sometime in the 1970’s if I recall, Reuben came in search of his ancestors cache, with the document and verbal information handed down to him from his presumed great grandfather Mr. Prado who was the author of the “Re-written” document and which is the topic here in, It is believed Prado’s initials have been found in the suspect area. This document was re-written in 1900, by Prado who is believed to be a descendant of the originator, Mr. Salazar mentioned within the document. It is believed that Mr. Salazar was occupying the area in question in the early 1800’s to mid1800’s, he was according to the document “an Indian” and it is believed he catered to the Spanish while they mined in the area or he spied upon them when they were there. Reuben spent near 10 years searching for his ancestor’s cache.
Not many years ago we had an encounter with one of the earliest original well-known name land owner in the area, after he decided we were not worthy of being shot we talked for some time and the situation became friendly, we asked him how his family came by the property, and he told us that when they first entered the land with intent to homestead they encountered an old Mexican Indian who was the owner or possessor of the land, we can only surmise this was by a Spanish land grant, or that by right of being there for so long he simply considered it as he territory. He told us that they became friends and eventually he carved out a substantial piece of land and gave it to them.
After Reuben had exhausted his efforts to find what his ancestor left being, he contacted a known treasure hunter in the area and asked if he could help him, upon an agreement he shared a copy of the document and shared the verbal information needed to find the right location. This treasure hunter eventually in years to come became a friend of mine, and after his efforts which were not many in this case, he entrusted me with the story and the documents. It is because of this understanding between us that I cannot give full details as he is what I refer to as the originator of the story.
The document was in pretty bad shape when it was copied but the writing was discernable but very difficult to read, it is clear it was hand written copied from an older document because it was re written from an older document which is very obvious because of its usage of many “old” Spanish words not common today, great effort was taken to first transcribe the document of which I owe a great deal to my friend Adam, after which much effort was put into getting a correct translation which can be very difficult due to the old Spanish.
The following is some of the excerpts of the more interesting things found within the document and will clearly show why I have spent near 16 years working on this project. Our first trip down to the area resulted in discovery of several things mentioned in the document and today, we feel we have found the location of the Indian Salazar’s cave, or mine, the entrance of which has been filled, yet the slide rock from it abounds in ½ inch chisel marks.
….Enter said (Salazar’s smaller) cave and on the east side (floor) in the lower part of which is two large flat stones marked (with a 1 and 2) and below them you will find some oak planks cultivated to the rafter with pins of the same wood and some cowhides. These pieces are covering a chest which stores a large quantity of pieces of bars of silver. Further to the bottom is a cross with wide edges. Under it is the cover of the same material that contains gold & silver and a small black ebony box.
The one who finds said small box will be happy, because inside of it, are the directions/map to the treasures of the Indian Pedro Jose Salvador who for a long time was the owner of these mountains.
These papers are written in a language that I do not recognize. They are written with mules blood. Whomever it is that comes to have this cloth in his hands will come to find out that if he breaks said box that it contains jewels of gold and silver and paper made from a berry tree where it is explained where the place is found where the great treasure of said tribe exists an enormous cave that holds the highest amounts ever known to man…
A piece of the old cloth document
The previous is directly from the source. This project has gone on for near 13 years.
It would appear that Salazar and possibly Prado, knew the location of the enormous cave that the old Paiute Indian, Rabbit Tale, the Redskin knew of.