Early Utah Trappers
And the Gold of the Red Ledges
The following is just one of the many research projects that I have accumulated as a result of 30 plus years of gathering information of unsolved mysteries pertaining the mysteries of this land, strange stories of discoveries, Mummy Caves, Caves with Unusual artifacts, implications of what can only be underground cities, Gold, Silver, and Platinum Caches left by men of the past, be it Romans, Spanish, the Confederate Underground, or some other. To this very day I am still looking for one individual or even a team to pursue that which is becoming more and more difficult for me. I have a few whom I trust explicitly, however they can hardly handle even one as a result of being roped to a job… For the most part, the majority of these projects have progressed as far as I can take them, barring new information, however the majority is at that point where in technology is seemingly the last and only resort, something I can no longer afford. The provenance of some is as good as you could hope for and some are very poor but with very compelling evidence. However the details is what will or will not convince you… Often times in these years of research I have often thought that certain projects can go no further, when out of the blue someone sends you new information. I have decided to share one of the many that some of you have heard before.
The following story has been told prior in another publication found in my good friend, Dale Bascom’s Book, Following the Legends, of which I highly recommend. The descendant of the prime story teller in Bascom’s book is my good friend David Bullock. David is the Grandson of Ben Bullock, however the story I intend to tell deals only with the core of the story, rather than the perspectives told in Dale’s book.
The basis of the story you may see at the end of this article.
My past Article with early research, PRIOR TO, “New Information”
It was about mid 2007 when my phone rang with one of my colleagues calling, asking if I had read the story of the trappers, Yes, I replied but it had been sometime. He wanted me to reevaluate the story as if it were a new and fresh story without all the perspectives of those who told the story for publication.
The first thing for me to do was to determine the possibility of the story ever happening. I would have no doubt that someone showed up in the area of Springville at the time of Ben Bullock and Bishop Koyle’s mining days, but I would seriously doubt the man’s name was actually Johnnie Rasmussen. Although it is possible to have a name of Danish or Norwegian decent and having come from Mexico, in all likely hood he was using a fake name. Having come from old Mexico as the story goes, provides but a small clue…
Having studied the contents of the journals of Ogden, Kittson, Provost, Ashley and other fur trappers, it is highly likely the event occurred as it coincides with a couple of trapping parties at the very time mentioned in the story told by Ben Bullock, keep in mind the story told I am sure was quite accurate, but only as accurate as Ben remembered It being told to him. The point being, this story is told 3rd hand… With this said and as a result, I will say, normally, I wouldn’t have given this story any consideration other than a friend asked me to investigate it. Having made the determination that it could very well have occurred, what would have been the motive for any of those passing the story along to tell a tall tale such as this? Although there are many with some very wild imaginations, and I am sure could come up with some answer to this question, I just don’t see it.
There was an event told in one of the histories recorded in the journals that “could be” a reference to the very event described by the man who came up from Mexico to search for his G Grandfathers gold discovery. If it is the same even, it would appear some embellishing was involved in the official report given by Provost.
“Etienne Provost, a Frenchman operating out of Santa Fe under Mexican license,entered Utah in 1824 by way of the Green River country. He made his way tothe Wasatch Front and very possibly may have entered the Salt Lake Valley.
If this is so, he would have seen the lake before Jim Bridger. Provost's party was attacked by a band of Snake Indians in the fall of 1824 and most of the men were killed. Provost and the other survivors escaped and made their way to the Green River in eastern Utah, where they spent the winter at the mouth of the White River. The actual location of this attack remains unknown but is thought by most historians to have been on the Provo, Jordan, or Weber rivers.”
It would seem another location is just as fitting for this attack but this will be withheld until I find someone who has what it takes to investigate. Later in the same document it is said:
The discovery of Warren A. Ferris's Map of the Northwest Fur Country (drawn
in 1836) has shed new light on the topic and adds considerable, although not
conclusive, support to the argument that the Indian attack occurred on the
Contrary to this statement, I see absolutely nothing in the Ferris Map that validates this statement, Continuing on….
Ferris's narrative states that Provost was attacked on "a stream
flowing into the Big Lake that now bears his name." This would be the "Provo"
River. The Ferris map clearly indicates that the river known to the mountain
men as the "Proveau" is the modern-day Jordan River. The fact that the attack
occurred on the Jordan River, combined with Provost's apparent familiarity
with the route through Weber Canyon to the Great Salt Lake, points strongly to
the probability that he was at the Great Salt Lake in the fall of 1824, well
before Jim Bridger tasted its salty waters.
Again I see nothing that implies that the attack took place at the Jordan River, and it certainly is not a “Fact.”
Whether the attack incident is or is not the following account of an attack is neither here nor there as my only motive in evaluating the expeditions of fur trading did in “fact” occur in the time frame given in the following story.
Without inserting the contents of the story first made public, I will give the synopsis without all of the perspectives given of those who added to the story which in and of itself is at least 3rd hand information. It is the fact that if you listen to the details given whether true or not, and you are able to find the existing places, features etc which give the story credibility, then there is a probability that the story in general is plausible.
As the story goes….
About 1913, a stranger emerges in the town of Springville going by the name Johnny Rasmussen, he begins asking questions about details regarding an old leather map he had which is presumed to have been made by his Great Grandfather and containing the clues to follow. Johnny eventually meets John Koyle of the Dream Mine and eventually Ben Bullock of the Golden Relief mine. Both entertained Johnny sharing their beliefs as to why Johnny’s map fit their area and mine, Johnny struggled with their details but being a little more convinced of Ben Bullocks location.
What Johnny, John Koyle and Ben Bullock didn’t know is that Johnny’s grandfather’s treasure cave was nowhere near their locations. All they had to do was read… carefully and pay attention to the core details… As the story went, Johnny eventually just disappeared. As far as I know, no one is actively looking for this treasure cave and I have to wonder why, It is possible to find, whether it be boots on the ground or technology, but before that happens, the correct location must be found, and even more important, the searcher has to be satisfied that it is the correct location.
The root of the story and details given in the original publication are as follows…
“The description of the treasure location was:
1. Two and one half day's ride from the south end of the salt sea and follow a river which ran northward from a large fresh water lake located in a beautiful valley southerly from the salt sea.
2. One half day ride southerly from the east shore of the fresh water lake to sugar loaf peak.
3. Sugar loaf peak south easterly above springs that make a valley at foot of mountains and supply Indian camp with water.
4. Gold tunnel about three quarters mile southerly from sugar loaf peak and high on foothills.
5. Sugar loaf gold tunnel below rusty red ledges.
6. You look to the southwest along mountain and the valley closes.
“This was all brought about in about 1825 when Johnny's great grandfather was with a
trapping party in the Rocky Mountain area. It was getting along to
early fall. Fur bearing animals were becoming more scarce so the trapping party held
a powwow in a meadow southerly from the south end of the salt sea.
(We think the Grantsville area.) This search was for future trapping streams. It was
decided to separate the party into groups of three and spend about ten
days to two weeks fanning out in all directions to thoroughly explore the areas for next
springs trapping. Rasmussen and two companions were sent in a
southerly direction following a large stream. For two and one half days they explored
branching streams but kept to the course of the starting point stream
as a guide line. When they entered a mountain narrow southerly from their starting
point they beheld a beautiful valley with a large fresh water lake south of
them. In this valley a number of streams flowed from the mountains to the east which
they explored but found no evidence of beaver dams. To the south the
valley closed so they engaged in following streams as far south as the canyons fed. One
little stream had a beaver dam in it so they followed its course southerly
toward the mountain. A sugar loaf stood out at the base of the mountain for which
they were heading. They made their way through cedar trees in the valley
and saw the Wickiup of an Indian camp westerly from sugar loaf. Not knowing
weather the Indians were friendly or not they skirted to the north of the camp
and headed for the hills. The stream they had been following was fed by many springs
between the Indian camp and the mountain.
When southerly from the camp and ascending the foothills they heard and saw a party
of Indians coming from the south. They forced their horses higher up
the hills and through the cedar trees. One of the Indians sent an arrow which lodged
in the back of one of the trappers. He hung doggedly to his saddle until
they saw a badger come out of a large hole on the side of the mountain. One rider
jumped from his horse and found the hole large enough for them to crawl
down into a larger opening. They abandoned their horses by swatting them on their
rumps. The trappers hurried down into the badger hole, pulling the wounded
man down into the hole with them. It was now evening time and getting very cool. A
pile of sticks and brush had been dragged into the hole by animals and from
these eventually a fire was started to warm the wounded man. One knotted cedar
branch made a good torch and was taken from the fire to light the cavern to
its depths. Not far along the way the trappers found piles of bricks which proved to be
He hurried back to his friends with the news of his find and the two men ran back to
look at the gold. They were very excited with the great treasure. After
some discussion it was decided that the gold bars were too heavy for one man to carry
without horses and the gold could not be continually hidden. When
found out they had had it. Their lives would be in danger until they told where their
wealth came from.
They came to the decision that the best thing would be to keep in mind the guide posts
that would lead to their find until paper and pen could be had to draw
a map and write a thorough description which would lead them back to sugar loaf
gold. This decided they hurried back to their wounded friend to tell of their
good luck but found he had died from his wound. They pulled his body back to the
piles of gold bricks and completely covered his body with bricks of gold
to keep wild animals from ravaging him. From fear of being discovered by the Indians
the trappers waited for days before they dared venture outdoors. The
hour was late, they crawled out of their treasure tunnel, and walked the long distance
back to home camp on the shores of the salten sea.
It is not known how long Johnie's great grandfather stayed with the trapping party
but he kept his golden tunnel treasure of sugar loaf secret, and firmly in his mind
until he had paper and pen to make a permanent record of it.”
If the information has been handed down correctly, the fact that he mentioned "Bricks" and "Gold Ingots" rather than "bars" or other tells me this is likely NOT a Spanish Cache, it is left by some former culture and by vague information, but by common sense and reasoning, has an estimated value of 500 Million plus.
You now have all the information I had to start with, can you find the right location? I may be right, and I might not be... but I can tell you the profound evidences without a stretch of the imagination are all there...
If you can demonstrate that you have what it takes, are trust “worthy” and you are satisfied with the details of the location that I will give you, you could very well locate this treasure cave, and I can promise you, it is NEVER as easy as you would like it to be… The actual location based on the original information AND newly discovered facts, is located within 35 miles of Springville Utah, below the red ledges.