Many of you may be familiar with the Nunez map of 1771 that surfaced many years ago, it was kept quiet for some time but eventually a copy of it was shared, and then shared with another and still another and now the map has been published. But are those who have seen the map any wiser? I think not.
First a little history on the map and where it came from.
There was a certain sort of a map collector living in
Those familiar with the map now called the Pedro Nunez
Map, may know it was also called the half map, simply because it was obvious
that it was the left side of a larger map. Before the map was known by anyone,
the grandson of the man who supposedly stole the map, made a call to the
I recall in September of 2001 when I first received a copy of the map, I recall the excitement of a new challenge, I don’t know how many of you know it but those who know me, know that I love resolving a mystery, and I can’t let it go until I get results, finding key points obvious to me on the map, and then refining the areas between and verification of those things shown… such as in this case, the old trails… but first I had to verify that the person who created the map actually existed, that wasn’t that difficult.
After which, there are several things on this map that I chose to verify, but today I would like to direct your attention to this portion of the map and the trails…
Any one who is familiar with the map and has done the boots on the ground being very familiar with the Hoyt peak area, should know where these trails are… but they don’t… The main trail known by just a few would be the yellow highlighted trail in the following image.
My goal was the find the Box with a dot at each corner with the cross in the middle. Using certain techniques which I will say little, using key points and common sense, I first needed to find the two trails, one of which the apparent cache was along, and verify where the two came together… shown in red below.
At this point I cannot stress the importance of USGS Topo maps… there really is only one place where in this arrangement of trail exists or would exist. Following the trail on the left red trail of which very little is left we traveled all the way past where the two come together verifying the trail on the right as well, the right side is still partially in use to this day, or should I say about 10 years ago… we turned around and went back they way we came now having a bit of perspective and general idea as to where this box with a cross might be…
Approaching the area I felt was near to where it may be I noticed ahead what certainly looked as though it was an old mine dump. As we got closer it was much more obvious. We didn’t see it coming down the trail. Going up the hill and deviating from what we felt was the trail we realized the trail could have easily came down off the ridge instead of the drainage below it, so climbing the hill to the top of what we were certain was the dump it was confirmed by the tunnel, in fact two of them. But why were they open? This can’t be the cache I thought. After examining the mine tunnels as far as we could, both being cave in just a short distance in… I decided to follow the ridge instead back to the main trail. Just over 100 Yards above the mine and following what I felt was an old trail, looking off to my left next to the presumed trail, I spotted something that baffled me… Here was a 6 foot square hole and about 4 to 5 feet deep. I know what most of you are thinking… someone already got it? But understand that this was a near perfect square, and had someone recently dug the hole, why square and where was all the dirt that should have come from the hole? There was no sign of digging recently or ever in the past, it was as if the ground just sunk 5 feet and that should be the clue… at this point is where I would love to be able to hear the comments but, I don’t have time and I can’t leave this unfinished.
If you find an old open mine even if you suspect it is an old Spanish mine, you have likely found a dry hole, It is the covered ones you want to take notice of. Most presume a mine is covered because of a cache and in part may be, but the mines were covered to preserve the timbers within. If the mine was left open by Spanish it is likely because it is exhausted. If the mine was a filled tunnel you can expect as much as 30 feet of a plug to dig out, but in some cases there was another method. In this case we likely have an air shaft which is likely joined with the mine tunnels we found below, but in order to close a mine a bit quicker and upon return uncover with greater ease. The shaft end was likely dug with a 15 foot shaft and with a tunnel then continuing horizontal, this allows them to cover the shaft end of a mine with greater ease. But why was this hole covered apparently in a hurry? I suspect whoever did thought they would be back soon… Even after 200 years it shouldn’t have sunk 5 feet unless haphazardly filled.
At this time King Charles II was hell bent on expelling the Jesuits from New Spain due to the many rumors that they were no doubt in his mind, robbing him blind. This may very well explain why the shaft, if it is one, sunk five feet instead of a mere depression left behind by someone who took the time to pack the dirt. Could this be the location of the Cross in the box? Is it a Jesuit Cache? Well if not the coincident are beyond belief… Considering the time frame, I can’t help but wonder what the true mission of 1776 of Father Escalante was… Maybe he was sent personally by the King himself to see if any Jesuits were still in operation… Like many other projects I am still waiting to find the right men to take this project over… Its not that hard to get to, four wheelers will get you there as the Forest service is choking the road down where in you can’t get your truck up there any longer… Pulse Induction, even a Magnetometer might be beneficial… but most certainly shovels… If you think you have what it takes, then reach out to me and let’s find out… I might even be able to go along on this one…
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