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Thursday, November 16, 2023

The Massive Gold and Silver Cache of Coral de Majoma (Revisited & Expanded)


Original February 21, 2023


 and others.

Taken from copies of the original documents


Before I get started with this, let me say, I am looking for a REAL problem solver… A planner, one who knows no bounds and brick walls are a mere challenge… there has to be a way… regarding what... you might ask? Read on…


The year was 1777, another 44 years yet before Mexico finally won their independence from the oppressions of Spain but remained under the thumb of the Holy Roman Empire under the name of Catholicism. Since the 1500’s the Mexican Indians had organized much in the same way the Confederates of our Civil War had done, taking advantage and striking the invaders at every opportunity, to weaken them, especially the assaulting of hundreds of shipments of Gold and Silver headed by mule trains for Mexico, occurring at intervals for over 300 years. No doubt these Mexican Indian banditos suffered at times with turmoil from within as their enemy was of the same faith which they adhered to; apparently forgotten and not realizing it had been forced upon their ancestor’s centuries before. Why they still adhered to it I will never understand… 

Like the Confederate soldier of our Civil war, the many robberies were not for personal gain but to weaken the enemy and in the case of Mexico, take away the one thing that kept the Spanish coming back for over 300 years. But 50 years prior to Captain Valentin Castrillon, we have the following account… 

In 1727 Just 50 years prior to Valentin becoming Captain of the Durango band of Banditos, Nicholas Castillo was passed the torch making captain by Captain Jose Ramirez, a Zacatecas Indian “a very brave man indeed” who was seriously injured in a recent assault. After Captain Ramirez had passed, word came from the spies placed in each of the Taverns that a mule train was about to leave Durango and headed for Mexico City. Captain Castillo rounded up the men and they decided to assault the mule train at La Lajita, a place where many assaults had taken place due to its perfect location and nearness to the cavern of Majoma. It was said that 8 mule trains containing 10 mules each would be passing through and with his men ready, days later the mule train was on its way and arriving at the chosen assault location. It was a complete surprise said Captain Castillo in his written account, the battle was short and leaving 14 of Castillo’s men dead and 11 injured, but of the Spaniards it was worse, 12 carriers and 19 escorts lay dead, the rest were taken prisoner. Among the wounded was a commanding officer by the name of Canedo, he informed Captain Castillio that the herd of mules under his command were carrying gold tiles, half destined as a gift for the queen of Spain in return for favours received when the donor, the Count of Branciforte, was in Spain. The other half of the booty that we took was meant as a dowry for the wedding of the Countess Anna Maria, daughter of the Count of Branciforte, who was about to marry the Duke of Alba. The shipment of silver was also property of said Count (or Earl). Part was for the crown and part was for the payment of quicksilver, the tithe of the Church; it also contained what corresponded to the viceroyalty and also payment of a personal loan from the Marquis of Sierra Nevada

It took many days to make the transfer from the kill site to the caverns of Majoma, and to erase all evidence. The silver and the gold was placed in separate caverns. By January of the next year most if not all of Castillo and his men were hunted down and killed or captured and shot or hung. 

How many robberies took place over the years is not know, The Documents I have been blessed to receive specifically speak of 3 accounts over a period of about 60 years involving Majoma and one not far north of it, however there must be many more as there is no less than 14 other cache sites mentioned... and two more fantastic documents, one in Nayrit and the other beginning in Jalisco and ending in Nayarit, written by none other than one of the Lauriono Brothers, the most revered by the people and famous band of banditos of Mexico. 

Another more fantastic robbery took place in 1777 under the command of Captain Valentin Castrillon, told in the following. 

Captain Valentin Castrillon was now Captain since the Brave Indian and former Captain Mursia had died and left him Valentin in command. 

One day word came through spies, that a rather large shipment was headed their way which consisted of 12 mule trains of 40 mules each, 10 trains of pack mules carrying silver and 2 trains of Red Dune mules carrying Gold and shod with silver shoes. 

Later they would discover the shipment was sent by General Barron de Vilpamaro, lord and master of the large mines of Sonora and Tamazula, he was sending it as tithing to his queen Isabel de España and that is why he sent them like this and the 10 trains of silver were from a convoy that came from Guarisona (Arizona) el Pilar, Gavilanes, San Dimas, Tlayoltita, El Naranjal, Metalito, Palualto, El Alto, others from Topia and other areas. 

Captain Valentin gathered in his men and prepared them for the ambush at the location they knew as Lajita. When the Spanish mule trains entered the brena Valentin attacked, the battle was brutal and by the time the dust settled, 72 Spaniards were dead and 23 of Valentin’s banditos. Immediately the men gathered in the mules and began the short journey of 1 ½ leagues away but it was through some of the nastiest terrain God created. It took days to dispose of the dead many bodies of which were used to create a bridge across a deep desert wash to shorten the distance to the Cavern. 

After the spoils were off loaded and filling even more of the cavern which they at one time vowed more than a hundred years before, to fill this cavern with Gold only, it seemed they had finally reached that goal as the could not get this stone lid back on and to fit tight. Valentin instructed his me to dig shallow trenches around the natural coral which held the cavern and dispose of the remainder of the vast cache. The trenches were filled with silver and gold and it is said it was done hap hazard and that even to this day, some of it remains uncovered. They had the same problem with the silver cache cavern, with not enough room to place it Valentin ordered the men to dig a pit in which they threw in the over burden of silver and mixing a sort of concrete covered the hole. 

It wasn’t long after that the Spanish authorities had had enough of the constant robberies of the last 150 years or so and an all out effort was organized to hunt down the native banditos. Over the next few short months many of the banditos had been captured and executed and only a few short years after that, Mexico finally won their independence ridding themselves of the Spanish oppressions of the intruders of near 300 years, or did Spain retreat under orders being part of a bigger plan?  Only to be replaced by another foreign enemy, one that they to this day are still unaware.

 The Gold Caverns of the Breña

Now before continuing or,  let me say... I would not expect one soul to believe the following...


The Map of Captain Valentin

Minus a few details…


It was in the late 1500's, a small group of Banditos banded together for the purpose of cutting off the supplies of Gold and Silver to Spain, in hopes that it would cause these unwelcome strangers of their land to leave for good. Over the next two hundred years the number of banditos grew, Captains of the Gangs came and went, each leaving behind their written charted course of their experiences and handed down to their posterity.  These Mexican Indians set a goal, to fill their chosen cache site being a natural cavern, with gold only… I am sure it was a joke at the time, However they put only Gold into the cavern and the silver in another location near by. There is also the overflow locations where shallow trenches and a pit were dug when they finally reached their goal in the late 1700’s. 

After 2 centuries 

There was at one point in the early 1900’s a cache found of 4 million (Value in that day and much to small) naming the items that was found, and it was imagined to be one of the many caches of these banditos, but the describe items did not match the contents described at Majoma, however although there are still some who seek these sites today and looking to far south for reasons I cannot give, the information they seek in order to find the right place, and they have not known of… is here in my hands. 

It was some time in the mid-1970s that a somewhat well-known treasure hunter from Cedar City Utah, Named Jim Phillips was investigating an off-shore treasure off the east coast of Mexico to the north of the city of Veracruz. Jim became somewhat well-known by the locals and while enjoying some free time in a small coastal village, an elderly Mexican gentleman approached him and asked him if he would be willing to take a look at some very old documents handed down from his ancestors. The old man explained the documents in summary and it became very clear to Jim that this was no small treasure story.

Now the old man had traveled far from his inland village for whatever reasons, yet Jim arranged to travel to the old village asking the old man if he would like to accompany him. It was necessary to travel to the village of the old man’s birth as this is where the documents were kept and were never taken from. Arrangements were made to view the old documents which Jim studied intently having a fair understanding of Spanish. It was quite clear that Jim’s suspicions were correct; he had never read anything quite this fascinating. It was as compelling as such stories as the alleged lost Aztec Gold of Arizona or Utah; this was clearly one of the big ones.

After reviewing the documents in the company of family members and descendants of the document’s author (who was a Captain of the Banditos in about 1770); Jim, trying very hard to keep his composure, asked if he could make a copy of the document. To his surprise, they said that he could. The problem Jim had was that the nearest Zerox machine was nearly 20 miles away and to take the document away from the village was unheard of, but it was agreed that two of the people from the village would accompany Jim to the town with the Zerox machine to make copies. 

After this part of the story, I only have bits and pieces of what Jim did in the years to come. A few years later in about 1980 Jim befriended another man whom we will call John. John and Jim shared many adventures over the next ten years, but as it often happens there was a bit of a falling out where the two separated as partners and kept in touch but no longer shared in their adventures. While John and Jim were working together, Jim showed John all the details of the story including the copied hand-written document which John also studied from time to time as they wanted the best English translation they could get. Jim never gave John a copy of the hand written document but he did share with him copies of the English translation, John did not know of the hand drawn map which came with the original hand-written document and Jim’s maps that he used to try to locate the many cache sites mentioned in the documents, but more so the main location, coral de Majoma, the small one and the large one. Judging from Jims research it became clear he had never made the connection and did not located the two corals. 

The biggest problem Jim had according to John is that the place names were only known by a few locals in the vicinity of the main site area. It would be another 6 years or so before the equivalency of the United States topographical maps were made in the area; something Jim did not have access to. In 1909 a newspaper article emerged telling of a wonderful treasure which was discovered in the area, the article said that it was found near a key place name mentioned in the old original document. This occurrence is one of the reasons why so many have discarded the story as being found and possibly why so many have been led to look in the wrong place. However the items found in this discovery were listed and it definitely was not any of the caches described within the old document. 

As a result of my personal research pertaining to similar topics and those research topics which are somewhat unrelated to Spanish Treasure Hunting, I met John in about the year 2001. John, although one of the nicest guys in the Spanish lore game that I had ever met, was not a very trusting soul and was very slow to share information and he was also very cautious as to whom he shared it with. It would be another 3 years before John would share the information with me. 

Shortly after meeting John, another friend whom I will call Steve approached me with a document which would later prove to be Jim’s English copy which (unknown to Jim) was copied when Jim took it to Steve in the 70s to ask for help in unraveling the mystery of it. Apparently Jim took his eyes off the document 10 minutes longer than he should have. When Steve brought the story to me, it was clear that he knew he could not unravel the mystery of the location; if he had thought for a moment that he could, I am certain he would have never brought it to me. He asked me to take it home and read it and see what I thought, hoping to get my insight on the details. 

As I read the story I was absolutely amazed at what I was reading, often envisioning what this massive hoard must look like. Never at this time did I ever think, expect or imagine that in a few short weeks that I would actually find it. I was so taken in by the story and being a real sucker for a mystery, I just couldn't leave it alone. I almost immediately began the research process in order to discover the end results. I knew it was unlikely but I knew it was possible and I thrive on the challenge. Within just a few short weeks I had ordered the topographical maps mentioned earlier and I was well on my way to unraveling this mystery. 

In about late 2002 or 2003, I met John as a result of part of my research. I was taken in by John; yes he was secretive but he was different than many others that I had met. There was a real genuineness about him; it was a hit and John has been my good friend ever since. I believe it was sometime in about 2004 that John brought to me a story he wanted me to review. By this time, John and Jim were no longer working together and Jim had almost forgotten the enormous cache site precisely 1066 miles south of his home which he had never found. Jim passed away in October of 2012, may he rest in peace.

Now going back a few years, I had received the 1:50,000 scale Topographic maps of the area in question that were created in 1986 and before opening them I decided to take them with me to work to study them hoping to find the place names. While at work, I was waiting for the sub-contractors to show up so that I could pay them. The sub-contractor who was coming to get paid that day I had not yet gotten to know very well and so when he came in I asked him where he was from to strike up a conversation. He told me that he was from a city near to the area of the cache sites. Of course that information raised an eyebrow and so I asked him if he knew one of the place names in the old document, he responded telling me that it is where he grew up. Ok now things were getting… coincidental? as I call it but I do not believe in coincidences. I asked him if he knew some of the other place names which he did. So then I asked if he wouldn't mind looking at some maps, and he responded in kind and said he would be glad to. I went out to my truck and brought the map tube in and pulled out the maps. Upon unrolling the main map which I suspected of having the majority of the place names from the old document, the sub-contractor said in surprise, “Hey, Where you get these? From a mapping company in Mexico I responded... why? I used to work for the company that made these maps before I came to the United States” he said. He explained to me that his job was the field checking of place names and features largely because he was very familiar with many of them. Unbelievable I thought, we proceeded to go over some of the place names of which he would point to the places I had asked about. Now what I didn't know and wouldn't notice for another few years was that a majority of the names I had asked about and he had pointed at were in fact on the map, but the writing was so obscure that I had never noticed it; not even when he pointed at it. In about 2010, I discovered that I could download the same maps of a 2001 edition in pdf format wherein all layers were very well defined and it wasn't until nearly five years after I had discovered the main cache location, that I could see the names and they were right where I had supposed they should be based on the very old but descriptive document. 

Discovery of the Banditos Cache

One day after spending much time with the maps and place names and reading very carefully the main descriptive clues, I was following what I felt was a correct path either on Google earth or on the Topo maps. As I was taking the path north as described, I came to what were very obviously the two described unique natural features. One of these natural features is rare enough to find but to find two of them side by side as shown on the old map is indeed an extreme rarity, and to find them according to all the other details at the very place described it was clear I had found it. I could not believe my eyes; I had to go over it several times before I could believe it myself and finally the reality set in... You did it! I thought... I could not wait to call John to show and tell him, but my need to be certain would put this off for many months in order to find additional evidences. 

After discovering the main cache location, I was trying to learn more about the whole story thinking there must be others who may know something about this, the main cache site has an unusual name and doing an internet search only one hit came up which took me to a web site wherein someone had posted a similar story, yet with much fewer details. As it turned out, the individual who posted the story was also trying to learn what he could and after talking with him for some time, he agreed to send me his four stories that he had found in very old journals, one of which had been published in a turn of the century treasure book. These four other stories were written by four other captains of the same gang of banditos but at different time frames spanning nearly 150 years. Each told their own stories but all talked of the same famous cache site of which their goal was explained to permanently cut off the supplies of Gold to Spain in hopes that the Spanish would leave their country. In addition, their goal was to fill this cavern with only gold which was mentioned to be located in an unusual geographical feature. The silver is given to have been put in other places nearby, and it would seem by the old document that their goal of filling the cavern with only gold, finally occurred in the late 1700s after nearly 200 years of robberies. 

I found a Captains name in the document that I had first received that I knew did not exist in the other four documents and made mention of it to one individual. He responded and was very curious as to how I could have possibly known that name because he knew it was on his document which he was certain he knew no one else had. After talking with him for some time we finally decided we had the same story and we exchanged documents, but I never told him that I knew where the cache was. I told him the story of how I had received it and he reciprocated with his story of how he got his copy. He explained to me that he was in the very same village in which he had relatives who knew the family who shared the document with Jim. It would seem that at nearly the same time Jim got his copy, my new contact in Mexico was shown the very same document and he was allowed to type verbatim the Spanish contents of the old document due to its poor condition. It is a copy of this which he shared with me in exchange for my English copy. As a result of receiving this Spanish copy, I have discovered that Jim’s English copy contains some mistakes and not as complete; nothing serious but nonetheless it contained errors. 

A year after Jim’s passing, my friend John called Jim’s wife to offer his condolences, he asked about the copy of the Spanish document and it was discovered that she so much despised his hobby and was sick of people calling her, that she burned all of his research. 

The Old Document of 1770 

Of the 5 documents telling of this main cache location, the Old Spanish Document of 1770 is the most descriptive one. This document is centered on a particular robbery which resulted in the death of many banditos and 60 plus Spanish soldiers. The shipment (by the way they talked about it) was considered to be one of the largest of the shipments stolen over a period of nearly 200 years by the banditos. It is said that within that the shipment were 400 Mules carrying silver of about 150-200 lbs (Carga) per Red Dun mule and 80 mules carrying gold. This robbery and the two loads of gold accomplished their goal set about 130 years previous, to fill the cavern in this 1770 occurrence. Another cavern nearby was being used to cache the silver.

In 1728 another account of a robbery is given by an earlier Captain of the Banditos that is about the same magnitude as the 1770 robbery. Just these two robberies, conducted nearly 40 years apart, represent in today’s value in the hundreds of millions. Imagine if the 10 other cache sites mentioned in the 5 documents were found, and you were to include all the gold and silver which had been used to fill the main cavern for nearly 200 years, the main cache site could reach well into the Billions. Explicit instructions are given in at least two of the documents, but the 1770 document is without a doubt the most descriptive, but this is only beneficial if you can discover the locations of the place names and the likelihood up until about 1986 was very slim... unless you happened to be the friend who was one of my sub-contractors and just happened to be looking for the vast lost treasure of the Brena.

I believe there is a solution to bring to light these amazing things, think of the artifacts mixed in with the spoils… some one has what it takes and after near 20 years… I am still wondering who that might be…


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