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  Columnist: Patrick Bernauw

Image credit: Doug Dolde

The Lost Dutchman gold mine found ?

Posted on Friday, 20 November, 2009 | 12 comments
Columnist: Patrick Bernauw

[!gad]One John V. Kemm states he has found the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, using Google Earth. According to some versions of the most famous lost mine in American history, the mine is either cursed, or protected by mysterious guardians. The Lost Dutchman is the stuff where true treasure hunts is made of…

Thousands of treasure hunters still try to locate the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, hidden somewhere in the Superstition Mountains, near Apache Junction, in Arizona. The mine is named after Jacob Waltz, a German immigrant (“Dutchman” was slang for “German”, derived from the German word “Deutsch”, meaning: “German”). There are at least four Lost Dutchmans to be found in the American West – one in Colorado, one in California and the other two in Arizona. The earliest Lost Dutchman Gold Mine in Arizona was said to be near Wickenburg, where in the 1870’s a Dutchman was found dead in the desert, together with some saddlebags filled with gold.

A brief history
Fact and fiction blend in these tales, becoming “faction”, but key elements are “lost Apache gold”, “a Dutchman”, “a lost gold vein, found by US soldiers”, a doctor and – of course – treasure maps. In “The Story of Doctor Thorne”, some Apaches are said to have found a very rich gold mine in the Superstition Mountains; one of them is, in some versions of the story, the famous chief Geronimo. The family of one Miguel Peralta was said to have discovered the mine around 1850, but was attacked by the Apaches and slaughtered in the “Peralta Massacre”. Years later, dr Thorne treated a wounded Apache and was rewarded with a trip to the mine – blindfolded. He was allowed to take as much gold ore as he could carry before, again blindfolded, being escorted from the site.

The “mainstream” tale of The Lost Dutchman involves two Germans, Jacob Waltz and Jacob Weiser – but it is possible that there was only one single “Dutchman” named Waltz, Weitz, Weitzer… or something like that. In some versions the Germans are said to behave violently, in others they are peacefully fellows. Waltz and/or Weiser seem to have located a rich gold mine in the Superstition Mountains, maybe with some help from a member of the Peralta family. Weiser is attacked by Apaches or by his greedy friend Waltz, but survives long enough to tell a doctor Walker about the mine. He is also said to have made a deathbed confession to Julia Thomas, and to have drawn some sort of treasure map.

The Lost Dutchman Tale would probably only have been a footnote in Arizona’s history, if it was not for the death of treasure hunter Adolph Ruth. Ruth’s son Erwin seems to have learned of the Peralta Mine from a descendant of the Peralta’s, who gave him some antique maps of the site. In the summer of 1931, while searching for the Lost Dutchman, Adolph Ruth suddenly disappeared. About a half year later, his skull was recovered – with two bullet holes in it.  Tantalizingly, his checkbook was also recovered, with a note in it claming that he had discovered the mine. Ruth gave detailed directions and ended his note with the motto of Julius Ceasar: “Veni, vidi, vici!” (“I came, I saw, I conquered!”) 

Since the death of Adolph Ruth, there have been several other reports of mysterious deaths in the Superstition Mountains, so here are the origins to be found of another legendary tale: “The Curse of the Superstition Mountains”.  I have written a series of articles on the mystery of The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, raising the question if these tales could have been connected with a Lost Aztec Treasure, where the stories about a Curse of the Superstition Mountains originated, and telling the legend of The Very Rich Mine of Juan Mondragon (New-Mexico). It was on these articles, published on the HubPages, that John V. Kemm commented.

The Lost Dutchman, Found with Google Earth?
John V. Kemm from Albuquerque N.M. stated that he had found the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, using Google Earth. On his very chaotic MySpace page and on the HubPage Account he opened (check out the address!) John V. Kemm asks everyone who surfes by to help him get his story out: the Lost Dutchman is found, the Peralta Maps are solved and he has located the gold. "Not allowing free speech", Photobucket and Jim Hatt of the Desert USA Message Board keep deleting his posts, so most of the links don't work - but this one still does:¤t=theheart.jpg

The key to the mystery seems to be one of the so-called Peralta Stone Maps: “the Latin heart”. According to John V. Kemm the Peralta Map is “close to dead on till you reach the heart”. Then you have to reverse the heart, or spin it to the right and a bit to the north too. From Weaver’s Needle, and from a specific angle, you can see now the heart’s center. “The upper left side is where the gold is,” says Kemm. “This can be verified on Google Earth.” – The exact coordinates are:

33°26'46.06"N 111°21'44.38"W – 1847 m.

This could be a hoax, a nutcase or an alternate reality game… On his MySpace blog, Jim V. Kemm states that a long time ago the family name wasn’t Kemm, but Quinto… and that Charles V, or Carlos Quinto, was his great-grandfather. This seemed to be the start of the fight between Kemm and Jim Hatt of the Desert USA Forum – with Jim Hatt pointing out that Charles V/Carlos Quinto was born in the 1500’s and politely asking if John V. Kemm is not missing some generations. But okay, you can check this out for yourself, I don’t want to spoil the fun.

Copyright by Patrick Bernauw & Historical Mysteries.

Article Copyright© Patrick Bernauw - reproduced with permission.

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