The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Discuss information about the Lost Dutchman Mine
don
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by don » Fri May 04, 2018 2:18 pm

and in my opinion,the ruth story is the mainstay of the legend....take it away and theres practically nothing of substance left as regards the legend..other than rumour,camp fire tales and conjecture. this is why ,i feel anyway, that the ruth story has been pushed and pushed to supply the cottage industry that grew around the tall tales ,way back then and onwards to today,with the fuel it needs to keep the flame alight..i didnt always think that ...but at some time,usually with age lol, comes the realisation that i,me, we, are being taken for a ride.
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by cuzzinjack » Sun May 06, 2018 2:08 pm

don,

How unrelenting and artful your attempts have been to “turn out the lights” with 343 posts…

It is not understood how the Ruth story grew legs like it did. He was simply a treasure hunter that died looking for the LDM, a frail one at that, IMO. If he was murdered, the deed was done by another treasure hunter, albeit an un-hinged one…….why go further? There is far more evidence out there, available to all, than the map he supposedly carried.

The research that has been done here on the Ruth story is wonderful; I would not want one of posters here of the Ruth thread looking for me if I’d committed a crime. The same goes for the Jacob Waltz (and company) research that has been done; it is impeccable, and no stone has been left unturned. The work of others, both published and unpublished, is exceptional, and it is extremely unfortunate that so many that have assisted in unearthing the evidence and connecting-the-dots have passed.

Like an electron cloud, the geology and most of the LDM and Peralta stories, maps, tales, “coincidences”, and physical evidence orbit around a central nucleus or theme: a Great Ore Deposit, right out in the open. Time and time again, I’ve had to do a “sanity check” and walk away from the subject for months at a time. Could it really be true? It is.

Considering all the work done by others, I feel like the message bearer here, not the discoverer.

Just like there can be no perfect crime, there cannot be perfect concealment of this magnitude, but they came so, so close. The sands of time hid the fleet of 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet, and likewise, almost hid the Salt River Mining District. But, the concealment of the mines north of Superstition Mountain by the sands of time came with the assistance of HATRED….. hatred of the Spanish for exterminating entire peoples, hatred of the Spanish government’s stranglehold on the New World, and last but not least, hatred of the U.S.A. for taking the southwestern U.S. after the Mexican American War.

Below is a map that summarizes the work that has been done to reveal the district.

Image

A new website has been mostly-built to assemble the evidence. There are a couple of more pages to add: “other maps” and “seismic work” being a couple of them. There is some “blah-blah” to weed out as well:

http://www.Mollymarieprospect.com

The site is smart-phone friendly. When using a PC, right-click on any photo and select “view image” to enlarge it.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Sun May 06, 2018 3:43 pm

Hi Don, Jack,

Thanks for the link Jack, I and probably many others here will check it out. I like the work you’ve made available here so far!

Regarding the Ruth story, we can’t solve it because the story as we know it can’t be true.

First, I don’t care how tough he is, Adolph Ruth doesn’t make it out of West Boulder Canyon on his own. He doesn’t need to anyway; He’s right in the area he’s looking for near Willow Springs. He came, he saw, he conquered, right there. None of the stories we’ve heard make that kind of sense. For example:

What was Ruth doing on Black Top Mesa? Jim Bark had said in a letter that Tex and Adams had followed Ruth’s map to a tributary canyon off Peters Canyon. If Ruth’s map led to Peters Canyon, why would Ruth ever go up on Black Top Mesa? Why even camp at Willow Springs? If he was headed to Peters Canyon, why not pass on by Black Top Mesa and keep going to Charlebois Spring? From there it’s a quick hike up and around to Peters Mesa, with more than one route down to Peters Canyon. And, if Ruth’s map really did lead to Peters Canyon, why on earth would Tex ever admit that?

Then there’s Walter Gassler’s notes, which seem to corroborate Bark’s letter about a Peters Canyon tributary (or vice versa), in which Tex tells Gassler he found Ruth on Peters Mesa, and moved his body. Supposedly this was done to keep his cows from being scattered. Moving Ruth to Black Top Mesa wouldn’t have helped much…he had cows over there too. So what was really going on?
Neither the “died of natural causes” nor the “murder” theory makes sense with the above information. And why would Ruth tell Mrs. Barkley how easy it was to find the mine, if he thought he had to go all the way back to Peters Canyon? No, he thought the mine was close. Close to where he would set up camp. So what happened?

To begin, L.P. doesn’t need an alibi to make a trip back in to get Ruth at Willow Springs. He would only be gone a few hours. I think he went in Wednesday evening with two burros. He meets Ruth in camp at Willow Springs, and makes up a reason for Ruth to come back to First Water, maybe spend the night there, and L.P. will pack him back in the next day. So all Ruth takes is his pack and a thermos of water, and maybe a few biscuits for breakfast the next morning. It may be dark before they get to First Water, so Ruth makes sure his flashlight is in his pack.
When they get up the canyon to First Water Trail, Ruth doesn’t notice. It’s easy to miss. They keep going past it. As it gets dark, Ruth starts to complain. Shouldn’t we have been there by now? At which point they get down off their mounts for a break. L.P. draws his pistol, grabs Ruth’s map, maybe interrogates him a bit. L.P. looks at the Spanish map, thinks he knows right where the mine is, then shoots Ruth. He wants to get the body out of the area, so he packs him up Bull Pass, then down a ways into Needle Canyon between Black Mesa and Bluff Springs Mtn. It’s dark and there’s no moon, so he does his best to get Ruth up the mesa a little ways, hidden. He rummages through Ruth’s stuff one last time, even checking to see if there’s anything hidden in the thermos. On the way out, back in the canyon and headed west to First Water Trail, he munches a few of Ruth’s biscuits, throwing the wrappers on the ground. He gets back to First Water well before dawn, and hides the map.

Tex Barkley gets back on Thursday, and tells Keenan and Purnell to go check on Ruth. Of course, they don’t find anything. So Saturday, Barkley himself goes looking. He has no reason to go all the way over to Black Top Mesa, so of course he doesn’t find anything. The Pinal Co. Sherriff’s posse doesn’t find him on the 25th, either. L.P. can’t leave now, the heat is on, so he waits. Erwin Ruth comes out, more searches get underway, but nothing is ever found.

Somehow Ruth’s skull migrates down to the Spanish Race Track by December 10th, and Brownie finds it. Almost a month later, the rest of Ruth is found on the east side of Black Top Mesa, right where L.P. dumped him. Barkley and Adams follow Ruth’s map (one or all of the ones which L.P. didn’t take) to who knows where…maybe it was Peters Canyon, but probably not. In any case, the map or maps didn’t lead to any Spanish mine.
A while later, L.P. shows up in another state with a Spanish Map and claims to have killed Ruth for it. He talks some friends into going back to Arizona to clean out the mine. Once back in Arizona, he then claims he “found” the map. Strangely enough, this map doesn’t lead to any treasure either. A one-time friend steals the map from L.P. The map, and copies of it, still exist in private hands in Arizona to this day. It’s no different from any other Gonzales or Peralta map obtained in Mexico, Arizona, anywhere…like all the others, including the Borrego map Ruth had, it doesn’t lead to any wealth.

I think this little tale makes more sense than any of the other stories I’ve heard. But like the rest, this one is also pure conjecture, only I’m not using the Ruth story to bolster my theory of where I believe the Peralta mines or the LDM are...I have no idea. I think once we take out the stories designed to point people in certain directions, what happened to Ruth becomes pretty simple. And, I’m fairly certain that the Spanish map that was taken from Ruth, or at least one copy of it, is still in Arizona. If it led to a mine, one would think someone would have found something by now?

Best regards, Jim
Jim R.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by cuzzinjack » Sun May 06, 2018 8:37 pm

Hello Jim,

Your knowledge and deduction of the Ruth affair is to be commended. There does seem that some dastardly deeds were done, and had no idea that there were so many moving parts to the story.

It is thought that one of reasons that the Spanish maps were hard to follow is the seemingly odd technique of bringing the outlier features in close to the central theme of the map. I've posted this idea before, but the reason they did this is so is that 2 separate maps with 2 different scales were not necessary. It is ingenious really. With the Peralta Stone maps, once the focus area is known, all the other outlying features are at exact bearings. Holes in the rocks (window rocks), the cliffs at Hackberry Spring, and El Sombrero are at exact bearings, but the distance to them is not to scale. The Burbridge map is done in the same manner.

This may have happened to Ruth and the person that stole the map; they both thought the mines were close to El Sombrero according to the map because of the technique described, but they were a couple of miles away on exactly the same bearing.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by don » Mon May 07, 2018 6:46 am

cuzzinjack,
I fail to see how 343 posts in approx 14 years could be regarded as "unrelenting"..I also fail to see how they could be described as "artful" either ,come to that. As for "turning the lights out"..I presume you mean solving the puzzle by stating there was no puzzle to be solved in the first place....well id say any "puzzle " over Ruth's demise has been largely fabricated .sometimes the simple solution is the correct one...the complicated solution sells books, adds layers to the LDM legend and so on and so forth..Ruth probabley THOUGHT he had a map that would lead him to the mine..others might well have also THOUGHT he had,though then as today id imagine "genuine" LDM treasure maps were easy to find ..and that in all probabilty the locals who knew of Ruths map probabley just thought that Ruth was just another silly old fool who had been conned into believing what he held in his hands would lead him to riches....his death in the mountains of course started a new story which rapidly took on a life of its own....murdered for his map, held captive for 6 months ,tortured then executed etc etc ad nauseum....with no evidence to suggest ,or should i say prove ,that any of the above took place.
The research on ruth is /has been admirable ...ive got no issue with that ,im not sure if you were suggesting that i was saying otherwise.
The whole LDM legend is based on conjecture only, there really is no proof to even show waltz had a large amount of gold,let alone knew the location of the richest gold mine in the world.Those are my thoughts on the matter,and while i might dismiss the whole story as a mixture of bare faced lies/half truths/manufactured gold receipts /silly stone maps/ half baked claims of jesuit gold bars and gold statues found/ and invention ,thats not to say i dont find some aspects of the story intriguing....hence 343 unrelenting posts in 14 years...artful or otherwise .
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by ThomasG » Mon May 07, 2018 9:46 am

Joe,

It never crossed my mind that you were taking a shot at me or anyone else.

My understanding is that the statement:

“…a headless skeleton somewhat scattered over the ground has been discovered about three-fourths of a mile from where the skull has been found, and that the skeleton has been identified as that of Adolph Ruth by the presence of his watch, papers, and other personal belongings.”

Was in what was Hrdlicka’s “official” report. Realizing that to my knowledge there was no actual Official Report. Rather a personal communication with the family and (if memory serves) the sheriff’s office. To be more exact I would need to go back to my files and right now which is not feasible. (Our cat has yielded up another “gift, one very quick chipmunk. We just live captured one of her’s this morning and released it yesterday. This one made into my study. I now know just how quick they are, and what tiny places they can make home, I really do not want one in a file cabinet!)

It still seems curious to me that in what was and is still usually taken as “the Final Report” that Hrdlicka made no mention of the nasal bones, etc. Yet he was fully aware of that issue, of their importance. Yet, makes no mention of the issue of the skeleton being a considerable distance away from the skull, even though the skull condition essentially negated a natural route or method of transport of the skull from the skeleton to where the skeleton was found.

“RE: Regarding the “re-creation” of Ruth’s trip, I understand what you’re getting at. Personally, I wouldn’t even try it…too hot for me that time of year…how to replicate a 77 y/o with two hernias, heart trouble, a bum leg an inch shorter than his “good” one…that’s another issue entirely. Based on his letter home on the 14th, it seems that he was in no shape to take that journey, but who knows?”

I am in your corner on this one. IMHO it seems unlikely that Ruth self-propelled himself to where his remains were found. To the best of my knowledge there are essentially two probable routes: i) via Bull Pass, or ii) around Bull Pass. The first is steep, the second is much longer. I have always wondered how Ruth could have navigated either route to where his remains were found. Perhaps Greg or someone more familiar with these routes could fill us in.

For me, it is not whether I should believe him or not, rather should I believe an anthropologist from the late 1920s/early 1930s. It is not Hrdlicka, it is the timeframe, the status of the science at that point and Hrdlicka’s involvement in it.

Famous men make mistakes, some very famous men. In the cases referenced below each was trying to understand and explain things that they could not explain. Why? Because they lacked the necessary information. The science had not yet progressed sufficiently to attack the issues. Einstein cosmological constant … nope, no such thing; Darwin’s theory of the mechanism of Natural Selection couldn’t work. Why? Because the theory of genetics he followed, the theory then understood could not physically work. He got the theory right, but his explanation was totally wrong. The same is true of Linus Pauling’s model of DNA — he had three strands, opps. Not two. There errors were largely or wholly a function or result of the times in which they lived – tea constraints imposed by time and place. There is no denigration of Hrdlicka, his work or conclusions. Simply that he too worked under the constrains of his time --- as did Einstein and Darwin. Source: (https://boingboing.net/2013/06/14/blund ... estin.html)

Jim, thanks for the info. I never thought of going to NOOA – my bad. I do not know the following for a fact, but I have been told it by several residents of the Valley and the A. J. environs that the Sups. Run about 5 degrees or more than the Valley summer temps. If this is true then in 1931:

The Valley The Sups.
13 Jun 1931: 102/68°F > 107/73°F
14 Jun 1931: 104/66°F > 109/71°F
15 Jun 1931: 106/71°F > 111/76°F
16 Jun 1931: 103/69°F > 108/74°F
17 Jun 1931: 101/70°F > 106/78°F
18 Jun 1931: 103/70°F > 108/75°F
19 Jun 1931: 104/71°F > 109/75°F

Jim – Concerning:

Are you considering Erwin Ruth’s letter to Detective Jones of March 8 1936? It appears Hrdlicka talked about this very subject with Earl Ruth:

“My brother, Earl A. Ruth…(who) discussed the matter several times with Dr. Hrdlicka, states that Dr. Hrdlicka very emphatically denies the theories that the holes in the skull were produced by my father falling over a cliff, by the skull being washed against rocks, or by animals. Heavy portions of the skull were broken out. If struck against rocks, lighter and frailer portions would break. Portions of the skull, which animals gnaw, Dr. Hrdlicka says, were intact. Dr. Hrdlicka has wide experience in such matters, has witnessed executions before firing squads, afterwards examining the skulls, and knows the effects of different kinds of guns and bullets etc.” (Ruth, 1936)

No I wasn’t. The reason is that I find it more than a little curious that in Hrdlicka’s “report” he did not mention the above. It reads to me that the significance of the fragile nasal bones likely came up in conversation between Hrdlicka and Earl Ruth ;… possibly after several contacts. I have no information about when Hrdlicka became aware of the possible importance of the nasal bones. If it was early it seems curious to me it was not mentioned earlier in what has become known as his report.

The Ruth family was pushing for a coroner’s jury, the county, i.e., the sheriff, was opposed. If I had to guess I would guess that the issue of the nasal bones (etc.) came up in conversation(s) well after Hrdlicka’s primary examination of the skull. Perhaps in repeated queries from Earl Ruth trying to get info., in an attempt to get the sheriff to change his mind.

I also find the following curious: “Dr. Hrdlicka has wide experience in such matters, has witnessed executions before firing squads, afterwards examining the skulls, and knows the effects of different kinds of guns and bullets etc.”

Two items strike me” i) If Hrdlicka had examined “the skulls” if would seem that following the execution the subject was beheaded, and the flesh removed – if it was actually the skull. ii) Given Hrdlicka’s prolific writings I have not yet – repeat yet – found reference to the above, i.e., examining the skulls of firing squad victims. If such writings exist I would most certainly want to read them. They could have significant bearing on the issues at hand.

Don,

There is, however, considerable evidence in tax records and court documents that during Waltz’s final year and following his death two people had a significant upturn in their wealth. Julia final divorcee decree and the tax records attest to somehow Julia survived and prospered following the financial devastation caused by Emil Thomas’ actions and abandonment of Julia. There are also tax records showing that Dick Holmes’ wealth improved significantly in the 18 months following Waltz’s death.

I agree that the Ruth mystery probably saved the legend.

Jim,

On another matter, if Ruth was killed on his way in to Willow Spring how does one account for the letter he wrote the evening of his first day?

T

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Mon May 07, 2018 12:35 pm

Don, I think you mistook Jack's comments...He can speak for himself, but I read it to be a little good-natured sarcasm to respond to your statement:

Don wrote:
Though saying that barkley was described to me as having a psychophatic personality by a journalist on a pheonix publication a good few years ago now (this is where things usually go quiet i ve found lol)
Sounded to me like Jack was using sarcasm to say you're being a little too hard on yourself...nothing you say here is going to "turn out the lights"...nothing wrong with a good dose of skepticism...if we all agreed on everything, what's the point?

Thomas:

Point taken re: Hrdlicka not mentioning the fragile facial bones in his report (affadavit?). There are other problems there as well...I also believe you are correct that it will be a bit hotter over in the Supes than in PHX, especially down in the canyons.

Also:

Thomas wrote:
Jim,
In another matter, if Ruth was killed on his way in to Willow Spring how does one account for the letter he wrote the evening of his first day?
My little scenario (tall tale?) would have Ruth packed into Willow Springs on Sunday, he writes his letter that evening, then a few days later, by Wednesday evening at the latest (could have been Tuesday), he is somehow taken from his camp by L.P., his map was swiped, he was shot, dumped on BTM, and L.P. is back at First Water well before dawn...

The stories we've heard would have us believe that L.P. had a solid alibi because he was seen about town in Ruth's car with his friends...all I'm saying, is I doubt they were driving around for three days, so he had plenty of time to go back into the mtns and kill Ruth. I just don't see the need for some big conspiracy, moving of the body, etc. to explain the evidence. One guy could have done it in a matter of about 8 hrs.

Regarding chipmunks, those little buggers are tough! I've rescued a few from my cats and they seem no worse for the wear...even after taking some serious pummeling...

Take care, Jim
Jim R.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by cuzzinjack » Mon May 07, 2018 7:38 pm

don,

You certainly have been here a long time, much longer than I. You know the subject matter very well, and have earned the right to be critical. All being said, I certainly could learn something about diplomacy from these guys.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by don » Tue May 08, 2018 8:06 am

Thomas,
quote...I also find the following curious: “Dr. Hrdlicka has wide experience in such matters, has witnessed executions before firing squads, afterwards examining the skulls, and knows the effects of different kinds of guns and bullet...unquote

That statement youve quoted is a rather odd one...ive never witnessed an execution by firing squad ,but i was under the impression that the firing squads target would be the heart,not the head . so why would he examine the skulls ?
reading your comments about hrdlicka i think his report on ruths skull should be taken with a pinch of salt thanks for posting your queries ,they reinforced my opinions on this issue.. my main doubts were formed because of the numbers of possibilitys, maybes,and different weapons that hrdlicka felt may have caused the wounds on ruths skull..joes explanation that hrdlicka was just creating wriggle room in case other evidence surfaced didnt do it for me..though i do respect joes opinions .

cuzzin jack,
.dont worry about the diplomacy angle ...by the way i found your research and comments here quite intriguing . im perhaps just an old cynic....its partly because i guess i cant see any real difference evidence wise between the ldm and the beale treasure,adams lost mine,victorio peak treasure,and a host of other treasure stories.
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Tue May 08, 2018 1:42 pm

Don,

Don wrote:
ive never witnessed an execution by firing squad ,but i was under the impression that the firing squads target would be the heart,not the head . so why would he examine the skulls ?
Agreed. It's only one of many problems I had with the statement. To be fair, it was made by Erwin Ruth, not Hrdlicka. But still troublesome.

I had also been looking at an instance in which Hrdlicka had examined the remains of Yaqui's executed by Mexican Troops. I speculated at the time that the Yaqui's in all likelihood got a bullet to the head. I've since found a pretty good reference to this execution, and it was stated that the Yaqui's were lined up against a canyon wall and shot. Hrdlicka was on the scene, escorted by Mexican troops, some days later. He took 10 skulls, among other things. They've not been repatriated as of yet, and as far as I know still are being held at the Smithsonian. Which means they are probably over at the storage facility in Suitland. I had planned on going down there to see if I could get a look at what skulls Hrdlicka had, but was unable to stop in DC on my recent trip through there. It will have to wait.

I also agree that the Ruth situation saved the LDM legend from obscurity...but from a different perspective. I can tell you right now, that the locals had no need of Ruth...not now, not ever...All he ever did was muddy the situation and bring in an unending stream of outsiders that not only knew :lol: where the mine was, they started a bunch of stories, maps, legends, and other B.S. that has become almost impossible to make sense of...I could point out all the names of the locals that searched prior to Ruth, but why bother? The information about those people has always been available. People who knew Jacob Waltz...they didn't get their info from some newspaper article back east...Ruth had a Spanish map which he probably couldn't make sense of, and an article by P.C. Bicknell....to add insult to injury, Ruth didn't even have Bick's original article...which changed significantly...so who knows if he would have ever found any Spanish or Mexican mine? He was chasing what had already become a B.S. story...Tex and Brownie, among others, knew that, by the way. While I'm sure they would have liked to get a gander at Ruth's Spanish map, they knew he was chasing a B.S. story...IMO the only person that would have actually killed Ruth for his map was someone who didn't know...in other words, someone not from around there.

What intrigues me about Ruth, is not what little info he may have had that might lead to a mine...it's his story that intrigues me, what actually happened to him. His story, in itself, has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether or not Jacob Waltz had a mine. Believe it or not.

Best regards, Jim
Jim R.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by don » Wed May 09, 2018 8:22 am

Hi Jim,
id have to agree with much of what you wrote except for quote "His story, in itself, has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether or not Jacob Waltz had a mine." unquote id say bearing in mind the origins of his map and directions he supposedly had which again supposedly came from erwin ruth via the gonzales fellow via the peraltas etc would have added to the authenticity if the story were true.this is the problem i have, if the story of the maps origins is nonsense ,then thats another brick taken out of the foundations of the legend...if the story IS true ,well, one could argue that as it wasnt found ,even with the help of instructions ,maps from gonzales via the peraltas themselves then there were no mines to be found..i.e the peraltas were part of the fairy tale too. I admit there could be other variations of this sequence of events of course.
But of course theres been quite a few other supporting facts demolished over the years , doc thornes adventures, gold receipts to name just two...now as Thomas stated bth julia thomas and the holmes families fortunes improved around that time, the connection being of course both parties knew waltz ..waltz was thought to have a gold mine,therefore waltz had either given them gold or had it stolen from him by them...while it cant be proved that wasnt the case,it cant be proved it was...the upsurge in julia thomas's fortunes and the holmes family could have come about for a hundred and one different reasons...the waltz gold story could even have been a cover up for illegal activities...who can say it wasnt?...for certain......as for the almost impenetrable layers of b.s around the story, barry storm and to an equal degree sims ely must be held responsible for most of it ...yet people hold up ely as a reliable authority on the tale which is pretty puzzling ..to me anyway..............kind regards
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Thu May 10, 2018 1:17 am

Hi Don, sorry for writing a book here…I can’t sleep, so I may as well get on here and bloviate…

I have no opinion on whether the origin story of Ruth's Spanish map is true or false. I still say there’s nothing about the Ruth story that affects the existence of the LDM one way or the other. Maybe it generates interest and draws people in from all over, but nothing Ruth had or did proves or disproves the story of Jacob Waltz and his having a mine. If people want to link Ruth with Jacob Waltz’s mine, they’re free to do so, but I see no reason to associate the two. Other than Ruth had some directions from P.C. Bicknell who may or may not have gotten them from Julia. But locals had those directions long before Ruth ever showed up…so what exactly does Ruth bring to the LDM table?

The fact is, very few people have ever seen the information Waltz passed on to Reinhart. Then there’s the info Dick Holmes passed on to Brownie. May or may not be relevant, I have no idea. It’s highly probable that these two sources had the only scant pieces of information that have EVER existed about the location of the LDM…if that information still exists, the people that have it ain’t talkin’. Are the clues we’ve seen derived from these sources? Who knows, but it doesn’t make much sense for people to share real clues. In fact, I know of at least one time that one of them went out of their way to feed people bogus info. No shame in that, I would do it too if everyone was constantly hounding me…So the story, originally very sparse, gets overloaded with BS and people think it couldn’t possibly be true (and rightly so!) because all those garbled “facts” don’t hold up. Then Greg Davis comes along, and the world changes. I first saw some of his work in 1977 (Bob Lee had it in his book). Due to Greg’s work, Jacob Waltz becomes real. Not just a campfire tale. But the real story had already been irreversibly lost.

Even the Ruth story has gone off the rails. Just one little nitpicky example, by the time Tex and Adams got started searching, they were already fairly certain that Ruth was “hidden”. Either Ruth had fallen down a mineshaft or crack somewhere or there was foul play and his body had been buried/hidden. If it was foul play, they couldn’t help him. But they had no way of knowing, so they had to assume he was alive, and use every one of their abilities to find him just in case he was out there suffering. Adams and Barkley were the kind of men that would.

When you’re looking for someone who’s lost in the desert, the very first thing you do is look for buzzards and other animals…Tex and Adams knew this instinctively, because they lived and worked out there…Buzzards will start gathering while the person is still alive…the buzzards can tell if someone is struggling or not moving far...so you always look for the buzzards then get over there quick in hopes the person you’re looking for is still alive…the buzzards will also be going in for many days after someone dies…so if there’re no buzzards, Ruth’s out of sight…maybe still alive, but out of sight…This simple fact seems to have been lost to history. The fact that they were looking for him in caves etc. was in the papers. To me, and probably anyone else that lived and worked in that desert, that means they didn’t see any buzzards. It’s “Desert Life 101” that men like them would have followed the clues the environment provided. But for some reason, everyone nowadays assumes Ruth was just lying out in the open for 6 months until his skeleton was found scattered down the side of Black Top Mesa. Not likely. Not there. As it turns out, all the evidence we have when Ruth’s body is finally found, points to his body initially being covered, and then being washed out later by heavy rains.

For some reason, murderers in Arizona have always liked to cover up their victim’s bodies in washes, depressions, gullies, or they will cave in “cut-
banks” over them…why they do this, it doesn’t make much sense, but it seems to be the way it’s done a lot of times. Maybe because it’s quick and easy…no need to dig a hole…This is good for law enforcement as it can protect the body from scavengers, but after the first good rain, the body invariably gets washed out and then some poor hiker trips over it…in this case, Brownie finds Ruth’s skull about 1 month after biblical rains swept the area. And that skull is largely intact…green, even…

And then Ruth’s skeleton and personal stuff is found scattered down the side of Black Top Mesa...OK…if his bones had really been exposed for 6 months, just the mice alone would have chewed most of them down to dust…I see rib bones in the pics, which are some of the best ones for mice to chew…If you don’t believe me, put a set of deer antlers on Black Top Mesa and then come back in 6 months…about the same size as rib bones, and when you come back, if there’s anything left, it will only be the thick parts…the numerous species of rodents out there have to keep grinding their teeth down or they will die…they’re all out there in huge numbers…and bones are a favorite way of grinding down their teeth…

And the other critters would have carried most of the rest away…including the buzzards…when I was a kid, one my favorite things to do was to lay down on some big boulder and see how close I could get the buzzards to come in…worked every time…no, Ruth’s body was hidden or Tex would have seen buzzards…that’s why they were looking for Ruth in caves/holes…and the fact that his skull wasn’t all gnawed up, and there was enough left of his skeleton to find, I think that pretty well indicates that Ruth’s body was covered over for most of those 6 months. It was only after the heavy rains came in November that his body gets uncovered and the varmints can get at the bones.

Then there’s the possible error in where Ruth’s skull was actually found. I hesitate to even mention this, and have kept my mouth shut on it for a long
time…The place marked on maps appears to be close, but photos don’t lie…Newcomer’s photo of the place has been posted several times, and I saw actual prints of them in the 80’s before the internet, and I knew (at least I thought I did, my memory may be off) right where it was…there is only one place in the area that looks like that…the problem is that everything I’ve seen since, placed the skull on the other side, to the north…to me, the Newcomer photo is taken towards the north slope of Bluff Springs Mountain, on the west end just off Needle Canyon

In other words, Newcomer is standing just north of the trail and is looking south, right at Bluff Springs Mtn, when he takes the picture…one problem may be that the picture most people have seen was printed with the negative reversed in the enlarger, so everything is backwards…even so, for anyone familiar with the area, there can only be one place in that area that has the background in the picture, but maybe it throws people off because the negative was reversed…this was a fairly common practice back when everything was done for offset printing…negatives were always reversed for printing, as were the words...so when the plate was run against the paper, everything would come out readable…and at the same time, a few prints were made to check exposure time and those got passed out or filed away…I learned printing from an old print shop guy and ran an A.B. Dick offset printer and made plates…I know how it’s done…so those prints were all backwards, and I think so is the one we’ve all seen online…the article Mott filed for the AZ Republic also points to the skull being found where the photo indicates it was, as it was described as being “off to the right” of the trail…anyway, I’m splitting hairs here, and my memory of the area may be off as I’ve not been there for about 30 years…The skull location would only be a couple of hundred feet off, but much closer to Black Top Mesa and Needle Canyon than most people might think…now I know everyone is going to say that Brownie himself pointed out the location on a map, so I will say that even a topo map with a 1:50,000 scale, the standard error of anything printed on it, like a contour line, is 50ft in either direction...a possible maximum 100ft error right there…All I would say is for people to look at the photo and decide for themselves.

I also wouldn’t tell anyone to disregard any of the stories that came after Waltz, as that would take all the fun out of it…the stories are great, and I like them on their own merit, and I’m glad they’re being preserved in books such as the Feldman’s, Jack San Felice, and Dr. Glover’s…but to actually find Waltz’s mine, well I would just say that the people that had the best chance to do that…didn’t…not from lack of trying…They just didn’t have enough information to find it. Some good pre-anglo mines have been found, though, such as the covered shaft that led to the Mormon Stope…if the LDM is covered over, like the Mormon Stope shaft was, it may take a long time to find it! Also the story of the original locating of the Bulldog Mine (T. Kollenborn, B. Schoose) is one of the best early Arizona mine tales out there…so is the Turkey Creek fight…I love it all! Keeps me engaged with AZ as I like to remember it…

Best regards, Jim
Jim R.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by don » Thu May 10, 2018 8:16 am

thanks jim...no need to apologise for the ""book"..if youd have written more ,i would have read it...the "buzzards/no buzzards and covering up of the body issue i found very interesting and i admit i have no knowledge of either and youve put me on the back foot a little with what you wrote . so strictly speaking you are saying in your opinion ,that it basically would have been IMPOSSIBLE for Ruth's body NOT to have been covered up by someone? or can you think of a scenario ,however implausable ,whereby ruths death was by natural causes ,wasnt covered up ,and didnt attract the attentions of buzzards,or if it did those buzzards werent noticed for whatever reason? that would still leave the gnawing of the bones of course, but be the devils advocate and lets see where it might lead us.
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Thu May 10, 2018 1:05 pm

Don,

To be fair, there are a million and five reasons why Ruth might have died a natural death, right there on Black Top Mesa, and nobody would have ever seen buzzards. If he got wedged in a crack high up, most likely not many animals can see or get to him, just small ones. So he might be wedged in somewhere that a passing buzzard may not see him. That’s my point. They would have taken that into account, talked to many people who were in the area at the time, and that’s why they’re searching places like caves…that, and they’re trying to think like Ruth…he was searching for a mine, so he might be trapped in a shaft or cave somewhere, because they sure as heck don’t see him anywhere out in the open.

What I’m trying to do is explain the evidence we have…not what “could” have happened…what we have is a guy that disappears…large search parties can’t find him…people go up and down Needle canyon all the time, but they don’t see or smell anything…his skull is found at what is essentially the crossroads of the western Supes…many trails converge there…but his skull is not found until December…when it’s found, it’s green and hasn’t been chewed on…how does that happen? To me, it’s fairly obvious that Ruth’s remains are somewhere they can’t be seen or smelled. If that’s the case, he wouldn’t be the first, or last, person to be murdered and hastily buried or covered up in a dry watercourse. But who knows? Just trying to connect the dots in a way that makes sense and doesn’t contradict any part of the evidence we have, while at the same time explaining all the evidence we see.

Also, regarding the actual location of Ruth’s skull, I think Garry or Paul had mentioned that Greg D. and a friend of his had gone out there and had some ingenious way of locating the exact spot where Ruth’s skull was found. I don’t know any of the details or how it was done. I would put his findings over my 30 year old memory of what the area looks like. I think they also erected some kind of monument on the spot? Not sure. What I can do is ask around, as it looks like not many people monitor this site anymore…Take care, Jim
Jim R.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Tue May 15, 2018 10:03 pm

Don, All,

Looks like I was wrong about the location of Ruth's skull, or more accurately, the mountain behind it, in my earlier post. Paul posted some of Greg D.'s pics and map of the area on another site a while back, which I went back and looked at.

After looking at Greg D.'s pics and map, it appears the background in Newcomer's original picture would have been to the north...in other words, Newcomer is standing just south of the trail, looking to the north when he takes the pic (not standing just north of the trail and looking south, at Bluff Springs Mtn). So the prints were made with the negative in the correct position in the enlarger (not reversed). So much for my memory of the area :lol: ... It was I who had it reversed...not Newcomer's prints!

So the actual skull location is about the same, but maybe 100ft to the north of where I thought it was...Mott's 12 DEC AZ Republic article's description of the skull being discovered to the right of the trail (as they go towards La Barge Canyon) is either mistaken, or he was referring to another smaller trail...but still much closer to Black Top Mesa and Needle Canyon.

Again, I'm still splitting hairs here, but even considering Greg D.'s information, it still looks a lot easier for Ruth's skull to get there from Black Top Mesa than I would have surmised by looking at maps...originally I had thought that someone had probably come across the skull and placed it where it was found, but not so much anymore...I think the skull can get there easily by flooding action, if not all the way there, maybe with a little four-legged help.

Best regards, Jim
Jim R.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by don » Wed May 16, 2018 5:17 am

can anyone tell me exactly where cravey's skull was found..there seems to be conficting accounts and aso wether reports of the skull being found sittng on a rock cairn...a rope leading from the skull to the skeleton a short distance away on a supposedly well travelled trail approx 6 months after his death were true ? and why didnt craveys death attract the same level of publicity as ruth's-lDM -wise ?..could it be because a new generation of journalists ,newsmen and authors had replaced the previous lot...and either had no interest ,or very little,in perpetuating the story ,or reaised that the set of circumstances werent quite as mysterious as some preferred to believe?
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by novice » Wed May 16, 2018 6:28 am

Jim,

It’s been a few years since I have reviewed the Adolph Ruth story in depth. There has been a gremlin in my files and although I’m pretty sure about what I’m looking for, it seems to have disappeared. The Newcomer photo of the location of the discovery of Adolph’s skull and Greg’s study is somewhere.

(From Memory) Greg duplicated Newcomer’s shot in the 1980’s. He also had a topo map where he marked the location where Newcomer stood when took his photo. As I remember there is a mound South (30 feet tall or so??) of the trail which yielded a Greg Davis photo matching the one taken by Newcomer over 50 years before. It is indeed looking north and the skyline profile matches perfectly. Of course, the vegetation changed. I thought at the time that there may have been some Saguaros that appeared in both photos but I felt like I would have to visit the site to be relatively sure and even then it would be another 20 years later.

There was also a marked X near the Palo Verde tree on one of Newcomer’s photos. I speculated at the time that this was placed there by Newcomer indicting the location of the skull and shared with the 5 man search team as a guide to their search starting point for Adolph’s remains.

Newcomer took the photo as the group was returning from their camp site in Charlebois Spring after finding the skull the previous day. They were backtracking along the same trail and when they reached the Skull discovery site, the photo was taken and the group made a cursory search for the body. I guess it seemed logical to them that the body might lie South of the trail and up Needle canyon. They were short on time and in a hurry to get back to spill the story and came up empty handed in their short search.

By the way, Brownie Holmes did NOT spot the skull. He was leading the pack train and was well past the location of the skull when the stragglers (Halseth) along with the famous hound, Music, spotted the skull.

This is from memory and if someone could review Greg’s actual documentation, our understanding could undoubtedly be improved.

I don’t know whether Greg ever published an article about his study but if not, he should!

Garry

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by walker12 » Fri May 18, 2018 3:35 pm

Interesting posts. I do though note that my experiences in the supes are different in a couple of respects..

My expereince is that buzzards have a goal to find food, land and eat it not to just stare at it from up in the air. They can be startled, fly up and circle waiting for the intruder to leave. That may look like they are endlessly circling but they are actually just temporarily waiting to go back to their already found meal.

They are also very methodical in slowly moving their food search area. That may look like they are circling the same area but they are not.

Granted they are also reknowed for circling animals that look close to death. Just simply pretending to be weak to get buzzards to close in has never been my experience. While I never tried to induce them in I did though lay down for 10-15 minute rest/change out of sweaty socks breaks during my very frequent summer hikes. As tired as I often was if that didn't look like a near dead animal I don't know what would. : ) Yet I never had a buzzard circle me. Circling near me is another story. That happened numerous times.

The only time I was on recovery mission while a member of the AJ Search and Rescue team the people finding the body did so using their eyes and noses. At no time did anyone report seeing any buzzards. Maybe the body being only a week or so old made the difference???

I have also left deer antlers in our rat inhabited yard in AJ, (aren't they all :) ) and they lasted for many years before finally being carried off.

Just saying my experience as a hiker with thousand of miles in the supes and having lived somewhat close to them (i.e. east of Mountain View) for many years I have different experiences than others have. I am not disputing their experiences just saying mine are different.

Point being not everyone has the same set life lessons. So what some find impossible to believe others easily accept.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Fri May 18, 2018 10:42 pm

Hi Walker,

My experience with buzzards has been about what you described. They are curious birds and I can get them to circle (they are just looking when they circle, as you know...they may not be looking to eat, just looking) with little effort. Like all animals, though, it all depends on circumstances. Sometimes they will soar right by, no matter how injured I try to look :lol: ... sometimes I've gotten them to come in real close...none of them ever landed, though...what I've seen with carcasses, and how they feed, well it all depends. One time I walked right under a big oak over on Tonto Creek, and when I looked up I saw it had about 50 buzzards perched all over it with their wings outstretched, like they were sunning them or something...I then saw there was a dead cow nearby...creepy...As far as sheds (antlers) and other bones, I've found them not even a week old (because I had walked through the same place and they weren't there before) and they had already been chewed pretty good. Sometimes, though, they're not even touched. Again, I guess it all depends.

My grandfather took part in more than a few searches around the PHX area for lost people between the 1930's-1960's, he was the one that told me to look for buzzards...and also how important it is to take your cues from animals, especially in the desert, whether it's you that's lost or you're looking for someone else that is. Thankfully, I've never had to rely on that info, but I believed him.

What I'm trying to do is find an explanation for the evidence we have about the whole Ruth affair...how his remains were not found, smelled, etc....so close to the all the trails there...but then, viola, there they are, come DEC/JAN and his skull isn't all gnawed up...I might be dead wrong on every count, just trying to make sense of it.

What's your take on what happened? I'm a relative late-comer to the Forum, so if you've discussed it all before, sorry...I've been trying to read and re-read all the posts, but I can't keep track of it all...

Garry,

Just to show how bad my memory is getting...Paul posted Greg D.'s pics and map over on the other channel within the last 2 months or so...all I could remember was that either you or he had brought it up, even though I had read Paul's posts at the time and looked at the pics/map...scary how I can't remember stuff anymore...sorry to hear you can't find the file you had on it, I hope it turns up...

Good point about Brownie not noticing the skull when he passed by...the dog had to alert them...

Also, I didn't know that Newcomer took the pic the following day while they were backtracking...might explain why he said the skull was off the trail to the right...

I don't know if Greg D. reads the posts here, but I would second the request that he write an article about it...now that I finally joined the SMHS, I will start getting the Journal...wish I had done that long ago...

Take care, Jim
Jim R.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Fri May 18, 2018 10:49 pm

Don,

I don't know much at all about the Cravey story...that being said, I would like to hear more if anyone here knows anything about it...as to why his death didn't attract as much attention as Ruth's...be careful what your wish for :P ...all we need is a new generation of "Barry Storm's" showing up from all over, with Cravey's "Spanish" map...take care, Jim
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by novice » Sat May 19, 2018 4:16 am

Also, I didn't know that Newcomer took the pic the following day while they were backtracking...might explain why he said the skull was off the trail to the right...
Jim, I got the "impression" it was the following day so it may not rise to the level of fact. I'm sure they stopped at the location of the skull find the following day and they made a cursory search a short distance up Needle Canyon. I would have to find the newspaper article again to be sure.

I'm confused about your question "off the trail to the right".

The pack train was moving east to west (Garden Valley to Charlebos) and it doesn't seem strange that the skull was found on the south side of the trail which would be to the right of the trail as they were traveling east??

I believe Halseth got the credit in the newspaper article for spotting the skull.

Some will find all of this tedious but I believe, that often, "the devil is in the details." :)

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by novice » Sat May 19, 2018 10:47 am

I sure didn't improve our understanding with my confusing post.

I meant west to east (Garden Valley toward Charlebois Spring)

Sorry about that,

Garry

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Sat May 19, 2018 11:00 am

Garry, I meant Mott, not Newcomer...sorry...Mott's article on 12 DEC (the first one submitted after they got back to PHX, titled "A Hound In Disgrace") described their finding of the skull off to the right of the trail, after Music started bellowing...the problem being, in Greg D's map and photo's, the skull would appear to have been found north of the trail (to the left of the trail as they came in from Garden Valley)...probably not a big deal...but that's what I was talking about. I think they came in on Black Mesa Trail from Garden Valley, will have to look at a map, but I thought they would have been moving west to east, and the trail would take them south of the skull...but I've been wrong before! :lol:

Take care, Jim
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by novice » Sat May 19, 2018 1:15 pm

Jim,

I see what you are talking about. I'm looking at a map and I always believed they were traveling the trail over Bull Pass. It looks like it it is about a mile shorter to go that way than around Balck Top Mesa (1.5 miles vs 2.6 miles). It also look to me, at least on a low resoution, modern day hiking trail map, that the Black Top Mesa trail would have joined the Bull Pass trail to Charlebois, East of where the skull was found? Needle Canyon crosses the Bull Pass trail east of that intersection?

This analysis is certainly not in my wheel house and I will defer to the people who have been there. Or have a better map. :)

As I "recall" Greg's photo, I "think" I remeber a 1980's trail sign showing up in his photo? Again I may be all wet!

I look forward to your analysis and thoughts or anyone elses for that matter. :oops:

Garry

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by novice » Sat May 19, 2018 1:22 pm

Again I have my directions screwed up.
Needle Canyon crosses the Bull Pass trail east of that intersection?
I meant Needle Canyon crosses the Bull Pass trail west of that intersection?

Garry

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