The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

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The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

The Kochera Story is well worn ground and one thing that makes it interesting, for treasure hunters, is the physical gold ore associated with the story. I only recently took an interest in the story and Larry Hannah, Roger Newkirk and Greg Davis have provided numerous documents and invaluable support.

We have “two” documents (shared by Roger) that provide the primary firsthand accounts from Kochera. There are others hinted at by various people but we have not seen them.

I know most of you have seen these documents but I want to insert transcribed copies of the hand written versions into this thread for ease of reference.

I have tried to retain the spelling, capitalizations, punctuation, etc.

Letter written by John B. Kochera on April 4, 1974 to “Crazy Jake” (Robert Simpson)
4 April 74
Dear Jake,

With this letter I am enclosing a copy of the assays I had made on the ore we found. They are not too impressive. Just thought you might care to know.

Also inclosed is a map that I will detail to you.

I don’t have the money to search for it. I am a darn good prospector but a piss poor salesman. I can’t get any money men to sponsor me in a search. So I am giving it to you. You seem to be an honest person and since you have about all the maps available I would like you to have these also. I hope you find it and if you do remember me in some small way.

In 1960 I met an Apache Indian named Haywood, he was from the Verde river country in Arizona. He was in Milwaukee going to vocational school, which the government sent him to along with some others. We became good friends and one night he was over at my house and we got to drinking heavy. I started talking about finding gold in Mexico and then he told me this.

In the spring of 1942, he and fourteen other men went on horses up the salt river to Labarge canyon Then up Labarge canyon to squaw canyon. They turned up squaw canyon, passed by the box canyon, then passed on the north side of three red hills. Then turned north about 1 mile and turned west to a hill north of the box canyon. There is a tunnel at the south side base of the hill, with brush and small trees nearly hiding it. They then went to the top of the hill and uncovered a pit. They took out about $50,000 in gold. When they left they covered the pit again. The vein of gold is in a soft black rock and on both sides of the black vein is red rock.

Haywood was thirty-seven years old when I met him. He believed strongly that something bad would happen if he told a white man, but since I am part Indian, he thought it would be all right. In July 1960, he and another guy was killed in a head on crash with a trailer truck.

For fourteen years I’ve kept this to myself and you are now the only person I’ve told this to. I hope it does some good to you. I personally believe this is the dutchman’s mine. I wish I could search for it, but just don’t see how.

I would appreciate hearing from you on what you think of this.

I’ll close for now and if you have any questions I’ll be glad to help you out. I believe you are the person all this was predestined for.

Good Luck and best wishes,

Johnny Kochera
RT 1 Box 34
Yuba, Wis 54672

P.S. Thes are machine copies of the originals
Affidavit written by John B. Kochera on December 7, 1991 for Ron Feldman
(Ron had purchased about 6 specimens of gold ore from Kochera)

The gold ore specimens, now in possesion of Ron Feldman were found by my brother Joe and I in April 1962. We were headed up squaw canyon in search of a mine, the directions of which were given to me by a man named Haywood. Joe and I decided to cut over black mountain (Malipai) and go into the head of Charlebois canyon, and then down to the spring, then back out to Bull Pass. While we were crossing the saddle on Malipai we came across a pile of gold ore. It had been in an old rotten leather or rawhide bag. There was 24 pounds of it. We searched all around but could find no more, nor was there any bones or skeletons. We thought that there must be a mine nearby where it came from, but after years of searching we never could find it.

The ore assayed $49,728.00 per ton at $35.00/oz. The smaller pieces assay at only $28,111.00 per ton so we thought the little pieces came from a stringer off of the main ore shoot. This still did not help us locate the source.

John B. Kochera
7 Dec. 1991
Some people have connected these two letters as being part of “one” story while others see them as two completely different stories with no connection at all.

Kochera also identifies two additional first hand documents in the April 4, 1974 letter. He states he is enclosing a map along with an “unimpressive” assay report. We believe the map has survived but have been unable to locate the “unimpressive” assay report. (If anyone has any information on that assay report, anything that can be shared would be appreciated)

I'll try to get a follow-up post out later today and begin to share a few other references to Kochera.

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Moving beyond the firsthand accounts, we have the information that Ron Feldman received directly from John Kochera. The information was taken from both from Ron’s book, “Zigzag Canyon: The Legend of Gold Gulch” and his posts that can be found in the archive section of this forum.

Ron packed Kochera into the Superstitions for 17 years and they became very close friends.

(The information from Ron provided the foundation for researching Kochera’s personal history)

Ron provided the tie to Westville, Illinois; he said that Joe was the “older” brother of John, etc.

I realize that Zigzag Canyon is a fictional account based on some historical events. It is frequently impossible to state with any certainty whether an event in the book is based on what John told Ron or whether Ron is using an author’s license to create background for a readable story. These differentiations are important in understanding Kochera, the man, and I hope that Ron will break his long standing absence from the forum and share some of his thoughts.

The first documents, I would like to share are John and his wife Patricia’s obituaries. They provide a nice background and enough information for us to start scratching our heads when we compare it to the story most of us know.

Image

Image

I do not have a source for these obituaries. I received them from the Effingham County Historical and Genealogical Society and they did not include the sources. I will try to sort that out eventually.

Our quandary: We do know that Kochera told Jake that he was part Indian and from Zigzag Canyon we know Ron wrote that Kochera was part Apache, born in Arizona and spent the first 10 years of his life there? But John was actually born in Westville, Vermilion County, Illinois, far from the Apache and Arizona.

Another item of interest that caught my eye was John’s occupation. I don’t want to read more into it than is there but I wonder if he made jewelry items also. A silversmith may work with other metals which might include gold and copper. Perhaps that is where the remaining ore from the 24 pounds he found ended up? (In Jewelry)

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

I don't know where the "Apache" part enters into the equation either. John Kochera's father was born in Hungary and his mother was born in Westville, IL. I suppose there's a chance of some ties to Native American's on his mother's side, but I didn't dig far enough to find it.
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

When this topic was being discussed on the forum several years ago, Joe Ribaudo pointed out the Social Security Death Index entry for John B. Kochera. The birth was in 1928 and it seemed likely that John along with his parents and his older brother Joe could be found in the 1930 Census. Sure enough they were in Westville, Illinois. The census taker had listed John as “Birdie” and that did give me pause but he was born in 1928, his father was Joseph, his mother Mabel and his older brother was Joseph (Joe). John’s middle initial B may have stood for Bert which was the name that Mabel’s father went by.

According to the 1930 census, John’s father Joseph was born in Hungary and Joseph had listed his parents (John’s grandparents) as both being born in Hungary. From other census information John’s grandfather apparently first came to the US from Hungary in about 1902 and the remainder of the family followed from Hungary in 1908.

We can see that on John B. Kochera’s father’s side of the family, his father and grandparents were all born in Hungary. There may be some confusion between the Hungary and Austria notation as they appear to be used interchangeably in some instances. (Joseph Kochera’s WW I Draft Registration)

John’s father, Joseph Kochera married Mabel Boswell in about 1922 and they eventually had at least 6 children including our John. Mabel’s ancestry is fairly easy to follow through the census and I will not bore you with those details but suffice to say there is no hint of any Indian connection. Their roots were in Indiana and Ohio.

On the forum, there was a lot of talk about John B. Kochera having a Chippewa (Ojibwe-Ojibway) background. This was obviously in error but a letter from John to Crazy Jake on May 4, 1974 was cited as evidence. It was not produced and I doubt seriously any such letter ever existed (Greg couldn’t find it in his collection) and I sure don’t want to put any words in John’s mouth of which he is not deserving.

As far as I am concerned, the Indian connection in John’s ancestry is dead. Does this cast suspicion on the Haywood story? Perhaps, but there may remain unturned stones. We do know that John had a Wisconsin connection and we are missing about 25 years (1950-1975) in that timeline.

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

A concern was raised about where the Indian background of Kochera originated. Haywood was the Indian and not Kochera. (From an e-mail)

I sometimes get too close to the story and make the assumption that people are thinking along the same line I am.

About the only firsthand account I have from Kochera himself is the letter he sent to Crazy Jake.

In his own words, John wrote, "Haywood was thirty-seven years old when I met him. He believed strongly that something bad would happen if he told a white man, but since I am part Indian, he thought it would be all right."

Although Kochera didn’t specify a tribal affiliation, it is clear that Kochera was advertising an Indian ancestry.

For anyone who takes the time to revisit the posts on the Feldman Forum (Particularly the Old Forum Archive) it seems pretty clear, that to a person, “everyone” believed that Kochera was of Indian ancestry.

As far as the tribal association, the water immediately becomes muddied but I would start with Ron Feldman’s words when he posted the following in the Walt Gassler thread in the Old Forum Archive. Kochera told Ron that he was part Apache. This is second hand but much closer to the source than anything else I have seen. A portion of that post is shown below.
Topic: Walt Gassler
Peter, Your range of knowledge spans quite a width. What you said about Kochera and Haywood was mostly correct; however Kochera was part Apache, at least that is what he told me, which actually might give more credence in some thoughts you had. I will say that I probably knew him better that any hunter and I don't think he and his brother finding the ore happened any other way than by following the Haywood map and by accident finding the ore. I have his interview just before he died recorded and he tells the complete story. The one thing I do know is he was a man that did not lie.
Ron was questioning a portion of Peter’s previous post about speculation that John had a Chippewa origin. This tie was discussed elsewhere and was not new to the discussion. A portion of Peter’s post is shown below.
Topic: Walt Gassler
The tale about the Apache named Haywood is correct. It is my understanding that he was from San Carlos and was generally thought of as a ne'er-do-well by traditionalist Apache. What’s not known by most is that Haywood met the Kocheras in either Wisconsin of northern Michigan and the Kocheras themselves were American Indians, descendants of the Chippewa (Ojibway) that were native to that area of the Upper Great Lakes. Haywood apparently had some information related to a mine or cache (to the Apache a mine or cache were one in the same...they had no words to distinguish one from the other)in an area related to Peters Mesa. I for one find it incredulous that these Chippewa from the Great Lakes just stumbled by dumb luck upon a saddlebag of discarded ore...on their very first trip into the mountains! There was something more in play here. I also believe they were fortunate to leave that area with their ore (and selves) intact.
Ron Feldman added some detail to the Apache ancestry in another post in which he identified John as Mescalero Apache. Again a portion of his post is repeated below.
Topic: Lest we Forget
A correction which I think has already been made, is he [Kochera] was part Mescalaro Apache. I mentioned that he made a tape for me before he died, and if anybody ever thought that he lied about anything, all they would have to do is watch this to see the true measure of the man.
A sidebar: Does anyone know whether this “tape” that Ron mentions is simply an audio or is it a video? Is it available for listening or viewing within the Dutchman Community? Has anyone ever heard or seen it and if so can they give a short overview? Thanks!

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

I understood where you were coming from in discussing Kochera's potential Native American heritage for what it's worth. I saw those same accounts you posted and was unable to tie any Native American tribe to him either.

One thing I was wondering though - is it possible John Kochera could have been adopted?
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

One other thing I wanted to mention. I'm almost positive I will be in Wisconsin at some point over Christmas this year (weather permitting). I can't promise anything, but if anyone has any real specific information they would like me to check on anywhere while I'm there I can give it my best shot.

I'll probably be in the vicinity of Milwaukee, Madison and possibly Green Bay at one time or another. I doubt I'll have alot of time to really dig through information, but if there's anything really specific someone wants me to check on, I'd be happy to do it.

Send me an e-mail
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Paul,

Thanks for the offer on the research. The week between Christmas and New Years is a tough time to do research. A lot of the places that do remain open have a skeleton staff. Before I made any detail plans, I would make a few phone calls to make sure the place you would like to do your research is open and functioning that day.

The thing I would like to find is anything that would tend to verify that the person, Haywood, ever existed. Conventional searches have turned up nothing.

Kochera tells the story that Haywood was killed along with another fellow in a traffic accident in July of 1960. If you could come up with a similar story in a newspaper it would certainly begin to lend some credence to the whole story and would be a great foothold for more research. Kochera doesn’t tell us where the accident happened but the implication for me is that it may have been near Milwaukee. Two people getting killed would have been a somewhat major story and I would suspect other major papers might have carried something.

I have never done any research in Milwaukee but we have been to the state archives in Madison. (A nice facility) They probably have many of the newspapers and city directories for the state. Haywood and also Kochera might show up in the Milwaukee city directories in the 1960 time period.

The archives might even have a shortcut (index) for finding an article as opposed to trying to browse through a month or two of newspaper issues.

I have been down this road numerous times on various stories and it almost always is a DEAD END. If the story is a fabrication you will obviously find nothing. Kind of like looking for a gold mine!

Anyway, you did ask, so if you get the chance, Good Luck!

Was John Kochera adopted?? I sure didn’t see that one coming. When you were young did you ever fantasize about your parents adopting you. I think I did a couple of times. :)

I have seen nothing that would even hint at that. He seems to fill a notch among his siblings nicely. I believe he had a younger sister born between him and Joe and she died before 1930.

If your question is based on all of the Indian stories and this being a possible explanation for fitting those in with his documented history, Good Luck. When I look beyond the question and try to implement an adoption scenario it becomes even more incredulous than at first glance.

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

You're right that the adoption angle is obscure at best, but I just happened to think of it.

I imagine trying to track down this "Haywood" person is a needle in the haystack at best - we know almost nothing about the person - heck we don't even know if Haywood was his first, last name or even nickname, or for that matter whether it was Hayward instead.

As far as the truck accident that Haywood supposedly died in in 1960, there's no way of knowing if that happened at the right stated time or whether it may have even happened in a different state.

I'll see what I can do, but if anyone has ANY other information regarding this Haywood person, please either post it here or send me an e-mail.

I'd be really interested as well in the video/audiotape of John Kochera that Ron Feldman mentions. Has anyone checked to see if Greg has that? Otherwise, I imagine a phone call to Ron could answer the question
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry and Paul,

As you may both know, I have doubted the Kochera story from day one. Sounds pretty much like how you have felt about it Garry.

A few years ago I met a gentleman who used to be with the government in the Superstitions. Beyond that, he had many friends in the Dutch Hunting community. He saw some pictures I had on my screensaver of the Kochera ore, and told me he was the photographer who took them. He then offered to bring me his original eight by tens to copy. He did, and I did.

At another time, we were sitting in my front room talking with another well known old timer from the Superstitions, and he explained how he was taken to a mine in the Superstitions, along with the other fellow who was with us.

Later, I asked him if he thought the Kochera ore that he photographed was from that mine. His answer was that he was "positive". I am more than convince that he knows what he is talking about.

There is a wide gap between the two "Kochera" letters......in substance. There is also a problem matching the "Kochera ore" with the first letter to Jake. On the other hand, it is a bit more believable to make that connection with the Feldman letter.

There may be some questions that come to mind when you consider what I have just written. Like all things Dutchman, there is more to the story than first meets the eye. Lots of grist for this particular mill.

Nice bit of research.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

Joe, how would that jive with Dr. Glover purchasing a piece of Kochera's ore from Ron Feldman back in the 1990 timeframe and having it analyzed and using that information in his book? The timeframes just don't match.
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Paul,

I'm getting a little thicker every year. Could you explain to me what "timeframes" you are trying to match up?

Thanks,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Joe,

I guess I had the same reaction as Paul regarding the timeline. My sense was that you were tying the Kochera Ore (1990) to the reopening of the Silver Chief mine (1997-1998). Of course that wouldn’t work.

I now believe you are speaking of another incident that occurred earlier that 1990. Your reference to “a mine in the Superstitions” may have been something different from the so called Silver Chief dig?

Can you elaborate? Mine name, approximate location, date of this incident, how many people involved and of course if you have any names, that would probably seal the deal.

You state that you had pictures of the Kochera Ore as the screen saver on your computer. (This was before you received the 8x10s). What is the provenance of the pictures on your screen saver? Also, what was the approximate date of the meeting with the gentleman when he saw your screen saver.

Are you at liberty to post your screen saver pictures of the Kochera Ore? Also the 8x10 photos? I do like documentation. :wink:

I have additional questions but will hold those until I can digest the answers to the above questions. Your answers will probably generate additional questions anyway.

I think we were beginning a nice little history project involving John Kochera and you have fast forwarded us to the end. :) I guess we can work backward as well as forward. :?

Thanks,

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Good morning Garry,

I trust you and Carol are doing well and staying as warm as possible.

Prior to opening up and working the pit mine, back around 1985 or so, three men rode up to the mine. On the way, two of the men were shown the empty holes that were said to have contained Waltz's caches. ("Kochera's" ore?)

Those two men, who had nothing to do with opening the mine, recently told me about that trip. One of them was the man who took the pictures of the Kochera ore. I will ask him what year he took these pictures.

ImageImage

I believe I received my original picture of the Kochera ore from Roger Newkirk, or he may have posted it here.

Image

I suppose, if I thought the Kochera accounts were accurate, the timeframe would hold some importance for me....It does not. It may be that Kochera was set up as a quasi-straw man.

From what I have seen, much of the man's story is fiction. The fact that the assay numbers changed so drastically, is telling. Did the actual ore also change??? From the pictures I have seen, they do not match the ore described in Crazy Jake's letter, but would match the Ron Feldman letter.

On the other hand, I don't know $#!t about rocks.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Joe,

Yes, Roger has that photo, with the wood background, posted in the Member’s Photo Gallery.

That particular piece appears to be the same one as shown in the photo of the three specimens and it is on the right side of the photo???? (Different Orientation)

I saw a post by Ron on the forum and he described the number of pieces of Kochera ore as “about” six. Dr. Glover purchased one of those specimens and I might assume the remaining five were those retained by Ron and photographed by your friend?

The problem I’m having is that, if this scenario is correct, the 8x10 photos were taken after Dr. Glover obtained his specimen (1990?) and it is not shown. The question for me then becomes, when were the 8X10 photos taken? Was it several years after the 1985 excursion?

Do you know whether a photo of Dr. Glover’s specimen is in the public domain? (Unless it is one of the five specimens shown)

I suspect the 8X10 photos were taken in a rather formal setting and not in the field?

I also have little concept of the actual size of the specimens. Size of a chicken egg, a fist etc.

Are there any additional details, on the above, that you can provide. Even if you don’t know the answers, I would still be interested in your take on the timeline of events.

Another thing that seems to cry for additional explanation is the two holes (caches) pointed out from which the Kochera Ore was taken. Digging two significant holes and stumbling on to 6 small rocks is a head scratcher for me. Also do we believe an actual assay was ever performed on these caches? Are these the values in Kochera’s affidavit? Since assays are destructive tests there must have been additional ore for these tests. Do you think there is a significant amount of ore that was recovered from these caches that is unaccounted for?

Finally, you wrote “Prior to opening up and working the pit mine, back around 1985 or so”

I believe you are suggesting that this was the same mine in 1985 which was later opened up in the late 1990s. (Alleged Silver Chief) Am I still on track?

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Roger »

Garry,

Kochera is a very interesting subject and it definitely generates a few opinions in the Dutch Hunter crowd. I suspect you have a lot more research done that is yet to be shared with the Forum and I am looking forward to it.

I would like to make one observation about conclusions in general that is drawn from Thomas Glover's Book, "The Lost Dutchman Mine of Jacob Waltz Part 1: The Golden Dream (1998)". In Chapter 21 "Does the Mine Exist? The Gold, the Ore, the Geology, and the People", Glover writes on page 281 about the "test of wrongness" as follows:

"For a question or statement to be analyzed scientifically, it must be possible to prove it wrong - not right, but wrong. This is called "a test of wrongness". Consequently, any absolute statement that the Dutchman's ore comes from no known mine is Arizona is both silly and unscientific since there is no test of wrongness. In order for it to be possible to disprove the statement, one would have to have samples of gold ore from all the known mines in Arizona, which is not possible."


Applying this same wrongness test to Kochera not having a partial American Indian heritage would require the tracing of his family blood line back in time and verifying that none of his ancestors had Indian blood. If John's father's side can be traced to Hungry, then that would not provide an Indian connection. The blood line would then have to come from Mable Boswell, his mother. The blood line branches of her ancestors would have to be run down to verify no Indian blood. Then there are the obtuse connections like the one Paul brought up - could he have been adopted. Another - could John's father, Joseph, had a brother that lived in Arizona who was the real father of John with an Indian linkage, but Joseph ended up raising John? Care must be taken in drawing conclusions with out taking these type factors into account.

We do have in John's own handwriting that he was a partial Indian and what Ron Feldman wrote on his truthfulness, one would have to place a high likelihood of that being correct.

Some food for thought.

Roger
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

[Finally, you wrote “Prior to opening up and working the pit mine, back around 1985 or so”

I believe you are suggesting that this was the same mine in 1985 which was later opened up in the late 1990s. (Alleged Silver Chief) Am I still on track?]

Correct.........My opinion.

"Another thing that seems to cry for additional explanation is the two holes (caches) pointed out from which the Kochera Ore was taken. Digging two significant holes and stumbling on to 6 small rocks is a head scratcher for me. Also do we believe an actual assay was ever performed on these caches? Are these the values in Kochera’s affidavit? Since assays are destructive tests there must have been additional ore for these tests. Do you think there is a significant amount of ore that was recovered from these caches that is unaccounted for?"

Once again, in my opinion, Kochera had nothing to do with the ore/gold taken from the two caches. If the ore that is pictured is from the caches below the "Silver Chief", there were more than six small rocks. I doubt there was an assay performed, but it's possible.

"Are there any additional details, on the above, that you can provide. Even if you don’t know the answers, I would still be interested in your take on the timeline of events."

I have additional information, but nothing more that will be posted on the Forum. If I were doing more research on Kochera's history, I believe I would focus on that right now. Prove his history false and the rest, IMHO, is more than questionable.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Joe,

I want to be clear upfront that this is certainly not a witch hunt to vilify Kochera. I’m getting ahead of myself here, but my impression is that Kochera is a poster boy for a treasure hunter. It appears to me he was grasping for straws throughout his search. If the Haywood story is true. Kochera must have realized early on that he either had been given false information or at the very least insufficient information to find anything.

According to Ron’s writings he searched for the Lost Adams in New Mexico and he also became enamored with the Peralta Stones. (Possibly he tied the Haywood story cache with a cache created during the alleged Peralta mining activities in the Superstitions.)

Even if research were to make the likely hood of the Haywood story being a red herring, I would not be faulting Kochera much. He was a treasure hunter and false stories and misleading other treasure hunters comes with the territory. John was probably no better or no worse than a thousand other guys.

In my opinion, proving some of Kochera’s history false does little to bolster your story. I believe your story needs to stand on its own. Since I believe the devil is often in the details, each detal needs to be researched as thoroughly as possible. You have got a great start on the story with not one but apparently at least two credible individuals vouching for the framework.

I believe your friends still have information that would add meat to the story. Even things that didn’t happen are important in painting the picture. I know you stated that you had additional information that you couldn’t share but answers to questions similar to those shown below wouldn’t seem to give anything sensitive away?

Did the 1985 date and visit to the mine have any relationship to the closing of the Wilderness area to mining in 1984?

Why were your two friends invited to visit the mine? What did the finder of the mine hope to gain?

Did either of your friends take pictures of the mine in 1985? If so have they survived?

Can the location of the two caches be specified with any precision? Are the holes still there?

When and where did your friend take the pictures of the ore?

See, you got me started and I have a hundred more. Fly specs to some but important to me.

Another thought that I haven’t really sat down and analyzed involves the Dec 7, 1991 Kochera affidavit. It seems to me that this affidavit was not originally part of your theory but was created as an after-thought. I thought that it might have been Dr. Glover who instigated obtaining the affidavit. A piece of ore that is going to undergo testing to be compared to other ores needs some sort of provenance.(Where did it come from?) Ron had the ore for sometime (1990 or earlier) and apparently never bothered to obtain anything from Kochera. It wasn’t until Dec 7, 1991 that Kochera provided the affidavit. (At Dr. Glover’s suggestion?)

Garry
Joe Ribaudo
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

"In my opinion, proving some of Kochera’s history false does little to bolster your story. I believe your story needs to stand on its own. Since I believe the devil is often in the details, each detal needs to be researched as thoroughly as possible. You have got a great start on the story with not one but apparently at least two credible individuals vouching for the framework."

I suppose that depends if Kochera's story, that we have read, is actually his. Considering the two letters, one or both could be
fakes.

If not, my story can stand or fall on its own. Either way, I have no axe to grind, and have only passed along the information that I have heard from some very good sources.

I would assume that what I have written will not affect your research or the direction you take.

Poster boy is good, but I prefer my straw man analogy.

Good luck,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Joe,

I’ll quit pestering you with questions regarding your theory about where the Kochera ore really came from. You know, most of my questions had very simple answers that would have been both revealing and meaningful.

1. I don’t know. or 2. I know but I’m not going to tell you. :D

I’m not going toss your theory away as a rotten tomato but rather sit it on the window sill, much as you would a green tomato, and see if it ever ripens. The seed story is interesting and you do have some excellent documentation that raises questions and possibilities.

Roger,

I’m not a big fan of Dr. Glover’s “wrongness test”, probably because I don’t understand it in our context. I use a shortened version that says; “Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence”

It seems to me if I took this literally and told another story of the Kocheras, we would have to accept the possibility that it could be true, even in the absence of any evidence.

The original Kocheras arrived in Arizona in the late 1860s on an alien spaceship. There were 47 people on board. Some remained in Arizona but the others soon dispersed and by 1910 a small group of the Kochera aliens had arrived in Westville, Illinois. :)

The possibilities are endless, limited only by our imagination.

I also have trouble with the interpretation of the term “absence of evidence”. Kochera’s obituary tells us who his mother and father were: the 1930 Census shows a 1 1/2 year old John living with his parents with an older brother Joe, etc. To me this seems to be “evidence”? The other stories, with no documentation that suggest the possibility of another scenario, are wishful thinking.

Since I have seen no “evidence” to support these other stories, by our wrongness test I must accept the possibility that they could be true. (That just doesn’t work in my world) For me they must be at least some level of "reasonable" doubt presented. I'm sure each of us has our own bar height.

I do admire your trust in the truthfulness of others. I was cautioned early on to question everything and I’ll bet there are some who wish they had never offered that advice. :D

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

[I do admire your trust in the truthfulness of others. I was cautioned early on to question everything and I’ll bet there are some who wish they had never offered that advice. ]

I have given that advice to many people and always added "including me". Beyond that, I always question myself as well. That doesn't always save me, but it often does.

I thought writing "I know but I’m not going to tell you" was a bit brusque. While that's usually my style, I try to avoid treating my friends that way.

I don't know if the entire story will help you in the kind of research you are doing. It's not something I want to air on the Forum as it's harmful speculation, based on some very good information. I think I probably ran it all by you before, so I believe you know where this story leads.

If you know where the story started and where it ended, you only need to look for the truth or falsity between those two points. While that may not provide a smoking gun, it will probably make you as comfortable with your conclusions as I am with mine.

I keep returning to those two letter and the extreme difference in the assay reports. Huge red flag there, and that is probably the key to the whole thing, since we know Kochera existed. Is the story contained in the letters even possible? That's the direction I would try to focus my research on. Once you get that answer, IMHO, the rest of the details start to fade into obscurity.

Just my opinions, so I could be wrong.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

Joe, you said:
I keep returning to those two letter and the extreme difference in the assay reports. Huge red flag there, and that is probably the key to the whole thing, since we know Kochera existed.
If I knew with certainty that the ore samples John Kochera mentions in his letter to Jake are the same ones that he and his brother supposedly found in 1962 that he later describes in his affidavit for Ron, I would have to agree with you, but there's nothing in his letter that clarifies that - it may be a logical guess, but there's nothing at all certain there.
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

Just as a visual example, I ran some numbers and came up with the following:

Ore valued @ $50K/ton based on $35/troy ounce roughly comes out to ~98 lbs. of 100% gold per 2000 lbs of ore.

I have some rocks around the house and found a copper containing one that weighs 365 g (~0.8 lbs) and calculated how much 100% free gold would be in that rock based on the same values as above and assuming a density of 19.3 g/cm3 for gold.

The final numbers came out to ~18g of 100% gold which is basically 1 cm3 in size, so....

The photo below shows the rock (about the size of a small fist) with a quarter next to it for size as well as a small black plastic washer with the dimensions of ~1cm3.

If you can envision it, it would be pretty easy to spread that 1 cm3 of "gold" throughout the rock in the photo to make it look similar to the Kochera Ore photo that Roger showed. It's a good way to put it in perspective that it doesn't take a heck of a lot of visible gold to create a rock that assay's at $50K/ton - AND THAT'S WITH GOLD @ $35/OUNCE!!!

Image
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Paul,

Very nice! Even someone who doesn't know $#!t about rocks, like me, can visualize the ore. While it may not seem impressive to some, I imagine those who know their rocks might find it pretty exciting. 8O

Thanks for sharing.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Paul,

One other thing........The gold in that rock would not all be on the surface of the piece. Some of your quarter's worth would be hidden inside.

That's just a guess, so I could be wrong.

Take care,

Joe
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