The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Discuss information about the Lost Dutchman Mine
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

Joe Ribaudo wrote: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
Yup - exactly. I have to admit even though I thought I was visualizing rich ore pretty well in my head, it wasn't until I started doing examples for myself like this one that I started realizing how far off I could be.

For me it goes to show 2 major things:

1) Most people would likely have a difficult time recognizing gold ore that assay's as high as $5K/ton because there would be so little visual gold to see unless you just happened to come across a section where the gold is completely exposed

2) More importantly, in order to properly assay a claim, one would have to crush a pretty large portion of ore and then take a representative sample to have assayed. Any "picking and choosing" rocks to crush based on visual interpretation could drastically over or under estimate the richness of the ore.

This is the main reason in my mind why I put absolutely no stock into assay reports of "dutchman ore" of any kind because it's highly likely those pieces were all hand picked (cobbed) and just the richest specimens taken. The most important aspects of the "dutchman ore" is everything BUT the concentration of gold. Tell me what the surrounding matrix consists of geologically and elementally and you have a much better image of the ore imho, which is just what Dr. Glover was trying to do for his book.
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Paul,

"This is the main reason in my mind why I put absolutely no stock into assay reports of "dutchman ore" of any kind because it's highly likely those pieces were all hand picked (cobbed) and just the richest specimens taken."

Interesting......That's the same thing I have been saying for years. 8O

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Joe,

Given your apparent take that you put absolutely no stock in assay reports of Dutchman Ore, I do find your previous post puzzling.
You wrote;
I keep returning to those two letters 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.
No particular disagreement here, but just wondering. :lol:

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

Perhaps I should have written "alleged" assay reports. Since we have seen the ore, and Paul has figured out that it could have been as rich as what was described in Ron's letter, one of the letters may have been false.

If that's true, was there a motive for the letter that may have been falsified? If so, what was it? It seems unlikely that both letters could be the truth, but it's possible.

Sorry you are confused, but it all seems pretty clear to me. I would bet that some of the many others who are reading this topic every day are not confused.

The obvious direction to take here, is that Crazy Jake was a notorious liar. Maybe that's the answer.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

novice wrote:Joe,

Given your apparent take that you put absolutely no stock in assay reports of Dutchman Ore, I do find your previous post puzzling.
You wrote;
I keep returning to those two letters 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.
No particular disagreement here, but just wondering. :lol:

Garry
Garry, I interpret Joe's statement differently than you do I think.

I believe he's just saying that if the ore Kochera is talking about in his letter to Jake is exactly the same ore that he later sold some pieces to Ron Feldman, how does the value change from "...they are not too impressive..." back in 1962 to $28K-$50K per ton in his 1991 affadavit? Being a prospector which is one of the things John Kochera states that he is, surely he wouldn't interpret that amount of $/ton as being "not too impressive."

I don't think it's the specific value in question, just the seemingly large discrepency in descriptions between the two written documents.

Incidently, I'm still not ready to take the leap of faith that Kochera is describing the ore that he and his brother found to Jake in that letter. It's interesting to me that he describes in detail his meeting with Haywood and the "trail" the 15 men took to the pit where they uncovered the gold and states that it's a story he's kept to himself, but never says anything about he and his brother and the 24 pounds of ore they found in 1962 in the same letter.

The ore he mentions to Jake in his letter could just as easily be something he and someone else found, or perhaps even something he and Jake came across together could it not? Without knowing exactly what "ore we found" he's referring to, any conclusions are purely speculation imho.
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Paul and Garry,

Keep in mind that the Kochera letters only describe the details of finding ore in the Superstitions one time.
We know that it had to be after 1960 and likely was not long after that year, so 1962 fits. It seems likely that, considering the short period of time and the lack of confirmation of further finds of ore, that Ron's letter is describing the same find as Jake's.

Since Kochera was trying to convince Jake to look into (partner-up) his "find" in 1974, I can't imagine him not making it sound as attractive as possible. That suggests to me that he did not have the Feldman ore in 1974,
Twelve years after his Feldman letter states they found it.

Everyone, including me, knows I'm not so sharp as I used to be, some think I never was, but parts of this story look badly contrived. Some of you will have to help explain it to me.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

Joe Ribaudo wrote:Paul and Garry,

Keep in mind that the Kochera letters only describe the details of finding ore in the Superstitions one time.
We know that it had to be after 1960 and likely was not long after that year, so 1962 fits. It seems likely that, considering the short period of time and the lack of confirmation of further finds of ore, that Ron's letter is describing the same find as Jake's.

Since Kochera was trying to convince Jake to look into (partner-up) his "find" in 1974, I can't imagine him not making it sound as attractive as possible. That suggests to me that he did not have the Feldman ore in 1974,
Twelve years after his Feldman letter states they found it.

Everyone, including me, knows I'm not so sharp as I used to be, some think I never was, but parts of this story look badly contrived. Some of you will have to help explain it to me.

Take care,

Joe
Joe - you may very well be correct, but on their face value I just don't see a couple of the things you mentioned above as clearly as you do.

1) I don't see anywhere in the letter to Jake where John Kochera lists ANY details whatsoever regarding the "ore we found" as he states it. It could very well be the same ore that he sold samples of to Ron in 1991, but as I've mentioned before, that's just an assumption I can't make - I can toss it out as a theory, but there's no way I can confirm it based on that letter to Jake.

2) I don't interpret the tone of the letter to Jake as John trying to convince him to partner up at all. I take it more as John having some faith in Jake and deciding that he'd provide him with a map and details concerning what Haywood told him because he either couldn't come up with the $ to go looking anymore, or he was just getting too old or too tired to do it anymore - more like passing along a legacy.

Can you clarify what time frame you're talking about here...
It seems likely that, considering the short period of time and the lack of confirmation of further finds of ore, that Ron's letter is describing the same find as Jake's.
If you're talking 1960-1962, I don't quite understand what you mean. We know that Kochera searched more between 1962 and 1974 and may well have searched more between 1974 and 1991. That's a pretty long time period to cover - I believe there's certainly a chance he came across more ore that he had assayed during all those years. "Finding" ore doesn't necessarily mean finding it in a rotting leather bag next to a bush - the term could just as easily be used to describe ore found in a vein in some long lost hold or crack somewhere in the mountains.

I think overall our difference of opinion comes down to 2 words - "likely" and "possibly" - I see the possibility in your comments/theory while you consider it to be likely. Nothing wrong with that and you're probably right, but I've gotta find more evidence to back it up if it's out there is all :).

Maybe I'll get lucky.
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Since you guys have the bit in your teeth I would like to share the first page of some notes that came from Greg's Richard Peck file. They are confusing but this page is an account of a telephone conversation between Peck and Kochera in 1995. I would be interested in your thoughts. I have my own as I'm sure Roger and Larry do. They may possibly offer some insight into the Kochera timeline. They also introduce a couple of new characters to the mix.

Garry

These notes were shared by Roger Newkirk. He made these copies from the Richard Peck File in the Greg Davis Collection. In this particular set of notes there were 6 pages. I will post the remainder after I get them resized and uploaded to photobucket. Probably tomorrow.
Roger’s observations regarding the mechanics of Pecks’s notes.

They are hand written notes that Peck probably made before and after phone calls with Kochera.

Page 1 is very typical of other items I found in Peck's collection. It appeared that he would make some notes/questions prior to a phone conversation or meeting with someone and then scribble over them with what he found from that event. Sometimes hard to follow, but that was his style.
Image
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Paul,

[I don't see anywhere in the letter to Jake where John Kochera lists ANY details whatsoever regarding the "ore we found" as he states it. It could very well be the same ore that he sold samples of to Ron in 1991, but as I've mentioned before, that's just an assumption I can't make - I can toss it out as a theory, but there's no way I can confirm it based on that letter to Jake.]

I would say that the detail in the letter to Jake was, "we found" the ore, and he had it assayed and the results were "not too impressive". I think we can assume he found it in the Superstitions......safely. In the Feldman letter he is more specific as to "details". You can pick those out on your own.

The two letters, combined, provide a number of "details" concerning the ore he and his brother found in the Superstitions. You may have noticed that I referenced the "letters".....plural, in my post. The Feldman letter contains the bulk of the "details".

Nothing that we suggest here can be proven beyond a doubt. All we are doing is painting the information we do have with a very wide brush, to see what might make sense. Perhaps I should have worded my post better, but I will have to let others parse my words and hope to straighten the mess out after they explain it to me.

IMHO, trying to take the letters separately, as if they are not part of the same events, will lead nowhere. That could very well be the case, but I find the possibility unlikely. If you find it likely, could you explain why?

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

I have no problem painting it with a wide brush, but for me to go further down this road I need to have more confirmation than just something being likely - especially considering the sensitivity of where things may lead.

I believe there may very well be more facts to the whole John Kochera story that could help strengthen or weaken further theories is all.
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

Image[/quote]

1) Consistent with 1962 being the year he found the bag of ore

2) Consistent with Haywood dying 7/1960

3) Peck apparently spoke with John Kochera back in 1965 as well and sounds like he got a similar story to the one John told Jake in the letter from 1974 about the "directions" to the mine because Peck asks some specific follow up questions. There is some differing things here with Peck mentioning 3 rocks as well as wondering how Black Top Mesa figured into things (assuming this is what Malapais has been called, but I may be wrong).

It's a little bit funny to me that John mentions to Jake that he's never divulged the information in his letter to anyone else, however Peck seems to imply that he heard at least some of the Haywood story back in 1965?

4) Dave Miller and some mystery Apache from New Mexico named K.... something or other are introduced. No idea in what context though.

5) Peck must have gotten the same maps that John says he was giving to Jack back in 1974 - apparently drawn by Haywood. Peck seems to imply that he got them not long before this 1995 letter as he's thanking him for them.

6) There are several questions Peck looks like he asked or wanted to ask that he didn't write down any answer notes or responses from John about.

Garry - do you have the small bottom left hand portion with the cut off words, or can you tell what they say?
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Paul,

I too was surprised that Peck had apparently already been in contact with Kochera by 1965. He had also hooked up with the MOEL gang and Erwin Ruth in 1965. Richard only arrived in Arizona in 1964.

I suspect Peck may have been one of the money men Kochera was referring to in the 1974 letter to Jake when he spoke of being a piss poor salesman.

The other thing that keeps running through my mind that seems to be somewhat constant with treasure hunters seeking a grubstake is that they need a hook to entice an investor (Probably a bad word). Kochera's hook was probably the Haywood story and Map. But that doesn't jive (as you pointed out) with Kochera telling Crazy Jake that he was the first person he had shared the story with. The way stories moved through the grapevine, I would be surprised if John told Peck the story in 1965 and Crazy Jake wouldn't have been aware of it. If that is truly the timeline I would have believed Jake would have heard the story.

Larry has gone through Jake's manuscripts and I don't think he has been able to find any references to Kochera and Jake talked about everybody that was anybody. That is also somewhat strange.

I think Peck and Crazy Jake were cautious of each other at first but they became friendly later on but I don't know exactly when they began sharing some things. (Jake's manuscript)

My copy is cut off also and I'm guessing a bit.

Did he [Haywood] in 1942 get any of the $50,000?

Did tribe get it?


Nice analysis!

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

You are correct that Jake did not mention anything about Kochera or write a story that matched his in any way. I had looked into that a few years ago and remembered that there was no mention of the man. To be sure, I went through the manuscript again last night and found my memory was correct.

I also thought that was telling.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

All,

This from Peter's old site:
_______________________

Aurum
06-11-2007, 09:47 AM
One of the more interesting stories surrounding the Superstition Mountains and it's tales of gold, is the account of Kochera's Gold. A short history of the story follows :

John Kocherea was born on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona in 1928. When he was 10 years old his father, a miner, took a job with a coal company near Danville, Illinois and sent for his family to come and live there about 1939. Kochera grew up in the coal country of Illinois around Westville and Effingham. In 1960 Kochera was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when he met an Apache indian from Arizona named Haywood. He and Haywood became friends having a common bond of Apache blood. One night while drinking with Kochera, Haywood told his friend about a time in 1942 when Haywood and 14 other indians went on horse back up the Salt River to where LaBarge canyon is and took that canyon up to its intersection with Squaw canyon, turned east and up squaw canyon and ended up on a hill north of a box canyon. He told Kochera there is a tunnel at the south side of the hill covered in the brush and small trees. At the top of this hill they uncovered a pit and took out some $50,000 in gold ore. When they left they covered the pit again. Haywood said the vein of gold was in soft black rock and on both sides of the black vein is red rock.

Haywood gave Kochera other verbal directions and drew him a map of the area. A short time later, Haywood was killed in an automobile accident and Kochera forgot about the map until a couple years later in 1962, he and his brother Joseph made a trip to Arizona to look for Haywood's mine. The two brothers followed Haywood's directions and found the area he described but couldn't locate the tunnel or the pit. However, they did discover a leather bag with some gold ore in it hidden under some cactus and brush that had obviously been there for a long time.

Kochera had found approximately 25 pounds of gold ore that eventually was assayed at $49,720 per ton. ( at $35.00 per ounce of gold in 1962 ). The Kochera's left Arizona without ever locating the source of the gold ore.

Over the years, Kochera worked with several dutch hunter's to try and locate this mine. Ron Feldman, Richard Peck, John Spangler and Robert S. Jacob (Crazy Jake) were among the searchers that Kochera entrusted with his information. None were successful.

The question rages yet today, what exactly did the Kochera's find ? Gold from Haywood's mine ? Or an unrelated bag of gold ore dropped or hidden during a massacre ?

Aurum
________________________________________

At one time, I took everything that Kraig wrote as, pretty much, Gospel. Just from the misinformation in this post, you can see why that is no longer the case.

Kraig was considered an authority on all things Apache, so his insertion of this false story about Kochera was accepted by many as "fact". That repeats, because of his (alleged) living there as a young man, in spades any information that comes out of San Carlos. Is Kraig the original source, or did someone else provide this information/story to him?

Not many people used to research the truth of these stories as well as is being done now. Since Kraig started this post with a totally false statement, as far as we know, the rest of the story becomes suspect.

If the story of Kochera's ore is ever going to be retold using factual history, it will be as a result of the research being done today. Some people will consider that a good thing, and I have no doubt that some will consider it a tragedy.

One thing that will not happen, is the disappearance of these posts. No one will be able to delete this information from history, as has been done a number of times in the last few years. I have saved each and every post. Many of the posts/falsehoods that people believe they have erased are still available, as you can see from the above quote.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

I'm certain more people are reading this thread than are posting unfortunately, but I was wondering if anyone knows the origin of Haywood's first name being "Silas?" I've run across it in some previous forum threads/posts, but never seen any indication as to how or where it originated.

If you'd rather not publicly post a response here, you can always feel free to e-mail me at:

[email protected]

Thanks
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Paul,

I too was curious about the provenance of the introduction of the name “Silas” Haywood. In addition I also wondered about how the Kochera letter to Crazy Jake got out into the Dutchman community and when.

The handwritten “copy” (Greg does not have the original letter) we have is from the Richard Peck Collection and Greg received the bulk of that collection after Richard’s death in 2001.

In the 1995 telephone conversation between Peck and Kochera, I even get the sense that Peck still may not have seen the 1974 Crazy Jake letter. If he had, some of his questions leave me scratching my head.

My initial assumption was that Peck received the letter from Crazy Jake but I now doubt that.

We do know from the documents that we have seen, that neither Kochera nor Peck provides the name Silas.

The place where I first noticed the name Silas came from the “Haywood Story” written by Tom Kollenborn with a copyright date of 1999. In that article Tom also includes the 1974 letter. This all seems to precede the Peck collection information we have. (I think Tom’s article is easy to find on the internet if anyone is interested in rereading it.)

I did send an e-mail to Tom a week or so ago asking about his recollection regarding the provenance of the letter and the name “Silas” when he was preparing his article. I have not heard back yet but I will share his thoughts when I do. (Unless there is some confidentiality thing involved) :)

Dr. Glover hints in his notes to “The Golden Dream” published in 1998 that he may have seen that 1974 letter. He does refer to “another Kochera letter I have.” If it is not the 1974 letter then we may be missing an important document that would shed additonal light on the Kochera Story.

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Roger »

Paul
In answer to your earlier question about the hand writing that is cut off on the one page Peck note above, there are two items in the lower left hand corner as follows:

when did you find the bag of gold? Arrow pointing up to '62

did he in 1942 get any of the 50.000? tribe got it

Roger
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Here is where you can find the Tom Kollenborn article:

http://www.ajpl.org/aj/superstition/sto ... 0Story.pdf

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

I have not seen part 2 of this story.

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Joe,

The link you posted includes both Part I and Part II. As I understand it the second column is Part II. You see the note; Part II Next Week at the bottom of the first column.

I "think" the second column is the Part II. Anyway that's what I was referring to. Both articles have been included in this account? As you frequently say, "I could be wrong."

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Thanks Garry,

I didn't see much difference in part 2 from part 1. Probably need to reread it.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

Don't recall if it was you, but someone asked me for the GPS coordinates for the Silver Chief. This information came from Peter's site and was provided by Greg Davis, courtesy of Jack Carlson.

I have the original coordinates, with the mine marked on a topo map, but this seemed easier. I will double check to make sure Greg was correct, but I would imagine he was.

Take Care,

Joe


[The location for the Silver Chief is: 33 26 2.2N, 111 11 49.8W. The prospect drift tunnel, (Cache Site), is: 33 26 1.3N, 111 11 37.5W, 4879 feet.]
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

Concerning Crazy Jake and his not mentioning John Kochera in his manuscript. Jake didn't believe John had anything worth pursuing. That may have had something to do with the assay report he received.

John really tried very hard to get Jake to partner-up with him and in truth, there were many other Dutch Hunters also being approached by Kochera. A number of letters were exchanged. If he had the "Kochera ore" in 1962, there would have been no problem attracting working partners as well as financial backers.

It seems obvious that he didn't have that ore in 1974, or he would not have been begging Jake and others to help him out. They would have come to him. Most of this is conjecture on my part, but the meat of this post came from a very good source. That would be Tom Kollenborn.

On another subject: I doubt Klinekole had a first name. If you like, I will do what I can to find some history on the man. I have serious doubts it will lead to anything of value, but you never know. In any case I would be gathering more, relatively, unknown history.......which I enjoy doing. :)

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

Joe - that potentially puts a different spin on things if there are other letters out there from Kochera trying to solicit a bankroll or partnership. Based on just his letter to Jake that we've seen, I didn't interpret that as being "begging" or anything of the sort, but if there is a pattern of those kinds of letters, that's a whole different story imho.

Any chance some of those letters have survived?
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Paul,

[I'm certain more people are reading this thread than are posting unfortunately, but I was wondering if anyone knows the origin of Haywood's first name being "Silas?" I've run across it in some previous forum threads/posts, but never seen any indication as to how or where it originated.]

Tom called me around 1:30 today, and he has been looking in on this topic. He said that the name "Silas" came from a "claimed" letter to Bob Ward from John Kochera. He does not put much faith in the existance of such a letter and has his doubts about the truthfulness of the story that Kochera told.

It would seem that there were a number of letters to different folks from Kochera, but he is unsure what happened to them. Perhaps Greg Davis can shed some light on that. it would also be interesting to know if anyone has the original letters, or the assay report he gave to Jake.

Garry,

Tom's computer will not accept email's from anyone who has not been added to his address list. If you like, I will give him your email address.

Take care,

Joe
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