The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

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

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Paul,

"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."

Just another......questionable "fact".

Take care,

Joe
Cubfan64
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

Joe Ribaudo wrote:Paul,

"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."

Just another......questionable "fact".

Take care,

Joe
I agree Joe, but since the question had to do with how and when Kochera's possible "native american heritage" first came to light, I thought it was relevant. It's possible that for whatever reason, Kochera himself is where it originated from.
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Hi Paul,

As you know there are a few people who claim phony ties to the Apache, and in particular those at San Carlos. It's possible that Kochera made such a claim but, if he did, the Kiowa-Apache and Klinekole seem like a better place to look for a connection.

I think someone took a real person and tried to build a false history/story around him.

Sound familiar????

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Paul,

You wrote: “Doesn't John Kochera imply he has Indian heritage in his letter to Crazy Jake?”

I will try to answer what I believe is your hidden question. I don’t believe for a minute that you aren’t aware of what Kochera said in his letter to Crazy Jake. :)

I believe what you are questioning is my statement, “If this was the story that John Kochera told Ron Feldman, there may be a bigger problem than first believed.”

We have two sources that imply the same thing (Kochera was part Indian) and I strongly believe both are false. Why would one indicate big a bigger problem in my eyes?

In the Zig-Zag Canyon story we have an elaborate, well thought out and well constructed tale, while in the second case we have Kochera telling Haywood and Crazy Jake that he was part Indian. I may be parsing words, but if Ron were to tell us tomorrow that the Zig-zag Canyon story came directly from Kochera, it would raise a large red flag for me. I would question whether the whole Haywood story could be far behind.

On the other hand if Haywood was reluctant to share the directions to a treasure, I can see where John might try to help the story along by saying he was part Indian to improve his chances. Many of us might do the same thing. In this case, it is raising a smaller pink flag.

Call it Okie logic! :lol:

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Joe,

I need some more help on a Native American question.

In the Haywood story, Kochera writes, “In 1960 I met an Apache Indian named Haywood, he was from the Verde river country in Arizona.”

What Apache band would this be and where would they have been located? (Reservation?)

Would it be likely that Haywood would have been connected to the San Carlos Reservation?

Any other history you can add along these lines would be appreciated. (Sources Encouraged)

I have done a lot of searching in the old forums (Espisito and Feldman) and I have concluded that no one has added much of substance and the wishful stories and false facts grew more voluminous with the passing of time.

I have decided to return to square one and initially try to take one step at a time and follow those items that can be supported with at least some type of documentation.

Thanks,

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

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

[In the Haywood story, Kochera writes, “In 1960 I met an Apache Indian named Haywood, he was from the Verde river country in Arizona.”]

Any kind of a mix is possible here but if he were Apache, Yavapai-Apache is probably the most likely. Today's tribe is a mixture of a Yuman speaking Native American tribe and Tonto Apache, for the most part.

All of my source material, and I have quite a bit, is at home. If there is something specific, history wise, that would be of interest to you, it would help to narrow my search down and condense the volumes I could write on the subject.

Many of the Apache had left the reservation and assimilated into the white man's world. They did that to escape the poverty of area.

As you know, you have hit on a heavy area of interest and research for me. I would not mind looking for any information you are interested in.

Take care and Merry Christmas!

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

I wanted to share some background on John B. Kochera’s military service as it helps us fill in some of his timeline and frame his future activities.

There is a database entitled U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca. 1775-2006 on ancestry.com that provides the following information.

Name: John B Kochera
Service Info: ET3 US NAVY WORLD WAR II
Birth Date: 7 Aug 1928
Death Date: 4 Jun 2001
Cemetery: Woodlawn Cemetery
Cemetery Address: Route 33 East Effingham, IL 62401

From this information we know that John served in the US Navy in World War II. His rank upon discharge was that of Electronics Technician 3rd Class (ET3). E-4 Pay Grade. (Spec 4 in the Army)

In addition to the above database there is another called WWII U.S. Navy Muster Rolls, 1939 -1949 on ancestry.com that provides the following information.

From that database we find John B. Kochera (Rank ET3) sailing aboard the USS Cabot on November 4 1946. The USS Cabot appears to be a light duty aircraft carrier.

When the Cabot sailed on November 4, 1946, John had completed boot camp and his MOS training and already been promoted to the rank of ET3. Since his birth day was August 7, 1928 we can surmise that he was 17 when he joined the Navy. I believe individuals can join the service when they are 17 with parental consent. It is not clear when his actually enlistment date was but we might guess that it was immediately upon leaving High School.

The next record we find alluding to John is from the same database. Here we find John B. Kochera (Rank ET3) sailing again aboard the USS Cabot on January 1, 1949. This was a little over two years since our last reference. I don’t know John’s term of enlistment but in my day if you joined it was for three years and if you were drafted it was for two years.

A photo of the USS Cabot was linked to these records and it is included here.

Image

In “Zig-Zag Canyon.” Ron makes a couple of references to John’s military service and he identifies John as a Navy pilot. The USS Cabot carried planes (See photo) and obviously had Navy pilots onboard but John was not one of them. Again, Zig-Zag Canyon is a fictional account and the pilot story may not be attributable to Kochera.

It seems likely that John mustered out of the Navy sometime in 1949 or 1950. He married Patricia Avery on October 14, 1950. Patricia was born in Waukegan, Illinois and it is tempting to speculate that perhaps John served, sometime during his tour of duty, at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center which is just a few miles down the road from Waukegan and that is how he and Patricia came to meet?

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

Once again.....Nice work!

It seems to me, you have established one of two things. Either Ron made up the part about Kochera being a pilot or misunderstood what he said, or that John had a propensity for stretching the truth...... 8O

Merry Christmas!

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

The Social Security Death Index for Kochera also sheds light on his activities after leaving the Navy. I say “after leaving the Navy,” since it appears to be very unlikely that John could have shoehorned an occupation in before he joined the service. (We believe he was only 17 or had just turned 18 when he joined the Navy.)
Name: John B. Kochera
SSN: 719-10-9855
Last Residence: 62401 Effingham, Effingham, Illinois, United States of America
Born: 7 Aug 1928
Died: 4 Jun 2001
State (Year) SSN issued: Railroad Board (Issued Through) (Before 1951)
We see that John’s Social Security number was assigned before 1951 (1950 or earlier) by the Railroad Retirement Board.

The Social Security Act of 1935 established an old-age insurance system in the United States. At the same time, the Railroad Retirement Act made provisions to maintain a separate program for employees of the nation's railroads, and a separate block of numbers (700-728) were set aside for assignment to these employees.

Since we know that John had a number beginning with any number between 700 and 728, he did work for the railroad at some extended point in time. Since he drew Social Security retirement benefits, he also would have drawn Railroad Retirement benefits as well.

We don’t know how long Kochera worked for the railroad but it appears it may have been while the family lived in Wisconsin. We do know that his obituary states that he was a retired silversmith and jeweler. We believe the family left Wisconsin and reached Effingham, Illinois by 1979. Hopefully further research will clarify this timeline.

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

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

I recently received an email from a source who knew John Kochera. In his opinion, Kochera was full of S#!t and couldn't find a single soul to invest in his search. That has been my opinion for many years, so....no argument from me.

He believes, as do I, that researching the man is a waste of good talent. No argument from me. :wink:

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Joe,

If we turned a blind eye toward all the subjects and people that “somebody” felt were full of S#!t, there wouldn’t be much left to research regarding the LDM. :D

I do agree that the Kochera story that has been repeated for fact is obviously in error on several counts. I don’t understand everything yet and so I will hold off on any rush to judgment.

You also have a friend, Ron Feldman, who is just as adamant as your “source” that Kochera was not a liar. Ron wrote on several occasions regarding his honesty. Below is a portion of one of Ron’s posts where he was speaking about a Kochera tape he made.

“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 does gives us a lot of background of their relationship. I would love to have your “source” share what his relationship with Kochera was. When did he meet him, what kind of relationship did they have, how many times did he speak with him, does he know who Kochera was trying to get to invest in his project, etc.

You know what they say about “opinions”; they are just like navels.

We don’t have a lot of people who are still around that claim to have personally known Kochera. It sounds like you may have a valuable resource.

I’m sure we would all appreciate any input (beyond opinion) that your “source” can add. Maybe they can provide a shortcut to resolving the story. :)

Garry
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by Cubfan64 »

Gotta echo your thoughts on this one Garry. I'd hazard a guess that for everyone who would swear on a stack of bibles that someone they know never lied to them, there's folks who would swear on the same stack of bibles that the same person lied to them.

In fact, one of the phrases that always catches my eye when I read it (or ear when I hear it) is the emphatic, "...so and so would never lie to me." Everyone is human and in the right circumstances everyone is guilt of lying to someone at one time or another.

Whatever John Kochera's story turns out to be, he has a place in Superstition Mountain and LDM history - for better or worse. It's discovering the truth of that story to the best of one's ability in an effort to preserve it and put it into perspective that drives the research (at least in my opinion).

I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you guys lately, but with the holidays and trying to get back into the swing of work I just don't have much to report on.
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by zentull »

I was hoping something would come out of this thread but it appears the story is in about the same place I left it some time back. Before you guys started though I was at Greg's and while rummaging through files I came upon an old black and white photo of a guy kneeling down under some boulders, shirtless with a badana around his head. I couldn't place the face and was surprised when I turned the picture over that the name John Kochera was written on the back. I walked into the kitchen and showed Randy(Greg was either on the phone or at the store, I can't remember which) and put it back without a second thought.

After you started this thread I thought posting the picture would be a nice touch and last week asked Greg about it. He said he didn't think there were any pictures of Kochera. We tried to back track what I was doing, but still haven't come back across it.

To say the least Greg wasn't to thrilled I found it and can't remember where it was.

It was in something unrelated and caught me by surprise because it didn't seem to belong there. I am hoping I took a digital of it, but haven't come across it in my files either.
"Be Careful of What You Do Before A Lie Becomes The Truth"
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by novice »

Wayne,

I don’t know how much help this is regarding the location ofthe original photo of Kochera you saw but it was published in the Superstition Mountain Journal [Volume 13, Page 19]. The photo was supposedly taken in 1962 when Kochera was about 34 years old.

This was from an article entitled Kochera’s Gold, where portions of a story taken from the novel “Zig-Zag Canyon” by Ron Feldman were repeated. I would guess the original came from Ron.

The photo I’m looking at is fuzzy but maybe Kochera is trying to accentuate his Indian heritage or then again perhaps his Hungarian heritage. :lol:

You wrote: “the story is in about the same place I left it some time back.”

I guess I’m not sure where the story was “some time back”. I stated that I only recently became interested. I know the portion about where the maps and clues lead has been talked about extensively and I believe several people have included the Kochera story into their own searches. That’s one reason people end up the Peter’s Mesa area? :)

I admit I didn’t follow much of that story in any depth, since I’m looking for history. If anyone offered any credible evidence regarding Kocher’s history, other than Ron Feldman, I missed it. The history has changed significantly for me since we first started investigating Kochera and Haywood.

Of course we are not much closer, in my mind, to answering the question about where his gold came from. Heck, it has even been suggested that John didn’t have any gold and the origin was from someone else. Hopefully we can at least address some of those accusations as we move forward.

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

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Garry,

I just got off the phone with Sam Klinekole's Granddaughter. She was very pleasant, and somewhat guarded. Can't say that I blame her. She knew very little about the family name or history, or may have just been unsure if she should trust me with it. She seemed excited that I had pictures of Sam, and knew quite a lot about his history.

It ended with her giving me her email address and me promising to send her the information and pictures that I have.

Even if you are no longer interested in pursuing that line of research, I am very interested. Not so much for Kochera or the LDM connection, as I believe it is nebulous, but simply for the Apache history. I am hoping, through her, I will reach older members of the family who might remember more of the Klinekole family history.

As you can tell, I am pretty jazzed that I made that contact.

Thank you for sending me on this little trip into Apache history,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by TC ASKEY »

Garry,

You might check with the Tribel Council at the Tonto Apache Reservation in Payson. It is the smallest
reservation in the state. It did not come into existence until 1972 but it is not far from Tonto Basin at all.

Finding something on Haywood would be a long shot but you never know what you may come up with.

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

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Terry,

A few years ago I had a conversation with someone who was very familiar with the "Kochera Ore". He told me he was certain that the Kochera Ore came out of
what is being called the Silver Chief today. He is also more than familiar with that
pit mine.

Take that for what it's worth without the source being named.

Sorry you didn't make it to the Rendezvous. Hope all is well.

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by pippinwhitepaws »

i heard from the chief engineer of magma copper company, back in the ealry 80's..that they owned that ore...and he busted a man coming out with a truck full...made him dump it next to the road...between iron mountain and graveyard at pinal...
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Re: The John B. Kochera Story Revisited

Post by TC ASKEY »

Joe,

Just trying to give Garry another place to look if he hasn't already thought of it first.

However....
If I was looking for the mine that Haywood told Kochera about, I would be looking further to the east. Not on Peters Mesa. Not in the area you spoke of in the Lost or Found thread either. Map kind of guy, remember?

Looked over that thread again this morning. Great photos. Guess you forgot to post the photo of the stone face you and Bushrat spoke of.

Wanted to come to the rendezvous. Just to many problems right now.

Terry
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