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Mysteries of the Superstition Mountains, Is It All About Golden Treasure?

Reginald Martyr

Among all things mysterious and eerie stands Superstition Mountains, a mountain range located to the east of Phoenix, Arizona in the United States of America.

In as much as the range of mountains is recognized for its breathtaking canyons and beautiful volcanic peak, its reputation for being spooky precedes it, oftentimes overshadowing its natural beauty.

This comes as no surprise, especially considering that this mountain range is believed to have a pretty odd history which all centers around an alleged hidden treasure: the fabled Dutchman’s mine, a treasure which has taken the lives of many who have gone in search of it.

Evening view of Superstition Mountains near Phoenix, Arizona

Evening view of Superstition Mountains near Phoenix, Arizona

Customary to most mysterious stories, there are several takes on how the mountain became the housing place of the legendary Dutchman’s mine.

According to AZ Central, the standard version of the treasure’s history begins in the 1800s with the Peralta family. This was a Mexican family which had amassed quite a bit of wealth by way of mining sectors of the Superstition Mountains.

AZ Central then claims that throughout the course of their mining, the family mysteriously stumbled upon a treasure trove filled with copious amounts of gold ore. Then, shortly following the Mexican War, all but one member of the Peralta family is believed to have been murdered by Apache warriors, a group of Native American tribes.

Petroglyphs at Hieroglyphic Canyon in the Superstition Mountains

Petroglyphs at Hieroglyphic Canyon in the Superstition Mountains

While this is speculation and not necessarily factual, there was a report released indicating that in 1912, some lucky persons discovered $18,000 worth of gold ore in the general vicinity where the alleged murders happened.

If this were true, it would substantiate the allegation. In any case, that surviving member is then told to have confided in Jacob Waltz, a man whose mistaken nationality was used to christen the hidden treasure, telling him where exactly in the Superstition Mountains that he could have found it.

The Superstition Mountains of Arizona in morning light with Saguaro cactus

The Superstition Mountains of Arizona in morning light with Saguaro cactus

However, before Jacob could bear witness to the expanse of gold ore hidden in the mountain, another person is believed to have gone to the treasure site.

Based on information shared by the Lost Dutchman Days, a doctor by the name of Abraham Thorne was brought to the area where the treasure was buried.

Lost Dutchman State Park

Lost Dutchman State Park

Having abandoned modern civilization to live with the tribe for several years, the Apache people wanted to thank the doctor for the medical attention that he had provided to them.

Therefore, they brought him to the burial site where he found a stack of gold nuggets which were worth a pretty penny. However, the doctor did not know the path to the place as he was blindfolded by those accompanying him.

View of two Native American Apache women outside their cloth covered wickiups in a camp in Arizona

View of two Native American Apache women outside their cloth covered wickiups in a camp in Arizona

Then, Jacob Waltz comes along — a Germany-born prospector who, according to Grunge, was mistaken as being Dutch. Based on the report from Prairie Ghosts, the general take on this story is that he, along with a miner by the name of Jacob Weiser, was given a map to the treasure site by the surviving Peralta whose life the two are reported to have saved.

They began extracting the gold ore from the site, eventually attracting attention from the community. It was at this point that the tale of the Dutchman’s Mine was spun.

Although the speculation and uncertainty surrounding the validity of these stories does contribute a great deal to the mystery of the Superstition Mountains, the slew of disappearances and even deaths of those who have gone searching for its treasures adds a great deal of eeriness to it.

Morning image of the Superstition Mountains of Arizona

Morning image of the Superstition Mountains of Arizona

Following the discovery of what are believed to be maps engraved on stones which point the way to the Dutchman’s treasure, many have gone hunting.

Unfortunately, some mysteriously vanish without a trace, while others die in an equally strange fashion. One such person is Adolph Ruth, a person who AZ Central described as someone “who had a longstanding obsession for locating the fabled Lost Dutchman Mine.” He elected to head into the mountain in search for the treasure. However, within a few days, he vanished, never to be seen alive or heard from again.

Superstition Mountains

Superstition Mountains

While rescuers found a strange note he had written stating “P.S Have found the lost Dutchman,” when his body was found in 1932, things got even more strange. His skull was discovered with a hole made by what AZ Central reports to be an “Army-style .44 caliber revolver.” There has been much speculation as to who killed him and why, but no conclusions have been drawn.

Then, in as recent as 2010, Phoenix New Times covered the story of Jesse Capen, a 35-year-old man from Denver, Colorado who vanished in the Superstition Mountains while hunting for the famous treasure. Initially, there were next to no clues which could have identified him.

Superstition Mountains in Lost Dutchman State Park outside of Phoenix, Arizona

Superstition Mountains in Lost Dutchman State Park outside of Phoenix, Arizona

Denver Post reported that his remains were found “wedged in an inaccessible crevice.” Still, even though his body was found, his death remains a mystery. Some believe that he fell to his death, but once again, that is not conclusive.

Read another story from us: Legends Surrounding Devils Tower – America’s First National Monument

Despite all the uncertainty surrounding the history of the Superstition Mountains and some of the inexplicable occurrences which have happened there, people generally agree on one thing: mysterious, eerie, and strange all are descriptions which adequately describe the Superstition Mountains. Time will tell whether any of its great mysteries are ever solved.