In Part 1 of this article series, we discussed the Spanish Hieroglyphics found on the south end of Black Top Mesa in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. These glyphs seem to be indicating where two mines and a cave might be. Could it be the two Church Treasures of the Jesuits known as the Treasure of the Sierra Madre? The third part of the glyph indicates a mine. Could this possibly be the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine? Gerald Johnson and I decided to investigate. Gerald was a pilot, and we decided to fly over the Superstition Mountains. We needed to know if there were any hidden caves or ledges on the cliff face.
We made one low pass over the mesa doing a right bank which let me look out the passenger’s window almost straight down to the ground. It was an odd sensation. As we made a second circle, I spotted an opening and was looking straight down a shaft. It was between to ledges and some bushes had grown up in front of the shaft to the point where the viewer had to be in perfect position in the air to see it. A little higher and the shaft would be covered by the overhang of the ledge, and a little lower the opening would be covered it up. I thought for sure we could find it.
The next weekend Gerald and I hiked into Black Top and located the hieroglyphics. From there, we made it over to the south end of the mesa to the cliffs. We spent several hours looking for the shaft. Finally giving up we took an old air matrices from an abandoned camp and wrapped it around a bush for a visual marker. The next day we flew over the area again. The air matrices was only twenty yards from the shaft. How could we have missed it?
The following weekend we hiked back to the area and this time we were successful in locating the shaft. Keep in mind that this shaft was located in the rock cliffs just below the basalt top of the mesa. We cleared the shaft of brush and started digging. It was easy dirt and very little rock. We were about six feet down when we found charcoal. We were very excited. We dug another five feet before we realized it was going to be dark soon, and we had to be back to civilization the next day.
We scattered the dirt the best we could as to not attract attention to any other treasure hunters. Then we carefully placed the brush back over the entrance to conceal it. We had to hustle out of the mountains, but we made it back to the First Water Trailhead about an hour after dark.
The next weekend we brought re-enforcements. My brother and Step father came with us to provide security while we dug. But when we got there, things had changed. Someone had set a blast in the basalt rocks above the shaft and slid the entire section of mountain down on the shaft. It was a hopeless case to try to clear the rubble.
So there you have it. There is a shaft near the Spanish Hieroglyphics. Is there anything in it? Who knows? But it was very easy digging in a solid rock cave. Almost as if someone had backfilled it on purpose.
One question has stuck in my mind. Who blasted the rubble to seal the shaft and why? We will probably never know.