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The Lost Aztec Treasure


Treasure of Montezuma

The Lost Dutchman... Found with Google Earth?

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"Chicomoztoc" (or "The Seven Caves of Chicomoztoc") is the name for the mythical origin place of the Aztec people of central Mexico. There is an association of "Chicomoztoc" with certain legendary traditions concerning Culhuacan, "the place of the ancestors". This was a prestigious and revered place by the Aztex and Mexica people. In Aztec codical writing, the symbol representing "Culhuacan" took the form of a "curved mountain".

According to R.G. Babcock there is an explanation for all these tales about a curse and lost gold in Arizona and New-Mexico. Somewhere in the 19th century two men from the Midwest and an old Indian Chief were in an Arizona cave filled with treasure... A hundred years later R.G. Babcock received a letter, describing a first-hand account of the lost gold of the Aztec Empire... R.G. Babcock wrote a book about it: Chicomoztoc, a search for the Aztec Treasure and the missing history of the Aztec Empire.

"No one denies that the Aztec Indians had gold," Babcock says. "Chicomoztoc (the seven caves) is the legendary place from which the Aztec Indians believe they originally came. (...) It is generally believed that the Aztec were several tribes molded into one and living in Mexico. It is conceivable, according to what we know of Aztec legend, that each of the sibling tribes had been conceived in the womb of Mother Earth (a cave) and when each tribe was sufficiently developed and had boys, girls, moms, dads, warriors, priests, and a chief, the cave was opened and they were thrust into the world somewhere north of Mexico."

The Aztecs ended up in Mexico and were crushed by Cortez, but what if the seven caves were in reality seven cities? "The legend of Chicomoztoc also incorporates the thought that the several tribes returned to the seven caves somewhere in the north - and disappeared. It is commonly believed that the Aztec were conquered in 1519-21, and that they were decimated by disease, scattered by the Spaniards, and then absorbed by surrounding Indian tribes. (...) I think this conclusion is in error. Legend implies the Aztec returned to the place of seven caves taken their ceremonial and religious artifacts and treasures with them."

Everywhere, from western Texas to the Sierras of California, and from Chihuahua to Colorado, there are stories of treasure. "One place is a mecca to minds enamored with this mystery. Thousands of treasure hunters have been mesmerized by the stories coming out of there and hundreds of them have mysteriously disappeared in the mountains there in the last century alone. A hundred more have gone there only to be found murdered or murdered and mutilated, and to this day no one has been able to solve this strange mystery. I'll state my case here- I say the Aztec have a ceremonial cave there and it is still stuffed with the treasure that Cortez had-and lost-in Tenochtitlan (Mexico City)."

And this cave has to be somewhere in the Superstition Mountains and is now known as The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine...

The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine

The Treasure Letter

In April of 1982, the author received a three pages copy of fragments of a very old letter which was found in a shoebox in a closet in Marshall, Missouri. The lady who discovered them, Rosalee, was cleaning the closet several years after her mother had passed away. The fragments were tied together with a string and when it was snipped, they all fell over the table and onto the floor. When the remaining pieces were puzzled together, they told a really great and true lost treasure story!

Rosalee knew of the interest of the writer in old legends, so she took the time to copy the remaining pages of the letter and what turned out to be the last page of a four page list:

Lord Theodora Fleming and Lord John Henry Hinkle May 20, 1816

Dear sis, here it is as we go down with the Indian Chief Coatl, Having reached a gorge with almost vertical walls. Coatl led the way down, pointing out footings and hand-holds, opposite them on the other side of the chasm, you could see a bleak range of hills and you could hear a roar of cascades.

I was glad at last to be on the cañon floor, at this level of the gorge was lined with trees in blossoming. The roar was waterfall and trees with strange golden bark with twisted snakelike roots that made walking difficult. Coatl pointed at the opposite wall an enormous portal yawned perhaps 7 feet high and 150 feet wide, this arch looked as if it was built by hand, ?(Aserpo-de-Dios) house of God's Sacred, it is forbidden, I Chief Coatl have right to enter without fear. I do not fear to go in with you Theodora Fleming, John Henry Hinkle.

As I look in the giants castle behind vast doorway we crossing the stream on a series of rocks to vast doorway, by the light of the torches we could see that a tunnel like a corridor slanting down, you could feel the slope beneath my feets; Then suddenly at the foot of the decline my heart leaped to my throat a gigantic hall, one so vast that a cathedral would be lost in it. It was wonderful, but God knows whether mortal men have the right to look at such things;? An enormous white goat stood before us, as big as a horse, when you get to it you turn left to a gigantic halls'. Stopped to light another torch as we was stop before a natural archway; Here we entering into another huge cavern; in it was high white pyramid step's going all the way to the top; The pyramid look like a robe as I look at it. I(t) was rusty coloring on the step's; I asked Coatl what it was he said it was blood; he pointed at a small dark mound some distance off has bones of many men;? Coatl led the way to a hollow space under the pyramid; a tunnel going down 25 ft long; The contents was gold in piles of grains and nuggets and ornaments; What a treasure if I live long en(ough) to get back to it; We was in the cavern 8 hours, you have to walk a long way back into the caverns; as I (don't) no any 1 white man to see it; as the Indians no were it is; to my sis

Mrs Emley Fleming Hinkle

(4th page of the list, three pages missing) May 20, 1816:

chests of precious stones,

one large alligator's head of gold,

a bird of green feathers, with feet, beak, and eyes of gold;

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6 shields each covered with a plate of gold;

Two collars made of gold and precious stones;

a hundred ounces of gold ore;

animals of gold resembling snails;

5 fans with rods of gold;

16 shields of precious stones;

a plate of gold weighing 7 ounces;

a wheel of silver weighing 40 marks;

5 large emerald's;

I hope that no one see this but you Sis; Your loving bro.

Theodora Fleming and John Henry Hinkle

With all our love (to)

Mrs. Emley Fleming Hinkle

At first, Babcock was very skeptical about the letter. It certainly didn't help when Rosalee explained that John Henry Hinkle was her grandfather and an Emley Fleming Hinkle was her grandmother. The answer seemed to lie in the date, thought Babcock, perhaps it should have read 1876 or 1896 rather than 1816.

Rosalee had found a map in an old notebook 6 months prior to this and had copied it, too. It was a rough outline of the state of Arizona and there were these places written on it: La Paz, Fortuna, Kofa, Ehrenberg, Oatman, Kingman, Goldroad, Rich Hill, Vulture, Prescott, Arivica, Ruby, Tucson, Huachuca Mountains, Dos Cabezas Mountains, Goldfield, and Oro Blanco.

Other pages Rosalee had previously copied from an old "notebook" contained brief stories of lost treasures and a reference to the Tombstone Epitaph:

Tumacacori Mission or Guadalupe Mine

Year 1508 - Jesuit Priests' there is for example gold "pure" buried and silver in the mine; up to 25,000,000 in gold south of Tucson Arizona. But where is the mine at;??

Forgotten mines and treasures

Tombstone epitaph; south west's Arizona Gold Road - Oatman - Kingman - Vulture - Walker - Crown King - Prescott - Rich Hill - La Paz - Ehrenberg - Kofa - Fortuna - Goldfield Mtn's - Arivica - Ruby - Santa Rita - Oro Blanco - Huachuca Mtn's - Dos Cabezas Mtn's.

The mine with the Iron Doors or Purisima Conception Mine. This mine holds slabs of virgin silver; it is sealed with Iron doors having copper handles; It is in the Arizona Mountains Santa Catalina or located in Canada de Oro;

Mine La Esmeralda. Hid 120,000 Pesos in La Esmeralda Year was 1723 thetreasures is still there.

Tucson Arizona. The Mystery Gold Dutchmans Mine. Year 1892 the Dutchman Mine. It holds riches beyond wildest imagination; But where is it;?? Superstition Mountain at Phoenix Arizona.

Gold Fields.

Utah Gold - Colorado Gold - New Mexico Gold - Arizona Gold and Silver - Nevada Gold and Silver - California Gold - Old Mexico Gold and Silver - Dakota Gold

The 3 common forms of raw gold:

No. 1 - Black coated silver ore;

No. 2 - Yellow Pyrite containing gold

No. 3 - Glittering Bluish gray galena; which is gold and silver both.

"If the notebook and the letter were written by the same people, the reference to the Mystery Gold Dutchman (the famous Jacob Waltz of the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine legend) had to be after 1891 (1892 as so stated)," says Babcock. "So I now hold on 1896 for the date of the letter and show where there were no children born to John Henry and Emley from 1895 to 1899. This may be evidence that John Henry had gone west for a few years, not uncommon at all at that point in time."

The Treasure of Montezuma

"What was this strange treasure and where did it come from?" Babcock asked himself. A bird of green feathers with feet, beak and eyes of gold... A large alligators head of gold... A wheel of silver weighing 40 marks... Perhaps the letter was to weird to be fabricated?

Now, Babcock was reading a book called Mexico (Ellis Credle), and here the author described "very fine woven mats" that were spread on the ground "with treasures unlike the Spaniards had seen or even imagined in their wildest dreams. Helmets and shields covered with gold; golden collars and arm bands, birds and animals made of gold, all beautifully done. Bright feather headdresses with gold and silver thread fastening them together. Cotton coats fine as silk and colorful light robes made of delicate feathers, powdered gold half filled a helmet and two very heavy plates that were as large as wheels of a cart, one made of silver and one of gold."

The comparison was astounding and pushed Babcock into an intense study of the Aztec and Cortez: "Was it possible that a small group of Aztec survived as a "pure" Aztec tribe from 1520 to the present?"

Some Spanish chroniclers recorded that chief Cuauhtemoc was asked by Cortez where the treasure was. When he said there was no treasure, Cortez had him tortured and - finally - killed, because he knew the chief was lying. Cortez was able to communicate with the Aztec through a shipwrecked Spanish sailor living among the Mayan culture and an Aztec girl sold to the Mayan as a slave.

Also, the Spanish chronicler Bernal Diaz del Castello left a first-hand account of what he saw of Montezuma's treasure: two houses with piles of silver and gold, precious stones, collars, bracelets, earrings, jade and armor, helmet studded with gemstones. There were ducks, dogs, lions, tigers and monkeys all made of gold and very artistic in design and they never fell into the hands of the Spaniards.

"Other items were but a small part of the treasure that the misguided Montezuma sent to Cortez as a bribe," Babcock says. And in this list he found "a bird of green feathers with feet, beak, and eyes of gold. A wooden helmet crowned by a bird made of green jade with eyes, beak, and claws of gold....

Cursed Aztec Gold


Quetzalcoatl Cortez Meets Montezuma

"The Aztec believed that Cortez was in fact their returning god Quetzlcoatl," Babcock says. "Some people at this point wonder if my list is the same stuff that Cortez received as gifts when he landed in Veracruz. It's not. The things Cortez received as gifts were sent back to Spain. All that treasure was inventoried and much of it was put on exhibit in several cities in Europe, where the artist Dürer wrote, that in all of his life he had seen nothing to compare with the items of treasure made by the Aztec Indians. Other items here are part of a vast Aztec treasure that Cortez discovered and removed from the concealed room and placed in the dining hall of the palace he occupied."

Most of this treasure was lost when the Aztec rebelled at the death of Montezuma and Cortez fled the city during The Night of Tears. Cortez and about 500 men entered the island city of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City). Suspecting treachery, the Viceroy of Cuba sent 17 or 18 ships with about 900 Spaniards and a 1000 Indians to punish the "rebel". Cortez left 140 men in Tenochtitlan and with 250 of his men plus some indigenous allies, he went to the coast. There was a short battle which Cortez won. He then persuaded the "900" to join him. They all returned to the city and were there until June 30, 1520, when the Aztec became disenchanted with Montezuma's tolerance of the Spaniards. Cortez had Montezuma brought to the roof of his palace and instructed him to appeal for peace. There he was stoned to death by his own rebellious people.

Cortez, by this time, had found the fabulous treasure, that "filled" the palace dining hall. Cortez told his men they could take what they wanted to on the night of June 30, 1520. Bernal Diaz writes in The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico that they left over half of it behind. Nearly 1200 Spaniards and at least 2000 friendly Indians started down the causeway that night. The Aztec had removed the bridges and met Cortez, killing or capturing two-thirds of his men. Most of the treasure carried by the Spaniards was abandoned on the causeway. Cortez escaped and together with the remaining Spaniards, some who had landed at the coast and more Indians who where enlisted, he besieged the island city. Tenochtitlan was conquered by the Spaniards on the 13th of August 1521, but the Aztec treasure was not found en remains hidden to this day...

Go Hunt Some Treasure in the Superstition Mountains

Dream of Gold



lanceo on May 03, 2013:


Sean Haigh - English on April 22, 2013:

These people who hid this treasure were uneducated people so it should not be too difficult to find this loot, what you need to do is relax your minds and think what would you have done with it under their circumstances, then investigate all possible avenues.

MoonGod on November 07, 2012:

Peralta Mine/lost Dutchmen mine Found in 2001 in the Superstition Mountains, I was taken to some mines by my Father (my uncle Jessie F. share w/my Father), and one of these mines he took me to was at the Apache massacre grounds at the foot of the Mountain to a rock foundation that was carved into shaped to look like a Priest praying at the Altar, which was facing to the direction of the opening of the a cave there the Peralta Mine is in it with its carving of the 1847 on the wall near a window and the entrance to the Peralta Mine that was cover with a stone cap. I have been able to decipher all the Peralta Stone Maps since 2010. if ur interested, need partners w/funds.

Tank on August 02, 2012:

Well it definitely sounds like a lot of people have information on the gold but nobody is coming up with anything! When she is ready, she'll reveal herself to the right person. The spirit world is not ready to give her treasure up to a greedy few but to an honest people. There is a reason it was hidden, to keep what is rightfully the earths.

old soldier on July 10, 2012:

I am a hunter, armed and ready to go on this venture for a year. I have much info about this lost gold. I would like to obtain more real time info. so I can recon, the area, day and night. I will make a deal with anyone that has the rigth info, I will deal with whatever comes at me in these mountain. spirit, demons, animals, human. eng588th@ I am a combat veteran.

Unknown on March 13, 2012:

I have a map that shows where the lost dutchmans mine is.

martin moreno on March 13, 2012:

I am planning to explore the mountain not for fame nor for gold but it is the mountain that is calling me.I will go with respect,for mother earth and for the spirits that protect it.I will ask the spirits for permission to enter the mountain.I am Aztec accented,I am a warrior, a healer and I will be guided from my ancestors on my journey.

William0707 on February 04, 2012:

The Aztec treasure, the answer to the Peralta Stone Tablets, The lost Dutchmans Mine is all the same place.Soon will all see the truth, the truth hurts.

bob9125 from United States on January 25, 2011:

I never herd this story before. Well researched. Great hub.

ted fraly on January 04, 2011:

I know of one of the sights and its not in Mexico.

Doc. T on October 15, 2010:


In researching the seven cities of Cibola, It doned on me thet what the wrighting was in Latin and not spanish

Personally I think it says seven (sights) and not cities

Yours in hope Doc..............

mario on September 08, 2010:

you all are so silly mexico was not the same size as it is today. Back then part of the united states belonged to mexico. the gold is in an area that is now in the united states. i have an idea but no money to go on an adventure

Ignatius J Reilly from London on August 11, 2010:

Unfortunately it's quite unlikely that this treasure ever got out of Tenochtitlan. The most likely resting place for the treasure is deep, deep underneath the current Mexico City. during the siege of Tenochtitlan, when the Mexica realised they had no hope of winning, they took their gold and dropped it into the waters of the lake, where it sank into the deep sludgey silt. They did this simply to prevent the Spanish getting their hands on it. Cortes knew this at the time, and it galled him, and after the conquest he sent hundreds of divers down to probe the mud, but it was too deep, and too soft to discover anything. I am fascinated by the Aztecs, and these tales of treasure - and of course - I would too love them to be true.

adorababy from Syracuse, NY on June 21, 2010:

Indeed, very interesting! There is a lot of hype about the gold treasure hunt and people can't stop to talk about it.

kirwing on April 15, 2010:

Deep and well researched article. Very interesting history and well written. Leaves me here, still wondering...

peacenhim on January 06, 2010:

Fascinating story!! I own the exact Squash detailed on the book cover entitled Chicomoztoc! Interesting to say the least.

peacemaker_2012 on September 14, 2009:

aztec water jugs

John V Kemm on September 02, 2009:

(((LOST DUTCHMAN FOUND PERALTA MAPS SOLVED!))) [Incident:090713-000011] I have located the gold. John V. Kemm Albuquerque N.M. today is july 4 2009 the key is the heart the peralta map is close to dead on till you reach the heart then reverse the heart or spin it to the right and a little to the north, from a specific angle from weavers needle you can see the hearts center the upper left side is where the gold is this can be verified on google earth the only thing i ask for is to give me credit for the find and if there are profits made a 3 percent of the total for me and my family my name is John V. Kemm age 43 of albuquerque new mexico i encourage anyone to investigate this finding of mine

DocCobra on April 09, 2009:

I went to central Mexico in 1988 1989 and 1990. We were seven in all. I was the only US Citizen invited to find the lost treasure of the Chichimeca. We reached a cave that was 600 feet straight down. I could not go beyond the 200 foot mark because the people of that area would throw large bolders and branches into the narrow cave so that their goats would not fall into the cave. we know that we have the right area, but cannot find the entrance which would allow us to find the bottom entrance.

jjrubio on March 06, 2009:


what a wonderful hub......

Kay on February 24, 2009:

The book we all have been waiting for is finally here! The Conclusion to the Original Peralta Stone Maps: The King's Royal Treasure. You can order your copy today at and check out the poster at these shops.Promack Treasure Hunting 940 W Apache Trail, Apache Junction Arizona 85220 Promack Treasure Hunting 455 E Main Street, Quartzsite Arizona 85359Cal Gold 2569 E Colorado BLvd. Pasadena California 91107

newcapo on November 28, 2008:

Great hub, man. One of the Lost Dutchman's Mines is at the beginning of the road that winds through Superstition Mountains (The Apache Trail), ends up at the big damn past the lakes. ---

This was my favorite spot to come when I first moved to the desert in 1997. After I passed the Lost Dutchman's Mine and went a few miles into the mountains, the roads became dirt and wound along the sites of mountains cutting through the narrow spaces between mountains. A truly awe inpsiring location if you're into that sort of thing.

We stopped and parked at the tourist spot for "Lost Dutchman's Mine" in Apache Junction, Arizona and I remember reading about it, but this hub provides far more detailed information.

Thanks for posting this great hub-really cool.

Jerry on September 05, 2008:

Your legend of the aztec gold actually has some merit. It is "caves" though, plural. and at least 3 have been found. The first was the so called lost dutchmans mine, now lost again. The second was found in a cliff face overlooking the colorado river near page arizona by escaped convicts from the yuma prison. They then promptly lost this treasure by overloading their poorly built raft that they were lowering the treasure onto when it capsized. The third is victorio peak near white sands new mexico. I periodically run across hints and clues to the other 4 that I try to chase down. like you I believe they are the sacred sites of the 7 recognized tribes in their nations confederation. The people that became the origional aztec of our history had long been a nomadic and displaced people, who actually found their future capital city abandoned by its previous inhabitants. They also knew many of the secrets of the southwest and traded with many of its tribes, many who have the same origions mythos.

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