Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Is LEGEND OF THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS Crew Closing in on Lost Jesuit Treasure?

Have Wayne Tuttle and his team made a serious find on History Channel’s LEGEND OF THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS? Last week, the team began looking for the Jesuit connection between the lost gold of the Superstitions, and chasing clues down the Salt River to “Black Cross Butte.” This week, they continued the search—and may have found something.

There was no way to know if the “cross” they were seeing on the side of the sheer mountain cliff at Black Cross Butte marked anything at all—or if it was even really placed there—without going directly to the source. Looking at the cliffs is kind of like looking at the clouds:  If you look at them with expectations, you are likely going to see something. Sure, Eric Magnuson had a point:  The appearance of the “cross,” with equidistant points and right angles, suggested manmade, perhaps a carving. But why?

There was nothing to do but check it out, and, of course, they did. Wayne, Magnuson and Eric “Deal” Deleel headed up the side of canyon, to check out the possibility that the cross was marking a mine. Woody and Frank stayed back with the boat (Frank stayed back with Woody as much as anything, it seemed), and they began climbing. Despite some stumbles, they finally got there—and they indeed found a possible mine, marked with another cross.

The cross they found was inside the “mine,” embedded in the rock. Deal was the lucky one who climbed up the final leg and actually into the huge bat cave. The cross was clearly handmade, clearly old, and obviously marking something. Was it marking gold? If it was, they left without it—for now. But, the pictures Deal took allowed them to get some more information and firmly establish a Jesuit connection via a visit to see Jack San Felice, a respected historian in the area. He confirmed that it was a Jesuit cross, probably from the mid-1700s. “I think you’re there, guys; you just have to find it.”

Are they there? And, even if they aren’t, could Magnuson be right? “We started out looking for the Lost Dutchman,” he said, “but this is bigger than that. What we’ve stumbled upon, it’s way bigger than Jacob Waltz, it’s way bigger than the Apaches.” Could he be right? Stay tuned.

LEGEND OF THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS airs on History Channel on Sunday nights at 10/9c.

Image:  Courtesy of History Channel, Used with Permission

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrDigg this

100 thoughts on “Is LEGEND OF THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS Crew Closing in on Lost Jesuit Treasure?

  1. Love the hundred year old tie down straps and rope on the ladder. At least they used a black one for wide shots but really do they think we are just stupid.

  2. I watch the show to see the backcountry of the Superstions. The show portrays Indians and others from Arizona’s past, using Plains Indians and coonskin capped White Men. The segment when they were following the diagonal line to Goldfield, none of them seemed to be aware of the place. Anybody who looks for gold is aware of Goldfield in the Superstions , big tourist trap. Woody, don’t get me started

  3. Went online to see if I could find any info of the Jesuit cross they found. Did not see anything like it. The cross had a circle in the middle of the cross itself and had a smaller cross on top of the circle. Inside the circle (on the upper side of the circle) was the roman numeral “V”…I’m curious to find out if anyone is familiar with this…

  4. The show gives all the part-time treasure hunters someone to look up to. I hope they got paid well for this camping trip from the TV folks, because they have yet to find anything worth a cup of coffee.

  5. The search team seems to be missing a very obvious fact.Someone has been to the cave before them.That ladder was put there not too long ago or it would be rotten.Couldn’t have been the Jesuits or the dutchman.Go figure

  6. The wooden ladder looked in remarkable good shape and the metal rebar ladder just happened to be laying nearby. Whoever put the ladder in place obviously found the cross also. Did they continue searching..Too many red flags to believe this is a legitimate treasure hunt

  7. is it fact, or is it fiction………. I’m 55 and while I love to prospect in my spare time, rivers and lakes. I must say the show has caught my attention. But I want to be very careful here. I was in scottsdale last year with friends we spent 2 days discussing the mountains, weavers needle, and stop in at Bob’s mining attraction, (Nice place) the older gentleman who gave wayne the NEW map. We were simple enjoying the conversation and having a great day and Then we made our way up to tortia flat, has lunch admired the thousands of dollars bills stapled to the walls……. and over heard a conversation from some people sitting directly behind us. Now that conversation is interesting………It goes like this. “Well its gona take two years to get started, we need to raise funds to have a chance of finding anything and we all agree to split equally what we find……………Hmmmmmmmmm !

    Good Luck !

    • I spent my youth hunting and hiking in all the areas seen on the show. The Dutchman mine is just a legend. Arizona is full of gold, if you know where to look. I actually had a small gold mine next to the existing mine near goldfield. In an 8 hour period of hard labor, I found $20 worth. It wasn’t worth it, but fun to find it yourself. The gold they had in the show didn’t come from that area. The gold in that area is round and porous like tiny balls. The only gold in the superstitions is in the goldfield area, until you get to Superior or Globe. Then copper and silver become more common. The rest of the rock is igneous and doesn’t contain heavy metals. The geology just doesn’t support it.

      Back in the 50’s mining bat guano was all the rage. It’s a high grade fertilizer and can be used for other stuff. They even had a mine in the Grand Canyon. The cave that they were in was explored for mining the guano. The latter was most likely to count the bats to get an idea of the possible production rate of guano. I highly doubt the cross in the show is actually there. There are really interesting things in Arizona, but someone in modern times has always been there before you. With that said, the park service would instantly declare the cave a protected site and prohibit access.

      One other minor detail they left out of the show… The Superstition range is federal property and mining is against the law. So even if they found it, they would not get to keep it.

      I find the show interesting and entertaining, but I wish they would search out the really interesting things like Indian ruins. Some of them are like they just left yesterday, pots and fire pits are still there. There old Spanish mines north of Scottsdale on the way to Payson. Some people I know actually found breast plates and coins.

      I’ll keep watching to see what they come up with next. I just had to put my 2 cents in.

  8. While some of the scenery shots are spectacular (I’m an Arizona native) watching this show is painful. These clowns are obviously acting out a script provided by the producers. They must think their target audience is a bunch of morons. Apache ghosts, curses, Indians wearing plains Indian headdresses? Jeez! I can hardly wait for the death rate in the Superstitions to skyrocket from all the Eastern idiots that will flock out here to find the “treasure”.

    • It would appear the last batch of deaths in the canyons have come from Utah and Colorado. I guess you should worry more about Western idiots.

  9. Once I saw the aerial shot of the guys walking the “treacherous terrain” with the ATV tracks five feet away, I started watching this show only for the comedy and the scenery. I love how those AH64 Apache Helicopters are always “following” the guys and trying to scare them away from the gold!
    Those helicopters are actually made at the Boeing facility in Mesa, AZ (right in the shadow of the Superstition Mtns) and do regular test flights over the mountains and the local lakes. If you live anywhere near the Superstitions, you are used to seeing them.
    While watching the last episode, my children were water-skiing at Canyon Lake – the same lake that the guys were at. If they were that scared, they should have just gone back to the marina that they rented the boat from, and had a beer at the bar.

  10. There was a point when I expected Scooby and Shaggy to jump out and solve the mystery of the Black Legion. Also, they are supposedly hiking rugged terrain deep into the Superstitions and they back off the aerial shot and are about 20 feet from a well used dirt road. Still, I’ve watched so far because there is some history to it and the story is cheesy enough to make me laugh.

  11. “Oh, lets climb up these slippery rocks in the rain, oh, look at this cave we just happened to stumble on, Oh what’s this- a steel ladder someone left us to climb to a wooden one, why I think I’ll just climb up these 150 year old wooden rungs that somehow look brand new and, inexplicably, won’t break, Oh there’s a ledge and an iron cross that nobody has ever set eyes on…” LOL- suckers!

  12. “The climb” episode killed it. If you watch just after they got to the ladder the metal ladder was already standing there. The next shot it was gone then a minute or two later they “find” it laying on the ground

  13. Love the views of the mountains. I am not sure why they need cheesy paranoid characters and bizarre maps. I hope idiots don’t take this show seriously ….people can get hurt.

  14. We laugh at Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore and his new-looking SPD shirts, cigar chewing, wanting to shoot his gun at evrything, non-climbing self. Keep waiting for him to find a reason to say ” Charlie don’t surf” . Zack Galifinakis and his metal detector with his Jesuit angle, “see the ladder!?” I don’t think the guys will find the Lost Dutchman Mine, but it’s fun to laugh at them. Would like to be on a treasure hunt myself.

    • They’re caricatures of themselves and wear the same clothes like animated cartoon characters… Scooby-do comes to mind. Wayne Tuttle speaks in the same manner as the guy from Sons of Guns – “a jerk”. The cross in the cave appears to be pressed in with clay or putty. The History Channel is running these back to back today and I’m sick on the couch.

  15. Isn’t the word ‘legion’ of French/ Latin origin? Pretty sure an ancient Apache ghost tribe wouldn’t name themselves that.

    • Yes it is Latin in origin and they probably didn’t call themselves that but prospectors may have and then everyone else just continued using it.

  16. Wayne Tuttle should get together with Mark Clayton, and they would say, “Is it $200,000,000 or $3,000,000,000……I sure don’t know how they arrive at these figures……

  17. Marty:
    I went back to my dvr and saw what you were talking about. However, isn’t it possible that it was just a camera shot from later that they spliced in at the wrong moment??

    It was pretty cheesy that they talked so long about not being able to reach the wooden ladder but didn’t even bother looking around first. It took seconds to find the metal ladder, once they started looking. My wife noticed Deal was starting to put on a mask but then it disappeared for the rest of the show instead… As I went out looking for gold w my grandfather many times in my youth, I hate that this show might be an absolute, total fraud. :'( Yes, that’s a tear because I wanted it to be real…

  18. The last episode”The Climb” is a real slight of hand. It shows them on Canyon Lake, but I think they are up Fish Creek climbing towards Black Cross Butte miles away from the lake! Just a trick in video editing. And like I told my friend….200 year old Jesuit ladder?! You’ve got to be kidding. I agree with another commenter, we will now see an influx of treasure hunters from the East and elsewhere. Hospitals, get the anti-venom and plaster ready, and don’t forget to fuel up the copters and ATVs!!!!

  19. Unbelievable how a wood ladder lasts 200 years. What a joke. Come on, quit insulting the intelligence of true Dutchman hunters.

  20. I saw the tie down straps holding the ladder to the cave wall too… I do hope the show comes back though. Woody is hilarious, and my kids love him. We got Into metal detecting this week because of the show.

  21. This show is so completely full of BS and so full of inaccurate facts that it is an absolute insult to the intelligence of all the viewers. I one episode the guys start freaking out over what they called a “Mohave green” rattlesnake which was crossing their path. The narrator then goes into an absurd tirade about the dangers of the “Mohave green” and how it is one of the most dangerous snakes in the world and will actually chase you down to kill you! Meanwhile, at this point, their good old redneck, former police officer, trigger happy, Neanderthal, myopic, bozo blasts it away when all they need to do was let it cross and slither away. Also, more importantly, it wasn’t a Mohave . . . it was a blacktail rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus) which is actually (as rattlesnakes go) fairly calm. At least they salvaged something by saying they were going to have it for dinner instead of beans so it wasn’t a completely mindless and barbaric kill.
    Also, as mentioned above, the wooden ladder that hadn’t decayed away with a rebar ladder conveniently located near them was absurd along with the ropes next to the ladder which were obviously new climbing ropes. What’s next and elevator deep in the cave?

  22. When I was a teenager, my grandfather lived in Morristown AZ, he was absolutely obsessed about finding the Lost Dutchman, its a great story and rich in legend. I like to see stories of this kind shown, I know the accuracy the facts may not be correct but remember its a legend and that is what our lives are made of

    • My parents snowbird to Morristown every year and my father is a gold prospector. The show is entertaining and I am glad that a few realize like you John that it is only a legend. Everyone enjoys a treasure hunt, so lets all do that and enjoy the show. After all it is TV. Good hunting boys!

  23. Ok, so I get all the negative comments about the show and how fake it appears, but my question is even if this show is scripted, is the Jesuit cross actually real?
    Even if the ladder has been placed up there by a tour guided business, and every local in the area is aware of the ladder and the cross.
    If that cross is indeed real, and the Jesuits actually placed it there in the mid 1700s, wouldnt that in itself be pretty amazing.
    To think that someone would be able to spend the amount of time and effort considering the limitations that they would have with tools, etc… for that time period,, to me that in itself is pretty amazing.

  24. Test,, that was awesome,, thank you.
    Well, I guess now the question would be, and Im no engineer, but I would love to know how that ladder was installed and by who?

  25. Has this show been cancelled? I know it’s scripted but so is every “reality” show. I still love it and hope it continues.

  26. For clarification this is the Black Cross Butte next to the Salt River. There is another butte with the same name next to Fish Creek & SR88.

  27. I love this show…the spectacular scenery combines with the hilarious premise, the bad acting, the ridiculous costumes, the poor editing, the phony props….combine to give my self-image a great boost. If the bozos behind this production can get on the air, my potential by comparison is boundless. It really is good comedy though…watch out for the black hand, oh my I’ve got a bad feeling about this area, hey, look a cave, we may be the first to see it since the Jesuits were here. I hope this series last for a very long time, it keeps me laughing. Plus, I wonder how long they will wear the same ridiculous costumes….at least they are consistent there!

  28. I just love the show and would like to know if the team will be back to continue on to find what is in the bat cave or maybe there is another cave near by. I think they should have gone this way in the first place instead of going where they went before. They got to come back to see if they do find some gold after all that work and not come up with nothing especially for the oldest guy who has been around longer he has to get something for his troubles. Here’s hoping to see them all back soon! Don’t take too long as I am waiting to see if they do find something! Thanks

  29. I guess, since all of the expert old men they questioned, only ever saw red handprints, why did black handprints start showing up, shortly after Woody tells the story of The Black Legion? That was shortly after they wanted to leave him behind. He also found the medicine wheel, on what he claims, was just a feeling something was up there. Maybe Woody has his own agenda, lol.

  30. Even though this is obviously scripted, it has inspired me and my family to get off of the couch and get out doors, explore our surroundings rather than sitting and gravitating toward poor health. The vistas are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I won’t ever get to go places seen on the show due to knee injury, so having the chance to see it, even on a tv screen is optimum. I don’t care if it is all fake, at least I have seen the places that inspired the Porky Pig and Sylvester cartoon I watched as a kid. Ha ha! That is epic.

  31. I just want to know how they got away without coming in contact with one snake, bobcat or other predators while they were in the mountains. From what I hear, the place is a breeding ground for them. I’m just wondering if they have discontinued the show due to people being negative about things such as the ladder that just happened to be there to use to climb up to the ladder from the 1700’s or the strap down ties that were seen in this episode. Come on people, I guarantee that if there was word of gold in a mine up there in superstition mountains people would have clashed looking for it! LOL Episode 6 will probably be the last episode of this show you’ll ever see again…mark my word!

  32. We can’t wait to see the next episode. I’ve seen the Ladder and the Cross and I met Jack San Felice. Jesuit Father Kino referenced a ladder in his reports to Spain as researched by historians.

  33. It’s not on this Sunday what I think is they found it but they are done the show and don’t wan’t to share? That they found it I’m just guessing I could be wrong

  34. As of March 15, 2015 they were waiting to hear if the show was going to be picked up for another season. This is per You-Tube video by “Deal”.

  35. Is it just me or did anyone else notice that episode six is the only one without a preview of the next episode at the end.
    Also history channel hasn’t updated the episode guide, added new videos and removed everything from schedule on the superstition mountain webpage…

  36. And, just to let everyone know: We are also making sure History knows just what our readers think–and that you want the show BACK (as do we)! But, it is a good idea to post on the History Facebook AND Twitter pages–they do read them. Cannot guarantee they will listen, but they do read them!

  37. We live in Gold Canyon below the Superstitions. We have taped every show. Most interesting. We pray foratleast season 2. I am joining the Dons club of Arizona if voted in hoping to meet Wayne Tuttle with the Dons Club.

  38. Could the ladder, not be the original, but rather one maintained by present day Indians or miners? In any case, it was a great climb effort.

  39. I would like to know if you guys are coming back on and starting where you left off on trying to find the lost mine? I hope you are coming back on soon. Please let me know for sure. Thanks

  40. I feel like the show deserves to come back. I liked it and my mom. It was almost the only time we had together and a nice down to after a stressful day. I felt like I was a part on the hunt without being there. The view and the suspense of seeing them try to find gd every show made me happy hoping they would find it. Always, was looking forward to the new show so please history. Com bring it back already.

  41. Yes please bring the show back. This is the one reality
    show I can get excited about. Every episode I have viewed
    many times in hopes that this crew will finally uncover
    the Lost Dutchman’s mine.
    Wow what a finally that would be Wayne Tuttle and Company finding the gold. Best of good fortune to all
    of you on this legendary quest. RB

  42. As an avid amateur treasure hunter i really like the show even if scripted. The only comment i have is about the ladder. To me it looked old. Maybe not from the 1700’s but still looks old. Being in that cave out of the weather in such a dry climate that ladder would last a long time. And i would say the metal ladder was put there for counting the bats.

  43. Just saw rerun of episode “Dead Man’s Gold”, original airing 3-8-2015. They were looking at the ladder petroglyph. The Jesuit expert was explaining that it was an Indian symbol for a “soul’s climb to heaven”. When the camera panned over it, it looked like it was carved on a natural rock chimney. What if the ladder symbol was, instead, a treasure symbol indicating a location to climb up and take an overlook view of the terrain beyond. Maybe to see a “bird’s eye” view of some other treasure marker in the distance. Maybe even resembling the five chain of circles carved next to the ladder. Just a thought.

  44. U guys are great! The symb of the circle with a dot in the middle is for gold. Look close at ur pics and turn them upside down! The ram carved into rock is for jesuits, still is same symb hanging at the Jesuit college downtown phx! Look for the number 7 and follow the direction of the leg. The heart symb for mina de reales and or Spanish had a heart of gold. The cross with a continuous line around it symb religious artifacts hurried there. Look for the triangle and follow the apex with the line. Find the other 7 look below. Find the symb that looks like a half moon with a dot below it. Dig there! The symb that looks like an upside down u and has a number of dots, is measurements and a concealed entrance. Dots = 33.5 inches each. The u also represents mule tracks and the trail. Look for rock pointers above. The cactus cut with main trunk out is also trail straight ahead. The symb verticle line with a horizontal line and a dot in the middle is a right turn if dot is to right, left if dot is to left. U will find many upside down symb the closer u get! Nxt to the entrance look for symb or rock cut in a stair shape, represents a lighting bolt! Symb for death! Warning from which direction the trap will come from. Lays dormant for centuries until disturbed. Works with fulcrums and gravity! Do not pickup the first gold item left in the open!!! There will be a map on a rock looks like a myan maze, it will show the entrance and the gold chamber and how to get to it. It will be orientated to the north. The lighting bolt symb will tell u that u are at the entrance!

  45. It would be hard to believe that someone hadn’t checked behind this wall before but on the contrary maybe if it had been discovered previously that they just took pictures and walked away like you guys did. Who would’ve ever thought it could’ve been a false wall? Perhaps maybe it isn’t even a false wall and that is just a new myth.. I agree that this was put their for some reason but maybe it’s just a way point or something to let someone know which way to go or even a safe haven for someone to camp out in the cave to stay hidden from the Apache’s or even the heat of the days kinda like a hidden staging area back in the day. I wouldn’t think it it would be Mr waltz mine for the simple fact is how would’ve he built the secret wall time and time again. his gold was not in bars was it?? I don’t recall ever reading anything about Julie saying he had gold bars all that was found under his bed was gold??? Maybe this is a whole different secret stash, and Jacobs is still out there. Like I said it may or maynot be a secret wall maybe it was a entrance to one of the Jesuits cave homes something like that maybe where the they slept or had their women and children while the men were out prospecting during the day. Something like a home, made in the cave and that was the entrance and when they left they sealed it up and put the cross their to detour people from entering it. It may not be any gold or treasures back behind it, it maybe bodies that had passed on while they were their mining like a TOMB or something along them lines which could be a very big possibility. Cause eventually some of those people that had came over “Jesuits ” had to have passed on while they’re were here so it might just be a TOMB and you might find mummified bodies. Perhaps maybe their are 5 bodies behind that wall.

  46. Hi, i think they do many things so slow and wrong, its just another show like The curse of a Oak island , it leads to nowhere. I want to see the treasure and stuff.
    Hire me im faster and i dont fear cold gaves, because in our country is so snowy always😀

    Greetings from Estonia

  47. Favorite 2 sentence dialog of the last episode “The Climb”

    “You think this rumbling is a quincidence. That’s the Apache gods and they’re not happy that we’re here!”
    “I better check on Wayne.”

    Priceless, had to rewind that on the dvr several times. Ha.

  48. So no one’s gonna question or comment on Efrian huerta’s seemingly perfect and oddly explicit detailed description and deciphering of the known peraltas maps or the perfectly imagined entrance to the mine? Who is this Efrian and what does the name stand for?

  49. A cross forged of lead with symbols of an upside down cross and also having a circle with a unside down pyramid meaning things have been misunderstood and turning oyr lives around are the only way to save mankind.

Leave a Comment