SUBMITTED MARCH 2017
- In Mogollon, New Mexico, there is a church named Mt. Carmel. (Home of Brown)
- The road past the church (from there) is Hwy 159 known as Bursum Rd—universally described as no place for the meek.
- As you enter Mogollon, on the left there is a drawing of a clock stopped at 4:00, the end of the last shift at the last operating mine in Mogollon, painted by the miners in the 1940s. (End is ever drawing nigh)
- Silver Creek run through Mogollon and into Deadwood Gulch. Usually runs ankle deep. (No paddle)
- The Confidence Mine just outside the town produced heavy loads that required up to 40-horse teams to just lower the ore down the mountain. The mine is the reason there is a “water high”. A pipeline (called “The Catwalk”) was built in Whitewater Canyon for the purpose of bringing water to the mine. More on this later.
- The Catwalk carried water overhead as high as 20’ above Whitewater canyon’s floor.
- The Little Fanny Mine left tailings of brilliant white cascading down in a classic blaze pattern. It flowed down into Deadwood Gulch. It is easy to spot on Google or Mapcarta maps.
- There is a blackish flat rock formation opposite the mine tailings on the Deadwood Gulch cliff. The powdery quartz tailings coat everything in a marble glaze. This is not a great photo, but it sits in stark contrast to the brown on each side, especially in shadow. (Tarry scant with marvel gaze/marble glaze)
- There are several wood piles between the tailings and the blackish cliff. One looked manmade, with many sticks of nearly equal length (2’-3’) stacked vertically. I was certain a snake, rodent or something worse would be underneath and would attach me as I pulled the sticks out. I needed to remind myself to be brave. (Brave and in the wood)
I saved WWWH and Canyon down for last so I could give a more detailed explanation. The clues begin and end with the Catwalk.
It’s now a park, but back when the Confidence Mine was operating it needed water to process the ore. The Whitewater Creek wasn’t a reliable source that far down the canyon, so an engineer named Graham built a pipeline from up above that carried a constant flow of water to the processing plant. The pipeline attached to the canyon walls some 20 feet above the floor and it was dubbed “The Catwalk” because miners would have to walk it like a tightrope high in the air to make repairs. (BTW, the water source where the pipeline begins qualifies as “warm water” and has brown trout). So the Catwalk started where the warm water halted and took it in the canyon down.
The distance between the Catwalk and Mogollon is only 2 or 3 miles, but it’s so steep and rocky it would be unwalkable. That distance is as the crow flies—to drive it is about 12 miles.
Go to Google Map and mark the waypoints for the clues listed above. Or a better map for this is Mapcarta.com.
- Catwalk Recreation Park.
- Mogollon, New Mexico, then zoom in. The church is on the far right of the town on higher ground. There is a parking area below the church for visitors to walk the town.
- The clock drawing is on the left rock wall where Deadwood Gulch begins.
- Silver creek flows through the town and down Deadwood Gulch.
- Confidence Mine is just across the road North from the Catwalk. It is most easily found using Mapcarta.com.
- The blaze is in the middle of the points just marked and easy to spot. (searchers get the first clues right, then go right past….)
- The tarry scant can’t been seen on an aerial map. You can see, however, see a large tombstone-like rock which is 40 feet tall directly below the mine tailings. That is nearby.
An alternative that requires an IMO is: Forrest’s unusual use of a missing “D” in knowledge and his several references to tea make me wonder if he wants us to change “down” to “town”—as in reference to the canyon town of Mogollon.
Either way, the waypoints bracket The Catwalk, The Confidence Mine, Mogollon and the blaze.
Spare me the “but Forrest said….” stuff. I’ve studied everything Forrest has said, and I have responses to the “north of Santa Fe” quotes. He said north for a reason, and he said many other things that should have alerted searchers. In this thread I’m giving you facts, and if you don’t want to use them it’s okay with me.
Now some IMO. Let’s look at the “map” on page 99 of the book.
- The outline of a cat (circled in red.) If you look at Google map you can see a similar pattern on Bursum Road (Look for the “ears”.) This is where the Catwalk is. It should be easily found on both the Google and Mapcarta maps.
- The ladders (circled in yellow) on a map not drawn to scale are where the Gila Cliff Dwellings are.
- The mountain peak and the blaze (circled in black). See the very same outline of the picture of Fanny Hill above and the tailings.
- Notice the arrow going down the right side of the tailings into Deadwood Gulch.
- The “X”s of the bombs tailfins mark the Confidence Mine and Cooney’s grave on a map not drawn to scale.
- The “river” resembles Bursum Road as it winds to Mogollon.
- There is a county airport between the Catwalk and Mogollon
- . The residence at the airport has an old sedan
- Wonder if Forrest borrowed it?
Another interesting tidbit: At this spot a tunnel directs the creek through the cliff for about 40 yards. If the water isn’t running too high, you can walk through it—but take a flashlight.
From the town, the spot is an easy, almost level half-mile walk from the road. It’s easiest to just walk the creek, but don’t worry—your effort will be worth the cold.
As a final resting place—there is a beautiful spot on top of a huge boulder looking down the gulch above the stream. I totally get it.
To wrap this up—three comments: First, I have been there and didn’t find the TC. Second, Why would I give up my solve? A couple of days ago I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, and I won’t be able to go again. My friends and family think I’m insane for thinking there’s a treasure out there somewhere, so no one to pass the secret to. I know you out there are as involved as I have been with this.
The third is the best: I’ve done maybe a thousand or more hours of research. I’ve learned things that are a part of vanishing history: warm water Apaches, the suspected birthplace of Geronimo, and hideouts temporarily for Butch Cassidy and Billy the Kid. The mining lore of New Mexico ghost towns is fastinating. The Confidence Mine payroll wagon was robbed 21 times by the same guy before they caught and hanged him on the 22 attempt. I even came across an account of a mine boss overhearing an Apache cook and Chinese laborer talking-to each other, each using their native dialect (Apache and Tartar Chinese). The languages were nearly identical! and they had no problem understanding each other. Mind boggling. I’ve seen cougars, herds of elk, grey wolf tracks and listened to coyotes howl as I camped under a dark sky that makes the stars twice as bright. I’m richer for searching, and I hope the unemployed redneck will come and find it.
P.S. Be Aware! The only road to Mogollon is CLOSED for repair. Not just kind of closed where you can drive around barriers—it is completely gutted and you will not be able to drive into there. The few locals that live there have a deal with the construction company that requires the company to move their heavy equipment to allow the locals to pass. They will not do that for visitors. I have explored all the other possible accesses to the blaze. There are none. The terrain is rocky and there are vertical drops of 200 feet in the canyon. The very best hikers would need several days and mountain climbing skills to make the trip even though the distance is short. The elevation changes are staggering. Also, there is private property there. The locals are their own law enforcement, so check property maps before you plan a hike.
Read up on Catron County, New Mexico. It is a unique place, the size of Delaware but the largest town (county seat) has a population of 143. Past a law prohibiting the US Government from taking property from individuals. Hmmm.