Beyond Oak Island: The lost Dutchman’s mine in Arizona could have gold worth trillions

Gary Drayton and Bob Schoose on the set of Beyond Oak Island
Gary Drayton and Bob Schoose (L) went in search of gold close to the location of the Lost Dutchman’s mine. Pic credit: History

This week on Beyond Oak Island, the guys are in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona looking for the Dutchman’s lost mine.

This is a treasure hunt going on in the wild west for over a hundred years, and just like all good ones, it’s cursed.

Many have gone searching for the treasure, and many have not returned; murder, death, anguish, and disappointment have all become bywords for the search for the Dutchman’s lost mine.

Sound familiar? The Oak Island guys should feel right at home.

The Dutchman in question was, in fact, a German immigrant called Jacob Waltz, who located a mine rich in gold in the mountains to the east of Phoenix during the 1860s. He claimed the mine contained 100s of pounds of gold ore.

If he was telling the truth, then it could be worth billions or even trillions today.

Waltz became a wealthy man due to his find, but, frustratingly for everybody, he insisted on keeping the location of his find a secret. On occasion, gold prospectors tried to follow Waltz to his hidden booty, but he always got wise and led them away.

Since then, many have attempted to find the mine, but the hot and vast Arizona wilderness has, so far, stubbornly refused to reveal its location.

In 1931, the skeleton of treasure hunter Adolph Ruth was found miles from his camp. Some believe the holes in his skull mean he was shot to death. This incident has fueled rumors that the place is cursed.

Gary Drayton goes in search of Lost Dutchman’s Mine

Once again, the Laginas sent their famous metal detectorist Gary Drayton off to see if he could find the Dutchman’s lost mine. He talked to three different treasure hunters, all of who had their own ideas of where to look.

Bob Schoose has set up camp in the Goldfield ghost town, where he spends a lot of his time panning for gold. He even let Gary have a go, and he actually found a small piece of gold, or a “real bobby dazzler,” as he called it.

Bob thought Waltz’s mine is located in the Bulldog Mine on the western side of the Superstition Mtns. He told Gary in a very ‘matter of fact’ manner that he’s sure.

There’s a catch though, the mine has been filled in since 2003, so we can’t actually test Bob’s theory.

Gary also spoke to the Feldman family, who have been searching for the mine since the 1960s, under patriarch Ron’s tutelage. They’re convinced the mine is to the east of the mountains at the Silver Chief mine.

They claim they have history, archaeology, and science to back up their theory.

Sadly, in the case of the Silver Chief Mine, there are two catches; at some point, it collapsed in on itself, meaning it’s now impossible to look inside. And even if it were possible to enter, it’s illegal to mine the area as it’s on US Forestry Service land.

Map of the Lost Dutchman's mine
Which X marks the spot? Treasures hunters have pointed to two possible locations of the lost mine. Pic credit: History

Gary also spoke to 91-year-old Clay Worst, who spent 90 years searching for the mine.

Worst is coyer than the others about revealing where he thinks the mine is located and refuses to give away any clues.

He says only “a handful of people” knows the location, and its whereabouts are “jealously guarded.”

It seems Waltz’s secret could continue for at least another 100 years.

More from Beyond Oak Island

Follow the links to check out the treasure hunts investigated on past episodes of Beyond Oak Island.

Last week on Beyond Oak Island, the team discussed the legal complications that treasure hunters come up against while on the hunt for stashed treasure.

And they discussed who has the right to claim pirate treasure from the bottom of the sea.

Previously, the guys sent Gary Drayton on the hunt for some loot stolen in the wild west. He went to Utah to look for the hidden treasure of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Beyond Oak Island airs at 10/9c on History.

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