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Victorio Peak Treasure - Page 2

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Doc filled his pockets with gold coins, grabbed a couple of jeweled swords, and laboriously returned to Babe waiting anxiously at the surface. After telling her of what he had seen and showing her the loot, she insisted he go back into the mine for one of the iron bars. After much searching, he finally found a small iron bar that he could carry back through the narrow passageway. When he reached the surface, he told Babe, "This is the last one of them babies Iím gonna bring out." However, when Babe rolled the bar over, she noticed a yellow gleam where the gravel of the hillside had scratched off centuries of black grime. What looked to be a piece of iron was actually a solid gold bar.


After the discovery of the treasure, Doc and Babe spent every free moment exploring the tunnels inside the mountain, living in a tent at the base of the peak. On each trip, Doc would retrieve two gold bars and as many artifacts as he could carry. At one time, he brought out a crown, which contained two hundred forty-three diamonds and one pigeon-blood ruby. Yet, Doc trusted no one, not even his Babe, disappearing into the desert, hiding pieces of the treasure in places that he never revealed.


Among the artifacts, Doc is reported to have retrieved were documents dated 1797, which he buried in the desert in a Wells Fargo chest along with various other treasures. Although the originals have never been recovered, a copy of one of the documents proved to be a translation from Pope Pius III.


Doc Noss cared little about the historical value of the treasures inside Victorio Peak, mostly ignoring the pouches, packs and artifacts, while he concentrated on the gold coins and bars.


However, Doc was unable to capitalize on the gold bars, as four years before his discovery; Congress had passed the Gold Act, which outlawed the private ownership of gold. Unable to sell the gold bars on the open market, Noss was stymied, but continued to work steadily to remove the treasure.


In the spring of 1938, Doc Noss and Babe went to Santa Fe to establish legal ownership of the find, filing a lease with the State of New Mexico for the entire section of land surrounding Victorio Peak. Subsequently, he also filed several mining claims on and around Victorio Peak, as well as a treasure  trove claim. With legal ownership established, Noss began to openly work the claim, but he also became increasingly paranoid, hiding the gold bars all over the desert.


When Docís story eventually hit the headlines, scholars began speculating on how the enormous treasure could have come to be stashed inside Victorio Peak. Some believe that Doc Noss found the Casa del Cueva de Oro, Spanish for the House of the Golden Cave.


Others believe that Noss found the treasure of Don Juan de Onate, who, in 1598, founded New Mexico as a Spanish colony. Seeking out the Seven Cities of Gold, Onate was said to have been a cruel man, brutally subjugating the Indians to do his bidding by beating and torturing them. Reportedly, he amassed a treasure of gold, silver and jewels before being ordered back to Mexico City in 1607.


Others speculate that the treasure could be the missing wealth of Emperor Maxmillian, who served as Mexicoís emperor in the 1860ís. When Maxmillian heard of plot to assassinate him, he began to move his gold and treasures out of Mexico. Legend says he sent a palace full of valuables to the United States to be hidden. Maxmillian was assassinated in 1867.




Finally, others believe that the treasures were hidden by Chief Victorio, for whom the peak is named. Victorio used the entire Hembrillo Basin as his stronghold, refusing to live on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona where the government wanted to banish him. A treaty was reached between the tribe and the Federal government in Washington that the Indians could stay upon the land in New Mexico. However, with the discovery of gold, the treaty was broken in 1878 and Victorio went on the warpath.


Victorio knew how much the white man valued gold and having little use for it himself, he amassed huge amounts of treasure by attacking the white settlers. His warriors raided southern New Mexico and Texas, in an all-out war against the U.S. Army and the Texas Rangers


Wells Fargo Chest

Chief Victorio

Chief Victorio

This image available for photographic prints &  downloads HERE!


Attacking wagon trains, settlements, mail coaches and churches, he took anything from them that they valued. He was also known to take prisoners back to the Basin where he subjected them to elaborate torture tests before killing them. This could possibly explain the skeletons in the cavern. It would also explain the presence of the Wells Fargo bags, packsaddles, letters and other artifacts dating to Victorio's time.


Later, some researchers would conclude that the shaft was the very same one used by Padre LaRue in the late 1700ís, then later used again by Chief Victorio to store his stolen goods. This theory explains the thousands of gold bars, the antiquities, and artifacts dating more than 100 years later.


Continued Next Page




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