The legend of Leon Trabuco’s gold hovers over the sands near Farmington, New Mexico.
It began during the Great Depression in 1933. Trabuco, a Mexican businessman, and four associates thought to make a killing reselling gold in the U.S. when the value of the dollar fell. They bought Mexican gold coins and jewelry, melted them at their makeshift foundry, and cast them into ingots.
Their pilot, William Elliot, was hired to fly sixteen trips, transporting the gold to a clandestine spot in the desert. Trabuco carried the cargo away by truck to an unknown destination.
Records show that the final shipment arrived on July 14, 1933. Approximately 16 TONS of gold ended up buried, waiting for the price to rise. It did, increasing the value by over $7,000,000. Certain that it would go farther, they waited. Bad move.
FDR signed an executive order related to the Gold Act. It declared that after January 1934, private ownership of gold within the US was illegal.
The gold became worthless overnight.
More bad luck. Within five years, Trabuco’s three partners died early deaths. Struggling for over twenty years, Trabuco was unable to find a buyer for the gold. Hounded by the U.S. Treasury Department, he died, taking the location of the gold to his grave.
But there are clues.
One treasure hunter, Ed Foster, has this to say. "I believe that Conger Mesa is where the plane would adjust and come in and land. I met this Indian lady that couldn’t speak English so I got an interpreter. She said she had watched that plane land there many, many times.” Foster also followed leads from eye-witnesses who were children at the time and remembered the unusual appearance of Mexican men on their Navajo reservation.
The ruins of a Mexican-style house, foreign to the area, is believed to have housed the men who guarded the gold. Ed Foster believes the gold lies in a triangle formed by Conger Mesa, Shrine Rock and the Mexican-style home.
Up for a treasure hunt? Is 16 tons of gold enough to tempt you into rattlesnake country?
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