Monday, November 29, 2010

New Mexico's "Tesoro del Alma" (Part 3)

Before I continue with the third post in this series, I'd like to bring the following to your attention:

There are a number of varying accounts of the "Tesoro del Alma" treasure legend out there and nearly all of them state that many different individuals and groups have tried to locate this treasure in the Caballo Mountains of southern New Mexico over the course of decades. However, details are lacking for most of these treasure hunts and unfortunately many of the "players" have faded into history without so much as a mention.

A Large Mass of Non-Ferrous Metal

But in 1972 two erstwhile treasure hunters, Troy Jacobsen and Thayer Snipes, decided to make an aerial survey of the Caballos with what has been described as a "heat sensing device." With this device they purportedly were able to locate a large mass of non-ferrous metal to the east of Caballo Lake.

(Note: I'm not entirely certain as to what this piece of aerial surveying gear really was. Forgive my ignorance here, but using a "heat sensing" device to discover or detect non-ferrous metal doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Gold and silver do not, to my knowledge, put out heat signatures unless they are actually heated up. In cold weather, precious metal would remain cold. Perhaps this was some form of ground penetrating radar or a magnetometer? I'm open to explanations, by the way. J.R.)

Nick Fleming Hits the Big One (?)

Evidently not much else was done after this discovery until 1990 when Thayer Snipes brought another individual named Nick Fleming into the picture. Fleming, in turn, began searching for the "Tesoro del Alma" with the help of two other individuals who used some sort of pulse induction (PI) detection unit to narrow the treasure search down to 3 distinct sites in the Caballos.

Treasure Hunting

Nick Fleming returned to search the Caballo Mountains again in the 1992-1994 time frame. During the latter part of this period he came across a cave entrance that he claims contained a vast treasure trove of roughly cast dore bullion bars in a stack that Fleming estimated to be 5 feet in height, 30 feet wide, and 50 feet long. If this is all true, Nick Fleming did indeed hit the "big one" in 1994.

Fleming Files a Treasure Claim

Not long after, Fleming filed a treasure trove claim on his discovery at the Truth or Consequences, New Mexico courthouse. The timeline here is somewhat confusing however, because Fleming is said to have filed his treasure claim in 1993 and the treasure itself was supposedly found in April 1994. Like you, I too am confused.

At any rate, if Nick Fleming did indeed find the bulk of the "Tesoro del Alma" in the form of crude dores containing around 60% gold, 20% silver, and 20% base metals, he is a very rich man based on his description of the sheer number of bullion bars in his treasure cave. But as in nearly all treasure tales where other parties are involved, the story doesn't end here....

There's more to come so stay tuned. Good hunting to you in the meantime.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "New Mexico's 'Tesoro del Alma' (Part 2)

(c) J.R. 2010

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