Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Mystery Behind Superstition Mountain

Superstition Mountain is believed to have great treasure hidden within. Many people have tried to find it but have never succeeded. It is difficult to explore because of its dangerous cliffs and plateaus. It’s a treacherous mountain and many adventurers never come back.

Superstition Mountain, located east of Phoenix, is famous for the Lost Dutchman’s Mine where millions of dollars worth of gold is hidden. The history of this mountain would astound you. Those who discovered the mine were in grave danger, especially if they took any gold from this spot. This is sacred ground. People disappear and mysterious deaths occur. That’s why it’s called Superstition Mountain.

Those who have discovered its whereabouts usually met with an accident. The people, who were able to get away safely, never returned. Just as the men were about to form a party and return, something always happened to them. They would get sick and die or get in a fight and get killed, or something mysterious would happen to them. Now you know how this mountain got its name.

It all started in 1540 when a conquistador by the name of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado went to southern Arizona, searching for the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola. When he asked the Apaches for help, they admitted that the mountain held an abundance of gold, but they refused to help because they feared the great Thunder God. This land was sacred ground.

As the Spaniards explored the mountain, looking for the gold, men began to vanish. No one knew where they had gone, but the Apaches told them the great Thunder God had destroyed them. At first they didn’t believe it until they found the bodies of a few men. They had mysteriously died. This frightened Coronado’s men and they refused to continue searching. When Coronado realized his men were right, he finally gave in and named it Superstition Mountain. It didn’t take long before word was passed from one generation to the next that it was an evil place. And the name stuck.

In 1845, Don Miguel Peralta went searching for the gold and discovered a large amount hidden in the mountain. He couldn’t believe his luck and named it Sombrero Mine. The area looked just like a sombrero. It had a point like a hat with a wide brim. But others thought the peak of the mountain looked more like an index finger pointing toward the sky, so they named it the Finger of God. But that’s not the name it goes by today. When an explorer named Paul Weaver scratched his name in the rock below the tall spire, its new name became Weaver’s Needle.

Don Miguel Peralta had discovered the richest gold mine in all Western history and began shipping it back home to Mexico. When the Apache noticed what was happening, they became angry because they had trespassed onto sacred ground and were stealing what was theirs. In 1848, they decided to drive the foreigners off their land. When Don Miguel found out they were preparing for a battle, he quickly concealed the mine and headed home with his mules and wagons packed to the brim with gold. But it was too late. The Apache warriors were ready for them. They massacred all the Spaniards.

What happened to the gold they were carrying in the wagons? It spilled all over the mountain. As time passed, different prospectors have found the remains of broken wheels and the bones of burros. In fact, in 1914 a man named Silverlocke discovered $18,000 worth of gold that was found in a rotted leather pack that had been on one of the burros.

Why is it called the Lost Dutchman Mine today? Jacob Waltz was born in Germany. In 1845 he came to America, searching for his fortune. Why did they call him the Dutchman if he wasn’t Dutch? His nickname was probably taken from the German word: Deutsch. Germany is called Deutschland. So people could have gotten confused and thought he was Dutch.

Many years passed when he finally settled in Arizona and worked for some miners. The Indians labeled him Snow Beard, because he grew a long white scraggly beard. Soon he began hearing stories about Superstition Mountain from the Indians. They told him about the great Thunder God who was protecting all the gold inside the mountain. This made him quite curious. When he asked about it, he found out that Don Miguel Peralta had discovered this gold mine years ago but covered it up so no one could find it. This intrigued him greatly.

In 1870 he became good friends with a real Dutchman named Jacob Weiser and they went in search of this lost gold mine together. One day they showed up in Phoenix, buying whiskey for everyone, celebrating their great fortune with golden nuggets. These men had struck it rich. No one knew where they’d gotten it. They wouldn’t reveal its whereabouts but many suspected they had found the Sombrero Mine. Some say that they stumbled upon it and others say a descendent of Don Miguel Peralta had a map and sold it to them. No one knows for sure. For the next ten years, they continued bringing in gold nuggets. When Jacob Weiser disappeared, Waltz became paranoid and took extra care to not allow anyone to follow him to the mine.

What happened to Jacob Weiser? No one knows for sure. It was either Apaches or gold seekers trying to get information out of him. In 1891, Waltz was finally going to show his girlfriend where the mine was but never had a chance. He died during the night and took the secret with him. That’s why it’s called the Lost Dutchman Mine.

The Apache Indians say a Thunder God protects the mountain. Each summer the great Thunder God roars his loudest, creating thunderstorms like no other, announcing his control over the mountain.

The mystery behind Superstition Mountain was the inspiration for a mystery novel: Desert Intrigue. This novel is the fourth book in a series of mysteries. The John and Julia Evans mystery series includes Anasazi Intrigue, Mayan Intrigue, Montezuma Intrigue, and Desert Intrigue.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Montezuma Intrigue – Finding Montezuma’s Treasure

In Montezuma Intrigue, there is the search for Montezuma’s treasure, a good-looking rogue, and family secrets!

When a leather parchment of Montezuma’s map is found in great-grandfather Evans’ old chest, April and the twins know this summer is going to be a memorable one. The girls want to search for it but their father is against it for some mysterious reason. With Julia’s help, she and the girls convince John to go on a treasure hunt. Is Montezuma’s treasure a legend or reality? Whatever the case, John insists on keeping their little treasure hunt a secret. If certain people find out about it, the family could be in danger.

 “I am charmed by her new book, Montezuma Intrigue. The mysteries continue as this author entrances us with life-like characters and electrifying adventures. The search for Montezuma's treasure is both exciting and memorable. There are also a few romances, and some surprises as well, which kept my reading pleasurable and lively. I enjoyed the adventure and suspense in her latest novel, which kept me reading well into the night.” --Susan Ortlieb, Suko’s Notebook

While searching for Montezuma’s treasure, Matthew is trying to get the courage to tell April how he feels about her. How does he tell his kindred friend that she means more to him than just a friend? Oblivious of Matthew’s feelings for her, April is gradually learning the importance of her heritage. Who were her ancestors and why has the family kept a certain “secret” all these years? Will learning about her parentage change her perspective about life?

“The whole Evans family is back for another wild and dangerous adventure,” wrote Socrates Book Review. “This time they have Grandpa along for the ride. As the search begins, Julia’s father tells the family of how he met their grandmother. A story he never told anyone before… not even Julia. The family is enraptured by his tale and eager to learn more about their family’s history, but the story comes to a crashing halt when their lives are threatened by treasure seekers. This story mixes adventure, suspense and romance into one captivating story.”

Montezuma Intrigue” (ISBN: 978-1481266925, 2nd edition, Red Mountain Shadows Publishing). For more information, visit

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Does Montezuma’s Treasure Really Exist?

Montezuma’s treasure has been on people’s minds for ages. The question is, does it really exist? When Cortez arrived in Mesoamerica in the early 1500s, Montezuma thought he was the Great White God Quetzalcoatl, who had promised to return one day. It didn’t take long for Montezuma to realize that he had made a mistake. Cortez was a cruel man and began treating the Aztecs abominably. The king, for his own reasons, refused to fight Cortez, but the people had had enough and decided to rebel.

After a great and terrible battle, the Spanish conquistadors were driven back, away from Tenochtitlan, Mexico. During this rebellion, Montezuma was killed, either by the Spaniards or his own people. No one knows for sure. While the Spaniards were taking care of their wounded, the Aztecs quickly bundled up their treasure and took off with it. They had to protect it with their lives because it was sacred. For years, they kept the treasure in honor of their god when he returned. It was a gift to Quetzalcoatl and was estimated at around $10,000,000 worth of gold and jewels.

Is this just a myth? A legend? Cortez actually left a record telling about the Aztec gold. In 1519, his chronicler, Bernal Diaz, recorded what he saw in the village: “All the riches of the world were in that room.” Diaz said that he saw a golden wheel in the form of a sun that was as big as a cartwheel with pictures engraved upon it. There was a silver one, which was an imitation of the moon, and golden statuettes in the shape of jaguars. When Cortez finally won the battle and entered the room where the treasure was kept, he found nothing. After searching the whole village, he found a few statues, which had been thrown in the lake. The Aztecs tried to hide what they didn’t take with them. They didn’t think he would look in a lake. The archeologists figured the rest had been transported to a faraway land where Cortez would never find the treasure.

The search for Montezuma’s treasure has intrigued many people. In 1914, an old prospector by the name of Freddy Crystal had a newspaper clipping of Anasazi art. It was a photograph of a petroglyph engraved on the side of a cliff located in Johnson Canyon, not far from Kanab, Utah. The petroglyph was similar to the etchings on a treasure map he had found years earlier. After searching the canyon for two long years, he left and returned in 1920 with another map he had obtained in Mexico. It was a copy of a four hundred-year-old maguey map that he found in a depository of a Mexican monastery.

Maguey is a fibrous plant that is cultivated in Mexico. Years ago they used it like paper and it lasted for centuries. Freddy said that he met a descendant of Montezuma who gave his interpretation of the second map. It showed a canyon with seven mountains: four mountains to the north, one on the east side, one on the west, and another on the south. That described the topography of Kanab to a tee. The petroglyphs matched his first map, but the topography matched his second map. The second one had more details. It showed steps on the side of a mountain and marshland below. White Mountain just happened to have steps carved into the sandstone that ascended more than one hundred feet. The only exception was the marshland, which didn’t exist. According to Freddy, marshlands dry up so he didn’t worry about it.

Freddy Crystal promised to share the treasure with all the townsfolk in Kanab if they helped him dig and search for it. For the next two years, at the bottom of White Mountain, a large tent city was erected and townsfolk went everyday to help Freddy search for the gold. All the stores and businesses shut down every day so they could dig. It was an exciting time for everyone.

The town of Kanab was unlike any other town in the United States. They had elected a mayor and a city council of all women, something unheard of in 1920. Women’s rights were not yet recognized in the East. It was the first petticoat government in all history. In fact, these good women made sure the county court opened and closed with prayer every time they met. Wow! A petticoat government! How awesome is that!

When the townsfolk agreed to help Freddy, Kanab’s city council voted to not have any publicity about the treasure because they didn’t want the word to get out. If that happened, people from all over the country would invade their little town and no one wanted that. They remembered what happened to California and the gold rush. So, if anyone uttered the word “treasure,” they were fined.

They dug and blasted until they found a cave with a series of rooms. They actually found tunnels with booby-traps, but no gold. Three boulders almost killed Freddy as they fell to the ground. He claimed they had been set on purpose by the Aztecs. When no gold was found, they figured the Aztecs had moved the treasure to another spot. After everyone gave up, Freddy left…disappeared…never to be seen again.

Every now and then, someone will find the “Aztec Treasure Sign” but no treasure. Many tribes believe that the treasure is protected. But protected by whom? Legend says that after hiding everything from Cortez, the tribe designated certain guardians to protect the treasure. If someone gets too close, they will do everything in their power to protect it and quickly move it to another spot. Some people believe their spirits still guard it today.

So where is Montezuma’s treasure? Does it still exist? Is it hidden among the Utah Mountains? It’s still a mystery to this day. The subject was so intriguing to me that I sat down and began writing my new mystery/adventure novel: Montezuma Intrigue. This book is about mysterious events, the search for Montezuma’s treasure, a good-looking rogue, and family secrets. How important is it to learn about the past? When a leather parchment of Montezuma’s map is found in great-grandfather Evans’ old chest, April and the twins know this summer is going to be a memorable one.

The John and Julia Evans mystery series includes Anasazi Intrigue, Mayan Intrigue, Montezuma Intrigue, and Desert Intrigue.


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Mayan Intrigue – An Adventure Among the Mayan Ruins

In Mayan Intrigue, there are the jungles of the Yucatan, Mayan ruins, and a mysterious artifact.

The discovery of a priceless artifact puts Julia's life in great danger! While on assignment for the newspaper, John and Julia Evans try to enjoy a romantic vacation among the Mayan ruins. When Julia sees a couple of suspicious men exchanging an item, she quickly turns and leaves but it is too late. The men have seen her. Before John and Julia realize what is going on, they find themselves both in danger and running for their lives through the jungles of the Yucatan.

“What starts out as a romantic trip quickly turns into a dangerous adventure among the Mayan ruins and jungles, and the vacationers are on the run from thieves--and wild animals! Excitement prevails! This book is full of mystery and suspense. Linda’s writing is lively and down-to-earth; she has the ability to make you feel as if you're in these stories, along with John and Julia, trying to decipher the truth and escape from harm.” --Susan Ortlieb, Suko’s Notebook

Mayan Intrigue has humor, a touch of romance, suspense, and danger lurking in shadowy corners. This story is based upon the adventures of a married couple and their three daughters. While John and Julia are following some leads in Mexico, their daughters decide it’s time to retaliate when some fraternity boys take advantage of a few coeds. The girls are infuriated at the way the boys treat their friends. It’s Payback Time.

“This is an exciting follow-up to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Anasazi Intrigue,” wrote Socrates Book Review. “She takes us through Cancun and we get to visit the Mayan ruins. Ms. Weaver Clarke’s descriptions easily transports the reader to Mexico. You really feel as if you are part of the story. Her words flow beautifully through each page of the book. Readers learn more and more about the beautiful relationship shared by John and Julia. Their commitment to each other is stronger than ever. With each book, these two become more like friends of the readers instead of book characters. I enjoyed this very much and am looking forward to the third book in this thrilling series.”

Mayan Intrigue” (ISBN: 978-1481266888, 2nd edition, Red Mountain Shadows Publishing). For more information, visit