Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

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Re: Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

Post by Hangman » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:38 pm

Greetings,

This is my first post. I want to thank Cubfan64 for inviting me to this forum. He contacted me after reading my 2004 Lost Treasure article concerning the De Grazia art cache in the Superstitions, and finding a number of my posts on the subject on another treasure hunting forum.

I am a retired police chief from Oregon and have been the News Editor and a Field Editor for Lost Treasure magazine for the last 5 or 6 years, though hundreds of my feature stories have been running in the magazine for about 10 years. I've been THing since 1983. Nuff bout' me.

I saw a number of posts that I maybe able to shed some light on. First the question as to why De Grazia would go to the trouble of caching a fortune of his works in the Superstitions comes up frequently. I spent a lot of time researching De Grazia, commonly called "Arizona's Irreverent Angel" and admit to having lost some investigative impartiality doing this story.

A good cop (no doesn't like donuts) doesn't get personally involved with persons / subjects they investigate. With Ted it was difficult. The deeper I dug, the more I liked the man. I would've loved to have spent sometime with him. Anyways I interviewed folks from the De Grazia Foundation and from one of his galleries, and spoke to a man who knew Ted's brother Frank. (You can read the Lost Treasure story that Cubfan64 posted a link to for $2.95, which I get no royalties from,
by-the-by.)

I have always believed that Ted wanted to become immortalized in Arizona by becoming a living legend forever linked to the Superstitions. And today thanks to George W. I got to confirm my beliefs. Thanks George for the link to the August 1981, Desert magazine story "Portrait of an Artist," which I had not seen.

I quote Ted from that story... "For the last 75 years, people have been looking for the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. Nobody has found it and some say maybe it's not even there. Now I've given them a real 'Lost Dutchman' to look for. Anyone who finds the paintings can have them."

Second, De Grazia was involved in a number of low-budget movies during his lifetime. This is no doubt how he was able to add a sound track to the 8mm film that Jim Hatt posted a link to. The 16mm movie entitled, "End of the Rainbow" by cinematographer Ron Walker stars De Grazia in the lead role.

In the film De Grazia's character buries paintings in the Superstitions and leaves a treasure map to the cache of valuable art. Certainly De Grazia was thinking about how he could become an immortalized part of Arizona / Superstition history & legend long before his death.

Third, there is a separate story about "buried paintings" that is unrelated to the art cache that Ted hid "in a tunnel" that he concealed in the Superstitions. That story comes from Marc Bothne of Severn, Maryland. Bothne claims he was in a high school band in Arizona. This was likely in the 60's.

He states his band teacher was Ted's brother, Frank De Grazia. After hearing the news of Ted's 1976 tax protest, he stopped by his old teacher's house for a visit. Bothne claims Frank told him that Ted's tax protest had been staged for publicity reasons.

Some find this statement suspicious thinking that because the event had been staged that Ted really didn't burn any of his valuable paintings, but torched hastily made works for the camera.

Who cares, he staged the event, yes, but as a protest, not to make the IRS think he'd burned valuable works in his inventory so that he wouldn't have to pay taxes on his works before they sold. I find nothing suspicious here at all.

What is interesting is what Frank told Bothne next. He stated that one night Ted stopped by his house in Florence and said he'd buried several of his paintings not in the Superstitions, but at Apache Junction, where Ted owned property. The greedy government regulators considered all works in Ted's possession, though they had never been sold as "taxable inventory."

Four, the recovery of these lost works that Bill James, aka: dign4it, claimed he found in 2004 has been proven to have been a complete falsehood. James claimed he found the lost paintings after breaking the "code" of the Ward Treasure Map and was quietly working with an unnamed art gallery to "uncork" the tubes he recovered containing De Grazia's lost works.

Five, The Ward Treasure Map as far as I am concerned is an absolute fraud. Ward, a longtime friend of Ted's published his worthless book, entitled: Ripples of Lost Echo's with a treasure map showing the exact location of the De Grazia works, claiming he was with Ted when he buried his works of art. Of course there was a code you had to break to reveal the location. Ward published the book and his first treasure map (enclosed) 8 years after Ted's death.

If you read my story in Lost Treasure you'll see why Ward is not believable. Ward made some money off his book by attempting to attach himself to his dead friend's legend, much like a tick on a hound dog's ass. A few years later Ward I'm certain was penniless once again, and of course no one had broken the secret code.

So what's Ward do? He publishes a 2nd treasure map (no book this time) claiming that the codex he used in the first map was much to difficult to crack, so he released his new map with an easier code!!! And he made some money hustling that map. By-the-by should anyone here be interested in obtaining a copy of the film, End of the Rainbow, the Ward book and two "treasure maps" a man named Daniel Parten was hustling them in February 2004 from his website at:
http://www.ripthorn.com/ripthornz/main.htm

I opted not to buy any :o at the time by-the-by. His website is no longer online. I always was curious how Parten obtained the rights to sell copyrighted material? In further checking, Parten's written account that appeared on his website entitled: "Your Hunt For (sic) the Buried Paintings has Begun," likewise is no where to be found on the Internet today. Good thing I printed his entire Website of 10 pages when I did. You maybe able to find him possibly in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Finally, De Grazia never claimed to have made a map leading to his art cache. No such map is known to exist. Beware of those selling maps made by De Grazia himself... It didn't happen.

Thank you for allowing me to post. I am happy to answer any questions... either I can or cannot answer your question, either way I won't B.S. anyone. If I don't have the answer... you'll be the 2nd to know. By-the-by my gut instinct on De Grazia and the question of did he really hide a valuable art cache in the Superstitions is YES I believe he did.

He respected people to much to B.S. them. He would not have wanted to see folks pouring into the Superstitions and risking life & limb to look for something that wasn't there. I have no doubt that he truly did leave a fortune hidden in the mountains for someone to find... simply because he, like no others, could.

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Re: Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

Post by cubfan64 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:39 am

Glad to see you post here Mr. Belli and you're welcome for letting you know about the topic.

While a great deal of this section of the forum is devoted to the Lost Dutchman Mine, there are certainly other interesting stories associated with the Superstition Mountains that catch people's fascination.

I was hoping the research you did for the Lost Treasure magazine story would give you some extra insights into the DeGrazia Paintings stories that you would be willing to share and I sense I guessed correctly :).

I don't really have a "dog in this race" so to speak, but I find it an interesting topic and I look forward to some question and answer posts here.

Paul

Jim Hatt

Re: Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

Post by Jim Hatt » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:07 am

Hello Hangman and welcome to the DUSA forums!!!

I really appreciate you accepting Paul’s (Cubfan64) offer to come to the forum and share the “fruit” of your efforts with us. I also appreciate, and want to thank you for the brief introduction about yourself, that you provided at the beginning of your first post.

My biggest grief in trying to manage a discussion forum, is having top deal with all the ANONYMOUS personalities, who show up making outrageous claims about having “inside” information, only to figure out later, that they are nothing more than another “tick on a hound dog's ass” as you so correctly put it. (We seem to get far more than our fair share of them here, attempting to write themselves into the story)

To the disappointment of many, and the applaud of others, I tend to deal with these personalities, with a sharp axe, and as quickly as possible, once I have figured them out for what they are. I strive to keep the B.S. out of the DUSA forums, and the only way I know to do it, is to either eliminate the BS’ers, or spend my whole day deleting their posts. Having a “lazy” side… I find eliminating them, to be the quickest and shortest path of least resistance, towards achieving that goal..

Unfortunately… Ted had already died before I came to Apache Junction, and I never got to meet him personally. I believe (as you do) that I really would have enjoyed knowing him, and hearing his stories directly from his lips. On the other hand… I did have an opportunity to rent a home, just a few blocks from where Ted lived and worked, and got to know some neighbors who knew him well. As you might imagine… Everyone’s opinion of him was a little different, but overall, I would say they were all proud to have had him for a neighbor, in spite of his “unique” personality, and unlimited, and often described as “Youthful” imagination. I find no fault with that, for those who have known me for a while, would probably describe me in much the same way.

Having already shared what little I know about the De Grazia paintings, I will leave this discussion to those of you, who have accumulated more knowledge, and experience on the subject than I, and I will continue to focus my thoughts, and efforts on finding the LDM, and understanding the Peralta Stone Maps.

I look forward to following this discussion to see where it goes, and will rely on you, and Paul (the assigned moderator of this forum) to keep the “Ticks” in check as much as possible. If you should observe any B.S. beginning to pile up in the discussion… A quick note to Paul, should be all you need to get it deleted. If that does not correct the problem. I will (upon Paul's recommendation) see to it that the BS'ers access to the discussion is blocked.

Once again… Welcome to the forums.

I for one, feel privileged to have someone of your caliber participating in the discussion, and sharing your hard-earned knowledge on the subject..

Best,

Jim

P.S. Please forgive this for being a little off topic, but since you are from Oregon, and obviously have Law Enforcement connections... Is there any way you could verify the accuracy of the following statement, and possibly determine if he did in fact go on work as a police officer in Hood River, and for how long?

"May 24, 1956, Travis Tumlinson was awarded a certificate for completing a police training course in Hood River, Oregon".

This Mr. Tumlinson was the original finder of the Peralta Stone Maps, (circa 1947-49) and his credibility has been questioned many times, over the decades that have passed since. I am just curious if you might be able to find anything that would testify to his level of credibility?

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Re: Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

Post by Hangman » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:35 am

Jim,

As stated in my 1st post... "I won't B.S. anyone. If I don't have the answer... you'll be the 2nd to know." I don't know Jim. My Oregon contacts have thinned out over the years, I have some friends still on the street up there but due to the age of when this man would've been a cop (1956) there won't be any computer records that could be easily accessed.

I attempted to find out when the Oregon Police Academy came into existence but that info. is not on their Website. Oregon has one police academy in Salem which trains all full-time officers in the state. The statement in your post states that Tumlinson "completing a police training course in Hood River, Oregon".

Since the academy was never in Hood River, he could have attended a local Sheriff's academy which trains reserve police officers. Also a "police training course" does not mean the training was state certified, it could have been a community college course, and none of this means he ever worked as a cop.

One of my buddies currently works for the Oregon DOJ and I'll run this by him and see what he can find.

Jim Hatt

Re: Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

Post by Jim Hatt » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:03 am

Thanks Hangman,

I figured it was a long-shot, but might be worth a try. Do you think the current Police Chief at Hood River, might have access to some old hard-copy files, that might answer my questions?

That statement I quoted, came out of a book by Tom Kollenborn, "CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE SUPERSTITION WILDERNESS" chronicling old newspaper articles, but in the book he does not say what newspaper he got the information from. It does not sound like something he would have gotten out of a local newspaper here.

I will send Tom an email, and ask if he remembers where he found that information. Probably something I should have done a long time ago anyway. I just got my cart in front of my horse there for a minute, when I saw that you have a law enforcement background, and lived in Oregon.

Tom is a member of this forum. Maybe he will see this post, and reply to it, before I can even get an email off to him.

Thank you for the response.

Best,

Jim

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Re: Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

Post by Ghost » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:13 pm

Thanks for your post Hangman. I noticed I called the movie "Over..." instead of "End of...". Thanks for that description. I had forgotten some of the details and facts about the movie and the whole Superstition Mountain episode.

Your comments about Apache Junction being a location rings true. My elderly buddy (Two Guns) has repeatedly said that he was there in A.J. when Ted and another man took off to hide something. T.G's memory is failing, he has told slightly different versions of the movie making story and hanging around when Ted buried or hid some paintings. His picture though, is in that book about Ted, so that part of Two Guns' story is at least kinda accurate. Two Guns sometimes blends these two events together or at least in his telling of it.
Two Guns might be the only person in the world to take a knife to a DeGrazia painting. That one in particular is the one that Ted referred to when he allegedly told my friend that it wasn't good enough to sell anyway. Two Guns has also said that he was in the mineshaft with at least one painting, that part is in the movie. He tells that the shaft was crumbling while they were there and was completely collapsed by the time they were done.
By the way, Two Guns is illiterate and somewhat OCD with a touch of dementia setting in. He was barely tolerable to most people back then, but he's always guileless, which is why Ted trusted him to some degree. After Ted passed the "power that be" shooed Two Guns away. During a seriously bad time Two Guns needed some basic help and turned to the folks that run things at the gallery and was angrily turned away. I can understand some of the motivation, but the people we dealt with behaved like sphincters. I suppose Two Guns is considered to be one of the aforementioned ticks.
I'll be visiting Two Guns tomorrow, he'll probably get out his autographed Ted stuff and ramble on; this time I'll listen a little closer.

Jim Hatt

Re: Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

Post by Jim Hatt » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:18 pm

Thanks for the post Ghost,

I believe we have all met a Mr. "Two Guns" or two in our lives. If he actually has some autographed items form Ted De Grazia. In my opinion, that would put him a step ahead of the average "Tick".

;)

Best,

Jim

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Re: Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

Post by Hangman » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:29 am

Hey ghost take a pen and pad and take notes. Even if the man appears to drift off if he says something jot it down. You never know when some little thing someone once said turns out to be the "missing link" that you're looking for.

Jim- I tried my best buddy but no go. I contacted the Oregon DOJ and talked first to my friend, then I contacted the state's police academy which is the official agency that oversees all law enforcement in the state.

Back when Tumlinson may have been a working cop training was regional and not centralized in Salem as it is today. The state advised me they have no such records today and would not be able to determine if he ever worked as a cop.

As far as the city having old records dating to the 1950's... it is possible, but highly doubtful. It would be worth a call to the PD to see though, can't hurt. One final question... Is it possible that Travis' surname was spelled "Tomlinson?" If so there maybe one lead in eastern Oregon that I am still trying to confirm.

Jim Hatt

Re: Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

Post by Jim Hatt » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:22 am

Hangman wrote:
Is it possible that Travis' surname was spelled "Tomlinson?" If so there maybe one lead in eastern Oregon that I am still trying to confirm.
As far as I am concerned hangman. It is very possible. (others may disagree), but I have never personally seen his name on any official records.

There is also the possibility that his name was misspelled (typo) in the lead you may have???

Thanks for trying to help me here,

Best,

Jim

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Re: Ted DeGrazia's paintings.

Post by Hangman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:06 pm

Hello Jim,

Just this afternoon I got the call from Oregon I was waiting for regrading your inquiry on Tumlinson, or Tomlinson. Unfortunately Chief Tomlinson, RET. is no relation and knows nothing of the man his story. If I happen to pick up something on Tumlinson in my travels I will pass it onto you.

Happy hunting,

AB

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