Barry Storm -Author
Legend of the Lost Dutchman
Barry Storm was one of the seminal chroniclers of the Lost Dutchman legend. One of the first writers on the subject to actually go out and explore the regions he wrote about, his colorful and sometimes speculative books and stories have entertained and intrigued masses of treasure hunters and would-be adventurers for many years.
Born June 4, 1910 in the state of Washington, Barry Storm’s given name was John G. Climenson. It’s unknown where he attended school, but it appears that he graduated from high school. Moving to Arizona in the 1930s, he worked at odd jobs and as a part time reporter.
Climenson explored the deserts around Phoenix, Arizona, and was particularly interested in the Superstition Mountains. He was fascinated by the history of the early miners from Mexico. He met Barry Goldwater, who also liked to spend time hiking and photographing the deserts, and they went on trips to the Superstition Mountains together. Barry Goldwater would later publish John’s first book, Trail of the Lost Dutchman, in 1939. John Climenson was then 29 years old. He created the pen name Barry Storm, and this became his new identity.
Many of the photos published in his first book were taken by Barry Goldwater. Trail of the Lost Dutchman covered the history of the Peralta family and their gold discovery in the mountains near Phoenix. It also presented the story of Jacob Waltz, a German who migrated to the area, prospected, and found a rich gold deposit.
Barry Storm looked for lost mines and treasure, and went on expeditions into the Superstitions. He examined and interpreted Spanish miners’ symbols, and looked for and found clues on the many treasure maps that prospectors were finding or creating. Storm was one of the first authors of “lost treasure” books who went out and looked, and then came back and wrote about it, making his writing far more compelling and vivid than previous accounts.
In 1943, while still living in the Phoenix area, Storm enlisted in the Army to help fight World War II. In his spare time, he continued to refine his thoughts and his research on the mining activity that had taken place in the Superstition Mountains. In 1945 he published his most important book, Thunder Gods Gold. That same year, Storm wrote several articles for Desert Magazine based on information from his books. An inveterate researcher, he would continuously update and append the information in his books and publish a new edition from time to time.
Storm wrote the following in a letter to the editor of Desert Magazine in 1945 after the publication of one of his articles:
“Apr 1945 Dear Randall: Many people are writing about Wagoner's Lost Ledge, etc. To save a lot of pointless conversation in which I am now having to engage, might I state in an open letter that I am not now conducting treasure hunting expeditions, that I usually prefer to work alone, have no maps for sale, and that gold in the natural way of things does not come sticking out of the rocks in large yellow gobs, that the claim I recently recorded is not on the Lost Dutchman but on some nickel-chromite-titanium ore, and that gold ore usually runs over $200 per ton before gold is even visible in it. In short, those persons who are seriously going in for treasure hunting hereabouts had better first acquire some knowledge of geology and of mineralogical chemical reactions if they would stand a chance of success.
“For even lost mines do not come beyond the horizons of mineralization which are present here. Nor is there any atomic attraction method which works. Doodlebugs are unreliable, and the only way underground unseen ore can be found is by methods used and recognized by the mining profession, via electronic locators which merely measure induced differences between comparatively non-conductive (to electric currents) country rock and the conductive metallic ores, which of course is the Fisher-beam, Radar, et al principle.
“Proper use of these instruments, contrary to what the manufacturers state, takes either years of field experience on known ores plus an excellent knowledge of applied electronics or the easy way of taking a geophysical engineering course such as Stanford offers. One does not just go out, turn on the juice. Technical interpretation of electrically caused reactions are always necessary in order to discern where, what and how much of who's ore is present. Or I would have been a millionaire a long while ago! Seriously, since treasure hunting is my pet hobby, I am always glad to chin awhile with those like spirits, both male and female, who drop by my cabin, and who have the courtesy to obtain information on the subjects above before talking about them. For I have! The hard way! BARRY STORM Tortilla Flat, Arizona”
Video on the Mine
Here again Storm must have changed his outlook, for in 1947 he published this ad in Desert Magazine:
BARRY STORM NOW OUTFITTING TO CONTINUE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS PROSPECTING (Lost Dutchman & Peralta Gold Mines) (Peralta Treasure 4 Any New Mineral) On data not publicized in his books, needs grubstake partners (or two year campaign of detailed mineralogical--geological--electronic explorations to locate all mineral, unseen or not, thus creating chance not available to usual prospectors and making success increasingly more probable as process of elimination works. Campaign is based on his several pre-war years of actual work in region verifying data and deductions partly outlined in his book, THUNDER GODS GOLD. His manual, PRACTICAL PROSPECTING, shows his wide experience with modern scientific ore-finding methods. He needs limited number of grubstake partners to underwrite $175 total cost per 1/lOOth interest for full two-year campaign, payable $55 down and $5 monthly. Or any multiple at a proportionate cost. Notarized grubstake share contracts sent by mail insure performance under mail fraud laws. Those to whom he is unknown will be furnished further information upon request. If grubstake minded act at once. BARRY STORM P. O. BOX 502 - PHOENIX, ARIZ.
Storm’s book, Thunder Gods Gold, was used as the basis for the 1949 motion picture, 'Lust for Gold,' starring Glenn Ford. Although the movie made Storm famous, Barry was not happy with the film and his portrayal in it. He filed a suit against Columbia Pictures in 1950 claiming the movie damaged his reputation, and received a settlement in the case.
He wrote another book, How I Was Swindled by Red Movie Makers. He documented communist influences in the production of films, and how he felt they were destroying the image of the west and treasure hunters.
In 1967 Storm published another edition of Thunder Gods' Gold: The Mountains That Were God. This would be his last book.
While looking for lost a gold mine in the area east of what is now Joshua Tree National Park, he stumbled upon a jade deposit. Barry built a tiny cabin for $150, and lived at the mine from 1956 until at least 1968, calling it his Chiriaco Ranch. Storm was convinced the mine was the source of the Mayan jade, whose origins at the time had not been found. The biggest "nugget" of jade he found weighed 450 pounds; he broke it up and sold it in small pieces in the Twentynine Palms area.
In 1966 he used this ad to sell his book in Desert Magazine, and he offered a sample of the jade to anyone who purchased his book.
Dec. 1966 "Mountains That Were God" by Barry Storm.
Autographed! $3 postpaid. Fantastic, photograph-
Illustrated documentary fabulous Peralta
Land Grant mining - Lost Dutchman
Mines mystery; Arizona's Superstition Mountains.
Original "Thunder God's Gold " $40,000 explorations;
latest maps, clues. "Vivid account treasure lore!,"
says N.Y. Public Library.
Prepublication offer (December delivery):
free fabulous jade sample (latest discovery)
Acknowledges order. Hurry! Storm Jade, Chiriaco
Barry Storm died at the Long Beach VA hospital on May 18, 1971, and is buried at the Los Angeles National Cemetery.
After his death, the mystery of the location of the jade quarry that the ancient Mayan kings mined was solved. Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology identified several jade mines in the Motagua River Valley in Guatemala in the 1970s that are now believed to be the previously elusive source of the Mayan’s jade. Those that knew Storm said he presented the facts to his best knowledge, and worked very hard to get the information correct. In his late 50s while living at his jade mine, he may have started to become a little paranoid as a result of his dealings with the Hollywood people and their questionable connections, and his isolation. Some people felt he became a little crazy.
by Jim Bremner
Treasure hunters are still searching for the Lost Dutchman Mine and the Peralta mines. Click here if you want to join in the search on our gold prospecting message board.
Read more on topics in this story:
- Oh what a day! Lara Hartley and Team DUSA go to Joshua Tree to find Barry Storm's Jade Mine.
- Day Trippin’ to the Barry Storm Jade Mine in Joshua Tree National Park
- About the Mineral Jade
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