Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

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Re: Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

Post by gollum » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:19 pm

Hey Folks,

Just got off the phone with Bob Corbin after about two hours. What a great guy. The reason I mention it is because one of the many Supers Stories he told me was regarding Ed Piper.

While (Celeste) Marie Jones might have been kind of kooky, others like Al Morrow and Ed Piper were not. I told him about how the Superstition Jesuit Treasure had recently become an interest of mine. Marie Jones had visions, but what made people like Ed Piper move lock stock and barrel to the desolation of the Supers to look for the Jesuit Treasure? He said that Ed told him exactly why. I haven't seen this story before, and Tom Glover has a different story in his book, and Helen Corbin didn't even mention it. I will post it here because this is the kind of history that I think should be known:

Bob said that he had asked Piper the same question one day, and Piper told him that he was raised in Oklahoma by an Indian Reservation. He was so close with the tribe that the old Chief used to bounce Piper on his knee. When he got older, the Indian told him that if he ever wanted to go get a treasure, that he should go to Arizona, to the Superstition Mountains. He should find a mountain shaped like a Sombrero. Near the base of that mountain in a cave is a treasure hidden there by the old Priests. It included gold and silver bars, jewels, and a jewel encrusted life size statue of Christ. Eventually he got around to thinking about it seriously and moved to his camp at the base of Weaver's Needle. This was basically his home until he died of cancer in 1962.

I'll post Celeste Marie Arva Jone's Story next.

Best-Mike

Jim Hatt

Re: Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

Post by Jim Hatt » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:24 am

Great story Mike!

One thing is certain. When you get a story directly from Bob Corbin, you can believe it is not fluffed up or modified in any way. What you hear is exactly the way Bob believes it to be! It may have ALL the details you wish it did, but what it does contain, is 100% true and factual.

It is hard for me to imagine Bob grub-staking Maria Jones, based on nothing more than a "vision" she had. But... If Bob says that was the way it was. I believe it. It must have been SOME of vision!

I used to have a friend at the Palo Verde Nuclear Plant, that said when Marie Jones first came to Phoenix. She advertised in the newspaper for people to help her recover a buried treasure in the Superstition Mountains. His father went to an interview with her, and took him along (He was in college at the time). "Pop" and Louie were at the interview and "Pop" pretty much conducted the way it went, while Maria and Louie sat back and listened.

He said he got very uncomfortable with the idea of his father being out in the mountains with Pop and Louie, and it took him about a week to talk him out of joining the search for treasure. Later when they heard about Ed Piper's shoot out with Robert St. Marie, they were both relieved that his father had decided not to join up with them.

I will be looking forward to reading Bob's story about his involvement with Maria Jones. All I remember him telling me about her, was that he decided to quit grub-staking her, when she asked him to find someone to kill Ed Piper.

Best,

Jim

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Re: Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

Post by Exploration Fawcett » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:32 am

Mike:

Thank you for sharing this information.

It is very interesting that this story concerns “old priests”, possibly Jesuits. This story maybe the one depicted in De Grazia’s painting of the Jesuits carrying treasure into the Superstition Mountains (as seen in his book, De Grazia and His Mountain – The Superstition, page 21).

For the benefit of those that do not have the book (De Grazia and His Mountain – The Superstition), it reads at page 20:

“One of the legends about the western slope of the Superstition Mountain is about Weaver’s Needle. It is a legend of treasure. They say that Jesuit padres buried the treasure just before they were replaced by the Franciscans. The story goes that the King of Spain, Charles III, was not receiving his share of one-fifth of the gold. It was said that some Jesuit padres had been keeping all of the loot. In 1764 there was an expulsion, an exodus of the Jesuits. They were replaced by the Franciscans. The king was hoping for a better share of gold. The Jesuits were aware of this forthcoming event, and they gathered from the missions and churches all of the religious valuables and treasures from southern Arizona and northern Mexico. Among the items were golden crosses, santos, chalices, and candelabras of pure gold and silver. The Jesuits took these treasures to the Superstition Mountain and hid them around Weaver’s Needle for safekeeping. The caravan was large, with many animals and heavy loads. At some point along the mountains they were seen coming out. This time the caravans were empty.”

Very Respectfully
George in Africa

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Re: Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

Post by cubfan64 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:46 am

Mike and Jim,

Can either of you confirm the story I think I heard about Ed Piper being "asked" to leave a certain area of the Superstition Mountains at least once a year by certain Native Americans in the area? The implication as I recall is that they were removing something of value.

George - I just finishing "The Lost City of Z." It wasn't quite as good as I expected it to be, but I enjoyed how the author received access to some very unique and one of a kind resources in his research.

And to think a week in the Superstitions was difficult!!!!!! At least I wouldn't come out of there with maggots popping out of my skin :p

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Re: Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

Post by Exploration Fawcett » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:19 am

Paul:

I agree with you regarding The Lost City of Z. The better (and original) book is Exploration Fawcett. Exploration Fawcett was written by Colonel Fawcett's son based on his father's notes and letters. Exploration Fawcett includes some of his sources for the City of Z. The Lost City of Z left many gaps. Exploration Fawcett was originally published in 1953, but re-published in May of this year due to the current renewed interest in Colonel Fawcett.

Very Respectfully
George in Africa

Jim Hatt

Re: Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

Post by Jim Hatt » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:28 am

I vaguely remember something like that Paul.

As I remember it, Piper was asked to leave because the Indians wanted to hold a private ceremony of some kind. (or so they told him) This seems consistent with the way Walter Perrine was driven out of the mountains, just after he observed Apaches gathering in the area below where he was searching for the entrance to "his" cave of gold bars. (Which COULD have been the very same thing that Piper, Jones and Morrow were searching for, near the base of Weaver's needle?)

There sure are a lot of stories that focus on the base of Weaver's Needle. I have never believed it myself, but maybe it IS "El Sombrero" after all?

Best,

Jim

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Re: Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

Post by gollum » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:20 am

Ed Piper's area of interest was at the base of Weaver's Needle. Marie Jones' was near the top. Bob said her belief was that there was a ledge running to the top of the needle with the Lost Dutchman Mine being about halfway up and the Jesuit Treasure Cave near the top.

When it comes to the subject of the Piper/Jones Feud, I would say that Bob Corbin is likely the best authority on the subject as he was friendly with both sides.

As far as personalities, Bob said that everyone in Jones' Camp was very nice and fun to be around. The only time he started feeling uncomfortable was when she approached him and his friend/investigator (Joe Robles) to find someone to kill Piper.

Celeste Marie Arva Jones

She was from Los Angeles and was Divinely Inspired to find the Jesuit Treasure. Bob Corbin personally liked her and grubstaked her for quite a while. She would offer 10 percent of what she found for a grubstake. Bob said in his opinion she probably had traded about 5,000% of her treasure. HAHAHA Bob said that often he would come up to her camp and hear their chanting and howling for some Voodoo Type Rituals. He found it very interesting.

He was also very impressed by "Pop" because this 80 year old man climbed to the top of Weaver's Needle every day at least once, sometimes more. Bob climbed to the top once with Pop. He said he heavily used the rope they had fixed. When he got to the top, he found that the rope was secured to a piece of pipe about as thick as your finger that was wedged in a crack. Bob was much more careful on the way down, and he didn't make that climb again. HAHAHA

She had what Bob Corbin could best describe as a Blueprint (same type of paper). This blueprint showed a tunnel going from the Needle to Canyon Lake. Bob told her that Canyon Lake did not exist in the 1700s, but that did not deter her. She was said to have been given 14 symbols to guide her to the treasure.

One of those was an Alabaster Cross that she supposedly found on top of the Needle. Bob never saw it, and she didn't think to either take it down or take picture of it, but she blew it up trying to find the entrance to her cave of Jesuit Treasure.

About the feud:

You have to remember the times in context. This was a time when a lot of people were getting killed in the Supers. You also have to remember that you had two parties of Treasure Hunters, looking for the exact same treasure, their permanent camps only about one quarter mile apart, with the only year round water source being at Piper's Camp. That was guaranteed trouble!

Both sides took turns shooting up each others' camps and taking pot shots at each other. Ed Piper even wore a bandage on his forehead for about a year and a half from where a Jones Sniper's bullet almost hit him in the head, but only grazed him. The Pinal Sheriffs Dept tried to disarm the situation by disarming both camps.

It was shortly after that when Jones asked Corbin and Robles to find someone to kill Piper. It was shgortlky after that, that Corbin and Robles decided that they didn't want a county attorney associated with a potential murder, so he quit grubstaking her.

Sometime after that, Jones found a man named Robert St Marie. Piper and a friend (Robert Crandall) were confronted on a trail near their camp by St Marie. They had an old west style gunfight. Piper was quicker and shot St Marie three times. I don't think St Marie even got off one shot. He died on the spot, and Piper was acquitted by virtue of self defense.

Ed Piper died of stomach cancer in 1962, and after a geologist she had hired to formulate a plan of operation for her mine on top of the Needle fell to his death, Marie Jones left the mountains as well. Bob said that as of a few years ago, she was still living in Los Angeles somewhere.

Maybe I'll look her up.

Best-Mike

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Re: Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

Post by cubfan64 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:18 pm

gollum wrote:Ed Piper's area of interest was at the base of Weaver's Needle. Marie Jones' was near the top. Bob said her belief was that there was a ledge running to the top of the needle with the Lost Dutchman Mine being about halfway up and the Jesuit Treasure Cave near the top.

When it comes to the subject of the Piper/Jones Feud, I would say that Bob Corbin is likely the best authority on the subject as he was friendly with both sides.

As far as personalities, Bob said that everyone in Jones' Camp was very nice and fun to be around. The only time he started feeling uncomfortable was when she approached him and his friend/investigator (Joe Robles) to find someone to kill Piper.

Celeste Marie Arva Jones

She was from Los Angeles and was Divinely Inspired to find the Jesuit Treasure. Bob Corbin personally liked her and grubstaked her for quite a while. She would offer 10 percent of what she found for a grubstake. Bob said in his opinion she probably had traded about 5,000% of her treasure. HAHAHA Bob said that often he would come up to her camp and hear their chanting and howling for some Voodoo Type Rituals. He found it very interesting.

He was also very impressed by "Pop" because this 80 year old man climbed to the top of Weaver's Needle every day at least once, sometimes more. Bob climbed to the top once with Pop. He said he heavily used the rope they had fixed. When he got to the top, he found that the rope was secured to a piece of pipe about as thick as your finger that was wedged in a crack. Bob was much more careful on the way down, and he didn't make that climb again. HAHAHA

She had what Bob Corbin could best describe as a Blueprint (same type of paper). This blueprint showed a tunnel going from the Needle to Canyon Lake. Bob told her that Canyon Lake did not exist in the 1700s, but that did not deter her. She was said to have been given 14 symbols to guide her to the treasure.

One of those was an Alabaster Cross that she supposedly found on top of the Needle. Bob never saw it, and she didn't think to either take it down or take picture of it, but she blew it up trying to find the entrance to her cave of Jesuit Treasure.

About the feud:

You have to remember the times in context. This was a time when a lot of people were getting killed in the Supers. You also have to remember that you had two parties of Treasure Hunters, looking for the exact same treasure, their permanent camps only about one quarter mile apart, with the only year round water source being at Piper's Camp. That was guaranteed trouble!

Both sides took turns shooting up each others' camps and taking pot shots at each other. Ed Piper even wore a bandage on his forehead for about a year and a half from where a Jones Sniper's bullet almost hit him in the head, but only grazed him. The Pinal Sheriffs Dept tried to disarm the situation by disarming both camps.

It was shortly after that when Jones asked Corbin and Robles to find someone to kill Piper. It was shgortlky after that, that Corbin and Robles decided that they didn't want a county attorney associated with a potential murder, so he quit grubstaking her.

Sometime after that, Jones found a man named Robert St Marie. Piper and a friend (Robert Crandall) were confronted on a trail near their camp by St Marie. They had an old west style gunfight. Piper was quicker and shot St Marie three times. I don't think St Marie even got off one shot. He died on the spot, and Piper was acquitted by virtue of self defense.

Ed Piper died of stomach cancer in 1962, and after a geologist she had hired to formulate a plan of operation for her mine on top of the Needle fell to his death, Marie Jones left the mountains as well. Bob said that as of a few years ago, she was still living in Los Angeles somewhere.

Maybe I'll look her up.

Best-Mike
Mike - somewhere in Greg Davis' files he has at least some of the court documentation from the hearing to determine if Piper killed the man in self defense. The Jones side testified, but there were so many inconsistencies in their statements (including those of Marie herself) that it was really obvious she was just trying to find some way to make Piper guilty of murder. I'm almost positive I saw those in Greg's files and I don't think I made copies but they were really amusing reading - I realize there was a death involved and it's kind of morbid to say amusing, but to hear Marie Jones caught in lie after lie was just crazy.

I've tried half heartedly to track her down a few times now, but never seemed to come up with any good leads. If you do, I bet she'd have some interesting stories!

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Re: Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

Post by gollum » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:02 pm

I asked Bob if he knew but he didn't. I believe she got a hold of him.

I'm not really sure if I want to find her though. If she was a whack job forty years ago, I doubt she has gotten better with age! HAHAHA I don't know if I want a crazy person that lives in the same city as me having my contact info.

Mike

Jim Hatt

Re: Jesuit Treasure in the Superstitions

Post by Jim Hatt » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:21 am

gollum wrote:

I believe she got a hold of him.

Mike
Bob's address and/or phone number are not very easy to come by Mike. If she obtained it, it would have had to come from someone that had it, and it is not likely that anyone who had it would have just passed it on to her.

Let's say for instance she contacted the SMHS Museum, or (Tom K.) to try to obtain his contact info. They would never of passed it on to her, just because she asked for it.

The way it usually goes in a case like that, is they will take her contact info and pass it on to him, with a note that this person would like to make contact with him. Then it is up to him whether he does or not.

Somewhere... There may be a "middle" entity, that has her contact info, but I wouldn't know where to begin searching for them, other than the Museum or Tom K.

Best,

Jim

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