Golden Statue of Jesus on the Cross?

Golden Statue of Jesus on the Cross?

Post Number:#1  Postby bonuntr » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:41 pm

For what seems like a zillion years, the story has been told, (at least here in central Utah), about a statue of Jesus on the Cross made of solid gold. My father was born and raised in Escalante, Utah, and was told by his uncle Claron that he had acutally seen the cross high up in a Moqui indian cave, but couldn't get into the cave to retrieve it. Alas, (and like so many of these stories), he could never find his way back to the cave. I am absolutely sickened by anyone that tells me they "found" something of great value, but can't find their way back. I have wandered the deserts and mountains most of my 56 years, and can find a rock I left 10 years ago. The "I found it but can't find my way back" stories don't fly with me.
My questions are...What is the true story behind the gold cross? Who originally made it? Where was it last seen? What year did it happen? Why wasn't it retrieved by those that left it? If it does exist, could it be somewhere else besides the Fifty Mile Mountain or on Utah's desert? If it came from the Uintah range, which of the Old Spanish Trails were used to transport it? Over Salina canyon and to New Mexico, or, straight to the southeast towards New California? So many questions...so little time.
Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!
So many mysteries on earth...so little time here...
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Re: Golden Statue of Jesus on the Cross?

Post Number:#2  Postby sanpet » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:58 pm

It's like loseing sunglass's if they are a cheap pair people will stumble over eachother geting them to you. However if they are worth a lot of money you will never see them again.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Golden Statue of Jesus on the Cross?

Post Number:#3  Postby Randy Bradford » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:59 am

Bountr, I htink there are a lot of peieces you ahven't considered when it comes to the "can't find my way back" aspect of treasure hunting, which you will find is a universal notion. The first is thatp eople who find things like that are usually ill prepared to find their way back. Discoveries are commonly made under unfavorable circumstances but the realities are the biggest difference i finding something and relocating it is perspective. How things look coming and how they look going are relianton a myriad of variables. If I found something and had to leave it to come back for it I'd walk backwards...it sounds silly but it relates back to perspective. If you walk backwwards oyu're going to get a better sense of familiaratiy when you return because the perspective (vantage point) will be more similar. The other thing to consider is how significantly the time of year plays in how things look, how significantly the time of day impacts the way things look, not to mention environmental factors thatcan substantially affect an area you want to return to. Fires and flooding come immediately to mind as simple things that happen on a regular basis that we can't control and that substantially alter possible landmarks or basics assumptions about terrain features that in turn impact our perspective.

As for the Golden Jesus, that's a tough one because two states lay claim to it, Colorado and Utah. So our conclusions are that it's in one or the other, there's two of them, or there are none and smoehow the stories are still out there. The Golden Jesus is a great example of folklore difusion, and how stories from one area can be taken on by another. It's a principle component of my research on the Montezuma Treasure, but I won't bore you too much. My point is that these stories take on a life of their own and are disiminated by a number of means and we're left reviewing what we have available to make a discernable conclusion. Just keep in mind, if the treasure does exist your search area may be wider than you think but that you've been privy to a unique report from your uncle that could benefit you in a fashion because it's not information readily availabel to others. The real question is do you beleive him?

Here's a few things that I know, some of this is posted on Treasures of Utah but may not be available to you if oyu're not a member:

Taken from the 5000 TREASURES OF THE WORLD CD: Around 1810 a party of Spanish soldiers fled the troubles in Mexico and headed northward, pillaging, looting and robbing everything of value in their path. Even the rich Spanish missions along their route were not spared. The group accumulated a large store of gold and silver coins and bars, valuable church vessels, ornaments and statutes, all of which were carried on 40 mules. Some versions of this story say that along their flight, food and water became scarce and , one by one, the mules were killed for food and the treasure it was carrying was secreted along the trail. By the time the party reached the Escalante Desert, what treasure remaining was placed in a cave in the Boulder-Escalante region and the entrance covered over. Others claim that the entire store of treasure was concealed in this cave when Indian hostilities forced the Spaniards to abandon their cumberson cargo. All researchers seem to agree that one of the items buried was a three foot high solid gold statue of Jesus and that the party never returned to recover their hoard of treasure which has become known as the Treasure of the Golden Jesus. Many years later Indians told of a cave where Spanish soldiers had hidden a large cross of gold and claimed to have actually seen the cave. Mysterious markings can be found on Fifty Mile Mountain and numerous Spanish artifacts have been recovered to lend credence to the story.


Also:

This story is in George Thompsons book "Lost treasures on the Old Spanish Trail" but he has a twist on the story. He says that a group of missionaries were being chased by the indians and had to lighten their load of church treasures in order to escape and they put it in a cave somewhere on Fifty Mile mountain. Supposedly cowboys have found mule shoes and a broken spanish sword up there, but ole' George is well known for 'coloring' most of his stories. Studying quad maps of the area has led me to believe they were following the Colorado to get to the area were they could cross. They would have to have a source of water also. The only way around Fifity mile is on the north by Escalante or the extreme south along the cliffs of the Colorado. On the south are springs, and I feel that this is the route they would have taken as heading to the north end would have added better than a hundred miles to the journey over very rough country. This is all in the Escalante Monument now so travel by horseback is about the only way in there. I feel that anyone wanting to follow this legend should look to the southern end of the range as a good place to start.


For me the hardest pasrt about this story is the simply physics involved. If it were apure gold, a statue that size would not be very practicle. And certainly moving it would pose some logistical problems. Just a thought...
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Re: Golden Statue of Jesus on the Cross?

Post Number:#4  Postby Randy Bradford » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:17 am

Kaiparwits Plateau (on modern maps) used to be called Fifty Mile Mountain. Several old-timers still refer to it by the old name. Somewhere on this mountain there is supposed to be a cave that conceals a statue of solid gold that it took four men to carry.

The story starts in 1810, when Mexico declared its independence from Spain. Soldiers and peasants fought together to rid Mexico of the Spanish. During the fighting, a group of Spanish soldiers fled to the north with several burros. They decided to rob and loot anything of value in their path.

Reaching a mission, which unfortunately was in their path of escape, the soldiers loaded the burros with all of the church gold and silver, vessels and anything else of value they could find. Among the gold items the soldiers found was a statue of Jesus, over three feet high, made of solid gold.

After several days of travel, the soldiers reached the desert wastes of Arizona, then on into what is now Utah. Waterholes were far apart, and no food could be found, so the burros were killed, one by one. Load after load of loot was dropped along the trail. Only a few soldiers were left when the Escalante Desert was reached. With imminent starvation facing them, the soldiers decided to hide the gold statue (all they had left of 40 burro loads of loot).

It is believed the soldiers found a cave at the north end of Fifty Mile Mountain, near the town of Boulder and Escalante, in Garfield County. It was in this cave that the golden statue was hidden and the entrance covered over. After a few days rest, the surviving soldiers left and several of them made it to the Pacific coast, but they were never able to return for their cache.

A few years later, mountain men began their hunt for beaver in this area. Then came the Mormons, claiming title to the area containing the golden statue. Indians told the Mormons of a cave in the mountain that Spanish soldiers had used years before, then traveled on west. It was years before the Mormons found time to search for the cave.

In 1875, a Mormon bishop named Llewellen Harris became friendly with an aged Indian who told him about the cave where many, many years ago, Spanish soldiers had hidden a large cross of gold. The Indian had seen the cave once, before the soldiers closed it. He had a crude map of the area with a mark showing the location of the cave.

Bishop Harris searched for years but never found the cave. However, he and other Mormon searchers did find evidence (in the form of spurs, uniform buttons and a skeleton) that the soldiers had indeed been in the area of Fifty Mile Mountain.

Different symbols of spiders, turtles, crosses, and other strange markings, believed to be keys to the caves location, have been found, but no one has been able to decipher them. Maybe someday a treasure hunter will stumble on this cave that holds a golden statue so heavy that it took four men to carry it.

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Re: Golden Statue of Jesus on the Cross?

Post Number:#5  Postby bonuntr » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:09 pm

Thanks Randy!

I assume that the Escalante Desert is the one that is south of Escalante, (my family and all the locals still call it that), and not the one we know today as the Escalante desert. (Named for the Father Escalante journeys and lies north of Cedar City and around the Milford area). Although I have many close relatives left in Escalante, they are split 50/50 as to the story my great uncle Claron Barney had told them about seeing the cross. He also told stories of the missing Everett Reuss and said that he had something to do with it. Guess we will never know the truth as he passed away a couple of years back in my hometown of Richfield at a care center. It is a shame that the Grand Staircase - Escalante Monument has taken such a huge swipe out of the state. There are still several roads in the area, but looking for anything spanish in nature would be a huge faux pas. My late father ,(deceased 2000), did believe his uncle Claron and mounted several trips onto the 50 Mile mountain and beyond in search of the gold cross. They also found many signs of the spanish being in the area but never the gold cross...I guess until it is either found or proven a hoax we will never know. Till then, I won't give up on the idea! Thanks for your help,
Rocky
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