GENE AUTRY

THE SECRET OF THE AZTEC TREASURE

NOVEMBER 1942 VOLUME 1, ISSUE #3


"Following their overthrow by Cortez, the Aztec priests, in the Fall of 1520 AD, led a procession exceeding over 2,000 men and slaves on a mass exodus north in an attempt to return to their ancient and traditional homeland. Without draft animals or wheeled carts the treasure-bearing slaves traveled in a northwesterly direction for what has been said to have many moons, which has been interpreted to mean close to a year, possibly more. Upon reaching their destination the treasure was hidden and the slaves put to death.

"When Cortez and his troops reentered Mexico City in August of 1521 the vast majority of the Aztec gold and treasure that had been there when he initially raided the city, but had to leave behind, was gone. It was just either reaching or had already reached then secreted away 1500 miles north in it's to this day unknown hiding place somewhere in present day Arizona, New Mexico, or Utah. Legend or no, the gold disappeared and 500 years later, still missing."



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WAS THERE EVER A SECRET AZTEC TREASURE?

On November 18, 1519, after having sailed from Cuba and marching overland from Vera Cruz, the army of Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez entered the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, overthrowing Aztec control and imprisoning their ruler Montezuma, effectively taking control of the empire.

Seven months later, on June 30, 1520, the Aztec people rose up against the Spaniards. In an attempt to pacify the people Cortez had the disposed emperor appear before them. In a stunning miscalculation Montezuma was stoned to death by his own people. With Montezuma dead and the angry crowd storming the palace Cortez and his men had no option but to flee the city. During their retreat they were attacked from all sides by rocks and spears, and in the process had to abandon most of their gold and treasures, littering their escape route with what they had stolen from Montezuma's treasury. A good portion of the army was decimated, but Cortez himself was able to escape unharmed.

One year later, on August 13, 1521, after rebuilding his army and recruiting a heavy contingent of Tlaxcalan indigenous fighters, to a man natural enemies of the Aztec, Cortez retook the city. However, after a thorough search of every nook and cranny, cave, hole, lake, pond and potential hiding place, the treasure and gold they had to abandon during their retreat was not to be found. Cuauhtomoc, the new emperor, who was captured before he could flee the city, along with some of his closest courtiers were tortured in an attempt to learn the whereabouts of the Aztec treasure. Even with his feet held to a fire, the emperor was unable to produce more than several dozen hand carried baskets full of minor gold items and trinkets. Because the new leaders that inherited the Empire after Montezuma's death did not have the full confidence or backing of the High Priests, being kept in the dark as it were, the only valid information Cortez was able to extract from anybody was that the majority of treasure Cortez had in his possession prior to his forced departure from the city the year before is that it had been taken north.

It is the absence of any gold of merit being found, which was known to have existed by the conquistadors prior to their retreat, along with the two words "taken north" after having been forced out only under torture and the threat of death --- and overheard by many --- is where most if not all of the stories and the legends about lost Aztec Gold come from, a legend that breaks down to roughly the following:


Even though Cortez and his men had been driven from the city in June of 1520, with Montezuma dead and the empire in disarray, the Aztec High Priests, knowing full well it wouldn't be long before Cortez regrouped and returned, figured it was only a matter of time before a full and total collapse of their civilization would ensue. Taking both prospects into consideration, as stealthy as possible and covering their tracks every step of the way in every fashion imaginable, the priests gathered up all the treasures of the Aztec empire, tons of gold and silver, leaving a good portion of it in the form of sacred religious objects needed to reestablish their once great civilization.

Then, digging up the body of Montezuma, which had since been put into a state of mummification following their overthrow by Cortez, the Aztec priests, in the Fall of 1520 AD the Aztec priests led a procession exceeding over 2,000 men and slaves on a mass exodus north in an attempt to return to their ancient and traditional homeland. Without draft animals or wheeled carts the treasure-bearing slaves traveled in a northwesterly direction for what has been said to have many moons, which has been interpreted to mean close to a year, possibly more. Upon reaching their destination the treasure was hidden and the slaves put to death.


Basically, what is being said is, just about the exact same time Cortez and his troops were reentering the city in August of 1521, the vast majority of the Aztec gold and treasure that had been there initially, according to legend, was either just reaching or had already been secreted away 1500 miles north in it's to this day unknown hiding place somewhere in present day Arizona, New Mexico, or Utah. Legend or no, the gold disappeared and 500 years later, still missing.

The interesting part of the story is, even though Cortez searched for years in an ever expanding arc north of Mexico City, and of which nothing of note was found, when Coronado marched north he was in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola and not Aztec lost gold --- which in the scheme of things is a deep mystery. True, Coronado's quest north was 20 years later, but still no major amount of gold was ever found, at least at the levels Cortez had in his possession originally, so I think, there were other things at work. First, there was a heavily enforced separation of powers between Coronado and any official group searching for Aztec gold or treasure north of Mexico City and secondly, nobody had a clue as to how far north the treasure was taken, in the process excluding any worries of Coronado and his men coming across it.

None of the conquistadors of the era had any knowledge of Aztec history. If they had, they would have realized forerunners to the Aztec culture arrived in Tenochtitlan after migrating from the north, having left a place they called Atzlan, home of the seven caves. In 1789, two hundred years too late for Cortez and his ilk, but early for our standards, a Jesuit priest and historian who was born in Vera Cruz, Mexico named Francisco Javier Clavijero, who studied heavily the ancient history of the country and especially so the Aztecs, going through every codex, script, and hieroglyph he could find, deduced that Aztlan lay in an area along or near the Colorado River, most likely in present day Arizona. Clavijero traced their route down the west coast of Mexico to where present day Culiacan is, then to Lake Cuitzeo then to Tenochtitlan.

Why they left their homeland and migrated south is not clear, but it may have been caused by two initially unconnected events and supported by a third --- all three carrying cosmic significance. According to Aztec legend their southward migration began on May 24, 1064 AD. Ten years before there was a rare celestial event, the super nova explosion that created the Crab Nebula. For most in the ancient world, the heavenly sky, except for the sun, moon and planets, was fixed and unchanging. Then suddenly in 1054 a brand new star appeared that outshone all others, only to dim and disappear a few months later. That event may have been seen as a precursor to events. Then, in 1064 a volcanic explosion that created the Sunset Crater in Arizona occurred, wiping out hundreds and hundreds of square miles of arable crop land right in the same general area the Aztecs were said to have come from, reducing the ability of the indigenous peoples for miles around to grow sufficient quantities food.(see). With little or no other choice but to migrate they headed south. Just when things seemed to have reached the worse, two years into their trek south the third sign occurred, Halley's Comet of 1066.


MYSTIC AZTEC SUN GOD

TIME TRAVEL, THE CURANDERO, AND MEETING QUATU-ZACA

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According to records compiled over the centuries by the Chinese, in 458 A.D., 600 years before the peoples who were to eventually become the Aztecs migrated south to their new homeland in Mexico, a Buddhist monk by the name of Hui Shen sailed with an entourage of several ships and fellow monks from China to the Americas. When his small fleet reached a point along the present day California coastline between what is now known as Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, where the Santa Clara River exits into the Pacific near Point Hueneme, he disembarked his ships with a few others, and following the Fu Sang trail trekked eastward across the Mojave Desert to pay homage to a highly deified priest or lama called by the name Quatu Sacca.

In the writings by Coronado's scribe Pedro de Castaneda de N'jera Quatu Sacca is said to exist or to have existed. Who that deified priest or holy man was is not known specifically, as only vague references to him can be found. However, whoever he was, he was important enough for Hui Shen to leave the comparable comfort and safety of his ship and hike 300 plus miles inland across the scorching desert to see him. According to the scribe Quatu Sacca lived in a small house on an island in an ancient lake formed by the Colorado River, an island in the present era often identified as the no longer existent Cottonwood Island, now completely submerged by present day Lake Mohave.



ON THE LEFT OF THE MAP IS THE WORD CHUMASH. ABOVE THAT SANTA CLARA R. AND A DOTTED LINE LEADING
TO SOLEDAD PASS THEN TO MOJAVE RIVER. THAT IS THE BASIC ROUTE USED BY HUI SHEN TO THE COLORADO.

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THEN-----------------------------------------------------------------------NOW

Drawing from a strong claim backing up the fact that the monk Hui Shen did in fact leave China for the Americas in 458 AD and made it besides, the paragraph in quotes below this paragraph, as found in the book Inglorious Columbus, {1885} and written by Edward Payson Vining, is presented. The overlying premise of Vining's book, after what looks like to me must have been months and months if not years of exhaustive research, is that Buddhists arrived in the Americas long before Columbus. In the quote, Vining is speaking of the above mentioned Buddhist monk, Hui Shen, who traveled to the Americas sometime in the latter half of the 5th Century AD into the early part of the 6th Century before returning to China. In Appendix B of An Inglorious Columbus, Vining, includes a copy of a letter to the French Academy of Sciences by Charles Hippolyte Paravey de Chevalier dated April 26, 1847. In Paravey's letter the following is found:


"One of the countries of America which was first converted by the shamans of Cabul, arriving from the southern point of Karatchatka at the excellent port of San Francisco, in California, to the north of Monterey, must evidently have been the country upon the banks of the Colorado River, a large river which flows through these same regions from the north to the south and falls into the northern end of the Gulf of California. Now, in the useful translations of the Spanish authors made by M. Ternaux-Compans, we find that Castaneda (Pedro de Castaneda de N'jera) placed near the Colorado River, in a small island, a sanctuary of Lamaisra, or of Buddhism. He mentions a divine personage living in a small house near a lake upon this island, and called, as he says, 'Quatu-zaca.'"


It is my belief the holy man, like the Dali Lama and the Pope, one replaced the other in a long line of secession, which would, if it were so, have the holy man in existence before, during and after the Aztec migration. If that were the case, there is a good chance he would be not only revered but looked upon as a trusted figure, in turn making him privy to lots of information, information passed down through each succeeding holy man --- in this case a revered holy sage that lived in a small house on an island in the Colorado River and known as Quatu Zacca.

In the legend of the Aztecs they are said to be descendent of tribes from seven caves. Codex drawings of where they were said to have come from shows a single entrance to a cave that fans out into seven separate caves.(see) In 1909 a man identified in newspaper accounts as an archaeologist and explorer, reportedly working for the Smithsonian by the name G.E. Kincaid completed a one-man voyage down the Colorado in a small skiff, having traversed the full length of the Grand Canyon and the river clear to Yuma, Arizona. In the process of that trip he discovered a mysterious cave high up on the walls of the Grand Canyon hewn out of solid rock by human hands. When Kincaid entered the cave along the cliff walls above the Colorado River he was said to have entered a long passageway that fanned out into several underground hallways 'like spokes of a wheel.(see) If any of the stories or legends are true, or even have the vestige of truth, what bubbles up in my mind is that the cave, or a similar cave, was in the past history of the peoples who were to become the Aztecs. The high priests that moved the Aztec treasure north centuries after they had migrated south, put the gold and treasures in the ancient cave. Quatu Zacca, a centuries long inhabitant of the area, living in a small house on an island in the Colorado River and possibly thought by the indigenous people to be immortal because of the lineage, may have been entrusted to care over the ancient cave from the time of the original departure to when the Aztec empire was to rise again.


AND NOW THIS:

The Spaniards in their explorations and expeditions had two prime motivating co-factors in their ever continuing thrusts into the hinterlands. First, pacify and convert the local inhabitants so they would be easier to exploit and secondly, find gold. It is the first part of the two goals that runs headlong into Quatu Zacca. Everywhere the Spaniards went they were bent on conversion. Notice they spent no time concerned with India, China, or Japan --- countries with already deeply established religions, religions totally counter to what they were promulgating, BUT, not only were they willing to go into, but actually went into the Philippines with same manner and fashion as they did in New Spain.

The Spaniards did not want anything that construed or intimated that there was an already established Buddhist presence or any Buddhist presence anywhere in the New World that might pose a potential threat to their plans for conversion or expansion. Any reference, no matter how small or insignificant that remotely hinted at such a prospect was ignored, left out, deleted, eliminated or rewritten --- rewritten as in the case of the revered Buddhist holy man being transposed first into an old woman then relegated to mythology by being footnoted. That way, if there was in fact a Buddhism presence it could be stamped out at its source and nobody would be any the wiser.

Why was any reference to Quatu Zacca not totally eliminated or deleted from the texts or records by the Spaniards? Primarily because of an unusual twist of fate. The Spanish hierarchy required a constant flow of formal reports fed up through the system to ensure monies expended on expeditions and such were being used in the manner so intended. Most all of those formal reports are still in existence. However, in the case of the of Coronado and Hernando de Alarcon, who was sent with three ships up the Sea of Cortez and hence the Colorado River with supplies and stores for Coronado's expedition in progress, there was a major slip-up.


"The uncertainty of Alarcon's travels rests on the fact that he never got around to submitting the required formal report on his expedition. In lieu of the report he sent an exhaustive multi-page letter to the Viceroy of New Spain, Don Antonio De Mendoza, implying that the formal report would follow. If it did, it has never shown up in any archives or files that anybody knows about. Years later Alarcon's letter fell into the hands of an Italian, Giovanni Ramusio, who translated the Spanish of the letter into Italian and published it in 1556. In the letter are continuing references of days and days travel up the river.

"Complicating matters, overlapping endeavors along the Colorado River, Diaz and Alarcon just missed each other. So too, as fate with have it, before Diaz could return to Coronado's command he was severely injured in a freak accident wherein he fell from his horse onto his own lance, penetrating his thigh into his groin. He died 20 days later, and all before he too had written and submitted his formal report. So taken together, between Diaz and Alarcon there is a big unofficial blank on their travels.

"Because of Alarcon's return to New Spain and disappearance in the mist of time and the death of Diaz, Coronado's scribe Pedro de Castaneda de Njera did not get to interview each of them personally nor was he traveling with either contingent. He did however, because there was no formal report on the expedition, interview Diaz's men."

Buddhism In America Before Columbus


Although Alarcon never submitted an official or formal report Coronado's scribe did not know that. Knowing too, that Diaz had learned of Quatu Zacca during his expedition, the scribe was reluctant to leave out the knowledge of such a person because of potential conflict with what Alarcon may have presented, leading to the question of his thoroughness and accuracy of reporting. However, in both cases, any references to Buddhism was left out or deleted by Spanish speaking scriptwriters, not so with their English and other language speaking counterparts. The French speaking de Chevalier was very clear in his translation and made no reference to any confusion with Quatu Zacca being other than a deified priest or lama, who was said to have lived on a small island on the the Colorado River in a sanctuary of Lamaisra, or of Buddhism.


SHIP IN THE DESERT, GENE AUTRY COMICS, JUNE 1951 ISSUE #52
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THE CONQUISTADORS LOST TREASURE OF THE GRAND CANYON, SEA HUNT, OCTOBER-DECEMBER 1961 #11
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SECRETS OF THE AZTECS, ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN, DECEMBER 1956 ISSUE #79
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DESERT SHIPS, SPANISH GOLD, AND COLORADO RIVER FLOODS


EARLY COLORADO RIVER STEAMBOAT LANDINGS


THE COLORADO RIVER: WAS IT NAVIGABLE?


VIKINGS OF THE DESERT SOUTHWEST


THE KENSINGTON STONE
THE CASE FOR NORSEMEN IN AMERICA
BEFORE COLUMBUS



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COWBOY CODE OF THE WEST



LOUIS L'AMOUR: STAGE WEST
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ILLUSTRATED VERSION OF MAVERICK EPISODE

CLICK GRAPHIC FOR FULL COMIC BOOK STORY


E-MAIL
THE WANDERLING

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Footnote [1]



CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT'S MYSTIC AZTEC SUN GOD RING


CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT
THE CODE-O-GRAPHS

CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE
BIG BANG TO PHOTO-MATIC CODE-O-GRAPHS

DISAPPEARING DECODER RINGS


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The traditional date of departure given by the Aztecs is May 24, 1064 AD. Sunset Crater was said to have erupted three to four months later, in the fall of 1064. Hard to believe the departure date could be delineated so closely. But, lets say such is the case, the differences can be resolved thus:


The eruption of Sunset Crater in the fall of 1064 sent a thick layer of lava, cinder, and ash over an 800-square mile area around the cinder cone. Archaeologists have concluded that the resident Sinagua were able to gather their possessions and flee the area before the eruption, since such eruptions are usually preceded by a period of intense seismic activity, and archaeologist have found few possessions left behind in excavated pithouses. The volcano remained intermittently active until about 1250, when a final spew of red cinders coated the peak of the cone, giving the crater the fiery appearance for which it was named.(source)