Vern Bullock gave me a hard copy of the following story in the 1980's. However
it wasn't until September 2002 that permission was obtained from
his sons Neil and Dave to place it on my web site and/or in a book. Thank you Neil and Dave. I also wish to thank Dave for his editing suggestions.
A tunnel filled with gold ingots, some covering the body of a dead trapper,
drew like a magnet on Johnie Rasmussen's mind for fifty years to lead him
from Old Mexico to the state of Utah in the USA in the year 1913. (The year may be incorrect.)
Thinking back when paper and pen were available, Johnie's great grandfather
listed down the things most essential to guide him back to a treasure
of gold ingots piled over the body of his dead trapping partner and many dozens more still piled neatly along the walls of the ancient tunnel.
The description of the treasure location was:
1. Two and one half day's ride from the south end of the salt sea and follow
a river which ran northward from a large fresh
water lake located in a beautiful valley southerly from the salt sea.
2. One half day ride southerly from the east shore of the fresh water lake to sugar loaf peak.
3. Sugar loaf peak south easterly above springs that make a valley at foot of mountains and supply Indian camp with water.
4. Gold tunnel about three quarters mile southerly from sugar loaf peak and high on foothills.
5. Sugar loaf gold tunnel below rusty red ledges.
6. You look to the southwest along mountain and the valley closes.
With these guide posts and a rough way of directions Johnie's great grandfather
was sure that some day he could return to the hidden sugar loaf gold treasure.
But marriage, making a living and settling in Old Mexico consumed the years and old age and death ended the life long desire of Johnie's great grandfather to
again find his treasure.
This was all brought about in about 1825 when Johnny's great grandfather
was with a trapping party in the Rocky Mountain area. It was getting along
early fall. Fur bearing animals were becoming more scarce so the trapping party held a powwow in a meadow southerly from the south end of the salt sea.
(We think the Grantsville area.) This search was for future trapping streams. It was decided to separate the party into groups of three and spend about ten
days to two weeks fanning out in all directions to thoroughly explore the areas for next springs trapping. Rasmussen and two companions were sent in a
southerly direction following a large stream. For two and one half days they explored branching streams but kept to the course of the starting point stream
as a guide line. When they entered a mountain narrow southerly from their starting point they beheld a beautiful valley with a large fresh water lake south of
them. In this valley a number of streams flowed from the mountains to the east which they explored but found no evidence of beaver dams. To the south the
valley closed so they engaged in following streams as far south as the canyons fed. One little stream had a beaver dam in it so they followed its course southerly
toward the mountain. A sugar loaf stood out at the base of the mountain for which they were heading. They made their way through cedar trees in the valley
and saw the Wickiup of an Indian camp westerly from sugar loaf. Not knowing weather the Indians were friendly or not they skirted to the north of the camp
and headed for the hills. The stream they had been following was fed by many springs between the Indian camp and the mountain.
When southerly from the camp and ascending the foothills they heard and saw
a party of Indians coming from the south. They forced their horses higher
the hills and through the cedar trees. One of the Indians sent an arrow which lodged in the back of one of the trappers. He hung doggedly to his saddle until
they saw a badger come out of a large hole on the side of the mountain. One rider jumped from his horse and found the hole large enough for them to crawl
down into a larger opening. They abandoned their horses by swatting them on their rumps. The trappers hurried down into the badger hole, pulling the wounded
man down into the hole with them. It was now evening time and getting very cool. A pile of sticks and brush had been dragged into the hole by animals and from
these eventually a fire was started to warm the wounded man. One knotted cedar branch made a good torch and was taken from the fire to light the cavern to
its depths. Not far along the way the trappers found piles of bricks which proved to be gold ingots.
He hurried back to his friends with the news of his find and the two men
ran back to look at the gold. They were very excited with the great treasure.
some discussion it was decided that the gold bars were too heavy for one man to carry without horses and the gold could not be continually hidden. When
found out they had had it. Their lives would be in danger until they told where their wealth came from.
They came to the decision that the best thing would be to keep in mind the
guide posts that would lead to their find until paper and pen could be had
a map and write a thorough description which would lead them back to sugar loaf gold. This decided they hurried back to their wounded friend to tell of their
good luck but found he had died from his wound. They pulled his body back to the piles of gold bricks and completely covered his body with bricks of gold
to keep wild animals from ravaging him. From fear of being discovered by the Indians the trappers waited for days before they dared venture outdoors. The
hour was late, they crawled out of their treasure tunnel, and walked the long distance back to home camp on the shores of the salten sea.
It is not known how long Johnie's great grandfather stayed with the trapping
party but he kept his golden tunnel treasure of sugar loaf secret, and firmly
mind until he had paper and pen to make a permanent record of it.
The writer (Benjamin Vern Bullock) does not know where Johnie Rasmussen or
anything about his family or what finally became of Johnie. He does know of
his coming from Old Mexico in his late fifties and settling in Springville, Utah to search for and hopefully find his great grandfather's treasure. His grandfather
eventually wrote the description of the treasure and his story about discovering it on an animal hide which is the same hide that Johnie found in looking for.
Johnie guarded the map selfishly and pondered maps of the United States to
learn of its location. The only salt sea in the Rocky Mountains was the Great
Lake. The stream coming from the south which they followed was known as the Jordan River. It comes from the fresh water body known as Utah Lake. The
city of Provo was easterly of the center of Utah Lake and the town of Springville was six miles southerly of Provo and a good place for headquarters from
which to explore. Johnie told some new acquaintances why he had come to Springville and showed them the map. One old boy became excited and said,
"Johnie you have come to the right place. There is an old fellow south of here who has a dream mine. I think it's what you are looking for. He was shown in a
dream nine rooms filled with gold bricks and ancient records and according to your record it is the exact location." A few days later Johnie's story had reached
the miner John M. Koyle, of Leland, Utah. Leland is a little farming community just south of Spanish Fork, Utah.
Johnie was envited to the Koyle mine and there, in the cabin of the new dream
mine workings, told his story. After he finished, John Koyle the owner of
mine summed it all up and said, "Johnie, you are in the right spot. The way your great grandfather traveled exploring streams and heading south it would have
taken him about one and a half days to climb up the foothills from the easterly shore to where we are now. This canyon is the north side of the pyramid or
sugar loaf mountain. Below you where Salem pond is now used to be springs. If you look to the south the valley closes so Johnie you are home." Johnie was a
little confused and said his great grandfather rode through cedar trees in the valley and on the foothill. Koyle explained to him that the pioneers or early settlers
in the valley cut down the cedar trees for fuel and fence posts denuding the area. Johnie was all but converted, then he remembered and asked Koyle if he had
any rusty ledges. Koyle said they didn't but the tunnel was started in a ledge and they had an iron blowout high on the mountain. This didn't satisfy Johnie and he
had to ponder over the location of the dream mine to consider whether it was the location for which he sought. It just came too easy to brought to where
someone else was seeking the same treasure.
Lars Olson, the superintendent of the dream mine, sat in on the meeting.
When Johnie asked about the rusty red ledges it rang a bell in Olson's memory.
He had a neighbor in Provo, Utah where he lived who owned a little mine fifteen miles south from Koyle's mine. Ben Bullock, the owner, had some red
ledges. The whole location of the two mines fit to a tee; the story in Johnie's description with the exception of the rusty ledges which Mr. Bullock's location
had and Koyle's didn't have. Also on a rise above the springs by Bullock's location were the camping grounds of old Chief Blackhawk. It may have been
one of his warriors that put an arrow into the back of the trapper.
When Olson returned home for the week he contacted Bullock and told him Johnie's
story. This lead to locating Rasmussen and arranging a trip to Bullock's
"Golden Relief Mine" just south of Spring Lake, Utah. This little lake had been made by building a dam to back up the waters of the springs which were below
the Indian camp.
On a Monday Bullock hitched his team to his three seated buggy and with Olson
collected Johnie for the trip to the Bullock mine. Bullock had two mines.
drift was in a little canyon below some rusty red ledges. The other one was a long tunnel high on the mountain in Yellow rock canyon known as the syndicate mine.
As the party rode south out of Payson Mr. Bullock pointed to the mountain
farther south ahead of them and said, "This is your sugar loaf peak.
are a little north and below it, is where a little lake is now. Chief Blackhawk had his camp on the rise above the springs. About three quarters of a mile south
is my little mine. Above it a couple of hundred feet are some rusty ledges. If you look to the south you will see that the valley closes and if you look to the right
you will see Utah Lake. Your map fits the dream mine exactly except for the red ledges.
When the party arrived at the ranch below Bullock's "Golden Relief Mine," Johnie acted a little disgruntled. He looked at the valley and foothills and saw no
cedar trees. Mr. Bullock told him the same story as Mr. Koyle had about fencing and burning the trees for fuel. Johnie saw hundreds of cedar fence posts
dividing every parcel of land that was under construction.
Mr. Bullock unhitched the team and threw a saddle on one horse and a pack
saddle on the other. He filled the pack saddle bags with picks, shovels and
He then swung into the saddle and led the pack horse. Those that wanted a lift, grabbed the horses tail as they started toward the mine. They found the miners
eating lunch so Mr. Bullock made a hurried trip to the working face after which they went up the canyon to the rusty ledges. The horses were tied to oak brush.
Something which looked like an old mine dump was found below the red ledges and behind some brush. All of the men got excited and with enthusiasm began
excavating the dump level. They brought in teams, plows, scrapers and other equipment. They spent a week trying to find the lost tunnel entrance. Johnie was
so excited he expressed his desire to obtain a tent, clear a spot on the old mine dump and move his residence to the site with Bullock bringing him supplies and
water. The next two days were spent in getting equipment collected for the treasure hunt.
Thursday afternoon four loaded wagons arrived at the old Flanders ranch and
a trek was started to deliver excavating equipment. to the lost tunnel site.
oak trees were pulled out by the roots, sage brush grubbed out and work went ahead leveling an area about one hundred feet long on the level with a plan to
go toward the mountain to bedrock. The second day of excavating brought the most excitement of the project. A plow point hit a cedar tree stump about eight
inches in diameter. The roots were still firmly imbedded in the soil and was well preserved. The stump stood about five feet tall and was left as a happy reminder
to Johnie that his great grandfather had truly ridden through cedar trees. About eight feet further into the hill a pile of charcoal was found. This the men sacked up
to use for black smith purposes. This charcoal find led to the story of finding an old slag dump several years before. It was located between the dream mine and
the Bullock properties. It was very evident that smelting of ore had been carried on in the vicinity during ancient times. It is believed that this work may have been
done even before the time of the Spaniards.
It has also been learned since then that back in those "ancient"
times, mining was done by building a fire in the face of the tunnel heating
up the rock. Then, cold
water was poured on the rock causing it to fracture which made it easier to remove. Perhaps this is the reason for the stockpile of charcoal.
As the work progressed looking for Johnie's treasure tunnel Mr. Bullock's
miners were making footage in their tunnel and a fissure producing a nice
water was struck. With water being available just a few yards from the excavation project there was no need to take horses off the mountain each night. Bailed
hay was brought up and the camp centered below the rusty red ledges on the newly excavated sight.
After two weeks of work no evidence of Johnie's treasure was seen. Mr. Bullock
decided upon a different approach which met with the favor of all. He moved
his miners to the new site. They then drifted into the mountain fifty feet or more then they would make a right turn and skirt the contour of the mountain at depth
for the ancient workings. This would also prospect the formations to the south. The work was started and Johnie stayed on until the cold weather set in. His belief
in the site firmly founded by the discovery of the cedar tree stump still solidly rooted in the mountain soil. During the winter Johnie left Springville. He wrote Mr.
Bullock several times giving him encouragement and hope of finding the old tunnel filled with the ingots of gold. The letters stopped coming and Johnie was never
heard of again. His great grandfather's map and history of it's location were gone with him. The excitement died down about finding the sugar loaf gold hoard. Mr.
Bullock continued prospecting in the new golden relief tunnel and worked intermittently until 1923 when work was stopped at a distance of 900 feet. At this point
there was a nice stream of water containing an iron oxide.
In 1955 Mr. Bullock's son Vern revived work on the old site one hundred feet
to the north. This tunnel was used to store water tanks for use at the foot
mountain. Vern entered the old tunnel and found the oxide in the water had formed stalactites and stalagmites. They were so close together that they had sealed
the last fifty feet of the tunnel. The portal had partly filled with soil and the water had backed up with a deposit of Jell-O like oxide mud a foot deep in the bottom
of the drift. The acids and heavy mineral content had eaten the rails until just a thin rusted skeleton of steel was left.
Again in 1975 to 1980 more work was done in search of gold-silver ore. Formations
are very promising and work is continuing but Johnie's lost gold hoard
has never been found. The trappers remains are still safely protected by the cover of gold ingots which keep him from ravaging animals since about 1825.
B. Vern Bullock
Dedicated to my three sons, Neil, Hart and David and my favorite daughter
Beverly. All of whom I enjoyed lulling to sleep with such stories as this.
Postscript by David V. Bullock
It's been interesting, being raised in a family of miners who believe in
lost treasures buried on Ben H. Bullock's Spring Lake Property. There have
been quite a
few people who have independently approached my father, Vern Bullock and myself throughout the years since grandpa's death. Each has expressed his own
"knowledge" that there is a treasure on the mountain. One, in the 70's had been dowsing maps with a pendulum and had a strong reading in the same area Grandpa
Ben had been looking with Rasmussen. Then in the 80's several approached with their own "versions". One, with a story of hundreds of small, short, dark skinned
people who had traveled a far distance from the South. These people were led by a white woman of regular size, giant, compared to their smaller physical bodies.
They settled in the valley and worked the mines, extracting gold which they hid up for use by a future generation who would have need of it. This man goes so far as
to say that while excavating for the gold by use of a bachhoe, he broke into an opening. Jumping down from the backhoe, he crawled into the opening and there
before him was a tunnel filled with golden ingots, thousands of them. Some were out of place piled on the floor. His greed got the best of him and thinking that since
he was the only one who knew of this fabulous treasure's location, he could spirit all of it away and keep it all to himself. It was at that moment, he later admitted to
me, the angel having the brightness of the sun appeared in the tunnel between the gold and himself. The angel cast his arm downward in an arching angle and the
greedy prospector was thrown to the ground by an unseen force. Fearing for his life the man rose to his feet and attempted to flee the tunnel. Again the angel cast
down his arm toward the ground and the man again helplessly fell to the ground. He then arose, hurredly escaped the tunnel and ran all the way down the mountain
leaving his backhoe.
I spent several years with a gentleman by the name of Ilan Jacobs who firmly
believed that not just one but several valuable treasures were buried on Dry
Mountain. He never proved their existance but I personally have seen some dramatic reactions from his "dowsing" tecnology that would make one wonder.
Ilan has passed on and his miraculous abilities have gone with him.
A woman by the name of Joyce Palmer, AKA Elizabeth Palmer, in an attempt
to control the wealth on the mountain, filed a $100,000,000 Liz Pedenze lien
the property through the inappropriate use of a "nuisance" suite against the Bullock family. In counter suite, the Bullocks got her to agree to remove the "Liz Pendenze"
claim. Years later, they found that after she filed the "release of the Liz Pendenze" against the property which caused the Bullock's to withdraw their suite against her,
she, within four minutes after filing the release, reinstated them. This action against the Bullocks and others is the reason Nancy Workman, then the State Recorder,
supported legislation that made nisance liens and improper filing of Liz Pendenze a felony in the state of Utah. Supporting documentation available upon request.
It was my grandfather's and father's belief that this horde of golden ingots
was to be brought forth just before the great and dreadful day of the coming
of the Lord,
Jesus Christ. This was to be used to feed and shelter the millions who would flock to the valley seeking refuge from the tumult that would be going on across the nation.
If there is any truth to this story and the beliefs of my forefathers, there is still time for all of this to come about because our Lord, Jesus, has not yet returned to set
his people in order.