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CHANCE CITY, NM - MY STRANGEST FIND!


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"Chance City, NM (also known as Victorio), was founded around 1880, but the first ore deposits were discovered in 1879. At it's peak, Chance City was home to approximately 200-300 miner/occupants.The Southern Pacific Railroad stop at Gage (3.5 miles away) brought men to work the mines or in some cases, to work the miners. It was located in rough country and became known as a rough place. Men met violent death either in the mines or at the hands of their fellow man. The mining boom quickly peaked, and by 1887 most of the gold and silver ore had been mined out"

Following  up on a member post of "small gold nuggets in the saddle" I detected the area over a weekend and although I didn't find any gold, I did make a strange find which left me puzzled. How did it get there? From a distance, the cave in the rock formation was not visible. Inside the opening, at the top of a 6 foot rock wall, the structure was hollow and opened up into a large room. The walls of the rock were blackened by smoke and the floor was covered with thick dust. I could feel the crunch of small sticks or bones as I walked around detecting the interior of the cave. The choke chain was lying on the floor of the cave beneath a heavy layer of dust. It was still looped as if an animal had been dragged up into the cave by a predator (Mountain Lion?), and consumed, leaving the chain behind. Pretty Strange, but how else could it have gotten there?

Inside

CHANCE.PNG

CHANCE-VICTORIO.PNG

CHANCE MINE SHUTE.PNG

CAVE -1.jpg

CHOKE CHAIN.JPG

Edited by BMc
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The area around Victorio was one of the first places I found placer gold many years ago! There are some other minerals of interest there as well. Just south of the spot you were at there is an old Spanish pajare and a folsom site where many valuable points have been found.

Most animals who are wounded or hurt seek shelter. They get under a rock or a bush. It is very common for them to seek shelter in an overhang or small "cave". It is not uncommon to find dead animals in caves. No mountain lions needed. An old choker chain from a dog or a goat in a cave like that would not bee too surprising nor would it be much of a mystery. 

It could have belonged to a poodle. Quien sabe?

 

 

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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3 hours ago, azdigger said:

Interesting find , sure makes you wonder how it got where it was.

What makes it interesting and provides the basis for speculation as a "mystery" to me azdigger, is the fact that a 6 foot smooth rock wall would not have been climbed by an injured goat or canine, (IMO). Of course animals take shelter in caves, but the upper hollowed out cavern above the "cave" ( opening ) where the chain was found, presents a additional layer of difficulty in obtaining access. I had a hard time climbing it since there wasn't any good  hand or toe holds on the wall.  Additionally, the mere fact of not knowing if it was a Bobcat or Mountain Lion, even though those choices might be logical, still posed an unresolved issue, as I presented the scenario, hence the term, "mystery" However, since no one solved the puzzle, I can now disclose that it was in fact a Bobcat, which, unfortunately I was forced to subdue at the scene.

Post mortem photograph of the animal, for proof of the matter asserted, is available, but would have to be retrieved from archival footage.

Edited by BMc
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15 hours ago, BMc said:

What makes it interesting and provides the basis for speculation as a "mystery" to me azdigger, is the fact that a 6 foot smooth rock wall would not have been climbed by an injured goat or canine, (IMO). Of course animals take shelter in caves, but the upper hollowed out cavern above the "cave" ( opening ) where the chain was found, presents a additional layer of difficulty in obtaining access. I had a hard time climbing it since there wasn't any good  hand or toe holds on the wall.  Additionally, the mere fact of not knowing if it was a Bobcat or Mountain Lion, even though those choices might be logical, still posed an unresolved issue, as I presented the scenario, hence the term, "mystery" However, since no one solved the puzzle, I can now disclose that it was in fact a Bobcat, which, unfortunately I was forced to subdue at the scene.

Post mortem photograph of the animal, for proof of the matter asserted, is available, but would have to be retrieved from archival footage.

With regards to theimage.png  :89: factor, I apologize for any confusion and beg your indulgence, since my intent was not to deceive but merely to discourage further sniping from the usual suspect(s).

Edited by BMc
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1 hour ago, Edge said:

Thanks, looks like the ghost town my Granddad used to take me to. 

I was wondering EDGE, if the culprits who robbed the train at Gage, were denizens of the CHANCE City mining camp, by any chance? It seems to make sense that they could have had local connections, and it sure appears that it was a pretty rough area. Somebody went to considerable trouble of assembling 7 or more cohorts to derail, and rob a train. The whole story, including the minimal amount of money taken sounds like a positive press release intended to conceal the true facts of the case. And, personally, I can't see 7 riders staying together heading North in a straight line (more or less) and allowing themselves to run into the Calvary detail. Pretty strange.

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7 hours ago, BMc said:

I was wondering EDGE, if the culprits who robbed the train at Gage, were denizens of the CHANCE City mining camp, by any chance? It seems to make sense that they could have had local connections, and it sure appears that it was a pretty rough area. Somebody went to considerable trouble of assembling 7 or more cohorts to derail, and rob a train. The whole story, including the minimal amount of money taken sounds like a positive press release intended to conceal the true facts of the case. And, personally, I can't see 7 riders staying together heading North in a straight line (more or less) and allowing themselves to run into the Calvary detail. Pretty strange.

Excellent logic!

If there was a train robbery in 1881 the outlaws certainly could have had connections in CHANCE!

We know the story of the robbery in 1883. We know who the robbers were, where they came from, and ultimately how they met their fate. But for the robbery of 1881 all we really know is Grandpa's story. And if Grandpa's story is correct then CHANCE may play a part in finding the treasure!

So yeah, the robbers in Grandpa's story could have had connections with this place. Unless we can eliminate it from the list of possibilities it certainly could be the final resting place of the train robbery loot.

The question remains "how do we eliminate this possibility"? Our only option with the info we have is to take our best guess and see!

...We must take a CHANCE.

In real life it takes a lot of treasure hunters searching to eliminate possibilities. That narrows it down to a few likely places. If we don't make a guess then we will never really know where it is. If we do guess, even if it is incorrect we are one step closer to solving the riddle. 

Edited by Bedrock Bob
Where would the loot be if the robbers had connections in Victorio? Knowing about this place so close to the site of the robbery may offer some real clues!
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All of this has got me wondering . . . Was Edge's great grandfather a miner by any CHANCE? :)

Edited by BMc
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El Puddy Tat  had dinner or some one simply dropped it.  There are about a million and two ways to use those things.  Dogs only being one.    We use to have some seriously good times wondering around inside that mtn.   That all ended when they installed the stupid Bat Bars. 

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9 hours ago, BMc said:

All of this has got me wondering . . . Was Edge's great grandfather a miner by any CHANCE? :)

I know it's not a serious question, but since you asked; I have my biological grandparents, and my stepgrand dad.

My father was born 1925, his father was then an engineer at the San Francisco del Oro Mine in Chihuahua.

Yup, colorful character. When he graduated from college in Ohio1904, he and his brother set out for Mexico...on foot.

He accomplished his goals; married a beautiful Yaqui girl, had a great big family, successful miner.

His only daughter married an AZ transplant named Bernard Gillespie, a multimillionaire and oil/gold miner. Perhaps some of you have heard of the Gillespie Dam or Bridge between Buckeye and Gila Bend.

Grandpa's life was interesting enough that during the depression (already in his 50's), he shared his stories while being employed by the New Deals Pioneer Project.

My granddad on ma's side was a successful gold miner in Quartzite/Palomas. He paid for most everything in gold. When he died in the 1990's, he had two large suitcases of gold in the trunk of his car. For their strength I suppose, he preferred weighing out his placer and keeping it in peanut butter jars. He buried gold on his property and his friends property. He once decided he'd head home to visit family in AR. But first he buried gold in the floor of a friends home's so he would have a stash. I guess he did this sort of thing often.

Due to health problems he didn't return form AR for years. Once he did he discovered the friend who's home he'd buried gold in had died and the home had new occupants..

He did extraordinary for a man from the Ozarks with no education, dyslexia and one lung.

Him and grandma occupy a plot a few feet away from ol Hop Jolly in Quartzite.

But I ditter...

My step-granddpa at Cow Springs was a retired gemologist and was born about 20 years after the Gage Train Robbery.

 

Edited by Edge
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Great Story! Keep dittering Edge. I could read/listen to stories of your family history like this non-stop for hours on end. Stories of risk and accomplishment; of adventure and reward. An American story, a heritage to be proud of.  And I know you are.

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47 minutes ago, BMc said:

Great Story! Keep dittering Edge. I could read/listen to stories of your family history like this non-stop for hours on end. Stories of risk and accomplishment; of adventure and reward. An American story, a heritage to be proud of.  And I know you are.

Yes, I'm looking into my family's history a lot these days. My granddad that mined in Mexico left due to the revolution and   never returned. Born1882, he died a year before I was born. He kept journals and I'm trying to get a look at them but my aunt has latched onto them. Wish me luck with that.

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45 minutes ago, Edge said:

Yes, I'm looking into my family's history a lot these days. My granddad that mined in Mexico left due to the revolution and   never returned. Born1882, he died a year before I was born. He kept journals and I'm trying to get a look at them but my aunt has latched onto them. Wish me luck with that.

Yeah, I know what that's like. Good luck. You'll probably need it, but Ihope I'm wrong.

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4 hours ago, homefire said:

El Puddy Tat  had dinner or some one simply dropped it.  There are about a million and two ways to use those things.  Dogs only being one.    We use to have some seriously good times wondering around inside that mtn.   That all ended when they installed the stupid Bat Bars. 

BRB said: "The story includes a cave where there lives a ferocious beast that seemed to be guarding some deep mystery."

A photo of the "ferocious beast", AKA El Puddy Tat, known affectionately as BOB, following a fierce struggle to place the creature into protective custody. What started out as a simple humanitarian catch and release mission, quickly turned into a snarling, biting free for all which regretfully, resulted in the unfortunate creatures demise. :)

BOB CAT.PNG

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You shot a cornered bobcat defnding its den to get a rusty chain?

Really? 

There must be more to the story than that. You just don't seem like that kind of guy, Mac. Please tell us it isn't true!

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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2 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

You shot a cornered bobcat defnding its den to get a rusty chain?

Really? 

There must be more to the story than that. You just don't seem like that kind of guy, Mac. Please tell us it isn't true!

Pobrecito El Gato. Things are tough all over.

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“A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a crowd of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact.”

– Aldo Leopold

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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9 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

“A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a crowd of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact.”

– Aldo Leopold

Al was right, of course. We recognize him as a leader in the preservation movement, especially here in NM. Makes a great scope too.

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On 9/22/2018 at 12:05 AM, BMc said:

A photo of the "ferocious beast", AKA El Puddy Tat, known affectionately as BOB, following a fierce struggle to place the creature into protective custody. What started out as a simple humanitarian catch and release mission, quickly turned into a snarling, biting free for all which regretfully, resulted in the unfortunate creatures demise. :)

BOB CAT.PNG

Most, (perhaps not all), of the viewers recognized the above photograph and thread narrative as a spoof. Someone left a stuffed Bobcat, (as it's depicted), in the sand of Huntington Beach, Ca. in the 1980's. I have no idea how it got there or why. It's California folks. Go figure.

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