There's Gold in Those Hills! - Leon Trabuco's Lost Gold

Farmington, New Mexico 1933. Leon Trabuco was a Mexican millionaire. He believed he could use the Great Depression of the United States to increase his fortune. Convinced the United States would soon devalue thee dollar and that gold prices would skyrocket, Trabuco and four other men bought up much of Mexico’s gold reserves to resell in the United States when the price went up.

However, the chance to make huge profits carried huge risks. The gold had to be smuggled into the United States. If the men were caught, they faced long prison terms. In the heat of that summer, a pilot named Red Moiser landed several mysterious flights in the desert, where he was met by Leon Trabuco. 

At a makeshift Mexican foundry, gold coins and jewellery were melted down and cast into ingots. In less than three months, the partners had collected almost 16 tons of solid gold. Trabuco searched the US for a safe place to hide the illegal treasure. When he couldn’t find a suitable spot, he decided it would be smarter to bury the gold. 

It is believed that Trabuco chose a sparsely populated region near the Ute and Navajo Indian Reservations in New Mexico. Red Moiser allegedly made 16 flights, carrying one ton of gold each time. Pick up trucks then transported it to a secret burial site. Trabuco never revealed the location to his co-conspirators, and he never made a map. 

Records indicate that the final shipment was delivered on July 14, 1933. Six months later, the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 became law. The price of gold soared. Overnight, the men’s potential profit increased by seven million dollars. 

The group decided not to sell the gold, hoping the price would go even higher. But they were not aware of an executive order related to the Gold Act. It declared that after January 1934, private ownership of gold within the US was illegal. According to treasure hunter Ed Foster, the partners had missed their chance to strike it rich: 

The gold seemed to bring bad luck. Within five years, three of the partners had died untimely deaths. Over the next two decades, Trabuco was unable to sell the now illegal gold. When he died, he apparently took the secret location to his grave. 

Treasure hunter Ed Foster has searched for Trabuco's Treasure in the desert around Farmington, New Mexico for over thirty-five years. He is convinced that he found the 1933 landing strip used by Red Moiser at a plateau called Conger Mesa. He has spoken with a Native American lady and Navajo woman who was six years old in 1933 who both recalled a plane that would land and take-off from there. Ed said she remembered several Mexican men who lived on the Reservation. 

Ed Foster has also found an old Navajo home unlike any other on the reservation about twenty miles west of the mesa. It was probably meant as a guard post to guard the gold. It is a Mexican-style structure with windows, a front door, a back door and a veranda. Not far away is Shrine Rock inscribed with a date and the words: "1933 16 Ton" 

Ed believes the gold could be hidden away somewhere in the vicinity of these three points. 

Another Treasure hunter Norman Scott believes Trabuco's Treasure has an air of authenticity to it, and believes that with available technology, it is only a matter of time before it is discovered. 

 

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