Case File: Skeleton Canyon Treasure AKA Peloncillo Treasure
Description: Skeleton Canyon is in the Peloncillo Mountains, a jagged ravine in Hidaldo County on Arizona's southeastern border. Buried somewhere in it is supposed to be a Mexican treasure worth today around eight million dollars.
CaseEditHistory: Treasure hunter Fern Hamil has been studying and searching Skeleton Canyon for a Mexican treasure buried by American outlaws. Arizona historian Robert Palmquist, meanwhile, does not believe the treasure exists, doubting the veracity and legitimacy of letters detailing it's existence. Hamill, however, has seen the letters describing the treasure in detail to Maggie Grounds, the sister of one of the gang that stole it, and has even found a cave filled with period artifacts and old ropes to lend credence to the veracity of the treasure. A vase found by another explorer in the cave contained a reference to Maggie and the 1885 World's Fair. Hunter Pritchard, director of a treasure hunting museum, remarks that he believes in the veracity of the treasure from the point of view that there's much more plausibility to it than other treasures.
Background: According to legend, the treasure was stolen from Mexican Bandits out of Monterey, Mexico by the Curly Bill Brocious Gang. The gang ambushed the Mexican bandits, but the treasure was too large to carry out of the canyon so they buried it, planning to come back later. Two gang members, Zwing Hunt and Billy Grounds, came back to relocate the treasure, and staying in hiding for several years. Billy sent several letters to his sister, Maggie, telling her where to find the treasure in case anything happened to him. Zwing and Hunt were later ambushed and killed by a Sheriff's posse, but Zwing reportedly detailed a map to the treasure before he died. However, an earthquake in 1886 destroyed all the telltale clues that might have helped locate it.
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the December 5, 1990 episode.
The book, "The Weirdest People in the World" by C.B. Colby locates the treasure under a square rock marked with two crosses on the bank of a creek.