Case File: Trabuco Treasure
Location: Farmington, New Mexico
Date: July 1933
Description: The treasure consists of several gold bars buried somewhere in New Mexico.
History: In 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 the 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.
At a makeshift Mexican foundry, gold coins and jewelry were melted down and cast into ingots. In less than three months, he and partners had collected almost sixteen tons of solid gold. They smuggled the gold into the United States, where if caught, they faced long prison terms. Trabuco searched for a safe place to hide the illegal treasure, but eventually, he decided it would be smarter to bury the gold. In the heat of the summer, he hired a pilot named Red Moiser to make several covert flights into the New Mexico desert for Trabuco.
It is believed that Trabuco chose a sparsely populated region near the Ute and Navajo Indian Reservations in New Mexico. Moiser allegedly made sixteen flights, carrying one ton of gold each time, taking them to pick-up trucks that transported them to burial site. Trabuco never revealed the location and was careful not to create a map. When the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 passed, the price of gold soared, but instead they waited for prices to soar higher.
Unfortunately, the Gold Act of 1934 made private ownership of gold illegal, and Trabuco was unable to cash in on his scheme. Over the years, he and his partners all died untimely deaths. Trabuco took the location of the gold to the 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 an 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.
He 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.
Treasure hunter Norman Scott believes Trabuco's Treasure has an air of authenticity to it. He believes that with available technology, it is only a matter of time before it is discovered.
Background: It is believed that the treasure consisted of Mexican gold bought by several millionaires.
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the November 27, 1991 episode.