Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Treasure Hunters in the News

Unfortunately, these treasure hunters aren't in the news because of something they found, this appears to be all very bad news. I would like to thank my buddy Rockman for sharing these articles.

I would also like to say that this is why I continually stress to our readers about being prepared when you are treasure hunting.

PHOENIX -- Searchers braved brutal heat Thursday, looking for three Utah men who hiked into the Superstition Mountains in search of the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mine.

With temperatures climbing toward 120 degrees, Maricopa County Sheriff's Sgt. Jesse Spurgin said the men, missing for about a week, could still be alive.

"There are some pockets in the mountains where there are areas that collect water," Spurgin said. "We don't know exactly what they have with them."

Searchers were pulling out all stops in their efforts to find the men in the rugged mountain range east of Phoenix, Spurgin said.

"We are using helicopters for air search. We have a dog team on the ground. We have folks on foot, as well as we have some folks who are on horseback, and I believe even mules."

The men were identified as Curtis Merworth, 48, Ardean Charles, 67, and Malcom Meeks, 51, all from Utah. Their vehicle was found at a trailhead in the Superstitions. Their family last heard from them on July 6.

Family members planned to come to the Valley Thursday.

The Lost Dutchman mine has enticed many people into the Superstitions -- several of whom never returned -- in the past century.

Spurgin said authorities "don't believe the men actually had the proper equipment for being outdoors for long, extended periods of time, and we're also under the understanding that they didn't have cell phones with them."

But, he said, "The search continues and we are hopeful."
APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -- A massive search and rescue effort is underway for some treasure-hunters who are lost in the mountains.

Three men from Utah were searching for the fabled Lost Dutchman Gold Mine in the Superstition Mountains but they are now missing.

For one of those hunters, this is déjavú.

The guys left Utah last Tuesday and were supposed to spend just a couple days there but then disappeared.

As for the man who was leading the group, this is not the first time this has happened.

Kurtis Merworth, 48, and two friends braved the blazing summer sun to search for gold in the Superstitions last year but got lost and had to be rescued.

Now, one year later, it has happened again.

Crews started searching in the air and on the ground on Sunday for Merworth and two different friends, who returned to search for the Lost Dutchman's gold mine.

Jim Hatt, a treasure hunter, says, “I believe he thought…he probably thought he was onto something."

The Lost Dutchman legend lured Jim Hatt there 20 years ago. He and many others continue to treasure-hunt in the Superstitions, even on the hottest days.

Hatt says, “You'd be surprised at how many people do. People looking for gold do it covertly so they like to go out when no one else is around. In the heat of the summer."

What concerns families of the missing men is that they were not prepared to spend even one night in the wilderness. They were supposed to stay at a hotel but their SUV was found at a trailhead and searchers believe the men have been lost now for several days.

Deputy Jeff Sprong, with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, says, “I do know. The area is vast and hard to get to know."

Hatt explains, “If you're in an area you haven’t been in, you can easily lose your way."

The search and rescue crews are carefully plotting their courses over the rough terrain and are hoping to bring the missing treasure-hunter and his friends back to safety.

Lost Dutchman State Park, which is named for the mine, is about 40 miles east of Phoenix.


APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. — Authorities have suspended the search for three Utah men reported missing while looking for the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mine in the rugged Arizona wilderness.

Maricopa County sheriff's officials said Monday that crews covered almost 100 square miles in seven days of searching for the three hikers from Salt Lake City.

Family members say 67-year-old Curtis Meriworth, 62-year-old Ardean Charles and 51-year-old Malcolm Meeks planned on hiking into Superstition Mountains and exploring the area. Their vehicle was found July 11 parked at a trailhead.

Four helicopters and a plane with thermal imaging equipment also searched the mountains about 40 miles east of Phoenix.


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