bird monument

My name is Mike McChesney. I have been scouring the deserts and mountains of Southern California since I saw my first Spanish Monument several years ago. I was bitten and have never recovered.

The American Southwest is home to many tales of riches found, only to be lost to weather, incompetence, Indians, thieves, and stubborn burros. How many are true? How many are just fanciful tales, made up to get grubstakes, or to amuse travelers? Nobody knows for certain. All we DO KNOW, is that there has been an enormous amount of gold taken out of the mountains and valleys of the New World over the last 495 years since Cortez first visited Tenochtitlan in 1519.



If you have a site that you need assistance with interpretation of Monuments/Markers/Carvings/etc, you can email me some HiResolution Pictures. I will not post them or claim jump you, and complete discretion is assured.

There is no charge for the service. I only ask that if something pans out from information I give, just don't forget me! ;-)

Your pictures should include everything in the immediate area of the marker. Your marker should be photographed at about midday (if Spanish). Email them to:

Is There REALLY Treasure To Be Found?

YES! There really is Treasure that has remained hidden for all these many years. Don't tie yourself down to only looking for one type of treasure. There are many sources of hidden wealth, and if you tie yourself down to just one or two, you may just step right over something big! Here are some of those sources to research:

I promise you, that if you spend enough time doing research, and wearing out shoe leather, you WILL come across some of the above. What you need to learn are: the basics of Geology, Archaeology (History), Prospecting, Researching Skills, Hiking Skills, and what could save your life...Desert Survival. On this site, you will learn about Death Traps and Deadly Indians, but it is more common for people to die in the deserts due to dehydration and exposure. REMEMBER: The desert's heat, lack of water, and dangerous animals (both two and four legged) have killed many times the number of people killed by Spanish Booby Traps and Hostile Indians. So, BE PREPARED!

There are very few places to go to find good research materials (actually, there are many places, but most beginners just don't know where to look).

The internet is a good place to start, but MOST of what you will find are the same old regurgitated stories that have been included in every Lost Treasure Book and Magazine since the 1950s. You can count on the fact that if a story has been included in more than one book, then it has been well researched and probably well hunted. I will include some of the rehashed stories that I believe have not been rediscovered, as well as some that have not been in print. I have also decided to include many of the stories that have some historical backing, although I make no guarantees as to their validity. The longer you study this obsession, the more you will find that a lot of the well known Treasure Hunters and their books are, at the very least, embellished. The amount of embellishment depends on the man and how willing he/she was to "fill in the blanks" with something they made up, when they couldn't find a real answer. Most people will never know, because 99% of the people who read those Lost Treasure Books will never set foot in the REAL vast deserts or desolate mountains.

Below is a picture of the Borrego Badlands in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. There are a few lost treasure stories that occurred in the area in this picture. No car or 4X4 will get you through this place. Shoe leather and ropes are the only way across. Look in the Pictures Section of the Reference Page for more of this beautiful scenery.


Borrego Badlands




New Expeditions (Updated Constantly)

Just click on the Base Story to get to the Expedition. The New Expedition will be appended to the bottom of the page of the Original Story.

Date Base Story Location
05/04/2014 Step Cave of Hardscrabble Peak Southern, NM