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Hey there guys. It’s me. Likely branded your local party pooper. But I’m the other person on this team of cultural research and I’ve got my own take on some of this stuff. I know it’s really easy to romanticize it, because who doesn’t love stories of cowboys vs. indians and buried treasure and mysterious, marauded bodies out in the desert? It’s great stuff for movies and books, but we’re also dealing with real life. Not to get super preachy on you, or anything. But Rose is still missing and, yes, I’ll admit the fact that she believed this stuff does make the fictional stories relevant, but I don’t want to run the risk of sensationalizing this and losing sight of things. So, in an effort to make the playing field as factual for our efforts as possible, here’s the real story behind the Peralta family.

First of all, you should know that there’s actually been at least four accounts of “Lost Dutchman’s Mines” in the southwest. Two of them, including ours, is said to be in Arizona. One’s supposedly in Colorado and the other is located in California. All huge mining areas during the 19th century. The very first Dutchman’s Mine was located over a hundred miles from the Superstition Mountains in Wickenberg where supposedly the miner was found dead in the desert next to his saddlebags full of gold.This could be the origin of the folktale, and it’s not the only outstanding legend that probably inspired the others.

Dr. Thorne, who was mentioned in part 1, apparently never existed. At least not the way people think. There was never a “Dr. Thorne” in the army at any point during the 1800s but there was a private practice Dr. Thorne in New Mexico who claimed to have been kidnapped by Navajos. During his captivity, he claimed they took him to a rich vein of gold. When he got free, he told the story to anyone who would listen and several people went looking for this gold vein but never found it. That’s a story I believe. And likely one that inspired the tale of our fictional Dr. Thorne.

Now, about those Peraltas. You heard me mention on the podcast that the only known Peralta family wasn’t even in Arizona, and, for the most part, that’s true. The governor of New Mexico was Pedro de Peralta and likely the source of the name. We have no historical evidence to back up the claim that the Peralta family had any kind of land grant from the king of Spain or that they ever owned and/or settled land in the area of the Superstitions. Miguel Peralta existed but his mine was in California and the mining rights Peralta owned in southern Arizona were sold off to someone else when the mine became unprofitable.

So, who were the Peraltas? No one, really. Various people with the last name Peralta did exist but not at the same time or same location. And this is a perfect example of how folklore gets built from fragments of truth. It’s like when you’re at camp, telling a story about some serial killer on the loose and everyone fights over “No, I heard it this way.” Which is all well and fun, but we’ve got a missing girl. What she believed is important, but keep your feet planted on the ground because we’ve got a shot at finding out what happened. Don’t know if Emily’s going to let me back on her blogs after this, but you’ll see (hear) me on the podcast soon. Adios pals.

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