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TOPIC: Golden Library of the Maya

Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12019

  • wreckdiver
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I have been doing some research on the legend of the Golden Library of the Maya. One story that just keeps popping up in my research down here in Guatemala is that of an American pilot who is reported to have delivered 1 of 6 aircraft to General Escobar's rebel forces in early 1929.

As the story goes, the pilot became a mercenary pilot for the rebels until they stopped paying him. He then hijacked one of the rebel planes and headed to Salvador where he was going to continue using his mercenary pilot skills. However, he crashed his aircraft near the Mexico / Guatemala border.

He claims that he went to the top of a nearby mound to get his bearings, and upon doing so, the ground gave way at the top and he fell into a room filled with artifacts. He also claims to have found an alter with a number of what he described as metal staples, and that each staple held eleven gold plates that he was unable to break loose.

The Pilot eventually made it back to the U.S., and even returned to Mexico to search for the library but was unable to ever locate it again.

The question I have is does anyone know the type of aircraft the mercenary pilot was flying?
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12024

  • aquanut
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Tommy,
Maybe one of the American models in here?

www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/aircraft-1920-1929.asp
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12028

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Thanks John, I have the list whittled down to a small handful of aircraft. However the useful load capacity, range, and air-speeds very greatly from a Vought O2U Corsair, to a Ford Tri-Motor.

I have his last known location, approximate altitude, heading and time in flight, but in order to narrow down the location of the crash site I need information such as cruise speed and lift to drag ratio of the specific make and model.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12030

  • ropesfish
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The following Google books page references a book or article called:The Azcarate Corsair
from The Latin American Aviation Historical Society -who are even on Facebook..(who knew?)
It looks like it maight get you a step closer.

:http://books.google.com/books?id=mUy46tgmFccC&pg=PA378&lpg=PA378&dq=%22Escobar+1929+aircraft&source=bl&ots=w78B1CaZVk&sig=j19fAp6IBvbM-9XfJLJNH-Eng-c&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IzhoUazkHYyE8QS80IDoBw&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22Escobar%201929%20aircraft&f=false
Bill Black
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Sebastian, FL 32958
No regrets. No prisoners.
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12031

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Thanks, I posted the question on The Latin American Aviation Historical Society fb page.
And your right, I would have never guessed...

Gracias!
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12032

  • Imaginos
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Sounds like some interesting research. Perhaps this article can help. It mentions a name of one of the mechanics and corsair aircraft.

From the Alton Evening Telegraph April 10, 1929 This image is hidden for guests. Please log in or register to see it.
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12033

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Here is some more on the story, When our mercenary pilot by the name of Wallace Hope returned to the U.S., his story about finding the Golden Library of the Maya was met with much skepticism by Hyatt Verrill, the man who would launch the expedition to try to locate the lost Golden Library. However, Hyatt decided to try based on the recommendation of a Harvard Archaeologist who listened to Wallace's detailed description of the Golden Library.

Hyatt, Wallace and the expedition searched in vain for the aircraft and the mound that held the Golden Library of the Maya. Both were now lost to the Jungle.

However, an interesting thing happened to the expedition when they finely made it back to civilization. They were all immediately arrested by Mexican Federales who suspected that they were searching for the missing airplane of a rebel General who they believed had crashed in the nearby jungle with a large sum of gold and classified documents. After there boat and equipment were searched and no evidence was found they were released.

Hyatt's conclusion was that Wallace may have lied about the Golden Library as a ruse to get experienced explorers to help him find the airplane with a dead general and lots of gold. Either way, Wallace Hope left allot of gold to the jungles of Central America.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
Last Edit: 7 years 2 months ago by wreckdiver.
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12034

  • David L
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Near the head waters, of the Rio Candelaria, Campeche, Mexico. This account, seems to have several versions--and as many time-settings. I have Apache Jim's version--from his storied past, on tape--who claimed to have known this gentleman. Now I don't know what to believe. ;)
Last Edit: 7 years 2 months ago by David L.
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12035

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I would like to hear Apache Jim's version!
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12036

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You must understand, that when it comes to computers, I am semi-'detarded'. lol. It's about an half conversation, with Jim doing most of the talking of course. Do you have any suggestions?

I'll start looking for the tape, for starters...
Last Edit: 7 years 2 months ago by David L.
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12038

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Just the reader's digest version will work.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12040

  • David L
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I first heard this story from a Mormon named Scott Bluthe, on my last trip to Colonia Dublan, Chih. Mexico, circa 1981-82. Eight or ten years later, I heard a much more detailed version from Apache Jim, who claimed to have known the man personally--thus receiving a 'first-hand' account.

This pilot was hired to 'ferry' new planes to some Central American country. He had made perhaps several such trips, which had gone smoothly enough.
He had been at cruising altitude, wiling away the hours--when he became aware that his fuel readings, seemed inordinately low. Clearly, there was a substantial leak, in one of the wing-tanks--or the connecting fuel-line.

Eventually, with a 'dead stick', he began scanning the terrain for some-place to set his bird down. He spied an irregular swathe of ground, that local Indians had once planted, which was in an advanced state, of being reclaimed by nature. When the thrashing of his plane against the foliage subsided, he checked himself for injuries, and though bruised and shaken he was much relieved, to find himself ambulatory.

Collecting the emergency gear, which he always carried, for such an eventuality, he looked about, and saw no recent signs of human activity. His attention was drawn to a small hill, to the edge of this clearing.
Thinking to take some bearings from it's height, he began to climb through the dense growth. Not half way up, he was astonished to discover an opening in what he instantly recognized, as a cut-stone, man-made structure--which he surmised had been breached by an earth-quake. Gazing into it's semi-lighted corridor, thoughts of his plight in the middle of this strange place, were temporarily supplanted by a feeling of great curiosity.

With a flashlight from his kit, he made his way down rubble-strewn steps, to a chamber, containing what appeared to be some type of altar. Affixed with metal rings, to a horizontal shaft, were many clusters of gold plates, containing strange symbols, and writings.

His curiosity somewhat assuaged, he once again turned his thoughts to survival, with an added dimension of purpose, and promise.

After journeying on foot, and deliberating upon the seriousness of his situation--he set about constructing a crude raft, and set himself adrift. A day or two later, he awoke to voices, shoreward. He waved and shouted to the villagers--and they immediately launched two dugouts.

He was treated kindly by the Indians, who fed him and attended to his needs. With sign-language, he was able to convey to them the manner of his arrival. They seemed to understand.
He was taken in relays, from hamlet to village, until, at last, he was once again, re-united, with what passes for civilization.

This is essentially Apache Jim's narrative, with a touch of license, from Yours Truly...

David L
Last Edit: 7 years 2 months ago by David L.
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12041

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Interesting, the account sounds very similar. Thanks David
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12043

  • Kanacki
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Hello wreckdiver

Thanks for the interesting story. I had not heard this one before so curiosity got the better of me :laugh:

For details of the type aircraft.

General characteristics
Crew: Two
Length: 27 ft 5.5 in (8.37 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft (10.97 m)
Height: 11 ft 4 in (3.45 m)
Wing area: 337 ft2 (31.31 m2)
Empty weight: 3,312 lb (1,502 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 4,765 lb (2,161 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1690-42 Hornet radial, 600 hp (447 kW)

Performance
Maximum speed: 167 mph at sea level (269 km/h)
Range: 680 miles (1,094 km)
Service ceiling: 18,600 ft (5,670 m)

Armament

3 .30 cal (7.62 mm) Browning machine guns, one forward firing and two on a trainable mount in rear cockpit

I looked a little deeper and found a newspaper story that might be of interest from 1949.

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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12044

  • Kanacki
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hello again

Here is page one of the story.

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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12045

  • Kanacki
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Hello again

This is the last page of the story.

It as far as I can gather a story of another expedition in 1949 that might be of some help?

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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12048

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Thanks Kanacki, I have a copy of the Lamb's book "Quest for the Lost City", and it is a good read. They never located the Lost City that they were looking for, nor did they ever locate the Golden Library. However their story is a very intriguing and insightful.

I find it likely that the Vought O2U Corsair was used by the rebels, thus far I have only been able to find a specific reference the Stearman C3B being used by the rebels. However, I have still not been able to find the last piece of the puzzle linking either aircraft to the six aircraft delivered directly to the rebels by our mercenary pilot and his friends.
Were you able to find a specific reference?
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Last Edit: 7 years 2 months ago by wreckdiver.
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12051

  • Kanacki
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Hello wreckdiver

You could be right with the stearman C3B here is a picture dating back to 1929.


TITLE

Mexican C-38 Stearman Biplanes near Naco, Sonora

CREATOR

Fred Valenzuela

DESCRIPTION

Mexican C-28 Stearmans at Naco, Sonora during the Escobar Rebellion. The fourth aircraft is possibly an Eaglerock from Phoenix. The government airport in Naco was east of town on a cleared area near the cemetery and the Rebels used the Cananea field.

Publisher

Arizona Historical Society

TYPE

Image

Material Collection

The Ruth Reinhold Aviation Collection MS FM MSS 14

Material Subcollection

Series VI: Photographs

Geographic Coverage

Arizona; Mexico

Acquisition Note

Donated by Ruth Reinhold

It might be worth Contacting the Arizona Historical Society Library and Archives?

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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12058

  • Imaginos
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I spent a few hours today reading quite a number of newspaper accounts from the time looking for specific models. By the pilot accounts I read it sounds as if many of the first planes that showed up were of varied manufacture although no specifics were listed. I did see a reference to some planes that were contributed to the cause from New York. Also HR Polk describes some purchases that were "chartered" with no intention or expectation of return.

I don't know if this will be any help but I noted all the pilot names I found in reference to the "Yankee Doodle Esquadrille" aka "Yankee Doodle Birdmen"

HR Polk Nashville Tn
Buzz Morrison Reno Nv (forced landing and captured and later released to US)
Art J Smith RAF (possibly from St Louis)
George Juengling
Jack O'Brien San Francisco Ca
Phillip (Red) Mohun Buffalo NY (supposedly from a wealthy family and implied connection to contributed airplanes)
Stanley Thompson Little Rock Az
Roy W. Butler Nashville Tn (friend of Polk)
S. E. Gilbert (friend of Butler)
Patrick Murphy (brought his own plane)

R. L. Andrews El Paso Tx (flew for the Federals)

Unfortunately no mentions of manufacturers in any of the 50 or so I read.
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Re: Golden Library of the Maya 7 years 2 months ago #12059

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Gracias Imaginos, I appreciate the effort. I will keep digging, the info has to be documented some place.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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