The ancient Brass Plates
The plates pictured here were found while searching the under ground shaft, which was built around 450 ad. It's contents seem to be protected by a series of "booby traps", as a number of people have mysteriously been killed trying to enter the tunnel. In the early 1980's, Jose Davila, (who was able to
discern what the glyphs said), took a group of BYU archeology students to this location, where they tried lowering someone down the hole. I believe it was, two, of the students died that day. One trying to save the other.
Many others have tried entering the hole. Some have made it out and some weren't so lucky, but these are the only known artifacts to leave that area. This under ground cavern is described as having room after room of gold and silver objects and that the main shaft eventually leads to a large room stacked with metal plates. It is believed that the precious metals were placed there, first, to divert any looting of the plates, (which would have been more precious to these people, than gold would have been). I don't believe that this is treasure left by the Aztecs. It was made too early and it is centered more around protecting the plates, not the gold.
About Jose Davila
Many interesting things could be written about Jose Davila. With all of the interesting and exciting things that have gone on in his life, he is a true adventureer. But as with all adventurers, he has had just as many heart breaking bad experiances as he has had good. I will not try to write everything I could about Jose, only bits and pieces of his involvement with the mysterious symbols.
Jose is of Mayan decent, and is a highly self educated man with a photo-graphic memory. His love for history and archaeology is the reason he spends all of his time and efforts in these areas. He accompanied Milton R. Hunter, a general authority of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints on an expedition to the Lacandon Indian area in Southern Mexico and Guatamala. He was also asked to accompany a Brigham Young University archaeological team to several Mayan areas in 1953 and 1956. He assisted Dr. Wells Jakeman in an excavation of Izapa Mexico. He was also asked to assist in the explorations by the New World foundation, a digging arm of the department of Archeology at B.Y.U. University. He spent many years as a tour guide of the ancient ruins in the Ucatan peninsula. When I interviewed him in 1995, he was involved in the digs at Tulum, where he was looking for the Hall of Records that his ancestors kept and then hid in ancient times.
CRACKING THE CODE
In 1961 Jose acquired 5 out of 12 Gold plates, that were found in a tomb at Amuzgus, Oaxaca, Mexico, by Dr. Jose Padilla. These gold plates had a strange writing on them, never being seen before by archaelogists. Jose immediately recognized the style of writing as being the same as facsimile no. 2 from the book of Abraham, printed in the Pearl of Great Price, in the book of Mormon, called Nephite reformed Egyption.
Jose spent two long years trying to crack the code to reading these hieroglyphs. Along the way he received help from Elder Joseph Fielding Smith. He gave Jose a copy of a manuscript entitled "Grammer and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language" an unpublished work from Joseph Smith's school of the prophets. The book was on interpreting Nephite reformed Egyption. With this information he says, along with Budges dictionary on Egyption symbols, he finally cracked the code to interpreting the symbols written on the gold plates.
ALONG COMES DEL ALLGOOD
Del Allgood owned a small rock shop in Fillmore UT. He was a talented man and could do the most amazing things with an old twisted up piece of wood or a pile of ordinary rocks. If he wasnt busy creating his works of art, he was in the hills looking for more rocks and trees to build his art with. It was during one of these excursions that he stumbled upon the mysterious symbol site, in the hills above Fillmore Utah. He wasn't the first to discover them, but he did take an unusual interest in them, trying to figure out there meaning.
Del worked at the local gas station to help subsidize his income. He loved talking to the customers about the symbols and the Spanish mines in the mountains. One day a man from Salt Lake City stopped by for a fill up. As usual Del started talking about the symbols and how they almost looked like Egyptian hieroglyphs. The man knew Jose Davila and his studies in reading Egytian. He told Del that he knew a man, who could probably interpret them for him. He told Del all about Jose and the gold plates. He told him Jose was from Mexico but happened to be in Salt Lake.
Del wasted no time in getting a hold of Jose. He described the symbols to Jose over the phone. He agreed to pay for a round trip bus ticket and money for meals, if Jose would just come out to Fillmore, and take a look at the symbols. Jose agreed. Arrangements were made and bus tickets were purchased.
JOSE FINALLY SEES THE SYMBOLS
When Jose arrived in Fillmore in September of 1964 Del met him at the bus station. They headed for the symbols four miles east of Fillmore in Chalk Creek canyon. They came to rest in front of a small cave. On top of the cave's entrance was an inscription of 25 characters. In Jose's own words he said: "A sober evaluation of these inscriptions led me to the conclusion that I was confronted by the first kind of Nephite Idiogramic writing that had ever been found in petroglyphs in North America." Five days later, Jose had translated a number of the symbols and was very excited about them. He says they talked about sacred records deposited there. And they gave the instructions to retrieve them.
LOOKING FOR THE SACRED RECORDS
The rest of that winter found Jose working on the translation of the symbols and surveying the area. When the snow finally melted, they started marking the area for the place to dig. Jose figured the inscriptions said to draw a square area 100 cubits per side. And put intersecting diagonal lines to determine the center where they were suppose to dig. As they were marking one side of this area, they found a carved stone hand in the middle of the line they just drew. They didn't think anything of this hand and proceeded to the center of the box they had just drawn. During the rest of the summer (1965), they proceeded to dig a 20 foot tunnel and drilled over 600 feet of exploratory holes just to eliminate possible site locations. Jose said it was an expensive summer. They spent over $1000 for drilling and over $1000 for road work, tunneling, dynamite, food and fuel. Jose spent that summer living near the site in his camper. When snow came, it forced them to stop. They had to wait until the following summer to start up again.
THE COURT BATTLE
That summer Jose and his helpers put in an 80 foot shaft 20 foot wide. They felt they were close to breaking into the tunnel where the gold plates lay hidden. However, Jose said greedy eyes were watching there progress all the time. Just waiting for the right moment to jump in and finish the job themselves. At that moment, Devon Stanfield offered the owner of the mining claims, Harold Huntsman, $100,000.00 dollars to step in and stop Jose before he broke into the chamber, so he could retrieve the gold plates. A costly court battle broke out between Huntsmand and Jose, with Jose losing. During the court battle they reached the 80 foot mark and mushroomed the hole out at the bottom of the shaft. Their plan was to drill some exploratory holes 360 degrees around the bottom of the shaft hoping to locate the chamber, which they felt they were near.
THE FATEFUL DAY, NOV.6 1966
On Noveber 5, Duane White and Kent Neeley were working on the shaft. Jose was in the hospital with a ruptured appendix. Devon Standfield showed up and ordered the men to stop work and to get off the property. The men told Stansfied they were working under Jose's orders and they were not leaving. Stansfield told them he would be back Monday morning with a court order and the sheriff to kick them off the property. Duane and Kent decided they better get in and get the gold plates out before Monday. They drilled three 20 foot holes at the bottom of the shaft. The next day November 6, they loaded the holes with 91 sticks of dynamite. The large boom from the blast echoed across the valley. It was a Sunday, Jose had always preached against working on the sabbath, but they felt the situation warranted it. The blast went off at 4pm. Three air hoses were dropped domn the shaft and the compressor was turn on full blast. Kent and Duane headed for town to eat while the fumes from the blast were clearing out. While eating, Kent's parents showed up. Two hours after the blast, they all headed back up the mountian to the shaft. Kent went down first to see if they had broken into the chamber. When they didn't hear from him Duane went down. He started yelling to pull him up and as they did he fell out of the 55 gallon drum he was being lowered down in, Both of them had been over come by the gasses and lack of oxegen from the exposion. Kents mother went to town for help. bt the Sherriffs possey had no way to retrieve the bodies. It was finaly Del algood who retrieved them. That night Del call Jose at the hospital and gave him the bad news. In Jose,s own words he say's After del called me that night I left emmediatley for the site and slept by it in my camper. Next morning when I took the cap off of the shaft I could still smell the gasses.