A World War II vet named Robert Jones explored the depths of the Huachuca landscape in a wholly different and potentially enriching way. On January 19, 1959, he drove up to the Main Gate at Fort Huachuca, having driven from his home in Dallas, Texas, with an eighteen-year-old dream to fulfill, and an incredible story to tell post officials.
He had, he said, served at Fort Huachuca in 1941 with the 25th Infantry. In June of that eventful year, he and a friend, Pvt. Robert Mayes, took advantage of some weekend free time to hike up into Huachuca Canyon. Following the Huachuca Creek stream bed near an old spring house, Jones felt the earth give way beneath his feet and the cave-in dropped him some thirty feet into a darkened aperture which led to a walled room stacked high with what Jones could only identify in the dark as heavy metallic bricks.
Private Mayes pulled him from the pit with branches and vines and Jones returned an hour later with a rope and flasWight. With the help of the light, Jones determined that the room's floorto-ceiling contents were white and red gold bars stacked like cordwood.
He covered the hole with a rock and marked the spot with initials on a large nearby rock.
The events on that June afternoon indelibly marked the course of Jones' thoughts for the rest of his life. And his story, which soon received nationwide publicity, quickened the pulse of thousands of treasure-seekers.
There were five distinct explorations of the site in Huachuca Canyon. The initial dig occurred when Jones first visited the fort and lasted for two days, January 20-22, 1959. Work ceased when the hole started filling with water. Since no evidence was uncovered to substantiate Jones' story, Col. C. O. Brunner, the post commander, told the post engineers to fill up the hole and informed Jones that there would be no more digging as it would jeopardize one of the principal water sources of the post. Jones went back to Dallas. Three other digs took place in the 1959, 1963, and 1968, each turning up nothing. Each time the Army considered it to be the final search and determined to deny permission for any further digging. Jones died in 1969, his dream unfulfilled.
In 1975 the Quest Exploration Corporation obtained permission from Washington for the fifth search for Jones' Gold. This was to be the most comprehensive and scientific treasure hunt ever undertaken at that point in time. After going over all the data collected with his colleagues at Stanford Research Institute, the senior physicist concluded "that neither the surface nor the drill hole data give any indication that a cavity such as that described by Private Jones exists within the area surveyed. It is our further conclusion that no future surface surveys are liable to improve upon the data already obtained for that area using instruments that either exist now or are known to be under development." So they could not even find a hole in the canyon floor that would match the room Jones said he fell into, and no traces of that precious mineral that had fired so many imaginations since the story came to light in 1959.