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Hidden Treasures of Mt. Shasta

From Author Emilie A. Frank
Mt. Shasta - Lupine and Sage  by Jane Gallagher

Everyone loves a mystery, especially a mystery about Mt. Shasta. There have been many fascinating myths and legends written about this northern California giant and who is to know which are based on fact and which are pure fiction?


The solitary mountain simply slumbers on, her secrets intact. But ever so often another mysterious story surfaces, a new cast of characters emerge and attention is centered once more on the mystic mountain.

That's the way it has been for years and probably will always be.The leading character in the following tale is a baffling man by the name of J.C. Brown who, in 1904, was employed with the Lord Cowdray Mining Company of London, England. He was hired to prospect for precious metals in this gold-bearing region and while here, he ran onto a section of rock in the face of a cliff which didn't seem to match the surrounding formation. While examining the curious stone he noticed it blocked the entrance to what appeared to be a cave. Brown, a geologist, thought the entire scene was unnatural and began to dig out the mouth of the cave which was full of debris and vegetation.

He began to see that it was not a small cave and after much digging found himself in a tunnel which curved downward into the mountain. Equipped with lanterns and miner's paraphernalia he set out to explore.

"Three miles from the mouth of the tunnel I struck a cross-section containing gold-bearing ore and farther on I struck another cross-section where an ancient race apparently had mined copper," he said later.

He believed the other cross-sections outcropped on some other part of the mountain. The decline continued and approximately 11 miles inside the mountain he found what he called "the village."

He discovered two rooms filled with copper and gold tablets, about three by four inches and concave, so that one laid inside the other. The rooms were literally full of these plates, all inscribed neatly. And that's not al he found. Te alls ere lined with tempred copper and hung with shields and wall-pieces made of gold. On some of the golden plates he found were engraved certain drawings and hieroglyphics. There were tempered copper spears and other objects made of gold.

Rooms opened into other chambers, one of which appeared to have been a place of worship. In addition, there were 13 statues made of copper and gold and a large sun design from which protruded golden streamers.The way the objects were strewn about, he had the feeling the occupants of the underground village had left on the spur of the moment.

And then he came upon a macabre scene - in one chamber he counted 27 skeletons, the smallest of which was 6'6" and the largest stretching out more than 10 feet. Two of the bodies were mummified, each clad in colorful, ornate robes. Brown spent days exploring, studying the hieroglyphics and indelibly imprinting them in his mind. He was excited about this great archaeological find and decided to leave the tunnel and its contents exactly as he had found them. He would return. But first he cleverly concealed the entrance of the tunnel and marked on his map exactly were it was on the mountain.

The next three decades, those spanning 1904-1934, Brown's activities seem to be shrouded in mystery but it is known that he studied the literature and philosophy pertaining to the lost continent of Mu and the lost Lemurian civilization, among other lore of prehistoric races. Years of study and comparison of the hieroglyphics and pictographs he had found in the tunnelconvinced him that they were, indeed, records of the Lemurian race. And so, after 30 long years, Brown surfaced. He decided that the golden artifacts still hanging untouched in the cavern in the mountain and the glory of those Lemurians should be shared by others.

In 1934, at the age of 79, Brown appeared in Stockton, California. His idea was to organize a group of people interested in accompanying him, at his expense, to Mt. Shasta and once there, they would explore further the ancient tunnel he had found in 1904. Eighty eager Stockton residents, including a newspaper editor, a museum curator, a retired printer, several scientists, and other solid citizens formed a group to investigate the tunnel with J.C. Brown. They met nightly for six weeks to plan the expedition, and also to listen to Brown's fabulous tales of lost continents, hieroglyphics, and the enticing descriptions of the treasure which seemed to be just within their grasp. Some even gave up their jobs and some sold much of their personal property during those six weeks, so certain were they that their lives would be altered and enriched after their remarkable discoveries.

The editor and the curator questioned Brown closely, going over and over the details of his bizarre story. Brown disclosed that he had spent much of the previous 30 years searching for ancient records pertaining to the Lemurians, and his mental pictures of the hieroglyphics in the tunnel village had convince him that he had found the lost link in the story of civilization. And he told them he believed the golden antiquities he had found were those of the Lemurians or their descendants. Brown even promised to provide a yacht to transport the group as far north as they could go by water.

They would leave on June 19th at 1:00 p.m. The day dawned clear and beautiful and 80 Stockton citizens were waiting at the designated time for their leader to appear. They had met the evening before in order to consummate the final details, after which J.C. Brown bid them adieu until the next afternoon. However, Brown was never seen by the group again and what happened to him is anybody's guess. The members of the group feared for his life - he had mentioned that he had once been kidnapped and had barely escaped with his life.

They called in the Stockton police but no trace of the man was found. He had completely disappeared. But the 80 persons who waited in vain for him that June day believed the authenticity of his story and they believe in the existence of the vasttunnel in Mt. Shasta filled with golden artifacts. Unfortunately, J.C. Brown had never revealed the exact location of the secret tunnel in the mountain and it is highly probable that these treasures of a prehistoric era will never again delight the eyes of another human. Wreathed in clouds and mist and sealed throughout the ages in ice and snow, Mt. Shasta keeps her secrets to herself, as always . . .


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