There’s $3,000,000,000 worth of Aztec gold at the bottom of Three Lakes pond in Kanab, Utah and movie producer Mike Wiest along with landowner Lon Child are determined to get it, even if they need underwater robotic help.
For 100 years, locals have believed Montezuma’s treasure lies at the end of a tunnel below the Kane County pond.
Though some details vary, locals believe Aztecs dug the Three Lakes pond to cover the treasure’s cavernous hiding place in a water trap on the west side of the pond. Once dug, they could divert a river to the pond, fill it up and walk away from an ordinary looking pond with a valuable secret.
While it sounds far-fetched, the story has circulated throughout Southern Utah since 1914, when Freddy Crystal showed up with a map he claimed showed the treasure’s location. It wasn’t until the 1920s, when he found a series of sealed tunnels in nearby Johnson’s Canyon that people started believing him and joining his unsuccessful hunt for the gold.
In 1989, Brandt Child, a Kanab resident, bought the pond and surrounding area. He said he knew the clues in Johnson Canyon were decoys, and the real treasure lay in a water trap 36 feet below the pond’s waterline, indicated a symbol on the cliff above the cave. Multiple efforts to dive into the caves were ended after divers said they became disoriented and saw the ghosts of Aztec guardians, but they were able to detect metal at the end of the tunnel.
Child’s next move was to drain the pond. His plans were halted, however, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put the amber snail on the endangered species list in 1992. The small creature is so rare, its only known habitat is Three Lakes pond, and each one killed can incur a $50,000 fine.
Continued @ KSL TV.
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