Do you know anything about lawman Commodore Perry Owens and his missing loot? I read about it in a 1978 issue of Lost Treasure magazine.

Darin Lee

Florence, Arizona

Supposedly, during the 1880s, a dozen bandits buried their loot in caches at Mexican Pocket, an area south of Flagstaff, Arizona. Legend has it several caches were found, but another $80,000 is still missing.

Jo Baeza, a writer-historian who knows that area as well as anyone, tells me: “I never heard the story, but Owens stories abound. My guess is the author was told this story by some old-timer, and he printed it as fact without any backup.” She suggests anyone with a serious interest may ask for more information from the Cline Library in Flagstaff.

These old tales often have some basis for truth. To lend credence to their tales, storytellers frequently name-dropped famous  places and people, like Owens. These stories take one down the path of plausibility, but the reader has to figure out when to get off.

I have reviewed a number of lost treasure books, and I believe they are about 90-percent fantasy. Still, lost treasure stories make up some of the best folklore we have in the West.

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