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Victorio Peak's Gold May Never Pan Out but the Saga's One to Treasure

May 03, 1987|SCOTT McCARTNEY | Associated Press

"The question I ponder after a decade is, why did the Army go to so much trouble if in fact there was nothing there?" asked Scott, who now believes Army personnel may have taken gold from Victorio Peak. "Victorio Peak should be opened up, and I think you'd find evidence that something was there."

'Army Got a Good Deal'

Concurring is Phil Koury, Ova Noss' attorney until her death in 1979 at age 80 and now legal counsel to the Kansas City Royals baseball team.

"A lot of us have a strong feeling that the Army got a good deal of Doc Noss' gold," said Koury, who spent 15 years on the case and has written a book. "The rest of the stuff is still down in there."

White Sands spokesman Jim Eckles said the military banned searches and kept security tight because vital weapons are tested in the area. The Army, he said, never took any gold and firmly believes that there is no treasure.

"It's true the Army did bulldoze passages and place steel doors over mines," Eckles said. "Some people were accusing the Army of stealing or favoring certain groups by letting them in, so the Army closed all entrances so nobody could get in."

Retired Albuquerque Tribune Editor Howard Bryan spent much of his career chasing Victorio Peak tales, saying he came away so confused that "to this day I don't know what to believe."

All along, he said, there were enough specks of evidence to keep people interested.

"I've heard all kinds of treasure stories in New Mexico and the Southwest. Most treasure stories are in some general area," Bryan said. "This is the only one where they pointed out a hole and said it's down there--not in some lost canyon or something, but down there."

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