Belt Mountains – 9 Feet Six
MULHATTON AT WORK. Strange Things Discovered by His Excited Fancy in Montana.
Every resident of Montana and many visitors to the famous Territory know that the Belt Mountains have always been the seat of mysterious stories, and that in their numerous gulches and canyons have been picked up wonderful relics. Among the most curious are agatized human maxillaries and teeth, all of gigantic size. Gold in quantities has been found in the Belt Mountains, and rubies, sapphires and even diamonds are shown as products of one or other portion of the Territory.
The Helena correspondent of the Pioneer Press sends a remarkable story, accompanied by numerous attestations to its truth. It was told by a gold hunter. He said that while prospecting in the Belt Mountains, he found a peculiar depression in the ground. After excavating, he discovered a mysterious cavern reached by twenty-three steps.
“At the foot of the stairs,” said he, “on one side of the passage lay the skeleton of a man of immense stature. The skeleton measures exactly nine feet six inches in height. The skull lay a few inches from the trunk, and between the two lay twenty-seven nuggets. They were strung on a fine gold wire, and ranged from one ounce to ten in weight. Around the thigh, arm, and shin bones were other strings of nuggets, none of which weighed more than four ounces. There were about fifteen pieces of gold in the pile. They were of many different shapes. None of them weighed over three ounces, and each piece had a hole through the center. On each side of the skull, I found some sort of precious stones. They lay in a tiny golden basket and were evidently worn in the ears as an ornament. I do not know what name to give to them, but I believe that they are rubies. Beside the trunk of the skeleton, I found a copper axe, with an edge harder and keener than any steel instrument of the kind I have ever seen. On the opposite side was a club made of the same metal as the axe. It was shaped not unlike a baseball bat. Under the trunk was a gold plate ten inches long, six inches wide, and one-eighth of an inch thick. It was covered with strange devices. A little further on lay another skeleton, that of a woman. I picked up a string of nuggets near this skull also. They were perfectly round and exactly the same size. They weighed about three ounces apiece. Every now and then I came to other skeletons, and although by nearly every one of them, I found necklaces, yet strange to say they were made of round copper balls.
The catacombs, as I have named this passage, are about 300 feet long, 14 feet wide and 30 high, and seem to have been cut out of the solid rock. At the end of the gallery is a room 60 feet square and 40 high. In the center of this room stands a block of granite about 12 feet square and four high. It seems as though the rock had been hewn out around it. It is perfectly square, and it is exactly the same distance from the walls of the room on every side. There are steps out in the rock leading to the top of the hall. On the top stands another block of granite, 10 feet long, 4 wide, and 3 high. This is hollowed out in the shape of a human form. I lay down in this, and, though I am not a small man by any means, yet the mold was much too large for me. Around the room was scattered vessels of clay, some of which will hold twenty-five gallons. They are light yet tougher than wrought iron. I tried to break one by dashing it against the granite flooring of the room. I could not even scratch it. Altogether I gathered up 500 ounces of gold in the underground passage.
1. -St. Paul Pioneer-Press
2. The Oregon scout. (Union, Union County, Or.) 188?-1918 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 17, 1889)