The Dream Mine prophecy: A search for buried treasure in Utah
(KUTV) Is there an ancient buried treasure hidden deep inside a Utah County mountain?
If you're a Dream Miner, the answer is yes.
"It's supposed to be very rich. If everything is what it is proposed to be, it will be very rich when we find what we're looking for," Dream Miner Leroy Rose said.
It may sound like nothing more than an urban legend, but thousands of Utahns have purchased stock in the "Dream Mine," also known as "The Relief Mine," which believers say will eventually uncover buried gold worth billions.
"That's a lot of gold," Rose said of the mine, located in the mountains south of Spanish Fork. "The mountain would almost glow, wouldn't it?"
Rose is the head of the board that oversees the Dream Mine and says the legend of the mysterious mine has attracted Utahns for generations.
"They hear that and think 'isn't this interesting', and you know, why not take a chance?" Rose said.
The chance, Rose notes, is that the story of the mine is true.
The legend goes back to 1894 when John Koyle, who was a bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said he was visited by an angel.
"He said he had a visitor who took him in the mountain," Rose said.
Koyle claimed that the angel showed him a treasure brought to Utah and left by an ancient group of people from LDS scripture, The Book of Mormon.
Written record of Koyle's vision is limited, but in a 1990 book, "Bishop John Koyle's Dream Mine: A Monument of Mystery," Dream Miner Ogden Kraut wrote an account of the experience.
"A heavenly messenger appeared to him with instructions that he had been chosen to perform a very special work for the Lord," Kraut wrote. "The messenger took John to a mountain just east of Salem and showed him a rich Nephite gold mine. He was instructed that he was to drill tunnels in that mountain in order to reach the gold."
Work on the mine began shortly after Koyle reported having the vision. However, according to Rose, some began to exaggerate and add to Koyle's prophecy.
"This is where we have a lot of speculation, there's different groups within the dream mine structure," Rose said.
The speculation led to other issues, specifically with LDS Church leadership in Salt Lake City.
"John Koyle got in trouble with the church, but I don't think it's John Koyle, It's others who made it more than it was and said 'well, if John Koyle can see these things, why can't the church see them and I think he's smarter than they are,'" Rose said. "That's where the problem came in."
In a 1913 article in the Deseret News, LDS Church leaders warned readers about the Dream Mine.
"The First Presidency warn the Saints against investing in worthless mining schemes, or valueless stock, even if promoters allege that they are guided by dreams and revelations," the article reads. "It is a timely warning. Almost everyone have heard stories of how such-and-such found a rich mine by following directions given in a dream and fondly hope for similar luck, but in most instances it will be found, on investigation, that such stories have little or no foundation in fact."
However, Dream Mine leaders say any previous conflicts between the LDS Church and the Dream Mine remain in the past.
"They bumped heads with the church, and that's not always comfortable," Rose said.
Rose, an active member of the LDS Church, says there is no conflict between an interest in the Dream Mine and any other religion.
"Do not make this your religion. This is not a religion," he said. "If you want spiritual guidance and eternal blessings, go where you can get them. Take them both, but you got to be sincere in either of them."
If the Dream Mine is not a religion, it certainly is a financial investment for believers.
Stock in the mine runs around $45 a share and entitles owners to a share of the buried treasure once it is found. Dream Mine leaders estimate there are thousands of stockholders.
"A lot of people that have a little stock. Bishop Koyle always said if a family has 100 shares of stock, that will take care of them," Rose said.
While the mine does not issue any new stock, existing shares are bought and sold, and there is even an annual stockholders meeting.
Skeptics and doubters
Seen from outside the group of believers, the Dream Mine has lots of skeptics who doubt the prophecies.
Joe Lentz has lived in the shadow of the mine for decades and has become the defacto caretaker. He says he is very familiar with the history of the mine but can't believe in the legend.
"They've found absolutely nothing," Lentz said. "I've told all of these guys that if [the mine] comes in, I'll buy them the biggest steak, and I'll sit there and eat roadkill skunk while they're eating steak."
But even Lentz admits, if the day ever comes that he is eating roadkill skunk in front of the Dream Miners, they will be very rich.
"They've said that there's seven or nine rooms full of refined Nephite gold that are in it," Lentz said. "That's pretty farfetched."
The mining stopped at the site in the 1960s after miners hit a cap that they were not able to drill through, according to Lentz. Now, some believers say it will take an earthquake to knock the cap loose and allow the Dream Miners to access the rooms filled with gold.
"It's a very unique history," Lentz said. "A lot of their philosophies are very good, I like them, but it's just not logical to me."
Logical or not, thousands of Utahns believe the story and are waiting for the day when the Dream Mine comes in.
"It's an interesting story, and John Koyle was an interesting man, did some amazing things," Rose said. "We need another John Koyle I think, and I don't see one around us, yet"
The Dream Mine group operates a website where anyone interested in their group can go for information. The mine is not open to the public.