In this episode of the Magic of Kanab, Jerron Glazier and third-generation treasure hunter, Dan Dillman, join us to discuss the cursed treasure of Montezuma and its effects on the people closest to Dan. Stay tuned to also hear about his new HISTORY channel show, Lost Gold of the Aztecs.
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Hal Johnson: [00:00:01] You are listening to the Magic of Kanab Podcast, part of the Destination Marketing Podcast Network. Hello and welcome to Magic of Kanab. I’m your host Hal. Today we’re going to dive into the legend of the Hidden Treasure of Montezuma. To help me tell the story, I have two special guests with me here today. I have Dan Dillman and Jerron Glazier. Can I have you both please introduce yourselves and maybe tell us a little bit about you and what each of you do? Dan, could you go first?
Dan Dillman: [00:00:29] Sure, yeah, my name is Dan Dillman, I’m a third-generation treasure hunter. You know, I also make music, I own and operate a few historic theaters, one in California called the Historic BAL Theater and one in Utah recently that my family and I purchased called the Historical Redstone Theater. I started making music as a teenager, R&B and soul is kind of the music I make. First of all I love everything. The country has been kind of on my top list lately. But yeah, Crucial Heartbreak was the name of my ‘90s R&B boy band. So I worked with one of my best friends, Ralph Tresvant, lead singer of New Edition and so as a teenager I was living the dream, living that dream.
So yeah, we released some music on iTunes everywhere anyway under Crucial Heartbreak. And then even during the pandemic, we recorded some new songs under that same name. So you can check out some of my music.
Dan Dillman: [00:01:41] Well yeah, third-generation treasure hunter and have been doing this all my life and with a specific focus on Montezuma’s treasure.
Hal Johnson: [00:01:50] Wow, could we trade jobs or can I join your crew or how do I get into that?
Dan Dillman: [00:01:55] We might be able to, we are looking to sacrifice someone so that we may get the treasure. I’m just kidding.
Hal Johnson: [00:02:05] I love it. That may be the missing step. Right? Another sacrifice.
Dan Dillman: [00:02:10] You know what? Nowadays, back when I was a kid and I first got started and of course my grandfather and uncles, my grandfather, Raymond Dillman and my uncles, John and Paul Dillman back then we were super secretive. I mean we weren’t telling anyone anything. But really, it’s different now. I count on people. I can’t be everywhere in the mountains, in Utah, here and I can’t be everywhere and the more people that share certain petroglyphs or pictographs or locations with me, the better. So, man, I’m always looking for new team members, I guess. There’s my long-winded. Yeah. You know.
Hal Johnson: [00:02:46] I love it. I love it.
Dan Dillman: [00:02:47] if you pass the purity test though, that is important because we’ve had some people with us who greed kind of got in their hearts, and well, you know.
Hal Johnson: [00:02:55] Got you. Got you. Appreciate that. Okay, Jerron, tell us about yourself.
Jerron Glazier: [00:03:00] Hey, thanks. Glad to be here Jerron Glazier. I’m a local born and raised here in Kanab, been here my whole life. I was away for a little bit, but my parents own the local grocery store and then I personally have been playing the game of tourists making them happy with tours and lodging with some Airbnb rentals and all that. So been a lot of fun. But our paths crossed with Dan as he was searching for the treasure and it’s been a fun journey.
Hal Johnson: [00:03:31] That’s awesome. That’s great. Alright, so Dan, tell us a little bit about Montezuma, who is he? What’s the story there?
Dan Dillman: [00:03:38] Well man, that’s such a loaded question. But one thing I wanted to make sure everyone in Kanab knows I’ve been coming to town for over 43 years. So since I was a little kid, I’ve been coming to Kanab with my grandfather and uncles and I just love the place. So I’ve got to make that point. I got to let everyone know that I feel like a local really. But Montezuma, Montezuma was, first of all, he was a high priest. Most people don’t know that. They know Montezuma as the emperor king and yes, of course, he was.
His name, this is something else I like to share only because if there’s any scholars out there, they might get after us and say everyone calls him Montezuma. That’s not his name. Well, his name is Moctezuma II. We call him Montezuma, which is not incorrect. So Montezuma is the emperor king of the Aztecs, the empire. And he was an amazing ruler. And he also, what most people don’t know was an amazing collector. I mean he had an entire, we call it a zoo, but I mean it was of exotic animals and treasures and even people. I mean when you get into reading some of Cortes’ letters that he sent back to the king about what he witnessed and his direct communications with Montezuma, you find out that this was an empire that rivaled any empire that we could have ever thought of. And Montezuma was the king of that empire. That was as great as anything. Anything from the Greeks to the Egyptians. I mean it was on that level.
So Montezuma was a high priest, spiritual dude, a warrior king, emperor and he was a scholar too. Anyway, I talked too much.
Hal Johnson: [00:05:32] No, that’s impressive, Dan. I didn’t know a good portion of that. You said Montezuma II. Was his father also Montezuma? I’m assuming.
Dan Dillman: [00:05:39] Yeah. So, so Moctezuma I, I guess we call him his dad. I might get my grandfather was here, he’d be the one to correct me. I’m pretty sure that was his father. If it wasn’t his father, there was a Moctezuma I and he was Moctezuma II. And so yeah.
Hal Johnson: [00:05:57] Got you. So how did the legend around him begin? Where did this legend come from? What’s the genesis of it?
Dan Dillman: [00:06:04] Well it’s not a legend at all. And that’s what most people miss or they only hear the story they’ve been told. Most people tell a story at the same very surface level detail about this legend of Montezuma’s gold. It’s no legend at all. It’s a fact. Spain’s empire was built off the treasure that was found and taken from Tenochtitlan back to Spain. So Montezuma’s treasure is not a legend, it’s a fact.
And so how did it get started? Well, it got started because of Cortes and the Spanish arriving and seeing this unbelievable wealth that they’ve never seen before of gold and silver and artifacts and like I said buildings and –
Hal Johnson: [00:06:53] No, Dan, I love the passion. It’s not a legend. It’s a fact. I love it. You’re pulling me into this legend and this story. I can tell you right now.
Dan Dillman: [00:07:02] Thank you.
Hal Johnson: [00:07:02] What can you tell us about the curse that is rumored to exist around the treasurer?
Dan Dillman: [00:07:06] Well what I can tell you is there’s no doubt. There’s a curse. Call it a curse or call it protection depending on which side of the fence you want to be on. If you’re someone who doesn’t believe in curses, but you believe in being protected by your angels or supernatural powers or higher powers, well this treasure is protected and there have been many people who have learned the hard way unfortunately about the curse of Montezuma. I’m sure there are many that I don’t know, but I can give you a quick rundown and say one, Kanab should be very aware of Freddy Crystal.
Freddy Crystal was out here looking for Montezuma’s treasure. And there’s a long story from his beginning to his end. But let’s put it this way, his end is told in two ways. One is that he just disappeared one day. But Cowhide Adams who was Freddy Crystal’s right-hand man told my grandfather, I’ve got an audio tape of my grandfather and Cowhide Adams. Cowhide Adams says that Freddy Crystal was found seven miles outside of town with his throat cut and his maps missing. So that right there is one of the first documented in modern times of someone being hit with that curse.
Secondly, everyone knows about Three Lakes, right? At least if you don’t know, you need to do a little research on Brandt Child and Three Lakes. What a lot of folks don’t know is that my grandfather is the one who actually told the Judd family, Von Judd he was the owner of the property, I may be getting too far ahead of myself but the bottom line is my grandfather shared some information with the Judds and the Judds and the Childs were great friends that are in the same ward. And my grandfather had said that up the way there’s Three Lakes and it’s another place to investigate. The Judds shared that information with Brent Child who got excited about things and actually went and bought the property.
There’s a piece of history that most people don’t know that my grandfather was the one that led Brent Child to Three Lakes. So then getting into the Three Lakes once again we can talk for hours and hours about those adventures. My grandfather, which no one knew, became friends with Brandt, I became friends with Juan and we helped them and did joint ventures. Don’t get me wrong. The Childs are amazing folks and did their own things and should be given all the credit for the things that they have done and whatnot. But we’ve worked together as well consider Lon and family and we did some great investigations there. But his father was warned, this is anyone in town who is still around who knows Brent, he was not a BS-er. He told it like it was and what he believed and bottom line is he was him and Lon were searching for the treasure there. And an elder came out from the property there and warned him. Told him stop looking for the treasure. It’s not meant for you. It’s not meant for now.
Brandt actually for a minute heeded that message. He was kind of shook up about that. But sometimes goes on how humans get sometimes we get forgetful of things or warnings. And him and Lon had planned to go after the treasure again and one day when Brent was coming home from a mission coming down Highway 89, a black horse came through his windshield and decapitated him. That was the end of Brandt Child. And so some would say that was the curse that he was warned.
Hal Johnson: [00:10:54] That is just quite the story. Dan, thanks for the detail and I can tell right now Dan, we could talk for hours. In fact, maybe we’ll have to schedule a follow-up on this or two or three or four. This is fascinating.
Dan Dillman: [00:11:04] Yeah. Don’t let me forget this and I won’t talk too long. But there have been with the Child family, with us. There have been divers who have gone to the three lakes who have experienced phenomena that’s just unexplainable. Air being turned off, feeling choked, systems failing, drillers who have penetrated into the cavern who then died mysteriously the following evening and then his wife died. So there has been definitely some cursed activity that has followed this treasure, especially for those who are getting close.
Hal Johnson: [00:11:38] Right. And I just have to ask, does that give you a little bit of pause? You may get a little too close and to give you a moment’s pause when you reflect on those things.
Dan Dillman: [00:11:48] Well, there’s no doubt, I definitely, I tell people all the time because people find out about what we’re doing, they want to go with us. And it’s serious business. Don’t get me wrong. This is fun. This is exciting. It’s adventurous. But it’s also a serious business. My uncle Paul would say all the time that you could die out here, that this is serious business. So especially if your heart’s not right. If your heart’s not right. And if you’re really got gold fever and it’s about you and you getting rich and you getting this treasure, then you are mistaken. You will probably meet the same end that others have because this treasure is not meant for one individual.
Hal Johnson: [00:12:28] Interesting, interesting.
Dan Dillman: [00:12:29] This treasure is so phenomenal and so big. It’s meant for the world at a specific time.
Hal Johnson: [00:12:36] Love it. Love it. Well, so if people are intrigued by this podcast or if they’ve already heard about Montezuma’s treasure, how can they find more information about Lost Gold of the Aztecs? What’s your best advice on getting them started down that journey?
Dan Dillman: [00:12:49] Yeah our new series on History Channel is called Lost Gold of the Aztecs and airs every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Pacific Time. I think in Utah it’s possibly 8 in the East Coast. Anyway, you got to check your local listings I should say. But yeah, Lost Gold of the Aztecs. It follows my family and two other families. So it’s three teams and the other teams have got different perspectives and different methods than we do. We’re going based off of my grandfather and uncle’s 56-year research into Montezuma’s treasure. We also have a connection to the Aztecs. My grandmother was Aztec, Mayan and Yaqui, native American ancestry and she was born with 12 fingers six on each hand. And so was I, actually.
So we’ve got this deeper connection to the Aztecs than most. But yeah the show is awesome. But yeah. Sorry.
Hal Johnson: [00:13:52] No that’s great. That’s great. So Lost Gold of the Aztecs currently airing History Channel. Depends on your time zone. But 8,10 p.m. somewhere in there. You just have to check local listings. Right?
Dan Dillman: [00:14:01] That’s correct. And you can also get it on I just saw recently was available like on iTunes, you can purchase the episodes.
Hal Johnson: [00:14:07] Awesome. That’s awesome. So Jerron, how did you become involved in this endeavor? And yeah, just kind of tell us a little bit about what you’ve done, how you were working with Dan and kind of your story in the middle of all this.
Jerron Glazier: [00:14:20] Yeah, so Dan’s been referencing Three Lakes. We’ve actually partnered on a property called Cave Lakes, which shares the same boundary property line as Three Lakes. Dan and his family and the History Channel came and approached us and said, hey, we’ve got a hunch, we’ve got a feeling that there’s some clues, there’s some pathways here on Cave Lakes property and we’d like to explore them and we’d like to make a series out of it. We were excited about it.
Hal Johnson: [00:15:26] Well I have watched a few of those and I must say Dan, your family, yourself, very impressive. I think I mentioned before we started recording this that you’re happy warriors. You love what you do and you roll with setbacks and it’s been a decades-long search for you and your family with your grandpa and your uncles and then your family now. So I can tell the listeners that they will thoroughly enjoy and will not be bored or put to sleep if they’re watching that show. It is very, very interesting.
And Dan, one final question for you, what do you hope viewers take away from watching the series?
Dan Dillman: [00:16:00] That life is far more fantastic, mysterious, interesting than what most of us have been told. That’s for sure. That’s something. I don’t have to tell much of Kanab, that the outdoors exist and that there’s something to do to enjoy the magic and power of the mountains and the land out there, but some others who might be listening may not understand the magic and beauty that Kanab has in the surrounding area and that energy that’s there.
We believe that’s why the Aztecs came back this way, right? There’s so much for me to unfold and share that will be impossible. But we believe that Kanab and the area surrounding in Utah is the homeland of the Aztecs called Aslan. That’s why we believe that the treasure has been brought here because it’s where they originated from. So watching the show, you’re going to learn all kinds of things. Some stuff is hitting the cutting room floor. A lot of detail that I love to share but there’s three teams, there’s time restraints. So I’ve also created a YouTube channel, Montezuma’s Treasure, which is also montezumastreasure.com is our website to where I’m starting to add some short videos in support of the series to kind of bring back that detail that might have been missing.
But you know, treasure exists. Things exist to be discovered still. This American Southwest is still so unexplored that there are many things to find. But I want to tell you and everyone listening, please don’t damage or ruin things. Don’t let greed be in your heart to where you feel, you got to take something and not tell someone. These treasures are not only our ancestors, our Native American ancestors but their treasures meant for the world. We want people to be good stewards and not to damage stuff. Call your local archaeologists. Call, shoot, call me. I’ll make sure we get someone there who won’t steal away credit from you at least saying you or your family found this location. But we need to document and preserve this history for the world. So I just want to encourage everyone to be good stewards and know that. Yeah.
Hal Johnson: [00:18:23] That’s a great reminder and you know, having lived in Kanab and having been raised here I can say that for the local population, that’s exactly right. That’s how they feel. That’s how they act. They appreciate and value deeply the heritage that they have. Of course, we want to share that. But that’s a great reminder for anybody that’s out tooling through the hills, that happens to find something, bring it out. Bring it out. Let’s share that heritage and that history together. I appreciate that.
So it’s been enjoyable having you on today. For our listeners, be sure to tune in to Lost Gold of the Aztecs. That’s Tuesday, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern only on the History Channel and it was also montezumastreasure.com. Is that correct Dan?
Dan Dillman: [00:19:06] Yeah, that’s correct. Montezumastreasure.com is our website. You can find us on Facebook under Dillman Family or Montezuma’s Treasure and then on Instagram @dillmanfamily and then the YouTube being Montezuma’s treasure as well. I want to say something else real quick before we go is that I want to thank Jerron and Tanner and Jordan, those guys up at Rome. Rome has been really a big help to us. They’ve got all the gear there. They’re awesome dudes and I’m even – Jerron and I have been talking about even doing some kind of tour together, Montezuma’s Treasure Crystal Montezuma’s Treasure, and we to partner up and to really share some of these locations because Kanab is rich with Freddy Crystal and the Dillmans, and historical treasure hunting places, Three Lakes, the Childs. And so we’re working together on that.
But I just have to say those guys are amazing. I’m not getting too crazy here, but I want to say that without Rome’s help, without their openness and acceptance of us coming there and working, we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing in that location because I went to Cave Lakes 15 or 17 years ago when we were doing Three Lakes. So this is all connected and I can’t thank them enough for being partners. Now I call them friends and family. I mean, so I appreciate them. I have to say that.
Hal Johnson: [00:20:33] Yeah, Jerron, high praise.
Hal Johnson: [00:21:03] I have to echo a little bit about what Dan’s saying. I know the Rome guys well. They are a class act in every way they really are, you can find them all over social media and they offer tours and to a number of destinations, but just a class act all the way through the organization. What makes Kanab magical?
Dan Dillman: [00:22:06] I think that’s what it is, it’s magical, it’s mystical, it’s breathtaking. There are so many things that you can experience when you’re in Kanab whether it’s in Kanab right within just a few miles radius or you’re heading off to Zion or Bryce, it’s all right there. Lake Powell, it’s within a short drive, and Kanab is centrally located in Southern Utah. It’s got all the amenities, it’s got restaurants so it’s got the small town feel with a little big city dining, right? You guys got some pretty famous chefs in town now creating some wonderful food, I tried them all by the way. And then you’ve got places like Rome, businesses in town like Rome who take you on magical adventures. Things that your family will remember for a lifetime.
So I just encourage people to visit Kanab, to experience Kanab because it is magical. It is mystical and it is in my opinion, the ancient homeland of the Aztecs. And so you really get this connection. The Aztecs were far more spiritual and intelligent than most of society recognizes. You can really connect with that when you’re in Kanab.
Hal Johnson: [00:23:25] Love it, I love it. And I just have to say I concur, right? Also have the opportunity to take people out in the country and show them the sights on occasion and a couple of times, more than a couple of times I’ve heard the comment this entire area is a playground. We’re surrounded in the playground. God’s playground if you were, and it’s true. There are so many things to see in such beauty and everybody that comes exclaims that or exclaims about it.
Thank you both for being here today. I hope our listeners have enjoyed learning the story of Montezuma and the legend that follows him. For more Montezuma’s hidden treasure or Kanab, please visit our website, visitsouthernutah.com or find us on social media @abra_kanabra for Instagram or at Visit Southern Utah for Facebook. Thank you all for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review. This has been the Magic of Kanab.
This has been another episode of the Magic of Kanab Podcast, part of the Destination Marketing Podcast Network, hosted by Hal Johnson and produced by Relic.