J. C. Brown
From Kook Science
J. C. Brown was a self-styled geologist and mystic who convinced many residents of Stockton, San Joaquin Co., California in the late spring of 1934 that he could led them to the treasury vaults of the "Lost Race of Lemuria" that were hidden in the Cascade Mountains, only to disappear when the day appointed for the expedition's beginning came around.
Lemuria Treasure Hunting, Ltd.
In late April 1934, Brown began lecturing before meetings that were hosted at the home of John Root, a retired printer and farmer, in Bours Park, Stockton. He reputedly told the gathered audience that "while working for the Lord Cowdray Mining Co., of London in 1904 he discovered a tunnel in the Cascade Mountains" that was "lined with tempered copper and relics of gold" and led into "gold-filled rooms" where the "skeletons of a giant race" of Lemurians were scattered. These claims expanded to include reference to "glass aeroplanes, vegetables grown 2500 feet underground by reflected moon-light, and radium guns that blast enemies from the earth," and a kidnapping conspiracy orchestrated by an unnamed commercial group that wanted to take the treasure for themselves.[SI] The promises of gold were powerful enough to draw in upward of eighty people, some of whom, it was reported, quit their jobs and sold off their assets to finance involvement in a planned expedition to the site of the gold hoard, all hoping to profit from the Lemurian treasure.
However, at the day appointed for the expedition to be mounted, Brown disappeared. Root, the host of the meetings, would later claim that Brown had stolen a ring and a watch from his home before departing Stockton, and it was reported that Brown - or someone matching his description - had been sighted in Lodi, some sixteen miles north of Stockton, but had hitched a ride out of town before he could be apprehended by local police.
Local Press (Stockton, CA)
- "POLICE DECIDE LOCAL 'MOSES' DERANGED, 70 FOLLOWERS TO PROMISED LAND STRANDED, Leader To Rich Land of 'Lemuria' Fails To Bring Vessel - TO HAVE GLASS BOAT - Faithful Wait in Vain For Return, Some Feeling Were Hoaxed", Stockton Independent (Stockton, Cal.): 1, 20 June 1934, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/608138793
- "THEFT CHARGED LEMURIA 'MOSES' HERE, BEFRIENDER OF LEADER SAYS RING MISSING - Root, Host To Meetings Of Followers, Charges On Jewelers - LODI MISSES 'PROFESSOR' - 'Promised Land' Prophet Blamed For Taking Watch Also", Stockton Independent (Stockton, Cal.): 1, 23 June 1934, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/608139362/
National Press (U.S.)
- "TRAIL TO RICHES FINDS DEAD END", Spokane Chronicle (Spokane, Wash.): 1, 19 June 1934, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/561735877/, "Eighty Stockton citizens today were looking for J. C. Brown, 79-year-old geologist, who had promised to lead them to riches hidden by the 'lost race of Lemuria'. Police, too, were interested and sought Brown for purposes of questioning."
- "STOCKTON HOAXED BY TREASURE YARN OF OLD ITINERANT - Man Who Promised to Lead Group to Hidden Vaults of Lost Race in Cascades Fails to Keep Date", Medford Mail Tribune (Medford, Ore.): 3, 20 June 1934, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/97025350/
- "TREASURE HUNT IS ABANDONED", Marshall News Messenger (Marshall, Tex.): 8, 20 June 1934, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/320501383/
- "PROMISED LAND Fails To Materialize. Eluded Disciples And Police Seek Moses Who Led Exodus To Lost Continent.", Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio): 18, 20 June 1934, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/99724487/
- "Dream of Fabulous Gold Horde Fades As Man Disappears", Columbus Telegram (Columbus, Neb.): 4, 20 June 1934, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/428941321/
- "Old Man's Lost Gold Yarn Fools Treasure Hunters", Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pa.): 26, 22 June 1934, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/146683542/