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The Cibola Expedition

A New Legendary Discovery
Ruben Y. Amador, a native of New Mexico has lived in Grant County all of his life.  As a young child he would show the Kneeling Nun formation to visitors.  The spiritual lift he received, so proud to point her out to people seeing her for the first time.  The reaction, awesome!  They couldn't beleive their eyes when an image of a Nun, kneeling at the altar became clear.  Strangers to this land find it unusual, but to natives here she is more than a rock formation. We have been told the miraculous story, but very little has been written about her.

The Code Breaker story surrounds her.  The Kneeling Nun, in a different light.  How blessed we have been, to have such a powerful image overlooking us.  This landmark on the mountain rim above a copper mine can be seen for miles to the east and to the west.  Once you're aware of her, your attention will be drawn to her.


 Called the Needle and later the Kneeling Nun, this mountain has history behind it that has eluded mankind for hundreds of years.  New Mexico history books tell of great mineral wealth located by Spanish Conquistadors somewhere in the region around the land of Cibola.  The Codebreakers can prove today that such a region does exist.
  Spanish explorers like Don Juan de Onate and Coronado directed the path of history in the wrong direction.  The reason being their failure to understand the instructions that were given. A lot is written about these historical figures, yet they delivered no gold or silver.  Historians have over looked one individual, Fr. Marcos de Niza.  He is the one I have focused my research on.  In the Spanish story of their Cibola expedition, it is recorded that centuries before Columbus voyaged westward across the sea of darkness, a legend of golden cities had caught the imagination of men.  The legend says you were to look for the "Seven bishops".  The seven saints with the passage of time grew into the seven great caves with rich cities.  The thoughts of the conquistadors turned to the vast unknown land stretching to the north from the early new world colonies.


Could the seven cities also known as the great caves lay right beneath us here in Grant County?  It is on the states mineral belt and is considered the hub of the mining district.  Also, old maps of the area mention all seven saints.  The Cabeza de Vaca expedition into this land recorded a story given him by natives.  The story relates that groups of towns with many people and great wealth lay far to the utmost reaches of Spanish exploration.  The Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza, lost little time in undertaking to investigate this story for glory of the Spanish Crown and the furtherance of his own fortunes.  He commissioned Fr.Marcos de Niza, a monk with previous experience in Peru and Guatemala, to accompany Esteban the Moor (one of Cabeza de Vaca's fellow travelers) on an expedition northward.


The progress of the  exploration was shrouded in mystery until Fr. Marcos de Niza appeared at a Spanish settlement with a narrative  that affirmed the truth of the seven cites of Cibola.  Despite the evidence, argument has persisted through the centuries debating if Fr. Marcos knew what he was talking about.  Even today historians are not at all unanimous in considering him the "Lying Monk".  Perhaps the legend of the seven cities is to fascinating to discard.  Of crucial importance in the history of the New World, Coronado's expedition into New Mexico was mounted specifically to check out the Friars story and to secure the bountiful territories by force of Spanish Arms.

Santa Rita Mt. as seen from Santa Clara


Coronado didn't reach Cibola, he reportedly ended up in northern New Mexico in the Zuni pueblos.  It was at this time the truth of the seven cities turned to myth and since, have been believed as such.  In 1590, Spanish explorer Don Juan de Onate led an expedition into New Mexico following a great river which received the name "El Rio Grande." During his quest, he would name the places which he passed thru with religous names.  "El Paso del Norte, Las Cruces, Belen, Santa Fe,  etc. He was instructed to look for a region that represented characteristics of these given names.  I know of such a place.  Those religious names would fit perfectly to the mountains around Grant County.

Los Santos

The theory of "La Reina de Los Angeles" that took place in the Santa Rita and Pinos Altos Mountain range, is a result of 25 years of research.  Santa Rita,
 known as the Kneeling Nun which represents the Queen of Saints "La Reina de Los Angeles," is one of the major pieces in the puzzle, put together in December 1995.  This is where the theory comes into place with all that has been said and written.  While studying this time frame, the Seven Cities of Cibola caught my attention.  I had one question.  If there ever was Seven Cities or Caves, how come by now, nobody has ever found them?  Or even one?  I was reminded by my peers, that it was a myth. but perhaps someday, somebody would find one and prove the myth to be true.

As I grew up, I learned quite a bit about my surroundings.  Always hearing how historically significant my home this land was. And the possibility of treasure in the mountains.  One day, I was invited on a treasure hunt by Steve Harvey (the Code Breaker) who has since passed on. While in the mountains, backpacking, camping out, recording the footsteps of the Code Breaker, it was a great feeling.  Harvey, along with others, that I have met during his quest, understand about the Cibola myth, they have taught me a lot.  For instance, a man who came here looking for the Seven-Cities of Gold, in Northern New Mexico, came by my house. I took him to the hills around here. 

He told me of his research in the archives of Spain, of the things he was looking for. Those things are exactly the things I have found here in Grant County. I've always wished that if I could change the way we live today for the better, I  would. Now it seems that the cards are falling into place and now it's time to fulfill my instructions in life by introducing to all of you , the  wisdom and visions that have occurred to me at this time. To find the City of Angels, La Cuidad de Santos, Sanfa Fe and Cibola, is to find all these in one general area. That happens to be Grant County, New Mexico.

The Mimbrenos who occupied this area hundreds of years ago were known as the "artist's of the world." Near the Kneeling Nun formation there is an image of an eagle, sacred to the native people. I believe this eagle formation to be associated with one of their ancient legends.  The open pit copper mine currently overlooked by the eagle and the Kneeling Nun is one of the richest mineral deposits in the U.S.  It is also one of the most historic.

Around the year 1800, a Spanish officer, Col. Jose Carrasco was given lumps of copper ore by some local natives.  Recognizing the richness of the deposit, he quit the military and started mining.  Today the mining continues. Open pit mining began in 1910 and soon swallowed up the town of Santa Rita and a spanish fort named Fort Santa Rita. Likely, no other vista in the state of New Mexico has been so completely changed. Yet the air is alive with history.

Santa Rita Mt. with a Gold Cross at the top.

The native American prophecy specifically states that the sacred messenger would be of a female spirit. Fr. Marcos de Niza himself gave this mountain the female name of Cibola.  Cibola in spanish means female buffalo, which in this case, we are speaking of the "mother lode." I have come to the conclusion that I have geologically located the land of Cibola (the Seven Cities of Gold). New Mexico history books (reference; "Fr. Marcos de Niza Narration a history of New Mexico" revised edition 1986 and " The Journey of Fr. Marcos de Niza" Juanita Hellenbeck,1949) will only make sense to us when we refer to the geological landmarks as proof, as I have done in Grant County, New Mexico. Remnants of "el Camino Real" a road chiseled on stone lies here, along with remnants of a great river.

History tells me that Fr. Marcos de Niza and his guide Esteban the Moor would communicate with crosses. On the last leg of the  Code Breaker story, the codebreakers found a six foot cross carved in stone after sixteen years of exploration. Three years after that, I understood the secret of that cross, pointing to what I believe will Be Known as the richest mountains on earth. Be advised, Fr. Marcos de Niza himself, who had found precious metals around the world for the Spanish crown, reported this region as being the richest he had seen with his own eye's yet the world considered him a "Lying Monk."  In my opinion he was no liar.

Ruben Y. Amador                                       Jan.2001

And now the story continues....

Because I was lead to believe that the image of the Kneeling Nun was sacred, my deepest thoughts sent me to researching into what was written and what was said..  I was shown to understand that there had to be seven bishops "said the legend." So I journeyed up the Mountain Santa Rita landmark, during my excursion up this mountain, I thoughts about the story and how Santa Rita was the name of the town-site and not the landmark, to me she could only be but Santa Maria on stone.  To me God would not have created a geological formation of any other woman kneeling in front of an altar. So right there and then I could feel that I was walking sacred ground. On December 23, 2005 Christmas just days away the weather was summer like and I had the opportunity to get away, I hitched a ride with one of the mines general Foreman whom believed strongly about what I was seeking he would always tell me, "your on a mission aren't you." 

Well by the time I reached the summit of the mountain, I was exhausted. At 9:00 in the morning I fell asleep so soundly for the first time in a very long time. I was finally going to touch the Kneeling Nun with my own hand. The moon had been on the west side of the mountain at 4:30 am when I started up, a freind was able to get me way up along the side of the mountain which saved me alot of sprained ankles and such as the terrain was very rocky. Then at sundown a compadre of mine would pick me up. From the observation point @ Santa Rita he pointed to where I was to come down to with code signals we had agreed upon.

Back to when I fell asleep,  I woke up because my shade had moved with the suns movement. I awoke to the greatest most sacred image that I had ever imagined possible.  I so wanted the Kneeling Nun to represent Santa Maria, that to my surprise I noticed that behind the altar of the Kneeling Nun was the image, standing possibly 100 feet tall holding the image of baby Jesus, San Jose with the baby Jesus being 35-40 feet tall, here I have what to me represents the manager as put to me during Christmas, and here I am days before Christmas, 1995 I was bringing down to everyone this picture to prove what I had seen with my own eyes. By the way I got to touch and kiss the base of the landmark so precious to me.  

The Saints as I saw them,
compare photos "Rubens Theory"
Image of true "Santa Fe"

 As I walked down from the Kneeling Nun, I understood alot more about her. The saddest thing now is, watching all the Chino Mines earth moving equipment below in the pit, moving up the mountain, headed right towards her, our sacred image of our "Blessed Virgin Mary" created by the hand of our almighty God so that we would remember and never forget a major religious event had occurred and the story continues to be heard thru out the world now. (Ruben's Theory..)

I can imagine the masses of people from around the world wanting to see and touch such a glorious heart warming image of Gods work, all here in my own backyard. At this present moment in my life I believed that for the first time in Grant County's life we would  have the potential of bringing attention needed to our area and to preserve what is left of our Kneeling Nun Mt. As long as I can remember (and I've lived here all my life) Grant County Bounty has always left town on trains lots of trains, 90 years of trains, and now it leaves on trucks daily, lots of trucks. For some crazy reason Grant County's mineral belt has supplied the outside with metallic wealth for many years, and it is now very sad how Grant County today is in desperate need of commerce. From the time that I was a kid  until now not much has changed at all.  Todays Politicians have to beg for outside help when we should have been self supported by now. My only wish is that "Ruben's Theory" can attract the outside to come visit Grant County's Majestic Mountains,bring commerce to our territory. I believe endless job opportunities, will happen because of "Ruben's Theory" the Code Breaker Tour.   

Nun Mt. as seen from Santa Clara
Notice the destruction and how close to the landmark they are.

The mining companies around here seem to have forgotten how much they have reaped from our mountains. They have forgotten to share with the people whose land they have taken. Even today we are not known to really exist, "where is Silver City?" is what we natives commonly hear even today. Yet alone Know where Santa Rita is.

You would think that with all the monies that past and future mining companies have taken out of here, that there would at least already be facilities thru out the land that would allow its citizens to a life, a prosperous life just like their very own, but these people that give the orders to tear down our mountains are not even from here, yet alone care for the natives of the land. Its a shame that recorded millions and millions in profits are made on a yearly base from our mining people and even today Silver City is still seeking monies to help the elders and the children, something is totally wrong here, so I decided to do something about it.  I was to begin what I considered my contribution to all those that live in my corner of the world and beyond if possible. I was tired of seeing failer and somebody someday was going to have to stop everything and get to the beginning, a new beginning to prosperity for everyone, all based on total faith. I grew up saying that I would of jumped in for Jesus, that I would of taken the cross off of his shoulders and put it on my very own at all costs.
Well I beleive I have been asked to do something of the same situation, that I have always had in my heart.  Jesus, why do I exist if it is to be a followers of men whom have no idea of what was really out there? 

Like I said before that I would have jumped in for Jesus Christ, well I now have the honor of doing so. You see I have to protect the Saints images, the landmark of the Kneeling Nun, from any harm from todays mining companies seeking the mineral wealth that lay beneath her. Are you going to sell out for coins again I ask? I pray not, I now have the task that I have put onto myself and that is to save and protect the image of the baby Jesus from the mighty machines wanting to gobble up our entire manger.

Santa Rita Mt. as seen from the East side of Mt.
Dumps growing on east side of Mt.

Perhaps now with the announcement of the images of the Saints on the Internet, the world attention will help me protect such a precious situation.  What if Christopher Columbus's first ship "la Santa Maria" was the focus of this mountain range? Anyway I know the picture glyphs left behind in my mind, by this I mean I had now started to read and understand the mountains. Geologically speaking.

At this point I was clearly understanding that you could not understand archeology with out  understanding geology first. It wasn't until I understood the mountains telling me a story by their own means of hidden secrets did the petroglphs start talking away to me.  I realized that it is possible that a New Mexico legendary figure Don Juan de Onate, was seeking this major landmark.

I believe that Onate was naming the pueblos that he ran into during his quest, the names that truly belong here in my mountains. The Kneeling Nun image along with San Jose holding baby Jesus is what could easily have been the true Belen he was seeking, but he took the wrong river. Belen in Spanish tongue means Bethlehem. Baby Jesus being the main focus, and here we have it.  Above the old town site that was known as Santa Rita, now totally dismantled by the mining industries that have come and gone. You see Don Juan de Onate was following Marcos de Niza's narration to the Seven Cities of Gold and we have Nizas footsteps on stone here in Luna and Grant Counties, in fact we have the last 100 miles of Nizas 5000 mile quest to the Seven Great Caves known in history as Cibola.

When you read New Mexico history books only the first two paragraphs of any book written about the legendary Seven Cities of Gold made any sense, but thank God they kept printing it. Our history books clearly state that the Seven Cities of Gold exist in the Southwest New Mexico, thats where I live and that the journey would be marked by crosses on stone. Boy do we have crosses on stone, very few have seen, but didn't understand. Being that the mountain that I was walking down at the moment was being torn down, I realized that I was going to have to find mankind something bigger to strive on. Thats what we've been dealing with all our lives. Copper the pennies of the world for the past 100 years our people have worked 30 -40 years of their lives only to die and leave those that follow again striving for the pennies, nothing has changed, just go there our area, our territory. We are very poor here. Our communities are either in the red or close to it and here we are in the future.

So with Ruben's Theory I was to get us to the Gold. I now begin to search for heaven on earth, the art on earth as it is in heaven, as you just noticed. I got a very good start with the great image of the manger, the Kneeling Nun landmark. Being that I had located three of the legendary saints mentioned in New Mexico history, I was now in search of the others whom ever might appear to me. You could not even imagine the feeling I had knowing that inside my camera was a picture that means so much to all mankind, which i believe will bring great change in the forishing future generations.

A few days later after announcing the saints during the Christmas season to family and friends, was I made aware of another major religious icon. As I was drinking me a cup of coffee outside my mothers back porch after a Christmas day breakfast with all those that came from afar to be with us to celebrate Christmas day, did I notice that the eye of a needle landmark was within my eyes view right here on moms back porch.

Image of San Pedro
Eye of the Needle

I've lived here all my life and had never noticed not even the hole in the mountain side. I accepted this landmark to represent the image of San Pedro, Saint Peter, I've read you've got to go through the eye of a needle to get to Jesus Christ, well I now realize that I had to journey up the mountain and stand inside this eye of a needle. Just imagine this finding of the image of such a Saint. Fits right into Ruben's Theory.

This landmark of the eye of a needle, deep into my memory bank gave me an utmost feeling.  I wandered to myself, how sad to think that, this landmark being my guide to the Santa Rita Kneeling Nun Mt. and which is in danger of being demolished in our near future.  How on earth could I ever protect the image of baby Jesus sitting on the right arm of San Jose (Saint Joseph) and the image of the Blessed Mother, the image of the  Virgin Mary"Santa Maria" of the Spanish quest into New Mexico.  Going up the mountain I thought the only way to save the Kneeling Nun Mt. would be to find something a lot more worthy than the Copper being mined at the Santa Rita open pit and of course that would definitely be Gold. At this point I realized that I myself am not seeking gold, I can't eat it, or drink it so, my thought now was only by the mighty hand of God could I save our sacred Mountain.  Well I guess what I remembered this bible verse that says that only through the grace of God would you enter his kingdom. well my thoughts came through  to me as I walked past the sacred image of San Pedro way beyond to the south of it I turned back and a great blessing to all mankind occurred to me, as I looked North through my binoculars I was able to see the holiest image of all times. The image of Jesus Christ with a crown of thorns on his head most importantly not nailed to a cross but very much alive as he is holding this cross in his right hand and a bouquet of roses in his left. The image of the huge cross and bouquet is at least a mile across from one arm to the other.  

Image Monte Cristo Rey Behind Ft. Bayard
Image of Monte Cristo Rey Crown of Thorns to the right and slightly above the water tank .
Image of Mt. Rey holding his cross in right hand. (white on blue).

The cross being held by Monte Cristo, I believe, the Spanish would have given it the name Santa Cruz, on the other hand the bouquet of roses. Now notice the image behind Monte Cristo, I mean notice that the entire mountain range is the image of the bull "El Toro de Oro" in its magestic best. The Twin Sisters peaks make up the bulls horns and the rest of the body is the remaining mountain range to the left of the peaks.


My theory is that this image of the bull received the given historical name world wide known as "Cibola". In Spain the word Cibolo means male buffalo Cibola is the female buffalo, in this case mother lode!

The bouquet of roses is located at the tail end of this image of the bull, I went there because of the Spanish saying "El Toro Caga Oro". When I got there after a two day backpacking journey I did locate historical and archaeological evidence the Spanish were present there 500 years ago. I located a natural entrance into the mountain with a face, carved into the stone, the image of a face of a very ancient King. A road carved on stone showing me that a lot of travel occurred. A 10 ton heart shaped stone was also in place at the entrance.

Because of the extraction of gold from this bouquet of roses location, a Spanish saying resulted with the saying "Quedo bein rosada", in english, the opening was raw of so much that was produced from that location. But I did notice that there remains clear evidence of what can possibly be the oldest catholic church in the state of New Mexico. Three steeples with 2 inch diameter holes on each one on top of a ten foot tall rim of a circular hand carved column with a spiral stairway, taking you up to where it was very possible that Marcos de Niza Christianized a few Indians. Before going into the mine entrance, remnants of sitting arrangements were evident where flat boulders are still intact.

This entrance showed me that it had been hand filled, probably by human conveyor system (slaves). I can strongly see that Spain covered it up possibly from other Europe goverments seeking gold. But Spain never made it back so it is evident that the masons of Spains Military did a very professional job on covering up the entrance and unless you understood the Spanish period and of course I am a descendant of Spanish blood you would not locate the entrance.

Being that this entrance was sealed shut and it took me three days walking to and from, I thought of the possibilities of possibly finding another opening alot closer and more convenient for me to fully investigate my theory of the Seven Great Caves with this one , the bouquet of roses claim site I figured, had six more entrances to locate so there I got treasure hunting at its very best.  Claim Site #1.


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