Everyone loves a good mystery. Mysteries don’t get much more mysterious than this Park City mystery. What is the story behind this dangling wreckage? The tale involves a significant fortune, possible foul play, or even stranger turns. Strap in, and read about the wreck of the PC Blue.
The truck itself is mostly a rusted-out hulk. Very little remains of the beautiful blue paint job that earned the vehicle the friendly moniker “PC Blue.” These days, it occupies a pit in the mountains just outside Park City. Turned upside down and dangling, rusting in the sun far from traveled roads.
Sixty years ago, It was a common sight around Park City, driven by one Lachlan Arnold, an Australian transplant to Utah. Arnold hauled for Wells Fargo, carrying cash and ore for the bank in the 50s early 60s. On a fateful February morning in 1962, during just such a journey, PC Blue made its last delivery (or rather, didn’t) for Park City’s Wells Fargo route.
Loaded with 13,000 pounds of silver from one of Park City’s last remaining mines and an additional $650,000 in cash, Arnold set off into an intense white-out on the road that is now Highway 224 toward Salt Lake City.
As the weather worsened, Arnold saw a lone figure standing in the road. That would be strange enough, considering the fact that his position was miles from town, in a blizzard. But the story gets weirder from here on out.
Out of common decency, Arnold picked up the strange man, violating Wells Fargo’s security policy against riders. He did note the figure’s similar Australian-style hat, just one more strange detail surrounding this unusual passenger. They continued toward Salt Lake in the mountain blizzard.
As the weather worsened, the stranger, calling himself “Sandy,” offered a helpful shortcut. One suggestion was followed by another, and another, until Arnold no longer knew where he was. Suddenly, a pit loomed in front of PC Blue. The truck tumbled in. Arnold’s awareness became hazy.
One of the only things Arnold remembered before stumbling back into town was the sight of Sandy. He was wandering out of view with an armload of money-bags. Arnold couldn’t even remember where the series of shortcuts and turn-offs led or how he returned to town under such unusual circumstances. PC Blue was presumed lost in the storm. Arnold somehow survived the return trip without provisions, without appropriate gear or protection. The wreck occurred miles and hours away in sub-zero temperatures.
Following the incident, Arnold disappeared for some time, despite being under suspicion from several law-enforcement agencies. His sudden and unexplained absence was never accounted for. Mysteriously, he did return some time later to aid in the investigation. He was never charged with the theft of PC Blue’s contents.
PC Blue itself wasn’t seen again until later that same year, when a group of hikers came across the wreckage, picked clean of its precious cargo. The supposed “Sandy” was never heard from again. He was also never seen by another soul either before or after the crash. A decade later, remains of another vehicle were discovered in the vicinity. It was registered to an owner in Arnold’s (and Sandy’s) hometown of Sydney and reported stolen.
While Lachlan Arnold faded from public consciousness, he remained in the area until his dying day. His grave now adorns an embankment called “Lachlan Hill,” a short distance from his signature vehicle’s resting place. The grave is carefully kept, apparently cared for by someone familiar with the man and his tale.
The cash and ore, which would have been a significant fortune in its own right once refined and minted, was never located. Was Lachlan Arnold set up by parties unknown, led astray, and left for dead in a man-made pit trap far from help? Was he complicit in the heist, carefully drawing ill-gotten loot from his hidden stash for the rest of a life lived right under the nose of the authorities? How did he survive for hours in a blizzard, injured and far from civilization? How did a second vehicle, imported and stolen, come to rest near PC Blue a decade later? What happened to the fortune in bills and silver? Did the incident ever actually take place, or is it an urban legend carried off by a talented storyteller to explain a pair of mysterious junkers?
No one knows.
This genuine unsolved Park City mystery leads to far more questions than answers. If you would like to see the pitted wreckage of PC Blue or the final resting place of Lachlan Arnold for yourself, follow the trail of the geocaching sleuth (or possibly yarn-spinner) that inspired this blog post, Seawind. They have laid out a unique, detailed set of caches recounting their discovery of the PC Blue story, which can be found by clicking here.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll find the missing treasure, lost nearly 60 years ago in the wilderness beyond Park City.