But if the Navajos had been able to read and understand the reports compiled by this newest group of white men, they would have realized that vanadium was not the object of the hunt. The prize the white men sought was something elseand it might be located alongside the vanadium, in the same channels of rock. Union Mines employed code talkers, too. . . . 31 ft. long outcrop, avg thickness 3.2 ft. of vanadium with some weakly disseminated S?37 . . . They wrote not just of S?37, which was an indicator that the treasure was close at hand, but of SOM, the thing itself, and SOQ, the product that could be fashioned from it.
Excerpted from Yellow Dirt by Judy Pasternak. Copyright © 2010 by Judy Pasternak. Excerpted with permission by Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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