Monday, December 29, 2008

One More in Le Flore County, OK, Brushy Mountain

If you venture into Le Flore County, Oklahoma to look for Buzzard Hill and that Spanish treasure or even Skullyville you might want to stay a day or two longer and check out the area around Brushy Mountain. I’ll get the fine print out of the way up front; there are four mountains in Oklahoma named Brushy Mountain so make sure you are looking at the one in Le Flore County and not somewhere else.

This treasure is another one linked to the Spanish. It is said to consist of over 12 million dollars in gold doubloons and ingots hidden by Spanish Traders who thought an Indian attack was imminent.

As with the Buzzard Hill treasure, several Spaniards, some say as many as six over a period of time from 1850 to 1926, came into the area of Brushy Mountain looking for clues to this lost treasure. A man named Clutter even did some digging on the south side of Brushy Mountain where he had found several clues from an old Spanish map he was given to hunt for the treasure. His digging uncovered a skeleton, several hundred arrow heads, some grinding stones and pestles but no gold. Some of the clues he found included a series of drill holes above where he dug and a shaped ledge, all of which were apparently on his map. He had interpreted the symbols as marking the location of the cave that the gold was in but he never found the cave.

In 1968 some Spanish armor was found by a treasure hunter on Brushy Mountain which would at least prove the Spanish were there just in case you have any doubts.

This story and the one about the treasure on Buzzard Hill both seem to intermingle their clues when you read about the stories. Some of the old Spanish and Mexican searches may have been looking for clues to one treasure and their story was told with the other and vice versa. The Spaniards that came into the area looking for clues along the two rivers were probably searching for this treasure on Brushy Mountain and not the treasure on Buzzard Hill since Brushy Mountain is actually in the area of Elk and Grand Rivers. I should point out that Elk River wasn’t always called Elk River, it used to be the Cowskin River.

There are a few stories of a lost Spanish mine in this area and some start at a spot in the next county called Standing Rock. Some of these stories and clues may all be connected and others may be to one of the other treasures in the area. Several carvings and drill holes have been found in the area of Standing Rock, Buzzard Hill and Brushy Mountain.

The good thing about the treasure on Brushy Mountain is that the clues and the treasure itself may not be as hard to find as the one on Buzzard Hill. I’m not saying it will be easy because if it was it would already be gone but, the Spanish working the mine at Buzzard Hill had more time to make and hide their clues where as the Spanish traders were in fear of an imminent Indian attack and probably hid that treasure relatively fast, making most if not all of the clues visible, as in above ground.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Skullyville, Oklahoma

It seems as though I am stuck in Le Flore County, Oklahoma. I have one more place for you to check out if you go to look for the other treasure sites in this county. This spot is now a ghost town with no buildings left, but the town was named after money.

Skullyville, Oklahoma was established in 1831 by Major Francis Armstrong as the location of an Indian Agency responsible for paying annuities to the Choctaw Indians. Annuities that were always paid in gold! The name of the town was from the Choctaw word for money, “iskuli”.

The town site contained several springs and the Indian Agency building was built next to one of the largest springs located on a small hill. The Choctaw Indians that came to live in and around the town built log homes to live in, many of which lasted for more than 100 years. The Choctaws began arriving in the town in 1832, just after the town was established.

The gold coins used to pay the Indian annuities were shipped by boat to the town in kegs. It is said that the kegs of gold coins “were often left in the yard or on the front porch of the Agency, day and night without guard”. As more Indians moved into the area so did businesses, wanting to sell their wares to the newly paid Indians.

Sometime around 1845 a school for girls, Hope School, was established one mile east of town and a school for boys, Fort Coffee Academy, was established near the Arkansas River, also not far from the town. These schools closed down during the civil war but the girl’s school opened back up in 1871 but eventually closed again in 1896.

The route through Skullyville was used by the forty-niners to go to and from California and the Butterfield Overland Mail Route used the town as the first stage stop out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

When the town was first established the post office was known as the Choctaw Agency and then the named changed to Skullyville in 1860 and then was renamed again in 1871 as Oak Lodge.

Once the Civil War came along the town was used as an outpost by the Confederate troops until the Union army showed up and captured the town. The Union forces burned many of the buildings and homes and the town never recovered.

The post office was closed in 1917 and nothing but the cemetery remains of the town now.

Because of the constant delivery and payout of gold coins to the Indians and the town’s involvement in the Civil War, not to mention being a stage stop, this location could prove to be a bonanza of relics and small personal caches.

The location of Skullyville/Oak Lodge is in Le Flore County, OK in Section 17, Township 9, Range 26 East or one mile north and 2 ½ miles east of Spiro. Look for Old Fort Coffee on a topographical map near the Arkansas River.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Arkansas Treasure

In the fall of 1921 Anthony Fenninger stumbled over a stone covered with carvings while squirrel hunting near Eden's Bluff in the White River country. The stone was found across the river from the bluff.

Supposedly around 1900 the Spanish Government made an exhaustive search in the area for gold hidden more than 150 years before by a party of settlers. The search was eventually called off.

In 1911 a group of locals were reported to have uncovered a tunnel but the search was abandoned after one of the members was killed in a landslide. The Ozark Mountains in Arkansas still hide this hidden cache and for those willing to do the research I'm sure more information is still out there to be found.

Fayetteville Arkansas - Around 1904 a lady from Mexico came into the area searching for gold that was hidden during the Civil War. She had a map in her possession. The map was on parchment and those who had seen the map thought that the gold was buried near Cane Hill. The gold was supposed to be of Spanish or Mexican origin.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Buzzard Hill, Oklahoma & Spanish Gold

No, that is not a typographical error, I meant to say Buzzard Hill and not Buzzards Roost. These are two completely different places, actually three but I will get to that later. This treasure will be for the hearty treasure hunter who doesn’t mind doing some extra research and some real digging.

Back when Oklahoma was frog territory (belonging to the Frenchies) there was a group of Spaniards secretly working a gold mine on a small tree covered hill in eastern Oklahoma. This group of Spaniards had built there own smelter near the mine and were steadily making gold ingots, occasionally loading some them on a small boat and floating them down the Arkansas River to the Mississippi River and then on to New Orleans were they purchased their supplies.

It seems on one occasion a member of the Spanish party got drunk in a nearby town and blabbed to one of the French soldiers about the gold mine. Once the rest of the group found out about this blunder they new the frogs would be coming to investigate and take all of their gold. In an effort to keep this from happening they loaded all of the gold ingots they had made into the mineshaft and backfilled it, sealing it shut. It also seems that they dug a very deep hole and put the Spaniard who blabbed about the mine in this hole and buried him alive, standing upright in the hole. Yikes! And they say A.A. is supposed to be tough!

Now I know most of you are saying, yea right, this is just like all of the other lost treasure stories. But hold on now, this one gets a little more interesting. It seems that back in 1850 a group of Spaniards came into the area searching two rivers for some cryptic symbols. It is unknown if they found any of those symbols but they left the area shortly afterward empty handed. The two rivers they searched are supposedly the Grand River and the Elk River but I would check the area first because the Grand and Elk that I found was a lot farther north of the location of the hill.

Sometime in 1882 a Mexican arrived in the area and approached a local rancher for help locating a specific hill. He told the rancher he was looking for something that his grandfather had told him countless stories about, a treasure buried in a mine. Once they found the hill, an easy task for the rancher, the Mexican enlisted the aid of the rancher and his family to do some digging to prove to the rancher that he knew what he was talking about.

During the digging they uncovered a stone with a cross carved in it. A little more digging below this stone revealed the skeleton of a man standing upright. At another spot where the Mexican had them dig they uncovered two more skeletons, those of an adult woman and a child. These skeletons were laid across each other forming the shape of a cross. At yet another spot that they were told to dig at by the Mexican they uncovered a rock wall that had several Spanish carvings on it. No one except for the Mexican new what the carvings meant and the Mexican refused to tell anyone unless the rancher paid him $10,000 in cash.

The Mexican said if he was paid the cash then he would tell the rancher where the mine was and the rancher could keep all of the gold in the mine. Try as he might, the rancher couldn’t come up with the ten grand and the Mexican headed back to Mexico. OK, I agree, this part sounds a little fishy to me too.

After the Mexican had left, the rancher and his sons continued to look for the mine and during that process they did find some old tools and the smelter the Spaniards used but they never found the sealed mine.

Where is this sealed mine full of gold ingots supposed to be? In the side of a tree covered hill known as Buzzard Hill, located in LeFlore County, Oklahoma. This particular Buzzard Hill is not a named place on a topographical map so you will have to do some research to find it’s exact location. Some put it just north of Spiro, Oklahoma and others put it near Pocola, Oklahoma. I would look North of Spiro, near the Arkansas River if it were me.

And just to make it a little more difficult for you, there is a hill in Oklahoma named Buzzard Hill on a topographical map but this is not the correct hill. That hill is located in Comanche County, Oklahoma not too far from Buzzards Roost. Are you confused yet?

For what it’s worth, I would say that this could be a very viable treasure lead and since the rock wall and skeletons have already been uncovered (and probably covered back up) the spot may not be too hard to find and a chat with some of the locals could give you a wealth of information. You can also look at some of the old news articles from the Daily Oklahoman for more information. There have been a couple of articles about this treasure in that paper over the years.

Pay close attention to how the clues were hidden for this mine, the ones that were found were buried several feet deep. There had to be clues telling where to dig but you would have to know to dig for the actual clues. Keep in mind too that the opening to this mine may just be big enough for a man to crawl into which makes it more difficult to find, or does it?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lehigh, Oklahoma, A Ghost Town with Potential

Here’s something for the artifact hunters and the cache hunters too. This area has the potential of producing all kinds of finds if you can get past the trash that will most likely be around the area.

Lehigh, Oklahoma was established in 1880 as a coal camp and grew into a town from there. They conducted both strip mining and shaft mining in the area, producing a whopping 1200 tons of coal per day. In its hay day Lehigh had a population of about 2000 people and the coal mine had a payroll of more than $100,000 per month. There were several businesses in the town including an ice plant, three large hotels, cotton gins, a flourmill and a three story Opera House (built by the Masons for you KGC guys out there). Because of the Opera House and the quality of the programs there, Lehigh, OK was known as the “cultural center of Indian Territory".
The masons reserved the third floor of this building for themselves and held their meetings there.

The town folk consisted of a mixing pot of cultures including Italians, American Indians, Chinese, frogs and Germans, just to mention a few. If you find any carvings in the area they could be from any one of these groups and would be a very good learning experience on interpreting symbols.

The town was divided somewhat by income. The more prosperous lived in West Lehigh in an area known as “Quality Hill”. The area along the railroad tracks was known as “Wildcat Row”, especially on the two days a month the miners were paid.

Besides mining, Lehigh, OK acted as a marketing center for farm goods from the area such as wheat and cotton. In one year alone five thousand bales of cotton and fifty thousand bushels of wheat went threw the town.

Lehigh, OK was designated as the County Seat of Coal County but the seat was later moved to Coalgate, OK.

There are very few buildings still standing in the town now, the opera house, along with some other buildings burned downed and the railroad abandoned the line through the town in 1956. There are a few brick buildings still standing and even a few residents left in the town, most of which live in the few houses still standing on Wildcat Row near the old railroad tracks. All of the houses on “Quality Hill” are gone. I would think that area of housing would be a great place to run a detector and if you are into bottle hunting, the privies from those homes would probably be a bonanza of artifacts and bottles.

Because there was more than $100,000 a month being paid out to the miners I would bet there are some small, and maybe some not so small caches of money around the town, especially on Quality Hill. A few gold coins can go a long ways at today’s prices.

Lehigh, OK is located in Coal County, Oklahoma in Sections 13 and 14, approximately five miles south of Coalgate, OK.

Good Luck!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Alternative Detectors

Treasure hunters are always looking for the right equipment for the right job. Sometimes the right piece of equipment is very expensive and sometimes you can find what you need really cheap.

There are as many different detectors out there as there are treasure stories. Each one has its good and bad points and some are very specific in their use. This article is about one of those different pieces of equipment that wasn’t designed to hunt treasure with but in some cases will do the trick nicely.

What I am talking about is a modern version of a dip needle. This dip needle is made by Aqua Survey Instruments out of Cincinnati, OH. It is very simple to use and if you do your research you can get them very cheaply. The company is still in business and still making this particular device however you can find older, used versions on places like e-bay for a lot less. A new one sells for around $135-$165. If you are careful, you can get them around $15-$25. I know of one that just went for a grand total of $11 in the last couple of weeks.

These instruments are light, weighing in just under one pound and small in size, approximately 3 ¼ x 3 ½ x 2 ¼ inches in size. They don’t need batteries and they will work just about anywhere. Their big draw back is that they work on the earth’s magnetic field and will only locate steel and iron. If you are hunting for outlaw loot then this isn’t such a bad thing since the outlaws like to bury their caches in things like cast iron pots.

Another draw back to these instruments is their depth. The depth and size of the object will have a direct bearing on how the needle deflects because of the target. The bigger the target, the more deflection of the needle.

These are very simple to use. You just open up the top of the case, point the front of the instrument to magnetic north and start walking. If you cross something that affects the magnetic field such as a big iron pot or chest then the needle will move. The more magnetic interference caused by the object the more the needle will move. A dutch oven in the ground at a depth of about three feet will almost peg the needle. I wonder what an old Wells Fargo safe would do?

I wouldn’t want to rely on one of these as a sole source of verification of a buried treasure but it can give you a reading to check further with another instrument. If you are looking for treasure in places where carrying a metal detector is, ummm, too obvious, then this is something you might consider.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Templars and Hawaii?

For a lot of us right now it is cold and snowy outside and although I do most of my treasure hunting during the winter it doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about a tropical island every now and then. That brings us to this article; this one is for the conspiracy theorists in the crowd that like to research the Knights Templar. This would probably even include those that search for the KGC mega-bucks treasures.

Let’s see, tropical islands, oh yea, Hawaii! The state of Hawaii consists of several islands, most of which are inundated with tourists. There is one privately owned island within the chain that is known as the “Forbidden Island” because the owners of the island have steadfastly refused to allow anyone on the island, at least until recently. Now, if you have enough money and make your reservation well in advance you can be one of the few that is allowed on the island for a day, one day only and while being escorted, to scuba dive or hunt. This island’s real name is Ni’Ihau (pronounced nee-ee-how).

Ni’Ihau has no running water or electricity except for a few generators and the island only has about 160 full time residents. The family that owns the island will only allow individuals of Hawaiian ancestry to live on the island and until recently wouldn’t allow any visitors to the island, even family members of those living there.

I know you are wondering what this has to do with the Knights Templar. Those of you familiar with the Templars will recognize the name of “Sinclair”. Back in 1864 the Scottish Sinclair family, Elizabeth Sinclair to be exact, bought the island of Ni’Ihau from King Kamehameha V for $10,000 and they have never done anything with it. They also bought 51,000 acres of land on the island of Kaua’i which they still own to this day. The land has been handed down through the family for generations and is now owned by the Robinsons who are descendants of the Sinclairs.

The island of Ni’Ihau is estimated to be worth well over one billion dollars today, and yes, that is with a B but the family refuses to sell it or allow any growth on the island to turn it into a money making venture.

This would beg the question, why would you have an island that your family has owned for generations that is worth billions in development and not do anything with it? A Hawaiian island no less! Since you are descendants of the Sinclairs, would it have anything to do with the Templars and maybe something that is hidden or stored on the island?

The island itself is 18 miles long and 5 miles wide and is considered a somewhat barren land with very little rainfall.

Have I peeked anybody’s interest yet? I didn’t do a lot or research on this one but I found it interesting that the Scottish Sinclair family bought an island and have refused to allow anybody on it for more than 140 years. Maybe some of the missing Templar treasure is on this island or, maybe the family is just nuts.

Those of you interested in conspiracies should jump all over this one. Good luck and if you need help searching the island and want to pay for my airfare to Hawaii I will gladly help on this one! (I really like to fly First Class when I go but I'm worth it!)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rocky Face Mountain, Georgia

Here is a very short article about an unbelievable treasure.

Somewhere on Rocky Face Mountain near Keith, Georgia is a cave full of gold bars. Now these aren’t supposed to be your ordinary old gold bars. We are talking about one thousand gold bars, each SIX feet long! These would probably weigh a ton or more each depending on how wide and deep they are.

The story says that in 1890 a man, whose name was not mentioned, found a cave on Rocky Face Mountain with the gold bars in it. He apparently took the time to count and measure the bars but he didn’t take very good notes on how to find the cave again.

The gold bars were too big for him to move by himself so he went to town to get some help. Of course you know the rest of the story here, he couldn’t find the cave again and this massive treasure was lost once again to the countryside.

Now I don’t know who would have made six foot long gold bars and I sure don’t know how they would have moved them into a cave, especially if it was on the side of a mountain but if you live in Georgia and want to check this out you can probably find more about it in the local paper of the time.

And send us a photo of one of those six-foot long gold bars if you find them. We won’t tell anybody, honest!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

As with most things I write about I am no expert and when it comes to Pancho Villa, there will be a lot of people that know more about this than me. With that said, I found a couple of interesting stories that caught my attention about this man and his alleged treasures.

Because the President of Mexico could not contain Pancho Villa he decided to give him the State of Durango in Mexico and five million pesos a year to keep him appeased and stop his bandit activities. Pancho Villa apparently amassed a fortune over the years, thanks to El Presidente and his own looting and it is said that he hid this fortune in the floor of a cave in the Sierra Madre Mountains in northern Mexico.

This particular fortune is supposed to consist of “stacks upon stacks of gold bars along with bag after bag of American and Mexican coins” totaling a whopping 90 million dollars. Maybe Pancho Villa was a member of the KGC! Just kidding!

Pancho Villa allegedly took this huge fortune of gold bars and coins into the Sierra Madres on wagons with his trusted officers and some “peons”. Once the treasure was safely hidden away in the cave Pancho Villa killed everyone in the group and returned back to his camp alone. Just how many officers would he have to shoot before the others caught on to what was going on?

Somebody returned the favor in 1923 when Pancho Villa was assassinated, never able to spend that massive fortune of gold.

It is said that this treasure could be in a cave at the headwaters of the Rio Presidio River near the village of Tepuxtla in Mexico.

A second huge treasure associated with PanchoVilla is supposed to consist of 122 silver bars that were liberated from a train by Pancho and his men. The train was attacked near Chavarria and as they were making their escape they were attacked by government troops at San Andres. Pancho and his men supposedly escaped the government troops during the night but not before burying the silver bars and one of their dead comrades. This all happened “on the road to Bachiniva”. So somewhere around Bachiniva, Mexico lies an unmarked grave with one set of bones and one hundred and twenty-two silver bars.

If you are the adventurous type and don’t mind dodging the drug smugglers, the unscrupulous military and the crooked government these could be the treasures just for you!

Friday, November 28, 2008

One Ton Treasure Found!

Although this one has already been found, there is a good possibility the finders didn’t get it all.

A newspaper article from Akron, Ohio dated 22 March 1905 reports that a man by the name of George Lodge “stumbled upon” a silver bar while walking along the south shore of Silver Lake. Now I wonder where the lake got its name from?

According to the article, a man by the name of Henry Wetmore repeatedly told a story of an Indian encampment that used to be in the area near the lake during the 1800’s. His story said that the Indians, numbering at least 500, left the area in a single night and it is thought that when they left, they left behind a large treasure of silver bars that they “dumped into the lake for safe keeping”.

This story would seem to hold water, so to speak, because once George Lodge stumbled onto that one bar and figured out exactly what it was, he got his brothers to come help him dig around in the same spot and they ended up digging out 26 more bars of silver. The twenty-seven silver bars had an average weight of 100 pounds each! That’s more than a ton of silver that was found in one spot and they didn’t even have a metal detector.

Now there’s the part of this story you should consider. They didn’t have a metal detector. If the area where the bars were found was once under water and then wasn’t, some of the bars could have been deeper than they dug or they could have missed a few bars that were scattered farther out from the pile. If these were actually just “dumped” into the lake there could be several other bars still out there.

What’s the price of silver today?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We would like to wish everyone and their families a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Clues Along the Outlaw Trail

As you do more and more fieldwork you will continue to run into an abundance of odd things. Some you will be able to make sense of and others you won’t, at least not at first.

The photo I have posted with this article is one of those things I ran across and had a hard time figuring it out even though once I did figure it out it seemed easy and I was kicking myself in the butt for not figuring it out sooner. (I do that a lot!)

Drill holes have been in use for ages and by many different groups. They can be treasure related or just a hole that somebody with some free time made in a rock. How you use a drill hole can partly be determined by who left it behind. In the case of the drill hole and line in this photo, it was left behind by an outlaw.

It has been my experience that outlaws use drill holes to depict an object. That object can be just about anything including the treasure you are looking for. In most cases that hole either marks a spot in the trail you need to find (if the drill hole is used in a map) or it is the spot on the trail you need to find (if you find a drill hole in a rock at a certain point where the map says there should be something). This may seem a little confusing but if you have a carved map and that map has one or more drill holes in it then each of the drill holes is probably a thing you need to find to work your way along the trail. Even if the drill holes are in a shape such as a square or triangle there will be something on the trail depicting this shape. And by shape I mean three drill holes in the shape of a triangle or four drill holes in the shape of a box, etc.

Back to the photo I posted. This particular drill hole was only one-half inch across and one each deep and it was in a stone that was stuck upright in the ground. This stone was the last clue of my map but I didn’t get any reading with the detector or find an empty hole at this spot.

After trying several different things based on what I thought this could mean I finally hit on the correct interpretation. In this instance, the drill hole was at the half way point along side the carved line and the carved line on the stone was depicting the line I took from the next to the last clue to this, the last clue. Have you figured it out yet?

This simple carving was telling me an “object” was located half way along this line. At this point the simplest thing to do was measure the distance from the last clue to the one just before it and look at the halfway mark. Just off to the left of this line about eight feet was a large rock jutting out of the ground and right in front of it was a good sized empty hole. The hole had been dug many many years ago but you could tell it was man made.

Although someone had beaten me to this one, I was still happy that I had solved the puzzle.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Civil War Treasure in Tennessee

Just east of Lexington, TN is a small creek known as Owl Creek. On this creek there is supposed to be a large treasure left behind by union troops. The amount of this treasure is said to be one million dollars and the treasure is supposed to consist of gold and silver coins, jewelry, silverware and just about anything of value made out of silver and gold that the Union troops could have plundered. The treasure was supposed to have been accumulated over several weeks of plundering by the troops and once it got to the point of being too cumbersome to move with them they decided to hide it and come back later.

And there you have it, the usual lost treasure story, stolen, hidden and then lost.

I don’t have much information on this one other than I know several people have looked for it. According to stories, the countryside around Owl Creek was littered with holes where people have gone to dig for this treasure. The multitude of holes was supposed to cover an area about 25 acres in size. That’s a BUNCH of holes! There haven’t been any reports of anybody finding anything so maybe it’s still out there.

If you go to look for this one you may want to look a little farther east of Owl Creek. Rumor has it the treasure isn’t where everyone was digging for it but farther outside of town. This would be a good thing because the town has grown a lot and there are now houses that butt up against the west side of Owl Creek.

If it were me, I would look a little farther east, possibly along Harmon Creek. Owl creek is a relatively short creek, only a few miles long and runs perpendicular to Harmon Creek, which is not very far away. The confusion between the two creeks could be easy so it may be that the Union troops buried their ill-gotten loot on one creek and thinking it was the other.

It’s just a suggestion!

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Curly Bill's Bandit Loot in Arizona

Here’s another one for you out in Arizona. This is a nice time of year to hunt treasure in Arizona!

Back in 1880 a group of Mexican bandits raided the town of Monterey, Mexico and stole just about everything the town had. They took gold and silver in coin and bar form along with the church treasure which was said to consist of gold and silver statues, religious “relics” and “other priceless items”. According to one account the take was supposed to have been worth more than a million dollars.

After raiding the town the Mexican bandits headed north into Arizona where they ran into a bit of their own bad luck. Their bad luck happened to have a name and it was Curly Bill Brocious.

Curly Bill is described in a book entitled “Helldorado” by Billy Breakenridge as “being the most deadly pistol shot of the Cowboys, able to hit running jackrabbits, shoot out candle flames without breaking the candles or lantern holders, and able to shoot quarters from between the fingers of "volunteers." When drunk, Brocius was also known for a mean sense of humor, and for such "practical jokes" as using gunfire to make a preacher "dance" during a sermon, or making Mexicans at a community dance take off their clothes and dance naked”.

Just the kind of guy you want to run into when you are carrying around a million bucks of gold and sivler, huh?

Curly Bill and his gang are said to have liberated the gold and silver from the Mexican bandits, killing them all in the process and then taking the treasure to Skeleton Creek Canyon outside of Apache, Arizona where they hid it.

Accodring to legend and as most treasure stories go, most or all of Culy Bill’s men were killed releatively soon afterward and nobody made it back to recover the treasure. Curly Bill himself was shot in May 1881 in the neck but he survived only to meet his demise on March 24th 1882 when he caught both barrels of a shotgun blast in the chest. The handler of that shotgun was none other than Wyatt Earp!

I don’t know where to start looking for this treasure other than Skeleton Creek Canyon but researching Curly Bill would be a good start. It seems he had a colorful past and is written about a lot.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More Confusing Information about the Confederate Treasury

As promised, here is some more and conflicting information about the Confederate treasury. The information in this post comes from another New York Times article dated December 18, 1881. Thank you to my buddy in Tennessee for sending me the article.

According to General Joseph E. Johnson, Jefferson Davis supposedly had in his possession a “car-load” of “specie". He was referring to a railroad car and he said that a Colonel Paul had inspected the treasure before it was sent south from Richmond during or just before the evacuation of that city. Gen Johnson also stated that Colonel Paul didn’t really see the gold, just the boxes it was supposedly packed in prior to being shipped south.

According to another General, General Beauregard, who was in command at Greensboro when Davis was there and apparently saw the golden treasure, Jefferson Davis had in his possession $2,500,000 in “gold specie”. (That’s 1880’s prices now, don’t forget that) General Johnson also said that the wagon train that was moving this treasure across the country consisted of 20 wagon-loads of gold.

In the article a question is posed to General Johnson and this is his response directly from the newspaper article.

“What became of the money?”
“That I am unable to say. Mr. Davis has never given any satisfactory account of it, and, what is a strange thing to me, is the Southern people have never held him to account for it. The $39,000 he left at Greensboro the soldiers received. Major Moses, an attorney, now living in Atlanta has accounted for $20,000 more. A short time before the evacuation of Richmond the bankers of that city placed in Mr. Davis’s hands $360,000 in specie for the defense of the city. There was never any service rendered for this money, but when Richmond was evacuated it was transported south with the specie belonging to the Confederacy. A committee of Richmond bankers was sent to receive it. At Washington, Ga. they succeeded in getting between $110,000 and $120,000, but while transporting it home it was captured by General Wilson’s cavalry and turned in to the United States Treasury. It is now there in litigation. The Richmond bankers are suing for it’s recovery, and it has never been decided to whom it belongs. Say $120,000 of it is there and $39,000 in the military chest left at Greensboro for the army and $20,000 accounted for by Major Moses. This would make $179,000 of the $2,500,000 which Gen. Beauregard and other good authority estimate was on hand”

So, according to General Johnson, Jefferson Davis made off with over two million dollars in gold when he left Richmond and it hadn’t been accounted for as late as 1881. Anybody got any guesses?

I know the big believers in the KGC mega bucks treasures are grinning right now. Was Davis part of the KGC and did he make off with the treasure and hide it in one of the “depositories”? You know how I feel about that but I will let you decide for yourself. Johnson didn’t mention anything about the load of Mexican silver that Davis was supposed to have and he didn’t mention anything about a robbery while the money was being transported. As I pointed out before, one article says the treasury was in Georgia and was being moved to Virginia and this article says the treasure was in Virginia being moved south.

A little more research will find that Major Moses wrote his own memoirs and in those he wrote:

“shortly before [General Joseph E.] Johnston’s surrender, I was ordered to Washington, Wilkes County [Georgia]. Soon after, Davis and his cabinet arrived there. Mrs. Davis met her husband in Washington. A train containing gold and silver bullion accompanied the cabinet. It was brought from Richmond banks. I was staying with General Toombs… I remember seeing General [Braxton] Bragg waiting under an oak tree to get his $20.00."

"I received an order from General Johnston to provide 250,000 rations at Augusta for the returning soldiers…and there arrange as best I could with general Mollyneux [Molineux] who then occupied Augusta with Federal troops, to protect me in furnishing the troops as they passed through Augusta and to provide for the sick and wounded in hospitals."

Here’s some more information about Major Moses.

“About three weeks after the war’s end, as chief commissary for Georgia, Moses carried out what is reputed to have been the last order of the Confederacy. It involved safeguarding and delivering the Confederate treasury’s last $40,000 of silver and/or gold bullion.”

“Although the accounts are contradictory and confusing, it appears that Moses paid $10,000 to the Quartermaster-General in Washington and carried $30,000 in bullion to Augusta.”

In a January 13, 1882 interview in the Louisville Courier Journal the acting Treasurer, Captain M.H. Clark of Clarksville, TN described what happened to the remainder of the Confederate treasury:

"Before reaching town [Washington, Georgia], I was halted by Major R.J. Moses, to turn over to him the specie which president Davis, before he left, ordered to be placed at the disposal of the Commissary Department, to feed the paroled soldiers and stragglers passing through, to prevent their burdening a section already stripped of supplies. I turned over to Major Moses the wagons and silver bullion, and all of the escort except about ten men."

On May 5, 1865 the Southern Government held it’s last meeting in Washington, GA. That meeting was attended by Jefferson Davis, Major Moses and others. The last order issued at this meeting read:

"Major R.J. Moses, will pay $10,000, the amount of bullion appropriated to Q.M. [quartermaster] Dept. by Sec. War to Maj. R.R. Wood. By order of Q.M. Gen.
[signed] W.F. Alexander, Maj. And Asst. to Q.M. Gen., 5 May, 1865"

It seems like there are some pretty big discrepancies in what was actually in the treasury and what happened to it. It would seem it was all spent but if you like a good conspiracy you could say Davis made off with a whole lot of money!

This could drive a man to drink,
some more!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More on the Confederate Treasury

This one might make all of you KGC hunters out there curious. You can thank my buddy in Tennessee for this one; he found the story you are about to read.

This information is from a New York Times newspaper article printed on September 30, 1883. The New York Times article tells of another article about to be published in the Atlanta, Georgia Constitution. This Georgia article is from an “anonymous” source that makes several references to “Yankees”, apparently in a very unflattering way.

Here is part of that article;

“According to the story now told, the Confederate treasure, in the early part of June, 1865, was kept in part in a store-house, part in the old bank, part at the station and the bullion in the cellar of a storehouse in Washington, Ga. It was guarded by a number of persons appointed by Jefferson Davis, and these persons, the new historian says, had stolen a good part of the gold. At this juncture a man named Wiseacre appeared in Washington with the authority to take the treasure to Richmond. He gathered together the bulk of the gold and bullion, placed it in wagons, and started for Richmond by way of Abbeville, S.C. accompanied by many of the same men who had watched the treasure in Washington, and who went along as guards. They went about five miles beyond Danbury, Ga. And camped for the night in a lot belonging to Mrs. Susan Moss.”

The article continues;

“A man whose names is indefinitely given as Capt. M-----, who had belonged to Gen. Vaughn’s brigade, gathered a band of his soldiers together, and at 10 o’clock at night he charged on the guard protecting the wagons. Capt. M---- was dressed in the uniform of a Union officer, and this fact was made use of to charge the robbery to the “Yankees.” The guard made but slight resistance, and the wagons were captured without firing a gun or a pistol. The boxes of gold and silver were broken open, and each man took as many double eagles and silver dollars as he could carry, and hastened away to hide it. Holes were dug in the ground by some of the men, while others hid their stolen treasure in the branches of trees, and still others sunk it in ponds, marking the places so that it could be found when the excitement sure to be caused by the robbery had died away. All night long the work of hiding went on, and only the gray dawn drove the robbers from the scene. The ground is said to have been literally covered with gold and silver coins.”

The article goes on to say that some of the robbers were captured and basically tortured until they gave up the location of the gold and silver they personally had taken. The anonymous source also states that he can’t accurately guess at the amount of gold and silver stolen but “he insists it was much less than has been stated in published stories.” He also says that some of the men guarding the treasure were in collaboration with the robbers. That to me sounds like an understatement at best!

Now here’s the kicker; according to the original and anonymous story teller, the men that were guarding the treasure in Washington before this Wiseacre guy shows up to move it had already stolen a large portion of the treasure before it ever left town. It is said that these guards collaborated with the robbers so that the wagon train would be robbed and the treasure scattered out everywhere. By having, and letting the wagon train get robbed then no one would know that a large amount of the Confederate treasury had already been looted prior to leaving Washington. If it happened this way then that’s not a bad plan to cover up an earlier theft.

Now for the questions; if it did happen this way then there ought to be lots of gold and silver coins still in the area of Mrs. Susan Moss’s property to find with a metal detector, right?

Also, if the Knights of the Golden Circle were said to have a large portion of the Confederate Treasury that they hid, would this mean the K.G.C was guarding it at Washington and actually stole it from the Confederates?

Is it more likely that some or all of this story is just that, a story? I’ll let you decide. There are lots of stories out there about what happened to the Confederate treasury and they all have different answers.

I’ve got another article sent to me by my buddy in Tennessee about the Confederate treasury. It talks about two million dollars in “specie” that went missing. The funny thing is the other article written in 1881 says the money was in Richmond when it disappeared and this article I just wrote about says it was in Washington, GA, on it’s way to Richmond when it disappeared. Hmmm?

I'll post more on the second article in a few days.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pointers, as in "go that way"

Pointers that you find in treasure hunting can be easy, they can seem easy but really not be or they can be down right confusing. One of the simplest pointers you can find is just that, a pointer. It won’t impart any other information other than “go that way”.

No matter whom you are dealing with as far as the maker of the pointer goes, some pointers are made to only take you short distances. Most pointers I have found are intended to be used that way. I have yet to find a pointer that would take me more than a quarter mile without running into another marker or pointer along that line.

The problem with pointers is that some people try to apply things to them that shouldn’t be used. The most used misconception is the use of a compass. Yes, there are markers out there that give a very specific compass heading but you shouldn’t try to apply a compass heading to something that can’t give you a precise number. Being off even one degree can screw you up, especially if the marker/pointer is the last one before the cache.

What I am referring to is something like what is pictured in the photo above. This is a very nice pointer and it’s very obvious that it is pointing in a direction but what it’s not doing is giving you a specific compass heading. Some people will try to lay a compass on the rock and get a heading from the point. When I first started out I was guilty of this myself. The thing I learned, mostly from hunting with a partner, is that the direction a point is aiming is subjective depending on who is looking at it.

To get a specific compass heading from something you need a straight edge or two points that form a straight line you can shoot across with the compass. If you don’t have these on a pointer then the pointer is most likely intended to only take you a short distance. This distance will vary depending on who left the pointer.

In my experience with hunting Spanish treasure a Spanish pointer generally won’t take you more than a quarter of a mile unless it has a specific compass heading it gives you. In my experience hunting outlaw treasure this type of pointer (one without a specific compass heading) won’t take you more than 50-100 feet and it will take you to something that is obvious based on a map.

I know this seems like bad logic that you can’t get a compass heading from a pointer such as the one in the photo but it is true. Try it with your hunting partner sometime. The compass heading will change from one to three degrees minimum depending on whether you are right or left eye dominant and how you perceive shapes and your ability to pick the center of something without measuring.

Since a “regular” pointer (as if there is such a thing) can’t give you a precise compass heading then the distance you will travel will be short so that you won’t get off course following the given direction. The people leaving this stuff behind were tricky about how they did it but they were also logical and in some cases very methodical.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Spanish Treasure in Arkansas

Have you ever heard of Eden Bluff, Arkansas? Well if you haven’t you might want to look it up.

Back in 1922 a man by the name of Anthony Fenniger from Denver, Colorado “stumbled” across a rock with several carved symbols on it while squirrel hunting in what he called the White River country in Arkansas. According to Mr. Fenniger he found the stone with the carvings “across the river from the bluff”. The stone was partially covered with moss and dirt and he had to clean the rock of to see all of what he termed “hieroglyphics”. Mr. Fenniger said he brought the find to the attention of a “native” who explained to him that the stone was a map to a Spanish treasure worth $2,500,000.

The treasure apparently originated from a group of Spanish settlers arriving in the area only to find hostile Indians. The settlers were able to hide their treasure and mark the location well before being attacked by the Indians and loosing their lives. This treasure is supposedly hidden in a tunnel on the mountainside. I’m not sure why a group of Spanish “settlers” would be hauling around that much gold but that’s what the story calls them.

According to a newspaper account, the Spanish government mounted an expedition to the area in 1900 and made an “extended search” for the treasure but they were unable to find it. If the Spanish government made a search for the treasure this would imply to me that this group of “settlers” weren’t settlers at all. Maybe they came into the area to recover something that had been left behind by the Spanish many years prior and never made the recovery or maybe they were trying to transport the gold to a port so it could be shipped to Spain. The newspaper account says that the “settlers” were in the area with their treasure “more than 150 years ago”. That would make the original story from some time around 1750. This would make me think the “settlers” were probably miners.

After Mr. Fenniger found the stone and heard the stories of the Spanish treasure he went back to Denver and formed a company whose sole purpose was to search for the treasure. Mr. Fenniger was certain that the stone he had found was the “key” to finding the treasure because no one before him had found it. To my knowledge Anthony Fenniger’s company never found the treasure either.

Several other private searches for this treasure have been made over time but no one has reported finding it either. Would you report finding a tunnel full of Spanish gold to anybody? I mean, really?? Especially if the Spanish government had looked for it before? That would probably be one really big can of worms to get into! You’d probably only be able to sit back and watch Uncle Sam and Spain duke it out over who gets to keep it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! Ghosts & Gold Worth $250,000

For all of you treasure hunters out there that believe in something paranormal, which would include me, here is a spot you might want to check out the next time you are in central Oklahoma. There’s supposedly ghosts AND gold. You can’t beat that combination for an adventure!

The place is called “Ghost Mound” (you can imagine your own special effects sounds right now). Ghost Mound is located about 14 miles southeast of Weatherford, Oklahoma and is the central point in a story about $250,000 in 49er’s gold that was buried during an Indian attack. No one knows for sure where Ghost Mound gets its name. Some say it is because the mound sits by itself out in the middle of nowhere, far from the other mounds in Caddo County and that the mound looks “forlorn”. Just how a mound of rock and dirt can look sad or lonely is beyond me but hey; I’m just repeating the story. The other version of how the mound got it’s name makes more sense and is actually a better story in my opinion. It is said that the daughter of an Indian Chief had fallen in love with a young warrior in her tribe but that her father had promised her to the Chief in a neighboring village. The Chief’s daughter was so distraught over this that she climbed to the top of Ghost Mound and threw herself off, dying in the process and her ghost is said to haunt the mound. Isn’t that a lot better than a “lonely hill”?

Ghost Mound is a small hill by comparison but is rather steep in spots. It slightly resembles another famous hill in Oklahoma called Buzzard’s Roost. I can hear the wheels spinning out there. Slow down now and read the rest of the story!

Ghost Mound is covered in carvings, especially at the top of the mound so there are plenty of possibilities of some “real” carvings being on the mound. The mound also has many legends saying that the area around the mound was used for sacred Indian ceremonies.

So, are you ready to hear about the gold? The story goes that a group of 49ers were returning from the gold fields when Indians attacked them at or very near Ghost Mound. This would make sense if the mound was a ceremonial place for the Indians. We all know from the old western movies that’s it’s never a good idea to go traipsing through Indian territory, much less through their ceremonial grounds, but I digress. The 49ers were said to have a collective amount of gold worth $250,000 that they buried during the attack thinking they would survive and return for it later. As luck would have it, that didn’t happen. All but a few of the party were killed and the survivors weren’t privy to where the gold was hidden. Well I didn’t say it was good luck!

Now for some more paranormal stuff; back in 1939 a group known as the “Gold Restorers of America” came to Ghost Mound with the intention of recovering the gold. This group of individuals was apparently rather diverse in their methods of searching as it was said they used “doodlebugs”, “spiritual means” (read psychic) and a Spanish dip needle. I would think the Spanish dip needle would fall under the category of doodlebug but again, I’m just repeating the story.

One of the spiritualists, a man by the name of Luther Woody, was walking around the area in an “immense fur coat” even though it was 100 degrees outside. Mr. Woody said he was led to a spot “south by southeast of the hill’s crest”. Maybe that’s where all of the shade was!

Another member, Rebecca Tempey said the treasure was to be located “under a hackberry tree some yards away” from Mr. Woody’s spot. A third person by the name of Y.E. Posey said his dip needle was pointing to a spot beneath a boulder. His location was not near any of the others.

During the remainder of the day the group also identified several other spots as good places to dig. This caused confusion to set in and the men the group brought with them to do the digging disappeared into the nearby thicket of plum trees to stay cool and eat the plums. The search for the treasure ended with no holes being dug and no real answers being found. The Gold Restorers of America never returned to the location as far as I can tell.

Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, just think what that would be worth today! That’s something worth wearing out a little shoe leather on. Hopefully you will have better luck than the first group, which in retrospect, shouldn’t be too hard to do.

Besides the 49ers gold, there is a good chance you could find the type of carvings that would lead you to some outlaw treasure. These lone hills made for good landmarks and with all of the carvings on this hill you just might find one that tells you where to look. You will just need to look past all of the graffiti and hope for some good luck in that what you need hasn’t been carved over or destroyed. Remember, this isn’t that far from Buzzard’s Roost near Cement Oklahoma where treasure has been found and even more treasure awaits the lucky finder, maybe even me if I can get my lazy butt down there!

Ghost mound can be found in the southwest corner of the intersection of County Roads North 2460 and East 1110 in Caddo County, Oklahoma. The WGS 84 GPS coordinates for the mound are 35 24 8.2N, 98 36 46.3W.

Watch out for the ghosts! Boo!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Turkey Tracks

The more you treasure hunt the more things you will run across in the field. One of the most prevalent things to find, especially if you are hunting outlaw treasure, is a turkey track. There can be just one track or there can be two or more in a carving. You may find several turkey tracks carved one at a time but laid out in a series taking you from one spot to another.

In general, and I say this because there are very few absolutes in treasure hunting, the turkey track is a “travel” sign. If there is just one track you travel in the direction the track is going. For all of you that have never seen a track left behind by a real turkey, you go in the direction the toes are pointing. I’ve met a few turkeys in my life, the kind that stand upright and wear pants and believe me, you don’t want to waste anytime following their tracks!

When is a turkey track really a turkey track? This is where it can get a little confusing. Because a turkey track is a V with a line in the center it can be mistaken for several things and it can actually be several things. You have to make sure you are actually dealing with a turkey track. How can you tell if it really is a turkey track? Trial and Error. Unfortunately I don’t know of any foolproof way to tell if a turkey track is a track giving you a direction or some other symbol or symbols made to look like a turkey track. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

If you have more than one turkey track on the same carving you may be getting a direction and distance at the same time. The number of turkey tracks is the distance you are to go in a certain amount of increments. How can you tell what the distance increments are? Trail and Error. Are you seeing a pattern here? You should also keep in mind that the number of toes on the tracks could be a distance or other number you may need when working this trail. Generally speaking, if there is only one track it is a direction. It would only be when you have two or more tracks on the same carving that you might consider adding the number of toes on the tracks to get a number.

In the case of the turkey track carving I have posted a photo of, this was a simple “look to the left” carving. And in this case I literally mean, look to the left. This carving was on a bluff about six feet above the ground. The bluff had a right angle to it so when you were looking at the bluff where the turkey track was you were standing in a “corner” with the rest of the bluff to your left. There was a carving on the left side and the right side of the corner and this turkey track was simply telling me that the two carvings were connected and needed to be used together. It didn’t take me anywhere; it just turned me to my left to see the rest of the carving.

When you are treasure hunting don’t get caught up in the illusion that everything is a “code”. For the most part the carvings you run across are just pictures relaying a message just like a traffic sign does on the road. If you see a traffic sign with an S shaped line on it it is telling you that the roads curves back and forth ahead. A lot of carved symbols act in the same way. You are getting pictures instead of words to tell you what to do.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Looking at Things in Reverse

We all know that treasure hunting isn’t the easiest way to make a living and it can be a very frustrating, yet rewarding hobby. Some of those frustrations come from the tricks or deceptions used by the people who hid what we are trying to find.

One of the more common deceptions used was to make a clue that needs to be looked at in reverse. These clues can be anything from a carved symbol to a pointing marker to even a number or set of numbers. The reverse can be just that, reversing the direction of travel or it can be something like using a mirror image of a carved symbol to get the actual “picture” of what the symbol is meant to depict.

You can also have reverses in numbers by having to look at the numbers from back to front instead of from front to back, in other words, a 27 becomes a 72. Another form of reversing a number is when it is used as a compass heading. If you have a number that is meant to give you a heading, lets use the 27 again, it could be that you need to go 72 degrees instead of 27 degrees or it may be that you need to take a heading that is the reverse or opposite of 27 degrees which would be 207 degrees. This is simply determined by adding or subtracting 180 from the number you have to get the exact opposite compass heading. Depending on how tired you are and how late in the day it is this can be confusing sometimes!

When you are dealing with numbers you can be given the numbers in several different ways. They can be actual numbers such as 27 or they can be Roman numerals, or a series of lines or drill holes or they can be given in some type of code (several different kinds). I have found that when numbers are to be used as a compass heading in the reverse the numbers have special aspects to them that keep you from getting confused. These would include being a number greater than 360 because you can’t have a compass heading greater than that. So if the number reading front to back is greater than 360, you might look at it in reverse to see if it could be a compass heading. A number such as 521 can become 125 but 125 can’t become 521 because there aren’t that many degrees in a compass. I have also found the repeated numbers may need to be looked at as a compass heading or it’s reverse. I should qualify this and say that a repeated number arrived at by adding numbers together will be looked at differently than a “normal” repeated number.

In the case of the photo I posted at the top of this article, you have the Roman numerals LV carved into a bluff. This is the numerical equivalent of 55. If you reverse the order of this number and read it from back to front you still get 55. The reverse or opposite compass heading of 55 is 235 degrees (adding 180 to 55). The carved LV in the photo was on a very large bluff. Going 55 degrees from it’s location would mean you had to go through the bluff, a clue to a reverse in itself, however if you went the opposite direction it took you to where the hole was just across the gully. That is the second photo.

Whenever I look at any carving, especially if an outlaw made it, the first thing I do is looked to see what the symbols resemble when they are reversed. I also look at any numbers in several different ways. I add them together for a total and I do this in both directions, I check to see if they can have a reverse compass-heading equivalent and I look to see if they are actually numbers. Some numbers, as with letters and other symbols, can be drawn to look like something they are not if you aren’t paying close attention. In other words, a number may not be a number but one or more symbols arranged next to each other to look like a number if you aren’t paying attention.

This is one reason why I stopped chalking the carvings that I find; it can hide separations in lines that you may need to see.

There is not set rule for when to look at something in reverse. Sometimes there will be something with a carving or marker that tells you to look at the object in reverse. Other times there is nothing and you just have to figure it out yourself.

This is one reason why there is still so much stuff in the ground. It just ain’t easy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Superstition Mountains (no, not those)

When someone mentions the Superstition Mountains almost everybody automatically thinks of Arizona and “those” Superstition Mountains. This article is about a treasure, a lost gold mine to be exact, on Superstition Mountain located in California. I know, most of us are pretty far away from California but just in case there are any beach bums or “surfer dudes” out there that like to hunt for treasure I thought I would mix things up a little.

This is a story about a man named Hank Brandt who, back in the early 1900s had a hidden gold mine on Superstition Mountain in California. It seems Hank would go out to his mine every spring and return with about $4000 in gold. He did this every year for a period of about eight years. When Hank died he left a friend of his $16,000 in gold and the directions to his mine. Here are those directions:

“Three miles east of Coyote Wells on Highway 80, turn north and cross the washes to a place where jade may be found. From here head for a certain dark appearing cut in the Superstitions, the course leads northeastward across the old Butterfield route. If you are on the correct route, you will find a place where there are several petrified palm trees and a pile of old whale bones. Continuing on this course, your next landmarks are two dry lakes. The larger one, at the south, has two big ironwoods on its northern edge. This dry lake is known as Dos Mesquites Lake”

“Cross the lake near the trees in such a way that the course is parallel to an imaginary line into the Superstitions. When you have found the correct entrance to the mountain, follow the canyon wall upward until it reaches a small mesa, and then look for another canyon leading down the eastern front of the mountain. The walls of this second canyon are reddish-brown sandstone. In this canyon a petrified ship will be found. A deep notch where the bow of the ship lay can be seen. Sandstone has formed around the ancient ship, and at present all that remains is the curving line of the ship’s beam and some petrified pieces of what once was a very fine grained wood planking.”

“Having located the canyon of the ship, follow it down to its mouth on the eastern front and then turn north along a wall of purple talc between some small hills. After passing the talc stratum, you will find a canyon similar to that containing the ship. This canyon is filled with low, stubby mesquite bushes. You will then come to a high bank out of which a big rock protrudes. Turn the corner of this rock sharply, and you will see a big ocotillo stalk set in the rocks. The mine is above in a hidden gully.”

There you go, how much more do you need?

It is thought that the “whale bones” talked about in these directions may actually be some type of prehistoric fossils of some large animal and not that of a whale. Who knows, maybe it is whale bones, I mean if there is an ancient ship that has petrified in the mountains then maybe there could be whale bones. I think just coming across an old ship in the mountains would be one hell of a story!

Send me some photos if you find that ship!

Friday, October 17, 2008

San Antonio, TX and $47,000 in Buried Loot

It was the winter of 1899 and Charles Beeler had been a wagon driver for Wells Fargo & Company for several years. It just so happens that on what would turn out to be his last day on the job for Wells Fargo Mr. Beeler made off $50,000, a retirement fund so to speak. I know, the title of this article only said $47,000. Have patience and read on.

On this fateful day Mr. Beeler was tasked with driving $50,000 in gold and currency from the express office in San Antonio, TX to the Southern Pacific Railroad station and see it loaded onto the pay car. Well, he never made it to the railroad station, heading south out of town instead.

Charles Beeler claims that when he reached a ranch “a few miles below San Antonio” he stopped and buried all but $3,000. See, $47,000, you just hade to wait for the explanation. Mr. Beeler stated that he placed the gold in tin cans and buried it on the ranch property and “carefully marked the spot” where he buried it. It was his intentions to head south into Mexico until all of the brew-ha-ha blew over about the theft and then he would return to the ranch and retrieve his retirement account. He used part of the $3,000 in currency he had to purchase a horse from the ranch where the money was buried and he headed on his merry way. On a personal note, I’m puzzled here, if you just made off with $50,000 then why buy a horse? Why not just take one from the wagon you just stole the gold with? Maybe being a horse thief isn’t what he wanted to be known for.

Well, anyway, after buying his horse he headed for the Mexican border but before he made it to the border he was stopped by a local peace officer that recognized Mr. Beeler from a description that was given after the robbery. Old Charlie was able to bride his way out of arrest with $100. He even got directions to the shortest way across the Rio Grande and the border. I guess back then $100 would still buy you service with a smile! Once he crossed the border and traveled several more days Charlie’s luck changed. He ran into some Mexican bandits who stole what he had left of the $3,000. It seems the leader of the bandit group also recognized Charlie Beeler from a wanted poster and wanted the rest of Charlie’s money. As luck would have it, it was all down hill from there.

Charlie, in an effort to save his life, told the bandit leader that he had buried the rest of the money on a ranch near San Antonio so the band of bandits headed that way with Charles Beeler in tow. As the bandits headed toward the U.S. border they were besieged by the Mexican authorities who arrested everybody and turned Charlie Beeler over to the U.S. authorities.

Charlie Beeler spent the next five years in jail and was even sued by Wells Fargo to recover the money. They won the suit but didn’t receive any money. While in jail the Wells Fargo Company kept a close watch on Charles Beeler’s wife in the event he had told her where the money was hidden. Apparently he didn’t because she never made a try for it.

After getting out of jail Charlie was shadowed by detectives working for Wells Fargo in hopes that Charlie would try to recover the money. They apparently kept tabs on him for several months before giving up. Prior to going to jail Charlie had told the Wells Fargo Company that he had buried the gold and even took them to the ranch where he buried it but once he got there he couldn’t find his carefully marked spot and the gold was deemed as lost.

For what it’s worth, the information about the gold, how it was buried and the circumstances following the burial came directly from Charles Beeler and the Wells Fargo Company. In 1910 Charlie was working for the St. Louis Brownsville & Mexico Railroad and had given up on any hopes of ever finding the remaining $47,000.

So much for carefully marking a spot! I guess if it was really carefully marked then Wells Fargo would have gotten their money back and you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Update on coin roll hunting

With the economic downturn there are new opportunities to add nice coins to your collection. A few days back I decided to head to the bank and buy a few rolls of half dollars. What I found out when I got to the teller will make you want to cry. It seems the bank didn't have any halves to give out. A man had come into the bank earlier in the day and traded in $52 worth of half dollars for paper money. It turned out that it was $52 worth of silver. This included Walking Liberty and Franklin 50 cent pieces! Two of the tellers split the coins keeping $26 dollars worth each.

I left the bank a little downhearted, but decided to try the other bank in town to see what they might have. The second bank had five rolls which I bought along with ten dollars worth of pennies. I have been averaging four wheaties for each $10 I search through. I have also been able to put together a nice mint state set of memorial cents for just pennies. Pun intended! With the new designs coming out in 2009 Lincoln Cents should enjoy a revived interest among collectors.

I must say that what a found when I got home left me in much better spirits. I quickly opened the half dollar rolls hoping that maybe the guy with the silver coins had visited the other bank as well. That wasn't the case but I started finding cameo proofs right off the bat. The total take was 10 cameo proofs and four 40% silvers. The penny rolls produced 4 wheaties, 1912, 1942, 1943 steel, 1951, and a 1980 that was odd colored. I've never seen one like it before and I've looked at bunches of pennies. Overall it wasn't a bad hall. I'm looking forward to my next trip to the bank and maybe the silver coin fairy will be with me this time.

Good luck and good hunting!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not All Treasure is Silver & Gold

The majority of us are out there looking for that big cache of hidden gold or silver or maybe even the lost mine that will make us comfortable the rest of our lives. This is all well and good but we have to remember that we are liable to stumble across a thing or two in our hunts that may not make us rich but could make us some money. In some cases maybe a lot of money.

The most obvious thing would be a cache of weapons or a cannon or two. Some of these things can be worth a lot of money. Most of us won’t be that lucky but we can come across things like buttons or belt buckles from a Civil War uniform or an old tool or even a knife. These things can ad up to a tidy sum if you find some good specimens.

We all walk around with our detectors looking for “the big one” and we sometimes forget that the people who hid the big one had other things that they lost or threw away as trash that can be worth money these days. Just the fact that we are looking in a particular place for a cache means that people were there, in some cases, generations of people. If you are ever on a site and just get stuck and frustrated maybe you should break out the detector and start digging signals. You never know what you may come across.

I have posted two photos with this article. One is of an old Civil War picket pin (just being uncovered) and the other is of three .50 caliber rim fire cases. These were all found in the same area where I was looking for a cache. The rim fire cases aren’t really worth any money but to me they were a very interesting find. Just as interesting was the picket pin however this came with a bonus. In doing some research it was determined that these were worth some money, this particular pin sells for $150-$200. Not bad for swinging a detector for a day and getting away from the usual stresses of life.

Unless you have been very lucky in life, treasure hunting is a hobby. We do it because we enjoy it and it gives us a chance at striking it rich doing something we enjoy. Keep that in mind when you are in the field and get frustrated about a symbol or marker. Being in the field treasure hunting has got to be better than being at work any day of the week.

Keeping an open mind and using your detector even if you don’t think you will find the cache may just reward you in a different way.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

When Does a Marker Have No Meaning?

I guess this title is a little misleading because the only time a marker has no meaning is when it’s not actually a marker. But then if it’s not a marker then it shouldn’t have a meaning so it would actually have no meaning because it’s not a marker. Anyway, my point is, there are markers that you find in treasure hunting that don’t actually give you any directions or information other than “you are here”.

This is especially true when you are dealing with outlaw caches. Outlaws always used maps, either one carved on a rock or bluff somewhere or the kind of map you can carry around with you or both. The maps gave you information on what to look for and how to get there. The clues that you will find in the field that corresponds to the information on the maps may or may not give you added information that is needed to continue on the trail.

A marker along the trail that you find while interpreting a map can point you in a direction so that you can continue to interpret the map or it can simply be telling you “you are here” as in this is a point along the trail, now look at the map and figure out what you are supposed to do from here.

These innocuous markers can be just about anything. I have seen small upright rocks used this way, I have seen rocks with single drill holes in them used this way and I have seen a railroad spike driven into a tree used this way. You can find a pile of rocks, an individual symbol carved on a rock, a symbol made out of rocks, etc. The ways to make these types of markers is almost as many as there are markers out there. It’s all about who made the map and markers and how their mind worked at the time. Heed that last part, how their mind worked at the time. Outlaws seem to have a penchant for changing the types of maps and markers they used quite often. The same outlaw or gang could have several different styles of making maps and leaving markers. You wouldn’t think they would have been that clever but apparently they had a lot of time on their hands!

When hunting outlaw caches you need to keep in mind that finding a pile of rocks or a single carved symbol, an individual drill hole, etc. may not have any additional meaning other than marking a point on the trail. I know a lot of people, including myself, have tried (and some are still trying) to interpret something that has no real interpretation. One of the hardest things you can do is stumble upon a marker in the field with nothing else connected to it and try to interpret it out of context.

This isn’t necessarily so for Spanish markers but when it comes to the outlaws, you almost always need a map to work the entire trail. If you don’t have a map you can always start working the area with a metal detector and hope to get lucky. Unlike the Spanish, the outlaws seemed to keep their buried goodies in a fairly compact area. I know of a couple of outlaw maps that appear to cover areas bigger than a football field but for the most part I would say an outlaw cache will be within 100-150 feet of the starting point of the map. So if you come across a marker you may be within 50-100 feet of where the treasure is.

Knowing your are that close may not be very helpful but treasure has been found with less information and will continue to be found every so often by those super lucky people that seem to just trip over the stuff. Doesn’t hearing stories like that just annoy the crap out of you?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mystery Mounds of Arizona

This one is for my good buddy in Arizona. I’m sure somebody else might get a hankering to go look for this but most of the land if not all that this site is on is Indian Reservation and you’re going to have to have a few really good connections to be able to look around.

Back in 1881 there was a newspaper story about some “mounds” being found near old Fort McDowell. Fort McDowell was located in Arizona and now there are several things in the same area named after the fort. There is the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation, the Fort McDowell casino and even a present day town named Fort McDowell if I remember correctly. These mounds as they called them were approximately 250 feet wide and approximately 300 feet long. The outside walls of the mounds were made from quarried stone and were said to be two feet thick. The quarry where the stone was from was found about six miles away. Thousands of stones had been cut and moved the six miles to build the walls of the mounds.

When someone decided to dig into one of the mounds they “found stone implements of all kinds, utensils of peculiar material painted on the side with Egyptian characters, ornaments of shell, needles of bone and in fact, a perfect museum of relics of the stone age”. These items were found at a depth of about ten feet. Other digging in the mounds located “tombs, three tier deep and underneath cisterns of water”. More exploration of the area also uncovered old Indian rock paintings showing “camels”, “mastodons” and “other animal forms unknown to the explorers”.

OK, so we have camels and mastodons in Arizona, I can live with that but what about the utensils with the EGYPTIAN characters painted on them?? This isn’t the first time I have heard about Egyptian items being found in the U.S. Do you think somebody, maybe the government or them archies, are hiding something from us? They wouldn’t do that, would they?

The remnants of the old fort or mounds themselves would be interesting to see but finding some Egyptian stuff lying around in Arizona would really be the ticket! Of course it would probably get confiscated and you would be threatened with jail if you found it, and I’m talking about finding it with permission to be on the land, but it would still be interesting.

If you can come up with an old 1876 map of the area the ruins are supposed to be shown on the maps. They should be located on the Verde River north of present day McDowell on the old trail leading from Fort McDowell to Camp Verde. They are supposed to be just east of the river. One of the mounds was shown as being eight miles north of the old fort and another was shown as being eight miles south of Camp Verde.

There used to be a current day road going up the west side of the river from the location of the fort to the approximate location of the mound eight miles from the fort. The road ended at the eight-mile point but it is on the opposite side of the river.

Fort McDowell was established in 1865 and was located about seven miles above the confluence of the Verde and Salt rivers. The fort was originally called Camp Verde but don’t confuse this with the actual Camp Verde that was established on the river north of the fort location. Fort McDowell was a fairly large complex and operated until 1890. At that time it was turned over as part of an Indian reservation and I believe it remains a reservation to this day. The post cemetery should still be there along with the ruins of a building or two.

Make sure you know what land you are on if you go looking for this!! Permission, Permission, Permission.

Let me know if you run across any hieroglyphs!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Reno Gang of Indiana

This story has an odd twist to in that all of the members of this gang, ten in total, were hanged by vigilantes within one week of each other. All of the members of the gang were hanged to death from the same tree and they were hanged three and four at a time. Of course the tree is no longer there but the area where the tree used to be was called “Hangman’s Cross Roads” just for the tree and it’s history.

The Reno Gang, so named for the brothers who started it, Frank and Simon Reno, operated out of Seymour, Indiana murdering and robbing people from Omaha to Cincinnati during the 1860s. It was a short career for the brothers and their cohorts but when you murder your victims for their money it tends to upset the locals. The Reno Gang had been making a habit of robbing and killing several people in the Seymour area for small amounts of money until they decided to graduate to something bigger, a train robbery.

One night in the fall of 1867 the gang boarded the Ohio & Mississippi Express in Seymour and road it out of town. About five miles outside of Seymour they held up the train and at least two newspaper accounts of the time say the gang got away with “at least four hundred thousand dollars”. Other accounts published later put the amount at $12,000 which seems a little more reasonable. Wanted posters were put out for the gang members and just a few months later all ten of them had been captured and were in two separate jails.

Once the good town folk of Seymour found out the gang had been captured they formed a “vigilance committee”, put on their masks and broke three of the group out of jail. They were immediately taken to the tree just outside of Seymour and hanged. A few days later the vigilance committee struck again and took three more members of the gang out of jail and directly to the tree where the first three met their death and hanged them also. The other four members of the gang and the last left alive, were broken out of the New Albany jail and dragged to the tree where all three were hanged like the others.

The old birch tree that helped dispatch the ten members of this gang soon met it’s own demise from relic hunters wanting a piece of the tree.

I thought this was an interesting story because of the ten hangings, all at the same tree and all within a week of each other. I searched for more information about the $400,000 taken from the train but I couldn’t find anything that said the money was recovered. I would think part of this could have been spent since the gang was free for a while after the robbery but I doubt they could have spent very much of it.

If you are in the area of Seymour Indiana you may want to check into this a little more. Just knowing the location of the tree would be interesting. Maybe the robbers had some change in their pockets that fell out when they were hanged??

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Captian William Coe, An Oklahoma Outlaw and the Builder of Robber's Roost

During the 1860’s a group of cattle rustlers led by a man named Captain William Coe operated in an area that today is known as the Oklahoma Panhandle. This group conducted most of their rustling activities just across the border in Colorado and New Mexico but would occasionally prey on travelers using what was known as the “dry route” of the Santa Fe Trail. The gang would change the brands on the livestock and take it to Missouri to sell.

Captain Coe and his gang, which numbered between 30 and 50 men at a time made their headquarters at a spot known as Robber’s Roost, which is just north of Kenton, Oklahoma. Here the gang built a stone headquarters with walls three feet thick that had portholes instead of windows. The headquarters was equipped with a fully stocked bar, a piano and several women, you know, the necessities in life. From the location of the headquarters on top of the mesa they could see the surrounding area for miles and the rock fortress afforded the gang a lot of protection. They lasted at this location for four years.

There are various stories floating around about Captain Coe and his gang but one of the most told stories is that of the army coming to capture the Captain. It is said that in 1867 a detachment of 25 soldiers sporting a six-inch cannon marched into the area of Robber’s Roost and bombarded the stone fortress, killing several of the rustlers. Captain Coe and some of his men were able to escape only to be captured about a year latter by a posse. In 1868 Captain Coe had been captured and was sitting shackled in a jail cell when some very angry citizens took matters into their own hands and broke Captain Coe out of jail. Unfortunately for Captain Coe they weren’t there to set him free, they took him out to a tree and hanged him on the spot. He was buried under the same tree he was hanged from. It seems Captain Coe and his rustlers weren’t making very many friends in the area as the ranchers and the military were loosing a lot of livestock to the gang.

Just before Captain Coe was about to be hanged he supposedly stated; “Between here and Flag Springs arroyo I have buried enough gold to make you all rich”. To this day none of Captain Coe’s gold has been reported found. Most of the searches for his gold have taken place around the immediate area of Robber’s Roost, Black Mesa and Carrizozo Creek Valley. It should be noted that Captain Coe was hanged near Pueblo, Colorado so this statement may have been made at another time that he was caught but able to escape. Captain Coe had escaped his captors on at least two occasions prior to being hanged. That’s why he was shackled while in a jail cell. It’s also possible that the captain’s treasure isn’t where everyone thinks it is. I guess that would be kind of a “duh” since nobody has found it!

Captain Coe was known to move his stolen herds into what is called Blacksmith Canyon where the cattle were rested, the brands changed and the gang’s horses shod. They kept equipment in the canyon that they stole from travelers on the Santa Fe Trail for branding the cattle and working with the horses.

If I was a betting man I would bet there is something hidden in Blacksmith Canyon. At the least you could probably find some pretty good relics that would make your day and even be worth some money.

As a side note, an Indian that rode with Captain Coe and his gang claimed on his deathbed that the gang had stumbled across the remains of a pack train that had been attacked by Indians. Part of this pack train supposedly contained $750,000 of gold and Spanish coins that was scattered about at the site of the attack. The Indian said that the treasure was gathered up and buried in the area of Flag Springs where it was found.

Indians, Cowboys and the Spanish! What more could you ask for?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Dirty Little Coward (and Liar?)

I will start off by saying that this article could be a moot point depending on your beliefs about the death of Jesse W. James in 1882. I will also say that I’m just repeating the information so that anyone interested will have a chance to read it and maybe follow up on it in some way. Should that have been in fine print?

Robert Ford, “the dirty little coward that shot Mr. Howard”.

It seems that shooting a man in the back didn’t pay very well or at least not too quickly back in the 1800s. I have found in several newspaper articles of the time that Bob Ford apparently did not receive all of the promised $10,000 reward after he supposedly shot Jesse James. I haven’t found the exact amount that he was paid but It would appear that what ever amount he did receive, he didn’t get it very quickly. On May 4th, 1882 Bob Ford pawned the handgun he used to “shoot Jesse James” with because he needed money. I can only assume he got the pistol out of pawn later but prior to pawning the handgun Bob Ford was made to sign a sworn affidavit testifying to the authenticity of the pistol.

That affidavit read:

“Personally came before me, J.C. Ranson, justice of the peace in and for the county of Jackson, Robert N. Ford, who, having been by me duly sworn, deposes and says that the pistol, NO. 50-432 Colt 45 calibre, here shown, is the same that he, Robert N. Ford, used to shoot and kill Jesse James, at the city of St. Joseph, on the 3rd day of April 1882.
[signed] ROBERT N. FORD

How big was that hole in the back of Jesse’s skull that they exhumed in Kearny, MO? Didn’t they find a .38 caliber round in the coffin?

I think Bob Ford probably made a few extra bucks selling “the gun” that killed Jesse James more than once. In 2003 there was an auction in Anaheim, California where the “gun that killed Jesse James” was up for sale. This gun happened to be a nickel-plated Smith & Wesson single action revolver in .44 caliber made sometime around 1875.

According to the auction house this Smith & Wesson supposedly had “extensive documentation about the origin, or "provenance." And the Jesse James gun comes with an unbroken provenance.”” "Documentation includes a sworn affidavit dated February 1904 that says James gave the gun to Ford days before the shooting. For a while in the 1960s, the gun's whereabouts were unknown after it was stolen from a museum.” They didn’t mention who signed that affidavit though.

The gun had previously been sold to a man in England for $160,000 and at this auction it sold for $350,000! That’s a lot of money for something that may be a fake in more ways than one. If Jesse James staged his own death then the pistol is a fake. If Bob Ford used a .45 Colt then the pistol is a fake. Does anybody need a bridge?

The picture at the top of this article is Bob Ford supposedly holding the gun that he shot Jesse James with. It's definitely a single action revolver and from what I can see of it, it appears to be a Colt but based on the difference in color between the wood grips and the backstrap this gun looks to be nickle-plated. There was nothing in Bob Ford's affidavit about the gun he pawned being nickle-plated but maybe the judge left that out. The only single action Smith & Wesson I'm aware of that was made during that time period was the S&W Schofield #3 or it's variants. That pistol looks nothing like the one in the photograph with Bob Ford.

Just one more thing to add to the pile of stuff that will probably never be figured out.