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.