Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Dubious Origin of the K.G.C. Mega-Millions

I am sure by now that some of you are probably tired of hearing about the enigma known as Orvus Lee Howk. I would like to say I am tired of writing about him but the more I look the more information I find concerning the man and his stories. It’s just too simple and that begs the question; why hasn’t this information been brought forward by any of the KGC researchers?

You have to remember that the stories of the fabled treasures of the Knights of the Golden Circle came from this man and to my knowledge there is no other evidence anywhere that substantiates his stories of the mega-millions allegedly put in the ground by “Jesse James and the K.G.C.” Therefore, in my opinion, it would be in the best interest of anyone interested in the alleged K.G.C. treasures to study the man as much as his stories. Keep in mind I’m not saying the K.G.C. didn’t exist or that they didn’t have some modest caches of money and/or weapons. This is about the K.G.C. as described by Howk, the K.G. C. that supposedly hid “billions” of dollars of gold and silver.

Let’s start with this:

Orvus Lee Howk, Lee Hawks, Orvis Lee Hawk ,Lee Hawk, Jesse James III, Lee Hawek, O. L. Houek, O. Lee Hawk, Jesse L. James, Orvil Lee Hawk , Orvis Lee Howk, Jesse Lee James III, "The Hawk".

These are all of the names and spellings of names I could find that Mr. “Howk” used while perpetrating his J. Frank Dalton as Jesse Woodson James scam. Keep in mind this was over a period of time spanning only a few years and I didn't look very hard. Some of the names are only slight variations of another but the fact they did vary is telling in itself. I’m not sure that it is real evidence without something to corroborate it but Howk did have an insurance policy for himself under the name of O. L. Houek. This may be as close to his real name as we will ever get.

For any of you that have studied the alleged stories of the K.G.C. and the two Jesse James, and Frank James for that matter, this story also originated from Mr. Howk. For those of you not familiar with this tale, Howk said that there was a Jesse Woodson James and a Jesse Dingus James but Jesse Woodson James was also known as “Dingus”. Howk also stated that besides J. Frank Dalton being Jesse Woodson James the outlaw and living passed his advertised death of 1882, Jesse Dingus James was still alive and living in Pensacola, Florida. This was in 1955 that “Dingus” was still alive and enjoying fresh orange juice and the sun. He also said that Jesse Dingus James had been married to Belle Starr! How come nobody except Howk ever saw or heard from this second Jesse James? According to Howk there was another famous outlaw still alive and visiting Howk in 1955, none other than Billy the Kid!

And speaking of Billy the Kid, according to Howk, Billy the Kid was raised by Jesse James' first wife, Myra Belle James. So you have two Jesse James, Billy the Kid and Belle Starr all in the same family according to Howk.

As some more history on Howk, he stated that his father was Jesse Franklin James of Brashear, Missouri and that his mother was a “full-blooded Sioux squaw”. I guess he didn’t know his mother’s real name because he never mentioned it. Who calls their mother a “squaw” and if his real father was a James then how come he went by the last name of Howk (or one of it's variations) until after J. Frank Dalton died?

Howk had told several people that he had been with the Texas Rangers. In 1960 this statement was tested by a newspaper reporter who contacted the Rangers for verification. Colonel Phillips of the Texas Rangers wrote in a letter that he was familiar with “Orvil Lee Hawk” as he had received a lot of correspondence from him concerning Jesse James. Colonel Phillips stated that Howk (I use this spelling to keep it simple) was known to him and had worked in Tyler, Texas in the insurance business, not with the Texas Rangers.

In the 1950’s as a way to prove J. Frank Dalton was the real Jesse James Howk provided a set of fingerprint cards as his evidence. This in itself was a little odd because nobody had a way of checking these prints against those of the real Jesse James because no prints from the real Jesse James existed. Granted, you could say that this wasn’t the fault of Howk but the fingerprints he did submit had their own problems. The print cards had fingerprints for all ten fingers, or eight fingers and two thumbs if you want to get technical. The normal onlooker of this fiasco wouldn’t see a problem with this however, those of you that know your Jesse James trivia will remember the real Jesse James was missing the tip off one of his fingers. That would be NINE prints and not ten. I guess Howk forgot that part of history.

I could go on and on with the discrepancies in Howk’s wild stories but hopefully by now you have gotten the point. The stories of the alleged KGC mega-millions deserve a lot more research.

Oh yea, did I mention the alleged treasure template of the KGC came from Howk?

Monday, July 28, 2008

"The Biggest Horse Thief in the Country"

Here is some information about a treasure that was hidden in Kansas by a famous, or infamous, horse thief by the name of Dutch Henry. Before you rush out and try to dig this one up I will let you know that I have been told that all of the buried treasures in Kansas are gone, dug up by a couple of treasure guys who live in Kansas. Yea, it was a joke but I thought I’d throw it in just to see if they are paying attention.

Dutch Henry Born, most notably called Dutch Henry, was considered to be the biggest horse thief in the country. He was so big that the phrase “dutch henry” was used to describe a stolen horse! He operated in Kansas, eastern Colorado, New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle. Before becoming the biggest horse thief in the country he worked legitimately as a lumberjack and as a scout for General Custer, quitting that job before Custer’s really bad day.

Dutch Henry’s first arrest was in Arkansas in the 1860’s for stealing some government mules but he escaped three months later. That wouldn’t be the last time he was captured or escaped. It would take the authorities until 1878 to finally catch and hold on to Dutch Henry. He apparently didn’t spend much time in the clink after his final arrest as he was known to have been in Summitville, Colorado by 1880.

OK, now for the treasure part. Dutch Henry spent a lot of time in a spot known as Horse Thief Canyon located in Clark County, KS. This canyon is on Hackberry Creek about twelve miles north of Ashland, KS.

Here is an interesting side note for those that like the oddities of geography; there is actually more than one Horse Thief Canyon in Kansas. I knew of two and found a third while researching this article and I think there may be one or two more. At least two of these canyons have some really interesting carvings in them! :-)

Back to Dutch Henry and his Horse Thief Canyon. Near the entrance to this Horse Thief Canyon Dutch Henry had a home, well, OK, it was a sod house but I’m sure back then they called it “home”! The sod house was located “in the canyon wall” and the story goes that Dutch left behind at least $50,000 somewhere near this house in the canyon.

It is said that Dutch had escaped jail yet another time and was headed back to Horse Thief Canyon to recover his treasure when he was arrested for the last time in Trinidad, Colorado. Upon his arrest he was returned to jail in Arkansas to serve out the remainder of his original sentence for stealing the government mules in the 1860’s.

There is no mention of his treasure ever being recovered. (Even by those two guys in Kansas!)

Dutch Henry lived until January 10, 1921, dying of pneumonia. He was buried in Pegosa Springs, Colorado. After Dutch Henry was released from prison and traveled to Summitville, CO. he went for years without a gun in his home because he said, “he had all of the killing he wanted”. Dutch gave up his outlaw ways after getting out of prison and discovered a successful gold mine in Creede, Colorado known as the “Happy Thought Mine”. That could have been one of the reasons he didn’t try to recover his treasure in Kansas. The area of the Happy Thought Mine might be another buried treasure story to research since Dutch Henry apparently like to hide his gold!

One more thing, there was a second Dutch Henry that was a horse thief who roamed parts of the same area. This man was Dutch Henry Yeuch. The stories of the two Dutch Henrys intertwine with each other so you have to read closely about their exploits to tell one from the other. Dutch Henry Yeuch apparently wasn’t a slouch when it came to stealing horses either.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hawk, Howk, Houk, Jesse Lee James, Jesse James III

By now I'm sure a few of you are starting to question if there was any truth in the stories and books that Orvus Lee Houk told and wrote. For those who like doing their own research it's easy to show the falsehoods of many of these tall tales.

Let's take the story about the 2000 repeating rifles being passed out to the native warriors at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Modern forensic science has proven that the true number of repeating rifles was just over 200. Either Howk had told a lie or 1800 warriors chose not to fire their weapons.

Jesse James and the Lost Cause and Jesse James was One of His Names were both written over 20 years after J. Frank Daltons death. It would have been easy enough for Orvus Lee to make up the "true" history of Dalton as he saw fit. There is one book though that was written while Dalton was alive and ,though it too is full of lies and deceit, it tells a different story than that of Houks later books.

When Dalton came out in 1948 claiming he was Jesse James, the newspaper reporters who broke the story wrote a book called Jesse James Rides Again. In an affidavit Dalton admits to being Jesse James, the son of Robert and Zerelda James of Missouri. He claimed to be born September 5, 1847 in Centerville, Mo. Now let's stop here for a minute. We find in the later years that Dalton was supposed to be the Kentucky Jesse. Is it that he was so used to telling lies that it was only natural for him to make his debut with a falsehood?

How do you answer the claims that Dalton was using sworn affidavits that John James had used years before in his claim that he was truly Jesse James? That answer is simple. After John died in 1939, and had been proven a fraud, persons associated with him simply saddled up to Dalton.

Howk had a number of photos in his books claiming to show Jesse W. James. It is easy to prove that none of these men are even the same person, much less the real Jesse James. What you get from Houk is story after story covering up lie after lie, yet there are those out there who continue to use Jesse Lee James' information as the foundation for their treasure hunting theories. It's no wonder that no KGC mega caches have been found. I'd dare say that more money has been made from writing books about the KGC than what the original organization ever accumulated during it's entire existence.

I know, I know, Jesse James III claimed that the south had $7,000,000,000 in gold reserve and hundreds of millions of dollars in silver. Can anybody pony up those records please. I'd like to see them for myself. I highly doubt there was $1,000,000,000 in gold collectively in the south and that would include gold crowns and fillings in the mouths of the southern citizens.

J. Frank Dalton still remains a mystery as far as his true identity is concerned, but the facts prove him nothing more than a fraud. Orvus Lee Howk/Houk, The Hawk, Jesse Lee James, Jesse James III was himself nothing more than a thief, conman, and liar.

I think researchers will one day unravel the twisted story of J. Frank Dalton. Information still pours in to me from many different sources concerning these two men. I'm able to dig further into the truth of it all as time allows and I'm sure many more stories will make it onto the blog.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More on Orvus Lee Howk

It's time to look a little deeper into that can of worms known as Orvus Lee Howk and his treasure claims just to see what crawls from the bottom. In my opinion, the deeper you look the more delusional Howk looks.

We have previously posted some information on Orvus Lee Howk, a.k.a. Jesse Lee James III that with any luck, has opened a few eyes to the possibility that not all is at it seems when it comes to the K.G.C. and their alleged treasures.

I have included another map drawn by “Jesse James III” at the top of this post for you to see. In this map Howk claims that Jesse James was hoarding copper in amounts exceeding ten thousand TONS just so he could keep the copper price up. Along with the tons of copper he supposedly had tons of gold and silver, hundreds of tons, stored at the same location. Now the most obvious question here would be that if you have hundreds of tons of gold and silver, why would you care what the price of copper was? It would cost you more to hoard the copper than what it was worth.

The map itself is of a town that has a “hollow mound” on its outskirts that is filled with thousands of tons of metals. I have retyped two parts of this map for you to read in their entirety. These two parts are the description of what Howk says Jesse James hid in the hollow mound. You just have to love this guy. According to Howk, Jesse James never did anything small! It’s always in the millions of dollars if not billions of dollars and the gold and silver is measured in tons. Has anyone given any thought to how many horses and wagons and/or mules it would take to move thousands of tons of metal?

From the map:

“J.W. James, used this town as his own baliwick. During bad years, he stored thousands of tons of excess Copper Bars to help keep the copper price up to 15 cents to 17 cents per lb., on the market. He hoped to store copper until the prices increased. He also hoarded placer gold & gold bars plus some lead bars and silver bars along with stocks of canned milk, canned meat, Beans & Pork in cans just in case. A lot of guns and supplies went through this Town to General Poncho Villa, Chihuahua (illegible word here) Mexico, from 1915 to 1922.

A Hollow Mound Mountain.

200 Repeating Rifles & Ammunition, 5 or 6 Gatlin Guns and 300 Pistols, 10,000 to 12,000 tons of Copper Bars, 500 to 700 tons of Silver Bars, 16 tons of Placer Gold, Saddles & Blankets, canned goods.

That’s a lot of stuff to be moving around the country without anybody knowing what you are doing, especially the people in the town next to the "hollow mound".

Now for some more interesting history concerning the flamboyant Mr. Howk, or is it Houk, no, wait, it’s James, no, wait, he said Baxter……............

Orvus Lee Howk, going by the name of Jesse Lee James III stated in 1961 that he was born in Saint Louis County, Missouri in 1905. He said that he is known by and likes to be called “The Hawk”. Is “The Hawk” really as impressive as Jesse James III?

About ten years earlier though, in 1951, upon the death of J. Frank Dalton, Mr. Howk told the Granbury, Texas undertaker that had Dalton’s body that he, Orvus Lee Howk, was Dalton’s “nephew”. That’s right, his nephew!! Throughout the years in different interviews with people Howk was also known to identify himself as the grandson or great grandson of Jesse James. Did he forget who his father was?

In 1963 Jesse Lee James III filed a lawsuit against a Colorado newspaper and it’s reporter saying that the newspaper had made “libelous statements concerning his claims of relationship to the outlaw”. Howk as Jesse James III sued for $1.1 million but didn’t even show up for his own case in court. Howk’s attorney, Robert E. McLean presented some newspaper articles as evidence and then rested his case. After talking with “the 57 year old James” a psychiatrist, Dr. Richard L. Conde, who was called as a witness in the court case stated “I felt he was mentally ill”, referring to Jesse Lee James III. This case was later ruled in favor of the newspaper. Really? Who would have thought?

I know, I know, enough with the smart-ass remarks; It’s kind of like that pirate sound, I just can’t help myself. ARGGGGGG!

As long as we are talking about lawsuits maybe I should mention the one where Howk, excuse me, Jesse Lee James III, sued an Indian named Joe Suazo in Colorado in 1962 claiming he had stolen a Jesse James treasure after he and Howk had found it. Supposedly Howk and Suazo had found the gold, 14 gold bars weighing 90 pounds each, lying on the ground, mostly uncovered but they failed to recover a single bar. In court Howk testified that when they found the gold bars it had begun to snow and he had a cold so they left so he could go lie down. I’m not making this up, really! A cold and a little snow kept either one of the men from picking up just one gold bar. Howk claimed that Suazo came back later and hid the gold bars in several other places and refused to tell him where they were. This case was dismissed after Howk sent a letter to the judge in the case saying “it was best to drop it” (the suit) and after Howk himself failed to show up for a court hearing and a scheduled deposition in the case. Mr. Suazo had already testified that there was never any gold and that he and Howk had never seen any gold.

I should point out that Suazo also said that Howk had come to the Santa Clara Indian Reservation with liquor, looking for information about buried treasure and that is how they met. Now see, that firewater will get you in trouble every time!

Did I mention that the alleged K.G.C template came from Howk?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jesse Lee James III Was One of His Names

It looks like Okie is ready to open up a can of worms some of you may not want to look into. Of course I’m talking about the infamous Orvus Lee Howk, better known to the KGC treasure seekers as Jesse Lee James III, the co-author of the so called black book, “Jesse James Was One of His Names”. Mr. Howk or Houk, depending on whom you talk to seemed to change his name and his story about who he was and where he was from more than what he claimed Jesse James did.

Far be it from me to destroy someone’s dreams of finding that mega-bucks treasure. We all want to find the “big one”. All I’m trying to do is show you what kind information is really out there and impress upon you the fact that you should always do your own research. With that being said, here is some information that should get you wondering about Howk and J. Frank Dalton.

Okie has already mentioned that Orvus Lee Howk and three others were in Ohio in 1949 searching for a supposed treasure left behind by J. Frank Dalton, who at the time was trying to convince everyone he was the real Jesse James. The treasure in Ohio was supposedly $1,500,000 buried in four metal boxes. Orvus Howk and the others also stopped by Joplin, Missouri the same week looking for, drum roll please……….you guessed it, treasure buried in metal boxes. This intrepid group of treasure hunters also went to Indiana that same month looking for the same treasure. It seems Howk just couldn’t quite figure out which state he should have been searching in. There is an upside here for anybody who wants to believe Howk’s treasure stories, it seems everything was buried in metal boxes. This should make it easy for a metal detector to find!

Now for the kicker you won’t be expecting; the reporter who wrote the story about Howk’s treasure hunt in Ohio in 1949 also interviewed J. Frank Dalton. Dalton himself stated that “Howk knows something, but he don’t know enough”. So here we have the man who supposedly had all of the answers to the KGC mega depositories and all of Jesse James private caches saying that Howk doesn’t know enough to find one treasure, just one mind you, but just a few years later Howk had all of the answers and information about a supposedly super secret group and their alleged treasures, not to mention he miraculously became related to Jesse James. Did you notice on the map that Okie posted that was drawn by Howk he signed it “Jesse R James? He couldn’t even keep the middle initial of his assumed name the same! Does any of this raise some red flags with anyone about how good Howk’s alleged information about the KGC and Jesse James really was? Does it have you wondering about the legitimacy of all of that alleged treasure information he supposedly had?

Well if it doesn’t you might try this on for size. While Howk and his three cohorts were traveling around the country looking for treasure he always made time to be interviewed by the newspapers. No real big surprise there I guess. During March of 1949 Howk was interviewed by at least four papers. In these four interviews that took place less than two weeks apart Howk gives a different town and state for his residence in each interview. In one interview he is from Van Nuys, California. In another he is from Pueblo, Colorado. In another he is from Great Falls, Minnesota and in yet another he is from Centerville, Texas. Why would a man have to change where he was from so often? Maybe it was like the treasure he was looking for, he just couldn’t remember what state he should be in.

And if that’s not enough to get you doing some research of your own you should look into who Howk said he was during those interviews. In one interview he identifies himself as a “private investigator working for the James family”. In another interview he is a “longtime family friend” of J. Frank Dalton and in yet another he states he “represents some of the James family”. This would seem odd since Roscoe James; a declared nephew of Jesse James was traveling with Howk during the treasure hunts. Wouldn’t an actual family member be a representative of the family? Yea, yea, I can hear the uproar now. All of you true believers are saying he was a James family member.

Well I might have been willing to cut you some slack on that (just kidding, you ought to know me better than that by now!) except, and this is a BIG exception, the most telling interview of these four was the one where he said he was the “grandson of a James henchman” who’s last name was “Baxter”. Huh?? Baxter? What happened to being a descendant of Jesse James? I guess he saved that incarnation for later when he wanted publicity for his book. You can't have it both ways people. Here's Howk in his own words saying he's the grandson of somebody else other than Jesse James.

This guy just couldn’t keep his story straight and at no time during those interviews, I repeat, never, did he say he was Jesse James III or say that he was related to the James family. He always used the name of Orvus Lee Howk and in his own statements in these interviews contradicted his later assertion that he was a direct descendant of Jesse James.

Now, who out there really wants to rely on information from Orvus Lee Howk about the KGC, Jesse James and/or their alleged treasure troves? Did I mention that the famous KGC template everybody likes to refer to (and some use) came from Howk?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

100th Post JJ III Map

Wow! How time has flown by. We are already here doing our 100th post. I have to thank Alec for the wonderful job he has done keeping the blog fresh with great stories and information. He has really carried a heavy load around here while I have been busy with research. Most of the information I have dug up will eventually find it's way here to the blog.
In honor of our KGC readers I'm dedicating this post to those chasing J. Frank Dalton's supposed hidden wealth. I have posted a copy of an original JJ III map that if real should lead treasure hunters to $6,000,000 in hidden Caches. This map is vague on the exact location of the hidden money, but maybe those who are in the "know" about KGC maps can find some hidden information that will lead them to this fabulous wealth. I've been told that some treasure hunters have found some of the symbols shown on the map, but there's hasn't been any word of a recovery.
The map shows a building setting on a hillside and below it is a symbol showing the compass directions and the words "Money Boxes Stacked in This larger room". In the bottom right corner are the words "Masonic Emblem" and "Sealed Shut". Since the wording on the map is hard to read I will write it out below.
From the map:
The remaining $2,000,000 Treasure may still remain about 50 miles south of Old Fort El Reno and about 55 mile southwest of what is now the Santa Fe depot in Oklahoma City. The said $4,000,000, in the said sealed cave is about the same distance northeast of Fort El Reno. Along in April 1889 millions of acres of Indian lands was thrown open to land hungry people and the whole vast area was fenced & started to become a rich agricultural area so original marked trees etc., etc., are destroyed & yet certain general land marks remain to locate or work
Orvus Lee Houk had a number of maps he had drawn up over the years supposedly at the direction of J. Frank Dalton. I've viewed a few of these and I know for a fact that most don't resemble any of the authentic Jesse James maps that I have seen.
Houk did have one map in his possession that could be authentic. I believe Houk acquired his copy from Joe Hunter. I call it the Demault Map and for those who like to do research you can find a picture of it in an old newspaper. I've got a copy of it so I can verify that what is shown in the newspaper is what Joe Hunter had. Orvus Houk, Roscoe James, James Cooper, and John Trammell were in the hills of eastern Ohio searching for this treasure. This was in March of 1949, so I've given enough information for those interested to find this newspaper on their own. Joe Hunter searched for the DeMault map treasure here in Oklahoma and the clues on the map show that it goes to this state. Maybe someday we can write a blog story about it.
I'm still waiting for the day when someone steps forward and shows us proof of one of the KGC vaults and it's untold millions being recovered. The fame of such a find would no doubt bring a fortune itself to the lucky treasure hunter who would make such a recovery.
As always we welcome comments and suggestions as we strive to continue to improve the blog. Our goal is to make it entertaining and educational. You can't beat the price either. There aren't too many places you can find this kind of information for free.
I want to thank our readers for their encouraging words and I pray that each of you will be successful in your search.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Mysterious Treasure Found

I know, I know, if it was found then how could it be a mystery?

It’s kind of like working a treasure trail to the end only to find the treasure is already gone. You know a treasure was there but you just don’t know exactly what it was because all that is left is an empty hole. This is a story of an empty hole being found but with very few clues present.

This recovery took place in 1926 on the north edge of what used to be the Fort Reno military reservation near El Reno, Oklahoma. Fort Reno was established in 1874 for the U.S. Army in “No Mans Land” for the protection of the Five Civilized Tribes from the not so civilized Plains Indians. The fort was abandoned in 1908 after Oklahoma became a state but it was still used as a U.S Cavalry remount station until 1949. Today the property is used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

During the week of January 10th, 1926 Edward Crane, a fence rider for the Fort, discovered the hole while making his rounds. The hole, 13 feet deep and 8 feet wide, was located south of Darlington and about five hundred yards from where the Chisholm Trail crossed the North Canadian River. Mr. Crane had just been by the location two days earlier and there hadn’t been a hole there so it was surmised that whoever dug the hole worked during the dark of night so they wouldn’t be discovered. And worked fast I might add, that’s a big damn hole!

Now for the weird part, the location of the hole was on flat, tilled ground with no landmarks what so ever in the immediate vicinity. Whoever dug the hole only dug the one hole and left very little for clues as to what might have been in the hole to begin with. They also where able to hit their target dead on because when the hole was inspected closely a box made of rotting wooden timbers was found almost squarely in the center of the hole. The box was approximately four feet square and it appeared that a large metal box or safe had originally been inside the wooden box. The only other clues left behind was a bucket and a rope used to haul the dirt out of the of the hole. Officials were at a loss on how to explain how anyone would know where to dig a hole to make the recovery because there wasn’t anything close by to use as a land mark or measure from and no clues of any kind were found in the area. Remember, this was in a tilled field with nothing but dirt and more dirt, the closest “landmark” was the tracks of the Rock Island railway that were south of the hole through another field.

Officials at Fort Reno estimated the box had been in the ground between 30 and 50 years and said that what was recovered may have been a safe “with a large amount of money” that was “lost” by a government paymaster in route over the Chisholm Trail to Fort Reno.

The funny part is, according to the government report the safe was supposedly lost when the vehicle it was being carried in tried to cross the North Canadian River and became bogged down in quicksand. Now just how does an army payroll in a safe inside a vehicle that supposedly sank in quicksand end up in a wooden box at the bottom of a hole on dry land? I guess Uncle Sam has always been a little scatter brained when it comes to accounting for money!

I know this isn’t something you can look for but hearing about somebody recovering something is always interesting. Especially when it seems like the people making the recovery must have had x-ray vision!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Zip Wyatt, an Oklahoma Outlaw

As far as Oklahoma outlaws go Zip Wyatt was considered to be one of the most notorious. Zip Wyatt who was given the name of Nathaniel Ellsworth Wyatt at birth was also known as Dick Yeager and Wild Charlie. He practiced his trade in Oklahoma and Kansas and was said to have killed eleven people, including a deputy sheriff, during his career. He died in a jail cell at the ripe old age of 31 from several gunshot wounds he received while trading bullets with a posse. Zip apparently came by his mean streak legitimately as his father was known as “Six-Shooter Bill” and he had a brother known as “Six-Shooter Jack”. With names like that the family reunions must have been hard on the surroundings!

Before dying Zip and another outlaw named Ike Black robbed their way across the state, apparently favoring post offices and stores as their targets of choice. At one time both of these outlaws rode with the Doolin-Dalton Gang and were part of a robbery at Dover, Oklahoma that was attributed to the Doolin-Dalton Gang.

Zip Wyatt and Ike Black were known to hide out in the Gypsum Hills and the Glass Mountains, both of which are in the northwest part of Oklahoma. Zip Wyatt had talked about leaving behind some hidden money in the Glass Mountains before he died. In 1903 a cave that was thought to be an old outlaw hideout was located and some moldy greenbacks were found under a rock inside the cave. This cave was located at the head of Barney Creek and the man who found the greenbacks refused to tell anyone else where the cave was. This could be a good spot to run a metal detector if you could re-locate the cave.

On June 3rd 1895 Wyatt and Black robbed a post office in Fairview, Oklahoma and headed for a cave near the county line where they hid out. The following day U.S. Marshals and the Wood County Sheriff surprised them at the cave, apparently the secret hideout wasn’t very secret. A gunfight ensued and the robbers were able to escape, but not before both sustained gunshot wounds. Wyatt was hit in the left shoulder and Black was shot in the foot.

Finding this cave could also be very lucrative because the outlaws didn’t have time to take anything they may have hidden with them.

At the time of his demise, Zip Wyatt had a bounty on his head of $5,000. He died on September 7th, 1895 and was buried in a pine coffin in an unmarked grave. Several years later most of the bodies in the cemetery were moved however Zip Wyatt’s body remained in the cemetery because they couldn’t find it. Today, Zip is resting in peace in, I guess I should say under, a residential neighborhood in Enid, Oklahoma.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hidden in Plain Sight

We have all seen treasure maps, or at least photos of maps. Some of them have been carved, others have been redrawn by someone and in a few cases we have seen original maps. In the case of maps on mediums that can be carried around such as leather, cloth or metal, they need to be looked at just as closely as any carved map.

This article is meant to deal with outlaw maps but some of the information can translate to other types of maps as well. I have posted a photo of part of an original treasure map I have. Sorry, but I’m still working this one so part is all you’re going to get. This particular map was made on oilcloth and this is from a scan I made of the map. Keep in mind the map is more than 120 years old and is in pretty bad shape so the scan isn’t perfect but it depicts the map as it actually is.

This particular map has lines on it made in red and blue ink. This photo shows just a few of the red lines. If you look closely you can see in the lines what could be a W or an upside M or even a V. To the right of that you can also see the number 3. These letters/numbers are hidden in the line. When you look at the map in it’s entirety the red line seems to form a topographical area and the letters/numbers just seem to be part of the line, and you would think the topography.

That would be where you would be wrong. There are a few of these hidden symbols in this map and since they occur repeatedly, they are something that needs to be looked at separate from the topographical lines. Another thing that should be mentioned is that the occurrence of letters and numbers could mean that all of these hidden symbols are numbers. Outlaws weren’t beyond using a Roman numeral or two every now and then.

Portions of the red topographical lines in this map also form the shape of an animal. This animal shape is a clue as to the name of the location where the map is to be used. This particular map was seen in its entirety at the last treasure hunters get together in Medicine Park, OK.

Clues can be hidden in many ways in a map and you have to be careful not to overlook something just because it looks like something else. Deception was part of the way they kept their hidden treasures hidden but one of the most common things to use was misdirection. They will have you looking at one thing and completely missing the clues you need. This of course will also get you to over think certain things, which will have the same affect.

Outlaws were smarter than what most people give them credit for, well, some of them were. I know when I started treasure hunting I never thought that an old outlaw would be able to outsmart me and I have been proven wrong about that on several occasions!

This is just a short article to get your mind wrapped around the way things could be done and how you should be thinking. Later on I will try to post a map in its entirety to show how much misdirection there can be in just one map.

You need to think logically and be methodical in your quest for treasure. It beats wondering around in circles every time!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Tale of Two States, Treasure Tales that is.

Once upon a time in a place far, far away……….

OK, so it’s not actually that far away and for some of you it may be right in your own back yard. It is from a long, long time ago. I have a tale of treasure for those of you along the Illinois and Kentucky borders. This one tale actually could lead you to several tales as this spot was frequented by at least two conterfeiters, a pirate, ARRGGGG! (I just can’t help myself) and a few outlaws. This article is about one of the couterfeiters that made this place his home.

The place? Cave-In-Rock, Illinois. Yea, the name seems pretty simple but what do you expect, it was found and named by a frenchy back in 1739. I guess he didn’t have much of an imagination. Cave-In-Rock is an actual town but the main feature is a cave with an opening that is 55 feet wide! Cave-In-Rock sits just inside the Illinois border on the Ohio River.

The cave itself was one of the homes of an infamous counterfeiter known as John Duff, real name, John Mc Elduff. Mr. Duff, as he was commonly known, had been a scout during the Revolutionary war and chose to make his living as a counterfeiter. He mined his own silver and lead and couterfeited coins. I guess now I have your attention since any coins from the 1700’s would last a very long time.

It is said that John Duff hid a large cache of gold and silver coins, both genuine and counterfeit before his untimely death. He was killed by three or four indians who were hired to kill him by the commandant of the nearby Fort Massac. He died in 1799 leaving behind his wife who apparantly didn’t have any idea where the money was hidden.

There have been conflicting reports as to exactly where he died and how many places he called home. Accordng to a newspaper report he was killed at his home at Battery Park on the Illinois side of the Ohio River or you can believe what was written in the History of Union County, Kentucky where it says he died on the other side of the river at what is now Caseyville, Kentucky. It is known that he lived in or very near the cave at Cave-In-Rock at one time and he mined his lead and silver along the Saline River. There were three places known as “Duff’s Fort”, one at Cave-In-Rock, one in a house in Caseyville, Kentucky which later became the old Christian Chruch and the third was at Island Ripple on the Saline River.

Stories from long ago say that a nephew of John Duff came to the area of the Tradewater River to look for his uncles hidden money but was unable to locate it. The treasure was supposed to be in a “secret” cave at the mouth of the river but the area at the mouth of the Tradewater River is littered with caves and the nephew couldn’t find the right one.

Too bad he didn’t have a metal detector, that might have made it a lot easier to look for!

Genuine or counterfeit, coins mented in the 1700’s would still be a cache worth finding.
If you choose to do some more research on this treasure be sure to look into a second counterfeiter who spent some time at Cave-In-Rock named Philip Alston who learned the counterfeiting trade from John Duff. The Sturdivant outlaw gang and another outlaw named Logan Belt frequented the area also along with the Pirate Samuel Mason, ARGGGGG! See, it’s just natural!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Deep Seeking Detectors

Everybody is looking for that one detector that will solve all of our problems and find treasure, no matter where it is or how deep it is. The truth of the matter is no such animal exists. Metal detectors are like any other tool; there is usually a specific tool for a specific job. When it comes to deep seeking metal detectors this is almost always the case.

If you are cache hunting you need to have a good two-box detector. Several companies make these including Whites, Fisher, Discovery, and Garrett. Personally, when it comes to a two-box unit I prefer a dedicated machine and not an add-on like the Garrett. The dedicated machines seem to get better depth and are easier to work with.

Everybody has heard the hype about a two-box unit picking up an object fifteen feet in the ground. This is possible but only under ideal conditions, which rarely exist in the field and the object you are looking for would have to be the size of a car. I don’t recall any stories about Jesse James filling the trunk of a car with gold and burying it so this won’t do you much good. It’s been my experience that a good two-box detector will give you somewhere between four and six feet in depth in the field. This is good for the outlaw cache hunters in the crowd because most outlaw caches will rarely be more than four feet deep. You can find most two-box detectors starting at a price around $600 new. You can find them used for one to two hundred less if you look around.

For the Spanish cache hunters out there you may need something that has a little more reach. A good pulse induction unit with a 40-inch coil is another choice for looking for the bigger caches. A pulse induction unit will work better in highly mineralized soil than a two-box and will generally get more depth. Field experience says a pulse induction unit will pick up a small object, lets say something the size of an iron pot or teakettle, at six feet with very little problems. It would be my opinion that if you are looking for something the size of a car battery or bigger then you will probably get between 5 and 10 feet in depth with a pulse induction unit, depending on the soil and terrain. Some of the manufactures of these units will claim depths up to thirty feet but I haven’t heard of any recoveries at that depth using a pulse unit, junk or treasure. The bad part about the pulse induction units is the cost. Unless you are smart enough to build your own (which leaves me out) then you’re probably going to have to shell out at least two or three grand to get a good one.

As with the two-box units, there are several manufactures of pulse induction units. If you are interested in looking into a PI unit Bob Fitzgerald at has two different PI units he sells that are less expensive than others but don’t have a lot of the bells and whistles either. You will want to look over his descriptions closely because the least expensive unit comes with the wire for the coil but you have to buy your own PVC pipe and make the actual coil to put the wire in. He also seems to exaggerate the depths some but you can at least see the difference in the cheaper models as compared to the more expensive ones. His prices start around $700.00. Kellyco Electronics sells a few different PI units also but their prices start around $4,000.00. Ouch!

You need to remember when using a two-box or PI unit that the coils need to stay parallel with the terrain you are searching or you will get false signals. A lot of flase signals will make for a really long day.

For those of you that have more money than you know what to do with you can look into an electromagnet induction unit. These sell for around $16,000 but are very handy for finding underground tunnels or sealed caves. For us normal folks that can’t afford to buy one of these until we hit that big one, they can be rented, some for as little as $50.00 a day.

Two of these units that I have been researching are the Geonics EM31 ( and the GSSI Profiler ( Both of these machines work on the same principals. They work along the same lines as the older resistivity machines however you don’t have to stick any probes in the ground. They measure the resistivity of the soil from one point to another showing different colors for the different amounts of resistivity in your survey. In other words, if you are walking a grid across solid ground your picture will stay about the same. If you cross over a void within the ground the air in the void is less resistive to signals therefore the signal will travel through the void faster, giving a different reading at the machine in the form of different colors and shapes on the screen. This of course is a very simplified explanation of how they work but it should give you the right idea. These machines are routinely used for ground water surveys, archeological investigations and geological assessments. The drawback for the amateur treasure hunter in using these machines has always been the cost involved. Now that there are companies that will rent the machines it has made it possible for others to get full use of today’s technology.

The EM31 can be rented for about $50.00 per day and the Profiler goes for about $800.00 per week. The Profiler is the newest machine and includes a wireless PDA that gives you a real time color picture of what you are seeing. The EM31 requires a laptop computer to be carried around at the same time to see real time results or you can do your scan and then go to a computer and download the results. I’m more of a real time kind of guy, no reason to make two trips when one will do!

The depths that both of these machines will “see” are measured in meters with the minimum being three meters and the maximum around eight meters in ideal conditions. Ideal conditions aren’t what you would think. In speaking with a techie at one of the companies I was told that working in granite mountains would give me about the same depth as working on the flatlands of Kansas. Apparently these machines don’t like pockets of clay any more than they like large buried granite boulders. Of the two machines the Profiler is the lightest and easiest to use. Of course, it’s also the most expensive one. The Profiler weighs less than ten pounds compared to the almost twenty pounds of the EM31. The Profiler is only six feet long compared to the sixteen feet of the EM31.

There are other machines available to individuals such as ground penetrating radar and seismic machines that work something like sonar but in most cases treasure hunters aren’t looking for the kinds of things these machines will find or they won’t work in the areas we are looking in. Didn’t anybody bury anything on flat open ground that you can just drive up to? That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Happy hunting!