Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Treasure in the news

If you were paying attention to the news a while back you would have heard the story about a group of treasure salvors who recovered over 500 million dollars in treasure from the bottom of the ocean. Ever since they made the recovery there has been a battle over who owns it, even though it was found in international waters.

Here is the latest information from the news. I guess finders-keepers doesn't apply anymore when you are dealing with a government.

A U.S. district judge has ruled that U.S. treasure-hunting company Odyssey Marine Exploration should return to Spain a fortune in old coins recovered from the wreck of a 19th-century Spanish warship.

MIAMI — A U.S. district judge has ruled that U.S. treasure-hunting company Odyssey Marine Exploration should return to Spain a fortune in old coins recovered from the wreck of a 19th-century Spanish warship.

In an order filed in Tampa, Florida Tuesday, Judge Steven Merryday nevertheless directed that the return of the treasure to Spain be stayed until an appeals process in the case was concluded. It was the latest twist in a complex dispute over the treasure involving Spain, Odyssey and Peru.

Merryday's order backed a recommendation by a U.S. magistrate judge in June that Odyssey should hand over to the Spanish government nearly 600,000 silver and gold coins valued at some $500 million that it recovered from the wreck of the 19th-century Spanish warship Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes.

Spain said the Spanish naval frigate was carrying treasure back from Peru when it was sunk by British gunboats in 1804.

Odyssey Marine, which has disputed the treasure came from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, discovered wreckage and the 17-ton haul of artifacts in March 2007 in international waters about 100 miles west of the Straits of Gibraltar, which separate Spain from North Africa.
"The ineffable truth of this case is that the Mercedes is a naval vessel of Spain and that the wreck of this naval vessel, the vessel's cargo, and any human remains are the natural and legal patrimony of Spain," Merryday said in his order.

Odyssey, which specializes in the recovery of sunken treasure and had codenamed this particular project "Black Swan," says the coin haul legally belongs to the company.
Odyssey said in a statement Wednesday that Merryday's ruling would for the time being keep the coins in Odyssey's custody pending an appeals ruling by the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Judge Merryday's ruling serves to move this case to the appellate court faster, where we feel confident that the legal issues are clearly in our favor," Odyssey CEO Greg Stemm said.
"We will file our notice of appeal with the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Florida and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals within the required time and look forward to presenting our case in that forum," said Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey vice president and general counsel.
The Mercedes sank in the first few minutes of the Battle of Cape St. Mary's as an explosion ripped it apart, killing more than 200 sailors. The attack led Spain to declare war on Britain and enter the Napoleonic Wars on the side of France.

Peru, which was ruled by Spain at the time the Mercedes was sunk, entered the legal fray in August when it filed a claim for information with the Tampa court. The filing said the coins may be "part of the patrimony of the Republic of Peru."

Judge Merryday also backed the magistrate judge's June recommendation that Spain and Peru's competing claims over the coins would be best resolved through direct negotiations and not in a U.S. court.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Cold Outside!!

As I sit here looking out my office window it’s a balmy 21 degrees with a wind chill of 10 degrees and all that I can see is white. The temperatures are an improvement over the minus 6 degrees wind chill of yesterday but it’s still cold. With over seven inches of snow on the ground, snowdrifts more than four feet tall and more snow falling I am contemplating having a cocktail and putting another log on the fire or getting on a plane to Hawaii.

This is the annual “I wish I was someplace else right now” article. Where else would I want to be? That plane to Hawaii sounds very tempting!! Warm beaches, tropical drinks and women in bikinis, throw in some treasure to look for and I’m in heaven!

If you find yourself in the Hawaiian Islands and are tired of soaking up the sun then you could try to find the burial place of King Kamehameha the Great. (pronounced Ka-may-ha-may-ha) The man who established the Kingdom of Hawaii and ruled it until 1819.

The King was known as the Napoleon of the Pacific because of his rule over Hawaii and the fact that except for a period of just a few years during his rule that the British were there, the islands were always the Kingdom of Hawaii.

This is one of those treasures that if you go looking for it and you find it you could become famous and rich or end up in jail and court from the different lawsuits that would undoubtedly be filed. The Hawaiians would consider the opening of the burial place “kapu” or against Hawaiian law. Since Hawaii has gone to great lengths over the years to find their most famous royal artifacts that disappeared when Hawaii became a state I don’t think they would want someone walking off with the artifacts that were buried with the King that united the islands. This doesn't mean it would be a bad thing to find the burial spot, it just means you would want to have your ducks in a row when you did.

When King Kamehameha died on May 8th, 1819 in Kailua, Kona some of his trusted friends took his body and buried it without telling anyone where they took it. Hawaiian religion considers a person’s “mana” or power of a person to be sacred and since the King was the most powerful person in Hawaii at the time they did not want anyone disturbing his mana. Along with the King’s mana there is said to be a large treasure of diamonds, pearls and jewels. The king was buried with his warrior robes which were adorned with the feathers from what are now extinct birds. The feathers, if they are still feathers, could be extremely valuable.

Just where would you start looking for the burial chamber of King Kamehameha? Some legends say that the King was buried on Kauai along the Na Pali coast. Na Pali is approximately 15 miles of coast line mostly made up of sheer cliffs. The word Na Pali literally means “the cliffs”. Most of this coast line is inaccessible due to the sheer cliffs so if the King is along this shore line there aren’t very many places he could be.

Others say the King was buried in a live volcano, which would take some really dedicated friends in my opinion and there is yet another story that says the burial location is in Kailua, Kona.

Back in 2005 there was a man perusing some old survey maps and came across one dated 1819. On this map was a spot marked as “Tamehamehas Tomb”. The spot where the tomb is marked is on Thurston Point in Kailua Bay in Kailua, Kona. This should serve as a reminder that you never know what you will find when you are looking at old documents.

Now for the bad news, even though there may be a map that actually shows the location of the tomb it appears that part or all of the tomb may have unknowingly been destroyed in the 1950’s.

Back in the 1950’s the land owner created a channel from the ocean to a spot, which on some survey maps show “royal fishponds”, to create a lagoon. During this process the King’s tomb may have been destroyed, or maybe not!

No one reported finding anything back in the 1950’s such as jewels or other artifacts when the digging was taking place so maybe, if the old survey map is right, the King’s tomb still lies buried on this property completely undisturbed. There is also the possibility that the King is buried someplace completely different.

Of course you could always go poking around the live volcano, I’m sure there’s absolutely nothing dangerous at all about that!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Not all treasure is gold

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a heartfelt thank you for the many e-mails of encouragement we have received throughout this year. The coming new year will bring a few changes to the blog as we strive to improve and expand what we bring to the treasure hunting community. We are always open to suggestions and welcome your comments.

Ron has done a great job of keeping the blog current and interesting. He's pretty sharp, but didn't think to send the treasure up last, and that's why you see a picture of him looking up out of a hole. Maybe he should have taken his own cave and tunnel advice.

Happy Holidays, James

Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish all of our readers and their families a very safe and Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Treasure Hunting in Caves and Tunnels

Caves and the area around caves are especially good spots for looking for treasure. I know of several stories that talk about treasures being hidden in caves and I know of even more stories about treasure being hidden near caves. I have found lots of carvings in and around caves and tunnels that were treasure related.

Caves and trees with water close by is a magnet to draw in outlaws and just about anybody else traveling in those areas because of the shelter from the weather and the need for water when traveling. There are several areas that have caves that were used over and over again by the same group and even more groups through the centuries. I don’t know of any area I’ve been to that has caves that didn’t have treasure markings in the area also.

For most of you some of this information will be a no brainer but since the blog is for the novice and the more seasoned treasure hunter I will be mentioning several different things I think are important. As a disclaimer, keep in mind that the things I mention are in no way everything that you should consider. They should be considered a starting point for you to work on based on your individual sites.

First and foremost, DO NOT GO ALONE!! Crawling around in caves is dangerous and you should never be alone. You should also always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back and that someone shouldn’t be the person with you!

Once you have someone to go with you it gets into common sense and safety. You should realize that finding a treasure is not worth your life so if a cave appears to be unsafe, don’t go into it! If you do go into a cave or tunnel make sure you have some good equipment with you.

You should always have more than one flashlight and I personally would recommend three. It can get pretty frickin’ dark in a cave when there aren’t any lights. I learned this by experience! I always carry a small pocket flashlight with me all the time whether I’m treasure hunting or not. If I go into a cave I have at least two other flashlights, I prefer the LED lights and I have two or three chemical light sticks also. The little headlamp lights work very well so you can keep your hands free while moving around.

Rope is always a good thing to have also. Even if you don’t think you will use it, having 30-50 feet of rope can come in handy in an emergency or even if your tunnel splits off in several directions. Being lost is one thing; being lost underground is a completely different situation and not one I think anyone would want to experience.

You should pay attention to your size. I know I am as guilty as anyone thinking that I can still do the things I did when I was twenty years old. This is wishful thinking and can be a big mistake if you aren’t careful. Again, this is experience speaking. If you are twenty and want to live to be fifty, think twice before doing what you want to do!

Two way radios can also be good as long as the cave or tunnel you are going in to isn’t super long or deep. Having somebody outside the cave that can go for help is a good thing if something happens and being able to talk to them with a radio so they don’t have to risk coming in is also good. Don’t rely on your cell phone; they don’t work too well underground!

What do you do once you are in the tunnel or cave? Move slowly, keep your eyes open and don’t go moving things before you look at what else might move when you do. Caves are great places to find carvings, inside and out. Besides looking on the walls you always want to look on the ceiling. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t look up, especially in tight or small places.
Something else to consider if you think there is a treasure or even a clue hidden in the cave, check the walls. I have a battery powered black light that I use occasionally in caves and tunnels. If someone has dug a hole into the side of the cave, placed something inside and then sealed it back shut using mud or clay a black light will show the differences between the solid wall and the filled in spot. If what you are looking for is metal and you get a reading with a detector then you won’t need the black light. However, if what you are looking for is documents or paper money then maybe, just maybe that light will come in handy.

As with any treasure hunting, a camera is always nice to have. In the case of exploring caves a video camera with the night vision feature can come in handy. Being able to shoot video and still photos with the same camera is an added plus. Most of the new point and shoot digitals will be able to do this.

You can plan on getting dirty, muddy and wet when exploring caves so plan on bringing a change of clothes with you when you go. And if you have a younger hunting partner it's always nice to send him in the tunnel first! :~)

When it comes to hauling out that treasure once you find it, make sure you climb up the rope before the treasure gets hauled out or you might be taking a shot like this. He seems to be smiling an awful lot!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Treasure Hunters in the News

I would like to start off by apologizing to our readers for taking all week to get a new article posted. With Christmas just around the corner it has been a little hectic and I have gotten behind.

Now, for those of you that have attended one or more of the annual treasure hunter meetings that James is so kind to put on you will enjoy this article. For the ones that haven’t had the opportunity to be at one of the meetings you should still enjoy the article and get a little information about hunting outlaw treasure that you may not have had before.

On Sunday, 13 December 2009 the Daily Oklahoman, the big paper for Oklahoma City, OK published a front page article about some treasure hunters searching for the lost loot of Jesse James. Some of you will recognize the names in this article (I’m hoping you will) and may want to comment on it.

Instead of re-writing the entire article I am going to make it easy on myself and simply post the link to the original article from the newspaper.

As you read this I would ask that you pay close attention to the description of James in the article and, being the kind of treasure hunters that I know you to be, I would expect James to get several e-mails of good natured ribbing concerning that description. He’s going to kill me for this but hey, what are friends for!! :~)

Monday, December 14, 2009

KGC Article Part VI

After a great trip to a fairly famous treasure site I'm back to finish the last post about this article. I'd like to thank Jeff, Bill, and Conrad for their hospitality and the chance to view the site.

This last part of the article is fairly lenghty, so I will just post a portion of it. Thearticle was first published in Louisville, Ky and may have helped to keep Kentucky neutral due to the revelation of KGC's plans and desires.

Obligation Delivered by Governor

Before God and these witnesses, I do vow that I will never reveal the signs, grips, passwords, tokens or significants of the 57 (Knights of the Columbian Star) to any man, woman, or child, except to a 57 in good and lawful standing, and then only as hereafter directed and for the lawful purposes of this Order. And I pledge to commit myself fully and freely to each of the following obligations, and in perfect good faith.

1st. I vow and promise to conceal the names of the 57, the oblects and character thereof, and never to speak of the same as though I was a member, except to those who can give me our sacred word in such a way as to satisfy me they are 57.

2nd. No matter what information or secrets may be given to me by a 57 and because I am one, I will hold to the same sacredly in my own knowledge and never re-communicate it even to a 57 (Knights of the Columbian Star) unless authorized so to do by the brother whose secret it is. I will never speak evil of a brother 57 either before his face or behind his back. I will never dishonor the wife or daughter of a 57, knowing them to be such, but I will shield and protect the character of all 57 whom I may know to be such - their wives, daughters, and families.

3rd. I will oppose to the utmost of my abilities, and never consent, but vote against the admission of a confirmed drunkard, professional gambler, rowdy convicted felon, 68 (abolitionist), negro, Indian, minor, idiot, or 69 (foriegnor), to membership in this department of 33. But I will get as many good and eligible 70 (Southern-born men) to join this degree I as I can.

The article goes on to talk about the KGC's mistrust of Roman Catholics, Northern Teachers etc. Many more of their number codes are given and the Sacred word [Eloi], the password [Andalusia], and more grips and signs for the Third Degree.

Look for a future article from Ron about our weekend trip and many other things as well.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

KGC Part V


We three(or other number as the case may be) citizens of 58 (slave State) do hereby and herein, in the presence of each other and the Great Jehovah, solemnly pledge our faith and honor to conceal and never reveal to any mortal being, save such as we know to be 57 (Knights of the Columbian Star) any circumstances or thing that may here transpire during the next hour, and to keep the knowledge of the next hour forever secret from all but 57. In the name of God. Amen
[All take seats]

Secretary. What are you that you are thus leading off in this work, with which you seem so familiar?

Governor. I am what you are, a 57; you being the Secretary and I the Governor of this Council, and I hereby promise to continuously do my duty at all times while I hold fellowship with 33. But Sir, will you explain why it was necessary to proceed as we have?

Secretary. We thus proceed because the laws of this Order demand it - and because the Order will lose its efficiency as soon as it ceases to be absolutely secret. It is not permitted that we shall be know to any person living except to those who are 57. You will find nothing in the Order of which to be ashamed. Not even the 33 must know who has this Degree. This is perhaps the only real secret Order in the world. It must be kept secret!

Governor. [To Candidate] I have a few questions to ask you, which I trust you will answer without reserve, for I pledge you my word as a man and as a 57, and as Governor of this Council that I am in earnest in this work, and would not have sought you out, unless I had thought this whole work would meet your unqualified approbation.
1. Give me the signs, password, and grip of a 1 (Knight of the Iron Hand).
2. Give me the signs, password, and grip of 18 (True Faith).
3. To what 66 (Castle) do you belong?
4. Where were you born?
5. Where was your father and mother born?
6.Are you a 60 (A Protestant) or a 67 (Roman Catholic)?
7. Where do you live?
8. Do you belong to any other secret society?
9. Married or single?
10. Are you a 61 (slave holder)?
11. Will you stand firm in your obligation of the 33 (K.G.C.)?
12. Do you believe in the religion of Jesus Christ?
13. Are you willing to help in spreading it?

Secretary: Judging from what you have seen of the 33 project, and by what you know of us, are you now willing to be united with us in a society from which you can never resign but which in no way compromise you, since the only work and responsibilities we put on you are these:
1. Secrecy as to who the 57 are.
2. To attend every call of Council mad by the Governor General of this State.
3. To do for every brother what every brother has sworn to do for you.
4. To inform the nearest working brother, known to you, of dander to a 33 or 57.
5. To exercise a cautious prudence in counteracting false impressions of the 33, and to report to 56 (George Bickley) or his successors any improper or dangerous actions you may know of.
6. To respond to the call of any brother in your county.
7. And to never speak of the work and character of this Degree of the 33. to anyone except 57 only as you express sentiments taught by the Order.

We shall not force you to work unless you desire to do so - but on the call of five brothers you must respond, if in your power so to do. Once as a 57 (Knight of the Columbian Star) so you will live and die, though no mortal man may know it but 57.

Governor: Are you willing to proceed?
(Candidate answers, Yes).
Secretary: Every knee shall bend to God, and every tongue shall confess His name.
Governor: We shall kneel for prayer.
Governor: Mr. Secretary collect the fees of this (or these) candidate, and we will proceed in the work of initiation.

I believe it was said, for three to keep a secret two have to be dead, and it would seem so it would go with this secret Order. We are now halfway through the article. This next section reveals the obligations delivered by the Governor.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

KGC Article Part IV

And now it remains for us to give the Ritual of the Third Degree, which as being the most important we shall publish almost entire. We have not the time or space for commenting on it now. Every citizen can judge of it for himself. The Roman Catholic and the foreign born population will see how they are proscribed by this mysterious Order, this central and guiding power of the secession and disunion party. All will see that the Order declare for a Monarchy, a Limited Monarchy as they call it, until all their purposes in regard to Mexico shall have been accomplished, and we need not suggest how brief will be the period within which, if they get their Limited Monarchy, they will make it an Absolute Monarchy.

Third or Political degree of the 33 (K.G.C.) - Named 57 (Knight of the Columbian Star).

Instructions- Officers of the Council shall be a Governor and a Secretary. Every 57 (Knight of the Columbian Star) is qualified to act in either capacity.

Qualifications for Membership.
Candidate must be familiar with the work of the two former Degrees. Must have been born in 58 (A slave State) or if a 56 (A free State) must be a citizen, 60 ( A Protestant), and 61 ( A slaveholder). A candidate who was born in 58 ( A slave State) need not be 61 (A slaveholder) provided he can give 62 (Evidences of character as a Southern man).

Object - To form a Council for the 33 (K.G.C.) and to organize 63 ( Government) for 2 (Mexico). No 57 (Knight of Columbian Stars) shall admit, except to a brother 57, that he has this Degree, for reasons that will hereafter appear. Any two 57's can confer the Degree on others, the oldest 57 acting as Governor.

Council Hall
Approaching Candidates: Of course all 33 (K.G.C.) know each other. There being two 57 in hailing distance of the Court House of said county - that is 64 (within the county). They will confer together as to the worthiness of any 33, whom they may think a proper person to be made a 57, and having agreed, one or both of them will go to the person, each knowing the other person is a 33, and tell him there is a gentleman 64 (within the county) who has the power to confer the Third Degree, and propose to him that all three shall, or more is if so the case is, go and apply for it - telling him (or them) at the same time, that the fee will be 65 (ten dollars). If he assents propose a time and place, and all be punctual. Let it not be exactly the place where the Degree is to be conferred, but near. The 57 (Knights of the Columbian Star) act as if they also sought the Degree. Also, tell the candidate that as he or you may be rejected, it will be expected that he will not mention the matter to anyone as the result is known.

When in the room the Governor will take the Bible, and will cause all to lay their hands thereon, when each will repeat after the Governor the following:

As with any good series you will have to wait until the next blog post to read the initiation.......

Monday, December 7, 2009

KGC Article Part III

From the Second Financial Degree, we need give but little. The following is the closing part of the initiation:

Captain - The headquarters for this Organization are at 23 (Monterey); where most of the stores and munitions are deposited. The Financial Headquarters are at - : Col. N.J. Scott is at present Financial Chairman.

Captain. - I shall give you the unwritten parts of this work, and I trust you will be careful in its use. If a general war ensues we shall dispense with the First Degree and rely on this and the Third.

Name - 16 (True Faith.) sign 25 (fore-finger and thumb of right hand joined, while with the rest of the hands open the right eye is touching with middle finger.) answer 26 (same with left hand and left eye) password 27 (Monterey) night word or distress - 32 (St. Mary) response - 31 and say 5 (grasp by wrist and say Rio Grande) emblem - 28 ( gold circle encasing Greek cross in centre of which is a star). This is the 29 (key) to our 30 (secret alphabet) use of 33 (K.G.C.) 56 (Goerge Bickley) guard sign 1/2 28 ( gold circle encasing Greek cross in centre of which is a star) silence 25 (fore-finger and thumb of right hands joined, while with the rest of the hands open the right eye is touching with the middle finger) on lips, danger - same with left.

In a circular, headed "Volunteers Wanted," and dated Headquarters, American Legion K.G.C., Clarksville Tenn., June 29, 1861, President Bickley said:

Desiring to organize a Volunteer Corps of Kentuckians, I hereby issue the following proclamation : I will accept every company that shall be tendered to me at Clarksville, Tenn., on or before the 25th day of July, 1861. This force will act as an independent Corps on the borders, and will receive the following pay:

If necessary, this force, which ins already accepted, will be used in any locality where the enemy may be found. All companies will report to me at this place on or before the 25th day of July next, at which time I shall form a Camp of Instruction, to be under a competent and experienced corps of instructors.

Owing to the existing war, it is not always possible to get letters from correspondents by mail, and under these circumstances it is perhaps best to place all letters of value in the hands of an Express Company. It is exceedingly desirable and important to organize the State of Kentucky before the August elections, and to accomplish this every precinct in each county of the State should have one or more Castles. All Second Degree fees are to be forwarded to me at Clarksville, Tenn., or Russelville Ky., on the first Monday of each month.

The next part of the article will feature the Ritual of the Third Degree. It would seem that the KGC didn't like Roman Catholics or foreign born persons. This part is the Political Degree of the KGC named the Knights of the Columbian Star, and with this we are just starting on the second column of the article. This gives you an idea of just how much information about the KGC was known.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


In this section of the article we find the KGC's plan for Mexico and their secret signs, grips, and passwords.

Captain- Under the laws of 2 (Mexico) every emigrant receives 640 acres of land. Under a treaty closed with3 (Manuel Doblado, Governor of Guanajunto) on the 11th of February, 1860, we are invited to colonize in 2 (Mexico) to enable the best people there to establish a permanent government. We agree to introduce a force of 16,000 men, armed, equipped, and provided, and to take the field under command of 3 (Maneul Doblado, Governor of Guanajunto), who agree to furnish an equal number of men to be officered by K.G.C.'s. To cover the original expense of arming our forces, there is mortgaged to our trustees the right to collect one-half the annual revenues of 4 (Guanajunto) until we are paid the sum of $840,000. As a bonus there is also ceded to us 355,000 acres of land. The pay of the army is the same as the regular army of 2 (Mexico) which is about one-eight more than that of the United States. To secure this there is mortgaged to us all the public property of 4 (Guanajunto) amounting to taxable value to $23,000,000. 3 (Manuel Doblado, Governor of Guanajunto) is now there making arrangements for our reception. We shall cross over as soon as possible; after our own national troubles are settled.

We presume that Mexico will feel herself under obligation to us for this exposition of the designs entertained towards her by the Knights of the Golden Circle and their Mexican accomplice the Governor of Guanajunto. We will now add the following from the ritual of the First Degree:

Captain- I will now give you the signs, grips, passwords, and token of the First Degree of the K.G.C.. This degree has a name, which I may now give you - it is the "I" (Knight of the Iron Hand). The first great sign of the Order is thus made, 7 (Hands open, palms touching and resting on top of the head; fingers pointing upwards). The answer to this is 8 (open hands touching shoulder where epaulets are worn, elbows close to the side). These are battle-field signs and are not to be used in ordinary circumstances . The common sign of recognition is 9(right fore-finger drawn across upper lip under nose, as if rubbing). The Answer 10 (with fore-finger and thumb of left hand take hold of left ear). To gain admission to a Working Castle, or room of any KGC, give 11 (one distinct rap) at the door. The Sentinel on duty will then raise the wicket and demand the countersign, which is 12 (SOLDIERS, always lettered except at castle door). You will then pass the centre of the room and give the true sign of the K.G.C. ; it is 13 (left hand on the heart, right hand raised). This will be recognized by a bow from the Captain. When once take your seat. The sign of assent is 14(both hands up), of dissent is15 (one hand up), the grip is 16 (press with thumb one inch above second knuckle), the token 17 (Golden Circle encasing black hands closed on scroll; the whole to be the size of a dime). Every member may wear the sign of his degree.

And now, reader, you know as much about the signs, grips, tokens, etc., of the Knights of the Golden Circle as they themselves do. We may remark here that the initiation fee for the First Degree is one dollar, for the Second five dollars, and for the Third ten.

At this point we are only 90% through the first of four columns in this article. As you can read it gives a very detailed look into the workings of this super secret society. The rest of the article will give us a look at the Second and Third Degrees. I'll try and post part of this article each day until we are done with it. I have many more I will post over time. I highly recommend going to and paying for the membership. You will find numerous articles about the KGC from the era when they were active. Reading these will give you a perspective that I don't think you will get from those selling books and videos today.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Knights of the Golden Circle Part I

In an effort to prove to the treasure hunting community that the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) (33) were not the super secret organization that many are claiming today, I'll be bringing you newspaper articles from the 1850's and 1860's.

This first article comes from the Cedar Valley Times and was printed in August of 1861. Due to my typing skills, I'll post it in several sections. I think you will find it interesting due to the fact it exposes many of the KGC secret signs and symbols. Enjoy!

We are not prepared to state how long the Order of the Knights of the Golden Circle has been in existence. It never assumed in public estimation much importance until after the springing up of the great question of Union or disunion in our land. It is believed to have materially changed its character since then, and certainly has played a prominent part in the political affairs of the nation. It's members bear the same relation to other dis unionist that regular soldiers do to the militia. The association is upheld and applauded as patriotic and noble by the whole disunion press everywhere. Every imp elation against it is resisted by the disunion press as a blow at the disunion cause.

The success with which the Knights of the Golden Circle have kept the secrets of their order has been a matter of wonder to many. The Chief of the Order has pretended to publish all the written portion of the ritual or rituals, but we knew perfectly well that he was attempting a fraud upon the community. Hundreds of members of the Order have sworn a dreadful oaths that they would kill anyone of their fellows who should dare to reveal, and any editor or printer who should be guilty of publishing their mysteries. Probably the knowledge of these oaths has kept many persons silent who felt that they were under a solemn obligation to their fellow man to speak what they know. For ourselves, we care not for their threats. A public man is miserably unfit for his station if he hesitates to do his duty and trust the consequences to God and to his fellow man.

We have before us all the secret documents of the Order of the Knights of the Golden Circle. That they are authentic, we give our solemn assurance as an editor and a man.We proceed to publish such portions as will give a correct and full idea of the character and purposes and plans of the Order.

There are three degrees of the Order: the First Military, the Second Financial, the Third Governmental.

The Ritual of the First Degree contains little of special importance. We will here premise that the reading of the Rituals is entirely unintelligible except by the aid of keys, and a great many numerical figures being substituted for words. We are in possession of the keys, and in what we publish of the Rituals we shall give it just as we find it, putting into parenthesis the meanings of the figures. The following two paragraphs are from the Obligation taken in the First Degree, the words of the first being spoken by the Treasurer, and those of the second by an officer called the Captain:

Captain - Gentlemen, we must now tell you that the first field of our operations is 2 (Mexico); but we hold it to our duty to offer our services to any Southern State to repel a Northern army. We hope that such a contingency may not occur. But whether the Union is reconstituted or not, the Southern States must foster any scheme having for its object the Americanization and Southernization of 2 (Mexico), so that in either case our success will be certain.

To be continued......................................................

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What is a treasure mark, Part II

This is a follow up to the last article I wrote about treasure marks. This one includes several more photos of treasure marks for our readers to see. All of these symbols and markers are from outlaw treasure trails. Lots of other people beside outlaws left behind treasure marks and markers. Trying to cover them all would be impossible.

This first one is a "two for one" symbol. The first part of the symbol is simply a "you are here" marker telling you that you have arrived at a specific spot in the map. The second part of this marker is that it is a map in and of itself. The top and right side of this rock were shaped to resemble the sides of the hill you could see from the location of this rock. The drill hole indicated the location of another marker on the hill. You simply had to stand at this rock, which was standing upright with only one direction to look at it from and then you could see the hillside as depicted by the rock. By "eyeballing" the location on the hill that corresponds with the location of the drill hole in the rock you are taken to another stone marker that was flat on the ground. That marker gave you the next clue you needed to continue to follow the map.

This marker is a simple "you are here" marker. This rock only stuck up about 6 inches above others so you had to be following the map precisely to find this marker. Once at this marker you would refer back to the map to get additional instructions on what to do from this point.

The elusive buried metal clue. The really do exist, just not as much as what you think. Keep in mind that if there is a buried or hidden clue/marker there will be something on your map to tell you where to look for it at. This metal piece was a simple directional pointer. The map told you what to do at this spot but didn't tell you which way to do it. You had to find the hidden clue to get the direction to go in.

This is another one of the double meaning markers. This was carved on a bluff that the map took you to. By finding the H. you knew you were following the map correctly because it took you to this spot. The H. told you where to look for the next clue. In this case the H was an abbreviation for "hill" and the small drill hole or dot was telling you to look on the bottom right side of the hill that the H is carved on. This lead to another carving that gave additional information on how to proceed.

This symbol is part of a two part map. You had to work the first part of the map and then work the circle with the H in it to "see" the rest of the layout. In this case the circle was an actual circle and the H was telling you "hill" again. In this case it was telling you to look for a circle on top of the hill. The other part of the carved map gave a precise compass heading to the circle on the hill. If you went to the top of the hill and stood inside the circle, which was made of rocks and about 5 feet across, you could see several topographical features that were depicted as symbols in the map. This particular outlaw had given himself a high spot so that he could sit on the hill and work the majority of the map without having to do a lot of walking around.

Keep in mind that not every carving or wierd rock you come across is treasure related. The best way to determine if something is treasure related is to try and work what ever it is. If it's just an upright rock then you may never know, but carvings can be worked if they actually go to something. The more real treasure carvings you see the more obvious they will become.
If you have a carved treasure map then the first thing you will always want to look for is the hole or "the spot" symbol. It should be the last thing on the map unless of course the map needs to be reversed or mirror imaged. I know, it ain't simple but that's the point. They didn't want just anybody digging up their treasures!

Monday, November 30, 2009

What is a Treasure Mark?

This is a question that was posed by one of our readers. They also wanted to know how the outlaws had so much time to put down these treasures and the clues that go with them. They were under the impression that the outlaws would have been in a big hurry and would have just stashed the cash in an easy spot during their get away.

For the first question, almost anything can be a treasure mark. The outlaws used everything including carvings on rocks and trees, metal clues such as knives, guns, ax heads, etc. They used stone or rock clues such as circles of stones or stones laid out in a pattern or individual stones sitting upright or with carvings or drill holes in them. The different types of clues are only limited by the imagination of the outlaw leaving them behind and how long he expected them to be there.

Lots of people see carvings and piles of rocks and assume they are treasure clues, mostly because they want them to be. Not all carvings and rock piles or individual rocks are treasure related. To know for sure you have to be able to follow the marks and or markers to something else that indicates you are actually working a trail. I have said this before and I will say it again, in some outlaw stuff you will not have the traditional “go this way” markers. Some markers that were left behind were intended to be used with a map and don't have any meaning other than "you are here".

The map could be carved somewhere around the area where you are finding markers or the map could have been a “carry around” type map, the kind made on leather, cloth, or metal, etc. If the markers were meant to be used with a carry around type map then you may never know the answer unless you just get really lucky with a metal detector. It’s all in the details. It’s possible you can find enough pointer markers to get you in the vicinity of where the treasure is/was planted but it will take a lot of detector swinging to find the spot without a map.

What does a treasure carving look like? Again, it can be almost anything but generally speaking it will look out of the ordinary. Somebody’s initials and date could actually be part of a treasure carving but probably won’t be the whole map. Maps to me are usually pretty obvious but you have to get used to what you are looking for to actually “see” some maps. I have posted two photos of part of an outlaw map to show you what some of the symbols you may run into will look like. This doesn’t mean you will ever see anything like this again but you may see one or more of these types of symbols if you are looking.

I have also put up a couple of photos of other markers known to have been left behind by outlaws.

How did the outlaws have time for all of this you ask? Simple, they weren’t in as big of a hurry as you thought they were. For the most part, any outlaw that made his living as an outlaw had one or more spots they liked to hide out in. Jesse James for instance was all over the place and had several different spots he was comfortable in. When he and the boys pulled off a robbery they would head for one of these spots. Once there, they had all of the time in the world to do what ever they wanted as far as making maps and clues to any treasure they left behind.

It would be my opinion that they spent a day or two just laying out the treasure trail to the cache. This is just a guess on my part and I have no facts to back this up but based on what I have seen this would seem to be about the normal amount of time it would take to put down a cache and mark it in the fashion I have worked at different sites. When the outlaw got to his or her hiding spot they would have days if not weeks to do what they wanted.

Even though it may take us months if not years to work a site you have to remember that they knew where the treasure was and were making themselves a way to get back to it with a few tricks thrown in to keep people like us from finding it. The movies and books usually have it wrong when they say somebody was riding hard and fast with no time to stop and bury a treasure. Sure, immediately after the robbery they were riding hard and fast but once they had some distance between themselves and the good guys then they were headed for that hide-out.

Once you have seen some of the maps drawn or carved by an outlaw you will realize they had a lot more time than what you thought to put down a treasure and mark it. You should also keep in mind that these weren’t a bunch of dumb cowboys, a lot of the outlaws had a lot of experience making maps.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Let's be careful out there

Treasure News, submitted by our good friend Homer.

Treasure Hunter Found After Overnight Search
On November 17, 2009, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the report of a missing man who was treasure hunting in the wilderness area near Stanton, Arizona. This area is generally located east of the 89 between Congress and Yarnell.
At approximately 5 P.M. the man’s hiking companion called to report his friend, identified as 62-year-old William Thomas from New Mexico, had not returned. Thomas was exploring the area with a metal detector and became separated from the companion around 1 P.M. Deputies also learned that Thomas had a heart condition and no means of communication as he had left a cell phone in his vehicle.
Fortunately, the reporting party had GPS coordinates for the area Thomas was last seen.A YCSO Forest Patrol supervisor was called to a search coordination area off of Octave Road and began an assessment of the situation. Within a couple of hours, units from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Response Team were called out. The units involved included Southern Yavapai SAR, Back Country, Mounted, Quad, and Search Dog. Search teams began a coordinated search effort throughout the night to include tracking a boot print belonging to Thomas.
The Department of Public Safety sent a Ranger Helicopter crew to fly the area, but Thomas could not be located.Around 8 A.M. the following morning, November 18, rescue personnel discovered Thomas at a ranch about 3 miles from where his vehicle had been parked. He was in good condition and transported to base camp by YCSRT Quad Unit personnel. A medic from the Back Country Unit checked for any medical concerns and none were found.
Thomas told rescue personnel he did light a small warming fire during the night. Although he had a camera with him, he did not think about using the flash to signal rescue teams. Additionally, Thomas was not dressed appropriately for the overnight stay in the cold and did not take any food or water with him.
YCSO rescue personnel want to remind those venturing out in the Arizona wilderness to prepare for a worst case scenario. Always carrying a communication device such as GPS tracker or cell phone, water, food, matches, flashlight, appropriate clothing and even consider an emergency shelter kit.
What have I been saying all this time? Be smart and be safe!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

We would like to wish all of our readers and their families a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Revisiting the alleged KGC Templates

Some of this information will be old news to our long time readers and some may be new. Since I don’t know everyone who reads the blog I will be repeating some information. It is all based on logic, in my opinion.

Again, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not one of the treasure hunters that believe the Knights of the Golden Circle put down any big treasure “depositories” as they are referred to and I don’t believe that anything they did put down will be found using the infamous template.

To date I believe I have come across five different variations of the template. For the most part they are all the same however they have some differences. Most of these differences are minor but there are a couple that are bigger than that.

I have posted a photo of one of the templates with this article. You will also notice a photo of a drawing from one of the Spider Rocks found in Texas many, many years ago. The “Spider Rock Treasure” is Spanish/Mexican in origin and if you don’t know the story there were more than one of these carved rocks found in more than one county in Texas. If you are interested in the story Steve Wilson has written a book about the Spider Rock treasure and if you are interested in Spanish treasure and the work they went through to hide it you may want to pick up a copy of this book.

And before anybody thinks it, the spider rock treasures were/are not KGC! The clues and treasure that has been found that are directly connected to the spider rocks shows that this is Spanish/Mexican.

I will also say that I have been told that at least one of the big treasures connected to the Spider Rocks has been recovered. It would be my opinion that there are others out there that haven’t been found yet.

OK, back to the template. Does anybody see the resemblance between the spider rock carving and the template? Did you know that Orvus Lee Howk, a.k.a. Jesse Lee James III spent time in Texas before he wrote the Black Book with Del Schrader? Any lights going off in you head yet? It is my contention that the alleged KGC template is a fabrication by Orvus Lee Howk and he came up with the idea from seeing the publicity on the spider rocks back when it first made the papers. The alleged KGC template never surfaced until after Howk published his book. If you have seen any of Howk’s other alleged maps that he drew you will know how bogus the template really is or I would hope that you would at least question it‘s authenticity. Don't even get me started on Howk, that discussion would take days!

When you really look at the template and its supposed use you will see a myriad of problems. First, what is the scale to be used? The scale of the template has to be known for it to be applied anywhere. For a group of individuals to be able to use the template independent of each other this would mean that the scale of the template would have to be the same at each site, or the scale would have to be marked somewhere at each site or there would have to be several “master maps” that show the scale to each site.
Why several master maps you ask? If the KGC was the type of group that they are purported to be by the true believers then there would have to be a way for all of the upper echelon individuals to have access to the treasures. This means they would have to know the scale to use on the template at each site. Having several master maps isn’t feasible or safe as far as secuirty is concerned so I would think that would rule out this possibility.
Having the template be the same scale at each site would mean that if someone figured out the scale then they could go to each site and easily recover all of the treasures since they knew how the template worked and knew the scale. Does that sound like something a super secret group like the KGC would do? I’m joking here of course because the KGC was neither super nor secret. They weren’t even smart enough to come up with their own codes and secret handshakes. They had to steal those from other groups. Unfortunately they picked a code that had already been around for a few centuries so it wasn’t hard to crack. Does that sound like a group that could hide billions of dollars of treasure in huge depositories and keep it a secret?

I digress, since we (OK, I) have ruled out two of the three possibilities of how the scale for the template can be found then that just leaves us with the possibility that the scale was marked at each site. Unless of course you think the super smart and all knowing KGC just thought they would wonder around digging holes looking for buried clues until they started fitting a pattern. Barring that, we are back to the scale being marked at the site.

How do you mark the scale? I would think you would want it to be in code so nobody else would figure it out. Kind of like the templates for the last several decades!

OK, the scale is marked at the site, somewhere. Where at the site is it marked and just how do you know where the site is to begin with? This brings us back to needing a master map that shows the locations of each site and the location of the code telling what the scale is for the template at each individual site. This also means there has to be more than one master map because you know they wouldn’t have let just one man have control over all of that information. It’s not logical. If he gets killed then nobody has the map. This is of course thinking that the man with the map would have had it hidden somewhere and not have it hanging on his living room wall. We, well, I, have already concluded there could not have been several master maps for various reasons.

Keep in mind there are at least five versions of the template. Which one do you use? If any are real, which one? Are they all real? If so, then which template goes to which site and what the hell is the scale?

The true believers in the KGC mega-bucks depositories have and probably always will say that the KGC was a group of some of the smartest men in the world and this is why no one has ever found one of their depositories because the code they used to hide the treasures is too intricate for someone to figure out. This from a group that never accomplished any part of their original goal to increase the number of southern states. A group that used a centuries old code thinking nobody would notice. A group that, although said to be secret by the believers, advertised in the newspapers and with flyers about their upcoming rallies to gain members. Really? Does any of this actually make logical sense to anybody?

There are people that say they have used the template to find metal clues. How could this be if the template isn’t real? Are the metal objects they are finding really clues? Could a metal glue tube with metric markings on it really be part of a treasure site layout since the tube was obviously made a century or more AFTER the KGC died out? Just because a piece of metal is buried in the ground at or near a treasure site doesn’t make it a clue. More than likely it was trash left behind or something that was accidentally dropped.
Whether or not you believe the stories about the KGC mega-bucks “depositories” or the template is ultimately up to you. I would ask that anyone wanting to hunt for these “depositories” spend a lot of time doing your own research before you go wondering around digging holes in the countryside.

If nothing else, by reading this article you now have a copy of one of the infamous templates and you know of a good book to read.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More on interpreting symbols

With the recent airing of a History Channel show about Jesse James and the KGC there has been a lot of activity on the different treasure hunting forums about how to interpret a symbol and what may or may not be a K.G.C. symbol.

For those of you not familiar with the forums or the illustrious group known as the K.G.C., the initials stand for the Knights of the Golden Circle. A not so secret group that popped up before the Civil War with the intent of taking over Mexico and Cuba so they could add to the number of Southern States.

There are true believers in the myths of the fantastic and gi-normous (it’s a technical term) treasures of the KGC and as you can tell, since I used the word “myths” I am not one of the true believers. With that said, I don’t want this article to be about whether or not the KGC had the gi-normous treasures, it’s about the symbols they may have used to hide any treasure they did leave behind.

As a side note, I do believe the KGC did leave behind a few “road caches”, small amounts of money for their members to use if needed and they may be responsible for a few supply caches, but that’s all in my opinion. Also, for the novice hunters out there the word is pronounced “cash”, not “cash shay”. Just thought I would throw that in!

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign! This is, in reality, a pretty true statement even though it is the lyrics of a song. For you young folks you may have to look that one up. When this blog first started one of our contributors that goes by the name of Rockman posted an article about how to find a treasure site. I suggest you read this if you haven’t already because it will help.

As for KGC signs, you’re going to hate me for this one but, to my knowledge there are only five symbols that were carved at sites that definitively say “this is a KGC site“. What are those symbols? I can’t tell you! Sorry, but this information was given to me in confidence not to be given out to anyone, at least not for several more years. I will say that if you do your homework you will recognize three of the five symbols if you ever see them at a site. That leaves the rest of the symbols that you find being what ever they are. No one can say they are KGC without digging up a treasure directly tied to the KGC by documents or with something in it that says positively that the treasure was left behind by the KGC.

It is my opinion that most of the treasure symbols you find carved are probably going to be outlaw or maybe even Mexican. Although you can run into just about anything, French, Chinese, Spanish, etc. Does it matter who left them behind? Yes and no. For the most part interpreting symbols is interpreting symbols and who left them there is secondary. Having a good idea of who left them there is always a good thing and may help you with interpreting them but it’s not an absolute necessary thing to have.

You will not find very many books that will help you interpret carved outlaw symbols. If you go looking for something with the interpretation already in the book it probably won‘t do you much good. The majority of books show the meaning of certain symbols, mostly Spanish and Indian but for the most part there aren’t any books out there that help with interpreting outlaw symbols. Not yet anyway!

How do you interpret an outlaw or the infamous KGC symbol? The easiest way to explain it is to look at it as a street sign. You were wondering about the picture at the top weren't you? Street signs impart information by showing you a picture of what you need to do. An S indicates an S shaped curve ahead in the road, a 90 degree arrow means a turn and so on. This is how most outlaw and some other symbols are interpreted.

Keep in mind that there are some things that are what they seem. A number can actually be a number but it can also be something else. Letters can be letters and may be used as abreviations however I have found this to be rare on carved maps. None of this is easy. If it was, everybody would be doing it.

You have to keep in mind that you are dealing with an individual map maker that made the map so that the one person or small group that made the map could get back to what they left behind. These maps weren’t made as a code in the true sense of the word because there is no “key” that unravels the meaning of the symbols. The symbols were made to remind the map maker of what to do. Some maps can be very precise and give exact point to point directions where other maps will give you a lot less information.

I have written about this on the blog before. These maps can be and generally are a kind of shorthand. It’s about giving enough information to the person who made the map so that they will remember how to get back to the spot where they stashed that money. It’s not necessarily an exact direction.

Once you have found your map and you are trying to interpret the symbols you need to keep in mind that the symbols will generally be one of two types. The first type is informational or directional. By this I mean the symbol is telling you to do something such as go down hill in a straight line or turn 90 degrees at this point or go around something, etc. The second type of symbol depicts an object. By this I mean that the symbol is a drawing of something you will find if you follow the informational or directional symbol correctly. This second type can simply be a drill hole or "dot" to indicate something is there. That something can even be the treasure you are looking for.

These types of symbols will alternate on the carved map but may not necessarily be every other symbol. How can that be you say? Contrary to belief, outlaws were rarely in a hurry to hide their loot and they were not stupid. A symbol on a map may take you to an object on the trail such as a rock or bluff or big tree. There can be more symbols on these objects that you find while working the trail. The symbols on the objects you find on the trail could give you a new direction or path to take or they could be showing you what you will find next if you follow the next symbol on the original carved map.

You have to keep an open mind about what you are doing and not get set that something just has to be a specific way. There will always be a trick or two or twelve in the maps. These would include anything from mirror imaging part or all of the map to hiding symbols on the objects you find on the trail to even putting other objects in or at the objects you find on the trail such as a metal clue, a gun, knife or a stone that is in a specific shape, just to name a few. Keep in mind that if these other clues are hidden there will be something in the map that tells you to look for them. It may not tell you what to look for but it will tell you that you should be looking for something. You have to keep in mind the topography around the object that you find when you are working the trail. The symbol on your map after the object or any symbol on the object itself will be based on the topography around that specific object.

You can’t rule out anything until you actually find what you are looking for. How do you know which symbol is directional and which is an object? You just have to work it out with the first symbol. Once you get the first few symbols interpreted you will start to see a pattern and then it will start to really come together. It will never be easy but it can be easier than what you think.

Is this all there is to working a carved map? Absolutely not. It would take a good sized book to explain the different things you can run into while working a map and even then there will always be something new come up. There were no rules in map making by the outlaws. They did what they wanted and that’s just they way it is.

For those of you dead set on finding that illusive KGC site, these will be set out the same way except you will find that these are the type of maps that are precise and give point to point directions. Those five symbols I mentioned earlier, if you run across one of those it won’t be part of the map. It will be off to the side or top of the map and be just like a stamp or sign. It’s sole purpose is to indicate this is/was a KGC hidey spot so the members would know to read the map.

What’s that you say? You have a KGC template? Well in my opinion, the only thing it’s good for is if you happen to run out of toilet paper.

We can discuss the template and it’s origins in another article. You just can’t wait, can you?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Ultimate Detector and Treasure?

I’m a little behind the times on this one because the information I have is from 2005. I did a quick search on the internet for some updated information but didn’t find any right off the bat so I thought I would leave it to the readers if they wanted to do more.

“Arturito” Never heard of it? Me neither but according to it’s designers it is the ultimate in treasure finding equipment. “Arturito’ or Little Arthur but affectionately known as R2D2 is a robot designed by a Chilean company called Wagnor Technologies. It is said to use a mix of ground penetrating radar, magnatometry and one or two things they aren’t talking about.

According to Wagnor Technologies, during a scan of what is known as Robinson Crusoe Island off the coast of Chile they discovered 600 barrels of Spanish treasure that people have been looking for for centuries. The estimated worth of this treasure in 2005 (the date of the article I was reading) is said to be TEN BILLION DOLLARS!

How much has gold gone up in the last four years?

According to Arturito the treasure is located about 50 feet down in the center of the island. Wagnor technologies immediately began to apply for permits to recover the treasure and said they would give it away to charity. The Chilean government quickly stepped in and said “you can’t give away something you don’t own” and promised to take 100% ownership of any treasure on the island. Presumably this was done because they didn’t have a permit to search for the treasure in the first place.

Are you skeptical of Arturito? Me too but the little robot is not without it's own credits. Shortly after being put into service the robot solved a murder mystery by locating the body of a missing businessman. Arturito used some of it’s specialized sensors to analyse the soil and "identify the molecular composition of human bones". The police then dug exactly where the robot indicated and found the remains of the murder victim.

Want more, the Chileans had been trying to find a cache of weapons left behind by a rightwing sect known as Colonia Dignidad for several years with no luck. The arsenal included several rifles and rocket launchers. Along comes Arturito and bam, (no not really, it's a figure of speech) it finds the weapons. The stash was almost thirty feet deep but the robot “saw” them anyway.

As I said before, I didn’t find anything during a quick search to update the progress on the recovery of the 600 barrels of treasure but for some reason I think we might have heard about this through the regular news channels had it actually been recovered.

Does this treasure truly exist or is it just another one of those KGC myths? (sorry, couldn’t help myself) According to history the treasure is real. The treasure was supposedly buried on the island in 1715 by Spanish Captain General Don Juan Esteban Ubilla y Echeverria.

Apparently the General Capitan had his own plans and started secret communications with the English, in which he revealed the location of the buried treasure. These communications were eventually entrusted to English pirate British Admiral Lord George Anson, and he was told of the location of the treasure. The treasure is referred to by various names including the "Treasure of Vera Cruz" and "Lord Anson's Treasure".

So why didn’t General Capitan go back and get the treasure himself? You’ve heard of that Spanish treasure in Florida haven’t you, You know, the one from all of those ships that sank because they sailed into a massive hurricane? General Capitan Ubilla had the misfortune of being on one of those ships and perished during the hurricane.

The story continues:

“In 1761, British Admiral Lord George Anson dispatched the English sailor Cornelius Webb to recover the treasure that Ubilla buried on Mas a Tierra. According to a poor translation of The Juan Fernandez Commune, Webb arrived in Mas a Tierra in 1761 and recovered Ubilla's treasure, and set sail, however a storm split the mast of the Unicorn. Webb returned to Robinson Crusoe Island, reburied the treasure, and sailed to Valparaiso, Chile to repair his ships and then complete his mission. However, at this point, he learned the the crew planned to mutiny upon their return to Mas a Tierra, to seize the treasure for themselves. So, Webb promptly sailed from Valparaiso, and torched his ship, killing all hands at sea, and rowing himself back to Valparaiso. He was the sole survivor of the journey.

At this point, captain Cornelius Webb sent messages back to Lord George Anson, his sponsor back in England, explaining what had happened, and detailing the location of the buried treasure in code. Unfortunately, Anson died suddenly on June 6, 1762, 5 months before the arrival of Webb's envoy. These messages were presumed lost to antiquity. Then, miracuously, after 190 years, the documents resurfaced in Northern England. In 1950, a stranger contacted Chilean physician Luis Cousiño, a Crusoe Island resident, and sent him the documents.
One of the two letters that Webb had sent to Anson indicated that a third message was buried in Chile. After searching for a while, Luis Cousiño managed to find the third treasure map in the bath(beach?) of Horcón, (45 kilometers North of) Valparaiso, Chile.

In 1950, Chilean physician Luis Cousiño and the Italian Count Di Giorgio searched for the treasure on Crusoe Island, in the town of San Juan Baptist, on Powder Street, but were unsuccessful.”

And if all of that isn’t enough for you there were pirates, lots and lots of pirates arghhhh! that used this island. There are literally dozens if not hundreds of buried treasures that are supposed to be on the Robinson Crusoe Island and a lot of them are fairly large in size.

Make sure you get your permits from the Chilean government BEFORE you go looking for any of these!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I’m sure most of you were like me when you were growing up, always dreaming of that great adventure and doing the things most people, won’t, can’t or don’t believe in. Treasure hunting was and still is one of those things. We have all seen the pirate movies, arghhhh! and thought of the day when we would make the find of a lifetime. I don’t know about the rest of you but I still have that dream.

It used to be that treasure hunters had that mysterious, swashbuckling and an almost romantic image. There was nothing wrong with treasure hunting. The people who didn’t believe in it still thought you were nuts but they didn’t mind somebody swinging a metal detector, hiking through the countryside and digging a few holes.

These days a lot of that has changed thanks to the unscrupulous few that refused to care for the land or honor their word to a land owner. We as a group have almost been vilified by the different government agencies, mostly out of greed on their own part, but also due in part to how treasure hunters have not looked after the land. Add to that the archies out there that continuously call us grave robbers or thieves and you paint a picture that most people won’t like.

Keep in mind I’m not saying all archies are bad but I have my own way of thinking and I’m sure 90% of the archies and all of the government agencies wouldn’t care for it. It is my opinion that if a person is willing to spend their own time and money on a project they should be able to make a recovery and keep what they find. It’s called finders keepers. If the archies or museums think whatever is recovered is important to society then they can cough up the cash like anybody else and buy the find. It’s that simple. Keeping sites off limits to treasure hunters because maybe, one day, an archie might get around to looking at it is ridiculous at best.

With that said, we, as treasure hunters do have some responsibility to look after history and not go tearing it to pieces with a back hoe or shovel when possible. Mistakes happen, even to archies, but for the most part as treasure hunters we should take care in our digging and documenting in the event what we find may actually be historical in the sense that it deserves to be in a museum.

This is why I always stress to take your time when digging and photograph everything a lot when working a site. Digging slow may also help you in recovering another necessary clue so it is a good thing anyway. Having contracts with land owners and keeping to those contracts will help you and other treasure hunters in the future. We are not a group of Indiana Jones, although there are a couple of people that wear the hat on occasion, we are treasure hunters and if we have a good reputation then we stand a better chance at getting access to other areas where we may want to search.

I for one don’t go looking for anything an archie would be interested in anyway. I am a treasure hunter in the true sense of the word, looking for buried treasure left behind by somebody else. I think I speak for most, if not all of our readers when I say we are not digging up dinosaurs or rummaging through Indian burial grounds, I am looking for cold, hard, treasure. The shiny kind, or not so shiny if it has actually been in the ground for a while!

I don’t believe in disturbing Indian burial grounds and I would happily turn in anybody that I knew was involved in that activity. I do look for Spanish treasure and this might give me the opportunity to find some Spanish armor one day (with any luck at all) and as I said before, I would consider this finders keepers.

There are a lot of fine lines in treasure hunting, ones that the reputable treasure hunters never cross intentionally. We all have our own set of rules we live and hunt by. What I might do someone else wouldn’t and vice versa. This doesn’t make it right or wrong, just different. Now that doesn’t mean that because you don’t see anything wrong with digging into an Indian burial ground that there’s nothing wrong with it. Fine lines people, fine lines. You all should know what I’m talking about and be able to draw your own distinctions.

I hope that our readers will adhere to a code of ethics when hunting. Greed and the need to get that treasure at all costs are not things that go well with our hobby.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Extremely Disappointed

For those of you that read this blog regularly or who know me personally you know that I’m not a big believer in the KGC mega-millions myths nor do I believe Jesse James was in control of part or all of the KGC.

With the disclaimers out of the way I can’t in good faith just sit by and not say anything about the show that aired on the History Channel about Jesse James on the evening of 9 November 2009. My problems with this show don’t even take into account anything said about the KGC.

I have lost all my faith in the History Channel as there wasn’t very much verifiable information or in my opinion, truthful information in this show. The one outstanding truth during the whole show was stated by Mr. Pastore himself when he said he didn’t know how to interpret the signs. This is true, he does not!

In case you think I am just being a spoil sport, I do know what I speak of. I had the unpleasant misfortune of working with Mr. Pastore on this same treasure site several years ago. He, in my opinion, is not someone you would want to work a site with. My own connection to Mr. Pastore was quickly severed by myself in just a couple of months because of the way he worked.

It is my opinion that the treasure they did “find” was planted before hand. Please watch this carefully and take note at how clean the coins are and especially how clean the jar is when it comes out of the ground. Anyone that has ever dug a jar or coin out of the ground will recognize this to be suspicious. Please keep in mind this is strictly my opinion and I have no proof that this is what occurred. I would ask that anyone that is tempted to contact Mr. Pastore for information or help with a treasure site be very cautious in doing so.

I could go on and on for days about the misconceptions brought about by this show but I don’t want to dwell on something needlessly.

I apologize to the readers if this article is not what you expected. As I said, I could not in good faith let this go by without a warning to others based on my opinions.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

For the Die Hard KGC Folks

If you are one of the true believers in the KGC and Jesse James' involement in the group then you may want to tune in to your TV tomorrow night (Monday, 9 November 2009)

From the history Channel,

"By the time Jesse James was killed in 1882, he'd stolen over a million and a half dollars according to some estimates--gold, coins and cash that could be worth over $50 million today. History often paints James as a clever outlaw who stole money to finance a lavish criminal lifestyle, a man whose sixteen year long crime spree came to a dramatic halt in 1882 when a fellow gang member betrayed him and shot him dead in the back of the head. But now, a treasure hunt may reveal a totally new story. Was Jesse really stealing for himself, or was he actually secreting away large sums of wealth, in order to finance one of the most clandestine secret societies in American history? Follow a team of treasure hunters searching for where he stashed his riches... and a new truth about Jesse James. Their discoveries may not only re-write the history of why Jesse stole, it could also raise new questions about his death."

This is sure to bring about some new (and old) questions and fire up all of the KGC mega-million myths. Could be fun!

Thank you Homer for the link.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Colorado Treasure Hunt

As treasure hunters we have all had those times where a family member or friend and even the occasional on looker has told us we are nuts for doing what we do. It takes a special kind of mentality to be a treasure hunter and to stick with it. This story is about a man who is sticking to his guns and following his beliefs. Something we should all admire.

I would like to thank our buddy Homer for sending this to me.

Once upon a time there was a man and his daughter from Amarillo, Texas. OK, OK, here’s the story.

It does involve and man and his daughter and they are from Amarillo. Gary Smith has been looking for a treasure he believes to be worth “close to a billion dollars”. The treasure is said to be over 200 years old and was originally left behind by the Spanish, then found by the French and then lost again.

As the story goes, the Spanish found a rich gold mine in the mountains of Colorado only to leave it behind for some reason. According to Gary Smith the French were on an expedition from New Orleans that started in 1799 and they found the old Spanish mine. According to Mr. Smith the mine is supposedly called “ la mina perdida de la ventana”.

According to the information in the article this is supposed to roughly translate to “the lost mine”. I didn’t try to translate the phrase but it seems odd to me that the Spanish would name their mine the lost mine. If they new where it was and were working it then it wouldn’t be lost would it?

Anyway, Mr. Smith says the frogs found the mine during the expedition and in the process made new markers to take them back to it. The French markers are what Mr. Smith and his daughter are currently following. They say they have found at over 40 different markers that are leading them on the trail to their final destination, the lost mine. As far as I can tell the mine is supposed to be a rich mine and not have any pre-mined gold stacked in it but the story didn’t give all of the details.

According to Mr. Smith’s daughter Emily, some of the markers are shaped like turtles and they refer to them as “turtle rocks”. Imagine that!

Gary Smith has been looking for this treasure for 28 years now and his daughter joined the hunt about eight years ago. It appears that the Smiths may actually be on to something. In 2006 the National Forest Service and the Colorado Department of Agriculture issued a treasure trove permit to the Smiths so they could make a recovery should they find the end of their trail. This would bring up the question of what is actually in the mine. If they are looking for a mine to take raw gold out of then you think they would have been issued a mining permit but instead it was a treasure trove permit. That would indicate to me that there may be some gold already mined sitting there waiting for the Smiths to recover.

Here is the link to the original story.
There is a short video with the story that you might want to watch. The story also says that there will be a follow up video showing some of the markers they have found.

This has been one of those weeks and I haven’t had time to follow up on this so you wil have to do some looking on your own if you are interested.

If anyone finds any additional video of the clues please leave a comment on the blog with a link for everyone to see.

Happy Hunting!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Scotch on the Rocks, a treasure found

Are you tired of looking for precious metals and getting rich? Do you long for an adventure that will take you to places rarely explored but offer a challenge and a reward?

Well pack your bags and a heavy coat and head off to Antarctica. In 1907 an explorer named Sir Ernest Shackleton made an expedition into the frozen wasteland in an attempt to make it to the South Pole. Being that they didn’t have things like “hot hands” and other chemical heaters to take along back then they took the next best thing, alcohol! That’s right, hooch. Besides using the occasional shot to warm the insides they also apparently used it as a way of combating the long artic nights. Sir Shackleton’s drink of choice was Mackinley’s scotch and he took a whopping 25 cases of the stuff on his expedition to keep himself and his men warm.

I couldn’t find any information that indicated how much of the 25 cases were consumed during the expedition but there were several crates left behind. Two of those cases were found in 2006 but they haven’t been able to recover them yet.

Cape Royds is located along the coast of Antarctica. The temperatures there can get to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit and as you can image, is not inhabited by anyone. On this miserable little chunk of volcanic rock sit’s a shack that has been there for over a century. I don’t know who the person was or what possessed them to crawl into the small space under the floor of this shack but when they did they discovered two cases of Shackleton’s scotch. It was frozen solid to the ground and could not be taken out.

It has taken three years but they now think they have a plan and the technology to thaw the ground around the hooch so that it can be recovered. I would think a couple of good heaters or a plasma cutter would do the trick but I guess that is too simple for the big brains to figure out. The recovery expedition is set for January which is the summertime in the Antarctic.
Now for the bad news. You knew there had to be a catch didn’t you? According to an international treaty, once the scotch is recovered it can’t be taken out of Antarctica because of “conservation“ reasons. The ignorance of the bureaucracy never ceases to amaze me.

So if you go looking for the rest of the scotch left behind by Sir Ernest Shackleton and you are lucky enough to find it, I guess you’ll just have to drink it there. You could call it recycling couldn’t you?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Montezuma's Head in Arizona

Gold, gold and more gold, that’s all I have to say. Arizona is one of those states that has gold just about everywhere there is a hill or mountain and if there hasn’t been any gold found in an area then there is bound to be a rumor about a lost mine or hidden treasure.

One of the hot spots in Arizona is a mountain known as Montezuma’s Head in the Estrella Mountains. For anybody who has read anything about the Aztec’s you will immediately get the connection to gold.

It is thought that when Cortez decided he would conquer the indigenous people of the area now known as Mexico these people, the Aztecs, took a large store of gold north from Mexico City to an unknown location where they hid this massive amount of gold in a cave. And when I say massive, I mean massive. Rumors abound that the Aztec’s moved TONS of gold and hid it. One of the rumors floating around Arizona says that the cave in question is located on or very near Montezuma’s Head.

If finding and moving tons of gold just sounds like too much work then you could look for a smaller cache of gold coins and jewelry said to be worth about $75,000 in today’s prices. This cache is known as the Lost Treasure of Telegraph Pass and is also supposed to be near Montezuma’s Head. It was hidden in 1870. The story says the treasure was placed into an iron pot and buried “in a level campsite with a small butte” not far from Telegraph Pass in the south end of the Estrella Mountains “below Montezuma’s Head”.

Do you need more incentive? There is said to be a stack of gold bars hidden in a cave somewhere on Montezuma’s Head that is worth between one and two million dollars. The gold is supposedly from the Spanish mining in the area and for whatever reason they left it behind. You know how the Spanish were, always leaving things behind!

And now for the good news, over the years, especially back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, several silver bars have been recovered from different spots around Montezuma’s Head by treasure hunters. This would seem to lend credence to the fact that there is in deed treasure buried on and around this aptly named mountain.

A word of warning, Arizona is hot during the summer!
Dry heat my …………..

Heat is heat and when it’s 115 it’s hot whether is a dry heat or not. Arizona is better suited to winter hunting when those “cold” temperatures of 60 degrees creep in.