Thursday, January 29, 2009

Those Sneaky Outlaws

As with all of my articles about interpreting symbols I want to remind you that just because a symbol works a certain way at one site doesn’t mean it will work the same way at another site. By letting you know how things have been interpreted on sites that have been worked, we hope to give you some insight into how you might interpret a symbol on one of your sites.

I have found this particular symbol, what looks much like an O, used on three occasions. Two of those occasions were in the same map and the third was at a different location on a map made by a different outlaw. This particular carving was left behind by an outlaw.

To start the interpretation of this symbol you need to pay close attention to the fact that the top of the O is not closed. This is very important. In all three uses of this symbol what I found was a large rock protruding from the ground. The open part of the O was indicating that this end was attached or covered and you could not see it. That is why the O was not finished because as you stood and looked at the rock the back edge was not visible because it was protruding from the ground. Keep in mind that this is one of those symbols that I couldn’t begin to interpret until I actually found what I was looking for. Is that confusing?

When you are working with maps you will find symbols that don’t make any sense. At least not until you actually see the shape in the field. Most maps are fairly precise in giving directions or the information you need to get from point A to point B. Once you get to point B or C or D, etc. you will see what you are to find even if it doesn’t make any sense until you get there. You have to remember that with the outlaws and some other groups these symbols are just pictures of what you are looking for or what you are to do. They work in the same manner as modern day road signs do. A sign with an S or squiggly line on it tells you that there are curves ahead. The same thing applies in a treasure map. I should also mention that the three times I found this symbol each was just a little different in shape but the tops of the O’s were always open. I will also say that the shapes of these symbols were almost identical to the rocks they depicted when found in the field.

Keep in mind these O’s were almost all the way closed and could not be confused for a U. The U symbol which has a lot more open space at the top can and probably almost always will mean something completely different.

Some outlaws are a little more anal than others and put more information into their carvings. In the case of the photo of the “O” I have posted with this article, look at the bottom right side of the O. Do you see how the carved line is flared or beveled out away from the actual line of the O? This particular outlaw used this technique to indicate the “downhill” side of something. This beveling told the outlaw that the ground sloped away from the rock he was looking for. This meant the rock was on a slope or in this case, the side of a hill. The outlaw who made this carving used that technique several times in the carved map on other symbols.

Not all maps will have this much detail in them. This particular outlaw was very detail oriented for some reason and once I figured out the little nuances that he added to the symbols it made the map easier to work. Sometimes it’s the little things that help.

It’s not what you look at, but what you see.

Monday, January 26, 2009

P.E.T.T.E. People for the Ethical Treatment of Treasure Evidence

I would much rather look at naked women than destroy a treasure clue. Oh, wait, I’m getting my groups mixed up.

OK, I just made up “P.E.T.T.E.” but it was for a good reason. I have recently been informed by one of our readers about the vandalism of a carved outlaw map that has been untouched for over 100 years.

This map is located on private property and apparently the vandals of the map dug several holes on the property looking for the treasure. It also seems they didn't have permission to be there. Hopefully they didn’t find any treasure and hopefully they will get caught the next time they pull a bone headed move like that.

As treasure hunters, professional or amateur, we should strive to leave things as we found them except of course if we find a hole full of treasure. Then we can leave everything like we found it except the hole will be empty when fill it back in. Did I say that right? We all hunt in different areas and if you are hunting on private property with permission, your contract usually states you will put things back to their natural state. Even if you don’t have a contract or aren’t on private property, you should always strive to make as little impact on the area as possible.

That brings us to messing with a carving or clue; that’s just plain vandalism. It also makes you an ignorant dumb ass in my opinion. There has even been a “professional” treasure hunter who has written in books about burying clues so no one else could find them. He also wrote about removing clues from a site that helped mark the location of the treasure so that no one else could locate the treasure. Now even if the treasure and the clues are imaginary, it’s still the intent that counts. If you would do it for an imaginary treasure then you would do it for a real treasure also. If you aren’t smart enough to figure out the clues and find the treasure, then leave the clues alone. Maybe someone else will come along and be able to figure it out, maybe even for you. Now, I understand the whole point of hiding or destroying clues is to keep someone else from finding the treasure but if you are that greedy and self centered then you ought to be working on Wall Street and not treasure hunting.

Treasure hunters have a bad enough reputation thanks to the archies that would prefer to keep everything to themselves talking trash about us. We don’t need any more bad press because someone is too greedy for his or her own good. As treasure hunters we should try to be better than the reputation that precedes us. We should also try to improve that reputation because it makes it easier to gain access to other property, private or otherwise, where more treasures may be hidden.

Treasure hunting is about more than just finding a treasure, making our selves rich and laying on a beach in Hawaii. Well, laying on a beach in Hawaii may be part of it. Treasure hunting is about finding answers, it’s about solving the puzzle, learning the real history and spending some time on a beach in Hawaii. Did I say that already?

Seriously, for most of us treasure hunting is not about getting rich. It may start out that way but it turns into a quest for answers. If you mess with the clues then you are messing with history. For the most part, the puzzle can’t be solved if some of the pieces are missing. Treasure hunters should take the responsibility to maintain what we find. You should know that damage can be caused by what you do, even unintentionally. You should never destroy, hide or deface anything.

Use your heads when treasure hunting, and not just to beat against a rock wall out of frustration. Be responsible in what you do. Karma will come back to bite you in the ass if you don’t!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Treasure Cave in Texas?

Here’s something on private property that you could probably spend a lifetime looking into.

About twenty-two miles northwest of Waco, Texas is a very large cave with no actual reason to be there. According to geologist of the time (the 1920’s) there wasn’t anything in the area that would have made the cave naturally although it is a natural cave with several other caverns connecting to it. It was surmised back then that this cave is from very ancient times when water may have ran through the area.

The cave, located near the Mc Lennan and Hill county lines, is said to have once been inhabited by “a strange tribe of Indians” who would attack anyone traveling in the area, killing them and taking there valuables back to the under ground complex of caverns and store the “loot” somewhere in the caverns.

Sometime around 1908 an old prospector name Ben Loftin arrived at the land where the cave is located and asked permission from the landowner, Mr. Hooker, to prospect on the land. He received his permission and immediately pulled out an old chart that had several landmarks on it. By following this chart the prospector came to a spot where a large boulder was set in what was thought to be an ancient creek bed. The prospector declared this was the entrance to the ancient cave and he proceeded to blast the boulder out of the way. Low and behold there was an entrance there! Ben Loftin quickly formed a company of several people and after spending weeks clearing away a considerable amount of dirt and clay a tunnel was found that led back into a very large cavern, about 75 feet long, 15 feet high and 12 feet wide.

The group didn’t find any treasure in the main cavern but they did find evidence of the cavern being used by someone since there was a large amount of soot on the ceiling from large fires being built. They also found a hole hollowed out in a large rock at the back of the cave that Mr. Loftin stated had been used as a smelter. Where he got this information no one knows.

Loftin and his “company” had cleared their way into the cavern system approximately 100 yards from the entrance without finding any treasure. There were several other caverns and tunnels that connected to the main cavern and apparently the group couldn’t agree on which way to go and infighting led to the disintegration of the company and all the work stopped at the cave. Mr. Loftin would never let anyone into the main tunnel without him being present and the group never resolved their differences. Ben Loftin left the area, taking his chart with him. Shortly after that the landowner sealed up the entrance to the cave.

A second group came along a few years later and attempted to find the treasure also. They came with a dowsing rod that supposedly “danced wildly” at a spot that was thought to be another entrance to the cave. They too thought explosives was the way to go (isn’t it always?) and after they set off their first blast the dowsing rod no longer danced. Frustrated, they left without trying anything else.

The main entrance to the cave was sealed up by the landowner in the mid 1920’s to keep other people out. He did leave a small entrance open for himself because he said that even on the hottest days there would be “chilly winds” coming from inside the cave so he formed a small pool of water in front of this opening and he used it to cool watermelons during the summer. Now there’s a man using his head!

I’m sure there have been other people since the 1920’s that have looked into this cave and it’s very likely the land has changed hands since then but I couldn’t find any information that indicated any other treasure hunters had done any work on this cave or that anything had been recovered.

Is there really a treasure in the cave? Why was the cave sealed once the original inhabitants vacated it? Were the Indians sealing up the white man’s treasure so it couldn’t be found? Mr. Loftin’s chart did take him right to the cave, a cave he had never been to before. Been Loftin said he had gotten his chart from a prospecting partner he had back in the 1870’s who had died while they were prospecting. Before his partner died he told him about the Indian tribe and their cave and gave him the chart that showed where the cave was located.

If nothing else, there may be some very nice relics to be had or you might prove the existence of an otherwise unknown tribe. You could also find a fabulous treasure and never work again the rest of your life!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stuff for sale

I thought I'd make a stuff for sale page that our readers can put here on the blog. The only thing I ask is that the items be related to treasure or treasure hunting in some manner. Just e-mail me at and I can post it here on the blog. To kick things off I'm going to make a package of items that don't come along very often. This is a package deal, but for the right price I'll sell the items seperate. To keep the article small enough for the blog I will use JJ for Jesse James.

2 original 1930's Joe Hunter topo maps for counties in Oklahoma. These have markings of sites on them that he was hunting. 1 original Joe Hunter Texas topo map that has no markings. 2 *copies* of Joe Hunter Texas topo maps with markings. These 2 go to counties in the Texas Panhandle. I haven't hunted for what or why the maps were marked. This will be for the buyer to figure out.

25 original copies of the 1948 JJ Rides Again, *rare* copy of JJ and the Lost Cause signed and inscribed by JJ III, *rare*1882 copy of The James and Younger Brothers, autographed copy JJ "The Outlaw" - Henry J Walker, autographed copy I JJ - James R Ross, JJ My Father - JJ Jr, *rare* This was Frank James - Vaughn & Snow, JJ - John Ernst, The many Faces of JJ- Phillip Steele, JJ was His Name - Settle, My JJ Story - Joe Wood, The Truth about JJ - Rudy Turilli, The Truth about JJ - Phyllis Argill, JJ the Mn and the Myth- Marley Brant, Outlaws - Brant, Jesse and Frank James: The Family History - Steele, In the Shadow of JJ - Stella James, The Life, Times & Treacherous Death of JJ - Frank Triplett, The Great Cole Younger & Frank James Historical Wild West Show - John Koblas, He Walked Like a Cat - Patrick Brophy, Search Magazine visit with JJ, Bob Ford was His Name JJ was His Game - Sybil Montana.

Quantrill's Raiders in Texas - autographed Evault Boswell, 1923 copy A True Story of Chas. W Quantrell & His Guerilla Band - J.P. Burch, Butch Cassidy, My Brother - Beteson Flack, 1930 Coronado's Children - J Frank Dobie, A Portrait of Pancho - autographed Winston Bode, Jan. 1928, oct. 1936, July 1935 reprint Frontier Times, Treasure Hunters Newsletter Vol. 1 #1 -Vol. 2 #2, National Treasure Hunters League Vol. 1 #2 & #3, Vol. 2 #1.

Where to Find treasure - Dick Stout, Of Men and Gold - Shaffer, Treasure Trails Vol.1- Jim Price, Unfound Treasures of Mexico - Treasure signs, Symbols, Shadow & Sun Signs - Spanish Monuments & Trail Markers to Treasure in the United States - Kenworthy, Historical Atlas of the Outlaw West - Richard Patterson, Oklahoma Treasures and Treasure tales - Steve Wilson, The Spider Rock Treasure - Wilson.

Carl W. Breihan books- The Complete and Authentic Life of JJ (autographed), The Day JJ was Killed, Quantrill and his Civil War Guerillas, The Killer Legions of Quantrill, The Bandit Belle, Billy the Kid, The Man who Shot JJ (autographed) with two letters from Breihan, The Escapades of Frank and Jesse James.

Aprox. 80 copies of 1870's survey plats of Oklahoma, Pinkerton's Gallery James Boys belt buckle, misc. 1960's and 70's treasure magazines. $5000 for the lot. Joe's topo maps may lead you to many times that alone.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Ashley Gang of Florida

If you like to hunt for outlaw loot and prefer something a little more recent then you might want to check out a few spots in Florida.

Back in the 1900’s the “Ashley Gang” was running wild up and down the east coast of Florida and even in the Bahamas robbing just about everything you can think of. They even took to the high seas to do a little pirating, arghhhhhh. Sorry, you know I just can’t help myself! The gang was notoriously ruthless and seemed to enjoy what they did. They were involved in the robberies of banks, trains and motorists and they also operated at least one still, making moonshine and they did a little bootlegging. The gang terrorized the area for fifteen years before meeting their own violent death.

The gang is supposed to have hidden several stashes of loot in several different “secret” campsites they kept in the area they operated in. One of these campsites is supposed to be near the old Ashley homestead that was located north of Gomez, Florida, about two miles north of what is now Hobe Sound. The homestead was located on a dirt road about half a mile from the old “Dixie Highway”. This was where the parents of John Ashley, the leader of the gang lived. The original Ashley house was burned to the ground after the John Ashley and his cohorts robbed a bank in Stuart and the posse came looking for them. The gang wasn’t at the house but the posse drug John’s parents out of the home, beat his father for information and then set the home on fire. I guess the posse wasn’t much better than the outlaws themselves.

John Ashley was said to have at least $100,000 of his own money, his shares from the many robberies, buried somewhere around Hobe Sound and the rest of the gang, which included John Ashley’s bother Bob and a nephew named Hanford Moberly, were said to have cached some loot at the different campsites as well.

One of these campsites was supposed to have been near St. Lucie Inlet on one of the islands just inside the entrance to the inlet and it is said they may have hidden $250,000 at this campsite. This hideout camp was located at a spot called “Peck’s Lake”. This today is Corset Isle. They were supposed to have used this camp for many years.

Another of the campsites is supposed to be located about a mile and a half southwest of the old homestead on a piece of high ground in the swamp. This was supposed to also be the location of their still.

They had two other campsites located south-southwest of Hobe Sound a mile or two and near the old “Dixie Highway”.

Why would any of this loot still be left in the ground? Well it seems that John Ashley had a talent for annoying the local sheriffs, one in particular by the name of Sheriff Baker. It seems that after a robbery Sheriff George Baker sent a couple of deputies to collect John Ashley and his brother Bob but the deputies were ambushed and sent back to the sheriff with a message; “Tell him not to send any more chicken-hearted men or they might get hurt”.

The feud was on! Sheriff George Baker chased after the Ashley gang for years until his death, unrelated to the Ashley gang, but then George Baker’s son Bob Baker was elected sheriff and continued the chase. I should mention that John Ashley killed a sheriff’s deputy named Fred Baker, who was related to the sheriff, during a shootout when the sheriff was trying to capture the gang at one of their hideouts.

John Ashley was actually captured a couple of times but managed to escape which continued to irritate Sheriff Baker.

On November 1, 1924 John Ashley’s luck ran out. He and three members of his gang, Hanford Moberly, Ray “Shorty” Lynn and a man named Middleton were stopped at a roadblock on the Sebastian River Bridge. They were surrounded and had no choice but to surrender.

It seems once they were out of the car and handcuffed Sheriff Baker and his deputies had to shoot the criminals when they “attempted to escape” even though a deputy from another county stated the criminals had been handcuffed together. The official version is they weren’t handcuffed and those “marks” on their wrists were “made by the coroner” during his autopsy. A story told by one of the deputies to a friend many years later said that the four criminals had been handcuffed, John Ashley by himself and the other three cuffed together, when Ashley tried to make a run for it. Ashley was shot and then the other three tried to run away and were gunned down also.

Maybe the sheriff just got tired of chasing them!

I haven’t found any information that indicates any of the money the gang was supposed to have hidden has been found. I did find where the sheriff and his deputies destroyed several of the “secret” camp hideouts before the gang was killed. Old sheriff department records of those counties, St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County, may hold the locations of where those camps were.

Good hunting!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

4000 Pounds of Gold!

Some of you will know this story as the “Frenchman’s Gold” from Steve Wilson’s book, Oklahoma Treasures and Treasure Tales. I have purposely not looked at his book while writing this article so that I wouldn’t be influenced by his information. It may turn out to be the exact same story but I have gathered the information from other sources to hopefully add something new to the legend. A legend that appears to have some pretty good merit to it. This will be a condensed version due to the blog but for those of you that haven’t heard the story it may just get you doing some more research. This one is just for you Rockman!

This story starts out in the very late 1700’s with a man named Padre La Farge who wasn’t really a Padre at all. Padre La Farge was a frog (French) that had gone into the priesthood. He was sent to Mexico to spread the word however he failed to heed the word himself. La Farge was convicted of killing a nun, defrocked and sent to prison. He was released from prison several years later but continued to act and dress like a priest and later found that this worked well as a disguise as he killed and robbed Mexican miners. It would seem that the Padre wasn’t paying attention during his priestly classes.

Padre La Farge joined up with six other frogs and journeyed to Taos where they tried to mine gold from a placer mining operation. The Padre and his cohorts were as bad at mining as La Farge was at being a Padre and they couldn’t make much money with the work they were doing. This is when they decided it would be easier to take the gold already mined by others instead of mining it themselves. Over a period of several weeks the seven frogs robbed and killed twenty-two miners, taking their gold and storing it to dispose of later.

Once they had a fairly large hoard of gold the Padre and his pals hired a Mexican by the name of Jose Lopat to smelt the gold and form it into ingots. Jose was able to make 500 gold bars, apparently weighing about eight pounds each, before the frogs decided it was time to high tail it out of Dodge, so to speak.

In 1804 they loaded the 500 gold bars onto six oxcarts and then covered the gold with furs and other supplies and headed out for the Santa Fe Trail with New Orleans as their final destination. They planed on shipping the gold back to France and living the high life with their gold. They took with them Jose Lopat as a guide and several Indian slaves for any hard labor along the way.

As the frogs got into what is now the panhandle of Oklahoma they ran across some other travelers that told them New Orleans had become part of the United States and didn’t belong to France anymore. Fearing that the U.S. might confiscate their gold once they got to New Orleans Padre La Farge decided to camp out at a spring near Sugar Loaf Mountain, (also called Sugar Loaf Peak) which today is thought to be Flagg Spring in Cimarron County, OK.

La Farge sent two of his party on to New Orleans to arrange for a boat to meet them along the coast where the prying eyes of the U.S. government would not be found. He instructed the Indian slaves to build several dug outs and a few small rock buildings so they could make it through the winter as it was thought the round trip of the two men going to New Orleans would take 3 ½ months.

By the end of December 1804 the two men that had left for New Orleans had not returned and the Padre decided to bury the gold until he could figure out how to get it back to France. La Farge sent Jose Lopat and the Indian slaves to Santa Fe and he and the remaining Frenchmen buried the gold.

Several months later the Padre arrived in Santa Fe by himself and tried to enlist Jose Lopat to act as a guide to lead him back to the gold bars and help him recover the treasure. By this time Lopat had learned of the Padres past indiscretions and thought that the Padre had more than likely killed the other frenchies that were with him at the spring. Lopat told La Farge he wanted a few days to think over his offer.

During that time someone who had been in one of the mining groups the Padre had robbed recognized the La Farge. It wasn’t long before a mob had formed in the town and was searching for La Farge. They found him several miles outside of Santa Fe and that is where he was buried, never to retrieve his five hundred bars of gold.

Lopat thought that from what he knew from being there and what little information La Farge had told him in Santa Fe that he could locate the gold bars himself. Jose Lopat went to look for the gold but couldn’t find any clues as to where the gold might be hidden.

I should point out that majority of the story up to this point is mainly due to Jose Lopat and his foresight of writing down the particulars of what had happened into his family bible.

In 1870 a series of stone markers in the shape of a V were found along the “Old Spanish Trail”. The markers were made of large stones rolled into place and each V was between 5 and 10 miles apart. These started near Santa Fe and continued “to the settlement of Las Vegas” before they disappeared. Each V pointed in the direction to go. In 1900 part this trail of V markers was found again near Clayton, New Mexico and the trail headed towards the Oklahoma panhandle. This trail of V shape markers was followed over the next two years and led the man following them, a rancher named Ryan, to Flagg Spring. He continued his search around Flagg Spring for several more years but never found any gold.

Ryan’s great nephew, Cy Strong, had a ranch near the base of Sugar Loaf Mountain (Peak) and spent time searching for this treasure too. Mr. Strong found the remains of some old dugouts and adobe buildings near Flagg Spring but his search never revealed any gold.

There are stories that indicate there may be two treasures, one very near Sugar Loaf Mountain/Peak and the other very near Flagg Spring. These stories could be about the same treasure and both locations could be valid. Nothing says that Padre La Farge couldn’t have split the treasure into two or more separate caches and hidden them in different places. I would find this to be a very likely scenario.

I will say that I have a very reliable source that has told me that at least some of this treasure has been recovered. It took a large truck to move it and the truck was driven out onto the plain where a hole was dug and the treasure recovered. This happened 35-40 years ago. Did they get it all? I don’t think so based on what I was told. Was I told the whole story? Of course not! Would I think this was worth a trip or two to the Oklahoma panhandle to check out, you betcha!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Little Green Men & Gold

OK, I’m just kidding this time, well sort of anyway. I caught some flak on my last article when I threw in the part about the aliens but my intention wasn’t so much to point out that there may be aliens in the same mountain as the gold, well, maybe a little, but that the Indians had an oral history about the giant race and the “flying boats”.

This brings us to what this article is about, in a galaxy far, far away ……..

OK, kidding again, what I meant to say was, other avenues of research. Until the white man came along and screwed up the Indians idyllic life the Indians inhabited most parts of this country. Each tribe had it’s own oral and sometimes even written history, in the form of petroglyphs. A lot of this history has since been told to someone who had the foresight to put it in a book or magazine or just write it down in some type of chronicle.

No matter what kind of treasure you are hunting for there is a fair to good chance the Indians that were living in the area knew something about it. In the case of outlaw treasures the Indians would occasionally be friendly to the outlaws and let them hide out in what was considered Indian territory at the time. The farther back you go and the bigger the incursion into the Indian’s land, lets say something like the Spanish (or giants) then there will probably be more history because it happened on a more wide spread basis and was discussed more among the tribe.

If you happen to be looking for lost mines or placer deposits, very large treasures or even something left behind by the Indians themselves then there is even a better chance of there being a history from the Indians about it.

With any luck you might be able to find something written about a particular tribe in a book or on the Internet that tells of some of their “myths” and “legends”. This is where you have to learn to read between the lines a little and do even more research on a specific myth or legend. Most legends and even myths have some basis in fact so to find a mention of something in the history of a group of people that inhabited that land will be a very good place to start. If nothing else, it may help to verify a story you heard or found from another source.

Some of this information can be found in the Historical Society of a particular state or county in “chronicles” or “historical quarterlies” that were published years and years ago. You may even be able to contact a tribe directly and speak to someone that can tell you where to find their history and if you get really lucky you just might make a friend out of someone that can give you more research material than you could ever imagine.

You can also expect some of the tribe members to be fairly tight lipped about things so you want to make sure you approach them in a historical way and not as a greedy treasure hunter. People in general don’t like greedy treasure hunters!

And watch out for those little gray, err, green men, you never know when you might run into something that Uncle Sam says doesn’t exist.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Way Out There Treasure? Maybe Not So Much

Here is a story you can choose to believe or not. If you do, and you go looking for this, you just may come across more than you bargained for.

This is another one in California and it is so interesting I just had to write about it. It involves an ancient race, buried treasure, the Rosicrucian Order and possibly even the Masons!

It seems that several thousand years ago, before what history teaches was the dawn of mankind, there was a race of giants, standing as much as 12 feet tall that inhabited the earth. This race, the Lemurians, inhabited a piece of land that was in the Pacific Ocean that butted up to what is now California. The Lemurian empire is said to have lasted for 52,000 years, yes, that is FIFTY-TWO THOUSAND, before being almost completely wiped out by a pole shift about 26,000 years ago.

It seems that the Lemurians were smart enough to know that the pole shift was coming and knew that their continent would soon lay at the bottom of the ocean. (This is not a story of Atlantis, that is a completely different story). In preparation for the pole shift the Lemurians began migrating to the Cascade Mountains of California where they supposedly bored through solid rock to make tunnels and large rooms to store supplies, belongings and to be protected from the effects of the shift.

To make a long story short, it seems their timing was off just a little and instead of the whole civilization getting off the continent of Lemuria, only a few thousand made it to California due to a sudden and apparent earlier than expected shift in the earth’s poles.

OK, I know some of you are sitting out there and your eyes are glazing over but here comes the good part.

Back in 1904 a prospector by the name of J. C. Brown who was working for a company called Lord Cowdray Mining Company of England claimed to have discovered a tunnel in the Cascade Mountains that had been cut through solid rock. Mr. Brown stated that it appeared that the entrance to the tunnel had been covered over but apparently a landslide had uncovered the opening. Mr. Brown took a torch and went into the tunnel following it back to what he described as a large man-made cavern. He said he could see from the light of his torch that the walls of the room were lined with sheets of “tempered copper” and “strange shields hammered from gold hung on the walls”. He also said that in various “niches within the cavern” he saw several “unusual artifacts and statues”. In other rooms that connected with the large cavern Mr. Brown said he found “strange drawings and undecipherable hieroglyphs” and the “bones of people who had apparently belonged to some sort of giant race”.

Mr. Brown didn’t want his employer to take credit for and claim the find so he failed to mention it to them while in their employ. He did however draw himself a map and 30 years later got a group of several men together, some say as many as eighty, and made an attempt to relocate this cave.

The group made the hike into the Cascade Mountains and on the night before making the final walk to the cave Mr. Brown disappeared. He was there when everyone went to sleep that night but he was gone in the morning and nobody ever saw him again.

The sheriff was called in to investigate but they couldn’t determine if Mr. Brown had left on his own or if foul play was involved. Mr. Brown had no reason to disappear; he hadn’t taken any money from anyone and didn’t appear to be running any type of scam. No body was found and he was never heard from or found. Apparently his map went missing with him.

The tunnel leading to the large cavern filled with gold and artifacts was never found.

I should point out that there has been more than one skeleton of a “giant race” found in different parts of the southwest and the evidence for the existence of the Lemurians goes back millennia. This is a subject that requires a lot of research but the research on the treasure story part won’t be so difficult.

It is thought that the cavern filled with gold and artifacts may be on Mount Shasta in the Cascade Range.

Oh and I might mention that the local Indians had ancient legends of “flying boats” coming from the top of Mount Shasta and they have an oral history of a “super-race” that inhabited the mountains.

In 1930, at the ripe old age of 108, Chief Potentio of the Cahuilla Tribe told a story about the “silver ships that came and went from the highest point of the mountain”.

Did I mention UFO’s at the start of the article? Aliens and gold, how cool is that? And just to round out the whole “strange” theme here, If I'm not mistaken the Cascade Mountain Range is also believed to be the home of the Yeti.

How’s that for “sentinels” watching over a treasure!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another Alternative Detector

Here is another detector that can be very handy when treasure hunting. I have mentioned this one before but I thought it warranted a little more coverage.

This is one of those machines that wasn’t made for treasure hunting but can find some very useful applications in what we do. The machine I am talking about is the Schonstedt Magnetic Locator. Surveyors and companies needing to locate pipes and cables routinely use these.

The company makes several different instruments but the one I use and the one I think is the most useful and cost effective for what we do is the GA 52CX.

These are limited in their use because they will only located steel and iron but a lot of treasures are hidden in things made of these metals and if you hunt Spanish treasure you may be helped by using this to find any iron tools that they may have left in the hole before they filled it up.

The GA 52CX runs on two nine-volt batteries and is exceptionally light, weighing in right around 2 ½ pounds. The machine is only 42 inches long and only has two switches, an on and off switch that also adjusts the sensitivity and a volume switch.

You may be wondering why you would want to mess with one of these if it will only locate steel or iron. The biggest reason is that it will locate steel or iron at very deep depths. The factory manual, and this is the factory manual and not some retailer trying to sell you something, states that the machine will locate an 18 inch long piece of ¾ inch steel pipe at NINE feet deep! There isn’t a two-box that I know of that will come any where near close to that. I can tell you from experience that this depth doesn’t appear to be an exaggeration at all on the part of the manufacturer. You can even use it to estimate the depth of the object giving you the reading.

You can’t rely solely on this detector if what you are looking for isn’t connected to steel or iron but if you hunt outlaw treasure you have a better than average chance that the treasure has some type of iron with it, such as an iron pot or box.

The GA 52CX is something that can be strapped to the side of a backpack and carried without problems or any noticeable added weight and makes a great way to start your search or verify what might be in the ground. I take mine with me to every site I work along with one or more other detectors.

The machine itself can be a little pricey, a new one from the factory runs about $900.00, but you can find used ones around quite often. The first one I bought came from e-bay and I snagged it for $350.00 from a surveyor that was going out of business. The older models ran off of C size batteries but worked just as well. I had one of those too. You can still find these floating around and they are even cheaper because they are the “old” model. All of these are painted a bright yellow so you won’t loose it if you lay it down in the grass. I covered my with camouflage tape so it wouldn’t be so obvious when I was carrying it around.

This machine is something to keep in mind when you need to look deep into the ground, don’t want any false signals and what you are looking for is or might be part of something steel or iron.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Smelter Robbery in California

Here’s something for those of you in California (you know who you are) that don’t mind getting a little dirty and probably wet. That shouldn’t be a big deal since it’s always sunny in California!

In August of 1901 the Selby Smelter Company near San Francisco, California was burglarized and 1200 pounds of gold bars were stolen out of the vault. The smelting company estimated the value of the gold at just over $280,000 at the price of $20.60 per ounce. I think their math may have been off a little but this is what was reported at the time. It seems the thief had been working on his plan for months and was very meticulous about the execution of that plan.

John Winters, an employee of the smelter was arrested just three days after the burglary but he was never charged and he even talked the smelter company into giving him a $25,000 reward for telling them where the gold was hidden. Mr. Winters had spent three months digging a tunnel along side the building that contained the vault for the smelter. He dug his tunnel at night and covered the entrance with a board and loose dirt that nobody ever found until after the theft. Once he had his tunnel dug underneath the location of the vault he bored upwards to the steel floor. Once at the steel floor he drilled a series of holes close together in a circle where all he had to do is push up on the weakened floor and he had made himself a hatch into the vault.

He worked through the night removing gold bars of various sizes from the vault and to his hiding place. The heaviest of the bars weighed in at about 75 pounds. There were four of these behemoths and the rest of the gold was in smaller, more manageable bars.

It only took the detectives working the case three days to figure out John Winters was involved and once they did he made a deal not to be prosecuted and to receive a reward if he showed where the gold was hidden.

Now comes the good part, Mr. Winters had taken the gold bars to the waters edge where at low tide there was only about one foot of water and tossed the majority of the bars into the shallow water for a later recovery. This is where his meticulous plan went a little off course. Besides the one foot of water at low tide there was also at least four feet of mud, which swallowed up the gold bars fairly quickly. Mr. Winters had put the smaller bars in cloth sacks before tossing them into the water however this didn’t help a lot when it came time to recover the gold.

Out of the $280,000 dollars of gold that was stolen, they recovered $141,500. The rest still lies hidden in the bottom of the bay amongst the mud and gook under the water.

Where did he throw the bars? According to John Winters, and this is the spot where they recovered some of the gold, he took it to Crockett where “at the end of the railroad wharf and behind the coal bunkers at the head of the Vallejo Ferry slip” he threw the gold into the water. I should also mention that they found two large bars of gold on the day of the theft at the end of the tunnel. It appears Mr. Winters got spooked by something and had left them behind.

By my estimate there is still about 425 POUNDS of gold bars still in the water where John Winters tossed them. I couldn’t find any reports that the rest of this gold was ever recovered. Since it has been in the water for more than 100 years it has probably sank quite a bit more into the mud and muck.

But hey, at today’s gold prices you are talking about over six million dollars worth of refined gold just sitting there waiting for someone to recover it. Anybody want to go for a swim?