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!