Saturday, January 30, 2010

I stand corrected!

We have people from all over the world that read this blog, yes, all over the world, and they are a pretty smart bunch. I have been informed by one of our readers that some of the information in my last article about Spanish gold and silver in Mills, County, TX is wrong.

Well, I can't do all of the research for you! :~)

This story came from a book that I have and it gave the details about the area where the treasure is supposed to be. According our reader, the Guthrie Caves along the Colorado River are about 8-10 miles WEST of Goldthwait, TX and not four miles northeast of Goldthwait.

This would mean that either the story of where the treasure was hidden is wrong or the caves along the Colorado don't have anything to do with it. Our reader did say there were a LOT of caves along the Colorado in that area (he spent a lot of time camping in that area) and some of the caves have Indian carvings and paintings in them. So it could be possible the Spanish treasure is in a cave along the Colorado instead of being hidden in a cave NE of Goldthwait.

I would like to thank our reader for adding to the information and setting me straight on where things are down that way. This would be a good lesson in doing research before you start wondering around the country side following a story.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spanish Gold in Mills County, Texas

Texas is warm this time of year, right? I guess I’m getting old because I am already tired of the cold weather! Here’s one for those of you that like to hunt Spanish treasure.

According to legend, in the 1700’s a man by the name of Padre Lopez and several Spanish soldiers hid “15 burro loads of gold and silver” in a cave near Epley Spring in Mills County, Texas. We established a long time ago that the standard payload of a burro or mule is between 130 and 150 pounds so we are talking about more than 2000 pounds of precious metal! That would be a very nice payday!

The cave where this gold and silver was stashed is supposed to be about four miles northeast of Goldthwaite, TX. There isn’t any history about where the treasure came from but if I had to guess I would say they were transporting it from one point to another and chose to bury it for safe keeping because of the Indians.

Once the treasure was secreted away in the cave the padre made four maps leading back to it. Each map was placed in a copper box and buried separately, within a few miles of each other and within a close distance to the treasure itself.

The story would have ended here but in 1890 an unknown man showed up at a farm near Epley Spring and he had one of the maps. He spent several days if not weeks searching the farm looking for a spike that had been driven into a tree. Unfortunately he didn’t find the spike and gave up his search.

Our story doesn’t end there though; a doctor with the last name of Kirkpatrick showed up several years later and began a search of the area looking for one of the other three maps that were left. He was able to locate one of the maps in a copper box that also contained some gems. The map that Mr. Kirkpatrick found had the name of Padre Lopez on it along with the date of 1762. Mr. Kirkpatrick apparently was unable to solve the riddle of the map and gave up his search also.

It is said that in 1932 another of the copper boxes and maps were found by a man named Hollenback but that map and box disappeared and it appears no one found the treasure with that map either.

So three of the four maps have been found but apparently no one has been able to use them to locate this treasure. In 1936 a series of tunnels/caves were discovered near Epley Spring but they flooded shortly after discovery from the Colorado River leaving its banks due to heavy rains. These tunnels, some thought to be man made mining tunnels, were known at the time as the Guthrie Caves.

Could the cave containing the Spanish treasure be one of the caves/tunnels of the Guthrie Cave group? It’s possible but it’s also possible the cave with the treasure in it is sealed shut and will be harder to find.

This leaves you with two treasures to look for, the first being a massive pile of silver and gold and the other being a copper box containing a map to the massive pile of silver and gold. The copper box may also contain a few little goodies just to tide you over.

I don’t know about you but I would be tickled pink to find a copper box that contained a Spanish treasure map from the 1700’s. Of course I would be just as happy finding a massive pile of silver and gold!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spooking Happenings on Treasure Mountain

Are you wanting to find something out of the ordinary? Something really big that will give you the satisfaction of a job well done and a very nice retirement too? Are you not bothered by strange coincidences that could be spirit related?

If so, then maybe you should head to Colorado this summer and do some poking around Treasure Mountain. Once there, you just might find gold left behind by the French worth more than 50 million dollars at today’s prices!

Before you go, make sure you are in shape and well prepared. There are three Treasure Mountains in Colorado so you will want to be on the right one. I don’t think you will have to worry about scaling the mountain to find the gold but be prepared for it to be rugged in spots. And if you didn’t already know, this would be a spring and summer time hunt.

The Treasure Mountain you will be looking for is in the southern part of Colorado near Summitville. According to the stories, in the late 1700’s a group of 300 frogs (Frenchmen) headed west to the mountains from an outpost that was located near present day Leavenworth, KS. The men, along with 450 horses, made the trek to the Colorado mountains in search of the ever illusive shiny yellow stuff, GOLD. Once they arrived at the mountains they didn’t have much luck in finding gold until they happened upon Treasure Mountain in Mineral County, CO.
Once there they began making discovery after discovery of gold in the creeks and streams on Treasure Mountain. As the frogs began to collect their gold and the amounts of gold became substantial, they chose to store it in three separate spots with the commanding officer keeping a map to those locations.

As you can imagine, they were fairly ecstatic about their finds and in the process ignored the large Indian presence in the area. The Indians took offense at the frogs being on their land and began making forays into their camp at night stealing a few horses and other supplies each time. The Indians apparently got bored with this technique of annoying the French and chose to mount an all out assault on the frenchies. This lead to the gold being consolidated into one large cache and buried. The “historian” of the group, a man named LeBlanc, made a map and one copy of the map so that the gold could be retrieved at a later date if necessary.

As you can imagine, there was some pretty fierce fighting and when it was over only about 30 of the frenchies were still alive. This small group of men made a hasty retreat from the area but were attacked again, leaving the number of surviving frogs at five. The final five started to make the long journey back to the outpost in Kansas with very little supplies. Unfortunately for the five, this was during the winter and as they traveled, three more succumbed to the elements and starvation.

The last two men arrived at the outpost in Kansas but, as luck would have it, one of these two died after arriving. This left just one sole survivor of the expedition, the historian LeBlanc. LeBlanc had the two maps with him and once he had recuperated he returned to France and gave one of the maps to the French government and kept the other for himself.

After LeBlanc returned to France a second expedition made a trip to the area to retrieve the gold. History is unclear if this expedition was mounted by LeBlanc and his family or the French government. Whoever it was traveled through Taos, New Mexico and stopped to hire a guide to lead them back to the area of Summitville, CO.

Several months later the guide returned to Taos alone claiming that the entire expedition had been wiped out by Indians. People in Taos didn’t believe this story and even went so far as to put the guide on trial for murder. He was acquitted and then rumors began to surface that the latest expedition of frenchies actually found the gold and returned to France, paying the guide to tell everyone they were killed and never found the gold.

Jump ahead to 1878 and you find a story of two not so bright cowboys who found themselves lost in a snow storm in the San Juan Mountains. During their search for some shelter they found a cave to crawl into. Once in the cave they found a large stack of gold bars and helped themselves to one each. These bars were taken to an assay office in Redcliff where they sold the gold. The two cowboys planned to return to the cave and bring back the rest of the gold but as hard as they tried, the could never relocate the cave.

Now this story gets a little strange in that these two cowboys were said to have found the gold left behind by the frenchies but according to the story the gold supposedly had Spanish markings on it. Call me cynical, but I don’t think the frogs would mark their gold with a Spanish stamp. This would mean there appears to be two large stockpiles of gold on Treasure Mountain, one left by the French and the other left by the Spanish.

I didn’t do any follow up on this but according to the cowboy story, one of the gold bars is in a museum in Colorado somewhere.

Over the years there have been a few other people pop up claiming to have a copy of the LeBlanc map. One was a man named William Yule who searched the entire western side of the valley and found nothing. Either his map wasn’t very good or he wasn’t very good at reading the map. Yule eventually sold a copy of the map to Asa Poor and his two partners and they began their own search. This group didn’t find anything either and that copy of the map finally ended up with one of Mr. Poor’s partners, a man named Montroy. From there, the trail of the map ends. No one knows what happened to the copy of the map as Mr. Montroy was never able to find the treasure with it either.

I know, you’re wondering when the spooky part comes in. Relax, take a deep breath, I’m getting to it.

We will jump ahead again; this time to the 1990’s where a family said to be direct descendants of LeBlanc claim to have the actual LeBlanc map, written in French, that they used to find the treasure. For three generations this family has been quietly searching for the gold left behind by their ancestor and his group. Three generations, that’s a long damn time to stare at a map!!

According to the family, the map shows eight landmarks that you need to find and they supposedly had already found seven of those. In 1993 one of the family members was elk hunting in the mountains south of Del Norte. The weather turned bad and it began to rain so the hunter took refuge in a small hole in the side of the mountain. Upon closer examination the hunter realized he was in a man made tunnel that was about five feet tall and four feet wide. He followed the tunnel back about twenty feet until he ran into a spot where it had collapsed and he could go no farther. He began to look around with his flashlight when low and behold, he found a carving on the side of the tunnel wall and this carving was supposedly the eighth land mark on the map.

OK, I have a few problems with this part of the story but I will leave it up to our readers to decide for themselves what they want to believe or follow up on with more research.

As the story goes, the hunter returned to the tunnel the next day with “20 members of his family” and they began to clear the tunnel out. The family was able to clear an additional twelve feet of tunnel before it started getting towards the end of the day. According to the family, they began to line the inside of the tunnel with candles so they could light them to see their way but before they could light any of them “a rattlesnake lunged out of the darkness at the end of the tunnel” trying to bite one of the family members.

This scared the you know what out of the guy and he made a mad scramble for the opening of the tunnel. Once he reached the opening a swarm of bats came flying out of the hillside “squeaking and aggressively diving” at the group. Once they recovered their senses from being attacked by a snake and bats they decided to go back to their task of lightning the candles in the tunnel. Again, according to the family, when they went inside the tunnel to light the first candle near the opening, the last candle at the end of the dark end of the tunnel lit all by itself!

If that wasn’t enough, as they sat at the opening of the tunnel staring at the lit candle at the end they were attacked by a huge owl that continually “dive bombed” the group for several minutes.
The family, apparently more than slightly superstitious, took these as an omen and the left the tunnel.

Yea, I know, I find it hard to believe an owl, a rattle snake, some bats and an apparent self igniting candle kept them from looking for a gi-normous treasure, but that’s what the story says. I would think that most of those problems could be solved with a shotgun, but that’s just me!

There are several things in this story that I find a little more than odd. As I said before, I will leave it up to our readers to decide what they want to believe and what they may want to research more. I’m simply repeating the story.

As an update, the last thing I had heard, and this was from the late 1990’s, the family had apparently filed for and obtained a treasure trove permit from the state of Colorado so that they could legally retrieve any treasure that might be in the tunnel. Since we haven’t heard anything in the news I would think that there is a good possibility they never made a recovery.

Is the gold from the French expedition still hidden in Treasure Mountain? Could there be another treasure, this one left by the Spanish on the mountain too? Well, it is called Treasure Mountain for a reason!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Get Away Car for Sale

Would you like to own a real piece of American history? If you don't mind a few bullet holes and maybe some blood stains then here's your chance.

This really isn't a buried treasure but treasure exists in many forms. This particular treasure is in the form of a 1930 Ford Model A used by John Dillenger that is going on the auction block.



1930 Ford Model A that John Dillinger used in an escape to be sold at Barrett-Jackson at No Reserve

The car also starred in the recent blockbuster "Public Enemies" with Johnny Depp
The Model A (Lot #1309) includes meticulous documentation from the current owner

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Jan. 4, 2010 - The 1930's Ford Model A (Lot #1309) used by the notorious gangster John Dillinger and later in the blockbuster 2009 movie about his life, will be sold at No Reserve during the 39th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale on Jan. 18-24, 2010 at WestWorld. The Ford, which carried "Public Enemy" number one to safety in 1934 while Dillinger sprayed pursing cops with his Tommy gun, will cross the block as the world watches on SPEED.1930's Ford Model A (Lot #1309)"While Bonnie and Clyde, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson were media celebrities, none were more famous than John Dillinger," said Barrett-Jackson Chairman/CEO Craig Jackson. "His daring robberies and hold ups fed the nation's hunger for sensationalist news. His ability to elude capture and escape by using fast, reliable cars with seeming impunity made him a folk hero."Dillinger and his gang raged throughout Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin during the Great Depression.

One of Dillinger's most memorable escapes took place at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wis. on April 22, 1934. Dillinger, Homer Van Meter and John "Red" Hamilton, his two top lieutenants, escaped in the 1930 Ford Model A coupe offered at Barrett-Jackson."This car is a piece of American gangster history and as much a part of Dillinger's legend as his Tommy guns and Colt automatics," stated Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. "Not only did this particular car get the famous gangster out of a fix with the cops in hot pursuit, it was used in the recent Johnny Depp movie about Dillinger.

So it's played an important role in history and cinema emulating history."After a series of robberies, Dillinger and his gang hid out at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters. The proprietors, Emil and Nan Wanatka, recognized them and managed to tip off the authorities to the gang's location.Upon arrival, the Feds perforated the Lodge with bullets until Dillinger, Van Meter and Hamilton bailed out of doors and windows, rushing through the woods until they found the Model T nearby.

The gangsters politely but firmly commandeered the Ford and its owner, Robert Johnson, to drive it.Johnson was let out near Park Falls, Wis. The trio of crooks eluded law enforcement and drove to Hastings, Minn., over 200 miles away from the Lodge. There, they were once again identified and fled in a high speed pursuit. Hamilton was fatally shot in the hail of gunfire. Dillinger, it is said, smashed the Ford's rear window with his Thompson and sprayed his pursuers with bullets as he escaped.

Heading for the anonymity of Chicago, they dumped the bullet-riddled Model A in favor of a stolen 1934 Ford V8. Just three months later, Dillinger was killed as he exited the Biograph Theater in Chicago.Bullet pocked and blood stained, the Ford was impounded by the police. Files from the Division of Investigation (now FBI) identified it as "1930 Ford coupe, 4 cylinder, Model A, Wisconsin license #92652, Motor #2980001.""The Model A was eventually returned to Johnson who determined that it wasn't worth repairing and parked it for nearly three decades," noted Davis. "The car ended up in the barn of Alfred Love's mother in-law, where Johnson rented a bungalow. Love bought it from Johnson and eventually passed it to his son, Mark, the current owner.

"The Ford was carefully restored in 2007 to appear in "Public Enemies", preserving the original bullet holes and dimples under body filler and carefully documenting the original appearance including the upholstery soaked with blood. This car is comprehensively documented with its transfer paperwork, articles, books, before-restoration photographs and a selection of documents copied from the federal files."This Ford was at the center of one of the most famous shootouts in gangster history," added Jackson. "It is, more than any automobile and even firearm, identified with Dillinger.

It's been owned by only two families since it played a crucial role in the Little Bohemia Lodge escape. The Dillinger Ford Model A coupe would be an incredible addition to a collection, museum or attraction that commemorates the history of Ford, the Model A or American history."About The Barrett-Jackson Auction CompanyThe Barrett-Jackson Auction Company was established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces the "World's Greatest Collector Car Auctions™" in Scottsdale, Palm Beach, Fla., Las Vegas, and Orange County, Cali. Barrett-Jackson also endorses a one-of-a-kind collector car insurance offering for collector vehicles and other valued belongings. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit or call (480) 421-6694.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Treasure found in a safe

This is a story about a modern day treasure that was found recently by a friend of mine and fellow treasure hunter. For this article I will call him “the sentinel” because he is a security minded individual and likes to spend his time watching the beaches near his home for things that look out of place. You know, things like bikinis that are too small!

The Sentinel owns some rental property in one of the best places in the world, Hawaii. Honolulu, Hawaii to be exact. Book ‘em Danno! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Anyway, several years ago a retired couple by the name of Doris and Henry Schnetz moved in to one of the Sentinel’s rental properties. They lived there for about two years before moving to a larger home where they were taken care of by Dan Dutko and Lindsay Roberson.
When the Schnetz’s moved out of the rental property they left behind a safe. It was locked and required a combination and key to get into. The safe was moved to the home of my friend so that it would be safe until the Schnetz’s returned for it. Unfortunately, both of the elder Schnetz’s passed on and they never came back for the safe. Being the busy man that the sentinel is (there are lots of bikinis to watch on those beaches) the safe sat at his home for over six years. The sentinel would occasionally wonder what might be in the safe, usually right after he tripped over it because he forgot it was there.

Curiosity, and apparently the lack of bikinis on the beach finally got the best of him so he decided to see if there was anything in the safe. He contacted the manufacturer of the safe and supplied them with all of the proper documentation and was rewarded with a combination and key. Upon opening the safe he found a list of items that should be in the safe along with almost all of the items on the list.

The items found in the safe included Masonic rings, as Mr. Schnetz was a Master Mason, Diamond encrusted Masonic Pins, a gold watch he received when retiring from a pharmacy he owned on Oahu, and a 92 Bush/Quayle lapel pin. Besides these items there were also several gold, silver, pearl and diamond rings, pendants, broaches, cuff links, bracelets, watches, tuxedo buttons and earrings. There were also several military ribbons that Mr. Schnetz had earned while serving his country.

That’s quite a haul for any treasure hunter to find, especially for never leaving your home!
Now you would think that is where this story would end but you would be wrong. The sentinel is trying to locate the rightful heirs to these items and is asking for your help so that the items can be returned to the family. The Schnetz’s went to live and be cared for by Lindsay Roberson and Dan Dutko in Honolulu, Hawaii. It appears that the Schnetz’s had a son and we are in the process of trying to find him.

If there is anyone out there that might know Lindsay Roberson, Dan Dutko or someone directly related to Doris and Henry Schnetz of Honolulu, HI then we would ask that you contact us and let us know. You can e-mail me directly at or you can get in touch with James through is e-mail listed at the top of the blog and we will forward the information on to the sentinel.

Hopefully by the time some of you read this we will have already found the heirs to this treasure but don’t let that stop you from contacting us. You never know when a trail will dead end and more information is always better than less.

My friend would like to say; Mahalo! (Hawaiian for thank you!) for any help you can provide.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Civil War Treasure in Alabama

Towards the end of the Civil War the south was moving some money so that Confederate forces in Columbia, Tennessee could get paid and have supplies. The money, said to be $100,000 in gold and silver coins was being transported in two wooden crates. Each of the crates were supposed to be 2 feet x 3 feet x 4 feet in size and they were being transported in a wagon.

As the group of men transporting the money neared Athens, Alabama the wagon became stuck in the mud of a “bog hole” and they had to stop to try to free it. As they tried to get the wagon free they were warned that a group of Union soldiers were on the way through the area and being afraid the money may fall into the hands of the enemy, they did what they thought best which was to bury the boxes of gold and silver.

This cache of gold and silver coins has supposedly never been recovered. According to the stories the treasure was buried about a half mile west of an old stream crossing which was about four miles north of Athens, Alabama in Limestone County.

Keep in mind the stream and the crossing would have been in the 1860’s so you will have to find some of the older maps of the area if you go looking for this one.

Oh yea, for those “believers” out there, there was not any mention of the K.G.C. or any elaborate vaults being involved in this cache. Just regular old Confederate soldiers trying to keep the money they had safe.

You might want to do a little looking into the size of the crates that were supposed to have been used to haul this treasure. Those mentioned in the story seem to be pretty big to move just $100,000 in gold and silver. Of course you are talking about a treasure that should weigh in at more than 300 pounds but it's also something that would fit in a couple of much smaller boxes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

North Dakota Wagon Train

Back in the 1800’s wagon trains were extremely susceptible to being attacked, generally by Indians, and these attacks are where several legends of buried treasure begin.

This article takes us to spot along the Montana and North Dakota borders. In 1864 a man named James Fisk was leading 200 men in an eighty wagon train to the gold mines of Montana. They were able to con the Commander at Fort Rice into giving them a small military escort to protect them from the Indians as they traveled.

On September 2, 1864 the wagon train ran into some problems when one of the wagons turned over in the gully of Deep Creek, about one hundred and thirty miles west of Fort Rice. When the wagon train stopped to upright the wagon the one and only Sitting Bull and 100 Indians attacked. The fight raged on for days and in two different locations a few miles apart. During the first attack at the location where the wagon had overturned several of the men and soldiers were killed and Sitting Bull was wounded, taking a bullet in his hip. I can just imagine how mad Sitting Bull was from one of the soldiers shooting him in the ass!

As the battle went on the survivors managed to make there way to where the rest of the wagon train had circled the wagons, about a mile from the overturned wagon. The Indians did not follow and they thought the attack was over. Unfortunately for them, they were wrong. Once they were on the move again and had traveled just a few miles the Indians attacked again. This battle was worst than the first and in total, the men in the wagon train fought the Indians for eighteen days. During the fight the Indians manage to snag a couple of wagons that contained rifles, ammunition, liquor and cigars. Nothing but the essentials!

What remained of the wagon train was rescued by a group of 900 soldiers that had been dispatched to the scene from Fort Rice. A few of the men were able to sneak away from the attack one night and had gone to Fort Rice to enlist the help of the military. By the time the military had arrived to help the men of the wagon train the men had built several sod walls to protect them from the attack. The men of the wagon train called their sod walls Fort Dilts, after a scout who was killed in the initial attack named Jefferson Dilts.

When all was said and done there were several men from the wagon train and several soldiers that had been killed along with six of the Indians and the wounding of Sitting Bull.
Now to the treasure part of the story; it is said that when the first attack started several of the men in the wagon train buried their money for safe keeping. One of these buried treasures was supposed to be $40,000 in gold coins that a man was traveling with so he could open a store upon his arrival at their final destination. More than one of these treasures were left behind either because of the death of the owner or because the rescuing soldiers didn’t want to stick around long enough to let the men recover what they had hidden.

If you go looking for this one the site of the main battle should be easy to find. There is a small marker identifying the site. You should be able to find it off of Highway 12 a few miles west of Rhame, North Dakota.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hunting in foriegn lands

I like to consider myself an adventurous soul but there are some things I just prefer not to do. These days, hunting for treasure in a foreign country is one of those things I don’t think I would do unless of course it was Canada!

For those of you that don’t mind getting chased by the banditos or jailed by a government once you find something, you might find this article interesting. I would like to thank our good friend Homer for sending me the initial information for this article.

About thirty-five miles northeast of Bogota, Columbia lies a circular lake thought to have been a crater from a meteor strike. The area surrounding the lake was, and parts still are, the sacred lands of the Muisca. The Muisca of South America are consider to be the source of the legend of El Dorado or “the golden man“.

The lake, Laguna De Guatavita, was considered to be sacred and the Chief of the Muiscas made a ritual offering to the Lake Goddess on an annual basis. “Zipa” as the chief was called, would cover his body with gold dust, get on a ceremonial raft and paddle out to the middle of the lake. Once there Zipa would dive into the water and wash off all of the gold dust. Once he was clean, other worshipers from the tribe would toss in gold trinkets and jewels to make the lake goddess happy. And lets face it, what woman wouldn’t be happy with golden trinkets, jewels and a bunch of gold dust?

Sounds kind of hokey, doesn’t it? Well as hokey as it sounds it is a true story. Back in 1545 the Spaniards decided they would drain the lake and collect the jewels and gold. Lázaro Fonte and Hernán Perez de Quesada set up a bucket brigade to try to drain the lake of it’s water. They spent three months dipping water form the lake and were able to drop the water level about nine feet. This allowed them to recover about forty pounds of golden trinkets but the rest was still unattainable. I don’t know that a bucket brigade would have been the way I would have gone but I guess if nothing else, the Spaniards were tenacious!

In 1580 the Spaniards tried again, this time by cutting a notch into the rim of the lake. This allowed the water levels to drop about 60 feet where the Spaniards recovered even more treasure. Apparently none of these Spaniards had any engineering experience because very shortly after dropping the water level the notch in the rim of the lake collapsed, killing several people and ending this attempt to get the gold.

Jump forward a few hundred years to 1898 when an English company that was formed explicitly for the purpose of recovering the gold in the bottom of the lake decided they would try to drain the lake of all of it‘s water. This company dug a tunnel under the lake and to the center which allowed all of the water to drain out. This turned out to be a mistake back then because once the water was gone they were left with mud and slime more than four feet deep. They couldn’t explore the lake bed until this dried up.

Once the lake bed dried up they were left with another problem. It seems that the mixture of slime and mud was just the right consistency that when it dried, it was as hard as concrete! The company did manage to recover a small amount of gold and jewels but it was valued at only around $800.00. The company filed for bankruptcy and never returned to the lake.
So you see, treasures do exist, they just aren’t easy to find!!

The lake is once more full of water and the Columbian government refuses to let anyone else try to drain the lake. It would seem that if you were a skilled scuba diver with the right equipment a fortune may sit at the bottom of this lake if you don’t mind risking your life to get it. I have never been to Columbia but from what I have read it doesn’t seem like it is too American friendly right now. I can’t imagine what it would be like if you came back to shore with a boat load of gold, you might just join the gold dust at the bottom of the lake!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Photo courtesy of James

The definition:
“surrounding conditions: the circumstances or events that form the environment within which something exists or takes place”

As treasure hunters or those just interested in treasure hunting, we all have seen or even taken photos and videos of different symbols and markers and have wondered; what do they mean? We have people from all over the country, actually from several different countries, that send us photos of different things wanting our opinion of what they mean. We try to give an honest interpretation of what we see but there are things that can’t be properly interpreted without knowing the context surrounding the symbols or markers.

Interpreting symbols and markers, no matter who left them behind, is about looking at them within the context that they were made. I may have tried to make this point before but I’m getting old and old people tend to repeat themselves a lot.

Did I mention that old people tend to repeat themselves a lot?

Looking at a symbol in context to me has two different meanings. First, the true definition as listed above means you have to look at the who and why of the symbols/markers. Having a good idea of who left the symbols will almost always give you the why they left the symbols/markers. This would give you a very good head start on what to do.

This means research. It’s rare that you can go onto a site with no prior knowledge of what you are looking for or who was there and work a site. It’s also poor judgment in my opinion to go to a site with a preconceived idea of who was there because this will no doubt cloud your judgment and your interpretation of any symbols or markers.

Different groups did things different ways and for different reasons. Although a lot of things can be like something else, such as symbols used by the military during the Civil War and symbols used by outlaws, other things will be completely different. What the Spanish did and why will be different from what the French did. Pirates, arggggg!, will do things differently than outlaws did, etc.

Once you have determined the who and why, it may be that the symbols/markers aren’t treasure related so you can discount that area and move on to something else. It could also be that there is something historical tied to the symbols/markers that you still may want to pursue, depending on what you are looking for. There are several reasons for symbols and markers to be left behind that aren’t related to treasure. You have to try to keep from jumping to any conclusions without doing your research first. After that, jumping to conclusions is part of the hunt, it’s just that a lot of the conclusions will be wrong and require you to rethink theories and interpretations until you hit upon the correct one.

If the symbols/markers are determined to be treasure related then you have to go to the (my) second meaning of context and look at the symbols and markers within the context of the area surrounding them. For the most part, carved symbols will be topographical or informational in nature. The symbols will be telling you to do this or go that way and look for this or that. This is why knowing the terrain around the area where the carvings were left is crucial. It’s all about context.

Even though the Spanish, outlaws, pirates, arrgggg! and the French, etc. all did things differently and for different reasons a lot of how they used the symbols will be the same. Carved symbols for the most part are…….. that’s right, I’m repeating myself again, but they will be topographical in nature. Most of the topography depicted in carvings will be small, especially with outlaw and Civil War stuff. By small I mean you are looking at “steps” or “moves” of 30-100 feet at a time.
Spanish “moves” will be bigger until you get close to the hole. Pirates, arrggggg! are a strange lot and each had some of their own “code” to give them the information they needed to find the booty they left behind. They had some great maps and carvings but some of them can be really strange and therefore difficult to interpret.

Things can change drastically when you are dealing with a carry around type map. The “moves” can be bigger and the context in which you look at the map may be different. By this I mean a carry around map can, and most likely will encompass a lot more area, maybe a mile or more of terrain. This changes the context of how you look at the map in that you are still looking at an area but the area is much bigger than with a carving. It’s still about the terrain, the who and the why but the terrain has gotten bigger and so will some of the “steps” or “moves”.
Treasure hunting can be difficult and confusing on a good day. Making it harder by not being prepared with the right information or looking at something in the wrong context will just make it even worse.

It’s not what you look at but what you see!