Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Green River Cache

Some treasure cache stories can come from your very own family and in the case of this story it did. I had a great uncle with a colorful and varied past. For as long as I can remember he wore a turquoise and silver watch and rings. The true story of how he came to own them is up for speculation, but there are a few family legends.

Before his death he did reveal that there was a paper sack full of jewelry that he buried many years before. He said he could drive back to the spot, but as is the case we never were able to make the trip before his death. He was tight lipped with the exact details of where he hid the goodies, but he did give enough that someone with the time to research some Wyoming maps from the 50's and 60's just might get lucky.

From what I could gather he hid the paper sack near a telephone pole at a rest stop along the Green River in Wyoming. While this isn't much to go on, it is more than I have had for several treasure searches I've been on. Hopefully one of our readers will get lucky and make a nice find while traveling through on vacation. Just remember where this lead came from. : )

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gold in Graham County, Kansas

Ahh, the land of flat ground, prairie grasses and bugs, lots and lots of bugs.

If you aren’t bothered by the bugs or like me, you do the majority of your hunting during the winter months when the snakes and bugs aren’t around; you might want to venture into the state of Kansas to search for treasure.

This story takes us to the Solomon River near Morland Kansas where a band of merry travelers were ambushed by Indians. Is it just me or would you think that somewhere somebody would have realized that when you were traveling through Indian lands you might get attacked.

This story has two versions. The first version says the group of merry travelers were Spaniards traveling with a chest of gold when they were attacked. The second version says the merry travelers were a group of gold miners retuning from California with a chest of gold. OK, neither story said they were actually merry but if I had a chest of gold I would be pretty damn happy!

As the stories go, the group, whoever they were (research people, research) were traveling along minding their own business when they were suddenly and unexpectedly attacked by a band of not so merry Indians. During the melee the group of men chose to throw their treasure chest of gold into the Solomon River to keep it out of the hands of the Indians, thinking that they would be able to come back for it later.

Unfortunately for the majority of the men, they didn’t survive the attack and the few that did decided another trip in to Indian territory should wait a while until it was safer. By the time that day had come the members of the original party had all died and had only left behind stories that were handed down through the family.

As far as I know only one attempt to find the gold filled chest occurred, many years after the fact, and it could not be found. This is where the story came from, relatives of one of the original party members coming to the area to recover the treasure. The story says that the gold was in bar form and was valued at $400,000 in the 1970’s.

The one thing that the relatives did not take into consideration is that the river changed course over the years so the treasure is now probably on dry land somewhere. If you go looking for this one you will want to keep that in mind. You also might want to check the soil survey of the area and see what the ground is made of just in case the treasure chest slowly sank to bedrock over the last several decades.

I’m thinking a really good pulse induction unit with a 48 inch coil might work well on this one!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Is it or Isn't it? Part II

Treasure hunting and keeping an open mind go hand in hand. A lot of things you read about can sound pretty strange, and some turn out to be just that, but others, even though they sound strange can be true.

Looking at a carving and deciding if it is graffiti or a treasure map can be the same way. Once you see several maps carved you should begin to get a “feel” for the types of things you want to look for in a carving that will help you decide if it is a treasure map or just old graffiti.

What are those things? First, you have to realize that not all maps look like maps at first glance and this is done intentionally. Part or all of a carved map can be reversed or mirror imaged so that it doesn’t look like what you would think. The majority of carved maps left behind by outlaws are done in parts or sections or lines or all three. You have to break the carving down into these parts to understand the map and to see if it actually is a map.

Breaking a carving into parts will normally be based on things that I consider obvious but a non-treasure hunter would just over look. First, is the carving made in lines, if so, then these are your parts. If the carving doesn’t have lines like you would read a story from then you want to start looking for things like the size of the symbols. If two or more symbols are the same size, close together but a different size from the other symbols then this could be a group of symbols that need to be looked at together like a line. Besides using size to group a set of symbols, the size can also tell you that the distances between point A and point B are getting smaller as the symbols get smaller.

If any of the symbols have a circle, square or other shape around them this is a very good indication that the symbols are grouped together and need to be worked together. Any kind of shape around a set of symbols can, and almost always will, have its own meaning or interpretation and be a symbol itself, besides grouping a set of symbols together. A circle can mean a hill, a square or rectangle can mean you are looking for a corner, a triangle can mean you are looking for three points forming a triangle, etc. You have to remember the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) theory. Although outlaws were pretty tricky in their ways they also had to be able to remember what they were trying to tell themselves. This in itself means the symbols will normally be somewhat simple to interpret based on your surroundings.

Besides having symbols that are the same size or grouped inside a shape, the parts of a map can be on different pieces of a rock or bluff. You may have a series of symbols carved on a bluff that has a natural crack in it. Although the crack may not be part of the map it could have been used to separate different sets of symbols. The same goes for symbols carved on different levels of a bluff. Even if a bluff is vertical it can have shelves or high and low spots in it. If you have sets of symbols in the different levels this could have been their way of separating the sets of symbols.
Several carvings have been found on large rocks or boulders with the symbols scattered about on the rock. A lot of people try to look at the map as a whole and make sense of all the symbols at the same time. In most cases this will just confuse the crap out of you and take you nowhere. If the symbols are separated on the rock or scattered about, they are done so on purpose, partly to confuse treasure hunters like us and partly to separate the symbols into sets.

It could be that one set of symbols from the carving is the actual map and the other symbols are there to show you how to get started or give you information about things you will find as you work the map. If things are separated, don’t try to work them together, it wasn’t meant to work that way.

Other things you might find that would be a dead giveaway as a map is dots or drill holes. If you have a series of dots or drill holes that make a pattern such as a square or triangle you will want to pay close attention to those. You also will want to look for repeat symbols, especially ones that are at the beginning and the end of a line.

Repeats at the beginning and end of a map will give you very important information about the map. What information? It will depend on the symbol and the terrain and the rest of the map. Hey, nobody said this was going to be easy!

These are just a few of the things that will point to a carving being treasure related. You have to keep in mind that the really good map makers, the ones that got a lot of practice because they put down several treasures, were very good at building tricks or deceptions into a map. Keep your eyes and your mind open. It’s not what you look at, but what you see.

I have said this before and I will continue to say it, there are no absolutes in treasure hunting. What works at one site may not work at another but knowing how something worked somewhere else may give you enough information to make your own interpretation of a symbol or map that you have found.

Maybe that should have been in fine print. :~)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Is it or isn't it?

As treasure hunters we all try to get out and find those sites that hopefully no one else has been on and still has some treasure hidden but that can be hard to do sometimes. Once we get on a site they can be covered with carvings and it can be hard to determine which, if any of the carvings are related to treasure.

Sometimes it just comes down to seeing if a carving will lead you anywhere. If it does then it may be treasure related and if it doesn’t then it’s just graffiti. It may be interesting graffiti but graffiti all the same. There are two things you need to keep in mind when looking at old carvings, first, even if it does seem to be a map it may not take you to treasure but to something like a campsite or water. This isn’t a bad thing because you are still interpreting symbols and practice is always a good thing!

The second thing to remember is that there is old graffiti. An old carving is an old carving but just because it is old doesn’t make it treasure related. People have been leaving graffiti behind since the beginning of time and it’s just human nature to leave a mark behind when somebody else has.

I guess I should correct myself here and say that there is a third thing to remember and that would be that not all treasure is “old”. As a treasure hunter I normally hunt for things left behind by the Spanish and outlaws. This is mainly because I have a better understanding of how they did things and I don’t get as frustrated as I would working something I don’t have a lot of knowledge about. Take note that I said “as frustrated” because let’s face it, treasure hunting can be frustrating at times no matter how much you know, it’s just the nature of the game.

As for treasures that aren’t so old, there were a lot of things that were put down in the 1930’s because people decided not to trust the banks and because people decided it wasn’t wise to trust Uncle Sam. When good ole Uncle Sam banned the ownership of gold in the early 1930’s there were a lot of people that decided to hide their gold and not turn it in. This resulted in a lot of things being buried. I have worked two of these kinds of sites myself and both sites actually had carved maps. The first one I ever came across surprised the crap out of me because I didn’t think anyone from the 1900’s would have left a carved map to treasure. I thought, incorrectly I might add, that most people would have made a map they could carry around or hide instead of leaving something out where it could be found. You learn something new every day you treasure hunt.

I will say that the two carved maps I worked from the 1930’s had a lot of tricks such as reverses, mirror images, disguised symbols and other tricks in them than the older things I have worked. I guess the old timers that left them behind wanted to make sure that if somebody found their maps, they didn’t find their treasures.

Things to this day are still being buried by people that don’t want Uncle Sam to know about it or that just like to have that money handy. If you don’t think this is so just do a google search on Binion and Las Vegas. One of the heirs to the Binion Horseshoe Casino had an underground vault constructed on an empty lot he owned and then he filled the vault with silver, several million dollars of silver, and then had the vault sealed.

This hidden silver appears to have contributed to his death as his girlfriend and her other boyfriend were arrested for the murder of Mr. Binion. They both got off on the murder charges but they both did spend some time in the pokey for other crimes. The other boyfriend is still in jail for trying to dig up the silver in the middle of the night. He wasn’t too bright of an individual in my opinion since he tried to convince the sheriff’s deputy that came by while he was taking the silver out of the vault that the dead Mr. Binion wanted him to have the silver.

In case you are interested, Mr. Binion’s home in Las Vegas, where he died I might add, is for sale and has been since his death about five years ago. It is rumored that there is still money hidden and or buried on the property because Mr. Binion was known to keep several hundred thousand dollars at his home that has never been found.

I apologize for going off on a tangent here but I just thought it made a good point that people, even to this day, are still burying things in the ground.

So, is there an easy way to tell if a carving is a map? Some maps are very obvious that they are maps and others are not. I have posted two photos with this article. One is a carving that appears to be someone just carving their initials and a date and the other is a point of a bluff. These two photos are connected because of the diamond shape around the “initials”. The pointed bluff in the photo was man made. There is a series of drill holes along the left side where they drilled and then blasted the bluff of to form the point. The rest of the bluff is in the middle of the creek below the point.

Once I started doing some looking it became obvious that this point is one of the long points of the diamond that is carved around the initials and date. The carving itself is on the bluff below the point. There are several other things that fall into place once you start looking. You can find the four points designated by the diamond shape around the letters and date fairly easily once you realize the pointed bluff is one of the points. In this map, that gave you the working area of the map. This area was about a half acre in size. What you were looking for is inside the diamond. Some of the numbers were actual markers found within the diamond and others gave you information. The marker numbers were either carved into a stone or were a stone in the shape of the number. I will also add that the diamond in the field is upside compared to how it is carved on the bluff.

In treasure hunting you should keep an open mind and be prepared to spend some time looking at things that may not pan out. You will be surprised what you can find when you start looking at things just a little differently.

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

Friday, February 5, 2010

Indian treasure in Georgia

During the 1830’s the Cherokee Indians were removed from their land in Georgia and moved to Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma. Prior to being forcibly moved, several members of the tribe hid pots and piles of gold. The majority of this gold was in the form of nuggets and gold dust that the Indians had collected over the years.

In the late 1800’s an Indian arrived in Gilmer County, GA and camped out near the junction of Old Scarecrow and Talking Rocks Creeks. The Indian lived at this spot for many months and one day a farmer’s curiosity got the best of him and he stopped to talk to the Indian. The two continued to talk occasionally and over time the Indian told the farmer what he was doing in the area.

The Indian’s ancestors had given him directions to a cave filled with gold nuggets and one day the Indian decided to show the cave to the farmer. After being blindfolded, the Indian lead the farmer “a short distance” from the creeks and into the cave. When his blindfold was removed the farmer was astonished to actually see a large pile of gold nuggets sitting on the floor of the cave. The farmer was once again blindfolded and lead back to the creek by the Indian.
The Indian left the area, some say just months after showing the cave to the farmer, never to return again. The farmer spent the next several years searching for the cave but could never find it.

Stories from the area say that the Cherokees hid “many pots of gold” just before their eviction from the land and most of those still remain hidden in the area today. One such pot of gold is supposed to be buried “on the highest hill near the creek” in Gilmer County, GA. This story was told by an old Indian known as “Tails” who supposedly witnessed the pot of gold being buried by another Indian. Tails was able to outwit the soldiers moving the Indians from the land and was able to remain in Gilmer County the rest of his life, living on a creek known as Tails Creek. Tails died in the 1880’s and the iron pot of gold has never been recovered. It is thought that the creek Tails was referring to was the creek that he was living near.

If those two stories of hidden gold aren’t enough for you then maybe you would like to hunt for a hidden silver mine. This mine, also in Gilmer County is supposed to be located on Fort Mountain. According to legend, when the Indians were being forced to move to Oklahoma they sealed the entrance to this mine and it has never been found again.

Fort Mountain is now part of a state park (go figure) so you might want to check the rules before you go. You may just want to go “hiking” while you are there. Where would you start your search on this mountain? It could be anywhere but there might be a clue that would narrow down your search area.

On the highest point of this mountain is an ancient man made rock wall 855 feet long. The wall was thought to have been made by the Indians as a fortification against attack or for some unknown ceremony. Fort Mountain get’s its name from this rock fortification or wall. If this is some type of fortification then it could be that it was put there to protect the hidden silver mine. Maybe some of the rocks for the wall actually came out of the mine.

There is supposed to be a second mine with a rich vein of silver located somewhere near Flat Creek and the Coosawattee River. This mine was also sealed by the Indians before their departure but I couldn’t find any other information about it.

Good hunting!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Texas Treasure of Phillip Nolan

By request, here’s another one for you folks that do your hunting in the state of Texas. This one is located somewhere south of Ft. Worth, probably about a 30-40 minute drive from there.

In 1796 a royal order from the Spanish government was handed down by Royal Commandante Pedro de Nava of the Provincias Internas “to prevent the passage to this kingdom of persons from the United States of America. The king has been informed on good
authority that the United States has ordered emissaries to move here and work to subvert the population…”.

The Spanish government didn’t want anglo-americans in the Texas Territory at the time (which to me seems a little ironic) but this didn’t stop a daring entrepreneur by the name of Phillip Nolan.

Now depending on who you ask, Mr. Nolan was a “bold pathfinder and reckless mustanger” or he was a spy mapping the countryside for the United States. Either way, our entrepreneur ventured into the land of Texas during the fall of 1800 with 27 other men supposedly on the pretenses of buying horses.

The story goes that Phillip Nolan was carrying a chest of gold coins with him for the purchase of 300 horses in San Antonio but, as luck would have it, he and his men came across a group of wild horses while on their way to San Antonio and captured those horses instead. This left Mr. Nolan with a chest full of gold coins and 300 horses.

Unfortunately, the Spanish government said Mr. Nolan didn’t have the proper documentation to be in Texas and his luck apparently changed. In March of 1801 a contingent of 120 Spanish soldiers happened upon Mr. Nolan and his band of merry men and attacked them for being in Texas without the proper papers. Papers! You must show your papers!! Sorry, I just had a flash back to Hogan’s Heroes!

Anyway, according to one story, during the attack Mr. Nolan and two slaves that he had with him took the chest of gold and buried it somewhere near the present day Nolan River. Shortly after burying the chest Mr. Nolan was struck by gunfire and died on the spot. This lead the rest of the men to surrendering to the Spanish. This, in hind sight probably was not the smartest thing to do.

Prior to leaving the area Mr. Nolan’s two slaves were allowed to bury him and they apparently left behind a grave marker which some would say have some cryptic markings on it while others may just call it graffiti. I have posted a photo of what is left of this headstone. The headstone, or what’s left of it is still in Texas and in a glass case in the town of Rio Vista.

The rest of the captured party were taken to various prisons in San Antonio, Chihuahua
and other sites. The men that were taken to the Chihuahua prison were forced to roll dice and the man with the lowest number was hanged. All of the Nolan party eventually died in prisons except for one man, Peter Ellis Bean.

So where is this treasure? According to records the Nolan group built a small primitive fort, known as Nolan’s Fort, and corral on the current day Nolan River near the Brazos river. This is where the attack took place. This is supposed to be about four miles south of Rio Vista, TX.
Stories say that the gold was taken into a “deep ravine just south of the camp” where it was buried near the mouth of Mustang Creek. It is also thought that the treasure was buried “near the mouth of the Battle Branch of the Nolan River”. It is said that the actual battle may have taken place at a location that today is the Live Oak Cemetery.

If you go looking for this one you will want to do a little research of your own to verify some of the information. Since it would seem obvious that Phillip Nolan would have been buried fairly close to where he fell during battle, if it were me, I would start my research with where headstone was found.

Keep in mind that some stories say that the Nolan group didn’t have any money with them because they were actually mapping the country side for the U.S. so this may be a coin toss as to whether or not there is a treasure there.