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!