Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Using the Links

Little did I know that when I started this blog in late 2007 that it would take on a life of it's own or what a huge part Ron would play in keeping it going. I wanted to have a place treasure hunters could come to for useful information and ideas. There were very few treasure blogs at the time and some that were to be found left you with nothing but questions and empty promises of providing information at a further date and time.

I wanted our readers to have tools to make their search for treasure successful, so I started placings helpful links to the left side of the blog page. Over the years though, I have noticed that people don't realize they are even there or how helpful they can be. There are links to map archives, genealogy projects, treasure forums, etc. I try on a regular basis to go through them to make sure they are current or add new ones that seem useful.

 I have found that using old survey plats to find trails, creek crossings, buildings, etc has become a huge part of my success in finding treasure sites. These plats can show you how rivers have changed course over the years or even old fort sites. You don't know what you have been missing until you start using them.

For the Oklahoma treasure hunter I have a link that will take you to a listing of counties so that you can find the township and range for the area you are searching. You will need these to find the correct survey plat.

After you have the township and range you can click on the government land office website link.  Once you are at the website click on "search surveys". They will then ask you for your zip code. After you enter that it will take you to where you can begin your search. There are a number of states you can search listed so just click on the one you need and then enter the township and range. Hit the search button. It will the give you choices of which surveys are available to view. I'm fond of the original surveys, so that is what I choose most often. A couple of options that it will then give you are the plat images or the field notes images.

The field notes are very useful in figuring out if that rock with carvings on it you found out in the middle of nowhere is just a survey marker. The field notes normally described the size and shape of the rocks they used. They will also note "witness" trees as well. I can't stress enough how valuable the survey plats and field notes will become in doing your research.

If our readers have any suggestions for helpful websites please feel free to e-mail us the link and we will add it to the ever growing list. Stay safe and good luck hunting.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Links

It has been brought to our attention, by readers sending e-mails about where to find information, that a lot of our readers haven’t noticed the “links” on the left side of the blog.
James has posted several links to different websites that offer lots of free research on several different subjects.

Over the next few weeks we will be writing some short articles on several of these links just to draw your attention to them.

The first is for anyone wanting to look at Civil War maps.
This is a collection of maps housed by the Library of Congress and includes maps from 1861-1865. This particular site is searchable and allows you to zoom in on the images to look at the detail.

This is the “overview” of the website:
Civil War Maps brings together materials from three premier collections: the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Library of Virginia. Among the reconnaissance, sketch, and theater-of-war maps are the detailed battle maps made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss for Generals Lee and Jackson, General Sherman’s Southern military campaigns, and maps taken from diaries, scrapbooks, and manuscripts—all available for the first time in one place.

Most of the items presented here are documented in Civil War Maps: An Annotated List of Maps and Atlases in the Library of Congress, compiled by Richard W. Stephenson in 1989. New selections from 2,240 maps and 76 atlases held by the Library will be added monthly.

Make sure to check the links on the blog for other things you might want to look at. James tries to update them periodically to make sure the links are still good and he adds to them when he finds something interesting.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Something new in the detector world

OK, so it’s not that new, it’s been out about a year now but if you don’t keep up with the latest reading material it could be new to you.

I’m talking about the White’s PulseScan TDI pulse induction unit. At first glance this just looks like a standard detector but it is a true pulse induction machine. If you are like me, you get tired of the false readings you get with a two-box and the fact that they can be a pain in the butt to use and just carry around. With this new pulse induction unit from White’s you should get about the same amount of depth on the tea kettle and strongbox size objects that you would get with the two-box.

Keep in mind that I don’t own one of the new White’s TDI’s, not yet anyway, but I plan to purchase one very soon. I have been doing a lot of research on these machines and if you are a cache or relic hunter I think it would be worth your while to check it out yourself. Even though I don’t own one yet I feel strongly enough about the detector to tell our readers about it. The price of the machine, around $1500.00, will keep most of the amateur hunters from buying one but if you are serious about your equipment, I’ll bet you will want one of these.

All of the information I am putting in this article comes from what I have read and been told by people who have used this machine. One of the more promising, or maybe astonishing things about this new detector is that not all White’s dealers can sell them. White’s has determined that the detector is sufficiently different from all of it’s other detectors that any dealers selling them have to be trained and certified by White’s on this specific machine.

When I first read this it made me a little nervous, figuring I may not be smart enough to actually run this machine but after further review it appears that, contrary to popular belief, I may not be as dumb as I look! The detector, like any detector you are using, requires the operator to fully understand the machine and it’s controls. The learning curve on this one is a little higher than most but that is because you are dealing with a pulse induction machine.
This detector is not your father’s VLF machine. The new design has no fancy meter to tell you what you have found or supposedly how deep it is. The TDI has a “unique form of audio target ID” that makes the meter unnecessary. The detector comes with a rechargeable lithium Ion battery pack (actually 2) and a 12 inch Dual Scan coil. Besides not being cheap, it’s also not the lightest detector around, weighing in at five pounds. This isn’t all that much weight since the machine is balanced pretty well.

To keep me from having to write too much I am including the summary of White’s field test from their web site. You can read the entire report here:

“The PulseScan TDI was developed to provide serious detectorists a piece of equipment that was not simply a “re-hash” of existing technology in a new housing. Initially developed to meet the demands of gold prospectors searching for both extremely small and extremely deep nuggets, the TDI has evolved into a detector that has proven itself as an effective detector for relic hunting, beach hunting and, under the right conditions, even coin hunting.
The PulseScan TDI is not for everyone…if you are looking for a detector that offers professional-quality performance under even the most severe ground conditions for specific applications and are willing to invest the time needed to master it, the PulseScan TDI will give you an edge over the competition. While I have nowhere near the amount of field time those that have been working on developing the TDI over the past two years do, I find myself learning a new technique or trick each time I go out and, with each lesson learned, my results improve at the end of the day.
While at first glance the TDI seems to be fairly simple to operate, the subtle nuances that will make you successful under different conditions is the reason White’s has taken the position that a dealer needs to have been trained on how to operate the TDI in order to be able to then train the customer on its operation. As well-known detectorist and prospector Steve Hersbach says, “The bottom line - the worse the ground mineral conditions get, the better this machine will fare compared to a VLF unit.”

The PulseScan TDI lists for $1,599.95 which includes the 12” Dual Scan coil, two Lithium Ion rechargeable battery packs and the standard White’s two-year transferable warranty. A 7.5” Dual Scan coil is available and additional coils and accessories are in the works to further expand the versatility of the TDI.”

I hate to sound like a salesman but I’m actually pretty excited about this new detector and can’t wait to get one on a site or two that I am working.

If you want to buy one of these or talk to a White’s dealer that is a no BS kind of guy I would suggest that you contact John London. He is a TDI certified White’s dealer and will give you the best price around. I won’t say he’s an old man but he has been selling detectors for a very long time and really knows what he is talking about!

If you would like to contact John you can call him toll free at 1-866-881-5056 or you can e-mail him at

Again, I don’t want to sound like a commercial but I know that John will treat our readers right and I know that he is one of the most knowledgeable people around when it comes to detectors.

Good luck and good hunting!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Treasure Hunter Get Together

Ron and I would like to invite you to our annual get together that will be held Sept. 18th at the Jesse James Museum located in Cement Oklahoma. The museum is located on main street. Cement is a small town, so you won't have any trouble finding it.

There is a long history of treasure being found and searched for around Cement. Plenty of information can be found on the internet about the area, and in Steve Wilsons book "Oklahoma Treasure and Treasure tales".

Kristen Porter, who's new book "Outlaw Land On the Trail" deals with Cement as well. You can look for her at this years get together and maybe even get yourself signed copies of her books.

We may have a few other special guest this year as well and as we get confirmation we will let you know. We would like you to bring items of interest for a show and tell or if you have a sign or symbols that you are having trouble figuring out bring that along and see what can be figured out.

Bring along any detectors you may have for sale as I have had a number of people looking to buy used machines lately.

This is a family friendly event and all are welcome. It would be a great help if you can let Ron or I know you are planning to attend as we may have this meeting catered and we need to have an idea of how many will be in attendance.

It will be a great time so we hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And while you are there . . .

If you find yourself poking around Mathews County, Virginia, especially in the “Haunted Woods” you might want to stay a while and look for a treasure left behind by the British General Charles Cornwallis also known as “The Earl Cornwallis“. Sounds like a pretentious old fart, doesn’t he?

The Haunted Woods or Old House Woods, depending on who you talk to, are supposed to contain the goods plundered by the pretentious old fart and his men. According to legend, in 1781 Cornwallis had his men bury a large cache of coins and jewelry in the area located about five miles from the Mathews County Courthouse.

This same year Cornwallis engaged in a loosing battle with American and French forces and the men who buried the coins and jewelry were killed, taking the exact location of the cache with them to the grave. Cornwallis himself was forced to surrender however, he skirted around that a little to save face. It seems that on the day the Earl was supposed to surrender, October 19, 1781, he decided he was sick so he sent Brigadier General Charles O’Hara to hand over his sword.

I guess the Earl didn’t want the embarrassment of getting his butt kicked to show on his face.
I don’t have any other information on this treasure but I’m sure if you do some more research on General Cornwallis and his command you can found out where they were and what routes they took to get there.

Good luck and good hunting!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You just can't fix stupid

If you find yourself in Virginia you might want to do a little research on Mathews County and it’s connection to King Charles II.

During his rein in the 1600’s King Charles made more than his share of enemies. As he continued to rule over the people he also continued to alienate others in his monarchy and at one point, this led him to believe he may have to make a stealthy get away or face consequences he didn‘t want to face.

In his planning he decided to send a group of his minions to the “New Colonies” with a load of gold and jewels for them to hide. The group was given very specific instructions on where to bury this treasure however, they apparently weren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer so the treasure didn’t get buried as instructed.

The King instructed his men to bury the treasure near Jamestown however, they chose to bury it near Mathews instead. The location of the treasure is supposed to be near the mouth of White Creek in the Haunted Woods which is about five miles from Mathews.

Once the King learned that his men had buried the treasure in the wrong area he immediately had them all put to death. Now, you would think that the King, being a King and all, would have had the foresight to find out the exact location of the treasure before he killed all of his men for being incompetent. It seems the King was a little incompetent himself as he never found the exact location of the treasure and it still sits waiting in the Haunted Woods for some lucky treasure hunter.

To me, that makes the King dumber than the guys he had bury the gold, but that’s just me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The treasure behind the Iron Door

No, not that iron door. That’s another story for another time when I can show you pictures. :~)

This iron door is located in San Miguel County, New Mexico. I guess I should say the door was located there because the door apparently disappeared many, many years ago.

The door, according to rumors from the local Indians of the time, was keeping a tunnel sealed shut that is supposed to contain “bags of gold”. Now I don’t know about you but I sure wouldn’t mind opening up a door to a bunch of bags of gold! Unfortunately it is never that easy and in the case of the New Mexico iron door, there’s probably not going to be anything easy about this treasure.

The tunnel, even though it was sealed with an iron door, was also supposed to be partially backfilled making it even harder to get to the gold. According to the Indian stories, the gold was left behind by the Spanish and undoubtedly they left it behind because they felt unwelcome by the Indians.

Jump forward a few decades, OK, more like a century, and you have a group of excited treasure hunters finding a backfilled tunnel in the mountains where the iron door is supposed to be located. The door was gone from the tunnel but the tunnel was backfilled like the story said. There was lots and lots of backfill!

The treasure hunters removed rubble from SIXTY feet of tunnel before coming to another tunnel that went straight down. This tunnel, just like the one they cleaned out to get there was also filled with rubble. They attempted to excavate the vertical tunnel but felt that the excavation was to dangerous at that point because of the unstable sides of the tunnel. This left them with only one alternative which was to abandon the search.

Yea I know, a bunch of wussies, huh?

Where is the tunnel and possibly the bags of gold? It is somewhere in the mountains near Las Vegas. No, not that Las Vegas, you’re getting ahead of me again. The mountains are near the town of Las Vegas, in the state of New Mexico, remember?

If you don’t want to risk your life looking for this Spanish treasure, and all kidding aside, I really wouldn’t want you to, you might do some poking around in the mountains around Las Vegas anyway. It seems the mountains were a hotbed of activity for the Spanish, the outlaws and the Indians.

The town of Las Vegas had it’s own reputation, it was once said about the town; "Without exception there was no town which harbored a more disreputable gang of desperadoes and outlaws than did Las Vegas."

The likes of Doc Holliday and his girlfriend “Big Nose Kate” hung out in the town. With a name like Big Nose Kate you might be a little unruly at times too. Other desperados that liked to cause trouble in the town included the one and only Jesse James (well, I guess that would depend on who you ask), Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Hoodoo Brown, the Durango Kid and some guy named Mysterious Dave Mather. I guess they ran out of the really cool desperado names when it cave to “Mysterious Dave”.

Oh yea, there was also a guy named "Handsome Harry the Dancehall Rustler". It’s no wonder you had to know had to use a gun back then!

The history of Las Vegas, New Mexico is long and varied and it would be well worth some extra research if you plan to head to that area. The town has been around since 1835 and was started by a group of settlers who received a land grant from the Mexican Government.

Good luck and good hunting!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

From the internet

Man Says He Found Missing Treasure, But State Won't Let Him Dig

It's a mystery going back more than 140 years. Many have searched, but no one has found the millions of dollars in gold lost during the Civil War in Elk County.

Now, one treasure hunting team from Clearfield says it knows where the gold is.
The story dates back to around the battle of Gettysburg in 1863. According to legend, Abraham Lincoln ordered a gold shipment to help pay Union soldiers and the route for the shipment came right through Elk County.

The soldiers transporting the gold made it to Ridgway and St. Mary's, but after that they disappeared -- except for the wagon train's guide, a man known only as Conners.

"(Conners) was the guide of the whole expedition and when he made it into Huntingdon, he claimed he couldn't remember anything. He couldn't find the dead bodies; he couldn't find anything," said Dennis Parada, who runs Finders Keepers USA, a treasure hunting crew from Clearfield.

For years, treasure hunters have speculated about the fate of the gold shipment. The story has become a local legend and has been passed down from generation to generation. Some say a raiding party killed most of the soldiers escorting the gold. Parada, however, said he believes the gold's disappearance was part of an inside job.

"Conners ambushed and killed the rest of the guys -- and killed them off completely. He planned this whole thing from the Ridgway point of this trip," Parada said.

The gold shipment was originally worth around $2 million, but Parada estimates its value at around $30 million today.

Though many have searched for it without success, Parada said he finally knows where it is: near the Cameron County border around the village of Dents Run.

"This site is on the same mountain that the dead bodies were found. It's on the same mountain that the wagons were found; the location of the site is perfect. ... It seems so easy that if I had the wagon train and I was going to hide something, this site is perfect. I just wonder why nobody has got on to this before," he said.

After detector readings indicated that gold and iron were 6 feet below the site, Finders Keepers workers were ready to dig. But that's where things got complicated.

"The state doesn't want it dug up, that is basically where we're at. It appears they are stalling from every direction to prevent us in digging anything up. For what reason? Maybe -- at a later date -- so they can dig it up and claim part of it," he said.

Parada said the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources told him he will be arrested if he digs at the Dents Run site. Officials with the department's Bureau of Forestry said Parada isn't following the proper process.

"He could actually get a bond to do some specialized testing that wouldn't have any impact to the land itself. In other words he could do stakes, put out stakes and do testing with specialized equipment with radar that would go under the ground and give him a better idea of what's under there," said Jeanne Wambaugh of the bureau.

However, Parada said he has already found objects at the site including a bottle and a bullet that he says are from the Civil War. Bureau officials said the artifacts are from around World War I and said they need to see more evidence.

"If he would fulfill the bond and go ahead and do the testing and if there is something there, the ground will be dug up," Wambaugh said.

Parada said that would be too expensive because it would cost several thousand dollars for a bond and $500,000 to dig. For now, he said he will keep trying to get approval from the state to dig at the site.

"It's just sitting there until someone lets us do what we can," Parada said.

Parada said he has gone to federal officials asking for help in digging up the treasure, but he said they can't do anything until he proves the gold at the site is federal gold.