Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Imaginary Points

As kids growing up a lot of us had really great imaginations. As adults, some of us still have really good imaginations, especially those treasure hunters looking for the ever elusive Knights of the Golden Circle treasures. Their imaginations are off the charts!

Having an imagination and finding an imaginary point aren’t exactly the same thing but you do have to have some of one to find any of the other.

For the most part, I only hunt outlaw and Spanish treasures and as a general rule, the outlaws didn’t use imaginary points. The spots they took you to on a map were usually marked in some way either at the spot or on the map so that you know exactly where you are on the trail.

The Spanish on the other hand had several ways of doing things and one of those involved what I call “imaginary points”. These points are places you have to find that aren’t marked, at least not in the normal fashion and they usually involve measuring. I hate measuring, it’s always such a pain in the butt and you usually have to do it in terrain that doesn’t lend itself to being measured easily.

The simplest way to use an imaginary point is with a triangle. The Spanish loved triangles and used them often however, you can have a forth point tied to a triangle that gives you a spot to look for the treasure or even a buried clue or hidden map. The Spanish were known to “flip” a triangle. This is done by using three marked spots in the field that form your triangle and then flipping the triangle over along one side to give you a forth and unmarked, imaginary point. This requires you to measure the sides and angles of the original marked triangle so that you can get to an exact spot on the other side.

The good news is that the math and measuring for this imaginary forth point is fairly simple. The bad news is, I have never found anything at a site that definitively tells you that you need to flip a triangle or which way you should flip it. This means, like most treasure hunting, you are having to work every possible solution to see if this is the actual solution. It’s about trying every possible combination until you hit on the right one or decide there isn’t anything there.

Keep in mind imaginary points don’t happen with every triangle but they do happen and should be considered when you find a triangle laid out by the Spanish.

Something new to me that took a couple of months to figure out is an actual corner of a triangle being an imaginary point.

We recently worked a Spanish site that had three triangles, the most important triangle had one corner that told us there was another triangle and in what direction to look for the other corners. The third corner of the triangle was unmarked except for a flat spot to stand on a ledge. To find this flat spot and third point of the third triangle we had to use a measurement and direction they had given us with the first triangle.

You’re probably thinking this sounds very complicated and to a point it was but on the other hand it wasn’t. The distance and direction to go to the imaginary third point was very obvious but at the time we didn’t know it took us to the third point. There wasn’t anything there except solid rock. We didn’t even know we had a third triangle when we found the distance and direction.

We knew this information was going to be extremely important but we just didn’t know how to use it at the time. Thanks to a good mapping program, some laser range finders, a compass and a couple of months working the site we finally discovered the third, final and most important triangle.

I still consider this third point as an imaginary one because it was not marked like the rest of the points of the three triangles. Those points all had rock piles giving specific information on where to look for the other corners of their respective triangles. The “imaginary point” could only be found by using the distance and direction given. I will also say that the imaginary point turned out to be the dead center of the first triangle. The spot that was the imaginary point was on a ledge about ten feet high and the flat spot of the ledge was about one and a half feet wide and just a couple of feet long. Just enough for a person to stand on and take a compass heading.

These are by no means the only ways to use an imaginary point and I don’t want you going out in the field and just imagining anything. Use some common sense and keep in mind that if you have an imaginary point there has to be a very specific and exact way to get to that point. It will require the dreaded measuring technique to find these points and you will have definite markers to measure from.

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