Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Deadly Path to Treasure

     One of the things about facebook are the people you come into contact with and I've had the great fortune of reading a true adventure story authored by my facebook friend Robert Moran. A Deadly Path to Treasure is the story of his decades of exploits. From start to finish Bob shows his daring and willingness to take risks that keep life interesting. He also gives great insight into the search for the Spanish galleons Atocha and Margarita . His style of writing is raw and plain spoken and will keep you entertained. The book comes in pdf form on a cd and includes over a 164 color photos. You can order your own copy at

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Myth of J. Frank Dalton Article part one

J. Frank Dalton the man, the myth, the legend. When it comes to promoting ones self there are few who can rival Mr. Dalton. Even today it seems impossible to sort through the spider web of false stories surrounding his life. He has claimed to be everyone from Billy the Kid to Jesse James. This article from a 1944 Dallas newspaper is just one more small piece of his legend. I will post the rest of the article in the next post.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

American Digger

I had hopes that this new show would be something fresh and interesting, but after watching a few episodes I'm saying bogus. Much like a pro wrestling match it's entertaining to watch, but in the back of your mind you know it's fake.

Who knew that a rototiller was a good tool for artifact hunting? I could hear the screams of archaeologists as I watched in horror. If you're going to plant stuff to find on camera then maybe a tiller would come in handy. I want Randy to sell all the relics and artifacts I've found over the years, because I could never get the kind of money he does for his finds.

The one thing I can see being real and legit is all the times he hears the words not interested or no when he asks permission to search someones property. I'd have to hold out for a 50/50 split and would feel a bit insulted only being offered a 20% cut.

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh since I'll be watching the next episode that comes on.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I am putting the final format together for a treasure hunting show we are going to produce and I would like to hear from our readers what they want out of a show? I know what has disappointed me about what has been on tv so far, but I'm interested in what you have to say. This is just a one hour program, but if it's successful we hope to do a few more. This is going to be the real deal kind of show. Nothing fake or planting jars of money to be found on tv kind of stuff. Let's hear your feedback so that I can produce the kind of show you want to see.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hidden Treasures of Osage County Oklahoma

It's been a long time since any new treasure book concerning Oklahoma has been published and it has been a great honor to read and review a book written by Bill Wade. Hidden Treasures of Osage County, Oklahoma is a collection of stories ranging from Spanish treasure to 1930's gangsters. A few of the stories I was familiar with, but even then Bill would add some additional information that I wasn't aware of. His insight into the treasure tales of Osage County can only come from a person who has spent years living in the area, researching, and talking with the old-timers that unfortunately are no longer around.

Though only vague directions and details are given for most of these stories a serious treasure hunter could in fact put themselves on the trail to hidden fortunes with some additional research. I can also relate to how hard it is to write about treasure and not give so many details away that some other hunter swoops in and makes the find themselves. It wouldn't be treasure hunting if all the information is gift wrapped and handed to the reader.

Another thing I really enjoy about this book is how Bill brings to the forefront an often overlooked part of the Sooner States history, "the Spanish".. These great explorers were traveling through and mining for mineral wealth in Oklahoma for centuries. I have documented a number of sites myself and look forward to a visit with Bill to take a look at his part of the state. I may even let him know about an area to the east of me in McClain County.

Bill is selling the book for $12 and $4 shipping. It's well worth the price. For those who would like to meet Bill and get an autographed copy he has a tentative date set for a book signing at the Osage County Historical Museum in Pawhuska on April 14th 2012 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. If I can get free I think I'll make a trip to see Bill myself on that day.

Bill Wade
1324 Canary Drive
Pawhuska, Ok. 74056

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nothing to do with treasure

I stole this from my facebook page (Thanks Chuck) This happens to be one of my favorite songs. I know it has nothing to do with treasure, but it will brighten your day and that has to be worth something.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dutch John's Pot of Gold

John Shuttlebar aka "Dutch John" was an early day Oklahoma Hermit. When he wasn't operating his ferry you could find him searching  for a bean pot full of gold and silver rumored to be worth $20,000 face value. The area he centered his search was near the junction of East and West Cache Creeks in Cotton County Oklahoma. According to the map, John had been given by his father who lay on his death bed, the money could be found in a triangle formed by three large oak trees.

Though Ol' Dutch John searched for the long lost money up until his death, sometime around 1918, he never was able to find the buried iron pot and small fortune it held. This would be a good treasure for a modern day hunter with a Schonstedt to go on the search for. More details can probably be found in old copies of the Temple Tribune.

Good Luck and Good Hunting!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Treasure Hunting Around the World

I get request for help with treasure sites from all over the country but in the past few months those request have been coming from all over the world. While I have helped with a Roman era treasure site in the past I have to admit I don't know much about Persian treasure. I'm kind of an outlaw and Spanish treasure kind of guy, so if any of our readers have experience with middle eastern treasure hunting feel free to e-mail me and I will get you in touch with our fellow overseas treasure hunting friends who are seeking help. If you may know of any books or websites that deal with this please feel free to contact me as well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Back In Time: Lost Gold of Oklahoma

I thought the OETA guys did a great job of putting this show together. I've had a number of people express their desire to see more shows like it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Watch Treasure Hunters In Action

There is a growing interest in treasure hunting, and judging by the number of hits the blog gets each time a show comes on tv, that interest is growing. Here's an online site that you can watch treasure hunters in action.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Texas Vacation

Early one morning a few weeks ago my wife awoke with an urge to go pick up seashells on a beach somewhere. We packed up the car and headed south to Galveston Island, Texas. Of course my sons and I decided a side trip to the Cabela's Store was in order on the way down.

Having spent over a year on the sea I no longer have a desire to see the sun rise up on the water but my wife did, so the next day we were up before daylight heading to the ferry that crosses over to the Bolivar Peninsula. For some reason the TSA guys at the ferry entrance decided my family of four looked like a group of terrorist and pulled us out of the line so that they could search our car. Now remember we had made a stop at Cabela's and had a few boxes of ammo in the trunk. Just imagine the thoughts I was having of my car stripped apart as they looked for the guns the ammo went to. Fortunately they just had me pop the trunk and hood so they could take a quick look.

I did make note that they didn't pull any of the cars to the side that had occupants not born here in the good ol' USA. It could have been my Oklahoma license plate that triggered their need to search us.

Once on the Bolivar side we headed towards Roll Over Pass which happens to have the best spot for gathering seashells. I also found reminders of the hurricane that just about swept the place away. I picked up pieces of bright colored tile and a ceiling fan blade.

From there we headed north to Glen Rose Texas. This is a great little town to visit. I recommend eating at Hollywood and Vine. The food was delicious. We also made a trip to the Creation Evidence Museum. Just after you turn onto the road to the museum there's the Stone Hut. You have to stop in and look around. It was well worth the trip just to talk to Morris Bussey. You can go to or look him up on Youtube. You can find dinosaur tracks in the local streams around the Glen Rose area.

All of this got us in the mood to find a few fossils ourselves, so once again we loaded up and took off driving towards the Mineral Wells Fossil Park where you can find and keep the fossils that you come across. On the way up we made another side  trip to Granbury where J. Frank Dalton is buried. The town seems to have become a tourist trap and I couldn't find anyone on the square with an interest in J. Frank, so we drove the short distance to the cemetery and located his grave. There were pennies scattered across the tombstone. I'm not sure if people left them there for luck much like a wishing well, but to not be left out I placed one there as well.

Mineral Wells is an interesting area, but I didn't have a detector with me to go looking for the gold that Frank James had supposedly hidden in the area. After a couple of hours of searching for fossils we decided that we had enough of being on vacation and headed north to our beloved Oklahoma. There's nothing like sleeping in your own bed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What were the trains carrying back in the day?

Here's another tidbit from Rick. I can see why trains were targets for outlaws.

This excerpt is from The History of Linn County Iowa by Luther Brewer and Barthinius Wick

After the completion of the railroad, Mr. Reiner was given a position as ex-
press messenger on one of the trains. "Many times," said the veteran express
messenger, "I have literally had the car floor paved with gold and silver, over
which I walked in doing my work. We had carried lots of gold and silver bars
east from Virginia City, in Nevada. In order that the weight should be evenly
distributed the bars were spread like paving bricks all over the car floor. The
following description, written by a reporter from one of the Council Bluffs
papers while Mr. Reiner was yet at Boone, gives a description of the work! of
carrying the bullion :

"While viewing the scenes at the transfer yesterday afternoon, we boarded
W. F. Reiner's Northwestern express car and beheld a scene that caused our bump
of inquisitiveness to jump. Mr. Reiner is a messenger of the American Merchants
Union Express company, and will have served in his present position and on his
present route seven years in November next. He lives in Boone. On the floor
of his car were sixty-seven gold and silver bricks. That is, each brick was com-
posed of gold and silver in compound. In some of them, silver predominated —
in value. They resemble silver almost entirely in color. They are of somewhat
irregular sizes, though nearly every one of them weighs more than one hundred
pounds. Some of them were much more refined than the others. The amount
of gold and silver in each one is stamped on the face or top, in different lines, and
the total value of the brick is added in a third line. The value of each metal is
marked, even to a cent. How those values can be so accurately determined in a
compound brick is beyond our knowledge.

 Fifty-seven of those bricks which we yesterday saw, were worth $101,950.80. The remaining eleven were worth $15,077.57. They were mostly from Virginia City and are being taken to New York. Mr. Reiner informed us also that these bricks are carried only by the Northwestern and Rock Island roads. On some days he has had as many as 160 of them in his car. They are taken east nearly every day."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Is a Steel Penny in Our Near Future?

It cost more to make a penny than it is worth, so say goodnye to the copper/zinc penny and welcome the steel penny. I have a large pile of the 1943 steel pennies, so having one made 70 years later in my collection is fine with me. This will also bring the legal melting of copper pennies one step closer to reality. I have mixed feelings about this though. Please leave a comment with your thoughts on the subject.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rick's East-West Trails Story

I love it when when our readers contribute a story of their own and Richard Bierman has been kind enough to submit one of his. If you have a story that you would like to share feel free to email me.

In her book The Commerce of Louisiana During the French Regime, 1699-1763, Nancy Surrey writes, "Some Spanish coins also came into Louisiana by way of the Illinois country. These the French obtained in trade with the western Indians who secured them, directly or indirectly, from New Mexico."

When I read those two sentences, I had an instant Indiana Jones moment. I live in eastern Iowa and during the French colonial period Iowa was part of the Illinois country. I could just imagine all sorts of Spanish gold and silver moving through my county heading east to Montreal or Quebec. As it turns out, that idea might not be too far-fetched.

As I studied my county's history, I found mention of an old Indian trail that started at the Mississippi River and continued west across central Iowa. A section of this trail was marked with three boulders between the Mississippi and Cedar Rivers. After further research, I found that this trail was a westward extension of the Great Sauk Trail that runs east from the Mississippi to the Detroit, Michigan area. From there, it's a boat trip to Montreal and Quebec.

From the west bank of the Mississippi, the trail travels toward Des Moines where it meets a north-south trail called the Dragoon Trace. This trace moved southwest from Fort Des Moines to Fort Leavenworth where it was close to the network of trails that went west to the New Mexico territory. It would have been possible for precious metals from the southwest to pass through eastern Iowa.

There were many trails heading west that were used by the French during the colonial period. The French moved west from Canada at a rapid pace to expand their fur trade, search for a route to the Pacific and establish trade with the Spanish in the southwest. The Sauk Trail was an important trail during that expansion.

If you are interested in searching for these trails, I would suggest you study the French fur trade and the missionaries of New France.

As these trails moved west, they encountered the steep bluffs of the Mississippi River. Look for clefts in the terrain that would allow a traveler to move from the river to the prairie without having to negotiate a steep bluff. These clefts are formed by tributaries of the Mississippi.

When trying to determine how the older trails passed through your county, go to your county engineer and ask to see your county's original survey notes. These notes will give you information about the Indian trails and early frontier roads that moved through your county.

If you use the Internet for your research, try googling, your counties name, your state and Indian trail. Also try, your counties name, your state and Indian trails. Sometimes I get information from trail that I miss with trails. I'm sure you all know that a lot of the trails the early explorers used were Indian trails.

Finally, in the archives of this blog there is an article written by Rockman titled How to Begin a Treasure Search. It's the best treasure hunting advice I've ever read. You don't have to drive hundreds of miles to hunt for treasure. Here's the link.

Good luck as you search.