Posts Tagged With: jewels




Several years ago, two men – Jack and Bill (surnames
unknown) – were exploring in Death Valley, near Wingate
Pass, when one of them fell through the bottom of an old
mine shaft.

They claimed to have found themselves in a natural
underground cavern which they followed about 20 miles
northward into the heart of the Panamint Mountains.

“To our amazement,” they reported, “we found ourselves in
a huge, ancient, underground cave city.

“As we explored, we came upon several perfectly preserved
‘mummies’ They wore thick arm bands, and had gold spears.

“The place seemed to have been abandoned for ages, except
for the mummies. The entire underground system looked
very ancient.

“It was apparently once lit by an ingenious system of
lights fed by subterranean gases.

“In one spot was a polished round table. The thought
crossed our minds that it may have been part of an
ancient council chamber.

“There were also large statues of solid gold. And stone
vaults and drawers full of gold bars and all sorts of

“We were intrigued by some heavy stone wheelbarrows. They
were so perfectly balanced and scientifically-constructed
that even a child could use them.

The men reported that throughout the city were huge stone
doors which were almost perfectly balanced by counter-

They followed the caverns upwards to a higher level. The
caverns ultimately opened out onto the face of the
Panamint Mountains, about half-way up the eastern slope.


There were a few exits in the form of tunnel-like quays.

It appeared obvious that the valley below was once under
water. After some thought, they concluded that the arched
openings were ancient ‘docks’ for sea vessels.

Far below in the valley, they could pick out Furnace Creek
Ranch and Wash.

The explorers brought out with them some of the treasure
and tried to set up a deal with certain people, including
scientists associated with the Smithsonian Institute. The
idea was to gain help to explore and publicize the city
as one of the ‘wonders of the world’.

However, to their bitter disappointment, a ‘friend’ stole
the treasure (which was also the evidence).

And worse, they were rejected and scoffed at by the
scientists when they went to show them the ‘mine’
entrance and could not find it. It appeared that a recent
cloud-burst had altered the entire landscape. It did not
look like it had been before.

When Bill and Jack were last seen, they were preparing to
climb the east face of the Panamints to locate the
ancient tunnel openings or quays high up the side of the
steep slope.

But they were not seen again.


In 1946 a retired physician by the name of F. Bruce
Russell told a similar story.

He claimed to have discovered strange underground rooms
in the Death Valley area in 1931. He spoke of a large
room with several tunnels leading off in different

One of these tunnels led to another large room. It
contained three mummies.

He identified artifacts in the room as similar in design
to a combination of Egyptian and American Indian.


What struck him most about the mummies though was their
size – more than eight feet tall.

Dr. Russell and a group of investors launched “Amazing
Explorations, Inc” to handle the release, and profit,
from this find.

But, Russell vanished. And although he had personally
taken his friends there, they were never able to find the
caverns and tunnels again.

The desert can be very deceiving to anyone not used to
traveling it.

Months later, Russell’s car was found abandoned, with a
burst radiator, in a remote area of Death Valley. His
suitcase was still in the car.

Categories: aliens, Aliens and UFO's, Ancient Treasure, emeralds, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, Gold Mine, hidden, jewels, Legends, Lost gold, Lost Mines, Lost Treasure, Myths, Strange News, treasure, Treasure Hunters, Treasure Hunting, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunken Ship Full of Treasure Lies Off Uruguayan Coast….


In 1763, a British ship named Lord Clive was sailing off the coast of what’s now Uruguay. The ship was allegedly stocked with massive amounts of rum, as well as treasure chests full of gold and silver coins. During a raid, Spanish troops attacked the city of Colonia del Sacramento with cannon fire. The Lord Clive was struck in the bombardment, and went down. And so did all the ship’s treasure.
In 2004, the Lord Clive was located underneath some rocks at the bottom of the River Plate. Despite knowing where it was, the Uruguayan government has never permitted anyone to recover the ship — until now. Rubén Collado is an Argentinian treasure hunter who is attempting to salvage the shipwreck. With permission from the Uruguayan government, Collado is looking for investors to fund the mission. Recovering the ship will be expensive, but tales of the legendary treasure are an alluring pitch.
“Many people want to stake money, since they enjoy this kind of thing. It’s like gambling; you put in $1,000 and you could make $5,000 or $1 million, depending on what shows up,” Collado explained to The Guardian.
Another part of the reason people are so excited about the Lord Clive is the ship itself. The Royal Navy built the ship, and it was an impressive vessel, boasting six decks and 64 guns. The ship also belonged to what was once the world’s richest company, the East India Company.
“You can’t really make a valuation,” Collado said. “The cannons should be $64 million altogether. The coins are worth $5,000 to $6,000 each, and there are 100,000 of them, so just do the math. But the most important thing about that ship is her history. She’s probably the best you can find in that condition thanks to the fresh water in that part of the River Plate.”
With the ship’s rich history, the legends of treasure chests full of gold and silver, and huge amounts of 250-year-old rum, it’s no wonder Collado is having no trouble finding investors

Categories: Ancient Treasure, emeralds, gold, gold chains, gold coins, jewels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attention Treasure Hunters….Expedition Unknown of The Travel Channel wants YOU!!

American Travel Channel is looking for treasure hunters! If you have information or ideas on where the missing Kruger Millions may be, we’d love to speak with you. Must be in South Africa presently and be interested in appearing on camera. Disclosure of specific locations can be avoided and your secrecy is safe with us. We don’t want riches- we just want to join the hunt! All serious relic hunters should email Shannon at

Note:  Although the actual amount is not material, the fate of these coins, if they were in fact produced, might very well be. At today’s prices this missing treasure is estimated to be worth in excess of $ 243,000,000.00

State President Paul Kruger at his inauguration in 1898

Categories: gold coins, gold ingots, Legends, Lost Treasure | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Capt. Karl Fismer LIVE on The Detecting Lifestyle Radio Show…


Tomorrow night.. Tuesday February 17th, 2015.. 8:30PM EASTERN TIME..
Wide open folks, as we welcome Capt. Fizz back with us, but a little different this time!!
Capt. Carl will be live for all you good folks to talk with!!
Remember this man has done some of the most incredible things in treasure hunting!!
If you have ever wanted to talk with him, or just ask him a question, then this is GO TIME folk!!
Join us as we listen and talk with a living legend!!
Click the link below to listen live through the player tomorrow night!!

Categories: emeralds, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, jewels, Mel Fisher, roman coins, silver, silver coins, Spanish gold, Strange News, sunken ships, treasure, treasure diver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Categories: Aliens and UFO's | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Victorio Peak Treasure..Milton “Doc” Noss…Biggest Con of the 20th Century?



In 1979 Ova Noss stood on the side of Victorio Peak posing for photos when she told the group, “Like they say, ´there´s gold inthem thar hills´.” Ova Noss died later in 1979 but The Ova Noss Family Partnership is back on White Sands Missile Range seeking access to the legendary treasure.

One of the people accompanying Ova Noss in 1979 was Terry Delonas, her grandson. Delonas is the head of the family partnership and has been leading the effort to gain entry into Victorio Peak.

early 1989 the partnership approached the Dept. of Army seeking permission to talk to White Sands about possible entry into Victorio Peak. Taking on much of the effort has been Norman Scott´s Expeditions Unlimited out of Florida. Scott has been in the treasure hunting business for years and organized the hunt which took place at Victorio Peak in 1977.

For those of you unfamiliar with this story Victorio Peak is a small hill, about 400 feet high, in the Hembrillo Basin in the San Andres Mountains. The peak is about five miles east of the missile range´s western boundary and is almost directly west of the White Sands Space Harbor.

A man named Milton Noss, in 1937, supposedly found a treasure trove of Spanish gold and artifacts in a tunnel within the peak. He then claimed he accidentally sealed the tunnel in 1939 while trying to enlarge it—and another fabulous treasure was lost. But more about the history of this legend in next week´s paper. It gets pretty good as it involves skeletons, jewels and gold bars the seekers say are now worth three billion dollars.

The Dept. of Army granted Terry Delonas and Norman Scott permission to talk to Maj. Gen. Thomas Jones, missile range commander. After listening to the presentation, the general told the group he would allow the exploration of Victorio Peak on two conditions. The first was that all the work be done on a noninterference basis. The second was that White Sands be directly reimbursed for any support it would provide.

The first condition was readily agreed to. While Victorio Peak sits in the mountains very near the range´s boundary it is part of the Yonder Area, an Air Force gunnery range. When Air Force training missions as well as some missile firings are scheduled the searchers will have to evacuate the area.

The second condition was a little trickier. Suffice it to say the system did not allow the partnership to pay White Sands directly. The check would be made out to the U.S. Treasury and the money would disappear back East. The partnership approached Congressman Joe Skeen and he attached a rider to the Defense Authorization Act for 1990 which would allow direct reimbursement to the Army and WSMR.

With the signing of the money bill, Norman Scott, acting as Project Director for the partnership, arranged to conduct an environmental and engineering survey of Victorio Peak. He arrived on Jan. 8 to present the missile range with a check for $54,000 and to start the survey. The check was actually presented by Aaron Kin, a financial backer.

The money is to cover costs incurred by the range during the survey period. Some of this support includes security at the peak by the military police, scheduling by National Range, blading the old road by the Directorate for Engineering, Housing and Logistics and Public Affairs support for a press day at the peak.

During the two-week survey period the group was trying to figure out the best place to dig and, also, to conduct the required environmental work. To determine where the supposed treasure room might be Lambert Dolphin was back taking ground radar readings of the peak. Dolphin had a similar function during the gold search of 1977 and is under contract to Expeditions Unlimited. They also made infrared images of the peak and brought in a number of witnesses to try to determine where to dig.

Les Smith, another man with a great deal of experience with Victorio Peak was also present to help. Smith accompanied Ova Noss to the peak in 1979 and was with the Gaddis Mining Company when it searched for the gold for 60 days in 1963.

The environmental work was contracted out by the partnership and is a key point yet. Contrary to what the press has said, the family partnership does not have final permission to dig at the peak. A license has been negotiated with the partnership but it has not been signed. It will not be signed until the required environmental documentation is satisfactorily completed.

Once the environmental work is completed and the license signed, the partnership will be allowed to work at the peak as long as they keep enough money in a White Sands fund to pay for range support. Jones has made it very clear he does not want the taxpayer to foot the bill for this search. The group claims it will have the environmental work complete in April.

During the two-week study period, Scott and Delonas brought in a number of potential contractors to bid on work which will have to be done at the peak.

On the 18th the missile range cooperated with the family partnership to give the press an opportunity to see and photograph Victorio Peak. The press representatives were mostly local except for the Denver Post and the Houston Chronicle.

The day started with a press conference at the Hilton Hotel in Las Cruces where Delonas and Scott introduced their key employees and supporters. In questioning by the press Delonas said the project will probably cost the partnership and its supporters from one to two million dollars.

At the peak, Ova Noss´ two daughters, Letha Guthrie and Dorothy Delonas, and two grandsons, Terry and Jim Delonas, were continuously interviewed by members of the press. Letha and Dorothy told them about handling gold bars and Letha also told them how their stepfather once partially filled a glass jar with uncut rubies from the peak. No one asked where the rubies might have come from since there are no major deposits of rubies in North or South America.

How the gold was found & how it got there


Stories of lost and buried treasure abound in the West. In New Mexico alone there are dozens of legends and stories dealing with gold and silver hidden away in the recesses of one mountain chain or another.

One of the newer and most popular stories (it comes close to rivaling the Lost Dutchman in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona) deals with Victorio Peak, right here on White Sands Missile Range. It is typical of all lost treasure stories in that there is little or no hard evidence, there are a few facts mixed in with an avalanche of rumor and for some reason the location is lost or it is somehow now inaccessible.

The Victorio Peak story begins in November 1937 when Milton E. Noss went hunting in the Hembrillo Basin of the San Andres Mountains. By the way, Noss is also called “Doc” because he often passed himself off as a doctor. He was not and was reportedly arrested in Texas for practicing medicine without a license.

While hunting Noss supposedly climbed Victorio Peak to take a look around. On his way up it began to rain and he took shelter in a natural opening on top. In a small room there he moved a large boulder and discovered a shaft leading down into the mountain.

He came back later with his wife Ova and climbed down into the shaft. He supposedly followed the faults in the peak down several hundred feet until he found a large room. After exploring the large room and several other small ones he returned to the surface.

By most of the accounts, he reported to Ova he had found a room large enough to drive a train into. Through it, a stream of cold water ran. There were chests filled with Spanish coins, jewelry and religious artifacts. Also, there were Spanish documents, Wells Fargo chests and thousands of gold bars stacked like wood. Finally, there were 27 skeletons tethered to the floor.

Understandably, the value of this treasure has grown over the years with inflation and the increased value of gold. Years ago some estimated its value at 26 million dollars. Now the Noss family says it may be worth three billion dollars. Funny thing about inflation though. All those original reports say there were 27 skeletons. Now, in one report, the family is saying there are 79 bony guardians down there.

From 1937 to 1939 Noss and his wife supposedly worked to bring the treasure to the surface. During this time Noss worked diligently hauling up bars and hiding them all around the region. He never let Ova go down into the treasure chamber and he always hid the bars himself. Some say he didn´t trust anyone. She claimed he was worried about her getting hurt or kidnapped.

Apparently there was some sort of choke point in the fissure which made it difficult getting out with the loot. So Noss hired a mining engineer to dynamite that point and enlarge it. Too much explosive was used and the “squeeze” was blasted shut. Efforts to open the shaft or bypass it proved futile.

Before we continue this story we have to consider where this alleged treasure may have come from. The most written about and talked about source has to be the legendary Padre La Rue mine.

This legend is usually associated with the Organ Mountains, but what the heck, Victorio Peak is only 40 miles to the north. Around 1800 there was a young priest named La Rue working with a small Indian tribe in Mexico. He befriended an old Spanish soldier who, on his deathbed, told La Rue about a fabulous vein of gold just two days north of Paso del Norte (El Paso).

Because the crops were failing and the Indians starving, the padre led the group to this area and found the rich vein. What they found to eat I don´t know, but the story says they did mine the gold for several years.

The Spanish sent soldiers to find out what had happened to the padre. When La Rue heard they were coming he had the Indians hide the gold and all evidence of the mine. They were then captured by the Spanish who killed the padre and all his followers in a vain attempt to find the location to the mine.

Many people will have you believe that Noss found the original mine, while others say it is just the secret hiding place. Ova did produce a photograph of some gold bars which Doc brought up and one is clearly stamped with the name “La Rue.” Could Victorio be the site of the original mine or the hiding place with the mine located somewhere in the vicinity? I like numbers—let me throw some at you.

Expeditions Unlimited had an assay done of the sandstone in Victorio Peak and it came back showing one tenth of an ounce of gold in each ton of rock. To get 100 tons of gold (a number usually cited by supporters based on the number of bars reported) from a site with this concentration of gold would require crushing and processing 32 million tons of rock. In South Dakota, the Homestake Mine is the most profitable and longest lived gold mine in the Western Hemisphere. There the gold assay is two and a half times richer than the sample from Victorio Peak and it has taken them a century to extract 1,000 tons of gold—using modern explosives and equipment, I might add.

According to my Time-Life book on rare metals, a ton of ore in the South Dakota mine is equal to about 19 cubic feet. If rocks are similar in the Victorio Peak area we are talking about removing and processing over six hundred million cubic feet of rock or a pile of rock the size of a football field and over two miles high. Where do you suppose the padre hid it?

OK, OK, maybe ore that poor isn´t a fair test. Let´s say the ore the padre mined was 100 times richer. No, let´s say it was 1,000 times richer or had an assay of 100 ounces of gold per ton of rock. Doing the same calculations we end up with a pile of mine tailings the size of a football field and 12.5 feet high. If it was in the San Andres Mountains, I bet we could find it.

Another story which avoids these unpleasant numbers deals with Emperor Maximilian of Mexico. According to this story, he was trying to flee Mexico with all of his riches. The mules made it and the stash was hidden with the porters being left to die in the cave. Unfortunately for Maximilian, he didn´t make it out of Mexico.

A third story has the German government sending a shipment of gold over to Pancho Villa and the gold being waylaid in New Mexico. The gold was supposed to be used by Villa to pay for his attacks against the United States and draw the U.S. into war with Mexico so the Americans would not go to Europe and fight in World War I.

The fourth explanation for gold in Victorio Peak is the one about it being a repository for Apache raiders. This would explain the Wells Fargo chests found down there by Noss.

Then there are the combo explanations which marry a couple of these into one story. One of the most persistent is that La Rue´s gold is down there and the Apaches also used it to store their loot. This explains the Mescalero Apache interest in the gold hunts at Victorio Peak. They claim any gold found in the peak rightly belongs to them since they stole it and then hid it in the peak during the 19th Century for safekeeping.

Once Noss blew up the entrance to the treasure room the story of the peak gets more complicated with a variety of helpers, witnesses and financial backers. Noss is reported to have already removed hundreds of gold bars from the mountain as well as a great deal of jewelry and other artifacts. Sure, it was illegal to own gold in those days but no one has really explained why Noss needed financial backers to dig out the debris in the tunnel. The jewelry, including those uncut rubies Letha mentioned, surely could have been turned into lots of instant cash.

Anyway, Noss had a number allies working at the peak. In 1941 a group of about 20 people, who had furnished money and labor, formed a company to raise money to straighten up and timber the shaft.

During the war Noss disappeared and divorced Ova while he was living in Arkansas. He came back in 1945 and the small group wanted to incorporate but Noss refused.

Noss turned up again in 1949 working for Charley Ryan in Alice, Texas. Noss supposedly talked Ryan into traveling with him to New Mexico to check on “the mine.” When they got to Victorio Peak they found Ova controlling the site with a state permit which allowed her to prospect there. Noss allegedly told Ryan not to worry and they filed claims on sites north of Victorio Peak which contain some lead bearing ore.

According to court testimony, Ryan finally realized he was being duped by Noss into providing money for nothing. Ryan testified he stopped his lead mining operations on March 4 and 5, 1949 and told Noss he was leaving New Mexico after he called the sheriff to come and arrest Noss for fraud.

Noss struck Ryan and ran out of the Ryan house in Hatch and shouted he would kill them all. Ryan stepped out on the porch and fired two shots from his own pistol. The second shot hit Noss in the head and killed him instantly.

Doc Noss Death

Ryan´s murder trial was held on May 25 and 26 in Las Cruces. The jury brought in a verdict of not guilty based on self defense.

There wasn´t much testimony about buried treasure during the trial. Ova supposedly claimed there was a conspiracy of silence and Doc was killed over gold bars he didn´t deliver. One source says Ryan later went to Ova and proposed a partnership in Victorio Peak. She refused.

The press reports all say Ryan killed Noss because he wouldn´t turn over gold he promised to sell to Ryan. The trial testimony doesn´t raise this issue. I suppose there could have been a cover up but it seems just as plausible that Ryan told the truth during the trial. There is probably a little bit of truth in both sides.

We do know Ryan later received lease payments from White Sands for the lead mining claims. He had 13 claims when the missile range took over the land around Victorio Peak and he was paid $300 per year.

After Doc´s death Ova Noss inherited the story of treasure at Victorio Peak and its inherent benefits and curses. She continued to work at the peak with the help of supporters and family members and to sell shares.

In 1952 she visited the Denver Mint and inquired if Milton Noss had made any deposits of gold at the Mint from November 1937 to March 1949. Mint records showed none was made. Interestingly she wrote the Mint in 1939 asking officials what they should do if they found gold. She indicated they had an old map showing the location of gold bars and they were searching for them. She was told to notify the Mint immediately if they found anything.

Another interesting fact from 1939 involving the Mint is a “gold brick” which was submitted to the U.S. Treasury for assay by Charles Ussher of Santa Monica, Calif. He supposedly paid $200 for the brick which he obtained from a man named Grogan. The assay revealed the bar contained 97 cents of gold. In an investigation conducted by the Secret Service, Grogan revealed he obtained the “gold brick” from Doc Noss in New Mexico.

On July 13, 1950 the Army entered a lease agreement with Roy Henderson for the land where Victorio Peak is located. Many people don´t realize there was a goat ranch right at the foot of Victorio Peak. The Henderson family lived there and before that it was grazed periodically by the Gilmore family. In fact, in 1973, Mart Gilmore said he took Noss to Hembrillo Basin in 1936 to show him a cave—at the request of Noss.

This was originally state land and the U.S. Government was granted the use of the land “for any military purpose whatsoever.”

A search of records by officials in December 1950 revealed there were no existing legal mining claims in the area. On November 14, 1951 Public Land Order No. 703 was issued which withdrew all WSMR lands from prospecting, entry, location and purchase under mining laws and reserved their use for military purposes.

Interestingly, on January 5, 1953 Ova Noss assigned four percent of her Victorio Peak interests to J.L. Fowler of Enid, Oklahoma, who, in turn, sold parts to at least 10 persons in Oklahoma and Kansas. In February 1955, a Mrs. Miller of Caldwell, Texas wrote to the Mint concerning the purchase of gold mining stock from Ova Noss. This is intriguing since public records showed Ova had no legal claims at the peak. There is some correspondence showing the Treasury Department was concerned about the possibility of fraud and an investigation was made.

The next highlight in the story of Victorio Peak is the Fiege episode. Leonard Fiege was an Air Force captain assigned to Holloman AFB in 1958. He later claimed in 1961 that he and three men–Berclett, Prather and Wessel–went hunting in the Hembrillo Basin in 1958 and stumbled upon a tunnel in Victorio Peak. Fiege and Berclett claimed they crawled through it into a small room which contained a stack of gold bars. Berclett recently admitted in a press interview they were hunting gold to begin with, not wildlife.

Not to jeopardize their positions with the military, these two bright guys claimed they did not remove any of the gold. NOTE: Lost treasure stories always have a lot in common with horror movies. The participants never seem to be too bright and they never learn from past stories which clearly tell us not to open the closet door when creepy things are happening and to take some of the gold with you when you find it.

Berclett still claims he scratched his initials on one of the bars. They then spent several hours caving in the entrance to the little room so no one would find it.

In May 1961 the WSMR commander received a letter from the Holloman commanding general requesting Fiege and partners under a Col. Garman´s supervision be allowed to enter Victorio Peak to “get evidence which they will then provide to U.S. Treasury activities.” On May 29 Fiege and group met with Maj. Gen. Shinkle, the WSMR CG, and Fiege stated it would be a simple matter to recover a few bars of gold. The request was denied.

At the end of June a group which included Fiege, Berclett and Colonels Garman and Gasiewicz from Holloman visited the director of the Mint and pleaded their case. As a result of that meeting the director sent a letter to the Secretary of the Army stating the Mint had been bothered a great deal by the gold story at Victorio Peak. He told the secretary they might be able to put an end to the rumors if the group was allowed to dig in the supposed tunnel.

The Secret Service had indicated earlier that there might be a cache of non-gold bars on the site which they said may have been placed there by Doc Noss to further his bunco game.

An old timer from El Paso calls me periodically to talk about Victorio Peak. He claims he knew Noss and that Noss used to buy copper bars in Orogrande and have them electroplated with gold in El Paso. When asked why he doesn´t tell his story to the press, he says he doesn´t think they would care. It would spoil the story.

Another old timer who ranched near Victorio Peak claims Noss used to salt the sand at the springs around the base of the peak. When prospective investors showed up, Doc would be panning flakes of gold out of the sand at the spring.

When the Department of Army received the letter from the Mint, officials asked for the WSMR CG´s comments. He said, “My stand has been that I shall deny entry…unless I obtain such permission. I desire this permission…and would like these rumors laid to rest.” On July 30, 1961 Shinkle received permission to allow the investigation.

As we go through this scenario, you might want to keep in mind that this is the same operation which television´s “Unsolved Mysteries” claimed only four people knew about.

So, on August 5 a group including Shinkle, Garman, Fiege, Berclett, Prather, Wessel, Major Robert Kelly, a number of WSMR military police and Special Agent L.E. Boggs of Treasury went to Victorio Peak. For five days Fiege and his three partners worked to enter the tunnel but failed. At that point Shinkle told them to go away.

The Fiege group came back to Shinkle in August and September stating they would like to continue and was willing to work on weekends only. On September 20 Shinkle notified the Secret Service he was going to give Fiege more time but they would be restricted to the same tunnel. No new excavations would be allowed.

Work then continued on an intermittent basis for about five weeks under the surveillance of Capt. Swanner. In late October WSMR records indicate two men named Bradley and Gray entered Hembrillo Basin and approached the workers. Swanner supposedly ordered them to leave the missile range since they were trespassing. They demanded a piece of the action or they said they would tell Mrs. Noss. Swanner told them to leave.

On November 1 the state land commissioner notified the Army that Mrs. Noss was accusing them of mining her treasure. Things came quickly to a head and Shinkle ordered all work to stop on November 3.

Shinkle communicated with the Secretary of the Army and local officials that work was stopped and that the Fiege group had found nothing. The Secret Service already knew it since they had a man on site. The Noss lawyers pushed for access for Mrs. Noss. On December 6, with advice from a long list of other agencies, Shinkle excluded all persons from the range not directly engaged in conducting missile tests.

By the way, the fact that Capt. Swanner´s name is on the walls of one of the fissures in Victorio Peak is not the big deal that “Unsolved Mysteries” made it to be on Sunday night. According to Don Swann of Las Cruces, who was stationed at WSMR in 1956, soldiers were always spending weekends and free time in places like Victorio Peak. He says he put his name in one of the peak´s tunnels as did the soldiers with him. It is sometimes called “soldiers hole.”

At this point we need to make a clarification or fine distinction involving the Army´s activity during the Fiege episode. The press pounces on this and often says the Army admits it did work at the site. This is not the case. The Army allowed a claimant to do work at the site. The Army does not admit that it conducted any kind of official or unofficial search at the peak for its own benefit.

After this the Noss group continued to seek permission to enter. The range´s position was that the group had no legal claim, therefore there was no reason to grant such an entry.

In late 1962 the Gaddis Mining Company and the New Mexico Museum approached the missile range seeking permission to enter and dig at Victorio Peak. The state of New Mexico sponsored the request and the Army recognized the state´s interest in a possible historical find. Rumors flew during the dig saying Harold Beckwith, son of Ova Noss, was financing Gaddis. On June 20, 1963 a license was granted by the Army for a 30-day exploration.

The work began with simultaneous archaeological, seismic and gravity surveys. According to Chester Johnson, a museum rep on site, nothing was found. He added that “a D7 caterpillar was used to cut and build roads where ever they were needed, even on top of the peak.” Most of the scars on the peak are a result of this activity, not any Army work at the site.

The roads and platforms were necessary for placing a drilling rig. According to Johnson, the rig, “using a 4.5 inch rock bit and drilling with air, was used to test the anomalies (those places indicated by survey that might be caverns). Drill holes varied from 18 to 175 feet in depth, depending on location….There were about 80 holes drilled during the project.”

In addition to this work the company drove their own tunnel 218 feet into the side of Victorio Peak in an attempt to gain access to the lower regions. This failed.

To accomplish all this the state had to request an extension which was granted. The 30-day extension made the exploration period July 19 through September 17.

In the end the company found nothing and reportedly spent $250,000. As part of it White Sands filed a claim with the state for reimbursement for support during the quest. The claim for $7,640.54 was filed in October 1963 and finally paid in November 1964.

You might theorize after a mining company had spent two months on Victorio Peak without results, most people would realize gold bars don´t grow out of the ground there. On the contrary, more dreamers rushed into the breach and came forward seeking quick riches from the uncooperative Army.

In 1964 and 1965 the Museum of New Mexico and Gaddis Mining were both back seeking permission to reenter the range. In the same period D. Richardson and R. Tyler visited White Sands requesting permission to locate “lost treasure.”

Also, Violet Yancy, Doc Noss´ second wife, showed up asking to get onto the range. Violet popped up again in 1969 making headlines in Texas and New Mexico. She hired two Fort Worth lawyers and was trying to establish her right to the treasure. She indicated there was documentation showing Doc left her 76 percent of the treasure and Ova the other 24 percent.

One person conspicuously missing from the recorded requests during the sixties is Ova Noss. More than likely she was operating through various backers at this time. A hot rumor during the Gaddis search was that Harold Beckwith, Ova´s son, was financing the Gaddis operation. Reporters pressed the question at the time but could not confirm it. It may be the family was operating through some other group.

In 1968 E. F. Atkins and party started a series of requests and petitions which carried on for years. This was a persistent group which pulled out all the stops in trying to get in.

Senator Barry Goldwater wrote requesting permission for the Birdcage Museum of Arizona to explore for treasure. It was determined the museum and Atkins were one in the same. They supposedly also sought entrance through the cooperation of a man named Gill with ABC-TV.

Then the range received a letter from the Great Plains Historical Association of Lawton, Oklahoma which stated they had accepted scientific sponsorship of a treasure project at WSMR as outlined by an E.F. Atkins.

When all this was denied, Atkins asked for reconsideration and stated several Washington Army Authorities and senators and representatives had recommended approval. On checking with the Department of Army, WSMR learned the Secretary of Army had made no commitment and would back WSMR´s decision 100 percent.

This cat and mouse game went on for years. In August 1971, The Department of Army indicated it had already received 55 Congressional inquiries that year on the behalf of Atkins and his request to search for gold. In a 1972 memo for record one range official noted he had received another request from Atkins to explore for gold. He indicated Atkins wanted to get together on a friendly basis and maybe something could be worked out so Atkins did not have to exert Congressional pressure on the Department of Army to gain access to WSMR. He did not get on White Sands.

This brings us to the point where Victorio Peak gained national exposure through the Watergate hearings and the likes of Jack Anderson and F. Lee Bailey.

On June 2, 1973, Jack Anderson reported in his syndicated column the story of noted attorney F. Lee Bailey´s involvement with gold bars in New Mexico and specifically, White Sands Missile Range. According to Anderson, Bailey was authorized by a consortium to gain legal possession of the golden treasure at WSMR. The group promised to pay taxes and then sell the rest of the gold at a profit to themselves.

Bailey was supposedly skeptical at first so he asked for proof. The group came up with a gold bar about four inches long and promised hundreds more to prove their claim. Bailey sent it to the Treasury Department and had it assayed. It proved to be 60 percent gold and 40 percent copper. Anderson´s article quickly pointed out ancient gold ingots often were not pure and this percentage shouldn´t be viewed as significant.

A Bailey spokesman later stated the consortium knew the location of 292 gold bars, each weighing about 80 pounds. However, Treasury and Army expressed disinterest in Bailey´s proposals.

Just a few numbers at this point. The bar given to Bailey was obviously not one of the alleged 80 pounders. An 80-pound bar with the stated proportion of gold and copper would be about 12 inches long, five inches wide and three inches thick. Interestingly, modern 14-karat gold jewelry is 58 percent gold and 42 percent other metals such as copper. In 1974 the same bar was examined by Los Alamos which came to the same conclusion. The press dutifully reported experts saying the bar was basically the same as jewelers gold. Hmmmm, maybe some old rings melted down?

I suppose because he is well connected, Bailey took his problems to U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell. Mitchell then repeated much of it at a lunch with H.R. Haldeman and John Dean. Finally, Dean, during his Senate Watergate Investigation testimony, mentioned something about Bailey, gold bars in New Mexico and making a deal for his client to avoid prosecution for holding gold.

As with any story repeated several times, by the time Dean told it there was some distortion—according to Bailey´s people. After a storm of Watergate headlines linking treasure to the investigation, Bailey´s people said there were actually two groups of people. One was a small group which had stumbled onto the gold and the other was a group of businessmen supporting them.

Bailey never would reveal who his clients were but it later came out one was a Fred Drolte wanted by authorities on an arms smuggling charge. Bailey later was quoted as saying that given a helicopter and access to White Sands he could have gold bars in 30 minutes.

At this point things really started to get interesting. In late 1973 several people stole into the Hembrillo Basin and set off a dynamite charge in a side canyon east of Victorio Peak. They supposedly blasted the Indian pictographs off of a rock wall. Some people claimed if you knew how to read the drawings they would guide you to the treasure.

After the trespass, security was beefed up and a house trailer was put in at HEL site just west of Victorio Peak. It was to house range riders and military police. In July 1974 the range announced it was making more improvements to the site with the addition of a helicopter pad, a 30-foot antenna and portable generators. The additional work was done in anticipation of approval for another gold search.

At this point Victorio Peak was in the news all the time. There was lots of maneuvering by various groups trying to gain entrance. The Bailey group signed a deal with the state(New Mexico would get 25 percent) to allow them first crack at the peak. The Army didn´t buy it and New Mexico battled the Army in the press for quite a while. At the time it must have been very serious for the two sides. But looking back on it and seeing how it was played out in the press, it looks pretty humorous—especially when you consider no one ever came up with anything approaching a whole gold bar and the basis for the whole argument anyway was the story of a man arrested for practicing medicine without a license.

As the story grew in the mid 70s a kind of gold fever or hysteria developed with it. The Bailey group starting claiming thousands of bars of gold, not just 292. Maybe it was the oil crisis, but somehow inflation kicked in and the treasure´s worth grew to 225 billion dollars. The Washington Post came to the rescue and rationally pointed out Fort Knox only stored 6.2 billion dollars in gold reserves.

As the story spread the missile range started receiving letters from people all over the world asking for information or permission to explore. Perfect strangers came forward to offer their ESP capabilities, their divining rods, their great grandfather´s knowledge and their old maps.

Some supposedly legitimate claimants emerged from this. In August 1973 White Sands received a letter from a lawyer named W. Doyle Elliott. It turns out he was retained by Roscoe Parr to get himself a piece of the action. Elliott stated in his letter that Parr, “alone possesses all of the necessary information and instructions from Dr. Noss to,” settle the issue. The letter goes on to say Noss had an insight he might die before gaining access into the peak again and gave Parr all the necessary instructions to access the gold. Also he supposedly told Parr how to divide the treasure and generously offered Parr the balance after it was divided. Elliott solemnly pointed out Parr, “accepted and agreed to fulfill the requests made of him by Dr. Noss.” None of this was apparently in writing.

By the end of 1974 you needed a program to keep all the claimants straight.

Someone reported Fiege had gone into partnership with Violet Noss Yancy. There also was the mysterious Bailey group, Ova Noss, Parr, the Shriver group, the “Goldfinder” group and Expeditions Unlimited headed by Norm Scott. Ova Noss took the bull by the horns and sued the Army for one billion dollars. The case was dismissed.

The Army was reluctant to deal with any one group for fear of showing favoritism. A number of solutions were proposed which included a lottery drawing to determine order of entry and a free-for-all gold rush which probably would have ended in a blood bath. None of these approaches was acceptable. Then Scott was able to organize the various claimants and he proposed Expeditions Unlimited represent the various groups and deal with exploring their claims.

The Army accepted and the search was set for mid 1976. This was postponed twice and, finally, “Operation Goldfinder” got underway in March 1977. It was put up or shut up time for most of the claimants.

Before it even started the range had to battle the rumors. Just a few days before the start word got around that the search was open to the public. Public Affairs scrambled to get the word out that only authorized searchers and press would be allowed in.

A press conference was held on March 18 and the actual search began the next day. Each day, press and searchers were registered at the peak and searched. At one point there was a report one of the claimant groups was going to try to salt the site. They were asked to leave by Scott. The searchers went site to site seeking the elusive gold bars. Eventually, an extension was granted to run the operation until April 1.

To say there was some press interest in the event would be an understatement. The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, London Daily Mail, Newsweek, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone and the National Enquirer were all there along with the local and regional print media. Of course, the television and radio stations showed up in force too. Probably the most notable, or, at least, most famous reporter attending was Dan Rather then with “60 Minutes.” He attracted almost as much attention as the peak itself.

In the end most of the claimants had their time on Victorio and failed to turn up any gold bars—or anything of value. Immediately following the 1977 search there was a flurry of requests to reenter the range but the Department of Army emphatically stated, “That no exploration for lost treasure on WSMR will be permitted for the foreseeable future.”

With the “foreseeable future” now behind us it is going to be interesting watching what happens during the next year at Victorio Peak. Recently, several people have said Doc Noss must be laughing in his grave. Henry James, in his book The Curse of the San Andres, said Victorio Peak was a haunting place with unusual sounds. Maybe he was only hearing a distant chuckle.

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Olivier Levasseur – Pirate Treasure on Mahé Island….

Olivier Levasseur (Calais, 1680 or 1690 – Réunion, 7 July 1730), was a pirate, nicknamed La Buse or La Bouche (The Buzzard) in his early days, called thus because of the speed with which he threw himself on his enemies.

His name first appears in 1716, when he joined the Benjamin Hornigold pirate company. Olivier was a good climber, and had a scar across one eye, limiting his view.

After a year of successful looting, the Hornigold party split, with Olivier deciding to try his luck on the West African coast. In 1719 he operated together with Howell Davis and Thomas Cocklyn for a period. In 1720, he was shipwrecked in the Red Sea and stranded at the island Mayotte, one of the Comores. His eye was completely mutilated by now, and he decided to wear an eye patch.

From 1721 onwards he committed his raids from his base on the island of Saint Mary’s, off the Madagascar coast. His biggest success was the conquering of the Portuguese vessel Nossa Senhora do Cabo (The Virgin of the Cape), which was full of gold. This was in cooperation with the English pirate John Taylor. He was eventually captured and hanged on the island of Bourbon (today Réunion), on 7 July 1730) 17h00, for his crimes of piracy.

The legend tells that when he stood on the scaffold, he had a necklace around his neck, containing a cryptogram of 12 lines, and would have thrown this in the crowd while exclaiming: ‘Find my treasure, he who may understand it!’

What became of this necklace is unknown. To this day, a good number of impassioned and treasure hunters have searched to find his fabulous treasure, estimated by some at a few million euros, others give it a value as much as 100 million UK pounds (2005).

In 1923 a certain Mrs. Savoy found some documents, describing Levasseur’s treasure on a southern island of the Seychelles group. In one document there are some coordinates, and text in a mysterious alphabet.

At the Bel Ombre beach on the island of Mahé, stones were found, with carvings like: dogs, snakes, tortoises, horses, a ballot box, a figure of a young woman, and the head of a man.

After some excavations they discovered two coffins containing the remains of two people, identified as pirates by the gold ring in their left ear. But no treasure was found at this location.

The cryptogram was much more difficult to solve than she had believed. Deciphering it could be carried out only by starting from the Clavicles of Solomon, two letters, a will and documents compiled in rebus or at least in initiatory writing which could be put in relation to Masonic symbolism. These documents explicitly affirmed the existence of a treasure localised on an island in the Indian Ocean. However the name of this island was not mentioned anywhere.

In 1947 Englishman Reginald Cruise-Wilkins, a friend of Mrs. Savoy, studied the problem and discovered a connection with the twelve operations of Hercules. Various tasks, representing the Labours of Hercules, had to be undertaken in strict order. The treasure chamber is somewhere underground and must be approached carefully, to avoid being inundated. It is protected by the tides, which require damming to hold them back, and is to be approached from the north. Access is through a stairwell cut into the rocks, and tunnels leading under the beach. Until 1970 he sought and dug in the island of Mahé. In a cave, except for old guns, some coins, and pirate sarcophagi, he did not find anything.

He died in 1977 before he broke the last piece of code.

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Titanic jewels to go on display….

Most of the jewelry recovered from the wreckage of the Titanic will go on public display for the first time with a three-city tour. The collection includes diamond and sapphire rings, brooches, necklaces, cuff links and a gold pocket watch.

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Seeking Lost Treasure After 94 Years…..

Rudolf Kavchik showing some old coins that he dug up while treasure-hunting with his Australian-made metal detector. By law, three-fourths of his findings belong to the Russian government.
It’s been nearly 100 years since a jewel case containing family and imperial jewelry crashed through the ice to the bottom of Lake Baikal. The last hands it touched before disappearing into the watery depths were those of a Russian woman who was fleeing the country to save her life.

The year was 1917. The Bolsheviks had seized power, and White Russians were forced to move out of their homes or face execution.

Vadim and Zinaida Smit had no hope of staying in the country. Vadim was railway minister for the east-west Siberian route and a personal friend of Tsar Nicholas II, and Zinaida was the godchild of the queen mother.

With little time to think, they packed up whatever they could and fled St. Petersburg to China, from which they would catch a boat to Europe. They traveled by any means and walked when no transportation was available. They trudged through the Siberian snow and ice, losing their belongings in their haste to get to safety.

Just when they were crossing the frozen Lake Baikal, they heard the crack.

The ice had shattered beneath them, and the case that Zinaida was carrying slipped from her grip and plummeted to the bottom of the lake. It contained jewels that her husband and the imperial family had given to her. The Smits couldn’t afford to stop to search for it. They continued on, paying bribes at border checkpoints until they finally arrived at their destination in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

The story of the jewel case was passed down through generations of the Smit family until it reached Helen Cleary, Vadim and Zinaida Smit’s great-granddaughter. Cleary, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, was in her 40s when she first heard the story from her mother.

Cleary’s grandmother and father, direct descendants of the Smits, have already died, but her 81-year-old mother still hopes to find out what happened to the sunken treasure.

“It would be amazing for it to be found,” Cleary said by telephone. “It’s astonishing that it all happened.”

The family has waited 94 years to solve the mystery of the lost treasure chest. Now some people in Russia could be getting close to the answer.

Giving Treasure Hunters a Hand

Rudolf Kavchik found his first antique coins 15 years ago when he was scouring the beach with a metal detector owned for his work at a biology institute. But once he dug up the coins, Kavchik got hooked on treasure hunting.

Kavchik is now one of the most experienced treasure hunters in the Irkutsk region and a countrywide distributor of Australian metal detectors. Kavchik said there are up to 300 other treasure hunters in the region who are on the lookout for lost valuables. And their searching brings results.

A group of treasure hunters, including Kavchik, conducted a series of dives into Lake Baikal at the beginning of September. The dives produced a handful of old coins and a heavy case, which Kavchik believes was used for carrying weapons. Last year, another group found a female prosthetic hand made out of silver in the lake. The hand was discovered at a 50-meter depth, and treasure hunters are still scratching their heads over how it got there, Kavchik said.

Such large finds are rare, though. It is more common to find coins and other small trinkets.

“People didn’t use to have pockets,” Kavchik said. “They dropped coins, and [the coins] always have value.”

Kavchik said 90 percent of the 300,000 treasure hunters across Russia go searching for valuables as a hobby. Professional hunters also exist but, even as a hobby, treasure hunting can be profitable. A silver ruble dating to the times of Peter the Great or Catherine the Great will fetch upward of $3,000 on the market. A rare test coin recently found near Yekaterinburg was valued at a price equal to that of an apartment in the city.

Irkutsk enthusiasts plan to open the world’s first and only museum of treasure hunting in their city in January to showcase their finds and change the negative perceptions some people have of their pastime.

“Many people have a bad outlook on the hobby,” Kavchik said. “They have little interest in it. That is unfortunate.”

But people are hearing the call, and many of them are heading out on the hunt.

Russia’s Treasure Maps

It doesn’t take a master sleuth to go online and find information to get started as a treasure hunter. There are numerous forums with advice for beginners. Some even provide treasure maps of various Russian regions. The odds of finding treasure are very good, according to the treasure hunters.

“There are more chances of finding treasure than winning a lottery,” Kavchik said. “People lived everywhere, which means they always lost something, hid something.”

The Moscow region is particularly abundant with treasure. Moscow-based hunter Roman Katko has found coins, crosses, icons and jewelry in the region.

“There is always a possibility of finding treasure,” he said.

Treasure hunting has become more popular in Russia recently, Katko said. Each year he sees more people with metal detectors around old village sites when he goes on his own weekend explorations. Sometimes he even stumbles on places that have already been searched. But even in these places he can always find something, Katko said.

The key is to know where to look.

Katko uses archived maps to find where old villages were located. Kavchik studies the history and legends of the region where he is going. One out of 10 legends turns out to be true, he said.

The locals of one village told Kavchik the story of a rich man who had buried treasure beneath an oak tree in his garden. Kavchik and his fellow treasure hunters went to the spot with their metal detectors and quickly retrieved an old chest filled with paper money and coins. Kavchik said he was amazed that everybody in the village knew the legend, yet nobody bothered to see for themselves whether it was true.

“What stops the Russians from taking out a shovel and digging up treasure?” he said.

Lost History

But not everybody wants Russians to take out their shovels and go on treasure hunts. Archeologists warn that treasure hunters devalue artifacts when they take them out of their cultural context. The archeologists are then not able to piece together the story of the object.

“There is somebody’s life behind every treasure,” said Alexei Alexeyev, senior associate at the archeology department at the Pushkin Historical-Literary Museum in Bolshiye Vyazyomy, outside Moscow. “For us it is a historical reference.”

Another risk is that artifacts will be lost if they end up in the hands of people who don’t realize their full value, Alexeyev said. Experienced treasure hunters agree that this lack of knowledge is a problem.

An elderly woman once approached Kavchik to show him a gold coin that she had found. The coin was cut in half because she molded a part of it into a tooth. Kavchik determined that the coin was from the times of Catherine the Great and would have brought the woman $20,000 if it had been undamaged.

“For this amount of money she could have put in three layers of teeth,” Kavchik said.

Archeologists are so overwhelmed in number by treasure hunters that it makes monitoring such cases difficult. There are 20 archeologists working on digs in the Moscow region, Alexeyev said. In comparison, the region has an estimated 20,000 treasure hunters.

By law, people who find treasure are required to give three-quarters of it to the government. In reality, the rules are rarely enforced. Kavchik said the government doesn’t have the structures to take in treasure, so treasure hunters simply don’t declare their findings.

“We are losing our history,” Alexeyev said. “In five to 10 years if this continues we will lose all artifacts in the Moscow region, and future archeologists will be left with a desert of looted archeological sites.”

So far no one has announced that they have found a chest with jewels in Lake Baikal. Kavchik said the Smits’ treasure would be hard to find since the lake is very deep. Divers can go down 50 to 60 meters, and 100 meters if they have special equipment, but the chest could be even further down.

In Australia, Helen Cleary wears the wedding ring she inherited from her grandmother. The ring bears the inscription “1917” — the year of her grandmother’s wedding and the year when the jewels fell into the lake. Clearly said she is not giving up hope that her family’s heirloom will be found.

“It sort of like a fairy tale. It just doesn’t happen to normal people,” she said. “To be a part of it, it’s just amazing.”

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Lost Treasure of Alabama

Jean Lafitte made mysterious visits to the vicinity of Fort Morgan, Alabama, during his many years as a pirate. Historians believe that he may have buried some of his $10,000,000 treasure here at Fort Morgan.

Gold discoveries in Georgia in 1828 stimulated interest in prospecting similar-appearing crystalline rocks in Alabama. About 1830, the first discoveries were made at Arbacoochee and Goldville. This boom collapsed when the California placer discoveries lured most of the miners.

Most of the gold deposits in Alabama are in Celburne, Tallapoosa, Clay, and Randolph Counties, but only two districts produced more than 10,000 ounces of gold, the Arbacoochee district in Cleburne County and the Hog Mountain district in Tallapoosa County.

The Arbacoochee district contained the richest placers of the state. By 1879, the area produced 17,700 ounces of gold. Most of the gold came from placers in the vicinity of Gold Hill and from the gravels along Clear Creek. By 1890, the Arbacoochee district became almost inactive, and the Hog Mountain district took over as the state’s main producer.

The Hog Mountain district is in the north-central part of Tallapoosa County. Most of the gold came from gold-bearing quartz veins with pyrite. The Hog Mountain mine produced almost 12,000 ounces in gold and closed down in 1938. Total gold production of the district through 1959 was about 24,300 ounces.

Keeping all these facts in mind, there is a good chance of gold’s yet waiting to be discovered. Panning the streams in Arbacoochee District may still show color, and tailings of the mines are good hunting grounds for mineral specimens other than gold.

During a storm in 1801, an unidentified Spanish galleon was wrecked near the east end of Dauphin Island at the entrance to Mobile Bay, Alabama. Only 11 of the crew made it to shore during the stormy night, and they were responsible for telling the story of the cargo of gold and silver. The name of the galleon has been lost, but the treasure has been estimated at $1 million.

Reports of a huge concentration of silver ore first began to circulate around Talladega County several years after a newcomer arrived in the coal-mining community of Ironton. The year was 1832. A small Indian village was located a short distance away, and the friendly tribesmen often engaged in conversation with nearby settlers.

Suddenly and mysteriously, the Indians were afflicted with measles. The disease raged, but the timely appearance of Isaac Stone changed the sad turn of events for the natives.

Having been informed of the news through the local grapevine, Stone wasted no time in making a beeline to the camp. His motivation for feverishly treating the sick Indians and exposing himself to the wicked disease is not quite clear. Nevertheless, his fast medical attention whipped the disease and earned him the respect and gratitude of the tribe members, including one particular Indian, who was referred to as George.

Feeling obligated to the miracle man for saving his life, George told Stone an intriguing story. A letter, written by Stone, later reprinted in “Historical Tales of Talladega,” revealed this information: “My acquaintance with George and proximity to the village gave me the knowledge of the fact that George went into seclusion once or twice during each year, and that when the seclusion was ended, all the Indians had new silver ornaments, armlets, beads, and other such jewelry that their tastes demanded.”

Recognizing the significance of his discovery, Stone began pursuing ways of learning the location of the secret silver mine. Obviously realizing that coaxing would do little good, he attempted to loosen the Indians’ tongues with cheap whiskey. It made them drunk, but produced no information.

After much deliberation, he related his story to several friends who refused to believe him at first. They later agreed to join with him on his next scheme.

From conversations with George, Stone was able to make two important observations. From the amount of silver and the short time it took to load several pack ponies with it, the ore must be both easily accessible and close by.

Anticipating that the Indians would soon depart on their next silver excursion, Stone exchanged a brief word with George and managed to confirm his guess. His friends were to help track the Indians and supply the necessary provisions.

When the tribe broke camp in the wee hours of the morning, Stone’s party was anxiously waiting for the unsuspecting Indians to get a good head-start. When they felt comfortable about the Indians’ lead, the men started their pursuit shortly before daybreak. They followed the ponies’ hoof-prints northwesterly across the heavily-timbered stretches of St. Clair County, until they came to Wolf Creek.

Here the tracks terminated, leaving three bewildered men cursing their rotten luck. The gravel bottom beneath the crystal clear water held no clues, so the men quickly dispersed in opposite directions.

After several hours of futile searching, one of the men dejectedly picked up a curious-looking rock. In his frustration, he failed to recognize a four-pound chunk of freshly-mined silver ore. Years later, when he stumbled across the rock he had long since forgotten, the search was enthusiastically resumed. But success, always seeming imminent, was never achieved.

As the story gradually leaked out in its entirety, periodic searches continued for years, until they, too, ceased altogether. Although the story of the Indians and the silver mine is told only as folklore today, the chunk of silver ore was later authenticated in 1874, when it assayed at 70% silver content, 30% lead.

Prospectors swarmed to the creek after hearing about the assay, but never found any more of the rock. Presumably the rock came from the mine and was accidentally dropped along the way back.

If the mine does indeed exist, it is probably only a few miles northwest of where Stone’s party abandoned their search at Wolf Creek. After the party arrived back in town following their unsuccessful trip, it was only a short time before several members of the tribe returned to camp loaded with silver as usual.

The term “short time” was later specified as one and a half days. The distance they traveled from the Creek cannot be too great, since they got their silver and returned in that length of time. Since they traveled northwest all the time they were tracked, it may be supposed that they continued in that direction at Wolf Creek.

A further enticement to treasure hunters is the fact that when the tribe was pushed out of the state to a reservation in Arkansas, they took with them only a fraction of the silver they had mined. The larger portion is believed to have been buried in or near the mine.

To get to the area of the mine, proceed east from Birmingham on Interstate 20 approximately 25 miles to the Pell City exit. Take the Pell City exit one mile to U. S. 78, which crosses Wolf Creek. This is in the general area where Stone’s pursuit of the Indians ended. Perhaps someone with a good metal detector can even yet locate the Indians’ lost mine.

About six miles northwest of Florence, Alabama, on the White’s Mill Road, stands the historic White’s Mill. For many years, this mill ground corn and flour and provided people in the community with jobs.

In 1897, a man by the name of C. E. Sharps bought the mill. Eventually, he became quite wealthy. He was fond of gold and insisted that most payments be made to him in gold coins.

Sharps owned about 100 acres of forest land south of the mill across White’s Road. His nephew, Grady Sharps, was employed in the office at the mill. About once a week, Grady watched his uncle go into the woods with a shovel and a small sack. Since he would return a short time afterward without the sack, Grady felt sure that he was burying his gold somewhere among the trees.

Fearing his uncle, who was known to become violent at times, young Grady was afraid to follow him on any of his trips into the woods.

In June 1899, Sharps was on the mill roof doing some repair work when he slipped and fell into the pond below. He could not swim, and help did not reach him in time. The knowledge of his buried gold drowned with him. Grady tried to locate the fortune his uncle had hidden, but the woods were too large to unearth with nothing but a pick and a shovel.

The old mill still stands, and the wood still lies to the south of it. With a good metal detector and a few days’ time, a treasure hunter might be able to find C. E. Sharps’ cache or caches of gold coins.

There is supposed to be a treasure buried on the Alabama side of the Perdido River, near Seminole. Here is the story. In 1815, Henry Allen Nunez placed a ferry in operation across the Perdido River, at approximately the place where it is now crossed by U. S. 90, about 16 miles northwest of Pensacola. As Nunez prospered, stories spread that he kept his fortune buried near his house on the Alabama side of the River. During the Civil War, a band of Union troops seized Nunez and demanded to know where his hoard was hidden. When he refused to talk, they strung him up by his thumbs to a tree. His wife was brought out to witness the torture, and, unable to see her husband suffer, she revealed where a cache of silver coins was hidden. Insisting that there was no gold, the soldiers lowered Nunez into a well by the neck. Again, Mrs. Nunez broke down and told them where the gold was buried. Satisfied that they had secured all the treasure, the troops left, but the story persists that a third cache is still there.

Located on the Coosa River near the junction of that stream with the Tallapoosa, 10 miles north of Montgomery, is the site of old Fort Toulouse. And somewhere around that site are six of the eight cannons which comprised its defense.

Fort Toulouse was constructed by the French in 1717, as an advance post of the colony of Louisiana, and it was built in the form of a stockade of logs.

It is probable that the logs were of oak, nine feet long, close to one foot in diameter, and stripped of bark and charred in the three feet that went underground. The logs were held by laths and a moat was dug around the stockade as deep as it was wide. Within the enclosure were frame buildings which served as offices and quarters for the garrison.

The fort stood opposite a sharp bend in the Coosa River, and the current undermined the bank under it, necessitating a move of the structure in 1748. The rebuilt fort stood only 15 or 20 yards from the original site, however.

Neither Fort Toulouse nor its garrison was ever involved in hostile action. The fort’s military potential was there, of course, but absence of hostilities emphasized the diplomatic nature of the post.

The fort was evacuated in 1763. The officer assigned to oversee the evacuation was Director General d’Abbudie. The General decided to leave the ordnance and military stores, explaining that it was impossible to move the artillery.

The cannons were spiked and dumped from their mountings into the fort yard. Excess powder was dumped into the Coosa River. The fort then fell into ruins within a few years.

Two of the cannons have been found. One of them is in the State Department of Archives and History in Montgomery. The other is on exhibition in the Wetumpka Courthouse at Wetumpka, Alabama.

The remaining six cannons are now either covered with a growing accumulation of earth and debris somewhere on the fort site, or with mud at the bottom of the Coosa River. These centuries-old guns would be a valuable find.

Late in the closing months of the tragic conflict between the States known as the Civil War, there was a wealthy man named Hansen in the State of Alabama, who decided that he had to act if his long-planned plot to assist the crumbling Confederate economy was to become a reality. By various means, honest and otherwise, Hansen and some other citizens had accumulated a vast amount of gold and silver in bullion and in coins. Two huge wooden boxes two feet wide, three feet deep, and four feet long were filled with the loot.

To conceal the boxes from discovery, they were buried under a pile of barnyard manure and decayed straw so repulsive and deceptive to the eye that there was little chance they would be disturbed and the treasure uncovered.

The military situation at this time was perilous. General Hood was hammering at Union positions at Columbia, Tennessee, on the Duck River. Sizeable Union forces were concentrated throughout most of the northern Alabama area. A previous plan to deliver the gold to Montgomery was ruled out due to the hazardous nature of the journey and the distances involved. It was impossible for a sufficient number of Confederates to be dispatched to take possession of the fortune, so Hansen decided to take the shipment to Hood at Columbia, where a Confederate victory seemed likely.

Hansen and two Rebel soldiers, who were disguised as farmers, managed to load the enormously heavy boxes onto two wagons by emptying their precious contents and reloading the boxes, after they were placed on the wagons. The fertilizer and straw were then heaped high atop the wagons, and the journey began. The horses strained under the massive loads, and the wagon wheels dug deeply into the wet ground. Approximately four miles north of the town of Athens, both wagons became hopelessly mired in a deep boghole that was like quicksand. Hansen and the two soldiers futilely tried to progress forward by hitching both teams of horses to one wagon.

Suddenly, four Union scouts appeared and, becoming suspicious at the weight of the wagons, demanded that the group unload the cargo. The bluecoats suspected that the wagons contained arms and ammunition. Hansen abruptly pulled a concealed pistol and killed one of the Union scouts, and the Rebel soldiers charged the remaining three. In the savage hand-to-hand struggle that followed, both of the Confederates were killed, but not before killing two of the Union scouts and severely wounding the remaining one. The injured soldier made good his escape into the brush, as Hansen missed with his last shot.

The frustrated Hansen then searched frantically for a way to save the shipment. It would be only a matter of hours, at the most, before the wounded soldier would reach his unit and alert more troops. Probing the area of the boghole, Hansen discovered that the quagmire of mud and water was quite deep and would not support any object of substantial weight. He succeeded in fastening the teams to the side of one wagon, and finally succeeded in overturning the wagon, dumping the box into the boghole. The other wagon was then overturned, and the fortune intended for the Confederacy quickly sank from sight.

Hansen then led the horses over the area where the boxes sank to force them still deeper into the earth. He then reversed the procedure and raised the wagons upright again. By parading the horses all around the general area, Hansen made it appear that a Confederate patrol had arrived, taken possession of the cargo, and left. He loaded the bodies of the Confederate soldiers onto the horses and pulled out to the east, following a well-traveled route from a stream crossing a half-mile east of the boghole. He soon abandoned the main route, realizing that the Union forces would likely pursue along this trail.

Nightfall found the completely exhausted Hansen at the home of a fellow Southern sympathizer, who was entrusted with the secret behind the ill-fated journey, and the pair made immediate plans to return to excavate the treasure. Hansen remained at his friend’s home for several days, hiding under the floor when Union soldiers appeared.

A Confederate soldier who was en route to join a detachment in central Alabama, eventually made an appearance, and Hansen decided to ride with the soldier to guide the group sent back to fetch the treasure. Here luck ran out on the Southern patriot. The pair was intercepted by Union cavalry, and in the running battle that followed, both were killed.

Now only one person, who had never seen it, knew about the buried fortune, and he was taken into custody shortly thereafter on a charge of suspicion of harboring a fugitive, Hansen, and was thrown into prison for the duration of the War.

When the conflict ended, the man returned to the area to search for the fortune, but he found the task impossible. Grass and shrubbery covered the landscape. Droughts and floods had drastically altered the appearance of the area. By asking questions, he found out that the Yankee soldiers had not found the treasure. They had taken the wagons with them, however, as they were seen being pulled into town, carrying the bodies of the three scouts who were killed in the battle at the boghole.

The man searched for a short time without success, then, like so many others, he left the Southern states, where the bitter memories were so strong, and moved to California. From available evidence, it would appear that the cache is still there, waiting to be found.

Hardy Clements was a farmer, politician, businessman, slave owner, and a very wealthy man. In 1845, Clements rode a mule from Sumter County, South Carolina, to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with just one hundred dollars in his pocket. He bought a little piece of land in Coaling, on the banks of Big Sandy Creek, about twelve miles east of Tuscaloosa. By 1850, he had turned a few acres into 9000 acres, on which he had 30 horses, 85 work mules, 29 milk cows, 14 oxen, 113 sheep, 250 swine, and 336 slaves, making him the largest slave owner in Alabama. His real estate and personal property was valued at $300,000.

The legend is that, when the Civil War came to Alabama, Hardy Clements buried about $100,000 worth of gold. With the War going on, it wasn’t safe to travel the old Huntsville road to Tuscaloosa and deposit the gold while the Wilson Raiders were so near. So he did as other plantation owners did, and buried his money.

During the War, there were feelings of dissatisfaction among some of the slaves. Clements was afraid that they might be tempted or threatened into telling the Wilson Raiders where the valuable gold had been concealed. So he would wait until night, after the servants had left the house, and everyone was asleep, and then he would go out and hide the gold.

There have been many stories told about where the gold was hidden: under his house, around the cotton gin that stood by the spring, or around his huge bog farm. It has been told also, that he took all his gold to the cemetery, dug a small grave, and buried it among his slaves who had served him so well.

In 1863, Hardy Clements died. He did not tell anyone where the gold was hidden, not even his son, who was a colonel with the 50th Regiment of Alabama.

Today, only a few resemblances of a plantation remain. A large dying oak tree marks his homesite. The big spring that gushes into Big Sandy Creek near the cotton gin still runs swiftly, clearly, and very cold, as it did over 100 years ago. The hog farm is now sagebrush and bushes, and the cemetery is mostly a woody area with large trees growing among the graves.

Most of the old plantation is on public land, only the homesite is on private property, but, as far as is known, it is not posted.

Diamonds, believe it or not, have been found in Alabama. Two counties, Lee and Shelby, have yielded stones in the creek beds. The Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C., will send information on diamonds and other gems on request. Also, you may want to send to the U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., for some of the many booklets and pamphlets they have with valuable information.

This is a story which was one told by old men when they met in a barbershop, livery stable, or at the blacksmith shop. It concerned the small town of Newton, Alabama, located on the Choctawhatchee River in southeast Alabama, in Dale County.

The men told about a day they long remembered, December 19, 1864. This was the day when news spread fast that Colonel Joseph Sanders, with his horde of deserters, escaped slaves, and common outlaws, was on his way to attack Newton.

Plans for the defense of Newton against the notorious band were carefully made by Judge Daniel Carmichael, Sheriff J. W. Skipper, and Captain Jim Breer, in command of the home guards. Every able-bodied man and boy was conscripted to defend Newton. An alert was sent out to the farmers in surrounding areas, and most of them, with their families, came into town. Men brought their guns to help in defense of the town.

On the afternoon of the fateful day, the town was ready and waiting for the attack. One major problem remained to be solved. A box filled with a fortune in gold was in the Courthouse, and if the town were sacked, the outlaws would undoubtedly seize it. The gold must be hidden, but where? And who could be trusted with the task?

This dilemma was solved by selecting three men who were to hide the gold, and each man was held responsible for its secrecy and safekeeping. And to say the least, these men did an excellent job of it.

Colonel Sanders, with his band of rogues, crossed the river at the old ford less than one-half hour before sundown; then the man raced uphill towards the Courthouse. The defenders of Newton began firing into the ranks of the attackers. Surprised, Colonel Sanders shouted to his men to return fire, while at the same time they were trying to encircle the town. Charge and counter-charge was made by the Sanders outfit, but the resistance of the defenders was too strong for them to break through and get into the town. In the darkness of the night, the Sanders band crossed the river and disappeared.

The jubilant defenders of Newton called a muster roll, but twelve men failed to answer. Four were dead, and eight wounded. As fate would have it, out of the four dead, three were the men who had hidden the box of gold. The secret of the hiding place died with them.

To this day, the gold has not been found. How these three men, hurrying practically in the face of the enemy, could have found such an elusive hiding place remains a mystery, for hunt as they might, the citizens of Newton were unable to find the gold.

There is a relatively small island which was probably the first settled portion of Alabama, known as Dauphin Island. Old books record a small portion of its history, but the most intriguing part is its unwritten history, that which is felt as one slowly becomes acquainted with the Islanders.

There is a story about a large, jeweled cross being dropped in a well to prevent its being stolen by pirates and never being recovered. There are other stories which circulate quietly among the native Islanders, concerning jars and pots and chests of buried savings, back through several generations.

The island has never had a bank, and until only recently has been rather isolated from the mainland. Now a bridge crosses the Mississippi Sound, connecting Dauphin Island with the outside world. The large, prehistoric Indian Shell Mound is but a shadow of its former self. The area immediately around the trailer park has, in turn, been a Spanish army camp, a French army camp, British army camp, and a Federal army camp of occupation after the Civil War.

The Island would be a good place to search for relics, alone, and you just might be lucky enough to find one of the treasures that legends tell about.

This site of an Indian village and several possible treasure caches is almost certainly overlooked. The army records of General Dale, who served under Andrew Jackson, could help on this one.

Around 1812, in Montgomery County, there was a Shawnee Indian village known as Souvanogee. It was located near a corner formed by the Tallapoosa River and Likasa Creek.

The leader of the village was a half-breed Indian prophet called Savannah Jack. He and his band of braves robbed, murdered, and pillaged this section of Alabama for six years.

There is no known or itemized record of the amount of plunder that fell into the hands of Savannah Jack and his renegades. However, Jack had been exposed to the ways of white men and knew well the value they placed on gold and silver. Certainly, anything of monetary value was gathered up by Jack on these raids and carried back to the village.

Savannah Jack and his band of renegade Indians were finally pursued and caught up with by General Dale and his troops in 1818. In the running gun battle that followed, several of the Indians were killed on the spot. It is believed that Savannah Jack was severely wounded in the gun battle and died a short time later in Sipsey Swamp.

It is obvious that there should still be several caches of Savannah Jack’s loot buried near the old Indian camp of Souvanogee. He had six years to accumulate it. The village was taken by surprise in the attack, and there was not sufficient time to dig up any of his various caches. The campground covered quite an area, but remains and traces of it can still be found.

There is an old story of a strongbox being dropped into the Tambigbee River, south of Myrtlewood in Marengo County. This money, $30,000 in gold, was being transported by a tax collector in 1860, when outlaws tried to rob him. He threw the strongbox into the water close to the ford that was operated here at that time. The bandits killed the collector, but research reveals that they did not find the money. The best places to look would be along the tracks between Atmore and Bay Minette, Alabama, as this was his favorite hiding area.

In September 1724, a French vessel was sighted off the coast of present-day Alabama. The vessel was the Bellone. In her hold was stored a cargo of beaver skins, deer hides, and coins and bullion valued at 40,000 crowns. She was on her way to Dauphin Island to collect the yearly production of goods by the French colonials in Louisiana, and transport them to France.

While trying to enter Pelican Bay, the Bellone ran aground. The ship was not damaged, however, and was soon anchored safely in the small harbor. The captain of the ship, a Seigneur de Beauchamp, kept the ship in the harbor until the next spring, when finally he decided to sail for France.

On April 1, 1725, April Fools’ Day, the Bellone raised anchor and headed out to sea on a perfectly calm day. Mysteriously, she suddenly sank near Dauphin Island. A nearby brigantine saved most of the passengers and crew from drowning, but two men and three children were lost.

The entire cargo, including the bullion and coins, and all the passengers’ personal belongings, was lost with the Bellone. It was determined by French officials at the time that the ship was unsalvageable, thus no effort was exerted to recover the gold.

The Bellone was wrecked off Dauphin Island over 250 years ago. Since she sank, Dauphin Island has been partially washed away by hurricanes, Pelican Bay has been largely sanded in, and battles in the War of 1812 and the Civil War have added many other wrecks to the coastal floor.

Of all the old wrecks in and around Mobile Bay waiting to be rediscovered and salvaged, the Bellone is the richest. Could you be the one to uncover this colonial fortune?

The area of northern Alabama that encompasses Huntsville and its environs falls within the Cumberland Plateau that gently rises in central Alabama. The basic rock is Mississippi limestone. This type of material, particularly for those interested in lapidary work, is not noted for its beauty. However, for the mineral collector, there are some interesting crystals available.

Dolomite, which is a calcium magnesium carbonate, has saddle-shaped crystals with a pearly luster, and has been found in pink, white, and gray colors.

Limestone containing calcite and fluorite crystals has been found in different areas. Also, celestite has been found, and the different rocks make good conversation pieces.

On the northern bank of the Tennessee River, in an area near Muscle Shoals, Alabama, lies a hidden limestone cavern containing an incredible multi-million dollar fortune in gold, silver, and jewels. Known as the Spanish treasure cache of Red Bone Cave, the history of this great lost wealth goes back to around 1540, the time of Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto’s march into the New World.

In 1538, Charles V of Spain had given De Soto permission to conquer Florida at his own expense, and the Spanish explorers sailed with a richly equipped company of 600 men, 24 ecclesiastics, and 20 officers. The expedition landed at the Bay of Espiritu Santo, now Tampa Bay, and the Spaniards first marched north as far as the Carolinas.

Here, legend has it, De Soto and his men came upon the sacred mountain city of the Cherokees. The Indians were hostile, but the Spaniards subdued them, took their gold and other treasures, and pushed on westward to Alabama, then back through Tennessee to Alabama.

Since fall was over, and cold weather was coming on, the Spaniards began constructing a winter camp. Chickasaw Indians who lived on the south side of the Tennessee River proved friendly until spring came. At that time, De Soto, who was breaking camp for a trek into Mississippi, arrogantly demanded that the Chickasaw chief furnish several hundred pretty maidens to accompany the Spanish expedition.

This high-handed request was an indignity the Indians could not ignore, and a night-time attack on De Soto’s camp was the result. The Spaniards, taken by surprise, were forced to flee. In doing so, the great treasure they had taken from the Cherokees was left behind. In his retreat, De Soto’s guides led him into swamps and trackless forests where great numbers of his men perished.

Turning south along the river, he headed toward the Gulf of Mexico, but he never made it. At a place called Chickasaw Bluffs, he was seized with fever and died. Fearing that the hostile Indians would find his grave and mutilate his body, his men buried him in the Mississippi River. Only a handful of the remaining expedition ever succeeded in reaching the Spanish settlements on the Gulf.

Once the Spaniards had been driven away, the Chickasaw chief had some of his braves take the discarded treasure to a point on the north bank of the Tennessee River, where there were large limestone caverns. In one of these the treasure was concealed.

For 180 years, the story of the great treasure in the river cave was handed down from one Indian chief to another. All but forgotten otherwise, the treasure site lay undisturbed until 1720.

Then, one day in the summer of that year, a tall and handsome white trapper appeared at the Chickasaw village. A friendly man, he asked permission from the chief to trap game on tribal lands. Impressed by this act, the chief readily agreed. However, this wasn’t the only reason for the chief’s ready acquiescence.

He had only one child, a beautiful daughter. For some time he had been trying to marry her off, since he needed a grandson to succeed him. The girl, however, would have none of the braves who were brought before her for approval. But once she laid eyes on the handsome trapper, she lost no time in letting her father know he was the man she wanted.

Unaware of what was going on, and unmindful of the fact that the chief’s daughter was watching him constantly, the trapper accepted the quarters offered by the chief and quietly went about his business of trapping.

A month passed, and one night he was awakened by two braves. Before he could fully awaken from a deep sleep, he found his hands being tied. He started to resist but when the Indians softly told him they meant to do him no harm, he let himself be blindfolded.

All that night and the following day, he was led through the cool dark forest. Several times the group rested, and he was given something to eat and drink. On one of the occasions the blindfold slipped from one eye, and before the Indians could readjust it, he managed to see a river and white cliffs. Since he had been up and down the river many times, he thought he recognized the area which lay many miles from the Indian village.

Shortly afterwards, he was led into a canoe, and the party moved across the river. Alighting, they went up an embankment. Then the ground began to slope downward, and he felt sand under his feet. From the change in the air, he knew they had entered a large cavern. At this point, the Indians told him to walk stooped, so as not to hit his head on low-hanging rocks. On several occasions, he heard the sound of bat or bird wings near his head and instinctively ducked.

After a while, the party stopped, and the trapper’s hands were untied and the blindfold removed. Frightened and confused, he rubbed his eyes and wrists. Two Indians held torches to dispel the darkness, and, to his amazement, he saw that one of them was the Chickasaw chief himself, while the other was the tribal medicine man. Then he looked around the cave.

Reaching from the cavern floor to its ceiling were stacks of gold and silver bars, while rotted chests spilled jewels and other objects across the floor. The trapper could only shake his head in wonder. Where had all this wealth come from? He listened with open mouth as the old chief told him the story of the Spaniard De Soto and how the Chickasaw tribe had gotten the treasure many moons ago. But after being hidden for all these years, the trapper wondered why it was now being shown to him.

It was simple, explained the chief. If the trapper would marry the chief’s daughter, all of the treasure he now saw would be given to him. And if he didn’t want to marry the daughter, what then?

The old chief sadly shrugged. Since the trapper had been blindfolded and didn’t know where the treasure cave was located, he would be allowed to leave in peace.

While the chief was talking, the trapper was doing some quick figuring. All of this wealth would be his if he married the daughter, but, if he had to live in the wilderness with the Indians, he might as well not have it. If he refused to marry the daughter, he would be allowed to leave unharmed. The old chief had said so, and he believed him.

Trying to hide his anticipation, the trapper told the chief that he would have to think about his decision for a few days. Since he already had a wife and family in one of the white settlements, he lied, he just couldn’t make up his mind that quickly.

The trapper was blindfolded again, and the return trip was accomplished until the three men were once again in the great forest near the Indian village. The old chief was tired, so the men made camp for the night.

Later, as the two Indians lay sleeping, the trapper killed them both and threw their bodies into the nearby river. Thus, he made certain that he could leave the area. The next morning, he departed and soon showed up at Fort Rosalie, where he enlisted the aid of a friend to recover the treasure.

Hiding in caves by day, and looking at night, the two men spent several months in searching. Finally, the friend grew disgusted and returned to the settlements where he later died of yellow fever.

Alone now, the trapper took a chance and returned to the village of the Chickasaw. He was greeted warmly, and, to his surprise, heard nothing about the two men he had killed. Apparently, no one had ever known about their taking him to the treasure cave. This was just what he had counted on.

Searching out the old chief’s daughter, the trapper told her that he wanted to marry her, and did so. In a roundabout way, he soon found out that she only knew her father had disappeared. It was apparent that she knew nothing of the treasure cave, nor did any other member of the tribe seem to.

Under the guise of trapping trips, the trapper continued his search for Red Bone Cave. But, try as he might, he could never find the right place.

In 1729, the trapper’s wife died, and he returned to Fort Rosalie. But the place lay in ruins, the settlers having been massacred by the Natchez Indians. As the years passed and he grew older, he would sometimes tell the riverboat men at Natchez-under-the-Hill about the lost treasure cave. Maybe in time some lucky treasure hunter will find this lost cave and the multi-millions still hiding there.

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