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Lost Treasure

pirate-kneelingSo we all heard stories of lost treasure right? Well, lost treasure is not just Blackbeard’s buried treasure chest, treasure is buried all around us. Most of it will probably be lost forever …

 

Here I have compiled a a list of local PA treasure stories … should I share these with my fellow treasure hunters or keep them to myself?!? Well, since they are all over the Internet, I might as well share them – you might even invite me along in the hunt. Combining our knowledge, experience and resources as a team will give us an extra advantage.

Pennsylvania Lost Treasure

 

Intro

Daniel Boone, a legendary American frontiersman, was once quoted as saying, ‘I ain’t never been lost, but I may have been confused once or twice’. With all respect to Mr Boone – who was born in Pennsylvania, incidentally – it’s incredibly easy to get lost and confused in the forests and mountains of Pennsylvania.

In the course of the state’s 300-plus year recorded history, many people have gotten lost and confused. And they’ve lost plenty of things while stumbling around in the Pennsylvania woodlands – including a surprising amount of gold and silver.

Pennsylvania lost treasure are buried throughout the State. Listed on this page are a few areas that may hold treasures. However, as stories about buried treasures are told, the information changes over the years. And because of this reason, it is important to research every treasure you want to search for. What I have given you here, is just the starting point in your search. This information should be researched through other means as well. Never rely on one piece of information about a treasure story you are researching. Use multiple research tools.

A good place to begin your search for Pennsylvania lost treasure is the Internet. But do not relay solely on that information alone. You should also visit the historical societies in the area you will be searching. Either visit in person, or use the Internet and visit their webpage’s. Read old newspaper articles, old books on the history of the area. Ask questions and follow up with more research. The more information you have, the better chance you will have of locating a treasure. Buried treasures are out there, and people do find them.

For more information on where and how to research for lost treasures, please visit my research page.

Using a metal detector to search for Pennsylvania lost treasure is a must have tool. Before the days of metal detectors the chance of locating buried treasures was not a very high percentage adventure. However, today’s modern detectors give anyone with the desire to locate a treasure, a much better chance of finding one.

If you do not own a metal detector and you are thinking of purchasing one, do not over spend. Too often, newcomers to the hobby buy expensive detectors only to discover nothing but confusion about how to use their new model.

If you spend between $350-$450 on a new model, that is good enough. Just read the owners manual, and practice with your detector, and you will do fine. Move up to the high end models after you have become proficient in the hobby.

Good luck! And have fun in your search for Pennsylvania lost treasure.

Malvern

Located on route 30, not far from Malvern, was the scene of a large battle between George Washington and the British in September 1777. Apparently,during the battle a major rain storm pelted the troops causing a flood and the loss of equipment and personnal belongings.There may be many relics, which could amount to small treasures in the area.

Carlisle

This town was settled in 1720. During the French and Idian War it was a large military base, as well as a stop over for settlers heading west. Because Carlisle served as a military fort, it’s inhabitants may have buried their personnal belongings for safekeeping. The reason was because they were always aware of pending attacks. And due to death, buried treasures may still be in the area.

Swede’s Ford

Located in Norristown on the Schuylkill River. During the late 1600’s and into the late 1700’s this area was used as a large communications point and campsite during the settlement of Pennsylvania.Many troops camped and walked this area. Small treasures lost or buried may be waiting to be found.

The Delaware River Treasure

Approximately three miles southwest of Chester, on the bank of the Delaware River is a buried treasure consisting of 38,000 pieces of eight. The treasure was taken in 1742, by pirates that captured the Spanish ship San Ignacio El Grande. After burying the treasure, the pirates went to Philadelphia. A few weeks later they returned to the area but were unable to locate the treasure due to flooding that had occurred while they were in Philadelphia.

Lawrence Park

Located off Lake Erie on route 955. The steamer Erie wrecked near Lawrence Park. It was carrying $200,000in gold coins. Throughout the years, gold coins have washed up onto the shores of Lake Erie near the park. This is a large area to search for that Pennsylvania lost treasure.

Orchard Beach

Located twelve miles northeast of Lawrence Park. It has been rumored that American silver dollars from the late nineteenth century have been found in the area of Orchard Beach. The coins may be from a wrecked ship off shore.

The Kinzua Railroad Bridge

Located approximately five miles northeast of Mount Jewitt and crosses the Kinzua Creek.In the late 1800’s, $60,000 in gold coins and paper currency was stolen from the Emporium Bank and then was buried on one side of the bridge.

 

 

The Potato River Treasure

Somewhere on the banks of the Potato River near Crosby, is buried approximately $5 million in gold and silver bullion.The treasure was buried by the old, eccentric millionaire, Colonel Noah Parker.

Coudersport

Late in the 1690s, a group of French Canadians, led by Louis Frontenac, left New Orleans for Montreal. They sailed up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River and on to the site of present-day Pittsburgh, taking the left fork up the Allegheny River. On their rafts were kegs filled with gold coins destined for the Royal Governor of Canada’s treasury. Upon reaching present-day Potter County, they started overland, but the heavy kegs made the going slow. Fearing an English or Indian attack, they buried the treasure north of present-day Coudersport, marking the spot with a cross chipped into a rock. Indians saw the cross, but left it alone fearing it had mystical significance. In time, the marker wore away and the Indians couldn’t remember where it was located. The French never returned.

Uniontown –  Confederate Silver

During the American Civil War, Confederate raiders captured a Union convoy heading from West Virginia to the Philadelphia Mint. The convoy’s treasure – some 15 tons of silver bars – was stolen and hidden inside a cave north of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. The rebels sealed the mouth of the cave and never returned for the booty. Some say it’s still out there waiting to be discovered.

 

Keating Summit  – Blackbeard’s Silver

By Francis X. Scully

 At the time it was lost, it was valued at one and a half million dollars, but with the increasing value of pure silver the lost bars could conceivably be worth double that amount. Supposedly buried near the mini-village of Gardeau in McKean County, northern Pennsylvania, the lost treasure has been part of the folklore of the Keystone State’s oilfields for over a century. What is more, if you go after this one, you will be within fifty miles of four other lost treasures valued at five million dollars or more—-a rare opportunity for an enterprising treasure hunter.

In 1811, a Captain Blackbeard (not to be confused with Edward Teach) received a commission from the British Admiralty to raise the wreckage of a Spanish galleon, which had gone down off the Bahamas during a raging tropical hurricane in the early fall of 1680. Plainly visible in less than 20 fathoms of water, the hulk posed no difficulties for the astute Blackbeard, one of the greatest marine salvage experts of his day. In less than a month, the canny Englishman raised the hulk, and by surrounding it with pontoons, made ready to tow his prize and its cargo to the safety of an American port; England then being at war with Napoleonic France.

Escaping a furious storm by a matter of hours, Blackbeard landed his wreck at Baltimore, where he immediately made arrangements to have a warship tow it and the loot it contained to the safety of an English port.

In June of 1812, while tipping a few tankards of ale in a Baltimore tavern, Blackbeard met Peter Abelhard Karthaus of the privateer Comet. Blackbeard’s heart almost stopped beating when Karthaus very subtly informed him that he was aware that the English sailor had successfully brought to the Maryland city a Spanish galleon and its $1,500,000 worth of silver bars.

Running the gauntlet with French warships was one thing, but trying to escape the relentless privateer, the rogue of his day, was another thing. Then, too, the possibility of war with America was growing stronger with each passing day. To attempt to take the treasure across the sea was an impossibility, reasoned Blackbeard. The land route to Canada and safety was only four hundred miles, most of which was through uninhabited wilderness and it could be accomplished in a few weeks reasoned the now-thoroughly alarmed Englishman.

That night Captain Blackbeard studied the route he would take. He would follow the Susquehanna due north to about what is now Williamsport, Pennsylvania and from there to the Sinnemahoning River northwestward until he reached what is now Emporium, Pennsylvania. Then there would be a twenty-three mile portage over Keating Summit to the headwaters of the Allegheny River near Port Allegany. This was known as Canoe Place at the time, and had been used by traders, trappers, and warring Redmen for over three centuries. Then all he had to do was follow the Allegheny to the mouth of the Conewango Creek near present-day Warren, and then up to Chautauqua Lake (Jamestown). From the head of Chautauqua, he could practically roll down the hill to the blue waters of lake Erie. Britain controlled Lake Erie, Blackbeard mused, and the treasure would be home safe, and he would claim his reward and perhaps a knighthood from a grateful king. This was the plan to follow, and so the Englishman made ready.

The silver bars were loaded into wagons, all of which had a false bottom, covered with hay and straw. Each wagon was drawn by six oxen, accompanied by a handful of guards supposedly loyal to Britain, now almost on the verge of war with their cousins in North America for the second time in forty years.

Blackbeard never dreamed of the difficulties the land route through Pennsylvania’s trackless wilderness could pose until he reached what is now Lycoming County. Twice, the Englishman had to build rafts, in order to ascend the turbulent Susquehanna, and twice the bulky log platforms had capsized dumping the bellowing oxen and wagons into the icy river. By the time the expedition reached Clinton County and present-day Renovo, Blackbeard was coming apart at the seams. War had finally broken out between America and England, and the Englishman became almost obsessive in his efforts to avoid contact with any wandering trapper, whom he felt almost certain would have to be American. Then, the gnawing suspicion that one or two of his guards had betrayed some suspicious attitudes, brought Blackbeard to the brink.

That night, the English captain made up his mind that he would get the silver over the twenty-three mile portage, and then bury it for safekeeping. Word had slipped through that Fort Niagara had been blockaded, and Lake Erie was swarming with American boats, perhaps influenced his decision, but his mind was made up. He would bury the loot until after the war. After the British had trounced the upstart Yankees, he would have no trouble in reclaiming and finding the silver. It was perfectly safe in this primeval forest, reasoned Blackbeard.

And so, late in the summer of 1812, in the southeast corner of McKean County near the tiny village of Keating Summit, and not far from either Smethport or Port Allegany on CW 1198 and CW 1199, the huge treasure was buried near an old saltlick. During the digging, at least two dozen elk watched the strange behavior of the sweating humans, as they lowered box after box to the bottom of narrow trenches. Legends of McKean County indicate that bison at one time congregated at the lick, and early records state that over 300 elk were counted at one time around that spring and its salt deposits.

(He buried the treasure in the mountains outside Emporium in McKean County near present-day Route 155. )

 

 

So Blackbeard made it safely back to Canada and eventually to Britain, where he reported to an exasperated Admiralty that the tremendous treasure was buried someplace in the wolf-infested forests of northern Pennsylvania, back in Yankeeland. Returning to America, Blackbeard sent Colonel Noah Parker to the treasure site. Perhaps this was like sending a fox to guard a henhouse. While Parker kept intruders away, he also managed to keep Blackbeard from finding out anything about the silver hoard.

Within a few years, the frustrated Englishman went to his reward and the treasure was forgotten by all—save Parker. From time to time he showed sudden affluence, but always denied that he had ever found any of the silver.

After the Civil War, Parker opened one of the first spas in northern Pennsylvania, claiming that the curative powers of the spring waters would move the Iron Virgin. Hundreds flocked to the little hotel, and Parker never failed to regale them with the story of the lost treasure. Thousands searched for the treasure and never found it, and if Parker knew of its whereabouts he went to his grave without telling anyone.

It is now part of the folklore of the people of the rugged hills of Pennsylvania, and Captain Blackbeard’s fabulous treasure—or at least that portion not expended by the shrewd Colonel Parker—is still awaiting a finder.

 

 

Lehigh valley

Any treasure stories or lost treasure in lehigh valley

1. A cache of gold coins is supposed to be buried on a farm between Emmans & Macungie. Several people have searched the farm which is called “Haunted House”. About 25 years ago, is was rumored the treasure had been found, but was learned to be a hoax. As far as can be determined, the money, hidden by the farmer, is still there.

2. South of Egypt was the site of Fort Deshler, built in 1760. Do some research and look for roadside historical markers to pinpoint the exact location.

3. East of Lynnport was Fort Everett was built in 1756. Troops were stationed there during the French & Indian war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frenchmen’s Gold

Late in the 1690s, a group of French Canadians, led by Louis Frontenac, departed New Orleans and headed towards Montreal. They sailed up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River turn-off. They then went up the Ohio to the location of present-day Pittsburgh and took the left fork up the Allegheny River. On their rafts were kegs filled with gold coins destined for the Royal Governor of Canada’s treasury.

Upon reaching present-day Potter County, Pennsylvania, they started overland, but the heavy kegs of coins made the going slow. Fearing an English or Indian attack, they decided to bury the treasure just north of the location of present-day Coudersport.

They marked their cache of gold with a cross chipped onto a rock. Seneca Indians are said to have seen the cross on the rock, but left it alone because they feared the site had special mystical significance. In time, the marker wore off the stone and the Indians were unable to remember where it was located.

The Frenchmen never returned for their gold and to this day it has never been found.

The Counterfeiter’s Gold

Then there’s the story of Cyrus Cole who, in the early 1900s, lived by himself in a shack near the swamps outside Eldred in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Cole was something of a bum, surviving by picking berries and trapping muskrats yet, strangely, he was never short of cash.

The United States Secret Service had agents investigating an influx of counterfeit silver half dollars and gold coins in the area, but could never get any leads. Then in 1912, they got an anonymous tip that Cole was the mastermind behind the counterfeiting ring. Armed with a search warrant, the agents searched Cole’s shack and found some evidence, but not enough for a conviction.

They searched the swamp for evidence of the minting equipment, but came up empty-handed. Legend has it that Cole buried his counterfeit coins and his real gold and silver profits somewhere on the high ground near Eldred. None of it has ever been recovered.

Civil War Gold

In 1863, during the American Civil War1, a Union Army lieutenant was ordered to escort a wagon that had been fitted with a false base. This disguised compartment contained 26 gold bars each weighing 50 pounds. The wagon was to travel from Wheeling, West Virginia, north through Pennsylvania and then south to Washington, DC – the idea behind this route was to avoid any possible encounter with Confederate forces.

In the early stages of the journey, the lieutenant was sick with fever. During a fit of delirium, he blurted out the fact that the wagon contained a fortune in gold. After his fever broke, the expedition left St Marys, Pennsylvania, heading for Driftwood where they were to build a raft and float down the Susquehanna River to Harrisburg. They never made it, vanishing somewhere in the forests of Cameron and Elk counties.

Two months later, the party’s civilian guide stumbled into Lock Haven – 50 miles east of St Marys, the last known location of the convoy. Army investigators interrogated the guide for days and heard that bandits ambushed the group, killing all the soldiers and taking the gold. The Army did not believe this story.

Pinkerton2 detectives were hired to search the area, but all they found were some dead mules in the area of Dent’s Run near present-day Route 55 in Elk County. In the early 1870s, human skeletons which were believed to be those of the soldiers were found in the same area.

The guide was drafted into the army and assigned to a fort in the west. A heavy drinker, when he was drunk he would claim to know where the gold was hidden. But when he sobered up, he disavowed all knowledge of the treasure’s location.

Local rumour has it that during the past 50 years the modern US Army has sent several teams into the area around Dent’s Run searching for the gold. Despite these alleged ongoing searches, the gold has never been recovered.

Bellefonte, Lewistown – Robber Lewis’ Lost Booty

David ‘Robber’ Lewis made a reputation for himself in the early 1800s, robbing the rich and giving to the poor. He was captured in 1820 and on his deathbed, he confessed to all his crimes and told his jailers of three caches of gold he had hidden in Pennsylvania:

  • One, containing $10,000 in gold, is said to have been hidden in a small cave along the Juniata River near Lewistown, Pennsylvania. Lewis returned for the cache and couldn’t find it because the river had flooded and washed away his trail markers.
  • A second cache is purported to be buried along the Conodoguinett Creek near the caves he used as a hide-out.
  • The third, reportedly containing $20,000, is buried in the hills outside of Bellefonte. During his last imprisonment, Lewis is said to have taunted his jailers by telling them that he could see the cache from the jail.

None of these caches have ever been recovered.

David “Robber” Lewis made a reputation for himself in the early 1800s, robbing the rich and giving to the poor. He was captured in 1820 and, on his deathbed, told his jailers of three caches of gold. One, containing $10,000, was concealed in a small cave along the Juniata River near Lewistown. A second was buried along Conodoguinett Creek near the caves he used as a hideout. The third, containing $20,000, was buried in the hills outside Bellefonte. During his last imprisonment, Lewis is said to have taunted his jailers by telling them he could see the cache from the cell. None of the loot was ever found.

Kushequa  – Cash at Kinzua

In the 1890s, a man robbed a bank in Emporium, Pennsylvania, making off with $40,000 in cash. Apparently, he got lost and wound up in the village of Hazel Hurst where he collapsed. Not having a good day, our man died of ‘exhaustion’ a short time later, but not before confessing that he had buried the loot north-east of Kushequa within sight of the Kinzua railroad bridge. The money has never been recovered.

Belsano – The Belsano Train Robbery

On 11 October, 1924, a train carrying a safe containing a payroll of $33,000 was robbed just outside the Cambria County, Pennsylvania town of Belsano. During the course of the robbery, one of the men who was guarding the safe was shot and killed.

Police in several neighbouring states joined the manhunt for Michelo Bassi and Anthony Pezzi and the murderous duo were apprehended two weeks after the robbery in Terre Haute, Indiana. Each had a gun and $3,000 in cash. The men were convicted of first degree murder and in February 1925, they were executed in the state’s electric chair.

The safe and some of the money was never recovered. Legend has it that it may be buried or hidden near the site of the robbery.

 

Tionesta – The Lost Cave of Silver

Somewhere in the Allegheny National Forest to the west of the town of Tionesta, Pennsylvania is a cave reputed to be full of silver.

During the late 1700s, a white settler named Hill got lost and sought shelter in a cave for the night. Inside the cave he saw veins of silver running everywhere through the walls and ceiling. In the floor was a great pit filled with pure silver. When he managed to find his way home, he was unable to find his way back to the cave.

Hill’s story was backed up by an early entrepreneur who traded liquor with the indigenous Indians in exchange for furs and silver. When he asked them where they got all their silver, legend has it that they blindfolded him and took him to a cave matching the one described in Hill’s story.

Pure silver was found in Indian burial grounds near Irvine, Warren County – approximately 15 miles upstream from Tionesta. However, the Cave of Silver has never been found.

Other Lost Treasures

Mount Carmel

An aeroplane carrying a quarter-million dollars in cash crashed near Mount Carmel in 1948. The money was thrown out of the plane just prior to the crash and was never found.

Wilkes-Bare

Bandit Michael Rizzalo stole a $12,000 payroll in 1888. He was said to have buried it in a tin box somewhere on Laurel Run Mountain, just outside the town of Wilkes-Bare. The money is supposed to still be there today.

Wernersville

In 1775, a gang of Tories5 hid $100,000 in gold coins in the Wernersville area. The loot was never recovered.

Warrington Township

To Whom It May Concern,

Years ago my grandfather buried some kind of “treasure” at a secret location in Warrington Township. He left a series of clues that led to the treasure but passed away before he felt the need to retrieve it. Having lived through the Great Depression I don’t think he was the type to trust in banks or government. I can remember that he hoarded precious metals of all kinds, as well as old and valuable coins, keeping them in linen trunks in the basement. Sort of an eccentric fellow.

My siblings and I hunted for the treasure all throughout our youth, but our enthusiasm waned as we matured. Even after many years of searching no one in my family has ever been able to find the hoarde. I think this is because none of us ever found the location of the first clue. Both my father and uncle assured me that they witnessed my grandfather in the area of the Bradford Reservoir with pick and shovel on more than one occasion. This was our one hint, but no matter how much we searched the forest we never found anything. He knew it too well, and we too little. Or perhaps the clues were lost to time, rusted and overgrown.

I don’t have it in me to hunt for treasure anymore. I was the last member of my family to give it up. In a month I’ll be moving in with the rest of my relatives out west – permanently – and I don’t want this little legend to die with us. Somebody should enjoy the hoarde. None of us want to let it rot in the ground forever, even if we can’t have it. I’ve talked it over with my siblings and we agree that it’s time to turn the treasure hunt over to people smarter than us. I would like to make this information public. I would respectfully request that you publish the story and the clues that my grandfather left behind.

Please respect my desire to remain anonymous in these matters. I do not wish to attract any undue attention to my family. As a metal detector hobbyist for many years I have heard my fair share of stories about the kinds of harassment families and property owners can face when rumours arise regarding “buried treasure” in the vicinity.

Undoubtedly with your resources you can spread news of this throughout the county and roundabout. I will be mailing this information to as many publications and individuals as possible, in the hopes that those with the means to do so will disseminate it freely. Any interested treasure hunters are encouraged to make for the hoarde. We relinquish all claims and consider the hoarde fair game.

I will be reading the papers and following this story with enthusiasm! I look forward to eventually congratulating the finder, if any.

Sincerely,

Sonny Amou

PS — Family tradition has it that my grandfather buried numerous hoardes throughout the township, however we have only one set of clues. Whenever I searched for the hoarde I usually swept the area with a metal detector in case any other treasures happened to be near. My father, who I believe was in the know, said that the location of the hoarde was a clue to finding other buried caches – one of them in a barrow containing my grandfather! These were the sorts of colourful family legends told about the man; that he was secretly buried according to Anglo-Saxon custom, that his ghost floats through the forest bearing a lantern and a shovel, that the “hidden fortunes” of our family are scattered across Warrington in underground vaults. But none of us ever found anything. As I wrote earlier, the very first clue eluded all of us. I may have been a treasure hunter all my life but I know when to admit defeat and pass the torch.
The Clues:

Within 70 paces of the Lion’s Tree there is iron in the earth.
99 paces at 72 degrees the Sun shines underground.
At 9 o’ clock the Sun’s rays reach out 86 paces.
A book there rests which guides the way, it reads:

(read downward starting at column 1)

 

52-3-21
10-7-17
80-5-23
44-5-25
16-8-32
84-4-28
52-9-15
34-6-12
90-7-19
28-4-22
66-2-12
78-5-15
72-5-23
58-4-26
24-8-18
60-4-54
48-7-21
30-1-23
16-5-19
24-1-11
50-5-43
70-1-19
44-4-26
24-7-17
12-3-29
38-2-10
84-3-27
18-5-13
96-6-30
30-3-21
52-9-21
78-6-38
14-1-19
22-4-28
88-3-34
68-7-33
60-6-34
10-8-12
40-4-22
56-4-14
38-3-13
26-1-11
50-2-16
74-3-19
86-9-17
12-2-24
66-1-37
30-7-21
42-2-12
98-4-32
92-9-25
44-4-22

 

I can reveal the following: Warrington Township is in Bucks County, PA and “Sonny Amou” comes from a wealthy family. This letter went out to local newspapers — the Intelligencer, the Courier Times, Calkins Media (owner of the Intelligencer and the Courier Times), the Reporter, the Herald, the County Historical Society, and two employees of Calkins Media who Mr. Amou thought might be interested in the story (one a columnist for the Courier Times and one an archivist for the Intelligencer). As of this date no newspapers have run the material. Please help raise awareness of the subject, otherwise I won’t earn the second half of my commission. Thanks for your time.

 

The Clues:

Within 70 paces of the Lion’s Tree there is iron in the earth.
99 paces at 72 degrees the Sun shines underground.
At 9 o’ clock the Sun’s rays reach out 86 paces.
A book there rests which guides the way, it reads:

52 sets of 3 #s highest # from left to right is
98-9-54
lowest # left to right is
10-1-10
—————–
if the lion’s tree,is found,the dir of the iron has to be found
IE: Within 70 paces of the Lion’s Tree,there is iron in the earth.
i would hope it is a metal pole,and the only one that close to the LT
i put an img together,to see what im reading,i put the iron to the E
of the LT,it could be NSW too,either way though the 86p and book
back track the 99p,give or take a foot or 2,either side.thats if i figured
it out correctly,as to what the clue says
im going to have to think on the # sets,maybe a magazine has 10 paragraphs
i guess a book could too, if the paragraphs are short,2-3 lines

A Handy Tip

 

Digging for treasure is not with a shovel and three scoops later, “Voi la”, you uncover the top of a treasure chest! The more valuable the treasure, the deeper it is buried; is the rule. The average treasure (less than $100,000) is buried at a depth between four and six feet. This is well beyond the depth range of 99.9% of all metal detectors.

The Spanish King, Charles II, decreed that all treasure in North America that could not be brought back to Spain before the American Indian revolt of 1685 was to be buried at least 30 feet deep or 30 feet of tunnel from the outside of the mountain. Penalty for a burying treasure too shallow was death! Hundreds of Spanish mines “pickled” (stored) refined bars of gold and silver at least 30 feet deep. Extensive death traps were incorporated to prevent the occasional robber from stealing the treasure (Do your research of &ldquo eath Traps” before digging for treasure!). Spain did send expeditions back to open old mines and send refined bars back to Spain. Many sites are still waiting to be found as the ownership of the land changed hands from French to American, Spanish to American, and many miners never made it back to Spain with the secret code to relocate the hidden caches due to time, death, disease or tragedy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treasure hunting movies

Here is a short list of treasure hunt related movies for your viewing pleasure. These are compiled from various websites and personal picks. They are in no special order.

  • Good Bad and the Ugly
  • It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
  • The Goonies
  • McKenna’s Gold
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Romancing the Stone
  • Legend of the Lost
  • Into the Blue
  • The Deep
  • Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • Fool’s gold
  • National Treasure
  • National Treasure: Book of Secrets
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Black Pearl
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides
  • The Nugget
  • King Solomon’s Mine
  • Sahara
  • Without a Paddle
  • Fools Gold
  • Kelly’s Heros

Ridley Creek State Park Posy Ring

What at first appeared to be just another annoying telemarketer call, actually turned out to be a lady in distress. Lady Alexia was the unfortunate soul who had lost a ring while attending a reenactment at the Ridley Creek State Park Colonial Plantation the weekend prior. Alexia had worn one of her favorite rings and to her dismay, had lost it on the last day while helping to pack the group’s camp site.

After she described the colvilarea and her confidence that it was lost there, I knew that the odds were in our favor for a recovery. We made an arrangement to meet that coming Saturday, as the sooner we look for it the better… plus I could tell that she was very anxious to find her ring. To my surprise, Alexia lived in Manhattan and would have to take off a day from work, in order to make this journey. She also asked if I could pick her up from the local train station, I obliged and was impressed with the trust she had in strangers.

Prior to my search, Alexia contacted the Park and secured permission for me to search the area with a metal detector. Since this is a historical site, I made sure to enforce the fact that I would not be digging any holes during my search. Since the ring was lost very recently, it would be a surface recovery and no need for any penetrations. The State Park management granted us permission, with the understanding that if any other items/artifact were found during my search that I would give them to the Park.

I met Alexia at the local train station that Saturday around noon. The weather had taken a turn for the worse; it reminded me of an Islay scotch. It was overcast, with patches of light rain, cooler and windy! I could smell the damp peat and taste the salty sea. Ok, maybe the peat and the salt was the Talisker still lingering on my palate, but it was a typical Scottish day (from what I hear).  🙂  As we drove to the park I learned that Alexia is in the jewelry business, she is a gemologist. The lost ring was part of her jewelry collection; it was a 15th century English posy ring with the inscription “NUL AUTRE” on the inside. It was originally found by a metal detectorist in England and then sold under the Treasure Act of 1996.

When we arrived at the field, I recognized that the area was large than estimated. I would take me the rest of the day to search, but fortunately, it was all low grass, so that was a pleasure to work with. We had a brief chat about what occurred in the different parts of the field and then I was ready to start the search.

I use little orange flags to mark my search grid and spots of interest, this way I make sure that there are no overlaps or missed spots and I can come back later to investigate the “good hits.” I did have two great sounding hits, with a high likelihood of them being older silver coins; it was so hard not to check them. Yet since they were a few inches down, I could not dig a plug, a promise is a promise… but it was so tempting.

I was a few hours into my search and hope was fading fast. I had searched the most probably areas with two more smaller spots to check, the archery area and where Alexia had dropped some swords. The archery area search did not produce anything. With failure on my mind, I told her that I could come back with a friend to try one more time the following week. I was really impressed with her attitude, as she said that it is ok, because she tried her best to find her ring. This made me feel better, because I gave it my best also.

The last small 10′ x 10′ area is where Alexia first noticed that her ring was missing. She said that she had alexia-posy-ringput down some swords by the vehicles when – to her horror – her prized possession was missing. And at this very spot I had a clear hit, it was perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. As I squatted down and moved the grass to the side I saw the yellowish glint of gold that every treasure hunter dreams of. I immediately knew by the beautiful diagonal design that this was Alexia’s. I was so happy, that I couldn’t contain myself and had to exclaim our find! I was amazed at the beauty and sheer weight of this ring – it is an exquisite piece of jewelry! This is definitely the nicest and most valuable – monetarily speaking – ring that I had found so far.

She was VERY happy – it made my day. On the alexiaway back to the car, she made the comment that the ring, which was originally found by a metal detectorist in England, was found again by a metal detectorist.

Not only did Alexia give a very generous reward, but she also bought lunch as we waited at the local pub for her train to arrive. The reward came in handy, because on that day I had to replace my washing machine.

 

Wedding ring recovered in Swatara Creek near Hummelstown, PA!

I was eating lunch at work when I received a call from a man who had lost his wedding ring while he was  bait fishing in the Swatara Creek near Hummelstown, Pa. Immediately two things came to mind, the fact that it was a three hour round trip and that the ring was lost in a cold creek in October! Brrr!!!! I mentioned to him that the RingFinders have folks in his immediate vicinity, to which he responded that the original RingFinder he contacted did not want to get wet.

Ok, so I did have some reservations about going into the cold water, for a near impossible task, but what the heck – I have a job to do and this man needed my assistance. Besides, treasure hunters go to where the treasure is – isn’t that right Mr. Beau Ouimette?

Another reason I decided to give this a shot was the fact that Eric wrote up very detailed responses in his emails to every question I had. He was very thorough, which was impressive, so that helped out a lot. He obviously really wanted to recover the ring; he was actually the other half of the recovery team.

A few days later we had a break in the cold weather, so I grabbed my snorkeling mask and detector and off I went. We communicated via texts, as he came from northern Jersey and I came up from Philly; we met right on time near the Swatara Creek by Hummelstown, PA with about three to four hours of daylight remaining.

I threw on my new waders and we walked down to the creek. It was about as deep as I had expected from his description, but much faster. Being an avid fly fisherman, I immediately eyed up the rapids … no mayflies would be hatching today.  🙂 To my surprise, Eric walked right into the creek with me, leading the charge in a T-shirt, shorts and some water shoes! I knew that he was cold, but he was on a mission and he didn’t complain once. Eric was right in there with me, I actually needed him to help guide me and keep me in my “lanes.” This was important, so that I would not miss spots or go over the same areas twice.

swatara

Searching the creek was difficult, there was so much junk in there, I really had to try and filter out all thefalse hits. My detector also went off every time I hit a rock … very frustrating. Then when I had a viable signal, I had to dip my head under the water in hopes of locating it with my Garrett Carrot. The water was moving so fast that it would often fill my mask, waders and kick any objects I touched down stream a few feet. I also had to detect with the current, I just could not swing my detector going against the fast flowing water.

Eric did a great job in guiding me, I was thankful that he was there and that he did such a great job working with me. About two hours or so into our search his parents showed up and we took a short break. I could tell that Eric was cold and could use a some time out of the cold water to warm up. He then told me that he came down a few times to search for the ring himself, but it was just too difficult.

After our break I saw that we were running out of daylight quickly and it would soon be too dark to continue the search. I had mentioned to Eric that a friend of mine, aka the Otter, really enjoys water detecting and that we might have to come back next summer to give it another shot …I had kinda lost hope in recovering the ring at this point. Yet Eric’s determination, standing in that cold water doing all he could, gave me inspiration to press on and at least finish our current search area. There was even more to check out further upstream, but we just didn’t have enough time today.

One more lane in the center of the stream would complete the grid and I was going to call it a day, this search was coming to an end. I was getting my apology for failing him ready, as he was still guiding me, using his body as a marker. We were in the middle of the creek in deeper faster water, I was about ten feet from Eric, ready to call it a day – thinking of my warm dinner – when my detector gave me a solid ping, which could be a white gold ring … or a bottle cap. This would be my last hope, my last dip into the cold water. I marked the spot with my detector, went down on my knees and tried to locate it with the pin pointer. I felt the pin pointer’s vibration, so I pulled down my mask and took a dunk in efforts to locate the metal object. And at that moment, I had visions of Sméagol finding his “precious” in the dark cave. As I looked past the bubbles from the fast flowing water, the creek bed was already a dark grey in the fading light – there it was! The silver circle – radiating – reflecting the last light of the day. I felt like I was watching a movie, like I was in a movie. I slowly reached out with my hand, being very careful not to disturb this round object, as the strong current might toss it a few feet downstream … then the moment I closed my fingers around it – I saw that it was a beautiful silver ring – it had to be Eric’s.

Eric ringWhen I came up out of the water and held up the ring, Eric’s expression said it all – it was his! He was speechless as I handed the ring to him and then he became very excited screaming in jubilation as he was reunited with his lost wedding band. He was the most animated customer I have ever had; I was pretty happy myself. I still was in disbelief that I had actually found it under near impossible conditions. This recurring theme of not giving up and hitting my target near the very end of my search is truly inspiring. Never give up!

Berb Eric

Eric and his parents texted a picture of him and the ring to his wife while we were still all wet. My excitement did not end there however. Eric and I went to the local ATM, as he needed some cash for the reward. I was flabbergasted at his VERY generous gift, because for me it really is not about the money. The smiles are a great reward themselves, I am glad to provide a successful service to those in need. Eric insisted that I take all of the money, so reluctantly I did … ok yes, the money is very nice also, it certainly helped out with the bills.  🙂

This has been my most difficult search and also my greatest recovery! I was so pumped up on the ride home that I missed my turn and took the long way home. I shall always remember this adventure and am thankful for Eric’s help and most generous reward.

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