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Thread: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

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    America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    America's Famous Treasure Legends.....(talking landlocked legends, not shipwrecks, etc.) most of them have been in place for at least 100 years, endless intelligent people have looked for them, both professional and amature, technology has improved and been applied countless times, even Government resources have been involved in some of these hunts, etc., etc. There's a part of me that thinks there's noway they can still be there, if in fact, they really ever were? On the other hand, given the right conditions and situation, I suppose there's a part of me that still wants to believe anything might still be possible.

    So what do you think? Which ones do you think might still be out there, and what compells you to believe that they still could be?

    (Debates are sometimes good, but let's please try not to get too bogged down with enduring or attacking arguments.)
    "The key to finding gold is finding places where it can be accessed."

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    I believe some of the bigger ones have been found,but I believe the 4 corners treasure, and the Rhodes, Inca? treasure are still out there. As well as countless lost mines, and Spanish,Indian seized treasure caravans, as some are not even documented. As far as The Beale treasure,I don't know, but I do know the government used its people to try and decipher the codes. Many civil war caches are out there, as well as most caches made by the KGC. Even more than that are the ones buried privately without anyone knowing of their existence. So you could possibly find one anywhere,in any state, at any time. The odds of passing over one is good. We all have probably walked over thousands of dollars,with and without a detector.Good Luck. rockhound

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    I think the vast majority of the treasure legends (lost mines, lost military payrolls, bank heists where the posse shot them on the spot but-found-no-money-type-of-thing), are 99% urban legend, embellished camp-fire stories, etc....

    The human mind wants "so hard to believe" though, because otherwise you feel like you "might be left out", or the "what if it's true, I certainly don't want to miss out" type thinking. Thus we tend to believe them, and just take whatever sources cited, as "must be true" (I mean, afterall, it's in print isn't it? haha).

    I've seen firsthand, just in my 35 yrs, how these things get started, and before long, it's in print somewhere, and it's just taken as fact. Add 100 yrs. to it, and you can see how the 15th person, spinning a doozie for a treasure mag. 100 yrs. later, and presto: millions of dollars are just waiting to be found

    For example: There's a particular local author in my area, who writes ghost story lore type books, based on local history. I live near a touristy beach town, so these books get sold in the local history sections of tourist shops, for instance. The author takes some tid-bit of a local bandit, spins it together with some other factoids drawn from something he gets from newspaper micro-film, adds some conjecture's people have kept in rumor mills, and makes a good book. They're generally known to be just for fun, but I am AMAZED at the people I run into occasionally, who, when they see me detecting, might come up and say: "did you know there's a treasure in the such & such cave, down in the such & such mountain range?" After chit-chatting, I suddenly realize, that the lead they are talking about, is one that came from this particular author's local works! So I attempt to tell the person "there's no treasure, it's only superstition, etc..." the listener will adamently persist, that it's true. Why? Because he read it in a book, and book is based on facts See how the human mind works? As long as there's a single fact (even if it's simply that a man by a certain name was a hermit living on the back-40 somewhere), then people just buy the rest of the story. And if you try to tell them that it's riddled with he-said/she-said conjectures, they'll just tell you "that's where you have to weed out the false-hoods, and get to the truth". So it's just an endless vicious logic loop, where .... the bottom line is, in the mind of the hearer/listener, there simply MUST be a treasure there
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    Rockhound, Tom,
    I agree that there are still a lot of caches out there to be found, and most of those probably being largely undocumented, but as far as the bigger famous treasures legends.....I tend to agree with Tom and I have to admit that I think "many of them" are purely "hyped up stories" that have been built upon over the years.

    Rockhound, you mentioned the Indian/Spanish era and that subject has always fascinated me, especially the Indian revolt of 1860, but I am also left to wonder what, if anything, was really there to be hidden?

    I think it was Tommy Thompson who said, "If we're going to look for these things, then let us first begin by hunting for those things we know to exist." (Or something to that effect) I think that statement is excellent advice, but it also puts the kill on many of the treasure stories out there.....which is kind of a bummer.
    "The key to finding gold is finding places where it can be accessed."

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    When you fly or drive the country seems a lot smaller. When you are out walking or even slower, metal detecting, you see how tiny you are and how big our land area is. Based on pure logic, you absolutely know people hid and buried things to keep them safe in the "old" days. Nowadays they may hide them in the house but likely not bury them. Well houses were tiny shacks back then, so not much "room" to hide something. Also they were solid logs or if frame, no inner 2nd wall material. Again not good hiding grounds like today's homes.

    Thus I think a lot of treasure were buried. Even more so with stolen "loot!" Then people died w/o telling anyone. This is for many reasons such as sudden death of a robber in a shoot out with the law.

    Then comes OUR problem of finding "it." There is just so much land out there it IS like a needle in a very large hay stack. Or more like germs in the haystack. They are there but you will walk right over them. The % area detected in the USA must be a very, very tiny percentage. Then it may well be buried too deep to detect. As far a true "treasures" are concerned, vs. a cache, I think it was standard practice to bury them very deep and not, just say, 1 foot down. How many finds are even at 1 ft? Most treasures, even "shallow" caches, are probably deeper than 1 ft. now, even if only 6" deep when hidden.
    Sandman23 likes this.

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    Well if you think that alott of old horse trails are now highways and that everything has been paved over than yes.there's nothing out there,BUT if you can find old maps that show where the trail once was and where the road is now,and if they don't match up well than there's a chance that the trasure is still out there.

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Produce Guy
    Well if you think that alott of old horse trails are now highways and that everything has been paved over than yes.there's nothing out there,BUT if you can find old maps that show where the trail once was and where the road is now,and if they don't match up well than there's a chance that the trasure is still out there.
    Good point.....a lot of concrete and asphalt covering a lot of earth these days.
    "The key to finding gold is finding places where it can be accessed."

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    In regards to "Famous American Treasure Legends".......the one thing that stays in the back of mind is this, "When was the last time one was documented as having been found?" Now I already know some will suggest that some have been found and snuck away in secret by the finder, but the question is in regards to, "a documented discovery of a Famous American Treasure Legend." With so many in the hunt and the advancements in modern day technology, I suspect the answer to this question "probably" speaks volumes as to the true modern day existence of many of these Famous American Treasure Legends.
    "The key to finding gold is finding places where it can be accessed."

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    Doc Lynn Talbot Treasure

    Doctor Lynn Talbot, a successful physician during the Civil War, buried a keg full of gold coins somewhere on his property. A robber murdered the Doc because he did not reveal where the cache was buried. His home was known as the " House of the Seven Gables". It is located a few miles north of Barnard, on State rte 71.


    This is the closest "treasure legend" where I live. It is only about 10 miles away but the problem with this story is that it is on private property. Several years ago the owners allowed treasure hunters to look for it and they tore up so much of the property that no one is allowed to look for it anymore. There have been several additions to the story over the years that it is nearly impossible to figure out the original clues.

    I think that is probably the case with most of the lost treasure stories. If they are still there they are not accessable for whatever reason or the story has been so contorted over the years that no one can tell where the truth in the story is and the added fluff for it begins.

    The House of 7 Gables is still there but it was moved across the road from its original location. Some serious changes have occurred since the stories origin. If this treasure still exists I am afraid it will have to be found by accident instead of through research. I think this may be the case with many of the buried treasure stories out there, a lot of things change over the years...land slides, floods, earthquakes...any number of things can cause changes in the landscape to make following clues from the past a waste of time.

    Unfortunately I think it is gonna take a lot more luck then skill to find the ones that are still out there. Even articles like the one in red above don't come close to the real story of Dr. Talbot. I helped my daughter do a history project about him and we came up with a lot of conflicting information. I still believe that there is something there to find but probably not a "keg" of gold coins. The problem is that it is private property and it is on a river bottom that has flooded several times in the last 150 years, plowed to plant crops numerous times, and they have built levees and terraces. If Talbot's gold is still out there I would bet anything it's not where he originally put it.

    HH Charlie


  11. #10
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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    Do I think there is treasure out there? YES Do I think there are bogus stories out there? YES
    As with the rest of life, it's a mixed bag. You have to find the basis of the story and research. There is no free lunch so many get discouraged or don't even try. Don't say there is nothing there unless you yourself has put out the honest. Sure I see some bummers. I did the research which left some serious questions on the Dents Run 50# gold bars so I drove and did some on the ground research. I spent 5 days talking to the locals and walking the ground. This is the results. the locals say that an author was writting a book about the tail and giving lectures to drum up interest. the forrest service put out a map showing the location and actually marked the trail to the site. It appears to be a folk tail exploited for tourism and book sales. The story itself was full of holes. How lets go to the other side of the coin. Treasure hunters make a living at this. doesn't that tell you something? Thomas P. Terry made a living treasure hunting and when he got old he turned his files into a 10 volume set of possible locations of treasure. He even listed ghost townes. Check out the possible million locations listed. UNITED STATES TREASURE ATLAS

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA
    I think the vast majority of the treasure legends (lost mines, lost military payrolls, bank heists where the posse shot them on the spot but-found-no-money-type-of-thing), are 99% urban legend, embellished camp-fire stories, etc....

    The human mind wants "so hard to believe" though, because otherwise you feel like you "might be left out", or the "what if it's true, I certainly don't want to miss out" type thinking. Thus we tend to believe them, and just take whatever sources cited, as "must be true" (I mean, afterall, it's in print isn't it? haha).

    I've seen firsthand, just in my 35 yrs, how these things get started, and before long, it's in print somewhere, and it's just taken as fact. Add 100 yrs. to it, and you can see how the 15th person, spinning a doozie for a treasure mag. 100 yrs. later, and presto: millions of dollars are just waiting to be found
    I agree. Recently I've also seen firsthand how incidences are completely misreported by the media, and even the larger mainstream media simply parroting what the first say without factchecking or sourcing or investigating themselves. Unless this is a new phenomenon this makes me question the Beale Treasure and Oak Island Treasure even more.

    That said I agree with Keithitx. Since I've got onto Google Earth it's been an eyeopener at just how HUGE the Planet is. That plus the (Discovery Channel?) series "Life After People", which shows nature reclaiming human footprints at a fantastic rate. Even if the famous tall tales are indeed tall, hope is still not completely irrational. The media/tales/stories could've pointed in the wrong direction from the first wrong claim; plus Mother Nature could've obscured all signs of anything.
    Whosoever would be a man must be a nonconformist

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    I Was Watching The Discovery Channel The Other Night And They Were Looking For Jesse James Catche's
    In Kansas They Did Find 2 Places That Housed Old Jars Of Coins That Were Predicted Belive It Of Not By
    Long Range Detectors And Combed Over With Ground Scanners They Found One Hit So Big
    That They Have To Get Bigger Equipment To Unearth It They Said Part 2 Will Be In The Spring When They Return With the Equipment And Bigger Funding Cant Wait To See That

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijun1
    I Was Watching The Discovery Channel The Other Night And They Were Looking For Jesse James Catche's
    In Kansas They Did Find 2 Places That Housed Old Jars Of Coins That Were Predicted Belive It Of Not By
    Long Range Detectors And Combed Over With Ground Scanners They Found One Hit So Big
    That They Have To Get Bigger Equipment To Unearth It They Said Part 2 Will Be In The Spring When They Return With the Equipment And Bigger Funding Cant Wait To See That
    Jury ain't in on that one yet . There's been a lot of discussion on it here in other threads .
    Jim
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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    It would be nice to see one of them discovered, loot still in place, untouched and just as it was left long ago. However, in short time we'd probably see a boom in detector sales and whole additional set of new laws & regs. Things always seem to turn that way.
    Sandman23 likes this.
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  16. #15
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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    Also...some of the legends may indeed have been found, but the finders kept it hush-hush.

    With so many laws and the Fed trying to seize everything and "original owner" disputes, it would be easier to sneak away with the treasure than declare it.

    Take Mel Fischer. He (as far as I know) did everything right--had an onboard archaeologist, recorded things, observed laws. Then was whamboozled by claims from national governments on a wreck he'd spent a decade of his life researching and finding. From examples like that (or maybe prior to him in the case of past finders), I'd expect finders to more likely do whatever they can to keep a discovery out of notice. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be honest
    Whosoever would be a man must be a nonconformist

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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    Suggestion... Pick one of these long ago, storied legends, and start learning more. Get your hands on as many articles and books relating to it and keep reading. If nothing else it will
    give you some food for thought, and will be another adjunct to your detecting. I got interested
    in a "rumored" treasure back in New Jersey (John Ringoes), and actually had it narrowed down
    to few acres.....none of which was accessible.

    When I moved to Texas I started reading about Sam Bass, and enjoy all the stories and theories about his supposed treasures.

    www.StoutStandards.com

  18. #17
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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    I have had personal experiences many times with the "exaggerated" reporter story. They often used hyperbole and sensationalism to sell their story. Time has a way of changing not only the facts but people's recollections of them. However, certain things do manage to stick and become recurring themes and avoid being changed as they are details so strong they resist manipulation. The legends almost certainly have some basis in fact and there is no doubt in my mind that more treasure has been lost than has been found. Many have said before that the key is research and that is certainly very true. But much less is said about techniques for recovery, negotiation with private property owners and ... shall I say... long term "conservation" of the materially valuable items recovered. I believe this is partly because many learned from Mel Fischer's experience. Another reason is that of 100 people who talk about wanting to find a significant treasure only 10 might actually expend any real effort and energy in doing so and only 1 or 2 put boots on the ground with money, equipment and manpower. Many and varied are the reasons for that low percentage. I personally do not focus on the treasure legends for now. Maybe at some point in the future. Smaller and lesser known targets have more potential and can be lucrative with fewer complications.

    Yes, learn from Mel and learn from silence. Silence is truly "golden" but it is the most difficult discipline to master, even harder than quitting smoking, drinking and overeating. There is a way to achieve every goal and access every location. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Know yourself...and know your adversary.
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  19. #18
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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    I know of several personally that have been found. Just last year a gold hoard was unearthed in Nashville while tearing down a brick wall to buid a new highway.The highway workers split the money,then the city took them to court to try and recover it. A couple in Minneapolis bough a house, and while planting some trees,unearthed a box full of gold coins.A friend of mine is a professional treasure hunter. He travels the country unearthing caches and other lost treasures. The US goverment states that as much as $1 billion dollars worth of treasure was buried during the civil war alone. Countless payrolls were lost in skirmishes.Most regiments had a paymaster whose sole responsibilty was to pay troops and keep records of transactions. When a skirmish broke out, he was to keep the payroll out of the hands of the enemy at all cost.This would have come down to him having to bury it to keep it from falling into the enemies hands.There are two fairly large caches near me,but they are on private property, and I can't get permission to hunt for them. During the first century of our nation, banks were few and far between. When a farmer sold his crops and or livestock, he was probably far away from a bank. It sometimes took two days or more just to reach a bank. It was far more convienent to bury it for safe keeping and easy access.Those who traveled to farmers and ranchers to buy livestock had to carry enough gold or silver to purchase whatever he needed or wanted. These people were ripe for highwaymen to rob. Many people dissappeared and were never heard from again.There are caches everwhere,but don't take my word for it.Sell your equipment and take up another hobby that don't require research,like golf or tennis. rockhound

  20. #19
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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by rockhound
    I know of several personally that have been found. Just last year a gold hoard was unearthed in Nashville while tearing down a brick wall to buid a new highway.The highway workers split the money,then the city took them to court to try and recover it. A couple in Minneapolis bough a house, and while planting some trees,unearthed a box full of gold coins.A friend of mine is a professional treasure hunter. He travels the country unearthing caches and other lost treasures. The US goverment states that as much as $1 billion dollars worth of treasure was buried during the civil war alone. Countless payrolls were lost in skirmishes.Most regiments had a paymaster whose sole responsibilty was to pay troops and keep records of transactions. When a skirmish broke out, he was to keep the payroll out of the hands of the enemy at all cost.This would have come down to him having to bury it to keep it from falling into the enemies hands.There are two fairly large caches near me,but they are on private property, and I can't get permission to hunt for them. During the first century of our nation, banks were few and far between. When a farmer sold his crops and or livestock, he was probably far away from a bank. It sometimes took two days or more just to reach a bank. It was far more convienent to bury it for safe keeping and easy access.Those who traveled to farmers and ranchers to buy livestock had to carry enough gold or silver to purchase whatever he needed or wanted. These people were ripe for highwaymen to rob. Many people dissappeared and were never heard from again.There are caches everwhere,but don't take my word for it.Sell your equipment and take up another hobby that don't require research,like golf or tennis. rockhound
    Rockhound,
    You're right about one thing, "research"....and I think everyone agrees that there still are a lot of caches out there, both large and small, but as far as the more famous American Treasure Legends, i.e....like those listed in the "Treasure Legends" section of this forum? A lot of boots have been put on the ground and a lot of time and money and technology has been applied in pursuit of these legends with, as of yet, little or no documented reward. Back in the day I think it would have been possible to sneak off with some of these prizes, but today and in recent years I doubt it would be possible. So as far as the "more Famous American Treasure Legends" .....yep....sadly I have to admit that I'm a sceptic. That's why I wish one would be found and documented, because I don't like being a sceptic to the many American Treasure Legends I've come to know and love.
    "The key to finding gold is finding places where it can be accessed."

  21. #20
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    Re: America's Famous Treasure Legends. Could they really still be out there?

    It has been estimated that no one in the United States lives further than 10 miles from a "big ticket" treasure: one worth $10,000+. I'm not so sure now. Might be 20 miles. But I could be wrong.

    Treasure hunting is like fishing. You don't get many fish given to you. You have to search them out. Sometimes you need special equipment: fishing rod, reel, boat, motor, lure, bait. But you might hear stories about the ones that "got away." As a treasure hunter, you have to learn to research. Prior Planning Prevents P___-Poor Performance. Like planning for a productive fishing trip, you have to plan your Performance. And sometimes you still get skunked on the water.

    Most people don't research. They hear of a treasure story, and can't figure out the 5 W's: Who, What, Where, When, Why. If you don't have a Who (a specific person, not a dutchman) you haven't reached a research stage to try to go further with the lead. And the ideal cache has all 5 of the W's answered before you start looking. But in my experience, most people only "hear" about a cache, and think they know exactly where it's at. Even successful cache hunters don't get 100% before they search: they may only know the year or decade when a cache was concealed, rather than the date. But the best cache _finders_ track everything down they can.

    History is being lost all the time. Take ghost towns. What is a ghost town? Is it a place where people lived and no longer live? Better think again!

    You know who the biggest supporter of treasure in the United States is? The United States Mint. The Mint estimates that a coin that lasts in circulation for 20 years has more than paid for itself. Most coins are lost, hoarded, or cached before then. Take a look at how many coins have been minted in the last 20 years. Look at what you have in your pockets. Find any coins older than 20 years? What kind are they?

    Here's a quick exercise in treasure hunting: add up all the coins that were put into circulation in the last 5 years. Figure out how many people there are in the United States. Divide the face value of the coins into the number of people in the U.S. How much coinage should every person have? How much do you have? How much has been lost? Where was it lost? How was it lost? Who lost it? Why was it lost?

    True treasure hunters ask questions. They are history detectives. And they usually believe in recycling old coins into new currency unless the old coins are gold, silver and increasingly copper. When is a coin worth more as scrap than as currency? Now you know why so many people hunt coin rolls.

    Do I believe caches still exist? YES. Have some treasure legends been over-hyped? YES. How do you tell the difference? YOUR RESEARCH SKILLS.

    Some people do research. You read about them sometimes. Sometimes you don't. 50 years ago a can of rocks would be left where a cache was found. Ever found a can of rocks and couldn't figure out why it was there?

 

 
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