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Thread: Peglegs Black Gold Nuggets

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  1. #31
    us
    Fortune Favors the BOLD, while Karma Favors the Wise!

    Jan 2006
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Quote Originally Posted by RealdeTayopa
    =gollum ]

    That in mind, I believe that any gold placer nuggets that sit in the desert sun, untouched for hundreds of years, will turn black, and hence there could be black gold nuggets in many locations.
    Mike
    *************

    HI, some of the Oriental religeous shrine domes have a thin sheathing of Gold, which has not changd in a thousand years or so. Gold is known for it's resistance to chemical attack, including solar activity, however, when combined with a coating of Ferrrous or cupperous materiels, they in turn will react to dark brown or black.

    Tropical Tramp
    Absolutely. Depending on how much copper is in a nugget, may make it black. There are several places where desert varnish has grown on smaller surface rocks, and given them a black coating. Since desert varnish is mostly a clay with manganese oxide in it. It would not necesarily be attacking the gold, just coating it. I'll bet if we took a nugget, and mixed clay in water, and slowly sprayed a very fine mist of the mixture at the nugget, it would eventually cover it. Then bake that coated nugget in the hot desert sun for 500 years, and I bet it turns black!

    Best,

    Mike
    My Motto: "KEEP AT IT!"

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  2. #32

    Jun 2006
    Tesero Lobo Super Traq
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    I've been out south of Tule Wash for the past month just lookin' to be lookin' . Got tired of chasing Fig Tree John in the Santa Rosa mts and gettin chased by the red ants in Grave Wash! I came across a unique find south of Tule that'll I'll post later in the fossil section. According to George Jefferson, the paleontologist of the Anza Borrego State Park these psuedo fossils are over 4 million years old. They're a variety of sandstone concretions from the Arroyo Diablo or Borrego Formations.

    There's a lot of weird things out here. I haven't found any of Peg Leg's gold but tomorrow is a new day. Take a look at the rectangular shape in this pic. It's out in the middle of nowhere. I believe its the foundation of an old govt. building. Not sure but I'll let you know what I find.
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  3. #33
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Greetings everyone,

    I was perusing the CA treasure atlas and found this list of possible sites for Pegleg's gold:

    A: West of the Salton Sea
    B: Across the Colorado river near Picacho and towards the Cargo Muchacho and Chocolate mountains
    C: SW of the Salton sea
    D: In the Imperial Valley between San Bernardino and the Chocolate mountains
    E: 20 E of Niland near the Chocolate mountains
    F: In the Santa Rita mountains
    G: Between Mecca and Blythe, south of I-10
    H: NE of the Salton Sea
    I: In the Chuckwalla mountains in the area of Guilliday well
    J: 3 miles E of Jamacha

    This covers a great deal of area. Desert magazine editors were convinced the area is to the SW of the Salton sea in what is now the Anza Borrego state park, and some T-net-ers are of the same opinion, as you can read. It is possible (I will say probable) that there are more than one such deposit, as gold nuggets in this area can and do get crusted with "desert varnish" over time, though often only on any exposed surfaces, if only part of a nugget were exposed to the air the underside would not become coated. According to the AZ dept of Geology, the varnish takes thousands of years to form microns thick, not hundreds of years. I have their articles here (somewhere, lost in the heap of stuff never un-packed) but it may be online too for that matter. On the plus side, this is some of the most beautiful country in the southwest, so worth the trip if for nothing else but seeing the country.

    Jeffro - my goodness I hope you have the spot where you found that well marked! I doubt it is one of a kind! The nitric acid should have removed a desert varnish, or beating on it with a hammer if it is solid gold underneath, which you would have a hint because it would be very heavy for its size. If it does not feel too heavy, your sample is ore, not a nugget and would be worth tracing down the source - might be a good thick vein of it to make you $$$$$$.

    Desertrat, very interesting photos! That old foundation photo seems to show some old trails leading to it, a site well worth doing some MDing around! Keep us posted?

    Roy - Oroblanco

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  4. #34
    us
    Dec 2005
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    I know its not one like you guys are describing, but I thought it interesting enough to post, as a reminder to be careful what you throw away. These black nuggets you guys are talking about could be easily missed if going by sight, they'd look like a bunch of other rocks out there...

    I have no idea what is coating this thing. May be rock, but it doesn't QUITE appear that way. Just enough to leave me dubious. May be caliche, but the nitric would've bubbled pretty good at that? I dunno. Anyways, not all gold appears like gold, as you well know. This piece is really small, but its a curiosity. Maybe half pennyweight or so.

    You are probably correct in your thinking that this may be a piece close to the source, lots of pockets in this country where I found this one. Gonna have to get back up there one of these days, lol!

  5. #35

    Feb 2004
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Quote Originally Posted by bakergeol
    Wasn't one theory about Pegleg's gold was an argument that it was massacre gold. Spanish travelers carrying gold were wiped out by the Indians and this is what had been found. Did not the writer to the Desert USA who had found the nuggets mention that they were 10% copper? As their composition was unlike any being mined in the region this would support their reasoning. Wasn't there a Spanish artifact found also?

    Sure makes for some interesting reading.


    George

    What the writer to the Desert USA also found were two artifacts. One was a buckle which apparently came from an aminal harness. The other was an ancient sword scabbard which was identified as probably Spanish and from the first half of the 18th century. These with the copper content not native to the region has led to an old Spanish massacre site theory.

    This theory implies that much of the finder's story except for initially finding the nuggets is a fabrication. It would explain why no claim was ever filed on the property. After the surface nuggets were exhausted it would have been a simple thing to file and sell the claim for millions to a mining company and simply walk away.

    George


  6. #36
    us
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Quote Originally Posted by bakergeol
    Quote Originally Posted by bakergeol
    Wasn't one theory about Pegleg's gold was an argument that it was massacre gold. Spanish travelers carrying gold were wiped out by the Indians and this is what had been found. Did not the writer to the Desert USA who had found the nuggets mention that they were 10% copper? As their composition was unlike any being mined in the region this would support their reasoning. Wasn't there a Spanish artifact found also?

    Sure makes for some interesting reading.


    George

    What the writer to the Desert USA also found were two artifacts. One was a buckle which apparently came from an aminal harness. The other was an ancient sword scabbard which was identified as probably Spanish and from the first half of the 18th century. These with the copper content not native to the region has led to an old Spanish massacre site theory.

    This theory implies that much of the finder's story except for initially finding the nuggets is a fabrication. It would explain why no claim was ever filed on the property. After the surface nuggets were exhausted it would have been a simple thing to file and sell the claim for millions to a mining company and simply walk away.

    George

    Hey George,

    Locating a claim on the nuggets is not quite as simple as you suggest. If the stated location is correct, then it could lie within the boundaries of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It could also lie on the US Naval Bombardment Range. It could also lie on or around several company owned pieces of property out there. You could not locate a claim on any of that type of property in California.

    The guy who supposedly found Peg Leg's Black Nuggets in the Desert Magazine Article never claimed to have found anything other than the nuggets. I just reread the article to make sure. He NEVER claimed to find any buckles or sword scabbards. You are thinking of another story altogether (it is in the same area though).

    The story about finding the buckle and sword (NOT Scabbard) was from George Mroczkowski. In the late sixties, his crew went out to the battle site, and found many relics that proved the "TALE" true! I won't go into all the details of the San Felipe Massacre story. It is elsewhere on this site. They also found a gold cross with garnets, and a little brass reliquary box, a hilt from a Moorish Sword, a piece of a silver candelabra. See pics of finds below.

    Best,

    Mike
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    My Motto: "KEEP AT IT!"

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  7. #37

    Feb 2004
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum
    Quote Originally Posted by bakergeol
    Quote Originally Posted by bakergeol
    Wasn't one theory about Pegleg's gold was an argument that it was massacre gold. Spanish travelers carrying gold were wiped out by the Indians and this is what had been found. Did not the writer to the Desert USA who had found the nuggets mention that they were 10% copper? As their composition was unlike any being mined in the region this would support their reasoning. Wasn't there a Spanish artifact found also?

    Sure makes for some interesting reading.


    George

    What the writer to the Desert USA also found were two artifacts. One was a buckle which apparently came from an animal harness. The other was an ancient sword scabbard which was identified as probably Spanish and from the first half of the 18th century. These with the copper content not native to the region has led to an old Spanish massacre site theory.

    This theory implies that much of the finder's story except for initially finding the nuggets is a fabrication. It would explain why no claim was ever filed on the property. After the surface nuggets were exhausted it would have been a simple thing to file and sell the claim for millions to a mining company and simply walk away.

    George

    Hey George,

    Locating a claim on the nuggets is not quite as simple as you suggest. If the stated location is correct, then it could lie within the boundaries of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It could also lie on the US Naval Bombardment Range. It could also lie on or around several company owned pieces of property out there. You could not locate a claim on any of that type of property in California.

    The guy who supposedly found Peg Leg's Black Nuggets in the Desert Magazine Article never claimed to have found anything other than the nuggets. I just reread the article to make sure. He NEVER claimed to find any buckles or sword scabbards. You are thinking of another story altogether (it is in the same area though).

    The story about finding the buckle and sword (NOT Scabbard) was from George Mroczkowski. In the late sixties, his crew went out to the battle site, and found many relics that proved the "TALE" true! I won't go into all the details of the San Felipe Massacre story. It is elsewhere on this site. They also found a gold cross with garnets, and a little brass reliquary box, a hilt from a Moorish Sword, a piece of a silver candelabra. See pics of finds below.

    Best,

    Mike
    Hi Mike
    You know I just love this story and am glad to see it continued. I bow to your more intimate knowledge of the area regarding claim status. You are well versed in the history of the area. The article I am using is a collection of Pegleg stories called "The Lost Black Gold Nuggets of Pegleg" Research and Associates John Southworth. The finder of Pegleg's gold made a lot of correspondence with Desert Magazine including photos after his initial post. A photo of a throat section of an eighteenth century shortsword scabbard found by him was published in Desert Magazine. I am looking at the photo as we speak. It's origin was identified by Eugene B. Harris Jr. in a letter to Desert Magazine published in February of 1968. It was included in a photo of his "loot". However the question remains "Did he find this at the site"?

    Of course one could argue the above simply implies a Spanish mining presence circa 1700 to 1750(The age of the scabbard). Of interest would be the depths he found those nuggets with his BFO. As an old BFO user I know full well the shallow detection range of BFOs. If he found them at both surface and extreme depths it would not suggest a massacre site(s) but just an inch or two beneath the surface perhaps. If he actually suspected it to be a massacre site and not a virgin deposit this would explain why he abandoned the site as all gold would have been recovered. However why provide the scabbard evidence if he wanted to maintain the Pegleg lost mine legend?

    Well just some thoughts
    George

  8. #38
    us
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Hey George,

    I haven't seen the book you are using. Very interesting. If that is the case, then there may just be a tie-in!

    In my earlier posts, I mention that I know some black nuggets were found within a couple of miles of Ocotillo Wells. The San Felipe Creek battle site is in that area also. We may have hit on something new here.

    Not a tie in between the two stories, but a tie-in between the two locations! The San Sebastian Marsh Area was pretty popular with the Spanish who were travelling along the de Anza Trail. Maybe the Spanish were walking right on top of the Black Gold Nuggets, and never knew it!

    VERY INTERESTING!

    Best,

    Mike
    My Motto: "KEEP AT IT!"

    ............... ALWAYS REMEMBER: When you make a typo, the errorists win...................Aloha Snackbar!

    Check out 1ORO1.COM

  9. #39
    us
    Just an old man enjoying life...

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Hey guys,
    I thought it might be time to clarify a couple of things. In the time I have been researching this, I find that alot of the stories intermix with each other. Like the fact that there were at least 3 "smiths" in the general vicinty and at least 2 had peglegs. In todays world that would be strange, but, in the post civil war time, not so much. Alot of people were shot in the war, and there was many a pegleg. there were also alot of people using "smith" ( a common name ) to hide from whatever. Phillip Bailey describes 3 smiths in his notes, the 1st was a pete smith who did in fact have a pegleg ( californian 10/12/1867). jedediah smith had a brother named peter smith who has some connection to early california, and there was a stephen smith that ran a sawmill at bodega ( the 1st one in california to use steam). Then there was a renegade pegleg who mined the eastside of the colorado north of yuma sometime before 1862. then there were 2 more peter smith's one worked the weaver placers in 1862-63 but was not pegleged and finally the last smith ( also peter) deserted a english ship during the vigilante days... Its easy enough to see how these stories could intermix. I love this quote I use from bailey " the lost pegleg story, in its simplest form, is the following: Sometime after 1836, or as late as 1885, a one-legged man, known by the name of Smith, who came from somwhere and was on his way to someplace, on some unknown mission, found an enormously rich mine at a place identified by 3 black buttes.". I have a newspaper article from 4/26/1854 that states: The prospecting party under the guidance of captain thomas smith, left this city (san francisco) on wednesday, in search of gold in the region of country on the colorado, near the mouth of the virgin. They have taken provisions for 3 months, and left the city in good spirits, sanguine of success. The party numbers 21 men . there is also a follow up article that states: captain smith's party of explorers to the virgin and colorado were joined at san bernardino by 60 men. they were last heard from on the mohave. this has got to be the orginal explorer thomas l smith. according to bailey the place that smith found his gold by the virgin is supposedly under lake mead... good luck finding that one. this is the smith that keeps getting caught up in the other stories and after more than a 150 yrs this ball of string is wound tight.. some will argue this, and some will agree. but even bailey believes this. i'll stop here for now and wait to hear what everyone has to say... i have a LOT more about the other "smiths" as well.. looking for your input... thanks john

  10. #40
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Greetings Pegleglooker,
    You raise a valid point - there are several Smiths which seem to have been interwoven into the legend over the years and it is one heck of a task trying to distill which are the "real" Pegleg! Now I do not like to rely too much on any book or article about any lost mine or buried treasure which is written long after the events, and try to stick to the original report, along with any other evidence which can be clearly tied in even if after the original. The oldest report of Pegleg I ever found had his name as Thomas L, not Pete or Peter, and the original tale of where the gold was located still is not clear enough to pinpoint a location but does not range as far as Lake Mead.

    This mixing of stories seems to happen a LOT in these old lost mine legends, and only serve to muddy the waters and make treasure hunters go on wild goose chases. Just my opinion here, but I think a fellow is better served if he takes all those other tales (which date after the original report) with at least a grain of salt and not put too much faith in them - sticking to the original report is how some of the greatest discoveries in the history of mankind were done, like Schliemann found Troy by sticking to the original report - Homer's Iliad.
    Oroblanco

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  11. #41
    us
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Thankx oroblanco,
    I agree with you that the most orginal report is always the most accurate. I also feel that a book is not the writers story, but it's the editors story. What i mean is the writer will submit his story and then the editor does cuts and slices. That will change the feel, if not the main crux of a story. That is why if i can. i try to find the writers notes and listen to what he wanted to say. G W james in his book says that he feels " that its postive facts are utter nonsense" ( The wonders of the Colorado desesrt vol2 pg 301 ). remember this was written in 1906. This is also why I try to use the earliest newspaper articles as well. i found these articles from Baileys research for his book "golden mirages". its what he based his book on.The 2 earliest articles talk about a thomas l smith going to the colorado and virgin river area from san fransico. i know i said that he left from there, but the expedition started from los angeles and the paper quoted its source as to the la star newspaper. sorry about that. the next report is from the sacramento union dated 4/12/1858 which stated that thomas l smith was " now in abject poverty.he has not the means of procuring a morsel of bread, and is dedependant, in his tottering and decrepid old age". its a sad way to go for someone who was so noted for his time. the next article is dated 10/26/1866 ( san fransico bulletin ) talks about his death. it seems that a major hensley made sure he got his whiskey until the end. this hensley was a emigrant that pegleg helped along the route to california.i can't find anything until 5/15/1892 from the san diego union when the writer named his grandfather as a aquantence of pegleg. his grandfather says he met pegleg at vallejo in 1852 when he was trying to get compensation from the legislature for the help he gave to california emigrants either on the gila river or the salt lake route. this is verifed by the a resolution dated 6/27/1860- 36th congressional special session senate misc - which was approved by johnson price on 5/3/1852. now this proves that pegleg was there and i'm sure we can prove that the writers grandfather w c mcdougall was there as well. according to this report, pegleg told mcdougall that during one of their hunting excursions a dutchman came into camp with alot of shining yellow metal ( remember this is before 1849 and noone knew what gold looked like in its natural state) which they melted down for bullets thinking it was copper.the dutchman told them that he found it on " the EAST side of the colorado,opposite the camp, in crossing a small valley or canyon". he was sure he found it on level ground not near a mountain. it was a couple of years later when the gold rush hit that pegleg realized what he had,the paper then reports that pegleg wasted no time in coming "down" to san francisco to arrange a porspecting party to go hunt for the nuggets. mcdougall ( the grandfather ) then said in the late 1850's he was doing business with a hospital in san francisco when he ran into pegleg and major hensley, pegleg was quoted as saying " i'm on my last pegs now, and i will soon be pegging out for other hunting grounds". since this is a story with a " live " connection with pegleg and is dated the closest to the beginning and there is proof ( legislature ) that pegleg was there at vallejo then why not i have not come across anything that debunks this but sure would be willing to listen to anything that might.. please understand that i am not saying that gold was not found in the desert... just not by " thomas l smith " . i trully beleive that a man named smith with a pegleg did wind up at warners half dead with gold nuggets that he found on either 3 small hills or two buttes, depending on who you listen to. i also believe that this is the same spot where the indian at warner got his gold, as well as the squaw at flowing wells got hers. but i do believe this is not the gold that "the man who found peglegs gold " from desert magazine found.. i often wonder if his was not the peralta gold ?? that may or may not have really happened... if anyone has anything else believe me i'm all ears...
    these are the findings that i have been able to aquire if there is anything else feel free to email, message or leave a note here. i'm all about facts and if i have anything in here thats not right PLEASE let me know. but i have a copy of all the newspaper articles and can quote them easily... as for the other smiths with the name pete or peter these are a couple of examples only. i have not done the research on them yet but will get back to you when i do.once again thankx guys and oroblanco thats to you for starting the forum....thankx pegleglooker....




  12. #42
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Hello my friend Pegleglooker,
    First no thanks needed - anyone can start a thread here and this is one lost mine I have personally hunted for so it is FUN for me!

    About the name controversy, the main reason I stick to the Thomas L name is because Cyrus Alexander called him that before he even entered California, and had a rather less-glamorous explanation of how he came to have the peg leg. What is in a name? Not too much, after all the story is Pegleg Smith, not specifically Thomas or Pete right?

    You know I had never thought of Pegleg's gold in relation to Peraltas. The Peraltas are known to have a documented gold mine in the Bradshaws (never proven to have had any in the Superstitions however) but this known gold mine was a lode mine, not placer gold like Pegleg's. Now anyone is welcome to make the connection, I won't start a fight over it - perhaps there is some connection?

    You mentioned a Dutchman had gold that came from the Arizona side of the Colorado - black nuggets I presume? If they were crusted with black desert varnish, this might be from another not-famous lost mine very similar to the Pegleg story! I think it is called the lost Cowboy mine or something like that, the story was that a cowhand was trying to herd some maverick cattle into an old adobe corral, and being on foot reached down and started picking up pebbles to toss at the cattle; in throwing stones he found some that were noticeably very heavy for their size so put some in a pocket. He forgot about the stones for years and later learned they were gold, and went back to find the spot but never found it. This is supposed to be on the AZ side of the Colorado river not too far north of Yuma. (I am writing this from memory, hope it isn't TOO danged far from what the story was!) Now I wonder if the Dutchman you mentioned didn't also happen across that spot?

    I think you have a lot more information on the Pegleg mine than I do! If I had all the old articles etc I would likely still be out there hunting for it. I almost swore that I would never hunt for it again after the last time and that is more than ten years ago but you have got me pondering again. After all, there was a little draw that we saw as we were heading out from the Chocolates that had visible black sands, and we did find several of the brown hematites that have been mentioned in several accounts. I don't even know if I could find that spot again but it might be fun to go looking anyway.

    Ever think about writing a book on Pegleg's gold? Just an idea....
    your friend,
    Roy - Oroblanco

    "We must find a way, or we will make one." --Hannibal Barca
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  13. #43
    us
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Roy,

    My favorite Hannibal quote is:

    "I love it when a plan comes together!"- Hannibal Smith "A" Team ca. 1983


    Mike
    My Motto: "KEEP AT IT!"

    ............... ALWAYS REMEMBER: When you make a typo, the errorists win...................Aloha Snackbar!

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  14. #44
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    Hey I wonder if Hannibal Smith is related to Pegleg??

    Oroblanco

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  15. #45
    us
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    Re: Pegleg's Black Gold Nuggets

    He sure is!

    He didn't have any Black Gold Nuggets, but he had a big black dude that wore a bunch of gold nugget jewelry!

    "I pity the fool that don't believe in Pegleg's Gold!"

    Mike
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    My Motto: "KEEP AT IT!"

    ............... ALWAYS REMEMBER: When you make a typo, the errorists win...................Aloha Snackbar!

    Check out 1ORO1.COM

 

 
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