failed hunts for (a defined) treasure
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  1. #1
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    1,060
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    failed hunts for (a defined) treasure

    some definitions upfront - not the only definitions, but those I'm using here

    1) treasure = defined items, perhaps quantity
    2) location = localized in some manner, more than one reference?
    3) hunt = verifying the location, and identifying those resources needed to effect recovery
    4) recovery = secure control

    this thread is about searches, as defined above, that failed
    by failed I do not mean that nothing was found (the gold standard of THing), rather that based on . . . . . . .,the treasure story was false
    ah, but can we ever prove a negative?
    and so the treasure tale continues

    I can provide some examples (as my form of humor).

    The 1st hunt (described here) was for a cloth bag of cut diamonds stolen by a GI prior to the Battle of the Bulge, during which the bag was buried at the base of some cliffs. So what happened? #1 kinda, source was in initial group of what became the CIA (careful with those letters, eh) but nonetheless a single source. There is more than one story, could one validate the other? #2 the cliffs are there, a well known and accessible area #3 look-see time, took my source to Switzerland and drove into France; can't look w/o a shovel so I went to a hardware store and got the shock of my life - no cheap s**t from China and the only option was buying a hand-forged shovel, one can imagine the price but I brought it back as it is so beautifully crafted. OK, onward through the fog. I started hiking those cliffs, the top was covered with really extensive bunkers, tunnels, huge craters 40 years later, etc. Unfortunately the bombing caused 20-40 of the cliff face to fall . . . . .
    end of story
    (and the dedicated will say "no, the bag of diamonds are still there"; and a new legend is born, lol)

    The 2ed hairbrained venture was in Greece but I had to visit Eric Foster in the UK first to get some special PI he had made for me (can you believe that I never detected in the UK? different law then I think). It was a 3 day effort to get the detectors into Greece but there was a problem, my dealings were with the son in TX and the father was not of the same mind (afraid to get caught - prudent). Finally an old church in the mountains was targeted #1 blah blah #2 blah blah #3 the visit gets more interesting, left in a car with 2 other men and joined 2 more cars in Athens, drove for many hours into the mountains (new definition of rough) to a closed bar at 3AM where we met with a group of 20+ men and as we clambered into the transport truck I noticed a pistol in the waistband of one. 25 men, and not a single shovel; I said nothing. We get to the church in the brightest of moonlight and the clowns start talking it up. Pretty soon there are barking dogs and a bullet smacks the wall 6"over my head.
    end of story
    ah, but is there more?? I detected around ~1/2 the church and along one side was a 4' long screaming target, I said nothing at all
    lookie here, another treasure legend

    Fred
    Last edited by BillA; May 08, 2019 at 09:06 AM.
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  2. #2

    Mar 2015
    740
    3797 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hello BillA

    I enjoyed your post. As we all know many many treasure hunting projects failure due to many various reason. Each project is uniquely different. Even with the most professional of research there are no guarantees. The following story is of an attempt to search for king Charles 1st missing Treasure.



    When people fail on such projects they react differently. While many make many conclusions from that failure, some positive some times negative. Searching for treasure my friend is incredible highs and lows.

    While many projects failure due to poor research, other failures are beyond the control of the searchers such as time and urban sprawl . Another factor some people are not suited or prepared on how hard it really is to search for treasure.

    While some would sneer that such trips was a wild goose chase? Yet for me each one of those stories have lessons to be learned.

    Once again thank you for a thought provoking post.

    Kanacki
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  3. #3
    us
    Mar 2011
    1,895
    3990 times
    Hi BillA.
    It seems that you have done some international searches. I’m curious about any language barriers that might present themselves. How do you handle that? It seems that in a treasure search you would have to be very careful about what is said and how it is interpreted. Do you hire interpreters or learn the languages yourself.
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  4. #4
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    1,060
    1453 times
    mdog, a very relevant question, and the views proffered are only mine
    (note that I hunt alone, a rather expensive hobby yielding only tall tales; Tom would approve)

    If one wishes to interact with the locals then some (local) language knowledge is absolutely necessary, otherwise you are a tourist, with or w/o a guide. Being a tourist is actually good when doing reconnaissance; but otherwise have a real cover activity, while you learn the lingo.
    (I spent 2 weeks being hidden in Greece with only a Greek/English dictionary, and I studied Greek - didn't learn much, Greek-to-me applies. And the hunt was a bust/normal.)

    As a professional one can go about anywhere one wishes and with a guide (of stature) to about anywhere one can physically navigate.
    Without a guide and not speaking the language can be more than just dangerous.
    (I went to Michoacan as a (placer) mining consultant and never saw so much acreage in pot! (All the high benches were planted of a large winding river high in the mountains.) But I had a guide and spoke Italian, quite similar to Spanish, so I was received well.)

    So is being a tourist a sufficient cover for a treasure hunter?
    Not if one intends to recover anything.
    (One can bring their detector to Costa Rica and with some effort recover raw gold; it will be seized when you exit at the airport. If one speaks Spanish your access will be faster and to better sites (multiple oz nuggets); customs will still seize your gold, while you are objecting in Spanish.)

    Pura Vida

    edit: mdog - more important than language is trust. One can learn the lingo; but 'trust', in a different culture, is a world apart. The problem is first that each word has a different definition, and second that 'trust' itself has a huge cultural bias. And when money/loot/riches is involved . . . trust went out the window, a cultural constant.

    edit2: even if you never read the book its title applies to foreign, and even domestic, searches: "Stranger in a Strange Land"
    a classic BTW
    Last edited by BillA; May 14, 2019 at 09:13 AM. Reason: addl info, grammar

  5. #5
    us
    Mar 2011
    1,895
    3990 times
    Thanks, Bill.

    I’ve discovered, in my research of Treasure Mountain, that without an education in the French and Spanish languages, my research efforts were pretty much useless.

    Thanks for the book title. I’ll take a look.
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  6. #6
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    1,060
    1453 times
    kanacki, ta for the nice words

    slick video you posted, who was the producer and why?

    here is one for me failed, but for them a success

    Fragments of over ten paintings that may have been produced by renown Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky have been discovered inside a steamer which sank in the late 19th century.



    from Sputnik

  7. #7

    Mar 2015
    740
    3797 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hello BillA

    I do not know Greek or the language. So I can only comment on what you have told me. I suppose if you look in the in the historical context that the entire project was to determine if the 10 paintings was on board the shipwreck steamship? And they found fragments? Then you could say it was a success.

    However looking at financial commercial operation I agree with you totally definitely no.

    In regards to the documentary I posted. I think it was produced on behalf of trust fund that bankrolled the project.It was sold to discovery channel. These one off Documentaries while entertaining for us do not make a lot of money but will put some food on the table for the producers.

    Where real money is made is keeping the general public viewing generating advertising revenue. Like Oak Island the content does not even have to be believable anyone because it becomes more a Doco soap opera. So long as the masses are watching the value of advertising values are going up.

    In regards to the Charles the first story. Why is was a failure in 8 years of searching from 1991-1998 they did not find it.

    Marine archaeologists have long searched for the wreck, but it has never been found, not least because 500 other vessels lie at the bottom of the Firth of Forth.

    An eight-year search by the Burntisland Heritage Trust and the Royal Navy began in 1991. The Trust intended to open a museum in Burntisland exhibiting any artefacts that could be salvaged from the Blessing. After finding 200 possible wreck sites within a two-mile area of the estuary, one wreck was closely inspected in 1993, and divers found pottery, shoe leather and bolts dating from the 1600s.

    The search ended in 1999 with HMS Roebuck discovering a wreck 1 mile (1.6 km) off the coast of Burntisland. Divers were sent 120 feet (37 m) below the waves to verify the computerised survey images.

    However the Secretary of State for Scotland revoked the licence to search for the wreck gave the site legal protection to keep treasure hunters at bay. What drove that decision we can only speculate.

    I could only guess it was lobbying from archaeologists that a commercial enterprise was searching for it on behalf of non profit foundation rather than a purely academic one. Since any treasure would be considered national patrimony? If the Scottish Government had a legal binding agreement with a commercial salvage company they would be bound by law to pay the discoverer a huge percentage of value of treasure. Valued varied between 500 -750 million dollars that would wipe out the entire budget set aside to protect conserve and employ archaeologists in Scotland. So I would not be surprised there was perhaps a political and financial agenda that also to shut down the project.

    Few people realize the most dis honest people to work with are governments . From experience you have endless meetings with officials and finally after jumping through endless loops. Finally get a workable agreement in place them there is a change of government with agenda then the previous agreement becomes null and void. Because the incoming government has a different policy agenda. Not just in searching for treasure but in mining also.

    This happens I could show examples of this but that would straying into politics and against the rules and slightly off topic.

    Kanacki
    Last edited by KANACKI; May 14, 2019 at 10:38 PM.
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  8. #8
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    1,060
    1453 times
    Hola Kanacki, indeed it is a simple observation that politics is the bane of treasure hunting. And mining is little different.

    Here in Costa Rica (CR) a 10 year moratorium was passed for all mineral extraction due to a proposed large gold mine in the north. Do you remember Arias, the President of CR who got a Nobel Peace Prize for his Nica negotiation? Well, he had approved the gold project and received 5% of the co. stock for his approval, under the table.
    Peace Prize . . . I could go on.

    So now the moratorium is going to expire and various committees are working to copy someone else's regs w/o much understanding of what gold miners do as a 'work around' to regulations to which they are indifferent or opposed. For example there will be no mercury because it is banned. Really? I can go 2 hours to Panama and buy all I wish, miners are not dumber than I. There is no open ground but they speak of permitting dredging in rivers only in certain areas. How is a miner to gain access? No property owner is going to agree to permit miners' passing, living on, and trashing their property. And more importantly, just who is going to enforce all these brand new regulations? (These inspectors will be quite wealthy with their bribes to permit anything at all, super corruption instantly.)

    In the '80s there were numerous foreign companies that received exploration permits only. They used 8" dredges for their exploration and I have visited 3 properties where over 1kg /week was produced, and the rivers were richer yet. In many known cases the bedrock dipped below what an 8"er could suck up.

    Proposed mining would be limited to cooperatives of no more than 3 people, family members. (CR is a populist catering government.) And they have discussed limiting the dredge size to 8 inches. Right, 3 family members are going to setup and operate a 8" dredge. And an environmental (impact) study (EIS) would be required for each activity. Right, a family coop has the resources to invest in such activities, before mining has even started.

    One can begin to discern the unseen hand. Geology is taught in several CR Universities but they have to leave CR to find work. What if there was a good market in CR for EIS work? Ahhh, coming into focus. No placer miner would hire a geologist, but a practical mining engineer in a heartbeat - if they had the cash (or a % ?).

    I have considered trying to offer advice, but educated (at public expense) people who have no practical working experience are conceited fatheads whose brains are already full and unable/unwilling to even listen. I am too old for whizzing contests.

    Looking at the future, I'm glad to be departing. Technical problems exist to be solved, societal problems suggest too many people.

    hmmm, turned a bit negative I guess

    edit: looking at archaeologists the situation in CR is similar: they are all educated at public expense and they will all work for the government, again at the public teat. (with few exceptions) more regulation? sure, got to keep this addition to the middle class employed
    Last edited by BillA; May 15, 2019 at 06:20 AM.
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  9. #9

    Mar 2015
    740
    3797 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hello BillA

    I have heard CR has cracked down on treasure hunters and such. Christopher Western was forced to sell everything all his artifacts and Documents he and his father had collected. Because CR enacted a law citizens could not privately own cultural artifacts. They issued themselves the right to take for themselves such deemed now legal collection. A lot of documents was rubbish of course but not all. Some was very elusive documents. However the entire collection was sold for 1.1 million to a Swiss banker. Chris died a few years ago he was well in his 80's.

    Kanacki
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  10. #10
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    1,060
    1453 times
    Hi Kanacki
    lots of foreigners have lost their collections, even some Ticos
    that's how governments work, pass a law to legalize theft
    there was not much of a grey market here in artifacts unless the piece was exceptional, nothing now
    in one sense that's good, less digging by huaqueros

    Bill
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  11. #11

    Mar 2015
    740
    3797 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hello BillA

    I recall Richard Ray claimed got his fingers burn't so to speak in CR. He built a resort and the CR authorities made a law foreigners cannot own waterfront land. He had to sell for quarter of the cost of him to build.

    Richard was one of last group of people to explore Cocos island searching for pirate treasure.

    Kanacki
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  12. #12
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    1,060
    1453 times
    Hi Kanacki,

    I came down with Richard and watched him for several years. We were friends yet I have no idea to whom he was listening. The law did not change while he was here, he trusted scammers who took him for his $400,000 investment (+ friends). I know the couple who bought it, cleaned up the operation and sold it to the present owner after 4 years, profiting more than Richard lost. It was/is a nice site, my neighbor.

    I was not involved in Cocos, good stories - but no gold (that I heard of).

    Here is one I would like to get a bit into: a Spanish mine near the present CR/Panama border that was lost after a several year gap when the Spanish returned. Several crude dore bars were sold some years ago by some indigenous, who refused to provide any info. Can you give me any names I could search. This is so to speak in my backyard. I do not think it is in CR as there seem to be no hardrock gold mines here. I do not know which east coast port they may have been using.
    ?

    Bill
    Last edited by BillA; May 19, 2019 at 06:58 PM.
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  13. #13

    Mar 2015
    740
    3797 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hello BillA

    Most likely you are right about Richard. Perhaps his failure of his business had other factors he felt a little embarrassed about.

    Here is link to book Las leyendas de las minas del Tisingal y la Estrella en Costa Rica that gives a deeper insight into story you seek. This will give much earlier sources of research in regards to the Spanish era in regards to mines Tisingal and la Estralla. You will get historic names of Spaniards connected to the mining operation and perhaps references to documents worth looking for.

    https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/re...-en-costa-rica

    Here is newspaper dated Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954), Friday 12 May 1944, page 8

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    We can go back to a 1930 newspaper story. Lachlander and Condobolin and Western Districts Recorder (NSW : 1899 - 1952), Wednesday 2 April 1930, page 5

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    In 1929 Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), Friday 30 August 1929, page 15

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    Border Chronicle (Bordertown, SA : 1908 - 1950), Friday 27 August 1915, page 3

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    The following 1910 article has more details perhaps worth cross referencing between the link above I gave and what this 1910 article claims. At least it my lead you more primary sources in CR or Spain the Archives des Indies.

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    For the above newspaper documents it a place to start. Caution as always in sorting facts from fiction. It appears 10 expeditions was made to fine these lost mines.

    It might pay to find much detailed map of William Hack can be found in the South seas mariner. to see if the buccaneers knew about these mines.

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    Kanacki
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  14. #14
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    1,060
    1453 times
    jeez Kanacki, I'm speechless; was hoping for some names and you provide a huge dataset. Will follow.

    and I have to ask, how - in 12 hours - do you come to have such a volume of info along with an appraisal and some guidance ?
    I have to surmise that you may have considered this, or that it is much more well known than I thought (what happens when one lives in the jungle).

    many Thanks
    Bill

    edit: as your first link makes very clear, this is a well known treasure tale and line of inquiry
    so far gold in CR is placer, have not hit the geological assessment yet
    ok, still cannot imagine this quantity of info at your finger tips (long fingers, I understand)
    Last edited by BillA; May 20, 2019 at 07:57 AM. Reason: added info
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  15. #15

    Mar 2015
    740
    3797 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hello BillA

    I am just a curious creature.

    I live on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific ocean. When I have spare time when the other half is asleep Old habits die hard my friend the story is well known.

    As said before some mining companies do take some interest in such stories. Ultimately any modern mining project will trace historical, cultural and environmental sensitivities are needed to be known to promote such projects. To governments and landholders. So with resources available I was able find a few things for you.

    I have some thing below ......Jefferys, Thomas Date:1775 Short Title:

    The Isthmus of Panama with the coast from Great River on the Moskito Shore to Cartagena.
    Publisher:Sayer and Bennett:

    In the map section shows a river Estrella and Coranado mountains perhaps trace memory of the old mine Estrella ( star) and Juan Vazquez Coranado the discoverer around about 1566? possibly earlier?

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    Kanacki
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