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  1. #166

    Apr 2008
    104
    274 times
    I was stationed in Panama with the US Army in 1981-1982. At that time one of our weekend destinations was at Portobello. Some went to swim to fish or to cook out and laze on the beach. A few of the soldiers had boats and Panama both inland at Gatun lake and on both oceans were known for fishing. One weekend a group of us planned to go to Portobello,this time to fish,but none of us had a boat. One of the guys in our group said he had a friend who had a boat and he would ask to borrow it. Luckily enough this guy was easy enough to find the boat was free to use. So everything was planned and we left Ft Kobbe and headed across the isthmus to Portobello. Put the boat in the wáter and motored out a ways to try our luck. Once we were out about 500 meters one of the guys bent down to pull out the anchor. The anchor was heavy and he asked for help. It was a rectangular bar dark grey in color. They had wrapped it in paracord and had made a loop where a larger rope was attached to allow us to drop it down. None of us thought anymore about it . Later on when we were to return the boat ,I went with them to help and say thanks. As we were talking I mentioned the anchor and asked where did he get it. He said they were swimming right there at Portobello and found it on the ocean floor. And that it was lead and much better than the anchor he originally had. He was heading out to go up north for two weeks as at that time we spent two weeks in Honduras or El Salvador and then two weeks back at base. So I was curious and asked if I could have the anchor and get someone to look at it. He said no problem ,just return it by the time he returned. He then said if you like it so much ,teres a whole pile of them down there where we got this one. ……. Well I took the bar to downtown Panama to a little shop where it was written above the door ,We buy gold. As son as I took the bar out of the knapsack the mans eyes got huge and he looked at me and asked where I got it. So I told him the whole story. The bar turned out to be silver 75% and 25% lead weighed 44 pounds…… I will cut short the story from here. Only to say those bars most likely are still there.
    I guess I was considered the nerd in our batallion. And soldiers would come to me for advise and help on many topics. One day I got a knock at my door and it was Carlos,a PFC of Cuban background from Miami. He came in and pulled out a rock from his pocket and asked me if I knew what it was. I had no idea but I said it looked like the metallic part might be gold. But I would find out. He asked me to come with him. We went to another building and up three flights to his room and shut the door. Then he called out softly and the closet door opened and out crawled an native indian girl. Carlos had met her as she was a dancer at a strip club. She was Katio Embera and lived in the Darien province. She lived in the barracks with him ,she showered in the same showers as the rest of the soldiers and everyone protected her and kept Carlos secret. Anyway long story short ,the rock was gold. And this began my lifelong career with rocks ,minerals ,and treasure. She introduced me to her brothers and cousins. When they came to Panama city they had a shack at a neighborhood called El Aguila, from there we would meet and head into the jungle. I began to buy gold, starting with $200 from her family members all over from Lake Bayano to the Colombian border. To get to the Darien I took supply boats to Yaviza. They also took me to show the vein where the gold hardrock was located. It was rotten quartz woth abundant amorphus pyrite and a grey country rock. Where these rocks met was a seam about three eights thick of solid gold, that ran on in solid form as far as we could dig. The problem is that the outcrop was right on the riverbank and the vein ran under the creek. In the dry season you could work and the wáter was cristal clear, in the rainy season,well ,anyone who knows Panama knows what that means. And in that same creek we could pan three grams of gold working in team two men every single day.
    Also during my time in Panama we had a Major who was detained at the airport with a handfull of Pre Columbian artifacts, the popular hobby for some was to visit the burial mounds . I was doing ok with my gold mining and never went to the mounds. But they would stab the ground with a thin copper rod and if it penetrated a hollow space they would dig. Durind my time there ,there was one Discovery made this way where the tomb had clay pots totaling over 100 pounds of placer gold. …… Also one of our supply sargents has a Panamian wife, whose cousins found a rotted leather boot that was full of placer gold, It was found in a shelter along a bank on a small river.
    I think it is on file in some historical archives the tax payments made to Spain from the Esperitu Santo mine. Reportedly the richest mine in all of the Americas and I think it was credited for 70% of the total paid revenue Spain recieved from the Americas.
    These little adventures back in the military were the motivation to dedícate my life to an off the grid do it yourself lifestyle. I began studying and learning and then dredging and then mining and consulting all over Latin America. I have been lucky to have survived these 40 years and be witness to some incredible finds in nature and the treasure world. A owed to that little indian girl in Panama.and Through that work I returned to Panama in the 1990s working with a world reknown Dr. of Economic geology, we were to evaluate the hardrock deposits along the Concepcion river in north central Panama. The Amargada mine which initially averaged in the kilos per ton and now down to 3 to 4 ounces per ton along with one of the first placers worked by the Spanish along that same stream.
    As a final note I have no intention or plans to ever return to Panama but I strongly believe there exists a deposit there which could produce many hundreds of kilos of gold in a very short time to someone properly equipped and financed. To date noone has come across it and I doubt if anyone ever will. Its not for the faint of heart. Anyway I rarely post here anymore,but I guess it was nostalgia and I wanted to add what were my experiences in that country.

  2. #167

    Apr 2011
    El Dorado
    Equinox 800, Fisher CZ-21, Garrett Pro-Pointer AT
    291
    608 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by lilorphanannie View Post
    I was stationed in Panama with the US Army in 1981-1982. At that time one of our weekend destinations was at Portobello. Some went to swim to fish or to cook out and laze on the beach. A few of the soldiers had boats and Panama both inland at Gatun lake and on both oceans were known for fishing. One weekend a group of us planned to go to Portobello,this time to fish,but none of us had a boat. One of the guys in our group said he had a friend who had a boat and he would ask to borrow it. Luckily enough this guy was easy enough to find the boat was free to use. So everything was planned and we left Ft Kobbe and headed across the isthmus to Portobello. Put the boat in the wáter and motored out a ways to try our luck.......
    As a final note I have no intention or plans to ever return to Panama but I strongly believe there exists a deposit there which could produce many hundreds of kilos of gold in a very short time to someone properly equipped and financed. To date noone has come across it and I doubt if anyone ever will. Its not for the faint of heart. Anyway I rarely post here anymore,but I guess it was nostalgia and I wanted to add what were my experiences in that country.
    Awesome post! I love talking with former military who were stationed in Panama during the American Zone days. They have a wealth of information that one can benefit even today.
    Crow likes this.

 

 
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