Did the FBI steal 9 tons of Civil War gold? This question has already featured in many a Travel Channel shows. But is there any truth to it? What actually happened?
The story begins in 1860 when legends have it that a big wagon that was stolen/missing in a remote area of western Pennsylvania, was filled with gold bullion. The load was supposed to reach the mint in Philadelphia but it never reached there.
This has led numerous treasure hunters to scour the forests in the area searching for a huge payday. Rumours suggest that the amount of gold in the wagon was around seven to nine tons that would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars today. But all the efforts to find that gold went in vain.
Things changed in 2018 as a duo of a father and son named Parada who co-own the treasure-hunting outfit Finders Keepers were searching Dent’s Run (a remote part of Elks County). They used a sophisticated metal detector and they found that it seemed to be a big hit of something metallic.
But permission was required to do any kind of excavating as the site was located on state land. For some reason or other, the duo ended up contacting the FBI in regard to their findings in January 2018.
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Immediately, the FBI hired an environmental survey agency with a gravimeter. This agency was supposed to search the area. And the agency confirmed the presence of metallic mass under the ground.
In March of the same year, the FBI itself went to the site with shovels and other excavating tools to start excavating. Parada and Warren Getler, (an author who researches lost treasures of civil war time) had made arrangements with the FBI for observing the digging.
But they were asked to stay in their car by the FBI during digging. At the end of the second day, three men were taken up to the site by the FBI agents to show empty hole, and the agents told them that there was nothing.
But the investigators were told by the neighbours around the area that they saw earth moving equipment including dump trucks and backhoes and FBI vehicles in the area.
The digging continued at night when there was supposedly no digging going on and Parada and Getler were not around. The tale did not go well with them, but the FBI continued to tell that they found nothing.
Though by the FOIA request and orders of the court, now the FBI has released some mails at least on the issue and it certainly seems that the FBI knows more about the tale than they have been telling before.
Those documents, which [attorney Bill] Cluck provided to The Associated Press, show that federal law enforcement was indeed after buried treasure.
“We believe the cache itself is in the neighborhood of 3x5x8 (feet) to 5x5x8,” wrote K.T. Newton, an assistant U.S attorney in Philadelphia, in a 2018 email marked “Confidential.” …
Cluck, meanwhile, is still pursuing government material on the case — nearly 2,400 pages, as well as video files, that the FBI has promised to turn over in response to his Freedom of Information Act request.
All documents in the federal court case about the dig remain sealed.
This tale may sound weird and the FBI needs to answer so many questions. First, the FBI got an order by the court to perform the dig cited the reason as being “what evidence suggested may have been a cultural heritage site.”
Now the question is if you found something like this, why would not you send in some archaeologists. What FBI agents were doing at the site with trucks and other equipment.
As per the story, the FBI keeps telling that they found nothing, then what are the reasons to seal records. What are the reasons for the court fighting for not showing documentation related to the site digging?
And finally, when the treasure hunters’ attorney petitioned the courts to force the FBI to turn over the records, Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin Brobson denied the petition. But in a footnote to his ruling, the judge listed the name of the sealed federal case. It was “In the Matter of: Seizure of One or More Tons of United States Gold.”
The fight continues to get the files unsealed. It doesn’t seem possible that a group of FBI agents could have heisted that much gold just to keep for themselves without anyone noticing. They might have seized it on behalf of other government agencies, however. But if that’s the case, why lie about it? In any event, there seems to be far more here than meets the eye.