There’s some good info on YouTube, and the history is well covered, but I’ll toss in the info that makes this seem like an actual cover up.
There are many stories of hidden Civil War era gold. The most famous is probably the lost wagon train attempting to relocate Confederate funds towards the end of the war and The Knights of the Golden Circle. This is a lesser known, but authentic event where a wagon train of gold bars was dispatched to a Pennsylvania mint to produce payroll for Union soldiers amassing in preparation for the Battle of Gettysburg. It never made it.
Now people looking for lost Civil War Gold are a dime a dozen and they spin more tales than Bigfoot hunter that fishes. In this case there there is enough evidence for a lawyer to be willing to take it to court. I think most importantly, there was enough evidence of the treasure for the FBI to do a dig… This after a pre dig investigation was done by the FBI themselves.
Keep in mind that until the court case the FBI is taking the standard approach of remaining mum so we only have Finders Keepers, the treasure hunting company, giving their side of the story. Given we are talking about a conspiracy involving lost buried treasure the story doesn’t sound fanatical at all, and at worst passes as a believable lie. I think it says a lot on it’s own that this court case is only over a FoIA request for the case file instead of the promised finders fee. Finders Keepers simply wants the information available.
The investigation from Finders Keepers started bearing fruit when Finders Keepers discovered several artifacts that identified an area as a campsite. They even went through the trouble of having these artifacts authenticated as another aspect of this that makes it believable is the company seems to take all necessary steps to remain within the law. This site is government land so excavation is strictly prohibited.
After doing a shallow dig exposed an old camp fire fire their metal detector signaled a large metal object deep under the fire pit. It was far too deep to dig. A permit was requested and was denied
This is where the story picks up steam. After being denied an excavation permit, Finder’s Keepers went to the FBI with their story and evidence. The one part I don’t understand is the original story says it was 1,300 pounds of 50 pound bars, but Finders Keepers says it could be a few tons. Whatever was said it got the FBIs attention. They agreed to work hand and hand with the company and promised to give credit and a finders fee for the find. In what is never a good sign, the FBI makes a gentleman’s agreement with the father and son owners to keep the entire thing hush hush until after the dig.
Even for the FBI digging on public land isn’t as easy as a guy showing up with a shovel and a Lunchable. The FBI brought out a geologist, and even though the method used isn’t mentioned in articles I would have to imagine Ground Penetrating Radar was in tow. The team reports there is an 8 foot long metal object, and given it’s density could, in fact, contain Gold. The father and son were told they were be contacted when the dig is scheduled, and the gentlemen’s agreement is altered to keeping this a secret until everything is over and processed. They didn’t believe they had anything to worry about as everything had been inclusive.
The next time the FBI showed up it was in force. An Army of agents were accompanied by equipment including 4 armored cars. As promised, the father and son owners had been side by side with the agents and information had been free flowing. For that reason the two didn’t think it a big deal when they were summoned away from the site.
This is where things get weird. The father and son… In an event I don’t quite understand the details of… end up out of view of the site, and being guarded while in their truck. This part stands out to me because why not just tell them to leave, and arrest them for trespassing unless you are trying to avoid a paper trail? Instead they eventually let them out of the car and the two return to the site where there is now a large deep hole, the armored cars are gone, and they are told nothing more than they didn’t find anything. When Finders Keepers didn’t stop pestering the FBI about the issue they were threatened to keep quiet about the whole thing. For a long time the FBI wouldn’t even admit they went searching for a cache of gold. After years of fighting (the dig happened in 2018) e-mails and documents have been released that prove they were looking for gold, but they simply returned to the nothing found narrative but still won’t release all documents on the case. So here we are and finder’s keepers vows to even take the issue in front of Congress.
What we’ve heard, what we know, and what just sounds weird?:
First I would like to say I really like the Save Draft function on the new app. It was frustrating having long posts disappear if you closed the app. I was able to save this and look into more information that clears up the picture a bit. Instead of combing through this long post I’ll add a short addendum that’s just short facts that clear the picture up a bit.
- The missing Gold is well documented.
While many treasure legends are mainly second hand fuzzy info, this incident is probably the best documented. Instead of Confederate Raiders and quick getaways this story is actually pretty mundane, but I’ll let you look it up if you’re interested. The famous Pinkerton Detective Agency even searched for the Gold. The reason the value is different is what isn’t well documented as the wagon train’s contents was kept secret from most of the soldiers accompanying it do to security… Which actually leads to the heist.
-The FBI WAS there and so was Finder’s Keepers
This area, Dent’s Run isn’t known for civil war artifacts. It’s known for Civil War Gold. This means when a large FBI operation was noticed local news was all over it. There are news articles with photos of the visible mobile command center and heavy equipment towards the front of the blocked off area. Literally the only thing an FBI spokesperson would say is they are conducting a “Court approved excavation of a possible cultural heritage site”. There’s a lot of issues with calling this a cultural heritage site that I’ll cover below. Finders Keepers was also mentioned in these stories and they’re story doesn’t change as they are quoted as saying “We’ve been told not to say anything YET.”.
- Clouded by battles between state and federal agencies.
To clarify, the land wasn’t Federal, but owned by the the state Department of Conversation and Natural Resources. To the point of being denied the digging permit they were dealing with state government. The FBI actually served the DCNR with a sealed search warrant. The entire case was sealed by a Federal Judge. The documents and e-mails that were made available came from a state judge ordering their release in a judgement in a “Right to Know” appeal after having a FoIA request denied. I don’t know if this is standard procedure or not, but even the Federal judge’s name was under seal. This prevented Finders Keepers lawyer from applying for the case to be unsealed. Also, Finders Keepers were actually barred from the dig for the whole day after a seemingly good relationship with the FBI. They were guarded and prevented from getting out of their car for the whole day. The FBI was actually on scene through the night also.
-This was not an archeological dig
Now here’s the question. If it wasn’t gold what would cause 50 FBI agents to serve a search warrant to a state agency. Millions worth of stolen gold owned by the federal government makes far more sense than a handful of civil war artifacts. Everyone has seen an archeological dig at least on tv. A backhoe and armor cars isn’t exactly grid string and paint brushes. If nothing was found why keep up the “court ordered dig of a possible cultural heritage site” narrative right up until they were forced to release documents proving otherwise? One possible answer that sounds reasonable to me comes from the areas historian that is considered the local expert on the gold shares a story about the Pinkerton Detective Agency search. The word around town at the time says the agency actually found 3 of the 50 pound bars. A couple of the agents soon retired, moved to the town and spent the rest of their lives searching for the rest. Also a North Carolina man that was dispatched to the town by the federal government to do land surveying. He was having a drink in the pub when a man he was speaking to began talking about the legend which the NC man had never heard. When the man said he thought the story sounded a bit fantastic the local claimed he kept a gold bar under his bed. When the NC man called bullshit the local invited the man over where he produced a wicker basket out from under his bed which contained a gold bar. Given these stories, the historian believed the gold was buried in different caches instead of one giant one. The FBI could be using obfuscation of their find to avoid a manic public search for the other caches while they could continue investing them. Found or unfound, what do you think are the chances the file gets unsealed?