Thursday, February 1, 2018
Was doing some digging online and tripped across this interesting bit of information. If you find the treasure you owe me a case of good beer!
"In the early 1880’s a stagecoach was robbed and the thief not
caught until the following winter when the stagecoach driver spotted the
man watering his horses through a hole chopped in the river ice just below
Prince Albert. He confessed that he followed the river trail east of Prince
Albert looking for a place to hide his loot and finally buried it under a
boulder at The Forks. Not even he recovered the money because he had
marked the boulder with charcoal and by the time he got out of jail it had allwashed off in the rain."
He marked the boulder with charcoal? Now that was not a very smart thief....!
Note that the stolen loot was supposedly never recovered. 'The forks' it refers to is where the north and south Saskatchewan meet.
The Voice of the People: reminisces of Prince Albert Settlement’s early citizens
(1866- 1895). Prince Albert Historical Society. 1985 p.63
Monday, January 29, 2018
Got a little ahead of myself, with 13 coming before 12....but, here is treasure lead #12!
Imagine a little town, situated along a river.
A torrential flooding like no other in recent history wipes through the town sweeping buildings and contents in its wake, including the bank.
Yes, the bank....and its contents, including two full safes.
Still lost to this day, likely on the bottom of the river, possibly buried in the banks, or possibly the surrounding field, if the river has moved position due to erosion.
Time to get out the backhoe!
Imagine a great battle.
One side wins this particular battle, and seizes all the weapons of the other side.
What to do with these excess weapons?
Dump them in a river.
And the general location of all these now very antique weapons is now known,
So, #13 might be lucky for me, we shall see.
Saturday, January 27, 2018
In light of my previous blog on arsenic in wallpaper pigments, I thought I'd do a bit of a post on a few things I come across semi-regularly on picks.
Tins and boxes of Paris Green - Arsenic
Tins and bottles of Embalming Fluid - Formaldehyde (Most often found in buildings formerly occupied or still occupied by funeral parlours, but watch out for the stuff in homes of former funeral parlour owners. The stuff can turn up in what seem to be the oddest of places. I picked a general store once whose second floor was the local funeral parlour.)
Tins of Smut Poison - Formaldehyde (farm sheds, barns, farmhouse basements)
DDT and insect poisons containing DDT
Rat Poison - Thallium, Warfarin
Fire Extinguishers (especially the brass pump ones and glass teardrop shaped ones) - Carbon Tetrachloride
Jugs and bottles of Carbon Tetrachloride (most commonly found in old drug stores, occasionally hardware stores and general stores)
Concentrated acids (sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, etc) - Drug Stores commonly had these in their inventory. This is not the watered down stuff you'd use in chemistry class, either. But, you could well find this sort of thing in old schools/educational institutions that had chemistry courses.
Asbestos - Watch for this pretty much everywhere. Cardboard impregnated with asbestos was used to wrap hot pipes, boilers, furnaces, and all sorts of other things that heated up. Was commonly used in those thin floor tiles you see in many old kitchens. You will find it in old toasters, waffle makers, irons and other appliances. My personal experience has taught me that there was literally tons of asbestos used on military bases, for everything from the floor tiles to entire wall panels to exterior cladding.
Paint - potential for lead
These make up only a small and very basic list of the things I encounter often. There is a ton of other thinners, paints, chemicals, and other hazardous materials I have come across while picking.
Use your head, and be careful when rummaging around shelves & cabinets of containers. You never know what is in those two bottles you keep banging together, or that tin that just you put your finger through.
Friday, January 26, 2018
I know, the title sounds like it would be appropriate for a Halloween blog, doesn't it?
I realize I do mention and even harp on keeping safe when picking far more than most picking related blogs.
I do it because, frankly, it can be dangerous profession, and the better armed you are with the facts the better you can protect yourself from harm, and live to go picking another day. I have been lucky, and have learned the hard way to take certain precautions.
One of those precautions is wearing a respirator, not just one of those flimsy white dust masks. I will admit, I don't wear one of my respirators all the time when picking, but, frankly, I should.
I already have a type of asthma that is triggered by fine dusts, and fibreglass insulation in particular. That is a direct result of my chosen profession, not an inherited malady.
Dusts, seen and unseen can be a problem. You already likely know to be careful of lead paint, but the source of what I am about to reveal may surprise you.
Arsenic dust borne from wallpaper.
If you take a read of this article, you will see this is not just a paranoid thought.
The fact is that "near the end of the 19th century the American Medical Association estimated that as much as 65% of all wallpaper in the United States contained arsenic."
That leaves pretty high odds for that peeling wallpaper in that old Victorian farmhouse you are picking to be a very dangerous material....and the airborne particles you are breathing in won't be just from mouse/rat droppings, bird droppings, black mould spores and fine topsoil...you can add a lethal poison to the mix.
Go buy a respirator.
Friday, January 19, 2018
For some, treasure hunting comes naturally....or, I should say "by fluke".
Those of you who have been following my blog for years, may recall reading about the Marc Chagall painting, a copy of The Declaration of Independence, and the unpublished works by Beethoven I did a post about back in May 2010.
Then there are the recent discoveries made by accident....
Like the tins of gold coins found by a Californian couple while out walking their dog....
And the 19 amphoras full of Roman coins found in Spain by construction workers digging a trench....
As well as a lost Jackson Pollock painting languishing in a guy's garage....
Plus a 1970s find of a Ferrari that kids found buried in someone's back yard...
And a search for a lost hammer revealed a multi-million dollar Roman hoard...
And an accidental capsizing a kayak made for a discovery of a gold hoard lost since the Boer war....
And I could go on and on.
So many treasures are found by people entirely buy accident, people not even looking for treasure.
Such finds probably frustrate real treasure hunters, I'd bet. They frustrate me, I know that!
But, you still go on, and chase the treasures you know about.
What else can you do?
Got to keep the dream alive, working to get ever closer to that treasure!
Thursday, January 18, 2018
If you have been paying attention to my blogs, you will remember that I mentioned a treasure just waiting to be found.
$200,000 in gold awaits a lucky treasure hunter, sitting somewhere in south eastern Manitoba.
It is said to be somewhere between St Anne's and Harrison Creek, and under the floorboards of some old cabin.
So, I undertook the task of determining exactly where those two locations are, to narrow down your search.
Here you go, a bona fide treasure map!
In this case, X does not mark the spot of the treasure...but they do mark the outside perimeter of where the treasure is.
Now, your job is to find the old Dawson Trail, (big hint at that link) and then see if you can find old cabins from the right period along/near the trail. There are roughly only 115 miles worth of trail to search!
Sounds easy enough, no?
When you find the treasure, send me a piece as a souvenir, would ya?
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
I know of a barn that was built using stone hammer heads.
And I don't mean the hammers were literally used to pound in the pegs into the wood....
I mean the heads were used as building materials for PART OF THE BARN!
Turns out the farm site chosen by the settlers was littered with countless stone hammer heads!
So common and numerous were they on the landscape that they used them as part of the foundations for the barn they built!
Imagine, hundreds of ancient stone hammer heads, used as construction material!
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
With so many treasures around, you'd think we'd all be getting rich.
However, it takes more than just knowing about leads to things; it means undertaking the work involved to go get treasures, to check out the leads, to follow up on hunches, etc.
And many of those leads, hunches, etc will be dead ends, for one reason or other.
Disappointment has stymied more than one hopeful treasure hunter.
Cash backing is another aspect that tends to keep people from pursuing their leads, fleshing out the details, etc.
They say "it takes money to make money," and, frankly, as a general stateme, it is correct.
Treasure hunting is not cheap.
Then comes the potential for others to claim "your" treasure once it has been found. The folks working at Oak Island may find that items they discover may well be claimed by the Canadian government as archaeological relics.
Treasure hunters finding lost loot from robberies, shipwrecks, etc sometimes discover that there are still open insurance claims on their finds, and corporations will swoop in and lay claim to the treasure hunter's hard earned treasure.
Some of the items that my leads are for could well be confiscated by government due to their archaeological importance, so how do you monetize your work so it is not all for naught?
These days Reality TV seems to be the way some are doing it. For full disclosure purposes, note that yes, mongst interviews about picking that I have done for a few production companies, I have been approached by one major media corporation about one of my treasure leads. Went through 3 interviews about it, and got to the point that the "big wigs" liked it, and wanted bios of my "team members".
But, it has since been put on the back burner. Not off the table, but not exactly active. If I came up with something significant, it may well be brought to a front burner, though.
It was said in not so many words that I pretty much need to find the items first, so that they have a "for sure" scenario of finding the stuff. I can't afford to undertake this endeavour to those extremems myself without some sort of financial backing that allows me to pay my regular bills, as well as expenses for the hunt.
I have thought of starting a gofundme plea for cash, but I can't see that being all that successful...unless the couple hundred readers of this blog want to each toss in $100? Keep in mind, if found, the treasure would change history as it is written!
Or are there any wealthy folks out there who want to participate in and fund a treasure hunt?
Hmmm? I am hearing crickets....
That is usual, however. People really don't wish to take risks, or simply do not have the excess cash to take risks with. I am not a big talker, and I don't pump things up to get people to open their wallets. I err on the side of caution. More pessimistic, I guess, but I do believe in my leads, but there is always a hitch of some sort in any treasure hunting expedition...that is part of the adventure....some adversity. You just have to work through it, or around it. That's just the way life works. Nothing in life comes easy, to most of us.
Happy hunting folks!
Monday, January 15, 2018
Can a treasure really be plastic?
I don't mean pliable or bendable, I mean actually made of PLASTIC.
Well, apparently so.
Plastic is an older material than most people think, but in this case it the treasure is of a newer plastic than you'd think.
You see, in 1983 there was a burial....
Of unsold Atari cartridges.
And in 2014 they were dug up.
Treasure found...in some people's eyes!
Saturday, January 13, 2018
This lead is a bit on the breakable side...
But not just any glassware....
Champagne glasses belonging to Napoleon.
No nothing to do with Napoleon Dynamite....
These belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte.
These were last seen in the late 1920s in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
My trail on them has gone cold as of the 1970s, as the last living member of the family owning them passed away, leaving no known heirs.
Could them still be floating around Winnipeg? Given away? Or trashed when the estate was cleaned up?
The photo below is an actual image of the very pieces missing. There was a set of 10 of these, with the provenance being fairly strong. There is a possibility they were commemorative pieces of some sort, but the style matches that of the period exactly.
Imagine, Napoleonic relics in Winnipeg, Manitoba of all places!
But where could the be now?
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
There is a whole new realm of lost treasure out there.
With crypto currencies making waves in the financial realm, there is digital currency access saved on hard drives across the world.
So, what happens if you forget you have your bitcoin access saved to a hard drive in a computer you decide to get rid of?
Well, this is what happens.
This gentleman tossed a laptop in the trash....unfortunately for him, there was access to 7500 bitcoin....which, at the publication of this blog is worth $136,847,625.00.
He has plans to try and find said laptop, but he has the financial ability to do so, with his own net worth being $80 million.
Most of us would not be so lucky to have the finances to pursue such an endeavour.
If he was smart, he might as well purchase that section of the landfill, and literally mine it for other materials while looking for his laptop; he'll at least recoup some of his investment that way.
There are over 4 million bitcoins out of circulation right now....
that translates to $74.76 BILLION dollars.
Here is the breakdown for anyone interested.
This digital age could well be opening up a whole new wild west of treasure hunting.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
With the weather being cold and wintery, I figured I'd share some pics from a pick I did this past summer. It was a 2 1/2 story farmhouse, with the top 1/2 story being a walk-up attic.
I have been watching this house for quite some time. When we finally made contact with the owners, who were now ready to sell stuff, the house had been vandalized, and much of the contents rummaged through by thieves.
They had initially had plans to do some restoration to the house, but vandals and mother nature's wrath (including a tornado taking out a corner of the house as you can partially see in the first photo,) foiled their dreams of doing something with the property.
I had previously scouted the house last year, and spotted a few things of interest, but at the time didn't have the time and cash on hand to purchase what I had wanted. Sadly, some of the other things of interest also had disappeared by the time I got back to it this summer.
The large attic was the first stop, but the few things I remembered were there last year were in worse shape than I recalled, and a some were missing.
Sitting room view. Once a grand old house.
A small part of the basement.
The basement still held a prize I had spotted the year before, this jam cupboard, with a great crackled finish.
I bought a few other knick knacks, but the cupboard was the main purchase. The house still has some architectural bits in it I may be going back for, and some rougher things that are essentially parts, or upcycling inspiration, but that is about it. This home had previously had a full attic of antiques, but thieves had plundered it heavily prior to the current owners obtaining the property.
It is too bad the home has been looted and destroyed, but has become a fact of life in this world where respect for private property means little to some people.
Monday, January 8, 2018
One of the things people don't realize is that treasure, like many things, is most certainly in the eye of the beholder.
A particularly rare pinball machine ($125,000) could be treasure to one person, while a trashed car recovered from the bottom of a lake ($500,000) could be another's idea of treasure.
I generally have spent many of my days looking for treasure, and most certainly more time than the average person. I just haven't come across treasures valued in those six and seven figure ranges!
That is what I hope for, of course, but those tend to be once in a lifetime finds...if you ever find something of that sort of value.
Who knows, maybe I already own something of that sort of value, but just have not figured it out yet!
I have found things that over time have garnered me five figure amounts.
Take for example these little guys:
They are just what they look like, red, wood, bullets.
These were used in 90% of the cap gun holsters in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
So why do I consider these treasure?
Supply and demand.
At the time I found them...oh, and wait, I forgot to mention.....I found 10 cases of these, with 1600 in each case.
Anyway, at the time I found them, there was pretty much no supply available to collectors....
So, they sold like hot cakes.
First I sold them for $7 a dozen, then $25 a dozen, and even auctioned some off that went for upwards to $65 for two dozen.
It took a few years of sporadic selling, but it got to the point where I am pretty much sold out, save for a handful I kept as a remembrance of the find.
It still may not seem like much...until you do some math...
10 cases x 1600 per case = 16000
16000 / 12 (lots of dozen) = 1333.33
1333.33 x $25.00 per dozen (average sales price) = $33,333.25
My initial cost was $100 + taxes for all 10 cases, $10 a case.
Not too shabby for a bunch of little red bullets now, is it?
Saturday, January 6, 2018
This is one big treasure lead!
And I mean huge!
As big as an elephant...!
Well, actually, it IS an elephant.
Let me explain...
I got a lead on an unusual burial in Manitoba.
You see, in short, there was once a circus, and one of their elephants collided with a locomotive....and the elephant didn't make it.
And no, this is not the story of Jumbo himself...it is one of his pachyderm circus cousins who perished here in Manitoba. (Jumbo died in Ontario.)
Not sure what it with locomotives and elephants, but it seems Jumbo was not the only one who tangled with a steam locomotive here in Canada.
Anyway, this may be more of an oddity than a treasure, but it could be worth going after.
No idea if it had tusks or not, which would have value as ivory.
One positive thing is that I believe I have narrowed down it's location.
I figure they probably covered it in lime before burial.
And I have located an elephant size "dead spot" in brush near where the incident occurred.
Got a big shovel?