Dec 27, 2009

Sebastian Inlet State Park - Florida's Treasure Epicenter !!

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McLarty Treasure Museum, Sebastian Inlet State Park - Florida  - Consider it an absolute must to visit the McLarty Treasure Museum, a small but fascinating museum on A1A just south of Sebastian Inlet. Besides hearing informal presentations by staff about the 1715 Plate Fleet and the history of all the treasure that’s been salvaged, they have a movie room that offers a flick showing treasure salvors, various finds and other interesting details.

Glassed showcases display gold and silver coins, glittering jewelry and historical objects such as navigational equipment used in the 17th and 18th centuries found among wrecks. Since it’s finders-keepers, people often come by to show off their finds – and the staff is glad to tell you where recent discoveries have been made.

Park Services Specialist Ed Perry is also glad to provide insights on the area’s treasure history and even advice on improving your odds of finding something.

Though the museum is replete with valuable treasures, it only costs a buck to enter. There’s a short boardwalk behind the building that overlooks the beach where many treasure discoveries have taken place over the years. Some of the galleon cannons were found literally right where the tide breaks onto the beaches.

When I recently visited the museum, the kindly woman at the entrance offered that the hottest site where finds were being made involved Bonsteel Park. Off I headed to the park about three miles north of Sebastian Inlet. After parking, I strode to the beach via the boardwalk. I noted three people metal detecting to the north along the beach, so I sauntered about a quarter mile south before seeing a promising location with lots of debris and shells near the high-tide mark.

After about an hour of sweeping the detector over the sand and turning up nothing but junk, I registered a faint hit. My scoop dug into the soft sand, and a subsequent sweep of the hole with the detector resulted in a stronger tone in my headphones. I sank to my knees and scooped out the sand with a right hand as the left kept the detector aloft.

I grasped a clod of sediment and held it over the hole. Lightly cleaning away caked-on sand and small shells, I broke open the mass. I couldn’t believe it.

Something resembling an old tin container pulverized in my fingers. In a frenzied excitement, I swung the detector back over the hole – another strong signal.

My hand felt something solid and seconds later I clutched two silver reales. The coins possibly were kept in the tin along with perhaps tobacco, and the heavier coins eventually sank beneath the deteriorative tin.

To say I felt overjoyed would be an understatement – I let out a whoop so loud that a nearby seagull walking the beach took to the air. I had once again found Spanish treasure.

If you’ve got gold fever in your heart – and so many of those with an adventurous heart do! – plan on spending an extra day or two on your next vacation looking for real Spanish treasure. Not only might you literally strike gold, the whole family will enjoy the beach experience that much more.

And when you happen upon all the men, women and children waving metal detectors, give them a thumbs-up signal – you just might be wishing me good luck as well.

$50,000 reward!!!

A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of nine, stolen SS Central America gold ingots.

Stolen SS Central America gold ingots - Click to Enlarge

Dealers and collectors should watch for these gold ingots and their identifying markings:

Ingot No.* Assayer Weight Stamped Value
636 Kellogg & Humbert 66.59 oz $1,223.74
836 Kellogg & Humbert 68.02 oz $1,220.48
896 Kellogg & Humbert 68.37 oz $1,232.42
955 Kellogg & Humbert 65.85 oz $1,212.86
3218 Henry Hentsch 145.20 oz $2,659.36
4332 Justh & Hunter 99.60 oz $1,844.79
5226 Blake & Co. 17.78 oz $349.53
6518 Harris, Marchand & Co. 129.30 oz $2,362.81

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of any or all of these ingots can contact Donn Pearlman by phone at (702) 868-5777 or by e-mail at

Dec 25, 2009


Graham County, like most rural areas has it's share of legends and mountain mysteries. Perhaps one of the most famous of these is the legend of the DeLozier silver mine. Only one person, Edward "Neddy" DeLozier is said to have known the actual location of the mine, and that he died without ever revealing the location to anyone. Neddy was born in 1803 and was the son of Jessie Delozier and Alsey Fields Delozier. Neddy was the great grandfather of Homer Constance and a distant relative of the late Martin Delozier who operated Delozier Drug Center in Robbinsville for several years. In 1983, Martin Delozier presented a Delozier family history book to Homer which contained a reference on Neddy and listed Homer as a great grandson.

"Neddy's" mother was one quarter Cherokee. Some attribute his ability to move through the woods unseen and unheard to being part Cherokee. Others said it was an ability many possessed in those days simply to survive ma hard land. Whatever the reason, no one was ever able to follow him to the mine as he was always able to elude them. Several people reportedly tried to follow him. One story has it that one man did succeed in following Neddy to the mine, but was never seen again. Still another story has it that one person found the mine and that it had a human skeleton in it. There was speculation that it was the remains of the man who had followed Neddy to the mine.

Arkie Orr who lived in the Orr Mountains near the Slickrock Creek area told of a man who would spend the night at their cabin on occasion He was part Cherokee and very secretive about his journey. He would be carrying sacks of something that resembled rocks on his return trip. No one questioned him. As was the custom in those days he was accepted and welcomed. It is thought that this man was Neddy Delozier.

The story goes that Oliver Orr and his father Hart Orr once cut a tree that had a turtle and snake carved on it. This was supposed to have been a directional tree marking the way to the silver mine.

Old land records were said to show that Neddy owned substantial landholdings in Graham County supposedly bought with silver from the mine. He was said to have owned 50 acres on lower Yellow Creek, 640 acres on Sawyer's Creek, and 1,155 acres on Tuskegee Creek.

Neddy's parents died before he was two years old and the story has it that he was raised by the Cherokee. When the Cherokee signed a treaty in 1835 giving up all rights to their lands east of the Mississippi River. Neddy joined the U.S. Army and helped in the removal of the Cherokee to Oklahoma. He was a member of the Marcus Dickerson Unit of Macon County.

Neddy was said to have a silver dollar mold and would mint silver coins to pay property taxes and for necessities, but would only go to the mine as needed for silver, and would not keep much of it on hand for fear of being robbed.

Dennis Sawyer said that while Twenty Mile Creek was being logged around 1917 or 1918, that his grandfather Golman Sawyer and Jim Moore were looking at the timber and where to place logging roads in that area. They were accompanied by Guy Sawyer who was a young boy about 12 or 13 years old. While in the area, they found a horse that had fallen in a hole. When they rescued the horse, they found some old mining tools in the hole. Guy took one of the small hatchets or hand axes with him, but lost it in the woods. Deciding that this might be the lost silver mine, the Sawyers tried to return to the hole, but were never able to locate it again.

Homer Constance and his daughter Dorthea Beasley also looked for the mine for many years without locating it. One legend says that from the mine entrance the Little Tennessee River was visible in four places. Another story said seven places.

Neddy Delozier married Elizabeth Poindexter on May 24, 1834. She is said to be buried in Swain County. Neddy was apparently as elusive and secretive in death as he was in life since no one seems to know for sure where he is buried. Some say he is buried beside his wife in an unmarked grave. Others say he is buried on Tuskegee. Wherever he is buried, the secret of the Delozier silver mine is buried with him.

U.S. Judge Backs Return of $500 Million Coin Haul to Spain

MIAMI (Reuters) - A U.S. district judge has ruled that U.S. treasure-hunting company Odyssey Marine Exploration should return to Spain a fortune in old coins recovered from the wreck of a 19th-century Spanish warship.

In an order filed in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, Judge Steven Merryday nevertheless directed that the return of the treasure to Spain be stayed until an appeals process in the case was concluded. It was the latest twist in a complex dispute over the treasure involving Spain, Odyssey and Peru.

Merryday's order backed a recommendation by a U.S. magistrate judge in June that Odyssey should hand over to the Spanish government nearly 600,000 silver and gold coins valued at some $500 million that it recovered from the wreck of the 19th-century Spanish warship Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes.

Spain said the Spanish naval frigate was carrying treasure back from Peru when it was sunk by British gunboats in 1804.

Odyssey, which has disputed the treasure came from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, discovered wreckage and the 17-tonne haul of artifacts in March 2007 in international waters about 100 miles west of the Straits of Gibraltar, which separate Spain from North Africa.

"The ineffable truth of this case is that the Mercedes is a naval vessel of Spain and that the wreck of this naval vessel, the vessel's cargo, and any human remains are the natural and legal patrimony of Spain," Merryday said in his order.

Odyssey, which specializes in the recovery of sunken treasure and had codenamed this particular project "Black Swan," says the coin haul legally belongs to the company.

Odyssey said in a statement on Wednesday that Merryday's ruling would for the time being keep the coins in Odyssey's custody pending an appeals ruling by the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Judge Merryday's ruling serves to move this case to the appellate court faster, where we feel confident that the legal issues are clearly in our favor," Odyssey CEO Greg Stemm said.

"We will file our notice of appeal with the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Florida and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals within the required time and look forward to presenting our case in that forum," said Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey vice president and general counsel.

The Mercedes sank in the first few minutes of the Battle of Cape St. Mary's as an explosion ripped it apart, killing more than 200 sailors. The attack led Spain to declare war on Britain and enter the Napoleonic Wars on the side of France.

Peru, which was ruled by Spain at the time the Mercedes was sunk, entered the legal fray in August when it filed a claim for information with the Tampa court. The filing said the coins may be "part of the patrimony of the Republic of Peru."

Judge Merryday also backed the magistrate judge's June recommendation that Spain and Peru's competing claims over the coins would be best resolved through direct negotiations and not in a U.S. court.

Dec 20, 2009

Should I have not done that?

Civil War Relics are my buddy 'aquachigger's' stock and trade!
I hope to get up there and join him on a Civil War Relic hunt this summer ...I'm crossing my fingers Beau!

Dec 12, 2009

My New MineLab Excalibur II

 My brand new MineLab, Excalibur II arrived today and to say that I'm thrilled would be an understatement! This is only my third machine, my first was a Fisher CZ-20 soon followed by a CZ-6 for a back up. I still have both Fisher's after sixteen years , and out side of a few minor problems, they have done a far better job at finding treasure then I ever expected ! The fun I've had with those two machines far exceeds the price of admission.
What I really want to mention is the 'buying' experience. I purchased the two Fishers through Kellyco and as far as I remember their wasn't a single problem and I would definitely buy through Kellyco again.
This time was a little different, I had not really planned on buying another machine. I was cruising ebay one night and started searching 'metal detectors', lets just say that the MineLab Excalibur II was a total 'impulse' buy and my first big ticket item off ebay. I had wanted a MineLab for years and had known of a couple of old metal detecting pro's from upstate N.Y. who swore by them, from that point on I was silently second guessing my CZ-20 and waiting for the day that I had a little extra cash to make my move.
Anyway, I noticed a couple of different sellers on ebay who had MineLab's and chose Windy City Detectors because of the 'extras' package that they advertised ... I crossed my fingers and hit the 'buy it now' button. Not long after I received an email from Ron Shore the owner of Windy City Detector Sales stating that all was good and my Minelab would be out the door the next day. Less then one week later I had my New MineLab Excalibur II in my hot little hands and so far I have yet too take it out and get her dirty, I've charged the battery but other than that  I'm waiting for my Treasure hunting partner 'Treasure Dave' to get down to Florida from N.Y. so we can go hit a few spots that I've been researching.
 I will keep everyone informed as to how the Excalibur II performs in the ocean and sand's of Florida so keep a look-out for my next posting and I might put up a You Tube video as well?
As for the buying experience .. so far it's been Excellent!! Windy City Detectors and MineLab have far surpassed my expectations, from all the little extras to just the way the machine came packed in the box! I can't wait to turn it on!

Dec 6, 2009

Ocean City, Maryland -Rare Mystery Shipwreck Artifact Found In Surf

OCEAN CITY – A large section of what is likely a fairly ancient wooden vessel was discovered in the surf at 43rd Street and now awaits its fate in a town-owned storage facility in West Ocean City as state historians and maritime archaeologists attempt to date it and perhaps discover from whence it came.
The roughly 25-foot long, L-shaped artifact was first discovered in the surf by swimmers in the 43rd Street area on Monday. Ocean City Beach Patrol staffers tried to remove the unknown object from the water, but quickly realized it was something much larger than they were capable of moving. The town’s Public Works department was called in and was eventually able to haul the giant piece of history from a bygone era from the water using a front-end loader and other equipment.
“People were reporting to us they kept bumping into something in the water below the surface,” said Beach Patrol Lieutenant Ward Kovacs. “The lifeguards tried to get it out, but they knew right away it was something beyond the scope of their abilities.”
Only after Public Works employees were successful in dragging the mystery object from the water and onto the beach did it become clear it was likely some large part of a vessel shipwrecked or destroyed years ago. The longest section is about 25-feet long with a shorter section attached by treenails, or wooden pegs used in ship building in the 18thcentury, creating an L-shaped artifact. Realizing it could be a rare archaeological find, Public Works crews carefully removed the artifact from the beach and transported it to a town-owned facility on Keyser Point in West Ocean City where it’s being preserved and stored while state scientists do their research.
“It appears to be a keel and stern portion of a ship and I’ve been told it appears to be dated around 1850,” said Public Works Director Hal Adkins. “We’ve got it covered in an effort to preserve and keep it from drying out. We’ve been told if it dries out, it will likely start to disintegrate.”
On Tuesday, officials from the Maryland Historical Trust Office of Archaeology, led by state maritime archaeologist Susan Langley, arrived at the West Ocean City site to begin unraveling the mystery behind the rare find. While the investigation continues, there are certain elements of the find that can help date it and others that can rule certain things out.
For example, Langley said it was a stern post with dead wood attached, suggesting it was likely from the mid-18thcentury. The longest section is not the actual keel, but dead wood attached to the keel to provide additional weight for the vessel. Adding dead wood to a keel for additional weight was a practice used in ship building in the 1800s, according to Langley.
Perhaps the most significant part of the find is the metal fish plate attached to the stern post. Through her research, Langley was able to determine similar fish plates were first used on vessels as early as 1805, but she believes this particular fish plate dates back to about 1850 or even later.
“It will probably be impossible to pinpoint the exact age of this vessel, but there are certain educated assumptions that can be made based on the evidence,” she said. “It’s still early, but I would place this vessel around 1850 or maybe even post-Civil War.”
Langley said there were other key indicators used in dating the artifact. For example, treenails (pronounced trunnels), which are wooden pegs used in ship building in the 18th century, are lathe-turned, meaning they are likely post-Industrial Revolution. Prior to the advent of power lathes, treenails and other wooden parts used in ship building were hand carved or cut with a saw.
Noticed immediately when the artifact was pulled from the ocean were Roman numerals carved into the stern post from four to seven, or IIII to VII, on the actual wood. Some on the beach initially believed the carved Roman numerals were an indication of the age of the vessel, and one man actually told OCBP members he thought the markings suggested the vessel dated back to 1537, but Langley explained the carved Roman numerals were depth markings on the stern post used when the vessel was being loaded to determine how low it was sitting in the water.
Langley and her crew were, at first, thought the use of the Roman numeral four carved as IIII as opposed to the widely accepted IV could be used to pinpoint the age of the vessel, but it didn’t prove to be helpful. The archaeologists discovered from their research that IIII and IV were used interchangeably for centuries even dating back to Roman times.
“There was nothing to be gained from the markings in terms of determining the age,” she said. “There is no rhyme or reason for the use of one or the other.”
Although a variety of elements of the artifact has allowed researchers to date the vessel from the mid- to late 18thcentury, there is little hope for determining what its name was, where it came from and what it was doing off the coast. Langley said the size of the piece found suggests it was likely a merchant vessel carrying cargo and not a fishing vessel. She also said the lack of copper plating anywhere on the artifact suggests it was not a military vessel. “It was a fairly large vessel,” she said.
Langley said the piece was in fairly pristine condition given its age, suggesting it has likely been buried under the sea floor for a long time.
“There are no worm borings or barnacle growth, meaning it was fairly deeply buried,” she said. “It was certainly buried below oxygen level because there is no evidence of any critters getting to it.”
For the same reason, it must have been unearthed fairly recently after perhaps a century or more under the sea floor, but it is unlikely there is more of the vessel off the coast in the immediate area of where it was found this week.
“There is no way of knowing where it came from or where the rest of it is,” said Langley. “It could have been unearthed by a storm or some dredging activity and drifted down the coast. There’s a strong north-south drift off the coast in the mid-Atlantic region, so the rest of it, if it’s still preserved, could be off of Delaware or even further north. Lord knows where it came from, but it was buried until fairly recently.”
For now, the artifact remains carefully stored at the town-owned facility in West Ocean City where the research continues. Langley said it would deteriorate rather quickly when subjected to the elements, but the artifact could find a home for display, perhaps at the Ocean City Lifesaving Museum at the end of the Boardwalk.
“I’ve already had some discussion with [Ocean City Life-saving Station Museum Curator] Sue Hurley at the museum and we wouldn’t have any objection to displaying it as long as it lasts,” said Langley. “It would also make a wonderful teaching piece, so it might have some value for a short time anyway.”
Langley said because so much is not known about the vessel or its origins, it wouldn’t be practical to attempt to preserve it long term. “To truly conserve it would cost a lot of money,” she said. “It’s a wonderful find, but it just wouldn’t be worth it.”

Revolutionary War Artifacts Found!

Dec 2, 2009

Treasure Island An innovative platform brings Spanish shipwrech spoils to intrepid divers in the Florida Keys

MOST DIVERS ONLY DREAM OF getting in on the spoils of a shipwreck. But thanks to a Florida-based archaeological group with extra bunk space and a new diving platform, now any treasure hunter with an extra grand or so can help excavate a Spanish galleon loaded down with $100 million in coins, gold bars, and artifacts.

Amelia Research & Recovery (904-838-6619, is exploring the wreckage of the Santa Margarita, a galleon that sank in 1622, along with its sister ship theAtocha, about 27 miles west of Key West. Improving access to the spoils is the Polly-L, a vessel serving as a work platform—common in the oil industry but never before deployed in the treasure trade. Operators use stilts to raise the Polly-L near the wreckage, creating an island immune to the storms that send most boats running for shore.

Six of the Polly-L's carpeted and air-conditioned rooms are available to paying divers for $250 per night, with a three-night minimum. The rate includes family-style meals and basic dive gear. Amelia plans to keep thePolly-L at the Santa Margarita site through April and then move to other wreck sites off Florida and North Carolina for the summer and fall before returning south in December.

Visitors are free to dive as much as they like, using metal detectors, right alongside the working divers as they blow holes in the sand in hopes of finding gold and silver bars, jewelry, gold chains, emeralds, bronze cannons, and other artifacts. Keep in mind that any booty remains the property of Motivation Inc., the company with which Amelia subcontracts—though finders will get first shot once the items go up for sale.

Loads of Civil War Bullets

I cruise through a ton of You Tube videos on a weekly basis looking for just the right one to post on the Treasue-blog, and the thing that caught my eye with this one was the fact that 'aquachigger' picked up more Civil War bullets in a little over two minutes than some guys find in two years!!!