The FBI has been accused of what amounts to one of the greatest treasure heists in history after they were alleged to have seized up to 9 tons of buried Civil War gold in Pennsylvania.
Newly released government documents show that the FBI commissioned a geophysicist to perform microgravity testing near the site where the treasure was alleged to have been. The geophysicist’s results showed an underground object with a mass of up to 9 tons and a density similar to gold.
The FBI then used this data to obtain a warrant that would allow them to seize any treasure discovered in the area. They claimed it was gold owned by the United States Government and that the remote area of Dent’s Run was a cultural heritage site. The bureau then sent federal agents to the area with tools to dig up the land.
The FBI claimed that the treasure hunt was a bust and that they found nothing. However they are now being accused by local treasure hunters of double crossing them and pocketing the massive treasure for themselves.
Dennis and Kem Parada, a father-son duo who co-own the treasure-hunting outfit Finders Keepers, are suing the Federal Government for their share of the alleged treasure. The duo was hired by the FBI to lead their agents around the area while they dug, with a finder’s fee for any treasure discovered.
After the FBI claimed they didn’t find anything, the Paradas grew suspicious and began requesting a copy of the records from the agency. The FBI stonewalled them, so they instead sued the Department of Justice for the records and won, finally revealing the results of the microgravity testing from the scientist.
The Paradas almost immediately released the records to the public via newspapers, at which point the FBI finally posted them on their website showing the potential treasure cache they had picked up on.
John Louie, a geophysics professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, was asked by the AP to review the report. Louie said their ‘methods were very good,’ and ‘their conclusions represent a physically reasonable hypothesis’ that there was previously gold buried at the site.
Despite his analysis, Louie did follow up in an email saying that the anomaly discovered in the test could still have been a mistake, writing “Thus, it is also entirely reasonable that the FBI did not find anything at the site, because there was not really any gold there.”
Doubt has also been cast on the way the FBI report over the secretive treasure hunt was written.
“It does not read like one would expect,” said Anne Weismann, a former Justice Department lawyer. “If that is the official record in the file of what they did and why they did it, it says almost nothing, and it’s crazy.” Weismann even suggested that the strange and limited reporting could indicate a “coverup” by the agency.
Residents in the area also reported hearing jackhammers and backhoes running overnight between the 1st and 2nd day of the dig, while the operation was supposed to be paused. They also claim to have seen a large convoy of armored FBI vehicles moving in and out of the area that night.
The FBI has rejected these claims by the locals, however, saying, “only nighttime activity was ATV patrols by FBI Police personnel, who secured the site around the clock for the duration of the excavation.”
The gold was supposedly shipped by Wells Fargo by stagecoach for the U.S. Mint in 1863. Wells Fargo’s corporate archivist wrote to the FBI in an email that they did in-fact ship gold by stagecoach at the time.
$400 million in gold treasure would easily be one of the largest discoveries in history. It’s understandable why the Parada family would fight tooth and nail to claim their fair share. Do you think the FBI found the gold then covered it up?