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GhostMiner

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  1. The reason I have not made an entry in two days is because the most incredable thing has happened to me. I suppose this has something to do with treasure but of a different kind. While cleaning out a very old desk I came across a large envelope. I don't think this envelope had seen the light of day in many, many years. When I opened it I was quite surprised to find all kinds of information on my step grandfather's time in the Army/Airforce during WW2. He passed away in 1987 & never talked about the war. He was in the 432nd Fighter Squadron of the 475th Fighter Group. The 475th formed in Australia in May of 1942. In this large envelope is a treasure trove of information. He kept a journal documenting his travels & activities from 1941 until his discharge in 1945. The 432 flew the P38. There is also his King Neptunes Certificate for crossing the equator on Feb 21, 1942. This is not a copy but the original. I also have his SWPA (South West Pacific Area) V Fighter Command book with all the commadations given to the group. One entry even contains a Priority Secret message to General Wurtsmith from General Macarthur. I am still going through all this material and have been doing so for the past two days. There are so many untold stories of the brave men who fought for our freedoms during WW2 and now my goal is to tell his. I am the last one who can do it. I feel it is my sacred duty. Here is his picture. I am so very proud of him & to say I knew him.
  2. So 170,000 views? No way!! Will have some more entries up for the weekend. Thanks to every one of the readers. And a big thanks to Steve for letting me post it here.
  3. May 26 1937 Last night we drank whiskey and argued about what to do with the treasure. John said that if we tried to sell it we might lose it to our government or a foreign government because they might claim they had the rights to it. He said we needed to find a broker who would quietly and secretly line up the sale of either all or part of the treasure. It needed to be evaluated as to possible origin and value as well. This would not be easy and could lead to problems. John said that we should bury everything and station a guard at the site at all times until we figured out what to do. We all ended up agreeing on that plan. So before sunrise the treasure was once again under the ground with the exception of a few examples we could show a broker. The crew took the day off while John and I drove Sarge’s truck into town to get supplies and buy a new work truck. I found a good used one at a small dealer’s lot in town and we filled it up with a big load of supplies. When we were in the general store I asked if there were any good jewelry shops in the area. I was directed to a little shop on a side street and we drove over there to talk with the owner. When John and I walked in I asked the man if he was the owner. He said he was. Then I asked him if he knew any jewelry wholesalers who bought items. He gave me a phone number and we went to a private area and called the number. The broker was located in Reno. I told him we had some items that were of great value that we would like to sell and asked him if he could come to town to look at them. The broker told me he would be in that area in two days so I made an appointment to meet him at the jewelry store. That was all that was said and John and I drove the trucks back to camp. We unloaded the supplies and I fixed a big supper later on and we broke out the whisky and discussed everything. By now the crew had buried the bodies of all the outlaws. We were free of them. I asked every member of the crew if they were still in with me for the mining project. To a man they all said yes. I told them that we most likely had hit a great deposit of gold and needed to get back to working the ground. Will and Hudson were still not back to full strength and not up to digging so they would need to act as guards along with Sarge but Ben would go out to the site and help me dig. Sarge would remain on guard duty. Now that we had a plan we would get back to our jobs as miners. The going would most likely be slow for a while but I couldn’t hardly wait to get back to digging. The crew turned in for the night but I sat up for another hour drinking whiskey and remembering all the past events. I rolled a Burley and took a deep drag. The one thing that still bothered me was what the Indian Shaman had said. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. TO BE CONTINUED ..................
  4. May 25 1937 Part Nine We decided to take the offensive now rather than hunker down and take fire from what was left of them. Will and Hudson remained in defensive positions and guarded the treasure while the rest of us formed a wide line and attacked the gang from the south. We went straight in and the gunfire was intense. We could see gun flashes from two positions and figured this was the last two we had to deal with. Sarge and I headed for one position and John and Ben took the other. We opened fire and moved in. The thug we were shooting at went down and Sarge and I went towards the last one and soon all four of us were firing on that position. The gangster attempted to break his cover from behind a pine tree but was quickly gunned down by gunfire from the four of us. And then it was quiet. We had finished them off. The gunsmoke was hanging heavy in the air. We headed back down to camp and hollered out to Will and Hudson that we had beaten them. We stoked a good fire and broke out some whiskey. Once again the crew had been able to stand up to the endless amount of thugs that wanted to steal our goods. It hit me for the first time that we were indeed a bad bunch of men to mess with. These guys had come for us well armed and with a plan. They had us outnumbered. Now they had paid the ultimate price. Jed would have been proud of us. TO BE CONTINUED .................
  5. Perhaps these sites are going the way of golf, baseball, newspapers, cd's, etc, etc? Even American football is starting to leave major TV networks for live streaming. The older users and fans of many once popular activities are being replaced by the younger generations. I have no idea if this pertains to metal detecting but just a thought.
  6. May 25 1937 Part Eight There was once again no sound or movement of any kind for a good ten minutes. Then I heard something moving from the south up the rough road that ran up along the east side of the creek. It was a truck with the lights turned off. Then the gunfire started again. One of the gang was driving and there were a couple of guys in the bed shooting up towards our camp. As this was going on several more armed gunmen came down from the north of camp firing their rifles. I heard Sarge open up on the truck and Ben was firing towards the north. The rest of us began firing as well. Sarge’s BAR was barking and it wasn’t long until the truck stopped moving towards camp. He was riddling it with rounds and it appeared that he put it out of commission. He was keeping the thugs pinned down. I circled around to the southeast and saw two men behind the truck firing their rifles. Sarge had them pinned under heavy fire. I took cover behind a big pine. They hadn’t seen me and I opened up. The first one went down and the second one turned to look for where the gunfire was coming from. I nailed him before he ever saw me. I could see the driver slumped over on the wheel. They were done for. I hollered up to Sarge to stop firing and that they were all dead. Then we turned our attention to the last bunch who were still firing down on our camp from the north. TO BE CONTINUED ................
  7. True. I just wanted to tell people what I loosely based the journal on - or at least what gave me the idea to write it.
  8. Make sure your plan takes water runoff into account. The creeks are sacred and they will want them protected. You'll need to have an approved settling area for tailings water. We have been able to pump directly out of the creeks depending on the plan. They want you at least 50 ft from the creek. Or you may need to dig ponds. One for fresh water & one for tailings runoff. Then recirculate everything. Every situation is unique. Your water usage comes in the form of a water license from the state water board. They will send out a hydrologist to look at your area and plan. Then plant and wildlife people will make a visit. Archaeologist from the state as well. If there are no issues you will get approved and a bond will be calculated.
  9. May 25 1937 Part Seven It got quiet again and we waited to see if anything would happen. There was somebody on our property with guns and that was not good. After a few minutes someone from up on the mountain hollered down at us. They said we had killed some of their friends. They said they knew we had found treasure and wanted it. The guy doing the hollering said if we gave them half of it they would leave peaceful like. Otherwise more were going to get hurt. John yelled back at them. He called them cowards and said they had their chance before but they turned tail and ran. He said we would finish them off in the next battle. As soon as he finished saying that gunfire started up again. This time it was directed at us. I could hear bullets striking trees all around me. I saw the gun flashes and fired at them. Sarge opened up with the BAR and Ben did the same with the Thompson. We would see a muzzle flash and fire on it. The gun battle lasted for five minutes and it got quiet again. Sarge hollered out that he had shot one of them and to hold our positions. I was thinking that they were planning another attack but wasn’t sure from which direction. It was clear that they wanted the treasure wrapped up in the blanket. I hollered out to the gang saying come on in and take the treasure if you have the guts to try it. TO BE CONTINUED ..................
  10. So as promised, here is the true story behind the journal. It all started one Winter day when I was searching the internet about information on our mines in the Sierra Nevada mts of California. I had been researching for a good hour or more when I came across a website that contained old mining projects that the U.S. Dept of Interior had been involved in. To my surprise, one of the areas of my company's mining property was in there. It was a huge report - 282 pages long. It was so large that when I tried to download it and send it to our geologist it would stall & refuse to load. I called my son in law who is our vice president and very tech savvy. He was able to get it done. The report stated there had been a mining company based in Los Angeles that went out there on a lease deal to test & work some of the faultline area way up to the northern area of the property. They were in a 50/50 deal that was funded by the government. The owner of that part of what is now our property was a woman from Indiana who had inherited the claim. She knew nothing about mining and decided to lease the property. After I sent the report to our geologist I got an email from him asking if I had read page 152. I said that I had indeed read through the report but wanted to go back through it several more times. He told me to look at that particular page as it talked about a location of sizeable tonnage. The test numbers were in the report but figured in 1960's gold values. He converted it to the values at the time he read the report. Gold was around $1650/oz. He said some of the tests were averaging $100/yard and there were hot spots over $400/yard. The location in the report was a bit vague but described as a certain number of feet south of a certain object. I told him I had an idea where that area might be. He said we needed to find it. The report had a number of pages with testing results. The bedrock up north was very deep. There had been an attempt at hydraulicking up there back in the 1800's and the old crew had cut about 50 feet of overburden away and stopped. The southern area of our mines were hydraulicked in the 1800's with over 1.3 million ounces of gold taken according to the report but they never finished up because in 1884 the state of California put severe limits on that kind of mining and the big companies pulled out. But the intersting area up north is nearly half a mile NW of there. The company in the 1960's did some churn drill tests where the ground had been partially stripped and still didn't strike bedrock until 112 ft deep. The results of the tests were only fair and after a long series of tests the company pulled out. The ground is placer and not hardrock but due to the depth of bedrock the company sank a main shaft and did some drifting along bedrock and also some raised tunneling to get an idea of deposit. It was deemed too costly for what they were finding. Their company geologist had determined that it was too far north of the main gut of the gold channel which was ancient river channel. He stated it was at the very northern edge of the channel. Then came the history of this mine. Back in 1936 the ground was privately owned and not Federal Land as it is today. It was owned by a logging & lumber company who had a mill about 5 miles away. They were aware of the old gold mine workings and leased out the northern faultline area to a man named Mr Stevenson (my Jed Stevens in the journal). He was working the claim under the direction of California state geologist C. S. Haley. The report doesn't mention much about this relationship but my guess is that Haley had a part ownership of gold percentage in this project. He instructed Stevenson where he should work and a small crew was assembled. The crew worked the ground during the Summer of 1936. Sometime in late Summer of that year the crew encountered an area of raised bedrock. The area was described as about 20 ft X 30 ft and was extremely rich ground. The crew glory holed it and removed over 1000 ounces of gold. The report goes on to say that there was trouble afterwords because Stevenson didn't live up to his contract as far as royalties. It goes on to state that Stevenson was murdered one night when he was showing his gold while in "poor" company. Eventually the lumber company sold the land to the government and now it is administered by the Forest Service. There were several attempts to go back into the property to mine the northern faultline but all were by amateur miners and were not successful operations. Those attempts were back in the 1950's. So there you have it - the story behind the journal.
  11. May 25 1937 Part Six There was a quick discussion as to what we should do about the gunfire at the eastern drift mine. We decided to stay where we were and spread out in a big circle around camp. We all took cover and sat and watched our perimeter. Our new found treasure was sitting at camp wrapped up in two blankets. This didn’t make us feel too secure about it. I couldn’t help but think back to our visit by the Indian Shaman and what he had warned. I had been in a number of battles out here since last year. When would my number come up? I tried to get these thoughts out of my mind and concentrate on what was at hand - guarding our goods and staying alive. I heard more gunfire up at the drift mine area. Then I heard Sarge holler out for everyone to stay put. If the gang was trying to divide us and get some of us away from guarding the treasure it wasn’t working. They would have to think of something else. TO BE CONTINUED .................
  12. Always good to hear about a potential mine opening in this country. It looks like they are very early stages.
  13. May 25 1937 Part Five We got the lid open and shined the lantern down close into the opening. Once again there was a red and yellow cloth covering the contents. I took it out and placed it on a second blanket the crew had brought over. The chest was layden with more treasure. At the top were emeralds and jewelry. We took the pieces out by the handfuls. Then another red and yellow cloth which we removed. There were crystal and gold skulls beneath it. Then another red and yellow cloth that covered small gold bars. When we finished laying everything out we just couldn’t believe our eyes. We had much to look at including some papers with writing we couldn’t quite make out. For a while the entire crew just sat in silence. I don’t think any of us had expected so much treasure and we were stunned. Finally, John spoke. He said that we were all rich beyond our wildest dreams. We were millionaires. All I could think of was what are we going to do with all of this and where will we hide it. John believed it was part of a Spanish treasure that probably came from Mexico. He said it probably had historical significance beyond anything ever found. He also advised everyone to keep quiet about this discovery. We needed to figure out what to do. As we were talking we heard gunfire. It was not far off to the east. Sarge said it sounded like it was coming from the area of the eastern drift mine dig. We had pretty much forgotten all about that area while we were on the treasure hunt. Ben said we needed to send a few people over there to check out what was going on but Sarge said it may be a trap. We may have been watched and what was left of the gang of thugs may be trying to divide us up in order to rob us. We were all standing in a circle around the treasure with our rifles pointed into the dark. TO BE CONTINUED ....................
  14. Start with contacting the local Ranger District. They will want you to file a Notice of Intent. Then, depending on the plan, you will follow that up with filing a Plan of operation. The forms are online. You can mail them in or take them to the Ranger's office in person.
  15. A little more on my experiences with permits. I knew a guy who was permitted on a claim in northern California. He decided to be a cowboy and go off the one acre that contained his plan. To his bad luck his minerals agent decided to visit his operation and caught him. He was given a cease & desist order and was told to do reclamation on the area he disturbed. When he completed the work he got back to mining on his permitted area. Lesson learned.
  16. It's just paperwork LOL. We have a lady that works for the Forest Service as a minerals agent. She is fairly easy to work with if you are up front with your plans and follow the rules & regulations. Where people get into trouble is doing things not listed in the plan. I have learned to include everything you think you "may" do as long as what you will definately do. That gives you some space to change your strategy if needed. I always try to think way ahead when I write up a plan. That has kept me out of trouble so far. Alaska is the easiest place to mine from what I hear. California is strict but not impossible. And the gold is there as well.
  17. On the permitting process & regulations - Our claims are on national Forest Service ground. They are subject to regulation by the U.S. government, the state of California, & the county they are located in. When I started out with my first mining claim 11 years ago I was told by some people that it was impossible to get a permit to run heavy equipment on a claim in California. Being dumb and not up on any of the process I called the Forest Service. They told me what steps to use and there was a form online that could be used or to submit the plan using my own form as long as all the questions were addressed. So I used their form. It is free including the environmental people who go out to view the ground and look at the plan. The Plan of Operation form is fairly easy to use but you must limit disturbance to 1000 cubic yards for each plan. If you go over that level you trigger SMARA whichis the SURFACE MINING and REGULATION ACT of 1975. That requires much more permitting & can take a year or longer. I found that if you have enough ground you are able to put in several Plans of Operation at once. You can run them all at once with seperate reclamation bonds if you have enough crew or do them one at a time. You finish one plan, do the reclamation, move the bond to the next plan, and keep going. I have done 3 plans at a time. We actually have 3 plans in the process waiting for approval as I write this. The time frame depends on how busy all the various people are that need to come to the claim. It usually takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to get them approved. If there is a problem with the plan they will notify you of any changes needed. So far we have not run into any issues. Our bond is based on equipment used and disturbance needed to reclaim. We have used a mid size excavator, skid steer, small rock truck, pumps, generator, & various other items. We live off grid in tents, trucks, & occasional RV. All that must be in the plan. Our bond has been under $6000 & gets refunded after they check your reclamation & sign off on it. Happy to assist any future miners with a dream.
  18. May 25 1937 Part Four The top of the chest was filled with jewelry and some kind of yellowed papers. We spread out a blanket and placed them on the surface. I took out handfuls of jewels. Below this level was another red and yellow cloth which I removed. This took me down to approximately the halfway depth of the wooden chest. The rest was filled with small gold bars or bricks and blank gold coins. It was endless. When I finally got to the bottom there was a human skull that sent shivers through me. I felt like we were going to pay a heavy price for uncovering the treasure. Then John broke off the lock to the second chest. I could only wonder what this one held. TO BE CONTINUED ................
  19. Am I a miner? Part time yes. I have done projects on & off for 11 yrs. I have always come out to the good and not lost money which is more than I can say for some miners I know. A few yrs ago I got more into the exploration and leasing end of it. I prove there is gold with hard numbers & lease ground. I always make sure to explain to people that there are no guarantees in mining and tell them it is high risk. They also are encouraged to do their own testing. I've seen a lot of prospectors with gold fever that make poor decisions. Gold does that to people. I have a few projects I want to work myself with a small crew eventually and do it more as a treasure hunt. Jed's dig site is one of them. I have done short term leases with good people for next to nothing as far as return because the claims are not tested yet. They get to have fun prospecting & all I ask is they tell me what they find and where they found it. That's how I found a good mining partner one day. He found good gold and we ended up mining some of it together.
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