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Welcome to History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site. From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History Buff wants to know. And feel free to stop by History Buff's ** Author Interviews** for Q&As with authors of historical fiction. Enjoy!

Michelle Moran
Historical fiction author

As an historical fiction writer I am fascinated by news stories featuring the past as it's unearthed and reimagined and brought to life. I spend a
large quantity of time searching for news in archaeology and history. Once in a great while a new archaeological discovery will act as an inspiration for what I'm currently writing. But most of the time the news stories I read are simply interesting tidbits of history. Unfortunately, I have disallowed comments because I travel so frequently that I can neither monitor nor respond to them. But I would still love to share the history that I find fascinating each day. So welcome! And feel free to visit my website at www.michellemoran.com.

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2.14.2008

Man Says He Found Missing Treasure, But State Won't Let Him Dig

It's a mystery going back more than 140 years. Many have searched, but no one has found the millions of dollars in gold lost during the Civil War in Elk County. Now, one treasure hunting team from Clearfield says it knows where the gold is.The story dates back to around the battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

According to legend, Abraham Lincoln ordered a gold shipment to help pay Union soldiers and the route for the shipment came right through Elk County. The soldiers transporting the gold made it to Ridgway and St. Mary's, but after that they disappeared -- except for the wagon train's guide, a man known only as Conners." (Conners) was the guide of the whole expedition and when he made it into Huntingdon, he claimed he couldn't remember anything. He couldn't find the dead bodies; he couldn't find anything," said Dennis Parada, who runs Finders Keepers USA, a treasure hunting crew from Clearfield.

For years, treasure hunters have speculated about the fate of the gold shipment. The story has become a local legend and has been passed down from generation to generation. Some say a raiding party killed most of the soldiers escorting the gold. Parada, however, said he believes the gold's disappearance was part of an inside job."

Conners ambushed and killed the rest of the guys -- and killed them off completely. He planned this whole thing from the Ridgway point of this trip," Parada said.

The gold shipment was originally worth around $2 million, but Parada estimates its value at around $30 million today.Though many have searched for it without success, Parada said he finally knows where it is: near the Cameron County border around the village of Dents Run.

"This site is on the same mountain that the dead bodies were found. It's on the same mountain that the wagons were found; the location of the site is perfect. ... It seems so easy that if I had the wagon train and I was going to hide something, this site is perfect. I just wonder why nobody has got on to this before," he said.

After detector readings indicated that gold and iron were 6 feet below the site, Finders Keepers workers were ready to dig. But that's where things got complicated."The state doesn't want it dug up, that is basically where we're at. It appears they are stalling from every direction to prevent us in digging anything up. For what reason? Maybe -- at a later date -- so they can dig it up and claim part of it," he said.

Read the rest here.