FBI records regarding search for fabled Gold raise more questions

An FBI scientific analysis was conducted shortly before agents began digging for hidden treasure.

FBI records regarding search for fabled Gold raise more questions

An FBI scientific analysis was conducted shortly before agents began digging for hidden treasure. It revealed that there could be a large amount of gold below the surface. This is according to newly released documents and photos.

A geophysicist from the site performed microgravity tests and wrote the report. It suggested that there was an underground object of up to 9 tonnes in mass with a density similar to gold. To obtain a warrant to seize gold, the FBI used the work of the consultant.

Since its inception, the government has claimed that its dig was a failure. The government has long claimed that the dig was a bust. However, a father-son treasure hunting team of treasure hunters, who spent many years searching for Civil War-era Gold -- and led agents to the woodland site in hopes of a finder’s fee -- suspect that the FBI double-crossed them. They allegedly stole a cache worth hundreds of millions.

The geophysical survey, which was just revealed, was part of court-ordered disclosure of government records about the FBI's treasure hunt at Dent's Run. This is approximately 135 miles (220 km) northeast of Pittsburgh. Legend has it that a 1863 Union gold shipment was lost or stolen while on its way to Philadelphia.

Dennis Parada and Kem Parada co-own the treasure-hunting company Finders Keepers. They successfully sued the Justice Department to obtain the records, after they were denied by the FBI. The FBI records were provided by Finders Keepers to The Associated Press. They were then posted by the FBI on their website.

Enviroscan, a geophysical consulting firm, collected technical survey data that gave credence to treasure hunters' extensive fieldwork at this site. This led to the FBI launching a secretive operation to excavate the site in late winter 2018.

John Louie is a geophysics professor at Reno's University of Nevada. He reviewed Enviroscan’s report at the request of AP. He said that the firm's methods were "very good" and that their conclusions "represent a physically reasonable hypothesis" about the possibility of gold being buried at the site.

He cautioned that the subsurface gravity anomaly Enviroscan detected did not conclusively prove the existence of gold. Louie stated that Enviroscan's data could also have been interpreted differently.

He stated via email that "Thus it is also entirely reasonable for the FBI to not find anything at this site because there wasn't really any gold there."

Tim Bechtel, co-founder of Enviroscan, declined to comment on his work at Dent’s Run. He said that the FBI had not granted him permission to speak. Bechtel was not discussed by the FBI this week, but they said that agents did not follow up on the dig to reconcile geophysical-survey results with the absence or other metals.

Additional documents from the FBI case file that was just released raise more questions.

One-paragraph FBI report dated March 13, 2019, exactly one year after the dig, stated that agents had found nothing at Dent's Run. The report stated that no "metals, items and/or other relevant material were found." The FBI will close the captioned investigation due to "other priority work."