A Harrisburg attorney said Thursday that a state appeals court has just given him the next clue toward hopefully solving the mystery of whether the FBI dug up a cache of lost Civil War gold worth about $400 million from a remote Pennsylvania forest nearly three years ago.
That clue, William J. Cluck said, is the name of the federal magistrate judge who ordered all records of the March 2018 excavation in the Dent’s Run area of Elk County to be sealed from public view.
Cluck said he can use that information, secured through his latest Right-to-Know Law appeal to Commonwealth Court, to petition that U.S. judge to unseal the records in the intriguing case.
“I got what I wanted,” Cluck said.
This is an intriguing case, which Cluck is pursuing on behalf of his clients, Finders Keepers LLC, a treasure hunting company he said pointed the feds to the site the excavators hit. Federal authorities are refusing to tell Finders Keepers or anyone else what, if anything, they found. If gold was indeed at the bottom of that hole, then his clients should be entitled to a cut, Cluck contends.
The mystery at the center of all this dates to the time of the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.
According to legend, the Union Army shipped a consignment of gold, 26 or 52 bars weighing 50 pounds each, from Wheeling, W. Va., to Philadelphia. The gold – supposedly consisting of 52 50-pound bars – never reached its destination and was lost or stolen, so the legend goes. The story has fascinated treasure hunters for 157 years.
Cluck and his clients are deeply skeptical about the FBI’s claim that it found nothing during the Dent’s Run dig. Cluck said the fact that the FBI’s Art Crimes Division was involved in the probe and the veil of secrecy the feds tossed over the matter just adds to their suspicions.
He said the feds sealed the documents in the case under a claim it is an ongoing criminal investigation.
Cluck has said his clients were told by the feds that a ground-penetrating survey commissioned by the FBI before the dig began indicated something big, maybe even gold, was buried in the Dent’s Run area.
“They had 50 agents there…We have witnesses that they were there all night with armored cars. So, what are we supposed to believe?” Cluck said. “We are convinced that they found gold.”
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