The following article, Treasure Hunter Says He Found $500 Million Civil War Treasure Site, Then the FBI Stole It Out from Under Him, was first published on Flag And Cross.
A treasure hunter has been fighting the FBI for years claiming the bureau stole millions of dollars in Civil War gold that he discovered buried in a patch of woods in Pennsylvania — and now he is suing in federal court to get to the truth.
Dennis Parada said it took him years to track down a large cache of gold buried during the Civil War, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. But once he finally found it, he said, FBI agents swooped in, barred him from the dig site, dug up the gold themselves and made off with it, only to officially claim they found no gold at all.
Parada said he found the gold — worth more than $500 million — in Dents Run, a rural, unincorporated community in Elk County, in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania.
The dig site was near the base of the Allegheny Mountains on the road to West Virginia, where it was said a Union caravan with wagons filled with gold was headed in June 1863 before getting ambushed by Confederate sympathizers.
It wouldn’t be an impossible thing. After all, a man in Kentucky recently dug up a massive cache of 700 gold and silver coins that were buried during the Civil War.
Parada said he began trying to find this lost gold in 2004 and started a company called Finders Keepers based in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, to make the hunt legal, the Journal reported.
The treasure hunter teamed up with his son Kem and Warren Getler, the author of a book on lost Civil War gold titled “Rebel Gold.”
Getler said it is likely that members of a secretive group of Confederate sympathizers, the Knights of the Golden Circle, were responsible for the original gold heist during the Civil War, and that they hid the gold to be delivered to the Confederate government at a later time, once the federal army had stopped looking for the culprits.
Attempting to keep everything above board, Parada said, he contacted officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and told them he had found some promising signs that the gold might be buried in the Dents Run area.
However, according to Parada, he caught state agents combing through the woods and began to fear they would dig up the gold and cart it off before he was ready to conduct a full dig.
So, in 2018, he and Getler met with the FBI to try and make sure the state operatives wouldn’t swoop in and steal his gold.
In hindsight, it was Parada’s biggest mistake. According to the Journal, the FBI brought in a detection machine known as a microgravity meter and reported finding a large mass buried in the ground that featured a density suggestive of a large quantity of gold.
The FBI long ago lost its once-stellar reputation as the nation’s premier law enforcement agency as its operatives have been caught lying repeatedly about a whole host of cases. So bringing the bureau into this gold hunt was probably not the best idea.
Parada and his team found that out rather quickly as the FBI mounted a bigger expedition with excavators, earth movers and other machinery, and dug a massive hole 12 feet down, all without any scrutiny, the Journal reported.
But, amazingly, despite the earlier reported readings, the bureau said nothing was found. The dig was closed on March 14, 2018.
Parada was not satisfied with the official proclamation because as the FBI conducted its dig, he, his son and Getler were barred from the site and not allowed to witness the excavation.
Ultimately, the FBI ushered the three men to the big hole and told them there was nothing there. But it was long after all the trucks, vans, cars and machinery were removed from the site. Then the bureau escorted them out of the area and told them not to return.
In response to questions from the Journal, the FBI said in a statement, “No gold or other items of evidence were located or collected. The only items the FBI removed from the site were the equipment and supplies brought in for the dig.”
But Parada said his suspicion was deepened when residents in a nearby town told him they saw a long line of armored cars and other government vehicles going to and from the area in the middle of the night.
He is convinced the FBI found his gold and dug it up, then carried it off during the night.
In addition, the Paradas say the metal detection devices they used in the late 2000s that detected gold on the Dents Run site now no longer find any traces of the precious metal. That, they say, is because the FBI stole it all.
“I’ve come to the unavoidable conclusion that the FBI did take the treasure under cover of darkness,” Getler said, according to the Journal.
The Paradas have sued the FBI alleging that the statements made are false, that the bureau has refused to turn over documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act, and that it doctored photos to hide its actions at Dents Run.
“The FBI insists they found nothing, but they have gone out of their way not to produce any documents that show that they found nothing,” Anne Weismann, a lawyer for the Paradas, told the Journal. “The thing about this case is stuff just doesn’t add up.”
Sadly, it’s not hard now to believe the crooked FBI swooped into Dents Run in the middle of the night and snatched the gold that Dennis Parada spent years tracking down.
It is also believable that this happened even though Parada was trying to do everything the right way by keeping government officials apprised of his actions. Who would be surprised that the government was working against these citizens, not working for them?
Of course, the FBI might be telling the truth. Maybe it didn’t find Parada’s mythical Civil War gold.
But, even as there are a lot of unanswered questions that the bureau does not seem very interested in clearing up, it is just too easy to assume the agency is lying about the whole thing.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.