Treasure hunters: Did FBI destroy video of Civil War gold?

Mar 18, 2022, 12:58 PM | Updated: 1:30 pm

Treasure hunters who claim the FBI made off with several tons of buried Civil War-era gold are now questioning whether evidence related to the 2018 excavation in Pennsylvania has been destroyed.

Finders Keepers, which sued the Justice Department over its failure to produce records on the FBI’s search for the legendary gold, said in a court filing Friday that the FBI initially said its records of the dig included 17 video files. Now, the government claims there are only four videos. Federal officials have not explained the discrepancy, the treasure hunters said.

“This raises the obvious question of whether videotapes were destroyed in the interim,” wrote attorney Anne Weismann, Finders Keepers’ lawyer. Weismann asked a judge to order the FBI to explain the discrepancy in the number of video files it says it has.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., which is defending the treasure hunters’ lawsuit, declined comment on the videos.

The FBI has long insisted its March 2018 dig at the remote woodland site came up empty, but Finders Keepers says the government has acted suspiciously throughout the four-year saga.

“Its behavior points to one conclusion: The FBI does not want to acknowledge publicly or to plaintiff that it located gold at the Dent’s Run site in March 2018,” Weissman wrote.

The records her clients are seeking, including the videos, “would confirm the truth or falsity of this claim,” she wrote.

The Justice Department says it can begin turning over records by the end of May, in monthly batches of 500 pages. In all, the FBI says there are about 2,400 pages of records and 1,000 photos in addition to the video material. Weismann asked the judge to require the government to accelerate its production of records.

Finders Keepers’ owners, the father-son duo of Dennis and Kem Parada, spent years looking for the fabled 1863 shipment of Union gold that was supposedly lost or stolen on its way to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The pair eventually led the FBI to a remote site 135 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh where they say their instruments detected a large hunk of metal.

The FBI’s own contractor, using more sophisticated instruments, said it detected a 9-ton metallic mass suggestive of gold, according to an FBI affidavit unsealed last year at the request of news organizations, including The Associated Press.

The Paradas accompanied the FBI to the site in Dent’s Run, but say they were confined to their car while the FBI excavated.

Federal officials have persistently slow-walked the duo’s demands for information about the dig.

The FBI initially claimed it had no files about the investigation at all. Then, after the Justice Department ordered a more thorough review, the FBI claimed its records were exempt from public disclosure. Finally, in the wake of the treasure hunters’ appeal, the FBI said it had located records it could potentially turn over — but that it would take years to do so. That prompted the treasure hunters’ Freedom of Information Act suit seeking to compel production.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A worker loads boxes of goods from a truck outside a wholesale clothing mall in Beijing on T...
Associated Press

Chinese factory activity rebounds, adding to recovery signs

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese factory activity rebounded in January from three months of contraction, adding to signs the world’s second-largest economy might be recovering from a painful slump, an official survey showed Tuesday. A monthly purchasing managers’ index issued by the Chinese statistics agency and an industry group rose to 50.1 on a 100-point scale […]
23 hours ago
Visitors try out Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Book2 at its shop in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan....
Associated Press

Samsung’s profit plummets amid global economic woes

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics said Tuesday its profit for the last quarter plummeted nearly 70% as a weak global economy depressed demand for its consumer electronics products and computer memory chips. The company’s operating profit of 4.3 trillion won ($3.5 billion) for the three months through December fell 69% from a year […]
23 hours ago
A trishaw driver wades through a crowded street at the frozen Houhai Lake in Beijing, Monday, Jan. ...
Associated Press

IMF upgrades outlook for the global economy in 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook for the global economy is growing slightly brighter as China eases its zero-COVID policies and the world shows surprising resilience in the face of high inflation, elevated interest rates and Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine. That’s the view of the International Monetary Fund, which now expects the world economy to […]
23 hours ago
Joe Garner, a truck driver and shop steward for the local 315 of the International Brotherhood of T...
Associated Press

Self-driving semis focus of California rules, legislation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As California regulators explore new rules to put self-driving semitrucks on the road, labor unions are rushing to the state Legislature to ask for a new law they say will protect their jobs — the start of a debate that could shape the future of the nation’s nearly $900 billion trucking […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra speaks during a news conference at the HH...
Associated Press

Feds expect to collect $4.7B in insurance fraud penalties

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration estimated Monday that it could collect as much as $4.7 billion from insurance companies with newer and tougher penalties for submitting improper charges on the taxpayers’ tab for Medicare Advantage care. Federal watchdogs have been sounding the alarm for years about questionable charges on the government’s private version of […]
23 hours ago
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)...
Associated Press

President Biden to end COVID-19 emergencies on May 11

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden informed Congress on Monday that he will end the twin national emergencies for addressing COVID-19 on May 11, as most of the world has returned closer to normalcy nearly three years after they were first declared. The move to end the national emergency and public health emergency declarations would […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Treasure hunters: Did FBI destroy video of Civil War gold?