FBI agents and representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources have a basis in the Route 555 in Benezette Township, Elk County, Pa., at a location where the treasure hunters say civil war era gold buried.
(Katie Weidenboerner/The Courier-Express via AP)
It is the stuff of legend: A car of the Army of the Union lost a huge cache of gold bars en route from Wheeling, West Virginia, at the US Mint in Philadelphia in 1863.
More than 150 years later, the FBI is monitoring an excavation in Pennsylvania state forest, where the famous loot would be buried, reports AP.
The excavation will take place on Dents Run, approximately 135 km northeast of Pittsburgh, although none of the parties involved—the FBI, the state, or the treasure-hunting group of Finders Keepers—much to say.
“I’m sorry, but from now on, all we can say is ‘No Comment,'” a member of the group tells the Washington Post. “We’ll keep you in mind when/if anything changes.” Finders Keepers has long insisted that the gold is there, as described in this older post on its website, but it says a skeptical state officials have never given permission for a dig.
That’s apparently changed in the last week of the excavation started. Various accounts say that the Union wagon train was carrying 26 or 52 gold bars, which are worth $27 million or $55 million, respectively, today.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, notes that a civil war sergeant supposedly claimed that he was the only survivor of an ambush on the wagon train, and the dig site is about 9 miles from where he said that the ambush took place.
Historians are skeptical about the story over the years, but Finders Keepers says it has found artifacts at the site suggests Union soldiers were there.
The group also says metal detectors suggest something, is buried there. Or the lost gold is a long story, or a real treasure may be soon known.
(Elsewhere, a fortune in gold would be buried in the Bay Area of California.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: Legendary Lost Gold Found