The Treasure Hunt

St. Elmo
Prospects from Ghosts & Gold

According to Wikipedia, St. Elmo is one of Colorado's best preserved ghost towns.

"The town was at its peak in the 1890s, when it included a telegraph office, general store, town hall, 5 hotels, saloons, dancing halls, a newspaper office, and a school house. The Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad line ran through St. Elmo. There were 150 patented mine claims within the area. The Mary Murphy Mine was the largest and most successful mine in the area and recovered over $60,000,000 worth of gold while it was in operation." 

Eventually, the gold and silver were thought to be mined out and in 1922, the train tracks were abandoned. "St. Elmo's population rode the last train out of town and never came back."

At 10,000 ft, there is not much going on there now except for an eerie presence. According to local legend, Annabelle Stark still keeps a ghostly watch over the town from the hotel below.

Home Comfort Hotel

 "A skier was said to have seen a very attractive woman in a white dress framed in the second story window of the old Home Comfort Hotel. The young woman's eyes were focused on something in the distance and when the skier followed her gaze, she saw a group of snowmobilers who were riding through the street. The skier flagged down the group, informing them that snowmobiling was illegal in St. Elmo. The group apologized and rode away. When the skier looked back at the hotel, the woman nodded to her, then turned away and vanished." 

Annabelle knows there is lot more gold and silver here, that the town is worth preserving and that it will be renamed "St. Elmo's Fire".

Our personal Gold/XAU market also looks like a ghost town in decline with many convinced the mines have already seen their heyday, there are no more nuggets to be found and it's time for residents to quietly head to the train station.

Today, your resident prospector is here to tell you that there is lot more gold to be found. With up to 25% to 50% of residents expected to leave, that means more gold mines for all those remaining at bargain prices, some even for free.

He also believes that modern technical methods of our "Bonanza Gold Mine" will uncover a brand new mother lode trend, in the not too distant future.

Fortunately, that prospector is not a ghost.

~ Trader Garrett ~


St. Elmo's Christmas Treasure

St. Elmo was originally developed in 1878 when gold and silver were discovered.

The Denver Tribune reported at the time that “St. Elmo, a town of less than 6 months, has two sawmills, a smelter and concentrator, 3 hotels, 5 restaurants and several stores.”

In 1879, construction of the Alpine Tunnel began. The train tunnel was built through the Continental Divide and would serve to connect the Denver, South Park and Pacific railroad to St. Elmo. It was the highest railroad tunnel at 11,523 feet and longest narrow-gauge rail tunnel in the United States.

Ore from this canyon occurred in pyritic quartz veins. "The veins varied greatly in size from inch-wide stringers 50 feet long to some 50-foot thick veins that ran for more than a mile". The mines were considered to be mainly silver mines but the source of free gold was in the gold oxidized zone. Newspaper articles from the day mention the "Little Bonanza Lode". 

Towns like this attracted eager miners, gamblers and train robbers as well.

On Christmas Eve 1889, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was said to have robbed the Denver, South Park and Pacific railroad serving St. Elmo and stashed $100,000 of that bullion near Monument.

That treasure was from the high grade "Little Bonanza Lode" but was never found. 

This was not exactly a joyous Christmas event for St. Elmo but they continued to push on extracting more then $60,000,000 in gold and silver.
A True Christmas Treasure 

In spite of the current path to the mother lode being steep, rocky and blocked at every turn, we still have much to be thankful for.

A true Christmas treasure is not in gold or silver buried somewhere but in the gift of having family and friends who care and support your efforts.

~ Trader Garrett ~


Oak Island Introduction

On November 10, 2020 the Oak Island Treasure series will begin a new season on the History Channel

My analysis and correspondence with the Laginas in 2017 & 2019 is below. Most recent submission/correspondence was in February 2021. Reference to my specific ideas and logic may occur during any season. 

Oak Island Treasure video trailers are here.
The Top 21 Theories About Oak Island here
Revealed: The Secret of Oak Island here
The Oak Island Treasure - Questions of Logic 

The Oak Island treasure is one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time.

A few days ago, we provided a link to an overall summary here and a chronology here. This mystery is also presented as a series on the History Channel.

For more than 30 years, I have been interested in the Oak Island treasure. My "theory" in finally solving this mystery is based primarily on strict logic and human nature but without a whole lot of supporting historical evidence. It's probably no more valid than all the other theories and speculations. However, there are several points of logic worth considering.

To that end, this presentation was sent to the current treasure hunters, Rick and Marty Lagina, for comment. It offers several points of logic and focus that may assist them toward a more definitive answer. 

Questions of Logic 

In the search for this treasure, my central points are simply these:

- Would it not make sense (with such intricate detail and construction of the Oak Island vault and protective tunnels), for the originators to have had a plan and easy means developed to retrieve their treasure in the future? This would occur when the time was right and without the danger of flooding and cave-ins.

- Think of it as bank with only one safety deposit box and only one key. Would it not be prudent for treasure hunters to reverse the treasure hunting process in favor of a plan for finding how they planned to return to retrieve it? In theoretical logic, this would lead one directly to the treasure vault for the remaining clues on its historical origin and purpose in a more expeditious manner.

- This was clearly not meant to be a treasure cemetery but a temporary vault. Clearly, the planners for this project had a longer time horizon as opposed to pirates who had a mindset of “in an out.” These elements point to wealthy individuals or a secret organization as the source of this plan and the ownership of its contents.

- The contents of the vault had to be of immense value (at the time) for such detailed construction to be considered.

- To consider such a remote place at the time for a place of hiding speaks volumes as to its value and importance.

- The elaborate vault system was designed for safety, to allow long term protection and without a need for any guards to be continuously present.

- The circular depression found by Daniel McGinnis in 1795 with a nearby tree branch having a tackle block is, in my view, a diversionary exercise meant to confuse and keep occupied any potential treasure hunters. The "treasure" was likely buried elsewhere on the island or in Nova Scotia.  

- Many workers would have been needed to build the vault and the ingenious flooding tunnels. This project would have taken a many months to build. Logic suggests there would be records that support this history by workers unless they were all killed and buried after completion of construction.

- Before or after the project was completed, would not the workers have attempted to send letters to family members on the details of their employment by way of supply ships, if no censorship were present?

- If the workers were prisoners, for example, would they have perhaps buried stashes of information or clues about the project on the island for vindication and revenge?


One can safely conclude there had to be a method and means developed to return for the treasure. If this is correct, then it’s likely they (or their heirs in future generations) had complete instructions for its removal. Logic would also suggest that such a treasure value requiring intricate planning and construction was not meant to be forgotten. As a result, they likely returned and extracted the “treasure” a long time ago.

This island was probably more like a temporary bank safety deposit box with a limited life.

If this logic is true, digging for it is a fruitless exercise. As a result, they are digging in the wrong area, for the wrong reasons and ultimately, for the wrong result.

Instead, one should be looking for historical clues on the hidden plan for retrieval of the treasure. If this reverse investigative process were successful, it would lead directly to the (empty?) vault for any remaining clues as to its origin and true purpose.

This presentation’s only purpose is to help and assist. I sincerely hope I am dead wrong and that significant monetary expense over many years has not been spent in vain.

Trader Garrett
12/5/14 (Updated Feb 2021)

Additional clues may be found in:
1) Shipping, repair and cargo records for the period in question
2) Samuel Ball's genealogical record, wills/legal documents and correspondence, if recorded and found
3) Area residents correspondence for the period in question that may shed light on the events in terms of what they witnessed
4) Detailed analysis of Henry Sinclair's travels, residences and his connection the Knights Templar


Bonanza Gold - A True Story

This is the story of fabulously rich gold mine found by accident. It is It is absolutely true because I have been there. 

High up in the Rocky Mountains an old prospector, down on his luck, was aimlessly walking around when he came upon narrow gauge train tracks.

Clearing away the brush, he found this entrance to an abandoned gold mine.


Gold Rush! 

My predictive forecast for some time has been a gradual pickup in price inflation. In time, this will lead to a historic gold rush for value. 

Continued here...

The Independence Gold Mine (Series)

A wise old prospector was recently interviewed for his advice on the current condition of the gold and silver markets.

Continued here...
Timeless Treasure
The 20 Biggest Gold Heists in History - Click here 

The Hidee Gold Mine 

About 65 miles from my home in Colorado is the Hidee Mine which was named for a girl. The prospector may have had trouble in spelling her name but he had no trouble in discovering one the richest mines on earth.

It is Pyritic gold and this mine is only one of two in the world with this type of high grade ore. Specimen quality is extremely rare in this grade, size and quantity.

The mine was originally discovered in 1896 and was first accessed by a shaft atop the ridge. The vein has been worked intermittently from then until present time. The Hidee sits in the heart of the Virginia Canyon - Glory Hole Area, reputed to be the “Richest Square Mile on Earth”.

Ore produced has been valued as high as 7.90 ounces of gold per ton, 14.60 ounces of silver per ton and 9.60% copper per ton. Assays of mine samples have been as high as 112 ounces gold per ton, 20 ounces silver and 16.5% copper per ton. These are extraordinarily high grades!

I have been in this mine and actually "mined" 3 specimens myself with hammer and chisel. Two specimens I gave away. They now give educational mine tours. 

The mines in this area, all told, produced more than $1 billion (1998 prices) in gold and silver since 1859. 

Forget "Hidee". Can anyone spell "Gold Rush"?

Searching for the Mother Lode

Gold Investors worldwide do not need a treasure map to dig depressions caused by waterfalls. They see the current "on sale" gold decline as an opportunity for those with shovels of cash reserves and a dynamite vision.

They know that gold price losses have nothing to do with its intrinsic or fundamental value and that is why they are digging those depressions for nuggets of value.

As a prospector, I have no problem with the price of gold or its ultimate future but, as a trader, there are difficulties in finding bedrock for gold and silver stocks. Uncovering those values is both art and science. 

The search for the Mother Lode, as a longer term term investment, depends on a favorable daily, weekly and monthly trend. When that occurs, one would invest in gold/silver producers that have solid management, large underlying assets, significant cash and a tighter share structure. A gold price over the all-in costs is an important requirement as well.

With no credibility of danger apparent in leading currencies, government statistics or debt levels, confidence and sentiment towards gold and silver is down, and understandably so. 

We can all moan, groan and complain about price declines or take action by buying limited amounts of additional insurance when on sale waterfall pricing occurs. 

Gold and silver are bedrock values of our collective financial security and the mother lode is under that waterfall decline. You can almost count on the nuggets of value being there, so stake your claim. 

Updated 2020

 Where to Find Gold
A Complete Guide - Click here

The Glory Hole 
Seen by Many - Recognized by Few

In alluvial gold mining, a glory hole refers to an eroded out depression in old river beds or those formed at the base of ancient waterfalls. Gold, being over 19 times heavier than water, sinks to the bottom of these depressions near bedrock. This concave geometry is known to be ideal for concentrations of gold and these types of deposits are always in strong demand. 

The Legend of Prospector Sam

In 1874 in northern Idaho, legend has it an old prospector named Sam discovered a glory hole of gold buried 27 feet beneath the erosive soils of an old waterfall. He mined it for several months, gathering hundreds of nuggets. As winter approached, he camouflaged the workings intending to return the following year. Regrettably, he died and was never able to return. Later on, a treasure map was found hidden beneath a floor board near his bed.

The Search for Sam's Treasure

Some time ago, a search was planned to find Sam’s gold by three eager treasure hunters. Following the map, and next to an old prospector’s shack, they discovered stones with strange symbols engraved on them. Suddenly, there was silence.

After a minute or two, a treasure hunter commented, “This is a mystery. Maybe it’s a secret code for unraveling the location of the depression.” Another said, “It may be a graveyard of headstones for the dearly departed.” Another humorously stated, “Maybe they are stepping stones to success. This really rocks!”

Unable to decipher the symbols and looking around the valley, they found what appeared to be remnants of an old waterfall, some odd rock piles and started digging. 

It wasn’t long before they hit the jackpot and the legend became a legendary treasure.

Here is a picture of the first nugget they found among many.

After many days of hard work, they camouflaged their workings, just like Sam, and returned home with a bonanza treasure. 

Today, its hidden location is still there, seen by many and recognized by few.

Mar 2014 (Updated 2018)

Mystery Gold

An old truck carrying gold ore and mining equipment is seen entering the river. The number 10 or 16 is on the cab door. Can you find it?

If so, comment below!


  1. Interesting ideas about Oak island. I also watched most of the episodes on the History Channel. Now here's a "what if". What if the entire Oak Island structure of tunnels and vaults was merely a ruse, a deception? So all of Nova Scotia is buzzing with stories about vast fortunes being hidden underground, people know people who are working on it, and everyone knows something. In actual fact, of course, the loot is stored in some cabin hundreds of miles away. Kind of like hiding something in plain sight. If I had to hide something of extreme value, deception would be part of my mo!

    1. Thanks for your comments.

      Yes, anything is possible. The obvious pulley hanging from the tree (discovered by the boys), would support your opinion.

      I strongly suspect resolution or strong clues have been uncovered this year. Should be a very interesting.