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A team of treasure hunters in the United States claims the FBI illegally seized Civil War gold which they had discovered at Dent’s Run. Source: peshkov / Adobe Stock

Treasure Hunters Accuse FBI of Secretly Seizing Lost Civil War Gold


The FBI is a threat-focused, intelligence-driven national security organization that is generally involved in preventing and investigating acts of domestic and international terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction including chemical, radiological, biological and nuclear weapons. However, three years ago this month, a team of FBI agents was seen in rural America hunting for a legendary cache of Civil War gold. Now, a “dad and lad” treasure-hunting duo are taking the FBI to court claiming that they led the FBI to the life-changing hoard and were then confined to their car while FBI agents dug it up.

Did the FBI Seize Civil War Gold Worth Hundreds of Millions of Dollars?

According to Time “possibly tons of gold” was hidden from a 1863 shipment of Union gold that was stolen on its way to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. On March 13, 2018 a father-and-son team of treasure hunters led a team of FBI agents to Dent’s Run in a Pennsylvania forest, about 220 kilometers (135 miles) northeast of Pittsburgh, to share the location they believe the treasure was buried. However, rather than sharing all this with the public, in written statements the FBI say only that they had “court-authorized” permission to excavate what they think might be, wait for it, “a cultural heritage site.”

According to the Pennsylvania Outdoor Bureaux, the history behind this perplexing case is that in 1863 a Union wagon train left Wheeling, West Virginia, carrying “52 bars of gold, each weighing 50 pounds” to be used to pay Union soldiers. After the gold-laden train arrived at St. Marys it was never seen again. It was recorded that the wagons and soldiers’ bodies were later recovered but the gold vanished. Jim Burke of Elk County is a member of the Mt. Zion Historical Society and he claims a man called “Conners and a small group of men came out of the gold train alive.”

The team of treasure hunters at Finders Keepers, Dennis and Kem Parada seen on the left of the image, have taken the FBI to court over their claim that the government organization illegally seized the legendary Civil War gold treasure hoard. (Finders Keepers)

Fact or Fiction? Legend of the Lost Gold of Dent’s Run

The Mt. Zion Historical Society are soon to publish a new book entitled Dents Run Lost Gold Shipment. In it they will claim that in a drunken state Conners allegedly stated that after the train stopped in St Marys its cargo was transported “over Thunder Mountain near Hicks Run.” Furthermore, the Pennsylvania Outdoor Bureaux article claims that in the late 1800s the Pinkerton Detective Agency discovered “3.5 gold bars.”

This impressive find caused several of the detectives to dedicate the rest of their lives hunting for the lost Civil War gold. Writer Jim Burke states that in the 1990s a man named Jack Schall came to the area to survey elevation marker accuracy and he met with a man in a St. Marys pub who claimed to have a bar of gold under his bed. According to Burke, Schall claims the man showed him the gold bar.

Three years ago this week, treasure-hunting team Dennis Parada and his son Kem Parada, who co-own the treasure-hunting outfit Finders Keepers U.S.A, identified a mass of metal at a site. Convinced they had found the Civil War gold. They lead “a small army of federal agents” to the location where they suspected the legendary lost gold was buried.

The FBI team searching the Dent’s Run location found by the Paradas. (Finders Keepers)

Although the FBI asserted that they came up empty-handed, the Parada’s lawyer, Bill Cluck, is successfully suing for access to government emails pertaining to an alleged treasure dig. Cluck provided The Associated Press with a 2018 confidential email from agent K.T. Newton, an assistant U.S attorney in Philadelphia, in which the agent wrote: “We believe the cache itself is in the neighborhood of 3x5x8 (feet) to 5x5x8.” This was sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the FBI was indeed after a hoard of buried Civil War gold.

Courts Choose Their Words Very Carefully

It is estimated that this treasure is worth hundreds of millions of dollars today. The Parada family claims that they had an agreement with the FBI to observe any excavations. However, the Associated Press reported that FBI officers instead “confined them to their car” for most of the dig, until they “escorted them to the site — by that time a large, empty hole.”

In any case, last week the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia said “it considers the matter to be closed.” The Pennsylvania courts recently declined to order the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to give attorney Cluck a copy of the federal writ pertaining to the “seizure warrant” that the FBI agents used to gain access to the site.

Despite the FBI claiming that their efforts came up empty, perhaps the name of this sealed writ can provide some clues. According to a document on PA Courts, the name of the sealed federal case is “In the Matter of: Seizure of One or More Tons of United States Gold.” Words such as search, scan, look, hunt, excavate and dig were all avoided, and the word chosen to define the case was “seizure,” suggesting the FBI did indeed find the famed Dent’s Run Civil War gold.

Top image: A team of treasure hunters in the United States claims the FBI illegally seized Civil War gold which they had discovered at Dent’s Run. Source: peshkov / Adobe Stock

By Ashley Cowie



Gary Moran's picture

Stashes of gold and the various tales/histories that have built up around them have inspired many legends. Gold hidden by Apaches in a mountain in the edge of White Sands Proving Grounds was supposedly discovered by civilians and then recovered and confiscated by the US Army. A wagon-load was supposedly secreted by natives during the Pueblo Uprising in 1680’s somewhere in western New Mexico. And don’t forget the Lost Dutchman, maybe not a mine, but another stash of Apache gold. Those three could all be contained within a relatively small area on a map of the western US.

There must be some truth there somewhere, I was convinced enough to spend many weekends hunting traipsing thru the wilds of the Gila, even spending a couple of days lost in that wilderness. Alas, no success, but one can always dream. 

The US has secretly been amassing the largest gold

fortune imaginable since 1948. China has been late to the game but has played catch up at a remarkable rate.


so Ashley, in summary, I'm not surprised to your story. You might have done one on how rain is wet and it might have surprised me more.

Btw, my data is dead on and 10000 percent correct.

ashley cowie's picture


Ashley is a Scottish historian, author, and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems in accessible and exciting ways.

He was raised in Wick, a small fishing village in the county of Caithness on the north east coast of... Read More

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