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Treasure News for May!

State looking for a Fox? Appears so. Last month I told you the story of Cal DeViney, Billy Bowleggs, and the Fox. This month it's online on the forum board: look for Treasure News for May!

 Treasure News for April!

The 2004 diving season is almost upon us! This promises to be a busy one. I'll be flying out west to complete some aerial footage for "American Outback" in the early summer, and then will turn around and start some underwater filmmaking for a documentary on gold-divers and gold diving in the west during the late summer months. It should be a heck of a lot of fun to go along with all of the other adventures we've all had together and vicariously over these last 10 years.

I have been documenting a lot of the Florida sites on film, and should have moving footage to go along with the new treasure locations when that comes out.

In the year preceding his death, Cal DeViney tried to get me to put a team together and go after Billy Bowlegg's treasure. Having de-bunked "Gasparilla" I was even more skeptical of Billy Bowleggs, when I turned up 3 of them! Pretty soon, I had enough Billy Bowleggs sightings to make any Elvis believer hide in shame. Well, to make a long story short, turns out there really was something to it, and the state of Florida has taken what they know about Bowleggs, combined with the info on the HMS Fox (NW Treasure Site Files) and gone hunting at Dog Island . . . I'll try to pull together the complete story when I return next month.

If you're not getting a reply from me via email, I'm headed to New Mexico to pick up treasure salvage vessel #3 (C-Dawg-E) which will be used in this summer's gold diving out west. I'm getting over 1500 Emails some days at present, so you might want to hold off until April 15th to send me anything, or put a question up on the forum board. Some of the most knowledgeable treasure-divers that have lived scan that forum and it gives me great pleasure whenever I see one of the legends answer a post anonymously (you know who you are).

Much success in your endeavors!

Matt Mattson


Treasure News for February!

Much of last year was burned up in a court case out in Oregon (won), so there hasn't been much "Treasure News" lately. Hopefully that will change and things will get back to normal soon.

Lost items: Womens Fire Opal with diamonds around Opal has been lost on Sebastian Beach, Ft. Lauderdale. A reward offered if found.

5 Rings, 3 with rubies and diamonds, thrown in the garbage by mistake (oops) - at 14401 N. Kendal Drive, Miami, Fl

Gold sapphire & diamond bracelet lost at Lynwood Park, Melbourne

Class ring, 2 diamond chips, clear stone, Poincianna High School, Melbourne Beach

Heart shaped ruby, diamond, and amethyst gold pendant with initials JAM centered, on beach in front of Discovery Beach Resort, Cocoa.

Weeki Wachee Spring reopens to divers! All the hard work of many is finally opening some of the springs again. let's all keep it up!

Gene Wiley and I have completed an initial survey of the area the Spanish referred to as the "Kingdom of Ais" and it is on sale in the Z-Dawg-E section, as is a how-to video on finding (natural) gold.

Good luck with your treasure hunting!

Matt Mattson

email me

Treasure News for May!

Attention: The largest metal detecting hunt in the United States . . . at Ball Ground, Georgia, as part of the Dredge Earth First Rally (info below). Silver, coins, tokens, prizes, and gold nuggets to hunt, find, and keep! Don't miss this . . .

Would you like to learn how to find gold? Reasonably near Florida? Here's your chance . . , Dredge Earth First is holding a rally on the Etowah River just N. of Atlanta, near Ball Ground, Memorial Day Weekend! For 3 days -- admission is free -- training is free -- and what you find is yours to keep. The mission of DEF is to educate the public -- so take advantage of that and attend this free rally, learn a new skill, and get some gold! Much more info online at: and there's another active forum board you can learn much about gold prospecting on.

Wood gold -- some are actively logging the rivers of Florida for cypress logs cut over 100 years ago. These are logs that sank in the huge rafts of logs that floated downriver to mills on a regular basis at the turn of the last century. They have settled into the mud, and are being brought up to supply cypress wood anew (entire buildings are torn down to get the cypress wood flooring out) at hefty prices!

40 carat emerald found -- on the Santa Margarita by a part-time diver who works as an elementary school teacher in Nassau County. Congrats! 23 years after Mel Fisher found the wreck, and it's still giving up treasure, although vastly overshadowed by its sister in treasure-transport, the Atocha.

Has anybody found any of the below? If so, nobody is talking!

There's still some fabulous treasure out there being lost every day . . .

a unique diamond ring is lost at Capri Isle golf course in Venice

a golden bracelet is lost at Park Red Road, Kendall

a diamond baget tennis-bracelet is lost at Bush Gardens

a 5-carot diamond tennis-bracelet is lost opposite the Marriott Hotel beach in Ft. Lauderdale.

a diamond wedding ring is lost (probably near) the Thunderbird Hotel at Treasure Island

a man's size 12 ring with initials JFJ is lost on Treasure Island Beach

a Lake Gibson High School class ring is lost on the road shoulder at IMC-Agrico, Lakeland

a gold/platinum engagement ring is lost at Roney Palace, Miami

a gold bracelet is lost on the Wekiva Riverwalk

a 14K bracelet with name REBECCA is lost at Hialeah

a 18K man's ring with 3 diamonds is lost on St. Petersburg Beach

a diamond (with ring's metal holding prongs attached) is lost at Dunnedin High School Ftball field

Matt Mattson have you sent me an email lately?

Treasure News for October!

I am just arrived -- from Oregon. 3 months of prospecting, and the annual Dredge Earth First Rally. Pleased to report GPAA, ICMJ, New 49'rs, Resources Coalition, and many many more were in attendance and are now in full support of our rallies. In fact, it would surprise me none to find any of the above the catalysts for putting on rallies in their own states for years to come. Attendance: according to GPAA (Gold Prospectors Assn. of America) the estimate was 4000! Many good friends were made, and again, the public was drawn in, introduced, and converted to prospectors or prospectors at heart totally free of charge! Now who in their right mind can argue with a thing like that? Talk now is of regional rallies springing up in Ca., Or., Az., Ga., and the national rally being held in Wa., next year! The Dredge Earth First will simply add the smaller rallies to its advertising and turn out the crowds for the clubs wishing to participate. Pretty simple -- effective -- and wildly popular with prospectors and the public alike.

So how did I do: Click Here An actual video of how to do this (from discovery to cleanup) and a lot more is available by clicking here! (and yeah -- there's a shameless plug for DEF in it!)

I learned a lot out west at DEF this year, and one of the things I learned was the vast majority of miners really are decent and caring folks. They recognize a bully when they see one, and reject that bully in droves. Good show! A powerful statement was made and no one had to raise a voice. Thanks for attending.

Are you a banned puppy? Tired of having your forum posts deleted or wondering what the unfiltered truth is? Tired or afraid of being slandered all over the internet if you don't agree with the moderator? Afraid of that delete key? Tired of having to wear a flame-proof suit while computing? Why not head for some of the fair forums on the net: Leonard Leeper's Forums ?

New 1715 Galleon Found? -- when 11 galleons left Havana Harbor in July 1715 bound for Spain, little did they know their impending doom would lead treasure hunters on the quest for fabulous wealth for almost 300 years now, with no signs of any letup. The bulk of the fleet, battered by a hurricane, pounded ashore between Ft. Pierce and Sebastion inlet on the East Coast of Florida, drowning most of the hapless passengers and crews. Now, about 50 feet seaward off the Tracking Station Park north of Vero Beach, a new wreck has been discovered and all signs lead to it being one of the undiscovered 1715 galleons. 400 coins, a cannon, and most importantly, the ballast pile have been located. Congratulations (even if premature) to HRD on what promises to be a fabulous find! Thanks to my friend Ernie Richards also, for notifying us of this discovery. Click to take a look at Ernie's Site!

I'm thinking about writing a new screenplay -- those of you that know me personally know I write screenplays -- it's about a fellow who comes out of nowhere with a new prospecting supply business, and the twist is, he operates it entirely off the internet! Now this fellow is actually running one of the oldest cons in the book -- but with an interesting twist -- instead of conning the general public -- he cons the suppliers -- and uses the general public for sympathy once the con is pulled. Here's the con: the business is actually 3 rental bays in a mini-warehouse (a shell business), but the actual business is running a forum board to deceive the public into believing this is an actual business. He holds himself out as a genuine war hero, etc., quickly painting himself in the flag, patriotism, etc. He says all the right things, and takes care of the locals and people he knows are active on forum boards so as not to blow his cover for the con. Others get stuck with all kinds of problems. When anyone gets a hint of what is really going on, he quickly slimes the hapless victim all over the internet, quickly demolishing their credibility with personal attacks. He sells, and sells, and sells (but doesn't pay the suppliers), and at the proper moment -- goes out of business -- and this "war hero" uses a real war as cover to generate public sympathy! But there's some problems. An investigator from Florida is on the trail, as are investigators in Oregon and California, piecing together the con. The "war hero" didn't step away cleanly, putting his internet business (and upcoming headaches) with another prospecting supply company (wise), but didn't step away from running a forum board that becomes more and more hostile as suppliers figure out what actually happened to them was not unique. Already, two of the major suppliers conned are talking together, which may take the screenplay in a whole new direction (jail). But -- will the public figure it out in time? Will the investigators be able to retrieve any monies for the suppliers before the "war hero" slips cleanly away to another state? Will the people slimed by the "war hero" ever get their reputations back? Stay tuned for the ending of this very interesting screenplay! 

Well, it's been a long time since I've been in Florida -- good to be back with you again!


Matt Mattson

Treasure News for May!

A new forum! -- Since Senac decided to bomb the forum boards with pop-up advertising about 6 mos. ago, the forum has been almost unusable to us. 1 popup I can understand, but 6 is a little much to contend with . . . so here's a new forum minus any pop-ups:

Click here and bookmark the new forum!

Say hello to Gia -- she's another well known I-net model and a full page will go up on her shortly (I'm way behind on everything) . . .

She also did an excellent job modeling Dredge Earth First T-shirts for their ads, and has pulled a lot of eyes towards that website as well . . .


Look under "Pictures"

Jewelry -- do you know someone that might like one of these:

I'm making as much jewelry (of all types) as possible out of the gold I'm finding and should have it available by the holidays.

Gia -- getting ready for the jewel shot -- more on that when the studio work gets done . . .

Be sure to email the Governor and remind him how important it is that our state public lands remain open to ALL OF US! After all, we paid for that land too. And while you're at it, remind him to get FS 267 on the books so we're no longer subject to "seat of the pants make it up as you go regulation by local park rangers." With FS 267 on the books, we'd have something fair, and UNDERSTANDABLE.

Proposed metal detector & artifact diving law Florida Statute 267:

1. Instead of the state dictating that all areas are off limits except those areas the state allows for supervised collection I propose that --

Anyone found collecting artifacts in any area buoyed, roped, or otherwise marked by the state as off limits to collection shall be in violation of FS 267.

Governor's email:, his personal email:

Secretary's email:

To keep track of what the legislators in Tallahassee are doing in general, go here: to look up current bills, or your legislator. We have already made a difference, let's keep on them, and keep informed.

Drop me an email!

Matt Mattson



Had a nice talk with Taffi Fisher Abt (Mel's daughter) on the phone and she tells me the feds are highly active on the E. Coast in enforcement activities. I've included the necessary information to anyone diving in the East Coast Site Files along with Taffi's email and contact #. In short, if you're on the beach, you're unaffected, if you're scuba diving with a metal detector and without being part of a salvage team, or have an isolated finds form on you (download from the state) etc., you might be in for one nasty surprise. With laws, public sentiment, environmental activism, historical activism and all the rest changing as fast as it does, no person with a website can keep up with it all. I'm glad to bring you the sites -- up to you to make sure you're legal to go get the goodies! In my mind, the knowledge you would gain in joining an established 1715 fleet salvage crew for a season would far outweigh the value of any cob coin found doing a stealth dive.

Also talked with the past president of the Fl Cave Diver's Assn., and he updated me on some of the cave sites, and we'll try to get up for a flight sometime in the future to add a few more dive sites to the list. I get a heck of a lot of calls from cave divers, and though some of the sites do have caves associated with them, cave diving and treasure diving are totally different activities. If you've penetrated a site beyond available light -- you're not treasure diving anymore!

If anyone has any info on Fort Ward, Fort Brooke, Fort Anuttaliga, or any other Seminole Indian Wars forts, please forward it on to me. Links to downloadable period maps are especially useful.

Welcome April Walker -- you'll see her in a t-shirt shortly, and maybe with a full webpage.



Treasure News for March!

Old WWII airfield at Bushnell . . . since I was a kid I'd heard about the old airfield at Bushnell, where the B-17 (based at Brooksville), B-25 (based at Williston), P-47 (based at Cross City), P-38 (based at Lakeland) and B-26 (based at Tampa) crews learned to operate off dirt runways, but had never been able to find it. A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be flying from Brooksville (oddly enough where my Uncle had trained on B-17's) to Leesburg (WWII Avenger & SNJ base) which takes you right over Bushnell and the sun caught it just right to make out the old runway. This had been a huge base, much larger than I had thought. At the bottom of the pic, you can see their turnoff, where they parked the planes, about a mile N. of Bushnell at that point. In WII, Florida became a huge aircraft carrier, and the state was covered with air bases from tip to tip, with the grass ones (like this) slowly being lost now to the elements, developer's plow, and memory. If the barracks area could be found, who knows what goodies await the metal detectorist?


Some of you older divers might remember this name: John Jozsa, checked into the site and shared some info from the old days recently and I quote with permission:

Liked your site. Have done much diving on Florida wreck sites. Worked on site off of Pompano Beach for Treasure Salvors back in the sixties. We pulled up 12 bronze cannons. Found aft end of 1733 wreck off of Lower Matecumbe in late sixties. She was in 13 ft of water. Pulled up 1/2 ton of steel fittings, and silver coins. Found and lost site of off French Reef, where I found a7foot piece of ballast. It was appx.4 ft across and 1 ft thick. Scraped off coral and black oxidation, showed up bright silver. It was rounded on all corners like an egg. Oh well. Should have marked side of boat with an X.

Pretty much have the site of Fort Brooke zeroed in and photographed (on the Steinhatchee River) and will have that on the CD. One down, a zillion to go . . .

Dredge Earth First . . . is alive and well at ! Do drop in and take part. I am very proud of how the guys have pulled together to make the new website, reorganize the Dredge Earth First organization, and selflessly work for the betterment of all in the community. I would urge all of you who have dropped out of diving, to come out to the FREE rally, and find a whole new way of diving, and maybe, a way of life. As for the organization, Dredge Earth First was reorganized in the following manner:

Bylaws of Dredge Earth First:

1. It shall be the duty of the board members of Dredge Earth First to:

A: Select a state each year to hold a National Dredge Earth First Rally

B: Select an organizations(s), or individual(s) to spearhead the rally under 1A.

C: De-select an organization(s), or individual(s) spearheading the rally under 1A if deemed necessary by a 4/5ths (super-majority) majority vote of the board.

D: Select a President/Executive Director of Dredge Earth First.

E: Develop and maintain a five-year plan for holding a National Dredge Earth First Rally in different (targeted) states.

F: Ensure the Dredge Earth First vision of unity of miners and education of the public remains on track, and the organization Dredge Earth First remains free of internal strife, favoritism, or greed.

G: Ensure the President and future organizers of Dredge Earth First maintain their own website, separate from any corporate, club, individual, or commercial interests.

H: Encourage and authorize regional Dredge Earth First Rallies held by organizations, members, or individuals, and ensure at least one Dredge Earth First Board Member attends any authorized/sanctioned Regional Rally.

I: Encourage and authorize past National Dredge Earth First Rally organizers to continue holding annual Dredge Earth First Rallies in their respective states as Regional Rallies, on dates not to conflict with the Dredge Earth First National Rally. In all cases, the National Dredge Earth First Rally takes precedence over regional rallies.

J: Encourage multiple clubs, organizations, and individuals within any state or region to work together in planning and organization of national and/or regional rallies within their state.

K: Adopt/Amend/Review a/the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manual pertaining to states/organizations/individuals wishing to participate in the Dredge Earth First program for holding regional and national rallies.

L: Set such fees, licensures, royalties, charges, or payments necessary to the survival of Dredge Earth First as a national entity.

2. The board members of Dredge Earth First shall:

A: Select one new board member per year from state organizations(s), or individual(s), that hold the National Dredge Earth First Rally within their state.

3. It shall be the policy of the board members of Dredge Earth First that no two board members shall be affiliated with any one state organization, state club, or state board, outside of Dredge Earth First. The intent of this paragraph is involvement of multiple state organizations, clubs, and boards, in the board of Dredge Earth First.

4. It shall be the policy of the Board of Dredge Earth First that a minimum of 80% of all monies derived from operations/donations of/to Dredge Earth First be used to obtain, maintain, and rotate mineral and mining claims for Dredge Earth First members, member clubs, and member organizations; to educate and involve the public in prospecting; to support member organizations in regional rallies they may old; to educate the public and/or media; and to be used in any other activities deemed necessary to the benefit and/or defense of small scale mining interests by the Board of Dredge Earth First. (the intent of paragraph 4 is to limit board expenses, administration expenses, and all other internal expenses of Dredge Earth First and keep future monetary policy directed on holding regional and national rallies, maintaining claims, educating the public/media and defense of small scale miners everywhere. If the future boards can direct 100% of monies to the above intent, they should do so)

5. A board member or the President/Executive Officer of Dredge Earth First may be removed by the written/tallied 4/5ths majority vote of the Board of Dredge Earth First and notification of removal and effective date of removal shall be in writing.

6. Bylaws of Dredge Earth First may be amended by a 4/5ths majority vote of the Board of Dredge Earth First.

Further: to assist clubs and organizations to grow, the Board of Directors immediately adopted the following policy:

So the above is it -- that's what I was doing out in Oregon, and as with anything, some don't like what was done (evident on the forum boards and emails you may have received from the unhappy), and for anyone unhappy, I take all the blame. Now let's move on.




Treasure News for January!

I'm on the road to Oregon . . . pretty time of year (yuck). Towing a gold dredge out and looking over some of the gold claims we have. Normally I wouldn't do this at this time of the year but we've added so many properties in such short order, it is simply time to sign the papers and make it a "sure" deal. Still going through a ton of research to add, but will probably have to be on a CD-ROM when I get it all complete, as I've said before.

Stay warm!

Matt Mattson


Happy Holidays!

Shirts . . . the good news is, I now have XL size shirts in the Megalodon Fossil Hunter, Megalodon Dive Team, and Shark Hunter styles. The bad news is, there's been a complete run on small shirts this year and I'm out of the small size in every style. Not enough time to order and get them in time to ship for Christmas, so I hope everyone is a medium or up!

We're in the slow time of the year for treasure hunting of course, so I've been putting in some research and hope to have some new sites out pretty soon. Stay tuned.

The East Coast north of Titusville up to Fernandina has really got pounded with storms and washed some good cuts out. If you have a detector and are near the beach over there, now's the time to go! Read last month's news on Palo's find to understand what the cuts can do for you . . .


Happy Thanksgiving!


And we have much to be thankful for . . . don't ever forget that.

Bob "Frogfoot" Weller, has a new book out this month, "Galleon Alley" just in time for Christmas. I highly recommend Weller's books, they're factual, and give much insight on not only where treasure is, but also, how to set up your own operation for recovery and salvage work. En Rada Publications handles his books, and you can get an in depth pre-view there.

The recent hurricane off Miami has cut the shoreline down quite a bit all the way up to Pompano, and now is the time to get out and go hunting! Many artifacts are being reported, amongst them, a button marked with the French regimental numeral 38 and surrounded by the words "Republique Francaise." To quote the finder: "My initial research verifies that the French military mandated the utilization of unit specific marked buttons on all troops in 1762. In addition, I have information on a wreck called "L'Athenaise" which wrecked in 1800 just north of the inlet.

I believe that it came from the L'Athenaise because I read a description of the wreck written by one of the survivors. The ship was captured by and in the possession of the British at the time of the wreck and was traveling from Kingston, Jamaica back to England. The vessel was carrying sick British sailors and about one hundred French Prisoners of War. It was wrecked in a hurricane."

Congrats to Palo on a wonderful find!

I've got back from Georgia . . . it was 26 degrees up there, so I spent more time by the heater than out looking for gold, but did manage 2 nuggets and 1/2 oz, while up there, so all was not lost . . . but, probably will remain to cold to do much for the remainder of the year.

Be sure to email the Governor and remind him how important it is that our state public lands remain open to ALL OF US! After all, we paid for that land too. And while you're at it, remind him to get FS 267 on the books so we're no longer subject to "seat of the pants make it up as you go regulation by local park rangers." With FS 267 on the books, we'd have something fair, and UNDERSTANDABLE.

Proposed metal detector & artifact diving law Florida Statute 267:

1. Instead of the state dictating that all areas are off limits except those areas the state allows for supervised collection I propose that --

Anyone found collecting artifacts in any area buoyed, roped, or otherwise marked by the state as off limits to collection shall be in violation of FS 267.

Governor's email:, his personal email:

Secretary's email:

To keep track of what the legislators in Tallahassee are doing in general, go here: to look up current bills, or your legislator. We have already made a difference, let's keep on them, and keep informed.

Drop me an email!

Matt Mattson

Treasure News for October!

Received a letter from Congress:

Sept. 20, 2001

Mr. Matt Mattson

Dear Mr. Mattson:

Thank you for advising me of your opposition to the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.

Americans who are concerned about handing down our natural heritage to future generations would best be served by laws that both encourage the protection of the environment and ensure that authorities consider appropriate economic and human interests. I hope that Congress will attain this balance, working to guarantee that both sides of this delicate and complicated issue are understood and appreciated.

I do not oppose responsible logging or the jobs and the lumber they provide for Americans. Properly managed, forests can provide lumber and a friendly environment for centuries. In addition, forest road maintenance provides access for fighting fires and for necessary forest management programs. This can be done without sacrificing the environment.

The Bush Administration ultimately decided to allow the Clinton administration's rule to be implemented but proposed amendments in early June to address certain issues. However, the Federal District Court for Idaho granted a preliminary injunction, preventing its implementation. On July 10, 2001, the Forest Service published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule-making in the Federal Register, inviting pubic comment on a rule which is substantially similar to the one proposed in June. To get more information about the proposed rule, and /or submit your comments, you may either look in the Federal Register or go to choose search, and enter the word "roadless." The first link you receive should take you to the proposed rule and outline the procedure for submitting comments.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) has introduced H.R. 1494, the National Forest Protection and Restoration Act (NFPRA), which would end timber sales on public lands. The House Majority determines the legislative agenda, and I have not seen this subject on the schedule at this time. But, I shall follow closely the committees' deliberations on NFPRA, when they occur, and will keep your interests in mind when the House considers related legislation.

I shall follow closely deliberations on this policy, when they occur, and will keep your interests in mind when the House considers related legislation. In the meantime, if I may be of assistance on other matters of interest, please let me know.



Karen L. Thurman

Her reply was in response to my observation (posted on the forum) and letter below:

Folks, in one of his last minute presents to the country, President Clinton signed a Executive Order putting into motion a bill that would effectively shut you out of your public lands (his "lands legacy"). To wit:

"The Clinton administration pushed through several changes to 3809 that are currently suspended while being reviewed. One of those changes was to the definition of casual use. Casual use was redefined to exclude any motorized equipment. Even if the Bush administration retains the old definition of casual use, a new administration could arrive in less than four years, and redefine casual use to again exclude motorized equipment." -- for those of you that have been out west, how are you supposed to get to your favorite stream/trail/mountain/camp on foot when distances can easily be 20 miles? Get the picture on what they're up to?
You can make a phone call, a fax, send a letter, or best of all, do everything. Please do so today while it is in your mind as they will vote in less than 30 days.

My letter:

Congress of the United States
Attn: Karen L. Thurman
201 Cannon Building
Washington, DC 20515
Toll Free # 1-800-833-4352

Dear Representative Thurman,

I am writing to you in regards to the pending US Forest Service 3809 pending legislation regarding (in part) internal combustion engines in US Forests, and in a larger sense, the ability of Forest Service, US Bureau of Land Management, and others to declare certain areas "roadless."

You can try to clarify all you want, but I'll tell you flat out, I don't support this issue at all, and if you do, you've lost my support. You can raise all the campaign money in the world -- I won't vote for you.

Here is my general feeling, and I suspect it's the feeling of many: if the United States Public Lands are not to be open to the people, with no tricks, schemes, or device used to keep them off it, then it should be cut up, and sold to private landowners who can manage it for a profit. What good is public land if it is not PUBLIC and has no access?

"Roadless" and "engineless" and other tactics and wording in regulations are mere schemes to keep the public from their lands.

I suspect you and others are getting many "boilerplate" letters from propellerheads at the Sierra Club, et al., but rest assured, this letter is from a real person that votes, and I will record your vote on my Florida website (now over 1 million USERS (avg. reading time 7 minutes) per year).

Matt Mattson
P.O. Box 5226
Spring Hill, FL 34611

I hope you will all write Congresswoman Thurman, congratulate her on having the good sense not to gut our lumber industry, and remind her that we own public lands, and have the right and our future generations have the right to access them freely and unfettered.


A note on the Sept. 11 attack: I was very proud of the members of this website who did not sit idle with useless hand-wringing, but immediately sprang into action by actively hunting down terrorist websites and turning them in to the FBI. Bravo! The hunt continues and will for sometime to come, and everybody can and should do their duty as Americans to report and disrupt terrorist operations on the internet, be it foreign or domestic (terrorism is terrorism putting eco or animal, or anything else in front of the word doesn't change it). You can help! When you have free time, go onto your computer search engine and plug in words like "resistance, anarchy, bomb-making, bomb, eco-extreme, tree-spiking, arson, and to narrow the search, put a plus in front +anarchy +radical and narrow down the sites. When you get to a site, go through their links and see what you can turn up down the line. Find a group involved in arson, tree-spiking (designed to injure loggers), or giving pointers on how to do that -- turn it in here: In the center is a page to a form you can use, and on the left (in the column) is a link to a page that will have your individual field office, and you can past your links to the sites you've found in their email link or to a regional office with an email link:,, Su is Salt Lake City. The FBI and our other intelligence agencies were gutted in manpower in the last 8 years -- do your part!

Email Example:

This has not been forwarded to other FBI offices:

Found: Earth Liberation Front link page: if ii publishing can be found -- may be a money source for terror activities.



Sent 9/15/01 by:

Matt Mattson

(352) 597-7357


May God help us all if we fail to root these jerks out of our country, the terrorists certainly will have none on us.

Matt Mattson

Treasure News for August!

We have an opportunity! While I've been out in Oregon, a couple of active members on the forum board, Marv and Kent, have been actively pursuing what laws actually cover metal detecting in State owned land. The result is, there is no law, rather, what we've suspected all along, an ad-hock system of rules patched together. Marvin received a letter from Senator Rob Smith's office, with the offer to present legislation on the floor. Let's take them up on that offer!

Please cut this proposed piece of legislation (highlight it, click edit, cut), and post it into your email and send it!

Senator Smith:

I agree that the rules and regulations regarding metal detecting in the State of Florida are ambiguous, ad-hock, and unfair to both the enforcement agencies and the hobbyists to discern. I would like you to lead an effort in proposing a common sense law governing the use of metal detectors and their use in State owned lands.

Proposed Legislation:

FS 267

At least the above would be enforceable, the rules would be clear to the collector and the enforcement agencies, and it would be fair to both!

Please change the FS # as required and present this legislation at the opening of the next session.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter,


Senator Rod Smith's Email: email to:

in your copy line, please copy: Governor's email:

Secretary's email:

State of Florida archeologists announce they are looking for the remains of the HMS Fox (reportedly carrying treasure) off the waters of Carrabelle, but are not -- repeat -- not looking for TREASURE! Right. As we've all observed here before, they never seem to take an interest in cattle-hauling ships . . . as usual, it's all about the money.


And now for the Trip:

Oregon -- it's a green nightmare! If you ever wanted to know what the "green" movement is all about, look no further than what it has wrought on Oregon. Once lush with jobs in the manufacturing, lumber, mineral, and metals industry, Oregon is now a vast wasteland of jobless, homeless, and the nearly so. How did it happen? Radical environmentalism run rampant is the cause. They've installed themselves in all the government bureaucracies (the ones you have to get a permit from to do anything were their targets) and thus, with them in charge of the permit applications, everything having to do with business is bottled up, stalled, turned away, or turned down. It's not much better for existing businesses, they're the targets of extortion or worse (click Earth Liberation Front). All this brought to you by the ideals of the now grown children and grandchildren of those wonderful hippies we loved so much in the 60's (click this is the person behind the Earth Liberation Front). It's like going back in time, seeing tie-dyed pants, bell bottoms, and all the things straight out of the protests of the 60's. Only these radicals are simply thugs with no real purpose but to destroy our American way of life, our liberty, and rights. Folks -- I don't know exactly what to do about this, but don't let it spread. It started in Oregon, and must be stamped out there too.

Why I was there: As stated above, radicals have installed themselves in all levels of government, especially anything having to do with mining and lumber. They've fairly well shut those industries down by using suckerfish, spotted owls, tree frogs, and the like as token "endangered" species to do it. Never mind all these species are alive, well, and prodigious in other areas, these are the tools they use and it's been quite effective. Now they're after the recreational miners, bouncing them from one department to the next for the "right" permit, which seems to change midstream on every applicant. Well, about 2500 of us showed up to dredge the river -- permit or no permit. Amazing what 2500 determined people can do -- at first, the state sent down a sheriff, and two officials from the Department of Water Quality to make sure everybody was legal (read: to stop the rally for no permits), and they were informed that 2500 miners weren't going to sit around while anyone got hauled off for anything. The result? They started issuing permits on site, and finally just left, never to return, check, or do anything but give a wide berth. I've got news -- looks like 5000 will show up for the next one! People are already trying to reserve space, and I hope you guys from Florida will get in on this. The (now) annual Dredge Earth First Rally is held the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after the 4th of July weekend on the Umpaqua River, headquartered at the River's West RV Resort & Campground. 5 miles of the river is reserved for gold dredging, digging, metal detecting, or sniping (going along with mask and goggles and tweezers, looking for gold in the bedrock crevices). 80% of Oregon's gold is undiscovered, and there is a vast amount of it. Hard to explain to Easterners, since the lifestyle out west is completely different, but gold can be seen as it is sucked up into the dredge, or sniped from the rocks. It is truly, incredible. Go to for more details, and follow along as we put the next rally together.


Last -- don't forget to email that legislation to Sen. Smith!

We can make a difference!

Matt Mattson






Treasure News for July!

WWII aircraft found in Lake Louisa, Clermont -- congratulations to Paul, and his two young sons Aaron, & Matt Condron for their find of one of the three WWII aircraft known to be in Lake Louisa! A TBM Avenger, they found it while canoeing off a sandbar on the South side of Lake Louisa State Park, and the scattered wreckage lies easily accessible for salvage. Of course, the state stepped in and immediately put a guard on the wreckage, and members of the armed forces and the media were called. Although the armed service personnel knew nothing about aircraft in the lake, one of the park rangers was heard to say that he knew about the wrecks as he'd seen the information "a couple of years ago on a treasure website." Hmmm. Wonder which one (take a look in the Central Fla. site files to refresh your memory Mr. Ranger)? Well -- hasn't been the first time a park ranger or state official has been caught checking out Guess they just want to make sure any treasure is nice and safe! Anyway, I understand that Paul, Aaron & Matt got to be on TV and in the paper, and now get to be on this website. Great job, guys!

Got a rather curious letter from Congress -- on the UNESCO shipwreck legislation, whereby they take claim to all shipwrecks and shipwreck salvage. In effect, banning you and any other person with the vision and the dare to dream (Mel Fisher comes to mind) their quest for that golden galleon out there somewhere. Anyway, please phone the Congresswoman and ask her what the letter means, because to me it appears to be a lot of verbiage that means nothing because I sent a letter to her asking her position on the matter. You can click here and expand the letter if you can't read it. Her toll free phone is 1-800-833-4352, and her local office address is 2224 Highway 44 West, Inverness, Fl 34453 (352) 344-3044. Email me the result of your phone call or letter to her -- please!

Independence Day -- Although commonly portrayed in the media as a bunch of rabble, the men who fought the battles were learned men, with a great amount to lose, and many lost all. The following has been circulated, many times but it's worth repeating, especially in light of the fact that the columnist that penned it was fired for doing so -- he also paid a price for telling this in today's liberal media:

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners. They all signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

They gave you and me a free and independent America. The schools never told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't fight just the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government!

Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

I'm on my way to the Dredge Earth First Rally in Oregon. The rally itself will be between Myrtle Creek and Rosewood, Oregon, and the main site is at the River's West RV Campground. Right off of I-5 at Exit 112, it's easy to get to, and if you've ever wanted to learn how to work a gold dredge or see gold live as it's found in the river, this is the time to do it. I'll be winding my way from Atlanta, up to Nebraska, through Wyoming and Idaho on my way to Oregon. If you see a RoadTrek camper-van towing a gold dredge -- honk -- it's me. I'll try to post some pics if I'm able to connect with the server, and will also try to keep up with the forum board. My email for the trip is To get to the rally, make reservations, etc., go here Also, please scroll down to Treasure News for May and read Dredge Earth First Rally In Oregon Grows, for more information on why we're doing this. Given what you read above on the founders, our protest pales in comparison, but is part of the growing effort to TAKE THIS COUNTRY BACK!

So for now, it is click here and I'm on the road! Have fun, and SEND ME AN EMAIL!

Matt Mattson

Treasure News for May

DREDGE EARTH FIRST RALLY IN OREGON GROWS -- I am supporting a rally that is growing by leaps and bounds in Oregon, called Dredge Earth First (we'll dredge the other planets later). It started by hobby gold dredgers upset that various federal agencies (Bureau of Land Management (BLM) & Forrest Service) started closing off rivers and streams to their small gold dredges and has now grown to a full blown rally, with 5 miles of river reserved between Myrtle Creek and Rosewood Oregon for it July 13, 14, & 15. If you like to find gold, I hope you'll attend and support the rally.

As you already know, radical elements of various green groups are infiltrating various government agencies, making it difficult for anyone to use the state, and national lands that we paid for. They not only don't want corporate lease use of federal or state lands, they don't want anybody using the lands for anything. If you're from the city, or have never been out west, it is hard for me to educate you in a couple of paragraphs, but the radicals are trying to convince the public that we're running out of land and everything has to be bought up by the federal government and put up as no use. If you've been out west or fly, you know how ludicrous the argument that we're running out of land is -- you've seen it with your own eyes. Only 0.05 of this nation is developed (excluding Alaska), but that doesn't deter the greens from scaring the public with the cement earth propaganda. They want roads in the wilderness areas blocked. They want no ATV use, no hunting, no fishing, no camping, no hiking, and of course, no collecting of any kind. In short -- no trespassing. It is a weird perversion of religion, where these radicals put earth worship above everything else. You already see much of their work here in this state with parks and state lands being closed off with no explanation why. Thankfully, your letters to the Governor, Secretary, and Representatives are turning things around, but nationally, that is not the case. Our Public Lands are being stolen from us, pure and simple, by declaring everything as a national park, or closing off road access, or installing greens in bureaucratic positions where they delay permitting applications on end, or write regulations that deny access altogether to traditional uses of the lands.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about: the BLM is now developing a new set of rules to limit 4" dredges from moving to much material and damaging the Arkansas River in Colorado. Sounds sensible, doesn't it? Here's a picture of the Arkansas River, right by the Gold Prospectors of America Association's club claims at Buena Vista Co that they're writing the regulations for:

The Arkansas River is moving millions of yards of material per hour in this picture as it races through the entire state of Colorado. This is the nozzle of a 4" dredge:

This is a quick movie of my 4" dredge in operation in Georgia:

Although the dredge manufacturers will tell you they'll move 12 yards of classified material per hour, in the real world, if you can move 12 a day you've really worked, because of all of the rocks that plug the nozzle, rocks to move, rocks to clear from the flume, rocks, rocks, and more rocks.

At any rate, the radicals within the BLM are trying to convince you that these little dredges can somehow affect this gigantic river. Here's a link to the BLM office in question: -- let them know what you think.

The Dredge Earth First Rally is one of the first steps in reversing the trend and taking our land back. I do hope you go to the website and throw in your support also! Remember -- every acre that the federal or state government buys or confiscates to "protect" you pay for at least twice over. Once to buy it or litigate it, and twice because all other taxes have to be raised once that land is taken off the tax rolls.

I received the following letter from Carl Cromwell, which I use with his permission:

Hey Matt,
I'm just starting to do "do" metal detecting/treasure hunting and
I'm in need of information and direction regarding the State of Florida
and it's asinine laws.

In attempting to learn how to recognize different metals and
treasures I have been out "detecting' only twice. On my second trip I
"was caught in a creek on 'state forestry land' using a metal
detector.'" It is true, I was looking for lost items of a personal
nature, coins, rings etc etc., that were not mine, but I hardly see that
as "destruction of our heritage!" The Game Wardens said, "I was lucky
that they didn't give me a ticket for breaking the law!" After a good
lecture I was allowed to go free! I was not destroying "artifacts,
relics or doing any damage whatsoever.

The weekend prior to my "violation," I spent part of, as a willing
volunteer, picking up house hold trash thrown along these self same
forestry acres! So you can see I'm quite angry and mad!

Is it possible or feasible to get listed as a ....???????? Official
State of Florida Artifact Unknown Site Stalker????..... or ...
"Official State of Florida Relic Roamer." Maybe some other "
Politically Proper"....... and stupidly accepted identity, has been
created prior to starting the hobby?

Please advise me as to the states laws and structure. I have set for the
package as to the "treasure rules package" and I have written the
Governor of Florida and Secretary of State expressing my concern over
our land usage restrictions.

Thank You
Carl Cromwell
3169 Bliss road
Orange Park, Fl

Carl appears to be a victim of what we're fighting -- selective enforcement. Ok to dig a crater to pick up trash, but don't you take so much as a garden trowel scoop out to find a quarter . . . If any of you want to answer Carl, please do so on the forum board, I'll be in Georgia doing irreparable harm to the environment, kids, the river system, and nature in general with my mammoth 4" gold dredge!

Finally . . . keep the general heat on the state government, we're slowly turning them around. You can now metal detect the shorelines of state owned lands, so let's get that extended to all state parks and properties . . . you paid for that land too. As far as archeological concerns, please urge the passage of the proposed changes to our metal detecting law below. It would help to copy, cut and paste and send it to the Governor, Secretary, and as many of the Representatives as you can stand to send it to (emails & contact info below).

My proposed changes to the metal detector & artifact diving laws contained in FS 267:

1. Instead of the state dictating that all areas are off limits except those areas the state allows for supervised collection I propose that --

At least the above would be enforceable, the rules would be clear to the collector and the enforcement agencies, and it would be fair.

Governor's email:, his personal email:

Secretary's email:

To keep track of what the legislators in Tallahassee are doing in general, go here: to look up current bills, or your legislator. We have already made a difference, let's keep on them, and keep informed.

If you know something . . . send me an email!

Matt Mattson

email to:



Treasure News for April

Divers lose a buddy . . . Calvin DeViney, one of the early hardhat salvage divers lost his battle with cancer April 4, 2001 at 3:30 am. Many of the wrecks in the Great Lakes, "found" by divers in the 1970's, had actually been discovered and initially salvaged by Cal in the 50's. He had a salvage boat, magnetometer, and full electronics, at a time when most people knew little more than how to turn on a radio. I have come across several articles in the past, with pictures of him surrounded by his Great Lakes finds. In the early 60's, he took a trip down to the Fla. Keys, just in time to witness the 1733 wrecks yielding treasure, and having caught the fever, moved his family, boat, and gear down to the Miami River, where they lived for a time on the boat. He salvaged the 1733 wrecks along with others, sold artifacts from the other wrecks he worked, and was the scribe for any number of magazine articles. One of the things unknown to most of the salvage community about him, is that he was the original finder of the Padre Island Texas era 1500's fleet, having magged it in the 60's. Of course, the state stepped in and took those wrecks (and again, the credit), but if it were not for his expertise, it may have been decades before they were found, if at all. He was an excellent writer and photographer, making the bulk of his money in later years as a professional photographer on the horse show circuit. He made the best fishing map of Lake Okeechobee I've ever seen, and even produced an aerial video of the lake. I didn't come to know Cal until the latter end of his life, after he'd had a few heart attacks, a bypass, and diabetes had taken its toll. With all that, he remained active till the very end, constantly researching his latest project, forts, and giving words of encouragement to me at the times I needed it most, and honest opinion when I needed that too. In his final year, he made a last trip up here to see his friends one last time. Then, his daily emails started to dwindle to a few a week, then just a forwarded joke now and then, and finally, his last email, which simply said that he was going into the hospital, probably wasn't coming out, and to "enjoy life as I have." The last phone conversation I had with him was in the hospital, and while what we discussed will forever be private, he did say that the Dr. had given him less than a week to live, but he felt he had one more thing to prove -- he lasted two.

State is at it again: Just received a copy of the following email from one of our many supporters:

My name is Betty Weeks, and I am the National Vice President of the FMDAC.
You might try talking to Ray Leist. He is past Vice President of the
FMDAC. He has a club in Central Florida and belongs to another close by.
At this time he is fighting the closing of Symnra Beach. (Spelling) It has
been open to detecting for years, now suddenly they have decided to close
it down for no real reason.

You might e-mail him, or call him. Just a thought, but the more who work
together the better our chance of success.

Phone (904) 428-3401

Just a thought. Your idea of writing to newspapers about the discrimination
given our recreational hobby is a good idea. We are not looters, or
scavengers. Remind them of how many rings and other valuables are returned
every year by those who find them while detecting.
Ray's club works with law enforcement, and only recently recovered
evidence in the killing of one police officer and putting another in a
wheel chair for life.

It is quite late, and this is just a brief note. We in the FMDAC will do
all we can to help you.
Good Luck,

Well, I have a better idea, here's the email link to State Rep. Evelyn J. Lynn, the state legislator from the district involved: . Here is her contact info in Tallahassee and in Ormond Beach:

Capitol Office:
Room 221 The Capitol, 402 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone (850)488-9873
District Office:
Suite 202
140 South Atlantic Avenue
Ormond Beach, FL
SUNCOM: 370-4000

Please make sure to do your part and send her an email that you will not tolerate state lands being closed to us for any reason! If they won't let us use the land we've paid for, then the state should own no lands at all . . . it should all be privately held. At least then, if someone tells you to get off of it, you'll know why . . . Wouldn't hurt to call her either, and for those of you in Ormond Beach, do drop in to her office for coffee sometime . . . we have to let these people know that we take our freedoms seriously.




Courts rule in Spain's favor . . . claiming that Spain holds the rights to treasure galleons. Again, I must ask, what do the Inca, Aztec, and Caribbean peoples (who were systematically wiped out as Spanish plunderers took their gold or put them into slave labor in the mines) think about that? For the first time, I'm going to openly come out for civil disobedience where treasure is concerned, and simply say that if you find a treasure and can adequately recover and preserve it -- take it. At least Spain won't profit from your labor, nor will the archeologists, the state, the feds, or anybody but you, and the public if you choose to share. I don't ascribe these thoughts to Indian mounds, Paleo sites, etc., where the archeologists have a legitimate role, but with shipwreck treasure, they have no role except to act as collection agents for the government & now Spain. Enjoy your treasure-diving, be careful, and don't get caught -- but with over a million divers using this site a year, we'll just overwhelm them with numbers. They'll get the message as they already are off Fowey Rocks, where pontoon-boats full of divers are pulling up and scuba & snorkel clad enthusiasts are jumping in with spaghetti colanders to sift the sands for emeralds in the area 1 mile SW where a galleon might just be.

In actuality, it's not just Spain, but the feds are giving rights to vessels that sank in our waters to any country that claims ownership (is what it all boils down to).

Plenty of lively discussion . . . on the forum, to some degree it is supplanting and certainly supplementing the monthly treasure update with real time info. Go to Treasure Forum and take a look.

Amnesty for artifacts (article from the Times) . . . you can gain a lot of insight into the govt. and archeologist's thinking, by reading between the lines of these things.

Amnesty may uncover lost treasures


A TREASURE trove of untold wealth and archaeological importance may be disclosed in the next three months during an amnesty for unregistered wreck finds.

Tens of thousands of artefacts from sunken ships are being held illegally and are believed to hold the key to locating the resting place of hundreds of missing vessels.

An amnesty declared yesterday for anyone, such as beachcombers or divers, holding such finds is expected to pinpoint many of these wrecks, some of which contained valuable cargoes or are of historical importance. One ship that experts hope may be located is the Bonhomme Richard, the first to be commissioned in the US Navy during the War of Independence. She went down off Scarborough in 1779 after encountering two British warships. There are 36,000 wrecks of ships and aircraft known to be lying in British territorial waters and it is a legal requirement that any artefact recovered from them is reported to the Receiver of Wreck - Veronica Robbins, who launched the amnesty - at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd. This service is provided on Times Newspapers' standard terms and conditions. To inquire about a licence to reproduce material from The Times, visit the Syndication website.

Let's dissect the article above . . .

In the first paragraph, we learn that a treasure trove "may be disclosed," which means, for all their huffing, puffing, using of gov't funds to find the wrecks, the gov't archeologists still don't know where they are. Also interesting they're interested in treasure "of untold wealth." Evidently, they want to make sure they're the ones to distribute that wealth!

In the next two paragraphs we learn "artefacts (sic) . . . are being held illegally . . . and believed to hold the key . . . in locating . . . missing vessels." We also learn that this program is targeted at beachcombers and divers (so now we've extended lawbreaker status to beachcombers).

If this program works and sites are divulged it will be interesting to see which ones get worked first . . . any bets? Post them on the forum, please, but I'm betting treasure sites get worked first, as archeo types never seem to lose fascination with those fabulous coins! I also wouldn't be surprised to see a similar program started here if this one is successful. If it ever is, make sure you're one of the ones that pulls up with a tractor-trailer load full! Happy hunting!

Treasure News for February

If you haven't checked out the main page lately, maybe time to do so. There's a new forum board there for treasure site requests, etc., and you can count on one thing, somebody out there has the map, location, expertise, or solution you're looking for -- all you have to do is post the question and wait for the emails to come in.

I get a lot of questions about land access, and a few days ago I turned one of those over to M. Davis (see him on the forum board) and he gave about the best reply I've seen thus far, so I'll post that:

Hi, I will try to answer some of your questions regarding Florida. In
general from the High Tide Line to waters edge is public domain. Hunting in
State Parks Ocean Lands is now permissible -- thanks to Matt's web site. But only
from the base of the dunes into the water. All public beaches are open to sand and
water but it is always best to check and ask a lifeguard. What is not
allowed and it makes my blood boil is to hunt a public area in a State park
(swimming or playground) that is inland.

If you have a particular area in mind drop one of us a line. A good example
is a beach at West Palm Beach that the county doesn't allow any hunting on at
all. There is a beach in Miami called Crandon that the County doesn't allow
any hunting on, nor any in the water. If you're planing a trip to Florida and wanted
to hunt a State Park that is inland please take a moment and go through Matt's
web site main page down under Artifacts and let our wonderful Governor know that he will be
losing revenue from you and many others due to that reg. There are a couple of Wreck Claims in
the Sebastion area that come up on to the sand and no hunting allowed. Hope
this helps, happy hunting, and find a bucketful!

Then I got another good one from Mike Giroux to Governor Bush, on being turned down for a permit to dive Waukulla Spring:

Mr. Bush

I recently wrote to Mr. Ed Higgins, chief of the Bureau of Parks,
district 1, requesting a one-time dive permit for Wakulla Springs. This
request was deemed "not justified".

I would like to appeal this decision regarding my request, dated
January 11, 2001, a copy sent to your office. The state parks and "springs"
for the most part are owned by the public, and as such we should have the
right to use them, as long as they are not abused! Wakulla Springs has been
deemed "off limits" to divers except certain "special groups" such as the
National Geographic Society, the state EPA, the NW Florida management
district, the University of Florida, and the Woodville Karst Plain Project

The state, in an effort to preserve many "springs" has purchased
them so the public can continue to use them. When "Springs" are purchased
privately for commercial use, such as by "bottled water companies", then
these companies close off the springs so that the public may no longer enjoy
some of Florida's most prized natural resources.

ALLOWED TO DIVE AND ENJOY Florida's most prized "Springs". "Warm Mineral
Springs" is another of many the public is not allowed in to dive.

When archeological research is allowed over and above a reasonable
limit, then the balance is not in keeping with the "Public Interest"

I really would appreciate a response from you regarding this

Thank you,



We can all do our part to help Mike get that reply by sending an email to: asking for a copy of his reply to Mike Giroux regarding dive permits for Waukulla Springs. While you're at it, request a permit for yourself. A few thousand requests this month should shake things up, and we can do it with your help.

Spain still declares sovereign ownership of shipwrecks along our coast, at the behest of American archaeologists (read Pirates) trying to thwart salvors who found two galleons less than 3 miles from the Eastern Shore Islands (Virginia). Claims treasure divers do nothing but "loot" vessels. Hmmmn. Wonder if the Spaniards and archeonazis are going to give all that gold bullion back to the ancestors of the Incas and other South American peoples that it was looted from. I just know they are . . .

If you haven't done it already, Marv's suggestion above was a good one. Now that we've gained a few rights back, let's go all the way. Be sure and contact the good Governor about letting us hunt/dive in any body of water owned by the state. You've paid for those lands too, either in your tourist dollars or outright taxes!

Governor's email:, his personal email:

Make sure you copy the secretary, Kathleen Harris:

Secretary's email:

Matt Mattson

email to:


Treasure News for December

Salt Springs in Pasco County . . . has a sign on it now that it is slated to become a state preserve. There's an aerial shot of this property & spring in the West sites. Located behind the Gulfview shopping mall off Salt Springs Road, in New Port Richey. If you want to dive the spring or hunt this property, you'd better hurry.

More canoes found . . . at least a dozen more canoes have been found in the same area where 87 others (the largest canoe find in North America) were discovered last May and June. Additional stories on these canoes in past months' news below.

SuperCub flies North . . . to Alaska. In its place is a Cessna 180 Skywagon. Although the SuperCub did a magnificent job for me, it simply didn't have the range (300 miles) or speed (95 mph) or cargo capacity to satisfy my growing wanderings out west. The 180 has ample room for 4 plus 1 black lab, a 1000 pound payload, fuel for 1000 mile range, and 170 mph speed.

Governor's email:, his personal email:

Secretary's email:

I do wish you all a very happy and safe Holiday Season!

Send me an email for Christmas,

Matt Mattson

email to:




Canoe Saga continues . . .Tallahassee (Seminole Tribune) -- Governor Jeb Bush has asked that deadhead logging be stopped on all Fl. lakes. The controversial practice damaged the largest ancient canoe site in North American history when Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) & Division of Historical Resources (DHR) heads signed off on the logging operation. The 87 canoes were located on the northeast corner of the dried-out 7,434 acre Newnan's Lake lakebed. When notified that damage was being done to the submerged fleet of canoes by the archeologist on site, she was ordered by her DHR boss (Jim Miller) to leave and avoid "antagonizing" the logging operation. "DEP is the responsible party," said Maj. Lawrence Rossignol of the Lake City Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation office, the logging operation was "a world class boondoggle" and the archeologists who found the canoes and other artifacts "a bunch of rank-ass amateurs running around on that lake bottom." -- all I have to say at this point is: UNBELIEVABLE. Time for a complete overhaul of the DHR! Email the Gov. at the address below on this, please!

As usual, it's all about the money . . . STATE SELLS PERMITS FOR SPRINGS TO BOTTLED WATER INDUSTRY (Gainsville Sun, Oct. 9) -- At last, there's an answer why the state has been so active in buying up spring sites, and almost immediately banning scuba divers from using them -- the $5.2 billion dollar bottled water industry needs sources for their bottled water, this state has it, and consumers don't want the taste of your neoprene-clad butt in their bottle! What a great game they've been playing, and at last it is in the open, buy the spring, put a pipe in the vent, sell the rights to the water, put up the no diving signs, open the surrounding land as a park, and charge admission. At least now we know why we're being ejected from diving at the springs we've been exploring for decades . . . money. Water use permits for bottled water have been issued for the following springs: Blue Springs (Madison Co.), Bell Springs (Columbia Co.), Shepherd and Ellaville Springs (Suwannee Co.), Little River Springs (Lafayette Co.), Sawdust, Ginnie, and Blue Springs (Gilchrist Co.), Otter Springs (Dixie), Fanning Springs (Levy Co.), Wekiva Springs (Levy, Co.). Please email the Gov. on this in a separate email!

DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU . . . rather than write up a separate news article, I'll just copy an email on the subject of my return from Ga. and a very nasty court surprise.


I'm back, in case you already didn't know it. Had a relative in Tampa have
a heart attack Saturday so cut the trip short to bring Aunt Evelyn back and
arrived Wed morn. at 1 am. Went by to check the mail and thank God I did.

Marv and I got a ticket when diving on the Rainbow river as I
forgot to put the dive flag up before jumping in (we were the only motor
boat on the water all day) and of course the man was right there to write us
up. Anyway, he gave me an envelope to pay the $50 fine via mail, which I did
the following day. Jump to Wed morning when I checked the mail, and find
they've sent the money back, demanding this is an offence that mandates a
court appearance and the date is Wed., at 1pm. So after no sleep at all I
call Marv at 9am, tell him what's up, and we then meet at the court house
for the 1 am appearance. We're waiting outside the courtroom when the
bailiff comes out and says only the defendants (I could've sworn he said
guilty defendants) allowed inside, so I went in with 118 ax murderers, drug
dealers, child molesters, etc, etc, and we were seated in alphabetical
order, and me being an M, I was snuggled right smack in the middle of all of
them. They must have all felt I was an especially successful ax-murderer,
rapist, pedophile, drug-dealer, check-frauder, etc., since I was the only
one wearing a suit. I felt safe and secure though, being as I was between
Moose on my left, and Bubba Ruffa on my right, as a paper was handed out
explaining our rights which of course the bailiff then read and explained
that we would go before the judge in order, each going on a jump seat
vacated by the one appearing for sentencing, and it would go extremely
quickly. We could either plead innocent and have a jury trial date set,
plead guilty and have the book thrown at us, or plead no contest and have
the judge decide. Then the witnesses were allowed in the room and seated on
the opposite side of the courtroom from us, along with family members, etc,
Marv and his wife amongst them. Then the judge came in and she explained
the whole thing again, and that warrants had been issued and those not
appearing today, or for any future court date would spend time in jail.

Now we started. Everybody immediately got a $118 fine for court costs no matter what.
Some pleaded innocent and went to the public defender's bench to sign up,
most were pleading no contest to which the judge always pronounced a guilty
verdict and started slapping on fines, giving the mandatory sentencing,
etc., and some pleaded guilty to which they got even more (which made the
rest of us plead something else) and some went to a special row that seemed
to me that we wouldn't be seeing them again, for a long, long time. Before
I knew it, Moose was up and I was on the jump seat. He did pretty good,
only $118 in court costs, a $2000 fine, and 6 months suspended sentence, and
a year probation. My name was called . . .

The clerk couldn't read me the mandatory sentence because they couldn't find
a regulation that applied to me. So there was some mumbling, and Judge Judy
said in 30 years on the bench she'd never seen anybody appear on such an
offence, and she started flipping through the statute books to find
something that applied to me. I then stated that the officer had stopped me
for no dive flag flying and I had paid the fine but it had been sent back,
to which she replied that she knew the clerk had sent the money back to me
with reply that a mandatory court appearance was needed. I didn't try to
help any after that. Finally she seemed to find something that fit my
situation and announced that not flying a flag required a 60 day jail
sentence, and a $500 fine. I don't know if this was out of the book or out
of the air, but she would, however, waive the fine and the sentence if I
could come up with $118 in court costs that day. Well, as much as I liked all my
new buddies I decided I really didn't want to spend 60 days with them
and could indeed come up with that and settle the matter right there and
then and told Judge Judy so. So, $118 later, I was a free man, Marv, his
wife and I went to dinner, and that was that.

Now how's that for a story?

And now they've changed the flag requirement: boaters need a 20 x 24" flag flying as of this month! I wonder how many boaters will know of this new regulation and end up paying the $118 to the coffers . . .

Last . . . last month was an urge for you to vote. If anyone now doubts the importance of you, the active scuba, or treasure enthusiasts' ability to shape an election and thereby influence policy either pro or con to our hobby, that doubt should now be over. Get registered to vote and then do so in the next election! We can make a difference, and let's do so in the next election!!!

JOIN IN ON OUR TEA PARTY!!!!! We're fighting to get some common sense legislation through Tallahassee for divers, amateur archeologists, treasure-hunters, and explorers in general. Please highlight the below proposed rule change and email it to the Governors email, with a copy to the secretary. That way, they know you're watching!

My proposed changes to the metal detector & artifact diving laws contained in FS 267:

1. Instead of the state dictating that all areas are off limits except those areas the state allows for supervised collection I propose that --

At least the above would be enforceable, the rules would be clear to the collector and the enforcement agencies, and it would be fair.

Governor's email:

Secretary's email:

I do thank you for sending those emails in, and I'm always here to answer your email.


Matt Mattson



I've kept this issue purposefully short -- folks, we've got a couple of issues here we've got to act on -- now.

Take a look at the Canoe story and related comments below . . .


Virginia Key to get beach restoration: (Miami Herald) If you want to metal detect Virginia Key Beach, better get cracking, it's due to have tons of sand poured over it in a restoration project. The beach, considered Miami's "colored beach" during segregation, may be linked to an ongoing project, considerably shortening the normal time-frame for such projects.

Canoe mystery turns into controversy: (Seminole Tribune) So much of this story is unsettling, I'm just going to quote the paper for most of this controversy, you can subscribe or ask for the full account (their email below) which I highly recommend . . .

"Gainsville -- When 86 ancient dugout canoes were discovered in the shallow waters of Newnan's Lake this May, archaeologists were stunned . . . To the State of Florida, however, the most significant historical find of its kind (italics mine) was merely treated as, well, business as usual. State officials did not notify the Seminole Tribe of Florida . . . Instead, the state sold permits to a logger to drag deadhead logs out through the very area where the receding lake waters had exposed the canoes and other artifacts. Though other canoes have been found there and ancient human activities have long been documented on the uplands surrounding the lake -- continuous concentrated human habitation dating back thousands of years (italics mine) -- the state failed to order any archeological assessment prior to granting the logging permit. "It was a reckless action," said retired biologist and Florida folksinger Dale Crider, who has lived on the lake for decades. "They drug and dug through that area with their big machines, destroying archeology and environment with absolutely no regard for history or mankind." "I am sorry, I am really sorry," is about all the state's chief archaeologist Jim Miller can say now. Miller signed one of the two permits which allowed (a) logger to gouge hundreds of sunken "heart pine" logs from the lake. "I sure would've liked to have seen some of those canoes," said (Seminole --my clarification) Chairman Billie. "It's too bad. Maybe the Tribe could've helped." "It won't happen again," says Miller (how can it -- a one of a kind site was destroyed -- my editorializing). Florida's taxpayers raked in $6000 for . . . (the logger's) permit, according to DEP's (Department of Environmental Protection -- my clarification) Gordon Roberts. "That's another thing," says Crider, "as a taxpayer, I wonder why the state lets this guy have a half million dollars of the best wood we own . . . why give it away for nothing to someone who has no respect for the environment." Miller now admits, "It was a mistake" to let (the logger) continue. He has no explanation for why the state would not set a priority on "collecting information no one had ever been able to collect before" (italics mine) above the private logging operation of one man. "We've learned a lesson here. We learn something new every week." Further, says Miller: " Our assumption was that the bottom was state-owned submerged lands. DEP assumed jurisdiction when they issued the permit, and, if the bottom is owned by the state, the artifacts are owned by the Division of Historical Resources." (italics and bold type mine) -- compiled from The Seminole Tribune, Volume XXI Number 10, July 28, 2000.

--- folks, if you've ever doubted my assertions that the all the Department of Historical Resources is really interested in is the pirating of treasure galleons from the legitimate finders, and not legitimate archeological projects from the pre-historical period, all you have to do is re-read the above (and see last month's news (scroll down). Not only do they seemingly have no regard for artifacts that aren't cannons, gold, or silver coins, the last quote from the Seminole Tribal Paper's account of Miller's statement points to another and more sinister problem: the current chief is quoted saying, "the artifacts are owned by the Division of Hisorical Resources." The division, in fact the state owns nothing -- the people do, but that statement does reflect a mindset. It is unfortunate, that although political administrations come and go, the bureaucrats in the various agencies are seldom changed or questioned . . . perhaps it's time for some fresh thinking in this department, and a staff more in tune with the people who pay their salaries.

IT IS HIGH TIME TO ACT! Here's what you can do:

read last month's Treasure News below for further support of the above, then:

Email this article to a friend, just copy and paste this url into your email:, then:

Email the Governor, Jeb Bush, asking for a complete review and overhaul of the Division of Historical Resources: Governor's email: and email him this url, so he can read the article:

Email the Secretary, Kathleen Harris, who directly governs this agency: Secretary's email: with an identical email.

Email the Tampa Tribune news editor, Larry Fletcher: , with your comments to the Governor, or the url for this story:

Email Mr. Miller's direct boss, the Division of Historical Resources Director:

Janet Matthews, Division Director or phone her: Office of the Director
Phone (850) 488-1480 and ask if Mr. Miller's statements reflect her thoughts.

Email Mr. Miller himself with your thoughts:

James J. Miller, Deputy Director, Chief of Archaeological Research and State Archaeologist or phone him: Office of the Bureau Chief : Phone: (850) 487-2299

Thank the Seminole Tribal Newspaper, and their reporters, Charles Flowers and Peter B. Gallagher, for exposing this nonsense by emailing to: A nice touch would be asking how to subscribe, they have the best updates on historical sites I've yet seen, and the cost is very little.

Please let me know what you think! (I'd really like a copy of what you send the Gov.)

More importantly -- get the word out! Have your friends email the Gov., and let's get this cleaned up. I know it takes some of your time to email, and I do appreciate your efforts, so will your children and grandkids someday.


Matt Mattson

email to:

Treasure News for August!


Just in: Spain appears to have won a court case in which all treasure on galleons (wherever they may be) has been awarded to them (wonder how the Incas, Mayans, Aztecs and all the other peoples they raped, plundered, pillaged, and stole their gold and gems feel about that). If anybody out there can get some news copy on this, send it in!

Emeralds Near the HMS Fowey? Reports are coming in from Leguare Anchorage (Fowey Rocks, the HMS Fowey's resting place -- 1st reef below Key Biscayne, opposite Sands Key) that emeralds are being found in large numbers by sifting the sands (in the last few years the Atocha crews have been doing this on that wreck -- some of their emeralds worth $80,000 apiece). No wonder the state doesn't even want people to snorkel over that area! Now we may know why. It is suspected a galleon may have sunk very near the Fowey, and the archeologists have been doing a little treasure hunting of their own (on your money). I understand from some very good sources, whole groups of divers on pontoon boats, are pulling up and diving in with their spaghetti collanders to sift the sands in a modern day Boston Tea Party! Oh well, state and fed guys, POWER TO THE PEOPLE! I'm sure they're just collecting to give it back to the Aztecs et al (see Just In, above). With the court case in Spain, I wonder how much longer the state and feds can fool us into believing they own all the shipwrecks in the sea. The court case really proves that nobody owns them, but every government will be glad to claim the rights to valuables, no matter how near or far that government is.

New site found at Turkey Point (Seminole Tribune): Artifacts are turning up on the cape-shaped area located 25 miles SW of Tallahassee in Eastern Franklin County. The isolated beaches along the panhandle of Florida have long been a favorite for paleo-artifacts.

Archeologists differ on the importance of sites: (Turkey) Archeologists studying a 2,000 year old town site are being called "treasure hunting" by other archeologists unearthing a 4,000+ year old town.


The above does beg the question, have we been snowed over here? Our archeologists on this side of the pond (Florida specifically) continually tell us that the galleons are critical to our understanding of man, that they are "time capsules," that they must be "protected" for future study, and on and on. Well, lets see. A few weeks ago I watched the President salute a whole bevy of these precious "time capsules" as they sailed into New York Harbor for the 4th of July. In Europe, you can take a tour through any castle and see real armor, weapons, coins, vases, and living accoutrements from the Viking periods up. You can put on (and in some cases even buy) armor from the periods, shoot functioning matchlock guns (buy one if you have the cash), see canons galore, and visit real life re-enactment's of battles and everyday living. Want to build a galleon? Simple, just drop right into Spain's archives, or the London Library and get yourself a copy of the plans! So again, I must ask have we been snowed over here by folks (well meaning I'm sure, but deluded) that really believe they are doing archeological work (but in reality just treasure hunting on our tax money)? Wouldn't it be more cost effective to just send them to Europe to see the old galleons (floating in some cases) or get plans, or see the costumes, etc., than pay for them to do all this underwater? Airfare and a library card would be much cheaper I'd think! Throw in a few castle tours and they'd be experts in no time and never even get wet.

They could look at all different types of coins, drawer full after drawer full, and not have to bother us about them over here -- and wouldn't that be nice for a change. I respectfully submit to our archeology buddies over here, that if they want to do real archeology, start with trying to figure out how the paleo-peoples lived -- the rest is treasure hunting with a degree. Pretty good though, with the snow job they've done, they can come in, lay claim to the wrecks, and treasure hunt without interference (they never seem to study cattle-boats), competition, or accountability. The European archeologists (where they don't even consider something old until it is 2-3000 BC) must really be puzzled over this Florida game.



I've just returned from the Colorado & Wyoming GPAA (Gold Prospectors Assoc. of America) gold claims, and boy-o-boy is there ever a lot of gold out there! Those old-timers didn't get it all by any means. More on all that below, first, let's catch up on some news.

Egypt: (AP reports) Divers have found the 2500 year old site where the cities of Herakleion, Canopus, and Menouthis once stood, with well preserved houses, temples, and port infrastructure. Archaeologists have descended on the site and have also found Byzantine coins, jewelry, and a sarcophagus (and all these years I didn't think the archaeologists were interested in treasure hunting). The chief archeologist said that the cities will be left in the sea and only smaller pieces will be retrieved for museums. If you're out that way, they're off the coast of Alexandria, in the bay of Abu Quir.

Lima, Peru: (AP reports) The lost city of Cajamarquilla is thought to be the city found by American exlorer Gene Savoy on the Saposoa River in San Martin province. The site measures 15 square miles, including stone roads, terraced cliffs, and at least 36 burial towers. The site dates back to the Incas reign.

North Port, Fl: (Miami Herald) University of Miami students are recovering stone tools, remains of deer that stood 6 feet at the shoulder, bone awls, and many more artifacts that give a window on life 12,000 years ago in Florida. The evidence is coming from 200 foot deep Little Salt Spring, owned by the UM since 1982. According to John Gifford, UM professor, water levels were 40 to 50 feet lower 8-9,000 years ago. There was no Lake Okeechobee or the Everglades, and the spring was an oasis of fresh water for early Floridians.

Newnan's Lake, Fl: (AP reports) 20 prehistoric American Indian canoes have been exposed after water levels dropped 5 feet in the recent drought. Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research is working quickly to stabilize the canoes, which could "crumble in just a couple of days" if simply left exposed to air said archaeologist Melissa Memory. The canoes are up to 22 feet long and have a pointed stern and rounded bow (could be a design flaw) and were likely used as fishing boats. The archaeologists will take radiocarbon dates and test to see what woods were used in construction and rebury (now why didn't I think of that -- all the money used, I would've put them on display for the public 1 in each of the 5 major cities in Fl -- send an email to the Governor) them in the area where they were found.

Hendry County, Fl: Fort Shackleford, the closest fort to the camp of Seminole Indian War Chief Abiaka (aka Aripeka, Sam Jones, and Sam Jones Be Damned), has been marked with a plaque which reads 'this is the site of Fort Shackleford'. The site, owned by Seminole Tribal Member Moses Jumper Jr., is located on a 400 acre cattle pasture, 2 miles east of Snake Road. For information about Fort Shackleford, call the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum at (941) 902-1113.

Gainesville, Fl: (AP reports) Scientists have confirmed bones found in a limestone quarry west of Gainesville are the remains of a previously unknown species of ground sloth, the oldest and largest of its kind. Up to 17 feet high and weighing 5 tons, herds of these hairy and slow creatures lumbered across the Florida landscape 2.2 million years ago, munching on live oaks, magnolia trees, and sweet gum. It is speculated the creatures died out some 50,000 years ago.

Sarasota, Fl: (Seminole Tribal Paper) Fort Armistead served as a major outpost in the Florida Wars as the Army's southernmost Gulf Coast post. An excavation of the site in June, 1989 recovered military buttons, kaolin pipe stems, musket balls, and glass bottles. The site of the fort was a mile and a half north of present Sarasota downtown, on a 10 foot rise just north of a stream (Whitaker Bayou) named after Sarasota's first white settler.

Ocala, Fl: The Marion county Commission voted 4-1 to pay $260,000 towards the purchase of the Fort King site, located on Fort King Street, in east Ocala. Some want a replica of the fort built, some want an educational facility built on the property, formerly owned by State Rep. Wayne McCall and his wife Catherine. The fort was the major supply depot for the Florida Wars.

Okeechobee, Fl: (Sun-Sentinel) Archaeologists fear a little known 1837 battleground may be lost to development within next 2 years. On Christmas Day 1837, General Zachary Taylor marched 803 troops across a mile of open swamp to attack 380 Seminole and Miccosukee warriors backed up behind a sand ridge near the shore NE shoreline of Lake Okeechobee. After the smoke cleared, 27 of the troops were dead and 112 wounded. The Indians lost 11 dead and had 14 wounded. Much of the land containing the battlefield is for sale, and at least one developer is going through the permitting process to create a subdivision there, said Bob Carr, director of the Archeological and Historical Conservancy in Miami.



Now, the trip . . . I first stopped 8 miles N. of Buenna Vista, Co. on the Arkansas River and checked out the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Assoc. of America) Arkansas Group claim (no. Co-7 in the guidebook). This is a great claim, with lots of gold, but best worked from late Aug -- Sept., when the water is not raging. I did manage to find a spot somewhat workable behind some rocks and pulled out a respectable amount of gold (a thimble-full) in a 2 hour run as a test and a match-head sized nugget. As the guidebook says, the gold is fine, but plentiful -- the nugget was a fluke. I also went up the road to Cache Creek, at the first bridge N. of Granite (6 miles further north) and dredged. The water was even worse than the Arkansas, but I set the dredge on the bank and soldiered on. The gold is bigger in Cache Creek, and seemed even more plentiful than the Arkansas Group, but you'll need a dredge and considerable fortitude to get it. The water is ice-cold. Perhaps with enough emails, the GPAA will make this a club claim also. It wouldn't hurt to look for claims further up the Arkansas either, where the water is quiet and nearer to bedrock.


From Co, I went up to Wyoming and to the Big Nose Kate and Yela Fever claims (WY-6) on the Douglas Creek Placers, in the Medicine Bow National Forrest. There was a late storm going through, and it started snowing about the time I got there, so only the little 2" dredge I use to test with came out. From what I can tell from a 1/2 hour run, that creek is loaded with gold. A 3" dredge (see last month's news) should pull some serious color, but I'd wait until late July or August to try it. Snow, water, and skin just don't mix in my opinion. When I awoke in the morning, there was snow on the ground, three mule deer were in the camp with me, and a moose was bellowing in the distance. There was also evidence a bear (or bigfoot) had been around sometime in the night, but had been very considerate in not waking dog or me. If you go to these claims, keep in mind the nearest store is 26 miles through the forrest, so don't forget anything.




Matt Mattson

Email to:

(past Treasure News stories below)


Remind Gov. Bush & Secretary of State Kathleen Harris that you want all state owned lands open to diving, metal detecting, and fossil collecting here: (send them an email!!!), And while we're in the Independence mood, why not suggest to the good governor & sec. that the Division of Historical Resources be staffed on an all volunteer basis? It would save the budget many millions of dollars each year, and since the egg . . . uh, jug . . . uh, department heads in the Division are so serving of the public, they won't mind at all. They'll just love this suggestion!




I've just arrived from the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Assoc. of America) claim in Buchanan, Ga. and thought I'd clue you in on how I did, how I did it, and how you can do the same (with or without mechanized equipment).

How I did: These were the gold flakes and nugget found in roughly 8 hours of dredging for gold on Holcomb Creek at the Buchanan claim. Due to heavy rain and cold, windy weather, I camped more than worked, but that was enjoyable too. The black stuff in the middle of the pan is black sands, iron ore sand that is found in gold bearing material.


How I did it: This gold was found using a 3" Proline Gold Dredge, with air for diving (hookah), although I did not use the hookah rig, preferring to snorkel or simply work while wading.

The gold dredge is a simple unit that pumps water and streambed material over a riffle box that traps the gold. They're made by many companies, and Keene is another popular company that makes them. They come in various sizes, graded by the suction nozzle that picks the material up. For my money ($1700 new) the 3" is the size that makes the most sense in the East. With the extremely shallow creeks we have, it will get in almost as shallow as a 2" dredge for sampling, and will go where the larger size dredges can't think of going, yet it is big enough to clean out a pocket of gold once found in a reasonably short amount of time.

In finding this gold, I looked for four things together: the inside bend of the stream, bedrock showing in the stream, a gravel bar built up on the bedrock, and quartz embedded in the bedrock. If those 4 things weren't present, I moved on. The inside bend of the stream is a low pressure area, where gold typically drops to the bedrock during a flood (the only time the heavy gold moves). Bedrock, is the lowest the gold can sink to, so if I can see it, I know I can get to the gold with the suction nozzle on the dredge. Gravel, built up on the bedrock on the inside bend of the stream, confirms that gold is dropping out there (if the lighter material is dropping out, certainly the gold is). Quartz, embedded in the bedrock, is a good indicator that there may be a source of gold nearby (since gold is quite often found in the quartz), and that the bedrock itself is fractured (has cracks in it that trap gold). The next step is simply launching the dredge, and removing the gravel to find cracks and fractures in the bedrock, and sucking the gold out with the suction nozzle -- not rocket science, but it does require some work, and perseverance.

< A big 4" 8hp Keene dredge. The material comes out of the flume box (black hole), passes over the 1st screen where it is broken up and much of the gold drops out, then over the 2nd screen which sits atop the opening of a sluice box that lies beneath the larger sluice on the end. Fine gold drops out here. Large nuggets pass over the fine screen covering the lower sluice box and are trapped in the large riffles on the end of the upper box. These things are a bear to handle, and generally, two or more people are much better than one to run it.


How you can do it:

The most inexpensive way is to join the GPAA for $67.50. You'll receive the basic tools to find gold (a gold pan and other paraphernalia), but the most important thing you'll get is access to hundreds of gold bearing properties throughout the United States, and Canada. In your membership kit is a book (almost 1000 pages) containing property after property that you can go to, camp on, and find and keep as much gold as you can extract. You can't live on the properties, but you can stay for 2 weeks a month (that's for $67.50 folks -- campgrounds charge more for that in a couple nights). Theoretically, you could go from property to property, or just back and forth between two adjacent properties -- and never come home. If you'll look at my previous Treasure News story on gold mining in Co. below, you'll see that many of these properties are located in some of the most awesome scenery imaginable. If you have a metal detector, you're in luck, you can use it on the properties. If you have a sluice (the inside part of the dredge -- (cost $60 - $80 new), you can set that into the swift running part of the stream and simply shovel river gravel into it (the way the old-timers did), and plenty of gold has been found that way. If you just have a gold pan, you can find some flakes with that too (although usually not much). If you have a high-banker ( a sluice box you set on the side of the stream and use a pump to pump water into it and over the riffles while you shovel material in) bring it. If a ruby, garnet, or diamond ends up in the box along with your gold -- it's yours too. If you don't have anything, you can buy new or used equipment by going through sites such as Tom Ashworth's, Treasurenet, Keene Engineering, or GGPA, and looking for their new and used equipment links. GPAA also has an equipment for sale page. You can also contact Proline Mining Equipment: email to: for their brochure on affordable dredges, sluices, and other mining equipment. In addition, you can watch shows on the Outdoor Channel like "Gold Fever" or "Prospecting America" that will teach you how to use everything from a metal detector to a dredge.

I am not associated with the GPAA -- don't get a dime from them, but if you and your family have half as much fun as I did out there, it was well worthwhile for me to give you this information, and wish you much success in finding your share.

We're entering summer, the time when I go out and get my gold. I also have a website that will house my screenplays coming online, and a lot of effort is being devoted to that, along with a couple of trips out to California, Colorado, and Wyoming for the new CD I'm working on. While I'm away, give those bureaucrats in Florida and Washington a fit! They read this site, and have put up a fence on the Bayard Point Site (NE Fl Site Files), and a sign saying No Metal Detectors at the Fore Lake Site, I guess, because they're petrified you might just find a lost ring. What a crock -- flood them with email, letters, and phone calls (email addresses below)! We're now approaching 4000 viewers per day, so use that horsepower and send an email! Do your part. Sure would be nice to get back and hear that fence and sign are removed -- after all, you paid for and are part owner of those properties, and are not a second class citizen for diving or owning a metal detector.

While I'm away, you can still Email me, I'll answer from the laptop. Until you hear from me next -- I'm out there . . .


Email to:

(past Treasure News stories below)


Remind Gov. Bush & Secretary of State Kathleen Harris that you want all state owned lands open to diving, metal detecting, and fossil collecting here: (send them an email!!!),

After all, you paid for and are part owner of that land! 


A couple of months ago I told you I believed a new fort location had been found, but I'd wait for some kind of confirmation before putting the info up, so as not to lead everyone on a goose chase. Well, enough silver coins are being dug up in the NE corner of Lake Eustis (N. Central Florida on Hwy. 19), and I've seen enough supporting evidence to say that the ferry/port for Fort Mason has been located.

If you look below Fort Mason on this 1895 map, note a road to the lake. Since boat launch ramps weren't in vogue in 1895, it has to be for something else. Coins are being found all along this edge of the lake. I suggest you get a DeLorme Florida Atlas and Gazetter to find the area and boat ramps. The water in the lake can be very dark, but right now it is low, and visibility quite improved.

Below Fort Mason, note the town of Eustis. By 1895 the name Fort, had already been dropped from the name Fort Eustis, but the coins and artifacts lost at its beach, directly W. of the city (and now a park) are still being dug.

Dive safe, have fun, and go get it!

Matt Mattson

Did you email me lately?

email to: Don't forget to read previous treasure updates below.





I received some interesting email lately, by some of the famous names in treasure-diving. It seems the archeologists are busy trying to take your rights away again. Rather than put my interpretation on things, I thought I'd just post the letters, and you can make your own decisions. The letters:

Matt: as if the problems we have with our state and federal governments

are not enough, UNESCO is planning a worldwide ban on not only shipwreck

salvage but wreck diving! They define a historical shipwreck as ANY

wreck 50 years old or older! There is pending legislation by UNESCO

(up for vote in April) that will place a worldwide ban on wreck diving

and shipwreck salvage. All divers, treasure hunters and shipwreck

salvors should

take note!

Maybe you could include a message about this on your (fantastic)


Please visit the following URL and be sure to check out all the links on

the page for more information on this important matter! (including an

article from the Skin Diver trade journal distributed at the recent DEMA

show in Las Vegas)

(this is one page from my website. click on "home port" at the bottom

and feel free to explore my site)

Best Regards, Tom Gidus

"Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for

that determines our success or failure."

Then I received this one from Bob (Frogfoot) Weller:

>Matt: I just returned from the Underwater Intervention Convention in Houston

>and the UNESCO situation was prevalent on everyone's mind. Several

>discussion panels addressed the situation because it has become serious. What

>began with a few simple-minded archeologists with thoughts of controlling the

>worlds shipwreck sites, has suddenly blossomed into a more dramatic situation

>where EVERTHING underwater will belong to them. They will dictate who dives,

>explores, and salvages. This includes the laying of telephone cables across

>the bottom of the ocean. The drilling for oil is possibly next on their

>list. They said in their last convention in Paris in July that they were

>doing it for the good of the people...and yet in the 3 days of discussion not

>one time did the word "Public" come up. It boils down to some self-serving

>archeologists that would leave the 3,000,000 or more shipwrecks on the bottom

>as "time capsules" until the can raise the money to let "their own"

>archeologists meticulously salvage the sites. They want US to finance their

>efforts on the shipwrecks they take away from us.

>Over the past 6 months they have been traveling to the various smaller

>nations to get their vote on ratifying the "Treaty" that comes up for vote in

>July. If the treaty is signed by only a majority, then it becomes

>ratified...and that is the beginning of the end.

>"SeaPro" is a group organized to prevent that from happening. Several of my

>group, as well as myself, contributed money to this group at the Convention.

>They are also planning on visiting the various smaller nations to advise them

>of the criticality of this vote coming up, and not to make a mistake by

>voting with the archeologists. Everyone can help sponsor this project by

>calling Pat Cline, Treasure Salvors in Key West. His phone #305/294-9732,


>It is also interesting that at the last Paris convention held by UNESCO, that

>not a single salvor or salvage group was represented at the meeting...they

>were not inviited. Strange when you consider they trying to take away

>everyone's dream of shipwreck salvage, but then again...if you are building a

>hangman's posse you really don't want a lot of interference. Frogfoot


At 03:27 PM 2/3/00 EST, you wrote:

>Matt; Just one more thought that I have been a strong proponent of. There

>is nothing wrong with the PUBLIC owning a piece of history! A good example

>of this is the salvage of the Atocha. Here is a site that the state of

>Florida watched with a critical eye as it was systematically...and

>archeologically, salvaged. The preservation was completed correctly, the

>research and documentation was completed to the satisfaction of the state,

>and a sample of the artifacts and treasure donated to the state of Florida

>even though the Supreme Court awarded full jurisdiction of the site to the

>Fisher group. Some 140,000 silver coins were recovered in the process, and

>most of these were finally awarded to investors. In turn, throughout the

>various United States, a number of the artifacts and personal treasure were

>donated to local museums as a tax write-off. (e.g. Tampa Museum ) But I

>would estimate that at least 50,000 coins were individually mounted in gold

>bezels and hung around someone's neck. Those 50,000 individuals have become

>ambassadors of history. Because of the coin hanging around their neck they

>can tell a brief history of a 1622 hurricane and shipwreck to just about

>anyone willing to listen. A history that they would otherwise have been

>oblivious to. That's a lot better than having a pile of silver coins sitting

>in some museum gathering dust while an occasional visitor files past to see

>the "remanants of a shipwreck". There is nothing wrong with the public

>owning a piece of history. Frogfoot

My reply:


You are exactly right. It has been my "fortune" to work with many archeologists, state archeologists among them. I have been hired as a guide, to show them submerged Indian mounds, and other resources along this coast. In no instance did I find any archeologist that did not openly show the thrill of discovery when I showed them a site. On one occasion, when I said they could not bring artifacts aboard my boat without a permit, they were taken aback (I guess they thought they were exempt from law). I've asked many what their favorite find was, and usually the answer is a projectile point, or some such item THAT THEY KEEP IN THEIR own HOME COLLECTION. A few years ago, a County Archeologist in Hernando was asked that same question by a newspaper reporter for Hernando Today, and he promptly pulled some artifacts out of his home collection for her to photograph.

Amazing. When the treasure hunter shows the thrill of discovery, he's "rabid with greed." When the treasure hunter keeps an artifact, he's "looting. Speaking of looting, I don't know of a single shipwreck found by the state archeologists in Florida. They simply pirate (read: loot) other peoples finds, by using the laws or bullying tactics. If there's a shipwreck you know of that they've located by themselves, from beginning to end, let me know. The end result is, they lose, as the average diver is too scared to report anything, and millions of bits of information are lost each and every day.

There's another dirty little secret they don't like brought up. And that is the coin or spearpoint you've found and dutifully turn in or log for them to determine disposition, they already have tens of thousands just like it. Most are resting in vaults and drawers at the P.K. Younge Museum and other places, removed for all time from sight (except for the archeologists). That begs the question, after you have studied 100 projectile points or coins or whatever, what can be learned from the identical 101st? Why catalog and store tens of thousands of anything, if they're so desperately in need of protection? And when is making money from doing films on salvaging shipwrecks, talks on artifacts, books, and other sources of income not just another form of treasure hunting with a degree? How many of them give all the money they make from such enterprises back, out of archeological purity? I wonder.

Sorry to have run on, but you caught me sitting here alone, in a fit of melancholy, and with one hell of a cold.


Again, I would urge everyone to call Pat Cline and join the fight!

#305/294-9732, 0r 305/294-3336.

On a lighter note, February 11 is my birthday (thanks -- send me a dollar) and I'm heading for the mountains for a welcome R&R. I've got 3 screenplays I'm feverishly working on, so if any of you have heard any treasure news to report on for next month, I could use the material! I'll continue to answer your treasure questions as always via laptop.

Matt Mattson snailmail: P.O. Box 5226, Spring Hill , Fl 34611


Remind Gov. Bush & Secretary of State Kathleen Harris that you want all state lands open to diving, metal detecting, and fossil collecting here:,

After all, you paid for and are part owner of that land!




HAPPY 2000!

We're bumping up against server space and I've got a major update just about completed with many more pages of sites, photo's and tips to add. What I'll do is incorporate them into the site files you see online, and put the whole shebang on CD. Don't really know what to charge for the CD right now, but the general consensus is $20. If you want to be notified when it's done, send an email to:

Also, historian Cal DeViney is about to complete his Fort Sites of Florida, and I'll be doing aerial photography for those sites as well. That should be on CD soon, if you want to be notified when that CD is ready, send an email to: . Again, the cost should be about $20, and the format will be organized by county, so you'll already be familiar with the ( format.

Exciting times, these, lots of new information is coming out of the woodwork, and you'll have access to it all.


Happy Treasure Hunting in 2000!


email to:

Remind Gov. Bush & Secretary of State Kathleen Harris that you want all state lands open to diving, metal detecting, and fossil collecting here:,

After all, you paid for and are part owner of that land!




From Vero Beach, south to Miami, all the hard weather from the recent storms has cut 5 feet of sand off the beach and dune line. New (old) shipwrecks, piers, and artifacts have been exposed as a result of this wave action. I have a friend down in Miami able to pick up galley bricks from an old galleon by eyesight alone! Time to hit the beaches on the E. coast. Go to the SE site files and the S Fl site files for the info on the best locations! Plenty of more good info in the past News releases below . . .

I hope you and your family have a very happy time this holiday season!

Did you send me an email?

Matt Mattson email to

Remind Gov. Bush & Secretary of State Kathleen Harris that you want all state lands open to diving, metal detecting, and fossil collecting here:,

After all, you paid for and are part owner of that land!

Scroll down




it's all about the shirts!

I give in. So many of you have pestered me to put models in the shirts that I've finally done it. Pictured above is Sandra Schroeder, a real-life, honest to God model in one of our heavy-duty shirts. If you click her picture you can go directly to her shoot. Oh, you're still reading this . . . well, with a million viewers on this site a year now, it makes sense for the girls to be seen in a wholesome way, and provides me with a way to get you to look at the new logos without shocking mom & dad.


I think I might have located another Seminole Indian Wars fort site in NW Florida (along a river), but am waiting for some confirmation before I put the time and money into flying up there and photographing it. If you're interested in me putting that information up, email me, and I'll go ahead and do the work as soon as I'm convinced.

Remind Gov. Bush & Secretary of State Kathleen Harris that you want all state lands open to diving, metal detecting, and fossil collecting here:,

Together, we can win!

Thanks for your emails,


Matt Mattson, email to:


Your e-mails to Gov. Bush and others have paid off with a victory! Weeki Wachee is now allowing diving at the headspring of the attraction. I guess two thousand emails caught their attention in Tallahassee, so now that we've got their attention, let's work on getting diving, treasure hunting, and fossil collecting opened up on all state lands! From now on, I'm going to include the good Governor's email address at the bottom of our news updates, along with a link to my proposed changes to Florida Statute #267, so you can reference that in your email if you wish. Hopefully we can keep them from pulling any further shenanigans (like buying springs we regularly dive in and closing them to diving as they did last month), so we can get back to talking about scuba and treasure here.


If you scroll down the page to TREASURE NEWS FOR MAY, you'll recall that we've won another victory, in that you can now do non-intrusive searches (with a metal detector, towed fish, etc.) in the keys. With that in mind, the season is just about here for excellent diving conditions on the 1733 fleet wrecks, so I thought I'd give you a listing of the galleons, put together by Frank Feliciano that I found interesting. It differs in my listing of them slightly, as my co-ordinates were done by loran, and the machines differ slightly, also it depends on where the boat is anchored over the wreck.

"El Infante"; "Nuestra Senora de Balvaneda" is the galleon most often worked by treasure hunters and has given up thousands of coins over the years. A big galleon owned by the King, the wreck lies on Little Conch Reef. LORAN: 14109.1 // 43266.0 Lat-Long: 24 55.59N // 80 28.23W

"San Jose y Las Animas" an English built vessel, has given up hundreds of intricately carved figurines. Lies inshore of Little Conch Reef LORAN: 14108.5 // 43268.8 Lat-Long: 24 56.03N // 80 29.04W

"La Capitana; "El Rubi" 60 cannon full galleon, carrying the King's treasure (104 castellanos in worked gold, 3,200 pesos in gold specie, 5,090,285 pesos in silver specie and bullion, 6,099 marcos in worked silver) lies between Davis and Crocker Reef. LORAN: 14103.8 // 43276.5 Lat-Long: 24 54.62N // 80 30.65W. This, like the El Infante, is still giving up gold and silver.

"Chaves"; "Angustias"; "Nuestra Senora del Carmen" a 220 ton vessel, lies in very shallow water just off of Snake Creek. Like the Animas, this has given up figurines. Loran: 14098.5 // 43292.7 Lat-Long: 24 55.34N // 80 34.78W

"Herrera"; "Nuestra Senora de Belemy San Antonio de Padua" English built 242.5 ton vessel alleged to be carrying 1200 pesos in silver specie and bullion, 359 marcos in worked silver. Lies near the Chaves in Hawk Channel. LORAN: 14094.7 // 43296.6 Lat-Long: 24 56.61N // 80 35.37W

"Tres Puentes"; "Nuestra Senora de Belemey San Juan Bautista" a 212+ ton vessel carrying no known treasure lies just seaward of the Herrera. LORAN: 14093.5 // 43296.5 Lat-Long: 24 52.67N // 80 35.15W "San Pedro" a merchant nao Dutch built 287+ tons alleged to be carrying 16,000 pesos in silver specie and bullion and Chinese porcelain. Lies off of Indian Key. LORAN: 14082.2 // 43320.8 Lat-Long: 24 51.13N // 80 40.68W

"Herri-Lerri" Others have identified this wreck as the Arizon. Silver coins continue to wash up near the beach just oceanside of mile marker 75 face the ocean and search the shallow waters just to the left of the billboard. LORAN: 14077.1 // 43330.6 Lat-Long: 24 50.07N // 80 42.75W

"San Francisco de Asis" an English 264+ ton vessel also referred to as "Cayo Vivoras". Lies just off Craig Key, still has huge beams in amongst the ballast pile. LORAN: 14070.4 // 43342.8 Lat-Long: 24 48.59N // 80 45.35W "La Almiranta";

"El Gallo" owned by the King a 60 cannon vessel alleged to be carrying 196 castellanos in worked gold, 3.200 pesos in gold specie, 4,895,216 pesos in silver specie and bullion, 2,579 marcos of "plata pasta" lies in shallow water between Lower matecumbe and Long Key. LORAN: 14068.5 // 43345.4 Lat-Long: 24 48.10N // 80 45.87W

"El Sueco de Arizon"; "Nuestra Senora del Rosario"; "San Antonio y San Vicente Ferrer" The owner and captain was alleged to have carried 24,000 pesos in silver specie and bullion. LORAN: 14053.2 // 43379.1 Lat-Long: 24 46.38N // 80 53.52W

"San Fernando"; "Nuestra Senora de los Reyes"; "San Francisco de Panla" a 328 ton vessel alleged to be carrying 16,000 pesos in silver specie and bullion, 226 marcos worked silver has not been located but is believed to be near Duck Key or Grassy Key at Cayo de Viboras out near Coffins Patch. (this galleon is believed to have broken apart and scattered coins all through this area. Hunt the sand patches in this grassy area MM)

"Sumey de San Ignacio"; "San Ignacio" English built 292+ ton vessel alleged to be carrying 12,000 pesos in silver specie and bullion, 696 marcos of worked silver in six boxes located near Cayo de Vacas near Coffins Patch. LORAN: 14038.5 // 43399.2

NOW THAT THE PRICE OF GOLD IS GOING UP, WHY NOT DIVE THESE WRECKS? Don't forget to scroll down to "TREASURE NEWS FOR MAY" and read that info too before going down there.

Remind Gov. Bush & Secretary of State Kathleen Harris that you want all state lands open to diving, metal detecting, and fossil collecting here:,

Together, we can win!

I know that some of the links on the pages don't work. A hacker recently broke into our system, and files were damaged, necessitating a rebuild. All the links on the main page should be up and running so just use your back button out of Northwest Florida Sites or whatever to the main page and go down to whatever link you want until I get all the site rebuilt. I understand they're looking for credit card numbers, one of the reasons I went back to a mail in system. Aren't these kids cute?

Thanks for your patience while I rebuild.




Just got back from Colorado, what a trip! Went up through Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, through Colorado on Hwy. 50 to Salida, then up Hwy. 24 to the Lost Canyon Gold Mine at Granite to detect and pan (in Pine, Clear, and Cache Creeks, and the Arkansas River), then back to Salida, and on to Montrose. I based at Montrose a few days and checked out the area streams (Specie Creek, San Miguel River) at Placerville. Next I went down to Durango on Hwy. 550, and out through New Mexico to Hwy. 40, over to Flagstaff Arizona, down to Wickenburg for some nugget shooting, then back up all that to Durango, and over the southern mountain range of Co. on Hwy. 160 to Walsenburg, then down Hwy. 25 to Raton, NM, on to Amarillo, Texas, then Vicksburg (found where Great Grandaddy was stationed) and home. Gave you all that so you could figure out the pictures.

I was able to pan gold from every stream or river I tried, they are all rich, but the gold is fine, flake, and flour, so you really need more than a pan although for my purposes (testing) that was fine. Next time I'm out, I'll carry a Bazooka dredge now that I know what's needed. To get the most out of a Colorado (or any other state) gold trip, I'd urge joining the GPAA, as they have hundreds of properties under lease that you can prospect, pan, metal detect, and camp on, both in the eastern gold fields and out west. These are the same folks that put on the OUTDOOR CHANNEL, and much more. Once you've joined you'll receive a book with about 700 pages of properties and info on just where to go, and how to access the properties once you're there. Worth it for the access alone.

In general, I'd say the best places to dredge would be the Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Granite, Pine Creek, just S. of Granite, and the San Miguel River at the junction of Specie Creek. If I was able to get color using a pan, anyone should do well with a dredge. There are many dredge makers, the GPAA link has links to some, but my favorite is the Schmidt Bazooka because it separates the gold in a trap, eliminating the riffle box, plug-ups and a whole host of other problems.




Howard Schmidt (phone (941) 497-1380 for a catalog) also makes a gold sluice box that you simply put in the river on a couple of rocks and start shoveling material into. The river does the work, taking the material over riffles that drop the gold out into a trap. Great, if you don't have the inclination for dredging. Other folks make various contraptions (gold wheels, dry and wet sluice boxes, etc.,) that do the same thing. Pumps are available from Keene Engineering, although Howard's smallest unit (2" 2.5" 3" dredge combo) will work off a simple 3.5 hp trash pump available almost anyplace.

I found a metal detector almost useless in Co. Not to say nuggets can't be found, but Colorado has been mined for so long, there's a zillion boot tacks, cans, and various pieces of metal that just drive gold detectors bananas. Even after an exhausting climb to a ledge that I thought nobody would've ever set foot on except mountain sheep, you guessed it -- I found boot tacks. In Co., save the money you'd put into a detector and buy a good dredge, gold pans, and a shovel. It's a numbers game here, X number of yards of material moved = ? oz of gold. The X and ? are variables that depend on the stream worked, and I've just given you leads on the best ones, above. There is gold here though, and lots of it.

Of course, most folks who come to Colorado (or anyplace out west) aren't concerned with what type of dredge to buy, or if the stream has gold, or anything else for that matter, they're just here to see the wildlife and the beauty of the land. All that is here in spades.

The pass between Montrose and Durango on Hwy. 550 is not to be missed, it is as hair raising as it is scenic, especially in the rain.

For game, the area between Durango and LaVeta seems the best. I saw a healthy number of animals in Colorado, including mule & whitetail deer, badger, elk, pheasant, coyote, and much small game.

 Matt Mattson email to: TAKE A LOOK AT THE NEW T-Shirt!




As you read this, I'm headed out to Durango, Colorado to go nugget shooting, and if I have the time I'll swing down into the Dos Cabezas Mountains in Arizona too. The Super Cub is winging it's way out to Yakima, Washington for a new motor and a re-furbish job, and in its place is a new 180 hp Super Cub. After 20,000 air miles in 2421S (pictures below), and enough adventures to write a new website and book, I had mixed feelings watching it go, but the new one is quite an improvement I must say. Whereas the old would haul 70 lbs of baggage, the new one will haul 200 + a passenger. The new one is 20 mph faster than the old at any given cruise rpm, and takes off at roughly double the climb rate of the old. Jim said you could take off and skim the runway until 120 mph, pull hard back on the stick and rocket straight up 2500 feet until it would backslide -- but he was wrong about that . . . it goes to 2740 (but I'm a little lighter than he is). I'm still breaking this new pony in, but after doing so, it will be used for my trips out west, and of course, the site.


I have updated the Shipwreck section with some new sites, hopefully that will keep everyone satisfied until I return. Hey! I deserve time to find some gold too!

Thanks for all the support!

Matt Mattson email to: TAKE A LOOK AT THE NEW T-Shirt!

Treasure News for June

Flew over Kreamer Island in Lake Okeechobee and tried to find the location of an old plantation house. I think there are enough indications in these aerials to point the adventurous hunter in the right direction towards the plantation house, and possibly treasure.



There are two possibilities that I see, one is on the N tip of the island, but there isn't much high ground there, although that will make for a quick search. The stronger location I think for the house was on the SW tip, where there are large (oak?) trees growing. If they are oak, that will be a key find, because oaks will not grow over water, meaning this ground is suitable for a foundation. There are some canals, apparently dug by hand, that could yield very valuable 1700's blown glass bottles. Watch out for alligators on this lake though, go with a partner. Calvin DeViney makes a detailed map of the lake with all boat ramp locations, the islands, etc. You can get one at the fishing stores on the lake, or order one direct, contact Calvin at 305/652-5520. His P.O. Box: 33269-0121, Miami, Fl 33269-0121. The map sells for $10. If you call Calvin, get him to circle the areas I've highlighted for you before he sends the map. There was also a hurricane in 1928 that killed over 2000 people and wiped out some 50 stills that were operating on the lake. It also destroyed the town of Belle Glade, and strewed the contents of the bank for miles. You might want to have Calvin mark these areas too.






I'm working on the Shipwreck Files, and will try to have them up for next month's update. The 1715 fleet recoveries are going strong, and I'm making a trip out to Montrose and Durango Colorado, then on to Phoenix, and Quartzite Arizona with Z-doggie (my black Lab retriever) in the Super Cub next month, so I'll try to have it all done by then. Email me for the trip itinerary.





Matt Mattson 

Treasure News for May

Treasure Salvor's Meeting in Vero Beach: All sites are in the SE Site Files section.

I'm a little late for this month's update because I wanted to get the latest to you from the annual Treasure Salvor's meeting at Vero Beach. The meeting was held yesterday (May 4) and had several interesting and useful points for divers and treasure hunters interested in working or searching for wrecks in the Keys and elsewhere.

First: the meeting.

Taffi Fisher (Mel's daughter) opened the Salvage meeting at 0900 and promptly introduced everyone (including the new Crown Prince of the Conch Republic) and went over the statistics for this year's salvage attempts. The most active boat was on station for 82 days, and found 1,117 artifacts. The second most active was Kane Fisher's boat, working for 50 days, and bringing up 363 artifacts. The most value in gold and silver were not found by either of the above two boats however, and a crew from one of the smaller boats came in first at $250,000 worth of finds for the salvage season.

For the upcoming season, two exclusive lease areas were granted: the Cabin wreck-site, and the North side of the Douglas Beach Wreck.

All the wreck-sites, and both empty and productive blow holes are now accurately mapped with GPS and available to any prospective salver, so duplication of unproductive searching can be avoided. It also helps to preserve the remaining structures (the most intact being the Green Cabin wreck -- a 1618 ship) from needless harm.


The Historic Shipwreck Policy Council has been working actively with the State of Florida and Federal Government to come up with realistic guidelines for search & salvage instead of branding everyone who moves a grain of sand or picks up a bottle as criminal. Finally!

You can now do a non-intrusive search in the Keys without a permit! If you find an interesting area, you can apply for a search permit with limited excavation (hand fanning with metal detectors) within that specified search area. If you start turning up artifacts, you now apply for a full recovery permit. Now for the earthshaking news: all treasure found is owned by the salvor 100%! Unique finds that the state wants can either be exchanged for like value, or the salvor can continue to posses them in perpetuity (so you could lease this item to museums etc., and still collect on the find). Oh, one other thing: no cost for permits! For more info on treasure hunting and permits, send a detailed email of exactly what you're interested in to:

Of course, if you're interested in the newest state of the art equipment (from underwater metal detectors to satellite imaged gps towed video and magnetic sensing devices) the Salvor's meeting is always the place to be. Don't miss the next one: May 4, 2000!


Send me some mail!!! Email to:

Thanks for your participation and support,

Matt Mattson


Treasure News for April

Flew down to Clewiston to meet some friends for a catfish dinner on the N. side of Okeechobee. On the way I flew over the Peace River at Arcadia to give it a look. It is way down as we are 12" below normal rainfall already this year, making the heavily tannic stained water almost clear. It is certainly clear enough to dive at any location and find Megalodon teeth by sight, or walk the banks and spot them on the bottom.

I understand the movie MEG is coming out soon, reports are that it is generating a lot of interest in Megalodon, and I'm sure getting a lot more inquiries about locations to find Megalodon teeth.

I also flew over Jupiter Inlet. I've got a project going on near there, and thought I'd photograph the location of the 1600's galleon wreck-site that has been found and worked by a couple of the life guards, among others. To date, cannons, and many coins from the mid 1600's have been found here, and there may have been a whole fleet blown in, as there is also a similar situation off Ft. Pierce (the Green Cabin Wreck, see it in the South East Site Files). There is a possibility of more 1600's wrecks being found between Jupiter and the Green Cabin Wreck)

Matt Mattson


Megalodon Intl

Thanks for all your emails and support. Keep us in the air, order a T-Shirt!

Send me some mail!!! Email to: