Two treasure hunters who claim they found a huge cache of Civil War-era gold filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the FBI’s excavation records.
Finders Keepers, a Pennsylvania-based lost treasure locate and recovery service, seeks to obtain records of the FBI’s dig for the gold in 2018.
Dennis and Kem Parada, the owners of Finders Keepers, spent years looking for a supposed 1863 shipment of Union gold that went missing en route to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. According to local legend, both the loot and the troops escorting it went missing. Previous accounts of the shipment estimate 26 to 52 gold bars, each weighing 50 pounds, with a value of $50 million.
The Paradas claim they found a large mass of metal in a particular area and contacted the FBI for assistance. The agency sent a contractor to the site to investigate.
In an affidavit unsealed in June 2021, Jacob Archer of the FBI’s art crime team wrote: “I have probable cause to believe that a significant cache of gold is secreted in the underground cave” in Dent’s Run, holding “one or more tons.”
The pair accompanied the FBI to the site in 2018 but were told to stay in the vehicle. The FBI later claimed the dig came up empty.
With their lawsuit, the Paradas hope that the unsealing of relevant documents will enable them to receive a portion of the fabled treasure.
“With its request, Plaintiff seeks to confirm the FBI’s recovery of Civil War-era gold buried in the mountains of Pennsylvania, based in significant part on scientific evidence of the gold’s existence that Plaintiff provided the FBI,” the lawsuit reads.