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Greek-Australian Hunting Ali Pasha’s Treasure Email

Saturday, 17 November 2012 12:42

By Christina Flora

A Greek-Australian treasure hunter, Vangelis Dimas, is financing an excavation to locate the hoard of Ali Pasha, a murderous ruler of the Ottoman Occupation known for his atrocities. The diggings are near the village of Vassiliki, 352 kilometers (218 miles) northwest of Athens, and near Kalambaka.

Ali Pasha (1740–1822) surnamed Aslan and known as the Lion of Yannina, was an Ottoman Albanian ruler (pasha) of the western part of Rumelia, the empire’s territory which was also called Pashalik of Yanina. His court was in Ioannina.

According to the Trikala Voice, Dimas has tied up all loose ends, instituted the legal proceedings with the Municipality of Kalambaka and begun excavations again. Two years ago he said in a statement to NET that the treasure could be worth millions of euros.

This time he is convinced that he has found “Ali Pasha’s Rooms,” in the area between Agioi Theodoroi and Theopetra. The excavation is already under way and the permit given is for 25 days. The village of Vassiliki is named after the pasha’s Greek-born wife who hailed from the area and lies on his old tax caravan route to Ioannina.

Ali had three sons: Ahmet Muhtar Pasha, Veli Pasha of Morea and Salih Pasha of Vlore. Ali Pasha of Tepelena died in a battle on Feb. 5, 1822 at the age of 81 after refusing an order to surrender and be beheaded. He was shot through a door and beheaded anyway.


Courtesy Greek Reporter

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Discovery Channel Orders Wild West Treasure Hunter Series 'Ghost Town Gold' Email

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 11:39


Discovery is going on a modern-day treasure hunt.

The network has picked up six episodes of Wild West treasure hunter series Ghost Town Gold, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

The six-part series will follow modern-day explorers Brit Eaton and Scott Glaves as they search for priceless treasures from the Old West that they can turn for a profit.

Described as part history buffs, part pickers, the duo will visit old ghost towns, abandoned mining camps and industrial graveyards as they search for treasures from another era. The pair has more than 25 years of experience collecting and selling Western memorabilia, with a collection that includes priceless whiskey bottles, old revolvers and one-of-a-kind branding irons.

Ghost Town Gold, produced by JWM Productions for Destination America, the series will launch Thursday, Nov. 15 at 10 p.m., with an encore airing of the series starting Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 10 p.m. on Destination America. JWM's Bill Morgan and Jason Williams will exec produce alongside Eaton and Discovery and Destination's Pamela Deutsch.

The series comes after Discovery's similarly themed Moonshiners scored its highest ratings to date on Wednesday, averaging 3 million total viewers and pushing the network to lead cable in total viewers, men 25-54, men 18-49 and men 18-34.

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Courtesy The Hollywood Reporter

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Families fuel new gold rush in country Victoria Email

Sunday, 11 November 2012 15:11


Ben Hunter with son Joshua, 5, try their hand at gold detecting in central Victoria. Picture: Rob Leeson Source: Herald Sun


Angus Thompson

VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA - Giving crusty prospectors a run for their nuggets, latte-sipping Melburnians, as well as grey nomads, are taking up metal detectors, pans and picks in what traders describe as a "mini gold rush".

Bendigo gold trader David Watters said the past year had seen more families travelling to the region in search of buried treasure.

"With the price of gold so high, there's been a renewed interest in the hobby of prospecting," Mr Watters said.

"We've sold a lot more pans and parents are buying kids gold detectors to get them to ... have a go.

"There's a whole range of people coming through ... the dad has a fossick, the kids are running around."

He described the surge as a new gold rush.

Read more: Families fuel new gold rush in country Victoria

GPAA Announces 2013 Gold & Treasure Expos Email

Friday, 09 November 2012 11:53

The Gold Prospectors Association of America is pleased to announce its 2013 Gold & Treasure Expo schedule.

The GPAA will hold 13 shows, including some exciting new locations such as Quartzite, Ariz, which will feature a special three-day event.

Other new locales are Turlock, California; Pecatonica, Illinois; Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina and Millwood, West Virginia.

One noticeable change in 2013 will be the shift from Gold & Treasure Shows to Gold & Treasure Expos.

“Expo tells you straight up that we’ve got vendors ready to sell you products,” said Trade Show Manager Gary Sturgill. “That’s where you’re going to find the latest and greatest new equipment and the vendors are going to demonstrate how to use it.”

Sturgill said education will take on a pivotal role in 2013 with much more focus on teaching people how to prospect and pan for gold.

“We’re actually going to have a few different guest speakers who we haven’t had before,” he said.

Some of the returning speakers will include Gold Cube inventor Mike Pung talking about fine gold recovery, GPAA Executive Director of Operations Dominic Ricci talking about the Alaska Gold Expedition, GPAA Executive Director of Development Kevin Hoagland talking about metal detecting and Walt Wegner of Public Lands for the People talking about land rights.

Wegner, who is PLP vice-president, delivers informative talks on the importance of land rights, your right to prospect, stake claims and mine on public lands. He talks about how some of those rights have been eroded under all levels of government including the federal government and even the United Nations under Agenda 21, for example.

“Walt gets a lot of people and they are well-informed when they leave,” Sturgill said.

The Expo will cover more than just gold, including gem and treasure hunting.

Read more: GPAA Announces 2013 Gold & Treasure Expos

Amateur treasure hunter finds 40 Roman gold coins Email

Sunday, 21 October 2012 16:19

Roman_coinsThese late Roman gold coins were been found by a metal detectorist on private land north of St Albans in Hertfordshire. The find is believed to be one of the largest Roman gold coin hoards ever discovered in the UK


A novice treasure hunter who bought a basic metal detector returned to the shop in shock weeks later, clutching part of the country's finest ever hoard of Late Roman gold coins.

The man stunned staff by showing them 40 gold Solidi, before asking them: 'What do I do with this?'

They contacted local experts and together got the permits they needed, headed back to the scene and pulled up another 119 gleaming pieces.

The hoard could be worth more £100,000.

David Sewell, the lucky shopkeeper who joined the second search party, said: 'It’s a staggering thing.

'We sold this guy an entry-level machine and he went off and pulled off one of the largest ever hoards of Late Roman gold coins. We believe it’s the second largest.

'He came up with approximately 40 coins to start with. He came to see us and we looked at it and thought: ‘Is this a stunt?’

'I’ve heard in the past that the general reaction with things like this is that people are terrified. They don’t know what they (the artifacts) mean.'

They advised the man to get in touch with the local finds liaison officer and armed with a JCB they went to the woodlands spot near St Albans, Hertfordshire, and continued the work.

Mr Sewell, who founded metal detecting shop Hidden History with Mark Becher in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, last year, said: 'We went with them and took with us a couple of slightly more potent machines and we pulled 119 more coins out of the ground.

Read more: Amateur treasure hunter finds 40 Roman gold coins

Dr. Eugene Lyon Joins Board of Directors of Aqua Quest International, Inc. Email

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:23

TARPON SPRINGS, FL - OCT 15, 2012, Aqua Quest International, an ocean exploration and archaeological recovery company, today announced that Dr. Eugene Lyon has joined the Company on the Board of Directors.

Dr. Eugene Lyon is best known for his research in the Archives of the Indies which enabled Mel Fisher to find the famous sunken treasure ships Nuestra Senora de la Atocha and Santa Margarita.

Dr. Lyon has received the grade of Official of the Order of Isabella from King Juan Carlos of Spain ad the grade of Commendador in the order of Christopher Columbus from the President of the Dominican Republic. The City of St. Augustine has given him its highest honor, the Order of La Florida, and the Florida Historical Society has bestowed upon him the Jillian Prescott Award for lifetime service to Florida History. Dr. Lyon publications include "The Enterprise of Florida" and "The Search for the Atocha." He has written five National Geographic articles, including two cover articles. Dr. Lyon directed the St. Augustine Foundation for 14 years.

"We are honored to have Dr. Lyon guiding us with his experience and the benefit of his unparalleled research," said Aqua Quest President Captain Robert Mayne. "Dr. Lyon is another world leader in archaeological exploration and salvage and he will be invaluable to us."

Eugene Lyon, Ph.D.

Dr. Gene Lyon is a noted and well respected shipwreck historian and archivist. Dr. Lyon received his Ph.D from the University of Florida and later published his doctoral dissertation on Pedro Menendez de Aviles with the University of Florida Press, entitled, The Enterprise of Florida: Pedro Menendez de Aviles and the Spanish Conquest of 1565-1568.

About Aqua Quest International, Inc.

Aqua Quest International is an ocean exploration and archaeological recovery company headquartered in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Aqua Quest's focus is on archaeological recovery, combining the scientific method of traditional archeology with the bottom line business of shipwreck salvage. Aqua Quest's offices are located at 719 Pent Street, Tarpon Springs, Florida 34689


Courtesy Aqua Quest International (Press Release)

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Spain’s Queen Sofía in Bolivia for Odyssey Treasure Agreement Email

Tuesday, 16 October 2012 15:55

reina-sofiaLA PAZ, BOLIVIA - Spain's Queen Sofia will begin a visit to Bolivia on Monday in search of an agreement with President Evo Morales on the fate of coins found in a sunken Spanish ship, which were minted with metals mined at Potosi Cerro Rico. 

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, Sofia will meet with Morales on Tuesday to facilitate the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries over the destiny of the coins found in the frigate Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes.

The agreement, however, will be signed by the secretary of Spain's International Cooperation agency, Jesús Gracia, and Bolivia's Minister of Culture, Pablo Groux.

The fortune that Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes was carrying - about 600 thousand pieces of gold and silver - was rescued in 2007 by the U.S. company Odyssey, from the Atlantic Ocean and brought to this country without revealing exactly where they were found.

Spain, aware of the situation, argued that this was the ship sunk on October 4, 1804 by the English fleet, during a naval battle in front of the Portuguese coast, and initiated a legal proceedings to recover the treasure.

The Odyssey tried to keep possession of the loot, valued at about $500 million, but a judge ruled that it should be handed over to Spain, an action completed in late February this year.

Through its Minister of Culture Bolivia announced that it would claim its rightful treasure, because many of the recovered coins were minted at the Mint House of Potosi.

Morales's meeting with Queen Sofia, and the agreement to be signed by and Gracia and Group will clarify any remaining doubts about the future of the treasure, to which other countries of the region also aspire.


Courtesy Prensa Latina

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Digging up a bit of history for soldiers' families Email

Monday, 15 October 2012 13:32

Ron_SandersRon Sanders, from Llanmorlais, who found American dog tags while using his metal detector in Scurlage

UK - When Ron Sanders heard a beep in his ear while carrying out his hobby in a field near Scurlage he had no idea he was about to find a link with two families more than 3,000 miles away.

The 62-year-old uncovered two dog tags which turned out to belong to a couple of American soldier who were stationed in the area during the Second World War.

Their unit was based in Gower in 1941 ahead of its role in the D-Day landings which were to liberate Europe and pave the way to ending the war.

Swansea Metal Detecting Club member Mr Sanders, who had permission from the landowner, said: "I knew this particular field was a World War Two American Army Camp in the weeks leading up to D-Day.

Read more: Digging up a bit of history for soldiers' families

Second ancient treasure hoard found Email

Thursday, 11 October 2012 11:07

Jersey_TreasureUK - A second cache of ancient treasure has been earthed in a Jersey field – just months after the largest hoard of Celtic coins ever found was discovered in Grouville.

Metal detectorists found the 3,000-year-old Bronze Age hoard this week lying 30 cm down in a secret location.

The items – which include several bronze axe heads – were discovered in a clay pot about the size of a football.

Conservator at Jersey Heritage Nail Mahrer, who was present at the dig and will be working on the hoard, said that it was another very exciting find. ‘The metal detectorist pulled two axe heads out of the top of the pot and saw more inside,’ he said. ‘The pot measures around 30 cm across and was about 30 cm below the surface.’

Mr Mahrer added: ‘We are not quite sure why they were buried or why the hoard was buried where it was. We found other material with it, such as broken pots. ‘Bronze axes were high-value items and this amount of bronze would have been very valuable.’

It is not the first Bronze Age hoard found in Jersey, but Mr Mahrer said that it is the first time that such treasure has come out of the ground in a pot. Mr Mahrer now plans to X-ray the pot to discover what else might be inside. ‘It is very exciting,’ he said. ‘To have two hoards in one year is just amazing.’

The hoard of an estimated 70,000 Celtic coins, which includes items of gold and silver jewelry dating from around 50 BC, was found by metal detectorists Reg Mead and Richard Miles in June.

Since they were removed from the ground, Mr Mahrer has spent hours cleaning the mass of precious metal which attracted thousands of visitors to the Museum when it went on display for three days last month.


Courtesy This is Jersey

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Go on a treasure hunt in Russia Email

Monday, 01 October 2012 13:35

russia_treasureDiscover Russia's 12 most mysterious treasures. Source: Getty Images / Fotobank

RUSSIA - Reports of treasure-trove discoveries appear in the Russian media about twice a year. With its vast territory and tumultuous history of war, pillage and sudden power shifts, Russia is hardly a surprising destination for flocks of treasure hunters. Given the fact that Russia’s banking system developed relatively late and left people to bury valuables in the ground for safekeeping, Russia has become something of a treasure hunter’s paradise.

In reality, treasure is discovered in Russia much more frequently than the press would have us believe. Current legislation, however, means that treasure hunters are generally better advised to keep quiet about their findings: any unearthed treasure must be equally divided between the finder and the landowner. If the find is thought to contain items of “cultural or historical significance,” half of the appraised value goes to the state, while the finder can claim only half of the remaining 50 percent.  Moreover, the treasure is often fraudulently appraised, so the finder really only receives a fraction of the real value.

Of course, this is not just about the money. Treasure hunters believe in fairy-tales, and, in their minds, they are never far from discovering a legendary find.  RBTH details the 12 most sought-after treasure-troves in Russia.

Read more: Go on a treasure hunt in Russia