The FBI is accused of unearthing and hiding hundreds of millions of dollars in Civil War gold after witnesses reported signs of a nighttime dig.
Eric McCarthy, 45, and Don Reichel, 73, said they heard crashing and saw heavily loaded trucks in the remote woods of Elk County, Pennsylvania, in the early morning.
McCarthy, an elk guide, and his client Reichel woke up before dawn that day to search for antlers and spotted the FBI dig a hill away.
McCarthy saw a parked excavator, a small device moving up and down the hill, a brown-black gash in the earth and people huddled under a canopy around 5 a.m. on March 14, 2018.
The FBI timeline shows that the search team did not arrive at the dig site until 8 a.m. that morning, hours after the alleged signs of excavation.
“I can hear some machines or something, ringing and banging and roaring and all that stuff,” Reichel told the Associated press.
Eric McCarthy (pictured), 45, and Don Reichel, 73, said they heard crashing and saw heavily loaded trucks in the remote woods of Elk County, Pennsylvania, in the early morning
Treasure hunter Dennis Parada, left, and elk guide Eric McCarthy are shown at a hunting camp in Penfield, August 23, 2023
The FBI earlier this year revealed a trove of data about its search for a $500 million stash of gold that the U.S. government lost in 1863.
Fortune hunters Dennis and Kem Parada sued the FBI last year, alleging they failed to provide records of the dig and disputed agents’ claims that the dig was done empty-handed.
Earlier this year, the FBI revealed a trove of data about its search for a $500 million stash of gold that the U.S. government lost in 1863.
The documents released during the legal battle only add to the mystery of what the agency unearthed five years ago in Dents Run, Pennsylvania.
“The FBI may have found the gold – or it may not,” a judge noted in a ruling last week.
McCarthy felt that Parada, who had searched for the gold for years before approaching the FBI with his findings, was treated unfairly.
“I just felt like I had to say what I saw, you know?” McCarthy explained. ‘I have no ties with anyone here. I just felt like they were being wronged.”
He said a trio of heavily loaded armored trucks rumbled past him and Reichel during their lunch break — with one truck trailing behind.
“Eric and I both commented that one needs to be loaded.” Reichel said.
“It was packed to the rafters,” McCarthy said, adding that he has driven overloaded dump trucks and “I know what it looks like.”
The agents strongly deny that the find was dug after hours and say FBI police merely conducted nighttime ATV patrols to secure the site.
‘No gold or other evidence was found or collected. The FBI continues to unequivocally reject any claims or speculation to the contrary,” spokesperson Carrie Adamowski said.
The Paradas believe the FBI continued their digs overnight before making off with the loot, offering a hefty reward to the finders.
Dennis Parada’s laptop shows an FBI photo of the 2018 Civil War gold dig site
The Paradas sued the FBI last year for failing to provide records of the dig and disputed agents’ claim that the dig was done empty-handed.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., had forced the release of documents related to the excavation under a Freedom of Information Act request.
But the Paradas now allege that the FBI withheld or “manipulated” vital information.
In particular, the plaintiffs are demanding the release of operational data that they say will reveal whether the agency planned a nighttime dig – crucial to their claim that this is when officers made off with the horde.
The detectorists also say that the surgical photos released by the FBI do not contain time stamps, even though the camera used takes them automatically.
Warren Getler, co-author of “Rebel Gold” and former Wall Street Journal reporter who began working with the Paradas in 2017, told DailyMail.com that the “absence of timestamps is directly related to the issue of a deliberate concealment of nighttime activities. ‘.
Dennis Parada, 70, was first alerted to the possible presence of Civil War gold in the area when he read an article in Treasure magazine in 1974.
McCarthy said a trio of heavily loaded armored trucks rumbled past him and Reichel during their lunch break – with one truck on the back, appearing to be weighed down
The FBIT strongly denies that any after-hours digging took place and says police only conducted nighttime ATV patrols to secure the site.
The story revealed that a Union caravan carrying gold bars in false bottoms bound for the United States Mint in Philadelphia was ambushed in Elk County.
In 2004, Parada found a cave in Dents Run after an outwash exposed an opening in the side of a mountain.
He says he has visited the cave more than 400 times since then and has found a bullet casing, whiskey bottle and bones dating back to the 1800s nearby.
Gelter then arranged a meeting with the FBI after radar technology suggested gold was buried there.
The agency commissioned an independent company to conduct its own tests, which also showed that a large amount of the precious metal could be found.