Treasure hunters who say they discovered fabled Civil War-era gold in Pennsylvania sue Justice Department for data on FBI’s dig

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Treasure hunters who consider they discovered an enormous cache of fabled Civil War-era gold in Pennsylvania at the moment are on the prowl for one thing as elusive because the buried booty itself: authorities data of the FBI’s excavation. According to native lore, the gold was misplaced or stolen through the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg

Finders Keepers filed a federal lawsuit towards the Justice Department over its failure to provide paperwork on the FBI’s seek for the legendary gold, which came about almost 4 years in the past at a distant woodland web site in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The FBI has since dragged its toes on the treasure hunters’ Freedom of Information Act request for data, their lawyer mentioned Wednesday.

Civil War Gold FBI Dig
In this Sept. 20, 2018 photograph, Dennis Parada, proper, and his son Kem Parada stand on the web site of the FBI’s dig for Civil War-era gold in Dents Run, Pennsylvania.

Michael Rubinkam / AP


“There’s been a pattern of behavior by the FBI that’s been very troubling,” mentioned Anne Weismann, who represents Finders Keepers. She questioned whether or not the company is “acting in good faith.”

A message was despatched to the Justice Department looking for touch upon the swimsuit, which asks a decide to order the FBI to right away flip over the data.

Finders Keepers’ homeowners, the father-son duo of Dennis and Kem Parada, had spent years on the lookout for what, based on legend, was an 1863 cargo of Union gold that was misplaced or stolen whereas on its method to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The duo targeted on a spot the place they are saying their devices detected a big metallic mass.

After assembly with the treasure hunters in early 2018, the FBI introduced in a contractor with extra refined devices. The contractor detected an underground mass  that weighed as much as 9 tons and had the density of gold, based on an FBI affidavit unsealed final 12 months on the request of reports organizations, together with The Associated Press.

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The FBI says it got here up empty on the rural Pennsylvania web site the place Civil War gold is rumored to be buried. 

WTAJ-TV


The Paradas accompanied the FBI to the location in Dent’s Run, about 135 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, however say they had been confined to their automotive whereas the FBI excavated.

The FBI has lengthy insisted the March 2018 dig got here up empty, however the company has constantly stymied the Paradas’ efforts to acquire data.

The FBI initially claimed it had no information in regards to the investigation. Then, after the Justice Department ordered a extra thorough evaluate, the FBI mentioned its data had been exempt from public disclosure. Finally, within the wake of the treasure hunters’ attraction, the FBI mentioned it had positioned 2,400 pages of data and 17 video information that it may doubtlessly flip over – however that it could take years to take action.

Finders Keepers requested the Justice Department for expedited processing, which will be granted in instances the place there’s widespread media curiosity involving questions in regards to the authorities’s integrity. The Justice Department denied the request – and, as of final month, had but to assign the FOIA request to a staffer for processing, based on the lawsuit.

“From the outset, it seems as if the FBI is doing everything it can to avoid answering the question of whether they actually found gold,” Weismann mentioned.

CBS News affiliate WTAJ-TV reported members of the Elk County Historical Society say they consider the gold is simply an outdated wives’ story. A member of the society mentioned there isn’t a historic proof that gold is buried within the space. 

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