HARRISBURG—The most uncomfortable question to ask Dennis Parada is a Pennsylvania man who has fought the FBI for years over a suspected pile of Civil War gold that the agency stole from under his nose. I say that—and the most obvious one.
what if he is wrong? What if a psychic made it? What if the geoscan was wrong? What if the FBI hadn’t actually stolen nine tons of precious metals in the middle of the night? What if all the legends were just stories? What if money didn’t exist at all?
Mr. Parada invested countless hours and meager fortunes just to find the alleged treasure in rural Elk County, then went to court to bring it back in a legal battle against the federal government. spent more time and money (over $20,000) to play out. I scoff at suggestions that the simplest explanation is correct here.
“That thought never crossed my mind,” he claimed.
There are reasons for this other than pride and confirmation bias.
This is a primer on the case, based on hours of interviews with Parada and his son Kem. This comprehensive work at Atlantic.
In 1974, when 22-year-old Palada was working at a furniture store in Phillipsburg, a psychic named Michael Murray was brought into the company as a publicity stunt. Articles in this magazine About the lost gold nuggets of the Civil War buried in Pennsylvania.
The psychic picked up the map, intuited the location, and dropped the pen on the Denz Run. Dents Run is a very sparse area of the Bennett Valley located one hour north of Elk County. manipulated herd Largest wildlife in the state.
Parada checked out the place, but was eventually relentless, giving up searching for decades until 2004 when his tenant suggested he return. Parada agreed to surprise his son Kem. Kemu remembers falling asleep to the story of the legendary bounty hunter when he was a child.
“I’m like, ‘You son of a gun, I’ve been trying to get you to do this my whole life,'” Kem told PA Local by phone this week.
The three head into the forest and find a cave that Parada has never seen before. Everything changed and the next few years were exhausting and muddy.
Palada says they’ve found promising clues underground – potential artifacts and signs of long life, and traces of pig iron, a popular material for Civil War weapons, leaching out of the rock.
Parada, who said he was in contact with state officials throughout the work done on state land, was warned about the structural integrity of the cave and prompted to continue the search from the surface.
he did. He stuck the drill bit straight into the ground, pulled it out, and found it to be soft gold wedged to the tip.
Parada explained that he showed the find to representatives of the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, but they questioned its veracity.
“And that’s when we had the big fight,” he added.
A web post written by Parada in 2017 about the raid caught the attention of former Wall Street Journal reporter Warren Gettler, who set up a meeting with the FBI. finder fee.
Rather than simply asking the landowner, the state of Pennsylvania, for permission to drill, the FBI agreed to visit the site and applied for a warrant.
Their reasoning added one of the strangest wrinkles to this very strange story.
The agency said Pennsylvania was afraid to claim gold for itself. “corruption” behavior According to the warrant application, the testimony of an unnamed legislative official who offered the Palada family a mining permit in exchange for a portion of the proceeds in 2013.
The FBI also said the site’s hidden trail cameras caught a drilling machine working there in 2015, believing the station to be run by the DCNR. per inquirerDCNR has not yet commented.
(For the record, other details on the warrant application have since been proven wrong.)
With the FBI on board and a warrant secured, they headed for Denz Run. A geoscan conducted a few months ago had superficially identified an underground pocket of metal with a density matching that of gold. In total, one FBI agent estimated he weighed over nine tons, Parada recalled.
It all looked very promising.
When excavations for the station finally began in March 2018, Parada says he was on the sidelines. After two days of digging, federal agents presented him with an empty pit and a disgusting dismissal.
He said the words may not fully capture the depth of his convictions, but the FBI, after wrapping up its first day of searching, returned in the middle of the night to covertly mine for gold and destroy a fleet of armored trucks. . . Then, on the second day, they declared the bargain bankrupt.
Neighbor Cheryl Elder remembers a lot of noise and lots of light on the hillside property that night. Her husband, who was away at work, called The Atlantic and said she was “lit up like the 4th of July.”
Some aspects of Parada’s theory are more fantastical. He said locals spotted a caravan of armored trucks leaving the area and took pictures, but all the digital files quickly disappeared from their phones. pointed out that some geoscans hit the gold, but those done after the excavation did not.
Mr. and Mrs. Parada sued the FBI for access to relevant records, and piecemeal received documents, photographs, and videos that Parada claimed indirectly corroborated his hunch. (Her Oct. 28 deadline for a court order for the FBI to release further material is looming.)
While not conclusive in and of itself, Mr. Parada says the little things add up. Claimed to track camera images. refuted the claimParada also can’t figure out how the agents didn’t pull any metal (pig iron, gold, or whatever) out of the ground. Furthermore, he said the photos the agency submitted to the court were suspiciously unremarkable.
The FBI claims that nothing was found at the scene and that this is merely speculation and magical thinking.
“No work was done on the site after office hours. The only nighttime activity was by FBI police officers who secured the site 24 hours a day and conducted ATV patrols during excavations. was,” the agency said in an email.
Asked to match geoscans that found gold with excavations that found nothing, the FBI added: The FBI took no further action to reconcile the results of the geophysical investigation with the absence of gold and other metals. ”
“We also found no evidence to suggest it was stolen by a third party,” the agency said.
The simplest way to read things is that both Parada and the FBI were caught up in a fantastical and wacky story and were at fault. Denise Parada says no.
Others, without evidence, say the father-son duo got embroiled in a jurisdictional dispute between state and federal agents, or the FBI didn’t want to give them the cut, or perhaps a combination of the two. I claim.
“I need an answer,” Parada said on the phone, raising his tone. “It wasn’t about the money or the finder’s fee. I set out to prove the psychic was insane. But what do you know? Man he was 100% And it was within a few feet.”
Palada now targets a new excavation site based on Marie’s hunch. There are also cryptic stories about TV and film deals surrounding the Dents Run debacle.
Kem, on the other hand, struggles more with the mental gymnastics of the entire incident.
“I didn’t understand why government agencies would lie to us. For a while after the excavation, I wondered if the science was wrong if there was nothing there. I say something was there. Something must have been there.”
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https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2022/10/pa-fbi-civil-war-gold-dents-run/ How Psychics Started Pennsylvania’s Weirdest Treasure Hunt Spotlight PA