Coping: Holiday Research Projects Galore!

Environment/ Woo-Woo:  I don’t get much time off, despite being nominally retired.  Keeping up on markets, news, and doing original research into topics that really fascinate me leave little time for sleep, and none (to speak of) for outright lazing-about.  Thought you might be interested in where certain projects are…and perhaps they will stir further adventures in your own Life…

The Lost River, II

We recently offered a marvelous article to our subscribers about a “lost river” that runs from near the Canadian border down to the Sea of Cortez.  It was not written by me, but by that most thoughtful researchers. Robert Nelson, who runs the fantastic collection of all thing esoteric at This is a reputed river that runs both above and below ground and its legend comes replete with wild tales of rich gold ore and even a Nazi submarine…

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While it would be tempting to write off the story as pure hokum, the research that Robert came up with – mostly from turn of the last century newspapers – lays out a compelling case.

With a bit of time, and using online search tools, like Google Earth to name the 800-pound gorilla of the modern treasure hunter and adventurers, it may be possible to do from space what hasn’t been done well previously on foot.

While Elaine and I are still planning a trip up to see Robert in Nevada in 2018 (he knows where the opening to this underground marvel likely is), we are keeping our antennae up for hints of the Lost River in the contemporary flow of news.

You can be forgiven is you missed it, but there was an article in the New York Times, a few days ago, titled “The Amargosa River Defies the Desert.”

To be sure, the NY Times story is largely a conservation and climate change piece, which mostly missed the boat regarding the elusive “Lost River of Gold.”

The number of endangered and extinct species here speaks to the precariousness of life in the Mojave. The Tecopa pupfish is extinct because a local hot springs facility drained its habitat. The marsh of the endangered Amargosa vole — which numbers a few hundred — was accidentally drained by a road crew last year. The dried-out marsh caught fire, destroying 10 to 20 percent of the vole habitat.

It was a near-miss.  The NY Times story gives a sense of the land…and if you want to cry your eyes out over the possible loss of the pupfish, have at it.

But the story missed the larger – more interesting tale – of the Lost River that Robert calls the Alph.  It’s a dandy Peoplenomics report and since Nelson’s search is a great starting point, we may be glued to Google Earth for a day, or three, watching no so much the terrain, but looking at coloration gradients and the “elevation window” in the lower right of our screen.

Another Treasure Quest

I’m sure that similar thoughts have crossed the minds of half the people in Phoenix, too, when it comes to the Lost Dutchman Mine stroies from up in the Superstition Mountains.

We recently “bulked up” our readings in the area since I’ve been after Elaine to work more on her writing.  She’s quite good at it. tending toward the late Jackie Collins in style, people, and settings.  I tossed out a title (“The Dutchman’s Mistress“) which I thought would fit her latter-day knowledge of the Valley and the tromping around through The Supes she’s done with her brother.  The Supes is what the mountains are called, east of Apache Junction by Phoenix locals.

During the research, it occurred to me there are probably some good treasures to be found here in Texas.  As a semi-local example: Fletcher’s Treasure is yet to be found.

Flip over here and read “THE LEGEND OF JOHN FLETCHER’S BURIED TREASURE By W. T. Block.”

What I’m working on (as a distraction or hobby) is t a “simplified treasure-seeking method.

Seems to me people aren’t very smart about exploiting gaps in cultural knowledge created by new technology.  I know, “Huh?  Translate, please?

Sure:  Modern-day prospecting tools like the new deep-seeking metal detector I’ve ordered (which may be another holiday distrction) were not around until the 1970’s in any number.  Even more usefully, how old is Google Earth?  [10 trivia points if you knew June 11, 2001 without looking!]

Knowing this, you can see where the “technology gap” is:  All you need to do is find some smaller, rural newspapers with an old-time news morgue (or ‘the stacks’ of old books in public libraries) try around 910.453.

Side show:  The book call numbers depend whether you’re following the Melvil Decimal System (MDS) or the Dewey Decimal System(DDC).  I might find “treasure” in the Dewey 976’s.

If you weren’t aware, even though it came out more than 100-years back, there’s a copyright issue involved in the DDC.  It’s presently claimed as “owned” by the Online Computer Library Center, Inc.  Although offers this view of their alternative Melvil Decimal System (MDS) in what’s become a contested area of IP (intellectural property):

“Why MDS? Although he invented his system in 1876, and has been dead for 79 years, Dewey lives on. The library conglomerate OCLC continues to produce new editions, which are copyrighted. And the terms “Dewey,” “Dewey Decimal,” “DDC” and so forth are registered trademarks of OCLC. In the past OCLC has been touchy about Dewey. They once sued the Library Hotel for putting books in rooms according to the rooms’ Dewey number. So we aren’t taking any chances.

Although OCLC updates the Dewey Decimal System, they cannot own the numbers themselves, which are assigned by librarians around the world. Nor can they own the system as it existed in 1922—for that edition is out of copyright.”  [Emphasis added by…uh….]

So we’ve made a note to only reference the USDS (*urbansurvival decimal system) to keep lawyering to a minimum around here.  (If we ever find Big Treasure and we have a cast of cutthroat lawyers to field, we’ll get more abusive in our numbering of things.)

Back to point: The “gulf” that dyed-in-the-wool treasure-seekers should be exploiting would be Sources on the one hand, preferrably those prior to 1955, or so.  And then conduct the research with modern-day tools like Google Earth, on the other.  Aided by your quest into the dusty pages of old-time rural newspapers.

More in tomorrow’s column – because there’s so damn much research to do and there’s so little time available…

Still out there is that damn “quest for the space-time ripping sSund…” [Voice of God] to be dealt with and the fallout from that research – ultra-emotional music.  But, more on that when next we bean…

Oh, be sure to get a copy of Robert Nelson’s Civilization Kit CD here, too…we “old men of the web” do interesting things when no one’s looking.  Kind of like elves…

Write when you get rich,

14 thoughts on “Coping: Holiday Research Projects Galore!”

  1. Crypto currency is the lead in to cashless society. Greed is driving massive hordes of people into this, and it will be licensed, taxed, hijacked and adopted as a global cashless mechanism. It will be totally corrupted by quantum or other supercomputers (Langley et al) being able to decode the system at will by various governments.

    Looking at the past and the present, this seems to make the most sense to me as to why ALL governments are NOT reacting to crypto’s as the threat they actually are. Many are, in fact, announcing plans to launch their own – so it isn’t exactly a competition. To me, using greed in a time of ZIRP/NIRP and the bubble that crypto is makes for a very convenient way to herd everyone into digital transactions and thus eliminate cash.

  2. As a very low-level employee in a couple of local library systems in the 1980’s and earlier (and an avid library user in general), you end up with favorite ‘numbers’ – 976 – I believe it refers to ‘America’ (memory is rusty). I never did get used to the other systems – common say, at universities.

    Ways to regulate knowledge can, and are arbitrary – look at how Carl Linnaeus (and natural scientists ever since) have ordered the natural world. Compare that with the modern work on ‘genetics’ showing how different species developed – the influence of Charles Darwin eventually . . .

    The more that is learned about a subject, the greater the chance that new information will change one’s opinion about that subject. Opening eyes (and minds) is good!

  3. Isn’t Bitcoin & other crypto’s a made up currency, not sponsored by any government or backed by any assets or taxing authority. How can tulips replace the global currencies & drive us to a cashless, electron society that depends on electricity to exist. How may years ago did they say they were going to eliminate the penny. Last I checked, they are still being produced & used as cash. I am still in the market for a 1909 S VDB.

  4. Every adventurous dreamer has imagined themselves retrieving a lost treasure. Aside from those George covered, I’m tremendously fascinated by the ongoing ‘Curse of Oak Island’ docu-drama on the History Channel, in which N. Michigan’s Rick and Marty Lagina are in their 5th season of tracking clues and reinvigorating the search of the infamous ‘Money Pit.’ They’ve dreamed of searching for the lost treasure (buried by Pirates? Templars? Masons?) since reading about the Money Pit in Reader’s Digest as little kids. Another long-rumored N. American lost treasure is Montezuma’s, which was stolen by Cortez (and possibly remains still hidden). Its location is said to be anywhere from Mexico to S. Utah. More recently, Confederate ranger Colonel John Singleton Mosby is said to have buried a significant amount of gold and silver ‘somewhere’ in Fairfax County, VA between two pine trees which were ‘marked with a knife.’ And finally, the treasure of Blackbeard the Pirate, aka Edward Teach, has never been located. If still intact, it could be buried anywhere along the E. Atlantic coast of N. America.

  5. Speaking of lost gold, my grandmother told me about a train robbery when she was a girl in the 1880’s. It happened in southeastern Ohio on the old Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad, later B&O. It was supposedly buried in Brewer’s Cut, near the Moonville Tunnel. You can argue about crypto-currency, bitcoin and the rest. I’d put more faith in the real thing when the s**t hits the fan.

  6. Oh man, I love the crypto-archaeology of our continent.
    The combo of last century’s news and today’s goog-earth should help us reveal some goodies.
    Favorite topic: ‘Giants’ with double rows of teeth, copper armor, found all over our fair land.

    Merry Christmas George and Elaine, and all fellow travelers.

  7. The FUTURE of the world will change on a dime.

    May all beings be lovingly fulfilled.

    And May the force be with you.

    How to tell if your eating acid food liquify it put a little baking soda in it and if it Foams up it was acid.

    Do the same with your animals if you have dogs and cats that have tumors and cancer make sure they’re on alkaline diet it works the same with animals as it does with humans

    • Sugar is a cancer attractor and if you mix sugar with water and add baking soda to it . it doesn’t foam but what sugar does is attract cancer so that’s probably a whole long list of other tests you can take or do to find out what it is this giving you tumors and cancer

  8. “because there’s so damn much research to do and there’s so little time available…”

    Do I consider myself to be blessed, because my only search is concerned with continuing to to be walking upright w/o pain for the little time available. While I read your enjoyable prose I sometimes feel like being in a dream of s 200-year old man.

    P.S. Please not one more book. ;-)

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