There might be a new Gold Rush in… Florence, Alabama? A Georgia man claims that there’s gold buried under the streets of the North Alabama town, and if the local powers that be will let him dig it up, he’ll split the booty:
Roger McWhorter told the City Council on Tuesday during its work session that he has invented an electronic device that uses a radio signal to detect buried treasure. He said he was first attracted to Florence and the surrounding area because he is interested in the legend of Hernando DeSoto's lost treasure, reportedly left somewhere in the region during the Spanish explorer's 16th century trek through the South.
Since McFarland Park is owned by the federal Tennessee Valley Authority, McWhorter, of Hiawassee, Ga., proposes to dig beneath an unnamed city street to retrieve what he believes to be an old treasure, and split what he finds with the city.
City Council members were decidedly noncommittal about the offer.
McWhorter described his device as a harmonic molecular resonance transducer, which deionizes the ground around buried treasure and allows him to determine whether a treasure is still buried. He said the device can scan a five-mile region.
“I got a terrific signal back near McFarland Park,” he said.
Council President James Barnhart said he would ask the city attorney about the request, but in the meantime, he is concerned about public property.
“A representative of the media is here tonight. What I'm worried about is tomorrow,” he said. “People could start coming to McFarland with shovels and start digging it up. I know what happened during the gold rush.”
Awesome! Harmonic molecular resonance transducers must be the absolute latest in treasure huntin’ technology, because a Google search of the phrase (in quotes) turns up the linked news story (and soon, this blog post) as the only references. How many machines in the world can deionize the ground around buried treasure?
Geraldo Rivera sure coulda used one of those contraptions when he was digging around Al Capone’s Vault.
Note that McWhorter doesn’t seem to be claiming that there is a gold deposit in the area. He’s claiming that Hernando DeSoto buried a cache of treasure in the region just before his death in 1542. Though its most likely that upon his death, his men would have promptly returned to dig up the dead man’s gold, legends in the area persist that some goodies were left behind.
Might as well fire up that harmonic molecular resonance transducer and start pokin’ around, because for the last 450 years or so, nothing else has turned up so much as a gold tooth.
The fact that according to historians and maps of DeSoto’s expedition, the closest he came to Florence was somewhere south of… Tuscaloosa just gets in the way of a good story.
Gimme some feedback in the comments.