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Ben's Treasure Tales

Ben Castricone has a PhD in Anthropology / Archaeology with 20 years of Archeology research and field experience. During these 20 years he has traveled the world extensively in this endeavor. Ben has been Metal Detecting for five years and is a member of the THSSCV Treasure Hunter Society of Santa Clara Valley metal detecting club in California.



Mendocino County 1902 The small town of Mendocino located North of San Francisco, CA on State Highway 1 was named for Cape Mendocino. Cape Mendocino is a virtual graveyard of hundreds of ships that have gone down by striking rocks and reefs in the area. The town was originally founded by a group of individuals who would salvage silk and tea from the shipwrecks.

One of the ships was the SS Mariposa that smashed onto the Cape rocks in October 1902. She went to the bottom along with most of the Alaska prospectors and in the ship's safe was $65,000 in Gold Bullion.

The captain managed to get the ships safe ashore and buried it within site of the present day California State Highway 1. The captain then proceeded to San Francisco for the board of inquiry, never to return. Many have search the area, but to this day neither the safe nor its contents have been found.






Alabama Flat, El Dorado County, California was once a busy mining camp located near Placerville. Today, this community has completely disappeared. During the year of 1853, John Chapman, who was a successful miner buried $40,000 in gold and silver coins near his cabin; John's cabin was located just outside the Alabama Flat mining camp. One morning John was having breakfast at the Alabama Flat House where he was shot and killed by an unknown assailant, most likely due to some type of grudge. Immediately after his funeral the entire camp of miners looked for his buried wealth, but to this day the treasure has never been found. The value of the treasure today would be near $500,000. To locate Alabama Flat one will need to do the necessary research,,

Research is the key, I can personally say I looked 3 years for a cache before I found it, I also spend $5,000 for a new detector



El Dorado County, California The little mining town of Lotus is located on California State Route 49 between Placerville and Auburn. This town was once know as Unionville and it lies in the heart of the California Mother Load Country. A miner by the name of Lawrence Cooper worked the Placers during the height of the Gold Rush and took Gold out of numerous pockets. He confided in a friend that he bury $80,000 dollars of Gold coins since there were no banks around and he did not trust Wells Fargo(smart man) to transfer the Gold coins safety to San Francisco. He buried his Gold coins near his cabin but within a month he contacted the flu and died.

A short search was started but soon abandoned due to bad weather. His cache has not been recovered to this day.