The Gold Nugget

Vol. 6, No.10
Gold Prospectors of the Rockies
October 2001

Join Us on the Third Wednesday!

Lloyd G. Clements Community Center
1580 Yarrow St., Lakewood, Colorado
(One block west of Wadsworth, one block north of Colfax)

7:00 PM (Board Meeting at 6:00 PM)
Information: (303) 932-1076   <>

President's Article
by Rick Miska

      First of all, I wanted to apologize for being a little out of it at the last meeting. About two hours before that meeting, they layed off 25 percent of the company I work for. Also, I was still a little freaked out by the events in New York. I simply was not all there.
      I wanted to thank fellow club member and friend Jim Davis for starting our last meeting with the pledge of allegiance. Its sad that it takes events like those of last month to bring everybody together to a common cause. We all sometimes take for granted the freedoms that we have. What we see as a right, others see as a luxary. Everything that we believe in can simply be a target for somebody else. We all need to make a point of remembering and supporting those that defend and support our nation, and our way of life, ALWAYS.
      Elections for the club are coming up fast. If you are interested in any of the elected positions of the club, please feel free to ask me or Jim or any board member for any information you may need. Any payed up member of the club is welcome to run for any governing position. Watch he next newsletter for a list of all available postions. Thank you Margie for handling the raffle stuff for us last month in Jills absence.
      I saw an advertisement the other day that said the GPAA gold show is coming again next March. I hope its true. If anybody can confirm or deny that, please let me know.
      I am still working on a list of members email addresses. I want to put a page on the web with them so that other members can find them. I will only put names on the list from those that want to be on it. So, if you want to be on that list, send me an email saying so, and I will add you to it. Next months newsletter will have the website url with that list of names.
      Hope to see you all at the next meeting!

Joe's Alaska Trip
by Joe
My caribou hunt in Alaska is not necessarily a gold panning story but it is indirectly. I thought I would share it with everyone.
      I went on a trophy float trip for caribou in Alaska. We floated 42 miles of Stuyahok River and a pick up point on a gravel bar where the Mulchatna comes in. There were three of us. One bow hunter, and two gun hunters. I was one of the gun hunters. I didn't get to shoot a caribou but the other gun hunter did. He got two. Needless to say, we split the cost and I did come home with some meat.
      When we were ready to be picked up, the bush planes had just gotten back to a regular schedule after the tragedy back cast. They had been grounded for a couple of days, as you all know. We ended up having to stay at the Ramada in Anchorage two extra days because of the commercial airlines backlog, so we thought, "What the heck, let's butcher our meat in the hotel room.".
      We decided to do this instead of go fishing since the hotel had freezers for our use.
      We used tarps on the beds and a dish drain as a cutting board and packaged all of our meat. We packed it in boxes and put the boxes in the freezers Then we put the bones and whatever else we didn't use into a duffel bag and threw it in the dumpster. What a job that was! But it was done, we were happy and we could just rest when we got home.
      Back to the gold panning. I did bring a plate that I could use as a gold pan so I decided to check the river just for the heck of it and there wasn't a speck to be found. It was worth checking out though. I'm always looking for the chance to find that gold! Once a gold dredger always a gold dredger no matter where you are.
      Anyway, it was a good experience and good hunt and a beautiful area. It's worth another trip there!

Find of the Month / Year
by Doug Taylor

      We received four entries in two catagories for the September Find of the Month/Year Program, three of the entries were for Most Raw Gold and was in Unique Finds.
      Joe Sloss, Rich Duplessis and Jeff Mosteller all brought in placer gold. Rich had the largest quantity with a 11.2 gram nugget. This was a real beauty of a find and Rich says he found it at the end of his shovel somewhere below Blackhawk, mmmm I wonder where that could possible be??
      Joe brought in a large quanity of sponge gold he recovered from lower Clear Creek at 70th and Washington with a 4-inch dredge. If Rich had not found that big nugget Joe would have taken the win for the 7th month in a row! Jeff Mosteller brought in some gold he recovered from where the tourist used to pan for gold at the Old Timer along highway 119. Jeff used a Highbanker to recover his gold.
      Gale Herbertson entered four suspected meteorite's in unique finds for a win, Gale located his treasure at Bear Valley.
      Thanks to all the members for bringing in and sharing their finds with us.

World War II Treasure - Part Two
by Ken Oyler

      Most of the treasure never made it to Japan because of the American victory at the battle of Midway had a telling effect on Hirohito who became reluctant to risk the transportation of such valuable cargo through the heavily patrolled waters. Instead he diverted the vast majority to the Philippines in cargo ships disguised as Hospital ships. They were painted white and displayed the Red Cross. Somehow Hirohito foresaw his eventual defeat. He strongly believed that Japan would be able to keep the Philippines as sort of a concession for peace. He intended to use this vast hidden wealth to rebuild their empire. That is why the enormous shipments of war treasure was relocated to the Philippines. Hirohito saw this as Japan's only hope of ethnic survival.

      Gold Fever in the Philippines
      Any visitor to the Philippines who asks will readily learn that the nation is filled with rumors of buried World War II loot. It is commonly called Yamashita's Gold or The Tiger's Gold. Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita, commander of Japan's war effort in the Philippines, had nothing to do with the gold. He was fondly (or not so) called the "Tiger of Malaya". His military prowess was well known and this aided in the spoilage on the mainland. He was not well favored by royalty because of his common upbringing. The Emperor, in reality was trying to think of a way to get rid of Yamashita.


      Backtracking to the summer of 1944, it was apparent to Japan that an Allied invasion of the Philippines was probably going to happen. There was a great fleet of American ships assembled in New Guinea. In order to prepare for the invasion, General Kuroda Shigenori was relieved of his command in the Philippines. He was replaced by General Yamashita (pronounced Ya-MASH-ta ).
Neither the Emperor or Tojo liked the General so they initially sent him to the supposedly impregnable British stronghold in Singapore. Because he didn't like Yamashita and because the General was not popular among his officers and men Tojo was looking to get rid of him. Yamashita resented the fanatics that gathered around Tojo. Tojo figured, if that didn't destroy him, he planned to have him assassinated upon his return. Well Yamashita's lightning campaign and humiliation of the British made him a national hero. Instead of having him murdered, Tojo put him on ice by sending him to Manchuria to train troops. Then by ordering him to the Philippines, it was thought that it would be nothing other than a delaying action and ultimately a losing battle. By losing the battle, the general would lose face, and ultimately force himself to commit suicide (Hara Kiri).
      Yamashita got to the Philippines in October of 1944. By this time most of the Treasure had already been buried. It was too late for him to do any good even though he had proved to be a brilliant commander. The Allied armada was on the way to Leyte with 50,000 troops. MacArthur was taking no chances this time. After being unceremoniously booted out of the Philippines at the start of the war, MacArthur brought 250,000 battle hardened troops with him this time to fight what turned out to be an inexperienced garrison of 20,000 Japanese troops that had never seen any combat. The battle Leyte turned out to be the biggest sea battle in history to that point and resulted in humiliating Japanese navel losses. It was impossible to defend Manila at this time so Yamashita declared it an open city to spare it from pointless destruction. He then headed to the mountains in the north, leaving only 3750 security troops to maintain order.
      Without consulting Yamashita, Vice Admiral Okochi Denshichi gave orders to destroy all port facilities and navel storehouses. Admiral Iwabuchi Sanji who was commander of the naval forces around Manila had his own sinister reasons for taking matters into his own hands. He had heard of the staggering amounts of treasure being sunk and buried in and around the area and he wanted a piece of the action. In Asia, gold smuggling and narcotics have been going on for centuries. During the Pacific War, although thousands were starving, foods, medicines, and most luxury items could be purchased readily on the black market, if you could pay in gold. Trade flourished in precious metals throughout the war, run by mostly Chinese syndicates under Japanese control.
      NOTE: A virtually unknown reason that most of the treasure didn't make it back to the homeland (other than the presence of Allied forces heavily patrolling the seas) was due to the presence of the Japanese criminal under-world. Although small portions of treasure was probably buried in each of the conquered countries by field commanders who seized it, or by rogue agents, the great bulk of it appears to have come under the control of senior Imperial Navy officers. Keeping it a secret was easy. The Navy, Air force and Army were full of so called agents of secret societies, ready made for such conspiracies. The most powerful were the ultra right Black Dragon Society, the Cherry Blossom Society, and their underworld equivalent, the Yakuza.
      Remember, Yamashita's Gold was not merely military booty; it had been accumulating for over 4000 years in almost all of Asia and the Far East. It was, however the loot that had been collect for more than a decade by the "Golden Lily" and its satellite factions. As the war was nearing a climax, hiding these huge treasures became more urgent. Truck convoys headed toward the mountains, near the Benguet mines in Baguio, where it was buried in deep pits. Other quantities were sunk under coral reefs that had been blasted open then refilled with coral and concrete. Again, grisly stories about Allied prisoners, mostly Brits, Australians, Americans, and Filipinos being forced to dig these pits and tunnels, only to be killed and/or buried alive with the treasure. In many cases even Japanese soldiers and officers that were a part of the burials were killed so there would be no witnesses. Along with the treasure were many kinds of booby traps consisting of poisons, explosives, live bombs rigged with instant and timed detonators, falling rock, mud, & and water traps. These traps had been inscribed on secret maps in an ancient and esoteric (only understood by a few) Japanese script.
      Most people then (and many even now) thought all this was just legend, but certain elements of the legend were bizarre enough to be persuasive once the facts came to light. The deliberate sinking of various ships loaded with treasure as an example. Late in 1944 the Nachi, loaded with 100 metric tons of bullion was deliberately sunk in a pre-arranged spot in Manila bay by a Japanese submarine. Nearly 1000 Japanese sailors went down and those who came
      As stories came out of Manila many years after the war, the sinking of the Nachi, as well as scores of other sunken sites and burials, were witnessed by Japanese and Filipinos who survived to tell the gruesome tales. Some of these witnesses are still alive today. There are tales of other dual nationals who were houseboys and interpreters for the Japanese, being witnesses also. They were spared because they were especially valuable as interpreters.
      When MacArthur finally invaded Luzon in January 1945, at Lingayen Gulf north of Manila, he insisted on heading for Manila knowing it had been declared open but not knowing that General Willoughby had grossly under-estimated the strength of the Japanese. He thought it would be a cake walk and he could stroll triumphantly through Manila like General de Gaulle did in Paris. He was looking for the glory. It didn't come. Instead it created the Battle of Manila. The Japanese decided to fight to the death because of their abhorrence to surrender. Against Yamashita's specific orders from Baguio, that they leave the city intact, they panicked and turned Manila into a battlefield. Their atrocities against the Filipinos rank as one of the great crimes of the any war.
      Yamashita held out in Baguio the as long as he could. Then he led 65,000 troops into the mountains. Just before Yamashita's staff left Baguio, the trusted house boys said they walked into the headquarters as they often did and stole the master treasure maps. Being young, they had no idea of trying to get the treasure themselves but figured that they might be valuable one day. What an understatement!
      Since the war, it has all come to be known (inaccurately) as Yamashita's Gold. Although he seemed to have had no direct knowledge of the huge treasure hoards, Yamashita was hardly innocent. He had been indirectly extorting large sums from the populations in Malaya, thus his handle, The Tiger of Malaya. He coerced organizations into raising millions of Malaya dollars as "gifts" to him to atone for supporting China's anti-Japanese efforts in the
      Yamashita fought gallantly without any reinforcements or supplies. He was neither captured nor defeated. On August 15, 1945, after Japan surrendered, Yamashita surrendered with his remaining troops. Enter; Ferdinand Marcos!!

(To be continued)

Membership Info

      The members list used for this mailing is as of 16 August, 2001. 16 members are more than one month behind on their dues and have been dropped from the mailing list this month. 12 members are one month behind in dues and were advised that this would be their last newsletter. This procedure was decided on by the board to encourage prompt payment of dues.
      Member Kim Nichols has volunteered to help with panning demos for kids, scouts, whatever. Contact him should you need his assistance.

Gold Nugget Drawing Winners
Wednesday, September 19, 2001
1.6 gram nugget - Margie Martinez
1.0 gram nugget - Gary Keim
1.3 gram nugget - Gary Mitchell
0.9 gram nugget - Kim Beggs
0.8 gram nugget - Mike Bothwell
0.8 gram nugget - Ken Oyler
0.8 gram nugget - Gary Mitchell
0.8 gram nugget - William Herbertson
0.9 gram nugget - James Elkin
0.9 gram nugget - Carl Sauerland
0.9 gram nugget - Don Fling
0.9 gram nugget - Gary Keim
Door Prizes and Special Drawings
0.9 gram nugget - Gary Keim
0.5 gram nugget - Randy Solomon

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The Gold Nugget 

is an official publication of the Gold Prospectors of the Rockies, a Denver-based, Colorado nonprofit organization established in 1995 for the enjoyment of gold prospecting and metal detecting. Club meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 PM, at the Lloyd G. Clements Community Center, 1580 Yarrow Street, Lakewood, Colorado (1 block west of Wadsworth, 1 block north of Colfax). Individual or family membership fees are $30.00 for the first year, $25.00 for each subsequent year. Non-commercial business-card-sized classified text ads for members are free of charge. Commercial display ads must be detecting, prospecting, or treasure related and are available to anyone at a modest charge: 1/8 page (approximately 2"h x 3.5"w business card size) - $6.00 per month. 1/4 page (approximately 4"h x 3.5"w) - $12.00 per month. 1/2 page (approximately 4"h x 7"w or 8.5"h x 3.5"w) - $24.00 per month. Full page (approximately 8.5"h x 7"w) - $48.00 per month. The Gold Nugget  is open to and gladly accepts submission of information and articles. All article submissions must be received by the editor no later than the first Wednesday of the month for inclusion in the next month's issue. The GPR must receive any required payments for commercial ads prior to their inclusion. Include publication information on articles clipped from other publications. The Editor reserves the right to edit all submissions. Bulletin editors may print any article from this newsletter with credit given to the newsletter and the author. Contact: The Gold Nugget  Editor, The Gold Prospectors of the Rockies, PO Box 621988, Littleton, CO 80162-1988. E-mail: The Gold Nugget Editor.