1865 Crime Scene Meets 21st Century Technology

One can imagine what 156 years of gossip, folklore and hearsay can do to the veracity of facts, especially when those facts concern what some called the “Great Heist of the 19th Century”.

Aqua Survey was brought in by Civil War historian and author, Bob Young (pictured bottom right). Delving deep into the century and a half long mystery, Mr. Young sifted through historical documents, compiling a wealth of firsthand accounts. He believes he knows the historical location of the Moss Plantation feed lot, where the great robbery purportedly took place.

Guided by details from Mr. Young’s findings from a Moss family member’s diary, Aqua Survey decided to focus on a three-acre area.
Aqua Survey selected an electromagnetic pulse induction (EM) metal detector mounted on two plastic bobsleds and towed by an electric golf cart. With each pass, the sensor system cut a 2-meter-wide swath as it recorded accurate geopositioned (GPS) data for future processing.
When data is collected for later processing, field personnel also keep an eye on the EM system’s monitor. The field team could easily see that there were hundreds of metal targets. Are some of them gold and silver coins, or are they all just bits and pieces of barbwire and other man-made cultural metallic debris?
Processing data to find gold is as painstakingly slow as using a camel-hair brush to eventually reveal a Stegosaurus skeleton. But when done properly, it’s well worth the wait. Soon we will have a spreadsheet of prioritized, geopositioned targets and will return to reacquire targets of interest and intrusively (hand dig) investigate them.
In football, as in life, you’ve got to play the game to know who’s going to win. Recently a period pistol and two one-ounce silver coins were recovered using inexpensive handheld metal detectors. Aqua Survey’s EM system is a military grade metal detection survey system. What will we find? This fall we will return to the Moss Plantation to dig on targets and find out.