Was Book’s Treasure Buried In City?

MATTHEW TURNER (left) of GeoModel in Leesburg assists Dan Altman (right) in the search for buried treasure at Jordans Point Park by scanning the ground with radar. Altman traveled to Lexington to search for treasure that he believed to be buried in the city. (Harrison Mines photo)

MATTHEW TURNER (left) of GeoModel in Leesburg assists Dan Altman (right) in the search for buried treasure at Jordans Point Park by scanning the ground with radar. Altman traveled to Lexington to search for treasure that he believed to be buried in the city. (Harrison Mines photo)

Pennsylvania Man Thought So, But Effort Fruitless

One man’s quest for buried treasure in Lexington has so far come up empty after days of searching.

Dan Altman, of Pittsburgh, Pa., was granted permission by Lexington City Council Thursday, Dec. 19, to dig the following day for buried treasure he believed to be located at Jordans Point Park.

Altman traveled to Lexington on the hunt for treasure based on his reading of the of the 1982 book “The Secret: a Treasure Hunt” by Byron Preiss. The book alleges there to be 12 treasure boxes worth roughly $1,000 each buried around North America. The national scavenger hunt, popularized by the television series “Expedition Unknown,” requires readers to tie in geographical clues in poems to maps interpreted as mystic paintings. Two treasures have been found in Chicago, Ill., and Cleveland, Ohio, since the book was published.

Altman connected with Mayor Frank Friedman and City Manager Jim Halasz to approach Council with his intentions to search the park for treasure. To maintain confidentiality in the deciphering of clues, Altman did not disclose to Council his interpretation of the materials that led him to believe the treasure was buried in Lexington.

After some discussion at the Dec. 19. meeting, Council moved to allow Altman to dig at Jordans Point Park with the accompaniment of a public works employee. In the event that he recovered anything, Council agreed to discuss the value of the city property and at a later time.

“I’m invested now,” Councilman David Sigler said at the meeting. “I want you to find that treasure.”

Halasz told The News-Gazette Altman had dug for several hours Dec. 20 and didn’t report any findings.

Altman returned to Lexington for a final search the morning of Jan. 2 with the help of ground-penetrating radar equipment.

“This is my last chance,” Altman said of his search. “I know this has to be where it’s at.”

Altman focused his search on the stretch of land closest to the covered bridge abutment at Jordans Point. He explained he believed clues indicated the treasure was buried in relation to the center bricks of the abutment.

Altman enlisted Matthew Turner of GeoModel, Inc. of Leesburg to operate the radar to obtain advanced imaging of the ground beneath the park.

“I do mostly cemetery work,” Turner said. The radar, pushed on wheels, produced imaging that identified “anomalies” underground. After searching and looking at the radar images for several hours the morning of Jan. 2, the search did not look promising. Altman said it was possible too many rocks underneath the ground complicated readings.

“This will probably be my last trip,” Altman said. “I’m very disappointed.”

The News-Gazette

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