Seekers of Gold- A Location Revealed>
A Location Revealed
We climbed, crawled and scaled our way up first over one ridge and then another between huge boulders and across narrow ledges. This struggle continued for more than four hours when we almost made up our minds to turn back. Just at the edge of a large ice flow we rested and took some time to gaze at the mountain ridges that were still ahead of us. This location was well above the tree line and all that lay ahead of us was ice and snow. While contemplating our next move, I noticed a sparkle of light that came from the crest of the mountain. I pointed this out to Tom and he took my rifle and looked through the scope and "voila", we had located the main body of the aircraft. I took the rifle from Tom and viewed the spot myself. Yes there it was a large wing section draped over the very top of the mountain ridge. Turning back now was out of the question. We stepped up our pace and switch backed our way up the ice flow that laid ahead and climbed over the boulders that separated us from the downed airplane. As we traversed the final rock obstacle it all came into view. Right at our feet laid a huge Mitchell B-25 bomber. The Canadian Air Force insignias on the wings staring us in the fact. It was quite obvious that given the condition of the aircraft that there could not possibly have been any survivors. The cockpit section was buried under some ice and snow. The remainder of the plane was completely exposed to the elements.I took a number of photographs of the different sections of the aircraft and we began a detailed search of the wreckage. Keep in mind that we could not gain access to the main section of the fuselage because it was completely collapsed into itself. However there was no problem in surveying the rest of the wreckage. Off to one side but very close to the main body of the aircraft was evidence of a small fire. Here we found remnants of parachutes, jackets, boots and suitcases. The rest of the aircraft was as clean and shiny as the day it ran off the assembly line. The huge wings were broken off the fuselage and the two large engines were separated from the wings complete with propellers intact. All these mechanical parts were not scattered over a wide area but here in fact, very close together, considering the size of the aircraft and the speed that it must have been traveling when it hit the ridge. My opinion is that the plane came down in a horizontal glide and that it did not blow apart on impact. Most of the year round the wreckage lies buried under the ice and snow and remains obscured from view. Neither the air force nor I could locate any records of this aircraft. We found no gold or cash, but then again we were unable to gain access to the main cargo compartment of the plane, so to this day I cannot say what may still be in the wreckage. After I read this article I decided to call Mike Boileau to see if what he was saying was true. If it was, this could be the king of all treasure leads. "Hello?" answered a deep voice.
Is this Mike Boileau there?" I asked nervously. "Ya, this is him," he said. "You don't know me, but I just read an article about you in an old newspaper about your involvement with Pitt Lake." "Ya, what about it?" he asks curiously. "It said that you found a crashed B-25 bomber." "Yes, that's true," he says in a blunt 'get to the point' tone. "Would you be willing to tell me where it is?" I asked expecting him to hang up. There was a small silence in the conversation as I sat there with my fingers crossed. I could almost hear Boileau thinking. "I tell you what," he says breaking the silence, " "Why don't you call me back tomorrow around six in the evening and we will arrange a meeting." "Okay, sure,' I said trying to bottle the excitement that was now pumping through my veins. "Great. Talk to you later," he said and hung up. I was so excited I could barely contain myself that evening. I drove as fast as I could around the back streets of Langley listening to the Rolling Stones at full blast with images of finding treasure screaming in my head. It was beautiful. I felt like I was standing on the threshold of a great adventure and the experiences that I was about to have where going to haunt me forever, but I didn't know it at the time. All I knew at the time is that chasing after gold felt like the only right thing to do. I called Mike Boileau the next day and arranged a meeting for six the following day. I brought two of the guys I had been hanging around with that year in school, Kirt Lytle and Jim Steinberg. Kirt was a really nice guy. He wanted to be a stunt man and I tell you he was a crazy bastard to say the least. He used to crawl out on the canopy of my truck when I was flying down a logging road at 100 miles an hour. The weird thing is that I never worried that he would fall off. I knew that somehow Kirt had what it took. Jim Steinberg was a different story. He was a self-proclaimed anarchist who listened to the Sex Pistols all the time and cursed at the world. We raced over to Boileau the next day as fast as we could. When we arrived at his house he was standing outside waiting for us. Probably just as curious to meet me, as I was to meet him. As the three of us stepped out of my truck and walked over to greet Boileau he looked pretty much the same as he did in the newspaper article except he was a little fatter and he looked a tiny bit meaner. "Which one of you did I talk to on the phone?" he asked. "It was him," Kirt said pointing at me. "I do hope you brought a map," Boileau asks glaring at me. I ran back to my truck and grabbed a topographic map that Jim and I had purchased from a map store in Vancouver one day when we were cutting school "This is the canyon right here," Boileau said pointing at a tiny canyon called Spindle on the map. Nothing like getting to the point I thought to myself. "And where's the B-25?" I asked looking at the map. "It's right here," he said pointing at a mountain just above Spindle Canyon. He then took a pen from his pocket and placed and X on the spot. The following PDF contains a copy of the orginal map mentioned in this story. Purchase the map using the following link.
"This is extremely strange," Boileau grumbled, scratching his head curiously, "but not all that surprising." "Why's that?" Jim asks. "Spindle's a strange place," Boileau explained. "It really makes me wonder, I mean the whole time I was involved in that canyon, things didn't feel right. When I was up in that canyon, I sometimes even felt like I was being watched. Not only that, but all the people who were ever involved with Spindle now dead." "So are you saying you believed in the curse?" Kirt asked."I don't know," Boileau said, "here's a story for you and you can make up your own mind. I haven't told anyone about this. When I first found the B-25 bomber, I reported it to the military in Chilliwack and of course they got very interested and they wanted me to take them up to the location of the wreck, but it was now the middle of January and the wreckage was still completely covered in snow, but they insisted I take them up there anyway. I went up with them they brought along three huge helicopters, and you can guess what happened. We never found the wreckage because there was too much snow. This is where things start to get a little weird. I was flipping through the paper about a week after this happened and I couldn't believe what I read. The group that I went up with were all dead. They crashed somewhere off the coast on a rescue mission. Not to mention the helicopter pilot who took me into the canyon on my first trip died three weeks later in a crash in the Yukon. Also, my wife's sister died from cancer. All of this happened when I was involved with Spindle, so as far as me believing in any curses you can find out for yourselves." "Do you think that there is really any gold actually in the plane?" I asked. "I don't know there could be," he said. "I can't believe you never looked," I said. "We had nothing to open the fuselage with and besides, I never want to go back to Spindle again. I'll tell you something else that's interesting, when my partner and I were exploring the wreckage, we came across a plaque that said RCAF crash, please do not report and it had the date on it Oct 1, 1953."
"Then obviously the plane was found by the government," Kirt said sounding kind of disappointed. "Actually, no" Boileau said, "I found out something else from a friend of mine who is ex-air force officer. He told me that sometimes when an airplane is carrying a valuable cargo they will carry these plaques on board like the one we found." "Why?" Jim asks. "To kill curiosity of people who might stumble upon the plane's ruins before the government to keep them from snooping around. I mean what's the fun in snooping through something that the government already knows about. There just may be gold still inside there as far as I know."
"What about the canyon? You said in an article to the press that you were making a deal with several mining companies trying to sell your share of the property. What happened with that?" I asked. "First of all, let me tell you that the press exaggerated the story completely," Boileau explained. "What do you mean?" I asked curiously. "Well, they were in search of the great adventure story, and they wanted a real life Indiana Jones," Boileau said with a grin. I could see Kirt looking at me out of the corner of his eye. "I'll tell you what really happened. I was to make a deal with two fellows. One named Ed Fleming and the other Henry Smeets. Ed Fleming tracked me down from the same newspaper article you used. Anyway when he arrived at my house, he brought with him a friend, who of course, was Henry Smeets. Ed told me that Henry was a self-made millionaire and he was going to fund the project. I signed a contract with the both of them to give them 50 percent of Lost Creek Valley and I kept the other half. Anyhow it also said in the contract that I would have to reveal to them the location of the canyon, so I did. A couple of days later, I went down to the claims office to renew my claim and guess what? Ed and Henry had the entire canyon staked. The bastards stole it right out from under me. I had been conned and believe me I was not happy, so I took the contract to a lawyer friend of mine, Tom Spraggs, to see what could be done about the whole thing legally and since the contract wasn't really legally handled, I learned there was nothing I could do, so I tried to find Ed and Henry on my own, but had no luck. A couple of days later, I was flipping through the newspaper and I came across a very interesting article. The newspaper said that Ed Fleming had been killed. He drowned, in all places, Pitt Lake. He had landed his plane in the lake somewhere and it broke loose from where it was tied up and when he swam out to recover it he drowned. Kind of strange considering that Ed was said to be a really strong swimmer." "What about Henry Smeets?" I asked, "What became of him?" "I never saw him again.""Did you ever have any assays done on the canyon?" I asked. "Of course, I took plenty of samples into the assayers office in Vancouver and believe me the results were excellent. I never saw an assayer so excited, and of course they wanted to know where I got them from." "You never told them," I said with a tiny grin. "Of course," Boileau answered. "What were the results of the reports?" I asked eagerly. "I believe they were something like four ozs of gold per ton of rock." "That doesn't sound very great," Kirt said mockingly. "Shows what you guys know about mining these days," Boileau says, "By today's standards, it's excellent." "I guess so," Jim said speaking up from his long silence. "Before I forget I have something else I want to show you guys," Boileau said. "Meet me around the back." We got up and started walking around to the back of the house. "I can't believe this," I said, "he's telling us everything." "I have a theory about this," Kurt said. "What's that," I ask curiously looking around to see if Boileau was in sight. "I'll tell you later," Kirt said pointing towards the house where Boileau was mumbling something to his wife. He looked like he was carrying a gun in his hand. "You like it?" he said as he walked towards us. "Like what?" "My cabin," he said pointing to a tiny cabin that I thought was a tool shed. "It's a model of one I had as a kid. Come let's go inside." We followed Boileau inside the tiny cabin, which contained a table and an ancient looking bunk bed where Jim sat down making himself at home. "What's that?" Kirt said pointing at the gun in Boileau's hand. "Ah, I almost forgot. This interesting artifact is an old flare gun I found at the B-25, but there's something really interesting about it. Take a look at the insignia on the side," he said handing me the gun. "It says US army issue, so what?" I said. "Why would a Canadian bomber be carrying US equipment?" Boileau said. "My guess is that it was a Canadian bomber owned by the US. That's why neither the Canadian army nor I could find any records of it. The reason I am telling you this is when you do your research I suggest you get in touch with the Americans. I tell you sometimes I wish I could go back there." "Why don't you?" I asked. "Look at you guys compared to me. I am old. I have a family to look after now. I can't go back. You'll understand when you get older. I mean if you guys go in there now and get yourselves killed, who's gonna miss you? Your parents, a couple of friends, maybe. Not me, I have a family that depends on me now. I guess this is the reason I am telling you this. It's your turn to see what you can find now I used to be so wild when I was young you know. Christ, I could tell you a few stories." "Do you think the ice caves are still there?" I asked. "I don't know. That place changes so damn much. When you go in there it will be complexly different from when I was there. Spindle is completely covered in landslides, sometimes when you are up there you can hear them rumbling. I know for sure that tent shaped rock is completely buried under an avalanche. Those ice caves sure were something, I tell you. Thinking back now, they were beautiful crystal blue, kind of like being on a trip," he said with a grin turning towards Jim who was lying on the bunk. "You know what I mean don't you?" It was kind of a strange moment because most of the time, Boileau's eyes were glued to mine, but Jim was the only one there who would have understood what he was talking about as far as being on a trip, an acid trip. Boileau was starting to get really nostalgic about his Pitt Lake adventures and you could tell he really wanted to get back into the action. "You go there, get yourselves killed," he said. "One more thing," I said, "what happened to all the pictures you took of the plane and of course not to mention the one of the skull? Do you still have them?" "No I gave them to a guy named George Edwards. He used to be interested in the property and for some reason gave up." "Do you think there's any chance you could get them back?" I asked curiously. "I don't know," Boileau answered. "I think we should call it a night, I'm getting tired." Boileau got up and walked towards his house almost looking sad in a way, maybe he told us too much or maybe he wished he was young again and could d this kind of thing still or maybe he wasn't telling us something, something which was really important. "Call me if you have any more questions," he said, as we walked back towards the front yard. "I'll see what I can do about the pictures," he said. "Thanks very much," I said getting into my truck, watching Boileau disappear into his house. We drove off into the warm spring night. There was silence in the truck as we drove away. I was very excited about the new information I had learned and was convinced that there was gold in Boileau's little forgotten canyon. No one said anything for several minutes as we drove through Maple Ridge until Kirt broke the silence. "I will do whatever it takes to get in there," he said sounding sincere. "Same goes with me," Jim said. Both parties would return to their business of life after the meeting and forget about Mike Boileau and his gold canyon, but not me. For me the race was on. I had to get into the canyon and as time went on that became the number one mission of my life. After I dropped Jim and Kirt off at home and cruised off into the night with The Doors playing loudly on my stereo and the windows rolled down with the soft warm breeze of spring blowing in my face. I had a feeling come over me that was so powerful that my entire body tingled as I drove at steady one hundred kilometers. My truck almost started floating on air as it bounced across the cracked roads of Fort Langley back towards my house. The feeling that was racing through me was one of destiny, a feeling that I was being pulled into a magical realm which few people ever experience. I felt like my insides were on fire and I knew that there was something inside Spindle because I had been finding little pieces of evidence that had been pointing to this area my entire life. When I got home I raced into my dark house and into my room trying to be careful not to wake my sleeping parents and brother. I went under my bed and pulled out an old strongbox where I kept an old tape that I had been mailed to me after one of those magical trips to Pitt Lake that I had taken as a child with my father which I had almost forgotten about and did not remember until now. I played the tape which was made by a lady named Mrs. Smittberg who owned a cabin on the shore of Pitt Lake right next to the mouth of Debeck Creek. The tape was a story about a group of prospectors who had broken into her cabin to find shelter after their boat sank in Pitt Lake. When she and her husband journeyed up to the cabin in the summer they found their cabin had been ransacked for food by the prospectors who left a note saying they were sorry and would be back once they had finished exploring up behind Debeck Creek. What's most interesting about the tape is when Mrs. Smittberg had found a map in the cabin which had an X over top of a small canyon just north of Widgeon Lake and when you look on a map that takes you right to Spindle. There were so many clues pointing to this location now that I was ready to do anything to get inside. I knew there was no way I would ever be able to afford a helicopter. I knew that I was going to have to get in there on foot. I listened to the Smittberg tape long into the night and dreamt up my golden prize that was hidden up there in the Pitt Lake mountains and it gave me a feeling of incredible power and purpose now that I finally had a location of this great treasure. The next day as I walked down the halls of my high school the fire still burning in my belly, the world that I was living in looked like an even greater bore. What was supposed to be motivating me and interesting which boring me to tears. Classes like Consumer Ed, which tried to teach you about economics in the late eighties from 60's textbooks, or Earth Science where I learned more about geology from studying prospecting. I couldn't take it and I would excuse myself from class to go to the bathroom and run out the front door for freedom and take off in my truck in search of something better. The only light in the tunnel was social studies which touched on the great gold rushes of the century, but quickly moved on to the far from interesting fur trade. As I sat in class my mind drifted far away from reality and it was that I realized what Spindle and the search for the Lost Mine of Pitt Lake was really becoming for me, which was a hope that one could reach out for the dreams and find a reality which matched the soul. My father at the time would still not be convinced no matter how hard I would try that there was gold waiting to be found in the Pitt. One night after dinner, I presented the new information that I had learned the day before from Mike Boileau to him. The after dinner ritual of the family was to sit in the living room gathered around the television set. This is where my parents proceeded to watch the news hour with Tony Parsons, followed by Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, as they did everyday for my entire life. When I was a teenager, I really started to hate it because it always got in my way of me trying to talk to them. "You are not going to believe what I learned about Pitt Lake yesterday, Dad." "Are you still searching for that lost gold mine? There's nothing up there, but granite," he said gazing off at Tony Parsons who was telling the world 'these are tonight's top stories.' "I think you are wrong, Dad," I tried to show him the map of Pitt Lake where Mike Boileau had marked Spindle Canyon and the location of the Mitchell B-25 bomber. "Dad, Mike Boileau." "Wait a minute, Mike who?" he asks. "Boileau, the guy I met last night. He thinks that the location of the lost gold mine is inside this canyon here." I said pointing to Spindle, "but what's really interesting is that Spindle Canyon matches with the same area where the Province newspaper was searching for the gold as well as the area mentioned on the tape I was given by that lady Mrs. Smittberg on one of our trips up to the Pitt. Do you remember that Dad?" "Yes I do, but you know what you should do son." I sat there trembling at what he was going to say. "You should try sticking to the things that really matter. Keep your head out of the clouds and stick to the meat and potatoes. There is no gold in those mountains. If there was someone would have found it a long time ago."
My dad up to that point was the one person I thought believed in me because when I was young he took me up to that lake and up to those mountains and he made me believe that the gold was there. He made me believe I could search for it, and anything was possible. In that moment, he broke my heart. I just turned and walked back to my room in frustration knowing that it was useless to try and convince him because he had never really believed in the first place, but that did not stop him later on that summer from taking me up there one last time to try and get to this location. I guess he did it because no matter how crazy I may have been, he loved me for who I was and that made him the greatest father in the world. For the rest of the summer I stuck with my boring job as a pizza delivery boy trying to raise enough money to get into Spindle. Work was like school; it always bored me. Whenever it was a sunny day, I would ditch work and head off into the mountains with my friends to swim among the cool waters of Lost Creek and hide from the world. It was there among the creek that I really found the wonder to keep myself going and cemented friendships that would last forever. You were safe in the heart of Lost Creek where you were protected from the outside world and your soul was recharged every time you swam underneath the first waterfall or you stood behind the second waterfall and dove into the little pool below deep between the cracks of the rocks exploring just for the joy of exploring. After swimming you could lounge around in the sun on some of the huge rocks that were scattered throughout the canyon. You could than close your eyes and dream about lost gold mines and it all seemed very possible because the magic that existed in this place made you feel that it was okay to dream about such grand things as finding lost gold mines and aspirations that the world of responsibility and work liked to grind away. I don't know how many times as I laid there in the sun and I promised myself I would not let the world take my dreams away no matter how hard I had to fight and was I ever going to learn that you have to fight hard not just against the world but against the weakness inside yourself. The two major topics of conversation among my friends were girls and escape and how we were going to get both of them. For me lost treasure was my escape because most girls at the time found my obsession with it to be a little strange and I generally felt like an alien in the presence of a female, as did most of my friends at the time. "Man if I don't get some, I'm gonna fucken die!" Rob said as stared off into the sun.This sent Brian Renvall and I into a fit of laughter because we totally understood being deprived as he was from anything resembling a female as we were all during this time in our young live. "This place would be Eden if you could get a couple of women up here," Brain added. "Yes it would. Could you even imagine laying around up here with a couple of bikini clad beauties?" I said. "Here, here!" he said as he lay on the rocks raising his hands like he was toasting the sun. "Let's not talk about it anymore because it's not happening. It's just us three losers, and I don't want to think about it anymore." "So when are you going up to Pitt Lake anyway, Friesen?" Rob asks, changing the subject. "Well, that's my other problem. I am never going to be able to afford a helicopter and I don't have a boat, so I am not sure. I am hoping sometime in August." "Doesn't your old man have a boat?" Brian asks. "Yeah, he does, but man, he will never let me use it." "I can understand that. If I had a boat, I sure as shit wouldn't let you use it. If you have as much luck with boats as you do trucks, you would sink the fucker as soon as you got in the water." Laughter broke out among the group once again because Rob was right. I was always breaking down or getting a ticket or someone was crashing into me when I was out there on the road, which is one of the best places to be in my mind. Besides lost treasure, one of my passions in life was not sitting still. I loved to move and had dreams of travel, like we all did. "Man, besides the Lost Mine of Pitt Lake there is so much treasure waiting to be found." I said feeling the adventure just bubbling up from deep down inside. "Like what, Friesen?" Brian asked in an amused way. "Like a treasure I was reading about in Honduras that was buried by pirates off the coast of Roatan, Honduras. If I ever do manage to get out of here I am going to go there one day." I explained. Roatan Treasure
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