Treasure hunting is diving into vague hints that sometimes lead somewhere, but often don’t. It’s a puzzle that we have a handful of pieces to, and no idea what the final picture is supposed to look like.
Maybe that’s why it’s so much fun. A little bit of history, and a little bit of mystery, all mixed up with a prize at the end – if you can find it!
This past week I dove into the mythology of the Kaffer Treasure. It was mentioned on several other sites, and since it had a name I assumed there was a story as well. Old newspapers weren’t much help with the search, though I did find out what the punishment for “obnoxiously drunk” used to be.
With printed sources so elusive, I went to the interwebs to try to track a mention of Kaffer back to its source.
Each site reads almost verbatim, as though copy-pasted:
“A cache of gold coins known as the Kaffer Treasure is said to be buried five miles south of Armstrong, Missouri, on Route 3.”
Sometimes there’s even a picture of farmland, or a trailer. I wonder if the people who live there knew about the treasure story beforehand, or if they’ve had to run off hunters since then? If I had to choose between buying a haunted house or one where people thought gold was buried, I’d probably choose Casper.
So, is there any truth to the tale of the Kaffer Treasure?
Maybe. The evidence is pretty thin. The lack of supporting information in old newspapers, and the same-ness of the mentions online kind of implies “no”.
The only thing left to try is to go to Armstrong and ask around. I’ll earmark that trip for the spring, when people are more out-and-about in town. If I find anything at all, I’ll come back and post it here.
But “Ha!”, I hear you say. Why would I share information on a buried treasure instead of going to get it myself?
Because … I’m not that guy. Going door-to-door to ask people if I can dig up their yards? Or sneaking in to hunt without permission? That’s not my speed, and it won’t be regardless of how many millions it’s supposedly worth today. This is Missouri. You’ll get shot for that here.
And I got stuff to live for, like hiding the next MOTH Treasure Chest! The January hunt (2020.01) will be posted in the next couple of weeks, so I’ll see you then!