New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND QUARTER, MAY 2017                               VOLUME 31, NUMBER 5

Dave McCracken

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

Story by Laura Bagley

Now that spring is in the air, Scott and I are back out along the Klamath River. Finally!

Since we live here year-around, it occurred to me the other day that it is common to take things for granted that we experience every day; things that others would really wish for. For example, your life partner, or your kids, or your mom. They are there all the time, so we can get into this mindset that we accept them as commonplace and don’t stop often enough to take a real close look or listen and appreciate them. When someone I really love suddenly is gone from my life, my biggest regret is always that I should have taken more time to fully appreciate them while I had the time.

Klamath River Young girl smiling on river
Happy Camp

This is where Indian Creek flows into the Klamath; where “Happy Camp” got its name. This is also the location of our K-21 property on the river

This is not only true of the people in our lives. It is true of all the blessings we get used to. Especially the surroundings where we live. Being from southern California, I think this is one of the many reasons I love living in Happy Camp. There are four distinct seasons here. The surroundings are changing all the time. We just went through a brutal winter. While some of it was pretty uncomfortable, every day brought on something new. New things cause us to wake up and take a fresh look. Waking up and taking a fresh look is a good thing!

Now that we are into spring, I am noticing that a lot of things are waking up. Spring flowers are coming alive in places that were under three feet of snow just a while back; the grass is that beautiful shade of green; a new season of beautiful green leaves are changing the landscape; the singsong of summer birds is in the air when I wake up in the morning. I assume these are the normal wonders wherever there are four seasons.

The most amazing thing about Happy Camp is that we have the mighty Klamath River, and all of the incredible miracles which are intimately linked to it. We all know that the river is full of gold, even though Mother Nature is so good at concealing her most precious treasures.  The gold is what brings many of us to Happy Camp and the Klamath River. But it is not the gold which prompt many of us to live here. We live here because of all the other wonders that the river provides; you would be challenged to find a more abundant setting anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. There are also good people here; others who have also made the choice to live in a more serene setting.

But living here all the time, with all of the life-situations which occupy our minds, it’s common to just accept our surroundings as they are and stop recognizing the real jewels that are all around us.

Dave Mack’s boat sinking adventure several newsletters ago ended with a simple and profound wisdom. He said that every breath matters. Because, when you cannot get a breath, nothing else matters for very long. If I may, I would like to add something to that: Every moment matters. Because each moment is all there really is – and what you decide to do with it. You can think about the bills you have to pay, or cannot pay. You can wish you were somewhere else. There is an infinity of things you can do with the present moment.  And you should do all of those things.

My suggestion is that you make the most out of the ever-present moment, whatever you decide to do with it.

River Elk

Which brings me back my idea for this story.  The search for gold along the Klamath places you in locations where you or others would likely not go. Like sitting down along the river working your gold pan.  Sometimes we get so narrowly focused on finding the golden hotspot, we don’t take the opportunity to appreciate how lucky we are to just be there in the first place. Here is just one example:It would not be uncommon to be panning at the river’s edge to glance up to see two yearling bear cubs playfully meandering upriver towards you. They are a good quarter of a mile away, having not seen or smelt you, yet. In that moment, you’ve forgotten all about your gold pan. Fifteen minutes pass by as these cubs have captivated you in fascination at their comical antics. They’ve been working their way along the bank pouncing and pawing in the shallows. A hunting training program in the works, seems they have targeted frogs they spooked to hop into the river.  Obvious to you they are novices at this skill, but it hasn’t deterred their fun. The lack of talent is quite amusing.

PanningYou keep scanning the river bank, because these cubs are a year shy of being too far from their mother. The cubs continue closing the distance between you, rambling on this frog finding expedition. They’ve no idea they are being observed. Suddenly one of the cub’s pops out from between some boulders much closer than it was seconds before, a wee bit closer, uncomfortably close. You stand up finally, not to get a better view. Now you want to be seen. The cub still has not noticed you, it just keeps running in the shallows spraying water everywhere. It climbs up on a rock so close that you are startled it hasn’t seen you. Now you are looking for Mamma bear in earnest. How fast can bears swim?

The cub whips its head up just as you’re considering your plunge into the river. Did he catch your scent? Nope; without so much as a glance in your direction, both cubs are fleeing the scene in a head long race back down river. You were spotted for sure. Mamma bear must have called those cubs back to her when she spotted you. Last you see is the two cubs sprinting up into the trees down by where you first saw them.

Then you snap back to the task at hand; ah that’s right you were panning, “I wonder if there is any gold in my pan…” 

My advice is to not miss out on the beauty of nature while you’re out looking for gold. Take in the bald eagles, the osprey, the hawks, the otters, the turtles, the frogs, the elk and the deer. Be spellbound by the landscapes, the wind whispering though the pines and the roar of the river rapids. The Klamath National Forest has more wonders than we can experience in a lifetime!

The added bonus is that you get to keep all the gold you can find!

See you on the river. 

Preparing for the 2017 Season!

New PipeHaving really worked hard to get through the learning curve last season in setting up gravity water feed systems, we are busy preparing something special to support our Group Mining Projects this season. Fortunately, there is a water source directly across the river from a high-grade pay-streak we located towards the end of last season.

The following two videos pretty much tell the story:

 

 

Legal and Political Perspective

We certainly do live in interesting times!

Now, with two of President Trump’s major initiatives blocked by federal judges (setting immigration policy, and threatening to withhold law enforcement funding to sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce federal law), it would appear that a big part of his agenda “to make America great again” can be prevented from happening by his (our) opposition just filing lawsuits in front of left-leaning judges. This is where our industry has been sitting for about nine years.

Anyone who has been watching the news knows that to designate a federal judge for life, he needs to be appointed by the president and confirmed by a majority in the U.S. Senate. According to Wikipedia, There are currently 874 authorized Article III judgeships: nine on the Supreme Court, 179 on the courts of appeals, nine on the Court of International Trade and 677 for the district courts.

So we have this interesting situation where there are, more or less, 677 federal district court judges in America who have the power to block President Trump’s team from moving forward with the’ agenda to “make America great again.” This was the job America voted him in office to perform!

So it would appear that the President of the United States is not truly our Chief Executive after all.  I wonder if the Trump team is figuring this out at the same time we are?

According to my limited research, federal judges are appointed for life, and can only be impeached (removed) by an act of congress, for cause, in a trial setting. Only a handful of judges have been removed over time. Seems odd that it is so much easier to appoint a judge than to remove one.

So, while the Trump Team can probably do a lot with how the federal bureaucracy performs, my best guess is that when it comes to the larger issues that are holding America back, particularly at the State level, the Trump Team is going to have to fight it out in the courts – likely the most left-leaning courts in America. Yet again, there is always a solution if you are looking for it.

It is all going to be very interesting as we watch America try to unshackle itself from the chains that are holding us down. One thing is sure in my mind: If Trump cannot figure out a way, it’s never going to happen.

Legal Fund-raiser with 25 American Gold Eagles!

Gold and Silver Eagles

Grand Prize: 1-ounce American Gold Eagle
Four ¼-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1/10th-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1-ounce American Silver Eagles

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc.).

This drawing will take place at 3 pm on Friday 23rd of June 2017 at our headquarters in Happy Camp. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online.

All contributions are tax deductible. You can find more information about the drawing right here.

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing

  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out. Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.
 Summer Office Hours Start on the First of May

Starting on the first of May, our office and store in Happy Camp will be open between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday, and Between 8 AM and 12 Noon on Saturdays.

Join us for our Group Mining Projects This Season!

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting.  One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who more experienced than you are.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members. All participants share equally in the gold we recover.

2017 Schedule of Events: June 3 & 4; June 24 & 25, July 15 & 16; August 5 & 6; August 26 & 27 

Schedule of Events

In addition, electronic prospecting specialist and New 49’er member, Dennis Dickson, in concert with Whites Electronics and Armadillo Mining Supply will host two 2-day electronic gold prospecting projects in Happy Camp this coming season. Bring your own metal detectors. The projects will happen on Friday & Saturday June 9 and 10 and Friday & Saturday August 18 and 19.  Meet at our office at 4 PM on Friday. Bring your own drinks. Dinner will be served.

We are also hoping to organize some underwater suction mining projects (without the use of motorized pumps) in an established very rich gold deposit (in shallow water) this summer. Watch for more news on this as we attempt to move forward.

Group projects are limited to a certain number of participants. Scheduling in advance is strongly advised to ensure a position on any specific weekend project: 530 493-2012 

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than we can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

 

 

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

 

New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND QUARTER, APRIL 2017                               VOLUME 31, NUMBER 4

Dave McCracken

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

Story by Laura Bagley

The last four days have been sun-filled, warm and with blue skies above — which hasn’t happened much over the last three months. It has been a river of storms all winter, one right after the other, pounding us in northern California.

 

Big Foot Oak Flat

There I was celebrating that we were having a white Christmas with about ten inches of snow on the ground. I was happily humming Christmas songs all day, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”  I’m now 52 years old (young), finally having my first white Christmas. It just doesn’t snow much in southern California. Here I captured all those warm feelings on video:

Happy Camp Happy Camp Snow

As that snow melted away a couple days later the next snow storm moved in. Then another, and they just kept coming. I had stopped humming by this time as day after day it just kept snowing.  Not that it wasn’t beautiful. It was! But it was cold. Especially when the electricity was going out more than it was staying on. This was from snow accumulation taking down the power lines.

Scott and I had offered to set up our RV on the back corner of the New 49’ers headquarter building in Happy Camp for the winter. Our main duties have been to present a security presence after hours, and, just as importantly, to make sure the building’s outdoor drainage system kept working when it snowed or rained. This, to keep the building from flooding.

We have been plugged into the building’s utilities; but that only kept us warm when the electricity was on. We went days without; only to have it go back off within hours after they got it turned on again. It was like that for a whole month!  Three warm blankets, one a nice goose down, and each other to share body heat. Worst part was getting out of the blankets. Burr, freeze, chill!

Dickey & snow

Here is Dickey standing in front of the snow pile between the buildings!

By the end of these record breaking snow storms raging through Happy Camp, we had 36 inches of snow on the ground and on top of the headquarters roof! It was piled up on the sides of the road.  We had a small mountain of it stacked up from the snow plows in front of the office that looked like the Matterhorn at Disneyland.

Part of the job of keeping the building from flooding is shoveling the snow away from the outside walls.  This was not much of a problem until snow started sliding off the roof of the building. Snow falling off the roof made a pile so high that it slid down against the building, and it was deep! Scott shoveled and shoveled and shoveled snow. It was about 3 weeks of shoveling. He put in a couple hours a day. One day on the far side of the building he and another member, Ray Moore, shoveled for about four hours just to keep up.

Shoveling snow is harder than digging for gold; because all you have to show for it is blisters on your hands and a sore back! Well, we also had the personal satisfaction of keeping the inside of the building dry. It was like a contest between us and Mother Nature.

The snow on the post office side was stacked as just high but Scott had paths through it to our door and where we were parking our truck.

Most exciting was the few nights all that snow was melting off the roof. Big portions were sliding off and crashing onto the ground. Several large slides crashed into the back end of our trailer that woke me out of a dead sleep to standing up next to the bed ready to defend against attack. Yep; it was quite the adventure!

Dave Mack’s 8-inch dredge in the parking lot was covered under a pile of snow for weeks. At one point, the large flatbed trailer in the parking lot had so much snow on the rear end that it was popping a wheelie!

Finally, the snow turned to rain in mid-January; and it rained on and off (mostly on) until about four days ago, we had rain and more rain.  All that rain melted the snow, and water was running down the sides of the mountains from everywhere.

The sudden surge of water switched Scott and I from snow alert to flood control.  It’s impossible to know how much water is running down the embankment behind the headquarters building when it is pounding rain on the roof of our RV during the middle of the night. Scott and I took turns going out in the rain with a flashlight to take a look. Burr, wet, chill!

Long ago, Dave Mack and his team installed a drainage system around the building to capture flooding water and direct it out into the parking lot in front of the building. But the system only works if the drains remain clear. It only takes a small amount of leaves, dead grass and/or other ground debris to block a drain. The drains were blocking up in the beginning; but after a few days, it was just running water. Overall, under the circumstances, we were lucky and all that water drained away from the building. Good thing; because if it wasn’t draining, we would have been out there digging drainage ditches in a downpour during the middle of the night. No doubt about it!

>Wingate river access

Here is the USFS river access at Wingate during the storm. We did most of our group projects last season on the bank directly
across the river. What bank? I’ll bet it is nearly 30 feet underwater in this picture. Imagine the redeposited gold over there!

It was raining inches per day for several days before the 9th of February.  This was when the river crested. Scott and I took a ride downriver to have a look. Oh my god, was it a raging torrent of angry Mother Nature!  Just as we were going out of town, when we crossed Indian Creek, we could see that the river was almost cresting its banks in some places. Here are some videos we captured at Wingate and Oak Flat.

One of our miners was camped at Chambers Flat, one of the Club’s long term campgrounds just below town. We saw that the water was around 30 feet from his camp on our way downriver.  By the time we returned from Wingate, the edge of the river had reached his camp. So we pulled in and helped him pack his camp so he could move to higher ground.

The Klamath River put Highway 96 underwater causing the road to be closed upriver from Happy Camp in several places. That was the highest the river has come up since the big flood of 1997. Several suction dredges were lost to that storm.

Now that the river has dropped quite a bit, it is very exciting to see how different some of the New 49’er mining properties look. There are new sand bars where they didn’t exist before. But more importantly, sand which covered some excellent gold deposits we know of has been washed away! Most exciting is that we should have lots of new flood gold all along the river.

Lower Wingate

Check this out. This whole area on lower Wingate was covered with sand before the storm. The bar is still underwater. One of our members rolled
one rock out of the way a few days ago, scooped a few handfuls of hard-packed gravel into his gold pan, and recovered 5 beautiful flakes of gold!

As soon as the river goes down a bit more, Scott and I will be out prospecting every day.

We are really looking forward to seeing all you guys out here this summer. It should be a great season of group digs, metal detector workshops, potlucks and fellowship that makes the New 49s the best gold mining association in America.

PS:  The latest snow report from the Klamath National Forest says the snow pack in the mountains surrounding the Klamath River is currently at 112% of average; and even more importantly, the snow water content is 121% of average. This should be helpful to keep portions of the banks in shallow water making underwater crevicing more productive then it has been for a long time. We are also working on a gravity water system that should allow us to do some shallow-water non-motorized underwater suction mining this summer. I can’t hardly wait!

Members Already Finding New Gold Deposits from High Winter Flows!
Path to Dickey's work site

Look at what the storm did to the path down to my regular gold mining site. And this is way up the side of the hill!

Update from Dickey Melton:  Well, I am relieved to announce that spring is here; the sun is shining; and it’s warming up. It’s hard to imagine that we were completely snowed in just a month ago.  There is still a lot of snow in the mountains and the rivers will be running higher than normal for a while. The Klamath River has been raging all winter, and even ran over its banks several times. It’s still running just under flood stage. There are several places on highway 96 that are one lane because of slides. That is actually a good sign if you are into getting lots of gold. I cannot even imagine how much new gold was introduced to the Klamath River and its tributaries this winter!

Gold that was already in the river has been moved around some. We all know that it is the large flood storms that create concentrated gold deposits. There was so much rain this year, every canyon and crevice along the side of the mountain had water running down them. A few hardy New 49’er members are already getting good gold in the wet sand as the water is dropping bit by bit. That gold will sink as the sand dries but will still be there, just have to work a little harder for it. I’m impressed at the quality of gold they are recovering. All this should lead up to some fantastic prospecting this coming season. So if you want to get in on finding your own gold; in my opinion, this season should be one that will be remembered for a long time to come. So, come on down to Happy Camp and be part of the action.  I hope to see you out here!

Dickey Melton Featured in International Advertising! 

Most active members know Dickey. He is in important part of our Internal Affairs Team. He is present on all or most of our Weekend Group Projects. Dickey takes lots of newcomers out and shows them how to find gold. And now, it appears he is becoming an international ambassador for small-scale gold miners. The industry is very lucky to have Dickey putting a friendly, positive image out there for us! This is just one of several programs and magazine articles which Dickey has starred in. Check it out right here: 

Legal and Political Perspective

We certainly do live in interesting times!

While the industry continues ongoing litigation concerning motorized small-scale mining, particularly suction dredging for gold, in California and Oregon, and the all-important Rinehart petition has been submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, I personally believe that meaningful relief from totally unreasonable over-regulation (mostly by State agencies) on the public lands is most likely to come from the Trump administration and U.S. congress as they move their agenda forward to “make America great again.”

Here is a very interesting link that shows the Trump Team is going to run right up against the very same forces that have deliberately reduced California’s small-scale mining industry to an operational level far below every other country in the world — back to long before the California Gold Rush!  There is no way we can make America great again until reasonable and sustainable resource development is encouraged once more on the lands managed by the federal government. While the Trump Team appears to be making good progress with the federal agencies, they will still need to overcome the obstructionist policies by State agencies which are controlled by left wing extremists. My best guess is the Trump Team will get it done much faster than we have been able to do in the State Courts.

We will need to have some patience; because the Trump Team and congress are clearly occupied with the larger issues facing America that the vast majority of Americans are interested in – like recent national defense issues which have been developing for years, like controlling who is allowed to enter our country, revamping our health care system and tax reform.  But even as these issues are mostly what the mainstream press is covering, it is clear that the Trump Team and part of congress are working on how to eliminate unreasonable environmental regulation and liberal policies that have been strangling the American economy for a very long time. To give you an idea how this is all starting to move along, I borrowed the following updates from the March newsletter of the American Exploration & Mining Association:

“President Trump has released his $1.1 trillion “America First” budget blueprint for fiscal year 2018. The fiscal blueprint only offers top-line spending figures for each agency and highlights programs that would see major increases or cuts in the coming fiscal year. 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):  The blueprint calls for a 31 percent spending reduction for EPA, slashing its budget by $2.6 billion below current funding levels to $5.7 billion in fiscal 2018. The budget aims to cut climate change and environmental enforcement programs and slash EPA’s workforce by 3,200 jobs. 

Department of the Interior (DOI):  In the White House proposal, DOI would receive $11.6 billion, a 12 percent reduction from current spending levels. A top priority in the blueprint is boosting energy development on public lands.  Further, it sustains funding for DOI’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue and eliminates unnecessary, lower priority, or duplicative programs, including discretionary Abandoned Mine Land grants that overlap with existing mandatory grants, while reducing funds for lower priority activities, such as acquiring new lands. 

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Hearing:  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing March 28, 2017 on The United States’ Increasing Dependence on Foreign Sources of Minerals and Opportunities to Rebuild and Improve the Supply Chain in the United States. Witnesses included Alf Barrios of AEMA and member Rio Tinto. You can view the entire hearing and download written testimony here.  In her opening statement, Murkowski underscored the economic and national security risks associated with our growing foreign mineral dependence:

Our foreign mineral dependence is a threat to our ability to create jobs in America,” Murkowski said. “It threatens our growth, our competitiveness, and our national security.  It may seem abstract right now, for some who are not responsible for managing a supply chain. But there will come a day when it will become real for all of us-when we simply cannot acquire a mineral, or when the market for a mineral changes so dramatically, that entire industries are affected.”

Here are more meaningful developments which demonstrate progress is moving rapidly in our direction:

Neil Gorsuch confirmed by Senate as US Supreme Court justice  This returns the high court to a conservative majority!

Executive Order Takes Aim at “Excessive” Regulations 

Trump Repeals BLM Planning 2.0

President Trump Signs an Energy Independence Executive Order

Trump Signs Order Dismantling Obama-Era Climate Policies  

Aggressive Cuts To Obama-Era Green Rules to Start Soon: EPA Head

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) Introduces New Legislation to Eliminate BLM and US Forest Service Police 

Idaho House Votes Overwhelmingly to End Income Taxation of Precious Metals

You should know that we are quietly working on freeing up our industry from prohibitive regulations.  When the time is right, we will ask for your active participation.

We are also organizing as best we can to sponsor productive group projects for the 2017 season.  We will soon begin construction of a gravity water system that will direct running water to the lower bar on our Wingate claim where recent rich gold strikes have been discovered. We intend to do all or most of our 2017 Group Mining Projects at Wingate.

For as long as we have been held down, it’s worth waiting a while longer. After all, we are talking about regaining access to America’s vast natural treasures – the very substance that must be made available if America is to be made great again. I had my doubts that it would happen during my lifetime, but finally America’s new leaders are actually looking for solutions at how to get things back on track. Our country has been mismanaged so severely, we are going to need to be patient while the mess gets untangled.  There is good reason for hope!

Myself, and the others on our active team, want to express our sincerest gratitude to those of you who have been supporting our efforts.

Summer Office Hours Start on the First of May

Starting on the first of May, our office and store in Happy Camp will be open between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday, and Between 8 AM and 12 Noon on Saturdays.

New Legal Fund-raiser with 25 American Gold Eagles!

Gold and Silver Eagles

Grand Prize: 1-ounce American Gold Eagle
Four ¼-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1/10th-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1-ounce American Silver Eagles

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc.).

This drawing will take place at 3 pm on Friday 23rd of June 2017 at our headquarters in Happy Camp. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online.

All contributions are tax deductible. You can find more information about the drawing right here.

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing

  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out. Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

 

Join us for our Group Mining Projects This Season!

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting.  One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who more experienced than you are.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members. All participants share equally in the gold we recover.

2017 Schedule of Events: June 3 & 4; June 24 & 25, July 15 & 16; August 5 & 6; August 26 & 27 

Schedule of Events

In addition, electronic prospecting specialist and New 49’er member, Dennis Dickson, in concert with Whites Electronics and Armadillo Mining Supply will host two 2-day electronic gold prospecting projects in Happy Camp this coming season. Bring your own metal detectors. The projects will happen on Friday & Saturday June 9 and 10 and Friday & Saturday August 18 and 19.  Meet at our office at 4 PM on Friday. Bring your own drinks. Dinner will be served.

We are also hoping to organize some underwater suction mining projects (without the use of motorized pumps) in an established very rich gold deposit (in shallow water) this summer. Watch for more news on this as we attempt to move forward.

Group projects are limited to a certain number of participants. Scheduling in advance is strongly advised to ensure a position on any specific weekend project: 530 493-2012 

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than we can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

 

New 49'er Newsletter

FIRST QUARTER, MARCH 2017                               VOLUME 31, NUMBER 3

Dave McCracken

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

The New 49’ers Legal Fund, separate from The New 49’er Prospecting Association, is an organization with the purpose to defend the civil and statutory rights of members of natural resource dependent communities through public education, participation in litigation, and other public processes that involve such rights, and providing legal assistance to indigent members of such communities.

The New 49’ers Legal Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt organization based in Happy Camp, California. For more information concerning legal matters, please go here.

The Legal Fund, in one way or another, along with several other industry advocacy groups, is involved with most of the legal challenges being faced by small-scale gold miners in the western States of America.

Most of the money The Legal Fund raises comes in as the result of several drawings we do every year. Fortunately, there are quite a large number of contributors. The most recent drawing took place on the 24th of February at our headquarters in Happy Camp, California. Here are the winners: 

One-ounce American Gold Eagle:  Dennis Taylor of Cheyenne WY

Quarter-ounce American Gold Eagles:  Ryck Rowan of Spokane WA; Ryck Rowan of Spokane WA; FairOaksFinds of Fair Oaks CA and PJ and Jack Wray of Auburn WA

Tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles:  Jerry Rady of Escondido CA; Walt Morrison of Kent WA; Chester Morris of Mount Aukum CA; Don Brady of Happy Camp; Dennis Taylor of Cheyenne WY; Spencer Bailey of Bakersfield CA; Ryck Rowan of Spokane WA; Joseph Burda of Pacifica CA; Dennis Kim of Honolulu HI and Phil Robinson of Redway CA

One-ounce American Silver Eagles:  Daniel Connolly of Atwater CA; Stephen Clapham of Klamath River CA; Jeffery Arnold of Hercules CA; Larry Alexander of Ceres CA; Joe Martin of Willits CA; William White of Portland OR; Jan Nelson of Skagway AK; Donald Hill of Vallejo CA; Dennis Taylor of Cheyenne WY; Gregory Dennis of Livermore CA

Congratulations to all the winners!!

Thanks to all of our loyal supporters, we can consider this another very successful fund-raiser.  As promised, the Legal Fund will now follow with another fund-raiser duplicating the very same prizes – since these seem to generate strong interest.

 

New Legal Fund-raiser with 25 American Gold Eagles!

Gold and Silver Eagles

Grand Prize: 1-ounce American Gold Eagle
Four ¼-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1/10th-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1-ounce American Silver Eagles

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc.).

This drawing will take place at 3 pm on Friday 23rd of June 2017 at our headquarters in Happy Camp. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online.

All contributions are tax deductible. You can find more information about the drawing right here.

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing

  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out. Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

 

Legal and Political Perspective

We certainly do live in interesting times!

While the industry continues ongoing litigation concerning motorized small-scale mining, particularly suction dredging for gold,  in California and Oregon, and the all-important Rinehart petition has been submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, I personally believe that meaningful relief from totally unreasonable over-regulation (mostly by State agencies) on the public lands is most likely to come from the Trump administration and U.S. congress as they move their agenda forward to make America great again.

We will need to have some patience; because the Trump Team and congress are clearly occupied with the larger issues facing America that the vast majority of Americans are interested in – like controlling who is allowed to enter our country, our health care system and tax reform.  But even as these issues are mostly what the mainstream press is covering, it is clear that the Trump Team and part of congress are working on how to eliminate unreasonable environmental regulation that has been strangling the American economy.

So now we are working the political side of the big equation; something that has been closed off to us for most of my career. I am aware of at least 2 federal legislative bills being circulated that will bring us much-needed relief concerning resource development on the public lands, and on privately-held land that has been patented because of proven mineral reserves.  We are quietly providing support to both of these efforts. When the appropriate time comes, we will ask you to send in your letters, emails or make phone calls in support.

While it really hasn’t happened yet, it is just a matter of time before the Trump Team and congress are going to run directly into the very same extremely-liberal players at the State level who have basically reduced America’s mining industry down to early-1800’s technology. Here is proof that this is going to happen!

There was a time when America had the strongest mining industry in the world. Now, it would be easier to get a mining permit in North Korea or Iran! And it’s not just mining. It is nearly everything that allows individual freedom to create wealth.

I’m betting that what we have not been able to overcome in 7+ years of litigation can be resolved by the new administration as they run smack into the forces that have been holding us down. We just need to give it some time. Here are just a few examples of how things are changing:

Metals and Mining Matter

Congress Moves To Roll Back Regulations Of Federal Lands

New Interior Chief Vows Review Of Obama-Era Rules, ‘Bold’ Restructuring

New U.S. Environmental Chief Says Agency Can Also Be Pro-Jobs

Arizona Senate Committee Passes Bill To Treat Gold As Money, Remove Capital Gains Tax

Know that we are quietly working on freeing up our industry from prohibitive regulations.  We are also organizing as best we can to sponsor productive group projects for the 2017 season.

For as long as we have been held down, it’s worth waiting a while longer. After all, we are talking about regaining access to America’s vast natural treasures – the very substance that must be made available if America is to be made great again. I had my doubts that it would happen during my lifetime, but finally America’s new leaders are actually looking for solutions at how to get things back on track. Our country has been mismanaged so severely, we are going to need to be patient while the mess gets untangled.  There is good reason for hope!

Myself, and the others on our active team, want to express our sincerest gratitude to those of you who have been supporting our efforts.

Join us for our Group Mining Projects Next Season!

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting.  One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who more experienced than you are.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members.

2017 Schedule of Events: June 3 & 4; June 24 & 25, July 15 & 16; August 5 & 6; August 26 & 27 

Schedule of Events

In addition, electronic prospecting specialist and New 49’er member, Dennis Dickson, in concert with Whites Electronics and Armadillo Mining Supply will host two 2-day electronic gold prospecting projects in Happy Camp this coming season. Bring your own metal detectors. The projects will happen on Friday & Saturday June 9 and 10 and Friday & Saturday August 18 and 19.  We will meet at our Headquarters in Happy Camp at 9 am.

We are also hoping to organize some underwater suction mining projects (without the use of motorized pumps) in an established very rich gold deposit (in shallow water) this summer. Watch for more news on this as we attempt to move forward.

Group projects are limited to a certain number of participants. Scheduling in advance is strongly advised to ensure a position on any specific weekend project: 530 493-2012 

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than we can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

 

New 49'er Newsletter

FIRST QUARTER, FEBRUARY 2017                               VOLUME 31, NUMBER 2

Dave McCracken

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

Anyone who is paying attention knows that there are a lot of changes already happening in just the first two weeks since Donald Trump has taken over as President of the United States. Clearly the very determined trend is in the direction of undoing the death grip that too much government has had on the American economy and our liberty. Things are moving very fast, some which are generally coming in our direction.

As one example, here is an answer given by Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, to conservative talk host, Lars Larson, at a White House briefing yesterday on national television:

First; to me, it is remarkable that the new White House is allowing conservative talk hosts to participate in the daily briefings!  Secondly, Mr. Spicer’s answer suggests that the new Administration is aware that natural resources from the public lands, including minerals, must be utilized to expand the economy. This is especially hopeful to us! 

It was also telling several days ago when President Trump encouraged Canada to resubmit its application to build the Keystone Pipeline. Mr. trump said the application would likely be approved quickly.  But even more importantly, he insisted that all of the pipe will be manufactured in the U.S., “We are going to put a lot of skilled workers back to work…like we used to in the old days.” 

Based upon the executive orders President Trump has signed so far, his executive appointees, and his choice of federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, my impression is that he fully intends to put Americans and our country first again. What a relief!

And as if the stars were really lining up in our favor, Brandon Rinehart filed his Petition with the U.S. Supreme Court just today (3 February)!  Pacific Legal Foundation’s very enlightening press release can be found right here:

The problem is, that while the Trump Team is off to a strong start on the new “America First” agenda, they are getting crucified by most American and international media outlets and some liberal foreign leaders.  Most mainstream press organizations are owned and managed by liberal organizations that have been working for decades to destroy America from the inside. My impression is that they are going absolutely bonkers while Mr. Trump and his team are undoing their dirty work with steadfast determination. 

Action Alert 

There are so many important things happening at the moment which will affect the remainder of our lives, the future of America and the world, I encourage everyone to make a stand right now and tell Donald Trump that we are 100% in favor of his efforts. We must encourage him to “Stay the course!”

The whole world hangs in the balance! 

Violent outbreaks by our adversaries on the left have already started. They may get a lot worse. My prediction is that the forces (“the dark side”) which hate traditional America are going to organize to do whatever they can to stop the Trump Train.  As far as I am aware, this is the first real chance we have had of in my lifetime to get America back on track with what our founders intended during the first American revolution. We are now in the second American revolution.  I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume that the biggest battles and most dangerous challenges are still in front of us.

For the moment, a very productive thing we all could do to lend support is to send a letter or an electronic message to Donald Trump and let him know that we fully support his efforts.  Let’s not allow the main stream press do our talking for us.

And just to be sure that small-scale miners don’t fall through the cracks, please inform Mr. Trump that we have been getting rolled over for the past nine years by the very same groups and individuals that are trying to bring him down.  I am attaching a letter from the attorney who has represented our industry since the beginning of our difficulties. The letter explains our situation quite well.

I see the Trump Train as the solution to the problems our industry is having with the various States, especially California and Oregon.  This, because most small-scale mining takes place on the public lands. There is no way America is going to rebuild its entire infrastructure and military if State agencies will continue to be allowed to obstruct resource development on the public lands. So there is a battle coming between the Trump Train and obstructionist State agencies. I’m guessing it’s going to happen soon. I’m also betting we are going to win.

So let’s cheer on the champion for our side. Please send Mr. Trump some encouragement and a copy of Mr. Buchal’s letter. The postal address is on Mr. Buchal’s letter.  You can direct an electronic message right here: (Click on the “Participate” tab at the top of the page). In that case, include this link to Mr. Buchal’s letter into your message.

I would be very proud if we could generate thousands of encouragement letters from our industry supporters.   Thanks for whatever you guys can do!

 

Legal Fund Drawing in Just 3 Weeks!

Gold and Silver EaglesThere will be 25 prizes in all:
Grand Prize: 1-ounce American Gold Eagle
Four ¼-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1/10th-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1-ounce American Silver Eagles

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc.).

This drawing will take place at 12:00 Noon on 24 February 2017 at our headquarters in Happy Camp. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online.

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing

  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out. Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

So far, there has been very little participation in this drawing. But you guys always come through in the final two weeks. Thanks for anything you guys can do to help!  

Join us for our Group Mining Projects Next Season!

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting.  One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who more experienced than you are.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members.

2017 Schedule of Events: June 3 & 4; June 24 & 25, July 15 & 16; August 5 & 6; August 26 & 27 

Schedule of Events

In addition, electronic prospecting specialist and New 49’er member, Dennis Dickson, will host two 2-day electronic gold prospecting projects in Happy Camp this coming season. Bring your own detectors. The projects will happen on Friday & Saturday June 9 and 10 and Friday & Saturday August 18 and 19.  We will meet at our Headquarters in Happy Camp at 9 am.

Group projects are limited to a certain number of participants. Scheduling in advance is strongly advised to ensure a position on any specific weekend project: 530 493-2012 

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than we can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

 

New 49'er Newsletter

FIRST QUARTER, JANUARY 2017                               VOLUME 31, NUMBER 1

Dave McCracken

 
 
 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 
 
Note: We normally avoid publishing stories in our monthly newsletter that are not directly related to The New 49’ers. But since this is mid-winter, and Happy Camp has been, more or less, shut down by severe weather (so there is not much gold prospecting to talk about), and the story below provides an entertaining explanation of why the January newsletter is going out a bit late; I’m going to share with you some of the adventures I have been through since our December newsletter. Now that we are all safely back on land and I have more time, I will add a little more explanation to what originally went out in the hard copy newsletter: 

Message from Dave Mack, 17 December, 2016 4:00 PM, Philippine Islands: 

blue boat skyline

I am talking to you through my brother Tim because my Laptop is not working any longer.

My underwater exploration boat got sucked into a giant whirlpool several nights ago, flipped over and sunk all within 15 seconds.   Jasmin and I were asleep and nearly went down with the boat 30 miles north of the nearest populated island.

We spent the next 14 hours floating around the South China Sea until a boat picked us up the on the following day.  Only wearing panties and underwear bottoms, it was the coldest night of our lives!

I mostly believe in and practice the following two philosophical concepts:

1)  Everything happens exactly as it is supposed to. We do our best to make things go the way we want them. Then we adjust ourselves to the way things actually go.

2) God, or The Great Intelligence, or however we personally choose to define that greater force which directs the infinite creative reality we are experiencing always gives us exactly what we need (but not always what we believe we want).

This underwater exploration boat was one of my most prized possessions. Short of running it into something very hard, the boat was unsinkable. Every system on the boat was working exactly as it was supposed to.

We have had occasional problems with flash storms hitting us all at once during the middle of the night, one time forcing us to cut our anchor line to keep from getting swept onto remote rocks by severe winds, we returned this time with heavy chain and a 3/4-inch braided rope and a buoy so that I could secure the boat to a very large boulder or coral head on the bottom of the ocean. In this case, it was a very strong coral head. This allowed us a totally secure answer to any winds Mother Nature wanted to direct our way.

Nearly every problem (many near disasters) we have encountered while doing these underwater search projects for the past several years have had to do with severe winds, usually in the total darkness. Though we have seen a number of very powerful whirlpools out on the South China Sea, they are usually associated with strong tidal flows which rush around the larger islands – though we did see a very large whirl pool one time out in the middle of nowhere with no visible reason for it being there.

skin diving fish
Jasmin

Jasmin likes to drive the boat.

Even though I have seen them, nothing in my life experience jolted me into the realization that we could encounter a powerful whirlpool while at anchor. This is something that is very unlikely to happen when taking shelter in a protected bay. But on this night, we were secured to the bottom of the ocean so far out in the South China Sea that we could not see land in any direction.

I am not at liberty to discuss the nature of these boat exploration adventures we are doing. The truth is that we do some spear fishing to supply the boat with fresh meals.

Since the seas were mostly calm on this trip, we had made the 200-mile voyage down to our destination on a single day. It took us 8 or 9 hours, including one stop to top off our fuel. Unless the seas are bad, Jasmin normally likes to drive the boat. She drove most of the way. She also cleans the fish we catch, cooks all the meals, keeps the boat shipshape, and participates in most of the underwater work. Jasmin is the best boat mate I have ever had.

Our destination was a place where several volcanic rocks protrude out of about 180 feet of water way out in the middle of nowhere. The water is about 50 feet deep near to the rocks, then drops off rapidly into depths too deep for scuba diving. The location is 90 miles out in the South China Sea from the large island of Mindoro, and about 35 miles north of the Large island of Busuanga – which you cannot even see out there unless it is a very clear day. Hardly anyone goes out there, though it is not uncommon to see and visit with local fishermen from remote islands that are shorter distances away.

rocks

These rocks extend up out of deep water way out in the middle of nowhere.

Our surveys around these rocks have a lot to do with the fact that they are full of natural caves. The caves provide hiding places for fish and interesting places to explore.

We were tired when we arrived at the rocks. Even though the weather was mostly fine during our voyage, we were seeing threatening storms on the horizon all around us. So I went down on a hookah system (tether line to supply air to me underwater) and shackled a very strong chain around the base of a huge coral head in about 50 feet of water. Then I connected the heavy rope and buoy to the chain. This would serve as our secure connection to the ocean bottom for the week or so that we expected to be there. That connection was so strong, there was no storm in the weather forecasts that posed any threat to us, day or night.

Since it gets dark early and we were tired, we settled for a snack and went to bed early. There was some mild rain and we could hear thunder in the distance. But since I set the anchor mooring on the down-wind side of the rock, the sea was pretty quiet in our location.

I’m estimating that it was around 9 pm when I felt the boat leaning strongly to the port (left) side.

Being in charge of a boat and passenger(s) out on the open ocean is a big responsibility. Murphy (as in “Murphy’s law”) lives out on the water. Even when you do everything right, unexpected surprises come up that can be catastrophic.

Storm 1 Storm 2

There were some smaller storms around us which prompted me to connect an unbreakable bond to the ocean bottom.

In addition to those who depend upon me, I also have a sacred responsibility to care for the boat – just as the boat has an unfaltering duty to keep us safe. This is not something easy to explain in human language. But anyone who has ever spent a lot of time on the open seas in a vessel will likely agree with me that every boat has a life force, even if it is not the same as what humans experience.

I don’t sleep very deeply when we are out on the ocean, even on a calm night. When I felt the boat leaning to port, I sprang out of my bunk to see what was causing it. This boat had floor lights which we kept on all night.  So there was plenty of light to see a very substantial wave of water rushing in through the stern (rear) door opening. The whole deck was awash with water and the boat was leaning hard to the port side. Water was flowing in so fast, my first thought was to wake Jasmin and tell her to grab the life preservers. She was still trying to wake up.

There was the loud sound of rushing water coming from behind the boat and I could see that the water was moving past the boat kind of like a river, but at a tilted angle. A large standing wave of water just behind the boat was sucking us deeper into the water.

Looking back, I immediately recognized that the boat was going to go down. So I turned around, got on my knees between the boat seats, reached under the bed, and tried to pull out the heavy life preservers – which we keep right there for when we need to get to them quickly. What I got was the waterproof bag which contains our bedding when we are on the go. In just that moment, the boat flipped over entirely upside down. Something heavy smashed me in the head; probably a set of divers weights. After the boat flipped, the heavy motor dragged the stern of the boat straight beneath the rest of the boat. It was all I could do to get out of the canopy-covered area of the boat without passing out for lack of air.

I was worried Jasmin did not get out of the forward cabin where I saw her just moments before.

When I came to the surface, the bow (front) of the boat was still floating a few feet above the water, pointing straight upward as if giving a final farewell to the above-water world. I held onto the bow. The boat was not drifting anywhere because of the way I had it attached to the ocean bottom. To my surprise and relief, I spotted Jasmin holding onto the large Yeti cooler that was floating like a cork. But the cooler was being pulled directly towards the whirlpool.

Jasmin is a good swimmer, and joined me at the boat, which was ever-sinking deeper into the ocean. There were no life preservers on the surface. But there were two inflatable boat bumpers (they keep your boat from getting scraped up when up against docks) there still tied to the boat. The first one came undone quickly. Determined to have more floatation, I was pulled at least 10 feet underwater by the boat before getting the second bumper untied. I tied the two bumpers together to provide us with some floatation.

Then, my diving equipment bag popped up to the surface. We had that out of storage earlier in the day when I set the mooring on the bottom of the ocean. Inside the dive bag was my buoyancy compensator (BCD) – which is basically a life preserver that you can blow up through a mouth piece. There was also an underwater flashlight, my spare face mask and my titanium dive knife. The waterproof bag that I pulled out from under the bed before the boat flipped over also floated to the surface. I used the straps and snaps to connect everything together.

So there we found ourselves floating in the ocean out in the middle of nowhere, with a light rain coming down on is. Best I could tell; the whirlpool had either spun itself out or moved off.

We were together, unhurt, and alive.

The volcanic rocks there are too steep and sharp-edged to climb up on.

We fit Jasmin into the BCD; I used the two boat bumpers for floatation; and we crawled into the diving bag together as best we could and hugged close all night to preserve our heat.

The ocean water was 86 degrees. Sounds warm, right? And it is, if you are not going to spend hours and hours in the water. But the 12-degree difference between the water and our normal body temperature eventually had us so cold that our teeth chattered with shivers when either of us had anything to say – which, by the way, caused us to giggle at our predicament.  Though internally, both of us were feeling a deep loss for the boat which has served us so well.

At first, I believed a local fishing boat would be by in just a short period of time. I had the flashlight tied onto Jasmin’s BCD, ready to use as a signaling device at any time.

I also tied the knife there. There are a lot of sharks in the South China Sea. We see them on nearly every dive. My own experience with sharks is similar to dogs. If you boldly charge forward at a shark, he will normally go away in search of easier prey.

sunsetThe rain picked up after a while and was very cold on our heads. So we draped the waterproof bag over us for the rest of the night. It helped to preserve the warmth that we were breathing out of our bodies.

I was really surprised that we did not hear or see a single boat all night.

First signs of daylight show themselves at 5 am. That’s what I was waiting for. With the light would come a new day, warm skies, and at least a few local fishing boats.

Warmer air was nothing short of nourishing as the sun rose. But there was still not a single boat to be seen.

The problem was that the ocean currents were drifting us to the northeast out towards Apo Reef. Apo is the second largest coral reef in the world and is designated as a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. That means local fishermen don’t go out there (those that do, end up losing their boats to the authorities).  So that was not the direction we wanted to go…

At about 7 am, facing the prospect of another night or more slowly freezing to death out in the ocean, I pointed to an unoccupied island that was seven miles away. Jasmin and I know the island from earlier voyages. We know there is clean drinking water there.

If you don’t drown, die of exposure or get eaten by something, it is the lack of drinking water that will kill you when you are lost out in the open ocean.

island in the distance

If you look close, you can see the small island way off in the distance that we were going to swim to as an attempt to save ourselves.

Nearly anyone else would have laughed at me under those circumstances if I suggested we needed to swim to an island that was so far away, we could only see it when the ocean swells allowed us a slightly heightened view. Jasmin started paddling even before I finished the suggestion. This is what ultimately saved us. She paddled and I pushed. After a few hours, I was estimating that we had moved about a mile in the right direction. My concern was that changing tides would create currents that would defeat our effort. All we could do was try.

When I first heard the boat, both of us thought it was an airplane way up in the sky. But the sound grew louder; and pretty soon, we saw that it was a boat coming from the direction of Apo. It was coming straight at us. In fact, our intersection was so perfect that the boat would have run us over if we were not seen. But the guys in the boat saw us long before stopping to pick us up.  “Man are we glad to see you!” is all I could get out of my shivering, teeth-chattering voice. This turned out to be quite a large fiberglass speed boat that had been designed and built for a dive company in El Nido, Palawan, maybe about a hundred miles further to the south.

The guys helped us into the boat and served us up with drinking water and fresh sandwiches. We were not hungry. But the water went down like the elixir of life — which it is! Jasmin really appreciated a warm shirt. Under my BCD, all she had on was a pair of panties. My body was too large to fit into any of their shirts. But I was content to be up on a warm boat, even in just my underpants.

After hearing our story, the guys in the boat offered to take us anywhere we wanted to go.

In my mind, there was only one place to go. I had to get back down to the boat where we had clothes, footwear, money and identification. The boat was in 50 feet of water.

I had plenty of diving gear and full scuba tanks on the boat. But I needed help getting down there. There was a time that I could reach down to 50 feet on a single breath; but not anymore.

So we settled on my original plan, regardless of what boat eventually picked us up. We were to be dropped off at Dimpac Island. This is a very remote place just north of Busuanga.  There is a small, friendly fishing community there.  We take shelter at Dimpac during bad weather, and have made friends with some of the locals. I was hoping someone might have a compressor that would help me reach the boat.  This idea was a long reach; but it was the best I could do under the circumstances.

salvage

Here are just some of the goodies we recovered the first day. Everything was rinsed in fresh water and stored away in a safe place.

When we reached Dimpac, we discovered that there was quite a substantial tourist diving boat there with divers in the water. What a stroke of luck! This was one of Dugong Dive Center’s several boats. Over mobile phone service, they arranged to immediately dispatch another dive boat with a crew of 4 dive-masters and a boat crew to help us do initial salvage. It was 4 pm that afternoon when we arrived back out where the boat sank and made the first of 2 dives.

Four of Dugong’s divers and myself worked until dark to recover most of the valuable items off the boat.  I don’t have images of this, because my underwater cameras came up with bags full of disorganized salvage. All I can say is that these Filipino dive-masters working for Dugong were highly professional, hard workers, and maintained a good natured and supportive posture throughout their involvement.

The dive service arranged for Jasmin and I to stay in a very comfortable resort  named Cashew Grove Beach Resort. The resort manager (Melody) was waiting for us on the beach when we stepped out of the boat and escorted us to a warm shower and hot meal. She and her staff arranged a secure place to store our salvage.

The following day, Melody arranged with a second dive service from a nearby resort, Club Paradise, to provide a boat and 4 more dive-masters who turned out to be just as helpful as the team that helped us the day before. In just a few hours, we recovered everything else off the boat that could be removed.

recovery team sunk

The boat remains on the bottom of the ocean at the time I am writing this message.  I have pretty much written that off as a loss. I’m thinking the nearly new 200HP Suzuki 4-stroke outboard motor, with all of its high tech electronic systems, would cost as much to refurbish as to buy a new one. This aluminum hull was the nicest boat I have ever had. But even if we could get it floating (likely), we would still have to tow her 200 miles to Subic Bay, strip out everything, and begin from scratch.  I have already done that once.  Makes me tired just thinking about it!

Tim and Dave

My brother Time and I celebrating just weeks before when we finally had this boat totally ready for its mission.  That was a very happy day.

Immediately upon my return to Subic Bay, my most trusted and experienced boat mentor convinced me that we could fully recover and restore the blue boat and motor if we moved fast.  I had my doubts about a full recovery and the costs involved with a project of that magnitude.  But I know that I would regret it for the rest of my life if I did not do my absolute best to recover the boat; an almost sacred friend that would have given up its own existence to preserve mine and Jasmin’s.

So Tim and I immediately pulled our 2nd (white) underwater dive exploration boat out of dry storage and assigned some work orders to the local boat shop. This was all in preparation for a recovery expedition to try and raise the blue boat and get it back to Subic.  We needed to make two voyages down to pick up our salvage at Cashew Grove, anyway. So there was not much to lose in trying to raise the boat.

A longtime friend of mine who does mechanical work all over the world agreed to accompany me and try to get the motor operating on the 1st boat.  We were just waiting for Super Typhoon Nock-10 to pass by before making the 200-mile voyage to the south where the boat is waiting on the bottom.

Message from Dave Mack, 4 January, 2017 9:00 AM, Philippine Islands:  Once again, I am forwarding this message by mobile phone through loyal brother Tim who has provided very close support since you last heard from me.

As luck turned out, we managed to get my new Laptop going and I was back in live communication with our Happy Camp office the very day that Super Typhoon Nock-10 passed directly over my present location.  All of the weather forecasts predicted 7 days of fair and calm seas.  So, my friend (who I am deliberately not naming) and I departed immediately to Busuanga Island in the Philippine South.

white boat

White boat to the rescue!

We only provisioned the boat for one week because we were carrying a lot of gear and bulky flotation devices to support the recovery mission. We expected to be finished with our mission in less than a week.

It took us two days to get down to Busuanga.  This was not because of the distance.  It was because of my increased concern about the need to drop anchor at night in protected coves.  The problem here is that the weather does not always do what the forecasters say. A calm night can turn into a ferocious storm in just minutes. We have resolved how to sustain very strong winds and seas. Whirlpools in the darkness are another matter altogether!

Our first stop on day-2 of the voyage was where the first boat sunk. Unfortunately, all that remained was the 650 pound 4-stroke Suzuki 200 HP motor.  Someone unbolted the motor and took away the hull.  This is very unfortunate, because these types of aluminum Aussie-Built special long range dive boats are hard to come by in the Philippines.  Having said that, I keep reminding myself everything happens as it should. Clearly, someone else is more enthusiastic than I am about investing the resources to resurrect that boat.

Fortunately, we still have another boat.   Though I will not be putting down anchor in unprotected locations…

Which brings me to the present:  With the boat gone, we devoted a full day searching the entire north coast of Busuanga to see if we could find it. No luck. So we made fast work on day-4 in recovering about half of the salvaged items (the other half will be recovered on the next trip) which were being stored safely at Cashew Grove.

Checking in with Tim over mobile phone service, even though it was too late in the day to start our voyage back, Tim informed me that an entirely new storm system was moving in and that we had to depart immediately to avoid getting caught in it.  Tim strongly emphasized the need to head north as fast as the white boat would take us. The surface of the sea was already choppy even before we departed.

The first 100 miles of our voyage to Lubang Island was just plain brutal.  I am talking about strong winds and waves coming straight at us from the north, sometimes getting slammed so hard, I had concerns about the boat breaking up.  My friend screamed and cried with every slam.  But there was no choice to turn around or stop.  My sole objective was to make it to a small protected cove on the West Side of Lubang Island where we could get certain shelter.  There was no other place we could go get out of the storm’s blow.

We came into the storm that Tim had warned us about 30 miles south of Lubang Island; which, by the way, is the Verde Island Straight.   When the tides are running, these are the most treacherous waters in the Philippines.

Fortunately, the wind and waves were battering us from the East.  With only a few hours of daylight left, this allowed me to direct the boat parallel to the peaks and troughs of the 6-foot waves.  Even so, we were taking a lot of water over the windshield and into the boat, along with occasional punishing slams. These caused my friend to scream out in pain.  I was hurting, too. But he was beyond miserable.

We could have put up the flexible storm window to keep more water out of the boat and my eyes. The reason I decided against it is because so much water on the windshield blocks all or most visibility forward of the boat. Take it from me when I say that running 25 MPH sideways to 6-foot seas requires that you see where you are going.

It didn’t take long for the water coming over the windshield to flood out both of the boat’s GPS sounders.  This was not a serious problem during the daylight.  But after dark, without the sounders, there would be no way to find the protected cove on Lubang.  Just as the sun was on the horizon, with darkness fast approaching, I gave the boat full throttle.   This was a race that we were about to lose!

I was taking a severe pounding myself; but the salt water and spray in my face was so severe that I was having trouble keeping my eyes open.   At one point, my eyes swelled completely shut.  That was when we slammed so hard that my friend fell out of his seat and was writhing in pain on the deck, pleading with me to stop the boat.

I stopped the boat long enough to flush my eyes with fresh water and explain to my friend that we were either going to make it to the protected cove on Lubang or die trying.  Then I suggested he sit in the back of the boat where he might be more comfortable.

It brings me no pleasure to inflict so much pain on another person. But pain is better than dead! Getting swept out through the Verdi Island Straight into the South China Sea overnight during a tropical storm is something we probably would not have survived.

Back to full speed, we pulled into the protected cove just as total darkness set in.   Fifteen minutes later and we would not have made it.

The following morning, my friend wanted off the boat at any cost.  He was so desperate, he pleaded with me to drop him off on a remote coral reef down on the Southwest corner of Lubang which has no roads or trails leading to it.  It would have been a death sentence! He just wasn’t thinking clearly.

Over his strenuous objections I drove the boat around the island and dropped him off at a ferry port where he could catch a ride back to the mainland, and a bus back home. I took on fuel and limited provisions at the port.    As my friend stepped off of the boat, it was the first time in my life I ever saw someone express true joy.  I am talking joy on the level of being in the presence of god.  You would have thought it was New Year’s Day (it was)!  He did everything except kiss the filthy ground at the port.

On that note, this was how we spent both Christmas and New Year’s.

By mobile phone, Tim told me the weather forecast was showing 3 foot waves and 15 knot winds out of the Northwest.  I still had a 100 mile crossing directly to the North of Lubang Island to reach Subic Bay.  So I decided to go for it.

But the waves turned out to be 6 feet and larger coming directly out of the north on such a short interval that the bow of the boat torpedoed through nearly every wave.  I had the foul weather windshield zipped in for this trip even though it prevented me from seeing clearly what was in front of the boat in heavy water.  My plan was just to follow north on the Boat’s Compass until I reached Subic.  After 10 miles of submarining through waves, I decided to turn back and wait out the storm.  That was five days ago.

So I am on the boat alone, having returned to the protected cove.  By driving 2 miles to the north, I am able to pick up a mobile phone service and get daily weather reports from Tim.  The forecast is for high seas and strong winds for at least the next week.

Low on provisions, I am feeding myself mainly on the fish I am shooting with my spear gun. This second boat has a hookah compressor on board, much like the compressors we use when dredging for gold. Most others might consider this over the top; but I have been having good luck by dropping anchor out on reefs in 60 feet of water, and going down to use the anchor to drive the boat. By this, I mean when I free the anchor from the bottom, high winds on the surface sweep me along the bottom of the ocean at high speed until I come upon habitat that is supporting game fish. Then I plunge the anchor again into something solid. I do this over and over. As I only need a single fish a day for myself, I have continued to make more friends with local fishermen by giving my extra catches away.

Once the dive is over, I float the anchor with a lift bag to make sure I’m going to recover it in those strong winds.

Since there is nothing else I can do to get this boat back home at the moment, I’m making the best out of my situation. Underwater adventure has been my life passion; and honestly, the solitude is allowing me some valuable time with myself.

Yesterday, I decided that I should have a larger boat. Up until now, the reason I have used smaller boats is that I can take them out of the water between voyages – and especially when I am not in the Philippines. I’ll be looking towards future seasons to trade this convenience off with the benefits and increased safety margins associated with a larger platform.

Like I said, the adventures just keep getting better and better.

With the need to put out a January newsletter as one of my primary responsibilities this story is the best I can do in my present situation.  This is especially important since we have a Legal Fund drawing coming up very soon.

Please indulge me as I provide several lessens I have learned from these experiences:

  • Nothing is unsinkable! I’m not talking only about boats. I’m talking about everything.
  • We should make the best we can out of every day we have remaining in this life. Because when your time is up, you don’t want to leave important unfinished business behind. I’m mainly talking about relationships. But I’m also talking about pursuing our life dreams.
  • It’s very interesting how quickly and how substantially life’s most important things can change. It all starts with a breath. Without that, nothing else matters for long. Sometimes we get all tied around in circles worrying about things that are of little or no consequence. Perhaps this is why some forms of meditation focus entirely on breathing. Want to experience the miracle of life? Just relish in a single breath of air.
  • During 14 hours of misery on the water, there was never a single complaint from my loyal boat-mate, Jasmin Montes. Though, there were numerous times when we found ourselves giggling at the difficulty of our situation out there in the middle of nowhere with our teeth chattering. Courage is a wonderful thing to share!
  • I’m already on the lookout for a larger boat. Good chance when we pull that altogether, I’ll be glad things happened the way they have.
  • As it turns out, the exact right boat came along and picked us up with perfect timing. If we had not tried to swim for the island, that boat would have never seen us. Think about that a second: That resort in El Nido ordered their new boat months and months before, took delivery hundreds of miles to the south, chose their exact path out of the infinity of routes they could have taken to the south – only to intersect with Jasmin and I like a bullseye at exactly the right time to rendezvous with a commercial diving company. What are the odds of all that happening? The odds were far more likely that we would still be out there floating around as shark bait!
  • These near death experiences help me to appreciate my truest and most loyal friends. I’m talking about you guys!!  And of course, the thousands of close supporters from around the world who appreciate my adventures.

As it was, the weather eventually cleared up enough to allow me passage across to Subic Bay from Lubang Island. The boat has been washed down and placed in storage. I have ordered replacement GPs sounders and placed several work orders with the boat shop to bring the boat back to full readiness. The local dive shop will replace the scuba compressor that went down with the first boat. Jasmin and I are gearing up to recover the remainder of our salvage and resume our exploration adventures shortly after I publish the February newsletter.

Note: I want to extend my most sincere thank you to Ian and Melody, along with their entire staff at Cashew Grove Beach Resort in northern Palawan, Philippines. In addition to providing an extraordinary service to their customers (diving, trekking, exploring, enjoying the beach, fantastic meals and lodging), they deliver hospitality far beyond what you would expect from anyone short of family: +639 98 5533 184.

Legal/Political Updates

I know we all have our own views on this. We will have to allow things some time to see how things work out.  My own initial impression is that Donald Trump is going to be very good for America. Looking at the team he is building around himself, I get that his full intention is to pry the government off the backs of working America.

In my mind, it’s not a matter of whether or not Mr. Trump wants to “make America great again.”  The question remains how he is going to deal with the substantial forces which fully intend to obstruct his efforts.

For about as long as I have been an adult, liberals have been having things go their way with so little effort that they have not had to work very hard to make life much more difficult for those of us who have had to make our way by creating wealth and wealth-producing services. Having been on the front lines doing battle with liberals for quite a long time, I have come to the conclusion that very few of them are willing to accept reality as it actually is.

So I am predicting that there will be lots of commotion as the new Trump administration and republican majorities begin implementing policies which will force our liberal brothers and sisters to confront a whole new reality.

In a similar way that Jasmin and I intersected with that boat out in the middle of an open sea, Donald Trump has arrived in American politics at just the right time to turn our country around. He is just the right guy, and perhaps the only guy, who will hopefully be prepared to reverse decades upon decades of misguided, socialist policies which have all but destroyed the American dream.

Dave MackI’m not concerned about Mr. Trump realigning the federal government to support working America. My foreboding is more about how he will persuade obstructionist States and localities. It is State policies that have destroyed so many wealth-producing industries. Imagine, as gold prospectors, the State of California has made it against the law for us to use any mechanized device to locate and recover gold within 100 feet of a waterway – even if there is no measurable impact upon the environment.

That’s liberal thinking; totally divorced from the reality of economic principles.

I predict the Second American Revolution has already started; and it is likely to get ugly (and perhaps violent) as the Trump Team increases pressure upon powerful liberal forces who will do everything within their power to obstruct his progress.

Since the future of America’s “greatness” will largely depend upon our rediscovering the values and principles which made our country great in the first place, along with the future of our small-scale gold mining industry, I strongly encourage you to keep an open mind, contribute in a positive manner, and stand firmly behind Mr. Trump’s efforts as he faces off with the enemies of America’s traditional way of life.

And just remember: (1) Everything happens exactly as it is supposed to, and (2) Each of us gets exactly what we need, even if it’s not what we are asking for! And (3) if it’s not what you think you want, just take a breath!

California Waterboard Scoping Hearings:

The California State Waterboard is conducting Public Workshops in anticipation of creating a new Suction dredging permit. Here is their announcement. I would advise those of you who live close enough to attend the Workshops and put in a good word for our side.

Legal Fund Drawing Coming Soon!
Gold and Silver Eagles

There will be 25 prizes in all:
Grand Prize: 1-ounce American Gold Eagle
Four ¼-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1/10th-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1-ounce American Silver Eagles
Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc.).

This drawing will take place at 12:00 Noon on 24 February 2017 at our headquarters in Happy Camp. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online.

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing

  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out. Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

Thanks for anything you guys can do to help!

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than we can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

 

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

 

New 49'er Newsletter

FOURTH QUARTER, DECEMBER 2016                               VOLUME 30, NUMBER 12

Dave McCracken

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

Story by John Rose

If you search the Internet, you can find several different explanations of how the town of Happy Camp got its name. The most common explanation is that it was named by gold miners during the mid 1800’s because the location was central to all of the incredible gold finds that were being made up and down the Klamath River, Elk and Indian Creeks. One story tells of a group in 1851 that followed the Klamath River from the coast and stumbled upon a rich deposit of gold at the mouth of Indian Creek. There is a long stretch of flat land alongside the river below Indian Creek where the original camp was set up. Later flood storms eventually forced the miners to move to higher ground.

John & Sandy Gold in blue pan

This story is the only reasonable explanation for why we have found so much original streambed alongside the Klamath River downstream of Indian Creek. The early settlers would not have mined under the ground where they set up to live.  Here is some video that we captured which shows the deposit of ancient material:

panning goldWe have been aware of this very rich surface deposit for quite some time. I believe it may have originally been discovered by Rip Ripple, a longtime New 49’er, who shared his discovery with dozens and dozens of new members.  Rip recovered a lot of gold in that place, along with some very nice nuggets. The reason we have kind of kept things quiet is that the location is so close to our office in Happy Camp, it is a wonderful place to bring beginning gold prospectors and show them how to pan for gold – and make sure they are going to find some, too!  Sometimes beginners find nice nuggets. The scenery is spectacular!

Sandy Jones is my loyal and hard-working mining partner these days. She is a very good and experienced miner on her own, so I feel very blessed to have her at my side. We devoted most of this past season digging out exposed cracks in a long stretch of bedrock on the far side of the river on K-23AA. This is a relatively new New 49’er gold property that has been making a lot of members happy. We were recovering decent gold, especially considering that we were not using motorized pumps.

Using kayaks to cross the river, the digging was easy and the golden flakes of pure wealth were getting larger and more plentiful.  As good as that was, the peacefulness on that remote part of the river allowed us to enjoy the beauty of being outdoors in an area that is so beautiful that we can’t help but feel calm, relaxed and blessed for what we have been given.

Ancient streambedAs the summer months were winding down, we knew we needed to move somewhere else; because we didn’t want to cross the river during the winter time when the river runs higher, faster and colder.  Sandy had been telling me that she knew of a place where our digging would turn up nice gold nuggets. I admit that I just kind of waved it off, because I hear these kinds of stories all the time.  But Sandy is serious about her gold mining; she’s not one to joke about gold!

So we went to this place just downriver from Happy Camp where we often send beginners. This was a very easy place to get to, and that’s the reason Sandy knew about it. Before becoming my partner, Sandy was married to a very nice guy named Cliff. Cliff was a big supporter of The New 49’ers, and he loved to mine. But he had serious disabilities and health issues which required him to prospect in areas that were easy to get into. Before he passed on (almost until his last day), Sandy and Cliff devoted several years digging gold in this place. This was why Sandy knew so much about it.  She took me down there and said, “All you have to do is dig and you will get beautiful nuggets!”  This was a bit difficult to fathom being that the location was so accessible and right on the outskirts of Happy Camp. I’ll bet hundreds or thousands of miners have walked right over top of this area since the original gold rush and figured the place had long since been mined out!

So we dug. Just like Sandy said, after going through some loose flood sand, we found hard-packed streambed material that had never been mined. What a bonanza!

Since we were so close to where I live in Happy Camp, I decided to set up a recirculating high banker in my back yard.  It was easy to load the buckets of pay-dirt  into the back of the truck, process the material at home, and then return the material back to where it came from — keeping the gold, of course.  I captured my gold processing system in the following video:

This ancient hard-packed material is tough to dig. It’s probably thousands of years old. Shortly after getting started, determination and persistence finally paid off as we uncovered bedrock about 18 inches into the material and Sandy, all smiles, yelled out, “John come look!”  She had uncovered a nugget on the bedrock and wanted to show me.  My luck at finding nuggets had been nill up to that point.  Both of us were excited and continued digging with new interest when she yelled out again and then again and again.  I didn’t get much digging done as she kept saying “John look!” How do you not go over and look when your partner is uncovering buried gold treasure? Man; were we jacked up!

Nuggets on bedrock 

We finally quit that day only because it got dark and I couldn’t see anymore. Sandy had picked up 10 beautiful nuggets off the bedrock.  We brought our buckets of pay-dirt home and ran it across the high-banker.  I yelled out, “Look Look,” as more beautiful nuggets appeared in the high-banker.  By the time we were through, we had 24 nuggets for just that day. Man; that’s an all-time record for me! We were so excited, we almost skipped dinner!

The next day, we asked Dave Mack to come down and give us a second opinion of what we were digging right on the outskirts of Happy Camp. Here is Dave’s explanation on video:

As tired as we were, we dug again the next day and the next and the next.  After four days and both of us exhausted, we counted up over eighty (80) gold nuggets.  I can’t say enough of how happy I am to have my mining partner, Sandy. We are having so much fun; these are the best days of my life. This had to be the very reason our town was named, “Happy Camp!”

total nuggets recovery John

And I have relearned another very valuable lesson: I have been up and down on this river for years and years. I find gold every place I prospect. But you never know when that high-grade strike is just inches away…

More Group Projects and Activities this Coming Season!

For starters, electronic prospecting specialist and New 49’er member, Dennis Dickson, has offered to host two 2-day electronic gold prospecting projects in Happy Camp this coming season. The first day will be dedicated to theory and demonstration. The second day will be real prospecting for gold nuggets in the field.

I have spent time with Dennis, and there is not anything he doesn’t know about every make and model of metal detector for the purpose of finding gold. He is particularly skilled with pulse detectors.  Whites Electronics contracts with Dennis to go all over the world and provide training to their dealers.

These very valuable 2-day projects are free to all New 49’er members. Bring your own detectors. The projects are scheduled as follows:  Friday & Saturday June 9 and 10 and Friday & Saturday August 18 and 19.  We will meet at our Headquarters in Happy Camp at 9 am.

In addition, my loyal team of local supporters and I are working on a plan to add a non-motorized underwater suction device to our scheduled weekend projects. As long as it works out, participants will have the option of either mining gold on the surface (out of the water), and/or taking turns sucking gravel from the bottom of the river. We have already located a high-grade gold deposit in the location where we hope to operate this device. Therefore, I am predicting the volume of gold we will recover on our weekend projects should increase dramatically.

Our weekend surface mining projects for 2017 will be on the following dates:  June 3 & 4; June 24 & 25; July 15 & 16; August 5 & 6; August 26 & 27. These are free to all members.

Once we have this system in place, and all systems are go, we will schedule single-day underwater mining projects for a limited number of members, each of us taking turns with 2 people down at a time, to recover as much gold as we can. As long as it works out, these single-day projects will be free to all New 49’er members and each participant will get an equal share of the gold. No prior experience is necessary. The location we have in mind is in shallow water; a perfect place for beginners to learn. Participants will need to provide your own basic diving gear. Wet-suits won’t be required for most of the season, because the Klamath River is so warm during the summer months.

At the moment, we are considering devoting one day per week to these underwater mining projects. Watch for more scheduling details once we get the system dialed in. This won’t happen until the wet season ends in the spring.

Single-day Gold Prospecting Adventures!
Underwater Crevicing

Underwater Crevicing

Due to strong demand, John Rose has pulled a team of our most experienced members together to provide single-day guided prospecting adventures to as many as 4 members at a time.  There’s nothing better than teaming up with the most experienced gold prospectors on the Klamath River!

Sandy

Sandy Jones showing Nicole how to pan for gold.

Dickey Melto

Dickey Melton is part of the team!

Take your pick: John’s team includes experts in prospecting for high-grade gold, gold panning, hand sluicing, and crevicing both above and below the water, electronic prospecting, and processing your final gold clean-upsKeep all the gold you find!

These are not New 49’er sponsored events. Our most experienced Klamath River prospecting members have come together to offer exciting gold prospecting adventures for those of you that are interested in moving through the learning curve at an accelerated pace — or just going out for a day on the river and having a blast! This is all about “Miners helping miners!”

Each participant must be a member of The New 49’ers (special discount of $50 for Associate Membership if you sign up on line). Adventure cost: $100 per person or $150 per couple. Participants must supply your own digging & panning gear and arrange for your own food & lodging. These are all available in Happy Camp (northern California).

As New 49’er members, you will be able to continue mining gold from the deposits that you help locate on these adventures.

By reservation only:  Please contact John Rose at 530 493-2005 or <jjrose66@msn.com>

Here is some video we captured of the first single-day prospecting adventure that John and Sandy provided to Wolfgang Orlamuendlr, his daughter, Nicole, and a few others who visited Happy Camp from Germany in the fall:

It Appears as Though the Momentum of our Enemies is about to be Trumped!

It’s only a few weeks since we won perhaps America’s most historical and important election of all time. I personally am slowly recovering from shock that we may actually have a real chance at placing America back on track again with the values which made us great in the first place. Based upon his actions, the appointments he has made so far, and his speeches over the last few days, Mr. Trump looks to be the real deal!

Nothing is for sure in this ever-changing world of ours; but the election of Mr. Trump as President does appear to present a bright light at the end of the tunnel for our industry.

While we will continue to defend small-scale miners at the local level, all of our hard work over the past decade has placed the very important Rinehart case as primed for an appeal to the US Supreme Court. The New 49’ers Legal Fund, along with other industry associations, fully intend to support the efforts to urge the high court to review the case. We strongly believe, as did the Third Appellate Court of California, that federal law is in favor of our position.

According to public statements put out by the emerging Trump Administration over the last few days, one of Mr. Trump’s first priorities when he takes over in mid-January is to appoint a strongly-conservative judge to fill the existing vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. I am only predicting; but my best guess, since the republicans have kept control over the senate, is that they will already work out who will be appointed even before Mr. Trump takes office. Therefore, it is reasonable to predict that the U.S. Supreme Court will recover a conservative majority soon into the New Year.

Because of that, I personally believe we will win the Rinehart case in the high court if we can get them to review it. Winning that case will, more or less, return our industry back in a better place than it was before all the unreasonable prohibitions in both California and Oregon began so many years ago. There is also the possibility of coming up with a new federal law that provides incentives and protections for small-scale mining in America.

Our main task now will be to encourage the high Court to review the case. Once we file the appeal, and the new administration gets itself plugged in, we will want to push as hard as we can.

Just to show how the winds of change are moving, here is the first positive press I have ever seen for small-scale miners out of the Sacramento Bee!

But we shouldn’t let our guards down. My perception at the moment is that dark forces of the left are busy mounting a mammoth opposition to Mr. Trump’s aspirations to free America from too much government control, wasteful spending, absurd regulations and the socialized policies which have all but destroyed the American Dream. He will need our visual and vocal support when he starts making the real important policy changes. I predict the leftists will be screaming like murder!

Mr. Trump is telling the truth when he accuses the press of being deliberately dishonest. In fact, hiding behind the First Amendment, the press has largely become a very organized propaganda machine, mostly in support of leftist policies. Somehow, America is going to have to overcome this. Because it is the press which puts out the information which everyday Americans digest in order to form our opinions.

But the cancer that has been killing America goes deeper than the press right into the heart of the government agencies which are charged with providing us with unbiased scientific information. As just one example, here is a document published just yesterday by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations titled,Examining Decades of Data Manipulation at the United States Geological Survey.” 

I would remind you that it is the grossly flawed report authored by Charles Alpers of the U.S, Geological Survey that western States are using to justify their moratoriums on motorized mining. My team was contracted to perform the excavation work on Mr. Alper’s study on mercury. So we are intimately familiar with the details. California’s Water Board officials were also present and are aware that Mr. Alper’s report is a total fraud. These people should be in jail!

The point here is that Mr. Trump’s team is going to need to dig very deep to find and remove the left-agenda poison inside our public institutions that has made America less than great.

Action Alert: As to our situation, we should start pushing for Donald Trump’s help right now. He has put up a web site asking for our input on what needs to be changed to help America become great again. We have put up an “Action Alert” page which provides the web site address and some sample language you can make use of to provide Mr. Trump with your own message. It will only take a few minutes of your time. Our sample language provides a link to a letter which our attorney, James Buchal, wrote to Mr. Trump on 17 November. The letter goes a long way to explain what we have been up against.

I suggest the most likely chance of winning our industry back is through assistance that could be provided by the new Trump administration.  The more of us he hears from, the more likely we will be put further up on his priority list. Thanks in advance for all that you guys do to support our efforts!

Giving Away Gold & Silver American Eagles!

Gold and Silver EaglesIn anticipation of continued legal challenges ahead, The New 49’ers Legal Fund has begun a new fund-raiser with 3 ounces of gold American Eagles and 10 ounces of silver American Eagles (25 prizes in all).

This drawing will take place at 12:00 Noon on 24 February 2017 at our headquarters in Happy Camp. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039 – or you can check it out right here:

We Have Revised our Winter Hours

Our Happy Camp headquarters is open between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for national holidays. If you call the office while we are closed, please leave a voice message and we will get back to you. Thanks for your understanding.

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than we can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

 

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

 

New 49'er Newsletter

FOURTH QUARTER, NOVEMBER 2016                               VOLUME 30, NUMBER 11

Dave McCracken

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

I have been drafting a great success story about a mining couple who just recently opened up a rich gold strike on New 49’er properties and recovered 80 beautiful nuggets and a bunch of other gold in just four days of digging in the shallow deposit.But since all attention is going to be on the election this next week, and what it might mean to the future of our industry, and to America, I have decided to hold the story until next month and immediately publish the list of prize winners from The New 49’ers Legal Fund drawing which took place on 21 October.

nugget find

 

Legal Fund Prize Winners!

Twenty 1-pennyweight Bags of Klamath River Gold Nuggets:  Ryck Rowan of Spokane, WA; Ryck Rowan of Spokane, WA; Michael Kirkpatrick of Bend, OR; Ryck Rowan of Spokane, WA; Ryck Rowan of Spokane, WA; David Thomson of Grand Canyon, AZ; Ryck Rowan of Spokane, WA; Robert Johnson of Lake Almanor, CA; Gary Zentner of Redmond, OR; Larry Brown of Benbrook, TX; Rod Jackman of Yakima, WA; JoAnne McClure of Quartzsite, AZ; Cal Lanfear of Talent, OR; Donald Barnhart of Corinne, UT; Jason Kresin of Queensland Australia; David Vidal of Quebec Canada; Rod Jackman of Yakima, WA; Kurt Hauck of Highland, NY; Justin Nash of Kansas City, KS; and Dennis Scharosch of Sacramento, CA.

Four quarter-ounce bags of Klamath River Gold Nuggets:  Scott McGrosso of Escondido, CA; Brian Fitzmauirce of San Mateo, CA; Stan Smart of Stockton, CA; and Robert Youngs of Naselle, WA.

Grand Prize winner for 1-ounce of Klamath River Gold Nuggets:  Van Wilhite of West Point CA.

Thank you very much to all of you who participated. We can consider this another successful legal fund-raiser. While sometimes it is not until the final week or few days of these drawings, you guys always do come through to support our efforts on behalf of small-scale miners. We would have lost our industry a long time ago if it were not for you.

In anticipation of continued legal challenges ahead, The New 49’ers Legal Fund has begun a new fund-raiser with 3 ounces of gold American Eagles and 10 ounces of silver American Eagles (25 prizes in all). The drawing will take place at our headquarters in Happy Camp, California on 24 February 2017. More details can be found right here:

Legal Update

Now that the California Supreme Court has ruled on the Rinehart case, we will resume ongoing litigation of multiple disputes with the State of California concerning suction dredging for gold. All of these cases have been consolidated in the Superior Court of San Bernardino. Judge Ochoa has decided that we will begin with a Status Conference on 15 November.  Here is the Miners Case Status Statement which has just been filed with the court.

Just as we are going to press with this newsletter, the State has filed a Statement suggesting that all further litigation be placed on hold until the Rinehart case appeal (even to the U.S. Supreme Court) is fully resolved.

2017 Scheduled Weekend Projects

Our weekend surface mining projects for 2017 will be on the following dates:  June 3 & 4; June 24 & 25; July 15 & 16; August 5 & 6; August 26 & 27. These are free to all members.  We will consider adding other types of events if we get strong feedback from you guys.

We Have Switched to Winter Hours

Based upon the amount of activity we had last winter, in order to conserve resources, we are cutting back the hours which the office will be open between now and the first of May: WINTER HOURS: We are open between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you call the office while we are closed, please leave a voice message and we will get back to you. Thanks for your understanding.

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than we can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

 

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

 

New 49'er Newsletter

FOURTH QUARTER, OCTOBER 2016                               VOLUME 30, NUMBER 10

Dave McCracken

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

Over the many years, we have discovered that the Klamath River and its tributaries in northern California are very much like a huge bank. But this is better than most or all other banks; because our members have the opportunity to make withdraws anytime they desire – just by investing some effort. We don’t withdraw paper money from the Klamath National.  We withdraw pure wealth; gold; the universal currency, which lasts forever and can be exchanged for paper money, goods or services anywhere in the world.

We make so much of the Klamath and its tributaries available to our members; I am estimating the Klamath National has to be the largest bank in the world! With no liabilities on its balance sheet, it also may be the most valuable bank in the world.

group-panninggold

The key to making draws from the bank is in knowing how to prospect for gold.  High-grade gold deposits are present in great abundance. But they are mostly, but not always, hidden by streambed material which lies on top of them. The way to find them is by following a very simple sampling plan.

Because gold is so heavy, nearly 20 times heavier than water, it follows distinct patterns when being washed down the waterways by very large storms which occasionally happen over extended periods of time.  Said another way, perhaps 90% or more of the Klamath River will not produce high-grade gold. By “high-grade,” I mean the concentrated deposits which, when found, will deliver up enough pure wealth to fill up containers, drive your emotions into exhilaration and beyond, and change your life forever. The reason 90% or more of the river has no high-grade is that Mother Nature has already concentrated nearly all of the gold along a very defined narrow path.  This is a blessing to gold prospectors; because once you know how to pursue a sampling plan, you are able to draw pure wealth from The Bank anytime you desire.

All the way back in our beginning year of 1986, we quickly realized that most new members joining The New 49’ers were not aware of how to sample. I compensated for this by going out and sampling on behalf of all members and putting them right into the high-grade. Success levels were so good in 1986 that we grew from 100 members to 500 members at the beginning of our 1987 season. That was a huge expansion! But I was not able to sample for so many people. So we started doing Weekend Group Mining Projects. These combine the theory of following a sampling plan with some real mining experience in the field. Everyone shares in the gold we recover on these projects.

This was painful to members at first, because it was easier for them if I did the sampling and they mined the high-grade gold. But eventually our more aggressive members began finding high-grade gold deposits on their own.  This encouraged others, and our association then expanded upon the principle that prospectors should be able to find their own gold. If you can find and keep your own gold anytime you desire, you are largely free from economic and political consequences however which way they trend!

We have used these group projects as the primary successful action in our business model now for 30 years and have grown to around 2,000 active members.  For the very low cost of belonging to The New 49’ers, and all of the mining property we make available, along with the other benefits members receive, I am somewhat surprised we have not grown to 20,000 members or more.

wingate-river-accessThis particular weekend project started with 76 enthusiastic members. That included a dozen or so experienced volunteer members who nearly always attend these events to help others through the early learning curve and just be part be part of the group adventure.  We could not do these projects without them.

We always begin on Saturday morning at the Grange Hall in Happy Camp with introductions. These are fun and interesting. People come from all walks of life, from all over the world.  I then entertain the group during the morning hours with a mix of story-telling and theory about how to discover high-grade gold by following a simple step-by-step plan.

After lunch on this Saturday afternoon, we met back at our headquarters and drove down to Wingate Bar, which is about nine miles downstream from Happy Camp. The gold deposit we have been working down there is directly across the river from a developed river access. There is plenty of free parking and camping there.

One of our large rubber rafts was set up on the other side of the river as an easy transition for members to get onto solid ground. Using my jet boat, it did not take long to get everyone on the other side.

snuffing-goldThis particular high-grade deposit was discovered earlier this year by Laura Bagley and Scott Coleman. The deposit is quite large and even extends out into the active waterway. Rather than keep it to themselves, they offered to share it with other members, and encouraged us to do the Group Projects there. Very Cool!  We actually have a lot of members who like to share in the group experience. This is one of the things that makes ours the best mining association in the world. Here was my explanation once we all arrived on the far side of the river:

Saturday afternoon is always about gold panning. Panning is the first thing a beginning prospector needs to learn. When done correctly, the panning process will recover all of the gold directed into the pan. A gold pan is used as an important part of every prospecting program. To a large extent, it is used to test how much gold exists in different locations as part of a sampling plan. If you are allowing gold to escape from your pan, you can easily miss the very small signals that often lead you right into high-grade.  So we have always considered the first important thing we need to do on these projects is make sure all of the participants have the panning process dialed in. Our experienced volunteers make themselves readily available on Saturday afternoon on these projects to help beginners gain confidence in their panning techniques. I captured some video of John Rose providing some quality time to several beginners:

Since we were already sampling in a confirmed high-grade pay-streak, many or most of the gold pan results were quite favorable. We make it a point to show the better pan results around. This helps to encourage others who are not finding as much.  It also will allow participants to relate how the pan samples will evolve into a bunch of gold when we go into production on Sunday. I was seeing some very nice-sized golden flakes being recovered off the bedrock and from within a layer of original Klamath River streambed under the boulders which were resting on the surface. Each person gets to keep all the gold they find while panning on Saturday afternoon.

smiling man crevicing-in-the-water

Saturday afternoon is also an opportunity for our experienced sampling team to identify the richer areas that we will work on Sunday. Here is some video I captured of Derek Eimer and Craig Colt:

One of the guys who was turning up the best results was out in the river with mask & snorkel scooping up material and passing it off to others who were processing it. He told me he was actually seeing gold down on the bedrock.

A really important part of the learning experience is in being able to identify the type of material where you are most likely to discover high-grade gold. Book learning is one thing. But there is no substitute for digging in the actual material. Check this out:

It was hot out there on the rocks, so we only stayed for a few hours. Our Saturday potluck was a full house that evening. There was more than enough great food to go around; and the positive energy we were all sharing was very refreshing. Our potlucks are much more like a big friendly reunion, rather than a miner’s meeting!

We started early on Sunday morning so that all of the hard work could be completed before the hot sun of the day beat down on the gravel bar where we were working. Nearly everyone was present by the time I started transferring people across the river in the boat at 6:30 AM. Here was my explanation once we were all in production:

floating-sluice second-recovery-system

Sunday was all about group cooperation to process as much of the pay-dirt as we could through two sluice recovery systems. One sluice is something we fabricated to float directly at the river’s surface and scoop water from the river. It works really well. Here it is on video:

We added a second sluicing system; because on the project before, the digging team produced more pay-dirt than we had the capacity to process.  That’s called enthusiasm, folks! The second sluice was something that longtime member, Bob Patterson, came up with by running an extended line of hose and plastic pipe up the river to capture water and create enough pressure to lift it up into his sluice box. This second system appeared to be working really well and allowed us to process at least a third more volume than on the previous project.

second-sluice smiling woman

Each of our volunteers, staff and I have our separate rolls to play during these projects. I entertain and educate people on Saturday morning, do most of the boat transfers, capture video and images, and direct the final gold clean-up and split on Sunday afternoon. John Rose is overall in charge of the project. He particularly makes sure the gold recovery system(s) are dialed in. Dickey Melton makes sure the primary recovery system is being fed at optimum speed without overloading it. This is a delicate balance.  Craig Colt, Derek Eimer and Dave Mackenzie are the primary sampling team. It is mostly their job to point the digging crew at the most productive places we can find. Mark Turner is very helpful in making sure the boat transfers of people are smooth and safe. Once the digging starts, he sets a good pace which others try to match.  Alice Mackenzie supervises the screening program and flow of classified pay-dirt to the recovery system. Diane Helgesen is an overall problem solver and usually takes over the camera when I am busy doing something else or want to explain something on camera. “Wild Bill” helps out with getting the work done and always contributes to make our projects fun in a colorful way.  Laura Bagley is the “Gold Girl.” This is one of the most important responsibilities on the project. She makes sure that all of the gold we recover on Sunday goes directly into a bucket with a sealed lid – which never leaves her side – even when she jumps in with the crew and helps increase production. The bucket is safeguarded until it is passed off to me just before it is time to switch to the final cleanup. Diane Pierce sets up the Grange Hall for Saturday morning, potluck on Saturday evening, and helps out with the final cleanup and split on Sunday afternoon. Other volunteers jump in wherever it will benefit the final outcome.

beautiful-river gold panning-lesson

It was a beautiful Sunday morning out there on the Klamath River. You could not find a more wild and aesthetic place in the Pacific Northwest than the Klamath River! By the time I ferried the participants across the river, most of them were already filling buckets with pay-dirt from the better locations we had discovered the day before.  Some were packing the buckets to the recovery systems. Others were feeding the pay-dirt through classification screens. By this, I mean classifying larger-sized material out of what was being fed into the recovery systems. The reason for this is so we could adjust the water velocity through the recovery system to process material which is half-inch and smaller.  Then others were feeding the material into the recovery systems.  It was all running like a well-oiled machine.  I captured some of the action on the following videos:

river bank kids having fun

The morning was refreshingly cool – almost cold. Everyone appeared to be having a great time, even though I joke that the labor involved with gold mining would probably be considered cruel and unusual punishment if forced upon people serving criminal sentences.  So why do people endure it?  The answer is simple; the harder you work, the bigger your share is going to be of the pure wealth we will recover from the Klamath National Bank! Here is what Diane had to say:

bedrock Smiling Man

Truthfully, the gold mining experience is mostly about just having a great time. We do our best to balance the need to get some productive work done while also making it fun for everyone. Here it is on video:

splitting up the goldAs soon as the sun came up over the mountain to begin the heat of the day out on the rocks, we asked everyone to finish filling the buckets they were working on, reclaim the area back to original contours, and gather up all the gear. The gold looked plentiful in both recovery systems as we cleaned them out.  In addition to a dazzling display of fines and golden flakes, there were some very desirable nuggets of pure wealth. The “Gild Girl” was right there with her bucket doing her job to make sure every speck of gold was safe and secure. Don’t ever mess with Laura Bagley! It didn’t take long to get everyone back across the river. Even my boat was back on its trailer by about 11 AM.

After giving everyone some time to freshen up, we met back at the Grange on Sunday afternoon to perform the final cleanup and gold split. By “final cleanup,” I mean that gold recovery systems don’t only recover gold. They also recover other heavy material which is mostly small iron stones and heavy sand.  We use several smaller concentrating devices to reduce the volume of “impurities,” and then dry the semifinal concentrated material. This consists of all the gold we recovered and about two tablespoons of the heaviest iron sand.  Then we screen that material into 6 different sizes and use a mild blowing process to separate the gold from the iron.  Everybody gets to watch.  This is very valuable experience for participants who will move forward with their own gold prospecting programs.

final goldAs always, the closer we got to having just raw gold in the final container, the louder the enthusiastic roar of conversations became.  Having been involved with these group gold mining projects now for 30 years, I have come to realize that when we are just reaching the point of having all of our raw gold together and ready to split, the group emotional impact is much like an explosion of euphoria. This time, the noise was almost deafening.

I placed the final gold in a small finishing pan over on a window pane so everyone could capture images.  The moment was priceless to me –to be able to bring happiness to so many people.

Gold is a very precious substance. It is the single material element in this world that triggers an emotional experience of personal freedom.  If you have enough gold set aside in a safe place (it doesn’t take much), and you stay out of trouble with the authorities, you can largely free yourself of nearly all the social and political worries that keep most human beings trapped in a constant state of worry and uncertainty. Everyone that participates in these projects experiences the spark of this freedom as we uncover the pure wealth we recovered together and present everyone with an equal share.

In all, we recovered 404 grains, or 16.8 pennyweights. That was more than ¾ of an ounce.  It wasn’t the full ounce we were pushing for.  But it was a heck of a lot of gold!  Everyone seemed more than pleased as they received their fair share of a draw from the Klamath National Bank.

The project was over at about 5 PM on Sunday afternoon. I went home feeling very lucky about the work I do.

Political Realities

While I prefer to stay out of politics, I feel an important duty to make a recommendation in the upcoming presidential election. Please vote for Donald Trump. To those of you who do not like his presentation, allow me to suggest that he has no prior experience in politics.

Most Americans do not like the way the country is trending. While I admit that Trump is a bit of a wild card, it is 100% certain that Hilary will take us down the very same road America has been trending for a very long time. Trump’s background is in business. He says the first thing he would do as our president is free up America’s energy and mining industries. Hilary will most certainly pile more burdensome regulation on top of us.

Just as importantly, we have invested so much in legal battles to defend the small-scale miner over the past eight years. While we have won most of these battles, the California Supreme Court recently handed us a stunning defeat in the Rinehart case; a case which was so much in our favor.  Our last opportunity to set things right will be in the U.S. Supreme Court. Most people know that the Supreme Court is presently deadlocked with four conservative judges who support resource development, and four liberal judges who support more government interference at all levels of American life. Whoever is elected president will appoint the ninth Supreme Court justice. Hilary would certainly appoint a far left liberal justice. From there, we can expect to experience America sliding deeper into socialism or worse. Trump has published a list of conservative judges he would choose from.

Therefore, the fate of our industry largely hangs in the balance of the presidential election that will take place in about a month. The future of America also hangs in the balance. This should not be about who makes a more emotional-friendly presentation. It should be about what the person is going to do when he or she gets into office. No matter how offensive Trump may be to some people, he is America’s only chance to turn things around at this time.

Here, listen to what Judge Jeanine Pirro has to say about Hilary and Trump; she is much more qualified than I am to voice a political opinion!

How About More Group Projects This Next Season?

Because the The New 49’ers have the resources to support group projects with boats, rafts, floating recovery systems and perhaps even a non-motorized underwater suction system in a high-grade pay-streak, we would appreciate your thoughts on how we might provide more or better service to our members?

Thanks to those of you who already voiced ideas about this since our September newsletter.  I would like to hear more ideas before we decide what to do.

We have members who are highly skilled in electronic prospecting for gold who are willing to put on weekend events.  We also have a group of members who are willing to take others out on prospecting adventures, a few at a time.

Several members did quite well this season using motorized hookah to access the bottom of the Klamath and side streams for crevicing.  Using our boats and other gear, we could sponsor group projects doing this with a limited number of members at a time. As members gain more exposure to these other methods of finding gold, it will be easier for you to find success on your own.

We found ourselves in a similar situation during the first few years after we started The New 49’ers in 1986. Most members did not know how to find high-grade gold on their own.  There was a lot of disappointment.  We almost didn’t survive those early years. Then we started group programs to show our members how to do it. This turned everything around. Hope of finding gold is what drives prospectors to sample.

Even without the use of motors, there are still productive methods of recovering gold from our extensive properties.

It was easier for individual members to be more productive going out on their own before we lost the use of motors (California Supreme Court).  We will appeal our loss of motors to the U.S. Supreme Court if Donald Trump wins the election. Meanwhile, I’m suggesting that we might be able to keep interest levels up if we utilize the Club’s more substantial resources and volunteers to offer more, and different kinds, of organized group events?  Your feedback and ideas on this would be appreciated. Please direct it to: new49ers@goldgold.com or call Montine in our office at 530 493-2012.

Our weekend surface mining projects for 2017 will be on the following dates:  June 3 & 4; June 24 & 25; July 15 & 16; August 5 & 6; August 26 & 27. These are free to all members.  We will consider adding other types of events if we get strong feedback from you guys.

We Have Switched to Winter Hours

Based upon the amount of activity we had last winter, in order to conserve resources, we are cutting back the hours which the office will be open between now and the first of May: WINTER HOURS: We are open between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you call the office while we are closed, please leave a voice message and we will get back to you. Thanks for your understanding.

Three More Ounces of Klamath River Gold Nuggets!

klamath-river-gold-nuggets

The New 49’ers Legal Fund is giving away another three ounces of beautiful Klamath River gold nuggets, split into 25 prizes. Check it out right here. The drawing will take place on Friday afternoon, 21 October.

You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online.

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing  

  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out. Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.
Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than we can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

 

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

 

New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD QUARTER, SEPTEMBER 2016                               VOLUME 30, NUMBER 9

Dave McCracken

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

I am very disappointed to announce that the California Supreme Court unanimously overruled California’s Third Appellate Court’s unanimous ruling in the Rinehart case. Here is the quite extensive ruling.

Basically, if I understand it correctly, the Court has declared that a State agency has the authority to ban certain types of mining if it determines that the method is harmful to the State’s waterways. Although they did leave open the question of whether or not the State properly made the determination that motorized mining within 100 yards of an active waterway is harmful. That issue was not part of the Rinehart case.

Now that the California Supreme Court has ruled, my best guess is that any prospector using a motor to remove or process streambed material within 100 yards of an active waterway without a permit (which is not being made available), if caught, is likely to be successfully prosecuted.

Here is a Memo by our attorney who has been representing Rinehart, explaining why he believes the Court’s ruling is so flawed. Rinehart has already petitioned the California Supreme Court for a Rehearing.

Now that the California Supreme Court has ruled, we are submitting a motion to the San Bernardino Court to schedule the trial in which we will contest the manner in which the State determined that motorized mining is so harmful that the practice should be banned altogether. You may recall that the San Bernardino Court ruled last year  that the State was operating an unreasonable “scheme” to eliminate suction dredging.

Brandon Rinehart

We especially want to thank Brandon Rinehart for joining us on last weekend’s group project and continuing to inspire hope for the future.

Meanwhile, nearly the very same arguments over federal preemption in Oregon’s moratorium on motorized mining has progressed to the federal Ninth Circuit Court, which also has jurisdiction over California. Our attorney tells me that the issues have been very well briefed for our side, including two separate Amicus briefs submitted by conservative law foundations. Since we have exhausted our federal supremacy argument at the state level in California, now we will have a chance to see what the federal Appellate Court has to say. Let’s all keep our fingers tightly crossed!

Ninth Circuit aside, if Rinehart’s Petition for a Rehearing fails, our next and final remedy will be to petition the U.S. Supreme Court.  As most of you probably know, the U.S. Supreme Court is presently deadlocked with four conservative and four liberal-leaning judges. The ninth Supreme Court judge will be appointed by whoever wins the presidential election in November. If Hillary wins, she will surely appoint a liberal judge. Mr. Trump has already published a list of conservative judges that he would choose from.

So it would seem likely that whoever wins the coming presidential election will ultimately determine the fate of motorized mining on the public lands of America, amongst other extremely important matters to the traditional way of American life.  The conservatives, by the way, for the most part, are supportive of resource development, while the liberals mostly support more government control.

We will eventually overcome the nonsense which is taking the lifeblood out of the American dream. It’s a matter of when our leadership realizes that the long term health of our economy and freedom depends upon our ability to create wealth through honest hard work. If the shackles were taken off (unreasonable regulations everywhere you look), America would surge forward and be great again. We have everything we need to make this happen except competent leadership. The ongoing election cycle demonstrates that Americans are beginning to wake up to this.  Let’s not give up hope just yet!

 

We Have Developed Non-motorized Underwater Suction Mining!

Out in the middle

With a lot of help from a dozen or so members, two who are engineers, through the summer months, we have developed a method of underwater suction mining that does not require the use of motors.

Our first sample result in the large rapid located at Oak Flat was encouraging, but we soon realized that we were not sampling on the high-grade gold path. Therefore, we figured the high-grade would likely be out in the middle of the river or over towards the other side. So through quite a lot of effort, we extended our gravity flow water system out there along the bottom of the river and took some more samples.

It sure felt good to be out there underwater again!

Ultimately, through more sampling all the way up into the meat of the rapids, we discovered that this was not a natural riffle in the first place. It was a manmade structure built out of stacked boulders and cobbles with just a soft gray mud between them.  Perhaps it was a road to the other side of the river, or maybe a water diversion, during the time before dams and flood control made the river run deeper all year long.

I surveyed the far side of the rapid before we started the project and found good natural streambed.  That encouraged us to move ahead. The lesson from this is that more thorough surveying is required in advance of large projects like this. Here follows some video that captured some of the action:

My hope was to establish a deposit where we could allow members to participate. Even if we found it out there in the middle of the river, the conditions would have been too dangerous to manage group programs, anyway.

The good news is that we figured out how to create underwater suction without using motors. We presently have two of our most capable members working on a different way to generate suction power by harnessing the flow of the river.  I’ll let you know how this goes.  Since these types of systems require more time and investment to set up than the average prospector is likely to do, we are thinking that we can perhaps use them in organized group mining projects for members – for recreational purposes only, of course.  I do know where there is a substantial gold deposit in rather shallow water where one of these systems could make members very happy if we scheduled regular events like we do with the weekend surface mining projects.

floating sluice having fun

underwater snipingOn that note, considering that we might not be able to use motors for a while, we are considering if we should add to the services we provide to members during the summer months. Our weekend projects have become more popular. Some members attend every event. I’ll save the video-enhanced stories for later newsletters. Meanwhile, here is some video which shows how much fun members are having even without the use of motors:

 

 

final gold splitting up the gold

Because the The New 49’ers have the resources to support group projects with boats, rafts, floating recovery systems and perhaps even an underwater suction system in a high-grade pay-streak, we would appreciate your thoughts on how we might provide more or better service to our members?

cleanup sniping

We have members who are highly skilled in electronic prospecting for gold who are willing to put on weekend events.  We also have a group of members who are willing to take others out on prospecting adventures, a few at a time.

Gold Nuggets Strike Smiling success

Several members did quite well this season using motorized hookah to access the bottom of the Klamath and side streams for crevicing (but not for removing or processing streambed material).  Using our boats and other gear, we could sponsor group projects doing this with a limited number of members at a time. As members gain more exposure to these other methods of finding gold, it will be easier for you to find success on your own.

Man smiling Woman smiling with gold pan

We found ourselves in a similar situation during the first few years after we started The New 49’ers in 1986. Most members did not know how to find high-grade gold on their own.  There was a lot of disappointment.  We almost didn’t survive those early years. Then we started group programs to show our members how to do it. Some members learned and started finding their own gold. This created hope for others. Hope of finding gold is what drives prospectors to sample.

Woman smiling  Bearded man smiling

Even without the use of motors, there are still productive methods of recovering gold from our extensive properties.

It was easier for individual members to be more productive going out on their own before we lost the use of motors.  I’m suggesting that we might be able to keep interest levels up if we utilize the Club’s more substantial resources and volunteers to offer more, and different kinds, of organized group events?  Your feedback and ideas on this would be appreciated. Please direct it to new49ers@goldgold.com or call Montine at 530 493-2012.

Our weekend surface mining projects for 2017 will be on the following dates:  June 3 & 4; June 24 & 25; July 15 & 16; August 5 & 6; August 26 & 27. These are free to all members.  We will consider adding other types of events if we get strong feedback from you guys.

We are Switching to Winter Hours

Based upon the amount of activity we had last winter, in order to conserve resources, we are cutting back the hours which the office will be open between now and the first of May: WINTER HOURS: We are open between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you call the office while we are closed, please leave a voice message and we will get back to you. Thanks for your understanding.

Three More Ounces of Klamath River Gold Nuggets!

klamath-river-gold-nuggetsThe New 49’ers Legal Fund is giving away another three ounces of beautiful Klamath River gold nuggets, split into 25 prizes. Check it out right here. The drawing will take place on Friday afternoon, 21 October.

You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online.

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing  

  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out. Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than we can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

 

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

 

New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD QUARTER, AUGUST 2016                               VOLUME 30, NUMBER 8

Dave McCracken

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

This group mining project was off to a perfect start about a week before it began. It started when Laura Bagley and Scott Coleman waved me over to the picnic area outside our headquarters and showed me some beautiful gold they had panned from a brand new gold discovery they had made down near the lower end of our K-23AA property. This is located around nine miles down along the Klamath River from the small, friendly town of Happy Camp in northern California.  It was a lot of gold when compared to the volume of pay-dirt they processed. There were some nice, large flakes of gold. Those add up quickly on a scale!

Group working Alice's gold

Laura & Scott

Laura and Scott offering up their new gold discovery

Scott and Laura made my whole month by offering up their new gold discovery to our weekend group mining projects. Normally, most people would be inclined to keep a rich new gold discovery secret for a while in order to recover as much gold as possible. But we have quite a few members of The New 49’ers who are willing to share rich discoveries of gold with other members.  This is one of the things that makes our program so enjoyable for everyone. I caught this particular moment on video:

You guys might recall that we released the news about our new floating sluice in last month’s newsletter.  Scott and Laura, along with several other members, had just finished some improvements to the unit in our fabrication shop. So we made plans to test it out in this new gold discovery. By the way, we are not the only members out on the river developing river-flow gold recovery solutions. Laura captured this member using his own setup:

Klamath River Scene

The gold-rich Klamath River is one of the most beautiful places on the planet!

The really cool thing about this new gold discovery is that it is located directly across the river from the Wingate River Access.  This is a U.S. Forest Service improved site where there is plenty of room for camping and parking; there are toilet facilities; and there is a boat launch.  Getting group participants across to the mining site was going to be fast and easy.  We set up one of our larger river rubber rafts on the far side of the river to serve as a boat dock. This made the transition very smooth. Even our more disabled members were going to be able to participate in this outing!

The project began with around 97 members on Saturday morning inside the nice, cool Happy Camp Grange Hall. We always begin with introductions. People attend from all around the world.  Some have never prospected for gold before. Others are experienced. And we are blessed with a dozen or so very experienced members who come out and help us manage these projects.  We could not do these events without plenty of help. All our loyal helpers are volunteers, some who travel great distances just to be part of the adventure and comradery. This is one more thing which contributes to making our program great for everyone.

After introductions, I normally entertain the participants with some true gold mining adventure stories, each which carry important lessons. I also provide some basic theory on how to follow a sampling plan to discover high-grade gold deposits. We do this because a grasp of the basics is important. We also want to limit the time we will spend out in the field on Saturday afternoon.  From long experience, we have learned that if we expose the group to too much heat on Saturday afternoon, some will not show up for our group project on Sunday morning – which is when most of the fun and excitement takes place.

Over the many years, I have come to realize that every group is different. Each individual contributes identity and emotion which all gels together into a group culture.  This begins with introductions, evolves through morning discussions, gets tested in the heat of Saturday afternoon and softens through the comradery and fun during Saturday evening potluck. Then the culture develops further during the action and drama which plays out on Sunday morning and especially as we split up the gold on Sunday afternoon.  Each of these events creates a new and interesting group culture.  I look forward to each one of them with anticipation; and I consider myself to be very lucky for the type of work that I do.

How good the experience is going to be depends more upon the participants than it does on me and my loyal helpers. It was clear on this Saturday morning that we were going to have a great time during our 2-day adventure.

Dad & kids Lilly
We have been doing this so long, we have watched children grow up and then return later with children of their own!

 

Raft transfer across riverAfter lunch on Saturday, we all met up back at our office in Happy Camp, and everyone followed me down to Wingate.  Locals in Happy Camp and along the river have become familiar with our weekend projects, so they are not surprised to see such a long procession of vehicles going down Highway 96. Otherwise, since nothing else creates this much traffic in our small community, people might start wondering if some rock group, like The Rolling Stones, were coming to put on a concert – or perhaps The Donald Trump was arriving for a political rally.

Boats have been my personal passion since I was just old enough to climb into one. I have devoted my entire life to being on or under the water.  We used my river jet boat to transfer participants across the river. We have been doing these projects for so long that the river transfers go like clockwork; on with the life jackets, a helping hand into the boat, across the river in just a few seconds, a helping hand off the boat, off with the life jacket, and people find themselves standing on top of a pay-streak of high-grade gold. We had everyone on the mining site in very short order. Here it is on video:

2 boys 2 girls
Gold prospecting is for people of all ages!

 

Really, the primary goal for Saturday on these projects is to teach beginners how to manage a gold pan with confidence.  Gold panning is the beginning step of the prospecting learning curve! It all comes back to the key fundamental that gold is extremely heavy.  Because it is heavy, gold follows predictable patterns. The very same physical reasons why gold can be trapped in a gold pan are why gold follows a narrow path down the river and concentrates into high-grade pay-streaks along the path. Once a person gains a personal understanding of these basics, he or she is well on the way towards being able to follow a very unique and distinct trail into high-grade gold – the stuff that fills up jars. The stuff that changes your life forever… So we take the panning instruction very seriously:

This is not only about gold. It is also about group and family fun searching for Mother Nature’s most valuable hidden treasure in the great outdoors. We are particularly happy when people bring their children along. These will be the future leaders of our industry. Check it out:

Dave with light Alice's discovery
Dave and Alice showing off the gold from a half-bucket of sand they panned.

 

Because it is hot on Saturday afternoon, we only stay out there until everyone is comfortable with a gold pan.  Everyone gets to keep the gold they find on Saturday, so it doesn’t take long. I was seeing some really good panning results; perhaps the best in several years. This meant that the group dig on Sunday morning was going to be very productive. Very cool! Thank you Scott and Laura! Check out these sample results:

Guy smiling Good sample

Three people smilingWe had everyone back across the river by about 4:30 in the afternoon. That allowed plenty of time to freshen up and pull something together for our Saturday evening potluck back at the Grange Hall in Happy Camp.

We had a packed house on Saturday night. There was enough food to feed a small country.  The excitement and chatter in the hall was so loud that it was all I could do to quiet everyone down for a short meeting – which mainly was a pep talk about showing up at 6:30 the following morning and all working as hard as we could to recover at least one full ounce of gold.

I arrived on the river at 6 AM the following morning to launch the boat. About half the group was already present.  This was one jacked up bunch of gold prospectors! It was cool enough that even I had to wear a full shirt to keep the morning chill off. Everyone arrived in time for the final boat trip across the river.

By the time I tied off the boat on the far side of the river, at least half of the (hundreds) 5-gallon buckets were already filled. Nearly everyone knew where to dig from the time we spent out there on Saturday afternoon.  Mostly, people were digging pay-dirt out of exposed cracks in the bedrock.

Floating sluice2 Floating sluice close

It didn’t take long for our experienced crew to pull our floating sluice up around the side of the rubber raft into the faster flow of the river and dial in the gold recovery system. The modifications we had made since the previous project were working just as we had planned. We began processing pay-dirt as fast as the sluice could keep up – which was pretty fast. Here are some explanations of what was going on:

But we were not processing nearly as fast as our digging crew was producing gold-bearing pay-dirt. After just a short while, nearly all of our buckets were full. Several participants and some of our experienced helpers were panning material from the buckets. The results were fantastic! I was seeing large golden flakes and even some nice gold nuggets. Here is some video that captured the action:

Nuggets & coin 100 buckets

It is not unusual on these events for everyone to start fast and hard and then peter out after a while. That allows the processing crew a chance to catch up. But not this time.  When I called it quits at about 10:30 AM, every bucket was sitting on the streambank ready to be processed. There was at least an hour of processing left to do. Check this out!

Dickey Diane
Dickey Melton and Diane Helgesen provide valuable assistance in most of our group projects.

Rather than have everyone stand out there in the sun that had just came up over the mountain, we reclaimed most of the area back to its original contour and put all the tools away. I say, “most of the area;” because some of the excavations were producing so much gold, it would be silly to bury the holes.  Members would be back the following day to continue the work.

Final goldShortly thereafter, my helpers and I delivered most of the participants across the river with plans to meet at the Grange Hall at 2:30 PM for final processing and the gold split.
There was so much pay-dirt remaining, it took us until 1:00 PM to process it all through the floating sluice. We spotted one very large, beautiful gold nugget when we removed the gold concentrates from the floating recovery system.

Final clean-up and gold split at the Grange took a few more hours. In all, we recovered 17 pennyweights, including 10 beautiful gold nuggets, the largest weighing 11 grains. The excitement and noise in the hall as we spilt the gold thundered as if we were truly at a rock concert. This makes it a little more difficult to keep things organized, but my helpers and I have come to realize that this is actually the grateful applause of a very happy ending to yet one more wonderful experience.

In all, 407 grains of pure wealth were split amongst 69 people.  It has been a long while since we recovered this much gold during an outing. We didn’t quite make our ounce (480 grains). So that will give us a challenging target to shoot for on the next project.  After putting away the tables and chairs, everyone went off at about 5 PM on Sunday afternoon.  We were all tired.  But it was that good kind of tired that goes along with the feeling of accomplishing something wonderful.

We Have Developed Non-motorized Underwater Suction Mining!
Gravity dredge with no motors

Look; no motors!

This all began with our first Weekend Group Mining Project of the 2016 season. The idea was to capture water from a higher elevation and use it to operate two high-bankers near a known gold bearing area along our K-23AA property. The volume and pressure we captured was enough, we thought, to perhaps power my 5-inch dredge (4-inch intake at the nozzle).  You can find the full video-enhanced story about that project right here:

As it turned out, the gold deposit in that particular location was not as rewarding as other gold deposits we have located further downstream. So we developed a floating sluice box to support our second weekend project of the season. This new idea allows us to capture the flow-power of the river to process our pay-streak material – as in the story just above.

Rather than dismantle our original water capture system up the mountain, we decided to double down and see if we could make it work to power up an underwater suction device.  By this, I mean remove the motors from what used to be defined as a suction dredge (but not anymore), and direct gravity water and pressure into a power jet to create underwater suction. The following video captured the earlier stages and ongoing development of this program:

Boat transferWe were able to move the unit on the river using a jet boat.

Packing hose

We made dozens upon dozens of packing trips up the mountain before we finally got this system working!

First; let me admit that when we began this, I had no idea how challenging it would be to duplicate the amount of pressure and volume from a gravity flow that is produced by a simple motor and pump. In short, we underestimated the drop in elevation required to produce the required PSI. Since we had volume, but not enough pressure, we fabricated numerous different venturi jets to try and compensate. In the end, none of them produced enough suction. At least a dozen members were actively involved with the project. After so many losses, I turned to two of our members who are extremely capable engineers, John Wells and Cliff Leidecker.

The main drawback was that we were attempting to do the project using gear and materials which we already had. The distance we had to travel to reach the necessary elevation for our water feed made the project economically impracticable. This is because we were not 100% certain there would be a high-grade paystreak in the river in the first place. Prospecting for gold requires a fair measure of hope and enthusiasm.

The problem with this sort of project is that you have to keep adding more and more, day after day, week after week, ultimately struggling with the decision of when you are going to finally give up.  This is similar to digging or dredging a sample hole that just keeps going deeper and deeper. At what point do you give up? We reached that point on the final test several days ago, when we actually succeeded –much to everyone’s surprise! Here is the moment when we finally got it right:

Gary in fabrication shop

Gary Wright and about a dozen other active members worked hard to make this project a success.

 

As it was late in the day, Cliff and I did one short dive to get a look at the streambed material to determine if it had been dredged or mined by earlier generations of miners.  It is quite easy to tell the difference between tailings from earlier mining, and natural streambed which has never been disturbed by man. Cliff and I were overjoyed to discover that the rapids at Oak Flat are made up of original Klamath River streambed! This was one of those magical “Eureka” moments!

This location is directly in line with where Derek Eimer recovered two pounds of incredible gold nuggets several years ago. Derek’s discovery has had me hopeful ever since to see if we can pick up an extension of the very same rich gold deposit in the rapids. Seems very likely.

Since we only had a little time, Cliff and I decided to follow bedrock that was sloping out into the river. We spotted the first two nuggets in a small crack, both of us seeing them at the same time. I’m the first to admit that I have always been uncomfortable hugging other men.  But we were so excited, Cliff and I were hugging, slapping-five, doing cartwheels and experiencing full exhilaration down there on the bottom of the river. After all that time and effort, we finally made it all come together!

That’s all we had time for; because it was important we attend the Saturday evening potluck.  Derek Eimer was present at the potluck and confirmed that our nuggets appeared to be the very same type of gold that he recovered further downstream. Wow; that is a very good sign! Here is the rather lengthy explanation I provided to members at potluck:

Derek's gold New Nuggets
Gold that Derek recovered just downriver! Here are the first 2 gold nuggets from the Oak Flat underwater deposit!

Now that we have a non-motorized method of effectively prospecting the bottom of the river, as long as the rich deposit proves itself out through more sampling, and as long as it is safe, we will schedule at least one, perhaps two, two-day group underwater mining events before the end of this season – free to any and all members who want to attend. All the gold recovered during the events will be split evenly amongst the participants as well as we can.  I say that, because some of the gold nuggets Derek recovered were far too large to become an even split, and there is no way we will cut something like that into pieces.  If we encounter that kind of gold, we will have to vote on the best way to deal with it.  Sounds like a good problem to work out!

Is this cool or what?

If group underwater projects turn out well this season, and the State does not come up with yet another way to materially interfere with our mining program, we are likely to schedule more underwater prospecting group events for next season. There are several reasons we are doing this. One is to share good will and the great adventure of underwater gold recovery into The New 49’er experience. The other is that setting up a gravity-powered underwater suction system is a very substantial endeavor that most people are not likely to do.

The State conducted an extensive environmental impact study several years ago and concluded that 1,500 four-inch dredges operating in California’s waterways will not harm fish. As difficult as it was to put this system together, I would not be surprised to discover that we have the only one in all of California.

Stay tuned if you are interested in joining us for some underwater prospecting. We should have it all worked out before the next newsletter. Montine in our office will be up to date on how this is coming together: 530 493-2012.

Three More Ounces of Klamath River Gold Nuggets!

klamath-river-gold-nuggetsThe New 49’ers Legal Fund is giving away another three ounces of beautiful Klamath River gold nuggets, split into 25 prizes. Check it out right here. The drawing will take place on Friday afternoon, 21 October.

You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online.

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing  

  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out. Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

 

Other Announcements:

Legal Update:  My own understanding is that the California Supreme Court should issue a Decision in the Rinehart case sometime in August. As I have explained in earlier newsletters, the Rinehart case is perhaps the most important litigation concerning mining that has happened during our lifetimes.  The question in front of the Court is to what extent the State has the authority to materially interfere with or prohibit different methods of mining on the public lands because of real or imagined environmental or social concerns.  In this case, the controversy is over California’s refusal to issue any suction dredge permits without even providing a process to consider if any impacts exist in the first place.

After not having seen any State officials around all season, a small team of wardens arrived last Sunday and seized two suction dredges that were operating in plain sight along our Wingate property.  No citations were issued, we assume, for motorized dredging in California without a permit (which is not being made available).  The wardens were abundantly apologetic, explaining that they signed up to catch poachers and real criminals, and they were only following orders from officials who are superior to them in the chain of command.

In my own view, that a State law officer can come out to your property (the Supreme Court has ruled that federal mining claims are real property in every sense of the meaning), and just take away your belongings, without charging you with any crime, is a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S., Constitution.  America cannot be truly free, nor can “we make our country great again,” as long as this practice is allowed to continue.

We will take on these important challenges a step at a time. For the moment, after eight years of continuous litigation to push back on the unreasonable overregulation by State agencies, we are waiting to see if the California Supreme Court is going to provide us with some relief.  By “us,” I mean the working men and woman who create the foundation that made America Great in the first place.

The best way to stay informed of recent developments is to sign up for our free Internet message forum. Important industry news shows up there so fast, sometimes I wonder if the news is reported even before the events take place!

Annual Dues:  We bill all Full Members $50 for annual dues in August.  September through the end of the year is when we must shoulder the load of substantial property tax and filing fees to the County and Bureau of Land Management. These are legal requirements which allow us to continue making a very substantial number of federal mining claims (60 miles of gold-rich river and creek properties) available to our members.

In real terms, the true value of the gold along these extensive properties is probably more valuable than the net assets of any financial institution on the planet. We should be calling our properties the “Klamath First National Bank.” Ours is the only bank in the world where you can go out and make a draw anytime you wish. There are no interest or bank fees to pay.  And you never have to pay the gold back!  This is as close as it comes to an opportunity to maintain some degree of personal freedom during these ever-more difficult and troubling times.  As far as I know, we are the only organization in the world that makes a very large bank of pure wealth freely available to our members.

But it all comes back to the foundation of all these gold-rich properties.  It would be an incredible mistake to lose them!  Thank you very much to those of you who will respond immediately to help us maintain the backbone of our Association!

Winter hours:  As of the 1st of September, we will switch to winter hours at our headquarters in Happy Camp.  This means the office and store will remain open between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, except for normal national holidays.  Our final evening potluck of 2016 will take place on Saturday evening, 27 August.  They will resume next season on the 3rd of June.

2016 Weekend Group Prospecting Programs

All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members!

This season, at least until the legal question about using motors is resolved; we will be demonstrating how to recover volume-amounts of gold using non-mechanized methods of mining. Believe me when I say that there still remain viable methods of recovering Mother Nature’s golden treasure!  You might be really surprised! With all the people who participate in our weekend projects, my guess is that the gold production will not change by much. All participants will receive an equal share of the gold we recover.

Schedule of Events: June 4 & 5; June 25 & 26; July 16 & 17; August 6 & 7; August 27 & 28

The New 49’ers provide all of the sluicing equipment and boats used in these projects. You will need to have your own basic digging tools, gold pan (available in the prospecting shop in Happy Camp) and transportation. You will also need to provide your own lodging and nourishment.

Group projects are limited to a manageable number of participants. Scheduling in advance is strongly advised to ensure a position on any specific weekend project: 530 493-2012.

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than we can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

 

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

Tags