Miners’ Lunchbox: A word on security

A note about safety and security:

© 2009, 2010 Old Tombstone Studio, Timeless Mining from “A Gem Miner’s Guide”
Even in the early days of my career as a specimen miner, I came across diggers who protected their secret spots with threats. Even those of us who would never share dig sites, would compare notes about the various cars and trucks we would find parked too near a hidden trail, or worse still, parked behind our own vehicles when we returned from our digs.
The first serious incident I can recall that hinted at how serious it could get was the murder of Ron Gallup of Laconia, N.H. Ron wrote a well done mineral locality guide book, and was found with a gad-bar through his heart somewhere near a very large pocket system on North Moat Mtn. about 1977 or 1978. His stolen car was found in Maine, and his suspected killer was found years later in a Cuban prison, there for drug smuggling. It was an early warning of the growing danger in the American gem fields.
A large pocket discovered by separate parties was conceded by agreement [by Pete Samuelson to the author] and I submitted an application for a permit in 1980 [delayed by the Forest Service]. In January, 1981, with several feet of snow on the ground, [and no one out collecting] four high-graders got a fraudulent permit from the Forest Service for my discovery
site! It said ”$10 or less in value of mineral materials for educational purposes only.” Two weeks later, I bought a double terminated football size & shaped smoky quartz –from my own
strike- at the Tucson Show, and promptly had samples analyzed to prove what I could tell by comparing to my own specimens. That year I wrote a 26 page report for Sen. Gordon Humphrey [R-NH] and the Senate Committee on Natural Resources on the situation, the new assessment of how large the gem bearing pocket fields and some of the “galleries” were, the problems with Forest Service intransigency and obstruction of responsible prospector-applicants’ efforts to legally mine, and the subsequent growing problems with unauthorized removals and associated crime as values went up and the reputation of the gem fields grew with numbers of significant finds being made in spite of Forest Service stonewalling of issuance of approved permits. I submitted that Senate Report as evidence in a 1984 Forest Service Court case & won, but the problems are worse today!
I want to remind novice, new hobby-level and professional prospectors {& those who may want to diversify from gold and treasure hunting} that we are in an age where even Al
Queda supporters indulge in mineral and gem theft, smuggling and marketing, not just the traditional thieves. Also a serious safety factor in some of our National Forests is the presence
of clandestine meth labs, non-medical marijuana grow-ops, and in areas along the Mexican border, drug and people smugglers, heavily-armed cartel ‘army’ units, and yes, terrorists.
An Al Queda associated group, Jamaat Ul Fuqra, was found in Buena Vista, Colorado operating a madrassa and in possession of a major cache of assault weapons, RPG’s, and explosives, and an associated similar storage was found in Colorado Springs in
conjunction with those arrests. It was years before 911, however, so afterward, and on the occasion of Wall Street Journal Reporter Richard Pearl’s death at the hands of Afghanistani Jamaat Ul Fuqra, a Colorado Springs TV station replayed their news report about the “local” connection. A spokeswoman for the FBI was on the news answering a relevant question;
“No, we don’t know how many people were members of the Buena Vista Cell, and we don’t know if we got all of them, and we don’t know how many might be still active.”

At the Crystal Creek [Colorado]Rocket Mine Camp, we heard too much gunfire in one area, and got this response from FBI Agent Neil Hoener: “Gentlemen, you are not unreasonable to presume that automatic weapons fire all night long was NOT sportsmen.”
The days of prospecting alone are over. Gem miners in particular, MUST work in teams. Though it is fairly obvious that one must be cognizant of security in one’s own home or business, we must take the advice of some gem dealers who suggest it is just as reasonable to take precautions from the mine to the market. I want to add that sometimes, depending on the gem and/or the deposit, just knowing what is where can get you into trouble before you even get into the field. If word gets
out, {and sometimes it seems the trees have ears.} someone will endeavor to be standing just out of sight should you walk away from your hole, or is liable to operate your mine while you
are away. Nothing is safe. Bob Whitmore [Palermo Mine, N. Groton, N.H.] told me of parking a bulldozer on a pocket they had to leave between weekends, and returning to find it
dangerously undermined by high-graders.

High-grader tales are, unfortunately, legion. One can hardly spend but a season or two afield without hearing of felony thefts that, were they of any other commodity, would make the evening news. For some reason, these thefts and the ‘Great Northeastern Gem Rush’ only bubbled transitorily on the C.N.N. media awareness level during my 1984 court case. Rarely making local or regional newspaper front pages, both remain a somewhat well kept secret. This may be in part due to a Forest Service reluctance to administer the resource to the benefit of the local community, even though that is the clear and unambiguous intent of the [1911] Weeks Law. The gem trade has been lax also in addressing the problem and the black market.
The natural dangers of the forests and mountains and deserts, along with the hazards presented by, and inherent to, prospecting expeditions – are just the tip of the iceberg of
challenges. High-graders and ‘claim-jumpers’, thieves and vandals, are also only part of the not-so-nice aspects and realities of this otherwise rewarding activity. The “Red Tape” of
permits, bonds, plans of operations, environmental assessments and impact studies, the ‘stuff’ that goes with surface disturbances on Public Lands, the nightmare of rules, regulations, and bureaucratic confusion is also just the beginning. {Put on your paralegal hat.}

There is, of course, the prejudice and jumping-to-conclusions that will inevitably come from some environmental groups, who will take advantage of the fact that you have to operate under the same regulations as the big companies mining not-so-environmentally benign minerals by any method. They may even spend more money than you make in a few years getting an injunction preventing you from camping and panning gold as well as mining your sapphire strike, if it involves water! So watch out for that “Dragon” guarding the minerals, for it can
take many forms. Do NOT go blindly, dreaming of striking it rich; realize the beauty of the search as well as the goal. The hunting is always good, it’s the finding sometimes that’s not.

Good luck, & happy hunting!

Palermo mine aqua

A record 14.9 carat flawless, a 6.22 ct, and rough.

Miners’ Lunchbox [Dec. 1st]

Old Tombstone Studio  &  Timeless Mining today initiated MINERS’ LUNCHBOX with an Invitation to American small mine operators to submit high definition video on any aspect of ‘artisan’ mineral production, prospecting, minerals & geology, permitting, or operations. We encourage documentation of mineral discoveries, promotional , educational, and entertaining mining related videos for publishing on the web as part of our new Expedition America series. We intend for this networking to help small mine operators to survive, thrive, and grow. We offer more than a publishing outlet with a special interest audience, we offer to assist our associates with an exclusive encrypted provenance system for registering significant discoveries, specimens, one-of-a-kind art & jewelry, etc. as a marketing and security edge. [also] We have an exclusive area advantage in Ground Penetrating Radar Services applied to special mineral deposits, {$3500 to $4500 per week plus expenses.} and our growing Miners’ Bench group includes contract miners, mineralogists, equipment operators, stone cutters, silversmiths, etc. ready to help us market together under a common banner at major trade shows like Tucson, AZ in February. Our audience, our client base, and our common interests have been addressed repeatedly at major gem & mineral show conferences, for at least ten years. The consensus: a need for such a domestic US “small miners” oriented Web TV channel with their voices and points of view well represented.

Admittedly, several good websites represent the mineral dealers and gem artisans well, and occasionally there’s a featured field trip or prospecting expedition dovetailed into the programs. The Meteorite Men and similar exploration programs, archaeological and treasure hunting, have only pique’d interest and demand for substantial and ongoing content in category, like the Travel Channel’s ‘Best Places for Cash & Treasures” series visits to a few American Gem Mines. We’d like to be part of that Great American Gem Rush on video as well as in the field. We will be producing and sharing our own mining and local expedition videos. If the mistakes being made by newcomers and ambitious novice prospectors can be minimized and mitigated with our experience & wisdom, if we can encourage and educate our labor pool, if we can contribute to our niche industry’s resurrection, if we can facilitate production of strategic and precious minerals, we can stand upon the dignified and honorable tradition together…we trust there will be a commensurate response from the world, and from Americans who can proudly exercise their preference and support for those preserving and exercising the Mineral Estate Grant of 1866 by which much of our private property rights and subsequent control of our own resources foundations our economic stability and our community’s peace.

Small MINE OWNERS & Operators Contact us NOW, to reserve your project or to get more information about the benefits and advantages of participation in this FREE SERVICE. We have a network of potential distributors for our programs which can rapidly grow with our portfolio of content. FREE ADS, FREE LINKS, no obligations; and you can show the programs from Miners’ Lunchbox on your site as a member of The Miners’ Bench.

Inspiration & Opportunity Shared!

btw, we are aiming at having a series “Expedition America Digs” on a major cable and satellite channel in 2011!

Adversity for some, advantage for others.

A mountain of difficulty, a rocky trail, an uncertain view; we need but listen or watch briefly our [electronic] cyber-world to expose ourselves to stresses we did not evolve to resist. People, cultures and societies are “snapping”; assumptions and delusions and corruptions unravel in the concurrent short-term doubling of human knowledge. {at a rate estimated to be something less than every 9 months.} As metaphor, we stand upon the mountain looking back down on the ant-hills, the rows of ‘chicken coops’ in the hazy valley, pondering why so few below consider the climb worthwhile, or why they consider themselves unworthy or unable or unwilling to make the effort. They did not listen when we set out to leave the chaos, the meaninglessness, -the lack of company sharing a vision of a noble mission was a disappointment. BUT the few who are here are friends more than acquaintances, fellow time travelers, adventurers. Once clear of the smoke and mirrors, we find others have escaped the wars, and we both pine for those who cannot be with us as well as we marvel at our disproportionate good fortunes appearing as clearly as the actual mountains before us in the clear peaceful air.

The simplification is elegantly present. TIMELESS.

REAL PEACE, real quiet, outside the community matrix. The countryside, the open land provides the realization that permeates any open mind which has self-esteem sufficient to hike outside the city limits. Perspective gained with distance may be a lost advantage if the leverage is not applied. For too many today, the prospect of being [unemployed] the sole provider for oneself and family is too new a challenge; unprepared, dependent, they may become less disconnected, more cooperative, by necessity. For others, the ‘mother of invention’ is singing loud and clear, as many begin to actively participate in novel endeavors, some of which have appeared as subjects of very popular cable and satellite TV and Web TV Shows. “Hobbies” as such, as well as a whole range of “Cottage Industry” arts & crafts endeavors, Rural life-style and how-to’s have never been so enthusiastically redefined or popular. Adopting a former hobby as home-based biz has also been made affordable in part because of this networking of shared interests, whether it’s collecting, arts, or field work in the garden or further afield. Adventure travel and expeditions serve us a banquet of videos only dreamed of a few years ago. There’s great fun and inspiration for some [of us] in documentations of the new Gold Rush and related Prospecting expeditions, like The Meteorite Men series.

We share heartfelt hopes with many readers, that PEACE will somehow prevail [in spite of fearful contra-indicators abundantly broadcast] and thusly we may pursue, with unrestrained enthusiasms, the blessings of our land, our private property rights, our resources, our gardens, orchards, mines, and timber stands, our waters, our plants, our animals, our freedoms, our liberties, and our children.

Timeless Mining, an Arizona registered mineral producer and mine support services provider is assembling a private team of Joint Venture Agreement participants in a program of production and operations. Occupancy of the work-sites is required; inquire via email, please. Office: Box 134  Tombstone, AZ 85638

Work location(s) are near Nogales and Patagonia, AZ, mines and work camps are more than 20 miles from paved roads.

Networking Mining field videos for a new publication coming soon, operators/owners of domestic American small mines, join the Colorado & Nevada miners onboard the Miner’s Lunchbox. Contact us now for free publicity & promotion!

SPONSORED by Timeless Mining

Tombstone Silver Ore for sale, contains up to $100/lb of silver; (not intended for refinement) For mineral collections and study; with provenance certified genuine Tombstone high grade silver ore, as found in 1878.  {Acanthite, Alabandite, in MnS, w/minor rare micros, qtz.} Only $25/lb wholesale [$200 minimum] w/free shipping US. Easy Paypal purchase. Amethystranch@gmail.com

Authentic high grade silver ore from the Silver Queen of the Old West

Private Property Rights, Discovery & Rights in the Mineral Estate


{February 5th UPDATE: Confirmed and supported by this STATES RIGHTS development… }



and by a very recent Federal Court Decision, and open window of opportunity…
for at least a short time.


So we have upgraded our level of Title to Amethyst Ranch.

Our Contract Miners are gathering in a few days for orientation and safety meetings.
We will be operating one of our mines to produce some material to present at the
Tucson Gem & Mineral Trade Shows & Convention between February 1st & 14th.

A high definition video of our expedition will also be produced. 


Back to the Center of the Universe

We are back ‘home’ looking for a cottage! Very soon, more filming, expeditions, and camping at Amethyst Ranch! Make your reservation right NOW!
Specimens and gem sales have resumed at our impossible to beat prices. Email us right away to reserve your company’s commercial filming: Old Tombstone Studio Grand Opening special- your broadcast-ready high definition advertizement video is not $200/hr- new clients intro rate only $35 for a minute commercial!
Frank & Barbara

Where the Old Prospector’s long trail & tale started

While we all await the Spring start of our sunny outdoor life in southern Arizona [there was quite a snowfall last week on Mt. Washington] we are showing this special documentary film on a gem discovery, a real big strike made in the early 1980’s in New Hampshire which made quite a news stir at the time. The court issue involved then is very much to our point in opening a forum, in Yahoo Groups, AmethystRanch .  The lessons learned since 1984 are discussed in the narrative portion of the Moat Mountain documentary {2006}. We are presenting this now because before the public is one of Bush’s Interior Department heads** facing court himself over Forest Service Policy. THIS SITUATION has been ongoing since at least 1981, & as many people are revisiting the issue of Forest Service management, or mismanagement, as the opinions may be, and the residents of several western states are seeing a huge die-off of Lodgepole Pines-  there is a LUMBER CRISIS* and a growing wildfire danger simultaneous. BUT there is also a real need for jobs, lumber, housing, veterans to be taken care of, much of which relies upon the WISER USE of natural resources. We will see a quick change soon, from a war-based corporate monopoly unreality to a peace-based practicality, and that means we must have the answers IN PRACTICE NOW, and the RESOURCES WITHIN OUR HANDS or as soon as we can make IT HAPPEN!


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*    http://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/2008/feb/24/timber_companies_harvesting_beetlekilled_trees/

 **      http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2008/02/24/bnews/br61.txt

An Old Prospector

As the daylight becomes the shortest of our season, and we find in certain dreams our own Hopes Fruitful Spring,
we are prudent to revisit our knowledge that often we overlook the answers and treasures at our feet, readily at hand-
the prudent application of our wills, our time, our energy, to help ourselves and each other in realizing first, and realization second, that no one need be "poor" or without work, or homeless… for there are resources
… and industries and endeavors worthy of our dedication, and I say, "Let it start with Mining- let that be the ‘honest work’ upon which all, including the Congress, agree to favor the domestic small industry, the small miner, and the veterans denied the usual compensation our government has traditionally granted in gratitude-they must be afforded the opportunity to mine, to homestead, to farm, to log, upon the Public Lands, as a fair and reasonable accommodation."