Thomas Beale Treasure...To test a solution, it is necessary to hotfoot it down to the Blue Ridge
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To match clues to the local geography with the help of compasses and historical survey maps. Needless to say, most deciphering bear little relationship to the geography.

Farmer Lee Dooley says of treasure: "That money would just mess me up."

A recent "solution" from a treasure hunter in Maine gave instructions to start at the old Buford's Tavern in Montvale, Virginia, climb the nearby Peaks of Otter and finally surface in Jefferson's bedroom at Monticello...A feat which would have involved excavating a 60-mile tunnel along the mountains.

A few solutions, such as Colonel Holland's recent one terminating beside the railroad tracks , are strikingly true to local landmarks.

When the text and the landmarks match and your metal detector signals "treasure," it is time to bring out shovels, hire backhoes or bulldozers, and buy dynamite before someone else beats you to it.

A recent solution gave instructions to penetrate a deep-water pit in a disused mine on Purgatory Stream, 45 miles northeast of Roanoke.

All the digging party found was a 90-pound chunk of Colonial era pig iron...A treasure in its own right.

Another fortune hunter wasn't so lucky. His metal detector went berserk over a rocky area in Bedford County where his solution located the treasure.

He hired guards, fenced off the area and brought in a bulldozer, only to unearth the remains of a 1930s car.

Such solutions are mostly forced, and based more on wishful thinking than good cryptanalysis, maintains Per Holst.

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