Thomas Beale Treasure...A Review Of A Mel Hodgen book
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To All:

I had the privilege of previewing the un-edited manuscript of a book soon to be published (in January 2003) titled “THOMAS JEFFERSON BEALE, HIS TREASURE, HIS THREE CODES AND THE KEYS” by Mel Hodgen.

I have never personally met Mel Hodgen, and have only corresponded with him via e-mail and telephone. However, I have learned he is a Prior Marine Corps Aviator, having flown Corsair Aircraft in Korea and retired from the Chicago Police Department, and currently is living in Illinois. He has been working on The Thomas Beale Mystery for 30 plus years and has managed to find a possible key to the Beale Ciphers which he intends to publish in book form to be available in January 2003. He sent me a copy of his manuscript which includes his version of the key and requested I read it, and after reading, posting an honest opinion and review of his work to the Internet Forum. After reading his work the following is provided for your informational purposes:

In his book, Mel Hodgen offers an original, if different and interesting perspective concerning the origin of the Beale Treasure, The People Behind it and Reasons For it’s Concealment. His ideas have not been purloined from anyone else and are refreshing. The story line is strictly his own and as such just as reasonable as any presented by any other Author.

Some of the material presented in his book as historical fact is a matter of conjecture on the author’s part, (as he, himself confesses in his writing), and does not necessarily agree with known history, documented events or published historical facts concerning the major characters of his scenario. Historical accuracies are an important part of telling a story of this nature. Inaccuracies of time-line and events can be misleading and confusing, possibly casting doubt on the validity of other materials presented. Although he confesses to taking liberties with the historical facts, the historical inaccuracies still detract from the believability of the story line and the treasure origin.

Significant portions of the material presented in this book is redundant, having been published over the years in a multitude of articles, stories and books by other authors. Nothing new is to be gleaned from re-publication of this material. There is however, an exception to this is in Chapter 2 of his book. The author presents code 2 showing it deciphered including the mistakes and then the corrected version for comparison. Others only talk about it, Mel shows it in his book. This is a plus and time saving tool for others who are investigating the Beale Mystery.

To be honest, the first 10 Chapters of Mel’s Book, are delivered in a “Huckleberry Finn”, “Good Ol’ Boys around the campfire” talking style. His story line is “Original” and “Interesting”, although at times long winded and repetitive, it is not without merit, containing much useful information.

Chapters 11 and 12 while at the end, are the very core of this book, where you will find the Keys to give you the location of the purported Treasure Vault. A lot of people claim to have found keys and solutions and in their renderings only give you what they supposedly have deciphered and not the method by which they did it, Mel, however, in Chapter 11 of his book shows you how he found the key, and how to use the key and what results you can expect. His method does indeed work and does what he claims it to do. It actually gives you a valid location to search - and also other things of interest. For the earnest investigator into the Beale Treasure Mystery, the keys presented in Chapters 11 and 12 of Mel’s Book is well worth the purchase of it.

Inquiries about the availability of his book should be addressed to:
Mel Hodgen, email address

David Mason