For more than 100 years treasure hunters have
been confounded by a set of ciphers, a coded message that purports to pinpoint
the location of the Beale Treasure.
Legend has it that Thomas Beale brought
back four tons of gold, silver and jewels from an expedition out west in the
early 19th Century.
Tonight we have a new explanation for what's supposedly
buried in Bedford County.
Peter Viemeister has spent 20 years researching the
legend. Now he's come up with a new theory.
The Beale Papers- -published in
1885- -could have been an elaborate cover story.
In his new book, Viemeister
wonders whether a small circle of Confederate officers could have concocted the
Beale Papers as a means of accounting for the Confederate Treasury.
((AND THEY MAKE UP
CIPHERS THAT NOBODY CAN SOLVE, AND MAYBE THAT'S WHY NOBODY HAS REALLY SOLVED IT,
BECAUSE MAYBE THOSE CYPHERS WERE NEVER INTENDED TO BE SOLVED.))
We know the Confederate Treasury left Richmond late on
the night of April 2, 1865- -headed for Danville.
((THE THEORY IN THIS NEW BOOK IS WELL,
NO, IT WAS DIVERTED BEFORE THEY GOT TO DANVILLE.))
Either way, the train would have passed through Burkeville.
In 1865 it was a convenient stopping point... a source of water. Just as
they do today, the tracks came to a crossroads in Burkeville.
Six weeks earlier Robert E. Lee had written the
Confederate secretary of War, urging that "everything of value be removed from
Richmond to Lynchburg or some point west."
One week before General Lee's
surrender at Appomattox, the treasure could have been taken to Bufordville- -now
Montvale- -for safe keeping.
((THE GUYS WHO WERE DOING THIS REALLY WERE PRETTY HONORABLE GUYS.
THEY WERE PUTTING THIS STUFF IN THE GROUND FOR HONORABLE PURPOSE, FOR THEIR
LOYALTY TO THE SOUTH.))
doesn't name names in his book, but he suspects Confederate paymaster Ferdinand
Hutter could have written the Beale papers to explain the eventual recovery of
such a sizable fortune.
Lieutenant Hutter lived in Lynchburg. His home still
stands in the Sandusky area.
((THE CURRENT OCCUPANT OF THAT HOUSE IS REVEREND JERRY
((I WONDER IF THEY REALLY LOOKED THROUGH ALL THE CLOSETS
((THERE IS AN ATTIC THAT WE'VE NEVER BEEN IN, SO, I
((Could there be something in the attic that could shed some light on
this? I DON'T KNOW, BUT I COULD TELL YOU IN MORNING. HA HA.))
It's unlikely the treasure is
buried on Falwell's seven-acre estate; The evangelist would still like to know
more about it.
(AND IF WE FIND IT, WE'LL DOUBLE THE SIZE OF LIBERTY
UNIVERSITY WITHIN 12 MONTHS AND THANK JEFFERSON DAVIS IN THE PROCESS.))
If the Falwell- -Confederate gold connection seems too far-fetched,
you may prefer another theory.
On News 7 at 11 tonight,
we'll consider whether the Beale Treasure is buried MORE than four miles from
You can read the Beale
Papers- -including the coded "Locality of the Vault"- -on our web page... at