In 1816, a man named Beale traveled from Virginia to Colorado to hunt buffalo with 30 other men. Reportedly, when one of the men found surface gold, the hunting party turned into a mining expedition. According to the account, Beale and his men mined for over two years and gathered thousands of pounds of gold and silver ore. Beale and a few of his men traveled back and forth between Colorado and Virginia twice to transport and burry the huge amount of gold, silver and an assortment of jewels a couple of miles outside of the town of Burfordville in Bedford county, Virginia.
Supposedly, Beale left behind three ciphered pages with an innkeeper named Robert Morris for safekeeping – promising an associate would return with a key to the cipher to claim the treasure. The associate never arrived. It is said that the three ciphers contain the location of the treasure, the names of relatives of the miners and the content of the buried treasure. After no one came to claim the ciphers, the innkeeper sold the pages to the public (in 1885) as “The Beale Papers”.
Many years later, a bored woodshop teacher – tired of correcting his students’ measurements on assignments – picked up on the ciphers on the internet. He instantly got caught up in the mysteries of the pages and emerged himself in its wisdom and mysteries.
With a lot of time invested and using the Declaration of Independence as a key to decipher the pages, Dan Mento (the teacher) could discover that the pages were converted to three maps to the landscapes of Burfordville. The three parts of a map were puzzled together and clearly it showed a map of where the treasure might be located.
Not going into deeper details of how the ciphers looked or what cryptic messages it contained we can mention that from different points on the map – with the help of anagrams on the ciphers – Mento found that they intersect to create a masonic symbol on the map.
This birthed another theory – Was Beale a masonic member?
Theories, with the help of books released later (i.e. “An Elaborate History of the Order of the Eastern Star”), emerged that this whole story was a ruse and a treasure was never existent, but an elaborate plan to throw off people’s nosy eyes.
Maybe the treasure wasn’t real, but Freemasons all to real.
A recommendation from us is to read the books An Elaborate History of the Order of the Eastern Star, Beale’s Treasure a Freemason’s Tale and even The Beale Papers.