If you know where it is you wont need a treasure map to find the ....


By Harold Doan

Though this was supposed to be a secret in the late fifties I doubt its disclosure will do any harm now.

There were some bad floods in Northern California in the winter of 1956 or 7. Water in the Eel River rose high enough to flood out a warehouse which contained a large amount of liquor of all kinds. The labels and federal tax stamps were mostly washed off and there was fear that somehow the stuff was contaminated. So the entire lot was written off.

Since the Alcohol Tax Unit and the Coast Guard were both under the Treasury Department at that time it was decided to destroy the booze and bury it on the Coast Guard property near the Coast Guard Lifeboat Station at Samoa, California, near Eureka. The liquor was loaded into dump trucks and amid great secrecy a bulldozer dug a trench in the sand, the stuff was dumped in and the bulldozer tan back and forth over the bottles. (I am sure that must have been a tough job and the bulldozer operator could be excused if he didn't break every bottle.) Sand was pushed over the top ... of course, a case of booze went to a few people here and there with a stern admonition that the news was not to be spread.

My friend Joe Elliott was stationed there at the time and told me about "the whiskey mine." I did nothing about it as I was a newly commissioned ensign then and felt it would be wrong for me to go "prospecting."

A year or so later I was Exec on the CGC ACTIVE, a Buck and a Quarter visiting Eureka and moored at the Samoa Lifeboat Station. It was a day or two before payday and the Chief Engineman on the ship was bored with card games and paperbacks and wanted to go ashore that wouldn't cost him anything. I told him about the buried treasure and he left.

When he came back to the ship I knew he had found it because his fingers had many cuts from broken glass, his trousers were stained red from wading in wine, and his eyes wouldn't focus.

After a few days he shipped a footlocker of "mineral samples" to his home in Monterey. He said he had a fine time guessing what was in a bottle by the shape, glass color, etc. etc. etc.

Note to Commander Doan ... Send Treasure Map ... Am sailing in that direction.


From "This - *?#!@*? Was The Coast Guard" by Esther Stormer 1985

Reprinted by permission.

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