Skip to main content

Michael Paul

     He has often been called the "dean" of treasure hunting in the Midwest.  Michael Paul Henson was an original to say the least.  From my earliest days of  hearing  the tales of buried treasure and fabulous silver treasure somewhere in the rugged wilds of the Red River Country, Paul was presenting his latest theory on the legend.
     It seems to me that my first awareness came from my father, Clarence Henson.  Now Clarence and Paul were what is often referred to as double first cousins.  They were the product of two brothers marrying two sisters.  So that would make me a second cousin, I think, to Paul.  Anyway, in those days, the late 50's, there were a group of silver mine hunters from Virginia in the area.  They sought out my father, who had tremendous knowledge of the area, to help them locate land marks that would match the descriptions in their versions of the journal.  Paul  took up this interest and after years of searching and promoting treasure hunting in general, began his career of writing and publishing articles in various magazines and eventually his own books on the subject.  Other than an occasional newspaper or magazine article now and then, nothing in depth had been written on the topic and for the most part, few of the treasure hunters cared to share information from their copies of the famous journal.
      With the introduction of Paul's books on Kentucky Treasures and the Swift Legend, including variations of the journal created much new interest in the lost mines and probably contributed more to keeping the legend alive than about anyone before that time.  A new generation of silver mine hunters, treasure seekers and dreamers come about from the notoriety launched by Paul and others to be sure.  But cousin Paul was the lightning rod in the 60's and 70's.
     Paul and Nancy (family called her Jo Ann ) researched and explored Kentucky and the whole country for that matter, promoting the idea that out there somewhere, if one searches hard enough, there just might be hidden treasure.  Both are gone now, sadly much to soon.  But through the continued belief that just maybe the treasure exists or for nothing more than keeping a wonderful legend  alive, many now carry the torch.
     I never dreamed that I would be working on a book that would include this story as a central theme.  But here I am, years later, completing that very undertaking.  Now, as I've cautioned, my story is purely fiction.  It does provide a unique perspective (I think anyway) on what could have happened considering all the known history of the time.  I like to believe Michael Paul would approve, not that the story provides any clues to the lost treasure, but the legend still continues.


  1. Would you have any information on the "Mr. Lakely" map?

  2. Brandon, I am afraid I do not have any information about the map. Here is a link to the Facebook page that someone might be able to help you:

    Good luck in your search.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Flint Types of Eastern Kentucky

For those folks interested in archaeology and/or geology you no doubt have considered the flint (called chert by geologists) that all those arrowheads you've seen or in your collection are made from.  The colors, textures and behavior of the amazing substance various greatly and for many years, in fact up until the early 70's only the major identified primitive quarries type of flint were recognized in archaeological research. Little effort or attention was paid toward the raw material of those beautiful and finely crafted tools. Geologist performed little better simply noting in their field work that some beds of lime stones contained chert though sometimes the chert was described in detail.
    That all changed in the early 70's as the result of pioneering work on flint classification for sources found in the eastern part of Kentucky. This undertaking was done by Larry Meadows, Garland Dever and Ed Henson. Yes, yours truly was fortunate enough to know these two very …

The High Rock Petroglyph

What do you think the strange symbols carved on this sandstone boulder represent? The High Rock Carving is certainly one of the most mysterious antiquity found in the Red River Gorge country.  We did a previous post  about this strange rock in August, 2012. Discovered underneath a small rock shelter near the High Rock fire tower, the carvings were discovered on one loose boulder in the shelter. In the late 70's the boulder was removed from the rock shelter by the Red River Museum and Historical Society placed at the museum in Clay City, Kentucky. It was felt that vandals and artifact collectors would soon end up destroying the unusual carved stone. In fact some of the surface appears to have been chipped away, perhaps portions already removed by vandals.    The carvings have many varied, curved shapes including concentric circles and shapes that may represent animals. Additionally, there are numerous holes and other features. Some of the rock has been lost likely by the weathering …

Broke Leg Falls

For sure one old landmark in eastern Menifee County Kentucky is Broke Leg Falls. The Falls has been a tourist stop along US Hwy 460 since the 1940's and before. It was a place for picnics and adventures into the rough rocky terrain the likes of the Red River Gorge. It's location on once a major highway along with the pristine beauty of the box canyon that the stream formed no doubt contributed to the popularity of the Falls.
    The Falls is about 80 feet in height but much of the year has a small water flow. But over eons of time the Falls and stream have carved out a magnificent canyon retreating nearly to the crest of the ridge.
    Located in Menifee County Kentucky, Broke Leg Falls has been a popular tourist spot for travelers of the US Highway which is located only a few yards from the falls. A popular landmark since the 1940's, the Falls was privately owned. Visitors could pay a dime and get to hike the short distance down into the box canyon to view the Falls…