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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.


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