Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on August 24, 1996 · Page 8
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 8

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Indiana, Pennsylvania
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Saturday, August 24, 1996
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Page 8
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Page &—Wednesday, August 26, 1992 / 1&t\t Hagerstown man searches for Beale treasure HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Eleven years ago, Elwood Chaney's landlord handed him a tabloid clipping about modern-day treasure hunters looking for a cache of money and jewels supposedly buried in the 1820s. Chaney and his wife chuckled about the clipping, and it landed in the trash. But within hours, the unemployed machine operator was rooting through the garbage trying to find the scrap of paper that has changed his life. For more than a decade, Chaney has been obsessed with hunting the mysterious Beale treasure, which some say doesn't even exist. To say his friends and relatives are skeptical of his endeavor is an understatement. "They laughed like everybody else and say I'm foolish. Only time will tell," said Chaney, 44, who believes the treasure is hidden above ground in Hagerstown. ^ The treasure is named after Thomas J. Beale, who left Virginia in 1817 to travel with a hunting party, according to accounts written about his trip. The group found gold and silver on the way and decided to take it back to the East Coast for safekeeping. Agencies seek donations for Beale befriended Lynchburg hotel owner Robert Morriss, gave him a locked iron box, and then wrote to him in May 1822. The letter said the box contained papers describing the hunting group's travels and the location of their fortune. The letter said the box contained coded messages that would be unintelligible without the aid of a key. The key for breaking the codes was to be delivered in 10 years, but it never arrived and Beale and his party were never heard from again. Morriss opened the box in 1845 and found two other letters from Beale and three sheets of paper covered with numbers, according to the legend. Beale's letters explained that one of the ciphers, or coded messages, described the exact location of the treasure. Another described the treasure and the third gave the names and addresses of people who were meant to share the fortune if the hunters never returned. Morriss was unsuccessful in deciphering the messages. However, a friend, James B. Ward, supposedly discovered that each number in one of the ciphers corresponded with the first letter of words in the Declaration of Independence. "The message that was obtained revealed that the treasure consisted of 2,921 pounds of gold, 5,100 pounds of silver and jewels..." Chaney said. Ward never deciphered the other two coded messages, but hundreds of Beale treasure hunters nationwide, and even a few from Europe, still work today to solve the mystery. "It's held my fancy for 30 years," said Robert Caldwell, president of the Beale Cipher Association, a group based in Beaver Falls, Pa., which has 112 members nationwide. "I want to solve those codes so bad I can taste it." Caldwell, who is scheduled to speak about the Beale treasure at the American Cryptogram Association meeting Aug. 28-30 in Roanoke, said every treasure seeker has a theory about where it is located. Caldwell is convinced the treasure was, but no longer remains, in a cemetery in Lynchburg. One woman used the biblical book of Revelations in an effort to solve the mystery and others have dug in an around Montvale. Va., northwest of Roanoke. One of the most famous Beale treasure seekers was Mel Fisher of Key West, Fla., who gained fame and millions of dollars in gold, silver and jewels in 1985 when he found the 1733 wreck of a Spanish galleon three miles offshore in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Fisher dug up portions of Goose Creek near Montvale, Va., in the fall of 1989 looking for the Beale treasure, but came up with little more than mud. Goldie and Barry Lynn of Bethlehem, Pa., have made several trips to dig for the treasure in the Jefferson National Forest. Mrs. Lynn is writing a book, which she claims will reveal what happened to the cache of jewels. "The treasure is long gone and I know who it went to," she said. While other treasure hunters focus on trying to decode the messages, Chaney spends his time looking for clues in the Beale correspondence. Chaney believes the "hunting party" actually referred to a group of Quakers who traveled to Africa in the mid-1800s in their effort to help liberate slaves and return them to their native homeland. He thinks they found the riches in Africa and used it to help the slaves. Chaney said he believes the Quakers also used the money for themselves and left it hidden to ensure the prosperity of future generations. The group asked George Alfred Townsend, a local Civil War reporter and author, to write a fictitious story about the treasure that would confuse all others except those who lived in the area, he said. Chaney has spent years reading Townsend's books and other literary works by authors Lewis Carroll and Mark Twain. Carroll, a noted cryptographer, and Twain were Townsend's mends, and Chaney believes they also had a hand in writing what he believes is a fake story about Beale and his hunting party. "They are responsible for creating this thing. The whole thing is a set-up," Chaney said. "There was never a Thomas J. Beale, believe me." Chaney has combed the Beale letters, the one decoded cipher and the three authors' books looking for clues that he believes indicate the treasure is in the Hagerstown area. He said only a local man would be able to spot the clues. He admits he has no definite proof that the treasure is in Hagerstown. Until he does, he said he will not divulge where he thinks it is located. "I'm far ahead of the rest," he said. "If they want to go down and dig up Roanoke, let 'em dig." storm victims NEW YORK (AP) - Here are some relief agencies seeking donations to help victims of Hurricane Andrew. Cash contributions are being accepted by the American Red Cross, Disaster Relief Fund. P.O. Box : 37243. Washington, D.C. 20013. For , credit-card donations, telephone • 1-800-842-2200. The Spanish-language number is 1-800-257-7575. ~~''The Adventist Community Servic- r fes, a voluntary disaster-response .'agency based at Andrews University •-in Berrian Springs, Mich., is operat- itffig a hotline for in-kind donations ;and volunteer assistance. That num- -ber is 1-800-253-3000. ;. To donate to Catholic Charities "USA, send checks to Disaster Re- ,:sponse, Catholic Charities USA, 1731 •King St., Suite 200, Alexandria, Va. •',•22314. ."£ . To give to Church World Service, <send checks to Church World Ser»vice, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, Ind. :'. Mottin ends rMarine training : NANTY GLO - Marine Pfc. Jack ; L. Mottin, son of Jack L. and Joanne * S. Mottin, Nanty Glo, recently completed the School of Infantry at » Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, ;-. The 1990 graduate of Blacklick •I Valley High School joined the Ma"' rine Corps in Nov. 1991. Comedy clubs struggle to survive recession EDEN HOUSER HONORED — Eden Houser of Blairsville, who represented Pennsylvania in the American National Teenager contest in Nashville, Tenn., was named fourth runner-up in the national event recently. She is shown with Rep. Tim Pesci, D-oOth, who presented her with a resolution from the State House of Representatives to mark her achievements. Eden, the daughter of Vicki and Brian K. Houser of Blairsville, will be a senior this year at Blairsville Senior High School. The presentation took place during the Aug. 18 Blairsville Borough Council meeting. (Gazette photo by Bechtel) Racial tension stirred by changes to Audubon LOS ANGELES (AP) - They're singin' the blues at The Ice House comedy club these days. The Pasadena nightspot was experiencing a steady decline in attendance, so about a year ago management converted one of its two rooms into a jazz club. The Ice House, along with hundreds of comedy clubs across the country, enjoyed a decade of packed shows during the biggest expansion the comedy business had ever seen. Today, club owners are struggling to fill the rooms they once turned people away from. "Comedy went through a 10-year boom, and the boom bottomed out the end of last year," said Barry Weintraub, a stand-up comedian and publisher of Comedy U.S.A., a New York City-based magazine. Some of the biggest clubs in the business are giving away free or discounted tickets. A two-drink minimum is common, turning the bar into a life-support system as audiences dwindle. The comedy club population exploded during the 1980s — from about 20 in 1979 to 300-plus full-time clubs in 1988. The number has remained steady for the last four years, but club owners have had to work much harder to stay open, Weintraub said. So far this year, paid admission at The Ice House is down 20 percent from last year, the worst in almost a decade, said Elaine Tallas-Cardpne, the club's booking and promotions manager. The Improvisation, which has clubs across the country and recently opened No. 16 in Washington D.C., By HERBERT MUSCHAMP ~N-Y. Times News Service ' The critic Reyner Banham once wrote that "architecture is that ! which changes land use," and in built-up cities like New York such changes can be traumatic. Taj Mahal, anyone? Not in my backyard. Even when a good building replaces an eyesore, the disruption can be painful, for it robs us of memories and violates our sense of control. For cities to work as social organisms, people need to feel a proprietary interest in their surroundings. , Yet almost every ground-breaking shatters that benign illusion of ownership. This fall, the jackhammers will start pounding on a piece of property in upper Manhattan that has aroused more than the usual amount of emotional upheaval. The Audubon Research Building, whose design has just been completed, has been a focus of controversy for a decade. The issues it has raised range from the civil rights of minorities to the possible hazards of conducting biological research in populous urban settings. These issues largely lie beyond the scope of architecture. They would remain unresolved no matter how well or badlv the Audu- bon were designed, or even if nothing were built here. But this project is one in which architectural and social values are not easily separated. Indeed, the strength of the building's design, by Davis, Brody & Associates, is in the sensitivity with which it brings these values into coherent relationship. Architecture is not the only thing that changes land use. On Feb. 21, 1965, a hailof bullets struck Malcolm X as he began to lecture from the stage of the Audubon Ballroom. With his assassination, this community meeting and recreation hall at 165th Street and Broadway was transformed into an unofficial landmark in the struggle for civil rights. That is why, when Columbia University announced plans in 1982 to demolish the ballroom and an adjacent theater to build a $22 million commercial science laboratory near Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, many viewed the proposal as an act of violence. In a city struggling to come to grips with the causes of racial tension, the proposal to tear down the Audubon looked like one more cause. Though the building was decrepit and largely abandoned, it nonetheless overflowed with meaning, and so. alas, did Columbia's proposal. It dripped with disregard for history and for the university's responsibility to help a city heal. Protests over-the proposal forced Columbia back to the drawing boards several times, most recently in 1990, thanks to the persistence of Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, DENTURES and PARTIAL DENTURES Ralines & Repairs SAME DAY Denture Cleaning * FREE CONSULTATIONS * Office Mrs. 9-9 Mon.-Sat. By Appointment Only RANDY S. HENRY D.M.D. 240 Rlngneck Ave., Indiana 412-349-6602 Pittsburgh, NEW PATIENTS WELCOME Sheo N.P. Srivastava M.D. F.A.C.G. Internal Medicine and Cardiology Accepting New Patients at the Newly Located Offices at ARMAGH MEDICAL CENTER Old Rt. 22 & 56 Armagh, Pa. 814-446-5053 1177 SOUTH 6th ST. MEDICAL CENTER Indiana, PA 412-349-1414 Former patients always welcome - call for appointment All forms of insurance accepted. bucks a week: No kidding. For as little as $3 a week, you can stay in touch with your office, home and business prospects wherever you are in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. For an additional charge, you can even add a large part of Ohio. Our Motorola Bravo Plus pager features: more memory, longer battery life, time stamp, time of day and more, plus it covers the Greater Pittsburgh Area for only S3. These recession-busting prices (made possible by our nationwide buying power) will last for a limited time—so act now! Call American Paging today. 364-9400 1-800-486-9188 4840 McKnight Rd. Motorola Bravo Plus Pittsburgh's choice for Paging AMERICAN A Trotffftoo in Paging £xceflencd r] *Orta'n wms and condition's aooty- is rebounding from a 30 percent decline in business. Co-owner Mark Lpnow said Los Angeles clubs were hit the hardest because of the riots and a comedy glut in the area. At Igby's Comedy Cabaret in Los Angeles—a regular stop for celebrity performers like Dana Carvey and Robin Williams — ticket sales have declined 63 percent over the last four years, said owner Jan Smith. In addition, Igby's has closed its doors two nights a week and hired a "papering" service to promote discounted tickets. Catch a Rising Star owner Richard Fields dumped eight of the chain's nine clubs around the country because business fell off. He said he kept the New York City flagship club because of its sentimental value. "The numbers are still off but it's not a panic situation," Fields said. "I sit there and I moan and say, 'Gee, look how badly I'm doing and you talk to another who had six people in his room and you say, 'Wow! Who am I to complain." When sizing up the decline, Fields and others point to the national recession as a slow drain on their ability to attract patrons. But they say the problem also stems from the proliferation of comedy programming on cable TV that pits couch against club. The couch is winning, Weintraub said. Flip through the cable channels and it doesn't take long to find a comedy show. Comedy Central, VH-1, MTV, Home Box Office, Show- time — all feature stand-up in some form or another. Even the networks have tapped into stand-up. "It's sort of like a Catch-22 situation," said Ms. Tallas-Cardone, saying she doubts the comedy club boom would have happened without television exposure. Now she thinks people have OD'd on comedy. ARTHRITIS SELF-HELP COURSE II von or someone you know has arthritis, \vo can help. Join our six-week Arthritis Inundation course* and learn to practice vital exercises, manage pain, use medications effectively, cope with problems, work with your healthcare 1 professionals and much more. Classes will he held Fridays from 10 a.m. until 12 noon beginning September 11 and continuing through October Hi. Cost for the course is $1H. Registration deadline is September 4. You miist have your physician's approval to participate. For more information call our Fdncational Services Department at (412) 357-7173. Cosponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, Indiana Healthcare Corporation and Indiana Hospital. INDIANA HOSPITAL

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