MY LIFE WITH GOLD By: Winston ‘Golden’ Shrout

Okay, okay … just a little pun there.  My mother’s family name was ‘Golden’ and her nic-name was always ‘Goldie’ used by her friends and close associates.  And who knows but what she would be proud of me for using the ‘Golden’ name in the title to this article.  But actually, the Golden name came from her Irish great grandfather who stowed away at the age of 10 along with his little sister who was 8 leaving Ireland and coming to America.  A professional genealogist told me that probably ‘Golden’ was converted from ‘Gulden’ upon arrival in the US.  But ‘Golden’ sounded a bit better than ‘Gulden’ anyway.  I don’t think she would have liked to be called ‘Guldie’ !

As for myself, I hold no fascination with gold other than my mother’s family name.  As far as gold goes, I can take it or leave it … mainly on the ‘leave it’ side.  It is one of our native elements on this planet and obviously has a variety of uses here.  And apparently it has uses on other planets in our universe, because it seems that ‘gold miners’ from all over the place come here to get it.

And gold ‘grows’ here … huh?  Sure, it grows here.  If you go to some old gold mine that was ‘played out’ a hundred years ago, you will find that miraculously new gold has appeared!  It must have something to do with energy vortex stuff or something.

But my mind goes to beans and tomatoes which also grow here.  Personally, I would rather sink my teeth into a cobb of corn rather than suck on a gold coin … much better tasting!!!  Ummmm.

So in MY LIFE WITH GOLD what I want to do is to recount my own experiences with ‘gold’ events which have come up from time to time in a variety of situations.  I have written an article some time ago called The Tyranny of Gold to demonstrate the problems which have been caused by the use of gold as money … it ain’t always a ‘golden’ experience.

My First Encounter

I grew up in Kentucky where race horses and moonshine were a bigger concern than gold.  If there was gold in Kentucky, I never heard of it.  The only mining operations were for coal.  Coal was the ‘gold’ in Kentucky.

But eventually I relocated to the western states, and the coal mining was on the back-burner and gold and silver mining were the concern.

Around 1975 I was working with some others as we were working to promote and fund an orphanage program in Peru.  Peru, you might ask, … well that is a long story, but I will say that it makes one heck of a good story that perhaps I will tell some other time.  But it was in connection with that that my first encounter with gold came about.

One old timer, I’ll just call him Vern, hearing of our endeavor suggested that he knew a good place which was rich in gold, and that if we wanted to pursue it, he would direct us to it.  So, with more enthusiasm than common sense we had him direct us.  He gave us directions as best he could remember … it had been many years since he had been there.  The place was up on the Snake River in Idaho, and so Vern gave us directions … up the interstate to the ??? exit … get off and take the road left … go so many miles and get down to the sand along the river … etc., etc. … and start panning.

Oh boy, here we go.  So, we went to an old hardware store there in Provo, Utah, where we were enrolled at the BYU and bought two gold pans.  When the proprietor, an old timer himself, found out what we were going to do, he said wait right here.  He went into the back room and came back with his guitar and sang two verses of a song called, I think, There’s a Gold Mine in the Sky.  After the second verse we politely left, but with no less enthusiasm … old coot … we’ll show him!

So, we took a Saturday and drove north in my car which was the one with the fewest miles on it … hoping we would make it there and back.

Upon arriving, following Vern’s directions, we got down to serious panning.  Hmmm … neither of us had any experience at all.  But we did manage to concentrate about a half jar of black sand.  Black sand typically indicates gold content.  And we filled up two or three gunny sacks with sand that we wanted to take home for further work.  As luck had it, there was a child’s sand box in the back yard of the house I was renting for my family, so we went to work on the gunny sacks of sand … until the neighbor came over and asked us to stop because with all the water we using, it was starting to seep into the neighbor’s basement.  I guess the neighbors were not nearly as enthusiastic about gold as were we.

MOTHER LODE!!!  We had our concentrates fire assayed, and sure enough, the report came back for about ¼ ounce of gold per ton of sand.  Wow!  Our enthusiasm soared, but with no experience in mining we had no idea of what we were up against … it takes a lot of capital to pursue even ¼ ounce prospect, capital that full time students going to school on the GI Bill simply did not have.  Drats and double drats!

So, I just kept up my schooling.  But in the mean time, my partner in the orphanage project ran upon yet another good prospect, this time silver.

Yet another old timer … how is it that all of these old timers seem to know all of this? … was willing to allow us to work a claim he had under mining claims out in the Mojave Desert on the border of Nevada and California.  The claim was mainly on the Nevada side which made it better, because when it came to mining, Nevada law was much more favorable than California.  Actually, there was a huge operation just north of us on the California side.

What the situation was, was that there was an underground ‘river’ which when it ran under a ‘salt dome’ picked up silver.  The assays in the past on the down river side of the salt dome were in the 300-400 ounce per ton of sediment, and one was actually over 700 ounce/ton … and that is a lot of silver.

Because this situation had been engineered and had those assays, we did find an investor who came with capital.

By this time I had finished my requirements for my college degree, so I was free to go on this adventure full time.  One of my friends who had come in to assist in the orphanage project had some few thousands of dollars to keep us in beans so we wouldn’t starve.

The underground stream was about 30 feet deep.  So, we rented equipment to dig down to the stream.  Then we dug out some settling and evaporation ponds.  With a heavy duty water pump we pumped out of the ground into the evaporation ponds.  Water evaporates in the desert pretty quickly, even in January when we were there.

Having done all of that, my partner and I went onto to yet another ‘gold’ project that Vern opened up to us … will continue that story in a bit.  In the mean time, my other partner was taking the sediment all around the west to find a refiner or chemist who could separate the silver out of the sediment … but dammit, we couldn’t find anyone who could accomplish that.  So basically, that operation shut down, not because there were no values there, but because it simply could not be separated out.  In the mean time, the orphanage project was in limbo and we were starting to get desperate.

Old Vern to the Rescue.  … a really cool story … get ready.

This is an interesting tale … well worth retelling.  Here is how it went.

Centuries ago, the Jesuits and Spanish scoured the southwest for silver and gold … aside from their efforts in Mexico and Central America.

As it turned out there were a number of mines developed in Central Utah around the present Fish Lake area.  So, here is the story.

According to the ‘legend’ (I will explain where the legend came from momentarily) the Spaniards had enslaved some of the Natives in the area to work the mines and the smelter.  A smelter, for those who don’t know, was basically a primitive refinery.  The story was that they were smelting both silver and gold, the silver they were shipping back to Spain and the gold they were stockpiling.

This is what the old Spanish Trail was for, to take metals from the various mines to San Diego for shipment to Spain.

I ‘think’ they were stockpiling the gold to ‘buy’ California.  The Spaniards who were in the southwest were by this time ‘Americans’ rather than Spanish, and they wanted independence from Spain.  [for more of this watch the more recent Zorro movies]  I suppose they figured that being wealthy in gold would enhance that effort for independence.  … just my guess, as why they would be stockpiling gold from the mines and smelter in central Utah.

This story here would be framed in the early to mid 1800s.  As it was retold, on a certain occasion, the native tribes revolted against the Spanish task masters to liberate those who had been enslaved.  They attacked the Spaniards and killed all of them, throwing their bodies into the cave where the smelter was.  Then large boulders were rolled into the opening, and they tried to cover up as best they could the whole operation.

As it turned out, one of the Spaniards who was tending the mules used for transporting the silver to San Diego, saw what was happening and managed to escape and watched the whole event from a nearby higher mountain (Mount Marvin as it is on the map, or Sawtooth Mountain as we liked to call it when we were there).  The corral for the mules was down in the valley, as the smelter was higher up the mountain … actually a breath taking hike … as we found out when we were working our project there.

After the surviving Spaniard thought it safe to come down from hiding [Actually old Vern had found the ledge where he had hidden out where the Spaniard had left an old lead can (lead cans … can you believe it?) he had obviously emptied of its contents of food, and had written a note on paper and put it under the can, perhaps to leave a message if someone were to find the can.] and headed for San Diego, perhaps to get help to retrieve the gold, as obviously all of the Spanish miners were dead.

Apparently, the Spaniard was able to raise a party to go back for the gold.  But that Spaniard died on the return trip.  The cause of death was never found out.  Of course, a good novel might be written that he was murdered once the party found out where they were headed, yadda yadda yadda.  But most likely he died of natural causes … it was a hard trip by any measure.

When the return party could not locate the smelter or stock pile, they started inquiries in the surrounding communities.  By this time the Mormons had moved into this area, so this would be somewhere in the mid to late 1800s.  And although the Mormon settlers had no idea about all of this (these events had all happened before they moved into the area), this is how the legend was perpetuated.  And of course, it was a well used story … gold, silver, dead bodies, Spaniards, etc.

Back to Vern

Vern’s father and family lived around central Utah in the Manti area.  The father was a sheep rancher, and would take his sheep to higher pastures during the summer for better grazing.  And he took his sheep up into this same Fish Lake area for summer grazing.  The father, naturally, would become aware of the legend.

As the father was exploring around, he came upon a shaped rock in the ground, obviously a rock sharpened by the work of man for a particular purpose.  So, he pulled the rock out of the ground, and what appeared was a hole that seemed to be a large cavern.  Ureka!  He figured he had found the cave where the smelter was … along with the 12 Spanish bodies … and hopefully the stock pile of gold.

Unfortunately, the Mexican hired-hand was highly superstitious about dead bodies and the attending ‘ghosts’, bolted and ran.  So, the father, being a patient man apparently, put the rock back into what he figured was the arch of the cave/smelter, and decided to come back the next summer with his sons to work on this new discovery.

The next summer … you can only get in there in summer … the cave/smelter is up around 10,000 feet of elevation … lots of snow in the winter … the Father returned with his crew of sons.  I guess this to be in the 1920s as Vern was born in 1896.

But to his dismay, the father had a problem … landslide.  This is not the typical rolling rock landslide that most would envision.  The mountainside is layer upon layer of clay.  So in this case, the landslide would be the clay layer on top simply sliding on the lower layer which would take trees, bushed, and such as are on the surface along intact.

Without GPS capability in the 1920s … the keystone that the Father had previously removed and replaced was now ‘lost’.  Dammit!  What to do?

So, he reasoned that if they were smelting using hot fires from burning wood, that they would have made a ‘trail’ of ashes and slag naturally downhill … hmm, makes good sense.  At that point at a reasonable spot, the crew started to dig trenches horizontally on the hillside to see if they could find the ash trail.

And they did find the ash/slag trail.  Okay, up the hill with another trench and on and on.  This is hard and laborious work … and they still had to tend the sheep.  On this first year they trenched but did not find the cave/smelter.

This operation went on from summer to summer but with a major problem.  Vern told me that during those years, that there had been seven ‘landslides’ which covered up the previous year’s work … so back to square one from time to time.  And after a time, enthusiasm was sure to wane.

In the fall of 1975 when Vern took us to the site, it was obvious that he, at least, had kept up his interest in the project.  He took us to a particular spot and told us if we would dig straight down that we would strike the old ash/slag trail.  So, when we found that, obviously the cave would be uphill on that trail.

After completing the requirements for graduation in December of 1975, I first went on the silver project as mentioned above.  Along about February I turned to the gold project.  The temperature variation from the Mojave Desert in January to the temperature at 10,000 feet in central Utah was … well, you can imagine that for yourself.

My partner on the Fish Lake expedition was a friend I had met in Okinawa.  From Okinawa I went to BYU, and he was soon discharged from the Army and went home to Utah.  We were able to continue our friendship, and eventually he came onboard with our orphanage project.  And so, two rough and ready guys, went to the mountains.  Hah.

Old Vern did have one antique snowmobile so it ended up two guys on one machine.  We soon found out upon our surveillance trip, that without snowshoes, we sunk into the snow up to our chests.  So, back to the hardware store for a fit out.

Eventually, we set up our base camp where the old mule corral of the Spaniards had been.  It was going to be rough going, as we only had a nylon two-man tent.  So, first thing was to saw and chop plenty of firewood.

From our base camp up to the diggings turned into a 40 minute trek once we had beaten in a good path with our show shoes.  Coming back down was much easier and quicker.

From Vern’s information we started a down shaft to try and find the ash/slag trail.

As a side note, Vern had said that at one dig, he had actually located the old slag dump.  He had taken some sample to an assayer for an analysis of the contents.  Vern figured that with the primitive methods of smelting available to the Spaniards, that there would be plenty of values left in the slag itself.  But the assayer would not give Vern the results but tried to get him to reveal the location of the slag dump.  Hmm.  Aside from the gold and silver which would have been evident in the slag, perhaps platinum would have been evident, as the Spaniards had no idea of how to refine platinum … or even knew what it was.

We dug a down shaft on the spot using rope and buckets to remove the diggings.  Once we got below the frost line the digging was easier.  And just as Vern had said, we struck the ash trail down 30 feet.

Once we struck the trail, we started to tunnel uphill following the trail.  The beauty in tunneling in subzero temperatures, some nights got down to 40 below, we did not have to do any shoring as the walls of our tunnel would freeze solid each night.

Again, as Vern had said, we encountered the boulders the natives had pushed into the trail to cover it.  We had to dig side drifts to roll the boulders off into.

This was slow going.  But after about three weeks, we ran into what we figured was the archway for the cave where the smelter was … and hopefully the cache of gold.

At that point we made our way back to town and called Vern as we wanted him to have the ‘honor’ of breaking in.  We figured after all the many years he had worked this project in the past, that it should be his honor for the final dig.

Vern arrived the next day and had in tow two hard rock miners which we were a bit suspicious of as we did not know them.  But if Vern had confidence in them, well okay.  After all, they had come in on a snow cat, much larger than a snowmobile vehicle than runs on tracks like a tank.

We took old Vern up to the diggings.  At this point he was about 79 years old.  But enthusiasm and adrenaline getting the best of him, he hurried right up there on our trail, and slid right down the 30 foot deep shaft for a close inspection at the end of our tunnel.  He concluded that, yep, we are there.

We concluded that my partner and I would dig through the night, as it was getting late, and Vern would sleep in our tent.  If we didn’t break through by daylight, then the two miners would take a shift.  So, Vern went back down and we dug through till daylight without breaking in.  But at daylight a major blizzard rolled in.  Vern and the two miners had not come equipped so it was decided to abandon the site and head for lower elevations to continue later.  Vern and the miners took to the snow cat, and we went out on the snowmobile.

After the weather cleared, the miners decided to leave the project, and Vern, who was almost 80 years old (we were into 1976 by now and he was born in 1896) decided to let us go back up and finish the dig, and then with the results of that, and the expected gold in hand, we would arrange for transport out.

So, we went back to our base camp arriving in time to make a fire and retire for the night.  That night, yet another blizzard rolled in.  What I did not know was that my partner, as a youth, had survived a blizzard with only a blanket and a candle for warmth … yes, young people get into some dumb situations.  As a result of that experience he had a natural phobia of getting trapped in a blizzard.  He was anxious to get to safety in town.  If it had been my choice I would have just dug in and waited it out.  But we decided to make a run for it.  So, we stuffed our pockets with food stuffs, fired up the antique snowmobile, and took off.  Dammit!  About three miles out the engine stopped dead, and no amount of effort could get it restarted.  The decision was made to continue on foot.

But there was a problem with an old rodeo injury.  Here’s what happened.  When we started to walk, the wind was to our back.  But after a while the wind ‘changed’ as we thought, and we were walking into the wind.  And then we came to a fence which should not have been there.  It is hard to see much of anything in a blizzard, and actually when one of my snow shoes came off, we almost got separated.  But we decided to follow the fence line, and we came out at a cattle guard (steel bars put into the ground to prevent cattle from wandering from a particular area).  This was yet another mystery.  We sat down to rest and think.  Just then the wind broke for a moment, and as I looked around … dammit, there was the snow mobile about 10 yards away from the cattle guard where we were sitting.  We had made a complete circle through the valley back to where we had started.  My partner had suffered a knee injury years before in a rodeo, and every step he took we arched a bit to the right until we ended up where we had started from.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  We should have figured out that something was amiss by the time we were walking directly into the wind.  Dam rodeo!!!

So, we started off again, but this time we stayed in the tree line as we knew it would lead us down to the valley and lake.

Months later when we could drive it, we figured the mileage for our trek to be about 25 miles, not counting our ‘big circle’.  After we got down to the lower elevations the going was much easier, but that first night we had to break into a summer cabin near the lake as my ‘rodeo friend’ simply couldn’t make it any further.  Why do young men think they need to climb onto the back of a mad bull???

Upon due consideration and council with Vern, we concluded that ‘someone’ did not want us to complete that project.  So close, but yet so far.  Maybe the place was yet guarded by those native spirits and did not want things disturbed … geez, why couldn’t they have indicated that before we had put in so much labor and expense?

A couple of months after that, we borrowed a couple of ‘good’ snowmobiles and three us went to retrieve the antique.  When I got on it, it started with my first pull … further evidence to us that the project was to be terminated.

All in all I was very disappointed as I felt that we had an honorable cause.  Later I/we had to abandon the orphanage project for other reasons.  But that is a long story not related to ‘gold’.

I was starting to consider that gold is a ‘four letter’ word.


*** big break in my gold adventures … many years before the plague starts again ***

I didn’t have many run-ins with gold for many years after that.  There were some occasions when it would raise its ugly head again, but I managed to avoid any major involvement.  Ahhhhhh

But after I retired a flood of gold problems seemed to flood in on me.  Why me Lord, why me?

Although I had had a few close brushes with gold prior to my retirement in 1998 from construction work, events after than have thrown me back into the crucible.


Through a series of events, I made an acquaintance with Stan (not his real name).  He had a refinery in Las Vegas, and he told me that through a series of introductions he had been hired to produce gold for the Knights of Malta for their various medallions and awards.  He said he was making about 60 lbs. of gold for them every year.

Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how one views that) I was introduced to the Prince and Princess of that order.  Again, this situation is a story worth telling, but I will stick to the gold.  Through various associations a man who had what is called ‘in ground’ assets, wanted to put those assets (mostly gold) into a trade program.  So, I introduced him to the Prince and Princess … the Princess was also the financial minister for the order.  They agreed to assist that effort.  When the trade was completed this man called me and said in essence that it was successful and that I had ‘millions’ coming my way!  Hurrah … a new pickup truck for me!!!  Only problem was that I never heard from him or the Knights again.  Phone calls and emails were unanswered.  So, I just changed the oil and tuned up my old pickup truck, and kept going … gold again looking more like a ‘four letter’ word.

But back to Stan.  At one point I went to visit him, and he told me a most remarkable story.  Sometime before my visit he had been visited by three Pleiadians, one of whom had been his father when they had first come to the planet about 150,000 years ago to … yep, you guessed it, to mine gold.  Dammit, here we go again.

So, he drove me up into the mountains in central Utah and pointed out places where he knew there were tunnels which contained piles of gold they had mined out all that time ago.  He showed me where the ports and piers had been located where they had shipped gold to ‘who knows where’ across the ancient Lake Bonneville.

But he said there were some dark and evil connections within those tunnels.  Oh boy … here we go again.  I was able to disperse the dark stuff and send it back to Source.  But I counseled him to leave the gold right where it was.  What he did about that later I don’t know, but I wanted no further connection to it.  I had done my job, and I clocked out.

Speaking of Pleiadians

Around 2001 or so, I made an acquaintance with a Pleiadian … yep, he is not a human.  He told me he has been on this planet as a ‘alien’ through 13 incarnations, and he does tell the most marvelous stories that he can remember from back into ancient times.  Yes, he knows what happened to Atlantis.

But again … what is his main concern about being here?  If you guessed gold you get the prize.

He is both a refiner and an alchemist.  Actually, among refiners his word on assays is the final word.  Once he says what something is, that is the acknowledged final word.

And he once showed me a photo of ‘his’ warehouse. Stacks of gold bars three pallets high all through this warehouse.  He even has his own personal ‘hallmark’, if you know what that means.  A hallmark on gold indicates to whom the gold belongs.

And he has control of all the gold and gold concentrates once belonging to Howard Hughes.  Geez

I once asked him if he could through alchemic techniques convert other metals to gold?  Well sure!  No problem!  He said the easiest conversion was from mercury or what is called cinnabar.  Iron is easy enough according to him.  And he said he could generate the various platinates using various alchemic technologies.

I generally try to avoid talking about gold in favor of hearing his adventures into the hollow earth, etc.  But one last story which brings in some other interesting elements.

I’ll just call him Bob.  So, Bob called me in on a project.  He had some ancient gold held in a bank in Switzerland that he wanted to sell for some reason.  He had attracted a buyer, but everything seemed to keep going wrong.  Everyone associated with the deal was getting sick including Bob … rare for Pleiadians to get sick, but he did.  I was sick for a month … started out a flu developing into a cold which went to pneumonia … finally kicked it.  But what gives here?

I contacted my friend, James Gilliland.  He looked into it, and reported that there were entities trapped in that gold.  He cleared out several thousand a few times.  By that time, the buyer had enough and he withdrew.  A few others buyers took a look, but now after two years the gold is still unsold.

By this time, I am not suspecting that gold is a ‘four letter’ word … it is definitely a ‘four letter’ word!!!  Repeat!!!  I got rid of any possibility of ‘gold fever’ when I finally kicked that pneumonia!!!


In our present financial matrix and the corrections which are being attempted we again are dealing with gold.  And Jumping Jehosaphat!  All the planet is in turmoil about … gold.

Haven’t we learned from history.  Have we buried the concept of the Colonial Script?

How stupid can we be?

Let me say this.  We are moving up in frequency and vibrations.  We are individually and as a community move toward ascension.


The end.  -Winston Golden Shrout