November 24, 2020 

Clips from Alleghany


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10/19/2005  9:06AM

Scoop is riding shotgun over the back roads to the Downieville courthouse with Mike and Klaus, who has substituted in for George. Will try to post results today.

10/18/2005  9:41AM

Recently received correspondence.

October 4, 2005

Mr. Michael Miller, President
The Sixteen to One Mine
356 Main St.
Alleghany C.A. 95910

Dear Mr. Miller,

Every time I read an article about you in the Union I think I’m going to write to you, but never do – until now.

I married into the Miller family from Forest. My husband is now 84 and his sister just turned 90. She was born in Forest and when the mines shut down the Miller clan moved to Oakland. The family home in Forest burned down at some point. According to my sister-in-law, her father, George Miller was also a stagecoach driver to Sacramento, as well as a miner.

Uncle Ted (George’s brother) was the unfortunate miner who fell to his death. This miner was my husband’s favorite relative. At one time my husband could relate many stories about him, but in the pat year his memory of that period is gone.

My father-in-law remarried, and as so often happens, his second wife destroyed almost all of his photos of Forest.

But, to get on to the point of my writing, I can still hear, in the 1960s and 70s, George saying

“We left a lot of gold behind.”

I have no idea why I want to write this to you except that you seem a very determined individual and might appreciate some encouragement, even from some one like me, a displaced New Yorker.

I am sure that knowing old George as I did; he and other miners may well be looking down on you and saying:

“Look Up! We’ll help you find that gold.”

Well, I’ve finally done it. No reply is necessary. Just keep on digging.

Yours sincerely,
Helen and Norval Miller
17124 Alioto Drive
Grass Valley, C.A. 95949
 By Rick

10/16/2005  8:26AM

Hmm, least you didn't call me stupid, just my comment. Which part? I agree with you about the mine being the most important thing about the mine, yet see the legal stuff as an integral part of the success potential.

But, granted, the mine and the gold inside and the perseverence of the guys breaking rock will be around regardless of the outcome of a court decision.

Which, by the way, given the direction things have gone lately, will most likely be postponed again and again. The good news is that the guys continue to mine gold, right? Despite all the ongoing postponements in the courtrooms, I get most excited about success underground. (Even though I often come across sounding like the lawsuit stuff is more important, mining is the primary goal. I really don't see the court stuff coming to a resolution any time soon.)
 By John Yuma

10/12/2005  10:39AM

I think your comment is stupid. What is more important to a mining company than the mine.
Think it over mate

10/12/2005  9:16AM

Currently the 16 to 1 crew numbers five men. Two men are breaking rock on the 1,100 foot level and have been bringing up bits of gold almost daily. As one miner jokingly put it "We have it surrounded" so we'll see....

Re-hab work on the 800 level continues.

The men also have been busy getting things ready for winter. The road is almost winterized, water pipes have been wrapped etc.

The heliport at the old dry is functional again. This is in case a medi-vac helicopter is ever needed for either one of our workers or for a member of the community. The next closest landing spot is at Plum Valley.

The security system at the mine site has been upgraded and Rae has made some progress organizing the new mine office.

Gold Sales has had a steady stream of small orders and a few walk-in customers almost weekly.

Rae is starting quarter-end close on the books AGAIN Already?

There's been a bit of activity on OAU-Xmart as well.

The museum aquired a fire proof filing cabinet yesterday which will be put to use storing historical documents.

See why scoop has been neglecting to write? Do nag, your interest is appreciated.
 By Rick

10/11/2005  7:52PM

Here's what's going on:

First: Mining hard rock gold-quartz veins in the wold's best mine. When we don't hear much about success, relate it to the stretched rubber-band...the larger the pull, the bigger the snap. If you haven't made it up, come see for yourself. It'll make more sense.

Second, which could, (and I'll weigh in that it should, between today and a week or two from now,) define free enterprise mining for our entire nation in the future, not to mention whether your own property may be snatched from you in an un-Constitutional moment: October 19, Superior Court in Downieville, Mike Miller and hence the Original Sixteen to One Mine, will do what no other entity has had the balls to do (yes, I said balls); that being taking the CDAA to task for a bunch of crap that is the reason you've asked this question.

You should read all about it. Might wake up the entire free population.
 By John Yuma

10/11/2005  3:05PM

What is going on at the mine??

09/21/2005  5:28PM

The chance of rain yesterday was just that, only a chance. Summer returned today. The only excitement at the mine was the arrival of two MSHA inspectors for the quarterly review. The odds favored the inspectors: three miners reported to work and the feds brought up two inspectors. In years past one inspector was experienced, trained and skilled enough to hold an inspection. Maybe the feds can use the excess employees to help out down South, where they can earn their pay.

Mike wasn’t around today but Scoop knows Ian expects three non-serious citations. Two look like housecleaning items that had been around for years. Ian is miffed about one and will probably ask Mike to appeal. Writing paper may be a carry over from the past when MSHA agents were promoted not by helping the miner but by creating violations worth writing. Also the lawyers need some work. Things are better, though. It seems like the bosses in D.C. realize why there are so few underground gold mines in America to regulate may come home to roost at their hen house. Better yet, maybe they realize the foolishness on their past and its harm to the industry they are mandated to protect.

Why only three miners at work? Reid took a vacation, Kevin had personal business and Joey is in the hospital with a very serious infection in both hands. He may be out for a week. At times it looks like Alleghany is asleep. Today is one of those days.

Sure hope to see you returning to the FORUM. We miss George but he needs something stimulating to read from his new perch. Oh, tomorrow the Mountain Messenger will print its own “brilliant and eccentric” obituary. Look for it under NEWS.

09/14/2005  2:50PM

George and Mike spend a lot of time together, as previously reported by Scoop. They work well together to defeat “the bad guys” (an accurate and clear name they call the defendants). Scoop has observed, as well as others, their compatibility and sense of purpose. Hope you all realize what this team and their core of advisors bring to the table. They are unbeatable. Sure the bad guys wanted to imprison Mike, break the mining company and get their first victory in privatizing criminal prosecution (criminalizing accidents along the way). George somehow over the months successfully drove this reality into Mike’ head. No accountability plus getting a grant for the front CDAA non-profit corporation would be quite the coup for them, especially the leader, Gayle Filter. George understood the deep social issues interwoven into the case. He also quickly understood the total collapse of his profession. “When did we allow and accept lawyers to suborn perjury in the court room?” he would ask.

George entered the world of law after breaking away from the scholarly Jesuit order. But the why and how he so fully understood and grabbed onto the Original Sixteen to One Mine and Mike’s law suit is traceable to personal events between 1961-63, which remained with him. Few people know the following.

Scoop joined George and Mike at a gourmet Basque dinner in Nevada City at a table with three strangers so can report this as first hand info. Mike has developed a way of dragging out some of the stuff that George keeps inside, maybe because it was a painful memory or more likely because George can be so disinclined to reveal himself. Scoop thinks this action about exposing the bad guys has much to do about their shared passions, shared beliefs in America and its justice system but back to the story.

At twenty years old George left the Jesuits and shortly thereafter decided to drive from California to his parents home on the ease coast. He took the southern route. Along the way he talked to a young man who was headed to school in Mississippi. George said, “It is not far out of the way so I’ll drive you there.” It was a Negro college where early voter registrations were underway. George decided to help for a while, which turned into an extended stay. One afternoon he was sitting at a counter with the locals when the Mississippi police arrived to bust up the place. George slugged a cop who was beating up a five or six year old girl. Oops! He awoke in an all black prison where he was incarcerated for 9 ½ months. No phone calls out. No phone calls in. He just disappeared.

His treatment was sinful. The guards broke both arms, beat him and for sport would put their shotguns into his mouth and pull the trigger, adding, “Now you die, nigger lover.” George was a teacher to his fellow inmates. History, philosophy and especially music were his topics. One day the torture from the guards stopped. He later found out that the inmates told the guards that any more and there would be serious consequences. Within his battered body, the all black inmates and the all white guards a sense of harmony was found. George was abused no more.

One day a white guy from New York arrived to the prison yard. Since George was the only white face, he stood out. The man immediately approach him (the warden was there as well). Without a word the white guy took George’s arm and led him out of the prison. George refused medical attention in Mississippi and went instead to Saint Louis where he remained in a hospital’s care for ten months. When he finally reached his mother, she said, “Well, you got what you deserved for going to Mississippi.” George did not see it that way. He drove back to California and enrolled in school in order to become a lawyer. His life took on a new direction, driven by a judicial sense of purpose.

All at our table were stunned, except Mike because he knew the story. He kept on George to continue even when George probably preferred to stop talking about himself. Scoop was at another dinner table another time when George turned the tables on Mike. Mike seemed in denial about how serious, powerful and close to succeeding the bad guys were in putting him in prison. This particular night George silenced him with the reality of Mike’s plight and the powerful forces aligned against him and the mine. While George’s and Mike’s experiences were certainly different, they arrived at the same place at a time in their lives where so much opportunity as well as duty was at hand to go beyond the horizon. This is where they are headed.

Scoop now has the terrible responsibility to report to you that this Monday night about 7:30 pm an unexpected and unwanted twist in their game took place. George was killed in his car a few miles out of Alleghany when he slipped off the road and smashed into a tree. Scoop along with everybody he had met in Sierra County and Nevada County are deeply mourning. George’s wife, Betsey spent that morning with her husband at their Richmond home before he left for the mine. She said she had not seen him so poised, so confident and so much like the old George as that morning and told him so. George was at the top of his game: the sanctity of the law, the process of the judicial system and getting the bad guys. Scoop saw George in Alleghany two hours before the tragic accident and felt the same. George knew that bad guys are going down, the law and the evidence are impenetrable, the case is prepared and social justice as well as justice for his client will prevail. One look at Mike right now and you can tell that George is still at his side.

08/31/2005  9:06PM

Oops, Scoop hit the wrong key and failed to log this report written on August 29. Better late than never.

The 4100-volt electrical power to the pump transformer is kicking out 500 volts on one leg, 150 volts on another and fluctuates on the third. This condition was discovered about 10am today (Monday) when the pumps were turned on. The crew turned them off after work on Thursday because of a scheduled black out that night. PG&E was notified. Probably related to the power shut down.

Reid still reporting that his heading looks similar to the ground when the last pocket was found last July. The gold showing in the other headings does not have the potential ounces to drill now.

Unpatented claim fees due this week. Looks like about $14,000 with all the combined claims from Gold Crown, Plumbago, Brown Bear and Forest.

08/13/2005  10:13PM

It’s Saturday in Alleghany and this has to be a first. There are four lawyers in town. Cars and trucks were noticed going into the president’s house. Scoop can only wonder, “What is going on?” Four lawyers is four too many in a little gold mining village, or is it! Scoop will snoop, but whatever the story, this one may take a little time to sniff out.

08/09/2005  5:38PM

The mine will shut down for a three day mid summer break. The crew will have an opportunity to take on some personal chores. Even though the temperatures are in the 90”s plus, winter knocks at the door. Miners will be up on leaky roofs, cutting firewood, fixing broken glass or maybe fixing the old truck. Everyone is back to work on Monday.

New cameras have been installed at the 1500-foot station and the 2200-foot station to monitor the pumps and water level without physically walking to those locations. New cameras are also placed around the property and security gizmos have been placed in strategic locations. Maybe the crew anticipates a new pocket. Scoop thinks it unlikely the crew will move enough ground with the small number of miners currently employed to hit a pocket. Word is the gold and quartz from the last pocket (July 2004) is gone.

Ian decided to take care of some old business. The miners have been hauling good but unnecessary equipment fro underground to the lower shop. This effort will not ”break rock”, but is definitely in the best interest of the company. It does not show up on the balance sheet, but the company owns three million dollars or more of equipment at replacement costs. It makes no sense to let it depreciate underground due to moisture.

Years ago the cost of powder (explosives) was not a significant expense compared to labor, equipment other supplies and utilities. Times have changed. Scoop saw a recent purchase order to Alpha Explosives. Prell (ammonia nitrate) is $.32 per pound; dyno plus (dynamite) is $150.00 per 50 pound box; and non ells are $4.28 each no matter what number; boosters come 800 to a box and cost $.74 each. It was not long ago that non ells were $1.40. Thank you Homeland Security.

08/08/2005  9:52PM

Michael got back to Alleghany last night from a trip to the Brown Bear mine in Trinity County. He told few people he was leaving Thursday, He had a morning stop over in Sacramento for a meeting with the State of California lawyer for Cal/OSHA, division of mining and tunneling, and its administrative supervisors. This alone was a significant meeting dealing with the citations Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. received after Mark Fussell’s tragic accident in 2000. He is mum regarding the contents of the meeting, but Scoop got the low down on why he drove up north to the Brown Bear. Scoop tells all!

Mike got a call from one of his “Scoops” who lives in Lewiston, the small rural town about five miles from the Brown Bear. “There is activity at the mine, and it may be the cranksters cooking up meth.” Michael put down the phone and immediately called the Trinity County Sheriff department and asked for the deputies who accompanied him last year on a similar mission. Last year some gloves and other stuff were discovered when two deputies and Mike searched the property. The sheriff deputies said that this year would be different. The department was so short handed that no one could go to the property with him when he came up to check out the situation. Scoop does not think that this news made Mike very comfortable, but he had to go and he was going to be by himself. Scoop verified this information and furthermore the Trinity County Sheriff department said that the rural area was peppered with cranksters and Mexican nationals, and it was very dangerous to go into the area. There was a murder last year (we knew this because the caretaker at the Brown Bear was considered a suspect in killing the crankster). Furthermore the drug people all carry guns and will kill any intruder without hesitation. This info is from the deputy.

Scoop had to ask questions, such as, “What are you doing for the meth problem?” The answer was very little because they were going after pot growers, especially on federal land. Over 50,000 pot plants were dug up just the other day and over 75,000 were spotted and removed a week ago. Meth?? We do not have the manpower to go after them. Also the federal funds are designated to get pot growers on federal lands. Scoop bit his tongue and said nothing to this inane approach to solving the rural Californian drug problem.

So, Scoop asked Michael how he proceeded without the law enforcement’s participation. “I left word at the Lewiston Hotel that if I was not back by 7pm to call the sheriff and get help. I carried a shotgun and a pistol and I recorded my approach with my film quality video camera.”

So here is the situation: Cranksters have moved onto the Brown Bear mine site, there is no law enforcement to check it out, the care taker has not been seen for awhile. Thursday around dusk, Mike drove to the mine and parked on the county road above the buildings with binoculars and a beer to check out any movement. There was none. On Friday he drove to Weaverville. After again trying to roust out a deputy in Weaverville (Trinity County seat) to go to the mine with him, he was told that everyone was busy and anyway it was Friday. He stopped back at the hotel before driving the five-mile Deadwood dirt road to the mine. That was his back up.

Scoop asked to see the video. His video was worth seeing. He ran the camera as he approached the Brown Bear compound…old cars …and to his delight no dogs barked as he walked into view of the buildings. Just as the camera recorded his talking about no dogs, three big dogs come roaring from one building towards him. Scoop thinks he heard, “Oh, shit!” Shortly a man appeared and to Michael’s relief and delight it was Jack, the caretaker. All is well at the Brown Bear.

07/28/2005  9:13AM

Not much to report from Alleghany. Hot days, cool nights. Missy the cat is eating and drinking but hasn't put on any weight yet.

A little color showed in Chico's heading day before yesterday, on the same lense (footwall) as the big pocket. The miners sacked a most unusual specimen that David and Mike cleaned in the ultrasonic cleaning machine. It is half the size of a football and in addition to gold has many quartz crystal vugs. Scoop wonders why there's been so little talk of the recent purchase of the Gold Crown (formerly the Wonder Mine) by the Sixteen to One. Maybe we'll hear more because Scoop saw Ian, Reid and Mike trudging out of the property about 7:00 p.m. last night covered with mud.

The new minesite office is almost completed. Rae is suppposed to be spending one day a week at that office, although her track record isn't very good so far...

Rae is trying to get quarter-end wrapped up so she can file the 10-q due on Aug. 15th. Unfortunately the company will be showing a loss for the quarter and year-to-date.

The Empire Mine project is progressing, but not as fast as we would like to see. The tunnel is 462 feet in with approximately 261 feet to go on the straight drift and another 125 feet to go after the "y" which is to meet up with an existing drift. The "y" will be about 648 feet in and once it is made the miners will be able to do both headings at once.

George and Mike were seen around town burning the midnight oil. They filed a big stack of papers at the Downieville Courthouse in response to the Bad Guy's attorney's huge stack of papers filed previously. They looked pretty satisfied when they left.

Be sure to look at the "Photo Album" on our homepage.

07/24/2005  8:55AM

Thank you Blue Jay! That is very sweet of you. We will take a look.
 By bluejay

07/22/2005  12:57PM

In regards to Missy, I wouldn't hesitate to contact Newton Laboratories for a recommendation on what could stimulate her recovery the natural way.

They sell a broad range of homeopathic formulas for pets and people. I have personally used their pet products for years with great success.

You can get a toll free number from their website at After you order what she nees send me the bill.

Stephen Wilson

07/22/2005  8:32AM

Hot days in Alleghany, although compared to the Valley it is cool.
Monday morning the power went out for about an hour. We never did hear what the cause was, but it was out in Downieville as well. Later that evening there was a fire in Goodyear's Bar due to a downed power line so maybe there was a connection. The fire was under control within an hour and burned a couple acres. There is still a bit of moisture in the foilage thanks to the late spring rains we had.

The vet thinks that Missy the Cat has Chronic Irritable Bowel Disease. Getting a positive diagnosis would require a visit to an internist and a biopsy, but a special diet usually works as a cure. We have decided to try the diet and see if it helps her.

The miners are finishing up the block of ground they are in and then have two new blocks one to the North and one to the South of the area they in. Ian estimates about two more weeks to finish where they are.
 By Hoop235

07/21/2005  11:51AM

Scoop, What happened to Ian's idea about opening up a new block of ground? Also, how is Missy the cat???

07/15/2005  7:30PM

Today is one year from mining the most recent pocket. A year apart complicates the cash flow. The ground looks just as favorable today as it did a year ago when Ian, Joe, Reid and others strung themselves out because of their belief in the mine and each other. The mine faces less severe cash flow management than it did last year prior to the pocket. The company and crew were badly beaten up!

A strong lack of working capital hurts most businesses but especially the Sixteen to One. Why? Well, with no idea when the bank will be replenished, capital expenditures needed to increase production or merely maintain an efficient operation cannot be given. Right now finding Mister Pocket is required to complete the shop, change room, mine office and other surface work that is either planned or begun. Winter is not that far away.

07/08/2005  4:48PM

Two clues about the ransom note. (see photo) The fine print reads "Empire Mine State Historic Park" and there is a 966 loader which lives between the Empire Mine and the 16 to 1. Most recently it was at the 16 to 1 for a month or so, which is when the note arrived.

The miners are breaking rock again.

Missy the office cat still seems sick. Rae took her to the vet again today and they drew blood to run some tests. We will know the results on Monday.

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Alleghany, California 95910

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