CINCINNATI — Could one of the City of Cincinnati Parks Departments' jewels hold real treasure?
Somewhere in Eden Park's 186 acres is a find that amateur treasure hunter Adam Means considers a prize, even if it turns out to be something less than the pirate stash he urged city parks department leaders to dig up.
"I think it's some very old treasure," said Means, who made the discovery. "I'm not trying to do anything deceitful. I want to help and, you know, the good that comes out of it will be good for everybody."
His trail began in Iowa. The personal trainer lost all clients during the COVID-19 pandemic's peak, so he picked up more books and fell in love with legends about lost treasures.
"It was something else to kind of occupy my time," Means said. "But then I got more into it."
After reading a blog telling a legend about a riverboat pirate who possibly stashed treasure worth millions in Eden Park, Means took his metal detector there and searched for hours until the device screamed.
"The tones I was getting off that metal detector were so loud I've never heard them before," he said.
In that area, Means poked a trowel into the ground. Then, he stuck his tiny camera into the hole and recorded images that he believes shows treasure.
"The things that I saw, they just do not look natural in my mind," Means said. "It's faces. It would be like the top of a crown, a head of a lady. I saw reds and blues and greens that should not be there."
While uncertain that jewels lie underground in the park, Means is sure he found centuries-old relics. He emailed photos and video of the discovery to Cincinnati Parks Department leaders. It is not clear, though, what the department plans to do next. Means simply wants them to take his find seriously.
Either way, it led him into a treasured new hobby.