I managed to get hold of Mr. Ken Johnson and he was kind enough to let me go visit him on his farm and show me where he had made the discovery.
I arrived on his picturesque farm in the heart of the Winelands, he welcomed me with not a small bit of suspicion, though he seemed to relax when it became clear I was not interested in the treasure as much as where it was found and what the “bush pig’s den” looked like. He drove me to the South West corner of his plot where there was a small mound with an old oak tree laying down the one side. There was a trench dug all the way into the centre from the base. The soil had collapsed in the centre revealing the walls of what used to be rounded cavity about 6 feet across.
Ken explained that the oak tree used to sit at the top of the mound but was pulled over when excavation required that they dig underneath it. I asked him how they had made the discovery and this is what he said.
” I had been having problems with bush pigs, they can ruin crops if left unchecked. I thought I had finally discovered their den. There was a hole at the base of the mound and my men and I started digging it out. We were startled to see how large the tunnel was and it plunged straight down into water which was unusual. It wasn’t long before I realised it could not be a bush pig’s den, we would have given up but we started to find coins, lot’s of coins and other small objects like cutlery and beer bottles. After about 3 hours of digging we came across something staggering. It was a huge mound consisting of coins, rubbish as well as some valuable antiques. I then called the authorities, I figured it was some sort of robbers stash.”
No one came to claim the treasure and there hasn’t been any report of the objects being stolen so the the find has remained with Ken. The odd collection of objects made no sense to the authorities. Most of the coins were pocket change with the exception of some Kruger Rands and some rare coins which had great value to collectors. Mixed in with the coins were CD’s, a Disco ball, a bicycle tyre, a golf club, kitchen knives, silver cutlery, cellular phones, car keys, jewellery, antique silverware and even a teddy bear. The only connection that they were able to make between the mish-mash of objects is that they are all shiny, like items you would find in a raven’s nest. Something else interesting that Ken mentioned was that there was a strange smell like sulphur in the air inside the cavity.
I believe that Ken had a dragon on his property! I have done my best to portray the den as I believe it was before it was destroyed. I don’t know what kind of dragon it is so I took some artistic licence. Despite my enthusiasm Ken wasn’t so convinced, however I am thankful for his willingness to let me see and explore the site and I appreciate his help in piecing together what it looked like.