New show "Lost Gold" features local author, Bighorn River treasure story

Peter Netzel explains the story of General Marsh and the Far West steamboat on the Bighorn River. 

The Travel Channel is premiering a new show called Lost Gold, where they seek out America's most fabled missing treasures.

Peter Netzel of Billings worked as production consult on an episode of Lost Gold filmed on the Big Horn River near Hardin.

Netzel is an avid Montana historian. He and his wife have written a series of books called "Lost Treasures of Montana," totaling over 2,900 pages.

One of those stories tells the tale of Captain Marsh and the Far West steamboat. The story says the Far West came from Bozeman carrying gold, but was diverted to pick up the wounded from the Battle of The Little Bighorn.

To reduce the boat's weight, it's said Captain Marsh buried the gold offshore. Netzel posted on Facebook this story along with a map of the believed location of the treasure. That's when he received a message. 

Netzel says, "Where did you get that info, and I said years of research. And so they said well we're with the Travel Channel and would you be willing to be an on site consultant for our filming? And I waited for about two days because I thought they were pulling my leg, because you know these things don't normally happen." 

Netzel met with Travel Channel's "Lost Gold" producers and hosts at Stella's downtown for breakfast back in May. Then, he led them to the possible treasure site on the Bighorn River. 

"We had our books out less than two years and then to land a Travel Channel episode, well that's doing pretty good," Netzel joked. 

He said the site is near the General Custard Fishing Access Site just North of Hardin. Netzel explains he believes that is the site because General Marsh's journal describes a gold ridge northwest of the island where the steamboat stopped. 

Netzel said he doesn't know what the show found at the site, but the experience alone is one that will stick with him. 

"I do like watching lost treasure things on TV but after being in one I would say I hope I'm never in another one. There was a lot of stress leading up to it, there's a lot of stress in this thing," Netzel said. 

Peter Netzel told KULR-8 he wasn't paid for his work on the show, and actually had to take a day off from work to film. He joked that he did at least get a free breakfast. 

The first episode of "Lost Gold" premieres on January 14th on the Travel Channel. 

The "Missing Gold of The Little Bighorn" episode featuring Netzel will premiere on February 4th. 

KULR-8 Reporter

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