India ended a search for treasure beneath a 19th century fort after finding only a few bones and terracotta bricks but none of the gold predicted by a Hindu holy man's dream, an official said today. The search began Oct. 18 in Uttar Pradesh state in northern India after Hindu Swami Shobhan Sarkar told a government minister that a former king appeared to him in a dream and told him of a nearly $50 billion cache. The leader of the dig, Praveen Kumar Mishra, said the hunt had been suspended. The government spent $25,300 on digging at the site, a local magistrate said.
The Geological Survey of India earlier said it found signs of heavy metal about 66 feet underground and decided to dig the area in Unnao district, about 50 miles southwest of the state's capital of Lucknow. However, Mishra said today that appeared to have been an error. The state-run Archaeological Survey of India found some artifacts and reached sediments of calcium carbonates in the first trench, Mishra said, but diggers hit rocks in the second trench. "There is no indication of (the presence of) any alloy as reported by the GSI team," Mishra said in his report.