"They will always lead you astray"

Errol Coote, Hell's Airport. pg. 139


Most organised prospecting expeditions to the remote parts of Australia carried a few specimens of reef or alluvial gold, to acquaint the Aboriginals with the nature of the precious metal, prior to enlisting and sometimes coercing their help in the search. According to Blakeley, Lasseter carried seven small rich specimens of gold in quartz, probably for that express purpose, although Blakeley infers a fraudulent motive. The Aboriginals very quickly learnt the value of gold - to the white man, and soon became proficient prospectors in their own right. Specking was their forte where a keen eye and intimate knowledge of the land sometimes produced spectacular results for the white Boss, Jacky might get a new pair of boots if he were lucky.

The official records from all mainland states, particularly Western Australia, are rich in authentic accounts of Aboriginals finding gold, and until recently of no great benefit to themselves. If Lasseter had travelled through Central Australia at the turn of the twentieth century, he may have heard how a gold find at Arltunga was named after the Aboriginal woman who discovered it-Claraville. And he may also have heard the unsavoury story of the representative of the law on the Arltunga goldfield who forced the natives to find gold or no rations, this low life is alleged to have accumulated over 12,000 pounds although he didn't live long after retirement to enjoy his ill gotten gains.

The search for Lasseter's Reef began over a hundred years ago and in that time hundreds if not thousands of searches in one form or another have been made from the ground, the air and from space. The reader may rest assured that every square metre of Lasseter Country has been probed and tested in some way by the experts and the Aboriginals and the result remains the same-No gold reef!!

Yet ridiculous and somewhat insulting stories persist about aboriginals, "finding gold as they might need it", and buying new Landrovers with the proceeds from Lasseter's Reef, or the close family member reluctantly denied access to the reef because of traditional constrictions, this unfortunate myth does the perpetrators or the believers no credit, good fortune to anyone who can 'obtain' enough gold for a new vehicle but they wont be purchasing it with gold found in Lasseter Country, and by some suspect creative history that whitefella dreamtime story is taking on the status of a sacred site…thanks to Idriess.


R.Ross. 1999-2006

Coote E.H. Hell’s Airport 139. Stapleton A. Lasseter Did Not Lie. 46.