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James Harness from Gold Rush Confirms Show is Partly Scripted

James Harness recently did a local newspaper interview for the local newspaper in Bend, Oregon. The whole article is available for .75 cents at The Bulletin. Here is an excerpt from that article:

REDMOND — A few years ago, James Harness had nothing.

“I had tried to save a failing business that I had started. It got to where I couldn’t even work, my pain levels were so high. I had no doctors, no medication. And I just folded. All the walls came crashing in and I was down to nothing,” he said.

Harness, 55, is faring better now, having become a star on the Discovery Channel reality series “Gold Rush,” which follows a group of men from Sandy as they hunt for gold in Alaska.

Just a couple of years ago, it was a far different story. “I was on my last legs. Didn’t have a lot of money. I had applied for disability (compensation).”

He was living in Sandy, where he was presented with a chance to be on the show.

“I was mainly doing stuff for the Hoffmans just to have a place to stay. And then they came up with this other deal, going gold mining. Because they knew I was down and out, they offered it to me, and I didn’t have a lot of other choices,” Harness said. “They came to and asked me, ‘Can you build this stuff?’”

If you’re familiar with “Gold Rush,” you know who the Hoffmans are: Todd Hoffman, who secured the claim at Porcupine Creek and is the leader of the mining project, and his spirited father, Jack Hoffman, who mined gold in Alaska in the 1980s.

Harness knew the men for about four years before heading to Alaska with them and other members of the crew.

In spite of chronic back pain — partly from being rear-ended in a car accident — he went. Harness would be the crew’s mechanic, playing a crucial role in building and keeping machinery functioning.

Because Todd Hoffman had reached out to a production company looking for reality show ideas, the venture would become the Discovery Channel reality series “Gold Rush Alaska,” condensed to “Gold Rush” for the just-concluded second season.

According to the Discovery Channel, it’s the No. 1 show in the 9 p.m. time slot on Fridays — that’s including both cable and broadcast TV — scoring especially high ratings among men.

In Alaska, the Hoffmans and crew found some gold over two seasons, falling just shy of a stated goal of finding 100 ounces this year.

A third season has been announced. Harness has no plans to be part of it.

The Bulletin met with Harness two days before the airing of a “Gold Rush” special titled “Revelations.” A teaser clip Harness had seen hinted at someone’s departure and left him very concerned about how the show may depict his exit.

“It insinuated that Todd fired me, which never happened,” Harness said. “It shows him making a comment that ‘I guess this is where we part ways.’ Yet I’m not in the frame. I’m not there.”

Harness and the rest of the cast don’t see episodes before they air, and Harness said he had no plans to watch “Revelations.”

In fact, he said, he hasn’t watched a full episode since the series premiere in December 2010, so different was it from the reality he remembered.

“It truly is not the way I remember it, and it distorts my memories … I get mad, because it’s different from what I remember. The real important things I feel should have been in there weren’t.

“For every 40 hours of filming, you might see two minutes of it,” he added. “And sometimes it’s what you leave out that’s important.”

Christo Doyle, the executive producer of the show, told The Bulletin, “We capture the story and tell it as 100 percent honest as we can, and that’s what plays out (in the special).”

“Throughout season two, Harness and the rest of the Hoffman crew had a lot of fallings out. There was tension there, and what we do is we capture the story as it unfolds.

“They were not getting along, there (were) a lot of issues there. We captured those issues, and what you’re going to see in the special … is those issues play out.”

Doyle and others associated with the show are often asked if “Gold Rush” is scripted. The answer is no, he said. “We do not script a single thing. We’re a fly on the wall telling the story here.”

Yet, Harness said, “I don’t care if it’s falling down or killing yourself, they want to see it again and get two shots of it. … It’s really hard to have a competitive business and put everything into that — trying to make a profit you built out of the ground — and yet try to do a TV show at the same time. They collide constantly. It slows you down so much, there’s no way to succeed. You’re doing two different things at the same time.”

No matter how it’s put forth on the program, Harness is adamant that his departure was by choice. He’s not coming back for a third season because, he said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

James Harness

James Harness

This confirms what Jimmy Dorsey told OregonGold.net in a recent interview and backs up other evidence that OregonGold.net has uncovered.

Jimmy Dorsey to Gold Rush – You are a Joke!

On the evening of the season two finale of Gold Rush Alaska, Jimmy Dorsey posted on his Facebook account the following comments:

“I made $30000 gold mining last summer in four months! Gold rush… you guys are a joke!” found on his wall.

Jimmy Dorsey

Gold Rush Jimmy Dorsey

“I made 30k last summer in four months, Gold mining. Dorsey won.” posted on the Gold Rush wall. He then went on to say in the comments of that post “Did they censor me yet? There is the proof.”

He even wrote to Greg Remsburg: “I got more gold and more money than u did mining this last summer. U lose”

Greg Remsburg

As a friend of many of the players on Gold Rush Alaska, and as the webmaster of oregongold.net, I am not playing sides and I always enjoy people finding the gold. The Hoffman crew did much better from the previous season. Personally I want to say “good job”. I have been following everybody from the show the best I can and Jimmy Dorsey has improved himself as gold miner. The fact that he made $30,000, while the Hoffman crew made $8,000 per share shows just that. It probably makes Jimmy Dorsey feel a lot better after they basically made him look bad in season one of the show. I don’t blame him for wanting some vindication.

Jimmy Dorsey Gold Miner

Jimmy Dorsey nows works in hardrock mines.

Jimmy Dorsey claimed he would get “more gold” in the coming summer, when he was interviewed in the now famous interview with OregonGold.net claiming the show is scripted. It was Greg who broke his ribs in his final episode.

Gold Rush Alaska Jimmy Dorsey Interview

I, Edwin Waters recently did a interview with Jim Dorsey of Gold Rush Alaska, the television reality show about Gold Mining that airs on the Discovery Channel.

Jimmy Dorsey

Oregon Gold : How has the response been on the street after appearing on the show?

Jimmy Dorsey: I think overwhelmingly positive. A lot of people want to know what I am doing next and want to know what is happening with my family.

Oregon Gold : Do you think you were portrayed poorly or wrong in the edit of the show?

Jimmy Dorsey : I understand the need for creating a character. I think my inexperience in mining and the construction field is not something that they created. You never see me actually turn a wrench. They cut out about ninety percent of the positive things I do.

Oregon Gold : Was the show scripted?

Jimmy Dorsey : Sure. Every formatted documentary is scripted. It is scripted from the beginning. They knew exactly what they wanted to see out of the program. Even me leaving was scripted, but in the way in which it happened was not. The plans were made, but the footsteps were ours. They actually direct you into these situations. It became very real. That is why I actually got my ribs broke. There was a fight…not even a fight…I was assaulted by Greg. He broke my ribs. That was very real, but it was also in the script for episode four which ended up being episode six, that I would end up leaving the show. They kind of push you towards, making these things happen. They would tell me to say ” We’ve got get gold in seventy hours” so I say “We’ve got to get gold in seventy two hours”. Then they would say “What are you going to do if you don’t get gold in seventy two hours?” And I am like “I don’t know you just told me to say seventy hours.” Then they said “What are you going to do if you don’t get gold?” They push you towards saying I was going to leave if we did not find gold. It was never my intention to leave. My plan was staying the entire summer and seeing it out.

Oregon Gold : Was it more about making the show or was it about getting the gold?

Jimmy Dorsey : You cannot really separate the two. I did not think we had a good show unless we got gold and I was not making very much money from the show; nothing substantial, so for me I did not think we would get a second season once we got gold and I did not think I would be able to feed my family once we got gold. It was very real for me. Real Estate has really devastated me in the last year.

Oregon Gold : Do you consider yourself pretty good at gold panning?

Jimmy Dorsey : At this point yeah. When I first started gold panning I did not even classify any of the material. So yes, I have gotten gold and I now have panning down. I did some mining after I left the mine.

Oregon Gold : Are you a better miner now, than what you appeared to be on the show?

Jimmy Dorsey : Yes, now I am taking classes in Nevada at a school of mining. I am learning about gold mining. I am not done with gold mining.

Oregon Gold : A lot of miner friends who are on my Facebook page want to know about the equipment. Was that equipment made to not work for the purpose of the show, or was it just poorly constructed equipment?

Jimmy Dorsey : It was poorly planned. The shaker was bought from a auction for fifteen thousand dollars. There was some incompetence there to modify that shaker. These guys were kind of playing around with it… It was a pretty old machine. I think it was built in 1967.

Oregon Gold : Do you think there would have been a better outcome if the group would have invested in better equipment from the start?

Jimmy Dorsey : Absolutely. I said from the beginning…I was actually at Sandy airport saying “Why are we taking this thing to Alaska?” I did not understand why they would want to go on the Discovery Channel with such poor equipment… We also did not have enough water to be running the equipment properly. The equipment demanded eighty gallons a minute and we had about thirty.

Oregon Gold : On your website you state that you are going mining again. Are you going to Alaska?

Jimmy Dorsey : I don’t know. I am looking at a mine up north. There a couple hard rock mines in Oregon that I am looking at. We are performing assays and I am talking to investors right now.

Oregon Gold : Did you receive any money for appearing on the show?

Jimmy Dorsey : The deal with Todd Hoffman was one thousand dollars per episode. At the time of me leaving he had paid me a total of three thousand dollars.

Oregon Gold : How do you feel about Todd?

Jimmy Dorsey : To be honest, today I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry that he threw away a lot of relationships that he has ruined in his pursuit of fame and gold.

Oregon Gold : Do you think that Todd should have done more research on even the most basic principals of mining?

Jimmy Dorsey : Absolutely. One thing I have learned from my studies in Nevada and working with lots of miners is that representative sampling and assaying is key… Finding out how many ounces per ton, is what you do first. Then you decide…what machine you are going to use for that material… Porcupine has gold that is forty to sixty mesh size and you need to have the right machines to get that size of gold out.

Oregon Gold : There is one episode that sticks out in my mind when the equipment is being loaded onto the flat bed and the chain snaps. You made the comment “that could have killed somebody” and Todd went off on you and told you to keep your mouth shut. Was that scripted or was that Todd?

Jimmy Dorsey : That was Todd. That was him… A lot of it was about camera time. When you put a camera in front of people, they get jealous.

Oregon Gold : A majority of the public think that the family members should have stayed at home. What do you think of that?

Jimmy Dorsey : We were going to church across the river and there were a lot of kids that grew up in that valley, so I will agree that we should not have had the kids that close to the operation…that we built our house in the wrong spot…the day I decided where to actually the build the house, I went for a walk…and there was a really big black bear grazing right where I wanted to put my house. So that was too far way. We were in a pretty remote area…this was an area where people have not lived in many years. Plus there is safety in numbers. We packed everybody in real tightly. As far as my family. I plan on bringing my family next year. I don’t leave my family. There is no reason to.

Oregon Gold : Is there anything else you would like to share with the public?

Jimmy Dorsey : …The platform this has afforded me is huge. My family is going to show the face of the mining industry. We can change things by opening natural resources here in Oregon and Alaska. I want to show how mining can be good for people…that is my plan…We need to show that mining can be safe and it can help our economic problems here in Oregon. I am getting pretty involved in the mining community.

Special thanks to Jimmy who took the time to do this interview.

Gold Rush Alaska – Todd Hoffman Reaction to the Jimmy Dorsey Interview

During the airing of Season one of Gold Rush Alaska, I did an exclusive interview with Jimmy Dorsey about the show. One of the most shocking parts of the interview is that Dorsey said that the show was scripted. That caused a wave of discussion on the internet in chat rooms and forums and boosted OregonGold.net traffic many times over. Yesterday I contacted Todd Hoffman via Facebook to see if I could get a interview with him. This is what he had to say:

Todd Hoffman: All my interviews have to run through Discovery. Your story with Dorsey was not only false but totally uncool. Take care.

Edwin Waters: Todd, I did my interview with Dorsey over the phone and I recorded it. Everything that I wrote on the site, was from his mouth, word for word. I still have the recording. If you would like to set the record straight, I would certainly like to hear your side of the story. Most of the questions asked during the interview were questions formed by gold miners on facebook, as I took a poll before the interview was conducted. I, myself, I have a neutral stance about the show, but I dont miss an episode. If Dorsey said things that are false I think the record should be set straight, and if you would be interested in doing that, I would like to help you set the record straight. God bless.

Todd Hoffman: I can’t tell my side of the story because the real story would hurt him and Im not interested in a pissing match, I don’t need it. If your going to post trash like that more power to you. You can read a good article by Garret
coming out in the prospectors magazine that I did recently. Good luck to you.

Edwin Waters: I understand and I respect your decision. Good Luck to you too.


Todd was referring to an article by Garret Romaine who is a frequent writer of a column in Gold Prospectors magazine.

First of all, I just conducted the interview. I am sorry if Jimmy Dorsey lied (if that is the case), but you cannot blame the guy conducting the interview. It sounded to me like Todd has a little animosity towards me or at least towards this website. I think it is good that Todd Hoffman decided to take the high road and not get into a pissing match as he called it.

It very well may be true that Todd Hoffman is right. The only way the truth would be known is if Jimmy Dorsey fessed up and withdrew his earlier statements conducted last year. I still have the recorded interview between myself and Jimmy Dorsey, to prove that what was posted came straight from his mouth and was not something that was made up by myself or to promote this website with false information.

I still challenge Todd for a interview. If he wants to keep Jimmy Dorsey’s name out of it thats fine…lets talk about the show. I am not going to hold my breath. By the way, I have been on television myself doing the exact same thing…finding gold in Alaska, and yes I found some.

Todd Hoffman Gold Rush AlaskaThe original interview conducted with Jimmy Dorsey can be found here: Jimmy Dorsey Interview

Gold Rush Alaska Dorsey Interview Audio

I recently turned down the National Enquirer who wanted to buy the tape of the Jimmy Dorsey interview and the knowledge and evidence I have gathered. I refused.

The interview was conducted the week he left the show on television. Gold Rush Alaska is on Friday nights on the Discovery Channel. I am still contemplating publishing the full interview. The evidence is mounting that Gold Rush Alaska is scripted. I am actually withholding even more information that I may save for another time.

Here is a snippet:

To back up Jimmy Dorsey’s claims are the townfolk of nearby Haines, Alaska who were given lines to read as the camera’s rolled.

The following excerpt is from the Chilkat Valley News

When the question was put to borough facilities director Brad Maynard, he was enthusiastic. “I said, ‘I think it’s great.’ I kind of came up here on a pig in a poke. A lot of people came up here like that,” Maynard recounted.

Crew members then told Maynard that’s not what they wanted to hear and the interview was re-shot. “So I told them, ‘I think their chances at success are miserable and I think they’ll fail,’” Maynard said. “They had their own lines they wanted me to say… They pretty much had it scripted.”

Another piece of evidence is a post that has since been deleted from Dakota Fred Hurts Facebook page:

Fred Hurt: “What has America become? A crowd of blind haters, sucked into the contrived, misrepresented portrayal of “Reality TV”? The editors should be held accountable for altering words, and, deleting critical information that sheds a whole new light on the facts. Before the season started, I voiced great concern about how I was portrayed last year, and insisted Discovery clarify WHY the Hoffmans were going to the Yukon. 99% of that clarification was deleted from the show. The Hoffmans asked to be released from their lease. The owner, embarrassed both personally and professionally by the Hoffmans, immediately put the claim up for sale. He had 3 offers to buy the claim. Had Discovery aired this filmed sequence, and divulged what the Hoffmans knew, the public would have a totally different opinion. I am only giving out this information, possibly in violation of my aggreement with Discovery, because of the serious nature of death threats to me, both direct and implied. If the FBI has to get involved, so be it. This is what America has become. A crowd jerked around by overzealous editors, eager for ratings. You are focusing on the wrong person. I have NO control of the way it gets edited.”

Click here for the original interview

Click here for Todd Hoffmans reaction

Also check out a recent article I wrote about Dakota Fred Hurt and his purchase of the Porcupine Creek claim.

Edwin Waters, oregongold.net

The Gold Adventures of Edwin Waters Pt. 1

Adventures and tales of treasure await!

It all started in 1988. That summer I was working for my grandparents on their orchard in Idaho. I rose up every morning early to move water pipe. I would pick cherries for a greater part of the day and then before the day was through end up moving pipe again. Honest labor and sometimes hard farming work. In between, all that work, I did have a few hours during the high sun, to find shade under a cherry tree and think of things thirteen year old boys do. Although there was not very much time, I was in desperate need for entertainment. I found my entertainment in a pile of old treasure books and coin books that belonged to my uncle. I was already interested in silver coins and had a pretty good collection. I delve into those treasure books and read everything I could get my hands on the subject.

My uncle noticed that I took interest in them, and soon told me of other tales that he had read, or heard. He told me of local legends and history. Some were far fetched, as most tales of treasure usually are, but they were enjoyable tales just the same. That was the start of it all. Later on my interest in life changed, but eventually I came full circle and my interests returned to those magazines that I had known so young.

While serving in the military I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and I took frequent walk-about’s (as I call them) and came across a silvery rock in the ditch. The ground around Ft. Bragg is sandy. The tree’s that grew there were a knotty pine of sort. The rock in the ditch had obviously came from a quarry and shipped there. I took that 12 pound rock and placed it inside my backpack. That rock sat inside my barracks room for at least two weeks before I located a guy in Fayetteville, NC who said he could identify it. He was amazed when I showed him what I had. I did not know if I had iron, or some other metallic mineral.

After some tests it turned out to be a high grade of silver. I had 12 pounds of it. At the time Silver was selling for around $4.75 an ounce. We struck up a deal and I sold it to him. After all military pay was not very good, and extra money was always appreciated.

Thunder Egg From Brazil

Thunder Egg from Brazil

I went back to that ditch somewhere in in the middle of Ft. Bragg and followed it for miles, turning rocks over on each other. I was dreaming of returning and finding twelve or thirteen silver rocks along that ditch, but believe it or not, I did not find even one tiny pebble of silver.

After leaving the Army, I turned my interest towards gemstones. I had collected thunder-eggs from Oregon, Utah,and South America. Some the size of a small platter. One time, while near Scott Mountain, near Sweet Home And Holley, Oregon I walked up into a clear cut and found a crystallized log. It was probably the most beautiful piece I had ever found, with a rainbow of colors running through it. However it shattered when I tried to remove it. The clear cut was also recently slashed burned and the heat had caused it to fracture and crack.

I mined Holley Blue, and variations of it. I entered into old mines and located quartz crystals the size of a man’s arm. I even found black opal in a old gold mine in Oregon.

Although I still have my rock-hound side of me, eventually my interests would turn to gold.

to be continued….

Explorers look for Gold, Rubies and Diamonds on Ice Cold Gold

Located in one of the most geo-active locations on the face of the planet, a team of explorers from the United States search in Greenland for treasures which could include gold, rubies, and diamonds. The show airs “Ice Cold Gold” on Animal Planet, an unusual channel to have a show such as this, but with the great success of other gold prospecting and mining shows I can see why they would want to get their piece of the pie. The group that assembled to tackle the wilderness of Greenland come from different backgrounds and have different strengths. Their biggest obstacle is the very short window that Greenland provides for exploration. The terrain is also a huge and sometimes dangerous obstacle.

Ice Cold Gold

The expedition crew members include Americo DiSantis, Eric Drummond, Jack Duggins, Jesse Feldman, Josh Feldman, Zach Schoose, John Self, and Chad Watkins. The season is underway and airs on Sundays at 10:00 PM PST. As far as gold mining locations, this is a very interesting area, but time will tell to see if the expedition meets with success or failure. I love all the recent shows about gold mining and with this show a twist, because they are not ruling out the possibility of finding gemstones or diamonds. This is entertainment television that makes a guy like myself thirst for adventure and hunger for that elusive treasure.

Ice Cold Gold Television Show

UPDATE: The television season is now over, and the team found a ruby deposit which they plan to mine this coming summer.

Black Gold Magnetic Separator Featured on Gold Rush

By Inventor Bryon Tolle
Black Gold Magnetic Separator featured on Gold Rush goes into production.

Gold Magnetic Seperator

Several units of the magnetic separator.

My first prototype of the Black Gold Magnetic Separator was introduced to the public on the Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush Alaska, Season 1 Episode 9. On the Show I was faced with over 100 buckets of concentrates and only a few days to get things done. But as it turned out, my biggest challenge was Jack’s past experiences with magnetic separators. They are notorious for trapping and losing gold and he didn’t trust mine to be any different. In the show Jack Hoffman had his ‘HOT’ black sand concentrate from the sluice box and he didn’t want me to touch it! That was what Todd Hoffman gave me to process when Jack left. What you don’t know is that Jack came back and stopped me from processing it. Todd persisted and Jack finally allowed me to run it. The gold seen on the show is what I recovered from his black sands.
Black Gold Magnetic Separator

Bryon Tolle with his machines.

If you’re a fan of the show you know that Jack doesn’t hesitate to express his opinion about equipment. What I didn’t realize was that Jack was still not convinced with the results. Suddenly, he grabbed the pan of removed magnetic sands and said “Let’s just see how much gold this thing lost!” Seeing great TV footage, camera crews immediately started filming as Jack panned and worked through the removed magnetic sands. There is only one reason why that footage never ended up on the Show….Jack didn’t find any gold in the removed sands. In fact when he was done, he commented how good of a job the Separator had done and for the next week, we ran all his ‘hot’ concentrates through the Separator before anything else.
Todd Hoffman and Jack Hoffman

Behind the scenes of Gold Rush Alaska, Todd and Jack Hoffman trying out the Black Gold Magnetic Separator.

After the Show aired we received hundreds of emails from gold enthusiasts, sharing new ideas and interest in a Separator for their projects. Since then, we have been adding new features, increasing feed rates and designing a durable, rust free, production model. That work is finished and production has started on our STANDARD model and PRO model.
From the sharing of ideas and my own mining experiences, we designed in several new improvements that the first prototype didn’t have. Such as, a feed capacity of hundreds of pounds per hour, a 10x stronger magnetic system using neodymium rare earth magnets, replacement of painted steel with fiberglass and stainless steel, and dual water pumps that eliminate fine gold losses in the recirculating water. In all testing, the Black Gold Magnetic Separator processed black sands quickly and with near zero gold losses. If you want an affordable, fast and efficient way to recover gold out of magnetic black sands, then the Black Gold Magnetic Separator is for you. We also offer free evaluations of any feed samples sent to us. For more details and a video demonstration, please visit our website at americangoldminer.com .
Gold Separator

A close up of the gold separator.

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