North Platte Telegraph April 20, 1974

Overnight traffic accident leads to strange discovery

A large quantity of an undetermined type of currency was found inside an abandoned vehicle at the corner of U.S. Highway 83 and E. Leota Street. Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies who responded last night to reports of a traffic accident there found a converted school bus that struck a tree in the side yard at 102 E. Leota Street. The driver could not be found and is assumed to have fled the scene along with any passengers that may have been on board. Deputy Glen Skoka said the value of the mysterious money could be in the millions. The Secret Service has been contacted and agents are en route to North Platte from Lincoln to begin an investigation, Skoka said. The cause of the accident appears to be brake failure.

North Platte Telegraph April 21, 1974

Secret Service to spearhead investigation into
mysterious money found in bus crash Monday

Agents with the Secret Service office in Lincoln arrived in North Platte last night to investigate the discovery of a cache of strange currency. Over $4,500,000 of what sheriff’s deputies are calling “hippie money” was discovered when they investigated the crash of a converted school bus.


Cecil Sparnes reported hearing a loud crash around 9:30 p.m. Monday evening. Brake failure apparently sent the bus into a tree at Sparnes’ home at 102 E. Leota. The driver has not been found.

The “money” found inside the bus features strange artwork and symbols of an indeterminable nature.
“It is not clear what purpose this money was intended for,” said Special Agent Martin Porter of the Lincoln
office of the Secret Service. “While the bills are unusual in themselves, what is strange is the shearmount of it (the money).”
“It was obviously intended for something big, very big,” Porter said.

Residents alerted by "loud crash" outside home.

Residents alerted by “loud crash” outside home.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Glen Skoka reported finding several road maps  from different states and what appeared to be an address written on a San Francisco, Calif., city map. Other printed materials of a “hippie type” were also found at the scene and turned over to the Secret Service.
Porter declined to comment about these other materials. The investigation is expected to be wrapped up within a couple of days. As the “money” does not appear to be counterfeit in the traditional sense, the case is expected to be turned over to the FBI for further investigation, he said.

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