Digging for Gold – Interview with Taylor Starr and Adam Palmer

Mountains are full of perils. Avalanches, uneven surfaces, and even a lack of oxygen at the way top. But even more interesting is the the long lost mystery of Slumach’s lost gold mine. It’s so vague most people don’t even know how to get to it. Except for 4 people who are daring enough to figure it out themselves. Kru Williams, Taylor Starr, Don Froese, and Adam Palmer join forces to figure out where the lost gold mine is in Deadman’s Curse. It’s a difficult task in decoding and a lot of people who have tried to figure it out have ended up dead. How? Let’s just say a few natural factors, like weather, terrain, and a curse. That’s right. A curse. I’ve been on my fair share of cursed productions that got canceled and I think some of my latest encounters in life have been with cursed individuals. Or maybe I’M the one who’s cursed. But the team does their best to decipher codes and figure out the way through lost recordings, old treasure maps, secret letters, and ancient histories. What will they uncover?

Apparently, a lot. This epic two parter series features a lot and I mean a lot of details. But before we can go into those details, we have to learn some other details. I had a chat with Taylor and Adam about all that went into this series and how challenging it was no matter how much preparation they went into. I walked away afterwards being richer with more knowledge than I ever had. Grab your equipment, and get ready to mine for new facts about the show so you can learn more about it to better prepare ourselves for what may come when it premieres. Then we can be prepared to unearth the amazing quality of Deadman’s Curse… together!


HNMAG: So, I have to ask, how did you all get together and was it hard getting to know each other?

Adam: I kind of brought lots of people on this crazy journey for lost gold for so long. We assembled together and we have such different skillsets. I think that’s what makes the team strong, we’re all different but we’re all looking for the same thing. 


HNMAG: There were a lot of details you all had to figure out together. Was there anything in the mystery solving that REALLY confused you?

Taylor: For me, it was doing a lot of research on computers and books. One thing was completely different from another. That was the most confusing thing.

Adam: Yeah, when you’re dealing with a 100-year old legend, overtime things become embellished or things become added and subtracted. One of our jobs is to separate truth from fiction, so that’s been one of the most difficult challenges in this mystery. When we decide where to go and when to search. Planning expeditions is also planning based on Taylor’s research that she does, so before we go out to field we’re making sure all the research is sound and up to date. I know it sounds cliche, but to make sure that we’re on the right track. Literally.


HNMAG: Adam, when deciphering the letter that was found, was it hard to read the text?

Adam: Yeah, really hard. It was written in handwriting and scribbled in pencil. There are pieces missing so a lot of these old articles, notes, and prospectors maps, you’re not just trying to decipher, but interpret what they’re saying. They used languages, landmarks, different pieces of history and you kind of have to put yourself in that timeframe. If you’re doing research and that letter or article comes from 1901, you have to feel you’re back there, and that’s all part of it. 


HNMAG: And you must have to research that timeframe to get the proper feel.

Adam: Yeah, I mean… that’s Taylor’s department (laughs)

Taylor: Yeah, I’m the one that goes on the Internet, and finds times and dates of where people have been, where they have gone, how they got there, and who they were basically. I do all the Internet research and come to the team, saying “Hey, I found this. Where can we find it and how can we get there?”  


HNMAG: And you also did research on your family. Was there anything you discovered that really surprised you?

Taylor: Well, Slumach is my Uncle from the Katzie First Nation, I’m connected through that from my grandmother who is from the Adam’s family and they’re connected to the Pierre family and the Pierre’s are connected to Slumach. It was going down that rabbit hole because I didn’t know anything about Slumach and I was wondering why I didn’t know about him, so that lead to my intrigue going down into who Slumach was and why he wasn’t in brought up in my family gatherings.


HNMAG: And the terrain looked pretty dangerous to trek on too. How did you best prepare to take it on, Adam?

Adam: You know, it’s all about patience. There’s nothing too extreme we can’t go over, it’s just a matter of preparation. As long as you’re prepared, you have the patience, the durability, the strength, the courage and the will. There’s nothing you can’t overcome and when you have put a team together. I’m really fortunate to have a team now that will not just follow me but be beside me and lead. It’s one thing to have someone follow you, but it’s another when you have a team that will take a leap when the opportunity arises.


HNMAG: Did you have to look out for the camera person and any other crew members involved as they shot the series?

Adam: Well, I think they’ve become specially trained. (laughs) Even as we speak, they’re still learning. When you’re in that kind of environment, you forget the cameras are even there. But when you’re on chunks of ice and rock, you’re sitting down in an ice-cave, you totally forget about the camera because you have bigger things that are in the darkness. You’re always looking at what’s coming next around the corner. Then again, you’re also looking after your cameramen too. They are just as much a part of the real team, because this is real stuff. This is not a joke, when you crawl into an ice cave that thing can collapse on you any minute. 

Adam went on to say it’s all about awareness, which applies to the film crew. Everybody stands as one, and what’s great about the mountains is that they’re a place that levels the playing field.


HNMAG: So you treat them extra carefully.

Adam: Yeah, they look after you and you look after them and it’s survival, awareness, and patience. This is not a nature hike, this is a full-on expedition and every single person is just as important as the next. 

HNMAG: Were there some parts of your expedition that had to removed from the final cut of Deadman’s Curse?

Adam: I have no idea. If there’s anything, there’s more that’s been added because there’s just so much to discover. There’s so much to shoot and what’s important about this team is that we’re a team trying to solve a 100-year old mystery. When you’re dealing with 100 years of history behind a mystery, there’s lots out there. I don’t think anything, especially those real moments, people are going to see this is very different than those other shows. You start watching this, you go down the rabbit hole with us, it’s fully immersive. If you’ve been in this environment, you know exactly what we’re talking about. If you haven’t been in this environment, you’re going to learn real fast.

Taylor: Oh yeah, totally.


HNMAG: Was there anything so dangerous and deadly you wouldn’t dare do it? Or did you just go in with bravery?

Taylor: Well, I haven’t been in any of those situations as of yet.

Adam: Because we protect you.

Taylor: (laughs) Yeah, I’m just surrounded by bubble wrap all the time.

Adam: Yeah, there’s certain tools you keep in a safety deposit box. Taylor’s my secret weapon, and if SHE’S in a deadly environment she’s not going to know it because she’ll be there right beside me. To me, it’s my backyard. If someone says, “Let’s do dangerous!” that gives me more motivation to go there.  You tell me not to go down in there, I’ll go down in there, so good luck with that.


HNMAG: What advice would you give to anybody who is looking to try something as risky as the things you do?

Adam: Don’t do it. If you’re contemplating that, then it’s probably better you shouldn’t be there because there’s no room for mistakes. You either do it or you can’t.

Taylor: Yeah, because you’ve been doing this your whole life, being in risky situations.

Adam: Yeah, to some people, risk is relative. Some people risk eating food they shouldn’t eat, and I’d rather climb a mountain or hang off a cliff than eat a chocolate bar. 


HNMAG: Do you think the audience will really enjoy watching this and want more?

Adam: Yeah, I think they’re going to be scared. (laughs) I’d say “I think you’re going to enjoy it and I think you’re going to be inspired.” and that’s our true goal. It’s not just for entertainment, but to have a viewing experience where you can learn and experience it with us. I was taught a long time ago from some elders that ‘you go into the mountains and you have a duty to share that experience with others that are not able to go’. I’ve been doing this all my life and when I come back I show slideshows and tell people what I saw, what I’m learning, and that’s part of the journey. You have to share the journey, that’s how people gain knowledge, and that’s how history is passed on. That’s important to me. Media, television, and film is a beautiful thing we have an opportunity to share our experience. Hopefully people can learn from our experience and enjoy it with us. 


HNMAG: Do you plan to go on more expeditions like this one?

Adam: Every day.

Taylor: Definitely (laughs)


HNMAG: And how did you feel working with the other team-mates? Especially Kru Williams?

Adam: We share an interest of MMA, Muay Thai boxing, and I thought he was the perfect companion. When you go out, you’re not fighting in the ring, you’re fighting in the mountains and it’s a little different than fighting someone. The mountains don’t care if you’re there or not, so to have someone that could take hits physically, mentally, emotionally. He’s a tough person, and it’s not just physical strength. It’s the ability to push on.

Taylor: That’s true. Especially with these places we’re in, you have to be mentally strong to go to these places we’ve been and know when you’re going to go the next ridge or next boulder. Be mentally strong for it.

Adam: Take hits and keep going back up.

Taylor: It’s fantastic because we all have our own special set of skills that we bring to the team. Every person has been uniquely handpicked for this and it’s just absolutely amazing working with everybody.


HNMAG: If you had a billion dollar fortune, how would you spend it?

Taylor: You’re asking a 25-year old what they’re going to do with a billion dollars? Oh me! (laughs) I’d probably invest it some way, that’s what I would do!

Adam: I don’t even know what a billion dollars is. It means nothing to me, I could not be bought or sold. I’d probably just do the exact same thing because it wouldn’t make a difference. To me, a fortune of gold is something that’s found within each other and to me, the gold in the mountains is the people I’m with. In the end, you can’t take anything with you. We all come from the Earth and go back to the Earth. If someone gave me a billion dollars, I’d just use it to fly more people out and get them to go on a gold-hunting expedition. Meeting new people, that’s the glory.


You’re probably wanting to dig further for the gold hidden in this series. By which I mean, the cool stuff you can learn, such as what it’s like to climb rigorous mountains, or who Slumach really is. Well, you can. Because this Sunday September 11, Deadman’s Curse premieres 10PM ET/PT on the History Channel. Join the Fearless Team then, and you’ll be amazed and what you can find out.

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