Netflix’s ‘Pirate Gold of Adak Island’ has the mayor of Adak, Alaska, Thom Spitler, working to turn the city’s fortunes around by looking for buried treasure. As part of this, he brought together a team of individuals to help him with the search. Brian Weed, a well-known explorer in Alaska, was called in for his expertise in underground scanning. So, if you want to learn more about Brian, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Brian Weed?
Brian’s interest in caves and exploration started at a young age. When he was 12 years old, his father worked in the transportation department on Douglas Island, Alaska. During summer, Brian’s father would take him along to work for him. At the time, the 12-year-old learned about the Treadwell Mine on the island and first explored it with only a lighter and a flashlight.
Brian added, “I remember just creeping in very slowly ’cause I had heard all these stories about pits and mines; you see all these movies where people fall. And so I moved very slow all the way to the back of the mine tunnel, which was just a dumb idea, but when you’re 12, you don’t know any better.” Brian was brought in for his expertise in using gadgets to scan underground for anything valuable. On the show, he talked of finding treasures all over Alaska that others couldn’t find.
Regarding how he got the offer to do the show, Brian said, “I got a call from Netflix, and they were putting together this team and said, ‘We’ve seen your stuff, and you fit everything we need for Adak.’ They needed a jack-of-all-trades, basically a treasure hunter, to go look for gold on Adak Island.” The team of four, in addition to Thom, then searched several pieces of land for any potential hidden treasure.
Where is Brian Weed Today?
Brian currently lives in Juneau, Alaska. In 2014, he and two others founded Juneau’s Hidden History to explore ancient mines and oft-forgotten places in the city. Over time, the group grew to have over 15,000 members and became Alaska’s Hidden History. In July 2016, Brian talked about wanting to write a book about the history of Juneau and added, “I want people to see what these miners went through, what their lives were like, what tools they left behind. Juneau was definitely here because of the thought and dreams of these small miners trying to strike it rich.”
While Brian previously worked as a corrections officer, he was retired as of 2020. Before participating in ‘Pirate Gold of Adak Island,’ he had a show on the Discovery Channel and Travel Channel, but only one episode was aired. His expertise is often sought in other scenarios as well, as evidenced by him helping search for a missing Juneau woman in 2014 in some abandoned shafts. Brian continues to go on treks and hikes in addition to holding events with the Hidden History group.
Regarding the difficulties shooting for the show during the pandemic, Brian said, “We had to get permission from the town, and since the town wasn’t making any money, to have all of a sudden 20 crew members from Netflix and a five-man team coming, I’m sure it looked like money, so they said, ‘Okay, we’ll get you in, but you’re going to have to quarantine for two weeks before you get here.’ So, we did a quarantine time before we could actually start filming and actually doing boots on the ground kind of stuff. After our quarantine, we started looking for the treasure.”
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