THE exact location of famed Uralla bushranger Captain Thunderbolt’s death has been pinpointed after geologists mining in the area had a golden opportunity to uncover history.
In a quiet creek on private property outside Uralla, Sovereign Gold geologists and local historian Arnold Goode combined their knowledge to locate the spot where the Thunderbolt was fatally shot by Constable Walker in 1870.
Mr Goode said that as the decades passed after Thunderbolt’s shooting, the area had changed quite a bit. “It’s probably waist deep in water now,” Mr Goode said,
“You cannot actually see the hole, because it’s underwater.”
However, the historian didn’t let the changed landscape stop him from showing the geologists the place Thunderbolt took his final breath.
Chief geologist Micheal Leu said the small team of researchers set out to find the location using a grainy photograph.
“Arnold Goode had accurate knowledge of where Thunderbolt’s horse was shot but as time passed the exact location of Thunderbolt’s last stand was forgotten,” Mr Leu said. “The only clue was a photo.
“A week after the death of Thunderbolt, Constable Walker, a photographer and a third man returned to the actual site and re-enacted the scene of the shooting.
“Geologists exploring for gold along Kentucky Creek viewed the 1870 photo and realised it had captured the image of a distinctly shaped granite ‘pillar’ several metres high that has one side with a shallow crescent-shaped profile.
“We found that by identifying that granite rock.
“The landscape has changed since the shooting, but we found that rock.”
Mr Goode said the final showdown saw Constable Walker, who was on horseback, shoot the bushranger while in the waterhole.
“As he jumped out of the water, he was shot through the left pocket,” Mr Goode said.
“It came out below the shoulder blade.
“It went down at an angle.”
Mr Leu said the exact spot of the shooting was kept top secret to preserve the area, but said it was located on the boundary between two Uralla properties.