Google Earth & Lasseter’s Reef

About a hundred years ago, Harold Lasseter claimed he and a friend had found a rich, gold-bearing reef in the Petermann Ranges west of Alice Springs near the Western Australian border in 1897.

Over the following couple of decades, a remarkable series of events ensued, as elaborate attempts were made to locate the alleged reef, culminating in the discovery of Lasseter’s body and also his diary about 100 kms west of Uluru in 1931. A brief account of these events can be found at

To this day, the reef has not been located, despite the efforts of numerous expeditions into the remote area.

A recent article in The Age newspaper (November 10th) reported that Jeff Harris of Tamworth, NSW claims that he has “deciphered” Lasseter’s diary notes about the location of the reef by using Google Earth. Jeff and three mates are due to set off this week to search for the legendary reef.

Harold Lasseter’s son, Bob Lasseter (pictured), now himself an old man, believes that the reef exists, and hopes that he’ll live long enough to see his father’s remarkable claim verified.



About dazzlerplus

Writing about the things that interest me helps me to discover what I think. One of my loves is the Australian Outback, and I travel out there often, and when possible take friends with me.
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11 Responses to Google Earth & Lasseter’s Reef

  1. I only recently read Ion L Idriesss book “Lasseter’s Last Ride” and I think it is wonderful that the search continues. I wish Jeff Harris the best of luck and I hope Bob Lasseter sees his father’s claim verified. It’s certainly the stuff that dreams are made of.

    • dazzlerplus says:

      Thanks, Anne. Idriess spins a good yarn, but as I mention in the linked notes, he sometimes adds a little “colour” to supplement the facts. Bob Lasseter has got to know some of the aborigines who, like their ancestors, have lived in the area for a long time, and they have assured him that the “pointing the bone” incident would not have happened. But even without that, the Lasseter story is an amazing saga, and maybe the best is yet to come!

  2. Gillian says:

    It would be marvellous if this technologyand Jeff Harris’ application of it bring about the realisation of a lifetime quest for Bob Lasseter.

  3. Father Pete says:

    Two reflections:
    He is quoted as saying ‘I connected Google Earth with a spot in the diary and matched it with the direction Lasseter was going.’ I am not totally sure what to make of this. Did Lasseter have a primitive version of G E or does Jeff have an advanced version? Or does my inability to get even my Tom Tom to connect with a spot on my (local) earth indicate it’s not the version that’s the prob but the verser?

    And given we are now heavily into Christmas mode, there is a nice touch to the reporter’s line ‘And next week, Jeff Harris and three mates are due to set off on a boys’ own adventure – in search of Lasseter’s Reef, the legendary gold deposit…’
    The four wise men from the east, perhaps?

    • dazzlerplus says:

      Ah, Father Pete, wise words indeed! And if the original three wise men had come across Lasseter’s Reef on the way to Bethlehem, might they have set Joseph and Mary up with a McMansion in Nazareth Heights, so that the baby Jesus could grow up in comfortable circumstances? And then we might have had a beatitude which said “Blessed are the upper middle-class, for they …….” (complete this in 25 words or less).

  4. Father Pete says:

    ‘for they will be beloved of the mega-stores and the purveyors of fine postcodes*.

    *(some ancient m.s. include ‘And thrice beloved if their name be Jones’. The exact inference here has spawned several higher degrees and learned articles. Ed)

  5. jeff harris says:

    its great to know we have suport out there now father peat you were close when you state did lasseter have an advanced G E and I an advanced version well if you go to his diary and look at lasseters version of airs rock than go to your ge version you may be amazed . dare to dream.
    thank you all .

    • dazzlerplus says:

      Good to hear from you, Jeff (assuming you’re the one referred to who was heading off to the Petermanns last November). How did the trip go, and have you made any headway in locating the reef? Just the briefest report would be much appreciated!

  6. Kim says:

    We are doing a Lasseter’s ride this year in July. Approx 12 Bikes and trailers etc… The people participating are well seasoned prospectors using the top of the range Metal Detectors and Coils. It is a 6 week journey just on Quad Bikes with imported trailers which carries all our equipment, food, fuel and water. It is very exciting and a lot of organising but the adventure is what it is all about!

    • dazzlerplus says:

      Kim, hope you have a great trip, and hope you find Lasseter’s Reef. If you find it, Harold’s son Bob will be delighted to know that his father was not a charlatan! Please let us know when you get back. I’d be happy to have you as a guest blogger.

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