Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Treasures waiting to be found
Everyone wants to find a hidden treasure. Just imagine walking around in the woods and stumbling across a treasure chest of money. Pirates hid them all the time, sunken ships hold endless amounts of wealth under the sea and other treasures are buried in the ground. Treasures are hidden all around us, and all we have to do is search for them. Here are particulars about some of the missing treasures.

Lake Toplitz once served as a Nazi Naval testing station, and due to an impending defeat also served as a last-ditch-effort-safe. Retreating Nazi troops were seen sinking their treasures into Lake Toplitz as they fled Allied forces near the end of WWII, however the contents of the boxes is unknown. Researchers believe that anything from gold and silver to priceless works of art may be at the bottom of the lake, and divers are still trying to locate the boxes. Due to large tree trunks trapped midway down the lake’s depth, the excavation process has not yet been successful.

In April 1993, someone going by the pseudonym “Max Valentin” supposedly hid a golden owl in the French countryside, promising to offer 1 million francs to whoever found it. Valentin gave 11 clues as to the owl’s whereabouts, but it still hasn’t been found. Over the years, a few especially crazy treasure hunters have emerged, busting up concrete and burning down a chapel in the pursuit of the golden owl. Sadly, Valentin died in 2009 and it’s unclear whether the owl is still definitively hidden, but during an interview in 1997, Valentin responded to treasure hunters’ inquiries and assured those still looking that he had periodically checked on the whereabouts of the owl to make sure it was still there. Apparently, someone had in fact come close, as Valentin saw disturbed ground near the true sight, but as of now, that appears to be the closest anyone has come.

Thomas Beale must have been a strange man. Legend has it that in 1816, Beale and a few men he was traveling with came into a large sum of gold and silver while mining somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. With such a large fortune, estimated to be around $63 million in today’s money, all of the men wanted to make sure their next of kin would get the money should they perish. So Beale wrote three ciphers. One described the exact location of the treasure, the second described the contents of the treasure, and the third was a list of the men’s names and their next of kin. Beale then entrusted Robert Morriss, a Lynchburg, Virginia innkeeper, with the safekeeping of a box containing the ciphers. Morriss was supposed to wait 10 years before opening it. At this point, if Beale did not return for the box, a key to the cipher was supposed to be mailed to Morriss. But it never arrived. For years, Morriss and a friend tried to decode the three ciphers, but they could only manage the second cipher (the one describing the contents of the treasure).

There apparently was a gold mine that was ‘discovered’ in the 1840s in the appropriately named Superstition Mountains of central Arizona. A family worked the mine and shipped the gold back to Mexico until a group of Apaches slaughtered them. Only one or two survivors were left, and they escaped into Mexico. The area where the attack occurred is still known as the Massacre Grounds. The legend grew, and many people claimed to have maps or know the mine’s location, but tragedy befell each of them before they could lay claim to the gold. In the 1870s, a German immigrant named Jacob “The Dutchman” Waltz was said to have rediscovered the mine with the help of a descendant of the original family. He was also rumored to have stored caches throughout the Superstitions. With his health failing, the Dutchman is said to have described the mine’s location to Julia Thomas, a Phoenix-area neighbor who took care of him in 1891. She was unable to locate the mine herself with the information he provided, and though many have tried, no one has been able to verify its existence or locate the missing gold since.

In 1716, Prussian King Frederick William gifted the Russian Czar, Peter the Great, with a room whose walls were crafted from amber. The wall panels were elaborate and beautiful, and even hailed by some as the eighth wonder of the world. In 1941, the great Amber Room was taken apart and stolen by German soldiers, and by the end of the Second World War the panels had disappeared completely. According to some researchers, the amber wall panels must have been destroyed during the Soviet siege of Kaliningrad; yet others believe that the panels were transported elsewhere prior to the destruction of the city.

A pair of copper scrolls was found in 1952 within the depths of the same system of Jordanian caves in which the original Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1946. These scrolls turned out to be two separate pieces of one large scroll written in a unique derivation of Hebrew. Unlike the other Dead Sea Scrolls, this one details the locations of 64 separate treasures of gold and silver. Due to unspecific instructions, treasure hunters are not sure where to seek out this hidden wealth of gold and silver.

Confederate Commander Colonel John Singleton Mosby was an amazing fighter during the Civil War. He and his men were known as Mosby’s Raiders for their lightning-quick raids of Union camps and their ability to elude the Union Army by blending in with the local townspeople. After one of his many raids, which took place about 75 kilometers (46 mi) south of the Confederate line at Culpeper, Virginia, Mosby took Union General Edwin Stoughton prisoner, as well as a burlap sack containing $350,000 worth of gold, silver, and family heirlooms. The problem was, Mosby had also captured 42 other men during the raid and had to take them back through Union territory and across the Confederate line. Following a route that parallels today’s US 211, Mosby’s Raiders traveled south until they ran into a large contingency of Union soldiers. Unwilling to part with his treasure, Mosby instructed his men to bury the treasure between two large pine trees in case of a battle. Mosby marked the trees with his knife, and the Raiders headed back along their route and across the Confederate line without any trouble from the Union. Unfortunately for Mosby, when he sent back seven of his most trusted men, they were all caught and hanged. Mosby never returned for the treasure.

Back in the early 1930s, a Mexican millionaire named Leon Trabuco arranged several secret and mysterious flights into the desert of New Mexico. At the time the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression, and with the value of the dollar about to plunge, he expected the price of gold to explode. Trabuco and a few business partners were said to have secretly bought up around sixteen tons of gold, and were waiting for the prices to soar before they sold it. Rather than taking advantage of the situation and selling their gold, Trabuco and his partners held onto their bounty a little too long. The US implemented the ‘Gold Act’ which made private ownership of gold illegal. Because of this, Trabuco and his partners were stuck. Within a few months of this, 3 of Trabuco’s partners were found dead and Leon shortly followed under mysterious circumstances. The knowledge of the location of the gold died with them.

The Knights Templar was a religious order of warrior monks formed in 1114 A.D. to lead the Crusades and reconquer the Holy Land. Over the course of doing so, they gathered immense riches and became very powerful. Two centuries after their formation, the Pope accused them of heresy and ordered the arrest of all Knights Templar. Those that managed to escape gathered their riches and disappeared into history. Legend has it that they escaped to Scotland where sympathizers helped them hide their treasures under a chapel. When the new world was discovered, the descendants fled to Nova Scotia in Canada. Marks on old maps as well as graves in eastern Canada and New England show symbols from the Knights Templar, lending credence to this legend. But what happened to the treasure? A mysterious pit in Canada, on Oak Island, was discovered in 1795. Right under the surface were several flag stones. Under those, every ten feet, were logs, as well as charcoal, coconut fiber and putty. According to one written account, a stone was discovered with strange symbols, and another told of a tunnel 100 feet down. However, the mysterious “Oak Island Pit” now floods up to the 30 foot level any time an excavation is attempted. No one knows what lies at the bottom.

The Flor do Mar (Flower of the Sea) was a Portuguese carrack (the largest sailing ship built in its day) that was returning home from the conquest of Malacca. She was already known to be dangerously unseaworthy, but since she was so massive, she was the pride of the Portuguese fleet. King Alfonso had tasked her with bringing home the vast fortune taken from the King of Siam as tribute. She was caught in a storm in the straight of Malacca and wrecked on shoals, sinking to rest on the seabed deep under water. No one knows exactly where the Flor do Mar lies, and there is some controversy over which country controls the area and salvage rights where she is said to have been lost. Whoever finds this treasure, though, will be the proud owner of over sixty tons of gold and diamonds the size of a man’s fist.

Forrest Fenn was diagnosed with cancer in 1988. He came up with the idea during this illness to create a bronze chest full of treasure for anyone to go find. He filled the chest with “treasure” containing gold nuggets, rare coins, jewelry and gemstones, along with a jar holding his autobiography. He intended to hide it and die in the wilderness, with the treasure as a legacy. However, he survived his illness and waited until he was 79 or 80 to hide the treasure. His memoir The Thrill of the Chase was published in 2010, containing a poem that contains clues that lead to the location of the hidden treasure. In March 2013, he revealed that the treasure was hidden in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe and 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea-level. On March 27, 2013, Forrest Fenn’s 11th clue was revealed: “No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure.” On May 3, 2013, Fenn was interviewed to reveal: “The treasure is not in a graveyard.” This was in response to an arrest of a treasure seeker the previous month. In September 2013, Fenn announced the publication of a new book, Too Far to Walk, containing a pullout map of the area surrounding the treasure. The book has since been published and is available for purchase. In January 2015, Fenn revealed in a interview: “I know the treasure chest is wet.”

You know the story of the Alamo. Its one of the most memorable battles in American history. Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett were two of 188 men who fought of the powerful Mexican army of Santa Ana and died doing so. One thing that I bet you don’t know is the legend of the gigantic San Saba Treasure, supposedly buried somewhere on the grounds of the Alamo. The treasure is said to contain millions of dollars of gold, silver and religious artifacts that were initially supposed to be used to build an army and pay for the upcoming war. Not a single trace of the massive fortune has ever been found.

When the Imperial Romanov family was violently ousted from power by Russian Bolsheviks in 1917, the treasures of the Czar’s family were confiscated. Among these were 52 elaborately-crafted and jeweled clockwork eggs, created by the House of Fabergé. The craftsmanship that went into these luxurious eggs is considered some of the finest the world has ever seen. Although all of the eggs were meant to be taken to the Kremlin, 8 of them mysteriously went missing upon transport.

In November 1937, a deer hunter known as Doc Noss went searching for fresh water near the Hembrillo Basin in New Mexico and discovered a hidden entrance to a tunnel. An old ladder led into a maze of tunnels around a large cavern containing an old chest inscribed with the words “Sealed Silver” in Old English. After obtaining legal ownership over the land, Doc removed around 200 gold bars from the mine. Since is was illegal at that time to own gold not in the form of jewelry, Doc hid the gold bars in various locations. While attempting to widen the opening with explosives, the shaft collapsed on itself making it impossible to reach the treasures. While trying to raise the funds to further excavate the site Doc was murdered. The deed was passed on to his heirs, but right as the family was close to reaching the site, the US Army relinquished the peak.

Montezuma was a legendary leader of the Aztecs, and is believed by many historians to have been in possession of an almost unfathomable fortune. His treasures, however, were taken after he was killed during a battle with the Spanish led by Cortez. Millions of dollars worth of jewels and gold were removed from Montezuma’s treasure room by his own people in order to keep it away from Cortez.

So why do people think the massive treasure of an Aztec leader wound up in Utah? It turns out in 1914, a prospector found an etching on the side of a cliff that matched a marking on an old treasure map that was said to lead to Montezuma’s treasure. The prospector, a man named Freddy Crystal, tracked down a descendent of Montezuma to interpret the map, and it was determined the topography did in fact match the town that was near. Crystal actually convinced the townspeople to help him secretly search for the gold with the promise of sharing any findings, and eventually they did manage to find a system of caves and tunnels running through the mountain. It was laced with booby traps, but no gold was ever found, leading to the common belief that if the treasure had ever been there to begin with, had been moved by the Aztecs or discovered by some absurdly fortunate spelunker.

According to multiple experts, there was a man by the name of Captain Grant Marsh who was in charge of the ‘Far West’, a steamboat making its way up the Bighorn River to resupply General George Custer in his fight against the Indians. When Captain Marsh heard of General Custer’s defeat and found out he would have to take injured men away from the battlefield, the only thing he could do to keep the ship from sinking under the weight of so many injured men was to bury the $375,000 worth of gold bars on the shores of the Bighorn River. Some say that Marsh had collected the gold bars from worried gold miners who didn’t want to be attacked by the Sioux.

In 1622, the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha was heading back to Spain when it was caught in a hurricane off the coast of Key West. Many ships perished in the hurricane, all of which were carrying an enormous cargo of gold, silver, and gems that have been valued to around $700 million today. .But most of the loot has already been found. In 1985, treasure hunter Mel Fisher found $500 million of the buried treasure less than 160 kilometers (100 mi) off the coast of Key West. Experts believe there is still plenty of treasure to find. The original captain’s manifest states there are still about 17 tons of silver bars, 128,000 coins of different values, 27 kilos of emeralds, and 35 boxes of gold.

Dutch Schultz was an infamous crime boss in New York’s underworld, and amassed an empire valued at $20 million a year while he was in his prime. Dutch was consistently hounded for tax evasion, and was eventually caught and indicted by a Grand Jury. Before things got too hot, Dutch managed to pack his fortune into metal boxes and hid it away in the Catskill Mountains, with the intention of getting it when he was released. Knowing that mob bosses tended to lose their empires when they went away, Dutch kept the location secret so that he could quietly recover his treasure and start a new life. He was eventually acquitted of his charges and set free, but was gunned down soon after. On his deathbed, Schultz incoherently rambled about his treasures location, but it has yet to be found.

It may sound crazy that an oceangoing ship sunk 160 kilometers (100 mi) inland of the Pacific Ocean—in the Mojave Dessert no less—but if it is true, there are millions of dollars’ worth of pearls in the Salton Sea.
Experts believe a large tide from the Gulf of California collided with runoff from the Colorado River. Enough water runoff developed that the ship (presumed to be Spanish) was carried into the Salton Sea. The ship would have been forgotten forever if it weren’t for the abundance of pearls on board.

Surprisingly, there is a twist to the story. In 1870, the Los Angeles Star produced a story about a man named Charley Clusker who went out in search of the ship and actually found the treasure. But since the date the story ran, no other mention of Clusker or the ship he “found” has been dug up, leading many people to believe the ship and its pearls are still out there.

Butch Cassidy is arguably one of the most notable outlaws of the Wild West. He was such an outlaw that he even formed an outlaw group, called the Wild Bunch, to travel with him, robbing whomever they felt like. Before the law was hot on his tail, Cassidy and the Wild Bunch actually buried $20,000 somewhere in Irish Canyon, located in the northwestern part of Colorado in Moffat County. He never returned to ge the treasure since he and his partner were later killed in a shootout in South America, 

 John Dillinger had a lot of money. Only months before he died, he buried $200,000 in Wisconsin. Dillinger was hiding out with a few of his outlaw buddies in April 1934. FBI agents found out they were hiding in the Little Bohemia Lodge in Mercer, Wisconsin, and they surrounded Dillinger, along with “Baby Face” Nelson and the other men. The FBI shot the first three men walking out the door, all three of whom happened to be civilians. Amid all the confusion, the gangsters were able to escape out a back entrance. It is said that Dillinger ran a few hundred meters (yards) north of the roadhouse where he buried $200,000 in small bills inside a suitcase. Just two months later, Dillinger was shot to death in Chicago, never getting the chance to go back to find the money.

In 1712, Spain assembled one of the richest treasure fleets to ever be assembled at that time. By 1715, Spain had amassed a fleet of 11 ships, all filled to the brim with silver, gold, pearls, and jewels, which are estimated to be worth about $2 billion by today’s standards.

The plan for the ships was to leave from Cuba for the mainland just before hurricane season hit, hoping the hurricane season would be a deterrent to pirates and privateers. It turned out that leaving so close to hurricane season was a mistake. Just six days after leaving the shores of Cuba, all of the ships had sunk, thousands of sailors had died, and every bit of gold, silver, and jewelry was doomed to lay at the bottom of the sea. Since then, seven of the ships have been recovered, but experts believe only a small amount of the valuables on the ships has been found.

The one ship that has yet to be found is the San Miguel—the ship that experts believe contains most of the treasure. But where is it? Well, most of the ships that have been found have been located off the eastern shores of Florida, although some of the ships may have made it farther out to sea before sinking.

If you find any of the treasure I have told you about, remember that it was me who gave you a hint where the treasure may be located. It only seems fair that I should get a share of the goodies you spent your money on and risked your life for. No? 

No comments: