2Treasure of the Pharaohs Vast treasure found in the tomb of a relatively insignificant pharaoh, King TutankhamenThere should be so much more in the tombs of the great pharaohs!Relocation of the tombs by HerihorHis tomb has yet to be foundWhen King Tut’s tomb was discovered, it got people thinking…There was so much treasure to be found in the tomb of a relatively unimportant pharaoh (King Tut’s reign was short-lived) that it took Howard Carter 10 years to catalog all of it!There must be so much more in the tombs of the great pharaohs!But their burial chambers are found empty.We know that tomb robbers are active in the area, but as in King Tut’s tomb, many of the artifacts would have been too large for raiders to run off with.So where did it go?Herihor was a high court official when Ramses XI reigned. He eventually became as powerful as the pharaoh, and was the ruler of southern Egypt. Herihor personally oversaw the reburial of earlier pharaohs. He would have had all the workers needed to take whatever he wanted. The missing treasure may lie in his unknown tomb.
3Copper Scroll Treasure The copper scroll is one of the Dead Sea scrolls, known for its unique writing style.A list of 63 locations containing gold and silver treasureValue is estimated at $1.2 billionIt may be the treasure of the Jewish temple, hidden from the Romans, or it may have belonged to a particular Jewish community.The copper scroll describes another scroll, the key scroll, which contains the complete details on the locations of the treasure But this scroll has yet to be found…The writing is a different form of Hebrew, unlike that found in Biblical texts, which makes it difficult to translate. There are also some Greek letters used.Estimates of the date vary from CE / AD, but it is probably older than the other Dead Sea scrolls.Thought to be the treasure of the Second TempleProbably hidden to keep the Romans from finding itBut most of the treasure was still in the temple at the time when the Romans took over….They may have found the copper scroll treasures as well.The treasure might be connected to the Knights Templar treasure, or it could be a hoax.Descriptions of locations assume the reader has an intimate knowledge of the area “In the salt pit under the stairs…”This makes the treasure especially hard to find, because the names of places often change over time.A few artifacts have been found in the cave of letters, leading some archaeologists to believe that the treasure is still out there.If you want to search for the treasure, the best place to start would be to go to the source. Look at the original translation of the copper scroll and cross-reference it with maps and other documents from the time period. You’ll be searching the area around Jerusalem.
4The Ark of the Covenant Referenced in Hebrew scripture Disappeared after the Babylonian invasion of JerusalemSeveral churches from different traditions claim to have the ark in their possession.Others believe that it was hidden or destroyed.Possible locations:Middle EastEastern AfricaEuropeUnited States
5The Lost City of Atlantis The legend comes from the writings of Plato.Atlantis supposedly sank into the sea in “a single day and night of misfortune.”Many view the story as nothing more than a fable or myth.Some modern scientists believe that Atlantis is real.The most prominent theories place Atlantis somewhere in the Mediterranean, or in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean.Other theories say it could be anywhere in the world
7Treasure of AlaricAlaric was king of the Visigoths during the 4th century. He is most famous for his sack of Rome in 410, which contributed to the fall of the Roman empire.After his death, he was buried under a riverbed in southern Italy, along with his vast wealth of treasure.No one knows, to this day, exactly where he is buried.According to legend, the stream was temporarily diverted from its course while the grave was being dug. When the work was finished, the river was allowed to return to its usual channel and the captives who did the work were killed so that no one would learn the secret of where Alaric was buried.Alaric would have had a lot of treasure, for he laid siege to Rome on three different occasions.During one invasion, he allowed a peaceful settlement of the conflict when the starving citizens offered to pay a ransom of 5,000 pounds of gold, 30,000 pounds of silver, 4,000 silken tunics, and furs and spices. It’s impossible to say how much treasure is actually buried with the leader, Alaric, but if it is any significant portion of this ransom, it would be worth millions! (The gold alone would be worth almost $80 million.)
9Kusanagi A legendary sword of Japanese mythology May have been removed from the imperial palace, stolen, or lost at seaLast seen in 1993Said to be housed at the Atsuta Shrine, but its existence cannot be confirmedRecovered by a god who slew an 8-headed serpentGiven to a noble warrior and handed down over generationsOne of three pieces of the Imperial Regalia of JapanThe sword represents valor, the mirror is wisdom, and the jewel is benevolence.Last seen at the emperor’s enthronement, but they were wrapped in packagesDo these legendary items even exist?
10Genghis Khan’s Treasure Modern archeologists have found what they believe to be Khara Khorum - the Palace of the Great Khan, capitol of the Mongol empire - buried in the Mongolian desert.Name means “black tent”Transition from raiding, nomadic lifestyle to ruling, adopting cultures they enfoldedKhara Khorum became a major trading centerFamous for exquisite silver fountain, described in the writings of a visiting monk1586 a monastery was built thereArchaeologists think Khara Khorum lies beneath the remains of this complex, much of which was destroyed by Mongolia’s Communist leadership in the 1930’s.The silver fountain may never be seen again.Genghis Khan asked to be buried with nothing marking his grave site. Folklore says that the burial party killed anyone who crossed their path, then they were all killed. Another version of the story says that horses trampled the site and trees grew over it, or that the river was diverted to cover it.In any case, his tomb has remained hidden since the time of his death in Only recently have the Mongolian people permitted non-destructive investigation of the holy region where it is suspected the Great Khan is buried. It could be that he is buried near the city of Khara Khorum.
11Holy Grail A religious relic Several literary references Supposed to be the cup used by Jesus during the Last Supper, though others interpret it to have a metaphorical meaningKing Arthur’s questVarious churches claim to be in possession of the Holy Grail.King Arthur may be merely a legendSee Knights Templar treasure for where it may be hidden
12Knights Templar Treasure A Christian military organization, sponsored by the Catholic Church fromSupposed to have hidden a great treasure, to keep it from falling into the wrong handsVarious organizations have tried to claim links to the original Knights Templar.Often associated with religious relics, including the Holy GrailPossible locations:The Holy LandSomewhere in EuropeNortheastern United StatesNova ScotiaKing Philip IV of France was deeply indebted to the knights, but when they lost the Holy Land in the Crusades, the knights lost favor. Rumors of heresy began to spread. The king took advantage of the situation by ordering the Pope to disbanded the order of the Knights Templar. Their leaders were captured, tortured, and killed in the Inquisition. Remaining knights joined the Knights Hospitaller and other similar organizations.Freemasons, Sovereign Military Organization of the Temple of Jerusalem most prominent organizationsNot historically verifiedTreasure may have come from as far back as King SolomonPeople have many theories about this legendary order and their treasurePossible locations: village of Vrana in Croatia, France, Spain, England, Poland, Scotland, Italy, Portugal, maybe Switzerland
13King John’s Crown Jewels Missing when the king was buried in 1216Various theories as to what happened:Legend has it that the baggage train carrying King John’s treasures was lost in the Wash, while the king himself barely escaped.If that is the case, the jewels may have already been discovered.King John may have sold the crown jewels to pay off his debts.Or they may have been stolen…It’s hard to pinpoint the exact location of the Wash, because streams change course over time. The treasure may have been lost near what is now Sutton Bridge, but if that is the case, it would be buried under 20 feet of silt, making it virtually impossible to find.The treasure may have already been found by a local baron in the 14th century who suddenly and without explanation became very rich.If the crown jewels were stolen or sold, the story may have been invented as a cover-up.The crown jewels may be worth $70 million.
14El Dorado The legendary lost city of gold Attracted Spanish conquistadores and other explorers during the 16th centuryModern explorers exhibit renewed interestSomewhere in Central or South AmericaMay be worth $10 billion!The name means “the gilded one”The Spanish name for a Muisca tribal chief who covered himself with gold dust and dived into Lake Guatavita as part of an initiation ceremonyThe legend grew from encounters with natives and collected stories…Spanish Conquistadores and later explorers of the 16th century made various attempts to drain the lakeThey gained treasure, but not as much as they were hoping forThe lake bottom was covered in mud, which hardened, making it inaccessibleThey did not get rich by their attemptsInstead, many men lost their lives searching in vainFransisco Orellana’s Amazon expeditionSir Walter Raleigh’s failed expeditionA similar legend tells of an Incan city hidden in the jungle and fiercely guarded against intrudersIt is called PaititiExplorers started searching for it in the 20th century, but many of them never returnedAt first, this was thought to be evidence for the existence of the lost city, but later it was proven that they had been killed by natives or died from sickness in the unforgiving jungleYet another story tells of “La Ciudad Blana,” or White City. Cortes searched for this lost city of gold.A modern expedition by Colorado State University archaeologists Christopher Fisher and Stephen Leisz claims to have found the ruins of this ancient city in the jungles of Honduras.We want these legendary places to be realSometimes, we continue believing in spite of evidence to the contraryWhy is that?The willful suspension of disbelief
15El Dorado ShipwreckIn 1502, a fleet of 32 Spanish ships were caught in a storm in the Mona Passage.Twenty-seven ships were lost, among them the flagship El Dorado, which is believed to contain a great treasure of gold and pearls.Since that time, much has been recovered from these shipwrecks, but there was no sign of El Dorado’s treasure. If these accounts are true, then two to three million dollars worth of gold and pearls still lies buried in the depths of the Mona Passage.Depths of over 1000 feet make it inaccessible to diversCould be a good target for Odyssey, but then again it might be contested by the Spanish government
16The lower picture is of one of Sir Walter Raleigh’s ships, The Flying Joan, that went searching for the legendary city of El Dorado in It was found in the islands of Sicilly in the spring of (It did not carry any treasure.)
17Montezuma’s Gold Treasure of ancient Aztec civilization Emperor Montezuma captured by the infamous conquistador Hernan CortesAztec people revolt, driving the Spaniards outThe Spanish re-take the city, but the treasure is nowhere to be found.Possible locations:Lake Tezcuco near Tenochtitlán (present-day Mexico City)Casa Grande ruins or elsewhere in ArizonaThe Grand Canyon near what is now Hoover DamWhite Mountain in Kanab, UtahThe Lost Dutchman’s Gold MineGuatemalaThe Aztecs thought Cortes was a god, fulfillment of ancient prophecyThey offered him gold and treasure and expected him to leave them in peace, but the treasure made him greedy for more.He captured Montezuma.When the Aztec people rebelled, Cortes presented Montezuma as a hostage, but his own people stoned him to death.Then, they chased the Spanish out of the city.They dropped the treasure as the fled.Hundreds of people were killed when the Spanish were driven from the city.It is known as La Noche Triste, “the sad night.”They the priests took slaves and marched the treasure and Montezuma’s body out of the city.Supposedly, the slaves were killed after hiding the treasure, so no one knows precisely where it is, which is why even after Cortes returned and tortured many people, he could never find the lost treasure.Another story links Montezuma’s treasure to the Mexican American War of the 1840’s.Apaches enslaved to dig for goldThey rebelled so the Mexicans hid their treasure, but it was on Apache land so they were never able to recover it.It could be in the Lost Dutchman’s mine because gold is not naturally found there.Grand Canyon story: A man helped heal a native American’s wife so he was blindfolded and led to the treasure (which he could never re-locate, despite repeated attempts).Less likely in Guatemala because the Spanish tromped all over the territory south of Tenochtitlan and did not find anything.Attempts to drain Lake Tezcuco have been unsuccessful.Sound familiar?Of course, there are some who say that the treasure is a myth, without a shred of truth.Yet another story says that Spanish conqueror Pizarro demanded a huge ransom for the freedom of Inca emperor Atahualpa. In two months the cellar where Atahualpa was kept prisoner was to be filled with the treasure. The area was about 50 sq.km. The Incas started to collect the ransom. The precious metal contributions grew day by day. As the deadline came, the cellar wasn't full yet. Despite Atahualpa's assurance that the ransom would be fully paid in several days, Pizzaro ordered the Inca emperor to be killed. The Incas heard about their emperor's death when they were driving 11 thousand llamas loaded with treasure. Needless to say, they rebelled and hid the treasure instead.
18Flor De La Mar A large Portuguese frigate Carrying 60 tons of gold and 200 chests filled with precious gemsSunk off the coast of Sumatra in 1511The ship has yet to be found.An American treasure hunter, Robert Marx, says “It's the richest vessel ever lost at sea.” He is said to have spent $20 million attempting to recover the treasure.Its name means “Flower of the Sea.”Served for 9 years during a time when ships were designed to be used for 3 or 4 yearsThe ship was known to be dangerously unseaworthy when fully loaded with cargo.Nobleman Afonso de Albuquerque was returning from the conquest of Malacca, carrying treasure to the Portuguese king (the greatest treasure ever amassed by the Portuguese navy, nonetheless).He wanted to impress the king by delivering the vast treasure all in one load, so he used the Flor De La Mar.The ship was caught in a storm and wrecked on some shoals, causing numerous casualties. Afonso de Albuquerque was saved using an improvised raft, but the cargo was lost.Today the Flor do Mar lies in the seabed.
19Treasure of Sir Francis Drake An English privateer famous for circumnavigating the globeHe also raided Spanish ships in the Caribbean.In 1573, Drake and his crew attacked a richly laden mule train and captured more treasure than they could carry.They may have buried the bulk of the treasure near the town of Nombre de Dios in Panama.Today, it is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.He stopped to repair his ship and made the biggest score of his career.Some stories say that his treasure is hidden in California.
20Santissima Conception AKA “El Grande”Sailing from Central America to Spain, bearing gold, silver, emeralds, pearls, and other goodsShipwrecked off the Florida coast in 1683Its treasure has yet to be found.The only thing found was a chest of clothes and gold jewelry, which washed ashore shortly after the shipwreck.
21The Ship in the DesertLegend tells of an ancient ship buried in the California desertPossibly a Spanish galleon, containing a fortune in pearlsThe disappearance of Charley CluskerChallenges:The whole region is covered in sand.Most of the area is currently submerged under highly polluted water.Much of the adjacent land is under military control and is used as a bombing range.Probably a Spanish galleon searching for pearls became stranded in the Salton Sea.In 1615, Spanish explorer Juan De Iturbe sailed up the Gulf of California and a high tidal bore carried him across a strait into the Salton Sea or an inland lake, which was in the process of drying up. Unable to sail out again, Iturbe beached his craft and made his way back to the nearest Spanish settlement leaving a fortune in pearls behind.A mule driver of the de Anza expedition was said to have removed some of the pearls in 1774.Another story tells of a steamboat that was hauled through the desert by a mule or oxen team until the animals perished, leaving the boat mired in soft sand (or it could have been carried away by a flood and then abandoned).Still other stories say that it is a lost Viking ship, or a ship from King Solomon’s navy.Charley Clusker went in search of the ship in 1870 and supposedly found it – or so he announced on his return from the expedition. Then he went out to claim the treasure and never returned.Modern day:The military has undoubtedly performed intensive aerial surveillance of the area, but has not released any information about lost ships.Lands between the Gulf of California and the Salton Sea regularly receive wind-blown sand from the desiccated delta of the much-diverted Colorado River, generating vast sand dune systemsTidal bores no longer occur in the delta area because the river’s water is totally depleted by agricultural and municipal usage before it reaches the Gulf.
22Colorado RiverSalton SeaSalton SeaGulf of California
23French Gold in Minerva, Ohio In the 1760’s, French officials buried a ton of gold outside of Pittsburgh to prevent it from being taken by the British forces.The value of the treasure would be worth over $38 million today.Over the years, many have tried to locate the treasure, but it has yet to be found.According to legend, in the 1760’s the French held possession of Fort Duquesne (later Fort Pitt) in Pittsburgh.George Washington was leading a company of 2000 British troupes from the east to attack the fort. The British held up at Turtle Creek for the night.Indian scouts reported to the French that an attack was coming. The French loaded one ton of gold which was to be the French payroll onto 10 pack horses and sent them west. They were to head to Bolivar where there was a block house for shelter and provisions. The British were successful in overthrowing the fort and learned of the escape with the gold. Four days out of Pittsburgh, the British were catching up to the French, so the French buried the gold to avoid it getting into British hands. It was reportedly buried at the fork of 3 springs. One mile to the west of that location a rock was placed in the fork of a tree.
24Captain Kidd’s Treasure The only pirate known to have actually buried treasureTreasure hunts take place among the islands off New York, Connecticut, and Nova Scotia.Quedagh Merchant found in 2007 in shallow waters off the Dominican RepublicCaptain Kidd was a Scottish sailor who worked as an English privateerHe was commissioned to hunt down pirates and capture French shipsDubious accusations of piracyQuedah Merchant an Armenian trading vessel carrying French passes (which would make Kidd’s act one of legal privateering), but captained by an EnglishmanKidd’s crew voted to keep the ship and its treasure, which upset trade relations between England and India and was taken as an act of piracyOn his return trip to England, Kidd encountered a rival pirate and his crew mutinied, taking most of the treasure with themWhen Kidd learned that he was wanted, he hid the ship and trusted his men to guard itHe planned to use the treasure to ensure that his backers would support him, or to bargain for his life at the trialHis men took what was left of the treasure and then burned the shipKidd didn’t do much talking at his trialHis crew bore witness against him, and his backers did not support himEvidence that may have acquitted him was conveniently lost, so he was tried and hanged in 1700The Quedagh Merchant was eventually found in waters less than ten feet deep, only 70 feet off of Catalina IslandIt’s surprising it was not discovered earlierIndiana University directed the searchNot famous for its treasure, but for its historical significanceA cannon from the ship toured museums as part of a National Geographic exhibition in 2011He did bury some treasure on Gardiner’s Island in New York, but it was seized and used as evidence against himOne legend says that he buried treasure in a cave on the Japanese island of Takarajima, which means "Treasure Island“Another story holds that he buried treasure on the west side of Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick in a place known as “Money Cove.”Oak Island is sometimes associated with Captain Kidd’s treasureInspired fiction writers including Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Luis Stevenson
25Blackbeard’s Treasure NOT!It is worth noting that although Blackbeard is probably the most famous pirate, he was not the most successful. He did not bury any treasure during his lifetime.
26Oak Island Money Pit A small island in Nova Scotia Over 200 years of treasure hunting historyFirst discovered in 1795, by 18-year-old Daniel McGinnisNow owned by Oak Island Tours Inc.There has been wide-ranging speculation among enthusiasts as to who originally dug the pit and what it might contain. Some of the prominent theories are:Captain Kidd’s treasureNaval treasureKnights Templar treasureIt could be a natural sinkhole that holds no treasure at all.According to stories, McGinnis saw a rope and pulley hanging over a tree branch, above a circular depression. He thought that perhaps a large treasure had been buried there. He and his friends started digging.Many individuals and enterprises have been digging ever since. The pit is now over 180 feet deep and 100 feet wide. There have been many incidents of collapse and flooding, and several accidental deaths as a result.An expensive endeavor…Theories abound: Blackbeard’s treasure, secret vault of the freemasons, a Viking hoard, Marie Antoinette’s jewels, writings revealing the true author of Shakespeare’s plays – thought to be Sir Francis Bacon, and more…The site has inspired several fictional stories over the years.It is now a site of treasure hunting tourism.
28San MiguelPart of a Spanish treasure fleet that sank after leaving Cuba in 1715The San Miguel was a small, fast ship.It may have been carrying a large portion of the treasure.It is thought to have separated from the other ships before the storm hit.The ship and its treasure have yet to be found.By 1712 AD Spain was desperately in need of funds due to the War of Succession that had seen Phillip V take the throne. To solve this problem, the Spanish assembled one of the richest treasure fleets. Significant amounts of silver, gold, pearls, and emeralds were loaded onto the ships. As a further defense against pirates, the fleet waited until just before the hurricane season before setting off from Havana. This was a mistake and a storm destroyed the fleet just seven days after leaving Cuba. Thousands of sailors died.Over the next four years, the Spanish salvaged about half of the treasure, although pirates hampered their efforts. Items of treasure still occasionally wash up on nearby shores. Largely due to the efforts of Kip Wagner, a marine treasure hunter, seven of the ships have been located but only a small percentage of the treasure has been recovered. The San Miguel has yet to be found and is believed to have separated from the fleet the day before the storm struck. Carracks are lighter than Galleons and were often used to carry treasure as they stood a greater chance of outrunning storms and privateers. The objective, after all, was to get the treasure home. This could mean that the San Miguel is actually one of the richest treasure ships yet to be found.
29Orval AbbeyLouis XVI and Marie Antoinette may have had one of their faithful servants hide their treasures at Orval Abbey in Belgium during the French Revolution.Orval Abbey is also linked to legends of the Knights Templar treasure.The Belgian government has denied permission for an archaeological excavation of the site.The name Orval means “valley of gold.”
31The Beale CiphersThree cipher texts, one of which describes the location of a buried treasure of gold, silver and jewelsNow estimated to be worth over $63 millionThe treasure was buried by Thomas Jefferson Beale in Bedford County, Virginia, in 1820.Beale entrusted the cipher texts to a local innkeeper named Robert Morriss.Moriss gave the cipher texts to a friend before he died.The other two texts describe the contents of the treasure and list the owner’s next of kin.Some scholars argue that the treasure isn’t real. It could be a work of fiction, describing a secret vault of the freemasons.The second cipher can be decoded using the Declaration of IndependenceSound familiar?The three cipher texts were published in a pamphlet in 1885.Since then, a number of attempts have been made to decodethe two remaining cipher texts and to locate the treasure, butnone have succeeded.
32The San Saba Treasure Located at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas The site of one of the most famous battles in American history, during the Texas Revolution of 1836Millions of dollars worth of gold and silver treasure were brought to finance the war effort.Thought to be buried under the historic well at the Alamo siteHistorical researcher and fortune hunter Frank Buschbacher is currently excavating the area. Several artifacts have been found, but so far there is no sign of any gold or silver treasure.
34Treasure of LimaStolen by Captain William Thompson, after he was entrusted to transport it from Peru to Mexico in 1820Treasure includes 113 gold statues (including a life-size Virgin Mary), 1,000 diamonds, 200 chests of jewels, swords with jeweled hilts, solid gold crowns, chalices, and hundreds of gold and silver barsValued at around $260 million todayHe is said to have stashed his plunder on Cocos Island, an uninhabited island off the coast of Costa Rica.This story may have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.Spain had amassed a large amount of wealth in LimaThe city was in revolt, so the plan was to ship the treasure to Mexico aboard the ship Mary DearCapt. Thompson and his crew killed the viceroy’s guards and priests and ran off with the treasureThe ship was captured, and the crew was tried for piracy. All but Thompson and his first mate were hanged. To save their lives, the two agreed to lead the Spanish to the stolen treasure. They took them as far as the Cocos Islands and then managed to escape into the jungle. The treasure was never seen again. (Some reports say the men left the island years later, but without the treasure.)Later, John Keating befriended Thompson and after Thompson died, Keating led several expeditions for the treasure. The story goes that he did not want to share the plunder with his crew or his partners. Each time, he would collect a little more treasure for himself and give them the slip. One story says he may have even murdered his partner on one occasion. In his decline, Keating passed on information about the treasure.Many explorers have searched for the treasure over the years, including Franklin Roosevelt, Sir Malcolm Campbell and Errol Flynn (early 1900s – 1940’s). Another explorer, August Gissler, a German, spent 19 years living on the island ( ) hunting the treasure but returned with just six gold coins.Modern expedition by English Shaun Whitehead, using new technology and being careful not to disturb the natural environmentThe Treasure of Lima is not the only treasure said to be buried on Cocos Island. 350 tons of gold raided from Spanish ships by nineteenth century British Captain Bennett Graham, is also said to be there, while a Portuguese pirate, Benito “Bloody Sword” Bonito, also operating in the nineteenth century, is said to have hidden his treasure there too.
36Benito Bonito’s Treasure Benito “Bloody Sword” Bonito was a legendary pirate.According to legend, he may have buried treasure on Cocos Island or hidden it in a cave near Queensland in Victoria, Australia.The treasure is valued at over $300 million today.His career ended when he was captured by the British (or he committed suicide before being captured).
37The Treasure of Gasparilla Gasparilla was a legendary pirate.He set up his headquarters on Gasparilla Island, on the west coast of Florida, where he amassed a great treasure worth $30 million.The legend started with Juan Gómez, who claimed to be a member of Gasparilla’s crew.A local hotel and railroad line used the story in its advertising brochure in 1900, making the island a popular tourist destination.Gasparilla’s treasure has never been found.Tall tale or true story?His real name was José Gaspar. He was a high ranking official in the Spanish court.He was also quite the ladies man. When he spurned one lady, however, she levied false charges against him, saying that he was responsible for the theft of the crown jewels. After that, he commandeered a ship and took to piracy.Gasparilla was a ruthless pirate. He captured many women and kept them at nearby Captiva Island, while male captives were either killed or recruited into his gang.In 1821, at age 65, Gasparilla was getting ready to retire, but as they were gathering up the treasure to be divided among the crew, the men spotted a ship flying the British flag. They couldn’t pass up the opportunity to claim one last treasure.But it was a trap! The ship was an American vessel, hunting pirates.Gasparilla reportedly ended his own life rather than be killed by his enemies. He wrapped an anchor chain around his waist and jumped overboard.The treasure is thought to be buried on Gasparilla Island.A different version of the story says that before he went out for what was to be the last time, Gasparilla sent a small group of his men away from the island to hide the treasure. They may have travelled by boat up the Peace River, or on land with a team of mules. The treasure was buried on land, possibly in several different locations along the East Coast.Those who have searched for the treasure have been largely unsuccessful. Maybe because the treasure isn’t real…Is it a true story or simply an old man’s tall tale? A real account or an effective piece of marketing fiction? We may never know.Modern fictional adventure story inspired by the legendAnnual festival in Tampa, FL commemorates the pirateFor more Florida treasure lore, visit this interesting website:
38Singer’s TreasureJohn Singer and his family settled on Padre Island after being shipwrecked there in There, they found a wooden chest, containing a fortune in gold coins and jewelry from lost Spanish galleons. They buried the $60,000-80,000 worth of treasure in a place they called “money hill.”During the Civil War, Singer sided with the Union and, fearing the Confederates, he and his family left the island for the mainland, where they felt it would be safer. After the War, Singer came back for his treasure but storms had changed the Island so much that he was never able to find it.To this day, treasure hunters still comb Padre Island, looking for Singer’s buried treasure.Padre Island belongs to TexasJohn Singer’s younger brother invented the famous Singer sewing machine.Another man is said to have hidden treasure on Padre Island. Jacob Zeigler, who ran a hotel in Corpus Christi in the 1860s and 1870s, distrusted banks, so he buried $50,000 in gold coins on North Beach and died without revealing the location. For years, people dug around a dense mott of salt cedars on the other side of the bayou on North Beach, looking for Zeigler's gold.
39Padre Island TreasureMay be the treasure of famous pirate Jean LafitteOver $500,000 worth of treasure“Enough to ransom a nation”Finally, treasure found in this area could be connected to the famous pirate Jean Lafitte.The wife of one of his crew members, a woman known as "Grandma" Frank, told the story that Lafitte's treasure — more than $500,000 he took away from Galveston — was buried in a mott of live oak trees at False Live Oak Point. After the last of the treasure was buried, and Lafitte came back, he supposedly told Mrs. Frank, "There is enough treasure in those woods to ransom a nation."This legend has little basis in fact, but Lafitte is known to have been active in the area. After a hurricane in 1880, a Galveston paper reported that a farmer while plowing struck on an old iron pot which held $15,000 in Spanish coins, believed to have been buried by Lafitte and his men. It is possible that Jean Lafitte buried treasure on Padre Island or elsewhere in the Southeast.
41Confederate GoldHidden cache of gold lost after the American Civil WarProbably worth about $500,000Still unaccounted for…The money may have been spent or distributed among Confederate officers.It may have been stolen, or it could still be hidden somewhere in the South.Stories abound…When Union troops were on the verge of invading, the Confederates moved their treasury, valued at about $500,000 (plus another $500,000 from the bank of Richmond).Inspired a Clint Eastwood movie, and other works of fiction
42Tokugawa TreasureShoguns of the Tokugawa family ruled Japan for 264 years, from 1603 until 1867.When the balance of power shifted and the imperialist armies marched against him, the Shogun decided to hide his family’s wealth in Mt. Akagi.Descendants of the Tokugawa family search for the treasure today.The wealth – on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars – belongs to the people of Japan.The Shogun could see what was coming, so he had his entire wealth of gold buried in the side of Mt. Akagi, about 60 miles north of Tokyo in 1866.The gold was melted into ingots and loaded onto carts. A tunnel was dug into the mountain and the carts were taken into the tunnel. The tunnels was then sealed and all the worked put to death.
44Tuamoto Treasure Originally from the church in Pisco, Peru Treasure consists of 14 tons of gold, gems, and other valuable items, estimated at $1.8 millionStolen by a group of four Australian mercenaries in 1859Buried it in the Tuamotu Atolls in the South Pacific1913 Charles Howe’s expedition1932 George Hamilton takes overSupposedly, the gold can be found in a pear-shaped pool somewhere in the Tuamotu Atolls, presumably right where Howe left it.The four men were Diego Alvarez, Luke Barrett, Jack Killorain and Arthur BrownAfter they buried the treasure, the men returned to Australia. They meant to come back for the treasure, but it would appear that luck was not on their side. Two of the men were murdered by aborigines. The other two were arrested and incarcerated for murder. Supposedly, Killorain told a prospector by the name of Charles Howe about the treasure, before his death. Howe subsequently went in search of the treasure.After 13 years of digging, Howe supposedly found the treasure. He said that he had to bury it again, because he didn’t have a means of transporting it, but that he planned to go back for it. In 1932, Charles Howe planned an expedition to Tahiti to reclaim the treasure. However, soon after the trip was planned, Howe went prospecting in the outback and never returned.A diver named George Hamilton was left in possession of Howe’s map. George used the map to direct the expedition, sans Howe. He reportedly found the treasure, but said that he could not extract it. He abandoned the project due to a lack of funding. He also said that he had been attacked by a giant moray eel and a giant octopus. Right….Since George Hamilton’s expedition, there have been no known attempts to unearth the Tuamotu Treasure. If the treasure does indeed exist, it is presumably sitting in the same place that Howe left it, 83 years ago.
46Pitt Lake Gold The story begins in 1858. Evolution of the legend Natives found the gold first.Later, white settlers discovered it.Each person who found the gold became ill and died shortly thereafter, but not before passing on information about the treasure’s location.Interviewer Jack Mahony contributed to the growth of the legend.Many people died, searching for the treasure.The area is unlikely to hold great wealth in placer deposits, as the legend claims. Nevertheless, people continue to search for the lost gold mine of Pitt Lake.Pitt Lake is in British Columbia
48The Lost Adams Diggings The legend dates back to the 1860’sA canyon rich in gold, somewhere in western New Mexico or in eastern ArizonaA guide led Adams and his men to the canyon, then warned them of the danger.The team was killed by angry natives.Can’t dig on native American reservations todayInspired fiction and non-fiction writers
50The Lost Dutchman Mine The legend dates back to 1870. Evolution of the storyDr. Thorne & the Apache goldThe real Jacob WaltzThe soldiers’ lost mineThought to be in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, or elsewhere in the SouthwestNamed for German immigrant Jacob WaltzNumerous people have died searching for this legendary gold mine, some with very unusual circumstances surrounding their deaths
52The Treasure of the Far West A lost shipment of gold buried near the Little Bighorn battle siteIn 1876, Captain Grant Marsh was in command of a steamboat named the Far West. He was to follow the Bighorn River to the Little Bighorn, where he would then rendezvous with General Alfred H. Terry and resupply his troops. When news of Custer’s defeat reached Captain Marsh, he was told instead that he would be taking the wounded men back to Bismarck.The Far West was carrying gold at the time. It is unclear where the gold came from, but it was buried onshore, either to hide it from hostile natives, or to make room for more firewood to fuel the steamship on its return journey. Marsh returned to search for the gold, but was unsuccessful.Two possible sites where the treasure was buried:½ mile from the Yellowstone River15-20 miles from the mouth of the Little BighornIn 1876, Captain Grant Marsh was in command of a steamboat named the Far West. He was to follow the Bighorn River to the Little Bighorn, where he would then rendezvous with General Alfred H. Terry and resupply his troops.As the boat sailed to its destination, word reached Captain Marsh that Custer and his men had been massacred and that wounded soldiers would be brought to the Far West and taken to Fort Lincoln, near Bismarck, North Dakota.The Far West was carrying gold, and it was buried onshore. It is unclear where the gold came from and why it was buried. There are two different stories.One story goes that Captain Marsh had taken the boat to Williston, North Dakota, where it had collected a shipment of gold bars worth $375,000 and then left for its rendezvous with General Terry. The gold was to be delivered to Bismarck on the return trip.After fifty-two wounded men were brought on board to make the 740-mile trip to Bismarck, Marsh realized that he would need all the room he had on board for firewood to fuel the steamer's engine. The gold would have to be buried ashore temporarily; he could return later to collect it.Marsh twice attempted to retrieve the gold. Once, two months after it was hidden, he docked the boat in the same location. He could identify the site because tree stumps indicated where the crew had cut firewood to make the return journey to Bismarck. Unfortunately, heavy rains had caused a mud slide to wash over the burial site. Despite considerable digging, he and his men were unable to find even one bar of gold.A different story says that Captain Marsh encountered three men on the evening of June 26, the day after Custer's death. Marsh had not yet learned of the massacre, but he knew that many Sioux were in the area. The men shouted to Marsh from the riverbank. They were Gil Longworth, a wagon driver, and Tom Dickson and Mark Jergens, his guards. They were carrying a shipment of gold nuggets from Bozeman, Montana, to Bismarck. Longworth was worried that he would be attacked by the Sioux and would never deliver the gold shipment, so he begged Marsh to take it on board the Far West.After it was transferred to the ship, Longworth, Dickson, and Jergens headed back to Bozeman on land, a route they considered safer. But Captain Marsh had second thoughts about keeping the gold on board. As he watched the smoke from many Sioux campsites that night, he concluded that it would be safer to hide the gold ashore and return for it later. This was accomplished the same night.In the next few days, the wounded soldiers were brought to the steamer and Marsh learned the fate of the three men from Bozeman: All three were killed by the Sioux. Dickson and Jergens died at Pryor's Creek; Longworth's body was found a few days later at a spot known as Clark's Fork. Apparently, he had escaped the Sioux but had been mortally wounded in the process.Although Marsh never forgot about the gold, he made no attempt to recover it. He was afraid that a return trip would be too risky. In 1879, however, he visited Bozeman to find the freight company that had hired Longworth. Unfortunately, the company had long since closed.
54Fabergé EggsJeweled eggs created by Peter Carl Fabergé and his company from 1885 to 1917The most famous are the Imperial eggs, made for the Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II.Sixty-five eggs are known to have been made, and 8 of them are missing.Of the eggs that are accounted for, most are in Russia (15 of them belonging to collector Viktor Vekselberg). Others are in museums in the United States. A few are in Switzerland and the UK. Finally, some are in private collections.Where are the lost eggs?Imperial eggs designed to be Easter gifts for the wives and mothers of the TsarsTwo more eggs were planned for Easter 1918, but because of the Russian Revolution were not delivered.The eggs were about the size of a big Easter egg (3 x 4 inches) and each egg contained a surprise, often a figurine made of gold or precious stones. Some of these items are currently missing from the eggs.After the Russian Revolution, the Fabergé family left Russia and moved to Switzerland.The Fabergé trademark has been sold several times since, and is now owned by Fabergé Limited, which makes egg-themed jewelry.Pictured is the Royal Danish, a missing Imperial egg.Some of the eggs were last seen when they were stored at the Kremlin armory.Each egg is valued at millions of dollars, so the missing eggs could be worth $ million. (Viktor Vekelsberg spent over $100 million on 9 of the eggs.)
55Kruger MillionsSouth African president Paul Kruger took the gold from the bank and mines and hid it, in order to prevent it from being seized by the British during the Anglo-Boer war in 1900.Accounts vary as to the value of the treasure, but many believe it is the biggest undiscovered hoard of treasure in the world today, valued at $243 million.Supposedly, it is buried on a farm or hidden in a cave somewhere near the border of Machadodorp and Mozambique.Years later, a man was arrested after stealing a horse and carriage.He claimed he was going after the Kruger Millions.His associates had died in prison and could not corroborate his story.He described the area where the treasure was hidden.Then, he was released and never heard from again.It could still be out there, if in fact it is real.
57Barber Dimes Millions of coins were minted in 1907. Just over a dozen exist today.What happened to the rest?Supposedly, a large shipment was lost in the Black Canyon of Colorado.Worth over $3 million todayAccording to legend, a shipment of dimes departed Denver, Colorado bound for Phoenix, Arizona, but it never arrived. One theory is that the wagon train was attacked by bandits and, despite their armed escort, were unable to fend off the attack. Others believe the party might have plummeted hundreds of feet to the bottom of Colorado’s Black Canyon while navigating the treacherous mountain trails. All that can be said for sure is that neither the coins, nor the men carrying them, were ever seen again. Now, a little over 100 years later, a single 1907 Barber dime in excellent condition fetches around $600. Assuming the barrels weren’t destroyed and the coins haven’t been exposed to the elements all this time, these missing coins should be fairly flawless. If you estimate 5,000 coins at $600 each, you’re looking at $3,000,000.
58Irish Crown Jewels Stolen from Dublin Castle in 1907 Probably lost foreverCeremonial jewels belonging to the Order of St. PatrickSupposed to be transferred to a strong room in Dublin Castle in 1903, but the safe was too big so Arthur Vicars, a high ranking official, kept them in his office instead. He and his employees were the only ones with keys to the safe.Vicars sometimes wore the jewels when he got drunk.When the jewels disappeared, Vicars refused to go to trial and blamed others for the theft. Ultimately, he was forced to resign his position, as were his personal staff.Other conspiracy theories exist, and it is possible that Vicars was involved in even more scandal, but it was covered up when he agreed to resign.The theft inspired several works of fiction, including a Sherlock Holmes story.
59Pancho Villa’s Treasure Pancho Villa was a leader during the Mexican Revolution, in the early 1900’s.122 silver bars said to be buried with one of his men, at an unmarked grave siteThe majority of his treasure may have been hidden in a cave in Mexico, or perhaps just north of the border.His real name was José Doroteo Arango Arámbula, but he went by Francisco Villa.Silver bars from a train robberyThey were pursued by law enforcement, and one of the men died.He inspired many a fictional tale, and the legends of him hiding treasure may have been fabricated.It’s the same pattern as other stories. The treasure was hidden in a cave and all of the men were killed.If the treasure is real, it is worth $24-90 million.
60Lasseter’s ReefDiscovered by Lewis Harold Bell Lasseter either in 1911 or in 1897Lasseter claimed to have found "a vast gold bearing reef in Central Australia."1930 expeditionLasseter’s companions question his sanityLasseter’s deathIs the treasure real? What do you think?
62Dutch Schultz’s SafeA New York City mobster hid his $7 million fortune in a safe somewhere in upstate New York.Thought to be in the Catskill MountainsHis real name was Arthur FlegenheimerMobster of the 1920’s and 30’sProsecutor Thomas Dewey was hot on his trail for tax evasion and other chargesSchultz wanted to kill Dewey, but the mob would not allow itHe set off to do it himself, so the mob’s leaders had him assassinatedDelirious ramblings on his deathbed in the hospital made the public aware of his treasureThe treasure was hidden shortly before he died in 1935People get together and search for his treasure
63Leon Trabuco’s GoldLeon Trabuco bought up Mexico’s gold reserves to resell in the US when the price went up.With the help of pilot Red Mosier, Trabuco and his men smuggled 16 tons of gold into the United States in 1933 and buried it near the Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico.The Gold Reserve Act of 1934 made the gold more valuable, but at the same time made the private ownership of gold illegal, so Trabuco could not sell the gold.Today, researcher Ed Foster believes he may have found the key to uncovering Trabuco’s treasure.
65Victorio PeakA network of tunnels in southern New Mexico, discovered by Doc Noss in 1937Said to contain gold, silver, and jewels worth $1.7 billionFirst attempt at excavation accidentally sealed off the entranceThen, the US Army took over.There may still be treasure hidden deep within the tunnels of Victorio Peak.Doc Noss went searching for fresh water near the peak and discovered the hidden entrance to a tunnel. There, he found an old chest inscribed with the words "Sealed Silver" in Old English. Doc's wife, Babe, tried to obtain legal ownership of Victorio Peak and acquired a lease with the state of New Mexico to excavate in the land. This paperwork provided the Noss family's legal claim to the property.In the fall of 1939, Doc hired a mining engineer to widen the opening to the treasure, but he grossly underestimate the power of the blast and the fragile nature of the shaft and unwittingly closed it off to himself.He tried to sell the few gold bars he had collected to raise money to reopen the tunnel, but he was murdered by his partner.In 1952, the US Army took ownership of Victorio Peak. Some soldiers stumbled upon an entrance to the cave.Babe Noss filed an injunction to stop the Army from excavating the site in 1961, but it was too late. The site had already been heavily excavated throughout and unconfirmed rumors claimed that the military had cleared out everything of value.After public pressure, a highly publicized 10-day excavation with Babe Noss present as an observer further excavated the peak, but nothing was found.Lambert Dolphin from the Stanford Research Institute used sonar to detect a greater chamber still in existence around 300 to 400 feet deep where Doc Noss said it was. Whether anything is left there for the Noss family to claim is unrevealed.The origin of the treasure is unknown. It's believed it could be the lost treasure of Juan de Onate, the man who founded New Mexico as a Spanish colony. Another theory is that it belonged to a Catholic missionary named Father LaRue who once operated gold mines in the area. It's also been linked to Maximillian, the Emperor of Mexico, and to the Apache Indians who raided stagecoaches heading to California.
67The Amber Room An exquisite room decorated with amber and gold leaf Part of Catherine Palace in Saint Petersburg, RussiaOriginally built in the 18th centuryLooted by Nazis during WWIIBrought to a city in eastern GermanyThen it was lost…Reconstructed in 2003What happened to the original Amber Room?The Prussian king gave it as a gift to the Tsar of Russia in 1716He then had it expandedIt covered more than 55 square meters and contained over six tons of amberBrought to a city in eastern Germany that was later captured by the Soviet Union (today Russia)The original amber room is valued at $170 million.
68The Royal CasketA large wooden casket containing 73 precious relics that once belonged to the Polish royal familyLooted by Nazi soldiers during WWIIProbably gone foreverCollection was created by an aristocrat named Izabela CzartoryskaWhen the war broke out, the casket was hidden, but an employee of the family betrayed its location to Nazi soldiersThe treasure would have been distributed among the soldiers, and it is most likely lost foreverAn echo of an earlier tale…Polish Crown Jewels stolen when the Prussians captured Wawel CastleMost of the original items were melted down in 1809The few original items that remained were later captured by the Soviet Union, and have now been restored to Poland
69Nazi Plunder Treasure and artifacts looted during WWII Gold was melted down and made into bullion, then converted to currency.It disappeared into the European banking systemSwiss National BankThe VaticanCounterfeit notes produced during Operation Bernhard were dumped into Lake Toplitz.Nazis looted assets from the territory they conqueredThey stripped anything of value from their victims at concentration camps (jewelry, glasses, gold teeth, etc.)Museums are making an effort today to determine if any of their art was stolenIf so, they return it to the heirs of the original owners (mostly Jewish families persecuted by the Nazis)The ownership history of a piece of art is its provenanceSome art may still be hidden in caves and salt minesThe goal of Operation Bernhard was to destabilize the British economy by flooding the market with bank notes.8,965,080 banknotes made with a total value of £134,610,810The notes are considered among the most perfect counterfeits ever produced, being almost impossible to distinguish from the real currency, so the Bank of England had to issue new currency.Lake Toplitz in the Austrian Alps, near Ebensee prison campThe Nazis were going to kill the forgers, but they only had one truck so they had to make three trips to take them to Ebensee. The truck broke down on the third run, allowing the prisoners time to revolt. When the third group marched in, the war ended and they were all rescued.If you were going to search for Nazi plunder, you would want to look into the European banking system.Several lawsuits have been filed which ended in the Swiss National Bank awarding millions of dollars to the families of Jewish victims.
70Nazi PlunderOne financial ledger listed the contents of a single cache with a total value of $37,000,000,000.$92,000,000 worth of treasure looted from the Hungarian National BankBoth treasures are thought to be hidden somewhere in Austria.Another story tells of a hoard of treasure worth $72,000,000 hidden in a cave in Italy.Some treasure has been recovered near the homes of former Nazi officers.Other treasures are thought to have been hidden in caves and mountain lakes.A sunken U-boat in the Marquessas Archipelago in the Pacific OceanCanadian B-25 bomber supposedly loaded with Nazi gold that had been found, then the plane crash-landed and the treasure is unaccounted for.British army retreating from Greece said to have hidden $2.5 million in a cave.Hitler’s eastern HQ “Wolf’s Den”The secret entrance is in a forest in Poland, surrounded by land mines.
71Lue Treasure Map Created by a Nazi loyalist in the United States Describes a cache containing 100 tons of gold bullion, intended to crash the US economyPossibly connected to the Knights TemplarThe Nazis tried to recover the treasure, but were unsuccessful.Later, the CIA and the FBI were also unsuccessful. The map was made public, but the treasure has yet to be found.It is thought to be in the southwestern United States, in Colorado or New Mexico.The purpose of the Nazi mission was to sell the gold on the US Market and to crash the US Economy which would stop the US from entering World War II. Around this same time the United States passed the American gold act which prevented the Nazis from selling the gold on the open market.The Nazis then moved in to try and recover the gold with the hopes of smuggling it back out of the US, but the Nazi Loyalist who created the map (and whose property they had buried the gold on) had mysteriously died, taking the secret of the map with him. The Nazis were not able to find the gold.Later, the map was discovered by the CIA and the FBI, but their code breakers were also unable to solve the mystery and they let it leak into the general public hoping someone could solve riddle. The map was made popular by Treasure Hunter Karl Von Mueller who published it back in the 1960s.It's been suggested the code for the Lue map was based on templar secrets. The Nazis may have discovered such secrets during their excavations near Renne le Chateau.The Nazis where have said to have access to a coding system that was created by the Knights Templar and that they shared the code with the Japanese to help them hide their own caches of gold deep in the jungles of the Philippines.It is thought that the key to the Lue map can be found in the US $1 bill. The symbols on the dollar are Masonic in origin and may be connected to the Knight's Templar.The location of the Lue cache is thought to be in the southwestern United States.
73Yamashita’s GoldLoot from Southeast Asia collected by the Japanese during WWIINamed for General Tomoyuki Yamashita, “The Tiger of Malaya”Thought to be hidden in caves, tunnels and underground complexes in the PhilippinesRogelio Rosas supposedly discovered the treasure in 1971, but the items he had collected were taken from him by the then president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, and his wife Imelda.Most experts agree that the treasure isn’t real. Still, people have searched for it for over 50 years. Some people have died trying to find the treasure.Secret organization called the Golden Lily looting to finance Japan's war effortThose who knew the locations of the loot were killed during the war, or later tried and executed, or incarcerated. Yamashita himself was executed in 1946.The Japanese hoped to ship the treasure to Japan after the war ended.One theory is that US officials tortured Yamashita’s men and learned where the treasure was hidden. Then, they secretly acquired it and used it to fund the anti-communist movement during the Cold War.A Filipino treasure hunter, Rogelio Rosas, claimed to have found the treasure in 1971, but he was arrested, beaten, and the treasure taken from him by the Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda (who later claimed the treasure is how her husband got rich). Rosas filed suit against him in 1988, but he died on the eve of the trial. A settlement was reached, then changed because they could not know the total value of the treasure, only the portion that Rosas was able to collect, several gold bars and a large (3 ft. high, weighing 1 ton) golden Buddha statue (made of solid 20 carat gold).This implies that the treasure does exist. Rosas found it and Marcos took it from him. Or at least he took the items Rosas collected. We don’t know if he was able to find the hidden treasure vault. It may still be out there…
74Awa Maru Shipwreck Japanese ocean liner used by the navy during WWII Sunk by a US submarine in 1945Thought to have carried $5 billion in treasureIn 1980, the Chinese government attempted to recover the treasure, but there was none to be found.Either the treasure was never on board the ship, or it had already been delivered to Singapore, on its way to Thailand.In 1980, China spent $100 million on a salvage expedition. They found the ship in 1977, but there was no sign of the fabled treasure, possibly because there was never any treasure on the Awa Maru.
75Rennes-le-ChâteauParchments describing a ransom of 28,500,000 gold pieces, collected by the French crownThe treasure was supposedly discovered by 19th century priest Bérenger Saunière.Inspired writers from the 1950’s to modern timesThese stories generated public interest in the village, which has since become a major tourist attraction.Saunière was known to be a corrupt priestHe wrote articles about the state of the community where he lived and sympathetic Christians donated money to his causeHe used it to rebuild the church and make a library for himselfIt was said that he enjoyed women and wine more than the sacred duties of priesthoodHe was discharged from his position after a trial several years laterSupposedly, Saunière found parchments describing the treasureThe treasure may have been saved by the French crown to pay the ransom of one of their saints, captured by the enemyIt may have consisted of 28,500,000 gold piecesAnother theory is that he found documents which proved that Jesus married Mary Magdelene and they had childrenSometimes linked to the treasure of the Knights Templar, King Solomon’s Temple, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Holy Grail, plus the Priory of the SionInspired the Da Vinci CodeAll of these stories made the village a popular site for tourismThere have been several excavations, including one as recent as 2003 in the Tour Magdala (Saunière’s library), but none have produced anything of interestThe stories may have been completely fabricated to generate public interest in the village
77Lufthansa HeistA robbery that took place at JFK international airport in New York City in 1978$6 million in cash and jewels stolen by Jimmy Burke and his gangThe “bad guys” all died or went to jail.What happened to the loot?Worth $21 million todayAt the time, it was the largest robbery ever committed on American soil.Called the Lufthansa heist after their employer (inside job)The $6 million payday was 3x what Burke was expecting to get.When Edwards, a member of his gang, failed to dispose of the getaway car, the FBI and the police were hot on their trail, and Burke proceeded to murder anyone who could implicate him in the crime. Ten people were murdered, but in the end Burke was convicted and he died in jail of lung cancer. The stolen cash and jewelry were never recovered.Other major heists, where the loot was never recovered:Graff diamond heistAntwerp diamond heist – inspired the film “Flawless”Schiphol airport diamond heistBrussels airport diamond heistIn all of these cases, chances are, the jewels have been broken up and sold. They would be too easy to recognize otherwise.I selected this story because it illustrates the (sometimes dramatic) negative consequences of stealing.
78Ivory Coast Crown Jewels Golden artifacts stolen from a museum during a political conflict in 2011These treasures are an important part of the history of the Ivory Coast, valued at $6 million.The crime was reported to INTERPOL, so the items cannot be sold without being recognized. That means that they are in danger of being destroyed.
79Fenn Treasure Created by collector Forest Fenn Lockbox full of treasure, containing gold nuggets, rare coins, jewelry and gemstonesValue is estimated at $1 million or moreHidden in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa FeHe has written several books giving clues to his treasure.Many people have attempted to locate the treasure, and a few have become newsworthy.In March 2013, a woman attempting to find the treasure spent the night lost and exposed in Bandelier National Monument.In April 2013, another treasure seeker was arrested after digging up a roadside memorial that he had mistaken as a clue.
80Planning Your Own Expedition Choose your treasureEstimate its valueTarget area for searchList necessary equipmentCalculate travel expensesAnticipate issues that may arisePrepare a funding proposal