The National Archives store some of history’s most prized and rarest documents. Security is tight in the most important anthropological storehouses in the world, yet this hasn't stopped thieves from making off with some of its priceless pieces. The patent papers that describe in detail Wilbur and Orville Wright’s concept for a flying machine were lifted by an unknown crook without anyone noticing. Not until 2003 did anyone discover that it was missing, and since then, no one has been able to apprehend the culprit
Of the listed items, 52 swords, 17 sculptures, and 10 paintings cannot be located. The report says that either they were stolen, the owners had moved, or no one had kept track of the items after an owner died. 52 swords, 17 sculptures, and 10 paintings52 swords, 17 sculptures, and 10 paintings In the missing collection is a 13th-century tanto sword signed “Kunimitsu.” The owner died, and the agency was not notified when the item became a very highly valued inheritance. As with so many pieces of its kind, the agency believes the owners are not aware of the policies in place to manage its location. They plan to start visiting the remaining owners on a regular basis to keep tabs on their whereabouts.
Many legends surrounds the lost city of Paititi. It is said to be the location where the ancient Incas, desperate to hide their treasure from marauding Europeans, stored all of their gold. Due to its location and relative obscurity, the city gradually became synonymous with the legendary El Dorado. The two eventually became one mythical location where one lucky explorer could find endless riches.stored all of their gold
The Patiala Necklace was an item of rare beauty, designed by the house of Cartier in 1928. This gift to the Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh had five rows of platinum chains adorned with 2,930 diamonds. It was encrusted with Burmese rubies among other jewels. The centrepiece was the seventh-largest diamond in the world, the famed DeBeers Diamond, a 234.6-carat yellow diamond, roughly the size of a golf ball. The necklace was the prize piece until it disappeared in 1948. The last person known to wear it was his son Maharaja Yadavindra Singh.
The legendary ship was made of dark wood, speculated to be mahogany (but probably a different material altogether). It’s said to have sunk as part of a secret Portuguese mission to explore Australia in 1522. The wreck was allegedly spotted almost 350 years later, in 1847, before people lost track of it altogether. All the details are conjecture based on accounts by whalers and locals over 150 years ago. Though no one has managed to prove its existence, no one can disprove it.
The Parliamentary Mace was a symbol of the Office of the Speaker and the constitutional rights of the people of Victoria. On October 9, 1891, it vanished. Parliamentary engineer Thomas Jeffrey was seen running from the building that afternoon carrying a package that matched the description of the artifact. Police also found tools in his home that matched markings on the display case that had been forced open during the robbery. And yet Thomas was able to avoid imprisonment for lack of evidence.
The Crown Jewels have been replaced, stolen, and destroyed on several occasions. One such mishap involved King John, who in 1216 tried to cross the Wash, a bay in Lincolnshire. He miscalculated the incoming tide and lost his luggage, which was washed out to sea. In his luggage? The Crown Jewels. He contracted dysentery and died a few days later. The area is exceptionally dangerous due to the fast incoming tides and muddy waters, but treasure hunters still flock annually to the Wash, hoping to find the haul of a lifetime.
New York mobster Arthur “Dutch” Flegenheimer stole his nickname, along with pretty much everything else that isn't nailed down, and amassed an empire valued at US$20 million a year. Hounded consistently for tax evasion, Dutch did what Capone never thought to do. He packed his fortune into a metal box and buried it in the Catskills. Intending to recover the fortune once things cooled down, and knowing that mobsters who went to prison tended to lose their empires while they were away, Dutch kept the location of his fortune secret. He was eventually acquitted of his crimes and set about changing his image. But he was gunned down soon after during a meeting at a local eatery. Due to lack of evidence and the expense associated with locating such a treasure in a vast wilderness, attention has fallen away from this legendary payday in recent years. Millions in ill-gotten gains are still waiting in upstate New York for someone to uncover
The story of the Lost Dutchman and his mine is considered by many to be nothing more than a fairy tale, yet others have believed so much in it that they have risked and even lost their lives in search of the infamous treasure. The rumoured gold mine 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.
A set of very important maps are missing from the National Archives. The two pieces of paper, dated June 1945, were created by the Army Air Corps to plan a coordinated bombing attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Showing aerial photography of the region with strategic points mapped out, these missing artefacts are a reminder of a dark time in the world’s history. No one is sure when the items went missing, and the task force assigned to investigate has yet to provide an answer. It’s not known how the thief acquired the documents or disposed of them. What is known is that audio recordings from the archives were also being stolen by a former employee who had planned to sell them on eBay.