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Throughout history, treasures in money, gold and precious stones have been stolen with a good number yet to be found. From the days of the legendary pirates even until the days of train robberies; the search for lost treasures has been very competitive with little success. However, factboyz brings to you Top 10 of these lost treasures yet to be found.
1. The Lake Michigan Gold
Somewhere in the bottom of Lake Michigan is a fortune in gold bullion. The story behind this treasure is traced to George Alexander Abbott, former vice president of Hackley National Bank who died in 1921.
He knew about a boxcar full of stolen Confederate gold had to be pushed off a ferry struggling to cross Lake Michigan during a violent storm back in the mid-1890s. On his deathbed, he told his lighthouse keeper about the treasure, who in turn told another person who also told another person with the list getting longer.
However, two divers Kevin Dykstra and Frederick Monroe currently think otherwise. They believe the gold was stolen by former Confederate General Robert H.G. Minty who was also Abbott’s brother-in-law. Civil War historians are not convinced, though, and have cited several historical inaccuracies in the story.
2. The Esperanza Treasure
In the year 1816, In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there is a 12-square-kilometer (4.6 mi2) atoll called Palmyra with a population of 4–20 American scientists and staff. It could also be the hiding place of pirate treasure.
In 1816, the Spanish ship Esperanza headed for the Antilles with a cargo of gold, silver, and jewels looted from Peru. However, it ran into a storm which broke the ship’s mast, hence turning the ship into an easy target for pirates. As expected, it was attacked, it goods stolen, and it sank. The pirate ship headed to Macao where it also encountered a storm, eventually getting wrecked in the coral reef surrounding Palmyra Atoll.
The pirates divvied up the treasure, burying most of it on the island. Majority of the crew decided to build an improvised craft with the aim of reaching the mainland. They were never heard from again. The remaining ten men who were left behind decided to sail away due to dwindling supplies. Six left on a small makeshift boat, while four remained. Of the six, four went overboard in a storm. The other two were rescued by an American whaler, but one died en route to San Francisco.
The fate of the treasure and the four men left on the island remains unknown.
3. The Amber Room Treasures
Constructed in the Catherine Palace in the 18th century in Tsarskoe Selo, near St. Petersburg, the Amber Room contained gold-gilded mosaics, mirrors and carvings, along with panels constructed out of about 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) of amber.
As the forces moved into Pushkin, officials and curators of the Catherine Palace attempted to disassemble and hide the Amber Room. When the dry amber began to crumble, the officials instead tried hiding the room behind thin wallpaper. But the ruse didn’t fool the German soldiers, who tore down the Amber Room within 36 hours, packed it up in 27 crates and shipped it to Königsberg, Germany (present-day Kaliningrad). The room was reinstalled in Königsberg’s castle museum on the Baltic Coast.
The museum’s director, Alfred Rohde, was an amber aficionado and studied the room’s panel history while it was on display for the next two years. In late 1943, with the end of the war in sight, Rohde was advised to dismantle the Amber Room and crate it away. In August of the following year, allied bombing raids destroyed the city and turned the castle museum into ruins. And with that, the trail of the Amber Room was lost.
4. The Arizona Lost Dutchman Mine
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.
5. The Jarbidge Stage Robbery
On December 5, 1916, Ben Kuhl and his two associates robbed a stagecoach outside Jarbidge, Nevada, and killed the driver, Fred Searcy. For Wild West and crime enthusiasts, this is notable for two reasons: It was the last stagecoach robbery in US history and the first time in which a criminal was convicted using palm prints as evidence.
The story appeals to treasure hunters for a different reason: $4,000 in stolen gold coins and bills was never recovered.
The robbers’ options for locations to stash their loot were limited. Curiously, a search party found the stolen mail pouch buried near the bank of the Jarbidge River, but it was missing the $4,000. Could it be that one of the robbers betrayed the other two? Maybe, after hiding their loot together, he returned alone, took the money, and reburied the bag.
One of Kuhl’s associates, William McGraw, turned on the other two and only served 10 months in jail. The other accomplice, Ed Beck, got out after six years. If either one knew where the money was, chances are they dug it up.
Ben Kuhl, however, served 28 years, and it is believed that he died a few months after his release. If he was the only one who knew of the treasure’s location, then the money could still be buried somewhere in Jarbidge Canyon.
6. Ark Of The Covenant
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Ark of the Covenant was a chest that held tablets engraved with the 10 Commandments. The chest was kept in a temple said to have been built by King Solomon. This temple, also called the First Temple, was the most sacred site on Earth for the Jewish people, but it was destroyed in 587 B.C. when a Babylonian army led by King Nebuchadnezzar II conquered Jerusalem and sacked the city. It’s unclear what happened to the Ark of the Covenant and its location has long since been a source of speculation.
7. The Lost Golden Owl
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.
8. The Reynold’s Gang
Leader John Reynolds, the last surviving member of the gang, met his end in 1871. Before dying, he revealed the location of the gold to his partner at the time, Albert Brown.
At the head of Geneva Gulch, you’re supposed to turn right and follow the mountain until you reach Deer Creek where you’ll find the treasure in an old prospector’s shaft. The hole is walled up, but there should be a tree with a butcher’s knife blade stuck inside it pointing toward the hidden mouth of the shaft.
The directions seemed straightforward enough. However, according to legend, Brown discovered that either a forest fire or a landslide had altered the terrain and destroyed the landmarks. Since then, there have been others who claim to have found clues related to the treasure. To our knowledge, none of these men recovered the treasure. So, perhaps, it’s still out there.
9. The Copper Scroll Treasures
Perhaps the most unusual Dead Sea Scroll discovered in the Qumran caves is a text engraved on a sheet of copper that discusses the location of a vast amount of hidden treasure. This Copper Scroll, as it is called, is in a museum in Jordan. Whether the ancient writer of the scroll was describing a real or legendary treasure is a source of debate among scholars. At the time the scroll was written, the Roman army was in the process of defeating Jewish groups that were rebelling against Roman rule; the Roman army had taken Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple, which was the most important, surviving religious site for the Jewish people.
Some scholars have speculated that the treasures referred to in the Copper Scroll could be real treasures that were hidden before the Roman army destroyed the temple. Other scholars have argued that the amount of treasure discussed in the Copper Scroll is so vast that it must be the stuff of legend.
10. Leon Trabuco’s Gold
Back in the early 1930s, a Mexican millionaire by name 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.
Jayamma Abanobi is a youth blogger passionate about writing. He can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org