Greatest Loss of Life
International Registry of Sunken Ships
For those who are not afraid of a little investigative work I have read two different accounts of Rommel's treasure. First I should explain that Rommel's Afrika Corps, like most other armies, paid their way as they went, and as such carried various valuables with them. These valuables, I presume, consisted of cash, gold or even gems. The first account tells of Rommel being bottled up in North Africa and sending his valuables by submarine to Corsica.It would appear the submarine reached the island and the valuables unloaded and hidden. The submarine left the island only to be caught on the surface by an American bomber which attacked and sunk the vessel. All knowledge of the hiding place seemed to now lie on the bottom of the Med'. The story continued that in later years, a scuba diver who was diving in a specific area of Corsica was found dead. His own spear gun had been used on him. The inference of course is that he got too close to the treasure, either by accident or prior knowledge and/or that someone is still looking after it. The second account states that Rommel's treasure was taken to Corsica and then on to the Gulf of Bastia by a German vessel and dropped into 30 fathoms. In 1960 an ex-Nazi came forward claiming involvement or knowledge and was taken to the area. When at the scene he developed a loss of memory. The man later disappeared.
Sir Francis Drake died at sea January 28th 1596. Some records show 1595 but this is based in the Julian Calendar. His last journey was on the flagship Defiance and the aim was to attack Panama. Whilst on the Island of Escudo de Varaguas he contracted Dysentery. This overtook him and he died. Drake's body was placed in a lead lined coffin and slid into the sea a league or two from Nombre de Dios. A copy of the Captains diagram showing "markers" for the final resting place exists. This would indeed be a historic find.
Konigsberg is believed to be the centre where looted treasures aquired by the Nazis are buried in tunnels underground. Now named Kalingrad and in Russia, new streets, concrete and buildings have covered any trace of the old towns original design. The Germans were forced to leave and the Russians became the inhabitants, further adding to the lost knowledge of the tunnels. Some believe that some of the treasures were sunk during the German evacuation from that area.
In April 1942 US minelayer Harrison dumped boxes of Filipino coin, to the value of 5 million, into Manila Bay at a depth of 18 fathoms to avoid them falling into Japanese hands. The Japanese did in fact recover 2.25 million. Later, an American recovered the bulk of what was left but there still remains about 1 million to salvage.
As a result of a Doctor Watkinson's will, earlier this century a box of jewels was dropped into the sea about 2 miles North of Hartlepool, Yorkshire, UK. There is no clue as to the actual site or the contents, but it was believed the doctor was a collector of gems.
Cocos Island lies at N:05.32.57. W:88.02.10. and is owned by Costa Rica. Stories say that the Great Treasure of Lima, eleven boatloads in all, were buried there by pirate Thompson of the brigantine Mary Dear in 1821-22 in a cave with a natural door. This natural door may be part of a cliff that revolves or a door that can be wedged with rocks. Benito Bonito, the Portuguese pirate also used this island to bury his millions in 1820. Pirate William Dampier is also said to have excavated several caves in the sandstone in 1822 and hidden treasure valued at over 60 million. The captain of the wrecked vessel Lark is supposed to have taken 72,000 to the island and buried it. Efforts to trace these treasures include the crew of the schooner Fanny in 1871 who found nothing. A Captain Welch also tried in 1871 with the same result. Schooner Vanderbilt tried in 1879 with no luck. In all, over 450 expeditions have set out to locate the treasures, all have failed.
The SAN PEDRO
Gorda Cay, Southwest of Ababco Island is rich in artifacts and it is thought a Spanish vessel, the San Pedro sank here in 1660 with a great fortune on board. The depth in the area is about 20 feet but then it descends very steeply into the Northwest Providence Channel.
In 1536 there were 800 Monasteries in England and Wales. four years later there were none. All had been appropriated by Henry V111. One of these sites was near Lyme Bay, Devon. Henry did not get all the treasures and it is possible that ships were used to transport the treasures to a place of safety. Who knows what some of the wrecks between 1536 and 1540 may contain.
Local tales tell of an English marauder chasing a Spanish Galleon, the galleon was wrecked on the Oregon Coast at Yaquina Bay. Gold goblets have been recovered from the seabed at this location.
Another treasure story from Oregon tells of a Spanish ship at anchor off the Nehalem shore. A party of local indians observed a small boat with a large black box dispatched for the shore. The party from this boat, which included a black man, took the box and buried it a little way up the beach near the Southwest side of the slopes of Neah-Kah-Nie. They then killed the black man and placed him on the box before covering it up. They then left as they had arrived. Native superstition would not allow the box to be dug up. There are many stories of attempts to locate this chest and it is said the slope is full of holes from this effort. There is a rock at the base of the mountain with what resembles a cross cut into it and possibly the words "IHS", a catholic symbol and an arrow pointing in a direction. One story tell of a Thomas McKay of the Hudsons Bay Co who seemed in later years to have an abundance of wealth. Did he find the box or was he just a good trader.
John Delaney, an Englishman, had captained many vessels out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The story goes that on one such voyage one of his crew became ill and before dying confided in Delaney that he was once a pirate. A story of buried treasure on a barren West Indian Island followed. Many years later Delaney told the story to the pilots of the pilot vessel Rechab and as a result the pilots slipped out of St John in the fall of 1850 and "fetched up" off Sandy Cay, Turks Island. Divining rods and shovels failed to produce anything, they gave up and headed for home.
Anacapa Island in the Santa Barbara group in California is hard to reach in rough weather. Local stories tell of treasure and smuggling.
In the time of whalers and clippers, Nanaimo was a busy port in British Columbia. The story goes that a Chinese girl, Sue Ann Lee, wanted to leave town and head for San Francisco. She packed her jewels and money into a small chest and hired two sailors to take her South. These sailors murdered Sue Ann and stole her chest. A Police hunt was on and the sailors were seen trying to leave port in a small boat, but before they could be apprehended they were seen to cast a small chest overboard. The chest has not been recovered.
History notes that the treasure of pirate Capt Avery is buried in the high cliff near Beagles Point, South of Black Head, Cornwall, near the Lizard. Several attempts have been made to locate it without success.
QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS, BC
In June 1859 a shipwreck occurred on the West Coast of Queen Charlotte Islands, BC. The three crewmen made it to the shore and began to search for food. During this search they found a small barren island about 50ft offshore. Noticing a yellow glint, one of them swam out to the island and returned with the news that the island was covered in gold. They built a small cabin and stored the retrieved gold under the floor. The estimated they had stored about a ton. They were then attacked by hostile indians and one of the sailors was killed. After hiding out for a while the remaining two managed to get safe passage to Fort Victoria. After telling their tale an expedition was set up to return. Upon returning they found the body of their friend, but no cabin, no gold or small island. Did the Indians burn the cabin, was the gold found...who knows.
Note: In 1851 many vessels had set out for the Queen Charlotte's with miners on board, gold had allegedly been found there and the panic was on.
ISLAND OF DOMINICA
In 1567 six vessels of a Spanish fleet were wrecked on the Northwest tip of the Island of Dominica. It is said that they carried over 3 million in pesos, and that the survivors were captured and eaten by the Carib Indians. During a salvage attempt a year later it was learned that the indians had salvaged the treasure and hid it in caves. They would not break and say where, even under threat of death. There are no records of the treasure ever being found.
Poverty Island, Lake Michigan. Legend says that a 60ft schooner was carrying 5 chests of gold bullion supplied by France for use by the Americans in their fight against the English, was wrecked off the island which is East of Wisconsin. The chests are valued at 400 million. There have been many attempts to locate.
LADY IN RED
A steamer put in to a sawmill dock at Puget Sound. The language spoken by those on the steamer was not understood. A woman in a red cloak was seen on the bridge. The captain had come ashore and seemed under great strain, he returned to the ship, hauled in the lines and moved off. When far out into Admiralty Inlet the steamer erupted into flames. When the mill tug reached the spot only a scorched piece of wreckage was found.
The treasure of pirate Lafitte may have been buried near Jefferson Island, Louisiana, yet other rumors have it hidden at Galveston Island.
During the fall of Singapore the British tossed 1 million in gold currency into the sea to avoid capture by the Japanese. Japanese salvors recovered tens of thousands in a salvage operation.
There were rumors of a great hoard of platinum, gold and silver hidden in Tokyo Bay toward the end of WW2. It was said to have been hidden in the sea near a wharf used by USN vessels. Some platinum and silver was recovered to the value of 35,000, not the 2 billion that was rumored.
October 1215 a caravan of King John of England attempted to cross the sands of The Wash. The caravan carried a large amount of the King's treasure and was trapped by an incoming tide and a descending current from the River Nene. All was lost. The journey in question lies between Kings Lynn and Long Sutton. Since that time the area has changed, the Wash has been pushed back and rushes grow in areas where sands were covered by high tide. Man made drainage canals have also gained ground. The treasure is probably now lying 30ft deep. King John had taken a longer route through Wisbech and over higher ground and was able to witness the loss. He then rode to the Abbey at Swineshead. Quicksand is in the area.
NEW YORK STRONGBOX
In 1775, a Robert Gordon left his home at Whitehall, NY. for Canada to avoid the war. His house was on the West side of Wood Creek on the Red Barn Lot. His money and plate was placed in a strongbox. During his journey, somewhere on the West shore of the Haven in the marshes, he dropped it and took a note of the location. He did not return from Canada. In 1934 a state dredger engaged in swamp clearance brought up a metal box in its jaws, it balanced a while on the debris and then fell back into the water. Attempts to relocated the box again have failed.
Henry Morgan died in 1688 in Jamaica. Rumors of his buried treasure abound and the following are just some of them. That it is buried in a cave at Old Providence Island. The cave mouth is now 75ft below the water level and there is a 150ft swim to the main chamber. Sharks and barracuda are in the area and there is no entrance from the land. In 1671 Morgan laid siege to Panama City and eventually scaled the wall to find little treasure. It is assumed much of it was hidden within the city. A 1927 find of jewels in San Jose church tunnels has been linked to the siege by Morgan. It is also said that after looting Panama City, Morgan took the loot and hid it in a bayou near Darien Bay, Panama West Coast. The eight person who buried the treasure were murdered. Rumor also hold that Morgan buried treasure on an islands near Tenerife, Canary Islands.
Rumor has that a Japanese submarine sunk in WW2 of the West side of Pinang Island. It's cargo is alleged to be of gold bullion and precious ornaments. A Combined Royal Navy and Royal Malay Navy search failed to find the submarine in 1957.
During the US Civil War, blockade runners were persued by Federal vessels. During these chases there were times when chests full of gold bullion were thrown overboard by the runners. Rumor had it the several of these chest lie between the US mainland and the Islands of Bermuda and the Bahamas.
In 1641 the Duke Doria was being persued by Marshal De Brese. Whilst aboard a vessel off Perpignan, France he jettisoned gold valued (circa)1 million into the sea.
MISSING FABERGE EGGS
Peter Carl Faberge made a total of 57 eggs. All have been accounted for except 4, they are
the Danish Silver Jubilee Egg, the Rosebud Egg, the Swan Egg and the Egg with Love Trophies.
The name of the egg represents the design or motif which appears when the shell is opened. I was recently asked (2001) where I got the above information from and how good was it, my reply was that I read it and took notes from an author/reporters published investigative work, and the only reason for doing so was that the missing eggs may have been transported or lost on a ship, probably in the Baltic. He advised he know the Faberge family and would check with them. Here is the reply from the family. " That there was only proof that 50 eggs had been completed. Eight eggs are missing but two of them are probably in private collections. These eight eggs are: 1. 1886 Hen and Saphire egg. 2. 1888 Cherub with Chariote ( probably in private collection in the US). 3. 1889 Necessaire egg (probably in a private collection in the UK). 4. 1896 Alexander 111 egg. 5. 1897 Outer shell of Mauve enamel egg. 6. 1902 Alexander 111 Nephrite egg. 7. 1903 Danish Jubilee egg. 8. 1909 Alexander 111 Commemorative egg. The Swan egg and Rosebud egg exist in museums. The Love Trophie egg has never been heard of by the family ". ( Thanks Peter L (and to the Faberge family) for passing on the information)
BRITAINS ART TREASURES DURING WW2
Between August 23 and September 2. 1939 Britain's art treasures and other historical artifacts
were removed from the National Gallery and from Hampton Court and transported to Wales for
safe keeping. They were eventually housed, 1,750 feet above sea level, in the tunnels of the
slate quarry at Manod, near Ffestiniog in North Wales. Atmosphere was maintained at a steady
65 degrees F. with 40 degrees of humidity. All were returned safely to London in 1945, but the
best kept secret of all, was the destination of the Crown Jewels. To this day, the hiding place
has never been revealed. (Source: George Duncan Webpage)
For his 50th birthday several leading industrialists presented Hitler with a case containing
the original scores of some of Richard Wagners music. They had paid nearly a million marks for the collection. Towards the end of the war, Frau Winifred Wagner asked Hitler to transfer these
manuscripts to Bayreuth. Hitler refused, saying he had placed them in a far safer place. The manuscripts involved included the scores of 'Die Feen', 'Die Liebesverbot', 'Reinzi', 'Das Reingold', 'Die Valkure',and the orchestral sketch of 'Der Fliegende Hollander'. These lost documents have never been found. (Source: George Duncan Webpage)
I had a message from a gentleman in the States saying that during WW2 his father shot down a German aircraft. When they went to check for survivors they found many suitcases and boxes of music. One of the suitcases was opened up and he found a solid silver saxophone. He mailed it home to the US as a keepsake. In later years it was sold in a garage sale for $50.00. The instrument had a Nazi insignia on it and German writing which, when later translated said it belonged to a member of Hitler's private orchestra. The plane when it crashed was on fire and it is believed the sheet music was lost. The saxaphone is still in the States and its existence is known to the German archives, I believe. Wagners music, or the Orchestra's.....