We all know stories of searches for lost treasure. But did you know that those stories aren’t entirely fictional? Not only have many real life treasure troves been discovered, there are actually numerous lost fortunes still waiting to be found! Here are five of the biggest:
1. The Lost Treasure of the Alamo
You know the story of the Alamo. Its one of the most memorable battles in American history. Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett were two of 188 men who fought of the powerful Mexican army of Santa Ana and died doing so. One thing that I bet you don’t know is the legend of the gigantic San Saba Treasure, supposedly buried somewhere on the grounds of the Alamo. The treasure is said to contain millions of dollars of gold, silver and religious artifacts that were initially supposed to be used to build an army and pay for the upcoming war. Not a single trace of the massive fortune has ever been found.
2. The Flor Do Mar
The Flor do Mar (Flower of the Sea) was a Portuguese carrack (the largest sailing ship built in its day) that was returning home from the conquest of Malacca. She was already known to be dangerously unseaworthy, but since she was so massive, she was the pride of the Portuguese fleet. King Alfonso had tasked her with bringing home the vast fortune taken from the King of Siam as tribute. She was caught in a storm in the straight of Malacca and wrecked on shoals, sinking to rest on the seabed deep under water. No one knows exactly where the Flor do Mar lies, and there is some controversy over which country controls the area and salvage rights where she is said to have been lost. Whoever finds this treasure, though, will be the proud owner of over sixty tons of gold and diamonds the size of a man’s fist.
3. Treasure of the Knights Templar
The Knights Templar was a religious order of warrior monks formed in 1114 A.D. to lead the Crusades and reconquer the Holy Land. Over the course of doing so, they gathered immense riches and became very powerful. Two centuries after their formation, the Pope accused them of heresy and ordered the arrest of all Knights Templar. Those that managed to escape gathered their riches and disappeared into history. Legend has it that they escaped to Scotland where sympathizers helped them hide their treasures under a chapel. When the new world was discovered, the descendants fled to Nova Scotia in Canada. Marks on old maps as well as graves in eastern Canada and New England show symbols from the Knights Templar, lending credence to this legend. But what happened to the treasure? A mysterious pit in Canada, on Oak Island, was discovered in 1795. Right under the surface were several flag stones. Under those, every ten feet, were logs, as well as charcoal, coconut fiber and putty. According to one written account, a stone was discovered with strange symbols, and another told of a tunnel 100 feet down. However, the mysterious “Oak Island Pit” now floods up to the 30 foot level any time an excavation is attempted. No one knows what lies at the bottom.
4. Leon Trabuco’s Gold
In 1933, Mexican millionaire Leon Trabuco began buying up tremendous amounts of his nation’s gold reserve. He planned to sell this in the United States because he was convinced that the Great Depression would force the U.S. to devalue the dollar and gold prices there would soar. A pilot named Red Moiser allegedly made well over a dozen flights to a remote part of New Mexico, in the middle of the desert, carrying 1 ton of gold each flight. Pickup trucks then transported the gold to a secret burial site. Trabuco never told any of his associates where this site was and never made a map. According to records, the last flight was July 14th, 1933. Six months later, President Roosevelt took the US off the gold standard and made it illegal for private citizens to own gold. The value of gold shot through the roof, but Trabuco was now no longer able to sell his illegal gold. He died never having told a soul where he buried it. Could the story be true? No one knows for sure, but a rock was discovered in the middle of the desert with the inscription “1933 Sixteen Ton.” Despite searches, no one has found any trace of the treasure besides this inscribed stone.
5. The Lost Crown Jewels of King John
In 1216, King John of England was traveling through the countryside when he passed through an area called The Wash. This was an appropriate name, as the area was full of dangerous marshes and mud flats. Having recently fallen ill, he decided to return home and took the slower and safer route around The Wash. However, most of his escort and his supplies took the more direct around through The Wash. These supply carts included his crown jewels that he had inherited from his mother, the Empress of Germany. An incoming tide trapped the slow moving supply carts, and they were swallowed up by the marshes along with the horses and men guiding them. The present day value of this treasure would be close to $70,000,000 and to this day it has never been found.
You may not have millions of dollars of treasures buried in your backyard, but you do probably have little treasures hidden all over your house. An old broken necklace? A mismatched earring? A class ring you haven’t worn in years? They’re all worth money. Stop in to see us and find out how much!