Friday, October 29, 2010
I apologize for the link but I couldn't get the video to imbed in the blog. There is also a commercial at the front of the video that you will have to ignore. Thanks again to Homer for making my job easier while I'm out treasure hunting myself!
Monday, October 25, 2010
95-Year-Old Ammunition Pulled From Sea
Earlier today [Oct 17] a group of visitors pulled a chest from the ocean, which after a delayed time that saw the Police Bomb Squad clear the area, was determined to be ammunition from a ship that wrecked off Bermuda in 1915.
The guests had flown into Bermuda to celebrate a wedding, with the majority coming in from New York and staying at the Coral Beach Club. The finders [pictured below] were Walker Brock, John Macaskill, Brendan Johnston, Andrew Gooss, Thatcher Martin, Will Rabbe and Chris Sturgess. The group informed us that one of them was already well known around the hotel prior to the chest discovery, due to a drunken incident which resulted in him being found in the morning fast asleep on the hotel grass.
Yesterday they spotted the box lying in the ocean floor; approximately 11 feet deep and 50-100 feet from shore. Upon discussion they decided to attempt to pull it up, and waited till high tide today to make the job easier.
A number of them combined starting at approximately 11am today, and with the use of a volleyball net they managed to drag the box off the sand and place it on a boogey board. They said the board was somewhat sinking under the weight, but they managed to safely get the box ashore. The entire procedure took around an hour, resulting in the box coming ashore at around 12pm today.
The group was rather thrilled to have found it, never imagining that their Bermuda vacation would result in them pulling ashore an old cliche – ’sunken treasure’. Bernews arrived on the scene shortly after, and came across everyone attempting to decipher exactly what the box was.
After much discussion of what this box could possibly be, the group then began the rather back-breaking task of carrying the box off the beach to their room. This was no small feat as the box was estimated to weigh in excess of 100lbs, however Coral Beach’s manager quickly sprung to action and provided a golf cart for the second part of the journey.
Upon sending a quick camera-phone photo to our writer Larry Burchall, who has a military background, he said he was sure it was ammunition, hence a call was made to the Bermuda Police, who arrived and promptly confirmed it was ammunition and cleared everyone from the hotel room as a safety precaution.
After a time lapse, the Bermuda Police Explosives Ordnance Disposal arrived, and examined it, declaring the contents were safe.
Dr Phillipe Rouja [pictured below on the right], Bermuda’s Custodian of Historical Shipwrecks, examined it, and instantly declared that it was from the Pollockshields shipwreck, which he said was located approximately 1,000 metres from where the box was found today. Dr Rouja commented that the box that held the eight artillery shells was in remarkably good condition. Dr Rouja said the box was probably so well preserved as it was under layers of sand, rather than in the open ocean. The EOD team described it as artillery ammunition for a four-inch gun.
In the early stages of World War One, the Royal Navy had captured a German freighter, renamed her the “Pollokshields” and then used the ship for transporting ammunition. In 1915, while carrying about 350 tons of ammunition and over 30 passengers, the “Pollockshields” ran up on the reefs just off what is now Coral Beach Club. Ever since then, bits and pieces from that wreck have continued to surface. The experts said that Hurricane Igor probably lent a hand in uncovering this latest find. The chest was taken away to the Maritime Museum so it can preserved.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The Superstition Mountains of Arizona are known for their gold and silver, along with legends like the Lost Dutchman Mine and the Peralta Stones but did you know they also had millions of dollars of art work in them?
See, you can learn something new!
There was a famous painter by the name of Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia that, besides being famous for his artwork, was also well known for his protest against the IRS and its inheritance tax. In 1976 Mr. DeGrazia took more than 100 of his paintings out into the Superstition Mountains near Angel Springs and with witnesses, set them on fire and let them burn to ashes because he didn’t want his kids to have to pay inheritance tax on them. It seems the good folks at the IRS were saying his paintings were worth millions and therefore his children would have to pay tax on them when Ted died. Good Ole Uncle Sam, trying to screw you even in death!
As a side note, I personally agree with Mr. DeGrazia’s stand against the IRS. You never would have guessed that one, huh? I’m not sure I would have burned a few million dollars in paintings but that brings us to the real reason for this article. What he did next is more in line with my way of thinking.
Even though he burned over 100 paintings in the Superstition Mountains he also hid a few as well. During a separate trip into the Superstition Mountains Mr. DeGrazia and his friend Bob Ward buried eighteen paintings. Each painting was rolled and placed in a watertight tube with both ends sealed and then they bundled the tubes into groups of three. After that they buried the groups of tubes in six separate spots, all within the same small area.
A pact was made between Ted DeGrazia and Bob Ward which required Bob Ward to draw a map to the paintings but not retrieve the paintings himself. If we are to believe Mr. Ward, he held true to his word and never went back for the paintings. Ted DeGrazia instructed his friend to draw the map, keeping it until DeGrazia’s death and then sell the map to DeGrazia’s wife so she could in turn sell copies of the map to anyone wanting to search for the paintings. Mr. DeGrazia felt that if his wife was the one selling the map then more people would believe that he really did bury the paintings. Ted DeGrazia died in 1982 and his wife never got a copy of the map. Mr. Ward states that she was in ill health at the time and died before he could get the map to her.
Bob Ward held onto the coded map until 1990 when he decided to release it to the public. I have reprinted the map with this article for any of our intrepid hunters that might find themselves wondering in the Superstition Mountains sometime. Just remember to wonder safely and not aimlessly.
Also, in case you are wondering why you would bother looking for these, the hidden paintings are said to have a collectors value of one million dollars each!
Through the years there have also been rumors saying that while burning the paintings near Angel Springs, Mr. DeGrazia also hid a few more in the same area. There haven’t been any maps found that lead to the alleged second stash of paintings and as far as I can tell no known missing pieces of artwork have ever turned up.
What’s the best thing about finding eighteen million dollars worth of paintings in the mountains? Well, besides the 18 million dollars? They would be nice and light to carry out!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
From the internet:
Search in Greece for legendary treasure
A Greek-Australian treasure hunter has begun a search in the mountains of central Greece for the treasure of a notorious 19th century Ottoman pasha believed to be enough to plug the country's vast debts, state TV says.
Vangelis Dimas is financing the excavation to locate the hoard of Ali Pasha near the village of Vassiliki, 352km northwest of Athens.
"The sensors show me that there is great treasure hidden below," Dimas told state television NET on Friday as a crew manned a heavy drill on a small hill a few metres from the local road.
According to Dimas, the treasure could be worth millions of euros, NET said.
Vassiliki mayor Vaios Ziakas told AFP the state-approved operation is proceeding slowly and would likely extend into next week.
"So far we have drilled to a depth of 23 metres but the rock is very tough," he said.
"If at 30 metres we have a breakthrough, it will mean that there is an underground chamber below."
A drill has been brought from Athens for the purpose and cameras will be inserted to help locate the chamber believed to hold the treasure.
Ali Pasha was an Albanian-born potentate who ruled the area for the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century, shortly before the Greek revolution that ended the country's four-century Turkish occupation.
He was killed in 1822 in an unsuccessful revolt against the Ottoman Sultan but his treasure was never found.
Prior attempts to locate it near his stronghold in the northwestern city of Ioannina have been fruitless.
The village of Vassiliki is named after the pasha's Greek-born wife who hailed from the area, and lies on his old tax caravan route to Ioannina.
The Greek state is entitled to 50 per cent of the finds and the municipality will also be given a percentage, officials say.
Greece is battling a debt crisis and growing recession after coming close to bankruptcy earlier this year. The Greek debt stands at more than 300 billion euros ($426 billion).
Thursday, October 14, 2010
We all know about Jesse James’s 2 million in gold hidden somewhere in the red dirt of Oklahoma, but have you heard of a recent two million lost? Well this treasure story begins in Indiana and ends in Alabama. A investment advisor named Shrenker had charges filed against him by the Indiana Department of Insurance on behalf of seven investors on January 2008 . They claimed he had commented fraud. In addition to this little problem, Schrenker's trophy wife of 13 years, filed for divorce on December 30, 2008. Well by January of 2009 our modern day outlaw was in some hot water with the Indiana courts system. So like any good outlaw he decided to plan his escape from it all. On January 11, 2009, Schrenker departed in his turboprop single-engine Piper Meridian (tail number N428DC) from an airfield in Anderson, Indiana, scheduled to fly to Destin, Florida. Near Birmingham, Alabama, our outlaw made a distress call, telling air traffic controllers that his windshield had imploded and he was "bleeding profusely.” He then set the plane to autopilot and parachuted out. The plane flew on, crossing Alabama before ultimately crashing in Santa Rosa County, Florida. Military jets that had been dispatched to intercept Schrenker's plane discovered it in flight, with its door open and cockpit empty. They followed the plane until it crashed just north of Milton, Florida at about 9:20pm. The plane had flown 200 miles on autopilot and crashed 50 to 75 yards from a residential area.
Our outlaw had bailed out with a parachute on his back and tethered to a bag containing 1440 ounces of gold tethered to his leg. Well you know that gold can be some pretty heavy stuff and our outlaw here was for sure no boy scout. As he neared the ground he saw that he was headed for the Coosa River. Well panic must have set in at this point, after he hit the water he had to cut the bag loose. Nearly drowning with a bag of gold and a parachute strapped to you would make any man a little worn. After parachuting to the ground, Schrenker made his way to a private residence in Childersburg, Alabama, arriving around 2:30am extremely wet. He told the people there he had had a canoe accident. He then asked them for a ride into town. When he was arrested he had no bag of gold and only pocket money on him.
Now I think I have given you just about everything you need to know for this one. Dates, Times, distance of travel, names and heck even a aircraft tail number. I don’t know who else would give ya that much info on a treasure lead worth 2 million?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I would like to tell you that in the future I will manage my time better but I would probably be lying. As long as I have active treasure sites I will always be behind on everything else, I just can’t help myself!
With that said, here is a story of a family treasure hidden away in the 1800’s that dear old Uncle Sam got part of and is keeping anyone else from finding the rest.
During the middle of the 1800’s there was a wealthy family with the last name of Whitley who owned a large plantation in the area that is now Fort Benning in Georgia. Just as the Civil War broke out the elder Whitley took the family fortune, which consisted of $150,000 in gold and silver coins, placed it into two chests and buried it somewhere on the plantation. He apparently didn’t discuss this with the rest of the family and didn’t tell anyone else where it was hidden. This angered a couple his nephews, so much so that Mr. Whitley was found shot to death on his plantation.
The family made several futile searches for the money but never found it. Jump forward to the 1920’s and three soldiers who decided to search for the treasure. These three soldiers found one of the two chests. It was buried near a ravine near the present day Outpost #1.
There luck didn’t stay with them because two of them contracted pneumonia just after making the recovery and died. Shortly after their deaths the third man also came down with pneumonia and passed away.
Rumors were that the ghost of old man Whitley was protecting his treasure and a curse would follow anyone who took his money. The military conducted an investigation into ther deaths and the recovery of the treasure. After concluding the investigation Uncle Sam confiscated the treasure and stopped allowing people to search for treasure on the fort property.
Granted, this isn’t a treasure you can go searching for but I thought it was an interesting story.
Maybe a long lost relative can lay claim the treasure and make Uncle Sam cough up the gold and silver coins. It would be worth a pretty hefty amount these days!