It’s a dream to have immense wealth or to stumble upon something that will change our lives for the better. There have been many cases where people stumbled upon hidden treasures. In the early days, pirates hid their treasures and numerous ships carrying treasures have sunken to the bottom of the sea. Then, there are people who are simply hiding their money for others to find. Why? Just because they can and it’s fun.
1. Forrest Fenn Hidden Treasure
Forrest Fenn’s life changed when he was just nine years old. While playing outside his home in Texas, Fenn stumbled upon an arrowhead; a very significant archaeological finding. There began his love for history and ancient artifacts. Fenn became a pilot in the Air Force during the 1960’s and often flew his plane to Pompeii to look for artifacts, of which he found plenty.
In the early 1980’s, Fenn was diagnosed with kidney cancer and doctors informed him that he shouldn’t expect to live for more than a few years. Once he knew that death was imminent and immediate, he decided to bury all his beloved artifacts and leave clues behind for others to find. His book The Thrill of the Chase, contains clues about the treasures’ hidden location (somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe).
2. Crater of Diamonds State Park
Stretching over 900 acres in rural southwestern Arkansas, the Crater of Diamonds State Park is a sure place to start finding hidden gems. Locals started discovering diamonds in the State Park in the early 1990’s and since then, it has become a famous tourist attraction. In 1950, a tourist unearthed a 15-carat stone that became known as the Star of Arkansas.
Diamonds are found almost every day by tourists, and stones of significant size (more than three carats) are unearthed almost every year. Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only known diamond-bearing area in the world that’s open to the public. Yes, visitors are allowed to keep whatever they find as long as they pay the “search fee,” which is currently $8 for adults and $5 for children, before heading to the diamond field.
3. Ozark Hills Lost Copper Mine
In Missouri’s Ozark Hills, near the town of Jacks Fork, there once was a lucrative copper mine. During mid 18th century, it’s owner, Joseph Slater, regularly moved large amounts of high grade copper down to New Orleans. Slater was smart and he did not want anyone else stealing his fortune. So, Slater filed a claim for the mine several miles away from its original location. Only Slater and his daughter knew of the real location which was hidden from society.
The family eventually moved out of Missouri and Slater had planned to return to the mine later on. Sadly, he died before he could return but Slater and his daughter had already covered the entrance to the mine before they left. The father and daughter did a great job covering up the entrance that no one has ever been fortunate enough to find it. Treasure hunters and curiosity seekers have been roaming the area for a century but to no avail.
4. Beale Treasure
In 1819, Thomas Beale was part of a group that discovered large amounts of treasures in the American West. The group moved their findings to Virginia and buried it. Before leaving Virginia, Beale decided to write three ciphers that would reveal the location of the hidden treasures. Neither Beale nor anyone else from the group ever returned to Virginia. After his death, the story was made public during mid 1880’s. Once the public learned of the hidden treasures, they attempted to decipher the Beale codes.
Sadly, to this day, no one has been capable of deciphering these codes except for one. The only one code that was deciphered, spoke of the contents of the treasure; but did not say anything about its location. While many believe the ciphers to be nothing but numbers, cryptographers are still trying to crack the codes.
5. The Oak Island Money Pit
Located off the shores of Nova Scotia, Canada, an oval-shaped recession in the ground on an island was first discovered in 1795, by a teenager named Daniel McGinnis. Although he couldn’t see anything in the recession, McGinnis started digging. After digging for about 10 feet, he hit a wooden plank. McGinnis and his friends did not discover any treasure but believed that the wooden planks were installed by someone to hide treasures in the uninhabited island.
Since the beginning of the 19th century, many have performed expeditions on the island. One of the biggest discoveries were a set of stone inscriptions found 90 feet below. Symbols on the stones were translated as “forty feet below lie two million pounds”. Others also found pieces of gold but nothing substantial to make them wealthy. Whether the pit is natural or man-made, no one knows for sure but treasure hunters are still storming the island today.
6. Mosby’s Treasure
Colonel John Singleton Mosby was a Confederate Commander during the Civil War. He and his fighters were known as Mosby’s Raiders, and were known for their lightning fast raids on Union camps as well their ability to elude the Union Army. One day, while transporting captives as well as his valuable treasures from heists, Mosby’s Raiders ran into a large contingency of Union soldiers. Mosby quickly instructed his men to bury his treasures between two large pine trees.
He then marked the trees with a knife and the Raiders headed back to their route. After safely crossing the Confederate line, Mosby sent seven of his trusted men to recover the treasures. Sadly, the men never returned since they were all captured and hanged. Mosby never went back to recover his valuable possessions and is still buried somewhere in Virginia.
7. Auburn, California Goldrush
Auburn was a major destination for Gold Rush-era prospectors. After gold was discovered there in 1848, thousands of miners stormed the area. Recently, a California couple who wishes to remain anonymous, discovered $10 million worth of gold coins in their very own backyard. The 1,400 gold pieces, dating to the mid- to late 1800s and still in nearly mint condition, were discovered buried in eight decaying metal cans on the couple’s land. The couple wishes to remain anonymous for fear treasure hunters will descend on their property in Northern California’s so-called Gold Country, named after the state’s 1849 Gold Rush.
8. Butch Cassidy’s Treasure
Butch Cassidy, also known as Robert Leroy Parker, was an outlaw. He partnered with the Sundance Kid to rob banks and trains in the early 1900’s. Cassidy was arguably one of the most notable outlaws of the Wild West who even formed an outlaw group, called the Wild Bunch. The group travelled the West and robbed wealthy men and women, who crossed paths with them. Once the law was hot on his tail, Cassidy and the Wild Bunch buried around $20,000, somewhere in the Irish Canyon, northwestern part of Colorado in Moffat County.
9. The Spanish galleon, Nuestra Señora de Atocha
In 1622, the galleon carrying an enormous cargo of gold, silver, and gems that has been valued to fetch around $700 million today was heading back to Spain when it was caught in a hurricane. In 1985, treasure hunter Mel Fisher found approximately $500 million of the buried treasure from the sunken galleon, less than 160 kilometers (100 mi) off the coast of Key West. More than $200 million (17 tons of silver bars, 128,000 coins of different values, 27 kilos of emeralds, and 35 boxes of gold) worth of treasure is still waiting to be discovered.
10. Treasure Of Jean LaFitte
Jean LaFitte and his brother Pierre were French pirates who made their living attacking merchant ships in the Gulf of Mexico. The brothers then sold the stolen goods through various ports, turning it into a successful business. They were so good at pirating that they amassed enormous wealth. It is believed that they buried most of their wealth around Louisiana, Lake Borgne, right off the coast of New Orleans and east of the Old Spanish Trail near the Sabine River in a gum tree grove.