Posts Tagged With: silver bars

Spanish treasure of COCOS ISLAND…..


While Simon Bolivar marched through Peru in 1823, a group of Spaniards in Lima seized the state treasure to keep it out of the hands of Bolivar.

The treasure, now estimated to be valued at more than $20 million, consisted of 200 chests of jewels, 250 swords with jeweled hilts, 150 silver chalices, 300 bars of gold and 600 bars of silver, just to describe some of the trinkets taken.

To get their treasure out of South America, it was put on board the Mary Dier which was under the command of a Scotsman called William Thompson.

The governor of Lima and a bishop, along with some other Spaniards traveled with the treasure so that the wrong hands wouldn’t get hold of it. They were no match for Thompson and his crew and were killed outright. Thompson then ordered his crew to sail his vessel to the island of Cocos which is on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. There, the treasure was stashed in a cave. Soon after leaving the island, they were captured by a Spanish frigate and Thompson and a member of his crew was returned to Cocos on the promise that their lives would be spared if they disclosed the whereabouts of the treasure. Once on the island, Thompson and his crew member escaped. The Spanish left the island empty handed and Thompson was rescued when a whaler showed up to get a supply of fresh water. He claimed that the crewman died. Thompson never returned to the island but he later gave his friend John Keating a chart which specifically stated where the treasure could be found.

Keating went to the island and rediscovered the treasure but the crew of the vessel he was sailing on mutinied and Keating and a friend narrowly escaped to the island with their lives. Keating was rescued (without his friend who, not unlike Thompson’s friend, also died) and Keating, like Thompson, never returned to the island. He did however entrust his secret to a friend.

In 1872, Thomas Welsh and his wife, the owners of the South Pacific Treasure Island Prospecting Company and several of their followers dug a tunnel 85 meters into the mountain on Cocos Island but netted nothing for their efforts.

A German named August Gisler, using a treasure map which supposedly belonged to a pirate called Benito Bonito, searched the island from 1899 to 1909. He found no treasure but he did find clues, such as stone with the letter K (for Keating) carved in it and a cable attached to a hook.

Since then, there have been several expeditions to the island, and even Sir Malcolm Campbell, (the famous race driver) Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Count Felix von Luckner tried their hands at searching for the treasure.

In 1932, Colonel J.E. Leckie using the services of a metal detector did uncover some of the gold, however, to this day; the bulk of the treasure still remains on the island. Cocos Island is situated 643 kilometers west of Costa Rica and can be reached only by a chartered boat.

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Germany to bring home gold stored in US, France….700 tons, $36 Billion


gold

 

In what sounds like the setup for a stylish Hollywood heist movie, Germany is transferring nearly 700 tons of gold bars worth $36 billion from Paris and New York to its vaults in Frankfurt.
The move is part of an effort by Germany’s central bank to bring much of its gold home after keeping big reserves outside the country for safekeeping during the Cold War.
Shipping such a large amount of valuable cargo between countries could be a serious security headache. A gold robbery — the subject of such movies as “Die Hard 3” and “The Italian Job” — would be embarrassing and expensive for Germany.
The high-stakes, high-security plan is to move the precious metal — 374 tons kept in vaults in Paris and 300 tons stored at the New York Federal Reserve Bank — to the Bundesbank in Germany’s financial center over the next eight years.
For obvious reasons, the central bank won’t say whether the estimated 50,000 bars are being moved by air, sea or land or how it intends to keep the shipments safe.
“For security reasons we can’t discuss that, partly to protect the gold, partly to protect the staff that will be carrying out the transfer,” said Bundesbank spokesman Moritz August Raasch.
“But, of course, since we transport large sums of money around Germany every day, we’ve got a certain amount of experience with this.”
The Bundesbank, which also brought home about 850 tons of gold from London between 1998 and 2001, isn’t taking any chances. “Of course the transports are insured,” Raasch said.
The cargo unit of Lufthansa, Germany’s biggest airline, is standing by, ready to handle the job if the central bank calls, spokesman Michael Goentgens said.
“We have specific containers for such cargo, then teams accompanying the cargo until the plane’s loaded and ready to take off, then people waiting where the plane lands,” he said.
“Overall it must be said that the transport over land is the riskiest part. Flying is safer than driving, and an airport is already a heavily secured area.”
Zorica Obrovac, of the German company SG Security GmbH, which moves precious cargo in armored cars with armed protection, said: “If it were such a high-value cargo as tons of gold, I would obviously split it in several shipments. And the key is not to tell anyone, the fewest people possible in the company that orders the shipment.”

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Spain shipwreck treasure shown for the first time……


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Spanish cultural officials allowed a first peek Friday at some of the 16 tons (14.5 metric tons) of shipwreck treasure worth an estimated $500 million that a U.S. salvage company gave up this year after a five-year ownership dispute.
Only a tiny portion of the haul from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, a galleon that sank off Portugal’s Atlantic coast near the straits of Gibraltar in 1804, was shown to the media: 12 individual silver coins, a block of encrusted silver coins stuck together after centuries underwater, two gold tobacco boxes and a bronze pulley.
Authorities who have been inventorying the treasure since it was flown from Florida to Spain in February said it will be transferred later this year from Madrid to the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology in the Mediterranean city of Cartagena. Displays are expected to start next year, with some items put on rotating temporary displays at museums across the country.
Though previous estimates have put the value of the treasure at $500 million, Spanish officials said they weren’t trying to determine an amount because the haul is part of the nation’s cultural heritage and can never be sold under Spanish law.
“It’s invaluable,” said Elisa de Cabo, the Culture Ministry’s deputy director of national heritage. “How would you put a price on the Mona Lisa?”
Spain took possession of the treasure after courts rejected arguments that Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration was entitled to all or most of the treasure. De Cabo said Spanish authorities are still trying to convince a judge in Tampa that the American company should also be forced to pay Spain’s legal costs.
Officials said Friday that the weight of the treasure was not the 17 tons reported during the legal fight because that included a ton of sea water used to help preserve many of the silver coins in storage containers.
The inventory counted 574,553 silver coins and 212 gold coins.
Odyssey had argued that the wreck was never positively identified as the Mercedes. And if it was that vessel, the company contended, then the ship was on a commercial trade trip — not a sovereign mission — at the time it sank, meaning Spain would have no firm claim to the cargo. International treaties generally hold that warships sunk in battle are protected from treasure seekers.
Odyssey lost every round in federal courts as the Spanish government painted the company as modern-day pirates. The company has said in earnings statements that it has spent $2.6 million salvaging, transporting, storing and conserving the treasure.
The metals were mined and the coins minted in the Andes, from places that are now in Bolivia, Chile and Peru.
Spain overcame a last-minute effort by the Peruvian government to block the transfer of the treasure back to Spain. Peru did not gain its independence until 1824, but the country’s lawyers argued it was more than a simple colony at the time because it was the local seat of the Spanish crown when the ship sank.
Spain’s Queen Sofia promised in a visit to Bolivia several months ago that some of the treasure would be loaned to the country for display in museums.

Categories: Lost Treasure, Strange News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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