Clockwise, from left: Image courtesy of the U.S. National Park Service, photo of Fort Wingate courtesy of Wikipedia. Photo of Forrest Fenn courtesy of the official Fenn treasure Facebook page. Dutch Schultz photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Some, like that couple in California, stumble over it by blind luck. Others spend their lives dedicated to hunting it.
But as much as it may seem like something out of fictional stories, real-life treasures do exist. Here are 4 examples of lost treasure in the U.S. that have yet to be discovered.
1. The Lost 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet
Most likely location: The east coast of Florida
Image courtesy of the U.S. National Park Service.
A Spanish fleet headed out from Havana, Cuba to Spain in 1715, laden with hundreds of thousands (pdf) of silver pesos and other treasures from the New World.
Off the coast of Florida, however, it was caught in a violent hurricane, sinking 11 out of the 12 ships.
The treasure remained on the ocean floor for more than two centuries, until salvage hunters started discovering wrecks in the ‘60s. Only seven have been discovered so far, though- and the remaining four were carrying treasures worth millions today.
2. The Lost Adams Diggings
Most likely location: The Arizona/New Mexico border
Photo of Fort Wingate courtesy of Wikipedia.
In 1864, two survivors of an Apache massacre were found wandering the desert around Fort Wingate, New Mexico. They regaled the soldiers who rescued them with tales of a massive gold mine, and one of them, known as Adams, carried with him a large chunk of it.
The men had been panning for gold in a valley stream close to Apache territory, but despite warnings decided to climb further up to find the source. All except Adams and the other man, Brewer, were wiped out.
After being treated, Adams tried to return to the valley, in order to claim it. However, he was never able to find it, despite a life-long search. The legend has continued but the gold has yet to be found.
3. The Fenn Treasure
Most likely location: The mountains north of Santa Fe, New Mexico
Photo of Forrest Fenn courtesy of the official Fenn treasure Facebook page.
Of course, not all undiscovered treasure is lost: Forrest Fenn, an 81-year-old art dealer and collector from Santa Fe, claims to have hidden a treasure containing gold coins, nuggets, pre-Columbian gold figures, a Spanish 17th century gold-and-emerald ring, and more, in a treasure chest somewhere close to his hometown.
The treasure has not yet been located, however, Mr. Fenn published a poem in 2013 which he claims contains nine clues to finding it, and the Today network has since been publishing more clues, courtesy of Fenn.
4. The Dutch Schultz treasure
Most likely location: Somewhere in the Catskill Mountains, New York
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Supposedly, knowing that federal prosecutors were after him, the infamous gangster Dutch Schultz buried millions of dollars in gold and cash somewhere by the town of Phoenicia in the Catskill Mountains.
Soon after, however, in 1935, he was gunned down by fellow Mafia members. In his dying words and with a police stenographer present, he revealed the existence of a stash in a rambling soliloquy.
Despite 80 years worth of treasure hunters, however, the treasure has never been found.