Lost treasure has been the focus of countless books, myths, and movies for as long as we’ve been telling stories. History is full of tales about stashes of treasure left behind by pirates, scoundrels, and thieves, and lucky for us, some that fortune is still up for grabs. Here’s your guide to the top 5 long-lost treasures still waiting to be discovered.
1. Little Bighorn River treasure
In the late 1800’s the West was the place to be if you were looking to strike it rich. Today you’re best off searching somewhere along the shores of the Bighorn River.
Captain Grant Marsh was on his way to deliver $375,000 to resupply General Custer’s army when he heard of Custer’s defeat. Knowing he would have to take the injured solders aboard the Far West, he and his men buried the gold for safe-keeping. Unfortunately when they returned to unearth the bars, there was nothing to be found.
According to the legend, Marsh attempted to retrieve the buried gold twice, and on his final trip a heavy rain caused a mud slide that hid the gold for good. Many still believe the gold is still buried along the Bighorn today.
2. Butch Cassidy treasure
America’s most infamous Wild West outlaw robbed everyone and anyone that crossed his path. Legend has it, Cassidy and his gang “the Wild Bunch” buried $20,000 somewhere along the Irish Canyon in Moffat County, before they could be captured by the law.
3. Thomas Beale ciphers
The Thomas Beale cipher is one of the most interesting real-life treasure quests. In 1816, Beale and his men discovered what would equal $63 million in gold, silver, and jewels hidden in the Rocky Mountains.
In order to insure their treasure would be passed down to their kin if they were to die before getting back to their homes, the men hid a majority of the treasure, but not before Beale created 3 ciphers. Once cracked, the first cipher would give away the location of the treasure, the second tells the contents, and the third names the next of kin.
Each cipher was given to Virginia innkeeper Robert Morriss. The instructions were as follows: If Beale didn’t return in 10 years, a key would be delivered to Morriss to open the box containing the ciphers. Neither the key, nor Beale ever returned.
Many people have tried to crack the Beale cipher in order to retrieve the $63 million, but none have succeeded. Give it your best shot.
4. John Dillinger’s treasure
In April 1934, one of America’s most infamous gangsters managed to escape from the Little Bohemia Lodge in Mercer, Wisconsin before he could be captured by the FBI.
According to the legend, Dillinger escaped through the back door with a suitcase full of $200,000 in unmarked bills. He ran north a few yards and buried the suitcase where it remains to this day.
5. Captain Kidd’s treasure
William Kidd was a 17th century pirate who began attacking and looting ships in 1698, and with each plunder his fortune became larger and larger, as did his reputation.
In order to protect his massive loot the Kidd began stashing it all along the New York State coastline, specifically “Gardiners Island”.
In the 1920’s four treasure maps were found inside furniture rumored to have belonged to the Kidd himself. This find has fueled treasure hunters to continue the search for his hidden wealth.