5 Buried Treasures That Are Still Missing

Most people associate buried treasure with pirates. The truth is that pirates did not bury their treasure. The only known example of a pirate actually burying a treasure is William Kidd. Kidd was originally commissioned by England to raid Spanish ships in the Atlantic, but he became a little too ambitious and raided anyone who crossed his path. He buried part of his riches on Long Island before sailing into New York, in hopes he might be able to use it to buy his way out of prison. Unfortunately for him, the magistrate would not accept it, and he was executed before he could reclaim the money.

Pirates preferred to spend their money, not bury it.

Pirates did not really bury treasure. Courtesy of Wikki Commons

Although not real, the association of buried treasure and pirates seems to have been solidified when Robert Louis Stevenson published Treasure Island in 1883. The story about pirate buccaneers and buried gold established many of the conceptions we associate with pirates today.

Even though there isn’t likely any pirate gold buried in the world, that doesn’t mean there isn’t buried treasure. Here are five real-life hidden treasures that you can still find:

  1. Treasure Near The Little Bighorn – Most of us know what happened to General Custer and his men at the Battle of Little Bighorn. However, you might not be so familiar with the events that took place after the battle. Captain Grant March was in charge of a military supply boat on the Bighorn River. He was carrying about $375,000 in gold for some local prospectors when he received word of the skirmish. Knowing that his boat would be needed to carry the wounded, he buried the treasure near the mouth of the Little Bighorn. When he tried to return for it two months later, it had been further buried by a mud slide. The gold is supposedly still buried by the battle site today, but may be hard to excavate since it is now on land considered a national monument.
  2. Mosby’s Treasure – General John Singleton Mosby was a Confederate guerrilla fighter during the civil war. After a successful raid, Mosby found himself in possession of Union General Edwin Stoughton, 42 other prisoners, and $350,000 in gold. Rather than risk losing the gold while crossing back to Confederate lines, he buried it between two large pine trees somewhere along present day US 211. When Mosby sent soldiers back for the gold, they were caught and hung, leaving the buried treasure behind. Supposedly it is still there, waiting for someone to find it.
  3. Butch Cassidy’s Treasure – Butch Cassidy robbed countless banks and trains while leading “The Wild Bunch.” When the law finally caught up with him, he supposedly buried $20,000 somewhere in Colorado’s Irish Canyon. Neither Cassidy nor his gang were ever able to return for the money, so it may still be buried there today.

    Cassiday left some treasure buried to find later.

    Butch Cassiday pulled of a series of bank and train robberies around the turn of the century.

  4. Thomas Beale’s Treasure – Legend has it that Thomas Beale was a miner who struck it rich somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Beale brought his gold back to Virginia and hid it somewhere in Bedford County. To ensure that the gold was available to his kinfolk if he were to perish while looking for more, he created three codes. The first code was supposed to be where he hid the treasure, the second was a description of the treasure, and the third was the identity of his kin. He left the codes with an innkeeper and never returned. Since then, the second code about the contents of the treasure has been broken, but nobody has broken the other two. This treasure is still lost in Beford county somewhere.
  5. The Globe of Magellan – Our last example is the most recent treasure buried on earth, having been buried sometime during the last week in April 2014. Only two people know the exact location of the treasure, but we do have some clues. According to Allan Staker, one of the two who buried it, “Somewhere on the planet, there’s a rosebush. And buried beneath the rosebush is a sturdy wooden crate containing a moisture-proof barrier bag, which houses a weathered leather satchel. Inside the satchel, wrapped in burlap, lies a shiny aluminum globe with pure gold-plated continents and a blood-red ruby where X marks the spot.” The globe is also said to have a secret compartment which holds the key to a safe deposit box with a $10,000 scholarship fund for the one who claims it. Of all of the buried treasures on the list, this is easily the most attainable. But to find it, you will need to sign your child up for the Brain Chase Summer Learning Challenge, a six week academic summer program where children can unlock clues to the location of the treasure by completing online math, reading, and writing tasks.

    Brain Chase is a kid's treasure hunt game focused on education

    The Globe of Magellan was sealed in this crate before going into the ground.

To find a buried treasure, you’ll most likely need to understand the geography, science, and history behind its disappearance. And in the case of the Globe of Magellan, you’ll also need to complete a six-week reading, writing, and math challenge. But as the best fortune hunters know, finding knowledge is the greatest treasure in the world.