They’re a staple of cheesy movies and novels, but it’s pretty unusual to hear about real buried treasures. These 13 cases have yet to be found, so grab a shovel and start digging!
1. Pirate Gold In New Orleans
The LaFitte brothers were a pair of French pirates who smuggled and stole in the Gulf of Mexico during the early 1800s. They were rumored to have stored their bounty somewhere in Louisiana. Despite treasure hunters digging up pretty much the entire state, no one has found their gold yet.
The two most likely places, according to amateur gold hunters, are Lake Borgne, on the coast of New Orleans, and the Old Spanish Trail which follows the Sabine River. Wherever the gold is hidden, this is a great excuse to visit New Orleans!
2. Mosby’s Treasure
During the Civil War, Confederate Commander John Singleton Mosby and his team of raiders earned themselves a ferocious reputation. Mosby’s most famous raid involved the capture of a Union General near Culpepper, Virginia, along with his cache of gold, silver and antiques.
Mosby reportedly ran into trouble somewhere along the modern U.S. route 211, and buried the gold between two large pines marked by his knife. The men he sent to return the treasure were caught and hanged, so it should still be there to this day.
3. A Suitcase Full Of Money
The bank robber John Dillinger is one of America’s most famous gangsters, and before his death in 1934 his gang stole as much as $300,000. Dillinger and his associate “Baby Face” Nelson were famously cornered by FBI agents at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Mercer, Wisconsin, but escaped out the back door.
Fortune hunters say that somewhere behind the lodge Dillinger stashed a suitcase loaded with $200,000 in bills. Of course, he never found time to retrieve the loot, so the woods behind the lodge have become a dig site for treasure seekers.
4. The Wreck Of The San Miguel
In the 1550s, a convoy of Spanish treasure ships loaded with gold, pearls and jewels set sail for Spain from Cuba. The convoy’s departure was delayed until hurricane season, hoping to ward off attacks by pirate ships. Instead, the ships were hit by a massive storm and sank.
Today, treasure hunters search for the convoy off the east coast of Florida and in the waters surrounding the Dominican Republic. In modern currency, the treasure could be worth over $2 billion.
5. The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine
This secret mine rumored to lie in the hills surrounding Arizona’s Superstition Mountain range is America’s favorite lost treasure. Each year, more than 8,000 people set off for the mountains outside of Phoenix to search for German immigrant Jacob Waltz’s mine (Germans were commonly known as Dutch in the 1800s).
Some say Waltz’s hidden mine is just a fable, but we know the prospector really existed, and that’s enough to send people searching year after year for the rumored gold vein in his lost dig site.
6. The Little Bighorn Treasure
Steamboat Captain Grant Marsh is known for two things: setting a speed record with his ship the Far West, and the gold he’s rumored to have stashed while doing it. Marsh was supposed to bring reinforcements to General Custer at Little Bighorn, but wound up ferrying the General’s wounded troops to safety after he lost his battle with Native American tribes.
To carry as many wounded troops as possible without sinking his ship, Marsh is rumored to have buried $25,000 in U.S. Army currency (including bills, silver and gold bars) somewhere along the Bighorn River. Since 1876, no one has uncovered Marsh’s stash.
There are many more treasures waiting to be found…