Monday, January 2, 2017

In Search of Lost Treasure

I've always had a fascination with the strange and mysterious. Tales of lost treasures enthralled me as a boy (and beyond). Perhaps that is why I majored in archaeology in college, and it is no great surprise that a particular show caught my eye.

I've become addicted to The Curse of Oak Island on the History Channel, which is an admittedly overly dramatized docu-drama about a few guys throwing tremendous amounts of money into the search for whatever is hidden on Oak Island (Nova Scotia). I won't attempt to detail the history of this treasure hunt (click the link above), but it began in 1795 and has captivated people ever since. All sorts of odd things have been found on the island, and theories of what is buried there (which assumes that anything is buried there of course) range from the lost Templar treasures including the Holy Grail, Spanish conquistador treasure, pirate booty, and the lost manuscripts of Shakespeare (along with the theory that they were written by Francis Bacon).

Wanting a little more history and background than the show provides, I picked up The Secret Treasure of Oak Island and another related book or two. This is the first one I have gotten through, and it is exactly what I was looking for. It's an easy read, and it is fun to think about all the weirdness related to this island and what it might mean. And maybe it means nothing at all. But it is entertaining. I would heartily recommend both the show and the book.
The Oak Island Mystery

If you are going to read stories about treasure hunting, then one thing will surely lead to another. I know that there are a multitude of tales and legends about lost Spanish mines and native american treasures in the southwestern United States, so I browsed the ratings of some books on the subject and picked up Four Days From Fort Wingate by Richard French.
Lost Treasures of the Southwest

I'm happy to say that this was another very fun read. It is the story of what have become known as the Lost Adams Diggings, located somewhere in eastern Arizona or western New Mexico. This is another treasure hunt that has fascinated a great many people over a very long time (click the link for a good summary). The 259 pages flew by very quickly, and were a nice recounting of the legend, the various interpretations of the clues, and the searches of various individuals over the years. It is rounded out by a summary of the author's own investigations, explorations and conclusions. Like the Oak Island mystery, it may be real, partly real, or completely legend, but it is an entertaining read.

With these two books under my belt and another one or two on the nightstand, there was always Christmas coming soon and people looking for gift ideas, but that is a story for another post.

No comments:

Post a Comment