Oct 28, 2010
Just remember treasure hunters, their is plenty more where that came from .. you can't get it all!!
Oct 26, 2010
And by the way, be careful where you put your gold coins .. Click here to see what I mean.
Oct 25, 2010
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Oct 18, 2010
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Oct 11, 2010
Our story begins June 11. Plumbers were digging a trench to run utilities for a pool house and swimming pool on property Hodge had purchased adjacent to his home on Oldham Circle in Amarillo. Randy McMinn had a backhoe about a foot deep when on one particular scoop, mixed in with the dirt, was found a bunch of dingy little objects.
Whoa, time out. Work came to a halt, and closer inspection revealed them to be coins - old coins from 1887. Careful digging found a lot more in some kind of fine plastic, what Margaret, Hodge's wife, described as sort of an old version of Saran Wrap. Lest anyone think plastic is a recent invention, plastic was used as early as World War I.
The coins had Lady Liberty on one side and the American eagle on the other. A little bit of homework found them to be Morgan silver dollars, which were minted from 1878 to 1904. A count of the coins totaled 100 ... 150 ... 200 ... 250 ... 300 of them.
Avast, matey, buried treasure!
"I'm thinking, 'Oh my stars, this is unbelievable,' " Margaret said. "Then all these questions start running through my head. Were they stolen? Who did they belong to? Were they really ours just because we owned the lot?
"After you get over the initial excitement of buried treasure, then I'm thinking, 'I don't want to keep them if they're not ours. Is this illegal? I don't want to break the law. We're not going to end up in jail, are we?'
Let's see, the answers would be don't know, don't know, yes, no and no.
So, how much of a buried treasure do we have here? The coins had no mint identification. The Hodges did some research and asking around, and no identification meant the coins were made in Philadelphia. It also meant the coins, in their uncirculated mint condition, were worth about $20 to $30 apiece.
Franky Hill of Amarillo Coin Exchange confirmed as much. And too bad the coins didn't have an 'S' on them.
"If they had been made in San Francisco, they would be worth about $200 each starting out," Hill said. "And if they are in real good condition, they are worth hundreds of dollars, depending on the number of contact marks."
Well, it's known now how much they are worth, and how they were found. What's not known, and what's most intriguing of all, is how these 300 1887 mint condition Morgan silver dollars got there.
"When was Billy the Kid shot?" Jerry Hodge said. "And Frank and Jesse James were in this part of the country, too."
Alas, Billy the Kid went to his maker in 1881, and Jesse James was shot in the back in 1882, too early for the 1887 coins.
What about Bonnie and Clyde? What about some unsolved bank robbery when the bad guy was killed before he could get away and find his stashed loot?
Hodge, chairman of the board of Maxor National Pharmacies, recalls a conversation 40 years ago with the late Dr. George Royse. Royse told of his tending to Clyde Barrow back in the 1930s after a car wreck. Royse also told Hodge of two men he knew in Oklahoma who'd robbed a bank and came to Amarillo in a getaway. Hmmm.
Hodge has tried to piece together the history of the property, which the city first owned in 1927. Before that, it was the Wolflin family farm. The property, which is actually on Parker Street, has gone through several owners, including two former attorneys in the 1940s and early 1950.
The most likely theory is that someone, probably during the Depression, was afraid of banks and buried some valuable coins and may have died without telling anyone of them. Sounds good to me, though not quite as thrilling as Clyde Barrow's ill-gotten gains.
Interesting times in those days. Former Amarillo National Bank President Tol Ware told Hodge he used to play baseball in that area back in the 1930s and it was not uncommon for a fun-loving fellow to hide his alcohol near there during those Prohibition days.
"I've told Tol we have not yet found his Scotch," Hodge said.
Oct 8, 2010
Oct 2, 2010
One thing is certain, if he did exist ( I believe he did) their is a large amount of pirate booty still buried and unaccounted for somewhere along the south and west coast of Florida stretching from the Tampa area all the way south to the Cape Sable, Ten Thousand Islands region.
Here is what I've learned, Gaspar's residence was on or near Boca Grande and in pirate days was know as 'Hightown' and his crew appears to have been located at a place know as 'Lowtown' on the south end of Cara Pelau Island. Gaspar's fortifications were located on La Costa. He supported still another settlement on Captiva Island and as the name implies had one prison like structure where he kept high ranking captives awaiting their ransom.
Communication was maintained between settlements by means of a signal tower or towers. A twenty four hour watch was kept at these sites and when ever a strange ship approached and failed to give proper signal, a sentry would give a loud blast on a conch shell horn. The sound from this would have been heard for quite a distance bringing reinforcements from neighboring pirate settlements.
A number of shipwrecks in the area are believed to be a direct result of this system.
Jose' was a man that loved opulence, as it appears that he was of royal Spanish descent and his home on Boca Grande was very extravagant for the time. This included all the finest accoutrement's such as a library, valuable art work, splendid furniture and all the trappings that one would expect to find in the home of a Spanish aristocrat. At one time it appears that he decided to have himself crowned King of Florida .. the neighbors weren't big on this idea.
One key point about Gaspar was the fact that he liked to bury his pirate chests on high ground.
It is supposed that he buried at least twenty of these pirate chests around Tampa Bay alone!
I am also told that Jose' Gaspar left a diary .. However this diary was left within the archives of a church in Havana, Cuba ... Well , the rest is up to you!!
Here are a few more links - http://www.bonaventure.org.uk/ed/gaspar.htm
and - http://josegaspar.net/AboutJose.htm