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Tahiti Lost Treasure

The Lost Treasure Of The Tuamotu

During the War of the Pacific (1879-83) four Australian mercenaries stole 14 tons of gold from a church in Pisco, Peru.


They buried most of the treasure on Pinaki or Raraka atolls in the Tuamotus before proceeding to Australia where two were killed by aboriginals, and the other two were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for murder.

Just prior to his death the surviving mercenary told prospector Charles Howe the story.

In 1913 Howe began a 13-year search which finally located part of the treasure on an island near Raraka. He reburied the chests and returned to Australia to organize an expedition which would remove the gold in secret. Before it could set out, however, Howe disappeared.

But using Howe's treasure map, diver George Hamilton took over in 1934. Hamilton thought he found the cached gold in a pool but was unable to extract it. After being attacked by a giant octopus and moray eel Hamilton abandoned the search and the expedition dissolved.

In 1994 a descendant of Hamilton chartered the Sea Belle out of Fakarava for the atoll of Tepoto which had been identified from an old photograph as being the place he was looking for. However, soon after his arrival on unsheltered Tepoto, the weather turned very nasty and it is only after a narrow escape from the menacing reef that the boat was able to head back, never to return.

At about the same time, The Discovery Channel made preparations for an expedition to search for the treasure for a documentary. But after some last minute doubts, the project was scrapped.

As far as is known, the US$1.8 million in gold has never been found. But there is also a vague rumor that some years ago, not wanting any more intrusions and believing it cursed, the natives found the treasure and dumped it out at sea.
So who knows.....?

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