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14 Hidden Treasures Rumored to Be Somewhere in the United States

Tales of hidden treasure are always thrilling, but even more so when the treasure in question might just be right in your own backyard.

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Hidden treasures

Hidden treasures aren’t just for pirates and movies—there’s actually treasure buried right here in the United States. While some buried treasures have been found, the majority are still out there. Are you brave and patient enough to venture out to find one?

Missing Treasure Hunter, Santa Fe, USAJeri Clausing/AP/Shutterstock

Found: Forest Fenn’s deadly Rocky Mountain challenge

About a decade ago, 85-year-old Forest Fenn allegedly hid what experts estimate as $5 million worth of gold, jewelry, and artifacts in a small bronze chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. In a cryptic poem, The Thrill of the Chase, Fenn dropped clues as to the whereabouts of this hidden treasure and inspired thousands of adventurers and treasure-hunters to go searching. Sadly, some have even died trying. In June of 2020, the treasure was found by a man that chose not to be named. On his website, Fenn wrote, “It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago.”

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The Beale Ciphers

Thomas J. Beale came across an abandoned mine full of gold, silver, and jewels in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the early 1800s. Beale, along with 30 other adventurers, transported the goods to Bedford County, Virginia and buried them. He then created three ciphers or encoded letters, detailing what the treasure was, where it was located, and the contact information of the people that helped him bury it. Beale put the letters in an iron box, and gave them to a friend, instructing him to only open them if he hadn’t returned in ten years. The ciphers were eventually published in 1885 but no one has been able to crack all three and find the treasure.

Usa Museums - Nov 2011Shawn Thew/EPA/Shutterstock

Ted Binion’s Nevada stash

Wealthy casino heir Ted Binion has been dead for two decades, but his legacy lives on in the form of a silver collection said to be worth several million dollars that’s rumored to be buried somewhere on the property of his Pahrump, Nevada ranch. Binion was allegedly murdered in 1998 at the age of 55, by his girlfriend and a collaborator. While the duo was acquitted of murder on appeal, they were convicted on charges related to silver theft, the motive being his collection of silver items worth several million dollars at the time (now worth far more). Some believe all the silver has been recovered, but others think a buried fortune remains somewhere on (or under) the property. Find out the strangest unsolved mysteries from your state.

Usa Coins Sale - Jun 2003 Buerau Custom And Inmigr/EPA/Shutterstock

The Old Ozark Treasure Cave

In one of the Ozarks’ biggest mysteries, The Old Spanish Treasure Cave in the northwest corner of Arkansas is believed to hold treasure buried by Spanish conquistadors fleeing the Native Americans over 350 years ago. The supposed treasure, itself, has not yet been found, but artifacts from the time period (helmets, weapons, armor) have, so there is still hope yet.

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Somewhere in Virginia lies Mosby’s sack

In 1863, Confederate ranger John Singleton Mosby and his band of guerrilla raiders were able to sneak ten miles into Union territory and capture more than 40 Union troops at the Fairfax, Virginia Courthouse—all without firing a single shot. Mosby reportedly left with a burlap sack stuffed with what was then valued $350,000 worth in gold, silver, jewelry, candlesticks, and other family heirlooms, all of them taken from the homes of local plantation owners. On the way back to the Confederate line, Mosby was warned that Union soldiers were nearby and opted to bury the sack between two trees, marking the spot with his knife. Later, he sent seven of his men back to retrieve it, but they were captured and executed. As far as we know, Mosby never went back, so the loot could still be out there.

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Blackbeard’s Atlantic Coast treasure trove

From 1716 to 1718, the pirate Blackbeard steered his ship around the West Indies and Atlantic Coast of North America, attacking ships laden with gold, silver, and other treasures from Mexico and South America on their way back to Spain. Blackbeard is said to have boasted about his buried treasure but never trusted anyone enough to divulge the secret location. He was finally defeated and executed in 1718. Treasure hunters have been searching for it ever since, seeking clues everywhere from Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay to the Caribbean and Cayman Islands. Unlike Blackbeard’s loot, these incredible underwater treasures have actually been found.

VARIOUS Toilet hut at Juniper Pass, State Road 103, Mount Evans Wilderness Arapaho National Forest, Idaho Springs, Colorado, USAHorst Mahr/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

The east Idaho stagecoach robbery

“Somewhere in east Idaho is a bloody treasure worth millions of dollars [in gold]…at least that’s the legend, anyway,” writes the East Idaho News. The Overland Stage Line in 1865, carrying gold in its cargo, was held up by the Picket Coral Gang, a pretty prolific stagecoach robbery syndicate from back in the days. Now if the robbery took place—and it’s not a foregone conclusion that it did—the gang probably hid it in the Portneuf Canyon. Here’s why it was called a “robbery” and not a “burglary.”

VARIOUS Aerial view of ocean waves on beach, Big Island, Hawaii, United StatesMint Images/Shutterstock

Hawaii’s Palemano Point

Palemano Point, an exposed reef break off Hawaii’s Big Island, may contain over $5 million in buried pirate treasure in the form of silver and gold said to have belonged to Captain Thomas Cavendish, an English privateer who lived in the 16th century, according to Hawaii’s Unsolved Mysteries. Modern-day explorers have tried and failed to locate the treasure (and the ship, itself). But who knows what tomorrow will bring?

VARIOUS Kamehameha I (1738-1819), King of Hawaii, PortraitGlasshouse Images/Shutterstock

King Kamehameha’s Burial Chamber

Hawaii’s King Kamehameha died in 1819 and was supposedly buried with millions of dollars’ worth of gold and jewels. But Kamehameha’s burial chamber has never been located, at least not yet. Some believe it’s on the Na Pali coast on Kauai. This isn’t the only ancient mystery researchers still can’t explain.

Austria Unearthed Treasure, vienna, AustriaLilli Strauss/AP/Shutterstock

Oregon’s Spanish shipwreck

In yet another tale of lost Spanish loot, when a Spanish ship sunk off the Oregon coast in 1705, it supposedly left behind gold and other treasures. The mere fact that it might exist is enough to drive real estate in the area. “If you thought you could buy a second home on the coast but knew it would stretch your budget, the tipping point might just be, ‘Oh my God, there’s 500 pounds of gold somewhere up there,'” Gary Albright, executive director of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, remarked to PDX Monthly.

Historical Collection 111 Jesse James American Train- Robber and Bandit; Eventually Killed in 1882 After Being Betrayed by A Member of His Own GangHistoria/Shutterstock

Oklahoma’s secret space(s) for Jesse James’ loot

Somewhere in Oklahoma and most likely somewhere in the vicinity of Robbers Cave in the Wichita Mountains, there is said to be over $1 million worth of hidden treasure left behind by Jesse James and his band of outlaws back in the 19th century. There are literally hundreds of tales all ending essentially the same: “He left that treasure behind in the Wichitas, and it’s never been seen again.” What we do know is that Jesse James is the most notorious criminal from Missouri—find out who earned the dubious honor in your state.

Nature Melting snow at edge of lake in woodland habitat, Oliverea, Catskill State Park, Catskill Mountains, New York State, U.S.A.FLPA/Shutterstock

Dutch Schultz’s treasure

One of the world’s most perplexing hidden treasure mysteries is that of the gangster Dutch Schultz, who may or may not have hidden a $7 million fortune somewhere in the Catskill Mountains of New York. As Schultz lay dying, shot by a rival gangster, he muttered something about hidden treasure, but no one has ever found it—as far as we know. That could change in July when the Travel Channel show Code of the Wild airs the episode where there’s a massive hunt for Schultz’s stash.

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Lost Pirate Treasure of Machiasport, Maine

The small eastern Maine town of Machiasport may be harboring millions of dollars in valuable treasures that once belonged to the pirate Samuel Bellamy (who some say was the model for Captain Jack Sparrow). Back in 1716, Bellamy stumbled across the area and built a house to hold his treasures. But Bellamy and his “Pirate Princes” didn’t stay long. They were soon back out, scoring more loot. Ultimately Bellamy was captured and hanged in Massachusetts. His treasures have never been located. Here are 8 ghost ships whose mysteries have yet to be solved.

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The lost Fabergé eggs

In 1918, after the death of the Romanovs, the House of Fabergé, a Russian jewelry designer, was ransacked by the Bolsheviks (who had also murdered the Romanov family). Most of the Fabergé eggs were confiscated and sent for safekeeping in Moscow. After they were discovered again in the early 1930s, entrepreneur Armand Hammer took an interest in them and brought ten home to America. Some sold. Some did not. Some have changed hands multiple times. And what is known for sure is that eight of the 50 eggs Fabergé made for the Imperial Family remain unaccounted for. Read on to learn about more hidden treasures that haven’t been found yet.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.