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Originally posted by Chuck Stevenson
They tried the satellite idea, but the reflected sunlight from the gold was too much for the satellite and it burned out before it could transmit the exact location.
They placed him on the raft ... and at his feet they placed a great heap of gold and emeralds for him to offer to his god. In the raft with him went four principal subject chiefs, decked in plumes, crowns, bracelets, pendants and ear rings all of gold. They, too, were naked, and each one carried his offering .... when the raft reached the centre of the lagoon, they raised a banner as a signal for silence. The gilded Indian then ... (threw) out all the pile of gold into the middle of the lake, and the chiefs who had accompanied him did the same on their own accounts.
It was greed that drove the Spanish Conquistadors, they wanted to get their hands on the Inca gold. Upon Pizarro's first meeting with the Sapa Inca Atahualpa, he was carried in by bodyguards covered in sheets of gold. Atahualpa wore a woollen braid interwoven with gold, wound round his head. Each of his earlobes were encrusted with a gold disk. He offered the Spaniards beer in large golden vases.
The meeting ended violently with Atahualpa's capture. He bargained for his life by offering to fill a room with treasure. The ransom was brought from all over the Inca kingdom.
One-fifth of Atahualpa's ransom was reserved for the king of Spain; the remainder was shared out between Pizarro and his men. In total, the ransom consisted of about 6,000 kg of gold worth about 31 million pounds and 11,000 kg of silver worth 850,000 pounds. Silver was so abundant that the Spaniards used it to shoe their horses. Very little Inca gold survives today in its original form because the Spanish melted it all down into ingots.
An Inca General named Rumiñahui fled the marauding Spanish and took with him a large share of the ransom he had been collecting for his King. He disappeared into the remote mountainous region of Ecuador called the Llanganati. The load of gold artifacts he took with him is considered the largest undiscovered treasure in Latin America, valued at two billion dollars.
Since Ruminahui's disappearance, generations of adventurers have sought Atahualpa's gold. As if gripped by a vengeful curse, the mountains of the Llanganati have refused to surrender this gold, punishing those who would have it with the spite of a broken race.
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The most recent and well known story is the one about Colonel Percy Fawcett who went after it to never return. But at that time there were indigenous tribes in that region which were still isolated from everything else and were still practicing cannibalism, so it's not hard to believe that he and his team were simply eaten.